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Thank you for visiting my blog and allowing me to share my thoughts and pictures with you. You will find entries on a number of topics, including sewing and cooking and life in general. I have also attempted to create some useful resources in the form of recipes and sewing tutorials.

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  1. This is something I first whipped up during an ad break whilst watching TV with my then boyfriend. He was so impressed he asked me to marry him soon after !

    You need :

    • Microwave
    • 500ml oven proof bowl
    • 100g sugar
    • 100g butter/marg
    • 100g flour
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4tsp baking powder
    • 1/4tsp vanilla essence
    • 1tbsp milk

    Grease bowl. In separate bowl, mix sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add egg, beat until amalgamated. Add rest of ingredients, and gently mix until all the flour has been incorporated. Add milk if mixture is not of dropping consistency. Put mix into greased bowl. Nuke on full in microwave for 2 1/2 minutes ( based on 750 watt microwave ). The sponge should just be cooked and springy to the touch. Leave to stand for 1 minute and then serve with lashings of custard.

    Variations :

    • Add 1 tbsp of chocolate to mix
    • Add 1tbsp of chocolate chips to mix
    • Add lemon essence and grated lemon rind to mix
    • Add one mashed banana to mix
    • Put 2 tbsp of golden syrup into greased bowl before adding mix
    • Add 1tbsp of rum and 2 tbsp of raisins to mix

    N.B. eat soon after making as in common with all microwave cakes it will go stale quickly !



    No, before you all jump to the wrong conclusion we didn't get married in Vegas ! No, this was in Springfield Vermont, the home of the Simpsons, and it is the year 2008 not long after the movie had been launched.

    springfield1 (18)

    We had chosen the location not based on Mr Stickytarts's love of the programme, despite his ridiculously pleased grin on this picture, but by typing  'elopement packages USA' into Google. His family were horrified at our idea of having a non family orientated wedding and were really not very happy, mine were just surprised that I was actually getting married ! Fact was though, we are both not centre of attention type of people and we had just spent all our money on a new house, so this is how we wanted to do it. We did invite people, but were fully appreciative of the fact that few would make it ( as it turned out none ) due to the distance and the expense.

    We spent the pre-honeymoon doing touristy stuff in Boston, including a ghost tour which involved just us and the tour guide. Tour guide was quite frankly bonkers, and had us standing outside of Border's telling us about banshees and then wailing like one - right in front of lots of shoppers.

    kev looking moody steph boston
    Mr Stickytarts doing his traditional mean & moody  Me sitting on a tortoise - poor thing


    Then we drove to Springfield - getting out of Boston was a bit of challenge as the sat nav kept saying "Head to the freeway", with us having no idea where the freeway was. We finally arrived in a snowstorm, in the smallest small town America you could imagine at the Hartness House Hotel, the old governor's mansion. Very quaint, but also not the cleanest, so first job was to find the nearest shopping mall and purchase some blankets. We were told "just down the road" and we finally found the strip mall 40 miles down the road !

    Then we went in search of the town clerk to get our marriage licence, and found "The Vault" - a lovely place where local artisans exhibit and sell their wares. The ladies there were lovely and rather excited, if somewhat puzzled, at some English people coming to their little town to get married. They phoned ahead to the town clerk and told every customer about us. One lady on being told squealed out an excited "OH MY GOD, I am just gonna scream all the way home".

    The town clerk, was equally as helpful and friendly, if also puzzled, and we were even more puzzled to get our marriage licence without any documentation proving who we were, for just $30. On the way back to the hotel, we were stopped in the street by a woman who was out with her little boy, who on hearing us talk also got over excited and said "You are those English people who've come here to get married ". At this point we were starting to feel like minor celebrities.

    flowers As the next day dawned and we were getting ready, the hotel proprietor/self-proclaimed photographer, insisted on doing some 'arty' shots. They still make me giggle now. Really, I should launch a caption competition....


    Franklin Pool ( what a brilliant name )the Justice of the Peace and ex member of Congress arrived early, presumably to stop anyone from getting cold feet and doing a bunk, and 30 minutes ahead of schedule we were downstairs saying our vows. In Vermont there are no witnesses needed, but the hotel proprietor's wife couldn't resist taking a peek ! And then before we knew it we were married. Here is the proof. My favourite pic is the last one - I like to call it "Lord and Lady of the Manor". Pity there is a fire alarm growing out of my head.

    secret peeper Secret peeper


    married ceremonyunofficial
    Just married Lord & Lady ( with fire alarm)

    Half an hour after these pictures were taken, we were dressed in our jeans again enjoying a cocktail or two in the local bar. Result - two very happy people who did their wedding their way and didn't have much stress in planning for it. 

    We went on to honeymoon in New York, but that is another whole story to itself. Good news 4 1/2 years on we are still happily married with a 3 year old son ( we started with guinea pigs, worked our way up to cats and then a child ), although we are both older and fatter !