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Friday, 29 September 2017

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

Well we're almost in October, and while I usually wait until the 1st to put our decorations up, two new things have already found a place in the house. First is a giant silver pumpkin that we found in Homesense. It's so unusual, looks perfect on our trunk and I blame my mum completely for making me buy it. But I'm glad she did, it was the last one in the store and I've never seen anything like it. The other is my tiny Lego Pumpkin. It was a surprise from Paul this week, and I actually squealed when I opened it. I had no idea Lego sold pumpkin kits, but he's found a home here now and I love him. Also, to make him glow like a pumpkin should, Paul took apart one of those battery operated tea lights so it fit inside.

1. Making pasta with fresh herbs from our little window garden. Paul's becoming quite the pro with his plants, and I'm loving having fresh herbs on hand.

2. The ridiculous (and growing) number of Chocolate Oranges we already have.

3. One of the best days out for my grandmas 80th birthday. The whole day from start to finish was lovely, and most importantly, she had a wonderful time.

4. Christmas presents that now take up a whole drawer, I love it when life feels organised.

5. Watching Sookie fall alseep. She finds herself in the most hilarious positions some times.

6. Having our first Pumpkin Spiced Latte of the year, and some pumpkin bread to go with it. The bread was a little disappointing, but the latte more than made up for it.

7. The Autumn sunshine, it's so beautiful.

8. Homemade chai lattes, one of the the best drinks on a cold night.


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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Autumn, I Love You.


I've spend most of this year waiting for Autumn to arrive, so now that my favourite season is finally here I couldn't be happier. It's always such an exciting time of year, and sadly these last few months always seem to go by the quickest. With all the usual wonderful things we look forward to, this year is also a little extra exciting!

This autumn marks one year until our wedding, on the 25th of October to be exact. We were sad when we chose to postpone it last year, however it turned out to be the best decision all round, and we're so happy we did it. I also can't believe that if we hadn't, our wedding would have been in a few weeks time! Crazy. We've been watching the trees slowly change from green to all the beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange, and trying to get an idea of how it'll look on our wedding day. The light that I always enjoy is now even more exciting because we are imagining how it will be in a years time.

And of course there are all the usual reasons to why this really is the best time of year. The weather for one. The light as I mentioned is just beautiful. The sun sits lower in the sky and everything is warmed by it, in a way that you just don't get any other time. It's still warm enough to spend time outside, but it's cooled down enough to enjoy those layers that I have missed so much over summer. I do miss cosy knitwear, and I've already picked up a few things that I can't wait to wear.

The food gets better too! The light chilled desserts of summer turn into warming puddings that are served hot and with plenty of custard. I start baking more too, the kitchen is usually full of crumbles, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, it's just such a perfect thing to do around this time of year. Oh, and we can't forget the savoury things. As soon as it starts getting colder, Paul and I start making pies, stews, and anything with mash. There is nothing better than a hot stew in late Autumn, followed by something like sticky toffee pudding.

And then there are the event's to look forward to, like Bonfires night. I love fireworks, but for the last couple of years we haven't had the chance to go to any shows. This year we are, and I can't wait. The smell on Bonfires night is one of my favourite, it's up there with the smell of Autumn and the smell of the cold when Winters on the way. And of course Halloween! I've mentioned before how I'm not a lover of anything scary...at all! I don't like it. So our Halloweens are a lot more tame and include films like Hocus Pocus. This year Halloween falls on a Tuesday, so the Bake Off will be on too. I'm already planning some sort of cake for the night, and I'm sure there will be lots of other treats too.

This is also the time of year when the house gets a little dressed up. Yes, of course there will soon be Christmas decorations, but I love to decorate for autumn! I usually do it around the first of October, there are fairy lights, fall foliage garlands and as we get closer to the end of the month, a whole lot of Halloween thrown in too.

Those are some of the reasons why I just absolutely love this time of year. It holds so much excitement for me, and I hope it always will. Do you love this time of year, or are you still holding on to summer?
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Friday, 22 September 2017

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

It's Autumn! It's finally Autumn, and to say I'm happy about this is an understatement. It feels as if it's taken an age to get here this year but now it is. I'm sure I'll ramble on more about this in the next few days, but for now I'll just say that I'm a very happy bunny. This weekend is also my grandma's 80th birthday! I still can't believe it, but then neither can she...she tells who ever will listen that someone, somewhere has made a mistake with the years. We're taking her to Glasgow for the day, she wants to go to one of the museums there so we're all looking forward to it.

1. The new cake tin I ordered to make Paul's birthday cake. It's not even here yet and it's already making me both anxious and excited. I have concerns that I've been a little too ambitious, but I'm still excited to give it a try.

