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A tutorial in pin curls for my dear Margaret Rose or Victory Rolls part one…

December 30, 2011

Well hello hello,

A belated very merry Christmas to you!!

I realise that it’s just a couple of days short of a year since my last blog, which is really very naughty of me! I’m going to endeavour to do lots of exciting and blog-worthy things in 2012 though so watch this wordpress!

The following video is a post for anyone who’s fancied a go at a 1940’s hair style, has a WW2 party to go to (my lovely little Maggie) or just has a spare few minutes for a play.

I’ll apologise now for the length (I shall try to be less verbose in tomorrows vblog post), and the somewhat jolty nature of the video (I had to do some harsh editing for youtube to accept it)!

ps. It might take a couple of hours for youtube to approve the video so it may not work at the mo!
You should be ok to put the pin curls in tomorrow morning, blow dry them and leave them in all day though darling Mags xxx


Happy New Year!!!

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

I hope you had a wonderful new year and that you’re not having to nurse a head ache or a poorly tummy as you read this.

I thought, to kick off 2011 I’d share with you my resolutions. There may be one or two you’d like to borrow yourself, or it may help you to start your list. I’d also like to share them with you so you can help me stick to them over the next twelve months, as I’m sure you’ll agree one’s firm resolve in January can often wither to a slightly guilty feeling in March when one finds one’s self falling short.

I’d like this year to be different for all of us though. Let’s choose resolutions we’re confident we can achieve and all share them with family and friends so we can keep one another to them. And, most importantly, let’s not feel horrible if there are some we don’t quite manage, but congratulate one another next December on the one’s we’ve completed and succeeded in!

So, without further a do, here are mine:

  1. I have never been a “phone person”, I only ever phone people to arrange to meet or ask/answer a specific question. Although I don’t think this in itself is very terrible it has meant that I’ve lost touch with friends that it breaks my heart not have in my life anymore. Overcoming my dislike of phone conversations will be the means to the end of reconnecting with those neglected friends.
  2. Being a floaty, creativey type at heart I don’t think I’m short of ideas, whether they be for business endeavors or thoughtful gifts for friends, however I do often lack the umph to put them into practice. This year I’m going to try to combine the nerdy, logical, better-at-time-management side of myself with the good-ideas bit, and actually put some of the things in my mind into practice.
  3. I want to be a fully fledged, experienced iphone app developer this year, with a good few apps under my belt and in the app store by the end of 2011. I know this is terribly nerdy, but I’ve realised over this past year that I really do love coding, it’s the combination of the creative and the mathsy logic that I love. Plus the fact that I can develop an app beginning to end because they’re not massive websites or bloaty pieces of software is a massive bonus! I might blog a category devoted to the nerdy stuff, so if you’re interested in programming do keep checking up on me. I’ll try to include some helpful hints and tips as I go, so you can learn from my mistakes rather than having to make them yourselves.
  4. I’d like to get closer to my goal of self-sufficiency this year. In 2009 we dug over our whole garden to plant veggies and fruit trees, and our drive is covered with an orchard of potted apple and pear trees. This year I’d like to get some chickens, and possibly start the hunt for a little small holding. I think 2012 will be the year for the pig!
  5. As an extension of our foody self-sufficiency I’d like to become less wasteful with my wardrobe and get stitching and swishing , sewing and swapping to keep my clothes interesting and up to date, rather than shopping, shopping, shopping and wasting the pig-fund!

Well I think that may be enough to be going on with. I’ve another two or three floating around the old brain as I type, but I don’t want to bore you! Maybe I’ll pop a reminder in my diary to take a look at these again in June – give you an update on how I’m doing and maybe add some more if there’s any I can cross off.

I’ll sign off with a last encouragement to make at least one resolution this first of Jan and with my very very best wishes for 2011, I hope that what ever you put your hand to this year will prosper and that this will be the year of break through for you in anything you’ve struggled with previously!

Happy happy happy New Year!!!



