A life decluttered

8 Sep

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I’ve just returned feeling very refreshed from my holiday in Spain. I always find holidays are a great time to refocus. While sunning myself on the beach I realised my life back at home was way to cluttered! Before my holiday I was stressed, tired, cranky and anxious & I vowed not to go back as that person……and so my life declutter began.

One question I asked myself was:
Why do I find it so hard to say no? Why do I say yes/maybe to things when I really don’t want to do them?

I went through my diary for the past year & I was shocked to see how much of my time I spent with people and in situations I really didn’t like!

I decided to make 3 columns on a piece of paper and wrote down

1) all the things I HAVE to do e.g work, paying bills

2) all the things I LOVE to do e.g yoga, spending time with my family, baking

3) all the things that make me feel urgh : ( e.g watching crappy TV, spending money & time with people who drain me of energy, worrying about silly things.

Obviously the items in the urgh section are the things I’m going to get rid of and I’m going to focus on the things I LOVE column making sure I surround myself with people who make me smile & doing things I enjoy : )

Hurrah to the life declutter!!!

Lots of love
X

Here are 2 great tips for stress relief:
1) Wear lipstick everyday it will make you smile & feel confident
2) Take 10 deep breaths & 10 shoulder shrugs

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The Commute!

21 Aug

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The commute….urgh…..the bain of my life. 3 hours a day gone.

While I was on the train this morning I took a look around to see the same faces, sat in the same seats, reading the same paper…..I was included in this. Surely this isn’t right I thought?! So with begrudging looks I threw my paper away and moved seats. For the rest of my journey I sat back and stared out of the window watching the world go by.

Boy I’ve been missing out! I saw beautiful wild flowers, a family of foxes out for their morning stroll, bee hives & allotments galore with wonderful fruit and veg. It really did give me a positive vibe for the rest of the day in the office (I didn’t even pull a face when I spilt my tea!).

Go on I dare you to daydream on your commute tomorrow….you might just like it : )

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Vintage biscuit tin love & shortbread hearts

19 Aug

How stunning is this tin?!

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As soon as I saw it my heart fluttered a little. The design, colours & birds are so beautiful. I didn’t realise until I got home that it’s a Peek, Frean & Co tin. Not knowing anything about them I did a quick search & found out they produced biscuit & other confectionary. Established in 1857 in Bermondsey, London. They introduced their first cream sandwich biscuit in 1910, which we know today as the Bourbon. I was amazed to see how many different types of tins they produced & how collectible they are. On the back of mine says ‘By appointment to the late King George VI’ which dates it to the 1950’s…..amazing!

I wondered how long it had been since it was filled with delicious biscuits….I didn’t want it to be lonely so made it some shortbread hearts : )
Recipe
Ingredients
-125g unsalted butter
– 55g caster sugar
– 180g plain flour

1. Heat oven to 180c.
2. Beat the butter & sugar together until smooth. Stir in the flour until you get a paste like ball.
3. Empty onto a floured surface & roll to 1cm thick.
4. Make heart shapes using a cookie cutter.
5. Place them onto a nonstick baking tray & put in the fridge for 20mins.
6. Take out of the fridge & bake in the oven for 15mins.
7. When ready, take out of the oven, leave to cool & sprinkle sugar over them.
8. Eat & enjoy

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P.S Biscuit tins are my new obsession : )

Kitchen Magic

4 Aug

Giddy with excitement & pacing around the office I was waiting for the post to arrive. My ‘Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic’ cookbook was on it’s way & I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!

Ripping open the packaging I was greeted with a beautiful front cover……the gorgeous Gizzi sprinkling glitter on a cake! Oh yes this book was going to be good!

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I wasn’t disappointed. As well as the beautiful photos & imagery the recipes are mouthwateringly gorgeous! Easy to follow instructions & great basic tips means you cannot go wrong.

Get this book in your life people, cook up a storm & impress at that dinner party!

The first thing I tried was the Earl Grey Cake. It was bloody delicious & didn’t last long.

