Friday, 30 September 2011

Beware Of The Spitting Dinosaur












When I first packed for my few days back home in north Wales, I made sure I had plenty of wooly jumpers with me, lots of leggings, warm socks and boots...Whilst driving home, the sun burnt in the bright blue sky and my dashboard boasted twenty three degrees. Little did I know I was about to spend the next few days exposing my ghostly pale skin.
I arrived back Tuesday afternoon and spent the evening with Lora, drooling over her beautiful hand made jewellery and envying her talent!
Wednesday, I went to get my hair dyed (and my hairdresser got over excited with pink hair dye, pictured above!) I also spent the afternoon bargain hunting with my dad for gorgeous vintage tea cups and got some super cute ones! The collection of teacups pictured are actually the ones I had at home, so if you see any you like, please let me know as they will be transformed into lovely teacup candles asap!
Yesterday, I went to Chester Zoo with my friend Anwen. They had a temporary dinosaur section with moving dinosaur models (these scared the life out of me....especially since my boyfriend has been obsessing over dinosaur programmes on tv recently!) Anyway, one of the dinosaurs actually spat out water....Luckily not directly at us, my Canon would not have been impressed with him for that!! I will have to upload some more pics of our trip in another blog post!
Oh, and I tried out leopard print nails with my new nail art pen + models own polishes which I absolutely love!! Let me know what you think as a first attempt!!
Hope you're all having a lovely week!!!




x





Thursday, 29 September 2011

Bara Brith





As promised, this is my bara brith recipe!! It's a really well known fruit cake / loaf in Wales and it's name basically translates as 'speckled bread.' It's gorgeous served with a bit of butter and makes a perfect yummy afternoon treat with a great big cup of tea!!


Ingredients


200g mixed fruit
300ml boiling water
2 tea bags
160g soft brown sugar


200g self raising flour
1 large egg
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp mixed spice


First of all, you need to boil the kettle and pour 300ml of boiling water over 2 tea bags. Leave to soak for 5 minutes until the tea is rather strong.
Add all the sugar to the strong tea, and soak 200g of mixed fruit in your sweet tea (preferably, you should leave to soak over night if possible, or at least for a couple of hours if you haven't got much time)

After a few hours / over night mix the soaked mixed fruit (along with the sweet tea) with the flour, egg, cinnamon and mixed spice.
Line and grease a baking tray before pouring in the cake mixture.
Bake for approximately an hour and a half on 160-180 degrees.


And there you have it....one gorgeous Welsh fruit cake done and dusted!!
Let me know if you try it out!



x




Wednesday, 28 September 2011

I Missed You Wales...









Sorry for no post yesterday everyone. I had a three hour journey to come home yesterday morning...I arrived home with post to open, catching up to do, and friends to see! Last night was a really lovely evening which I spent with my close friend Lora (check out her blog + creations, they are absolutely gorgeous) We ended up taking a long walk on the beach as the sun went down! How romantic! I've missed the sea and mountains so much, it's something I always take for granted until I go somewhere with no sea in sight! Despite the fact I am not at all a great swimmer, and even hate putting my head in water, I absolutely love the sea and it's tranquil qualities....Oh how I've missed you Wales!


001 This is beautiful....I want this picture enlarged and framed so I can take it back to the flat with me, so whenever I miss the sea, I always have it to look at!
This beach is Dinas Dinlle near Caernarfon in north Wales in case you wanted to know or wanted to visit!


002 This is one of Lora's beautiful creations. She has such enviable talent it's unbelievable! I call these mushrooms...! This particular piece is a crocheted wire brooch. Lora will be doing the Sheffield Christmas Market with me on the 13th of November, so if you like any of our items please come and say hi to us!!


003 I wish I took a better picture of Lora's outfit! Her wardrobe is full of beautiful vintage finds, second hand leather satchels, a large collection of beautiful scarves and to die for jewellery (which luckily she can produce herself!)
I've always loved her style and how she puts an outfit together. Yesterday, she wore gorgeous navy/dark wash skinnies from Topshop, a cute knit cardi and this beautiful scarf. Hopefully we're going to catch up again soon for a lovely afternoon tea, so I will make sure I take some pics of her lovely wardrobe!!


004 Trying out some shutter settings on my camera! I definitely need to work on this.....but it's a start! At least it means another trip to the beach soon!


