Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Guide to Planning a Baby Shower

Image result for UK Baby shower
 Hello! :) 
My wonderful sister will soon be having her first baby and I will be taking on the new role of an Auntie! I am super dooper excited and can't wait to meet the little one! So as my role of soon to be Auntie, I am organising the baby shower! 

Unlike America, here in the UK baby showers aren't as popular which made it a little difficult finding baby shower themed party ideas.

So as always I took to the internet in hope of finding some good ideas (which took way longer than it should). I now have finally managed to organise the Shower and I am pretty happy with what I have, including the gift for my sister! 

So if you are struggling to find ideas for a baby shower, then keep reading! 

 I looked around a lot of websites and found that the site that sold a good variety without breaking the bank was I bought:
  •  'Mum to be' sash
  • 12ft banner
  • 10 balloons
  • An amazing floor length foil door curtain (it sounds very 90's but I promise it looks great and is so fun!) 
  • Really cute table confetti 
This was all for the grand total of £10.00 including p&p. I ordered it on Sunday evening and it arrived on Wednesday morning- wonderfully quick! All the products were of a good standard and I would definitely recommend using the site! 

Party Puffin also have baby shower themed tableware if you wanted paper plates, cups, napkins etc :)

When sending out the invite, it is always a good ideas to ask if people are able to bring a little food contribution if you feel comfortable doing so. It takes the pressure off you and saves some pennies.
 Keep a list of how many people are bringing food and whether it is savoury or sweet so you don't end up with 100's of cupcakes! 

I have an even amount of people bringing sweet and savoury so i have decided to also bring a bit of both. Don't feel like you need to make a full on meal- take a more afternoon tea approach! I will be bringing:
  • Brownies
  •  Lemon cupcakes with baby blue icing (my sissy is having a boy) 
  • Puff pastry heart shaped jam tarts 
  • Sausage rolls
From my experience, there is always left over food, so try not to over do it :)

As an extra, I have bought three packets of Jelly Babies and I will be putting them into clear jars and tying a blue ribbon around it to add to the table decorations.

This was probably the most challenging part of the planning process! There was a huge amount of cheesy game ideas on the internet that i knew most people would really rather not be playing! I also didn't want to spend loads of money on bingo sheets and fake miniature babies! So i decided on 3 activities for us all to do rather than actual games. I only chose 3 activities as i wanted to make sure that people still had the opportunity to just sit and chat. 

The activities i decided on were:
  1. Designing your own bibs. I got 20 bibs for £6 from Asda (Walmart if you are in America). I will be giving out pens and a bib to each person and leave them to get creative 
  2. Prediction cards. I got these from EBay for £4.95 for 25 cards and they are lovely. It includes the usual like: weight, time, date, name and some words or wisdom.
  3. Message on a nappy. This is a lovely idea for the Mum to be when she is up at 3.00am changing a nappy and can read a motivational message on the front of the nappy!
I am also going to bring along a small foot bath spa so that the Mum to be can feel super pampered and loved! 

Music is really important for a party! It sets the mood and can cover up those awkward silences! The playlist I created with baby and of course the Mum to be in mind is:

  1.  Lovesong    Adele    
  2. Fill My Little World    The Feeling   
  3. Tiny Dancer    Elton John    
  4. Greatest Day    Take That     
  5. As Long as You Love Me     Backstreet Boys     
  6. Love On Top    BeyoncĂ©    
  7. One And Only     Adele   
  8.  Be My Baby     The Ronettes  
  9. Sweet  Pea     Amos Lee   
  10. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life     Stevie Wonder  
  11. Mamma Said     The Shirelles 
  12.  You Are The Best Thing    Ray LaMontagne  
  13. Love is easy   McFly 
  14. Love Is On The Radio     Me & Mrs F                   
  15. From Bump to Buzz   Tom Fletcher                   
  16.  Isn't She Lovely    Stevie Wonder                     


Usually the Mum to be will provide a list if you need any help with gift ideas. There are the usual items you can buy like nappies, creams, baby clothes and toys, but I wanted to do something a little different.
 I decided to make up a wash bag full of lovely items that my sister can take to the Hospital. I went and bought an lovely floral wash bag from Primark for the bargain price of £4 and its really nice! Believe it or not, all the items in the picture fit into it lovely! 

 For for luxuary hospital wash bag I used:
  • Shower puff
  • Nivea Honey & Milk shower cream
  • Herbal essense shampoo and conditioner 
  • Gentle deodrant 
  • 2 x pack of tissues
  • Hair ties
  • Body Shop Body Butter
  • Body Shop Hand cream
  • Colgate minature tooth paste and mouth wash
  • Gentle anti-bac hand wash 
  • Maybeline Baby Lips lip balm 
  • Slippers
  • Scratch mits for baby
  • Pooh Bear Booties for baby
  • 2x hats for baby  

I wanted to put into the bag a mixture of essentials and luxuary things that might just make her feel that little bit more comfortable once she has had the baby.  

