Friday, 30 May 2014

'Fancy finds' - Drinking Jars

I LOVE drinking out of jars, you may already know that if you follow me on Instagram !! 

I love that there are so many gorgeous ones available now to buy and a few of you have been asking so I have put together some of my favourites for you, how gorgeous are they !!

1. These are new to the lovely Cherry Menloves online store and you can buy them here. I love that you get 2 of them and those are re usable plastic straws. Gorgeous, oh and how yummy does the ribena cocktail look ! Delish. - 2 for £9.99.

2. These are from the Handpicked online store and I have a little collection of these. You can buy them like this individually or with lovely floral lids and re usable straws too. £2.95 for one. 

3. This hot one pink is from Amazon. They also come in a lovely green and blue. So much fun using these. £4.00 + Postage.

4. These are from Tiger but can only be bought in store I am afraid but they were too good not to share ! You can find your nearest store online. Did you see my recent post on Tiger ? I love it so much ! Have to plan another trip soon ! 

Anyway I hope you like these and do share your pics with me on instagram of you using your jars, I love them ! 

Happy Friday lovelies xx 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Milk & Cookie Cups

These are inspired by the cookie & milk shots by Dominic Ansel - the creator of the Cronut.

I loved the idea of somehow tying in the actual milk with the cookies and you all know how much I love paper straws. I have seen so many cupcakes with the straws in them, but here, you actually get to use it.

So what you'll need to create these are:

(amounts all depend of how many you want to make)

Cookie dough (shop bought or homemade) I used this awesome Milk Chocolate one by Delect because I loved the packaging.
Milk of your choice
Cupcake Cups & Paper Straws (I get mine from Iced Jems)
Squirty cream
Chocolate & Sprinkles (sorry not shown)

Start by rolling out some of your cookie dough to make small cookies for decoration.

Then fill the cupcake case with the cookie dough. Using your hands, push the cookie dough in to the bottom of the cup and up the sides, leaving a 'well' or 'hole' in the middle for your little chocolate shot glass.

You could add the milk directly in here, but I wanted to add extra choclateyness and thought it would be a bit more sturdy.

Then pop your cookies in the oven for the desired time on the packet, mine was about 10 - 15 minutes. It's fine if they are a little bit gooey, in fact that's even more awesome.

Then make your chocolate shot glasses. I used a heart shape ice cube tray and using the end of a spoon, pour a little chocolate in each and spread up the sides to make little cups. They don't need to be perfect.

Pop them in the freezer to set.  The will easily pop out of the mould when set.

Once the cookie cups are done, let them cool. Once ready, pop your little chocolate cup in the middle and add your milk.

Top with squirty cream, melted chocolate & sprinkles, pop a mini cookie on the side and finish it off by inserting your paper straw through the cream, in to the milk !

Sip the milk, eat the little cookie, dunked in the cream, sip a little more oooh and then you might need a spoon to eat the rest !


Here's a little overview of the yummy process:

Have I convinced you to try them ? xx

Friday, 23 May 2014

'Fancy Finds' - Paper Bags

I love these little paper bags. I have a whole collection for when I sell my handmade pieces as they make the most perfect packaging.

So I thought I would share some gorgeous ones with you that I have found:

1. These Black Damask ones are gorgeous and really classy - available from Etsy - £3.65 for 100 (+ US Postage).

2. I LOVE these Floral Fiesta bags - what gorgeous colours - also available from Etsy - £3.07 for 10 (+ UK postage)

3. These brown paper bags from Not on the High Street are gorgeous, they come with spots, stripes or chevrons - £4 for 10 (+ UK postage).

4. These gorgeous coloured polka dots ones are from The Homemakery - £2 for 20 (+UK postage)

They are all so gorgeous I might need to get some of each !! Do you love paper bags ? Let me know in the comments if you have any favourites ?

Happy weekend xx

Thursday, 22 May 2014

French Macarons 101 - A Beautiful Mess

So, I am a HUGE macaron fan. I have made them a few times myself here and here and was even asked to make 80 for an engagement party a while ago but I think I got a few grey hairs whilst doing so !

SO... when I saw the lovely ladies over at A Beautiful Mess, with Holly Neufeld had an e course on making these sweet little treats, I knew I just had to try them again ! And at a bargain $8 (about £5) it was an absolute must have.

Having done the Mastering your DSLR and currently undertaking Blog Life I knew the format of the courses and it didn't disappoint. There is a PDF instruction manual broken down in to sections and a really easy to follow video....and you know what - mine came out perfect FIRST TIME !

