Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Homemade Goodness // Easy Peasy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft. Chocolate chip. Cookies. Enough said, right? This right here is the quickest yet most valuable recipe post you may read all day. Pin it, print it out and stick it to your fridge, memorise it's content and repeat it daily as your spiritual mantra... This dang cookie recipe is the stuff and let me tell you- incredibly easy to make and even easier to devour!

As you all know, I enjoy a good stroll through the pages of Pinterest and upon a recent indulgence I found several sweet treat recipes to try out, in search of the most adaptable and satisfying of biscuits, something good enough to eat before it even hits the oven... The soft cookie! I took upon myself the hardship of testing out these recipes, the things I do for you dearest of readers... and eventually created from my findings this most basic yet scrumptious plan:


- 120g butter (melted for 30-40 seconds in the microwave)
- 100g white caster sugar
- 42.5g light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 210g plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 130g chocolate (chopped into rough chunks), I used 2 thirds milk chocolate and 1 third white!

The yum bit

- Mix into a bowl both sugars and the soft/ melted butter until smooth.
- Add to this the egg and the vanilla and combine together.
- Next it's time to add in the flour, salt and bicarb stirring this together until you reach a dough.
- Using clean hands (duh), throw in your chocolate chunks and squeeze the mixture together into a large ball.
- Get the oven warmed up and ready to go at a temperature of 175 degrees and while you're at it line a tray with baking paper.
- Whilst eating a substantial amount of the cookie dough divide this ball into two then make six smaller balls from each half making 12 satisfyingly sized cookies once done. There are no rules here friends, you can make 6 whopping great big ones or more dinky sized treats if that's what you're feeling.
- Pop your tray of evenly spaced cookie dough balls (or whats left of the mixture), into the oven for 9-11 minutes but not one second more. Have trust in the cookie gods and despite the dough seeming not quite done, whack them out and leave them to cool (treating yourself to a gooey one as the rest do their thing).
- Pour yourself a glass of milk/ hot chocolate/ cookie munching beverage of choice and proceed to scoff the lot!

As I mentioned, this is a super simple recipe with huge potential to get creative adding exciting flavour combinations such as sea salt and caramel chunks, try chopping up a Terry's chocolate orange or add hazelnuts for some crunch! The options are plentiful but please be warned, if you as much as think of putting a raisin anywhere near your cookie dough we can no longer be friends. I'm kidding of course. I'm really not. But mostly, have fun baking them and enjoy yourself a little pick me up as the days get shorter and the frost creeps ever closer!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Review: The Handmade Fair, Hampton Court Palace 2016

There are bustling Sunday markets, indulgent foodie fairs and rocking summer festivals; add to the lively atmospheric elements of these exciting events a hearty dose of creative energy and you have The Handmade Fair, presented by the DIY queen herself Kirsty Allsopp. This yearly feast of all things crafty is held in the wondrous grounds of Hampton Court Palace, impossible to miss with it's bunting held high and buzzing hive of fellow makers uniting.

This was my first year attending the event and boy was I not disappointed. Albeit a rocky start to the day arriving upon London with a wake of destruction in our path, it was the day of the unfortunate train accident leaving the entire transport network in chaos for the whole weekend, ALSO making us miss our very first (and highly anticipated) workshop... This did not discourage our excitement though, as we commiserated the loss of our tote printing session by partaking in several of the ridiculously scrumptious food vans (hello deliciously rich coffee and pastries!)

The Handmade Fair boasts shopping galore with two 'villages' jam packed with small businesses exhibiting all manner of handmade delights ranging from beautifully scented candles to vintage clothing to devilishly good brownies (chocolate and peanut butter, with peanut brittle...) to dressmaking patterns to embroidered cushion kits, there was so much to see and take in (and buy!). If you are lucky you may even spot a familiar face or two amongst the sellers, I had several fan girl moments when meeting and sharing a giggle with so many creative people, the work of whom I have admired and continue to be inspired by, such as the super friendly Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons who so kindly signed her book for me,  the gorgeously charming Genevieve from Floss and Mischief, Hannah Bass who chatted to us about her stunning cushions, Kirsty Gadd displaying some textiles goodness, and the bright and sparkly Zeena of Heart Zeena fame. There were heaps of new companies and makers I had the pleasure of talking to and can't wait to follow their progress and see what they create and produce next!

