Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Dessert Buffet for a Vintage Birthday Party

A busy week at the helm of the KitchenAid

P1080258Lemon & Ginger Gateau

Lemon Cheesecakes

Cherry and Chocolate Biscotti

Amaretto Chocolate Truffles

Almond Macaroons with rose petal frosting

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Chocolate Orange Whoopie Pies

Butter Shortbread Buttons

resulting in this little lot…


Followed by a gorgeously decorated light fruit cake, the result of a secret baking sesh by The Boy…


Not bad for a first time bake?! Clever little button x

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunny Days and Smiley Cards

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A lovely birthday

A milestone reached

A new pair of sandals in which to reach the next milestones!

A fabulous card from the little sis… enclosing a list of 30 of some of the ‘fabulous achievements’ from my life thus far… To confirm: this is not from me so I can write this with irony/modesty as they are not my words, but from elsewhere!

  1. Your lovely daughter…
  2. Rocking dungarees and clogs 10 years before Alexa Chung
  3. Bagging a Doctor (queue ‘i can’t believe I’m marrying a doctor’ from Beaches)
  4. Knitting a cardigan a day for #1
  5. BA Hons First
  6. Click Click STOMP Click Click STOMP aka Best Tap Routine ever!
  7. Rocking Mad Men chic before Mad Men
  8. MA
  9. TOES
  10. Selling actual things to actual people through the actual internet web thingy
  11. Cycling in London (mentallist)
  12. Having a wonderfully exotic accent that even Sam West couldn’t place
  13. Passing your driving test while 8 months pregnant
  14. Being the family encyclopedia on Shakespeare
  15. Wearing yellow eyeshadow
  16. Organising the PERFECT wedding
  17. Flying across the Atlantic with a 5 month old baby
  18. Year Book Editor
  19. Keeping said Doctor in baked goods on a daily basis
  20. Climbing Maccu Piccu
  21. Growing really long hair for perfect wedding
  22. Raising money for Maccu Piccu
  23. Being a wonderfully caring and fabulous friend
  24. Having a wedding dress with POCKETS
  25. Having purple/mahogany hair while still in school
  26. Introducing me to talking weird (see #12), fashion (#2), makeup (#15), hairstyles from Sliding Doors (#25), dancing (#6), and safety first at the poolside (#9)…
  27. Storming the blogosphere
  28. Knitting yourself a migraine (your hubbie’s words-love it!)
  29. Secretly being the buyer/trendspotter/trendsetter for Anthropologie, Hobbs, Clarks, The White Company and Space NK
  30. Being a fricking awesome sister and friend who is TURNING 30!!!!!!!

What better present could a person get?!

Gotta love family. Thanks, Cate.

On my way out to drinks, so will post this and then rush off to a cocktail bar, then drunkenly edit this and add links etc later. That will end well, I’m sure. PS Today’s Cake: Lemon Meringue Cake by Nigella. Yum. That’s all I need to say.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Thirty before Thirty – an update!

Three days to go before the big THREE OH…

Highlighted in red are my outstanding tasks…

There seems to be a distinct lack of ‘months’, ‘weekends’ and ‘excercise opportunities’ before Monday… Methinks the nominated charity is going to be getting a donation shortly… Send over album suggestions for music to listen to over my non-technical weekend and I’ll get them on iTunes before I unplug! Oh… but then I can’t listen to them… Oh crikey…

  1. Go to one restaurant a month that I’ve never been to before

January – Dinner complete with silver ‘reveal’ domes at theEastwell Manor Hotel

February – Took part in first Supper Club at the Courtyard Cafe for Valentines Day

