Sunday 30 March 2014

Caramel stuffed choc chip cookies

Nom! I made two types of caramel stuffed chocolate chip cookies this weekend. They were gifts and to be honest they nearly didnt make it to their recipients!

I used my go to two twenty one recipe for the regular choc chip cookies and just stuffed a caramel button in the middle - so good!

The double choc chip ones are a recipe from top with cinnamon. These inspired the whole baking episode and they didnt disappoint!

I popped then in a little tub and tied it all up with ribbon and (reluctantly) gifted them out

Friday 28 March 2014

Birthday cupcakes

We went to a 1st birthday party recently  and they had the cutest little cupcakes!


The glitter covered raspberries are just genius - im def stealing that idea!

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Marquees, Menus and more

This weekend we made a few big decisions about the wedding :) We picked our marquee, decided the menu, finalised the guest list and started printing invitations. I decided what to do for my hen do and lovely BM chose his best man. We figured out the timetable of the day and i found a cute b&b to sleep at the night before the wedding! Its getting very very real!


We decided to not got for a traditional marquee, were having a trapeze marquee, with arched sides. This means the guests can still see the beautiful view of the lavender field. The arches have optional clear plastic covers, in case the weather doesnt cooperate. Its a big marquee 40ft by 60ft with a dancefloor and a bar, along with seating for 120. (Its probably bigger than our actual house!). But, if the weather is bad, i want to make sure its not cramped.

Were having lots of canapes (i love canapes!!) when the guests arrive and then weve gone for a cold buffet for the wedding breakfast. The prep involved in hot food or waiter service is just too much of a complication in a marquee in a field, and i want a nice easy wedding. So were going to have a selection of cold meats and salads with wedding cake and fruit for desert. Then in the evening were going to have cheese, crackers, pate, bread and fruit, just to keep everyone going!

The wedding to do list never seems to end! I really need to stop looking on pinterest and get carried away with all the inspiration i find! Games, decorations, cakes, shoes, favours, cake toppers, it goes on and on!

Monday 24 March 2014

Wedding reception games - my top ten

Im really keen to make sure our guests are entertained at our wedding, ive been to a few where the wait between the ceremony and the meal is pretty long and with little else to do but drink (even thats sometimes not possible!) people can get a bit restless. As the wedding will (hopefully) be on a farm with lots of space, i want to make the most of that and have some games. But also as we cant rely on the great British weather to facilitate outdoor games, i want to make sure theres some indoor things to entertain people as well.
So ive been hunting for wedding games and theres so many good ideas out there! This is a list of the top ten ive found so far

Squash Bowling

401 Rozendal, Colourful, Colourful Wedding, Creative, DIY, Gregory and Elonah, Lizelle Lotter, Real Wedding, Wedding Photography (36)
Bean bag toss
Tarp target practise
Pin the bride and groom on the cake
He said she said game

Printable Wedding Mad Lib A Fun Guest Book Alternative by WeddingsByJamie
Guest Mad Libs

ring toss game
Wine bottle ring toss

build a shishkaball ball-drop for backyard games
Giant Kerplunk

Color Customized Printable Bridal / Wedding Shower Games
Bride and groom quiz

Bean bag hole toss

Saturday 22 March 2014


As i've mentioned before the cost of a wedding does stress me out massively, and something else that usually stresses me out is the costs of holidays.  So combine those two and the cost of a honeymoon its just going to tip me over the edge! In addition, because were not asking for gifts but letting people contribute to our honeymoon fund instead, we wont know how much we have to spend/save until after the wedding. So we decided to have a Minimoon instead. Basically a teeny tiny honeymoon for the two of us to celebrate becoming husband and wife :)

Seven Dials Entrance

We love eating out and especially love steak houses so we're going to revisit our favourite - Hawksmoor Seven Dials. We went at Christmas and loved it, and on Monday's its £5 corkage so lovely BM can take his special red wine he's been saving for 2 years and have it with an epic steak! So were going to stay at the super cute One Leicester Street in London's Chinatown Sunday and Monday night and treat ourselves to a bit of luxury for a few day and decompress from the wedding. Im possibly as excited about this as the wedding!!

