Flatforms – the new wedge?

Today I went shopping. Not the food or window kind of shopping, no, HOLIDAY shopping. A week tomorrow I’ll be jetting off to Turkey, Marmaris and quite frankly, I can’t wait! As I have already purchased the majority of my holiday wardrobe (did I forget to mention that this was shopping trip number 3??), today I was on the hunt for a pair of nice, summery wedges. As I scoured the shops for that eye-catching pair, I couldn’t help but notice that it was another kind of shoe that was instead catching my eye – the ‘flatform’. A contemporary take on the traditional platform shoe. A very interesting sight, to put it mildly. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m the sort of girl who is partial to a new fashion trend, but for some reason I just can’t make my mind up about these shoes. Something about them just doesn’t seem quite right. Perhaps they’ll grow on me in a week or so but right now I think they’re like Marmite – you either love them or hate them. What do you think?

Post to you soon! xoxo

Ps. I left the shopping centre empty handed. Mission to find a pair of wedges (or flatforms??) continues!

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Cocktails!

Today I went for cocktails with two of my girl friends, an ideal way to socialise and have fun at the same time. It’s funny how once you have a cocktail glass in your hand you all of a sudden feel like the classiest and most sophisticated person on the planet (note:sophistication levels dramatically decrease as consumption increases). The infusion of fruits, syrup and the all important ingredient alcohol work so well together. They almost taste too good to be alcoholic and more like a delicious fruit juice (don’t fall for it). My friends and I ordered two champagne cocktails – Strawberry Bellini and Kir Royale. I would definitely recommend these as they add a fruity kick to the standard champagne – perfect for the summer. Or if you fancy a hint of sour in your sweet drink then the Amaretto Sour cocktail is the one to try, the cherry and sliced orange on top are a nice touch too! So if you’re feeling creative, here are the recipes. Throw a cocktail party for your friends in the comfort of your own home. Just as fun as going to a bar…but a lot cheaper!

Strawberry Bellini:

  • 1 bottle of prosecco
  • 2 cups pureed and strained fresh strawberries

Into a pitcher, pour the 2 cups pureed strawberries. Gently pour in the bottle of prosecco and stir gently to combine. Divide among Champagne flutes and serve.

Kir Royale:

  • 1/4 oz creme de cassis
  • 2 1/4 oz dry white wine

Pour the creme de cassis into a wine glass. Slowly add the dry white wine. Easy!

Amaretto Sour:

  • 1 1/2 oz amaretto almond liqueur
  • 1-2 splashes sweet and sour mix

Pour the amaretto liqueur into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Add a splash or two of sweet and sour mix, and shake well. Strain or pour into an old-fashioned glass, garnish with a maraschino cherry and a slice of orange, and serve.

Hope you enjoy your cocktails! Remember to drink wisely 🙂

Post to you soon! xoxo

The Hummingbird Bakery, Peaches & Cream Cupcakes

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Today I made cupcakes, what a lovely way to spend a rainy afternoon. The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook has the most amazing cupcake recipes so I spent most of the morning deciding which ones to make! I found myself umming and aahhing over Red Velvet or Peaches & Cream. In the end I chose Peaches & Cream (due to lack of red food colouring in my kitchen cupboards). The recipe was really easy to follow and judging from the taste, they turned out to be an excellent choice. However, I’m yet to master the art of frosting, but plenty more baking days ahead to experiment with that! The recipe also says to sprinkle with brown sugar, but I used chocolate strands to add my own little touch. Here is the recipe if you want to try them out for yourself….I really think you should!

Peaches and Cream cupcakes:

A classic summer combination – using fresh peaches makes the recipe work so much better. Other fruits in season could be substituted – The Hummingbird Bakery

Cupcake Ingredients (makes 12)-

  • 120g plain flour
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 40g unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 400g tinned peaches, sliced

Method –

1. Preheat oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3

2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.

3. Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

4. Divide the sliced peaches between the paper cases so that the base of each case is covered. Spoon the cupcake mixture on top until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Frosting Ingredients-

  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 80g unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 25ml whole milk
  • a couple drops of vanilla extract

Method-

1. Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to slow speed.

2. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.

Enjoy eating your Peaches and Cream cupcakes 🙂

Post to you soon! xoxo

Miss Sporty ‘Clubbing Colours’ nail art

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Today I painted my nails. Something I like to do every few days to keep my nails looking pretty. My hands seem to feel naked if I don’t wear polish and the different colours put me in a good mood. I couldn’t decide which colour to paint them today. I have a big case full of every colour you could imagine – darks, lights, pastels, glitters. Spoilt for choice! Then I remembered I had a palette of little nail gems that I was yet to open. I was in quite an artistic mood so I decided to experiment a little. First, I chose a lilac pastel colour from the ‘Miss Sporty Clubbing Colours’ range. Since it’s supposed to be the first day of summer (the downpours of rain seem to say otherwise) I thought that this was an appropriate shade. Using nail tweezers and glue, (and trying hard to not glue my fingers together) I carefully applied each gem individually to make a little flower. Then I made a small pattern on each thumb. The tweezers were a bit tricky to use at first, but I soon got to grips with it and it was a lot easier to do than I expected. Even better, the results looked great! I will definitely be doing this again soon and will try out a new design and colour. Hope you like them 🙂

Post to you soon! xoxo