Bluebird tea pineapple coconut cocktail

Summer is here, and so are the ice cold cocktails. While I’m not a huge drinker, I definitely enjoy a nice cocktail every once and awhile, especially when I’m hanging out with some friends. There’s nothing like relaxing on a lounge chair after a long day and enjoying a drink. By a pool would be even better, however I don’t have one of those. Maybe one day…

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When I was a child I hated carrot cake. The mere thought of vegetables in my cake was enough to make me violently shake my head no when someone asked if I would like a piece. Where was the chocolate cake with the chocolate frosting?! Boy was I missing out! I wish I could go back and tell myself to try a piece when it was served at grandma’s birthday every year. Think of all the cake I missed out on! Well, now I fully understand the appeal of carrot cake and even welcome vegetables into my baked goods (zucchini bread is another delicacy that I should’ve tried much sooner than I did). I’ve whipped up some carrot cake cupcakes just in time for Easter, and they’re too delicious and adorable not to post on the blog.

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Cranberry Orange Scones

About a month ago I became a representative for the Bluebird Tea Company based out of Brighton, England. Part of my duty as a rep is to create at least one recipe per month using some of the tea I’ve been sent. After assessing the teas that came in the welcome box, and mulling around ideas in my head, I decided to bake some sort of scone. Nothing screams England, or pairs better with tea, than scones, right? I will be completely honest, before baking these I had never baked a scone in my life. No better time than the present!

Bluebird Tea Co

The first tea I thought of using was the Bears Like Marmalade loose tea; it has an amazing floral, orange flavor that is so refreshing. However I wasn’t content with using just one tea, I wanted more! After trying Purple Rain I knew I had to incorporate it in the scones somehow; the gorgeous purple tea is too pretty not to use. That’s when the idea of a glaze occurred to me, because apparently creating my own scone recipe and then baking them for the first time just wasn’t enough. Both teas are part of Bluebird’s spring collection which goes on sale this Sunday, March 12.

Loose tea

Now, baking with tea can be a tricky task. Simply including the tea leaves in the batter or dough won’t release the flavors of the tea, plus no one likes chunks of dry leaves in their food. Steeping the tea in milk works somewhat, but usually if a recipe calls for milk it’s not a lot. So, infusing unsalted butter with the tea is the best option. As fancy as it may sound, it’s actually quite simple. Melt however much better you need for the recipe and then add in the loose tea without any tea ball or bag. Once it’s steeped for 5-10 minutes strain the butter through a fine sieve and discard the tea leaves. Then, depending on the recipe, let the butter solidify or use it in the melted form.

Bluebird Tea Company Loose Tea
Bears Like Marmalade tea; how gorgeous is that color?!

The glaze uses the same sort of method. Using a double broiler (or two pots and some water) all of the ingredients are combined to create a hot, liquid glaze, and then the Purple Rain tea is steeped for 8-10 minutes. Once it’s done steeping, the mixture is strained through the sieve and the tea leaves can be discarded.

Cranberry Orange Scones

The scones are definitely a bit time consuming, but trust me when I say they are so worth it. The combination of teas make the scones so lovely, plus they’re beautiful to look at! If you’d like to try this recipe out, and I really hope you do, head over to Bluebird’s website and use the code WLBTEABIRD20 to get 20% off your purchase at checkout.

Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe

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Audrey Knizek

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Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone is having a good week; I’ve been pretty busy so far. For today’s post I wanted to do a blogger tag of sorts considering I’ve never done one before and I want my readers to learn a bit more about me. When I was searching for a tag I didn’t find one that I liked all of the questions. I’ve decided to pick and choose questions from various tags and make my own sort of thing here. My blog my rules, right?

QUESTION 1: HOW TALL ARE YOU?

5’3″… 5’2.75″ if we’re getting technical. My pediatrician told me I was going to be around 5’5″ to 5’7″ considering how tall the rest of my family is (my brothers are all over 6 feet tall). What a load of crap that was!

QUESTION 2: DO YOU HAVE A HIDDEN TALENT? IF SO, WHAT?

A hidden talent? Um….singing I suppose. I think I can sing well, and people who have heard me sing have told me I have a good voice. Other than being in the musical Annie in eighth grade I never put the talent to use.

