Monday, July 30, 2012

Pre-Wedding Day to do List!

So today is the day before my wedding! Eeek. So this is my picture to do list that I have had to get sorted before the big day.

7:30am - Get up to dye my roots back to Ariel red. This takes a good few hours as I have to pre-lighten my hair first.

10:30am - Make sure all the paper work is sorted for tomorrow and sort out all the music that we need for the ceremony.

11:00am - Check the rings are somewhere safe!

11:05am - Watch a cheeky episode of Buffy, as Ed has gone to get his hair cut.

11:30am - Finish my vows whilst watching Buffy.

2:30pm - Get back from shopping and give my bouquet a once over.

4:00pm - Make a little fascinator for tomorrow.

6:00pm - Have gluten free fish and chips *YUM*.

8:30pm - Finish last minute food shopping for our little wedding lunch tomorrow, then chill out with my gorgeous husband to be and my lovely parents.

Tomorrow is the big day!! Can't wait <3

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Scrappies Adventure.

So yesterday we went to Scrappies to get some ribbon to finish off my bouquet and the button holes. We needed a lot of white ribbon and managed to get 20m for £3! Which was an absolute bargain. 

Scrappies is a recycling centre crossed with a craft store. It is full of lots of crazy items that may have just ended up in landfill somewhere, but it is lovely to see that they are being given a new lease of life here for all us wonderfully clever crafters. 

Ed and I loved these erasers, we thought they were exactly the things needed to raise well rounded children. 

They have so much wallpaper, I found that you can made fab gift bags out of it.

Ahh the creepy, scappy spider.

I am such a sucker for old vinyl records like this *swoon*.

Tubs full of wool and corks... what more could a girl need huh.

There is so much stuff here!

This zappy, scrappy robot.

So I better get going because I still need to write my vows and I'm getting married on Tuesday... Eeek. I am starting to be known as the most disorganised bride ever.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ed's Shed - DIY Shabby to Chic Table.

We love shabby chic and we especially love how you can achieve this look by being thrifty and not spending a lot of money. If you take a look in high street furniture shops you'll see new vintage inspired tables, chairs, shelves, everything to give your home a splash of 1950s colour. And you will be pleased to know that all you needed for this this project is some matt spray paint and a very shabby table and you can create a unique piece for a snip of the price on the high street. 

I used Plastikote spray paint, but you can use any brand and colour that you like, as long as it is a matt finish. It is also best to do restoration work outside, that way the dust and paint can't make a mess. First, sand down the table, this gives it a rough surface for the primer to stick to. Sandpaper comes in various grades, from course to fine. Course sandpaper will work fast, but might leave big scratches, so I tend to use finer paper and take my time. Fold a piece of sandpaper into a square and work your way across the surface of the table using a circular motion. Fold up smaller pieces for the hard to reach areas.

Shake the primer can up for a few minutes. Keep the can around 30cm away and start spraying. The trickiest part is resisting the temptation to cover everything in one go. Spray a light even coat, let it dry a little then spray again. Repeat this until the primer covers everything then leave it to dry. Then use exactly the same technique to spray your matt colour layer. 

And there you have it a one of a kind, shabby to chic table.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


As it has been such a lovely warm day again I couldn't resist to splash up some lemonade with a slight twist. This is a super easy recipe! To make around a pint all you need is 4 unwaxed lemons (if you use waxed you will get icky scum floating on the top), some sugar, around 1 pint of boiling water, some ice cubes and a little bunch of lemon balm.

I zested the four lemons, then chopped them in half and squeezed the bitter juice out of them (a handy tip is to roll the lemons or put them in hot water for a few minutes to get more juice out of them). 

Next I ripped up and added a small bunch of lemon balm. Then I spooned 3-4 tbs of sugar into the fragrant mix and poured over about 1 pint of boiling water. It is good to taste how sweet it is at this point (be careful not to burn your mouth though) if it is still a bit tart then add more sugar but I always think it is best to have it a bit sharper tasting because this tastes delicious when it is chilled. Then I left this in the fridge to cool. Once it is chilly I strained it through a sieve and chucked in a few handfuls of ice. 

I served this lovely-ade out of my little cottage teapot, in china tea cups with plenty of ice and some sprigs of lemon balm. I also made a little cocktail for Ed by putting a splash of gin into it which was rather yummy as well. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Plant Sale Adventure in the SUN

I woke up this morning... and it was sunny! If you are not from the UK you may not be aware of how much rain we have been having the past few month. So when I saw that delightful fiery ball in the sky I knew I had to go and see what adventures there were to be had. Ed and I meandered down the street from where we live and there was a plant sale. I don't have many vices in my life but books and plants (especially herbs) make me weak at the knees. 

