Easter Treat Table!

Friday, 29 March 2013

 Easter is nearly upon us and I'm sure that you all, like me, have plans with friends and family, weather its a traditional roast dinner with games and fun or a bit of a party with drinks and music!

I'm having an Easter gathering at my house with all the family, and although we wont be having a sit down meal, I do plan on having nibbles and treats for everyone to enjoy! 

As im sure you already know, I have a passion for baking, and all things sweet, so i plan on making a feature Easter treat table full of sweets, candies, chocolates cakes and many other delicious little things, not to mention adornments and decorations galore!

I have pulled inspiration from magazines, adverts on TV and mainly from Pinterest - it is a treasure trove of ideas for anyone who loves to try their skills with handmade things!

Easter is a time of new life, pretty pastels and of course, chocolate, so it is important to me to incorporate these into my feature table!

I found this beautiful idea on Pinterest! It is full of pretty pastel colours! I really like the idea that the treats are displayed on different levels, it means everything can be seen and makes it more pleasing to the eye! I also love the wonderful bunting, it has a handmade look to it and keeps in with the colour scheme of the table. 

This also caught my eye on Pinterest! It, again, uses the pastel colours which are just perfect for spring time! I also like the way that the candies are displayed in jars - what a lovely touch! Something else that inspired me about this was the blossom branches - they are gorgeous, they are a corresponding colouur and i love the way they lean over the display!


But a feature table isn't just about sweets and chocolates, it needs to be full of decorations and statements which people will talk about and remember! When I came across this idea I thought it was wonderfully simple, but brilliant, you could use any candies in any colours to match your theme! I love that Tulips are used here, as they are a lovely spring flower which also come in a range of lovely colours!

I also came across these beauties on pinterest! The cake stand is so sweet and I love how the raffia is used to give an Easter look, you don't have to display eggs on it, you could use anything, cupcakes, cookies - anything! I also thought that this flower display was especially creative! You could use it on a smaller or larger scale and use any colored eggs you like to tie in with your theme.

I wanted to make something of my own and I saw that our egg box was about to be thrown out and decided to use it to make something easter-y instead! 

To follow this make-and-do, you will need an empty egg box with the label peeled off, and some craft glue (I always water it down a little) and make sure you have some scrap paper to rest on so you don't make too much mess! You are also going to need some sort of paper to cover the egg box with, you could use newspaper, scrap paper - anything you can find! Dan bought a mug in the Disney store a few days ago and it was wrapped in this adorable paper which I kept - (I knew it would be good for something!), so I used that;

I ripped the paper into shreds, some small and some larger and I painted the lid and inside of the egg box with the glue and began sticking the paper pieces on - don't paint the bottom yet or it will stick to whatever it is resting on! When you have covered the egg box paint over the paper with glue too so it is stuck on good and tight and once it is dry it will have a lovely crispy effect!

This is what my box looked like! Once it was dry I flipped it over and did the same to the bottom! 

Once the whole box was dry I rummaged through my materials and found some lovely scraps to complete the box with, I glued on a strip of vintage looking paper and I also glued on a little wooden button I found lying around. I had a brown ink pad that I touched up the edges of the box with to give it a worn, vintage feel and I finished off by fraying and tying some ribbon through the little hole!

I finished off by filling with some Cadbury creme eggs, but you can use whatever you like! I will finish the box off with some raffia or straw when I present it on my treat table on Easter day!

I hope you have fun and I would love to see how yours turn out!

Sweets && Treats

Easter wouldn't be Easter without some sweets and chocolates, and because I am making quite a large number of these, I feel it is important to plan ahead!
I want to have quite a variety on offer for my guests as I know that everyone has different tastes, so I am going to make sure that there is something for everyone!  

