Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Talking Italian...

Mr M made me laugh last night.
We were lying in bed, just about to fall asleep when I started talking, as I always do. I was jibbering on about how I needed to find out about some Italian phrases to get by when I'm away and how I could find them out, did I know any already etc etc etc etc (be quiet and go to sleep already!). I asked Mr M did he know any Italian and after a short pause he said "You talkin' to me?" from Taxi Driver.
Just reminded me why I love him.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Hello Tuscany...

The posts are coming thick and fast these days eh! Don't get carried away. I'm going to be missing for a little while (not that you'd usually notice by the general lack of posts!) to travel to Tuscany, Italy for one of my best friends' weddings. This is something I just had to borrow some money from the wedding pot for so I could join her and her lovely guy for their big day.

She is marrying a fabulous photographer, Mark McCormick. Mark is a very successful Northern Ireland based photographer who shoots weddings as well as travel, press and fashion to name a few. He has launched a website after much badgering from everyone he knows to share his work. There are some stunning images on his site, markmccormickphotography.com, and I recommend you have a look, if only for a little daydream about the places he has been!

I’m sure there will be beauty and inspiration overload in Tuscany and my little camera friend will definitely be joining me so hopefully I’ll have some photos to share with you afterwards.
photo from here

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The one where Mr M asserts his independence...

As a follow up to this post, Mr M carried through with his intention to pick the suits himself and took a whole day off work to dedicate to the task. He 'Googled' some local firms he had heard off and made an appointment for that afternoon at one chosen shop - solo. No best man.

He confessed to me afterwards that

a) he found when he got there that the staff/owner expected his other half to be with him and said something to the effect of "You're a brave man!"

b) he wanted me to go with him again so I could help him decide on ties and pay a deposit.

So off we went to met with Aaron at Groom Formal Hire in Banbridge - who was really lovely, absolutely knew his stuff and greeted me as "The Boss". At one point he tried to tell me that there was something I couldn't do but I had to warn him not to use those words or I would be determined that that was exactly what I wanted.

I had a fab time dressing up someone else and them loving it! Mr M looked really hot and after trying on a few looks I told him which I thought he looked most fanciable in.

The deal was done and Aaron reassured me that I could bring Mr M back anytime to dress him up and fancy him!

Another job ticked off the list.

photo from here

Saturday, 16 October 2010

6 years with Mr M...

Today it is 6 whole years since I got together with my Mr M and I can barely believe it.
Neither of us had been with anyone longer than 8 months before we met each other and after 2, 3, 4 years we would be so surprised that we had managed to be with each other for so long. Now I’m not surprised any more.
I never imagined when we were first dating that I could love him more and more every year, I thought we would run out of things to talk about or grow bored of each other but in fact it’s the opposite.
I love him more now than I ever did. And I think living together has done that. We are a team now and we have to stick together and get things sorted out.
It’s funny, over the last few weeks I’ve been told by 3 different people that we are perfect for each other and that we have the perfect relationship. It’s definitely far from that but I’m more than happy with my lot.
He told me just the other night that he loves me for “how I get on” (hmm think that means I’m a bit of a doofus), that he loves my humour (even though it’s weird) and my laugh and crazy ideas.
I love him for his kindness, his affection and how me makes me feel confident to be my true self.
If you’re reading, Happy Anniversary baby x

Thursday, 14 October 2010

UK National Chocolate Week...

I heard today that 11-17 October 2010 is National Chocolate Week in the UK so I thought I’d share my favourite chocolate recipe with you. This is from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook but I found it in Easy Living Magazine about a year ago.

Things can get messy as the mixture is pretty runny but you will get the most moist, fluffy and delicious cupcakes ever!

Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12 – Preparation 20 mins – Cooking 25 mins, plus cooling and icing time

100g (3 ½ oz) plain flour
20g (¾ oz) cocoa powder
140g (4 ½ oz) caster sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
40g (1 ¼ oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
120ml (4 fl oz) whole milk
1 egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 quality of chocolate frosting (see recipe below)
Chocolate vermicelli or edible silver balls to decorate

1. Heat the oven to 170ÂșC (gas mark 3). Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cases.
2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld whisk) and beat on a slow speed until you get a sandy consistency. Don’t overbeat the mixture, as the sponge will be too heavy.
3. Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug, then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture. Beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high to get rid of any lumps.
4. Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until smooth. Do not over-mix.
5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two thirds full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when touched and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
6. When the cupcakes are cold, decorate!

Chocolate Frosting

300g (10 oz) icing sugar, sifted
100g (3 ½ oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
40g (1 ¼ oz) cocoa powder, sifted
40ml (1 fl oz) whole milk

1. Beat the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on a medium/slow speed until the mixture comes together.
2. Turn the mixer down to slow and add the milk a couple of tablespoons at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated turn the mixer up to high. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer it’s beaten, the fluffier it becomes.

My last batch ended up looking like this:


Monday, 4 October 2010

Irish talent...

Today I’d like to give a shout out to all the lovely Irish bride bloggers who have sent readers my way! They are such a talented bunch that if you haven’t actually arrived with me directly from them, you should definitely make a virtual trip over their way.

First up is Lust Covet Envy. Marie is a graphic designer from Dublin so you can just imagine the level of detail she would go into for her wedding. She showcases all the things she, well… lusts, covets and envies!

Bride and Joy is my latest find who shares her wedding planning fun and other great ideas with us brides to be. She has a great DIY and Downloadables section which I know will be very popular.

Beating Myself Into A Dress is one sassy bride. She says it how it is and has some honest and witty insights into the wedding industry. She’ll have you laughing, nodding your head and cringing all at once!

Sweet Kinds of Everything shares a real mix of her interests, from fashion to renovating her cottage as well as her plans and finds for her wedding in June 2011.

Tinkerbelle Bride is literally newly wed this weekend past! She is always bringing us visual goodies and lots of wedding inspiration from around the web as well guest posts from Irish wedding suppliers.

Happy reading everyone!
photo found here