Tuesday, 28 October 2014

A Recipe for Doughnuts.

It's pretty rare that Harps and I get a day off together. After much disagreement, he achieved his birthday goal of getting a deep fat fryer (I'd refused for years because I don't want to encourage his deep fried fat boy inner child). Secondly, I knew that we'd never use it, and since August I'd been right. So far he'd made exactly one batch of chips. Anyway, the drizzling autumn rain made us decide to have a go at making doughnuts for the first time. But being typical us, we doubled the recipe. Only do this if you want to feel incredibly sick, or are feeding a small party.

Recipe from Paul Hollywood (Harps found it not me, I'd never trust creepy Hollywood!), find it here.

Feeds: 8 (or 5 ring doughnuts, 6 jam doughnuts, one yum yum and one penis looking mess (Harps's not mine.)

Prep Time: 1-2 hours

Cooking Time: 30 mins


  • 250g/9oz strong white flour, plus extra for flouring
  • 25g/1oz caster sugar
  • 20g/¾oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 5g salt
  • 75ml/2½fl oz warm milk
  • sunflower oil, for deep fat frying

    And Bake:

    1. For the doughnuts, place all the ingredients into a large bowl (except the sunflower oil) with three tablespoons of water.
    2. Stir with your hands to make a dough.
    3. Gradually add another another tablespoon of water and massage in the bowl for four minutes.
    4. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
    5. Place into a bowl and leave to rise for 40 minutes, covered with a damp tea towel.
    6. Tip the dough out, again onto a very lightly floured surface.
    7. Divide the dough in half.
    8. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough quite thinly to about 1cm/½in thick. Cut into rounds using an 8cm/3¼in straight sided round cutter, then use a 2cm/¾in cutter to cut holes out of the middle.
    9. Spin each doughnut on your index finger to expand the hole.
    10. You should be able to cut out about eight doughnuts from this dough. Place all circles onto an oiled baking tray, loosely cover with cling film, not allowing it to touch the top of the doughnuts and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
    11. Preheat a deep fat fryer, filled with sunflower oil to 180C/350F (Caution: hot oil can be dangerous; do not leave unattended.)
    12. Drop each doughnut in separately, cooking each side for about a minute or until golden-brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a plate lined with kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil.
    13. Leave to cool.
    14. For the icing, gradually add 25ml/1fl oz of cold water to the icing sugar. It will eventually turn into a thick paste. Stir in the lemon zest. Roll sugared doughnuts.
    15. When the whole doughnuts have cooled, brush the tops of the doughnuts with the icing. Sprinkle over a little more lemon zest. Inject Jam into the doughnut balls.
    16. Leave to set on a cooling rack, to cool completely.

Love Sophie Xx

Monday, 27 October 2014

The Wedding Planning Series #6 Wedding Fayres.

Ahhh wedding dreaming. I actually, genuinely spend the majority of my daydreaming time thinking about our wedding, wishing that I'd come across the money forrest and be able to help myself. It's easy to get carried away isn't it? Things that you'd never dream of spending money on suddenly tempt  you; like chocolate fountains! Who'd have thought something so garish would be so goddamn delicious, that whilst your face covered in pink dyed, white chocolate, you'd seriously consider theming your wedding around the neon lights that flash along with it? Anyway, yesterday, my darling (and newly engaged-Congratulations again!!) friend, Tracey and I went to a wedding fayre at the beautiful Alverton Hotel in Truro. I thought I'd share some of the businesses and goodies that were there! Are you planning your wedding? If so, tell me all your secrets!!!

My favourite business by far at the fayre was Loulabel Floral Designs, not only a lovely lady, but
the first time I've looked at wedding flowers and not been massively scared and confused! P.s. Arn't her
business cards lovely?!

Here's a terrible photo of some of Lou's work. Her website is much more beautiful than my
crappy phone camera, check it out here.

Lovely paper cutting examples-there were some really cute baubles with Mr & Mrs.

Some pretty jazzy waistcoats! I'd die with laughter at Harps in these!

