Sunday, 25 November 2012

A really simple Christmas wreath

The rain in Cornwall this weekend has been so savior we have had to forget any ideas of going anywhere in the car as so many roads are closed from all the flooding. So today I thought I would make the most of being indoors and make my Christmas wreath!
I set up my conservatory as if it were a crafting workshop with all things glittery and festive laid out. I even put on the silky Christmas vocal tones of Michael BublĂ© to get me into the spirit....hehe, after all it is 30 days today before we all revert back to being 5 again :)
My chosen color scheme this year for mine and Daniel's tree is red, gold, traditional decorations and a little bit of a vintage feel. So the wreath I had envisaged whilst I scoured the craft shops was to be a little glittery with rich reds and gorgeous golds!
So here is how I made my simple classic Christmas wreath.

To start with I reinforced the wicker wreath with a little of the red thin wire so that when I started to add the decorations it was nice and secure and was able to take the added weight.
I then intertwined the glitter colored holly around the whole of the wreath and again twisted a little wire in a few places to make sure it was to keep in place.

Once the holly was secure I then took the berry twig and split it into 6 separate smaller branches to place around the wreath. You will need wire cutters for this bit, as the berry twig I used had wire through the middle. But this did mean I was able to bend each individual branch to fit as I wanted amongst the holly. With a small piece of wire I secured each branch just to make it extra strong. I kept the branches the same shape of the wreath but it would look just as good with them maybe at angles making the wreath look super full.

With the pine cones I made individual clusters of three together and placed then evenly around the wreath but making sure I put one at each end of the small berry twig branches, to cover any visible wire. Once they were in place you can then tweak everything a little to make sure everything is were you want it and all the wire is covered.

All that was left to do with this simple Christmas wreath was to add the big bow for the added finishing effect. I chose to mix a nice plain gold one with a nice glittery red mesh one as a overlay, just to make it look extra pretty!

So there you have it all ready for when we put the tree up! My little bit of crafting on a very stormy Sunday :)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Christmas is on its way!

I am sure you are all feeling a bit festive even just a tiny bit I know I am. I have been and picked out my Christmas Tree from our local tree farm, it has a wooden name tag on it, very cute! Myself and Daniel got soaked picking it but we are very pleased with it its a nice fat one, our only challenge when it gets here is to keep our crazed cat out of it, I have visions of it being on the floor along with all the lights and barbells on my return home from work!
I have been away from the blogger world for a while, but this Christmas excitement had to be sheared!

So I have been looking online and starting my shopping, there are so many bargains and so many must haves this year. My list is
I have come across a few lovely websites with some great gift ideas but most recently I have rekindled my love for all the amazing products from The Bodyshop
I recently went to a The Bodyshop party and they have some really lovely things on offer in their Christmas range.
The Sparkler is a limited addition atomiser that sprays a fine shimmery powder (I called it fairy dust) that highlights your face, you only need a little spritz to give you the lovely festive glow! you can even spray it over your body, maybe on your shoulder if you are wearing a dress at a Christmas party. I was drawn to this as it looks very cute. It is also lightly scented so just gives you the special feeling when you are wearing it. The bottle is 10g and comes in two colors enchanting gold or dazzling copper. The price is £14 I didn't feel it was to expensive, a nice seasonal treat or a great gift for a friend or if you have a mummy like mine perfect for her stocking.
They have a great range of minis ideal for stocking fillers. They have a wide range of scents but I am a massive fan of all things coconut and they really have a yummy coconut range.
The mini bathtime shower and moisture set is really sweet, its infused with a rich sent and I use this product a lot and you really do have that yummy sent lingering all day. I think these are perfect stocking fillers or secret Santa gifts for work friends, they come in a lovely little festive box to making them in my view just super cute.
Each box contains Coconut shower cream 60ml, Coconut milk body lotion 60ml and an ultra fine white bath lily for £6 and if you buy on line there is a gift cube offer so you can save yourself some pennies on this little bargain!
The Bodyshop to me has so many products that that are timeless, even their signature white musk never loses its class. So all its perfect Christmas gifts and ideas are well worth the look.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Singing is a love of mine but I like to keep it under wraps, not like my very talented little brother Richie he has not only got a gift for playing the guitar but a beautiful voice. 
So my recorded listen this evening is this cheeky little clip I  got recently got of him singing an acoustic cover of Jessie J's 'Who you are'. Its short and sweet but simply perfect.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Chocolate cake...with lashings of chocolate!

