Friday, 19 May 2017

Foodie Friday - Healthy Eating: Breakfast Choices pt.1


I consider myself a pretty healthy eater. Don't get me wrong, I'm partial to the occasional binge, but generally speaking I try to make healthy choices. 

Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and from someone who spent the majority of her teenage years skipping breakfast, it is now one of my favourite meals of the day. So much so I managed to come up with a lot of breakfast options. So many in fact I decided to split them over two posts. I will have pt.2 on the blog next Friday.

Long gone are the days of cereal or a couple of slices of toast! You can get so creative with breakfast choices you won't get bored at all. Here are a few of my favourite things to eat for brekkie.

Overnight oats. These are fantastic! So easy to make, and there are so many different combinations that even if you had these every morning you wouldn't get fed up. Change the flavour of yogurt you use, grate apple into them, add different fruit or even add protein powder if you're going to be eating them after a workout. You can find my recipe for them here

Porridge. Great to warm you up on a cold Scottish morning. Which, let's be honest is most mornings in Scotland! Again this is something you can make in many different ways. Cinnamon and honey, jam, peanut butter. All loaded with fruit. Blueberries and banana are my first choice. Now, the Scottish lass in me loves porridge the Scottish way best of all - made with salt and milk on top to cool it down. Yum! There is mixed opinion on this, some people think porridge this way is disgusting but it reminds me of the way my Nana and Gran made me porridge when I was a kid. 

Oat muffins. Flourless and tasty. Add a mashed banana, some cinnamon and honey. A perfect 'on the go' breakfast you can make the night before. Find my recipe here.

Eggs. Such a fantastic breakfast food! Low calorie, packed with protein (perfect after a morning workout) and quick to make. Poached, boiled, scrambled or fried, I'm not fussy. Add a bit of salt and pepper and you're in business!

Full cooked breakfast. I'm not a fan of a greasy fry up but from my experience you can still eat food like this when you're trying to be healthy and lose weight, it comes down to  the meat you use and the way you cook a full breakfast being the difference between healthy or not. So, in my house, it's a 'grill' up and no oil is used to cook it. I cook bacon with the fat cut off, if potato scones are added they are cooked in fry light spray. No Scottish cooked brekkie is complete without square sausage and the Skinni range square sausage has hardly any fat. Add beans, fried mushrooms and eggs and you have a great treat breakfast for the weekend. 


xxx

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Photograph taken by me and made using Canva 

Thursday, 4 May 2017

My Month in Photos - April


Well here we are into May already! April was a great month, we had cracking weather and Mark and I had some fun days out. 

We visited St Andrews which is always a fun day out for me. St Andrews is one of my favourite places in Scotland, and luckily for me I now live about thirty minutes away. A nice walk on the beach was followed by ice cream at Janetta's. Whenever the sun is out the queue for for ice cream is out the door at Janetta's. But trust me it is worth queuing for. Good luck picking a flavour though!

In Scotland two sunny weekends in a row is not all that common but the first two weekends in April were like this. We got in the car for a magical mystery tour, well for me anyway. Mark wouldn't tell me where we were going and I had no idea until we got to our destination - Pitlochry. We had a picnic, a nice walk over the dam and a visit to the Christmas shop. Perfect day. 

Easter last month meant the perfect excuse to eat some chocolate (like I need one!) and I also did a spot of Easter baking. I have still not managed to perfect my creme egg cupcakes, but I think I know how to nail them for next year.

I also attended The Dunfermline Tea Party Society pop up tea party. It was really nice to meet owner Chrissie and hear about how she came up with the idea. Plus of course there was tea and cake!

My wee blog turned four at the end of the month. I can't believe I have been writing this for that long! I wrote a post on turning four which you can read here.

How was everyone else's April?

xxx

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Photographs taken by me and M Richardson

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Four Years of Frocks and Fairycakes


Today my blog is four! When I started Frocks and Fairycakes in 2013 I didn't really see things continuing this far. I know, not the best way to go into a new venture, but sometimes I'm not the best at sticking to things. But hey, four years later and I'm still writing. 

So when my online venture turned one I shared a post (which you can read here) properly introducing myself and giving a few facts about me. Something that didn't happen at the start, I kind of jumped into the whole blog thing.

Well things have changed a bit since that one year post. I don't live in Falkirk anymore and I don't have a fiancĂ© anymore, or a husband for that matter. That didn't work out and although I never went into detail online (because it wasn't just my story I would've been telling) people who have followed me on Instagram might have noticed the posts about wedding planning just stopped and a bit later a new guy started showing up on my feed. That's Mark, my awesome boyfriend who I live with in Fife (he is also photographer, editor and tech support for Frocks and Fairycakes). 