2. The way Paul hugs me when he knows I need one. He gives the best hugs and they always make me feel better.

3. How some night's recently have been much colder, meaning that we've had the bed all cosy with fluffy blankets...much to Sookies delight.

4. Buying a ridiculous amount of Terry's Chocolate Oranges. But in my defence, they were on offer -buy 1 get 2 free! Also, we are not fully stocked for Christmas which after all is the best time to eat one.

5. Those little chocolates at the till in Costa, far too good to leave.

6. Smelling all the new Christmas candles. They were nice, but not a patch on Red Apple Wreath from Yankee Candle. That for us will always be the smell of Christmas.

7. Seeing the most amazing rainbow last weekend. Never have I seen one so bright, and full from end to end.

8. Homemade garlic bread, with so much more garlic than you get when you buy one.
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Friday, 15 September 2017

Made Me Happy This Week


I had either a lovely end to the week, or a lovely start to the weekend last night. C and I went into Edinburgh to Jo Malone, to celebrate the launch of the two new fragrances with a kind of pamper evening in the store. Hand and arm massages, the tastiest chocolate treats, drinks and even make-up with Bobbi Brown. The new scents are gorgeous! One is a little more masculine and Paul loves it, and the other may be my favourite Jo Malone scent so far (even though it is hard to choose). But, as Christmas is creeping up rather quickly, I think we'll do the sensible thing and keep them as gifts for each other.

1. Planning Paul's birthday cake...it's going to be a big one! I'm going to try (TRY) and make BB-8, and there' a lot of detail on him, wish me luck!

2. How the sun is starting to sit lower it the sky.

3. That we are still getting apples from our trees, we have had a bumper crop this year and it looks like there are a lot more to come.

4. Rediscovering Barry M 'Cappuccino', but sadly I don't think it's available anymore.

5. Paul's mum and dad brought us biscuits back from their trip last week to Gran Canaria. When my brother and I were little and we'd have holidays there, Filipino biscuits were our favourite thing to eat so I'm more than pleased to have some again.

6. Looking at the most hilarious Halloween costumes for Sookie...my vote is for Beetle Juice.

7. The cat that sleeps at the bottom of our garden, even on rainy days.

8. Coffee and cake in beautiful places with Paul. Always the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

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Monday, 11 September 2017

Apple Crumble Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Buttercream

Apple-crumble-cupcakes-with-maple-syrup-buttercream
Apple-crumble-cupcakes-with-maple-syrup-buttercream

Our kitchen is currently overflowing with apples, and this is even after our family and friends have gone away with boxes of their own. After the first batch was picked, I immediately wanted to get baking! We've of course had crumble, I made an apple cake for the new series of the Bake Off starting, and then I wanted to do something with cupcakes. This is my always reliable and always crowd pleasing cupcake recipe, that I've tweaked a little this time to make things that bit more autumnal.

They have everything you want from a crumble, smooth apple filling, cinnamon, crunchy buttery crumble topping, all topped off with maple syrup butter cream. They've been a huge hit with everyone, and I honestly can't wait to make the again. I hope you like them too, and please let me know what you think if you give them a try.

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes, and I know it looks like a lot of ingredients but it's all pretty easy to put together.

Apple-crumble-cupcakes-with-maple-syrup-buttercream
Apple-crumble-cupcakes-with-maple-syrup-buttercream

Ingredients...
cake:
225g of butter -soft/room temperature
300g caster sugar
100g light soft brown sugar
4 eggs -room temperature
200ml milk
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
190g self raising flour
160g plain flour

apple filling:
500g of apples -peeled, cored, and ruffly chopped
200ml water
60g of caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

buttercream:
250g butter -room temperature
500g of icing sugar
2 tablespoons of good maple syrup

crumble topping:
50g of butter -chilled and diced
60g plain flour
20g porridge oats
30g caster sugar

Apple-crumble-cupcakes-with-maple-syrup-buttercream

- In a medium sized pan, add your apples, water, cinnamon, and sugar, and cook covered on a medium heat for around 20 minutes. Once the apples have broken down and you have a lovely dark brown apple sauce, just leave in the pan to cool completely.

- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C. For your crumble topping, add your butter, sugar, flour and oats to a bowl and rub together with your fingers tips until you have little lumps and breadcrumbs. Spread this evenly on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until just starting to turn brown. Leave to cool

- For the cakes, line two 12 hole cupcake trays and set aside. In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugars and beat together on high for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the eggs, and mix until completely combined and then add in the milk and mix well.

-Add in the flour and spices, fold them through until everything is well mixed. Spoon your cake mix into your lined baking trays and bake in the pre-heated oven (still at 170°C) for 25 minutes

- While your cakes are baking, in a stand mixer or bowl beat the softened butter until it's much lighter in colour -around 5 minutes. Add in the icing sugar in two parts, and mix well after each addition. Once mixed, add in the maple syrup and give it one final mix through.

