Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Five things to keep you cosy & happy this Winter...


There is nothing I love more than getting home, taking off my bra and putting on a pair of slippers! I have a pair that my friend from Oz gave to me before she went home and they are great because I don't have to take them off when I get all snuggled up on the sofa - my pet hate are slippers that are far to chunky or a big outdoor plastic bit on the bottom - they are indoor shoes! Invest in a pair of beautiful soft slippers, they will put a smile on your face everyday when you walk through the door and slip them on.

Hot Water & Lemon

I have to admit I'm not a lover of tea and coffee so my hot drink of choice is a mug of hot water and a couple of slices of lemon with a splash of cold water. It's lovely and fresh it warms me up and it's really good for you. I once heard that it's supposed to be great to have in the morning to speed up the metabolism but I'm sure anytime is just as good. Try it and see!

Board Games

This might sound absolutely ridiculous in the modern world but honestly they are so much fun! My girly friends and I used to devote a Thursday evening every week to all desending to each others homes for a lovely meal, lots of vino and a few board games to have a good laugh at each others expense and get very competitive. I encourage you all to buy a few over the Christmas period and get a few friends (young and old) involved you won't regret it. Some of my favourites are Balderdash, Scattergories and Articulate. They will keep you amused on those cold and dark evenings.

Make time for yourself

Just take a moment to have ten minutes to yourself. Have a bath, read a book, flick through a recipe book, curl up with a blanket and a mag, sneak up to bed and have a fourty winks all snuggled up under the duvet there is something so satisifying about having a snooze when you shouldn't be, drag on all your new winter clobber and go for a walk (take a camera!) just make time for YOU! All we ever do is things for everyone else it's time to take a minute for yourself, it will make you better and stronger for everyone else when they really need you.

Good Food

Oranges are back in season and they taste beautiful - go and buy a bag of oranges. Eat all those things that just don't seem right to eat in the Spring and Summer...casseroles, stews, cottage pie, chunky soups, meat pies, toad in the hole...they give you that really full up feeling that will get you set up for an evening on the sofa watching television.

These are the things that get me through the Winter, hopefully these will inspire you and make you feel great. Stay well and enjoy the time of year for all the things it brings us that we miss when the Sun is shining!

Monday, 13 December 2010

My Birthday week!

So I've been completely off the blogging radar for the past week because I've been very busy with attending several birthday surprises! I was treated to an evening at The Crab at Chieveley (www.crabatchieveley.com) on Wednesday night (my favourite restaurant but is one for those special occasions...)not only that but my two closest friends were there to surprise me on arrival. They had bought me "River Cottage - Everyday", I've been after it for ages, I do love Hugh!

So after a lovely meal and beautiful dessert... back home and straight to bed to be up for work at 5am(!)

Then on Thursday I had the most awful day at work but I had yet another surprise in store, I was instructed to go and have a rest by my darling Manc and then get my gladrags on as were heading into London to The Savoy Theatre to see "Legally Blonde" but little did I know my Mum was already in London and was treating me to dinner at the only burger place I like...."Byron Burger" - www.byronhamburgers.com (I've never loved burgers but these are to die for, I have the classic with goats cheese..mmmmmmm).

Legally Blonde is an absolutely brilliant show and my Manc enjoyed it as much as me (if not more) and since the show we've been doing our own renditions of the songs from the show which sound just awful but our personal favourite is "oooooohhh my god, oooh my god you guys!"

Back home after midnight again and up for work at 3.20am...suffering..but that wasn't it...back out on Friday night to a local pub where I had lots of friends and family there to surprise me. As you can imagine another late night and a slightly sore head..work at 4am! Writing this I'm not sure how I coped!

Saturday morning got back from work at 7am, packed my bags and off we went oop North to our second home.. Manchester!

Manchester consisted of X factor, chippy tea, Manchester Christmas Market...one girl had the most amazing leather stall with lots of one off handbags called "Woodchip Boutique" www.woodchipboutique.co.uk she even does requests!

