Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

WOW. That is really all I need to say about this. It was the most amazing afternoon tea EVER.

But, I'll tell you a little bit anyway... 

So, I met up with the gorgeous Jemma from Iced Jems which was a treat in itself as she's as lovely as I imagined and we went to One Aldwych in Covent Garden for a lovely Christmas Treat.

We started with the 'Cocktail Charlie' and we couldn't believe our eyes when it came out.... glass teapots steaming away. 

I was surprised to try it as it was iced cold - dry ice I imagine and it was pretty strong ! Well it would be seeing as it had Dalmore whisky mixed with Grand Marnier Cherry, chocolate bitters, grapefruit juice and cherry syrup. Topped with Champagne. It was delish ! And we just couldn't stop oohing and ahhing over the amazing presentation. Spectacular. 

We then had a wonderful plate of savories (sorry I didn't get a photo) but they were delicious. 

This was on the menu:

Turkey and cranberry on white bread
Cucumber and chive crème fraîche on wholemeal bread
Cured smoked salmon and lemon mayonnaise on rye bread
Caramelised onion and goat's curd tart
Leek and Stilton quiche

THEN we were offered more savories but decided it was time for the sweet stuff and WOWEE....take a looky below:

Incredible hey !! 

Here's what it all is:

Golden egg with vanilla cheesecake and mango
Chocolate caramel milk
Eton mess
Homemade candyfloss
Blueberry brioche
Cocoa bean financier
Warm scones served with plum jam, apple and meadowsweet compote, Devonshire clotted cream.

The golden egg was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.... 

Here is the lovely Jemma enjoying her MINCE PIE flavour candy floss !! Incredible. 

So a really lovely afternoon being absolutely blown away by the creativity of the treats and an absolute feast for the bellies. 

I would definitely recommend going here (if you can get in !! ) 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Christmas Bucket List

I LOVE this time of year, it has suddenly crept up on me this time round and there are only about 5 weeks to go until Christmas !!

I think what I love most about Christmas is the run up to it and all the lovely things to do in these few weeks ! Shopping for gifts, wrapping presents and most of all making things myself ! 

Following on from my Autumn Bucket list, here is my Christmas one and I hope you like it ! 

You can download it here so you can print it and tick things off as you go ! 

Don't forget to share you images on Instagram so we can all enjoy them - this time using the hashtag spottedrosechristmas (only because there may be other chritsmasbucketlists and i don't want to miss any of your pictures ! Tag me in them too ! 

Again like with the Autumn one I will share some of my favourites and pick a couple of people at the beginning of Jan to send some Spotted Rose goodies too ! Something to help with the post Christmas blues!

Happy 'run up to Christmas' everyone ! I can't wait to see all your gorgeous photos, I am off to plan all mine x 

Also just lastly, there are only a couple of weeks left on the Autumn one, so I will be sharing some more of them and choosing my favourites for some goodies ! Thank you to everyone who has taken part - it really has been so wonderful to see all your yummy goodies !!! 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Christmas Honeycomb

Hi lovelies,

I am over on the lovely Live it love it make it blog again today, this time bringing you different ways you can make honeycomb - for the children & grown ups !

Enjoy xxx



Friday, 15 November 2013

Sewing World Magazine

Hi lovelies,
I am SO excited today, my cute little pin cushion rings are featured in the Christmas Edition of Sewing World Magazine !!!
Turn to page 12 where you will find a lovely spread of handmade goodies for the sewer in your life.
I haven't stopped smiling all day as it's just such an amazing feeling seeing something I have created, IN A MAGAZINE !
EEeeek here it is:

Thank you for reading and I am off to show some more people and maybe stare at it again !!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Personalised Crochet Hook

There are so many crochet fans out there so I jumped at the chance to make a little pressy for one of them I had met through Instagram.
I used the white clay you can get from the Range or Hobbycraft and moulded the shape around the end of the hook.
I then used these fab little letters from Iced Jems to indent her name in it.
Once it had dried I just painted it with a nice light pink acrylic paint and let it dry overnight.
Super quick and easy and a lovely little personalised gift for the crochet lover in your life ! <3

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Halloween Toffee Apples

I am over on the fabulous Live it, Love it, Make it blog again and today I am sharing some toffee apples and how to make them a little bit different !!

Is that a GOLD toffee apple ?

Click here to go and read the full post, and while you are there, check out the girls and their gorgeous blog !

Thank you & Enjoy x

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Chocolate Orange Fudge

OK, this fudge was SO easy I didn't even get a chance to photograph the steps. I hope you don't mind and will still give this a go.

