Shades of Blue Nails

I’ve been wanting to try a design like this for a while now, but have always put it off as I felt it would be hard to freehand neatly. However I found that it was actually quite quick and easy to pull off.

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I started by painting all nails in 2 coats of a bold shimmery royal blue shade.

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Next I took a lighter blue shade that had a glittery metallic finish to it.

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I painted 2 coats of this on every nail, but rather than painting over the entire nail, I started a little bit lower down and copied the natural shape of my nail. This meant that I was left with a bit of a border around the tops and sides of each nails in the darker colour.

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I finished off the design by placing a small blue rhinestone in the top middle of each ring finger nail.

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Over Sized Rhinestones Nails

I was short on time this week so wanted a design I could complete quickly.

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First, I painted my thumb and ring fingers in one coat of a gold magnetic nail paint. I then went over it with a second coat and used a magnet with a diagonal line pattern to make the effect.

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On all other nails I painted 2 coats of a cream shade.

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After this was dry, I placed a large rhinestone in the center of the base of each nail.

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Then I placed a rhinestone a little bit smaller to this underneath it.

Valentine’s Heart Drag Marble Nails

I’ve seen a lot of examples of heart drag marble nails floating around on the internet and decided that I wanted to give it a try for Valentine’s Day this year. However, I don’t think it came out as good as it could have. I think I had pressed down a bit too hard while dragging through the dots. You have to work quickly with this kind of design as it works best while everything is still wet.

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I started by painting the thumb and ring finger nails in one coat of a light brown shimmery shade.

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On the rest of the fingers, I used 2 coats of a deep dark red shade. Onto these red nails, I also added one light pink heart shaped rhinestone onto each.

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On the thumb and ring fingers, doing one nail at a time, I painted another layer of the light brown. While it was still wet, I used the red and the largest dotting tool that I have to add 3 dots going down the length of the nail.

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Before anything had chance to dry, I took a very thin brush and dragged a straight line from just above the dot at the top, straight down through the middle of each dot and stopped at the tip of the nail. If done correctly, you should see that it has made heart type shapes. I actually used a thin nail art brush to touch up my design a little, as the hearts were a bit ‘flat’ on the sides in places.

Valentine Heart Biscuits Recipe

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These biscuits were what me and my husband made together for fun for Valentine’s Day last year. I wasn’t really planning on making a blog post out of them at the time and so I didn’t really take many good quality photos of the decorating stages. Plus we decorated them at night which meant the lighting was bad in any photographs I took of the finished biscuits. However as Valentines Day is coming up again I decided to share them with you to help give people some inspiration. You can decorate these biscuits in any way you like, and the possibilities are endless. For ours we used rolled out icing in different colours, added some writing icing and a few random cake decorating sprinkles.

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Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter allowed to reach room temperature
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or other flavouring of your choice
  • Gel food colouring in colours of your choice. We used lilac, green and a small amount of red to make pink
  • Medium sized packet of white roll out icing (a 500g packet should be more than enough)
  • Various coloured tubes of writing icing. We used some glitter writing icing tubes from our local supermarket
  • Various baking decorations and other decorating sprinkles of your choice
  • Icing sugar (for dusting only)

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Method

For the Biscuits:

1. Start by weighing out your sugar and adding it to a bowl.

2. Then weigh out your butter. Cut it into cubes and add to the bowl.

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3. Add your vanilla essence and cream the butter and sugar together fully with a fork.

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4. Weigh out the flour and sieve it into the bowl.

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5. Add a pinch of salt and fold everything together into a dough using your hands.

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6. Put the dough into the fridge to chill for 30 mins.

7. Dust your work surface with flour and remove the dough from the fridge.

8. Start to preheat your oven on gas mark 5 and grease a baking tray with butter.

9. Roll out the dough to just under 1cm thick and use a heart shaped cutter to cut out the biscuit shapes.

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10. Remove the excess dough and put it to one side to reuse later.

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11. Carefully move the biscuits over to the baking tray, making sure that there is room for any expansion in between.

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12. I placed them in the over near the higher side of the middle of the oven for 10 mins.

13. After I turned the tray around and left them for a further 5 mins.

14. Once cooked, I removed them from the oven and carefully removed them from the tray and left to cool. Don’t worry if they seem a bit soft as they will harden as they cool.

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15. Repeat steps 9 – 15 in order to use up the remaining dough.

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For the Decoration:

1. We started by taking sections of the roll out icing and kneading it to get it pliable. Then we used a little gel food colouring and kneaded this into the icing fully to colour it to the colours of our choice. This was repeated with the other colours so we was left with different sized balls of different coloured icing.

