Thursday, 27 March 2014

Mothering Sunday

While flowers and cards are always appreciated, I like to get a little more creative with my Mother’s Day gift giving. And what better way to show your mother how much she means to you than with something handmade? I love to make my mum a homemade afternoon tea baking lots of delicious treats  to wash down with a good cuppa! Its simple but my mum is a busy bee and to get five minuets to sit down to indulge in tea and cake is a luxury for her! I thought i would share with you some of the cupcakes i have baked for her previously to give you a few ideas on what can be created! 

Jazz it up make edible flower cakes to go with your bunch of flowers! 

Cant get any more English than a pot of tea accompanied by strawberries and cream cupcakes!

One of my mums favourites Terry's Chocolate Orange Cupcakes ...simple but effective ;) 

Now if your not a dab hand in the kitchen why not check out places you can buy pretty little treats to create your own bought after noon tea! Here are a few places that sell fab cakey treats that you can bring home and treat your mum with! 

They make gorgeous cakes i particularly enjoy this chocolate treat which is £3.25 

Why not go all out and get a gift box so all the family can join in, the Humming Bird Bakery create pretty boxes for £19.50

The well known Lola's offer a selection of chocolate and vanilla mothers day themed cupcakes at £18.00

Now if your mum isn't one for cupcakes perhaps she likes a biccy or two? I came across the most wonderful biscuit company that hand ice these beautiful biscuits, i have fell in love and would love at some point to try these wonderful creations out! Heres one of their mothers day products! 


Amazing biscuits this selection is called The Flower Power Biscuit Tin at £30 

These places are all little suggestions if you can't bare baking yourself, if your budget doesn't stretch that far  then why not try out your local bakery or even the bakery department in Waitrose they have lovely fresh cakes! Although i still think homemade has that extra special touch ...even if it is slightly burnt ;). Let me know how you got on and what your buying/making your mum this Mothers Day!

Madge x 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Its a Spring Thing!

Image Found on Pinterest!

The age old saying 'I'm having a spring clean' ...may sound boring but it is totally worth it! This time of year is the perfect time to clear that wardrobe out, and If your anything like me you probably need it too! 

I will hoard clothes creating all sorts of scenarios in my head creating reasons to keep the item! I mean...I might just need to wear those orange lycra hot pants again ...or I simply need that 10th LBD because its a slightly different style to Little Black Dress number 9! If this is anything like you then i think you will benefit from my tips on where to get started when having a clear out as i know all too well it can be a daunting task!  

Madge's Top Tips to for your spring clean...
1. Empty : completely take everything out and start sorting your clothing into two piles -  ('to stay' and 'to go') 
2. Analyse : Make sure you try things on, be honest and be critical with yourself!

3. Organise : start to identify the basics and establish outfits; organise the space so clothing can be found easily (certain sections for certain things)
4. Repair : Isolate items that need fixing and make the repairs (or be prepared to get rid of the item)
5. Say Goodbye : Be ruthless; my main tip of them all ONLY keep only items that make you look and feel good!

Things to keep in mind and ask yourself when going through your clothing ...
1. Do I love wearing this item or do I just like the way it looks on the hanger? 
2. Is it comfortable and flattering? Do I feel good wearing it?
3. Is it versatile ...Can I create various outfits with this one item?
4. Does this item fit into my overall style?5. Do I wear this regularly? If not, why?

Now where will all these clothes go!? Here are a few ideas on how to get rid for good! 
  1. SELL! - Make some money there are so many places you can sell your unwanted clothing for example, boot sales, EBAY, De-Pop,Facebay sites etc!
  2. CHARITY - you can drop off at your local charity shop, clothes bin or  even use clothing collection bags that are left on your doorstep.
  3. SWAP- have a swap party with your friends replenish your wardrobe with new items that are more to your style now!
Honestly the best tip i can give is that you only keep what you enjoy wearing, what is in good condition, and what makes you feel comfortable. For example If you haven't worn something in the last six months then you probably don't really like it as much as you think you do! The spring clean goal is to own only pieces of clothing that you wear regularly and love, so it's wise to get rid of anything unworn. I Hope I've spread the inspiration for spring cleaning, let em know if these tips have helped you or if you have any for me!? 

Madge x

Thursday, 20 March 2014

International day of ...HAPPINESS :)


So today was international day of Happiness, who knew? Well i didn't, but i got me thinking of all the lovely things going on in the world that make people happy! Heres a few of the little things in life that brighten my day, or simply perk up my mood and make me happy! ...Enjoy! 

I love to start the day with a super duper breakfast ...boring as it may sound, if i start my day with something delicious it makes me happy and sets me up for the rest of the day! Heres snaps from my some of the fav breakfasts I've made! 

Simple porridge with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of cinnamon - lush! 

Fresh orange juice, herbal tea and a mini fry up ...perfect hangover cure!

(I was obviously feeling adventurous when i made this) - porridge, green tea, with fresh fruits !

