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Friday, 13 July 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

Paul's dad is currently upstairs, making a lot of noise. He's taking off our old bedroom window frame, and replacing it with clean plastered edges. When it's all finished, and we've stripped off the wallpaper, we will finally be able to decorate the bedroom...I can't wait! But what's more exciting, is that we will get to order our new bed, and mattress. I can't stand our current one! We bought it for moving into this house, and ordered it online because we needed one in a hurry. I hate it. I really do, so I can't wait to go out and find something so insanely comfortable, that I'll never want to get out of bed.

1. I finally got another custard tart from Costa! I also found out that the reason I was struggling to find them, is because they only really serve them in the morning. So, that's good to know.

2. Our little goat friend from the berry farm. He had the softest little velvet nose.

3. Cheese, crackers and chutney for dinner.

4. A spontaneous day out in Edinburgh, with two of my very favourite people. We went for breakfast, ate ice-cream, and picked up our wedding rings.

5. A day of Domino's pizza and Luke Cage on Netflix.

6. The grey and cooler days we've been having this past week, it's fuelling my excitement for autumn.

7. Polaroid pictures of fun little moments.

8. Late night walks.
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Friday, 6 July 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

Well, the heat continues this week. Are you still enjoying it? I really am, I'm enjoying all the time we're able to spend outside, and how late we can sit in the garden at night, without feeling cold. Although, I'd be lying to you, if I said I wasn't getting excited for autumn a little bit now. A few bit's like jumpers and boots are starting to sneak in to the shops and I'm all for it! It's also hard not to get excited for autumn, when our wedding is at the end of October. That seems so close now! Scarily close, in fact. We haven't even been berry picking this year yet, things need to slow down. In other news, I have been trying to get one of those custard tarts from Costa, since the Saturday before my birthday...and I've had no luck! I might make it my mission this weekend to track one down. What are your plans?

1. Having a drawer full of homemade ice lollies. It's lovely being able to make any kind we like, and have them there when we want them.

2. My 'SUMMER' bag from Kurt Geiger. I love it! It's the perfect size, it's bright red, and goes with my mostly black wardrobe.

3. St Tropez Purity Mousse. It's given my paler than pale legs, a nice summer glow.

4. We bought plant's for the garden, with the money Paul's gran gave me for my birthday, and they are doing so well! The colours are so bright, and they're attracting loads of bee's.

5. Spending late summer evenings down by the sea (and trying to keep our chips away from seagulls).

6. Building mini me and Paul in the Lego store. I think they look just like us! Paul obviously doesn't have a pirate leg in real life, and I'm not sure I've ever seen him hold an axe that size. The beanie hats on point though!

7. Looking at paint colours for the bedroom.

8. Picking our first bunch of peas from the garden! There will be a few more ready tomorrow, so that will be the veggies for dinner sorted.
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Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Iced Coffee Pops

Iced-Coffee-Pops
Iced-Coffee-Pops
Iced-Coffee-Pops

One of my favourite hot weather treats, has to be a nice chilled iced coffee. When it starts to warm up, It's all I want in Costa. I'm not one for hot drinks to cool down...give me cold over hot in summer any day! Costa vanilla iced lattes are my absolute favourite, and if I'm drinking anything other than water, it'll be one of those. Apart from maybe some proper lemonade, I quite like that too. 

The problem with an iced latte though, is that I drink them SO quickly, they're gone in minutes. So, this summer I've been making iced coffee pops! They last much longer, and it's a great treat to help cool down. 

I'm a huge fan of Costa coffee, it's my favourite! So I've been making mine with homemade Costa espresso and adding some hazelnut syrup for a change from my usual vanilla. And...because they're homemade, you can add any flavours you like, and as much of as little syrup as you like. You could even try adding coffee beans for a bit of texture. 

They are very simple to make, you will need:

Lollipop mould, any you like.
I use this one, but this one is similar.

Ingredients:
You're favourite espresso
Full fat milk
Water
Flavoured Syrup

I can't give you exact measurements because it will depend on what mould you're using. My mould makes ten 90ml lollipops, so I made my coffee up to give me 900ml. 

I use 250ml of espresso, 400ml of full fat milk, 5 teaspoons of syrup, and made the rest up with water. Fill the lolly moulds, and then leave them to freeze overnight. They are a nice change from ice-cream or fruity lollies, and perfect to have in the afternoon, instead of your usual cup of tea or coffee. 

Iced-Coffee-Pops
Iced-Coffee-Pops


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Friday, 29 June 2018

Made Me Happy This Week - Birthday Edition!

made-me-happy-this-week

I've had the best week! It was my birthday on Monday, and as usual Paul made sure I was utterly spoiled! He made me breakfast in bed, I opened presents, and walked downstairs to be met with a room full of balloons. As a surprise, he'd booked the Harry Potter escape room in Edinburgh with three of our friends. We had an hour to escape, and defeat the Dark Lord...I had to stab him at the end! It was so funny, we laughed so much, and we made it out with actual seconds to spare - 41 to be exact! He had then arranged for people to come back to ours for a BBQ for dinner, to make the most of the sunshine. Oh! And I can tell you now, seeing as it didn't go horribly wrong. The cake I made for myself, was a  Golden Snitch, with HUGE wings, because I had to make them accurate in size. I had fears that it was going to end horribly, but it turned out ok in the end. Paul also made me a cake, he made one that looked just like the one Hagrid gave Harry, which I absolutely loved, although very few people got the reference and just though Paul had made a kind of rubbish looking cake. Clearly not Harry Potter Fans!

The next morning we went to the cinema to see Jurassic World, and because it was 11am on a Tuesdays, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was so good, I'm such a fan of those films, and this one did not disappoint. We then had a chilled afternoon, lazed around in the garden and ate leftover BBQ food. Also, more cake. We've eaten so much cake over the last week! On Wednesday we went out to buy plants to brighten up the garden, and make the flower beds feel not so empty. I'm not sure of the names, but we went with purple ones because apparently they're good for Bees. The last two days have been back to normal, but we have fun plans over the weekend, so I'm looking forward to that.

