Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Famous twins

You may not have realised this....but all the very best people are born on 31st March.

It's true!!

Don't believe me?

Well there's Ewan MacGregor, Angus Young, Al Gore, Rhea Perlman, Christopher Walken, Herb Alpert, Richard Chamberlain, William Daniels, Joseph Haydn and Rene Descartes for starters. How's that for a Who's Who of impressive creative intellectual people?

Not convinced?

This should clinch it then- there's also my twin blogger and me! Yup, look no further for proof that today is THE day on which to be born :o)

Happy Birthday Clara!!!! Hope you've had as lovely a day as I have :o)

My day started very early. I awoke with a head full of sneeze at 4am and finally gave in and crawled out of bed at 4.30am as sleep just wasn't happening. After three mugs of tea and a slice of toast I woke everyone else up to help me open my pressies.

And what fabulous pressies!! I'm totally overwhelmed with the beautiful gifts I've received.

Just feast your eyes on the gorgeous patchwork cushion Trashy made for me - beautifully pieced, stunning fabrics, my colours and a zip!!!

Isn't it fab?! Trashy also made me a brilliant chickeny pouch - that I can keep my sock knitting in - with a zip!!

My special bloggy twin sent me a lovely American quilting magazine and a bar of yummy birthday nourishment!

My fab and funny London roommate, Lucy Locket, gave me these totally yummy treats - a very pretty handmade by Locket bracelet and a pack of the most fabulous fabrics by one of my favourite ever designers 'Basic Grey' - I love their scrapbook papers and remember getting very squeaky on the phone to Locket when I discovered they were making fabrics too!!

Thank you all so much!!! I've had a very smiley day, thanks in no small part to your beautiful, thoughtful gifts :o)

The Minx and Monster each spent some of their pocket money on a gift for me - a necklace from Minx and a set of bangles from Monster. As I'm wearing them - and the very beautiful necklace and earrings from my best friend - I haven't managed to take a photo.

My lovely hubby gave me money to spoil myself, and as I just so happened to be near a Cath Kidston shop whilst out at work today, I had a bit of a splurge on a pretty new bag.

Even work was great! I'm normally either at home, working alone, or out at a school visit on my birthday. Today we had our end of term meeting and, as one of my colleagues is leaving, we all went out for a very nice lunch.

So all in all, a VERY good day and well worth being another year older for.

Mr Moog has now gone out to get us all some dinner and then we're going to tuck into this deliciously gooey cake, that my children so carefully decorated :o)

Don't feel bad if you weren't born on this most auspicious of days. We can't all be perfect ;o)
p.s. I make no apology for the overuse of 'yummy' 'lovely' and ':o)' in this post. When overtired I'm adjectively challenged.....and besides, it's my birthday!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Running away

My brain is befuddled with a stupid headcold and I've sat here for ten minutes typing and deleting the first sentence to this post......after three hours of waiting for Blogger to allow me to upload and see my photos!

So, instead of setting the scene or finding an interesting way to tell you I went to London at the weekend to meet up with lovely bloggy friends, for chat, laughs, yarn and cake, here's the photographic evidence:


Laughs (and cake):

Gorgeous brooches from Locket and Gina and gorgeous sock wool from Loop and iKnit

The torrential rain didn't dampen our spirits (although a sleepless night and a snotty nose may have dampened mine a little!) and we picked up just where we left off last time we met up i.e. chat, laugh, yarn and cake :o)

It was great to see my sock guru Mrs Stashbasket again (especially as she gave me a fab parcel of her delicious homemade fudge).....although I did draw the line at showing her the bl**dy awful mess I've made of my Polly Jean sock challenge socks and 'accidentally' managed to leave them at home, waiting to be frogged. Glad I did too, as Michaela had her first (finished!) sock with her and it's GORGEOUS!

Here's my version 1 pair. Ugh.....just how much of a mess can a person get into with lacy socks?

Fortunately, Loop came up trumps with the MOST delicious Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn (possibly my favourite sock yarn ever). I made a determined effort to choose colours I wouldn't normally go for and couldn't resist this......'Wasabi Squeeze' colourway.

It seems to have done the trick. Polly Jean mkII is, so far, an absolute delight to knit and much more fun that the scratchy version 1.

Mrs Locket has done a fab post about London, with a lot more detail than mine, so head on over to see her version of events.

