Baking: An Obsession in a Recession

bake offIn times of hardship and recession home cooking and baking always seems to take a leap in popularity. This can be witnessed by the rise in favour of television programmes such as The Great British Bake Off and Masterchef that seem to fuel the passion for traditional recipes.

Cookery shows have led to an upturn in the sale of baking products, with a huge increase in the number of domestic male bakers who have been spurred on by cooks such as Jamie Oliver and Paul Hollywood. Whilst the economic downturn started the baking revival, people have realised that they actually enjoy the process of baking and that it brings back fond memories of their childhood. [Read more…]


A Nice Cup of Tea

Beryl cookFor some of us sitting down with a cup of tea is the time of day we look forward to the most.

Isn’t tea the one thing that people turn to in time of trauma or crisis? How often have we heard the words “sit yourself down and I’ll make you a nice cup of tea” uttered by a caring friend or relative. Scientific research has proven that levels of the stress hormone cortisol fell by nearly twice as much in tea drinkers than compared with those who were given a ‘tea-like’ substitute when all testers were put under stressful conditions.

Tea is apparently the most important non-alcoholic beverage in the world and it was due to the influence of Catherine of Braganza, the queen of Charles II, that tea has become a part of British culture. Catherine brought tea-drinking to the English royal court having been introduced to it in her native Portugal, and set a trend for the beverage among the aristocracy of England in the seventeenth century. [Read more…]


Brilliant Beauty Balm (BB) Creams

BB groupHaving come to the end of my first tube of BB Cream, I am hot-footing it out to buy another one straight away! Being of a sceptical mind I couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about when these alphabet formulation creams were introduced to make-up counters.  So just what are these creams that are jostling for a place alongside your normal foundations and tinted moisturisers?

Firstly, BB stands for “beauty balm” and CC for “complexion corrector” or “colour and correct.” While a BB cream provides instant sheer coverage along with SPF, a CC cream helps address any problems with acne, scars, redness, hyperpigmentation or a sallow complexion, while also providing anti-aging benefits and it is an ideal product for those of us who need a bit more coverage. DD creams, DD standing for Daily Defense or Dynamic Do-All, will soon be hitting the market and these apparently do everything that BB and CC creams do but they claim to also improve your skin after prolonged use.  [Read more…]


Fast Food can be a Healthy Option

Fast food has become entrenched into British culture, becoming the favourite go-to quick option for busy workers or parents looking for a way to feed their kids easily and, so they think, cheaply.

Essentially fast food options should only be an occasional part of your normal diet because they tend to be high in fat, sodium and sugar which can lead to a range of associated health problems including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. We all know that sometimes we feel lethargic and lack energy after certain meals and that eating too much ‘junk’ food can cause obesity. Often children and teenagers will pick up a meal from a fast food restaurant as a snack, then go on to eat their usual daily meals, many of which contain more saturated fat and calories than the recommended amount for a whole day. [Read more…]


Sculptural Textiles

I am a huge fan of arts and crafts, and like to attempt my own projects when time, materials and the inclination takes me! However, I do enjoy admiring contemporary sculptural work undertaken by some of the best arts and crafts people around the world.

Here are a few of my picks featuring sculptural textiles from very talented and innovative artisans and professionals: [Read more…]