Thursday, February 26, 2009


My sister and boyfriend came over for dinner with little Beibhinn at the weekend so I wanted to make a cake for desert. Clearly not being over the whole heart/valentines day thing I made a heart shaped sponge!! I'm getting lots of use out of my LIDL bakeware as you can see.

Sponge is one of the easiest things to make and with a good Jam, fresh cream and chocolate on top it can’t but taste yummie!

Friday, February 20, 2009

T for Ted

My friend Leontia had a little baby boy last week, he is called Ted...such a cute name. Today I set to work on a T for him. I had no clue what I was going to do but after having a good root through my crafting supplies it all came together.

I decided on a yellow and blue colour scheme, bit not too much blue overload! I added some blue and yellow patterened button die cuts some yellow thread and...

...a little pre-cut blue bow and coloured sequences.

Another job done...I was really happy how it turned out, now I just gotta go visit!

Having a cuddle!

Just look at this cute pair spending quality time together this afternoon on the couch!!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Time to bake a little something...

Today I decided to make some mini apple and cinnamon crumbles........Arnie was coming for dinner...well actually he was bringing dinner (were lovin M&S food!!!!) so I thought the least I could do was bake something :). I have this easy peasy recipe and it takes no time at all to make. I'm on a Cinnamon thing at the minute ...don't know what that's about, maybe its from being in the states, they are cinnamon crazy over there!!!!!!

So here is the apple and cinnamon mix with the freshly made they just need to be topped....
Well here they are with a crispy crumble top, dusted with icing sugar and decorated with little blackberries (which I actually went picking in September and have frozen in the handy for smoothies or baking or whatever). I served them with Ice cream and a hot cup of tea....the boys devoured them which is always a good sign!

Yep.....defo nothing left there then!!

Valentines Day Chicago Style !!

I reckon one of the best places to spend Valentines Day has to be the States...nobody celebrates occasions like the Americans!! I knew it would be brill to actually be there on the day but I was so excited to see the shop displays and all the goodies for sale in the shops...or stores as they say there!! This photo I took in Crate and Barrell, a lot of the Valentines goodies had been sold out at this stage but you can still see some of the cute things they had for sale just for the day that was in it....for example the red cupcake mix and the fab cupcake spatula but my favourite thing had to be the cupcake/brownie/hot chocolate stencils. They came in a packet of six and they will be just perfect to use with coco powder on top of a hot chocolate or with icing sugar on top of a brownie.

As they say on TV ........"And here is one I made earlier" he he! The perfect touch to a yum hot chocolate made just for my hubby :)

This is the display at Borders. Are they not just the cutest mixing bowls down the bottom left of the display? I was going to buy one but after I had bought a serious amount of home ware at Target and craft goodies at Michael's I seriously had no room whatsoever in my cases and to be honest I already have two different types of cute pink mixing bowls!

We went down to Chinatown...check out how they get into the spirit of Valentines day?!

Do you know what was soooo nice??? .... as we left out hotel on Valentines Day the doorman was giving out special treats......all day people were wishing us a "Happy Valentines Day" ...I'm just loving Americans. I was given a heart lolly and a chewy sweet, Gareth got some Hershey's kisses.

Now the best, and I mean the best thing was the treats on sale for Dogs!!!We went into this really cool pet shop looking for a pressie to bring back home to Betty and just look at the display........

Isnt it hard to believe these are for dogs!!!!

I really really wanted to try these myself :) Imagine...they even have cupcakes for dogs in America!!

I'm thinking my next project should be baking for animals...I totally reckon I could do it! Betty would be delighted LOL. So ...if I can give one recommendation on my blog for today its defo try spend a Valentines day in the States...its such fun :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thanks Janey x

Don't you just wish you had a friend like Janey??!! Just look at the Valentines goodies she gave me for a pressie! The beautiful heart ramekins she gave me for my baking before I headed off to Chicago, and when I got home this morning there was a gift bag waiting for me at my front door with this fab heart tin in it!! Jealous anybody??Well I'm not surprised! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bonbom Americano and Swirlz - Chicago!

Well now, for the sake of my blog and for my baking career I’m off to The windy city tomorrow to do some serious cupcake research! (That or I’m off on holidays and I'm going to fit that in at the same time!) I have been searching the net for recommended cupcake shops and have found some great ones that I’m dying to visit. The pictures alone are getting me so excited. This photo is of a selection of cupcakes in Bonbom Americano in Chicago. Ive decided that I’m defo gonna take loads of photos (if I’m allowed! I read on a blog this girl got in trouble for taking photos in a cupcake shop!) and use them as inspiration.

Oh too cute! More cupcakes at Bonbom Americano .....

Another Cupcake shop I just gotta hit....Swirlz.

Yep....defo reckon I could put one of these away no prob! I wonder how Gareth will do!! I'm starting to feel a cupcake eating competition coming on!! So watch this space for some cool shots of lots of Cupcakes and anything else cute and pink that I can find in the USA!!!!!!!!

