Monthly Archives: June 2015

Here Comes the Bride

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Greetings all! I hope this post finds you well. Today I’d like to share a few pictures of the beautiful wedding that I was lucky enough to attend last weekend.

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The bride is one of my oldest and bestest friends and I had the honour of serving as matron of honour with a speech and everything!

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Held at the beautiful Deer Park Hall, this was a proper fancy pants wedding and the effort that the bride and groom had put in shone through. No detail was overlooked and there were little touches everywhere that made everything a little bit more special. (See the bunting in the top photo? Endless streams of pretty triangles all cut, sewn and ironed by the groom. Spectacular!).

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The Little Man did his bit well, dressing up and posing like a star all day as well as making this rather special heart for the bride, complete with buttons and sparkles. He’s really got into his crafting at the moment and I am loving it!

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The weather was a mixed bag but warm and generally kind, giving us plenty of time to enjoy the stunning views.

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The sunset was spectacular, even if I did manage to miss taking a proper photo as hubby’s phone chose precisely that moment to die.

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Needless to say the skies were incredible and the countryside glowed.

Of course, there was the star of the show (excepting the bride and all that jazz!) and that was the cake. And boy did this wedding have cake! (Made by the wonderful Marie Green).

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At number one we have this beautiful gold leaf three-tiered number that hid a surprise…

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Cut it open and it was a rainbow of pink sponge (can a rainbow be one colour?!). You must excuse some of the photography – as I did not have a bag on me most of my snaps were stolen on hubby’s phone in between bridesmaid duties and childcare. It was really strange not having the time to take a few candid shots whenever I wanted and, I have to say, I really missed it. The ones I did get, however, do give a good idea of how lovely the day was and I want to record it here for memory. I hope you will indulge me!

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Onto cake number two and this was a ‘naked’ sponge that held a wonderful surprise when eaten – it was coconut and totally delicious! The flowers used for decoration in the evening were from the two mothers’ gardens, which I thought added a lovely, personal touch.

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Moving onto number three and we have the evening buffet – the cake of cheese from Ansteys. Nom! We had one of these at our own wedding (note our board underneath!) and they always go down well. Not to mention the fact that, when the celebrations are over, it is nice to know that your wedding can still feed you in the weeks to come!

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And finally, at number four, we have my favourite – the cupcakes. Coming in vanilla, carrot and chocolate orange flavours these were scrumptious! Strictly speaking these are more fairy cakes as the were small and made out of light, fluffy sponge instead of cupcake batter. Either way, they were both delicious and adorable.

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We were lucky enough to be gifted a few to bring home so they have been providing a sweet treat of an evening with a cup of tea and some crochet. Perfect!

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Thank you for letting me share these memories with you. It was a magnificent day that I hope will mark the start of a long and happy married life for these two special people. Β See you soon! x

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Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World

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Hello my dears! This post is somewhat late but I did promise you some photos from our trip to Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World so here goes!

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There is something magical about these beautiful creatures and I love having the opportunity to be so close to them.

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The range of shapes and colours was just breathtaking…

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And the flora was equally dazzling with tropical blooms all around.

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The staff were wonderful, eager to share their knowledge and get the little people involved.

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They also had minibeast and reptile handling, which the Little Man loved!

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My favourite thing was that you could literally stand and watch the birth of a new butterfly emerging from its chrysalis (truly awe inspiring).

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And, of course, when I stood still long enough then I was lucky enough to get up really close and personal. Love it!

And do you want to know the very best thing about this place?

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The Butterfly World is situated on the same site as Dobbie’s Garden Centre so you can take a break and get some sustenance before returning to the green house. How good is that?! (Oh, and expect to see my attempt to recreate this coffee delight sometime in the not too distant future!).
Back soon! x

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An Edinburgh Adventure

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Last Thursday the opportunity arose for us to pack our bags, bundle the kids in and head north for a weekend with my father in law.

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I love Edinburgh. So grand yet so comfortable. Castles, mountains, culture, food. It has it all. What I had never appreciated before was how much amazing coastline there is within a short drive. This is Gullane beach and was a complete revelation. Wide stretches of clean, sandy beach with rock pools full of things to discover.

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The Little Man was in his element covering vast distances as he walked back and forward from our camp down to the water to drop a pebble into the sea.

