Thursday, 28 July 2011

Christmas in July - Hummingbird style

As you should all know by now, I am a bit of a cupcake obsessive, so I was delighted to get an invitation to Hummingbird Bakery's Christmas preview evening last night.

Now normally the very thought of eating Christmas themed cupcakes in the middle of summer would be totally bizarre, but with the current weather we've been having it definitely wasn't that hard to force them down...and the odd glass of champagne helps!

Here is a quick preview of some of the cupcakes that were on offer.  

The first ones we tried, raspberry trifle, were unfortunately scoffed down too quickly for me to get a photo, so you'll have to go by the image in the book (most of the recipes are in the new Cake Days book so go get yourself a copy if you haven't already!!)

These were my favourite of the night, a soft vanilla sponge with a raspberry filling topped with creamy vanilla custard and another fresh raspberry.  It was light, fresh and definitely one I will have to be trying at home!  

Next up were a couple of the Christmas decorated vanilla cupcakes - how pretty are these?

And up next...(by the way, don't worry, I was there with a friend - I love cake, but not THAT much!)

White Chocolate and Cranberry - sponge filled with dried cranberries with a sweet white chocolate frosting...this got a big thumbs up.

And my choice - gingerbread.  I have these sprinkles at home, the perfect excuse to get baking these as well! This was delicious, a warm spicy sponge topped with lemon cream cheese frosting.  The quintessential Christmas cupcake? I think so!

Sadly, the last cupcakes were a little neglected and we only got about half way through before having to head on a rather long walk to burn off the excess carbs...and hit the shops!

Have you tried any Hummingbird recipes recently?  Or do you prefer someone else to bake them for you? 

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wish List Wednesday

Gem heel pumps, £50, Topshop

Love these shoes.  I'd never really considered mid-heel's before, but these immediately caught my attention.  The black patent leather, bow front and chunky gem encrusted heel adds up to some rather lust worthy footwear....almost begging to be teamed with an a-line dress, 100 deniers and big hair.

Studded leather bracelet, £9.99, Zara

I've got a real thing about stacks of leather, studded and woven bracelets at the moment, and this would look perfect wrapped around my wrist, contrasting perfectly with the existing sea of brown and beige.

Red skater dress, £42, Miss Selfridge

I searched high and low for my size in the mustard version of this dress, so am now delighted to see it in red.

So that's my wishlist for this week....what's on yours?

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Mulberry & Me

It seems we just can't get enough of one another at the moment.

Only the other day I was telling you about my Bayswater, and this weekend my collection grew once more.

One of the best things about where my parents live in Somerset is that they are a mere 30 minute drive from Shepton Mallet, the home of Mulberry.  And the best thing about visiting the weekend before my birthday?  Getting utterly spoilt by my mother in the factory store.

And what did I come out with?  Meet Lizzie.

The soft gunmetal grey, the mulberry embossed studs, the chunky strap and the leather you know will just get better with age, all in a clutch?  Perfect.

I buy a big statement clutch about once every two years and have one with me on every night out.  Much better than a tiny shoulder bag,  I can shove in everything I need and still fit it under my arm.

It's also the perfect size for the day when I can't face lugging my Bayswater around, which all in all makes it a great investment...and the perfect Birthday present, a week early :)

Oh.  And I love my balloon.

Are you a clutch girl? Got a special relationship with a certain designer?  Or are you an ardent high street bag girl?  Spill!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Long Weekends

Warning...picture heavy!

Lazing in the garden

My favourite flower

Trees brimming with apples

Homegrown goodness


Indian food made (entirely!) from scratch

Shopping trips...

Hidden treasures...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Sudocrem - the handbag essential?

For me, like many others, Sudocrem is one of the most unglamorous but hugely essential skincare essentials.  I slather it onto my skin to fight spots, bites and sunburn, and even though he laughs at me with my white blobbed face, my boyfriend does it too.

Sudocrem as we all know it...nice pot eh?

