Busy busy busy

Today is turning into one of those I-thought-I-had-loads-of-time-but-suddenly-the-day-is-full-and-I’m-running-out-of-time kind of days.

So, as briefly as I can make this post, this is something I picked up at a charity shop yesterday:

  • Lace on the edges to be ‘repurposed’ –  on gifts instead of ribbon, and possibly another attempt at fabric flowers.
  • Floral fabric – as well as a bit of  ‘bleach & dye’ experimentation (a little bit like this), I intend making a teething/nursing necklace (like this)
And I stopped in at the greengrocer to see what looked good, and ended up walking away with some strawberries and this fruit box:
I know the photos don’t really show the box very well, but I just got so caught up in photographing the lettering and the cool red heart…

I was very chuffed with myself for asking him (Simon, the very friendly greengrocer) about what he does with the fruit boxes… usually I would just gaze longingly but chicken out of actually asking such a question in case he 1) thought it was a ridiculous question and that I was a loony, or 2) laughed at me because of course he re-uses them and would never think of giving them away, or 3) offered to sell it to me, which I would decline and therefore look like a cheapskate trying beg stuff off others for free [which I was].
Great news! He loved that I loved the box and happily emptied the oranges that were being displayed into a different box. He then proceeded to offer me others, even though he does re-use the boxes for home deliveries. I was walking with the pram so I could barely take the first box, let alone any others, but he’s keeping some for me. What a nice man 🙂

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Cinnamon Cookies for Kids

I have recently started helping out with the snacks for the toddler group that my church runs on a Thursday morning. I have mini-panics about how much food is needed, and if the other mums will somehow sniff out my lack of experience when it comes to choosing suitable fruit and baked goodies for their little ones. I envision having too little cake for the parents, un-toddler-friendly fruit, and some kind of allergic reaction to the cake I make for the little ones.

Last week I made cookie-cutter biscuits for the tots, which I had great fun decorating with the icing pens I bought to decorate my royal wedding biscuits… I have to add that ‘royal wedding biscuits’ may sound fancy, but they were not at all. The only fancy thing about them was that I iced them with cute patterns using the icing pens rather than slathering on piles of homemade icing. Rather like cement on bricks.

Anyway, back to the biscuits… they turned out fine: no allergic reactions, and no tantrums caused by a shortage of snack provisions. In fact, there were leftovers. Which were taken to snack on at my friend’s place that afternoon. So this recipe is for you, Helen 🙂

The recipe is from this book, and is called ‘Butterfly Biscuits’.

Baking With Tiny Tots

I cut them in the shape of gingerbread men, though, so I’m just calling them…

Cinnamon Cookies

Ingredients:

275g self-raising flour (+ extra for dusting)

10ml cinnamon (optional)

100g soft light brown sugar

75g butter, cut into pieces

1 egg, beaten

2 Tablespns golden syrup

Method:

1. Sift flour and cinnamon into a bowl, then stir in the sugar.

2. Rub in the butter pieces until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. In a separate bowl/jug, beat the egg and syrup together. Add to the flour mix and stir.

4. Form a ball of dough, wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for about an hour. (I’ve put this in bold because I didn’t notice this when checking the recipe and it kind of messed up my timings!)

5. After chilling the dough, preheat the oven to 170degC (sorry, I don’t know how to get a  degree symbol on here!!) This is Gas Mark 3 or 340degF. Line a baking sheet or two with baking paper.

6. Sprinkle some flour on the work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the dough to about 5mm thick and cut shapes with cookie cutters.

7. Bake for 10-15 mins (depending on your oven) – the edges should be golden brown. Remove from the tray to cool before decorating with icing.

*Please note the one hour chilling time before you plan your timings!

*10 minutes was plenty of baking time for my oven, and they get much darker brown very quickly, so keep an eye on them!

*This is meant to be child friendly, but I’ve skipped out a lot of ‘get your child involved’ detail in my version – a little common sense, some hand wash and a big apron is all you really need to get your little one baking 🙂

I’d love to hear about it if you try these…

Sorry about the lack of photos – Little Man was having a ‘there’s-no-way-I’m-napping’ morning, so it was rather chaotic trying to get them done in time. But hey, we all know what gingerbread shaped biscuits look like, right?

PS I made a very yummy lemon drizzle cake for the mums. [Oh, and dads. Yes, we have dads at our group too.]

But I’m not going to post the recipe for that – if you want it, you’ll have to buy our Big Fish Recipe Book 🙂 heehee

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Funny Words

In my search for gorgeous posters and prints, I’ve come across some pretty funny stuff.

I just had to share ’em:

Via Sherry @ Young House Love's Pinterest

Notebook Doodles

Via Kelly Thornburg's Pinterest

And these are probably my most favouritest. Hi-la-ri-ous!

Via Kelly Thornburg's Pinterest

Sign on Door

Via Kelly Thornburg’s Pinterest

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A Leaf From My Book

Last week Friday I posted about a use for those old books I bought at a car boot sale.

And here’s what else I’ve been doing with those old vintage pages… plus cereal boxes, doilies and vellum paper.

I used gift tags [that I bought a while back from here] as a rough guide to cut out rectangles from old cereal boxes (look at me repurposing all proper-like). I then glued the printed, colourful side of the cereal box onto suitable pages and cut out the tags. The brownish inside of the cereal box makes a nice neutral surface to write on.

On top of the page side of the tag, I glued a bit of paper doily (el cheapo) and hole-punched a message – birthday, in this case. I bought a pack of vellum and printed out a billion different messages – congrats, thank you’s, etc. to add to the ‘generic’ tag whenever I need them.

