The Best Day of My Life

We did it! On the 12th of May, we tied the knot! It honestly was the most amazing day of my life, and I now can introduce you to my Husband (eeeek!), Dino. We have been together for just over five years, and as you may have read before we got engaged last July in Disneyland Paris. I wrote a few posts about the intricate process of wedding planning, but since we only gave ourselves nine months, I’m afraid I didn’t get around to sharing too much.

We had an outdoor Humanist ceremony at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh, which had the most picturesque backdrop of the Arthurs Seat which was covered in the yellow veil of broom. Which happens to be one of my most favourite sites of Scotland in the Spring time. We then danced the night away at the same venue celebrating with our nearest and dearest, who travelled from all over (and we mean all over, like Canada, the US, Japan, Italy and Germany!)

Dino and I were beyond lucky to be able to have the most stunning day of our lives becoming Mr and Mrs Valente.

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New Baking Bits and Bobs

I recently splurged a little bit on a few new baking items. As you may already know ( if the name of my blog doesn’t give it away) I really enjoy a spot of baking and getting creative in the kitchen. I love browsing all of the cooking and baking items online as well as in the shops, Lakeland has to be my favourite place to do this. I swear I could spend all my whole monthly wage in that shop!

First of all I bought a set of five cake tins from Amazon. I thought it was a good deal, and I really did need a new set. These are brilliant if you are planning on making a tiered cake. They have a removable base which I find makes it easier for removing the cake from the tin. They were cheap and cheerful from Amazon. I did originally buy them for £19.99 however they have since gone up in price slightly.

The next two products are only small, however I feel like the cake tester is a must in any kitchen. I always remember my Gran having one just like the one I purchased. Before getting this handy tool I’d always use a sharp knife to test the centre of the cake to see if it was ready. However I found it tended to take a chunk out of the cake. The cake tested I got it quite slim so I find it’s very discreet doesn’t make a mark on the cake.

I always picked up a bourbon biscuit cookie cutter. Bourbon biscuits are my fiancés favourite, and so I really wanted to have a go making my own at home. I’ll be posting a recipe soon to let you all know how they turned out.

I’m slowly building my own library of cooking and baking books, and I just recently added two new ones to my collection. Of course a GBBO book is a must, and I was so delighted to be gifted this at Christmas. It’s full of gorgeous must try recipes from last years bake off, and also features a few of Mary Berry’s.

One bakery I would love to visit is the Hummingbird Bakery. I love watching vloggers in London going to visit and try all the scrumptious cakes. This is the second of their books that I have and I can’t wait to try out a few bakes from this book as the last were foolproof!

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Pavlova

This Christmas it was my turn to be in charge of the desserts. I love doing this for my family, and each year I want to get more creative.

I decided to go for a traditional apple crumble for Christmas Eve, and then a Pavlova for Christmas Day. Truth be told this was my first time ever making Pavlova, but I’m very happy with how it turned out, and even more about how easy it was to make.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

How to: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C, and line a large baking sheet with grease-proof paper. Using a pencil, place a large dinner plate onto the paper and trace the circumference.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer or stand mixer until they form stiff peaks, then whisk in the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until the meringue looks glossy. Whisk in the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla.
  3. Spread the meringue inside the circle, creating a crater by making the sides a little higher than the middle. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the heat and let the Pavlova cool completely inside the oven until room temperature.

To top it all off:

I whipped up one large pot of double cream and spooned the mixture onto the centre of the pavlova. I decided to go a little different with the topping and add a mixture of raspberries and blackberries, and add a drizzle of a fruit coulis- I was in Sainsbury’s the night before so I picked up the Mango & Passionfruit Coulis- which surprisingly went really well!

The thing I love about Pavlova is that you can get creative and add a variety of different toppings, and at the end of the day it will still look amazing!

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Instagram

Hello everyone!

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.

 

 

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Kiehl’s First Impressions

Recently I’ve been really trying to review my skin care routine, and almost go back to basics. As I may have mentioned in previous posts, my skin is ridiculously sensitive. I suffer from the occasional flare up of facial eczema, so I really need to watch what skin care products I use. I stick to my usual prescribed moisturiser, which is a very bland emollient which has worked for my skin for the last six years or so, however in the last few months I found my skin just wasn’t looking it’s best at all. I found it began to look dull, flaky and tired, and I finally came to the point where I knew I needed to do something about it.  I wanted to get into a good skin care routine, you know, the usual cleanse, tone and moisturise… But I first needed to find the products for it.

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After lots of searching online and asking friends I decided to look into Kiehl’s for skin care. I carefully read reviews on other blogs and thought that I would give it a go. I was quite hesitant at first, as they are on the more pricey side, and I’ve never really invested in skin care products in the past, especially high-end brands. I decided to take the plunge and order a few products from their website directly. I went for an eye cream, as I always found my eyes are the driest area of my face, and I suppose it’s never too early to start anti-acing skincare, right?

