Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Random Haul!!



Just back from Wilton where I picked up a few bits and bobs.

Boots

Had to pick up some Garnier Micellar Water (€4.92), Palmers body Moisturiser (€7.99) and some Palmers hand cream (€2.49)! I love Palmer's products they are so moisturising and they smell great!!!

Bits and Bobs

Got some more curling ribbons in more Spring colours! Most of the ones I have are a bit Christmassy! And some purple and green ribbons just because!!! And a doodle book, love stationary!

Euro Giant

Getting my crème egg on with 2 boxes for €5.00, mmm 10 crème eggs!! And some kinder bueno's!



So got my  beauty, craft and chocolate fix!!!
Shopaholic fix sorted!

xx

Monday, 28 March 2016

Baking Love ~ Minions ~ Cookies & Shortbread & Biscuits ~



Another Baking post! You never get tired of them!!

Wanted to share my ebay find with you! So here's a link to my ebay minions cookie cutter. Buying on ebay you can grab some great bargains (€1.58/ £1.23/ $1.76)  once you don't mind the wait for delivery! I forgot about these and was pleasantly surprized when the postman came!

These are great as they are plungers so easily cut your dough and press your little minions faces into it!

Here's their image:


Here's the odlums shortbread recipe, however any cookie recipe could be used with these cutters!

 

Shortbread Ingredients:


  • 125g/4oz Odlums Cream Plain Flour
  • 50g/2oz Cornflour
  • 125g/4oz Butter (softened)
  • 50g/2oz Caster Sugar

  • Mix all together, roll out, cut and bake for approx. 12 mins at 160C


    And my process, (oops burnt a few!)

     
    All lined up on the cookie sheet before baking!
     
     
    Then I had an idea to ice them but didn't have any fondant icing! Fondant icing is great for these plungers, I would recommend this not my runny icing sugar water combo!!!
     
     
    Painted them with a tiny paint brush and food colouring!!! Think I'll post this as a Pinterest fail!!!!
    At first it seemed great but the icing kinda melted and ran in my warm kitchen!!! Maybe if I left the icing set overnight, who knows? But I was able to use the plunger on the icing after a few hours with no problem, should have taken a photo of that!!!!
     
     
     
     
    Have you any baking fails? Or successes?
     
    Any baking products you think I should check out?
     
    xx

    Friday, 25 March 2016

    Spring ASOS Fashion Accessories WishList!!!

     

    I think it's about time to go Spring accessory shopping, but first research and my wish list!

    Warehouse Clean Tab Saddle Bag from ASOS at €45.07 I just love the look of this bag, and a girl can never have too many bags!!!



    Esprit Cat Eye Gold Trim Sunglasses from ASOS at €35.21 black or gold?? It's still cold and windy but the sun is creeping out to blind me! That means it's time to get your sunglasses out!!!!



    Ted Baker Mirrored Loop Bow Belt from ASOS at €77.46 just because... so cute! Thinking maybe with a skater dress??



     Ted Baker Cosmic Bloom Icon from ASOS at €54.93



    ASOS Oversized Scarf With Paisley And Border Print Design €21.13 I love my scarfs so have to get a Spring Scarf!

     
    I look forward to spring shopping soon!!!
     
    xx 


    Wednesday, 23 March 2016

    Get your Cadbury Creme Egg Fix before its all over!!!



    If you missed out and didn't get a seat at the Crème Egg Café you can still get your Crème Egg fix here!!! As you know I love pinterest, and I also love crème eggs!!!



    These  are some recipe ideas I found on pinterest that I have been trying out!!! There are so many recipes I couldn't get through them all but check them all out here on Pinterest!

     

    Hot Cross Crème Egg Pudding



    Hot Cross Crème Egg Pudding from Good to Know read more here!
    A Crème Egg Twist/Easter on the classic bread and butter pudding!

     
    Ok so I cheated a little bit with mine, but only because I need a fast desert so I used readymade custard! Not as good as the homemade but an eggcellent dessert none the less!!!!


     Crème Egg Chocolate Fondant




    From one of my foodie crushes  Rebecca at Winberry Crumble hear her recipe here!

    4 crème eggs
    100g butter
    150g dark soft brown sugar
    3 eggs
    50g plain flour


    Crème Egg Chocolate Mug Cake




    Crème Egg Chocolate Mug Cake from My Fussy Eater read it here!
    If you haven't made a mug cake you need to try one, they are so simple and quick to make!!

