Crimble Crafts: Pin-Testing, Beaded Bracelet.

Bracelet 12Hello Lovelies,

This blog post (and the one yet to come) are a little later than planned due to Xmas planning and general life stuff just getting crazy busy. I decided to try my hand at a craft tutorial I found on Pinterest to see if they really do all end in disaster. The original source can be found here. I made a little change, I used jewellery elastic instead of embroidery thread because it’s flexible and strong. It turned out pretty well and here’s my version of the tutorial…

You Will Need:Bracelet 01*Ribbon

*Beads

*Scissors

*Beading needle

*Jewellery elastic

*Measuring tape

*Lighter

What To Do:

1) First of all, put your beads in a container to prevent them from rolling all over the place. Tie a couple of knots into one end of your jewellery elastic and thread through the beading needle. Take some ribbon (I left mine on the reel) and about 18cm in from the end, thread through the elastic.Bracelet 022) Add a single bead onto the elastic and then push the needle back through the same side, enough to wrap around the half the bead.Bracelet 03 Bracelet 04 Bracelet 053) Add another bead on to the other side of the ribbon, thread the elastic back through the same side and keep repeating this until your beaded section of the bracelet fit around your wrist.Bracelet 06 Bracelet 07 Bracelet 084) Tie off the ends of the ribbon, close to the beads, catching in the elastic for extra security. Trim the ribbon off the reel, about 18cm from the bead on the end.Bracelet 09 Bracelet 105) Run the ribbon ends through a flame to seal and then tie the ends into a bow.Bracelet 11That’s it! Super easy and very pretty. You could use any colour combination of beads and ribbon. You could even try different sizes of each. I’ve made a couple of these as gifts but I may make a black beaded version for myself. So, as you can see, not all Pinterest tutorials go wrong! That’s all for today, thank you kindly for reading.

MHB

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Crimble Crafts: Cheatin’ Boozey Chocolate Chip Mince Pies

Mince Pies 17Hello Lovelies,

How’s the Christmas preparations going? Time is whizzing by and it feels there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. So with that in mind, here’s a cheats guide to super yummy mince pies. I LOVE mince pies, like, REALLY love them. The problem is, it’s hard to find vegan friendly ones in supermarkets, so I usually end up having to make my own. These ones use pre-made pastry for speed and ease. I knocked them up for a little Mince Pies and Mulled Wine party my friend Lillith throws each year (she’s the hostess with the mostest). I found a bag of choc chips in the baking cupboard when I was pulling together the ingredients and I thought, let’s chuck them in the mince and see how they turn out. Well, they turned out GREAT and they didn’t last very long at the party. If you are feeling extra pushed for time or just kind of lazy, you could just use your jar of mince straight up but I like to give mine a little extra oomf. Here’s what you do…

You Will Need:Mince Pies 01

*1 pack of jus-roll short crust pastry (or the pre-rolled one if you are super lazy)

*1 jar of mincemeat (no, not the animal variety, gross! these are meant to be vegan!)

*Zest and juice of 1/2 an orange

*a handful of almond slivers

*50g of dark choc chips

*2 table spoons of whisky

*vegan spread for greasing the pan

*1 table spoon of non-dairy milk for brushing the top of the pies

ALSO HANDY…

A 12 hole muffin tray, off-set spatula, medium mixing bowl, grater or zester, juicer, pastry brush, mixing spoon, rolling pin, flour for rolling, measuring spoons, large round cookie cutter, star shaped cookie cutter.

Pre-heat oven to 200’c (180’c for fan assisted ovens). Grease the muffin pan and set aside.

What You Do:

1) Spoon the jar of mincemeat into a mixing bowl. Add in the chocolate chips, almond slivers, orange zest and juice, and the whisky. Mix until well combined and set aside.Mince Pies 06 Mince Pies 07 Mince Pies 08

2) Roll out the pastry block onto a lightly floured surface to the thickness of about 0.5cm or a little thinner. Using a round cookie cutter big enough to line your muffin wells, cut out 12 discs (I used a mug because I couldn’t find my cookie cutters).Mince Pies 09 Mince Pies 10

3) Gently line each well with a disc of pastry and gently press into place.Mince Pies 12

4) Roll out the remaining pastry again and cut out 12 stars (or hearts, moons, pigs, you get the idea).Mince Pies 13

5) Spoon in about 1 1/2 tea spoons of mince mixture into each prepared muffin well. Gently place a star (or whatever shape you’re using) on top of each pie and brush lightly with a little of the non-dairy milk.Mince Pies 14 Mince Pies 15

6) Bake in the middle shelf of your oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden.

7) Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly (but not completely) before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Please don’t eat these straight out of the oven as they will be really bloody hot! You’ve been warned (you’re still going to do though, aren’t you? Thought so).Mince Pies 16

8) Serve! I suggest a bit of custard, ice-cream or vegan brandy butter/cointreau cream. My camera batteries died before I got a photo of these pies all laid out ready to serve. They looked pretty all stacked up on the plate. Never mind!

There you have it. These babies will not last long. Warm gently in the oven before serving and all the chocolate chips will start to melt slightly. The way the flavours all meld is amazing, my mouth is watering just thinking about them. I hope you enjoy making and eating these pies as much as I did. That’s all for today and as always, thank you kindly for reading!

MHB

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Crimble Crafts: Feltie Puds Decorations

Feltie Puds 25Hello Lovelies,

Well, preparation for Christmas is in full swing in our household. I’ve been truffle making like a mad woman, making xmas cards and sewing up these adorable little feltie Christmas pudding tree ornaments. Today, I’m going to show you how to make them. They’re really easy and the technique is similar to the heart decorations I made last year. I like making things with felt and I have started my own little Christmas tradition where I make a different felt ornament each year and hand them out as gifts. I also always make one for our own family tree, so in years to come, I can look back and it will be decorated with lots of lovely little felt things I have hand sewn with love and care.

You Will Need:Feltie Puds 21*Felt sheets in brown, green and white/cream

*Red buttons

*Slim ribbon

*Stuffing

*Paper scissors and fabric scissors

*Needles and pins

*Sewing thread in white, green and red

*Some old card or stiff paper

*Pens and pencils

*Something round to draw around (I used my protractor)

NOTE: I use doubled up thread for all sewing in this project.

What To Do:

1) First you need to make your pudding templates. Use something round to trace the main pudding shape onto your card/paper (you can make these as big or small as you like by the way, which is why there are no measurements*). Draw out a second circle and then sketch in your cream topping shape (it doesn’t have to look perfect). Finally, draw out a holly leaf shape. I was really anal and used a ruler to measure mine out to make it even and symmetrical but you can just freehand it if you like.Feltie Puds 222) Next, use your templates to draw them out onto your felt sheets. The round pudding base goes on the brown (my protractor fitted in six circles on one sheet, which makes three puds). The cream topping onto the cream or white felt and the holly onto the green. Make sure you can easily see your traced shapes. I used a white tailors’ pencil on the brown felt but a white pencil or pen would work just as well. I used pencil on the cream felt and a black biro on the green felt.Feltie Puds 233) Cut out your shapes (with your fabric scissors), making sure to cut just inside the lines so that none of your decorations end up with pen markings on them. Lay out all of your pieces and make sure that you have enough shapes for the amount of puddings you want to make. Each pudding comprises of two pieces of round brown felt, one piece of cream topping and two green holly leaves.Feltie Puds 104) Pin your cream toppings to ONE piece of pud and stitch along the lower dripping edged shape. This will secure the piece in place while adding a little extra detail to the ornament. If you would like to reduce the amount of hand sewing involved, or are in a hurry, you could use a small amount of craft glue or a glue gun to stick them on instead. Just make sure that the pieces are fully dry before continuing onto the next step.Feltie Puds 115) Using your green thread, stitch a line down the center of each holly leaf, again, this is to add a little detail and texture to the pud. Tack two leaves to the center top of each pudding to hold in place.Feltie Puds 136) Sew a red button onto the pudding using your red thread, just where the two leaf edges meet. Make sure it is stitched on securely.Feltie Puds 247) Take a plain piece of brown pudding felt and place it behind the decorated one. Using your white thread and a blanket stitch, sew the two pieces together, leaving a small space at the top of the pud to put the stuffing in and your hanging ribbon.Feltie Puds 168) Smoosh in as much stuffing as you like into the small gap at the top of your pud. You can use the end of a pencil or a chopstick to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Cut a small length of ribbon (about 16cm or so), fold in half and place the ends into the top of the pudding, behind the button. Stitch the hole closed, making sure to catch the ribbon in also.Feltie Puds 179) Et viola! You are done and ready to hang your little feltie pudding on your tree or give it away as a gift. Another nice idea is to drip a little festive smelling aromatherapy oil (frankincense, orange, clove, cinnamon etc) onto the stuffing before putting it in the pud, then it will smell as good as it looks!Feltie Puds 19 Feltie Puds 20So there you go, adorable feltie puds for hanging on the tree. Of course, you don’t have to make puddings, you can make whatever shapes you like. Gingerbread men, reindeer, snowmen, Santa, mistletoe, goodness, loads of options! The technique is pretty much the same each way. Let me know if you make these or any other feltie ornaments inspired by this post. In the meantime, that’s all for today, and as always, thank you kindly for reading!