1. That my Snitch cake somehow didn't collapse before it was served.

2. That Paul tried three times to light the candles on my cake, and bring them to me outside. The wind got them before I did, except on the 3rd try when everyone had their hands around flames.

3. My rose gold balloons that are still up in the bedroom.

4. How I'm somehow still not sick of cake. You'd have thought after this week, I'd have sickened myself...but no.

5. The custard tarts that are in Costa at the moment. If you see them, try them! They're so good! They are the famous ones from Lisbon, although I'm sure the ones there are probably better.

6. My little ear cuffs from Paul. I'm too scared to have my ears pierced where I have them sit, so these where the perfect little gifts.

7. Sending our wedding rings off to be engraved, I can't wait to see how they look when they're back.

8. Odette the ostrich, that now lives on our sofa.
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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Delicious

delicious-Sunday
delicious-sunday
delicious-Sunday

So, the other day my grandma came to visit and she brought with her a stack of magazines she thought I'd like. She has this habit of collecting them from the hairdressers. She always asks if she can take them, and they don't mind as they're usually a month or so old anyway.

This particular stack she's obviously been collecting for a while now, seeing as one of them is from late 2016. She obviously know's me very well, as they are foodie magazines, and after having a quick flick through, I'm now wondering why I've never bought any of this one before.

The name of the magazine is "Delicious", and it has some of the tastiest food I've ever seen. As well as what seems to be pages of tips and tricks for the kitchen.

The last weeks been quite busy, and this weekend is mostly errands and birthday prep, so I've not had a chance to read through them. So, what I'm doing, is saving them for one of those lazy Sundays. One of those days when you don't have anything to do, and you can just sit and relax in the house with a cup of tea and a good magazine. I plan on doing just that and making note of all the recipes I want to try. Plus, some of them are from autumn winter time, so I can even start to plan for the colder weather.

Happy Sunday!
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Friday, 22 June 2018

Made Me Happy This Week


It's my birthday weekend! Ok, not quite, as my birthday isn't actually until Monday, but it's still exciting. And I think we may have plans on Sunday afternoon, that I'm not supposed to know about. I'll be making my birthday cake this weekend, Paul's also making me one, which I can't wait to see. I know I don't need two cakes, but if you can't go mad on your birthday, then when can you. Plus, they will both be different flavours, which of course fully justifies the nonsense. I'm hoping beyond hope, and crossing everything I can, that the cake I'm attempting to make will work out...I have the fear that it's going to go horribly wrong right at the very end, but we shall see. Really though, if it does, it wont be that bad. I'm sure we'll all still be able to eat it.

1. Finding peonies in Asda when stopping in for fabric softener. I'd started to worry that the season had finished, although I'm pretty sure it's coming to an end of it hasn't already.

2. A day out in Edinburgh with my grandma. We had the loveliest day, we had lunch, did a little shopping, and I took her to the Harry Potter museum because she love's it as much as I do.

3. Lindt dark mint flavoured chocolate. Oh.My.God. It's good stuff!

4. Grabbing a pair of the "Love Me, Love Me Not", Topshop jeans in the sale, for £15!

5. Dinner with Paul's mum and dad for Fathers Day. We cooked it as a surprise for them coming home, and it turned out that a roast dinner was the perfect thing to make with it raining so heavily.

6. Hanging washing out to dry in the sun. I know I've said this a few times in these posts, but it really does make me very happy.

7. Morning walks.

8. The fact that we've had the longest day of the year, so now we're heading back to autumn. I know it's still summer, and wonderful and hot outside, but I can't help but look forward to that.
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Friday, 15 June 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

Well, storm Hector has been and gone, thankfully without too much disruption. Paul's mum and dads garden took a little bit of a battering, a few decorations were broken, and nearly every plant pot had blown over...but no real damage. Our garden was fine, although, I was watching our poor little sugar snap peas blow all over the place. I thought at one point they were going to blow away! I did enjoy the stormy weather. As much as I'm enjoying the summer, and the heat, it is lovely to have a day like that every so often. It makes me excited for the second half of the year. And of course, this year it's even more exciting than normal!!

1. Deciding what I'm going to do for my birthday cake this year. I wont say what just yet, as I'll be making it next weekend, and could change my mind before then. Fingers crossed it goes well!

2. Sookies had a hair cut, and she's unbelievably soft again!

3. KitKat samples with my Asos order. Clothes and chocolate...yes please!

4. Grabbing the leopard print duster jacket I've been looking at for weeks now, in the sale and less than half price. I do love a bargain, and apparently, some animal print.

5. Sending off wedding related emails, and feeling a little more organised with each one that goes.

6. Getting very excited about my birthday now. I'm not sure what's happening yet, all I know is that Paul has a plan. He's a sneaking one, when it comes to birthdays.

7. Making pansy cookies. they were so pretty and very tasty, you can find them here if you'd like to see.

8. Feeling very proud that I've so far, managed to avoid the Anthropologie sale. It's a dangerous place, I tell you!
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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

The Prettiest Summer Sugar Cookies

pansy-sugar-cookies
pansy-sugar-cookies
pansy-sugar-cookies

"Do you suppose she's a wild flower?"

Whenever I see pansies I think of that quote from Alice in Wonderland. They are such pretty little flowers, and they seem to have faces that watch you as you water them. Maybe that's down to the film, as every time I see them, I can't help but think of them talking to Alice.

Paul's mum and dad are currently on holiday, so we've been stopping in to water their plants, and all around the garden are pretty little pansies. I think I'd quite like us to start growing some too. They've been out for a while now, so some of the petals are sadly dropping off and I think soon they'll be gone again. So, while we were there, I thought I'd make use of them and snipped a few off to take home.

