Friday 20 December 2013

Cheesecake mince pies at

This week I've been lucky enough to guest post London lifestyle blog
Poppy (AND her blog) are just lovely, so I decided to share my very special recipe for ...


How to make cheesecake mince pies

The recipe was handed down from my ninja-chef of a mother in law and they are simply the best I've ever eaten. So if you'd like to sample these melt-in-the-mouth bad boys (and see me licking the bowl) pop on over to Poppyloves by

Enjoy and have a wonderful Xmas, 
JM & Ralphy the dog

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My favourite fings - Switching off

 photo ff.png

Nowadays almost all of our daily activity involves technology of some sort. Now I don't want to sound like ole Miggins over the road, "we didn't have all these fancy moblies in my day",  but I have to admit that occasionally I find it HUGELY satisfying to switch it all off.
Some of you might love the thought of turning off all phones and putting laptops out of sight, whereas others will have started to sweat at the prospect of not having 24 access to facebook.

Switched off, on a cottage holiday.

Well yes at first it is quite strange. You'll keep going to check your phone or when faced with a question to which you don't know the answer you'll panic when you realise you can't ask google. But after a day or two it's just SO lovely. I feel refreshed, free, and more relaxed than I ever thought was possible. We are utterly consumed by technology. So I find from time to time that it's a good idea to give your brain a break and your loved ones 100% of your attention.

So even if it's just for a day, perhaps give it a try ...
you might love it so much you won't want to switch back on!


"I'm not answering that phone ... I'm on 'oliday!"

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Friday 13 December 2013

Snow globes and old christmas ornaments.

Snow globes. I'm simply a sucker for them. But not any old plastic-made type of snow globe. It has to possess a charm, giving you the feeling it's been on a journey and looked out onto many Christmas scenes in houses over the years. I'd rather have only a small handful of well-loved sentimental ornaments that come out of a dusty old cupboard year after year, than new freshly bought bits and bobs. Like antiques, our old things seem to have a soul of their own and it's a lovely feeling when we come across them ... almost like remembering old friends.

Old fashioned snow globe

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Thursday 12 December 2013

Rustic DIY christmas decorations

I am never happier than when I'm decorating the house for Christmas. It's such a lovely time. I make a huge mess, eat loads of mince pies and gradually transform the house into a magical rustic wonderland. I've experimented with various ways of decorating over the years and have found the following creations really bring the house to life, yet they are really easy to make. They would also be perfect for a winter wedding. When it comes to style there is no right way. We just need to create a lovely warm space that reflects us, and the way in which we want to celebrate. I love rustic traditional decoration but hopefully these tips will inspire you whatever your sense of style. 

Natural christmas decorations

Decorating with nature

When it comes to Christmas decorating (or even interior design) I find it's easier to transform one little area at a time. We can use all sorts to make a feature - decanted Sherry or Port and pretty glasses on a tray are a lovely feature, as are nuts in a rustic bowl. Perhaps pick some Ivy / evergreens / berries from the garden and scatter them. Ivy looks lovely wrapped around picture frames. It lasts a long time and dries green, not brown. I've literally covered my house in it.

Christmas pinecone garland

Fireplace decoration

I like sparkle as much as the next girl but the traditional log cabin vibe just says Christmas to me. I bought some really cheap long plain garlands (they're not real) and I simply laid along the mantle, added pine cones and berries. You can add real greenery or sparkle / baubles to it as well. Pine in the house smells wonderful ...

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Monday 9 December 2013

Good gift ideas for hard-to-buy-for types

Oh my, I've had such a lovely week my little festive readers. I made some delightful Orange and cinnamon stick decorations and I picked up my tree yesterday! While decorating it I ate almost all of my mince pies and watched repeats of Vicar of Dibley (pronounced 'Dimblebee' if you're my dad). 

Now when it comes to present buying every year I always get stuck for what to buy my big brother. Like many men, he has everything he wants and he has expensive taste so not the easiest person to buy for. However this week a friend told me about Good gifts The Good Gifts Catalogue was born 11 years ago and is a refreshing alternative to conventional unwanted presents.

Charitable christmas gifts for hard to buy types
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Friday 6 December 2013

Orange and cinnamon stick decorations

We're putting our deccies up on sunday!! Eeeeee I am so excited. It's killing me just walking past the boxes. I have been wearing my santa hat around the house though, and just because I don't have a tree (yet) doesn't mean I can't prepare my deccies for it! I make these every year. They're SO easy, quick and very rustic. 

You will need:

Two contrasting ribbons or brown string
Cinnamon sticks
Cinnamon powder (optional)

Orange and cinnamon stick decorations

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Monday 2 December 2013

Autumn leaves knitted scarf

I have FINALLY finished my Autumn leaves scarf. 
I've been desperately trying to finish it while it's still Autumn ... and I did it! well, just.

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