Pinterest Corner #32 – Marshmallow Brownies

For this month’s Pinterest Corner I knew straightaway that I wanted to bake something rather than craft something, as it’s been a while since a recipe made an appearance on here and baking is a BIG part of my life. Despite all this, it seemed to take me forever to settle on what that baked item should be – possibly that’s due to the fact that I have over 500 recipes saved on my Sweet Eats board, yes what can I say I have a VERY sweet tooth! Anyway finally over the weekend I hit on the perfect recipe, which just happens to have been pinned to my Sweet Eats board twice, yes really twice. And now I think about it was a logical choice. I mean my obsession with brownies is really quite well documented on Cook Bake and Eat (my foodie blog) as over there I’ve shared Oreo, sweet potato and mint brownies in the past, so these fantastically chocolatey Marsmallow Brownies seemed like a great recipe to try next. As surely marshmallows (one of my favourite things) would make the perfect addition, when I think of the pairing of chocolate and marshmallow gooeyness, I can’t even form words. Just wow – talk about match made in heaven! Also don’t they just look divine?

As for the ingredients, this was another plus point as I have all the required ingredients in my cupboards already – they are staples after all. So limited preparations – perfect! The recipe suggests that you make them for Halloween, which is quite ingenious, but I honestly could not handle waiting until then, I needed to make these brownies asap!

So here’s the recipe:

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1 – Mix together the flour, cocoa and sugar

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2 – Beat the eggs together

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3 – Melt the chocolate and butter together
4 – Stir all the ingredients together

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5 – Fold in the marshmallows

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6 – Pour into a lined tin (30cm squared)

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7 – Bake on 190oC for twenty minutes until set on top but still gooey in the middle

So easy right? And can I just say, totally delicious, full of gooeyness and crunch as well as caramelised bites of marshmallow. Divine.

I should flag that I baked these brownies for twenty minutes at the temperature specified and the top burnt whilst the middle was a tad (okay a lot) too squishy. So definitely cook these for longer and on a lower temperature if you’re not prepared to dig in with a spoon!

So what do you think do you fancy giving these a whirl? And any other brownie flavours I just have to try?

Pinterest Corner #31 – Wool Letters

Hi lovely blog readers, how are you this fine Wednesday? I hope you’re as excited as me that it’s that time again; it’s Pinterest Corner day, hooray!  This month’s Pinterest Corner is one that I’m so super excited to share with you. I’m just so pleased with how it’s turned out and it makes me smile to look at the finished items. Also it’s a project that I’ve been meaning to get around to for almost a year, which makes it even more brilliant that I’ve now done it! [Yes I am a bit of  a star when it comes to procrastination].

Anyway back to what I’ve actually crafted! Ages ago I saw this image on Pinterest and I absolutely fell in love with the idea of wool wrapped letters. Not only do the woolly letters look really beautiful – see the original pinners version below – I thought they also looked really easy to do. I also loved that you could choose any words or wool colour you wanted and it would still look really cool.

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Once I’d pinned the image, I promptly forgot about this crafty project until I just happened to be in the world’s most amazing shop AKA Hobbycraft last September. As I was ambling around with nothing specific to buy I happened upon a number of cardboard letters and I knew they’d be perfect for this project – so much better than making the letters from scratch, especially for a lazy bones like me. Can you imagine when I’d be writing this post if I hadn’t found these letters? Probably sometime in 2015! I also found the lilac and purple wool in the sale on the same day for just 99p a ball, which is my sort of craft item: colourful and cheap! Here are the six items before I got started on the project:

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So now we need to fast forward about eight or nine months to May time when I started the wrapping of the wool. I decided to start with the ‘H’ as I thought that would be the easiest letter, and I think it was. I think if I’d started with the ‘M’ I’d have never finished this project – it was that bad! It was a very simple technique, after using masking tape to secure the end of the wool I got wrapping and wrapping and wrapping. I was really surprised about how long it took to finish just one letter. It felt like I was wool wrapping for about a year on just the ‘H’, talk about repetitive! To be fair I don’t think I had the best technique at the start and I probably should have checked out the tutorial on the original pin as I only noticed that they’d put smaller bits of wool on each end after the ‘H’ – that would most certainly have helped! Anyway I like how the ‘H’ turned out even if it does have about three different layers of wool going on!

Last month I finally picked up the rest of the wool and the other letters and made a start on them. This time I focused on the ends of the ‘M’ and ‘E’ first, before going up and along both letters. I feel like I finally reached a rhythm after the second letter and started to find it all rather therapeutic. It is also a great craft project for sitting in front of the TV as you don’t have to look at the wool or letters all the time. The’O’ was actually the easiest letter of all as there are no ends, all you had to deal with was the small hole in the middle. But that was fixed by working with smaller balls of wool, simple. So after about five hours of wrapping I’m now left with these four lovely letters – what do you think? Do you like them?