I nearly jumped for joy - OK I did a little bit too much that I pulled the oven door off it's hinges - oops!

I decided to make mine Ferrero Rocher flavour and I actually used a left over box of the yummy treats from Christmas as the filling.

I literally blended ferrero rochers - with a little milk to make it a creamier texter and then piped it on to the little macarons.

So here they are in all there glory...

I kept the little cases they came in for the extra cute factor. How well do these fit in here? I made them dinky enough to fit. I just love them.

I also added a little edible gold dust for good measure too. They are perfect with a cuppa !

They have the perfect crunch and chewiness to them. Amazing.

Oooh and you could package them back up in the original box to give away to loved ones. The really special ones of course!

So I really do recommend this amazing e course if you have been wanting to perfect your macarons or give them a go for the first time- you can sign up here ... go on !! You'll love them!

Oooh what flavours will you make ? Do share with me if you do & have fun ! x

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Champneys - Forest Mere

Anyone who follows me on Instagram, might've seen that I was away on a Spa Break last week with my lovely Mum.

It was the most amazing week. Our biggest decision of the day was what treatment to have or class to do, or where to sit and relax ? I mean really..... everyone needs a spa break in their lives at least once.

We spent the week some how filling our days with very little and it was just perfect. The food was amazing and we had a fresh juice each day, followed by coffee and a delicious chocolate & beetroot cake in the afternoon.

There wasn't much to do after dinner so we would have a little walk around the grounds so I took my camera and thought I would share a few pics of the amazing grounds.

The Spa is right on a lake which is just the perfect setting. It was so peaceful.

Look at the lovely sun beds. 

The grounds were FULL of gorgeous bunny rabbits. There were so many of them ! So cute.

It was like the teletubbies... 

So beautiful...

Even more peaceful at sunset...

And I just liked this one because you can kind of see the surface of the moon !

It really was a super week and I highly recommend Forest Mere

Here are a few others but feel free to pop over to Instagram to see more pics from the week :)

Do you have a favourite treatment ? I tried a hot stone massage and it was AMAZING.

Thanks for reading ! x

Monday, 19 May 2014

Giveaway Winner

Hi All,

Well the time has come and a winner has been chosen to win all the fabulous prizes below !!

Drumroll please.....

LUCY WYATT - you are the winner and lucky lady who has won all these prizes !! x

I have emailed you too so if you can send me your address please.

Thank you to EVERYONE who entered and all your really lovely comments on the blog, thank you so so much, it really means the world to me !!

Thank you again to Iced Jems, Bramble & Bracken, The People Shop, 91 Magazine & Loving Dot - you are all so fabulous x

Have a fabulous Monday all, I wish I could give you all a prize for being so lovely !! xxx

Friday, 16 May 2014

'Fancy Finds' - Washi Tape

I LOVE washi tape. I would have one in every single colour and design if I could. It's so versatile, I have made many a little thing with it including pegsmini bunting, a matchbox and little cocktail stick hearts.

Here are some of my favourites and where you can buy them, I hope you like.

1. This beautiful floral one is from the lovely The Homemakery It's absolutely stunning, I think I am going to have to treat myself to this one. - £2.90

2. This cute cloud and heart one is from Etsy, how cute is it ? I love it. - £1.83 (+ USA Shipping)

3. This amazing metallic washi tape is from the fabulous Papermash. I haven't seen metallic ones before, so I absolutely love these. - £3.00

4. This last one is a thicker tape and is from Washi Tapes. I love the floral design and this would be amazing for scrap booking. £4.99.

Do you have a favourite washi tape ? Whats it like and what do you use it for ? Leave me a comment below xx

Happy Friday x

Monday, 12 May 2014

Chocolate Covered Oreo Pops

What's not to love !

These are really easy and just need a little love and care when making, but turn out really rather decadent and delicious.

They would look perfect for a party on the dessert table.

What you need:

Paper straws (I get mine from Iced Jems)

I used left over Easter Chocolate and planned to do some with the Aero chocolate but didn't in the end, but think that would be pretty yummy !

So to start, take your paper straw and squash the end of it - about 2cm worth, in between your fingers to flatten it. It just inserts easier in to the Oreo this way.

Then melt your chocolates. I found the Easter egg chocolate was a lot thicker than normal chocolate but still worked OK.

Dip the very edge of the straw in to a little chocolate and insert slowly in to the middle of an Oreo, holding on to both sides.

They aren't too secure so I found the best way to cover them in chocolate was to hold them over the bowl and 'drip' it on and then using a knife, cover the sides and back.

Set them on some baking paper to set and cover in sprinkles !

