Tuesday 30 July 2013


At the request of the lovely Lazy Daisy Jones here is my flapjack recipe and a warning.  These are the flapjacks of my youth.  Delicious, sticky and sweet.  

They have a distinct lack of seeds, nuts and the like but feel free to tinker with the recipe if you would like to add some.  I do, sometimes but usually I stick to tradition and use the recipe of my childhood.

flapjack recipe (makes 16)


150g butter
75g soft brown sugar
3 tbsps golden syrup
75g quick cook porridge oats
175g jumbo porridge oats


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius ... grease a 30cm x 20cm baking tin and line with baking paper
Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan and melt together over a medium heat until combined
Add the oats and mix until coated and turn out into the baking tin and spread evenly over the base
Press the mixture out with the back of a spoon
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes

The baking time will depend on your oven but the delicious smell and golden coloured top usually give the game away.  A shorter baking time means a stickier flapjack.

Remove from the oven and trace cut lines into the flapjack.  I get about sixteen out of a tray this size but you can divide it up into as many as you like.  Then leave to cool in the baking tray.

When cool cut up into squares using the guidelines and enjoy with a hot cuppa.


Sometimes the outer edge can be a little overdone.  I trim this off and eat it with natural yoghurt.  Very moreish.

We are partial to a slightly sticky flapjack but if you prefer them crunchy, put them back in the oven after switching it off.  This allows the stickiness to dry out a little.

The flapjacks keep well in an airtight container for up to a week.  They never last that long here though. I can't even get a picture they disappear so fast.

Hope you enjoy them Daisy. 

Saturday 27 July 2013

52 weeks of happy (41/52)

We're almost half way through our summer holidays.  Most days we don't have a definite plan.  Free and easy, we let our mood dictate what we get up to.

The sun is still shining although we have had some amazing thunderstorms.  As our summer days roll into weeks we are loving every minute.

Joining Jen for 52 weeks of happy, my four simple happy things.

Blackcurrants.  Gathering the shiny, ripe fruit alongside the little fairy as she said 'just the black ones, not the red ones, leave them for birdies'.  I think I will make some jam.

My new bowl, a bargain find.  I love the blue flowers around the rim.

Making flapjacks, sticky and sweet.  Another childhood memory to share with my little ones.

Meeting up with my cousin and her three girls.  A catch up and an opportunity for our wee ones to become firm friends.

I'm off to a car boot sale tomorrow.  Fingers crossed I find some treasure. Wishing you all a lovely day whatever you get up to.

Friday 19 July 2013

52 weeks of happy (40/52)

Enjoying another happy week of summer, joining in with Jen for 52 weeks of happy.  Like many of you, I've been outdoors enjoying the garden.

Bug hunting with the little ones.  They love chasing butterflies around the garden and are entranced by the bees, trailing them from flower to flower and asking all sorts of questions about how they make their beloved honey.

I've loved watching my eldest riding his new bicycle.  He has now mastered a big boy bike, riding without stabilisers and is pleased as punch with himself.  He was so determined to learn. 

The vegetable garden after a late start has just exploded with growth. Beetroot, potatoes, courgettes, rocket and cabbage are thriving.  I'm looking forward to cooking with them soon.

The ease the summer sunshine has brought to the school holidays.  Past summers have been a frantic dash between rain showers, trying to organise wet weather fun.  This year the gorgeous sunshine has ensured the first few weeks of the holidays were stress free and I have been a very happy, chilled out mama.

For all of you just starting the school holidays, I hope you all have a lovely break filled with long days of sunshine.

Monday 15 July 2013

summer days

I have been a lazy blogger of late.  Finding the lure of the sun hard to resist and so spending less time with technology.  I expect a few of you are in the same boat.  Gently enjoying summer days.

The last proper summer we had was in 2006.  The year our eldest was born.  I can remember him sleeping peacefully in his pram by the open french doors.