Simple idea for table plans- this was made from an open suitcase and some string!
Really great cost efficient and adorable!
We tried out a photo-booth and I got REALLY into my costume of 'shark -hunter'. Luckily, Tracey
is a fabulous photographer, so I don't need to worry about such things!
Vintage ring cushions! See what I mean about all the extras!? It'd
be so easy to overspend!

The chocolate fountain of dreams.  Don't judge it until you've tried it!

All loved up and worn out!
Love Sophie Xx

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Where Have You Been?

Good Sunday to you all! Have you missed me? It's been over two weeks since we've had a catch-up, far longer than I intended. Strangely it seems as though a few of you have also dropped off radar and my reasons are no different. I thought I'd share my two weeks in a series of selfies; starting with being incredibly ill and in pain, to travelling to Exeter for a course practically in the middle of the night. Slowly emerging out the other side of my hiatus and looking much healthier (and enjoying copious amounts of tea again) and finishing with some Batman cuddles this morning. I am back and ready to catch up! How have you all been? What have I been missing? Catch up with your recent links in the comments!! 

When we last saw each other, I was fragile from my kidney pains, going a little crazy with nerves and self doubt about my interview, and generally pretty stressed. I'm much better now (thank god!) and my interview went pretty well. It's been over three years since I last had an interview, and by jebus it was the hardest of my life, but I couldn't have done much more (a kidney infection hindered my preparation) and left feeling pretty good. Only time will tell. Thanks to all of you that did my little survey and to those who wished me luck. The rest of the week was a swirl of late nights and early mornings, all of which passed in a blur (and therefore had very little photos!) I intended to come back last Sunday but it was the first day off that I could spend with Harps in a while and got far too distracted making doughnuts to post (the post is coming though- it's delicious!) and the rest of the week passed in a flurry of baking and eating and catching up, that has been both lovely and tiring. 

That pretty much brings us up to speed. 
This week I am back and ready to natter, with it being exactly one week away from the anniversary of Harps and I getting engaged, I am full of love and reminiscence. Keep an eye out for that post too!

Love Sophie Xx

                                                    Where Have You Been? by Reel Big Fish on Grooveshark

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Please Help Me Blogger Friends!

Good afternoon Sunday resters! How are you all doing? You may have seen me moaning over several social media platforms about my illness. Basically  I started feeling sick on Thursday afternoon, came home and slept, woke up with a terrible stomach pain. When I woke up on Friday morning I could barely walk, it was so crippling. I went to the doctor with my mum (and Bimble) where after a very uncomfortable situation involving a small pot of my urine and the doctor uttering the 'P' word...she did a test. Whilst I sat there freaking out, thinking that it would actually be the worst possible way to find out if I was 'P'...She measured my heart rate. "It's rather high."....."Yeah I'm not surprised when your standing there with a stick in my pee telling me you're checking for 'P'."...Anyway, it turns out that I have a severe kidney infection or possibly kidney stones and have been hobbling around since in an extraordinary amount of pain. *insert sympathy here please people*.

Which means that I'm a little behind on my interview preparations; and am now spending my day hobbling around and getting ready! 

If you want to make me feel muchos better, there is something that you all can do. Please complete my survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Z6M5D8Y which will help me towards my interview preparation and generally make me very happy. If you could share it that'd be even more amazing.

Tell me what you're up to this Sunday and cheer me up (saying that, Space Jam just came on so I'm pretty fucking happy right now!)

Love Sophie Xx

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Thankful Thursday: Opportunities

Is it just me or is it fecking freezing suddenly? I spent my day off primarily wrapped in a giant wooly scarf- yet the sun did shine, right before I was drenched in downpour, and had to grab the chance to take this rather chinny and blurry selfie. (Is it bad that I cringe when I use the word selfie? Is self portrait still acceptable?) Autumn is officially here and this Thursday I'm sure that the bags under my eyes are looking even more prominent than they do in the photo above, taken two days earlier. Hey ho, I'm extra busy this week- and even more so next week, so if I disappear I haven't been kidnapped by gremlins, I'm just hiding under a blanket, willing the week to finish! You may already know the reasons behind this; firstly, please take a quick minute to look at my post which will unveil to you all my busy preparation for the final charity event of the year- the opportunity of this, PLUS the fact that between you and me, I'm applying for a promotion next week and really want to get it, means that it's busy town in Sophie Land.

