Thursday, 28 June 2012

Rockin with the Stars! - Discount code included!

Nope, I haven't turned into an international rock star in the past 11 days (although I do know a band that is *this* close to doing just that! Follow @theverdictlive on twitter for more info!) I'm talking about my new favourite candle from One Stop Pamper Shop!

I mentioned the fabulous One Stop Pamper Shop in one of my previous posts and I need to mention them again - they're amazing! Every single candle from this emporium of fragrance contains the highest level of scent possible, combining this with their prettiness and affordability, you have got some serious value for money going on!

Back to my latest favourite! Rockin with the Stars is a bright pink, sweet smelling candle that is so deliciously scented that you don't even need to light it to catch a whiff! I popped mine next to an open window and the summer breeze helped to disperse a sumptuous, sherbety scent around my living room! Once lit the fragrance soon made it's way around my entire flat! How fabulous is that?

Whilst the candle was burning, my fiancé came in from walking the dogs and stopped at the door looking a wee bit confused; "Did you go to Lush today?" He asked, walking straight into the bathroom.

"No, why?" I replied following him on his Fred Flinstone-esque tip toed, nose following travels around the flat.

"I can smell that soap you bought me, the incredibly manly bright pink sugary one." He says with a smile...

Turns out, Rockin with the Stars smells just like my fiancé's favourite soap from Lush! Result! This means that he won't moan that I've got a candle on he doesn't like!

On a side note: His favourite soap is not manly at all, it's a super-sweet vanilla and floral soap that's bright pink in colour - he refuses to buy it for himself because it's so girly! (don't tell him I told you)

If you like scented candles I implore you to visit One Stop Pamper Shop!! And if you're in the South-East why not pop into their fabulous new shop? Handmade High St is in Colchester and features not only the fragrant joys of One Stop but a beautiful array of other handmade loveliness from a variety of amazing UK artisans - Get down there!!

Oooooh! And check this out! The fabulous One Stop Pamper Shop has a sneaky little discount code for you to use too! use code AWESOME for 20% off for the next week! (starting June 29th) - go try Rockin With the Stars for yourself!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

A change of pace

I think I might have to change the name of my blog.

What started out as a great plan with lots of ideas has fizzled out a little bit. This is due to many things but in essence, my mood has been too low to be truly creative and have the energy to make all the things that I want to make and to spend time making my home as beautiful as I'd like to.

Recently I've been visiting a few of my finance's friend's homes and it has depressed me no end seeing how beautiful their homes are. But that's not our fault. We've gone through so much and had to flee our home so we don't have the means to do what they've done. A lot of them have lived where they are for years and been together double the time we have been so it makes sense that they have 'grown up' and lovely homes, but I can't help a little bit of the green eyed monster being around.

I know things will get better. They have to get better.

I keep saying this to myself and I have to believe it: The hard time will make the good times better and the tough times will make us stronger as a couple and as a family when that time comes. If we can get through what we've been through in our lives so far then we can do anything we want to!

Instead of focusing on what I haven't got, I'd like to focus on what I do have - right now.

I have a wonderful fiancé who loves me just as much as I love him and I can't wait to become his wife (whenever we can manage to pull a wedding together).

I have my fantastic little Roofus, my playful boy who gives the best cuddles.

My amazingly beautiful Dakota, with her love of cuddles and her swishy little tail

And I have one slice of my delicious (and first ever) Victoria Sponge cake left in the fridge!

I might not have a lot - but what I do have is enough to make me smile today.

Now....what to rename this blog?

Saturday, 2 June 2012


What a nightmare of a day I had yesterday!

I dragged my poor other half around no less than 8 shops and one market looking for some jubilee bunting - everywhere had sold out! And they reckon people are against the monarchy and don't care about the jubilee?

I was even laughed at by one of the assistants in one of the shops I went into 'we sold out of that the day it came in!' he said as he shuffled off to re-stock the crisps.

After three hours in town (and two horrible blisters later) I came home in a bit of a grump. I wanted to put ups some bunting!

So sod it...I made some!

Now it's not pretty bunting, but I should get some points for effort I think!

I cannot draw, sketch or colour for toffee. I just can't. But in my fit of need for tri-coloured Jubilee decorations I cracked out the crayons and started drawing!