...a flying trip to Afflecks Palace and then the Manchester United Megastore...(his idea not mine) to get his Nephew a kit for his second birthday. Then off to his birthday party, lots of party food (no jelly and ice cream though..boooo)

and then more X Factor (Didn't love the fact Matt won, very blah!) then the dreaded drive home where I make my bed up in the passenger's seat and let my darling boyf get us home safely! Home at 2.30am back up for work at 4.30am!

Today I've done nothing except make us a sausage sandwich and it's been bliss. I still love birthdays. Looking forward to the festive season now, jingle bells, jingle bells...! I just love it!

I've got lots of presents to make in the next few days so I'll keep you posted with those.

Much Love, especailly to Tabitha Bluebell @ http://make-me--beautiful.blogspot.com for recommending me this week in her lastest blog x

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I really need to stop posting about shopping but here's 'Birmingham has a very German Christmas Market'!

So I thought I'd join a coach load of my work colleagues up to Birmingham this weekend just been and it was most definetly worth it. I do love the shopping in Birmingham and the market was much bigger than I'd expected with plenty of stalls selling sausage, beer, pretzels, chocolate, windmill pyramids, hot chocolate and much much more. http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/frankfurtmarket

The weather was bright and sunny but absolutely freezing so I treated myself to a very cute poncho/cape coat from Primark...!Not very practical but surely it won't be sub-zero degress all winter?! Plus I got to wear my new crocheted hat that I bought in the Summer from a lovely lady at a local Fayre.

(As you can see my darling other half has slightly different taste more 'Chavvy Chic' than 'Shabby Chic' but each to their own and I knew when to smile!)

I didn't end up buying very much because I'm still intent on making all my Christmas Presents but I did buy some sausage and some German marshmellow/chocolate/wafer type treats in several flavours which tasted absolutely gorgeous. I think the German's call them 'foam kisses'?!

It made a lovely day out despite the weather so Danke schön Birmingham and I'd recommend it if you fancy a day out because even if the weather is too much there is always the Bullring (and the food hall at Selfridges!)


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

After a little trip to Manchester...

My darling boyfriend is a Mancunian and he loves his hometown and we regulary go back to see everyone and I like to take advantage of the incredible shopping. My favourite place to go shopping is the Northern Quarter, it's hip, quirky, packed with charity shops and cafe's. But in my opinion the place to head is Affleck's Palace - I fell in love with this place the minute I walked in, it's floor upon floor of vintage, tack and huge heels.

Affleck's Palace is also home to The Bead Shop (http://www.the-beadshop.co.uk/) and I could quite possibly spend hours and hours in there. Browsing through all the individual beads and buttons just filling up my basket. It's here I found the materials I needed to make this beautiful brooch which will be a brilliant Chrismas Present for someone.

What do you think? I showed it to a friend in London and she thinks I should sell it?! I'm tempted. She showed a friend a bracelet I made last year and she's started making copies of them! Can you believe it!? Maybe I should...

Anyone else love to shop in Manchester? Or found some great shops I should check out when I'm 'oop' North again?

Friday, 19 November 2010

Having two months off after your 1st blog isn't ideal...

Yes, I've been terrible and neglected my diary but I have been busy. I've been busy getting things together for Christmas and collecting all things festive. I do love this time of year because not only is it Christmas it's my birthday next month too. I've asked my very domesticated man for 10 surprises, he looked at me and laughed but I think he's knows I'm serious and won't let me down....!

So I've got some serious catching up to do and fill you in on all the things I've been up too. I've just started a sewing course and it's great, everyone's really friendly and the tutor makes sure she has plenty of time for everyone. I've already made two cushions (1 Christmas present done!). I'll try and pop the photos up for everyone to take a look at. I've been doing plenty of baking...croquembouche, sourdough, brioche, baguettes and just about to start a fruit cake ready to get iced for Christmas. Again I'll get some photos and details up to share with you all.

Bunting will be next my friend has been pestering me to make some with her so she can give them as gifts, ooo maybe that can be "B is for Bunting"

For all those who thought I'd given up, I'm back for good this time.

I've got so many Christmas present ideas and finished products to share with you so make sure you come back and check up on me!


