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Lily’s Unicorn Party

Lily’s mum Laura & I are long term mutual clients. I styled Laura’s wedding a few years ago & Laura is my hairstylist. So when Lily turned 7 I was delighted that Laura asked me to style Lily’s birthday in a unicorn theme. I looked no further than the unicorn ranges supplied by Party Pieces

The Happy Birthday banner was perfect hung in the hallway to welcome Lily’s guests together with one of our little blackboards. I also used unicorn head plates as wall decorations to create a feature wall.

The unicorn light was picked up in a local store and I decorated the pale pink party bags from Party pieces using cute unicorn sticker sheets from luck and luck.

The selfie props were also from Party Pieces and were perfect for Lily and her little ladies.

The vanilla cupcakes are one of my easiest recipes (see below)

I made little cupcake toppers by double-siding the stickers onto little cocktail sticks; I also popped some party rings on the remaining cupcakes

Finally no little lady’s party is complete without having her name spelt out in party rings so this was popped onto the edge of the party table.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this post of Lily’s party as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Love Joanna xx

Vanilla Cupcakes.

6oz soft margarine

6oz caster sugar

6oz self raising flour

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Put all ingredients in bowl together and mix using a hand mixer. Spoon into 20 cupcake cases , bake at 180° fan oven for 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile make basic butter icing using 3oz soft margarine, a splash of milk and 250g icing sugar with 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. Pipe onto cakes and use topper of your choice.

Enjoy. X

As this is a collaborative post I would like to thank Party Pieces for providing the beautiful unicorn partyware.

Easy Chocolate Cake for any occasion.

When my boys were little they loved nothing more than having a “party”. This mostly consisted of simply gathering with family, enjoying a meal together and when I baked a cake it instantly turned the occasion into a party for them.

This is my family’s basic recipe passed down the generations and it is literally foolproof. Feel free to tweak the toppings to your own requirements, here I have topped it with some leftover Easter goodies.

Ingredients.

6oz. caster sugar

6oz. margarine

6oz. self raising flour

3 eggs

2tbsp cocoa powder

Method.

Put all ingredients into mixing bowl and whisk together using electric hand mixer.

Grease 2 round cake tins, divide mixture between the two tins.

Bake at 180° fan oven until springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean.

(usually around 25 mins but depends on tin size and your oven)

Once cakes are cool they are ready for the topping. I use this easy store-cupboard ingredients recipe.

Ganache Topping.

1 tin condensed milk

150g Cadbury dairy milk chocolate

2 tablespoons of water

Slowly melt the chocolate and condensed milk in a pan stirring all the time. Once fully melted together, stir through the water. Pour over cake.

(To use as a piping consistency, add a few more squares of chocolate and leave to cool slightly before piping onto cake)

Slice and enjoy the cake as it is with a cuppa or warmed (20 seconds in microwave per portion) as hot choc cake with ice cream.

Joanna x

50th Birthday celebration with Neviti

There is simply nothing better than a lovely girly get-together and that is just what was created when the lovely Jane turned 50.  A small intimate affair comprising of Afternoon Tea for her close family and friends from the village was the brief and of course, the theme was to be pretty and pink.  This was the result.

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When the lovely team at Neviti  suggested their stunning new Glitz & Glamour range might work well for this event I was delighted to discover it came in just the colours and theme required.  These were mixed together with the table settings using a selection of our Vintage China and crystal and the result was well admired by Jane’s guests.

IMG_20180301_005145.jpgThe  50 plates and stunning star napkins were complimented by some of our pretty handpainted vintage china and the rose gold and pink table scatters featuring 50 and cute celebratory wordings  completed the theme.IMG_20180301_003312.jpgIMG_20180301_215324.jpgPink Lemonade was served in the crystal glasses together with the pretty rose gold straws and pretty  little cupcakes were served on the mini rose gold star plates

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Each guest received a little favour box placed inside their teacup … these cute boxes were from the Geo Blush range which co-ordinates perfectly with the aforementioned pink Glitz & Glamour range by Neviti.  The treats bags for sweeties and leftover goodies from the cake stands  were also from the geo blush range.  The sweetie tubs are from the pink and gold pattern works rangeIMG_20180301_203820.jpgIMG_20180301_003004.jpgIMG_20180301_170108.jpgIMG_20180301_003828.jpgThe afternoon was a great success with all and I would just like to take this opportunity to wish Jane many happy returns.  May she have lots of fun with all her celebrations in the coming months  as she turns 50 – Love Joanna X

 

 

 

Many Thanks to Neviti for the stunning  high quality products provided for this event.  All the Neviti products seen in the photos are from the following ranges which co-ordinate beautifully together.