And here are my bunting pieces!

Then I simply popped holes in each corner and strung them up on some wool.

No measuring, no faffing - just crayon drawn flags on card attached to wool. Sorted.

And you know what? I cannot see any other flags or bunting anywhere in my who the heck bought it all??

Friday, 1 June 2012

The Best Laid Plans...

Never turn out do they?!

Gah! With all the Jubilee preparations going on around me, I was planning on making a couple of different pieces of patriotic paraphernalia to decorate my home and try and get into the spirit of things; And of course show you all how to make them too (though in hindsight it would have probably been a little late - my bad).

But that isn't going to happen.


Because my stupid (expletive, expletive) printer has decided it doesn't want to work in colour any more, black and white is fine but you want to add some colour? Hells no! That just isn't going to happen.

Let's face it, black and white Queen's heads and union flags just aren't going to do the job are they?


So that's my handmade Jubilee plans scuppered. Maybe. I'm off into town today to trawl the discount, pound saver type shops (there are about 6 within 5 minutes of each other where I live...not a good advert for the area really is it?) for something, anything red white and blue to make something out never know, I may succeed yet!

Wish me luck!

(And I might just have to nip into ASDA for some party food too...yum)

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Disney Turkey Leg!

OK, so that hard period of time appears to be letting up a wee bit, the sun is shining and my mood seems to be lightening too and staying that way...let's hope so anyway!

Those of you that follow me on twitter and instagram may have seen the hashtag #talesofhomesmoking a week or so's the story behind it!

Have you ever been to Walt Disney World in Florida? If you have, chances are you've seen children and adults alike walking around eating what looks like a dinosaur leg? Yes? Have you been one of those children or adults? I know I have been! (I will hunt out the picture for you some day)

Those amazing monstrosities of meat are called turkey legs and they are delicious! As well as that - they're pretty fun to eat too! You can channel your inner cave man, your inner pirate or your inner Henry VIII and get munching! The first time I ever had one I channelled my inner pirate - there were lots and lots of 'Ooaarrrgghhh's whilst eating it I can tell you!

So anyway, why am I going on about this Disney experience? Simple! Because my fiancé and I have been reminiscing about all of our holidays recently (we really need a holiday!) and turkey legs inevitably came up in conversation; I wondered if I could recreate one at home? That is, afterall, my aim at the moment - to create anything I can at home - so I thought I'd give it a go!

Off I popped to Sainsburys and lo and behold...turkey legs are only £1.61 each! Bargain! So I snapped one up and started my search for a Disney turkey leg recipe.

First things first, you have to put the leg in brine for 24 hours. The brine I used was 1 litre of water with 1/4 cup of salt and 1/8 a cup of brown sugar. Leave it in the fridge in this for 24 hours and Bob's your uncle! One brined turkey leg. Next step:


The little buggers are SMOKED! How did I not know this?

Crud. No home smoker in sight....Could I maybe....make one?

I remembered seeing Heston and the Baker Boys do it on a couple of Channel 4 cooking shows so maybe I could make my own home smoker?

YES! I can! And I did!

I found a tutorial on YouTube which basically advises you that you can use dry rice and tea to create smoked foods. You line a heave frying pan with foil, slap in the rice and tea and whack up the heat. Then you place the food to be smoked on a wrack on top of the pan and then seal with more foil and leave it to smoke!

Here's my *cough* home smoker...

Looks great right? No? No I didn't think so either but when the house started to smell like smoked kippers I thought I was on the right track!

Oh and I've left out the part where I used a wok at first and somehow managed to set fire to the oven...I digress - back to the smoking!

So 4 hours later...I've had to open every window in the flat and close the kitchen door. The flat STINKS of smoke and I was starting to get light headed about an hour in - if you do this you need ventilation! A few times I wanted to give up - the smell was choking me but every time I took a peak under the foil I just couldn't give was working!

One smoked turkey leg...

Did it taste good? Can't tell you it needs to be roasted! (This is no mean feat this turkey leg malarky, they must work hard at Disney for those yummilicious treats!)

