Sunday, 30 December 2012

Some big news :D

I hope everyone had a good Christmas!

Mine was pretty unforgettable. On 23rd December, Calvin and I's first Anniversary, at 00.01, he asked me to marry him!

We were both crying buckets, and it was the perfect proposal. Nothing too fancy for this homegirl. We had had a delicious homemade curry with coconut rice, watched a movie and had had a really nice chilled out day. He said happy anniversary and went upstairs saying he had a present for me, came back with a card and his phone out filming...The card was full of lovely things about how he feels about me, and I could hardly finish reading it, I was crying way too much already.

The next thing I knew he was down on one knee, crying as well, and asking me to be his wife. It still doesn't seem real. We've talked about getting married, he was actually going to propose on my 21st, at the end of November, but we both agreed that it didn't quite feel like the right time.

We've both agreed that we'll get married once I've finished university and got into a good job. There's no point rushing! But this does mean that I've already started planning, and Calvin even bought me my very own hand finished paper chase notebook so we can write down our plans.

Expect in the next couple of months/years to have the odd wedding-based post from me, I have a lot of fun ideas and great inspiration to share!

For now, I'll leave you with a terrible picture of the ring (I must admit, this isn't the ring Calvin proposed with, as sadly, even though it was incredibly beautiful, it didn't quite fit. We went out the next day and chose this one together, I love it!)

Peace and Love!

Friday, 21 December 2012

The Sales!

I shouldn't really need to introduce this, we all know what's coming after the Christmas and New Year festivities...and that's the big January Sales!

As I get older, and start to spend my money more wisely, I start to realise how great the sales can be! And the best way is to check out what you want, try it on and know where it is, so that you can go straight to whatever it is and cash in on those great deals!

I'm obsessed with Kirstie Allsopp, particularly her style, elegance, individuality and fun! She's a beautiful woman and I bet if her and Nigella Lawson had grown up together they would be best friends (the annoying kind that are always perfect and doing fun things!). 

Now and again, I do go through my phase of Kirstie Allsopp-esque clothing. Think knee high boots, good tights and a classically tailored, but whacky print dress. And I must say, I do love this phase! As it usually comes along with baking/cooking/crafting, which is always good!

Recently, I visited Kaliko. A brand that is probably aimed at an age a little higher than 21 (ahem) but can surprise you with some great items. A little pricey, with the average dress at £60-£85, but fantastic none the less. I was with my mum who did, I must admit, force me to try on a few dresses, that at first sight seemed a little dull. But when on, they looked great! The material, quality and cut of the dresses is above most found on the high street, and you just know that it will be a great staple piece for many years to come. 

These were some of my favourites, I tend to dress quite autumn/winter-y throughout the year, so I can see these with some nice soft leggings/tights, knee high leather boots and a great jacket. Oh, I can't wait for the sales!
Was £85 Now £40
I must admit, this is one of the dresses that I didn't like on the hanger,
but when I tried it on, it was just luxurious! The material is fantastic and the fit is just brilliant. 

Was £60 Now £20!
I love the alternating sizes of stripes, very clever and flattering.

Was £60 Now £30
A beautiful, versatile print, with pockets(!) and the material is quite soft and felty, lovely!

Over the next week in the run up to the January sales I will be bringing you more of my favourite deals, from some fantastic high street brands! 

Merry Christmas!


P.S. This post was purely my opinion, and was not sponsored by Kaliko.

Season's Greetings!

Hello lovelies!

I hope you're all well, with loved ones nearby and able to relax in the run up to christmas.

Before all the frivolously festive photos, it must be said that 2012 really has been a mixed year for everybody. There has been so many tragedies, so many innocent lives lost, and I only hope that these horrors can be useful in turning the corner. Seeing the 26 acts movement, I wish that it provides some sort of solice and comfort to those who lost their dear children and family members so cruelly. My thoughts are with them.

2013 will be a new start, for all.

How inviting does this cabin look?!

It's Calvin and I's first Christmas together, (well technically second as we became "official" on 23rd December, 1st year anniversary coming up!), and this has meant a bit of a change in the way my Christmas normally is. I tried to keep up with the usual family traditions, like putting the Christmas tree up with Mum, I'll be shopping on Christmas Eve with my Dad and cooking together with Mum on Christmas Day. I even have a delicious new, tried-and-tested recipe for the veggie side (me and my Dad) which involves lentils, leeks, mushrooms, breadcrumbs and cheese! I'll be bringing you the recipe very soon.

