Friday, 22 February 2013

A Happy Day for a Liebster Award

This week had started off so full of promise. We had a couple of wonderfully sunny and warm days and I was very ready to get rid of my winter things and welcome Spring. Unfortunately this was very short lived and by mid week we were once again caught in the icy grip of Winter. Grey skies, freezing fogs and bitterly cold winds are keeping me and Little T indoors today, but we've been trying to lure Spring into the house with us.

A big bunch of bright sunshine yellow flowers to cheer up the living room was my first step in the right direction.

Next, a punnet of intensely red, plump and juicy strawberries inspired me to make a smile inducing sweet treat.

My happy orange casserole dish, filled with a heart warming stew was bubbling away on the stove top, while I got to rolling out cookie dough with my funky new rolling pin.

Little T happily rearranged my (crazy) collection of cookie cutters, chattering away while I danced around the kitchen, putting tray after tray of delicate Almond Shortbreads into the hot oven.

The final steps to inviting Spring into our home today was to take out a bottle of lovingly made lemon curd, dollop a big spoonful on one of the cooled cookies, top with a sliced strawberry and enjoy!

Once I was satisfied with the morning's work and feeling very sunny indeed, I could focus my attention on more important things. Last week the lovely Jennifer of the blog Thistlebear nominated me for a Liebster Award. Now, this probably isn't the same as getting a nomination for the Oscars or anything. There is no judging panel choosing a winner and no little golden statues being handed out. However, it is still a lovely feeling knowing that someone out there is reading my ramblings and enjoying it enough to want to share it with other people :)

No one seems to really know where the Liebster Awards originated and there is no website claiming ownership of it either, but really it's just a great way for bloggers from all over the world to connect to each other and to discover new blogs. There is a list of rules for accepting your nomination, but these seem to change all the time so I am not going to worry about the rules too much. I will however answer the 11 questions that Jennifer had set for me, so here goes:

1. What was the first music concert you ever attended?
This might surprise you, but it was a Metallica concert at Wembly. It was crazy and amazing and maybe even a little bit scary, but I loved it!

2. Would you rather be hot or cold?
Definitely hot, no contest!

3. What is your favourite soft drink?
I don't really drink sodas and soft drinks, I prefer fruit juice, but if I can get my hands on it, I absolutely love Sparletta Cream Soda

4. Can you whistle/ roll your tongue/ wiggle your ears?
 I love to whistle and do so often, but have none of the other wonderful talents

5. What is your favourite book?
You may as well ask how long is a piece of string. I love to read and have read way too many books that I have loved to ever choose just one. Currently I am reading and really enjoying the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larson.

6. Coffee or Tea?
I can't start the day without a huge mug of coffee, but then I will only drink Red Bush tea for the rest of the day.

7. Have you ever had a brand new car?
Nope :)

8. Do you know how to dance?
I can certainly shake my booty on the dance floor, but I would love to learn how to dance proper Ball Room.

9. Do you collect anything?
I love pottery and have an ever growing collection of colourful bowls, jugs, plates and cake-stands.

10. How many pillows do you sleep with?
I have to have two pillows and they have to be very plump.

11. What is your favourite pair of shoes?
At the moment, I practically live in my Croc boots, but for special occasions I have a spectacular pair of bright red, patent leather stiletto heals.

Now, according to the rules, I have to nominate 11 new blogs who have less than 300 followers each and make up 11 new questions for them to answer. To be honest though, I don't read that many blogs and the ones that I do read either have too many followers or have already been nominated for the award. This leaves me with only one option, to point you to the list of blogs that I like to read at the top left of this page and to ask that you have a look at some of the ones that you haven't read before.

I think that is enough from me for today, I will leave you in peace now to go and read other people's blogs and stories :)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Be My Valentine

As a teenager I really hated Valentine's Day. It was always a painful event, watching the popular kids receiving bundles of cards, armfuls of teddy bears and bouquets of red roses and gradually feeling worse and worse as the day drew on and not getting anything myself. Luckily those memories are all in the past and as I got older and wiser I have realised that Valentine's Day is what you make of it and I have since grown to really love the 14th of February.

Having a doting husband and a sweet little son does of course make the day that much better and they did really spoil me this year :) To show them some love too, I baked a luscious pear, almond and dark chocolate tart to share as an after dinner treat last night.

Every bite of soft baked pear, fluffy almond filling and dark chocolate pastry was like falling in love again and I am very happy that there is still a slice left over for me to enjoy as a naughty little pleasure this afternoon.

As always the shops have been filled to the brim with all things Valentine's the past couple of weeks, and this was also the case in my local hobby store. I didn't even try to resist temptation and I left the store with several sweet purchases.

Once home and sitting comfortably in my favourite spot, a plump little heart just flew off my crochet hook, as did several others and they were followed by a few of Lucy's Teeny Tiny Hearts.

 Seeing as I was already going way overboard with the cute and sickly sweet, I hung all of my little hearts on some pretty ribbon with tiny little wooden pegs.

 The end result is really rather pleasing and makes my simple (and messy) wooden shelves look so much more loved!

As you may very well have guessed, I am not quite finished with my Valentine's inspired baking and will soon be making use of this adorable mould to make mouth wateringly yummy champagne truffles for us grown-ups to enjoy tonight.

But first I have to go and do a bit of domestic and motherly duties, but it will still be lovely using my new tea towels :)

Monday, 4 February 2013

Flowers for Me

February arrived in all of it's sunny glory this weekend and with all of the snow finally gone, I can really start to feel that Spring is not that far away now. I always look forward to this time of the year, when the air starts to feel warmer, the days slowly get longer and nature seems to wake from its long slumber and colour returns to the world around me. It really is such a happy, rejuvenating time of the year.

To celebrate this joyous occasion I decided to make myself a little something flowery to wear when out and about on a sunny day. I had a rummage through my box of yarn and found some gorgeous King Cole Merino wool that I bought a little while ago. Feeling inspired, I immediately grabbed my trusty 4mm crochet needle and before I knew it, I had made this sweet little flower.

Elated by my own creativity, I kept on going and within no time at all I had one in each colour.

For several days I spent every possible moment making flowers and soon enough I had used up all of my wool and was very pleased to see that I had a whole bundle of colourful flowers to sew together.

I am neither neat nor tidy with a needle and thread and sewing has never been one of my strong points, but I didn't let that stop me. Slowly and lovingly my flowers started to sit in neat little rows, all joined together to form a beautiful, colourful, happy scarf.

I just know that as the year goes on and the days get warmer, this scarf is going to be slung around my shoulders or wrapped around my neck on a daily basis and will be well and truly loved. It is already hanging by the front door, waiting to go on it's first outing. :)