topbar

                       
Showing posts with label how to. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how to. Show all posts

Sunday, 8 June 2014

How to make: Strawberry & Basil Drinks!

Strawberry basil Mojito
There's nothing more summery than a fruity drink, am I right? I've been wanting to try a Strawberry and Basil Mojito since I found out they were a thing, and since we were invited to a summer party yesterday, I thought it was the perfect time to make a Strawberry and Basil syrup. It's not difficult at all, and I'm just about to show you how I did it!
Summer Punch Ingredients
You will need:
- Strawberries (I used 2 400g punnets, but kept back about four strawberries for decoration)
- One lemon
- A cup of FRESH basil (or a couple of handfuls).
- A cup of sugar
In addition to this, you'll need a blender, a sieve or muslin cloth, a couple of bowls and a saucepan.

The first thing you need to do is to remove all the little green hats from the strawberries, and discard them. Then, transfer all the strawberries (except for some pretty ones you've kept back for decoration) into a blender. If you don't have a blender, I think you could probably get away with mashing them all up with a fork, but it will take a while!
Blended Strawberries
Once you've blended the strawbs, pour all the goop into a sieve, or even better, a sieve with a muslin cloth placed into it, and press all the juice through with the back of a spoon. Make sure you've got a bowl underneath the sieve, otherwise you're just straining strawberry juice onto your kitchen counter for no reason...
Sieve the strawberry smoothie
Set your strawberry juice aside, and squeeze the juice out of a whole lemon. You can pour the lemon juice straight into the bowl with your strawberry juice at this stage. If some pips make it in, don't worry too much because you'll be straining it all again in the end anyway.
cute lemon squeezer
Sugar cup
Basil leaves on kitchen counter
Measure out your sugar, and plop it in with the strawberry and lemon juice mixture, along with a load of basil leaves. Decant it into a saucepan (non-stick is easiest for cleanup) on a medium kinda heat, and stir it until it's been boiling for about five minutes, until it becomes sticky and... well... syrupy! Once it has reached that stage, turn off the heat and leave it to cool, before straining it through the sieve again, to get the basil out. This recipe makes a lot of syrup, but you can halve the recipe to make a more manageable amount of surup. That said, you can store it in a jar or a bottle in the fridge and it'll last a week or two, so if you end up with tons, NEVER FEAR.
Summer strawberry alcoholic
If you mix this syrup with rum and soda water, it makes an excellent 'Mojito-style' drink. It also works really well on its own with fizzy water, and some of my friends at the party tried it with sparkling wine and said it was super tasty, so it's a pretty versatile little syrup. The strawberries are sweet and delicious, and the lemon and basil give it a bit more of a grown-up, earthy taste.
If you'd like me to do more drinks recipes, let me know. I really enjoyed making this tutorial for you - let me know in the comments if you've got any questions, if you've made the drink, and if you've got any suggestions for other drinks you'd like me to make!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

How to wrap an Easter present!

Easter gift wrap
When I was little, I never finished my Easter eggs - they would still be hanging around in their boxes by the time Christmas came around. So after a while, my parents decided that it would be much more sensible to get me a book or a video (showing my age there...) for Easter. Presents need wrapping, and Easter is a great excuse for some adorable chick or bunny-themed decorations, so let’s get started!
I’ve gathered together some brown wrapping paper, raffia, colourful washi tape, and those iconic little fuzzy chicks that seem to pop up everywhere from the beginning of March. Washi tape is available from most craft shops, as well as places like Paperchase. You can use normal sticky tape, but I think this cheerful stuff makes a nice little statement!
washi tape gift wrap
how to wrap a present
present wrapping chick
Wrap your present as you normally would, and don’t worry too much about it being perfectly neat – you can cover up all manner of sins with cute accessories. (A mantra for life). Tear the washi tape rather than cutting it with scissors as this gives it a more rustic look, which goes well with the brown paper.
raffia for giftwrap
Tie the present with a few strands of raffia so that the bow or knot is on the opposite side to all of the washi tape. I trimmed the ends so that they were all a similar length. Oh no, the little chicklet fell on his face!
fluffy easter chick
Tape the little chick next to the knot in your raffia. It also secures the raffia so it won’t slip off in transit.
Pretty easter gift wrapping
Finish the presents off by writing the recipients’ names on the presents. I chose to just monogram them, using a fine-tipped pen.
Easter gift wrap
These presents are for my little brother and sister who (unlike my childhood self) absolutely LOVE chocolate. I wrapped the chocolate eggs up in this adorable tissue paper which I saved from a recent trip to Tiger. They change their packing paper with the seasons and I always try to save it whenever I buy something from there.
So that’s how I wrapped my presents this Easter. I am obsessed with packaging, wrapping, crafting, and making things lovely, so stay tuned for more seasonal gift-wrapping posts.
Oh and I’d love it if you checked out the article I wrote about blanket-forts (ie my favourite thing in the whole world) over at Mookychick a fabulous alternative online zine with a feminist outlook. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

