Monday, 22 September 2014

Hi Ho Happy Skin: La Roche-Posay Arrives At Gordon's Chemist

Skin protection is a big deal, a very big deal. We all want our skin to look fantastic regardless of what age we are. I've been a fan of SPF for a long time now but I have been really remiss about it, mainly because I find when I wear SPF which isn't already in products I end up so white. That's what puts so many of you guys off I know, it's that sticky white SPF which shows up no matter how much make up you put over it. Bad times.

Well folks worry no more.

La Roche-Posay, brand beloved by dermatologists has landed in Gordon's Chemists and it is actually time to rejoice. What I like about La Roche-Posay is the fact it's recommended by dermatologists all over the world, they're known for their amazing sun protection but also for their treatment products, notables in the range are the cicaplast and lipikar, I'll be featuring them soon. 

I wanted to show you guys this fab anti shine SPF from La Roche Posay, it's factor 30, but also comes in other factors. The fabulously brilliant thing about it is when we use SPFs the titanium dioxide which leaves that ultra white residue behind is a pain to cover. This has none of that ultra white residue, but rather blends in to a silky finish with no whiteness or stickiness. 

I mix it in with my strobe cream and a little goes a long way, you get a great primer with no horrid residue and your skin stays safe. Hurrah!

Definitely one for you skin angels out there!

Friday, 19 September 2014

What I Wish I'd Known: Inanity's Top Ten Tips For Brides

For brides it's a bit of a minefield out there. Where do you start? What do you do? What do you need to have and most importantly what should you avoid at all costs.

As most of you know, I got married in April, in Las Vegas, so I've done the distance location wedding, I also planned my reception here in Belfast, I've dealt with the stresses and the strains of wedding planning half way around the world and on my doorstep. 

So I decided I would put together my list of the top ten tips for brides that I was glad of, or that I wish I had known. I had read every magazine article, every website telling me this but here is what it all boiled down to.

Inanity's Top Ten Tips For Brides
  1. 1. Hire a professional to do your hair and make up. 
  2. This is number one, and the biggest tip I can give you. I like to think I'm pretty competent with my own make up, and I think most people do, but wedding make up is a completely different beast. Firstly it has to stay on all day and it has to photograph well. Add to that the fact that the pressure and stress of the wedding morning makes even the most steady hand shake. I have never been more pleased to have hired professionals than when I was sitting back getting my hair and make up done with no stress sipping champagne. That's what you want, you do not need the stress of having to fight over a tiny mirror with your bridesmaids. Hire a professional it makes so much difference!
2. Have a closed door policy. 
If you can (it's not always possible) have someone mind the kids in the party for at least the hour before you have to leave. You do need to relax, you need to have a drink of champagne and take a breath, the day goes pretty quickly and you need to be aware of it. You need quiet and peace to get your make up and hair done, you will be spending a lot of time talking to people, A LOT OF TIME. It is good to have a few quiet moments, especially to absorb the gravity of the day, to get into your dress. Have your bridesmaids deal with any young flower girls or ring bearers and give your maid of honour the task of barring your door the hour before.

3. Eat. 
Eat a good breakfast, eat a snack whilst you're getting ready in the morning. I have friends who at their weddings went round their guests' tables during dinner so they could talk to everyone. Consequently they didn't eat much, and the time they thought they'd gain by mingling during dinner, just didn't materialise. This led to my friend Jenny having a panic attack on her hotel's fire escape from feeling faint. EAT. 

4. Ignore over zealous retailers.
When anyone says to you 'your day won't be perfect without it' you can usually completely ignore them. I lost count of the retailers who told me I needed, x, y or personalised soaps for my day to be perfect. You don't. Work out your priorities, don't let others persuade you they are not enough.

5. Do not be afraid of your wedding photographer. 
I know, it's a bit rich coming from me, as I was dreading it but they will help you, they will show you how to stand and make sure you look great.

6. Accept that you will be stressed.
Even when you think you aren't, you are stressed. I knew I was stressed when my entire skin broke out after an HD Brow treatment and by the time I landed in Vegas I had a rash all over my face, which faded as I relaxed through the week. Also two days after the wedding when I flew to Venice Beach I came down with a horrible cold which floored me for three days. It is not unusual to get sick on your honeymoon, I found this out when I came back and many girls told me how they all fell sick on their honeymoon too. Stress folks. Just stress. Look after yourself and delegate as much as possible. 

