Welcome to my blog!

If you ask me what my very favourite thing is I would not hesitate to say my family. I came into motherhood quite late on, and was immediately overwhelmed with how amazing it is. Now I would like nothing more than to be a Domestic Goddess, and surround my family in love, good food, beautiful things and lots of happy memories. And like the majority of families these days, we need to do it on a budget!

I firmly believe we all have a little bit of the Domestic Goddess inside us, just waiting to break out. Whether that is knowing how to make a roast chicken feed a family of 4 for a week, being able to make, repair or recycle clothes, hunting down a bargain, or simply turning everyday, simple things into pretty or useful items, with a little bit of imagination we can all dip in to the Goddess inside and make our lives that little bit more interesting.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy sharing my (challenging) journey into Domestic Goddessness!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kiddie crafting

Morning all. Well what's with this weather?? Not that I am complaining, it's nice to have some warm, sunny days. Would have been quite nice to have them in the summer though!

As it's Thursday I am once again taking part in the Handmade by me blog hop hosted by Carolee crafts so don't forget to have a look at the other sites linked there, or even better add your own!

I thought I would blog about my lovely daughter Caoimhe today, since she has been quite productive in the creative department. She loves making things, as I suspect most kids do. She likes painting the best she tells me, though she is equally happy making cakes, making cards or playing with her play doh. This week she has had a baking session with Grandma and a card making session with mummy.

With grandma she made biscuits. Piles of them. My mum has a book which uses one dough for 50 different kinds of cookies (eurgh I hate that word!) I can't remember the title (though a good guess at 1 dough 50 cookies might be worth a stab at if you want to look it up on amazon!) They made Easter biscuits and raisin and banana biscuits.Both utterly delicious!

Yesterday we decided to make Nana's birthday card and I let her loose on my Big Shot - with lots of help of course.

(sorry about the quality of the pic btw! She just wouldn't keep still!)
I even let her use my brand new Tattered Florals die!

The paper I used came from a £1 craft bag from the pound shop. It is basically off cuts but worth a quid for kiddies' crafts really. And I just added a dot of blue glitter glue in the middle of each flower. Obviously she didn't do all the card herself, but I was impressed with the contribution she did make. She obviously enjoyed herself too, because we now have a tub of die cuts to use on other projects.

Well I am not going to waste such a lovely day so that's it for now!
Til next time!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Handmade Monday is on once again. So don't forget to have a look at what everyone's been up to!

Last week I was lucky enough to win some blog candy thanks to Rowena at Craftypagan Designs It includes some lovely stamps, which I am very much looking forward to trying out. I have not really done a lot of stamping, apart from the odd bit here and there on a card, so it will be fab to have a good go and experiment with these stamps. The parcel also included some fab papers, which I am sure will look great with my new tattered florals die. I'm chuffed to bits to have received it, and can't wait to get a bit of time to play!

Not much in the way of creativity has gone on since last week. The week seems to have gone by really quickly, and to be honest I'm not sure I've done an awful lot of anything. Of course we did have the now obligatory weekly bake and I trawled my cupboards and my recipe books for something to make. It's fair to say that I was a bit Mother Hubbardish last week. There was very little except flour, cocoa and dried fruit and it was just lucky that I remembered my *in an emergency* muffin recipe, which basically means I can make muffins out of whatever I have hanging around (within reason, of course, not really sure I could safely include chilli or tomato ketchup in the mix!)
Here it is:

1lb self raising flour
9oz sugar
3oz butter
310ml full fat or butter milk
1 large egg.

Sift flour, rub in butter, add sugar, milk and egg and whatever flavourings you want. Spoon into muffin cases and bake for about 20 minutes at 200c.

I added 7oz of dried fruit (raisins, sultanas etc) a teaspoon mixed spice, and I exchanged about an ounce of flour for an ounce of cocoa powder. But you could pretty much add whatever you wanted to, blueberries, jam, apples, bananas, chocolate... give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A thought for the day.

It's Thursday today so head over to for the Handmade by me Thursday Blog Hop. (after you've read mine of course!)

I love being a mum. I can't remember a time when I wasn't a mum now, even though I have only been one for just about 3 years. I love my girls to bits, even when they are misbehaving, or getting me up in the middle of the night to invade my bed. I would do anything for them as I know those of you who are parents will relate to. They are part of the reason why I want to be a better person, and cook home made food, make home made things and rediscover the goddess inside that shows there is more to life than work and expensive branded clothing and 50in plasma tellies, and all the other trappings that come with this modern, throw away life I don't like!

