Tuesday, 15 December 2015

My 5 favourite things about Autumn

Well, it's only 9 days until Christmas Day, so I guess it's officially Winter but it's so cold and dull outside today I thought I'd cheer myself up and maybe a few of you too by sharing what I loved most about Autumn. 

1. Conker hunting with my girls is one of my favourite Autumn activities, we do it every year without fail. We have bowls and vases full thoroughout our house in the hopes that the old wife's tale that 'spiders hate them' rings true.

2. Forest walks are another favourite. No matter how old my girls get they still love watching the leaves turn red and gold, to quote Miss T 'it just makes everything feel so magical'. 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


I hope your all good and excitedly preparing for Christmas I can't believe it's 1st December already. We're all super excited here and we can't wait to get the decorations up, I'm resisting though at least for another week at least and then this house is getting Christmased (I think that's a word, if not it should be).

You might of noticed the blogs been in timeout the past few months to cut a long story short at the beginning of summer I had alittle family drama which left me feeling atad run down. So I decided to take a few weeks break which mutated taking on a life of its own due to a chaotic summer and an even busier Sept/Oct as the girls went back to school and I started my first Level 2 OU module. Recently though things have eased up and I've found myself with free time again so I'm back and hopefully you guys will be happy about it as I've missed chatting away. 

x B x 

Monday, 29 June 2015

Cherry Crumble Cake

At the weekend I collected my first harvest of cherries, I managed to get about 1lb of them off my 'Stella' cherry tree, which is tons more than then small handful I got last year thanks to the hungry blackbirds babies we had nesting in next doors ivy bush.

Anyway having so many inspired me to grab my cookbooks and hunt through them for a tasty cherry bake, otherwise I'd just end up jaring them and making brandied cherries. As always my trusty Rachel Allen 'bake' book offered up the tastiest idea, Cherry Crumble Cake and I got cracking. 


(Cake Base)
350g cherries (pitted weight)
150g self-raising flour
Pinch of ground cinnamon
50g caster sugar 
1 egg 
30ml milk
100ml melted butter

(Crumble Topping) 
25g plain flour 
25g caster sugar 
25g butter 
Pinch of ground cinnamon

  • Preheat your oven to 180oC, butter and line you cake tin (I used a 7" tin with a ready-made cake liner). 
  • Remove the cherry stalks and stones (I used a cherry pitter to keep mine whole).
  • Next sift the flour and cinnamon into a bowl, add the sugar and mix together.
  • Whisk the egg, milk and melted butter together, then add to the dry ingredients and combine (I used my Kitchenaid as it's quicker). 
  • Once it's smooth pour the thick mixture into your tin, spread evenly and then scatter the cherries on top and gently press them in.
  • Next make the topping. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and rub together until crumb-like (again I used my Kitchenaid with the flat beater to do this, it took seconds). Then scatter the crumble topping over the cherries. 
  • You then just bake it in the oven for 30/40 minutes, when done it should be golden brown and if you insert a skewer it should come out clean. 
  • If like me though you decide to double the crumble mixture (Mr H loves extra crumble) it'll need to be baked for roughly 60/70 minutes but keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn. If your worried it's going to burn you can cover it with a loose sheet of baking paper which should protect the surface. 

Have to say I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, and even more pleased that both the girls and Mr H loved it. I can't wait to be able to pick the next batch of cherries, wonder what I'll make next. 

Any suggestions?

x B x 

Saturday, 23 May 2015

6 days and counting!

Wow I can't believe it's been nearly a month since my last post, I've been swamped the last couple of weeks with my final pieces of fiction sorry coursework and a few personal matters stressing me out to the max but please bare with me because in 6 days yep just 6 days this module finishes and I start my 4 month long summer holiday before my next module starts in October. I have so many plans for this extra long and hopefully peaceful break and I can't wait to share them with you all. 

I've also been on a health kick the past month and I'm finally starting to see some benefits, I'm slowly losing lbs and inches and I'm starting to feel super pleased with myself. My current goal is to lose 1stone by August 1st and right now I'm on target to reach it early. For the first time in years I'm actually feeling as confident and as happy as I make myself out to be.

Right for now though it's time to hit the books and get my last essay finished so come Thursday I can celebrate and start to wind down. 

x B x 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Wales Comic Con Memorabilia

The other weekend Mr H and myself enjoyed a child free weekend, after dropping Miss K and Miss T off at Nanny's and Granddad. We enjoyed a lovely romantic Saturday night out at Miller & Carter Steakhouse followed by an ice-cream and DVD night at home.

This quiet night together was just the prequel to the main event and the whole reason for our kiddie free weekend was we managed to get early bird tickets to Wales Comic Con 2015 Part 1.

