Thanks to my readers!



I wanted to thank you all for your lovely comments about my tattoos, and for sharing some of yours! I am so grateful for every comment I get and each one makes me smile.
I currently have 133 followers, once I reach 150 I will be doing another giveaway. This one will be pretty fun, I plan on bringing back some goodies from my trip to London to add to it. So please follow and let others know to do the same! Once I've hit the right number of followers I will tell you how to be in with a chance! Like last time, the giveaway will be open to those from any country. I am headed to London on Tuesday for my birthday and I can't wait to share one of my favorite cities with you all! xo

And the birds were singing to calm us down.





Dress - New Look
Belt - New Look
Leggins - Primark
Shoes - Topshop
Bag - Topshop
Necklace - Hannah Makes Things
Ring - Miss Selfridge
Hairband - River Island

The title is from one of my favorite Laura Marling songs, My Manic and I. If you read this blog you'll probably know how much I love birds. I love the freedom they represent, their colours, their little beaks. I have lots of bird printed clothes and bird themed jewellery. Well now I have permanent little bird. No, not a real one, I'd never keep them. I have a little siskin tattoed on the inside of my wrist. I got him done yesterday by the amazing Julius at White Dragon Tattoo in Belfast. He did my first, and so far only other, tattoo almost two years ago. I hope you like him. He's not looking on top form today as he is in the process of healing, but isn't he sweet?



I got the dress yesterday, it was supposed to be £20 but was only £16 as new look have double student discount on at the moment!





This ring was only £3 in the sale.



This is a photo I took yesterday after getting it done, and a photo of my old one when it was first done.






Show me your tattoos!

River Island introduces a size 18 to their range!

What is your opinion of River Island? Before this year I always thought of it as a shop whose sizes ran small and who sometimes sold lovely things but had a habit of covering them in ugly sequins and diamantes.

In the last few months however I have noticed some absolutely lovely items from River Island. And I am very happy to announce that after going in during the week I have noticed that they have now introduced a size 18 to their range! Well done River Island! They have some lovely dresses in at the moment. I thought in honour of them welcoming a more diverse range of shoppers, I would share a few of my favorites. I'm pretty sure they've reduced their price points slightly as well, so I think I may have to get a few of these things!






Unfortunately their website is flash based so I can't direct link but you can get these all at http://www.riverisland.com in sizes 6-18.

1. Hawaiian print dress - under 'day dresses' £24.99
2. Stork printed skirt - under 'skirts' £21.99
3. Long sleeve floral sweat - under 'tops' then 'long sleeves tops/hoodies' £24.99
4. Floral print zip thru skirt - under 'skirts' £21.99 (also comes in blue)
5. Spotted sack dress - under 'dresses' then 'day dresses' £34.99


All Cakes Considered: Aunt Di's Bittersweet Chocolate Layer Cake



I stumbled across a lovely book when I was in town last week and had to have it. It's called 'All Cakes Considered' and is written by an American radio producer who bakes cakes for her office every monday. It's full of tried and tested recipes. If you have never baked before, start with this book. It has a lot of pictures step by step and goes from easy cakes to harder stuff. It also has guides such as how to slice your cakes in half, how to achieve the best look when frosting - basically anything you'd ever want to know about cakes. Pair this with beautiful photography and a slogan on the front that reads 'how to keep your co-workers happy, friendly and fatter than you' and it was in my shopping basket before you could say death by chocolate.



I tried out her recipe for 'Aunt Di's Bittersweet Chocolate Layer Cake' at the weekend and it was such a hit. It is definitely a new favorite. It's a big cake so I might reduce the recipe and make it double layered next time and make it for the family. I made this for a birthday party for a load of 19 year old boys and it disappeared in about 5 seconds (that's why I have no photos of it sliced).



Since it was for a group of boys I held back on the glitter and flowers. Just a good old fashioned cake. I took this before the frosting had set properly, but you get the idea.




Ingredients:

For the cake:
2 cups sugar
3 cups self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
2 cups double cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup dark cocoa powder
4 cups icing sugar
2/3 cups milk
1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (or 375 degrees F).
2. Cut out and attatch baking paper to EITHER three 8 inch tins or two 9 inch tins. I went for three layers.
3. Dry whisk your flour and salt. In a sperate bowl beat the eggs until thick.
4. Using a hand whisk or a freestanding mixer whip your double cream until very thick. The book says until it is as thick as cool whip but we don't have that here so I don't know how thick that is! It also says as thick as softened ice cream to give you a better idea.
5. Add the beaten eggs to the cream. Beat on high speed until the mixture is slightly foamy.
6. Slow the mixer down to medium and add the sugar and then the vanilla extract.
7. With the mixer on medium, gradually add the flour mixture.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20-25 mins. I found that even in my fan oven however the cakes needed about 30 minutes.
9. Check that the cakes are cooked by inserting a skewer (I always just use a fork) and if it comes out clean the cake is done. If it's got any mix on it just return it to the oven for about 2 minute periods and repeat until it comes out clean.



