Sunday, 12 April 2015

Moved to Wordpress


If you have reached this page, you have not come to my current site, I have moved platform and moved my domain name with it. Visit to reach my new site.

See you there!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

This week #4


This week we brought home this little guy and named him Bertie 
(though James calls him Bert or Herbert)
He is proving to be a fluffy ball of love, and also quite the little moster if there is human food around!
Welcome to the family little guy.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

This Week #3


Wow what a scorcher this week has been! It is a shame it isn't forcast to carry on through the weekend as we have a VW event going on, but it has been a lovely week for just living in the moment.
  • I baked some pretty damn good cakes for the charity bring and buy cake stall at Elsham Hall VW Collective this weekend, and I managed to resist temptation and haven't eaten any.
  • Also made a pretty snazzy salad to accompany homemade burgers for tea. It had watermelon in it, my first foray into fruit in a salad beyond a classic Waldorf, and it was delicious.
  • It was our regular VW meet on wednesday, and by a stroke of luck I was already very close to the venue due to something for work, so I had a couple of hours to spare to wander on the beach for the first time ages. It was so peaceful and relaxing as the summer holiday crowd were packing up and leaving. I climbed a breaker and just enjoyed the view.
  • James's dad had a birthday this week and it was good to pop round and just catch up. His mum also had some very important info for us that could lead to some exciting news in a couple of weeks time. 
  • Katie, the cocker spaniel I pooch sat the other week, has decided I am her human, and the other dogs aren't allowed a look in. She was full on defending me from Max who is about three times her size the other day and she just looked so proud, they never fail to make me smile with how cute they are.

How has your week been? Did you get to enjoy the weather?

Saturday, 19 July 2014

This week #2


Only really have one thing this week, but its a big-un!

My little sister graduated from university on tuesday morning! 

After some wobbles at the beginning,  a whole load of hard work, and everything the last year has thrown at us, she did it, and she has also been given a deferred entry position at UCL for 2015 doing a masters course. 

I am one proud big sister.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

This Week #1

Howdy all, it seems every blog I have read in the past week has said something along these lines but I'm going to say it anyway, how is it already nearly half way through July? I had one of those moments earlier where I couldn't pin point what the date was at all and was quite shocked to find it was the twelfth. It felt like maybe half that, Oh well!


I don't feel like I have done a whole lot with the month so far, though I have actually achieved quite a bit. Lately I have been feeling like I haven't been getting weekends. You know when you just don't feel like you have had those days of rest? Work weeks have been pretty stressful, and then a lot of stress has been piled on by my family lately that I had just about got to breaking point with too. Add to that the never ending to-do list I have for household projects and I have been feeling really swamped.

Because things have been a bit manic lately and I have been struggling to keep on top and stay positive I have decided to borrow what appears to be becoming quite a popular regular post on a fair few other  blogs, and just give myself a reminder of some positive moments from the past week.

  •  I finally managed to complete two decorative projects that I have been wanting to do for years, and I mean years. I have had a fan that was given to me when I went to see To Kill a Mockingbird on stage at the age of 16 that I had an idea for framing and never got around to. Now I have walls to hang things on it is complete and I felt so damn satisfied, it was incredibly relaxing to take the time and exacto cut my favourite quotes into birds to go alongside it too.

  • Room temperature watermelon for breakfast and snacks. I am an impatient person, but waiting a couple of minutes for it to warm up really allows the sweetness to shine through.

  • This weekend I should have shelves in one of the alcoves, this is going to be some serious progress towards tidying up the many piles of things that have no home in our new home. My mild OCD is being driven mad by these piles (I know I shouldn't really term it OCD as I am pretty certain it isn't so I apologise to anyone that offends, but I am not sure what it should be called, I am unable to sleep if there is too much mess and go all Monica on it). I do love James for all the hard work he is putting in to try and make my ideas a reality.

  • I pooch-sat Katie today (James's sister's Cocker Spaniel) for the first time in the new house, and she was good as gold, which means she can visit again! I miss the waggy balls of fluff being around and can't wait for us to get our own dog.