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2. Next dust your work surface with some icing sugar and roll out one of your balls of icing into a layer that is a few mm thick. Use the same heart cutter you used for the biscuits to cut out heart shapes. Repeat this with the other colours until you have one heart of icing per biscuit. My husband made a few multicolored icing hearts by placing a few blobs of different coloured icing next to each other and then rolling them out. He also made a marbled effect for some by kneading a few colours together very briefly so that they were mixed together, but not enough for the colours to blend together.

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3. Place the icing hearts onto your biscuits. You might need to use a tiny bit of water on the back of the icing to get it to stick to the biscuit. Alternatively you could use some of your writing icing as if it were glue. As the biscuits expand in the oven, there will be a nice border of biscuit showing around the icing. For some biscuits we did not cover them with an entire heart of icing. Instead we cut the icing hearts in different ways to cover only certain parts of the biscuits.

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4. All that is left to do now is to decorate on top of the icing on your biscuits in any which way you like. The possibilities are endless so just have fun! The below list is a few ideas of different things that we did to ours.

  • We used writing icing to draw lines and patterns on our biscuits.
  • We used writing icing like glue to stick many different sugar decorations onto our biscuits.
  • We used the roll out icing in different colours to make and mold different shapes such as flowers and leaves.
  • We used a table knife to make indent lines in the icing to make a quilted like effect.

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Popping Valentine’s Heart Chocolates

This is the perfect idea for someone who wants to make their better half something personalised for Valentine’s Day, but who doesn’t really have much surplus time to spend.

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Supplies

  • 200g bar of milk chocolate
  • 200g bar of white chocolate
  • Small tub of edible gold food shimmer/glitter
  • Tub of popping candy
  • Small foil heart shaped chocolate cases
  • Silicone mould for making chocolates in heart shapes

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Instructions
1) Lay out your chocolate cases onto a tray and your silicone mould onto another. Having them on a tray makes them easier to transport before they are set.

2) Take the edible shimmer and a small clean brush. Use the brush to coat the inside of the silicone mould with the edible shimmer.

3) Take 2 saucepans of water with a heatproof bowl over the top of each. Make sure the water level is low enough to not touch the bottom of the bowl. Put them on full heat and break up the milk chocolate into one of the bowls and the white chocolate into the other. Stir them until melted fully, making sure not to burn the chocolate.

4) Remove them both from the heat and quickly stir in plenty of the popping candy into each. Try not to over stir it as you will loose some of the popping as you stir.

The rest of the instructions are pretty flexible, so I will just discuss what I did and then you can decide for yourself how you want to do things.

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5) Into the silicone moulds, I filled each heart shape only half way with milk chocolate. I then put this into the fridge straight away.

6) Meanwhile I filled half of the foil heart cases fully with milk chocolate and the other half with white chocolate. I put these into the fridge to set.

7) I removed the silicone mould from the fridge and topped up the remaining half of the mould with the white chocolate. I put this back into the fridge to set fully. This results in chocolates half white and half milk chocolate.

8) When the chocolates in the foil cases had set, I removed them from the fridge and used the brush to place some of the edible shimmer on the top of each one. When the chocolates in the silicone mould had set I carefully removed them from the mould.

If you feel a little more adventurous, you could experiment with adding other things to the chocolates, for example some finely chopped nuts. Think about what flavours your better half likes and experiment and have fun!

Valentine’s Morning Pancakes

This month is not only a leap year month, but we have both Pancake Day and Valentines Day coming up. I thought I would share with you all the pancake breakfast I did for me and my husband for last years Valentine’s Day morning.

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Equipment you will need:

  • Small frying pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Rubber heart shape pancake/egg mould (you can normally find these in supermarkets around valentines day).

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Ingredients you will need:

  • 250ml milk
  • 100g flour
  • 1 egg
  • ΒΌ teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil
  • Nutella chocolate spread
  • Punnet of strawberries

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What to do:

  1. Wash the strawberries.
  2. Cut off the stems by making a rounded ‘v’ shape in the top of the strawberry.
  3. Then cut each strawberry into slices to make heart shaped slices. Keep to one side.
  4. Next, add the milk, flour, egg and salt to a mixing bowl and whisk together to make a batter.
  5. Leave the bowl in the fridge for 10 mins.
  6. Remove the bowl from the fridge and whisk again.
  7. Heat a little oil in the frying pan on a medium heat.
  8. Place the rubber mould in the pan and pour in the batter to fill the heart shape. Don’t go too fast with the batter as it will start to run out from under the mould. If this happens just push it down in the areas where it is leaking from. You want the pancakes to be around 5mm thick maximum.
  9. As soon as the batter is almost fully solid on top, you can remove the mould without it running everywhere.Be careful when touching the mould as it will be hot.
  10. Repeat steps 7 – 9 until all the batter has been used up.
  11. Spread each pancake with Nutella and place a slice of strawberry on top.

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You can use any left over strawberries to make a strawberry milk shake like I did. The pancake batter recipe I used just follows the standard British pancake recipe my parents have always used for pancake day. Enjoy!