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Ideas and news from the decorating side of things. Pamela offers help with bespoke curtains, cushions and furniture options available here.

Use up those Oranges
30 November 2008



My neighbour has lots of oranges on her tree now, but she can't eat them as they are not sweet enough. I've been making marmalade for the last six months since I bought my new kitchen machine, the Thermomix so I thought I'd use some of her oranges mixed in with my bought ones and the result was a delicious bitter orange marmalade. It's great on top of cheese slices with your mornng toast.

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it. It's never been easir to make jams and marmalades, ou can throw in any combination really.

 Orange Marmalade
500g (4 medium sized) oranges, washed. You can mix bitter with sweet oranges if you like bitter orange marmalade.
450g sugar
Slice off tops and bottoms of oranges, cut them into quarters and halve the sections. Don’t remove the peel, just any excess white pith and try to eliminate any seeds.
Press WEIGH and place the pieces in the bowl, noting the exact weight.  Then for 5 seconds chop on dial 5, then turbo chop for another 4 seconds.
Press WEIGH again and add the sugar, use about 50g less than the weight of the oranges.
Then press Varoma, set the timer for 20 minutes and dial number 1. After about 8 minutes the marmalade starts to really bubble so to avoid any splashing onto the kitchen bench I place a couple of pieces of kitchen paper over the top of the bowl.
When the timer goes off leave the marmalade to cool a while and then place in jars.
Makes 3 jars approximately.
You can add 60-100g of chopped preserved ginger or 4 tbspns of whisky just before potting for variety.

I've heaps more recipes if anyone is interested.  Please feel free to e-mail me at


Like 0        Published at 13:56   Comments (0)

Tips for Low maintenance Garden boxes
15 September 2008

I have been asked to go into a bit more detail about planting garden boxes. If your planter is empty ( and deep ) then you will need to fill the bottom two thirds with a mixture of broken stones about fist size. The soft sandstone and limestone used as building material is ideal, because they absorb and retain moisture. Then top up with garden soil and a little peat moss. Make sure the mixture is not too compact, add some sand if necessary. If on the other hand it is full of building rubbish you will need to empty some of this out and then top up with a good soil mixture.

Then you need to visit your local garden center and talk to somone there about some protective membrane and ask advice as to the plants you will use. Succulents, cacti and low growing herbs like hanging rosemary in areas where you do not wish to block out the view. Yuccas, oleanders etc. on the ends or to screen off the neighbours. If you explain where your planters are situated - full sun, some afternoon shade..... the assistant will be able to guide you with your selection. Just make sure not too buy anything that will grow too high and do not plant too many plants too closely. You will also need your pebbles or stones to finish off, take the measurements of the plater with you so the assistant can help work out how many sacks of stones you will need.

Now, back to the the garden - cut the protective membrane to fit the size of the planter and place it over the soil, leave a very small border of soil showing all the way around, this allows extra water to soak in when you are watering.
Then after drawing up a plan for planting, lift the membrane and dig small holes where you plan to place your plants. Replace the membrane then using a sharp knife cut a hole in the membrane (cut away some of the membrane if you need a big hole) and place your plant through it into the hole you have prepared in the soil. Try to keep the membrane clear of soil, you want the soil under the membrane not on top.  Once you have all your planting done, then spread the stones all over the membrane, out to the walls of the container and up as close to each plant as possible. The stones keep the membrane in place, the membrane keeps the moisture in the soil and also stops any seeds from sprouting and cluttering up the garden with weeds. Water well, making sure each plant has received sufficient water to enable the roots to settle. It is advisable to do your planting out in the afternoons, not during the hottest time of the day. 
If anyone needs assistance with planting or more information or please e-mail me -

Like 0        Published at 23:10   Comments (0)

Low maintenance garden boxes a great success!
11 September 2008

I must say I'm very pleased with the garden boxes that I planted at the beginning of the summer. Spending every evening watering is a great time consumer not to mention impossible if you aren't there on a regular basis but something has to be done when you step out onto the patio and stare straight out a miserable dead weedy fringe. So armed with some tips I'd remembered from my Australian gardening days, I ripped out all the weeds at the root and laid a wide strip of protective membrane over some new potting mix. Then through it, I planted succulents, cacti and Oleanders, all resistant to our summer heat. To finish off I spread white pebbles over the membrane. I've only had to water every other week and the membrane acted as a barrier to stop all the wind born seed sprouting up. I'm very pleased, no weeding and a quick watering - an attractive terrace border and very low maintenance! 

