Monday, 21 July 2014

The quickest homemade gift....

It's almost the end of term and boy, are we all feeling it?! What with that, the heat and the humongous thunderstorm over the weekend, this household is on a bit of a go-slow today. And, of course, that means my best laid plans for teacher's gifts has slightly gone out of the window....well, almost...

I did manage to get the pre-school teachers theirs from from the whole class. No mean feat to attempt to get 45 fingerprints on a mug!! I managed 32 & am pretty pleased with that. 

Not the best photos but they are truly lovely in real life! You'll have to trust me on that. 

Many thanks to Rosie at Crockadoodledo for turning these around so quickly. 

And later, I'm going to string a necklace for my elder daughter's teacher using buttons and beads given by all her classmates.

Hmmm, maybe I haven't done so badly after all....

Some of their other classes are finishing too for the summer & I wanted to give a little treat to their teachers. But it had to be quick since I'm almost out of energy. And ta-dah, je vous prèsente "Citrus Curd"!

It is great on many levels - I got to use up the lemons, limes & mandarins that are hanging around my kitchen (without turning them into a cocktail, although that's quite appealing too!!), it took a total of 10 minutes AND used up some of the jam jars I keep and that drive my husband nutty!!

Wanna know how??

Take your lemons or limes or mandarins (or a combination of all three). 

Juice them to get approx 250ml.

In a separate bowl whisk 200g caster sugar with 3 eggs. Add the citrus juice and 100g melted butter. Whisk all together until well combined. 

Microwave for 1 minute, remove, stir, then cook again until the mixture thickens & sticks to the back of a spoon. I reckon 5 minutes total. 

Give it a good stir then pour into sterilised jam jars. Allow to cool before putting lid on.

Click here for a downloadable recipe.

Yummington! Now to make some labels - and resist eating all of this myself!!

UPDATE: here are some photos (albeit not the best) of the finished necklace. Charlotte's teacher loved it! Hooray!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Fancy a cuppa? Ooh, yes please!

I wouldn't describe myself as a tea-drinker - I'm more of a double espresso kind of gal - but sometimes, nothing else will do! A cup of tea, a nice piece of cake and chance for a catch-up with friends. What more could a girl ask for? 

Earlier this week I was invited for a cuppa with Pip Lincolne, my blogging teacher and all-round lovely person. However, since she's on the other side of the world, a virtual cuppa is as good as it will get for now. Maybe one day we'll get back to Melbourne... Hmm, she drifts off into thought & memories...

So, back to reality, tea and that catch-up. What did you get up to this week? What did I get up to this week??

As usual it's been a busy one but has been filled with good stuff. Mostly this week I've been loving these things:

Silly Shopping
It started out so friend needed - yes, needed! - a petticoat like this one, so off we went to Deadly is the Female in Frome. What an amazing shop! It's filled with gorgeous new 'vintage' clothes. AND Nigella has shopped there too! What's not to love?! The immaculately dressed sales woman was in her element as she selected dresses and petticoats and shoes and scarves for my friend to try. The purchasing of a new frock and new petticoat for my friend's imminent 40th birthday party (more on that in due course) must have pushed us over the edge, for pretty much everything from then on resulted in a fit of giggles. I'd try to explain but I think you might just have to trust me on this one. It was an amazing shopping experience, to say the least!!

Family Meals
I love when we all get to eat together as a family. But what with after-school clubs, early evening meetings or my husband travelling home from a far-flung city, those family meals usually only happen at weekends. Mid week dinner for grown-ups is often overlooked or cobbled together from leftovers or store cupboard ingredients (beans on toast, anyone?!). This week, though, we had an unexpected visit from our grown-up soon-to-graduate niece. And since her older brother lives nearby, we managed a Thursday night Fajita Feast (something like this). Yum and fun!!

Memory-making Music 
I was listening to Desert Island Discs this morning and Judy Murray (mother of Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray) was talking with Kirsty Young. Her first music choice was this song and I was instantly transported back to my own pre-school days. As my mum had rheumatoid arthritis & needed help at home, we had a lovely lady come in to clean. She gave me a Bay City Rollers LP for a Christmas present one year and I was hooked. My littlest has an unswaying love for Mike Wasowski from Monsters Inc and University - it's been over a year now since she first 'met' him and still it's ALL about Mikey!! I've been surprised that someone so small could have such a longstanding 'thing' going on but then, when I heard this song, I realised that whatever grabs you, does just that and there's nothing you can do to get rid of it. I hear this music & find myself transported back to a time of tartan trousers & scarves tied around my wrist! It makes me feel warm & fuzzy for those childhood days. I hope my kids will have the same feelings for their childhood when they're my age...

Being kind to myself
It's a rare occasion that I actually put myself on my 'to do' list. My daily list is always almost as long as my arm & I am almost never on it. 

But this week I treated myself to a bit of sewing. I bought some gorgeous rainbow fabric on Monday (at this fabulous shop) with the intention of making myself a frock using my new pattern from gather. But my girls literally swooned when they saw it and begged me to make something for them too...and since I'm a sucker for that kind of thing, and since it's SO much easier to sew for the girls, I opted to make myself a skirt instead! 

I am VERY pleased with the result and think I'll be making several more. Don't worry I've got some other fabric I'm planning to use for my Mortmain.

Looking forward
Em, my grown-up niece has just finished Uni & is starting her summer job whilst considering her future. There's been a lot of talk this week about what she might - or might not - do. There's a whole world out there and nothing to stop you exploring it. I'm not sure I had any great life plans at her age, but I'm pretty happy with the way my life turned out, if I'm honest. Who'd have thought when I was 21, all those hundreds of years ago, that I'd be doing what I'm doing now? Life is what you make it, I guess, but it really is all out there, if you want it.

Whilst one has finished formal education, another is about to begin it. My littlest, Isabel, starts school in September and this week has been all about that - Parents Evening, finding out who her new teacher will be (apparently it was inevitable for Isabel!), Story Time in her new class, visiting the class during time at pre-school, buying book bags & new school shirts. She is SO excited! It's really lovely to see. Right now, she's playing schools with her big sister!! It's going to be a long summer....

D'you know, it's been lovely chatting with you this morning. Now it's time to get on with getting lunch organised. 

Let's do this again soon!