Friday, 30 November 2012

Converse Cake

It's Friday!!! The last few days I've been doing a first aid course and I'm finishing up today with an exam....but not even this has dampened my Friday spirits. I got a little Christmas shopping done yesterday evening, packed for a four day trip west and managed to put together this 'Last Minute' request for a Converse Cake. Fairly productive evening really. 

First and foremost many older kids and teenagers don't really like eating cake, so as an alternative to sponge or chocolate cake, I made this cake out of gooey marshmallow and white chocolate krispie squares. When making an odd shaped cake like this shoe, rice krispie squares are really pliable and easy to mould so can make your life a whole lot easier....and of course their delicious!



White Chocolate and Marshmallow Krispie Squares

Ingredients
200g Marshmallows (large)
150g White Chocolate
80g Butter
3 tbsp Golden Syrup
500g Rice Krispies
Food Colouring (optional)

Method
1. In a large pot, over a medium heat, melt the butter, white chocolate and marshmallows, 
   stirring continuously to prevent the mixture burning.
2. Once semi-melted, add the golden syrup. Continue to stir until everything is melted and pale 
    pink in colour. At this point remove from the heat and stir in food colouring if desired.
3. Stir in the Rice Krispies and continue to mix until all of the cereal is well coated.



Decoration
- I used Tesco roll out fondant icing and Americolor gel food colourings to achieve the pink and 
  grey colouring.
- I moulded the general shape of the boot from the Rice Krispies and went from there.
- For the 'Converse' written detail, I used food colouring with a little clear alchohol and a very 
  fine brush.



E-D's Notes
- Food colouring can be a nice touch when making cakes. For example is making a blue cake, 
  having blue krispies inside.
- Ensure that you stir vigorously the entire time that the mixture is melting as it burns quite  
  easily.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Lemon Sugar Cookie Heaven

It's Thursday morning, which can only mean one thing.....only one more sleep 'til Friday! I am looking forward to Saturday so I can finally embrace the Christmas feeling, as I'm very against festive frolics in November. Last night I had a burst of energy  and flash of guilt when I saw the cookie cutters I had bought from Decobake a couple of weeks ago which I had yet to use. I fled to the kitchen to get going on some pretty sugar cookies with a lemon twist. I couldn't decide which cutters to go with first so ended up doing a random mix of pretty dresses, colourful cakes and beautiful dogs.















Lemon Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
Cookies                                                                          
200g butter at room temperature                                
280g sugar                                                                   
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon                                        
1 egg                                                                              
400g plain flour
a pinch of salt

Method:
For the Cookies
Put the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a free-standing electric mixer and cream until light and fluffy (You can also use a handheld whisk). 
Add the egg and mix well and lemon juice, scraping the sides of the bowl intermittently to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated well.
Add the flour and salt, mixing well. The dough should look light, feel soft and be easy to handle.
Dust a clean surface with flour and roll out the dough using a rolling pin. Cut out the shapes of your choice (on this occassion; dogs, dresses and cakes!) . Place the cookies on a well greased or lined baking tray (you will need at least two large trays) and bake for 10 minutes at 170C.  
The cookies should be very light golden on the outer edges and paler in the centre.  Once cooked remove the cookies from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  
                  

For the Royal Icing
Beat the egg white and lemon juice together in a free standing mixer. Gradually add the icing sugar and continue to whisk until the icing forms stiff peaks. (Word to the wise, making royal icing can be hard in your machinery so take it easy!). Separate mixture out and add desired colours. Of course you can also buy royal icing mix in a bag in the supermarket which does the exact same thing. In this instance carefully follow the instructions on the back of the pack, to ensure you achieve the right consistency


The Assembly
After my splurge on Cookie Cutters in Decobake a couple of weeks ago, I though it was about time to put them to good use. I've made a some pretty dresses, some cakes and some dogs, each decorated in the appropriate colours. You will need the following tools to get going:
- cocktail sticks
- a piping bag (with a small and medium sized nozzle)
- Food colourings ( I used Americolor gels)- fondant icing for decoration
- royal icing (colours of your choice).



