28 May 2014

Easy Profiteroles Recipe

Who had a great bank holiday weekend? We had a lovely time but it was cold, dark and wet outside. Lets be honest...who doesn't want to indulge a little when the weather is so rubbish?! All I felt like doing was watching films under a blanket and doing a little baking. After a look through some cook books we found that apart from the cream, we had all the ingredients to make Profiteroles! I have such a soft spot for these...they are soo good!

Makes 40 small or 20 large

To make the Choux pastry:
100g Plain flour
75g  Unsalted Butter
175ml Water
3 beaten Eggs
250ml Whipping cream

For the Chocolate sauce:
50g  Cocoa Powder
175g  Sugar
100ml Water

To make the pastry, sieve the flour and set aside. Melt the butter with 175ml of water on a medium heat in a pan, then quickly bring it to the boil. Once the mixture is boiling tip in the flour, remove from heat and beat furiously with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth heavy dough. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Once cooled, use an electric whisk to gradually beat in the eggs. You may not need all of the eggs, add enough until you have a shiny paste like dough and reserve the rest.

Pre-heat your oven to 200c and grease your baking trays. Spoon the dough into a piping bag and pipe the dough into 3cm wide and 2cm high blobs (I piped mine a little bigger than this). Lightly brush with the reserved beaten egg. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180c. Quickly open the oven door to allow steam to escape and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden and crispy. Make a small hole in each Profiterole and bake for a final 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. 

To make the chocolate sauce, heat the 100ml of water with the sugar until it has dissolved. Boil for 1 minute, then pour over the cocoa powder, stirring until you have a smooth sauce. Set aside.

Whip the cream until it's just strong enough to hold a peak. Pipe or spoon the cream generously into each Profiterole. Finally pour over the chocolate sauce and serve.

These are perfect for dessert at your next dinner party or just because its a wet weekend! 

Do you like profiteroles? What did you get up to over the weekend?

Gemma x

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21 May 2014

Mini Fashion Haul

Today I wanted to share two purchases of mine recently..

Firstly these cute Gladiator style sandals that I bought from the Clarks in the London Designer outlets. Don't be shocked but these are my very first Gladiator sandals! I've been looking for something in this style for ages, not too over the top, just detailed and 'criss crossed' enough.

They are really comfortable to wear as they have a slight cushioned heel. There were a few colours available but I had to go for the tan with gold detail. You can't beat that combination sometimes! I've worn these a few times already with 3/4 length jeans & a spring like floaty top. It would also look great with the maxi dress I bought not long ago. These were reduced from £40 to £24.99.

My second purchase was this gorgeous little black dress from H&M. We went to a black tie type gathering over the weekend so I wanted something that I could wear on to that! The cut of it is so pretty with little pleats on the front and butterfly cut sleeves. I kept it simple with some classic black heels but it would look great with some accessorise. The dress was £24.99. As the LBD is timeless I didn't mind spending a little more than I had hoped as it will get plenty of use!

So that's what I've bought. Have you done any haul blog posts recently? Send me your links!

Gemma x

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13 May 2014

Max Factor Colour Elixir - Rosewood (833) Review

I wanted to share a new favourite of mine at the moment, Max Factor's Colour Elixir lipstick. I know this range has been out for a long time but I thought i'd share my thoughts anyway : )

I bought it in Rosewood (833) nearly two months ago and I can't get enough of it. It is my go to when I want a neutral feminine look. Colour wise, I would say that it is a warm nudey pink which is a favourite of mine. As it's fairly subtle it is the perfect shade for office/day wear. 

The lipstick glides on smoothly and instantly makes my lips feel soft and moisturised. It applies evenly and after a minute or so it is non-transferable, perfect for lunch dates! It has a slight vanilla fragrance which I absolutely love and the packaging is sturdy but looks classy.

It is fairly pigmented so I only tend to apply it once, however if you prefer a deeper colour it can definitely be re-applied! I find after 6 hours or so I need to touch it up.

If you are looking for a new lipstick definitely try out the Colour Elixir range. I haven't found a lipstick that 'stains' yet moisturises in a long time so I'm going to buy a few more shades! The RRP is £7.99 and is currently part of the 3 for 2 offer at Boots!

