Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Phew!!

Last week = little boy + sickness
Weekend = little girl + sickness
Last 3 days = mummy + sickness

...dont you just hate bugs that stick around and make everyone sick!! :(

Sorry about not posting the winner of the piping nozzles but as you can imagine im kinda lacking time on the pc when the screen makes you feel icky!The Winner is DEANNE!!!

Honey please can you email me your address to debbie(at)countryheartandhome.com and i will get them out to you asap :)

Hugs
Debbie
x

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

May 2012 retreat - Windermere, Cumbria!!

I am so excited to announce the first of next years Creative HeART & Soul retreats and it is in one of the most gorgeous places I know!

The Terrace, Windermere – a unique row of Three 4 star, grade II listed large holiday homes located in the heart of Windermere village, yet conveniently secluded from the hustle of the town in private grounds. Designed by AWN Pugin perhaps more famous for designing the Palace of Westminster these house are beautifully kept and as a result were awarded ‘best contribution to the visual appearance to Windermere village’ in 2008.

There are copious amounts of single, double, twin and kingsize beds – NO ONE will be sharing a bed.

The majority of rooms have ensuite facilities plus there is the added master bathroom etc on each floor of each house.

All bedrooms have TV/DVD combos and most have Ipod alarms, game stations etc. One of the houses even has a cinema in the basement, another has a hot tub and another has a pool table/games room!

Since there are 3 houses that we are taking over there is more than ample parking and we have a lot of outdoor space should the weather be nice to us!

The teachers we have lined up so far are our very own Tracie Hudson, Celine Navarro, Lida De Witte and another international teacher who is yet to confirm :)

£375 all inclusive – accomodation, food, 6 classes plus make/takes and goodie bags. If you know Creative HeART & Soul you will know attention to detail is second to none and we have lots of surprises throughout the weekend!

Please email debbie@creativeheartandsoul.co​m to book your space now!

Deposit of £50 due at time of booking then a monthly payment of £50 on the first of Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan and a final £25 due on the 1st of Feb!

Monday, 18 July 2011

WIN a set of 24 clear piping nozzles!!

As I love baking so much I couldnt resist picking up these when in TKMaxx at the weekend! A set of twenty-four acrylic icing nozzles that will create swirls, stars, rosettes, and many more designs for decorating cakes and biscuits. Comes complete with a clear, plastic, durable case for easy storage.
I did try to explain to the lady at checkout why I needed 2 sets without sounding like a complete baking fiend...failed miserably! I just knew you would need another set too - I mean, who can ever have enough cakestands, cookie cutters and well, erm nozzles! lol

All you need to do is leave your details via Misterlinky below! I will pick someone at random on Friday 22nd July - to get an additional entry just refer a friend (or 10!)! Simply put your name in the name section alongside your referred friends name (debbie/joanna for example) and pop a link to your own blog in the link section again, just like you did on your first entry...make sense?? lol

Good Luck!! If we get more than 100 people enter the giveaway I may take a little trip to TKMaxx to see what else they have in store! You could get lucky!!




Sunday, 17 July 2011

Sundays bargains!

Dont you just love it when you unintentially do something and you dont realise until someone points it out??!!

I managed to find both this bowl and candle stick at a local charity shop and it wasnt until Ben asked if i was now buying things in sets that i realised they were made for each other! How cute are these and boy didnt i need another standing bowl!! lol (Although wouldnt it look fab filled with sweets on a candy table and for only £2 for the bowl and 50p for the candle stick well i couldnt say no could I! ;)

Another bargain of the day were these gorgeous flowers £5 reduced to 75p - for that price they have brightened up my windowsill no end! :)

I also managed to pick up these two beautiful blue glass sundae glasses which i think would look fab holding those tall lollies on a candy table - £1.50 each!Have I told you about my love of TKMaxx (im sure I have?! ;) Well, depending on what the buyers bring in depends on how high my blood pressure gets and boy has it been off the charts lately!! Look at those, that huge glass will be the centre piece of a wedding project i have coming up - filled with pink champagne it will be just perfect and £11.99!! Well, I couldnt say no (I cant say no very often if you hadnt realised!) LOL That gorgeous HUGE GIGANTIC glass container will hold lots of momentoes of babies for an upcoming baby shower - either that or im really losing my marbles and concidering filling it with water and a pair of goldfish for a wedding table! (good job they had more than one in the store as i certainly wouldnt use the same one for sweets and fish!!) haha

Then of course theres something that cost me nothing but means a lot - it took an awful long time to think of all those things I love about Evie - everything from her nose to her toes, watching her grow and helping her down this path. I love the little pics which are from when she first met her Percil bunny - which is now conveniently called Percy thanks to Rosie! lol ;)

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Upcoming projects...

