Sunday, 29 January 2012

The mind has a million pockets...

Heylow my lovelies.. January seems to have been a busy one, has it been for you lot also? I kind of can't wait to see the back of it. However one thing that has been good about it is that over the Christmas period I was gifted plentiful reading material and for this I am truly grateful, it has seriously kept me going. I have just finished The Boy with the Topknot by Sathnam Sanghera and surprisingly took away alot from the book as previously perceived. Sathnam Sanghera relates his story about being a British born Sikh boy in Wolverhampton, how his parents shaped his life, how being immigrants shaped theirs and what a Topknot meant to his faith. Bought by my mother in law due to the ' topknot ' reference I found this recollection of an Asian upbringing, honest, heart warming, gutting and insightful. Being able to sympathise and relate to most of it, I feel the need to suggest this book to the masses. Get yourself a little copy!

As noted in my second last post, I was up late at night baking my brothers birthday cake and I had extreme anxieties about it not working as I hadn't used the recipe before and worried I would simply EFF it up ( my mum hadn't bought a replacement ) I had visions of it exploding (??!!??) no idea why and or falling apart in my hands even though there would be no need for it to be IN my hands in the first place. Anyway, it worked, it tasted how it was meant to, so I am going to share it. I ( of course ) found this recipe on Pinterest, the apple of my eye. If you know a chocolate mentalist, this recipe is for you!


3 ounces dark chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2  buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla


Heat the oven to 190 degrees.
Get the chocolate and chop it up.
Melt the chopped up chocolate in the hot coffee until it is completely dissolved and set aside.
Whisk together your dry ingredients.
Beat your eggs for 2-3 minutes, until they are thick and lemon coloured. Time to add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
Once those are in, add the coffee/chocolate mixture slowly.
Then it’s time for the dry ingredients, dump them in and mix at a moderate speed until they are combined completely.
Grease and parchment line your cake pan.
Bake at 190 degrees, check after 30 minutes with skewer bake further if needed until done.
Once out, leave to cool and then remove to wire rack and set aside for later.

Take 1 1/2 cups of double cream and pop it in a pot.
Add around 125g of dark and milk chocolate to the pot and stick on a medium heat.
Keeping an eye on it melt the chocolate until the liquid turns into melted chocolate completely.
Once cream and chocolate have combined keep stirring for at least another 20 minutes until the ganache thickens. 
Once thickened pour into bowl and refrigerate and every so often mix to allow it to cool faster.

Now I decorated it with kitkats and M&M's however you can do whatever you like! I cut the two sponge sandwiches until i had two flat pieces and then on one half using my ganache to fill then placed the other sponge on top. I then covered the whole cake with the chocolate ganache, placed my kits kats around the edge as evenly spaced as I could then secured them with a ribbon. The best bit was covering the top with the colourful M&M's!!! Done!!

Also this week I have been pretty pleased with the progress of my plants! either I kill something I buy already potted and growing, or, what I plant just does not grow! I've been  playing peaceful and tranquil music qhilst whispering sweet nothings to these babies so that they bloom and grow and brighten up my wee living room!

In love with this D.I.Y tutorial and I am SO going to try it out! <3

DIY: Chain Bracelet


Outfit inspiration of the month!!!! check her out! and her bloggeth  Nany's Closet 

Night people...stay amazing!

February challenge....

Hello hello, birthday cake for brother turned out good and he was pleased, the post on recipe and decor to follow soon!!! I was on Pinterest and oft, talk about addicted, anyways, I came across a challenge for Feb and I'm raring to get started! I'll post it below for everyone to follow and I will blog every days challenge in here!! Join in!!

All thanks to Fat mum Slim blog spot!


Thursday, 26 January 2012

It is 2am in the morning.....

And I am baking my brothers birthday cake the sponges are so high and taking ages to turn to sponge, this better be worth it and he better bloody appreciate it, or else! : ) let you guys know how it goes!!!


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Early morning dreams and doom

It is currently 7.08am and I am typing this while looking at my phone with one eye open. It may not seem early to many (or most) but I hate mornings so badly I had to discuss it with you. For some reason I keep sleeping for exactly 6hrs and 50minutes (my sleep cycle app tells me so) and I'm lying here thinking about how that just isnt enough. Don't worry, I know it's plenty, especially as I'm waaaaaay past those sleepy teenage years. But man, getting up is hard to do. Last night I had a dream that topknot's car was breaking down. We had it by the side of a windy road on a steep incline. We could see it out of the corner of our eye when smoke began to belch out of the bonnet. Then slowly it moved, gathered momentum and rolled down the hill, round the corner and into a river (which was like a small sea or lake - there was a bed of shallow water before a drop down to a very deep section.) I remember standing looking at the car and explaining that we only had a few seconds to run and get everything valuable out, that as soon as we opened the doors it would sink very quickly. TK said that yes, the car was full of important items but no, we were going to leave them. We stood on the shore and watched the car sink.