- When your cakes are out of the oven and completely cooled, you need to core them. I used a cake corer (like this one), but and apple corer works fine too. After you've cored all of your little cakes, fill each hole with your cooled apple sauce.

- To ice my cakes, I used a piping bag and star nozzle, but if you don't feel like doing that, spooning or spreading it on will work just as well. Just make sure all the apple filling is covered -and that there is a good amount of icing on them!

- To finish, decorate by sprinkling on your cooled crumble topping, adding as much as you like.

These tasty little cakes won't stay around for long - I promise you! But if 24 cupcakes is to much for you, this recipe can easily be halved. There is some left over apple sauce with this recipe too, but it's not a bad thing to have in the fridge. We have it on everything from toast to porridge, or hot with ice-cream. Also, I do have another autumnal apple recipe coming soon that could use up any you have left over.

Apple-crumble-cupcakes-with-maple-syrup-butter-cream

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Friday, 8 September 2017

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

This weeks we've had a few very rainy, very cloudy days, and that has made it feel much darker earlier in the evening than it normally would. I've been making the absolute most of this and have had all the candles and fairy lights lit that I could find. It's been so wonderful and cosy, and I'd kind of missing it now that things have brightened up again. This weekend Paul and I have a few errands to run, and tomorrow morning we might head out to a farmers market to see what we can find. A nice easy weekend to look forward to.

1. Finding a white fluffy stool to go with my dressing table, seeing as I can't get hold of the original 1960's one. Although it's actually a footstool, it fits perfectly and looks fantastic.

2. Costa's raspberry lemonade.

3. How excited my mum is about our wedding trip to New York next year. She keeps coming up with things she can't wait to do, and see, and how much she's looking forward to doing them with us. It's making me even more excited than I already was -if that's even possible.

4. Edinburgh early in the morning.

5. Finally getting to wear some of my new knitwear on the colder days. I love feeling all wrapped up.

6. Autumn colours everywhere you look.

7. Making plans for my grandmas 80th birthday this month. I can't quite believe she's going to be 80 years old. She didn't want anything big -like a party, so I think Paul and I are taking her out for the day.

8. Sookies face when you mention chocolate buttons -doggy friendly ones of course! She'll do anything for one!
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Monday, 4 September 2017

Little Signs of Autumn

Little-Signs-of-Autumn
Little-Signs-of-Autumn
Little-Signs-of-Autumn
Little-Signs-of-Autumn

For the last few weeks, every time I've left the house I've been greeted with something to remind me that Autumn will soon be here. The sight of the leaves changing colour on the trees, the few that are now gathering on the ground, in corners and hedges. Even at the bottom of our garden, leaves and berries from our neighbours tree are starting to cover the ground.

On Saturday morning we woke up early to the most beautiful day, clear sky and really very warm for the 2nd of September. We thought we'd take advantage of our early start and headed into town for a coffee and walk around the glen with Sookie. I brought along my camera to try and capture some of the little Autumnal signs that are making me incredibly happy, and I was so pleased to find more than I'd expected.

So, there you have it. A little post dedicated to the fact that the leaves are turning. Something I had to share, just in case there are some of you out there who are as excited for Autumn as I am. I hope you enjoy these pictures.

Little-Signs-of-Autumn
Little-Signs-of-Autumn
Little-Signs-of-Autumn
Little-Signs-of-Autumn
Little-Signs-of-Autumn
Little-Signs-of-Autumn





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Friday, 1 September 2017

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

The first of September is finally here! I feel as if I've kind of been wishing this year away, something I try not to do because time flies by too quickly already, but I have. I've been so excited about so many things that I've not been able to help myself. But...I am going to do my best to stop and enjoy the last month of warmer weather. All the exciting Autumn and Winter things will come soon enough and I'll get to finally wear some of the new things I've bought. My favourite being a striped jumper from Zara.


1. Having the best day in Edinburgh with C, and I mean the whole day! We shopped, we laughed, we ate far to much pizza and picked up some lovely things. I can't wait until we do it again.

2. Going for coffee with my mum and grandmother, something we should do more often.

3. Butterfinger peanut butter cups. You get four in a packet so perfect for sharing when you want a sweet treat.

4. The Bake Off is back! I was a little worried that it wouldn't be the same, or that I wouldn't enjoy it as much...but I do! It was so good, and we even had cake for the first episode.

5. Watching Gossip Girl repeats. Mostly so I can see a little of New York.

6. The butterflies in our garden that have no fear. They come and sit beside us, and stay long enough for me to go and get my camera and snap some photos, I'll miss them when they're gone.

7. When Sookie falls asleep on her back. Her legs stick up in the air and she snores, it's adorable.

8. Our growing collection of candles.
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