Saturday, 23 August 2014

Crocheted Headband

This is my happy little project this weekend. It's very simple and easy,
something I thought of making yesterday evening. I've wanted to make
headbands this summer as I wear them a lot but since I haven't had
much time to sew I decided to try and make a crocheted version instead.

It's just rows of double crochets with an elastic band attached
to both ends (I got the idea for this from Pinterest).

I'm really pleased with it. It's not too tight and stays in place
 and looks nice too--all I want from a hair accessory. So I guess
I can say my first attempt at headband making has been a success.

I'm planning to start making another one tomorrow on the
car journey to Hull. I've enjoyed using this Drops Muskat cotton
yarn and I have a few other colours of this same yarn so expect
some more headbands in various colours soon.

I hope you're enjoying your Bank Holiday weekend.
Take care. See you soon!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

This week... husband has three whole days off and we're very happy.

At last, after over a month of working six days a week, he has a little
break and we can have a bit more time together as a family. We're
 taking the girls to The Deep in Hull this weekend and we can't wait!

.........I remembered to take a flask of tea when we were out and about.

It was a slightly cold morning so my hot, warming drink was just
perfect. I should remember to take my flask again next time 
especially when it's a nippy day like today.

............Lulu loves the swing.

She's usually not a fan of swings but on Monday she went on this one
at the local playground and happily stayed there for ages. She didn't
want to be pushed, instead she let the breeze gently move the swing
and she was giggling, singing and talking to herself the whole time.
And then she proudly said to me 'I'm swinging, Mummy'.
It was just wonderful.

.........the girls and I had a successful shopping trip in town.

We got all the things on our shopping list without any trouble at all
and we had plenty of time to enjoy a break in the Winter Garden and
 a browse in the museum shop. Then my shopping companions
who were so good and patient got their well deserved treat:
a fun ride in a little blue train and some nice sweeties to take home.
A successful morning indeed.

........we have another frozen summer treat: blackberry sorbet.

And it's all thanks to my husband's efforts. He picked the blackberries
then made the sorbet, all in an afternoon. And yes he also cooked
a lovely dinner afterwards. The girls and I are so lucky.

........I made this simple wall art with an old picture frame and
 gift wrapping paper that has a map of Central London.

I cut out a section of the map that has the places which are
special to us--the area where we used to live and where we
got married. I'm really happy with it and best of all it didn't cost
me much at all. I already had the wrapping paper and the
 picture frame was just 20p from a jumble sale. What a lucky find!

The rest of the map has become a treasure map for little pirates
to play with. I thought I'll use it for card making but my husband
and the girls had other ideas and they had a great time playing
pirates so I couldn't get cross plus I got the bit I wanted so
everyone was happy.

So that's our week so far. Hope yours is going well and you
have lots of fun things planned for this Bank Holiday Weekend.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Lovely Happy Things

Our little bits of happy this past week:

Baking a very tasty Victoria Sandwich Cake with the girls.


Discovering that this little plant which I've largely ignored and
neglected has not only survived but has flowered again.


Picking our ripe tomatoes and seeing how much Lulu enjoyed
our home grown 'matoes'.


Having an hour to sit down, enjoy my tea and do a bit of crochet-
a much needed break after a busy morning with two tired and grumpy
little girls.


Taking the girls to the annual Beside the Seaside event in town
and watching them having a great time.

I hope you've all had a good week. Thanks for stopping by.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Coffee Cups and Cake

I've been asked by the lovely Wilfing Mum to share the recipe for
orange and sultana cake, one of our favourite bakes, and of course
I'm very happy to. First though I'd like to show you these two
coffee cups that we got as presents for our wedding anniversary
last weekend. Aren't they lovely? I think they're simple but elegant.
They're from David Mellor in Hathersage, a place to go if you like
beautiful and well made cutlery, dinner and kitchenware.
Even if you don't you should still go if only for the scrumptious cakes
 on offer at the cafe and the scenic Derbyshire countryside.
It's really worth a visit.

Now back to the cake. It's Mary Berry's, one of her easy,
mix-everything-in-one-bowl cakes. Very helpful when you're
baking with the kids. It's also delicious, fairly cheap and as it's
a traybake, you can fill up a good sized cake tin easily and be
well supplied with yummy cake for several days.

So here's what you'll need:

225g (8 oz) softened butter
225g (8 oz) caster sugar
275g (10 oz) self-raising flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
275g (10 oz) sultanas (I just use raisins)
grated rind of 2 oranges
demerara sugar, to sprinkle

And here's what you need to do:

Pre-heat oven to 180°C/Fan 160°/Gas 4. Grease a 12 x 9 in) traybake
 or roasting tin then line the base with baking parchment.

Measure all the ingredients except the demerara sugar into a
large bowl and beat until well blended. Turn the mixture into the
prepared tin and level the top.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes then sprinkle
the top with demerara sugar and return to the oven for a further
10-15 minutes or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin
and springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips.
Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into 21 pieces.

That's it! I usually sprinkle a bit of flour to the raisins so they
won't sink to the bottom of the cake and we like lots of
demerara sugar on top.

I didn't take photos of last week's bake so I've re-posted some
old ones here. Hope you enjoy trying out this recipe. The girls and I
are making Victoria Sandwich Cake this afternoon.

Happy baking everyone!
See you soon!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Lovely Happy Things

The girls and I were out and about in town this morning.
We had a meeting with the mortgage advisor which thankfully had a
good outcome and while my husband went off to work afterwards
 the girls and I had a walk around and did a bit of window shopping.
 I have a John Lewis card and every month I get free coffee and cake.
Today I chose apricot pastry and mocha. The girls had fruit juice and
 shared a giant chocolate cookie and we all had a nice time.
 We're hoping to go back on Saturday and join in all the fun at the
Peace Gardens. We're all very much looking forward to the
 weekend now.

Here are my other lovely and happy things over the past week:

I've started a new crochet project.

It's a fun and easy make and a great use of some of the yarn
 in my stash. Can't wait to finish it--hopefully soon.


Remember the black and white currants from GrandDad's allotment?
My husband used them to make summer pudding using a Nigel Slater

  I've never had summer pudding before and I wasn't too sure
 about this at first but it turned out really lovely and delicious.
I enjoyed it a lot with vanilla ice cream. It's another
great summer treat.


I was given this rose plant last week. It was an unexpected present
that I was delighted to receive. The little buds have now bloomed and
they're all bright red and so pretty. They cheer me up whenever I see them.

The plant pot fits perfectly in this vintage coffee jar which I think
 is lovely too.


The girls and I like to bake together and last weekend we
made one of our favourites--orange and sultana cake.

We do love this cake and a cake tin packed full with this home
baked treat is always a happy thing.


It's not often that I get to the bottom of the ironing pile so
I was really chuffed when I managed to do so the other day.

All our clean clothes were nicely pressed and folded.
 Such a wonderful sight--hurray!


Last but not least, this mussel soup my husband cooked for Sunday lunch.

I'm not a fan of shellfish but I really liked and enjoyed this
so much that I'm hoping we can have this again soon.

Hope you're all having a good week full of happy and lovely
things. I'll be catching up with all your blogs soon.

Take care and enjoy your weekend!