Sunday, 2 November 2014

see you soon

The time has come for me to take a blogging break, lovelies. I know I have had quite a lot of glitches this year, stopping and starting more than once. This time I have got to give myself a few weeks to get my thoughts together and give myself some time to recuperate.

I cannot wait for this year to be over. It has not been a lot of fun for us and a real struggle at times. I have spent most of my week off work ill and I just don't seem to be well very often at the moment. Not getting much sleep is starting to get me down. Any ideas on getting a good nights sleep would be really appreciated! This morning I was awake from 2am!

I started this blog as a place for me to share lovely things and be positive and I'm afraid I'm not feeling it right now. My mojo has definitely got up and wandered off! When I don't post on a regular basis, I worry so much that I'm letting you down so I am being honest and saying 'I need some time out.' My aim is to be sorted and back after Christmas. I will still try to keep posting photos on Instagram but even that is a little tough.

Thank you so much to all of you for sticking by me and giving me encouragement and love along the way. You truly are the best!

Take care of yourselves.

Monday, 13 October 2014

my ten favourite scents

'The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind' - Thalassa Cruso.

I am definitely the kind of person that lives through scent. Certain scents can trigger strong memories and transport me straight back to childhood and years gone by. When I smell a chicken cooking in the oven, I'm sitting right back at my nanna's table eagerly awaiting my roast dinner and I'm instantly content.

Here are a few of my favourite scents which immediately make me feel happy:

Freshly cut roses scenting the house . I look forward to the precious, lovely smell of roses when I walk through the front door after a day at work.

Apple pie baking in the oven.  One of my favourite Autumn smells, so comforting and warming.

Pine forests. The fresh scent of pine reminds me of a lovely holiday we had in Skiathos, Greece one year. To get to the beach, we had to walk through an amazing pine forest which was so fragrant and warm.

Vanilla scented candles. Another reason why I love this time of year. Coming home from work, closing the blinds, making a fire and lighting a candle. A perfect way to relax and unwind in the evening, filling the room with the smell of cake.

Sea air. This has to be my favourite scent. It has an overwhelming sense of calm and content over me. I think I must have been a mermaid in a former life as I'm at my happiest when I'm by the sea.

Roasted coffee beans. I cannot start my day without this delicious scent wafting through the house. There's nothing quite like it. It wakes me up and helps me start my day alert!

Cocoa butter body cream. Smells of chocolate and cocoa beans and is good enough to eat!

Freshly washed sheets. The scent of fresh linen, blown dry on the washing line is one of life's little pleasures.

Lavender essential oil. A pleasant, floral scent that has a lovely calming and balancing effect if I'm feeling stressed. I love to add it to my evening baths and diffuse it in an oil burner next to my bed at night.

Logs burning on an open fire. A childhood reminder of evenings spent by the fire at my grandparents, playing cards and eating toffee. These days I like to settle down beside my wood burner with a glass of wine and a book!

Have you got any scents that remind you of times gone by?

Monday, 6 October 2014

ten things i love about autumn

Autumn is now well and truly upon us which means falling leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes and cosy nights by the fire. To celebrate this lovely season I have put together the ten things I love most about Autumn. 

'Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower' - Albert Camus

What do you love about Autumn?

Monday, 29 September 2014

make the most of october - bucket list

I love the start of autumn! The cooler weather, snuggly clothes and the changing colours of nature reminds me that we are coming to the end of another year. Autumn always makes me want to curl up in front of the wood burner with a good book and a glass of red, eat roast chestnuts and sit by fairy lights.

What do you love about Autumn?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

autumn fruit pudding & whisky double cream

A classic, warming pudding just right for Autumn evenings especially now that it's turning a little chillier. I used damsons from my trees in the garden and apples given to me by my neighbours but I'm sure other fruits would work well too.

2kg damsons or plums, pears and eating apples
a large knob of butter
100g brown sugar
1 vanilla pod
3 bay leaves
a pinch of ground ginger
a pinch of ground nutmeg
a pinch of ground cinnamon
1 x 300ml pot of double cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
a shot of whisky

For the batter
200g butter, room temperature
200g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
200g self-raising flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Peel and core the apples, damsons/plums, apples and pears, then cut them into large pieces. Halve and stone the damsons, leaving the skin on. 
  3. Put into a large saucepan with the butter, sugar, spices and bay leaves. Stir it all together and stew for 20 to 30 minutes covered. When the fruit is soft, take out the bay leaves and place to one side.
  4. For the batter, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well, then fold in the flour. 
  5. Place half the fruit into the bottom of an ovenproof dish (without the juices) then top with the batter. Finally, spoon over the remaining fruit and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and risen. 
  6. Using a knife, slice open the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into a bowl. Pour in the cream and whisk together with the icing sugar until it forms soft peaks. Stir in the whisky.
Serve warm with lots of the cream and a little of the fruit juices. Delicious! Clean plates are guaranteed! Enjoy!