E-D's Notes
- This recipe will yield approximately 20 cookies or more (depending on whether you like 
  picking cookie dough!).
- I made these yesterday evening, and just to note, they are very time consuming so may be a 

  venture better done at the weekend when you have ample time.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Awesome Apple Crumble

I don't know how I have gotten to this point in my blog, nor this stage in my life without making a traditional Irish Apple Crumble. This was my first time making an apple crumble because for many years I really didn't like apples, and because I didn't eat them needless to say there was no motivation to make a desserts that contained them. I'm a selfish dessert makers like that, I only want to make things that I can enjoy eating. I was pleasantly surprised as to how simple this crumble was to put together. I made a pie or tart base, which I then filled with the apples and then topped with the crumble. I have made crumbles in the past, such as my simple Raspberry Crumble which I did not make a base for. The apple, married with my all time favourite spice Cinnamon, was incredibly flavoursome and went down a treat with my nearest and dearest. Served with whipped cream of course. On this occasion I made two crumbles, one which I topped with pastry strips, the other with ice sugar and a star motif. 


Awesome Apple Crumble

Makes 2 Crumbles

Ingredients
For the pastry
225g Plain Flour 
125g Butter (chilled)
150ml Cold Water
2 tsps of cinnamon 

For the filling
380g Apples (your preferred variety) (peeled, cored and sliced) 
120g brown sugar
2 tsps of cinnamon

For the Crumble
300g plain flour
175g brown sugar
200g butter

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Sieve the flour into a bowl. Next grate or finely slice the butter into the
    flour, cinnamon and mix using your fingertips.
2. Using a knife, add the water to the mixture, stir and bring together the ingredients 
    together until a soft dough is formed.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead gently. Then place in the fridge to chill for 
    15 minutes.
4. Remove the dough from fridge and roll out on a floured surface. Place pastry in prepared 
    greased tins or oven proof pie plate and trim the edges uses a sharp knife. Then fill the 
    pastry case with the chopped apple and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
5. For the crumble place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the mixture 
    resembles very fine breadcrumbs. Then pack over the apple and pastry base. You can use 
    any pastry cut offs to decorate your crumble (as pictured).
6. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.



E-D's Notes
- I like the apple pieces in my crumble to be cut small, however this is just personal preference.
- When working with pastry the trick is to work quickly and to keep everything cool. Handle the 
  pastry as little as possible. 
- If you do decided to top your crumble with some strips of pastry, make sure to brush them 
  with milk before placing in the oven to get a nice shine.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Cheesy Potato Bake

Last night after a very chilly Monday, I was in need for some 'good mood food' and something that would heat me up whilst making me smile at the same time. One of my favourite potato dishes is creamy Dauphinoise Potatoes, but I make them quite regularly so was look for an alternative. Given that it was Monday and I badly need to go food shopping, ingredients were sparse. That said I still managed to come up with this cheesy creation which was packed full of flavour and really hit the spot.


Cheesy Potato Bake

Ingredients
4 medium sized potatoes (peeled)
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion
40g butter
2 teaspoons of thyme
50ml milk
90g of grated cheddar
2 tablespoons of cream (optional)
Salt & Ground Black Pepper

Method
1. Slice potatoes  thinly and layer carefully in a shallow 22cm dish or tin (or similar size).
2. In a saucepan, fry off the butter, garlic, onion and thyme. Then pour over the layered potatoes.
3. Drizzle the cream and milk over the potatoes and season well with salt and pepper.
4. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes at 200C. At the point remove from the grated cheese over 
    the top of the bake. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until cheese is well melted 
    and potatoes are cooked through.



E-D's Notes
- I say the cream is 'optional' as I just happened to have some in the fridge last night that I was 
  trying to use up. If you don't have cream, don't worry just use milk instead.
- I don't say this enough on 'E-D Does It' but seasoning food well with salt and pepper is the key 
  to enhancing flavour and  turning out really tasty food. I seasoned one layer of potatoes first, 
  and then the second. I avoid Low Salt because I don't feel it provides the same flavour, and to  
  compensate you end up having to use huge amounts (which defeats the purpose!).

Monday, 26 November 2012

Face Facts

This morning I have a review of some of my favourite face wipes. I have had lots of comments and questions about my daily skin care routine and face wipes most definitely are apart of that routine. I have tried and tested numerous face wipes over the years but these are the ones I would 'recommend to a friend' or purchase again and again. I use face wipes to remove the bulk of my make-up after a a long day, and then will often use eye make-up remover to remove any stubborn mascara. My skin is prone to dry patches in winter, but in general I would describe my skin as normal-dry. What each of the face wipes have in common is that they are very 'wet' making make-up removal quicker, easier and a lot less hassle. 