Heart Shaped Caramel Slices

As you can see I have been busy with my new purchases! I LOVE caramel slices and I have the best ever recipe that was given to me by my Nana. It’s a total secret! I have tried caramel slices all over the world but I swear none come close to my Nanas. She was always baking and I used to go and spend week ends with her and we would just bake the whole time. That is defo where I picked up the baking bug! The silicone baking trays are brill, it so easy to remove the baking. They are really bendy too so you can actually just peel off the mold. Mmmmm…….. I thinking next its gotta be some heart shaped brownies :)

Anybody for a cup of tea and a heart shaped caramel slice?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Finding a bargain in LIDL

Well I was on a mission to find Valentines bake ware to continue with my 'Valentines Baking'....I searched everywhere, Dunnes home, Penneys home, TK max, Debenhams, Home Store and More, Avoca, ETSY.......I walked the whole of Liffey Valley and Blanchardstown with no luck at all. I got home but was sill determined to find them somewhere.....I logged on Ebay and found some for sale in England, for a silicone 8 cup heart tray it was 16 euro including postage! I was delighted so I ordered away...happy happy me! I missed the postman on Friday so Monday I had a free class and headed straight down to pick it up in the post office. I was so excited to go home and bake :) On the way back I dropped into LIDL to pick up baking supplies and low and behold there for sale was four different types of Valentines Silicone Bakeware including the exact one I had just bought....and to top it off they were only 5 euro each!! Man I was a sick! Anyway I picked up more just in case and rang Janey straight away to see if she wanted some too :) Sure a girl can never have enough heart shaped baking supplies!! I actually got a text from our friend Arnie later that afternoon...he knows me so was like an SOS text to get to LIDL !!

OK so do you see a difference of 11 euro??Me neither...actually can you guess which one was LIDL? Watch this space for some serious Valentines baking................. x

Monday, February 9, 2009

So spoilt!!

We went to visit my sister and Beibhinn on Friday after school, she told me she had snow but she didn't say bring my ski gear and snow boots!! There was no way I was walking or rather trekking through the snow ( In fairness I totally wasn't dressed for it) wonderful and most obliging husband gave me a jockey back from the car to the front door!! Thanks Gareth :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Keeping with the Valentines theme...

Well it was Wednesday(any excuse!!) plus I was going to visit Janey so I decided to bake a few little treats when I got home from school. I just wanted to make something that looked cute and I love bite size smackerels of anything :) I baked the mini cupcakes in a mini silicone tray I had bought at Christmas for mini mince pies. I know cupcakes is really the American term for our Fairy Cakes but I just love calling them cupcakes!! I decided on pink butter frosting, being the season of love and all things pink and red!! I just made regular frosting and added the tiniest bit of red food colouring. I then melted chocolate and set them in my heart silicone trays from IKEA. I then got busy piping.... I love love love piping...WHEN it works out!! If the frosting is too thick or you leave it sitting for a while its much harder to work with. When the heart chocolates set I placed them on top of the frosting. Delicious! I had plenty made in the end so I decided my work girls deserved a little bit of the love Thursday break time!

This is a picture of the chocolate version I also made....exact same idea but with chocolate frosting. For the pink hearts I melted white chocolate and added the tiniest bit of red food colouring again. Me and that red food colouring..........god it might not be such a great thing that Ive learned how to die things pink :) !!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Valentines Tree

OK so after I got back from town and dished out all my goodies it looked like this!! I went to Hickeys and another craft shop in town to pick up bits and pieces mind you the selection wasn't that great at all. Luckily I already had some ribbon and embellishments that were perfect for my colour scheme, pink, red, purple and white. The ready made little pink felt hearts in the photo were exactly what I wanted to create. These ones I bought to add to gift wrapping in B&Q after Christmas for 25c each in the sale!! Bargain! Originally I planned to fancy these up and add them to the ones I was making but in the end I way prefered my own ones and so didn't use them :)

I started by getting a heart template off the net. I pinned it to the felt and cut it out, began adding embellishments...sewing...adding ribbon and having loads of fun! I had nothing planned out for each heart but they just all came together in the end. The first heart took longer than the other ones but I think I just had to get into the swing of it! I stuffed every one with bubble wrap before I sewed them up. For some of them I picked a contrasting colour to do the stitching with because it looked so cute against the felt.

This is one of my favourite little hearts mind you I actually love them all! You cant really see the felt but its white with glitter running right through it. I then hand sewed on all the little sequences and added this adorable pink ribbon with yellow dots that I bought in The Blue Door in Naas.

This purple heart also is made of the same glittery felt fabric.I hand sewed on the little paper die cut buttons. The ribbon is from a selection at Linenberry.

This heart was super easy to do...some felt...cute ribbon from inspiring ideas and voila!

I decided to add some gorgeous ribbon to the twigs too. I think it looks so nice with the hearts. This heart was decorated with a small knitted flower that I took off a collar I had bought Betty. She didn't like at all, I think the flowers irritated her! Bad mummy!

Well here is the full collection of my hearts all lined up...I nearly wanted to leave them there on the mantelpiece, they really brightened up the living room!

Another shot of all the little hearts together..

Now for the finished piece....I love love love it! I reckon Valentines day has come early to our house cause I'm feeling more loved up already.....perhaps its something to do with The Valentines Tree :) x

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A romantic brekkie!!!

This wasn't exactly what I had for brekkie this morning but I think I should have, it would have been perfect brain food to keep me going while I work on a new project.....So I'm thinking.....I always have a Christmas tree(obviously!) and an Easter tree so why not a have a Valentines tree? I have these twigs in the hall with tiny fairy lights on it and I think it could look so cute all decorated for Valentines day! I'm thinking, pretty ribbon, felt heart shapes a bit of glitter....god there are so many possibilities. Ive been googling how to make little felt hearts and I have found templates etc so I reckon its time to get to work :) There are loads for sale on ETSY but then you miss all the fun of making them and decorating them from scratch! As its Sunday I'm really hoping ill find some shops open today to go and find supplies. Im heading into town so maybe the Dublin Woollen Mills...they have great ribbon I know that for sure. It would be great to find some cute little buttons too to sew onto the hearts....imagine little heart shaped ones??Oh too cute! x