28 May 2010

Denham Village Fayre

Here in the UK it is a Bank holiday weekend..we get a long weekend with Monday off *Horah*..and hope for lots of warm sunny weather!

This Bank Holiday Weekend is particularly special as we all go to a beautiful village farye. My mum has been going to this farye every year since she was 4...I've been going since I was born...so it is a REAL big tradition.

All of my mums side of the family attend.

There are lots of different stalls. Plants, cakes, paintings, BBQ's, clothes, ornaments and general bric-a-brac. The farye runs through the quaint village..and at the end of it all is a church hall where lots of lovely older ladies serve up fresh homemade cakes and pies...YUM YUM!

Quiet English pubs are dotted all through the village. Most of the time it's a warm day so we pop into a particular pub for an ice cold coke (Or an ice cold beer if your my dad lol).

There are also tombolas where if you pick up a number that ends in 0 or 5 you win a prize! I once won my grandparents a 3 course meal in a lovely little restaurant along there so it's definitely worth a go : )

I wish I had some pictures of it all but I dont.

I will take loads on Moday to show you ladies!

After the Farye we all go to my mums cousins home for a BBQ/ Family reunion. We only see eachother a few times a year so it is a great opportunity to catch up...such fun!

I hope you can somehow picture it from my description. You'll see some photos soon : )

Have a good one girlies : )

Gemma X



26 May 2010

A Hidden Gem

A few weeks back we discovered a B.E.A-UTIFUL LOCAL park! There aren't any "decent" parks close by..only ones which have a basic square layout with a climbing frame in the middle (that's why I stressed *local* ).

Most of the time we go further afield... but it's literally a 5 minute drive away so I really don't know why we hadn't gone there before. Possibly because on the outside it just looked like the above description..I don't know.

Anyway we thought why not..give it a go..and i'm sure glad we did...



*They had zip wires and crazy climbing frames*

*A secret garden*

*A pond*



* Beautiful scenery*

It was picture perfect! I really loved the Wisteria..when Ian & I have our own home I definitely want to plant some : )

It was great as it was quiet and pretty....yet it had a great childrens playground. We went there as a whole family and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Hope your all having a good week,

Gemma X

P.S - Don't forget about the sale in my shops at the moment..the offer is ending next Monday!

24 May 2010

Thank you

I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to you all for your kind comments and blessings!

We had a really lovely weekend. The weather has been so nice and warm which made this weekend feel extra special : )

To get an early start to the weekend we had some friends over at Ians house for a BBQ and a Bonfire. It was a really relaxed evening...Ians dad had filled their garden with pretty twinkling lights and lanterns. The skies were clear so we could also see plenty of stars!

On Saturday we did a bit of shopping. Everyone seems so much more upbeat when it is Summer..the atmosphere in the shopping centre was ALIVE! We got back and cleaned the car (as you do when its hot)....then had ANOTHER BBQ! (This time at my house with my family).

On Sunday it was TOO hot..you know the kind of heat where you cannot bear to do anything. We did gather the energy to pop to a lovely garden centre...a nice lazy Sunday : )

Overall it was great.


I couldn't keep count of the amount of times Ian said "This is Bliss"...heehee!

Gemma X

21 May 2010

It's the weekend : )

Well - practically...! :D

This post is dedicated to my lovely boyfriend Ian. I can honestly say he is the nicest, funniest and most hard working person I know. Things have been a struggle for us recently. Since leaving college it was me that found a job instantly and him not getting ANYTHING..literally nothing. People had promised him jobs but at that time nothing ever developed. He went on interviews but there wasn't any luck. My grandad has been helping him out giving him little jobs here and there to do for him.

About 2 months ago Ian got a call from Superdrug asking for an interview...and hey presto he got the job :D. He was working 4-5 days a week which suited him fine. The pay isn't great at all but it is a job at the end of the day.



BUT THEN
...he got another call.



This time from our old college (those who had promised a job)..they were ready for him to begin a months contract in the ICT department. The job is school hours, Monday to Friday and COULD lead onto further work for them.

Then the dilemma developed. Ian all of a sudden had 2 jobs. The ICT one is only a months contract so he cant just quit Superdrug. Although they may extend the contract they might not?!



So for about 3 weeks now Ian has been playing it safe by working at school all week..and Superdrug all weekend. Yes - 7 days a week! O goodness he is shattered! He strives so hard and still seems so perky but I can see he's tired. His eyes are red, his back is aching and his feet burn! However I never hear him complain. He just gets up and goes to work day after day...poor him : (

His hard work has paid off though...He went for an interview at my dads work for a job as a Trainee mechanical engineer. He got the job! It's 5 days a week, he has to go to college and they will PAY for him to go...it's a career :D


So now he has quit Superdrug. He's still working at our old college until June and then he's due to start the new job..Thank you God! This weekend is his first full weekend off for a good few weeks now...so thats why I'm EXTRA happy it's the weekend : )




I told you you would get your day off sooner rather than later honey...