It has probably become quite apparent that I love baking and anything that is sweet is right up my street. 
On a Sunday it has become a habit to bake something yummy to sit and get cosy with before the dreaded Monday comes round. Daniel's choice was chocolate and so chocolate it was to be.

For the cake

175g / 6oz of unsalted butter, nice and soft plus a little extra for greasing the cake tins
175g / 6oz caster sugar
3 large eggs (free range or fresh farm eggs are a must)
175g / self-raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder to give your cake the added rise
2 tablespoons of drinking chocolate (I used galaxy drinking chocolate at Daniel's request)
And a splash of warm water.

For the filling

125g / 4oz icing sugar
1 1/2 unsalted butter, nice and soft
1 tablespoon of whole milk (whole milk works better but you can use others)

For the icing

250g / 8oz dark chocolate, broken up into pieces and then melted
15g / 1/2oz unsalted butter

The decoration it optional you can be as creative as you like, in my case I choice more chocolate and topped the cake with milk and white chocolate buttons and for added wow factor placed chocolate fingers around the edge. 
So now you have your ingredients all set out and you know what you want it to look like the fun bit starts, and as they say on  my favorite program ever ..... on your marks get set BAKE!

Preheat your oven to 180 / gas mark 4.
While your oven is heating up take a little of the unsalted butter and lightly grease your cake tins. I used 2 20cm / 8inch tins. Then line them with baking paper if you like I always do as it makes for a perfect shape I find.
Mix together all you prepared ingredients any which way you like as long as you have a nice consistency you are happy with. This cake is really easy as I just chuck it all in and pop it in the oven.
Poor your mixture evenly between the two greased and lined cake tins and make sure the mixture is even and has a nice level top so you don't get a lumpy sponge.
Place in your preheated oven and bake for around 20 minuets, or until you can touch the top and the sponge springs back nicely. 
If you are happy with the colour and texture then remove your cakes and pop them on a wire rack to cool.
I have said before in a previous cake post I use the cake tins with a release catch on the side, I use these because they are much easier to remove your cake. So at this point I just open the clasp while the cake cools.
While your cakes are cooling you can make your filling and also the icing. 
Again nice and simple just mix all your filling ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
In a separate mixing bowl add the  melted chocolate and the butter together and mix it until it is thoroughly mixed together. 
Once you have done this I would remove the cakes from the tins completely and remove all the baking paper and put them back on the wire rack to completely cool. 
While they cool I would say you have just about enough time to put the kettle on and have a cup of tea!
When your cakes are cool you are ready to do the fun part and make them look pretty.
Place the bottom sponge on a serving plate or cake board and spread the filling over the top as much or as little as you like.
Then place the top sponge on top, giving it a nice gentle push down so it sets in place.
Spread the icing over the top of the cake using a palate knife spreading the icing down the side as you do so your whole cake is covered in CHOCOLATE!
Your cake is ready to decorate as you like.
My chosen decorations were chocolate fingers, white and milk chocolate placed around the outside of the cake with a little space between each. Then on the top I made a heart shape with white chocolate buttons, and just to make it look super pretty I added a pink ribbon and tied it in a bow. 
So a super simple chocolate fix that was truly scrum.

