Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Woooooooooo Wednesday - Halloween link up!

Trick or Treat! I'm home, and just in time for Halloween. Being a bad mother who was out enjoying herself at a hotel (afternoon tea, four poster, peacocks) I left the buying of pumpkins to the last minute and discovered they'd all sold out. I'm also a bad blogger who was too busy to sort out her own link party yesterday - sue me. We'll have it today instead. Halloween inspired posts especially welcome but not essential.

Luckily improvisation is one of my many middle names - Lakota is just one of them - so I got busy with a serrated knife and a couple of oranges. The kids seemed happy enough, but they're probably even more of a fire hazard than pumpkins, what with their tendency to roll about the place. The oranges that is, not the children. Although, come to think of it...

There was something odd about her groceries this week, but she just couldn't quite put her finger on it...

[Bat clothes pegs by Suck UK]

[You didn't think you'd get away without seeing my nails did you?]

Last chance to enter the Nails inc giveaway - closes tomorrow.
Link up lovelies!

Lakota x

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Something for the Weekend - Hmm, you look familiar...

Halloween. I think we can all agree that the Americans do it better than us. It's kind of cute when the neighbours' 4 year old comes round as a mini skeleton and lisps 'trick or treat' at you at 5pm. It's less fun when you're attempting to watch Eastenders and have opened the door to the 14th hulking teen in a Scream mask menacing you for fun size Cadburys. You could go to a party, but options are limited - what will it be this year - slutty witch, slutty vampire or slutty cat? [The same low-cut flammable polyester bustier can be pressed into service for all three]. Our pals across the pond meanwhile are rocking 'Octomom', 'dismembered torso in a suitcase', and erm, 'ball pool'.

Pete Burns wasn't sure his job as Angelina's nanny was working out

Jeez, why's it always the ketchup that leaks?

It never pays to rummage much below the top layer. There'll be an apple core and a dirty nappy in there somewhere. Mark my words.

But who is Halloween really all about? Have we forgotten the true meaning of Samhain? Without the sterling efforts of our feline friends it's highly possible that many women burned as witches might have lived full boring lives as local herbalists. Imagine how dull things might have been without the caprice of our canine companions leading early villagers to believe in the presence of demons. It's only right that we repay them for these services, don't you think? And what better way than allowing them their own little slice of Halloween magic? See how happy they look:

Avada Kedavra. 
Seriously motherfucker. We are THROUGH

Ginger and Tiddles had been listening to backwards records again.

You know things are bad when a beagle's eyes seem to be saying 'Please, take me back to the research lab. I miss the toasted taste of Lucky Strike'.

Go Team

Sweet Lolita kitteh says kawaii. Whatever.

I'm confused Mommy. Who's Cerberus? 

Try this again and you lose a finger.

If you've always wished for a different, more exotic pet - Halloween is the perfect time to put your wishes into action. No need to trawl Craigs list or purchase an unreliable transformation spell from eBay - simply strap on the prosthetic bunny ears and away you go:

Imma get Jurassic on yo' ass

Hey, weren't you in Willow?

Just kill me. 

Skunk dog thinks you stink

What's up dawg?

Spiderpug. Combining cute and horrific since 1998

Mutant spider dog would probably be enough to keep me off your lawn, but if you're really anti trick or treaters you could bring out the big guns:

I know, I know, it's wrong to paint pets or give them extra limbs. But occasionally an outfit is so perfect we should just chuck animal rights out of the window entirely. If I were in charge of such matters this guy would be forced to dress as Winnie the Pooh every day, and I usually HATE the Disney version:

You're with me on this, right?

Peta are just going to have to find a new spokesperson, cos it's going to take a hero to stop this kind of exploitation:

Happy Halloween!

Lakota x

Hi new followers! I'm guessing you came for the swap or the Nails inc giveaway. I can't blame you. If you stick around you might enjoy the rest. I mostly like second hand shizzle and poking fun at things I find on the internet. eBay sellers don't like me very much and if you pin something ridiculous to Pinterest I will say so. I once wanted to marry Tom Cruise, but I'm over that now. Oh, and it's my birthday today. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - Nails inc goody bag giveaway!