  • I treated myself to a subscription to BBC Good Food magazine as a pay day treat last month (mainly to save some £££ on the shop price) and my freebie came in the post this week, I have been devouring Nigella's Summer cookbook. I love the redesign and am trying to resist replacing my copy of How To Be a Domestic Goddess to match.

  • This is technically last week, as it was last Sunday, but I forgot to take any pictures so I will mention it here. James took me to a lovely little tea room in the Wolds as a surprise for brunch last weekend. I am not good with surprises, but he was determined and drove a good 15 miles out of our way just to keep me guessing about where we were going. The food was delicious, and I got to have chocolate cake with my breakfast, it was perfect.

I also thought I would tack on what I am reading this weekend, just in case you ever wonder what I am reading right there and then. This week it is The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker, it started off slow and I struggled to read the Hardback (think I was put off by the size) but since transferring to ebook I am steaming through it!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014



I thought I would have a little reminisce about June to keep things going while I slave away trying to get this blog shifted to Wordpress (SO not as simple as anticipated. It isn't just the moving of it, bright spark over here decided that if she was going to move it she might as well re-design the whole thing too, as my blogger layout just wouldn't work over there, if you want to monitor the progress, it is at the same domain just without the w's)

I finally replaced my very battered and bruised cream Toms with some lovely grey ones, my old ones were the best fitting shoes I have ever had, but I have to confess that they fit so well because they once got completely soaked at a Harry Potter premiere in the rain (remember the year when Emma's dress was almost see through, that one, LOVED that damn dress, so pretty!) and so were completely moulded to the shape of my dodgy arches. I adore those shoes but they had no grip left and had to go.

I am very tempted to wear my new ones in the bath... kidding (sort of not really).

I bought some rugs for the house, we have wood floors = cold even when it is boiling outside. Had to soften this place up a bit so got a bargain rug for £15 from B&Q. It is already a bit filthy but i like how it provides a bit of contrast and reduces the echoes.

I have cooked a million different things, and attempted to photograph them only to take half the pictures I needed, doh! Especially annoying when I made brioche buns from scratch and by hand this weekend, I was suitably damn well chuffed with myself for that one.

Lincolnshire show was an OK visit, but I got more out of Brocklesby Country Fair, I snapped pics at both so maybe I will do a bit of a piccy post. Suffice it to say there was an awful lot of moolah spent in the Joules tent at Lincs show, and I was oh so grateful for the chairs and posh loos that a vice presidential membership pass got me. Also ate quite possibly the best sausage sandwich I have ever had in my life at Brocklesby from Boston Sausage.

Must pause here for the Mr Whippy van, parked right outside my house!

James didn't want one, boo!

I went on a Lush spree (photos ago come) and subsequently sliced my hand open trying to chop a bath bomb in half. It needed butterfly stitches, was not good let me tell you. A lesson has been learnt.

I was bought some very pretty posies by my other half, and caved to blogger hype and bought myself some peonies when they died.

I am pretty sure there were many more things of note that occurred last month, but I will save those for another day, must get back to the grind stone and try and get my snazzy new layout fixed.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Cornbread Muffins

Last weekend J made a delicious Chili Con Carne for our tea. He started cooking first thing in the morning and by the time we tucked in around 7pm the flavours had all intensified and the smell was truly mouth watering. Unfortunately I forgot to get my camera out while he was cheffing away, fortunately I didn't forget when I cooked up my favourite accompaniment to Chili, Cornbread.


I always make mine muffin style, I think because the first time me and my Mum ever tried these it stuck to the pan big time, absolute disaster! You can make this in a cast iron skillet though if you prefer, just make sure it is well greased.
I also like mine plain, as there is nothing better than a warm cornbread muffin straight from the tray split with your thumbs and given a dollop of butter, it melts into a crumbly sweet mouthful that goes perfectly with the tang of tomato in the Chilli.

Adapted from about five different recipes over the years, but I started with Martha Hall Foose's version from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea

You will need:
170g Cornmeal
170g Plain Flour
1tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
4tsp Baking Powder
3 tbsp Runny Honey
2 Eggs
250ml Buttermilk
50ml Milk
50g Unsalted Butter - Melted

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Centigrade (Gas mark 5) and line your muffin tins with muffin papers, I made exactly 12 muffins from this mix.


In a large bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and cumin.