Of course, what would a handmade fair be without a little DIY action? Throughout the day there were continuous workshops available to sign up to (ahead of time or on the day), including a class that we found fascinating- wire flower making, something neither my mum or I had ever tried before, hilarity and naughty school children giggles sang from our corner of the tent but resulted in some seriously epic flower pins and a want / need to run off and start creating things immediately!

There were also talks throughout the day in the Super Theatre, we signed up in advance to the talk with Kirsty Allsopp and Patrick Grant and boy am I glad we did as it was the quickest sold out feature of the weekend, I wonder why... We enjoyed hearing about Patrick's background and his unusual route to tailoring, he offered some great advice to young sewers and was inspiring in his humility and proves that if you have enough gumption and drive that you can achieve all kinds of goals and Kirsty was, of course, her usual witty, stylish self!

All in all it was a fantastic day, inspiring, fun and yes a little tiring after running about like a hyperactive child on Christmas morning (sorry mum), but I can't recommend treating yourself to a ticket enough and will be first in line to attend next year! My top tips for making the most of your visit would be to avoid booking the first workshop of the day (just in case) // travel light but do take a roll up tote bag or two for all your goodies // get involved in the spontaneous free workshops scattered about the grounds but sign up early to avoid full classes // wear comfy shoes but do feel free to spice up the rest of your outfit, you are among fellow eccentrics so go bonkers if you please! // Check the weather before you go, this is still England and we were super grateful of our brolly but even more so of the free plastic, log flume ponchos they were handing out. I styled the crap out of mine with frizzy drizzle hair and a shit tonne of sass // but mostly, soak up the atmosphere and ENJOY!

Keep your eyes peeled for a follow up post containing the goodies I scored on the day and for more info on my favourite exhibitors at the event!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Make Me Blush // Colour Study {nude pink}

What is it about a dusky, blush, rose, light yet muted pink that makes such a stunning visual? Just the right tone, displayed in just the right light and I can almost inhale it's deep, feminine hue. It is such a flattering colour on the skin, lifting tired tones and warming up all manner of faces, it sits gorgeously as an interior and compliments many a companion shade or stands out fabulously against a contrast. Today's brisk post honours that sophisticated, sugary nude and invites you to take a moment from your day to lose yourself in a pretty array of blushing shadow!

Luxurious, soft, neutral; such a stunning shade. Wishing you an incredibly happy and colourful week, my lovelies! All photo's found here.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Kiss Me Hard Before You Go // How To Hold On To Summer

I'm writing this week's post whilst gazing out of my window at that delicious, end of summer evening haze, a whispering breeze rushing through the very tops of the trees, not a cloud to be found yet evening's warm hue just beginning to stretch across the sky. I must firstly state for the record- I flipping love autumn, but if you're like me and are not quite ready to give up these dreamy, warm evenings, slouching around in flip flops and eating ice lollys with wild abandon, then perhaps these handy tips will help you squeeze those last few drops of summers spirit before the sudden on slew of Instagrammed pumpkin spiced lattes and the return of our long lost friend, the humble 100 deniers.

  • Create a summer playlist! Whether it's an old school mixed cd of favourite warm weather tracks for your final summer fling road trip or a current Spotify track listing used to signify and ring in the final chance to BBQ and shindig in the great outdoors (without multiple layers, that is!)

  • Get colourful! Prep and pamper those tootsies with a lick of bold, brilliant nail polish or opt for a fruity pastel tone, to truly hold on to those beachy vibes a little longer.

  • Stretch your legs! Head outside while the weather is still to be enjoyed and soak up the last of that glorious evening sun, watch the sky change colour and soak up the atmosphere whilst getting a little exercise.

  • Treasure hunt! Seek out fun events and happenings such as end of season festivals, craft fairs and car boot sales and share in the festivities with your neighbours and friends, hey maybe you pick up a special piece of antique furniture or find some vintage gems!

  • Sealed with a kiss! Everyone loves receiving post so why not send some love to your peeps by writing a postcard? I tend to have a stash of cards and stamps ready to whip out for special occasions or simply just to let friends and family know I'm thinking of them. Post cards seem to have that vacation feel to them, which makes the experience of writing, sending and receiving them all the more pleasant.

  • Pool side literature! Holidays are a great time to reach for a novel, as you tend to have plentiful relaxing time whilst working on your freckles, but expand on that vacay feel and get reading some adventure/ travel inspired books from the comfort of home. In fact, why not up this experience a notch and take your reading out to the garden, with a glass of something... Bringing me nicely to my next tip:

  • Happy Hour! Three words for you, chaps- Home. Made. Cocktails. That's right, dust off the smoothie maker, chop up some fruit and get shaking that crushed ice, because it's not summer without a tiny umbrella in your glass! There are so many recipes and combinations to try that there's no excuse not to treat yourself a wee bit. 