005 More of Lora's beautiful brooches!


I hope you've enjoyed this post. I have so much to show you it's unbelievable! Oh...and the Bara Brith was lovely according to my dad so I also need to post the recipe for all of you!
Anyway, today I am off to get my hair done (super excited about this!) Then I am off to some charity shops with my dad in search of beautiful teacups!
I hope you all have a lovely day!!



x



Monday, 26 September 2011

Monday Morning







Today has already been such a busy day! I'm off home this week, so I've had some orders off my daddy to bake him lots of cakes! My kitchen looked more like a bakery this morning! Flour, sugar, icing......all over the place!
After dropping my boyfriend off at uni, I decided to pop into town quickly and was soooo glad I found the black leather jacket at Primark for only £20 as I've been looking for one like this for what seems like years! Then I decided to pop into a local charity shop and found those lovely teacups....they are so gorgeous! I think it was definitely meant to be since I've also been looking for ones like these for a while, and they're small and super sweet!
After lunch, I decided to bake more cakes....the ones pictured are chocolate tray bake cakes with chocolate ganache icing (they're not finished in the pic, this is just a quick pic I took after covering them with the ganache - I then added some orange flavoured icing lines) This recipe will be up soon, it's one of my Halloween treat ideas....Death by chocolate?
I'm also about to bake some BARA BRITH...this is a Welsh fruit cake/ loaf. I will post the recipe up soon and hopefully someone else will be tempted to bake this and show me their results!

Hope you're all having a lovely day



x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

I Heart Teacups






So, many of you have been asking whether I sell my teacup candles, and the answer is yes I do. I used to sell them on my Folksy shop all the time.
I only had a couple of teacups with me at the flat, and have stupidly left most of my collection at home! However, this week, I am paying my daddy a visit for a few days, catch up with some friends and search my local towns for more beautiful vintage bargains! I am really excited to spend days out with my Canon and share with all of you my beautiful home, my friends and what I get up to in my spare time!! (Other than baking and crafting!)
This blog post is a sneak preview of what's to come in the next few days, so I hope you really like them! Some of the teacup candles I make will have to be kept to one side for my Christmas markets, but for those of you who are unable to come and see me (or anyone else who's interested in buying) I am more than willing to sell some! 




x





Saturday, 24 September 2011

Weekly Roundup











001 I received my first ever Graze box this week! I absolutely loved it so much!! My boyfriend has ordered one with my free box voucher and it's due Monday, although I will be at home so I can't have a nibble on it :( (it's more for me than him!!) He said he would save it until I'm back, but we'll see about that! Boyfriend + food lying around = none left for me!!!


002 We bought these lovely fiendish fancies in Asda, but unfortunately Mr Kipling let us down (these were meant to be for our mini Halloween party) however....they had a best before date of 2nd of October, which is BEFORE Halloween...how silly! Well anyway, we ate them all the night we opened them! Yes, they were extremely yummy, ha!! A mix of orange flavoured icing with chocolate sauce and gorgeous sponge!


003 My lovely eggy lunch and a break from all the haaaaaard work I have been doing this week!! And my lovely cup of tea (I got a Clippers teabag from my bf's uni goodie bag!) I absolutely love tea, but I usually end up buying just a supermarket brand unless a nice fancy one is on offer!! 


004 I've had a few orders in this week and it's so lovely to know that people like what I'm doing!! These little tin candles have now been packed up and sent to hopefully very happy buyers!!! I need to get a move on, my first Christmas market is on 13th of November! So I have just over a month, Christmas will be here in no time!!


005 Ahhhh, the banana cake! I love baking (as you all know by now!) This was a lovely, moist and low in fat treat! Tomorrow is going to be a full day of baking as I am going home on Monday. My dad is a huge cake fan (and can totally get away with stuffing his face due to the fact he's a keen cyclist!) He's asked me to bake him loads of cupcakes to return with! I will post a picture once they are completed!! I also really want to bake some bara brith this week (bara brith is a gorgeous Welsh loaf with mixed spice, cinnamon, raisins and tea!! I could eat it all day long! Maybe I should spread some Welsh love by posting the recipe up here on my blog!!!)


006 I have been literally addicted to drinking tea for quite a long time. It started off in college when I wanted a warm drink during winter time, and coffee didn't appeal to me that much then, so I always had tea on our morning break! I have decided to keep this teacup instead of using it as a candle due to the fact it really reminds me of my grandmother and her tea drinking obsession!!


