Friday, March 24

{ happy friday }

ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } Hello Spring.
{ 2 } For all you truly Scrumptious Mummy's
{ 3 } For all you mini Frida Kahlo's.
{ 4 } Etsy find of the week. OffOn.  Mummy & Me vintage dresses. 
{ 5 } Take a quiet moment to watch Katy Livings make her heirloom dolls.
{ 6 } These cushions.  
       Because you can never, ever, have too many comfy cushions.
{ 7 } These scissors.  
      Because you can never, ever, have too many pretty scissors
{ 8 } Thank you to my mama for my love of reading, knitting, baking.
      And so much more.
{ 9 } Beautifully curated Mother's Day gifts from Anthropologie.
{ + } And once you've spent all your pennies on gorgeous gifts for your mum,
       you can make these Broke Girl Truffles as an extra little thank you.

{ have a happy day }

Wednesday, March 22

{ fabulous finds at the Spring Market }

Delightful new discoveries from the Derbyshire Spring Market, presented by the fabulous Fabulous Places.
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

On Sunday I spent a very fabulous day at the Derbyshire Spring Market.  Having visited before I was looking forward to seeing some favourites of mine, plus discovering which new and lovely people would be showing their wares.  Whilst I usually potter along on my own, I had company on Sunday, which was lovely, though meant I was far too distracted with chatting, and shopping, to remember to take many photos of my own.  

On the upside, I think it led to us discovering many more lovely people than I usually seem to.  A few more than I'm showing here today, but I'm sure I'll get around to sharing these at some point or another.  An eclectic mix of jewellery, homeware and handcrafting, which I think exemplifies the diversity of product you'll find at one of Deb's markets.  Now in their seventh year, and held in the very fabulous Roundhouse, they are a wonderful mix of food and drink, flowers, homeware and much more.  With a pop-up Tea Room and a Prosecco Bar, not to mention an array of food trucks parked just outside, there are plenty of opportunities to take a break, eat, drink, and start shopping all over again.

{ shop . tea . chat . repeat }

There were a few jewellery stalls that caught my eye, in particular Amanda Brawn { 1 }, and Jo Irvine { 2 }.  One of Amanda's pebble rings is now sitting on my finger;  she tries to reduce waste as much as possible and all the silver left over from filing gets collected and used for these little pebbles.  Each pebble turns out different, making each one unique.  Jo's jewellery has a very different, but equally lovely feel.  She mixes precious metals in a simple, contemporary way, to produce stunningly simple pieces.

So Satsuma was incredibly popular, mainly with us adults trying on the cutest of bunny hats meant for slightly littler people!  Alongside some beautiful hand knits, were The cutest scissors, and The cutest enamel sheep pins, both of which are now on my ToBuy list.

Also on that ( quite long ) ToBuy list, were these concrete letters, from Koncrete Jungle.  One of the new stallholders at this Market, their stall was a treasure trove of concrete loveliness.

And last, but by no means least, we have Raine&Humble.  After chatting with them, I discovered that Raine&Humble are an Australian brand of home furnishings, originating in Melbourne.  They use colour beautifully, one of the things that attracted me to the stand, this season using a muted palette of charcoal and grey, with pops of peach and sage.  Their style is a mix of geometrics, alongside hand drawn and block printed conversational prints, with products trimmed and decorated with pom poms, large and small.  And how can you not like a product with a pom pom?

If this has made you feel wistful for missing it, fear not.  Deb's is hosting a Spring Fair on the 2nd April, held in The Walled Garden at Beeston Fields.  Nor is there too long to wait until the next market at the Roundhouse, with the Summer Market on the 2nd July.

You can find out more about Deb on Fabulous Places, and she's more than worth a follow on Instagram too { though be prepared for serious flower envy as she always seems to be buying the prettiest bunches for her home! }.

