Wednesday, 30 December 2015


Back in October me and 4 friends headed for the forest for a week long retreat in the good ol’ fresh Cornish air. We stayed in one of the Forest Holidays resorts, it was a bit of a last minute plan and a quite a journey, but it was great fun!
When we arrived, we headed straight for the nearest alcohol-selling shop! After stocking up and grabbing a bottle of bubbly to celebrate our arrival we all jumped straight in the hot-tub, on our cabin’s balcony!!
It was divine, being out in the fresh air but completely submerged in the perfect, hot water! Bliss!
The cabins are super cosy and surprisingly warm – we were really lucky with the weather when we went, it was pretty mild, no rain and pretty sunny most days.
Between us we cooked dinner every night, including one exceptional roast! One night we even ordered curry/pizza to our cabin, they prepare the food in the reception and then deliver it to your cabin!!
As a group we chose not to pay for the TV package and with the very limited Wifi too we were almost completely screen-free for a whole week! It was really nice, we brought a couple of board games and accompanied with drinks and food it was a perfect evening activity.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


The recipe for these mince pies caught my eye when I was flicking through the Waitrose magazine one lunchtime, as a family we eat a lot of mince pies over the christmas period so it was one I knew would go down well! Mum and I batch bake about 200 mince pies every year, we tend to give them out as gifts and take them to events here and there throughout December, and we’d been thinking about trying something new this year so it was the perfect excuse to try these out.
They went down a treat!
Everyone really enjoyed them, warm and cold they tasted amazing. The crumble on the top added a really nice crunch to them too, I think the topping would work just as well on other fruits too alternative to the mincemeat. We followed the recipe for the pastry as well as the crumble although for ease we said we’d probably just make our usual, basic pastry recipe if we made them in bulk.
Ingredients: 225g plain flour 50g ground almonds 50g caster sugar 125g unsalted butter 1 vanilla pod (we used vanilla essence) 1 egg yolk 800g mincemeat
For the crumble: 75g plain flour 6tbsp demerara sugar 60g unsalted butter 1 orange, zest 1tsp mixed spice

  • Make the pastry; Mix flour, almonds, caster sugar, butter and vanilla essence to form crumbs.
  • Add the egg yolk and 1tbsp cold water, pulse together into a dough.
  • Knead until smooth. (The recipe them says to chill the pastry for 30 mins, we didn’t!)
  • Make the crumble topping; Mix the flour, demerara sugar, butter, orange zest and mixed spice to a chunky crumble mixture.
  • Preheat the over to 200°c.
  • Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work top to about £1 thick & cut out 24 rings using a 8-9cm cutter. Press the rounds into the holes and lightly pinch the edges for a fluted effect.
  • Divide the mincemeat between the cases (about 1 heaped tbsp in each) and scatter the crumble over the top.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crunchy.
  • Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before turning out and transferring to a wire rack.
  • Once cool, dust with icing sugar.
The mince pies can be frozen for up to 3 months and re-heated when desired.
We don’t have a 8-9cm round cutter so used a jagged edge cookie cutter which meant we didn’t have to flute the edges. We did find that the pastry didn’t roll as easily as others but that may be because we didn’t chill it as instructed!
I’d definitely recommend this recipe to anyone to try, I’ll be making them again during the christmas period for sure.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


This was another BBC GoodFood recipe from one of my favourite cook books. It was a simply recipe, quick and easy to make. The sponge was amazing and tasted incredible, best sponge we’ve ever made, however we were really gutted at the lack of coconut flavour. We didn’t have any coconut cream so we used single cream instead, in hindsight using coconut cream may have helped bring the flavour out a bit more.
Ingredients: 175g butter, softened 175g golden caster sugar 3 eggs beaten 175g self raising flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 50g desiccated coconut 2tsp coconut cream or single cream
For the buttercream filling & topping: 280g icing sugar 100g butter, softened 175g self raising flour 3tsp coconut cream or single cream 5tsp raspberry jam

  • Heat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4. Butter and line the base of two 20cm round sandwich tins.
  • Mix the butter, sugar, flour, eggs and baking powder until smooth.
  • Gently stir in the coconut and cream.
  • Divide the mixture between the two sandwich tins and smooth the tops.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until evenly golden and firm.
  • Loosen the edges and leave to cool in tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Make the buttercream: beat together the icing sugar, butter and cream until smooth.
  • Spread one sponge with the jam.
  • Top with just under half the buttercream and sandwich with the other sponge.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with the remaining buttercream.
We also chose to decorate the top of the cake with more desiccated coconut, sprinkled around the edges of the cake. I would definitely use this recipe again to make the sponge for sure! Next time i’ll try with coconut cream too in a bid to get more coconutty flavour into the cake!

