Tuesday, 2 October 2012


So I finally took the plunge and filmed my first YouTube video! It's just a Primark haul and it's probably really awkward and my hair looks awful but apart from that... yay! I've popped it in below so feel free to have a gander, and let me know what you think. I may start making more videos but we shall see - also I'm really sorry for the constant rubbish I talk here! Hopefully you all enjoy it though :)

Monday, 1 October 2012

summer lovin'

Oh hi guys... anyone remember me? I have been so useless at blogging lately, but I blame it entirely on being at home and being busy all the time! I'm back at uni now and not so social (sorry to all my uni friends reading this, I do love you!) so I'm hoping I can get back into the swing of things. I had every intention of blogging today's outfit but I got caught in the rain on my way home so I think I'll spare you the drowned rat look today!

Instead, I thought I'd post some photos from the end of my Summer back in Somerset to cheer myself up watching the drizzle out the window.

At the beginning of September we ventured to Bath race course for my friend Dan's 21st. I've never been to the races before but I loved it and definitely want to go again, even if I lost more money than I won! My dress is Matalan, scarf from Debenhams and shoes from M&S. My sunglasses are good ol' Primark.

The end of the month saw our friends Mike and Jeannie get married. Unfortunately I didn't make it to the wedding until about midnight but a few of us had a good few hours drinking the left over beer and cider and having a private disco to Gangnam Style! Dan and Tom (at the front) decided to get 'married' so the bouquet wouldn't go to waste...

I did a hell of a lot of baking this summer, and this was one of my favourite cakes to make! It's a simple Victoria sponge covered in buttercream roses and fondant butterflies. Definitely going to try this out again soon :)

I love this picture from my cousin's little girl's Christening. She is seriously the most beautiful baby ever, and really placid too - I love her so much!

What have you been up to this Summer?

P.S. Is anyone else going to #ldnbloggermeet this Saturday?

Monday, 20 August 2012

DIY: coloured sole shoes...

Recently, I've developed a massive addiction to Pinterest! Following in the footsteps of some of my favourite pinners, I created a 'crafts to try' board and found a few crafty things I'd like to try, and on Saturday I attempted my first project: coloured sole shoes. I've always admired Louboutins from afar, but they are waaay out of my price range so this was the perfect way to get myself some of the action...

Here is what you'll need to complete the project! In the original pin, black shoes are used but as I couldn't find any and I thought that these could do with a brighten up anyway, I chose these mink coloured shoes - never worn as you can probably tell by the stickers! You will need white nail polish, as well as nail polish in the colour you want to paint your soles. Two paintbrushes are useful to paint on the polish, as nail polish brushes are too little! If you have already worn your shoes, it would be useful to clean the bottoms in rubbing alcohol before painting them.

Here are the soles of my shoes to begin with.

Pop some of the white nail polish on a paint palette or something else; here I have used an old Lush pot! There's only a little here but I found I needed to use most of the bottle of polish to cover my shoes.

Begin by painting your soles white; it will probably take a couple of coats to get them completely opaque. In the original tutorial the girl manages to get them completely white but I couldn't! I think perhaps because of the writing and ridges on the soles, so it may be better to use completely smooth soles.

Here are my shoes after a couple of coats of white nail polish! I used an Elf polish, in 'white' funnily enough.

Again, pour some of your coloured nail polish onto a palette or surface and start painting your souls. Again, this took pretty much the whole bottle of polish!

You will definitely need a few coats of polish for this step, especially if you want your soles really bright.

Here are my finished shoes! They look very shiny here, and mostly opaque so hopefully they will hold up well when I wear them. I will be sure to take an outfit photo with these shoes, and keep you up to date on how they fare! I was quite surprised no top coat or similar was used on top of the polish, so it will definitely be interesting to see how they hold up.

Have you tried this DIY, or are you going to? If you have, show me! I'd love to see.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

house of fraser blogger style challenge...

When I got an email telling me about the House of Fraser blogger style challenge, in which a very generous £200 gift card is up for grabs, I was beyond excited! I love these kind of competitions as not only do you get to have a good old gander at some gorgeous clothes, but you can also really express your personal style. Without further ado, here is my entry...


Red, black and gold is a colour palette I love; it definitely brightens up those dull Autumn days! I'm usually all about the fifties but I've gone for a sixties-ish look here, fitting in with the Mod style comeback of next season. The dress is so versatile as it can be dressed up or down, and looks gorgeous with gold accessories such as the lion belt, simple stud earrings and full on the MOST AMAZING boots I have ever seen... seriously Santa come early please?! (Cannot believe I just said that in August...) I've always been a massive fan of Biba, and was thrilled to see their collection at House of Fraser so I couldn't not feature them here! A faux fur coat is an essential for me in Winter, but will also be great on chillier Autumn days. I adore the clutch bag as well; it's big enough for all the essentials but looks absolutely stunning with the gold hardware. The tights are another essential, especially in the British blustery weather, and the nail polish is sure to finish the look off perfectly.

What do you think of this look? Have you taken part in the House of Fraser blogger challenge?

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

chocolate cupcakes...

Lately I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, baking! On Sunday I made these gorgeous chocolate cupcakes which you may have already seen on my twitter or instagram, but I thought I'd blog about them too!

I (mostly) followed a recipe from the Primrose Bakery cupcake book, which I'll pop in below with my amendments, and then I used my Wilton 1M nozzle to ice the cakes, then sprinkled on gold stars and glitter on half the cakes, then chocolate and pink hearts with silver glitter on the others. I got most of these decorations from eBay, but the pink hearts are Lakeland. My friends have been trying to convince me to open my own cupcake business which I am seriously considering at the moment... exciting times!

Primrose Bakery Chocolate Cupcakes - The Helen way!
(makes around 12 regular cupcakes, 24 fairy cakes or 48 mini cupcakes)

 115g good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
85 unsalted butter
175g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, free- range or organic, separated
185g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
250ml semi- skimmed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 170c (fan)/ 190c/ 375F/ gas mark 5 and line two twelve hole muffin trays.
2. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt - you can do this either over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. Stir until it is completely melted and is smooth. Leave this to cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks for several minutes and slowly add to the butter mixture and beat well. Beat in the melted chocolate.

4. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl. Pour the milk into a jug and add the vanilla extract to it. Add a third of the flour to the chocolate mixture and beat well. Pour in a third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk has been added.

5. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter. Do not beat or you will take all the air out of the mixture.

6. Carefully spoon the cupcake mixture into cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out of the cake clean. Remove from the oven and leave them in their tins for ten minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool. Ice the cupcakes once they are completely cool.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

   175g good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
225g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon semi- skimmed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g icing sugar, sifted


1. Melt the chocolate as before, until it's a thick pouring consistency; completely melted and smooth. Leave to cool slightly.

2. Beat the butter, milk, vanilla and icing sugar together until smooth with an electric hand mixer. Add the chocolate and beat again until thick and creamy.

3. Frost the cupcakes and decorate!

What do you think of my cupcakes? Will you be trying this recipe out?

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