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28 March 2012

Mini Egg rocky road recipe


I was recently contacted by the baking recipe website Baking Mad to see if I wanted to submit an Easter recipe for a competition they'll be running on their site.  My initial reaction was to worry about the diet but after some thought I decided to go for it because a) I have a boyfriend who is more than happy to consume any naughty foods that need eating and b) everyone is allowed a treat once in a while!

And, well, I think the word treat was designed with this recipe in mind.  With mini creme eggs, mini eggs, marshmallows, fudge and digestive biscuits, this Rocky Road recipe is utterly sinful and also completely moreish.  A dangerous combination! In terms of skill, this recipe requires none (it doesn't even require any baking!) so it's ideal for whipping up a quick batch as a treat for friends, or for making if you have little people in the kitchen! You can swap any of the ingredients as you wish - why not try it wish cherries or dessicated coconut, or swap the digestives for your favourite biscuit?  

Ingredients
500g of milk chocolate (I used Asda's own brand)
100g mini marshmallows
100g mini eggs
100g digestive biscuits - broken into small pieces
150g mini Cadbury's creme eggs 
50g mini fudge chunks
(You can always vary things by adding Blue Diamond almonds into the mix)

Makes 16 bitesize pieces, or 8 larger square pieces

Method

1. Line a square tin with greaseproof paper.  I used a standard brownie tin.
2. Break the milk chocolate into chunks and place them in a bowl above a saucepan of boiling water.  Gently melt, stirring occasionally to ensure all the chunks are melted.
3. Whilst the chocolate is melting, put the marshmallows, broken up digestive biscuits, fudge chunks and Cadbury's creme eggs into a bowl and give it a mix so they're evenly distributed.
4. Once all the chocolate has melted, pour in the bowl of ingredients and give it a good mix - but be quick as it sets very quickly! Pour the mix into the tin.
5. Now, push mini eggs into the mixture so they're still visible from the top.
6. Place the tin in the fridge - they will be ready to eat within 2-3 hours.
7. Cut into bitesize pieces and enjoy!




Don't forget to check out all the other yummy Easter recipes on Baking Mad; I'm definitely going to try my hand at making some of their hot cross buns - I don't like sultanas so their cranberry and chocolate hot cross buns are right up my street!

26 March 2012

I'll be born again with the morning sun

cardigan: fever at Kiki's Boutique | t-shirt: zara | jeans: new look | pumps: topshop



I seem to have posted lots of outfits lately that include dresses and heels so I thought I'd show you something a little more 'dressed down'.  We went to see Robin Ince (comedian) last night in Southampton so I made sure I wore something casual and comfy for perching on a bar stool in a dingy pub for two hours in!  It was the first outing for this gorgeous cardigan since I bought it in the Kiki's Boutique sale a couple of months ago.  I thought the detail made it quite dress-y and was waiting for a bit more of an occasion to wear it but I slung it on over my t-shirt yesterday and couldn't bear to take it off. 

As you all know by now, Kiki's Boutique is absolutely my favourite shop and I've posted about it several times before on this blog.  Over the next couple of weeks they are holding an Easter Egg hunt on their website, and if you find all the eggs you can win an Easter basket full of Kiki's goodies!  There are 10 eggs hidden on their website but all you have to do is find three or more, and email your answers to kay@kikisboutique.com before 12 noon on the 10th April. I will definitely be entering, I can't imagine anything more exciting than a basket full of Kiki's treats!


Hope you've all had lovely weekends and enjoyed the sunshine! And don't forget to enter my phone case giveaway - it ends tomorrow evening so be quick!



21 March 2012

There is a tree as old as me

blazer: primark | t-shirt, skirt and waist belt: h&m | ankle boots: ebay | bag: ebay

For some reason I made this photo teeny-tiny so it is not the best way to show you my new pastel pink Primark blazer, which I love, and my new Zara-inspired faux leather tote bag which I also love, but there we go.  This bag was brought to me by FATE as I originally bought a different bag from the same seller before seeing Gem tweet about a similar one to this and getting major bag envy.  Anyway, it turns out they'd sold out of the one I originally bought so I picked this one instead and it's perfect; just the right amount of room and it feels so sturdy and well made.  I wore this outfit to work last week and got lots of nice comments about my blazer, it makes me feel ready for Spring!

Talking of Spring, as it was the first day of Spring yesterday I thought I'd show you some snaps of all the growing going on in my house and garden.

Camelia in the garden

Digging in a raised bed

Rocket on the windowsill

Sweet pea growing

Sunflower growing

Please tell me I am not the only person under the age of 50 who gets excited about gardening? I'd love to know of some other bloggers who like growing things! We dug in a raised bed on Monday night and I've been germinating seeds like crazy ready for planting when the last frost has been and gone.  I know I mentioned it last year (and recently on Twitter) but I would absolutely love to have a blogger barbecue in the garden once we've redone it all - how brilliant would that be? Pimms in pitchers, cupcakes, burgers and bunting - now that's my kind of party!

