god's country

god's country
near carrick-a-rede

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

bubble bath time

Ha! to make up for the problem with the 'Pampered' set - here is a new 'Bubble Bath' decoupage set! cant say fairer than that : )

I have left the back on the bath in case you want to use the set without the lady : ) but it can easily cut the tap and back off to use it in the decoupage

enjoy! : )

Friday, 21 January 2011


its making me fancy an evening out now! someone hurry up and get married!!

sorry guys!

Hey Guys,

apologies to anyone coming to the Blog for the images below - I'm afraid they were a bit too similar to my inspiration for them, and they have had to come down - i promise ill make it up to you!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


I've been feeling a bit grim since Christmas - a combo of being sick and seasonal over-indulgence perhaps? This has been my inspiration for today's stamps - I feel inclined to check myself in somewhere before it's too late! And maybe I need a little pampering?

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Variations on a theme, or “The Easiest Cake in the World”

I was originally given this recipe on a post-it-note by a friend/neighbour, and I’ve tweaked it in places, so I’m assuming that I’m not infringing anyone’s copyright by posting it, right??

Not only does this cake have only 5 ingredients (unless you’re ‘mixin it up’) but it can be done with just one bowl and a spatula – leaving you with minimal washing up to do. This cake has never let me down – it has been several birthday cakes, a thank you cake, a take a sweet thing to work cake, a ‘friends are coming round and I have nothing in the house’ cake – you name it.

You will need:


One large baking bowl;

One spatula;

One cake tin of your choice;


One Yogurt (select the yummiest flavour you can find – I mean a personal size yogurt, not a pint one!)

3 eggs

Cooking oil (not olive!!)


Self Raising Flour (or Plain and ½ a tsp each of cream of tartar and baking soda)

Now what you do is this:

Put the oven on to heat to 160 degrees C (trust me)

Dump your yogurt into the bowl – help it on its way with the spatula. Fill the now empty yogurt pot with cooking oil, and dump that in too. Give it a wee mix with your spatula. Crack in 3 eggs – no shells mind! And give the mixture a bit of a mess around – with the spatula. At this point it will look really nasty – but just you wait! At this point WASH your yogurt pot out and dry with kitchen paper and fill it with sugar

– I was going to specify a sugar here, but it really depends on the flavour of your yogurt, for example, if I had a vanilla or a banana yogurt I might use soft brown sugar, if I had a strawberry yogurt I would probably use castor sugar – it’s a very forgiving recipe, the cake will still turn out fine! I’ve even made this cake with Gluten free flour and, bar the slightly nuttier flavour, it made no difference whatsoever!

Anyway – dump your sugar into the bowl and repeat – that’s 2 pots of sugar – not repeat the whole process over again! Beat the mixture again – it should look quite nice now – very liquid but all incorporated and so on. Almost finished!! Now we’re going to add the flour – I use a sieve, but apparently now you don’t have to – guess what you’re going to measure that with? Yup – the yogurt pot! This time you need to add 3 pots (or 3 pots and your cream of tartar and baking soda) and fold it over and over with the spatula a few times (if you beat it right away the flour will go everywhere – trust me) then beat the dickens out of it – takes about 30 seconds to get it nice and smooth again.

Now it’s technically ready to go in the oven, but at this point I like to mess with it! Banana yogurt? Throw in some dried banana or coconut flakes, or raisins! (or a shot of rum)! Hazelnut yogurt? Chopped hazelnuts or a shot of franagelico! Cherry yogurt? CHERRIES! Or chopped almonds, or flaked dark chocolate! Raspberry yogurt? How about 100g of fresh raspberries and a small packet of white chocolate buttons! Honestly – this is the most awesomest cake in the WORLD!!

Don’t leave it sitting around too long once the flour is added, as the raising agents will go a bit strange and not work as well when you put it in the oven. The cooking time will depend on the size of your cake tin – with a slightly larger yogurt

I sometimes split the mixture between 2 small round cake tins (Victoria sponge style) and then sandwich them with a filling. I have also done this with an extremely large yogurt and 3 cake tins!

