Sunday, 25 September 2016

Caketoppers Cupcakes Review

A few weeks ago the lovely Caketoppers got in touch with me to ask if I would like to try some of their personalised cupcakes, after a lot of thought I said 'Oh if I have too'....who am I kidding as soon as I got the email I replied within seconds! You all know I love cake and cupcakes in particular are my favourite so I was so excited to try their personalised cupcakes.

After a few days a cute little parcel landed on my doorstep and too my delight the cupcakes had arrived. I opened the box and two cupcakes were staring back at me both personalised with my 'Aimee Dot' logo. I always worry with things like this coming in the post as I've tried a few before that have been bashed around a little in the box but these were packaged so carefully that they arrived in perfect condition.

Now onto the fun bit, the taste. I couldn't wait to give these a try as they looked so good. I was so excited to see that I had been completely spoilt with a chocolate AND a vanilla cupcake. I had to cut these in half as I made the epic mistake of leaving these in the kitchen for Dan to see which meant I now had to share them with him. **Note to self, in future hide the delicious cupcakes from prying eyes.**

These really did taste amazing, they were so light and fluffy and the icing on top wasn't too sweet so it went perfectly with the sponge. My favourite was the vanilla which is so weird for me as I'm a huge chocolate cake/cupcake fan but the vanilla tasted so delicious.

I love things like this as it's such a perfect gift for anyone of any age, whether it's for their birthday, seasonal holiday or just to show someone that you care then I would highly recommend Caketoppers.

And to top it all off I have been given a discount code to share with you all that will allow you 10% off. All you need to do is add 'ADOT10' at the checkout.

Although the lovely Caketoppers sent me these gorgeous cupcakes, all the views I have expressed in this post are my own.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

My Slimming World Story

Back in March last year I met up with my two best friends for celebration drinks to toast our engagements as all three of us were now engaged and getting married in 2016. We got together for an evening of drinks, food and lots of talk about weddings!! I don't even know how we got onto the subject but myself and Sophie started discussing how we wanted to lose weight but we didn't think that we would be able to by the time we got married. I had already signed up to Slimming World online for a month trial and although I was getting on with it I was useless at weighing in at home. My other friend Sally was going to the groups and was telling us how well she was doing and how she really recommended it. So by the end of the night Sophie and I had agreed to join a Slimming World that week!

I still remember the night we walked into our local Slimming World group, both nervous and no idea what to expect. Whenever people talk about Weight Loss groups you expect lots of mature ladies all sat around like an AA group confessing to the naughty food they have eaten that week, lots of clapping and someone knitting in the corner. This was nothing like that! There were ladies and gents of all ages cheering each other on, swapping recipes, food tastings, celebrating each others losses and if anyone didn't get the results they wanted they all came together to support that person. You got a real sense that you were becoming a part of a team.

After the meeting was over we stepped on the scales. I was completely shocked by my weight. I weighed 14 stone 9 pounds....which I'm embarrassed to say wasn't my biggest. As I previously said I joined online in January (on another 'New Years Resolution to lose weight') and weighed in at over 15 stone. I couldn't believe I had let myself get that big. I've never been 'skinny', for want of a better word, I've always had curves which I love. When I met Dan I weighed about 10 and a half stone and was comfortable with how I looked. I was never 100% happy with my body but then who is?!

Then came the biggest task, setting my goal weight. I discussed this with my new leader Ness and she told me not to worry too much about it as I could re-set this at any point, so with that being said I just picked the first number that came into my head...11 stone. I remember going home and talking to Dan about my goal weight and how I thought it was never going to happen in a million years let alone a year and a half but I was so determined to at least give it a go. I studied my books that night, joined our Slimming World Facebook group, set a meal plan and ordered a food shop full of speed food and Slimming World friendly foods to be delivered the next day.