 I love having a good fondle of the leaves. 

 I thought the pink and yellowy cream of these flowers were just beautiful, kind of pudding colours. 

I love this bloom so much, unfortunately I was so excited about the prettiness of it I forgot to see what it was called. The colours reminded me of poisonous mushrooms.

I couldn't believe how big these bulbs were! I think they were for some sort of lilly, probably that grew right up to the sky.

Lavender *sigh* one of my most favourite plants in the whole world. But I am a bit of a purist and my affection is plainly pointed towards English lavender, I just think it is prettier and smells nicer... but maybe I'm just biased.  

All the colours, all the beautiful knowledgable little labels peeking from behind the plants like a joyous paper headstone.

Daisies always remind me of my lovely mum, they are her all time favourite flower.  

I have to be a little restrained at plant sales or I would just buy everything. I was very good today and only bought one plant, its possibly one of the cutest herbs ever, it's a thyme called Rasta. The leaves are so tiny and it has miniature, lavender-pink flowers that open from crimson-red buds in summer.

 The colour of these make me think of tequila sunrises *yum*.

We ended up walking past the green grocers and I couldn't help but buy some local raspberries that Ed and I shared in the park in the sunshine. It was a very relaxed morning. Now I have to get ready for my hen do tonight *eek*. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Strawberry Shake.

So lately I have had a massive craving for milkshake. But I find the syrups you buy in the shops can be too sweet for me, so I decided to make my own. So here is how I made my strawberry milkshake, it is super quick and easy!

I took 400g of strawberries and blended them up with a stick blender and then added 2 tsps honey (you could use maple syrup or plain old sugar if you wanted). You can add more if you like depending on how sweet you like it, just taste as you go along. Then just add milk to taste. I divided my strawberry goop up into two because Ed had a soya version. Just add your milk then blend again, this makes the shake thick and bubbly. Then pour into the drinking vessel of your choice. I dressed the glasses with a strawberry each and added a mint sprig to the soya version and a sprig of lemon balm to dairy one. Smelling the mint with the strawberry made me think that next time I might make a mint syrup to swirl in the top, I think it would add a slight kick of yumminess.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Audio Book of the Month - The Somnambulist.

I had looked at the hard copy of this book a few times, especially after seeing it featured on telly on 'The TV Book Club'. But something always held me back from buying it. When my Audible credit came up and this book took my eye again I decided to take the plunge. And wow am I glad I did! And don't worry there are no spoilers in this review.  

The Somnambulist is a Victorian, Gothic mystery that sees the heroine, Phoebe Turner, navigate her way through a plot that has many deliciously satisfying twists and turns. The book is set in Victorian London and Hereford in Shropshire (which coincidently is near where I grew up). Both locations are so rich and the writer, Essie Fox, stimulates all the senses. My favourite example of this is how she uses a scent by Penhaligons, who have been London's finest perfumers since 1870, like glue to bond memories, people and events together. 

I loved listening to every second of this audio book! I undulated with the good times and the turbulent times that Phoebe went through and rooted for her the whole way through. The ending made me very content like I had just eaten a three course meal and had finished some lovely wine. I would recommend this book to anyone who is captured by the Victorian allure and enjoys a novel that keeps you pondering the whole way to the end. This book definitely deserves 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday Teacup

Being British means that you categorically have to drink tea. I love tea... green, black, white, its all yummy, as long as you get the good quality leaves! If any of you have tried green tea bags that are just off the supermarket shelf you probably will have pulled that 'eeek it's bitter' face. This is because they use the good quality leaves for the loose leaf and then chop up and chuck the rest into tea bags. (There are some top quality tea bags though such as Tea Pig). Every Tuesday I will share my favourite tea of the moment with you to try and spread the tea love <3

So my Tuesday Teacup this week is one of my own blends that I have been drinking a lot this week in the day time, I like to call it Floral Gunpowder. I blend 1-2 tsps Gunpowder Green Tea with 1 tsp Jasmi Yin Hao Lotus. I pour not quite boiling water onto the leaves and leave them for around 3-4 minutes before pouring. It is best not to use boiling water as this can scald the leaves and it can make it taste a bit funky. Experiment with the brewing time as well depending on how strong you like your tea. I finish off this tea with dropping one Damask Rose Tea Bud into it. The gunpowder tea has grey green leaves that will unfurl to produce a slightly fruity flavour, this is why it works beautifully with the heady fragrance and taste of the Jasmine tea (which I find too strong to drink on its own). I sacrifice a rose bud to this tea because it adds a heady subtle sweetness that promises turkish delight. The tea leaves should last for 2 pots of tea and the rose bud should last up to 5 cups so its rather pleasing on the pocket as well.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Rhubarb Chutney Recipe.

