Monday, 24 November 2014

Christmas with Baker Days + giveaway!


Hello everyone,

About a week ago, Baker Days got in touch to ask if I would like one of their Christmas *letterbox cakes and I obviously said yes as I am a big lover of cake! I was quite curious as to how a cake would fit through a letterbox, but it did... and beautifully packaged too! I opened my parcel excitedly to find a cute Christmas card, cracker and cake tin with my personalised cake inside. There is a variety of festive designs to choose from which can all be personalised with your own words and photos to create the perfect cake for someone special. I chose the snow globe design and I love it (although I'd recommend using a really high quality photo to ensure the print is a little clearer); I love the intricate snowflake design on the main base of the cake and the fact that I could personalise the cake by writing a message and adding in a photo of my friends. In addition to designing the cake, you can also choose which recipe you would like: sponge, chocolate chip, fruit, gluten free or dairy free cake. I opted for the chocolate chip sponge cake as that's my favourite and it tasted perfectly chocolaty and gooey and was complemented delightfully by the light vanilla icing. At £14.99 a letterbox Christmas cake is the ideal Christmas present for a family member who lives far away, a friend who likes unique gifts or  someone who loves cake (which is pretty much everyone). It's also great as it's a Christmas card and a present in one; great if you're on a budget!
a Rafflecopter giveaway The  team at Baker Days are allowing me to giveaway a letterbox cake to two of my lovely readers. To be in with a chance of winning simply enter the rafflecopter above. The giveaway is open to UK residents only and will run until the 1st December. Good Luck!


Lauren
xxx

*The post contains PR samples. All thoughts are my own. For more info, see my disclaimer.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Sparkles in the night sky


Hello everyone,

I've always loved going to firework displays; a chance to wrap up all warm in your most cosy coat, scarf and gloves, eat candyfloss and watch the glittery, majestic fireworks sparkle in the moonlit sky. Having not been to a bonfire in quite a few years, my housemates and I decided it would be nice to celebrate bonfire night this year. Wrapped up in our woolly jumpers, hat and scarves, we headed to the Don Valley "After Dark" firework display, the biggest firework display in Yorkshire. We all love fireworks so we were super excited! We arrived just in time to get a good spot for watching the bonfire being lit and once lit it was beautiful, the flames roared into the darkness and warmed us all up straight away. After gazing at the bonfire for a while, we had a look around all the food vans and got something to eat. I chose a standard beefburger and Emily chose a pulled pork baguette which looked delicious! We also had a wander around the fairground rides and the girls went on the waltzers (without me - I'm not a fan of rides). Making our way through the crowd of thousands, we waited with anticipation for the fireworks to start. 3...2...1...BOOM! The fireworks begun and vividly illuminated the sky to the sound of songs relevant to the year thus far, my favourite being Let it Go from Frozen! Several fireworks sparkled through the night sky and it was soon over and time to go home. It was such an amazing display and I can't wait to go again next year!



































How did you spend your bonfire night?


Lauren
xxx

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Christmas giveaway


Hello everyone,

The countdown to Christmas is only a month away, so I thought it would be nice  to do a giveaway with dotcomgiftshop to get you all excited for Christmas! Christmas is definitely one of my favourite times of the year; I love seeing all of my family  and I love the atmosphere at Christmas dinner whilst we laugh at the bad cracker jokes and reminisce of past Christmases. I'm so excited to start Christmas shopping and I can't wait for it to snow so me and my housemates can all go to the park and build a giant snowman (you're never too old to build a snowman, right?!). 

