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About Me

Married to my soulmate with 2 beautiful girls,and our English Springer Spaniel, Suki. Living a country life in Cambridgeshire, whilst baking, gardening, and photographing our daily lifes, where they find a place on my scrapbook pages.

My little place on the web

This blog is just that, my little place on the web.You will find my daily (or not so daily, hehe)life, my love for my new vegetable garden, baking, photography and my scrapbooking!

My Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is a way of life for me now.It has been for over 4 years. I love journaling, taking photos of my family and love colour and texture, these are all part of my everyday life and scrapbooking.

Christmas in photos

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/31/2009 02:22:00 PM 4 lovely comments
We had a wonderful Christmas, very relaxed and chilled. Christmas day was spent at Nana's and Boxing Day was at ours.
To sum it all up, food and drink was consumed in large quantities, presents were wrapped and unwrapped, I believe the best pressie of all was Lilly's Lego which we have all played with :), then we played pictionary and probably ate more food, LOL.

It is now operation New Years Eve Party.

I have cooked and baked to my hearts content.

We have:

Mini orange and cranberry cupcakes with orange frosting , aka Primrose Hill bakery
Mince Pies
Honey coated chicken drumsticks
Homemade sausage rolls

Later we will have:

Blinis topped with creme fraiche and caviar
Blinis topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill
Tortilla chips loaded with chili cheese and jalapenos aka Nigella
Dates wrapped with bacon

and the usual sarnies, cocktail sausages,and our fav, cheese and pineapple, hehehe.

Last night we tested out some of Peters cocktails, always a treat.....NOT! Boy what a head we had this morning!!
I am going to print a cocktail list for Peter to offer our guests!

As usual it is a full on Fancy Dress, I have changed and am now a Queen (see last post for some clues on our fancy dress, but ignore the Southern Belle now!)

The paper lanterns have arrived, thanks to Sue, and we have fireworks. All in all I think we are pretty much set, just to decorate the house and finishing touches!

What do you have planned tonight? What ever it is, have a wonderful evening with friends and family
From all of us, to all of you, We wish a very Happy New Year

Lots of love
The Bowkis Family



blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/31/2009 01:34:00 AM 2 lovely comments
I was supposed to be updating with crimbo photos and such, but instead have been tasting new cocktails concocted by Peter, and cooking in the kitchen for tomorrow nights party! ( actually I think its tonights party from the time!). Anyways I am going to bed now and will be back later....
Sleep well
Anna x

They think it's all over

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/30/2009 12:17:00 AM 2 lovely comments
As New Years Eve approaches, I am back to manic chores around the house. Today was spent attacking everywhere with a duster and a bin liner, you would think it was Spring around here, as I have been "spring cleaning" like nobodies business!! As well as the cleaning , the kitchen will be beckoning me as I prepare food for our party guests. Once again we are hosting a fancy dress party, and I am glad to say the girls will be participating this year!!
Tomorrow I have a King to collect, a Southern Belle, some guns, a bowler hat and mustache....
Any guesses who we are all going as?? I am sure I can conjure up a little RAK for the most correct answers.
Clue : we are not related

Be back tomorrow with Christmas photos!
Thanks as always for stopping by,
Anna x

Digital Downloads

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/27/2009 08:16:00 PM 5 lovely comments
Hoping your Christmas was a good one, and you are still enjoying the holidays. We are very much, so this post has nothing to do with them, LOL that will come tomorrow. So until then, I am leaving you with Pencil Lines sk 167 digital template preview. This week we have been joined by the wonderful; Donna Downey and the digital template is not a freebie this week, but will only cost $1.00 where all proceeds will go to the MS Society. Your template will be emailed to you within 24 hours.

And for those thinking about 2010 calenders, here is a little freebie from me; a 2010 digital stamp, perfect for digital, hybrid and traditional scrapbookers! You can dowload the calender here

Enjoy the rest of your holidays, and thanks for stopping by..

Anna x

Merry Christmas

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/24/2009 11:10:00 PM 2 lovely comments
Its been a busy day in the Bowkis household. A last minute dash into town to Waitrose and some last minute gifts.
Then home for that yearly baking marathon!