I've been wanting to make sugar cookies for a while now, and as I mostly make them around autumn and winter, I wanted to make some pretty spring/summer ones instead. Originally I was going to colour them to look like pansies. I was going to try and swirl the icing in a way that would look like flowers. But then I thought, why not just add the flowers themselves to the cookies! I always forget that you can actually eat pansies, it's never something that's on my mind until I'm given them in a salad, or as a garnish.

pansy-cookies
pansy-cookies

The recipe I used for the cookies is the one I use all the time, you can find it here. And the recipe for the icing is there too.

You don't have to be too neat with the icing, in fact, the more rustic (sounds better than messy) the better. It's a nice contrast to the very pretty flowers. I ended up making three different colours, well four, if you count the white as a colour. I put about a teaspoon on each cookie and spread it out with a tiny spatula. If you're looking for some good mini spatulas, these ones on Amazon are great! I then just played around with different colours. I swirled a few together, made a few patterns with cocktail sticks, and I used all different colours as the main icing base too.

When adding your flowers, make sure you snip the stem off. Try and do this as close to the petals as you can, but not so close that the flower falls apart.

They are possibly the prettiest cookies I ever did make, granted, the flowers did most of the work in making that happen. These would be lovely for a garden party, or, make the sweetest afternoon tea treats.

pansy-cookies
pansy-cookies


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Monday, 11 June 2018

Finding My Wedding Dress

finding-my-wedding-dress

This is a long ones folks, so I'd grab make a cup of tea and get comfy.

Finding my wedding dress didn't go at all like I thought it would. You see it all the time in films, tv shows, and you hear about it from everyone around you, so going in you can't help but have some expectations about the whole process. I did, at the beginning. I thought I'd try some on, like some, hate others, but then, suddenly, fall totally and completely in love with "the one". I understand that for a lot of people, that's how it goes, and that's brilliant! But I very quickly realised that for me, this wasn't going to be the case.

I had one day out with everyone there, oohing and ahhing at all the dresses I tried on. And don't get me wrong, they were beautiful dresses. The detail in some was just stunning...but none of them for me. It left me feeling a little deflated and downhearted about the whole thing, and of course, just a little worried that I wouldn't find anything at all. I also had another couple of tries by my self, that weren't that much fun. There is a reason it's suggested that you take at least one friend with you...it's quite boring on your own. There isn't anyone there to laugh with, or to bounce your thoughts off of, ultimately making what should be a happy experience, the complete opposite.

I then had yet another day, with just my mum and gran. We had a lovely day, and I tried some fun ones on just to see what they looked like, but no luck finding the dress for me. By this point it had well and truly become a chore that had to be done, instead of the fun happy thing I should have looked forward to doing.

The one good thing that did come from that last day, was that I'd settled on the shape I liked, and a shape I felt really good in. We found an almost dress, and I call it that because it was so nearly what I wanted. The shape, which was a fishtail, lace detail that I loved, but it didn't have sleeves like I wanted, and instead of buttons, it had a corset. However, to have sleeves put on, to have the corset changed to buttons, and that on top of the alterations you already need to have done, would have cost way too much. Way more that I would have been happy to pay, or been comfortable paying for a dress, for one day!

It turned out that the shape I wanted with sleeves, was actually quite hard to find. I did try a few on, but they either had no structure to them, which I wanted, you know, to make you feel all sucked in in the right places? Or the style wasn't quite right.

I'd all but given up, and stopped looking altogether, but then, before I'd realised, it was March! In case you don't know, we get married this October, so I started to get a little concerned about the time scale. So, I started looking at nothing but dresses online, looking at different designers trying to find what I wanted. Then, by complete chance, and honestly out of distraction and procrastination, I found this little bridal boutique in Perth. It was never somewhere I'd thought of going, but I ended up on the website and found that there was a sale section. Which I started looking through, because who doesn't love a sale...right!?

At the bottom of the sale page, was a Pronovias dress, a designer that I'd looked at, that was originally £1500...down to £500!! What was even better, was that it was a size 12! (I'm around a 10/12). It was exactly what I'd been looking for, buttons and all. It had everything except the sleeves, but at that price I was more than happy to see about having them added on. As I was still in my "I don't like any dresses" mood, I was in two minds if I should even bother going to see it. Mainly because I didn't want to go alone, the following day was the only day I could have gone, and it was a bit short notice to get someone to come with me. Plus, I don't drive, and it turns out, while only 30 minutes in the car, Perth is over and hour away on the two buses I would have had to get. I can get travel sick on buses so I didn't love that option either.

I text C, with no expectations that she'd be able to go, and explained that I wasn't bothered if she couldn't, as I wasn't even sure I was going to bother myself. She however had a feeling that we had to go! So the next morning we dropped her little girl off at school and headed up to Perth. We found a space just a few doors up from the boutique, outside of this tea room that sold my favourite coffee, so I grabbed us a latte each, and we sat in the car until it was time for my appointment.

The lady who owned the boutique was in that day, Karyn, and she was so lovely and welcoming. It's a small space, so it's closed for each appointment which makes it feel really special. She suggested that I pick another few dresses to try on, as well as the sale dress I'd asked about. They were beautiful, but again, none of them perfect. We saved the sale dress until the end, so after trying on the others, I was helped into that one. As Karyn was buttoning up the back, I couldn't stop staring at it in the mirror. I loved it more than anything I had tried on, it fit so well, and all I could think was "I've found it!". I couldn't stop looking at it, and as I'd explained to Karyn that I wanted sleeves, she brought out a long sleeved lace bolero type jacket, that we put on backwards to give the impression of what I was looking for.

I couldn't believe it...it was perfect! I could see it with the sleeves and it was exactly what I'd been looking for, and it was structured but not heavy at all! Meaning that walking around New York in it wasn't going to be a pain. I turned round to face C, and Karyn pulled back the curtain - I couldn't wait to see her face, and it didn't disappoint! She was in tears, which surprised even her. She loved it just as much as I did, and I spent the rest of the appointment not wanting to take it off -which was obviously a good sign. I phoned my mum and gran to tell them all about it, both of which said they knew I'd love it when I got there. And then I bought it! I bought my dress! Possibly the biggest spontaneous purchase I'll ever make, but definitely the best.

