October 31, 2012

A New Look

Happy Wednesday Everyone and Happy Halloween!

Well I am sure some of you have noticed a few changes around here!  I  had my former blog design for a long time so I thought it was about time I updated it to make it a bit more "me". I've actually been thinking about it for a while but what with planning the wedding and everything that goes with it I just hadn't found time.   However once I finally decided I was going to do it I couldn't wait to get started! After a long trawl around Etsy to find my perfect blog designer I found Tiffany at Beautiful Dawn Designs. Her style was very similar to what I envisioned for my blog so after giving her some of my ideas she set to work! After a few initial reversions and changes we settled on the below blog header which set the tone for the new design.



I wanted to keep the stripes from my old design but change them to colours that are a bit more girly and reflective of me, so I suggested the coral and black which isn't dissimilar to the colour palate for my wedding. I am so pleased with how it turned out. I love it!!

We introduced a few new details like the social media icons on the right. If you click on these they take you to my Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Do follow me to see what I am up to!  I also have a new button so if you would like to feature me (please!!) then you can grab it from the column on the right.



I'm going to be doing a few more tweaks over the next few weeks so do stay tuned!

Do let me know what you think - I love feedback!

Rachie xo

October 30, 2012

Tuesday Tales from the Week

Hi everyone!

I'm debuting a new look around here today with new graphics and colour scheme. I hope you like it! I'll be showing you around in more depth tomorrow so do stay tuned!

In the meantime here are my Tuesday Tales this week.
  • My lovely sister is celebrating her 30th birthday on Thursday so on Saturday we had a very nice pedicure, lunch (with cocktails!) and a shopping trip.
  • I picked up this new chunky scarf from Gap which is so cosy. 
  • On Sunday night I whipped up this sausage casserole which is perfect for the Autumn nights.  
  • I couldn't resist taking pictures of the beautiful trees in my road - Autumn is so pretty.
  • Finally we are getting ready for the trickle treaters so I filled my special Halloween spider bowl with lots of sweet treats!

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

Have a lovely week!

Rachie xo

October 29, 2012

My Halloween Mantel

Happy Monday everyone! Are you ready for a spooky week? I've been doing lots of shopping for our Halloween and Firework party this weekend and that included decorating our mantel in the kitchen/diner. Most years I just use a few pumpkins with my existing decor but this year I have decided to go a little bit scary in preparation for Saturday.

Do you like my new white candle holders? - I fell in love with the fair isle knitted pattern and snapped them up. I decided to place the mini gourds on them but after Halloween I am going to replace them with some chunky candles  - perhaps some gold sparkly ones for Christmas.   I also love my silver owl which is making an appearance for the second time on the mantel. Pumpkins and the mini gourds add that seasonal touch and a bit of colour.   Finally whilst shopping with my sister I picked up the spooky skeleton, the scary spiders and the skeleton head which adds the finishing Halloween touches!! 


A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

A Chi Chi Affair

Are you decorating for Halloween?

Rachie xo

PS: I'm debuting a new look on the blog this week - stay tuned!!
 

October 26, 2012

Friday Home: Miss Etoille at Oliver Bonas

One of my favourite shops for gifts Oliver Bonas has introduced some new ranges recently and I  soon as I spotted this tableware range by Danish brand Miss Etoile I couldn't resist posting it. It features some seriously fun and super stylish tableware. Who could resist the gold spotted teapot or ceramic gold striped plate? So chic! I also adore the blue peacock pattern on this plate and cup. The blue feels so fresh and modern but also really luxe don't you think?  Shop the full range here.






Do you shop at Oliver Bonas or do you own any pieces by Miss Etoille?

Happy Weekend!

Rachie xo

 

October 25, 2012

Brilliant Homemade Halloween Costumes!

The fantastic blog Oh Happy Day have been posting the most fabulous series called Homemade Halloween for the past couple of weeks and I am loving all the kids costumes they have come up with. Not only are they super lovely, but they are also really innovative and different. Okay it might not be the easiest thing in the world to make a costume from scratch but it sure is much more fun!

Scroll down for my favourites.  I think I like The Strong Man the best!. For instructions on how to make these amazing costumes then click over to Oh Happy Day here.


Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day

Happy Thursday!

Rachie xo
 

October 24, 2012

Jamie Oliver Recipease Review.

It's no secret that I'm quite a fan of cooking and definitely a fan of eating (!) so when one of the girls at work told me they had booked a Jamie Oliver Cooking class I couldn't wait to give it a try.  I managed to rope in my good friend Will and our respective partners for a night out at Recipease in Notting Hill.

