Sunday, 26 July 2009

More cakes!

So, this is not the world's prettiest cake- that much i grant you but if ever there is a time where you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover then it is this cake.
It may look like a heavy, sunken sponge but looks are deceiving! This in face is one of the lightest, moistest (is that a word lol) cakes and so easy to make it's almost criminal! The top and bottom of the cake is made from almond flavoured sponge- beautiful and fragrant but not too strong but the best part is the middle. For nestled away in the middle of this cake is a layer of sliced apples. As the cake cooks the moisture from the apples seeps into the sponge and the apples cook slowly and happily. The result- a delicious light sponge with a moist, apply centre that is just divine. It's best to serve it warm with icing sugar on the top and goes great with custard, ice cream or just on it's own. You can of course eat it cold for an equally delicious treat.
And if you don't have apples then don't worry- we have made this using pears instead for a really lovely cake- just make sure the pears are fairly ripe as they take longer to cook than the apples if too hard.
Mmmm, yummy!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Ready, steady, bake

Having had a hard few weeks, it was really lovely yesterday to spend a few hours with my wonderful sister in the kitchen baking. We may not be the typical best friend sisters but our bond is silently invincible. We aren't big fans of the sitting down talking feelings and we both have very different lives- hers unhindered mine, very much hindered yet we do both share the love for cooking.
So, the 2 of us spent yesterday afternoon baking cupcakes and decorating them. Mum said it was like having children in the house again- we are 25 and 27 but if it brings laughter and love then we don't care.
187.5g butter
187.5g self-raising flour
187.5g Caster sugar
3 eggs
1.5 tsps vanilla essence
3 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 180c- if you don;'t have a fan oven then 190c is probably better.
Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
Beat the eggs and add slowly to the creamed mix until all combined, then add the vanilla.
Sift half the flour into the mix and fold together.
Then add the milk and the remaining flour and mix gently but thoroughly.
Spoon the mix into paper cases and bake for around 15-17 minutes.
This mix makes 21 cakes.
To Decorate;
the cakes in the centre (only 4 shown here) are decorated with buttercream. to make you need,
150g softened butter
250g Icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2tsp hot water
Any colouring you like or none if you prefer.
Simply beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer, add the vanilla and the water until smooth and creamy and we find it's best when you can create nice peaks that stand alone in the bowl.
Top with edible sugar decorations.

The other cakes here are iced with, what can only be described as a very 'unique' blend of icing sugars and royal icing and water that i coloured pink and yellow (my sister's favourite colours).
Basically just mix up the icing sugar with warm, not hot, water until you get the consistency you desire- i wanted quite a thick topping so the cakes were well covered and once cold the icing would be set hard.
Unleash your inner child and decorate!
So thank you to my sister, i had a lovely time, and now the baking bug has hit my Dad and I are going to make an apple cake this afternoon.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Cult of celebrity-ism's

