Speak Now

Right Ladies, after perusing The Shine Project's blog. I came across the lovely Ellie. She has set up a charity to enpower young women. Working in a school I know how important it is that women, young or old have a positive self image and masses of self worth.
Its not always easy. We all have the days when we wake up and think, I look fat/ugly/too thin today. Just simply 'having a bad hair day' can do major damage to your self image for the whole day.
It has long been thought by some of the fashion rat pack that if you look good you feel good. Well I'm here to argue against that. Lets make it a new mantra, "If you feel good, you look good". After all we all know the most gorgeous, and vivacious person in the room is often the one with the most confidence and the best self image.
So Ladies I say love yourself, and as Bruno Mars would say, just the way you are.


NB: Make sure you check out Ellie's personal blog and the Speak Now blog. Lets help get this message to all the young women out there!

H xo

'Cheep' and Cheerful Spring Fashions

OK first of all don't you just love my word play on the word cheap! You know 'cheep, cheep' like a bird. Anyway.......

I'm not usually a slave to fashion and just wear what looks good on me and I feel good in, but this seasons fashions are to die for!
Bolds are still here, nautical is back and the longer the pendants the better.
I'm going to share a few of my favourite fashion articles; all from Essentials magazine. The best bit? They are mostly under £50!

I went ahead and circled my favourites for you.

From top left:
Red Parka £25 George at Asda
Green Shoes £22 Brantano
Pink and Red Skirt £45 Fusion at Monsoon
Stripe Dress £20 Boohoo.com
Blue Shirt Dress £60 Debenhams
Red Skirt £42 Very.com
Green Top £19 Boohoo.com
Yellow Skirt £29.50 Limited Collection at Marks and Spencers
Red Bangle £12.50 Freedom at TopShop
Gold Cuff £12.50 Evans
Mustard Shoes £75 Bertie
Teal Bag £35 Simply Be
Stripe Top £29 M&Co
Red and Blue Dress £43 QVC
Teal Dress £28 Dorothy Perkins
Red Maxi Dress £20 Primark
Yellow Top £35 Evans
Red Belted Dress £45 Next
Purple Skirt £20 BHS
Blue Wrap Top £25 BHS
Pink and Green Wedges £45 Miss Selfridge
Red Bag £9.99 New Look

From left:
Silver ball pendant £14.95 Fiorelli
Crystal pendant £27.50 Bonbiforest
Bottle of pearls pendant £12 Accessorize
Mirror pendant £11.24 Chemical Records
Love heart pendant £36 Martine Wester
Triple bead pendant £6.50 Wallis
Glitter ball pendant £8.50 Dorothy Perkins
Turtle pendant £4 George at Asda
Sliver black stone pendant £12.50 Wallis
Pink gem pendant £6.99 New Look

From top left:
Stripe Tunic Dress £16 George at Asda
Blazer £20 Primark
Stripe Sailor Dress £12 George at Asda
Red Flats £16 Dorothy Perkins
White Trousers £24 Marisota
Navy Belted Dress £10 Primark
Red Bag £12 George at Asda
Colour Block Blouse £12 Next
Necklace £5 Primark
Cardigan £12 Primark
Blue Jacket £24.99 George at Asda
Skirt £14 South @ Very.com
Patent Red Bag £5 Primark
Stripe Skirt £10 F&F at Tesco
Trousers £12 Primark
Sheer Top £12 Matalan
Jeggings £18 BHS
Dress £20 Boohoo.com
Top £16 Tu at Sainsburys
Stripe Top £12 Tu at Sainsburys
Knot Belt £3 Primark
Enjoy browsing Ladies!