    3 tbsp plain flour
    2 tbsp sugar
    2 tbsp cocoa powder
    ½ tsp baking powder
    1 egg
    3 tbsp plain yogurt
    ¼ tsp vanilla extract
    2 tbsp chocolate chips
    2 creme eggs
     

    Caramel Egg Stuffed Croissants

     

     
    Caramel Egg Stuffed Easter Croissants from Taming Twins read here!!
    This is a bit of a cheat but caramel eggs are only here for a short time too!!! Another simple recipe and a great breakfast treat!!!
     
  • Pack of ready to pop croissant dough
  • 6 Cadbury's Caramel Eggs
  • 1 Egg (beaten)

  •  

    Crème Egg Brownies

     
     
     
    Crème Egg brownies from Cravings of a Lunatic, read here!
     
  • 8 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs. beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 10 to 12 mini cadbury creme eggs

  •  

    Crème Egg Cupcakes

     
    And this tasty offering from Cupcake Jemma, watch here!!!



     
     
     
    So this Crème Egg season, how do you eat yours???
     
    xx

    Ps. if you missed my homemade Easter eggs find them here!

    Monday, 21 March 2016

    Homemade Chocolate Easter Egg Recipe Ideas

    Yay! Reasons I love Spring.... Chocolate and Sweet Treat Related Holidays!!!

    I picked up these Easter Egg Moulds in a discount shop a few years ago and they are just the best thing!!! Everyone loves a homemade treat and these eggs have gone down really well every year I make them!

    Theme your eggs towards the recipient.

     

    1 "Healthy" Chocolate Egg.



    Ok this might not be technically "healthy" but it's the healthiest option here!


    • Dark Chocolate
    • Dried Cranberries
    • Mixed Peel
    • Chopped Nuts

    I filled the base of he mould with fruit and nuts then poured in the melted dark chocolate
    Let it set and join both sides
    Eat!!!

    2 "Sweets and Treats" Egg




    • Milk Chocolate
    • Dark Chocolate
    • White Chocolate
    • Sour Snakes
    • Gummy Bears
    • Skittles
    • M&M's


    Again fill the mould with sweets.
    Drizzle over one type of chocolate, let set, repeat with next chocolate and repeat again!
    Let to set completely
    Fill the inside with lots of tasty sweets.
    Use some melted chocolate to join both sides.

     
     

    3. "Liquorish Allsorts" Egg



    • Chocolate
    • Liquorish Allsorts

    Line up your liquorish allsorts in the mould.
    Melt your chocolate.
    Start to fill your mould with chocolate to hold sweets in place.
    Let your chocolate set.
    Fill your egg with remaining sweets.
    Then use some melted chocolate to join both sides together and keep sweets inside.

    Enjoy!!

    4 "Tiramisu" Egg




    • Dark Chocolate
    • Boudoir Fingers
    • Cocoa Powder
    • Double Cream
    • Mascarpone
    • Espresso
    • Sugar
    • Rum/Baileys etc. (optional)

    3/4 coat your egg with melted chocolate, let set so top is open.

    Fill with Tiramisu:

    Line with boudoir fingers soaked in espresso and rum
    Mix mascarpone, cream and sugar together
    Pour over fingers
    Grate Chocolate over
    Repeat layers until egg is full
    Top with cocoa powder and grated chocolate
    Garnish with a chocolate spoon



    See the first one really was the healthy option!!!!

    I keep these fresh and display them beautifully by wrapping in cellophane and ribbons.

    Hope you feel inspired to treat your loved ones to a homemade egg-elicious treat!!!

    So which is your favourite Egg??


    xx


    Friday, 18 March 2016

    What's in my handbag? An Honest Account!



    I have read so many of these "what's in my bag" posts on so many blogs and have always been like "ya right!" you have a perfectly organised, clean and tidy bag!!! Are you even female?? or some blogging robot!!!???

    Then I met this lovely blogger Rianne Mitchell and read her "What's in my Bag?" post! Have a read and show this blog some love!!! This is an honest look at a handbag and after a chat she inspired me to do one too!!!
    From "researching" this topic I also found a Stevie Nicks "What's in my bag?", which I kinda liked, read it here.
    And of course the Zoella vlog where she finds a forgotten "surprize" inside.

