all set for the big day

If you saw my last post you will know that I have been preparing for a family wedding taking place this weekend and I have been scurrying around trying to find a wedding outfit.

Apart from cleaning the oven, shopping for clothes ranks among my least favourite activities, so shopping for ‘dressy’ clothes is akin to sticking pins in my eyes. After much rummaging through clothes rails, I managed to get kitted out for the big day (yay!) …. except for a clutch bag. Rather than subject myself to any more retail therapy torture, I decided to make my own and I found a great little tutorial for the perfect little purse over at Elm Street Life.

It is surprising what you can do with a fabric bow and a wee bit of bling  😉

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There is plenty of room for the essentials – make up, lipstick, phone, money.  Just need to get the confetti and I’m all set 🙂

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We will be having people stay with us this weekend too and I have been doing a lot of pillow plumping and house cleaning in preparation for their arrival.  I took a break from all that today in order to make some gifts for my female guests. The girls are big Cath Kidston fans, so I got them each a set of Cath Kidston hand creams and I made them a wee tissue holder each as well.   I hope they like them.

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I baked some of Aunt Annie’s fruitcake yesterday, as well as a whole bunch of lemon drizzle cake, so we will have plenty of yummy treats on hand. I love making lemon drizzle – it’s one of my favourite’s!  I use Mary Berry’s method to make it. It’s super easy; just put everything in the bowl together and mix – never fails, yum! Here’s a link to the recipe.

With all the preparations done, I just couldn’t help it ….. I had to try out the lemon drizzle to make sure it was gonna taste good, right?

… And. It. Does.

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Have a wonderful weekend folks ♥

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a wonderful wednesday

Today has been dreamy.  I’ve been pottering in the garden and baking fruitcake.

The sun has made a rare appearance and I have even allowed myself to believe that summer might actually be here at last.

It’s funny, I’ve started calling Wednesdays ‘wonderful Wednesdays’ at work, because it’s my day off :).  And it has indeed been wonderful today – planting up tubs in the garden with the birds’ sweet song for company.

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With the tubs planted up and watered in, I had time to bake a fruitcake to take along to my sewing group tonight and I wanted to share the method with you.   The recipe comes from my Great Aunt Annie who used to make these fruit loaves for all the family.  I remember visiting her as a child and we would always leave with one of her famous boiled fruit cakes wrapped up in a plastic bag.  Aunt Annie also made great potato farls and Irish soda bread!

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This is such an easy recipe and not too heavy or stodgy.   It also freezes beautifully.

Ingredients

  • 4oz margarine
  • 2 cups dried mixed fruit
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tsp of ground, mixed spice (or to taste)
  • Handful of glace cherries (cut in half)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1-2 tbsp demerara sugar (for the topping)
  1. Place the margarine, sugar, fruit and water in a saucepan and heat until the margarine has melted.  Bring to the boil and boil for a few minutes.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool.  There is no need to cool the mixture completely, just enough, so that when you add the egg, it won’t scramble! About 20 minutes or so is usually sufficient.
  2. When cool, stir in the cherries followed by the beaten egg.
  3. Sprinkle over the baking soda. Mix it in until it all fizzes up and becomes a bit foamy.
  4. Sieve in the flour and ground mixed spice and stir well with a wooden spoon to combine.
  5. Pour into a well greased 2lb loaf tin (lined on the bottom with baking parchment) and sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
  6. Cook in the oven at 160ْ  (fan oven) for about 1 hour.  The cake is done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

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The demerara sugar gives the top a lovely crunchy texture. Yum!

So, that’s been my day up to now.  I’m just going to make a bite to eat for the boys and then I’m off out to my sewing group, laden with this yummy cake.  The perfect end to a perfect day ♥

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Wherever you are in the world, and whatever you’ve been doing, I hope you’ve had a ‘wonderful Wednesday’ too!