MHB

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* The dimensions of the puddings I made are as follows: Pudding diameter 9.5cm, cream topping 4cm at deepest point, holly leaf length 4cm and 2.5cm at widest point. Ribbon cut to 16cm and looped.

Crimble Crafts: Super Easy Vegan Rum Truffles

Rum truffles 14Hello Lovelies,

Well, today I bring you some delicious boozey raw vegan truffles. They are quick, easy, involve no actual cooking and only contain three ingredients! Plus, the recipe is super adaptable, so feel free to have a little play about with this and let me know how it goes. I’ve been researching vegan truffle recipes for a while now and my favourite has to be these raw ones. I played around with the ingredients, ratios and technique found in a variety of recipes until I hit on what worked for me personally.

You Will Need:

Rum truffles 01*250g of pitted dates (the softer and higher quality, the better, otherwise you’ve got a lot of work cut out for you in the processing stage).

* 3tbls cocoa powder or raw cacao powder, plus 2tbls extra for coating truffles.

*3tbls of rum (or whisky, tequila, whatever you fancy)

Equipment:

*Food Processor

*Spatula

*Deep bowl and shallow dish

*Cling film

Makes Approx 25 Truffles

1) If your dates are a little on the firm side, soak them in water for about an hour beforehand. Drain them and place into your food processor, along with the cocoa powder and rum.Step 12) Blend the mixture until it is well combined and super smooth. You will probably need to stop at times to scrape the mixture away from the sides and into the main bowl. You want the mixture to be slightly wet but not super gooey.Step 23) Transfer the mixture into a bowl, cover with cling film and freeze for about an hour to allow it to firm up.Rum truffles 084) Once firm, put 2tbls of cocoa into a shallow dish. Use a teaspoon or melon baller to scoop out even sized portions of the mixture and roll into balls. Roll the balls in the cocoa to coat evenly. If you are finding that the mixture is leaving your hands all sticky, your mixture may be too wet  (in which case, transfer back to processor and slowly add more cocoa) or may need a little longer in the freezer.Step 45) Once all the mixture is used up, place the truffles in a container and place back in the freezer if you need to keep them for a while, or the fridge, if you plan on serving them soon. Allow to stand at room temperature for at least 5 minutes before serving. These will keep for a while as they are raw and do not contain any dairy products…if you can keep your mitts off them that is! Enjoy.Step 5And you’re done. It’s that easy. I’m going to be making more of these soon. Peanut butter, hazelnut, peppermint, chilli and orange. So many options. Let me know if you have a go at these, I’d love to see how they turn out. That’s all for today. Thank you kindly for reading!

MHB

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Crimble Crafts: Budget Friendly Wreath

Double Wreath 02Hello Lovelies,

So, Christmas is just around the corner once again and I am delirious with excitement as I always am at this time of year. My crafting and baking goes into overdrive, not to mention the hair and makeup bookings for ladies wanting a little glitz sprinkled on them for a special occasion. Today I have for you a super cheap Christmas craft tutorial. It’s also incredibly quick and easy, double bonus! I picked up my supplies from the pound shop, so this wreath only cost me £4 in total.