Mince pies
Petite Fours
Peanut Brittle

Have yet to do more cookies and some brownies. We are hosting Boxing Day this year, so I have tomorrow to do some more baking! To include mini pecan pies with my new mini morsel tray!

As promised here is my Cranberry Sauce recipe. Photos have not been downloaded yet, sorry!
Do make this tomorrow morning, it takes 15minutes from start to finish!

Ingredients :

1 pack of fresh cranberries
1 cup of sugar or pure maple syrup
1 cup of orange juice or cranberry juice
zest of a clementine or what ever you have and the juice

Pop everything into a pan and bring to boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
The pour into jars (sterilize the jars if you are giving as a gift).

Enjoy with your Christmas turkey or in a cold turkey sarnie Christmas night!

Have a very Merry and wonderful Christmas!
From the Bowkis's

Cookies to die for

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/23/2009 10:34:00 PM 3 lovely comments
My family are cookie monsters, so I am often baking a batch of cookies at short notice. I need to have a recipe that's quick, easy and ingredients that are always in the cupboard.

I have that perfect recipe and I am going to share it with you. Be sure to make a batch this Christmas, your family will be thanking you!
Now here goes the PW style cook class. Unfortunately I don't have PW light and a PW kitchen...

Ingredients for 12 cookies:

to be honest 12 is never enough and I ususally double this mixture.

4oz softened butter
4oz caster sugar
6oz plain flour
1 egg lightly beaten
1tsp of vanilla essence
6 - 8oz chocolate chips/ nuts/ raisins/ mix of all 3! ( I used a mix of orange infused cranberries, golden raisins and choc chips)

Pretty simple so far..

Pre heat oven to 180c/350f
Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper
Cream sugar and butter to a smooth consistency

Add egg and mix until you have a pale creamy and fluffy mix, not a scrambled egg consistency!

Keep mixing...

Add the vanilla essence
Fold in the flour and chocolate chip mix
Drop tablespoons onto your baking tray and flatten with a fork .

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, or until golden

Pop onto a wire rack and try and leave to cool. Whilst cooling, pop the kettle on for a brew and then sit down and enjoy that freshly baked cookie!

I love this fruit and chocolate mix i did. Another favourite is dried cranberries and white chocolate, mmmm.
Whats your favourite cookie mix?
Back tomorrow with my quick and easy homemade cranberry sauce, nothing like the real stuff on your turkey.

Thanks for stopping by, only 2 more sleeps left till the big man arrives!!
Anna x

Abbreviations :
PW : Pioneer Woman ( see my blog list for link)

Let it Snow!

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/22/2009 11:50:00 PM 2 lovely comments
At long last, we had snow! It felt like everyone had snow, like I mean inches of the white powdery stuff, and I too wanted snow. My wish came true; last night it snowed and snowed. This morning the girls got up and dressed for some snow business!!

Lilly did her usual " Americas Next Top Model" pose. You know the one, the bendy legs, turned body, and "Who me?" look on the face! I tell you Tyra would be proud of my gal!

and then we did cute with Reindear antlers, just for Mummy!

Izzy made snowballs to hit me with, LOL.
I totally love this photo, Izzy being cheeky, laughing her head off as she had just thrown yet another snowball at the kitchen window which had made me jump, whilst I was being domesticated! and Lilly in the background with another one of her "hats" that only Llly can wear!

and I baked cookies.... (come back tomorrow for my "Pioneer Woman" style, for the best and only basic cookie recipe you will ever need, step by step!!) Yikes that does not make sense, but you get my drift!
So what are the bets we are gonna have a White Christmas?I know Mr Weatherman says about 10% for Cambridgeshire, but what does he know, pah!

Thanks for stopping by
Anna x

Its beginning to look alot like Christmas...

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/21/2009 02:10:00 AM 6 lovely comments
At least I am trying now that I am back on my feet and feeling alot more human than I have this past week. Christmas cards were written (not handmade I'm afraid), and a few presents were wrapped. Grabbed my camera and took a few close up snaps of the tree.

