The Liebster Award

Wow! I was delighted to find out I’d been nominated for the Liebster Award by Ellen (chronicleofellen.wordpress.com) – thank you! The Liebster Award is given to new bloggers to recognise their work and efforts, and to hopefully gain a few more followers by making a more connections.

The rules are simple…

  • Let the person / people who you nominated know about the nomination.
  • Include a link back to them in your post.
  • Answer the questions they ask you.
  • Ask your nominees up to 11 questions of your own which they answer.
  • Include these rules on your post.

Liebster2These are my answers to Ellen’s questions…

Have you ever crafted for a charity and if so, which one?

No, not yet, but once my crochet skills have been a lot more fine-tuned I would like to make little hats for Sands (the stillbirth and neonatal death charity) to provide to parents who have suffered the loss of a child. It is very personal to me.

What genres of films do you like watching?

I am happy with most genres of films; I’m not too fussy!

Who would make a better James Bond? Chris Hemsworth or Chris Evans?

I got a bit confused by this one as I initially thought, Chris Evans? Him? Why? I was thinking of the wrong Chris Evans, the ginger-haired host of TFI Friday! In answer to the question though, neither as they’re not British.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To get to the other side.

Which blog have you followed the most recently?

Catalina del Bosque at chilangaexported.wordpress.com – I’ve been following her blog for quite some time actually, and was inspired by it to start my own 🙂

What are your top 3 tips for someone starting out with a new blog?

Type up your blog posts in Word first of all, in case your computer crashes in the middle of typing, and for spell-checking.

Don’t be put off by all the various functions, tools and bits on the WordPress website – I was and it took me over a month to to go back to it.

Check out the blogs of the people who ‘like’ your posts – there are some really good ones out there.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Sausalito in California – I went there on my honeymoon for an afternoon and it was delightful. Close enough to San Francisco to have the hustle and bustle of city life, right by the shore, also close to Napa for being able to take advantage of the wine, and a really beautiful little place.

Do you have a pet? If not, what animal would you like to have as one?

No, but I’d love to have a cat.

What is the most important thing in life?

Family.

What is your favourite book?

I don’t have one favourite, but a few I could read again and again: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon; The Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor and Hell’s Secrets by F. R. Jameson.

What are your views on social media?

I use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest (obviously!) so I’m a fan… though I do think there should be age restrictions since, as a teacher, I hear far too many stories of children and teenagers not using it appropriately or responsibly.

Liebster2OK, so those were my answers, now here are my questions.

  1. Who or what is your inspiration?
  2. What is your favourite way to relax?
  3. What is your favourite book?
  4. Who is your favourite fictional character?
  5. What genres of films do you like watching?
  6. Which blog have you followed the most recently?
  7. What are your top 3 tips for someone starting out with a new blog?
  8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  9. What is the most important thing in life?
  10. What is your favourite quote?

The blog I nominate (whilst not being a new blog) is the one I read the most avidly: chilangaexported.wordpress.com

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Rhubarb bundt cake v.2

Rhubarb bundt cake, take two… and this time I made sure I had the icing sugar required. I followed the same recipe as previously, but this time I whisked the ingredients for much longer so the mixture was light and fluffy. All was looking good when I took it out of the oven; it had risen beautifully, so I left it to cool in the tin. Then disaster struck once again! I came back to the cake an hour or so later and my lovely, risen cake had shrivelled up in the tin and was half the height. Why?!?

There was nothing I could do about it, so I removed the wrinkly mass from the tin and prepared the icing made from rhubarb syrup and icing sugar. I had rather a lot of syrup so drizzled some of it into the cake à la last time and made icing with the rest. The rhubarb syrup gave the icing a lovely natural pink colour whilst also making the inside of the cake nice and gooey.

See? Sunken and gooey inside!
See? Sunken and gooey inside!

The cake still tasted delicious and with the icing didn’t look so bad, but I’m at a loss for why it sank so badly – is that what adding Greek yogurt does to a cake?

Looking better with its icing drizzle
Looking better with its icing drizzle

Recipe here: http://www.deliciouseveryday.com/rhubarb-bundt-cake/

Dyed rug

I had a plain cream-coloured rug that I didn’t really like as it showed up every little piece of dust, fluff and stuff and needed constant vacuuming – lazy reason to dislike, I know. I turned to Pinterest for ideas to tart it up, but came up with tie-dye, fringing and other ideas I either disliked or couldn’t do. So in the end it wasn’t really a Pinterest project, but since I spent some time researching ideas, I’m going to count it as one! In the end I simply bought a box of dye (Dylon emerald green) which didn’t need mountains of salt but rather just went straight in the washing machine with the rug and did its job.

The solution to a lack of Pinterest inspiration!
The solution to a lack of Pinterest inspiration!

It’s not the best dye-job, and it is patchy in places, but it was my first one and I much prefer it to the old colour. Perhaps now my crochet skills are improving (more on that in a future post when the project is complete) I may be able to add some colourful edging to it, but for now, it’s on the floor and doesn’t need vacuuming all the time – result!

Looking good in its new home
Looking good in its new home (and matches the bedding rather well)

Granola

At my favourite place to go for breakfast in the lovely Wimbledon Village, they do a ‘granola parfait’ – natural yogurt, granola and fresh fruit – and it’s delish. So I decided to create my own version in my kitchen; after all, I can’t go out for breakfast every weekend!

My inspiration... yum!
My inspiration… yum!

I searched for some easy granola recipes and found one that only needed five ingredients, and five ingredients I had in the cupboard already. It called for oats (naturally), oil, honey, vanilla extract and brown sugar. It was easy to make – just mix the lot in a bowl and spread the mixture over a baking tray (use baking paper so it doesn’t stick to the tray) and bake. Halfway through I added some chopped almonds and desiccated coconut for a bit of added flavour. I baked it for longer than the suggested 30 minutes as it looked rather anaemic; it was more like 45 minutes in the oven.

It tastes lovely but it is very crumbly – it doesn’t stick together in clumps and clusters like usual granola, but on reading other recipes, I see that adding egg white or extra syrup to the mixture helps with that. It is really tasty sprinkled over natural yogurt and fruit… or the unhealthy version, sprinkled over ice cream. Now I just need to make a new clay tag for the jar!

It *was* full...
It *was* full…
Granola in action
Granola in action

Recipe here: http://www.superhealthykids.com/homemade-granola-only-5-ingredients/