You Will Need:Wreath 02

*A plain wreath base

*A few metres of tinsel

*A piece of wired ribbon or giant bow

*Some string, small cable ties or wire.

1) Take your tinsel and push one end through one of the gaps at the top of the wreath.Wreath 03

2) Start wrapping your tinsel around the wreath, making sure not to leave any gaps. Continue this until the wreath is completely covered. For the first one I made (the red and white one), I only use 4m of tinsel, for the green and blue one, I used 6m of tinsel. Depends on how bushy the tinsel is or how full you want the wreath to be.Wreath Wrapping

3) At this point, if you do not have a pre-made bow, use your ribbon to make one. It can be as big or small as you like. You can add it to the bottom of the wreath as I did, or at the top, side, whatever you like.

4) Using string, wire, cable ties or those ties you get with lunch bags, secure the bow to the wreath in the desired place (the pre-made bow I bought had wire ties already attached, so I just used those).Wreath 07

6) And you’re done, it’s that quick and easy! All you need to do is hang it. I’m giving this one away as a gift. The red and white one is now on our flat door.Double Wreath

Of course, you can use any colour combo you like and you don’t have to stick to something so simple if you don’t want to. You could add candy canes, felt ornaments, fake flowers, whatever! I just wanted something that was cheap, quick and easy. Let me know if you make your own wreath, I’d love to see photos. That’s all for now, thank you kindly for reading.

MHB

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Style Build: Creating a Capsule Wardrobe. An Introduction.

StyleHello Lovelies,

This post is the first in a series based on developing personal style and building a capsule wardrobe of basics that you can then add to season to season. I know I blog a lot about hair, makeup and baking mostly but I actually have a background in fashion. I did my degree in product design and development for fashion at the London College of Fashion and I have worked as a garment technologist, trims and accessories buyer, pattern cutter and style developer among other things in a career spanning almost 16 years (I started young! I got my first summer job at 14 cutting out patterns and sewing garments for a small boutique) before re-training as an mua and hair stylist.

Workroom

I’ve spent a lot of time working in a room like this.

I’ve styled shoots, been a personal shopper and cleared out/organised many wardrobes and closets in my time. So, I figured I’d share the lessons I have learned, my eye for style (which is relative, these are just guidelines) and love of design. I have noticed that a lot of the capsule wardrobe advice talks about ‘classic’ or ‘simple’ pieces as a foundation for your wardrobe. I’m here to show you that even those of us with a more alternative style can build and develop working basics without even the faintest whiff of a ‘plain white shirt’ if you don’t what to. Everyone is different, so why would the same pieces work for everyone’s wardrobe? I understand that they are meant to be the basic staples that the rest of your stuff works around but really, if you’d rather have a Little Orange Dress instead of a Little Black Dress, then why the hell not? And quite frankly, I consider leopard print to be a neutral.

Leopard Print

Totally a neutral in my book.

There’s no room for navy and beige in my basic wardrobe (but if there is in yours, well that’s fine too). I guess the deal with the usual advice is that a lot of people are genuinely unsure of what to wear, have never experimented with clothes or have never thought about it too much. But I don’t think that means we all have to walk around like carbon copies. I remember seeing so many women who looked chic on a trip to Milan. Very chic in fact, very well put together and yet, no personality, no individual style shone through and it was kind of weird (being a Londoner from the Islington/Camden area, I grew up being used to seeing all kinds of weird and wonderful styles growing up).

So, here are the things I plan on covering over the coming weeks…

* Clearing out your wardrobe. The good, the bad and the downright fugly: Helping you evaluate what you already have and recognising any style patterns. Shopping your wardrobe. Helping you work out what to keep, what to customise and what to get rid of.

Is this your wardrobe?

Is this your wardrobe?

* Personal Style: Building on the previous installment where we look at any style patterns emerging from your current wardrobe, I’ll also guide you in deciding if this is what’s right for you or if you feel you’d like to make some changes/try something new. Get inspired!

*Suits You Madam: What to wear to flatter your body shape, height and colouring. Explaining the whole ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ thing that style consultants go on about.Body Types- Women

* The Basics: The workhorses of your wardrobe. Evaluating your lifestyle and tailoring your key pieces to suit you. I’ll do a ‘classic’ capsule collection comparison against several examples of my own.

