Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Cake & Bake Show 2012

This weekend was spent with my mum in London. We stayed with her best friend's in Ruislip because we had tickets for The Cake &; Bake Show on Saturday which I've looked forward to for weeks and weeks! The prospect of spending an entire day talking about and being knee deep in cake related things and the opportunity to meet some of my cake idols was really bloody exciting! I met some really wonderful people and picked up so many brilliant tips, ideas and techniques. I also took lots of photos...
I told my mum to do a fashion blogger pose... :D

Very excited :)

Me and my cake hero, Peggy Porschen! I look awful but I was so excited haha. 

We got to taste one of Peggy's cupcakes.

One half of Gingercups. I walked past their stall on the way to a demo and this gorgeous thing ran after me to say hello and bond over our style! 

Lovely Eddie Spence.

My favourite bit of royal icing by Eddie Spence. He did this in literally 15 seconds. Incredible!

Royal icing scrolls by Eddie Spence

Incredible royal icing work by Eddie Spence

Lovely, lovely (tiny) Eddie Spence MBE who decorated the Queen's jubliee cake.

Beautiful wedding cake display, the one with the black design was my favourite.

One of the 'edible beach cake' competitors and my favourite.

My mum's favourite.
And lastly, mum's friend's dog, Coolie. He's the sweetest, cuddliest most beautiful dog ever. He snuggled up to me on the sofa every night and nuzzled his nose under my arm. Love him <3 td="td">
There will be a beauty related post soon, I promise! Due to being at college during the week I'm not allowed to have my nails painted so nail posts are going to be quiet for a while. Do expect lots of posts when I start practical bits though. I also have some skincare products to review and the bits I got with the £100 Clothing At Tesco voucher I won a while back. Must get motivated!

Mrs D x


Monday, 10 September 2012

Christmas Savings (Move Along, Scrooge)

I'd like to say that when it comes to Christmas I revert back to being a child but actually, I think my excitement levels as an adult are probably higher! Just less running-around-like-a-headless-chicken-y. Instead I get that bubble of excitement in my tummy when I hear my first Christmas song of the year, or when I see the first bottle of Baileys on sale (because in this house Christmas and Baileys go hand in hand!). It's still magical for me. The dark afternoons, Christmas trees in people's windows, fairy lights in the town centres, smoking chimneys from log fires and children in mittens make my heart swell. It sounds so twee and silly but it really is my favourite time of year. Everyone makes an effort to be nicer to people around Christmas, families make an effort to see eachother and it's the one time of the year where I know my big, hairy hulking brother will give me a cuddle. I love it!

However, despite all my vomit inducing, simpering love for Christmas, I know how stressful it came be in terms of money. When the lovely folk at BBB got in touch and said they were working with the equally as lovely folk at Getting Personal to get bloggers talking about Chistmas budgeting and money saving tips I jumped at the chance. Mostly because I really flippin' love any excuse to talk about Christmas but also because I'm quite the cheapskate thrifty seasonal organiser! I started jotting down little tips and have collected a few to share with you :) 

  • If you're going to make handmade gifts start collecting bits over the year. Most of the things I make are food based so I never throw out jam jars, bottles, pots, those cute little Gu dishes (don't pretend you don't know the ones I mean), anything that I might be able to re-use. If you actively buy empty jars you're looking at least 40p per jar. That adds up quickly!
  • Be on the look-out all year round for things that would make good stocking fillers. We have a rule in that you're not allowed to spend any more than £3 on a stocking filler and they always have to be silly (for example Mr D put a Cliff Richard calendar in mine last year...). Again, that adds up quickly if you're doing stockings for three different people. If you see something in March that you think your children/husband/Aunt Fanny would like, get it and put it away!
  • Never, ever throw away gift bags from birthdays and such. Those things cost about £2 each! Re-use, re-use, re-use. 
  • Don't waste money on those albeit beautiful but overpriced packs of pretty material covers and labels for jam jars. Make your own covers with scraps of fabric and pinking shears and your own labels with a computer. These websites have tons of free printable labels that are really cute. 
  • Secret Santa! At work, school, uni, in your group of friends and if you have a huge family that meet up over Christmas it will save a lot of money. Just make sure you stick to a certain amount otherwise it gets messy. 
  • If you're struggling with what to get someone who seems to have everything or if you don't know them that well, Getting Personal have some lovely things that are reasonably priced that can be personalised. I bet that rich uncle who has 17 Lamborghinis doesn't have a cheese board with his name on, does he?!
  • Start looking around now for things on special offer that you can freeze. I filled my freezer last year with sausages and bacon and it saved me a lot of flapping around trying to buy pigs in blanket on Christmas Eve because Mr D had already eaten the 40 I'd made the day before.
  • If you're hosting Christmas at home and inviting family, ask them to bring something like the Christmas pudding or stuffing. 
  • Grow your own vegetables! Not only do you get an incredible smug sense of satisfaction but it really does save a huge amount of money. Mr D really loves sprouts and got a bit over enthusiastic with the plants last year. We had enough to have them with literally every meal for a week before Christmas, fed 8 people with them on Christmas Day and still had some leftover!
  • Always use your leftovers, don't ever throw them away. It doesn't have to be horrible turkey curry either, the BBC Good Food website has loads of really tasty and interesting leftover recipes. 
  • Or just invade someone else's house for the Christmas period so you don't have to buy anything at all! 
I hope those are at least a teeny bit helpful! I promise not to mention the C word for at least another month now...maybe ;)

And just for your viewing pleasure, look at the chocolate log I made last year! 

Mrs D x


Sunday, 2 September 2012

A Pint of Guinness & An Egg

Honeys, I'm hoooooome! Home safe and sound from the best, most magical week I've had in a very long time. It was exactly what I needed; a week in the beautiful Irish countryside with 12 of my favourite people. I feel refreshed, relaxed and more like myself.

I feel like September is a fresh page for me and I'm really looking forward to it. It's my favourite month of the year, this one especially because it will see mine and Mr D's first wedding anniversary! Even though I haven't been at school for a very, very long time and I don't work in education anymore, September always feels like a new start. I have my first of two induction days at college on Thursday, a lovely, long list of blog posts to write, there is the prospect of new, exciting things and Mr D is starting rowing again which does wonders for both his physical and mental state. (Whilst accentuating his ridiculously sexy broad shoulders... :D) Things feel positive and I like it.

I thought I'd share a few of my favourite photos from our holiday...some make me weep with fondness and pride whilst others make me weep with laughter and silliness.

We started our week off by watching two of our friends get married!

Yes, I wore the same dress to two weddings and it was MARVELLOUS!

What a gorgeous bunch :)

Our dresses doing what they were made to do.

The first Annual Cheese Fling

Cheese Fling Champions

Lovely hairy husband and I <3 td="td">

Man fishing.

Paddy the chicken.

My gorgeous friend Mark in his happy place. He's single...

One very happy Mr D :)

A 4 star dessert.

I love a leather throne.

Singing the rap in Gangster's Paradise...

I made friends with a very greedy, licky horse called Tyson.

Normal posting shall resume next week! I've missed you all. 

Mrs D x

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