Thursday, 30 August 2012


Via Here but I think originally from Here

Sometimes it's fine to just eat ice-cream for dinner.

Sometimes it's fine to not actually be texting or talking on your phone when you're in a crowded place on your own.

Sometimes it's fine to pretend to know the words to an infamous song that you've never actually got round to listening to.

Sometimes it's fine to admit that you're struggling however lucky you think you should feel.

Sometimes it's ok to feel like Bridget Jones - unkempt, uncouth and underdressed yet completely and utterly well meaning.

Sometimes it's fine to tell a joke and no one laugh. Indulge in that awkward silence.

Sometimes it's ok to get irrationally angry at a stranger because they think that you're having a dance off with your friend and they want to watch. In fact you and your friend were dancing in unison as one. Stop watching us. This is not a competition. This is interpretive dance.

Sometimes it's ok to fall over when dressing yourself.

Sometimes it's ok to make ridiculous comments in interviews and forget any other vocabulary or adjectives than the word 'nice'.

Welcome to my life.

Madame Squirrel

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Dreaming Of: Thanksgiving Dinner. (GET IN MY BELLY).

From Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

Missing: New Orleans and all the people I'll be eating Thanksgiving Dinner with.

Listening To: Main Titles (Back to the Future III) by Alan Silvestri (I watched the trilogy back to back at the Prince Charles Cinema for Monsieur's birthday so that explains that one).

Watching: Monsieur dance around the room to The Lion King Soundtrack (musical and film).

Wishing For: Gainful employment and more Rococo Chocolates (those didn't last long).

Rococo's amazing Sea Salt Organic Milk Chocolate Bee Bar

Wearing: My Pyjamas. (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt and stripy bottoms for those of you who want to know. That's right I dress up for bedtime).

What are you currently musing over?

Madame Squirrel

Cake Painting

Yes cake painting. That's what I like to do now. Much more preferable to painting on canvas as you get to eat it afterwards.

A while back (June 23rd to be precise) I attended a Rose Cake painting class in Berkhamsted by the wonderful Natasha of Nevie Pie Cakes and the blog Amelie's House. Natasha is an incredible artist and baker who uses food colouring to paint masterpieces on her edible items. I hope I didn't come across as too much of a fan girl on the day as I truly admire all of Natasha's work; there is nothing quite like it out there in the world of cake decoration.

The class was incredible and if cake decorating is your thang then I highly recommend it. Natasha had printed out a step by step guide for the cookie toppers and big cake and repeated each step for us on her own fondant before letting us have a go on our fondant cookie toppers and dummy cake. While we all painted away Natasha walked round the room and helped out each classmate individually; if only all teachers were like that.

The class was a lot of fun but it was quite intensive as you are painting all day long and some artistc ability is necessary (not that I have much) to be able to actually paint the designs. Saying all that though I like to think that my efforts weren't too shabby. (I won't put pictures on here of Natasha's original rose cake as then you'll see just how pants my efforts actually are - you'll just have to visit Nevie Pie cakes to have a nose yourselves.)

Rose Cake Decoration

Cookie/ Cupcake Toppers

To find out more about Nevie Pie cake classes please visit the website and subscribe to the newsletter. 

Currently Natasha is offering two basic cake painting classes, a ruffle cake class and the amazing eat your heart out class (where you learn to paint a blackened smokers lung cake; true story). Believe me Nevie Pie cake classes are well worth the money (especially for the tasty spread that Natasha puts on for your included lunch) and are a truly enjoyable day out.

Madame Squirrel

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

New Favourite Thing: Dogshaming

I saw Dogshaming posted on Facebook today and I have never laughed out loud so much (well not since yesterday anyway).

Dogshaming you complete me; mainly because my dogs are just as guilty as all the cheeky little blighters that have been shamed already.

Here are a few that have made me laugh like a goon:

We've all been there.

So what would I shame my dogs for?
Hmm let's see....

Cassie has:
Eaten Cleo's sick with glee. (Noice).
Eaten a whole plate of mince pies.
Eaten a whole loaf of bread (+ plastic wrapper).
Eaten numerous pairs of socks and pants (washed or unwashed? Doesn't matter she ain't fussy).

'Yeah and?'

Just looking at this list I think we can safely say that my dog has issues with food.

Cleo has:
Gotten fish out of our old pond and run about like a mad thing, chucking them in the air before eating them and strewing their remains all over the garden. (Yum).
Eaten all of my Mum's beautiful roses (luckily she has learnt how to curb this habit).
Been known to wipe her mouth on all the furniture.

'And what?'

What would you shame your pets for?

Madame Squirrel.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

AA Sheer Nail Polish

Dear American Apparel

I just wanted to tell you that you make lovely nail varnishes. Your new fandangled sheer range and the images along side them are delightful. So delightful in fact that you are making me want to ignore my spending ban and quite frankly buy them all. YOU ARE NAUGHTY.


For now I will have to simply ignore you. Sorry about that.

Madame Squirrel.

