Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Things I Like Tuesday

  • A mammoth amount of inspiration from The Blogcademy (an equally mammoth catch up post coming soon!)
  • Working on behind the scenes blog stuff
  • Afternoons of board games with the family
  • The weather getting a little bit warmer again

Friday, 25 January 2013

Dress of the Week: Fever Hurlington Dress

This week's dress is from Fever, a new (to me) brand based in London. Heavily influenced by vintage design, their website is packed full of little treasures. It took me ages to decide on just one to feature but this dress was too cute not to show off. And it has birds on it, and we all know by now I'm a sucker for animal prints!

It's £74.99 from Fever. While you're there I seriously recommend you have a look around. As a tip Ruby Belle is their 50's inspired ranged and I love the Dora cardigan

Thursday, 24 January 2013

What I'm...

You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane. This slightly unconventional love story had me both cheering and groaning at the character's and their decisions. Despite some predictable points, it had me guessing right up until the end, and I loved it.

Listening to
Ministry of Sound 90's Anthems. It's mega cheesy but can't help making me smile. And maybe dance a little, which is fine in my kitchen, but gets you funny looks on the Tube. I may or may not know this from personal experience...

The Undateables, about people with disabilities looking for love. There are points when you aren't entirely sure if it's ok to laugh but I found it really heartwarming. The story of Ray who's ex-fiancĂ©e ran the dating agency he was using will make you grin like an idiot! 

Creme Eggs! I blooming well love them, and as they are only around for a few months I have to make the most of them.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Things I Like Tuesday

  • Snow! We have had loads and still keep getting the odd flurry now
  • Working hard on a few secret projects (I'll share soon, promise!)
  • Hilarious text conversations
  • Christmas vouchers allowing me to buy slightly crazy hairbands
  • Last but not least, Blogcademy is tomorrow! Only if I don't implode with excitement (or nerves) before I make it there

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

DIY Noticeboard

 The most exciting thing about out (sort of) new flat is that I have my own craft area. I don't have to take over the dining table or the floor, and I can leave my projects without worrying about their safety. I'm slowly but surely working on making it look pretty, and this is part of that.

 I acquired this large board with my second hand desk (now known as the craft station) and a few people mentioned it would make a good noticeboard. So with the help of the ribbons, buttons and fabric I though I would give it a go.
As this was a spur of the moment project, I used some random loose stuffing I had. It would have been much easier with sheet wadding that you could just cut to size. Anyway, I covered the board with the stuffing. 
The fabric was laid over the top and the board flipped over. The edges of the fabric were folded over the board and secured. I folded the two shorter ends like wrapping a present. Staples are the easiest way to secure the fabric, although I have also used strong glue which worked fine. 
At this point, my noticeboard looked looked this. In the photo it kind of looks like a pillow to be fair! 
Then came the fun part. Various lengths of ribbon were attached across the board. I chose to put the ribbons at random angles and intersects, and I like the finished look. But it would be equally easy to measure out the distances to make a more regular pattern. 
I then added, using strong glue, buttons at the intersections of the ribbons. Mine were a mixture of sizes, shapes and colours. A more uniform collection would look great too, especially if the ribbons were arranged symmetrically. 
And this is the finished article. It has taken pride of place on my desk, and I have added a few random pieces to it. I have a giant stack of business cards and photos that were on my old noticeboard though, so might have a declutter before putting them on all on it. 
PS. I deliberately chose colours similar to my blog design, thought it might help with some blog inspiration too! 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Things I Like Tuesday

  • Cutting down on screen time (TV and laptop) and actually being productive in my evenings
  • Saving money I usually spend on random stuff and putting it towards exciting adventures instead
  • Lazy weekends full of crafting and baking
  • This little beauty arriving, it's my well done present to myself for ticking off so many 2012 goals

Monday, 14 January 2013

Funsize Baking

I went on a bit of a baking frenzy this past weekend and made these little mini cakes. I've seen them a few places before, and you can get specific pans for baking them. But I just made sponges in 20cm sandwich tins and used a circular cutter to cut out the cake shapes. Mine are probably slightly bigger than they should be, but I could cut out enough for three mini cakes per sandwich tin.

First up, lemon drizzle cake. The sponge is vanilla with lemon zest, and I soaked the top with lemon and sugar so it has the classic crunch. They are sandwiched with plain buttercream.
It wouldn't be me baking if chocolate wasn't involved somewhere. These are chocolate sponge, with melted chocolate folded into the batter. They are sandwiched and tipped with chocolate ganache. This was probably the first time I've made chocolate ganache without a. ruining it and b. having to consult a recipe 300 times. Baking win! 

