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Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Apple Pecan Blondies


Since moving into this house, we've had to come up with new and fun ways to use up all the apples we get from the garden. We do give a lot away, Paul's mum makes a lot of chutneys for Christmas time, and my gran likes to cook them down and keep them in the freezer for when she wants them. We also make apple pie, apple crumble, and cook some down for apple sauce, but it's nice to try new things with them too. This recipe has turned out to be a huge success, now that I've got it right...although, I don't think anyone was complaining about the test batches.

I love the combination of apples and pecans, they're such a good match, and with a tasty cinnamon blondie mix, it's just the best thing for right now, on chilly autumn days! They keep well too, as the apples give quite a lot of moisture, they don't dry out quickly. They will be fine for 7 days, kept covered in the fridge.



120g melted butter
100g caster sugar
100g light soft brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2  teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
180g plain flour
50g chopped pecans
2 small/medium apples, cut into small chunks


- Preheat the oven to 180°C, and line a 8/9 inch square brownie tin.

- Peel and chop the apples and set to one side, it doesn't matter if they start to brown.

- In a large bowl, mix the caster sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the melted butter, a little at a time, mixing as you add, until you have a pale smooth mixture.

- Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a separate bowl. Add a tablespoon of this mix to the chopped apples and coat well. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.

- Mix this well, and then add in the apples and flour, and fold them through.

- Pour this mixture into your prepared tin and flatten with a spoon. Bake for 25 minutes.

- Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, and then transfer to a wrack or board to cool completely. The apples give a lot of moisture so you don't want to leave them in the tin for too long.

These are also amazing with vanilla ice-cream while they're still warm! So if you just can't wait, dig straight in.



Monday, 22 October 2018

The Polaroid Project Update #3


This little project has been one of the best things I've ever done! I knew I'd enjoy doing it, but it's become such a fun part of each day, that I honestly feel sad at the thought of not carrying on. I have had a few people say "why don't you carry on then?". I did think about it, because it's become part of my everyday, but a) that would be a very expensive habit to keep up permanently, and b) it makes this year less special in a way. I thought about doing it this year because of the wedding, and the build up, so I'm unsure. I still have just over three months left to make up my mind. 

Today, we're flying to New York...for the wedding!! These are the pictures I've been most excited about. I knew at the beginning, that I'd be taking to camera and carrying on the one-a-day pictures while we're there, and I've even had a few of them planned. I imagine I'll take others too, with the polaroid and other cameras, I'm jut hoping I don't forget with everything that's going on. 

I'm still 100% happy, that I chose to go with date and number. You wouldn't believe the amount of times we've been stuck as to what we were doing, and I've been able to look back and see. It's also been fun changing the colours with the seasons. At the moment, it's all orange and yellow, with a little bit of brown. I'm looking forward to the reds and greens that Christmas will bring though. 

So, today is day ???. That's how many days have passed, how many pictures have been taken. Yet still, it doesn't seem possible to look at it. It doesn't seem that most of a year has gone...but it has, and I have snap for everyday! 



Friday, 19 October 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

(see you soon, New York!)

Oh. My. God. It's here. It's the weekend before we leave and I am feeling very anxious. I'm obviously exited, but I get anxious when we leave to go anywhere. You know, in case I've forgotten something, in case I didn't do something important...but I'm sure it'll all be fine! I'm trying to make sure this weekend is nice and relaxing. We have everything we need (I think!), and we have all the bits and pieces you usually take on holiday. So after a couple of manic weeks of running around and appointments, it'll be nice to end them with a couple of calm relaxing days. I'll be fine when we get to the airport, there's nothing you can do at that point. If you've forgot accept it, or buy another. That's it. So, apart from giving the house a tidy up, we're done, and next we'll be married!!

1. Showing my Auntie and little cousin my dress, they loved it, and we stopped at a cafe for a little cake and coffee.

2. Being spoiled by friends and family at the moment. Everyone is being so kind and generous, it's really very sweet.

3. My little fluff! She makes me so very happy, I'm going to miss her so much while we're away.

4. White chocolate covered hazelnuts, from Aldi. They're very good!

5. My new shampoo. It's the one my now hairdresser uses on me, and it's 96% natural. My hair feels so clean and soft, and it doesn't leave a build up like most others.

6. Picking Paul's brother and his girlfriend up from the airport. They've just returned from New York! They had a great time, although said it was quite cold!

7. The wardrobe I've planned for New York. I'm so pleased with it!! However, if it's that cold, I may have to rethink some of it.