Hey hey. I haven't forgotten you all, honest. I'm feeling a lot better now, but even in the midst of feeling grotty I did haul my bones out once last week. Nails inc got in touch with me and asked me to go along to a consumer focus group they were having at their head office. All I had to do was have a free manicure treatment beforehand, then talk about nails for a couple of hours. Plus, cash and goody bag were promised, so obviously I'd have to be at death's door to have turned that down. 

Anyway, because I'm the caring, sharing type, and to say thanks to everyone who's stuck with the blog for a while - plus hello to new followers - I have a goody bag of my own to give away. 

Kensington Caviar speed dry top coat - new
'Tate' - red nail polish - new
Crackle effect 'Hoxton' and 'Camden' polishes in purple and turquoise - new
Mustard nail polish 'Hampstead Gardens' - used once - I love this colour but it doesn't suit me so have chucked it in as an extra.
Prize value approximately £50.

I'm trying out a new way of running competitions as this way means I don't have to scribble on little bits of paper! Hopefully the Rafflecopter widget will make things easier. [There is no obligation to enter more than one way]. I haven't tried it before though so let me know if it doesn't work! Usual rules apply - open worldwide but for blog followers only. ***NOW CLOSED***WINNER HERE****

Lakota x
No link up this week as a catch up is overdue with everyone!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - Rosehip Syrup

Oh dear, it's Tuesday again already. Apologies for not having been around much, it's been a busy week and now I'm not feeling too well. I have a horrible sore throat and am full of cold. Hopefully this week's make will help me recover a bit quicker than usual, though if I'd made it sooner maybe I wouldn't have caught the cold at all. Or possibly it was the wandering around in wet fields picking the ingredients which started it in the first place. Hmm.

Hedgewitch ingredients

Rosehips contain a shedload of vitamin C - yes, this is a technical term - as well as antioxidants, and during WW2 children were sent out to collect them. The collected fruit was then turned into Rosehip syrup, and some will remember it being given as 'medicine' right into the 60s. Oranges and other citrus fruit were in short supply in Britain, and the Government was presumably almost as worried about the populace dying of scurvy as it was about Hitler. I still shudder when I think about the daily spoonful of malt extract my dad decided was good for us as kids - but was encouraged on looking up recipes to see that rosehip syrup can be poured on ice-cream and pancakes. Rather more appealing than thinking of it as a Lemsip alternative.


If you want to try it, the recipe I used is below. Watch yourself when you're picking them - wild roses do have thorns, and the fruit can be slightly prickly too - also, the seeds can be an irritant. And don't forget to leave plenty for the birds for the Winter, don't strip a bush completely. [If you have roses in your garden, you can use those too, assuming you haven't sprayed them with pesticides etc]

Rosehip syrup
1lb - 2lbs of rosehips
1llb 12oz sugar
Screw top bottles, washed and rinsed and put in low oven to sterilise. (or put through a dishwasher and still hot when needed)

  • wash the hips, and chop them in a blender/food processor. You'll end up with something that looks like chopped chillies.
  • Bring 3 pints of water to the boil and add the chopped fruit. Return to the boil and then turn off the heat. Leave 15 minutes and then strain through a jelly bag (or you could use a clean pair of tights or a colander lined with a teatowel)
  • Reserve the strained liquid. Add the contents of the jelly bag back to the saucepan and pour on another 1.5 pints boiling water. Leave another 10 minutes and strain again.
  • Add all the liquid to a clean saucepan and boil until the liquid reduces and you have about 1.5 pints left.
  • Add the sugar and dissolve slowly before boiling rapidly for 5 minutes.
  • Pour into hot, sterilised bottles.

Apparently it doesn't keep that long once opened so use small bottles if you can. [I used salad dressing and vinegar bottles]. It has an unusual but pleasant sweet flavour, and I can confirm that it is indeed nice on ice-cream. Boy2 enjoyed it, and he's 4. [He's also managed a full week and a half without shoving anything else up his nose, thanks for asking]. I reckon it would make a really good base for any cocktails which require a sugar syrup too. I will look into that as soon as I can swallow again.