I spend the rest of the day on a high! The whole day had been just perfect, from stat to finish. We went for lunch after, and then even found something that would make a perfect wedding gift for Paul -which I wont get into just now because this is already the worlds longest blog post.

I'm so glad it happened the way it did. Although it was a huge pain at the start, and it didn't happen the way I expected, it happened in the most perfect way. So I'll always have wonderful memories of the experience. Oh, and sorry there isn't a picture of it just yet, I thought about it but then worried Paul might see, and he really doesn't want to.

...did you make it to the end?
Well done if you did!








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Friday, 8 June 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

We had a very exciting phone call this week! The jewellers phoned and said that Paul's wedding band is ready to collect. Mine isn't quite ready yet, she thinks it'll be next week before we can collect them both together. This whole wedding thing is starting to feel so real now! That sounds silly, as of course it was always real, but having a lot of tasks ticked off the to-do list makes it feel so close! I'll show you thing ring when we have them if that's something you'd like to see? ...I can't wait!!

1. Finally having a desk area to sit at. I've been sitting on the sofa, or at the dining table, which granted is better than where I used to sit most of the time...my bed. But it's lovely to have an actual space. I'll sit other places if I feel like it, but things feel much more organised this way.

2. The realisation that we haven't actually had any real amount of rain for weeks now! That's crazy for Scotland. It rained a little last week (the day I made cookies), but it was dry within minutes, and it wasn't actually on for very long.

3. Adding a few more things to our wedding boxes for everyone. I will show you these gifts after they've been given out, I just don't want to spoil the surprise.

4. Our peas plants are doing so well! I think in a few more weeks we've have some to eat. Well, I'm hoping. I'm not 100% on how long they take to grow.

5. Two finger KitKats, I love them! I've been snacking on them for the last two weeks, because I will always need want chocolate, and they are the perfect little size.

6. Cuddles with my little Sookie. She loves my dressing gown almost as much as I do -maybe more. Whenever I have it on she comes to cuddle in.

7. Tea in the garden, in the last of the evening sunshine.

8. Lost in Space! We finished it this week and I'm gutted that it's over now...bring on the next series!
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Friday, 1 June 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

Do you know what I did today? For the first time this year, I baked just because I wanted to. It wasn't for someone asking, it wasn't for a birthday or celebration. I just wanted to make cookies, so I did. It was actually the nicest feeling. It's been getting darker as the days gone on, and we are expecting thunder storms later today, and all I could think was, "I want milk and cookies" -it's just one of those cosy indoor days. I sometimes forget how much I enjoy baking, how relaxing I find it. And while I've been loving the good weather, I am quite excited about the thunder later, I've always found it so fascinating.

1. Finding the perfect red coat! I know, I know, I can hear you screaming "Shelley, it's summer". I know this, but the sales really are the best times to get more expensive items like coats. And I've been looking for a red one for years now.

2. Listening to the sound of rain hitting the windows.

3. Making a huge lasagne and having my mum and gran up for dinner. If there was a lasagne eating competition...my gran would win -hands down!

4. Being able to go out to the garden, to pick fresh herbs for dinner.

5. My cookies with milk.

6. A spontaneous breakfast date with Paul. We had gone into Edinburgh to run a few errands, but ended up with more time than we though, so stayed for a late breakfast.

7. The new Lost in Space on Netflix...it's so good! Paul and I are obsessed already.

8. How our stocking filler drawer is filling up nicely.
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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Polaroid Project Update #2

The-Polaroid-Project
The-Polaroid-Project
The-Polaroid-Project

Tomorrow will mark a full five months of me taking Polaroid pictures, and I'm pleased to tell you, that I still haven't missed a single day. It's actually quite unbelievable to think it's been that long already, even more unbelievable when I look at the pictures. You can see them all, dated and numbered, but it doesn't look like five wholes months of time sitting there in a little box. It's also quite funny, because at the beginning, when I had taken something like 28 pictures, it felt like it would help slow time down a little. Because I could actually see a picture of every day that had, that it would show how few it had been. But no. Here we are months later and I feel as if we've jumped forward and there's a whole length of time in between, that I must have missed. But I didn't...there is dated proof.

The-Polaroid-Project


I think I told you before that I was keeping them in a little Dior box from a highlighter purchase, it worked well at the time as they're only small. It held three months fine, but then I thought I'd need something else. They have since had an upgrade and I'm very pleased with it. Not only is it a brown kraft paper box, which I love -we've been wrapping Christmas presents in that stuff for as long as I can remember. It also gave me the chance to use my label maker, and I think it looks amazing. Very simple, but very in keeping with Polaroid pictures I think. There is more than enough room for the remaining months to fit in comfortably, and it keeps that all safe and stops them getting damaged.

I thought once I'd found a box I liked, that I would throw them in each day and they would be a jumbled mess of dates and numbers. However, I've found as I've gone, that I like to keep each month in a stack, keeping them all neat and tidy in case I want to look back at them. I think once the year is up, that's sure to change, and they'll be in any old order. But for now I enjoy looking at how the colours of Shapries change as I've moved through the months. Plus, it helps keep me on track number wise! I can of course look at the calendar for the date, but I always know the number of that last picture taken, so I don't get confused.

Also, I'm sure I mentioned at the beginning, that I wasn't sure if I should do numbers, dates or both. This far in, I can definitely say I'm glad I stuck with both. It's fun to watch the number get higher and higher, but I also love being able to see exactly what date each picture was taken, without having to work it out.

Oh, and I even started doodling on some of them. The ones that are special occasions, like a birthday, or our Eurovision night. It adds a little fun to them, and makes them stand out from the rest.

