Tuesday, 25 December 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS

The cake never got iced. It was too tasty. Didn't last long enough to see any icing.  Bloke has been down with a bad cold. I hope you're all having a better day than us!

Minnie xoxo

Thursday, 20 December 2012

4 Days To Go

I think I've admitted defeat with regards to bloke's jumper. I am not the Yarnharlot, as lovely as she may be I can't drop everything to knit. There are other fun things to do like decorate the tree!


Its a very tiny tree. Bloke surprised me with it and a few new decorations. Our old ones are still missing. Alas. The topper is a free printable from Jolly Allsorts. I am rocking lots of free printables this year. Mostly on photo paper because it makes them look a bit more polished. 

The lovely shiny baubles have been padded out with some salt dough pals. When I was a teenager I was very into art, painting drawing and the like. The talent has not stayed with me, so I just painted them block bright colours with acrylic paint and did a little fancy gold flecking with a little shiny paint and a dry brush.


Salt dough is easy peasy! Here's how you make it:

You just need half a cup of salt, half a cup of tepid water and slightly more than a cup of plain flour. Work the dough until its smooth , roll it out, cut out some shapes with a cookie cutter. Jab a hole with a cocktail stick or an old pen and bake in a low oven for a few hours until hard. Then you just paint and add some ribbon or string and hang on the tree. If you are particularly proud of your work seal with a water based varnish or pva glue. And just to be clear salt dough is not for eating.

Making salt dough ornaments is one of those things that is usually reserved for small children only, but its a lot of fun and I highly recommend it as a cheap and fun way to pad out, update and personalise your tree. With some patience and a little more imagination and some stunning results could be achieved, but I'll be honest I'm pretty proud of my simple stars, hearts and circles. I'm easily pleased.

I hope you all aren't too stressed by the run up to the big day!

Minnie xoxo




Friday, 14 December 2012

Get Down And Ceilidh On!

Tonight Bloke, Dad's girlfriend and I are going to the Vatersay Boys in the Barrowlands ballroom!


Excited doesn't even cover it. Its the perfect way to kick off the festive season.

I'll tell you all about it tomorrow!

Minnie xoxo

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas Knitting

Well actually this was supposed to be Bloke's birthday jumper. His birthday is in September. Yeah. Oops. So progress stands at the back being complete and I've done this much of the front:

An extra large makes it look like I've knit more right? Right?! 

The real problem is that its a very, very dull knit and has spent most of the year bundled up behind the sofa in disgrace. But I have 12 days to finish it. That's do able. I knit almost constantly but still do able. The pattern is one of the free Cascade patterns, W353. I've linked to the ravelry page because my gosh is the cascade one a pain in the bum. The sizing is one to watch too, it tends to lean on the larger side.

Anyway I need to get back to knitting! I must be crazy. Really crazy.
Minnie xoxo

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The anti gift guide

This morning I read this article in the Guardian. Just how much of what you buy survives after christmas? Does it continue to be used? Hell can you even remember what great aunt Maude got you last year? Why do we put ourselves through this?!

Gift that are needed or are genuinely enrich the giftees life are wonderful. Flannel pjs for that friend who has moved to the cold north, a stand mixer for your sweetie or a beautiful hard back copy of a much loved often lent out and lost book for the giftee to cherish for ever and clutch while gleefully while they cry "Get thee to the library, this is mine and I love it!" I recommend a nice copy of Good Omens for this last one.

What I'm trying to say, in the nicest possibly way, if you aren't a child chances are I'll be giving you some kind of food based product. That I made myself. Because nothing says "I really care about you" like gout.  Gout and high blood sugar. And if you are a child chances are its educational, made of wood and most definitely does not make a noise. I am a meany.

Filling each others homes with random, expensive tat really is wasteful. "Look I really do care about you! I spent 20 quid on this thing I hope you'll like" doesn't quite have a wonderful ring to it. Now I'm not saying we should give at all. Gifts are wonderful, they make us all happy. Its a lovely feeling taking the time to search for that perfect thing. To wrap it up, stash it away and then to pass it into excited hands. The perfect piece of jewellery, or a nice set of tools. A stylish hat or a life changing piece of music. All wonderful things. I'm just asking that we put a stop to stuff for the sake of stuff. 

A bubble wrap tie for example. How long is that going to last? Also its costs a fiver! A waste of money and resources. That's an awful lot to simply say "hahaha you work in an office and I presume its dull." Er right. Time to rethink?