So there we have it, a guide to planning your very own Baby Shower! If you have found it useful or have any other ideas- let me know in the comments box!

Thanks for reading!

Alice x


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Galaxy Chocolate Cupcakes

Hello everybody! 

Help! I've caught the Great British Bake Off fever! I have had no choice but to have some fun baking cupcakes this afternoon. I cannot bear another Wednesday evening watching the Bake Off drooling over all the yummy cakes, bread and cookies with nothing to eat for myself! 

After work I quickly popped into the supermarket and bought some ingredients before i came home to make some delicious vanilla and galaxy chocolate cupcakes. 

I wanted to make enough cupcakes to feed me and my families needs while watching the Bake Off, so I decided to make enough for 16 cakes. 

For this recipe you will need:

4oz of unsalted butter
4oz of self raising flour
4oz of  caster sugar
3 eggs
Vanilla extract 
Sharing (haha) bar of galaxy chocolate 200g
Pink shimmer sugar for the topping (optional, obviously)

How to make:

In a large mixing bowl, put in all the sugar and butter,
It is easier if you soften the butter before hand for mixing. I didn't use an electric mixer as i can't be bothered to wash all the little bits up, but it works just as well hand mixing or electric mixing. 

Mix well until the ingrediants are light and fluffy,
The mix will have gone lighter in colour and be easier to mix once ready

Add in one egg at a time after mixing with a little bit of the flour with each egg
Add in any remaining flour you have left. 

Add about a half a teaspoon of vanilla extract

Mix till all the ingreatiants are well blended 

 Lay out 16 cupcake/muffin cases on a baking tray. 

Add about 1 tablespoon of the mix to each cupcake. 

 Bake the cupcakes in the oven at 160  for a fan assisted oven or 180 for a 'normal' oven for 20-25 minutes. 

Your cupcake should now be golden brown, big and bouncy. 
You can test if your cupcakes are cooked by sticking a skewer into the center of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean, the cupcakes are ready! If not, put the cupcakes back in for 5 minutes at a time to ensure you don't burn them. 

For the topping:

Break up into squares and melt the galaxy chocolate  (if you don't like galaxy use dairy milk or any other chocolate) in a bowl over the hob. I do this by putting some water into a saucepan and putting a glass bowl with the chocoalte in over the top. Don't leave the chocolate alone as you don't want to burn it. Stir it occasionally while the chocoalte melts. 

Once the chocoalte has melted, teaspoon the chococlate onto the tops of the now cool cupcakes and spread to the edges. I added some pink shimmer glitter on the top too. You could add a cherry, or anything that takes your fancy to finish the cakes off. 

Now all there is left to do, is to enjoy eating your scrummy cakes!!


Sunday, 23 August 2015

Wedding Ideas!

Hello everyone!

If you have read the title of this blog post, you may be thinking that i have some very exciting news..! Well, I'm pleased to say that you are right! I'm ENGAGED!! I am so very happy, I have all of the most wonderful feelings!

So, since I'm getting married and it's all I can think about, I thought I would share a a blog post on all the ideas I have had to maybe give a little wedding inspiration for others. And if you aren't getting married...well it's never to early to start planning!

So first things first, I would love to share with you my engagement ring! Of course the picture never does a beautiful ring justice but here it is!

Its a vintage preloved ring which meant that we got a lot of diamond for our money! I would so recommend getting preloved if your are looking for a ring. It comes with its own little story and journey, and its a nice feeling to think you are making it feel loved all over again! 

I think i am at a lovely stage of the wedding planning process. We have our venue booked and guest list almost sorted (phew!! worst.part.ever) so now i can focus on all the lovely little details like the table decorations, flowers, favours, etc, etc. I am sitting here smiling just thinking about it ! 

SO, here a are few ideas i have thought would make a wedding a little bit unique! 

  1. Flat shoes for tired feet!
Every lady knows there is a constant battle between comfort and looking good. Do i wear the amazing high heel that makes my legs look never-ending ? Or do I go for the lower, I know I will last in these kind of shoes...?!
Well, i thought that it would be a pretty cool idea to give the ladies that decide on looks over comfort, the opportunity to relieve her aching feet for the evening.
So, i am going to have basket full of flip flops tied up in a cute little bow in the ladies bathroom. I think that it will make things a little more unique and i am sure i will be the best friend of lots of aching feet!

