30 March 2010

The windy city




Today has been a really WET day! When it is wet and windy I don't really like going out or even looking out the window. It is so gloomy and grey...I would much rather see sunshine and blue sky. Does the weather get any of you feeling a bit 'down'? It happens to me! Gloomy weather = Gloomy Gemma lol...Anyway something caught my eye out the window and I couldn't resist grabbing my camera and taking a quick snap of this....



Isn't he lovely! I think he's posing for the camera : )...Robins are such beautiful and confident birds .

Unfortunatley he flew away quite quickly as the rain got a bit too much! Inspired by Mr.Robins beauty I took a few more pictures some spring time flowers...

There is something about flowers that instantly uplifts my mood!
To cheer myself up a bit more I indulged in a bit of yummy chocolate cake


Hope your week is going well...Until next time :)

Gemma X

P.S - Thank you for your lovely comments in the previous posts! I've tried to comment back but for some reason it doesn't let me : ( Hope to continue to hear from you all !

28 March 2010

Spring Forward and Forked Cookies :D

Hello everyone :D

Here in the UK we are all getting used to the spring time change. Unfortunately we've lost an hour of our precious time but it is feeling like Spring more and more each day and I'm welcoming it with open arms!!!... Have you noticed the sudden influx of birds, flies and blossom? Such natural beauty is everywhere and I feel Spring highlights that to all of us...it opens our eyes.

Something I would like to share with you guys today is my favourite cookie recipe. Me and my boyfriend fancied something sweet whilst at his house today..but he didn't have any eggs. Nearly all of us have had this dilemma at least once!. These cookies only have 4 ingredients so they are super easy to make and don't require any egg whatsoever (great especially if you are allergic!)

You will need:
  • 4oz Margarine
  • 2oz Caster Sugar/Superfine Sugar
  • 4.5oz of Plain Flour / All purpose flour
  • 1oz Chocolate Drinking Powder (Hot chocolate)
This is the hot chocolate powder I use. Don't use Cocoa as it wont be sweet enough.

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to Gas mark 4, 180c or 350f. Weigh and mix together the sugar and margarine until it looks smooth like this....

Then weigh and add the flour and chocolate powder and mix until it looks roughly like this...

Grease up a baking try and roll the dough into medium sized balls (we make 12 perfectly out of this single batch). Wet a fork with cold water and flatten the dough balls softly but not too much. Make sure the fork is wet for each dough ball as this gives the cookie moisture!



Bake for 10-12 minutes for a soft and chewy cookie OR 12-15 minutes for a crunchy cookie. Either way leave them to cool and harden for 20 minutes and ENJOY!!!



I absolutely love cookies...especially the chewy/gooey ones! I've tried so many different recipes but many of them have been disappointing. I would love it if you could recommend any cookie recipes you have tried and tested!!

Can't wait to hear from you all...

Gemma X

25 March 2010

Home Decorations

Here in the UK the majority of us only decorate our homes during Halloween or Christmas.
I have to say me and my mum love to decorate our home according to the seasons and up coming occasions. Rather than having the same old decor..it's nice to have a change every now and then. I mean little bits and pieces here and there..the odd pumpkin or leaf during autumn or pretty hanging eggs during Easter but mostly hanging hearts : )


It allows us to give our home a little 'makeover' without going crazy. It freshens the room up and makes our visitors inspired to try the same thing. They are always asking where we got it from. Just thought I would show you guys a few of my favourites...


This wooden heart hangs above our fireplace. It makes an appearance a few times a year.


This cute hanging cupcake was bought from Hobby Craft and currently hangs in our kitchen.



These are the first Easter decorations of the year. They hang in our hallway. I love how colourful they are...they make me feel so cheerful!


This is a handmade heart I made myself. It hangs in my bedroom :D

This door stop is also handmade by me. I have one in my bedroom and one in our living room.


I don't know if you can tell by now but I love decorative hearts lol. We have more Easter decorations to come and soon after i'm sure a few summer bits and bobs will also appear here and there.

I hope I've inspired you to add a few touches here and there which will make a house a home....

23 March 2010

Boredem!

Today it is my day off. I'm really stuck on idea's of what to do though!

The weather isn't all that great so I don't fancy going out for too long. I could spend most of the day on the computer looking for new blogs or adding gems to my ebay, but I want to DO something if you know what I mean...confusing I know!