H xo

Hot Hula

Have any of you ever heard of the new exercise craze, hot hula?
Its only just arrived in the UK, and I was lucky enough to be one of the first people trying it in the whole of Europe!
Its brought to you by Dancestar, the same people who brought you Zumba.
Based on Polynesian hula dance, it engages you core, whilst working your bum, and legs. Call it legs, bums and tums, just 100 times better.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. My thighs were aching and burning by the end of session, and I have a feeling they will be extremely sore in the morning. No pain no gain as they say!
If you haven't tried Hot Hula, you totally have too. So Ladies, get that hip wiggling action going!



H xo

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is one of the only commercial holidays I celebrate. Its not that I don't show my Mum some love and appreciation throughout the rest of the year, but who doesn't want a day for themselves where they get spoilt rotten.
I'm not going to get all 'soppy after a couple of vodkas' on you, but my Mum is extra special. Beautiful, intelligent and uber supportive.
After everything I've been through and put her through over the past 5 years she's still there. My Mum and my best friend.

Love you Mum!

Over the past few days I've been sticking, cutting, sewing (and consequently bleeding!), baking, shopping, and cleaning.
Here are some photos of today:
Travel Document Wallet




Lemon Curd and Raspberry Cake
Mothers Day Bunting











I found the tutorial for the travel document I spent hours sewing on Tipjunkie. The only reason it took me so long was the bloody sewing machine. It just wouldn't work, and I couldn't ask Mum for help and ruin the surprise, so hand sewing it was all the way. Obviously I'm not going to take any credit for this tutorial, its not mind, so you can find the original post here.

The printable for the Mother's Day bunting can be found here.

As its a extra special occasion, I have a recipe for you of course!
Its a lemon curd and raspberry cake = yum.
8pp a slice though, but take it out of your weeklies and its well worth it.

Lemon Curd and Raspberry Cake

Serves - 8
ProPoints - 8 (per slice)

Ingredients:
175g softened butter
100g greek yogurt
2 tbsp lemon curd
3 eggs
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
200g self-raising flour
175g caster sugar
85g raspberries

Method:
  1. Turn the oven to gas mark 2. Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line with a long strip of baking parchment. Put all the ingredients, minus the raspberries, in a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric whisk until the batter comes together. Spoon half into the prepared tin.
  2. Sprinkle half the raspberries on top of the batter, then spoon over the rest of the batter, Scatter the remaining raspberries on top. Bake for 1hr 15 mins, until the cake is golden and a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.
  3. Cool and enjoy with greek yogurt and fresh berries.
NB:
I didn't have any greek yogurt of lemon curd. I replaced the greek yogurt with a low fat strawberry yogurt. I also used an extra 50g of yogurt to compensate for the liquid that the lemon curd would have brought to the mixture. Despite these adaptions it was still yummy.

H xo

Friday's Fancies - Mother's Day

Things have been so hectic lately at Eat.Enjoy.Live towers. I've hardly had time to think, never mind about blog!
This weeks Fancies is a little late, but its a special one celebrating all the Mum's out there.
Its Mother's Day here tomorrow so I'm dedicating this post to my wonderful Mum.
I've picked out an outfit I would love to see her wear.

Reiss Lorna Dress £124 (on sale)
Buy

Kitsch Couture Banana Heel £30

Buy

Sterling Silver Lavender Jade Fresh Water Pearl Earrings £19.95

Sterling <em>Silver</em> Lavender <em>Jade</em>,Fresh Water Pearl <em>Earring</em> 21.00 Ct.
Buy










Chamilia Sterling Silver Necklace £105

Chamilia sterling silver necklace 45cm or 17.8" - Product number 6802338
Buy
If you could style your Mum in an outfit from one brand, which would you choose?

H xo




30 days of books - week 2

This picking books thing is WAY harder than I anticipated!
I'm getting obbsessed by quotes too at the moment. So after a little research I've come up with 3 of the best why read quotes.
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” Dr Seuss.
"A home without books is a body without soul.” Marcus Tullius Cicero.
“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” Victor Hugo.
Who wouldn't want there imaginations to be strectched?!
I hope my suggestions give you an idea of what to read next.