I wanted something quick, easy and delightfully gorgeous looking to take in to see some old work colleagues the other day as a little treat. So I started looking at fudge recipes. They all used condensed milk and so I decided to give it a go.

This is really soft fudge so it get's a bit sticky - but all the better for licking off the fingers right ?

So, for this I used:

100g bar of Dairy Milk
100g bar of Milky Bar
1.5 cans condensed milk
Half a Terrys Chocolate Orange
A few drops of orange essense.
Orange food colouring.

So start with the Dairy Milk layer, and in a ban marie (bowl over simmering water) melt the chocolate and stir in half of the condensed milk. Drop a couple of drops of orange essence in (taste test) and then in a prepared tin (I used baking paper) pour in your first layer of fudge.

Pop it in the freezer while you make the next layer.

Do the same with the Milky Bar and this time add a little orange food colouring.

Grab your tray from the freezer, and pour this on top of the furst layer and pop back in the freezer for about 5 minutes.

Melt some of your Terrys chocolate orange, and 'whack' some of it in a food bag with a spoon to give you some delicious chunks.

Pour some of the melted chocolate over the top and finish by sprinkling the chunks on top. Ohh gosh I can taste it as I write it.

So there you have it - super quick, super easy and very nice on the eye and taste buds - Chocolate Orange Fudge !!
I packaged mine up in little sweet bags to give away ! What would you do with yours ? YUMMY x

Monday, 14 October 2013

Dresser Fabric Tidy

OK, so it's no secret that I am pretty messy.
Especially when it comes to make up - it gets everywhere. So I decided to make a little fabric cover for the dresser to keep it clean and make it look pretty at the same time!
All you need is some cardboard (I used an amazon book delivery sleeve) some fabric, scissors and some tape.
Start by measuring your cardboard. Mine wasn't quite wide enough but it didn't matter as my mirror would stand at the back.
Cut to the right size.

Then measure out your fabric, it needs to be a little wider than the cardboard to wrap around neatly.
If it needs it, give your fabric an iron and lay front side down. Place your cardboard on top and wrap the fabric around the cardboard and secure in place with tape.

Voila !! You can tape it down or use blu-tak but I quite like that it is easily removable to change / wash.

There you have it - a pretty dresser tidy ! I love it and hopefully it will encourage me to keep a little tidier ! x (will see how long that lasts !!)

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Chocolate that's good for you!

Did you read that right? Chocolate that’s GOOD for you? Yes………yes you did !

It's even good enough to have for breakfast !!
I didn’t believe it either when I first heard, but there’s this new way of making chocolates (OK it’s new to me) but by using some RAW ingredients you get super healthy nutrients from your chocolate, that is in fact – good for you!

OK you still have to eat it in moderation, but how amazing to let a silky smooth chocolate melt in your mouth, knowing  you are getting all sorts of antioxidants in you ! Pretty awesome hey!
So these are the first chocolates I have ever made and I am SO pleased with them, how pretty do they look ?

This is mainly down to the gorgeous rose mould from the lovely Iced Jems shop which you can buy here if you’d like to try these beauties.

These are SO easy to make, this is what you’ll need:

30g raw cacao butter
25g raw cacao powder
½ - 1 tbsp agave syrup

I know these don’t sound like normal ingredients you’d have in the cupboard but they are worth investing in ! You can get them online from Goodness Direct and other health food stores.
Here’s some info about the goodness in cacao from the lovely Delicious Ella who has inspired me to try this way of eating ! You should spend some time on her lovely site, it's amazing !

So, to make the chocolates, start by gently melting the cacao butter in a pan, very gently, you can even take it off the heat to stir it and it will still melt, then stir in the cacao powder.

It will be quite a runny consistency.

Then add the agave syrup. Just half at first and give it a taste, if you’d like it sweeter (of course you would) then add some more !

It will now thicken and it’s ready to fill your mould.

BUT before I did this I sprinkled a few hundreds and thousands (not healthy) in the bottom of a couple of the spaces, some with freeze dried raspberries and then filled them up with the chocolate.

This gives them a nice decorative top.  So pretty.

I then split the remaining chocolate in two, added raisins to one half and a dash of orange essence to the rest. 

Oh these were soooo yummy.

If you are impatient like me, pop them in the freezer for about 10 – 15 minutes then pop them out of the mould and TASTE.

They are DELICIOUS. Honestly you wouldn’t believe they are good for you.

Go on try them for yourself !! You won’t regret it !!