Thursday 20 March 2014

Gelish Manicure


Had a little tryout of my wedding nails the other weekend! These are Gelish and this photo is of them after 2 weeks - no chips, no damage - amazing considering im pretty tough on my hands! Definitely having this type for my wedding, maybe a more neutral colour though, a beige or cappucino colour possibly...

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Wedding set back (dont worry only a little one!)

We had our first wedding set back this weekend, one of our preferred suppliers is fully booked for our date :(
Its not that shocking really as we're planning this wedding at really short notice for a wedding and in peak season so it probably wont be the first time this happens.
But it was my friend Matt, he runs a brilliant Mexican street food company called Cantina Carnitas, they have a super cute little trailer they sell out of at festivals and events and i wanted him to do the evening food at the reception. But sadly its not to be, not a huge issue but would have been lovely to have him and his team there


How cute would this have been with the lavender behind it!

Sunday 16 March 2014

Hand Drawn Wedding Location Maps


I love the personalised wedding maps Ive seen all over the web so i thought id have a go at drawing my own for the wedding! Im so chuffed how they turned out as i dont class myself as a good drawer at all - my old art teacher used to hold up my drawings as examples of what not to do :(
But i just drew it a few times (try 10!) in pencil on some blank post cards and then went over the best ones in pen and then coloured them in. I scanned them on my brilliant Epson X-412 and printed them onto more blank post cards - so easy and its saved me the £20 it would have cost me to print regular maps instead :)

Friday 14 March 2014

Bling bride trainers


Lovely BM is pretty tall so ill be wearing heels for most of the wedding day but once the dancing starts i want to be a kinder to my toes so i blinged up some white trainers for myself! Arent they cute!! I have a feeling im going to wear these a lot even after the wedding day...



They were really easy to make. I used Pritt Stick PVA glue and 3mm diamantes from ebay. I just marked the pattern in vanishing pen (apart form the toe, that was just free style!), then picked up the diamante with tweezers, dipped it in the glue and added it to the design - so easy. Time consuming though as the diamantes i chose were tiny but i prefer that look. Both shoes probably took me the length of time it takes to watch 3 episodes of call the midwife!

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Library Card Pocket Wedding Guest Book


I fell in love with these little library card pockets i found on etsy and knew i needed to use them in the wedding. So i created my guest book around them. There will be a stack of notecards by the book and i want the guests to write a note and then pop it in a pocket. Much cuter (and neater!) than a regular guest book i think :)


Monday 10 March 2014

Homemade bread rolls

Just the pictures of these makes me salivate! Delicious homemade bread rolls - nom!


I just use a basic bread recipe, its pretty much infallible, i might even teach it to lovely BM!

White bread rolls
450g strong white flour
7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
350ml warm water
pinch of salt
Olive oil for kneading

Mix the flour and salt together and then add the dried yeast. Gradually add in the water to form a slightly sticky dough, you might need more or less water depending on your flour. Put some olive oil on your kneading surface and work the dough until it becomes soft and smooth (approx 10 mins for me). If your dough is too wet add a bit more flour as you knead, or add water if its too stiff. It should be slightly sticky to begin with but loose that stickiness as you knead. 
Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with greased clingfilm. Leave for an hour or until doubled in size. Oil your surface again and knock back your dough i.e. lightly knead for another few minutes until all the air has been removed. Shape into 9 rolls and place on a greased baking tray. Cover with greased clingfilm and leave for an hour or until doubled in size. 
Preheat the oven to 200C and place another baking tray with a couple of ice cubes or a splash of water in the bottom. Put the rolls in the oven, the steam from the ice cubes/water stops a crust from forming immediately, allowing the rolls to rise better and bake for 15-20 mins or until a golden brown colour. You know theyre done when they sound hollow when you knock on the base. Let the rolls cool before eating - if you have any will power.

Thursday 6 March 2014

wedding, wedding, wedding....