The-Polaroid-Project
The-Polaroid-Project



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Friday, 25 May 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

It's another Bank Holiday weekend, and...it's sunny again! We've been so lucky with the weather recently, we've had so many beautiful spring days. I swear it's leaving everyone in a better mood than usual. Our house is currently full of peonies, and I am living for it! I didn't manage to get any last year, so I'm making the most of them while they're here. Paul bought me the most beautiful, huge bouquet of them last weekend. It has the palest of pink and some almost burgundy flowers. I'm doing my best to keep them around, as they're now starting to fade, and I'm find more and more petals on the table everyday. There's another little bunch in the living room that are yet to open, a very sweet gift from my grandmas, as she knows how much I love them.

1. Ice coffee! We've been keeping sweetened espresso (decaf for Paul) made up in the fridge for instant iced lattes or americano's. It' the best treat on a hot afternoon.

2. The smell of BBQ's everywhere you go.

3. Finding new breakfast spots in my favourite city (Edinburgh, in case you were wondering).

4. Coconut and passion fruit ice-cream from Mary's Milk Bar.

5. Watching our little carrot babies get bigger by the day. I'm not too involved with the whole gardening thing, so I'm not sure when they'll be big enough to eat, but I look forward to trying them.

6. The way songs can instantly transport you back to a certain time or place, remind you of a certain person, or bring back a certain memory.

7. Trying to get a paw print from Sookie for my mum. She's a wriggly little thing and basically refuses to do it. Resulting is messy feet prints all over the floor.

8. Booking tickets to see the Lion King while we're all in New York...I'm so excited!!
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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Love Me, Love Me Not...

love-me-love-me-not-Topshop-denim-jacket
love-me-love-me-not-topshop-denim-jacket

Denim Jacket - Topshop
Trousers - Topshop
T-shirt - Topshop
Sunglasses - Quay via Asos

Aren't you just loving this beautiful spring weather? I can't get enough of it and want to spend nearly all of my time outside at the moment. In my humble little opinion, spring, along with autumn, are the best of the four seasons. Although I do love them all in their own rights, for their own merits. But sticking with spring for now...it's just wonderful, isn't it? It's so lovely and warm (warmer this year than most), but still cool enough most of the time for a light jacket, if you're in the shade, or it's a little windy. It's not quite reached the dizzying heat that summer can bring, but you're still able to enjoy a bbq or lunch in the park.

This very spring appropriate denim jacket is from Topshop. Actually, everything I'm wearing is from Topshop...I didn't realise that at the time. They have so many good pieces in right now. I love the daisy embroidered design. It makes me smile to look at it, and I can't think of spring without thinking of daisies.

love-me-love-me-not-Topshop-denim-jacket
love-me-love-me-not-Topshop-denim-jacket

Paul and I woke up very early on Saturday and decided to head in to Edinburgh for a walk around in the early morning sunshine. And Saturday was one of the most beautiful days we've had all year. We found a perfect parking spot, a free one too! If you know Edinburgh, you know what a find that is! Getting into the centre early is key!

We stayed down near Stockbridge, it's one of my absolute favourite parts of the city. It manages to keep a small village kind of feel, while at the same time, being a 15 minute walk from George Street. After a good hour or so of walking, taking pictures of plants, and stopping to play with all the dogs we passed, we decided to head for some food.

We ended up in a cafe called Patisserie Florentin. It's not somewhere we'd ever tired, Paul found it, and what sold it to him instantly was that they offered Croque Crossaint on their breakfast menu. I can confirm that it was very tasty!! The coffee was really good too. No pictures to show you sadly, we just didn't think at the time as we were starving and started eating straight away.

I think we're going to try and do that a lot more this year, head out in the early hour's and make the most of these beautiful mornings.

love-me-love-me-not-topshop-denim-jacket

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Friday, 18 May 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

Laurel, or Yanny? It's crazy isn't it!! What do you hear when the sound is played? I first heard it on the radio, and clearly heard Laurel...but! I then heard it on my laptop and it was so clearly Yanny! Madness. It fascinates me that something can sound so different depending on the way it's played or what you're listening to it on. In other news, who's looking forward to the wedding this weekend? I'm really quite excited about it all, although I think we're going to be out and will miss it, so I'll have to watch on catch up. There is just so much hype around the country right now, that it makes it hard to not want to watch and see everything that's going on. Plus, who doesn't love a wedding.

1. The Eurovision, always a good night and there were so many good songs this year. We made a list of our favourites as we watched, and now I have them playing on Spotify.

2. The weather. It's just beautiful at the moment.

3. Finally having our wedding music decided. We've gone through it all a few times, and it all now seems to fit perfectly.

4. How our garden is slowing filling with home grown vegetables. I'm most excited about the sugar snap peas!

5. White chocolate covered Oreo's. Honestly one of my favourite things.

6. My collection of Polaroid snaps. I love to bring them out every so often to have a look back at the last few months.

7. Paul and I have become completely obsessed with Brooklyn 99 recently. We're having to take out time watching it, just so we don't go through it too quickly.

8. Sheldon and Amy's wedding in The Big Bang Theory. It was so beautiful and so perfect. I'll be gutted when the show is completely over.
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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

My Mobile Detox

mobile-detox

I'm the first to admit that I'm well and truly addicted to my phone. But, I mean, aren't we all?

A few weeks ago, my beloved iPhone 5 started having issues. It was running slow, I couldn't update anything (an issue with an apple id, not the phone), and then one day I heard a pop while I was holding it. I thought it was the plastic case at the time, but, later that night I noticed that the screen had come away from the rest of the phone at the top. Paul's been telling me to get a new phone for years now, so he was pleased that I was finally going to have to bite the bullet and get a new one.

I kept on using it for a few days, being very careful, because apart from the screen thing it seemed to be working fine. Until it wasn't. A week or so after the screen popped, it restarted it's self.  I assumed it was because it needed updated or something along those lines, but no. That night it started doing it every half hour. At one point, it was just a constant loop of it never actually turning back on. It was dying, slowing dying on the table, and all I could do was try and save my pictures before it crashed completely.

