Thursday 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

Batman and a ghostly bat pumpkin on Halloween, 2013
Trick or treat!
It's Halloween and any villains planning to play a trick on our neighbourhood will have to face the wrath of the Caped Crusader!

I spent the morning carving a monstrously huge pumpkin into the ghost-bat shape that Lucas chose, and let me tell you, pumpkin carving is hard work!  My fingers still feel like they're clenched around a tiny plastic tool.  Still, it's not bad for my first attempt at pumpkin carving!

We've spent the evening handing out sweeties to some very scary and some not-so-scary trick or treaters, and Lucas is almost vibrating out of his skin with excitement.  It's quite fun to watch!

My first attempt at pumpkin carving
OooOoooh, spooky!

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Wednesday 30 October 2013

Pretty Nostalgic Vintage Gathering

On Saturday I travelled back in time.  Well...almost.  I attended the Pretty Nostalgic Gathering at Kings Weston House near Bristol and luxuriated in vintage splendour for the day.

I was introduced to Pretty Nostalgic Magazine by Louisa from Duck in a Dress a few months ago after she posted a review of an issue.  I then spent a month searching for a copy in various branches of WHSmith until coming up trumps with a copy.  I've been eagerly anticipating the next issue ever since--they come out every two months--and was thrilled when I heard about the Gathering event.

The first event of the day--once I'd slogged through the Saturday morning Bristol traffic--was the Blogger Q&A with Annabel Beeforth, owner of the stunningly successful wedding blog Love My Dress.  It's been a long time since I got married, so I wasn't quite the target audience, but I found the whole talk fascinating and I'm thinking more about organising and scheduling my blog posts as well as how to build a community.

Annabel Beeforth from Love my Dress
After the talk was over I went for a wander around the house.  The gorgeous scent of chocolate drew me into the Wedding Room where I was delighted to be reacquainted with Lizzie, the owner of Chocolate Delores.  A long time ago (but not in a galaxy far, far away) Lizzie made my wedding cake, and just one bite of her beautifully moist and rich chocolate cake was enough to send me on a happy trip down memory lane.  I would highly recommend her cakes--you don't need to be getting married, either.  She can make cakes for any occasion, or just simply because you need cake.  We all have days like that, yes?

All the exhibitors in the Wedding Room had beautifully styled, enticing displays, which drew me in.  I'm thoroughly married, but it's never too early to think about a silver anniversary party... Perhaps my dress will be considered vintage by then?

At noon the bloggers gathered in the lovely little yurt--check out Wedding Yurts if you've got your heart set on a yurt for your special day--which was set up in the garden outside.  It was so nice to meet some West Country and Welsh bloggers, and everyone was lovely!  I came away with a lot of ideas and plenty of new blogs to read.

Blogger networking event in the yurt at the Pretty Nostalgic Gathering

Later on I tried my hand at spinning with Jane Bissett from Kennixton Sheep.  In the past I've done a little bit of weaving on a table-top loom, dyed wool, carded wool, knitted, crocheted...everything to do with wool except spinning it into yarn.  I couldn't wait to give it a go!  I should have known that it wouldn't be as easy as it looked...
Spinning wheel and beautiful wool at the Pretty Nostalgic Gathering
Beautiful wool and spinning wheel
Jane was endlessly patient with me as I bumbled my way through spinning a short piece of gorgeously soft carded wool from Annabel the sheep.  Spinning is not one of those skills that you pick up in an instant!  Still, I'm proud of the small length of yarn I produced, despite its slubs.

Louisa and I spent a while wandering around the British Makers Room.  I could easily have bankrupted myself here!  I fell in love with the gorgeous mixed media pictures created by Julia Jowett which melded wire embroidery, the tiniest needle embroidery I've ever seen and tapestry stitches to make incredible pictures.  We also stopped by Revolution Chocolates to pick up a chocolate ration bar, or two.  I bought a "Home Front" for Dave, which was a dark milk chocolate.  I wish I'd picked up a "Spitfire" for myself, with cinnamon and ginger, but I didn't want to look greedy!

As we were leaving I spotted some dapper dressers gathering on the staircase and dashed around to take a picture...
WWII re-enactors at the Pretty Nostalgic Gathering
WWII re-enactors on the gorgeous staircase at Kings Weston House
I had a marvellous time and everyone I spoke to agreed that the Gathering had been a roaring success in a beautiful venue.  Thanks so much for inviting me, Pretty Nostalgic, and I hope that you'll arrange another gathering soon!