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Yes they might not be absolutely perfect, but I quite like that as it shows that they are handmade and lovingly so.  I’m still toying with where they should now live, but I quite like the idea of propping them on my headboard – I think they look rather nice. What do you think?

20130826-155115.jpgSo what do you think about wool letters? Are you inclined to give them a try yourself and if so, what word would you go for?

Pinterest Corner #30 – a shiny glittery dish

So here we are, at the beginning of the first of my new-look Pinterest Corner posts. Anyone else excited, or is that just me…!

For my first improved crafty Pinterest Corner post I’ve chosen something I’ve been meaning to make for ages, ever since I saw the original blog post about it on A Beautiful Mess back in February! I saw it, pinned it to Pinterest and then promptly forgot about it! However, when I was perusing my Pinterest boards a few weeks ago I saw the original pin and it made me smile thanks to all it’s lovely glittery goldness and I knew that would be the first thing I made. I didn’t just choose it because it looked nice, but also because I really need a place to keep my jewelrey every night. At the moment it sits on my chest of drawers and I’m always losing bits when I knock them on the floor. So this sparkly dish would be awesome.

I obviously didn’t create this idea from scratch, I totally followed the method from the original blog post here, so  I can’t take any of the credit for this genius idea. But I’m so glad that they came up with this idea, as it’s such a simple and easy way of updating something that’s really plain. And I’m glad I’ve given it a go, it looks so so pretty! So look below for my pictorial (is that a word?!?!) step-by-step guide to creating this crafty gold dish.

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1 – I found this awesome pink plastic soap dish in the B&Q sale

2 - I got some PVA glue and gold glitter, courtesy of Hobbycraft

2 – I got some PVA glue and gold glitter, courtesy of Hobbycraft

3 - Spread the dish with PVA glue and sprinkle on the gold glitter. Leave to dry.

3 – Spread the dish with PVA glue and sprinkle on the gold glitter. Leave to dry.

4 - Repeat the glue/glitter combo until the pink is fully covered.

4 – Repeat the glue/glitter combo until the pink is fully covered.

5 - Spray with hairspray and get using it!

5 – Spray with hairspray and get using it!

A Pinterest Promise from me to you.

For those of you who are regular readers of this blog (hopefully there’s one or two of you out there listening to my incessant waffle) you’re probably familiar with my Pinterest Corner posts, which are in theory a weekly occurrence. When I originally started these posts around Christmas the logic behind them was to make me be more creative and to complete some of the crafty projects that I’d seen and coveted on Pinterest. By sharing one such project/recipe/item with you each week the idea was that I’d get some of them done as there’d be some sort of accountability. Sadly that hasn’t worked out quite to plan. The last few posts have been more about my thoughts on life, fitness and good quotes, rather than actually using my deeply hidden craft abilities. For some reason I’ve just not had the motivation (or much-needed time) to actually get on and create anything.

I want this to change, so I’ve decided to fiddle around a little with the Pinterest Corner concept and make it a monthly occurrence. So going forward I’ll post my crafty goodness on the blog on the third Wednesday of each month. This will be far more achievable for me as I’ll have a whole month to do something – therefore being away for one weekend won’t prove a problem! And it’ll hopefully mean I’ll start to make the things I want to rather than just sharing the things that are easy. So watch out for the 21st August as you’ll spot a brand new Pinterest Corner post showcasing something super lovely. To be honest I’m not sure what yet, but possibly something inspired by one of the below ideas as I want them all in my London flat! But what about you? What lovely things do you want to create and make, it can’t be just me who wants to be more crafty!

Glitter Jewerly Tray

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Buy alphabet magnets and spray paint them

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Pinterest Corner #29 – Come Alive

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This quote is of interest to me this week because I’ve realised just quite how true it is. This reality came to light when I was doing the most mind numbing job at work last week – literally the most painful thing ever!  and I realised that the easiest things in the world to do well are those things that you love. I love blogging, so I find it simple to sit down and knock out a blog post about food or travels or my weekly shenanigans and it’s not half bad. It makes me feel alive and happy to complete something that I’m proud of – be it a blog post, a cake or a marketing campaign.  But put me in front of a document that needs far less words but is related to something dullsville – like admin at work or the plight of the grey grasshopper (who knows if that’s a thing) and well I’ll struggle for hours to get any work done and it won’t be fun at all. I’d be depresed and stroppy and generally not good company for a while too. If only we could do more interesting things with our days – I want to be the sort of person who can do 95% of the things they love with their life and who clearly loves it and is a pleasure to be around, but sadly that’s not to be at the moment.

