Life

Day Out in Newcastle

Matt and I headed to Newcastle last week to finishstart our Christmas Shopping and got there pretty early to avoid the crowds. Did it make a difference? Did it heck!

Matt had noticed the newly-opened PN Wrestling located where the old Kathmandu used to be last time he was through Newcastle and wanted to wait until I was with him to have a mooch in there – The novelties of a Gear making girlfriend!
It’s well mad because Me and Sue used to be PNB Wrestling! It stocks shirts, loads of figurines & replica belts – well worth a look! I wonder if Adrian Neville is an official action figure yet 😉

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We went to DAT Bar for a bite to eat and a few beers.
Because Shopping. And I hate. We both got a #4 and two orders of beef dripping chips ^.^ One top of making their own Oregano & Tomato Sauce – it became the dippy-chip challenge – the walls are papered in their own parodied B Movie wallpaper and they probably have the coolest Toilets in the North East:

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I’ve heard many a good thing about Pet Lamb Patisserie, but didn’t get a chance to sample their wares until Matt bought me a surprise mix of four – which included their Chocolate Orange & Red Velvet Cupcakes. Unfortunately, the box got a little squashed whilst we were mooching about on a hardcore shopping trip, so here are some of their Valentine Collection from their Facebook. They were GORGEOUS!

Ready made excuse to go back + delicious Cupcakes = WIN!

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Mmm…Glug… is a wonderful little shop located in Grainger Arcade which sells a wide range of Craft beers & wines as well as Herbs, Spices, Chocolates & Pasta. The Staff were so friendly, thoughtful and got a novive advised onto the Beers available. I managed to get a good wodge of Matt’s Christmas presents from the Glug…section 😉

It wouldn’t be a day out if we didn’t finish in BrewDog with it’s new evening Christmassy touch 😉

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I also love the new Decor in the Ladies:

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Bloglovin + Instagram + Planet Neon Bunny + Sukiwear

Life

Life is Sweet!

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I was lucky enough to be able to make another Dog-themed Birthday cake this year after making [ Sue’s Yorkie Cake back in March ] 😀

Our friends have two adorable Miniature Jack Russel/Teacup Chihuahua crosses (One of them sporting the hetero-chromatic eyes that I really dig!) and it was great fun to bake up a surprise cake featuring the two. It’s Devils food cake base with two handfuls of crushed walnuts thrown in the mix (With the usual cinnamon & vanilla extract) , chocolate fudge buttercream coating and filling, lashings of whipped cream covered in smarties and finished off with grated chocolate.

The dogs themselves were a bit of a challenge – I wanted to get the tinier head, longer body and large bat ears right, as the bunnies and Yorkies I made before were more rounder and chubbier. It took a few goes to get the ears and the backs of the heads sloping down at the back! I painted the markings on with melted chocolate, which stayed in place better than the coloured icing paste I used last time, and pushed a few chocolate drops in for the eyes 🙂

I also made them a ball, a bone & a favourite ice cream-shaped chew toy!

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Heroes Cookies from a Funsized bag of Heroes:

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There’s Fudge, Chomp, Crunchie & in there.
(The Crunchie ones didn’t like the oven very much and melted into little pools which them solidified but still tasted yummy!)

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Just thought I’d pop a few pictures of my Living Room in the Flat up here to fit in with the Sweetie Theme 😉

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Recipes

Cupcake Attack!

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HAPPY VALENTINES DAY FROM THE MAD HOUSE ♥

Not fancying a solitary bottle of wine & a chick flick yesterday, I made 24 cupcakes to give out to my nearest & dearest (Which consists of three people – Haha!) and spread a bit of the Appreciation Feels.

Get Loved. Get Cake. Get Fat. Get Happy!

YOU WILL NEED:

100g/3.5oz Butter
100g/3.5oz Sugar
100g/3.5oz Self Raising Flower
2 Eggs
Optional: Pinch of cinnamon, Vanilla extract & a Handful of Porridge Oats.

PINK CAKE CASES: 100g White Chocolate
BLUE CAKE CASES: 150g Cadbury’s Wholenut

[★] Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Pop cake cases into the holes in a muffin tin. If you’re between muffin tins like I am, any sort of baking tray is fine.
[★] Cream the Sugar & Butter until smooth, and beat the eggs in a separate bowl before adding these. Stir in the Chocolate and Optional: ingredients. Sift in the Flour and fold.
[★] Divide between the Cake cases and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

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HAPPY HAMSTER CUPCAKES!

Using Marzipan & Food colouring, I followed this Tutorial:

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I had such a laugh making these, the Lady in the video makes them look so effortless whereas mine look a bit confused – and NOT like stripey poo’s – Haha! I popped them on a bed of Pink Strawberry Frosting and delightedly showed the other half of Sukiwear when she popped over in the evening for another order swap, before sending her home with a tin.

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CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM & HEART SPRINKLES

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VANILLA & WHOLENUT HEARTS

I used a can of the Squirty Vanilla frosting for these – don’t ever buy it. Ridiculously expensive waste of money as it only did 6 cakes! I melted the remaining Wholenut chocolate into these heart moulds and sprinkled the top of the frosting with chopped nuts.

