Thursday, 27 December 2012

Raspberry Bakewell Cake

Hey Blog Readers!x! 

Something different for today... I thought I'd share with you the cake I bake every Christmas (it's become a bit of a tradition). If you like cake, raspberries, almonds and yumminess this is for you ;)

It's very easy to bake and everyone will love it! :) It's a people pleaser ;) 
This Cake can serve 8, has a very short prep time of just 10mins and a cook time of 50mins so you can have the entire cake ready in an hour! 

You will need:
  • 140g Ground Almonds
  • 140g Butter, softened  
  • 140g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 140g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 
  • 250g Raspberries
  • 2 tsp Flaked Almonds
  • Icing Sugar to serve

How to Bake: 
  • Heat the oven to 180c/160c fan/Gas4 and grease a deep, loose bottomed cake tine. 
  • Blitz the ground almonds, butter, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla extract in a food processor until well combined. If you don't have a food processor you could use a blender, a wisk or mix manually (however this will take longer). 
The mixtures texture should be something like this
  • Spread half of the mixture over the cake tin and smooth to form a base. 
  • Scatter the raspberries over the mixture (make sure these are defrosted if kept in freezer). 
  • Then dollop the rest of the mixture on top of the raspberries and smooth to form the top of the cake. 
  • Scatter with flaked almonds. 
  • Bake for 50mins until golden. 
  • Cool, remove from the tin and dust with icing sugar to serve :)

It should loo something like this ;)
ENJOY!!! :) 

Lots of Love 
Shahira Xo

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hey Blog Readers

I just wanted to wish everyone of you who read my blog a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS! I really hope that you have all had a lovely day! and that you remembered what the spirit of Christmas is really about-Spending time with loved ones, remembering those who are no longer with us, being caring and charitable to others and living life!
The season of bright lippy :)
What I wore to the Assets Christmas Party:

My dress is from and it is actually Red although it looks pink ;) I particularly like the neck line. I wore Plain gold hoop earrings and a sparkly bangle that is penneys finest ;)

Stairway to Beauty in Athenry did my Tan for the evening and I did a rushed job on my own hair and makeup ;)

Makeup: Red lips, Smokey eye (using the naked pallet), contour and blush. Hair: Straight and down
My mum, me and my sister

Me and my sister Lauren :)
Carpe Diem: 
On Sunday I was in a bad accident on a motorway and under freaky circumstances. Me, my mum and my sister were on our way home from the airport-We had just been visiting family and friends in Birmingham and we were all in good form looking forward to getting back home for Christmas. We were chatting about life and following your dreams earlier on the journey and then I started listening to music on my iphone with my earphones in, my sister lay down on the back seat (luckily kept her seatbelt on) and my mum continued driving. Christmas is a very sad time of year for me as it is my friend Sadhbh's anniversary. I often look to the stars when thinking of my beautiful friend and I was in the front seat looking out the window at the stars listening to music just wondering, remembering back to memories we shared and missing her like mad: Tears started running down my cheeks but I didn't want to let on to my sister or mum that I was crying... I just didn't want to upset the Christmas mood. All of a sudden I got a very strange feeling: almost like I could see behind me and I looked up at my mums mirror... I saw a lunatic driver coming really fast and way too close behind us and I warned mum... I felt like I had an epiphany and saw it all in slow motion in my head. My warning gave my mum a split second more to react and also made my sister jump up and situp right instead of lying down. Next minute the young man goes into the outside lane and comes crashing into the right hand side of us at the back door. This sent the car into a 360* turn and we went flying towards the concrete barrier. My mum managed to stop the car but facing the wrong way on the outside lane of the motorway. I was very aware that we had seconds to get out as more cars would come at a high speed along the motorway and may not be able to stop I screamed 'Get Out' and we all managed to get out and run onto the verge of the motorway. I have no idea how we all got out ok-It was a sheer miracle. When I saw the concrete barrier coming I thought that was it. This year I am simply grateful and happy to spend Christmas with my family and that nobody was hurt and it didn't end much worse. To all drivers... Please consider how you are driving and take this story as a warning. My mum is a very careful and experienced driver and had she been going at a faster speed on the motorway she wouldn't have been able to control the impact from the car that hit us. That young man is also extremely lucky that he doesn't have 3 dead woman on his hands due to dangerous driving or  that he himself wasn't injured or worse. I am always advocating living life to the full but don't waste or risk your life or the life of another. Live and Let Live! Carpe Diem!