This is what I'm thankful for this week, the chance to involve myself in my community and my work and hopefully make some sort of difference? Why be one of those people that whinges about where they live? How improvements could be made etc...Go for it the Sophie way, pull your finger out, get involved and make some changes!

I'm also incredibly thankful to all of you who have shown me such inspiring belief and support. Everywhere I turn, one of you is offering your help, sharing my surveys and events, even just a little pat on the back really does go such a long way. So thank you to all of you for continuing to encourage me, help me and generally keep me sane. What better things to be thankful for?

Lisette, you inspired my thankful Thursday posts and they keep me focused on the good in life, thank you for that. Leona, you are one of the best friends a shark could ask for (even if we have had to grow up on social media!)

Love Sophie Xx

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Wednesday Words #4

Painting by Fiona Phillips Click image for source.

Isn't this portrait beautiful? I found it on Pinterest and knew I had to share it with you all! It brings my Wednesday Words to a rather obvious reveal; 'Raining cats and dogs.' Pretty apt if you're in the UK this week. What a weird phrase, if a collie fell on my head from the sky I'd be pretty panicked! A persian would rip your face off, I wouldn't mind a spaniel though- Michelle would agree. It was thanks to a lovely lady who I discovered actually reads my blog and sent me a lovely link to an article she saw and thought of me that I came across this. 

"So where does it come from?" I hear ye cry?

Well, so it says; a long ol time ago, houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof... Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

And now we know. Watch out for those animals hiding in your roof, and if they are, be a dear and pop some floor grips down to avoid any nasty accidents.

Love Sophie Xx

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

People and Gardens: The Charity That Inspired It All.

Bimble just posing with some pumpkins.

Happy Tuesday to you all! This post is possibly the most important and special post I've written for a while. I find that whenever I write a post about Bimble I notice that I take 20,00000 times longer to write it, almost worrying that I could never express his wonderful spirit in the right way however I think that this picture sums it up rather nicely. 

It's time to finally introduce the inspiration for all of my fundraising in full. People and Gardens is the charity that Bimble-(If you're new or don't know who Bimble is, have a quick catch up here!) has been a part of for over a decade! The organisation holds a very special place in my heart; founded by Ken and Lorraine Radford in 1997 People and Gardens was the brainchild to encourage those with learning disabilities or emotional impairments to be able to develop as individuals, encouraging them to learn to work and develop their social skills and giving them the choice of having equality in the workplace.

Watering Lane Nursery is located close to Pentwen near St Austell and if you're in the area, you really should pop down. You'll be greeted by lots of friendly faces, For years I've been going here on and off, supporting Bimble and the brilliant work that the team do. Giving these individuals a sense of accomplishment and the feel good factor of a hard days graft builds confidence and pride, what better way to shape the world don't you think?

The work at People and Gardens is varied; supplying plants and veg to the local Eden Project, deliverable, fresh veg bags for local residents, as well as supplying The Cornish Ketchup Company, to name a few, the entrepreneurial attitude of this charity has always been an inspiration to me. Not only that but it's been a 'life constant' for Bimble. When he left specialist schools and activity centres, there aren't many places that cater for those with special requirements in such a unique way. Bimble's life revolves around his 'work', he has structure and routine, needed most at the loss of both of his parents, People and Gardens was the one constant. On a personal level, I am forever grateful to them. Being able to help provide a new packing shed last year resulted in Ken and I bonding at a swanky London lunch where it brought a tear to my eye celebrating his hard work (it still does!). It was that moment, beaming with pride, introducing him to as many as I could, that I made a resolution to do more in my community, donate my time to such worthwhile charities and organisations in Cornwall and all in all, I've had an amazing year doing it.

Which brings me to the reason for all this unveilment! I'm super proud to be announcing the most special (and final!) charity event that I've had the pleasure of being apart of this year. People and Gardens Fashion Show and Shopping Event 22nd November 2014 in the gallery @Eden Project!

