Mothers Day

Mothers Day

In an ideal world, we would be spoiling our mums at every given moment. This could be costly…but it doesn’t have to be. I decided to spend as little as possible for Mothers day this year, by making my own gift and card. I know that I prefer well thought out gifts to expensive gifts and I’m sure my mom loved her spoiling’s this year.
My mom likes to think that she has green fingers, however the plants I give her, always land up back on my doorstep! She does love plants though, so I decided to clean an old pot up and get my fingers dirty. Im looking forward to bringing this plant back to life, once my mom is done with it.

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I’ve been busy with a Photoshop course recently and thought I would try out some of my new skills, while making my mom’s card. I took a photo of the plant I had planted and transferred the picture into the fonts used on the front of the card. It’s the little things that count!

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To top it all off, Abi and I decided to make use of a bunch of over ripe apples, and made a delicious apple crumble to have at tea. Abi will be posting the recipe of the Apple crumble this week.
I hope all the Moms out there were spoilt and appreciated today, let’s try celebrate our moms more than once a year, with no reason!

 

My Wedding – The Dress

My Wedding – The Dress

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As promised, this one is all about the dress! But before I get to that let’s talk about my bridesmaids dresses, I attempted to make them myself and I actually thought I could pull it off! What was I thinking!
I wanted cute summer dresses in pastels, the Essie colours below were my inspiration, with fun patterns like polka dots and stripes. I’ve always loved a 50’s silhouette so that’s what I was going for. I hadn’t taken on such a big sewing project in years. I’m not the most patient person which is a key virtue when tackling this kind of task but I dove in and this was the result.

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Ok I’ll admit they look a little rough around the edges but I was still finishing them off. Unfortunately when I arrived in South Africa, my mom took one look at them and said no way!
So off I went to Marietjie’s, who was already making my wedding dress and explained what I had done, we had one week to go. We started from scratch, all new measurements, new fabric and we somehow made it, even though there were still a few buttons being sewn on the morning of the wedding! Here they are, the actual dresses.

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Our makeup was done by Liliana from makeup by Lily, who swooped in at the last minute to save us. and my good friend Kenny from Entourage worked his magic on the bridesmaids hair. They both did a great job, the ladies looked lovely. And I was lucky enough to have two hairstyles! Thanks to Vicky, I had a soft boho updo for the ceremony and afterwards she let my hair down for a more casual look.  It was topped off with my ‘something borrowed’ which was a beautiful beaded crown (Thanks Lene!).

The boys looked pretty relaxed and to finish off their look I made these super easy bowties, at least I could manage those myself!

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Before I get to my dress I thought I’d just mention two other items I wore, my shoes (which everyone referred to as my Jesus creepers!) were flats from Topshop, I love them and still wear them all the time, they are so comfy! And my lovely earrings were from Anthropologie.

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Now, back to my dress, I drew Marietjie a picture of what I wanted months before the wedding when I arrived in South Africa, it was just as I had pictured it and it fit like a glove. My mom did most of the beading by hand, talk about an amazing wedding present! Thanks mom!
And the rest was done by Marietjie, from finishing the hand beading to the vintage lace frills and layers and layers of chiffon, it was a work of art. It was so sad to think that this beautiful dress would only be worn once!

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All photos by Lad and Lass Photography

St Patricks Celebrations

St Patricks Celebrations

St Patricks Celebrations fell on a Monday this year, not ideal for most of us. I decided to have a few friends over for a celebration the following weekend, any excuse for a good party. We enjoy St Paddy’s  every year and normally end up in the closest Irish bar to celebrate for a good old fashion knees up…I’m not sure that most people know what they are actually celebrating. (I know I didn’t).
St Patricks is celebrated on the day of St Patrick’s death, he was Irelands patron Saint  and used the shamrock (3 leaf clover) to explain the holy trinity. St Patrick was legendry as was said to have banished all snakes from Ireland, that’s why you won’t find any there today but like I said, that could be a myth?

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The house was decorated in different shades of green together with one big rainbow garland and no pot of gold (unfortunately). I made bunting earlier in the day, by cutting out hessian triangles and painting green stripes and polka dots on them. Ideally I would have found four leaf clovers but the next best thing was watercress, which fitted perfectly into our small ramekin dishes. I decorated a couple of old jars with washi tape and filled them with wild flowers.

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I tried to keep all the finger foods in keeping with the Irish theme. We had potatoe farls, mini irish sausages, kale chips, and green crudités. These went down a treat and kept our tummies lined until we were ready to serve up our traditional Irish stew with homemade dumplings.

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Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

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After sitting at a desk all week working on emails and spreadsheets I thought: today I just have to do something fun!
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but Gary does and I had a few sad looking carrots I thought I’d use up to make Gary’s favourite, carrot cake. I used the recipe from my Hummingbird Bakery book because it comes out perfect every time and well, it’s delicious!

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Ingredients: 300g soft light brown sugar, 3 eggs, 300ml sunflower oil (I used rapeseed and that worked fine too), 300g plain flour, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon and a little more to decorate, ½ tsp ground ginger, ¼ vanilla extract, 100g chopped walnuts and extra to decorate, 300g grated carrot
For the icing: 300g icing sugar, 125g cream cheese, 50g butter.

Method: Preheat your oven to 170°C. Beat together your eggs, sugar, and oil until combined. Slowly add all your dry ingredients and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until well mixed. Mix in the carrot and walnuts by hand until they are evenly distributed. This mix should be divided into three 20cm cake tins but I only have one 23cm tin so I just doubled the baking time to around 50min, it might need an extra 10min, check with a toothpick. If it comes out clean your cake is ready.

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While your cake is cooling start on your icing, this icing is the best icing ever! I could eat spoonfuls of it just as it is, it’s that good. Beat your icing sugar and butter together. I find the best way to do this is beat your butter till it’s nice and soft and add the icing sugar gradually, if it gets too dry I usually add a little drop of milk. Once it’s all incorporated add in your cream cheese, beat on high for at least five minutes, this will make your icing light and fluffy. I added a few drops of food colouring to give it nice peachy glow and spread it over my cake as neatly as possible (which means, not at all – I like to think it adds to the homemade feel). To finish it off I sprinkled over a little cinnamon and some more chopped walnuts.

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Perfect way to end the week! And tomorrow, carrot cake for breakfast. Enjoy

Our Antique Adventure

Our Antique Adventure

Last year Abi and I had the opportunity to explore two of the biggest antique fairs in Britain.  The first of the two was in Ardingly and what an experience that was!  We had a former antique dealer with us to share his vast knowledge, we met some great people and bought a few amazing pieces to restore in the near future.

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We went to the first antique fair feeling pretty well prepared…it turned out we weren’t!  First of all we realised that our small shoppers and big handbags were not ideal, our friend was kind enough to introduce us to a “human-sized” bag… Why did we never think of that?  We also didn’t take into account the strong rays of sunshine on a summers day,  luckily Abi was given a ‘flattering’ farmers hat to stop her fair skin from roasting…I, however,  was not as lucky and had to live with a lovely sunglasses tan for the rest of the summer.

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Our second Antique fair was in Newark, it was a long drive but worth it!  We went to Newark feeling a lot more confident after our first fair in Ardingly, we recognised a few of the antique dealers from the previous fair and managed to fill our van up. Unfortunately we misjudged how much space we’d need and struggled to fit in our last item.  After causing a minor traffic jam, a few kind-hearted movers either took pity on us or were tired of waiting and helped unpack and repack the van.

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We’re looking forward to restoring our treasures and sharing the finished result with you.