Cup-cakes

Before I start I have to mention that this is take two of this post as the first time I wrote it somehow it was deleted rather than published. I am now over the annoyance enough to attempt a second draft. All I will say is that the first draft was FANTASTIC 😉

This weekend in our church it is Harvest Festival. A joyous time of spending time together as a fellowship at the harvest supper and thanking God for what we have.

As part of my new job I am in charge of running the midweek youth club. This week I wanted to tie in to the harvest theme. I was thinking along the lines of bringing in the harvest, gathering the wheat and of course the flour which is subsequently made from the wheat. I thought about making bread but we only have an hour so that was a non-starter. I thought then about cakes but the oven we have at the chapel is past its best and has a weird combination of buttons that need pressing in order for it to work. A combination I might add, that I do not know 😦

After a bit of a mental block I tried a search on the internet for puzzles and/or colouring pictures that may be useful for the little ones on a Sunday. While looking I somehow, (and don’t ask me how as I still can’t find the link that took me from one page to the next) stumbled upon this recipe. A literal cup-cake if you will. A chocolate cake that cooks in 4 minutes and leaves only 3 things to wash up (the mug, the measuring spoon and the spoon you use to eat it). What’s not to like?

I tried it at home, for research purposes only you understand, and it wasn’t bad. It tasted like cake, which is always a plus side. It wasn’t the most delicious cake in the world but I refer you back to the point I just made about the cooking time and the washing up!

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It went down a storm at youth club. They loved it, mainly because they got to use the microwave I think!

At this point I will say that it is important to use a big mug. If you don’t you will end up cleaning your microwave. We only have small mugs at the chapel so the youth worked in pairs and shared the mixture between 2 mugs. This worked well. Plus I had found that the cake was a little dry towards the middle (nothing a bit of custard wouldn’t have solved) so having less cake wasn’t necessarily a bad thing either. All the cake was eaten, the youth went home happy and I was left with the mess

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Typical 😉

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At the bottom of the garden

We were not as organised as we should have been last year and were a bit late planting certain things in the garden. Thankfully having the greenhouse and the nice warm summer we still did okay for vegetables.

We planted 4 buckets of potatoes and have been digging them out in small numbers. The carrots are still a little small for harvesting and our tomatoes are so much better than last years. We have been picking them as they have been turning red and little lady has been claiming them for her lunch box.

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As you can see there are still quite a lot still to change colour and the best bit? They are the size of shop bought tomatoes!!

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Our bell peppers are only just coming out. My stepdad told me that I wouldn’t get any as we planted them late. Can’t wait to show him this photo. Not that I want to say “I told you so” or anything 😉

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We have lettuce growing in the greenhouse and on the kitchen windowsill.

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Most of the lettuce we grow goes to feeding George – the 5th member of our family.

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I’ve just realised he looks as though he is looking at the lettuce in the photo above 😀

We also have a “weed garden” on our dining room windowsill that provides all the different weeds lovely plants George likes to eat.

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Our herb garden is coming along nicely too but they are all still in pots as I haven’t got around to arranging them in a proper herb garden yet. That’s a job for next year now I think.
Did you grow anything this year?

Life lessons

Yesterday I was taught a very valuable life lesson and it has made me change my way of thinking. This is a positive thing and I am glad this happened, but in another way I feel sad as it made me realise how low my self esteem can be.

As you may already know I love sewing. I have made clothes for myself since I was a teenager and I loved having clothes that suited me, were one of a kind and exactly how I wanted them to be. After having little lady I went through a very bad time and pretty much gave up sewing. I couldn’t bear to wear anything I made as it wasn’t good enough so I put my lovely Brother away. I couldn’t even look at him without feeling inadequate. It was a very sad time for me.

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Eventually, about 2 years ago I started sewing again. I made dresses for myself and for little lady but I very rarely wore the things I made for me and little lady’s dresses were hidden in the back of her wardrobe after one outing. Why? Because they were handmade no HOMEmade. Little lady loves the clothes that I make her but I hide them after she has worn them once as I fear her being that child in school who wears homemade clothes.

