Hot Choc-tails

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Let’s get things straight here; I’m a die hard tea drinker, but when the nights get a little colder and a little darker I ditch my past nine ‘o clock telly and tea for something a little… cosier cwtchier.  Nothing beats a cream-capped hot chocolate at this time of year, but sometimes it’s nice to mix things up a bit and ditch the usual recipe and get a little creative 🙂

“It’s not Terry’s, it’s mine”

Hot Chocolate Powder, a splash of Cointreau (or orange extract), Warm Milk, Whipped Cream and Grated Clementine Zest.

White Russian

Have you ever tried Whittard’s White Hot Chocolate?  OHMYGOD.  I usually have it with a little bit of cinnamon, but this time I mixed it with Raspberry Vodka (you could also use Chambord or Monin’s Raspberry Syrup), Hot Milk, Whipped Cream and some Freeze-Dried Raspberry or Pink Sprinkles to top.


Donut Knock it ’til You’ve Tried it

Did you know you can get donut-flavoured syrup?  Ho yes, and I can’t think of anything better to use it for than spiking hot chocolates.  🙂  Hot Milk, Hot Chocolate Powder, 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon, Donut Syrup, Whipped Cream and a Mini Donut to garnish.

Christmas in the Tropics

One of my absolute favourite flavours to add to a bog standard hot chocolate has to go to coconut.  Malibu (Coconut Rum) has been my favourite spirit since I was teen and a splash of the stuff in your hot chocolate is a wonderful thing.  If you’re one of those people who hates Malibu (you’re weird), then a splash of coconut syrup will work just as well.

Fred and Ginger

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate isn’t an unusual hot chocolate flavour, but add a little Disaronno (Amaretto) and it becomes a little more lively.

Hehe, he looks like he’s taking a bubble bath 🙂

All the above were created using Whittard’s dreamy Luxury Hot Chocolate Range. What’s your favourite hot chocolate flavour/cocktail? 🙂

Why we need to stop turning 30 into an Expiration Date

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Today’s my birthday.  I’m 32 years old, which is crazy to me because the truth is that most days – in my head – I still feel like I’m 17.  And I suppose I still am in some ways; I still listen to the same kind of music, I still love doughnuts just as much (and more to the point still eat them for breakfast sometimes like I did when I was 17), still have a crush on Robert Downey Jr, still have the occasional volcanic eruption on my chin, and I still (and always will) think that mayonnaise is rank – get it the hell away from me.

How do I feel about hitting 32?  I feel good.  Better than good.  Which is strange because for a long time I was absolutely terrified of hitting my thirties.

I feel like during our twenties we’re made to feel like our thirtieth birthday is an expiration date of some kind.  You know, that by thirty we’re supposed to have travelled the world, ticked a few things off of our bucket list, met “the one”, know our personal style, have our own place, feel ready to create little humans (if we haven’t already), have reached a certain point in our chosen careers and just generally have life figured out.  We spend our twenties making Before 30 Lists of things we want to do or accomplish – and that’s not even taking into account society’s ideas about what we should have achieved before reaching the big 3-0.  And because of that we turn our thirtieth birthday into an expiration date.  The real life version of what midnight was to Cinderella… minus the pumpkin and glass slipper.

As I take another step into my thirties I can safely say that I’m happier and more comfortable in myself now than I ever was in my twenties.  And that’s not because I ticked everything off my 30 Before 30 List, or because I have life figured out – I really, really don’t.  Who does?  But I definitely understand myself a little better; who I am, who I’m not, and who I want to be.

We need to stop turning 30 into something to be feared and instead treat it as something exciting.  There’s something empowering about turning thirty.  It’s a whole new decade.  A whole new you… if that’s what you want.  You might not have x, or done y, or been to z, but hopefully you’ll know yourself a little better, and what and who matters to you the most.  And at the end of the day, those things are more important than whether you’ve backpacked the world or run a marathon or partied until the sun comes up.  You can still do all those things in your thirties, by the way.  No one’s stopping you!  😉

Happy Birthday to meeee! 🎈

What I Wore: Autumn Greens

It’s finally scarf weather!  If you caught my Instagram Stories a few weeks back then you’ll have seen my excitement at bringing down my towering bundle of scarfs from the top of my wardrobe – and this silky teal green scarf is one of my absolute faves.  This time of year I feel like the clothing colour palette is so geared towards hot reds, oranges, mustards, maroons – all the colours that tend to wash my Daz White skin out!  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a mustard jumper that I’m very attached to – but teal green ticks all the boxes for me and my pale, cool-shades-loving tones.  And actually, it goes really, really with mustard too.  🙂

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Did anyone do #NoSpendOctober?  I did it without even thinking about it (thanks flu!) and then officially jumped on the bandwagon at the end of the month.  I’ve been trying to get more use out of the clothes I’ve got hanging in my wardrobe recently anyway and have tried coming up with new outfits from what I’ve already got rather than cramming more impulse purchases into my already packed (and kind messy!) cupboards.  I think I’m going to keep going with it and see where it takes me.

