Thursday, 28 August 2014

Thankful Thursday

This week I've managed to achieve something that I used to take for granted a lot. I stayed over at a friends house. Something I've not done for 5 years due to my illness, it wasn't until I got home this afternoon that I realised, and even though it's not a big deal to most people, it really made me happy and thankful. The pressure was taken off slightly as I stayed with my fellow ME fighter and awesome friend Danni, who I went to Greece with. We live 14 miles away but it sill takes an hour by car to each other's houses so we don't get to meet up that often or for very long usually. We had a lovely dinner in zizzi and then watched the first inbetweeners movie in bed. Followed by a morning of monging out with tea catching a few rays in the garden. 
 When I arrived home this afternoon I was greeted with a surprise from my mum - a gluten free bread & cakes book which also covers lactose too. I've recently started eating 'clean' something I'm pretty excited about. For almost a month now I have been trying my best to eat as healthy as I can for my health. This means cutting out refined sugar, gluten and lactose. Not an easy task but I won't go into it too much just now. The thing I've been missing the most isn't my beloved milk chocolate but bread. More specifically toast. I miss toast so much and the comfort of its smell. I was almost giving up hope on finding a suitable recipe to use in our bread maker but this book is providing some hope of that lovely comfort food I'm craving. Here's to tea and toast, the simple things in life.

This next week will be a pretty busy one for me, I'm looking forward to it and I'm sure there will be lots of things to be thankful for. I'm hoping so much to be able to posts an outfit post, something I've been planning for ages but what with being ill and this weeks almost constant rain, there has been a massive dampener on any fashion photos of my own. Is it too late for summer outfits?! So many bloggers are sharing autumn ensembles and even people in the streets are wrapped up already. I noticed yesterday on my way to Danni's so many people looking all ready for a snow storm when the temperature was 21 degrees! I do find this funny, back in spring when it's only a mere 15 degrees people start cracking out the sun dresses, why are most so quick to put them away? Anyway I'm rambling so will make a conscious decision to stop. 
I hope you're all having a lovely week.

Emma Xx

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Thankful Thursday

This week seems to have gone really fast, although I think that about most weeks. It's mostly been a good one though, minus a few very ill - or as I call them, pooky days. Talking about Pooky days, that brings me to the first thing I'm thankful for this week. Cat cuddles. Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure cats know when we feel down or ill, at least I think mine do. This Monday I was extremely ill and couldn't get out of bed, pixie abandoned her usual day time spot on an armchair to snuggle up beside me all day which made the situation feel a lot better. Although, she did hiss at me when I tried to move! I'm so thankful for my fury friends and the endless cuddles and love they show me, even if half the time it's only cupboard love.

The second thing I'm thankful for this week is Asos. I love asos, not only do they house so many makes and designers, they always have amazing sales. I'm thankful for Asos as it makes shopping possible for those like me who can't always get out. (I don't actaully remember the last time I went shopping.) I know there's plenty of other places to shop but I find Asos easier with its free delivery and no fuss free returns. Although it is pretty dangerous being a click away from such a wonderland, especially when I'm bored. The last few weeks I've made quite a few orders, my favourite item being a structured blue velvet skater dress which was reduced from £55 to £15. I can't wait to wear this in autumn and winter.

On my good days this week I've been quite creative. I made as you might have seen on my last post, ice cream cone cupcakes, something I've wanted to do for ages. I'm currently helping my mum out making some decorations for a cake, which is why this week I am thankful for YouTube and useful tutorials. I've always enjoyed making cakes, especially attempting to decorate them, which after many years I think I can safely say it's something I'm quite good at. I have YouTube to thank for a certain amount of it. I learnt to make sugar paste roses online, something I now find so easy, it's a little like knitting, once you've got the hang of it you can do it with little concentration at all. This week I made a model of a man to go on my mums friends cake. I'd never made people before, but after a quick YouTube video I knew how to go about it. If I had to go to a class to learn these skills I could easily say buy buy to £500!

I hope everyone is having a lovely week.

Emma Xx

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Ice Cream Cone Cakes

Sunny summer days are always made even better with a scoop or two of fresh ice cream, add a cone and a flake and I'm one happy bunny. The 99 which is more like the £1.90 in the south, is the icecream of many a childhood. Long days in the park or by the river, were always made special with a trip to the icecream van. So it's safe to say that cake that looks like icecream is enough to keep any child happy, even at the age of 23. Very happy indeed. 
I couldn't let the summer end without making these beauties again. Here is the recipe originally by BBC Good Food which I've adapted.


