Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Wedding ring shopping

This Saturday afternoon we are going wedding ring shopping again, more seriously this time.

I saw a couple of really nice rings in the well known shop in Belfast where my engagement ring is from and made some enquiries. I got the specifications of the rings along with a quote so we are going to go and look at them on Sat.

While we’re there I’m going to ask the jewellers a few questions about looking for wedding bands, so please if you have anything you'd like me to ask just let me know, post a comment here and i'll see what I can find out!

Happy Humpday! L x

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Hot Cinnamon rolls in a freezy house

 Our heating has been off for a week now... And it's cold, we thought there was something wrong with the boiler but... We are just out of oil :'(

We've got a delivery of warmth coming on Friday but until then it's open fire and hot water bottles every night! But tonight Ross is at college and I don't see the point in lighting the fire just for me, so I decided to warm up by baking some mini cinnamon rolls!

They are sooo easy, here's how;

Get some ready rolled puff pastry - this is like one of my favourite inventions, it's so quick and versatile! You'll also need some butter, sugar and cinnamon. Preheat your oven to around 180C

Open out the pastry and butter a couple of inches of it like this - my butter was really hard (cold house) soft butter would be much easier!


Then sprinkle on around a handful of sugar over about a quarter of the pastry and cover it with cinnamon. I also used this cinnamon sugar grinder which is really cool, but just a little because its chunky!

Then gently roll the pastry up from the sugar cinnamon side, keeping the roll quite tight but not squooshing the pastry.


Roll it halfway across the cut off from the flat pastry. Repeat the process for the rest if the pastry - or freeze it for another time, but trust me, you'll wish you made more of these little guys!!

Then, using a chopping board and a good knife, cut the roll into spirals about 2cm thick.

Place your little spirals on a lined baking tray, well spaced, don't let them touch - remember it's PUFF pastry! Sprinkle more sugar and cinnamon on the top of the rolls - you will prob have some on your chopping board that fell out when you were cutting them.

Bake the rolls in the oven for 10 - 15 mins - but keep an eye on them, all ovens are different!

They are ready when they are a nice golden brown (and smelling fantastic).

Eat them warm with whipped cream or cold later on, I'm planning to take some to work tomorrow, if they last that long..... L x


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Valentines Weekend

So this Valentines day was our 11th together. ELEVENTH!

But it was actually the first time we hadn't spent the whole day together (yes, even when we should have been in school!) But we were both off at the weekend so we celebrated more then - lots of yummy food and watching movies in front of the fire :)

I baked this cake to bring into work,
and this smaller one ust for Ross, they were chocolate with a cream cheese frosting and I hand cut the hearts from red icing.

And I put this banana in his lunch

have you ever done this to a banana? You ust score into its skin slightly with a blunt pin or pen and whatever you write will turn brown during the day without effecting the banana inside! I've been doing this to all his bananas for a couple of weeks now, it's funny :)

I also made Ross these key charms out of Shrinkles (remember those?! - so fun!)

And Ross bought me these gorgeous tulips and made me this beautiful card :)

We had our traditional steak dinner on Valentines night then made pizza's for dinner on Saturday night and an Indian on Sunday, can you tell we love food??

Hope you all had a great Valentines and weekend too! Lx

Flippin' pancakes

Last Tuesday was pancake day and I had pancakes for breakfast... and dinner...

I had a pancake with fresh strawberries, whipped cream and maple syrup (mmmmmmmmm) in the canteen in work, then that evening I made crepes at home and we had them with Nutella and marshmallows or lemon and sugar :)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Snowy day!

Not wedding related but I love the snow! We woke up on Tuesday morning and were suprized by a thick white blanket of snow, we NEVER get snow like that in Bangor!

I got to wear my new wellies walking to the train and crunch along on all the new untouched snow - isn't that the best? Being the first person to step on snow?!

Then home from work to a roaring fire thanks to Ross and a nice hot Thai red curry thanks to my mum-in-law-to-be :)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Food, Food, Food!

This has been a weekend of lots of delicious food,

On Friday we took the day off work to view our reception venue officially and talk about all the details and conditions - and very importantly the menu!