So i have been trying to decide whether or not to post about this. I've gone back and forth so many times i was making myself dizzy. But during a rather restless night's sleep last night i decided that if i can't write about things that are on my mind on my blog then where can i. So, this may seem very off track for my normal style but there you go- i said i was scattered brained!
Ok, so when i was in University my housemates and I relied on celebrity magazines as a cheap and reliable source of entertainment. We could all name whose who, the break-up's, the make-up's, the babies, the weddings, the divorces etc you get the picture- if it was celebrity gossip we knew it. And so the trend continued and whilst working a long day in hospital i would long for my 3pm break and a chance to read and escape the sometimes overwhelming monotony in a magazine.
Then something happened. Hitting my 20's changed the desire i had and now, at the grand old age of 25 i don't actually remember when i last picked up one of the magazines. I have no clue who is who anymore, i can't name most of the faces in the magazine and nor do i care whose fallen out with whom.
So how can i explain this shift, well that's just it, i don't know whether it happens to everyone or me alone but i actually think of the cult of celebrity as something that is much more than cheap headlines and quick stories. I read MarieCalire, Vogue, Lifescape etc now because to me the fashion designers, the life changers, the hidden faces- those are the celebrity to me. Perhaps people are right when they say there is a scale of celebrities- from A class to z-what's their name class. But why would you want the whole world to know your intimate life details- why splash everything all over the glossy pages- money? Well of course money makes the world goes round and yes it's lovely to have some but making a career by living life in the spotlight just so you can drive a fancy car or live in a huge house- is it really worth sacrificing happiness, friends, trust and overall sanity for?
But yet perhaps there is more to it. Perhaps they are mainly filling the voyeuristic need embedded somewhere in all humans. You know that inner compulsion in you that when you pass an accident in the car you want to peer over and see what happened. The urge to know every little detail about celebrities, probably because we would consider it anti-social to delve into the private lives of family, friends, colleagues etc. So are these magazines just a way for us, society, to serve our own needs without being anti-social?
I'm not going to go into whether or not these magazines inspire people negatively, or positively- this is more about the cult of the so-called celebrity. I consider great actors/actresses, singers, bands, artists, writers, chefs- all celebrity but they don't have to be in the public limelight for me to think that of them. Dedication to their craft, love of their skill, passion for what they do and an eagerness never to stop. To me a celebrity is someone to whom if you took away the money, the glitz and the paparazzi would still do their trade because they love it.

In some ways i pity the people whose lives are lived out for the world to read. I worry about the future for them, the prospects for their families, their health but i also know that no-one s forcing them into this mould. I don't care if celebrity 'x' is on a diet or celebrity 'y' is getting divorced when celebrity 'd' is pregnant with celebrity '?' baby. I simply don't care- walk round your locality- you will find many dieters, divorcee's, pregnancies- why aren't they splashed all over the media? Because we know it isn't normal to be normal and we get on with it.

Perhaps reading about the escapades of celebrity life this way takes us to another world, leaves our drama behind, let's us enter an almost real-life soap opera. But why not lose yourself in a book, or an article that challenges your mind and thinking?
If someone had said to me 4 years ago i wouldn't be reading these magazines i'd have laughed, but escaping your own problems by trying to focus on absurd celebrity one's ultimately got me nowhere.
So yeah, a rant that ultimately made no sense apart from in my head most probably but yeah, i needed to say it.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Noticeboard to art...

So today i went out (yep hold the shock of surprise!) for the first time in a week. It looked lovely, blue skies etc but i wasn't chancing it, jeans, vest and oversized boyfriend shirt did me nicely- well and shoes of course. It was nice, quite warm in the sun but lots of black clouds everywhere. Anyway, i digress, i went out as i had an appointment and it seems that they double booked the slot so i had to wait for 40 minutes, and in that 40 minutes all i had to stare at was an overcrowded noticeboard with half faded out of date info. So, it got me thinking, all the lovely things that paper could be used for instead and well, here is my tribute to paper art.

I love this bouquet, don't quite know where i'd put it though!

All the beauty and none of the mess, love these,

These two just make me smile, i love the Japanese dolls but the little artwork is so gorgeous,

I almost want to dip these in acrylic so they would be easier to clean, then string them together as wall art!

These would make the most adorable hanging ceiling art,
At first glance i didn't even see the message in this, i just adored the flowers!

This and the one above are from, so talented!

I love the impact of this one, although droopy flowers always make me feel sad.

This must have taken some much patience, but well worth it, this and the next one are examples of Jen Starks work.

Don't you just love how it looks like the leaves have just shed? dkdesigns

This is my favourite, i adore anatomy (yep that makes me slightly odd i know) and i am in awe of the talent and time this would have taken, i'd love to own it! dkdesigns

I am about to order these from etsy, i plan on gathering them together into a garland, they are made from a French map of Paris, the designer has many different beautiful collections so i highly suggest checking her out bluepearls on etsy.