Anyway I have more baking to do. I promise I'm not the Grinch.
minnie xoxo

Friday, 7 December 2012

Oh Look another wedding post! Sorry...

No I'm not sorry. I lied! What a terrible person I am! My wedding dress came this week. Its vintage! The seller described it as ready to wear and with out flaw which of course means it was so dirty it turned the water I washed it in turned grey and it needs a fair amount of of seam repair and neatening. Joy! Well it's been washed. It smells a lot better and isn't nearly as stiff. Look the lining is creamy white! Not yellow! hurrah!


Its been a very weddingy few days, tonight I tackle the invites. Not the filling out but the wording and the look. God help me. I understand why we can't just text every one and say "Oi, cake, some lovely feels and the odd photo opportunity. Be there." but only sort of. Can we have a moment to talk about how expensive stamps are? 60p. 60p for a bloody first class stamp. 50p for a second class stamp. So eh we'll be hand delivering most of them. And yes I am aware that e-invites are all the rage but parents and grand parents across the land are crying out "But i can't put an e-invite on the mantel or in a photo album!" Lets not even get on to the cost of save the dates and thank yous. Urk. Being polite is expensive people!

Tomorrow I will say nothing about the wedding, I promise. If I escape from a sea of "we request the pleasure of your company" that is. 

Minnie xoxo

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Can we talk about gender and love for a quick moment

No one really thinks a certain way because of what their gender identity is. 

This mini rant is brought to you from too much perusing of wedding boards on Pinterest. You don't need a book or a series of inane blog posts or magazine articles to tell you how to relate to your other half. Just treat them like a person you care about! That's it be a decent human being, treat them like any other person you want to stick around with. Having mandatory date nights isn't going to bring you any closer together if you don't make an effort. A weekly trip to the climbing centre would just make me hate you. (I don't like heights.) You can still be selfish and alienate the other person while on the surface "trying."

Relationships, yet another place where the rule of Don't Be A Dick applies.

And the object of your affection in question fell for YOU, you just the way you are (hairy toes and all.*) Not some weird person who sends sickly sweet texts every Tuesday lunchtime (because you set a reminder), makes sure you have an official date every Thursday ever without fail and leave creepy little love missives in their lunch box. Unless you've always been like that. If you are I bow down to your amazing powers of organisation and perkiness. Will you be my friend? My after coffee and a good breakfast so I don't smash a
plate over your head friend?

I am nice to Bloke, honest.
Minnie xoxo

*Stop laughing at me, they aren't THAT hairy and I wax. HUMANS ARE MAMMALS! WE HAVE HAIR!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Move Over Bloke

I have a new love in my life. Her name is the DIY Bride. Other wise known as Mikala Bierma.  This lady is the funniest, I have such a crush on her. I don't think its creepy? Is it creepy. Who knows?! Do we even care?


The videos they kill me dead! Now I am a diy, crafty type but really who wants to put all that effort in to ONE day. Dear prospective wedding guests there will be some lovely life changing moments for the bride and groom and some cake for you. Anything beyond that point is a bonus. SOME SWEETS IN A BAG TO TAKE HOME?! MY GOSH YOU ARE SPOILING US! I'm serious here, the wedding is in July, I have a dress, we have a church there is a reception venue that has a bar. Anything we do on top of this is a bonus. Sorry dudes, we're epic slackers. 



So much hilarity. This will seem totally bizarre to the not crazy not planning a wedding crowd. But not only is there a "ZOMG you have to spend the equivalent of a house deposit on a wedding!" there is an opposite, partially pinterest induced, hipster/diy all the things wedding related pressure. Now I love pinterest as much as the next speccy, sewing machine owning, cake baking, knitter but my word I don't love you all enough to hand fashion individual candies for wedding favours. THERE WILL BE SANDWICHES AND A DJ DEAL WITH IT. And yes that DJ's name might well be "mp3 player hooked up to some amps." Deal with it.


And now to reassure those who will be coming to the wedding. Yes I will feed you. Yes there will be music. But really folks its only one day out of many and lets face it no one wants to hear the wedding has been postponed until they can figure out how to dislodge me from the sofa because I had an unfortunate accident with a hot glue gun and some glitter. 

Yours forever apathetic in planning but very much in love, 
Minnie xoxo




Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Its Officially The Holidays!