A Christmas Miracle

December 24, 2010

Once upon a time there was a girl. She was a very fortunate girl because she had such a wonderful family and such kind friends.
This girl knew how very blessed she was, so every year she threw a Christmas party for her oldest friends. When she was young she would just invite her little gang of girl friends, but as she grew the party grew. Until this year she was cooking a big dinner for 15 people! She was very glad to have these lovely people in her life so she prepared lots of nice things to eat the night before.
BUT when she woke up on the day of the party everywhere was covered in snow!! And not only was there a lot of snow on the ground but a blizzard of snow all around!! The girl was very worried that her friends would not be able to come, or that they would try, and get stuck in their cars or stranded on trains! She sent them messages to tell them not to come if it was going to be dangerous.
A little later some of them called to say they were snowed in and didn’t think they’d be able to get there. They were all very sad and so was the girl.
So, when the blizzard was thickest and the girl thought she’d have to eat 4 kilos of glazed ham on her own she prayed with all her might that her christmas wish would come true, that all her friends would arrive safely for the big party!
Just then she received a text from one of her friends saying that he would rescue anyone that was stranded in his landrover and bring them to the party!! What a hero!! And friends coming all the way from London and Brighton text to say they were on their way!! Finally 3 friends who’d thought there would be no trains from Kent called to say they were at the station!! By 3 o’clock almost all the guests had arrived, chilly, hungry and looking forward to lots of mulled wine!!!!
It was a Christmas miracle!!!!!

Now this may seem a little thing, but it really made my, I mean the girl’s, Christmas, so I’d like to encourage anyone, on this frosty Christmas eve, that if there’s something you’ve set your heart on this Christmas to have a little pray. Anything really is possible my dears!

A very peaceful, joyful, Merry Christmas to you all, and may all your wishes come true!!!

Ps I’m going to post the recipes for my favourite Christmas goodies later, so keep an eye out for updates!
Much love!

It’s beginning to look a lot like …

November 28, 2010

Hello, hello,

A very merry Sunday evening to you all. It feels like an age since I last logged on! Since popping my two penn’orth about friendship up I’ve thrown a charity pub quiz at work (with a lot of help from some lovely colleagues), queued up very early for the Lanvin at H&M launch and baked two hopefully very delicious Christmas cakes, (among a few other bits and bobs).
Little pic of my latest baking efforts

I mention the pub quiz as it’s for a good cause I’d like to share a little bit about, and because I’m pleased it seemed to go quite well! The quiz this year was to raise money for a UK project of our company charity, Tamar Lifeline Charity, TLC (have a little look if you’ve got a mo)). We’re going to be throwing a big Christmas bash for a school for deaf children in west london with the proceeds, which I’m very excited about! It’s going to be an opportunity for us to continue our relationship with the school, as we’ve worked with them before, which is lovely!

As well as the pub quiz this week I’ve queued up with some die-hard fashion fans  for the launch of the Lanvin collection at H&M Westfield. I thought I was rocking up early at 8.00am when the shopping centre opened, but found, as it was a special occasion, it had been open for hours, with a number of girls having camped out since 3.00am!! My colleague, Milly, and I did some research as we queued and spoke to some lovely shoppers. You can read her blog about it here on our company’s website. As well as all the hard work, we did manage to cram in some shopping too and strolled out with some lovely Lanvin goodies!

And finally, after that very busy week I’ve spent my weekend making a new hat – I bought some very very beautiful vintage vogue dress patterns, including one for this little gem!

Smashing vintage style hat
(If you fancy rustling one of these up too, you can buy the pattern from vogue, see it here,

I’ve also made two Christmas cakes, one for the family and one for work, (the purpose of which will hopefully become clear this week)!

Well I will leave you on this fine Advent Sunday with my best wishes for a lovely week, I hope works alright, and that shopping (which I expect most of us will be doing at least a little bit), will be bearable!

Cheerie-bye my dears!

Ps. If you’ve any suggestions for decoration of my Christmas cakes do please comment them for me!

My favourite things

November 13, 2010

Good evening my dears,

As I watch Strictly and digest some truly scrumptious scones I’m reflecting on some the things I most treasure. A number of them have left delightful messages on my last couple of posts, so I’d like to express here how very grateful I am to have such dear and wonderful friends, here and spread all over the world as they’ve moved away or I’ve met them in different places. I’d also like to encourage you, dear new friend to connect with someone you might have lost touch with, take an old friend out for a scone and catch up, (I’m advising you from a place of weakness by the way, this is for myself as much as you! I need to become less lazy and more of a phone person I think).

