I just thought I would write a quick update to let you now that I have started using my Instagram account again for Baking and Bobby Pins. I feel that it is a brilliant platform to share blog posts and discover other bloggers. I’ll also be posting about what I’m up to day to day and lots of coffee/tea/cake photos- sorry in advance!
Please share your Instagram accounts in the comments below and if you’d like please feel free to give me a follow @bakingandbobbypins.
Since becoming engaged my evenings have been filled with endless flicking through various bridal magazines after stock piling them- because when else can you buy them?- and pinning centrepiece ideas and flower arches onto my many Pinterest boards. I have loved wedding planning so far, and everyone I speak to seems to be amazed by how much I’ve gotten done in such a short space of time.
We have booked our wedding for May next year, there is no reason to have it so soon, we just found the perfect venue with our perfect date free for next year. So we decided to grab it while we could.
We are getting married at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh. As soon as we drove up the drive to the venue I instantly knew this was the place I wanted us to say ‘I do’. The house is gorgeous, full of history, and has lovely quirky interiors which really made it stand out to me. The grounds surrounding the house make you quickly forget you’re right in the city centre. To the left of the main house are the stables, where we will be having our dinner and reception for our wedding. For me, this is the best part of the venue, as you get a stunning view of Arthurs Seat, my favourite part of Edinburgh.
If you want to have a nosey at our wedding venue you can check it out here.
After we booked and secured out wedding date, the fun began! So far we have organised our flowers, entertainment (a ceilidh is a total must for a Scottish wedding!), favours, photography, and cake (one of the most important parts to me!).
The cake tasting has to be one of my favourite parts so far. It was just such a lovely day for Dino and I to spend together. We went to Mimi’s Bakehouse on the Shore in Edinburgh for our tasting and decided to order our cake from here as well. Our coordinator , Fran, was extremely helpful and friendly and made the process so easy. They have over 10 flavours to chose from so they definitely stood out for me. I couldn’t recommend Mimi’s enough if you are looking for your wedding cake, or just looking for a nice place for lunch or afternoon tea.
I’ll definitely be keeping you all up to date with our wedding planning process as we go on. Only 7 months to go!!
I got a little creative yesterday in the kitchen after splurging on all things Cadbury and Easter related! I love making tray bakes, and so I thought I would put an Easter twist on the classic Millionaire Shortbread.
Easter chocolates- I used Cream Eggs and Mini Eggs (my favourite!)
1/2 bar salted butter
126g shortbread biscuits (You could also choose to make your own shortbread if you like for the base)
300g milk chocolate
100g white chocolate
1 tin condensed milk
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
Using either a food processor, or a good old rolling pin and plastic bag, break up the shortbread until there are no large chunks.
Melt the butter and mix into the crushed shortbread until well combined, and placed into the baking tray and flatten with a spoon.
To make the caramel, pour the condensed milk and brown sugar into a pot over heat, and stir with a wooden spoon constantly until thickened. Pour the caramel over the shortbread and smooth out.
Allow caramel to cool and set before adding the chocolate.
Melt the milk and white chocolate (I use a microwave, however you can use a bowl over boiling water), and pour over the caramel layer.
Next up is the fun part! Before the chocolate is set, drop a couple of hand fulls of Mini Eggs over the chocolate, followed by a few cut up Cream Eggs. Decorate this part however you like!
Praia da Rocha, AKA ‘The beach of rocks’, is a popular, yet peaceful, holiday resort just south of the town of Portimão, on the Algarve. I travelled here for a mini break in October with my family, for some last minute sun before the Winter set in.
We stayed at the Hotel da Rocha. A 4 star hotel overlooking the beach front. I couldn’t recommend this hotel more; all of the staff were very friendly & helpful, the food was spot on with a brilliant selection of local cuisine (which includes a lot of fresh fish!) and the rooms were modern, spacious and very comfortable! Facilities included a good sized pool, good for a refreshing dip in the mornings and a fully equipped gym which I tested out a couple of times.
Praia da Rocha has one of the largest beaches on the Portimão coastline. The golden sand is marked with large rocks and boulders wth hidden caves and that is why it is known as ‘the beach of rocks’. Even in October I managed to take a brisk dip in the Atlantic Ocean! But, if you don’t want too sandy, then you can take a stroll along the wooden boardwalk which stretches along the majority of the beach.