The end.

F xx

Monday, 23 January 2012

The Virgin Suicides....

Read two brilliant books this weekend and one that I cannot believe I haven't read before. Loved it of course and I am now on a mission to see the film! fantastic little steal (  literally ) from my works mysterious book box in our break out area. I may need a wee copy of me own.The book I am banging on about? The Virgin Suicides and Meet me at the Cupcake Cafe was sweet too. Ok anyways, seen another book that I have had my eye on for a couple of weeks and it goes by the name ooooofffff  The Vintage Tea Party Book  and I fell in love, as I do with many books straight away. Normal? I think not! I read a really interesting interview with the author Angel Adoree and I like the way she thinks. Made me want to have my dream home and decor and lots of Tea Parties of course. It also got me looking into interiors again and ideas for my forever expanding ' dream home ' folder, oh yes, I have one, stop judging me!!! and a few idea's on little creations that will make any space be quirked out its wee face! Fringe, LOVE thee nails! I need to try me some, infact I might just get you to do them next time I see you!! OK.......picture fun and more crafty adventures.

The Girl Herself

Her charming house interior!

Safe to say this book is on my growing want want and want list! So to add a little sense or touch of this style of interior to your place girlies I looked up a few ideas via blogs and etsy's and all of that good stuff and found a few crackers to either buy or create yourselves!

I came across this gentle approach towards antlers, if like myself you guys love em, but, the actual thought of anything remotely real gives you the heebie jeebies ( boak if you're in Glasgow ), then this will be just up your street peoples! Kari Herer on Etsy is a very talented photographer and this idea could very easily be repeated on card or canvas or if you are feeling rite fruity, purchased from her gorgeous shop! Look, look, look!

How beautiful eh?
Came across a cute little rabbit night light and I wanted to hug the hell out it when I seen it. Would look ace amongst books on a shelf or in a hallway underneath the above photographs perhaps? heeeeeeee....pick one up here for a fantastical cheap price of £8.95 Not on the highstreet

Here's a little idea I came up with myself! Whilst browsing in TK Maxx I came across a gorgeous collection of old classic books however with restyled covers and they looked special, however so was the price! at a whopping £120 for 6 tales I was slightly apprehensive about purchasing such treasures so I had a little think. It's easy to pick up all your favourite books in charity shops these days and unless you love the cover already why not recover the books using vintage paper and have them match or mismatch your interior, in turn adding a little twist to your book shelf? I am definitely going to try it. There are so many options of gorgeous paper via Ebay and Etsy that you will have a TONNE to choose from. These are my fav so far Digital Image 4 u but I will search for a random collection so that my books imitate these below!

Ok you guys, I've well and truly babbled enough tonight, need to get my lazy arse up and actually get these things done!!!


Nailed it!!

Check out my puuuure cool nails. Did it all by myself. Actually, they wear quite well even through dishes and showers and the likes. I'm getting bored of chipped nail varnish, and these fair perk up my wee day. These are from accessorize but you can get wee nail vinyls lots of places. Woop!
F xxx

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Lucky lucky, you so lucky!

My manager brought me back some LUCK aaaaaalllllllll the way from china in the form of cute little charms. I now have a lucky cat and a cute panda and I am mighty chuffed! All the luck for 2012!!!!!


Friday, 20 January 2012

Fringe France Diary 2

One of the main things that stuck us when the business was gone was the lack of feeling that seemed to come over us. Well me especially. There was a certain numbness about it that wasn't entirely evident in the beginning. I reckon that not seeing the actual damage being done might have had some impact on my reaction. I wasn't there when the water poured through the ceiling of our shop from above, or when A felt that the shutters were hot when she opened them. I didn't see anything of the shopkeepers on the street pouring buckets of water into the snow in the street, or the piles and piles of stock and papers and equipment being destroyed. A and I have discovered that in a true partnership two people just cannot cry at once. We've tried, it's impossible. One person has to hold the other person, and that just is the way it is. Bad partnerships happen when one person just chooses to cry and be held up, but we didn't have one of those. One of us was always strong. Then the other took their turn. People wouldn't understand when we chose to do things together. Why don't you each do a half week and take the rest of the time off? Or one do one thing while the other does something else? That just wasn't our way. We spent those eighteen thousand hours pretty much together and I woudn't change it.

