Archive | March, 2011

I ♥ Diana

30 Mar

I use several cameras, but my favourite film camera is my Diana.  She is a piece of turquoise plastic, who leaks light and bounces when she’s dropped…and I love her!

Diana’s images have colors that are vivid and saturated, and corners that vignette delightfully!

This sea-side panorama in taken in La Rochelle, in France.

 

Enjoy those blues! ♥

Heart-warming treats!

29 Mar

Mmmmmmm.  I am a HUGE fan of cinnamon buns.

Every week or so,  or for a treat, (or a monday!) I go to Simon’s Cafe in town for an apple and cinnamon tea and the World’s Best Cinnamon Bun!  Even when they are not great, these buns are the best I have ever tasted!

I have followed this tradition for several years now, and have met some wonderful friends in Simons’.  I brought C. there when we started dating…need I say he is a convert now?!

Anyway, like I say…I’ve been going there for years and it never entered my mind that I could make my OWN cinnamon buns.  I always thought they would be terribly complicated to make. They are not.

I haven’t cooked with yeast since I was about 14, so I was more than a little apprehensive when I broached my personal cookbook, which had a recipe for cinnamon buns tucked at the back.  It was given to me by a friend in Sweden and was, up to this point, unused and unloved!  ‘Kanelbulle’ are a firm favourite in Sweden, traditionally served with coffee for ‘Fika‘.  Fika is both a swedish verb and noun that roughly means “to drink coffee”, usually accompanied by something sweet, and it’s a MAJOR social institution in Sweden. THANKS SWEDEN!!

Tonight I tried them for the first time, warping the ingredients to suit my cinnamon loving tastes!  They turned out really well, albeit a little dry.  Next time I try this I will double the filling paste and roll the bread thinner.

Here is my recipe:

Kanelbulle

Ingredients:
400ml milk
110g butter
2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
110g sugar
750g cream flour
1⁄2 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of Pearl sugar
1 egg beaten

For the filling:
110g butter
90g sugar
2 tablespoons of cinnamon

  • Melt the butter in a large pot gently on a low heat and then add the milk. When the mixture is lukewarm, remove from the heat and add the yeast, sugar and salt.
  • Slowly incorporate the flour one cup at a time; be patient, it will come together!
  • You may need to add less or more of the flour to get the right consistency. When the dough has taken shape and is no longer sticky, turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about three minutes.
  • Leave the dough to rise in the bowl covered with a damp cloth for 45 minutes.  Try and find somewhere warm, as the yeast will do its job a lot quicker.
  • While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Gently melt the butter in a sauce-pan and add the cinnamon and sugar, making a thick spreadable mixture.
  • When the dough has risen, cut it in half and roll it into a rectangle about 5mm thick, and then spread the filling all over.
  • Then roll the dough, so you get a snail effect and slice into approximately 15–20 pieces. Place the slices on a baking tray on parchment paper face up and brush with the beaten egg.
  • Repeat the process with the second half of the dough.
  • Sprinkle the buns with pearl sugar.
  • Bake the rolls in the oven at 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 for about 10 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Enjoy!

I used cinnamon sugar that I made with cinnamon and brown sugar to sprinkle on top of the buns, instead of pearl sugar.  (I don’t like the consistency!)  I also made about one and a half times the filling recipe amount, and next time I will use more, and I baked them at 220°C for over twenty minutes.

Sorry Sis! This isn’t one for you…but when I perfect this recipe, I’ll come up with an awesome gluten-free version! ♥

Enjoy! ♥

Skater Boy

28 Mar

Skater Silhouette

 

Enjoy ♥

A Forest For Three.

27 Mar

This weekend we celebrated a  friend of ours returning from Portugal. (And the sunshine that suddenly brightened our lives!)

So we had a tree planting ceremony in our GIANT back garden.  Sadly, my back didn’t allow me to actually dig and get messy, so I was chief photographer and tea-maker!