It did stay on for days after that, and I'm sure it would still turn on now, if I tried, but it was essentially useless. If I made a call, it would turn off. If I went online, it would turn off. I could text, but if I did it for too long, it would turn off. You get the idea.

I'm someone who constantly has her phone in her hand, I carry it around with me everywhere, - I'm talking from room to room. So being without one for a few days before having to go and buy a new one, was very interesting. While the thought of it initially was horrifying, it was actually a new experience that I've learned quite a lot from. I understand that sounds rather dramatic to some, but I've had a phone since I was in Primary School, so the addiction is real!

~ Lessons Learned ~

The first thing I noticed was how often I'd go to pick my phone up throughout the day. The first day was definitely the worst because I kept forgetting it was broken. I'd pick it up for absolutely anything, to check the time, to check my emails, to look for something online, to note something down, and so many more things on top of that. Which is all crazy in it's self because I'd probably be sitting on my laptop at the time too. I make a conscious effort now to not do this. Some days I do, but I'm so much better than I was before -and funnily enough, I get more done in the day!

Carrying it around was another big thing. I was so used to taking it from room to room with me, even into the garden when I'd go out to hand up some washing. Because I couldn't use it, I just left it on the coffee table, on the sideboard, it didn't really matter where it was. Everyone new it was broken, so no one was going to call or text. This is the thing I've improved on the most! I don't carry the phone around with me now. I don't take it from room to room, I don't take it with me if I'm going to hang out washing, or to take rubbish to the bins outside, and it's actually such a good feeling. I think I did it mostly out of habit, but after a few days of not doing it, there was no real actual reason to start again.

Having that constant need to always know what everyone else is doing. Having to watch all the Instastories, just in case you're missing something. It's something I'm definitely guilty of, but again, I think it's out of habit, and in a big way part of life in this social media age. But seeing as I didn't have a working phone, I couldn't just pick it up and scroll through my feed. I obviously still do this now I have a phone again, I'm not going to pretend that I don't anymore. But It's not because I have the feeling that I constantly have to. It's now because I want to, instead. It's also not as often, and if I've missed things, or I'm late seeing something - who cares!

The biggest thing that came from my mobile free weekend, was a feeling of relief. My phone has been in my hand for so many years that it became a cause of anxiety for me. If I didn't know where it was, I'd panic. If I checked a pocket where I thought it was, and it wasn't there, the feeling I'd get was awful, until I'd then realised I'd put it in my bag. The thought of being without it made me so uncomfortable. There was a time my brother took my phone to work instead of his own, by accident. I don't drive, so jumped on a bus to go get it from him because there was no way I could wait until he was home. The whole journey I felt so uncomfortable. I couldn't check the time, I couldn't contact anyone, I genuinely didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't like that feeling, and I thought it's how I'd feel this time. But there was something different about it, and instead of sheer panic and stress, it was kind of nice in a way.

I'm not saying that I'm completely cured of my phone addiction, I truthfully don't think I ever will be. But I've learned to be a little less obsessive with it, I don't need it on my person at all times, nothing bad is going to happen if I don't see a text or notification straight away, and I know know that I can actually function without out one if need be. I'm going to do my best to keep up these habits.








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Friday, 4 May 2018

Made Me Happy This Week


well...

Last weekend was interesting!

You know how occasionally people like to digitally detox, no phone or laptop? Well I had no choice, and was forced to have one. Basically my phone broke -sort of, it was still on but dying slowly. There's a post coming soon about it, so I won't get into it too much just now, but it was actually a rather interesting few days. Anyway. It's been a good week, a busy but lovely one, and the weather hasn't been too bad either. Paul's little plants are still going well, we now have carrot's planted in the garden too. I'm so looking forward to having so much fresh food from the garden, so fingers crossed everything goes well.

1. An early morning walk in the sunshine, before the day started. It was such a nice way for the day to begin.

2. Infinity War...it was amazing! So much so, that I would love to go see it again. I'm not sure if I can wait until next year for the second part.

3. Fish fingers sandwiches, they really are my favourite lazy dinner. Also, fun fact: fish fingers and sometimes fish from the chip shop, are the only fish I can eat. I think it's because they don't actually taste too much like fish. They have a taste of their own.

4. Dragons Egg bath bomb from Lush, it's a good one.

5. Squashies or Squishes? I'm not sure of the name, but they are so addictive!! The sour cherry and apple ones, specifically. Bought on a whim because we were hungry while food shopping (never a good idea), and the bag was eaten before we got home.

6. The new Loreal lavender shampoo, it leaves your hair feeling the softest it could feel. Plus, it isn't full of nasty ingredients.

7. I'm not so patiently waiting for the trees in the garden to blossom, they're so nearly there and I can't wait.

8. Bella Italia takeaway for a late night dinner. The pesto gnocchi is amazing!
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Friday, 20 April 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

{Shopping for our wedding rings!!!}

The sun! The sun is out! Not only does it feel amazing, but the garden seems to have taken a growth spurt! It's as if it's been sat in waiting for the warm weather to return, and now, it's started to blossom.

Last night we had a house full for my mum's birthday. We had a huge roast dinner, usually we're left with a fridge full of left overs, but with so many people round it was nearly all gone. My only complaint is that I slightly overdid the yorkshires! She had a lovely time! We put up lots of decorations, and I made her a huge birthday cake -that somehow has already all gone! I do love having so many people round for dinner, I love to make huge "family style" meals that get passed around the table. Plus, there are always people that are happy to help clean up afterwards.

1. Sookies had her hair cut and she looks adorable! There was a mistake with the time between her appointment's and her hair was getting so long, she looked like a fluffy teddy. But now shes nice and trimmed, just in time for the warm weather.