Oh and a little tip, I am keeping mine in the freezer because so far, I think raw chocolate melts very quickly, so you might get chocolaty fingers as they melt, but they are so worth it !!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy x

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Caramelised Red Onion Chutney

This is one of my all time favourite things to eat. I have loved it for many years now, right from when it was first available. Now you can get all sorts of different chutneys, but this is still my fave !
I had it recently out for lunch and I decided I just HAD to try for myself, ooh and it's on my Autumn Bucket List so it's a tick off that ! Woo hoo.
So, I kind of adapted the recipe and made it up as I went a long. I just used one red onion, (it was just for me) sliced it thingly and popped some oil in a pan and lightly fried. Be careful not too brown the onions.

I then used golden caster sugar and just poured in a big spoonful to cover the onions (not very exact sorry) but you can see here how much I used.

So then this is the tricky bit, some recipes said to simmer for 20 minutes, but the first time, I stepped away for 2 minutes and it burnt. So stay with it and you kind of know when its ready, the syrup will thicken, keep going a little bit more, stirring occasionally and then it's ready !!

Now for the naughty bit....this is THE best way to enjoy this chutney, warm ciabatta bread and baked camembert. DELICIOUS !!

Yum yum yummy !!! Oh I want some again now !!

Enjoy and let me know if you try it and get as addicted to it as I am !

M x

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Christmas Tree Cake Pops

It's totally OK to mention the C word now isn't it ? I for one am SOOO excited already !!
Something I have done the past couple of years is make Cake Pops for the Christmas table, so I am already thinking of new designs I can do, so I thought I'd share the ones I've made.
These ones are cute little Christmas trees ! They were a little fiddly but I think they worked great in the end ! I had to shape the cake balls in to little cone shapes (quite time consuming) and them dip them in the green candy melts. Straight after dipping I held them for a few seconds, then using a toothpick and starting near the top, I turned the cake pop around whilst dragging the cocktail stick through the candy melt to make the 'tree' like look below. I hope that makes sense. 

I then added the sprinkles for the lights, some green glitter for a bit of sparkle - every tree needs a bit of sparkle and topped them off with a yellow sugar star for the top ! This is always my favourite part of decorating the Christmas tree and I got to do it loads of times ! 

I then packed them up and tied them up with candy cane coloured bakers twine !! 

Eeeek !

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Flavoured Popcorn

OK, so I was SUPER excited to finally try my own flavoured popcorn !! It's super easy and a lot of fun !

I bought some popcorn kernals from Waitrose (not everywhere seems to do these) popped a little bit of oil in a pan and popped 2 kernals in to the oil. Once it's at the right temperature they will pop so then pop in a handful of kernals.

Make sure you pop the lid on and stand back !! The lid needs to be a little ajar, but be careful - I may or may not have been spat in the face by a bit of hot oil ! You have been warned!

One they are all popped, be careful to not burn - get ready for the fun part !

Flavours !! They are endless when it comes to popcorn but I picked cinnamon toffee apple & chocolate orange.

For the cinnamon toffee apple I chopped a little bit of apple and mixed some cinnamon and sugar together and popped in a pan with a little water and boiled it until I got a syrup. Then I mixed in the chopped apple and added the popcorn kernals, covered them completely and popped on a baking tray spread out to dry.

For the chocolate orange I melted some chocolate, added a dash of fresh juice from an orange and added to the chocolate. Be sure to temper your chocolate if you want it to harden properly ! (I ate mine too quick). Using a teaspoon, 'scatter' the chocolate in a zig zag fashion over the popcorn and let dry. Add a little zest of orange for decoration !

Do let me know if you try your own - I would love to see and try some more flavours !! Enjoy xxxx

P.S The FAB baking cups are from the lovely Iced Jems x

Thursday, 19 September 2013

DIY Tote Bag

I LOVE tote bags! The designs and styles are endless so I was super excited to try and create one for myself.

I picked up the plain canvas bag in Hobbycraft a while ago - they're pretty cheap!

So I thought about a few different ways of decorating and decided to start with a super easy one - t shirt transfer paper! 

I created the design in illustrator and then flipped it before printing on the transfer paper.

The I took the iron to it for a good 5 minutes or so and very carefully peeled the backing away! 

And is my lovely crochet supplies bag! I love it and can't wait to try more designs.

I hope it's inspired you to try your own! X


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Guest Post - Live it. Love it. Make it.

I am SO excited to share with you this gorgeous blog that I came across quite some months ago when I was browsing for reviews of the Great British Sewing Bee book !

I was SO happy to look at the about us page and realised I went to college with these lovely ladies !!

