Thursday, 26 August 2010


Yesterday was all about me, I escaped for a day all by myself, no children, no husband, no bags laden with snacks, potty, spare clothes, entertainment etc. etc.

Just me.

First time in years.

So, first stop catching up with a very good friend from our school days, she now works at the Houses Of Parliament, and she showed me around - amazing! Soooo much history and tradition, the architecture is just breathtaking and the silence was quite unnerving. I could have spent hours looking around, it was so interesting, I felt like I was walking back in time through our countries history. Walking through the corridors that have been stomped through by various Prime Ministers, making decisions that affect our ordinary lives. 

After a quick nose around the House of Lords the House of Commons (much smaller than it looks on TV) we had lunch on the terrace overlooking the Thames. I felt very grand. It was extremely quiet due to Summer Recess so there weren't any politicians milling around. I will definitely go back when it's buzzing with people - I'm sure it will be a very different experience.

As work called my friend back I headed off to a vintage shop in search of a dress for a couple of occasions that are coming up, and I got lucky. But I will share this another time when I have some pictures to show you - what a shameless tease I am!

Next stop I wanted to take a peek at the much hyped up Anthropologie. Whilst there were many nice things and the store was quite quirky it lacked any soul and spirit - it very much felt like a perfect carbon copy of a tried and tested formula. it didn't feel very original. Have you been? Am I being a bit over critical? I didn't leave empty handed though - some oven mitts and over priced door knobs made there way home with me.

In search of some true originality I headed over to Liberty, by far one the best stores in London. The china section bowled me over, it was dripping with quirky pieces and had a fabulous wall display.

I snapped up some Liberty fabric remnants and then headed of to the cafe to recharge with some tea and a delicious lemon tart and thought about my day out. 

This city is best. I've lived here for 15 years and there is still so much to discover.
My heart still skips a beat when I step onto the tube and wonder about what lies ahead of me. The people, the architecture, the culture, the history, the smells, the creativity....  it inspires me, it makes me feel alive, whatever you want - it's out there. I love it.
I miss it. 

I love being a stay at home Mum, but it was good to escape for one day and recharge my batteries. Be me again.

It was even better to see my children's smiles when I got home. I went to bed with a happy heart.  x

Friday, 20 August 2010

happy food

Finally we have a few ripe tomatoes - I think these were worth waiting for.....

When we picked these elderberries at the allotment I knew exactly what I was going to do with them, Elderberry Syrup Cordial - I read this post on Moment To Moment a while ago and thought this may be a perfect way keep colds and flu away this winter, a spoonful a day works wonders apparently.

I followed this recipe (but with lemon instead of cloves) as I didn't have enough honey at home to follow the original method I came across. It is delicious, I may have to take a ladder or grow wings to get to the rest of the elderberries as there are so many left and I know this syrup / cordial will soon disappear.

Aren't these sweet peas gorgeous - I finally have a few growing on each plant so they are now brightening my dining table and scenting the house beautifully. I have to say everyone told me they produced loads of flowers - not mine, I've barely had a handful - but they are very pretty.

If you haven't had a look at the Moment To Moment blog you really should, especially if you have children and like to do crafting with them - it's very inspiring.

Happy weekend x

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

i need more time...

Just where are these holidays disappearing to? I had many plans but it seems that time is not on my side. 

I don't know about you but I like a bit of time at home, pottering and crafting, time visiting friends and days out exploring.... but it seems that 6 weeks isn't long enough to do everything I'd like, or maybe I was a bit over ambitious, I clearly didn't count in the extra time it all takes when potty training a little one or all the time it takes watering and harvesting veg at the allotment, and then making chutneys and jams.

But we are having a good time, a few tantrums here and there, squabbling galore and me regularly at the end of my tether by 7.30 and hunting for some chocolate.

Do you like our paper flowers? Missy Big was chuffed that the ladybird seemed to like them, she was convinced it was drawn to them by there sweet smell! Ahh!

One of my plans was to make some more summer dresses and tops for the girls, I even went fabric hunting here, looks like autumn will creep up on me first though. 
These fabrics were such good value, £4 - £5 per meter for cotton - I have been searching high and low for somewhere that sells cotton - this place is heavenly, great colours, natural fibers, good price - I can hardly wait for my next visit - is it really very naughty to just buy fabric and pile it up and admire it?

Of course it will all get used up, one day...

I went to a knitting group this week for the first time, I know I don't knit - in fact I am very bad at it and I just get cross but I do crochet so they let me in and some of them were crocheting I was pleased to see. 
They are very nice bunch of ladies and it was nice to meet people in the 'real' world with similar interests, I can't wait to go again - it was very lovely to escape from home too - getting out without the children is something I very rarely do. 
You never know I may one day have a go at knitting again, I was very inspired and a lovely lady showed me continental knitting - which looked a little easier and like I may get into less of a tangle. Nothing more complicated than a child sized scarf though.

Happy holidays x

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

jars of goodness

We have had good crops, so Mr has been busy making jams and chutneys, so far we've got blackberry jam, marrow marmalade, cucumber & apple chutney and cabbage & apple chutney.

He tends to adapt recipes as he goes, but here and here you will find oodles of recipes if you fancy having a go yourself. We've only just finished off last years pickles, so we'll do extras this year to see us through.

We've spent the last week at home as Little Missy is being potty trained, (with varying degrees of success) - so we are crafting ourselves silly, including a giant painting on some cardboard packaging which quickly turned into body painting and chaotic fun. Two baths later and we were normal colour again.

Hooray for lazy days at home x