Foolproof American Pancakes in the UK

I’m mega excited because one of my friends is moving to LA next year so this weekend I booked flights to go and visit her for two whole weeks at the end of Feb!!!

One of the things I love about America is the pancakes, they’re light and fluffy, filling and have so many options for accompaniments! So I decided to make it my mission to make perfect American style pancakes here in the UK before I go to LA so that I can boss it while I’m there.

These are the pancakes I had to live up to:

NYPancakes

These are the ones I had at The Tick Tock diner in New York earlier this year and they were absolutely DIVINE.

So I headed off to Pinterest to find myself a recipe. I chose this one from Candace Davenport at Somewhat Simple.

I halved the amounts since I was only making them for two people.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups sifted plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of milk
2 tbs. olive oil

This made 8 pancakes – 4 per person which was more than enough.

Ingrediants

Utensils:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Smaller bowl
  • Whisk
  • Frying pan
  • Large flat spatula (this is a good one)

Directions:

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl and use a whisk to mix together
  2. dryingrediants

  3. In another bowl, crack the eggs and beat together with a fork, add the milk and mix
  4. wetingrediants

    Around this time, someone set off a firework nearby so Apple came to make sure I was ok:
    AppleSpooked

  5. Add the olive oil to the egg & milk mixture and mix well
  6. oil

  7. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined (don’t overdo it, lumps are ok!)
  8. mixwetanddry

  9. Get your frying pan on to warm up on a medium heat on the smallest ring of the hob
  10. Hobandpan

  11. Add a 1/3 cup of batter to the hot pan
  12. batter

  13. Check your pan position, you want to ensure that wherever you’ve dropped the batter, the heat from the burner is centred directly below the pancake.
  14. Panposition
    Please be SENSIBLE with this! Don’t put your pan in an unbalanced or dangerous position, make sure handles are away from the edge at all times.
  15. Now it’s time to look for BUBBLES
  16. bubbles-fish-o
    Couldn’t resist!

    Serious talk though, bubbles are very important at this stage. You want the whole pancake to have popped bubbles all over before you flip it over. That’s how you’ll know it’s the perfect amount done on the other side.

    Check out the picture below, the top one is not quite done, there’s a patch in the bottom left that’s still quite wet with bubbles still below the surface of the batter.

    The bottom picture shows the perfect amount of bubbles evenly distributed across the pancake
    Lookingforbubbles

  17. Once you see perfect bubbles all over, flip it over with your big spatula, it should look like below:
  18. perfect

  19. Give it at least thirty seconds on the other side before you check it. Keep checking until it’s lightly done on the other side.
  20. Repeat steps 6-10 until you run out of batter. You should be able to make at least 8 large pancakes
  21. Add your topping of choice, we went for plain ole Maple Syrup but experiment with different kinds of fruit and definitely try bacon and maple syrup if you haven’t had it before!

final

Serve with a big icy Coca Cola and pretend you’re on Venice Beach already!

coke

Let me know how you get on with these foolproof instructions! I’m super proud of myself because I can usually barely make any food from scratch!

Best DIY gifts for Teenagers

Teenagers… they can be a nightmare to buy for let alone make things for! My advice is to not DIY gifts for teens you don’t know that well!

  1. DIY Gold Leaf Jewellery Tray
Jewelry Tray Display

Credit: Homey Oh My

I mean, I would love this now just as much as I would if I were 16!

2. DIY Galaxy Print T-Shirt

Galaxyshirts

Credit: byhandlondon

Fun and cute. Their friends will ask where they got it, you will be cool forever.

3. A Starbucks Cup gift

Credit: somuchtodew

Obviously include a Starbucks gift card but you can tailor this to your teen. Add little Lego toys for boys, think small beauty items like nail varnish for girls.

4. Chalkboard Coasters

Credit: westermanfam

These are a great present for slightly older teens (think 17+) who are about to head off into the wilderness of real life. Everyone needs coasters!

5. DIY Passport Holder

Credit: AlwaysRooney

Feed their wanderlust with a custom passport holder!

6. Soda pop candy bottles

Credit: kmckaydesigns

Technically a father’s day gift but I know a lot of teenage boys who would love this!

7. Lip Balm Locket

Credit: beautylish

Just love everything about this, I am forever without lip balm, anyone want to make this for me?

8. Lounge Pants

Picture of How to Sew Your Own Pajama Pants

Credit: compwalla

Make these in an appropriate fabric, the more aligned with their interests the better! Think Comic Books, Superheroes, Video games, Disney etc. Find out what they like!

9. Heat-resistant Hair Straightener Cozy

Credit: gatheringtwigs

This is a brilliant DIY and parents will thank you for not allowing their house to burn down!

10. DIY giant chevron floor pillows

pin

Credit: OverLovin’

Teenagers will LOVE these floor pillows, brilliant for lounging about with their friends. Try and match the fabrics to their room decor if possible!

Pin this for the future:

TeenOval

Glitter Tipped Nails

Nails

To go with my Halloween outfit, I decided to crack the glitter out and create glitter tipped nails. To do this, I used Rimmel Metal Rush and Rimmel Precious Stones polishes:

MetalRush

Rimmel Metal Rush – Pearly Queen

Preciousstones

Rimmel Precious Stones – Diamond Dust

I started with a clear base coat, then did two coats of the Metal Rush polish. This is a great nail polish in it’s own right, people always comment on it when I wear it as it’s quite unusual. In fact, my boss asked me about it at the end of my job interview!

I then used the Precious Stones polish and started at the tip of my nail, dabbing it along the edge and then gently sweeping it down towards the nail bed. The idea is for the glitter to get lighter towards the bottom of your nail.

Once all of that’s dry, a final clear coat will help it all stay on a bit longer!

I did this for my fairy costume but I think it’ll look great for Christmas parties as well.

Fairy Tulle Skirt Tutorial

HalloweenTulleSkirtACLBHalloween this year was mostly celebrated in the office for me. We had a costume competition and there were trophies at stake!

I went as a fairy since I already had some wings that I bought years ago. What I needed was a fairy tulle skirt so I decided to make my own. There are plenty of tutorials out there on Pinterest for this and I skimmed them to get a basic idea of what I needed to do before I started.

I bought 3 metres of tulle, 1 metre of black, 1 metre of purple and 1 metre of red from Ebay (which cost me less than £5) I already had some elastic but I wish I’d used black elastic rather than white so consider this if you’re using dark coloured tulle.

I was pleased with my final result!

If you’d like to make this skirt you will need:

  • Needle and thread (or a sewing machine)
  • Elastic (black would look better)
  • 1 metre of tulle in each colour you want to use (up to 3 metres) – I used Purple, Red and Black

N.b.If you are a size 8-12 you will probably only need 2 metres so divide your colours accordingly), I’m a size 16 and used 3 metres to make the skirt with a couple of inches left over from each colour.

First measure your elastic to your waist size minus a couple of inches. Sew your elastic together using a needle and thread or a sewing machine. A sewing machine it better since you can use a zigzag stitch to avoid it just snapping. If you are using a needle and thread try to imitate a zig zag stitch as shown below:

zigzag stitch

Fold your tulle in half and cut into 4 inch strips. Repeat for all colours.

Place your elastic on something easy to work from, I used the ironing board:

HalloweenElastic

Attach your tulle to your elastic by using the fold you already created to cut the tulle to create a loop, tuck this loop behind the elastic, bring it over the elastic and pull the remaining tulle through the loop:

HalloweenLoopsKeep doing this until you run out of tulle or the elastic is full. I started with red tulle and then added in purple and black until I had a full skirt:

FinishedSkirt

I paired my skirt with this top from H&M but any lacy top would work:

LaceTopHM

Added my amazing wings:

wings

And painted my face silver and purple:

facepaint

What did you dress as for Halloween?

Best DIY gifts for Best Friends

Continuing my posts on DIY gifts for different people in your life, I’ve compiled my favourite gifts for best friends. Besties can be hard to buy for, especially if you don’t see them as often as you’d like to!

1. Teacup Lights

Teacup Lights

This is a super cute DIY, that’s gentle on the purse but looks awesome when given to someone.

2. Mini Book Necklace

I love this DIY, I’ve made two of these for my besties in the past and will likely make another for myself soon!

3. Scrabble Coasters

I love all things scrabble themed and these would make a gorgeous gift.

4. DIY Gold Flutes

DIY Painted Glass

I love how elegant these glasses are and how easy they are to do!

5. Homemade coffee syrups

Coffee-Syrups-ChaosServedDa

Perfect for your caffeine addicted bestie!

6. Cute make-up bag

IMG_6560

I for one am always in need of a new makeup bag and this DIY is super easy. Pick fabric to suit their personality and go to town!

7. Earlier this year I posted my monogrammed mugs DIY made for a couple of my besties:

Finished Mugs

I really enjoyed making these mugs and I’m tempted to make some more this year!

8. DIY Mini Spa Kit

For your stressed out bestie, pair with slippers and a hot water bottle so they can pamper themselves and relax.

9. 30 Minute Infinity Scarf (You don’t even need knitting needles!)

30-minute-infinity-scarf-gaba

Ok, I’m going to have to make this even if I don’t give it to anyone else, it looks so snuggly and so easy to make.

10. Emergency Chocolate

Emergency Chocolate Craft on 30 Minute Crafts

When in doubt, chocolate is the answer and this is an awesome way to give it!

These are my top 10, let me know in the comments which are your faves…

Pin this for later:

BFFOval

10 Best DIY Gifts for “Geeks”

Continuing the Christmas DIY gift lists, these are my 10 best DIY gifts for so called “geeks”. Really this is just a chance for my fave Fandom based DIYs to shine!

1. Bow Tie Tuxedo frame:

Credit: Plaid

So this tutorial isn’t actually Dr Who themed but it was where my brain went immediately when I saw it. I would theme it with a white checked shirt and add braces to make it even more Dr Who themed. Add a photo of you and your geeky friend for the perfect, personal gift!

2. Batman Lamp:

Picture of Batman lamp

Credit: fabrika.carolija

This looks awesome and the perfect gift for the Batman fanatic in your life!

3. Harry Potter Wand:

Tutorial to make these diy wands for your Harry Potter party

Credit: Boxy Colonial

This tutorial is aimed at making multiple wands for a Harry Potter party but there’s nothing to stop you making one for your geeky loved one!

4. Darth Vader Shoes:

Darth Vader Shoes Tutorial

Credit: Twin Dragon Fly Designs

I love geeky shoes. They’re practical, subtle (ish) and still show your geeky side.

5. TARDIS Christmas Tree Ornament:

Picture of DIY TARDIS Ornament

Credit: craftycounterpart

The perfect addition to any Whovian’s Christmas Tree.

6. Comic Book Heels:

Credit: ironspleen

I don’t even think this needs explanation… amazing.

7. Harry Potter Potions Kit

Harry Potter potions kit

Credit: Stitch/Craft

This is amazing, I want this, who wouldn’t want this? The potions actually do things (spoilers, it’s basically a science experiment wrapped up as Harry Potter which I LOVE.)

8. Pixel Trash Can:

Picture of Pixel Trash Can

Credit: BrittLiv

Practical and geeky. Wins every time!

9. Pikachu Hoodie:

Pikachu-Hoodie-Instagram

Credit: kawaiikakkoiisugoi

Gotta catch ’em all! Perfect DIY for the Pokémon fan in your life!

10. Hunger Games Tote Bag:

Credit: showmecute

May the odds be ever in your favour when you make this awesome tote bag!

Pin this for future reference:

geekoval

10 Best DIY Gifts for Men

It’s October, that means there are only 11 weekends until the big C word… Christmas! If like me, you prefer to make gifts rather than buy them, then that means starting now. Unfortunately, my full time job gets in the way of crafting all day, every day so every weekend between now and then will need to involve some craftiness to get everything ready by Christmas. The last couple of years I have been horribly disorganised so this year will be different!

I’ll be posting DIY gift lists for different people in your life over the next couple of weeks as inspiration!

Here are my 10 best DIY gifts for the men in your life:

  1. Make a handmade leather catch-all tray:
Make a leather valet tray tutorial

Credit: 17Again

I’ll be attempting this one soon, check out Facebook to see how it goes!

2. The Story of Us:

Image

Credit: The Unengaged Undergrad

This one is so good, I pinned it twice… I’ve been saving things to scrapbook for ages so this one might be on the cards for Christmas or possibly our anniversary since that’s in January!

3. Lego Key Holder:

Credit: Felix Grauer

Because organisation is more fun with Lego!

4. Bacon infused Whiskey:

Credit: Modern Wife Style

Because literally everything is better with bacon.

5. Comic Book Coasters:

DIY comic book coasters

Credit: Modpodge Rocks Blog

For the Comic Book lover in your life. This principle is easily applied to other fandoms/geekiness 🙂

6. CD Photo Cube:

Credit: Paper Jewels

I made this one for my Dad using old mini-disc cases (who remembers mini discs?!)

7. Make him a Nut and Bolts Chessboard:

Credit: Reddit user shama_lama_ding_dong / WonderHowTo

Does he love chess? Take a trip to your local DIY store to get everything you need.

8. Paracord Lanyard:

Credit: Storm Dranes

This project is the perfect amount of fun for you and cool for him!

9. Grill Rubs:

Credit: Kojo Designs

For the chef in your life, these rubs look great! This tutorial even includes free printable labels. Ikea have some great spice jars for this project.

10. Home Made Chocolate Fudge Gift:

Credit: What’s Gaby Cooking

And finally if you’re strapped for cash, one of the best home made gifts is the gift of food! It’s easy to make it look nice with ribbon or these pretty bags from Lakeland.

Pin this post for future reference:

Picture1

Now I’m off to indulge in a Lakeland spree to so I can make chocolates for my extended family!