1. Gorgeous James on our dinner date, looking dashing!
2. Me on our lovely dinner date, I love a date night ever so.
3. Breakfast in bed, James made me!
4. Halloween cupcakes, well chocolate cupcakes in halloween wrappers...That counts right?
I wore this for a Starbucks lunch date with James. This weather is so bizarre at the moment, hot one minute then cold the next, so I thought I'd go for knitted items but no coat so I didn't get too hot. I love this dress, it was a hand-me-down from James's Mum and it is so warm and comfy!
James and I went on our usual hobbycraft trip and I bought wool to make my Mum a scarf for Christmas. I hope she likes it!
I sent James off to work with brownies for him and his workmates, hopefully it makes their Sunday shift more enjoyable. James was looking very handsome this morning so I took a few snaps of him and the brownies. My two favourite things: James and baked goods, yum!
It's a study day for me at the moment, trying to start one of my many assignments for uni. I'll also be starting my new knitting project today and then off out to dinner with James as it's 25% off for students at Giraffe on a Sunday, amazing!
Yes, I know it's October but I am a firm believer that it's never to early to get excited for Christmas!
I made them because James's Mum said she wanted either fancy biscuits or mince pies. So naturally I picked the Christmas option!! Giorgia took some lovely pictures for me and I've used one above.
I used the BBC Good Food recipe, I wasn't too happy with it as the pastry is quite hard to work with and I added an egg to bind it.
225g cold diced butter
350g plain flour
100g caster sugar
280g mincemeat (I used Sainsbury's own brand)
Small amount of egg wash
2 cookie cutters
12 hole fairy cake tin
Rub the butter into the flour and the sugar
Add one egg and get your hands in there to bring the pastry together
Shape your pastry in a ball on the work top and knead it until it comes together
Roll out the pastry and using a round cookie cutter bigger than your cake tin holes, cut the pastry
Line the cake tin with the pastry and spoon in the mincemeat, use a teaspoon and a half per pie
Using a slightly smaller cookie cutter to cut out lids for the pies
Press the lids onto the pies
Brush with eggwash
Bake for 20 minutes at gas mark 6/ 200C until golden
Enjoy! You can play christmas songs in the background to enhance the Christmas experience
I started knitting this scarf a little while ago, just as a little project to knit while I was watching telly, especially the X Factor and Great British Bake Off (when it was on). I really love watching telly and knitting during makes me feel pro-active and like I'm doing something creative.
I was knitting it at uni and one of my friends liked it so much she said she'd buy it from me. My first proper sale, I was thrilled!
I thought I'd take a few pictures of it to share with you before it goes off to its new home.
I wore this out today on a mini shopping date with James, any outing with James I consider a date! He finished uni early today so I picked him up and we went straight to town. If you follow my twitter you'll know that I am constantly talking about Starbucks and their caramel hot chocolate, I finally had one again today.
It was so chilly out today I got to wear my favourite coat! I paired it with my Uggs as it was so cold and I love them, I don't care if they are chavvy, they're like putting your feet to bed in the warmest cosiest place ever.
This morning I made butternut squash soup for my Mum and me! I thought I'd do a little how-to as this is my own recipe (for once). This recipe serves two people. This soup is nice and healthy at 92 calories per bowl....
400g of chopped butternut squash, peeled
300ml of vegetable stock (I used a oxo cube)
Half a teaspoon of curry powder
Quarter teaspoon of dried coriander
Half teaspoon of dried cumin
Tablespoon of garlic oil
100ml of extra water if needed
1. Chop the butternut squash and cook in the garlic oil for ten minutes, stirring to make sure it does not burn.
2. Add your spices to the butternut squash
3. Add boiling water to your stock cube or measure out 300ml of vegetable stock and add to the butternut squash. Cook for 20 minutes.
4. Test the butternut squash is cooked with a knife, it should be soft. Get your trusty hand blender, I've named mine Kevin and blend your soup! I added an extra 100ml of water as my soup was really thick.
5. And there you have yummy super healthy spicy butternut squash soup!
This is what I wore out with James a few days ago when we popped into town, I bought this jumper dress a few months ago but hadn't had a chance to wear it yet. It's so cute and it has elbow patches, yes elbow patches, I feel like a geography teacher! James took the pictures, my hair is all lit up, it looks kind of cool (I think so anyway).
Due to everyone in my class at uni passing our anatomy exam, I thought I'd make us something to celebrate with and to keep us from nodding off in lectures... I was thinking of making a huge chocolate cake but I had no way of transporting it. So I thought cupcakes, but there are more than twelve of us in my class. Then it hit me: whoopie pies!!