Tesco Everyday Value Facial Wipes
These wipes don't boast any fancy packaging, any crazy formula and are insanely cheap. Yet time after time, I find myself coming back to basics and using these fantastic wipes, as I just can't fault them. Now I know many of you will think I'm mad using Tesco own brand wipes on my skin, but I have to say the results speak for themselves. They have a mild, non-scented, gentle formula, which doesn't irritate or dry out my skin. These wipes are great for taking off the days make-up including stubborn eye make-up. For 83c all I can say is.....give them a go and you won't be disappointed. 
Price: €0.83
Rating: 9/10

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes 
For many years Simple were my go to wipes. I really love simple products because they are gentle on my skin, scent free and don't leave you with any 'stingy' sensation. All in all they are good value, and can often by bought cheaply in multi-pack offers. My only critiscim is the wipes themselves can be a little rough or abrasive. Very slightly, but just in comparison to some other wipes. This (and the price) is the only reason I now use my Tesco wipes over Simple. That said these wipes have plenty of moisture, making make-up removal (even mascara) a breeze. 
Price: €3.89
Rating: 8/10

Soap & Glory 'Off Your Face' Cleansing Cloths
Like all 'Soap and Glory' packaging, these 'Off your Face' wipes look great. A little pricey at nearly €6.00 for 25 wipes though. These wipes are really 'wet' and left my face feeling adequately cleansed. My only criticism of these wipes it they are quite perfumed. This may actually be a positive thing for many people, but I have sensitive skin and found them a little 'stingy' at times when my skin was a little irritated or dry and particularly when using them around my eyes. All in all though, these wipes are a good product, that get the job done. The air tight flip top also ensures these wipes maintain their moisture and don't dry out.
Price: €5.80
Rating: 7/10

Olay Anti-Wrinkle Wet Wipes
These wipes are great. I really like the scent and they are really moist, making make-up removal really easy. They were kind to my sensitive skin and wiped off the days make-up with ease. The wipes themselves were slightly textured, meaning that they can be used to very gently exfoliate your skin as you cleanse. They boast an anti-wrinkle formula and are suitable for ageing skin. 
Price: €4.79
Rating: 8/10

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Chocolate Lovers Flourless Cake

Yesterday evening I was delighted to be invited for a family dinner in my cousins house. Her husband is a massive chocolate lover and so I needed to come up with a dessert suitable for the occasion. I absolutely love chocolate desserts, and chocolate tends to be what I opt for when eating out. That said when I hear 'chocolate cake' I'm never too excited as it makes me think of a boring chocolate sponge. So yesterday afternoon I was doing lots of research and reading around a cake that would be really chocolatey and dense and serve 6 people. Whilst flicking through my 'Leon- Baking & Puddings' cookbook, I stumbled on the solution; a flourless chocolate cake! This cake is so wonderfully moist and chocolatey and very rich, it's heaven for chocolate lovers. With only four ingredients putting this cake together is very straight forward. The last few crumbs were fought over at the table, so I must have done something right. Also because there is no flour, ideal for any coeliac guests you may be having for dinner.



Chocolate Lovers Flourless Cake

Serves 6

Ingredients
200g good quality dark chocolate (70% or more)
200g butter 
4 large eggs (separated)
220g demerara sugar

Method
1. Preheat the oven the 180C and line and grease a 23cm round tin or equivalent.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of boiling water.
3. Meanwhile, separate the eggs. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff and peaky, 
    then set aside. 
4. In a separate bowl, whisk half the sugar and egg yolks together until pale and thick.
5. Once the chocolate and butter are melted, remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolk 
    mixture.
6. Finally add the remaining sugar to the stiffened egg whites and mix well. Fold the egg whites 
    into the chocolate mixture and mix gently. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake 
    for 40 minutes.



E-D's Notes
As it happened I had some delicious white chocolate cream left over from my White Chocolate Cream Sandwiches. This creamy sauce was the perfect accompaniment for this indulgent chocolate cake. The mixture of flavours of white and dark chocolate was incredible. Have a look here for the recipe.
Also just to note that this cake is meant to have a 'collapsed' look, remember there is not flour, so don't panic if it looks a little deflated. 

