Taste of Britain Tuesday- Pancakes 30/8/11

For todays Taste of Britain Tuesday, I chose the humble pancake.

British pancakes are different from the Canadian type I am used to. The main change is the thickness of the pancake, as well as the topping. They do have a similarity to French crepes as well...The batter in a British pancake is quite runny, compared to the thick Canadian batter.

Traditionally pancakes are eaten with lemon and sugar.

Right, thats enough writing about pancakes, eating them is far better.

Stockholm Sweden- 29/8/11

The second last port of our cruise was Stockholm.

(Post continued from my first cruise post ages ago!)

We first stopped at the Vasa museum to hear the amazing story of this ship...

As Stockholm is comprised mainly of small islands, we took a hop on, hop off boat to the islands.

Of course, no trip to Stockholm is complete without a trip to H&M!

Stockholm was pretty awesome. It was beautiful and unique- a return trip is a must. I could have put many more photos up for this post, but kept it simple.

The sail away from Stockhom was also beautiful. We cruised by thousands of islands on the way to open water. Some so small they housed a tiny cottage, and others larger with roads and numerous houses. If it wasn't raining it would have been a better view, but still fantastic.

Cycle Sundays- 28/8/11

Back from a great trip to the cost, here is the cycle sunday snap for now. More to post later. Happy bank holiday!

Taste of Britain Tuesday- Pie 23/8/11

Today I've chosen a very British dish...that I don't eat! Pie.

Well let me correct that, I eat some types of British pie, just not the ones with red meat like steak & ale (my Mom's fave) or pork pie. Granted most of the common pies have red meat, but I have had a chicken & mushroom pie from time to time.

A pie sure can fill that void you may have, and is great on a cold winters day. Add some chips and baked beans, and you are set.

Any pie fans out there?

Looking back on this weeks blog posts, its all about sewing and biking. I realize I've not taken many pics around town for a while, and since I have some new followers (hello!) I should make sure to keep this blog well rounded and interesting for all.

Which reminds me I've still not blogged about the final two ports of our cruise, Stockholm and Copenhagen. I will be sure to do that asap.

On that note, August is almost over (can you believe it!) and I am off for the rest of the week, so a break from the blog for me. Enjoy your week!

22/8/11- Cosmo Complete!

The Cosmo bag is complete!

I blogged about this project earlier on this week, and completed it today. These aren't the best photos, but you get an idea of how the first project went.

The bag was labeled as 'easy' in the book, and once I got the hang of the instructions and the many many pieces, it was a great starter project. I also got some help from this blog Jem Jam, as she had some great photos of the many steps involved.

Overall shape & look of the bag:

The side view & exterior pocket:

The inside lining, which also has four side pockets:

The bag is very roomy and I love how it turned out. Onto project two!

21/8/11- Cycle Sundays

Stop and smell the roses...

19/8/11- Moo!

A while back on another fellow bloggers site- Crafted by Lindy, she mentioned these stickers she had recently received from a company called Moo.

I know that stickers and printing on stickers is not a new thing, but this seemed like such an easy way to personalize cards or letters, and a fun thing to do as well! It also brought me back to my days of collecting stickers. ah...

I decided to create a little photo sticker book with some of my snaps. It arrived, and look how cute it is!

18/8/11- Cosmo

I received this beautiful sewing book for my birthday last month, and this week decided to take on the first bag.

Amy Butler has included some beautiful bags in this book, and I love the patterns of her fabrics. I was a bit nervous starting such an intense project, as though I love to sew, it's been ages since I used a pattern. I was so surprised to see that the patterns she uses are just normal paper, not the flimsy tissue paper style like the old days. (I know, for those of you that sew you are probably thinking- paper patterns have been around for ages! This just tells you the last time I used a pattern).

The first bag I will be making is the Cosmo Bag- which is seen on the front cover of her book. So far, its going pretty well! I don't plan to show you the step by step process, but will share the final result with you. Here are the fabrics I chose...

I LOVE the pretty skull/rose pattern on the one fabric. It's got that nice mix of tough & pretty.

17/8/11 Photog

Hello everyone!

I apologise for the lack of 'Taste of Britain Tuesday' yesterday. Whoops! I had all the intentions of making a real British recipe, however due to my lack of planning I didn't have the right ingredients and well... no post.

I thought today I share some artwork that I've got up in town. The new coffeehouse is holding an open photography exhibition where artists could submit their photos. Throughout the month people can vote on their fave, and then that artist gets a solo exhibition sometime in the new year. I think that would be amazing!

However, for now, I am pretty chuffed about having a couple photos framed up in public. It's been a while my art has been hanging for people to see. The two pics are from traveling, the one on the left entitled "Hudsons Bay Company" taken in Cork, and "Lemon Gelato" taken in Florence.

As a part of the show they are also available for sale. I'm hoping someone buys one of my prints, how fantastic! If not, then either I've got two new photos to hang, or maybe one of you wants to buy it?! ;)

15/8/11- Life made lovely- a bit of cushion

On my bike ride with Betsy (fyi Betsy is my bikes name) yesterday I had my purse, and some other bits and bobs in my basket. Loving that basket, as its so handy to have. I found however that there was some rattling around, and my bits were creating an unpleasant noise in my basket. Not what you want on a lovely sunday ride.

I decided to whip out the sewing machine when I got home to create something to alleviate this issue.

I am not a professional seamstress by any means (what's that saying- "Don't quit your day job"), but I do enjoy it and that is what matters right? So without a pattern or any internet influence I took my leftover Liberty fabric, and whipped up this little diddy.

