Ali’s wedding

June 21, 2009

Had a great time in Cardiff this weekend – though both hotels we stayed in had issues, the first had a stinky bathroom and a supremely uncomfortable bed, and the 2nd was boiling hot with no air con! Ah well, it didn’t spoil the weekend.

Ali, who I had never met before, looked stunning in her gown – and it was wonderful to finally meet her and the rest of Robs uni mates… they were all lovely! The ceremony and the meal afterwards were perfect, and we were all then treated to a bit of a show by Ali and the StockingTops – a singing group. Amazing voices! After which we all got a little bit squiffy… but thats the way of the wedding.

Congratulations Ali and Darren – all the best for the future!


2 in a row!

June 18, 2009

Hows that for improvement?!?

Well, I’m on a night shift – and on my break before leaving at 7ish. I thought I’d share one of my wedding worries – of which there are many.

I worry about the music! We’ll get a DJ I think – but I worry about how we know he’ll be any good… you can’t crash other peoples weddings to see him in action, and I haven’t had any recommendations from anyone. I have had a look on line, but am guessing that (as with so many things) the most swanky sites aren’t necessarily going to be the best DJs.

That said, I am off to a wedding this weekend and another in a months time so will be able to check out their music.

How quickly do they get booked up? Hmmm…

I’m so bad

June 17, 2009

at blogging!

Look at the evidence – I said in my last post that I was going to try to blog a bit more, and that was in February… so 4 months have passed and this is the next post. Dreadful!

Did I mention that I got engaged? Well, I did! Yey. Its only taken 9 years for him to ask – and it’ll be almost 10 years to the day when we actually take our vows. This wedding malarkey is quite a lot of work isn’t it? Especially when himself wants a say in everything but doesn’t actually want to do any of the hard work finding and thinking of things. I’m enjoying it though – I do love to organise people! Evidenced by my involvement in the Handm@de craft fairs I think.

Right. I’m off now to do a bit of actual work.

Its been a while!

February 25, 2009

wordleToday I found wordle… and used it to create this ” word cloud” of words most used over in my etsy store!

I thought I would try to start blogging with a little more frequency, even if those blog posts were short and mostly irrelevant… so here it is. Very short, almost totally irrelevant – yet very fun to create. Go on, give it a go…

A lot to deal with

December 30, 2008

A lot has happened in the last month and a bit since my last post.

The Mother-In-Law had a stroke. At about the time the last post went up. It was a pretty severe one, and on receiving the call from her husband late in the evening clothes were bunged in a suitcase and we drove the 120 odd miles home.

We’re pretty lucky in that both sets of parents live within about a 5 minute walk of each other, so were able to stay with my family and leave space for the other halfs siblings and their partners. I’ve never really had any major family illness to deal with in my 27 years, and not any deaths either when I think about it – the result of which is that I come pretty much unprepared for dealing with the emotions that come with these situations.

The first visit to the hospital was draining. She was unresponsive, her right side was paralysed, she was being tube fed – and doctors were unable to give any kind of prognosis. The next couple of weeks are a bit of a blur… travelling to the south coast every Friday evening, and back on Sundays. My work gave me one days holiday and insisted the 2nd day should be taken as holiday. My partner on the other hand was allowed 2 weeks working from home to enable him to visit his mother every evening.

She began to mumble at the end of the first week, and was transferred from Southampton to a more local hospital after two and a half weeks. This has reduced our worry levels over the amount of driving the FIL was having to do… 40 minutes each way to Southampton is no good for a 75+ year old chap. Since then she has made some progress. She is managing to string together sentences that are now mostly comprehensible and cohesive, she is able to answer questions, she is sitting up unaided – although needs a lot of help to get in and out of bed. Maybe the biggest step in the first towards the removal of the feeding tube… with 6 teaspoons of thickened coffee 3 times a day. Apparently this will build the muscles required to swallow to their previous strength.

Christmas was an emotional day. Visiting the hospital in the morning, I then set about creating a Christmas dinner in an unfamiliar kitchen. I’d been told everyone would be there by about 2.30, so decided to aim for everything to be ready for 3ish. Many many vegetables had been requested. Not 3 or 4… nor even 6 or 7… 9 (yes you read that correctly) different types of veg. Braised red cabbage, Parsnips, Potatoes, Roasted Onions, Swede, Carrots, Brocolli, Cauliflower, not to forget the obligatory sprouts. Plus the gravy, stuffing, pigs in blankets – and of course the Turkey. I ended up getting a fresh turkey from a colleague whose hubby has a farm… It was crowned, and the legs boned… legs got stuffed with a yummy orange and watercress stuffing and then wrapped in bacon. YUM!

