Friday, 26 August 2011

She's Driving Me Nuts

The Right clan took a walk to our local walled gardens over the weekend, we had a picnic and the kids were running off their limitless energy whilst Mr Right and I enjoyed a crafty doze.  Mr Right, being the dutiful father kept one eye open and was surprised to see a squirrel virtually face to face with him.

The squirrel was super tame and I assume he was after our picnic leftovers, he obviously doesn't know the Rights very well as there were none to be had but Missy spotted him and it was game over for Mr Nutkin, she managed to chase him round for a good couple of minutes before he was able to get away and scamper up a tree, not sure how tame he'll be after his run-in with Missy!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Battenburger Me

I was having my usual Tuesday rummage in a local charity shop when this caught my eye

and being the baking paraphernalia whore I am I couldn't resist it and the £1.99 price tag on an unused Lakeland item that would have probably cost five times that didn't do much to talk me out of the purchase, so purchase it I did.

I've never made a Battenburg before and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it actually was once I'd realised that it's just a sponge cake mix divided in two with one half dyed pink, anyway, that done I plopped the relevant mixes into the tin 

and baked them until my kitchen was filled with the usual aroma that tells me my cake is almost ready for eatin'.  Some of the cake had risen above the tin but I just ran an knife across the top and I was left with four rectangles of sponge.  

I covered each long face of each rectangle in strawberry jam (I didn't have any apricot as directed) and assembled the cuboids together like a contestant from the Krypton Factor just without the lame tracksuit from the Physical Ability round.

I then rolled out some marzipan on some caster sugar and wrapped it around the assembled cake, chopped off the rough ends, check (sorry!) out the result

Friday, 19 August 2011

More Pedaling!

I've been blathering on about all sorts of sports this summer, unusual for me as I'm not normally a sport lover but following on from my new-found love of the Tour de France Mr Right informed me the other day that the Vuellta a Espana (Tour Of Spain) starts this weekend.
It would seem that I'm not the only one getting into cycling this year as (based on huge increases in viewing figures for the Tour de France) it's being picked up by ITV4, I loved their coverage of the Tour de France, so I'm excited to get to enjoy another three weeks of thrill and spills courtesy of those dare devils in Lycra (the cyclists, not the ITV4 commentary team!)
Ned Boulting, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen
Live coverage starts on Saturday 20th August on ITV4 at 4pm with a highlight's show every evening of the Tour.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Sand In Your Ice Cream

I haven't been to Ikea for ages and I popped in for a couple of bits for Missy's room as she's now in a big girl's bed.  Whilst I was in the children's department I saw this for £3.10
It's a sand ice cream set, complete with tubs, cone and a scoop!
Ideal for Missy's sand table, that's if enough of the sand remains in the table, she just loves the feeling of sand between her toes all over the carpets!

Sunday, 14 August 2011


Last weekend Mr Right and I shipped the kids off to ever helpful grandparents and took a trip into London to try and catch some Triathlon action.
The Dextro Energy Triathlon was being held in Hyde park and the two day event was a test run of next year's Olympic course and more importantly was free!
The Course
Although there were Age Group, Youth & Junior, Women's Elite and Paratriathlon races we decided to attend on the Sunday to see the Elite Men's race and managed a spectacular coups by bagging a great spot just out of transition that nobody else seemed to have noticed where were could spectate with a virtually uninterrupted view.
First up was the 1,500m swim in the Serpentine
Then, after a  speedy (no wet suits to struggle with at this time of year) Transition One  
it was onto the bikes for a 7 lap (40k) ride around and out of the park, up Constitution Hill, past Buckingham Palace and back again (a truly spectacular course for competitors and spectators alike)
And finally, after Transition Two it was onto the 4 lap (10k) run round the Serpentine.  The start of the running also signaled the start of a torrential downpour so it must have been a real slog but talented Brit Alistair Brownlee couldn't be beaten, completing the course in an astounding 1hr 50m 9s
Closely followed by Russian Alexander Bryukhankov taking silver
And bronze went to Alistair's younger brother Jonathan
Mr Right and I may not have been lucky enough to have bagged any 2012 games tickets but this was almost as good and who knows, perhaps we'll pop down in a year's time to see if the Brownlee brothers can get us some Olympic medals, would be fun to see them Tri!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A Straw-Berry Good Week Indeed

Last week seemed to trip along with a Strawberry theme, firstly my lovely cousin Miss B posted this picture on her facebook
super cute huh?  I know I'm over twice her age and fast entering the mutton zone but I couldn't resist having a go myself.  Besides it allowed me to use the harlot red Barry M colour I'd tried a few weeks back and rejected as it made my manly digits look like tranny hands.

Anyway, here's my attempt (note I'm showing my left hand as the other hand is super messy as I'm a righty).
Does this count as my five a day?
They can't look that bad as Missy knew what they were meant to be and kept saying mmmmmmm and pretending to eat them (I do feed her, honest!)