{ have a happy day }

Monday, March 20

{ an intriguingly boozy bake . cucumber & lime gin fizz cake }

When we decided on the theme of Intriguing Ingredients for our latest Clandestine Cake Club event, I'll admit that my selection process was based on choosing the most obscure thing I could find.  In the world of cake making there are some strange and wonderful ingredients that have found their way into cake recipes;  Lemon Drizzle Cakes have been made with mashed potato, Chocolate Cakes have been made with avocado, cauliflowermayonnaise, and even tomato soup, which also lends itself well to a spiced cake, reminiscent of carrot cake.  There is a fascinating article on theKitchn, The Enduring Allure of Tomato Soup, should you be curious as to the origins of this most obscure cake ingredient.

Even though all these choices were fairly intriguing, they didn't feel quite obscure enough.  For a while the Chocolate Cauliflower Cake was a strong contender, but it was whilst browsing through all the other baking delights on Veggie Desserts that I came across her recipe for Lemon and Cucumber Cake with Gin Icing.  Kate's cake was the prettiest pale green hue, three layers of lemon loveliness, and oh, yes, it was baked with cucumber.  On the one hand I can relate to how well the ingredients compliment one another, the botanical flavours of the gin marrying well with the lemon and the cucumber.  But still, this was a cake baked with cucumber.  I'll be honest and admit that I was sure with this cake I'd probably win the prize for most intriguing ingredient.  I wasn't convinced however, that I'd win the prize for most enjoyable cake of the evening.

I made a couple of small changes to Kate's original recipe.  I worried about the cucumber being too wet, so I grated mine and squeezed a little of the excess water out before pureeing.  And whilst Kate uses just lemon juice in hers, I wanted to make a lime curd to sandwich in between the layers, so I used a combination of lemon and lime in the cake, and just lime in that lovely gin frosting.  Apart from that, complete credit for this recipe sits firmly with Veggie Desserts.

Lime curd is available to buy, but I made my own using this recipe from Waitrose, though I used four limes and two lemons to give it more of a lime bias.

Cake // Frosting // Curd // Repeat

doesn't this make you forget this cake contains cucumber?


So I know that you're all dying to know.  What did it taste like?

Well, it was greeted with a polite but hesitant response, and an, ok, lets start with this one, get it out the way, and then we can enjoy the nice cakes! Slices were cut, and shared around.  The cake was such a pretty colour, mine a little more mottled than Kate's, the cucumber not pureed quite as much.  It smelt lovely, fresh citrus and juniper, and yes, undeniably, it smelt of cucumber.  We tasted with a little trepidation, me more so than others, and then with a little surprise we all found that we actually quite liked it.  No, make that more than quite liked it, even my little sister, who has never eaten cucumber in her entire life.

{ recipe credit // Veggie Desserts }

This is possibly the messiest cut slice in the whole of baking blogging world, but it was the only slice left at the end of cake club.  I think only once before have I come away with so little cake.  Seconds were enjoyed by some on the night, and slices were taken away to be enjoyed the next day.

It truly is a lovely cake.  It is light, and refreshing, the cucumber doesn't overwhelm the other flavours, but neither do they mask it to the extent that you question why it's there.  This cake would be perfect on a Summer's day, alongside a jug of Pimm's or a ( large ) G&T, and despite my scepticism, and my choosing it on the basis of it being the most obscure thing I could find, I will definitely be making it again.

By good luck, this cake also fits perfectly into Bumpkin Betty's baking club theme for March.  After welcoming her gorgeous daughter Evie on the 27th February, it was only fitting that the theme for March be Boozy Bakes.  So with a good measure of gin in the frosting on this cake, I think it fits the brief somewhat.  If you would like to join up then pop over to the Baking Club's Facebook page.

{ have a happy day }

Friday, March 17

{ happy friday }

10 lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } Hello Posy
{ 2 } Hello Simone.
{ 3 } A House without End.  And a gorgeous giveaway on Mokkasin.
{ 4 } Blooming Flowers.  Bloomin' gorgeous Babiekins.
{ 5 } Etsy find of the week.  Cat's Ceramics. A little in love with the hanging planters  ♥︎
{ 6 } Coming soon.  Ruby Lou's Treat Co. Unicorn Cookies delivered right to your door.
{ 7 } This makes me want to start buying vinyl again.
{ 8 } Happy St Patrick's Day. #wisewords.
{ 9 } A hedgehog that likes coffee is my kind of hedgehog.
{ + } Today's bake has to be an Irish Soda Bread doesn't it?