Everyone arrived much earlier than expected, and hovered around the kitchen like a bunch of vultures… every time something came out of the oven one of them would be there, fingers at the ready, waiting to see what delicacies were on offer! Anyways, it was all quite a success… except the brocolli ended up rather overcooked. But then it worked well in boxing days bubble and squeak so no matter.

Dessert was a trio of homemade puds to choose from… Baked Chocolate Cheesecake from the waitrose website, Delias Lemon Meringue Pie (using the sweet pastry recipe from her lemon tart) – also found online, and then lastly, a Christmas Pudding that had been made at the beginning of November (DeliaOnline again!). It was the first time I had made any of these, all were successfull judging by the quantities consumed (all totally devoured by the 27th). 

After lunch the present unwrapping began in earnest. This was our second year with our neice there. She is 2 and a half – and this year was loving the presents. “Is this one mine?” was heard frequently, even if they weren’t she did enjoy helping to unwrap them. Someone gave her a keyboard. This was unwrapped fairly early in the day, and was hidden from sight reasonably quickly! :)

I think I’ve written quite enough for today… more about the Christmas hols soon!

Happy Birthday to MEEEE!!!

November 20, 2008

I’m 27 today. And I’m celebrating it…. I love birthdays – have never really worried about the extra years. Maybe it’ll hit me next year, or the year after, or maybe the year after that – or never hopefully!

lemon meringue layer cake

Anyway, knowing that no-one else would bake me a birthday cake – and having seen this amazing creation over on the wonderful Abi’s blog I thought I’d have a go at something similar. So I made a 10oz sponge cake mixture (250g butter, 250g sugar, 5 eggs, 250g SR flour and a teaspoon of baking powder for good luck), with the zest of 3 lemons added… seperated into three 7″ cake tins and baked. Then I squeezed the lemons and, having pierced each sponge about 15 times, spooned 5 desertspoons of lemon juice over each before leaving them to cool.

When they were nice and cool I made up some buttercream icing, adding a bit of lemon juice for good measure – and marbled the buttercream and some lemon curd between each layer.

Next I made up some Swiss Meringue mixture using 200g sugar and 100g egg whites. To do this combine the egg whites and sugar and then, whisking continually, heat over a pan of simmering water until just warm to the touch…. this is a wonderful excuse to keep dipping your finger in! Once its warm remove from the heat and whisk until cool. I also added the remainder of the lemon juice slowly… Turn the oven up high to about 220C and once you’ve frosted the cake whack it back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the tips have turned golden.

Delicious… and it seems that everyone at work thought so too, as this is all that is left – and promised to Bob who wasn’t too impressed that the humungoid cake was going to work before he could get his chops round it.

just a slice


November 18, 2008

I don’t know about you, but I have trouble with the dark evenings… its dark when I leave for work, and dark when I get home.

Its horrid knowing that you’ve missed every single hour of daylight – wasted that precious sunshine at work of all places! I’m desperate to take some photos of the brand spanking new jewellery that I made about a fortnight ago… that and the keyrings, bag/phone charms and bookmarks that went down a treat at the craft fair.

I will do it this weekend. I meant to last weekend but instead we went shopping and to the cinema. Twice.

So, keep your eye out for some fab new stocking fillers in my etsy store.


November 12, 2008

I had a bit of an etsy splurge the other day after selling 3 (yes 3!!!) pairs of earrings and appearing on this blog… and 2 packets had arrived when I got home last night!


Firsly, these amazing ‘Instant Mustache – style for the facial hair challenged’ tattoo transfers. Ordered from Pish Posh Paperworks on etsy. I just had to have them… I have no idea who will end up with these at Christmas, but I can certainly envisage a large proportion of the family having a tache for at least some of the holiday!


Also through the door were some gorgeous cards and a notebook from the equally gorgeous Kate of paperleaf…I met Kate on Sunday as she was also at the handmade craft fair – what a lovely lady. We’ll both be at the East Oxford Market on November 22nd so if you’re in the area please pop by!