I have found some inspiration on pinterest, such as these little cuties below;

These are 'peeps'! They are an american marshmallow candy, which are hard to find in England  so if you want to use them, you could order them online ahead of time or you could visit one of the many 'american shops' that are popping up all around! They are so sweet and come in a variety of colours so you could mix and match or buy according to your color scheme!


cornflakes nests;

Of course  Easter just wouldn't be the same without some good old fashioned cornflake nests! These are so simple to make and everyone loves them! all you need is; 
♡ 50g of butter
♡ 100g of milk chocolate broken into chunks
♡ 3tbsp of golden syrup
♡ 100g of cornflakes
♡ a bag of cadbury mini eggs

and then you simply need to;

Put the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a saucepan or microwavable bowl and Put the cornflakes into a separate, large bowl.
Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in the saucepan over a low heat and allow to cool a little before pouring over the cornflakes.
Stir the ingredients together gently using a wooden spoon. Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases arranged on a muffin tray. gently place 2 or 3 mini eggs on top of each cake
Put in the fridge to set for about an hour or two and enjoy!

These are loved by people of all ages and you can guarantee that there wont be any left by the end of the afternoon!

Cadbury creme egg cupcakes;

I had a little 'trail run' of some cadbury creme egg cupcakes today, which i will be making on the day. I wanted to test them today to make sure i could get the icing right! They turned out lovely and are so delicious!

I used a basic Cupcake recipe and added some cadbury cocoa powder to give a lovely authentic flavor!;

I would definitely recommend having some good quality large muffin cases so that the cakes turn out nice and big! I bought these Dr Oetker cases for just 94p from Tesco - you cant go wrong!

I made the cupcake batter and used a scoop to fill the cases with the mix so that they all turned out about the same size & cooked at Gas 6 for 12 minutes, i strongly suggest using a muffin tin so that the cakes don't spread out but if you don't have one then don't panic - your cakes will still be yummy!;

Once the cakes are cooked and you've taken them from the oven, be sure to put them onto a cooling rack! if you leave them in the warm muffin tin to cool you will be waiting forever! Whilst the cakes were cooling, I made the ButterCream icing, I needed it to be quite thick to give the look of the fondant filling inside a cream egg! Before you start to make the icing, pop on your pinny as it could get messy;

This is my lovely Cath Kidson pinny which I was bought for christmas! I love it!

To make the icing (to generously frost 12 cupcakes) you will need ;
♡ 8oz of unsalted butter 
♡ a tablespoon of liquid vanilla
♡ 4-6 tablespoons of full fat milk or cream
♡ 16oz of icing sugar

It is important to use butter because margarine is always too soft and will not hold its shape once piped onto your cakes, also i prefer unsalted butter as it is less greasy!I usually cut the butter into cubes so that it is more manageable and easier to mix (I do not have an electric mixer so i have to mix by hand and this can be quite hard going as the icing is stiff, but just persevere!)

Before you add anything to the butter just mix it a little so it becomes a little softer, if you are mixing by hand like me, this can be a little difficult so you can add the vanilla at this stage to make it easier for yourself! 

Next, gradually add in the icing sugar, i would do this in 4 stages, each time with a tablespoon of the milk. it is very important to remember that the amount of milk you use can make a big difference to the consistency of your icing, so try to add it a drop at a time until you get what you need. This is what my icing looked like when it was finished;

I separated a third of the icing into a different bowl and put it aside.With the other two thirds i popped it into a piping bag fitted with a wide circular nozzle;

I then piped slowly in a spiral motion, leaving a gap on the top center of each cake;

Once all the cakes were topped like this, i added a few drops of yellow food colouring into the final third of icing and put it into the piping bag with the same nozzle and filled the gap on top of each cake! i then finished with a 'Cadbury splat' but you could also use a mini 'Cadbury creme egg';


Easter chocolate Torte

I also plan on making an Easter chocolate torte with cute mini bunting as my center piece! I adapted this recipe from one in the latest issue of the free co-op magazine, the recipe serves 12 and only takes 25 minutes to bake, so I will make it on Easter morning;