    So here goes:

    (Disclaimer: I carry my life in my bag! Everyone always asks what I carry around with me!!! It will probably cause my back damage it's so full! At least I can beat off any future attackers with it!! Read on at your own peril)



    First my bag is from Primark, I liked it as it is kinda flat so not too bulky to start with but it holds loads! This is my everyday bag, it gets a bit abused, (sorry bag). But I thought it a bit plain so I tied a Primark polka dot scarf onto the strap!

    It also has a few compartments which I like to divide up my belongings. It makes everything so much simpler!!!

    1.      Keys pocket

    Makes life easier if you can find them quickly, especially in the rain!!!

    2.      Make-up pocket


    I don't usually bring my make-up bag out with me unless I'm staying out overnight or on a night out.
    This pocket holds the essentials; lipstick, eyeliner, lip balm, Baby Lips,Vaseline, Carmex, Maxfactor Powder and brush and my toothbrush! (Gotta have my toothbrush just in case!)


    3.      Tampon/pad pocket self explanatory!

    I also keep bandages in here just in case I need then, this is a compartment I don't want to get dirty and crumpled, obviously!!!

    4.      The vast void where everything disappears!


    • Diary/Life Organiser
    • Little notebook
    • Purse (also Primark)
    • Nail file
    • Painkillers
    • Umbrella (It has been kinda wet recently also Primark)
    • Soothers  "sucky sweets" (it is winter)
    • 2 half packets of Chewing Gum
    • A lolly pop (Thanks Dad!)
    • Anti-perspirant
    • Phone
    • Phone charger
    • 2 and a half pens (who knows where the other half is!?)
    • Ikea pencil
    • Tissues
    • Palmers Hand Cream
    • Some lose change
    • A diamanté ??
    • Safety pins, you never know when you might need them!!!
    • Someone else's car key (now this was a surprise find as I emptied my bag to write this, oops sorry)
    • Camera
    • Bobby pins
    • Bobble
    • A small torch
    • Gloves (in case I get cold)
    • Receipts... from everywhere groceries, make-up, tea...
    • Crumbs... lots of crumbs and lint!! This annoys me, I mean where do they come from it's like they follow me around the house no matter how much I clean!!!!

    On occasion (more than once a week) I will also have:


    • A travel mug with me as I am about to have or have just finished a cup of tea!!!
    • Bottle of Water
    • Fruit, loving kiwi's recently
    • Crackers (little snack)
    • Mini pack of baby Wipes


    This is what a real female handbag looks like!!! I apologise to any men who actually stumbled upon this... the mystery has gone!!!

    Hope you have enjoyed reading this honest female account of the contents of a handbag... My Handbag! I should really tidy it more often!!!

    Please share your bag contents with me!!!

    xx

    Thursday, 17 March 2016

    Paddy's Day Extra ~ Sweets ~ Gifts

    Just a quick post to say Happy St. Patricks Day!!!

    I love to make my friends cute little gifts so here goes:

    I had recently finished a tube of Dr Oetker sprinkles after making my simple chocolate fudge (read it here!) and I thought it might come in useful and I was right. I was about to eat all my jelly beans when I had a moment of genius. (I made a similar gift a few years ago with skittles.)





















    So I divided up the colours into a rainbow and filled the jar!

    Looking good!

    Hope everyone enjoys the parade!

    xx

    Wednesday, 16 March 2016

    St Particks Day Baking ~ Guinness Cake Baileys Frosting ~ Recipes



    I thought I'd try something a bit different this Paddy's Day, so instead of the usual green cupcakes I'm making a Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Baileys Frosting!!! I found this great blog Love Swah, with this recipe, show this girl some love and check out the full recipe here!!!


    Ingredients:

     

    Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake

    • 250ml Guinness stout/porter (1 cup)
    • 250g butter (1 cup + 1 tbsp.)
    • 100g cup cocoa powder (2/3 cup)
    • 400g caster/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)
    • 140ml sour cream (2/3 cup)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 250g plain flour (2 cups)
    • 2½ tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda

    Baileys Cream Cheese Icing

    • 500-600g sifted icing sugar/powdered sugar (4-5 cups)
    • 100g butter at room temperature
    • 250g cream cheese at room temperature (8oz)
    • 4-6 tbsps Baileys Irish Cream
     

    I used Guinness Stout as per recipe but if you prefer Beamish or Murphy's stout then I don't see a problem. It's your taste so pick your favourite Stout!