7. Prepare yourself to talk.
You will repeat yourself all day long, people will want to talk to you every time you turn around so prepare yourself to not get too much time with your new husband on the night. You will want to talk to your guests and most likely will split up to do so. It is a very strange phenomenon and you don't get a lot of time unless you steal it. So be prepared to talk, but also have a few key ways of getting out of conversations if you do need to get away. 

8. Comfort can't be overrated. 
Yes, your dress is beautiful, your hair and make up is stunning but your feet are bleeding and you're hobbling along. I know because my feet did just that, they got skinned to pieces running along the Vegas Strip in my new, fully bejewelled wedding shoes. So as I timidly made my way through The Venetian to our private dining room I felt every bit of that pain. My bridesmaids jumped to my aid and got me plasters but honestly my feet were so beat up there was no putting those heels back on. I walked through the hotel and to the limo in bare feet. Thankfully the hotel is always spotlessly clean but still, my poor feet were in pieces. When we made it back to my hotel room we had a change into my second lighter dress and my bridesmaid Claire saved the day with blister plasters, on went my lace flats and I was ready to dance again. Don't underestimate the value of comfort. Have a pair of back up shoes at your reception if needs be.

9. Try and work out all potential wardrobe malfunctions before the big day.
Ah this one got me. I thought I'd done this, but no, a few blips still made their way in. Firstly my dress which the bridal shop Perfect Day managed to order 4 sizes too big (go figure) had been taken in and restructured as much as humanly possible by my dressmaker but it couldn't pull in anymore. It fit and it looked well but there was a little gapping that I notice in the pictures. I wish my dress had been ordered in the right size so I could avoid that. Secondly, and I only found this out at my Belfast reception when I nearly landed on my face during the first dance; my shoes have little claws. The little claws on the shoes hold the stones in place which is fine, except that my dress had a net/mesh underskirt which...yeah you've guessed it was perfect to catch on the shoes. So when my new husband spun me around like we have always done, mid spin the clwas start catching and holding the skirt, by the end of the spin my dress is completely wrapped around my legs and I can hardly move. It's funny now but at the time I was so freaked out. I ditched my shoes from then on as it was too dangerous. Try and work these things out before hand!

10. Remember it's only a day.
If one person told me then a million did 'YOUR DAY HAS TO BE PERFECT' well folks I'm here to burst that bubble, there's no such thing as perfect, but you will love it regardless. From rain, to sore feet, misplaced place-cards, venues making mistakes, cars being late, bridesmaids falling over...whatever it is, don't stress about it on the day. The little things that you had never even thought about will be the bits of your day that you remember the most. Hell I walked into another wedding in my full wedding dress by accident when I was making my way to my own ceremony! Now it makes me laugh. My favourite bits from my wedding in Vegas were sitting with my new husband in the back of our limo drinking a cold beer by ourselves cruising down the Strip to our dinner. I didn't plan for that but it totally stayed with me, it was our moment to breath out. Likewise my other favourite moments were the small ones, like me and Himself dancing in the bar, or the morning after the wedding all of my friends and family sitting around at breakfast looking at the wedding photos, it was so lovely.

Honestly, it's only a day, I know many of you won't want to hear that but if you keep it in perspective you will enjoy it so much more. The brides I know who have been the most focused on the minutia have found the experience the most stressful, understandably because they have an awful lot to think about. I was actually quite relieved once I had written the last thank you card and it was all finished, it was like breathing out.

Just remember...there's life after weddings.

Much Love

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A Sexy 50s Scent: Eau De Gaga 001 Review

The new fragrance by Lady Gaga is here and it's unisex.  It has in fact been pretty quiet on the Gaga front but now here comes a her brand new unisex fragrance called Eau de Gaga 001. A solid simple black bottle which not only doffs its cap to Chanel but pretty much bows down, it is more than a little evocative of the numbered Chanel scents, even the ‘001’ on the front speaks to an admiration.

Aside from the Chanel aesthetic the fragrance is much different. If you liked her first fragrance you may not automatically like this one. Like Gaga it’s unusual so this may be one which will divide opinion. My opinion though is that I heart it, and I heart it hard.

The scent is made up of big, diverse, enigmatic elements. Designed to create a powerful allure it mixes these scents to great effect. The white violet heart of the fragrance, mixes the woody with a potent lime freshness and then a base of sexy leather. Being a fan of Bottega Veneta I love leather in a fragrance and I am also a lover of a citrus burst, this has one of my favourite scents included, bergamot so this should be right up my street. I like it because it’s unusual, it has an unusual edge to it, it smells completely different on first spritz to its settled aroma. There’s a green leafy edge in there, I think it smells like basil, I can’t quite differentiate what it is, but there’s an earthy edge. Any fans of Illamasqua’s Freak might recognise the centre of the fragrance, it smells really similar, perhaps the belladonna is in both?