  • 12 flat-bottomed ice cream cones
  • 200g softened butter
  • 200g plain flour
  • 4 tbsp custard powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste with seeds
  •  200g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten


To decorate

  • 300g butter, softened
  • 350g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • sprinkles, Flakes, edible glitter, Choclate ganache or sauce

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Sit the cones in a muffin tin to hold them upright - Very important!
  2. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and mix together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Then add the flour, custard powder, vanilla and eggs to the bowl and beat until smooth. Spoon the cake batter into a piping bag, snip off the end to give you a wide hole, then pipe into the cones, filling them ¾ full – this will enable you to get the batter right to the bottom and you won't get the batter all over the sides of the cones.
  3. Bake the cone cakes, still in the muffin tin, for 30 mins until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool.
  4. To decorate the cakes, beat the butter until smooth, then add the icing sugar and vanilla, and beat again until well mixed. Put into a piping bag fitted with a big star nozzle, then pipe icing on top of each cake as you would a cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, glitter and flakes. I served hot chocolate ganache with my cone cakes left over from a previous bake. 

I love how they turned out and they were so simple to make. My family loved them too and the cakes seemed to evaporate within seconds! I wish I had one left over for me now. I have no doubt that I will be making ice cream cone cakes again. What do you think? 
Emma Xx

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Thankful Thursday

Happy post is one of my favourite things, from clothes I've purchased online, to unexpected surprises in the form of good old fashioned hand written letters. Luckily for me, there's been a lot of happy post through my door recently and I'm so thankful for it, and the joy it brings. This week my favourite has been the 'crazy cat lady' necklace I won via Instagram from the lovely Zoe Jade at Ladybird Likes

 I didn't even mention the amazing packaging that Zoe Jade put together!

 I'm thankful for free haircuts, and a good cut at that. There's nothing quite like a cut to make you feel slightly more human, especially with hair like mine. If left to its own devices my hair turms Hermione Granger on me, and not the good type, I'm talking Half Blood Prince potions class. Ok it was more of a trim, but that was my choice as I'm growing my hair long. I get a cut a few times a year by the same lovely hairdresser at Head Masters and in between those cuts my clever mum cuts my mop for me. It's so much easier not having to leave the house or endure endless salon music which leaves me drained, and so much better for the purse!

  Yep, thats pretty much it, maybe more wild!

On Tuesday I signed up to the autumn term drawing and painting class at my local adult learning centre. I'm pretty excited to be going back to the little studio, meeting new and old faces and getting lost in painting again. It's especially exciting for me as I wasn't well enough to do two classes last term so I chose the photography class and even though I'm still not well enough to do both classes again, I thought it would be nice to go back to art as I've really missed it. Just signing up sparked a want to draw and paint, and later that day I had two doodles of ideas for watercolours.

   Here is one of my paintings from last years class

 This week it has been pretty easy for me to find things to be thankful for, big sigh of relief as it's not as hard as I thought it would be!

Emma Xx

Monday, 11 August 2014

Gingham and Tiger

Top - Depop swap
Shorts - Topshop via charity shop £4
Shoes - Clarks sale (last sumer) £12
(Very own tiger - bargin at £85!)

I may just be a crazy cat lady in the making, but that's just fine with me. Picky-poo, Whixie, Miss Woo, Richard Parker, Aka my tiger, Pixie, is not often featured on Emma's Looking Glass, although if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen many cute photos of her. I can guarantee that she could win awards for being the most curious, drama queen kitty you will ever see and I don't know where I would be without her. This last week hasn't been great for my health but cuddles in bed with this little one makes everything seem brighter. I've finally found some energy so jumped at the chance to put my face on and a new outfit. This isn't actually the outfit I was going to share with you but the weather put a dampener on my other idea. Still, today I braved shorts, not something that happens very often as I'm not too confident about my thighs. At all. But I'm learning to love them. I think the vintage high waisted style of the shorts goes well with my new embroidered gingham top which I got through a swap on Depop. Anything high waisted is a winner in my opinion! 