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Monday 28 October 2013

Autumn at Tyntesfield

Pumpkins and gourds galore in the Orangery at Tyntesfield
Pumpkins and gourds on display in the Orangery
Last Sunday Lucas and Dave left me snoozing in bed--it was an awesome lie-in, thanks for asking--and went to Tyntesfield for a walk on what was a lovely, crisp Autumn morning.

It was National Wool Week while the boys were at Tyntesfield and the Warmley Weavers were in residence at the Orangery in the grounds to give demonstrations.  It's a shame I missed them; I haven't done weaving since I was in high school, but on the other hand I probably don't need another hobby...

Did you know that Tyntesfield is quite famous for fungi?  Dave phoned me with tales of mushrooms and toadstools on the lawns, and it turns out that they have over 800 species of fungi there.

They returned, cheeks a-glow, with photos and a lovely bouquet of spinach with chilli peppers masquerading as flowers for me!

There are lots of autumn and Halloween themed events on at Tyntesfield over the October half-term holiday.  Lucas and I might pop along to do the Spooky Halloween Trail, since we've never been into the house before.  If you haven't visited Tyntesfield before, now is a great time!

NT Tyntesfield
BS48 1NX

Tel.: 01275 461900

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Friday 25 October 2013

Friday Favourites

This week has been super-busy--but awesome--with Lucas's birthday and extended celebrations!  He's had a brilliant time and I have happily wallowed in both nostalgia and maternal pride.

Last night I joined the Women's Institute, a new and funky branch has just formed down the road from our house.  They have a programme of events that I'm really excited about, and had beautifully bedecked the village hall with bunting and lovely little displays to illustrate the different sub-group opportunities.  A knitting group would be pretty awesome! They also believe that you can never have too much cake.  I think we're going to get on just fine...

The weekend promises to be busy, too.  I'm going to the Pretty Nostalgic Gathering at Kingsweston House and I'm looking forward to meeting other bloggers and being surrounded by pretty things all day long.  Lucas and Dave have decided to find more "manly" pursuits for the day...not even the promise of pizza cooked in a proper wood oven could tempt them!  Philistines ;)

Favourite Crafting Project: Crochet bunting extravaganza!
Gorgeous crochet bunting at Yarndale, copyright Attic24
© Attic24
This incredible crochet bunting was put together by the very lovely Lucy from Attic24, one of my favourite blogs.  I adore bunting and this immense, crowdsourced, crochet project is stunning.  It stretches for 1.25km--is there a Guiness record for handmade bunting??  It was created for Yarndale, a weekend festival of fibre arts and creativity in Yorkshire.  I am hell-bent on hanging bunting around the school hall when we have our PTA Christmas Fair in December and this one would be perfect, especially if I can pressgang people into helping...

Favourite Geeky Stuff: Doctor Who
Dalek Thay is studying the history of The Doctor
Lucas and I have been watching Doctor Who from the very beginning.  We started during the summer holidays and have just reached the Fifth Doctor.  (Lucas is devastated as he loved Four.  Hopefully he can find some enthusiasm for Five!)  He got a set of Cybermen for his birthday and they've been battling my Dalek for supremacy which puts a big smile on my face every time I hear him playing.

It's now less than a month until the 50th anniversary and the TV schedule is starting to fill up with all sorts of amazing Whovian programmes--really looking forward to Professor Brian Cox's programme about the science of Doctor Who!  I just booked tickets for us to watch the anniversary special in 3D with one of our friends when we're in London for the official Celebration convention.  Super-exciting!

If you fancy some book recommendations, then the Anglophenia blog has you covered!  I'd also add Tony Lee's "The Forgotten" graphic novel which was excellent.

Favourite Internet Find: Creative Mom Turns Baby's Naptime Into Dream Photos
Baby Dreamscape, ©
A friend of mine linked me to these beautiful naptime dreamscapes.  I wish I'd thought to do this when Lucas was a baby and falling asleep in the oddest places and positions!  My favourite is probably the circus one with all the toy animals watching the performance.  Tres cute!

Happy Friday, everyone!

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Thursday 24 October 2013

Bello, Minion!

Despicable Me Minion cake
Lucas's very own Minion!  Say, "Bello!"
Ever since Lucas and Dave watched Despicable Me 2 they've been speaking to each other in Minion-ese.  This is both very cute and (at times) annoying.  (I don't speak Minion, but I am fluent in sarcasm and snark, if you need translation services.)  Given Lucas's deep love for Minions, I thought that they'd make a great birthday cake!