I also no longer work for a big company. In fact right now I'm not really working at all. I got made redundant in February and am filling my time studying web design and organising the Edinburgh Blogger Conference. 

So here's to four years of Frocks and Fairycakes, and to four years of me sticking to something I do as a hobby! My blog isn't huge, I don't have thousands of followers on social media but I've got something I created. I've learned skills I didn't have four years ago. I've met nice people through blogging and it also gave me the opportunity to get involved in organising the Edinburgh Blogger Conference I mentioned just above. 

Who knows where this will be in another four years time, but I hope I still have a passion for writing. For now though I'm off to eat cake, because my wee blog turning four seems as good a reason as any to fill my face with my favourite food!

xxx

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Photograph taken by me

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Dunfermline Tea Party Society


Last Friday I headed out to a pop up tea party in Dunfermline. It was really nice to go to something on home turf, and drinking tea and eating cake is a pretty good way to spend a Friday evening as far as I'm concerned. 

The Dunfermline Tea Party Society is run by Chrissie, who loves tea and vintage crockery. A girl after my own heart! It's so nice to have a company like this based in Fife and I was keen to find out a bit more about Chrissie and her exciting new venture so I caught up with her to ask a few questions.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came up with the idea for The Dunfermline Teaparty Society.
A. So.... The Dunfermline Tea Party Society was one of those light bulb moments when you're least expecting it. My friend had passed on a set that needed a home, and it sat out in the kitchen for about a week. I loved it but my husband, Ross, then started to ask where it was actually going to go. I couldn't really give him an answer, so just shrugged my shoulders and walked away hoping that would be the end of the conversation ;) He did have a point as my collection is pretty big now... It wasn't until a few days later when I was folding some washing that the idea landed on me, "You could rent your sets out!".... Hrmm... I thought, that's a good idea and to be honest one I don't know why I hadn't thought of before. For a few weeks I didn't really do anything with the idea but I couldn't stop thinking about it, and I thought that maybe this was a sign to see where this idea takes me. This was only back in February and in the short time till now its pushed me so far out my comfort zone, (putting the idea out there, staring a Facebook & Instagram page, vlogging for the first time and holding my first ever pop up party), but again I hope all of this is a good sign that I've found what I should be doing. Helping to bring people together through tea, throwing amazing tea parties.

Q. Where did your love of tea and teacups come from?
A. I've always loved all things vintage and in my art school days was described as kitsch. But my collection truly started when I was getting married. We thought it would be fun to have a cake buffet, so that's when I started buying cake stands for our big day. This soon lead on to tea cups and all things tea related, including a dresser to show off my favourite and sentimental pieces. My tea drinking comes from my mum, who drinks even more of it than me! I think tea drinking is ingrained into us from watching our families drink tea, when anyone pops around the kettle goes. I really believe in the powers of tea, and how in almost all situations it's there for you. In good times and bad, often the first thing we do is pop the kettle on and share a cuppa. It brings people together and at the same time gives you that 10 mins peace you need to conquer the day. 

Q. What are your future plans for The Dunfermline Tea Party Society?
A. My plans for The Dunfermline Tea Party are still very much at the early stages but I'm open to let it change and develop naturally. At the moment I hope to be able to help people throw parties and events in their homes using my collection and props. I also hope to use my creative skills to help style and dress the party to the themes and needs of the customer. I love the finishing touches and details and feel that these small, personal touches are where I can be different from all the other great tea party businesses out there. As I and The Dunfermline Tea Party Society grow, I hope to be able to throw more pop up events and perhaps a pop up cafe down the line, that bring all different people together, giving something back to the local community. I would love to help others through tea who are maybe lonely or in need of a good cuppa with friendly people. I'm also trying to figure out how to incorporate my first creative business Turtle Mummy Crafts, so I still have a lot of thinking to do.

Q. How will it work?
A. At the moment, I hope that through getting to know my customer over a cuppa, we'll discuss their party needs and take it from there. Everyone is different, so each celebration should be different.  I'll be there to set up and make sure everything looks great for the party. I hope to give a really personal service and get to know my customer and their needs. Planning even a small party takes up so much time and can be very stressful in our busy, 24/7 lives and that's where I can help by taking care of "setting the stage" for a fantastic party, making good memories over tea.

Keep up to date with Chrissie and her plans for The Dunfermline Tea Party Society through her Instagram, Facebook and Youtube

xxx

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Photograph taken by me

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Marks & Spencer - Kids Shoes


Sometimes you find the best things in the strangest places. Now, M&S is not always my go to shopping place. I have a few things from there and their Limited Edition collection usually has some pieces that nail the current trends. But their kids shoes are hidden gems, and even better, because you don't pay VAT on kids clothes they are really well priced!