Scarf – H&M (Old!  Similar here).  Blouse – White Stuff (Old Similar here).  Belt – £12.99 H&M.  Jeans – M&S (Old!).  Bag – TK Maxx (Similar here).  Coat – Primark (in store now).  Shoes – Primark (from the summer – I added the ribbons myself to stop them slipping off my giant feet.  In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have worn them – my feet froze!)


What are your favourite colours to wear this time of year? 🙂

Cardiff Winter Wonderland 2017

It feels like Christmas officially barged its way in this week whether you wanted it to or not!  It’s something that seems to divide opinions; when we saw our first Christmas advert whilst scoffing breakfast on Monday morning, Sunny rolled his eyes over his toast and complained that it was waaaaaaay too early, meanwhile I was grinning and updating my Christmas Spotify playlist pronto tonto!  So you can imagine how excited I was when I got invited along for a sneak peek of Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland for 2017. So I invited along my the biggest Christmas Cynic I know – Sunny – in the hope that I’d have him singing Christmas songs all the way home in the car.  🙂

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All the usual attractions are back from the funfair to the alpine village, along with the Admiral Ice Rink, which is absolutely massive this year and, more to the point, it’s completely enclosed, which means the pesky Welsh Weather has no chance of drizzling on the Christmas Spirit!


We made a beeline for the hot dogs though, which I could smell cooking as soon as I got out of the car.  It’s like a superpower, what can I say?



Sunny somehow convinced me to go up the massive ferris wheel.  It’s not that I’m scared of heights exactly, it’s more that I’m scared of being trapped up somewhere high!  If you caught my Instagram Stories you’ll have seen my shaking hand and pleas to Sunny not to spin the cage – but the views of City Hall all lit up, the funfair (waaaaay down) below us and the Millenium (sorry!) Principality Stadium all lit up were worth the fifteen minutes of terror. 🙂




It was freezing up there, so we popped into the Bierkeller to warm up with a couple of hot chocolates, then spent the rest of the night dueling on the dodgems – which is when Sunny finally got into the Christmas spirit.  Sadly I couldn’t convince him on the festive sing-along on the way home in the car, but hey, there’s still six weeks to go until Christmas.  I’ll get him! 😉


Cardiff Winter Wonderland is open from now until the 7th of January.  🙂  Now then, tell me the truth, is it too soon for me to put my tree up?

 

October Favourites

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Another month bites the dust!  My October was a mix of Autumn excitement followed by two weeks of inevitable coughing and sneezing.  I feel like I’m finally through the worst of it now, and just in time for November – which is always a super busy month in Casa Cwtch; four birthdays (including my own!), Nanowrimo, and then the big Christmas build-up.  Anyway, despite being a snotty, spluttering mess for most of October, it’s still my favourite time of year 🙂

Fashion

I didn’t shop much in October other than picking up a few Christmas and Birthday presents, but it did finally get cold enough to start wearing my new grey coat from Primark.  It was cheap as chips and I love it!  I’m looking forward to wrapping up this month and cracking into my massive scarf collection.

TV

I feel like it’s been a quiet month for TV.  I finally got around to watching Stranger Things and – sorry! – I love all the 80s pop culture, and I kind of like it… but, I don’t get the hype.  I will persevere, but maybe I set my bar too high?  Sunny and I started watching Tin Star with Tim Roth; he hated it (he thought it was too dark and couldn’t stand the music), I LOVED it.  Other TV shows include Outlander (which continues to please – it’s just so beautiful to look at!), Mr Robot, and of course, GBBO.

Food

As well as making Halloween Doooooonuts, Salted Caramel Macarons, and these Pumpkin Traybake Cakes – I also became obsessed with Cadbury Roses Cake Bars which come in Strawberry Cream (my fave!) and Orange Cream.

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Cardiff

I didn’t get out much during October because – like I said – I caught the lurgy, but top of the pops this month of course goes to the new Oliver Bonas store which opened up on The Hayes.  I wanted to buy everything! 🙂

What have you been enjoying this October?  Have a great weekend everyone!  x