Sunday, 23 August 2015


Mum is a huge lover of marzipan so this recipe immediately caught her eye. It’s in the BBC GoodFood Bakes & Cakes recipe book but annoyingly I can’t seem to find it online anywhere.
Ingredients: 200g butter, softened 200g caster sugar 4 eggs beaten 200g self raising flour 200g glace cherries, chopped 100g ground almonds 2-3 drops almond extract 250g marzipan 50g blanched almonds, halved (we used flaked almonds) Icing sugar, for dusting

  • Heat the oven to 160c/fan 140c/gas 3. Butter and line a deep 20cm round cake tin.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and creamy.
  • Pour in the eggs a little at a time and beat well. Mix in the flour, one third at a time.
  • Fold in the cherries, ground almonds and almond extract until evenly mixed.
  • Spoon half the mixture into the tin.
  • Roll the marzipan to a 19cm circle. Lay this on top of the cake mixture and top with the rest of the mixture.
  • Level the mixture and scatter the almonds on top.
  • Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the skewer comes out clean. Cover with foil after 1hour.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes then turn out on a wire rack, cool completely then dust with icing sugar.
The recipe went down really well with the family and made a great pudding, especially with a bit of cream! It’s definitely one we’ll make again.

Monday, 20 July 2015


The last time mum and I tried to bake muffins it went pretty badly, they were tough and didn’t look the part at all! We were put off the idea of baking any more for a while after that. This BBC GoodFood recipe for ‘Choc-cherry muffins’ had really good reviews and looked really yummy so we thought we’d try again (and we really wanted to use our Mary Berry/GBBO muffin cases).
It only took about 30 minutes from start to finish and made 12. It’s a really easy recipe to follow and they were absolutely delicious!
Ingredients: 250g self-raising flour 1tsp bicarbonate of soda 140g dried sour cherries 100g bar white chocolate, cut into chunks 100g bar dark chocolate, cut into chunks 100g golden caster sugar 2 eggs, beaten 150ml pot natural yoghurt 100g butter, melted
  • Heat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  • Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.
  • Add the cherries, chocolate and sugar.
  • Add the beaten eggs, yoghurt and butter, stir to combine. It doesn’t matter if the mixture is lumpy, it’s more important not to over-mix!
  • Fill the cases.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden.
  • Transfer to a rack to cool.
We found that we had to turn the oven down to 160c (fan) and even then they only took 16 minutes to cook! Taste wise, the dark chocolate is quite over-powering so when making them again we’d use milk chocolate instead.

Give them a try and let me know what you think of the recipe?

Friday, 10 July 2015


At the end of May, I jetted off to Kos, Greece for a much needed holiday of sun, swimming and plenty of food! My friend and I booked a week at Carda Beach, a highly recommended all inclusive resort just outside Kardamena town.
We’d been to the resort before, back in 2013, but as a group of 11. So it was a very different holiday. The staff were all really friendly and spoke decent English too. We got up for breakfast everyday but one, it was a buffet style and there was a great range. Lunch and dinner were buffet style too, with different things every day ranging from traditional Greek to your standard fish and chips! There were 2 a la carte restaurants within the hotel, an Italian and a Chinese. We went to the Italian when we visited in 2013 so we booked to eat at the Chinese this time and it was wonderful. The food was lovely and the restaurant itself was really nice, with very attentive staff.
We were a stones throw from the beach, but with neither of us having much interest in going for a swim in the sea we spent the whole week sunbathing, reading and enjoying plenty of afternoon naps. Our evenings were spent in the all inclusive bar which again was lush, it had plenty of comfortable seating, inside and out – we ventured into town 2 nights during the week but being the beginning of the season it was still relatively quiet.
It was exactly what we both needed, stress-free and relaxing. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a luxury resort paired with great weather and beautiful views.

