Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Wednesday Wants

Another monochrome wishlist this week, I just can't help myself! So many lovely items to choose from.  I adore this Oasis dress although don't think it will be that forgiving over my tummy.  I would rock it with the polka dot shoes, love mixing spots and stripes!

 Dress: Oasis

How lush is this boohoo pinafore dress?!  You can't really tell from the photo, it's covered in little spots as well as the polka dots.  This baby is in my basket, will it be one of my 4 dresses this month?! 

 Dress: Boohoo

I have a think for pinafores right now and this one is so cute, it's a petites dress so might be a bit short for me.  Annoying!  I would love to try this with a striped shirt underneath, not sure it would work so I would love to see if it does.

 Dress: Miss Selfridge

I really want a pair of polka dot shoes and these ones are beautiful.  Now just need to find them with a shorter heel so I can walk in them!

Shoes: Rocket Dog @ Spartoo


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Be mine...

As I've mentioned before I am not big on Valentines but that's not to say I don't love all the little gifts that are available this time of year, I love hearts, love and cutesy trinkets.  With this in mind I have created a cute little wishlist for the love of your life.

How amazing is this etched shaving mirror?  I adore it!  Such a cute touch and a daily reminder just in case they ever forget ;)

Etched Mirror: Rockett St George

I already own the tile version of this print, it's so cute! It says 'life would be rubbish without you' Never a truer word spoken.

Rubbish Without You Print: Rose and Grey

Okay so this plate would make me happier than it would my Valentine, that's okay right?

Gotta get my hints in somehow, this is crazy priced but oh so amazing.  I love a bit of Rob Ryan (not that I am rich enough to own any, boooo!)  The print reads:

There is no such thing as free time
There is no such thing as work time
There is no such thing as play time
There is no such thing as spare time
There is no such thing as the right time
There is no such thing as down time
There is no such thing as quality time
There is no such thing as the wrong time

There is only time

The rarest and most precious gift I can give you seems to be the one thing I never have enough of to spare, but I promise to give you as much as I have and will make even more + more to give you. Can these seconds and minutes slowly grow into hours and days and perhaps weeks, months and years? In the name of St. Valentine can you be mine? 14th February 2013


Rob Ryan Print: Soma Gallery


Monday, 28 January 2013

Home Wishlist

So our flat is now on the market and we have viewed a house that we like, it's all getting pretty real!  I have found myself browsing home ware more than dresses this last week - totally scary.  I am a mixture of excitement and fear right now so am trying to calm myself down and stop pinning stuff to my secret home boards! haha.  I want our new home to remain modern and contemporary but to have a more girlie feel than our flat.  Oh and the kitchen is going to be uber girlie! That's MY room ;)

Duvet Cover:  Urban Outfitters

 Tea Caddy: Matalan

 Chair: Next

Owls: Rose and Grey 

 Stacking Shelving: Rockett St George

Link me to your homeware pinterest boards, I am looking for inspiration!


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sunday Sweets #15 Caramel Layer Cake

I adore salted caramel and have been waiting for an excuse to make this cake!  It's from the Great British Bake Off Showstoppers book and is very, very yummy.  I decided not to decorate it as recommended but to cover the top in the ganache and add chocolate curls.  I think it looks pretty fab.

300g self raising flour
a pinch of salt
300g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, very soft but not runny
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling:
225g unsalted butter, softened
450g dark brown muscovado sugar
175ml double cream
300g icing sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes, or to taste
100g dark chocolate, broken up 

3 x 8" sandwich tins, greased and the base lined with baking paper

Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas 4
Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl of a large free-standing electric mixer (or into a mixing bowl if you are going to use a hand held electric mixer) Add the butter to the bowl, in pieces. Whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla using a fork, then add to the bowl.  Beat on low speed until everything is thoroughly combined and very smooth, thick and light.  Divide the mixture evenly among the 3 tins and spread level.  Bake for about 25 minutes until the sponges are springy when gently pressed in the centre and starting to shrink away from the sides of the tins.

Set the tins on a wire rack and run a round-bladed knife around the insides to loosen the sponges, then cool for 2 minutes before turning out.  Leave to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the caramel filling.  Put 175g of the weighed butter into a medium-sized pan with the muscovado sugar and cream.  Heat gently until the butter has melted, then bring to the boil, stirring.  Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Pour the mixture into a heatproof mixing bowl and beat in the icing sugar, using an electric mixer.  When the sugar has been incorporated, continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and barely warm.  Gradually beat in the rest of the butter and the salt.  Add more salt, if needed.

Put the pieces of dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of steaming hot (not boiling) water and melt gently, stirring until smooth.  Spoon about half the chocolate into another bowl, and stir in slightly less than 1/4 of the caramel mixture.  To assemble the cake, set one sponge layer on a serving plate and spread over one-third of the caramel mixture.  Spread a second sponge layer with the chocolate-caramel mixture and set on the first layer.  Place the third sponge layer on top. Leave the cake to set in the fridge slightly (to avoid a landslide!) then cover the top and then the sides of the assembled cake with the remaining caramel mixture, working quickly before the mixture firms up.