Oh my so much to do!
First step with the wedding was figuring out what we actually needed to do. So, in my usual fashion, i cracked open excel and started a spreadsheet, well multiple spreadsheets actually!
  • guest list - ceremony, day, evening, addresses, hen and stag invites, number of invites, invites we can delivery by hand (save on the stamps!)
  • general costs - sundries (blank invitations, decorations, cake ingredients, stamps, flowers for bouquet etc), essentials (dress, rings, photographer etc), big spend (venue, food, drink, dj etc)
  • specific venue costs - compare and contrast venues to see which is best value
  • to do list - totally epic, currently at 127 items - eeek!!!
So based on the wonderful spreadsheets and some intensive thinking and planning, in the last 3 weeks we made some decisions. Theres some big ones - my cousins have a lavender farm (piccie above) so the dream plan is to have the reception there, but we need to check its all ok with the marquee people. So we're also looking at other venues too, as a back up. And some small decisions too (deep breath!)
  • We've decided to not go on honeymoon right away, we're going to go on a minimoon to London instead for a few nights and then go on a couple of short, 1 week holidays instead of a full epic honeymoon, it just suits our lives and likes a bit better. 
  • We're asking for money for the honeymoon instead of gifts. 
  • I've decided to DIY everything i can; print my own invites, place setting, favours, bouquet, button holes, cake, centrepieces, guest book, confetti, gift letter box - many posts to follow!
  • My friend H has kindly offered her photography services as a gift as has my friend J with her makeup skills.
  • Lovely BM's friend is doing the catering, a friend of a friend will be the DJ and lovely BM's dad will be our chauffeur on the day in his vintage Mercedes. 
  • Ive decided on no bridesmaids (much to the disappointment of my friend L!)
  • Lovely BM is having a best man and ushers, but they wont be in matching suits, im going to buy them all matching ties instead. 
  • I've bought a dress and shoes (more on that to follow) and we've ordered our rings (love them!)
So a pretty major few weeks really! But still so much more to do, including learning how to make bouquets, cakes, centrepieces etc so look out for posts on those coming soon...

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Wedding Planning 
Im so happy that lovely BM and i are getting married, i think being mr and mrs will be wonderful, but i must confess the weddings itself freaks me out... Its not that i dont have the bride gene, i love a good wedding, and i have quite a few ideas on what i like, its just that the amount of choice and detail overwhelms me. And the cost of everything, dont get me started on the cost :(
Im going to try and diy as much as i can, flowers, decorations, cake etc, and use family, friends and acquaintances in the business - if im spending a small fortune, id rather the money ended up in my friends pockets or at least the local economy.
But that exacerbates my choice issues, friends are so willing to do whatever you want, which is lovely and sweet, but also overwhelming, sometimes there only being one option (as long as its not awful!) is a godsend!
Choice also means cost, and my god theres a lot of cost :( almost enough to really take the buzz out of it all. Theres somethings we just wont or cant scrimp on, we want a lot (100+) guests so thats immediately big spend territory. We want at least a partial free bar, we want our dream wedding rings and we want everyone really well fed. So were looking at a £10k+ wedding already. £10k, for one day! Makes my brain (and my savings account) ache. 
Weve been to most of our guests weddings and been treated wonderfully so i dont begrudge doing the same for them but my goodness the idea of handing over that money does keep me up at night...
Sorry to be so moany, i know were lucky that we can afford to do it, i should count my blessing.
But expect a lot of wedding posts (and possibly financial ones!) in next few months, were turning this wedding around fast as the provisional date in july 26th so its full steam ahead!

Saturday 1 March 2014

Homemade pizza

Lovely BM and i made pizza (again!) last night and I think this was one of the best we've had so far!
Its Jamie Oliver's recipe for the base and the sauce then i topped mine with mozzarella, parma ham, peppers, sundried toms and pesto. (Lovely BM put so many toppings on his i lost count!). It was delicious, cooked on a pizza stone so it was crispy and light and just fab. I made it a bit big though (greedy!) so it was difficult to move it onto the pizza stone, which is why its a bit wonk looking!