Visit: bluebell Woods

enchanted forestbluebellshidden path






enchanted forest


It’s been a crazy busy week, one in a long line of a few actually. So one evening after work my friend H and I headed out into the countryside in search of a little magic. We had talked of bluebells for some weeks and H new exactly where to find them. There was a moment when we were both about to duck out, it was blowing a gale and a 99% chance of a downpour at any second but we persevered, and we were lucky to catch the sun for a few minutes on what was otherwise a miserable afternoon. So, here is our visit to the enchanted forest, a 20 minute walk helped lend a lot of perspective. Also on the way home, when it started to rain again I spied a whole and complete double rainbow, the best i’ve ever seen. (No photo sadly, as I was driving on the motorway!) Sometimes we just need to slow the pace, catch our breath and be reminded of the simple beauty life holds.

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Click: Guest Blog Spot


In return for Holly’s delicious White Chocolate, Poppy seed and lemon Easter cake guest post, I’ve prepared a Rhubarb and Custard Doughnut recipe for Holly, inspired by our trip to Bread Ahead back in Febuary, see them over on Holly Loves Cake in all their glory now!

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Bake: white chocolate, poppy seed and Lemon Easter Cake

Today we welcome the massively Talented Holly of Holly Loves Cake fame for a guest post to get you in the mood for Easter. There’s plenty to swoon over in this post, beautiful cake, photography, cute little chicks and the most gorgeous cake stand i’ve clapped eyes on in some time, so enjoy! FYI, Lily Vanilli is a follower of Holly’s over on instagram which means she’s pretty hot stuff in the cake world!


Howdy Make, Do and Spend readers! I am Holly of Hollylovescake, I have been pals with E for a few years now and bonded over our shared adoration of cake and blogging. As a Spring special surprise, me and E thought we would have a little blog swop. I have been super excitable about appearing on MD&S blog, if not a little nervous. This is my opportunity to speak to a wider audience than my normal devoted blog fans so I want to impress y’know, it’s a bit like a first date (hopefully without the awkward silences). Due to the time of year, it was completely obvious that a yummy chocolate bake was in order. I adore Easter time as Spring is in full swing (although losing an hour to daylight saving is not cool, I feel robbed) plus it’s a perfect excuse to eat your weight in chocolate (as if one ever needs an excuse but at least you can admit to it in public without feeling the shame that normally comes after explaining that you just ate 3 Toffee Crisps and a tube of Smarties in a row) Sadly, the older you get the less eggs you receive which is a major bummer. I remember Easter day being the fourth best day of the year (after birthday, Xmas and new school shoes day), running downstairs to an Easter egg hunt and feeling like you had won the lottery when you found the Mars egg that had the mug included. Then came the inevitable eating too many eggs in one go and ending up feeling sick and then being told off for getting chocolate finger prints on every surface in the house (although this has now been replaced with being told off for getting icing sugar over every surface in the house. Eternally the mucky pup). For the past 5 years I haven’t even received one egg, not one! Not even a token Cream Egg (sad face). However, this year, my mum has bought me one! Yay! Well, it was a yay scenario until she handed it to me full of excitement, telling me she bought it from TK Maxx for half price. But I guess a discount, end of line, one that no one else wanted egg is better than no egg, right..? (Mum, if you read this, I’m only joking. Kind of.)


This weeks bake is a lush white chocolate, poppy seed and lemon cake. The zesty lemon and creamy white chocolate are perfect partners but the addition of the poppy seeds takes this to the next level! They add a crunchy texture plus a slightly nutty after taste. If you want to do the ombre effect on the outside of the cake, there are lots of YouTube tutorials on how to achieve it. If I tried to explain, I would be taking up waaayyyy too much space on my guest spot, (I would like to be asked back again) Decorate the cake liberally with likkle chicks and enjoy!
If you like what you read you can visit my blog where I post on a regular basis my latest cakey creations, or check me out on Instagram @hollylovescake or Facebook


White chocolate, poppy seed and lemon Easter cake

  • 375g unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • Zest of 5 lemons
  • 100g poppy seeds
  • 6 tablespoons full fat yogurt
  • Pinch salt


  • 200g white chocolate
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 500g icing sugar

1. Grease and line 3x 20cm cake tins (or if you only have one or two, divide ingredients by a third). Pre heat your oven to 170°C

2. Beat your butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, this should take about 5 minutes.

3. Add your eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. If your mix starts to curdle, add a teaspoon of your measured out flour. With the last egg, add the lemon zest.
4. Sift in your flour, bicarb and salt. Add the yogurt and poppy seeds and fold everything together until just incorporated. Divide between your tins and pop in the oven. For an even and moist bake, add a tray of hot water from the kettle on the bottom shelf of your oven, the steam will create the perfect sponge.
5. Bake for around 15-20 minutes, your sponge should be golden brown and firm to the touch. Take out the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before loosening and turning out to cool completely.
6. To make the buttercream, melt the white chocolate by placing in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water, slowly stirring until melted. Allow to cool slightly.
7. Beat the butter until smooth, add the chocolate and half the icing sugar. Beat well. Keep adding icing sugar until desired sweetness achieved. Once you have the right sweetness, beat the buttercream for 5 minutes until fluffy and smooth.
8. Take one layer of your cooled cake and level off the top with a serrated knife, slather with your butter cream. Pop the next layer on top and repeat, once built cover the whole thing with the remaining buttercream. Cover with mini eggs, some broken up meringue or chocolate shards and perhaps some likkle chicks! 081069096

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Q&A: Catching up with Richard III

twitter king

If you own a TV or radio, particularly if you live in Leicestershire, there’s pretty much no way you could’ve avoided hearing the massive build up to Richard III’s reburial in the last week.

