Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas Snowflake Biscuits

Hi everyone, I can't believe it's Christmas already, where has this month gone, in fact this whole year has been a blur!  Anyway, the other day I made these very pretty Snowflake biscuits.  When I made them last year, they were ok not great but this time I've made them with slightly different ingredients and I can honestly say, they taste amazing!

So if you fancy having a go at making them ready for Christmas, keep on reading and I'll show you how :-)

(click to enlarge)

Once you've gathered up your ingredients, measure out the butter (best used at room temperature) and the sugar.

I usually use my trusty food mixer but this time I thought I'd have a go at mixing the ingredients in a bowl instead, just to see if they would come out any better.  Mix the two together until they're nice and smooth.

Measure out the flour.  You can also add baking powder and salt if you like but I forgot to add these and it didn't seem to make any difference!  Add the flour to the sugar/butter mixture, a little at a time and blend together until you have a soft dough.  If it seems very crumbly and dry, add a splash of milk and mix it in well.  Mine seemed ok, so I didn't add any milk.

Now tip the dough out on to a lightly floured board and roll it nice and evenly with a rolling pin, I would advise using a wooden rolling pin or a ceramic one with a little flour on it, I couldn't find my new ceramic one so had to use my glass one again, and like last year, the dough kept sticking to it even though I kept adding flour!  Such a pain.

Moving on to the next stage, cut out as many snowflake shapes as you can, I did 8 large and 10 small, just so I had a couple of spares and thankfully just had enough dough.

Put the shapes on a lightly floured baking tray and put them in the oven on 150ยบ for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm.  You may need to rotate the trays half way through so they cook evenly.  With my weird oven however, I had to cook them for nearly 45 mins but just keep checking them and go by how they look.

When they're done, either leave the tray on the side and cover with a tea towel to cool or if you can (without them breaking), carefully lift the biscuits off the tray and lay them on a wire rack.

When the biscuits are completely cooled, you can start decorating them.  To make up the icing, measure approximately 4 tablespoons of icing sugar in to a bowl and gradually add teaspoonfuls of luke-warm water, mix really well until you have a smooth paste, don't have it too thick or too runny.

Add spoonfuls of the icing in to a piping bag and just snip off the very tip, only about 2-3mm down, so you get a nice thin line.

You could use food colour if you want and do a different pattern, have a look on pinterest or google images there's a hundred and one ideas!  I wanted to make the small snowflakes stick to the big ones, so I just added a little icing to the bottom of the small one like using a glue, and stuck them in place.  Then I just carefully decorated them.  You could also add sprinkles, chocolate flakes or little 'hundreds & thousands' or just keep them simple whatever you like really.

One thing I will say, I think it really helped using the raw cane sugar instead of regular white sugar, it gave the biscuits are much more crunchy baked taste, it's also supposed to be alot better for you as well, as it is natural sugar and not bleached which has a lot of chemicals in, so extra bonus points for that too.


I hope you like this post.  If you fancy having a go at making these biscuits, please send me your pics on Twitter @DaniJ72 I'd love to see them :-)  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas whatever you're doing and who ever you're spending it with xxx
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The Unicorn Lover's Gift Guide

Hi everyone, there's been so many great gift guides going around lately but I wanted to do something a little more specific, and what better theme to use than Unicorns!! :-)

Most of these items are found on ebay or amazon, with a few exceptions but best of all they are all under £10.  I myself love anything with unicorns on and I know several of my friends do too, but I think pretty much everyone loves the unicorn theme right now.  I found SO many amazing and lovely items online, from loads of different places and in different price ranges, but I thought these few were some of the nicest, most affordable and most easily available so you may even still have chance to get something for a special someone before Xmas comes around!