In case you aren't familiar with Minions, feast your eyes on these cute little guys...

I always like to keep Lucas's cake a secret from him, and usually this is pretty easy.  I just plonk it on the dining room table, tell him not to go in there--insert dire threat here--and build a fort around it for good measure.  This year, though, there was a teacher's strike on the day I'd planned to leisurely decorate it, so Lucas was at home.  This sent me into a bit of a tailspin.... "But I was going to decorate his cake!" I wailed.  "How'm I supposed to keep it a secret now?"

After I dried my eyes I decided that if I baked one or two of the cakes I needed, and froze them, then I could probably manage to decorate it on Friday in between errands and teaching at school in the afternoon.  (Teaching sewing, I should add.  Please don't mistake me for a proper teacher.  They're bona fide saints.)  So that's what I did.  I also decorated a cake board to resemble industrial metal flooring, just the thing for Gru's lair.

On Thursday I defrosted the cakes and baked a third cake in a small Pyrex bowl for the rounded top.  I could have baked another 6" layer and carved, but I am lazy and Pyrex works out pretty well usually.  (You can get proper metal hemisphere tins which would be even better, I'm sure.)  I also coloured loads of fondant and set butter out to soften so that I could get started first thing in the morning.

There are loads of fantastic tutorials on the internet which will help you make your own Minion cake, so I'm not going to rehash everything.  I found this video particularly helpful:  Minions come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so you can't really go wrong.

Also, this fantastic tutorial from Sweetie Darling was really helpful for making hands and feet.

Details of goggles and overalls on a Minion cake
Close-ups on the goggles and overalls of the Minion
Lucas loved his Minion!  The first thing he said was, "Bello!" to it, which was pretty cute, and then he gave me a big hug.  Aww... I'm really pleased with how he turned out, especially the eyes which seem to have Mona Lisa qualities to them--they seem to follow you around the room...  He was a huge hit at Lucas's party and I was really sad to cut into him.  By the time we'd cut enough pieces of cake for the party bag it looked like we'd performed a lobotomy.  Being a Minion is hard sometimes...

Top Tips!
* Use ready-made black icing.  You'll never manage to tint icing dark enough with gel colours!
*Use string to measure how wide you need to roll your fondant out and keep it handy as a guide, especially if you use two pieces of yellow fondant to cover the minion.
* Roll the strip of fondant around the rolling pin to avoid dreadful tears in the fondant.  (I forgot to do this, and my Minion has clearly been in a fight if you look at his back... Oh, look! I forgot to take a picture of that :P)
* Use proper edible glue rather than water or vodka to stick on the eyes/goggles/arms etc.

Gel colourings used
Sugarflair Melon (perfect Minion yellow)
Sugarflair Navy
Sugarflair Dark Brown
Wilton Black (to colour fondant grey for the board)

High Density Chocolate Sponge
Recipe by "The Dinosaur" from the British Sugarcraft Guild Forums

Makes a deep 6" round cake

175g unsalted butter (very soft)
185g caster sugar (use the proper stuff not supermarket own brands)
175g eggs, beaten (weighed out of their shells)
40g cocoa powder
135g McDougall's sponge flour
1/4t baking powder
1/4t espresso powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2T water

Preheat oven to 150C (130C fan oven).  Line a deep 6" round tin and place on a baking sheet.  You'll also need a larger tin to invert over this one.

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl (easiest with a stand mixer, but you could use a hand-held electric whisk, too).  Beat on slow speed until all traces of butter are gone. Raise speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.  The mixture should start to go pale.  Raise speed to full and beat for 1 minute.  The volume of the mixture expands quite dramatically.

Scrape into tin, level and place on tray.  Cover with a larger inverted tin and place in the oven.  Bake for approximately one hour according to the original author, removing the covering tin half-way through once all the rising has happened.  I found that it took much longer, but my oven is a little unreliable these days.  Test for doneness with a skewer in the middle of a cake; it should come out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

NB. The purpose of the covering tin is to prevent the sides of the cake from overbaking before the centre is done.  It's also supposed to make for a flatter top on the cake, meaning less wastage when you come to level it.

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Wednesday 23 October 2013

Lucas turns seven (Doesn't time fly?)

Yesterday, Lucas turned seven.  I can't believe only seems like a few days ago that he was hiccuping away in my tummy and I was desperately trying to evict him with super-hot curries, pineapple and driving over the most vicious cobbled streets that we could find.

