Home life project: August edition.

I have really let the blog go this summer. It makes me sad to see it so neglected! In my absolute defence though, I’ve been busy setting up my photography business – how exciting is that eh!- And with the girls off school, its become a ginormous weight off to just not panic about blog posts. And technically, I’m all about living with the seasons – isn’t that what summer is about? just blowing lives pressures away and living freely amongst the sunshine?! I’m clutching at straws here aren’t I! ha ha.

Anyway, I have been updating once a month with a home life project post, and this month is no different. We’ve made it to August, already! The year is flying by!

A lot has happened over this past month, like I  mentioned above, I’ve just started up my own photography business, so every day for me revolves around getting the best photos I possibly can. The brilliant thing about this project, is actually. It doesn’t take much – if any- thinking time. You just shoot. Just follow and shoot. Which exactly what I’ve done this weekend.

For this months session I photographed our Sunday. Soley because I knew it would be as close to staying at home all day as it ever would be in these increasingly busy times. So after a relaxed morning at home, I did a little work and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon pottering around doing some cleaning, getting that Sunday roast cooked and dying izzys hair blue. Yep really – though, It is only. wash out one, so nothing to be alarmed about!

We entered the early evening by watching movies, the girls then went mental and started wrestling each other, before shower and bed time.

And that was that. A beautiful Sunday.




I would have liked a little more sunshine – what with it being THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER! But, this rainy weather isn’t all bad. Its kind of making me all excited for Autumn.


The little woman pretends.





Home life project: July edition.

I feel like our days are getting busier & busier at the minute and this weekend was no exception. I’m having some real issues staying asleep recently, its like I’ve developed some insane fear of being late for anything, waking up in the middle of the night to check the time and stuff. So Saturday morning started with me leaping up & freaking out that I’d missed my alarm and was late for school…. Only, It was Saturday morning, and no alarm was set to go off.  This is literally the tenth time this has happened, I think I might be going slightly crazy. Ha ha. Anyway, After I finally convinced myself it was in fact weekend. I tottered downstairs with the girls for a much needed tea. After a morning spent pottering around the house doing little jobs, we headed up to Euxton golf park. Its not too far from us, and as well as having the usual golf activities they also do loads of really cool – family friendly games like football golf, kick darts and football pool. Though we didn’t actually go up for a family day out, more so I could grab some photos for their website before the sun disowned us again.

Once I’d finished work, we had just enough time to make it to one of Mischa’s school friends birthday party. Typical play centre do, the kids ran riot, I wondered why the hell I started driving when it means I now can’t indulge in a glass of wine at one of those places – Ha- The one great thing about those play centres is you leave with tired kids. And tired they where! The TV in the girls room broke on Friday night, so we took it back to sainsburys after the party for an exchange… only, our local store aren’t stocking electrical goods at the moment so we left empty handed. The kids are only allowed the TV on in their room on weekends, so of course Izzy threw an absolute bitch fit at being told there would be no TV on Saturday night. You can see that exact moment right at the very end of this editions collection.


I did have a little try at this months Challenge (negative space) but overall my main focus of the day was just capture things, anything amongst the business.

You can see all of my July HLP photos below.



So that was our Saturday!


The little woman pretends.

The classic: Victoria sponge.

Hello there! Its been a while hasn’t it. I’ve been so busy carving out this new life, I’ve not really been very present over here… or on the internet in general. However, last week, I just had the urge to bake, to shoot, to create a lovely new little recipe post. So here we are. I was asked by my Step-mum a few months back to make her a Victoria sponge, I promised her I would at some point, though life’s general craziness always got in the way. Last week however, I turned up on her doorstep with a lovely big slab of the British classic. Its so easy to see why its such a classic. A simple fluffy sponge sandwich with a creamy buttercream and lashings of sweet strawberry jam. Delish! Its a must for any warm summers afternoon. Anyway, I know there are trillions of these recipes online, but this is mine, a failsafe method.


So, here’s what you’ll need.

