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Monday, 27 June 2016

My Birthday Weekend

my-birthday-weekend

This past weekend was my birthday, seeing as it was a Saturday this year, Paul suggested we make it a birthday weekend instead of the one day...I was of course more than ok with that decision.

Saturday got off to an earlier than planned start. I thought after a week of early mornings I could enjoy a long lie in bed on my birthday, but apparently my brain had other plans. I woke up at 7.15am, to the smell of fresh coffee. Then, after realising Paul wasn't in bed with me, I made my way downstairs to find that he'd decorated the living room with banners and balloons. As if that wasn't sweet enough, he'd also started making us breakfast -that was supposed to be enjoyed in bed, but seeing as I was already downstairs I wanted to sit with my balloons while tucked into our fresh coffee and croissants. It was the best start to the day I think I could have had, the happy birthday balloons were amazing, and the fact that Paul had woken up even earlier than me, just to blow them all up made them all the more special. I love them so much in fact, that today is Monday and they're still up... know I have to take them down eventually but I want to enjoy them just a little bit longer.

my-birthday-weekend
my-birthday-weekend
my-birthday-weekend

After breakfast we had a few friends up, and we all sat around having tea and birthday cake. And in my case, birthday cake floured tea, that was a gift from Paul's brother. Once everyone had left, Paul and I made our way into Edinburgh to enjoy the afternoon sunshine. We stayed until the last of the sun had disappeared behind the enormous rain cloud -that had appeared almost out of nowhere, and then made a mad dash to the car trying to avoid being soaked.

I wanted Sunday to be a slow day, a day for just me and Paul, a day to be spent on the sofa watching Harry Potter -and apart from a quick trip to Asda for supplies, that's exactly what it was. I also made breakfast on Sunday, we hadn't set alarms but as seems to be the case now, I woke up early. I was craving the lemon and ricotta pancakes from our recent trip to New York, so seeing as I had everything I needed to make them -plus blackberries for a tasty compote, I gave them a go. It's fair to say I was more than pleased with my efforts and Paul was pretty pleased too.

It was the perfect weekend, full of surprises, friends, cake and balloons. I'm so lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life to share these times with, I love you all. Thank you for making my birthday so special.

my-birthday-weekend


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Friday, 24 June 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

There are a fare few things happening at the moment that I can't say I'm completely happy about, and one that I'm really rather disappointed by. However, this series is to recap the happy little things from the week, the small things in life that make you smile, so lets get onto them instead, shall we? This weekend is my birthday weekend and I'm so excited about it all! I can't wait to show you my cake...I'm really very pleased with how it turned out, Paul had dubbed it "The Unicorn Cake"...you'll soon see why. I've also been told that tomorrow will start with breakfast in bed, and as you can imagine, I'm quite pleased with that.

1. The kindness of strangers. A local car park that we use quite regularly had put its prices up by 10p and we had no idea before turning up. After fumbling around the car trying to find change, a lovely lady over heard us laughing about it, and gave us the 10p we needed.

2. How excited Paul's been all week to give me my birthday presents this weekend.

3. Catching up with my best friend, we've kept on missing each other lately so it was lovely finally get to spend some time together.

4. Going in to The Body Shop to pick up a moisturiser, and leaving with a few sale bargains. That somehow didn't cost all that much more than the moisturiser I went in for.

5. Starbucks dark roast, especially perfect when you have an early morning and you've had not nearly enough sleep.

6. The most beautiful white peonies that were an early birthday gift from Paul.

7. Winning a pair of tickets to the Absolutely Fabulous premier next week.

8. Penguin biscuits and tea, absolute perfection when you suck the tea through the penguin. If you've never done it I suggest you give it a try. You can thank me later :)


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Friday, 17 June 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

I had the idea at the beginning of this week, that this weekend would include at least one alarm-less morning, but I've since been told that's not likely to be the case. But on a more positive note, it does mean we get more of the days to enjoy. It's also that time of the month when the kitchen cupboards start to look a little bare, so we will have to make a point of getting some food shopping done -I'll have my lists at the ready. But before we get into a weekend of to-do's and possible long lunches, here's a few things that have made me happy this week...

1. Birthday Cake Oreo's! If you follow me on Twitter (here), you may have already seen me mention these, but they're so good it needed saying again. Kind of sad we only bought one packet now.

2. Snacking on beetroot with chilli flacks.

3. Every so often my gran buys me fancy sugar cubes, or crystals to use when we want something more special. It's something we never think to buy ourselves, but always enjoy when we have them. This week she gave me a pair of antique silver sugar cube tongs to use with them -such a lovely gift.

4. Writing lists for food shopping. To some it's a chore, but I enjoy it.

5. With the weather basically consisting of rain, rain and more rain this week, I've enjoyed quite a bit of baking. Probably more than I should have, but I'm using the excuse that "I'm using up left overs" -that's believable, right?

6. Waking up 15 minutes early so Paul and I can have breakfast together before the day begins.

7. Sitting at the back door and listening to the rain as it falls and hits everything in the garden. It's so calming and peaceful.

