Monday, 31 December 2012

My Baking Books...

My most favourite things to bake are cupcakes and over the last few months I have been aquiring a lot of baking books filled with lots of different cupcake recipes.

I could sit and look at recipe books for hours just gazing at the colourful photos and wishing I could make something that looks half as good as in the picture!

I thought'd I'd share my four favourite books with you and show you a few pages so you can see where I get my inspiration.

The first book is the Primrose Bakery book which is by Martha Swift & Lisa Thomas. I love the pink spine and pink ribbon page marker inside. There are lovely full page colour photographs of each of the products which I love because it makes it easier to see how mine should have turned out!

The second book is Boutique Baking by Peggy Porschen, again this book is lovely and colourful and has amazing photos in. I particularly love the jars she uses in the photos to display her creations. The receipes are really well laid out and in a pretty font. I'd love to visit Peggy Porschen's bakery in Belgravia, London (maybe i'll pester hubby to take me when we next go!)

The third book is The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. This is my most used cookbook so far. The vanilla cupcake recipe is my favourite as it is so easy to follow and means I get perfect cupcakes everytime!

The last of my favourite books is cupcake heaven by Susannah Blake. This book is the most basic cupcake book I have but there are lots of recipes for different flavours of cupcakes. The thing I like most about it is that it purely is just cupcakes.

 I buy most of my books from a book club at my work but you can purchase these through The Book People or Amazon for reasonable prices.

This is my latest attempt at cupcakes...what do you think?

Do you like to bake?  What have you made recently?

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Competition Wins December...

I have been sooo lucky this month with my competition wins. I think more companies offer competitions because of the time of year. 

Here is what I have won this month...

Stila lipgloss set won from Twitter

Tipsy feet won from Batiste FB page

Dirty Works Bath Bombs won from FB

Moroccan Oil sample won from Feather's Salon FB page

Christmas Modelling Kit and Edible Icing Ribbon set won from Renshaw's FB page

TIGI Blow out balm won from FB

Lipcote won from Lipcote's FB page

Guerlain Lipstick won from Lipcote's FB page

Christmas jumper! Which I wore on Christmas day won from F&F on Twitter

Headband won from Umberto Giannini Christmas competition

It only feels like a few days ago since I did my last wins post but I was really late posting it up.

Have you won any competitions lately?

Saturday, 29 December 2012

My Pandora Bracelet...

I know Pandora have been around for a while now and I'm a little late to jump on the bandwagon (again!) but I thought I'd show off my charm collection now that it's grown a little bit.

My husband bought me the bracelet as a wedding present in June, he bought a starter set which came with the bracelet, two flower clips to stop the beads from sliding around and a cupcake charm (because if you've been paying attention to previous posts you'll know that I LOVE cupcakes!)

The elephant charm was one of my Christmas presents from my parents this year as elephants are one of my favourite animals.

Next is the round heart charm which is pink (I love pink - could you tell?) which I got from my sisters for my birthday this year.

The other bead is a round bead with cutout butterflies in because I also love butterflies. I also bought the same charm for my sisters as a gift for them being my Bridesmaids so we all have the same one on our bracelets to remind us of the day. I struggled to find a charm that was suitable as a gift for them as there was a wedding cake (but in my opinion, it didn't look very pretty) or a church (but we got married in a castle, not a church) so I went for something that was personal to me. 

Do you own anything from Pandora? Do you collect the charms? Which ones do you have?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas times...

Every year my Mum always does an amazing Christmas dinner and has the whole family over. We love doing crafts and every year has a different home made theme where cakes and decorations are made. This year was no exception with my Mum making a chocolate Lindor tree as a centrepiece (which we were all too scared to take chocolates from because it was so pretty and took such a long time to make lol) and a Father Christmas cake! My sister also made a gingerbread house from scratch!

Unfortunately due to working right up until Christmas I didn't have time to make anything this year but I've got plans already for a great Christmas cake for next year!

Mum's tree is also amazing! She has collected so many lovely decorations over the years and although I love my modern white tree with bright coloured baubles, there's something about her festive green tree that just feels like home.

I thought I'd show you a few snapshots as she definitely deserves some appreciation for her hard work!

Rose flowerboxes inspired by the ones I had at my wedding

Only half of Mum's amazing Christmas teatime buffet!

Christmas glasses!

The Lindor Tree!

Santa Cake!

Pretty Cracker

Mum's tree

My sisters gingerbread house

And sister and I playing with the moustache straws I got her for Christmas!

I hope you all had a great Christmas!

Did you get some lovely presents?

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmassy Nails!

Ok, so I know its's Boxing Day and I'm a little late jumping on the Christmas nails bandwagon BUT I'm trying to keep the Christmas spirit alive just that little bit longer by showing you my red sparkly nails!

This varnish is from Rimmel's Precious Stones collection and is called Ruby Crush. It took a few coats to get the full effect of all the glitter and a top coat to make it smooth but I'm really impressed with the result as so far (touch wood) it hasn't chipped at all!

I hope you all had a very good Christmas! I got some lovely presents which I will be showing off in a later post!