We talked to the in house caterer about their standard function menu and what other options we had, we have decided that we don't really want something very traditional like a Sunday dinner (roast beef or chicken with gravy and potatoes etc.)

It’s a summer wedding so we'd rather have something fresh and tasty, we talked about the possibility of a cold buffet which seems tasty but I’m worried it will be messy and a buffet table means we'd need a certain layout in the room and I’m worried it would be less relaxed. Another possibility is having a traditional 'sit-down' meal but with a less traditional dish. So we have a lot to think about, but plenty of time to think!

That night we had Ross' parents round to our house for dinner - we enjoy cooking and really wanted to impress them so there was A LOT of cooking and cleaning that afternoon! I made chicken parmesan with a ceaser salad (with homemade croutons) and crushed spiced baby boiled potatoes and two desserts.... what? I like desserts!! :P I made bread and butter pudding and individual lemon mousses.

Then on Saturday we went to a great restaurant in Belfast that I hadn't been to before, CoCo, with some of my family. It was AMAZING the food was so chic and interesting and delicious! I had scallops with pomegranate, wood pigeon with apple mash and then Ross and I shared a vanilla and white choc cheesecake with lavender ice-cream and pistachio - every single bite was incredible!

Now it's Sunday and I’m lying here thinking about how easily I abandoned my healthy eating plan for a delicious weekend! Oh well I’ll start again on Monday :)

If you would like to see my recipe for chicken parmesan or a few of my other recipes check out my snapguides!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Bridal 101 #3

#3) Booking a venue
Once you have viewed and picked your venue there comes the daunting step of confirming the booking and paying a deposit! :O
Venue conditions – boring but very important!
Whenever you book a venue they are likely to give you a list of conditions along with a contract, if you are very lucky they will give you this before you confirm your booking – READ THIS CAREFULLY!
I first experienced this when we held our engagement party in a local sports club; clubs especially will have quite specific rules and conditions of use of the venue. I was surprised by some of them really, things I hadn’t really considered like which areas of the venue could and could not be used and what decorations we could and couldn’t use and where. As we are having our wedding reception in a club too there are similarly specific conditions of use.

One condition many venues, including churches and registry offices, have now is about confetti – many places totally disallow it, which I think is quite sad! I remember seeing boxes of paper confetti in our local shop as a little girl and thinking about when I was grown up ad people throwing all those pastel coloured hearts, stars and horseshoes over me.
One of my favourite childhood memories is of my little sister and I taking turns to stand under the big old cherry blossom tree in my granny’s garden, spinning around while the other one shook the tree to make the ‘confetti petals’ fall.
But! Many venues will not allow confetti at all now; some will only allow eco-friendly or natural confetti, which is fine by me! (Guess what I want to have??) Make sure guests are aware of this and do not bring confetti or expect it to be there on the day.
Other common conditions include things like; late licences’, completion of payment, use of areas, decorations, the timing of arrival and departure for all guests, parking etc. Some venues even have rules about the kinds of flowers that can and cannot be used! (Lilies are poisonous to some animals and stain; sap on peonies is harmful etc!)
These may somewhat shatter the pretty little dream you’ve had in your head about how your day will be – don’t let them! Be prepared for rules, don’t expect everything to be just as you imagine, remember what is one of the biggest days of your life is just another working day for the staff at the venue, they need to run as a business and businesses have rules!
My advice on conditions of hire for wedding venues;
·         When possible ask to see the conditions of hire before confirming your booking, if not possible, ask some specific questions regarding your plans; i.e. ‘Do you have regulations on the types of decorations allowed?’
·         Make sure that you keep the conditions in mind when dreaming about your big day to avoid disappointment, one venue I looked at disallowed peonies – my favourite flower! I would have been heartbroken if I’d booked it without knowing.
·         Don’t try to negotiate on conditions, but do politely ask what they advise and what there couples have done – this will give you an idea of flexibility and compromise on conditions. (E.g. lilies can be used sometimes if the stamen is removed.)
·         If there are strict rules on guest conduct etc make sure you politely let your guests know – you don’t want to be spending your day running after guests making sure you don’t get in trouble!