Saturday, 31 October 2015

Spooky Aperol Spritz

I absolutely love Halloween. I'm not sure what it is about it that makes me like it so much. I suppose I'm just really into novelty and that's what Halloween is all about. This year I bought little munchkins, pumpkin fairy lights, Halloween candles and decorations for the front door. I can't help myself. What I was missing was a special Halloween cocktail to take the edge off all the trick or treaters calling at the door.

Aperol kindly offered to send me what I needed to make an Aperol spritz. I thought it looked like a spooky cocktail but to make it even more so I added some little burtsing bubbles from Pop a Ball to top it off.

Halloween Cocktail Aperol Spritz

Halloween Cocktail Aperol Spritz

Halloween Cocktail Aperol Spritz

Halloween Cocktail Aperol Spritz

Halloween Cocktail Aperol Spritz

Halloween Cocktail Aperol Spritz

Halloween Cocktail Aperol Spritz

To make your own Aperol Spritz with an extra creepy twist you will need: Aperol, Prosecco, soda water, an orange and apple bursting bubbles.

The recipe is as follows:

- Three parts Prosecco
- Two parts Aperol
- One part soda water
- A slice of orange
- A tablespoon of bursting bubbles

Add these all to a glass with ice and you're all set! If you need a little help making this, Aperol put together a handy video which is actually a fun watch.

If you decide to make this I hope you enjoy!

Happy Halloween!

*In collaboration with Aperol


SHARE:

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Pinterest inspired giveaway pumpkins!

This year I've taken Pinterest a little too seriously and started attempting crafts that are featured. You may have seen on my instagram that I successfully made some jars covered in autumn leaves to put candles in and they looked great! So after that success I thought it was time to try something Halloween themed.

I saw these cute little pumpkin giveaways and decided I had to try them. They had only two main parts, excluding the sweets, which is orange tissue paper and green electrical tape. You also need scissors, a pencil and something round to draw around. I chose a bowl but soon found that was too small...

pinterest inspired pumpkin sweet giveaways - Halloween Crafts

pinterest inspired pumpkin sweet giveaways - Halloween Crafts

pinterest inspired pumpkin sweet giveaways - Halloween Crafts

pinterest inspired pumpkin sweet giveaways - Halloween Crafts

pinterest inspired pumpkin sweet giveaways - Halloween Crafts

pinterest inspired pumpkin sweet giveaways - Halloween Crafts

pinterest inspired pumpkin sweet giveaways - Halloween Crafts

To make these little mites, first lay your tissue paper out, use your circle and your pencil to draw as many circles as you can, then cut them all out! You need to choose your circle carefully. I decided on a bowl and it turned out I could only get three tiny sweets (a.k.a the little pumpkin choccies in the picture above) inside which was a bit lame. As I'd already cut out all my circles I continued on! What a trooper I am.

Get yourself two of your tissue paper circles, lay them on top of each other and place your sweets in the middle. Gather one of the circles around your sweets. This is easier if you place the circle on your hand and sort of cup the sweets as you gather the top. Give the top a little twist and then do the same with the second circle of paper, this time being a little bit more neat. With this one try not to twist but to squeeze the top together so it looks more presentable. Then put a little bit of green tape around the top. If it doesn't look to much like a pumpkin shape then move the sweets around a little and squish the top down and give it a wiggle to get a better shape.

There you have it, some little pumpkins to give to the trick or treaters. If they don't impress the kids, maybe their parents will appreciate your effort.

Overall although my crafting produced tiny pumpkins I think they are super cute. I'm going to have to tell the children that come to the door to take a pumpkin AND another sweet. Well I don't want to be too stingy!
SHARE:

Monday, 26 October 2015

Planning the Halloween party I won't be throwing...

I would absolutely love to have a Halloween party but I don't really want people grubbing up my house. No offensive potential invitees, but you know it would happen. Also depending on how many people we'd invite our house is pretty small. But I do love a good party and all the bits and bobs that go with it. So I have been a little swept away in the world on pinterest, pinning everything Halloween party-esque and finding some pretty cool ideas.

I wanted to put this here as a little place holder for myself but also to share the brilliant ideas other people have come up with. Here is what my Halloween party would look like... if I was throwing one... which I'm not... unfortunately.