I thought I would share pics of a couple of projects im currently working on. Cant wait to have them finished so I can start work on the dresser we currently have in the living room! lol

This first piece I saw each time I passed the charity shop near our home. I loved it from the get go and would have kicked myself if it had gone, but everytime we drove past it taunted me....I swear it was shouting 'Debbie buy me!!' HONEST!! ;)Im going to strip it all back and redo the woodwork in pale cream distress then repaint the blackboard section, hang little hooks from those sections in the bottom and add a couple of rub ons etc. I know just what its going to be used for and I cant wait to get the kitchen sorted so that it has a home!

This next piece was bought at a carboot sale, theres a new one opened up near where we live and there were only less than 10 cars there the first week but i managed to pick this up for 50p!! Its a little wonky, a little unloved but by the time im finished with it it will have a new lease of life and work really well as our in/out box!

Those my dears are my projects for this weekend - children and weather permitting of course! ;)

Friday, 15 July 2011

Sports day 2011

I got burnt...I got really burnt!! I have watch strap marks and a lovely V where my tshirt neckline was! lol

This was the first year that Evie has actually been able to take part and although she didnt run any races (nope not even the toddler one) she loved running around the field! The open spaces meant she could just let go and run.....she loved it and I have to admit I am really enjoying this little princess, watching her grow and the way the boys interact with her is just amazing, they love her so much and she is really thriving from it all!

Ethan and Jake came first in the throwing competitions - can you tell what they enjoy doing in their spare time?! lol

It turned out to be a fabulous day with all the kids thoroughly enjoying themselves and all the mums and dads having a laugh between themselves over the parents and toddlers races....*sigh* happy days :)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Marshmallow winner!

Picked at random by Jacob...Congratulations to

CT19720 said...

How gorgeous do these marshmellows look. Have to say that the Lemon Meringue Pie would be the ones i'd pick, it is my all time favourite pudding. Have liked on FB x

Well done honey - please email me your postal address to debbie(at)countryheartandhome.com and i will get them in the post to you first thing :)


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Dessert table and Candy bar!

I had the pleasure of spending last weekend with a gorgeous group of ladies that I met over the internet....now, isnt it funny how we warn the kids to be careful and never arrange to meet anyone youve only talked to over the internet... dont look at me like that!! lol

Anyways, we have been meeting up once a year for around 4 years now and usually someone else organises it but after a mixup I stepped in and took over the planning. This is the kind of event where we take everything but the kitchen sink and we scrapbook......we make cards, scrap, drink, talk and generally dont sleep all weekend. All of these lovely ladies have some kind of issues to deal with throughout their lives, whether it be raising difficult children, dealing with *cough* menfolk, health issues etc - none complain, we all smile and realise our lives are so much better than they could be, we are strong and we are women who get on with things!

This is where my thoughts took me when I planned a little surprise for the ladies - a dessert table first of all!I had so much fun making the pompoms and plan to use them an awful lot - i have so many different colour packs of tissue paper that I cant wait to make some more for my next party!
(please excuse the background and colouring - its a conference hall so i couldnt attach anything to the wall as backdrop so ended up with horrible orange wooden glare over everything!)

The centre piece on the table was a 4 tier chocolate ganache and fresh raspberry cake (dont even ask about the cake - its a bone of contention between the girls as it had been standing for 2 days and i hadnt cut it, because no one else had either i thought no one wanted it so took the photos and *whispers* binned it! LOL The outcry from the girls was hilarious as they were all waiting for me to cut it to try some - even if it was just the middle that was still soft at that stage - sorry girls!) lol.