I wasn't a fan of the first initial spray, but there is a definite Earl Grey burst, I think that’s the bergamot but the second it calms it turn into a whole different scent, warmer and exotic, an earthier musk. I can’t put my finger quite on what it reminds me of, it’s very reminiscent of Thierry Mugler Cologne, and there is a real masculine edge to this but it softens, I think there’s a really sexy dynamic to the fact you or your partner could wear it.

This is one which I think is a grower, don’t judge it on first spritz, let it settle and see how you feel. It will change with different skin so try it out and see how it develops on you.

Much Love

Echoes of the 60s: Heat Wild Orchid Fragrance Review

Mrs Carter is back, she hasn't gone away, but is there anything this woman isn’t involved with? Well her new fragrance has hit, and it’s Heat Wild Orchid. Designed to be full of intense feminine energy, heat packs quite a floral punch.

It's composition is immensely floral. Butterfly orchid, pomegranate, coconut water, boysenberry, then straight into magnolia, honeysuckle and the key butterfly orchid. On the bottom its woods, skin musk and amber. It’s a heady mix, fans of Beyonce’s other scents I think will like this. Those who don’t like big  intense florals aren’t going to like this though I’m afraid.

So what’s the verdict, this is a pretty bold fragrance, it’s quite creamy and a little bit tropical from the coconut water, it's like Heat went on holiday and this is the result. It really reminds me of Britney Spears Fantasy and Katy Perry Meow. Fans of those scents may find something in this that they like. It's definitely my favourite out of all of her Heat range, it seems to be the most easily wearable and the most versatile.

I also have a bottle up for grabs for any readers who would like to try it. If you want to win just follow the instructions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Much Love

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Flawless Vintage Skin: IMAGE Lightening Serum Review

I recently attended a fabulous event thrown by IMAGE to show off some of their new products. You may remember I reviewed their cleanser some time ago, and I was a fan of it. I was a bit unsure what to think of a lightening range, I'm against skin lightening in the whole from a race perspective. When I was chatting to the girls from IMAGE though and reading the literature surrounding the range I actually realised this isn't a product like those which are marketed toward lightening a racial skin colour. Instead this product is designed to take down rosacea, inflammation and redness from spots etc along with uneven skin tone. 

I've tried this product for a long time, over a month using it in bits and pieces, when I've felt I needed it. The first time I used it was after I had my HD Brows done, I normally get a little redness after. I think it did make a difference as I had no redness the next day at all. I am prone to inflammation on my cheeks, and often struggle with redness which I think comes from me being unable to leave my skin alone and a magnified mirror. I started using the IMAGE serum on my cheeks when they were particularly red after a cleanse. I noticed it did seem to make the redness much less noticeable.

The ingredients are botanical lighteners, grape seed, vitamin c. It is designed to be used to treat inflammation, so any skin treatments which leave redness or I'd recommend it for those horrid cystic spots that get very red, or even annoying redness form perhaps over zealous excisions (don't pretend you don't). It is definitely a topical treatment, I have noticed the redness has gone down on my cheeks. The treatment does last for 48 and less is most definitely more, I use perhaps one or two drops maximum.

If you're prone to redness this is a great product, but remember, less is more!

Much Love

Monday, 15 September 2014

Retro Tanning Chic: Glove Your Body

I got sent this rather adorably retro tanning glove from Gordon's Chemists recently. My very pale skin does need a bit of a bronze boost from time to time and I confess my sponge tanning mitts have seen better days. Also they tend to cover my hands in tan even though I'm wearing a mitt.

So the new Glove Your Body mitt was welcome.

Here's what you need to know. The Glove Your Body Mitt, is a furry design, it can be thrown into the washing machine and not be destroyed like other mitts tend to be after an hour on a hot wash. It also has very helpful finger holes inside so your application is smoother and easier. It's a bit strange putting tanning mousse or oil onto something so fluffy but it does actually buff it onto the skin, I think with it being so fluffy it tends to absorb the excess and reduce the patchiness. 

One thing I found with the mitt is you do tend to use a little more product at the start as it is dry and some absorbs, but once the mitt is mostly covered it gives a nice easy application.

