Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Food | Crunchie Fudge

If you have never visited Jane's Patisserie before, then drop everything (once you've read my post lols) and hop on over to have a look and bookmark it straight away. My friend first introduced me to Jane's site a few months ago, and I immediately loved it - there's so many different recipes and they all look SO GOOD. I saw this Crunchie Fudge recipe a while ago, and as an avid crunchie eater (I think it might be my favourite chocolate bar?) I knew that I just had to give this a go as I love fudge, and it didn't look too hard to recreate.

I used a square brownie tin, and this made 25 squares of fudge (obviously this will change depending on how big you want your pieces of fudge to be!). I halved the recipe on Jane's website because I didn't think my tin could take much more fudge, and I'm glad I did because I think double this would have been too much for me personally, but that's up to you!

1/2 tin of condensed milk
200g milk chocolate (I used Dairy Milk as I find this melts well in a saucepan)
13.5g butter (this would be exactly half but near enough is fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
62.5g icing sugar (again near enough is fine)
150g crunchie bars

<<To make>>
Line your tin of choice with baking paper - you can rub some butter on the sides so it sticks if that's easier - personally I find that it is!
Chop up your crunchie bars into pieces - there's no need to be neat with it as it's good if the chunks are different sizes.
Chop up your milk chocolate, and put this in a saucepan along with the butter, the condensed milk and the vanilla on a low heat and continuously stir until the ingredients have all melted together. 
Turn the heat off, add in the icing sugar and stir in well! It might seem like the icing sugar isn't combining, but if you keep going you'll find it suddenly all mixes in together.
Jane's recipe says to let the mixture cool, but as I'm impatient (lols) I tipped in 2/3 of the crunchie chunks and I didn't find that the mixture went bad from being warm or anything, so it's up to you and how patient you are as to how long you wait! Stir this through and then pour into your tin.
Sprinkle on the remaining third of the crunchie chunks and press them in to ensure they stick to the mixture. Pop this into the fridge to set.
I found the mixture had set after a few hours. Once it's set you can take it out, chop up your pieces, and dig in!

Because of the high quantity of chocolate I kept my fudge in the fridge, and although it was super tasty when I first cut it up, I actually found I preferred it more the next day as the texture had becomes even more fudgey. 

When I was a student my housemates and I loved it when my dad sent me some fudge he had made as it was SO TASTY and I'm super happy that I've been able to make my own. This will definitely be a recipe that I use again and again, and if you love fudge you should definitely try this out! I'd like to use this as a base recipe and try it out with a different chocolate bar another time. Maybe even a festive one with green and red M&M's (too early?)

Jess x

Monday, 7 August 2017

Life | Cuppa Catch Up July

 One part of me thinks July seemed to go on forever, another part is whaaaat where did July go and how is it time for a cuppa catch up already. So you know the drill; go put the kettle on, make a hot beverage, and let's have a catch up!
 July started with a week off work whilst I moved between departments, which meant that I got to spend my week with Tom and Tilly. This included walks, mini golf (I finally beat Tom at one of the rounds) and having time to relax at home! However, before I knew it, the week had come round, and it was time to start my new job (!!!)

 Below is currently the view from my desk and I love being up high enough to look over Sheffield. I've been settling in for the last few weeks and getting used to being in a different department and walking to a different building in the morning! It was a bit weird in the beginning but I'm getting used to having a new role and the different dynamics of things. Tilly had her haircut this month and I was able to pick up my completed coasters that I made last month - I'm really pleased with how they've turned out and they've come out flat so I can actually use them! 

 You may have seen on my instagram that the 27th July is a special day for me. It's the day where all the way back in 2009 Tom and I spent the day together for the first time, and it was the day where I gained a new best friend. I can't believe it's been eight years since that day - in some ways it seems like a life time ago but in others I can't believe it's been that long already. It's weird when I meet someone new and I tell them how long Tom and I have been together, as it reminds me actually how long it's been, and that it's quite uncommon for someone aged 22. I also like it though because it reminds me how grateful I am, so Tom, if you're reading (which you will at some point as I'll eventually make you) thank you for being my best friend for the last eight years. 

 Since we've come back from our holiday, we've been going to our local pub quiz every week with a few friends, and we had a stint where we won every week which meant free pizza, but a couple of weeks ago our friends were away on holiday, so it was down to Tom and I to hold down the fort. Suffice to say they seem to have made the quiz harder over the last few weeks, but in fairness to us we did pretty well! 

