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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Cupcapers - Little Lemon Cupcakes

Made these cakes ages ago but forgot to blog about them.  They're Little Lemon Cupcakes.

I made a batch of lemon flavoured sponge and baked some of it in normal size cupcake cases
and the rest of it in those little pots you get in certain fast food chains for holding condiments
Slathered on some lemon butter cream icing rammed the baby atop the mummy and decorated with a little jelly lemon slice, two cakes for the price of one!

Pickles and Ice Cream

No, I've not got a bun in the oven and this isn't a post about disgusting pregnancy food cravings.  Just a few of products I've tried of late and wanted to share with you.

First up the pickles.  I love vinegar, particularly Balsamic vinegar, I sometimes have a quick swig direct from the bottle I like it so much (disgusting I know but what can I say I'm an addict) so imagine my joy at the discovery of this in Waitrose.  Pickled onions in Balsamic vinegar, bliss.  Although they are a bit fiery, you have been warned!

Whilst we're on a Balsamic vinegar theme have you tried it on chips?  Divine!


Another pickle, this time from Branston.  We always buy their sandwich pickle (I prefer the small chunk variety) so I was intrigued by their beetroot offering.  I needn't have been worried as it's lush (hence the half empty jar in this shot) although I would appreciate a small chunk version please Branston peeps. 
Now the ice cream.  We never have any room in either of our freezers so I don't as a rule keep huge tubs of ice cream in there.  I was looking for Butterscotch Angel Delight (my fave flavour, I have somehow managed to convince the kids that they don't like it so I get it all to myself) when I happened upon these, they're sachets of powder that you whisk up with milk and place in the freezer for a couple of hours and hey presto you have ice cream where before there was none!  Marvellous, and they do it in Butterscotch, but shhh, don't tell the children.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

A Real Tit For Tat

Another Pinterest inspired make I'm afraid (you'll be pleased to hear that I've managed to wean, pun intended? myself off Pinterest somewhat of late).

I loved the double-take value of this crochet hat for a newborn so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, incidentally all pictures are courtesy of Tracy of the wonderful White Lily Green who kindly agreed to allow the fruits of her recent labour (gorgeous newborn daughter Lily) model the fruits of my labour so huge thanks to her.

Now available to purchase  in my Etsy shop

Monday, 24 September 2012

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

Hello tat lovers, more crap for your delectation.

First up some gorgeous vintage bed linen, double sheet of lush brushed cotton in the candy stripe print, lurking underneath was another in bog standard cotton £4 the pair! 
Another one of these pesky Woolworths trifle bowls, I have soooooo many of them now I'm going to have to stop but I can't help myself £1
Pretty floral napkin 40p
 More lovely wooden cotton reels 80p
The Water Babies book 25p
It has some beautiful illustrations that I might be tempted to liberate from the book and frame but I'm not sure if I can be that destructive as there's nothing wrong with the book, decisions, decisions.

Linking up with Liz's #MagpieMonday over at Me And My Shadow
Me and My Shadow

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Magical Mystery Tour

It was Mr Right's birthday last month and as I don't have a salary of my own (after a decade of being a stay at home Mum it still feels a bit wrong spending Mr Right's money on his own gift) I decided that a thrifty birthday was in order so as well as a handmade gift (more on that one later) I hatched a plan for a magical mystery tour that would be right up Mr Right's boulevard.

All he knew was that we were heading into the big smoke...

First stop was "Look Mum No Hands", a cycling cafe in Islington.  Mr Right loves all things bicycle and this cafe is where ITV's Cycle Show is filmed

Then it was a stroll round the corner to the Barbican where I'd booked tickets for the 50 Years Of Bond Style exhibition, who doesn't love a bit of Bond?  My fave Bond will always be Sean Connery as my Nana always claimed that she taught him to dance at her youth club in Edinburgh where he had a milk round that he did via horse and cart.  Not sure how true this is but I'm claiming it.

Sadly they didn't allow photographs inside the exhibition so you'll have to settle for this one of my man and Sean outside.
On to The Old Sorting Office on New Oxford Street where Banksy cohort Mr Brainwash of Exit Through The Gift Shop fame was hosting an exhibition of his work in celebration of the London 2012 Olympics 
Here are a couple of montages of the street art within
Unlike the Barbican photography was positively encouraged, hence the 40 here, sorry

After a lovely lunch at Tombo in South Kensington we schlepped across town to Greenwich to take a ride on the new Emirate Air Line, a cable car that spans the Thames
Unfortunately just as we were about to board they evacuated us because a thunderstorm was imminent (not ideal for someone like me who is petrified of heights) and we had to hang around for almost 2 hours before it was deemed safe to travel.
I'd booked return tickets so had to do the journey there AND back and spent most of the time on board with my eyes closed trying not have a panic attack but the Mr seemed to enjoy himself marveling at the spectacular views of the capital
The O2 Arena and Canary Warf and the Olympic Stadium
On our journey home we found ourselves on the platform of London Bridge station which provides an amazing view of The Shard, I almost ended up under a train trying to get the whole thing into this shot!
Happy Birthday Mr Right. xxx

