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Easter Pastels

April 3rd  •  Posted in Lifestyle

Springtime is by far my favourite time of the year (did you guess it already?!) and Easter is my favourite holiday second only to Christmas and no doubts a huge part of the deal is due to the amount of beautiful flowers you can spot everywhere while walking along a street, the amazing view of trees covered in pink blossoms, the huge amount of bunny and Easter themed cards and objects you can spot in stores around this time of the year, all of which makes for the perfect excuse to wear, buy and cover myself in pastel coloured things, clothes, foods and nail varnishes! No real need to wonder if pastels really do bring you in a happy, relaxed, inspired, calm, content and joyful mood!

I’ve been buying a few too many pastel objects recently, but some are actually been dusted off from the previous years, and there hasn’t been a thing that made me in a happier mood than finding and falling back in love with pink hair bows, lipsticks and measuring cups and blue washi tape, paper straws and tea scented erasers! I couldn’t help but display them all in a cute flat lay and snapping away with the help of some Lindt Gold Bunnies (old Easter favourites of all time indeed – I can remember being a child and getting overly excited about my milk chocolate Gold Bunny at this time of the year every years!). Hope these shots can bring a bit of colour and happiness to your mornings (or evenings!) too!

Easter Pastels.
Easter Pastels.
Easter Pastels.
Easter Pastels.

{ Links }
Gold Bunnies & all the chocolate ℅ Lindt
Paper Straws – Similar
Washi Tape – Tiger
Tea Scented Erasers – Kikkerland
Spot Triangle Bra – ASOS (Similar)
Pink Hair Bow – Similar
Lipstick – Pret-A-Porter by Paul and Joe
Measuring Cups – Tiger
Shampoo Bar – Lush
Ceramic Bowl – Similar
Lip Balm ℅ Sweet Cecily’s

3 Different Valentine’s Day Date Ideas.

February 10th  •  Posted in Lifestyle

For years I haven’t been a fan of Valentine’s Day and thought it was such an overrated and commercial date, not to mention how sad it is to spend it alone if you don’t have an actual partner! This until a pair of years ago, when I realized Valentine’s Day might be superficial and a huge part of consumerism nowadays, but it has quite a lovely concept at its roots, love, that is something really worth to be celebrated. Forget V-Day gifts, cards and all the commerce behind it, you don’t really need anything to celebrate love on its day (even though I’ve loudly requested tulips this year), and yes, true, everyday is the day to be enthusiastic about love in its every shape, but it’s just nice to have a specific date when to stop and think about who you care and what caring means to you!

We take V-Day quite easy and casual, don’t ever do anything too fancy – because where’s it written that you need to do so?! We like to celebrate the fact of being a couple and loving each other in the simplest ways – in fact we actually never really plan anything at all besides from being together! And since you don’t really need to have a partner to love someone, just think about spending your V-Day with your friends and/or family and do something nice with/for them instead! We thought to list down a few ideas to spend a different, simple, casual Valentine’s Day date, whether it’s romantic or not!

Valentine Strawberry + Chocolate Cupcakes { with Lindt }
Valentine Strawberry + Chocolate Cupcakes { with Lindt }
Valentine Strawberry + Chocolate Cupcakes { with Lindt }

Bake together.
If there’s a thing I adore is baking treats for ones I love, even better if I can bake together with my better half! I’m such a perfectionist at baking and get stressed out quite often if things don’t turn out as they are supposed to, so I can be a bit of a pain to bake with, but sometimes it’s nice to relax and bake comfy and trusted recipes just for the sake of being together and do something fun together! But yes, I usually supervise the work. We’re quite the fans of cozy dates (the most adventurous are ones at the cinema; wild!) so you can say staying at home, enjoying the sofa and maybe baking something together or preparing dinner side by side and then devour it all is definitely our date of choice.

3 Valentine's Day Date Ideas
3 Valentine's Day Date Ideas
3 Valentine's Day Date Ideas
3 Valentine's Day Date Ideas
* He’s wearing :: top ; jeans ; shoes *
* I’m wearing :: dress ; shoes *

Din din! Go for a bike ride!
Feeling adventurous?! Dust off your pretty bicycles and go for a healthy ride in the green! Where I live there’s a nice road next to the river and the fields where to go for a good old bike ride. It was something I did pretty often years ago and that I’d love to do in a pair! I can’t really wait for the days to be a little bit warmer and dust off the bicycles for real – but at this very moment it’s freezing here in Italy and we can’t really be bothered to go outside in pretty dresses and thin layers to face the wind. But if you live in warmer conditions, you might want to consider a bike-ride-date on V-Day; maybe fill those bicycles baskets with picnic friendly food and stop by a pretty park where to lay down and have a romantic lunch outside!

