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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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