Bagel topped with scrambled eggs, salmon and avocado - amazing!

THE SUN! It makes me sooooo happy to see the sun poking its little head out of the clouds and finally making an appearance (it doesn't happen a lot in the UK!). Heres a perfect example of that in the two pictures i took whilst on a walk through my village! Doesn't the sky look gorgeous, the sun is just about poking its cheeky head out :) 

Fresh flowers ....i love fresh flowers on my dressing table its something so innocent and beautiful that i love! It makes me happy to have a them through out my house, they bring colour and fresh fragrance to your home! It even puts a smile on my face when i see bunches of freshly cut flowers at the market and i particularly love the entrance to Liberty in London seeing all their flowers! Heres some random flowers that i thought were so pretty i should take a picture!

Pink roses - perfection 

Simple Sunny Yellow Flowers outside a pub :)

Flower from my garden with little rain drop details!

Orchids from Paris 

A little pick me up, theirs nothing that makes me more happier than just taking five mins to myself and sipping on a warm inviting cuppa in bed or indulging in a rich coffee at a cute coffee shop!

Nothing better than being all cozied up in bed with a cup of tea laaavely 

The little hearts they do make it that bit more lovely 

MILO ... my dog he never fails to make me smile :) 

He has always been top dawg

Look at those eyes! 

Ok so im going to wind this up now last is a cheeky cocktail they are my favourite type of drink on a night out I'm always happy/ merry with a cocktail in hand, heres a few of my favourites from nights out!

Hard Rock Cafe - London 

Charlie Chaplins Bar - Boscombe

Champagne Lounge - Harvey Nichols 

Conto Lounge Bar - Bournemouth

Smoking Aces whiskey and cocktail lounge - Bournemouth
Too drunk to remember!!

So thats just a handful of silly little things that make me happy each day (not the cocktails i don't have one of those a day ha!) Id love to know what makes you happy, perhaps we have similar interests!? 

Happy International day of Happiness to you all! :)

Madge x 

Monday, 17 March 2014

February Favourites!

I need to work on my presentation and photography skills i know! 

February has gone so fast, and so has March can't believe I'm so late on this post! Anyway better late than never! Here is a look at my February through a miscellany of things worn, read, used, tried and loved. 

Body bits! Whilst in Paris i stocked up on my beloved Bioderma....whats Bioderma i hear?? Well, its basically a miracle water that strips make up and makes your skin feel great! Its a french brand and each time i visit France i make sure i stock up well! This time i came across the mini travel bottles which i thought were super cute and super handy too! All of Bioderma's micellar waters are fantastic - it was the brand's Crealine (now named Sensibio) formula that sparked the trend. The latest formulation, Hydrabio, cleanses without stripping moisture, stimulating the skin’s ability to retain moisture and making itideal for sensitive and dry skin types (love,love,love!). They are SO popular that they featured in Vogues '10 Best micellar waters'! 

Anyway enough about my magical water obsession! I was also loving Lush bath bombs/ bubble bars in February,  it was a stressful month with lots of uni work so i appreciated my beloved bubble bar so much more! If you want to splash out on a pamper shesh id recommend you buy 'The Comforter' - A bath time blend of fruity essential oils to wrap you up in a big comforting hug (perfect after a stressful day)...Sometimes you just need to shut yourself off from the outside world under a blanket of fruity foam that will put you back in the right frame of mind to face the world - Perfect!

Last but not least on my body bits was my EOS - Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in flavour Strawberry Sorbet; its smell is bloody gorgeous!I was lucky enough to have a friend pick me one up from America, and i can't put it down i love it and am desperate to try out the other flavours out now! It looks like Kimmy K and Kylie had the same taste as 
me too ;)

General things i loved in the last month! When not dozing asleep on the coach to Paris i was delving into another chapter of 'Katie Piper - Things Get better'. Its all about handling life's challenges, big and small, one day at a time. Few people understand what it's like to pull yourself up from rock bottom better than Katie Piper. Her recovery from a rape and acid attack is nothing short of astonishing. Katie is determined to spread the message that, no matter how big your difficulties feel now, there is a way forward. There is help, love and support available to get you through your darkest times, and it all starts with you. In Things Get Better, Katie revisits each stage of her own recovery to show that you are not alone in your feelings. She explains how to take things one day at a time to reach your goals, and reveals how to stay positive and treat yourself with the kindness you deserve. It really is a great read, tear jerking at times but i would defiantly recommend it  as its full of amazing tips! 

