Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum

It's finally December! Christmas is getting closer with each day, advent calendars are being torn open (no? just me?) and all I want to smell is gingerbread and mulled wine. 

Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum | Hungry Little Bear

On a cold winters night, me and the girls ventured up to London to get into the Christmas spirit early. Because nothing says winter... like ice skating.

#winterishere

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Pizookie

Pile on the ice cream, grab a spoon and dig into this skillet pizza cookie. Filled with chocolate chips and baked until molten, this pizookie is sure to be your new favourite sweet treat!

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Pizza Cookie | Hungry Little Bear

There’s a lot of rainy days in the UK, and on those days, I always seem to want cookies. They just go perfectly together, like sponge and frosting, Ben and Jerry, rum and coke, peanut butter and jelly... cookies and rainy days.

But sometimes, you need more than just a cookie. You need a pizookie.

Pizza... cookie... Pizookie. geddit?

9 Easy SEO Tips and Tricks for Bloggers


9 Easy SEO Tips for Bloggers | www.hungrylittlebear.co.uk


Since I began working in digital media, I've learnt a lot. And been confused a lot.

SEO was always one of those things that I knew a little bit about but never fully understood. A big ol' black cloud over my head when I started writing a blog. But I can proudly say, I've got a grasp on it and I want to share the tips and tricks I've picked up along the way with you!

So what is SEO? It stand for Search Engine Optimisation and it should be part of every blogger's arsenal. SEO means optimising your website in order to increase your search engine rankings. Optimised blog = Google will like you! Which means more traffic for your shiny blog! SEO is driven by natural searching and also search engine algorithms, which include social media influence, links and search relevancy, etc. 

You still with me? Good! You go Glen Coco!

Here are a few tips to make your blog search engine friendly...

Banana, Date and Honey Loaf

Soft banana loaf with sweet dates mixed throughout, poked and drizzled with honey soaking through.

Banana Date and Honey Loaf Cake | www.hungrylittlebear.co.uk

I definitely took summer for granted. I am now fully understanding the problems of photographing food in the winter. It's awful. Light is never your friend. Especially not now the clocks will be going back this weekend, making it even darker. But yay for an extra hour in bed.

Autumn is still my favourite season though. I must keep telling myself. Just not for food photography. 

It has definitely been one of the most challenging aspects for me with this blog. I've never thought of myself as a photographer. I still don't. Pro ice cream tester is more like it.

20 Reasons to Fall in Love with Autumn

It's finally that time of year again. The leaves are starting to turn, the air is getting that little bit crisper with misty, foggy mornings, jumpers become a necessity, and pretty much everyone becomes obsessed with pumpkin spiced everything. 

It's absolutely the most wonderful time of year. 

Yeah, summer is great and all. The warm weather is nice. Spring's kind of fun too. But nothing beats the start of Autumn, especially when you've got the whole of Winter to look forward to as well. 

Not to mention, there's under 100 days to go until Christmas. 

But don't worry, until then you have all these reasons to love Autumn just as much as me!

DIY Dinosaur Baby Mobile


When my sister announced she was pregnant last year, I knew I wanted to find the perfect present for my future nephew. There's so many cute baby things on the market today, from the unique gifts you find on Etsy and Not on the High Street to the weird and wonderful outfits to dress the tiny humans up in.

But when I saw other blogs' DIY Baby Mobiles, I knew I had found the perfect gift. Albeit a very difficult one.

Banana Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

Impossibly light and airy banana cupcakes with a smooth, creamy Nutella frosting!
  
banana cupcakes with nutella frosting sallys baking addiction recipe
I seem to always go back to banana recipes when I want to bake. My chocolate banana loaf cake is among my favourites. Maybe it's because of how easy they are or how I can almost trick myself into thinking they are healthier than they actually are, or maybe it's because I always forget I have bananas and they ripen way too quickly. 

Yeah, it's definitely because of that.  

Super Berry Smoothie

super berry smoothie with raspberry blueberry and strawberries
Now that summer has finally arrived (at least in the UK), it finally feels like the perfect weather for smoothies! They're perfect on the go breakfasts that can fill you up all morning! Freeze the fruit before, and you'll have yourself a super chilled smoothie ready in under five minutes!