QUESTION 3: WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE?

Bad drivers. I have such bad road rage and my boyfriend Luke doesn’t let me forget it.

QUESTION 4: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SONG?

I am a music addict, I constantly have one of my many Spotify playlists on in the background and am always looking for new music. This makes it really hard to pick a favorite, but I’m going to go with Death Cab for Cutie’s “Transatlanticism”. I have lyrics from that song tattooed on my right hip and that song, and the whole album really, means a lot to me.

My friend took this mid tattoo. I was 18 in this photo.

QUESTION 5: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND YOUR FREE TIME WHEN YOU’RE ALONE?

Reading or taking photos for my Instagram and blog. I’ve really been getting into photography recently.

QUESTION 6: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE JUNK FOOD?

Donuts, specifically Dunkin’ Donuts. They have crap coffee but boy do they make amazing donuts.

QUESTION 7: DO YOU HAVE A PET OR PETS? IF SO, WHAT KIND AND WHAT ARE THEIR NAMES?

I have a Miniature Schnauzer named Lili!

Miniature Schnauzer

QUESTION 8: WHAT ARE YOUR NUMBER ONE FAVORITE NONFICTION AND FICTION BOOKS?

I’ve read so many books it’s hard to choose, I also haven’t read that much Nonfiction…

Fiction: Harry Potter; it’s the first series I ever read and got totally engrossed in. I was (am) obsessed with the books and movies as a child / teenager.

Nonfiction: Amy Poehler’s book “Yes Please”. Even if you’re not a fan of her, read this book. It is hysterical, informative and inspiring.

QUESTION 9: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BEAUTY PRODUCT OR TOOL?

My Chi hair straightener. I actually use it to curl my hair and I love how it looks.

QUESTION 10: IF YOU COULD ONLY DRINK ONE BEVERAGE (BESIDES WATER) FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Vanilla Chai black tea. It’s so so good!

QUESTION 11: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?

Uhhhhhhhh……. Harry Potter? No, um, Across the Universe maybe. I don’t know, it’s so hard to choose just one! Have you picked up on the fact that I’m indecisive yet?

QUESTION 12: WHAT WERE YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL: PROM QUEEN, NERD, CHEERLEADER, JOCK, VALEDICTORIAN, BAND GEEK, LONER, ARTIST, PREP?

None of these really. I had a solid group of friends and we all hung out and stayed to ourselves for the most part. I was a straight A student for the most part and a goody two shoes. My friend (same one who took the tattoo picture actually) wrote on a sticky note in tenth grade “over-achiever since 4th grade” and stuck it to my folder. It ended up in a scrapbook my mom made for me as a graduation present.

Before my senior prom; I did my own makeup and was real proud of that smoky eye.
QUESTION 13: IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU LIVE?

Brighton England. I studied abroad there for a semester and absolutely fell in love with the city.

How could you not fall in love with this city?

 

QUESTION 14: PC OR MAC?

Always Mac.

QUESTION 15: LAST ROMANTIC GESTURE FROM A CRUSH, DATE, BOY/GIRLFRIEND, SPOUSE?

Luke gave me roses and made me chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day. He’s always doing cute and romantic things for me though, Valentine’s Day just happens to be the last time we saw each other.

QUESTION 16: FAVORITE CELEBRITY?

Anna Kendrick. She speaks her mind, is hilarious, is incredibly talented, and doesn’t take crap from anyone.

QUESTION 17: WHERE DO YOU BUY MOST OF YOUR MAKEUP?

The drugstore! I would love to buy more high-end makeup but that’s just not in my budget right now.

QUESTION 18: FAVORITE QUOTE?

Again, I have a lot of quotes I like a lot. There are two hanging above my bed that I particularly like though.

“It is a risk to love, what if it doesn’t work out? Ah, but what if it does?”

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”

QUESTION 19: IF YOU HAD THE CHOICE TO PICK YOUR OWN NAME, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I like kind of unusual names, and I even have a list on my phone of names I like. If my name weren’t Audrey I think I’d want it to be Niomi. I think it’s a beautiful and unique name that not many people have.

QUESTION 20: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?