What do you guys think? Fluffy tanning mitts?

Much Love

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Work Work Work: How To Create A Vintage Style For Work

One of the things I often remark on when I'm heading home after work is how chic some women look for a day in the office. Some of us, and I'm including myself in this sometimes, just look very thrown together. Maybe it's the combination of early morning and seeing the same people from day to day, well we just don't always bring our 'a game'. In a recent survey, 52.03% of Irish women said they are fashion conscious about what they wear in the workplace, 75.4% of the respondents said it was about projecting a good image of themselves.  I've been asked a few times now to talk about what you can do to bring a vintage style to your work wear and I'd been pondering it for a little, but I think I've devised a few hints and tricks, I've even included a shopping list for you at the bottom of the post to make sure you get the capsule wardrobe you need.

How to vintage your workstyle.

1. Think classic vintage shapes, fitted tops and dresses. This tartan fit and flare dress from Miss Candyfloss is a fabulous look for work. For a more formal look think about the vintage suit from Pin Up Girl Clothing or perhaps the skirt blouse combo. Accessories can pull these looks together, keep the heels reasonable, but think about the detailing in your bags or your hairstyle, even the jewellery you wear. 

2. Embrace a vintage print, both of these are from Pin Up Girl Clothing I love the Harlequin print and the striped top. If you're going to wear the 50s swing skirt which can be really pretty for work, don't be scared to pair it with flats or even a little cardigan, top button done...obviously. Don't be scared of the vintage pant, cigarette pants can be very Hepburn, I like teaming them with flats for a casual look.

3. Vintage can be in the detail. From the high neck line of both dresses and the frill over the sleeves, even the tailoring and length speaks to vintage. You can team both these looks from Pin Up Girl Clothing with t-bar pumps to emphasise the retro feel.

4. Two different, two pieces. Classic vintage has to be the pencil skirt and pussy bow blouse, both these looks are from Pin Up Girl Clothing this is a direct go to for any woman. If you want a vintage look you need this in your wardrobe, a good pencil skirt can work with a variety of things. But, you don't have to just do a pencil skirt look, this little long sleeved body and patterned tartan skirt with flats is a really nice subtle play on a 50's campus look.

5. Buttons and bows. This buttoned tea dress from Lindy Bop is a very cute land girl look and it's smart enough to wear for work. Team with tights and t bar shoes to make it really smart. The little pussy bow on this polka dot dress from Lindy Bop and its fit and flare shape make it really easy to wear but also super cute. Keep the length just on or below the knee, consider wearing in summer with bare legs and flat pumps or in winter with tights and a little heel. 

6. Classic secretary chic. You can't really go too far awry with the classic secretary chic, think Mad Men, high waisted pencil skirts, blouses and even braces. These looks from Lindy Bop are really wearable and will pull in that instant vintage look.

What to Avoid

1. Avoid wearing nude tights with a black back seam. I know they're very popular in many vintage reproduction stores but they just aren't authentic and they scream burlesque rather than workplace. If you want to go with seamed hosiery, then keep the tights nude and the seams nude also.

2. Make sure they fit. I know that seems obvious but a lot of the vintage fashions are designed to be worn in a very fitted way, so make sure you try them on, make sure they fit how you want. If your dresses are much too long you can fall into a 'wearing your big sister's dress' look which isn't hot. Consider taking things to a tailor to have them hemmed perfectly for you.

3. To avoid that costumed look consider what you're putting together. If you want to go completely authentic, then go for it but embrace it. Feeling awkward in what you're wearing will show so feel confident that you look great. If you want to mix vintage pieces with vintage repro and modern pieces, again go for it but own it and feel comfortable. Remember this comes down to fit a lot of the time. Workwear has to be worn a lot and is something that you should invest in, a vintage styled capsule wardrobe is the gift that keeps giving. Make sure it fits!

The Vintage Capsule Work Wardrobe Shopping List

1. A well fitting black pencil skirt, ensure it ends under your knees. Consider one in navy also.
2. Pussy bow blouses, white is a must, but red is a nice contrast. Ensure they sit well proportionally.
3. A 1950s swing skirt, consider a muted colour, it will go with more.
4. 2 pairs of flats, one with a print, one with a solid colour. (I'm partial to leopard print)
5. A fitted turtle neck, I prefer black to create a 1960s spydress look with your black pencil skirt, or an Audrey Hepburn Parisienne look with the swing skirt.
6. T bar Mary Janes, make sure you can walk in them. 2 pairs.
7. Fit and flare dress, pick a couple of prints, polka dots or perhaps a plain detailed one.
8. A well fitting blazer, make sure it cinches at the waist and flips over the hips. Consider investing in this piece and getting it tailored to you.
9. A waist cinching belt.
10. A fitted cardigan, it should sit just at the hips, consider one with a ribbon tie at the top or at least a top button to create the 50s look.

