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Monday, 31 August 2015

My Top 5 Food Blogs

top-five-food-blogs
{Images are taken from blogs mentioned below}

I have to admit, as much as I love my recipe books I'm guilty of leaving them to gather dust and turning to the Internet when I want to make something, as I think most people are these days. But who could blame us?! There are so many amazing foodie blogs out there, and some of the best are written by people with absolutely no food background, they just cook what they like. One of my favourite things to do is scroll through food blogs, you get ideas of your own, you find recipes you just have to try and you find some of the most beautiful food photography -I'd love to be able to take food shots like some of those guys. I don't think I'll ever give up on my recipe books because sometimes it's nice to flip through pages, but I wanted to put together a list of my top 5 food blogs, ones I go back to time and time again and even though I haven't cooked from all of them -I just can't stop looking at the pictures.

I found this blog on Instagram, I found a picture of some amazing looking cookies (cookies always get me) and ended up on the blog soon after. Trine focuses on plant based recipes and uses all natural ingredients, even if this is something that isn't particularly important to you, you should still have a look. I made said cookies that drew me in and they were the most chewy delicious things I've ever eaten! Also her pictures are clean, simple and beautiful.

I've been in love with Smitten Kitchen for quit some time now after I found it one night when randomly searching for dinner ideas. Not only do I love that it's based in New York (I love New York!), I want to eat nearly everything that Deb puts up! Its all just really tasty home food -no fancy ingredients or things that you can never find in normal supermarkets. I've too many favourite recipes to mention one, but if your stuck for dinner she has a great "surprise me" feature that randomly picks out a recipe. 

Christi's blog is a new find for me, once again I was drawn in by cookies (...I may have a problem). While it's still a new find of mine she has some delicious looking sweet treats, Paul has already requested that I make her Reeses peanut butter chocolate layer cake. She also has a few dog friendly recipes on there too so perfect if you like to make treats for your pets.

Izy's blog has an amazing selection of sweet and savoury recipes, pretty much everything looks good and my list of things to make is out of control. A few weeks ago now we made her Sweet Potato Gnocchi and it was fantastic -even if ours didn't look quite as good as hers did. I'm pretty sure that's something that comes with practise.

The photography on Tieghans blog is nothing less than stunning, I would actually frame some of the shots and hang them around my house. Her recipes are so creative and her love of chocolate is something I most definitely appreciate. Her latest recipe to have gone up is one of my favourite things to eat -Mac n Cheese, and her caprese version looks and sounds too good to pass up. Even if you hate cooking but enjoy looking at food, I'd definitely recommend checking out Tieghans blog.  
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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Blog Birthday & Giveaway!

Kate Spade giveaway
Kate Spade giveaway

Today my little space online, this space right here turns three. Three years ago today I was sat in my living room trying to think what to say to anyone that would stumble upon my first post, it was short and sweet and basically was me saying "hello". I didn't start this blog with any real purpose, it was just for fun and to maybe find like minded people to chat with about make up, fashion, what we'd been up to at the weekend, but over time it's changed into something that's now such a huge part of my life. I've met so many lovely, wonderful people online from doing this and to be honest that's been one of the most enjoyable things.

I didn't want to let this day go by without celebrating somehow because it kind of feels like a birthday and birthdays need two things -cake and presents! I also really wanted to say thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read my posts, follow me, comment or email over the last three years -you make my day every time. While I can't give you cake (if I could I would -along with a hug), I did want to give you a present, and to celebrate a special date, giving away a special diary seemed like to perfect thing to do. These are my favourite diary's/organisers, I love most Kate Spade things but the diary's especially and I was over the moon when I found mine. The one in the pictures is actually my own, just so I could show you the inside but yours will be brand new (sadly cupcakes aren't included). If you'd like to enter just scroll down past the pictures :)

Kate Spade giveaway
Kate Spade giveaway
Kate Spade giveaway


This competition is open world wide and will run for 3 weeks, there will be one winner who I will contact when the competition ends... good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, 28 August 2015

Made Me Happy This Week


Oh it's been a loooong week! I've haven't been so glad for a weekend in quite some time -the fact that it's now Friday evening is honestly making me feel so very happy. There's no actual reason for it if I'm being honest...just one of those week, maybe the rainy weather, who knows! Also Paul's had to work late this week so he hasn't been home until after 8pm each night and I think that's made this week much longer than it would have if he'd been home when he normally is -I've missed him. Because of this, tonight we shall be lying in bed watching a film or two and eating pizza -clearly we're very "rock n roll" with our Friday evening.

