Archive | February, 2011

How do YOU organise the bookshelves then?

27 Feb

My sister has always made fun of me because ever since I was a child I’ve liked to keep my books colour coded and organised by height on the bookshelves. Every house I’ve lived in I have arranged the books like this and it seems to be a feature that friends always notice when they visit too, some love it and some not so much but nobody could argue with THIS…

Video made by Sean Ohlenkamp and Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp using stop frame animation.


A little man does a little yard work…

26 Feb

Henry and me have been working in the garden making the most of the lovely warn sunshine that broke through the grey clouds this afternoon! Here are some photos I snapped used the fabulous Hipstamatic App on the iphone whilst my camera is in the shop.

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Cool Robots

23 Feb

We’re not quite ready to give up on the crib just yet but when the time comes for Henry’s big boy bed how lovely would this ferm living bedding set be?

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Give us this day…

22 Feb

Our daily bread…

It’s a cold and rainy day here but this freshly baked bread should help warm us up.

‘The Same But Not The Same’ As my dear friend would say…

21 Feb

I painted this watercolour in December last year as a first birthday present for the twin daughters of a wonderful and talented friend of mine.

It was inspired by the phrase she often employs to describe her girls and is so entitled ‘The Same But Not The Same’.

On High in Santa Cruz. Part II

20 Feb

Furnishing this apartment was such a lot of fun. The square footage of the living room alone was just over 1,000 sq ft and with such an open plan arrangement it was possible to create a really interesting and easygoing living space.

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Let Him Eat Cake – The World’s Most Simple And Delicious Vanilla Sponge Sandwich With Raspberry cream

15 Feb

Two Valentine’s ago my husband presented me with this sweetly pink KitchenAid mixer

I don’t know what prompted this surprising extravagance, I can only think it came from the assumption that once equipped with the ultimate gadget of the Domestic Goddess I would forever and always be able to keep him supplied with home-made cakes. This was back  in the days when I had all the time in the world to bake and then decorate cakes, before the glorious days of Henry who either wants to eat cake straight out of its tin or seems to live in the belief that batter is better!

Made with love, this is what I managed to come up with!
Just looking at these photographs makes me nostalgic for baking and the memory of this most scrumptious heart-shaped number has got me really wanting to get back in the kitchen and find more time to pursue this delicious hobby.

Of course, with a little help from my cat London…

After receiving a few queries about my Valentines Day cake here is the recipe…

The World’s Most Simple And Delicious Vanilla Sponge Sandwich

110g unsalted butter
110g white caster sugar
100g self raising flour
2 medium eggs (beaten)
1 Tsp cold water
1 Vanilla pod

Two greased heart shaped or 8″ round tins
Pre heat your oven to gas mark 4

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and gradually add the beaten egg mix.
Gently fold in the flour, then the vanilla seeds and finally add just enough water to bring the mix to a dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture between both pans evenly and bake for about 20 minutes.
The cakes are done when they are spongy to the touch and have baked to a golden colour.
Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack before decorating.

If you haven’t got heart shaped pans (mine were charity shop find!) then you will need to shape your circular cakes into heart shapes using a sharp knife. One advantage of this is that you will get to eat up all the excess bits of cake in the process… yum yum.

For the filling you will need:

100 ml double cream or heavy whipping cream
1 ts vanilla essence
125g fresh raspberries
1 Tsp sifted confectioner’s sugar

Whip the cream until thick enough to hold its shape and fold in the vanilla and some  crushed raspberries. I use the back of a fork to crush the berries so they are just this side of smushed but not pureed.

Using a palette knife or the back of a metal spoon spread one of the cakes with about two thirds of the cream and sandwich the other on top. Add the confectioner’s sugar to the rest of the cream and using a piping bag with a flower shaped nozzle carefully pipe the flower star shaped thing a ma jigs all over the top. decorate with a few fresh raspberries.

Grab two forks, your other half (or not) and ENJOY!

Show me some love…

14 Feb

‘Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule’

So go ahead and share some love and friendship on Valentine’s Day!

And if you need a last minute Valentine to send to your someone special here are a few most excellent choices provided by NPR of all places. Enjoy!

I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph, don’t take my Kodachrome away…

12 Feb

My trusty camera which is never normally far from my reach has had to go to camera hospital this week. I will miss him terribly but wish him a speedy recovery and am keeping my fingers crossed that he is home and fighting fit soon!

(My camera is a ‘he’ don’t ask me why, it just seems rude to refer to him as an ‘it’ don’t you think?)

On High in Santa Cruz. Part I

11 Feb

We signed a one year tenancy agreement on the upper floor of this beautiful big house in March 2009 the day before we found out I was pregnant. I had dreamt of living on the California coast since we arrived in America so when this place became available in beautiful Santa Cruz we just went for it and moved in as soon as we could.

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