{happy friday} little clouds in sunny oz...


G'Day all and Happy Friday!

Very exciting news from the shop...I have just sent off my very first order to Australia! (a few weeks ago actually but I didn't want to spoil the surprise!). The order was for one of each of my smily little cloud cushions. In the spirit of the upcoming Jubilympic celebrations over here I thought I'd include a little British Jubilee themed treat along with the cushions...so here's a couple of little snapshots of what I did!


Here are Sally's two little clouds, happy as Larry.


I put in some Haribo Starmix because who doesn't love a cheeky fried egg? In the back there you can see the little Jubilee treat of Limited Edition red, white and blue M&Ms :). 


You can't really tell from this picture but I hung the tags with NEON pink thread.


So that was it, my first order to sunny, sunny Perth - Australia. I always like it when you order something and you find a little something extra or a cute surprise with your order or the seller has gone to extra effort with the packaging, so I like to do that when I can for my customers too :)

I also decorated the outside of the box with my leafy motif and added a bit of sparkle as you can see below!

I hope Sally receives her parcel safe and sound and that she likes the secret little treats!
Have a great weekend :)

xo.

{happy friday} it's Jubilee cake time!

Who doesn't love a good cake and what better time to get baking than to celebrate Liz's Diamond Jubilee?! Today {I've

literally

 just finished it!} I baked this 3 layered beauty! Isn't it a peach?

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I created my cake recipe using

this

 recipe as a base of reference. I'm not much of a fan of artificial colourings so for the colours I used blackberries for red and blueberries for blue. It makes an otherwise

very

 indulgent cake somewhat healthier and totally gives you one of your five-a-day!

If you'd like to know how to make it, well, read on!

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OH NO Rachio! Jubilee Red, White and Blueberry Cake

Ingredients:

{the cake}

375g Margarine

375g Caster Sugar

375g Self-raising Flour

6 Big Eggs

2 tsp Vanilla Essence

Blue and Red Food Colouring

A Splash of Milk

1 Small Punnet Blueberries

1 Small Punnet Blackberries

{the icing}

300g Caster Sugar

Pinch of Salt

5 Big Eggs Whites

500g Butter (unsalted) - cubed

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

1. Preheat the oven to 180C {fan}. Grease the base and line three (if you have them, or one at a time if like me you only have one!) circular cake tins - mine are approx. 19cm.

2. Cream the sugar and the butter together in a bowl until soft and fluffy - there should be no gritty feel of sugar granules. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and add the 2 tsps of vanilla essence. Then fold in the flour a little at a time (if the mixture seems to thick add a splash of milk).

3. Divide the mixture between three bowls as equally as possible and add a punnet of each fruit to two of the bowls, leaving the last one plain - you can add a teaspoon of almond extract if you want to jazz it up a bit! Mix in the fruit and squish it about until the batter has an even colour and there are no chunks of berry left.

4. Pour the three cake mixtures into your three tins (or pour in one and cover the others until needed) and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top {tip}: stick a skewer or cocktail stick into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean the cake is cooked!

5.  Once the cakes are cooked, take out of the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes {this part is really important!}. Then remove from the tin and take off the paper from the bottom..place on a wire rack if you have one and allow to cool

completely.

{the icing}

1. Fill a big bowl (or the sink) with cold water. Pour 100ml of water into a pan and add 250g of the caster sugar. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves then bring the mix to the boil. Use a damp pastry brush or silicon implement to push down any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan. Boil the mixture on a very high heat without stirring until it reaches 120C - use a kitchen thermometer to test.

2. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until stiff - I use an electric hand whisk, but it is do-able by hand! When the egg whites form stiff little peaks add in the last 50g of the caster sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture seems smooth.

3. As soon as the syrup reaches 120C take the pan and plunge the base of it into cold water to stop the mixture from continuing to heat - just for a few seconds.

4. Pour the syrup into the centre of the egg white mixture slowly with the electric whisk on

full

 speed and continue to whisk for 8-10 minutes {tip}: if the syrup gets to thick to pour, briefly put it back onto the hob to reheat.

{note: this making buttercream is a messy business - I managed to coat the kitchen in it so electric whisk it with some caution - oops.}

5. Gradually whisk in the butter and add the salt and vanilla essence - keep whisking - it might look a little gross or curdled but be persistent, it should soon turn to smooth buttercream!

Finally - take your three cakes and spread with a thin layer of your favourite jam to stick them together. If the cakes are a little wonky, don't worry, just try to patch them together level with buttercream {see below!}. Pop in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes and when done, take from the fridge and begin to slather on and spread evenly the buttercream icing! {I did one layer, then refrigerated it for 10 mins the did another layer}.

et voila...you have an AWESOME Jubilee cake!

xo.

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{colour ways} Feeling Patriotic!

With the Jubilee fast approaching our shops and streets are awash with all things red, white and blue (and corgi) themed! So I thought, what better time to embrace our nations colours and showcase some goodies that would be a perfect fit at a good old Jubilee street party! There was so much to choose from it was mind-blowing, but here are some of my faves...enjoy!



{roughly clockwise from left} //. Official Jubilee Logo //. Striped Breton Top: Aubin & Wills //. 'Tally Ho' Banner: OH NO Rachio! (available here) //. Cheeky Corgi! //. GSTQ Cushion: Jack Wills //. Pantone Planters: Heals //. Union Jack Radio: Roberts //. Fudge by Emma Bridgewater: John Lewis //. Union Jack Wellies: Hunter //. Carafe and Highball Glass: LSA //. Nail Varnish: Aubin &Wills

4 more sleeps until its party time!
xoxo.



{sunshine} what a contrast!

So just prior to my horrible knee op I travelled up to Edinburgh for a week away with my dear friend Bing to celebrate our close friends Jules and Steven's wedding. I've never been to bonny Scotland before and so expected it to be pretty picturesque and generally ace - it was both, but unlucky for us it literally rained for the entire time we were there (with the exception of the day of the wedding which turned out to be the most glorious sunny day!). I took some rather pretty pictures up in Scotland despite the downpour so thought I'd share them with you..it's funny actually as the unfortunate weather we had is completely different to how it's been pretty much ever since we got back!

I'll be pretty sad when this sunny spell is over..
Anyway here are some snaps of beautiful Edinburgh and one I took today during a hobbly jolly around the lovely town of Winchester - what a contrast it was!










{Hello sunny Winchester and your cute Jubilee bunting!}

xo.

P.S. Thought I'd chuck in a cheeky snap from the gorgeous Jules and the lovely Steven's wedding too...they had a photo booth with props...such FUN!

{Bing: right, Me: left}