I had a whoopie pie cookbook sitting on my shelf and I'd never really thought about making them until today. The story of whoopie pies is that farmers wives used to bake these, put them in their husbands lunch boxes and when they opened them, they were so pleased they exclaimed "Whoopie!"
280g of plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 and a half teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
Quarter teaspoon of salt
125g of butter (at room temperature)
100g of caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
200g of dark chocolate chips (I used half white chocolate and half dark)
Line two large baking trays with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 180 C
In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and creamy
Add the egg and beat until well incorporated
In a separate bowl add the dry ingredients
Add the buttermilk into the wet mixture
Sift the dry ingredients in into the batter
Mix in the choc chips by hand, make sure they are well distributed throughout
Chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes
Using a teaspoon for mini whoopie pies or an ice cream scoop for large pies, scoop mixture onto baking trays
Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown in colour and spring back to touch
The recipe says it makes 24 mini or 9 large whoopie pies but mine made about 17 middle sized ones
So I did some baking today for the Topshop/Topman people so I thought I'd try out Lola's recipe for chocolate cupcakes. The batter was super running and the cakes have a sort of brownie crust on them, so I think the cakes may be like a brownie-ish cupcake. I haven't had a chance to try one as the whole batch are for James and his workmates, but hopefully I'll get some feedback tomorrow. I'm not sure I'd make this recipe again as it was just too runny for my liking...
I made the Hummingbird Bakery frosting that I normally use and got a chance to try out my new edible glitter, which I am so in love with (glittery and edible, two of my favourite things in the world). I topped the chocolate cakes with Cadbury's Chocos, so these cakes will be a chocolate overload!
I have been hankering for something different to bake all week and while scrolling through rhubarb and rose I found the easy brownie recipe which she baked for her wedding. So I thought I'd give it a go. I never get on particularly well with brownies, are they a cake? Are they a pudding? Except from being brown, what are brownies?
I think these went well, they were fudge-y on the inside and cooked on the outside. Now they have cooled properly, I think they're the best brownies I've ever made! I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to baking and brownies aren't my strongest suit but this recipe is really good! Anyway I've posted below the recipe that I used....
100g plain flour
125g dark chocolate
175g caster sugar
75g brown sugar (I used soft brown)
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of cocoa
One lined 20cm cake tin
Put the butter, golden syrup, chocolate and sugar in a bowl over some hot water on a low heat and stir until smooth and melted
When the chocolate mixture has melted put aside to cool, I put my bowl in a sink full of cold water to speed up the process
In a separate bowl whisk eggs until light and frothy!
Add eggs to the chocolate mixture and then add dry ingredients slowly
Bake in an oven at 160 C or gas mark 4 for 25- 35 minutes
Leave in tin to cool for 30 minutes (I didn't turn mine out, I sliced it straight from the cake tin)
Ta-daaa yummy brownies, best enjoyed with a cup of tea and no feelings of guilt about the calories...
Today James and I went into town and I picked up some supplies for future knitting projects, some cake pop sticks and edible glitter. I wore my usual skirt and t shirt combo but thought I'd borrow some items from James to make it look a little different! I love his patchwork All Saints cardigan and the River Island backpack, which I bought him for his birthday, so I borrowed both of them straight away! I also added in a little bow in my hair which matches my shoes. I've resisted buying any new clothes so far, even though I look at modcloth daily...
This is my new favourite cupcake recipe, all the cakes come out perfectly!
I decorated the cupcakes with a lilac vanilla buttercream and white chocolate stars.
I baked these cupcakes today, I was just itching to try out my new book Making Cupcakes With LOLA. This recipe is perfection, all the cupcakes came out equal size, shape and colour. So happy with this recipe I cannot even explain!
My hairdresser keeps saying I should sell my cakes, I wonder if anyone would buy them? I'd love to have my own little baking business! If anyone in Essex wants me to bake some cupcakes for them, get in touch!
Edit: I've just added made to order homemade cupcakes to my etsy shop!
This is what I wore to uni today, I was in all day and the weather was looking pretty dire this morning so I picked this cosy jumper and my favourite shoes! I love this jumper, it was gifted to me by James's sister. I love the colour because it goes with everything and it's so comfy, not too thick and not too thin.
My hair dye should arrive soon, think I'm just going to bite the bullet and ginger myself up! Having my hair trimmed in the morning with my mum and her friends, I'm making cupcakes for us. Tea, cake and hair cuts. Perfection.