1. I've found so many amazing foodie blogs this week, my list of things to bake has grown to crazy lengths -not that I'm complaining.

2. The last few days have been a little bit cooler in the evening, so, for the first time since summer started I've had fuzzy socks on. As lovely as that what makes it even more exciting is that autumn is well and truly on it's way.

3. Golden Oreos! I know you lovely people in the States have had these for years, I'm not sure about the rest of the world -but now we have them too!! I do have to admit that we've already eaten a packet this week.

4. The Holiday (the film) I've seen it so many times but while watching it earlier this week when it was on TV, I realised that I didn't actually own a copy -one was immediately ordered from Amazon! It's such an amazing film, one of my absolute favourites but one thing I can never get over is that it came out in 2006 how is it possible that it's been out for that long!?

5. My new blog layout -I'm honestly over the moon in love with it. I've been going back and forward with this one and another for what seems like forever now and always ended up putting it off but we did it this week and it's perfect! I say we because Paul helped me, it was actually incredibly easy to do but I always feel better doing these sorts of things when Paul's around -he understands computers in a way that I never will!

6. Last week I mentioned that we had a little picnic in our garden and it was so good we've pretty much been eating the same things for lunch most day this week.  Although it hasn't been set out all pretty on a platter like we had the first time (pictured above) it's been just as tasty.

What's been making you happy this week?
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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

DIY: Watercolour Teacups


One night after I found myself in that Pinterest vortex (you can find me here) that you can't seem to break out of, I came across this idea for watercolour mugs. I knew I wanted to make my own, and after seeing something very similar in Starbucks that I loved, I couldn't wait to give it a go! After reading how a few people had done theirs I decided instead of mugs that I would use teacups and saucers, I'm not sure I've ever told you this but I do love a teacup, to drink from and store bits and bobs.

What you need:
White cups or mugs -I used these ones from Ikea
Nail polish
Basin filled warm water
Wooden skewer
Paper towel or cotton pads


To make your watercolour mugs...
Add a few drops of your chosen nail polish to the water and let it spread out, I used the skewer to swirl it around a little. Then carefully dip you cup or mug in the water, take it out and leave it to dry, use some paper towel or cotton pads to dab off any excess water, don't rub it right away or you might wipe off the colour.

You can do the above with as many colours as you like until your happy with your design, I used two -a taupe and purple. But make sure you dry your mug between each colour so the nail polish sticks properly.

If you have any messy areas or nail polish anywhere you don't want it to be you can take it off with nail polish remover. All you have to do now is leave it to dry for a few hours.

Et voila, watercolour mugs, -so easy to do but so beautiful! I ended up with a few air bubble marks on mine that I ended up really rather liking, and for my first attempt I'm quite pleased with the outcome, it's something I'd like to do again maybe with pastel shades, and maybe on glass?

I have had tea in the cups since making them and I've had no problems, even when washing afterwards, although I wouldn't suggest your harsh with them -not that you need to be with teacups. We don't have a dishwasher so I can't tell you how they'd in one of them but I think to be safe I'd say just stick to washing in the sink. I have since thought about buying a non-toxic coating to make sure they last as long as any other mugs would but I haven't found one yet. If I do, I'll be sure to update the end of this post.