LEAVE THE CAKES TO COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE FROSTING.






To make the frosting:
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave.
2. Pour the melted butter in the mixer and add the cocoa powder. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
3. Add the icing sugar gradually, alternating with the milk.
4. Mix until smooth and then mix in the vanilla extract.

Now all you have to do is wait until the cakes are completely cooked and layer away. I have to say, this is the most delicious frosting I have ever had in my life. So well worth trying! Let me know how it goes if you do!

Also, I hope you don't mind me copying out the original cup measurements instead of converting them. You can find many conversion tables by googling but if you want to save yourself the trouble just buy some cup measures, very easy!

Hello from Manchester!...oh wait scrap that.



So, yes I am supposed to be in Manchester right now. I was going over for three nights to stay with my lovely friends and to see Rufus Wainwright. If anyone doesn't know, there's a volcano in Iceland that is erupting and causing ash clouds meaning nearly all flights over Europe have been cancelled since last Thursday and things are still looking bleak. I was going to do a little guide to Manchester but I guess that's been delayed! I'll be going over in June so hopefully I can do something then.

I do hope the ash clears up soon though, as I have booked to go to London for my birthday on May 4th for 2 nights with my favorite person and awesome blogger Sarah Kane. That will be a fun opportunity to share one of my favorite cities with you all!

For now, in lieu of my Manchester post have some far less exciting photos of my newest dress, and possibly new favorite dress! I absolutely love it, it's my favorite colour as well. I got it in the ASOS sale for £21 as well which I thought was pretty great. It's a lovely light fabric, perfect for summer, if it ever arrives here in Ireland.





Dress - ASOS
Bag - Topshop
Shoes - Office
Necklace - ASOS
Hair flower - Accessorize



Oh! And I wanted to ask, do you readers like me including a big photo like at the top there? I always just use the standard flickr size but let me know what you think! x

My little sister and I.





I'm thankful to be part of a big family, there are 5 of us kids. My little sister Katy is 15 and I managed to convince her to take some photos with me earlier. Damn her for being taller than me though!



Katy wears -
Dress - YUMI
Belt - New Look
Boots - Primark
Jacket - New look

I am wearing -
Dress - Topshop
Lace jacket - Dunnes
Boots - Dr Martens
Necklace - Topshop
Rings - Topshop and Miss Selfridge
Butterfly - DIY






Bargains.



Coat - Silence & Noise at Urban Outfitters
Brooch - Vintage
Shoes - Office
Bag - Primark
Bracelet - Miss Selfridge



I love bargains, doesn't everyone? Urban Outfitters sell so many beauiful things but my student loan doesn't go that far so I usually head right to their sale corner. I got this swing coat/old man blazer two weeks ago for £19.99 instead of £95! And with their 10% off for students I saved even more. It's really light as well so will be good for the summer, I wore it to see Laura Marling last night, she was phenomenal.





What's the best bargain you have ever got?



Happy 50th Dr Martens!





Dress - Dorothy Perkins
Cardigan - Primark
Tights - Primark
Boots - Dr Martens
Bag - Liz Claiborne
Necklace - Topshop
Ring - ASOS (rose ring was a gift)


It's the 50th anniversary of Dr Martens boots. I love them all, I remember wearing a pair of the buckle ones to school and getting told off as they weren't regulation. I still have them 6 years after I bought them and they're as perfect as they were the day I bought them. Dr Martens are known for being extremely hard wearing, and can last a lifetime. I bought a new pair about two weeks ago, and as anyone who has ever owned a pair of docs will know, they are a bloody PAIN to wear in. They rub and cut in every possible place on your foot. That's the only downside! I have been advised to put fabric plasters on the inside of the boot where it rubs and to wear lots of socks with them, all of which I have been doing! Hopefully they will be perfect soon. I may be insane but if you ask me they're entirely worth the pain. I would have loved the black floral boots but I know they'd clash with all my floral dresses so I went for my favorite colour, forest green!





Back from France!









Hello all! I'm back in Ireland. France was lovely. I ate nice food and read a book, which I never have time for anymore! I thought I would share a few photos with you. Expect an outfit post very soon as well.