I've been debating for a long time whether to dye my hair... I've grown my roots out for six months while I've been deciding. I think I've decided on ginger. I love ginger, it looks so pretty but still quite different. I have bought the hair dye, I chose the shade called Amber in casting creme gloss, it's a semi permanent so it will wash out (sort of). But I'm just deciding whether do to it or not? My boyfriend and friends say yes, but I'm still not sure. I would kindly welcome any opinions!
James has been uniform shopping again for Topman and he picked out these really cute trousers! They're a lovely tweed with a wide leg... granted the leg isn't particularly wide, just comfy looking. He bought a checked bow tie to go with it which I love, it just completes the look. This is what he says he's going to wear when he's a history teacher. I think he looks ever so handsome in these pictures. Best dressed Topman employee award should be created just for him!
So James has been sent to work with the cupcakes from my last post. Hopefully they go down well and make him the most popular member of staff!
So I made some cupcakes for James to take to work, as I mentioned in yesterday's post. They are chocolate with vanilla buttercream topped with white chocolate stars. I had a bit of an issue with the buttercream going a bit too runny! But I found a tip online that says you should fill the piping bag then put it in the freezer for five minutes, I will keep that in mind for next time. So these cakes don't look as pretty as I hoped but there is always next week! Hopefully people will just think they taste nice...
I'm continuing with my no-clothes-until-new-year plan by borrowing James's jumper from Topman which I am rather in love with. It's so comfy, I love having a boyfriend with great style, because it means a double wardrobe for me! I wore this to go into Chelmsford for a shopping trip with my Grandma, I
didn't buy anything due to being ridiculously poor but it was nice to have a window shop!
Also today, I made some chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream for James to take to work tomorrow, I'll take pictures of them tomorrow. I bought a cupcake bakery box so I felt very professional packing them all up!
P.s. I don't quite know why I'm doing tree pose in my picture. But who doesn't love a bit of yoga?
After reading the tutorial on a beautiful mess so I thought I'd try my hand at the ridiculously cute hair bow. Surprisingly simple! I love it, this may become my alternative hairstyle to my usual high bun. I wonder if it's work appropriate... if cuteness healed people I'm sure this hair style would help!
So today I made my very first pecan pie, not just any pecan pie, a chocolate pecan pie! I have never eaten a pecan pie, let alone make one. I decided to make it all from scratch, I haven't made pastry in a while so that was a nice way to spend my morning. There was a lot of resting for the pastry, when I first made the pastry it had to be rested for 30 minutes, and then again after I'd lined the dish.
After all that resting, I blind baked the pastry for 20 minutes, 10 minutes with baking beans and 10 without. While the pastry was baking, I made the caramel sauce, where you melt down light brown sugar, butter and golden syrup and then wait for it to cool. When the caramel liquid has cooled, it's time to beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined.
When the pastry comes out of the oven, I scattered chopped pecans and dark chocolate on the base and poured over the caramel liquid and finally I decorated with pecan halves.
I baked the pecan pie in the oven for 40 minutes and taa-daaaa it's all ready to eat. My pastry looks a bit rustic but hopefully it tastes nice!
I have a plan! I am not going to buy any more clothes until next year....this is going to be hard. I love shopping, I mean, I really love shopping. New clothes make me happy, silly happy but they make my bank balance dwindle to the point when I can't afford to buy wool! The problem with new clothes is I forget that the clothes I have already have stored in my wardrobe are lovely, that's why they're my clothes in the first place. Also, I get a lot of hand me downs which I really love, much better than buying your own clothes. So until January I am not going to buy any clothes! If I have to, I might try my hand at making some very basic clothes but I am not buying any clothes, at all. It's out there now on the internet so I can't break my pact. I can't wait to see how much money I save.
How adorable is this super cute leopard print coat?
I love this knitted pinafore, especially with the bootlace tie.
I love this pretty lace collar and I love sleeves on dresses.
I've got a grey skirt like this but I love it in cream.
I really like this star print blouse and the bow tie is too cute!
Pom poms on socks! I am completely sold!
I love these Report Bishop loafers, not very practical but they would look lovely!
I was having a fantasy shopping spree on ASOS this morning (key word: fantasy). I came across all these lovely items, so I thought I'd share my picks! I'm pretty sure I will never ever be able to afford all of these items together, but a girl can dream. I love the bow tie on the printed blouse, James always wears a bow tie but I never thought about wearing one myself and now I'm inspired! I think all these items would look amazing during Autumn and Winter. I love cosy knits and faux fur! These items can all be found on asos, I wish I could afford them all!
(Pictures from ASOS, I was not sponsored to do this post by ASOS, I just really like their clothes)