Saturday, 1 February 2014

Random ramblings - nothing new there then!

Good evening. 

Today's post is inspired by Pretty Nostalgic (PN) magazine again. Sorry, can't help it! Whilst reading the latest issue, subscriptions to this delicious magazine are available here, I scribbled down, there I go again, a few things which inspired me, reminded me of stuff or just gave me ideas.

I have recently purchased a good supply of soda crystals, commonly know as bicarbonate of soda.


I have been using it for cleaning various things around the kitchen as I am in the middle of a kitchen deep clean. This involves cleaning out every cupboard and drawer, vacuuming those hard to get at areas, dusting cupboard tops and having a general de-clutter. So, making a paste of the crystals and a drop of water I have cleaned out most cupboards and they have come up shiny like a new pin. I think I will use it next time with a drop of lemon juice; this can increase the cleaning power and, of course, it smells lovely. I've put aside items which other people may want, that which is beyond the pale plus items for the charity shop. I always have a look round when I drop things off hoping that I see something the shop will trade for what I am taking them instead of crossing their palm with silver. Still yet to manage it!

I don't have a lots of recipes of my mums and I was not that interested in baking when I was younger so don't have an old exercise book of recipes like I think my oldest sister probably does. However, since becoming a fully-fledged fan of baking and cooking I have acquired a few more books. I think my current favourite recipe is cheese and sweetcorn scones, just yummy - I plan to add this to the Foody Fun page of my blog. I am, however, an avid fan of collecting recipes for all food be it savoury or sweet; this means I am continually increasing the size of my recipe folder!

I am keen to sew more, for myself, the boys or the house but need to find a way to fit it in with the other things I like to do. It occurred to me the other day that I could re-purpose and make do and mend something which only sees the light of day for the month of December. That item is my Christmas draught excluder. I think I should find some fabric with which to create a sleeve so I can use it at other times of the year. I don't think this would be a difficult sewing project and I really should get myself organised and do it very soon!

So, there we have a few ramblings from your friendly non-blonde blonde. They were inspired by PN so maybe you could also get inspired by them or just let me know what inspires you? I would love to know.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hearing what inspires you.

Catch ya later! xx


Friday, 31 January 2014

Vintage-inspired journals - when they're gone they're gone!

Good morning! 

This is just a quick post as I am having a lazy morning today. My Country Living 
magazine arrived this morning so just about everything has come to a standstill! 

I've just popped up to our Chill Room to use the computer, this is the room in our home which houses my crafting area - including my needs-to-be-used-more sewing machine, hubby's guitars, you get the idea. Anyway, I spied two of my embellished journals which I am keen to sell as I am not going to be at the upcoming Saddleworth Creative Network event in March. Just having a little rest and concentrating on a few things for myself. It takes a lot of preparation to take part in one of these events and sometimes I just feel I don't have the energy.

So, here are the two journals. They are A5 in size with blank pages and come with a decorated book mark, both have a vintage feel to them. Due to the paper being 120gsm they are just great for using as art journals as you are able to put inks on it and use some kinds of art pens, too.

They would be perfect as any kind of memory book to keep tickets, photos etc in. I have a couple of them for things around the house myself like my Journal of Gratitude, which I began in January, plus one for scribbling in if I am working on a blog post or a piece of writing. I do love a good chunky note book and these fit the bill very nicely indeed.


Now the nitty gritty. I have these priced at £16.00, due simply to the (wo)man hours they take to complete, plus gift wrapping and postage. If you are interested in buying one for a very special person, perhaps with a special occasion coming up, then being a completely original item I really think it would be a gift they would treasure.

Hope you are having a good day.

Catch ya later! xx

Monday, 27 January 2014

Book review involving cake!!!

This review is a little late as the book was a Christmas present from my cake-making big sister. Today's review is of "Brilliant Baking Step-by Step" by Ruth Clemens who was a finalist in the first series of The Great British Bake Off.

Right off the bat I loved the book, and why the heck not its pink! I am a huge fan of recipe books which give a list of useful tools and ingredients, ideas on how to get the best from your kitchen equipment and how to use what you already have in your store cupboards. I think Jamie Oliver is really good at doing this, too.

I thought it was fantastic of Ruth to include tips along the way, such as how to turn plain flour into self raising - who hasn't run out just at the wrong time? Ruth makes the point that baking is a science and I totally agree; measuring ingredients correctly is of paramount importance for a good bake.

Before we even reach Ruth's cake recipes there are a couple of Troubleshooting pages. I think it makes perfect sense to read this before you start so you can hopefully avoid making little mistakes later. I loved the tips on using up egg whites and yolks and I think homemade custard is just the best thing ever; I much prefer making it to opening a ready made packet!

Now to the actual cake making. Ruth gives you a step-by-step guide, of course, to the cakes requiring a creaming method, a whisking method and those needing a melting method. This allows you to make such classic bakes as a Victoria sponge, a genoise and a yummy tea bread. The selection of recipes is excellent because there are cakes with fruit for the summer, indulgent treat cakes with chocolate and cakes just perfect to go with a brew!

As far as the design of the book is concerned I like the way the pages are peppered with drawings of vintage kitchen utencils; I use an age-old fish knife and bone-handled fork when I am baking! 

All in all this book is a sweet treat to look at, a joy to read and a sure-fire winner. Whether you are a newbie to baking or looking for a tasty new recipe for a special occasion you will not be disappointed.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

A Scribbler I Was, A Blogger I Be!

Ever since I can remember I have been a writer and a scribbler. If I had money to go to the shop with, my mum was never surprised when I came home with a super-sized jotter pad!

Throughout my life I have kept diaries, written poems, always been fond of letter writing and forever felt that you cannot beat the first, fresh page of a brand new notebook!

I am a continual list maker and lover of my Household Notebook (HN); if I don't write it down it just may not get done. Here is where you can get the printables I use, and more!  I am a planner of menus and for upcoming events on the organizer calendar I have on my kitchen wall. My HN is an idea from the States and it brings together all I need to keep body and soul in order throughout the house. (Whole sections of Pinterest are dedicated to printable sheets you can utilize to organize every aspect of you and family's lives.) Mine helps me with things like a daily To Do list, inventories for my freezers and shopping overflow, shopping lists, phone numbers and information about school/children.

I keep part of the article about Team Pugh from A Year Without Supermarkets and their shopping habits for inspiration.

The A4 folder stays on the kitchen table most days, along with my calendar it is command central for me and I love it!

I guess you could say my blogging comes as an extension of my love of scribbling, a place where I can ramble on and share my thoughts, every day goings on and happenings. I use my embellished journal for my scribbling for blog posts and other things.

I really do enjoy writing a great deal and a dream I have is for something to be published in a magazine; I was very flattered when asked on a couple of occasions to be a guest blogger. If I never get thousands of visitors to my blog I don't think I will care too much; for me it is about the writing, the words and the sharing. If people chose to read it and find something  I have talked about interesting, then that is just wonderful and I hope they, and you, continue to do so.

Thanks for stopping by and catch ya later! xx