So girls that should help with any vintage workplace dilemmas. Let me know how you get on!

Much Love

Further survey information can be found at

Monday, 1 September 2014

Nancy's Notes: Crisp Oatmeal Cookies At The Tool Crib Requisition

Week two of Nancy's Notes, and for those of you who aren't aware this is the series of posts I've been doing from my Great, Great Aunt Nancy's handwritten recipe book. There's clippings in there from the 1930's all the way up to the 1960's. It's a lovely piece of social history and I'm loving bringing you all these little snapshots from its interior.                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you missed last week's Nancy's Notes you can see it here, I put up the recipe for Agnes May Dalrymple's date and walnut loaf, a definite must, ridiculously good. If you'd like a little more background on the series of Nancy's Notes the first post is here.

The name of today's post is a bit of a mouthful I agree but today we're going to be making these fabulous little oatmeal cookies. Perfect for the first day of September, hello autumn.

The recipe in situ is stapled into the book on some yellow paper. I get the impression Nancy wrote this down very quickly on the hop.

On the other side of the yellow paper I was pretty surprised to find this, 'Too Crib Requisition' form which she must have just picked up to write the recipe down. First of all I had no idea at all what a tool crib requisition was, so a quick google had to be done. For those of us still bemused it's basically an order form for a tool room, a tool room attendant manages the ins and outs so she must have grabbed this. 

The Recipe

I had to do some squinting, but here we go

Crisp Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup white and brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 bicarbonate of soda
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans

1.Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add eggs and vanilla

3.Beat thoroughly

4. Add oats and pecans mix dry ingredients

5. Drop mixture from a teaspoon, 2 inches apart

6. Bake 250 degrees about 8-10 minutes, makes 72 cookies.

As I was baking I found myself altering the cooking times and temperature of the batches as I wanted a slightly firmer cookie than these ones tend to be. I didn't use shortening and I think had I it would have crisped them. 

I baked 3 different versions, you can choose whichever happens to be your favourite style.

160 degrees C for 14 minutes creates a crunchier cookie with a slightly cakey middle, really highlights the nuts
130 degrees C for 14 mins, Nancy's temp makes a light coloured thin chewy cookie
160 dropped to 140 degrees after 5 minutes for 14 minutes, my perfect cookie, crisp shell chewy middle.

I never normally make drop cookies as I find it hard to get them all the same size, I clearly need more practice.

These are great little versatile cookies, nice with a coffee or just as part of a tea run! So those are the Tool Crib Requisition cookies. Will you be trying them?

Much Love

The Vintage Kitchen: Easy 10 Minute High Protein Bread

I enjoy making bread, I tend to stick with a really, really simple recipe and adjust to whichever kind of loaf I want. This is the easiest recipe there is and you can make this 'in the shake of a lamb's tail' (I love that phrase). 

I recently got sent That Protein, I Heart Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder with Chia Seeds. I'd never used it before but I do use a lot of ground seeds and nuts in my breads anyway, I think it's a dead easy way to get your omegas without too much fuss. One of the main things that made me want to try this was the fact that my mum is a vegetarian, she always struggles with her protein intake so I wanted to see if I could make her a really nice high protein loaf that she could enjoy.

That Protein are a local company in Belfast supplying quality seeds and proteins for smoothies, shakes and all sorts of recipes.

I decided to make bread and I wanted to share with you all how you can use milled seed to add to any breads you're baking.

Here's the basic recipe, you can work off this so easily.

500g any flour- I use wholemeal but you can use anything you want
For protein bread substitute 100g of flour for milled seed protein mix
7g sachet of dried yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey

1.Put flour, yeast and salt into a bowl, mix together. Stir 300ml warm water with the olive oil and honey. Stir into the dry ingredients.
Add milled protein seeds into the flour and mix up with the flour as normal. 

2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead well for 5 minutes until dough isn't sticky anymore. 

3. Oil loaf tin, place dough inside. Cover dough with a plastic bag, leave somewhere warm. Leave for an hour to let the dough rise. 