2. Being able to hang washing outside. I can't count the number of loads I've washed over the last few days. I love being able to get things outside so they smell all lovely and fresh. Plus, I've been making the most of it and washing some things that are being put away until the weather get scold again.

3. Iced coffee, the time is here once again.

4. My mum's birthday cake, I was so pleased with how it turned out. More importantly, she was too.

5. Spending a whole Sunday packing clothes away in our newly fitted wardrobe. I honestly can't tell you how much I enjoyed doing it.

6. Managing to get out walking this week with Paul, and feeling much better for it.

7. Left over roast carrot's and parsnips. If you don't like vegetables, you should try roasting them -you can't beat roast veg!

8. My new t-shirt dress, something I never thought I would be wearing but am now happy and comfortable in.

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Friday, 13 April 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

(seed garden progress, in just one week!)

The bedroom wardrobe is finished! It's fitted and carpeted, with so much shelf space and a nice new rail for hanging. This Sunday, we plan on spending the whole day going through our clothes, having a clear out of the old or worn, and tidying everything away in the wardrobe. I know, that might not sound like the most exciting thing to you, it might actually even sound like a total bore. BUT!! I have been living in madness for so long, that I'm over the moon to have space and order back again. Fun times this weekend! Oh, we're also hoping to make some pretty big wedding purchases this weekend, one of which being the rings! What are your plans?

1. Reaching the 100 mark on my Polaroid Project. I'll update you with it soon.

2. My new trainers, they're Sketchers and are unbelievably comfortable. Which is great, because we've managed to get out walking again this week, now that the weathers getting that little bit warmer.

3. The progress of our little seed garden over the last week has been huge. I didn't realise how quickly lettuce and rocket grows!

4. Having one of those really productive days. Those days when every task on your list, and then some, get ticked off.

5. The sounds of a rainy, windy night while you're tucked up inside.

6. Ben & Jerry's have released a Birthday Cake flavoured ice-cream! I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure we'll pick up a tub very soon (possibly tomorrow?).

7. Having painted nails for the first time since, October? It's a good feeling.

8. Early breakfast, in grey but beautiful Edinburgh with Paul.
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Friday, 6 April 2018

Made Me Happy This Week


Happy Friday! How are you? Are you feeling spring-like yet? We still have snow in the garden so I'm going to say no, not for us at the moment. It's a slow one for us this weekend, we'll mostly be at home, having some work done to the house and catching up on some shows. Maybe even some baking? Plus we've been out quite a lot lately, so a weekend in will be nice.

1. Letting everyone see my wedding dress. The boutique is quite small, so we squeezed all eight of us in and I got to put it on again. I think nearly everyone was crying, my mum for the second time.

2. Eating all the Easter chocolate. We still have a cupboard full but we're staying away from it for  while. I think we've possibly sickened ourselves.

3. A little surprise get together for my little brothers birthday. I think he actually knew about it in the end, but it was still a fun night.

4. Our mini seed garden that I'm watching with great anticipation for something to start growing.

5. Season two of Queer Eye has been announced for Netflix -woohoo!!

6. *touch wood, but my nails seem to be getting stronger! They haven't been peeling or chipping for weeks now and feel quite strong. Fingers crossed this continues.

7. New socks! Honestly, I'm so easily pleased.

8. Being very awake in the mornings just now. I think it probably has something to do with the lighter, brighter morning hours. But whatever it is, it makes me want to get up and out of bed.
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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Easter Rocky Road

easter-rocky-road
easter-rocky-road

I hope you're having a lovely Easter weekend. Have you eaten your body weight in chocolate eggs yet? I think I'll be doing that tomorrow, as today, we're having family up for lunch - which I'm really looking forward to! We're making this cheesy, chicken and ham pie that is just amazing! Along with all the usual sides, mash, parsnips, carrots, green bean...all the good stuff. Oh, and my carrot cake for dessert.

If you're looking for a way to use up some of your Easter bits so they aren't laying around tempting you for weeks to come, then these rocky roads treats are perfect. They are very simple, require no baking and you can add anything you like into them, so any left of chocolate or sweets...throw them in. 

easter-rocky-road
easter-rocky-road

This is what I added to mine...

Ingredients:
400g white chocolate
80g mini marshmallows
100g digestives
150g mini eggs (for mixing in)
50g mini eggs (for decoration)
3 tablespoons of freeze dried raspberries

- Line a square brownie tin with tinfoil or greaseproof paper. I used a 20cm tin.

- Break the white chocolate in to a heatproof bowl, and melt in the microwave with 20 second bursts, stirring between each one so the chocolate doesn't burn.

- When melted, stir in the broken digestives, mini mallows, mini eggs and freeze dried raspberries, and mix until everything is well coated in chocolate.

- Pour into the lined tin and flatten out with the back of a spoon. Place your leftover 50g of mini eggs on top, and leave in the fridge for and hour to set.

These will keep for a couple of weeks in a sealed container, but nothing homemade and covered in chocolate ever really lasts that long.

Happy Easter!!

Easter-Rocky-Road


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Friday, 30 March 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

I'm feeling very British this week, we seem to be talking about the weather non-stop, much like the stereotypes say we do. But to be fair...it's bloody crazy! Rain, beautiful sunshine, insane wind and hail -all in one day, but never mind. I'm really looking forward to this weekend, partly because of the Easter treats, but mainly because we have such a fun weekend ahead of us. We have family up on Sunday for Easter lunch, and as per usual I've gone a little over the top with the decorations. On the table right now there is a grass table runner - fake obviously, real would be far too messy, and I found little wire daisies to stick into it. As well as treats people can enjoy, and a new bits like garlands and bunny decorations. Then, on Monday, I'm taking everyone to see my wedding dress!! I can't tell you how excited I am for them to see it, I hope they love it as much as I do. We have lunch planned for afterwards, so it should be a very nice day. What are your Easter plans?

1. Finally some spring sunshine (see, again, weather). But we have had some beautiful days recently, and it's been lovely, it makes mornings so much easier.