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Monday, 24 August 2015

A Little Catch Up


It's been a little quite around here lately, not at all planned and my own silly fault. I'm not the most technically minded person so when things go wrong in that area -well, lets just say it's mission to try and fix my mistake. That paired with the fact that I completely over booked my week and left myself very little time to get everything done left this little space sadly neglected. A couple of posts that didn't make it up last week will hopefully be up this week or next, and as I've now made sure this week is a little less crammed full than the last, I can catch up on all the blog posts in my feed. If you have anything you've written or have found any you have loved lately pleased link them for me to have a read :)

So, since I missed my "Happy" post last Friday I thought I'd share some things just now that have been really quite lovely over the last week or so. First of all, our coffee table finally arrived! I say finally because we've actually been waiting for over two months, but it's here now and more perfect that we thought it would be. I can't wait for the longer, colder nights so we can cover it with cheese and crackers and cuddle up with a film.

If I've never mentioned it before (I'm pretty sure I have a 1000 times), we love the holidays like Halloween and Christmas, and the rest, we get so excited, some would say over excited. While Paul and I were out last week we found Halloween decorations everywhere -actual squeals could be heard! Then when we found Christmas chocolate, well -I'm pretty sure only dogs could hear me. We've planned our outfits for Halloween this year and it's safe to say I'm very impressed with what we've come up with -I hope they turn out as well as we've planned.

The weather at the weekend was so warm and beautiful that we wanted to make the most of it so had a picnic in our garden. We did think of going to a park or beach but sometimes it's nicer to stay home and make the most of your own outside space -plus, if you picnic at home you can set your food out on fancy platters.

What have you all been up to lately?




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Friday, 14 August 2015

Made Me Happy This Week


I know, I know, it's still summer -and I'm pretty sure apples are an Autumn thing but look at them (above)! I'm so incredibly excited to get picking when they're ready and of course, get baking too. The combinations are endless, crumbles, pies, tarts...I could go on but I'll wait until the apples are actually ready to pick. Back to summer for the moment and the good news that tomorrow is going to be lovely and sunny, we will be spending the day in the garden -I hope, painting fences and cutting grass. How are you spending your weekend??

1. The smell of homemade vegetable soup bubbling away while it rains outside -it's one of the best combinations and always makes me so happy to be home.

2. A mid week catch up with my very best friend, but not only that -we had the tastiest lunch! It was one of my favourite combinations, a cheesy toasted sandwich and tomato and basil soup (I might share the recipe the soon), if you haven't tried it you must!

3. Speaking of my best friend, she is an absolute sweetie! I made her some cupcakes this week for her giving away and she bought me a little treat from Jo Malone -what can I say...the lady knows what I like!

4. Some of the heart warming emails I've had lately from some of you lovely people, I swear you bring tears to my eyes with the sweet things you say :)

5. The strawberries in our garden have gone wild! I thought they were dead at the start of the summer but I was wrong, the plants are bigger and better than ever.

6. My new fringe bag -a bargain from Asos.

7. Chocolate tea from Twinings, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before but it reappeared in my life this week and I couldn't be happier about that!
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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Spa Time at Home

spa at home
spa at home
spa at home

I'm not someone who enjoys going to a spa, it's never really been my cup of tea (I'd rather have the cup of tea) and the odd time I've had a facial it's broken me out in a really bad way -so for me it's a waste of money. I'm also a real introverted home kind of girl, it's where I most enjoy being and where I feel most relaxed and comfortable. Also I can get quite a lot of redness in my skin so having to wander the streets after having a treatment that's possibly left me beetroot red isn't very relaxing.

While I don't like the spa or that whole side of things I do enjoy those treatments and treating myself and my skin every now and again. So I wanted to share some of the things I do at home and some of the products I use.

To start with I always like to have a bath usually with something wonderful and sparkly with many, many bubbles from Lush -or if I have any, a little Jo Malone bath oil. The bath oil makes the entire house small absolutely amazing for the next day or two so that's a little bonus. I tend to not use a face mask in the bath, I have it quite hot so they never set properly -it seems a bit of a waste of product. I never understand how people can read in the bath -everything gets wet?! I like to have the radio on or some music playing and to have a little play on Instagram. I know it's beyond silly to have your phone in the bath but I'm sure I'm not the only one...am I??