P.S You will never ever get me into those bloody disco pants. So stop trying. My hips don't lie and they know they won't fit. The trussed up sausage look is not a good look on anyone!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies With Sea Salt

Ages ago I made the best chocolate chip cookies that I have literally ever made and eaten (possibly blowing my own trumpet a bit here). I have been craving them ever since and I may have to just give in and make more this week. In fact I don't know why I don't make cookies more often/everyday, they are just so easy to make and always ever so satisfying. Much, much easier than that cake making lark.

I found the recipe for these perfect cookies (that is what they're called I'm not just blowing my own trumpet again) from one of my favourite foodie blogs The Baker Chick. And after just visiting her blog again to find this recipe, I now have my sights on so many more cookie recipes. Coconut thumbprint cookies with salted caramel anyone? Wowza.

Now I did alter the recipe a little bit by mixing some sea salt into the dough and cutting up my own dark chocolate chips (opposed to using milk chocolate chips). Yeah thats right, I cut up my own chocolate chips. I am a baking mastermind. If you don't like dark chocolate or find it a bit too rich; use milk chocolate or just add less chips, simple as that.

dark chocolate chips
I'll be honest with you. Not all of this chocolate made it into the mix.

So without further ado here is the recipe for:

Dark Chocolate and Sea-Salt Cookies.

Makes around 24: unless you do what I did and make 6 huge cookies (I may have placed too much cookie dough on the baking sheet but it doesn't matter because I had giant cookies) and 8 normal sized ones.

dark chocolate chip cookie with sea salt
Evidence that giant cookies exist.


2 cups plus 2 tbsp. of plain flour
Half tsp. baking powder
Half tsp. normal salt
Half tsp. sea salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm.
1 cup brown sugar
Half cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 and half cups dark chocolate chips
Sea salt for sprinkling.

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C, Gas Mark 3). Line two baking sheets with non-stick parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer or by hand, mix the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until combined. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat at a slow speed until just combined (don't over mix!!) Stir in the chocolate chips and eat masses of cookie dough (if you're salmonella proof or just a bit of a daredevil that is).

mixing bowl with cookie dough

Bake for approx. 11-14 minutes. Turn baking sheets round halfway through baking. I always get this bit wrong with cookies; when the cookies are light golden brown and the edges are crispy they are ready to come out of the oven. DON'T wait for the whole cookie to be crispy; the middle should still be soft and puffy when they're ready.

Once the cookies are out of the oven leave them to cool for a little while on the baking trays - if you try to move them to the cooling rack straight away, they will break and you will cry.

I sprinkled the cookies with a little more sea salt at this point as I like my cookies salty. All that's left to do after that is EAT THEM ALL (or share them with others if you're that way inclined.)

small dark chocolate chip cookie with sea salt


Madame Squirrel

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Cat's Whiskers

Hi! Remember me? 

I know, I know, sorry I disappeared again for a wee bit but life put blogging on the back burner.

But here I am again, this time with a post about cats. Yes cats. The other night I found myself searching all my favourite websites for cat print/cat items (as you do). I think I have the gumption to become a crazy cat lady; I just need more cats.

Anyway if you don't like cats look away now, because here is the cat's meow of what I found!

ASOS turned out to be a bit of a cat lady's dream:

Well I didn't say that being a cat lady was going to be cheap.

How could you ever bear to use it? It has a top hat for Pete's sake!

I am also a huge fan of the illustrator Gemma Correll because she also loves cats. Ok, that's not the main reason she's also an amazing artist:

(20% off at the mo!)
15% goes to the Pablove Foundation for fighting childhood cancer.

Now onto Etsy. Etsy has so many wonderful cat inspired things it was difficult to know just what to select. 

I completely endorse this statement. 

And finally the ultimate cat lady attire so everyone knows just what you are:

I have become so obsessed by cat related stuffs that I have even dedicated a Pinterest board to the cause.

Will you be showing your love for cats for all the world to see anytime soon?

Madame Squirrel

P.S I'm selling some stuffs on Ebay (click the link to see them) as my phone decided to jump from my arms and smash its little face in. So why not have a look; I must warn you though none of the items have a cat in any shape or form on them.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Spending Ban

So following my spectacular Stateside holiday and with moving in day with the Monsieur imminent, I am now on a strict, enforced spending ban.

I will most definitely, almost certainly NOT be buying any of these *strokes computer screen and sits on debit card*:


* Ideas Notebook by Sparrow Nest Script on Etsy.

Yes it's going to be tough but I have to do this. I need to make the most of the things I already own and stop lusting after the things I don't.

I'm quite looking forward to not endlessly trailing the new in sections of my bookmarked online stores and instead spending my time doing things that actually need doing, like sorting out my bursting wardrobe for one.

It's time for me to start appreciating the little (and free) things in life more and stop being so materialistic...I say this but you will probably find me a week from now standing in H&M stroking dresses while staring wistfully into space.

If any of you have any tips to help me achieve this spending ban (and prevent dress stroking) then please do comment below... I'm going to need all the help I can get!

Madame Squirrel.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Versatile Blogger Award.