A night of Cornish and Devon fashion designers in all ages and sizes, Cornish craft stalls with a selection of goodies ranging from Christmas goodies to needlecraft goods, a performance from Cornwall's Rock Choir, Pasties and Prosecco and much much more! Seriously it's like my perfect evening all rolled into one, with a distinct theme of local craftsmanship and Cornish heritage, what's not to love? Tickets are available at £10 including a free drink via Santander St Austell or please contact peopleandgardens@hotmail.co.uk   to purchase. Doors open at 7pm.

With my heart smiling at the thought of seeing Bimble strut his stuff down that catwalk and my eyes widening at the thought of myself stumbling down as well, I invite you all to spend a fabulous evening with me and the people that I adore. I hope to see as many of you as I can there.

Love Sophie Xx

Monday, 6 October 2014

How Would You Rather Be Contacted?

Good morning readers and browsers! I hope that everyone is grasping that get up and go feeling this Monday morning! I know that I sure am! There are some changes happening at the moment which leads me to ask you, quite curiously, to complete this four question survey. I promise that it'll only take you a couple of minutes (if that!) Plus you'll be doing me a huge favour. 

How would you rather be contacted?

Love Sophie Xx

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Blog Posts to 'Look Out' For.

See what I did with this old photo of me? Blog Posts to 'Look' Out For? I'm so clever! Anywhooty, there seems to be an awful long build up of posts I've saved on Bloglovin because I've loved reading them and I felt that it may be time to share that blog reading love. Some may be a little old now but hey what does that matter? So put the kettle on, snuggle down and have a good ol browse. Who knows, you may find some new friends!

  • Sunae aka Little Foal's Casual Spring Outfit post was super lovely and just what I needed after a rainy walk home from work.
  • Bee aka Fill my little world's Lessons learnt moving out of home and away from London was refreshingly honest and so well written. 
  • Sophie aka onetenzeroseven's Letter To My Young Self, Aged 17 & a Half was really inspiring! I think I'd like to do something similar sometime. It's good to look back. 
  • Liona aka Oh! Leona's Spotlight of Awesomeness showed some really cute doggy illustrations! I'd like these all along one wall, like a library of doggies. 
  • Rosie aka A Rosie Outlook's 40 hours in San Fransisco gave me huge wanderlust. I had never really rated it 'up there' as a place to go, her post has COMPLETELY converted me.
  • Sarah aka daydreams of summertime's Saturday Switch Off makes a good point about how much time we spend watching tv, online etc. It's nice to stop with a cup of tea without these things.
  • Michelle aka Life Outside London's The Kindness Project is my favourite blog post of the minute. I actually have a massive girl crush on Michelle and stalk her on a semi-regular basis.
  • Emma aka Made In Hunters's A tour around Cornwall had some lovely photos of some lovely areas, definitely showcasing Cornwall at it's best!
  • Rosie aka Life's a Cup of Tea's Travel: Blue Lagoon, Iceland, cements my wish to visit there sometime soon! Funnily enough Harps and I were considering it as our next destination just the other day!
  • Louise aka Whiskey & Pancakes's #Camptober makes me want to wrap up warm and camp out with a huge fire. Any takers? 

Love Sophie Xx

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Thankful Thursday

I am so goddamn busy this week! I feel like I haven't caught up with any of you properly in ages! I miss you all! How is everyone this week? I have its of exciting things to share and have set aside a large mug suitable for copious amounts of tea and this Sunday afternoon for a good ol catch up and tell you all about my exciting plans! 

1) Darker Mornings- They're not at the stage where they'e too dark yet and I feel like I'm walking to work in the middle of the night, however I am really loving not waking up at 5am anymore because the sun is peeking through my curtains.

2) A Hair Cut- Usually I am the worst when it comes to my hair. It's been about eight years since I've been to a hairdresser, I'd just rather cut it myself then really bother *hairdressers gasping as they read* going somewhere. Besides it's not like I have a 'hairstyle'. Anyway, it really needed a good trim and I finally took the scissors to it. I always cut it too short and yes I have this time too but I feel much better for it and it's nice having lovely soft ends, like spaniel ears :-).

