Top Sale Picks

Zara Cotton Parka
TopshopTextured Sweatshirt
& Other Stories Brushed Checked Coat
Cos Striped T-Shirt
Zara Backpack
Cos Silk Trousers
& Other Stories Pointed Loafers
Topshop Nightwear

I don't know about you but I prefer to do my sale shopping from the sofa with a delicious cuppa, the thought of even venturing into the shops right now makes me a little nervous. Elbows followed by disappointment that the only sizes left wouldn't fit my big toe doesn't make for a happy Lizzie shopper...I much prefer browsing my favourite websites from the comfort of my own home. These are just a couple of pieces that are currently sat in my shopping baskets, now to decide which make it to the checkout! Any help is much appreciated...

Which sale pieces have you got your eye on in the 'boxing day sales?'

MINT CHOC CHIP CUPCAKE RECIPE

As a great lover of mint choc chip ice cream it was only a matter of time until I found a way to take one of my favourite flavours from ice cream to cupcake form! Surprisingly simple yet obviously delicious.

INGREDIENTS
makes 18
225g self raising flour
225g caster sugar
225g unsalted butter
4 large eggs
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp peppermint essence
100g chocolate chips

ICING
115g unsalted butter
225g icing sugar
1 tsp peppermint essence
1 tsp green food colouring
chocolate chips for decoration

METHOD
  1. Line tins with 18 cupcake cases and preheat oven to 180C
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until combined. Add the eggs one at a time to the mixture and beat together. Add a little flour with each egg if the mixture starts to curdle.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and mix together until you have a smooth mixture.
  4. Stir in the mint essence and the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon until evenly dispersed.
  5. Spoon a tbsp of the mixture into each cupcake case and place in the over for 20-25 minutes.
  6. For the icing beat the butter until light and fluffy, gradually mix in the icing sugar until combined.
  7. Add the peppermint essence and green food colouring, just enough to turn the buttercream a lovely mint colour.
  8. Once cooled ice the cupcakes and sprinkle chocolate chips on top for decoration. 
Enjoy and don't forget to share your bakes with me on Twitter and Instagram!

Green Leather


Can we just take a minute to appreciate how amazing this skirt is...I am in love and haven't really taken it off since I bought it. & Other Stories has got it going on at the minute as you can probably tell by the majority of this outfit. I love the green leather as it makes a well needed change to black or occasionally burgundy! It is so versatile and it's probably going to feature in every other outfit this Autumn/Winter.

What's your staple piece for this season?

P.s. I had to include the third picture to show THE best photobomb!

BLUEBERRY MUFFIN RECIPE

I've had a bit of a craving for all things blueberry recently, blueberry pancakes, blueberry smoothies, blueberry blueberries when I suddenly thought BLUBERRY MUFFINS. Why haven't I made them sooner? I whipped these up yesterday morning just in time for a lazy Saturday breakfast, still a bit gooey on the inside they are the perfect breakfast treat.

INGREDIENTS
makes 12
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
100g butter
300g self-raising flour
140ml milk
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp baking powder
150g fresh blueberries (you can use dried if you prefer)

METHOD
  1. Line your muffin tray with 12 muffin/cupcake cases and preheat your oven at 180C.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat your eggs then add half to the butter and sugar, beat until combined. Add the rest of your eggs and beat again.
  3. Once combined add the flour and baking powder. This will make a thick batter- don't worry this is what it's supposed to be like at this stage!
  4. Once you have your thick batter, stir in the vanilla extract and the milk. This will loosen the batter and make it more workable. 
  5. Add the blueberries and fold these into the mixture. Spoon the mixture into your cases about 3/4 full. 
  6. Bake for 15-20  minutes or until golden brown and risen.
  7. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the baking tray and then transfer to a wire rack.
So simple yet so delicious. Don't forget to share your pictures on Twitter and Instagram.

I can't wait to see your creations!

SCANDI

Halogen Pendent / Shoji Screen / White Side Table / Hanging Brass Pendant / Marble Wall Clock / Brass Chair / Acacia Salad Servers

Myself and Dan are in the stage of buying a house which means my relatively tame interiors obsession is now in overdrive. Where I once had one interiors board on Pinterest I now have specific boards per rooms, per theme, I even have boards focused on a piece of furniture. If you're an interiors fanactic too you can find me here

I love the Scandinavian look and I intend to add some warmth with country accents. Hopefully it will work out just as I picture it in my head! For now here are some pieces (and a bathroom) that I recently found and love.

There'll be plenty more wish lists to come so watch this space!