*Wardrobe Additions: How to add pieces into your wardrobe from season to season. When to splurge and when to save. Looking at how many pieces you truly need for a versatile wardrobe. Looking at the 333 project and the Style Grid.project333hanger*Accessories: The staple accessories that will help you change up your outfits and add personal flair to your look. How to take an outfit from day to night.

*Putting it all together: Looking at my example capsule wardrobes to show you how to create many different outfit combinations.

*Mini-Capsuling: How to put together small (yet perfectly formed) capsule wardrobes for various scenarios. Including, short city break, business trip, country weekender, beach holiday and Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender.

On top of that, I will be giving advice on how organise and store your clothes. How to fold things properly to save space and minimise creasing and tips on picking the right underwear for your outfits.By Rachel SylvesterI will be featuring some real life wardrobe hauls for you to see how I tackle other people’s closets in the real world. I’ll also be happy to help you with any questions you may have regarding your wardrobe and style. Whether it’s a garment you love but have no idea what to wear with it, how to customise and update an item, or how to freshen up your favorite dress etc. Simply leave a comment or email me via the contact page if you rather it be private.

I’ll also be doing ‘How to Wear’ posts as part of the Style Build series. Styling up one item in many different ways to show you how versatile garments can really be when you put your mind to it.

*PHEW!* Well, that was a lot to take in but I really hope you will enjoy this new series. Until the next time, thank you kindly for reading.

MHB

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Pear, Almond and Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

36th BDay Cupcakes CollageHello Lovelies,

Today I bring you the recipe for pear, almond and chocolate cupcakes. I made these for my Mr’s birthday. I asked him to pick three flavours and then I would turn them into a cupcake for him. This is what I came up with…36 BDay Cupcakes 01

You will need:

For the sponge:

275g self raising flour

175g soft brown sugar

100ml vegetable oil

200ml non dairy milk (soy or oat tend to work best)

1 tsp baking powder

1tps almond extract

30g ground almonds

1 pear, peeled and chopped

100g dark chocolate chips

For the frosting:

250g icing sugar

100g non-dairy spread

30g cocoa powder

Edible shimmer and chocolate decorations (optional)

What to do:

Pre-heat the oven to 200’c and line a 12 hole muffin pan with muffin cases.

1) sieve the flour and baking powder together into a large bowl. Add the ground almonds and sugar, mix together.36 BDay Cupcakes 02

2) In  a jug, whisk together the oil, non dairy milk and almond extract. Add to the dry ingredients.36 BDay Cupcakes 05

3) Add in the chopped pear and chocolate chips and stir the whole mixture until just mixed.36 BDay Cupcakes 06

4) Divide the mixture between the muffin cases (I use an ice-cream scoop to ensure my cupcakes are roughly the same size).36 BDay Cupcakes 07

5) Put onto the middle shelf in the oven for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick/cake tester comes out clean.36 BDay Cupcakes 09

6) Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. In the meantime, combine all the frosting ingredient in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy. Put in the fridge until the cakes are cooled.36 BDay Cupcakes 08

7) Pipe a swirl of the frosting onto each cake. Finish off with a little edible lustre and a chocolate decoration if you like.36 BDay Cupcakes 11

8) Stuff them in your face.36 BDay Cupcakes 10

 

Deadly Cupcakes Recipe

Choc Chill + Orange Cupcakes 18Hello Lovelies,

Today, as promised, I bring you the recipe for the deadly cupcakes I made for this week’s Death Jam. I love chocolate and chilli together, I love chocolate and orange together but here I have combined all three. The chilli adds a kick and the heat and the orange undercuts with a slight tang to prevent the chilli from being overpowering. These goodies pack quite a punch, definitely not one for those of you who prefer milder flavours. So, dare you try them?Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 01

You will Need:

For the Sponge:

275g self raising flour

175g soft brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

30g cocoa

1- 1 1/2tsp hot chilli powder (depends how spicy you like things)

zest and juice of 1 large orange

approx 100-150ml of vegan milk (I used soy here)

100ml of vegetable or sunflower oil

1 tsp of orange extract

For the filling and topping:

100g of vegan spread

200g of icing sugar

1 tsp of orange extract

orange food colouring gel

1-2 tbs of water

fondant icing (I used pre-rolled ‘cos I was being lazy)

cocoa powder and chilli powder for dusting

Other:

A cupcake corer or apple corer will come in handy. Piping bag and medium plain nozzle (use a food bag with one of the bottom corners cut out if you don’t have a piping set). Cookie cutter the same size as the top of your muffin cases. You will also need some card, a pencil, a ruler and a craft knife if you plan on making a stencil for the top.