But if you had told me 4 years ago that I would be sitting here blogging about how much I love my girls I would not have believed you. I am one of the very lucky ones who has managed to stick two fingers up at the medical profession, who told me 6 or 7 years ago that I would need medical intervention to have children. I didn't want medical intervention and somehow, incredibly, I am now blessed with two gorgeous (if noisy) little girls.

I have polycystic ovary syndrome, and apart from having to wait 11 years to have Caoimhe, I am one of the lucky ones who isn't actually affected too badly by some of the symptoms of this disease. I had to push to be investigated and when I was eventually diagnosed following a scan I left the doctors relieved that I knew what was wrong, but also completely at a loss about what it meant. I was told that I had it and honestly that was pretty much that. End of consultation. I found a lot of advice and support from the charity Verity and have met some lovely ladies through their discussion board, who I have been able to share experiences with..  Verity really did help me understand the condition, and they are freely available online to offer advice and support for people like me, a very valuable resource ,especially given the fact that medics seem to disagree on how to recognise it, treat it, and have even less of a clue how to help ladies who have it. That is scary when you think that up to 1 in 10 of the female population has it to one degree or another! And even worse when you understand it is not just about infertility or sub fertility but also has implications for future health. It is a metabolic problem and can increase risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, as well as problems with obesity, altered body image, and even mental health issues just for starters.

As a charity, it is funded by donation, and they are looking to raise money to keep their website running. The website and the discussion board provide valuable information and support, and are involved in research, as well as running a conference each year. .It would be a real shame if this resource was not available anymore.

If you think you can help, or want to know more then the website is here and the blog is here.and there is a discussion board too.

I know this isn't my usual chatty blog about what I've been up to this week, but I really just wanted to use my blog to say all this today. I feel very blessed to have my girls pretty much against the odds, and I know a lot of ladies who would love to be in the position of being a mum but are having a very hard time getting there. So ladies, this one is for you. I am thinking of you all today and just spreading the message a little bit.

Til next time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Afternoon Tea with Auntie B

Morning all. Hope your weekend has been a good one. It's Monday again (doesn't it come round quickly!) and of course that means it's time for Handmade Monday so don't forget to see what everyone has been up to this week.

As promised last week, we made some cupcakes to celebrate National Cupcake Week, and also in honour of Auntie B coming to tea and meeting Teaghan for the first time. She isn't a cupcake person normally (do wish I'd known that in advance lol) but she did seem to enjoy them so I was quite pleased about that.
We made Hot Chocolate cupcakes from Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days and they were delicious if I say so myself! The only change to the recipe I made was to make vanilla frosting instead of the chocolate flavour one in the recipe, as I felt that it was a bit chocolate overkill!

I have never made frosting before. I was surprised at how easy it was, and also how tasty too. I don't normally like buttercream but this version was very nice. I deliberately made the frosting at night to stop dippy Caoimhe fingers and instead got dippy Tim fingers but there was more than enough to let that go!

I also managed to sell my Tens machine last week, and with the proceeds treated myself to a die for my Big Shot. I used it last night to make a card for my cousin Joelle, who has been very kind over the last couple of years, donating some of her daughter's out-grown clothes for Caoimhe. Definitely appreciated! I hope that my one-armed card making (I am slowly getting the hang of crafting whilst holding a baby!) goes some way to show my appreciation!

Well I have a busy day ahead of me today, starting with a trip to Mothercare to exchange my broken pram (do they ever make things to last these days??!!) so I guess I should go and get us all ready!
Don't forget to have a look at Wendy's blog and I'll see you all towards the end of the week..

Toodle pip!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

National Cupcake Week

First a reminder to pop over to Carolee Gifts for the Handmade by Me Thursday Blog Hop.

As you know it's National Cupcake Week this week, so as you can imagine I've been busy baking lots and lots of cupcakes...

Yea, right! Wish I could say those were mine, but they're not. I really haven't had any time to bake lots of cupcakes but I did venture into the kitchen on Tim's request, to make brownies.