    I read this great review of Baileys and alternatives from A Thrifty Mrs read here so I went with the Lidl alternative!

    This is a big recipe so I made 4 cupcakes too. I could have made more really!!! But I used a 7" tin.
    (This cake doesn't rise much when it did mine cracked open all over so I had to trim it level) 
     
    This cake is also sooo heavy! So small slices!
     
    The Baileys frosting is amazing and I'm not a boozy person! I will definitely be making that again!
    But I used less icing sugar and more cream cheese and maybe less baileys. I always use less sugar in cream cheese icing, it's a personal taste thing, I just don't like it overly sweet so I used approx.:
     

    Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 200g sifted icing sugar/powdered sugar
  • 60g butter at room temperature
  • 150g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tbsps Baileys Irish Cream

  •  
    Love this cake, a nice change from my usual cutesy baking! Hope you try it and enjoy it!!
     
    Check out my previous baking posts:
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Monday, 14 March 2016

    Who's taking money out of your pocket?? Rounding cons!

     
    Now maybe everyone has not heard about rounding but this is my pet peeve! It is daylight robbery!!
    I mean are we really that stupid that we are allowing people to take money out of our pockets!!!!

     
    So if you don't know what I am on about "Rounding" is the concept that if your shopping costs €2.99 you pay €3. That doesn't seem that bad does it? What about if your shopping costs €2.96 you still have to pay €3!!! So you are giving the shopkeeper €0.04 for doing nothing you are getting nothing in return for your money!!!


    Just How much is being robbed from my Pocket???


    Think about it this way, you probably buy more than one thing every day be it your morning take-away coffee, your lunch, groceries,  beauty products... etc. etc.
    So that could be 16 cent a day!!1 That's €58.40 a year!!!!! Think about what you could have bought for that!!! And that's a minimum!!! That's like filling your car with petrol! Rent? A fancy meal?



    It's not just this but I have and a lot of people I know have a savings plan of putting your change in a jar every day and at the end of the year you can get yourself a treat or just have this as an emergency stash of cash for those bad days!!!
    I mean that's a years meals on the McDonalds eurosaver menu!!!!!!

    I have yet to have any purchase rounded down!!!!


    It's illegal for a shop to refuse to give you your change!!!


    Also this "scheme" (scam) is voluntary , you don't have to be robbed but try asking for your correct change!!! I mean I have been verbally assaulted by shop staff!!! for what asking for my change!!!
    This by the way is illegal!!!! They have to give you your change so persist!!! We have to stand up for our rights as consumers!!!

    If you went into a shop and bought a bar of chocolate for €1 and paid with a €50 note and then the shopkeeper refused to give you your €49 change then that would make you furious!!! So this rounding scam makes me furious!!!



    So Where is my Money going???


    Where is this money going??? It hasn't gone through the books at the till, your receipt, the accounts lodged to the relevant authorities??? So where has it gone??? That's right straight into the shop owners pocket!!!! No tax is paid on it?? It's not declared???
    I'm curious how this will be accounted for at the end of the year???

    It's not just us the consumer who has been robbed!!!!

    Charities are losing millions!!!!




    Yes you know the Charity boxes at tills, which usually support local charities, which we all might need some day, yes they are being robbed!! In the past anyone who didn't want to soil their hands with change just put their change into the charity box. This adds up quickly as it's just 16cent a day each bit a shop could have 100's if not 1000's of customers a day, so over the whole country charity is losing MILLIONS!!!!



    Sorry Trocaire Box... Not this year!!!!




    Think about shops like dealz where everything is €1.49! That means there is 1c undeclared income/overcharging for every purchase!! Now have you ever seem this shop empty.... no there is always a huge q!!!! One can only imagine the company owners rolling around in the millions of tax free income!!!!

    I have given you a lot of con's here but I can't really think of any pro's?? Except that for the shop owners???

    Pro's

    1. Shop owners / Companies getting tax fee profit

     

    Con's

     

    1. Consumer being overcharges

    2. Charities losing out

    3. Government/ Revenue losing Tax revenue

     



    So tell me your opinion???

    Are you ok with your hard earned money being stolen???

    Please share this rant!!!