Thirdly, a coffee cake. I cut each cake into two, so each cake ended up with three equal layers. These are then sandwiched together with a coffee buttercream. Of all of the cakes these are the ones I'm happiest with. They came out much better than I was expecting and look really cute. Definitely be making these again!

Last but not least, mini Victoria sponges. The sponge is standard vanilla sponge, with classic fillings. The jam is strawberry with champagne, part of a Christmas hamper from M&S, and it tastes amazing. They do look suspiciously like scones though...

Generally my random baking experiments don't work out well but I'm pretty happy with these! There are a few changes I want to make, the two layer cakes probably need to be a smidge smaller so they look a bit daintier. I reckon the Victoria sponges would look neater as three layers, with the fillings as two seperate layers, too. My baking brain is already thinking of more flavours/styles to try, so watch this space! 

Friday, 11 January 2013

Dress of the Week: Forever 21 Red Printed Dress

I'm still on the hunt for cute day dresses. If I said I had left the sparkles behind I would be lying, but January is a long month and I have to be slightly sensible.

So this dress from Forever 21 is perfect. Cute, bold colour and only £19.75. What more could a girl want to cheer up her Friday?

It's available here.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Flight and Feathers

Recently I've been thinking about sewing some stuff with birds. I've even got as far as doodling some bird prints. So a trip to the Booth Museum was in order, to get some more inspiration from their huge collection of birds. 

And now I'm super excited about lots of colours, and shapes, and patterns.

How beautiful is the pattern on these feathers?
And I will forever be in love with the shape of a swift. 

 I've started a few sketches but I'm not a very good artist so they will remain for my own viewing pain for now. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Things I Like Tuesday

  • Starting the year with the best of intentions
  • Increasing the number of clothes I own that have a. sequins and b. animals on them
  • Daydreaming about an ever growing list of places I want to visit
  • Finally starting to declutter our flat
  • Creme eggs being back in the shops (too soon?)

Monday, 7 January 2013

Chocolate Layer Cake

The first bake of 2013 is done and dusted. We can ignore the fact I decided to bake it at about 11.30pm, and almost feel asleep while it was in the oven. It was the mister's dad's birthday and what better excuse is there for cake?
I went with a classic chocolate cake, with chocolate fudge icing and white chocolate drops for decoration. No such thing as too much chocolate around here. 
As I'm writing this, we are about to go and deliver it so hopefully it will taste as good as it looks.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Blowing Away The Cobwebs

The weather on New Year's Eve was pretty horrendous. It was cold, it was wet and it was really windy. So naturally I decided I wanted to go down to the seafront.
We were pretty much soaked before we even left our road, so there was no hope for us by the time we got to the sea.

I could barely stand up in the wind, and the rain was basically blinding me so I have no idea how I managed to take any photos.
But I also couldn't stop grinning, it was definitely a good way to blow away the cobwebs, ready to start afresh in 2013.

On the way there the mister spotted this tree covered in a crazy amount of pigeons. Remind anyone of the film The Birds? 

Friday, 4 January 2013

Dress of the Week: Miss Selfridge Flock Skater Dress

Now the party season is over, I'm all about cute dresses I can wear to work for the rest of Winter, and hopefully a bit of Spring.

I was trying to avoid sharing too many more dresses from my old favourite Miss Selfridge (variety is the spice of life and all that) but this one caught my eye while sale shopping with my Mum and I really wanted to share it.

It's £42 from Miss Selfridge. I'm completely in love with the flock detailing on the skirt. And in real life it was a really nice length, perfect for with tights and without when the weather get's warm enough. Perfect.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

More Christmas Antics

Thanks to a new memory card, I took a ridiculous amount of photos over Christmas. So I thought I would share a few more. As well as actual Christmas Day, I had another Christmas dinner on Boxing Day, as well as a pretend Christmas day the Sunday before. So. Much. Food.

1.Boot shaped napkins on Boxing Day
2.2013 novelty glasses
3.Christmas bingo
5. The mister picking out his surprise present
7.Santa looking like he wants to escape
8. The tree at my Mum's house

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas

I'm trying to get myself back into my normal blogging routine after Christmas break. I spent a couple of hours having a think about my blog calendar for 2013, I almost forgot to actually sort some posts for this week!

Anyway, just a few photos from Christmas Day out of the literally 100's I took over Christmas.

1. The flooded patio after all the rain on Christmas morning
2. My cider with it's own Christmas hat
3. Everyone had their own 'job' badges on the table
4. Half way through piling my plate full of dinner
5. 'Santa's little helper' aka my sister not helping at all

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

January is for...

  • Fresh starts
  • Plans, and lists, and training schedules, and blog calendars
  • Clearing out my wardrobe
  • Blogcademy! 
  • Dreaming of lighter mornings and warmer days
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