What to do:

Pre-heat your oven to 200’c and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.

1) Measure out the flour, cocoa, baking powder and chilli powder and sift together into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and stir gently until mixed.Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 02

2) Wash the orange and then grate the zest into a shallow bowl. Cut the orange in half and juice it. Set the juice aside for a moment.Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 03

3) In a large measuring jug, pour in the oil, then add the orange juice, finally, pour in the milk until the liquid reaches 300ml. Add the 1tsp of orange extract. Whisk briskly together.

4) Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (do not over mix). Divide the mixture between the muffin cases (I use an ice-cream scoop to ensure my cakes are equally sized) and then transfer to the middle tray of your oven for 18-22 minutes.

5) The muffins are ready when  a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. I usually check mine at 18 minutes (make sure you shut the oven door while you test your cakes!) and if they are not quite done I will put them back in and check on them for after 2 more minutes until they are ready.Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 04

6) Place the muffins on a wire rack and leave them to cool almost completely before using a bread knife to slice the tops off (if you do it when they are stone cold, the tops will be a little harder to slice off). Then use your corer to remove the middle of each cake. Put the tops and cake holes in an airtight container and save for another recipe or cheeky snack. Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 06

Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 087) Leave the cakes to cool completely. In the meantime, measure out the frosting ingredients and put into a medium mixing bowl. Using a metal spoon gently combine the ingredients. Once roughly combined, add a couple of drops of the food colouring gel and the orange extract. Using a hand or electric whisk, whip up the frosting until it is super fluffy and the food colouring in integrated. Add the water in if needed to get the required consistency. The frosting should form soft peaks. It shouldn’t be too stiff or too runny.Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 09

8) Fill the piping bag with the frosting (it helps if you put the bag in a large glass to hold it upright while you fill it). Pipe frosting into the middle of each cake until a little spills over the top.Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 10 Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 11

9) Use a pallet knife to spread the excess frosting out over the top of the cakes. This is what will help your fondant discs stick. Roll out your fondant icing (or unroll it if it’s pre-rolled like mine was) to about 3-4mm thick. Use your cookie cutter to cut out 12 discs (I used a wine glass as I didn’t have the right sized cookie cutter). Use a pallet knife to pick up the discs and place them on top of your cakes.Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 12 Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 13 Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 14

10) This is when I made my stencil. I drew out a circle the same size as my fondant discs and sketched out a skull shape. I used my stanley knife to cut out the shape. I then cut the card, leaving enough space around the circle to ensure that only the centre of the fondant gets dusted.

11) Mix together 2 tablespoons of cocoa and 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder into a small bowl. Place your wire rack over a baking tray to catch excess cocoa, place the template over your first cupcake. Using a small sieve or shaker (I used my loose tea strainer), dust each cake gently. Carefully remove the stencil and shake off the excess cocoa mix, put the cake aside. Repeat for each cupcake.Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 16 Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 15 Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 17

* Of course, the final two steps are completely optional. If you don’t want to use a stencil, you can simply dust it without one. Or, you can omit the fondant topping altogether and instead, frost the top of the cake. If you do, ensure that you double the frosting recipe so that you have enough. Then dust the swirly peaks of frosting instead. I think I’ll try that the next time I make this recipe.Choc Chilli + Orange Cupcakes 19

Well, that’s the recipe. Let me know how you get on with it, I always welcome feedback as it helps me refine my recipes. I also like to see what twists you put on it. That’s all for today, thank you kindly for reading.

