5 {simple} things

Hello all,

Happy Monday again! I hope you all had a good week? Here's the things that made last week ace. 

Apologies for the fairly poor photography this week - there were a distinct lack of white backgrounds out & about!
1//. this awesome cone of raspberry pavlova & coconut gelato with sprinkles {excuse the post allotment nail polish!} for starting the week off right!
2//. these & several other parcels of goodies for arriving throughout the week & filling me with child-like glee!
3//. this little beauty for doing so well after its 'beheading' - no less than 7 new baby plants have grown from the stump!
4//. these lovely new allotment additions for being grown by people with mental health problems & learning disabilities which in turn raises much needed money & awareness for the charity 'mind'.
5//. THIS awesome homemade Sunday breakfast for reminding me just how good having a rare weekend off work can be!
All in all a great week - other than suffering from hideous back pain {helped by copious amounts of Ibuprofen!}.

As always, here's to another good week & lots of opportunities to enjoy the small stuff!

xo.

p.s. here's a bonus simple thing that made me chuckle:
benji enjoying his car ride home last week!

{update} sweets for my sweet...

Hello all,

Welcome to my new readers - there seems to be a fair few of you, so thanks - I really appreciate the support, and of course thanks to those who've been following from the start too!

Today's little update is a sweet one, literally.

A few weeks ago now a very lovely lady asked me whether I would create her a custom banner to use for her sweets table at her wedding in the big old US of A. I love custom commissions so of course said yes and this is what I created. It's similar to my bunting found here but MUCH bigger and made on thick card to be less fragile.

So without further ado, check it out - I hope Zara loves it, Jack even suggested I make us one to keep and hang in our bedroom, it fills a wall really nicely!


I hope you like it and just so you know...if anyone fancies one of these for themselves, with whatever word you so desire written upon it...give me a shout at hello@ohnorachio.com!

xo.


{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.

{colour ways} Loving the Lavender!

This week I have a total crush on all things lavender! Inspired by my lovely little french lavender plant that has sadly finished flowering now..so in homage to it, here are some pretty lavender themed goodies I'd love to own..the shoes especially are now on sale....I'm far too tempted!

Plus doesn't that blueberry ice-cream look just om nom nom?

{clockwise from left} //. Lavender Skinnies: Topshop //. Lilac Jeans: Republic //. Acid Wash Skinnies: Net-a-Porter //. 'Playdate' Nails: Essie //. 'Do You Lilac It?' Nails: OPI //. Lace Bra: Topshop //. Amethyst Slice Neckace: Natural Enemy //. Triangle Print Sketchbook: HappyDappyBits //. Soap: Method //. Lilac Wedges: ALDO //. Blueberry Ice cream: Pinterest //. Purple Headphones: UrbanEars

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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