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I ordered the Keihl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. All of the reviews said that it was the kindest eye cream for sensitive skin. After using this product for the last 2 months I can safely say that it 100% agrees with my sensitive skin. It does exactly what it says it does; moisturises your delicate eye area. It contains Shea Butter, Avocado Oil and Beta-Carotene.  With all the recent hype over avocados I’ll fully admit I’m not a fan when it comes to eating them, however I really love the effect it has when used in this product. Keihl’s says that Avocado Oil is a rich, fatty-acid emollient, which is known to be the most moisturising of any fruit oil. It has a natural source of Amino Acid proteins, Vitamins A, D, E, and potassium. Helps to restore the natural moisture of the skin.

I ordered the 14ml pot for £22.50. Although this is such a tiny size of pot, you only need a small amount of product each time, so it will last a while.

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The great thing about ordering directly from the Keihl’s website is that you are able to choose two samples of their products to try. I decided to go for the Creme de Corps Body Lotion, and the Daily Reviving Concentrate. I really did love using these products, however I found the Creme de Corps lotion to be quite greasy. I felt that I needed to use the Daily Reviving Concentrate for a bit longer to get the most from the product.

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The next product I bought has become my most favourite part of my skin care routine. It is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I only use this facial oil after cleansing my skins in the evenings before bed, and I found it actually helps me relax and unwind in the evenings, thanks to it’s gorgeous scent. The oil contains Squalane (which helps to restore skins moisture), Evening Primrose Oil and Lavender Essential Oil.

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I bought the 30ml bottle for £30. Yes, I do believe this is a bit pricey, however the majority of Keihl’s products are, but I would definitely say that this product in particular is worth it’s price tag. I’m amazed by how it transformed the look and the feel of my skin overnight. I wake up with hydrated, smooth skin which I have been lusting for.

After using these Keihl’s products I will definitely being re-purchasing the Creamy Eye Treatment and the Midnight Recovery Oil. I am very happy that I decided to take the chance to buy them and it paid off.

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Booking our Disney Moon!

After getting engaged in Disney Land Paris, we thought it would be fitting to carry on where we started by jetting off to Disney World in Florida for our honey moon! I am beyond excited for this. I was last in Disney World last July in 2016. I imagined our honey moon on a tropical beach, lounging around sipping cocktails, however I felt that I would get a little restless and bored doing this for a solid two weeks. I always had Disney in the back of my mind, so when Dino actually suggested going I jumped at the chance. We decided it would be perfect for us.

We booked directly through the Disney World website. I heard that this was the best place for deals, and over all it made the process really straight forward as it was all in the one place. At the time of booking we were lucky enough to take advantage of the free Disney dining plan offer, as well as 14 days for the price of 7 days park tickets. This meant that we saved a lot of money, which is crucial just now with the wedding.

This trip will be the first time I’ll be staying on Disney property at a Disney hotel. We decided on Caribbean Beach Resort. Although this resort is currently undergoing refurbishment, we decided to stay here regardless, as we don’t feel like the construction will bother us too much. I feel that the rooms look new and comfortable, and the location of the resort is great as it is so close to the parks.

We opted to stay with the Quick Service Dining Plan instead of upgrading to the Table Service Plan not to just save money, but from other blogs and reviews I have read I feel that the options you have for quick service dining will be great for us. There are however a few select restaurants we want to try such as Be Our Guest where I feel we can splash out on a meal.

Since booking I’ve been watching endless Disney World vlogs to get me more excited, as well as eyeing up Mr & Mrs Disney merchandise (Minnie bridal ears here I come!)

If you have any recommendations for things for us to see and do at Disney please let me know.

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Wedding Planning Update

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.

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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!).

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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!!

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Pisa

On our way back from Sestre Levante we decided to pop into Pisa City Centre to check out the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the surrounding area before heading to Galileo Airport back to Edinburgh.

You can really just see Pisa in an afternoon, I’m sure they’re may be lots more to see outside the main part, but we were quite happy seeing the tower and other monuments, and finding a lovely spot for lunch and coffee.

In the heart of the city there is the Square of Miracles, or as it is formally known, Campo dei Miracoli. It is also a World Heritage Site. There are three structures found in the square, the Baptistry, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, and the graveyard. However, the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually the cathedrals bell tower. The square is surrounded by a gorgeous, and well maintained lush lawn, where you could find crowds of people relaxing and taking in the sights. There is also two museums that you can visit, the Cathedral Museum and the Museum of the Synopses, to learn a bit of history.

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Around the monuments there are mazes of stalls selling souvieners. If you want to pick up a cheap magnet or key chain, then here is the perfect place. Unfortunately the majority of the stalls sell all of the same items, so it’s difficult to get something unique.