8. The low sun as we walk around Edinburgh. Coffee in hand.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Wedding Gifts


I've had to wait until now to share this post, just in case it ruined the surprise for anyone. We wanted to give the friends and family joining us, little gifts, but didn't want to go down the road of the more traditional jewellery, or ...actually, I don't know what other traditional gifts would be.

Anyway, as this is a trip to New York as well as a wedding, we thought the best gift we could give, would be something to help capture all the memories that'll hopefully be made. We came up with the idea for gift boxes, containing a few little things, and kind of sticking to a theme. We found really lovely craft paper photo albums in Paperchase, and then we had the idea to get disposable cameras! When was the last time you used one of them?! We haven't, in a loooong time, so we have one each too! After that, the boxes came together quite easily.


The boxes include...

a photo album
a disposable camera
photo corners
New York scrap book stickers x2
a Pritt Stick
black Sharpies
metallic Sharpies
tea and coffee

The last few things aren't obviously to do with the photo albums, but we thought fun little additions because of the trip we're taking. Tissues, of course, for if there are any tears at the wedding, Compeed, because there is a lot of walking in New York! The chocolate is a treat for the flight over, or to keep in the hotel room, and the tea and coffee, is just because, who doesn't love a cup of tea after a long day. Doesn't matter where I am, I always love a cup of tea! Although, saying that, I do go a little coffee mad in NYC. One of our friends specifically, he's been to New York before, and was going crazy without his Tetley in the morning, so hopefully he'll be pleased.

We chose boxes that match the albums, again from Paperchase, black tissue paper to match the inside of the boxes, and most excitingly of all...I got to use my label maker! There just aren't enough opportunities in life to play with that thing.

They were really fun to put together, i'm really glad we chose to do them. Now, all we have to do, is give them out tonight. Fingers crossed everyone likes them!



Friday, 12 October 2018

Made Me Happy This Week


Ok. So, I think it's safe to say that the nerves are setting in now. Maybe because after this weekend is over, it'll be a week or less until we fly!! How? How is it here, how is it possible that so much time has gone by so quickly? I'm feeling pretty organised though, Paul and I are on top of it all, and tonight, we're going to sit and plan where we want to eat, on what days, and book a few restaurants. Oh! And yesterday I picked up my dress!! It was the first time I'd tried it all on together, and with it completely finished. The last few times it's been pinned together, and I've not really been able to move, from fear of stabbing! It feels so much more real now, now that our outfits are hanging upstairs, and all the bits and pieces that go with it are here too. Not long now!!

1. Realising how much Lego we have in the attic, and how excited I am to build some when we  have time over Christmas.

2. Chilli on the coldest of grey October days. If only I'd had chilli cheese cornbread to go with it. *note to self, must make some soon! 

3. Using my mum's treadmill, because I don't like the gym, and it's too cold to go and walk outside!

4. Halloween chocolates! I've eaten far too many, and we're nowhere near Halloween.

5. The cold rainy weather. Not going to lie, it's not so great when you're rushing around outside in it, but, it's so nice to come home and get cosy and dry.

6. Mac n cheese with Paul's brother and his girlfriend. It was very tasty, and the little bread things with it were just as good.

7. Morning cuddles with my favourite little fluff.

8. The leaves currently swirling around my garden.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

A Little (Large) Cult Beauty Haul


It's been a while since I've made such a large beauty and skincare order. I'll order my usual bits and bobs, as and when I need them, but I'm usually quite restrained when it comes to spending. However, this order is a little bit more special! So, on to Cult Beauty I went, and I did a little shopping!

There were a few bits I wanted to get for the trip, and for the wedding it's self. Basically, my goal here, is to have the perfect (or as close as possible) arsenal of skincare and make-up, to help this whole process go as seamlessly as it can. I want to be armed and ready, for any skin issues or breakout problems that could come up, to know that it's one less thing to worry about. I sound a little like I'm going into battle! I'm obviously not comparing our wedding to a battle, I just feel the need to be extra prepared, seeing as I'm doing my own make up. Plus, who doesn't love a little pamper session? It'll be nice to do the night before, or the morning of, and even Paul's on board now. He thinks he'd like to do a face mask, or eye masks before he gets ready.


