Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Toy Story Cake Pops

These were made for a massive Toy Story fan who was turning 18 !! I was tempted to try some of the amazing character cake pops out there, but didn't have the time so settled for these rice paper transfers from ebay and think they turned out pretty well ! 

Once I had worked out I could only attach them with a little icing sugar mixed with water. (I started with a colour and it showed through).

Because of the shape and size of the transfers, I think the recipients were quite pleased too with the over sized amount of chocolate ! 


Again, the fabulous Pop Bakery recipe ! 

Yummy !

Monday, 29 April 2013

Egg on really nice toast

So, I mentioned before about trying to be healthy and I have a lovely organic brown loaf of bread I have been freezing in slices. So I thought I would use it for it is a yummy healthy breaky ! 

I was told recently that eggs too can aid weight loss and are good for so many things ! They are filling, high in protein and full of vitamins ! All the ones we need apparently (apart from c) but have a glass of orange juice for that ! 

They are also super quick and easy to cook, and presented like this... well...you could be eating at a fancy restaurant hey ! 


An egg a day can keep the Doctor away !! More info here !

 Just make sure you stick to just one ! 



Sunday, 28 April 2013

Single Rose Vase

This is a super easy way to make your own single rose vase. 



What you will need:

Old bottle (This is a vodka bottle)
Ribbon
Food Colouring
A single rose (or flower of choice)

Start by soaking your bottle in hot bubbly water, to remove the labels. 
Once dry fill with water and add a drop of food colouring of your choice. 
Pop in the flower and tie a lovely ribbon in to a bow, around the neck of the bottle ! 

....and enjoy ! 

I'd love to see the ones you make if you try this ! 






Saturday, 27 April 2013

Low Fat Banana Bread

This is a super easy low fat banana cake !! If you have some pesky blackening bananas hanging about, why not make this little beauty ! 

It's so delicious and actually feels healthy when you eat it ! But still like a yummy cake. Can't really ask for more hey ! 

Find the recipe here.



Friday, 26 April 2013

Iced Jems

So, I recently came across the most lovely baking website ! The lovely Jemma has amazing recipes on her website, including a video tutorial on how to make cookie monster cupcakes !! She even includes bloopers at the end which are so nice to see !

Everything is so colourful and yummy and delicious looking and has super easy tutorials to follow !

Jemma also has a shop part to her website which is just full of gorgeous stuff ! You really must check it out !

I have been in love with stripy straws since I first saw them on pinterest months ago so I was so chuffed to see them in Jemmas shop ! I got these ones for some cake pops I am doing for a little boys Christening !



Jemma also has a fab blog post about all the amazing things you can do with stripy straws !! 

I can't wait to try some of the amazing recipes on Jemmas site and I know you will enjoy too ! Go have a look :) 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Pretty Perfumes


I have finally gathered a lovely little selection of beautiful perfumes and I wanted to show them off instead of having them all in different drawers and a couple randomly on the dresser. 

I love cake stands of all shapes and sizes and thought this glass one of mine would make a nice little display stand for them. 

So I just arranged them on the cake stand, and for a little added touch of class I added some pearls. 

It makes me smile each morning when its time to choose my scent ! 




How do you display your perfumes ?




Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Homemade Guacamole


So, I am trying to be healthy at the moment, not only am I trying to stick to a certain amount of calories a day, but I am trying to get in my 5 a day too ! 

So, I took to the wonderful internet in search for different recipes. I will share any that find and think are worthy. 

This one however, I kind of made up myself. With some help from a friend ! 

All you do is take one ripe avocado & mash it in a bowl. Add some chopped cherry tomatoes and half a clove of garlic, crushed. Then squeeze in the juice of half a lime... 



I wanted this to feel like a treat, so I got a lovely wholemeal (healthy see!) organic loaf for a bargain price of 80p ! 

As soon as I got it home I sliced it, popped it in food bags and stuck it in the freezer as normally bread like that goes bad after a day or so.. I was going to get my monies worth !!  

So I took a slice, toasted it and topped it with my guacamole and it was sooo yummy !! I don't like avocado on it's own, but I think the beauty of this is the garlic and lime juice ! 

Delicious ! Let me know if you try it for yourselves ! x




Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Kiwi Fruit Popsicle

So, this was a super healthy recipe that I found online - it can be found here

I was looking for yummy treats I could have still whilst watching what I eat and this was perfect ! 