University is off till the new year, there has been snow and the blog has a lovely festive new look!

Campus is really lovely looking in the snow. 


The loch even froze over a little!




I set up what is probably the sparsest ever nativity scene ever.


I used this printable on photo paper.

Sock knitting has been the priority. Wool socks are the best in this weather. 


Not a bad few days. Now that I'm done with uni for a bit the festivities will gear up a notch. So much baking to do, so much more house prep. I just love this time of year! 

Hope you're having a good start to your December! 
Minnie xoxo


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Christmas cake progress.

So I still can't find my camera cable. I am going to have to admit defeat soon and properly unpack all our boxes instead of leaving them in the spare room and pretending they don't count. Anyway...

Back to the bake along!


I've been feeding it a little rum once a week, that is just brushing it over lightly with some rum. The rest of the time I've been keeping it in an air tight package of baking paper and cling film, (I don't have a cake box that's big enough.) The fruit is starting to get really plump and the smell is just amazing. Its so utterly christmassy. Spicy and rich. 

Now is the time to start thinking about how, if, you want to ice it. Do you like marzipan and rolled royal icing? Or perhaps a dusting of powdered sugar is more your style? I usually go for a layer of lemon whipped icing with a rolled royal icing on top. The cake won't be decorated until just before its served (on the day or the day before) so there's plenty of time to decided what you want to do. 

Only 34 days to go till the big day! How are all your cakes going? 

Minnie xoxo

Friday, 16 November 2012

What we lost in the move

Our christmas decorations. Yes really. Its daft and random, and a really stupid thing to be upset by because we have no room for a real tree. For a while I was convinced I'd just put them some place safe, but then I had a proper look and Bloke had a proper look. Nope. They are some where between here and Loughborough but they are most definitely not here.

They must be somewhere so I'm not going to replace them (just yet anyway- I live in hope), but I still want the flat to look festive. The solution required some serious patience on my part. Paper crafting. I am utterly, completely terrible at anything beyond the making of paper chains. So please be very, very impressed with what I have to show you. I made this! It only took an evening!


I used this tutorial for the wreath. I did use a few staples to keep the individual pieces tight and did use a glue stick to make it sturdy enough to survive the festive season fixed to the door.  A 36 pack of designer paper for scrap booking was enough to make one large wreath, a long paper chain, a decent length of heart shaped chain and a few gift tags.  The whole endeavour cost much less than £10 including staples and glue.

Huzzah! Cheap, cheerful and festive. I'm rather proud. So I had to share.

Minnie xoxo

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Further christmas preperation

I made a teeny tiny tree! We don't have the space for a real tree this year. Tiny flat is tiny. I used this tutorial off the martha stewart site.  It was pretty simple, there was a Murder She Wrote marathon on and my tiny tree only took two episodes from start to finish, so less than two hours! A few little pompoms and some glitter and it'll be even more festive. It might be a little lopsided but I'm quite proud. 

Minnie xoxo

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Lets talk about scones.

Proper scones. Proper plain scones are a versatile little fluffy parcel of wonder. You can get a batch to the table in less than half an hour, you don't need to buy anything fancy to make them. And while we're at it a real scone mix is egg free. That's right. No eggs. And to boot they are great with everything, cheese, marmalade, golden syrup, clotted cream and strawberry jam. Or simply buttered. Brilliant with a cup of tea or a bowl of soup. From breakfast to supper.


(On a side note I am digging the camera cable out today, this is getting crazy.)

Ingredients:
200g of self raising flour (or 200g plain and 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar)
25g of butter
pinch of salt
milk (butter milk, greek yogurt or any dairy free milk alternative) 

Method:
Sift the flour. add the salt. Rub or cut the butter through. Stir the milk in until you have a stick elastic dough. Tip out onto a floured surface. Roll out to about 2cm thick. Cut anyway you see fit! Mix makes about 5 good size scones or 10 small high tea style scones. Glaze if preferred with a milk or egg wash. Bake in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes until golden. 

Enjoy! 

Minnie xoxo



Thursday, 25 October 2012

The past wee while in pictures

I carved a pumpkin. His name is Seonaidh. 

He's a handsome fellow isn't he?

We took a Hamis MacLego on a hike 


He was awestruck by the views.

We went on an explore and discovered that the old Dunblane road is hardly a road at all any more.


It was tarmac before the storms washed it away.