MHB

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Coco Loco* Top 10 Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil

Source: http://homeremediesblogger.blogspot.co.uk

Hello Lovelies,

Today I want to share a thrifty beauty secret with you. It’s all natural, tasty and it smells amazing, yep, coconut oil. Coconut oil has been used as a beauty product around the world for many years. Most notably as a moisteriser and as a hair conditioner (as well as something you can cook and bake with). Here I my top 10 beauty uses for this wonder oil…

1) Make-up remover: Gently rub the coconut oil all over your face to dissolve even waterproof makeup. Use a warm muslin cloth or soft cotton towelling face cloth to wipe away all traces of makeup. Also, don’t worry if you have oily skin. Oil cleansing is really great for oily skin as like attracts like and the coconut oil molecules attach to the sebum in your face and pull them out! Add some virgin castor oil to the mix if you have oily skin and you’ll be able to feel the ‘plugs’ of dirt from your face after massaging for a few minutes. Gross but also kind of satisfying!

Source: http://blog.goodnessdirect.co.uk/

2) Moisteriser: Massage a small amount into your face after cleansing. Coconut oil sinks into skin leaving it soft and supple.

3) Body scrub: Half a cup of soft brown sugar, half a cup or coconut oil. Mix together and smooth all over in the shower. Smells AMAZING (and is totally edible too). Leaves your tushy smooth as a baby’s!

http://www.bathbodydiy.onsugar.com

4) Lip balm: Decant a small amount into a small tin to carry about with you. Apply when lips are feeling dry (or in preparation for a major make out session).

5) Tinted balm/gloss: Same as above, except, mix in a bit of your favourite lipstick. Make as intense or sheer as you like. Alternatively, apply a small amount over matte lipstick to add a slight sheen.

6) Hair shine pomade: A SMALL amount of this wonder oil rubbed into your palms and smoothed over your hair will add a lovely glossy shine to your finished do.

Shine added with a little coconut oil.

7) Hair conditioner: Rub into your scalp and all the way to the ends of your hair (only on the ends if your hair tends to get greasy). Wrap your head in clingfilm and leave for at least an hour. Rinse with shampoo twice to ensure the oil is removed. You shouldn’t need to use conditioner, just rub a tiny bit of extra coconut oil through the ends of your hair when it’s dry if you have frizzies.

8 ) Cuticle/nail oil: Massage into the cuticles and all over the nail bed (and your hands too if you like), pop on cotton gloves for 20 minutes for extra softening. Wash hands and push back your cuticles with an orange stick.

9) Eyelash and brow tamer: Rub a little coconut oil over a spoolie, old mascara wand or toothbrush then run it through your lashes and brows. This is great for those who don’t like to wear a lot of makeup or for people with thick dark lashes who really don’t need mascara (you lucky devils!).

10) Face mask: There are several different ways you can use coconut oil as a face mask. The most simple one is a quick exfoliating mask. Add half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to it and massage into your face GENTLY. Wipe away with a warm cloth and splash your face a few times. Finish with a little more of the oil to moisterise.

Source: http://hippiechicchick.wordpress.com

Another way is to smoosh it up with half of a ripe avocado, apply liberally over your face and leave for 30 minutes. Both coconut oil and avocado are super moisterising, so this is great for dry/sensitive skins.

Just a quick note: Make sure that you purchase a cold pressed, raw and organic coconut oil to get the most goodness from the oil. There are a few different versions out there. You can get it with the scent removed (favoured for cooking so that the smell doesn’t over power the other ingredients) but I actually really like it with the scent. It makes me smell like a cookie! You’ll get around 500ml for anywhere between £10-£20 depending on the brand you go for but it will last ages. I’ve had my current jar (Tiana brand, from Holland & Barrett) for 3 months and I’m only a quarter way through it. Obviously, if you make body scrub from it, it’ll get used up more quickly though. Also, coconut oil is solid when it’s cold and liquid when warm, so you will need to warm it in your hands slightly before using as a moisteriser, mask, pomade etc.

I hope you found this interesting. It really is a thrifty, healthy and natural product. That’s all for today. Thank you kindly for reading.

*Bonus points for getting the title reference ;)

MHB

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Home Made XMas: Feltie Heart Tree Decorations.