4. Heat oven to 200 degrees, slash the top of the loaf to make diamond shapes then bake for 30-35 minutes.

5. When taking bread out flip it over and tap the bottom, the bread should sound hollow and feel dry.

Hints and Tips

If you wish to make protein bread for yourself here's some things that I found. The chia seeds in the mix tend to absorb water, chia seeds absorb about 10 times their weight in water I've taken the seeds by themselves before and you have to drink a lot to balance them out. In this recipe though the chias absorb a lot of the water from the mix so don't be scared to add more water to get the consistency of normal dough.

The protein makes the bread denser in texture, it's really nice but reminds me more of a wheaten bread than a loaf. I would suggested using a bit more oil and doing a really brisk knead to try and break up the texture.

I've shown a picture of the bread above, it was very tasty. The consistency works well, I'd definitely recommend That Protein if you'd like to up your omegas.

Let me know how you get on

Much Love

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Tea Parties and Flamingoes : The One Where I Fuel My Vintage Tea Cup Problem

As work continues apace in Casa Inanity I've been making list upon list for Himself to do DIY wise. I've also got an Etsy list so long it would take me years to clear it. The odd thing about putting a house together is how fascinated you get with really odd choices. For instance, recently I've taken a serious shine to everything flamingo orientated, I have an entire section on Etsy dedicated to the pink ones. 

Recently I've been dying to get my shelves up in the kitchen. The main reasoning is because I keep buying cook books and vintage crockery and I really need somewhere to put it. 

Up went my shelves, I've got more things to add to them but I couldn't resist snapping a few quick pictures. There's a few sneaky funko pops in there. I wanted to keep the kitchen really vintage in style, quirky in places and with all the tea cups and pieces that I love seeing. Since I've gotten my kitchen I've been enjoying the space, having so much room is such a lovely treat, being able to decorate it in the style I love is just beyond lovely for me.



With my birthday came more of my favourite things! Teacups. I've added more to my Salem Tricorne set in mandarin which I just adore, also I got some fabulous pieces from my favourite designer Disaster Designs. Lovely Claire from French for Cupcake bought me the gorgeous cake covered frilly giant teacup and then I tracked down the impossible to find flamingo teacups with loads of insane emails sent to suppliers!

Recently we've put up my favourite piece in the house, the superhero pug. A birthday present from the husband this one is now on the wall, the cape kills me every time. 

I've also finally gotten my hare lamps set up on our beside table, alongside the Mr and Mrs signs. Abigail Ahern has sort of taken over our house when I've been decorating. I think the main thing we've found about keeping with a vintage style has been to go with what you like and keep your shapes classically vintage.

How did you guys decorate?

Much Love

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Nancy's Notes: Agnes May Dalrymple's Date and Nut Loaf, 1948

I had published a post earlier about the introduction to this series of articles where I take my great, great aunt's hand written recipe book and make some of the vintage bakes. I've entitled it Nancy's Notes and this is the first recipe.

The first recipe I decided to try in Nancy's recipe book was one that my mum had declared she remembered Nancy making and it was the best thing she'd ever tasted. Well I mean that was such a ringing endorsement I knew I had to start there, although slight pressure right?
So here is the page in question for those of you with handwriting as poor as mine you'll also feel the envy of such lovely handwriting. You may want to follow from the picture or my transcribed recipe under it. Whichever is best for you then feel free to work that way.

The recipe came from Agnes May Dalrymple, 3 Sheridan Street, Lexington, Massachusetts, it's dated Summer 1948.

Here's what you'll need:

70g seedless dates
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup boiling water
1 egg
1 cup caster sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cut up 70g of seedless dates with scissors each into 3 pieces
To these add 1 cup boiling water and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Set aside to cool
Beat up one egg, 1 cup sugar, then add date mixture
2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, sifted together now add to above
Now 1/2 tsp vanilla and chopped walnuts less than 1 cup
Beat all well
Makes 1 loaf

Beat your eggs and sugar together

Preheat your oven to 180 where you will be starting your loaf at. Then after 20 minutes drop your oven to 160 degrees and cook for another hour.

The loaf mixes really well together, and has a really rich toffee and nut taste, it would be known as an old fashioned tea loaf, but this is perfect for your authentic tea parties.

It comes out of the oven looking all golden brown and beautiful! The smell is unreal, like a nutty sticky toffee pudding.

Serve this in generous slices with butter and tea.

Thank you Agnes May Dalrymple and Nancy. Give this a try at home and let me know how it goes, think of Nancy and Agnes when you do.

Much Love


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