Category Archives: family

Paleo chocolate cake – success at last!

paleocakeI have been (more or less) following a paleo diet since November.

Simply speaking, paleo means no grains = no wheat, corn, oats, pasta, rice. So regular cake is not really on the menu!

This is not my first attempt at paleo cake, but it is the most successful so I thought I would share with you.


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line an 8 inch baking tin.

Melt 100g butter (or you could use coconut oil if you wanted to go dairy free) and stir in 75g dark chocolate until it melts. Leave to cool.

Whisk 4 eggs with 50g honey until they are creamy and well aerated.

Pour the cooled chocolate butter mixture in slowly, while whisking all the time.

Mix 100g ground almonds with 40g coconut flour and a teaspoon baking powder. Fold this dry mix into the wet mix.

Pour batter into cake tin and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool, then if you like, drizzle with some more melted dark chocolate.


Enjoy! But not too much, this is a treat, even if it is grain free!




Filed under baking

30 days of creativity – day 3 – menu planner

menu plannerIt’s September, when I always vow to be more organised over the course of the coming school year, so today I modified a cork pin board into a menu planning board.

DSCF0705This was really simple – I cut 7 rectangles of coloured paper (14cm x 6cm) and glued them onto the board. Then I stamped the days of the week onto wooden pegs and I glued those on top of the rectangles.

DSCF0704Then I made a couple of little envelopes to hold a stack of little cards. I stamped our favourite meals onto these, so that each week I can just change the meals on the pegs, and hey presto, everyone knows what’s for dinner. I also left some blank for those meals I haven’t thought of yet.

(No, there’s not a card which reads “Get your own bl**dy dinner.” Not yet.)


(30 days of creativity simply means spending 30 minutes doing something creative for thirty days. They don’t have to be consecutive days. Why don’t you join in?)


Filed under family, home

30 days of creativity – day one – minecraft duvet cover

Armed with a plain green duvet cover (a £2 bargain in Wilkinsons), a pot of black fabric paint I can’t even remember buying and a paintbrush I decided to make my ten year old son a Minecraft duvet cover.
I drew a creeper template, which I placed under the fabric and traced with my prym marker (a quilter’s pen which fades away slowly) then just painted very carefully. I randomly spaced my creepers, rather than measuring their exact location. (A hoard of creepers is the correct collective noun according to my son.)

It’s very hard to take a photo of the finished item without falling off the top bunk or banging your head on the ceiling – so you will have to be satisfied with a rubbish photo!!

(30 days of creativity simply means spending 30 minutes doing something creative for thirty days. They don’t have to be consecutive days. Why don’t you join in?)

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Filed under family, Uncategorized

Raspberry Custard Cake (best cake ever)

This is delicious.
You have to make it.

250g butter
200g caster sugar
250g self raising flour
150g tinned custard
4 eggs
1 tin raspberries (drained – save the juice for something else) (or you could use fresh or frozen)
half tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence

Heat your oven to 180 deg C and grease and line a deep 8 inch cake tin.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then mix in the flour, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and about a third of the custard until you have lovely smooth batter.

Blob about one third of the batter into the cake tin to roughly cover the bottom.
Blob half the raspberries on top.
Cover with the rest of the batter.
Blob the rest of the raspberries and the remaining custard on top.

You now have some yummy looking gloop in your cake tin.DSCF0341
Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for 30 – 40 more minutes. Do the skewer test to check it is cooked through.

raspberry custard cakeRemove from the tine and admire the yumminess.

This cake is delicious both hot and cold.

raspberry custard cake sliceI served mine with some raspberry custard cream – just some double cream, some of the juice from the tin and a blob of cold custard (I had half a tin left) all whisked up.

Go on, make it.

It really is delicious.

You know you want some.

And share it with your friends and family, because everyone deserves raspberry custard cake.

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Filed under baking, family, Uncategorized

Whoever knew an old keyboard would be so inspiring?

keyboard signMy 8 year old son Anthony wanted to make something out of the circuit board of the old keyboard. He thought it would look cool hanging on the wall like a picture.

We decided to print out and glue on some words to make a door sign.

The circuit board already had handy holes so we chopped some of the curly flex off and threaded it through for a hanging thread.

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Filed under family, Upcycling

Purple, purple, purple

DSCF0256I’ve just painted my daughter’s room purple.

Very purple.

It’s like being hugged by a blackcurrant.

Anyway, this post is a little tour of Poppy’s new bedroom. And also a pictorial reminder of how tidy it is.

Look there is carpet!

DSCF0265It will probably never be this tidy again. The twenty zillion soft toys like to scatter themselves everywhere.

DSCF0267I love this bookshelf; I think it reminds me of those halcyon days as a school librarian. (Oh, yes, I was that cool.)

DSCF0262I made the curtains; curtains are my nemesis. Why is making two rectangles so hard? These ones are quite straight and everything. I only swore when I pulled the strings too far and had to re-thread them through the header tape. I bought the fabric for £1 a metre, so these curtains only cost £3 as I had some leftover header tape.

DSCF0266I made this too, ages ago when I first started making stuff to sell.

DSCF0264And I made a Batman cushion because my daughter is a princess hating, trouser wearing, superhero fan.

DSCF0257And I made this too; it’s actually her birthday card but I popped it in a frame so I can admire it forever!

1040407_10152016104943957_1039938049_oAnd here are the Sylvanians living on the spray painted table from my last post. I’ve dressed them for this picture as Poppy prefers them naked. Somehow in her 5 year old brain it is ridiculous for a bear to wear a dress, but perfectly fine to live in a cabin with a flowery sofa.

So, that’s it. I’m off to listen to some Prince songs and drink some Ribena.

And to hope Poppy doesn’t announce next week that purple is not her favourite colour anymore, and can she have a pink room please?





Filed under family, home, Poppy

Scrapbooky Frames… a new venture

scrapbookpoppyhatI’m sure I’ve already mentioned that I love to scrapbook, and over the past year I’ve been doing a fair few scrapbook style cards using customer’s photographs. But now I am trying to move into selling framed pieces of scrapbookiness.

This is a little picture I made of my daughter Poppy, unframed on the left and in a red box frame on the right. I think they are so much lovelier than a plain framed photograph.

In a bid to show off some examples I’ve photographed some of the pages I’ve made for myself.


Honeymoon in Mauritius


Paddling in Tenby

Football days

Football days

I especially love how vintage photographs look in these frames, so I made this one for my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day; it is her own mum in a beautiful vintage photo which I have adorned with vintage buttons and lace.


Perfectly personal and unique; what do you think?




Filed under family, Poppy, scrapbook