The next six months were really a bit of a shock. We didn't need to be together all the time, and didn't really have a common goal any more. We adjusted to our lives without our business and got on with things. We went to work and paid our bills and met for coffee and had nice times. My problem was I just started to run out of things to say. People would ask me what I did and I would look at them blankly and change the subject. It wasn't like I didn't have a job, but I had always had a business. It was strange because I was relatively modest about it, wasn't a big self promoter of the business, but it was always on my mind. People were always talking it up for me and that was nice, but I didn't like to advertise. Now though I didn't have a business, or did I? I'm not sure. That was the main thing though, this absence of it. And yet it was still there. It was multi faceted our wee business, more of a feeling we had about things. A nice place for people to go and look at beautiful things and take them home. In our heads it was a concept more than a physical thing. That concept still exists but doesn't have such a sturdy home. We always wanted to seek out the most beautiful things we could and bring them all together to make a lifestyle, a way to be. Not an expensive life, or a flashy one, just beautiful.

There wasn't really any reason why this should change so we decided to carry on. To find those things and collect them together and show people, just in a different way. We collected recipes from mums and grans and tried them all, some good, some bad. We threw parties for friends and made decorations and dinner and watched movies. We went to classes to learn to make things and gave them away, and in doing all this we learned that you can find a sort of peace in these simple things, and a sense of achievement too.

So sans business and lovely income we decided to scour life for possibilites. What can make us happy like that which was once ours? What could give us the same sense of achievement and wonder that we had in abundance only months before? We narrowed down the options. We had never been one for expensive designer clothing or holidays yachting in St Tropez, and so it wasn't that we felt the need to fund a lifestyle of extravagance. Jabbering like monkeys and bursting with inspiration was the order of the day, and we found this in the most unlikely of places. The mission took us to off the beaten track home grown cafes filled with vintage tea sets and the freshest meringue in the land. It took us to beaches to eat ice cream and to start a book club with friends with lots of tasty new recipes to be tried and tested. All of these things can be found and sampled for yourself, whether you live in a city or a tiny hamlet, you have £1 or £1million.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Thank her later....

Thank me now......

Hope they are in order, all credits to this women, I am SO going to try this, if you don't recognise me girls, I am over here, the pure ace lookin wummin!!! ; )


Accounts party!

Oh dear, it's time for the accounts party! Time to pull out all those 'important' pieces of paper that have been in the garage for the last year and do all my sums. Luckily, topknots mum is cooking which is amazing because her food is ACE. I've long wanted to be able to emulate her cooking but after asking for lessons it was made clear that she is a grab a bit of this and a bit of that cook. I THINK I'm
one of them. That's how both my gorgeous grannies cook. And bake. And knit. Unfortunately when I do that the result is horrendous. Poor R. Today I have decided though just to chill and enjoy it. Just get on with the sums and forget about trying to do anything else!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

D.I.Y, Blogs and me.....

As you guys know I am hooked on Pinterest, constantly searching loving and finding fantastic blogs and dribbling at the thought, of a D.I.Y or crafty tutorial. So I decided to display my love for all things I accumulate instead of hoarding them more often than I do and keep you guys on my wavelength so that my babbling is not as harsh on your ears as usual. 

Ok, I came across a gorgeous blog More Design Please and I sat all night looking through every section clapping at every page I clicked on (worrying eh? ) and I mostly enjoyed the D.I.Y section as I was looking for bridal shower ideas and came across a gorgeous tea party idea that looked exquisite.I also came across a nifty little idea on how to pimp your laptop which if is not inspiration enough to sit and punch out your work then I do not know what is!The food section is so prettily set out that the imagery itself makes you want to be involved and I have vowed to try a few of the recipes as soon as I can. The decor section left me agitated to the point I felt like exploding and itching to crack out the tutorials and try everything that she suggests, as it simply is a fantastic wee bundle of cracking decor/d.i.y fun. There is literally something for every need/desire within this blog and I cannot recommend it enough. It is my blog love today so please check out her blog and ideas and tell her I said hello from here! ALL IMAGE BEAUTY FROM HER BLOG, ALL CREDIT TO HER AND HER SOURCES. * claps again *

Inspired Once Again

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Heavenly Heavenly

Had to blog the Link you sent me Fringe, the video brought me to tears! Everyone will either totally understand why when they see the video which is about two partners that are budding Etsy sellers and have a gorgeous home/studio, or send a Doctor to my home, I am not sure.