And prefect for a sunny day like today hey ! 

They are really easy to do and I recommend eating them straight out the freezer as I think they are most like an ice lolly like this !


And dark chocolate is a super food right ? :)

Monday, 22 April 2013

Coffee Table Makeover

When we moved in to our new flat we scoured the local charity shops in search of some furniture. We got a few really fab pieces, one of which was this coffee table for a fabulous £9.50 ! It was a present from some of our nearest and dearest too which made it even better :)

I am sorry though as I don't have a before photo but it was a dark wood.

So we took to the sander and gave it an all over rub ! We then added a coat of white undercoat paint and finished off with a coat of white cotton paint which is a slightly off white. The same as the chairs we did !

What I love about the table is the removable glass top. (and the pretty legs) This means I can change the design of it with my mood or the seasons ! As I did at Easter !

So at the moment I have this gorgeous Laura Ashley wallpaper in there, leftover from my lovely sis in law's lounge !




So I encourage you all to have a little trip to your local charity shops and see what bargains you can find and see what you can create for yourselves !! :) 

Inspired by Cherry Menlove !

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Perfecting Macarons

Well this has been a long and tiresome journey but I managed to finally perfect macarons !

I have tried many different techniques and recipes and had many different outcomes. I don't understand why there are so many considering they are all trying to achieve the same result, but anyways !

So, I thought I would share some of my findings !

Firstly, you have to be willing to put in the time to trial these out and not be disheartened if they don't work first time. They are very fiddly and many things can cause different problems to occur.

I have over mixed the mixture, under mixed it, had cracked tops and ones that have sunk, you name it, it's happened to me.

In the past I have always been quite successful, but they have never been quite right ! Not flat on the top and sometimes missing the 'feet'.

I was asked to make some for my sisters friends engagement party and was so honoured to be asked that I determined to get them right !

So, anyway on to how to make them. I have tried the Italian meringue method - where you boil the sugar and water but this way doesn't need any of that, it's much simpler.

Ingredients:

3 Egg whites
50g Caster sugar
200g Icing sugar
120g Ground Almonds

That's all you need ! Oh and colouring and flavouring if you are adding it. I had the gel food colouring by Wilton which worked well for me as I needed rich bright colours.

Preheat the oven to 150˚C

Arrange your baking paper on some baking trays. I drew around a large round piping nozzle to make circles on the underside of my baking paper, to help as a guide. (You can't see them in this picture sorry) Pipe a little mixture in the corners to help it stay in place.



The first tip is to age your egg whites. Separate them from the yolks and put them in an airtight container. For a few hours or overnight. They will go a bit bubbly.

Whip up your egg whites until they froth and slowly add the caster sugar. 


Once white and a bit glossy, add your food colouring. You can still use the whisk to mix in the colouring until you get a stiff peak. 




Sift the icing sugar and almonds together. Then fold them in to the mixture carefully.



This is the tricky bit ! I have under folded (they cracked) and over folded and they have been too runny ! I know, it's frustrating, what ARE you supposed to do then.

I would suggest about 60 folds. ish. You need to keep going until its all incorporated, go slowly and when you lift your spoon it should drop off the spoon like 'molten lava'. I know, again - when have you seen molten lava ? So all I can say is it needs to look 'smooth' without any big lumps, gaps and big air pockets. If you leave it for a couple of minutes it will settle in the bowl and look quite liquidy. If you spoon a little amount and let it drop, it should still have that meringue consistency and kind of 'set'.



Once you have this right, arrange your piping bag and nozzle. Scoop the mixture in and get ready to pipe. 



Hold the piping bag straight down and pipe the little circles, I kind of count in my head so I get them about the same size, adding the same amount of pressure all the time. Then do a little flick to end the piping and avoid a big peak. Any small peaks, should calm down and disappear.  Once you have them all piped give the tray a good whack on the counter, straight down. Turn around and do the same. About 4 whacks each side. They should flatten at this point and look smooth.



Then leave them. Now this is a tip from me, I have heard various things, leave them out for 20 minutes, 30 minutes but I found the optimum time to be one hour ! So leave them on the side to form a skin. When you touch them they should no longer be sticky and you'll be able to visibly see a shinyish skin.

