Thursday, 21 February 2008

Q and A

I have been tagged by Carolyn from Craftsby Carolyn to fill in the following info about me..not very exciting news I'm afraid, but here goes!
What were you doing 10 years ago?
Hmm, I was 19 and working as a private nanny for three children, a 6 week old, a 3 year old and a 7 year old. How did I do it?!
What were you doing 1 year ago?..
celebrating just over 2 years of wedded bliss, doing the same job I do now, but didn't have a blog and hadn't learnt how to make jewellery! Had just found out I had an allotment from the local council.
Five snacks you enjoy:...
1) Marmite on toast
2) Mini Cheddars
3) Pitta bread and houmous
4) Digestive Biscuits
5) toasted teacakes with butter (it did say enjoy!!)
Five things you would do if you were a millionaire
1) Buy a cottage by the sea in Cornwall
2) Fly out to Canada to see my brother and his wife (do I get brownie points for that, Nic?!)
3) Buy my husband an Aston Martin
4) Quit the day job (I don't get people who say winning the lottery wouldn't change their lives- why bother doing it then?)
5) Have a shopping splurge in Selfridges
Five bad habits
1) Leaving ironing until the last minute
2) Being rubbish at housework
3) Pulling faces down the phone at boring clients (like I'm doing now...grrrrr)
4) Putting the phone down and saying 'Oh shut up' after a conversation with boring clients...(just being honest)
5) Not being very good in the mornings until at least 2 cups of tea have been consumed.
Five things you like doing
1) Sleeping in on Sunday mornings
2) Sitting in bookshops surrounded by loveliness with no time constraints
3) Camping
4) Walking on the beach in winter in Cornwall
5) Looking out to sea in Cornwall from the warmth of a cafe with a latte to hand and the papers spread out
Five things you would never wear again
1) A mini skirt- I would be locked up
2) This shirt- I have managed to dribble tea all down the front of it this morning and I fear the stain will never come out
3) Linen trousers- I love them but always look like a hot sweaty crumpled mess by the time we arrive anywhere
4) A pink dress which I wore to a wedding about 4 years ago- I love it but it doesn't love me. I can't part with it though, it's beautiful.
Five favourite toys
1) Our camera- blogs wouldn't be the same without it
2) Ipod- brilliant.
3) Laptop- ditto
4) Our combi charger which we take camping, does a camera, ipod, mobile phone, the list is endless. A fab piece of kit
5) My big bead box- It relaxes me instantly, looking at all the glittery sparkliness.

So there you go, hope you haven't dozed off. Sorry no photos today but am at work ..shhhh!!

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Let there be love...

Hope everyone had a lovely Valentines Day, it certainly seems like there are lots of lovely chaps out there from all of the blogs I have been reading today at work (purely for research, obviously)
Rob surprised me with tickets to Dirty Dancing in London, which was great fun. We drove down to London on Thursday morning and spent the day ambling around in the sunshine, having lunch and shopping before seeing the show at night. Great fun was had all round. We had good seats (nobody puts Baby in the corner) and the dancing was out of this world. All very fabulous indeed, thankyou Mr F.
Also I received my Valentine Swap package from Jo at French Knots. I am so thrilled with it, and her cleverness!

Inside my personalised bag were beads, buttons, ribbons, heart shaped chocolates (see above!) pins, a beautiful pin cushion, a needle book, a hand sewn card....LOOK!

Jo is aware of my inability to sew, and in an effort to encourage me included the lovely bits and pieces above. Thankyou so much! I'm looking forward to next year now! I may have sewn a whole button on by then...

