Month: September 2015

Ten Treats for Your Home

Who doesn’t love a bargain? Now its curtain closing season here’s a little round up of ten decor treats to add around your home for under a tenner. If you’re feeling flush you could even buy them all. You Had Me At Hello Mug | ASOS | £6 This enamel mug from ASOS will be great for a mug of steaming hot chocolate or a cuppa when you’re out dealing with all those fallen leaves in the garden And One For The Birds | John Lewis | £7.95 This is one to watch from the comfort of your sofa. Put this cake bird feeder on the garden fence, a couple of metres from the house, and watch out for the robins. Copper Frame | Matalan | £6 Metal rimmed frames are very ‘in’ and now Matalan has joined in on the action. Their copper photo frame is perfect for your 6×4 snaps. I’m also liking their Kate Spadesque stationery range too. Alphabet Candle | Marks and Spencer | £6 This scented candle would make a fabulous little …

September in the Garden

September is the beginning of one of my favourite times of year, not least for the fact that the garden is more relaxed than it has been for some time. The fight to keep the plants watered or producing or deadheaded has eased and a new wave of tasks is awaiting us. And I hope you like this September introduction to these delightful illustrations courtesy of Cheryl Rawlings – you will see more of them here in the following months. In My Garden Sedums are a favourite in the September garden. Love a ’mum to brighten the patio As well as the Hakonechloa giving a ‘Japanese air’ The roses are having a ‘third’ flush Vibrant Verbena I have noticed that the spiders are fattening up, a sign summer is coming to an end. In Your Garden While there’s not as much to do in the ornamental garden at this time of the year, if you have a fruit or vegetable patch, you’ll be busy reaping the rewards of harvest. This is what you should be …

Intro to Ireland

What do you do to escape a house of plumbers? When you have a bathroom renovation the thing is to leave the country and leave them to it! So I decided to do something I always said I would never do..go on a coach trip. Being the independent traveller who prefers to research and book her own flights, train and prides herself on finding the nicest of accommodation…this idea was totally out of character. Never having been to Ireland, I booked a 5 day coach trip with Shearings to a quiet spot in the Wicklow Hills, and all starting ten minutes from my home in North Yorkshire. Day one Started from what is an architectural ‘wrinkly tin’ shed near Normanton bursting to the seams with a mass of over 55s, many not able to sit down due to lack of space and who had waited over an hour for their bus to be loaded with cases. Some had been ferried in by feeder coaches from the North East and East of England from as far …

Earl Grey and Lemon Shortbread

Tea lovers, rejoice! There are lovely ways to savour your favourite tea in biscuit form. Whether your tastes lean toward delicate Earl Grey, fragrant jasmine, or warmly spiced chai, you’re sure to find some baking inspiration. One lazy Sunday afternoon recently I took a simple shortbread recipe and, because I appear to be addicted at the moment, I incorporated the subtle taste of Earl Grey, set off with lemon. This is a simple recipe but make sure you remember to get your butter to room temperature before you start making. These are beautifully crumbly and, be warned, slightly addictive! LEMON AND EARL GREY SHORTBREAD PREP TIME 25 mins COOK TIME 17 mins TOTAL TIME 42mins INGREDIENTS 200g unsalted butter – cubed and at room temperature 100g caster sugar 300g plain flour, sieved Drop of vanilla essence Zest of 1 – 2 lemons (I used two but I like zesty biscuits) 3 teaspoons of Earl Grey tea. I ground them slightly in a ramekin and added a large drop of hot water to the tea an …