It so easy to whip up a batch of chutney! And once you have your first batch in jars you will be hooked on making it. Ed and I went to a Rhubarb Festival a few months ago at Clumber Park. They have a fantastic walled garden there, where they now grow 100+ varieties of rhubarb! So I came home two rather large bunches of the wonderful stalk. I chose two varieties that I thought would be a match made in heaven Victoria and Prince Albert. I decided to make some chutney with my mum in our 4th generation jam kettle. This chutney is best if you can leave it for at least a month. The older it gets the more mature and rounded the flavour becomes. Chutney can last for up to 2 years if unopened but it rarely lasts a few months in this household.

Here is what you need to make this lip smacking condiment. 

900g Rhubarb
900g Sugar (preferably brown or Demerara)
450g Sultanas
1 Pint Vinegar (I prefer cider vinegar to malt)
1 Finely Chopped Onion
2-3 tsps Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Eating Apples (You could use 1 cooking apple instead)  

Chop up the rhubarb and the apple and the add all the ingredients to the pan and gently bring to the boil stirring occasionally. Then turn the heat down so it comes to a steady simmer and the mixture makes a lilting plopping noise. Leave the pan uncovered and it will probably take at least an hour and a half. Stir occasionally so the mixture doesn't burn. (If you think the bottom of the mixture has started to burn turn the heat down a little and don't scrape the bottom the pan or the whole batch of chutney will taste burnt. When the mixture is thick and glossy (similar to how jam would be), leave it to cool for 15 - 20mins then it is time to decant into warm sterilised jars and add a wax disk on the top before putting the lid on.

It is fine to eat straight away if you want to, but it is best to leave it to mature. The chutney should then be stored somewhere cool and dark. Once you have opened a jar keep it in the fridge. 

This is so tasty that it turns Ed into a hungry beast!

Enjoy x

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunny Hunny & Crabs at Wells!

As we were nearish to the coast after the wedding we (Ed and I) went to we decided a little seaside trip was in order. We were lucky because it didn't rain all day! (for those of you not in the UK we have had a rather wet summer so far). We started our adventure in Hunstanton, which has some lovely sandy beaches to frolic on.

This is the state of our British summer this year (and this was on a good day). But we have to make the best of what we get. When the sun does shine here though it is rather special because of the West facing beach it means you can actually see the sun set over the sea! That is something I would love to see one day.

This is the Wiley the Wash Monster. This amazing beast is an ex military vehicle that was created in 1967 to be used as a landing craft by American forces in Vietnam. But now he is used as a 60 seater tour vehicle that chugs around the coast. Ed and I went on this a few years ago and it was so much fun.

We decided, after a look round Hunstanton to go to Wells by the Sea. This is one of my favourite places in the whole world. Its so lovely to so and have a look around and they have amazing sea food there as well. This was a very cheeky duck who wouldn't leave us alone whilst we had our lunch.

There are always people crabbing here and we have watched people many times filling their little buckets with the crafty crustaceans. So we decided to pop our crabbing cherry and have a go at it ourselves. We hurried along to get a crab line (the one we bought had no hooks just bait bags because we didn't want to hurt anything). We filled our meshy bags with bait and plopped them in the water... And waited... 

We didn't have to wait long. My favourite crab has to be the one covered in barnacles, we nicknamed this one Barnacle Bill.

Before my Friend's Wedding.

On Friday my partner Ed and I went to our friend’s wedding. It was a super lovely day, despite all the rain. This was us whilst we we settling into the hotel room before the wedding began. As you can see I love men with beards hehe.

This is the first time that I have worn this dress and I absolutely adore it. This dress was handmade in the 40s, I love the thought that this dress has been alive for over 70 years. If only dresses could talk, I'm sure it could tell me lots of little secrets. This dress was an Easter present from Ed and we bought it from one of my favourite vintage shops Violet Rose Vintage. I have picked up some beautiful clothes from here and I hope to do a post on them in the future. 

And last but not least I better not forget to mention the shoes...

I spied these shoes in the sale! These little beauties are by Irregular Choice and I have got to say that I have never had so many compliments on a pair of shoes before. I have only wore these twice so far, but everyone seems to just fall in love with them. The are really comfortable as well, which is a massive benefit for me as I usually wear flats. The Irregular Choice website is definitely one to go and have a browse through, it is one of those pages that I look at if I am feeling a little bit glum as all the wacky, colourful designs cheer me right up.