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Marmite: Love It or Hate It? Cupcake Edition


So yes, they're messy. I did the icing at 9pm, okay? 

Even though you might brush it off as a marketing campaign, a lot of people I know are either a Marmite lover or a Marmite hater. The only people I know who state no opinion are those who haven't tried it. 

Personally I love it. I discovered it as a ten year old after having had a sleepover at a friend's house. Her mum had put it on her toast and I was intrigued by the brown sticky mixture. And then I insisted my parents bought it for me. 

I only recently got back into Marmite two weeks ago when I agreed to help a student out with her honours project which was about the public's perception of Marmite. Which involved eating Marmite and various other Vegemite products. My desire to have it came back. That week I purchased a new tub of Marmite and also picked up some Fudges Marmite Biscuits after having accidentally spotted them in Tesco (they were delish btw!)

And with an impending bake sale I had just the idea! I think we all know where this is going (a picture says so much doesn't it?). I hit up Google and discovered a surprising amount of recipes for Marmite Cupcakes. But I settled on this particular blog post which contained Chocolate Marmite Cupcakes and Caramel Marmite Cupcakes. I settled for the latter. 

My opinion?
These taste not nearly as Marmite-y as you might think! As with all Marmite recipes the Marmite makes up such a small amount of the composition. Even us Marmite lovers don't sit around and eat spoonfuls of the stuff (I don't!) but have it mixed in somewhere. These cakes had a hit but honestly if I had said they were toffee you would have believed me. Albeit a bitter toffee. Truthfully you do need a certain palette to like these cakes but I did manage to wow over someone who generally puts herself on the haters fence. 

If you like Marmite, or have a tongue that can take bitter notes, then I think you should give this recipe a try. :)

How do you feel about Marmite? Would you try these? 

Morag x
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A Baking Feminist! OMGWTFBBQ


From the Tumblr blog: unpopular opinions. I'd like to say this was an unpopular opinion, but it isn't. 

The idea of baking and feminism going together can be an odd one. Haven't feminists fought for years to get out of the kitchen and into the work place? To be something other than a cooking, cleaning and child rearing phenonomem? 

Thursday I baked cakes in order to raise money for women in Africa. Thursday, in-case you didn't know, was International Women' Day. General reaction I got to this was you BAKED CAKES? As if we couldn't call ourselves real feminists. It just couldn't connect in some people's brains. It was ironic, apparently. 

Well, yes, women don't "belong" in a kitchen and feminists have been fighting this stereotype for years. But some choose to place themselves there. Feminism is about choice and it might surprise a lot of people to know not all feminists have hairy armpits and break men's balls all day. Some like to bake, wear pretty dresses and even take up dancing as a hobby. Like myself. 

"I bake because I want to, not because I feel a biological urge to" - myself. 

I am vehemently pro-choice. I am proud to support the LGBTQ community. I am living proof that a child who had a stay at home dad and working mum can turn out to be a perfectly stable adult. Prior to my birth my dad was a nurse, and I will bite back at anyone who says "male-nurse". I stand my ground when my own mum doesn't respect the fact that I fail to see the appeal of motherhood. I do however respect the decision of a woman to be a stay-at-home mum. Because that is what some women truly want. I refuse to use the word "slut" because no woman should be judged for her sexual habits or the way she dresses. I think it's wrong that in some parts of this world a girl still has to place a white sheet beneath her on her wedding night to prove she remained "pure" for her future husband. I have been using the prefix "Ms" since I was seventeen. Never, ever, will I be a "Mrs". I might be married one day but I will never use a prefix that states that I belong to a man. 

I am a feminist because I do not believe equality has been achieved. What I choose to do in a kitchen should not be taken as a political statement. But as a hobby. A politically neutral hobby. 

Morag x
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Review: Lush Caca Rouge Henna Dye




This is the second time I've purchased the Caca Rouge Lush Henna hair dye. I used to dye my hair a lot when I was fifteen however my hair got frizzy and began to lack any natural moisture. So I stayed away for years. When I began to delve more into the world of natural beauty products, as par my new years resolution of 2011, I became aware of henna hair dye existing within the Lush stores. My first impression is that it was more bother than it was worth and I came to like my natural hair colour anyway (brunette but with auburn and copper tones) but at New Year of 2012 I went for it. And I'm glad I did. It didn't destroy my hair and gave me a nice natural red colour. The adverts say it gives a bright look, but for me it looks natural. I didn't take any "before and after" pictures so the best you can see it my outfit photo posts. My Saying Goodbye To 2011 post shows a selection of me posing with my natural colour. Every other photo shows me afterwards with red locks.

 The Application Process



It's messy! When the sales assistant was going over the process with me I did feel a bit out of my depth. Is this not the sort of thing we go to hairdressers for? The brick has to be cut up and placed in a heat proof bowl and then mixed with boiling water. Once it is of whipping cream consistency and the water is now touchable it can go on your head. It gets everywhere, as it is a paste and doesn't come with a handy tube that traditional hair dyes do. 

The first time I used it was with my mum and I followed it to the letter, as I was new to the process. Plus, my mum likes stain free floors and t-shirts (even old ones that belong to me) so everything from me, to the floor and the sink was covered with something. The mixture also looks disgusting with my nurse mother saying it reminds her some of things she has to deal with when it comes to her patients. If you're squeemish about bodily functions, maybe stay clear. 

The second time I did it was back in my own flat so it was messier as I didn't care about my skin getting a slight stain, plus I'm not always a to-the-letter instruction follower. I did pick up a tinting brush to see if this could help with the application. It helps to put the mixture on but after it's on I just took my hands and rubbed it through. And saved me more time. I also decided to grate the block this time, as seen in the photo, which made mixing it all in much easier and less time-consuming. 

As for mess, it gets everywhere. But it does not stain as badly as you would think. Not to say you should throw it about your bathroom but don't shriek (like my mum did) if it gets on the floor. The t-shirt in the photo has lost the vibrancy is the bits hair dye got on, but my skin has no stains and all bowls, sinks and floors look fine now. The only stain that exists is on my toilet seat but it's faint and is nothing anyone could lose a deposit over. And I forgot to pick up gloves the second time, so my hands were orange (they looked exactly as if I had a fake tan accident) but faded natural after two days. 

When washing out my hair, it felt like sand. As if I had been having a crazy day at the beach rolling in the stuff. And it took ages to wash out! Ages! And it got splashed about my shower (but again didn't stain) so if you're in a rush maybe not. This takes a night aside to do.

The result
The first result was red, but not bright. If you had seen me in real life you would have twigged it had been dyed but in photos it couldn't be picked up without the flash. The result the second time was very vibrant, as in you could tell my hair had been dyed, even in photos. But it is still a very natural shade of red, as most of my pictures show. I have a few blonde patches near my fringe which were very red, so if you are blonde the result may be very bright for you! But as a medium brunette as I turned out looking like a natural red head.

Also the shop assistant had told me that I might need two blocks to make it vibrant due to hair length, so I'm not complaining about this.

Also my hair was S-O-F-T. Yes, capital letters were needed.

Recommend it? 
I love this product, as shown by me buying it twice. It is messier than traditional hair dye but I'm very committed to the natural product cause and it makes my hair feel really soft, rather than destroying it. Lush only have four colours of this stuff so if you're after a very specific colour than it might not be for you. Or if you want a slightly less-fuss hair dying experience. But personally I am going to keep buying this all over again.

Morag x
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