Banana Cake

As an avid Great British Bake Off watcher, I felt inclined to do some baking this week (although I am pretty terrible at it).

I had some bananas that were over ripe (smushy!) so decided that banana loaf – or cake – would be just the thing!

I used this recipe:

BBC Brilliant Banana Loaf

However I’ll detail what I did here as I added other things.

5oz Sugar (I had some light brown sugar left so I put that in and then added castor to make it up to 5 ounces)
5oz Self-Raising Flour
5oz Butter (okay… Stork)
2 Beaten Eggs
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 Bananas
Handful of chopped nuts
Handful of chocolate chips

I preheated my fan oven to 160 celsius, buttered a loaf tin and added a loaf case.

I creamed the sugar and butter together until all the butter was mixed in, I added a wee bit of beaten egg and a bit of flour and stirred it round, then I got bored so threw it all in (including the teaspoon of baking powder) and mixed it all up.

I added the two bananas and smushed them to little pieces.

Then I poured some nuts and chips in, didn’t measure, maybe half a packet of each.

Now the recipe says 30 minutes cooking time, which frankly is a load of bollocks. This batch I think had nearly an hour and was still slightly too moist – but perfectly yummy with my Nescafe Azera.

Autumn Leaves

The age old classic of painting the back of leaves and printing with them.

One thing I learned from this activity is the paint needs to be quite thin, it was too thick and ended up glooping on the paper leaving no leaf-print.

The older girls mixed their own colours hence why we don’t have autumnal colours.

It’s WHITE!

Oh sweet merciful Jesus I’ve finished painting the living room, it’s only taken about 2 weeks but I did what I had hoped was the last stroke this afternoon. Obviously once it’s dry I’ll be able to see if I’ve missed any bits – it’s anaglypta (textured wallpaper) and getting paint into each and every crack of the pattern has been torturous.

After last weeks wobbles, I’m feeling much better about the colour scheme, the white really does brighten the place up without being TOO white.

Mother is going to finish taking the wall paper off the chimney breasts ready to paint on Sunday. She’s desperate to take the plastic wrapping off of the sofa but I’m too scared, what if I manage to flick paint halfway across the room onto my beloved new sofa?!

New video will follow when the room is semi-complete (new carpet has to wait!)

Autumn Trees

I found this activity on Pinterest and although it’s not quite as perfect as the picture on there, it’s still a beautiful piece of art.

Top and bottom-right pictures are of C aged 2.10 years doing her painting. I cut out a tree trunk for her and she said she would paint it.

The bottom-left picture was done by L aged 4.6 years who started off using a finger but decided to opt for paintbrush splats for the leaves.

For M aged 6.9 years, I squirted different colours into the trays and let her mix them asking her what colour she thought they might turn into. She even made suggestions on how to make different shades – “add white to make it lighter”.

T aged 7 months sat out on this one, but when every one was finished I did let him play with the paint and we put some finger marks onto paper.

Oh no, last minute wobbles!

I’m having a last minute wobble about the wallpaper and paint combo I’ve chosen for the living room/dining room.

It’s a ridiculously shaped layout as once upon a time it was two rooms with the stairs cutting through the middle but now you access the living room going under the alcove under the stairs.

This means there’s a long wall from the front of the house to the back of the house with three alcoves and two fireplaces.

My plan was to pain the peripheral walls white to brighten up the rooms, I’ve been doing little bits each day and am pleased with how it is in fact brightening up the gloom of an Edwardian house.

I ordered wallpaper which I hunted down as no where seems to stock it anymore and picked up a pot of paint in teal (sorry!).

My plan was to paint the chimney breasts the teal colour (Wilko Electric Teal Matt) and have the wallpaper (Glitz Taupe by Arthouse) ending up something like this:

But having opened the package for the wallpaper it seems much lighter in real life and now I’m worried the white peripheral walls won’t look right.

What to do?!

Books!

When I first started telling people the house purchase was going through the first response was “it’ll be nice to have your own space” and “you can really start to be independent” but honestly, the thing I was looking forward to most was having somewhere to put my books!