Friday, 23 November 2012

White Chocolate Cream Sandwiches

Last night in preparation for my favourite day of the week, I sat procrastinating for far too long, thinking about what delicious treat to make to celebrate Friday! I was having 'foodie block' mostly because I was exhausted from presenting a full days training at work and because I knew I had cream in the fridge that needed to be used. I flicked through this book and that for inspiration, until I finally had a creative light-bulb moment! These white chocolate cream sandwiches worked out exceptionally well given that I was kind of 'winging' it and using my own measurements. The biscuits are made with a combination of cornflour and icing sugar, meaning they have a soft melt in your mouth quality without being soggy....ingenious! The filling is really light and fluffy, not too dense. All together they make up a delightfully delectable fluffy biscuit sandwich. Creating a new successful recipe is such a great start to the weekend, Happy Friday all!

White Chocolate Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients
For the biscuits
200g butter
190g icing sugar
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
140g corn flour
2 tablespoons of cream

For the filling
115g butter
115g white chocolate
120ml cream
170g icing sugar

Method
For the Biscuits
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line two baking trays with baking parchment and set aside.
2. For the biscuits, mix all of the dry ingredients together in a free standing mixer (or use a 
    handheld mixer) and add the butter. Mix until well combined and resembles breadcrumbs. 
    Then add in the cream which should bring the mixture together to a dough. 
3. Place large teaspoons sized balls on your baking tray as shown (approx. 20 balls). Then 
    place in the oven and bake for 8-9 minutes, do not overcook.
4. Once cooked, remove the biscuits from oven and leave to cool on the trays.

For the filling
1. Place the white chocolate in a metal bowl, set over a pan of boiling water and melt. Once 
    melted set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, mix the butter and icing sugar together in a mixer until light and fluffy. Then, 
    gradually add the cream. Once cooled, incorporate the white chocolate into the mixture too.
3. Beat for 3 minutes on a medium speed.

Assembly
- Using a spatula, carefully spread the desired amount of icing on the flat edge of each biscuit 
  and sandwich them together. 
- These biscuits are best eaten on the day but will keep for up to 2 days if kept in an airtight 
  container in the fridge.

E-D's Notes
- If your not a big fan of cream or don't like the sound of the filling, these biscuits are actually 
  delicious all on their own.
- Store the cream filled sandwiches in the fridge and take out an hour before serving if you don't 
  like them too cold.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Dreaming in Colour

So as many of you know, I am on never-ending quest to find great value, yet great quality bargain beauty buys. I have tried and tested endless products, some surprisingly spectacular, others predictably poor. This evening I want to share with you a 'cheapy but a goody'. These NYC 'Metro Quartet Eye Shadows' are really versatile and come in lots of different combinations. There are even guidelines, indicating where to apply each of the colours in the quad, so you really can't go far wrong. Similar to previous NYC shadows I have reviewed, the pigmentation and longevity of these shadows is very good given the price. At a smile worthy €2.99, these quads definitely fall into the 'surprisingly spectacular' category. Great stocking filler, or guilt free 'Happy Friday' present to yourself! 



E-D's Notes
- For a look at the full range of colours available have a look on the NYC website.
- NYC is available in large Penney's stores, some McCabes and DocMorris pharmacies as 
  well as other pharmacies including Superdrug.

Honey & Yoghurt Breakfast Muffins

These muffins really are the perfect breakfast if you are on the go or in a rush. They are really tasty, and because they contain wholemeal flour definitely leave you feeling full until lunch time. The flavours of the honey and natural yoghurt work together really well, and aren't too sweet. I sometimes like to top these with a little lemon drizzle or drops of honey. The great thing about these muffins is that they freeze well and keep very well in a tin for up to 3 days. 


Honey & Yoghurt Breakfast Muffins

Makes 12

Ingredients
55g butter
5 tbsp clear honey
200ml natural yoghurt
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
Zest of 1 lemon
60ml lemon juice
100g plain flour
175g wholemeal flour
1½ tsps bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 190C and line 2 cupcake tins with cases (12 muffins in total).
2. In a pan, over a gentle heat, melt the honey, butter and brown sugar. When well combined, 
    remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3. In a bowl mix together the egg, yoghurt, lemon zest and juice. Then fold in the remaining dry 
    ingredients and place in the pre-prepared trays.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. The tops should spring back when touched. After 
    five minutes, turn the muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 