LEMON AND POPPYSEED CUPCAKE RECIPE

Sometimes there is nothing better than a simple (yet utterly delicious) lemon and poppyseed cupcake. These were a BIG hit with my mumma a non chocolate lover and a BIG hit with me an avid chocolate lover!

INGREDIENTS
makes 12

175g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
zest 2 lemons
3 eggs
100g natural yoghurt
175g melted and cooled butter
1 tbsp poppy seeds

ICING

225g softened butter
400g icing sugar
1 juiced lemon
poppy seeds to decorate

METHOD

  1. Heat your oven to 180C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  2. Mix the flour, poppy seeds, sugar and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Beat the eggs into the yoghurt until combined and then pour into the dry mixture with the melted butter.
  4. Mix together until all the mixtures are combined and lump free.
  5. Divide the mixture between your cases, one tbsp per case tends to be just right.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. The cakes will be quite pale in colour so don't use this as a measure for how 'done' they are.
  7. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then lift out onto a wire rack
  1. To make the icing beat the butter in a large bowl until softened. Beat in half of the icing sugar and the lemon juice until combined. 
  2. Beat in the rest of the icing sugar until the mixture is smooth.
  3. To get the same effect as me, using a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe each cake. Sprinkle poppy seeds over your finished cupcakes.
Enjoy!

As always be sure to share your pictures with me on Twitter and Instagram

PORT D'ANDRAXT

I had never been as in need of a holiday as when 8th June 2015 came around. Don't get me wrong I love to travel more than I love pizza (and pizza is my ultimate weakness) I feel so at home when I am on holiday. I love the lazy days, exploring, relaxing getting a healthy glow and most importantly having time to think. I become my most creative when I can feel the sun on my skin and hear the sea in my ears. As soon as I step off the plane a fog is lifted off of my brain and ideas from the far corners come flying to the forefront, anyone know how I can recreate this back home?

However the feelng I had come 8th June was slightly different, I was tired, worn out mentally and physically after a rocky start to the year. I was dreaming of the moment you step off the plane and feel the heat hit you in the face like only a Spanish welcome does. I headed to Port D'Andraxt with the sole purpose of relaxing and regrouping and there couldn't be a better place to do this. 

I have been going to Port D'Andraxt, a port (obviously) 30 minutes from Palma on the island of Majorca, since I was in my early teens, we have family friends who own an apartment here. It is the most idyllic calming place that I have visited to date. The people are lovely, it is mostly residential with tourists coming in on the biggest most beautiful yachts you will see, yacht watching is one of my favourite things to do here. The food is delicious with fresh fish coming into the restaurants daily and the weather is a balmy 30C from June right through to September. If you plan on going I would highly recommend Giovannis for the fresh pasta and Media Luna for the fresh fish...delicious!

This was just the holiday I needed, I enjoyed every minute and came back as you should from a holiday, rejuvenated. I couldn't recommend this port anymore but just in case you still need some convincing take a look at those G&T's, in a word they are phenomenal.

Are you heading anywhere nice for your summer holidays?

VICTORIA SPONGE CUPCAKES

Dan, my boyfriend, has a huge soft spot for Victoria Sponge cake. To be honest I think it is more a love of jam, think Joey in 'The one with all the jam', so I set about thinking how I could take the classic Victoria Sponge cake into cupcake form and voila...

INGREDIENTS

makes 12
175g caster sugar
175g unsalted butter
175g self-raising flour
3 large eggs
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
jam

ICING

150g unsalted butter
335g icing sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
3 Cadbury's flakes
handful of sprinkles

METHOD

  1. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
  2. Put all of the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat together with an electric whisk (or wooden spoon if you don't own a whisker) until all of the ingredients and combined and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Evenly spoon the mixture into the paper cases, roughly a tbsp per case.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cakes are risen and firm on top. They should spring back when you lightly press down, alterntively insert a metal skewer into the centre of the cupcake, if it comes out clean the cupcake is ready. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
  5. Whilst your cakes are cooling you can make your icing. Add the butter, vanilla extract and half of the icing sugar into a large bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining icing sugar until combined, here you can add a 1 or 2 tsp of milk if needed to make your icing the right consistency. It should be quite firm but easy to work with.
  6. Before icing you need to add the all important jam. Once the cakes are cool cute a 1 ince circular slice out of the top of the cake. Spoon a tsp of jam into the newly created hole and place the cut out section back on top.
  7. Put your icing sugar into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe swirls on top of each cake. 
  8.  Cut your flake into small chunks, I managed to get four 'mini' flakes out of each one and place on top of each cake. Lightly dust each cake with your sprinkles.
These cupcakes are a fun take on a classic delicious cake recipe, I really loved how they turned out. I hope you have fun making them and as always share your pictures with me on Twitter and Instagram.