After a disastrous few years I really turned to books for company and escapism, I purchased them at a rate of knots – charity shops offering 3 for £2 did not help either. Eventually my mother had to say “you need to stop buying books or I’m going to have to get you help” … a joke I’m sure but I did slow down my book buying and turned to my kindle for a while.

I have moved the vast majority to the new house and started putting them into the BILLY bookcases my friend gave me and am so pleased at how I can have my lovely books on display.

I still haven’t decided how to organise them or which books will be relegated to the small bedroom and which will have pride of place on the expedit kallax bookcase downstairs. But for now they’re on a shelf… however let us not forget the books still in boxes in my mothers loft…gah!

FUNctional

Actually Wilko, I can think of so much more that is FUN than your FUNctional paint.

I officially detest painting. Okay so all I did was a tiny-ass room but still, it was hard work and I don’t want to think about the fact that using cheap paint means it will need another coat.

So an unhappy hour or two was spent painting my “regulation room” (the waste of space room so that there are two doors between a toilet and a kitchen)

But before I did that and covered myself and the room in white paint, I did a video-tour of my house! Forgive the mess and my appalling phone-voice.

YouTube Video Tour

IKEA!

IKEA… providing furniture for first time buyers since 1987.

Seriously a lot of the houses I’ve worked in over the past few years have had at least one piece of IKEA furniture and why not, it’s cheap, cheerful and seems to last an age.

So that’s where we headed yesterday. I had a small long list of things I wanted, some I changed my mind about last minute but most I was able to get.

Two 2×2 Kallax Cube
One 4×4 Kallax Cube
Saucepan
Frying Pan
Toilet Brush
Toilet Roll Holder
Two x LOTS Mirror
6 x Wine Glasses
6 x Highball Glasses
4 x Tumblers
Grow your own herbs!
6 x White Mugs
Pack of Children’s Tumblers
FIXA Tool kit for my man-drawer!
4 x DRONA box for the Kallax
Turquoise LACK side table

Total Spent: £210.40

After walking back and forth between the towels and bath mats, I still couldn’t decide upon a colour scheme and picked up a 20p guest towel for us to dry our hands after toileting!

And no IKEA trip is complete without a plate of meatballs.

I was very proud of myself when I completed my first DIY project… the flat-pack….toilet brush! Although I did get roped into building the other bookshelves in the end, but my lovely friend Toni did the hard work!

Officially a homeowner!

We completed on Friday! I received the keys at 3.30pm on the 29th August 2014.

I foolishly took the cat up for a run-around. He was not impressed but I think it was more to do with it being his first car journey and he suffered poor thing.

I took a few boxes up but it’s going to be a gradual process as it seems easier than moving everything in one go – especially since most things are still in cupboards… whoops!

Annoyingly I went back to work on the 28th so have no had a day off work since in order to “work on things” (whatever that means, we all know I’m not doing anything to do with DIY). But on Saturday my mother went up with her hoover and steam cleaner and did the floors for me.

Tomorrow I’m going to IKEA to get some bookcases and things so expect a haul post tomorrow.

But for now, have some pictures of my TEAL things in situ…

House Buying Timeline

I wanted to share the timeline from viewing the house until completion:

25th April ’14 – View house for first time
28th April ’14 – Took mum to view house
(huge gap here due to Financial Advisors confusing me and lying to me!)
12th June ’14 – Offer accepted by vendors
30th June ’14 – Solicitor instructed (Howells in Cardiff!)
2nd July ’14 – Financial Broker put mortgage application in
9th July ’14 – Survey & Valuation carried out
10th July ’14 – Mortgage application accepted
6th August ’14 – Searches ordered
19th August ’14 – Searches back – all clear!
28th August ’14 – Exchanged
29th August ’14 – Completed!

My solicitors worked quickly and tirelessly (mostly because a friend was the legal assistant in charge of my conveyancing), any delays were on the part of the vendors solicitor!