Hope you're all enjoying the sunshine today - and don't forget to enter my iPhone case giveaway in the previous post!

20 March 2012

Iconemesis iPhone case giveaway


Over the last few weeks some of my favourite blogging ladies have hosted giveaways with awesome mobile phone case company Iconemesis and now it's my chance to offer you the opportunity to win one too! If you haven't heard of them before, Iconemesis collaborate with artists and illustrators like Gemma Correll and Fifi Lapin to produce a wide range of iPhone cases that will fit both 3G and 4G models.  They kindly offered me a case to try out before I launched my giveaway and I chose the amazing zombie octopus design [above] and am chuffed to bits with it! If you win you can choose a case of your choice from their website (don't worry, you don't have to choose now!) and here are some of my favourites for inspiration...



TO ENTER

All you have to do to enter is like the Iconemesis Facebook page and leave me a comment below with your email address so I can get in touch with you if you win.

For an extra entry you can tweet about the giveaway, just make sure you @ me in (@rosieoutlook) so I can keep track of your entry, and let me know in your comment.

The giveaway will close at 22.00 on Tuesday 27th March.

Good luck!

18 March 2012

Earl Grey cupcakes recipe

When you work in an office, tea is something of a rite of passage.  In fact, visitors into the office who refuse cups of tea are met with a mixture of horror and suspicion.  My hot drink of choice however is a steaming mug of green tea, which makes me a borderline social pariah (We are British! We drink builder's tea!) but is just about acceptable enough for me not to be escorted from the building immediately.

These days, making a big ol' mug of green tea is my first task when I arrive in the office in the morning, and then make, drink, repeat for the rest of the day until I go home.  So when Twinings contacted me recently about reviewing some of their green tea range I was straight down to my local Sainsbury's furiously grabbing boxes from the shelves. My favourites are the green tea with ginger and the green tea with pomegranate.  I am also desperate to try the green tea with apple and pear, or pineapple and grapefruit, both of which I think will be very yummy served up in big glass pitchers as iced teas at barbecues when the weather warms up! You can see the rest of their range of green tea here.

My boyfriend Tom's drink of choice however is a cup of Earl Grey.  As he has been working all this weekend I thought he deserved a treat so I grabbed him a box and whipped him up a batch of Earl Grey cupcakes.  You can find the recipe on Katiecakes blog here.  They work by stewing four teabags with a small amount of milk and adding it to the cake mixture at the end, and they were absolutely delicious.  Of course, if you're enjoying afternoon tea and cakes it really should be done on vintage crockery....




If you're a tea fanatic like me, you can sign up to the Twinings Facebook for offers, vouchers and competitions.

What's your tea of choice?

16 March 2012

One pound disposables and Lomography cheaters

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person in pursuit of dreamy, soft focus photographs, light leaks and film grain must be in want of a Lomography camera right? Wrong.  Well, actually, they might be in want of one, but they don't need one.  The original lomo cameras were produced as an inexpensive rival for other cameras of their time, and the features people associate with them are based entirely on the fact that they were manufactured cheaply and so light leaks in through the casings and the edges of photographs become vignetted (and so on).  Much as I am a great lover of lomography cameras (and a 35mm enthusiast), I am also a big fan of £1 disposable cameras.  There, I said it.  Both 99p stores and Poundland both stock 24 exposure disposable cameras, and because they're cheap as chips, their photographs have a lot of the fun-filled oddities of lomo cameras.  Here are some from a film I got developed this week.





I also have a bit of an exciting project coming up featuring these cameras so if you fancy a bit of film photography fun then look out for that in the next couple of weeks.

As I mentioned before, there is a special place in my heart for lomography cameras, particularly for my treasured LC-A+, which Tom bought me for my last birthday.  I also got a film processed from this camera last week, and here are a few of my favourites.  You can tell how old the film is by how big Bodhi is in the fifth photo compared to the last!





  

11 March 2012

In a seaside town

I am currently sat in the craft room with the windows open listening to the birds singing outside with the sunshine streaming in - hasn't the weather this weekend just been beautiful? We have had such a busy weekend so I apologise in advance if this post is a long one, I seem to have taken quite a few photos!

Yesterday morning we got up bright and early to have a nose around some of the vintage shops in Pokesdown.  We had a party to go to in the evening where the dress code was 1960's or earlier and Tom wanted to procure himself some vintage braces and a bow tie to wear with his shirt and trousers.  I also bought a dress in What Alice Found, before heading over to the Tattoo Parlour Cafe for a cup of tea.  The Tattoo Parlour Cafe is where we're heading for lunch at the Bournemouth Blogger Meet so obviously I had to do some quality checking of their menu too (and boy does it look good!)