Proceedings kick off today with his coffin touring the county, passing places associated with the the king’s last few days – including Bosworth Battlefield where he died in 1485.

The former ruler will finally be reinterred on Thursday at Leicester Cathedral – just around the corner from where his bones were discovered, famously under a car park, in August 2012.

So, having brought you the first exclusive interview with @richard_third back in early 2013, we thought it was only right to catch-up with the king of Twitter… before the coffin lid is sealed.

How’ve things been since your last interview with us?

Ah my life has been manic, truly manic. I’ve become a media sensation and a corporate product. Bewildered might be a good description I guess. Despite this, things are pretty good tbh. I can’t complain, even if it did take 500 years for people to appreciate me.

How does it feel having the world’s media on you again?

Well, at least they are no longer discussing my personal health issues I suppose? It’s nice, though in a week’s time they’ll have moved on to the latest dubious electorial candidate/tax scandal/Jeremy Clarkson story. I’m not sure if I’m happy about that or not just yet…

What do you think of the King Richard III Visitory Centre?

I’ve not been in – well it would be a little hard in my current stat – but I’ve seen pictures. That blue and white skeleton repro looks uber cool. So yeah, one does approve. Bit pricey for entry though (don’t you think?).

Can we expect any surprises from the reinterment ceremony? When we last spoke you’d requested Engelbert Humperdinck to perform… any luck? 

Engelbert can’t make it, sadly his US tour dates don’t allow it. I’m proper gutted.
To be truthful, the TV have taken over and dominated everything. Even I don’t get a say! I don’t suppose there will be a surprise, though I’m Catholic – god knows what they do in these Tudor ‘Church of England’ things. I suppose I should worry about that more maybe, but… y’know… I’m dead…

Will there be cake?

A record label promised me some cake as a present, I’m yet to see it. I’m told their cake department is a little slow with such things… but coffee would be good (if they happen to read this).

You famously said you’d give your kingdom for a horse – what are you demanding now you’ve been given a horse-drawn carriage for your procession?

A Porsche! A Porsche, a Porsche, my kingdom for a Porsche! I’m waiting on Porsche GB Ltd’s press department. They’re a bit slow over this.

How will you tweet from inside a tomb?

Modern technology, dear child. My people have already sorted it, they tell me its a bit like a Flux Capacitor, but I’m buggered if I know… works though. Magic lead maybe?

Are you worried about your profile going down post-reburial? Would you consider celebrity Come Dine With Me or Strictly?

Excellent question Miss Make Do, but easy to answer. A king will never do reality television, I’ll stomach the 20 year gap before I become cool once more #welliamtheking

You mentioned last time that you were planning on making your own fan club – can we join yet?

You can indeed, the address is 40 Abbey Street, Leicester. No need to post a cheque, you can pay them an evening subscription on the door. Tell them Dicky sent you and all will be fine.

[NOTE FROM E&B: We checked – this is the address of indie nightspot Fan Club!]

Are you proud of putting Lestah on the map?

In my eyes, it was already there. I blame Richard Haswell for this, beating me to international recognition for such things.
[NOTE: Richard Haswell was the former organiser of the city’s now sadly cancelled Summer Sundae music festival]

Most importantly, are you worried about the future of One Direction?
Hmm, the youth of today! I gave advice to a young follower recently and this may also work for them: avoid cheap vodka, avoid legal highs, and avoid girls with tattoos on their ribcage, and you’ll do ok I reckon…
So there you have it! We’re going to be among the thousands hoping to catch a glimpse of the cortege passing today.
You can follow live updates of the procession online with the BBC website or, of course, @richard_third on Twitter
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Do: The big blog clothes swap

fashion grid

Last month we took part in the Big Blog Clothes Swap, an exciting experiment organised by Janet from Words That Can Only Be Your Own and Stephanie from The Wardrobe Angel.

The idea was simple – send in your measurements, get twinned with another similarly proportioned blogger, send off a parcel clothes you no longer wear, get your own exciting package in the post!

E was partnered with Elise and B with Stephanie – both stylish ladies, so we felt a little pressured!

This kind of project is completely up our street, but we found there were some other surprising outcomes from taking part…

  1. It made us realise how particular clothes hold special memories – and were difficult to part with
  2. We rediscovered clothes we hadn’t worn for ages – but actually still like and fit well
  3. Having looked through our piles of clothes ready for the charity shops, we ended up holding our own clothes swap – E now has B’s jeans and B has E’s skirt!
  4. We were challenged to try new styles and questioned whether we’d got stuck in a style rut
  5. Despite the ‘fresh’ Spring weather, we actually quite enjoyed doing some outfit posts – and might look to do more in the future…
  6. … but maybe next time we’ll actually iron the clothes/put make-up on!

So here’s a selection of some of our outfits – a combination of swaps…

b outfit 1.1b outfit 1

B Wears: Dress – H&M via Stephanie’s wardrobe, bag – vintage

e outfit 1 E outfit 1 1

E Wears: Knitwear- H & M Shirt – Asos both via Elise’s wardrobe, jeans- Topshop via B’s wardrobe

b outfit 2

b outfit 2

B wears: Skirt – Primark via E’s wardrobe, necklace – via Stephanie’s wardrobe, top and hat – H&M, watch – Uniform Wares

e outfit 2 e outfit 2

E wears: Dress- Dorothy Perkins via Elise’s wardrobe


B wears: Knitwear – Dorothy Perkins via E’s wardrobe, dress – charity shop find

e outfit 3e outfit 3

E wears: Dress Marks and Spencers, via Elise’s wardrobe

Did you take part in the swap? We’d love to see the results…

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