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


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Getting To Know Yoooouu

I've been tagged by the gorgeous Mel for a Liebster blog Award and this time, I'm going to do it! I've been tagged before but never quite got around to finishing the post but this has come at a really good time because I've been having a little crisis of confidence in my blog lately so hopefully this will give me a bit of a boost. (I really wanted to write boobs then, I don't know why...)

The purpose of the Liebster Award is to help out the smaller blog owners (under 200 followers) out there to get some recognition for the great job they do. I like this idea because I'm aware of so many smaller blogs who are just as incredible than huge blogs but don't get the recognition they deserve.

The Rules:
  1. Each person tagged must post 11 random facts about themselves.
  2. They must answer the 11 questions posted by the previous blogger.
  3. They must create 11 more questions to ask their tagged bloggers.
  4. They must tag 11 blogs with less than 200 followers.
  5. The bloggers must be told.
  6. No tag backs

11 Facts About Me:
  1. I was born in Belgium. My parents had lived there for about 9 years (I think) and had both myself and my older brother there. We moved to England when I was 18 months old so I don't remember it. According to my husband though I've been known to sleep talk in French which he puts down to my having heard it as much as English when I was little!
  2. I have more confidence, self esteem and love for my body now at a size 22/24 than I ever did as a size 14/16. I found a photo of my 16 year old self and was genuinely shocked at how small I was because I remember absolutely loathing my body for being fat.
  3. Until I met my lovely hairy husband I had no intention of ever getting married. I knew I wanted a family but I didn't think I wanted to be married. Then I met Mr D and he charmed me with his sneaky cheese nibbling from the fridge ways haha.
  4. Despite having generalised anxiety disorder and recurrent depressive disorder I am a genuinely happy and optimistic person. I smile a lot, find beauty in everything and everyone and truly believe that everything will be fine. Sometimes it makes me feel a bit overwhelmed and I wonder if that's why I'm so susceptible to depression.
  5. My mum is my best friend. There isn't anything I can't talk to her about and although we tend to start bickering if we spend more than 24 hours with eachother I wish very, very much that she lived closer so I could just pop round for a cup of tea and a chat. 
  6. I really, really love stationery. I always have at least 3 pretty notebooks on the go at once. It's sad but I just REALLY LOVE STATIONERY.
  7. I hate having an untidy, unclean house but I also really hate cleaning. Really hate it. This leaves me in quite a conundrum most of the time.
  8. Penarth Pier in South Wales is my favourite place in the world. 
  9. Christmas-time is my most favourite time of the year. I love all the festivities, the twinkly lights, the cold and how everyone seems to be that bit nicer to each others.
  10. I was a vegetarian until I was 12 but then only ate chicken until I was 17. If it weren't for my carnivorous husband I would quite happily go back to be a vegetarian. 
  11. I am shit scared of clowns. 
My questions from Mel:

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you choose? South Wales, by the sea. Mr D and I keep looking at houses and jobs there but the idea of actually making the move is a bit too big at the moment. I would hate to be that far away from my mum and our friends. 
  2. What do you do to relax? Knit, watch a film, have a cuddle with a cat or a husband or if I'm feeling a bit sdkg;slkg then I've taken to going and sitting in my garden for ten minutes.
  3. What are your desert island essentials? A book, knitting needles, a giant ball of yarn, Figs & Rouge Cherry Vanilla Balm and my hairy husband. 
  4. What is your most listened to song on Last.FM (If you don't have it answer from memory!) I haven't used Last.FM for years but my most listened to song at the minute is probably 212 by Azealia Banks, I love it!
  5. What meal would be your last? A really good chicken katsu curry.
  6. Who are the special people in your life? My husband, my mum and my friends. I have a lot of very special people in my life and I am incredibly lucky. 
  7. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Hopefully with my business plan in successful action, still very happily married but with the addition of a child and living in a house with a bigger garden. Maybe by the sea!
  8. What are your weaknesses? Cats, baked goods and big, hairy men.
  9. Name your favourite places in the city you live in. Hm...that's a hard one! Is it wrong that all the places that spring to mind are either pubs or tea shops?!
  10. What is your preferred method of travelling? For every day, car but for travelling further away it's a ferry. 
  11. Is there anything you would like to learn to do? I'm already learning it at college! I started a course in nail technology and make-up artistry on Monday :)

My questions for the tagged bloggers to answer:

  1. What is your ultimate comfort food?
  2. If you could do any job in the world what would it be?
  3. What one skill do you wish you had?
  4. Actual book or e-reader?
  5. What is your proudest achievement?
  6. Are you where you thought you would be 5 years ago?
  7. What is your favourite pudding?
  8. What two materialistic things can you not live without?
  9. How old were you when you fell in love for the first time?
  10. What's the best bit of advice you've ever been given?
  11. Where is your favourite place in the world?
The 11 bloggers I'm tagging:
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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