Hello to my new followers, it's lovely to have you. I'm working on the swap now (as well as getting rid of my cold) so again apologies if I'm not posting or commenting much. There's still a little time to sign up if you'd like to send and receive some Christmas cheer. And of course, I'd love you to link up your latest and best makes, finds, outfits and general 'ta-dah!' moments as usual.

Lakota x

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - What was he thinking? Who nose...

There was high drama in my house this weekend. As is usually the way, there was little warning of what was about to occur. My parents were due to arrive for a flying visit pre their holiday. Mr FHCS was making a lasagna,  I was wrestling with duvet covers, and the children were playing nicely. Or as it turned out, Boy1 was playing nicely. Boy2, for reasons best known to himself, but apparently 'to see whether it would fit', had decided to embark on a journey of experimentation involving his nasal passages and his favourite toy. Our industriousness was therefore cut short by a sudden blood-curdling wail.

Through his sobs, we were able to ascertain that there was 'wego up my nose, and I can't get it out!'. Further questioning revealed that there were in fact two small 'dots' stuck together up his left nostril, and that the pieces in question were 'yewwoh'. However, we couldn't see anything and a Sunday afternoon trip to A&E beckoned.

A kind nurse with a 'snotoscope' and some tweezers managed to extract the offending pieces and Boy2 left with the ability to build car headlights and a rather undeserved 'well done' sticker, given that he apparently screamed blue murder. Perhaps they were just congratulating him on his pioneering research into the limits of parental patience the human body. I knew we should have bought him a shape-sorter...

[Yes, it's been washed since]

I suppose it's a good thing he told us, unlike the six year old who had a lego wheel up his nose for three years. 

Let's hope it's Boy1 who'll be looking after us in our dotage...


Oh, and in case you missed it - sign up for the Christmas Swap 2012 is now OPEN! Make new friends, go shopping guilt free and receive parcels in the post. What could be better? Spread the word and sign up over on yesterday's post.

So, anything to link up this week? Preferably less disgusting than mine please.

Lakota x

Monday, 8 October 2012

Christmas Faith Hope and Charity Swap! Tis the season to sign up

It was another resounding yes to the Faith Hope and Charity Shopping Christmas swap for this year, so I guess I'll be dusting off my spreadsheet once again. If you've played before you'll know the drill, but it's always more fun if new people get involved as well. If you fancy getting involved in the best exchange of second hand goods since Ebay, then remind yourself of the rules and sign up in the comments. Please leave a link to your blog - if you have a closed profile I can't find you!

  • You will need a regularly updated blog and be willing to post when you receive your items from your swap partner. Sorry to non-bloggers, but the swap is done on trust and some online presence does make things easier. Please don't sign up and then disappear, it makes things very difficult.
  • Bloggers are welcome world-wide as usual. I will try to assign partners within the same country/continent but please let me know if you would be willing to send abroad if necessary.
  • As usual, you should send your swap partner a minimum of three items, a maximum of five. 
  • There is a maximum spend of £12 or the equivalent in your local currency.
  • At least one item - though more if you can - should be second hand, and  sourced from a charity shop, car boot sale, jumble, estate sale, eBay or similar.
  • At least one item should be handmade. If you are not crafty yourself, it's fine to provide a handmade item that someone else has toiled over instead.
  • And this time, one item MUST relate to a Christmas carol or song. How you interpret this is up to you! 
  • One item could fulfil several categories. A home-made white fluffy pom-pom garland made from thrifted wool could count as handmade, second hand and represent 'Let it Snow', for example.
  • Sign up will close on 28th October and I will assign partners on the blog soon afterwards so please keep an eye out.

The more people who sign up the better chance I have of introducing you to someone new and of finding a partner in your country, so please display the badge above on your sidebar with a link to this post

That's all for now, thanks in advance for getting involved!

Lakota x

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Nicholas Deadly? Classic books reinterpreted by mobile phone!