My family loves keeping active on holidays so we didn’t just spend our days sun seeking on the beach! Praia da Rocha and the surrounding areas are perfect for shorts strolls, hikes among the dusty paths and slightly longer walks to stretch your legs. The larger town of Portimão is just over 3km away and is full of local shops, cafes, and lovely architecture.
We decided to check out the neighbouring fishing village of Alvor one morning, so we followed the costal path along the beach, which eventually took us up along the cliffs which provided breathtaking views! When we got to Alvor we wondered along the river front lined with bars and seafood restaurants. We then wondered up the narrow cobbled lanes which led us into the old town and onto the 16th century Igreja Matriz church (fun fact: I love seeing churches while on holiday, I just enjoy the atmosphere and design of them!) which sits proudly above the village. In the evenings we would usually take short strolls along the boardwalk, or down the street to the Fort of Santa Catarina, a medieval fort which is lit up at night and gives stunning views to the coastline.
Praia da Rocha is a gorgeous resort for little breaks and longer holidays. I enjoyed every minute of my time here and would visit again to explore in a heart beat!
I love a good cup of tea, and when I heard rave reviews about Boo Tea, I had to give it a go. I’ve been getting really into fitness lately, and I really felt like I needed to ‘detox’ to help clear out my system after a few over indulgent holidays!
I ordered the Day Time and Bed Time tea. You are supposed to have a cup of the day time tea in the morning, and a cup of the night time blend every second day in the evening. I received 14 Day Time tea bags, and 7 Night Time tea bags in the order. Enough for the 2 week cleanse. The tea is loose leaf and comes in good quality tea bags in a resealable pouch to keep them fresh.
Day Time Tea
I loved the taste of this tea. It was very refreshing and actually enjoyable to drink. I think if you’re used to herbal teas then this will be no problem at all to sip on. I found it had a lemon taste to it, and was brilliant for making you feel awake and refreshed in the mornings.
Bed Time Tea
On the other hand, I honestly struggled to drink the night time blend after a few days. I couldn’t really pin point the flavour of this tea, but it definitely wasn’t as nice as the day time one- I got to the point I was gulping the cup down to finish it- so it was definitely not as enjoyable! I felt as though the Bed Time tea was the one that really ‘flushed’ your system out, as you felt the effects the next morning after drinking it. So be prepared to go to the bathroom a few times the next day… It’s called a cleanse for a reason!
During the experience I was trying not to weigh myself, and based the effectiveness on how I felt. After completing the 2 week course, I definitely felt as though my body had gone through a good detox, and I did feel a bit healthier! My stomach, which is usually bloated by the end of the day, felt & looked slimmer.
So, if you want to try Boo Tea, don’t expect any miracles or quick fixes in regards to weight loss. It may aid your fitness journey, however you need to combine it with a healthy balanced diet and a regular exercise routine.
I feel like I’ve always been a pretty organised person. Yeah sure there have been times that I’ve been a little bit all over the place, but give me a little while, and I’ll be back on track. Having gotten through tough Uni exams and nearly a year into graduate working life, I think I’ve gotten into the swing of day to day life. So I thought I’d share with you my 3 top tips for keeping organised day to day!
Keep a diary/ calendar to keep track of events and give yourself reminders…
I’ve always kept a diary, and I recently bought this gorgeous new one while I was in Florida. It’s by the brand Sugar Paper, and was about $10 from Target. I’ll also use it to keep a note of my work hours, deadlines and little reminders.
I love this wall calendar from Primark which helps to keep myself right on what I’m doing each day. I’ve got it hanging in my bedroom just now as I still live at home.
Pack your bag the night before and plan your outfit…
I admit I don’t do this every day as I wear pyjamas (aka scrubs) to work everyday, but on my days off and if I have a day out planned the next day I love laying out my outfit for the next day the night before. That way I’m not running around like crazy the next morning deciding what to wear, and have more time to spend on the importance things like breakfast and catching up on Instagram! I usually have everything I need in my handbag, but sometimes I’ll go through it and pop in anything that I’ll specifically need for the next day.
And Finally, Lists…
Yes, I’m one of those sad people who just love lists. Wether it’s for shopping, or things to do, I have to make one to ensure I’m not going to forget anything! I love using the ‘notes’ app on my iPhone for this as I always have it on hand. I feel like if I have 101 things to do, it sets it out clearer for me and keeps me right.