Baking a Simnel cake

Simnel cake

Did you all have a good Easter weekend? I spent a few days working but also took a little time to relax and bake. I find that baking helps me to cut off from my busy mind, especially when it’s something new. This time ’round I decided to go with a popular Easter tradition, Simnel cake. I’d never made one before and used this experiment, luckily it turned out very well. Simnel cake is a bit like fruit cake and covered in marzipan (if you don’t like marzipan then you may want to switch it out for icing and an apricot jam centre). I’ll be sure to make it again soon and take you through the steps.

I had a quick browse on Google, took note of various recipes and then pulled the bits I liked from each one and went ahead with making my cake. There are lots of good recipes out there, I like the sound of Jamie’s whisky versionDelia‘s traditional version and this good old ginger one from BBC Good Food.

I altered the various recipes I used by adding cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and soaking the fruit in Vanilla Chai from Chash Tea.

As always, there are no rules. If you don’t like some of the ingredients then simply change them for something you do like. 

What was the last thing you baked?

xx

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Posted in food, Food & Drink, Food & Drink, foodanddrink

Watermelon print clothes

I hope you’re all having a lovely Easter weekend. Today I want to talk to you about watermelons, more specifically, watermelon themed clothes.

I’m not sure if my love of watermelons (or fruit in general) is due to my Persian upbringing or simply because it tastes so good. Watermelons work well for a summer breakfast, a refreshing midday snack and blended with strawberries and basil it becomes a delicious smoothie. I could continue listing different ways to enjoy watermelons, but I think that’s best saved for another post.

Anyway, I think you get it, I really like watermelons. I’ve had many fruit themed necklaces over the years but it seems that 2014 is going to be all about the watermelon. I’m looking forward to incorporating this delicious fruit it into my summer outfits and hope that we get lots of sunshine to go with it.

I’ve put together a few of my favourite watermelon themed clothes. There are lots of t-shirts about but some of them seem a bit tacky. If you shop around there are lots of beautiful prints and bags on offer. I’m keen on getting one of the watermelon bikinis from BHS and the shirt from Delia’s. I’m on a bit of a gym mission at the moment and I think these would be the perfect inspiration. What works better than a cute fruity outfit?

Watermelon-Prints

Bag – Modcloth | Shirt – Delia*s | Bikini - BHS | Swimsuit – BHS

xx

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Posted in Fashion

Birthday thoughts and fresh flowers

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Last weekend I celebrated my 27th birthday. I had a lovely time with friends and family and was pleased to welcome in another fresh chapter in my life.

Age doesn’t mean much to me. Although I’m now well into my late twenties, I don’t feel any different. I’ll carrying on pursuing my dreams and doing the things that make me happy.

I find it very sad when I hear people complaining about their age. Worrying that they’re getting older and having expectations of what they should have achieved by society’s standards. Seriously? Be happy that you’ve managed to reach whatever age you’re hitting. Be happy that you’re healthy, you can travel, work and do pretty much anything you want. You have many years ahead of you.

Some people don’t make it as far as you have, so make the most of you life.

Do you have an issue with age?

xx

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Posted in flowers, thoughts

Silent Night – Lily Flame

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IMG_4321Lily-Flame – Silent Night

I’m going to switch back to Christmas for moment, that’s ok, isn’t it? Good.

First off, all the way back in 2005 (omg) I headed off to uni and my mum packed the Daisy Dip candle into my bag as a goodbye treat. I’ve been a big fan of Lily-Flame ever since because they look pretty, smell wonderful and last for ages. Have you tried Lily-Flame candles? If not, you really must pop into John Lewis and give them a sniff.

Anyway, back to the point of the post. During the Christmas break I picked up this Lily Flame candle in the John Lewis sale. I stopped myself from going straight for a spicy scent and went with this sweet herb candle. I’m probably the only person to describe it as this but I’ll try to explain myself a little better.

At first the scent is very sweet but once lit it has a slight tang to it. I always think of fennel bulbs when I burn it – which I love. The scent isn’t too overpowering but still noticeable when you enter the room.

Lily Flame candles come in tins which I find really handy. They feel much safer and you can easily pop the lid on and store it away, if needed.

xx

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Posted in candle

Tea Tuesday: Licorice Mint – Yogi Tea

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Yogi - Licorice Mint

Back in 2011 I tried licorice and mint tea for the first time (Tea Pigs). I almost didn’t try the tea as I felt sure that there was no way it would taste good. The first sip was insane, seriously. I’d never tasted anything quite like it and immediately fell in love. I’m generally not a fan of licorice but when it’s blended with mint something magical happens.