We used to have the biggest, most beautiful old trees in our garden, (complete with swing and blossoms) before my landlord decided he had enough of them and brutally chopped them down in the prime of life.  Savage man!

Hence, we are starting to rebuild our garden, season by season. So welcome to our three new trees, a beautiful mini birch, a struggling larch and a happy pear tree! ♥

Need I add that I am a tree lover…I have even stretched to hugging them every so often!!

Oh forest...we salute you

 

This is the card I made to officially welcome her home.

So, WELCOME HOME Sweetie!

We are so glad to have you back!

Enjoy ♥

 

Seven Year Old Brains…

27 Mar

I often wonder, when I’m hanging out with my Neighbour’s 7-year-old daughter, WHERE the stuff that she comes out with COMES from?!!

After seeing me use the ‘Paint’ program today, THIS is what she came up with.

Love it!

Thanks for your contribution Jess!

Enjoy ♥

I heart.

26 Mar

While I was browsing one of my favourite sites tonight, Design*Sponge, I found a whole batch of amazing, inspirational design ideas with a typographical emphasis.

My FAVOURITE type of design at the moment!  I’m loving the bold colored type particualy…but thats just MY preference!

That top image…I ♥ it SO BAD and that long board….♥♥♥

Here’s the best of them: 

All images with thanks from here: Design*Sponge » Blog Archive » best of: fonts in homes.

 

Enjoy! ♥

Paper seed pots

26 Mar

There is a great link to an article on how to make paper seed pots here.

♥ Rebekah

Home concocted moisturizer

26 Mar

I tried my hand at making moisturizer a while back. I got the recipe from James Wong’s book GROW YOUR OWN DRUGS

The recipe had a long list of things I didn’t have knocking around my home, so I went to The Natural Store to stock up. They are always so helpful and interested in there. The only thing I couldn’t get was emulsifying wax, which I bought on line for not very much money. Now, by the time I had bought everything I needed I had spent quite a bit, but I did the bit of maths that justifies it in my head……..the same maths I do for ridiculously lovely shoes such as these

[shoes so lovely I won’t wear them if I know I have to actually WALK anywhere in them…..because of the design on the bottom, you understand.]

OATS & ALMOND MOISTURISING BODY CREAM

300ml water
2 tbsp rolled oats
2 tsp beeswax
6 tsp emulsifying wax
40ml almond oil
2 tsp honey – be warned – don’t get carried away with how much honey you add….for reasons that should have been obvious to me…..
2 tsp vitamin C powder
6-12 drops chamomile essential oil – I put in lavender as I had forgotten to buy this

1. In a pan, heat the water until boiling and then add the oats. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Strain the oats, reserving the liquid into a measuring jug – you need 200ml. Put in a pan and keep hot.

2. Heat the beeswax and emulsifying wax together very gently in another pan with the almond oil until the waxes fully dissolve. Take off the heat and immediately whisk a little of the hot oat liquid into the wax mixture. Keep adding the hot oat liquid, a little at a time, making sure it is well mixed between additions, until you have used up all 200ml.

3. Stir in the honey and vitamin C powder and, if desired, add in a few drops of chamomile essential oil – this acts as a preservative, is anti-inflammatory and adds a delicious scent. (Don’t worry if you don’t have chamomile – you can use any essential oil you have around.) Pour the cream into wide-mouthed pots, and seal at once.

USE: After bathing, pat skin gently dry, then apply the cream as needed. On tough areas of dry skin such as knees, elbows and feet, use twice daily, especially before bed.

STORAGE: Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Now my issue was I had watched Mr Wong make up this recipe and it looked like it worked pretty much like making a mayonnaise or aioli. How wrong I was. I got liquid with little lumps floating around in it that no amount of blending would get to combine…..

I used the liquid-with-lumps-mixture as I figured it would probably still do all the good things it was supposed to….. and it DID give me lovely soft skin…. once I got used to the initial stickiness from putting too much honey in…. and the shock to my bank account……..I don’t know if it turned back time either….