Hello Lovelies,

Today is all about XMas crafting again. This time around I’m making heart shaped felt tree decorations and I’m going to show you how to make them too. I got a little carried away and ended up making a load of these, I’ll be putting them in the hampers I’m making.

You will need:

Some felt (I’m using acrylic felt)

Scrap paper or card

Scissors

Needle and thread

Stuffing (You can use cotton wool in a pinch)

Glue gun (optional)

Embelleshments (e.g. sequins, buttons, applique shapes, plastic gem stones)

Ribbon

Beads and small jingle bells (optional)

What to do:

Feltie Heart 01

Step 1: Draw a heart shape onto some paper or card and cut it out.

Feltie Heart 02

Step 2: Double up a piece of felt and trace out the heart template. Place a couple of pins in the felt to hold the pieces together.

Feltie Heart 03

Step 3: Cut out the heart shape. You should have two pieces of heart shaped felt. Seperate the hearts out and put one aside for now.

Feltie Heart 04

Step 4: Now for the really fun bit; decorating! You can embellish your hearts any way you wish. I'll show you how I did mine to get you started. I've used a zig-zag stitch to attach a contrast colour piece of felt.

Feltie Heart 05

Step 5: Make sure you secure your embellishments securely on the back of the heart.

Feltie Heart 06

Step 6: Pick a button to put in the middle of your contrast piece and stitch in place.

Feltie Heart 07

Step 7: Cut a piece of ribbon to make the hanging tag. Make it into a loop and glue or stitch the loop closed.

Feltie Heart 08

Step 8: Then glue or stitch the loop at the top of the heart.

Feltie Heart 09

Step 9: Place your two hearts back together and pin them to one another to hold in place. Now stitch them together around the outside edge. You can use any stitch for this. Back-stitch, blanket stitch etc. I used a simple looping stitch.

Feltie Heart 10

Step 10: Don't go all the way around just yet! Leave a small space to stuff your fluff into.

Feltie Heart 11

Step 11: Smoosh the fluffy stuff into the space you left open. You can make your hearts as puffy as you want.

Feltie Heart 12

Step 12: Sew the gap closed. Use a pin to hold the two pieces in place while you sew if it helps.

Feltie Heart 13

Step 13: I decided I needed some shimmer so I added some sequin ribbon around the edge using a glue gun. Only do about 2cm at a time or the glue will dry before you can stick the sequin ribbon down. You can stitch this on if you don't have a glue gun.

Feltie Heart 14

Step 14: I also added some beads and a jingle bell on the bottom of the decoration to make it hang nicely. Using doubled up thread, go through the very bottom tip of the heart.

Feltie Heart 15

Step 15: Thread on your beads and jingle bell.

Feltie Heart 16

Step 16: Go back up through the beads.

Feltie Heart 17

Step 17: Secure at the base of the heart with a few stitches. If you are using only beads and no jingle bell (which has a loop attachment), you can use embroidery thread to string your beads on and then tie them off at the bottom of the row with a knot.

Feltie Heart 18

Step 18: I decided I needed yet more sparkle, so I glued on some sparkly hologram stars to the back of the ornament.

Feltie Heart 19

Finally, the finished article. From the front...

Feltie Heart 20

...and the back.

Feltie Heart 21

Here it is on the Christmas tree! <3 I went a little bonkers and made a few more...

Feltie Heart 22

Here's one I made using an old earring as an embellishment. I also made the front and back different colours.

Feltie Heart 23

I stuck an oversized plastic gem stone onto this one. Super kitsch.

Feltie Heart 24

This one is a lot simpler, with just a button and a single jingle bell on the bottom.

Feltie Heart 25

Tacky cracker ring from last year glued to the heart.

Feltie Heart 26

A sequin star.

Feltie Heart 27

A heart within a heart within a heart.

Feltie Heart 28

Another earring glued on, a rhinestoned red star.

Feltie Heart 29
Feltie Heart 30
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As you can see, there’s lots of different ways to decorate your feltie hearts. If it’s small enough and has a fairly flat back, you can probably glue it on! I may end up making a few more of these as it would be nice to have some to keep for my tree too.

Let me know how you get on if you have a go at these, I hope you have as much fun making them as I did! That’s all for now, thank you kindly for reading.

MHB

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