Friday, 8 February 2008

Pancakes and peanuts

Sat at work on Wednesday morning, my boss and I were discussing the previous evenings success of various pancake toppings. My personal favourites were chocolate chips from my basket of cake decorating paraphernalia. And golden syrup (but not together) My boss has a 4 year old son who has serious food issues. The only thing he really loves to eat is marmite on toast- as a marmite lover I can see the attraction, but can also see why my boss and his wife are quite worried. I think they have visions of him going on a hot date one day and be sat there with a couple of slices of Hovis and a jar of the black stuff. Anyway, as a result they like to try and tempt him at mealtimes with all kind of weird and wonderful things, and this was the first occassion little Charlie had tried a pancake. To his credit he had a mouthful of pancake before pulling his favourite Bart Simpson face and pushing it to one side. Mum suggested drizzling a bit of honey on some pancake. Nope, not interested. Peanut Butter? (Yuck, that cannot have looked attractive) Still No. Whilst all this was going on, Jack, Charlies little brother was having a delightful time squeezing all manner of toppings on his stack of pancakes and finally settled on his favourite -honey and peanut butter. Together. I sat back in horror when I was told, but apparently it is a fabulous combination and has to be tried.

From pancakes my thought process moved onto cake (as is the norm) and I thought about peanut butter and honey cake and Googled it. Oh yes, there is such a recipe. And I have made it this evening whilst listening to Chris Evans and dancing around the kitchen to 'Jump' in manner of Hugh Grant in 'Love Actually' It is lovely, very very easy (the cake, not the dancing) and simple to make but looks quite disturbing whilst mixing. Stick with it though!

Peanut Butter and Honey Cake
* 1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy if you want texture, smooth if not-or a mixture)
* 1 cup runny honey
* 3 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 3/4 cups plain flour
* 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 tsp salt

Cream peanut butter and honey together. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the creamed mixture. Pour into a lined 9 inch square pan and bake at 180 C for 35 mins. (or 350 F)
That's it! It really is easy..I did cover mine with a square of greaseproof paper after 25 minutes to stop the top from browning too much. Leave it to cool slightly before peeling the paper off, and then leave to cool totally before slicing and spreading with butter. Mmmm.....
The cake above is travelling over to East Anglia tomorrow to my Grandad. I don't think I will be admitting straight away what's in it though. I doubt very much he has ever tried peanut butter and I want to break him in gently!

p.s- not necessarily in the same league as the 'Sticky Ginger Cake' but much less faffing about!!

Monday, 4 February 2008

He was a skater boy...

Who says Graffiti artists write a load of rubbish? I thought that this was actually very helpful advice for all those novice chefs out there...and we certainly stood in awe as we watched the skater boys do their stuff. I did have to restrain myself from telling them to be careful though.

This was the scene of the dedicated skateboard area/park whatever the dudes themselves would call it on the South Bank in London. We watched them for ages on boards and bikes throwing themselves up slopes, bouncing off walls and generally just being pretty damn cool. They certainly pulled in a crowd of admirers, and lots of photographers as well.

We had a lovely weekend in London, starting off on Saturday afternoon at Twickenham to watch our boys and Wales in the 6 Nations. Oh dear, we lost horribly in the second half but the atmosphere was electric. Unfortunately the promised muddy rugby players thighs photos didn't turn out as hoped. We were sitting quite a way back and the zoom wasn't up to it! Instead you get these..

I had 36 layers of clothing on and it was still blimmin freezing, but the Christmas Hat helped a lot. I also wore the scarf that I started knitted last millenium but decided to finish on friday night. If you are a knitter please don't zoom in or examine it too closely, you may start to cry. It served it's purpose!! Despite losing the match we had a great time, and then drove into London and stayed at a hotel, went to the bar and then ordered room service. There is something quite decadent about eating steak sandwiches whilst snuggled up in a fluffy dressing gown!

On Sunday morning we met up with Nancy, G, O and C and had a sunny walk along the South Bank before demolishing more food in Giraffe. I have never been to a Giraffe restaurant before but the food was great, I can highly recommend it, especially if you have little people in tow- they get free balloons and colouring in sheets! (children are so easily pleased aren't they?!)

Hope you all had a lovely weekend as well, I am now off to make a start on the enormous pile of washing that seems to have been breeding whilst we have been away..