The concept is simple; cooking lessons for everyone and there are lots of classes to choose from. From pasta making to cooking the perfect steak, knife skills to Japanese food there really is something for everyone and there are even kids classes too. Prices range from around £40-£65 per lesson and last around 1hr 30mins.  After extensive perusing of the website we settled on Mexican Street Food and booked in for Friday at 7pm which made it a fun activity after work....

We arrived at the Recipease kitchen/shop in Notting Hill which is lovely inside and very rustic/trendy not unlike the Jamie's Italian restaurants. The cooking areas were arranged in a square shape in the middle of the room and the teacher/chef cooks in the middle of the square and there are work stations around the outside. After a class of wine and wearing lovely (!) aprons we set to work with Jimmy our brilliant chef/instructor showing us the first part of cooking our food which was how to prepare seafood for a ceviche. This included some good tips on shelling prawns, chopping tips for the salsa and preparing our chicken for the burrito. It was really engaging and we set to work preparing the first section of our dish. Jimmy was always around with any queries or to help so don't worry if you are a complete cooking novice (like the hubs!!)

A Chi Chi Affair

Half way through the class we were then called back to the chef who showed us how to prepare the second part of the burritos and how to make gorditas (fluffy tortilla type crisps.) I really liked the way you weren't watched over for the whole class and there was an element of cooking on your own at your own pace.  The  group environment also made it really fun and we all interacted whilst cooking.

At the end of the session we all settled down at the benches and ate our creations with (another!) glass of wine. I was really rather impressed with how it turned out and I'm confident that I could try this again at home. (They email you the recipe so you don't need to remember it!)  Even the hubs who isn't really into cooking enjoyed it much more than he thought he would and wants to go again!!


A Chi Chi Affair

After the class you are free to peruse the shop where they sell the full JME range as well as other items like kitchen equipment/artisan foods and you get 10% off your purchases. We couldn't resist picking up a few goodies. (Like a solid chocolate fish! See picture above)

All in all we had a really enjoyable relaxed time. It was so refreshing to pick up some new skills on a night out and also have fun and I would definitely go again. It would be ideal for a large group of friends, birthday celebration or hen night!

Do let me know if you have tried Recipease.

Rachie xo



 

October 23, 2012

Tuesday Tales from the Week: October

Happy Tuesday all!

We have tradesmen in this week working on our garden which is so exciting! I can't wait to show you the results soon. Apart from that it's been a busy week at work and seeing lots of family. Here are my Tuesday pictures!

The highlight of the week was the Jamie Oliver Mexican street food cooking class I attended with some good friends and the hubs. It was so fun! Here is me with a picture of the dinner I cooked. More on this later in the week! I also snapped a couple of pictures of the new Christmas decorations in the shops in Sainsbury's - I was quite taken with these little birds and the white lanterns. I also spotted these ceramics in Habitat - I just love the prints. I might have to purchase these...


A Chi Chi Affair

I also got a sneak peak of my sisters nursery for my impending niece or nephew who should arrive in the next few weeks ! (Come on Baby E!)  Hasn't my sister done a lovely job? I adore the spotty blinds and the changing mat.  I helped her pick out the hot air balloon wall stickers from My Friend Matilda and the cute print from Sugar Fresh shop on Etsy. The baby is going to love it!


A Chi Chi Affair

Have a lovely week!
Rachie xo

October 22, 2012

Stylish Halloween Dinner Party

Happy Monday everyone!

I had to share with you this amazingly beautiful dinner party that I found on Style Me Pretty which has some of the most stylish Halloween styling I have ever seen.   They say The classic orange & black combo was remade into a softer, Parisian-chic palette, full of wispy peaches, ivory & matte black.  The end result was an intimate candlelit affair, complete with an all-black dessert table and an all-white cocktail table to highlight the chiaroscuro.

Isn't it beautiful?  I particularly like the bottles filled with those tall candles - simple and chic. They look great en-masse and it would be easy to replicate at home too. I also like that the silver cutlery really stands out amongst the black napkins and tied with a ribbon is a stylish touch.  However my favourite detail is the hollowed out white pumpkin - what a great wine holder!  You can read about the DIY's here and you can see the whole party here with loads more pictures!.


Style Me Pretty

Style Me Pretty

Style Me Pretty

Style Me Pretty

Style Me Pretty

Style Me Pretty

Style Me Pretty


Parties like this remind me why I love my blog!

