A blog about simple family life from baking bread to paddling in streams, enjoying quirky holidays, camping in our bell tent and discovering fab places to visit, so please join us over a cup of tea and slice of cake and share our everyday adventures of family life with three boys!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A WELSH CHRISTMAS


I love the rustic styling of this gorgeous Welsh cottage over on Design Hunter. It belongs to Dorian Bowen, of The Welsh House, who built the Ty Unnos (meaning one-night house) between sunset and sunrise! We stayed in the cottage next door a few years back. The baubles made from books, the sheepskins on the wooden bench and the leaves cut from paper make for a perfect homemade Christmas decor. 







All photo's taken from Design Hunter and Under The Thatch, where you can book and stay in this gorgeous cottage.

Monday, 17 November 2014

A GINGERBREAD CHRISTMAS


If you've read this blog over the years you'll know how much I love gingerbread and making gingerbread houses. Like ice-skating it's grown into a family tradition that we look forward to each year. For the past two years, my friend and I have run a gingerbread house decorating workshop but as we haven't been able to include our children, we decided this year to gather at home and make them with our children instead.


To make things a bit cheaper and to make my life easier with the anticipated chaos of six excited children in a small house, I have cheated and bought some gingerbread dough (£1.85/500g) and gingerbread house pieces (£2.45/house) from Ikea. Of course if you prefer to make your own you can buy our gingerbread house recipe and template that we have used in previous years.


I am also inspired to make an edible Christmas tree after seeing these amazing baubles below, I thought I'd either use some branches or a small tree to hang them on.

image from Pinterest

Visit my Pinterest 'I'm dreaming of a white Christmas' board for more inspiration. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

THE THOUGHTFUL CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

Each year I try and give thoughtful and meaningful gifts at Christmas as I can't stand all the commercialness and plastic tat! Here are some more experience-based ideas to inspire you this Christmas;



Every year we go ice-skating, it's our family tradition at Christmas and we love it. I have just bought these gorgeous ice skating cards by Stephanie Cole as I'd love to skate on a frozen pond like this! They would be a perfect gift for a family with gift voucher for ice-skating tucked inside, our nearest outdoor rink is Bath, but there are many others around the country that I'm sure would do gift vouchers.


I love these gorgeous Welsh blankets from Cold at Night, you can get them with a personalised label added and I'm thinking of pairing one up with a voucher for a weekend break for my husband at Fforest in Wales, where he can snuggle up in one warming his toes in front of the woodburning stove.


One of the highlights of my year was learning to bake bread with Tom Herbert, I can't recommend it enough, I learnt so much. Hobbs House run loads of different courses at their Chipping Sodbury based cookery school, where they share secrets, recipes and experience from five generations of bakers. If you don't live nearby then you can buy a small bread making kit for just £20 online, or take out a cake subscription where you get a different cake delivered each month from this award winning and family run bakery!


I adore this hedgehog stocking from Coral & Tusk you could easily personlise it too with a child's name on, obviously you'd need to gift it on Christmas Eve and I'd give this Hen & Hammock wooden sledge with it too for a fun-filled winter theme and cross my fingers for snow!


I always buy pyjamas for the boys at Christmas and just love these Hatley polar bear ones, you could pair them up with a WWF polar bear adoption for a wildlife loving child.


For my circus loving boy, I'm going to buy him some Giffords Circus tickets for later in the year as he loves it so much, along with a trapeze so he can practice his circus skills in the garden!

Last year we gave our friends some horse riding lessons, and are currently looking for new, inexpensive but beautiful ideas, I would love to hear all of your Christmas gift ideas.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

CHRISTMAS PAPER BAUBLES


How lovely are these paper baubles hanging on twisted hazel branches? I've just been sent some really lovely paper baubles from Hen & Hammock and am going to create a similar display this Christmas by cutting a few branches from my hazel tree in the garden and hanging them from it, I can't wait for Christmas this year! Thank you Hen & Hammock x

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

STYLING THE SEASONS: NOVEMBER


I love old man's beard - the wild clematis plant not just any old mans' beard of course! It grows in hedgerows and I always notice it when the sun is low in the sky, illuminating the silver white flowers. I have brought in a single tendril and placed it in the brackets above the fire as well as using some to do a  twig weaving with.


The boys are forever bringing sticks home, so we were inspired on Saturday to do some some weaving as it was literally pouring with rain all day. We used some Y shaped twigs and knotted some string across the Y shape to make the 'warp' paying attention to getting a good firm tension without snapping the twigs. Then we chose different wool, I choose plain parcel string for the 'weft', to weave up and under the warp, the boys have chosen different colours for theirs. I love the plain, simple, texture and it was so easy to do.



I've popped it on the mantlepiece next to the twig I wove old man's beard around too for this months 'Styling the Seasons'.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

WINTER IS COMING

Winter

It was cold today and whilst sitting in front of the fire all I can think about is Christmas and warm knitted socks! Christmas catalogues have started to arrive already and it's time to start planning gifts to make and buy. 


Sunday, 2 November 2014

DAYS OUT - THE FROME INDEPENDENT MARKET








The website says that it is 'more than a market' and it's right, the Frome Independent Market takes over the whole town. There is a flea market by the river, craft stalls in the market place, a Somerset farmers' market, artisan food stalls in Stony Street and my favourite, the suitcase traders on St. Catherine's Hill, aimed at younger entrepreneurs and smaller traders selling from their small suitcase sized pitches. Frome is a lovely small town, boasting more independent shops than I think I've seen anywhere and the market compliments them perfectly. Most shops were open and cafes too and there was even mini stages around the town showcasing local musicians and performers, it had a great buzz. I bought a fab zinc basket, some baubles and some coat hooks and had lunch in the rustically simple Garden Cafe, an organic cafe and shop in Stony Street. 

The market takes places between March and December on the first Sunday of each month, download this seasons leaflet here
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