Now speaking of scones, I’d like to recommend the really delightful tea rooms I visited today with two of my favourite people. If you’re in Surrey any time please look up Fanny’s Farm Shop, as their shop if full of delicious homebaked goodies, and their cream tea is super generous and completely delicious! They also have a treehouse you can book for parties, which I shall definitely be doing when the weather’s a little warmer.

Well, I hope that you’re all enjoying a nice snuggly Saturday evening with the ones you love. As you’re online anyway, why not pop a quick “hello” on someone you’ve lost touch with’s facebook wall!

Happy weekend to anyone who, like me, is currently both getting up and returning home in the dark! Hope we can all enjoy some sunshine tomorrow, or at least daylight!

Speak soon,


A little something sweet and tangy, and practically one of your five a day…

November 9, 2010

Hello, hello, I’ve only got a mo this evening so I’ll pop the recipe up as promised and tap out something witty and interesting later, (maybe)!

The most delicious lemon drizzle ever …
Zest of 2 lemons
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs
200g self-raising flour

Drizzley bit:
Juice of 2 lemons
3 tbsp granulated sugar

Tangy middle bit:
2 egg yolks
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
30g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
125g mascarpone

1. Preheat your oven to 180 deg C. Turn off the fan setting if you have one as the fan tends to dry out sponge cakes. Grease your cake tin.
2. I make the lemon curd for the filling first, as it needs to cool for spreading.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a heavy based pan with a wooden spoon. Add the lemon juice, zest and butter. Heat and stir for a good 5mins until it starts to thicken. Once thick allow to cool, cover and pop in the fridge till you need it.
3. Now for the sponge! Cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a big mixing bowl, (adding the zest at this point makes sure you beat out all the lovely tangy oils and get a good zesty cake).
(I use an electric whisk for this as it’s a bit hard on the arm otherwise).
Once the mix is light, white and fluffy add the egg and carry on beating.
Now fold in the sieved flour with a metal spoon.
Once all the ingredients are combined spoon the mixture into your greased tin and pop in the oven for about 35-45 mins.
Do keep checking though: if you insert a skewer into the middle of the cake it ought to come out clean.
Once done, leave to cool for a while on a wire rack.
Mix up the lemon juice and granulated sugar for the drizzley bit. Prick the cake all over about 20 times with a skewer. Now pour the drizzle all over. It ought to form a sugary crust on the top.
Using a bread knife or a cake wire cut the cake in half horizontally.
Mix the lemon curd from earlier with the mascarpone and spread over the lower part of the cake, replace the top half.
Ta-da!! You’ve just made the most delicious Lemon Drizzle Cake, well done!!
Happy baking everyone!! Especially to Geni from Sweet and Crumby! Thanks so much for your lovely comment, I hope you enjoy this!

PS. I forgot to mention, I found this recipe on the Waitrose website, which is a brilliant repository for user contributed and professional recipes. On the site this lemon drizzle was credited to Tonia George (Food Editor of Waitrose Food Illustrated), so thanks very much Tonia for a really delicious recipe!!

My little intro to the blogosphere …

November 5, 2010

After lots of people asking me if I blog, and telling me I really ought to when I’ve said I don’t, I’ve finally got round to starting!
So, welcome reader, I hope that something will catch your eye and you might visit occasionally or even subscribe. I plan to write about quite a variety of things, generally along the theme of “Beauty from Ashes” – turning something common-place, worn-out, broken or unwanted into something beautiful, extraordinary and desirable. My main topics will include fashion, food, gardening and occasionally I might sneak in something a bit geeky too! Hopefully in all that you’ll find something you’ll enjoy.
Well, I need to finish tweeking the CSS, as it’s not exactly how I’d like it to be so I’ll sign off now. Next time I’ll share my very favourite cake recipe, a moist, tangy, thoroughly delicious lemon drizzle that I can’t imagine anyone not loving!