Tale as old as time

4 November 2013

Wow, it's been so long since I last posted. This summer has been a strange one. I graduated in July and since then have spent my time putting off applying for graduate jobs... That's a lie - I did spent quite a bit of time applying for jobs but it has taken me a long time to get anywhere so I perhaps wasn't as efficient as I should have been. I did go to a few music festivals and spent time with my family but, due to a distinct lack of funds, this summer has felt like a bit of a non-event.

The good news is I now have a real job in the real world! It's a bit strange being out of the student bubble but I feel like my life is actually going somewhere now (dramatic much). Okay so I haven't hit my first pay-day yet but I'm feeling more like a real human being who works and gets paid and whatnot.

Hence why I thought I'd fire up the old blog again. I know there are bloggers out there who write whilst living on a limited budget and I'm not saying you can't but I'm a very materialistic person and I didn't quite feel like myself when I didn't have any pennies to spend on the things I love. And not feeling like myself meant my creative juices weren't particularly.. flowing...!

So I'll stop rambling now and get to what this post was meant to be about - Halloween! I love Halloween. In my High-School and College years I was always the one who threw the Halloween parties but at university it became more about club nights. But now we're a little more grown up Alex and I decided to throw our first Halloween house-party in our own home.

I think I enjoyed putting up the decorations, carving pumpkins and making cupcakes almost as much as the party itself!

Beauty and The Beast

Halloween Cupcakes - these disappeared in a flash!

And now I've got that excited feeling... if Halloween is over and Bonfire night is tomorrow then that means Christmas is just around the corner! 

Graduation Cupcakes

26 July 2013

I made my family these cute cupcakes when they all came over to celebrate my graduation last week.The cupcakes are my very naughty Chocolate and Peanut Butter cupcakes which I posted the recipe for here and the little mortar boards I made by adapting a couple of recipes I'd found online when I searched for graduation cupcakes.

Basically they're a mini Reeses peanut butter cup with a square of Lindt milk chocolate on top (glued with a little blob of chocolate icing). Then on top of the square is two little strawberry laces and a mini smartie, also glued with chocolate icing.The combination of all that chocolate and peanut butter made for quite a meal and some people made the sensible choice of eating them in two sittings haha!

What do you think? I think they look great in my new cake stand which I just can't bear to put away so is permanently sat on our kitchen table! I'm thinking of putting something decorative inside in between baking sessions - maybe some plastic flowers or something? The cake stand was a graduation present from my Mum and Dad and is by Jasper Conran at Debenhams - it's so sturdy, I can definitely recommend it!

Class of 2013

25 July 2013

Say cheese!

 Obligatory Paternoster lift shot since my university has one of the very few remaining ones in the world.

Getting an amazing view from the top of the Arts Tower. 

Woohoo I finally graduated! I can't believe I actually made it. About 20 months ago now I dropped out of university and couldn't imagine myself ever getting my degree so to be walking across that stage in my robes was such a proud moment for me and for my family - I couldn't have done it without them!

So now I'm no longer studying, I suddenly have nothing to do... Obviously I'm spending a lot of time looking for and applying for jobs (honestly...!) but I also have the time to spend on my hobbies again and this blog is one of them. So I have a few ideas for posts lined up. I was planning to do a Glastonbury post but my camera broke while we were there and I didn't want to drain my phone battery so I barely took any - gutted! I'll definitely be going back next year though - it was amazing!

Ooh something else exciting too - since I finished university I've started wedding planning! We're thinking about January 2015 (yes January - we're crackers!) which gives us just under 18 months to plan - needless to say I'm spending a lot of time on pinterest!

So I'm sure there'll be a few wedding inspiration posts very soon :)

Secret Treasure Box - Tsar Emporium, Bakewell

21 April 2013

With the sun making a welcome debut this weekend, me and the fiancĂ© decided to drive into the Peak District and enjoy a bit of country-side scenery. We visited Bakewell, possibly our favourite place to visit in the Peaks and stopped for an obligatory slice of Bakewell Tart in the courtyard garden of our favourite little cafe (which incidentally does mail order - genius!). 

