Sunday, 31 January 2010

Lovin *that* cake stand :)

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments about the cake stand and muffins, bargains and well...everything! If anyone asks a question i always try to email you back but sometimes theres no email addy attached to the comment so i hope its ok im doing it this way...

For those who asked about the multilevel cake stand. I bought it from a gorgeous shop in Durham on Sadler Street, its 4 floors of pure shabby eyecandy - Wild and Funk. Good news is they have a website for those that dont live anywhere near!! Ive looked and im not sure the cakestand is on the website - i know the lady got mine from upstairs so maybe they have more put away and its worthwhile giving them a ring as they were in the sale for £24.50!! :)

It doesnt include the plates as the ones that go with it were £34 for 4 - eek!!! The pink and blue ones i have placed on it were my own, bought from BHS a little while ago for less than £1 each in the sale :) I would be mortified if i broke one of the proper plates intended for the stand so im pleased i went for the stand only and added my own - at least this way its got my own touch too :)

Edible lavender is available from this ebay shop - there is a store called Steenbergs but for some reason its not coming up on google for me!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Baking day!

Ive been baking!

Sweet mincemeat muffins...lemon muffins...lavender muffins...chocolate chip cookies and scones......YUM!!

A little sneak of an upcoming Bo Bunny Project :)Remember to check in on Monday for the shopping list for week 5 - Cherry and Coconut traybake :)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Im nesting!! lol

Thats been the standard joke around here today since i brought home yet more birdie bargains......A gorgeous plate stand with a cute little bird on top and a fab glass nest with the same little bird sitting on the edge :)Those are more of the carrot cakes from our recipe on week 1 - made today, gone tomorrow :)
How cute is this birdcage sticker too - look how big it is!! Ive seen these for up to £30 on certain sites.......heres a heads up......get yourselves down to Homebargains and bag one for the bankbreaking price of £1.99!! Yes you read that right! £1.99!! They had all the different kinds too, chandeliers, lamps - everything and they all have bling too! *certainly worth a happy dance*

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Country Cottage Pie with Cheesy Mash :) - Week 4

We had this last night and used the red wine version - if you would prefer not to i would just say miss it out altogether and not add any other liquid in place as there is a lot of liquid in this mix anyway.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees once the mince is simmering...

OK, Gather all your ingredients from Mondays shopping list... carrots and onions should be diced small...Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and brown the mince and onions on a medium heat...
Drain off the excess oil and mince fat and return to pan.
Add all of the ingredients EXCEPT the flour at this point and stir well...
Once it is all combined sieve the flour into the mix and again keep stiring - this will stop the flour from forming lumps... leave to simmer for 40minutes. *preheat oven*
While the mince is simmering prepare your potatoes...Gather all the ingredients :)
Boil until they are able to be broken easily with a fork.
I knew i NEEDED one of these mashers! lol Mash with your prefered tool...fork, masher, magic squishy thing!! LOL
Add your onions, seasoning and soft cheese...
Mix until well blended.
Using a slatted spoon fill the bottom of your pie dish with the mince mix.
Place the mash mix ontop of your mince...
...spread and level with a fork.
Add your cheese and again season if you wish.
Bake in the oven for 30mins or until the cheese is browned and crispy around the edges.
Serve and enjoy :D

I didnt add the milk or cream to the potatoes as there was enough soft cheese to make it creamy :)

Let me know what you think :)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Bargains and Bo Bunny!

My mum is staying here this week so today we headed out to the shops for a wander....not needing anything in particular but you know what its like! You spot one thing, then another and before you know it youre struggling with bargains and wondering what the heck you needed a birds nest complete with egg for! LOL Yes you read that right! I have always wanted one and then looking around a lovely little homey shop today they had 2 - one with egg, one without - every nest needs an egg right so i went for this cute and such a prop for upcoming Easter projects ;)
In BHS too they had a sale on so i managed to pick up some new mugs, very CK shabby chic! Reduced from £15 to £10 to £7.50 and then because one was missing a cup i got that set for £5! Bargains! Off too buy some shelves for the kitchen tomorrow so lets hope i can pick up bargains there! lol

Here is my latest Bo Bunny project. Jakes class take it in turns to bring home a bear and spend a few days with them, on his days J loved playing on his games and letting ted watch :) All papers used are Love Bandit :)

Thank you to Katie for the sweet award for my blog...Here are the rules

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. List who gave the award to you and use a link to her blog (or hyperlink).
3. List 10 things that make you happy.
4. Pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know!
5. I am not such a stickler for rules if you are like me: do as you please with it!!!

ok 10 things that make me happy... *not in any particular order*...

1. Babies! lol
2. Cupcakes
3. Scrapbooking
4. General cooking
5. General messing with paper
6. Proper belly laughs
7. Jigsaws (lol yep im that sad!) lol
8. Reading
9. Snuggles with my boys and hubs
10. Updating my blog - honestly i really do look forward to updating it, to me its a kind of online diary )

Im going to pass this award on to you all - i do follow all the links back to your blogs etc and im sorry if i dont have a chance to comment (i do when i can honest!) So please take this award as a thank you from me for helping keep me inspired enough to update my own :D *mwahhh*

Monday, 25 January 2010

Week 4 - Country Cottage Pie with Cheesy Mash! *Shopping list *

Wow, the lemon cake went down well last week! Thank you so much to everyone who shared pictures, links to their blogs, ideas on how to swap around the ingredients etc - we even had one changed into a chocolate version! YUM!!

