Monday, 30 January 2012

I have this thing about pale and interesting ........................x

I love colour, that's no surprise.

I also love calm.

And sometimes, it's hard to find the medium, within your home.

When we moved to the cottage, I wanted a relaxed, calm, pretty, cottage. A place where people feel they can slump on the sofa and not worry about non plumped cushions.
A warm, happy, cosy, family home.

I have this thing about pale and interesting, if I want all the colour and pattern, there has to be lots of pale and interesting........though, I fight it, oh I do. Because colour, to me, is a must. It's a personal thing. I know my house is not to everyone's taste. ( just like nail varnish, clothes, music, books ) and nor should it be. 

Some friends are doing a cottage up at the moment. They literally bought a shell. A very interesting shell. In the middle of a tiny Somerset village, nestled in between fields full of sheep, the village hall, and old red telephone box ( which has been turned into a Library B.T.W )
  It had been lived in for years and years by the same family, who just painted over the cracks, added more wallpaper to already layered walls. You know the place, you pull a piece of wallpaper off the wall, and a plant is growing up the crumbling damp wall behind. There are holes in the floor boards. The roof is great for star gazing at least.
Anyway, the house is nearly finished, they've done so well. But what I like love and adore about it the fact that they have kept all the wood, they've kept the windows, they've bashed out the old ingle- nook fireplace, spent hour upon hour pulling, hacking up sticky manky floor tiles to find beautiful stone floors. The plasterer's have not smoothed the walls out within an inch of their lives. That would just look wrong huh? Wonky walls, thick and cumbersome are true cottage styleeeeee.

This is what I think......keep it simple, build upon what's there, if you have features of an unconventional style, use them. Don't try to hide them, or disguise them.
See how you use your space, big or small....then add colour, and shape.

This is just my opinion, and of course, my house is far too cluttered, there's never enough storage space for all our crap. And the dogs and bumblebee's cake mud and mess on everything.

But I do love the simple bits and pieces.
The calm in the storm.

That's all xxxxxx

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

On a diet? Look away.............x

I love cooking, if it can be unhurried, not rushed, a leisurely task.....I'm there. I knew there was a cake sale at school for biggest bumblebee's class that cakes needed baking for, then Q rang mid morning, asking me to add a few cakes to my tray for his "men" at work. He starts a new job this week, and will be saying goodbye to 20-something engineers he's been working with for the past few years. This is definitely once of those instances where the grass is greener,   he's sooo looking forward to his new job. And it has it's bonus's for us ladies of the house he will be working from here to Lands End........a few many a day out for us in Cornwall in the summer...whoopieeeeeeee!.......

Back to baking. I found this recipe for Rocky Road yonks ago, and it just suits. We all make it don't we? Perfect for cake sales as it can be made in foil tray bakes, and kiddies love it too. I tweak it everytime I make it, according to what's in the pantry....


200G cooking chocolate ( good quality )
2-3 tablespoons golden syrup
135g butter
100g marshmallows
200g biscuits ( I find a rich tea/digestive mash up is good )
Glace cherries ( to taste )

1. Heat chocolate on a medium heat in a bowl over a saucepan with boiling water....stir every now and then until all melted.

2. Meanwhile you can pop all your biscuits into a sandwich bag and bash the life out of them, I like there to be fine crumbs and chucks too.

 3. Melt your butter and golden syrup in a saucepan until also melted.

4. Add the butter mixture to your chocolate and stir, then add your biscuits crumbles, marshmallows,cherries, and anything else you would like to add.

5. Mix, mix, mix like a crazy lady, then add to a suitable tin, using a fork to flatten making sure you have no gaps. Little foil cake cases or normal cupcake cases are good for kiddies.

6. If you want to pretty your Rocky Road up, now is the time, while the mixture is still damp, you couls either add more melted chocolate on top then shake some icing sugar on, or edible glitter. Or decorate with sweeties ( smarties, popping candy ??? )

7.  Pop into fridge for a few hours......then devour..all of it.....I dare you x

# I added sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and for adults I use pecans, or hazelnuts too. 

How cute are these heart foil cases????????? Tra laaaaa valentine's is coming up, I will be using these for a little tasty treat for the Q.......

I wanted to bake some savoury  cupcakes for Q's "men" as they were all having a meeting first thing in the morning. These Four cheese cupcake/muffins are great. So tasty warm, very similar to cheese scones, but as I am a crap scone maker these are my alternative...always.


makes approx 12.

50g chedder cheese.
50g red leicester .
50g stinky stilton.
50g mozzarella cubed small.
250g plain flour.
1 tablespoon baking powder.
half teaspoon salt.
1 tablespoon caster sugar.
1 tablespoon mustard powder.
240ml milk.
90ml vege oil.
1 large free range egg lightly beaten.
spring onion/chives if desired.