We arrived at 8.30 to find the queue already forming ready for the 10am opening of the doors (general entry was at 11am) thankfully it was sunny and warmer than usual so the hr and half wait felt much shorter than last Novembers wait. 

I was also under orders from Miss K it get her an Autograph from Jack Donnelly (Jason from Altantis), she thinks he's cute, so the first thing I did was make a beeline for him and collect the much wanted signed photo, all while Mr H looked on shaking his head in disgust. Needless to say the first thing out her month when she saw us was did you manage to get it followed by lots of fangirling as I showed her, my mum said her reaction was on par with mine when my uncle T got me Jason Donovans for Christmas one year. 

As with every comic con there's an amazing amount of celebrities, artist and stalls selling tons of memorabilia to geek out over for hours and below is just a few of the goodies we picked up to decorate the very plain sad walls in our house, they have been bare for too long now and I've been dying to put up some artwork and photo frames for ages. All I need now are some poster frames and to force Mr H to do some simply DIY. Most of the artwork cost between £3 and £15 pound.

This A3 My Little Pony print by Liam Shalldo is for the girls bedroom its a mash up of a few of their favourite heroes/villains with the cuteness of girly ponies and a pinch of mommas favourite deadpool. It's going to look awesome on their wall. 

OMG this A3 Gambit print by Mike Collin is one of my favourites purchases from the day. I was actually looking at a A5 gambit print when the artist mentioned he had a few limited edition A3 prints left over from the London Super Comic Convention. I'm not ashamed to admit I nearly bit his hand off to see it and once I did I was in love. Gambit was my favourite Xmen as a kid, who doesn't love bad boy gone good. 

Neither of us could resist the lure of these 2 Mass Effect A4 prints, Tali'Zorah is still one of my favourite characters from the games, I love her sarcastic, tough and direct personality she's just pure Girl Power. While Mr H grabbed the Garrus print and as he's pretty badass in my opinion I didn't complain.

Yep it's Wonder Woman and she's looking flipping awesome in this print, I love the metallic effect and can't wait to get this beauty in a frame and on the wall.

Miss T loves all things Disney so I couldn't resist picking up this Maleficent A4 print as she loved the film this is going to look great in their room. As soon as she saw it she couldn't help squealing in excitement, she's a total villain fangirl.

The Mass Effect, Wonder Woman and Maleficent prints were all by the same artist who was inside the gaming tent, he had some amazing pieces and I was hoping to be able to find him on Twitter or Facebook to maybe buy some more as the tent was heaving with people and I really needed a little breathing space as spending an age in there looking around but I'm gutted as I didn't manage to catch his name and neither did Mr H, fingers crossed he back in November for Part 2. 

Miss K is a huge She-Ra fangirl just like I was as a little girl, she was a princess and kicked ass, she's just plain awesome in my eyes and Miss K's so I couldn't resisted getting her this print, it's a little smaller than A4 but was a total bargain it was just £3 if my memory serves me correctly. Needless to say she loves it.  

I also managed to grab my happy little hands on 2 new Funko POPs, Avengers AOU Hawkeye, I love this guy and could rant for England over how underused he's been since they first cameoed his character in Thor, I could also complain very vocally how annoying it is that there is a lack of Hawkeye merchandise available, poor guy just seems to get forgotten about so as soon as I saw him I wanted him so he's now sitting all proudly on the bookcase in my living room til I can find a new home for him. Next  to him of course is my other new POP Star Sapphire Wonder Woman which is a fugitivetoys Exclusive, she cost £15 and I love her. 

One of my favourite stalls last year was the badge stall as just like last year it was one of the most crowded around, but this year I was determine to buy some and I did. The 3 large badges are for little Miss T and were 3for £5 while the 5 small ones are for me and were 4 for £3 if I remember correctly.

I also couldn't resist adding to our fridge magnet collection with 2 awesome Xmen magnets, one each for the girls, I think these were £2.50 each. 

All in all we have a fab day out and now can't wait for the Wales Comic Con Part 2 in November. 

x B x

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Lots of spring growth on the fruit trees and bushes.

Finally, after days of rain and high winds we finally had a break in the weather and had a few days of sunshine just in time for Easter and as those lovely few days seem to be coming to an end for at least a few days at least I thought I'd share a few snaps of all the Spring growth on my fruit trees and bushes in the hopes of getting that sunshine feeling alive. 

My 'Red Devil' Apple tree was new last year and didn't really do anything last year so I'm super excited to see loads of new growth, I doubt I'll get any apples this year but fingers crossed for next year. 