So the next day (this is day 3 of project At Home Disney Turkey Leg by the way) I roasted it! I covered it in foil again because I was worried about it drying out and roasted it on 180 for about 40 minutes (foil off for the last 10) and.....drum roll please....

One turkey leg!

Look at Roofus! He clearly felt hard done by that he had a bowl of dry food for dinner whilst me and the other half were eating this beauty!

And the verdict? Well, let's just say that we pretended to be pirates and put on a Disney film to celebrate - I made a real Disney Turkey Leg! Success!

However...there is a down side...

Look at my frying pan!

The non stick has burnt away, it actually bubbled over the side of the pan (it didn't get into the foil or rice so don't worry about poisoning!) and STUCK to the oven! We had to scrap it off of the oven :( So my cheap £1.61 turkey leg has cost me a £40 frying pan (my favourite pan I might add) so I don't think I'll be doing this again!

Apparently you can buy 'liquid smoke' which you put into the brine at the first stage and it creates the smoked flavour in meat and then you can just roast without the need to smoke....Maybe I should have done this first??

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

I don't think I've got the hang of this blogging malarky at all.

I've always thought of blogs as places for people to talk about whatever they want or need to, whenever they want or need to. Somewhere they can talk about things that excited them or things that make them cry, somewhere they can share happy times and sad times and perhaps show off some great ideas along the way.

So why, when I'm going through a particularly tough time, do I hide from my blog? Why don't I want to write anything down? I know from experience that writing things out can be as good as talking to someone you love about it - a great therapy and way to clear your brain. But I just can't bring myself to do it.


Because I'm scared someone will read it! How ridiculous! I'm scared that someone that knows me will read it and then either take offence because they're part of the problem or get upset because they didn't know there was something wrong and not know how to help (or because I didn't tell them in the first place).

I'm a creative person, I make different things when different moods take me (my house is never cleaner than when I'm angry!). A couple of days ago I was so sad that I spontaneously wrote a poem...a poem! I haven't done that since I was a hormonal teenager!

There is no where 'safe' for me to talk. So I've been hiding away and trying to cope on my own.

Well that isn't working.

I'm not entirely sure on the point of this. I needed to get something out without actually getting anything out. I guess now it's out.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Let's make this house a home! Part 3

Oooh I'm onto part three already! I have no idea how many parts there will be but it makes me happy that I'm continuing to make pretty things for our little flat to make it more 'ours'.

So this blog post is about a garland/bunting thingimawhatsit that I actually made a fair few weeks ago, but just haven't gotten around to blogging about yet!

I've seen lots of people making garlands made from old book pages which I simultaneously love and hate - I love the ideas of using passages from your favourite books, but I couldn't bring myself to destroy a book (or have someone else destroy a book) for the sake of something pretty. Nope. Just can't do it.

So I found this tutorial on making a heart garland from craft paper - woo!

Except...I don't have any craft paper. Drat! And the whole point of making things myself is to not spend too much money so I can't exactly go out and buy any can I?

So I needed to make a solution...ta-da! Light bulb moment! I printed off some pages of text (I don't know about copyright for things like this so they're random pages) and I tea bagged them!

Stop sniggering.

I used cold, soggy tea bags to give the paper a nice antiqued look :) Word of advise...drying on a clothes wrack worked brilliantly! AND the paper is stiffer when you've done this too!

I should have printed double sided text but I forgot so I folded each sheet in half and glued it together with my trusty Pritt Stick before slicing it up...

I got three slices out of each piece of paper and needed 7 in total for each heart - you do the math for the number of hearts you'd like :)

As the space that I wanted to hang my garland in is only small I chose to make four hearts - they're quite big! I strung them on some wool, but if you had some twine this would look much better.

Here's my finished garland :)

I'm rather chuffed with it!

I'm going to make some more of these with a couple of alterations to make them even better! I'm also thinking of making mini ones as Christmas tree decorations!

What do you think?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Feeling Frugal

I have to make a confession.

I waste far too much food.

Not through buying too many fresh products and throwing it all away when they go rotten before we eat them. No, no, nothing as terrible as that. We're actually pretty good at buying exactly what we need fruit and veg wise and very rarely do we we waste any (go us, woo!).

Where we waste food is in the dry food department; cooking the correct amount of pasta/rice completely eludes me!