Anyway – a normal yogurt mix, all in one tin = about an hour. Check it after 50 minutes, and do the sticking a knife in to see if it comes out clean to check its readiness – it can look a bit wobbly still BUT ITS READY! It’s a lovely moist cake – so don’t overcook it!

A normal mix divided into 2 tins takes only 30 minutes usually – but again it will depend on your oven so do your checking!

I used this mix for my cousin’s birthday cake, and the box said it would take a 4 egg mix to fill it – it took a little longer to cook though because the tin is about 5mm thick I think.

I would love to hear if anyone makes my cake!!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

woo! 2011!

Well that was a Christmas! We were starting to think that this crazy Uber-winter weather was over, but it was -8 again this morning : (

Can you spray de-icer on the INSIDE of your car windows? Is that safe?

It must be said that the scenery has been AMAZING. And we had a nice little quiet intimate Christmas with a distinct lack of visitors – so much so in fact that on Christmas Day we went for a walk on a frozen lake (well Lough actually) – how often can you say that?

My father’s been suffixing his sentences with “it’s not as bad as the winter of 1963” – which I suppose is a given, having looked it up. I guess we just don’t get winters that bad any more!

The other option is that we are overdue a collection or ELE (extinction level event) disasters and ‘tomorrow’ could bring anything from another Ice Age, to a Polar Shift Super Volcanoes and whatever else… perhaps we shouldn’t complain about the 2ft of snow???

Christmas was pretty hectic in many ways for us – our move has been pushed back (mainly due to the weather to be honest) so that’s taken a bit of organisation, or rather grovelling for my notice to be extended and begging our neighbours/landlord for an extension.

Two days before what would have been my LAST DAY I came down with some sort of horrible bug – not kidding, I have NEVER felt so sick, I couldn’t move. At all. I was so sick in fact, that Dioralyte tasted GOOD. I described my symptoms to a pharmaceutical friend, who maintains that what I had was some kind of poisoning. Needless to say – I wasn’t in work.

I was so unwell on the Wednesday that I couldn’t drive home, and my dad had to fetch my car from work and take it back to their house – because by the next day we were snowed in. I believe the technical term for where we live is “the arse end of God’s nowhere” – but, pretty, you know? So there the car sat until Boxing Day, because, of course, then it wouldn’t start again. I ended up spending a wodge of my Christmas money on a new battery, so now it’s going like the proverbial. So the last shopping weekend before Christmas we were housebound, not that I could have moved anyway – but we were low on food etc! We had a few visitors though - people who have cars like tractors basically – my boss popped up to see if I was alive and my cousin popped up to drop off our Christmas present – which was a Goose!!!! (Who feels like Bob Cratchit now??)

The week before Christmas was supposed to be spent packing for the move – so as we’re not moving (should have been the 6th) it was reallocated as ‘spring cleaning’ time. The day before Christmas Eve was my Grandmother’s 80th Birthday, and she was off on a cruise with a girlfriend – on the way home, two days out of Southampton and still at sea, she fell and broke her hip. As you can imagine all Hel broke loose – my grandfather and dad had to fly out to Southampton to be with her when the ship made landfall and she was rushed in for emergency surgery. I was called in to help out in the B&B as I was off work – but Al had to stay home, because there is no public transport to work for him – and someone had to feed the cat! So we basically didn’t see each other for most of the week coming up to Christmas : ( and since then we've been petty busy! We've had parties to go to and I've been babysitting, Fencing is back on again after the break and its been my cousin's birthday - so I made her a cake : )

Isn't it awesome!!!!

it was also Al's mum's birthday so I had a card

to make as well – we mailed her a book of the best gardens to see in Britain and Ireland – northern Ireland had 3, Yorkshire had over 20...