Mmmm so good!

We were both feeling rather worse for wear after going out with our friends the night before so, whilst we often go hill-walking at weekends, this time we just took a leisurely wander around the shops. In another little courtyard I found the most amazing shop called The Tsar Emporium which was full to the brim with vintage and vintage inspired trinkets, furniture, chandeliers, mirrors - you name it, they probably have it! Whilst I was squeaking with excitement and declaring that when we have our own house it will look like this shop, Alex was joking about calling the wedding off... sadly his tastes in decor are simple and modern - probably the opposite of mine!

There was so much I could've bought in that shop but I restricted myself to choosing just one item and I chose this little keepsake box. I love how it looks like something straight out of a fairy tale! I haven't decided what to use it for yet but for now it's taking pride of place on my dresser.

I now have less than 5 weeks til my final university deadlines - that's why the blog has been so quiet! I'm definitely looking forward to blogging more often though and might even be posting a few wedding-related posts as wedding planning is officially beginning when I hand in those essays! 

Did you get out and enjoy the sun this weekend?

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

17 March 2013

I have 10 weeks left before my final deadlines for my degree, hence why the blog has taken a backseat lately. I've even taken photos for blog posts but just not had chance to write them up! But I've given myself the day off from studies today and took the opportunity to do some therapeutic baking.

I've been perfecting this recipe for a little while now, the frosting has always been a perfect peanutty soft whippyness but the sponge has sometimes been a little bit dry. This time I used a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery which has quite a bit of milk in it and it's much more moist. Perfection!



For the Cupcakes (recipe taken from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1 1/2tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
1 egg
1/4tsp vanilla extract

For the Frosting

125g butter, at room temperature
125g peanut butter (I used a combination of smooth and crunchy)
250g icing sugar, sifted
drop of vanilla extract
whole milk


Preheat the oven to 170c or Gasmark 3

Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in your mixer and beat on slow speed until everything is combined.

Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug and add half to the flour mixture, mixing until smooth. Add the other half and mix again but don't over mix.

Spoon the mixture into paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sponge bounces back.

Meanwhile to make the frosting, cream the butter and peanut butter together with the vanilla extract. Add the sifted icing sugar (to avoids lumps) and mix until smooth, adding milk to reach the desired consistency (you don't want it too runny if you're going to pipe it).

When they are cooled, spread or pipe the frosting onto the cakes.

Let me know if you try it and enjoy your Sunday. 

My Calorie-Counted WIAW #2

20 February 2013

Naughty Porridge - Oatso Simple made with Almond Milk, PB2 and a splodge of Nutella - 234cals
Innocent Smoothie - 81cals

Red Pepper Houmous Wrap with Red Pepper and Baby Leaf Salad - 234 cals

Nakd Bar - 135cals

Chickpea, Apricot and Red Pepper Curry served with Cauliflower Rice, Cucumber and Yoghurt - 337cals


3 (mini!) Creme Eggs - 150cals

Total Calories - 1171

I'm enjoying photographing everything I eat on a Wednesday - it definitely encourages me to eat better! Yesterday I had a really really good day until 11pm when I destroyed a whole tub of Cookie Dough ice-cream and doubled my calorie intake! Damn you Ben & Jerrys for being so yummy.

If you read my post last week you'll see me giving up chocolate for lent didn't last very long! I've still given up crisps but that's definitely not as hard.

Now I'm going to curl up with those mini eggs and One Born Every Minute - bliss!

Valentines Night

15 February 2013

We decided to beat the crowds last night and simply cook together at home. Never one to pass on an occasion to dress up however I thought I'd share a few photos of my outfit. And of course the food.

Playsuit: Topshop
Faux Fur Gilet: H&M
Boots: New Look

I've wanted a faux fur gilet for ages now but I tried a few black ones and they made me look like a huge hairy gorilla. This one makes me feel like a cuddly sheep instead :)

Home-made 'melt in the middle' Stilton Burgers - Nom Nom

So we cheated with dessert and bought some Vanilla Slices - decorated with hearts of course. 

