Thursday, 31 December 2009

Old Years Thankfulness!

Happy New Year!

I realise a lot of people will be sitting writing New Years Resolutions lists this week - stop smoking, go to the gym more, eat less fattening foods etc, but I find those lists quite annoying.

Yes they are good for inspiring you to get off your arse and do something, but just writing something in your diary or on a bit of paper isn't necessarily going to make you do it. And then by February, when you look at your list you feel like a failure. Boo.

Well not on this blog!
Instead, I am going to look back at some of the best things that have happened to me this year, and be thankful for such a great year. Much better to be positive!

So, here goes!

- My year started off with a much anticipated trip to New Zealand - it was a fantastic three weeks back on the Kiwi's home turf, and can't be summed up in one go. So firstly I love the North Island because -

My friend Anna lives there - Hi Anna!

We saw the Kiwi's family again! Hi Jordyn and Zoe!

We celebrated the Kiwi's 21st birthday - yes, he's just a baby.

I love the South Island because -

I pulled my first pint

We went road tripping and met up with loads of friends

I did my bungee jump - aagh!

Finally, I love Durville Island because -

It looks like the Secret Island

I learned to fish

I saw actual glow worms and they were amazing, but unfortunately not very photographic!
I spent lots of time on a boat

We also visited Barcelona, and I loved it. Paris, you have some serious competition

The city is gorgeous

As is the food - yum!

We fell in love with an ice bar

And I discovered Gaudi's work - I want to live in a gingerbread house!

On home turf, we spent a weekend tank driving which was amazing fun!

-We were wined and dined in posh hotels in Dundee, Stirling and Inverness and visited the Highland Wildlife Centre.


GOOD year for baking!

I made these adorable cake bites for the first time - I must have made hundreds since

I found an awesome cupcake contact in New Zealand who made and delivered cakes to a friend for me

I made my fun Halloween cakes!

I did some fun special orders

I purchased some important baking equipment including two stands, a cupcake caddy, countless sprinkles (candy canes anyone?). Sadly the Kitchenaid is still slightly out of reach.

And I perfected multicoloured swirling!


We celebrated our first year with the pyusses - how is this possible? It feels like they've been around forever!

The Kiwi and I celebrated our third anniversary in style at Malmaison.

I finally took the plunge and cut my hair short! Again this may not seem like a big deal but look how long it was beforehand! Thankfully I love being a shortie.

I added to my shoe collection - and as you now know, THE DREAM SHOES are now mine! Mua hahahaha!

We attended a good friend's wedding - ah! People I went to school with are getting married! We must be getting old

I finally took the plunge and got my tattoo

And (drumroll please...) I started this blog!!!

Thanks so much if you've been reading my little ramblings! Here's to a great 2010!

Friday, 25 December 2009



This is a special blog post for my friends Fiona, Jennifer, Donna, Nicola and Debbie.
First of all - I hope you liked your Christmas presents!!!

I'm now going to tell you what to do with them. Yes, it looks like a jar of bits and bobs at the moment, but soon it will look like this!

Nom Nom Nom!!!! Cooooookies!!!!!
Now before you freak out, these are super duper easy to make.

-Pour all of the ingredients into a bowl.

-Now add one slightly beaten egg, 1/2 cup of butter that has been slightly melted in the microwave, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.

-Mix it all up. This may seem like hard going, but if you use the back of your wooden spoon to smooosh everything together, I promise it does get easier!!!

- You might want to put on plastic gloves for the next stage as it can get quite messy. Alternatively you can rinse your hands between each cookie. Take a dollop of dough (try to get a bit of everything in it), and roll it into a 1 1/2in ball and place on a baking tray, lined with baking paper.
-Bake for 10 minutes on gas mark 4-5, or 180degrees. They;ll still be soft, but golden when you take them out of the oven - there meant to be like this, as they harden slightly as they cool, making yummy chewy cookies with little chocolate pockets - drool...

-This is the difficult bit - leave to cool. (Or eat them warm from the oven if you're a glutton like me!)
Incase you're wondering what's in the jar, here's a list of the ingredients -
Plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cooking oats, m&ms, milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, brown sugar and white sugar.
I hope you enjoy making, and demolishing these!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Thank You Nigella!

