Friday, 29 November 2013

Winter Wonderland Cupcakes

Festive wishes are being sent your way, my angelic blog readers;

As I am (even if I do say so myself) quite the baker, I have been doing a spot of Christmas Baking!

Today's mission: Winter Wonderland Themed Cupcakes

In the oven...

And the decorating (Oh Yes!)
I'm always curious as to how the icing sugar ends up on the other side of 
the kitchen and the sprinkles end up all over the floor?

The masterpiece creation...
(I gave you two, because I'm just that nice)

Let it snow and get baking,
Love Dani xxx

Nigella's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups

Hello, my little festive munchkins;

Its been a while since I last posted, I know! But, I've been in hospital for an operation and the wi-fi connection was rubbish (ughhh!). Finally I'm at home after two and a half weeks and I now can enjoy the luxuries of wi-fi, duvets on beds and properly cooked meals!

Its my first day back and I've been feeling slightly left out of all the hoo-hah before Christmas - you know, the lights, the excitement. So, I decided to bake (as you do...)

My mom has Nigella's 'Nigella Christmas' book and her Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups are a firm favourite. My mom made them one year and they were just so good! We've made them every year since and they've always been amazing!

Its really just a homemade version of 'Reeses' Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups

Normally we put them into those adorable mini paper cases but this year I wanted to do something different - rebel!

Soooo... I did the exact same recipe but in a small baking tray, let it cool and cut it up into squares - like millionaire shortbreads without the caramel... kind of...


You will need:

200g peanut butter (obviously...)
200g icing sugar
50g butter
50g dark soft brown suger (so good!)
100g dark chocolate (yummy!)
200g milk chocolate

First, I mixed all the ingredients together except the two chocolates. You should probably use a blender instead of your hands; its messy business. And, obviously I am clever so I didn't use my hands (I did).

Then I spread the mix into a baking tray - evenly. I do so hope you like my photography, edited and all.

Next I melted the chocolates together in a plastic bowl over boiling water in a pot. I should probably have done it on the hob to make it melt quicker but I just boiled the kettle (lazy...)

And stir...

And I spread the chocolaty goodness onto the base...

Another picture because I'm treating you...

Then I decorated it with gold and silver edible balls but you could just leave it plain (maybe if you didn't want to do it for Christmas) or use any old decorations lying around the house. Ooh, this could be a good time to get rid of those Halloween sweets from two years ago...

And because of the amateur photographer in me, some close up shots:

I then sliced it up into mini squares - because it can be so sweet it's sickening, ready to savour (or in my case, gobble)!

Enjoy, Bake, Eat,
Love you lots,
Dani xxx

Saturday, 9 November 2013

My Little Mister...

This is my beautiful lop-eared bunny, Domino. He is the family pet and a very naughty boy who loves to eat toilet paper, poo and cardboard. He loves playing with people and nipping them with his teeth. He loves to be scratched behind his ears and stroked on his tummy! He is getting very big now and is nearly 1 year old (human years)! 

I love him to pieces and sometimes make up conversations in which he replies...

Love Dani x

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Minimalistic Vintage Christmas Gift Tags

I love crafting and little cute homemade goodies! I just get all hyped up when I see a little homemade boutique stall or some beautiful homemade gifts! I get very dreamy... 

So, fittingly, I have homemade my Christmas cards, tags and gifts (which you can see on my other post).

This year I thought I would make my tags with a vintage feel but still quite modern so...

I found the tags very, very, very easy to make so for all you guys who think crafting is soooooo hard, and I quote: 'ugh, crafting makes my legs feel like sloppy, un-set jelly', (my actually very talented friend), I have created this set of instructions on how to make some Christmassy/ Modern/ Vintage/ Minimalistic/ Type-writer (which ever takes your fancy) Gift Tags...

Cut out a gift tag shape from hard card.