Pop them in the fridge to set & then tuck in !


Friday, 9 May 2014

'Fancy Finds' Measuring Spoons

As promised, next up is measuring spoons. There are so many pretty ones around now, I really don't think I could ever go back to using just a plain black set.

Here are a few of my favourites ones I found:

1. These are from Cherry Menlove and I am lucky enough to own a white set myself and I absolutely love them. I was worried at first about using them being ceramic but they are quite heavy wearing and just an absolute joy to use - they are SO SO pretty, I LOVE them.

2. These are from Not On The High Street  and have cute little birds singing on them. They are so cute and are also ceramic.

3. These are also from NOTHS and are a tad more expensive but I love the quotes on them. They would bring so much joy when baking with quotes such as 'a heap of happiness' and 'a dash of humor'. They are made from zinc on a copper ring. So much fun ! - £39.75.

4. This set is from Iced Jems and you know I love anything pink ! This is amazing value for what it is and comes with a jug too for cup, litre & ounce measurements as well as the 6 spoons. - £1.99.

Let me know which ones you have and love and if you own any of these!

Happy Baking x

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Healthy Eating Tips - 2

So this week was the first week that I reached a goal I have set my self with my new fitness regime. The gym I go to use the Technogym equipment and they have the wellness key system. It's awesome, you get your own program to stick to depending on all your specific requirements and what you want to achieve and you pop it in each piece of equipment as you go and it tots it all up for you.

This is the key which of course I decided to make pretty - that's another tip for your right there !! I plan to make an even nicer ribbon for this, but for now, this pretty floral ribbon will do.

The reason I am mentioning this however, is it is SUCH a good idea with any kind of healthy eating or fitness to set yourself little goals (as well as big ones) but the smaller ones are great because you get to feel all awesome and accomplished a lot quicker than waiting 6 months to see a big difference.

I actually did my 4 days at the gym that I had set myself, but was a little short because I didn't do much on the first day as I was having the programme set for me, so didn't have as much time - SO I went on Saturday too, making it 5 days (which I probably won't do again) but it was a great feeling to push myself to make sure I reached my goal !

So whatever it is, set yourself a little goal for the week and reward yourself with a little treat if you manage it (no not an edible treat) I got a pretty pink lip gloss from H & M which has two sides to it and a little mirror on the end. It's so pretty and each time I use it I will remember why I got it and it will push me to keep going to feel that awesome sense of achievement again !

Do you have any tips for rewarding yourself or sticking to your goals ? I'd love to hear from you ! Do comment & share your ideas below & have a happy healthy week x

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Tiger UK

We went shopping to the Whitely Shopping Centre in Fareham this weekend and I was soooo excited to see this amazing shop called Tiger. I have never seen it before, but as we walked passed I just knew I would love everything in there. 

Originally from Copenhagen, Tigers mission is to provide stylish products at really reasonable prices, and boy have they done that ! Nothing costs more than £30.00.

It's one of those shops, where you want everything, but you don't actually need any of it, but you have to have it anyway.

It was amazing, it went from bath stuff, to office stationery & storage, to candles, to baking utensils to food and make up all the way to party supplies. 

It was like a treasure trove of everything I love. There were awesome ice cube trays and lolly moulds, tea pots and giant pens, heart shaped connect four (YES, heart shaped!!!) and candles in every colour you can imagine. 

So...what did I get.. 

First up, this wash bag - it was only £3 and I love it. It's stiff fabric and is wipeable on the inside. This will be perfect in the bathroom or to house some kind of craft materials. 

It's just so cute and it also comes in red.

I saw this 'swimming' bag as soon as I walked in the shop and I just had to have it. I am off for a spa break next week and it's perfect for hanging by the pool or taking with me to some classes. It was only £7 and it's a really good size. It feels really good quality too and I love the rope handles. 

Can you tell I like blue & white stripes ? 

I can't find this next item on the website sorry, but it's a coral plastic mini 'waste basket'. It's perfect for keeping pens in or make up brushes and was £2.00.

When we were at the till, they mentioned they charge for their carrier bags, so I just made use of my new bag and popped everything in to it. I was then eyeing up the awesome tissue paper they wrapped things in however and I think the guy liked how over excited I was about finding the store that he gave me a few sheets to take home ! It will be awesome to wrap some pressies in !

We also got an awesome nose shaped pencil sharpener, so you stick the pencil up the nose to sharpen, haha we found it hillarious. 

I also got an awesome little mirror which has a 10x magnification - it's pretty scary looking in it but helps with plucking eyebrows etc. I was super impressed because my Mum has one and I think it was pretty expensive, but this was a steal at £2.00.