Pinterest inspired Halloween Party Ideas - Autumn/Fall
Photos credit linked in description below

> Come inside - What a brilliant job this person has done with their doorway decoration! Definitely someone in America I'm guessing as us in the UK don't go this far, well no-one down my street does. Until I moved in that is! I'd definitely make my front porch area look something to be proud of. Everyone would know where the party was at!

> This is disgusti..oh no it's a hot dog - Would you like a severed finger in a bun? Sorry I mean hot dog... or do I??? What a great idea. Scrape a little bit of the hot dog off to look like a finger nail, stick it in a bun with some 'blood' and bobs your uncle. Simple, effective and delicious!

> Getting dippy with it - I'm all for using Pumpkins in the house wherever I can and this idea is certainly a must. Carve out the pumpkin to fill it with dip! So cool, although it only allows for one dip. Maybe I'll have to get a couple of little ones as I'm one for having dip choice!

> Devilling those eggs - What a fun and healthy way to put out eggs as snacks at your party. There was a couple of ways to do this but they wouldn't all fit in the picture, but I thought spiders was the coolest. A brilliant way to incorporate Halloween into finger food.

> Stitching up some gingerbread - I'm not much of a baker but I'd certainly attempt it to make these guys. Voodoo gingerbread men are such a good idea as they don't take much time, are easy to decorate and look so effective. And I'd imagine they also quite cheap to produce. Everyone wins!

> There's only one cure - Now this is where it gets messy. I'd have to somehow source some syringes - I'm thinking ebay? - then fill it with something highly alcoholic with a great colour to it. Maybe red or green! Apple or cherry sours anyone?

> Let's glow - Quite a simple one, but a goodie for outdoor parties. If you have an ice bucket with people's drinks, add glow sticks to make it eerie!

> Bobbing for apples - A classic. If I were to have a party we'd have to play this game. Non of this, "oh you'll mess my make up." Get your head in and bob for those apples!

> Swirls galore - Last but not least CAKE! These cupcakes look super cool and from what I know about how to do this dual swirl I think they'd be reasonably easy to do? Otherwise I'd just ask my Mum to whip me up a batch...

So there are my pinterest ideas to share with you! Are you guys having a party? Any cool ideas to share?

P.S Follow me on pinterest to see what else I'm pinning!

SHARE:

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Ziferblat Albert Dock - Pay for the time you stay

Ziferblat - Albert Dock, Liverpool - Cafe Review

When we arrived in Liverpool we decided to go for a stroll around Albert Dock which was over the road from our Travelodge. The way that Liverpool has kept the heritage of its old dockland is brilliant. There is gorgeous architecture all around the dock as they've re-purposed old warehouse buildings to use for today's shops and restaurants. There is a lovely chilled atmosphere around the dock welcoming a gentle stroll allowing you to take in everything.

As we were walking we stumbled across Ziferblat. Intrigued by the concept, in which you pay 6p for each minute you are in rather than what you consume, we decided to go inside. The interior was very homely and old fashion with lots of different chairs, tables and sofas around the room with people of all ages taking a pew.

We sat down and decided to make a beeline for the kitchen to see what delights they had in store. I found it amazing everything they had on offer. You could get a cup of tea and a piece of cake or indulge in cereal and a fancy coffee with flavoured syrup. There was numerous yoghurt flavours in the fridge, nibbles on the counter and many biscuits. You could help yourself to as much as you wanted and only pay for the time that you stayed. 

Ziferblat - Albert Dock, Liverpool - Cafe Review

Ziferblat - Albert Dock, Liverpool - Cafe Review

Ziferblat - Albert Dock, Liverpool - Cafe Review

Ziferblat - Albert Dock, Liverpool - Cafe Review

Ziferblat - Albert Dock, Liverpool - Cafe Review

Ziferblat - Albert Dock, Liverpool - Cafe Review

Ziferblat - Albert Dock, Liverpool - Cafe Review

Ziferblat - Albert Dock, Liverpool - Cafe Review

Ziferblat - Albert Dock, Liverpool - Cafe Review

Ziferblat - Albert Dock, Liverpool - Cafe Review

At 6p a minute per person it works out at £7.20 for two people for an hours stay. Now if you get your fill of food and drink I think this is reasonable, however if you only get a tea and a small piece of cake many it's not so good... 

We had some flavoured water and a piece of cake each. It was good cake and the water was refreshing. After we ate we had to do our own washing up! That's kinda part of the concept too. It's like a home from home so you have to wash your plates and cups and put them away. 

