Sunday, 31 August 2014


31 AUGUST 2014

I. Love. Carrot. Cake. It's always my cake of choice when out for coffee, so its a bit weird that I've never made one. Maybe I've been afraid that my own attempt just won't live up to my expectations of carrot cake. That it would be dry and disappointing and leave me questioning my baking abilities...

Well, I decided to bite the bullet this weekend and give it a try - how bad could it really be? As it turns out, not that bad at all! I adapted one of Mary Berry's recipes by adding a handful of sultanas, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a splash of dark rum to the cake mixture before baking. I also replaced one teaspoon of vanilla essence with dark rum in the cream cheese frosting. The absence of butter in this recipe and the use of bananas make this cake deliciously moist and naturally sweet - one slice just isn't enough!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


26 AUGUST 2014

Nobody likes the Tuesday after a bank holiday. Especially when it was also the wettest, most miserable bank holiday on record and your boiler decided to break down too. However, thinking of these three little things helped me combat my back-to-work-rainy-day-no-heating blues today and put a smile on my face. Life's not so bad after all...

1. I had two slices of this bad boy on Sunday - thanks Mum, you'll be making that one again please :)

2. My boyfriend bought me surprise lilies

3. Our new house is starting to feel and look like a home!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


19 AUGUST 2013

Continuing the interior design theme from my last post I thought I would share my DIY cushion covers with you. This fabulous printed navy and white fabric is just £4 a metre from Ikea, and is the perfect match for our new midnight blue sofa, from Welsh-based company, Couch.

I'm sure you've made cushion covers before, but if you haven't I urge you to try it! They really are super easy, and buying your own fabric makes them a bargain as well.

MATERIALS (for 2 medium-sized cushion covers):

1 metre of 150cm wide fabric
Cotton thread
Sewing machine
Dressmaking scissors
2 square cushion inners


Fold the fabric in half so that it now measures 100 x 75cm. Smooth it out flat and, along the long, folded edge of your fabric, measure a distance twice the width of your cushion plus 5cm for hemming. Mark with a row of pins towards the opposing long edge. Down the shorter edge, measure a distance that equals the width of your cushion plus 5cm to allow your edges to overlap later. Cut out using your dressmaking scissors, using the lines of pins as a guideline.

You should now have a folded piece of fabric that is open at one end. Fold and pin a hem at each open end approximately 1.5cm wide, ensuring the wrong sides of the fabric are pressed together.

Using a sewing machine, stitch each hem and remove the pins. You should now have a long piece of fabric that is hemmed at both ends. Fold it, keeping right sides together, so that the hemmed edges overlap slightly in the centre of the square. Adjust so that the distance perpendicular to the hems measures the width of your cushion.

Pin the sides together that are perpendicular to the overlapped hems, and stitch roughly 1.5cm from the edges sing the markings on your sewing machine as a guide. Remove any remaining pins and turn your cushion cover inside out.

Repeat the above for cushion number two, stuff your cushions inside, et voila! Get comfy.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


13 AUGUST 2014

Now that I have rooms to decorate, I've developed a teeny bit of an obsession with copper furnishings. Everything copper that I see, I want - it just looks so damn beautiful! We've gone for a dark wood and grey colour scheme in our living room, so copper just adds that little bit of warmth to calm the coolness of the grey.

I had my eye on this gorgeous Luxe Tray from Marks & Spencer for ages, but at £49.50, I felt I couldn't really justify it with a mortgage to pay and loads of other rooms to decorate.

So, I embraced the scrimper in me and headed to eBay with crossed fingers that the perfect table centrepiece would be out there waiting for me - as luck would have it, it was! For only £9.99 plus £4 postage, I bought this beautiful vintage, handmade copper bowl. I just love its hammered texture and quirky unevenness. Oh, and, it's perfect for storing my pinecones!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


12 AUGUST 2014

I've had a surprisingly good day today considering the terribly sad news I woke up to this morning. 

The news of Robin Williams' death hit me hard, not least because it means one of the world's greatest comedic artists - the man who filled my childhood with laughter - is no longer around, but because his death is suspected to have been suicide as a result of his long standing battle with depression. 

Whilst I cannot claim to know how it feels to live with depression, mental illness is no mystery to me. Not only have I seen the very real effects of depression on some of my closest friends, but I now work in mental health managing contracts for the NHS. 

I was not ignorant of Robin Williams' depression and addiction, but I don't think I'm alone in saying that I thought he had beaten his demons, or at least I had no idea how bad they actually were. That's the nature of mental illness though, it largely remains a very private, internalised battle, hidden until someone is brave enough to talk about it, or tragedies like this bring it into the limelight.

I cannot imagine the pain that his family are feeling right now, but I hope that they find some comfort in the knowledge that he was deeply loved for the genius he brought to Hollywood and will be greatly missed by millions. I will remember him for his Oscar winning performance in Good Will Hunting, how it moved me to tears, and for the hours of fun and laughter he brought to me in all the different guises he mastered so brilliantly, and not for the tragic circumstances surrounding his death.

For those who choose not to remember him this way, but instead have the guile to call him 'selfish', I hope that you take this opportunity to do some research into mental illness, to speak to someone with depression, and then reconsider your judgement of a man who was, in every sense of the word, brilliant. May he find peace in another world, a world where he is happy.