  Although I've been enjoying summer and don't want to wish the year away, there's a part of me that's happy it's coming to autumn as that means cosy jumpers, roast dinners and my favourite limited edition lush bath bomb being in the shops again. 

What did you get up to in July?

Jess x 

Monday, 31 July 2017

Fashion | The Midi Floral Skirt

As a 5'2" person, I always struggle to find a long skirts that don't swamp me, or that are ridiculously long and end up dragging along the floor. Come summer it's great to wear short skirts, but sometimes you just don't want to have that much leg on show you know? 

When I saw this midi skirt on New Look's website, I instantly fell in love, but somewhat warily ordered it as I thought it would still end up being too long. However after trying it on I was pleasantly surprised to find it didn't swamp me! I think this is down to the fact it's high waisted and flows out into the wider skirt. 

On this day I paired the skirt with a green tshirt but I think a lighter colour would go well too. I wanted a plain top so that the pattern on the skirt would be at the forefront and not be overshadowed because it's SO BEAUTIFUL. I really love the mesh style interwoven with the floral and the pale peach undertones. I think this can be dressed up for the evening, or it can be paired more casually as I have done here. I think it'll also go great with tights, brown boots and a long black sleeved top come the winter.

I really enjoyed putting together this post, and I know that I'm never going be viewed as a fashion icon, but I love seeing what other people like to wear and I want to do more of these types of posts as I've just looked and my last outfit post was all the way back in 2015! I'm thinking about making it more 'favourite outfits for the season' or something along those lines; let me know what you think!

Jess x


Sunday, 23 July 2017

Food | Banana Loaf


Sunday, 16 July 2017


 Can you believe it? This week marks the one year anniversary since I graduated from university. A whole year. That is INSANE. It doesn't seem five minutes since I had finished my A Level exams and I was anxiously awaiting results day to not only see how I had done, but with the double whammy of whether I had gotten into university. (This post looks like it's going to be a bigg'un so go make yourself a cup of tea!)
 If you're new here (firstly a big welcome, I hope you'll stick around) to give you a bit of background, I studied at The University of Sheffield and left with a BA (Hons) in English Literature last year. I absolutely loved my time at uni and I wasn't sure how I would transition into the 'working world'. Tom and I moved out of our shared student house into a 'proper' house and Tilly made the transition from my parents house to move up north. I'll be honest, as SO much changed all at once, I did find it quite hard and suffered with a bout of situational anxiety for a while as I started to settle in and get used to a completely whole new way of life. This isn't really something I've ever addressed on here, but I wanted to make the point from the start that the transition from student life to, well the rest of your life, is a really hard one and one that takes some time to get used to.


Sunday, 9 July 2017

Life | Cuppa Catch Up June

 Hold up. HOLD UP. How is it July already? Where is the year going? 

 As we've reached the end of June (and nearly the middle of July?!) it's about time I gave you a run down of the month. Go pop the kettle on, make your beverage of choice, and let's have a catch up!

 On the first day of the month Tom and I flew out to Majorca for a week's holiday. We stayed in the area of Playa de Muro, and our week was filled with drinking cocktails, being on the beach, and eating A LOT of food. It feels like such a long time ago now and it was depressing returning to the rainy UK! For more photos check out <<this post>>.
 We returned back to Sheffield (we had gone back to Suffolk before our holiday and Tilly had a holiday at my parents whilst we were away) and back to normality after our holiday! After returning to the rain, we've actually had some really lovely hot weather, and so we've been out enjoying it. We've also had a stint of winning our local pub quiz a few weeks in a row which has meant lots of pizza!!! 

In the last week of June I went on a team away day, and for the fun half of the day we went to The Art House for a pottery session. I absolutely LOVED the session - it made me realise how much I miss getting arty - and I can't wait to see what my coasters look like once they've been glazed. I spent the last day of the month out in the peaks near Froggatt helping out with The University of Sheffield's Big Walk. The Big Walk helped to contribute to the Sheffield Scanner campaign, and the aim of the walk was to complete 50 miles in 24 hours!! As this seemed an unfathomable distance for me to walk (some people even ran!) but I still wanted to be a part of it, I volunteered to be a marshall. After an early wake up at 5(!) I went down to the uni to be at the starting line, before going out to the peaks. It was actually the last day of my graduate internship (I'm still staying on at the uni but in a different department) and it was a slightly surreal way to end it!

How was your June?