The weather has been cold, crisp and clear.


Lovely.

Could there be a more appropriate time of year for this top?


It glows in the dark. Squeak.

What Have you all been up to recently? Ready for Halloween? 

Minnie xoxo

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Depression is like the bad pair of tights.

Everyone who wears tights (pantyhose) know what I mean about the bad pair of tights. They look just like any other innocent, well behaved pair of tights in your drawer but as soon as you are irreversibly out of the house for the day they will turn on you. The ankles will bag, the crotch rides down to just under the bottom of your skirt hem. Your whole day is spent trying to slyly adjust, pull and cope. You try and look like you aren't wearing Bad Tights. But the effort of running into every loo you pass, hiding behind bloke trying to adjust in public and performing all kinds of stealth gymnastics that everything falls to the wayside. Nothing is enjoyable, you can concentrate on anything and by the end of the day you are exhausted.

You throw the bad tights away, recognise with hindsight that something felt off when you pulled them on. They'd been brilliant tights up until now, just the right colour, not too shiny. You loved them dearly, hand washed them in the bath, never made them bobbily by wearing socks over them. Alas the Bad Tights are a constant, not tied to any one pair. The Bad Tights can be any pair, a previously loved pair, a pair in a multipack of otherwise wonderful well behaved tights or the greatest betrayal a previously trusted brand begins turning out only Bad Tights. For some people is not tights, it can be knickers they got from being comfy trusted friends to bum floss seemingly over night.

I've been really low recently, its been a Bad Tights day every day. Even when I wear jeans. Its so difficult trying to appear normal that everything else gets left behind. I'm back on the upswing now, which is quite nice.

I hope none of you are having a Bad Tights day,
Minnie xoxo

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

My life right now.

SO MUCH STUDYING. It's essay time right now. So much due, i'll update soon though.

What are you guys all up to?

Minnie xoxo

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Fear.

Today I was very, very brave. I walked up Dumyat. And yeah to most people 418 meters ( over 1000 feet) doesn't sound like much but i am beyond terrified of heights.

Here's the required photographic evidence:


That would be my trying not to look like I'm about to faint of fear face. The views were bloody stunning and it was a really nice way to spend one of the last nice days of the year. But fuck me bloke had to hold my hand the entire way up and down. I may have conquered the hill but the fear is still alive and well.

Oh well. No matter. It was a pretty good way to spend an afternoon between essays.

What have you lot been up to this weekend?

Minnie xoxo

Thursday, 4 October 2012

its October

How is it october? HOW? Where is this year going? Can somebody please slow it down?! Because yes in my head there is a wee man with a speed control, and he needs to pull on that big ol' brake or at least do some fancy magic with the gears because I have so very many things to do. My house is a mess, my uni work is being sadly neglected and i have a cold. But sorry guys tomorrow I am taking my cold for a walk, sniffly snottery me is going to class. Its getting a wee tour of the library tonight though, so it may get all of its infecting done these.

Anyway, its October already and aside from making the blog look all festive (See webs and all that spooky tartan. Er because I'm Scottish and its October?) I've not achieved much these past few days but reading.

Hope you've all had a better week, how are the christmas cakes coming along?

Minnie xoxo

Friday, 28 September 2012

Christmas Cake!

So yesterday was the big day! I had class in the morning and cake home and spent the afternoon baking. The cake does take a wee while to do from start to finish so set the best part of the day aside for it, but don't worry a good chunk of it is spent waiting for the cake to bake so I recommend getting a few Christmas films in to get you in the mood. Edit. This is a process of two days, the day before cake day you want to soak the fruit, here's the post on it.

So, Lets get started! First off the ingredients and supplies list:


200g of glacé cherries

200g of candied peel (some times referred to as mixed peel)

1kg of currants and sultans mixed

(if peel and cherries are not your thing just sub with more dried fruit)

175ml of dark rum (just buy a bottle of the super market own brand, as we'll need more to feed the cake weekly)

25ml of vanilla extract or essence

250g v. dark brown sugar

250g butter (I actually use a butter substitute)

6 medium eggs

400g plain flour (all purpose)

1/4 of a teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

100g ground rice or ground almonds.

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 teaspoons of mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)

A large (23cm or so) spring form pan (or two if you prefer a shorter cake)

A roll of grease proof baking paper

Some kitchen string

A flat baking tray that's wider than the cake tin

A large bowl to soak the fruit and mix the cake in.