When we got back we took the dog for a long walk in the sunshine.  We are really lucky that we are surrounded by lots of woods and great walks so we didn't have to stray too far to give him a good run around and enjoy the weather.



When we got back the weather was too good to be able to get out of doing the gardening we've been doing for ages so we got stuck into weeding and digging up all the soil so it's ready for us to start planting things again in a month or two.  I know gardening might sound boring to a lot of you but there is nothing like having a garden full of blooming flowers and tasty vegetables when the summer rolls around.  Can't wait for those summer barbecues too!

In the evening we got ready for the vintage party.  I want to go for a 60's look so I styled my hair into a beehive, which was so easy.  I'd been using wadding/stuffing to stuff a felt hanging heart in the afternoon so I used a lump of wadding, back-combed the life out of my hair and then pinned it all around it and unloaded half a can of hairspray onto it.  It took about ten minutes! What do you think?




The party was absolutely brilliant, with bunting strung all over the house, a spread of British finger foods (cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, cheese and pineapple on sticks and lots of cupcakes!), a cocktail menu and even a vintage games room - I won at billiards! Here is Tom taking a shot...


And here is me and the birthday girl...


Today we dragged the dog out for another long walk, this time to Hengistbury Head, a few miles from where we live.  We walked for a couple of hours and I was pretty tired in the end; so nice to get out in the sunshine though, it almost felt like we were abroad strolling along in my cardigan and seeing everyone on the beach.  





We then headed back home for more gardening and a big sort out of the craft room for me.  No rest for the wicked though as we are off out to a pub quiz tonight in a little pub in the forest.  I will be sleeping well tonight! Have you all been enjoying the sunshine this weekend?

9 March 2012

DIY studded shorts | On being sew excited

Inspired by the gorgeous Kim, whose DIY short creations can be found in her shop here, I recently bought a pair of vintage Levi shorts with the intention of studding the life out of them and taking them up.  Here are the shorts before I got my hands on them...


I bought some studs on eBay and spent an evening sticking them in the pockets (whilst watching TV; I like to multi-task), and today I got my scissors out, cut the bottoms off and then took them up using the sewing machine.  Et voila!


I just took a quick photo before I put them on and I've realised the hemming looks all wonky; it isn't in real life, promise! Again, this photo is not great but you can see what I wore with them today.  We are thinking of going to the pub after dinner so I've added the Boohoo boots to try and dress them up a bit.

cardigan: primark | shirt: jack wills | belt: h&m | boots: boohoo

It's been nice getting the sewing machine out today and seeing the craft room littered with threads and scraps of fabric again.  I bought a bundle from Fabric Rehab last year and I sorted through all the bits today, I have some lovely fabrics with vintage-y teacup designs, shabby florals and even one with little tug boats on.  Unfortunately my sewing ability limits me to cushion covers and taking up clothes but I want to try some new things so I've been leafing through my Kirsty Allsop Craft book this evening looking for inspiration.  I'm hoping I can stretch to a hanging heart as my friend is having a vintage tea party tomorrow and I'd love to take her along one as a present, along with a homemade teacup candle of course! The attire for the party is pre-1960s so I've bought a couple of 1940's dresses from eBay and I'm also going to have a nose around the vintage shops in Pokesdown tomorrow.

Hope you all have lovely weekends planned; along with my craftiness today I will further be ensuring my hands do not get idle by digging up the garden tomorrow; the seeds we have on windowsills and in the germinarium are going crazy so time to get the soil ready for planting them out.  How exciting that in a few months time we'll be able to start eating them all; nothing like the feeling of foraging in your garden for your dinner!

6 March 2012

Barefoot in a rowing boat

Playsuit: Primark £13  |  Heels: Marks and Spencer


Just a quick post as I wanted to show off this cute playsuit I bought from Primark last week.  I went in to buy a new cardigan as the dog had chewed up my favourite grey one (long story involving boyfriend forgetting to confine him to the kitchen one day last week when he went to work) and of course instead came out with two a dress, a playsuit, a t-shirt and a pair of shorts.  Being as I am quite the fan of scallops (the shape, not the shellfish) and Peter Pan collars I was instantly won over when I spotted it on the rails and £13 seemed very reasonable!

I have been doing more outfit posts lately as I like showing off things I've bought, or outfits I've worn and liked.  I know it's a bit of a deviation from what I've done before so I hope you lovely readers don't mind.

On a final note, I want to say a massive thanks to the immensely talented Katie at Sugarpatch, who has started doing commissions for blog headers as she is absolutely brilliant at illustration.  She sketched the little picture of me with my favourite camera and I am completely in love with it.  Thanks Katie!

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