Now this is the other tricky thing. Time in the oven. All ovens are different so I am afraid you can't take my word for it here. What I did was followed a recipe that said 20 minutes and whatever you do, don't take them out before that, even if they look done. So I didn't and they burnt!

So with my next batch I decided the cut the paper in to 2. I put one lot in at 14 mins. They were better, but still too crispy, I mean, not chewy enough. The next I took out at 12 min and they were perfect ! So be prepared for trial and error and taste them as you go !

Put them in one tray at a time !

Let them cool on a wire rack and then remove from the baking paper. Then finally fill with your choice of filling. I did a nice white chocolate buttercream for the pink ones and used a lovely wild blueberry jam in the purple ones.


It just takes trial and error and determination - so don't give up !! If you have any questions at all I'd be happy to try and help !

Good Luck !! :)





This recipe came from Entertaining with Beth Thanks so much Beth !!  





Hot Water & Lemon

Good Morning All !

So what's so good about hot water & lemon ? I always have a little mug of it in the morning. My Grandparents always drink hot water in the morning so I guess I got it from them.

It's so good to kick start the body for the day !

Add a slice of lemon, as it's full of vitamin C and potassium so it will help boost your immune system !

I've read they also aid weight loss and help digestion ! They can even help reduce wrinkles and give you clearer skin !

I might just put the whole lemon in next time !


Directions:

Take one lemon and slice ! Lay them out on some foil in the freezer.

Each morning, boil the kettle, let it cool a little so its warm, not boiling, add to your favourite mug, pop in a lemon ice cube and voila ! It will melt in the hot water! 

Enjoy !  



Saturday, 20 April 2013

Heart Egg Basket

I had been wanting one of those ceramic hens for my eggs for a while, but then I came across this beauty !

A lovely wire heart basket. I got it from my local garden centre and it was in the sale ! I actually have a spare at the moment - if anyone wants one, let me know ! 

It's so gorgeous and homely I love it ! Once the eggs were in there though, I had a hankering to bake something ...


So out came the recipe book and I opted for those yummy low fat carrot cakes !! 


I decided to make mini versions this time in my new mini cake baking tray from Lakeland.


They turned out just as yummy ! 



Friday, 19 April 2013

Lace & Burlap Jar

I love jars ! They have so many uses and I have a ton of them ! Some shop bought and some left over from pasta sauces ! This one is a Kilner jar and was crying out for a little makeover. 

I am a huge fan of burlap at the moment, it's just so rustic and gorgeous! 

So all I did here was cut out a piece big enough to wrap around the jar and glued it in place. Then I took a piece of lace ribbon and tied it at the back. Then with a dainty piece of ribbon, added a cute little wooden heart button I had, and tied this at the front. 

Really quick and easy to do and it makes a perfect cosy candle holder. 



Greeting Card Photo Frame

I don't have much on the walls in the way of artwork at the moment, there are a few hearts floating about however but that's it, so when we moved in to our new flat I thought it would be a lovely idea to save some of the cards we were given and use them this way. So I got a nice cheap frame I had and stuck the card in the centre and voila. 

To be honest you could use a much nicer frame, this was just one I had lying around, but its a great way of keeping those special cards instead of just having them all tucked away in a drawer somewhere. 

You could do a whole wall of them from special occasions ! Maybe I'll go search my drawers ! 


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sunglasses case

So, I am totally addicted to sewing now thanks to The Great British Sewing Bee, I have been wanting to try a few new things, still starting small.

So I found this super easy pattern to make a sunglasses case.

I got it wrong a couple of times and learnt a few lessons on the way, but feel like I cracked it in the end.

Below are a couple I have made over the last couple of days. The one with the H is for my Grandpa for his birthday ! Suitably Grandadish isn't it ?





So I hope you like and I urge you to try these yourself if you too have been inspired, to see just how easy they are !

The gorgeous flowery material came from the lovely Guthrie & Ghani.




I am currently using the flowery one above for my new iPhone until the cover I ordered comes !

You could totally just cut them shorter and voila, a phone case too ! I might just do that !

Have fun ! x










Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Crochet Organiser Makeover

OK, so I haven't actually started crocheting yet. I can't get the hang of it, but we all need a pretty space to keep all those essentials in right ? 

I saw this lovely fabric rack in The Works for a bargain price of £3.99. I wanted to jazz it up a little bit and make it more personal. 