After nearly 30 minutes we decided to get back on the road after checking out and paying our fee. I think this is a great concept which gives people a cosy place to get away, although the the rising charge may pray on your thoughts. There are currently three of these places in the UK; one in London, Manchester and Liverpool, with a numerous others throughout Europe. I would definitely come back for more cake and biscuits when I'm in the area.

SHARE:

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

#BloggerLodge in Liverpool

Liverpool Central The Strand Travelodge Hotel Review #BloggerLodge

I love to travel. Just packing up your bag, hoping on a train and having an adventure in somewhere new. When I had the opportunity to go to Liverpool I jumped at it! It’s always been one of those places that isn’t amazingly fancy but I’ve always wanted to go. I picked the weekend of Matt’s birthday, booked the trains and we were ready to go! Travelodge kindly provided the accommodation which was in a perfect location.

We stayed in the Liverpool Central The Strand Travelodge which was a bit of a walk from Liverpool Lime St station (approx. 10 minutes) but I’m glad it was. It was away from the hustle and bustle of town and Liverpool One facing out onto Albert Dock which provided beautiful views.

As soon as we arrived we dropped our bags (our room wasn’t ready but Travelodge kindly kept them safe whilst we went out) and went for a wander around the dock area. As avid maritime fans, both myself and Matthew work at a Port, we were excited to have a nosy around. I absolutely love how they’ve revamped the old docklands and made them into buildings that have been re-purposed into restaurants, shops and museums.

Liverpool Central The Strand Travelodge Hotel Review #BloggerLodge

Liverpool Central The Strand Travelodge Hotel Review #BloggerLodge

Liverpool Central The Strand Travelodge Hotel Review #BloggerLodge

Liverpool Central The Strand Travelodge Hotel Review #BloggerLodge

Liverpool Central The Strand Travelodge Hotel Review #BloggerLodge

When our little legs couldn’t walk anymore we ventured back to the Travelodge. Although on a main road there wasn’t much noticeable noise, I may add we were on the top floor so it may be louder lower down. The room was reasonably sized and it felt super comfy. There were a few little sticking points but I think for a budget hotel you get over these pretty quickly.

We had a wonderful sleep in the new style beds and woke up ready to have a big breakfast. We went down pretty late to breakfast but the full spread was still available. I had a full plate with toast, hash browns, sausages, beans, tomatoes and mushrooms! It was lovely. I also had a cup of Typhoo tea, it was nice but it’s no Yorkshire tea!

I really enjoyed our trip to Liverpool and the hotel played a big part. It was in a perfect location, over the road from Albert Dock, down the road from the Liver building in one direction and Liverpool One in the other. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Liverpool I’d definitely recommend Travelodge Liverpool Central The Strand!

I've got some Liverpool foodie posts coming up so watch out for them!

*Two nights accomodation and breakfast provided by Travelodge for review - all opinions are my own
SHARE:

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Blogger get-together at the Olde Young Tea House

I meant to write about this lovely meet up a while back but life got in the way. I still wanted to mention it as it was a great event, so here goes...

I was invited to the Olde Young Tea House by owner and blogger, Carli and Megan to attend their first blogger event. I wrote about the tea house last month when I popped along for lunch and also included it in my five places to visit in Teesside on Buzzfeed. So as you can see I'm obsessed with the tea house. I also love seeing my local blogger buddies so I was definitely up for going. 

#OldeYoungMeetUp North East Bloggers

#OldeYoungMeetUp North East Bloggers

#OldeYoungMeetUp North East Bloggers

#OldeYoungMeetUp North East Bloggers

#OldeYoungMeetUp North East Bloggers

#OldeYoungMeetUp North East Bloggers

#OldeYoungMeetUp North East Bloggers

#OldeYoungMeetUp North East Bloggers

#OldeYoungMeetUp North East Bloggers

#OldeYoungMeetUp North East Bloggers

At the event the girls had put out an amazing array of cake and some lovely drinks. Carli also brewed up some yummy teas and I had chance to try the infamous Sleeping Beauty green tea. There was chance to chat to other bloggers as well as a make-shift photo booth! 

It was a brilliant event that brought together lots of lovely Middlesbrough and North East bloggers. It's great to have an event like this that's so accessible. Most of the events I find I'm unable to attend as they are in Newcastle on a weekday so I'm so glad this is close and was on a Sunday!