Seven years on, I think we deserve this perfect summer.  My sleeping baby has grown into a little boy who loves being outside enjoying the sun with his younger brother and sister.

After playing in the garden on Saturday with a makeshift sprinkler, the garden hose tied to a tree, the little ones wished for a visit to the seaside.

So on Sunday, we packed a picnic and set off for a day at the beach.  We visited Murvagh Blue Flag Beach in Donegal.

The weather was lovely.  Not too hot with a welcome breeze.  We paddled in the water, built sandcastles, collected shells and watched kites swirling through the sky.

Later, my insect loving boys searched for crickets in the grass behind the sand dunes.

All in all, we had a fun, easy going day.  The kind of day we hope to enjoy many more of before summers end.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

52 weeks of happy (38/52 and 39/52)

Joining Jen for 52 weeks of happy, a double dose of happiness this week.

Our school holidays are well underway. Just one of many happy things right now.

The weather. Glorious sunshine and blue, blue skies and in the evening skies marbled with pink hued clouds promising a beautiful day tomorrow.

Adventures in sugar paste.  I had an evening of fun creating decorated cupcakes as gifts for the boys teachers.  They are a little amateur but I was pleased with how they turned out.

Reading Roald Dahl books in the sunshine with my boys.  I loved these stories when I was younger and iI  I have enjoyed their familiarity.  Reading outside in the shade is a great way to while away an hour or two when the sun is hottest and energy levels have taken a dip.

I do love summer, especially summer bathed in sunshine.  Maybe it's a case of rose tinted spectacles but weren't our childhood summers just like this.

Hope you are all enjoying yourselves and to our friends in the southern hemisphere I hope winter is mild and equally enjoyable.

Sunday 7 July 2013


What glorious weather, a truly gorgeous weekend.  We have been spending as much time outdoors as possible.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner on the patio.  Why is it that food always tastes better outside?

We had a lovely afternoon yesterday at a family fun day organised by our local community hall, a beautifully restored stone schoolhouse.  The little ones bounced on castles, played with balloon swords and flowers and enjoyed a vintage tractor parade.

The big ones watched a skittles game, while enjoying a barbeque and a few beers.

This morning I decided to paint the play house.  It was in dire need of freshening up.  I am so taken with the pretty new colours I think I might move in.

A touch exhausted, I collapsed into an armchair to watch Andy Murray win Wimbledon, catch up in blogland and now I am set to be unnerved by tonight's episode of The Returned.

Hope you all have had a lovely weekend and are all set to enjoy more lovely sunshine this week.

Thursday 4 July 2013

nature in the home

My red nature in the home contribution. 

Apples are a favourite here.  The fruit bowl empties as quickly as I can fill it. Every shopping list has apples on it.

Red varieties are our favourite, braeburn, royal gala and pink lady but we are partial to the odd golden delicious or granny smith.

Do you have a favourite?

Linking up as always with lovely Lou at littlegreenshed.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

mile a minute

Thanks to Jane's investigations I can now reliably inform you that my climber is a russian vine, also known as mile a minute or fallopia baldschuanica.

If you pop it into a search engine you will find lots of articles about Russian vine.  It is often problematic in urban areas due to its spread and growth speed.  It grows incredibly quickly and is often used for screening buildings or garden eyesores but when left to its own devices it can invade neighbouring gardens causing problems.

In our garden the vine is growing on a trellis which screens our fuel tank and behind our garage.  The climber isn't a problem here as we live in the countryside and have no immediate neighbours.

Mr F has given the plant a very ruthless cutting back each year and so far it has been easy to manage.

This is how it looks at the moment.

Despite its faults Russian vine is very pretty and providing you have the room and motivation to cut it back, it really serves its purpose and more importantly, the bees adore it.  So for now it is here to stay.

Thanks again to Jane for her help in identifying the climber and also Sabrina for taking the time to search. I really appreciate your help.
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