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Unusually for us we indulged in a selection of bought treats from Gullane’s little treasure, the German Bakery Falko Konditormeister courtesy of my lovely father-in-law. The Little Man and I shared the raisin brioche bun above whilst hubby had a rather fancy continental sandwich. For afters we shared raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake and bakewell frangipane. So good!

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The beachy agenda was agreed before we set off from home so we remembered to pack a few trusty buckets and spades in preparation. I love the fact that many of these were used by my sister and me 25+ years for our own castle creations. Happy memories!

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Saturday saw us head indoors to escape the howling gales but Sunday saw the sun come out to play so we once again headed to the coast. This time we were on familiar territory as we returned to a favourite haunt, Queensferry.

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I love it here with the Forth Railway Bridge spanning the water and the boats clanking in the (permanent) breeze. As I couldn’t safely carry the Little Lady over the slippery rocks I once more had the luxury to indulge in a bit more seaside hooky with my South Bay Shawl. Bliss!

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The Little Lady did come out to play as well. She was fascinated by the feel of the pebbles and the sound they made as she threw them. She is such a happy baby and so interested in the world around her. Everything is new and exciting when you are 6 months old!

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Before long I got somewhat distracted by the brightly coloured sea glass that literally littered the beach. It wasn’t long before we were all sifting through the pebbles. The Little Man was especially proud of his haul, bringing each piece to me for my approval. He favoured the larger pieces and spent the rest of the day rooting around in his pockets to rediscover his hidden treasures. Bless.

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Thank you for joining us on the beaches. Next time I shall share our Saturday adventures with you. See you soon!

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A Cupboard Full of Cake

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Greetings one and all, it’s been very quiet round here lately. First I was ill then we enjoyed a marvellous weekend with family in Edinburgh so life has been busy as ever. Even though I miss it when I cannot blog I am enjoying the ease of sharing snippets of my days on Instagram. It is a great way of trying to order my ideas and stop the obsessive mental stockpiling of things that I want to share on here!

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As I mentioned, I was knocked sideways by a bout of sickness the other week. I am rarely ill and do not make a good patient. Having caught the bug from the Little Man I was once again overcome with respect for the stoicism that my children show when they are poorly.

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For me, there are two things I need when I am under the weather – cake and chocolate. For inspiration I turned to the wonderful Lillian’s Cupboard. So let me take you on a tour of the treats that helped restore me to strength!

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I first made this Swedish Dream Bar for my colleagues a while ago and it proved to be such a hit that it is still commented on now. Therefore I do not understand why it has taken me so long to give it another go. Moist and chewy on top with a crunchy, biscuit base this makes the perfect sweet snack with a cuppa and is easily transportable for picnics.

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It was unfortunate timing that I caught a bug on the weekend that both my hubby and parents were away. When the craving for cake hit and I realised that the fridge was egg free I nearly cried. There was much internal cheering when I looked up one of my favourite of Lillian’s recipes, the Boiled Raisin Cake, and discovered it to be egg free. Oh happy days! (Incidentally the Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is also egg free and definitely on my to-bake list!). This is a 1940s tea bread and I adore the simple, sweet cinnamon hit it delivers. It is also very popular with the Little Man as he is not a fan of sponge but loves fruit cakes.

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The final treat in this weekend bakeathon was another WWII era Cake, the Orange One Egg Cake. I blogged about this cake a couple years ago here but it was even better this time. I used half juice, half milk and whisked the frosting until it was extra light and fluffy. Delicious!

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And finally, for balance, there has been plenty of non-cake related feasting around here as barbecue season has hit. You know how much I love a picnic so you can imagine how excited I get about this sort of al-fresco dining and the Little Man thinks that they are the best thing ever! Ironically my favourite aspect of barbecues is not the meat but the salads (my husband says that this is sacrilege but hey ho).

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Here we have Mary Berry’s Coleslaw, made with half vinaigrette, half mayonnaise, roasted vegetables with balsalmic vinegar and, my latest obsession, Delia Smith’s Very Red Rice. Made with Carmague red rice, this salad has a lovely nutty texture. I saw it originally on Instagram and the secret I find is to leave it to cool slightly then stir through chunks of good feta cheese and a load of coriander. So good!

I shall leave you with a final, gratuitous snap of my darling Little Lady who joins in with all of this feasting with an (almost) permanent smile on her face!

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