Gemma X

20 May 2010

Show and Tell.

This lovely weather we've been having recently reminds me of my last holiday. Last year we were lucky enough to go to Florida for 2 weeks. We went to the Disney Parks, SeaWorld, the malls etc and had a great time! We took home loads of fond memories and souvenirs..especially this one...


We walked past tons of stalls where they created silhouettes. It was one of those things that we said we'd do but never had the time to stop by and find out about it all...but i'm so glad we did..aren't they lovely?!

We thought the man would simply take a photo of us as and somehow edit it using photoshop..but he was AMAZINGLY TALENTED! Without even drawing it out first..he cut out our profiles only glancing up a few times at us. It took mere minutes and he was done.



Alex found it a struggle to keep still...

Jasmine found it weird having someone stare at the side of her face! lol

No one took a picture of me doing it unfortunately but o well...


Aren't they good? They remind me of something from Peter Pan. Especially the one of Alex..with his long eyelashes **SO cute!** The detail is perfect..including the hair!

I LOVE Disney but when you think of bringing Souvenirs back from Disney World you imagine Mickey mouse or Cinderella etc... something not very useful. However this is so the opposite..not something that will get left in a drawer....but something you want people to see....a keeper!

Do you love Disney? Got anything similar to this? I want to hear from you guys! Just say hi or whatever but don't be a stranger : )

Gemma X

18 May 2010

What a day!

As you know I've been feeling really rough these past few days. I've got a sore throat, a headache, blocked nose, cough etc etc etc...

I'm feeling so bad I decided to go to the doctors so phoned up yesterday to make an appointment for today. Spoke to the receptionist..made one for 11:10 am today...all fine. The annoying thing is my doctors surgery is about a 40 minute walk from my house (it was closer to my old house)..so it seems so long to get there when your feeling ill.

I get there today and guess what...they couldn't find my appointment!! You can imagine how I felt. I'm not an angry kind of person so I kept it in but I felt so mad. What's the point is calling up and making an appointment to go there and find out that they hadn't even kept a record of it : ( It was so busy there so getting another appointment for today wasn't an option!

So now I have one for
Friday...arrghhh...

...very..


very...

annoying!!



17 May 2010

Garden Update...

Morning all...

I've woken up with a sore throat and a blocked nose...ergh! I hate having a cold in this warm weather...I'd rather have one in the winter when you can snuggle up in bed and drink tea in the cold climates.

Does that sound weird..a preference of when to have a cold? Sorry..it's just the way I am!

Anyway...

The garden has really flourished recently! The combination of rainfall and sunshine has somehow helped the plants to speed up their development.

Here are a few pics..


Mini x-mas tree is growing!

A random plant (that I don't know the name of) which looks kinda cool !

The raspberry plant has grown A LOT! I can't wait to pick some raspberries and make something sweet! Watch this space!


Strawberry plant which is now beginning to flower : )



The runner bean plant is growing by the second also...I love the way it naturally twists itself around the string! Once the runner beans have reached a certain level I will pick to tops off the stop them from growing upwards.

I have to say I am having an ongoing battle with a snail that seems to only come out at night. In the morning I can see its tracks
but cannot find it anywhere...so annoying! It only seems to be effecting the bottom leaves on the runner beans so that's not so bad : )

Anyway I think I need to get some medicine or something...I hate feeling like this : (

Gemma X


14 May 2010

My funny little brother : )

His school are collecting the vouchers you get from supermarkets to save up for sports equipment, books etc.

This morning he said "Do we have anymore flat cheese?"...huh? "Flat cheese!"...

What do you mean flat cheese?!

"Not flat cheese..I mean vatcheese!..the teachers said we need to bring in the vatcheese" .

What on earth..

Heehee..He was getting so frustrated that we didn't understand what he meant.


"NOOO...I mean vouchers!!"

Oooooohhh!!

Silly little boy : ) I love it when kids get their words mixed up and all tongue tied.

Happy Friday to you all :D Hope you have a great day and an even better weekend : )

Gemma X

13 May 2010

Mouth watering Panini...

Now the weather is beginning to heat up..the evenings are longer and brighter. I don't know about you but when it comes to this time of year all I want to do is be outside! Doing some gardening..sunbathing..drinking and EATING! Al fresco dining is my all time favourite thing to do during the summer. Be it alone or with a group of friends...be it a BBQ, a salad, a sandwich..whatever...I love the relaxed atmosphere! Don't get me wrong..I enjoy a formal meal at the dining table, but everyone is so much more chilled watching the sun go down while the wood in the chiminea is slowly burning. I love hearing the quiet crackle from the flames or the mothering birds in their nests getting their young ones to sleep. To put it into simple words... I love Al fresco dining!

So to share the love I wanted to share a recipe which could be interpreted as quite summery..something that would go down quite nicely with some cold Pimms or a glass of white wine : )

You will need:
  • Panini bread or sliced french stick
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Olive oil
  • Chorizo or your choice of spicy meat.
  • A sandwich/panini toaster or grill.
Method:

Slice your Panini in half. If you are using a french stick of bread then slice it. First of all slice and add your tomatoes...

Add the mozzarella..I had difficulty slicing it properly so ended up using chunks..tasted just as good!

Throw on a bit of basil..I got mine from my outdoor planter.


Add your choice of spicy meat and drizzle with good olive oil...yummy yummy yummy!

Toast your panini and serve to your family and friends! This recipe is great for indoor or outdoor eating. However it really reminds me of summer as the ingredients are all so fresh and tangy! Feel free to add extra ingredients like olives etc..whatever takes your fancy

: D

P.S - Remember ~
I'm offering 20% off in my shops until the end of May (31st May at midnight GMT). Simply quote "Musings of a Gem" in sellers notes or via a message in Folksy/Etsy to have 20% refunded to you through Paypal! Shops are in the sidebar : )

Gemma X

12 May 2010

Special offer!

Happy Wednesday!.. I hope your week is going well : ) Not long now until the weekend..yay!

I'd like to announce that I am currently offering an exclusive 20% off all my items in my "Homemade Gems" shops for my blog readers. I have two shops..one on Etsy which deals in $ for my American friends..the other is Folksy which deals in £ for my UK friends! However you can choose to shop in either : ) (Both shops are in the sidebar).
These websites are dedicated to selling some beautiful handmade items..the makers are so talented so take a good look around!

Some of you may not know but I sell shabby chic handmade home accessories.
These are a few of my items...




If you are interested in this offer please feel free to take a look at either one of my shops. All you need to do is quote "Musings of a Gem" in the sellers notes, or via a message on the website and you will be refunded the 20% through Paypal.

This offer is running until the end of May so make sure you have a good look around before then! I am also going to try to somehow have the offer on show in the sidebar as a reminder (if I can work out how to lol).

If you want Etsy click here.

If you want Folksy click here.

Let me know what you think of my items!

Anyhoo I hope you enjoy the rest of your week and I will be back soon with a YUMMY but quick summery recipe!!

Gemma X

10 May 2010

Meet my furry friends..

I have two pets..a cat and a dog. You'd think the dog would bully the cat but I have to say it is the other way around!

My cat Timberlake was the first out of the two. We got him from an Animal Rescue center. Him and his brother were found dumped in a plastic bag as young cats. The staff did all they could to help them recover the traumatic experience but sadly his brother "Justin" didn't make it : ( **The staff named them after the singer!**...It felt like we were making a difference by adopting a cat that didn't have a proper home. If any of you are considering a pet I'd recommend visiting a local rescue center first. Timber (which is what we now call him ) is lovely but is so moody at the same time. He loves to pose for the camera **see pictures** He also acts like a snob..as if he is better than us lol...(Can cats act like snobs? This one does anyway).












My dog Jasper came from a Labrador breeder. We went along to choose a dog..with a female in mind..until she rolled around in her own poo! We decided it wouldn't be a good idea to have a puppy covered in poo in the car until we got home. So instead we chose a male...Jasper. I'm so glad we did! He has such a random personality..very crazy but so friendly at the same time. He doesn't like strangers but is loyal to the family and would protect us! The perfect dog : ) The toys that are his, he tends to destroy eventually **see pictures**.





So yes I felt the need introduce them to you : ) They are a big part of my life so they definitely need to be featured once in a while on my blog right? Do any of you have pets? Prefer cats or dogs? Allergic? All of you must have a view on pets in general and i'd love to hear every one of them!

Gemma X

8 May 2010

Soup Saturday - Mushroom Soup

Hi all & welcome back to the last of my "Soup Saturdays"!