I'm not a regular brownie baker. I like them, don't get me wrong (I am after all a girl and what girl doesn't like chocolate?!)  but I just don't often make them.I decided to use a recipe from one of my new books  Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale. Well, sorry Lorraine, but I shan't be making it again! It was a very wet batter, and the resulting cake was way too gooey for me. I cooked it longer than the stated time as well but still the middle was just a bit too liquid. I wasn't impressed with the use of Oreo biscuits either and they didn't really add anything to the cake. I would have preferred chunks of walnuts or fudge pieces, or at least something that had a different texture to the cake. Unusually for a chocolate cake, it is still sitting in the kitchen two days later. Caoimhe had some (and she isn't really a cakey type of girl as strange as that might seem!) but she hasn't asked for another piece so she can't have been that impressed.

Auntie B is coming to meet Teaghan tomorrow. I have promised Caoimhe that we can make some cupcakes for the occasion, so will have a quick look in my books for a nice recipe. It all depends on whether Miss Tilly allows us baking time this afternoon though!

So how many of you have entered in the spirit of the week and managed some cupcakes then? I can't be the only one who's struggled to find the time!

Off for a latte and a gossip now. Can't think of any better way to spend my precious time haha
Til next time!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Handmade Monday

I had hoped to have at least 1 finished project to show for this week's Handmade Monday but it seems to have been a very busy weekend with not a lot achieved.
We have done no baking over the weekend, and although I had planned to celebrate National Cupcake Week with lots of, well, cupcakes of course, I am not so sure many will be made. This is not anything to do with a full to overflowing diary packed with activities to keep me and the girls occupied all week, as much as I would like to say it is. More to do with complete lack of planning and not actually buying anything from the supermarket to bake with! I will have to see if we can fit in a little trip-with shopping list of course! - so that we can enter into the spirit of things and make some cupcakes. (Not really sure half a packet of marge, a bit of flour and a few eggs will make a tasty cupcake really, not on it's own at least!)

On a slightly more positive note my Refuge comfort blanket is starting to take shape at last! Ok, ok that's a bit of an exaggeration. But I have now completed 2 squares woop woop! One is knitted and the other crocheted and those who are familiar with both yarn skills will not be surprised to learn that I completed the crochet square in a couple of hours, instead of the couple of nights it took me to do the knitted one. Of course it doesn't help that I can only get to them at night when the kids are in bed. So I am considering making it at least part crochet in the hope that I can make it faster. I have found a website dedicated to crochet patterns for 6in squares too, mostly in American but you can't have everything.

The knitted heart square

The crocheted square

Two down, 61 to go!

That's all for today. Don't forget to have a look at Handmade Monday, and if you want to chat to fellow crafters, have a wander over to the Handmade by Me forum, the link is in my sidebar.
Til next time!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Time for Tea!

This week I received a lovely parcel in the post, which cheered me up after a testing couple of days with the girls. Thanks to The Isle of Tea, whose giveaway I entered, and won, for such a nice gift!

The giveaway was based around a set of 4 cups and saucers, with a retro 1970's design. Unfortunately one of the cups was broken in transit, but even so I am thrilled with them. (If anyone is into mosaic or similar and can use broken china then let me know, I am loathe to throw it away if it can be used for something else!) They also sent me a packet of biscuits, a tea strainer, some teabags and some absolutely gorgeous rose scented bath salts.

I am utterly chuffed to bits with my win and can't wait for a bit of me time to enjoy them properly.

Have a wander over to the Isle of Tea blog and website, it's a lovely place to visit if you are a tea-head like me!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday Blog Hop - Handmade by Me.

As it's Thursday, (at least for the next hour and a bit!) I'm linking to the Handmade by Me Thursday Blog Hop, hosted by Caroline at Carolee Crafts. Click the link in my side bar to visit the Handmade by Me forum for crafters.

I'd also like to give a quick mention to my friend Rach who has a lovely blog, This Woman's Work, all about her life with her gorgeous twins. I have to tip my hat to her because having one toddler is hard work enough, let alone two! So pay her a visit and see what they have all been up to!

I had hoped to post up a picture of a finished sewing project, but a fractious newborn, a troublesome toddler and a cantankerous sewing machine put paid to that, and it is quite unfinished. Hopefully over the weekend we might have some success there. (I really wouldn't lay any bets on it however!) So instead you will have to make do with a picture of some marmalade cupcakes we made yesterday afternoon.