The first week went really quickly and having done it online already I had a rough idea of what to do. Although I will say the diet is better explained when you go to group than it is online. Having the books, Facebook group and my leaders number there to text or message if I need help is absolutely priceless. My first weigh in came around so quickly! I joined the queue ready to weigh in and my brain went into overdrive. Did I eat the right food? Did I have enough Speed Food? Will I have lost any weight? So I stepped on the scales and to my delight I lost 3 lbs. Ever since then the weight slowly but surely started to come off me. Weighing in still continued to be a daunting prospect but that nervous feeling gave me such determination throughout the week to stick to the diet and do the best I could to get the results I wanted on the scales. Having one of my best friends with me really helped. She would text me for moral support when I needed it, let me know of any good recipes to try out or send me great low syn treats!

By week 4 I had reached my half a stone award which I just couldn't believe, then week seven I got my stone award. From then on the weight just dropped off me. Now I'm not saying it was a walk in the park. There were times when I just wanted to pop to the shops, head towards the chocolate aisle and binge on chocolate but I didn't. I think having an end goal is what kept me going. I kept picturing myself on my wedding day and kept thinking I didn't want to look back at my wedding photos in 10 years time and wish I had looked different. People go to Slimming World for all sorts of reasons, health, fitting into a wedding dress or getting ready for a holiday. Whatever the reason is you have to do it for yourself and be 100% committed to your end target, whatever it is.

The months went on and slowly but surely managed to lose the weight. Slimming World never felt like a chore it just became a part of my day to day living. I enjoyed the recipes, the fresh fruit and vegetables and all the naughty syns when I wanted, obviously staying within my daily limit!

I seemed to get into a routine with my diet. I would sit down on a Sunday evening, read through the Slimming World magazines and do a meal plan for the week this would stop us getting in after work and discovering there was nothing to eat on the fridge and reaching for the takeaway menus. Planning ahead really seemed to work for us. We would then do our food shop online, which I know sounds incredibly lazy but it meant we didn't stray down the chocolate aisle in the shops!!

The best bit was planning my syns. There are so many choices and a great way to find new things is instagram. I got so many ideas for low syn treats from there, Twisters, chocolate weetabox muffins and curly wurlys are all great treats.

I really got into cooking again. I loved coming home and spending time in the kitchen putting together a home cooked dinner. Not all the meals took ages to make. Some of the recipes I found took 20 minutes to put together, others took a little longer and some were even made up the night before.

By November 2015, just 8 months after I had joined, I reached my target of 11 stone. I still remember that feeling. I never thought that I would get to that weight let alone then have the time to lose more. I then went on to lose another 12lbs bringing my weight on my wedding day down to 10 stone 2lbs.

On the day of our wedding I felt a million dollars and that's all thanks to Slimming World. Without Slimming World I wouldn't have fit into the dress of my dreams or had the confidence on the day of our wedding to stand there in front of all our family and friends and marry the love of my life!
I will always recommend Slimming World to anyone that is thinking of losing weight. It's a great way to lose the weight without feeling you're on a diet. I've gone from 14 stone 9lbs to 10 stone 2lbs and I honestly couldn't be happier with the results. That's 4 and a half stone loss in 15 months!


Friday, 19 August 2016

From Miss to Mrs

Well a lot has happened since we last spoke, I've officially gone from a Miss to a Mrs! I still can't believe the wedding as been and gone it seems like it went by in a flash. People kept saying to me in the lead up to the wedding 'enjoy every moment it goes by so quickly' and boy were they right.

As cheesy and as clich├ęd as it sounds it really was the best day of our lives. It was so surreal to see all the decorations that have lived in our spare bedroom finally come together and take shape. I've been thinking about doing some wedding blog posts with some tips on financials, picking your suppliers, DYI's and my top tips to planning a wedding. I really enjoyed planning the wedding and although it was probably the most stressful thing I have ever done I enjoyed every single minute of it. Making all the decorations was tough but actually we've had so many compliments since the day saying how personal it was to Dan and I which is just how I wanted it to be. So if you would like to see some wedding blog posts then just let me know.

