Spring in the air

Well ok, it’s raining right now as I type, but wasn’t yesterday just blissfully sunny?! I just adore this time of year….the post Christmas blues and cold weather seem to ebb away as soon as the snow drops appear and little splashes of colour brighten up the garden. I love the thought that warmer and sunnier times are not far away, long dog walks beckon, and for this year of course spring time means our wedding too!

I had a little wander down the garden yesterday, and was delighted to find the lawn is filled with pretty pastel prims, glowing purple crocuses and dainty little snow drops already. The flower beds and pots are also coming to life with darling little tete-tete daffodils starting to bloom and even the tulips are starting to out on a show.

And so to brighten up a rainy grey day, I thought I’d share a few snaps from my wanderings……hope they bring you some Spring time love……

20140223-132112.jpg

20140223-132124.jpg

20140223-132131.jpg

20140223-132138.jpg

20140223-132201.jpg

20140223-132215.jpg

20140223-132153.jpg

20140223-132222.jpg

Ems x

About these ads

Blog Every Day in May: Bank Holiday Fun

“It’s a long weekend! What are your favourite ways to enjoy the extra long weekend off work?”

This is where I start cheating! Those of you who have read my blog before will know that Mondays are usually weekend catch-ups on my site….I nearly always write up what I did over the weekend, and on a Bank Holiday that includes the Monday too! My “Something From The Weekend” posts are actually the one thing I’ve pretty much done since the start…my blog was always meant to be a diary I could come back to in order to remind me of what fun I’ve had, and weekends are where most of the fun happens…especially Bank Holiday long weekends!

Anyway, this won’t be too far away then from my usual Monday posts…..

Saturday morning began with a lovely walk over the common with Adam, Cooper, Adam’s Mum, and her two dogs Newton and Piper. We all came back to our house together afterwards, stopping off at our nearby artisan bakery, Quotidian, for some of their amazing bread on the way….we toasted some of that up for breakfast with marmalade (and a pot of coffee) and then set to work in the garden.

Our garden was a bit of a state when we moved in….it clearly hadn’t had any attention for a while, and certainly not from anyone who knows anything about gardening in an even longer while! It’s pretty big, which is nice, and we have a large patio at the top with borders at each side, then a long lawn. Well, I say ‘lawn’ but actually it’s more like a little woodland….crammed in there are two holly trees, two yews, a very large bay, an ash, an apple tree, a medlar tree, a Victorian tulip tree and another very large tree which nobody had been able to identify! So, where the lawn would be underneath them there is not enough light for grass to grow, so instead it’s full of bluebells, daisies, primroses and other wild things. I quite like it like that and as we have the patio to sit on, I don’t feel like we need a proper lawn really.

Anyway, we’d done some work on one flower bed just after we moved in, so that just needed a tidy up, lots of water and a few more plants adding. The opposite bed however was another matter! We spent hours digging it over, rescuing Japanese Anemones, Snowdrops and Blue Bells from within stacks of knotty Ivy and Ground Elder….the roots were horrific and it was back breaking work, but we managed to clear the upper part of the bed really well and planted lots of nice new things there…I just have to keep an eye out for any vile Ground Elder leaves that pop back up!

We took lunch outside…more of the yummy bread along with cheese and chutney….plus a nice cold shandy to drink! Then after a bit more tidying up, we had to come inside as it started to rain.

After a little rest up from our hard work, we took the hound for his afternoon walk and then headed to one of our favourite pubs, The Plume of Feathers at Little Wymondley. They serve us-friendly meat there, so Adam and I always enjoy their bacon cheese burger, plus of course their amazing chips! We were pretty tired and full after all that, so it was a relaxing evening of telly watching (still on X-Files) for us.

We awoke quite early on Sunday morning, and to the most stunning day. We made the most of it by heading straight out for a lovely long walk….we took the hound through lots of the local farm land, seeing lambs and calves, as well as some buzzrds above! It felt absolutely divine walking in the warmth, and the blue skies made me feel so very happy!

We had a quick breakfast after our walk, and then drove to nearby Royston for a little dog-date…..we’ve been thinking of getting a second pooch for a while now and heard last week about a suitable dog that has just been taken into foster by one of the local rescue charities. We were so excited to meet him, and he certainly didn’t disappoint! He’s a brilliant little Basset Hound cross Staffordshire Bull Terrier (we think!) so he’s really long with little Queen Anne legs, and a big face! He loves being near to people, answers to pretty much any name and adores kisses and cuddles! We’d decided within two minutes that  we wanted him to come and make his forever home with us, and after not much longer I think he’d decided that’s what he wants too! We’ve reserved him, so just now have to wait for our home check, then hopefully he’ll be with us very soon!

After our exciting visit, we popped back home for an iced tea, then went straight back out to catch the last hour of the car boot sale at the market. We found two lovely cake stands to add to my collection, and I got a great cowboy hat for our friends’ Wild West wedding this summer!

We had a yummy lunch of toasted cheese sandwiches, then did a little more work in the garden before taking our afternoon walk…..we took a route I’d not been on before so it was lovely to see some new places, and Cooper loves exploring new territory! There was lots of oil see rape planted across the fields we walked past, and I just adore the vivid yellows against the blue sky in the sun. We also saw several deer (little baby ones too!), lots of pheasants and rabbits of course. I found lots of pretty pheasant feathers for my collection, and Adam picked up an empty pheasant egg for me too! They will all sit safely inside my Victorian Bell Cloches in the dining room!

Adam cooked a scrummy Spaghetti Carbonara for dinner, and we slobbed about in front of the telly after that, before heading very sleepily to bed!

This morning began with a short walk for the hound, then a hearty breakfast of poached duck eggs. After that we preened ourselves a little before our dear friend Hannah arrived, and shortly after that the wonderful Sharon of Sharon Cooper Photography….Sharon very kindly offered to take our engagement photos and so after a chat over an iced tea, we headed out to have our piccies taken!

I always hate having my photograph taken, mainly because I hate photos of myself, but Sharon is great at putting you at ease, and it was so delicious to be outside in the sun that I didn’t mind all too much! We returned to the house and had some shots there, and I was very impressed with how well behaved Cooper was throughout…sitting quietly with his Auntie Hannah whilst waiting for us to have our photos taken, then posing beautifully whilst he joined in some of the shots! I can’t wait to see the shots and will be sure to share them with a more detailed post about the shoot, but in the mean time, Sharon has just sent me this little sneak preview (thank you Sharon!)…

Emily_Adam_Cooper_sharon_cooper

We did a little shopping after a lunch of tuna melts in the garden, then put in a few more hours gardening….I managed to finish digging up the bottom end of the flower bed, we put edging tiles around it (there are stacks of them in our garden as I think the beds used to go all the way down the length of the garden, where the trees are, and we can still see a sunken path edged in the same tiles!) and then attacked it with weed killer to ensure the Ground Elder doesn’t come back. I dislike using such things, but it was so bad at that end of the bed that it was the only way! We’ll get some meadowy flowers growing there soon hopefully, but it’s all starting to look much smarter already!

We walked at the common again after that, and returned home for an early dinner of butternut squash lasagne, which we also yummed up in the balmy garden. And then once we’d cleared up, Adam was up to his office to start an online course he’s signed up for….. so here I’ve sat since, mooching about the internets and blogging the evening away with the french windows open, a warm breeze coming in and all the birds singing just for me!

Such a blissful weekend!

I trust you’ve all had glorious Bank Holiday weekends too?!

Ems x

Blog Every Day in May: Spring is Here!

“What is your favourite thing about Spring? What plans do you have to enjoy it?”

Taken on yesterday morning’s walk, the 1st May!

And by stark contrast, this was taken on this morning’s walk!

 

Spring is probably my favourite season. Well, at least equal to Autumn. At this time of year (or whenever the UK decides to be Spring-like, which seems to vary greatly there days!) I’m always wandering about thinking “what beautiful colours” and “here’s the promise of some warmer months!” And Autumn is much the same really….stunning colours, and the promise of Christmas too!

I suppose then that my favourite thing about Spring really ought to be something unique to this season, and whilst some years I’d say “I get to pack away my thermals and big knits”, at the moment there is no way I’m risking anything as bold as that! Still, it is all feeling very fresh and lush and lovely outdoors (where you have to be to really appreciate this particular season in my opinion) and so perhaps my favourite thing about Spring is that it’s finally nice enough to want to actually spend time outdoors! I love that feeling of wanting to sit out with the sun on my skin (even if it is just the skin on my face…I’ve yet to venture out with arms or legs uncovered!), perhaps even having a meal outdoors, and craving salads and barbecues and long glasses of gin.

And that’s exactly how I’m planning to enjoy the Spring….getting outdoors….walking the hound through our gorgeous local countryside….and drinking gin of course.

Ems x

Blog Every Day in May

I’ve been feeling for a while now that my blog has been a little lacking. I suppose I’m in a bit of a rut with it, as I’ve not really been giving it much of my time, so I’m just posting my regular weekly ‘standards’ and not much else. There’s loads I want to blog about, but I never quite pull my finger out to do it, so I’m very glad to have been given a little push….

I have long since loved the wonderful Rosalilium blog, hosted by the gorgeous Elizabeth. We have stacks in common and I really enjoy her writing. So, when Elizabeth announced she’d be hosting a blog-every-day-challenge for May, I thought that was just the perfect thing to get me back into the swing of things!

Blog Every Day in May  is just what you’d expect from the name….Elizabeth challenges fellow bloggers to post every day for the entire month of May, and has thoughtfully come up with a new topic for every one. It’s super easy to sign up on her blog and then you can just download the scheduled topics from her special Google calendar. I love the idea that the project will build a little community as we all encourage each other and get to know each other through our posts. My fiance Adam is also taking part on his blog, and I look forward to finding lots of new blogs to delve into too!

So, why not take on the challenge yourself?

Ems x

 

 

 

Rainy day post…. memories of sunny walks

Gosh I hate grey skies. It’s not so much the rain as the dismal colour of everything that makes me feel gloomy. Heck, give me a sunny shower to dance about in any day. But give me a sky the colour of an elephant’s behind, and I’m in an instant bad mood.

Still, despite the rather chilly start to the year, I do at least have some fond memories of sunny days out and about. In fact, since getting the hound, I’ve been feeling very ‘back to nature’ and loving filling my lungs with fresh air whilst stomping around muddy fields, and listening to the sky larks sing for me (yes, for me) in the blue sky. Gosh it sounds so far away and romantic right now, so here’s a reminder of what that all looks like, from my stack of iPhone photos taken on my recent walks…..

0b4c7f0ca47b11e2a7d622000a9e298f_7 3c3db988a5fb11e2989522000a9f3c91_7 631ac274a50811e2a22022000a1fc78f_7 1795e222a5fb11e28fa722000a1fbcea_7 8674b00ea7a111e2b9c422000a1f968f_7 26401684a47b11e2b4ee22000a1fbe6d_7 ad5a7638a47a11e2816b22000a9f17df_7 cd9f67dca47a11e2a5b622000a9f1254_7 e0dcdcf89bdd11e2890a22000a1fbc9a_7

 

Wednesday Wants…. Fluoro Neon Shiny Fun

What is it about Spring that makes us go crazy for colours?! Yes, I know all the flowers are blooming in their cheery tones, but wouldn’t it make more sense to get vivid in the winter months when there aren’t so many pretty shades about?

Nevertheless, I’ll embrace the idea with gusto as usual, and what could be more colourful than a full-on palette of super bright fluorescent neons?! As such, I’ve rounded up a few ways to put a vibrant zing in your outfit….

Screen shot 2013-04-24 at 16.04.39

French Sole‘s new neon collection features bright and shiny patents in solid fluorescent blue and yellow, as well as plain whites with neon piping. It’s their neon Henrietta design featuring darling little cut out hearts and contrasting trim though that really has my attention. I’m in love with all the colourways….pink with green trim, green with pink trim and orange with blue trim….and I really can’t decide which ones I’d choose! They are £120 a pair.

