15 Lists for 2015

Recently I posted my 23 Before 23 Review, and I did promise you that I would share how I have set my goals for 2015. This year I chose a different method for coming up with my goals for the year. For the last two years I have used my birthday in December to mark the start and end of my yearly challenge, with my 22 before 22 and 23 before 23. I do love this way of setting goals, and having a birthday in December helps since it pretty much runs on a calendar year anyway! However, last year was so chaotic that I found my 23 before 23 challenge was neglected, and it didn’t really work for me when I had so much else going on.

Being someone who lives their life by lists (goals, to do lists, shopping lists…) when 2015 was approaching I once again turned my thoughts how I was going to measure my annual aims and achievements. While I do love the ‘x before x’ idea, having a set number of goals in a very specific time frame (i.e. from one birthday to the next) ended up feeling like a competition against myself to get them finished, and in the final few months/weeks before the deadline I seemed to try and race through as many as possible just to get them crossed off the list, rather than doing them for fun, which is obviously the idea in the first place! 2015 is definitely going to be far less chaotic for me, so it would probably have proved a successful year had I done a 24 before 24 challenge, but I have decided to do something a bit different instead. Continue reading

‘Have A Heart’ Angel Cake Recipe

For Valentine’s, I made James a cake using Wilton Heart Tasty Fill Tin Pan Cake Non-Stick Baking Tins Create Filled Cakes to make an angel cake with a strawberry marshmallow mousse heart-shaped centre, covered with white chocolate butter cream and white chocolate ganache. It went down very well with James, and my colleague also asked me to make one for her birthday, which disappeared in about 20 minutes in the office! Since the cake is proving so popular, I have decided to share the recipe with you!

Cake

Ingredients

For the sponge:

  • 10 medium egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 375g icing sugar
  • 200g plain flour

For the mousse:

  • 250g fresh strawberries
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 140g mini marshmallows
  • 200ml double cream

For the butter cream:

  • 150g unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 380g icing sugar
  • 80g white chocolate

Continue reading

Our Valentine’s Weekend!

Hello! Did you all have a lovely Valentine’s weekend?

Because Valentine’s Day was on a Saturday, me and James decided to make the most of it by having a relaxing Valentine’s weekend!

I kicked off my weekend plans by taking a sneaky half day holiday on Friday afternoon to go home and bake James a Valentine’s cake. I bought a wonderful Wilton Heart Tasty Fill Tin Pan Cake Non-Stick Baking Tins Create Filled Cakes to bake a cake with a filled heart shape running round the cake. I opted to make an angel cake, as it is mine and James’s favourite, and filled it with a strawberry marshmallow mousse and covered it in white chocolate butter cream and white chocolate ganache. As I was pushed for time, I didn’t manage to get it looking quite as neat as I wanted, but for what it lacks in presentation, it definitely makes up for in taste! James was really surprised to find a cake waiting for him when he got in!

Cake

The next stage of operation Valentine’s Weekend was to have James’s presents ready and waiting when he got up on Saturday morning. This phase didn’t quite go to plan, as on Friday evening I was exhausted and ended up having an early night, meaning that I had to sneakily (and unsuccessfully) get the presents out of the wardrobe and downstairs at 6:30 on Saturday morning before James woke up. My sneaking skills weren’t up to scratch though and I just ended up waking him up! I did tell him not to look though so that I could still get the presents downstairs without him seeing. This is what he came down to find: Continue reading

So, Cath Kidston were offering £1 postage…

and this is what happened…

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oops…

Home 5

 

I am actually holding this jug responsible. I saw it in the shop on Valentine’s Day in York and I fell in love with it. The jug itself is quite an unusual shape (my Mum described it as squashed?) as it is quite narrow in width. Hard to explain but TRUST ME it is adorable! I also love the design, it is part of the Painterly Rose set which is new and VERY hard to resist! Hence this also made its way into my parcel… Continue reading

22 Before 22: Bake Ten New Recipes

Wow, it feels like a lifetime since I last crossed something off my 22 Before 22 list! I really need to get a wriggle on! I can now cross the ‘bake ten new recipes’ goal off my list though! Unfortunately I haven’t been able to keep up with Stephanie Pomfrett’s baking challenge of baking two recipes a month, but I have managed to bake ten new recipes this year.

Yesterday me and James had a baking session that brought me up to my goal of testing out ten recipes. We baked two new recipes, the first one coming from one of my favourite baking books, Marian Keyes’ Saved by Cake.

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James picked the ‘Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes’ recipe, which was surprisingly quick and easy! It only took a few minutes to mix it all together and put them in the bun cases…my kind of baking! As usual, we weren’t going for points for presentation… Continue reading

A trip to the farm shop

Just a few minutes walk from my house is a farm shop which me and my mum love a trip to when we get chance. When I was in 6th form, me and my mum managed quite a few trips out to various places, including shopping trips into Hull or Beverley, but since I have been busy with university work, we haven’t managed to fit in very many trips. Luckily, after I handed in an essay on Tuesday, there is a bit of a gap until my next essay so we decided to take advantage of the lull in my work to have a trip out again.

Southwood Garden Centre and Farm Shop is only a ten minute walk from my house and, since the weather had been nice, we planned a trip for Wednesday…when the weather wasn’t so nice. It was still warm but a bit miserable looking but we weren’t going to let that stop us! I like going to the farm shop and seeing all of the lovely local produce that are produced on the site. However, they also sell lovely things for the home for fantastic prices! On the trip, Mum said she would treat me to something when we were shopping, and I had seen this bird house on my last visit with James, which, for some reason, refuses to be photographed well!

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Pins of the Week

After sharing my Pinterest Love post the other week I have become more and more obsessed by Pinterest! So, I thought I would share the top ten pins I have come across in the last week with you! Click on the picture to be taken to the pin 🙂 Everything seems to be pastel colours this time…I’m obviously longing for spring!

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1. I love this idea, sprinkle sequins into a vase to make a lovely centrepiece. Continue reading

2013 Baking Challenge – March

So it has come to that time again when I have tried two new recipes for my 2013 Baking Challenge/22 Before 22! With this month’s two recipes I will have tried 8 new recipes this year so next month I will be able to cross off another one on my list!

This month’s edition is coming a little later than usual due to a broken oven for a couple of weeks! This time James and I decided to try something completely new to us – macaroons! When we were flicking through the baking books, James came across recipes for lemon and raspberry macaroons in The Hairy Bikers Big Book of Baking.

Hairy-Bikers-Book-of-Baking-365x480 Continue reading

Pinterest Love

So last week my Pinterest had a makeover to update it to the new style. While it has had some teething troubles on my account I’m sure it will smooth itself out once the kinks are ironed out. Here is what it now looks like:

Pinterest

The pins are much bigger and the layout is much more accessible when looking at boards and pins. In honour of the new look Pinterest and just because I love it so much (who doesn’t!) I thought I would share my favourite finds of this week with you: Continue reading