All the links to all the items are listed below, and everything is currently in stock as I upload this post, I've just double checked for you :-)

As always, I hope you liked this post and you found your friends or yourself a few nice little treats.  Let me know in the comments which item was your favourite, I already have the beautiful plaque so it has to be the little shaped unicorn keyring, although I do love the New Look purse oh and the slippers and the makeup bag, well all of it really lol :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy
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Saturday, 17 December 2016

Life Lately December 2016

Hi everyone, I wasn't originally going to upload a post this week but there's a few things I just wanted to talk about.  Now when I say a few, I would advise you to go and get a cuppa and get comfy, this post turned out to be a lot longer than planned, sorry! :-)
Firstly, a little health update.  As some of you may remember I recently told you about a few tests I had to go for.  One was for another lump I found in my boob, I had to have a biopsy done, which thankfully turned out to be all clear (you can read all about my other breast lump experience here and the update here).  Also I had to have an MRI scan a couple of months ago, to try and find out what's causing all the pain in my stomach, again that came back all clear but I'm still waiting on a few other test results too.  I've also got anaemia again (long running issue with me), so I'm waiting to get treatment for that.  And finally, I've been told I have to have an endoscopy (camera on a tube down the throat in to the stomach, for those who don't know).  I can't say I'm looking forward to that one, bit nervous to be honest and I'm not sure when I'll get the results, but I'll let you all know what happens when I do.

On a happier note, I've been quite proud of myself over the last couple of weeks as I've been keeping very busy with new projects.  One being getting back in to jewellery making, which I haven't done in a while, I've really enjoyed sorting out all my charms and making up some new bead bracelets, I also bought a few new beads in Hobbycraft last week, so I'm excited to use them.

I've also been working on some new sets of greeting cards, which is something I used to do alot years ago and although I still make them every year for the Making Cards Christmas Special issues, I haven't made any others for probably a few years.  So this last week, I've been making a few new cards (you may have seen some sneeky pics on my instagram) and I plan on working on several more sets to send in.  I'm really pleased with how they've turned out so far and I'm really looking forward to making some more.

Also, I spent about 3 hours one evening about a week and a half ago and pretty much taught myself how to edit videos with Windows Movie Maker.  It's something I've never done, because I've never really needed to, until now!  Why you may be thinking, well drum roll please I have started vlogging, ahh yes I have finally joined the world of youtube, I've updated my channel, changed the name and uploaded a new header, all great exciting things.  I've been wanting to do this for so long, I'm talking a couple of years or more, so a couple of weeks ago I just thought, that's it time to start.  I've been loving watching other peoples vlogs and I'm really, really loving and enjoying the editing process, I've learnt a lot and I hope they've turned out not too bad!

I'm just using my phone's camera at the moment but I'm hoping to get a proper new vlogging camera very soon, so for now the picture quality is not the best.  Also, I'm doing it in a bit of a different way to the usual style, I found it generally easier all round to start off with and to help get me in the swing of doing it (you'll see what I mean).  I quite like it, I'm hoping to progress a lot more over the coming weeks but mainly I really hope you like it.

But can I just ask you to please go and have a look and let me know what you think, tell me any ways you think I could improve and generally if it's boring or not, it's ok, be honest!  I really don't do a great lot during the day, especially if I'm having a fibro-day and I don't go out as often as I'd like (really not selling myself here am I oh well), but I thought it would just be a little addition to my blog, it would show you a little more of my life and what goes on and maybe it would help me get used to filming, editing and hopefully build my confidence up for what I have planned next spring ;-)  So I hope you will mosey on over to my channel and have a watch, like it if you do, please leave constructive comments and if you're really crazy and actually like it and want to see more, then subscribe as well, and that would make me extremely happy :-D  You can find my channel here.

Following on the youtube theme, I just wanted to mention a couple of youtubers that I've recently discovered (including a new youtuber), and a few others that I really have been loving watching, ones that have gone from 'just someone new to watch', to the only ones I want to make time to see!