He had his birthday party on Saturday and zoomed around on go-karts with his friends (with the occasional wild bouncing session on a bouncy castle for variety).  And of course, there was cake.  (More on that later, of course!)
Lucas woke us up at 0630--he's a reliable alarm clock, especially on his birthday--and he opened a present in bed before we took him downstairs to see his big birthday surprise.
I've decided that messy sofas look sophisticated in B&W
There was a very satisfying gasp, and a wow, and then he settled down to the Serious Business of unwrapping presents before school.  Oh!  I must show you the fantastic card that Dave put together for Lucas!
Lucas wants to be James Bond when he grows up!
Amid all the sugar and excitement I've spent a lot of time wallowing in nostalgia and flicking through photographs.  He's grown a lot over the years...
(clockwise) 20 weeks, 1 day, 6 months, 18 months, 3 years, 4.5 years
I know every mummy is super-proud of her child (or children), but Lucas is the kindest, loveliest, funniest little guy I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.  He's bright--he explained to his older cousin last night why the ISS is so bright when it passes overhead, its solar panels reflect the sun in case you were curious--and is usually relentlessly cheerful.  He's just 100% gorgeous, inside and out and I love him to bits.

Happy birthday, Wee Man!

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Monday 21 October 2013

The British Museum and other adventures

The British Museum is one of my favourite places in London.  Every time I go, I discover a new piece that I'd overlooked on previous visits as there are so many artefacts jammed in there.  Dave had never visited the museum before, so we both vetoed Lucas's pleas to go back to the Natural History Museum for the umpteenth time, and headed there after lunch.

After you climb the steps and pass through the Greek Revival column-lined fa├žade you reach the Great Court, now the central hub of the museum.  The stunning glass and steel roof, constructed in 2000, covers the entire court with the Reading Room at the centre of the Court.  If you look up, from just the right angle, you can see the domed roof of the Reading Room peeking out above the roof.  It's almost like being at Hogwarts.

The Reading Room within the Great Court of the British Museum
We spent a lot of time in the Enlightenment Gallery which I'm not sure I've been into before.  The gallery provides a sort of introduction to the artefacts and antiquities within the museum, as well as demonstrating how collectors and scientists tried to further their understanding of the world during the age.

One of the highlights of the Enlightenment Gallery is the replica of the Rosetta Stone.  The real one, on the other side of the Great Court is always five people deep so it was lovely to have a really good look even if it wasn't the real thing.  Lucas was fascinated when we told him all about the Rosetta Stone even though he was up close and personal with a replica.
A replica of the Rosetta Stone
It always breaks my heart that so many amazing works of art have been vandalised over the years.  Despite her missing head, there is so much beauty and joy inherent in this dancer, displayed in the Athens room.  Her robes look silken and flowing as she spins.  My photograph just doesn't do the statue's beauty justice.

After we'd had our fill of the ancient world we headed back out onto the busy streets of London and wandered down to Covent Garden for gelato.  Scoop is our gelateria of choice...Dave was introduced to it a few years back by a friend and he, in turn, introduced Lucas and I to it.  Rain or shine, every time we go to London these days we make a beeline for Scoop!!

This time round I had Chocolate Extra Fondante sorbet, which was as black as sin but tasted heavenly, Mango sorbet, and Amaretto ice-cream with cherry sauce which was just amazing.

Dave and Lucas shared Pistachio, Caramel and White Chocolate and loved every bite.  The white chocolate was a bit disappointing, apparently, but I guess when you eat something delicate alongside punchy flavours like pistachio and caramel, it's going to suffer a little.

After we finished our gelato we wandered through Covent Garden and soaked up the atmosphere.  There were buskers everywhere, street magicians and my favourite...the living statues!  I was as wide-eyed with wonder as Lucas was!

Living statue in Covent Garden
After walking around for a while, we started to think about dinner.  I know, I know...we'd just had gelato and burgers at lunch time.  How could we possibly be hungry?  I blame all that exercise and fresh air!  (Well, air.  No one could possibly argue that London's air is fresh.)

I really wanted Thai, but conceded that it was probably better to go somewhere that Lucas was excited about and he was mega, mega keen to go to the Hare and Tortoise in Kensington for sushi.  My feet weren't overly keen on trekking out to Kensington, but since he hadn't had much of a lunch, I was willing to give it a go.

Luckily, Dave came up trumps with the discovery of another Hare & Tortoise in Bloomsbury, which was much closer and also on our way back to the hotel.  Hurrah!