I HAD to make these when I saw them on Nigella's Christmas program last week.

Anything miniature ay?

So incase you have loads of left over Christmas pudding, I thought I'd post how I made mine. They're really simple to make, and scrumdiddlyumptious!

You will need -

400grams of cooked and cooled Christmas pudding

275grams of milk chocolate

A splash of alcohol of your choice (optional)

Two tablespoons of golden syrup

150grams of white chocolate

Holly and berry sprinkles, or dried fruit

-So first things first, crumble up your pudding.

-Next, melt the chocolate and add it to the cake. Ugh how good is melted chocolate - yuuuuummmmm...

- Now add two tablespoons of golden syrup. Also add your alcohol now if you want to make these adult truffles. (Brandy is ideal, I used Cointreau and it was yummy)

- Now mash it all together. It's a sticky, chocolatey job, but someone's got to do it. It's tempting to stick your whole face in the bowl at this point, but try to refrain.

- You'll need some rubber gloves for the next stage, or be prepared to rinse your hands between each truffle. I used a melon baller to get equal sized truffles, but you can just use a teaspoon. Take out a small amount of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Yes, I know. It looks like reindeer poop. Festive ay?

-I like to chill them at this stage to allow the chocolate to stiffen up. I usually stick them in the fridge for about half an hour, until their firmer yet still sticky to touch. While they're in the fridge, melt your white chocolate. Again, try not to eat it all (I can vouch that this bit is very difficult).

-Take the truffles out of the fridge and spoon a little chocolate onto each. You could dip them, but I think it looks too neat, and having some dripping down the side looks more authentic.

-Decorate as you wish. I used berry and holly sprinkles, but I realise you're not all as sad as I am.




Things I Like Thursday December 24th 2009

Eeeeeee! It's Christmas Eve! Tres exciting!!!

Today I am having my own traditional Christmas Eve - i.e baking ALL day! Yay! Fun times! Coco a, Mika and I stick on the telly for some film-goodness, apron-up and spend the entire day making treats for friends and family.

So while I'm doing that - this is what else I've been enjoying this week!

-This Christmas card rocks my cupcake-loving world.

-Fajita night! It's like a tradition in our house. I'm a bit OCDish about my fajita construction and folding - see below. Fillings in order are - sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, chicken mix then cheese. The complete some origami style folding so none falls out!


-Festive nails - White + silver glitter = faboosh nails!

-Getting my dream dress! I'm SOOOO happy! I've wanted this dress for a while now - it was one of those walk into the shop moments and - BOOM there is the dress that won't leave your mind until you get it. And luckily I got mine for 40% off! Thanks Donna!

-That you can cycle naked in New Zealand, as long as you wear a helmet! Haha! Only in NZ!

-Yoga Cats! I can't believe some people have complained that the cats look 'unnatural' in the comments section! Come on!!!!

-Speaking of which - this is one of my favourite photos of Coco - wot-choo-lookin-at????

-Setting up the Sky+ box to record some films while we're away at Christmas - Shrek 2, Happy Feet and The Incredibles all feature, as well as the BEST CHRISTMAS FILM EVER - Santa Claus: The Movie - so much 80s child goodness!!!

-Hearing Last Christmas by Wham while walking through a couple feet of snow to work - definitely cheered me up! Also seeing a man with a reindeer hat on!

- A conversation with the Kiwi where we were discussing different names for Santa, and he said 'Dr Nick'. Dr Nick is coming to town!!!! Haha!

-Wearing ridonkulous red fluffy, jingly earrings to work!

- Making these Bite-sized Christmas puddings (inspired by Nigella). This is obviously a rubbish picture (damn iPhone). I'll be making a HEAP more of these today though so will post how to make them later - great for using up left over Christmas Pud!

I'm hoping it doesn't get too much colder today, as if it does there's a chance I won't get out to my folks' house for Christmas Day!!! DISASTER!

If it does though, I think I'll take note from Coco and Mika ( who loved their presents from their neighbours Coco and Milly), and snuggle up and hibernate for a while!

Merry Christmas everyone!

P.S - if you received a heavy, jar-shaped present from me - come back tomorrow for instructions on what to do with it. Oooooh cryptic...!!!