On a lighter note i also went to see Russell Howard at the BIC in Bournemouth to see his 'WONDERBOX' tour, i took my brother as were both big fans and he did not disappoint! If your not a fan of his already shame on you ... just kidding! But honestly if you've not experienced Russell do give him a go! Russell is barrel of laughs and always ends on an unexpectedly touching finale, in the show he discusses his encounters with an inspirationally resilient boy contending with terminal cancer. That section still keeps the cheeky sense of humour that Russell is all about but it holds you in awe too. I love him  and would definitely go again...and again...oh and again ;) 

The little birds you see in the image above and below are my third section of miscellaneous bits and probably the best ...well i would say that because i made them! 'Two little love birds' are part of the valentines collection from Grace In Chains ...the business that i am one third of! We are an all girl threesome that together create GIC!  GIC is supported by the young enterprise start up scheme which offers young people like ourselves the opportunity to gain valuable, practical, business and management skills. We design and create original jewellery using both salvaged materials and supporting UK suppliers, our designs are very much about expressing yourself in a quirky and distinctive way! And these little beauties are not only our best sellers but my design too! I'm very proud and exited on this new venture! #GraceinChains #GIC

If your interested or want to take a look at other designs then head to these links!

It wouldn't be a full on favourites without some foodie mentions now, would it? First of my main foodie loves would have to be Laduree Macaroons of course (now i know you have heard way to much about my love for them in previous posts so i won't go on!) 

Being the start of a new year new healthy me i decided to trial the Graze boxes once again (i seem to subscribe to them on and off each year!)  If you haven’t heard about the ‘snack box craze’ the basic concept is that you get convenient & healthy, pre-portioned snacks sent direct to you in the post. The boxes are designed to encourage you to munch on goodness throughout the day, instead of fatty biscuits and crisps! The boxes are sent first class, with free delivery and you can have them delivered to home/work/Uni (there really is no excuse to raid the vending machine!) – they are even designed to fit through the letter box.. Graze really have thought of everything. 

So what did I think.. Well, I loved mine! They really are a great way to help you snack on healthier options, and really do stop you reaching for those ‘naughty biscuits’ or crisps. I ate my ‘healthier’ nibbles mid-afternoon (I have fresh fruit mid-morning) as well as a part of my lunch, and then found the ‘healthy chocolate’ nibbles an ideal treat on an evening.. chocolate and goodness complete with portion control.. brilliant! The graze boxes are great for people who want healthy snacks that are ready to eat, or for those who perhaps miss meals due to a lack of time – these boxes are super convenient and look smart in any brief-case/hand-bag/tote etc.

 Other than my graze box i was nibbling on Metcalfe’s skinny Topcorn it is one of the best-selling popcorn lines in the UK. A low-fat alternative to crisps is available in 6 delicious flavours of skinny popcorn: Sea salt, Sweet ‘n salt, Wasabi, Chocolate crackle, Heat ‘n sweet and Sweet Cinnamon Spice. Their are two I've been loving ; Sweet n Salt – I’m one of those weirdos who ask for half sweet half salty popcorn at the cinema, well now you can buy it in a bag! Genius! A good balance of sweet against salty, extremely addictive. I also loved the more basic flavour of Sea Salt – exactly what it says on the tin. Strong salty taste! - YUM

A little lengthy i know...i need to try and stop all my rambling but thats my February Faves, Let me know what you think? ... What have you been loving this month?!

Madge x

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Pancake Feast!

sugar overload ...oooops!

Today was pancake day (Shrove Tuesday), where people give things up for lent (until Easter), it meant i could pop my piny on at sunrise to make myself a mini feast of pancakes and not feel guilty one bit! Until this year i hadn't been known for my tossing skills (haha) but i had the flip down to a T this morning and was overly proud of this! I put out a mixture of different things that I would use to fill my pancakes. There was freshly chopped fruit, Sugar, Honey, Nutella. I know dollops of Nutella it's not the healthiest start to the day, but It was balanced out with lots of fruit fruit on the side and a nice glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. I really enjoyed mixing Nutella and strawberries to create a chocolately dream of goodness which i loved, although i must admit the good old classic of fresh lemon and sugar will always be my fav!  

What fillings did you put in your pancakes today?

Are you giving anything up for lent?

Madge x

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Paris Part 2

Macaroon Heaven !

Laduree was amazing! Such beautiful decor and yummy treats! If your visiting Paris i would definitely advise you to visit here just for a simple macaroon or spend an afternoon there and truly indulge! :)

Macaroons weren't the only colourful treats we saw whilst in Paris... we also visited Museum National D'histoire Naturelle, (French natural history museum) which has beautiful Botanical Gardens! When we visited it was pot luck that one of my favourite flowers was being exhibited specially! Orchids are such beautiful and calming flowers i adore them and had no idea they came in just so many colours! Walking through a jungle of fresh sweet scents and blur of colour was a stunning way to end another day! 

Me climbing through the jungle/ rainforest!

A little silly but don't these remind you of nipples! ;) haha

Looking over the Botanical Gardens with the girls

Two Trips to Laduree isn't bad is it.... hehe

With our last day spent wandering around side streets, scoffing snails, last minuet shopping  and hitting Laduree once again (it happened guys)- it was a lovely way to spend a short and sweet stay in one of my favourite places, with some of my favourite friends.

 Madge x