If I had a large loft space and all that........ very much inspired.

And how am I to get myself to this dream place/career people? By doing this, lots of it and fast!

A little outfit inspiration lately,see below!

You can't whack an Aaron piece eh? Image fun from Karlas Closet!

Inspired today by Etsy!

To do list rejig... on my to do list today was a hefty list of important and must be done things. To be fair I did the ones I really didn't want to do, but the must clean out my wardrobe fell by the wayside. Instead I picked myself up, dusted myself down after the truly awful calls to the horrible electricity company and made myself the etsy shop I've been promising to make for ages. To be fair I maybe should have waited till all my productss were ready but I thought, well, why? Just do it now you procrastinating procrastinator! So I did. The skincare products listed so far are my favourite and absolute necessities in life, so they went on first.

The most important in my opinion is the citrus and almond oil cleansing balm and I have been using it for years. I stopped using it and changed to a big brand for a few weeks (Christmas pressie) and now I'm nursing a spot. Raging. So I'm back on it and making sure you all know about it too. All you have to do is take a pea sized amount of the (completely natural and preservative free) balm and rub all over your make up and dirt covered face. It's so natural you can even take off mascara with it and give it all a good rub. Everything that shouldn't be on your face will melt away as soon as you take your lovely clean flannel, soak it in hot water and wring it out. Then the lovely steamy (but now not too hot after its been wrung out) facecloth can be used to wipe away every last trace of grime. The oils in the balm will keep your skin moisturised and dewy all night long and the beeswax will protect your skin against bad weather and environmental baddies.

The rose moisturiser is completely natural too, so much so that I would recommend it be kept in the fridge. This makes it extra cooling and refreshing on your tired skin, combatting redness and inflammation. The avocado oil is great for lined and wrinkled skin as it is packed with vitamin e. I recommend you use this daily and left on without using make up after for a few hours on any sneaky days off you have to give yourself a bit of a rest.

Well there we go. Have a look, give it a try and thank me later ;)

100% natural super citrus cleansing balm

Fringe xxx

So much to do, so little time, so many places to be!!

Oh lord have mercy above and below, Fringe I hear what you're saying. Is it possible to call on my doppelgänger to take over for a bit? I have so many places to be and so many people to please, I have no energy or time to do it all, or even half. Wish I was an ostrich and I could bury my heid. I thought a lovely little recipe for a sumptuous Victoria Sponge could help cheer our wee faces? Even though I can't eat cake rite now as I'm on a new year resolution to stop being a fat hippo! Ha! Anyhow I made this for my wee daddy's birthday as he loves cake, but hates icing ( kills my teeth you know ) he always says, so this seemed like a tasty but safe option.

Ok so Preheat your wee oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Gently heat a knob of butter in a pan and brush cake tins ( or in my case just the one, which i reused ) with the melted butter. Line the bottom of the two cake tins with a circle of greaseproof paper as its so much easier to get the cake smooth and flat.

In a large bowl, cream together 225g/8oz of butter and 225g/8oz of sugar until pale and creamy, using an electric whisk or a wooden spoon. Beat the mixture well to get lots of air into that bad boy!

Beat in four eggs one at a time. This is important as you don't want it to go weird, believe me, I've done it! Haha! Add a tablespoon of flour if the mixture still decides to bloody curdle.

Fold in 225g/8oz of flour using a large metal spoon. Be careful not to over-mix it, light with the touch and firm with the fold.

Pour the mixture equally between the two cake tins and level off the top with a spatula. Make a slight dip in the centre with the tip of the spatula if you don't want them to be pointed in the middle.

Stuck them in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently with a finger and are pale golden in colour.

Once ready, take them out and leave in the tins to cool. Once cooled remove them and get ready to jam and cream the middle! Take a tub of double cream 300ml is plenty and whisk it up to a nice thick filling and spoon it onto one half of the sponge and jam the other half. Place in top of one another and lightly dust the top with icing sugar and walla!!

Enjoy it and let my face know if it was good!!!


Should do vs want to do...