3) Being Humbled.- I was incredibly fortunate to present a cheque to a charity that I did some fundraising for earlier this year. CHICKS has been mentioned in my blog before (I dressed up as a giant bear and bucket collected) and finally having the piviliage to visit them and meet some truly wonderful children that were there, I immediately wanted to stay forever and 'create memories; with the team. Such wonderful children, normal to you and me, brought together by a selection of life altering circumstances is incredibly moving and I can't wait to support them more i the future. In fact we have some very special festive plans so keep your eyes peeled! 

4) Batman- Watching him sprawl across the carpet, watching the tv makes me laugh every day. 

Thank you Lisette, you inspire me to be more thankful for the happiness in my life, what a wonderful quality. Liona, you inspire me to be more sarcastic, funnier and sassier. I adore you. What's been making you all thankful this week? 

Love Sophie Xx

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

I Lived in a Haunted House...

People used to say I looked like Wednesday, maybe that should be my
Halloween costume this year...
October is here and we're getting into the midst of Autumn. The days are getting shorter, Halloween marking the end of this month, I thought I'd kick off the month with a post about a house that I used to live in. For the people who don't believe in the supernatural, I could have agreed with you once upon a time, but if you can come up with a more logical explanation as to the happenings that I can pinky promise happened, I'd love to hear it.

It was the first house that we lived in when we moved to Cornwall, in a quaint village that I would actually quite like to move back to, we rented a new build house. Built on what used to be allotments (or so I've been told) there wasn't any signs of anything unusual at first. At the age of 12, I was in the midst of puberty (something they say can entice strange activities.) I'm not sure if that's true, but maybe helps to explain the changes that gradually got worse.

It started with things just not being in the right place, things that would always be in the same place like; toothbrushes, glasses etc....The first time I knew something was wrong was one early morning. 

I remember it crystal clear, it was Sunday morning and I'd told Grandpa that I'd go to the butchers as soon as it opened to get him some meat for his roast later that day. He was going to pick me up early and then my parents would follow later. So I got up extra early (for a Sunday), went downstairs and tried to stay really really quiet because my parents were asleep, their one day for a lie-in. About 10 minutes later I went back upstairs (in silence) to get dressed. As I walked into my bedroom and looked at my bed, the type with a bunk bed on top and a sofa bed underneath- everything was on the floor. Both duvets (top and bottom bunk), all pillows/books etc on the bottom bunk, even both of the mattresses. I didn't know how to explain it. It's only been 10 minutes since I'd woken up and I'd been extra quiet whilst walking around, even if my parents had tried to prank me, it wasn't possible to move all of that so quietly, not even to creak the floorboards. 

The second experience wasn't long after. My mum had received what can only be described as a 'snow bunny' jacket. White suede and fluffy on the inside, I was super jealous. I really thought it was amazing and had been begging her to let me wear it (I didn't care that it was way to big and I looked more like abdominal snowman)...She relented and relented until she gave in- she'd known I'd get this pristine jacket mucky somehow. I was going out with friends that weekend and she agreed I could wear it then. Covered by other jackets and coats, the week passed and eventually Friday night came. As I went to fetch my fancy borrowed jacket for the weekend, I froze in shock. Across the entire back of the garment, black ink was scrawled and stabbed at it. Actual stab marks with a pen. Of course nobody could explain it, of course none of us would do that. But it happened. And I didn't get to wear the jacket. 

The third, I was home alone. My parents had gone to the local pub on a Friday night and I was watching tv until late. I decided to go upstairs to bed when all of a sudden felt 'different'. Like someone was watching me. The curtains were closed, it was very dark out (I seem to think it was winter at this point) Turning the living room light off and replacing it with the stairs one, I started to ascend. All of a sudden, what can only be described as 'a force' pushed me to the side of the stairs, grabbing the bannister for support, looking up, all I could see was a silhouetted figure against the wall, dance around the corner, and disappear. Now I can absolutely assure you 150% that it wasn't my shadow, nor was it a gust of wind, come on guys, I know a gust of wind when I feel/ hear one. I cried until my parents came home.

So what do you think believers and cynics? Have any of you had any haunting experiences? Do you have any disproving stories to share? I'd love to get a little collection together to post on Halloween!

And just so I'm not completely going off track from Wednesday Words #3...One which doesn't really need an explanation..."White as a sheet"....My sheets are currently yellow thank you very much Mr Idioms...

Love Sophie Xx