I've had so much fun trying out a few new recipes and I really hope some of you liked them too : ) The reason to why I decided to do Soup Saturday was to inspire you to make soup more. We all have left over vegetables that would sure go to waste if recipes like soup weren't created. Soup stops waste and helps your food budget...it's all good! Maybe one day if any of you fancy soup you'll remember to pop onto "Musings Of A Gem"...take a look through my archives or topics and find a recipe you fancy.



For today's post I decided to do Mushroom Soup. This is a lovely creamy soup that is ever so moreish! Serve it on its own or with fresh bread. It's perfect for these chilly spring evenings!

You will need:
  • 2 medium Onions
  • 500g / 1lb of Mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of Plain/ All purpose Flour
  • 1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 90g / 3oz of butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of cream
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
Method:

Begin by roughly chopping up the onions and the garlic ( I used 3 cloves of garlic as we LOVE it!).Put them in your saucepan, along with the butter, and gently cook until soft (not brown). Whilst they are cooking slice your mushrooms.

Add the mushrooms and stir on a high heat for a few minutes.


Once the mushrooms are nicely coated in the butter, add the flour and make stir. Then add the stock and bring to the boiling point. Add your bay leaf and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

Now is the time to remove the bay leaf and blitz the mixture until it is nice and smooth! Season with the amount of salt and pepper you desire. Add the cream and stir in well and hey presto...lovely warm mushroom soup!



Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Have a great weekend and I will see you all in the week : ) In my next post i'll be introducing you to some furry friends you are yet to meet...

Gemma X

5 May 2010

A few idea's and favourites I'd like to share..

We all try and make our home feel, look & smell as lovely as possible! My mother and I are constantly looking for things to change and improve our home. By doing this I have three small (but nice) ideas to share. You may do/ use these already but I love them so I still want to share anyway!

Number One:

In any real home (by real I mean "lived in"), there will be thi
ngs on show that you don't necessarily want to be out. A home is somewhere relaxed and cosy. Somewhere where visitors feel like they don't have to be hunched up in case they break something or touch something they shouldn't incase it's "out of place". Although I don't have my own house, I know what it is like to go to someones home where nothing "homely" is on show.
Now to me washing up liquid bottles aren't exactly nice looking. Some of you may put yours in a cupboard until you need to use it but in my home we have it next to the sink as it is used a few times a day. Rather than having the bottle out..why not use a cute soap dispenser or Olive Oil glass dispenser?


It's an in-expensive way of making something else in your home look pretty! It's a simple way of "de-cluttering" the essential clutter in an everyday home. It also looks great when the morning sunshine shines through it : )

Number Two:
Most cooking in our homes smells divine! The smell o
f fresh bread or a home cooked pie is one of the most inviting factors when visitors are around. But...have you ever been to someones home for dinner, left, and found that your clothes have a lingering smell of dinner....not so good. Or..some meals that your cook taste fantastic but the smell just isn't for you? I find that sometimes and this is when we tend to use this candle...

Somehow it covers smells in a not so obvious way. And the cool thing is you can't even see the flame through the covering of the candle..your guests would never know!

Number Three:

I find this a really cool and handy thing to have. Me and Ian decided to buy this so that we could add our favourite recipes (that have been tried and tested) and continue to until the book is bulging with mouth watering dishes!


I added the Bean Soup...it was SO good! You can find it here if you missed it.

Hopefully one d
ay it will be something that is used almost daily and will be past down generation to generation. The book is great as a gift or just for yourselves to enjoy. It's handy as it separates the types of dishes so makes things 100% quicker & easier.

I hope you enjoyed this post : ) Let me know if you have any other cool little ideas for our homes!

See you on Saturday for the last post of "Soup Saturday" ...

Gemma X

Splashes of pink here and there

Hello bloggy friends,

I hope your week is going well : ) So far mine has been excellent. I am applying for two school jobs so that is something to feel positive about. Obviously i'm not going to get my hopes up too much (as they've been let down before)...BUT..I have a good feeling.

I've been meaning to tell you that I have begun to do some voluntary work. My boyfriends sister is a Brownie Leader. So now every Monday evening I help her out and have lots of fun with the loveliest bunch of girls :D It is a great feeling knowing you are contributing to the community! Now I'm searching for blogs that have great ideas on fun activities for children and as a result I have also discovered some fun new people!!! YAY : )

Continuing my love for pinky/peachy colours I thought I'd share some pictures from these last few days...


(Me & my sister...we are a pinky shade as it was a COLD day yet we had ice cream....don't ask lol)










Pink is pretty when it is used correctly! I currently own lots of various shades of peachy/dusky pink items...I'm obsessed I tell you!

Do you guys have a favourite colour? I really love reading your comments so don't hold back if you fancy a chit chat : )

Gemma X

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