Monthly Archives: June 2011

Man Utd Birthday

Hey peeps…

So today is the Boyfriend’s birthday… not so much a boy now he’s 25, but still…

For his birthday I thought I’d play the perfect girlfriend card and bake him a super awesome birthday cake…

I started with a packet of ready made fondant icing… in white… and a bottle of red liquid food colouring… BIG MISTAKE!

It took numerous hours and the entire bottle of food dye to make it red – not to mention sore arms from hours of kneading!

Well, I made two cakes, one vanilla with chocolate chips and one chocolate with white chocolate chunks, and sandwiched them together with a thin layer of apricot jam and buttercream (which turned out OK this time!) I also sprinkled a layer of chocolate chips on top of the buttercream, before placing the vanilla cake on top.

To be honest, the cakes turned out just like plain sponge cakes as the chocolate chips/chunks sank to the bottom and stuck to my silicone cake pans… But they were very moist and perfect.

I rolled out the (now red) fondant icing and had to get my Mum to help me get it on the cake, on top of a layer of boiled apricot jam… I then placed an icing replica of the Manchested United badge on top.

The badge took me AGES! I printed off a picture and used a toothpick to give me a general outline… But the rest I did freehand. Not too bad, I think, for my first ever attempt at decorating a cake!

And it tasted pretty good too!

Happy Birthday my little Monkey ūüôā

~R&R

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Birdbath of Death

 

I woke up this morning to¬†a birdbath full of dead tadpoles – my Mum had moved them from the pond; they hadn’t just migrated!

Over the really harsh winter we’ve just had, particularly Jan-Feb, we must have scooped almost 50 dead frogs out of the pond, from the tiny babies to fully-grown, fat frogs with big bellies!

This morning though, there were around 20 tadpoles, or differing sizes, and one of the new baby fish – one of a set of twins that were born this year…

We’re stumped as to how they all just died overnight… the only logical explanation was given by my OH, it must have been the random and drastic hailstorm a couple of days ago. I put it forward, though, that it might just be normal, almost like natural selection and tadpoles always die off at this age – a bit of a survival of the fittest kind of thing… So we’re still clueless… If anyone has an idea, please do let us know!!

This afternoon after taking the dog for a walk, I went to inspect the birdbath again, just in case the regular magpie had been to feast (I felt awful about leaving them in there but we didn’t know what else to do – My Grandma always put them in the birdbath, even when they were frogspawn, “so we’re not overrun with frogs!”)

Upon inspection I noticed that they weren’t all dead – one was still swimming around and another was moving slightly! I picked them out and moved them back to the pond where I noticed what seemed like hundreds more dead tadpoles! I called to the OH to get me a container (all those plastic Chinese takeaway boxes come in handy after all!) and set to scooping them out, filling up the birdbath with even more corpses… When I was finished, there must have been 100 at least, and I still couldn’t get to the ones in the middle or far side of the pond…

It was truly awful… Most of them had grown their back legs and a few had even grown their little front legs and were starting to look like tiny baby froglets… Up ’til now, the magpie has stayed away – don’t know¬†whether it’s a coincidence or if¬†they’re just not his cup of tea… Perhaps he’s not French (haha)

Anyway, thought I’d share my¬†wildlife massacre – a problem shared is a problem halved and all that jazz!

~R&R

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Sewing

Well, considering I have this “passion” for fashion design and crafty things, I have to admit that I haven’t had chance to do any sketching (or indeed any sewing) for a long time!

I have a beautiful sewing box bought for me by my lovely OH – so beautiful in fact, that I hate using anything in it! I’ve also been collecting all the scraps of fabric I could find, in order for me to develop a great big box full of fabric to either practice on or to recycle into something else!

¬†I have inherited an amazing antique¬†treadle Singer¬†sewing machine from my Grandma – I think it belonged to her mother… It folds out of a sewing table, almost identical to this… To be honest, I very rarely use it as I’m terrified of breaking it! Just sitting at it though makes me feel great – I could never part with it!

I also have an electric sewing machine – nothing fancy, just a normal, cheap Brother LS-2125 one, but I’m not brilliant with it just yet¬† – in fact, far from it! Need a lot of practice!

I guess my blog today is more of a kick up the backside to myself – I really need to get back on it! I’ll never be any good if I don’t practice, will I?!

 

~R&R

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Walkies!

It’s been a lovely day today… The last few days have been¬†mega hot – not a common occurance in England – and definitely not something I yearn for when I can’t just sit back and enjoy it!¬†Today it’s been a lovely temperature, but with a nice light breeze… And I was adequately dressed in short leggings and a strapless top…

This morning/afternoon I took the dog for a walk with the boyfriend… He’s a Staffordshire Bull Terrier crossed with something (the dog; not the boyfriend!) We think he’s crossed with a Rhodesian Ridgeback but not sure at all! The vet said he’s more Staffie than anything else… And he’s 2 and a half, really soft and lovely, annoying in that he constantly has to be in contact with you; under your feet, snuggled up against your legs, and he cuddles like a human, with his front legs around your neck and his back legs around your waist!!

Anyway… you should probably know by now that I digress… a lot!

So we went up to a massive bit of craggy land that leads onto the Trans Pennine Trail, armed with two bottles of water for us and a doggy bottle for Chad.

We walked along the trail, for a little way and then when we got to the viaduct, we stopped for a rest and gave Chad some water… He was way too excited to be free and out in the open… He doesn’t get taken for many walks, unfortunately… Purely laziness in honesty and I hope that we can make it a more regular occurance!

After sitting down for five minutes we decided that we ought to head back home… Chad was getting a little worn out and the boyfriend’s ankle was starting to twinge (he broke it a few years ago and still gets some pain occasionally)

On the way home Chad started being really naughty. He’s always pulled a bit on his lead but when he’s let off he generally only goes so far and stops to wait for us. Today though, we had to shout him a number of times before he’d stop and even then, he got his little stubborn act on and refused to come back to us!

I told him off for not listening, in a total wannabe Supernanny way – giving him a little cuddle afterwards!! I joked with the boyfriend that I was practicing for our children!

Well, that’s what I’ve been up to today… ūüôā

~R&R

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