Sushi plate & Teriyaki Chicken
I don't know how the Hare and Tortoise do it, but you rarely have to wait more than a couple of minutes for a table, and once you've ordered your food appears in about five minutes flat, yet it's all perfectly cooked.  A lot of restaurants could learn from them.  Plus, it all comes with a smile!

Lucas wolfed down his sushi in record time and also shared little bits of my teriyaki chicken and Dave's tori katsu don until he was full.  I loved the teriyaki chicken but there was so much of it that even I struggled to reach the bottom of the bowl.

After dinner we hopped back on the Underground and headed back to our hotel, tired but happy.  When we synced up our Fitbits we discovered that we'd walked nine miles across London!!  I have renewed respect for Hobbits; those little guys walked up to 18 miles a day in their quest to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom!  Me?  Nine miles and I was totally and utterly done.


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Thursday 17 October 2013

London, baby!

Queen's Guard on sentry duty outside St James's Palace
Last weekend we went up to London as an early birthday treat for Lucas.  I've been to London loads of times, but I've never 'done' Buckingham Palace or any of the Royal Parks so we decided to play tourist for a day.

Since the Jubilee line was part-closed--honestly, is this line ever fully open?--we walked from Bond Street tube past lots of amazingly luxurious shops that I really need to go back and have a proper browse in.  (Assuming the doormen/bouncers think I look rich enough to enter!)  I loved the window displays at Fortnum and Masons.  Isn't this the most fabulous badger you've ever seen?

I'd totally go to this badger's tea party!
We walked through the grounds of St James's Palace and turned onto The Mall where we could just glimpse Buckingham Palace in the distance.  A few yards up the road there was a crowd of tourists, so being nosey we rocked up for a look, too.  And there they were!  Two members of the Queen's Guard resplendent in their scarlet tunics and bearskins. standing at their posts in front of sentry boxes.  (A quick Google tells me that these fine gentlemen belong to the Grenadier Guards regiment.)  This is now the only place in London where you can get up-close to the Guard and they really are rather splendid.  Note the bayonet on their rifles--these are serving soldiers, and smart as they look, they're not decorative!

Lucas and I in front of Buckingham Palace
From the sentry boxes outside St James's Palace, it's a very short walk to Buckingham Palace.  As you can see from the Union Flag flying atop the Palace, the Queen was out.  (When in residence, the Royal Standard flies instead of the Union Flag.  In other fun facts, when the Queen is not in residence the posted sentries (Queen's Guard) are reduced from four to two.)

(L) Buckingham Palace (R) Canada Gate, Green Park (B) Victoria Memorial
While we were gawping at the Palace I noticed a mounted police officer shouting directions at cars and wondered what was going on.  Lo and behold...a few minutes later the Queen's Life Guard trotted past, breastplates and helmets gleaming in the sunshine!

Queen's Life Guard
After the Guard had passed we decided to go for a walk through St James's Park which was really pretty.  (As it should be, since it is one of London's Royal Parks!)  We were followed around for a while by a goose who was rather disappointed that we didn't have any bread or bird seed, and Lucas spied one of the famous pelicans on the far bank of the pond.

Goose or gander? Who was bold as brass, though
My sense of direction takes a bit of a holiday whenever I'm in London so I was utterly surprised to suddenly find Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament looming in front of me on the other side of St James's Park!  (I think all the hustle and bustle disrupts my delicate brainwaves.)

Big Ben & The Houses of Parliament
And just round the corner is Downing Street!  I had no idea that all of this was in such close proximity!

Rather than walk down the Embankment which we always do, Dave took us for a wander through Whitehall Gardens which was leafy, green, and above all else...quiet.

(L) Statue of Icarus in front of the MOD, (R) a rather fairytale-looking hotel
By now our tummies were rumbling, so we squeezed onto the tube and headed back to Bond Street, and Patty & Bun, for lunch.  Mmm...burgers.

Later on Little Apple Tree...shockingly nude statues at the British Museum ("Cover your eyes, Mummy!"), the best gelato in London, and dinner in Bloomsbury.

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Wednesday 16 October 2013

Patty & Bun

Patty & Bun, London

When we decided that we were going up to London for the weekend, Patty & Bun was top of my list of things to do.  I've seen mouth-watering reviews of it on lifestyle blogs and it seems as though the rest of London has read those reviews, too!