I'm very excited for the next event as I know Carli and Megan have big plans and want to facilitate more blogger interactions. 
SHARE:

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Six ways to make someone feel better

We all have those days when we are not feeling 100%. When we'd rather curl up on the sofa under a blanket, watching trashy TV (usually Friends), eating junk food (usually Ben and Jerry's) and wallowing in our own self pity. But someone or something usually pulls us out of our slump and we are back on our feet again making other people smile.

When I'm feeling a down I know that it is the little things that go the furthest to cheer me up. I try every day to do small things to make people happy from opening the door or giving someone a smile. It all goes towards spreading hapiness.


Viking are running a campaign called #EmergencyHappiness to help cheer people up and put a smile on their face. They kindly sent me a package filled with lots of little things to try make my day that bit better. In that spirit I thought of a whole bunch of things that everyone can do to improve other people's mood.

So if your friend, family member or work colleague is feeling down here are a few things that are sure to make them feel better.

> Smile! - Get your nashers out and shoot someone a smile. This is the easiest way to cheer someone up and make them feel better instantly. If you give them a smile they can't help but smile back.

> Send a text/email out of the blue - I love to hear from friends and family when I'm feeling down especially those I haven't heard from in a while. Sending someone a text can be a great way to start a exciting fun conversation. It also allows for people to rant which can help alleviate their stress and make them feel much better. You just have to be a good text/email listener.

> Taking a trip out for lunch - Food is always a great way to cheer someone up. Invite someone to come out for a meal with you to get them out of their environment and to somewhere for some yummy food.

> Plan a trip - Sometimes people can't see past what is getting them down. They forget that it will end and they will be happy again in the future. Getting people excited about what's to come is a great way of getting them out of their slump. You can plan anything from a holiday to a trip out shopping. It doesn't have to be big but it has to make them think about the fun times ahead.

> Being thoughtful - I love being thoughtful and picking up things that I know certain people will like. This could be a little gift, a free magazine I know someone would be interested in or even something as little as someone's favourite chocolate bar. Doing something like this just lets people know you are thinking of them.

> Listening - A great way to start to feel better and put your problems in perspective is to talk to someone about them. Often we can go round and round in our heads, coming up with crazy 'what if' scenarioes and without someone to be the air of reason you can drive yourself insane. If you can just offer an ear to someone it will go a way to making them feel at ease.

So these are my ideas about little things you can do to brighten up someone's day. Can you think of any other ways you like to be cheered up?

I know these six ways would definitely make me feel happier and get me out of my glum mood.


*In collaboration with Viking Direct
SHARE:

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

What Aldi is missing for me


Items ALDI should start stocking - Supermarket UK

I have a love affair with Aldi. Ever since I turned my back on Asda and started trying out Aldi I've been hooked. What once was a £60-70 weekly shop has turned into trolley of food costing a maximum of £50.

This hasn't reduced solely to the cheap prices Aldi offer, it is also because the supermarket doesn't have as much junk food on offer readily available to put in your trolley. You are able to get in and out without being distracted by offers such as 'buy one get one free' or the advertising for the newest chocolate bar you need to try. For some people the lack of this stuff may but them off but for me it makes shopping so much simpler and quicker!

Don't get me wrong, I do love a good nosy at the Special Buys and I often have to tell myself I have no need for a drill set or an extra casserole dish... But overall it's a lot more stripped back and that's what you need when you do the weekly food shop. When I go shopping I make a list, get the items on my list and then get out. 

Most of the food I want to buy I can get in Aldi. I buy a lot of fresh fruit, vegetables and meat which is all great quality at Aldi. I also stock up on my cupboard basics such as cans of chopped tomates, beans and nuts. There are still a few items that I'd love Aldi to start stocking so I can do my whole shop in one place.

Wholemeal pasta - I don't eat white pasta any more so it's a real shame that I can't pick up brown pasta from Aldi! Wholemeal pasta is becoming more popular with the likes of Asda and Tesco stocking it, so hopefully Aldi can follow suit. 

Wholemeal wraps - I do love a white wrap but I know that wholemeal is better for you, so I wish Aldi would bring these to store!

Ricotta - Although they do have a large cheese selection, they don't seem to have ricotta. I like to use this when making pasta so it's annoying when I have to go elsewhere to pick this up.

Quark - A realitively new item in supermarkets but I'd love if Aldi could start stocking this.