It's the lovely Heather & Sammy over at Live it. Love it. Make it.

Their blog is full of so much loveliness it's hard to know where to start !

Have a read about them here and they also run workshops if you're in the Berkshire area oooh and Sammy runs a sewing shop which I will have to go visit when I am in the area next !

OOh and did I mention - I am guest blogging for them once a month with some yummy baking treats so my first one is up today !! So exciting !!

Do go have a look and please let me know what you think !

Thank you lovelies x

Friday, 13 September 2013

Ice cream bread!!

Yep you read that right - ice cream bread!! 

As soon as I saw this I knew I had to try it!! 

It's sooo dangerous as its super quick and so easy to make! All you need is some ice cream, self raising flour and some caster sugar! 

I used these measurements and it made 5 mini ones so I'd triple it for a whole loaf:

1 cup ice cream
3/4 cup self raising flour
1 tablespoon of caster sugar.

So I said it was easy didn't I?....

Firstly let the ice cream melt, so yep - just pop it on the side for a little while.

Then in a bowl add the flour and sugar and mix! 

Then the really important bit - taste the mixture!! You know like you lick the bowl when making a cake? Mine tasted just like it, sooo yummy! 

Pop in your greased tin or mini loaf cases and pop  in the oven at 170c for about 25 mins and voila!! 

Ice cream bread!! 

I uses mint choc chip and it was delicious! 

It's a bit strange at first because it is more bread than cake but it's really moreish!  

Please share if you make some yourselves!! Yummy x

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Cake & Bake Show Tickets

OOh I have a very exciting giveaway over on Instagram !!

I have two sets of two tickets for the Cake & Bake Show this weekend ! (2 sat & 2 sun)

So if you would like to enter, comment below, letting me know which day you would prefer ! Tweet about it or enter on Instagram !

Winner will be announced tomorrow at 6pm ! (Posted Thursday)

Good Luck !!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Another Applemoon Workshop

OOh I was so excited to attend another one of Kims workshops at Applemoon Interiors last week at her gorgeous barn.

This time it was learning how to do the piping on cushions and adding in a zip !

These two things had me absolutely flummoxed so I was so excited to see how they worked.

The atmosphere here is so lovely and the other ladys were so nice. We all enjoyed chatting away and having a few cups of tea.


I took along some material I wanted to use but Kim happily let us use some of her stash so that was great.

I won't give away her secrets but what I will say is it's so worth going along if you can and nothing beats being shown how to do something and having Kims expertise on hand. She is SO patient.

Here is my final cushion looks like a real cushion doesn't it ? Super happy with it !

Thanks for another fabulous afternoon Kim & see you again soon.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Autumn Bucket List

So, here it is - the first day of Autumn. I have to say I am actually pretty happy about it. Normally I would be sad to see the summer end, but I love this season !

Getting cosy by the fire, lots of hearty baking....

So, I thought I would create an Autumn Bucket List of some of the things I want to make sure I do this season.

I will be sharing them as I do them - and blogging any tutorials for you so you can make your own :)

Please join in with me, feel free to print the list and share your pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

We will be using the hastag #autumnbucketlist on Instagram so please do tag your images so I can see all your fabulous pictures !!

Here's the list:

You can download it and print it here.  You can also download a blank page to add your own here.

I will also be choosing 3 people at the end of October who's piccys have made me smile the most and will send you some Spotted Rose goodies x

Have fun and here's to a wonderful Autumn x

Friday, 30 August 2013

Paper Craft - Framed Quote

I had been scouring Pinterest one evening and came across lots of lovely motivational quotes!

I love a motivational quote I do!

So, when I had all this gorgeous paper from the Homemaker magazine, I decided to print directly on one of them and pop it in a frame! 

I chose this paper because it wasn't too dark and I love the flowers on it! 

I just typed up my chosen quote in word and chose a navy font to go with the design.

I wasn't sure about this at first but I kind of like that the letters get a bit lost in the design, it adds something for me I think! What do you think? 

Anyway it's taken pride of place on my little desk for now! 

Enjoy and please do share if you make one yourself ! x

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

My first ever Crochet Flower

OK, so spending half my life on Instagram makes me very jealous of all the lovely people who crochet !

SO, I decided to bite the bullet one morning and give it a go !

It was pretty stressful at first, I couldn't even hold the hook and yarn properly. I watched numerous videos and this one seemed to help me the most with just getting started.

Then I spotted this gorgeous video on how to make a little flower ! I must have paused and rewound a million times, I even wrote down the instructions for each bit (in my own language I must add)

I must learn the correct crochet terminology.