Dark chocolate cakepops with white chocolate coating and edible pearlescent decoration, oreo sunken cupcakes which were topped with cream cheese frosting, I made the paper rosettes with the Tim Holtz die and had some Keep Calm and Eat A Cupcake badges made for each of the girls. toffee and chocolate and amaretti biscuit coated cupcakes. Lemonade with fresh slices of orange and lemon from a gorgeous glass dispenser - which became the star of the weekend :) I covered the water bottles in pretty paper and made little caps for them as the purple tops didnt match the table! (yes im a little ocd at times) Then i made cute little chinese takeaway boxes decorated with pretty paper and handmade pinwheels. These were filled with a lottery ticket, fortune cookie, chocolate lipbalm and a little glass vial which i put nature rub ons onto, these contained a little scroll saying how strong, beautiful, important etc each of the ladies are.The candy table was a huge success as it was filled completely with kiddy sweets and finished with a row of handmade bunting! Jelly teddies, spaceships, fizzy stars and lots more. There were little silver scoops for everyone to help themselves and the table was decorated with little teeny glass hearts.I had so much fun making it all but got even more pleasure from the reception it all got from the ladies attending, seeing them smile and even thank me for what i had done was more than i ever could have asked for - love you all xxx

I am having a little revamp of Frills & Fondant - not only will we sell the heart table display candles and glass display candles we will also be offering event planning - everything from supplying the decorations (from flowers to pompoms) when you walk down the aisle all the way through to dessert and candy tables for birthdays, christenings etc. We have so much planned and I am so excited to take Frills & Fondant to the next level - watch out for more pics coming soon as i have a birthday event, a double baby shower and a wedding lined up!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Burgh Bakes ..... Review and Giveaway!!

A huge thank you to Lydia for getting me started on these delicious treats!

She sent me an email stating she had put my name forward as a foodie blog to do a review of some homemade gourmet marshmallows - made in Edinburgh!

I sent an email to the owner, Nicole, and boy am I thankful to Lydia!! The marshmallows arrived this morning, each flavour individually packaged in kraft bags (you know everything tastes better when they come in brown packaging!!) with a little see through window to tempt the first of your senses.....boy did they look delicious!The next sense to be put to the test was smell....when you open each bag you get a distinctive scent of whats in store. Key Lime actually smelt like fresh Key Lime Pie....Millionaires Shortbread smelt exactly like...you get the idea! lol

Next came the tasting! Now, ever the professional I decided to take the photographs first to make sure I didnt 'accidentally' eat a whole packet and have nothing to show...do you know how hard it is to position these delicious treats and NOT lick your camera screen!

These are the flavours Nicole sent and I am declining to answer how many are left!

Millionaire Shortbread... just like the real thing, crumbly base, caramel centre and topped with dreamy chocolate...(even my non marshmallow eating hubby loved these!)
Key Lime Pie...A tangy marshmallow with real lime bits held up by a crumbly sweet base.Morello Cherry...A light and oh so subtle cherry flavour with a kick of dark chocolate for topping.
Lemon Meringue Pie...So moorish!! These are huge and almost melt in the mouth, so soft and tangy...perfect as a treat or dessert!
HOWEVER I do have my hands on an extra bag of the Lemon Meringue Pie Marshmallows which one of you can get hold of just by liking Burgh Bakes on Facebook and coming back to leave me a message to confirm you have done so :)

Competition open until Thursday 12pm

I asked Nicole to answer a couple of questions so that any entrepreneurs out there would be inspired to start their own business' too :)

How did you get started?

Basically I graduated from University with a degree in ‘English Literature’ which turned out to be amazingly useless when it came to getting a so called “proper” job, so after a year of pub jobs, cafĂ© jobs and a number of awful bosses I decided I’d had enough of waiting for a job to happen and make one happen for myself! I started off baking traybakes, cupcakes and loaf cakes and selling my wares wherever I could, even car boot sales! Around March I wanted to do something different, after seeing cupcake shops springing up in Edinburgh I knew I couldn’t compete with them so I wanted to do something different. I spent one sleepless night researching the internet looking for an idea and came across Gourmet Marshmallows, both incredibly popular in America and Paris! Two very different places! The American Marshmallows were very articificially coloured and look like a taste explosion on a plate, whereas the Parisian Marshmallows were very subtle, grand and, well… Parisian! I wanted to strike a balance inbetween and hence, “Burgh Bakes” – ‘The Marshmallow Lady’ was born! I made my debut in the middle of April and have gone from strength to strength since!