Rachie xo

October 19, 2012

Friday Home: Pumpkin & Cheese Spice Bread

I'm a huge fan of banana bread and one of the main reasons is that I can literally get it in the oven within 15mins of starting out. I just put everything in a bowl and then whisk it with the electric whisk and pour it into my silicone flexible loaf tin. No creaming, no fuss - easy.  So obviously when I find similar recipes I just have to post them!  This Pumpkin & Cheese Spice Bread that I found on Pinterest is from a lovely blog called An Edible Mosiac and apparently it smells like warm spices and tastes like autumn! YUM!  It also contains my new fave ingredient pumpkin! (I made the pumpkin cookies last week and they were so nice!)

It's a very similar recipe to the banana bread apart from there are two mixtures - a pumpkin spice batter that goes on the bottom and then a cream cheese batter that gets poured on the top. It then gets baked until golden. This is such an original recipe I'm definitely going to be giving it a go!

Click here for the recipe.

http://www.anediblemosaic.com/


Happy Friday all!

Rachie xo

October 18, 2012

Stylish Halloween Printables

Happy Thursday everyone!

My good friend Will sent me these creepy but really rather stylish Halloween labels by Funky Time which could act as spooky décor for your Halloween party. Your jars could contain some seriously scary items like jelly snakes or how about lychees as eyeballs?  They would be a great backdrop for your table! Or how about making some homemade jam as a Halloween hostess gift and using the brain jam label? It would be a great present! You can download the fab free labels here.


http://fun.kyti.me/

 
http://fun.kyti.me/

Have a great day!

Rachie xo

October 17, 2012

Chalkboard looking gift wrap

We are fast approaching the festive season! Has your mind turned to buying presents yet? If yes then I have a fab gift wrapping solution for you found on Poppytalk which is super easy but looks very chic.

How about using a chalk pen to decorate your plain black gift wrap for a chalk board effect? I love that you can really personalise your wrapping and it looks great if you also use old fashioned string - I think the red is particularly christmassy! This would be super spooky for your Halloween gifts too.

Hop over to the Nashville Wraps blog for the full how to and a video!

http://www.nashvillewrapscommunity.com/blog/

http://www.nashvillewrapscommunity.com/blog/

Happy Wednesday!

Rachie xo

October 16, 2012

Tuesday Tales from the Week

This week has been all about doing "stuff" around the house - we've had a bit of a resurgence of DIY since the wedding and we are really trying to finish off the bedroom - more news soon! We're also doing lots of work on the garden and I am really enjoying getting our house in order!

Here's what I got up to this week!

I brightened up my kitchen with these pretty sunflowers - if you look closely you can also see my Halloween mantle which is still a work in progress. More soon on that one! We had a man come round to clean our oven so I treated myself to these lovely orange oven gloves and tea towels - love those stripes!  I sent this gorgeous retro card to a friend and I finally bought a new jewellery box. This perspex one from Muji is so useful - I love being able to see whats inside too...

A Chi Chi Affair

This has also been a week of cooking! From Pad Thai on Friday night, to french toast for breakfast on Saturday! Yum! I also made the pumpkin cookies that I posted on Friday and steak burritos from the Wahaca cookbook - its definitely one of my fave recipes!


A Chi Chi Affair


Happy Tuesday!
Rachie xo

October 15, 2012

Special Delivery Baby Shower!

Happy Monday all!

I adore this "special delivery" baby shower by Tiffany from Baked Perfection that I found on Amy Atlas blog. Its just such an original theme for a babies arrival. Tiffany includes all kinds of things that can be delivered such as milk bottles with the cute stripy straws and personalised stickers and included some lovely sweet treats such as chocolate brownies with fondant stamps, iced doughnuts and beautiful sugar cookies in the shape of milk bottles. Props included some old fashioned postage scales and old milk crates! What a lovely theme!!  Click over for the full write up here and more pictures!

http://www.shannarene.com/ via Amy Atlas

http://www.shannarene.com/ via Amy Atlas

http://www.shannarene.com/ via Amy Atlas

http://www.shannarene.com/ via Amy Atlas

http://www.shannarene.com/ via Amy Atlas

Love Rachie xo

October 12, 2012

Friday Home: Best Pumpkin Cookies

Autumn and Winter are always the months when I do the most baking, I think its because we always do the most entertaining in these months. This year we're hosting a Halloween/Fireworks party which is becoming somewhat of a tradition and for the second year running I'm cooking Christmas lunch! Because of this I'm going to be posting some seasonal recipes in the next couple of weeks that you can use if you have a house full of people this season.