Alex treated me to Seasons 1-5 of Gossip Girl on DVD and he received a 10 year old bottle of his favourite whiskey <3

Do you celebrate or do you think the whole thing is too cheesy?

My Calorie-Counted WIAW #1

13 February 2013

Oatso Simple with PB2 (Powdered Peanut Butter) and Banana - 255cals
Innocent Smoothie - 94 cals

Wholemeal Bagel with Pork Pate, Tomatoes and Cucumber - 332cals 

Snack 1
1 Crunchy Granola Bar - 90cals


Snack 2
Go Ahead Apple and Sultana Biscuits - 150cals

Home-made Mushroom Risotto - 339cals

Total Calories - 1257
F&V - 6 portions

I thought I'd start doing What I ate Wednesday posts as I find them really interesting, especially when people are trying to eat healthily. As you can see, I like to keep each of my 3 meals around the 350 mark which gives me space for a couple of snacks. I'm trying to stay below 1300 calories at the moment in order to lose around a lb a week.

I've given up chocolate for lent which is quite a big deal for me as, even when I'm eating healthily, I do like to include a little chocolate treat into most of my days. I'm not sure if giving it up will really help my diet that much as I'll probably just reach for non-chocolate snacks instead!

Have you given anything up? Do you like reading WIAW posts?

Weekly Weigh in #2

1 February 2013

Aaaah I hate to write this but I gained 2lbs this week :( Silly Emily. I still calorie counted for the most part but had quite a few days of binging with the worst day totalling 4000 calories - more than twice the amount I need to exist!

Week 1: 0.25lbs gain
Week 2: 2lbs gain

This is starting to look like a weight-gain mission rather than weight-loss oops! Hopefully I've got the binging out of my system and am ready to get back to it :)

Leggings Lust

29 January 2013

I can't stop wearing leggings at the moment. I used to be a skirt and dresses girl, I barely ever wore trousers. Whilst I'm still not a big jeans fan, leggings are definitely taking over my wardrobe. And not boring black ones, the more unusual the pattern the better.

1. Miss Selfridge Barbie Printed Leggings - £28. I walked past these in the Miss Selfridge store yesterday and had a head-turning moment. I can't decide how I feel about these - it's like a combination of awe and dismay! If they were half the price I'd definitely buy them, even if just to wear around the house!

2. Black Milk Cloud Print Leggings - $75 AUD. These are so beautiful - I think they'd look amazing with an oversized white t-shirt and shades in the Summer.

3. Black Milk Hills of Gondor Leggings - $85 AUD. I'm definitely going to be showing these to Alex, maybe he'll love them so much and buy them for me?

Have you bought any Black Milk leggings yet? I'm not sure if I can justify the price but I've heard the quality is amazing.

20 random facts about me

28 January 2013

I've seen a few youtubers do this tag and loved reading Becky's over at Milk Bubble Tea so I thought I'd join in.

1. I'm allergic to wasps and have a massive fear of them. I once tipped a glass of wine down myself when a wasp landed on me! I've been stung twice and both times my leg has swollen so bad I couldn't walk for days - it's agonising and is the one thing I hate about summer :(

2. I've been with my fiance for 5 1/2 years, we got engaged and moved in together when I was 19 and he was 20. I know a lot of people thought we were too young but he's my best friend and I can't imagine living with anyone else.

3. I study English Language and Linguistics and am in my final year but wish I'd studied something else.

4. I can touch my nose with my tongue.

5. I have braces and they won't be coming off til Autumn 2014 when I'll be 23, nearly 24!

6. My favourite colour is pink.

7. I love the ballet even though I gave it up when I was 5 and can't dance for toffee.

8. I'm totally addicted to diet coke and drink several litres per day. I drink it through a straw now I have braces, I was meant to be giving it up but I can't!