Saturday, 20 June 2015


At the end of May, I jetted off to Kos, Greece for a much needed holiday of sun, swimming and plenty of food! My friend and I booked a week at Carda Beach, a highly recommended all inclusive resort just outside Kardamena town.

We'd been to the resort before, back in 2013, but as a group of 11. So it was a very different holiday. The staff were all really friendly and spoke decent English too. We got up for breakfast everyday but one, it was a buffet style and there was a great range. Lunch and dinner were buffet style too, with different things every day ranging from traditional Greek to your standard fish and chips! There were 2 a la carte restaurants within the hotel, an Italian and a Chinese. We went to the Italian when we visited in 2013 so we booked to eat at the Chinese this time and it was wonderful. The food was lovely and the restaurant itself was really nice, with very attentive staff.

Monday, 26 January 2015

First ASOS finds of 2015!

I follow so many clothing brands/stores across all my social media platforms so it's impossible to avoid finding things that catch your eye! This month it was a super comfy jumper which subsequently led to finding 3 other things falling in my basket! Well, you can never just order one thing right?!

1. ASOS TALL exclusive longline with high neck in Chenille.  -  £38.00
This jumper is so super comfy and warm, i've spent pretty much my whole weekend curled up in it. I saw it on one of the girls I follow on instagram and instantly fell in love with it. It's in the tall range which I wouldn't normally look at but I couldn't resist, free returns anyway eh!!
Because it is a high neck jumper, I was a little concerned at how tight it was going to be around the neck but it's absolutely fine, it's actually quite loose. The only thing is that the sleeves are pretty long so i've had to roll them up a bit! If I ordered it again I would probably have gone for a smaller size.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

How to live a healthy lifestyle.

"Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them." 
To start I just want to say that this is how I go about living a relatively healthy lifestyle, i'm not a nutritionist or a PT by any stretch of the imagination it's just a few things I live by to help keep me on track!

Rule No. 1: Prepare!
I can't stress how important this is. Everyone has days where they slip back into bad habits (eating badly, skipping the gym etc) and mine tend to happen when i've neglected to prepare for the day ahead. I'm following a workout program which has massively helped my motivation with going to the gym.

Side note: The Kayla Itsines BBG guide is amazing! I'm really enjoying the workouts and the community that she has created. Check out her website and instagram

Go to the gym.
Okay, so it's easier said than done but it's not impossible and it can very quickly become a habit. My body now craves a workout in the morning, it's really easy to get up at 6:30 now! Who'd have thought! Keeping your alarm far away from your bed should help to get you up and out of bed too, you'll have no choice but to get up and turn it off!

My top tip for getting yourself to the gym is to get up as soon as your alarm goes off and put your gym kit on, it's the best motivation there is.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Cappuccino cake bars!

Another weekend, another baking challenge. This weeks recipe was from my BBC Good Food: Bakes & Cakes book that my parents got me for christmas. It's got some really nice things in it, we were limited as to what we could make based on the ingredients we had in the house (the food shop's tomorrow!).

None the less this one took our fancy anyway. We decided to half the ingredients to avoid the risk of making too many and wasting some. It was a good job as well as the recipe makes loads, even halving it we managed to make 16 bars!

It's a really simple recipe and they taste amazing, the perfect afternoon snack with a cup of tea!

We used:
   •  100g softened butter
   •  1/2 tsp cocoa powder
   •  1 rounded tbsp of coffee granules
   •  100g caster sugar
   •  2 eggs
   •  100g of self-raising flower
   •  1/2 tsp baking powder

For the icing, the recipe included white chocolate which we didn't have so we just made a standard butter cream icing and dusted it with cocoa powder. Simples! Literally all you have to do is heat the oven to 160 fan, grease and line a baking tin, mix all the ingredients together, level it out and shove it in the oven for 20 minutes. Voila! 

Monday, 12 January 2015

My super cute recipe file.