Enjoy Sunday cake baking!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Primed & Ready

Hello lovely ones!
Collection 2000 are re-branding themselves as just 'Collection' I was a little confused to say the least as they still have the old name on a new product!
Collection are known as one of the good cheaper brands out on the high street and do a really highly recommended lasting perfection concealer. Recently they have brought out in their line Primed & Ready Smoothing face primer.
The packaging is black with a funky metallic pink font not a lot has gone into the design I don't think but maybe it was the simplicity that drew me in. I also liked that it is handbag friendly being only 18ml. It stands out more so than some of the other products they have hence my purchase I was intrigued to see if they had brought out another must have little wonder like the concealer.
I was a little taken back by the price as like I have already said its known to be one of the cheaper brands and this little makeup find cost me £5.99! but I thought I would give it a try as I was quite taken by the look of the product on the self in comparison to all the other Collection products. 
The primer is aimed to give you a smoother base before you apply your usual foundation. Doing so by reducing the appearance of your pores. The gel is clear and I can only say looks a little like glue with a silicon like texture almost a little like jelly. It is really easy to apply and you don't need much, and it leaves your skin feeling really smooth and soft and your pores do look reduced.
Applying foundation over the dried primer wasn't to bad I have to admit I was thinking this may be its downfall, but it wasn't and I think my foundation lasted a little longer than normal. I would say it would be a good primer for those with dry/normal skin it might not be that well suited to those with slightly more oily skin, it might be worth you trying a primer with more oil controlling proprieties if that's your skin type. 
I'm not sure that I would repurchase this product again but I would say if you are wanting to try a primer and haven't as yet because they are slightly pricey this is a good buy as you get the same results without having to spend a lot! So this I couldn't recommend more. 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Autumn wish list

Sadly for us the summer seems to be slipping away I know we haven't had a nice bikini on the beach day in Kernow for quite some weeks! and the nights are drawing in.
But in this sadness I have found a few things that I want on my Autumn wardrobe wish list.
Loving the Camel Mohair Boyfriend coat from Topshop, looks super cosy and I have been in and had a sneaky feel and didn't want to take it off. Maybe I will treat myself. I also stumbled upon this over sized knit big button sweater on a random website Jacco I thought it was very sweet.

I am in love with these amazing boots from ASOS by Hudson Rosse brushed leather uppers with tooled strap detailing on the heal! I think I am going to have to make sure these little lovelies are on my shoe rack. I like these jeans by Jack Wills The Henlow Skinny Jeans are a versatile must-have I think as they come in lots of autumnal colors. 

Monday, 3 September 2012

I baked a cake

Hello Blogger!! .... how I have missed you so here is some love just from me <3 and my version of the lovely Victoria Sandwich cake with a Miss B fresh cream and raspberry twist. (It goes so well with a cup of tea)
Serves 8-10
175g/6oz softened butter, plus a little extra for greasing your cake tins
175g/6oz caster sugar
3 beaten eggs
175g/6oz self-raising flour
pinch of salt
4 large tbsp of raspberry jam
1 pundit of fresh raspberry's
1 tbsp of icing sugar and a little extra for dusting the top of your cake
1 medium pot of double whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. While your oven is heating up grease two 8-inch sandwich tins and line them with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl using a hand-whisk if you have one or a good old fashioned wooden spoon will do. Mix together until the mixture is pale in colour and nice and light with a fully consistency. 
Add in the egg just a little at a time, beating well after each addition to the mixture.
Sift in the flour and salt, then carefully add to the mixture, folding it in with a spatula.
Now you can divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins, smooth over the mixture with the spatula so you have no lumps. 
The best bit come now as you get to lick the spoon!
Place on the same shelf in the center of your preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until well risen, golden brown, and beginning to slightly shrink away from the sides of the cake tins they should be looking simply scrumptious.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 1 minute or so then loosen the cakes from around the edges of the tin using a palate knife. I use cake tins that have a clasp on the side to make removing your bakes nice and easily with out damaging them.
Carefully turn the cake out onto a clean tea towel, remove the baking paper and place on a wire rack on the side to cool.
When you have left the cakes to cool completely you are ready to add the tasty bit.
Poor the double whipping cream into a bowl and mix with your hand-whisk or wooden spoon, add in some icing sugar to give it a extra sweet taste! keep mixing until the cream is nice and stiff.
Smother both tops of the individual cakes with raspberry jam and a good helping on the cream on one that will be the base, then place one on top of the other nice and secure.
With the rest of the fresh cream smother it on top of the cake and top it with juicy raspberry's!
Then add a little icing sugar lightly dusted on the top.