Now I know everyone says to freeze left over rice to use another day, but my problem (our problem - it's not just me that does this!) is that I tend to dish up everything I've cooked, even if I know it's too much which means that when it's left, it can't be saved and ends up in the bin.

This just will not do.

So I tried weighing out the 'correct' portions of rice and pasta and would you believe it! There was plenty!

But then I couldn't be bothered to get my scales out every, single, time.

So that went out the window! We waste soooo much rice it's ridiculous, probably about one or one and a half portions most meals so I needed to come up with a solution.

So I did.

I spent 15 minutes the other day and bagged up two-person portions of rice and pasta to put in the cupboard ready to be used.

So simple, yet so effective. Now we have no waste (unless we're not very hungry and that doesn't happen very often at all) which is fantastic and another little bonus is that I now know exactly how many meals we have left in the cupboard which means I can plan my weekly shop even more easily! No more extra bags of rice and no more running out of rice either!

I think we eat too much rice.

Anyway, I'm quite pleased with my little frugal moment. I hope it helps someone else too.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Comfort Food

How often, when you crave comfort food, do you toddle off down the road and buy yourself some? Or pick up the phone to order it? Or order it online (damn you Just Eat for making it possible to pay for a Chinese online with my debit card!)?

Really? Just me?

Don't believe you for a second!

Anyway, as times is hard (far too hard) buying comfort food isn't exactly an option, so I've been coming up with cunning ways of eating comfort food without the excessive price tag (and if I can make it healthier but still as comforting - even better!).

My latest creation is one which I think will be made again and again. Yesterday, during film night, my lovely other half and I tucked into a home made pizza! Not just any old pizza...this one had a sweet potato pizza base that I also made all by myself :)

I hunted all over the internet for the pizza base recipe as I was sure I'd seen it somewhere, but I couldn't find what I wanted - there are so many different versions. Some used baking powder, some didn't. Some used eggs, some didn't. Some used wholegrain flour, some used a flour I've never heard of and couldn't pronounce if I wanted to! So I decided to wing it a little and make the base in pretty much the same way I make potato worked!

Would you like the recipe? Then keep reading chikadees! And erm...the male version of that if you happen to be a male ;)

1. Boil up your sweet potato and mash with butter and some seasoning - allow to cool
2. Mix with self raising flour. My potato was about 450g and I used about 200g of flour - I kept adding until the mixture was no longer sticky and could be rolled into a ball like this:

3. Mix in a dessert spoonful of olive oil.
4. Spread out onto a baking tray (greasing first if you need to) into whatever shape takes your fancy (who says pizza's have to be round?!)
5. Bake on 180 (fan assisted - adjust accordingly for your oven!) for about 15 minutes or until it looks like this:

And that's your base! How yummy does that look? Now for the topping! Again, times is hard, so we didn't have any pizza sauce in the cupboard. Instead, I blended up a tin of chopped tomatoes, added salt, pepper, garlic and a pinch of mixed herbs and bobs your uncle! Pizza Sauce! The left over that I didn't use on the pizza went into a jar to be used as pasta sauce for tonight's dinner!

Here is the finished article before it went into the oven:

And ten minutes later:

Nom nom nom....twenty minutes later it was gone.

Not bad for comfort food don't you think?

What do you think of my little recipe? Would you like more of them?

Someone pass the rabbit's foot!

So it's been a while hasn't it?

I'd love to say I've been off having adventures, seeing the sights and living it up, but unfortunately (as happens now and again) life has simply gotten in the way.

Over the past two weeks there has been nothing but bad luck for the Lou Lou's household! There's been broken laptops (and replacement laptops), stolen phones, stupid (idiotic and useless) network providers messing up insurance claims, doggies sitting in red hair dye (that was fun...), incorrect council tax bills, stupid horrible big sized trousers (I'm not going into the tantrum which followed having to buy these) and a broken oven!

In TWO WEEKS! That's enough crappy things for a couple of months don't you think?!

The only two good things that have happened in those two weeks? The moment my lovely other half and I managed to NOT miss the bus in the rain in Liverpool and him buying me this as a little present :)

And that was after I left him for an hour and a half outside in the freezing rain because I forgot to give him the coffee money and disappeared into a room with no mobile signal! Poor bloke practically had hypothermia when I emerged!

