Monthly Archives: April 2011

Here comes the bride

Today is the day of the Royal Wedding! I assumed that I wouldn’t really be bothered by it, but I’ve actually found myself getting into the swing of it a little… Aaw, everyone loves a wedding. And a good love story. And a prince and princess!

So here’s a bit of cheesy celebration 🙂

Via Love & Home

Via bauers_petz_n_more on eBay

Via The Contemporary Home on

Via Royal Wedding Mania

Via KK Outlet

A Very Modern Royal Wedding, KK Outlet

The Happy Couple Aaaaawww

And some even cheesier celebrations closer to home:

Iced biscuits to celebrate with friends

My school held a no-holds-barred street party yesterday… the children and staff dressed up in all their prince or princess finery, there were balloons and bunting and flags. Even a life size cardboard cut out of Kate and William! Live music by one of the music teachers, a huge spread of food, wedding cake baking competition entries from each class – it was incredible! The children sang the anthem and toasted the queen and everything. All the pomp and circumstance befitting a royal wedding 🙂

And the weather was just gorgeous! So was my little prince.

I’m planning on having warm scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam but I’m getting a little distracting watching all the preparations on tv. But I’m pretty sure I’ll have to make red velvet cupcakes to celebrate the anticipated Buckingham Palace balcony kiss 🙂

*Best wishes to the happy couple*


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Some Birthday Camera Embracing

On Saturday it was my 30th birthday 🙂

The weather was gorgeous, but the baby was miserable… must be teeth (blame everything on the teeth!). He didn’t nap properly so we didn’t get a single photo with a smile in it. That’s babies for you – when you want them to smile for your birthday photos, they just don’t.

But we had a lovely day anyway. Here are a few more pics of us, and we even managed a family snap:

Hope you’re all getting out your cameras to do some snapping today!

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Recipe Book

Last week I posted a hot cross bun recipe and mentioned my recipe book –  I  knew I wanted to put a picture of the HCB’s in the post (I always like to see food pictures, and I love what the buns look like, all pressed together in a round tin) but because I hadn’t actually had the time to make the hot cross buns myself this Easter, I took a photo of the picture in my recipe book. It felt pretty strange, to be honest!

Anyway, it got me thinking about what to do about my very nearly full recipe book.

I have not organised the recipes in any way – I just glue them in if I’ve cut them out of magazines, or write them down, wherever there’s a space. This has worked fine for me so far – I can usually remember if it’s  a newer (look near the front of the book) or older (look near the back of the book) addition, or maybe I can picture the other recipes that are on the same page, and so on. But I know there is just no way I could keep track of two books in this way.

So I was wondering if anyone else had any ideas for simple ways to organise recipes. Bearing in mind that some are cut outs, some are hand copied, some are very long with step-by-step details pictures, some are just tiny scraps of paper.

I expect I’ll do some trawling on Pinterest and etsy and other blogs, too, but any ideas would help me a lot!

A sneak peek at my book at the mo:

The photo I took for last week’s hot cross bun recipe, before editing it.

And this is what my well-worn and food-splashed recipe book looks like on the outside. Fancy, huh?

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Not A Spring Chicken

I am no longer in my 20’s, people!

I had a lovely day with my little family celebrating my entrance to my thirties 🙂 We’ve kept our birthdays very low-key this year because we want to save up to go on a family holiday near the end of the year when we’re (hopefully!) sleeping better at night and more able to cope with a bit of  travel with the Little Man. We’ll either be visiting friends in the south of France, or family in South Africa. Still figuring out the details, but excited either way.

Anyway, it was great having a long weekend – everyone’s in a holiday mood. In fact, in South Africa (where my family lives) there’s another public holiday tomorrow, so they’re feeling it even more!

Look what I got –  a m p e r s a n d  🙂

I haven’t decided exactly where it’ll go, or if I’ll decoupage or add anything onto it, but for now it gets pride of place with my little ‘vignette’ in the living room…

Okay *deep breath* you’re going to think I’m weird. Weirder than perhaps you already think I am. A large proportion of my 30th birthday present has been edible. ‘That’s not so bad’, I imagine you’re thinking, ‘as long as it’s something proper posh.’ Well, it’s not. It’s a bar of chocolate and a jar of peanut butter.

