Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blueberry Muffins

Every time I walk past the little tubs of blueberries in Woolworths, I think “Blueberry Muffins” and then looking at the price, I pass.  I have a Plum recipe book that stands open on my kitchen counter and guess what recipe it is open on, “Lemon and Blueberry Scones”.  Everything has been shouting, buy the blueberries, so I did.

I however decided not to make the scones as they looked a bit like rock cakes in the photograph and blueberry muffins sounded oh so nicer.

So here you go: 

Blueberry Muffins Recipe

1 Egg
200ml Milk
100g Butter, melted
250g Self-raising Flour
125g Caster Sugar
Pinch of Salt
150 g Blueberries (I did not add sugar to my tub of blueberries. I would like to think that these muffins are slightly healthy with the lovely fresh blueberries.  Frozen blueberries can be used if you wish)

1.      Preheat oven to 180°C.
2.      Grease approximately 12 muffin cases placed into a muffin baking tin.
3.      Beat the egg and milk together, then mix in the melted butter.
4.      Add the flour, castor sugar and salt.  Mix with a blender and finally stir in the blueberries with a spoon.  (You do not want crushed blueberries now do you?!)
5.      Spoon into your muffin holders about just over ½ full. 
6.      Bake for about 15 minutes till nicely browned on top.

Eat warm and enjoy the burst of blueberries with each bite. 

(Don’t pick the blueberries out; this is not a chocolate you are dissecting!) 

Blueberries and Muesli

Muesli, a couple dollops’ of plain yoghurt, sprinkle blueberries on top of the yoghurt, finally drizzle honey over the yoghurt and blueberries.  This is a healthy way to start the day.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Finds of Old

9th of January morning meander

I love to go rambling through shops that have reclaimed pieces of furniture & fittings, household items, doors, windows, planks and more.  I especially love dated items such as old butter churners, bottles, enamelware, tins, old cups & saucers and so on.  On one such browsing morning I photographed some items that caught my eye and had I the money, I may well have bought a lot of these.  I saw a complete kitchen for sale for R15000 which I think is typically the Johannesburg price as down in Port Elizabeth at a shop called Smitty’s, you would probably pay half of that.  It looked like 1950’s style as all the cupboard doors & drawers were metal.  I especially loved the wall unit for cups & saucers, it had sliding doors and inside a little shelf just for the cups.  If I was redoing a kitchen, this would be a definite buy.  I would replace the tops with the modern granite and fit the sink unit with a farm style butler sink.  It was very difficult to photograph and capture the beauty of the units of this old kitchen, but here they are.

 Look at that cute shelf just for your cups. Some new shelving paper, a new coat of paint and this would be such a pretty kitchen unit.

Old kitchen units oozing with charm!

Old effects have such charm, beauty & history, given a re-paint, fitted with a newly sewn cushion, re-wired gives new life to an old forgotten and discarded piece of treasure.
Bread Slicer

Kitchen Scales

A delightful array of eye candy

Old Headboards

Something I fancy buying

A cute turquoise painted table

Coal St
Old Butter Churner
If you fancy a little trip to such a shop, the one I visited is called Independent-traders, Salvage, Antiques, Furniture in Johannesburg.  Their website is

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Millionaire's Shortbread & 2 Nifty Ideas

Today I’ll be sharing the way to my husband’s heart… and it is definitely by making Millionaire’s shortbread.  It is his all time favourite after dinner treat to have with a lovely cup of brewed filter coffee.

Millionaires Shortbread

Shortbread Recipe:
225g Cake Flour                      
225g Butter                             
100g Castor Sugar                                      
100g Maizena

1.  Preheat the oven to 150C.  Grease a 20cm x 30cm x 2,5cm (deep) tin.
2.  Make the shortbread:  Mix all ingredients, fits into a small baking tray. (Or two round cake tins for plain shortbread)  Place in deep freeze 10 - 15 minutes then bake for 1 hr.  Careful not to burn - golden brown.  Sprinkle with Castor sugar when they come out of the oven or coat for Millionaire’s Shortbread
3.  Millionaires caramel: 
385g Can Condense Milk
30ml (2T) Syrup
80g Butter
Heat slowly and then increase heat very slightly till mixture is bubbling and cook 5 – 6min until caramely.  Spread over slightly cooled shortbread and put in fridge to set before spreading on the chocolate topping.
4.  Millionaires topping:
180g Slab of Cadbury Chocolate
 Place the chocolate in double boiler until melted.  You can melt the chocolate in the microwave but be sure to stop the microwave often (say every 10 – 20 seconds) to avoid the chocolate burning.  Spread over caramel and leave to set in fridge for 1 hour.