Like 0        Published at 18:52   Comments (2)

If you've seen "The Secret", then you'll know who Bob Doyle is -
15 July 2008

Hi there, I hope this might be of interest to anyone who feels like a challenge, or needs help in developing their plans for the future. I received this invite from Bob Doyle because I joined up as a member of "The Secret" a while back. This is not anything that will cost you money, just one more cool idea that bob has dreamed up!
Here is the letter, check out the site -

For the past 6 years since the inception of the Wealth
Beyond Reason program, I've been talking about the
importance of living a life of purpose and passion,
because doing so helps the Law of Attraction to work
nearly effortlessly in your life in terms of attracting
what you want.
Of course living a life of passion and abundance is why
people join our program in the first place. This is a
core desire of nearly everyone!
We are now inviting students of our program AND those
who are NOT yet students to take on our new Boundless
Living 45-day Challenge.
With thousands of dollars in prizes in the offering,
and NO entry fee, this challenge will allow you to step
OUT of your comfort zone and allow you do things
you never thought possible.
Nearly all of us have SOMETHING that we "wish" we could
do or be, but are stopped - either by limiting beliefs,
issues of deserving, or some other form of resistance.
The Wealth Beyond Reason program is all about how to
deal with all those blocks, but now we want to make
this type of information available to any and all who
are willing to take on the life they've always dreamed
Check out all the details here:
Again, there is NO cost, and no obligation to purchase
anything or join any program. We are offering a safe,
supportive environment for you to dream big, and then
REALIZE those dreams.
Things are moving very fast on this (just do a Google
search on Boundless Living Challenge, and you'll see
it's everywhere already!)

Lots of PRIZES Tooo!!

Like 0        Published at 15:12   Comments (0)

San Juan Fiesta on Casares beach - Monday
20 June 2008

Although Casares village doesn't actually have a beach their territory stretches down to the coast so the large beach called "Playa Ancho" just before Sabinillas belongs to Casares and every year they organize a great San Juan Festival

This year the theme is Cuban!  The festival starts at 8pm and there will be free food, drinks and a Cuban band. There's always a great bonfire as well.

Lots of people come down to the beach (you gain entry at the Marina de Casares exit) and bring their friends and families and make a long evening of it, finishing up with the ritual midnight swim.

So Monday evening  ( 23rd June) at 8pm bring your towel and cossie and be prepared to be entertained!

Like 0        Published at 20:30   Comments (0)

Great fun at the Fair!
09 June 2008

The Estepona town hall organized a special show in March to promote new companies and businesses in the area. As I'd just started up a new company in November with my daughter, Emma, we received an invitation to participate. With only a week to prepare we raced around madly, and managed to put together info and a demo (small cabin built in insulated ply imported from Sweden) for our stand.

It was to be a weekend show, opening on Friday and continueing Saturday and Sunday. We had never been to the Palacio de Congresos in Avenida Andalucia before and were quite impressed with the large hall, cafeteria and reception area. We'd set up on the Thursday and Friday morning we got an early start so as to be ready for the first visitors. Well, the turnout was less than a dribble! We had been told there would be a mixture of Spanish and foreign visitors so we had prepared info in English and Spanish. I think we counted three English people the whole weekend!

However, the weekend was not wasted at all. We had a great time getting to know our neighbours! On one side there was Rosario from Cuevas de San Marcos, a buxom lady who ran a cafe and cake shop specializing in baking with natural ingredients.
On the other side was Andrés and his wife (and baby) form Benarrabá, a butcher with a factory/shop selling all those fabulous Spanish chorizos, blood sausage, butifara blanca, salamis and Jamón serrano. Last but not least, opposite our stand was young Juan from Crestellina Quesos, on the Manilva - Gaucin road, with his goat's cheese and yoghurts. He was so enterprising, explaining in detail how he concentrated on producing a product as natural as possible by grazing his goats on land totally free from contamination.
We were plied with delicious biscuits, cakes, ham, differing samples of sausage, creamy goats cheese and fruity yoghuts with enthusiastic explanations of ingredients continuously through the three days we were together.
Juan cooked a paella for all of us on Sunday for lunch in a portable electric pan he bought especially for the occaision!
I went home on Sunday evening feeling very contented, we hadn't had a great commercial breakthrough but we'd really enjoyed the weekend and we'd made new friends with people we would never have even met otherwise.

If you feel like a nice drive sometime why don't you go and visit - 

Juan - Crestellina Quesos  Ctra. Manilva - Gaucin, km 13.5  ( Casares)  952 89 51 67

A bit further afield - Andrés Ramos  Fabrica Artesanal de Embutidos y Jamones
                                   C/ Mesón 5, Benarrabá (Gaucin road to Ronda)  952 15 00 47

On the way to Cordoba - Rosario - Panaderia y Cafeteria - C/ Ramón y Cajal 10, Cuevas de San Marcos   952 72 81 54

And tell em Pam sent ya!


Like 0        Published at 18:33   Comments (0)

Stripes are stars!
02 June 2008

transparent voiles
Transparent voiles featuring stripes of varying widths are arriving in a large range of colours.

Gone are the old nets, you can transform your livingroom or bedroom dramatically with a new set of voiles.
On a single track or pole on their own or a double if you need to draw your curtains of an evening, co-ordinate
soft creams and golds or beiges or go really exotic with silver or pistacio.

Like 0        Published at 21:22   Comments (0)

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