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Next on the list is the Afgan Chicken…Nom Nom Nom : )

Over & out

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Vintage Picnic

23 Jul

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What’s that I see there in the sky?….a burning ball of yellow! My gosh summer is here (finally). Daydreaming of hazy evening picnics is slowly turning into a reality.

Here’s my vintage picnic wish list and essential items

1. The Hamper

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From http://www.lifesapicnic.co.uk
I think this beautiful hamper speaks for itself.

2. The Dress

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Beautiful glamourous dresses by http://www.ohmyhoney.co.uk. I’ve been dreaming about getting my wobbly bits into one of these for to long!…. Hurry up payday.

3. Food

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What’s more classic than homemade scones and strawberry jam. My delightfully yummy scone recipe is on a previous post. Here’s an easy peasy jam recipe:
Ingredients
– 400g strawberries cut in half
– 450g caster sugar
– 4 tsp fresh lemon juice
Place the strawberries and sugar into a medium size saucepan. Bring to a simmer stirring frequently. Continue to simmer for 1 hr stirring occasionally. Once thick or to the constancy you like add the lemon juice and pour into sterilised jam jars.

4. Crockery

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By http://www.cakestandheaven.com
This wonderful website has some fabulous vintage crockery to make your picnic extra special.

5. Games

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Egg and spoon races, sack race and pass the parcel!!

I’m over come with excitement…..Vintage picnic organising starts now. Anybody like to come?!

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes…..Nom Nom

14 Jul

These beauties = awesomeness. You must try. That is all.

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Ingredients

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 225g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • Buttercream

  • 8tbsp unsalted butter
  • 125g smooth peanut butter
  • 80g icing sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp double cream
  • Recipe

    1. Pre heat oven to 180c.
    2. Beat the sugar and butter together until smooth. Then mix in the eggs and milk.
    3. Sift in the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder. Mix well. Divide mixture equally between your cupcake cases.
    4. Bake for approx 15-20mins
    5. When ready leave them to cool on a wire rack while you make the buttercream.
    6. Mix the butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and salt. Mix until just incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and double cream. Mix until you have the consistency you want.
    7. Once the cakes have cooled pipe on the buttercream.
    8. EAT….Nom Nom : )

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    Enjoy
    XXX

    Amazing exhibitions you cannot miss

    11 Jul

    Holy moly these exhibitions are going straight into my diary! Hope you are inspired to do the same!

    POP! Design Culture Fashion
    The Fashion and Textile Museum, London

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    ‘In the 1950s a new wave of rock-n-roll and youth culture from America swept the country and the world. The mix of popular images and music with art and fashion would change the way people dressed – blurring the boundaries of commerce, culture and style.

    POP! will explore the impact of music, art and personality on the development of the fashion of the times. From the poodle skirts and embellished leathers of the rockers through to the Punk era, this exhibition will take in the cool stylings of the Mods, the high baroque of Psychedelia and the kitsch glamour of 70s retro by designers such as Mr Freedom and Miss Mouse.’

    Exhibition Dates: 6 Jul – 27 Oct 2012

    Ticket Price:
    £7 for adults
    £5 for students and concessions

    Information and picture from http://www.ftmlondon.org

    Designing 007: Fifty years of Bond style
    The Barbican, London

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    A unique exhibition showcasing the inside story of the design and style of the world’s most influential and iconic movie brand.

    Exhibition dates: Runs from 6th July – 5th Sept
    Ticket price: £12

    Oh and there’s a MARTINI BAR : )

    Information and picture from http://www.barbican.org.

    Ballgowns
    The V&A, London

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    From spring 2012 the V&A celebrates the opening of the newly renovated Fashion Galleries with an exhibition of beautiful ballgowns, red carpet evening dresses and catwalk showstoppers. Displayed over two floors, Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 will feature more than sixty designs for social events such as private parties, royal balls, state occasions and opening nights.

    Exhibition dates: Runs until 6th Jan 2013
    Ticket price: £10

    Information and picture from http://www.vam.ac.uk

    How very exciting
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