This week is savoury and we couldnt really do cottage pie without it being a country one could we?? lol I dont mean setting bunting around the dish or anything but if you want to who am i to say no ;) lol

Shopping List for Week 4....
Serves 4-6
Country Cottage Pie

1kg Mince Beef
300g onions diced
200g carrots diced
4tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp plain flour
80ml red wine
800ml beef stock
2tbsp tomato puree
pinch of thyme and rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

*some girls are trying this with Quorn as i know not everyone eats meat so please let me know how it turns out*

Cheesy Mash

1 1/2lb Potatoes
Philadelphia Cheese/soft cheese
2floz double cream (use milk if you prefer)
4 spring onions
Grated Strong Cheddar (sprinkled on top so as much as your prefer!)
1 tsp salt
pinch of pepper

Tomorrow im making this for tea so i will upload all the details again on Wednesday - i think ive set a pattern now! LOL

Also announced last night, and boy have i been sitting on my hands trying not to blab on this one! Im a Twisted Sister (no smart comments! lol) over at Twisted Sketches, we do alternate weeks with our take on the sketch but each one has to incorporate a twist of some making a start today on my first layout so wish me luck! :D

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Pencil Lines sketch 170

I really admire ladies that work with a lot of white space and i initially intended to do the same on this layout but i just cant seem to do it!! This is my take on this weeks Pencil Lines sketch...I want to add bits of all sorts, embellishments, stickers - WHATEVER - just so it doesnt look so bare! Are you a clean simple scrapper or do you dislike masses of white space?? Maybe its just me! lol

I used Early bird papers from Cosmo Cricket, flicks of red paint (messy but oh so good!), circle stamps and black stazon. The letter stickers are from Basic Grey June Bug and the frame i think is a nestabilities one - i have metal frames and forget whos they are sorry! oops! (edited to add they are Spellbinders!) :)

Remember to check in tomorrow for your Week 4 shopping list - Country Cottage Pie with Cheesy Mash :D

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Paper bunting...

I have made a start on the kitchen, we are going from baby blue to a really deep cream (looks yellowy in the picture) and i have made paper bunting to go around the top of 2 of the walls. I still need to touch up with white paint where i touched the cream onto the ceiling but thats easy enough to do but for now i thought since i finished a little corner i would share how it looks so far :D

*the boys say its too girly - my response was that i spend most of my time in there so i can decorate as i wish - dont you agree??!!* ;) lol

Friday, 22 January 2010

Cuttlebug ATC Challenge - Valentine :)

I quite enjoyed working on this smaller scale (2.5x3.5 inches) and use to a long time ago but gave up making ATC's after running out of space to display them properly. Theres so much work and heart goes into these by the ladies that make them that they deserve to be shown and not hidden away.
Cuttlebug challenge for this week was to make an ATC with a Valentine theme. I used the swiss dots Cuttlebug embossing folder, Bo Bunny Double Dot Island paper, Bazzil Bling rub on and gems and Papertrey sentiment from the Wishing you set :)

Thursday, 21 January 2010

2 Sketches 4 You - Kazan sketch 44.

I use to play along with a lot of the card and layout sketch sites a while ago and it was only while i was flicking through the sites that i realised how much i missed making them :) Its nice to follow a little plan or map now and again!

This is my take on 2 Sketches 4 You - Kazan's sketch number 44... I used Bo Bunny Love Bandit papers and used glossy accents to make the birds and nut stand out, a little sprinkling of glitter and a cute sentiment and im done with my Valentine card early :)

Off to make a start on the Pencil lines sketch for this week :)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Lemon Cake with Crunchy Topping :) - Week 3

Look what i found in the box with my citrus press......bought in 1999 for £15 and it works a dream (see pics below, im amazed at how much more juice you can get out of a lemon!!) LOL

Simple things please simple minds and talking of erm.......simple...

Here we go, easy peasy lemon cake....

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c.

Gather all your ingredients together (i would say at this stage if you have smaller than BIG eggs use 3 instead of 2 - i did the second time around and the cake turned out much better!)
Pop it all into a mixer and beat for at least 2 minutes on high until everything is blended and smooth.
(Do stick with the 'at least 2 minutes' - it really does matter)
Grease and line a 7in circular tin (you can make muffins, traybake etc too - up to you which you prefer) I know i said i usually just spray but this one NEEDS the lining paper to stop the lemon juice of the topping soaking into the sides)
Pour in your mix and level off the top. Pop in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 mins or until springy on top and a cake skewer comes out clean.
While the cake is cooking you need to make the topping. Juice the lemon you used for the rind earlier.
(couldnt resist a piccie of the lemon halves!! Ive never seen lemon halves that clean before! Remember, simple things!) LOL
Measure out your 4oz sugar and add the lemon juice, stir until well mixed.
As soon as the cake is out of the oven, pour your lemon sugar mix all over the top of the cake.
It will pool at the sides, dont worry!
As the cake is cooling it sucks in the lemon juice and leaves you with a delicious sweet yet tangy crunchy topping.
Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin and papers (i left the paper on the bottom so as not to scratch the cake stand when cutting the cake) :)
Hope you enjoy - i really enjoy reading all the feedback about the recipes so dont be afraid to link to your blog! :) (click on the final cake pic to see a close up of the fab Laura Ashley cake stand i linked to in the sale the other day!)