How do you not eat every batch!!??

Well.. who says I don’t? haha. No, but I have to try each batch just to make sure they’re as delicious as they can be, but apart from that I don’t really indulge in them that often, I’d rather sell them to keep the dream going!

What makes you think up new flavours - are they your own favourites or suggestions etc?

Mainly friends and family provide me with inspiration. The ‘Millionaires’ Shortbread’ was my mother’s idea, she came to me one day and asked if it was possible and two days later I delivered her a wee bag of the delicious treats. I also keep track of what’s ‘in’ with all the chefs. I’ve noticed that Elderflower seems to be everywhere right now, so I’m currently working on a flavour incorporating the yummy syrup! I’m also working on ‘Maple Syrup & Candied Pecans’, ‘Summer Fruits Crumble’ and ‘Reverse Rocky Road’!

Thank you so much Nicole, I wish you all the luck in the world on your adventure and I will certainly be back for more! :)

Monday, 11 July 2011

Cancer Research Charity Fair - Barmoor Castle.

Most of you who have read my blog already know i lost my dad to cancer not long ago (when i say not long, we are now talking years but some days it feels like yesterday) Miss you dad xxx

Each year the lovely residents of Barmoor Castle organise a fundraising event....and each year it gets bigger and bigger! They start the day before the fair building up all of the tents, gazebos, the stage...you get the idea! All of the ladies on the site bake like youve never seen before - no sooner is one pie or batch of cakes out of the oven then another is lined up ready to go in. There is the usual quiche, corned beef pie, bowls of salads, homemade coleslaws etc and what with an American lady on site too the table wouldnt be complete without refried beans - they go down a storm! Each year they have had a silent auction (where you go and bid on paper for what you want (this year there was everything from a slow cooker to a bike, beauty hampers and towers of Haribo sweets - bet you can tell which the boys wanted!) lol There was a raffle, of which they sold out of all 4 books - thats 4000 individual tickets we had to fold! The card and jewellery stall went down well as a lot of the ladies on the site have now been introduced to the world of crafts - im taking absolutely no responsibility and will leave that to mum *wink*

Besides singers who took turns to keep everyone moving, there was a quiz, entertainment and birds of prey for the youngsters to have their photographs taken with. Scott was completely taken with the owls and spent a while drawing them :)

I took my two oldest boys up with me to help out and they were complete angels all weekend, between keeping the younger children entertained and helping out bringing things around the site all night they really were a pair of stars :)
My little sis was unwell so unable to attend but it was a fab opportunity to see my gorgeous little nephew from our middle sis - isnt he just yummy and couldnt you just grab those cheeks!!

A fab night was had by all and everyone managed to raise over £3000 for a very worthwhile charity.
Thank you everyone involved for a fabulous night and see you next year :)

I think im Cake Pop'd out!

What with the kids school fair (65 cake pops), mums cancer charity do (56 cake pops) and then this last weekend away with the girl (30 cake pops + 20 to leave at home to keep the kids quiet!) lol

I have so enjoyed making the amount of cakes and sweets i have this past couple of weeks and what with Scotts birthday coming up in 3 weeks time im guessing my oven isnt going to get a break anytime soon! lol

I have lots of photographs to share of all these places and events, plus the fact im due to review some homemade gourmet marshmallows from Burgh Bakes, new Small but Mighty washing liquid from Persil (which included a gorgeous M&S white rabbit for Evie!), playing with a new app thats about to launch and a preview of a new advert due to launch next week....lets just say its a little manic, but as you know, I wouldnt have it any other way :)

As im going to dedicate each post to their own specific theme (mum/girly weekend etc) then im going to leave this as is and come back shortly to update with a new post :)

See you soon xxx