Cover the top of the cake with the remaining chocolate allowing it to drip down the sides.  Decorate with chocolate curls.

Leave to set. The cake can be kept, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days.

Caramel icing is an absolute bitch.  I ended up making 1.5 batches (I didn't want to level my sponges so used icing to do this!) and had to chill it before taking a spatula and boiling water to it to tidy it up.  It is not easy to work with so bare that in mind!

It was totally worth all the effort though, YUM!


Friday, 25 January 2013

Stars In My Eyes

I picked up this French Connection skirt in the Christmas sales for a whopping £16, not bad hey?!  I love the shape and the way it hangs so have already got quite a bit of wear out of it.  I did get a couple of bargains this year, not bad for a girl who avoids sales.  Discount codes all the way please!  I have been living a black and white existence for the last couple of weeks.  Having learnt that my nephew can currently only see in black and white it seems fitting that I carry this on for a while!  I treated myself to a new sequin number for my birthday meal tomorrow and guess what - it's black and white polka dots! Amazing.  It's this cute boohoo dress which I am sure I will share on an outfit post soon.  Just need to decide what shoes to wear it with, can't wear my snow boots out now can I?!

Jumper: River Island
Ankle Boots: Blink @ Spartoo*

I am going to spend tomorrow morning baking ready for my #BFF's coming round to celebrate birthdays (three of us have birthdays within 6 days!) and I am so excited!  Cannot wait to use my kitchenaid again, have already planned what I am baking too.  Eeeekk!


Thursday, 24 January 2013

National Television Awards

So I am a bloody lucky girl.  Last night I got to attend the National Television Awards as a guest of Echo Falls.  We were in a swanky VIP box with lots of lovely food and nibbles, fab seats to sit back and enjoy the show in and of course Echo Falls wine on tap!  Perfect!!

I got to hang out with my partner in crime Gemma, Ashley and the beautiful Charlie, who booed very loudly when Doctor Who didn't win, ha!, along with some lovely people from Echo Falls.  The awards themselves were great as was the celeb spotting!  Chatting to June Brown was defo a highlight for me, such a lovely warm lady.  Next time I go to a gig at the o2 I want a posh box to sit in! 

Thank you so much for inviting me Echo Falls, you truly spoilt us and I had a fab time!


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Wednesday Wants

I was meant to be writing this post when I discovered my 'only just over a year old and purchased from Jessops' point and shoot camera has given up on me.  I am so annoyed! I turned it on to check the battery ready to take with me to London today and the lense jammed open.  I have tried everything bar taking it apart :(  I still have my Canon from about 4 years ago which works as well as it did new (I look after stuff) but unfortunately the photo quality isn't good enough anymore.  I praying for a miracle that it will just start working again!  Anyhow as a result this weeks wishlist is rather thin on the ground, sorry about that!

This Missguided beauty reminds me of the Motel dress I featured (and bought) a few wishlists ago, it's a fraction of the price though at under £20.  Looks a good length too, perfection.

Dress: MissGuided

 I love the contrast between the collar and cuffs and the fabric of this Boohoo dress.  Especially love the use of pleather.  Only problem with dresses with white collars is foundation marks... no worries here as you could easily wipe them off!

 Dress: Boohoo

I am loving the dye of the fabric on this next MissGuided dress, it is so cool!  It does look pretty short though :-/

Dress: Missguided

Whats caught your eye this week?


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Say It With...

Flowers!  We all know that the dreaded V day is quickly approaching.  I'm not one for big romantic gestures on a predetermined day of the year though I have to admit when these beautiful flowers were delivered to me at work yesterday I did feel pretty special.  Who wouldn't want flowers delivered to them?  Certainly beats a bunch picked up last minute from the garage down the road!

The bouquet* that Interflora sent me contains a mix of tulips, carnations and a beautiful red rose.  It is so pretty and beautifully presented.  It also came with a box of champagne truffles so you can really spoil the love of your life!  You can find this bouquet and other stunning Valentines gifts over on the Interflora website.  Gray if you're reading this I wouldn't mind if you wanted to send me flowers ;) haha.

What do you usually do to celebrate Valentines day?  Do you send flowers or go out for a swish meal? Or do you prefer to bake a cake and knock up a fancy meal at home?  Gray wanted to go to Vegas for his 30th this year which won't be happening now we are moving home so I might just cook him a special meal. I do usually make him heart shaped sandwiches to take to work too, hehe.  Bet he eats them really quickly before his work mates notice :D

Monday, 21 January 2013

Black and Gold

Can I start with saying I love this outfit.  I felt fab when I wore it, not something that happens often enough.  The sequins on the cardi were a bit scratchy on my arms yet that didn't put me off.  I picked up the Tatty Devine initial brooch at the clothes show for a whole five pounds, a total steal I'm sure you'll agree.  The tights are splattered with gold studs, these ones defo work with boots, no low cut shoes required!