A pastry brush

A kebab skewer

A wooden spoon

A large cake tin or cling film (this will make more sense at the end of this post. i promise.)

And an oven obviously and a cooling rack is also handy!




Its best to prepare the tin first, so grab your self your spring-form pan, the string, the tray and the baking paper and a pair of scissors. You'll need a good amount of space to so this. You need to basically put your cake in a jacket. Trace the base of the tin, cut out with about an inch extra all around. Snip into this extra inch at intervals of about half an inch all round. Pop the circular piece of paper into the completed cake pan.

Next measure the circumference of the pan and cut a sheet of baking paper to this length and then fold it in half length wise, now this is the trickiest bit of what you have to do we want to slip the paper over the sides of the tin, like a brown crinkly hard to wrangle jacket. I use a shorter piece of paper to stabilise the whole job.

It should end up looking something like this:



The paper acts as insulation and adds stability. The cookie sheet and the baking paper on it act as insulation against the base of the cake burning.
Don't worry too much about the fiddlyness, the paper needs greasing with butter or oil so folds and kinks get worked out easily. Just use a pastry brush or a scrap of scrunched up baking paper to aid with the greasing.

Check the shelves in the oven, you'll probably have to move their position to fit the tin in it's jacket.

Now, go and turn the oven on, medium heat.


The actual process of making the cake is a very simple one, sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar, slowly add the eggs in till well combined. Add the dry ingredients in a little at a time, will well combined. Slowly fold in the fruit with a big spoon, don't agitate it too much to keep the fruit whole.

Spoon into the cake tin, level mix off gently with your spoon.


Pop it in the oven. It should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to bake. One a skewer comes out clean and it's a nice golden colour its ready to come out!


Let it cool slightly before attempting to take the tin apart and the paper off.


Once its cool, prick all over with a clean skewer, brush all over with a little rum. Wrap it in baking paper and pop into an air tight container. (If you don't have a tub large enough just wrap in baking paper and enough cling film to make the package air tight.) Store in a cool dark place. Take it out once a week and brush over with rum!

Pat yourself on the back, you've made a Christmas cake!

I'll cover decorating it much closer to the time. If any of that didn't make any sense feel free to drop me an email or a comment and I'll try and help!

Minnie xoxo

P.S. sorry for all the instagram pictures but I'm afraid I can't find my camera cable :(

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Fruit!

So do you all remember this post about Christmas cake?

Well, brace yourselves, there are 90 days till christmas. Yeah you read that right. 90 days. So its time to get this cake rolling and out of the way!

First things first, we need to prepare and soak the fruit at least a day in advance. We really want the fruit to soak up the alcohol to help the cake keep well for the next 90 days or so. So for this we need:

200g of glacé cherries (I used French style because they are cheaper here and I prefer the way they taste)

200g of candied peel (some times referred to as mixed peel)

1kg of currants and sultans mixed

(if peel and cherries are not your thing just sub with more dried fruit)

175ml of dark rum

25ml of vanilla extract or essence

So messy job first. Take your cherries and snip them in half. Its a messy sticky job but it serves two purposes, the cherries go further and you can be quite sure that there are no stones that have been missed during processing left in the fruit.


I just snip them right into a large mixing bowl before adding the dried fruit and peel. Give it a wee mix then add the rum and vanilla. Mix again, cover the bowl with cling film and pop in the fridge over night.


It doesn't look like much, but believe me it smells amazing.

And don't worry if this is all too early for you , I'll be posting the recipe as a whole too!

Take care, Minnie xoxo

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Sorry for the silence guys

But this being back in classes has been a bit of a shock.


SO MUCH READING.

But I'm taking a few hours off to do some fun stuff today, or even jsut soemthign that isn't reading. So if the man would just come to fix the boiler I could do some dishes with out filling endless kettles or boiling pots and pots of water.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Planning and to do lists

Class sign ups are on Monday. MONDAY. Where has this summer gone? The weather has been horrendous! I feel like I got nothing done. Oh woe is me!

I've spent most of the week unpacking. Dad and A came up on Sunday with our furniture and crockery out of storage because they are just lovely.

Dad discovered Nerf.


They then quite wisely left me to deal with it all.


There really was a lot of stuff.


Actually there was loads of stuff.


I got fancy new wellies.