I love berries. Which is why I love this smoothie combo in particular. The greek yoghurt gives it a lovely thickness. The oats beef out the smoothie a bit more and make it into more of a meal and stops you reaching for anything else to snack on! Smoothies are great breakfasts in the summer to cool your down and leave you feeling refreshed. Chopping up and freezing the fruit before hand makes this even easier to prepare too.

So go grab your blender and whizz up yourself a cold one!

- A small handful each of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries. (feel free to change to other berries if prefered)
- A good dollop of fat free greek yoghurt. 
- A handful of oats. 

Whizz it all up in the blender until combined. If the mixture is a bit too solid for you, simply add a splash of milk to loosen it up! Then pour and enjoy in the warm sun :) 

 Let me know what your favourite smoothies are in the comments below!

Pallet Garage Storage Solution

Do you find yourself wishing you had somewhere to store all those pallet slats that you just pile up in a corner? Or do you wish you had somewhere for all your garden tools to live permanently?

Then I have the solution for you! (and it's free too!)

quick and easy pallet garage garden shed storage solution


A pallet!

They're super versatile. Easy to move in a pinch. And even easier to store things in. And it doesn't cost a penny!

Can you tell I'm a bit obsessed?

I was scouring Pinterest one evening (as you do) and came across someone using a pallet to store all their gardening tools in (brushes, forks, spades, etc) and thought.. "hmm I could do with one of those for all the pallet slats I have laying around the garage!" So after finding the right pallet, I turned it on its side and checked it was big enough to stack pallets in, sanded the rough edges that could catch and splinter, splashed a bit of paint on it (purely to look prettier) and voila! A super simple storage solution was created in less than 10 minutes!

It doesn't have to be for pallets either.. you could easily use something like this in a shed/garage to store gardening tools in too! You could even screw in handles/hooks (where it's painted) to hang trowels and forks, and anything else small and handy! Paint is purely optional, I find it just makes it look more like a storage space and less like fire wood for my Dad to burn.

I'm hoping it will motive me to get crafty more, as the pallets are just ready waiting to be made into something! So go on and give it a go!

#MondayMotivation

I am not a morning person. Not in the slightest. Not even when I want to be. It's just not in me. I love my sleep and my bed far too much. I remember my mum telling me how, as a baby, I would sleep through most of the day and night and not make a peep. In school, when an activity called for us to draw our most prized posessions... what was mine? My bed. Nowadays, nothing much has changed.

Unless you're an early bird, the struggle is real to get out bed. Hell, even to push the cover off and let in all the coldness! So instead, I look through Instagram at everyone else's bright sunny mornings, scan through updates on twitter, read bloglovin', get all heart eyed over breakfast food on Pinterest... Essentially anything that doesn't involve moving from my bed. But doesn't everyone do that?

I'm also not a monday person. But let's be serious.. who is?! Which is why I love #MondayMotivation quotes. They help me get as enthused as I can be about getting out of bed and starting the day. They can often help inspire me for a project. They motivate me to make the most out of every single day. Sorry to get all cheesy on you. But more often than not, they just give me a good kick in the right direction.... out of my bed.

8 Ways to Stay Productive When You're Unemployed


8 ways to stay prpductive when you're unemployed graduate

The prospect of just being unemployed is a scary one. You spend hours searching for jobs, countless interviews that go nowhere and you constantly hear everyone say how awful the job market is. It’s hard to remain positive; especially when nothing comes of the interviews and applications you worked so hard on. You start to think there’s something wrong with your CV/resume or that you’re becoming unemployable for some unknown reason. The most worrying part for me, being unemployed for 6 months and counting, is how big the gap from my last job to now is growing. Time is passing far too quickly for my liking.  

For me, my unemployment journey started when I graduated from university last year. I was no longer labelled as a ‘student’, I was now ‘unemployed’. From my experience, university didn’t really prepare me for life as a graduate. They rarely spoke about what happens when you’re thrown out into the big wide world and what it will be like… They didn’t teach you the importance of work experience placements/interning while you’re in the safe cocoon of being a student and they didn’t warn us how hard it would be find a full-time job. 