I try to eat healthy a majority of the time, and I enjoy healthy food too! However, when it comes to cereal I will always love Lucky Charms. They taste like childhood and everything good in the world.

One last thing before I go; I wanted to announce on my blog that I’m now a representative for Bluebird Tea Co. Bluebird Tea Co. is located in Brighton, England and they have created so many delicious and unique teas. They’re shop is so homey and it was one of my favorite places to pop in while I was living in Brighton. It’s so exciting to be able to represent such a wonderful company and they’re incredible products. I’ll be sharing their new teas, recipes I’ve created, and even some discount codes all over on my Instagram so be sure to give it a follow!

I’ll be back with another post on Friday but until then, thanks for reading!

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Audrey Knizek

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Happy new year and welcome back to my blog! I’m still here, silently mourning the end of December and the holiday season. I’m prolonging taking down the Christmas decorations for as long as possible while still burning holiday candles and eating Christmas candy. How is December really over?! It feels like I just put up my tree and hung the lights. Time really does fly by as you get older.

One of the best ways to conquer the end of holiday blues is by keeping busy, and I’m doing that by sharing everything I loved during the month of December with you guys! I got a brand new Canon Rebel T6 camera for Christmas and I’ve been having so much fun learning how to use it. I’m really excited to start taking better pictures and see my blog grow and improve throughout 2017.

A lot of my favorites during the month of December are items I ordered from e.l.f. during their Black Friday sale. I did a whole post about that haul which you can read right here.

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The first thing is this blush and highlighter duo in St.Lucia. The blush is a beautiful peach color with gold glitter in it, and it’s complimented by the bronzer that also has gold glitter in it! The glitter isn’t too noticeable though, it just provides that perfect amount of glow to make you look beautiful and healthy.

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Another favorite from that haul is the Rose Gold eyeshadow palette. I’ve used this so many times this past month and I’m still not sick of it. The color range is perfect, the shadows last all day, and there’s a good mix of matte and shimmer. It’s a nice change from the typical brown and tan shades you find in most nude palettes.

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The baked highlighter in Blush Gems is another great product from e.l.f. I love the way this highlight looks when it catches the light, it just looks so natural and effortless on my skin. If you’re a pale girl like me you need to try this product!

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My last e.l.f. favorite for the month is their smudge pot in the shade wine not. It’s a gorgeous, deep purple shade that is so easy to throw on, blend out, and be done with. The shadow does not budge or fade and looks great for hours!

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This Colourpop liner in Get Paid blew me away the first time I used it. It’s a gel liner that glides on so easily and is incredibly pigmented. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to use a copper eyeliner, but oh my gosh is the color amazing! This is the first item I’ve tried from Colourpop and it makes me want to place an order for more things.

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The last bit of makeup I was really impressed with is Diamond Powder from Winky Lux. I’ve never heard of this company or product before, but my friend gave it to me along with a bunch of other makeup she no longer wanted or used. The powder feels like silk, and has the smallest flecks micro glitter in it. I use this to set my under eye concealer and it looks flawless. I would really love to buy the full size of this product as it can be built up and used as a powder foundation.

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I had a terrible breakout all over my chin this past month and I had a feeling that it was my cleanser that was causing the issues. After poking around the Internet and reading about people’s favorite cleaners I decided to give this one a try. I’d heard of CeraVe for a while now, but for some reason never thought to give it a try until now. This is honestly the first cleanser I’ve tried that claims to be hydrating and actually is! The product itself looks like a lotion and feels very thick. It melts off dirt and makeup and helped clear up my breakout within days.

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Lastly, I have a tea favorite! I studied abroad in Brighton England in the fall of 2015 and while there I fell in love with the Bluebird Tea Company. They make so many gourmet teas in flavors I have never heard of or thought would taste good in the form of tea. While the shop in Brighton is the only one that exists, they do ship worldwide! I ordered a couple bags as gifts for family and ordered myself this mint chocolate rooibos flavor. It tastes like heaven and is the perfect drink on a cold day. If you’re a tea lover I highly recommend checking out this company!

And that concludes my December Favorites! I’m looking forward to whatever 2017 may have in store and seeing where my blog goes. Happy new year everyone!

Thanks for reading,

Audrey Knizek