The Irish Daily Star
Every year in my house I cook the Christmas Desert!! I'm not the best cook but I'm a 'Baker Maker'! ;)  
My favourite is a Raspberry Bakewell!! Almonds/Raspberries... What's not to like ;) 

I'll post the recipe and directions to bake this in my next blog post ;)

I also made a Clove Orange... "WHY You ask...?"

It's a nice way to spend some time during the holidays. It's easy to make and a lovely Christmas decoration because it smells amazing!!-a beautiful Spicy aroma and all you need is a orange and cloves (but lots of them!) You just start poking the cloves into the orange skin. If you cover the whole orange in cloves leaving no spaces it will last forever... 'how'..I don't know but it does=Home made air-freshener! 

I didn't get time to cover the whole orange so instead I made a smiley face :)

Finally I got some Christmas cards made this year and sent them to different businesses and people that have helped me out throughout the year. I posted the below pic of the card to facebook and jokingly asked who wanted one but I got a big response from people who wanted one. I have 3left! So on a first come, first served basis if you want me to send you a Christmas card message me your address on my like page and I'll post one to you tomorrow :) Click here to message me.

I will be doing a 'Year in Review' blog but before then A HUGE THANK YOU :) to everyone who has supported me in any way this year. Merry Christmas and I'm sending virtual hugs your way :) 
Happy Holidays!

Lots of Love,  
Shahira Xo


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

My Interview with Xfactor's Jahmene Douglas

Hey Blog Readers!!x!!

Wee I love this Blog post... :) recently I caught-up with Jahmene from this years XFactor! He was nice enough to answer my questions for the purpose of this blog interview-which is pretty cool of him!

I am similar to Jahmene in terms of our common love for Motown and Soul music-I grew up with it too with my mum playing all the classics from the roof top (well Motown along with Rap and Reggae). For me soul music stands for perseverance and overcoming problems.
This is one my faves from the gorgeous Marvin Gaye ;)

Jahmene was my favourite to win the entire show this year: I do also like James and they were both great finalists but for me Jahmene's talent is out of this world and win or not there is no doubt that he is going to have an amazing career and future in music ahead of him! I can't wait for him to "Bring Motown Back" ;)

SO here's what I asked him exclusively for ;)

1) Shahira: You come across as a very shy, quiet and genuine person-You were just leading an ordinary life working in asda etc... but it takes a lot of courage and determination to stand in line (for hours) and go for an audition at XFactor in the first place: What was your motivation? 

 Jahmene: My motivation was my dream. To use music as a motivator for others, to inspire some one to be better, that and all my family and friends encouraging me constantly to get up and follow my dream. 

2) Shahira: Did anyone know that you were going to audition?

Jahmene: Only my immediate family and closet friends knew I was auditioning.
Jahmene Douglas's 1st audition

3) Shahira: What is Nicole like in person? On the tv your relationship looks very close but we have heard in the past (for example Cher Lloyd and Cheryl Cole) that often that is simply for the tv-show.. do you think you will stay in touch when xfactor is no longer filming?

Jahmene: Nicole is such an inspiring person. She has a lot of strength and a lot of time and love for others. Even now she will text me to see how I am. She’s prayed with me before I’ve performed and put me as a friend first and a singer second. Her beauty radiates through her smile and it’s contagious. She’s a friend for life.

4)Shahira: What has been the hardest thing about being on the xfactor? 

