My Kitschy Animal Collection

Way back in May, during the blog every day challenge, I published a post which I planned to be the introduction on a series of posts about the tat treasures I collect.

As you can gather, I have not exactly rushed to publish much about my collections. In fact I have published a grand total of nothing at all since May.

From today it will be a topic that occasionally pops up on the blog. Lets make a start by sharing the girliest, tackiest, and tasteless collection of nick-nacks I have in the house!

Its no secret that I love kitsch, but as Rob is not a fan, I keep the kitsch contained in the kitchen. I.e the room that he spends the least amount of time in.

My love of kitschy animals started around seven years ago when I purchased this little owl below at a bootfair for just 50p. Weather owl has been a constant companion in my kitchen(s) for a long time. It does say weather owl on the little stand he is on, I think I used the wrong lens on the camera to capture this. Whoops, amature alert! Don’t worry – I have not given my nick-nacks names! Im not completely nuts. Almost. But not completely! owlNext, came this cat ornament. Found around 18 months ago in a local charity shop for £2. I thought it would match the colour scheme in the (then) newly decorated kitchen. It did. catIm not so keen on how it looks like from behind. But lets be honest, its not a flattering angle for most of us really!cat rearRecently I had another lucky find in a local chazza. I found the perfect kitschy, vintage cat ornament for £3.99. It just had to come home with me. When I first bought it home, I cleaned it up then left it on the kitchen work top for a few weeks before I rearranged my kitchen shelves, and it triggered this conversation between Rob and I –

Rob – “I think our home has been invaded”
Me – “Huh?”
Rob – ” Yeah, someone has been in the kitchen and left behind this god awful tacky cat thing”
Me – “No, thats mine. Thats my new nick-nack. Its great is’nt it”
Rob – “What you actually paid money for that? Through choice?”
Me – “Yep” (feeling proud of myself)
Rob – “Sheeze…….” (Insert a few choice swear words in the blanks!)

This is just typical harmless ribbing between Rob and I! We like to wind each other up. I have to admit that it is an added bonus that Rob hates it!kitty cat

Next, came these two dogs. And a collection. I did not intend to accumulate a kitschy china animal collection. But somehow it happened. Believe it or not, I do not like too much clutter!

I could not refuse these two ornaments as they came from my nan’s house. Nan has recently gone into a care home, and we have been emptying out her house. Sad times, but it is nice to have a little reminder of my grandparents in the kitchen.doggysAs you can see, I like my kitschy china animals like I like my men – all big eyes, cute and cheap!

Here is how my kitchen shelves have recently changed. From this –nik naksTo this –shelves
The ever evolving shelves of goodness!

Raspberry Bakewell Muffins

Its been National Cupcake Week all this week and to celebrate it I baked some muffins!

Confession time – I feel a bit of a phoney. I have a blog, I love baking, I own a dreamy pink Kitchenaid (I know – I am a lucky gal!) But I don’t bake as much as I used too. Its because this year Rob and I are trying to cut back on treats and lose a little weight. Which we have both achieved, whoop!

So as much as I would love to fill my blog content with scrumptious cakes and bakes, I just cannot justify the sugar content.

Plus, my food photography leaves a lot to be desired!

If I do bake anything these days, it is either a cake to give away, or some kind of oaty, peanut buttery, seeded, low sugar, energy bar type of thing. But to honour National Cupcake Week I baked muffins. Basically a cupcake without the icing.

I think the lines are very blurred between cupcakes and muffins. Muffins tend to be quick, one bowl mixes, and cupcakes tend to be elaborate recipes with a lot of faff, but using more or less the same ingredients as a muffin. Does a muffin become a cupcake as soon as you pipe a shedload of buttercream on it? Or if you don’t ice a cupcake do you call it a muffin? Who knows or cares really?

Personally if it was up to me, I say lets just stop labelling small cakes as muffins or cupcakes, and unify them by calling them muffcakes. Because the name always makes me giggle. And yes, I am stupid and immature.