  • Spring summer clean! The perfect excuse to sort through your wardrobe, the dreaded task you know you've been putting off. Commit to a bit of domesticated cleanliness while you can open the windows wide. Get the radio on and donate all of those unworn, unwanted items, make a pile of pieces that need repairs or alterations and revel in all of that lovely space (ready to be stocked with those new autumn boots you've had your eye on!!)

  • Adventure is out there! This one isn't strictly a summer task, then again most of these can be adaptable year round, but you can't beat having a little sun on your side for exploring your surroundings, true non?! Head out on foot and take in the sights (you see so much more whilst strolling), hop on a bus or head out on the open road, but take that mini trip you've been planning. Now is the time! Explore a nearby city or village, take the train to a beach you've never before visited or simply turn left rather than right and see where you end up, what quirky coffee shop you discover or beautiful stretch of meadows that were there all along yet you never even knew!

I wish you all a glorious transition from summer to autumn! However scary it is when recognising how quickly time turns, it still fascinates me how we adapt and move between seasons. As the nights grow darker faster and the leaves turn a warmer shade, let's make a point of stopping to appreciate the right now.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Bitchin Stitchin // Embroidered Everyday Fashion

// image //

If ever there was a diverse style, easily interchangeable between genres and trends, embroidered embellishment would be it. From basic wardrobe day to day staples to high end couture, add an appliqué scattering of vintage flowers, a dash of iridescent beading or a kitschy hand stitched phrase and your look is instantly personal, seasonally adaptable and opens your wardrobe up to a newer, fresher level of customising options.

There are so many areas of embroidered fashion that I could go on and on discussing and drooling over, but for today's post I'm focusing on the daily pieces that can be easily woven into any standard outfit, purchased straight off the high street or even created at home with a little DIY know how.

Whether it is a retro 70's denim skirt, complete with floral patches bought on the high street, hand customised jacket giving pearl luxe realness or a absolute work of art depicting an entire jungle scene on your butt- denim seems to be a go to base for a folk inspired feel.

Take it up a notch for an evening look, working on darker backgrounds and more sumptuous fabrics such as velvet and silk and add a touch of sparkle to really amp up the boho starlet vibe.

// Bombs Away // Nuevo Folk //

// Beaded Boho // Pucci Luxe //

Show some pet love and adorn your favourite blouse with an insanely accurate portrait of your kitten, pooch or any other cute as pie image you can think of!

Speaking your mind can sometimes land you in heated water, why not let your collar do all the talking by picking up a needle and thread and hand stitch a love note/ warning for all to see. This would make a super speedy DIY project for those nimble fingered ninjas!

// Spell It Out //

Fully embrace the embroidery and work it into your wardrobe from head to toe. This stunning blouse by Vivetta, (and the entire collection shown in Milan), is an outstanding example of how to combine many inspiring elements into one delicate yet show stopping piece. Another way of working hand stitching is to release your inner country lass and depict meadows and bumble bees a plenty, with a beautiful bodice such as this, or stomp it out in a pair of designer Keds (easily re created with a cheap pair of bumpers and some coloured floss!).

So there you have it, a fine and diverse selection of everyday items that embrace the embroidery in subtle and stand out ways, depending on your mood. I will be keeping an eye out for those silk bomber jackets with delicate floral stitching and can't wait to try out a collar DIY and perhaps even pimp up an old denim jacket! Let me know if you've jumped on this trend or if you've always been a fan, if you have any tips or tricks on how to get this look on a budget or any customising ideas to try out! Keep your eyes peeled for my second post on this bitchin stitchin, but next time round we go large!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Five Foot Nothin' // Few Facts About Me

Good evening gorgeous creatures, I hope you're having a great week. Has anyone else cracked out the 100 deniers again already? Brrrrr, bit chilly here in the Netherlands, and for August too...(#WinterIsComing!)

For today's post I'm taking things back to basics, yes more basic than usual, and decided to share a few facts and things about little, old me (those are two facts already; little and old)! Apologies if this is boring, repetitive or narcissistic but hey, when in doubt share your flaws, am I right?! Jumping on in:

  • Let's start easy, I'm a Pisces, for me that mostly means I have my head in the clouds 90% of the time, am way too emotional, enjoy being creative and am happy in my own company/ thoughts.