This current bush was a bargain find last year in my local pound shop and to be honest I thought it was dead until I saw it's covered in tiny little buds of new growth.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sugar Crusted Bara Brith

When my mum mentioned that my step-dad really loves Bara-Brith, I decided to bake him loaf for his birthday as a little extra homemade gift. I love (and prefer when possible) to give gifts that are tailor made to an individual's tastes, I think it shows the receiver just how much you care about them. 

To make my sugar-crusted Bara-brith I went straight to the BBC Food website and I slightly adapted one of their recipes (original here) to include a sugar crust. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Planting time in some Spring sunshine

Another day of spring sunshine last week found me pushing my books to one side and heading outside to get some potting and planting done, and can you blame me just look at that lovely clear blue sky.

This barerooted Gooseberry bush 'Hinnonmaki Green' was a complete bargain at just £1 from my local 'the original factory shop', and as I'm currently reorganising my back garden borders, I've planted it into a pot for the time being but I'm hoping to plant it into its final home in the next month once I've cleared a space and it's established alittle more. I know it doesn't look like much right now but I have my fingers and toes crossed that in a year or 2, it'll be thriving and I'll be collecting my first harvest of juicy gooseberries from it. 

Monday, 30 March 2015

The great potato challenge 2015

Every year we have a family growing contest and this year the veg of choice is potatoes, 'Maris Piper' to be exact and the winners are the team to harvest the most potatoes.
Maris Piper potatoes are my absolute favourite, in my opinion they make the best roast potatoes and who doesn't love a nice crispy roasting with their Sunday dinner. As they are a maincrop potato March is the perfect time of year to plant these seed potatoes which have been chitting since early February. 

So last weekend we did just that.. 

Miss K & Mr H's Bag

Saturday, 28 March 2015

A mini-haul of mini products

I'm a great believe of the 'try before you buy' moto and I love nothing better than receiving freebies, the next best thing though in my opinion is travel sized beauty products. 

I like to have a healthy sized stash at the ready as I never know when I might just fancy trying something new, and as I've been having something of a sample purge since before Christmas my stash is now starting to dwindle.

Thankfully a quick trip to my local boots to enjoy there 3 for 2 on travel sized products has helped me to bandaid my little problem, for now at least.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Today's my birthday.

So as the title suggests today is my 32nd Birthday, so I thought I'd share a few of my pits and peaks (as the kardashians would say) of the past year with you all before my family comes round to enjoy a slice of my homemade birthday cake.

The first peak that sticks out in my mind is Mr H getting his new promotion/job role. I'm so proud of everything he achieves this has however been a double edge sword with the new role come more training courses that eat away at our family time. Changing onto the Psychology degree pathway in May is another major peak for me, it finally gave me a focus I'd been lacking for the past few years and I think I've found my passion. 

My last peak has to be my girls, over the past year they have both blossomed and they continue to amaze me everyday. Miss K has transformed from a shy little girl lacking in confident into a confident cheeky (a little too cheeky at times) pre-teen who now stands up for herself more. While Miss T is just as crazy, bouncy and loving as ever, academically she's come on so much. It's hard for me to process that from Sept both my babies will be in Junior classes, they need to stop growing up. 

The pits seem to have been few and far between but the few we've had have really stood out. Miss K had us worrying for a few months as she was suffering from frequent headaches, thankful after a ton of tests the root cause has been found, she suffers from quite a few allergies that cause her sinuses to inflame, causing headaches. She's now on medicine but at the time it was terrifying watching her struggle.

Another pit of the past year is my weight gain, I've piled on the pounds while studying as I tend to comfort eat when I get stressed which happens whenever I have a deadline looming. I've made alittle progress in the last few weeks to loss a few pounds but I have a long road ahead of me to get back to post baby size. My first goal though is to lose between 1 and 2 stone before June, when my besties is having both her daughters christened and I'm a godparent, and as her girls are like nieces to me I want to be able to look back and treasure the moment without obsessing over how fat I look in the photos. 

So there you have them my peaks and my pits of the past year. 
I'm now going to put the kettle on and relax with a quick brew before my family descends on me. 

x B x

Monday, 23 March 2015

Easter Baking: Devil's Food Cake

Ever since the gorgeous Easter themed Chocolate & Hazelnut Loaf by RedVelvetBaking popped upon on my Twitter feed earlier this week I've been itching to bake my own little Easter cake. This weekend I got my chance as we decided to spend our weekend enjoying some quality family time celebrating both my birthday and Easter early as Mr H is away at work for both. As Miss K is allergic to tree-nuts chocolate/hazelnut loaf is a no go so instead i decided on Devil's Food Cake, it's a firm family favourite!

