Thursday, 24 December 2015

life lately and a christmas wish

Life lately has been all about festive making, foraging, woodland walks, decking the halls, celebrating solstice and enjoying the welcome glimpses of sunshine.

The little ones finished school last Friday for the holidays. We have been enjoying a slow build up to the big day. Tonight though, excitement levels are considerably higher. In fact, I think there is a real danger someone may spontaneously combust. Reindeer food has been liberally sprinkled on the lawn to guide Santa on his way and three stockings are hanging by the stairs. All that's left to do, is to get snuggled into bed for a Christmas bedtime story. 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas full of love and laughter.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

first snow

This Saturday morning, we were awakened by excited squeals of pure delight. "Mammy, Mammy, snow! Its snowed! Daddy, look its snowed." Our little ones were so excited. Noses pressed against the windows as they marvelled at the winter wonderland outside. They couldn't wait to get out into the snow to play. 

After wrapping up warm they raced out into their winter playground. Little snowmen were built, snowballs were thrown and snow angels were made. They stayed outside until they couldn't stand the cold any longer. 

Hot chocolate beside the stove, warmed tingling fingers and toes. The snow is now all but gone. Minus temperatures meant frost this morning, but milder temperatures are forecast for the week ahead. Hopefully the snow will return again and another fun day will be on the cards. 

Monday, 30 November 2015

goodbye november

Goodbye November, as you disappear for another year. You've been fun. Bringing many days to enjoy the beauty of autumn. Hours spent outside kicking through the fallen leaves, exploring, playing and making music in the woods.

For every calm day, there was a stormy one to balance it. Days for curling up by the fire, building dens, baking, and crafting the day away.

A month to savour. The calm before the storm. December arrives tomorrow. And with it, the excitement of Christmas. I'm looking forward to some festive fun. How about you?

Sunday, 15 November 2015

dark days

This weekend, the dark and grey days have reflected my feelings. The horror of the events in Paris on Friday night, brought home all too clearly the cruel reality of the world we live in. It saddens me to imagine the world in which our little ones will grow up.

I only hope kindness, love and compassion prevail.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

autumn weekending

Autumn week-ending here invariably means a visit to the woods. Saturday was a busy day, with the inevitable birthday party for a school friend. As an aside, I always seem to wind up exhausted after these parties. Though I'm not really sure why, as it mainly involves sitting around watching children run riot. Anyway, I digress.

Today we were more than happy to switch things down a level, get outside and commune with nature. We took advantage of the time change and set off early to Florence Court. We searched for horse chestnuts, collected leaves and played pooh sticks. We had a paddle in the stream and made it rain leaves. We had a pitstop for warm apple juice and biscuits and made friends with two springer spaniels.

Back home after our adventure, we cosied up, lit the stove and enjoyed roast chicken for dinner. These autumn days are my favourite. How about you? How do you like to spend autumn days?

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

simple pleasures

A record of the simple things bringing pleasure to my life lately. Life's little happenings that are making me smile.

: :    Our eldest's love of nature. It's infectious.
: :    Blue skies and feathery fronds.
: :    Soup season and warming bowls of goodness.

The small tortoiseshell butterfly was rescued from a spiders web by our biggest boy. Its wing was damaged, so he carefully carried it around the garden for over an hour until it recovered and flew off. He really respects all living things and seems to instinctively know how the natural world functions. I wonder sometimes where his interest will lead him. Good places, I expect.

These photos are taken from my Instagram account. IG is a great way to record moments from the everyday, so the pictures seem to suit my simple pleasures posts. Apologies for the repetition if you've seen them before. If not, you can find me there at thelinencloud, should you fancy a peep. 

So, for now, happy hump day, the weekend is in sight.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015


Happy birthday to our little man. Eight years ago, he arrived into the world right on cue. He has bounced around since. Bringing fun and happiness to our everyday.

The mischeivous sparkle in his eye and his comic timing, have us in stitches. He is full of kindness. A really great friend. 

And in the quiet still moments, I can see the big boy he's becoming. And I'm so proud.

Tonight we are going out for pizza. And on the weekend, there will be a birthday party with cake and treats.

Happy birthday to our lovely boy. We love you very much.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

apple butterscotch pudding

A little over a month ago, I baked Apple Butterscotch Pudding. Today, for the third time, the little ones requested it for dessert. It is definitely a winner. The kind of pudding childhood memories are made of.

I have no doubt it will become an autumn staple over the coming years. Warming, sticky and sweet. An easy favourite.

apple butterscotch pudding


2 large cooking apples, peeled and chopped into cubes
125g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
200g brown sugar
100g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
200ml milk
2 tbsp golden syrup
150ml boiling water


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Spread the chopped apples in an even layer on the bottom of a medium sized oven proof dish.
Melt the butter gently and leave aside to cool.
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir in half of the sugar.
In a jug, mix the milk, egg, vanilla extract and melted butter.
Pour the wet mix into the dry ingredients and whisk to bring together into a loose batter.
Pour the batter evenly over the apples.
Make a syrup by placing the remaining sugar, golden syrup and boiling water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and dissolve the sugar.
Pour the syrup over the batter mixture in the dish. The syrup will gradually sink into the apples and batter, creating a butterscotch sauce beneath the sponge.
Bake for 40 minutes in the oven until the top is browned and slightly springy.

This pudding is best served warm with your preference of custard, fresh cream or ice cream. Although thinking about it now, there's no reason you couldn't have all three. I won't tell.

The recipe is adapted from Rachel Allen's Everyday Kitchen cookbook, a collection of delicious recipes for family mealtimes.

Wishing you all a lovely week. I hope you enjoy the pudding if you find time to give it a go.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

hello october

October. Morning fog gave way to a beautiful, bright day. Washing dried on the line, billowing in the light breeze. I enjoyed my lunch on the patio, soaking up the sunshine. The little ones played in the golden evening light. We watched the sunset setting the sky alight. A precious day savoured.

My beloved autumn, in full swing. I'm relishing this change of season. The promise of falling leaves, cosy jumpers, happy hours curled up by the fire, cup of tea in hand, enjoying a good book. And those beautiful first frosts. Just perfect.

I'm delighted to be back here in my little corner of blogland after an impromptu break. Two months is a long time. Life has been busy and I felt like I lost my way for a bit. But I love this space, and so I will be rambling here for the foreseeable future. Hopefully you'll come along for the ride.

And to the lovely Annie at Fable & Folk, a big thank you for the kick up the proverbial I needed. Pay her a visit, if you haven't already. She's all kinds of wonderful.

Friday, 31 July 2015

simple pleasures

Wishing goodbye to July. A few snapshots of the simple things bringing happiness my way. A moment in time, to celebrate the joy in the everyday.

: :    Precious time spent outdoors with my wildlings. 
: :    Happy mail, full of gifts from new friends.
: :    Indulging my love of photography.

July has been a joy. We've had fun times, filing away memories to enjoy again. I'm hoping August brings its share of good times. Fingers crossed for a heatwave. 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

bloom in the park

Late May, and my birthday sailed around again. My mum offered to look after the little ones for the day, so we made the most of it, deciding to visit Bloom in the Park in Dublin.

Bloom is a four day gardening festival, which showcases the best Irish garden design alongside innovative Irish food producers. We spent the day gaining inspiration from the impressive show gardens, admiring the beautiful blooms around every corner and savouring the delicious food on offer.

Unsurprisingly one of my favourite areas was the craft village. There were so many lovely products to covet. I couldn't resist a beautiful plant pot from KaroArt, a very talented ceramic artist based in Dublin. Her Etsy shop is a delight.

As the day drew to a close we decided to leave before the traffic jams inevitably swallowed us up. It was a good decision. We escaped the bedlam, stopping off for dinner on the way home.

A lovely day, well spent. I think we may already have a plan for my next birthday. 

Thursday, 16 July 2015


Oh, where to start. I suppose I just need to jump right in. It feels like a long, long time since I gathered my thoughts and recorded them here. I lost my voice for a while. But now I am emerging like a butterfly from it's cocoon. Maybe not so beautiful, but most definitely eager.

Life has been a whirlwind since I last posted. School concerts and presentations, a stay in Children's Ward for suspected appendicitis and the arrival of my best friend's baby boy. School broke up at the end of June for nine weeks of summer break.

We've been to beautiful Pembrokeshire, where we had a really lovely holiday. So, summer for us is well under way. We have plans for picnics, barbecues, adventures and fun.

I'm hoping to find time to pop back here more regularly to record some of the memories. I'm also looking forward to catching up with all your lovely blogs now that life isn't so crazy.

What are your plans for summer break? Wishing you all fun times, whatever you're up to.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

simple pleasures

Just a few simple pleasures making me happy lately.

: :    My boy's pure joy in finding a hatched egg in the garden.
: :    Blooms and blue skies. Summer is here.
: :    Impromptu adventures on the lough shore.

Now that summer has finally arrived there is more than enough to keep a smile on my face. It is hard to believe we are almost half way through June already. We have a busy few weeks ahead in the run up to the school holidays at the end of the month. 

The school sports day is tomorrow and as I write, the wee ones are galloping around the garden like wild ponies, practicing for tomorrow's activities. I best go and make them their tea.

Wishing you all a lovely evening and thank you for your comments on recent posts. I love reading them. They make my day.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

golden hour

Snapshots of lough shore adventuring at a favourite place. At golden hour, one May evening.

The weather lately has been so changeable and not at all May like. It's been cold, dreary and wet. So when the sun peeked out from behind the clouds last Monday, I threw together an impromptu picnic tea and we headed out for some fair-weather exploring. 

We visited Reilly Wood, a beautiful deciduous woodland which leads to the lough. We walked through the meadow down to the water, spotting lots of butterflies fluttering around in the sunshine. The little ones explored the shore, delighting in finding a little frog and an emerging dragonfly. Climbing over gates and clambering on tree stumps eventually tired little legs, so we headed for home.

That evening the abundant fresh air and golden evening sunshine were relished. I do hope summer arrives soon.

Joining in with The Photo Gallery 233 at Sticky Fingers.
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