The tea I’ve just finished up is Licorice Mint from Yogi. This stuff is delicious. It’s a sweet tea with a warm spicy kick to it. Aside from the obvious it contains peppermint, cinnamon and ginger (my favourites) which are all good for digestion.

Each teabag is individually packed within the box. I found this really handy for throwing in my bag when I’m off to work.

Have you tried tea from Yogi before?

xx

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Posted in Tea, Tea, tea review

Ankle boots for the changing weather

I’m in a bit of a fashion rut. It usually happens around this time of the year, probably because of the constant changes in weather, you just don’t know where you stand. Another factor at the moment is my gym routine. My sessions dropped from 5 to 1 through February and March. Over the last week and a half I’ve started getting back into the swing of things but it’s going to take a month or two to start feeling healthy again. Once I’m back on track I’m going to look into switching my style up a bit.

In an effort to avoid buying clothes for a while I’ve ditched my brogues for ankle boots to give my outfits a new kick of life. I’ve been living in these little black boots lately. They go with most of my clothes, are pretty solid and very comfortable. I usually find that the heels on boots tend to need replacing immediately as I do so much walking. So far, these booties seem to be holding up well.

The boots came from House of Fraser in Norwich. They were in the Kurt Geiger section and classed as KG Girl. Is that a thing? I’m not sure that it is. They didn’t come in a box and there are no markings on the boots which is a little odd. What I can tell you is that the Norwich House of Fraser still has them in stock and they’re around £55 and very comfortable.

Yes, my boots are a little muddy, that’s life here in Norfolk.

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As I was writing this post I decided to see what other ankle boots are on offer at the mo. This was a bad idea. I’ve now got my eye on quite a few and I can’t decide which I like best. It would be nice to have a few boots to alternate between and help with mixing up my outfits. I’ve pulled together four boots which I think would go well with a dress, skirt or even jeans.

ankle boots

Even & Odd – Cowboy/Biker boot |Steve Madden – Raffa | Bronx boots | Kurt Geiger – Super

Which do you like best?

xx

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Posted in shoes

Fresh Hairstyle – The Egg – Norwich

On Friday I decided it was time to get my hair cut. Not only had it been about 8 months since I last set foot in a salon, but with a new chapter on the horizon it was perfect timing. A fresh style, tidy up or even a blow-dry can make a huge difference to how you look and feel.

I called a few places in Norwich (I like to book on the day I go) and ended up going to The Egg. I’d heard a lot of good things about it since moving to Norwich and felt pretty confident. Andrea listened to me babble on about the reasons why I normally go for a full fringe, why I didn’t think I’d go for one this time and then quickly flip through a few photos on Pinterest. She snipped away all the dead hair, added in a few layers and dried it to perfection.

I was delighted with the results and snapped a quick photo. I then did what any good blogger would, smacked some Instagram filters on top and shared them with the world.

Hair 2

Hair 1

I’ve already booked my next appointment for May and hope to get into the routine of keeping my hair in a healthy condition.

Do you get you hair cut on a regular basis?

xx

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Posted in haircare, Norwich

Life Update – A New Chapter – April

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April is fast approaching and with it comes the beautiful pastels of Easter and many birthday celebrations, including my own. This year April is going to represent a new and very exciting chapter in my life and I can’t wait to share my journey with you.

With the upcoming changes and challenges I plan to take my blog back to being the personal lifestyle blog it once was. When I moved to Norwich I started to retreat back into the shell I’d once lost. I shared less on the blog, left my camera on its shelf instead of ’round my neck and felt quite alone starting out in another new city.

I spent my free time trying to learn as much as I could towards my new career. I put extra effort into making new friends and dashed back homehome at any given chance. I took my blog down a new route and dived into frequent product and food reviews. This took front stage and my personal life and became, well, personal. Why? I didn’t want colleagues knowing too much about my day to day routine and my long term plans.

Things are quickly moving on and I’m just about ready to share my plans, spend more time with my camera and let you all back into my life. It’s something I’ve really missed doing.

There are many other things I’m looking forward to with the arrival of April. I’m in the process of a slight career shift, taking more time to work on personal projects and I’m hopeful of better weather. I have a trip up North (first time in 3 years), some time to visit London and I’m pleased to say that I’ve finally got back into a gym routine. During March my usual five sessions fell to one and I’m paying for it.