Anyway, so it eventually worked !! I am super happy with my little flower and now raring to go and make granny squares, a blanket, mittens a scarf oooh you name it...

So, if like me, you have been oohing and ahhing over all the prettiness, give it a go !

Be determined and you'll do it, and any pros out there, please do share your favourite books / videos and any tips - thank you !! x

Paper Craft - Wrapping

This is a super simple idea, but what gorgeous wrapping paper does this paper from the Homemaker Magazine make ?

Add a little matching washi tape and you're on to a winner ! Gorgeous, cheap & easy x

Monday, 26 August 2013

Paper Craft - Fan

I have been wanting to try making my own fans ever since I bought some plain ones in Hobbycraft and couldn't for the life of me, work out how to decorate it.

So here is my own little handmade one using the paper from Homemaker Magazine. These would make such cute summer wedding favours.

Take your paper (A4 in length and cut down the width to about 12cm.

Start at the bottom and concertina all the way up, back and forth. Then tie in the middle with ribbon or twine.

Then stick two of the sides together. So in the picture below, I stuck the top two sides together, with pritt stick.

Then on the other side - glue a lolly stick on each side. Make sure you go as close to the middle otherwise it won't fan open.

I then made a little fastening just out of the scrap paper in the same design. I just cut out a strip and wrapped it around and using the glue just stuck the edge down. Make sure it's not too tight, so you can get it on and off. So this is the fan closed.

And the same fastening works to keep it open !

It's a shame the sunny weather seems to be on its way out but as I say, these would make cute party decorations or even better - wedding favours !
And they're just so cute & fun to make !
Enjoy & please do share and let me know if you make any ! x

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Gremlins List

OK, so this is a slightly different post than normal but I wondered if anyone did the same as me, and if so, my little exercise might help you too.

I am so totally messy and organised by nature. I know, you wouldn't think it right....well it's true.

But what's come to my attention recently, is that I let really important things slip for some reason. Don't ask me why. I mean REALLY important things, that could have catastrophic repercussions if I don't do them, but something in my head doesn't click and make me do them.

Let me give you an example. The Dentist. I cant remember the last time I went. Without going in to too much detail, I have some problems, really need to go and get them seen too, but I'm too scared. So I put it off. BUT if I put it off completely, I could get really bad gum disease, my teeth could fall out or I could get heart disease. So surely the hassle of finding a new dentist (we've moved since I last went) and going through 20 minutes of discomfort should be easier than that ? So why doesn't my brain tell me that.

Anyway, there is a whole list of other things like this that I have, some more serious than others, some I could end up in prison for (only Self Employed Tax issues before you start to worry) so I really need to get them sorted.

SO, I started a little spread sheet and I added these titles to the columns:

  • How long will it take me
  • Why do I hate it
  • What can I do to not hate it so much
  • Repercussions if I don't do
  • Seriousness (out of 10)
  • What to do about it
  • When
As I stared filling out the sheet, something happened. I found a dentist. One that seems to be accepting new patients, and one that has a friendly kind of website, is in a nice building in a nice town, so I sent them an email. (It's bank holiday) Otherwise I would have phoned them, honest. So its a start. I can hope for an email on Tuesday, and if not ill call them.

I cannot tell you how good it feels. I have squashed a little gremlin. I have to actually book an appointment and actually go, but they are other little gremlins to squash when the time comes.

I already feel like a new woman. An organised type that I long to be like.

OK, so my list is pretty big with some serious things to take action on, but you know what, I started today and I will stick to it until all the little gremlins are squashed and in future, i'll be able to just grab the little gremlin, shake his hand and send him on his way. Never to bother me again.

So, if like me, for some unknown reason you seem to procrastinate when you shouldn't, try this little exercise and please do share with me if it helps.

For those of you who think this is just ridiculous and are super organised, PLEASE share some of your magic with me ! x

I'm off to start on my next task, budgeting it is !

Happy Bank Holiday all xxxx

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Paper Craft - Bookmark

This is such a simple DIY and I think it's soooo cute.

Again using the gorgeous paper samples from Homemaker magazine I folder over a square of paper and cut it in to a rectangle.

I then decided to shape it, kind of like a heart or a cloud but you could do it square or triangular.

Then as below open it up, cut a little slit and fold up the edge so you can glue them down.

Glue the flaps and fold back down and stick together!

Simple as that!! And there you have it, a very stylish little cute bookmark!! 

I did a few in different colours with some other scraps! 

It tucks so nicely in your book! Enjoy x