Then at the weekend we went along to our friend's (the gorgeous Mrs R) Breast Cancer Care Strawberry Tea Party, she's been busy raising funds all year and had organised a fun afternoon in the sun with stalls, bouncy castle, raffles and food and we all had a great day out whilst raising money for this wonderful cause.

Later on in the week we finished painting and erecting Missy's garden play house, it's located on a barked area in our garden where wild strawberries have taken it upon themselves to grow and who am I to argue?
The Strawberry Patch
so I decided to go with the theme and purchased some tiny strawberry print fabric from eBay and made some curtains
a cushion
and some bunting for the inside
I found this cute little sign for the front door for a couple of pounds in a cheap homeware store
and we added the 71A as our house number is 71
I painted an old kids' Ikea table and chair kindly donated by Buster in pink and placed it inside along with an off-cut of carpet to make it super cosy
Missy loved it, dressed in her Strawberry Print dress and matching Strawberry flip-flops (both from Next)
for the official opening ceremony.  Although she keeps making me sit inside it with her and it's a little cramped to say the least, I feel like I'm in Being John Malkovich working on the 7½th floor!
Finally I won this lovely piece of Strawberry Shortcake material for a couple of quid on eBay
not sure what I'm going to do with it yet but I just couldn't resist it and it seemed like it was meant to be at the end of a Straw-berry good week!

Linking up with White Lily Green's Handmade Thursday

Inspire Me Beautiful

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

London Looting To London Love

I usually like to keep my blog posts cheerful and light and rarely comment on the serious happenings of the world but I couldn't let the events of last night go unmentioned and it didn't feel right to be posting about cakes or crafts at a time like this.

I'm horrified at the sheer lawlessness of these so-called 'rioters', they're not rioters, they have no organised manifesto, they're just opportunist thugs hell-bent on extracting what they can out of the situation, I hope their new trainers and flat screen televisions make up for even bleaker futures they can now expect as local business and homes have been wrecked nobody will want to live/invest in those areas or those people.

The images I have seen in the past 24 hours have made me ashamed of the city of my birth.  Scenes that I keep replaying in my mind are of the sheer audacity of the people involved, one in particular of a young lad being mugged as he is 'helped' to his feet by a group of scumbags.

Plus various other morons flouting their 'wares' on Twitter and Facebook.

I like to end depressing posts on a positive and amazingly enough I've managed to find a few in all this, like this brave woman from Hackney, trying to talk some sense into those individuals in her own community who's actions will only succeed in compounding stereotypes she and her peers have probably worked for years trying to reverse

or this couple making tea for the overstretched police officers trying to regain some kind of order in the chaos
00:38 9/8/2011: Camden Town, London
and finally the so-called Riot Wombles ready to help with the clean-up operations, 
just goes to show that social networking can be used for good.

I sincerely hope that this will be an end to it and that London can now start to pick up the pieces, dust off its war zone image and once again return to being a city I can be proud of.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Shooting Stars

Recently I posted about my love of Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer, well I'm please to see that they are back on our TV screens with another series of the wonderful Shooting Stars, which according to Angelos Epithemiou's Twitter feed starts on BBC 2 on Monday 8th August and I for one can't wait.

Here's one of my (and Buster's) favourite clips from a previous series

And The Winner Is...

I held a giveaway to celebrate my first year in blogging last week, well the competition is now closed and I just wanted to thank everyone that entered and let the lucky winner know that they've won.

Well Mr Right was the independent witness and by means of a random number generator we have a winner.

And the winner is.....

Lakota, from the wonderful Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping (Lakota - congrats and I'm now following you on Twitter and if you follow me back you can DM me your address and the prize will be winging its way to you asap).

Thanks again to all that entered and also for your cupcake suggestions, I shall certainly be adding some to my 'to bake' list!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Sweet Hearts For A Sweetheart

Sugar cubes are functional, they look ok in a sugar bowl and it's fun to be able to use sugar tongs but let's face it pretty they aint, so I decided to make my some pretty ones of my own.

I put some caster sugar into a freezer bag, added a few drops of pink food colouring and mixed the two together until I achieved the right shade
I then added a couple of drops of water, mixed again and pressed the glittery rubble into a heart shaped sweet mould
I placed the mould into a warm oven to dry and pressed out the finished heart shapes and here they are
They're a bit on the large side, one for the two lump brigade I feel but I will look out for some smaller moulds perhaps in seasonal shapes, I think it would be nice to have snowflake shaped sugar lumps for Christmas.

Oh and please don't forget to enter my Hummingbird Bakery giveaway, closes Friday 5th August (tomorrow!) at 8pm

Linking up with White Lily Green's Handmade Thursday

Inspire Me Beautiful

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