How to dress on windy days!

how to dress on windy days

If you haven't noticed, it's been INCREDIBLY WINDY recently! "Nice girls shouldn't wear skirts when it's windy" I remember being told by a teacher when I was little, "in case the lads caught a glimpse of knicker!" No, I wasn't brought up in the Victorian Era. Anyway, I say SOD THAT! I dress myself almost entirely in dresses and skirts, no matter what the weather, and if people see my knickers, that's their problem!

wool and silk layers

That being said, I do have some tips for dressing appropriately on windy days. Comfort and happiness are my priorities when dressing for any occasion, and windy days are no exception. So without further ado, here are my top five tips regarding dressing yourself on a windy day.

1. Wear lots of underwear layers. On windy days, I always wear a thermal vest. If you have thermal longjohns or pants, those are a good idea too.
2. Long skirts or tight skirts are best when it's blustery. I know, I said before that it doesn't matter if people see your knickers, but it's still nice to have that secure feeling that your skirt is going to stay where you put it! 
3. Cover up your whole body! Wear long sleeves, wear tights, and if you're going out for a while, make sure to cover your head and neck. We can lose a lot of heat through these areas, so I always wear a long woolen scarf and a hat when I leave the house (although I'm not in these pictures!) Also, make sure to seal up any areas where drafts can get in! That's why I'm wearing a belt over my jumper in these pictures - wind gets everywhere!!!
4. Layers also work on your legs - Sometimes I wear tights, long socks, AND legwarmers. You can get really creative with patterns and colours when you wear lots of layers!
5. If you have long hair and don't want to be picking it out of your mouth all day, I'd advise you to wear it in a nice, simple up-do or plaits when it's windy. By the time I'd finished taking my outfit photos, I could barely pull a brush through my hair!

girly dr marten boots

I like to pair soft, 'feminine' fabrics and textures with my big ugly Dr Marten boots. I know, I didn't INVENT this combination, but I love how it's functional AND attractive. I like chocolate and vegemite together too, so maybe I can't be trusted.

messy red hair

I am a magpie. It's like I have to add something sparkly to EVERY outfit or something... It's almost as though I am unable to wear a completely muted colour palette, because I have to add antique costume jewellery or something. Almost. Maybe. Anyway, I hope this helped you decide what to wear next time it's windy!

Jumper: French second-hand shop.
Necklace: Antique - My grandmother's.
Belt: Topshop.
Skirt: Urban Outfitters.
Tights: H&M
Leg warmers: Second Hand (originally Sweaty Betty)
Shoes: Dr Marten boots.
     

Saturday, 21 April 2012

CAKE POPS: Cake on a stick!

Having seen tutorials for 'Cakepops' on blogs such as A Beautiful Mess I decided to make my own version. Dan had never heard of such a delight, and was so excited that he began to plan them meticulously for days. We would have pink ones and brown ones, and sprinkles, and crushed almonds, and they would be marvellous.

In the end, we didn't get around to doing the ones with crushed almonds, but have a look at what we did manage! Dark chocolate with star sprinkles, and pink chocolate with 'freckles'.


We used a Betty Crocker chocolate cake mixture, and the chocolate icing to go with it. You bake the cake according to the packet instructions, and then once it has cooled, you mash it up with a load of icing until it is a thick brown paste. Then you shape it into little round balls, and leave them in the freezer for half an hour to set. Whilst they are setting, you melt up a load of chocolate, and add some food colouring if you fancy it. The rest is fairly self explanatory, and involves a lot of dipping, spooning, and sticking sticks into things! We had to use cut up barbecue skewers because we couldn't find any better sticks. I would recommend ebay or a craft shop if you want proper sticks!
They need to be put into the fridge to set nice and hard - they are much nicer cold than warm, unlike proper cake!


Cakepop boobs. That one wasn't meant to look as erotic as it undoubtedly ended up...

Outfit-wise, the weather has been so weird recently that getting dressed has been pretty strange. I want to start with the summery outfits, like everyone else in the blogosphere, but I still feel quite wintery inside, which isn't helped by the utterly indecisive weather! One minute, it's thundering, the next, the sun is burningly shiny! In the end, I settled for this black shift-dress with a lace collar and cuffs. It is a bit see-through so I am wearing a plain black t-shirt dress underneath. I paired it with grey tights for some contrast, and cracked out my beautiful old Dr Marten Mary Janes for the occasion!

Oh, and we made a video of us making the cakepops, so have a look at that, by clicking HERE

Dress: YesStyle.com
Underdress: H&M
Grey Tights: H&M
Dr Marten Mary Janes: Office (I think).