1. Preheat oven 190c/375f/gas 5. Line a tin with cupcake cases.

2. Keep half the chedder for later and put the other half in a bowl, with the other cheeses and mix.

3. Sift flour, b.powder salt and mustard powder into the cheeses and mix.

4. In ANOTHER bowl lightly whisk together milk, oil and egg...and add to the dry flour and cheese mixture.

5. Try not to over work the mixture, just mix until just combined, not worrying about any lumps etc. Add to cupcake cases......and then sprinkle the left over chedder on top.

6. Bake in the centre of oven for approx 20 minutes, or until golden............

Try to eat warm.......enjoy.....ummmmy.

My other recipe I found at the amazing a beautiful mess ( this website, if you haven't visited yet, will blow you pretty little minds, seriously....just gorgeous...) and I have to say it's very straight forward, would be great to do with kiddies.......biscuits dusted with glitter would be, I am sure a welcomed addition to any afternoon tea table....or just for gobbling on your own with a large mug of tea...go on have a go at them!

Phew.........have I scored a few brownie points??????? xx

Monday, 23 January 2012

Woooaaah there Nelly...............x

The folks came down to stay this weekend. Dad went on the Friday to the Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair.....then we went with him on the Saturday. I love a mooch about don't you?.......Q and I were on the lookout for a few bits, ( pine cupboard doors, an old school writing desk, taxidermy -  love us or hate for it......I don't mind )...

But you know, you never seem to find the bits you set out looking for. There was a gent selling loads of school desks for £30 each....Naaaaaahhh we said £20 max.......
Dad said " he's giving you a load of flannel, there's no way he sold them for £65 last week, walk away Nattie, you can do better than that " true, don't you know your dad's always right?

BUT woooooaaahhh there Nelly ( I do love that name B.T.W ), we found a great Lusty Lloyd Loom basket.....pressie from the folks...ta muchly guys!

AND a french metal floral chandelier for the bathroom. Now it's not perfect, and a little bit chewed, but the price was gooooooood and I love daisies. She'll finish off the bathroom nicely I think. £30.......not bad????

So I think you guys ought to get yourselves down to you nearest fair.   found here  Our entrance fee was a neat £5......bargain, and even big bumbleebee came along and found a few wade ornaments for her and to take back for little bumblebee.

The word on the street is summer they are bigger fairs, more to look at, though I found all the stalls at this one enough to be honest......if you do go to any, let me know your haggling tips, I'm always on the lookout for new ones ( the girly voice and eye fluttering only works on the men. Yes that's right, when there are bargains to be had, I'm ruthless, and destroy all women's rights in one swoop.....not quite, but you know what I mean ).

Happy Monday x

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A walk............x

I've been a terrible dog owner these last few weeks. I've barely taken them out. Lucky for me, Q likes a good ramble in the evenings and takes Sethy and Aggie with him on adventures that are hours long, across fields, up hills, in the dark, mwwwaaaa too scary for me, you don't know what's lurking about out there eh?

I know it mostly has alot to do with me being jittery with other dogs. I suppose as I am usually the one taking them out, it's more likely that something will happen with me. I hate it when it does. Three times I have had dogs biting mine and it scares me, worries me, and mostly makes me angry. PLEASE can people with aggressive dogs ( you must know who you are, you must realise when your dog is a danger surely??? ) keep them on the lead.....It's THAT simple. 

But today after a morning at the bumblebee's school making posters with one class.......( I love me some poster paint, ooooh that smell!!!! )....I took Aggie out for a quick jaunty and fav houses in this ere neck of the woods.

Makes me wanna run about in a bonnet calling for Mr. Darcy.........

My Nanny McPhee house, I WILL live here day.

The stone used in this area is hamstone. It's local and not dis similar than what's used in the Cotswolds. When we first moved this way, I wasnt sure about it, as I'd grown up with the weather boarded, flint and brick stone houses of Sussex. But I like the hamstone, it's warm and honey colour makes me feel comforted and at home. Which one would you live in???????


Saturday, 14 January 2012

A friend in need.........x

There was a time, when I was growing up that I was completely and utterly lost. I thought, what I needed was to be alone and find out who I was. I wasn't sure who I wanted to be, where I wanted to be, and what I wanted to be. And for a long while there I thought I'd never know.
Then it struck me, you can't fight who you are, where your from. But you can grow from it. I learnt to be myself, something as a naughty cheeky teenager, I had no clue about. And then..........I found them.

My two best friends. They kind of , just fell into my lap one day.
My bestest Carrie, who is the only person in the world who can understand how important the colour green is, and why I don't like my bumblebee's calling their tummy buttons belly buttons.
My Q.........who I just knew. I just knew it was him and see, my best friends.
I think some friendships come easier than others, but that doesn't mean you can sit back and take it easy. You must look after each other, and love each other. You don't judge, you listen, you laugh, they don't judge, they listen, and they laugh, and hopefully, that's it.
My bestest has been a bit poorly lately, poor lovely couldn't even talk on the phone. So a pink parcel was sent with love and a hug inside. We live miles apart you see, it's so unfair. But I think one day, we might just live in the same village, sit in our kitchen's for hours and hours slurping tea and eating biscuits, chatting about all the important things, like, hair cuts, and shoes, and Kate Moss's new dress.........