Jahmene: The hardest thing about being in the xfactor was probably being in the xfactor :P It’s a lot of hard work and time away from normality but it’s all worthwhile in the end. 
Jahmene arriving for rehersals at XFactor

5) Shahira: What has been the best thing about being on the xfactor?
Jahmene: The best thing about the xfactor is the platform i’ve been given and the incredible friends I have made.

6) Shahira: Which musical artists do you look up to? 

Jahmene: My main influence has always been the extremely blessed Whitney Houston. 

7) Shahira: You said on one of the live shows that you want to bring motown music back (btw I am a huge Motown fan too) what is it about soul music that you love? Is it the message behind many of the lyrics? What other genres of music do you like? 

Jahmene: Soul music just seems to cut deeper and hit harder than most other genres. It gets me and pushes so much emotion through each word. I love all types of music genres, Gospel, Jazz, Reggae, Rock, Classical ... you name it and it’s in my CD collection somewhere.

8) Shahira: It must have been very difficult to tell the public about your traumatic past (btw I think it is extremely commendable that you did and I believe hearing your story would have encouraged and helped a lot of people) were you worried about revealing such intimate details from your past? And how has the response been? 

Jahmene: I didn’t choose to talk about my past, it was dug up by the media. I then chose to twist it all into a positive thing to help raise awareness and funding for domestic violence. I did that by pushing attention towards Women’s Aid. The story would have run with or without my input, but I thought It was best I spoke out for all the others scared to step out of that bad situation they are in. I knew the stories would’ve come out sooner or later and I always had this plan in mind. I am now the first youth ambassador for Women’s Aid and hope to make as much as a difference as I can. The response has been incredible, inspiring and motivational to continue and I’ve had letters thanking me saying I’ve helped them in some way. 
Jahmene supports Woman's Aid against domestic violence
9)Shahira: What would your advice be to someone who may want to audition for the XFactor next year? 

Jahmene: Never try living up to expectations, just be the best that you can possibly be. 

10) Shahira: Has XFactor changed you in any way? 

Jahmene: X-Factor has opened many doors and made me a lot more comfortable in a world that once seemed to big to step into. 

11) Shahira: Have you ever been to Ireland?/Would you like to visit one day?
Jahmene: I have never been to Ireland I'd love to, but Louis Walshe has assured me it’s a beautiful place. 
Our Likle Louis supported Jahmene the whole way through the competition and declared he wanted him to win often:)

12) Shahira: Is there any luxury item that you would love to buy? Coming off the success that you will get from the show.. 

Jahmene: Most of the things I would like to buy are for other people, but I’d love to have a decent place to stay. 

13) Shahira: On a lighter note what’s your favourite food/colour?& What's your star sign? :) 

Jahmene: My favourite food ... most dishes with chicken. My favourite colour ... multi-colour ;) My star sign is Pisces :)
Compassionate, selfless, sympathetic, artistic, intuitive carefree, imaginative & Joyful-all of these shine through with Jahmene. 

14) Shahira: Finally, I am someone who is crazy for life quotes... (e.g my favourite is ‘Imagination is the Key to Success’) is there any quote that you feel holds a lot of truth for you? 

Jahmene: There are too many quotes I love to mention so I’ll just pick a random one Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King :) 

Jahmene and his mum :)

Jahmene looking ADORABLE as a child

Celebrating on stage with Nicole and James

For me Jahmene is a true inspiration!! Not only is he an extraordinary talent! But he has also come through such a lot which shows how incredibly strong and amazing he is! He never gave up on his dreams, he's a fighter and a believer. I don't want to repeat  the story of Jahmene's past because this is not a gossip blog and also Tabloids can sometimes be misleading so not knowing all the ins and outs I don't feel in a position to do that (you can click here if you want to read the sun's article). This blog is about positivity and a beautiful young man inside and out with an amazing JAMAZING talent ;) 

Personally this was my favourite Jahmene performance :) 

Follow Jahmene on Twitter and Facebook ;)