And some colour to end with, from, i reckon these would be good for a child's room or to embellish crafts with.
Happy Monday,

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Ribbons for Eve

Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments on my last post, hope you're all having a good weekend. The sun has actually come out today and according to my sources (aka parents) it's quite pleasant outside, mind you we had enough rain in the last 2 days for the next few months so it's about time summer showed it's head again!

I don't know what sort of mood this post will take, you may have gathered by now that i am a bit of a scatter brain- can easily flip from one subject to the next in a blissful state of unawareness. However, i do know what i want to start with so here goes.

Basically i am someone who very much supports charitable causes- every month i donate to Oxfam, i've ran races for Cancer Research UK, i've got an adopted Manatee (her name is Betsy and i even visited her in Florida!!!), a humpback Whale somewhere in the Boston area called Star although she frequently disappears and a dolphin in Scotland called Sundance. I truly believe that sometimes helping a charity can seem to be a burden or even 'unfashionable' and in fact i think sometimes smaller charities get brushed away because the media doesn't hype them up or because their cause isn't something that can be cured with money. So, i thought that every once in a while i would showcase a charity on my blog that means a lot to me, help spread the word and maybe introduce people to new ones they aren't aware of.

Today's choice is The Eve Appeal. This charity is one that i feel deserves more time in the spotlight as it's purpose is awareness of gynaecological cancers. It is shocking when you consider that just 35% of those afflicted with a Gynae cancer survive and the charity is working feverishly to raise funds to turn that statistic around. The charity offers advice and support on signs, symptoms and how to cope with the diagnosis of gynae cancer. It also has lots of ways in which you can help the charity- the key even of the year being every March when they have their 'Make time for TEA event'- basically you get to have tea and cake with whoever you want and chat and laugh and have a nice time and just pay a small contribution to the charity- simple! I will defiantly be having a tea party next March- even if it is just by myself, and i have ordered myself a turquoise ribbon to show my support. There are so many gorgeous products linked back to the Eve Appeal, if you google the Eve Appeal you will see many handmade unique items, including a teacosy that is just stunning.You can also buy miniature teapots and teacups, from Boots so keep your eyes peeled. And if you do wear ribbons, turquoise is the colour.

So that's my charity for today, perhaps i'll make this a weekly thing, if you support any charities do let me know and i would love to showcase them here, charity begins at home right!

Okay, now i was about to post a whole load of pics- everything from verandas to post offices, pearls to lamps but blogger won't let me upload, rah i don't know why it keeps telling me it has an error- so sort yourself out blogger! Hopefully it will be resolved soon, i hate posting just words!

Hope you all have a good Sunday and a good start to your week,


Friday, 10 July 2009


With lots on my mind but now words to really know how to express them i decided it's best to go for a picture post for this Friday- a variety of interiors, fashion, scenes, anything really that has caught my eye over the last week.

Sometimes i think normality is shunned as being overrated- i wouldn't mind having it for a while!

This jewellery tree just longs to be mine and adorned with all the beautiful pieces of jewellery i have, many thanks to the wonder that is Daisy.
Both this and the bed above from

These two dresses are both by Ruby Rocks, i simply adore the first one, perhaps too much....

Argh the kitkats, i need not say anything else.

I'm in love with dress dummies, wire or solid i just find them so, argh I can't find the words, beautiful maybe?

This bedroom is just so stunning, the bed, the floor, the colour on the walls, simply blissful.

Ah wall art- you may be seeing a lot of these from me as i'm currently revamping my bedroom and am desperate to find something to embellish my walls with.

Yep i've found a hoodie that describes me in 3 words- joy.

I love him- simply as.

All 3 of these are from

I love these dolls, especially her as she incorporates yellow and turquoise- my favourite colours, check out the whole range at zombukisshop via etsy.

From the same shop as the above doll, i adore this designer!

I warned you about the wall art! this one is from

This instantly caught my eye, a beautifully unique piece by fruitsaladvintage, i just adore the form.