You know that day in your diary that seems months away when you're loading all your errands into it, but seems all too close now? Yeah I'm in it. Today is the one day that looms large in my diary (not every week mind, just occasionally) the day when I vow to clean the bathroom, get to the bank, post all my letters, clean out my wardrobe, make tasty meals for the week and file my tax return. Yes girls, today is my DAY OFF. But now that it's here I really just want to lie on the couch eating chocolate biscuits and watching fat fighters. What do you reckon? Should I be good or bad?


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Fringe France diary 1

Once upon a time there were two girls. Having studied together for four years in art school they found themselves drinking lattes in Starbucks and declaring that after the ordeal of their degree they 'could handle anything'. That might well have been the case, but five years on they are finding that they may not have wished upon themselves the challenge of testing that theory.

Sometimes in life you feel that you can do anything. At other times you feel at the top of your game, that everyone around you understands what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes you whisper to your nearest and dearest that everything you are saying is bullshit, but realise that everything uttered by those around you is bullshit too, and that is how these things go, the secret of it all. Having a fixed point to aim towards in the future is the biggest incentive to move forward, to work 70 hour weeks and not blink an eye. To look around you and see that everything is yours, everything was created by you, not another is both overwhelming and, at times, underwhelming. What happens though when that fixed point in the future develops a strange mist just in front of it. A doubt creeps in, a knowledge of the way things really are, for you, and everyone. When you have peers who you admire, envy?, possibly, but ultimately want to stand alongside start to crumble and fall. The truth you sought so veraciously suddenly appears before you and you wish you never knew it. Didn't open Pandora's box. Sometimes, now, all I wish for is that all consuming and ever powerful naivety that told me, us, that we could do anything. The plans that were ours and the empire that would grow was there in the future and all we had to do was move forward. At the time we would dissect other people's success, look for the secret, what is it they're doing? What's the magical ingredient we need to work our backsides off for? Because we would have done it. If someone had said 'work 100 hours a week and don't even think about stopping' we would have laughed, that was no problem, we can do that! But when the road map was uncovered to us we realised that maybe this wasn't the way we wanted to go. There is something to be said for fumbling along in the dark with a smile on your face. But when suddenly the road sign is uncovered and there are still a thousand miles to go, well you have to question things.

A lot of those companies we admired so much seemed to be rotting under the surface. Thousands of pounds in debt, mortage in arrears, not paid staff for a month. We didn't want to be like that. Our wee business was definitely only wee, but we had our souls intact and unsold. There's a lot to be said for that.

But enough of that. A question must be asked, and without the background it cannot properly be understood. What happens when two girls had a company, a life and a plan, and suddenly it was gone? Well for one, they had a sleep. The 7 day weeks and 10 hour shifts can only continue for a certain amount of time. Five years if you were curious. Eighteen thousand hours, give or take. They got jobs and paid their bills. And then they started planning again. Rather more quietly this time it must be said. With much less scribbling on endless scraps of paper. One of them took a month off and escaped to the middle of France. She received delivery of a new laptop the day before she left and hired a car and started to type.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

I <3 Obento

Hey girlies, remember my obsession with obsessions? Well here's another one for your pot! To save myself from annoying my work colleagues or attracting unwanted attention I asked one of my mates if I could read his ' cool wee book ', I know, I know, who the hell talks like that? Anyway, forever the owner of interesting and crafty little readies, I knew I'd be set up asking him for help. He gave me a gorgeous little book called Yum Yum Bento Box and lassies, I near enough hugged the thing it was so cute!

Derived from Japanese households where loving ( and talented ) Mums created little boxes of food art for their children to take to school for their lunches. Hoping to bridge the gap between home and school these creative cubbies are lovingly put together to ease the stress of going to school and not having mum there to feed your wee face!!! This gem is full of brilliant techniques, tools and ideas on how to prepare your own bento box aswell as where to supply up on all your foodie needs. Fantastic read, interesting recipes and something I will be keeping my eyes peeled for twee bento boxes as I can see ( yes you know it ) another obsession arriving!!! Check out some image fun below and I will list the websites that you can delve ever so deeply in bento paradise.

Bake It Pretty
Bento & Co
Candyland Crafts
Daiso Japan
Design Within Reach
Dunwoody Booth Packaging
From Japan With Love
Happy Japan
Happy Tiffin
I Love Obento
Japan Centre
Kitchen Crafts
Laptop Lunches
Life Without Plastic
Micheals Craft Stores
Rakuten International
Sugar Charms
Urban Outfitters
William Sonoma

Even if it inspires you to create inspiring lunch boxes all these places are ace! Woop!