We've not had the easiest start to our married life. As some of you know Dan and I work for our family business and sadly last month we had a fire at our office. It was all very scary but we just thank God we all got out in time. It's been extremely stressful but we've all pulled through it together and slowly but surely we'll build the business back up.

If you follow me on instagram you will see Dan and I have been to quite a few wedding since our own. In fact we have been to 4 weddings in 4 consecutive weeks! They were all amazing though and were some of our closest friends and families so we wouldn't have missed them for the world.

I can't believe I've not mentioned our honeymoon! I'm very lucky as growing up I got to travel to some amazing places but the Maldives is by far my favourite place. Words and photos cannot describe how truly stunning that place is. We were lucky enough to spend our time on Velassaru Island which is just breathtaking....but I'll save all this for a blog post so keep your eyes peeled.

I'm so pleased to get back into blogging. I've really missed writing and interacting with you all. I've got lots of exciting blog posts planned and I can't wait to get started!


Saturday, 27 February 2016

Stitch & Story - Lola Pom Slippers Knitting Kit

As old fashioned as it sounds I've always loved to knit. Growing up my Grandma and Mum taught me how to knit a scarf, which was about as adventurous as I got and even then they would always have to help me cast on and off. I would love to be one of those people that gets complimented on a knitted hat or chunky knit scarf and when asked where it was from I could say "oh this I made it' with a smug look on my face! No matter how many times my Mum would show me as soon as I tried to do it without her I would completely mess it up and end up online trying to find help.

So to my delight my beautiful Auntie gave me this slipper knitting set from the amazing Stitch & Story. It comes with all the wool, knitting needles and more importantly some instructions! Something you might not know about me is I live in slippers….all year round so this set is just perfect for me. I cannot wait to get started. I've already had a look at the instructions and they look so easy to follow so I think this time I will actually be able to finish something I start knitting!

Stich & Story sell so beautiful sets from beanie hats, to cushion covers and headbands, they really do have something for everyone. If you're struggling for a special gift for Mother's Day why not pick up one of these! Plus the packaging is simply yet stunning so can be given as it is.

I'm so excited to get started on these, this will definitely be a Sunday evening activity with a hot chocolate and a good film.


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Kate Spade 'Cedar Street Racing Stripe Lacey' Wallet

I was a very spoilt girl this year for my birthday as Dan surprised me with this stunning wallet from Kate Spade. I've never had a designer wallet before as I don't really like to spend a lot of money on myself, especially as we have a wedding to pay for in 5 months time! So I was so overwhelmed to see that Dan had treated me to this gorgeous pink and gold 'Cedar Street Racing Stripe Lacey Wallet.' Dan picked the perfectly colours for me. I absolutely love pink and gold and think they work so well together.

Inside the purse is a beige polka dot print with so many card holder compartments which is just what I need, as rather embarrassingly, I have a ridiculous amount of reward cards and gift cards so there is more than enough room to fit them all in. This purse retails at £160 but Kate Spade offer some alternative purses starting from £65.

I've had this for about two weeks now and I'm so impressed with the quality of the wallet. It's so practical and although the design is simple it's stunning!


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Eat Your Photo Cupcakes Review

Warning this blog post will make you drool, go weak at the knees and fantasize about cupcakes for the rest of the day. It will also inevitably make you reach for your purse and order a box of these 12 delicious chocolate cupcakes. Now I've warned you let's commence!

Today we're going to talk about all things cupcake related as for me there is nothing better than a large cup of coffee and a really good cupcake. So when the lovely people at Eat Your Photo asked if I wanted to try out their new cupcakes I jumped at the chance.  Now these aren't just any standard cupcakes these are personalised cupcakes, that's right delicious cupcakes that you can have photos printed onto. It took me all of about 5 seconds to chose which photo I wanted, the inner narcissists in me was desperate to see my face on a cake, but then I had an idea!