For the sponge-

250g self raising flour,

250g caster sugar,

250g softened butter,

4 eggs,

2 tablespoons of milk,

1 teaspoon of baking powder,

splash of vanilla extract.

For the buttercream-

140g softened butter,

280g icing sugar,

1-2 tablespoon milk,

splash of vanilla extract.

You’ll also need-

2\3 jar of jam – I’ve gone for the classic strawberry.

2 cake tins.



And here’s how you make it, 


First up, time to make the sponge cakes. Preheat your oven to 200-180 (fan) and then pop your softened butter and caster sugar into a bowl, whisk until creamed together.

Second, add your eggs and whisk.


Then slowly add your flour, a little at a time, mix then add more, repeat until you’ve used up all your flour.


Next up, add your baking powder, a splash of vanilla and you’ll probably notice that your mixture is looking a little thick, so put in your tablespoons of milk to loosen up a little.

Butter and line your cake tins before spreading your sponge mixture equally between the two.


Place your tins, on the middle shelf, for around 35-40 minutes, or until your cake has risen, is golden and is cooked in the centre – using the squewer method is the perfect way to test.

So, as your cake is cooking, its time to make up the butter cream – which is SO simple! First up give your butter a good whisk up, just to fluff it up a little.

Then add 1/2 of your icing sugar, its a good idea when beginning to mix these together to start of on a slow setting (if using an electric whisk.) or you will definitely end up suffocating in a cloud of icing sugar.


Once you’ve combined that, add the rest of your icing sugar a tablespoon full at a time – again no a low setting. until you’ve used all of your icing sugar.

Next add your milk and vanilla, again just to loosen it up again.

Finally pop your bowl of butter cream in the fridge until about 10 minutes before you’ll be using it.


Putting together your cake is so simple. A little tip I like to use for any two layered cake, is to tip out the cake whilst its still warm, have it laid upside down (so the raised side flat) and leave to cool completely. This flattens the top and saves you having to cut off the top of the cake to make it flat.


Anyway, Once your cake has cooled completely (this is a MUST! Warm cake will destroy your buttercream!) you can now add your filling. Simply lay one cake down on your cake stand, and spoon on the buttercream nice and thickly.


Do the same for the Jam side.


Now, very carefully, pick the jam side up and place on top of the buttercream. Give it a gentle squash, pushing all of that lovely jam and cream filling to the edges.


This last part is completely optional, but I like a simple decoration on a Victoria sponge. A gentle dusting of Icing sugar is all thats needed. But to pretty it up a little, I like to use cookie cutters on top of the cake, dust over the icing sugar, remove the cookie cutters and voila! A pretty pattern.


So. Thats it, a very simple classic Victoria sponge. all done.


All thats left to do, is cut a slice….


And make a cup of tea….


How very British.


The little woman pretends.

Home life project: May.

Sorry about the lack of posts over on here recently. I’m just away doing other things at the minute, you know what its like, so much to do, so little time to do it in! Anyway, I really wanted to get an entire year of Homelife project captures this year, so there was no way I was missing this months edition. I actually planned to do something a little more seasonal this month, what with the days becoming a little warmer, but Izzy spent the weekend feeling a little poorly, and in all honestly I had one glass too many on Friday night so I wasn’t as fresh as I’d have hoped to be on Saturday morning. However, we decided on a lazy morning followed by an afternoon bowling, some time in the arcades and a dinner to finish off. It was the perfect Saturday plan.

I’m not overly in love with the bowling alley photos, as I mentioned I wasn’t really on top form, my settings are all off and theres a little too much grain there. However, they aren’t completely terrible so I’ve kept them in anyway. Other than that, I’m rather pleased, the bacon shot is a personal fave, I can smell that sizzling smoked scent of bacon every time I look at it! YUM!





The little woman pretends.





The home life project: April.