RED VELVET CUPCAKE RECIPE

Is there anything better than a Red Velvet cupcake? Cream cheese frosting is my ultimate weakness and these cupcakes are a truly indulgent treat that noone can resist.

Ingredients
makes 24
235g self raising flour
250g caster sugar
15g cocoa powder
3/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
270g unsalted butter (softened)
3 tbs buttermilk
1 tsp red food colour paste
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1.5 tsp cider vinegar

Icing
150g soft unsalted butter
240g full fat cream cheese
840g icing sugar

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, line two bun trays with bun cases.
  2. Add the self raising flour, caster sugar, cocoa powder, eggs and butter into a bowl and mix together until combined. 
  3. Mix in the salt, vanilla extract, bicarb of soda, vinegar and buttermilk once combined mix in the red food colouring. The mixture will go a very vibrant red colour but this is how it should look don't worry!
  4. Spoon the mixture into the bun cases, about 3/4 full and place in the oven for 22 minutes or until the buns have risen and spring back at your touch.
  5. While the buns are baking you can make the icing. Whisk the butter until it is light and creamy, add half the cream cheese and whisk lightly until combined. Now add half the icing sugar and mix together, once combined mix in the rest of the icing sugar. 
  6. Once the buns are cool ice them whichever way you prefer. Here I used a round icing nozzle. Sprinkle with your chosen decoration and they are finished to perfection.
The last thing to do...ENJOY! If you make these delicious cakes share a picture with me on Twitter or Instagram.

Easter Cupcakes

These cupcakes are the perfect treat for Easter with the chocolate that just screams Easter...Mini Eggs! I especially love these because of their unusual topping, a white chocolate, Rice Krispie 'frosting'.

Ingredients
makes 12
200g caster sugar
4 medium eggs, beaten
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping and Decoration
200g white chocolate, broken into pieces
30g unsalted butter
50g Rice Krispies
24 chocolate mini eggs

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  2. Beat together the caster sugar and butter in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time and whisk together. If the mixture looks like it is curdling add a tbsp of flour and mix together.
  3. Using a metal spoon fold in the remaining flour and vanilla extract. Once combined completely spoon the mixture equally into the paper cases.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. 
  5. To make the topping, melt the chocolate and butter together. Place both ingredients into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water; make sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Heat gently, stirring until melted and smooth.
  6. Take the bowl off the pan and mix in the Rice Krispies, gently folding until covered. Spoon the mixture onto each cake, pressing lightly to stick to each cupcake. Lightly press two Mini Eggs into the Rick Krispie topping, leave the cupcakes on a wire rack to set. This should take around 1 hour.
This cupcake recipe isn't too difficult but the result is a real show stopper, perfect for the Easter holidays. I have a lot of baking posts coming up with ideas on how to use up all your Easter chocolate so make sure you check back for them, I promise you won't be disappointed...

If you do make these please share your pictures with me on Instagram or Twitter I would love to see them!

March Wish List


In the past week, maybe two, three things have become apparent to me that have taught me very valuable lessons.

1. Everything that I want to buy seems to sell out within hours of me first seeing. Lesson learnt: you see something you like...buy it instantly. Do not under any circumstance try and be good, say 'I'll think about it and come back to it' because it will not be there to come back too. Buy it woman just buy it. Seem a bit excessive? I kid you not this happened to me five times in ten days, H&M I am looking at you...

2. Zara's S/S collection it on point this year. Lesson learnt (from points 1 and previous experience): buy it immediately. Before you know it, it will be brilliant blue skies and scorching sun and all of those stunning summer pieces will have been replaced with puffa coats and fur gilets. Again seem excessive? I kid you not summer sales will start sometime early June to be replaced by A/W stock, get your summer wardrobe started ASAP ladies to avoid disappointment.

3. My wardrobe is in dire need of a Spring update. Lesson learnt: make a wish list to gather your thoughts and then go ahead and buy some key stand out pieces to add that bit of summin, summin to your Spring look. Ok so this isn't technically a lesson learnt but I didn't want to upset the pattern here!

I haven't taken the full plunge into summer wear yet, I am taking it steady trading my bulky cable knits in for lightweight knitwear and my jeans for light wide leg trousers, oh and I had to include an ankle boot, one can never have enough!

What's on your wish list for spring?