In the last year or so I have become more and more interested in food. The nutritional value of it and how to cook it! I recently took the opportunity (my mum was away) to cook dinner, using inspiration from my cookbooks, Pinterest and things i'd heard about and wanted to try. It's becoming a real passion of mine and one i'm yet to master!

My mum and I share a love of cooking/baking and she used to keep print outs of any recipes we tried and things she found on food packaging etc in an old book. The book was getting really out of hand, the design was dated and she just didn't like it anymore so for christmas I got her a recipe file from Paperchase! She absolutely loved it and has already filled it out with all the scrap pieces of paper and recipes that filled the old book.

I absolutely loved the idea of it and when looking on Paperchase found one I loved too, it was an adorable design and just what I wanted to keep all my recipes in too. We now have somewhere to keep all our recipes neat and tidy, i'd definitely suggest anyone having the same problems should think about getting one!

The design itself is super cute and the book is made really well. It's a ring binder as well which I love because it means if you have more recipes for a particular thing you can move the recipe cards around to suit. I think the recipe file has been thoroughly thought through and i've really enjoyed filling it out. It also includes a handy conversion chart and even has a couple of dinner party planning pages!

What are your favourite recipes? Do you keep them in a handy file?

Friday, 2 January 2015

What I got for christmas!

First off, Happy New Year you beautiful bunch! I hope you all had a really good Christmas and New Year, another year come and gone, here's to another good year filled with fun, adventure, good health and happiness.

It seems to be a very highly requested post for bloggers and vloggers to share what they got for Christmas so it seemed only right to do one. I'm also suffering massively with post Christmas blues, it's officially 2015 and so the Christmas decorations have come down and it's back to work tomorrow.

Anyway, I was well and truly spoilt again this year, by friends and family and without further ado i'll share with you what i was lucky enough to receive this year!

  1. 3 mini impulse body sprays. My mum buys me these every year, they are so handy and perfectly hand bag sized.
  2. Phil Smith SOS rescue shampoo and conditioner. These are absolutely amazing! They have argan oil in them which is known for being really good at rescuing damaged hair. I've only used it 2/3 times but the results are incredible already, I would definitely recommend it to anyone trying to rescue their hair.
  3. Absolut raspberry fizz - mini vodka bottle. Every year mum does a little treasure hunt and this was the treasure this year! 
  4. Pack of 5 assorted tip uni pin pens - I have always used these for typography and the like. I personally really like them, they've got a pigmented ink which stops them from fading.
  5. A pink pig sketchbook, i've always used this brand purely because it's the one we had through school and I got really used to the paper. I also love a ring bound sketchbook.
  6. Christmas socks! 
  7. A pack of 2 super cute, warm socks - they are probably my favourite socks. 
  8. A Real Techniques powder brush. These brushes are incredible, they are so so soft and just really nice. I don't think i'd use any other brush. 
  9. Seventeen's complete smokey eye collection - this box is full of goodies. It's got loads of eye shadows, brushes, gel eyeliner etc. It also has the best sharpener ever!
  10. Undies. My friend got me these gorgeous red lacy underwear. So cute. 
  11. Leather gloves - I was desperate for some of these for driving in. I find gloves typically slip on the wheel so apart from being lush, they're practical. 
  12. Travel mug, I got 2 of these this year. Different designs one for home and one for work!
  13. Benefit perfume set - how cute! It's a set of 4 'cocktail' perfumes - they're perfectly handbag sized and smell divine.
  14. 3 Dixi rings. I'd had my eye on these for a while, they're beautiful - if you're into boho style jewellery then i'd definitely recommend that you check them out at
  15. A gorgeous chunky gold necklace. I'm a big fan of chunky necklaces so this is a perfect addition to my collection.
  16. This nail manicure set was from my secret santa at work - it's perfect for keeping in my handbag. It's got nail clippers, scissors, a cuticle pusher and a nail file all kept neatly in the adorable flower case.
  17. Calvin Klein, Reveal! This smells incredible and the smell lingers for ages. I stumbled across this in a magazine and fell in love with it instantly.
  18. This adorable chocolate heart with chocolate candy canes and more chocolate looks too good to eat. It's beautifully packaged as well, an overdose of chocolate just waiting to be eaten! 
So that's that! What did you get for Christmas this year? What's your favourite present?