Monday, 17 September 2012

A Blooming Great Tea Party...

Hey Everyone...

I am sorry I have STILL been so quiet - the nights just seem to disappear into a mountain of things I need to do and blogging doesn't get a look in! I promise I will try harder - and soon I will try to be more up to date! But tonight I really wanted to blog about a special day all the way back in July! Yes July - doesn't that seem so long ago?

Last year I had seen a charity campaign that was right up my street! It combined baking, tea and pretty china - what's not to love. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and so this year I was determined to join in! And although it meant cramming it in at the end of July with short notice, I was not going to miss out.

So I hosted a Blooming Great Tea Party in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care! It was a fantastic day, with lots of generous family and friends joining in and giving money and eating cake!

I decided to go the whole hog and bake a huge array of cakes! Unfortunately on the day I forgot to take many pictures - we were all having so much fun! But here is what I have...


First on the list was a request from a work friend - marble cake!


Next it was some colourful sponges...


Then another request and my first attempt at Pain Au Chocolat...


Then some pretty shaped biscuits...


And plain vanilla cupcakes for decorating...


And some piped meringues for sandwiching...


I iced the biscuits with pretty pink and purple icing...


Covered the marble cake in chocolate ganache...


Sandwiched the meringues with raspberry cream...


And whipped up some rocky road (with malteasers!)...


One of my lovely friends arrived early bearing gifts - it was so lovely of her...


Gorgeous flowers and a London tin she just knew I would fall in love with!

Thank you Marian!


Th spread was amazing... even if the rocky road fell apart and had to be put in little cupcake cases...


Those colourful layers were stacked to make a red, white and blue cake with cream cheese icing!


There was sooo much cake!

Ooo I forgot I made blueberry cheesecake macaroons too which you can see below!


My lovely friend Marian also went to the trouble to make some gorgeous looking cupcakes...


My vanilla ones were used for the cupcake decorating competition!

This was our best man's entry - a stegosaurus! 
(Can you spot me and my niece?)


And another...


Funnily enough my nieces won! But the stegosaurus came second!

Andrew's sister also made some delicious cupcakes and savoury scones - all of which were gluten free!

We had a fantastic raffle with prizes donated from Andrew's mum, a lovely facebook friend who I have never met (The Lovely Jen), one of Andrew's lovely cousins (who sent it in the post) and a freecycler who donated lots of lovely chocolates!

There was so much cake everyone took some home...


And I enjoyed the leftovers!

SUCH A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CAME & DONATED SOMETHING!

We raised a lot of money for a fantastic cause!

Love Jewel
xXx

Sunday, 9 September 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow...

Hey Everyone,

Sorry I have been quiet again - the last week has been rather busy! I have lots more to blog about (I'm not sure when I will find the time) but I wanted to share some pictures from our garden as the summer starts to wind down!

I am not a good gardener - I have never really had a chance - and I still don't as I'm not allowed to plant anything in our little communal garden - so everything I have planted is in pots...


These beauties were meant to bloom for the Jubilee but I planted them a little late...


Pretty bunting left over from a charity tea party I held in our little garden has been brightening up our view - even on rainy days...


My rose bush bloomed again this year - three lovely roses so far - but they hardly last a few days! Next year I resolve to pick them straight away!


And the sweet pea seeds we gave as our favours at the wedding also bloomed - but again very quickly - I wasn't prepared for these and should have used stakes and pruned them sooner!



I planted lots of pots...


But most of them were attacked by slugs - the blue ones didn't make it!




But for a little while our garden was full of colour!


To make up for the lack of flowers I bought a cute little bird house to give us permanent colour...


And I recently invested in some more strawberry and lavender plants as mine didn't last the previous winter!


As I haven't had much success with growing my own flowers this summer - the husband bought me some lovely bouquets instead...




And whilst we were out enjoying the garden this summer - on one of those rare summer days - we were able to let our lovely cat Anya out into the garden for the first time since she moved in with us...


She quickly ran back inside...


But eventually plucked up the courage to venture out!


I wish we could let her out all the time - but living on a busy main road, with no easy access to the garden it just isn't possible...


Maybe it's time to think of a move!?

Love Jewel
xXx

Friday, 31 August 2012

A Weekend With A Best Friend...

Hey Everyone...

Oh am I glad it's Friday! Even though it was only a 4 day week I feel like it has been much longer than usual and I am so glad it's the weekend at last. As you may have read tomorrow isn't quite a day off as I will be selling at a craft fair - but I have my fingers crossed that it will go well. On Sunday I have an exciting day out planned but I will tell you all about that next week.

For now I am reminiscing about a lovely weekend I had with my friend Lucy. Lucy lives far away in Solihull and so I don't see her very often. But for her birthday I bought her an afternoon tea and she kindly invited me to share it for her. I also got to see her new flat, which was very exciting.

We headed off to the beautiful Coombe Abbey for our afternoon tea...



It was such a gorgeous hotel, set in a big beautiful park, which you are free to roam!



The hotel was stunning, very gothic on the inspired by it's history as an abbey...




It's not a celebration without champagne!



Our tea was served in the beautiful greenhouse!



And it was delicious!


The only problem was that it was so hot - it was too hot to drink tea!


The rest of the weekend was spent shopping! Ikea, Primarni and many more! I was on the hunt for some new clothes to make me feel better and Lucy was so lovely and supportive - helping me find things to make me feel good! I plan to share my purchases with you in a blog soon!

And Lucy was a very good host! Yummy crumpets for breakfast - and tea in a Cath mug...


Plus my very own little pot of jam! She knows me so well!


Love Jewel xXx

(P.S. I am sorry about the random sized pictures - I am too tired to try and sort them out!)