I actually had no idea it was home life project weekend, well not until about 5pm on Sunday evening anyway. I had it in my head that it was next weekend! Luckily this weekend I felt the urge to get out my camera a bit more (maybe this was my subconscious’s way of telling me I was supposed to be doing HLP!) I have spent the last week with the wide angle lens on my camera. It wasn’t a cheap lens, one I got for Christmas and I had become so comfortable with the 35mm I wanted to see what the wide angle could do with a bit of practice. So, I kept it on all week and got some pretty good shots!



I was however relieved to have that gorgeous depth of field, the lightweight and sleek 35mm came back and I was eager to have a play. This months edition of HLP has no story, On Saturday we spent the morning in bed, before heading over to Ribby hall village to try out their new pirate ship pool. we did a KFC dinner followed by a relaxing evening at home and our weekly movie night (This week we finally watched fantastic beasts and where to find them.)

And on Sunday, we lazed about for a bit, did a food shop, I went for a run and made a roast dinner, and that was pretty much it. None of my photos reflect any of this. Ha. But here they are anyway.


I will have to remind myself properly next month. Then I’ll be able to have a proper go!


The little woman pretends.


Rhubarb and custard cheesecake.

Happy first day of spring! After what has felt like the longest winter in history, seriously! I’m so glad to know the warmer weather is on its way! Though, I won’t get overly excited, I do after all still live in one of the rainiest parts of England. To celebrate the beginning of a new season, and the fact that my cooking mojo has returned, I thought I’d make up something sweetly spring like. In the form of a Rhubarb and custard cheesecake. A crunchy biscuit base, topped with a layer of creamy custard cheese and subtly tangy rhubarb, finished with white chocolate crumb. DELICIOUS!


So, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 pack Digestive biscuits,
  • 80g butter, melted.
  • 400g cream cheese.
  • 200ml ready made custard
  • 80ml double cream
  • 2x cans of rhubarb in syrup OR 400g fresh rhubarb diced.
  • 1 sachet of gelatine granuals.
  • red food colouring.
  • white chocolate (I’ve used white mini eggs) crushed.


And here’s what you’ll need to do:

First, we’ll make the biscuit base. A very easy process. I’ve used my food processor, but you can very easily just bash those biscuits up.

And once your digestives have been turned to crumb, add in your melted butter, giving the whole thing a good stir up.

Line your tin with a piece of baking paper (this will make it much easier to take out of your tin later on.) and pour in your biscuit base, giving it all a good pressing down. Pop it into the fridge to chill whilst you move onto the filling.

Next up, the creamy custard and cheese filling. The best part in my opinion. To do this, simply pop your cream cheese and double cream into a bowl, before giving it all a good whisk up.

Then, very slowly add your pre-made custard.

Giving it all another good whisk up.

Once all of your mixture is thoroughly combined, take out your biscuit based cake tin and layer over your custard/cream cheese mixture, making sure its spread out evenly over.

Now, pop your cake tin into the freezer and start on the topping, the sweet tangy rhubarb layer. I used tinned rhubarb for this, mainly because a) its constantly available and b) its much cheaper than the fresh stuff – handy really considering it took me three attempts to perfect it. So, to make the topping, tip out your rhubarb, disposing of the syrup from one of the tins, our the syrup from the second into the pan.

Simmer, on a low heat for around 25 minutes (until the syrup has reduced and the rhubarb has broken into strands.) Once finished, pop on the windowsill to cool – not completely but enough so it isn’t bubbling.)

Once your rhubarb mixture has cooled slightly, we can make it look a little prettier – because that brownish stringy ‘gloop’ will not make for a pretty dessert! To do this I’ve added a very small amount of red food colouring – less is more! add little, build it up slowly, rather than adding loads.-

I’ve also added gelatine, this will firm up the top layer, I didn’t want it all to fall apart once sliced into, so I added one sachet to the mixture. giving it all a good stir.

Now, you can spoon your rhubarb over the last layer. Again making sure to distribute it evenly.

Now, pop it back in the fridge (or freezer if you need it to set a little quicker) and leave it to set.

Once set, its time to turn out your cheesecake onto your cake stand (or plate, whatever you fancy.) This is where the baking parchement will come in handy. I highly recommend putting your cheesecake into the freezer for fifteen minutes prior to doing this step. It will mean no accidental breakages – I skipped this step during the second try of this recipe and ended up with a sloppy mess!

