Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Panini Sticker Swap - UPDATED

Image from : http://www.paninionline.com/

I used to love the Panini sticker albums & collecting the sticker albums. So when I saw they had released one for the Royal Wedding I thought it may just be grown up enough for me to pick it up. Unfortunately I am yet to find anyone else who is collecting the stickers & I now have a number of doubles I'd like to swap.

If you are collecting and would be interested in a swap, leave a comment below or get in touch on Twitter (@rhiandaniel).

Doubles:
1, 8, 16, 20, 31, 33, 47, 48, 52, 68, 73, 78, 83, 84, 98, 99, 102, 109, 110, 113, 114, 125, 126, 129, 130, 136, 146, 150, 163, 176, 179, 180, 181, 183, 207, 210, 222, 232, 234, 236

Stickers I need:
2, 4, 5, 14, 17, 22, 35, 43, 46, 55, 65, 71, 72, 74, 76, 77, 79, 93, 96, 100, 103, 104, 115, 116, 119, 120, 131, 133, 134, 141, 154, 155, 156, 162, 165, 166, 168, 171, 173, 174, 175, 177, 193, 194, 195, 196, 201, 202, 203, 204, 212, 214, 218, 221, 224, 225, 226, 233, 235, 237, 238, 240

Updated: 15th May 2011
Going down...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

BRAND NEW Sweetie Cake




My sister turned 25 this week and has been complaining that I haven't made her a birthday cake. She does live in London, which makes it difficult, but she was home this year. So I decided to make her a cake. The biggest cake I have made so far.


A 4 tier sponge cake, covered in buttercream and decorated with sweets! 

Each layer consists of a sponge split in two and filled with either raspberry jam or lemon curd. Each on it's own board for ease of serving. From bottom to top, the cake sizes are: 9", 8", 6", 4".


Each sponge was smothered in vanilla buttercream and decorated, ready to be assembled at the party venue.

Top tier - Sugar paste hearts & Love Hearts with piped buttercream & candy covered chocolate pearls
Sugarpaste Happy Birthday banner


From Top to Bottom, the sweets I used are:
Love Hearts
Candy covered chocolates (similar to smarties)
White Chocolate Jazzies
Dolly Mixtures
Fizzy Astro Belts
Shrimps
Marshmallows


And no birthday is complete without candles - and these were some pretty spectactular ones. Although they did set off the smoke alarm!! :)

I really enjoyed making this cake. It was lovely to try something new & I had a lot of great feedback - yes, I know it was mainly family members, but they can be quite harsh at times.
 
If you would like a sweetie cake of your own, please get in touch. They can be any shape (round, square, heart-shaped, hexagonal) and size, and as many, or as few, tiers as you like. You could even match it up with some sweetie topped fairy cakes. I can use your favourite sweets, match to a colour scheme or theme of your choosing, and can supplement it with sugar paste decorations & banners.

Sharing Secrets & Baking Tips


You may have heard me mention Brew Drinking Thinkings over the last few weeks, this is beacuse I am one of their food writers. I am one of many bloggers contributing to this fab new online magazine. My focus is home cooking and baking, but the website covers so much more. If you haven't already had a look, go and have a read.

I've already published a few cake & baking recipes on the site including:





And will be publishing plenty more. You'll also find weekly baking tips on the main Food & Cooking blog page.

Keep an eye out for a BDT section appearing on this blog soon to stay up to date on all recipes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

M is for .... Moisturise

Yes, that's right. Three posts in 2 days! :) As L is for... had no particular week long challenge I figured I had time (& inclination) to move on to the next one without feeling too bogged down.

This weeks challenge is to Moisturise. I go through phases when I moisturise all the time, and I do notice how much better my skin is....or rather I notice how bad it feels when I haven't been taking care of it. This post does come at quite a good time as I am very close to finishing my moisturiser and need to buy a new one, and new products always make we want to use them more. I'm also a bit guilty of buying cheaper products, rather than spending on quality. So this is a good opportunity to go and buy a decent moisturiser. Any recommendations would be great!



I do tend to moisturise my face once a day, usually before bed. I have been using different day and night moisturiers from Avon. The night one being more of a gel which I do really like and is probably why I moisturise at night more than in the morning.

I moisturise my body after a bath or shower. I was bought a coconut cream for my birthday that smells lovely and is really soft. My hands have gone incredibly dry lately, so I have been mositurising them once or twice a day lately, using whatever handcream I can find as I have different ones in my bag, around the house and at work.

For those following my Finishing School progress, you may remember that on the E is for Eyes challenge I said I would make an effort to put on eye cream. Well, this didn't last as long as I'd have hoped, mainly because I didn't like the eye cream I was using. So I am also going to buy myself a new eye cream and use it every day.

