Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Autumn is coming

It's that time of year again.

The leaves are changing from green to orange, brown & red.

The last time we went to the park, it was literally raining conkers onto the playground.

My daughter and her friends gathered armfuls of these shiny beauties.

At the moment, it's still incredibly warm & sunny for Autumn-time in the UK.

I know I shouldn't, but I almost hanker for colder weather...I love my Winter clothes, my boots, my jumpers, my ridiculously large collection of fabric scarves, the comfort food...pies & roasts and I love hibernating at home on the dark evenings.

Ask me again in a few months time when we've had a dose of dreary UK weather & I'll be yearning for Spring & Summer again...

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Double choc muffins

It's been a baking kind of day.

I love making cakes with my daughter.

She loves mixing, cracking eggs, weighing things out, eating the raw cake mixture (bit naughty with the raw egg and all, but I ate it when I was little and I'm ok...sort of).

These little beauties are double-choc muffins.

The muffin mixture has cocoa powder in and you place a block of milk chocolate in the middle of the mixture when it's spooned into the cases.

This means that when the cakes are cooked, you get a gooey chocolate bit in the middle when you bite into them.

What's not to love?

This recipe was taken from Kids in the Kitchen by Sarah Lewis

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Happy Cat Waving embroidered wall art

Back in July I blogged about the handmade, personalised Birthday present I made for my niece. I created a hand embroidered cushion using a picture she had drawn when she was a little girl.

I was so pleased with the result, I made another one for myself. This time I didn't make a cushion, I made a piece of wall art.

I had recently bought a staple gun and thought this would be the perfect project to try it out on. Using the same image, I hand embroidered another 'Happy Cat Waving" motif onto a piece of plain calico and then stretched it over a canvas frame. I then attached the calico using the staple gun.

I'm really happy with the final look and I'm pretty much obsessed with using my staple gun to make more wall art in the near future!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Reasons to be cheerful

My last blog post was a bit sad.

I was really struggling with my little girl starting school.

As it turns out, she's coped really well and I've coped better than I thought I would. She seems to be relishing this new stage in her life.

So I've decided to focus on the positives.

Reasons to be cheerful:

* The weather has been beautiful over the past few days.

* We spent the weekend camping at Woodlands in Devon. We had a blast. The water slides gave me a much-needed adrenaline rush & perked me up no end.

* Sleeping in the tent next to my daughter and looking at her beautiful face whilst she slept.

* Listening to owls too-wooing whilst we lay under canvas.

* Mowing the lawn today and smelling fresh cut grass...one of the best smells ever.

* Drinking tea on our bench in the September sunshine.

* Looking forward to seeing my girl at the end of the school day. I'm so proud of her & how well she is coping with school.

* Picking the last of the ripening home-grown tomatoes...I wait all Summer for this moment, nothing beats home-grown tomatoes. The photos you see here feature my Grandmother's crimson read, vintage Pyrex dish. I love this bright red dish, goes to show that Pyrex doesn't just have to be plain glass!

I'm linking up with the @Manneskjur "How does your garden grow" blog link #HDYGG

Manneskjur

I'm also linking up with Vintage Bliss Tuesdays

womaninreallife.com

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Starting school and paper dolls

My daughter's first day at school is looming, two more sleeps and we'll be walking to the school gates together.

My daughter is so excited about starting school. I'm using her positive energy to keep me going. I'm shedding all my tears when she's in bed. I wont let her see me upset. School is a daunting experience and she doesn't need to see me cry because she'll wonder what's wrong...

I’m feeling incredibly emotional about her starting school. I feel like I’m going to have a big part of me missing without having my daughter at home. I thought she was adorable as a baby, but as she's grown and developed her own personality, she's even more amazing…I want to keep her close to me, always.

But I know I can’t. So I’m writing this down to try and help me…

We made a trip to the library last week and my daughter decided to borrow ‘The Paper Dolls” amongst a selection of other books. It wasn’t until I read it to my daughter at home that I realised how special the parent-child bond is.

We couldn’t have read “The Paper Dolls” at a more poingnant time. I love the happy-sad tone of the book and the final image of the mother-daughter relationship is really wonderful.

It’s one of the best children’s books I’ve read and it really moved me. Virtually everything Julia Donaldson writes is amazing as far as I’m concerned. Her work has been a huge part of my daughter’s childhood. Her words are teamed with beautiful illustrations by Rebecca Cobb. It touches on love, memory, childhood, loss and finally on the role of motherhood. I feel children’s literature should resonate with the adult reading the story just as much as it does with the child. Some of the best children’s books I’ve read haven’t been afraid to address the big subjects, the things that affect adults and children alike.

I feel so privileged to have been able to spend these precious early years with my daughter. We’ve played, created, sang, imagined, learnt, explored, loved and bonded.

My daughter was fascinated with the idea of making paper dolls. So, just like in the story, we made our own set of dolls. When she’d finished decorating them and I looked at their faces I realised she’d captured how I feel about her going to school...happy-sad-happy.

I’m going to miss her terribly when she starts school, but I know it’s the next step on her life journey. I hope we can keep making new memories, just like the little girl in the book does.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Vintage Love: kitsch enamel biscuit tin

I love a bit of kitsch. And it doesn't get much more kitsch than this vintage, enamel biscuit tin.

It's whimsical, it's floral, features gingham, big hair, loving glances, soppy dog...what's not to like?

Given to me by my Gran a few months ago, I'm not sure when it dates from. I'm guessing 1970s, but may be even older. My Gran was an avid horder of enamel tins and she never liked to throw anything away. I'm certainly glad this one didn't head into the bin.

This vintage enamel tin sits in my kitchen making the place look pretty. If I'm lucky it stores home-baked delicious things, currently it has some brownies and rock cakes made by my Mum & gifted to me today...when it's full of cake, I'm a happy girl.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Allotment Goodies

My Mum has had an allotment for about four years. Sometimes she struggles to keep up with maintaining her plot, so she's given me a key. My daughter & I love to go down there and do the watering, which is the main thing she struggles with. In return, we get to pick some of the yummy produce. I forgot to take my camera down to the plot, I'll remember to take some pictures next time!

But I took some photos of the produce: beetroot, potatoes and huge blackberries. My daughter also loves to stand at the sink and wash the vegetables.

After we'd washed the veg, my daughter helped me make salmon fishcakes with the freshly dug potatoes. It's lovely for my daughter to see the produce being taken from the ground, prepared at home and eaten within hours of it coming off the allotment.

I also made a salad of grated raw beetroot, carrots mixed with lots of olive oil and sunflower seeds. It was all delicious!

I'm linking up with Country Kids on the Coombe Mill Blog.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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