While she sleeps (but stirs!) a few photos of baby Fern’s room. The scheme I chose was for bright colours and pattern, dark wood and eco friendly white painted walls. I sourced a vintage Ercol rocking chair and chalk painted a vintage ladder and Ikea herb racks. The vintage ceramic lion I found a couple of years ago and wooden blue birds block from a local vintage shop. I made the “Let’s Cwtsh” banner using a mix of new and vintage cotton, pom pom trim and a broken wooden hanger.
My weekend was filled with nice things – a home cooked meal with friends, snoozing with Bailey dog and visiting the recently opened Yorks Bakery Cafe in Birmingham. With it’s vintage industrial interior, glass tea pots, fresh bread and speciality loose leaf tea, I knew it would be my kind of place. I only had about half an hour to spend there but enjoyed a Spiced Orange and Earl Grey shortbread and a green tea. My husband Matt was impressed with his flat white coffee which, being the coffee connoisseur he is, can only be a good thing! These photos were taken and uploaded using Instagram – follow and find my many photos here.
The other day I baked some comforting muffins for a mini afternoon tea with my friend. A couple of people online plus my friend’s Mum who sampled one, have asked for the recipe and as I’ve not done a ‘Tasty Bake’ post for a while, here it is…
250g peeled and grated carrots (I cheated and used my food processor to blitz the carrots – they ended up quite fine in texture but it saved me some time!)
180ml vegetable oil
175g unrefined caster sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
60g natural yogurt
300g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees / gas 3 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with baking cases. Put the grated carrots, vegetable oil, caster sugar and the eggs into a mixing bowl and stir everything together. Stir in the vanilla extract and the yogurt and mix again. In a separate bowl, sift together the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger into the mixture and stir until just incorporated.
Fill the cake cases, leaving about 2cm at the top for the muffins to rise, decorate the tops with a couple of pumpkin seeds and bake the cakes for about 15-20 minutes until they are springy to the touch and golden. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool in the tin for 5 mins before transferring them to a cooling rack. The cakes will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days but they are so delicious eaten slightly warm on the day that they are unlikely to last that long!
Nowadays you can design your own cake effortlessly using simple forms available on the internet. Whether you need a designer cake for your son or daughter, or you need to think of a unique cake for your other half, you should definitely go for something extraordinary! Giving simple, dull cakes is long gone! Dunn’s Bakery, a renowned bakery in London, constantly develops new cake designs providing a wide range of celebration cake ideas for men, women and kids. Personalised cakes online have evolved in wonderful forms and shapes to please everyone and create an unforgettable atmosphere during memorable occasions. Some of the cakes are covered in soft white sugar paste icing with an image of your choice!
Celebration cakes for men come in a variety of shapes and designs. Dunn’s Bakery can create wonders from your cake ideas – whether it be football pitch cakes for sporty men, or Ferrari racing car cakes. At the other end of the spectrum, you will find more personalised designs for movie or cartoon enthusiasts. Cakes for women are specifically designed for those wishing to be treated to luxurious cakes like a Chanel bag, more traditional sweet pleasures like basket of flowers cake, or just round cakes for simple occasions.
As birthday cake forms the centrepiece of every child’s birthday it is important to think about the design for them in advance to make it the best day. Celebration cake ideas are endless and every child or teenager can have just what they’d like on their cake if you talk to Dunn’s Bakery.
This post was brought to you in partnership with Mint Twist
Last weekend, we drove to Honfleur in Normandy for a mini break with friends to buy bargain priced French alcohol and eat good food. Honfleur is a pretty harbour town about 2 1/2 hours drive down the coast from Calais. It was the perfect place to mooch in little shops and small galleries, and eat in the cafes and restaurants around the harbour. In the next two posts to follow this week, I’ll talk about the food and the B&B where we stayed – I took too many photos to put all in one post!
It was my birthday this week, and I was treated to a day out in Leamington Spa, mooching around the lovely independent shops and eating Italian antipasto with a Bellini Classico cocktail (sparking wine and white peach puree, so not too strong for a lunch time!) I’ve been to Leamington Spa shopping before but went up a road I’d not been up before and found Berylune – a sweet little shop selling vintage homewares, satchel bags, cute patterned stationary, washi tape, art and crafting materials – my kind of shop! Emily at Berylune has very kindly put together a bag of goodies for one of my readers. Inside the bag is a roll of washi tape, 2 Chupa Chup Lollies, a badge made from a vintage annual, a pair of rose earrings, a pretty exercise book, 6m of Baker’s Twine, 1m Jumbo Ric Rac, a
giant button, a bendy pencil and a pack of pink stripey straws. All perfect for using this Summer! All you need to do is comment on this post saying why you think supporting independent shops is important and ‘Like’ Berylune over on Facebook here. A winner will be picked on Friday June 15th. UK residents only please.
This weekend was a big weekend for a couple of reasons; firstly, as my family and I were celebrating my Mamgu’s 90th birthday (‘Mamgu’ is Welsh for Grandma) and secondly, because of the huge amounts of indulgent food we ate! After cream cakes, scones, eclairs and sandwiches at a birthday afternoon tea with my family, I then found myself eating tempura prawns, onion rings and pork ribs in sharing platters in the evening at a sea-front pub/restaurant. Sunday’s food fest continued with a Welsh breakfast (bacon, fried egg, grilled tomato, sausage, laverbread and cockles) then a mid-day snack by the beach of dinky donuts and a tub of locally made honey & stem ginger ice cream! All wonderfully delicious but I’m planning low-fat meals this week! I’d made some Lavender biscuits for my Grandma but they were especially for her own enjoyment at home with a cuppa. A great weekend with family, food and sunshine and nice that the sunshine is at home this week – doesn’t quite beat being on the South Wales coast though!
Spent a beautiful day off yesterday in Aberdovey, North Wales with my husband as he reminisced his childhood holiday memories. High temperatures and blue sky, being able to take the time to absorb the sunshine and leisurely lie on sand dunes was bliss. We came across an interiors shop on the front called Seld where I bought a set of their Welsh tapestry patterned coasters inspired by a traditional Welsh fabric on a lovely vintage re-upholstered chair they had behind the counter. They’ll make a perfect memento of a perfect day, and reflect my half-Welsh side with a nod to traditional craft.
After a busy week, I thought I’d post this amazing peony I photographed at the Chelsea Flower Show back in May. I hope it brightens the start of your weekend and inspires you to go outside. Also, if you love design, flowers and the environment, remember I’m giving away free wild flower seeds with every order from my Etsy shop.
A £1.50 sample of the joy and hope of Spring has arrived in my world this week. Not only have my snowdrops been bursting out from the clogged soil but daffodils now beam around my home. These ones from my local florist sit happily on my desk in a vintage teapot. Soon the hundreds of planted daffodils will come out to say hello, the icy cold gusts will turn to gentle fresh winds and I’ll be spending more time in my garden. Hurray for Spring.