I'm off out now to do some bargain hunting!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

I would just like to say Merry Christmas to all my lovely followers. I hope you all have a lovely day whatever you're up to!

Here are some photos of my Christmas tree, as I haven't put any on here at all!

How do you spend your Christmas? What gifts did you receive?

Love Holly xx

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Review - LUSH Snow Fairy Shower Gel

I'm definitely a girly girl so when I read a couple of blog posts popping up on this Limited Edition Christmas shower gel from Lush, I just had to try it!

It's pretty much everything a girl like me could wish for, it's pink, smells like candy floss and has blue glitter in! I popped into my local Lush in Poole (which to my knowledge was the first Lush shop to be opened) to grab a bottle. 

Naturally I got distracted with all the lovely smells, colourful potions and bright packaging! The only thing stopping me from getting more was a moany husband! I also had my eye on the Creamy Candy Bubble Bar, the Soft Coeur Massage Bar and the Honey Trap Lip Balm!

I picked up the 250g bottle of Snow Fairy which was £6.25 but you can also buy it in 100g for £3.50 or 500g for £10.25

I have heard people say that some thought the smell was overwhelming and a bit sickly but I honestly don't think it's that bad. In fact, one of the things I love about the scent is that it lasts pretty much all day, even though at work I wear my normal clothes and have a lab coat on top of that! 

When I put it onto my sponge it really foams up and you only have to use a small amount. I've used it several times and have only used a small amount from the top of the bottle!

I'll definitely be stocking up on more of this before it disappears!

Have you tried this? What did you think? Have you tried any other Lush products?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

I love my Mum!

My Mum popped into work to see me the other day and decided she would surprise me. She had a bag with her, handed it to me and said "an early Christmas present" when I looked inside I let out a little scream! She had got me the glass cake stand I had been after for ages! It's from John Lewis and comes in three different sizes. I wanted the smaller one which was only £10 but we don't have a John Lewis near us and to order it online would have cost me more because of the postage. My Mum went to visit my sister at University and popped into John Lewis while she was there.

The design is so pretty, its got a little leaf pattern around the edge and lines coming out from the middle. I just love the vintage feel to it!

So now I can add it to my collection. I only have one other, which is one I got from the Vintage Cakes magazine that I reviewed last month but I'm sure my collection will continue to grow!

Competition Wins Oct/Nov...

Firstly I'd like to welcome my new followers! Thank-you for taking the time to read my blog and for all the lovely comments you have been leaving on my posts. You'll soon find that my blog has a little bit of everything!

This post is all about the competition wins I've had over the past few months. I started entering competitions back in August and have received some lovely prizes. I usually enter competition on Facebook or Twitter with the occasional one online if its a prize I would really like.

Here is what I have won over the past few months...

£50 Tesco Voucher won on Twitter

Strawberry Balmi and Elemis Face Mask won on Twitter

Choc a Bloc Cake Mould won from Mustard gifts FB page (post to come on this!)

Mini sticky notes from Oh So Cherished

The Three Little Pigs book from Ladybird Books

Book of card games won on Twitter

Rihanna Paper Doll cut out book from Prezzybox (review to come!)

Fox bag won from Temporary:Secretary FB page

£50 Beever Hair Care products won from their FB Page

Have you won any competitions lately? What have you won?

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Mini Primark Haul...

Normally I don't attempt to go to the shops this close to Christmas as I don't like the busy crowds but last weekend I had to work which meant that I got Monday as a day off and I decided to treat myself by going into town and buying a few things. I woke up early on Monday morning and got a bus into town so I was there for when the shops opened at 9am. We have quite a large new Primark but its always MEGA busy whenever I go so I don't get the time to browse and look at the things I want but today the shop was empty and it was lovely being able to go in and look round without tons of people being there. I wasn't in the mood for clothes shopping but I loved being able to look around the accessories stands and I was able to find a few bits. My sister had told me about nail wraps and I was interested to try some out. I managed to find three different kinds, a lacy black pattern, some pink leopard print ones and a cute black flower design. I can't wait to try them! I also picked up a cute set of nail files for just £1. I found some really nice lacy panties in three different colours which were only £4 and some Christmas themed socks which I'm going to wear on Christmas Day! In total it all came to £10! Bargain! Especially as I wanted to keep costs down as we are saving for a holiday.

Have you been to Primark recently? What did you buy?

P.S - Thank-you to's tutorial on how to edit blog photos, I would never have been able to make this photo collage if it wasn't for you! x

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Pretty Sunrise....

Apologies for my complete lack of posts over the last few weeks....blimey it has been that long! I've been pretty busy at work learning lots of new things and have been pretty knackered and on top of that I've had another cold so have been feeling pretty miserable!

Anyways...I thought I'd show you these lovely photos my husband took yesterday while out for a morning stroll where I live (unfortunately I was at work so I didn't get to see but I thought I'd share them with you anyway as it looked so nice!)

We are lucky to live a few minutes away from the beach and you can see over to the Isle of Wight (not that you can see it through the mist in the photo - but it is there!)