Emma Xx

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday is in my opinion a great idea. Many of us go though our lives moaning and complaining without a second thought for the good that has happened within our week. I've seen many posts before by other lovely bloggers, but never created my own for one simple, shameful fact. I was scared I wouldn't always have something to be thankful for. Now, I'm not gonna go Pollyanna on you, but recently I want to believe it can be achieved (finding something to be thankful for that is, not being scarily Pollyanna-happy-about-death-and-all-things-disastrous-hip-hip-hooray!) I want mainly for my own benefit to find a few things I can positively say I'm thankful for every week. So this week I am thankful for:

1. Determination
 Determination to do this post every Thursday. Determination to pick myself back up. Determination to be healthy in what I eat so my body can recover. Now to me, that's a lot of determination, I'm quite literally singing my own praises here. I've always been determined to get better but as of May my health has been worse although slightly improved at times, like when I went on holiday. This week has been awful and I can't tell you just how fed up I am of living in a fish bowl, swimming in circles, once or twice going under the plastic bridge, while everyone else in my virtual world can swim in the ocean. But it's that old stubborn determination I'm thankful for and sometimes, times like this week I remind myself how determined I am. I literally had a sink or swim moment (one of many), my positivity and optimism were fading fast and I realised with tears down my face for the third time that day, that this was not going to help me, if I carried on like this my health would get worse. I found strength from within and I've pledged to myself to reboot the positivity and optimism. I will one day jump free of my fish bowl and swim in the ocean with everyone else. That I'm sure of.

2. Online spoonies
Never underestimate the power of the online spoonies. The power to comfort, encourage and cheer you on. Spoonies is what a lot of ME sufferers call ourselves based on the spoon theory. This week I'm so thankful for the support lovely Laura, from Me, Michael and M.E, Laura is bed bound and recently not been feeling great but she still has offered me so much support. I'm also thankful for Meg from Megsayseat as she has inspired many meal ideas through IG. I am now a gluten free, lactose free, refined sugar free, juice drinking health nerk ( is that a word.. Hmm).

3. Nakd bars 
Oh how I love them! My favourite being the cashew nut cookie made from two ingredients, cashews and dates, and no added crap. I'm so thankful that I can pick these lovelies up easily in most shops for a good healthy gluten, lactose and refined sugar free fix. I plan to put them in my handbag when I go out for those head rush I-need-to-eat-right-no-or-there-will-be-trouble moments. 

Thankfully Emma Xx

P.S All photos are ones I have found on pinterest and are not mine!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Strawberries and Swallows

While I was away in Cornwall my mum and I went down to the beautiful house Predeaux Place in Padstow for lunch and a look around the gardens. We've visited once before, (and to the outside of the grounds for my last blog post) last time we went on the tour of the stunning house but it zapped my energy a lot, so this time we opted for a gentle stroll around the peaceful garden after amazing homemade food, always food first of course! I had an amazing homemade spiced parsnip soup with walnut bread, something now on my list of things to make, especially as I want to try and eat better to help my health. Maybe a big bowl of thick yummy soup isn't the best idea before taking outfit photos, but hey! -That's just how I roll (did I just say that?). The garden was beautiful, from flowers, the quirky features to the silence, it's so nice not being able to hear anything, one of my favourite things about Cornwall.
This was the first time I've worn this dress. I bought it from eBay last September but at the time it was far too small, somehow I lost a little weight since then and now I can just get into it, although the fit isn't perfect...yet! I love the length and the amount of material that has been used to make it. They don't make them like this anymore. Once again, this dress delights me because of how it swishes around. I teamed it with my beloved And smile swallow necklace and earrings made so beautifully by Viktorija. I couldn't resist taking my strawberry Lulu Guinness clutch out for an airing and I think it goes well with the dress.


Dress: eBay homemade vintage £7
Bag: lulu guiness - eBay £25
Gold flipflops - Primark 
Necklace - Andsmile £20
Earrings - Andsmile £7

 I've been back home for just over a week now and I've been so incredibly busy, well busy for me. I've been helping my mum make a cake for her friends ruby wedding anniversery party, which is today. Sadly the cake itself has knocked me for six, so I'm now resting up in the peace and quiet of an empty house instead of joining in. I'm so glad the sun is out, I've been resting, snoozing and finishing the last few pages of Mad About The Boy, which I found tedious at times, I much prefer the first two Bridget Jones books.  Anyway, I hope you're having a lovely sunny sunday.

Emma Xx