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September 2009

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West Coast Rapper Warren G (step brother of Dr. Dre) best known for his song Regulate is back on the scene with his latest self produced album “The G Files” which is out on September 29th. He is back collaborating with Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg who helped make him famous in the first place.

I got hold of his album & am sharing 2 of my favourite tracks off of it which I’ve been playing on repeat most of the day:

Cupcakes! Who doesn’t love cupcakes? They cheer you up when you’re down, give you a sugar rush when you need it most & are addictive as hell! These cupcakes are no exception, in fact they are so addictive you can’t just have one!

Cupcake Ingredients:
60g soft unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
1 egg
20g cocoa powder
40ml red food colouring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
150g plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1½ teaspoons white vinegar
Cupcake Tray filled with paper cases

Cupcake Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Put the butter and the sugar in a bowl and use a hand held electric whisk and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well mixed.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a very thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added.

3. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.

4. Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into the paper cases and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the cream cheese frosting on top. This recipe makes approx 20 cupcakes.

Frosting Ingredients:
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g soft unsalted butter
125g cream soft cheese

Frosting Method:
1. Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a bowl using a hand held electric whisk on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is well mixed. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy making sure you don’t over beat it

2. Frost your cupcakes with a knife or an icing bag and then top with extra toppings of your choice. I topped it with 5 different things: sprinkles, crushed oreo’s, cake crumbs, pink sugar flakes & icing balls & bunny rabbit.

A while ago I was sent a pair of Skechers Shape-Up to review by Fuel My Blog. While taking Shape-Ups out of the box, I noticed that not only did it include a pair of white & baby blue trainers (which just so happen to be my favourite color!) but also included a booklet & DVD on how to walk & make the most out of them.

Before wearing the Shape-Ups, I flicked through the booklet which highlighted that they are designed to promote weight loss & tone muscles in various areas in your body without having to step inside a gym (yaay to that!), not to mention:

    1. Strengthen the back
    2. Firm calf and buttock muscles
    3. Reduce cellulite and tone your thighs
    4. Increase cardiovascular health
    5. Improve posture
    6. Reduce stress on knee and ankle joints

Designed to improve your life by changing the way you walk, Shape-Ups feature a unique soft kinetic wedge insert and dynamic rolling bottom to simulate walking barefoot on a giving surface that gives such as sand. With the comfort of Shape Ups, you will feel your heel sink to the ground as you step, roll forward as your weight shifts to its center, and push off with your toes. This movement will result in stronger leg, buttock, back and abdominal muscles as you stabilize your steps

Source: Skechers Shape-Ups booklet

Putting them on my feet for the first time they felt extremely weird, I couldn’t get my balance positioned correctly on them, it felt I was walking on 4 inch heels and going to fall over. It took a while to get used to them because you basically have to train yourself to walk in a different way because they are totally unlike normal trainers and the soles are designed to have a rocking effect which sinks your heel into the ground then roll you forward before pushing your weight off your toes. It took around 5 minutes before I could start walking in them properly which at first seemed a little crazy but the more I walked around on them in the house the more it felt like I was walking on air, or clouds or a sponge and are unbelievably comfortable which makes a change for trainers which I usually detest, in fact the pair I own (also Skechers) I haven’t worn in over 2 years.

It has been a while since I started wearing them and I honestly love them, not only me but my mom has started wearing them at times as well (the downfall of having the same size feet?) and she has remarked that they are very comfortable and even helped reduce the muscle pain in her knees due to arthritis which make wearing normal flat shoes very sore for her. I’ve noticed that while wearing them, my posture changed by becoming straighter while walking, something which I’ve been trying to fix for years. After hurting my lower spine, and getting a rather nasty spinal injection, I attended 6 months of physiotherapy at Inspire Health, which helped immensely! The muscles in my legs felt like they were stronger while walking Doggy Dog in the park and one thing that made me fall in love with these trainers was when I was out shopping all day wearing my normal ballet pump shoes and my feet were killing me, in particular the heels of my feet. I then got home, put on the Shape-Ups and the pain virtually went away, I couldn’t feel the pain in my heels anymore. I put this down to the special kinetic wedge insert which raises the heel of your foot slightly.

Overall, they are an amazing pair of trainers which I will be wearing time and time again while walking doggy dog (or running errands as my mom does when she steals them off me!) and would recommend them to anyone who asks. I’ve already had people on Twitter ask me about them and told whoever asks that they are amazing. Do they help you loose weight? Well I’m already on a diet loosing 2 stone (13kg) for far without any gym time and with any exercise it needs your own willpower and effort, you can’t put the trainers on and suddenly start loosing weight (otherwise they will be surgically attached to my feet!) but because they are so comfortable, they make you walk for longer periods which in turn helps you loose weight.

Available in various colors, they are approx £90 and worth every single penny!

A while ago Jackie & I thought about starting our own blog design business because of the amount of requests we get to design for people. So, we thought why not & have now set up JAM Dish. Our little business based in the UK, Kuwait & New York.

Why JAM Dish? Well J & M are our initials so it was an easy choice, the Dish part came from trying to pic something that fitted with JAM. In the end we chose Dish because we dish out design creations all over the interwebz 😀

We have already completed our first client which was a customized website & forum for Kuwait Crohn’s. A website which acts as an information point & support group for suffers of Crohn’s Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Kuwait.

Our own website has not been completed yet as we are building up our portfolio some more before launching our website in full but in the meantime you can go to JAM Dish & register your interest in the site which will subscribe you to all news when the site is live.

You can also join our Facebook Page to see what we are up to or you can good ol’ fashion email us at: jam[at]jamdish.com.