If you like, you can just serve it is it is, but I wanted to fancy it up a little bit more and so I blended up some milky bar eggs into chunks and scattered them around the edges of the cheesecake.

I saved a few of the eggs whole, for the centre.

And, that is that. The deliciously creamy rhubarb and custard cheesecake is finished!

Ready take a slice…

…And serve.


Do let me know if you have a try!


The little woman pretends.

Making time for a date night.

Once upon a time, there was. Sam and I, no children (though we did get Minky the cat pretty early into our relationship) there was working hours and free time. It was a pretty simple time, we drank more then, a hell of a lot more, we’d be out with the cool kids every night of the weekend and seen as we lived in Cyprus, we’d spend our hangovers on the beach, trying to quench our hungover dehydration with orange lucozade and Calypso lollies. Ahhh they where the days.

Obviously, our lives have changed a lot since then, we’ve kids for one. Sam runs his own business now as well, so its work for him 8am-7pm every day. I have goals and ambitions now, so if I’m not making sure the house runs efficiantly, I’m blogging, or doing college work. When, finally we do find ourselves finished for the day, both to tired to actually do anything, we opt for tea in bed and whatever box set we’re currently engrossed in.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, one of my favourite times of day is when I slide in between those sheets after a hot shower. And when I asked Sam what he wanted to do for his birthday a couple of weekends ago, well…. it was to ‘do what we always do’

But sometimes, sometimes you’ve gotta’ make a little bit of effort. So when I got an email inviting me to Solita Prestons big unveiling of their private function room. Well, I double checked with Sam that we didn’t have too much on that day and signed us right up.

I was completely ready to cancel a couple of hours prior to attending, I was tired, I had to get dinner ready, cleaning to do, get Mischa to Rainbows. But then I realised… there is always 101 reasons not to go out. So, I applied some make up, dragged something out of my wardrobe and sorted a babysitter (thanks mother-in-law!)

I hadn’t been to Solita before, no real reason, its just on the off chance we decide to go to dinner on a child free night, we usually head to Franco’s, I order the same thing every time, as does Sam. I have two glasses of wine, and when we leave I say the exact same thing to him. ” I’m always so content when we leave here.”

Having said that, it was a lovely change to go somewhere different. I absolutely adore the Winckley square area of Preston, the grand Georgian buildings, the fact that its a suburban middle point between the sprawling peaceful landscapes of Avenham park and the bustling city centre. In fact, Sam and I have been lusting after a house just around the corner from Winckley square for the past few months. So, if anyone would like to give me £250,000 to buy it, that would be lovely! ha.

Anyway, back to our date night. I wasn’t sure what the plan for this event was, but I kind of hoped we’d just be left to it, like a dining experience rather than group activities. Thankfully, I was right and after being met by the front of house staff and guided through the truly chic interiors, we were ushered into the not as big as I expected private dining room.

It was by no means small, not at all. The type of place to host an intimate birthday party – in fact, if I were at all a ‘birthday party’ person, I would definitely choose this place. We were told the drinks on offer for the event, to sit were we fancied and that food would be served a bit later.


The whole experience was very relaxed, from the seating arrangements, to the gentle music in the background. And oh, the food! Served in bitesize portions, we got to try a little bit of everything, the mini beef burgers were DELICIOUS – seriously, I’m still raving about them now!- to the chicken drumsticks with BBQ sauce. I even loved the vegan burgers – though it was a happy accident, I actually bit into one expecting fried chicken. Ha. The kitchen staff worked tirelessly, to keep a constant stream of food being brought out to everyone and the bar staff kept the drinks flowing nicely – maybe a little too nicely!

By 8pm, I had a full stomach, a wine induced gidyyness and I knew it was time to leave, I did after all have the school run and a whole load of pre-birthday preparation to be getting on with on Friday.

So, off we popped home, to do the bedtime run. Back to reality.

