Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Canal boat fun

On Sunday I went on a day trip on a canal boat! It was quite fun, until it started raining and then I began to get cabin fever. And when we crashed and thought the boat was going to sink wasn't much fun either! I don't think I'm cut out for a life of boating, but it was fun for a day. It was a nice way to see the countryside. When I got home though I had that horrible rocking feeling you get after being on a boat - there isn't even a current on the canal so god help me on a river!

roseandjim

I saw a Rosie & Jim boat though which made my day! When I was little I was obsessed with Rosie & Jim and my Mum searched everywhere to find me a Rosie doll.

me
I decided to brave the rain with my umberella as I started to get cabin fever. The cabin was very small and with 12 people in it, it felt even smaller!

boats

captain scott

Scott was the captain. I only tried steering once, but I didn't trust myself. Especially after we had our crash (which wasn't my fault by the way, but was kind of scary at the time! We did more damage to the canal bank than to our boat though.)

Have you ever been on a canal boat? Do you have sea legs or are like me and prefer dry land? I don't know why it scared me because I'm quite a good swimmer and the canal is only shallow, but I'd rather get somewhere in a car or plane than a boat.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Icing cupcakes tutorial

So, lots of you have commented on my perfect icing and demanded I do a tutorial, so here goes! These are my best tips for pretty icing. I use this recipe for chocolate icing and this recipe for vanilla icing.

piping bags and piping tip
I use lakeland 'get a grip' icing bags, but I think any disposable icing bags are good. I did have a nylon one that I re-used, but it got a bit grubby and was so hard to clean, I thought it was quite unhygienic, so I always recommend disposable ones now. I use this icing tip, which came with this professional icing kit .

After making the icing, I use a silicon spatula from Ikea to scrape my icing into one big lump and then spoon it onto my icing bag. I couldn't get any photos of this, but what I do is: I put the tip in the bag, cut off about 4cm of the bag, push the tip through and then scoop the icing into the bag. It is best to try and get the icing in the bag in one go, to avoid pockets of air. Then I push it towards the bottom of the bag and twist the excess bag around.
Icing bag prepped

For my glitter sprinkles, I bought a small paintbrush especially for sprinkling it. I just dab the brush in the glitter then lightly shake it over the cupcakes. It's important to do this as you go along icing them, so that the glitter sticks to the damp icing. If you try and put the glitter on later it just won't stick.

glitter for cupcakes



And this is how I ice! It takes quite a bit of practice and it was quite hard to gauge exactly how much to put on each cake, but I've masted it now. I control the icing bag from the top and do it in one smooth movement. It's also important to keep the angle the same at which you hold it at. Also don't try to rush and apply too much pressure, otherwise the icing pops out of the bag!

iced cupcakes
I hope this helps! I want to see all your pretty iced cupcakes now!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Spring

90/365

Cupcakes

110/365


I feel quite safe in saying that spring is finally here now! A few weeks ago, I kept wanting to proclaim it's arrival from the rooftops, but then I was always scared that the mercury would plummet again and I'd have jinxed the good weather. Now that April is nearly over, it feels like Spring is securely here. I love how it stays light so late and I know that my birthday is just around the corner... (it's in July but I get so excited about it!). I've also been making fresh hummus and fresh pesto, spring just makes me love making fresh food and eating healthier.

Things I love to do in Spring:

  • Take photos of cute daffodils. I don't think there are any cuter flowers than daffodils!
  • Mow the lawn. I don't know why, but I've been obsessed with mowing our lawn. I love the fresh cut grass smell and seeing it turn vivid green, but it's also good exercise. 
  • Walk the dogs. 
  • Make fresh food. I've been making fresh home-made burgers, hummus, pesto and of course cakes too. 
  • Have premature BBQs, then rush inside once the sun goes in because it gets too cold to stay outside!
  • Read in the sunshine. 
This weekend I'm going on a day trip on a canal boat for Scott's Mum's birthday, so hopefully I can add that to my list of things I love to do in spring! It will remind me of Rosie & Jim. What do you love to do in Spring? 