A huge Thank YOU to Jahmene for taking the time out to answer my questions! I'm wishing you all the luck in the world in your career (Not that you need it in anyway). I can't wait to hear your first track on the radio ;)

Lots of Love 
Shahira Xo


UK Press coverage ;)

Hey Blog Readers :) 

I was delighted to see myself on the front of a UK paper on Sunday :) So I thought I'd share the link/pic on here ;) 

My cousin, Regan, tweeted me this pic-I can't wait to see it myself: I'm heading over on Thursday :) 

I got to read what it said inside online :) Click here to read it ;) 

Just got my own copy :)

I've a few things up my sleeve for the UK during 2013!-All will be revealed when the time is right ;) 

Lots of Love 
Shahira Xo


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

If you need a friend I'm here

Hey Blog Readers :)

Ok so this is a complete random and different blog but I felt that it was necessary-especially given the time of year...

There are so many families this Christmas who are spending Christmas without a loved one-This is hard no matter what the circumstances are but especially hard if they have lost a loved one through suicide: I simply can't imagine how extremely difficult that must be to come to terms with... I had a friend who died not of suicide but of Meningitis, three years ago this Christmas (Stephens day) and being honest I can say that every single day is a struggle. Not a single day goes by when my heart doesn't break a little bit more each time I think of her.. then last year I lost my aunty Della (actually my great aunt but I called her aunty Dell). I feel like my life ended the day Sadhbh passed away because since then I have become the biggest worrier in the world... I am suddenly so aware of death when I once thought I was invisible, I suffer from panic attacks, I've had days when I've just cried and cried and not been able to do anything, I've collapsed and all that when the last few years are also from the outside when people may have thought I was the happiest-due to modelling etc... and yet for me modelling is my escape: I love it so much don't get me wrong but it's what I put all my energy into in order to not think too much about life and how heart-broken I am since my friend died. My point is not everyone is as happy on the inside as you think they are from the outside... so don't judge a book by it's cover.

Now I am a very sensitive person and I don't think I will ever feel completely whole again. I worry so much about more of my family/friends dying-It's not even normal: If I think about it too much I freak out... because that is the worst thing about life... everyone lives and everyone dies... I cant even turn my phone off at night because I have drilled into my head that I'll get bad news if I do (the last time I turned my phone off at night was Christmas night'09). Anyway despite the fact that I don't think I will ever be full and genuinely, simply, happy at happiest form again... I have tried my best to take something positive from all of this... and that is LIFE IS SHORT. Please don't waste your time... live it to the full! and by that I don't mean go and do stupid things that put your life at risk... no, love your life and cherish it... look at nature and the life that is in everything even little insects in the ground and respect that. Respect the wonders and the beauty of the world and whatever your dreams are-FOLLOW them! When people are negative it can be hard to cut-them out: especially if you are a sensitive person but don't let their negative aura dampen or put out your light! Everyone has a light and your light shines brightest when you are doing what you love!

What has really touched my heart and made me so sad and so angry at the same time is the amount of stories that have come out recently about people (lots of young people) taking their own lives due to internet bullies and bullies in general... this makes me sick that the bullies could be so nasty to drive a lovely young person (or any person) with their whole life ahead of them to take their own life. I don't even have words to describe how utterly devastating these stories are! What makes me equally as sick is seeing statuses such as one I read which said: "I wish all these people taking their lives would have just stuck up for themselves!!" Are You Kidding Me??!! NO! why should they have had to stick-up for themselves?? They shouldn't need to stand up for themselves! because people shouldn't be so Horrible to another human-being in the first place!! Now nobody says you have to get a long with everyone in life-That isn't possible but if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all... don't hold hate and nastiness against another person-Just concentrate on yourself and be the best you you can be!
Bullying isn't just about name calling/physical abuse etc... Bullying can be a group of people completely ignoring or outcasting one person.. without anything being actually done to the victim but purposely excluding one person! Sometimes I don't even think some of these people realise they do's like group mentality SO think hard if you've ever done this & please change your ways: if you see this happening Be a friend to someone who might need you!