Monday, 22 September 2014

summer memories

Sharing some photos with you of what we got up to over the summer. It seems so long ago now! So many lovely memories. We had a gorgeous week in beautiful Dorset, picnicking, sunbathing, sightseeing and relaxing. Incredibly beautiful!

Lulworth Cove, a short walk from Durdle Door

Durdle Door

Cute cottages, stunning views and beautiful beaches

What a wonderful week we had!

We also went on a little road trip to a beautiful part of North Yorkshire called Malham. This view was from the top of Malham cove, four hundred steps up! Well worth the climb.

Sun, gorgeous views and food. Doesn't get much better than this for me.

We walked four miles the first day and seven and a half the next! Spectacular scenery everywhere we looked.

Stone walled pastures

No summer is complete for me without a day trip to my happy place, Scarborough. Beautiful weather, an empty beach and a picnic. Perfect!

Looking forward to Autumn though with the smell of logs on the wood burner, cosy nights in, pumpkins, candles and chunky scarfs. Every season has a reason to be loved.

Have a great week lovelies.

Monday, 8 September 2014

a famous five picnic

I don't know if you were like me as a child but I always had a Famous Five book in my hand. I read them over and over many times and used to read them to my girls too. Visiting Dorset, which was a holiday destination for the author Enid Blyton, gave me an opportunity to bring my childhood dreams to life and experience a bit of nostalgia.

The beautiful Corfe Castle was the inspiration for Kirrin Castle so I just had to visit there with a picnic that I'm sure the Famous Five would have enjoyed, or so I like to think! Lashings of ginger beer, beef sandwiches, hard boiled eggs. shortbread. fruit cake and oranges. What could be better!

What a view we had as we were sat eating our picnic. The steam train runs from Corfe Castle to Swanage and is a real step back in time. I would recommend a trip as it runs through some beautiful scenery and has the old fashioned carriages which I loved.

 The waiting room at Corfe Castle station.

A view of the castle from the village.

How cute is this signpost!

Looking down from the castle walls.

 A view of the village from the castle.

I'm enjoying our picnic adventures so much that we are planning on lots more in different places. Maybe having themes; beauty spot picnics, Autumn picnics, Winter picnics and so on. I think it will be fun.

Have a great Monday, lovelies!

Friday, 5 September 2014

make the most of september - bucket list

Hi lovelies! The month of September always marks a fresh start to me as the summer holidays have come to an end and the new school term has begun. As much as I love summer, there is lots I love about Autumn and it definitely feels autumnal now. Let the coat shopping begin!

It has been an incredibly busy six weeks for us. We managed to have a week away and have a couple of other trips (photos to follow) but for four weeks I have had a paintbrush in my hand. We now have the front room and dining room decorated and the hall, landing and stairs painted. Just the rest of the house to go!

Picnics are my thing right now! I really enjoy packing up and having them in different locations. At the beginning of the week I was eating a picnic on a cliff side and on Wednesday it was a beach. I'm planning to keep them going through the colder months. You can follow along with me on my picnic adventures over on Instagram. 

What goodies have you got planned for September?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, 4 August 2014

make the most of august - bucket list

                                               Click image for large printable

Hello lovelies! The month of August is here at last. I love summer with its sunny days, long evenings, outdoor eating and beach fun. I am feeling fully refreshed and raring to go after our holiday away in Dorset last week. We were blessed with good weather which made it even better! Being surrounded by constant beauty has been so uplifting. I read two of my books from my summer reading list which I really enjoyed too.

As I am off work until September I have so many things planned for this month. I am also looking forward to not setting the alarm for a few weeks and just taking time to enjoy the little things!

I ticked off most activities that I planned to do in July apart from the breakfast date which I will do this month at some point. Maybe an eggs benedict!

I'd love to hear what goodies you have planned for this lovely month.

Have a great week lovelies.

Friday, 25 July 2014

small sighs

Yesterday marked the first day of the six weeks holiday and to celebrate I broke open a bottle of champers. No better way to mark the occasion! I have lots planned but the most important thing of all to me is having the time to enjoy the little things.

This week I have been loving:

a bargain buy from Zara

eating cream cake 

a lazy breakfast in bed 

drinking lots of ice cold water

We are off on a little road trip to Dorset so I will be back with you a week on Monday. I'm really looking forward to long walks on the beach, listening to the sound of the sea and seeing all the beauty Dorset has to offer.

Have a fabulous weekend lovelies.