8. Large vanilla iced lattes. Even when it's raining, they can't be beaten.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Pecan Butter Biscuits

pecan-butter-biscuits

Do you know, each and every time I write the word biscuits, I spell it biscuites! I've no idea why I repeatedly do this. Anyway...

If you remember a couple of weekends back, I mentioned that I had this huge urge to bake, well -the urge got the better of me and biscuits were made -and then devoured over the next 24 hours. A banana bread (that you can find here), and a lemon drizzle cake (my first one ever) soon followed. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that the baking urge has stuck around...I blame the weather. It's taken a turn from glorious sunny days to being rather wet and grey, and one of my absolute favourite things to do when the weathers like this, is bake. I mean, what better smell is there to fill your house with?

I've made these butter biscuits countless times before, they are incredibly simple and are kind of similar to short bread. Something I've never done however, in all the times I've made them is add anything extra. Which is crazy when you think about it because they're the perfect little vehicle for so many flavours. I'm thinking lemon and poppy seed next, perhaps? This time though, I went with pecan nuts. I had exactly 75 grams left in cupboard, and after chopping them fairly fine, I added a little at a time to get a good ratio -but 75 grams turned out to be just right.

The pecan nuts are a great addition, and I can confirm that the disappear just as quickly as the originals do.

pecan-butter-biscuits

Ingredients:
175g salted butter (room temperature)
90g caster sugar (plus a couple of tables spoons extra)
250g plain flour
75g of finely chopped pecans

pecan-butter-biscuits
pecan-butter-biscuits
pecan-butter-biscuits

-In a bowl with a wooden spoon, or electric whisk, cream together your butter and sugar until smooth.

-Add in your flour and start to mix through -it's best to use your hands for this stage.

-When your flour is nearly combined, add in your pecans and knead for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth thick dough. It's sometimes easier to do this on a worktop instead of in the bowl.

-Start to roll your dough out into a long sausage shape that's about 30cm in length, then sprinkle your work surface with your extra sugar. Roll your dough in the sugar until it's coated.

-Then wrap it in cling film or tin foil, and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

-Pre-heat your oven to 160°C and line a large baking tray with grease proof paper.

-Cut you're dough in to slices, as thick as you like -I usually get around 20-23 biscuits, and place on your baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are a very pale golden brown.

-Leave them to cool completely on the baking tray, and then eat however you see fit.

pecan-butter-biscuits
pecan-butter-biscuits








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Friday, 10 June 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

This weekend my mum leaves for 10 days, she's off on a little holiday somewhere sunny -or at least she hopes. While she's away, we'll have the little fluff ball staying with us which is a lovely start to the weekend. I'm not too sure what we have planned over the next couple of days but I'm pretty sure that tomorrows breakfast will be that tasty pecan banana bread in the picture. Happy Friday everyone! 

1. Paul waking me up in the morning with a cup of tea.

2. Freshly made banana bread. The smell filling the house as it bakes is perfection, and even better is a warm slice with butter.

3. Deliveries from Anthropologie that always contain the most beautiful of things.

4. Our cherry tree has the teenie tiny beginnings of actually cherries. I'm over the moon with this because I honestly didn't think we'd have any fruit from it this year.

5. Else where in the garden we've added a few pretty flowers. While they're still small and need time to spread out a little, it's so lovely to see them there.

6. Having fresh pineapple sliced up in the fridge. I could eat it all day long so it's been my go to snack this week.

7. Getting the all clear at the dentist earlier this week. It was just a check up, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go without feeling anxious and worked up!

8. Paul switching his day off to come with me to the dentist. He knows how worked up I get so I really do appreciate it when he does things like that.
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Friday, 3 June 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy

This has quite possibly been the quickest week of my life! I mean; how is it Friday already? Maybe the bank holiday Monday has had a lot to do with it? I also feel that I should have had a lot more done over the last few days than I have, but I think everyone feels like that sometimes. We have one or two rather lovely activities planned over the next couple of days, one of them being planting flowers in our garden with Paul's gran. She's kindly giving us some from her beautiful collection of pretty plants -hopefully we wont immediately kill them! Also, I may have to give into an urge I've had all day to bake. Nothing fancy, just something tasty -maybe cookies? What are your plans for the weekend?

1. Dark chocolate! I'm a total convert, and not just with the raspberry one I've mentioned. It's a great pick me up in the afternoon with a cup of tea.

2. Bank holiday Mondays, they need no explaining really.

3. The beautiful, bright, sunny mornings, they make waking up early so much easier -even enjoyable!

4. Its June! I like June for lots of reasons, but the most exciting one of all is that it's my birthday month.

5. Lattes in the garden, in the sunshine, in my pyjamas. one of the loveliest ways to start the day.

6. A bacon roll for dinner, sometimes the only thing that will do. Especially when covered in tomato sauce.

7. Our watermelon hand wash from Bath and Body Works -it's the perfect summer scent and leaves your hands feeling super soft.

8. Finishing off some left over Easter chocolate we found in the cupboard.
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