Graduate or not, it’s extremely hard to land that first job. 

I know the feeling of wanting to give up and scream into a pillow when it all gets too frustrating and yet another rejection email has appeared in your inbox. The old familiar catch-22 has caught you out yet again – “you haven’t got enough experience”, but you can’t get that experience without an employer taking a chance on you. It’s a hard, frustrating pill to swallow. That’s why it’s important to stay productive whilst you search for that perfect job. So I’m passing on my advice, in hope it can make a difference to your employment status or at least your outlook on it...


DIY Tutorial: Pallet Coffee Table

Has everyone been bit by the pallet craze yet?!

I'm bringing this DIY tutorial to you so you too can build your very own pallet coffee table, complete with a handy storage shelf! Because everyone always needs extra storage space...

Maybe I'm a bit late to the pallet craze... but I'm pinning pallet ideas constantly, I'm promising pallet gifts to people, and the garage is steadily building up with the things. Sorry, Dad. But have no fear, I want to build pallet storage next! That might take up a bit more room in the garage though...

DIY tutorial pallet coffee table with a shelf - quick and easy!
Here in the UK, some companies do try and charge you for pallets, but luckily, I've managed to find a company who I can get pallets from for free and in good condition, and they're super lovely and kind! The guys there even help fill my little Ford fiesta up!

Mind you, I can only fit three big pallets in there. That's with the seats down too...

Gluten Free Vanilla Raspberry Cupcakes

Super quick and easy gluten free vanilla cupcakes, with a hidden raspberry compote filling and topped with soft raspberry buttercream.



I will be the first to admit that gluten free baking is hard. Getting the consistency right, the flour combinations working well together, having a nice rise on a cake, and most importantly, that it tastes good! There’s been some disasters and sunken cakes in our kitchen from experimenting. 


Okay, a lot of disasters. 


But this cupcake recipe is foolproof.

Let's Talk | 2015 Super Bowl Commercials

The Super Bowl is not a big event here in the UK. But it's probably the biggest sporting event of the year in the US. It's a huuuuuge spectacle, complete with a halftime show with a new musical act each year. Katy Perry filled that slot this year, with a special 30 minute show to a packed 70,000+ audience in Glendale, Arizona.

However, most Americans say the best part of the Superbowl, is the commercials. (UK don't get the same commercials in their stream of the game sadly).Companies will pay millions of dollars for just a 30 second/1 minute slot in the game to reach the millions and millions of eyeballs watching at home. Some are controversial, some have important messages, while others will just make you cry over the cuteness of puppies.

Here is a rundown of some memorable Superbowl adverts from yesterdays event. 

1. Always "#LikeaGirl"

Always did an incredible job, asking us all: "when did doing something "like a girl" become an insult?". The ad tells us how a girl's confidence plummets during puberty, but it doesn't have to. The phrase takes on a different meaning to a teenager, than it does to a 10 year-old.The teenagers show us the demeaning and insulting side that "like a girl" has taken on in the world today, telling them they're weak and not as good. Whilst when a young girl is asked what it meant to run like a girl, she simply said "it means to run as fast as you can", showing us the untainted outlook the young mind has. It shows no limitations to the phrase, it presents the phrase as empowering. The advert is celebrating female athleticism on a day dominated by male athletes.

Always wants to rewrite the rules for girls, making sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing. Well done, Always.


"Why can't 'run like a girl' also mean win the race?"

Let's Talk | Happy New Year

 

It's the start of the new year, a time when everyone makes resolutions they're unlikely to keep, a time where gyms are over crowded, a time when diets are oh so popular and a time when Christmas decorations start to come down everywhere. The latter is the saddest part of the new year for me.

The house feels empty without the twinkling Christmas tree and the tinsel over bannisters, there's no more lights outside people's homes and gone is the gingerbread house (eaten, never binned!).

But this is also a time to reflect on the year that has passed and to look ahead to the New Year. I said to myself, I'm not going to make any unrealistic resolutions that I'm bound not to keep, and instead, I'm going to make a promise: to be happy, healthy and optimistic. And to say "Yes" more.