So I was no doubt delighted to be sent a few samples of the new Sudocrem skin care a tube!  Yep, no more scraping into those big grey pots - the cream can now fit into my handbag and be utilised at every opportunity. Which for the summer (and holiday packing) is a Godsend.  Bites and sunburn (which I never advocate....stick on the spf people!) can be dealt with then and there, and it definitely doesn't feel anywhere near as thick and obvious as the usual version.

Sudocrem have launched a facebook app in conjunction with this handbag friendly tube - Bagology - what does your handbag reveal about you - so I thought it was a good opportunity to have a natter about bags.

I have to admit, I'm not really a 'bag person' in that I usually make an investment on one bag and use it every single day until it gives up the ghost.  The current investment? My black Mulberry Bayswater.

I've loved Mulberry bags for years. Whilst 'designer' the prices are not hugely ridiculous and I love that the majority of the bags (except the Alexa which has been outsourced due to demand) are produced in England...just down the road from where my parents live in Somerset.  My parents bought me a slouchy Oxford tan shoulder bag a few years ago and having felt the need for a 'grown up' bag I could use for work and play, I decided to invest in my Bayswater.

That was almost 8 months ago and I haven't taken it off my arm since.  Cost per wear so far?  Pretty damn amazing if I do say so myself.

So what does my bag say about me? I'd like to think it shows I have an eye for quality and classic style...without being too stuffy.  I mean, if it's good enough for La Moss and co, it's good enough for me.

Back to the Sudocrem, I have another two tubes of this so if you are keen to give it a go for yourself, just comment below with your email address and I'll send one to two of you...and yes, I know it's not glamorous, but trust me - you will love it!

Oh, and tell me...what does your handbag say about you?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Wish List Wednesday

I'm starting to have to think hard and fast about my wishlists as my birthday is only a couple of weeks away (1st August people, mark it in your calendars 'kay?) and I am getting those inevitable groans of "what do you actually want then?".

Frustratingly, my birthday always comes at an awkward time, with the dregs of the sale still floating around the high street and only the first few items of the new season starting to as much as I would love  new clothes, I have to work hard to find what I think will become my autumn staples.

But they are starting to show...and these are some of the things that have been catching my eye so far...

Blue boxy jacket, £55, Warehouse
Ultramarine is a huge colour for the new season and this jacket is not only the perfect hue, but is also a great way to incorporate the masculine tailoring that dominated many a catwalk. 

Black lace dress, £87, French Connection
Black lace is an autumn/winter classic and this dress is a lovely way to get it into your wardrobe - it also comes in a soft pale pink and navy - and is a great update of the Erdem inspired red lace numbers that have been everywhere this summer.
Embroidered leather clutch, £25, Topshop
 This clutch is the perfect nod to the arts and crafts trend I picked up on in my A/W Round Up back in March and also works perfectly for summer (yes that abstract concept of sunshine and warm weather) - and for 25 quid? A positive bargain.

Leopard print leather boots, £35, Topshop

Chelsea Boots.  Leopard Print.  Ponyskin.  I'm there.

Have you picked up anything for your new season wardrobe yet? Spotted any must haves?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Wish List Wednesday

Since the weather cannot seem to make up its mind at the moment, my focus has turned to accessories...namely statement shoes and bags that are new in.  From the bone printed pumps at Topshop to Zara's stunning sequinned courts, there is enough to keep everyone happy...except our bank managers!

Black bone print pumps, £18, Topshop

Patience platform heels, £45, ASOS

Black sequin courts, £59.99, Zara

Love suede platforms, £65, Topshop

Leather studded bag, £59.99, Zara
Burgundy leather satchel, £45, Miss Selfridge

What have you been eyeing up this week? Still in sale mode or jumping on the new season merchandise? As always...let me know :)

Monday, 4 July 2011

Topshop Autumn Winter 2011

Yes it's that time again already! No sooner have the summer sales started (and how early were they, come on - summer's barely begun!) than the new season's stock begins to make an appearance...

Topshop have released a few images of their upcoming collections and I must say, I am most definitely interested in more than a few of these items - and the styling? Love it.

So I have my eye on the novelty sweaters, the oversized bright knits and the boots.  Oh, and the chunky silver glitter platforms.  Yum. 

What do you think? Anything going on your autumn wishlist yet or are you adamant about staying in the summer?