Roll on the summer I say! I can't wait for the BBQ's, baking refreshing lemon cakes, Pimms and just lazing around in the sun : )

What do you guys do during your days off? Maybe I can get some ideas...

Gemma X

21 March 2010

Runner Bean Planters

My Runner Beans are now good and ready to brave the outdoors! I couldn't wait for the day to come quicker as its such a lovely feeling...moving your not so much anymore seedlings to their long term home...

...but there was one problem. I didn't have a suitable pot or patch for them : ( Such a moment blonde moment I know...I think I was too preoccupied with the first step. Luckily being as resourceful as I try to be a solution was found quickly.




We had A LOT of wood lying around from a crate we took apart recently. Rather than burning it (which my dad had intended to do!), my boyfriend thought to knock up a few plant pots. I love re-using anything and turning it into a little gem!







He removed the nails, measured and sawed the wood....nailed it together and added some hardboard as the base.




Then it was my go to do some painting whilst he carried on making a few others for the leeks which will soon be ready. I had a nose around in my dads outhouse and found some royal blue exterior paint - PERFECT! There is something so therapeutic about painting. I think it's the back and forth brushing motion : ).



And here is the finished plant pot! It is a perfect length to line up all the runner bean plants. We used bamboo sticks as the main frame but added hanging string for the stalks to climb up. I expect we will need to add taller sticks soon enough.




Hope you enjoyed this post! Please leave a comment if your passing through : )

Gemma X

18 March 2010

Flowers!

Just a quick post to show you guys the lovely tulips we bought the other day from Ikea. They look sooooo beautiful and cheered up the room instantly!

Dont they look good in front of our worn down decking lol : )



A picture my sister insisted on taking! Kind of hypnotic.



Finally a picture of the jug we put the flowers in. I know a lot of people use them as a vase. My mum found this jug at an antiques fair in great condition for around £3. As soon as she saw it she thought it would be great as a vase....Adds a touch of country chic to the dinning room anyway!

Thanks for reading..leave a message if your passing through :)

Gemma X

16 March 2010

Spring Time Ritual!!

I have to admit that after being bombarded with different TV chefs emphasizing the importance of home grown food....I decided to give it a go!

The thought of putting my hands in mud crawling with ants and spiders (eek!) made me freak out. Going to my local store which I'd hope is insect free is MUCH easier. However... after umming and arring i gave it a go...AND....it's actually really fun and exciting. There is a spectacular feeling you get when you watch your little seedlings sprout into life and grow immensely each day.

I've decided to grow runner beans, leeks, carrots and courgettes as these are used often at home.



About a week ago I planted all but courgettes as they need to be sown in April. I dropped 2-3 seeds in each pot, watered them and left them near a window. A day or so after sowing the runner beans this little shoot shot up out of nowhere!


Not so long afterwards they were looking almost ready to go outside...



Since then i've been putting them out in the lovely march sunshine during the day and bringing them in again at night to avoid the cold.

Although it is still early days I have enjoyed watching all my vegetables grow...so much so that it's going to be a spring time ritual from now on!!!

Updates coming soon on their growth.... : )

10 March 2010

Mothers Day Suprise

Mothers day is creeping up on us as we speak and we all want our mothers to have a nice day. I've already bought a gift which I think she'll love...BUT..

...There is nothing like a homemade gift!!

So here is a gift idea or a little something extra you can all whip together quite easily which will definately make your mum smile :)

You will need:

For the cakes...
  • 6 oz of self-raising flour
  • 4 oz of soft margarine
  • 4 oz of caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • Cup Cake Cases

For the decoration...
  • 5 oz of softened butter
  • 10 oz of icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla essence
  • Food colouring (Optional)
  • Hunders and Thousands (Optional)
  • Edible Silver Balls (Optional)

This is a very easy recipe!!...Pre- heat your oven to 190 c, Gas mark 4 or 375 f. Mix ALL the cake ingredients together and spoon equal amounts into your cup cake cases. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when skewered. Leave them to cool to room temperature whilst you make your icing.

Again..the icing is basic to make. Mix together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until it is a thick but smooth consistency and tastes yummy! If you do use food colouring, add it in tiny amounts until it becomes the colour you desire. Smooth the icing onto the cakes and sprinkle your choice of decoration on top!!



I hope you all have a lovely day!! :)


Gemma X

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