E-D's Notes
To make a really simple lemon drizzle, place 2 tablespoons of icing sugar into a bowl. Then slowly add some lemon juice until you reach a 'drizzle' like consistency. Add as little or as much as you wish to the crisp tops of the muffins. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Winter Woolies

The winter has well and truly arrived in Ireland, which means it definitely time for taking out the Winter Woollies. I love the feeling at this time of year, cold crisp mornings, frost on the ground and wrapping up in layers. I love the layered look, getting to wear chunky knits, woolly hats and cosy scarves. Here are a few 'woolie' numbers I have picked up in preparation for the cold front.                                                        

1. Snowflake Mittens
(€2.00)
Penney's/Primark

2. Chunky Knit Grey Scarf 
(€12.00)
Dunnes Stores

3. Black Knitted Jumper with  
Stud Detail 
(€16.00)
Penney's/Primark

4/5. Bow Detailed Gloves
(€3.00)  
Penney's/Primark

Chicken in White Wine Cream Sauce

After a cinema date and jaunt to a tasty Italian on Monday night with my friend, I realised how simple but tasty Italian food is. I remember as a teenager my Mom used to make something along the lines of this creamy chicken dish and how much I adored it. Yesterday evening when I arrived home from work I was absolutely exhausted but also struck down with an overwhelming hunger. I had been dreaming of a creamy delicious dinner all day in work (after the visual feast of what others were eating at tables around me, in the restaurant the night before). I promptly snapped out of my day dream and jotted down a few core ingredients to pick up on the way home from work, in order to make my dream a reality. And voilĂ ! a little wine, a few fresh herbs and some nice Irish chicken breasts, delicious! Even better, I made enough of this delectable dinner to bring to work for lunch today. My Wednesday is already off to a good start.

Chicken in White Wine Cream Sauce 
served with Tagliatelle

Serves 4

Ingredients
4 Chicken Breasts
2 Rashers (Bacon Slices)
1 Onion
6 Cloves of Garlic
100ml cream
125ml white wine
Olive Oil
Sprig of rosemary
12 nests of tagliatelle
6 fresh mushrooms (sliced)
Parmesan (optional)
Parsley (optional)

Method
1. Fry of the bacon in a pan until crisp. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Heat a little olive oil in the pan, then add the chicken and brown for 2-3 minutes. 
3. Next add in the onion, garlic, mushrooms and rosemary and sautee. Ensuring to season 
    well with salt and pepper. 
4. Return the crisp bacon to the mixture. Turn the heat down and add the wine and cream. Allow 
    to simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile heat a pan of boiling water. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes or until al-
    dente to taste.
6. Strain the pasta, and plate up. Then spoon the chicken and white wine sauce over the bed of 
    tagliatelle. Garnish with bacon pieces, parsley and parmesan.
E-D's Notes
I am a huge red wine fan, but rarely drink white wine, so I am usually quite reluctant to include it in recipes as I don't like to waste it. That said recently I have started freezing any left over wine, either in an ice cube tray or freezer bag. This means that I don't waste any left over wine, and also means I have white wine at the ready in small amounts for when I need it for cooking.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Coloured Sugars

Coloured sugars are unbelievably easy to make and are fantastic for decorating cupcakes and desserts. Of course you can buy coloured sugars, but jazzing up your own white sugar means you can choose exactly the colour you want, make as much as you need and shake a jar like crazy! 


Coloured sugars keep really well in tightened jars, and also brighten up your kitchen if left out on display. Full credit to Lilly Higgins for this idea in her book 'Make-Bake-Love'. I collect similar sized jars and unusual jars to keep my coloured sugars in. You can wrap up your coloured sugars and give them to your food loving friends for Christmas! 






Method
To make the coloured sugars I added 1 drop of Americolor food colouring to a half jar of sugar. I shook the jar vigorously (with the lid on!) until the colour began to disperse (about 2 minutes).
Then introduce the remaining sugar and shake until the jar is filled.

I picked these Americolor sets up on ebay.ie. They are great value when bought online and are excellent food colourings (particularly when being used for fondant or sugarpaste). There is a link below for the seller I used on ebay. The colours arrived promptly and were boxed and sealed.