My Parents' Tree from last year!
I used to utterly detest putting up the family tree with my mum. Not because of the time it took (it's pretty huge!) but because it's a fake tree and dusty and gross! It usually happened after a long day at college or school and really was the last thing I wanted to do. But I'm glad I made time for it this year. Now I'm moved out totally, living in our perfect little house, I feel it's really important to do stuff like this with my parents.
A glimpse of Calvin and I's first tree before the cat wrecked it!
With our tree, we (meaning 'I' as Calvin couldn't care less), went for a red and white theme, including real peppermint candy canes <3 I spent less than £35 which is amazing considering Asda (my go-to) are selling similar trees (not decorated!) for £50+. The tree was £24.96 from Tescos, absolutely great for the quality, it's a 6ft bushy (not so much now it's the preferred sitting/sleeping place for Catface), with acorns and slightly white tips. And most of the decorations I got from a discount superstore called B&M, the large striped baubles were £2.99 for 6, the tinsel 3 for £2, the mushrooms were 4 for 99p, and the mini baubles about 12 for £1.99. I got the fake candy cane from Tesco for around 99p for 6 and the fake red pearls (?) for 69p. 

Over the years we'll probably get a larger tree and buy a couple of decorations each year in the sales! Oh gosh, I am so excited for the sales! More about that later!

For now, I'll leave you with a few more pretty pictures. 

Perfect Gift! Recipe here!

Peppermint, Oreos, and no Cream Truffles?!
I'll be making these in the next couple of days, yum! Recipe here!

Have a very Merry Christmas!


Friday, 7 December 2012

Chocolate Chip and Hazelnut Cookies...

I'm usually utterly terrible at making cookies and gave up after my last attempted resulted in frothy, caramelised gunk!

It's Christmas though, and that does mean homemade cookies. Chocolate and Hazelnut was requested, and this is the result.

Yummy, perfectly round and just the right amount of sweetness!

This should make 2 dozen good sized cookies (I halved mine!)
1/2 cup of unsalted soft butter
1 1/2 cup of sugar (I use granulated white just fine)
2 eggs
2 capfulls of vanilla essence (not much needed!)
2 1/4 cups of plain flour
1 tsp of Bicarb of Soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup of hazelnuts (use 50g of whole and smash 'em!)
100g of Chocolate Chips (Dark/Milk/White)

Add in cranberries if you like, which go great with white chocolate, or orange zest and dark chocolate? Yum!

Preheat the oven to 170C, get your sheet ready, preferably use a non-stick! (Poundshops/Wilkinsons, etc have these super cheap!)

Mix your wet ingredients first. Cream together the butter and sugar, then add in the eggs and vanilla, continuously stirring. I used a balloon whisk for this stage. 

In a separate bowl get your dry ingredients ready. Combine the flour, bicarb of soda, and salt.

Sieve your dry ingredients into the wet, and incorporate with a spoon. It'll start to come together and make a nice dough, you can then add in your chocolate chips, hazelnuts, whatever else. 

Take two tablespoons, using one to scoop up some yummy cookie dough, and the other to put it onto the baking sheet. Don't put too much on, about a pingpong ball size. 

Use a fork to squash them down.

Bake in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes, until they start to crack on the top. 
Open the oven and let them cool (I didn't use a cooling rack and they turned out great!)

Hope you enjoy! And let me know what variations you do! 

I'm going to chop up some candy canes and use them next! 
Who doesn't love peppermint at christmas?


Tis The Season...

Oh my! What a whirlwind the last couple of months have been!

Very sorry to all of my lovely readers! It's been very hectic!

Since August, I've moved in with my boyfriend, closed the shop (and the markets), started university, got involved as a Student Rep, learnt a whole mass of Japanese (!), turned 21 and moved house again!

The move was probably the most stressful, so much furniture and bits and bobs to move, so glad that my boyfriend and my dad could help (i.e. I just had to tell them where things needed to be!). The house is coming together, we still need bedroom furniture and more storage, but that can come in the new year! Until then, it's Christmas, which means trees, liquors, cookies, delicious homemade pies (nothing new in our house!) and some heartfelt presents. 

Over the next few weeks I'll be bringing you delicious recipes, some fun traditions to get started (especially if its your first christmas living with your partner or your new little addition!), crafty gifts and the best from the high street!

I'll leave you now with a little hint of Calvin and I's very first Christmas tree! As well as our adorable cat, Catface.