Monday, 17 September 2012

This Week's Junk Shop Jewels

I turned 38 (arrrrrggggghhh!!) earlier this month and to celebrate my spiraling descent into old age I treated myself to a 1960s tea trolley from the chazza shop, I intend to give it a bit of a revamp and put it to use when we finally make a craft space for me in the loft.  It was supposed to go straight up there until I had time to give it my full attention 
but Missy took a shine to it and this was how I found it in her bedroom the other day, I finally managed to reclaim it and hid it in my bedroom only to discover that Mr Right had adopted it as an area for his evening TV snacks and drinks.  I think I may have to purchase more of these as they're proving to be very popular, not bad for a fiver!
Jelly mould 25p
Vintage pillowcase 50p
Tea towels 50p each
Spotted these 60s children's clothes hangers at a car boot sale, the seller was using them to display the children's clothes she was hoping to offload so I asked her if she'd be willing to sell the hangers instead, she did, 10p each
Linking up with Liz's #MagpieMonday over at Me And My Shadow
Me and My Shadow

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Lulastic Charity Shop Blog Hop, Bucks

So, after the success of the last Charity Shop Blog Hop, Lulastic and The Hippyshake is hosting another (you can read my last post about the wonders of Hitchin here) so what better excuse for a trawl round some chazza shops than for journalistic research?

Poor Mr Right was enjoying a couple of weeks off work when we found ourselves with a child-free day and he found himself being dragged round half of Buckinghamshire!

Stony Stratford

Stony is a lovely little town on the outskirts of Milton Keynes and is one of my fave destinations for a bit of a tat trawl and is also home to the "Penrith Tea Rooms" from Withnail And I .  

Most of the shops are located on the High Street so here they are from one end to the other.

1. Willen Hospice

Quite good for crochet supplies and bric-a-brac, they now have a vintage section (which so many charity shops are starting to do now) and charging royally for items within but I suppose everyone's out to make a buck so why not the charity shops?  
2. RSPCA

This used to be a bit ramshackle but I think they've had a sort out of late (more's the pity, I love a good rummage)
3. The British Red Cross

I always break out my standard gag for this one "shall we cross to the Red Cross?" (It's a laugh a minute chazza shopping with me!)

Small but perfectly formed, another good one for crochet supplies but they seem to be starting to stock a lot more new stuff of which I'm not a fan.
4. Willen Hospice Book Shop

It does what it says on the tin, books, books and more books (needless to say Mr Right likes this one)
5. Age UK

It's like entering a mock Tudor pub with dark beams and a dingy showroom but there is a great little cubby hole full of bric-a-brac and they even sell electricals 
6. Oxfam

Another small one but this one has good bric-a-brac and Mrs D even found a Radley handbag in there for a couple of quid!
Can't leave Stony without giving Castles Surplus Store a mention.  This is a bit of an oddity selling army surplus, DIY items and bakeware?!
Kiln Farm

We're on our way back to Milton Keynes now and find ourselves on an industrial estate in Kiln Farm where there are three big charity furniture warehouses

1. Willen Hospice

This is the new kid on the block, not much stock but this seemed to be the place to source your Fortnum and Mason wicker hampers but at a price (they had one about the size of a hot air balloon basket on the day we were there!)
2. Age UK

I like this one the best as it has a good mix of furniture, books and music but also has a mezzanine with bric-a-brac and soft furnishings and I found this for a fiver in there once.  They also tweet their wares (@AgeUKMKShops) and are open until 8pm on a Thursday!
3. The Re-Use Centre

This looks a little bit scary but it's the kind of place you can find a hidden gem, if you're willing to chisel off the detritus
Olney

Back through Milton Keynes and out the other side is located the pretty little market town of Olney, in the past I've visited during their Dickensian Christmas Market and returned a couple of times for the charity shops.  During this particular trip Mr Right and I spotted Tim Don 2006 World Triathlon Champion, who lives nearby, doing a bit of shopping but we were scoffing chips in the street (classy) so resisted the urge to shout "The Don!" at him.

1. Mercy In Action

A lovely little boutique style charity shop who are truly making the most of their vintage wares but sadly for me the prices match
2. Age UK

A large outlet with tonnes to peruse
3. Willen Hospice

Too many new items for sale so not my bag
4. Oxfam Books

Kept Mr Right happy for 10 minutes
Newport Pagnell

Spitting distance from Olney is Paggers, again most of the shops are helpfully located on the High Street.

1. RSPCA

Like its sister shop in Stony this is a bit ramshackle but good for a rummage and as a result the prices aren't bad either
2. Oxfam

Bright and airy shop although prices are a little steep for me, I collect glass jelly moulds and only pay a couple of quid for them at most, they wanted about a fiver for a bog standard one!!
3. Mercy In Action

Another one of these boutique style charity shops, this one is a bit too small though

4. Age UK

Good for haberdashery

4. Willen Hospice

Large shop but didn't have much old stuff in it, lots of new bits though
5. Keech

Small and a bit ramshackle (just how I like 'em)
Emmaus

Finally on our winding way home we stopped off at the Emmaus Village at Carlton (not strictly Bucks but hey who are you, the charity shopping location police?)

This is a secluded little oasis of tat with lots of little mini warehouses on site selling furniture, soft furnishings, clothes and there's even a bric-a-brac cafe so you can peruse dead people's stuff and eat cake at the same time!
Hope you enjoyed my little tour, if you did then I'm sure you'll enjoy the others that are linked up here

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