What are you looking forward to in the month of April?

xx

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Posted in career, life, Photography

Burt’s Bees Almond & Milk hand cream

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Hello! I have a quick little beauty post for you today. I just finished up using Burt’s Bees Almond & Milk hand cream and I am gutted. This stuff is amazing and I can’t wait to be paid so I can treat my hands to a full sized pot (mine was part of a gift set).

If you suffer from dry skin then you really must try this. The consistency is very thick which makes it ideal to use at night. I was applying the cream just before I went to sleep and allowing it lots of time to work its magic. It would then be chucked into my handbag and applied to my hand after washing. Although this cream is very rich, it absorbed into my hands with ease.

The cream is made with sweet almond oil which helps to moisturise dry skin and smells lovely. If you’re one for strong scents then you should probably sample this before you buy a full size. I really liked the scent and found it quite relaxing.

Another thing that I’ve found since using the Almond & Milk cream is that my nails look and feel in much better condition than before. This is sure to have something to do with the cream and also my proactive steps towards drinking more water.

Will I be purchasing this again? As I mentioned before, as soon as I’m paid I’ll be sure to grab another pot of this hand cream.

Have you used this hand cream before?

xx

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Posted in beauty, hand cream

There’s a feast on the street will you come?

Feast on the Street will be happening next Thursday - 27th March and all you Norwich folk should stop by.

For those of you who haven’t heard, Feast on the Street is the brainchild of Mr. T’s CateringNom Catering and Hushwing Cafe. They wanted to share the street food revolution with Norwich and  you can find them just outside The Forum every month with a bunch of other street food friends.

The first thing you will notice at Feast on the Street is that everyone is happy to chat. Each food trader is passionate about their food, their story and sharing it with others.

Gadgetoid and I managed to make it at lunch and dinner time, greedy little sods.

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First up was The Proper Pizza Company. These were the guys who told me all about Feast on the Street and were kind enough to bring along a little Buffalo mozzarella to make sure I could have a slice. To me, street food is all about sharing and trying as much as you can. Gadgetoid, Tripleox and Tipp all had a slice of the simple but delicious pizza.

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Before heading back to work, Gadgetoid grabbed a duck wrap from The Duck Truck. This was shared, for blog reasons of course. For £5 you get a big wrap filled with duck. There was plenty to share but I can’t wait to get one all to myself next time.

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After the working day was done we went straight back to the food trucks. e8 Food Company was the fist stall I spied as I walked towards the The Forum. I took this as a sign and quickly ordered  a Spicy Fish Dog. This came in a wrap filled with a zesty crunchy salad. It’s basically a hot dog made of fresh local fish. So so tasty.

Before we go on I should point out that Gadgetoid and I were still sharing…we needed to make sure we had room for as much food as possible.

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After  fighting over the last bites of the Spicy Fish Dog we trotted ’round to Tatty Bojangles. The world’s best mexican chilli? Yeah, these guys really know what they’re doing. The chilli is served on a bed of rice and just look at it, it’s beautiful. We asked to have it extra hot.. but it still could have been a little spicier.

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The two friendly faces at Mr. T’s Catering made a good excuse to grab a venison burger. As the burger was being made we chatted about social media and all things Norfolk. The first bite of the burger was succulent and the parsnip and chilli chutney gave it a spicy little kick.

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There was no way we were leaving without a coffee and a box of cupcakes. We headed ’round to Hushwing Cafe for a chat and a flat white before making our last stop at Cupcake & Co.

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We decided on a lemon brownie (my favourite), coconut brownie, avocado cupcake and banana cupcake from Cupcake & Co. We are looking forward to stocking up on the lemon brownies and trying some others.

Armed with a box of delicious cupcakes and coffee we made our way home, more than satisfied with what turned out to be a pretty good evening meal. We tired almost everything and it cost less than a trip to a restaurant!

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The downside to Feast on the Street? Waiting a whole month for the feast to begin all over again, but luckily there’s only a week to go now. The next Feast in the Street will be held on Thursday 27th March (12-8).

I’m hoping to see Flippin Pattys , The Waffle Works, Fruit Pops and Nom Catering next Thursday.

Does anything like this go on in your local town?

Oh, Cambridge kids might be interested in Eat Cambridge.

xx

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Posted in Food & Drink, Food & Drink, Norwich, Uncategorized
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Hi, I'm Daisy and this is my little space on the internet. This is the place I record the different chapters of my life. It's where I write about business, beauty and baking. I can also be found sharing photos of my daily outfits, the food I eat and the treasures I find.

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