In a medium sized jug break in your eggs and mix in the buttermilk, milk, honey and melted butter.
I don't know about you but I always have to warm my honey to get it to go liquid again, I stick the jar in a bowl of freshly boiled water and it does the trick.


Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the liquid mixture in while mixing on a low speed using a handheld mixer (or using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer)


Once brought together scrape down the sides and mix on medium until the batter is smooth but for no longer than one minute.


Leave to rest while the baking powder does its stuff for a couple of minutes, then using an ice cream scoop, or a spoon if you don't have one, scoop one measure into each muffin case. Lick clean the bowl and scoop.


Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden on the top and springy when pressed. Allow to cool in the tray for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack.


Scoff the lot with a dollop of butter! Yum!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

A few things...

kitchen shelvestomatocookbooks dogtreatjar P5250072

This week has been both boring and eventful but in small ways, we have made some progress with small things around the house, J has officially got a garage he can work in and I finally have shelves in my kitchen.

My jars of ingredients have a nice home that isn't our worktop, but I now have a dilemma with labelling (for J's benefit rather than mine) as you can't see the ones I stuck on the top. I may have to get creative.

My tomato plants sprouted mid week and I did a little dance of happiness, no sign of my strawberries yet though.

I have got into a groove with using my cookbooks to plan meals. I have been collecting cookbooks for more years than I can count and it feels good to be finally using them properly, the pork chops with apples in Rachel Allen's book pictured was delicious for friday night tea.

Our canine friends haven't visited for a whole week because it has been so wet out, I miss the magic that the lid lifting on this jar can create. Bums on floors pronto!

This book has been a bit of a god send lately, helping me to suss out my new-ish camera, I highly recommend it and may do a full review at some point.

How has your week been? I hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend :)

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Where have I been?

I did mention a couple of posts back that I was about to move house, and I have!

It has been a pretty manic couple of months that I have had away from this internet space, so much has happened I don't know where to begin really so a few pictures and a couple of bullet points seems like a good idea.

lavender jars cider chiliplant tunnockscaramelcushionmountainboxes keys ikeameatballs freshkrispykremes bettyscake

  • I turned 26 last week, though it didn't really bother me it was very nice to receive some pretty flowers and a very cool cushion for our sofa.
  • We lost a beloved canine friend suddenly in March, and I am even more grateful than ever that I took the photos on this walk because of that sad day as we all miss him so much. 
  • We had the first anniversary of the loss of my Dad, and it wasn't great though not as bad as I thought it would be, hitting that milestone doesn't mean that it feels any different from the days and weeks previous. 
  • I got fully on board with my new job and stuck in with making a difference and in the past week have finally had the rest of my team join me which is exciting and scary in equal measures. 
  • I have spent a lot of stressful time dealing with the dreaded 'S' word (solicitors) fielding endless phone calls, but it was all made better when we got our hands on the keys. 
  • I packed a mountain of boxes, and worried the whole journey from my Mum's to our new home about birds poo-ing on my mattress while it was on the back of a trailer. And the first thing we did once we were in was scrub until our hands were raw and slap a whole load of neutral paint on the walls, bye bye big blue wall!
  • There have been multiple trips to Ikea, meatballs consumed, and visits to the Krispy Kreme nearby.
  • My first VW show of the season has passed, a glorious day in the sunshine spent sipping cider and storing up on Vit D.
  • I have gained green tips to my fingers growing plants to brighten our abode up a little bit, this weekend I will be giving tomatoes and strawberries a go.
  • I have amassed a large number of food storage jars while I have been waiting for somewhere to store them, which arrived today in the form of the nice solid wood shelves for my kitchen walls that I pinned waaaaay back. Pin's do come true!

We are pretty much all moved in now, though there are a few lingering items at my mums and J hasn't even started on the garage (it is getting a make-over). We are experiencing life in our own space, and it really is beginning to feel like our space now. We are making changes, decorating and adding in furniture and I am sure I will be showing you projects we are working on along the way.

Currently I am oiling the shelving, and I can't wait to get creative in the kitchen trying a few more complex recipes and getting used to using both an electric and a fan oven! I have already been cracking on with trying a few recipes for meal times and yesterday whipped up home-made Naan to go with our curry, I was very proud. I may just have to turn that into a blog post in future.