March – Afternoon Tea at the Ellenborough Park Hotel

April – Amazing Lunch at Wheeler’s Oyster Bar in Whitstable

May – Sunday Lunch at the Queen Adelaide in Shepherd’s Bush

June – Pre-concert dinner at Positano in Cardiff

July – Lunch at the Bridge Lounge, Southwark 

August – Lunch at Sazio’s in Harpenden

September – Dinner at Sagra Brasserie in St Albans

  1. Eat 5 foodstuffs I’ve never tried before DONE: Romanesque Broccoli, Octopus, deep fried oyster, Preserved Ginger in syrup (without it being in a cake or jam!), and… BREAD MADE BY MY OWN FAIR HANDS!
  2. Bake bread. Actual bread. Not just yeast-assisted cakes DONE!
  3. Knit something in Fair Isle/stranded colourwork or a lace shawl DONE!
  4. Give handmade presents this year (I’ve given myself a loophole in case I run out of time to make every present myself) – and make them GOOD THINGS that are wanted and liked and appropriate and… and… and… Done for friends’s 30th birthday, for friend’s new babies and for sister’s birthday!
  5. Listen to 10 albums by artists I’ve not listened to before! Buena Vista Social Club, Hugh Laurie, French album in the car I’ve not got the name of…
  6. Write a letter for Tilly to open when she’s 18 DONE
  7. Write a letter to myself to open when I’m 60 DONE
  8. Read three ‘classic’ books I haven’t read before Started Vanity Fair, thoroughly enjoyed the first third of it and then lost momentum… :-(
  9. Drink only water for one month this is going to be HARD – tea… wine??
  10. Don’t complain about anything for a week DONE and it was beautifully refreshing and surprisingly easy
  11. Go completely ‘unchained’ for a month (ie no shopping at any chainstores for food, clothes, etc)
  12. Unplug for a whole weekend (no phone, Internet, television etc.)
  13. See 10 ‘classic’ movies I’ve never seen DONE! – Gentlemen prefer blondes, Sabrina, Annie Hall, The Hurt Locker [it’s won an Oscar – does that make it a modern classic?), Avatar, Up, Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows Part 2, All About Eve, Blythe Spirit, Exit Through the Gift Shop
  14. Workout for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks
  15. Write a list of 101 things I’ve already achieved in this lifetime
  16. Write a list of 50 things I like about myself
  17. Write 5 letters to 5 people who changed my life DONE and Sent!!
  18. Sleep in a tent, outside, with my husband and my daughter Instead – organised a big camp-along for twenty-five people in Norfolk and slept in a caravan – cheating?? Possibly…
  19. Make £100 from my crafting in one calendar month £106 made in March and again £120 made in June!
  20. See 9 performances featuring my friends (acting, singing, dancing etc) – professional or amateur Tick One:Fiona Bevan at the Tate Modern, Tick Two: My Goddaughters’ end of term ballet recital
  21. Help organise a street party for the Royal Wedding: Done!
  22. Help organise a Big Lunch party for local families: have had to postpone this due to timing and local busy-ness. All set for Big Lunch for next year though…
  23. Go a week without spending any money bar Tilly essentials – diapers etc DONE – surprisingly difficult but very liberating! And boy, our storecupboards were scraped bare!
  24. Grow a plant in this house that does not die within four weeks of ownership DONE – my gorgeous mini-herb garden!
  25. Have a ‘no rubbish’ week
  26. Don’t swear for a week this is going to be bloody difficult – geddit??? DONE!
  27. Take part in three craft swaps – the two last year were BRILLIANT and they made me so happy! Done! Done! and Done!
  28. Put aside £10 for every I task I complete to buy myself a fabulous birthday present Donate £10 to charity for every task I don’t complete

Monday, September 05, 2011

Baking and Creating

Recent makes include:

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ipod Cosy from Mollie Makes gift-pack, made for lovely friend’s birthday pressie


Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes with a good friend


Mending a Victorian velvet cushion with charity-shop velvet patches…’after shot’ to follow…


New baby quilt for born-today Nieve! Congratulations all!

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Mastering the ‘top-down raglan in one’ construction with Linda’s cute eyelet patternP1080001 P1080003

Coconut Meringue Roulade and Pear & Chocolate cupcakes to take along to a …

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Pizza and Pottery afternoon at the home of the fabulous Charlotte Storrs!


Savoury Picnic Bread made vegetarian with mozzarella, spinach and onion….


And even little people have been getting creative…

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First ever decorating-cakes-with-Mummy session and first ever millinery creation…

To quote Miranada’s mum… SUCH FUN!