I managed to find a picture on Google of exactly the kind of thing I'm looking to do. I love the
 way this lady has labelled the basket 'Dancing Shoes'. I think i may have to steal that idea!

2. Homemade favours

When my sister and brother got married (obviously not together) they both had homemade favours and everybody enjoyed them so much, i knew it was that i wanted at my wedding. My sister had a brilliant idea of giving everyone a photo in a frame summing up the reason they are at the wedding. Whether it was just a lovely photo of the guest and the bride, or a big family photo, it was a really lovely touch and made it feel very personal. It is defiantly a gift the guests will keep! 

For the favours at my brother's wedding, they made homemade sloe gin in cute little bottles. It was amazing! They went and picked the sloe berries together and took a photo of themselves doing so which they stuck on the side of the bottle. It was so lovely and of course everyone remembered to take it home! And for the non drinkers or children, they filled the bottles with  small sweets.

The idea i have for my own wedding favour is homemade jam. I thought that i could get some lovely small jars and make a label up saying something like 'Spread the love' and 'Jam packed with love'. Here is a picture of what i am looking to do.

3. Wedding games

Weddings are long events so it is always great to have an activity that all the guests can get involved in. At my brothers wedding, they set up an adult treasure hunt in the garden to find various little bottles of alcohol. It was so much fun and people still talk about it now. If you didn't want to use alcohol , you could use sweets or little gifts :)

You could also have a little quiz all about the bride and groom after the wedding breakfast. People can work with their table and the winning team could have a free drink or you could buy a small gift already prepared.

So there are just a few of the ideas i have had to make wedding a little more unique. I am sure that as time goes on i will post more wedding themed posts! If you have any ideas that make a wedding that little bit more special, i would LOVE to hear it!!

Thanks for visiting :)


Thursday, 8 January 2015

Zoella's Girl Online Book Review


If you have seen my previous post, you will know that I have got Zoe Sugg's Girl Online Book. I've just finished reading it, and I loved it so much, I felt that I needed to give it a little review on here!
You know when you've read a good book when you start thinking about the characters in day to day life as if they are real people you know (after you've finished the book!) That's what I am like with Girl Online.
When I first got it, I have to admit I was a tiny bit unsure whether I was going to get on with it as I was under the impression it was aimed more at the teenager generation. However, the mature subject of writing about dealing with panic attacks and how Zoe has approached it was so refreshing! You can tell that she is writing it as someone who suffers from panic attacks herself as it was so accurate and didn't pretend to know what she was talking about.
It was great reading how Penny (the main character) grew throughout the book and seeing her journey to become a stronger woman. It really leaves you feeling empowered. There was just the right amount of friendship, romance and family life that made the book exciting, heart warming, motivating and relatable.
I am a true girly girl when it comes to books so I love reading a good romance and this story ticked that box, big time! It literally filled me with joy with a huge smile plastered over my face. I know this might sound a bit weird, but the book was just so satisfying! I didn't finish the book feeling like I needed more information, or that certain parts of the story needed more detail. It was exactly what I wanted and was able to shut the book feeling content and satisfied. I don't want to tell you the ending for those of you who haven't read it, but it was just right!
This book is a real page turner, the kind that keeps you up till past 2.00am desperate to find out more!
Have you read Girl Online? What are your thoughts?
Got any book recommendations for me?


If you want to follow me, I am on Bloglovin and Google + and I will follow right back!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

2015 to be Favourites

I know the year has only just begun, but I thought I would share with you some of my for sure to be favourites of 2015 as I'm already loving them and it's only 6 days in! I haven't done a favourites post as yet, so it was really fun picking out bits and bobs that I am really enjoying at the moment. So without further ado, I present to you my to be 2015 favourites!

First up, I have the US TV series 'New Girl'. I absolutely love this programme. The only show I can liken it to is Friends, and I am obsessed with Friends: it's my all time favourite TV programme! New Girl never fails to make me laugh out loud and will always cheer me up. I am watching at least two episodes every night at the moment with my boyfriend which is a really nice thing to do together after a long day apart at work! Especially as it's winter and its nice to cosy up on the sofa. If you want to find a comedy that will not fail to make you laugh, this is the one for you! If you have seen it, isn't Schmidt just the best!?? 
This is a necklace that I love wearing at the moment. I got it for Christmas so not entirely sure where it is from, but know you can get very similar ones in normal high street stores.  Its so simple it literally goes with anything and can glam up any plain outfit with the sparkly stones that line the circle. I don't usually wear gold, but thought that this looked so elegant I couldn't resist loving it. I am certain this will be a key piece of jewellery for me in 2015! 