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Grand National

I spent the last weekend attending Ladies Day and The Grand National at Aintree. It was my first time visiting, but it has always been a Liverpool institution, with the girls spending months and months deciding on what to wear. I adore scouse fashion, lots of the girls have so much more confidence than me and wear such outrageous outfits. Looking over the coverage of Ladies Day by the newspapers, unfortunately some just focus on the terrible outfits and the bad tans. Daily Mail and The Telegraph - I'm looking at you. The photos that they choose to write about don't even represent half of the girls there and it annoys me so much! To be fair, there are some terribly dressed attendees, but you're bound to get that anywhere. These newspapers make out that this is what EVERYONE was wearing though and people comment about how tacky and common Liverpool girls are. NOT TRUE! Anyway, mini rant over!

This is what I wore. The Grand National requires 'smart dress', but I'm not quite sure when the traditional for going dressed as if you're going to a wedding began, but I love it! (although I'm sure my bank balance did not). Anyway, my dress is from a little shop in Valencia, because I really did not want to be wearing the same dress as anyone else there. I was looking at a lovely polka dot number in Coast but I'm glad I didn't splash out on that because I lost count of how many people I saw wearing it. I got my fascinator made to match the green colour of my dress. My handbag is one I've had for about 6 years now but never really used as it's too small. My shoes were a last minute purchase from Debenhams, which ended up hurting my feet far too much by the end of the weekend!


Every year, there is a 'style competition' and the winner is announced by Colleen Rooney (wife of footballer Wayne) on the Saturday. This year Sophie Fairclough won, with this gorgeous dress from online boutique Suzannah. We saw her on Ladies Day and all gushed over how nice she looked so she deserved to win. I love the colour and simplicity of it.

Colleen wore BLACK on ladies day and no hat! Shock horror. She looked nice though, although I did notice that less and less people are wearing facinators or hats now. Most just looked like they were dressed up for a night out. I jumped at the chance to wear a big fascinator though because it's one of the few times you can get away with it (other than a wedding).

I think we all enjoyed it so much we're up for going again next year. Better start planning next years outfit then!

Monday, 5 April 2010

3 recent outfits

72/365 Mother's Day tea party
shoes - topshop, dress - topshop, cardigan - cath kidston

93/365
shoes - primark, dress - ebay, cardigan - cath kidston

good friday
shoes- primark, skirt - new look, t-shirt - h&m, cardigan - dorothy perkins


I've been attempting to get back into outfit posts. However, I've been having 'bad face days' lately. My skin has gone terrible with acne again, like when I was 14, so I'm trying to refrain from wearing as much make up and I don't think you would all like to see my spotty-make up free face at the moment! Does anyone have any fail-proof ways of reducing redness and soreness in pimples? They would be greatly appreciated!

Anyway, the first outfit is what I wore on mother's day. My sister and I organised a tea party and I thought this was the perfect tea party outfit. The dress is nearly a year old now but I still love it and it's starting to become perfect weather to wear it again. The second outfit is what I wore for Easter sunday. The dress is from ebay, but originally Dorothy Perkins. Cannot beat a floral dress for springtime (I think I have about 9 floral dresses now, oops!). And finally, this stripy skirt is the love of my life (almost). I bought it for 'work wear', but I like it too much to just wear it for work. When I did wear it for work though I got so many compliments, which made me love it even more.

Have you all had a lovely Easter? I've ate far too much this weekend and have to get cracking on with some research for my Uni work now. No rest for the wicked!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Valencia

Views over Valencia

Bombon

80/365

Valencia cathedral


Apologies for not posting for nearly a month! It got a bit crazy with uni work and working in the library also, then I went swanning off to Valencia for a week to visit family. I went with both of my grandparents and my Mum and Sister and Brother-in-law. I had such a great time, relaxing, drinking bombons, eating churros & admiring all the beautiful architecture. Now I'm spending the bank holiday weekend relaxing a bit more, eating easter eggs and maybe even catching up with some blogs. Hope you're all having a nice holiday too!

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