Recipe wise I just used a simple Devil's Food Cake recipe I found online but for the icing I cheated and used a ready mix Chocolate Fudge Icing I already had in the cupboard. My icing making skills aren't that great and I just didn't fancy spending ages making sure it was totally smooth, which for me never seems to happen. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Chilli Jam Making.

I've been wanting to try this recipe out ever since I saw it on a Nigella Lawson special but no matter how many times I watched Nigella throw this jam together I had convinced myself it was going to be an epic task that I would easily mess up until the other weekend when I decided to just go for it. 
If it's a failure then at least I could say I tried right! 

I sterilised my kilner jar by sitting on a sheet of newspaper in the cooker (preheated to 140 degrees), it takes about 10minutes or so. To sterilise the seal I just popped it into my smallest pan and pour boiling hot water over it and left it there until the jar was done. 

With that done I started on the fun part, the jam making!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus everyone from a raining Wales. 

I know I was super quiet during February, I had a lot going on in my personal life but everything seems to be calming down alittle now.

So everything should get back to normal from here on in. 

x B x

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Nail Polish & Cookbooks?

Thursdays are mine and Mrs J's (one of the besties) dedicated Frankie's breakfast and girly shopping day. And last week we decided it had been far too long since our last wander round TKMaxx. 
So after happily munching down Pancakes with syrup and bacon (I'm never going to lose weight!) and gossiping like we haven't seen each other in an age, we had by the way just two days before for coffee! We headed over to our local TKMaxx where I couldn't resist buying a few goodies. 

March's Elle magazine is a Comic Relief special and just £2.99, it was an easy purchase decision to make as its a good cause, while the Nail Inc polishes were just £3.99 each and just screamed bargain buy. They had a ton of different polishes on the shelves and it was mighty difficult to decide which ones to take home, it literally took me 1/2 hr to decide (Mrs J can vouch for this as she ended up walking off bored and leaving me too it!). I did however manage to stamp down my urge to take them all home and whittle it down to just 4 polishes.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

International Fanworks Day.

Today's post is something alittle different, I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorite fandoms, ships and OTP's (one true pairings) to celebrate International Fanworks Day. 

I've always loved reading, since I was a little girl it's been my way to escape my troubles and stresses. Every free minute I have tends to be spent fangirling over one ship or another and when I'm not reading or watching videos of them, I'm writing my own drabbles about them. There is no better feeling than that of pouring my thoughts and feeling into a story and then have someone love what I've written... it's also one of the scariest as well.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The waiting game and changes afoot..

I'd love to say I'm a patience person but I'm not and the 10 working days wait for my TMA results drives me crazy every time without fault. So while I try not to pull my hair out I've been having a tinker round with my blog design. No major changes really I've jazzed it up abit, changed the font and colours, added an Instagram widget, although there had been one kinda big change.. Have you guessed it... course you have I've changed my blog title! 

I've not been totally happy with it for the last few months, I've been wanting something alittle more personal that gives me more freedom and inspiration, while also reflecting me just that little bit more and I'm quite happy with it, well for now at least. 

I'm also planning to branch out abit where topics are concerned as I'm much more comfortable sharing parts of my personal life with you all now, of course there are things I won't share  Mr H got me a Kitchenaid Mixer for Christmas that I've been dreaming about purchasing for years. 

I've also finally got the hang of using my bright and shiny new cooker, so between that and the fact that this beauty is just too damn pretty to stand neglected on the worktop, I've promised myself I'll bake at least once a week so you can expect plenty of baking and recipe posts in the future. 

If you didn't already know Memebox decided last month to no longer ship internationally so sadly that means no more Memebox beauty boxes to review. I do however have quite the stock pile of goodies I need to try and review so I'm also hoping to share more of my product reviews.

Our gardens (front and back) are also going to be undergoing changes this winter/spring, I have so many plans the first few are to move the veggie plot, add more edible plants into the flower borders and maybe plant some more fruiting trees. First things first though we have to have a good sort out inside and out and fill the 8 tonne skip that's sat on our drive.

Before I get started on all that though I think I'm going to make a brew.

x B x 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Just alittle mummy-daughters time.

While Mr H was out gaming, me and the girls decided to take alittle girly shopping trip into town to spend the last of their Christmas pennies. Our first stop was Build-A-Bear, we had a clear idea of what both girls wanted thanks to online browsing K wanted an Elsa teddy complete with full outfit and T just wanted to buy her Ted 'blue' the Elsa dress. Turns out K had ideas to make her Elsa just that little bit different so she's now the proud mum of an all singing (let it go) Elsa ted that's on holiday visiting Ariel so is all mermaided up. T also changed her mind mid visit she didn't want the Elsa dress but a Batman costume before changing it back upon seeing what her big sis purchased. Don't you just love kids.. 