But someone who has done that is my lovely cousin Cathy, she’s just packed in her job and set up her own business (the lovely site Old Farm Interiors) selling lovely looking products. [on a side note I need this otter cushion in my life]. When we caught up with her the other day she said something that really made me think (and which ties into the idea in the quote above) and that’s this: she’s never worked so hard in her life or such long hours but she’s loving every second of it. And you could see it in her face, she was absolutely buzzing and so happy.  All I could think at that time is that I was supremely jealous – how amazing must that be?  To be able to work on something you absolutely love and to be so happy about it must be awesome. To be honest I’m lucky as I love my job about 80% of the time, but I wouldn’t mind being in the situation where I love everything about my job and to be one of those people that others can just tell when they look at you. That would be rather nice I think.

Pinterest Corner #28 – Simple Things

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of the lovely magazine The Simple Things. I just love it so much, it’s like an aura of calm descends around me as soon as I sit down to give it a good read. There’s so much lovely stuff in this beautifully designed magazine and I’m constantly amazed at the things I’m being told and shown. I like that they focus on the simple, easy, nice things that make such a difference in our lives. It’s not about the faff and the fuss, it’s about all those little things that are important. They continue this on their Pinterest page where they get others to pin their simple thing. The other day when browsing on there I got a bit carried away and kept exclaiming, oh I love that, or that’s cute. So it made me think about my current simple things and I thought I’d share them with you.

20130716-080916.jpgLilac and mint. This is my new favourite colour combination discovered by happy accident thanks to my nails inc lilac nail varnish and my brand new Forever 21 accessory purchasing. So far I’ve work this colour combination three times in ten days – good work right?!

The sun. It’s out. Hooray! Quick take pretty pictures, drink ice-cold drinks, treat yourself to an ice cream, laze in the garden and dig out the BBQ, say ‘hello again’ to the freckles and slather on the suncream. Before it goes we must make the most of it – it’s our duty as Brits!

Gooseberry Jam. My parents make the best gooseberry jam and I’m very lucky that they’ve just delivered a new batch of it to our flat. So far I’m halfway through jar number one and it’s at it’s best when accompanied with Jacob’s Crackers and a very sticky brie. Yumalicious!

Rich Tea biscuits. We rediscovered these recently and I’ve realised how underrated these lovely simple biscuits are. They are the perfect accompaniment to all hot drinks and when you’re in need of something sweet they really hit the spot. Plus I’m able to eat ten in one go and I feel no guilt – brilliant!

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Evening strolls around Clapham Common. Unbeatable on a Summer’s evening if you ask me. It’s the perfect way to do some exercise so you don’t feel guilty about the upcoming Rich Tea consumption but it doesn’t exhaust you and you can have a good old natter and a nosey at the cricketers/picnickers/runners frequenting the common at the same time. Blissful

What are your simple things?

Pinterest Corner #27 – I think I like who I am becoming

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You know I really do. I’m not there yet and I don’t know how long it’ll take but I’m definitely making progress.

I feel stronger that I have in the past (not just mentally but physically too).

I’m giving way to so many of my insecurities. I am now able to say no to that little voice in my head that says: that’s not good enough, that person doesn’t like you, they don’t think you’re capable, you need to do/give/be more.

If someone has a problem, it’s not my fault it’s all on them.

I am proud of my achievements and not automatically negative or quick to point out the bad things like I have been in the past. I don’t beat myself up about what I haven’t done I instead focus on what I have done and the goals I have met.

I feel proud of the decisions I have made recently about my career, my health and my friends. I’m doing the right thing, I know what that end goal is and I know what I will or won’t put up with on the way to it.

I don’t over analyse or over think and I am less of a worrier that I have been in the past.

Pinterest Corner #26 – Friends Forever Awesome

Last night I was stumbling around my Pinterest boards looking for inspiration to strike for this week’s Pinterest Corner when I happened upon the below image from Friends and preceded to laugh for the next five minutes. No exaggeration. It just cracks me up every time.

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Once I’d stopped laughing and wiped the tears from my eyes I knew I’d hit upon my post for today. The wonders of Friends. I was a bit of a latecomer to this show and only become addicted to it when they were on the series where a few episodes are London-based. I’m not sure how it passed me by for quite so long but as soon as I discovered it I was all over it. I must have watched every episode about twenty times as sometimes most of the time there’s nothing better – it really is just the perfect remedy. I love all the characters and could never be forced to choose a favourite – they each have their own brilliant quirks and often suit the mood that I’m in. The other day I was watching the episode where Rachel has an eye infection and I wouldn’t let anyone change the channel until the very end as I knew the best bit (where they attack Rachel with the eye drops) was right at the end of the show – absolutely genius!! I love it!

