30 Nov 2015

Indulgent Hot Chocolate Recipe (Easy)

It's that time of year again when many of us find ourselves craving hot and cosy drinks - so this year I thought I'd experiment with making home made hot chocolate! As I was extremely happy with how it turned out (it tasted amazing!) I thought I'd share the recipe for others to try out as well. 

Ingredients (To serve 2):

- 300ml milk

- 70ml double cream

- 50g milk chocolate pieces (can be replaced with dark chocolate for a less sweet taste)

- Pack of mini marshmallows


- Empty the milk, double cream and chocolate pieces into empty pan 

- Simmer on a high heat over stove and stir ingredients with a fork

- Keep stirring until the chocolate pieces have fully melted and all the ingredients have mixed together into a single consistency 

- Carefully pour the hot chocolate into your mug(s)

- Topple as many mini marshmallows as you wish into the mug(s) on top of the hot chocolate

- Serve immediately and enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and please let me know if you try it out yourself!

Amani x

22 Nov 2015

Digital Prints from Designs By IO | Review & GIVEAWAY

Designs by IO are a brand who offer an array of cute and trendy digital prints for the home. Their vast selection of prints include quotes, artwork, seasonal designs and children's prints. After making a purchase on their site you are able to download your print immediately and then print it out yourself in any size that you desire. You are also able to print it out as many times as you wish. With prices starting from £1.50 per print, Designs by IO are perfect for anyone wanting to add more character and personality to their home for an affordable price!

With their website having been launched just this weekend I was excited to get my hands on one of their products. I opted for their set of Nautical prints as they fitted in perfectly with the theme of my bedroom, and I'm really pleased with how they look in my room. I stuck them directly onto my wall but may have them framed in the future for a more polished look.

They have also added a lovely Christmas range which will help add some festivity to your home - and will also sort out any dilemmas as to what to buy your workmate as Secret Santa!

Designs by IO were kind enough to give away one of their prints to a selected winner for free - so if you enter the giveaway (through the form at the bottom of this post) you will have the chance to win a print of your choosing from their website! 

Term of conditions: The winner will be chosen at random on the 2nd of December, once the competition has been closed. The winner will be notified by email and will then be contacted by Designs by IO to discuss their chosen print, which they will then receive straight away. If the winner does not respond within 2 weeks another winner will be chosen at random. Note: you must have access to a printer to enter this giveaway as the product is sent out digitally and thus needs to be printed out. 

Good luck!

Amani x

16 Nov 2015

Versatile Blogger Award Nomination

Thank you so much to the lovely Pao from Pao Loves Fashion who kindly nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award!

The Versatile Blogger Award rules:

 1. Thank the person who gave you this award and include a link to their blog
 2. Write out 7 facts about yourself
3. Nominate up to 10 blogs of your choosing for The Versatile Blogger Award

7 Facts About Me

1. Spiders are my biggest phobia
2. I love cake, my favourite is chocolate cake with vanilla icing 
3. Petrol is my favourite smell
4. Summer is my least favourite season 
5. I have about 200 books on my shelf and I only started reading a lot a couple years ago, so I'm expecting that to grow!
6. Black is my favourite colour to wear, but baby pink is my favourite colour for homeware
7. The Dark Knight is one of my favourite films and I saw it in the cinema 11 times

My Nominations:

Hope you enjoyed my facts and checking out the blogs that I've nominated!

Amani x


4 Nov 2015

October '15 In Pictures

Sunset, First Lecture of the year

                                                             Manning Freshers Fair stall

Sunset at Hockley Hustle, Sprinkle of Glitter book signing 

Sprinkle of Glitter book signing, Train ride to Sheffield

Stormy weather in Sheffield

Dan and Phil at the Sheffield City Hall

Autumn walk to campus, Autumn selfie 

Autmun walk to campus 

Autumn leaves out the window in London, Selfie

Gran's 70th birthday, Halloween sweets

Giant poppy in Kings Cross Station, Velma Halloween selfie

Amani x


3 Nov 2015

Mental Illness Isn't Always Mental


One common misconception about mental illness is that it exists only in someone's mind. In some cases a mental illness can primarily manifest in such a way (which in no way makes the illness any less crippling). But often mental illness manifests itself physically, sometimes with the only thing mental being the root cause (or a mental reaction to the root cause).

What prompted me to write this post was that I had a terrible panic attack a few nights ago. I hadn't had a full blown panic attack for at least a year or two, and it seems to be in the nature of them that you forget how bad they actually are until you're experiencing one. So I was in for (even more of) a shock.

I woke up bolt right, already in a panic. In hindsight I believe the reason for this was that I was breathing incorrectly in my sleep. My heart was going so extremely fast that it almost sounded like one long beat. When I touched my chest in an attempt to calm down my heart rate I could feel that the area of veins around my jugular notch was violently moving outwards with every rapid beat. I tried to calmly tell myself that in order for the rapid beating to stop I had to realise that I was safe and that what I was experiencing was just anxiety. But then what really scared me was that even once I had managed to calm myself down the extreme heart palpitations did not stop. It felt like my heart now had a mind of it's own and I had no control over it. I couldn't fathom how my heart could continue to beat at such an alarming rate with such vigour without just stopping. I truly thought that my heart was about to fail and that I was a moment away from dying (this of course does not happen from just a panic attack, but a panic attack can mimic a heart attack, so in the moment it's hard to tell the difference).

See this link for information about online psychologists: BetterHelp

Thankfully my heart soon began to slow down to a more regular pace. But as a result of the high anxiety my arms started to go numb and my fingers were stiffening and were beginning to curl inwards - I was starting to lose function of them. The numbing sensation in my arms also spread to other parts of my body (my body was aching for days after as a result). I actually started to get my phone ready to call an ambulance as I was worried that I was having a stroke or indeed a heart attack, and I didn't want to lose full control of my hands/the rest of my body before being able to dial emergency services. All these symptoms are common after you experience extreme panic but even when you know that can still be very scary when you're actually experiencing them. I spent the next half an hour lying down with my phone in my hand trying to calm down and assure myself it was just anxiety and that the symptoms would soon pass. But of course it's hard trying to calm yourself down when the nature of anxiety is to make you worry. Anxiety/panic is your body reacting to a perceived danger which it is trying to draw your attention to.

Depression is also something that can manifest itself physically - as well as mentally - in many ways. For example, the last time I had a bout of severe depression I was so fatigued that my bones felt as if they were physically weighing me down, which ,made it very difficult for me to do simple activities such as even getting up to walk to the next room. Other physical manifestations of mental illnesses can include loss of appetite, light-headedness, dizziness, shortness of breath, stabbing pains, change in speech, disturbed menstrual cycle, change in blood pressure, change in blood oxygen levels and more. It is also possible to experience any or more of these physical complaints without realising that they are actually caused by an underlying mental illness.

If you think that you could have a mental illness, or have any physical complaints that you don't know the cause of, it is important that you see your doctor.

Have you ever experienced major physical symptoms as a result of mental illness?

Amani x
© Amani Carson | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig