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Cocktail Hour: Golden Chill Time

28 Nov

IMG_4465 MORRRNIINNG!

Got the Friday blues?! Feeling a little overwhelmed about the whole ‘December’s-round-the-corner-and-I-haven’t-bought-a-single-present-yet’ scenario?!

NO WORRIES, babe!

Today, the main aim of the game is to provide you with a simple cocktail that you can complicate as much or as little as you like, so that you can get yourself some Golden Chill Time this evening!

Kick back, relax, get a bit festive and enjoy some serious sparkle with this sweet little tipple!

As always, major props and thanks to Old Bear Media for shooting this DIY for us!

IMG_4293

The Good Stuff

OK, so your main ingredients, the ‘can’t-do-withouts’, if you will:

  • Disaronno (or an equivalent amaretto flavoured liqueur)
  • Gold top milk. We went all out luxurious, but if you’re tryna save your arteries a little, (good on ya!), you could totally just use whole or semi-skimmed milk
  • Sweetened cocoa powder. We didn’t have any in stock, so we used cocoa and golden caster sugar (I’ll give you ratios later)
  • Ground cinnamon

Sounding good already right?! The temptation to just whack that lot in a blender and let it make it’s own magic was high at this point!

IMG_4289 IMG_4296 Is that not just the prettiest bottle? Gives me a real overindulgent, Gatsby vibe. LOVE. IT.

She Packs a Pretty Punch

Next up are the pretty additions. If y’all are just hittin’ one of these little babies up after work it’s probably unnecessary faff. Just get it down your neck, girl, you deserve it!

However.

If you fancy serving our creation as a welcome drink to your winter wedding, or a cheeky lil’ something at your seasonal hen party then sure as hell, you’re gonna want these pretties… They totally take it to a whole other level!

IMG_4303 So, you’re looking at the following:

  • Amaretti biscuits
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Edible gold glitter (for that extra dose of sparkle. Yes, it’s necessary!)
  • Gold striped paper straws. We love these circular straws, as opposed to the usual diagonal stripe.
  • Black cocktail napkins
  • A homemade name tag …Don’t you be stealing my drink now!

IMG_4326 IMG_4305 IMG_4307 I mean, come on. How can you say no to that!? A little warning though: fairy dust gets EVERYWHERE. 

IMG_4314 IMG_4321 IMG_4469

A Spicy Cocoa Kick

Woah now! Step away from the alcohol.

I know you’re keen (who isn’t!?), but this bit is all kinds of crucial: you’ll definitely want to prep it before your cocktail’s poured!

This is your cinnamon infused, sweet cocoa topping. The Pièce de Résistance. The smattering of snow atop your glorious mountain…

Ahem. Yeah, it’s pretty simple really.

IMG_4300 IMG_4349 1 tsp of cocoa + 1 tsp of caster sugar + 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon.

Unless, of course you’re using pre-sweetened cocoa, in which case just 2 tsp of that to every 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

Then mix it all up and tweak to match your taste!

I reckon this ratio would give a pretty substantial topping to 6-10 cocktails, so that’s all the gals sorted!

IMG_4350 IMG_4352 IMG_4355

Down to Business

Right then! Now that’s all ready, let’s get down to business.

For one portion, to a cocktail shaker add:

  • 1 1/2 fl oz of Disaronno
  • 2 fl oz of gold top milk (You might wanna carefully pre-shake this super creamy milk!)
  • A small cups worth of ice

IMG_4281 IMG_4358 IMG_4362 IMG_4294 IMG_4365 Yeah, yeah. We went for a ‘Festive Portion’. Whatevs!

IMG_4374 IMG_4375 IMG_4376 And SHAKE IT, SHAKE IT BABY!

IMG_4383 A nice little bit of stress relief / anger management in that action alone, hey?!

You wait ’til you taste it!

Dressed 2 Ways: Choose Your Look

I tried both of these ways and I simply couldn’t choose which one to show you guys, so I figured the more the merrier… Hic!

No two people like their cocktail the same, just like no two gals like their cocktail dress the same; pick a style and run with it!

Or, if like us you just can’t decide, why not facilitate both looks and let your guests dress their own?!

After all, cocktails are ALL about the fun!

IMG_4344 First up, the SUPER cute (and I think my secret favourite) vintage milk bottle.

OK, so I totally “borrowed” this one from my too-cool-for-her-own-good mama, but you can get these exact ones here.

With the ratios I’ve used, you’ll wanna pour this cocktail SANS ICE. Let the shaker’s strainer do its business.

IMG_4392 IMG_4394 Then, placing your freshly poured cocktail on a chic black napkin, gently tip a little of that warming cocoa dust in to top it beautifully.

I went a little at a time, so as not to get it everywhere!

IMG_4395 IMG_4397 Super easy: to finish simply pop in a paper straw and garnish with an Amaretti biscuit, or three. (DIET = BLOWN… Do I care right now?! Ha, you bet I don’t!)

You could even smash a biscuit up and crumble over the top for added texture. Yu-hum.

IMG_4399 IMG_4402 IMG_4403 IMG_4408 Yah, so just incase there are any dog fans out there wondering how my nosey fur-babies took to this DIY… Needless to say, Rupert paid very close attention, he totally took it upon himself to provide thorough quality control!

Anyway, enough of my little big sook!

Next up, the ever-popular, always-cool jam jar.

Add a little brown garden sting (the more frayed up, the better), a touch of glitter and you’re ready to go!

IMG_4334 With the measurements quoted above, you’ll wanna add a little ice to your jam jar to ensure the cocktail fills the jar and, incidentally, makes it suuuuper chill.

We then added a cinnamon stick garnish and a healthy smattering of that cocoa dust…

IMG_4424 IMG_4425 IMG_4432  …And that edible glitter? Yeah, go ahead girl.

JUST. BECAUSE. WE. CAN.

IMG_4433 IMG_4437 And, of course, the excess glitter should totally be dusted over your Amaretti biscuits…

Sprinkle that stuff like it’s your job, mama!

IMG_4448 IMG_4442 All that remains is to don your sparkliest outfit, (FYI those trousers: H&M) turn on the fairy lights and treat yo’ self!

IMG_4410 IMG_4416 IMG_4460 IMG_4412 IMG_4398 ………Hic!

Peace + Love

Clare X

Free Spirited Friday – A Mother’s Guilt

7 Nov

guilty

Afternoon Lovelies,

TFIF! We’re almost there peeps – the weekend is nigh and I for one can’t wait for this working week to be over. It’s been a long and tough old week both with work commitments and in my personal life. To say I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with everything that has gone on is probably a bit of an understatement! To top it off, Bob has been away now for 8 days so it’s been a bit of a struggle.

I have been sitting here for the best part of an hour now thinking about what inspirational photo or quote I can post for Free Spirited Friday when all I really want to do is write about the personal battle I’ve had with guilt this week. It’s all I can seem to think about so I thought why not write about it – guilt is something I’m pretty sure every single one of you have felt at some point in your life. For me, its a mother’s guilt I’m currently in the boxing ring with and I feel like I’m losing.

People say that when you first go back to work after having a baby you feel this guilt that can completely consume you and bleed into every aspect of your life. Not only can you feel guilty that you’re not spending enough time with your baby but you then begin to doubt whether you’re a good mother entirely as well as a good wife, friend, daughter, sister, person! The guilt can quite quickly lead to irrational thinking and before you know it you’re in a downward spiral of insecurity. Up until this week, I haven’t felt any of this. In fact, I’ve been patting myself on the back at how well I’ve been doing and thinking that working with a baby was a bit of a breeze. HOW WRONG WAS I. This week the guilt has pretty much slapped me, no…..punched me in the face every day and I can feel it beginning to creep into other aspects of my life, not just with India. Whether it’s been Bob being away that’s been the trigger, or teething has been rearing it’s ugly head and I’ve not had much sleep – I don’t know, but I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed with it all to be honest with you. It’s made me really think about how do people make this work? How do you get that work life balance? I absolutely adore Festival Brides, the drive and passion I have for making this business work thrills me but then on the other side of the coin I have this gorgeous 5 month old baby that is changing so much everyday and I don’t want to look back at this time and wish I hadn’t worked. It’s a dilemma I know pretty much all new mums feel – so where does this guilt come from? Is it nature? Is it in a woman’s genetic make-up to be predominantly a mother so when we go back to work every part of our natural instinct makes us feel like it’s wrong. Or is it modern day society? 21st century women feel like they have to have a career and in some cases need too because otherwise they can’t afford the life they need – their child needs. The cost of living is rising and wages aren’t so we have to work.

For me though, its not just about necessity, I want to have a career. I like working and running my own business and I have so many ideas and plans for the future which makes me really excited but realistically am I going to be able to achieve them all with a baby? And then I worry that if I don’t grab the bull with both horns now then someone else will. The wedding industry is fast moving and if you take your eye off the ball you can quickly be replaced by something or someone else. There is so much competition out there and if I slow things down so I can care for my baby then will I miss out on opportunities?

I know what some of you may be thinking…..and you’re right. I just need to grow some balls and get on with it because it is what it is and there are so many other women in my position. Like my Mum said to me in the week, I need to count my blessings as I have so many especially India, who comes in a perfect heart shape and greets me with the BEST smile every morning. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and crack on – I know this. It’s just easier said than done.

If you have any advice about achieving the work life balance then I would LOVE to hear it. Why do you think we feel this guilt and pressure? Do you think there is something to be said for that 1950′s attitude of a woman’s place is at home? Is there a part of every new mother that secretly wishes that she could embrace that 50′s stereotype and stay at home with her baby.

I don’t know whether you have heard of Claudia Winkleman’s daughter whose Halloween costume caught fire last Friday resulting in serious burns. She was admitted to hospital and Claudia missed the Strictly Come Dancing live show to be by her side. In the days that followed, there was speculation in the media as to whether a woman should stay at home if their child is ill or whether she should be expected to work. ITV’s Loose Women spent a good 15 minutes of their show debating this very question. If you have a big work commitment but your child falls ill – what should you do?

In a newspaper article about Claudia Winkleman and her daughter, she discussed her work ethic and was quoted saying that she never accepts work abroad because that would take her away from her children and they always come first. She said that when she is on her death bed she won’t be lying there wishing she had spent 2 weeks away from her family doing that documentary abroad. No. She will be thinking, I’m glad I put my children and family first.

Maybe that’s the answer…………when it comes to work you have to make the choice to fit it around your family. Claudia is testimony that it can be done. She is a woman who not only has a fantastic career but is also obviously a fantastic mother.

My Mum and Mother-In-Law believe its an attitude. You just have to be practical and say to yourself this is the situation so get on with it and in the times that you do spend with your children, make them count. Don’t let the guilt take a hold of you because what’s that going to achieve? Feeling guilty will only ever have a negative affect on you and your babies.

To sign off today I wanted to share with you a beautiful song I have just heard on Lauren Laverne’s 6 Music show which has been the soundtrack to writing this article. It’s called Lonely Night by Richard Hawley.

Enjoy…..

We really hope Claudia’s daughter Matilda gets well soon.

Have a lovely weekend peeps.

Big Love

Laura xx

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