I absolutely hate to think that a person could be feeling this lonely and if you are genuinely one of these please private message me and I will happily be your friend (now I have to keep my own safety in-check so I will know whether to feel any messages are from genuine people or someone trying to abuse my offer). If you genuinely need someone to talk to I am happy to chat and I feel I am quite good at giving advice...
If you are reading this and you feel alone please know you are not alone!

Please remember...

I get so much negativity but the best thing to do is let positivity outshine negativity! It can be hard to do but please focus on the positive in your life and it is always always there! even if it is just the smallest thing: Every night why don't you write down or just say to yourself what you are grateful for from that day.... I do this and I find it puts me in a good place: even if I've had a shit day and I have to try to think really hard about what has been good that day-it helps :)

This video also really encourages and helps me when dealing with negative people :) I'm actually even thinking of creating my own video on this topic.. because I've dealt with a lot of negativity in my life.. especially over the past year when I have been doing the modelling so I believe I would be good at advice: The truth is as the video says... The only way certain not to get negative people in your life is to do nothing, expect nothing from your life and be completely mediocre.. because if you do that nobody will feel threatened and feel you are getting above yourself and therefore nobody would have any reason to hate on you.. although lets face it "haters are gonna hate" so why limit yourself to anything but greatness :)

If you are someone who has treated people badly you can change this now! Don't be that person!
Nobody knows how another person is feeling... for example the nurse in London who took her own life due to a practical joke and prank phone call... you just never know what someone is going through that day and the one thing you say (that you might even think is nothing or is funny) might be what makes them feel that little bit worse when they already feel down inside.

On the other hand let your light be so bright that it rubs off on other people: If you have something positive to say don't keep it in-SAY it! Whether it's how nice someone looks, how lovely their hair is, what nice shoes... anything at all... put a smile on peoples faces and spread positivity.. smiling is infectious and so is positivity!

Please remember people who do the bullying or even if they aren't exactly bullying but just aren't exactly very nice.. In other words "Negative Nancies" are the ones with the problem! They have an anger inside them which has nothing to do with the victim... it's just a problem that they have and they are letting it out in the wrong way. It's very sad that we live in a society that is turning in on itself and looking for someone to blame and take anger out on.

Please don't be so quick to judge! As a society we are taught to comment and judge people based on things that are totally superficial such as "He's Fat/thin/spotty/ugly/lanky/bushy-eye brows/big nose/clothes are weird/long hair/short hair/one of them/not one of us/rich/poor/not talented..BLAH..." all these stupid types of things which at the end of the day have no significance and make no difference to the important aspect of life which is simply 'is that person a decent human-being'... I am not telling you to be nice to someone who isn't nice to you.. that is not what this blog is about but I choose to live my life of judging another by one simple thing... are they nice to me or not?... SIMPLY as Eminem says...

If you feel you have no friends remember what's worse than having no friends is having a bad or negative friend in your life: those people drain you. So cut them out and find something else that you can be passionate about and express yourself through-whether that is modelling/drama/art/sports etc... and eventually that will raise your self-esteem and you will feel completely whole without the negative nancies which will attract new positive people into your life. I think as we get older we begin to realise that what other people think about us is none of our business... what matters is what you know about yourself. I believe we also realise that it is more important to have 1 good, genuine person in your life-whoever that may be then 100's of fake people. What I have noticed in many many interviews with successful people who are in the public eye is that they say they can count their friends on one hand-this is something to bare in mind.

I genuinely mean from the bottom of my heart that if you have read this and you are someone who is feeling very down or alone please know you are not alone and if you genuinely need to talk then message me and I will try my very best to help you in any way that I can and of course I'd keep it completely confidential.

This blog isn't meant to be cheesy I mean everything I've written and I love every single person who reads my blog and every person who has liked my page or sent me a nice message-You make me so happy :)

Lots of Love, 
Shahira Xo

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