P.S The apron is almost finished :-)

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A is for Aprons

I truly believe that every girl deserves and needs a gorgeous apron to treasure and put on when ever they feel in the mood to get creative but I know that one that really suits you and that you really love are hard to come by. My Mum bought me mine a few years ago at Christmas and I do love it, it's cinched in at the waist and flows out beautifully at the bottom and the print is so girly and kitch.
One of my closest friends Jo isn't as lucky! Whenever I pop over to her house to bake cakes I always take my apron and she whines about how cute it is and how she doesn't have one and I tell her not to give up and keep looking hers will be out there somewhere. Secretly it got me thinking and I started to look for one for her but I just felt everything was really dull and predictable?

So I went to my Mum (a true domestic goddess, that I can only dream of becoming!) and asked her if I'd be able to get a pattern and make one "of course" she cried, "you can try Vogue, McCalls, Simplicity....just pop into John Lewis. When you were a baby and you'd fallen asleep I used to spend hours going through the pattern books in there". Well with that I began to trawl the internet for patterns and there are so many to choose from but I decided to stick with Mum and on my next trip to town I headed straight for John Lewis where I found my pattern of choice costing me £5.50.

Simplicity 2592 - Misses Collection

I've chosen design 'C' to make for my friend Jo but now I'm struggling with finding some fabric that I love and I know she will adore. It needs to be a modern vintage feel with creams, pinks and greens...maybe some lace/frilly trim but not too bright. Does anyone have any ideas for me? cheap fabric shops? apron advice in general?

For anyone reading this who shares my love of aprons but doesn't have the time or the patience(!) to make one I have found one apron that has tempted me on a tiny high street in Berkshire recently and it's this...

The Pip Studio Apron costing between £25.00-£30.00 it's a gorgeous danish collection which is new and stocked in just a few boutique stores from what I can gather, it's very Cath Kidston like but more fun with fresh patterns, more detail and just utterly fabulous!!! If you shop around you'll find the other apron they make too which has more pink shades. At the moment you are unable to buy direct from Pip Studio.

I'd love to hear all your comments and see what you think. I'll keep you all updated with my progress.



Tuesday, 21 September 2010

It all began over Wagamama's....

So after a random last minute shopping trip to town with an old friend which started in H&M and moved swiftly to MAC make-up and then onto Boots. I was struck by my friend's new found knowlegde of all things fashion, make-up and beauty. Thinking little of it I took it in my stride and was quickly talked into spending £27.00 on new make-up because I most definitely need it AND it's limited edition. I was to soon find out over dish 71 at Waga's that she has infact found a new found love in blogging and had started a secret blog about all things fashion, beauty and make-up....She was very reluctant to tell me anything much to my disappointment but unknowingley gave me a few clues. An hour later back at home it took me just under 10 minutes to find her, all those hours spent online in the past most definitely came in handy. All this has happened in the last 24 hours and it's taken me all day to pick a background, find my way around this templating business and think of a catchy title!

I'm 25 living with my darling boyfriend who is the domestic god in my life, he cooks, cleans, washes up, hoovers, is anally tidy and never say 'no'. What more could a girl ask for? Nothing, because this gives me the chance to try all the more fun domestic goddess duties! Planning day trips, baking cakes, scrapbooking, sewing, trawling the internet for new ideas, taking photos, making presents and buying all things vintage..........

I am a baker's daughter and I became the fourth generation of master baker's in February when I joined the family business. A complex arrangement of family members running 6 small shops in the Home Counties with one bakery supplying all those shops and this is where you'd find me. Monday through to Saturday at 4am/5am starts through to lunchtime....and my life sounded of so glamourous to start with! I'm learning quickly and can make apple turnovers, eccles cakes, cupcakes, fresh cream eclairs (the list is huge!). Then in August I made my first wedding cake for one of my closest friend's which was just perfect for the perfect day.

I've come on here to post my photos, thoughts and advice, a secret place for me to come and express myself!
If you come across my weird and wonderful life on here please feel free to leave your comments and questions.