Geo Blush

Glitz & Glamour – Pink & Rose Gold

Pattern Works pink & gold

Tami & Michael

620TM329[1]When Marie, Tami’s mum contacted me to see if I was available to style her daughter Tami’s wedding I was delighted to discover that I had her date available. Marie had been referred to me by another family member who had previously  booked me to style their wedding; it’s always lovely to have been referred by someone who was thrilled with the service and end result I have given.620TM065[1]

So on with the planning.  The girls came to my home studio to discuss and try out some decor options. It is always a delight to me to see folders or pinterest boards that my clients have put together themselves before they visit me as I get an instant idea of  their taste and know just what will work in their chosen venue.  The venue in this case was the lovely Piersland House Hotel in nearby Troon and as I know this venue so well having previously styled lots of lovely weddings there the task of planning with Marie and Tami was an easy one.

620TM279[1]Tami wanted to create a theme that was chic, simple and elegant so we discussed her ideas and came up with some lace and  silver items that would continue the theme of her beautiful lace wedding gown together with the beautiful  bridesmaids dresses.  She had ordered some faux flowers from  internet florist Groovy Ruby for her bouquets so that she could keep it forever as a memento of her big day;  as part of the package she also ordered 3 displays  for the top table so I placed then added some of my pieces between these.

At the entrance to the hotel, Tami chose our large silver mirror and easel to be sign-written with a welcome message for their guests and it looked perfect there.

For the ceremony which was in the conservatory Tami choose our unique TO HAVE AND TO HOLD FROM THIS DAY FORWARD silver lanterns and I added in a couple of complimentary silver tealight holders  together with the faux flowers on the signing table – these then moved through to the centre of the top table after the ceremony.  Our Bay Trees with ivory flowers  were placed at the top of the aisle with some bridal signs hung on them to complete the look.620TM144[1]

Through in the reception room I set the long tables with some lace lanterns of varying sizes and Tami had ordered some silver heart balloons from another local supplier to add height in the centre of these tables, the lace lanterns had ivory bows and silver brooches on them to compliment the beautifully elegant decor the venue already has.  To complete the look I added more of the silver votive tealight holders and some simple table crystals to sparkle in the candlelight.  The tableplan cards were hung on our fairylight tree – Marie and Tami made the cards themselves.

 

One of the main highlights of the day had to be without doubt the input of the groom – an avid lego fan, he sported lego man cufflinks  –  the amazing wedding cake by the super talented team at Sugar & Spice, Troon was also a  must as far as Michael was concerned.  The cake created such a talking point with the guests and hotel staff as it was just a bit different from the norm!

The wedding party had an amazing day making memories as these photos by Tom Gibson Photography clearly show.

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It was such a pleasure working with Tami to plan her day, she looked simply stunning and I’m sure you will join me in wishing the happy couple all the best in their future as husband and wife.

Congratulations to Tami & Michael, the new Mr & Mrs Pratt.

Thanks for reading,

Love Joanna X

Kind thanks to Tom and Angela Gibson for the majority of the photos in this post.

Venue:  Piersland House Hotel, Troon

Celebrant:  David Mitchell

Flowers:  Groovy Ruby

Cake:  Sugar & Spice Troon

Bridal Gown:  “Catherine” by Anna Sorrano

Bridesmaids Dresses:  Little Mistress

Mother of the Bride:  Precis @ Debenhams

Photographer:  Tom Gibson Photography

 

 

 

Mince Pies, love or loathe?

butter tartletsIt’s absolutely the time of year for lots of catching up with friends and family and at this time I especially love to have some old family favourites baked and ready in the cupboard.   You can pick up a  box of mince pies in any local shop but there is nothing better than home baking.   So do you love or loathe a mince pie?  I find they are an acquired taste and I totally love them but these butter tartlets my mum used to make when I was little are a perfect alternative and are always a huge hit with my guests, they are also a lovely hostess present to take round to friends in a pretty tin.