8. Most overrated book - One Day.

Buy

Ok, ok, I can hear you shouting through the computer screen! Its not that I didn't love this book, I did. Being the reading puritian that I am though, I just feel like the hype around the film and then more hype around the book just became too much.

9. A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving - The Book of Night Women.

Buy

I'm not going to say too much about this one, just read it. Don't be put off by the language he uses either, just perserve, it will all be worth it.

10. Favourtie classic book - Great Expectations.

Buy

The ULTIMATE classic and still relevant today. Enough said really.

11. A book you hated - Harry bloody Potter.

Buy

I cannot even begin to put into words how much I hate this series. I could actually rip every book in the world into tiny little pieces! Maybe I'm just jealous I could never write something that sold so many copies.

12. A book you used to love but don't anymore - I Heart New York.

Buy

I used to love chic-lit, but now that I've grown up the more depressing the book the better.

13. Your favourtie writer - Michel Faber.


I cannot stress this enough, you must must must must must must (you get the idea) must read Michel Faber's work. His writing style is beautiful, characters flawless, and he puts you 'into' a book better than any writer I know.

14. Favourite book of your favourite writer - The Crimson Petal and the White.

Buy

Set in the grime of Victorian London, you are transported through this shell of a city by the main protagonist, a prostitute; Sugar. Utterly stunning. Faber even brought out a short sequel; which I think was just to stop all the e-mails I kept sending him!

H xo

Coffee morning favourites

I'm sure you all have a morning where you sit with a cup of coffee and spend some quality time perusing your favourite blogs. I feel extremely lucky to have found some amazing women through blogging, and reading their blogs this morning just felt like I was having coffee with all my closest friends.
I'm not going make this post too 'wordy'. Each one of these blogs is run by a strong, lovely and amazing woman. Go and check out every single one of them, you won't be disappointed.




Our Reflection


Photobucket






H xo

Chocolate cupcakes w/ marshmallow frosting

It's the weekend! Only 3 more weeks of work and I have 2 weeks off; the plus side of working in a school.
It seems like an AGE since I last baked anything, and I just couldn't resist making these.
Really I just wanted to make the frosting; its only 1 PP for a serving! This meant I had to find the perfect cupcake to showcase the yummy frosting, and WW came to my rescue with their chocolate forest fruit cupcakes (minus the fruit).
Cue the most decadent 'WW' cupcake you've ever made/eaten.

Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Marshmallow Frosting

Serves - 12
ProPoints - 4 (per cupcake)

Ingredients:
For cupcakes:
100g self raising flour
15g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g low fat spread
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
For marshmallow frosting (makes enough for 16 cupcakes. 1 PP per serving):
120g granulated sugar
80g golden syrup
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Method:
Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Put 12 cupcake cases into a tin.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the low fat spread, sugar, unbeaten eggs and vanilla extract. Vigorously beat the mixture until smooth.
  3. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases. Place on the middle shelf in the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.*
Frosting:
  1. Place the sugar, golden syrup and 1 1/2 tbsp of water into a saucepan and cook on a high heat until the mixture reaches the soft boil stage - this is when the bubbles in the mixture almost start to stick together and drops off a spoon in a smooth slow stream. This takes about 2 minutes.
  2. In a mixer or food processor, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Now, with the machine on a low speed, slowly and evenly pour the hot sugar mixture into the bowl. Continue to beat on a low speed until all the hot sugar is in the mixing bowl.
  3. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue whipping the mixture until it becomes thick, glossy and cool. Add the vanilla extract.
*Wait until the cupcakes are totally cool before even attempting to make the frosting. The frosting works best when its slightly warm, and there is nothing worse than frosting sliding off warm cupcakes.

You can keep the frosting in the fridge for up to 1 day, no longer. Just give it a quick beat before using so it loosens up.