First up are these pumpkin cookies which I'm definitely going to be keeping a tin of to pacify the little ones!  I haven't really cooked with pumpkin before, especially not the canned variety as it was traditionally hard to find in the UK. However you can now find it in my local supermarket which is fab news. I'm thinking if I'm liking the new Pumpkin spice lattes in Starbucks then I'm probably going to love these cookies.

Click over to food.com here for the full recipe. They look very easy to make...!

www.food.com

Happy Weekend!

Rachie xo

October 11, 2012

Halloween Decorating

Following on from my Autumn tablescapes post here I thought I would give you a few inspiration pics for Halloween decoration around your house whatever your style of decorating!

If you are going all out then what about decorating your front door? We don't tend to do this much in the UK but its such a fun idea! I love the pumpkins sprayed gold and with patterns on for a sophisticated look, that stylish ribbon wreath, your house number carved in a pumpkin? Or how about going for it with lanterns, pumpkins and an orange door (I wonder if they changed the colour especially!)


A Chi Chi Affair

If you are looking for something a little more low key then how about some branches with lights in a tin vase - very chic and the pumpkins around the base make a great display. I love the rustic look of this mantel, the wheat sheaves and iron star really give it an country vibe. Or how about this black feather wreath? - This really gives a nod to the spooky season while still looking chic!  

A Chi Chi Affair
 
Finally if you are just looking for a few Halloween accents and draw the line at decorating then these ideas give you your Halloween fix without even trying! I love the idea of apothecary jars filled with spiders and other scary creatures, or how about filling them with seasonal pumpkins? I love them sprayed gold! Super glam Halloween for grownups!

A Chi Chi Affair

Follow my Pinterest here for more seasonal inspiration!

Happy Thursday!

Rachie xo

 

October 10, 2012

DIY teacup planter favours.

The current trend for using tea cups as part of vintage wedding style shows no signs of abating. I've seen tea cups used to serve the welcome drinks, tea cups filled with wax to make candles, but I don't think I've seen this idea that I found on Ruffled (via Jenny of  Hank & Hunt) of using a tea cup as a plant pot. It looks so chic and I love the homemade flag especially with that chic font. These would be so cute as escort cards or as place names at your wedding or a few in a row would look lovely as a simple decoration for your kitchen table.

Click over for the full tutorial here

Ruffled

Happy Wednesday!

Rachie xo

October 09, 2012

Tuesday Tales from the Week

Today has been a such a rainy day here in the UK and have you noticed how much the nights are drawing in? It will be winter before we know it!  Luckily we enjoyed a really crisp Autumn day on Saturday, it was so sunny and luckily I was visiting my parents in the Cotswold's (sadly the baby shower had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances but hopefully will be rescheduled soon when the babies are here!) 

With the hubbie at the rugby with my dad I ending up meeting a couple of lovely friends for lunch at the local bakery. I loved the pink chairs against the wooden tables!  I also left with a huge bag of vegetables grown in my parents garden! I actually roasted them last night for dinner!

A Chi Chi Affair

The other notable event of the week was meeting up with my gorgeous pal Will at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant where we caught up over a delicious Italian dinner. I also received two invitations - one to a very stylish wedding next year - love the invite! And one to my sisters 30t - such a glam invite!  Also excitingly pumpkin spice lattes made it across the pond for the first time!  A new signal its autumn! I'm be looking out for them every year now!

A Chi Chi Affair
Have a happy week!

Rachie xo

October 08, 2012

Black and White Sophisticated Halloween Party

Happy Monday all!

Some of you know my love of black and white themes for parties. After all I used the stripes and straws in my own wedding here. So I had to post this sophisticated black and white stripe theme Halloween party that I found on Kara's Party Ideas.  Its a bit of a change from the normal bright colours and is a stylish grown up take on the holiday.  My favourite details here are the paper pom pom spider which is inspired! The spooky tree with the very sweet owl and of course all of the printables which you can actually buy over at Wants and Wishes Design here so do click over!


http://wantsandwishesdesign.blogspot.co.uk/ Via Kara's Party Ideas 

http://wantsandwishesdesign.blogspot.co.uk/ Via Kara's Party Ideas

http://wantsandwishesdesign.blogspot.co.uk/ Via Kara's Party Ideas

http://wantsandwishesdesign.blogspot.co.uk/ Via Kara's Party Ideas

http://wantsandwishesdesign.blogspot.co.uk/ Via Kara's Party Ideas

http://wantsandwishesdesign.blogspot.co.uk/ Via Kara's Party Ideas 

Have a great week!

Rachie xo