First off is Just Jodes, I found her through another lovely girl called Becca Rose who I've been watching for years, Jodie just seems to do just the kind of videos I fancy watching, she's funny, sweet, interesting and I just generally like her.  She's replied to some of my comments on her videos and been really nice and I've really been enjoying her daily vlogs too.

I've also been looking forward to telling you about new youtuber Pinkstar Helz.  You may recognize her from many of my instagram pics and blog posts, as she is my lovely bff Helen.  I'm so happy and so proud of her for finally starting her channel, I think she's doing a great job so far and I know she'll continue to do really well with her channel.  So please go and watch her videos, like and subscribe to her if you haven't already :-)

As for the other's that's kept me entertained, I've also been watching Gabby, Mark, Hannah, Chyaz and Lucy, and one of my absolute favs, the lovely Corrie.

Just a few other little thoughts:
Why does your nose itch when you brush your teeth, or is that just me!
Am I the only one who doesn't have any Christmas decorations up yet?
I miss the summer.
Where's Carol when you need her, she needs to come back and kick Negan's ass!
How come one minute everything can be going according to plan and the next, you're having one shitty day!
Am I the only one who seriously misjudges time, I always severely underestimate how long things are going to take to do.

As always I hope you like this post.  Please leave me a comment below and let me know who your favourite youtubers are at the moment and any other random thought you like :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Monday, 5 December 2016

Winter Favourites 2016

Hi everyone, now I'm not usually a fan of Winter, usually I hate these cold dark days and the thought of it nearly being Christmas, already, horrifies me!  I mean what happened to Halloween, one day of Halloween is just not enough, not when Christmas seems to go on for weeks!!  Who agrees with me?

Anyway, but this year, I've quite surprised myself; I've been really enjoying getting cosyed up in the evenings, I've been loving the selection of hot chocolates at Costa, I've been trying every single one and I've been wrapping up extra warm in a big scarf, cute woolly hat and my new gloves when I dare to go out, so I've not been feeling the icy cold quite as much as usual.
So I thought, even though it's been a while, I would show you a few things I've been 'favouriting' lately.

Last week when it was really cold, I dug out all my winter clothes from the back of my wardrobe.  My old faithful booty slippers that I loved wearing last year, my oh-so-cosy mint teddy top that I lived in last Christmas and these cute little grey sparkly slippers, take it from me they are so soft inside and keep my toes nice and warm!

I also picked up these wonderfully adorable little bunny slippers from Asda, they were only £3 and they're so soft and so incredibly cute!!!  I love them, I've been wanting a pair of bunny slippers for so long, I couldn't believe it when I spotted them and they went straight in my shopping basket :-D

Like I said, I've been loving the new selection at Costa.  Each weekend I go there with a full on mission to try a different one and something I've not tried before, my favourite so far it's probably the orange hot chocolate, oooh they're so nice and they even put tiny little gold stars on it, so cute!  Next week it's the Black Forest one and I want to try the white hot chocolate after that, as they look so tasty!  And as for that chocolate shimmer cake, omg, heaven!

I've been rediscovering a few old favourites in my makeup drawer lately too, even though I've been obsessed with the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara for ages (you've heard me mentioned it loads), I've been using my lovely Urban Decay Perversion mascara again and really loving it.  I find I do need 2 or 3 coats otherwise it doesn't really do anything for my lashes, but once they're all on, wow, I'm a happy bunny!  I've also been re-loving my old faithful UD Naked palette, the shades in this are just so gorgeous, so usable and blendable.  They're just the right amount of shimmer and the shades work perfectly together, whether I want a simple look or something a bit darker.  Sidecar and Darkhorse have just been my absolute staples every time!

Carrying on with makeup, these gorgeous lippy's have all been my go-to's lately, the only problem has been deciding which one to pick.  I've really been loving wearing darker lip shades over the last month and will definitely keep on wearing them probably for the rest of the season.  As always, my wonderful Soap & Glory Replumzel has been at the top of the list, but second to that has been the beautiful Tanya Burr lip gloss that I received in last years advent calendar, called Bewitching, it's a gorgeous deep red sheer shimmer, so pretty!