Monday we are going to make a dash to the post office and then I am hoping to get into the kitchen and start baking some cookies and make my cranberry sauce!
Did a last minute shop at Lakeland for a few pressies and one of these, how cute! Just couldn't resist, and then I popped some edible glitter in the basket, along with lots of wrapping goodness for hampers, and some orange essence.

Don't you just love online shopping!

Must try and go to bed, its 2.15am and I cant sleep!!!
Thanks for stopping by
Anna x

Checking In

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/19/2009 11:13:00 PM 4 lovely comments
Nothing to report to be honest as I have been either in bed, or asleep on the sofa battling flu. I have not been this poorly for at least 6 years when i first had flu!
Don't wish it on anyone. I am feeling a bit better now and did manage to eat some dinner, as well as actually put some scruffs on this afternoon.
Peter and Izzy were out all afternoon, at the cinema to see Avatar 3D. From their faces when they returned, i am guessing it was amazing! Lilly and I spent the day on the sofa watching DVD's and playing Moshi Monsters. We also decided we had both been good girls and rewarded ourselves with a chocolate from the tree!

Christmas cards have not been handmade this year, due to the flu, and I am gutted. Peter and Izzy bought a box for me today so I can write and post out before last post on Tuesday. Christmas presents have been purchased over the net, and I tell you how glad I have been. I still had some shopping to do and had it all planned to do after work this week, but oh no, this was not to be and by Wednesday i was panicking. So when I had a "drug induced feeling better" moment, Internet shopping it had to be!

I am hoping and praying that I will woke up tomorrow fit to burst, and my kitchen will beckon, or even the studio, whichever it is, it will feel good to be up again.

Before I go, we have had snow!!! Just not a picture to prove it, sorry!
Hope you are all well and not stressed out.
Hoping to be back blogging as normal with piccies as well
Thanks as always for stopping by, I really do love reading your comments.
Anna xx

Pencil Lines sk165

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/16/2009 02:56:00 PM 1 lovely comments
I forgot to post my layout from the weekend for Pencil Lines! Sketch 165 went live on Sunday with Mel Nunn and Kaisercraft sponsoring the design team.
Photos are from the summer in our village park. Lilly adores the swings, and just like me , would spend hours just swinging to her hearts content!

Supplies :
Kaisercraft Lilac Avenue

Christmas is only days to go and this lurgy is putting me back loads! I should be baking like mad at the moment and writing Christmas cards for school and family and friends! Instead I am glued to a box of tissues, hot chocolate and my rug on the sofa.

I should stop fretting, as Christmas will happen whether I have written all my cards, baked all my mince pies and cookies....
How are you coping, are you all wrapped and baked?, or in absolute chaos, just like me, LOL
Thanks for stopping by
Anna x

sniff sniff

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/16/2009 01:35:00 PM 4 lovely comments
Me at 40!!! photo by Peter Bowkis
Cake by Nana, Izzy and Lilly Bowkis

YesI have the lurgy, and feel horrid. I am not going to dwell on how I feel, that really doesn't make for good blog reading, LOL, instead I am going to leave you with what I reckon has to be my best pressie for cheering me up, that I got from this lovely lady!

This has got to be the best present to buy anyone feeling fat and frumpy, like me at the moment!
I keep looking at it, and have a little giggle to myself.
My main pressie from Sue was an invitation to Tea at the Ritz Hotel in London. This made me cry, and the reason it made me cry, is my Dad used to take me to London to see a show and tea at the Ritz on my birthday. My Dad would be smiling down at Sue right now!
I have been spoilt rotten, with Momiji Dolls, the most stunning Monsoon silk top, jewelry, chocolate!, DVD, Hello Kitty goodness, and these layouts made by my gorgeous girls. Think I have a couple of star scrappers here don't you?
Closeup Details
Layout : Anna by Isabella Bowkis

Layout : Mummy Looez (Louise) Bowkis by Lilly Keiko Bowkis
Don't you just love that Lilly couldn't make up her mind what age to add to the layout!
Lilly also asked me yesterday, what day it was, to which I answer Tuesday, 15th December. Lilly :" so you are 40 now Mummy?"
Me : "Yes darling I am, and a day"
Lilly : " Thats a big number Mummy!"
Me: " Lilly, time to get up for school "

She knows, how to make her Mummy feel young, LOL!!!
Before I go, do not forget Pencil Lines DT search, you have until this Sunday to get your application to us. It is going to be another tough decision, with so many amazing layouts filling my inbox!
Pencil Lines the Sketch Book is available for pre order, expected release date is end 2009. As soon as I receive my copy I will be able to give a more definite date.

Back to my tissue box and a warm drink for me, whilst I still debate whether to make Christmas cards or buy! I know I have still not started making my cards, bad crafter!!!

Hugs and thanks for stopping by
Anna x

They say...

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/14/2009 09:07:00 PM 10 lovely comments
life begins at 40, then my life has began! as I turned the ripe old age of 40 today.
Today was a quiet one, as my birthday treat was a night away in Windsor, staying over night at The Waterside Inn in Bray, home of 3 star Michelin chef Alain Roux, son of Michel Roux.

Wow, it was an amazing experience of service and taste.

Our room was lovely and our dinner experience started at 9pm with pink champagne and mouth watering canapes.
As we were seated in the dining room, we were presented with a tiny morsel of mash potato, topped with a 2p disc of homemade black pudding on a gravy. OMGG this just melted in the mouth, and was amazing. I do NOT like black pudding at all, but this was out of this world!

I ordered a smoked haddock souffle with a poached egg, to follow I had fillet of Sole in a shrimp sauce and ended my meal with a pistachio creme brulee... amazing, and please tell me how do you get a poached egg bang in the middle of a souffle!!
I cannot put into words how amazing this meal was, every taste experience was has had.
At the end of service, Alain Roux visited the tables and I was slightly in awe.
We then headed to the lounge for coffee and homemade chocolates, mini mince pies and biscuits.
Our room beckoned, and our chocolates and 2 complimentary glasses of champagne were taken to our room.
As we entered out room, it had been prepared for bed, with chocolates left on our bed, I love finishing touches like this!
The next morning, our breakfast was delivered to our room, by not 1 but 3 waiters! What service. We had the most amazing hand squeezed OJ, hot chocolate, Earl Grey Tea, English Tea and coffee. A basket of handmade patisseries, (yummy) yogurt and fresh fruit salad.

My weekend did not end here, as we were then given a personal tour of the kitchens by Alain Roux himself, what a lovely man.

Now you would think that was my birthday present, but oh no! I woke this morning, slightly teary eyed, and then made it downstairs to be presented with a Tiffany and Co bag. Inside was a silver bracelet with 3 beautiful charms, and then 2 more Tiffany and Co bags were presented to my by the girls which contained 2 more charms. I feel so lucky and spoilt and I cannot thank my darling husband enough.

The girls also made a layout both of me, bless them. I will upload photos of them tomorrow with my Pencil Lines layout, and photos of me and my birthday cake!

I am now, unfortunately, suffering with a cold, stuffy and runny nose, charming!!
I am finishing my Bollinger champagne, and then my bed will beckon.
Thank you for all my lovely birthday wishes on facebook, I really appreciate it.
Thanks as always for taking the time to stop by
Anna xx

Alien Christmas

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/10/2009 09:53:00 PM 3 lovely comments
Whatever happened to the traditional nativity play, Away in a Manger and Little Donkey for songs?! This year Lilly's Christmas play was about Aliens landing on Earth, and the humans teaching them about the real meaning of Christmas. It was good, but there is nothing like the original story being told the old fashion way in my opinion!

Lilly was an Alien and had a speaking part and sang a solo. We were so proud of her as she stood at the front of the stage, singing her little heart out. And we were not the only ones impressed, several mums came up to us saying how good she was, bless....

This afternoon I decided to recycle some wax crayons from school and remake, packaged up and give to the kids at work as a little gift from me.

I realise I need to fill them a little more, as they were not very deep. When Peter got home, he just laughed and complained that I had ruined he cake tin! and Izzy , well she had no comment!

Either they don't get it, or they were really naff, LOL
Tomorrow we are off for the weekend to Windsor. The weekend starts tomorrow night at The Waterside, Michelle Roux restaurant, a 3 Michelin star, I cannot wait. We are also staying at the hotel as well! Saturday sees us Christmas shopping in Windsor, and then home to collect the girls from Nana's. It will be a much needed break, as I am exhausted!

I have a To Do List that is so long, its quite daunting, to be honest. But I must not think about it and have a relaxing weekend away.

Thanks for stopping by
Anna x

Homemade Christmas

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/09/2009 11:08:00 PM 3 lovely comments
I love the idea of making homemade gifts each year, and whilst I watch "Kirsty's homemade Christmas", I am warming to the idea more and more. But my only problem is time... Oh to have more on my side! I don't finish work until next Friday, and this weekend we are away. So whilst I dream of making homemade sweets, chutneys and soaps for my hampers, and handmade crayons for my kids at school, simple white embossed Christmas cards for 80, I think reality is likely this will not be happening this year...but this is me talking, and you can never be quite sure what will take my fancy tomorrow, LOL
Do you have any handmade gift ideas to share?

Tune in tomorrow for nativity plays with an alien twist, (what will they think off next!), and maybe some handmade gifts.
Thanks for stopping by
Anna x

Christmas is here

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/07/2009 08:14:00 PM 3 lovely comments
The weekend has been spent Christmas shopping for presents and decorations, enjoying the sound of a brass band playing Christmas songs, whilst chomping on hot chestnuts! I am in heaven...This sums up the Christmas spirit for me. After a scrummy lunch we headed back home to unpack our new decorations and my craft companion (still in its box, just havnt add a spare moment to play yet).

Sunday I was up and out the house to drive down to Welwyn Garden City, to see Tracie who was teaching at Crafty Stash. It was also lovely to see Sara, Dawn, Jo and Kim, Claire and Hilary, to name just a few familiar faces I saw. I also spent far too much money in Sue's shop on Prima flowers, in fact an obscene amount! But oh so worth it, LOL...

I stayed for lunch with Tracie and Sue and then headed back home for an afternoon listening to Nat and Dean crooning, whilst decorating the tree with the girls, to follow this week of our festive home.

Pencil Lines sketch 164 went live last night with Melissa and Kaisercraft. I had so much fun with the Kaisercraft goodies, the only problem I had was photographing my layout. cameras do not like yellow and lilac!!

My layout is a picture I have been wanting to scrap for ages now.

Its a photo of Peter and Addie at her Christening in 2008. Peter was so smitten by her, I say "was" as we haven't seen Addie in about 9 months! In fact since I have started work, my monthly visits to Bury are no longer.

Supplies :

Kaisercraft Lilac Avenue
Bazzill Basics swiss dot
Papermania gems

I have worked a full day today and I am pooped. It was Egyptian day for KS2, so I went to school dressed as Cleopatra!

Tomorrow back to normal, Wednesday is Lilly's Christmas play, and we cannot wait as she has a singing solo. Izzy saw the play today and said Lilly was amazing! which is pretty amazing coming from Izzy!!!
Pencil Lines DT search is on, and the entries so far are gorgeous, please keep sending them in. Full details at Pencil Lines. Pencil Lines the Sketch Book is available for pre orders, shipping worldwide. Thanks to everyone who has placed an order, I am overwhelmed by the response.

Thanks for stopping by,

Anna x

Early Christmas pressie

blogged by me domestic goddess On 12/05/2009 10:10:00 PM 0 lovely comments
We went Christmas decoration shopping today, and I bought some lovely new bits, to fill teh house with seasonal cheer!! Took some sneaky photos as well of beautiful decorated trees, wishing I had an unlimited budget to start all over again. But then I love the fact that there are stories attached to my baubles, and each year the girls and I choose a new bauble/decoration to add to our ever growing collection filled with precious memories.

Tomorrow we will be putting the tree up, so beware a post jam packed with festive cheer!

As I fell across the craft department i spotted a crafters companion, and I have wanted one for a while now, and I could not resist and the box made it into my trolley along with card blanks, envelopes, black card stock, and a Christmas wordy embossing folder!

The day has ended glued to the X Factor, where I have to admit, Geordie Joe was definitely the best on the night! So who is going out tomorrow??


Anna x