Some millionaires’ tips:
1.      You can replace the Caramel with the ready to use version but it does seem to have a bit of a watery consistence to it which makes the shortbread not so crispy.
2.      Use only Cadbury’s Chocolate, the other makes of chocolates do not melt as well and taste as good!  Do not, I repeat, do not use cooking chocolate for goodness sake that will taste just awful!

                  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Cut into squares and Serve to impress!! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lacy Trimmed Jersey
On a little outing today I noticed a lovely green jersey in one of my favourite stores.  I never buy from them unless they are having a serious sale but love looking anyway.  This little green jersey, a light weight jersey had this beautiful lace trimming.  The jersey was retailing for R480!!  It got me thinking that if you found a plain jersey (any colour of your choice), you could pretty it up with a cute lace trimming along the inner edges.  When I do find a jersey to do this exercise with, I will report back to you and lets’ see the savings! $$$!

I saw this sweet heart on a Facebook post, what a lovely idea, should be easy to make!!Y

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My 365 Page Book

I saw this posted on Facebook which I really liked.  Of course there is just no way that I am going to sit here blogging every single day for the next 365 days but I can most certainly try to check in every 7 days with something of interest. 

So I am going to kick the year off with my past 7 pages of this year.

Day 1, or should I say Page 1:
"Project Rustic Relic Restoration" - found on the Beach in Amanzimtoti.
Amanzimtoti is a lovely holiday destination on the east coast of South Africa.  It does not become excessively crowded over the December holidays like some of the more popular more expensive destinations like Ballito & Umhlanga Rocks, but ends up being pleasant & nicely sprinkled with holiday makers mostly from Gauteng

This old light fitting was found on the beach by my husband and with a vision in mind, excuse the pun, it came home with us, got a little scraping down with a metal brush and fitted with new wiring & a light bulb fitting.  At this stage, I have decided to keeps its’ rusted look and may roughly paint it later to keep with the rustic look.

Page 2:
“Always seeking Inspiration.”
Never stop seeking new inspirations and keeping them somewhere to encourage some creative activity.  I found this lovely blanket that who knows, might spur on some activity.

Page 3:
“There is nothing like rest.”
Some days can be a nothing day and might just end up being a page through a magazine, or should I say, a walk through the pages of wonderful inspiration.  I have been pondering on a look in a catalogue from a popular store for quite a few days now, in fact since being on holiday at the coast.  My aim has been to create a look in my bedroom similar to the one on that page.  But in my book, nothing is with immediate effect; it takes time, money & some activity to make it happen.  To date I have just added 2 new cushions to my bed, x 2 new pillow cases & a little re-arranging of items I already have.  To achieve the ultimate look, I need to re-paint the walls to white (there is the effort) and I am not quite there yet as I need to go purchase a new paint roller & tray.  You see, even though we live in the day and age of instant, it takes time, effort & money, the latter of which is not instant either. 

Herewith a simple lunch suggestion on a hot summers day.
Page 4:
“Out with the dressing table”
Further to my previous ponderings of change in my bedroom, here is a little glimpse at a small change that was made today.  I got rid of my dressing table which was becoming the clutter zone in my room.  I used the mirror from my dressing table, added hooks to it for my jewelry, hairdryer & hair iron; put a small drawer pedestal on the one side, a shelf above the mirror for just the toiletries I use on a daily basis and a chair.  Voila, I have created a simplistic, user friendly, space saving spot to spruce up for the day!!

Let me tell you what inspired this.  While on holiday at our lovely holiday flat, as I unpacked my toiletries on the shelf provided above a small mirrored corner/ built in dressing table, I realised how wonderful simplicity is.  We pack to go on holiday, we pack just the toiletries in we need and guess what ….. You don’t need 3 body creams, this oil that scrub, this face mask, that foot cream, this hand cream…. Clutter clutter clutter.  If I could survive with the basics on holiday, why not at home, and not only that, one can arrange them so neatly that it makes life so much easier not to have all the choices.  Use you favourite fragranced cream for goodness sake, when it is finished, gets another one; what are you saving it for… to get the smell of the plastic in it?  Come on, chuck out all the old left over creams you mixed together into one dispenser, a yucky array of unknown fragrances, why are you using them.  And then lastly, the creams you got as Christmas presents… if you are really not mad about them, then give them away.  And as this is my blog I would like to add that I really do not like the “Oh so Heavenly” creams, bath gels & soaps from Clicks that everyone buy to give as gifts, they smell like toilet spray to me, sorry!! 

