Our Monthly Journal
We're so excited to share another monthly journal written by the lovely Lola Jones, also known as @pocketfullofbuttercups on Instagram. Lola is a wonderful photographer and all round creator of beautiful content, raising her twin daughters Maya and Chloe & her baby Thea from her house near the Peak District. Each month she will give us a small glimpse into her world, inspiring you with activity ideas, recipes and more.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we are embracing the chance to celebrate a little love. We have prepared a few celebratory ideas to make this season a little extra special.
Should you decide to have a go at any activities, we would really love to see them. Please tag us #inspiredbynelliequats
LOVE NOTE MINI PIES
Why not treat your loved ones with these easy love note mini pies? They only take a few minutes to make and are irresistible when out of the oven, while still warm.
- Ready rolled shortcrust pastry
- Good quality strawberry jam
- 1 egg
- A little brown sugar for sprinkling on finished pies (we used demerara)
We used ready-rolled, shop-bought shortcrust pastry, but you are welcome to make your own pastry if you wish. Take the pastry out of the fridge about 5 min before using.
Flour the surface you are going to be using, place the pastry on the floured surface and cut two diamond shapes. They do not have to be perfect. Personally, I think the pies look sweeter when rustic and are slightly different from each other. Use a tiny heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out little hearts to top your pies with. You can also simply freestyle them if you do not have the suitable cookie cutter.
Place a teaspoon or so of strawberry jam in the middle of each diamond. Next turn your diamonds into envelopes by folding the left corner towards the centre, then the right corner, then the bottom corner. Top with the little heart you cut out earlier. Place your love notes on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Brush your pies with beaten egg and sprinkle a little brown sugar on top. Bake the pies for about 15 min or until golden in a preheated oven at 180 C.
Enjoy warm or cold.
Wouldn’t these darling wool hearts make a sweet Valentine’s gift? Add a personalised hand- written note and any recipient’s heart is sure to melt!
They are very easy to make too - all you need is cardboard, scissors, glue, and some yarn or string.
The base of your heart will be made of cardboard. I suggest making it out of three hearts glued together (one larger one in the centre and two slightly smaller ones on each side. This will make the base more of a 3D shape and help the heart look rounder once finished with yarn.
To make the base, draw two hearts on the cardboard (one heart slightly bigger than the other). Try not to make them too small as they will be fiddly to wrap the yarn around. Cut the hearts out and use them as your templates to create more hearts. Next make the 3D heart shapes with three cardboard hearts each (a larger one in the centre and two smaller ones on each side - all glued together).Pick your yarn and start wrapping it around the cardboard heart, holding the end of the yarn in place for the first few turns to keep it secure. Continue twisting the heart while wrapping more yarn around it. Make sure that the thread is tight as you wrap it around. Keep wrapping the yarn around until the cardboard base is fully covered and not visible from under the threads and until you are happy with the way your heart looks. Cut the yarn and tuck the end under the threads of your heart.
Next personalise your hearts by adding handmade tags with either the names of the recipients or a short note. My girls are planning to give these hearts to their school friends and so we thought of sweet notes that describe each of their friends, which I think is just so special.
BLOOD ORANGE FIZZ COCKTAIL
Something for the adults...but can be non-alcoholic too. Perfect for this time of year with blood oranges in season.
You will need:
- Juice of one blood orange
- 15ml Campari
- Wedge of blood orange as a garnish
Juice one blood orange and pour the juice (discarding any seeds) into a glass, add Campari and top with Prosecco. Decorate the glass with a wedge of blood orange. Enjoy!
To make a non-alcoholic version, discard Campari and replace Prosecco with a non-alcoholic Prosecco or a lemonade.