In other news..........WHAAAAAAAT the devil is going on with the weather in England right now??????? I wake up to a wonderful winter Narnia esk land..........minus the snow, but super cold ( -2 ) and super frosty and foggy........I feel like I've entered another world. I'm hibernating with my granny blanket, and a cup of tea...........that's it, I'm done for the weekend.

Happy Weekend lovelies xxxx

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Notes, critters and a red wardrobe.....x

I love little notes, and think beautiful should absolutely be spelt "Byootfool" always x

The bumblebee's have a slight Sylvanian obsession. I go with it, because, A. I like the little critters furry soft faces and ditsy outfits and B. It could be worse, Barbie? Bratz? Disney? High School Musical? All these things make me want to vomit.
Now and then, I have a bit of a freak out about them. Minuscule sweets and forks get sucked up the hoover, things get trodden on, lost, and mostly they are great at collecting dust,  infact they are brilliant at collecting dust, great for an Asthmatic child don't you think?
This morning though, I thought how sweet they are again, as I nearly trod on the B.B.Q set in the middle of their room, but I have to say parents out there, if you are stuck for birthday gifts etc, these are great, they can collect them and collect them, and build up a little village ( which I have to say is my favourite thing to play tidy up with!!! Yes I sit for a fair amount of time, putting sandwiches on plates, making the beds, adjusting the furniture just so ).
Did I really just write all that about Sylvanian Families??????? GOT.TO.GET.OUT.MORE.

Wanted to show you these cute little desk lamps the girls have, red from Ikea, bargains, and they love'em. Quite funky and will hopefully do them for a while......I love a good buy.

Also Ta daaaaa moment for my wardrobe.
You'd better believe it kiddos, bargain buy on Ebay, Annie Sloan red paint ( so delicious ) and bit of left over Farrow and Ball green, sandpaper, wax...........

Well hello there......

She's great, right?

Could do with a bit more buffing.....and she looks patchy in the pictures, but it real life she aint......
God love her........

I'm thinking one day a bumblebee will have her, and might disappear in her to Narnia.....must get some fur coats to go inside just incase.

Friday, 6 January 2012

This 'ere paintbrush........x

I felt the sudden need to smarten up the house this week. I'm not just talking about actually hoovering under the beds, or scrubbing the kitchen cupboards.
I was am on a mission, to finish things. Like the living room cupboard, like the bathroom cabinet, like Q 's wardrobe, like, like like, to be honest the list could go on, and on....for now though, each day that the bumblebee's have been to school, I've tried to finish jobs. The lounge cupboard ( which to the girls is known as the craft cupboard, paints, pens, paper, glitter etc....... it's a very good cupboard actually, it's victorian roots are deep and tardis like ) has had her make up applied. I mixed some of my Annie Sloan paints together to create a very bohemian innards....lovely.

Just need to wax it, and she's finished. One down.....billions to go.
The thing is.....I like quick fast success, and I have never seemed to finish a paint job properly...the inside never looks as good as the out....I know you don't see it under the tower of junk that will hide within, but if I bought a painted piece of furniture from someone, I would expect it to be finished well and painted in and out.

Painting furniture makes me soooo happy I can't even begin to explain it. It started with my good old Dad. The Antiques dealer ( or furniture restorer he says ) all my childhood being surrounded by glorious pieces, some were painted, some were sent to the strippers yard down the road, then waxed ( I helped buff.......for about one minute, until I got bored and tried to hide in various wardrobes/blanket boxes to escape the chores...I really did )....... 

Are some things etched into the very heart of you? Do you think it's possible that you just are, and always

Or maybe we have such attachments to things......emotions.

Whatever it may be, I know that the smell of old pine on paint cheers my soul.

So that's what I've been ticking along doing this week.
Also can I just take a moment to say I have a sore throat........yes I do, and I'm feeling really sorry for myself....with my lemon and honey, my knitted hat on, dressing gown and slippers on at 4.30pm.......that's me this weekend.
 When as a mother, do we suddenly stop catching all the bugs from the little people???? Please say it's soon..........


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The hills are alive...................x

Wintery walks, splashing and squelching in mud, feeling the breeze on your face, views that take your breath away, blowing away last year, adventures in wellies, getting lost as it's becoming dark, does anyone else think a National Trust Mile is far longer than a normal mile???? Just me????......

Dream houses are always stumbled upon.......

Tired legs, rosy cheeks, muddy jeans.......................perfect. x