Sure, call it a pillow, or maybe it looks like a chair cushion but I don't care! It has a pocket for my mobile, camera and keys. The best part is, it stops that jingling and jangling that was happening before. :) (I will be taking orders if you want a bike basket pillow for your bike. hah! Kidding).

Linking up with Heather for...

14/8/11- Cycle Sundays

Today starts the first installation of a new weekly feature- Cycle Sundays.

I've always been a huge fan of taking photos of vintage bikes, and have decided to include a weekly photo of my bike, taken somewhere on the previous weeks cycle trips. Alice from Quaint Living tweets a weekly "bike on a fence" photo, and I love seeing her lovely bike around Oxfordshire.

If you are a biker, and love bike photos like I do, I hope you enjoy these photos. If not, well... tough luck! ;)

I also have some new additions to my bike as you see in the photo below. A lovely bell (needed when people are walking four across on a pathway), and a odometer clocking speed and distance. The odometer is great, as now I don't have to google earth my route to see how far I went. Today I went for a great country ride after watering a friends garden and picking some fresh herbs (as you see the parsley in my basket!).

Cycle Sunday snap

12/8/11- London (& British) Love

Hi all,
I thought I should include a blog post about the weeks events. It's been a hard and frustrating week whilst watching the news every night, and reading about it online.

I don't want to write about the riots, as there is so much out there already discussing it, and I'm still letting it all settle in my mind. Perhaps you've read about the events, or maybe not at all.

Instead I will leave you with some photos from my very first trip to London back in 2006. This the the trip which caused me to fall in love with the city, and to look towards living in Britain.

Below the images are some links to some blogs which I read, and their feelings on the subject.

Talli Roland- London Love (Which I've named this post as well, thanks Talli)

Style & Grit

Little Brown Pen

The Fabric of my Life

Sunshine With Everything

Have a good weekend, and I promise more blogging next week from me! :)

Taste of Britain Tuesday- Chili & ginger biscuits 9/8/11

Hi all!
Sorry for the delay, I've chosen this recipe for this weeks Taste of Britain Tuesday, simply cause I always wanted to try it, and they are called 'biscuits' not 'cookies' as we'd call them in Canada.

They were lovely!

8/8/11- Pedal heads

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

We were hoping to get out for a bike ride today, but the weather was not cooperating, and riding in the rain is not my idea of a nice bike ride! My bf got a super-fantastic-uber-fast road bike, so now I have someone to pedal along with. Though I have a feeling he may be faster than I.

I've updated my "blogs that make me swoon" area on the blog, so when you have extra time make sure to check them out. There are some great reads on there, and some fantastic new bloggers I've recently discovered.

I'm trying to expand my daily reads to more unique blogs, as I've realized many of the ones I read are very much alike. I will mention some of my new and fave finds sometime this week. (Like bike blogs!!!)

What blog is your fave daily read? I'd love to hear about some new blogs.

Since I have no pics of Betty (my bike) to show today, I will leave you with this pretty bike I saw in Helsinki. Speaking of travel, I also have two more days of the cruise to share with you.

5/8/11- Helsinki

Next stop, Helsinki!

I really had no idea of what to expect of Finland, and really the first thing that comes to mind when I think Finland is this man.

Anyways, we had a nice full day in Helsinki, though it was a sunday so some things were closed. I thought this was ok, as when we first got into the town centre it was quiet.

This is in a main town square, and I believe this is a church, sorry! I should know these things...We didn't go in, but it was listed on our walking tour route.

I found the city to be an interesting mix of modern and old, it was clean, and had some great views along the water.

This is a view of the Rock Church, from the outside. It's pretty amazing inside, but check out the wiki page for the pics. Mine don't do it justice.

We then took a long walk out of the city centre from the Rock Church, to the Sibelius Monument A great piece of modern art, it was heaving with tourists, but an interesting piece.

I'd add Finland to my list of countries to make a return to...Has anyone else been?

Taste of Britain Tuesday- Tea 2/8/11

Hello blog readers!

I will admit, I am feeling a bit lazy, and on these warm days I am in no mood to bake. (Though would love a slurpee- but they don't exist here!)

I wouldn't go without posting a blog on Taste of Britain Tuesday though, but its a simple one- Tea.

If you are British reading this, you could probably comment on what a cuppa means to you. Lets be honest, of course we have tea in Canada, but here, tea seems like an institution.

A secret for you, I never used to put milk in my tea before moving over here. Now I wouldn't touch a cuppa without it! PG Tips is the standard tea here that everyone has, and I quite enjoy it. I can't seem to find a replaceable tea in Canada for when I am home.

I've blogged about tea many times on here before: Tea with my cousin, Irish tea, and listing tea as one of my top ten loves of England! (That last link is a good one to read more about me rambling about tea!)

But for today, lets simply just take a min, put the kettle on and have a cup of tea to finish the day.

30/7/11- Russia


I don't know about you, but Russia is one country I've always wanted to visit. There is something so mysterious, dangerous, impressive and so interesting about the place.

We had two days in St. Petersburg. Because of visa rules we either had to purchase a Russian visa for those two days, or book a tour with the boat. We booked a tour. Day one was an overall view of the city, with some free time to wander.

I find Russia hard to describe, so lets keep it simple. I really enjoyed our time there, and am so interested to return one day.

Day two we took a day trip out of the city to marvel at the beautiful Catherines Palace.
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