Thursday, 28 April 2011

Easter Holidays

They sped by filled with sunny days and lazy mornings. We did visit London on Wednesday 20th to see Changing the Guards at Buckingham Palace. It was so busy that it was difficult to move in front of the palace, across the road there was a bit more space. We did struggle to see what was going on, but eventually we caught a glimpse of the Guardsmen as they left the palace Courtyard. Later in the day we ate our picnics in St James Park before going to see the Abbey (it was shut!) so we enjoyed the view and the gift shop instead. I managed to find a couple of teaspoons commemorating the wedding and a fridge magnet.
Easter Weekend we spent in dorset having fun Easter egg hunting and spending time with the family.
This week I have celebrated my birthday - with a delicious homemade Gluten and Dairy-free Chocolate and Cherry Victoria Sandwich so Em could eat it too.

6 oz/175g Dairy-free spread (vitalite)
6 oz/175g Castor sugar
3 large eggs
6 oz/175g Gluten free self raising flour (Doves)
1/2 teaspoon GF baking powder.
2 oz/50g Glace Cherries
2 oz/50g GF/DF chocolate drops (use chopped chocolate buttons if not drops available)

1. Cream the fat and sugar 'til fluffy.
2. Add the egg whisk in until mixed (if the mix separates add a spoon of flour)
3. double sift the flour then add to the mix using a metal spoon to mix don't beat it, just mix in by doing two cross cuts and then stirring the bowl. keep repeating until all the flour has disappeared into the mix
4. Add the chocolate drops and cherries, mix in.
5. Pour mixture into a large lined loaf tin
6. Bake at 170 Celsius for 40 minutes.
7. Test with a skewer to ensure cooked throughout.
8. Leave to cool on rack after cooking
9. Once cool decorate with icing and enjoy.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

50 Small Things for a Special Friends Birthday

One of my friends is celebrating a big birthday and I decided to make her a very special gift. I googled 50th Birthday for ideas and found a suggestion for a box of small things, sadly I can't find the original site otherwise I'd have posted a link. I started with a list of 30 and added and fiddled with the possibilities and finally finished with 50 small things. I collected them over two months and packed them all in a shoe box which I wrapped in gold holographic paper. My friend Debbie loved her gift and especially the little box of hugs which reduced her to tears. Here is the list if you wish to make your own for a special birthday girl or boy. You can tailor the list to fit the recipient.

50 Small things for your birthday

1. A favourite poem – The Host of Golden Daffodils

2. Candle-To remind you to shine brightly

3. Hand cream - to care for your hands

4. Lipgloss to keep you looking glamorous

5. Love hearts - To remind you that you are loved

6. A lighter - To light your fire when you're feeling burned out

7. A safety pin- To remind you to stay sharp

8. A pack of Smarties - To help you on those days when you don't feel smart

9. A pack of Starburst - To give you a burst of energy on days when you don't have any

10. Confetti- To remind you to have fun

11. Sellotape Tape- To fix things that will not work

12. A Potholder - For when things get too hot to handle

13. A Penny - So you will never have to say, "I"m broke".

14. Birthday Badge – so everyone knows its your special day.

15. A Rubber Band - To stretch yourself beyond the limits

16. String - To tie things together when everything falls apart

17. Elastoplast - For when things get a little rough

18. Crayon - To color your day bright and cheerful

19. A Puzzle Piece - Without you things wouldn't be complete

20. A Cotton Ball - For the rough roads, seek the cushioned support of family and friends

21. Happy face- Smiling is contagious

22. Eraser - To remind you that you can start every day with a clean page

23. Paracetomol – To cure a headache.

24. Battery - To give you that extra charge to keep you going... and going….. and going.

25. Piece of Rope - When you reach the end of yours, this will keep you going a bit longer

26. Paper clip - To help keep things together when they seem to be out of control.

27. A Small Smooth Stone - To remind you that the rough times help to refine and polish

28. A Star- so you shine like the star you are.

29. A Button – because you are always as bright as a button.

30. Glitter- For a glimpse of how the world looks through a child's eyes

31. A fuse - for when you blow yours

32. A small bag of marbles - for when you lose yours

33. A heart - to remind you that love is all around you (I cross stitched one)

34. A bag to keep it altogether

35. A little box of hugs – read its label please. (see below for label)

36. IOU – a 2011 coin (IOU because the 2011 coins aren't in circulation yet!)

37. Seashells – memories of summer holidays

38. A best memory photo – Tea at South Lodge

39. A cup - to make your favourite hot drink in.

40. Tea-bags – for time to relax and rest

41. Lavender sachet for you to bring you a little bit of summer time.

42. A pretty little apron – to keep you glamorous in the kitchen (I made the apron)

43. An origami crane for peace

44. Pretty post it notes for those special messages

45. Pen for when you can’t find one around the house

46. A lucky sixpence from 1961- on a silver chain for you to wear. (purchased on ebay)

47. A bottle of bubbles because they are always fun. (champagne miniature bubbles)

48. Pretty tissues to catch your sneezes

49. Bunting for your birthday – Fairy sized! from allsorts website

50. 50th birthday balloon to make you smile.

The tag for the box of hugs make a tiny box from card and gift wrap with ribbon etc. Attach a gift tag which reads ...

This is a very special gift,

That you can never see,

The reason it's so special is

It's just for you from me.

Whenever you are lonely

Or are ever feeling blue

You only have to hold this gift

And know I'm hugging you.

You never can unwrap it

Please leave the ribbon tied

Just hold the box close to your heart

It's filled with hugs inside.