I couldn’t resist having a go at the mandatory holding the tower up pose! I’ll be honest, this was actually quite difficult and resulting in Dino yelling at me where to put my hands for a good five minutes! I think it was worth it though, what do you think?

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Charlotte Tilbury First Impressions

I absolutely adore Charlotte Tilbury! I’ve binge watched her You Tube videos, learning lots of tips and tricks over the years.

I have always really been a drugstore makeup gal, with occasionally splurging on high end beauty products or being gifted them for birthdays and Christmas. However only recently have I decided to purchase some Charlotte Tilbury products to get a taster. I decided to go for the and the Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow, and the Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick  in ‘Penelope Pink’- I adore the name of this lipstick, and it is the perfect every day nude colour! I purchased these products from Feel Unique.

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The Unisex Healthy Glow is a tinted moisturiser that gives a natural glow to the skin. I love a tinted moisturiser, and my go to one is definitely NIVEA’s Daily Essentials Tinted Moisturising Day Cream (at £3.99, you can’t really go wrong). So I was excited to see how Charlotte Tilbury’s £35 tinted moisturiser matched up. When first applied, the product is white and quickly blends into a pigmented cream to give a lovely natural looking tan that blended effortlessly into my skin. I found that I definitely had a subtle glow that I loved, and I’m sure I will love this product even more come the dull Winter months.

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My skin is notoriously dry, and I found this tinted moisturiser really did help with this. It didn’t cling to any dry patches on my cheeks at all, like some foundations and other moisturisers that I’ve tried in the past. The product claims to have “natural moisturising actives that contain a combination of moisture regulating ingredients that mimic bouncy lipids in your skin.” I love wearing this product on it’s own. It is so light weight and doesn’t make me feel ‘cakey’. I loved this so much when I was in Italy, I could just pop some on and blend to give my skin a super natural glow that felt effortless.

The only down side to this product is that it doesn’t contain any SPF, so you will need to add in an extra step for sun protection into your skin care and beauty routine.

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Next up is the lipstick. I have to say it is one of the softest and creamiest lipsticks I’ve used so far. I always have the issue of making sure my lips are ridiculously moisturised with layers of Carmex otherwise the colour will just flake off! However I didn’t have this issue when using the K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick. This lipstick also has good lasting power, I regularly top up my lipstick throughout the day/night and this lasted several hours longer than other ones I have tried.

I would say that the colour is more of a nude off-pink rather than a bright pink, but I prefer this, as I am comfortable to wear this on a day to day basis.

I am also in love with the rose gold case! It is so sleek and is definitely my style.

After reading the products description, the product claims to be enriched with their secret ingredient, the Lipstick Tree, which is an anti-oxidant that naturally protects lips from UV damage and external pollution, which is a big thumbs up from me!

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Overall, I was quite impressed with Charlotte Tilbury’s products. I’m very keen to try more and discover some of my new makeup favourites. I get the impression that she truly cares about her products and thinks about each ingredient that she puts into them to make them unique and work well on every skin type.

Have you tried any Charlotte Tilbury products? What did you think, and did you have any favourites?

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A Primark Jo Malone Dupe?

I’m going to fully admit it, I’ve never purchased a Jo Malone product. They are on the pricey side, but I know the quality of the product is well worth it. I lust after their colognes and candles, and even just last week when I was heading to Italy on holiday I had to sample nearly every product at Edinburgh Airport.

When I was browsing my local Primark I decided to head to the beauty section- as you get some decent beauty bargains there- and I kept smelling this gorgeous aroma. I eventually found a new stand which had a selection of reed diffusers, perfumes and home sprays. I was really impressed with the range of scents and how amazing they smelt.

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They have very similar scents to the Jo Malone products, such as Primark’s mandarin & basil, which smelt almost identical to Jo Malone’s lime, mandarin and basil cologne.

This was obviously a very popular product as the majority was sold out. But I managed to get my hands on the mandarin & basil room spray and the eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection which was perfect as I was able to try out each scent.

The eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection set came with 6 miniatures of each of their scents. This included; Vanilla Absolute, Amber Noir, Mandarin & Basil, Rose Out, Pomegranate & Black Tea, and Jasmine & Honey.

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I’m fully aware that the quality of these perfumes don’t match Jo Malone products, however I was very impressed with the actually scent of them. The only thing that I have noticed is the staying power. They are strong when put on, but the scent doesn’t stick around for long. This ended up making me apply more perfume as a top up throughout the day, but I didn’t mind seeing as I only paid £8 for the roller ball set.

Overall I’d probably buy the room sprays again and I’ll definitely be back to try out the reed diffusers. I’d say the perfume is good if you just want a light scent, but I can see myself treating myself to a Jo Malone cologne in the future.

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