Our entire evening was lovely, we got to sit, eat, drink and just chat without any interruptions. something we definitely need to do more off. If anything, I remembered just how important it is for us to have regular nights off from life, we really did have a fabulous time enjoying each others company at Solita. Somewhere we’ll definitely be visiting again.




The little woman pretends.

Home life project: March edition.

I’m really loving this months HLP, I seem to have gotten my mojo back a little bit after barely picking my camera up for the past month. For this months edition, I wanted to get out of the house for the day, watch my little un’s run free and capture the beginnings of spring with it. My favourite season is Autumn, however there is something so special about spring, especially in the early days, the beginning of a new cycle, the purity of clear blue skies and the thirst for warm rays against your skin. This weekend has given me everything I needed to tackle this new month.

I documented our Saturday, a beautifully bright and kinda’ warm day. We had a lovely slow morning, lazing around, I did some cleaning, spent the majority of the morning outside clearing up the decking and giving my hens some attention. For the afternoon we hit Brockholes nature reserve, one of my favourite places. We walked for a couple of hours, through the woods, the open meadows, let the children play over on the park for a while before finishing up with ice cream by the lake. All in all it was a lovely day, and definitely what the doctor ordered.







The little woman pretends.


2nd Blog-aversary!

Two years today I started my journey as a blogger, and published my very first post! WHAAAAT! Two whole years! If you fancy a little re-cap, here’s how that post looked…..


When I first started this blog, it was actually because I had closed the TLWP handmade clothing shop, but didn’t want to lose the small following that had grown, In those last months, I enjoyed writing about and photographing those wears, more than actually making them, and so I figured I’d just blog about sewing instead.

A lot has changed in these past two years, I still do blog about sewing – every now and again- but really, it turns out my passion is interiors and food, DIY-ing, making, photographing and then writing all about it, throw in a bit of family life and we’ve ended up here.


I love where the blog stands now, I love the mix of subjects that I really am passionate about, I love that with every new post my knowledge on blogging just grows. I’d love to say I have a plan, that I know exactly where I want to go with it all in the next year or so, but the truth is… I just don’t. Of course I’d love to blog full time, to be paid for my efforts, but realistically, I know I still have a lot to learn before I get anywhere near ‘proffessional’ status. And truthfully, I love that I’m under no pressure by anyone with my content. Sponsored posts every now and again are cool to get, but I like just going at my own pace.

So having said all that, blog plans for the next 12 months: Work harder on my photography, work harder on producing engaging/informative content, face my fear of being in photos.

I think they are good blogging goals to have, even if they are a bit general.


I’ve been asked a few times over these past few months about ‘how to blog’ its not something that can be answered too easily. In simple terms, you find a subject you’re passionate about, set up your blog and you post about it. In less simple terms you spend a month trying to think of a name, a further fortnight trying to get to grips with the technical side of setting up a blog, you change your mind on themes and layouts at least sixty times before settling on something thats ‘alright’ because you JUST. CANT. DEAL. with this sort of decision making. Before sitting at the blank page of your first post for a few hours, wondering what the hell to write. – Or was that just me?!

Fear not though, If you can just get past that initial though of ‘No one cares what I have to say’ or ‘This is way more hassle than its worth’ I’m sure you’ll agree it is such a rewarding experience.

I’ve complied a lovely list of beginners tips though, if you are trying to push yourself into the world of blogging.

  • Dont freak out if you cant figure out how to use your chosen blogging platform in 24hours. I use WordPress, I hosted my shop on an enfold site, so it just made sense to stick with it for blogging. Because of this, I knew the basics. It has however taken me the past two years to be comfortable with the rest of it. You’ll get a guide to help you with setting up, and from there you simply personalise and post. everything else can be googled, or questioned on the many ‘bloggers’ Facebook groups. So don’t freak out!


  • Don’t get lost in personalisation. Free templates are cracking!! Keep it simple, and build over time. There’ no point in spending three weeks pouring your creativity solely into how your page looks, when odds are in three days time, you’ll probably want to change it all anyway. Concentrate on your content first, let the visual style of your page build gradually.


