Dreaming of summer...

I don't know about everyone else but I am completely FED UP of winter. I love winter clothes but I hate the cold and the short days. It was -12 here on Christmas night! I'm fed up having to wear so many layers to go outside and not being able to wear nice shoes because of the snow. I was looking over old photos from the summer just passed and wishing it would hurry up and come again. How about you? Are you as fed up as I am? I miss these things:

Sorbet!

Ice cream in Montmartre.

Eating pear sorbet outside a café in Paris and choosing ice cream in Montmartre.

Camden Town.

Camden Town.

Hours spent wandering around Camden Town in London.

Picnic

Having picnics in the Botanical gardens with my best friend.

Cosmopolitan <3

Drinking fruity cocktails instead of hot chocolate and mulled wine.

140/365 | Enjoying the sun.

Pretty shoes instead of boots.

Boulanger Patissier

Evening walks through sleepy French villages.

View of Paris from the Sacré-Coeur.

Being able to go outside without 5 layers on! Summer 2011? BRING IT ON!


And the bells were ringing out for Christmas day!

Merry Christmas to all of my lovely readers! I thought I would share a few Christmas things for you.

1. Clearly the best Christmas song ever, and I'm not just saying that because I'm Irish.



2. One of my favorites from Tori Amos, my favorite singer.



3. Videos of me recieving my favorite present ever, and just generally being a mental annoying sibling when I was 5 years old:





4. Some Christmassy photos I took of our tree and cupcakes I made for work.

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5. Totoro! Okay not really Christmas themed but isn't he amazing?

Totoro!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Snow day!

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Molly in the snow.

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Northern Ireland is covered in a blanket of snow!

Most Wanted Yule-Blog Bake Challenge.

Christmas Cupcakes.

I was contacted by the lovely Helen of Voucher Codes a few weeks ago to invite me to take part in a Holiday themed bake challenge. I decided to bake some peppermint and chocolate cupcakes with handmade decorations which I made out of fondant, food colouring and edible glitter. I used a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and added some peppermint extract. The glittery christmas trees and snowflakes are chocolate decorations I coated in edible glitter. I love glitter, so christmassy! I hope you all like them!


Christmas Cupcakes.

Christmas Cupcakes.

Christmas Cupcakes.

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Christmas Cupcakes.

Christmas Cupcakes.

Ingredients
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g soft unsalted butter
120ml whole milk
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate frosting
300g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter, very soft
30g cocoa powder, sifted
45ml whole milk

Method
- Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
- Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and butter in a large bowl and beat on a slow speed with an electric hand mixer until well combined and a sandy consistency.
- Whisk the egg, milk and vanilla extract together in a jug and add half to the dry mixture. Beat slowly to combine and then more quickly to beat out any lumps.
- Add the remaining liquid mixture and beat slowly to combine. Do not overmix.
- Transfer the mixture into the cake cases until 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven until they spring back to the touch. A skewer inserted should come out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack before frosting.

- For the frosting, beat the butter, sugar and cocoa powder together until well combined.
- Add the milk and beat to combine. The mixture will come together into a big lump. Keep beating for a few minutes, you will see it get lighter in colour and texture.
- Spoon or pipe on to the cupcakes.

Apologies.

25\365 | Bed day!

Sorry for the lack of posts. I'm suffering with the flu at the moment, I cannot wait until Spring!

Winter was on us at the end of my nose...

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It has been forever since I shared an outfit post with you all. I wasn't going anywhere special, in fact I was going to work shortly after this but I thought as it was light and I had time I would take a photo of my new dress which I am in love with. I got it for a few Christmas parties I am going to. I love it so much, I had seen it in a magazine in September and only managed to get my hands on it a week ago. It's by Pearl Lowe for Peacocks. It's got loads of layers of tulle underneath as well, very Betty Draper (<3). The coat is one I got years ago in Miss Selfridge, I just added a fur collar to it last week and some brooches. Very snuggly and warm!

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Dress - Pearl Lowe for Peacocks
Necklace - A-wear
Brooches - Topshop
Shoes - Primark
Coat - Miss Selfridge

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And just before I leave, as I imagine many of you are covered in snow as we are, I wanted to share a favorite song of mine by my love Laura Marling. She's amazing and I am seeing her next week, so excited! So make a cup of hot chocolate, curl up with a book and listen to this song.




Nail polish eye candy.

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My leopard print nails.

Yeah, I have a bit of an obsession with nail polish. I used to bite my nails as a child, so maybe I'm just making up for that but I can't get enough of it. I've got really into nail art lately as well, becoming an avid follower of WAH nails and this tumblr. It was the lovely Selina of Flying Saucer that got me into nail art, thanks Selina!

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My favorite nail polish is by Models Own, they have such a wide range of colours and the staying power on them tends to be pretty good. I am building quite the collection.

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I was really excited about the WAH nails/models own collaboration. Usually for any nail art I did before I used liquid eyeliner but these pens are much more durable. The only problem for me is that once you remove the pin to start painting the polish doesn't stop coming out of the tube and you keep having to rub it off which seems like an awful waste to me. Also the pin is really hard to replace, maybe it's just my shaky hands but it takes me forever. I don't know if I'd bother buying the black one again since I am happy to use my eyeliner which stays on fine wit a clear coat over it, but when they release new colours I will definitely give them a try! That's where my eyeliner trick doesn't work so well.

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I actually really love the rest of the models own make up, the lip stick and lipgloss in particular. I ordered their plum lipstick recently though and it looks nothing like it does on the website so I may email them about it! Other than that I have had no problems with their make up at all, their false eyelashes are great as well. I hope they do a Christmas sale, because I definitely have a new addiction.

Another brand I love is Barry M. I used to buy their nail polishes more but they're always out of stock of the ones I want in the Belfast Boots stores now (I still haven't managed to get hold of the nail effects polish after 3 trips to 2 different stores!). Their polishes are a little cheaper than Models Own, but generally need more coats to build up colour (especially in the pastel shades). I still think that Barry M however is a wonderful brand and it's completely affordable and offers a great range of colours and products.

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My latest obsession is matt nail polish. I have been using this Topshop one whic I really like but it tends to peel off easily, so I might try another brand. I am a big fan of Topshop make up though, I totally love it. Especially the eye and lip products. The nail polish is £5 which is the same as Models Own but in Boots and online they are always 3 for 2 so more affordable, and maybe I am cheap but £5 is more than I like to pay for nail polish unless it's a really unique colour.

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And just to add, this is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share some of my favorite things with you all. If you have any recommendations for other good polishes or fun nail art blogs please let me know!

A little life update.

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1.Sorry I have been MIA again readers. And I know I owe you a Movie Monday. I have been snowed under with work for my Masters and also winter sends me into a bit of a hibernation if I'm honest. I'll try my best to get back to regular posts soon.

2. My layout is currently being redesigned, if anyone has me listed on their links sidebar of their blog please comment and let me know so that I can add your blog to my new one!

3. Some photos from the past while that I felt like sharing.

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Manchester Grafitti.
Manchester graffiti.

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Me and my BFF and fellow blogger Sarah Kane.

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I got a new iphone <3

4. Lastly Happy Thanksgiving to my many American readers, you guys are awesome.