Tuesday, 30 August 2011

My August Bank Holiday Weekend

I love a bank holiday weekend and for me it was an extra day longer as I booked Friday off work.  I felt nice and rested when I arrived at work this morning, even better to now it is only a 3 day week for me, as I have also booked this Friday off.  I am hoping for good weather as we are camping.  But less of next weekend, What did I get up to this weekend.

Well I spent my time with family and close friends.  I spent Friday shopping with my Mum and getting organised at home.  Saturday was spent with James aunt and her partner.  We took a lovely drive to Pleshy for a beer festival.  As I am not a beer drinker I was pleased to be in pretty surroundings for this one.  The village is beautiful, I would love to live somewhere like this.




We sat out the front of the pub for a bit, which you can just about see in the first photo, until it was too cold and we had to go in, but in the half hour we sat outside for only 2 cars passed us, it was so peaceful.  Bliss.

The rest of the weekend was spent with really good friends of ours, on various occasions throughout the weekend and involved a lot of eating, playing games, laughing, drinking and chatting.  Just what every weekend should be.

I also squeezed in a little bit of baking, although I did cheat, it was from a packet but on seeing mint choc chip cupcakes I just couldn't resist.  They were delicious.




How was your weekend?  I'd love to know

Love Gem xxxx

Monday, 22 August 2011

Help Me, I'm An Addict

Yep, it's official, I am an addict.  I need help!  I wondered what all the fuss was about so when the lovely Heather at The Patchwork Heart sent me an invite to join Pinterest, I headed straight across to see for myself. 


Well, say no more.  I cannot get enough of it.  Why I may hear some of you ask?  I don't know, I can't answer that, I just love it.  The good thing is that I cannot access the site from work, as I would get no work done, however I am starting to get withdrawal symptoms after not pinning for all of 8 hours. 


Over the weekend this is pretty much all I was doing.  James heard a lot of this:


So now not only is most of my spare time occupied by blogging, I now have another addiction to fit in as well.  Never mind, I could be addicted to much worse things then this.  I shall just keep telling myself that.

~ Gem x

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Life

Oh my 70 followers, wow, thank you and welcome to all my new followers.
I hope you have all had a lovely weekend, they always seem to go far to quick for my liking, does anyone have that same feeling?

I don't usually post on weekends, but have noticed my blogging seems to be slipping back to how it was in the old days.  I have only been blogging just over a year but when I first started by posts were few and far between.  One of my New Years resolutions was to blog more often so I had better get back into the swing of things. 

I was catching up on blogs earlier today when I came across this over at Sue's and just had to share it with you.  I think it is brilliant and couldn't agree more, however I will be the first to admit I am guilty of some of these, but it does give you a bit of motivation which I like.  Anyway less of my chat, here is what I am talking about.


Isn't this so true?  I will be taking a lot more notice of this from now on, I absolutely love it.

Hope you all have a great week.  It's bank holiday weekend at the end of the week.  I have booked Friday off work, so a nice long 4 day weekend for me, now that is more like it.

~ Gem x

Friday, 19 August 2011

Chocolate & Coffee Cake

I spent some time over the weekend baking.  I wanted to make a coffee cake but not being a lover of walnuts I started my hunt for another ingredient I could use instead, then the idea of coffee and chocolate just seemed to good to resist,  so I scoured the web when I came up with this delicious recipe.


6 Eggs
250g Dark Chocolate
100ml Strong Coffee
110g Butter
75g Brown Sugar
40g Flour
50ml Creme Fraiche
3tbsp Cocoa Powder
50ml Coffee Liquor
1tbsp Icing Sugar
Salt


Gently melt 150g of dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water along with the coffee. 
Roughly chop the butter, add to the mixture and mix well.
Preheat the oven to 150C / 300F
Separate the egg whites and yolks, putting the whites to one side.  Beat the yolks with the brown sugar until white.  Add to the melted chocolate and then add the flour.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff then add to the mixture.
Bake in the oven for 40minutes.


Once the cake has cooked leave to cool.
Melt the rest of the chocolate in the same way. 
Remove from the heat the pour in the creme fraiche and coffee liquor.
Leave to cool, stirring from time to time.


Take the cake from the tin then pour the icing all over. 
Chill for 10minutes then sprinkle with cocoa powder and icing sugar (optional)



I was so chuffed with how the cake looked and even more excited about the fact I would be able to post my first ever recipe, at last I felt like a real woman.  