They are from the kid's department in Next, but the do them up to a ladies size 7! Super comfy and less than 20 quid
. You can't really argue with that.

But all this unpacking is distracting me from the hellish weather and the fact that classes start NEXT WEEK!

I need to start digging out my note books, pens and bento stuff. Bento lunches are brilliant for long days in the library.

Now back to the unpacking!

Take care, Minnie xoxo

Friday, 31 August 2012

Revisiting Wedding Shame

So the last post was disjointed, weird and rambling. I think my main issue is the shame associated with weddings. "WHAT EVER YOU ARE DOING IS BAD AND WRONG! STOP THAT NOW! ITS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! ITS YOUR DAY DO WHAT EVER YOU LIKE BUT NOT THAT!"

You spend too much money, or not enough. You are getting married, or you aren't. And you can bet the groom doesn't get the same kind of grilling (except Bloke, but he works with lots of little old ladies who want to know everything about him.) The problem is of course is that this is part of the idea that all the life choices women make are up for public discussion. Education. Marriage (and I include all legal and non legal bindings that may or may not be refereed to as marriage in here.) Babies, or not. And how much effort you put or not into the latter. Its all up for discussion and criticism! See also how you spend your money, the extent of your grooming regime and any other number of bizarre life choices.

Weddings are defiantly the big palooza though. Every one has an opinion, EVERYONE. And every one reads far too much into it all. Are having a big lavish do? well you must be putting the lot on a credit card! taking it out of your parent retirement fund! You terrible, terrible person. Its only one day! Having a cheap as chips party, making your own dress/buying second hand? You poor, poor dear! This is supposed to be YOUR DAY! Why don't you put it off a for a few years?!

I would say that I suspect these people have missed the point of marriage, but so many people do it. People who are other wise fairly normal. people who you wouldn't expect to be probing your financial and emotional plans.

SO MUCH SHAMING!

Fuck that noise. And on that note I'm off to try out my new delicious smelling coconut shampoo. I'm waiting on a parcel delivery and you can bet as soon as I jump in the shower the door bell will go.

Any of you get ridiculous "wisdom" of late? Minnie xoxo

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

On weddings and thrift.

Watching last night's Superscripmers wedding episode I was struck with the urge to laugh.

Now don't get me wrong we're a thrifty household, and we will be diying a lot of the wedding. But here's the thing like the lovely ladies at A Practical Wedding like to stress its not always cheaper and some times it better to get some one else to do it. Your own time is something you must take into account.

Its so easy to get caught up in Wedding! and completely forget the whole Marriage bit. "But I'm not participating in the Wedding Industrial Complex, I'm not a Bridezilla, I don't pour over millions of wedding magazines1" Yes, but just how much time do we pour into this? How much does that cost us?

And I am saying this as a woman who is making her own dress and bouquet and will probably be catering her own wedding with bloke and a few willing friends. But this is the kind of wedding we'd have regardless. Emphasis on the we.

If you want a lovely polished wedding, with lovely photos and everything looking shiny and flawless, diying and scrimping on costs just won't give you what you want. If you want a book full of really lovely photos, higher a proper wedding photographer. If you only want a handful of cute candid shots then that's less of an issue and you probably could get away with a flickr pool for every one to load their photos into.

Now on the other hand if you quite frankly don't care and just want to be married and think some cake and dancing is a lovely way to commemorate the occasion and don't care, then yeah. You'll be fine!

Er what I'm trying to say is that its just as easy to get caught up in not being part of the big expensive game of getting married as not. And its not always cheaper to diy and diy greatly depends on your combined talents as a couple.

So just have fun with it? Uh I dunno. I got a bit ranty last night and it think that it's a simple case of in weddings everyone is so ready to judge. Being judgemental is bad guys.

At of the end of the day we all end up married, or something pretty close to married.

Er its early, I may revisit this later when I'm feel less ranty.

Love Minnie xoxo

Sunday, 26 August 2012

My week in hipstertastic pictures


I found me a cake topper, she'll be sans the club and the mannish face... Maybe.


Finally admitted that these boots are past it, which makes me super sad but they are woefully beyond repair. Don't you wish you could go back in time and buy 4 pairs of your favorite shoes? Sigh.


Love it a larger shandy with raspberry syrup and a straw.


Bloke's home brewing came on leaps and bounds this week. We got a keg, a teeny tiny plastic keg.


The weather has been horrid, but the uni campus is at least gorgeous in the rain.