There, I said it. LOML is highly embarrassed that I consider that a suitable gift. But it’s what I wanted!

They’re both from SA, and the peanut butter is like nothing you can find in the shops here in the UK. The chocolate (in SA we call it a slab of chocolate – how great does that sound?? Way better than a prim and proper ‘bar of chocolate’ here!) is a layer of white chocolate on top of normal milk chocolate and it is awesomeness.

The absolute best gift was a Skype video call with my mom & dad, and my brother, sis-in-law, nephew and niece. We sent my parents a webcam as part of my birthday present 🙂 They all sang happy birthday to me, and my little 1 year old niece was clapping her hands like crazy and I got appropriately choked up…

With all the bank holidays, the rest of my present from LOML is running a bit late. I chose it so it’s not a surprise, but I’m sure I’ll pop something about it into a blog post once it’s arrived.

Hip hip hurray for birthdays 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter.


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A Quick One

It’s a long weekend and I’m feeling pretty lazy. So here is a virtually no-type post from me:

Just a quick peek at what we’ve been up to on the lovely sunny days we’ve been having in the Easter holidays…

A picnic in Central Park:

(Thanks Aunty Linda for the new bibs)

Little Man’s first visit to the beach:

As you can see, it’s all about the Little Man.

Boy, does a baby change your life 🙂

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Happy Easter All…

Well, it’s a luvverly long Easter weekend… and it’s my 30th birthday tomorrow!

Happy birthday to me 🙂

I wanted to share a great hot cross bun recipe for Easter. I haven’t made any this year because the weather’s been so lovely –  hot cross buns feel like they should be eaten fresh out of the oven on a cool day with a cuppa, and we’ve been out and about so much in the sunshine that I’ve not really had the time (or the inclination to be around a hot oven).

That means that obviously I don’t have photos to put on the post, but I’ve scanned taken a photo of the picture from the actual recipe (cut out of a magazine)… Scanner software has gone on holiday too, it seems.

I don’t know about you, but I like to see what the finished product should [but probably won’t in my case!] look like. So here goes:


450g strong white bread flour

1 tsp salt

1 tblspn mixed spice

50g butter (diced)

75g caster sugar

1 sachet (7g) instant yeast

150g sultanas

300ml [half and half] milk & water

vegetable oil for brushing


50g flour (self-raising or cake/plain)

2 tblspn caster sugar


Sift flour, salt and spice in a large bowl.

Rub in the butter with your fingertips.

Stir in the sugar, yeast and fruit.

Make a well and pour in the milk and water, gradually folding in the flour mixture until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth and elastic, then shape into a ball.

Brush the inside of a bowl with oil, put the dough in the bowl and cover with cling film/damp tea towel.

Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour and a half, but rising times vary – it could be 2 hours, or more, in a cold kitchen).

Brush a large round cake tin (about 25cm diameter) with oil.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and shape into balls, keeping the tops smooth.

Arrange in the cake tin and cover with cling film – leave to prove like this for about 30 mins (again, in a warm place until doubled in size).

Preheat oven to 200 deg C (180 degF/gas 6).

Make the crosses: Mix flour with 4 tblspns cold water in a small bowl until smooth. Spoon into a freezer bag, snip off one corner and pipe crosses on the buns.

Bake for 15 mins until golden*

Prepare the glaze while buns bake: Heat the sugar with 4 tblspns water in a  small pan until the sugar has dissolved.

As soon as the buns come out of the oven, transfer to a wire rack and brush with the glaze.
Leave to stand in a warm place until the glaze dries.

*I always land up baking mine for about 20 mins, as the underside is still a bit raw and squishy after 15 mins.

Happy Easter, and happy baking 🙂

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Embracing The Camera In A Sunny Way

Tuesday 19th April 2011

On Tuesday we popped in at friends… I was not at all prepared for swimming! Though I had remembered sunscreen, hat, warmer clothes in case it was cooler when we walked home, a camera, sunscreen for me, water bottles for both us – you get the picture, right? I did manage to remember a lot. Just hadn’t thought about swimming stuff.

Fortunately LM’s friend had a swimming nappy and swim shorts for us to use.  How cute are those trunks?

And we had such fun splashing about.

Another first for Little Man 🙂

Anybody else embracing the camera this week?


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