One of the other things I loved was this picnic basket, how cute is it !! I just couldn't justify it this time, but I think I need it for the summer. 

Also, I didn't see these in the store, which was probably a good thing as I have a slight obsession with drinking jars and there's just no more space in my cupboards (so I am told). A few people have been asking me where I get mine however, so these seem like a real bargain!

Lastly, I loved this 'Printers drawer' - it's decorated with such gorgeous papers. 

So, if you are now wondering where your nearest store is - have a look HERE using your postcode  and I really hope there's one near you !

I hope you love it as much as I did ! ahhhh all SO gorgeous x 

Please do leave me a comment if you enjoyed this, like something you see or go and visit the store yourself, I'd love to hear what you get ! 

Thanks for reading xx 

Saturday, 3 May 2014

'Fancy Finds' - Recipe Files

Happy Weekend Everyone !!

I always see so many gorgeous things that I LOVE and want to buy, but a girl can't have everything she wants hey... (I do try!) ha ha, so I thought I would just share a few of my favourite things with you incase you are looking for that perfect recipe file or measuring cups (look out next time) so I am going to just generally share the prettiness.

So today I have found a selection of beautiful recipe files I love. I have one from Paperchase at the moment, a grey one, which has done me well, but I might just have to decide between one of these and treat myself, which is your favourite?

1. This gorgeous pink leather one is from Oh So Cherished and costs £38.99 - it has gold foil writing - so gorgeous !!

2. This Meri MeriSweet Treats recipe file is from House of Fraser and costs £14.00 - I love the floral design so much !

3. This one is a made to order personalised recipe book would make the perfect present for the cook or baker in your life, it's from Etsy and is £15.18. Just beware if in the UK, twinebindary are based in Florida for shipping purposes, but it was too awesome to leave out, I love the simplistic rustic look of it.

4. This A4 recipe file is from Lakeland and I love it because it has a Kitchen Aid on and it stands up so it's a book and stand in one! How handy is that! I bought my Mum this one for a Christmas one year.

Now.... how to choose, how to choose... which one do you like best ? Do you have a lovely file you keep your recipes in ? OOh or an box perhaps ?

Happy Baking x

Friday, 2 May 2014

Mastering your DSLR - Review

So, if you follow me on Instagram, you will already know that I recently took part in the Mastering your DSLR course by Candice Stringham for A Beautiful Mess.

Let me give you a little bit of background first. I love taking photos. I always have my iphone camera on the go and I tend to annoy family members because of it. But I just can't help it. I love capturing special moments, so anyway, for Christmas I got my first ever DSLR, a handmidown from my Dad (who is a fab photographer) so I was SUPER excited to start my college course and learn how to use it.

Well, let's just say it didn't really turn out how I'd hoped. I was hoping to make some friends, which I did (Hello lovely Claire if you are reading) but I didn't really learn anything. OK that's a little un fair. But we all felt the same, it was a shame. The Teacher was nice, just not really, I don't know, informative enough, anyway I don't want to go in to it too much let's just say it was 10 wasted weeks (Tues eves) apart from getting to hang out with Claire of course ;) ha x

So anyway, when I saw that A Beautiful Mess were going to be launching a course I KNEW right away this would be what I was looking for and after the first class I was blown away. I was right. It was even better than I imagined. Candice was lovely and as well as a written class there was a Video tutorial along with lovely mp3s where Candice just chatted away to us. There was an online forum where we could 'meet' our lovely classmates - I say lovely because they are and I love following them on Instagram now !!

I won't spoilt it too much for those thinking of doing it but I will just say you will be blown away by how simple using Manual really is and you'll do it a lot quicker than you think you will ! There is so much support from the teachers too and the classmates as well.

I am absolutely LOVING my camera now and I take it out every opportunity I get now (you may have seen) haha so I thought I would share some of my favourites below. I know they might not be quite a professional level, but to me, I am SO proud of what I have achieved in such a short space of time (5 week course) it's just the best feeling to know what you are doing and get the results you are actually aiming to achieve!

I cannot recommend this course more, it's not running at the moment, but I know they will be doing it again, so keep an eye out for next time !! The numbers were limited, so get in quick !!
Oooh and I nearly forgot, I downloaded all the PDFs and make it in to an awesome folder so I can refer back to anytime and they even gave you a front cover ! Awesome !

Thank you A Beautiful Mess & Candice, you're amazing !!!

Just as footnote, it was a TOTAL bargain for what it was ! Amazing.