I do wonder though, do I need to buy an eye cream & moisturiser that complement each other? Or does it not matter? Is it better to get different moisturisers for day and night? Feel free to dish out advice!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

L is for .... Ladylike

Slowly catching up with Lottie's Finishing School! This challenge is all about being Ladylike, and luckily it's an 'easy' one. Here's what Lottie said:

All you need to do is think and give a little thought to being ladylike.
  • Think about your own behaviour. Are you ladylike all the time? Do you have a lady like image? If you don’t, what can you change to improve that?
  • Think of a woman from the past or present that you admire. What do you admire about her? Is she ladylike? If so, what makes her ladylike? What is it about her behaviour and look that you like?
Lottie defines being ladylike as:
  • Holding yourself with good posture and confidence.
  • Be well presented - always.
  • Move gracefully.
  • Use pleasant language.
  • Use good manners & have good grace.
I don't consider myself to be particularly ladylike or un-ladylike. Just somewhere a bit in the middle, I guess.

My posture could be better - although being pregnant now I sense it could be a bit unbalanced at the moment. Confidence-wise I am getting better. I spend more time looking up than at the floor and I am definitely much better than I was even just a year ago.

I do make much more of an effort with my appearance since starting the finishing school, and it does make a difference I know I keep going on about it! But tough, this is my blog. ;)  But I also have days when I want to be comfortable. I am struggling a bit at the moment to be well-presented all the time as a lot of my clothes already don't fit, so I'm living in leggings at tunic tops or wrap dresses - and my harem pants that are just so comfortable...but probably not something Princess Diana would have been seen in.

Move gracefully....quick side note, you're going to notice a lot of pregnancy related excuses over the next few months, just so you know..... I wear my Uggs a lot at the moment, and favour flat shoes, which don't help with graceful movement. But with summer round the corner, the Uggs will be taking a back step and I'll do my best to look graceful - with a bump.

I do swear a lot. However, I have already make a promise to myself to cut it down because of Fidget (see, not all pregnancy excuses are to get out of doing stuff!) so I am hoping to do better. I never swear in writing, so there's not really any excuse for speaking it either.

I do like to think I have good manners - except when it comes to writing thank you cards. I am a bit lazy with that. But I always say please and thank you. However, I know that because I am small and feel the need to be over assertive at times this can sometimes come across as aggressive. So I do need to tone down on that a bit.

Ok. Someone I admire.

Kylie Minogue. Because she always comes across well in interviews, she speaks well and is graceful and confident, sexy, successful and always looks amazing. 

17 Weeks

I thought it was time I posted a little pregnancy update. I am now 17 weeks (& 3 days) pregnant. Time has actually gone pretty quickly. It really doesn't feel like it's been 5 weeks since I had my scan, and the half way mark seems to be really close all of a sudden.

But I am SO excited.

Now that it's all sunk in and I've got used to the idea, I can't wait to meet Fidget and see what he or she is going to be like.

I am feeling great at the moment. The tiredness seems to have passed (I was up past 11:30 last night & up at 7am and feeling fine). I am eating really well - 3 good meals a day, plus healthy snacks - and some not so healthly, but I reckon baby needs that too. :) I love my fruit and veg at the moment and drink plenty of water. I have pretty much cut out the caffeine, with the exception of 1 cup of tea or coffee if I don't have any de-caff. Haven't had any alcohol since the end of January. I'm not doing a huge amount of exercise as I'm not entirely sure what I can do, though I do have a pregnancy yoga DVD to try out.

I do have a bump. It varies day by day, but has been a lot more consistent in the last few days, and I am sure I felt a flutter on Saturday. I can't wait until I can feel baby moving.

So, yeah. I'm pretty happy right now. :) Cakes are going really well and I have a new idea I'm looking at, which hopefully I'll be launching in May. We've finally started work on the house and I'm really hoping the bathroom will be finished by Easter. Plus we're making progress sorting out upstairs so we can get into what will be the nursery. We're also turning our spare room into a guest room & study so that I have somewhere to go and write for Brew Drinking Thinkings and stay on top of my cake accounts, and Matthew has somewhere to write too.

Now, time for some homework.... 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

K is for Kit

I am so behind on Lottie's Finishing School...but feel like I have some time to get back on track. So, starting where I left off, here is my response to 'K is for...'

This challenge is all about getting organised so that it's easier to be feminine and fabulous each and every morning. You may remember that back in September last year I (or rather hubby) set up a walk-in wardrobe and dressing table for me to use. Well, it doesn't quite look like that anymore! So it was definitely time to sort it all out. All my make-up, brushes, hair stuff was all thrown into the drawer and I couldn't see what I had let alone find what I wanted to use.

Here is my table before:






Today I have spent some time to empty and go through my make-up drawer so that it now contains my (organised) essentials. Enough to get me going in the morning and ready for bed at night. But with all my other make up and nail varnish stored in a box under my table for when I have time to search for something a bit different for a big night out.

Here is my table now: