Chocolate Sponge

225g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs, large
100g softened butter
1 tblsp lemon juice
250g castor sugar
250 ml milk

Butter Icing Filling:
215g icing sugar
100g soft butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC. Grease and line a round cake tin, 22 cm, deep, cake tin.
  2. Stir the lemon juice into the milk. Put the butter and half the sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the rest of the sugar. SIft the flour, soda and cocoa powder together.
  4. Beat in half the milk and fold in half the flour. Add the rest of the milk and then the rest of the flour. Mix until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into the cake tina nd bake for one hour. Remove fromt he oven and cool completely.
  6. Cream together the icing sugar and butter. If you want you can add vanilla essence or another flavouring to the icing.
  7. When the cake is cool cut in half and spread the icing over one half. Replace the top. Sprinkle some ising sugar over the cake to decorate.

We actually found that this particular cake tasted better the second day, it seemed to appreciate some breathing time. But it was great on the day, I cheated a wee bit and put the icing on before the cake had completely cooled so we had a nice warm chocolate cake...

yum yum!!

Hey! I'd love to know if people are using my recipes!! If you are leave a wee comment on the recipes post! Also, why not head back and let me know how you got on!!?

Birthday Bonanza!!! Time to XScape!!

It was David's birthday on Saturday so we had an exciting birthday weekend!! Saturday saw us heading to XScape in Glasgow (XScape). It is an indoor activity centre but we are talking all manner of activities!! From an aerial assault course, high up in the roof above the heads of the crowds, to the largest indoor mini golf course in the world!! We headed to the resturant area where, after the cry of


went up from the only person I know who bases he meal choices on how much mess he can make, we settled on a Mexican resturant called Chiquito. Even though it was packed out it was only a 20 minute wait so we settled ourselves in the little bar area, with one of those crazy vibrating things.... the ones that tell you when your table is ready!!

We pigged out, Majorly!! Three courses. We had a really nice waitress who overheard that it was David's birthday so stuck a candle in his dessert!!

We then headed to the mini golf, which was a good laugh, and seemed to be a popular choice for people. We were going to go bowling but it was now 10.30 and there was a two hour waiting time for a lane so we changed our minds!! Heading to the arcade we went for a go on the dodgems, alright two gos!! But we were the only ones on there, crazyness ensues...

There was also the choice of the cinema, dry ski slope, climbing wall, Robocoaster (a programmable roller-coaster) and many shops!!

Sunday saw my parents coming down for a barbeque, yep that's right, in September!! It was cold but a lot of fun!! Then inside for a birthday cake I had made (see my next post for that little gem *cough*) and then a challenge of poker for us!! Indeed a fun old weekend for us.

Plus the arrival of the PSP that he bought for himself as a birthday present! Which I have made more use of!!! LOL

Calmest In The Face Of Danger Award Goes To....

Off to a friend's house for dinner last night! She's got herself a wee flat in Edinburgh so we all invaded to have a nose about. The living room was huge and took up, no joke, half the flat. The other half was a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. It was a pretty good night from a food preparation point of view, the other three were making all the food, a course each, and us two just turned up, waited, ate and then left again!!

The food was great and also became the best entertainment for the evening! After much cajoling about the cooking skills of others, our dessert maker got his comeuppance! In the form of fire! But to his credit he took it all calmly, the presence of smoke billowing from the kitchen, the eyes stinging and the coughing of his fellow diners he still remained seated until he had finished what he had to say. Then sauntering casually into the kitchen, swooshing away the smoke in his path, he opens the oven to a cloud of grey, and with a voice full of utter surprise says:

Job Lot

Well, Dave got offered a new job!! Awesome!! It appears to be the kind of job that we all aspire to get moved to, more money, better prospects and more holidays! The possibility of 50, yes, count 'em, 50 days off a year!! Looks like, so far, touch wood, everything is going well for us. We are still waiting for the official, 'once your name is on it its legal' bit of paper but he has been offered via phone and email (which is apparently as good as legal but we aren't taking any chances). This means a lot to both of us, for one thing a lot more stability and so a more relaxed Dave, phew!!

We were out celebrating tonight, we headed to the Wheelhouse in Falkirk, and very tasty it was too. If you haven't been and dont live a million miles away, head over, good for a feed and very nice! Although they seem to have a bit of an obsession with fish...

We are off out again tomorrow as a friend of ours is heading to Ireland for a while so it is goodbye dinner night. I will take my camera but not sure what the photo opportunities are going to be, seeing as she hates her photo taken!!!

Anime and Answers - A Lunchtime Musing

Just had a bit of fun this lunchtime, tried out one of those online quiz things! Find the real you in 10 questions.. you know the kind of thing!! Well, this is apparently me:

Your element is earth: Wise, solitary, mysterious and loving. You are very wise. Your wise as in you know things others do not. You can see past the stereotypes and see the real people behind their facades, people will often come to you for help and advice. Quite solitary and somewhat shy around people because you prefer animals and plants. Animals aren't afraid to show themselves or what they are feeling and plants are fun to nurture. You are very strong in your silence, if you set your mind on something you will often times pursue it to the end. Sometimes you just want to get away, so you seek refuge in the forest where you can have time to think and try to sort out your emotions. The sound of the wind usually calms you, especially moving through the trees. Life to you is something precious and should not be taken for granted.

Hmmm, I think I like that description of me...

Anime Quiz

Growing Pains


big news of a very chuffed nature!! I bought, last year some passion flower seeds and started growing the vine in oour conservatory. Well, the vine grew and grew and grew but I was going passed hope that it would ever flower. I know nothing about growing passion flowers, I'm a stick it in the pot and see, treat 'em all the same, kinda grower. Well, after looking desidedly dead for a while, and I had no idea why, it has started growing again and yes, you've guessed it!! It's flowering!! It is not the worlds prettiest flower but it is very exotic looking and I am well pleased that I managed to get it to flower!!

It joins in our conservatory a very strange cucumber. Not strange in itself, it was just a freebie given away at work, but I am growing it upright!! i decided to grow it in the conservatory as my greenhouse has been wrecked... its a long 'Cat On A Weak Plastic Roof' story. So I bunged the plant in a pot and off it went, I noticed it put out little grabby feelers an thought great, taht'll save space if I can get it to go up, 'stead of just leaving it flopping about. Well, it seems perfectly happy to go up and has gone up and up!!

I have been doing great with my garden and growing attempts this year!! Loads of tomatoes of my one plant, loads of beans of my 8 beans and the passion flower/cucumber success.. well... My secret? Leave 'em alone!! They have all resulted from me bunging them in a pot and saying:
'Get on with it then.'

Hurray for hands-off gardening!!!

Custard Creams

This is my attempt at Custard Creams, the last remaining four before they disappeared!! See the crumbs? As taken from the blog 'Candy For The Eyes'. These were really lovely and everyone seriously enjoyed them!! Give them a go!! The recipe is here..

Pocket Pairs and Painkillers

Well, it was the poker finals yesterday. Starting a 3pm and going on to.. well.. the end! Unfortunately, although I have no idea why, even with the few reserves we had playing we were still 16 people short! So the final only had 40 players instead of 56, not so far to go to win but less impressive to go out 40th! The day seemed to go well though. The Rosebank put on some great buffet food, LOVE buffet food! Pig Out! And a really nice atmosphere. I have to admit I expect I looked pretty grumpy by about 5pm though as I started getting a migraine and was not feeling very well at all! So apologies to anyone who thought I was being miserable! Only had one paracetamol with me and that did no good and no one had any paracetamol wiith them!! I even had the bar staff going out to their cars looking for them!! Thanks guys!

I didn't do too bad, came 14th overall and won a buy-in to an online tournament to win a trip to Vegas. To be honest though not sure how much use it will be! Its a 'whoever has the most points after 8 games' wins kind of thing and i am not sure I am anywhere near good enough to get even close. Maybe there are smaller prizes or something. But even so it was great to actually win something! Dave didn't do as well as he had hoped but there were several players out early who really should have been in longer!

I am just pleased that I managed to get further this time than I did last time. 19th last time, 14th this time. Go me!

Outside Inn

Off to a birthday meal tonight!! We headed to a local Beefeater Style resturant called the Outside Inn. We have never been before but it is on recommendation to us! And it was a devil of a place to find. Lesson One: Never trust a Sat Nav. It left us at the wrong end of the road, at a roundabout without specifying which exit we needed with the awesome words of:

"You have reached your destination!"
"ummm. no"

After a quick tour of the local council estate we got the right road, up to another crazy roundabout and then:

"What exit?"

Took the wrong one, inevitably, and tootled passed the back of the place!
When we did finally get in it was lovely! It was indeed Outside Inn! There were streams and waterwheels, inside. It was all done like you were outside. Our table (for 6) was even inside a fake little 'Mill House' how cute!! The food was great and there was definately plenty of it!! A great time was had by all and we were all extremely stuffed by the time we left!

I would definately recommend it!
Jess and the birthday boy, Scott.

Can't Stop The Creativity!!

Just had another idea. They want the wedding in October next year!! So, Autumn themed, golds, reds, browns etc!!! Then incorporate bonfire night.. all that warmth and richness. Opulant but remaining cosy. Watch this space...

Oh my God!! ... Please Be Not Expensive!!

I don't know how much a Head Bridesmaid is supposed to do to help her bride but I have been looking at venues. Our budget isn't huge but neither is our guest list and I think that budget should be irrelevant, any budget should be able to have a fabulous day! Well, I have found this lovely little place, near by, with access to a chapel and it caters only for small weddings, like this one! Unfortunately, this is one that has a very basic website with no indication of cost, so I am having to wait for a reply to my email! Which I am not sure if it'll even go through!! The one on the site didn't work from the work PC so I tried one from the Heritage Scotland, where they also advertise, so I hope they get it!

The place looks like this:

And no I am not obsessed with castles!! My other choices include hotels and country houses, so :-P

I have also got some other good venues which maybe suitable. I think I will just get the info. hand it to her and let her decide, last thing she needs is getting inundated with ideas AND opinions!!

Love Is In The Air.....'Sniff'.. At Least I Think That's What That Is?

We have started a trend!

Our bridesmaid and best man have decided to get married next October. (I wish I could say that our wedding inspired love, that their eyes met across the aisle but no. Well, they may have done but it wasn't new, they've been together for a while and are now finally going for it! He's worn her down :) ) This means, dear readers, that you thought all the wedding chat was over ohhhhhhhh no!! Now you are getting it from the other side!! Actually, it should be quite interesting being involved in the big day but without the stress! Well, not as much of it anyway!

Also, I am hoping that as I was so nice to her about the bridesmaids outfits that she won't put me in a meringue, but she might... she's a bit crazy!! So far there has been a disney theme idea and a nursery rhyme theme suggested......

Wedding Photos - The Choosing

Well, this section of the photographs has taken us two sittings. Whittling down about 300 photos to 80!! Our top 10, 30 of our 2nd favourites and then 40 of our 3rd favourites. It sounds like a lot! We didn't do too bad actually. After several umm ... 'disagreements' about the method of choosing we settled on just going through and listing ALL the photos that we liked and then seeing what we ended up with. It worked out great!! Let's hear it for us!! We finished and counted up the complete list - 96! Not bad. We left that for the first sitting and did the 'rating' the following evening. That was harder, thinking you've got it worked out then finding one you really like and finding that the only space is in the 3rd favourites section! But we've managed it, so just have to send them off and then its a three week wait for our album to arrive!! Really looking forward to it, just have to decide which ones we want as our 'hang 'em on the wall' photos.

We were given a beautiful album by our bridesmaid and best man of the photos that they had taken on the day. They had got it printed out storybook style (with the photos actually printed on the page) with backgrounds and inserts and everything! It was wonderful, a great keepsake and handy too! I know a lot of people who say they get their 'official' album made up and then decide they don't want to risk spoiling it by showing it to anyone! So get others made up as 'showables', this album will be perfect for that!! The photos are excellent also, helps having a great photographer as your head bridesmaid!!

Honeymoon Photos

Okay I have added the honeymoon photos as an album, figured that would be a better way than just putting them all up on here. You can either watch that funky slideshow or you can click on it and visit the album itself!! The choice is yours my friends....