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Life

Mermaids, Bats, Cakes & Crosses

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I . M A K E . M Y . O W N . T E N T A C L E S
Digging out the Happy Scrapbook yesterday, I sketched out and coloured in this doodle of a Mermaid with tentacles erupting from her chest, and am quite pleased with how it turned out.
I wanted a vivid contrast between the colours of the tentacles (Red for anger & passion, Orange for Excitement, Searching & Stimulation, Yellow for Cautiousness & Growth), and the colours of her Hair (Fuschia for Perception & Insight, Purple for Imagination & Intuition, Blue for Understanding & Acceptance and Black for Absorption)
The Monochrome Mermaid represents our sponge tendencies as we experience and learn life and our ultimate ‘Aloneness’ in doing so, her hair colours are all about fate and psychic & physical awareness & receptivity, how we learn and are affected by the things that happen to us. She is being both protected and silenced by the tentacles, which are mostly active ‘feeling’ colours rather than passive ‘receiving’ colours. Ever been severely confused about raging emotions and regretted something you said without thinking? Our own tentacles burst out at the least expected time to ‘Help’ us and are unique – made from our personal experiences on things.
Other than the ‘Deep’ stuff, I just thought it was a really cool idea 🙂

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W I T C H I N ‘ . I N . T H E . K I T C H E N

Channeling the Inner Alchemist/Witch/Teenage Goth and following [ THIS TUTORIAL ], I made these 100% organic babies with Coconut oil, Tea Tree Oil & Lime juice in the mould’s I bought months ago from LIDL. They are small enough (65mm) to each last three days for what I need them for, and there’s already been a dramatic improvement in skin condition and pain.
I can’t wait to try out different mixes with different oils and dried herbs & flowers for their different properties!
Cuppa, whilst we cackle over our Cauldron’s Ladies? 😉

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B E . M Y . C U P C A K E

Like an Endorphin-drunk chubby werewolf, the fortnight leading up to Valentine’s Day gives me a disgusting amount of the Squishy Moo-Moo Feelings & Soppiness, and it’s the same every year.
Gabrielle hasn’t been off the Laptop, Stitch’s fur is falling out in clumps from being squished too hard and there’s a general Moony-eyed happy haze floating around.
I’ve bought this Cupcake-themed Card from Home Bargains (60p ! ‘Cos you’re worth it!) for my Cupcake Wall in the Living Room, and even though I’ve toyed with sending one,  or even popping a Heart-Shaped note in the British Heart Foundation’s Window , I’ve kinda been sending Valentine’s tokens of appreciation all year to my two best Baking Guinea Pigs!
A tin of Valentine’s Cupcakes apiece seems to be a Grown-up and Yummy way forward ♥

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I’m still baking roughly once a week, and recently sent a batch of my Smartie cookies to a Friend’s Dad who’s just came out of Hospital, along with a pretty note. I love doing things like this for people who appreciate the thought 🙂

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L I F T . U P . T H E . R E C I E V E R . I ‘ L L . M A K E . Y O U . A . B E L I E V E R

Part of my Modelling-Shoot the other week had a bit of a Rite-of-Passage about it.
I’ve been attending Church at least once a week and become a (Protestant) Born again Christian.
I’ve “Came out” to a few trusted friends, and they’ve been extremely supportive and I’ve connected with one or two of them on a deeper level, now that we’ve recognised each other properly, and the Stigma’s are discarded. Going to Church isn’t really something you discuss in casual conversation around here – especially in the Factories. It’s something else they can try to knock you down about (Or tie you to a Stake and burn you as a Witch for) *rolls eyes*
I’ve done it for a lot of reasons, namely because I already have good Christian morals and values and want to build upon them, but also because I need the discipline, the balance, something good and inspiring to believe in and most importantly, I need to be around good people. My congregation is mostly older ladies with a few men present, and I stick out like a NEW GIRL sore thumb in my black lace and tartan, but I’m still learning even though I’m worried that I don’t know enough yet. I enjoy listening to the Hymns and the Bible Extracts, and particularly when the President takes an Extract and applies it to real life and how we mirror it. The best bit though, is the Exchanges of Peace where everyone jumps up and shakes hands with each other and says “Peace be with you!”. It’s quite something to have an army of Nana’s descend upon you to kiss your cheek and squeeze your hand affectionately and to wish you well. I look forward to it all week. Just to be appreciated and acknowledged by Strangers. No Peace Offering needed.
I’ve longed to sit in the quiet sanctity of a holy building since my early Teens – probably when I first started realising that there was something terribly *wrong* in my Family – and take comfort in the fact that I was loved already by a mighty entity. Just to sit in the quiet and not be screamed at or psychologically attacked over every tiny achievement. Was never allowed to stray on a Sunday, had to get up for my Paper Route and to then assist in making the Sunday Lunch, running any errands and to then clean up.
I haven’t seen my paternal family much since October and it’s made a considerable difference to life – I’m happier, more secure in myself and confident again. I’m not battling their constant attempts to tear me down to their level, their ignorance, selfishness & disloyalty, and their aggressive Hyena mentalities. I appreciate silence more, seek reassurance in myself rather than others and don’t feel guilty about doing my own thing anymore. I want to be a good Garment designer to my customers and to look after them properly and to do the very best I can. I want to guard myself against evil, manipulative and selfish people whilst still believing the best in them. I want to be free to love and shower my friends with my affections and to not feel guilty or ‘Overload’ in doing so. There is so much Joy in being Alive, and no more reasons to be Afraid.

These past few weeks have been filled with a quiet thing with no shape or name.
It has a primordial glitter like celestial dust.
It smells like Hope and glows like Love.
And sounds like a Butterfly growing in the Dark.