Saturday, 30 June 2012

Baking class - Rock buns

My mam used to make these when we were little, and my brother didn't like the sultanas so she used to leave them out and make plain ones for him. I was reminded of how good these are when I was at the Hadleigh Show last month. I ended up buying and eating two - though at different ends of the day - from an artisan cake stand in the food tent. They are yummy.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Colour, words and emotions - new beauty from Lush

If you thought makeup was all about colour, texture and ingredients, well its is, but that's not all of it. How about emotions and words that translate into colours? That's the ethos behind the new Emotional Brilliance range from Lush, which launches in July (21 to be exact).

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Interiors - patchwork pretty and horse crazy

I've been meaning to post about these for a while now and as I haven't written much on interiors lately this is as good a time to do it as any.

I love this gymkhana wallpaper. It has to be designed for horse-mad girls, but as a horse-made woman I would be happy to see it in my house - perhaps as a feature wall in my office. I'll have to work on my other half though as I don't think he'll be as taken with it as I am. Perhaps I should get my own house...

Fuchsia on soft lilac

Coral pink on sand

It's from Hibou Home and comes in the two colourways shown. The finish is described as chalky matt and it's delicious.

The detail on this is great - see the different coloured legs contributing to the patchwork theme. It doesn't go with anything in my home but I'd love to have it here anyway. It just looks so comfy and it's so different, I can just see myself curling up in this chair to watch TV or read - then falling asleep.

It is from Sofa Design and is part of the Patchwork Collection, which also includes a sofa and footstool (below). The frame is beech and the upholstery is a magical mixture of different fabrics, textures and colours. Lush.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Cupboard love - Poggenpohl kitchens

Gino D'Acampo - celebrity chef and thoroughly nice chap

I love kitchens. It might sound silly to somebody who doesn't know me, but I do. Whenever I go anywhere I can't help but notice worktops, cabinets, if the kitchen is country-style or minimalist chic, high-gloss or matt, knobs on or handleless; and the appliances also - make, style, material. It's the same with sinks and taps, both kitchen and bathroom, I look for the brand and try to recognise the model; I smile to myself when I get it right. You might think I need to get a life (and perhaps you're right), but I spend a lot of time writing about interiors, especially kitchens, which - I hope - explains my interest.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Beauty roundup - face, nails and body

With so many new beauty products on the market it's hard to know where to start when it comes to looking for something new, so I thought I'd introduce a regular news post of what's out there, both just launched gems and pieces that have perhaps been around a while, but because they're from small suppliers or they're niche products, you might not have heard about them.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Baking class - pizza

In a change to what I was planning on cooking today, I've decided to cook homemade pizza. I was completely bowled over by Gino D'Acampo who was the start guest at a Poggenpohl Kitchens event that I attended on Thursday (more of that to come next week.) He demonstrated how to make pizza and I had no idea it was that simple. I bought his book, Italian Home Baking, as it was being sold to raise funds for CLIC Sargent, a charity that works with sick children and their families. The photo above shows the pizza Gino prepared - unfortunately he was unable to cook it, I don't think the ovens had been wired up. I will add my own photos once I've actually cooked the pizzas (this blog is one I prepared earlier, as they say.)

Friday, 22 June 2012

Horses, why I've not been blogging this week so far, and doing some good

Ok, so before I do anything I would like to apologise for the lack of posts so far this week, especially seeing as I am now getting lovely responses in the way of comments from readers and I don't want you to think I've been ignoring you. It's been a funny old week and I think you have to be in the zone to blog and I sooo haven't been, I would just have depressed you all. I'm sure you know already having read my blog, but just in case you don't, my horse died a few weeks ago and it has really hit me hard. If you're not a horsey person then you won't know what I mean, but if you are a horsey person then you get where I'm coming from.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Baking class - chocolate muffins (the best ever)

So I'm up early today baking muffins for the village summer fete. It's a combined village/school fete this year, partly because of the Jubilee and also I think because of building work going on to extend the primary school. The fete is held in the village hall and of course Dot brought an empty cake box home on Thursday, which loosely translated means 'please donate cakes to the tea shop so we can sell them back to you'.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Horse and rider safety - smartphone app

There's nothing better than hacking out in the summer sunshine, just you and your horse at one with nature. But sometimes that wonderful ride turns into a bit of a trip - I know, I've been there. 

Something spooks your horse - in my case it could be a blade of grass, a killer fridge abandoned in a gateway, a carriage pulled by a horse and followed by around four huge hounds (ok, in that instance it was totally understandable). But what do you do if the worst happens and you go out the side door? Speaking personally I always carry a phone with me (as well as polos in case of emergency catching situations) and happily I have never had to use it, managing to either limp home or hang on with no stirrups and by clamping myself to his body.

Now though there's possibly a better way. Horse & Hound reports news of an app that has just been launched to help riders in desperate situations. The Rider Rescue app sends your location to the company behind the product, PRP Rescue Services, they then send this information on to the emergency services and vets. It sounds like a good idea to me, but what do you think? It costs £15 per year through

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Beauty roundup - sunscreens

Quick! The sun's shining so time to write that post on sunscreens before the rain comes back...
There's such a huge variety of products out there, all more or less doing the same job – protecting your skin and stopping you from burning. We see the usual suspects lined up in shops everywhere, but what of the alternatives? What do you do if you're veggie, or vegan, or just want a product formulated with natural ingredients rather than a baffling list of chemicals?

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Happy Birthday Dot - cake anyone?

I don't do a lot of cooking, but I do like to bake. It's a throwback to watching my mam making lots of lovely cakes, pies and scones in the days before mass produced supermarket offerings, and home economic lessons at school. I don't do it as often as I would like or as often as I should, but I promised Dot I would make her a birthday cake for when she returned from her first school camp.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Equestrian (designer) fashion

I've just seen this and had to write about it. Obviously (or perhaps not so, depending on if you think wellies, stained jods and horse-spit covered t-shirt are designer), designer is not me, so this collection is not something that is going to feature in my wardrobe anytime soon. And can you even ride in it?

Gucci is to launch an equestrian collection later in 2012, which is "a contemporary tribute to the equestrian tradition and riding heritage that has inspired the House for over 90 years". I didn't know that about Gucci - kudos. It's ready to wear and includes accessories as well as clothes (though I don't know what they are yet).

The collection is based on pieces designed for Edwina Alexander, who in the blurb I read is described as "the world's number one female horse-jumper"  - does she only jump female horses or is she a female horse jumper? And surely that should be show jumper as she cannot really jump horses can she? If she can then she is indeed talented.

Colours will be a mixture of classics and neutrals - beige, white, black and blue - and the clothes will be available from November. Looking forward to seeing them and being green with envy.