First of all, it's and early start when we fly, I think we're up at 5am. So, for the plane, and for the night and or morning before we get married, I got a packed of the Skyn Iceland Eye Gels. I love these things! They are amazing, even better when kept in the fridge, and because they are in very small, slim, individual packages, they are so easy to take on the plane. I got the pack of eight, and while looking at Skyn Iceland, I spotted the Skin Hangover Kit. I don't drink, so assume there will be no hangovers in the near future, but it's a nice little kit, that includes a couple of other face gels that I haven't tried. And, a Relief Eye Pen, again to help with puffiness. So fingers crossed it works!

Another kit, that's good value for money, is the Sarah Chapman Jet Set Collection. I was actually looking at buying the Skinesis sheet masks. They're one of my favourites, that I don't buy very often as they are quite pricey, but it's aloud for a special occasion, and this set has two. But this little kit also comes with three miniatures, and a cleansing mitt! One of the minis, is the Overnight Facial, another favourite. It also has a cleanser and an spf moisturiser, that are things I haven't tried before, so am looking forward to that.

Other bit's I ordered where, The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid, which I've written about before, here. It's so good for keeping your skin nice and hydrated, plus it's such a good price! So as I'd ran out, I thought I'd get another, and then could take it with me.

The rest are make up related. The Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Power (I can never say that full name), I ordered mine in Fair. I'd ran out of my Bourjois powder from Boots, and was looking for a new one anyway, not just for the wedding. So many people rave about this powder, so I thought I'd give it a try. I've only tried it one since getting it, but I'm going to give it a couple of proper trials soon. I don't use a lot of power, so I can see this lasting me for years! And last off all, some new Zoeva brushes. I LOVE these brushes. They are a good price, and they have such a great selection, plus, they do their jobs really well. I'd planned on picking up one or two more blending brushes, I'm forever using the same two, to do everything. I was going to order them with the black handles, but then got completely suckered in by the new deep blue ones, with a matte finish. They are beautiful, and the same price as the others.


So, with a bank balance considerably lighter, and a drawer full of skin care favourites for now and going away, I think it's been a good little haul!


Monday, 8 October 2018

Saturday at the Pumpkin Patch


(mom jeans, mustard coat, and white t-shirt -all Topshop) 

We made quite an early visit to the pumpkin patch this year. It feels so early, we usually visit closer to Halloween, but we were out, we knew that the pumpkins at the farm were read for picking, my coat was the perfect autumnal shade, and, well...why the hell not! It was also mid afternoon, and we all know that time of days calls for cake of some kind. We had scones instead, warm with butter. I love the cafe and shop at Craigies, the food is wonderful, the cakes are far too good, and the jars of chutney you can buy are the best! Although we did manage to leave without any this time. We're saving that for closer to Christmas.

They have some amazing pumpkins this year! I'm not sure if they're new this year, or if we were too late last time, and missed out on them. When I spotted my little grey one, I literally ran over and grabbed it. It had to be mine! I love the traditional orange pumpkins, but there's something so special about all the other shapes, sizes and colours. The second one that came home with us was pale yellow, almost white in places, and looks great sat with it's little grey friend. Our third and last pumpkin wasn't actually for sale, so I pleaded with the woman at the till to let me buy it. The cafe was decorated with tiny little pumpkins, and on the table across from us, was a pretty little white one, that was so smooth and round, that I thought it was fake at first. When we were paying for the others, I asked her if I could have it, took her to see it, and she very kindly let me take it home. It honestly made my day!

I'm not sure if we'll be back this year. We might make another trip for coffee and cake, but we won't be buying anymore pumpkins, seeing as we wont be here for Halloween this year.



Sunday, 7 October 2018

Sunday Mornings with Breakfast in Bed


If there's a day most suited to breakfast in bed, it's definitely Sunday. The slowest day of the week lends it's self perfectly to a long lie in, and slow leisurely breakfast, in whats probably the most comfortable spot in the house.

Sadly, our Sundays right now are more on the busy side! We've been pretty organised, but there as so many last minute little things we have to do for the wedding or the trip, and most of these we have to do at the weekend. So we're missing out on those lazy mornings, when you stay in your pyjamas, take the coffee back up to bed, catch up on Netflix, and eat flaky pastries while trying to keep the crumbs from getting in the sheets.

For those days when we can enjoy a lazy morning in bed, it's nice to make more of an effort with breakfast than we usually would. It's nice to make a tray look beautiful, and have things you can continue to pick at once you've "finished" -like you do at Christmas time, when you just continue to snack even after you're full. (I can't wait for left over roast potatoes). Some of my favourite breakfasts in bed are pancake or waffle fingers, with warm Nutella and fresh fruit. Pastries are always a good option, cinnamon rolls, or fresh croissants. And a tasty bowl of porridge is always welcomed by me! At this time of year my favourite toppings are spiced apples and nuts, or Nutella, I'll have that with anything.

