Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Caramel Fudge

This Christmas we are trying to focus on handmade goods. Christmas shouldn't be about how much money you can spend but time together, so we are making small hampers for people with home made goodies. Here's our gorgeous caramel fudge recipe. 

You will need:
  • 395g tin of condensed milk
  • 450g Demerara sugar
  • 115g butter
  • 150ml milk
  • Caramel flavouring (we use Dr Oetker)
  • Any other toppings you fancy. Chocolate chips are always a hit in this indulgent house.
How to:
  • Line a baking tin with parchment paper, this will make it easier to take it out once it has set. 
  • Put the condensed milk, milk, butter and sugar in a pan and heat until it has all melted.
  • Bring it to the boil and continually stir for 15 minutes. If you have a sugar thermometer it should be roughly 118 degrees centigrade. 
  • Remember to scrape the pan thoroughly as it burns the bottom quite fast. Another way to test is to drop a small amount into a glass of ice water. It should form a soft fudgy ball if its ready. 
  • Take it off the heat and add your flavouring. We used about 1 teaspoon but you can add as much or little as you like!
  • Then it's time to beat it. Beat it like your life depends on it. During the beating it's time to add your extras like chocolate chips as they are less likely to melt. 
  • When your fudge is becoming firm and starting to set it's time to pop it into your baking tin. Make sure it's even and level, we normally just throw it in and then eat the little offcuts.
  • Leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours to set and then use a sharp knife to cut into bite size pieces. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Frame Again Photo Frames

There's a new company about town and I LOVE them! Frame Again are a great British company providing awesome framed images for those that want something a bit different to the norm. 

Their website is easy to work your way around. Firstly you upload your image to the site, either from your phone, instagram or computer. Then you choose the frame colours. This is the best bit. It allows you full creative control to create a frame that fits the image perfectly.   

Despite being a photographer I hardly have any photos up in my new place. I find that most places have horrible print quality. Frame Again provide you with prints that are of great quality. I'm so impressed with my prints. 

I chose to go with a great one of Max in his Max outfit with complementing yellow ring, whilst the other was taken at the aquarium so I wanted to use a great bright blue. They arrived within 48 hours of ordering and were packaged securely in some great frame again wrapping. 

What I didn't realise until I got them was that they have magnets inside so that they can attach together and create a wall of images almost in amazing frames. This is great as it means that I don't have to hang them on the walls and they are sturdy enough to stand on the side. They do however have a normal fitting at the back to hang on a wall, but who really wants to do that?!

I absolutely love these images. I'm constantly moving them around at the moment as I can't decide where I want them to go. The fact they are so personal to us makes them so much more special. I can't wait to decide what to add next!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Finding my "me" time

Us mums are amazing people. We work hard, make sure theres food on the table, bills are paid and everyone is well dressed. But we don't spend half as much time on ourselves as the others in our family. I know I'm one of those. Max can look gorgeous and I'm there in a ratty top and leggings looking like I've just woken up. 

It used to be easier. Max used to go to preschool in the mornings. Giving me that time to do things I wanted; like have a bath, run, craft and blog. Now all of that has to be crammed into an hour each evening, once all the housework has been done and spent a bit of time with Scott. Most nights I'm still awake at 2am and up again at 6am when Max is jumping on the bed. 

Max now goes to preschool when I'm at work. I have 20 minutes from dropping him off, to get myself ready for work and pick Scott up so he can drop me off. I'm struggling to find that time where I could do things for ME rather than for everyone else. I'm argumentative, tired and feel so crappy that I'm ill all the time. 

I know it's not forever. This time next year Max will be in school and I'll be missing him and our time together each day. We do some amazing things together. From baking and crafts to snuggles on the sofa in front of a good movie. But I've completely lost my identity again. The thing that makes me Laura, not mummy. 

This coming year I'm going to focus. Try and put myself in the forefront of things as if I'm not healthy or happy then it's going to affect the others around me. I need to think more positively. I need to book trips and days out without Max, ask for help from those around me and not feel guilty! 

But for now I'll live with a mug of hot chocolate in bed with some Pretty Little Liars on the laptop.