Styling The Seasons – January

Firstly, a big hello to the flurry of new followers. So great to have you here!

The start of 2015 has been refreshing. I have finally recharged my batteries and my body is feeling better since following a healthy eating plan and lots more walking.

This ‘fresh’ feeling is my inspiration for this month’s Styling The Seasons post.


Styling The Seasons is a monthly challenge devised by bloggers Katy and Charlotte to style a surface in your home and share on social media using the hashtag – #stylingtheseasons.


Loose tea is a beautiful thing. Not only to drink, but also to look at. All the different colours and textures do make for a pretty photo I think! I store all my teas in glass kilner jars with painted chalkboard lids.Camomile-Rose-Loose-Tea

I would love to keep a plant alive this year. I have an aversion to gardening or nuturing plants. I figured a succulent is low maintenance enough for me to get it right this time. We’ll see.Succulent-PlantThere are links below to where I got these items from, in case you are wondering where you can find such a beautiful teapot.


Succulent and pot – Homebase
Infuser teapot and cups – Alison Appleton
Tea Solves All Fabric Tag – Oh Squirrel
Tea storage – Kilner jars from Dunelm Mill
Loose Tea – Bluebird Tea Co


What is your styling inspiration for January? Don’t forget to check out the #stylingtheseasons posts on Instagram!



7 Recipes For Bonfire Night

I adore Bonfire Night. G and I have a tradition of grabbing some hot spiced apple in a flask to watch the fireworks, then we come home to toast giant marshmallows with friends over the chimnea. I love to cook up some warming autumnal meals and we have a big feast followed by sparklers in the garden like big kids.

I thought I’d share 7 recipes for Bonfire Night in case you want to host your own Bonfire Night parties this year!

Pumpkin-Apple-SoupPumpkin and Apple Soup via The Telegraph


Mini Jacket Potatoes via BBC Good Food


Sausage and Bean Casserole via BBC Good Food


Spiced Apple Cider via Claireabellemakes (non alcoholic)

Salted-Caramel-Apple-TartSalted Caramel Apple Tart via Just A Taste


Sweet Pumpkin Pie via Country Living

Caramel-Marshmallow-PopcornCaramel Marshmallow Popcorn via Lil’ Luna

Do you have any Bonfire Night traditions or recipes to share? You can find more ideas on my Pinterest board too.

Follow Claireabellemakes’s board Bonfire Night on Pinterest.



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Lemon Sherbet Cake

Have you guys ever heard of the Clandestine Cake Club? Basically it’s an excuse to meet up with fellow cake lovers in your local area and to stuff yourself silly with cake and tea.

At the recent Cambridge meet, we had an old fashioned sweet shop theme. Here’s my recipe for a Lemon Sherbet Cake which I took along. If you don’t like things very lemony or you are not a fan of super sweet cakes, this one might not be for you!


Cake Ingredients

  • 250g softened butter (unsalted)
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 1 tbsp milk

Icing Ingredients

  • 450g icing Sugar
  • 120g softened butter (unsalted)
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 75g lemon sherbet powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 10 lemon bon bons


1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.

2) Cream together butter and sugar until light in colour and fluffy in texture. Slow beat in the eggs a little at a time.

3) Fold in the flour until combined and then fold in 1 tbsp milk and the lemon zest.

4) Divide the mixture evenly between two 20cm silicone cake tins (I prefer these as there is no need to grease or line). Bake for 20-25 minutes.

For an optional extra which makes the cake super sweet, mix together 1 tbsp lemon sherbet powder and the juice of half a lemon to make a drizzle.

5) Combine all the icing ingredients in a mixer and blend until smooth. Once the cakes are cooled, pipe the icing between the cakes and sandwich together.

6) Pipe rounds of icing on top of the cake with a star nozzle, then top with lemon bon bons.

I’ll leave you with a photo from our organiser Deepa’s Instagram feed, many more cakes were added after she took this!



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Biscuiteers Baking Company

Craft And Cookbook Giveaway

I’m back with another giveaway today, hurrah! I’m giving one regular reader a chance to win two books I have recently contributed to as well as some little goodies. There is also a freebie for those who keep reading to the end.

The first prize is a craft book. Crochet Infinity Scarves is up for grabs along with 2 balls of Sirdar Big Softie Super Chunky yarn. Just in time for learning how to crochet a scarf for the colder months ahead!


The second book is a cookbook including recipes for Great Family Meals For Under £5. This book was a collaboration with other bloggers and includes my Fat Free Brownie Recipe along with some tasty budget meals.

The prize also includes the cutest ice cream cone kitchen timer too!


This giveaway is open worldwide, so get entering on the widget below for your chance. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, if you are into cooking, you can download a free e-copy of the recipe book by clicking the icon below.

Author & Contributor to Great Family Meals for Under £5



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A Proper Cup Of Tea

I’ve previously written about my vintage tea cups on the blog, which I see as a growing collection. I believe vintage china should be enjoyed and not just displayed, they were made to be used after all.


Most days when I arrive home from the day job, I enjoy a cup or two of loose tea, usually brewed in an infuser teapot. The one on the left has sprinkles in it…more on this later!


I discovered this Bakewell Tart tea at Drink Shop Do and then purchased some from Jenier Teas. It. Is. DIVINE.


I had never tried Lavender tea before but I drank this recently before a train journey and had the best nap ever.


Birthday Cake tea is a favourite of mine from Canadian company David’s Tea. I have to stock up when we visit family as they don’t deliver to the UK. It’s my favourite to have at craft parties as the sprinkles make it feel like you are drinking a vanilla cupcake.


This Thunder Bay tea is another favourite in my tea cupboard and is delicious iced as well as hot. My penpal Michelle sent me this fruity tea from her home city.


Teapigs Peppermint is a daily favourite of mine.


It’s about time I had a tea party don’t you think?


The lovely people at The Other Duckling kindly sent me some vintage miniature gold rimmed teacups to add to the collection, so I thought I’d share them with you as well as some of my favourite caffeine free teas.


The online store sells some wonderful vintage and retro items for your home, it’s a treasure trove of goodies, especially for those of you who can’t get to flea markets or antique stores easily.


So chuffed with these teacups, they are in such great condition and were wrapped so carefully in tissue and bubble wrap.


Are you a tea drinker? I’d love to hear your caffeine free tea recommendations in the comments below.



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*The Other Duckling sent the teacups in this post for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.