With only a month until we start to open our advent calenders, I have chosen to giveaway the 50's Christmas House Advent Calender from dotcomgiftshop and have it sent out to the winner just in time for the start of December. This cute house shaped calender contains 24 individual boxes which are perfect for filling with little treats such as chocolates, little toys, jewellery or makeup. To be in with a chance of winning this incredibly adorable advent calender simply fill out the rafflecopter form below. The giveaway is open to UK residents only and will run for 2 weeks from 3rd November - 17th November. Good Luck!

xxx

Giveaway with DotComGiftShop

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Monthly highlights | October


Hello everyone,

I haven't done a monthly highlights post in a while so I thought it would be nice to share what I have done during October as I haven't blogged much this month. October has been quite a busy month with starting uni and celebrating  birthdays. Most of my housemates birthdays are really close which has meant that we've all had a fun month of dressing up, partying and eating a lot of  cake! Long walks and exploring in the park have been the highlight of my month as I love how pretty everything looks throughout Autumn! Another highlight for me was meeting up with my best friend in Manchester and having a  nice, girly day shopping accompanied by a much needed gossip with  afternoon tea.  I definitely want to go back to the Hilton for afternoon tea; it was amazing (especially the blueberry jelly) and not too badly priced either!































      
                           1. Laura's birthday - Superheroes vs. Villains
2. My first attempt at making a big birthday cake (it tasted amazing!)
3. Emily's 21st birthday party - Cops and Robbers
4. Dressing up as a policewoman for the party
5. Enjoying a late lunch with the uni family for Emily's 21st
6. Long walks in the park
7. Afternoon tea at the Hilton with my best friend
8. Scary skeletons for Halloween
9. Early Christmas baking

October has been a great month and I'm looking forward to seeing what November brings.
 I hope you all have a lovely month!


Lauren
xxx

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

White Chocolate Snowflakes


Hello everyone,

With only nine weeks left now until Christmas, it's time to start writing wishlists, buying presents and practicing Christmas baking. I'm so excited for Christmas this year; particularly to see all of my family again and eat a nice, festive roast whilst pulling crackers and giggling at the awful jokes with a classic Christmas film blurring in the background. I'm really hoping it snows this Christmas too! Over the weekend, I decided to do some Christmassy baking as practice for when I take some of the baked goods home for my brothers and sisters to enjoy on Christmas Eve. I chose a simple biscuit recipe (which makes around 8-10 biscuits) and adapted it with a twist of white chocolate. I hope you like it!
                              Ingredients:                                                               What you will need:
                               200g plain flour                                                                                  Scales
                     100g of butter or margarine                                                              Mixing bowl
                               70g caster sugar                                                                        Wooden spoon
                       1 bar of white chocolate                                                                  
                                        1 egg                                                                                                                                                                                                                Preparation:
                                                                                                                                      Set oven to 170C
                                  Icing sugar                                                                           Line two trays with 
                         Silver decorative balls                                                                    baking paper
1. Add margarine, flour and chocolate to the bowl and rub together until a breadcrumb consistency is formed. 
2. Next, bind the egg and caster sugar together into a biscuit dough.
3. Sprinkle flour onto a clean work-surface and roll out the mixture (about 1 cm thick).
4. Using a star shaped cutter, print out the 'snowflakes' and place on a baking tray. Cook for 20 minutes.
5. Once cooked, leave to cool for around 30 minutes. 
6. Sprinkle icing sugar over each biscuit to create a snowy effect.
7. Ice each biscuit using glacĂ© icing (I piped a snowflake on some and completely covered others).
8. Now it's time to be creative and decorate each snowflake however you like!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     These biscuits are really easy and fun to make - me and my boyfriend were getting quite competitive as to who could decorate the better snowflake! To create the snowflake shape, I used the star cookie cutters from the DotComGiftShop which were really simple to use and a bargain at £2.95.The DotComGiftShop is a great place to start buying Christmas presents from as all the gifts on site are cute and unique; there's definitely something for everyone. I'm really pleased with the end result of how these snowflake biscuits turned out; they would make a lovely gift wrapped in cellophane and tied with a cute festive bow for a friend or would be delicious accompanied with a rich hot chocolate served on a big plate for the whole family to enjoy.

Are you excited for Christmas? 

Lauren
xxx