I normally make a few tags at once so I draw a faint line with a ruler across the page, about 10-15 cm down (depending on how big you want the tags). Then I draw another faint line with a ruler about 1-2 cm down. Next I draw two faint diagonal lines to cut of the corners of each of my newly drawn 1-2 cm rectangles. This should, depending on how good my instructions are (good I hope although it's my first time so be nice...), leave you with Gift Tag shapes. You now just need to cut each rectangle-y-trapezium shape out and rub out all the faint lines. Simple!

Find a nice font you like and write occasion appropriate words/phrases onto paper. Cut out.

I found a really good font on Dafont which I downloaded and used to type little Christmassy words or phrases. The font is 'Travelling Typewriter'. I then printed the words out and cut them into rectangles. 

Other words I used but you cant see on this post are:

- let it snow
- merry christmas
- ho ho ho
- 'tis the season
- joy to the world
- merry and bright
- deck the halls
- with love, xxx
- all is calm, all is bright

Next 'ink' the edges of the paper in any colour of your choice.

I 'inked' the edges of the paper using food colouring but I'm sure there are probably loads of crafting experts sitting right now with their 'Card Ink' and stamps or 'Special Absorb-able Ink, Use For Paper Only' (I, unfortunately, am only amateur). Also I used red but I think green, brown or blue/purple would be great colours too.  

Glue the paper onto the card.

Hole punch a hole into the top centre of the Gift Tag.

...and this is what I came up with (ps. it's a really bad quality photo but it says 'love santa x', 'peace + love' and 'a bit of sparkle')...

And a Merry Christmas to you too xxx

Monday, 4 November 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


Finally! Outside was covered in frost today and it was absolutely freezing! I actually think my legs have frost bite! But its just so cold so I don't know if its that good ?!... Although it does get you in the Christmas spirit (only 50 sleeps left!) - yay!

I had my felt winter coat with sheepskin on the inside and my teal felt gloves and my grey felt scarf (snuggly!)

Dani x

Sunday, 3 November 2013

DIY Christmas Gift Hampers

T'was the month before Christmas,
And all through the room,
Dani was crafting,
Because it's gift-giving time soon!

It's about one month before Christmas and I wanted to get my gifts sorted to avoid the stress of doing it last minute. So, I sat down and realised I had loads of really good friends and not-so-good-friends-but-really-important-people to give gifts to. Being on a budget and trying to save a few extra pennies, I started panicking because I could just imagine the number at the end of all those receipts!

But with a bit of keeping calm and some TLC some flowing creative juices, I decided to DIY my own hamper-style gifts for everyone using not-too-expensive items and some basic essential decorations that pretty much anyone has in their home.Today I made my first two and I'm planning to make lots more when I have more time. 


I made this hamper using a small white lantern, some berry scented tea-lights, a red and green tartan print tea towel, (all from IKEA) some thin red ribbon and some thin rope (which I already had at home).

I tied the red ribbon around the candles (parcel style) to keep them together.

I put the tea lights into the lantern and folded the tea towel up and tied everything together with the thin rope.

In the end, this is what I came up with...


In this hamper I used a wine, two red tinted wine glasses, a cork opener and a jingly-bell-heart-shaped hanging decoration. 

I had an old gold shoebox lying around at home which wasn't really ever going to be used and I thought the colour matched the sparkly feel of the gift so I used it. I only used the box (not the lid). I filled it with straw shredded bits and stood the bottle and glasses up in it and put the cork opener in and the heart decoration hanging from the bottle. I wrapped everything up with cellophane and tied it with a thin rope. 

This was the final masterpiece...

Hope you guys like it! xxx

ps. future gift hamper ideas in the making are:

hot chocolate hamper (mini marshmallows, hot chocolate, a cute mug, fluffy sleep socks, a good read).

gardening hamper (a lovely plant in a pot, designer gardening gloves, a trowel/fork).

breakfast/coffee hamper (quality coffee, quality biscuits, a cute mug, a good read, a flavoured drinks syrup).

movie hamper (microwave popcorn, sweets, chocolates, a fluffy blanket, a bottle of wine/soda).

Dani x