Have you tried this range before? What's your go to lipstick at the moment? Let me know!

Gemma xXx

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8 May 2014

Building An Insect House With Outspiration

Last weekend Ian and I made an insect hotel. For ages now we have seen them in garden centres and mentioned that we like them. I recently came across this new app called Outspiration and it gave us the push to finally bite the bullet, try a bit of DIY and make an insect house ourselves.
'Outspiration' is all about encouraging us to get outside and tackle those DIY projects, no matter how big or small they are! This is one handy little app which is full of useful features that combat the normal excuses for delaying a project.

I used the Outspiration app weather feature to check what the weather would be like for the weekend. It said it would be clear and dry, so there was no excuse not to get started on our new insect house project.
The first thing we thought about was the paint colour. I wanted it to be useful for the insects of course, but also aesthetically pleasing for us to see too. There are so many types of wood paint and protectant so we weren't really sure where to start. Luckily the Outspiration app has a Visualiser function, which helps you to see what potential colours could look like on your project. It was so handy to use rather than buying lots of paint samples! In the end we went with Cuprinol’s 'Sage green'. Such a lovely colour! (Outspiration also told us where the paint was on offer in their offers section – score!).

We cut our wood to size and then gave it a few coats of paint before nailing it together. I say we but really I mean Ian...he is so handy when it comes to using saws and all that fun stuff! Don’t worry – the paint dried very quickly so no insects got stuck! Once the main structure was built we then cut some bamboo and sticks to fit perfectly snug inside. Hopefully it will attract a few ladybirds and bees this summer!

The Outspiration app has a variety of good to know tips and projects that its users have uploaded and shared. They are great to browse through and use to be outspired. You can easily upload your own projects and DIYS to help outspire others too!

 The people at Outspiration also host regular competitions. Right now you could enter to win a beautiful BBQ perfect for the summer months ahead. All you need to do is download the app and enter your details before the 12th of May to be in a chance of winning.

I’m so pleased with how our insect house turned out. I think the paint colour really makes it pop against the brick wall and the bamboo adds interesting textures. I’ll definitely be using the Outspiration app this week to see what we can do next weekend (the royal we again!).
Have you used the Outspiration app yet? If so has anything particularly caught your eye? Let me know!
 Gemma x

Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post, however as always all opinions are honest and are my own.

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6 May 2014

May Day Bank Holiday Weekend!

I don't know about you but I love the month of May and that's partly due to having two bank holiday weekends! Did you have a good one? 

On Friday evening we were kindly invited over to a friends Penthouse to stay for the night. We cooked some of my favourite Mexican food, had a good laugh and watched a few funny films. It's a lovely apartment and you can see some of London's skyline from the balcony.

The next day we all headed to the Grand Designs Live show at the Excel. Unfortunately some of the train lines were closed so we had to walk for about half an hour to the next station. As you can imagine my feet were hurting at the end of the day! 

The Grand designs exhibition is so interesting! Even if you aren't looking to build a house from scratch, there is so much to see. If you are looking to extend your home, change your doors or windows, add an interesting feature to your garden or are just looking to browse unique interior decor then it's definitely worth a visit!

Image courtesy of granddesignslive.com 

Our friend had a VIP ticket for the show which gave him access to the VIP lounge. It looked all very posh with waiters and waitresses on hand offering tea, coffee, pastries, cakes and best of all a glass of bubbly! It was the perfect place to have a break from all that walking around and plan where to head to next.

On Sunday we visited the new London Designer Outlets in Wembley. We've been to the outlets in America and loved them, so when we heard about this being built we were very happy! As it's still fairly new there weren't as many shops as i'd liked to have seen. It did have a H&M plus a huge Marks & Spencer so I was happy. There were plenty of restaurants to choose from too so after a wonder we had a drink.

On Monday we popped over to Ian's grandads. He has a large space at the end of his garden which is perfect to use as growing space for vegetables! We now have Leeks, Parsnips, Carrots, Swede and a few types of Potatoes growing. This is our first time growing directly in the ground and so far it has been hard work! Hopefully it will be worth it in the end : )

The afternoon was spent at a family BBQ celebrating a 50th birthday! See I told you we were busy!

What did you get up to over the weekend? 

Gemma xXx

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