Which leads me nicely on to advent calendars!  I bought my new Tanya Burr calendar back in about the first week on November I think, I put it away in the cupboard (so I wasn't tempted to have a peek) and finally I was able to get it out a few days ago, finally!  It's been a long wait and I'm so excited to start opening the doors.  If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see the bits I've had already :-)  Also in addition to my beauty calendar, I picked up a lovely Thornton's one from Tesco last week.  Call me a 5 year old, I don't care, I've been wanting a chocolate calendar so much, I never ended up having one last year and I was so excited to have one this year lol :-)

Lastly, I've noticed an extreme lack of nice thick winter jumpers in my wardrobe, despite the fact that I bought about 4 new ones last year, goodness know what happened to most of those!  So I've had a good shop around over the last couple of weeks and found several that I really, really like.  I got the lovely pale grey one and the cream one from Asda, these are so thick and comfy!  And the other two I got from Tesco and I love them all and I can't wait to start wearing them, I think I'm going to be lovely and snug this winter :-)

And one other quick mention, not promising anything but if I can figure out how to edit videos on my laptop, you may spot something new appearing on my very unused youtube channel this coming week, which will kind-of accompany this post!  It may be a one off, it might not, I'm still deciding.  But so far so good and I'll keep you updated on my social media's.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment below and let me know what you've been loving this month :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Four Budget Friendly Autumn Winter Trends

Hi everyone, I thought I'd do something a little different for you again this week.  I've been doing a lot of 'window shopping' lately (online of course) and I've noticed so many really cool trends appearing in all the stores.  So I thought I would sort out some of the best bits I've seen and show you a little selection, I honestly could spend a fortune on some of these gorgeous pieces but I also wanted to make these selections as budget friendly as I could, so you can look like you've just walked off a catwalk and still have some pennies left over! :-)

Lets start with one of my favourites items in the world; Boots!!

1 Black Star Ankle Boots from Dorothy Perkins £33.  2 Metallic (Gold) Heeled Ankle Boots from River Island £40.  3 Silver Glitter Boots from Primark £15.  4 Silver Metallic Ankle Boots from New Look £28.  5 Black Glitter Ankle Boots from New Look £30.  6 Black Velvet Glitter Heel Boots from River Island £45

I would honestly be happy with any of these, I wasn't sure about the silver ones to start with, but they've definitely grown on me, and as for those gorgeous star boots I want, I want, I want!!

On to statement winter coats -

1 Black Long Length Biker Jacket from Dorothy Perkins £48.  2 Textured Teddy Coat from George at Asda £30.  3 Shearling Waterfall jacket from Primark £25.  4 Black Faux Fur Trim Belted Jacket from New Look £55.  5 Cutie Trench Coat from F&F at Tesco £32.  Fit and Flare Dolly Coat from Dorothy Perkins £45

I'm absolutely loving these gorgeous statement winter coats at the moment, especially the biker style ones, I think they really complete an outfit.  Usually in the winter, you cover up a good outfit with a boring winter coat but this season, you can look good and stay toasty warm :-)

Next up is embroidered items, these are so popular right now! -

1 Pale Grey Floral Embroidered Funnel Neck Sweater from New Look £28.  2 Embroidered Skinny Jeans from George at Asda £16.  3 Embroidered Peasant Blouse from George at Asda £14.  4 Slogan Embroidered T'Shirt from Matalan £12.  5 Black Embroidered Bow Hairclip from New Look £4.  6 Black Denim Embroidered Skirt from Primark £12

I just love that blouse, it's so pretty but the sweater is definitely on my wish list, cute and cosy!