The kids sizes go up to a size 6, although that 6 is a EU 39.5, so technically not a size 6 and you might find these a bit big if you normally wear a 6/39. I have had a couple of pairs of shoes from them, one pair of chunky brogues that are a bit of a dupe for Dr Martens.

I have picked my favourites from their current collection, and none of them are over £25!

Clockwise from top left: Leather Sandals // Slip-on Star Print Trainers // Metallic Loafers // Heart Sparkle Loafers // Glitter Footbed Sandals // Faux Snakeskin Slip-on Trainers

xxx

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Photographs from Marks & Spencer website

Friday, 14 April 2017

Foodie Friday - Creme Egg Cupcakes


One of the best things about Easter is Creme Eggs. They really should be sold all year round! I have combined two of my favourite things for today's foodie Friday - cake and Creme Eggs. 

I used mini Creme Eggs for this, but if I was going to make them again I would try them with full size eggs cut in half, I think you would get more of the gooey inside melting out. I also haven't baked in a while so really need more practice with icing... I think that's a good excuse to make more cupcakes, right?!

So, onto the recipe. I have shared my sponge recipe before and it is one I have sworn by for years. It makes a really light, fluffy, moist (apologies for those who hate that word) sponge. 

Sponge:

125g self raising flour
1/2 level tsp baking powder
100g butter, softened (I like to use Stork for the sponge)
100g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
12 mini Creme Eggs

Buttercream icing:

100g of unsalted butter (I use real butter for this)
200g of icing sugar
(to make my buttercream icing, I always combine butter with twice the amount of icing sugar)

- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius /170 degrees celsius (fan) / gas mark 5. Line a cupcake tin with cake cases. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Put the butter in another bowl and soften with an electric whisk. Add the sugar, eggs and flour and beat until mixed.

- Split the mixture evenly between the cupcake cases and put a mini Creme Egg in each case. Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. I check after 15 minutes to see how they are doing. When the sponge is cooked it'll be springy to the touch and if you insert a cocktail stick it'll come out clean. 

- Once ready, remove from the oven and place the cakes on a cooling rack. 

- To make the butter icing, soften 100g of unsalted butter and gently mix in the icing sugar with a spoon to start with (if you use the electric whisk straight away you will end up with icing sugar all over yourself) and then use the electric whisk to make the mixture smooth.

- Leave the cakes to cool down before putting the icing on top, you can pipe the buttercream or spread it on top of the cupcakes. It'll taste just as nice either way!

I debated putting this post up because my cakes didn't turn out quite how I wanted them to, but I'm not a baker and they still tasted damn nice so I thought why not share them?! Plus it's a good way of combining two tasty foods.


xxx

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Photograph taken by M Richardson

Thursday, 13 April 2017

If We Were Having Coffee

Recently I read a post on Urbanity Blog, where Ruth was sharing a wee bit of what was going on in her life right now, what you would talk about over a coffee. Now, although I wasn't tagged in this post I liked the idea so decided to jump on the bandwagon. 

First things first. My name is not Keily. I'm sitting in Starbucks while I write this and I'm going to let you in on a secret...one of my simple pleasures in life is seeing the many different ways in which Starbucks employees write my name (I think only one person has ever got it right, they were called Kayleigh too).  Actually so much that if they ask they ask how to spell it, I refuse to tell them. Now, I know this seems mean but when you have a name that you are always required to spell out for everyone you don't really want to do it when you get coffee too. So, no Starbucks name for me, just weird variations of the spelling of "Kayleigh". 

So, if we were having coffee I would tell you that I'm part of the team organising the Edinburgh Blogger Conference in June this year. There are four of us in the team and three of us are bloggers. As well as getting to be part of organising something really exciting the team are great and people I really like, which always helps a team work better. Things are getting really exciting, tickets went on sale a couple of weeks ago and more and more things are falling into place. It's going to be a great event!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I will be doing Tough Mudder, also in June this year. Actually, it's the day after the Blogger Conference! I've wanted to do it for years but for various reasons haven't been able to. I'm a bit nervous about it, whether I will be able to finish it, the fact that you get electrocuted... But mostly I'm looking forward to it and the amazing feeling (and the drink) I'll get when I finish it!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I've recently been made redundant. I finished working on 28th February after eight and a half years at the same company. I have been doing a web design course as I really want to change what I do. I would also tell you that having no job sucks. Apart from the obvious lack of money it's pretty boring not having work to go to. 

If we were having coffee I would tell you that at the end of this month I will have been writing Frocks and Fairycakes for four years! I think it is the longest I have ever stuck anything out (that wasn't a job I get paid for). I never thought I would enjoy writing the blog as much as I do, and since it's coming up to four years I have a few changes planned for the look of it. 


xxx

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Photograph taken by me