So anyway I’m glad I came across this image as it reminded me about my absolute love for this show. And below are a few other classic moments from genius that was Friends. Number five is possibly one of my all time favourite moments – Ross is hilarious! As for image three this episode is one of my all-time favourites. I just love the fact that Phoebe ends up with a massive Christmas ornament as a brooch, the bit when Joey is doing lunges without underwear on whilst wearing ALL of Chandler’s clothes and Monica with the answer phone message is just epic!  I had to choose two Chandler images as the kissing scene is amazing and I just love his amazing sarcastic moments. In fact I just love him! The only image I couldn’t find that I love was an image of Ross as the Holiday Armadillo – it makes me smile every time!

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Pinterest Corner #25 – A new go-to outfit and a new way of thinking

It’s taken me a while but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that when it comes to outfits, things should be kept simple, clean and as uncomplicated as possible. Think Gap’s simplicity and not New Look’s fussiness. This is quite a departure for me, as in the past I’ve been a mess of colour, styles, eras, all in one outfit. But recently things have changed and I’ve become a lot more logical in my shopping choices, previously mentioned here and here, and my style has consequently changed. Now I’m far more likely to settle on jeans, a coloured t shirt, a striking necklace and a cardi than anything else. I like this new look me and it’s meant that packing for a weekend has become far easier plus I’m not so inclined to spend a small fortune on mismatched clothes at a weekend, well at least so far…

Part of the inspiration for this change has been perusing the wonderful world of Pinterest where I have pinned loads of brilliantly inspiring outfits. One of the outfits I’ve been wearing a lot recently is inspired my the below image, which I actually pinned from m&s months ago and even blogged about here. I wore a very similar outfit to this last week (twice) and it’s definitely one of my new go-to outfits. It consists of a bright turquoise blazer, a black and white stripy 3/4 length sleeve top, skinny jeans and a bright gold and turquoise necklace and it’s just lovely. Not only was it perfect for a day at work, it also worked absolutely perfectly for a day of full on sightseeing. I will definitely be wearing this a lot in the future, plus I also have my eye on a brand new blazer – this one – which I think will work perfectly!

Pinterest Corner #24 – My love for HP knows no bounds

At the weekend I went to the Harry Potter Studio tour for the second time and was yet again blown away by the immense imagination J. K. Rowling has and the utter skill that everyone who worked on the films demonstrated. It’s really quite mind-blowing when you see all the props, costumes, sets, etc in one place. Especially for a Harry Potter geek like me, I’m one of those extremely lucky people who grew up reading the stories and eagerly waited for each one to be released and at the same time got obsessed with the films to a ridiculously geeky degree. Harry Potter and the cast of amazing characters in these seven epic tales were a huge part of my childhood and it makes me sad that kids experiencing Harry Potter now won’t have the same experience that I had, those poor kids!

After returning from the tour I started  reminiscing about my favourite parts from both the books and the films: when the truth of Snape is revealed, the subtle hints to Remus and Tonks’ relationship, Dumbledore’s love of socks, Hermione attacking Ron with birds after he starts dating Lavender, Dobby, the complexities of the world J. K. created and how she dropped clues in book one that only meant something in the Deathly Hallows, the genius of Ron, the brilliance of this trio of friends, finding out what everyone’s Patronus is, knowing that Hermione loved Ron before she did, the list could (and does) go on and on. But the one thing that stands out for me from these books is the messages and morals that Rowling weaves into each tale. Below are some of my favourite messages that I take from them, plus a Pinterest image that I pinned an age ago that shares a few more. Always worth remembering these points I think (and of course never forget the genius of J.K. herself).

  • The fact that people aren’t quite what they seem, they don’t all wear their beliefs and persona on their sleeves.
  • Our family is not necessarily the family that we are born in to or who we are blood related to.
  • That focusing on just one of trait is a mistake, we’re more than just one thing – take Snape. He’s put in Slytherin, so we’re meant to thing he’s sneaky, clever, resourceful, cunning and ambitious, we don’t even consider the fact that he’s loyal, courageous, trusting and above all amazingly selfless.
  • One person can make a huge difference.
  • Family and friends are the most important things in the world.
  • Love and friendships is far more powerful than hatred and nastiness.
  • Sometimes standing up for what it right, isn’t easy and isn’t obvious, especially if you’re standing up to friends and not enemies.
  • Case in point: Neville Longbottom, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
  • The authorities aren’t always eright and they don’t always do what’s right. So it’s okay to question them.
  • We are not good or evil, we have elements of both inside of us, and the part that we choose to act on determines who we become.
  • See the true measure of a man by looking at how he treats those inferior to him and not his equals.

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