Books, Food, My life

Out with the old…

I love taking on challenges and what I like even more is having completed all of my challenges and being able to take on new ones. So I decided that for a little bit of a closure, I’ll do a recap of my challenges from 2016 and let you know what I’ve decided to do in 2017.

The Baking Challenge – 2016

In 2014 I made 20 different cheesecakes, 2015 I made 20 different cookies and in 2016 I decided that 20 was a tad much so I decided to do 14 cupcakes/muffins. And I did. It was quite a journey. I made about a quarter of them in January and the last 4 batches on 31st of December. Quite nicely balanced, right? No? Oh well. Unfortunately I often leave things for the last minute which is something I’m going to try and tackle this year. We’ll see how that goes. Anyway, the biggest hits were definitely the breakfast muffins with chorizo, bacon, cheddar etc, closely followed by red velvet + buttercream cupcakes and salted caramel + vanilla frosting ones. Let me know in the comments if you’d like the recipes for any of them and I’ll try to dig them out.

  1. Red velvet + cream cheese
  2. Pina colada filling + coconut frosting
  3. Pineapple upside down cupcakes
  4. White choc + summer berries
  5. Banana + yoghurt
  6. Winter spice cupcakes
  7. Almond muffins
  8. Chocolate chip muffins
  9. Breakfast muffins
  10. Lemon drizzle muffins
  11. Star Wars cupcakes (vanilla cupcakes with vanilla glaze)
  12. Red velvet cupcakes + buttercream
  13. White chocolate + cranberries
  14. Salted caramel filling + vanilla frosting

The Cooking Challenge – 2017

You probably noticed I changed it a bit. I decided that I’ve had enough of baking for a while so I’ll make something else instead. And for that something else I chose soups. I’m going to be making 12 different soups this year. Quite a change from all the baked goodies, but I like change and trying new things. Plus soups are quite good for you, so there you go. I’d love it if you joined in with me on this one and shared your results with me. I’ll try to post as many recipes of my challenge as I can.

The Reading Challenge – 2016

Last year I set my goal to read 30 books which I finished a few days ago. I think I enjoyed this challenge the most as I absolutely love reading. I’ve always been a bookworm and proud of it. I’ll leave a list of all the books I read this year below and I’ll include links to their Goodread pages as well.

My favourite new discoveries were definitely Joe Abercrombie with his First Law books and Zoe Sugg with her Girl Online series. I just realised my two favourites are as different from each other as they could be. Pretty much complete opposites. Another book I really enjoyed was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, it was so emotional and I loved everything about it. I also really liked the last book I read in 2016 – Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell. It was very different from my other books as it was soooooooo spooky but I just couldn’t put it down. I started reading it one night and finished it the next morning.

  1. Cell by Stephen King
  2. The Scorch Trials  (The Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner
  3. The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner
  4. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  5. The Kill Order (The Maze Runner) by James Dashner
  6. Heat Wave (Nikki Heat #1) by Richard Castle
  7. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)
  8. Angel of Storms (Millennium’s Rule #2) by Trudi Canavan
  9. Wyrd Sisters (Discworld #6) by Terry Pratchett
  10. The Blade Itself (The First Law #1) by Joe Abercrombie
  11. Prada and Prejudice (Dating Mr Darcy #1) by Katie Oliver
  12. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  13. Pyramids (Discworld #7) by Terry Pratchett
  14. Before They Are Hanged (The First Law #2) by Joe Abercrombie
  15. Paper Towns by John Green
  16. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  17. Last Argument of Kings (The First Law #3) by Joe Abercrombie
  18. Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by Jojo Moyes
  19. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two (Harry Potter #8)
    by John Tiffany (Adaptation), Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling
  20. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #1)
    by Douglas Adams
  21. Best Served Cold (First Law World #4) by Joe Abercrombie
  22. The Heroes (First Law World #5) by Joe Abercrombie
  23. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #2)
    by Douglas Adams
  24. Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #3)
    by Douglas Adams
  25. Girl Online (Girl Online #1) by Zoe Sugg
  26. Girl Online: On Tour (Girl Online #2) by Zoe Sugg
  27. After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes
  28. The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1) by Brent Weeks
  29. The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket
  30. Frozen Charlotte (Red Eye) by Alex Bell

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The Reading Challenge – 2017

This year I’m also aiming to read 30 books. I think it’s a good amount as I can read some easier ones, like young adult books which I like and mix them with a bit harder to read ones. I got a lot of books for Xmas (thank you everyone!) so I’ve already got my reading pile ready, just waiting for me to begin. If you’d like to join me, check out the Goodreads reading challenge page on their website here: https://www.goodreads.com/ (and add me as a friend whilst you’re there!)


I did actually also set myself a crafts challenge last year and I will do one this year as well, but I’ll make a separate post about that another time, as I gave a lot of my crafted items away as Xmas presents and forgot to take pictures of them before doing that (very silly of me, I know), so I’m going to have to track them down now.

In any case, I hope my post has perhaps encouraged you to take on some challenges of your own this year to explore new territories and experience new things. If it has I’d love it if you shared it with me 🙂 I’ll leave you with a quote that I like and that has helped me along the way.

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath

G.

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