Anyways, here are my muffcakes!muffcakes

Its another Instagram snap I’m afraid. They did not hang around long enough for me to get my proper camera out to take a snap! To be honest I didn’t intend to blog about them, but because Rob declared that these are the best thing I have baked in a long time, I decided to share them.

I really must have been depriving the poor boy of treats if he thinks these are great! Tee hee! Personally, I don’t think you can better a dark, moist, fudgey chocolate cake, but Rob raved about these and they are on his favourite list.

He is easily pleased when it comes to cake. Or bored of oaty, peanut buttery, seeded, low sugar, energy bar type things!

To make them I used this recipe here, then added my own spin with some frozen raspberries (still frozen) and some almond essence in the mix to make my Raspberry Bakewell muffcakes! Yum!

Lately #8

Blimey, its has been over two weeks since I last posted! What have I been up to? Not much really, but lets have a little catch up of whats going on in my world anyway….

  1. Camping. Last weekend we had a couple of nights away camping near Bewl Water, Kent with my sister and her family. My sis is very much a girl who likes her home comforts (she camped once years ago, then refused to go ever again as she hated it because it was too cold etc!) But she loves our camper van and the lifestyle, so she decided to give camping another shot. Thankfully, this time she really enjoyed it and she now wants to go again! So my BILtoB is on the hunt for a secondhand trailer tent – yey! Trailer tents are half way between a tent and a caravan. Rob and I toyed with the idea of buying one for years and probably would have one now if we did not have the opportunity to buy and fix up our van. Squee! Im looking forward to next summer already!Instagram Bewl water
  2. Cycling. When we were away, the plan was to go on a nice bike on Bewl Waters family friendly bike trail. Rob, Sis, BILtoB and oldest nephew all have their own bikes (smaller ‘phew goes on the back of BILtoB’s bike in his safety seat) and somehow, despite me saying that I was happy to wave everyone off and maybe entertain the youngest ‘phew while they all went for a ride, I was persuaded to hire a bike and join them. Now, I have not rode a bike for about 20 years (apparently exercise bikes don’t count) but it really is a easy as riding a bike again as the saying goes, it all came back to me. Granted, I screamed when going down hills, nearly pooped myself when cars overtook me, my knuckles went white from gripping the handle bars too tightly, I broke out in a stress rash (it was sunburn really, but I still blame the trauma as I smothered myself in factor 50!) and I incurred a £5 fine for returning the bike late. Oh yeah, and there was a incident where after I pushed the bike up a hill, I somehow got back on it with the handle bars the wrong way round (no, I don’t know how I manage to do that either) and boy did I panic when I couldn’t find the brakes! Still it made everyone laugh, including me, at least! family bikers
  3. Thinking. Do I want to buy a bike? Despite the punishing bike ride last weekend and the saddle sore bum for days afterwards, I did sort of enjoy it! – We did the full 13 mile route BTW, I was only expecting to do about 5-6 miles! In fact we did around 20 miles in total (combined with walking for me) My 6 year old nephew did it all on his own bike with out any complaints – very impressive. I on the other hand had a few tantrums and was close to tears several times! My sister was the same as me, 20 miles is hardcore for beginners like us, and we were pushing our bikes quite a lot! We will go to another country park to hire a bike again for a shorter route (TFFT) to see if I enjoy it and it will be something we do together. I will keep you posted.
  4. Reading. This lovely blog. I have been following blogs for about 6 years now and I have dipped in and out of Junkaholique over the years. I did not realise that they also own a camper van! Please have a looky! Artemis is such a talented photographer and her blog makes camping look so stylish, dreamy and beautiful. The opposite of my camper van posts basically!
  5. Obsessing. Over vintage cookbooks (I cant get enough) and mid century architecture. I can feel a few geeky blog posts brewing! This house tour just blew me away. I love the features and the wood in the house.
  6. Dreaming. About the future. About five year plans that might turn into ten year plans.