9. I don't like tea or coffee or any hot drinks. Diet Coke and Squash is all I drink.

10. Even though I don't drink coffee I love anything coffee flavoured especially coffee cake.

11. Cats are my favourite animal and I can't wait to get a Ragdoll kitten or two when we buy our own house.

12. I'm pretty squeamish and often faint with blood-tests and injections.

13. I've had 3 operations under anaesthetic, a tonsillectomy and two dental operations.

14. I only have one sibling, my brother who is 6 years older than me. Growing up we hated eachother but since I became old enough to buy him a drink we've gotten much closer!

15. I have no idea what I want to be when I "grow up". I have lots of ideas - my favourite at the moment being an events coordinator, or more specifically a wedding planner!

16. I love festivals but hate paying the ticket price so volunteer with Oxfam instead. Really hoping I get onto Glastonbury this year!

17. I've never liked my freckles, when I was younger I used to put lemon juice on them because I heard it would fade them!

18. I'm quite musical on the quiet, I have grade 5 piano, grade 4 drum-kit (yes!) and grade 1 singing. I still love singing and keep meaning to join a local choir.

19. I wear makeup everyday and never go out the house without it on unless I'm going for a run in the dark!

20. I don't go on holiday anywhere near as much as I'd like. In 5 1/2 years I've been abroad with my fiancĂ© once and twice without him. We're hoping to go somewhere hot this summer.

Me when I was 4 - I've always loved a tutu. 

Hope you enjoyed my facts, let me know if you've done a similar post - I love noseying into other peoples lives!

Sunday Summary #1

27 January 2013

I'm trying to get back into the habit of weekly posts. I think I'm going to do a weekly weigh-in every Friday, a "What I ate Wednesday" because I enjoy reading those and a Sunday Summary.

This week's been pretty boring, I finished my essays and relaxed a bit then proceeded to begin operation clean house! I accomplished the ground floor, two floors to go! That makes it sound like a huge house.. it's not really, I'm just a lazy cleaner.
As pretty as the snow was I was so glad to see it had melted this morning. I'd really missed running and driving so I made sure to do both today!

I have one more week to relax then the new semester begins which I'm already having anxiety dreams about. Last night I dreamt I was going back to college instead and I was 5 years older than all the 16 years olds there and felt *so* old. Weird!

I'll leave you with some pictures of me frolicking in the snow yesterday, we had some fun with the proper camera today rather than just the usual iphones.

Weekend Ootd

26 January 2013

I thought I'd put a little outfit together with a few of the items from my recent haul posts. You'll have to excuse the photos in the mirror, I do have a tripod and remote and the perfect place to take outfit photos but that room has become a major dumping ground and needs a little sort-out :) Why is that no matter how many rooms you have in a house there's always one room that is a constant dumping ground? Does anyone else do that?

Jumper: New Look
Disco Pants: Glamorous
Necklace: Ever Ours
Watch: River Island
Bangle: Disney Couture
Spike Bracelet: Ever Ours

I wore this outfit for a trip to Meadowhall for a spot of shopping, pizza and a film with a friend. 

Weekly Weigh in #1

25 January 2013

I thought I'd start doing a weekly weigh in. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but I think it'll help me be accountable! I have about 19lbs to lose before Summer hopefully and I'm of course upping the exercise in order to tone up :)
Last week I had an awesome week and lost 4.5lbs but this week I took a step back and focused on my essays which meant lots of study snacks. Then a meal out to celebrate them being in, of course. So this week I've gained 0.25lbs which is nothing really and I know I will do better next week.
I thought I'd post a few photos of the meals/snacks I've been enjoying as part of a healthier diet.

Apple and peanut butter - 130kcals. 

Green Thai Curry with 2.5 portions of veg - 380kcals

Chicken Burger Panini with Salad and Coleslaw - 380kcals

Our attempt at Wagama's Chicken Katsu Curry - Chicken Nuggets and Curry Sauce!
450kcals compared to 1100 at Wagamamas. 

Have you got any weightloss goals for the Summer?