Today, our Sunday looks after from it does in that picture. We are clearing out the spare room, and painting skirting boards in the hall. I hope your Sunday is a lot more relaxed than ours...enjoy!



Friday, 5 October 2018

Made Me Happy This Week


Well hello there Friday's been a while hasn't it!

I've been trying to decide if these should stay or go, I'm still thinking about it, but for the moment they're still here.

Right now is such an exciting time! There is so much going on, so much excitement in everything, and I'm living with permanent butterflies in my stomach! I honestly, no matter how many times I'm reminded of the date, am still shocked that we're here, and that we've made it so far in the year. How and why, does time pass so quickly!? Right now I think we're 16 days away from leaving for New York, and 19 days until we get married!  Hence the butterflies and constant freaking out! So, now some other things that have been making me happy this past week...

1. Dinner with C and W, it was very tasty. We made burgers, chicken, and chips with Shake Shack style cheese sauce. We also got to give them their wedding present, which they loved! I'm going to share them here, but not quite yet, in case it spoils the surprise for anyone.

2. Orange Lindt Lindor bars. I bought a packet last weekend, and I've been keeping them in the fridge. They are amazing when they're cold, and even better with tea.

3. Adding yet more things to our ridiculous already large collection of Halloween decorations.

4. Our collection of Harry Potter, Lego Minifigures. We only have 7 to go, until we have a full set!

5. And speaking of Lego, I think my gran has bought us one of the Harry Potter sets as a wedding gift! She's actually the best!

6. The darker evenings, oh how I've missed them. 

7. Our teddy-bear looking, ball of fluff. She had a hair appointment cancelled, so shes a little over grown at the moment.

8. Walking through crunchy leaves, it's got to be one of the best sounds.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie


I feel as if I'm on a never ending quest for the perfect cookie recipe. Every time I make a batch, I change things up, add something new, or swap ingredients, all in an attempt to find perfection!! Really though, there's no such thing in the world of cookies. Each of us has they're own idea of what makes the best cookie, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

This is my latest attempt, it's an update and tweak on an old recipe that I haven't used in a while, and let me tell you...IT'S AMAZING! I would go as far as to say it's my perfect chocolate chip cookie. And that's a big bold claim, let me tell you. I have high standards when it comes to cookies. This is a combination of both equal parts milk and dark chocolate, vanilla cookie, finished off with sea salt crystals. SO. GOOD. Oh, and if you like soft, slightly chewy cookies, then these are for you.



170g soft room temperature butter
1 large egg - room temperature
50g of caster sugar
150g soft light brown sugar
1 teaspoon of good vanilla extract
260g of plain flour
2 teaspoons of cornflour/cornstarch
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
250g of chocolate chips - half milk, half dark chocolate (I chop up my own, so they're a good size!)
2 teaspoons of sea salt crystals



- In a large bowl, beat the butter until it's light and very soft (1-2 minutes). Add in the caster sugar and brown sugar, and mix until light and fluffy.

- Add in the eggs and vanilla extract an mix well until everything is combined.

- In to a separate bowl, sieve the flour, cornflour, an bicarbonate soda, and then add this to the wet ingredients, mix well until you have a dough.

- Add your chocolate chips or chunks, and fold them through the mix.

- Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight if you'd prefer.

- Once chilled, pre-heat the oven to 180 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

- Roll the chilled cookie dough into little balls, they should weight around 36g a ball, to give you an idea of size. You will get approx 24 from this batch of dough.

- Place 12 balls on each tray, spacing them evenly and pressing down gently on each one. Sprinkle each one with a little sea salt, and bake for 10 minutes. They should be a pale brown colour, but still very soft when you take them out of the oven.

- Let them cool for at least 10 minutes on the tray before you try to move them to a wrack.

And then enjoy with milk! Or any other drink of your choice of course. I've honestly had to stop myself eating them all over this last week, I'd quite happily snack on them all day long.



Monday, 1 October 2018

31 Things in October...


Today is the start of a new month, and a new series here on this blog! I don't think it's going to be a regular monthly series, instead, I'd like it to be quite random, and go up on months that are a little more interesting and or exciting...and this is a very exciting one! I can't believe this month we get married! So it seemed like the perfect place to start. They will be "31 Things" (or 30, depending on month), 31 randoms things about the month. Things we're doing, things we're looking forward to, plans we have...anything really. I thought it would be a nice way to look ahead, and enjoy the seasons.