As I mentioned in my first crochet post, my Grandma had started a crochet rose for me to finish and I now knew exactly what I was going to do with it. 

So I started by painting the legs white. (they were a very light wood colour).


The fabric doesn't come off so I just shuffled it across so I could paint as much of the wood that was on show. 


You can see the white paint better here.


Then the finishing touches. I finished off the rose, by sewing it all together and adding a little flower button. 

So this is now a lovely little keepsake - something both me and my Grandma made together. 

I then sewed it on to the material on the front as below. 

To finish it off, I have been making these lovely wooden tags recently, and had the perfect spotty ribbon to match so I made a 'Crochet' tag to match !! What do you think ?



I am really happy with it and will think of my lovely Grandma each time I see it :)



Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Marshmallow Treats

These are yummy and so so easy to do ! 

They have been passed down a few generations from my Mums Aunt who made them for her and her sisters all the time whilst they were growing up. Me and my Sister have a real feel of nostalgia when it comes to these little beauties too as my Mum would make them for us all the time too. 

They are perfect for the kids if they have a bake sale at school ! 

What you need:

Marshmallows
Smarties
Chocolate - any type will do, I used Milk chocolate
Small cupcake cases

Melt the chocolate and drizzle half a tea spoon in each cake case. Place a marshmallow on top of each chocolate dollop. Then add another tiny dollop of chocolate on top of the marshmallow and pop a smartie on the top ! 

Wait for the chocolate to dry and dig in ! They won't last long so make plenty!! Let me know what you think !



Monday, 15 April 2013

Babys Breath Flowers

I am a huge Pinterest fan and I have seen Babys Breath flowers cropping up all over the place ! They are so dainty and simple yet so elegant and beautiful. I was at my local market at the weekend and spotted some on the flower stall ! I was so chuffed I got a huge bunch for only a couple of pounds. I spread them out throughout some of my favourite vases. Below is a simple jar I recycled and wrapped with a lovely lace bow.


Below is the lovely jug I got last summer as a keepsake from one of my best friends wedding. They were used as their centre pieces and I love it so much because of this and also just the fact it's so gorgeous and pretty !






Sunday, 14 April 2013

Great British Baby Shower

My lovely friend Lizzy had a beautiful baby girl recently and I was chuffed to help out on the desserts for her 'Great British Baby Shower'. Her and her husband now live in Hawaii so this was a perfect theme for her UK baby shower. 

I did a selection of desserts including these lovely strawberry cupcakes ! I used the wonderful Peggy Porshen recipe (but left out the champagne !) They were delicious. I got the cake stand and cupcakes from Poundland !



There was pink lemonade (instead of Champagne), chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows, two types of cheesecake, scones & personalised bags of sweeties !! 

The cheesecakes were one of the Oreo ones from a previous blog and I adapted the other one and replaced the oreos with Crunchies - this one proved the most popular !



The table looked lovely and I got so many lovely comments about everything !! 


Here's the little sweetie bags ! I filled them with Jelly Babies & Foxes fruits (special union jack ones). They made the most perfect grown up party bags for the guests to take home ! The tags were really easy to do, I just printed them out, folded them over (so make sure the image is on top of the text - and upside down if using an image that needs to be the right way up) and staple them to the clear cellophane bags ! Voila !


A lovely afternoon had by all :)

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Lovely Greetings Cards

I was in town today and needed two birthday cards. I popped in to the Card Factory and was so surprised by a deal they have in there. I don't know if its new, but I hadn't seen before and if you are looking for nicely designed cards for a bargain price - check them out ! 

It was 7 cards for £1! 

SEVEN cards for one little pound. I couldn't believe it ! Now I love cards, giving and receiving them and I am quite particular about picking the right one. I also like quality. So I was pleasantly surprised but just how lovely they are and thought I would share some of them with you ! What do you think ?




I have been known to spend between £2 and £4 for a card, so on average, I saved about £20 with these beauties !! Perfect for when you're on a budget!

Daffodil Cake Pops

Where is spring ? It has been the longest winter ever and it still feels like January don't you think ? :( I am full of a cold at the moment and just longing for some sunshine !! Maybe these Daffodil cake pops will help woo the sun ! 


Made using the Pop Bakery recipe and yellow candy melts these were super easy, all I did was pop a gorgeous yellow sugar flower on the top and voila ! 


Please can we have some sunshine now !! 

Happy Saturday everyone x