3 Valentine's Day Date Ideas
3 Valentine's Day Date Ideas
3 Valentine's Day Date Ideas

Stay cozy + share the chocolate!
Valentine’s Day might be the most commercial date of the whole year, but if that means plenty of chocolate everywhere, I won’t really complain! As I said we love cozy nights in dates and this is most probably what we’re actually going to do this year on February 14th. We have gathered up a little too much chocolate and we really need to set a date for finishing it all up (nope, we don’t…). If you don’t want to surrender in front of consumerism, at least do yourself and your partner (or family/friends) a favour and indulge in this Lindt Master Chocolatier Collection Love Box* while you’re enjoying the coziness of your sofa on V-Day – because everyone deserves chocolate, right?!

*

How are you planning to spend your Valentine’s Day this year? Are you one for fancy dates or just simple, casual, cozy nights in with your loved one(s)? x

* A huge thank you to Lindt for spoiling us this year and for helping me rediscover the true essence of love – a crunchy toffee and hazelnut praline heart! 😉

Chocolate + Strawberry Valentine Cupcakes { with Lindt }

February 4th  •  Posted in Recipe

– 10 days to the big day! Have you got something exciting planned?! Either if you don’t want to plan anything, you don’t have someone to spend your Valentine’s Day with, you have planned to organize a nice dinner for two or something special like a romantic picnic lunch, I’ve got something for you!

A pair of years ago I discovered this cupcake base recipe and decided this was *the one*. These chocolate cupcakes always have the best, thick, nice texture that pairs amazingly with any fluffy frosting or creamy heart you might want to experiment with. I developed the idea of using a truffle to obtain a creamy center a few years ago and since then I use and play with this recipe every year around Valentine’s Day, and every year I try it with different truffles and flavours. I’ve tried almost every Ferrero offering, but I’d say Mon Cheri and Ferrero Rocher were the most appropriate and my favourites so far, until a box full of Lindt Valentine treats was left on my doorstep…

Lindt’s romantic Valentine’s Day inspired offering are revisited Lindor truffles made out of white chocolate and a cream + strawberry smooth melting filling. Can anything else be more appropriate for this time of the year? I admit I had a few difficulties to avoid that all the Strawberries & Cream Lindor Truffles were gone before I had the time to properly shoot this recipe, and that I had to hide them away from myself too, but in the end the result was amazing, the creamy strawberry heart paired deliciously with the chocolate cupcakes I love, and the strawberry flavoured frosting on top was the perfect addition to the couple… I might need to buy a decent pastry bag and maybe obtain actual aesthetically pleasing cupcakes next time, but they were good, let me tell you this!

Valentine Strawberry + Chocolate Cupcakes { with Lindt }
Valentine Strawberry + Chocolate Cupcakes { with Lindt }
Valentine Strawberry + Chocolate Cupcakes { with Lindt }
Valentine Strawberry + Chocolate Cupcakes { with Lindt }
Valentine Strawberry + Chocolate Cupcakes { with Lindt }

Makes 6 cupcakes | Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
85g white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
55g soften unsalted butter
55g white sugar
1 large egg
3 Strawberry & Cream Lindor Truffles

For the frosting:
125g unsalted butter
50g strawberries
70g white sugar

1 :: Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place six baking cups into a muffin tin.

2 :: Cut the cupcake butter into cubes and add it into a big mixing bowl together with the white sugar and beat with a spoon until soft and creamy.

3 :: Sift in the white flour and give it a nice stir, then add the cocoa powder, the baking powder and the egg and stir with a spoon until all the ingredients look nicely incorporated. You should get a thick and quite solid mixture. If it’s too solid and you can’t mix it with a spoon, add a splash of milk.

4 :: Place a tablespoon of cupcake mixture into every baking cup to create a base, then cut the Lindor truffles in half and place one half in every baking cup. Place another teaspoon (or a bit more) of cupcake mixture on top of the truffles to cover them up completely.

5 :: Place the tin in the oven for 20 minutes. The cupcakes will rise but still be quite thick and solid, and the truffle in the middle will melt to create a creamy heart. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely or serve warm if you don’t want to make the topping!

6 :: Meanwhile make the frosting: wash the strawberries and mince them in an electric mincer with a pair of teaspoons of water to create a liquid strawberry syrup. It will give the colour and the flavour to the frosting.

7 :: In a very large and deep bowl, cream the butter, sugar and strawberry syrup together using an electric beater until pale and fluffy.

8 :: Use a pastry bag to apply the buttercream on top of the cooled cupcakes.

{ Enjoy with your loved one(s)! }

… whether it’s your family, your friends or your lover!

Valentine Strawberry + Chocolate Cupcakes { with Lindt }

Don’t forget to let me know if you try this recipe in the comments and tweet me a picture if you do! Also share your favourite Valentine’s Day recipes! I’d love to know! x
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