So, I hope you enjoy it! Feel free to add any "things" in the comments that you might be doing or looking forward to

I'm also considering this as a new start, so it's all new here today! A new start to this blog, a blog that I love, but have let become a little unloved and unused for the last few months. Life has most definitely taken over in other ways, but this is my new beginning, for Instagram too, because I've all but stopped using that. And they are things I enjoy doing, and miss when I'm not, and you should spend time doing things that make you happy.

I would have liked to have a whole you look and design for the page, but I'm not great with all that technical stuff, and haven't had the time to figure it all out. So, I hope you like and enjoy what's to come, and hope you're as excited for October as I am!!

31 things...

1. Carve and decorate some pumpkins. It's an added thing, that's probably not the best use of our time this month,'s October. It's a kind of unwritten rule, really.

2. Do a little more transitional clothes shopping. I've picked up a few bits lately that I LOVE. But a few more before we leave would be good, especially as I'm lead to believe, that New York is quite warm this month.

3. Get a haircut before our trip. Look at me, getting regular's a world away from my 8 or 9 years without even a trim!

4. Catch up with C & W before they leave for Florida.

5. Bake some more apple crumble. The apples are calling to be turned into something tasty.

6. Have new wedding nails done. I have extensions on at the moment, which is very odd for me! I don't usually do things like this (hair, nails, facials), but thought I should get used to them first, before having a set done for the wedding. So I have, and I quite like them! Although, mine may have grown by the time I have them done again, so maybe just get on top...we shall see! I am enjoying how much nicer my hands look too.

7. Enjoy the leaves turning. It's one of my absolute favourite things to watch as the weeks go by.

8. Try not to buy anymore Halloween decorations. Let's be honest...I will fail.

9. See my wedding dress completely finished, sleeves and all. I can't wait to try it on when it's all done. It scares me how close we'll be to the wedding when that days comes, but I still can't wait.

10. Picking up Paul's kilt. Did I mention he's having one made? It looks amazing so far.

11. Buy some Halloween sweets. Just a few though.

12. Make some time to have a picnic. I really enjoy picnic in the colder weather, you can have flasks of hot drinks, and cosy up with blankets. It does need to be dry and sunny though, it's not so much fun if the ground is cold and wet!

13. Buy lots of "thank you" cards.

14. Watch "Hocus Pocus" and "You've Got Mail". Both great for this month.

15. We really must perfect our homemade pumpkin spice recipe. We've been testing a few for coffee syrups, but so far, they don't taste as good as we'd like.

16. Pack our suitcases. Everyone I know thinks I'm weird for this, but I genuinely love to pack. Mine or anyone else case.

17. Remember to pick up some more tinned pumpkin...I'm out! I was shocked when I discovered this, I thought I had a couple more.

18. Make a trip to Lush. Paul is just as big a fan, as I am. And we've been Lush-less for a few months now. We must stock up for the colder weather.

19. Find and jump in a pile of leaves. No, I'm not five, but I just love the noise it makes! It always leaves a smile on my face too. And if something does that, surely it's worth doing.

20. We have a dinner planned with family before we leave fro NYC. I'm really looking forward to it. At the same time, trying not to let my anxious mind cancel, on the basis that we have to much to do, or that it's a waste of time or money. It's not. It'll be fun.

21. Have a little spring clean of the house. More of an autumn clean really, but that doesn't sound quite right.

22. Get on a plane to New York!

23. Pick the last of the fruit and vegetables from the garden. It's getting to that point when I think a

24. I really want to make some kind of pie and mash, I've been craving something just like it, since the weather started to cool down. Or stew and dumplings! That's just as good.

25. Get married!!! This one is actually on this day. On the 25th of this month, I will go from Miss, to Mrs.

26. Find the perfect sized little black bag. Not too big, not too small and unable to hold even my phone.

27. We should really get around to ordering party invites, for our little reception type thing in November.

28. Buy curtains and a curtain pole for the bedroom, the room doesn't look quite finished without it.

29. Order a chocolate skull for our wedding cake. We really like skulls! That's an odd things to say, isn't it? But it's true, we do.

30. My exercise routine has taken a little bit of a backseat, I really want to pick that up again. It's hard to not let the cold weather affect things.

31. We'll be spending Halloween in New York this year...I can't wait! I'm excited to experience Halloween in another place, and find some way to celebrate and enjoy while we're there. Any recommendations on this would be much appreciated!
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