So those are my excuses for being rubbish and not blogging. In my defense, I do have a few posts planned and will be doing them shortly! You never know, if I get my (apparently huge) butt in gear, I might do another today.

I hope the last two weeks have been nicer for you all?

Oh and in case you were wondering, those lovely little doilies are by the fabulous Girly Bunches! Go and take a look at her beautiful, girly creations!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Brand Replacement

I'm sure we've all seen those fabulous Aldi adverts telling us that they're own brand products taste just as good as the brands?

No? (I'm pretending you said no so I can show you this one!)
Well this one is my favourite :D

Hehehe, makes me chuckle every time :)

Well anyway, back to the matter at hand; Own brand products often taste just as good, if not better than their more expensive branded counterparts, I've been buying mostly own brand food for a good few months now and can honestly say that I can't tell the difference.

But I have always had one vice. One vice that I could not replace with an own brand. Not through lack of trying I might add! I've tried many, many times to replace this item but just can't find a valid substitute. Meet my branded nemesis....

Nescafe, Cafe Menu Cappuccino.

I love those little sachets of frothy, coffee yumminess, I've loved them for about 5 years and my love for them has never dawdled. Except for once. When they went up in price to £2.99! £2.99 I tell you! When they used to be £1.50! Now, no matter how much I love those caffeine infused, milky, chocolate sprinkle doused delights I cannot justify paying that much for a morning treat (can I? No I can't) so I set about looking for a replacement. That was about 2.5 years ago...and boy oh boy did I try!

I must admit at this point that I still carried on buying my little box of naughtiness - but only when they were on a BOGOFF deal or reduced to £1.50!

Now...the time has come, I can't believe I'm going to say this but...

I have found a replacement!

Drum roll please....

A round of applause for...

ASDA, Chosen By You Hazelnut Cappuccino!

Granted, these do not come with chocolate sprinkles, but the dash of hazelnut syrup makes up for this. At £1.56 for 10 they're a winner! They taste fantastic, are frothy and have a lovely aroma that warms me up in the morning - WIN! They also come in vanilla and caramel (possibly more flavours but I didn't see in store).

I'm so chuffed!

Pointless post? Not for me! I have been waiting for these coffees for a long, long long long long) time!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Jaffa Cakes!

Oh my oh my oh my!

Now I don't know about you, but I have a little bit of a...shall we say...uncontrollable love for jaffa cakes. Once I've eaten one, I usually end up eating the whole packet. Just how yummy are those little chocolate and orange cake, biscuit thingimawhatsits?!

Go on, admit it - you've done the full moon, half moon, total eclipse haven't you? More than once I bet!

So yeah, anyway, I love jaffa cakes! So I was incredible excited to find out just how easy they are to make at home.

Yes lovelies, you can make home made jaffa cakes.

I'm slightly scared that my waist line is going to suffer.

This is the recipe.

Looks pretty easy? It really was!

Here are my jaffa cakes!

The only problem I had was that the chocolate didn't really want to stick to the orange jelly, I don't know why this is, but I'm going to try and make the jelly thinner but wider next time (yes there will definitely be a next time!) and see if that helps.

TOP TIP! I was concerned that the chocolate would just run off of the sides of the cakes and make a mess so I popped the cakes into cupcake cases and poured the chocolate on in those, once cooled I peeled these away to reveal pretty jaffa cakes :)

They didn't last very long ;)

Who else is going to try these? I think they deserve some more investigation.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Let's make this house a home! Part 2

Hello there lovelies! Oh dear, it's been more than a week since my last post. I can see bad habits forming already. In my defence though, it was Easter and I was busy trying to organise a roast dinner and yummy pudding. I also had to look after a poorly fiancé for 4 days so I really didn't have the time :(

Anyway! Back on with the blogging!

So this is part 2 of making our house a home - a handmade home :) One thing that all of us (non) hoarders need is storage boxes. Pretty storage boxes of course, but these are usually ridiculously expensive don't you think? So I'm going to show you how to make a pretty little storage box (a stationary box in this case) for FREE! Yep, a storage box, to match your colour scheme for free! Now...I have to say that I'm probably going to change the colour of this one soon because in hindsight I'm not overstruck, but it was an experiment that worked so I'm still going to show you.

