Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Scotty Dogs

To see more of my cushion creations (and even buy one), pop over to my Facebook page, A Little Bit Dotty.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Cushion Covers

They are everywhere in my house! No, I haven't developed a fetish but I am going to have a stall at a summer fair next month and have turned my hand to my sewing machine. I have been sewing away like crazy so thought today I would share a few of my creations...

If you are interesting in checking out any of my other covers (or if you want any), check out my Facebook page, A Little Bit Dotty.

Monday, 6 June 2011

It's All Fun and Games

I am a little late with today's post for Alex's It's All Fun and Games Blogfest, so with no further ado...

My top three games:

Twister-who can not love getting twisted and contorted, and if your happen to be doing it with a hottie, even better!
A little while ago I searched the internet for a retro Twister game and found this beauty from the 60's.

The Chocolate Game-I'm not sure if this is it's official title but who cares, it involves chocolate!
The way we played it when I was younger was to take turns to roll a die around a circle. If you rolled a 6 you got to eat some of the MASSIVE chocolate bar, that was in the centre of the circle. However, before doing so you would have to put on a hat, scarf, a pair of gloves that could only fit a giant and then attempt to eat the chocolate with a knife and fork. Not an easy task! And whilst you were dressing for a arctic storm, the die continued to go around the circle and if someone else rolled a 6 before you got your mitts on the chocolate well, it was time to take it all off and pass it on.
I never did manage to get much of the chocolate. Never mind, I have more than made up for it since then.

And lastly...

Monopoly-Whilst playing this game, it is the only time I have lots of notes in my hand and the possibility that I could actually buy Mayfair isn't just a vivid fantasy!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Folksy Fun

Today I opened a Folksy store, it's like Etsy, but just well, it's Folksy.

I have a few ideas up my sleeve, things I could make, paint, create etc. Now I just have to find the time to actually make, paint and create them.

I have got one thing in my store though, Holly's Retro Hair Rags.
I love having curly hair but don't particularly like the heat damage that goes along with using my straighteners. (I don't get it either, how do straighteners curl hair??)

And that is where Holly's Retro Rags come in....

 They are easy to use. Don't believe me, well have a look...

If you want to check out my Folksy store, click riiiiighhhht...here!

Now I'm off to put some Retro Rags in the other side of my hair.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

P&J Cupcakes

You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto, Let's call the whole thing off

You say Jelly, I say jam...either way, put it with peanut butter and you have yourself a great duo.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes


250g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
4 medium eggs
4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g Jam

For the icing:

120g butter, softened
120g smooth peanut butter
300g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp milk

Let's get making:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C or Gas Mark 5.
  2. Beat the butter in a large bowl until it is softened. Add the sugar, flour, salt, eggs, milk and vanilla and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the cases, until two thirds full.
  4. Place muffin tin in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until cupcakes are a light golden colour.
  5. Remove the tins from the oven. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Resist the urge to eat any, you still have work to do.
  7. When the cupcakes are cool, use a paring knife to cut a cross in the centre of each of them. Pipe jam into the centre of the cakes.
For the icing:

1. Beat the butter and peanut butter together.
2. Add the icing sugar and then the vanilla essence and milk. Mix on a low speed (to stop yourself from getting covered in white sugary powder) then increase the speed until all the ingredients are combined well.

Serve with a glass of milk and treat your taste buds to a bit of childhood nostalgia.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

'Using Up Stuff' Cupcakes

I had oranges in the fruit bowl and blackberries in the fridge. I could have just eaten then as they were, but where's the fun in that?
So I made a batch of chocolate cupcakes from The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days recipe book and iced half with orange buttercream frosting and the other, yep, you guessed it, with blackberry buttercream frosting.
I started off with a few spare oranges and a small punnet of blackberries, and have ended up with over a dozen delicious cupcakes...magic!


80g butter, softened
280g caster sugar
200g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
240ml whole milk
2 eggs

Let's get making...

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark5 and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.

1. Beat together the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and the salt until it look like little crumbs.
2. Whisk the milk and eggs together in a jug and add three quarters of this to the dry mixture. Beat slowly to begin with and then as the ingredients begin to combine, crank it up and mix until everything is nice and smooth. Pour in the remaining milk mixture and continue mixing until everything is smooth again.
3. Fill your muffin cases two thirds full and bake for 18-20 minutes.

To make the butter frosting, take 75g of softened butter and beat until fluffy. Slowly add 250g of icing sugar and combine. Add two tablespoons of milk and one teaspoon of vanilla and another 250g of icing sugar. Beat until well combined and if needed, add up to two more tablespoons of milk.