I'm now off to blow my nose for the gazillionth time today!

p.s. there were more lovely gifties but I haven't managed to show them to the camera yet.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spicy apple muffins

A sudden urge to bake muffins combined with three rather manky looking dessert apples has resulted in possibly THE most delicious muffins I have ever made.

I adapted a banana muffin recipe and tweeked a bit, by adding a dollop of homemade rhubarb and apple jam and plenty of spice.

Thought I'd share the recipe.....cos I'm not sharing my muffins!

Moogsmum's Spicy Apple Muffins

Makes 12

What you need:

200g (7oz) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground cloves and ground cinnamon, to taste - I used just under a teaspoon of each.
3 manky dessert apples
1 heaped dessertspoon jam - I used homemade rhubarb and apple but apricot would do
150g(5oz) granulated sugar
1 egg
75g (2 1/2 oz) butter, melted

What to do:

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/ gas mark 4. Place 12 paper cake cases in your muffin tin.

- Sift together the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt, ground cloves and cinnamon.

- Peel and finely chop the apples. Place them in a saucepan with the jam and about a tablespoon of water. Heat gently over a low heat for a few minutes just to soften the apples a bit.

- Puree the apple mixture - I used a handheld blender for this. It doesn't need to be too smooth, just not big and chunky.

- Combine the apple puree with the sugar, egg and melted butter in a large bowl.

- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and combine well.

- Spoon mixture into muffin cases and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until springy to the touch.

- Lovely served warm with a hot cup of tea :)

Note: to make banana muffins, substitute three mashed ripe bananas for the apple and jam mixture and omit the spices.

Enjoy xxxx

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Knitter's thumbitis

My thumbs are getting old.

My thumbs aren't as supple as they once were.

Or rather, my left thumb isn't what it once was.

It would seem that my left thumb is no longer up to the rigours of that most demanding of sports.

Yup, knitting can be bad for your thumb(s).

Unfortunately, having galliantly picked up Mrs Stashbasket's sock-knitting-challenge gauntlet, this thumb of mine is just going to have to grin and bear it.

I have a deadline to meet and no achey thumb is going to stop me meeting that deadline!

Then there's the added trauma of having to buy even more delicious sock yarn.

Sounds dreadful, doesn't it?

C'mon. Join in. If you think you're hard enough ;o)

If you need any further encouragement to get knitting just feast your eyes on this.

I have an actual whole real proper day off tomorrow and all my poor befuddled knit-obsessed brain can think of is 'oooh just think of all that knitting time....'.

As if that's not enough, I will be totally childless after 4.30pm tomorrow for nearly 24 hours!

Watch out Mrs Stashbasket - I'm racing to that finish line!

My thumb may end up in physio next week but at least my feet will look pretty.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More treats for me!

I just had to show you the gorgeous goodies that postie delivered this week. I was so excited when I tore off the paper to reveal this very pretty Spring Swap box and I was even more excited when I realised it was from JennyFlower !!

I love the poem on the lid and will be making sure I keep this.

Once I opened it, things got even better!

Some of my very favourite sweets in the whole wide world - chocolate eggs and chocolate limes.....yum yum yum :o)

Just look at all this fabulous springy goodness! The most beautiful yarn, fabrics, crocheted brooch and pretty hair bands (claimed immediately by the Minx!).

....and just look at this fabulous bag! This must have taken ages to make and I just love it - it's now holding my latest knitting projects :o)

This was such a ray of sunshine in a very grey and wet week and it reminded me just how wonderful the world of crafty blogging is. Thank you so very much Jenny - I am so thrilled with my spring goodies!

In other news, househunting has so far drawn a blank despite taking up just about every spare moment - mostly trawling the same old websites looking at the same houses day after day.

We've viewed two houses so far, neither of which met the very exacting Moogfamily spec - ie three bedrooms (not shoe cupboards), good school catchment, good sized garden to accomodate Moog, chickens and a 12 foot trampoline.

You may be surprised at the details we've been sent for tiny bedroomed houses, in totally the wrong area, with gardens half the size of our current one!

What with that and having to listen to Mr Moog rant to me and anyone who phones/stands still long enough, about the whole buying and selling houses business ad nauseum, I've had very little 'me' left over for crafty stuff or bloggy stuff.

Before I wrote this post, I was about to announce a prolonged blog break. However, I've now had a change of heart as I think I need this little world to keep me sane!! I may not be leaving comments much but I am still lurking around reading your blogs and enjoying all your crafty doings - makes such a refreshing change from Rightmove!!!