I got a new phone recently. It's a smart, um Galaxy android, er thingy with added finger prints. Yeah, touch screen. Great. Another thing besides my children to look smeared and reproachful. Anyway, instead of using my phone like a normal blogger and getting obsessed with making my dinner look like it was cooked in 1973 - I have instead become addicted to trying to make the voice recognition software understand me.

Is this thing on?

Unlike Siri on the iPhone, this voice recognition doesn't do anything as advanced as answer questions. It's merely another way to send texts. You can type each letter, have predictive turned on, 'swoosh' with your finger over the keypad - or, simply speak your message into the microphone. What could be easier? Ha!
[My accent is apparently deemed 'posh', despite my being born and brought up in the Welsh valleys. I don't speak like the Queen or anything though, honest. Think more reader of Jackanory back in the day. But with added swearing.] To my mobile however, it appears I'm as incomprehensible as Rab C Nesbitt is to anyone outside of Glasgow.

So, check out these opening lines to classic and popular literature and see if you can guess what they are. I'll put the answers and the actual extracts at the bottom of the post.


1. "If you really want to hear about it,  miss a thing or pub tonight if I was born, I love child with like, how my pants off I dunno if I have me know what days."

Er, right. This was my first attempt. Sounds like Underworld lyrics. I decide to try again and things go completely Eddie Izzard.

"If you ever set something up for me today as well phone mobile as a child bike hedgehog"

This is not quite how I remember the much lauded coming of age novel about an American adolescent. Let's try an easier one.


2. "Nicholas deadly, of number 4 privet drive, how to say thank you. Super cala fragilis expect involved in a thing pringle mysterious, because it is the deposit"

Ok, so it got the vital identifying address. But the rest was pretty muggled. And I'm sure that's someone else's spell.

3. "University college Superman versus good fortune in London."

This does actually sound like a book precis. Just not the right one.


4. "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again"

Whoop! Success at last. Anyway, you've hooked me with that opening line Daphne, what happened next?

"Sing me a good idea I'm leaving drive and for wireless sensor for the way back to me"

O-kaay. We'll keep your idea on file Ms DuMaurier. Thanks for coming in!


5. "Nuttin much does a hair dye - Eritrean enough in the last few months - even if I had not much is it like this."

Not a book about an African girl's struggle with her unruly locks. But hugely popular nonetheless.


How did you do? It's not just me who has these issues with technology, right? Have you got this on your phone? Have a go!

Lakota x

PS. 3 posts in one week - check me out!
[answers below]


"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it."
The Catcher in the Rye

"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense."
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
Pride and Prejudice

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me."

"I'd never given much thought to how I would die -  though I'd had reason enough in the last few months - but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this."

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - Mocha Squares Recipe [aka How to celebrate weight loss]

Hello, and happy Tuesday! What better way is there to celebrate seeing a pleasing weight on the scales than by baking, eh?

Anyway - Mocha Squares. I LOVE these, and have since I was a little girl. I always requested them for my birthday parties and my mum would always oblige. October is my birthday month and it appears the craving for the chocolate oaty base with sweet coffee icing hasn't lessened over time! I just need to reign in the urge to eat four in one go, I have made could make myself very sick on these. The recipe is also a winner as it's quick easy and low on elbow grease required.

I'm afraid I've only ever had imperial measurements, so if you're a modern gal you'll have to use an old scales  or use a conversion chart to get the metric amounts. As Mr FHCS is away again on business I used my smaller tin, but usually I add half again to the measurements. I will put the bigger batch amounts in brackets.

Mocha Squares
For the base
6oz (8oz) margarine or butter (I use hard cooking marg)
6oz (8oz) white sugar
6oz (8oz) self raising flour
3 3/4 oz (5oz) porridge oats
1 1/2 oz (2oz) cocoa powder

For the icing
1 1/2oz (2oz) marg/butter
3/4 tablespoon (1 tblsp) coffee essence. [measure out the right amount of instant coffee in the spoon. Add boiling water to the same level so it dissolves in the spoon]
6oz (8oz) icing/powdered sugar

This batch is made in a shallow square tin measuring 6.5 x 6.5 inches approx. The larger batch is made in a shallow rectangular tin which is 7 x 11 inches.