Jess x 


Monday, 3 July 2017

Home | Helping out the Bees

 After living in our house for a year, I thought it was about time that we started making our garden look a bit nicer than it did. We don't tend to spend that much time in our garden because it's across a path to our house (we share the path with neighbours) and it's up a slight slope. That being said, I would like to be able to use it more, and as a starting point, Tom and I took a trip to our local garden centre to buy some plants. 
 As a child I would spend as much time outside and in the garden as possible, but I can't say I was ever one who was into the actual gardening side of things. I like looking around gardens and at all the pretty flowers, but I don't have the motivation to be out spending hours digging up beds or having to maintain lots of flowers. 
 As a mid-meeting point between no flowers and an unmanageable amount, I decided to buy a couple of pots for flowers and place these along the brick wall, which can be seen from inside our kitchen and our spare room. I know a tiny bit about different flowers, but as I would have turned up to the garden centre and just bought whatever looked nice without regards to the care instructions, I wanted to go in with a bit of an idea of what I was looking for to know that I would be able to keep them alive! 
 I decided to get a lavender plant and an anemone because they don't require too much looking after, and one of the main reasons I chose these plants was because they're especially good for bees. I knew that whichever plants I bought, I wanted them to be ones that are great for bees, because they need all the help they can get! My mum used to keep bees and I think it's so important to help them in anyway that we can. I'm sure you know, but bees are in a decline and by having plants such as these, we can help to reduce this trend. For a comprehensive list on how you can help bees and which plants are good for them, please visit the Royal Horticultural Society's page on this. Most garden centres should have a section dedicated to bee friendly plants, or will have a symbol such as that above Also if you ever see a bee on the ground, please don't assume it's dead. Often they're completely exhausted and just need a pick me up - if you can, take them a spoon full of sugar water and this should rejuvenate them! I'm hoping that by putting these plants in my garden that the bees will start to visit, and I'll definitely be adding some more plants in due course.

Jess x 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Travel | Majorca

 I was editing my holiday video this weekend and I realised that I had not shared my holiday snaps with you! At the start of the month Tom and I travelled to Majorca (do not worry, Tilly had a holiday at my parents' house!) for a week, which was just what we needed after such a busy year, and we were definitely in need as our last 'beach holiday' was to Lanzarote back in 2014. Those of you who have been a reader for a long time (thank you) may remember my post about this holiday! 
 We decided to choose Majorca because after our trip to Lanzarote I wanted somewhere where the sand did not burn your feet and the sea was warm enough to go in, and Playa de Muro provided exactly this for us. We had both been to Majorca before, but way back when we were children and went with our families/did not know each other! We chose our hotel because it backed onto the beach, it was in a quiet area but close enough to busier towns via public transport. It was the perfect setting for a chilled out holiday where we could have beach days but also visit other areas and eat lots of ice cream! The white sandy beaches were beautiful, the people were extremely friendly and the food was fab. It was definitely a shock coming back to the rain as we landed in Stansted and it was surreal to not say Hola anymore - I would love to return to the island again one day, even if just for the brilliant sunsets. 

Jess x

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Life | Cuppa Catch Up May

 Let's go back to a classic here; cuppa catch up's. Long-time readers might remember these types of posts from way back at the start of 2016 - I started them but they seemed to fizzle out so I'm here to remedy this! If this is the first time you've come into contact with a cuppa catch up, the premise is very simple: grab a cup of tea (or beverage of your choice) and lets have a catch up about the past month!
 I started scrapbooking late last year, and as this follows a monthly format I thought it would be nice to have some words alongside that I can read in conjunction with the pages. The month started off super sunny and being the crazy cat that I am, I took myself into the city centre to get a second piercing in my ears! This spontaneity is very unlike me but I woke up one day and thought, you know what I'm going to get a piercing today and I did. I felt very empowered to make a decision and follow through with it, and I was brave through the pain! I had the piercing at The Owl and the Pussycat and I felt at ease through the whole process and the lady that did it was lovely.
 Tom and I have come back to Suffolk for a few days before we go away on holiday (which I am very excited for) and this has meant that Tilly has met my parents border collie Max for the first time. I don't think she was too sure about him to begin with but they're getting on really well and Tilly keeps play fighting with him but only if she can lay in her bed lols. We took them both the beach at the weekend during the glorious sunshine (the one thing Sheffield is missing is the sea!), we've been to visit family and I finally returned to The Waffle House in Norwich for lunch!

How was your May?

Jess x
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