There is no doubt that these cupcakes are decadent. The frosting is extremely sweet, its like eating liquid cotton candy. I was worried they would taste like a sugar overload, but luckily the bitterness of the cocoa in the cake balances out the frosting.
They certainly don't taste like 'diet' food!

H xo

Friday's Fancies - Spring is coming


Buy
This Friday the theme is Spring Break. We don't have this in the UK, but the sun is shining more often then usual and I definitely feel spring in the air, dare I say even Summer; I ate my first strawberry of the year today = yay!
I am going away for Easter though, and I'm hoping for sunshine. It gives me the perfect opportunity to showcase my current obsession; summer dresses.

Buy
I've sourced all the items this week off Etsy. I love this website, its such a great space for creative people to come together. Creating and buying unique things is one of my ultimate pleasures, who wants what everyone else has got? Add throwing the word 'vintage' in the mix, automatically makes everything more appealing to me.

Buy


Dress - Vintage 1970's Summer Dress. Sold by Concettas Closet. £27.29.
Shoes - Navy Espadrilles. Sold by Tuto. £38.99.
Bracelet - Summer-girl Sterling Silver Handmade Braclet. Sold by TomerM. £151.42.
I hope the sun is shining where you are and you can see summer creeping over the horizon.

H xo

PCOS + a recipe

If you're a follower of mine on Twitter, you'll know by now that nearly a week ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Its been a long road to get to this point, around 8 years, so most of me is glad I finally now whats wrong. Did you know 10% of women have PCOS; since my diagnosis friends have even told me they have it, and I never even knew!

Mine is quite severe, which is why it is all the more important that I carry on losing weight. I am having to look at my weight loss in a different way though. Reading about PCOS, lots of women say there's is aggravated by dairy. I taking the big step for better health and fertility, and cutting dairy out of my diet.
You can find the symptoms for PCOS on this website. If you have even a few of the symptoms, please go to you doctor, they will be able to help. For all those women who have PCOS; this website is a mine of information.

So what's the first thing I do when I hear the news, go searching for recipes of course! I came across this one and thought, yummy. Crumbles hardly have any dairy in anyway and this one is totally dairy free = yay! I didn't have enough apples, so I threw in a couple of pears and some raspberries too.

Pear, Apple and Raspberry Crumble

Serves: 8
Propoints: 3
Ingredients:
2 pears, peeled and cubed.
3 apples, peeled and cubed.
A handful of raspberries.
140 g (2 cups) oats.
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
250ml (1 cup) apple juice
250ml (1 cup) water


1. Turn the oven onto gas mark 6. Place the apples, pears and raspberries in a ovenproof dish.Cover with apple juice and water.
2. Mix together the oats, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Put the dry mixture on top of the fruit mixture, and bake for 40-50 mins.


Yes, I bake in my PJ's!

H xo

DIY - Felt Bows

I was dusting off my craft store the other day and found (in the depths) some beautiful lace and felt that I had forgotten I had. Consequently I put down the duster and got out my glue gun instead.
These bows are so simple and extremely versatile; perfect for the seasoned or first time crafter.

Felt Bows

You will need:
Felt
Lace
Glue

1. Cut two strips of felt (approx 1cm wide), relatively the same size. The length of your felt will vary, depending on how big you want the bow.
2. Take one strip and glue the ends of the felt into the middle. This will give you the basic shape of your bow.
3. Where the ends are joined together (at the seam), put a tiny bit of glue. Then pinch the felt together. You have to hold this until the glue sets, as you really don't want it falling apart. You should now have a recognisable bow shape.
4. Take your second piece of felt and glue to the base of your bow. Cut off the excess and cut little triangles out of the ends. This is the 'ribbon' for your bow.
5. Take a piece of lace; you'll only need the tiniest bit. Wrap it around the centre of the bow and glue in place.

NB: In the end I didn't make any 'ribbon' for the ring, it just made it too big.

That's it! Attach to rings, shoes, brooches, hair slides, bags, clothes, parcels, notebooks.









H xo

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