Now although this isn't exactly a product you can buy, but I wanted to share it with you because its such a cute, thoughtful gift idea. For Christmas, my best friend made me a little keepsake of 52 reasons why we are best chummys. She wrote them on a deck of playing cards by sticking bits of paper over the middle of each card and binded them all together. This is something I will keep close to me throughout 2015 to flick through when I'm feeling a little sad. Its bound to cheer me right up!! This is a great idea to give to someone special that is thoughtful and low in cost!
Next up I have Bobbie Brown's Long-wear eye liner. I have been using this so much recently! Its gel based and is applied very easily with an eyeliner brush. It's so soft to apply and gives you great control if you wanted to a more detailed style. It lasts a really long time, and even longer if a primer base is applied. This is a product that I will always be reaching for in 2015!


Take That's album! Need I say more?? This is TT's first album since going as a three piece and I think they have never sounded better. Every single song is brilliant, with not one feeling like an "album filler". It has the perfect combination of upbeat and slower songs each one just as catchy. I could listen to it over and over again, which is why I am certain this is going to be a 2015 favourite!

Keeping with the music theme, I have the McBusted album on my list! Now, I'm not going to lie, I'm a McFly girl and always have been (a true GD some may say) which is why I love this album. Anything involving McFly will be on my favourites list and I'm excited to have it for 2015. I feel like I don't really need to explain why this album is great, just listen and the music will tell you!
I have another necklace that I am really loving at the moment and has made me favourites list. Just like the necklace before, it goes with everything and adds a touch of "coolness" (could I be any less cool saying that..?) to your outfit. It has a very long adjustable chain so you can wear it with so many different style tops/dresses. I feel like it won't really go out of fashion which is why I'm happy to have it as a 2015 to be favourites list! Plus Holly Willoughby has a very similar necklace and I love her!

Now I'm sure a lot of you have probably read this book, but OMG! Its just great! I literally stayed up till around 2.00am last night because I couldn't put it down. I am around 3/4 of the way through and can't wait till bed time so I can finish it! It has the perfect amount of romance and friendship in it making the book relatable, exciting and heart warming. I am so happy I have this book and I am sure I  will read it for the second time in 2015!
My final favourite to be of 2015 is my camera. Now I couldn't really take a picture of my camera because that would be a little bit difficult to do, so instead to represent my camera, I have a few pictures I have taken out my bedroom window. This year I wanted to take more pictures, so I think I've done well so far! Even if we are only 6 days in...hope you like them! (Spot the only star in the sky!)

Links to products:
Have you got any for sure to be 2015 favourites?

Monday, 5 January 2015

Hello 2015!

I can't believe its 2015! (the year 'Back to the Future' went to the future!) Other than the fact I've started my new year with a rotten cold and I sit here not being able to get any air up my nose, I feel that this year is going to be a good one - I love writing the number 5!  Its been a little while since I last updated my blog and a lot has happened since then. My brother got married and had the most beautiful wedding ever and I started a new job, so i've been pretty busy!

I thought that I would start the year as I mean to go on, so a blog update was the way forward! Of course the main topic around at the moment is new year resolutions! There is something about the whole new years resolutions thing that feels very temporary. You set yourself all these great new goals with all the best intensions that the majority of the time will fade away after the first 2/3 months. I have a theory that its because we put ourselves under too much pressure with them, and they begin to almost feel like homework.

This year, I wanted to set myself a new years resolution of taking more photos (I got a new camera for Christmas) and investing more time on my little corner of the internet that I like to call my blog. But I felt like if I did this, it would start to feel more like a chore than anything else. So I've decided to call it 'My New Hobbies of 2015 that I Will Not Feel Guilty if I Don't Do Every Week'. It might just be a tiny bit of a long title, but i'd prefer not to categorise it with the same new years resolution chore of 'I will eat not chocolate this year!' (which is the most impossible task) and puts a little less pressure on me!

So hopefully if my plan works, you will be seeing my little blog updated more often with some pretty pictures I have taken with my camera! And if that doesn't happen, I wont feel guilty because I have categorised it under a great, but very long, title!

Other hobbies/challenges that I would like to do this year are:
Read more books
Eat healthy
Go to Disneyland
Go on holiday
Watch the complete 'Gossip Girl' boxset
Be more understanding
Worry less
Make the most of my weekends
Go to the cinema more
Go on more walks
Take my camera with me everywhere (its always the moments when you don't have your camera that the best photo opportunities arise)

Have you got any new 2015 hobbies that you would like to start? How do you find keeping to your new years resolutions? Got any tips?

Cheerio! x