  • Picmonkey is a cheap and easy way to make a blog header (logo). I highly recommend paying monthly for the deluxe version. I think its only about £3 a month, but if you’re blogging regularly, it really is worth it. You can also use it for gentle photo editing and all that fancy writing you see on post promo pics.


  • Photography matters! SO much. I understand not everyone is blessed with the ability to go out and spend a fortune on a dslr, or has the pro knowledge to create flawless blog photography. However, you can counteract maybe not having the best quality camera/phone by really making an effort with your styling. No matter what you blog about, you’ll need photos. Clean the lens (smudged camera phone pictures really are a pet peeve of mine!) rest your phone on something and set the timer (if you fancy a more styled selfie- though I am not the person to be taking advice from about selfies!) Rest your arm on something steady and find a lovely sunlit part of the house if you want a bright, shake free dessert shot. Making all these little simple steps to improve will really surprise you.


  • Social media matters! The day you set up your blog, set up an Insta/Facebook/twitter account for it too. Even if you’ve nothing on the blog yet. Around 60% of my views come from my Instagram – which is understandable considering how much of my life I spend on there! Social media will bring the majority of your readers. weather you get 10 hits a day or 1,000 most of them will come from one of those three sites, depending on where you put the most effort.


  • And finally, this one comes from a pro blogger friend of mine Clare over from Maybush studio, when I asked her (11 years of bloggers) knowledge on the matter, she told me simply “Pick a name for your blog that is versatile. Initially I picked a blog name that was about my location, but then we kept moving so I had to change it 3 times! I only settled on my current name 4 years ago. I’ve also changed what I blog about a lot in a decade so I’m glad I now have a url that is flexible!” Fantastic advice!

Although, on that note I should probably give an explanation on mine…. I would if I could, I just remember thinking it sounded right, I liked it. And now, its been with me so long – baring in mind I ran the shop under the same name for 18months prior- I just cant change it. Literally. I’ve tried, but nothing seems right, this is just the name of my space forever now.

So, on that note. I’m going to congratulate myself for being on here for the past two years, be grateful that -for some unknown reason- I actually have visitors who come to read my ramblings, which in itself gives me the confidence to carry on. And I’m going to go plan my projects for next weeks.


Thanks for a great two years!


The little woman pretends.

Home life project: February.

This months Home life project, is a little different to how my usual ones are, only because I ended up splitting it up over two days. Saturday afternoon out with the girls ended up being so stressful, I didn’t really have chance to take my camera out and I really liked Saturday mornings photographs, so I just decided to finish it off on Sunday instead.

Our weekend wasn’t really that eventful, it was actually perfect. Everything been so hectic recently, I just wanted to cancel all plans and just be. Which is exactly what happened. We had a lovely lazy morning in bed with the girls. Followed by a lunch out – which wasn’t an all that good experience. I hadn’t eaten all day, they forgot my order, lied about it…. and then sent out the tiniest slither of chicken and some wilted lettuce on bread out too me. – I ordered a club sandwich. I don’t really deal with the hunger that well. Ha ha It should be mentioned they did take it back, send out a very delicious replacement lunch and gave us free desserts to compensate though, so it wasn’t all bad.

Sunday went even slower, Sam made a whole Sunday lunch, leaving me to binge watch four hours of modern family whilst the girls played. I did NOTHING! All day long, other than loading the dishwasher, putting on a wash and showering the girls… I did absolutely nothing. Perfect.



So thats this months home life project. I did completely forget about this months challenge which was Reflections. I really must start making more of an effort with those! And, I didn’t get any photos that I liked with me in them – So this month I really want to practice getting myself in some of these shots, naturally. I’m so ridiculously uncomfortable in front of a camera and it shows! But practice makes perfect doesn’t it? Also Clare (Home life project host) sent me over this really good link last week that gives some amazing tips on getting yourself in on lifestyle pics.

It should be a very productive month, photography wise. Hopefully I’ve made some progress for next months edition.


The home life project.