After that lovely hour I decided to treat them both to a new lush goodie each which took  nearly another hour as they were like kids in a sweetshop with all the different colours. T even referred to the store as a little rainbow shop how cute is that and a perfect description for lush store. 

After much deliberation and many 'what do you think mummy?' and 'this is so pretty' they finally made their minds up and this is what they picked..

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Christmas Gift to Myself the SoothingSista Memebox

Today I thought I'd share a quick unopening thoughts and pics from my SoothingSista Memebox which I bought for myself and stashed under our Christmas tree. SoothingSista is a YouTube vblogger who always looks immaculate in every picture and video, I'm very jealous I wish I looked that good! 

I love the little product cards that Memebox include in there boxes, and these cards also include a little info about who SoothingSista is and her style. As just a side comment about the design of the box, it's pretty and girly without screaming it in your face I love it and I'll definitely be keeping this one. 

SoothingSista's personalised product cards

Here's what the SoothingSista Collaboration #9 Memebox contains... 

Monday, 12 January 2015

Last week of using up my sample products in December..

So it's taken a while but I've finally got round to typing up my thoughts on my final week of samples and to be fair it was a pretty mixed week product wise.

Here's what samples I managed to get through in the last week of December..  

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Disney Store Sale Finds

So the other day me and my mum decided to have a little post Christmas shopping trip and by shopping trip I actually mean meeting up for coffee, cake, gossip and a wander round the sales without my girls in tow. 

During our wander we popped into the Disney Store, it's one of my girls favourite shops (they adore the dresses) and they have a sale on, which is reason enough for me personally. They had quite a lot reduced for girls and boys and I really struggled to decided on just what to buy, I was looking for things for my youngest daughters birthday (it not til the end of spring but I like to be super organised when I comes to birthdays, I get it from my mum) but I didn't want to spend a small fortune, so I made a beeline for the sale baskets and started rummaging and found these.. 

Sleeping Beauty Pencil Tin Set (Reduced To £2.39)

This girly pencil tin contains 20 colouring pencils, a plain paper pad and a sharpener. We have tons of crayon, felts and colouring pencils littering our house but I know she'll love these as they are super girly and will be perfect to go in the new pencil case her Nanny bought her for school.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Yay my Lush Boxing Day order arrived..

After the craziness of Christmas Day there is no chance on this Earth of me getting up early to go shopping no matter how good the sales are. I prefer to spend my Boxing Day chilling out at home, well as much as I can with my house looking like a toy shop threw up in it.. 

Anyway I curl myself up with a brew on the sofa, a box of Quality Street at my side and browsed the sales online and I'm made up with the few bargains I purchased from Lush were I picked up a few sale goodies as well as some full priced products I've had my eye on for awhile. They arrived earlier this week and I love them, here's what I treated myself to.. 

The Christmas Hedgehog (reduced to £1.35)
How cute is this floral scented little guy? I just love him. He's made from Shea & Cocoa Butters and Lavender, Rose & Ylang Ylang Oil.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

I went on a little shopping trip this morning..

Evening lovelies, hope you've all had a fab day, mine started awful as it was pouring down (I got soaked), which is just typical for the first school run of 2015. As the weather was crappy Mr H decided to cheer us both up with breakfast out followed by a nosy round the shops. 

The first place I nipped into was Boots where I picked up a few bargains in the toys section before moving into the baby section where I picked up a half price baby massage gift set for my step-sister who's due to have her first baby soon, I'm super excited to meet the newest baby in our family. I also had a quick nosy round the reduced Christmas section and couldn't resist buying myself a treat. I use to love dying my hair back in collage and for the past year or so I've really fancied shaking up my style a bit but I thought I was a little too old for it to be honest but after chatting to my friend (of the brightly coloured hair, pink being the last shade) she pointed out that 31 wasn't old and that I should just do it at worst I hate it and it washes out. So as soon as I saw this Spin The Bleach Bottle set reduced from £12 to £6 I knew I wanted it, I just need to find the confidence to actually use the stuff now. 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Nerd Block Jr. Decembers Girlie Goodies

Even after all the fun, excitement and present overload that Christmas brought, the girls were still super excited when our postman delivered their Nerd Block Jr. Girls box. 

The Smurfs 2013 - 6 Figure Set ($20)

The big item in this months box is a six figure The Smurfs 2 collectors set, the girls love these little figures and they are super cute. The set includes Papa Smurf, Vexy, Hackus, Clumsy Smurf, Smurfette and Gargamel and his cat Azreal.