 The ingredients needed are;
♡ 200g of milk or dark chocolate broken into chunks
♡ 100g of unsalted butter
♡ 100g light soft brown sugar
♡ 2 tablespoons of liquid vanilla
♡ *optional 150g of ground almonds*
♡ 4 medium eggs, separated (I always use free range)
♡ cocoa powder and Cadbury mini eggs to decorate!

all you need to do is;
 ♡ preheat your oven to gas 3 / 160'C
♡ lightly grease a cake tin (preferably 20cm)
♡ Melt the chocolate chunks in a microwavable bowl over simmering water, and once it is melted leave it to cool a little.
♡ Meanwhile beat the butter sugar and vanilla together thoroughly in a large bowl.
♡ Add the ground almonds (if you wish to use them) and the egg yolks and beat them together, then add in the melted chocolate and keep stirring until its completely combined.
♡ In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and carefully fold it into the chocolate mixture until combined.
Gently spoon into the tin and bake for 25 minutes in the oven until the cake is cooked and set, it will be slightly gooey in the center.Leave the cake to cool
♡ Remove from the tin once cool, dust with cocoa powder and top with the mini eggs.
you can now top with the mini bunting if you have any!

Sugar Cookies;

i really wan to use my new easter cookie cutters so i will also be making some sugar cookies, i came across this image on pinterest and thought it was so cute! I am going to follow a recipie i have used many times before to make my cookies, thsi recipie makes 24 cookies and is as follows;

♡ 112g Butter, softened
♡100g caster sugar
♡ 1 free range egg
♡1 teaspoon liquid vanilla
♡170g of self raising flour

To prepare the dough you will then need to;

I wanted to make something else for my table, so I searched through part of my cupcake cupboard and found that I had some 'candy melts' left! If you haven't used them before then you must try them out! 'Candy melts' are edible buttons that melt like chocolate and come in a variety of colours for all projects! I decided to make some of these!;

They are strawberries covered in orange candy melts and they look just like tiny carrots! They will look adorable placed on my table in little jars or even on a cake pedestal like above!

If this isn't enough I will obviously be filling
my table with all the usual Easter treats like 'creme eggs', 'kinder eggs' 'mini eggs' and all other sorts of sweets!


I will be posting images and details about my completed Easter treat table and seasonal outfit next week!
I hope you all have a fun time with your loved ones and are spoiled silly!

What is your favorite Easter treat?

Homemade Chocolate Eggs!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

I Love to make gifts for my loved ones and Easter is the perfect time to do so!

When I was shopping at my Local 'Range' store, I saw some Easter Egg molds to make your own chocolate eggs at home, what a great idea! I decided to buy a large one and one which had molds to make some mini sized eggs!

I bought some 'Milka' chocolate because I love the creamy taste , and I also bought some white & milk chocolate drops & some honeycomb pieces! 
I sprinkled the chocolate drops and honeycomb into the empty mold and then painted on a layer of melted chocolate with a small paintbrush!
 I let this harden completely in the fridge and then added 5 more layers of chocolate, the innermost being white (so it was like a large kinder egg!) I also made the mini eggs and placed them inside the large one! I joined the 2 halves of the large egg together by putting some melted chocolate around the edges and putting them together to harden in the fridge! 
This was my finished egg;

I was so pleased with the way it turned out!
 I tied a ribbon around it, sat it on some yellow straw and wrapped in some cellophane!

Have you made your own chocolate eggs before?

Tom-Kat Style

Yesterday Was a very busy, but very fun day for me!

I was styled by make up artist friend and Modeled in a shoot for her too. She was doing a Make up shoot for fashion styling inspired by storytelling.

Her chosen theme was the 'Beatrix Potter' Tales. 

I was styled as a cutting -edge tom kitten and it was just fantastic! There were 2 other lovely girls who were styled as a contemporary squirrel Nutkins and a funky-fresh peter Rabbit! Inspired!