E-D's Link's
Americolor Seller on Ebay

E-D's Notes
Be sure to check out my guest blogger post on the brilliant cheapeats.ie. A review of my favourite Dublin Restaurants!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Cinnamon Buns

It's Monday morning, so if like me your struggling to be in any way enthusiastic, here's something to get you through the day. This is a recipe that has been on a 'must do' list since I started E-D Does It. As you may know I absolutely love cinnamon and these buns are the ultimate cinnamon treat. A delicious sticky, cinnamon mass, they are perfect with morning coffee or for the 3 O'Clock slump. They look impressive, and believe me they don't disappoint in the taste department either. To my surprise  making these buns is quite straightforward, I really don't know why I didn't make these sooner.

Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients
275g warm water
5g active dried yeast
5 tbsp sugar
600g strong white flour
1/2 tsp salt
175g warm milk
75g butter
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp apricot jam (mixed with 2tbsp water)

For the Filling
125g butter
250g dark brown sugar
4 tbsp of ground cinnamon



Method
1. Mix the water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, remaining sugar, salt and 2 tsp cinnamon. 
3. Next add in the butter and mix well. Then mix in the milk, and yeast mix, and bring the mixture 
    together until it forms a sticky dough. 
4. Turn the dough out onto a well floured board and knead for 4-5 minutes until elastic and 
    smooth in appearance. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
5. Roll the dough out on a smoothed surface in a rectangular shape (60 x 40cm). 
6. Smear the butter all over the rolled out dough, followed by the sugar and 4tbsp of cinnamon 
    (as pictured). Then roll the dough inwards from the top down, and seal the final edge with
     water.
7. Cut the roll into 4cm lengths and place on a greased baking tray. Place in a warm area and 
    allow to leave to rise for approximately 30 minutes. Then place in the oven at 180C for 20 
    minutes. 
8. Remove from the oven and brush with the apricot jam mix to glaze. Serve warm. 




E-D's Notes
- This recipe might seem a bit tricky, but once you have all your ingredients out and ready to go 
   it's actually very straight forward. I know people can often see 'yeast' and think, ugh not worth 
   the effort, but really there is nothing to it, just mix it up and your ready to go.
-  Don't worry if your buns don't look much different after the 30 minutes in your hotpress or 
   warm area. The change may be so slight you didn't notice, so just carry.
- These buns are best served warm but can be wrapped up and kept for up to two days.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Stylish Storage Solutions

Whether you live in an apartment or a mansion, every home needs good storage solutions to keep things neat, tidy, organised and accessible. I like things in good order, and in my apartment, everything certainly has a place. Molly found this a little challenging when we first moved in together, but over the last 2 years has grown to 'love' my neat and tidy approach. I want to share with you some recent additions chez moi, which have added lots more useful storage for all my precious bits and pieces. 



Hall Dresser with Baskets
For quite a while now I have been finding it difficult to fit all of my kitchen gizmos and gadgets comfortably into my drawers and presses. I seem to have acquired a lot of equipment in the last few months for baking and sugar-craft, and have been putting them in all sorts of odd places to keep them out of sight. I like things to look tidy and having bits and pieces lying around the places irks me. I convinced Molly I could fit a shelf in the hallway of our apartment and went about the somewhat arduous process of dresser/shelf hunting for my assigned space. All I will say is, if you are picking up a piece of furniture for a relatively small space, be strict with measurements and ensure you have them written down before you hit the shops. Often what may look 'small' in a shop, is hugely oversized for your pokey apartment! 



After lots of shopping around I picked up this shelf in IKEA from the 'Billy' range. It is quite narrow and therefore was perfect for my hallway, and also is a perfect height for keeping things on top. Next the hunt for baskets began. I never wanted to use this fully as a bookshelf (I don't have that many cookbooks....yet!). I was looking for additional storage solutions to make this 'shelf' into something that really worked for all the 'bit & bobs' I needed to store. I found these brilliant bamboo collapsible baskets in TKMaxx. I was sure to bring my measuring tape whilst shopping, and was beyond delighted when I found I could fit exactly three of these baskets on one shelf. My shelf has now been converted into a really functional storage unit that looks better than I could have hoped for. This shelf is ideally located outside my kitchen door, meaning I can keep all my cooking equipment hidden away but yet at arms reach. 