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For the pastry I use a quick one stage shortcrust and the recipe is as follows:

4oz soft tub margarine

6oz sifted plain flour

1 tablespoon of cold water

Cream the water and margarine in a bowl for around 30 seconds.  Add 2 tablespoons of the flour, mix well, add the rest of the flour to form a soft dough and knead lightly until smooth.  Roll out on a floured surface and cut into rounds, press into shallow muffin tins.

 

I then add 1 tsp of  the fruit mix to each pastry case and you should have enough for around 24 cases.

Then there’s nothing left to do but pop the kettle on, grab a cuppa and enjoy!

Love Joanna X

Pretty Pastel Tea Party.

The brief for a recent birthday tea party was “pastel and pretty” and the Liberty Betsy range available from Party Pieces was the range I used on this occasion.   I teamed the beautiful pieces with some vintage glassware and some gold accents to complete the perfect look.  As this was a relatively small party I organised the food too and baked a pastel pink vanilla jazzies cake which went down a treat and I have shared the recipe for this below.

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vanillaspongecollage.jpgFor the butter icing recipe I used, click here.

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The Liberty Betsy cups and straws are so pretty and save any washing up afterwards, I used these on the help yourself buffet table with some fruit punch and pink lemonade.  If however  you prefer real glasses then the straws are gorgeous displayed alongside your glasses in a separate jar. As this was just a small afternoon tea the small size of plates  and  small napkins were ideal  and although the plates are paper  they are very sturdy.  I am sure they were refilled a few times over the afternoon. For some sweeties and other smaller scones and cakes I used some vintage glass dishes and plates set onto a gold runner.  When the fairylights were on these all sparkled beautifully.

I used a lace tablecloth and co-ordinating lace backdrop with fairylights which was perfect for a pack of the stunning liberty betsy pinwheels to be placed against to bring the whole theme together as seen below.

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BeFunky Collage

No party is complete without of course the traditional party bag and there are a couple of options available in this range, I have linked the bags I used  here.  I pegged on a tag for the hostess to write each guest’s name on.

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I hope you have enjoyed reading about this pretty tea party and enjoy baking, should you decide to try the vanilla cake for yourself.

Love Joanna X

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All words, thoughts and photos are my own, I would like to thank Party Pieces who kindly supplied the Liberty Betsy items for this collaborative post.

 

 

Holidays are Coming.

With most of our immediate family and friends living either in the north of Scotland or the north of Ireland we often have houseguests to stay over the holiday season.  I love nothing more than to make the house cosy and welcoming and find the best way to do this is to have lots of seasonal cushions, signs and sweet treats around the home. holidaycollage1

This Christmas cushion by the fabulous Evans Lichfield is a super stylish and affordable way to update your guest room,  I find that using items like these together with some seasonal magazines and sweet treats ensure  guests feel immediately at home. holidaycollage7

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Fairylights are another must to have all around our home ( all year actually) and they create an instant warmth and cosiness to any room. Mini Christmas trees in the guest rooms are another perfect way to make  guests feel at home over the holiday season and our guests always feel relaxed enough to know they are welcome to retire to their room at any time to relax and recharge their batteries. holidaycollage2holidays5

This Christmas window  cushion from the Skandi range at Evans Lichfield is another favourite of mine and an  instant  stylish seasonal and affordable  update for any room in the home.

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You simply cannot go wrong with a cosy checked cushion, one of my favourites is this Stirling pink check cushion which also comes in a variety of silhouette patterns  and colourways with something to suit everyone.

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Lastly for a quick and easy update to move from season to season I  change most of  my candles around; this gel candle with pine needles smells so Christmassy and I sneak  in little snow displays around the home  from  now until Christmas time.  This can be some jars of brightly coloured baubles or decorations like the little polar bears and penguins seen below.  I hope you have enjoyed this holidays are coming post and look forward to sharing some of how I will decorate my own home for Christmas with you all soon.

Love Joanna X