Bargain Day!!

A day of bargains today!! Let's her it for car boof sales and markets!! We took a trip too the car boot salein Stirling today and I would have to say that I am chuffed with out purchases!! I am a crazy eeyore fan!! And I mean BIG Eeyore fan so I was well pleased with my three stuffed eeyores which can be added to my collection after their date with the washing machine! (In fact they are tumbling right now!!) But my next favourite purchases was from a market stall and was a Big Cube World block, for only £4... new!!! Now if you don't know what cubeworld is let me enlighten you...

Cube World is as follows little cubes on the front of which is a screen. On this screen appears an animation of a little guy that lives in the cube. He just gets on with his life while you watch (yes, it is electronic voyeurism!). Each cube generally has its own theme, maybe he's an office worker, or has a dog or plays football. Now each cube is cute and fun to watch in its own right but the fun comes from when you stick them all together!! Now the little guys can go visit each other!! Stick as many of these cubes together as you want for piles of fun. Different cube men interact differently with each other. Example: the dog man and the football man - the football man can throw his ball and the dog goes and gets it, running between the two cubes. Or the string man, if you pile up about 5 cubes one on top of the other, he'll climb to the top of the stack, tie on his string and bungeeeeeeeee all the way to the bottom and back up. Apparently each cube has around 100 different animations, all dependant upon who's where. Anyway, these cubes are quite small but then they brought out big cubes, about the size of 4 little ones stuck together. These things were majorly expensive when new, see my Amazon snap shot, but I got it for £4 pretty chuffed!!!
Okay I am sad but simple things....

Next bargain, and a tip for any computer gamers out there. If you are looking to buy EA's new evolution game Spore then go to Woolies!! About £5 cheaper than anywhere else! Had to trapse around every shop in Stirling but we got the best deal!! Yes!! We rock!! ANd the game is pretty cool too! You get to design your own creature and help it evolve from microbe to space traveller...

Let's hear it for geeky me!!

The Honeymoon - Is Never Over!!

We are back, and have been for about four days now, from our honeymoon in the Maldives!! It was incredible!! It was like being in a living picture postcard! (I'll get the photos up ASAP but they are still in the camera, there are SO many!!!)

We managed to get into the 700's, which if you know Meeru island at all is no mean feat! Everyone wants them becaus eit is at the Adult Only end of the island, no children allowed in the resturants, accommodation etc. We arrived and were told that there was no space in the covetted 700's but that if we kept asking everyday they would move us if one became available. We were a bit disheartened but still chuffed to be here. Then we were called up to the desk to be given our room key and a map of the island etc and were told that there was one room available in the 700's and they wanted to give it to us!!! We had to keep quiet in the beginning as various people in the same situation as us were not being given this opportunity! We were stunned! Hurray!!

It couldn't have been better getting to the North end of the island! It was beautiful, great room, great resturant, great service!! We could go straight to the sea down some steps from the back of our room, so we quickly got out the snorkling gear and were away!! Within minutes a shark (approx. 5ft) swam past me! Amazing! We later discovered that it was a Black Tipped Reef Shark. There were so many fish of different sizes and colours, including the sharks and rays!!

We were there during Monsoon Season so we had our fair share of rain but I have never seen real life monsoon style rain so that was an experience in itself! Although a damp one.

We took a couple of trips, a Sunset Cruise and a Night Fishing Trip - both of these were included in the All Inclusive Package. I caught three big fish!! And a little one that got put back as it was only a baby. The Sunset Cruise was a bit strange in that we didn't cruise, just bobbed about and there wasn't a sunset until after we were heading back!

We also took a trip to the nearby local island to get a better idea of the culture and life in the Maldives. We also went to a picnic island for snorkeling and a BBQ, as well as a visit to another resort island - Eyriadu (think that's right). I am so glad we picked the island that we did!!

We also got ourselves a massage. There was a 15 minute one included in the AI package but we also booked a full hour 'His 'n' Hers' massage, which was great!! The spa was also over the water and attached to the same pontoon thing that our bungalow was on. We got another bottle of Champagne as a gift after the massage, which is no good to us as neither of us can stand the stuff!!!