Info:
Shelf: €26 IKEA
Baskets: €8.99 (each) TKMaxx


'Clear as Day' Make-Up Drawers
I am beyond excited about the new addition of this storage box to my humble abode. As my readers know I am a cosmetic queen, make-up addict and beauty buff. I spend a lot of time browsing and buying make-up and the likes, but have the age-old problem of storage. I have attempted numerous solutions over the years, to display my wares in such a way that I can see them, and which doesn't involve rooting and rummaging like a mad woman. I was brainstorming  over the weekend on possible solutions, as at this stage it had gotten to a crisis point due to all my testing and trying of recent. I got to work on Google and came across this ingenious idea. These are stackable acrylic drawers which are transparent meaning you can see everything. You can add to them as you need them and the additional drawers are sold individually and in sets of two. The top drawer also has a lift-able lid. I picked these up from Japanese store 'Muji' on Chatham Street in Dublin. Muji have stores around the world, so check here for your nearest store. Although these drawers may not be the cheapest they are a very novel concept and I like they way they can be bought in instalments. 



Info: Set of 2 drawers with lifting lid: €22 (Muji)
Set of 2 drawers:€22 (Muji)

Bathroom Beauty Caddy
Bathrooms are a problem area in most households in terms of storage. I have countless bottles of this and that the litter my bathroom and was in need of a shelf to keep everything together. The joys of rented accommodation can make shelves and storage a little problematic as we can't screw, nail or hammer anything into the walls without the permission of our landlord (more hassle than it's worth). Therefore coming up with clever alternatives to avoid nails and screws in a must. I picked this pretty floral detailed shelf up in TKMaxx for €14.99. Instead of putting it into the shower (which it is designed for) I put it on an over the door hook as general bathroom storage on the back of my bathroom door. I keep creams, deodorants, and hair paraphernalia in it, meaning they are neat and tidy but easy to access.



Info: Over Door Hooks (pack of 3): €1.49 Penneys
Shower Caddy: €14.99 TKMaxx

E-D's Links
IKEA Billy Bookcase
MUJI Acrylic Storage
TKMaxx

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Soap & Glory Goodness

I absolutely love Soap and Glory products. I particularly love the packaging and think they brighten up any bathroom. Available in Boots and Harvey Nichols & Sephora, Soap & Glory boast a wide range of cleansing and moisturising bodycare products which are relatively inexpensive. In tonight's post I am sharing with you a few of the products from the soap and glory range which I have tried and tested.


The Breakfast Scrub 
This exfoliator smells divine and is great for leaving you with a squeaky clean feel after showering. The ingredients include oats, shea butter, sugar, banana  almond and honey oil. There is so much in the Breakfast Scrub, being honest it sounds delicious more than anything.Would definitely recommend this product for those of you trying to remove fake tan or maybe just for a general skin exfoliation routine. 

Scrub Your Nose In It 
This 'multitasking' scrub and mask is a must have for those of you who are susceptible to blackheads or have large pores prone to clogging. This scrub doubles as a face scrub and face mask, depending how much you use and how long you leave it on for. This scrub boasts an intense minty scent which you can actively feel working on your skin and leaves you with a tingling feeling. The little particles in the scrub make it easy to gently exfoliate your problem areas and remove dirt, dead skin and oil. All in all I am very happy with this product. 

Flake Away 
Flake away is an alternative exfoliator similar to The Breakfast Scrub but maybe not quite as effective. There is a little difference in the price too. That said this product smells great and I absolutely love the packaging and taglines. The ingredients include shea butter, sweet almond oil, peach seed powder, sea salt and sugar 






The Righteous Butter
The product is the ultimate moisturiser. 'The Righteous Butter' body butter has earnt pride of place in my bathroom and is a part of my showertime ritual at this stage. Like all the other Soap & Glory products, it smells delicious and the moisturiser really works leaving skin feeling super soft and smooth. This butter soaks into the skin really well and doesn't leave you with a greasy or oily feeling. Big thumbs up for the Righteous Butter and definitely my favourite Soap & Glory product!




Hand Food 


This product is a must in my handbag. It smells great and really works leaving my hands feeling soft and moisturised  Use sparingly as it can leave your hands feeling a little greasy. All in all a great hand moisturiser with a great scent. 



Girligo  
I have to admit I don't really get this product. I bought it on a whim to try it out to see what it actually did. It is branded as a 'scented moisturising mist' but I found the scent didn't last too long and in terms of moisturising, in comparison to 'The Righteous Butter' it doesn't make the cut as far as I'm concerned. This isn't a product I'd be rushing out to buy again.

                                       
E-D's Links
Check out the Soap & Glory websites to find your local stockists & pricing as well as other products in the range.
Soap & Glory US
Soap & Glory UK
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