I then divided the frosting into two bowls. Into one I add the grated zest of one orange and into the other, a punnet (150g) of blackberries. Although, be sure to save 6 of the best looking blackberries to put on top of your yummy chocolate and blackberry cupcakes, once they have cooled and are iced.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Vinyl Decal

Eat Vinyl Decal Kitchen
I love this decal from tweetheartwallart, so much so that I have bought one! I can't wait to receive it in the post and put it up in my kitchen.

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes

One of the great things about adding fruit to your cupcakes is you can trick yourself into thinking that they must be one of your five a day. Not to mention that the tart taste of the raspberries goes perfectly with the sweetness of the chocolate.


115g self-raising flour, sifted
115g caster sugar
115g soft unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 tbsp of milk
1 tsp of vanilla essence
1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
200g mascarpone
75g white chocolate
1 punnet of fresh raspberries
1 tbsp of icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 190/gas mark 5

Let's Get Making:

1. Beat the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add the vanilla essence and one tbsp of the flour (this stops the mix splitting), then add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one, followed by the milk.
3. Mix the bicarbonate of sad in with the remaining flour, then gradually add the four to the cake mix.
4. Pick twelve of the prettiest raspberries from the punnet and put to one side. Lightly crush those that remain and carefully add to the mix.
5. You are now ready to fill your cupcake cases, only two third full, mind.
6. Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, until lightly brown.

Whilst the cakes are cooking, melt 75g of white chocolate. Wait until it is lukewarm and then beat with 200g of mascarpone until it is smooth and glossy. Top each cake with a teaspoon of the mascarpone mix, and put a raspberry on top. Dust each cake with a little bit of icing sugar and finally, enjoy!

Xtra Large

On the noticeboard above my desk, at work, I have a small 'Keep Calm & Carry On' postcard. I look at it on a daily basis and take ten deep breaths. Then there are some days, when I just eat cupcakes...

The original poster was issued in 1939 by the British government to help raise the moral of the public. Little did they know, it would be doing just the same job decades later, as well as becoming a popular phrase and icon. Printed on everything from mugs to baby bibs, and now you can have them emblazoned on the wall of your bedroom, living room or perhaps most needed, your office.

This vinyl wall decal is approximately 40 inches tall by 22 inches wide and is available from DecalHappy's etsy store. Available in a range of colours, there is one for every office.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Yellow Heaven

I recently bought, Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan. Although I did promise not to buy any new books until I have read some of the hundreds that are piled up or on shelves all over my house. However, I just couldn't resist this one. Firstly, anything with reference to cupcakes, must be good. Secondly, nearly every chapter begins with a recipe, that must make it a recipe book. Giving me the loop hole to my promise (I said no more fiction books.)

As well as having lots of delicious delights inside the book, it also came with a few recipe cards, one of which I tried out last night.

Lemon (Getting What You Want) Cake

Ingredients for the cake:

115g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
115g softened butter
115g caster sugar
2 large eggs
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
(Although not in the recipe, poppy seeds would be great in this cake, so go on add a few...maybe more than a few, try 2 tablespoons.)

Ingredients for the icing:

60g icing sugar
2 tsps water
1 tsp lemon juice

Let's get making:

Preheat the oven to 150c/gas mark 3 and grease a loaf tin.
1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
2. Then add all the other ingredients and beat well.
3. Spoon the mixture into loaf tin and bake for twenty minutes. (Although when I made this, I needed to keep it in the oven for 40!) The cake should be yellow, not brown, but not gooey inside.

It really is that simple!

Whilst the cake is cooking (whether it is for 20 or 40 minutes, check it at 20 minutes, see how it's getting along and take it from there), make the icing by mixing the 60g of icing sugar, a teaspoon of lemon juice and tiny amounts of water until it is sweet and stiff.

Apply the icing while the cake is still warm, spreading thinly until it cracks.

Although this cake may not be the prettiest of cakes, it certainly is up there with the yummiest. Jenny goes as far to say that those who taste it will do anything you want but I'm not sure I could keep it long enough to use as a bribe. Next time I shall make two, one for me and one for getting what I want.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Zara Homes

I'm always on the look out for nice trays, as I have no dining table, so when guests come over for dinner I can offer them a substitution for eating off their laps-a tray on their lap, of course.
Zara have a lovely collection of dinner trays, from the cheap and chic to those that would cost more than a dining room table if I were to buy more than two.

 And then when the eating and entertaining is done and the job of washing and drying the dishes has to be done, why not do it with a little bit of style.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Hot Harry

Over the last few weeks I have seen so many pieces of royal wedding memorabilia. Most of it has been a lot of old tat, but there have been a few fun pieces that don't scream 'my great aunt Edna would love this'.
And although this poster isn't technically wedding memorabilia (ie there is no Union Jack or smiling prince and princess), I would rather have this on my wall than a Daily Mail special edition plaque of the happy couple...

There is still hope.
I just need to figure out which Eton student infested party Harry will be at, dust of my Hervé Léger dress and head over to west London.