With Valentines on it's way I always struggle to find something thoughtful to get Dan. I don't know why I do it but I tend to leave things like that to the last minute and end up getting him a standard box of chocolates and a DVD that will end up at the back of the shelf in a couple of weeks. But these cupcakes show that you've put some time and effort into a present. All you need to do is chose the photo you would like on top, the flavour of the cupcake, then after a few clicks of a button they will be safely delivered to your other half. All you have to do is sit back and watch the smile on their face as they open the box! 

I went for the 'Premium Chocolate Sponge' and boy oh boy I wasn't disappointed. The cake itself is light and fluffy and the icing is to die for. Alternatively if you haven't got as big a sweet tooth as me there is also a delicious Premium Vanilla Sponge which looks just as good.

The boxes start out in sizes that will fit 6 cupcakes and go all the way up to boxes of 96! Prices start at just £13 which I think is a fantastic price for a really personal gift that the recipient will really love and enjoy. If cupcakes don't take your fancy then Eat Your Photo sell lots of other incredible personalised items such as brownies, cakes, cookies, chocolates and even pizza!!

What photo would you have printed onto a cupcake?

Although I was sent these delicious cupcakes by Eat Your Photo I was not paid for this post and all the views I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Butter London 'Invite Only' 6 Piece Collection Review

My name is Aimee and I'm a nail varnish addict....there I said's out there!! I am obsessed with painting my nails, I don't know whether it stems from biting my nails throughout my childhood and then when I grew them at the age of 16 I absolutely loved all the different colours and patterns. There is nothing I like more than looking down at my hands and seeing my nails painted in a beautiful polish.

Even though I'm a nail varnish hoarder I don't actually own any Butter London polishes so when I saw this beautiful 'Invite Only' 6 piece set out at Christmas I fell in love with it and mentioned it in passing to Dan. To my surprise Dan remembered and got this for me for my birthday this week. I was so excited when I saw the box I let out the girliest sequel! I gently opened the black presentation box and starring back at me were 6 gorgeous polishes ready for me to try out. My eyes were instantly drawn to 'Pash' and 'Peep Hole' as I tend to go for really purple/pink colours on my nails and the teal blue is very similar to the colour of my bridesmaid dresses that we are having bespoke made for our wedding.

Lock In
Peep Hole
Glad Rags
This is such a stunning set of colours that I'm already hooked on using. I think 'Pash' is up there with one of my all time favourites. I love everything about these polishes, the brush, the consistency and the overall finish is fantastic.

I'll definitely be getting some more Butter London Nail Polishes to add to my collection!

What is your favourite nail polish?


Thursday, 14 January 2016

Slimming World Friendly Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Chilli Soup

When it's cold outside there's nothing better than a hot bowl of soup to warm you up and get you through your day. Plus this delicious recipe is completely free on Slimming World and full of speed food! This is also great to make in large batches and then divide up into portions to pop into the freezer for the days when your struggling to find something to have lunch. 

You will need:
A large butternut squash
3 medium sized sweet potatoes
1/2 pint of vegetable stock
Chilli flakes

Start off by peeling and chopping all your veg and boiling until tender. Then place all the veg in a roasting tin and cover in frylight. Pop into the oven and roast for 20 minutes until golden. 

Once they are cooked place all the vegetables into a large mixing bowl and using a liquidiser or blender make sure everything is completely mixed together and there are no lumps. 

Next up is adding in the chilli flakes. Now if you're not a fan of chilli you could just leave it out but I love to add a little spice into this soup so we tend to add about a quarter of a teaspoon of chilli flakes and again go over with the liquidiser to make sure it's all mixed together. 

Pour in the vegetable stock and make sure everything is mixed well. 

'Et Voila!' There you have a super scrummy super food filled soup. You could also add a nice wholemeal roll to go along side of this for your Healthy Extra B choice.

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