We met at 9;30am to go through the day plan and I was first to be styled, My foundation, bronzer and eye detail was applied, the lipstick was saved for later so that there were no smudges! ;

There was Just time for a strawberry Tea before we returned to the studio! Yummy!

My hair was styled into 'Ears', which I absolutely loved! They were so fresh and cute, and added a good twist to the look to upgrade it to a 'fashion - worthy' style!

 I also wore a cute straw boater to give the classic feel a modern edge. It was such a fun prop to model with as it was so diverse!

I was also styled in a smart Blue Blazer. In the traditional Stories, Tom Kitten is always pictured in a cute little blue blazer, so this was a nice tribute to the original!

Finally, my Lipstick was applied to complete the look, and then onto the photography suite!;

 I love the sweep of electric blue liner - it really gives that fashion feel to the look and brings out the colour of my eyes, and I love the 'pop' that the statement red lips give - they will look wonderful in the final images!

I don't have the final images to hand yet, but once they are passed on to me, I will show you all! They will also include images of the other girls' looks, which are just gorgeous - one even included a hand stitched and curled wig!

What is your favorite traditional story?!

Weekend Mini-Haul

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

I Hope everyone Had a nice weekend!
I have been meaning to post about my weekend mini-haul but was called to do some work yesterday and asked to do some modelling today (photos soon!), so I apologise!

On Saturday me and Dan took a Shopping Trip in to the town Nearby us, it was so so cold so we didnt stay long but I had a browse through Primarks' new summer line (they didn't have much of it in the Primark near me unfortunately) and picked these up! So Cute;

I got this lovely denim Dress! It has a Beautiful Rosebud Pattern and zip fastening on the back! I love the fit and flare feel of the dress and the high neckline is just perfect, giving it a vintage look! There was also a cute brown faux leather belt attached  The dress is a little short but in the warmer summer months it will be the perfect outfit to keep cool and stylish! It was such a steal - I couldn't believe my eyes and had to buy it for just £10!

I also picked up another cute denim dress - again at just £10!! Bargain! This one has a cute polka dot pattern and front button fastening! I added some collar clips to give a country vintage look and it is just adorable! I wore it with some frilled ankle socks & paired with vans and it was lovely! It will also be just lovely with a pair of sandals in the summer time!

Dan also Treated me to the New issue of my favourite new magazine!;

'Cake Decorating' Magazine is issued weekly and is perfect for people like me who love to bake but have no qualifications or training! I have been so busy that I haven't even been able to open the gifts that came with issue 1 yet! But I have a free day tomorrow so will be trying them out for sure!

On Sunday Me and Dan go up early and decided to take a walk down to the Local car boot sale! It was absolutely freezing again (especially this early in the morning) so there really wasn't much to hunt around as people weren't braving the weather, but I did manage to get a couple of absolute bargains!;

I found this little Treasure;

'Soap & Glory - Scrub 'Em and Leave 'Em'! A wonderfully fragranced, course body scrub that leaves the skin smooth and glowing to perfection! I love Soap and Glory products but usually only buy them as a mega treat, as they aren't the cheapest! So when I found this for just £2 I was over the moon! It doesnt sound too cheap for a car bootsale but this was brand new, never used and is usually a little out of my price range, so I was happy!

&& My eyes absolutely lit up when I spotted this across the way;

It is a mini cupcake maker, which bakes 7 cakes at a time! I was so excited when I spotted this as I have wanted one for a while but just hadn't got round to buying one! 
I have started learning how to make cake pops recently so this will be perfect and I can even use it to make mini donuts! 
I was speechless when the lady said she was selling it for £1 ... yes £1! I couldn't believe it either (and still cant!). I was told  it was a Christmas preset that had never been used but was being sold so cheaply as it did not come with instructions - I easily found these on the internet anyway! 
I am so excited to use it tomorrow (I finally have a free day!) with my 'cake decorating' magazine supplies - I think they will turn out beautifully as the cakes will all be the exact same size and will look all pretty with a little instruction from my lovely new magazine!