Does anyone else see the difference between the two words? Handmade brings to mind quality whereas homemade is something a bit “thrown together”. This was my mindset anyway. If I wore anything that I had made I would shy away from people in case they commented on my outfit. In fact the thing I dreaded most of all was someone asking “have you made that?” This was, to me, full confirmation that my dress was so poorly made it screamed “HOMEMADE” and that hurt. It further reinforced my feelings of inadequacy. Even my recent Deer dress has only been worn twice and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that dress. Even reading the post back I mention that I was afraid to put the picture up in case you judged me.

But something happened yesterday morning that made me rethink my attitudes. I was lucky enough to get a second hand new-to-me gorgeous Laura Ashley dress. The print and the fit of the dress is gorgeous. It feels lovely, it looks lovely, it quite frankly IS lovely. Yesterday was the first outing of my new dress and I felt fantastic in it. Well why shouldn’t I? It’s a lovely dress.

I got to where I was going and a friend came up to me and commented on my dress “I love your dress” she said before adding “did you make that?” I was a bit shocked and said no. Why would she think I had made it? It is a gorgeous dress. Surely she could see that?

By the time I left 3 other people had made the same comments about my dress. All of them saying how lovely it was. All of them asking if I had made it! On the way home my mind was reeling. Why would they think I had made this? Hubby said that it was probably due to the print. Yes I suppose the print was different to other dresses you would see in the shops but then, it isn’t a dress you would find in your average high street shop. I thought about the other dresses I had made. All of them had a fantastic print/design on them. None of which you would find in your average high street shop.

I think that is when the penny dropped. People were not asking me if I had made my outfit because it was so poorly made, they were asking me because it was so different. And that is the exact reason I started sewing in the first place! Low self esteem had not only taken away all the confidence I had in my makes, but had taken away my love for sewing altogether 😦 this makes me feel very sad.

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However, every cloud has a silver lining they say and this harsh truth has made me want to sew again. I already have a dress in mind and will start drafting the pattern this week. Can you believe how excited I am? This time I plan to wear my handmade outfits with pride.

Gromit Unleashed

Last Saturday night little lady, baby D and I travelled to Bristol to stay with my sister ready for the 5k we were doing on Sunday. As I drove down one of the streets I noticed a 5ft Gromit statue standing on the corner.

Vincent Van Gromit

Vincent Van Gromit

Last to the party as always, my sister explained he had been there for weeks and was part of a massive Gromit hunt around the city. There are 79 Gromits dotted around Bristol with one in Paddington Station in London. The downside was that this was the last weekend they were on show 😦

The next morning we had to go to the train station to collect hubby as due to work commitments, he had been unable to travel with us the day before. We pulled up outside the train station to be greeted with this – Gromit number 2.

Isambark Kingdog Brynel

Isambark Kingdog Brunel

There was also another one in the station itself. Little lady was so excited about seeing them, that I was a bit gutted that we didn’t know about it earlier so that we could have spent a whole day looking for them. Mental note made to be more aware of things to do/exhibitions etc in our locality.

We went back to my sister’s house to get changed then set off for the Downs where the run was taking place. We decided to walk and it wasn’t long before we came across these 2

Rose Dog

Rose Dog

Golden Gromit

That was 5 and we hadn’t even run yet. Little lady and I were so excited! We decided that once the run was over we would spend the afternoon trying to find as many Gromits as we could before they were moved to a secret location (apparently).

The next Gromit we found was this one

TutanGromit

TutanGromit

Out of the ones that we saw this one is one of my favourites. That may change when we see them all together in a couple of weeks time.

Gromit number 7 (on our list) is the only one to feature Wallace and was sitting in the entrance to the Museum. This one will feature in another blog post to come, as I was very pleased to see this one for reasons to be revealed soon.

Newshound

Newshound

Moving on to number 8 which was in the library.

The Grommalo

The Grommalo

And just outside we were treated to this pretty one designed by Joanna Lumley OBE

Poetry in Motion

Poetry in Motion

Altogether we managed to find 13 Gromits in one afternoon. Had I known about it earlier then I would have made the effort to see as many as I could as both little lady and myself really enjoyed finding them. Here are some of the other Gromits we found.

Gromit Hunt

There will be an exhibition running from the 18-22nd September at the RWA Bristol and this will be the only chance to see all 80 Gromits together before they are auctioned off in October. This has already been marked in my diary and we will be there on the Saturday as I have pinky promised little lady that we can go. So if you are going to see “The Greatest Dog Show on Earth” let me know. I may see you there.