And finally big statement earrings -

1 Filigree Drop Earrings from Primark £2.  2 Circle Chain Drop Earrings from Matalan £5.  3 Emerald Green Acrylic Bead Drop Earrings from F&F at Tesco £4.65.  4 White Christmas Tinsel Earrings from Dorothy Perkins £3.20.  5 Diamante Teardrop Earrings from Primark £1.50.  6 Black Jet Cross Earrings from New Look £6.  7 Pom Drop Earrings from Asos £6.  8 Silver Stick & Ball Earrings from Dorothy Perkins £4.  9 Crystal Diamante Earrings from New Look £5.  10 Statement Metal Flower Drop Earrings from Asos £12.

It's funny how fashions and trends come back around, I used to wear big earrings all the time years ago and now they're back in the shops again!  I particularly like the black cross earrings (very me), but I can't help loving the white tinsel pom-poms too, they're so cute and Christmassy! :-)

I think many of the general high street stores have a great selection of the current trends this year, but New Look certainly seems to have the best of the bunch and are stocking some really great stuff at quite reasonable prices at the moment.  So why not treat yourself to some new bits this season!

As always I hope you liked this post, let me know in the comments what your favourite pieces are at the moment or what bargains you've been finding :-)


Just a couple of other notes - for the next couple of months or so, life for me is going to be very hectic so, I will be uploading posts every two weeks instead of every week, as I'm just not going to be able to give my all to my posts and spend as much time on them each week as I would like to and as I do now!  But When I do start back with weekly posts (and possibly before then too) I may have a few other surprises to tell you about, with other projects I'm currently working on and I'm very, very excited for you to finally hear about them, so keep a look out for those in the next couple of months :-)


And finally, the winner of my Silver Heart Necklace Giveaway from my 3rd Blog Birthday post, is Ellen Stafford Congratulations to you, your necklace will be in the post soon!! :-D  You find Ellen by clicking on the links below. . .
Twitter @Webkinny
Instagram @webkin1979

Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Sunday, 6 November 2016

3rd Blog Birthday & Giveaway

Hi everyone, I can't believe it's already this time of year again, already!  It only feels like a couple of months ago I was sat here writing about my 2nd blog birthday and now here I am celebrating my 3rd!

I just can't believe I've been writing my blog for 3 years!!  And what an exciting 3 years it's been, I've learnt so much, I've grown in confidence and I've made some really great friends.  I've loved writing about so many things, I've taken hundreds of photos and spent many enjoyable days sat writing, editing and planning for all my various posts.  I've loved blogging about all the different things I love; like doing reviews and tags, showing you my baking disasters and fun days out, my gorgeous poodles and all my naughty spending sprees! :-)

But best of all, I've loved getting to know my readers, chatting to you on Twitter and reading your amazing blogs.  So here is a very big THANK YOU, for sticking with me and faithfully reading my (often very long) posts!

And as a little thank you from me to you, I am giving away this beautiful little silver heart necklace.  It has a small double heart with a double row of pretty pink crystals around the outside.  It's very dainty and would look gorgeous with a nice shirt or over a T'shirt.  You could also wear the two hearts on separate chains for a different look.
*please note, the website did state that the necklace is nickel free* :-)

All you need to do to enter, is use the Rafflecoper widget below.  The giveaway will last for 2 weeks from today (Sunday the 6th of November) and you can enter as many times as you would like.  Please read all the T&Cs below and I'll look forward to reading your comments.  Good luck :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rules:
©    To be in with a chance of winning the 'Silver Double Heart Necklace', enter via the Rafflecopter widget
©    Please make sure you leave your first name and email address or twitter name in the comments, so that I can contact you if you win
©    There will be only one winner
©    This giveaway is open internationally
©    To be in with a chance of winning, you must complete all mandatory entries
©    You must also complete all mandatory entries before you can access any of the extra entry options
©    This giveaway will run for 14 days from Sunday the 6th of November 2016 until Sunday the 20th of November 2016, 12.00am gmt
©    Once the giveaway is over, I will contact the winner directly via email or Twitter.  Once the winner has been contacted they will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be selected.

Until next time, stay happy and good luck

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