Lastly, I used rubber stamps to stamp out the recipient’s name in the doily bit. Then I strung the tag and birthday message on some twine and tied onto the gift.

While I was making this tag, I also used some scraps of Cath Kidston writing paper (leftover from this little project) to make another tag in the same way:

And here’s what I hope to still do one day with those old vintage book pages…

Via Kara Paslay Designs

A little ambitious perhaps? Especially considering my crafting skills don’t seem to go beyond gift tags!

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Embrace That Ol’ Camera :)

Ok, so I know today is ETC day, but I just had to show you these pretty (DIY/repurposed if you want!) cake stands. Yes, how sad – since yesterday’s post when I suddenly realised that it was my destiny to have a new cake stand, I’ve been looking around.  A quick coupla pics to soothe my obsessed brain, and then I can move onto all things ETC as I should…

Via Little Glass Box

Vintage Treat Pedestal, Nicole

Via BHLDN

And also do do do do check out {my all time favourite ever in the world blog} Under The Sycamore for Ashley’s cake stands. 

I like the idea of having a stand with cover, like this (totally NOT repurposed or DIY):

Porcelain Pedestal with Dome, Roullier White

Ok, Embracing The Camera now…

LOML’ s turn to be ’embraced’ and be on-screen with the boy 🙂

Yes, I know LOML’s head is cut off. And some of LM’s too.

But I just love the composition of this whole shot because of that. Totally unintentional – I’m no photographer. Clearly!

All I did in the way of editing was add the pretty framed edge.

There’s just something about the space to the right, under LOML’s outstretched arm. And the way LM is totally absorbed in looking at his Pappa, ignoring the toy in his hand that  he had been chewing on.

*sigh*

Love.

A little something extra…  here’s a link to a video clip of their favourite new game. It’s on YouTube (in case you have filters if you’re reading this at work).

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Luscious Lemon Meringue

I love lemon meringue pie. It’s another childhood favourite of mine.

I made one recently, and couldn’t quite figure out why it had been so long since I last made it.Errrm, nope – this one’s not mine. I wish!

If you click on the photo you’ll be linked to where I got the picture from.

{Great, now I want a cake stand like that}

You see, I got distracted (what??) while mine was baking so the top got a little more way more golden than it should have. And I just couldn’t bear the thought of putting a photo of a brown lemon meringue pie on my blog. Yes, I’m a faker.

But still, the recipe is pretty easy and the result is very tasty, even when the top comes out tanned 🙂

Pastry case (although I usually just use crushed digestive biscuits and butter. Have a look at the photo above to see my very high tech biscuit-crushing technique)

Melt 125g butter, then mix in a heaped cup of flour and 3 teaspoons sugar. Press into a pie dish and bake at 150 deg C for 15-20 mins until golden. Leave to cool a little before pouring lemon filling into it.

Filling:

Mix together:

*1 tin condensed milk

*2 egg yolks (keep the whites for the meringue)

*Half a cup of lemon juice

Pour into the pastry case when cooled a little.

Meringue topping:

*Beat the 2 egg whites until stiff.

*Add half a cup of caster sugar and beat briefly until smooth and glossy.

Gently cover the the lemon filling with meringue. Make pretty swirls with a spatula 🙂

Bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown (not brown brown like I did!)

Aha! I was about to type a little ‘warning’ about the uncooked eggs and pregnancy – bingo! That’s why I haven’t made it in ages… So the little 10 minute golden brown-ing time doesn’t really count as baking. The eggs would still be pretty raw, so if you’re pregnant and worried about eggs (as they are in the UK), then don’t make this one. Yet.

PS: Dad, if Mom shows you this, don’t drool too much 😉 My dad and I always had this as our birthday meal dessert.

And another PS: A friend recently mentioned using cream cheese in the lemony filling bit. I haven’t tried it yet, but if any of you have a recipe like that – let me know!

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Word Art

I have a new obsession. I think it started here, with this:

A Gallery of Frames - Young House Love

Perhaps living in rented accommodation for the whole of my adult life is taking its toll – I can’t stop planning what I can put up on my own walls in my own  house one day! With no limit to the number of holes I can drill or nails I can bash into the walls. Without worrying about having to fill the holes and finding paint colour to cover the holes that matches the walls when we leave.

In my online perusals I seem to come across loads of gorgeous prints that I would love to buy or make my own version of to one day have in my  home.

Thank goodness for Pinterest. If you look on my Pinterest, you’ll come across these (and more).

Here a few of my faves at the moment…

I want this in my kitchen. Except with ‘jam’ not jelly.

Via Kelly Thornburg’s Pinterest

Check out these awesome posters.

I love a bit of tongue-in-cheek. No, I don’t mean that in any kind of dodgy way.

Via Kelly Thornburg's Pinterest

Via Sherry @ Young House Love's Pinterest

I would absolutely and definitely want something like these on my wall gallery 🙂

Notebook Doodles

Via Kelly Thornburg's Pinterest

And this is just great…

Again, thanks Kelly Thornburg on Pinterest!

And I would love love love love to have a print of this photo in my living room. Maybe without the legs down there in the bottom right corner, lol. Here’s hoping Meg [crops and] sells it!

That colour is stupendous.

Three gorgeous robin’s egg.

In a nest balanced on a ledge just a few inches wide.

Even if it wasn’t so pretty it could be so deep and symbolic!

And here a couple of pictures that I haven’t had to trawl the net to find. They would absolutely be in my wall gallery 🙂 Aaaawwww.

And I’m pretty sure everything else in my wall gallery would be baby pictures. Typical new parent {roll eyes}.

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