So, how was your week?

Minnie xoxo

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Christmas cake!

So in the spirit of poverty, and giving people some time to find out what kind of cake every one likes I am going to post the ingredients and supplies list today. (Don't worry this will all be posted together at the recipe stage again.)

You probably have at least some of the things you need in the pantry. Don't worry, if you have to purchase some of the more expensive items, they are all staples in standard holiday baking, so any left overs can be used later in the year quite easily. We aren't going to be working with anything horribly complicated or unusual.

So, ingredients wise you will need

200g of glacé cherries (French style are best but to be honest it won't make much difference in this cake)

200g of candied peel (some times referred to as mixed peel)

1kg of currants and sultans mixed

(if peel and cherries are not your thing just sub with more dried fruit)

175ml of dark rum (just buy a bottle of the super market own brand, as we'll need more to feed the cake weekly)

25ml of vanilla extract or essence (NOT flavour. Flavour isn't real vanilla and lets just not go into what it is)

250g v. dark brown sugar

250g butter (I actually use a butter substitute as I've got a dairy allergy)

6 medium eggs

400g plain flour (all purpose)

1/4 of a teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

100g ground rice or ground almonds.

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 teaspoons of mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)

See! Nothing scary there at all!

So any special hardware?

A large (23cm or so) Spring form pans (or two if you prefer a shorter cake)

A roll of grease proof baking paper

Some kitchen string

A flat baking tray that's wider than the cake tin

A large bowl to soak the fruit and mix the cake in.

A pastry brush

A kebab skewer

A wooden spoon

So far so good? Any questions yet?

Now given that my recipe is the way I like my christmas cake, so I'm going to link to the classic christmas cake.

Delia smith's christmas cake is a really traditional cake, it's smaller than mine and made with brandy, treacle and chopped almonds. Still quite simple.

But a quick search will bring up any number of versions of the classic! Not all are made as far in advance, this is because my cake is quite a dry cake and the rum keeps the cake and adds much needed moisture.

We won't be starting for a few weeks yet so we've all got plenty of time to buy the ingredients and supplies with out breaking the bank. So don't feel panicked into buying everything at once!

I hope that wasn't too over whelming minnie xoxo


Friday, 24 August 2012

The Christmas count down begins.

"Ha! That's ages away you crazy lady!" I hear you scoff but it's less than 18 weeks till Christmas! 18 weeks people! 122 days. Yikes. I love Christmas, and we're usually quite ahead by now, but I'll be honest this year I'm not even ready for Bloke's birthday next month much less Christmas. The move, the wedding planning, my depression, uni. Everything has been so intense this year. So its time to take a massive step back. Do an august spring clean and hunt out the christmas cake recipe. Which brings me to my point, who's up for a Christmas cake along? Anyone? we'll bake it in september feed it over the months and decorate in December. And I'll post an alcohol free version in December too. I strongly encourage recipe swapping and any questions with regards to technique I will answer as best I can, with videos even! Most importantly a good, tasty christmas cake does not have to be expensive (really!) or full of weird green glacé cherries unless you like that sort of thing, you weidos. And if you don't like fruit cake don't worry, there will be plenty going on as we get a bit closer to the festive season! Now I'm off to have a cup of tea while I try to pretend like I'm not the crasy person who just brought up Christmas/Yule cake in August... Take care, Minnie x

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

On knitting for men

There are millions of patterns out there that proclaim to be "FOR MEN", intricate jobs that are filthy with cables or colour work. They are utterly beautiful works of art. I am in serious awe of the designers of said pieces, but here's the problem. They are designed to be interesting to knit. Not to be worn. While fashion has granted us knitters a boon by making texture knits and tweed quite fashionable, it does nothing for those knitters who love people who like clean and simple lines (both men and women, but there is far more choice in the lady knits dept.)Bloke likes his jumpers very simple in colour and construction, pockets and buttons are too fussy by far. Miles upon miles of stockinette or in my case fancy rib. Fancy rib makes it sound less endless.
See its "fancy". What I'm knitting is one of Cascade's free patterns, its Men's Pullover (W353) I have grand (read:insane) plans to finish it in two weeks, well before Bloke's birthday. Ha! I'm knitting it from a large mystery aran ball so I should have enough yarn. But really, who knows?! Anyway I best get knitting. Take care! Minnie xoxo

Monday, 28 May 2012

Surreal.

