Saturday 30 March 2013

happy easter

March has been a bitter month. So cold with harsh east winds and plummeting temperatures.

My garden is paying the price. The plants have wrapped themselves against the wind and only a few brave little souls have blossomed. We have lovely willow branches with their little furry buds, daffodils from bulbs planted late last year and a shamrock for March. A mellow yellow moodboard this time.

Our garden is a work in progress. We built and moved into our house just over three years ago so the garden is quite immature and more abundant in trees and hedging plants. We do have a lovely wildflower bank but it doesn't appear until later in the year.

As a result, I am a little envious of the beautiful blooms in Caroline and Polly's pictures. So I have fluttered my eyelashes at Mr F in the hope he will find some pretty flowering plants this year.

He is a landscape gardener so you would think I should be on to a winner.

Wishing you all a really lovely Easter and I hope that the sun shines on you all whatever you get up to.


Wednesday 27 March 2013

52 weeks of happy (25/52)

Late again. Busy, busy. Excuses, excuses. Anyway, here are my four happy things for 52 weeks of happy

Receiving my first #postcircle letter. Lovely words written on pretty stationery with a little gift too. I am loving #postcircle.
Cross stitch which is proving pleasingly addictive.
The Easter holidays and a welcome break from school routine.
And planning a little family break for May.

Wishing you all a happy week. It's nearly Easter meaning chocolate amongst other things. I'm happy already.

Friday 22 March 2013

washi tape egg garland

I love washi tape and the endless possibilities. With Easter very nearly here I wanted to cheer up our home in the absence of spring sunshine.

So, I made a simple Easter egg garland using washi tape, bakers twine and white card. It is so simple and one the kids can help with. The little fairy had a lot of fun helping me cut and stick, one of her favourite activities at the moment.

So to make the garland, draw or find a suitable egg template in a size you are happy with. I found one through google images and then sized it to suit.

Cut out the egg shapes. I made nine which made a garland long enough for my mantle. You could maybe measure where you intend to put it and work from there.

Next, cover each egg shape with strips of washi tape. Have a play around and choose what you think looks best.

Trim the excess tape from the edges. To attach the eggs to the twine I used some hot glue and attached the twine to the back. You could punch a little hole and thread the twine through. I didn't have a suitable punch so stuck to the glue. Not literally, thankfully.

And that's it. Simple. Take your garland and hang is somewhere to cheer up a grey day.

You could also use the eggs individually to hang on an Easter tree or as tags for Easter gifts.
Please be kind and excuse the atrocious photos. There is little or no light today.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

52 weeks of happy (24/52)

My four simple happy things linking in with Jen from little birdie

Yellow tulips. I love them. So bright and pretty.

Writing letters for #PostCircle. I was feeling a little intimidated at first and then realised unsurprisingly that I had quite a lot to say. The gift of the gab according to my granny.

Receiving lovely gifts from Oooh Betty and Mrs Bun. Thank you both so much.

The long weekend. The boys went back to school this morning after two days off so this is a short week for us. Hooray for bank holidays and teacher training days.

What has made you happy this week? Many things, I hope.

Linking in with Lou's Nature in the Home series, a lovely series with lots of beautiful plants and flowers in even more beautiful homes.

Sunday 17 March 2013

nature in the home

Wishing you a very happy Saint Patrick's day.

A little cup of shamrocks, linking up with the lovely Lou from littlegreenshed for her Nature in the Home series.

Thursday 14 March 2013

mysterious letters

I love letters. Snail mail, happy mail. Whatever you care to call it. It makes my day to receive mail which isn't brown or has its own transparent window.

A little while ago I came across Mysterious Letters. An art project by two artists, Lenka Clayton and Michael Crowe.

They aimed to mail everyone in a world a letter. A personal, handwritten letter to every household in the world. Quite an ambition.

So they began in Cushendall in Northern Ireland mailing 467 individual letters to the inhabitants of the small seaside town. Each letter was different, sent on the same day, in order that they be received at the same time. Lenka and Michael hoped that the letters would create curiosity and neighbourly discussion about where or why the letters had been written.

The letters caused quite a stir and you can find a video of a local news programme discussing the letters here, and more pictures here.

They have continued posting letters to Polish Hill, Pittsburg, St Gallen, Switzerland and Cologne, Germany. Over 2000 letters have been posted to date.

So when #PostCircle caught my eye on twitter recently. I rushed to join in. I can't resist the prospect of little slices of happy popping through my letterbox.

If any of you are interested, you can find out more in this post from Anna who has organised the whole thing. Now I have the perfect excuse to stock up on some pretty stationery.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

52 weeks of happy (23/52)

 My four simple happy things.

A lovely Mother's Day. Breakfast in bed, handmade gifts and cards from the wee ones followed by a lazy Sunday.

Driving home in daylight from my parent's house yesterday evening. Seven o'clock and still fairly bright. I am so happy to see an end to the long, dark winter nights.

Reading my new recipe book and looking forward to spring food.

Wrapping and posting a little package of happiness to Mrs Bun as part of the Four Happy Things Swap.

Simple happies this week. Hopefully the cold icy wind will disappear and I can look forward to spring happiness this week.

Wishing you all a happy week.

Friday 8 March 2013

ultimate chocolate cupcakes

If you love chocolate, you'll love these.

ultimate chocolate cupcakes 
makes 14


115g self raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
1½ tbsps cocoa powder
115g butter, softened, or soft margarine
115g caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
55g plain chocolate, melted


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a bun tray with 14 cupcake cases.
Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl.
Add the butter, sugar and eggs and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
Fold in the melted chocolate and fill the paper cases.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until firm to the touch.

The topping is 60g of 70% dark chocolate melted with 60ml of cream to create a ganache style topping. Melt the chocolate and mix with the cream over simmering water.

The ganache will thicken slightly as it cools and is easily spread over the top of the cupcake. I finely grated chocolate on top.

The cupcakes are very chocolatey and my topping is not sweet. If you prefer, you could use a buttercream topping.

They would make a lovely treat for Mother's Day.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

52 weeks of happy (22/52)

52 weeks of happy. Almost half way there. It amazes me how time is flying by.

I'm a little late with this post but better late then never I suppose. Linking as always to the lovely Jen

I had lots of outdoor happiness this week and all the fresh air definitely agreed with me.
Sand, sea and sky. Our day out to the beach on Sunday made us all very happy.
Beach treasure. A collection of shells, so tiny but so beautiful.
Blue skies. The colour, the clouds. What's not to love and finally, making a start on planning our vegetable plot. We have much to do but hopefully lots of reward later in the year.  

Wishing you all a happy week to come and the weather for some outdoor time too.

Monday 4 March 2013

a winner

As promised, the giveaway result. All the names were popped in a little vintage tin, given a good shake and a helpful little hand pulled out the winner.

Congratulations Jen. Your little bird will be winging it's way to you very soon.

Sunday 3 March 2013


Oh how I love March and the promise of spring in the air.  The sun shone a little, it wasn't too cold and the rain stayed away so we decided to go to the seaside.  Granted not exactly toe dipping conditions but perfect for a walk and some exploring.

We flung together a picnic and took off with 'are we nearly there yet' ringing in our ears.  

We had a great day, walking on the almost deserted beach searching for pretty shells.

We drew sand pictures, explored rockpools and popped seaweed.

We arrived home exhausted in the best possible way.  The little ones are all snuggled up on a journey to dreamland, a side effect of the lovely fresh sea air.

Hope you all had a great weekend.
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