{ have a happy day }

Wednesday, March 15

{ Son de Flor }

Beautifully slow fashion for you and your Little One.

I am going to make everything around me beautiful.  That is going to be my life.

This is the opening line from the "About Us" page on Son de Flor.  How lovely is that for a mission statement?  Stepping into the Son de Flor world is to step into a gentler, quieter, slower life.  The words charming, enchanting, home, nostalgia, play, subtle and timeless jump out from the page, reminding us of a lives we lived without computers, email, facebook and twitter.

Based in Lithuania, the collection is made from natural materials.  All are made by hand, using one of the oldest sewing factories in the country.  Linen fabrics are dyed into a simple palette of white, sky and bluebell, dusty rose and lavender.  Silhouettes are simple, having that timeless quality they speak of.  There is no chasing of seasons, no new or old trends.  This is fashion at a slower pace;  fashion that you will wear year after year;  fashion that will be passed on from daughter to daughter, to friend, to granddaughter even.

Their Spring styling perfectly embraces that timeless quality, with styles that happily suit mum and daughter alike.  Which makes it the perfect thing to share this close to Mother's Day.

Beautifully slow fashion for you and your Little One.

Beautifully slow fashion for you and your Little One.
Beautifully slow fashion for you and your Little One.

Beautifully slow fashion for you and your Little One.
Beautifully slow fashion for you and your Little One.

website // facebook // instagram }

I think Son de Flor may have succeeded in that wish to make everything around them beautiful.

{ have a beautiful day }

Friday, March 10

{ happy friday }

{ 1 } Hurrah.  It's pie day.  ( Well, pie week actually, but pie day rhymed so much better )
{ 2 } Stunning.  New spring collection.  Designed by Mummymoon, shared by Junior Style.
{ 3 } Cute.  Tiny T-Strap shoes.  Designed by Starry Knight Designs, spotted on Pinterest.   
{ 4 } Hello Little Bear.  Handmade by Sprout.
{ 5 } Etsy find of the week.  The Letter Loft.  A little in love with the copper letter lights ♥︎ 
{ 6 } The loveliest lightweight printed denims from Guthrie Ghani.
{ 7 } The loveliest handmade pink plates from KCHossack Pottery.
{ 8 } The creative process.  At the moment still feeling 1. possibly about to trip into 2.
{ 9 } Stitch Life.  Beautiful garden embroidery patterns.

{ have a happy day }

Wednesday, March 8

{ little ladies of literature . twelve books to inspire bold little girls }

Today is International Women's Day, bringing with it the theme of #BeBoldForChange.  Originally I'd planned to share with you women who had inspired me, but then I spotted an instagram post from Some Kind of a Library, sharing the classic "Little Women", talking with fondness of it's central character, Jo March, and I thought how much nicer it would be to share a few of my favourite books, all with strong female lead characters.  There's a mix of classic stories, right through to some modern day heroines, but all would inspire a new generation of little ladies to be bold & chase their dreams, no matter how big, small, silly or sensible.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

" 'I don't think you have a very nice way with the ladies,' said Pippi.  And she lifted him in her strong arms - and carried him to the birch tree and hung him over a branch.  Then she took the next boy and hung him over another branch. "
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

" If you feel your value lies in being merely decorative, I fear that someday you may find yourself believing that's all that you really are.  Time erodes all such beauty, but what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind:  your humour, your kindness, and your moral courage. "
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Clarice Bean by Lauren Child

" Life might have it's failures, but this was not it.  The only true failure can come if you quit. "
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty 

Little People, Big Dreams. Coco Chanel by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Little People, Big Dreams. Audrey Hepburn by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Little People, Big Dreams. Frida Kahlo by Isabel Sanchez Vegara

" A girl should be two things: who and what she wants. "
Coco Chanel


{ have an inspiring day }