I am also going to be planning my Easter treat table tomorrow, so recipes and pictures will be up very soon!

My top Tips for bargain hunting at the car boot sales are;

. Get up Early! - If you don't get up to the car boot sale a little early (8:30am latest) then don't expect to find  many bargains! You have to commit if you want those deals!
. Ask Ask Ask! - you may only be paying a pound or 2 for an item but that doesn't mean it should be complete rubbish, just ask a couple of questions 'why are you selling?' or 'How old is it?', after all, if you don't ask, you wont know!
. Don't be afraid to haggle a little! - lets be honest, you are at a car boot sale, people are here because they want to get rid of what they are selling. I'm not saying you should take the mickey and offer them 20p for something they are asking £5 for, but if you are interested in it (and have asked a few questions) and don't think its quite worth the price they are asking for, make an offer you think is! After all, the worst thing they could say is no!
. Most of all have fun and really get in there! You aren't going to see items if you just breeze past each table!

Babyliss Styling

Friday, 22 March 2013

I usually leave my hair to its own devices, but today I decided to dust off my lovely styler!
I Chose to curl my hair today, after seeing some lovely images in 'Pinterest' I just couldnt resist <3

I use the 'Babyliss Pro 230 Elegance Metallic Purple Straightener'! I have had it for about 3 years now and it has never failed me and is still going strong. I use it to straighten, wave and curl my hair and it always leaves a silky smooth, long lasting finish.

The iron is a lovely Metallic purple colour with a wave through detail - very stylish ;) It Features beautiful titanium, mirror reflective ceramic plates which are 25% longer than other irons - perfect for long hair like mine, the smoothness of the plates is what will give your style its sleek finish!

This little treasure also features 3 heat settings, so it is safe for all hair types, and incredibly, it can heat to 230' in just 15 seconds - a life saver for if you are in a hurry but just need a quick touch up!
Unlike many irons this model has a swivel cord which is 3 meters long - just right for people who don't have plug sockets near enough to their bedroom mirrors - Babyliss seem to have thought of everything!
Another genius feature of this model is that it has an 'auto shut-off', which is brilliant for people like me who can be a little bit forgetful - especially when quickly styling before running out the front door!
A final touch is that the irons come with a beautiful complimenting purple roll out pouch, so your starigteners can travel in style with you ;)

I have very long, thick hair but with these stylers it only took me about 30 minutes to curl the lot! I was, as usual, very pleased with the result;

I dont have layers in my hair so it looks a little flat at the top (nothing a little backcombing wont cure!), but if you have layers, I can guarantee your hair will be gorgeous and bouncy from here to next week <3
Although my style usually keeps all day with these straighteners, I like the added protection of some products (just in case the wonderful British weather decides to take a funny turn!)

I started off by spraying some 'Loreal studio Matt&Messy salt spray' through my hair and then scrunching it up in my palms towards my roots. This spray is amazing, It smells lovely and keeps my hair exactly as I want it all day, even when battling against the wonderful British wind! Because I had already styled my hair, the spray didn't have much of an impact (I was only using it for the staying power), but when I use this spray on my natural straight hair, it gives a wonderful wavy, 'beachy' look, which I fall in love with every time and cant wait to show off in the summer!

I then finished off with some of my go-to hair product. Tresemme freeze hold hair spray in #5 - ultimate hold! This Spray is a little on the expensive side for me, but I always buy it as it lasts forever, and trust me, because it is 'freeze hold' a little goes a loong way - unless you want to end up with a big crispy beehive on your head! It has the typical 'Tresemme' scent, which is pleasant and not too overwhelming, considering it is a hairspray! I sprayed sparingly onto my hair from a distance and shook my hair through with my fingertips, leaving it tangle free and beautifully glossy!

What is your favourite Hair product & what  do you recommend that I try next?