If i had my way this is what my room would be like- nothing but a bed and books- bliss.

This is amazing wall art, found on flickr it's called strawberry shortcake and is all handmade felted goods, it's at the top of my list currently!

I just want this room!!!

I found this online in a sale, £5- i didn't buy them but i wish i did, now i'm too scared to go back in case they've gone! Shoes by Quiz.

Fashion alert all vegan or ethical shoppers- this beauty caught my eye just last night, unfortunately i don't have the funds nor the social life to do it justice but i just love it, especially the colour and knowing it's vegan and fashionable to boot- hurrah for the collection by espe.

And this is my final favourite of the week. The print, the colour, the size, the shape- yes i'm pretty much in love with this piece by Amy Kathryn- if you haven't checked her bags out before then you really should- they are vegan friendly too, hurrah!


Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Thank You...

I know this will not reach the actual people involved and i will never know who or where they are but i want to say thank you.
Thank you to anyone who has ever given blood.
Thank you to those people who have made it possible for my Mum to get transfusions today when she needed them without having to wait.
Thank you for going through the pain and the waiting and the filling in of the questionnaires (I've seen them, i know!) and for drinking the tea and eating the free cookie.
I've lived in a medical family my entire life, we talk the talk and walk the walk as they say- but we are all having to face things we all know of but never knew.
So if any of you have ever given blood you have my hugest thanks and if i could give you all a hug and a present and just tell you in person how much it means i would.
Thank you.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


I am a massive fan of being unique- yep i may be Welsh but i am not a sheep! And so my style always is described as being in the wrong era. In fact many think i was born in the wrong era, i should have been a 1920's girl and not a 1980's one! My love for picnics seems to prove this apparently as does my lust for long walks in the country, old ice cream parlours with soda fountains and chocolate in paper. I could live without TV, radio etc, give me a journal and a pen and i'll stay occupied. I think that in some ways my barriers in my life have allowed me to really have to rely on myself for reasons to keep going and to find beauty in whatever i can.

Oxfam online £9.99

And this is my current dream,


Sunday, 5 July 2009

What IS fashion?

In order to fiend off massive boredom and irritability (not a good combination i tell you) i have been window shopping online. I have noticed two things over the last 48 hours of said window shopping, (obviously with breaks in between for sleeping and munching on rich tea biscuits and chocolate ginger) 1) I am way to fixated on foreign candy, 2) that fashion is unique to the individual.

The 1st point is easy to explain. It all started with my quest to find as many types of KitKat as i could- little did i know when i started the hunt that i would be taken worldwide and be amazed by the massive amounts of kitkats they have in Japan! It's probably a good job we have limited varieties in the UK as my dentist would testify to the strength of my sweet-tooth. However, from kitkats grew the search for cadbury's bars and then skittles to m&m's and so the hours slipped away. One day i shall do a post dedicated to these lovelies, perhaps one day i shall treat myself to them but for now i shall leave them be as i don't think it is a good idea to keep looking at them, drooling on the keyboard of my laptop is not attractive!

The 2nd point, it's very hard to explain really. I don't own, nor have i ever owned any major Designers pieces, that goes for clothes, shoes, bags etc. Now i have nothing against those who do but they don't signify the be all and end all of fashion to me. Having window shopped on SO many sites of late i get so incredibly annoyed when i see a beautiful model looking so uncomfortable or unnatural in a dress- sometimes things just don't work on people YET in real life, i can't decide if it's better to wear something that you feel confident in or to wear something you think looks the part. For me it's always been a matter of putting together what i have. I have never been fashionable, nor will i ever be, i've been dubbed the family hippie magpie for my somewhat eccentric outfits and yet there is a part of me that always holds back- more out of the respect of other people's eyes than for me own. But what is fashion, is fashion dictated by the masses or does it come from within?

Yep i'm in a pondering mood so i shall leave you with some pics from my latest hunt.


And annoyingly blogger keeps crashing on me so i'll have to put up more pics when i can!