~ Gem x

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Tea House Theatre ~ Vauxhall

I arrived back into work after a lovely if not quiet weekend today to find these little treats waiting for me on my desk, bought especially for me by one of my lovely colleagues.




For those of you who don't know, I LOVE chocolate M&M's.  Aren't these colours just beautiful.  M&M's have recently opened up a new shop in Leicester Square, I have yet to visit it myself but I will, don't you worry.  I have visited their store in Las Vegas & New York, so I am quite excited to know that there is one on my continent that is a little closer to home. 

Another new addition to London is the Tea House Theatre which opened a few weeks ago in Vauxhall.  I can see it from the window in my office.  I have visited a couple of times now and it is a lovely for a little treat.  I had lunch here today as it happens with a friend and thought I'd take a few snaps to share with you. 


Nice comfy chairs

Pretty china with teapot and tea cosy

My All Day Breakfast Breakfast

There are lovely quotes painted on the walls which add such a nice touch.




The staff are so attentive and really friendly and the sound of classical music adds a really nice touch to the atmosphere.  The service is brilliant, with proper cotton napkins and silver cutlery, this is somewhere I can see myself spending quite a few lunch breaks.

~ Gem x

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

My Summer List

I know this is probably a bit late in the year for this but seeing as we haven't really had a summer yet I am hoping it is still to come, I decided to make a list of things I would like to do this summer.  I love making lists, I think it is a female thing as I know most of you also love a list or two or maybe even three.  I write lists for everything, it helps me to feel more organised and so much more relaxed about things, I know it will help me to remember things, I can be a bit forgetful, especially if I have a lot on mind.

OK so back to the list.


I know it isn't very clear from this photo so sorry if you can read that but I am going to re-type it just in case.
  • Join A Group
  • Go Crabbing (never done this before)
  • Have A Picnic
  • Go Fishing (again never done this before)
  • Discover Some Place New
  • Star Gaze
  • Fly A Kite
  • Learn Something New
  • Row A Boat On A Lake (never done this before either)
I love trying new things, learning new things, making the most of life, making the most of a moment.  I'm hoping this list will help me to do this over the next few weeks or so.

As I type this the riots are still continuing in London and across the UK.  I think it is a disgrace to our country and these people should be really ashamed of themselves, why can they not see that they are shooting themselves in the feet, they are ruining their futures and future opportunities, the country is struggling enough as it is without them giving a helping hand for all the wrong reasons.  They should not be able to get away with this.  We all need to stand tall together and ensure we don't allow them to ruin us.  We have a wonderful country, why should they ruin it for us all?

I hope everyone out there is keeping safe.

Love Gem xxxx


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Magic Ball Swap Parcel

I received my magic ball swap parcel yesterday from the lovely Pj at The Snail Garden.  The swap was organised by Linda at Hookin With LaaLaa, it was such a great idea for a swap and I thoroughly enjoyed taking part.  Here is what I received:
All very beautifully wrapped, I especially like the pretty roses on the wool.  Also great choice of colour, I love it.

Gorgeous crocheted ribbon

You can just see some crocheted flowers there beyond the cute wooden heart

Molly even lent a helping paw to unravel the ball of wool

I soon had to find another way to unravel it, so as I was unravelling I started to wind it back up again, no idea why I hadn't thought of it before to be honest but then again I am blonde!

Here are all the goodies that were wrapped up inside, each wrapped individually in pink tissue paper

The smell coming from the ball of wool was lovely a mix of lavender from the heart in the top picture, top middle and this rose scented soap.  I even received a Hello Kitty pen with my name on.

I think I am going to use this broach to put on my coat, hopefully I won't be needing to wear it for a while yet but at least I know it will look extra pretty when I do.

Another addition to my Ladybirds : )

I could tell that Paula had really scoured by blog hard to find lots of pretty little things that I will love.  Turkish delight, shortbread biscuits, rose sceneted soap, a ladybird and daisy on a keyring plus daisy type flowers crocheted into a broach and ribbon pieces.  

I have been spoilt and am a very lucky girl.  Thank you so much for all my lovely gifts and for being such a great swap partner and thank you again to Linda for organising such an amazing swap.

I shall be using this idea for some of my Christmas presents this year, I think it is so lovely and the suspense really gets you as you are unravelling all that wool.

So that's all from me this evening, I'm off to bed now, it feels like it's been a really long day

Love Gem xxx