Detox clutter not only in your home but on your Facebook page too.  Remove yourself from the groups which fill up your homepage, un-friend yourself from people you don’t really know and who you won’t really miss.

Page 5
“Hearts & things”
I have a love for collecting shells up from the beach when on holiday at the sea.  The problem is that when you get home, they lose their beach beauty and become dust collectors.  I think we like collecting them as we hope to take something of our holiday back home with us.  I needed to do something pretty & useful with some of my beach shells so I quickly looked around on Pinterest and got the idea to make this heart with shells on to add to my heart collection. 
A little holiday, sea shell preservation on my wall among st my much loved heart collection.

Page 6
Day 6 of my new year was taken up with the necessary shopping of school stationery for the new school year.  It is a tiring operation, working through the lists from the schools.  My son is in his final year of school this year and my youngest is just in her 3rd year.  I love stationery especially new stationery and pretty pencil boxes.

Day 7
“A pretty inspiration.”

Hope your 365 page book is beautifully written and filled with much inspiration and many photos to capture all those wonderful moments.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Crochet Handbag

I' m not sure if I ever shared my crochet handbag on my blog before but here it is.  I am going to be sharing more and more of my projects of late in the weeks to come.  I have been busy establishing my bookkeeping business from home this year amidst recovering from the stresses of having worked in an extreme stress environment, so it's taking me a while to get back to all my loves.  My greatest and most passionate love is crochet and baking.  I don't bake as often as I crochet as all the baked goodies would need to be eaten and that would not always be good.
I have also been crocheting some more tea cozies this year and am enjoying making scatter cushions of late.  I will post some of those creations next.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Crochet/Photo/Creativity Fun

I have been having so much fun lately taking photos of the things that inspire me and pasting the photos together in InstaCollage. InstaCollage is an app on my I-Phone.  I am enjoying gathering inspiration.  As in this photo I love the idea of the cushion that was sewn and given touches of embroidery writing and a crochet heart. 
I love the way the cake was presented on a plate at a quaint little coffee shop.  
Love the beautiful saying I saw on a wall in a clothing store.
Two pretty cushions in a basket - so simple yet so pretty.  That would look lovely in a lounge, on a patio, bedroom.

Crochet - I'm busy with the blocks in the corner for a traditional Granny Square blanket for my youngest daughter's bed. The photo on the right hand side top, is what it will look like when sewn together.  Bottom left hand side photo, is that of a cushion I crocheted for my eldest daughter last year.  I love this cushion, the bright colours against the grey, I could steal it for my bed!! Guess I will have to crochet another one.  Tea cozies are my new designs.... "Just having Fun"!
I only crocheted the cushion in this photo.  The remaining 3 photographs are items of inspiration I saw in a shop!!

Saturday morning out with my hubby and daughters in Linden!
ABOVE:  I just love the way they grouped the rock roses together with the some other succulents and the Hypoestes phyllostachya(which I just call "The Pinkie Plant").
I love this idea - succulents planted in large enamel bowls.  LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!  Maybe my Easter weekend project.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

It has been such a long time since I have been here and had any inspiration to write, create and post a blog.  I left a very stressful job at the end of last year which left little room for creativity, relaxation and let alone writing blogs.  I was tired, sick and very stressed out. No one should ever stay in a job that is draining and strips you of your self confidence and joy.  I work for myself from home now doing bookkeeping for clients, it is a quiet job and has allowed the calm to return into my life.  I must say, I am slowly but surely finding my energy returning and here I am sitting at my computer, with the view of my garden on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon in Johannesburg about to send you some inspirational photos and creations.  Fortunately, I have not stopped crocheting and still love the joy it brings.  I love baking and the desire for that has also slowly started creeping back into my life.

BAKING MILLIONAIRE SHORTBREAD - A FAMILY FAVOURITE                                          



I leave you with my motto for 2013!