007 I can't wait for my next Graze box and I have to wait another week to get one! Sad times, but it will be waiting for me when I return back from North Wales!

Hope you're having a lovely weekend! My night will consist of Doctor Who, strawberry cider and pizza + chips!!!



x



Friday, 23 September 2011

Banana Cake




I really hate it when I've just bought some bananas and they're already going off the following day...I needed to do something with them, and fast!! I've been baking lots of banana muffins recently, but decided to give a banana cake or 'loaf' as it's meant to be a go!!! (I don't have a loaf tin, hence the cake appearance!!)

You will need these ingredients

250g self raising flour
4 tbsp light brown sugar
6 tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil
6 tbsp skimmed milk
2 large eggs
2 large mashed bananas

and if you like raisins....
add 100g of raisins/sultanas


Mix all ingredients together and place in a greased cake/loaf tin.
Bake in the oven on 140 degrees for roughly 40-50 minutes
And there you have it, a nice, moist and light banana cake!!!



x

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Tea Break








001 I have been super busy today getting lots of work done. I have just less than two months until my first Christmas fair, and so far, I am totally not prepared!! I need to get up early each morning and get working hard!! All my items are available to buy also, so if you are interested or wanting some unique Christmas gifts, please let me know! Alternatively you can email me at : fionapitts@live.co.uk

002 Last night I started to paint some of my jam jars with pink glass paint. They still have a while until they can be cured in the oven, but I was fairly pleased with how they turned out (despite the fact they are fairly streaky at parts) These jars will hopefully be filled with yummy sweeties anyway to sell or give to friends as lovely Christmas treats!!

003 My boyfriend attended a freshers fair on Monday and came home with a big bag of goodies (when I say goodies, I actually mean rubbish) However....I found this little tea bag sachet inside and instantly obsessed over it!!! I love tea....end of! I usually drink decaf tea or herbal/green tea, but I love clippers, and today I decided to drink it in my cute little tea cup!!

004 My little tea break after a fairly busy afternoon! I'm still undecided whether to keep this teacup to drink out of, or to transform it into a candle....I think I will actually keep it, it reminds me of my grandmother so much (she used to have similar retro teacups and constantly drank tea! I remember the bottoms were slightly cracked due to heavy usage!!)

Hope you're having a lovely day!


x

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

My First Ever Graze Box...







Today hadn't got off to a good start....But when I noticed my Graze box had arrived I was instantly excited!! I sat down on the sofa in my pyjamas and enjoyed munching on my treats!! All of you know that I'm a food fan! I obsess over baking way too much for my own good, but I also like to try out new things! The first thing I noticed was the packaging, it's absolutely gorgeous. I love recycled paper + cardboard, so this was really lovely for me!! I opened it up, to find 4 little compartments and two booklets. One booklet was based on how to eat healthy and the other was an explanation of what I received. 
(I didn't get the box because I wanted to start eating healthy. Generally, I try and eat fairly healthy every day and don't tend to eat my cakes that often, despite the fact I am constantly baking!!)
I got this box free as someone had given me their friend code, usually they are £3.49 including delivery.

 In my Graze box, I received:
Yin & Yang
Very Norish
Billionaire's Shortbread
Apple & Cinnamon Flapjack

I think my favourite out of all of them had to be the billionaire's shortbread. This contained Belgian milk chocolate, almonds, cranberries and little pieces of fudge. Usually, I am not a huge nut fan, in fact I didn't enjoy the nuts that much in this one, however I loved the cranberries, chocolate and fudge together, they were really nice and perfect to snack on! The snack boxes are fairly small, but you get enough in them!

I really can't wait for my next box now! I've delayed it for a week because I'm actually going home to North Wales next week (and I'm super excited to take absolutely loads of photographs of what I get up to so you can all see my beautiful home!) 

If you'd like to receive your first Graze box free, then use my friend code:
FYRX7L6

Enjoy...!!!


x




Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Monday Morning, Rain Is Pouring...










Yesterday was a fairly busy day! I managed to get a lot done. One thing about having a blog I really like is the fact that I can basically keep it as a diary, a note of what I've done that day. I'm also incredibly obsessed with photographing absolutely anything and everything (ok...so maybe not EVERYTHING, but still!!! I love to take photographs of beautiful things that welcome themselves into my life!!)


001 Congratulations to my blog giveaway winner Daisy Kate! This is your box of goodies (and this is what is looked like yesterday before posting!!) Also thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! It's definitely something I'd like to do more of in the near future!!

