Skulls and Alpacas

dress: chibibunny via storenvy / hoodie: new look (old) / leggings: asos tall / flats: TUK / bag: animal sale (last year)

Long time no outfit post! To be honest, I'm having a bit of a dip in self esteem at the moment and the last thing I want to be doing is standing in front of the camera having my photo taken. However, I felt this outfit deserved documenting as not only is it super cute and fun, I've had loads of compliments on the dress so it seems everyone else is a fan of it too! I paired the dress with my favourite super-comfy TUK deer flats, part of the character range that you can find at Spartoo, for a trip to Bristol last week.

Sprinkles Heart Rainbow Birthday Cake

At work, as I'm sure with many other offices, it's tradition to bring in cake, sweets, whatever little treats you fancy to share for your birthday. Me being me, I couldn't just bring in something store-made; instead I opted to make the ridiculous pink-rainbow-sprinkles birthday cake 5-year-old me would have hated - because I was far more interested in dinosaurs than princesses - alongside my vegan carrot cake for a bit of variety. This went down a storm at work, and is definitely a future option for birthday cakes!

The basis of this recipe is my 1:1:1 vanilla cake, with a colourful twist.

300g self raising flour 
300g baking butter 
300g caster sugar 
5 medium eggs 
2 tsp vanilla essence 
1.5 tsp baking powder
gel food colouring in 7 colours (I used Wilton)

one. preheat oven to 180C and prepare your baking tin,
two. combine all ingredients to form batter, making sure you're getting a lot of air into the mix! If you're using a mixer, leave it running for a couple minutes on high.
three. divide batter into seven parts, and combine each part with a different food colour. Since this cake is pale, pastels also come out pretty well but I wanted bright, bright, bright.
four. Use an ice cream scoop or similar to move globs of different coloured batters into your prepared pans. These can be completely random, as I did, or can be in a 'bullseye' shape for something more uniform
five. If you choose the more 'messy' approach, use a toothpick or similar to swirl the batters together for a marbling effect. This should not be rough enough to combine the colours, just swirl them in to each other.
six. bake for 30-35 minutes, until cake is springy to the touch
seven. Once cooled, cut to size and decorate as you wish. I opted for pink buttercream with a 'heart' of sprinkles, achieved using a stencil and some piping to further define the shape.

Bristol's German Christmas Market

Christmas is one of my favourite times of year; I love the glittery ornaments, buying presents for other people and of course all the festive food! J is not such a fan of everything festive, but German Christmas Markets are something he really enjoys too so of course we had to visit one. Bristol has a German Market every year in the Cabot/Broadmead area, with the space filling up with cute little wooden cabins and amazing smells! I love having the chance to take a look at the handcrafted bits and pieces and to soak in the atmosphere but for J it's all about the food, so I was dragged over to the food stalls as soon as he could manage.

One of the major features of the markets are the traditional German food and drink available; I really enjoy traditional German food (except knuckle, ick!) when I visit Germany, so it was nice to have a chance to have it in the UK. J opted for the Currywurst and I had Frikadellen, which is like a cross between a meatball and hamburger and tastes amazing, though I accidentally drowned it in ketchup a bit.

I'm much more of a pudding person than J, so I also ended up getting an amazing crêpe from one of the other stands, containing a ridiculous amount of nutella and melted marshmallows; I couldn't actually finish it, the thing was the size of my head! If you have a chance to get to one, I recommend visiting a Christmas market every year to get yourself in the festive spirit. We're planning to make the trip to the Bath market too next month, which is my all-time favourite one. We ended up visiting Bristol in the middle of the day but going to one of the markets in the evening makes it that bit more magical.

High Protein Yule Log Recipe

This was such a fun recipe to try! I've never attempted a swiss roll for a start, and baking something with unusual or replacement ingredients isn't something I've really tried before. I was asked by Discount Supplements to produce one of their health Christmas recipes using protein powder available on their website, and I just had to take the challenge.

The recipe is super simple to follow, and other than the specialist ingredients are all bits and pieces that are super easy to get in the shops. I'll admit, though this definitely tastes sugary enough to kill those cravings traditional chocolate cake is more for me; but if you're on a strict diet, or diabetic, it would be a fantastic alternative.

click images to see bigger version

Events Fashion

Who doesn't love an excuse to dress up, especially as we're reaching the festive season? As dressing up for specific events is a favourite thing of mine to do, I couldn't resist pulling a little post together on events fashion! And who can beat an excuse to buy some new shoes and a pretty frock anyway!

The Christmas Party

This one has been at the forefront of my mind lately, especially as the theme for my work Christmas party has just been announced; James Bond! Suitably glamorous for a fancy party, but as someone who isn't a massive fan of tight clingy dresses I've been shopping around for something still formal, but a bit more my style.

I'm thinking as the party starts at 9am some cute sparkly flats and an easy-to-wear dress are a must, not to mention something warm to cover me up a bit as December isn't the warmest month.

The Races

When you think dressy, you can't help but think of Ladies' Day at the races! Ladies' Days are a major part of all big race meetings such as The Grand National. And as well as finding out who the favourites are on the Grand National via the Coral website, I like to think about how to plan my look well in advance.

This is because other than weddings, it's the only time you really see such a full array of incredibly high shoes, a rainbow of pretty dress colours and best of all, creative headwear and fancy updos. Though it's not something I've ever done myself, I can imagine how much fun it must be to pick out such an eye-catching outfit - though I don't envy anyone walking around in six-inch heels for hours! Some nice clutch bags from the likes of House of Fraser are also a must to match the formal attire, but a shoulder bag would be so much easier to tow about in my opinion.

The Wedding

Of course, this one's been on my mind lately too! It's under 11 months until J and I say our 'I Do's', and my outfit for that is already picked out and sat at my mum's house of course!

The wedding I attended before that I was maid of honour so again my outfit was very much picked for me. Should I be invited to another wedding though, I have a plethora of cute semi-formal dresses to wear tucked in the back of my wardrobe, and I'm definitely not averse to re-wearing clothes.