Guacamole - Yes yes it's easy enough to make your own but it would be so much easier to be able to pick up a pot of this dip as a quick fix! Aldi's hummus is one of my favourites so I'm sure if they started doing guacamole this would be just as good.

Bread with a longer shelf life - Not really a product, but more of a request. The bread Aldi seem to stock goes off the next day which doesn't really work when there are only two people living in the household. We can't get through bread that quick. Maybe give us a few extra days?

Apart from these few items I'm an Aldi convert and my weekly shop is made cheaper and is full of better quality products for it.

Do you like Aldi? What items do you wish they'd stock?
SHARE:

Saturday, 3 October 2015

New Home Keepsake Idea

New Home Keepsake Idea - Collage Crafts

Myself and my boyfriend, Matt, moved out of our family homes over a year ago and when we did we were gifted with many new home cards. I've kept hold of them all, because I'm basically a hoarder, as I wanted to try and do something creative with them so that we'd be able to and display them. I came up with the idea of making a collage, almost like a patchwork quilt, that we could put up in a frame on our photo wall. 

New Home Keepsake Idea - Collage Crafts

New Home Keepsake Idea - Collage Crafts

New Home Keepsake Idea - Collage Crafts

New Home Keepsake Idea - Collage Crafts

Last weekend, when I finally had the motivation, I decided to start my little project and get it up on the wall.

To create this I basically looked at each card and identified the most interesting parts. Using the edge of another card, whilst resting on a wooden chopping board, I scored a few squares into the front of each card with the scissors. I did this rather than cutting to give it a sharper edge. From the cards I also picked the key people we wanted to feature and cut their names out, as you can see on the picture above. Some of the people named in the cards are no longer with us so I just thought it would be nice to have them highlighted on here.

Then when all the squares were cut out I set to organising them on a piece of A4 card and sticking them down with a glue stick. I am really pleased with the end result as it just brings together all the designs from each card and display some of the most important people in our lives.

What do you think? Is this something you'd do in your house?

SHARE:

Thursday, 1 October 2015

September Favourites.

September Favourites feat. clothes, shoes, lush, candles, cake, crabbies

I've had an eventful old September out and about. I've also bought some nice little bits and bobs. So I thought I'd do a round up of the month and a few of my favourite things.

I got my nails did. For the High Tide Ball I got my nails done with gel by my lovely friend Vicki. I'm not usually a gel nails kind person but as I was paying to get them done I thought I'd go all out. I picked a Jessica GELeration colour called 'it's taboo' and its beautiful, dark and shimmery.

Twinkle toes. When out shopping for shoes to wear to the Ball I picked up these beauties from Schuh. When I tried them on with my dress I couldn't actually walk in them as they kept catching on the fabric. I couldn't bear to take them back because they are so beautiful so I'm keeping them. I hope they get their first outing soon!

Feeling skirty. I'm not usually one to go for denim skirts as they don't go with my pear shaped figure. However this a-line shape works perfectly as it brings me in at the waist and flares out. I'm just trying to figure out how to style this. If anyone has any tips or ideas please let me know!

Jumping of joy. This is a month of firsts as I've actually never had a stripey jumper. I always felt stripes weren't for me as they made me look big however I decided to take the plunge and picked up this jumper from Warehouse. It's great quality and I can't wait to get some wear out of it this winter.

Candle crazy. Now the weather has began to get colder and the nights have started to get darker earlier it's time to bring out the candles. Don't get me wrong, I've had candles out all year but this is the time it starts to feel right and make everything a little cosier.

B-e-a-u-tiful. The second shower gel I've had from Lush, this is full of glitter and smells lovely. It is very Autumnal in colour and scent. It's an all round good pick.

Getting on it. I've just discovered these Crabbies Fruits and they are delicious. I have been getting into my fruity ciders recently but when I came across these in Morrisons I knew I had to try them. I guess they are like an adult version of a WKD but they are seriously so nice.

Sweet treats. I'm a cake fiend and one of my favourite places to get my fix is the Olde Young Tea House. Their cake is the best and I had the chance to pop down this month to get a slice.

Wrapping up. Debenhams made me buy this coat. I saw it on a manikin in their shop and knew I had to have it. I've been wanting to wear this for a while and because the weather can't make up its mind its always been a little to hot for it. Now I think is the perfect time to wear this out.

So that's my September favourites! What are yours?


SHARE:
© gingerbread smiles.

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig