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five… things to do when it’s constantly raining

10 Jul

Thanks England. Thanks for raining pretty much non-stop at the moment. Thanks for the non-existent summer.  Thanks for pages and pages of weather forecasts that look like this:

What to do when all that awaits is day and days of rain? Here’s my list of the top 5 rainy day activities:

1.Bake- it is one thing you can’t actually do outdoors anyway! Rainy days are perfect for baking. They may involve a little venture outside to buy ingredients but once that’s done a warming oven and a home-baked treat are just what’s needed on a dreary day.  Stay tuned to the blog…  I’ve got a wonderful recipe for goats cheese and caramelised onion savoury scones coming up soon.

2. Cross-stitch- I’ll cross-stitch anytime, anywhere, any weather but rainy days are the most perfect cross-stitching opportunities. There’s a gorgeous new Emily Peacock welcome banner in this months issue of CrossStitcher magazine which may just be my next project. Bring on the rain!

3.Think about the lovely camping things I can buy for when it IS sunny and we can go camping- it’s husbands birthday tomorrow (yay!) and we know one of his presents from his parents is a lovely tent. Being newly married and on student budgets means most holidays are out of the question but camping is a cheap and fun alternative which we hope to make the most of.  I’ll be spending some rainy time dreaming up camping accesories to turn the camping into glamping. Already I’ve spotted a tent carpet (how glam can you get!) and this super amazing thermos mug.

4. Play endless amounts of Phase 10– it’s a brilliant card game that we could spend hours playing. We like to stick some music on, keep the brews coming and whittle away the rainy hours battling each other (and sometimes our lovely friends) to the 10th phase.

5. Be British and BRAVE IT!- us Brits.. we are tough. We are used to rain. We don’t let it stop anything (Jubilee River Pageant anyone?). Maybe the best way to spend a rainy day is to stick on your raincoat and get out there anyway! P.s. the photo on number 5… that was taken last week… it’s JULY and I’m still in my Feb/March outfits (sigh!)!



five… blogs I love to read

20 Jun

I read these blogs almost daily and love every one of them. Have a click through and see if you love them too!

1. An Experiment in Poverty– lifestyle, American, pregnancy, parenting, love and marriage.

2. Gh0stparties– fashion and beauty.

3. Rockstar Diaries– marriage, family, American, love, lifestyle, photography, inspiration, parenting and the most beautiful family you’ll ever see.

4. Little Jacksons– family, pregnancy, parenting, Australian, photography and a little bit of wonderful crafting.

5. Lover Baker Homemaker– crafting, baking, photography, lifestyle, weddings, inspiration, some fashion and a whole lot of love.


five… things for perfect jubilee cupcakes

30 May

I love any type of celebration as it is the perfect excuse to make some themed cupcakes. Baking is one of my all time favourite things to do but unfortunately I don’t seem to have enough spare time to indulge it anymore. When I do I like to go all out and make something really special.
The Diamond Jubilee this weekend has got me planning and thinking about some patriotic cupcakes. Here are some ideas I’ve come up with:

1. a cupcake stand– you always need somewhere pretty to show off your creations. I love this stand, it’s got a nice rustic look with muted colours. I wouldn’t normally buy a stand specifically for an occasion but the Queen’s been our Queen for 60 years… That’s pretty special! It could also be re-used for Olympic celebrations later on this year or any future royal weddings!

2. freeze-dried strawberry pieces- I saw these in Waitrose the other week and thought they’d make the perfect addition to a standard vanilla cupcake mix. They are teeny little pieces that you could just sprinkle into your cake mix before dividing up into cases and baking. The strawberry bits will add a real zing to the cupcakes and nice little bursts of flavour whilst also making them nice and summery. Also strawberry’s are such a British fruit which makes them perfect for the jubilee theme!

3. miniature flags- you could pick up some of these cute little cupcake toppers from many cake decorating stores or why not save some money and make some yourself? I did this for the Royal Wedding last year and they are so simple to make. All you need is a computer and printer (to make the flag bits) and then some cocktail sticks and glue. Find an image of the British flag on Google and put two next to each other like so:

Repeat this over and over until you have the required amount of flags. Print, cut out and then fold in half around the cocktail stick. Glue the two flags together and voila… Homemade flag cupcake toppers! (remember you can use this principle for any flag you like!)

4. patriotic sprinkles- red, white and blue sprinkles… Perfect for the finishing touches to your cupcakes! The ones pictured are from a company called Fiddes Payne available from Waitrose but I’ve seen other supermarkets do their own branded Jubilee decorations. Just hit the home-baking section and see what you can find!

5. print-your-own crown cupcake wrappers– another cute little DIY project for gorgeous Jubilee cupcakes. Follow the link to a lovely site where you can print off these crown wrappers. I’d recommend printing on card for a sturdier wrapper. It’s so simple and will make any cupcake look fit for the occasion.

Will you be making any Jubilee cupcakes this weekend?


five… things that are making me happy right now

26 May

1. SUNSHINE!- my golly how I’ve missed you! London is just totally gorgeous in the sun, gleaming and full of smiling faces. It makes getting up easier, early mornings are no longer a struggle knowing that a day of sun is ahead. I’ve also dug into the summer wadrobe; bright nails, toms, flip flops, floaty dresses and shorts are finally being embraced once more. No one does summer like England, not too hot, not too cold… just right.

2. Girly days with my mummy- today I’m off to The Bertinet Kitchen in Bath with my amazing mummy. We’ve had it booked for months as we got gift vouchers as Christmas presents but it’s finally come around and I’m so excited! We are taking a class called ‘Classic Bistro Cooking’ and will be learning how to create some gorgeous French dishes that will be perfect for future dinner parties. We get to eat the food we’ve made and wash it all down with some wine and then we are going to spend the late afternoon/evening having a mooch around beautiful Bath. What a perfect day.

3. Benefits POREfessional and Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow- bought these two slightly on a whim after reading some great reviews on various blogs. I don’t normally spend large amounts on make-up and I don’t normally go for full coverage stuff either so this was quite a big risk but it totally 100% paid off! Both these products do their job perfectly and make me feel so much better about my skin. The POREfessional primer is silky smooth and reduces the appearance of my pores significantly, it doesn’t block them up either and feels lightweight and airy on my skin. Using the primer with Hello Flawless liquid foundation (I’m one of the lightest shades, I’m Pure 4 Sure) I have skin that I’m proud of, its brighter, smoother and flawless and that other people have commented on it too.

4. EDF energy adverts- this one and this one… enough to make anyone feel happy!

5. A husband that bakes- he has made 2 puddings for me in the last week, both of which were complete surprises to come home to. He’s so thoughtful and it made me grin from ear to ear. And they both tasted amazing too! I’ve got a good one I think. He’s a keeeeper.



five… spring nail polishes

19 Apr

I love these spring months, probably because it seems to be when England actually gets the best weather! I love it when the UGGs are replaced by Toms, when you don’t have to take your coat with you everywhere you go and when you wake up for work at 6am and it’s light! Beautiful! I also love the new colours that appear, both in nature and in fashion… It’s as if the sun gives us permission to be bright ourselves.
With that in mind here’s a list of my top 5 spring nail polishes, perfect for bringing any outfit out of winter and into the sunshine:

1. Barry M Mint Green– this polish is so perfect. It reminds me of ice cream and that reminds me of sunshine. Clash this colour with corals and reds or use it to pick out the minty-green/duck egg blue you already have in any of your clothes. Yum!

2. Nails Inc Daddy’s Girl– when I saw this on a twitter picture I just knew I had to have it. It’s actually a colour I’ve been trying to find for a while, the perfect peach with a bit of extra pop and totally on trend with the pastels of this fashion season. It was also designed by a beauty blogger beautygeeek who one a competition and designed the shade and named it. She did a great job!

3. No7 Beanie– gaaarrggh this colour is gorgeous! I love it because it’s perfect for the transition between winter and summer, not to dark, not to light. A bang on brown shade that makes me look polished and pampered.

4. Nails Inc Basil Street– this is one of these colours that suits everyone and goes with everything. My perfect nude shade. I bought this to wear whilst at work as I’m not allowed to have bright coloured nails but I find myself wearing it after hours too. As with all nails inc polishes it has an amazing formula and is so easy to apply.

5. Nails Inc Brook Street with Electric Lane Top Coat- I stumbled across this combination by accident after applying Brook Street and not really liking it on its own. Electric Lane is great because it goes on top of any colour and makes it sparkle and so I decided to pep up Brook Street with it… And wow! It’s like a pink frosted cupcake, so delicious!


five… children’s story books

13 Apr

I LOVE reading, and I know my love of reading has come from the amazing array of children’s books I read whilst growing up.

I started reminiscing about them the other day… there were soooo many good ones, too many to share!

so here’s my top 5

1.  Katie’s Picture Show– oh if only you really did fall into a painting when you touched it! Katie explores the National Gallery in a very hands on way in a book that actually made me like art galleries! I keep meaning to go to the National Gallery and have a go myself…

2. The Rainbow Fish– if I had to pick a favourite of the five this would be it. I played the rainbow fish in a school play in year 2 and I got to wear the most amazing costume with sparkly scales. The story is all about how wonderful it is to share and it can still teach me a thing or two today.

3. We’re Going On A Bear Hunt– we’re going to catch a big one, we’re not scared, what a beautiful day… uh oh… grass, tall swishy grass, we can’t go under it, we can’t go over it, we’ll have to go through it… SWISH SWASH SWISH SWASH. Purely for the fact that I can pretty much remember the whole of this book of by heart!

4. Nothing– just a beautiful story about a lost little teddy bear who just needs a little bit of love. Pretty sure it would make anyone who reads it feel better.

5. The Jolly Postman– this book=genius. Letters you could take out and read, games to play, pop up bits; everything a small child could want. Only problem is I think between my sister and I we lost every single lose bit from the book in about 5 minutes. It’s not so exciting after that.

a big thanks goes to my amazing parents for giving me such wonderful books, I only hope I can do the same one day


(p.s. if the covers that I’ve put here don’t match the ones on the links it’s because I’ve chosen to use the covers from when I was a kid)

(p.p.s I think I’m going to have to do a take two of this very soon. Amazon’s ‘recommended for you based on you recent searches’ list is bringing up some corkers I’d forgotten!)

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