Cheeky Jo of Life In The Wendy House; a blog I feel very much at home at, nominated me for a versatile blogger award. 

Now I know this isn't an actual award but I am ever so thankful and happy that Jo liked my blog enough to tag me! 

If I could nominate you back Jo believe me I would. Please go and have a gander at Jo's blog instead of reading the ramblings of mine, it'll be a much nicer experience for you I promise. 

Anyway here are 7 random facts about me:

1) I can wiggle my eyebrows in time to music.

Unfortunately not as amazingly as in this Cadbury's advert:

2) I have a dream to work or at least volunteer with Kakapo's (they look like Victorian gentlemen).

Meet Sirocco the spokes bird, if you have some time you can read about him and other Kakapo's here.

To help preserve Kakapo's in the wild you can make a donation here.

3) Don't touch my toenails unless you want to be kicked in the face. 


4) I know all the words to 'Wild, Wild West', 'Miami', 'Gettin' Jiggy With it', 'Will 2K', 'Men In Black', 'Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)', 'Just The Two Of Us' and of course  'Summertime' and 'The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air (extended version)'. Basically what I'm trying to say is that I'm a Will Smith/Fresh Prince fan, but then who isn't? 

I am ridiculously excited for MIB3

5) My cat is called Spice. I used to tell people he was named after the food stuff. Now on this day, I admit to you that he is named after the Spice Girls. I feel no shame anymore.

6) I know the latin names of a lot of common British birds. *insert sexist classist joke here*

I actually own this t-shirt by Tee & Cake 

7) I could do with a Wall's Calippo right about now.

Right here are the 5 blogs I nominate:

1) Bacon Tastes Nice
2) Chestnuts and Cedars
3) Electric Sunrise
4) Sleep Wake Hope
5) The Pampered Sparrow

I'm sure that the above blogs have already received this award numerous times over; but this is my way of saying that I really love your blogs and keep blogging what you're blogging!

Madame Squirrel

Thursday, 24 May 2012

And The Rest: Nashville + Raleigh


I'm you didn't even notice I was gone (I don't blame you). Jet lag has not been kind to me. She is a cruel mistress.

Anyway here are a few more snaps of my trip; with only three pictures of food! *please note that I consumed a lot more food than is shown in the aforementioned three pictures.

Nashville was:


Peaches at the Nashville Farmers' Market.

Fruity Cocktails.

Blackberry Pie at Merridee's Breadbasket (I also had the best club sandwich I have ever eaten).


We were so lucky to watch The Artist at this beautiful, community-run, historic cinema; The Franklin Theatre.

Smugness Inducing...

Most of our time spent in Nashville was on a wedding vendor hunt. Fingers crossed it looks like everything is coming together for our rustic, relaxed and non-traditional wedding. 

And A Lil' Bit Fishy...

Sushi at Wild Ginger ... if there was one restaurant that I could eat at for the rest of my days it would be here. 

Raleigh was:

Joyful (With Added Goats)...

Monsieur's cousin's goat farm wedding was quite simply, a perfect day. I felt really privileged to attend; it was wonderful to see two lovely people get married surrounded by so much love and support. There were big grins (and a few happy tears) all day long.

So there you have it. Glimpses of my American memories. Normal (I use the term 'normal' very loosely) blogging!

Also stay tuned for a little Americana giveaway just to show y'all some love!

Madame Squirrel.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Austin & Round Rock

Austin has been...

Edible (and artery restrictive)...

Salt Lick BBQ (in Round Rock)

Fry Baby's deep fried mac and cheese bites (worth it).

Whataburger's Patty Melt (Monsieur Squirrel's food of choice)


Denny's pancakes with bacon pieces (also worth it)

Magnolia Cafe's gingerbread pancakes.


This kind of heat demanded snowcones from The Frigid Frog.


Beautiful blooms in the very first Whole Foods Market

Cacti in the peaceful Zilker Botanical Garden


Admired uncommon OBJECTS colour co-ordinated vintage store.

Love Inducing...

Can't quite believe I'm about to put these pictures up on the internet...

We shared (I promise I didn't eat the whole thing) the Texas sized donut from Round Rock Donuts (had to be done).  


We also: * wandered down 6th street on Cinco de Mayo and soaked up the atmosphere (including visiting a store purely dedicated to hot sauce) * admired the love that Austinites' have for their pooches * shopped on S. Congress and had iced tea from Jo's and bought candy from Big Top * ate fish tacos and shrimp enchiladas at Guero's * watched the '5 Year Engagement' at Barton Creek Square.

We wish we'd had time to: * have a burger at Fran's  * watch a movie at the Alamo drafthouse cinema eat ice-cream at Amy's. But hopefully we'll be back again one day.

So yes. The holiday so far. I am only eating fruit & veg from now on (I really don't know who I'm trying to kid with that sentence).

I hope everyone enjoyed the bank holiday back in Blighty and that everyone else not from Blighty also had a wonderful weekend. More photos to follow soon (hopefully with less fried food)...

Madame Squirrel.