Thoughtful Thursday

31 January 2013

I found this little treasure - so tempted to get this printed on canvas. 

It really is quite thought-provoking don't you agree?  It was drawn up by brothers Mike and Dave and their partner Fabian who had just quit their jobs in the middle of the recession. 
Read all about it on their website

Life is short. Life is simple. Live your dream.

Granola Bars

29 January 2013

I made these little bars last night - they are delicious and you could argue they are a healthy snack what with all the seeds.  This recipe is one of Mary McCartney's - her book is filled with easy and delicious meals and she draws her inspiration from her mother Linda McCartney (my favourite vegetarian chef of all time!)

Have a go and let me know what you think.

♥ Granola Bars ♥
Makes 12-15 pieces

200ml agave syrup
50g butter
4 tbs vegetable oil
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
200g porridge oats
80g cornflakes
100g almonds, coarsely chopped
100g dried apricots, coarsely chopped
100g raisins or sultanas
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

♥ Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a baking tray (approximately 30cm x 20cm) with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
♥ In a large saucepan, gently simmer the agave syrup for about four minutes, to allow it to turn a bit syrupy (be careful, this is very hot). Take it off the heat and then add the butter and vegetable oil, stirring well until the butter has melted. Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract and then mix in the oats, cornflakes, almonds, apricots, raisins, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Stir well to ensure that all the ingredients are coated in the syrup.
♥ Spoon the granola mix into the baking tray and push it down so that it’s evenly packed into the tray.
♥ Bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the top is turning golden.
♥ Take the tray out of the oven and leave the granola to cool before lifting it out of the baking tray, cutting it into pieces and then peeling off the baking paper.

Happy Baking x

Learning something new: Sewing

28 January 2013

{My handmade tote bag}

A few months back I bought a sewing machine and decided I would definitely be able to teach myself.  I bought some fabric, some tools and off I a screeching halt.

While I like to think of myself as an innovative and capable person, teaching myself how to sew on my machine was much harder than I thought it would be.  I got incredibly frustrated after watching video upon video on YouTube and decided that there was only one way to rectify this.

I booked a sewing course.  And I am so very glad I did.

I found that while I was doing most things correctly, it was the little habits/tips which helped the most and have put me well on my way to being able to start all the little projects I want to.

I arrived at my course full of nerves and never believing I would be able to conquer this skill but to my amazement I left with a little totebag which I cut out, pinned, sewed and pressed - all by myself!  I am super chuffed and cannot wait for next week when we will be making a make-up bag.

Read here for the sewing classes I took, I might try the curtain-making next.


The Simple Things

27 January 2013

It is a rare thing nowadays to find a magazine which truly tugs at the heart strings.  Life can be weary at times and what is more comforting than sitting down with a cup of tea and reading an intriguing, delightful, beautiful magazine?

Cue The Simple Things.

Currently on its #6 issue, the magazine aims to bring back the simple pleasures of life to help us celebrate things that matter the most.  And it does not disappoint.

From the feel of the paper, the colours, graphics, articles and style you simply are plunged into a world of everything gardening, sharing, eating, crafting, living and escaping.  They truly have created a magazine which is worth reading.

Their website is also of articles which are so inspiring - from this photography one to this wonderfully innovative project and this cute little DIY project, you are spoilt for choice.

My favourite part? The 3rd page of each edition which is a written collection of simple things to be enjoyed in life.


Happy reading x

Darn it and Stitch

25 January 2013

I love supporting local, independant shops so when I stumbled across this little gem down a side street in Oxford I was super excited.

Darn It & Stitch is the only traditional haberdashery shop in Oxford, which has loads of supplies to knit and sew as well as running workshops and classes above the shop.

Darn it and Stitch stock "all sorts from jumbo ric rac, zips and thimbles, to vintage lace, yarns and a variety of fabric. We also have a vast array of buttons, thread, trims, pins and needles, tape measures and ribbon" - absolute bliss if you are anything like me!

Happy sewing.


Thoughtful Thursday

24 January 2013

Three thoughts on a Thursday.

To inspire.
To motivate.
To comfort.



January: Currently

23 January 2013

Taken from our back garden {Leafield, Oxfordshire}
Loving the snow

Taking lots of pictures

Racing through the Hunger Games

Looking forward to my birthday

Excited to get my ipad

Planning better things for my blog through this course

Thinking this is plain amazing

Missing my friends every time I look at these

Watching the lethal weapon boxset

Wanting this book

Adoring this blog and this one and this one

Feeling nervous for my course on Saturday

Bran & Date Muffins

22 January 2013


When I was little, my mom used to bake the most delicious bran & date muffins.  I still remember helping her make them in the kitchen and eating them as soon as they came out the oven.

Nostalgia at its best.

So, when I went home for Christmas, one of the first things I did was ask if I could have the recipe. 
I actually took her recipe book home - I love the brown pages, stained with cocoa and mixture.  I love a used cookbook - its full of home.

Date & Bran Muffins

(Makes 12 Large Muffins)

250g dates - finely chopped
250ml boiling water
5ml bicarb
30g butter
300g cake flour (plain)
50g bran
50g brown sugar
A few drops of vanilla essence
250ml buttermilk
1 egg

- mix dates with boiling water, bicarb and butter and leave to cool
- place dry ingredients in a bowl
- add buttermilk, beaten egg and vanilla to date mixture
- pour into dry ingredients and mix
- place large spoonfuls into muffin tin and bake at 200 degrees for +- 20 minutes.

Enjoy smothered in butter with a cup of tea.

Hello 2013

13 January 2013

A view of Windmill Farm Cottages in Llanridian, Wales.

A new year always brings the excitement of new things, inspiration and motivation to accomplish goals and dreams.  I have a feeling this year is going to be great

I don't really do resolutions, I just like to think of things I would like to accomplish, experience and create. If I don't get to do them then I'm ok with that.  Life is all about accepting that not everything always works out the way you want it to.

So my little list for 2013?

* book a sewing course
* complete my degree
* attend a photography course
* go on an online e-course to better my blog
* take part in #mileaday
* get closer to finishing decorating our home

I am sure I will add more but to start this little list is perfect.  I can already say I have booked my sewing course for the 27th January - very excited.  I am going on a photography course in May and June. Woohoo! I bought Elise and Elsie's Blog (Design) Love e-course today which looks amazing and I cannot wait to get started.

I hope you achieve everything you wish for and remember to capture the little things in life x

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