I hope you are all keeping well and that you will enjoy this little home evolution journey we are going on :)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Skincare Haul


I accidentally appear to have had a week off blogging this week. I had the week off work too, I started my new job last week and lets just say that by the end of it I was glad I had this week booked as leave, I just didn't want to do anything, you know those times? I don't think the situation was helped by my coming down with a sudden cold last saturday. I initially thought it was allergies, but it didn't shift once I left the vicinity of the animals so I have come to the conclusion that it is rather more, and it is still hanging around.

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that there has been no rest for me to recover as I made another car cake this week for my other half's birthday. This year it was a little less to my ideal standards but it passed the test and apparently tastes delicious so there were smiles all round.

Anyway, update aside, this week I also received a few packages filled with skincare. Do all of your skincare bits run out all at the same time or is it just me? I mean exactly at the same time too, skincare always seems to need ordering all in one go, i needed day cream, toner, eye cream and make-up remover, and I had only dribbles of product left.

I started scouting around the internet just like I am sure all good beauty bloggers do, trying to see what was getting the positive votes lately, but I eventually decided I would try a few unheard of (to me anyway) products instead.

For my toner, I went for the Elemis Apricot soothing toner. I have to admit that first impressions of this aren't great as the smell is a bit funky, more like chemically tampered with apricots than the fresh kind. As it is only a toner I can look past that as I only use a couple of spritzes and it doesn't linger, but I don't think i will re-invest.

For make-up remover I ventured away from Bioderma and decided to give a high street micellar water a go. At £4.99 this Garnier offering is significantly cheaper and only 100ml less product than my french favourite, so if it continues to impress me this may become a new repeat purchase. I don't wear huge amounts of eye makeup, and don't use waterproof products so it may not work as well if you do, but so far I am impressed.

I suffer from really dry eyes, both my eyeballs and the skin around my eyes, and find that if i forget to apply eye cream even once it dramatically increases the irritation I feel so an intensely hydrating eye cream is what I have been on the hunt for. I tried a few samples of the new Chanel one and loved it but couldn't bring myself to spend £40 so instead I spent literally hours looking all over the internet for an alternative. I found this Mario Badescu one, and was drawn to the hyaluronic claims. On first use it felt amazing, I am not sure this is as good as the Chanel, but we will see if it has any long term impact on keeping that delicate area hydrated.

Also for the eyes I picked up an old favourite the Garnier caffeine eye roll on, as I used to find it so great for cooling and de-puffing the eye area. Unfortunately it seems I am too sensitive for this product, at least while my eyes are being especially irritable, so this one will have to sit in the cupboard for a little while, but this was an absolute staple for me for a long time, so I highly recommend it.

I also added the Ole Henrikson Truth is in the Eyes Eye Peel Concentrate that I mentioned in my wish list post to my basket, I thought it was meant to be used as an occasional treatment but the packaging recommends using it twice a day. So far I haven't been brave enough to try this to that extent, but I have tried it on my spa sundays and do see a little improvement so maybe I will use it more often.

I don't really do body moisturiser, I am really really lazy when it comes to using them, really really lazy! When people started talking about a lotion you could just spray on, get dressed and not worry about your clothes sticking it sounded perfect, so I grabbed the Vaseline Spray and Go the next time I was at the supermarket. I have used it a couple of times, but it hasn't been amazing enough to make me use it every day. I don't know if it is just my can but the spray isn't a mist which was the first surprise, which means it doesn't spray evenly and requires rubbing in. I will give it a few more tries but I am not completely sold.

Finally, I needed a new face cream. I really was tempted to grab the Antipodes one I have mentioned before, but then during a trip to my local Marks and Spencer's I discovered they have put in a mini beauty hall, and had to check out the creams there. This Skyn Iceland The Antidote lotion is amazing (and M&S currently has it in the wrong section on their website), I am not sure yet what it is that causes the effect, but when you apply it your skin feels cold, it doesn't just say it soothes, it actually soothes by cooling irritated skin! I have yet to see any more benefits yet, but so far I love it and am definitely going to consider purchasing more products from the brand.

Have you purchased any new skincare lately?