The finished article:

Not bad hey? As I said, I'm not overstruck on the pattern anymore and will probably change it, but not a bad alternative to paying £10 for one in the shops! do this you will need...
1 cardboard box, in this case I used this one:

Yes, my wine glasses are smart price, no I don't care admitting it! At £1.32 for 6 I was not going to pass them up! I decided that since I'm a 'grown up' now and not a student I couldn't really get away with serving wine in mugs instead of glasses so treated myself to these :) They work too - hic.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand, you've got your box now you need...a wall paper sample! Yep, simples. Grab yourself a free sample of some pretty wallpaper from your local DIY store and you're good to go.

Oh...don't forget your trusty glue stick!

Luckily enough, the box I have is one that has been folded into place rather than glued, this meant I could unfold it completely to make it much easier to cover. By making sure you cover both inside and out (and folding in the sides of the paper) you ensure that there is no trace of cheap cardboard on show and your box looks pretty.

Once you've covered all the sides, reassemble the box. It should be completely covered with only the base inside the box blank, cut a piece of wallpaper to fit the centre and stick it in! How simple was that? Done.

That was so easy it almost feels like cheating! I'm sure I'm going to make more of these, I have lots of boxes packed away waiting to be used for 'something'.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Waste Not Want Not

I hate throwing things away.

I'm not a hoarder (yeah right) I just hate throwing things away before they are definitely, 100%, undeniably, irrevocably finished with.

Which is the reason I've had this candle for about 3 years.

You see, this candle is lovely - but useless. The problem is that it's burnt so far down the jar that you can't really light the wick without burning your fingers, and if you do manage to light it the wax from the sides will melt and drown the wick so it only stays lit for about 10 minutes...Useless.

Until I had a brainwave!

I actually had this brainwave this morning and put it straight into action :)

Do any of you have oil burners? You know the pretty things with wells in the top for fragrance oils (and water - always add water!) and a space at the bottom for a tea light? Did you know that instead of buying oils, you can also get wax melts for the burner? You pop them in the well at the top and they melt to release a lovely aroma, they then re-set and you can melt them again and again - clever yes?

Well my thinking is that the wax left around the side of my defunct candle is going to be the same as the wax in these melts! Time to start melting!

I've used an old single cup cafetiere that I broke the plunger on for melting (I swear I'm not a hoarder!) as it's heat proof and can go in the microwave. I scraped the wax from the sides of the jar candle and popped it in the cafetiere:

After about 2 minutes it looked like this:

A little note: Your microwave is probably stronger than mine - Keep and eye on it! Watch the wax and make sure it's not bubbling and do not touch it when it comes out - hot wax isn't for playing with (unless you're feeling kinky).

Next step is to try and make the melts pretty :) I poured them into muffin cases to give them a pretty shape and left them to cool, it took about 20 minutes for them to be solid enough to pop out of the casing:

Lovely! Time to use one! I popped one straight on my oil burner to give it a whirl:

Whoops! It's a little too big but that's fine, as it melts it will melt into the well and stay there - I've got a pretty smelling living room right now :)

So there you go, waste not want not!

If you don't have any old candles and want your own wax melts, pop over to The One Stop Pamper Shop where you can buy some utterly gorgeous scented candles and melts along with lots of other goodies. I speak from experience when I say the goodies from this shop smell 100 times better than the candle I've used today! But like I say...I just can't throw things away!

Let me know if you give this a go!

BIG NOTICE! I have been warned by the almighty candle maker that you shouldn't melt wax in a microwave...whoops! So if you give this a go you need to melt the wax in a saucepan over a saucepan of hot water (like you melt chocolate - yum).

Monday, 2 April 2012


I don't know about you, but sometimes I wake up in the morning and think 'I'm going to make something yummy today!'

Yesterday was one of those days :)
As dinner had already been decided (lamb rogan josh in case you were wondering) I thought I'd make something particularly scrummy as an afternoon snack/desert.


At the moment I don't have a cake tin (shock horror) but I do, for some reason, have 3 different sized muffin tins. So muffins it was!