I am getting my hair dyed again tomorrow and I cannot wait, I really don't like having roots.  Just in time for an amazing event I am going to on Wednesday evening.  Do one snow!

Dress: H&M
Tights: My Tights*
Boots: Vagabond @ Spartoo*


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Welcome To The World Tate!

As I mentioned yesterday my little nephew arrived weighing in at 6lb 5oz of cuteness.  We are all totally smitten by this little boy, already a heart breaker!  He had a pretty difficult birth but is doing really well and didn't sustain too many injuries from being suctioned out, thank goodness.  I have always resisted holding new born babies (or any babies to be honest) yet I felt really comfortable with this precious little bundle.  Guess being blood related really does help!  Oh and Lucy I know he is cute but he still doesn't count as an early birthday pressie, okay?!

I am planning on taking a photo of Tate everyday (getting the parents to send me one on the days I can't make it) so we can look back over how much he changes in his first year. 

Welcome into our lives Tate, looking forward to them never being the same again!


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Tartan Temptress

I am sure you've probably seen my little bit of news on either twitter or instagram - I am an auntie! My baby sister did a good job cooking Tate and he arrived at 4:14 weighing 6lb 5... will this be the first newborn I am made to hold?!  I told her to make sure he is a cute one and she did!

This Missguided dress was love at first sight, it's fabulous!  It is a bit on the short side but hey ho I don't mind getting out a bit of leg ;) It's available in other colourways too, this one won me over.  Think it would also look good under the pinafore from yesterdays post.

 Dress: Missguided*

I'm off to go get ready to meet Tate, have a lovely snow day whatever you're doing!


Friday, 18 January 2013

School Girl Spots

Another monochrome outfit post for you today.  I have actually worn a different monotone outfit every day this week, told you I was obsessed!  Got several comments when I wore stripes and a beret, apparently I looked French - no stereotypes there at all!  I picked up this cute pinafore in the Miss Selfridge sale.  It's now sold out online but I am guessing you will still be able to find them in store, mine was the bargain price of £20.  Wearing a pinafore always makes me feel a bit school girly in a good way.  I teamed it with this bargain polka dot skirt from H&M and it feels pretty smart.

Maybe I should have worn my bowler hat and added a satchel and gone whole hog on the school girl look?!


Thursday, 17 January 2013

Pop Phone

I love this handset.  I have been eying them up for a while but could never really justify buying one, I don't like talking on the telephone.  I am sure my parents will be surprised to read that given all the hundreds of pounds I cost them in phone bills in my early teens!  I have realised one of the main reasons is I get so frustrated with my ability to continuously end calls with my face.  I can't unlock my phone with my nose when I want to but I can end a call using my cheek whenever my cheek decides.  Annoying.  I always go for the phone tariff with the best data and never worry about call allowance as I don't use much.  The Pop phone handset is about to change all that, it's bloody brilliant.

As you can see it is a full size handset that plugs into the headphone socket of my iPhone 5.  Not only is it much more comfortable than holding your phone to your ear it also eliminates over 99% of absorbed phone radiation and that can only be a good thing.  You can also use it on your iPad or laptop for Skype allowing you to have a Skype conversation without annoying everyone else in the room!

Yep I did just try and make my iPhone look like a landline phone... oh dear!


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Wednesday Wants

A work mate turned up in a fab new boyfriend style coat the other day after picking it up in Bonmarche of all places! I hot footed it to the website to find that this ladies boucle coat is now only £30!! You can't see too well from the photo, it has a purple thread through the grey which is so pretty.  I do love purple and grey together.  It's been so cold the last couple of days this weeks wishlist almost ended up all coats!

 Coat: BonMarche

Oh my.  The print on this dress is just amazing! It's so beautiful and detailed and totally removes the need for jewellery.  If I sort out my arms this dress will be mine... or I will find a top suitable for wearing underneath.  It's so dreamy.  I hadn't heard of the brand Ginger Fizz before spotting this, anyone know anything about this brand?

 Dress: asos

I really need to stop browsing websites I cannot afford to buy from! I stumbled on this beautiful dress by Opening Ceremony at Matches Fashion and now am dreaming of it's beautiful stripes.  Stripes are meant to be a SS13 trend and this black, white and aquamarine number is to die for.  Anyone fancy treating me?!

How HOT is this dress?! I am loving the electric neon green lace against the contrasting blue lining.  Good stuff Topshop.  Just need to find this in a store, not sure the colour would work with my ginge!

Dress: Topshop

I have actually already bought these beautiful shoes but couldn't help sharing them with you guys straight away!  I am going to a swanky event next week and wanted a pair of cute but comfy heels and am hoping these will be perfect.  I adore the vamp, perfection!

Shoes: Clarks @ Spartoo


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