  •  I currently live in the Netherlands after moving here just over two years ago, to live with my Dutch boyfriend. I could fill an entire book with what I've learnt about myself during this time but for now I'll offer the highlights- it's a super confusing mixed bag of emotions living away from your family and friends, learning a new language, starting fresh with work and forging a path on this crazy adventure, but it has offered so many epic opportunities and I can't help but feel a wee bit proud of myself for keeping my shiz together(ish)!

  •  I LOVE to design and make things. I specialised in textiles, fabric manipulation and costume for the screen and stage at university and have had a crazy variety of jobs within this area, all of which were challenging yet incredibly fascinating and I long to find something that suits my current situation, once again in some creative field. Right now I'm learning this guttural language, working in retail (which helps said language fabulously) and am designing and making things to my hearts content in my little studio at home.

Crochet blanket I made my good friend Jenny, for her sewing studio.

Most recent make for myself, a navy, pleated skirt.

  •  I'm scared of bugs. Like, pretty much every type of insect. But especially anything with wings, that is furry or anything that moves actually. I respect those little blighters and am genuinely sad about our current bee situation, but let's be polite and keep a nice safe distance, eh?!!

Since I'm prone to waffling (see above) I'm going to bring this post to a close with a quick burst round of things that I love (which took some editing since apparently I love everything) and a few of my dislikes.


  •  Road trips with journey specific playlists and a wide variety of car sweets. Rich and I do this as often as we can.
  •  Bookshops and libraries... no explanation necessary, right?
  •  Phone calls home. Even better; visiting my family!
  •  Anything sweet. Be it homemade carrot cake cupcakes or from the emergency-late-night-chocolate-run. I want it. I need it.
  •  Laughing at all the hilarious Dutch words. There are so many, but a few favourites are winkelwagon = shopping trolly, pindakaas = peanut butter (direct translation is peanut cheese!), snoepjes = sweeties, handschoenen = gloves (direct translation is hand shoes!), magnetron = microwave (transformers, am I right?!).
  •  Testing out new handwriting. Not sure if this makes me a psychopath but my handwriting changes with the weather.
  •  Second hand shops. I don't tend to buy lots, more revel in the history and stories that could be attached to all the old items. On the subject of history, I love historical documentaries, period dramas, museums, fiction, love love love it.
  •  Writing letters to friends (and of course receiving letters!!). Makes good use of my hoarded stationary and is a sweet reminder to your loved ones that you're thinking of them.
  •  Ice cream.
  •  Superheroes. Comic books, cartoons, movies, make up tutorials on youtube... Loves me some superheroes.
  • Which leads nicely to my all encompassing movie/ tv habit- a vast problem since my teenage years. Way too many things to name here so I'll just mention that I recently binge watched Stranger Things (OHHHH EMMMM GEEEEE!), I'm savouring the last season of Gilmore Girls leading up to the new seasons release in November, I loved the documentary about the Met Gala 'The First Monday In May' and have been laughing my butt off to season 4 New Girl this week (whilst shortening our living room curtains and crocheting a baby blanket).
  •  Yoga. Specifically with Adriene! My indoor sport of choice. Cycling round the meadows surrounding my village being my chosen outdoor sport.
  •  Fleetwood Mac.


  •  Rudeness, which can sometimes be a problem here in the Netherlands as people are much more direct and blunt. No delicacy here folks. Butttt once understood as a generally inoffensive part of the culture it helps you thicken your skin and opens communication up to a whole new level!
  •  Confrontation. Not a fan. I like my drama in the form of books or trashy tv.
  •  Gossiping. Yes, we're all guilty of it from time to time but there really is a time and a place and that is usually once you're home behind closed doors where it can do no harm. I don't like work place gossips. Go ahead and speak your mind, but do leave me out of it.
  •  Hatred. On any level. Life is too short to hold a grudge for petty things or to send bad vibes out into the world. Just appreciate what you have and enjoy all those wonderful small moments that make up our crazy, disjointed, mish mash lives!

Let's keep the sharing going, this is a safe place so any embarrassing stories, confessions or generally interesting facts about yourselves, do tell! If you have any links to your latest posts or any similar blog posts you may have done about your lives, then please feel free to leave the info below. Otherwise, I wish you a grand old week and hope to bump into you chaps soon!