Retro housewife

♥ Rebekah

Beauty and the Brains Bamboozle Barcelona (Part 2!)

25 Mar

So here are some other things I love about Barcelona, in picture form!…

Street Art

All over the city, the walls, windows, trains, buses, ground and everywhere else, there is graffiti.  Some is street art, some is pure vandalism…either way I love it.

(Although maybe not so much when it defaces incredibly old, amazing architecture..?!)

Walkable Chocolate

Omg.  ‘Nuff said!

The Ramblas


The Beach


Amazing Architecture

Actually, scapes in general!  Pretty pretty everywhere.

Sagrada Família

Hurt-your-neck amazing.  Really.  You think  ” come on, it’s just a church right…why would I bother…”

‘Coz it’s amazing!


Teeney Tiny Spanish Kids in the Rain

Teeny.  And LOUD!

The Little Touches

Those silly little things that make your holiday special to you!

AHHH!

Barcelona, you’ll always be my first love!

Other Little Things I Loved

Early morning rising • Walking silly amounts Talking spanish Hand holding on skateboards Making up songs Tonelessly humming ‘Happy Birthday’ non-stop for three days without realising Techno in the mornings (Soothes the soul?!) Techno dancing! Being out of Dublin Sunshine! Showing C. all my favourite haunts Brie and onion Pizza breakfasts! Amazing coffee (albeit I couldn’t actually partake!) The most amazing colors everywhere Being with someone who understands that I WILL use my cameras SO much that I’ll get eye ache and facial spasms!! Stupid conversations Buying presents for people Falling into a little routine where C. skates while I got ready in the morning, so we were BOTH happy! The trip before the real trip! Drinking six, 2 litre bottles of water in less than two days! The shower from hell Amalgamation of dubious characters under our hotel window everyday Silly photos Montjüic Finding out that C. doesn’t like heights AFTER we left the cable car port, thousands of feet above the city Stunning views Alleyways (They are all so pretty) The stong smell in the air Working out that we needed to eat every three hours so we didn’t get grumpy! MAOZ (Yeah, Baby, YEAH!!) Discovering fantastic little eateries Being lost Watching the customs officer’s face as he unpacked my back pack to search it…ESPECIALLY when he came across my ziplock bag of carrot, celery, and pepper sticks!! (And the subsequent laughing and teasing I got for the pure VOLUME of stuff I had in there!) Keeping a holiday journal! Our faces in a magnet Miniature Doberman puppies Being on holiday!

Enjoy!


Beauty and the Brains Bamboozle Barcelona!(Part 1!)

24 Mar

Barcelona is one of my favourite cities in the world.  (After NYC !)  I am a city girl, for sure!

After a last-minute decision to have a break away, we booked tickets to the vibrant, inspiring city I once lived in.  A couple of days of packing, cleaning, organising and yeah, some stressing, ensued, before boarding a plane with C. to…

BARCELONA, BABY!!!

I came back with a rain-tan tan, a wonderfully tacky magnet, three thousand photographs and a lot of good memories!

(And an extra five pounds I reckon…mmmmm!  Totally worth it ♥)

If you haven’t been to Barcelona ever, go…immediately!

One of my favourite places is the amazing, mind-boggling Parc Güell, and its stunning views. Gaudí is my favourite architect of all time.  The park was built in the nineteen hundreds, and was originally intended to be an upper class housing site designed to take advantage of the fresh air high above the city.  But the project proved to be commercially unsuccessful and the park was converted into municipal gardens.

After climbing, literally what feels like, up the side of a mountain, (Thank GOD for escalators!) you arrive in this bizarre other-worldly place.  It’s difficult to believe that this oasis exists in the middle of the densely packed, urban landscape of Barcelona.  A world full of splendor,  curves, mosaics, colors and prehistoric looking plants at every turn.

Enjoy! ♥

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