To be honest they taste a lot better than they look! Baking should be a calming activity and in a way I am most impressed they turned out as well as they did (honestly!) because I was top note when we made them, flitting from grumpy overtired baby to mischievous and attention seeking toddler (who, incidentally, was left alone to lick the remnants of cake batter from the mixing bowl and on my return was wearing it on her head. Cake batter does not make a very good hair product!) I can smile about it now, but was less than impressed at the time!

It is National Cupcake Week next week, 12-18th Sept, so expect a few more photos of Gallery Bakes in celebration!

Work continues on the Refuge blanket, and more wool was purchased today (any excuse to increase my stash really!) Hoping to have a few squares to show you in the next week or so. Square 1 is now completed and I'm hoping to get a good pace going with the remaining ones so I can meet the deadline of 1st December. I really need to crack on, don't I?!

Til next time!

Monday, September 5, 2011

A bit of gentle encouragement!

Monday again. And we are into September now, as my daughter told me yesterday it is autumn! Well, not quite, but by looking at the trees already changing colours and shedding their leaves, you'd be forgiven for thinking the summer is over. Not that we've had much of a summer! It's another wet and nippy one here, a day for staying indoors I think. The play-dough is out (I'll regret that later!) Tilly is sleeping (hurrah!) and I am going to settle down with my first hot cup of coffee of the day and have a wander over to see what everyone's been up to in Handmade Monday Thanks again Wendy for hosting it!

Crafting has been a bit slack here this weekend. I recall there being talk of a rocket ship and maybe a launch pad, but somehow it's got to Monday and nothing has materialised. A few more wet days might change that situation though. A trip out to the supermarket on Saturday resulted in a little purchase from Mr G. Think he is trying to tell me something, what do you think? :

As yet I have not had time to try it all out. Though when I do, of course, I have several new cakey type books to choose a recipe from now!

We did manage to make a couple of 'cakes' this morning though, the Flip Flop and I. Not particularly edible though, although she did give the glitter a taste!

I have also started on my squares for the blanket I am making for Refuge/Simply Knitting. I had intended to show you a square completed but that just hasn't happened! But here's a sneak preview:

(Not quite) one down, 62 to go!

Well it appears my attention is required elsewhere. Any tips on splitting yourself into several pieces at the same time will be gratefully received! Have a lovely week all, til next time!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Today's Thursday Blog Hop post is all about baking. Don't forget to have a peek at what other Thursday Hoppers are doing on Caroline's blog, and while you're at it, don't forget the new forum Handmade by Me
if you want to chat to fellow crafters.

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary. I've been married to Mr G for 15 years now, incredible how quickly that time has flown! As usual we said no presents and as usual Mr G completely ignored that and bought me a present! I am not a jewellery girl, or a perfume girl, I'm not girly in the slightest and obviously after 15 yrs of marriage my hubby knows that. So he (naughtily) bought me a perfect present:

oh...and a box of Thorntons too!
Looks like I will be making a lot of cupcakes and other delicious sweet treats in the coming months. Also looks like I will need another bookcase to hold my ever increasing recipe book collection too!

I don't make cupcakes. Like I said, I am in no way girly and I don't really do fancy decorating, but in the Hummingbird Bakery book there is a section on frosting, so I may well be tempted to give it a try. Watch this space.

I actually had some baking planned yesterday, and I made (with a little help from the Flip Flop of course) potato, onion and cheese pasties:

I have never made a successful cheese and onion pie yet. I always manage to make it too soggy and then it collapses in a cheesy swamp. To be fair, I have little motivation since my mum makes the best cheese and onion pie in the world, and always makes two (one for her, one for me!) but I was determined to give it another try,this time in pastie form, adding potato and not quite so much cheese. I had some puff pastry in the freezer (I'm sure Nigella would forgive this little cheat, indeed she would probably applaud it!) which was perfect for these little pasties. Even Caoimhe ate it which is praise indeed! Unfortunately, and those who follow me on Facebook will already know, my fat greedy dog helped herself to most of them while they were cooling. Obviously they were quite filling, as she kindly left 2 for Tim's dinner for work!

Tim has requested scones today, but the sun is shining for the first time in I don't know how long, so a wee trip out to the park is in order, just as soon as I can tear Caoimhe away from her new obsession which is Toy Story. Oh well, it beats Rango at least!

Have a great day all, til next time!