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Friday, 31 October 2014

Craft: Last Minute Halloween Costumes for Kids

I enjoy doing the occasional craft project but when it comes to costumes I generally buy the lightweight kind that one can find in the shops. Sometimes, though, the littlies come up with costume ideas that are impossible to find and I am forced to nip to the haberdashery and haul out my trusty sewing machine. Here are two quick and easy costumes that I found on Pinterest and was able to make very quickly. I am by no means a sewing expert - I only did sewing for one year at school when I was 13 years old -  so if I can do it, I imagine most people should be able to make these too!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Food: Chocolate Fudge Cake for a Birthday Surprise

I like to make small  cakes as a surprise gift for someone celebrating their birthday. My favourite is adapted from Mary Berry's Very Best Chocolate Fudge Cake from her Baking Bible. I usually half Mary Berry's recipe and make the cake in two 15cm baking tins (loose bottom). This cake is deliciously moreish, and while the recipe suggests a ganache topping, I prefer a sticky chocolate buttercream for sandwiching the layers and covering the whole cake.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Beauty: Three Lip/Blush Combinations for Autumn

Over the summer I seemed to gravitate towards either a My-Lips-but-Better shade or a red lip for drama and paired both with a rosy blush. I have to admit that I've gotten rather excited lately as the weather has turner nastier as I've been able to move to more dramatic daytime makeup. I've now been turning to more autumnal shades on the lips and my blush choices have adapted accordingly. Here are my favourite lip/blush combos of the moment!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Travel: A Weekend in Bangkok

Bangkok is a fantastic gateway city to the rest of South-East Asia and I'd recommend spending a few days here after a long-haul flight, before heading off to explore the rest of the region. I like to think of Bangkok as South-East Asia-lite. Buddhism and the Thai way of life are easy to access and it's easy to unwind here despite finding yourself in a bustling city.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Food: Gluten-Free Pancakes

Pancakes or crepes are a popular choice for brunch in our household. Occasionally guests require us to make a gluten-free version which is when this recipe from the Doves Farm website comes in so handy, however, I prefer to cook pancakes in butter as I think this adds to the taste.

This recipe requires the Dove Farm Plain Gluten-Free Flour which I can't recommend enough. It's a store cupboard basic for us and I find myself reaching for it more and more. The pancakes are a huge hit despite being gluten-free, in fact the littlies call them "the best pancakes ever", especially when we serve them with their fillings of choice- raspberry jam or cheddar cheese!


Monday, 20 October 2014

Beauty: Skincare for the Colder Months

My skin always goes a bit crazy as the seasons change and I inevitably need to switch up my beauty routine to keep it happy. It seems that my greasy patches have gone greasier and my dry patches, well you guessed it, drier. To counteract this I've been giving a new day cream, night cream and serum a go, and have been very happy with the results.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Food: Cider Chicken

There is something about the cooler weather and the nights drawing in that makes me turn to my collection of Nigel Slater recipe books. His recipes always taste good and he seems to create the type of comfort food that I really want to eat. My latest cookery success was a Cider Chicken recipe from Eat: The little book of fast food.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Life: New Puppy and Haul

I've been pretty busy over the past few days as we've welcomed our new puppy into the household. We'd been deliberating over getting a pet for ages and after browsing the pets4homes site one too many times, we made a few calls and went to see some puppies. Fatal flaw because as it turns out, I was smitten as soon as a puppy crept over and fell asleep in my arms.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Beauty: Fine Hair Styling Essentials

My quest for thick, glossy hair is an ongoing saga and I've tried so many thickening products, only to be disappointed. My hair is very fine and also naturally straight so it needs a lot of help in the volumising department.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Food: Pasta with Blue Cheese and Mushroom Sauce

The way to my heart is definitely through my stomach. What can I say? I'm greedy? Pasta with Blue Cheese and Mushroom Sauce was the first meal my lovely husband cooked for me many moons ago and it's a meal we return to every year as the weather turns cooler.


1/2 large onion, very finely sliced
25g butter
250g chestnut mushrooms
100ml vermouth (or any dry white wine)
250ml double cream
100g Gorgonzola (or Stilton), chopped roughly
500g fusilli (or penne)
basil leaves, handful

1. Melt the butter and fry the onion for 10 mins until translucent.
2. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 10 minutes.
3. Add the wine and reduce for 5 minutes at high heat.
4. Turn down the heat and add the double cream and blue cheese.
5. Cook for 10 minutes at low heat, until thick and creamy.
6. Cook pasta separately.
7. Serve up and garnish with basil leaves.
8. Enjoy with a glass of wine (and for me, take a trip down memory lane).