Nails Inc The New White: Swan Street


First a disclaimer, I have never paid £14.00 for a nail polish and to be completely honest I am still in shock at myself for purchasing this and *ahem* another one...

I was out birthday shopping for Dan, I walked past a Nails Inc stand and, well, I just couldn't resist! I mean, look at that packaging? It's like it was made for me, it would have been rude to walk on by. The other thing that stopped me in my tracks was 'The New White' statement. If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that white nails are my be all and end all, they look so chic. So of course I had to take a look at the NEW white.

There are four shades that make up this collection and I chose, what looked like, a very, very light mint colour, there is also a lilac and two pink shades . You do need at least three coats to get a good coverage and even then it isn't completely opaque but I have been wearing this with Seche Vite top coat and it lasts a whole week, for a 'white' nail polish this is the jackpot. I cannot wait to wear Swan Street in the summer; it will look schamazing with a tan!

What is your favourite Nails Inc shade?

Sunday Supplement: This Week #2

The first week of March is always a busy/fun one for me, not only is it Dan's birthday it is also my mums and my brothers. Three birthdays in one week (3rd, 4th and 6th) means one thing, lots and lots of food...hey I am not complaining.

Tuesday evening we had delicious Dim Sum followed by red velvet cake. Wednesday, good ole American burgers followed by lemon and poppy seed buttermilk cake. Friday a Mexican feast (which hopefully explains the moustaches and sombreros) followed by a chocoholics dream fudge cake. Sadly I couldn't eat the latter as I have given chocolate up for lent, at this point I cannot remember why I decided to do this to myself?!

The first week of March also brought with it some glorious sunshine, who else is now crazy excited for summer? I hope you all had a great week! Is anyone else punishing themselves by giving something up for lent?

Red Nose Day:Butterfly Buns

Hi my name is Lizzie and I am addicted to red noses. Since taking these photos I have bought at least another 10 noses, I can't help myself. They are always by the till and at £1 I just think, 'oh I'll have another one'. I think Dan is a little worried...

We are having a bake sale at work for Comic Relief and I thought this delicious and oh so simple butterfly bun recipe would be perfect for myself and anyone else thinking of baking for this day.

Ingredients
makes 12
115g self-raising flour
115g caster sugar
115g butter, softened
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

Buttercream Topping
55g butter softened
115g icing sugar

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 190C. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with bun cases.
  2. Whisk the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add them to the mixture bit by bit, mixing continually. This will ensure the mixture does not curdle.
  3. Using a metal spoon gently fold in the flour until it is all combined. Add the vanilla essence and mix until combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture evenly into the bun cases, around halfway. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until risen and golden in colour. 
  5. Whilst your cakes are baking make the buttercream topping. Whisk the butter until light and fluffy, gradually whisk in the icing sugar until combined completely.
  6. Leave the cakes to cool for 5 minutes in the tray then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool cut a slice from the top and cut in half to make the 'wings'.
  7. Spoon the buttercream into the newly created hole in the top of the cake and arrange the wings how you want them.
  8. Dust with a little icing sugar to decorate and enjoy!
Simple cakes that look rather impressive (if you ask me) that are perfect for any bake sale; I promise every single one of you will be able to create these tasty treats! 

Are you doing anything for Comic Relief? Have you bought a red nose?

Sunday Supplement: Not That Kind Of Girl


I finally gave into the hype and bought Lena Dunham's HUGELY talked about debut book. Having never seen Girls (I know what is wrong with me?!) I wasn't that aware of Lena and all that she encompassed so I wasn't too sure what to expect. 'A young woman tells you what she's learned' is written on the front cover whilst reviews tell us all about her honest, witty and quite frankly, frank approach to her life growing up.

This book is Lena laid bare and I am in awe of her for that. Growing up as a woman is an incredibly sensitive, tentative and crazy time, imagine sharing you entire existence to date with the world...I know I couldn't! Of course it is littered with hilarity and I now cannot wait to watch Girls. 

Heralded as THE book for the 20th century girl, Not That Kind of Girl takes our love of reality TV into the written form. Like me you may not find huge similarities between your life and Lena's, she’s led a pretty interesting life so far, but I don’t think that is what the book is about. You’re not supposed to think ‘omg that is so me’ you’re supposed to realise that you should never be ashamed of who you are and the experiences that you have had. As a feminist it is not surprising that Lena is trying to empower us and encourage us to be strong; no matter what you stand for and believe in. For that reason I agree that this is THE book for the 20th century girl.

Have you read this book? Are you a fan of Girls?
© LIZ NOTES

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