2. Picking up an Easter egg from Hotel Chocolat. It's my absolute favourite chocolate, and I'm pretty sure that's what I'll be having for breakfast on Sunday morning.

3. Pottering around garden centres with Paul. He's planning a few things for the garden this spring, so we've been looking at a lot of plants. I'm most excited about the possibility of raspberries!

4. My new linen trousers from Topshop that I've gone from being unsure of how I feel in them, to being in love with them! They are perfect for spring.

5. We picked up some new Easter plates in TKMaxx last weekend, and whats even better, is that they were in the sale. The match the serving platter we have, and I intend to make full use of them all this weekend.

6. New salt and pepper grinders. Not the most exciting thing in the world, but the old ones were driving me mad! They left mess everywhere, and thankfully these ones don't do that.

7. Feeling very happy to be back blogging again.

8. My new Sketchers, they are possibly the most comfortable things I've ever owned. So no excuses to get out walking now.
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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Reasons To Be Excited for Spring.

(some pretty blossoms from last year)

Apparently, spring has arrived.

It happened a few days ago, but so far I'm seeing no signs of it at all! I keep seeing posts on Instagram of flowers blooming and of trees covered in blossoms, and my question is this..."Where are our flowers?". Our garden is still bare and I have huge concerns that our cherry tree isn't doing all that well. We've had so much snow over the last few weeks, and sadly, I have to say -more is on the way. The weather keeps telling me that it's going to be a white Easter, and that's not how Easter should be. I love the snow...LOVE it! But seriously, I'm done with it now. I'd love for it to feel that we're moving on in the year and stepping away from winter

So while we wait for spring to properly kick in, here are some reasons to be excited for it.

1. New wardrobes. I've never been one for spring clothes, or summer for that matter. I'm a lover of heavy knits and cosy layers, so when it comes to spring and summer, I just stick to jeans and t-shirt combinations. This year I want to change that, I want to embrace light colours and something other than jeans. Trousers, maybe even skirts? I've already started picking up a few new things, a denim skirt, paper bag linen trousers -that I wasn't sure off to begin with, but I now absolutely love!

2. Getting outside! I feel the need to move, to get out side and move my legs...walking I think they call it? Seriously though, it would be nice to have slightly better weather so the option was at least there. We've been keeping up with exercise but only indoors, and I think it's always so much easier to motivate yourself when there's a bit of sun and you can get out the house.

3. Being able to tidy the garden. In all honesty, Paul does most of the work outside. I get too creeped out with spiders. The garden has just been looking so sad lately, and I'm pretty sure some of the grass is dead now. It would just be nice to have things tidied up a little, I'd like to freshen up the furniture and add some colour with some new plants.

4. Eating a little better. We don't eat badly, with the exception of more treats than we should probably have, but it's not easy when it's still cold. You want heavy comfort meals when you get home to warm up. I'm looking forward to making lighter meals and mixing up different salads. And yes, I know there's nothing technically stopping me from doing that right now, but it's just not what I want when I'm cold.

5. Lighter evenings. Not something I thought I'd ever hear my self say, but for the last few years, I've really embraced them and now I enjoy the light nights. Especially around my birthday, on the longest day of the year it doesn't even feel as if it gets completely dark, so it's lovely to sit in the garden with blankets and enjoy the fact that you can comfortably sit outside that late in the evening.

6. Eating outside. Since moving into this house, we've fully embraced and tried to make the most of the garden. We love to spend time eating outside, being able to have breakfast in the garden is such a lovely way to start the day. And then of course, you have the BBQ's in summer...but we aren't quite there yet.


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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Creme Egg Scotch Eggs

creme-egg-scotch-egg
creme-egg-scotch-egg

Just in case, there isn't enough Easter sweetness around for you at the moment, let me go ahead and add some more.

Creme Egg scotch eggs are an idea Paul and I came up with a couple of weeks ago when thinking of Easter treats to make. I suggested to scotch egg idea, but to cover them with salted crisps was all Paul...and it's a bloody good idea, let me tell you! They're very simple to make, and if you buy the brownies, instead of making them, then it's a no bake recipe too. If you are buying the brownies, make sure they are dense gooey ones, the dry cakey ones wont hold together the way you need them to. I used my brownie recipe -without the white chocolate, it's my go-to, and give's you the best gooey brownies so it's perfect for this. 

This isn't a very precise recipe, it will really depend on how much of your ingredients you use to make each scotch egg. With my brownie recipe, I had enough for 3 full Creme Egg size and 4 mini egg size. The mini eggs ended up with a lot more brownie around them, but who's going to complain about that? 

creme-egg-scotch-egg
creme-egg-scotch-egg
creme-egg-scotch-egg

Ingredients:
Plain chocolate brownie (my recipe's here)
Creme Eggs (or others you prefer)
Ready salted crisps -crushed
50g dark chocolate -melted

:a pastry brush is also really helpful for spreading on the dark chocolate.

- Crumble the brownie into a bowl so you have lots of small bits to work with. Add the crushed up crisps to another bowl.

- Take a handful of brownie mix, and start to squish it together with your hands until it's a dough you can mold. Flatten it out a little, place a Creme Eggs in the center, and start to shape it around the egg.

- Add more brownie as you go, if you need to, then shape and roll in your hands until you have a ball.

- Brush the brownie ball with dark chocolate, this is just to help the crisps stick.

- When covered in a thin layer of melted chocolate, roll in the crushed up crisps. Press them with your hands gently to make sure they stick. 

creme-egg-scotch-egg

As I've said before, I'm not a fan of Creme Eggs. So for my scotch eggs, I used Galaxy Caramel eggs, and they were sooo good! I think one made with the Lindt Lindor eggs would be pretty good too. As well as being very tasty, these little scotch eggs are such a fun treat for Easter, they would make lovely gifts or, a fun dessert if you're having Easter lunch. 


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