{IT'S COMPETITION TIME!} can you tell I'm excited?

Hello all...

The day is upon us, I'm super excited, it's time for my very first blog competition....drum roll please!

With summer now fully upon us, I thought I'd put together a little prize pack perfect for a little bit of summer travel...

The competition is super easy to enter and open to international applicants as well as 'Team GB' :)

So without further ado -

Here's what you could win:

The prize consists of a handmade envelope pouch {see here} great for keeping your passport and tickets safe inside your hand luggage. A little book of BIG ideas, perfect for jotting down all of your thoughts whilst on holiday as well as an 'oh hello' card, so that you can write a lovely letter to a friend back home and send it like a postcard!

{how to enter} :

//. Step 1: Retweet or Repost this competition via Twitter/Facebook or your blog.
            *Example* "Check out and why not enter this cheeky little competition by @ohnorachio http://goo.gl/ANzdE"
//. Step 2: Follow @ohnorachio on Twitter and 'like' the Facebook.com/ohnorachio page 

{rules} : 

1. Competition runs from Monday 30th July to Sunday 12th August.
2. You can gain more than one entry by entering via Facebook, comments here, your own blog and Twitter.
3. Each tweet, Facebook share, blog post and comment here counts as one entry - only one entry per person per network will count - so you have a chance at gaining 4 entries.
4. The winner will be picked at random - I might even let Twix do the honours!


The winner will be announced on Monday 13th August via here {and good old Twitter and Faceyb too! yay}.

GOOD LUCK!

**{UPDATE}**  : This competition has now ended, the winner was Louise Wright.
Please keep checking back as there will be another giveaway very soon!


xo.




{monday monday} a sneaky peaky...

Hello all,

Hope everyone's weekend was lovely - the weather certainly helped with that I'm sure - let's hope this continues now until October eh?

Just a little post today to keep you all updating on what's going down in the shop and what's coming up in the coming weeks...

It would seem that I am by no means alone out in this big old World in my love for stationery. My 'Big Book of Ideas' has been selling very well and I've had a lot of interest lately in all of my notebooks, so I've decided to concentrate on filling the shop with a few more very pretty, hand illustrated notebooks. Summer is the time to plan, travel and get things done and what better way to keep your thoughts coherent than in a lovely little (or big) book!

Here is the first addition, some of you may have already seen it but for those that haven't...ta da!


I absolutely love this little beauty as it appeals to my love of Kraft paper (its front cover) but has a myriad of rainbow coloured pages within that you can doodle on, write lists on, or just flick through and admire - whatever takes your fancy!

Here, is my hoard of different supplies I came back with on a recent trip into London, my fave is by far the enormous rainbow journal - it's square {swoon} and has even more different rainbow colours than the mini one {yay}.



So, keep an eye out on Twitter {@ohnorachio} and Facebook {I have a page you can 'Like'} for more details on things to come...

oh and one more thing...I have a competition coming up...more news on this later! {eek!}

xo.

{colour ways} a pop of pink!

Look at all this pinky goodness? I've never really seen myself as a girly girl but consider me a changed woman! I am loving the pinks right now - I actually blame my friend Bing, she's pink queen and set me off with these coral nails!

{clockwise from left} //. Waterfall Skirt: Republic //. Powder Pink Nail Varnish: Topshop //. Adrenaline Nail Varnish: Topshop //. Rose Chocolate: Rococo //. Little Cloud Cushion: ohnorachio {me!} //. Neon Heart Card: Banquet //. Berry Lime Coconut Lolly: Desserts for Breakfast //. Peony Blusher: MAC //. Raspberry Wellies: Hunters //. Pink Wayfarers: Ray-Ban

Enjoy revelling in the warm pink glow!
xo.

how can the clouds still have water left in them?

Hello all,

Today I thought I'd give a little update on what I've been up to over the weekend and what my plans are for my last week of being an invalid (I'm SUPER excited to get back to work by the way!!). So the weather has been pretty horrendous to say the least over the last few week. I genuinely can't even comprehend how the clouds can still have rain left in them?


Anyway, this weekend was rather lovely as Jack had the weekend off work (he commutes to London during the week for his postgrad and works all weekend). Those that follow me on Instagram (ohnorachio) will know already that he kicked the weekend off by making me a lovely breakfast of eggy bread, smoky bacon and maple syrup - yum! 


We then jumped in the car to head down to Somerset to pick up the desk of our dreams from the lovely family whom we bought it on eBay from. It's literally our pride and joy and something Jack has been lusting after FOREVER - it's a ridiculously expensive solid oak desk from Habitat that the lovely Ollie sold us for the bargain price of £40! Here is our new baby:



The desk was literally the highlight of the Saturday and we spent most of the afternoon revelling in it's beauty - Jack was desperate for a desk to do his thesis on but we couldn't afford to get a really nice one. 

On Sunday we had my family over for a meal of slow cooked pulled pork and home made pitta and coleslaw and all sorts of lovely things - here is the pork at 9am ready to go into the oven! It was super yum by the way!


Today, I was going to do a test walk into town - ready for going back to work next week - wanted to see if the old knees could take it yet! Sadly, rain stopped play - I was not going to get soaked to the skin and freezing!

So, I decided to start the project I've been wanting to do for ages, as a tutorial for the blog (going up later in the week), and that was to create my lovely sewing machine an attractive new cover as the old plastic white one it came with was looking pretty gross...

Without further ado, here is a sneak peek of said new cover....tutorial to follow :)


Lots more to come this week, hopefully everyone had a lovely weekend and you aren't feeling too down about all this rain!

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.

{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.



Hello Poorly Knees!


So...apologies for being absent from the wee website of late. Turns out those naughty dislocatey knees I've had since I was 11 really were a bit of a problem! I've just had a double knee op - which actually wasn't all that bad in itself, despite me being TERRIFIED of needles and dreading the insertion of a cannula into my arm! Anyway - I survived it, but now I'm pretty hobbly and getting used to not being able to bend. I feel like an old lady and I'm using crutches - it sure does get a lot of sympathetic smiles from strangers though!

Essentially what this op means - from a positive outlook is that I have 6 weeks of recovery to do all manner of (albeit rather gentle) projects!

To kick things off my rather lovely boy has helped me completely redesign and simplify my website (ta da!)- I'd love to know your thoughts. For the coming weeks though...

Here are my plans so far:

//. Try to blog daily - and get some themes going.
//. Read a book a week - any suggestions for must reads?
//. Develop some new packaging for ONR products
//. Design and order a new custom stamp
//. List the new summer range over on Etsy
//. Teach myself more Photoshop/Illustrator skills
//. Have some of my illustrations framed and get them wall mounted finally!

I'm sure the list will grow, 6 weeks is a long time. No doubt I'll have a lot of time to self reflect too, I'm pretty lucky to have this amount of time to work on becoming all zen.

Anyway..to kick things off again, here are some photos from the last week or so of me being a bit doddery! 






I got myself a new buddy to keep me company :)
Any name suggestions? (she's a girl).


xo.

Hello Baby....

So I've just added a cute little baby plate to my range of ceramics, I wanted to do something along the same lines as my 'oh hello' and 'nom' plates but with a cute twist. I've done two plates, one baby blue and one baby pink...now I just need to find a baby to give them to!

I'd love to give this at a baby shower or christening - no one else would have got the same gift!

The pink baby plate will soon be added to the shop, but for now, if you'd like one - simply purchase the blue baby plate and specify in the notes you'd rather the pink one!

So here it is...

Hope you like it :)
xoxo.