  • pre-heat the oven to 180c
  • In a saucepan, gently melt the margarine. Stir in the sugar, then sieve in the flour and cocoa powder. Finally add the oats and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is incorporated.

  • Grease and flour your tin, then squish the mixture in and firmly level it with the back of a spoon.
  • Put in your preheated oven for 15 minutes exactly. You want it cooked, but without the edges catching or going crispy.
  • Cool in the tin on a wire rack.

When cool, make the icing in a clean saucepan.
  • Melt the margarine/butter. Turn the heat off.
  • Add the coffee essence.
  • Sift in the icing sugar.
  • You should find that with a stir, the icing comes together in a ball, as if you were making a roux.
  • Ice the base whilst it's still in the tin. I generally just splodge the icing into the middle and spread it out to the edges from there using a palette knife. If you have problems, dip the blade of the knife into just boiled water and it should spread smoothly.
  • Make a pattern in the icing with the tines of a fork.

  • You should be able to turn the whole thing out with the help of a fish-slice, but otherwise, cut into squares in the tin.
  • Don't blame me when the scales start creeping up again.
So, what's new this week? I have been a little better about visiting everyone lately, but please do feel free to link up even if I've seen your post. Take a look at a few other submissions while you're at it. Someone suggested that from now on I feature a particular post the following week - what do you reckon? I don't want to create a popularity contest or anything but I always appreciate it whenever someone links to a post of mine and potential new readers see it.

Lakota x

PS. I've also had enquiries about the Chr***mas swap. I don't mind organising it if people are are still interested. Let me know...

Monday, 1 October 2012

Magpie Monday - How to be beautiful

Just a quick Magpie Monday post to show a few books I've found recently. This Warne's Pleasure Book for Girls was published in 1933 and makes a nice addition to my collection. It was £3.00 from a charity bookshop in the Lake District.

What's that Lassie? Gertrude's fallen down an abandoned well?

The stories include 'The Unlucky Hockey Stick', 'Barbara's Speed Boat' and 'The Queer one of the Family' and suggest the usual mix of school shenanigans, high drama and unintentional hilarity.

I also found this 1988 Bunty annual for 40p, which contains a rather alarming story about a group of school boys attempting to obtain their (foxy) matron's vital statistics so they can buy her a new dress. When they're not hiding in her wardrobe, they're 'accidentally' bumping into her so that someone can sneak up on her with a tape measure! It's all a bit Benny Hill.

[click to enlarge pictures]

Finally a few extracts from a book I found at a carboot sale. It's called 'What Every Woman Should Know', and is a collection of clippings from the Daily Mail of the 1930s. 

Liz Jones: how to look snooty

There are plenty of handy household hints -  "sour milk makes a good cleaner for gilt picture frames" - recipes, and indepth analysis of the latest fashions; "blouse jackets are trumps for Autumn". I think my favourite part is the beauty pages though - woe betide the fashionable 30s woman who attempted to wear the latest 'tip-tilted hats' with 'the least suspcicion of a double chin' or with 'sagging cheek muscles'. Charming phrases such as 'bingo wings' and 'cankles' had yet to be invented, but it seems there was no shortage of imaginary flaws to focus on. Do you know anyone who suffers with "that fleshy lump at the back of the neck that is so disfiguring"? If contorting yourself between two mirrors proves that you are indeed afflicted - don't worry. 'It can be eradicated by the right exercise'.

If your face is OK but your figure lets you down - why not take up ice skating this winter? Personally I don't know anyone who puts on 8lbs in the summer which they then  lose in the winter - salad vs stew, I don't think so - but if this is your problem you'll be pleased to know that 'as you skate the flesh is actually massaged away between hips and ribs'.

Sadly I don't have much time for daily skating - am I doomed to be fat?


Lakota x

Sharing this post with Liz at Magpie Monday and Thrift Share Monday
Don't forget it's Ta-dah! Tuesday here tomorrow.