We got to P&B just after they opened and all the tables inside were full--it's a tiny place, seats about 30--and a queue was forming outside.  I gave my name and the size of our party to a waitress and settled on the bench outside to wait and watch the world go by.

Patty & Bun menu

We were seated about 20 minutes later, and I took another look at the menu even though I'd been greedily eyeing out outside.  I liked their short menu--I'd rather have a small selection of food that's all done really well than a huge menu where you are left wondering how the kitchen could possibly manage it all. Six burgers and four sides is just perfect in my opinion!

I settled for the 'Jose Jose' chilli burger and Dave went for the 'Smokey Robinson'.  Lucas...well, Lucas is having an moral crisis about meat at the moment--he loves the taste, but loves the cute animals equally as much--so he ended up having just fries.  I guess that he's at an age where he's thinking more deeply and suffering major guilt as a result almost every time he eats meat.

Patty & Bun, Burgerman wall art
Burgerman: the tastiest superhero around!
The burgers came to the table wrapped fast-food style, with cute red stickers identifying which was which, and the rosemary fries were served in separate plastic tubs.  All very simple and stylish.

Patty & Bun Smokey Robinson burger and rosemary fries

Oh my god...these were good burgers.  Fair warning, they're a bit drippy, but oh so good!

Patty & Bun Smokey Robinson burger
Smokey Robinson Burger--look at that cheese!
My Jose Jose was gorgeous, the chilli chorizo relish on top adding fantastic flavour but not too much heat.  (I'm by no means afraid of chilli but I didn't want the burger to get overpowered by it!)   The beef patty itself was really well seasoned and I don't know what they put in the house mayo, but it was amazing and thoroughly addictive.

About halfway through his portion of fries, Lucas said, "I feel like I'm on Man v Food!"  He wasn't wrong!  The cups of fries seemed bottomless and the fries themselves were pretty epic.  Lucas loved the "green salt" and said that the fries were much better than McDonalds--high praise from a kid!  I thought there was just the right amount of rosemary in the salt--much more and it would have been soapy--and they were wonderfully crisp.  Perfect for dipping into the occasional drip of mayo!

We loved Patty & Bun!  The burgers were seasoned perfectly and cooked so well--gorgeously pink inside--and the buttery brioche made each mouthful utterly decadent.  I would definitely recommend it!

Patty & Bun
54 James Street, London, W1U 1HE (nearest tube, Bond Street)

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Friday 11 October 2013

Friday Favourites

Happy Friday, everyone!  It's an inset day here, so not only do I have the pleasure of Lucas's company all day, I got a lie in too!  I just need to train him in the ancient art of the Dolce Gusto machine and I'd have the perfect morning...

Favourite geeky find:

It has to be this trailer for The Enemy of the World, a long-lost Doctor Who serial which has just been discovered in Nigeria.  Until now only one episode of the serial was thought to have survived--available on the Lost In Time boxset--and all of a sudden we now have the entire story!  Also found is most of the episodes of The Web of Fear, one of my favourite stories.  I loved reading the Target novelisation when I was a kid!

You can buy the episodes from iTunes, but I think I'll hold off and wait for the DVDs to come on sale.

Favourite picture:
Surf's up!
What's a Friday without a cute animal (or bird) picture?  I saw this picture on innocent drinks Facebook page and it brightened up my morning and set off a fit of the giggles.  This is truly the world's coolest duck!  Plus, I thought Duck In A Dress would love it :)

Favourite Infographic:

Do you remember all the furore about Delia Smith's How to Cook TV series & book a few years ago?  People were shocked that she felt the nation needed to be instructed in how to boil an egg... Clearly Delia missed a trick by failing to instruct us all on how to cut toast properly, but this fantastic infographic (in which I detect a whiff of irony) should sort you out if you ever had any doubts!

Favourite blogger bling: Twitter Avatar Necklaces

© Knitty Mummy
Did I mention that I'm going to Blogtacular in May?  I've been thinking of getting some blog business cards made up after hearing about bloggers exchanging them at little (and large) meet-ups.  (Moo cards come highly recommended it seems.)  Now there's Knitty Mummy's very clever invention of Twitter avatar necklaces to help bloggers who regularly chat on Twitter to recognise each other without any awkward moments of mistaken identity!

If my Twitter account is ever restored then I'll certainly be ordering one!

We're off to London later for a weekend of drunken debauchery.  Oh wait, we have Lucas in tow... Family fun, it is, then!  (I might sneak in a cocktail or two...)  Have a good weekend, y'all.

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