So like I said the Tall one is moving out, so after a busy if unproductive morning (phone companies I'm looking at you!) We thought sod it, and headed off to Ikea. It was dead. There were less than twenty other customers there. Yeah it was a sunny evening in May, in Scotland. But it felt like we'd crept in after hours, I do recommend trying for a quite day. It was brilliant. I think we were in and out in less than two hours. Madness. Pretty much everything in this flat(and storage) that's new new and not just new to us, is from Ikea. We didn't buy that much, or anything particularly exciting, but I will be doing something fairly cool (and cheap, we like cheap here) with the sofa as a result of today's trip. Exciting! I'm going to start my reading for next semester super early, mostly to take my mind off my exam result. It doesn't matter how well it went on the day, I always feel woefully inadequate in the days afterwards. Here's hoping I've passed. Hope you're all enjoying the sun! Take care, Minnie xoxo

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Moving!

Well, sort of. In to the bedroom next door anyway. The Tall one is in the process of moving out (to just across the road actually!) The semester is done with, my exam went (hopefully) quite well. So this week is for applying for jobs, giving the flat a deep clean and just getting everything sorted out. Fighting a ridiculous urge to move everything around just because I can, there's no point till the land lord takes his furniture away so we can move ours in. I have missed my own bed so much! Extra firm mattresses are where its at.
Our engagement present off the Tall one and M, too cute. I'm afraid my life has been pretty much been all uni all the time, so there's not much to report. I hope every one is enjoying the weather! Minie xoxo

Sunday, 20 May 2012

What Procrastination Looks Like

Bloke and I went out on a drive yesterday and got thoroughly lost.
It was lots of fun actually.
I'm a little obsessed with instagram, can you tell? (yeah late to the party, I've got an Android.)
I've still got no idea where we went. Alas no time to dwell on it. I have a ton of studying to do. I promise I'll post a nice comprehensive novel of an update after my exam. Take care, Minnie xoxo

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Procrastonation

Still gets me, even when I'm really interested in what I'm writing about. Who knew?

I do how ever have all the caffeine and I promise to put a proper, move filled post once this essay is handed in. Promise. The weather is of course gorgeous, so I'm missing the huge garden parasol we put into storage while I'm doing my first semester back. I burn too easily, even with sun cream. Sigh.

i know its a super short one, after weeks of silence, sorry. I've been super busy!

Hope every one is having a more exciting Saturday than I am!

Minnie xoxo

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

My family are awesome.

Have I told you guys that? They drive me mental, but they are awesome. They are the lovely people enabling my upping sticks and moving.

I swear these posts will get longer, and less pointless. But packing is so over whelming. In theory all I have to do is box up the stuff for the charity shop first then divide my worldly possessions into two piles. One pile is coming with me to my room till may and the other, much larger pile, is going to be stored.

What actually happens is, I hop into a room full of hope armed with my note book, pens and boxes, then slump and start doing something really random, usually cleaning. Which does help, but I'm no further forward with my packing. At all.

I am now at least the proud owner of some proper jamas, they have flowers on. Shut up, they are fluffy and from primark. The flat I'm moving into is known for its Open Sofa policy, flashing some poor, hungover random while I stoat about in a massive teeshirt and pants of unknown origin simply wouldn't do. I will however still insist on offering them mashed banana on toast.

Now just to make the fear that uni will turn round and say "Ha! No sorry we've change our mind!" go away...

And pack.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Packing.

Its starts today. The lists, the boxes, the colour codes.

I've vowed to be really hard on myself when packing. I don't need so much "stuff", I am not a stash crafter at all. Sock yarn doesn't count but the rest needs to be used up promptly or go. Which I nice, I can have a few bit to make my new room feel homely, even if it is only till the end of May.

I will miss this house, as falling downy as it is. I'll miss my plants and my little garden. The oven than burns every thing on any setting.

Here's hoping I make it to the other side of all these lists.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New starts

2011 was a weird and busy year.


And so on so 2012!

In a month's time I'll be back in Scotland and back at university. So on to my resolutions, they aren't much my main one being actually passing my classes this time around.

  • Learn to crochet. It is not a dark magic, if I can knit I can damn well learn to crochet.
  • Not drop out of university. This is not a difficult one in theory at any rate. 
  • Have some adventures.
Not much, huh? Oh well lets how we go...

Minnie xoxo