I decided to go for white chocolate chunk ones...mmmmm chocolate....

Here they are fresh out of the oven

Mmmm yummy! But they look a little bit boring don't they? I thought I'd have a go at making them pretty.

But there was a problem with that.

Cake decorating is one thing I am RUBBISH at. Honestly, my last attempt looked like a 4 year old had got some goo and slapped it on a cake. Don't believe me? LOOK!

Have you finished laughing? Or are you offended and know that your four year old could probably do better?

So yeah, I'm rubbish at cake decorating. But I refuse to give up! Yesterday I shut the kitchen door and told my other half not to disturb me until I told him he was allowed to come in and not to worry if he hears lots of swearing and a few cupboards being kicked (not that I would get that frustrated.....)

Disaster! My piping bag has gone walkabouts :( But I have the I fashioned one out of some cling film :D Huzzah! Back in business :)

Take a look at my raspberry flavoured butter frosting!

Oh yes! I'm pretty darn proud of these! You might notice a couple of mistakes (I know how eagle eyed you all are) but the main problem I had was that my blasted cling film piping bag kept splitting :( So not a bad job I think?

But they needed something else...

Ah! There we go :)

And they were delicious too!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Living with Dogs: Meet the Doggies!

I have two beautiful little doggies that I love unconditionally. It's time you met them, I'll probably talk about them lots!!

Now due to the death of my old laptop I don't have many of their pictures :( But I do have zillions of pictures that I've taken on my phone! So although the quality may not be as good, the spontaneity of the pictures will hopefully make up for it!

So please meet our eldest:

This is Roofus! (yes with two o's) He is our beautiful little Cavlier King Charles and is currently 15months old.

Isn't he gorgeous! He is possibly the most playful dog in the world, you thought Cavalier's were lap dogs? Not this little boy! He will play for hours on end and only stop for a snooze when he is thoroughly knackered - he even outplays the next little doggy on the list!

This is our gorgeous little girl - Dakota. She's a blue roan Cocker Spaniel and is currently 8 months old and about double the size of Roofus.

Look at that face! How could you not love her? Dakota is a misunderstood little doggy, many people dislike her boisterousness and clumsiness (the girl hasn't got a clue how big she is) but I wouldn't change her for the world. She actually loves cuddles more than Roofus and is currently asleep next to me on the sofa :)

Sometimes we worry about the battle for dominance between our two dogs as sometimes their 'play fighting' seems to get a little bit heated, but the truth is they are the best of friends and they really do love each other muchly.

We all know that dogs can cost a lot of money to look after but there are plenty of ways to cut that cost without affecting the well being of your pups or the loveliness of your home! I'll show you a few little tricks soon.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

If it looks too won't work!

This was meant to be a post where I basked in the glory of your 'ooohs' and 'ahhhs' after making something especially pretty, alas, it won't be.

And don't think I gave up after the first attempt either! I tried twice to get this to work but it just won't, I'd love to know where I'm going wrong.

So I better tell you what I wanted to make....


Now I don't know about you but I do love a bit of sparkle and I always find that when I want to add a little bit of sparkle to something I never (ever ever) have any glitter and have to go on a walkabout to go an buy some. So when I saw this tutorial I thought I was quids in! These are the ingredients:

Not exactly items you wouldn't have in your cupboard are they? Fantastic! So I got the ingredients together and I got to mixing:

Time to put them in the oven! The instructions say 10 minutes at 350F (so about 180 on our ovens) and the results:

Erm...that doesn't look much like glitter to me! Where did I go wrong I thought to myself...Well I have a fan assisted oven so perhaps it was too hot? OK, take two - this time on 160 for five minutes...

Nope! That's still not glitter! And how does red food colouring turn purple? I'd really love to know that one.

My main issue with this 'glitter' is that it doesn't sparkle, this is just coloured dust (well, salt) and that isn't what I wanted. I had a bit of a look about 'tinternet for a solution and some people suggest adding a sparkly powder to your home made glitter to make it add glitter to your glitter people!


I'm not impressed.

I'm especially not impressed because I had a little project all lined up for using my glitter and now I'll have to go and buy some!

Have you ever made glitter? Do you know how to make it sparkle? Plleeeaaase tell me!