002 Ok, so many of you have basically been saying they wish I was selling at a craft fair near them. Unfortunately, I'm doing everything and anything possible to save the pennies at the moment and so I'm only selling at fairs close by. I will be at the Sheffield Christmas Market in November, as well as selling back at home in North Wales. If you're around, please come and say hi!!
So anyway...I basically want to list on here what I have available to buy so all of you who are unable to come and see me at my craft markets can buy online! (I have lots and lots of bubble wrap and boxes, so don't worry about that!!!) This is what I have been doing today. They are my lovely scented tin candles!! You can really see my obsession with pink and blue....!!
L-R Polka dot tin candle £5
Large tin candles £8
Small tin candle £3.50
(If you are interested in buying anything you see, please email me! This is basically what I do for a living...I fill my flat with all the lovely goodies I make....so don't be scared to ask!!)

003 As a little break from work, I went for a tiny shopping trip to Primark and bought this lovely scarf for £4 and the gorgeous ring for £2.50!!! (Again...pink + blue....!!)

004 Me drinking tea....nothing unusual there!! Also I took a pic of my table arrangement..This will be a part of my 'how to transform your flat/house on a budget' feature!! I absolutely love collecting glass bottles, jars and cans as you know...These are just some of the ideas what you can use them for!! I picked the flowers up at Wilkinson (the pom-pom flowers were £1.25 and the white blossom bunch were £1ish)

005 Another headband I bought at Primark. I've already bought an identical one in red, but this was just so cute and I couldn't say no!! Plus they'll be really good for A/W!! It's already getting colder so it's an excuse to wear them!!

006 Another shot of the flowers I bought today to brighten up the kitchen!!

007 My slowly but surely expanding collection of glass jars and bottles!!! This is a current obsession...They fill up an entire cupboard in the kitchen, that's how obsessed I am!





x



Monday, 19 September 2011

Monday Manicure : Halloween Inspired Nails








This is my attempt at 'marbled nails'!! I tried it out over the weekend and really loved the result! They're fairly easy to achieve and the layer seems really smooth and thin (not at all what I was expecting!!!) These are my Halloween inspired nails (I'm trying to bring you some Halloween DIY ideas on a budget - because first of all, I'm on a tight budget this Halloween, and secondly....I love Halloween and can't wait to constantly blog about it!!!)

First of all, I painted my nails with GOSH holographic (many bloggers out there have reviewed this product, yes I do love it, but I don't like the fact it chips so easily!!) Anyway, this look really requires a base coat of some sort. For this, choose a light colour.

Then, I dropped my desired nail varnish colours in water. The water technique can be viewed here!! 
The colours I used here were Rimmel 080 Black Cab and Barry M in Tangerine!
(I taped around the edge of my nails with tape - please excuse some varnish that I haven't cleaned up around the edges!! This happens..!)



x




P.S
Many of you have been saying 'I wish you were doing a fair near where I live' regarding the candles and stuff I make. Well...I was hoping to be able to sell some on here and am wondering how many of you would be interested in buying some teacup candles/ lucky dip gift boxes (with teacup candles + other lovely goodies inside) and other random stuff I make!!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Healthy + Incredibly Delicious Muffins!!







These are the muffins I have been going on about! They're fairly similar to the banana and cinnamon muffins I made a while ago! Here, I have cocoa and coffee muffins as well as peach and lemon!! These are extremely low in fat (no butter is used!!) 


Cocoa And Coffee Muffins


150g Self Raising Flour
50g Light Brown Sugar
Dash of Skimmed Milk
3 tbsp Cocoa
Half tsp Coffee
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg
3 tbsp Greek 0% Fat Yogurt

These really are simple to make! Bake in the oven on 180 degrees until fairly firm at the top. These muffins do turn out fairly soft and moist (TIP : If you have silicone cake cases, use those! Sometimes it's hard to get them out of the paper cases due to them being so moist!!!)


Peach And Lemon Muffins


150g Self Raising Flour
50g Light Brown Sugar
Dash of Skimmed Milk
One Peach (skin removed + mashed up)
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg
3 tbsp Green 0% Fat Yogurt

(Same applies for these muffins. Bake in the oven on 180 degrees for roughly 10-15 mins until firm at the top. If the mixture seems a bit too liquid, add more flour to achieve desired consistency)




x

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