After coming out of the bath and getting dried I like to use a really lovely body cream, again my favourite has to be Jo Malone but others I love are the body butters from The Body Shop, anything that feels beautiful and luxurious to apply. Then I'll slip into my comfiest pj's (try to find pretty ones and not Paul's old t-shirts) and pop a film on. Before it starts I'll apply my first face mask. I used to be under the impression that you could only use one, but after speaking to someone who knows their stuff on all things skincare they explained that sometimes it's better to use two -one after the other. So I like to start with one to either clear my skin or exfoliate, my go-to's are Origins Clear Improvements to clear my pores or Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel to take off any dead skin. The Elemis one isn't too bad but the Origins can be a little drying so I like to follow it with something nice and hydrating, one of my favourites are the Wei White Lotus Sheet Masks. 

Either the same night if I have time, or another night if I don't I like to do a little treatment for my feet -especially throughout summer when your toes are out for all to see most days. I have to admit though I let things slide throughout winter, something I'm going to make a big effort to change this year. We all know that feeling of "oh no" its summer and my feet need serious attention!!

My new favourite gadget for perfectly smooth feet is the Scholl Velvet Smooth Foot File. It takes any effort out of taking the hard skin off your feet and at the same time is so gentle -perfect! After taking off any little bits of hard skin I like to soak my feet for a while, for however long I have. My all time holy grail product for feet come from The Body Shop, if you haven't given their peppermint foot range a go, I urge you to try it! I use the foot soak and after, when my feet are nice and dry I use a generous amount of the Intensive Foot Rescue. I don't have those special spa socks for covering my moisturised feet so I just use a pair of trainer socks, they do the same thing I'm sure.

So that's some of what I like to do at home for some spa type time, it may not be the same as going to an actual spa but its just prefect for me. What are some of your favourite products for relaxing at home? I'd love to try some more :)
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Friday, 7 August 2015

Made Me happy This Week

{strawberry eating chickens}

This week has literally flown by, I honestly feel as if it was just last weekend and we were baking cookies on Sunday evening. Do you ever have those weeks where you get the the Friday night and you have honestly no idea what you've done for the past five days? That's how I feel right now...it's weird! Unlike last weekend -which was full of rain and pretty rubbish weather, this weekend is supposed to be really rather lovely and that puts a big smile on my face. What are your plans for the weekend?

1. I was sick for a couple of days this week which obviously not much fun but it makes me so happy how Paul takes such good care of me when I feel rubbish.

2. I've watched sooo much Big Bang Theory this week! You know you love a show when you can pretty much mouth every episode word for word.

3. I've made a real effort to drink a lot more water this week and I feel better for it. I go up and down with my water drinking, for long periods of time I will drink as much as I should then I go the other way and have times where I don't drink nearly enough. A bad habit I'm definitely trying to break!

4. I've had my little doggy friend for most of this week. In case you don't know, she is my mums but we sort of share the responsibilities of her due to work mainly. I don't mind at all though...she's such a little sweet heart.

5. Doing some major upgrading of clothes for the colder months coming. I've had quite a huge clear out so in some ways am starting from scratch building my wardrobe again but that's a good thing. A lot of it had to go and on the plus side I have much more space for the new things (the shopping's obviously fun too)

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Monday, 3 August 2015

Summer: Berry Picking

Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking

One of the absolute best things to do when British summer times rolls around is berry picking -it's always on our to-do list, I honestly think it's one of the best ways to spend a beautiful summers day. You can take your time casually strolling up and down rows of raspberries, strawberries and we even picked cherries this year, filling your baskets with the best fruit you find and of course trying to not eat it as you go. 

Last week we did just that and spent Thursday getting lost in the tunnels of fruit at Craigies Farm, our favourite place to go for fruit picking (the cakes, cafe and deli too) and it's just outside of Edinburgh. We grabbed lunch from the cafe before heading out to forage for our fruit but as we were starving after missing breakfast I forgot to take a picture. It was such a perfect day, we left with an impressive little fruit haul and on our way out picked up a couple of home-made custard creams which we decided couldn't possibly be kept until we were home so found a quiet grassy area to sit and enjoy them  -along with a big handful of berries...obviously.

Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking
Summer: Berry Picking









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