Screen shot 2013-04-24 at 16.10.21

I adore the classic Cambridge Satchel Company‘s bags, and have for ages had my eye on their Fluoro collection. Just like all their other satchels, they are made by hand in high quality leather and you can have your initials embossed for a little extra. They start at £115 for the 11″ satchel, but you can get £15 at the checkout with the offer code ‘SPRINGFLO’.

Screen shot 2013-04-24 at 18.18.41

I’ve been thinking for ages that I’d love to design my own Converse….you can create your very own personally designed pair of hi tops or low tops in various styles on their website. I only just found their neon version though, the Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Canvas Neon (£54) and the Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Canvas Neon (£60). You get to choose which colours you want where on the shoe, and you can even add your name or initials at the heel!

What do you think about these crazy shades? Too much? Or just enough?!

Ems x

Something from the weekend…..piggies, parades and blue skies

Isn’t it amazing what a bit of mild weather and blue sky does for the soul?! Like most of Britain, we enjoyed a rather more seasonable weekend, and made the most of it by getting outdoors and, er, lazing about!….

Our morning walk on Saturday was just glorious. We’d been expecting rain, but when we saw the sun out we couldn’t wait to get outside, and took ourselves off on a lovely jaunt about the local countryside. Cooper enjoyed the warmth and getting a nice long walk, whilst Adam and I loved the sun on our skin and the welcome fresh air. We took in a visit to the nearby pig table at Charlton, walked past the summer hunting lodge of Henry VIII and negotiated a couple of horses who happened to be taking up part of the path we took!

We breakfasted back at home after that, and then, wanting to be outside some more, headed out into town for a little shopping. There was a bric-a-brac stall in the square at which I picked up a lovely little vintage typewriter, and later on we also met with the Sikh New Year parade! I’ve never seen the Vaisakhi festival before, but I love that it’s such a big thing in my new town. We met lots of lovely people in the square as the parade approached, and were given sweets and chips and samosas and a yummy spiced hot drink! The parade itself was wonderful….there was a stunning float and lots of people with swords and gorgeous bright costumes….I must learn more about it all as it was so lovely and happy and exciting. What I loved most though was the brilliant music…. local carnival band Toque Tambor played, as well as the amazing Dhol Foundation (who I’ve seen lots before and even hired for a couple of weddings!), and I was still tapping my foot to the beat as we returned home and the parade eventually came around and passed our very own house!

It began to rain shortly after that, so I spent the rest of the afternoon being quite lazy on the sofa, and mainly trying to sort out my new phone. I’ve taken an upgrade but spent HOURS backing up my old handset (I had over 13,000 photos on it!!) which was all rather dull, but needed doing. We had Chinese takeaway for dinner and watched Hitchcock’s Sabotage afterwards, then made our tired ways to bed.

Sunday morning began with another sunny walk, then we had the obligatory root around the car boot sale at the market place. Adam’s Dad joined us and we sat for a while having a coffee with him too….it was so nice to be able to sit OUTSIDE the cafe with our drinks, not least because it meant we could have Cooper with us!

Once home, we didn’t want to head indoors yet as it was just so gloriously sunny….so, we dragged out a couple of chairs and a table, as well as the hound’s bed, and sat out in the garden for a while. We used the time to do a little wedding planning, and also plan some socialising over the next few months.

I made a yummy vegetable broth for supper and we sat and watched X Files on the sofa afterwards….we are now onto Season 7 after a little break to watch Walking Dead and Magic Users Club (as well as New Girl which we are still waiting for the next episode of!). Then it was the usual Sunday evening early night.

Lush weekend! How was yours? Hope you caught some sun and blue skies too!

Ems x

Something from the weekend…..brownies, shopping and a very Austrian Hen Do!

Once again I’m utterly shattered after the weekend! It’s been another busy one, and the horrid weather has taken it out of me too. It was however lots of fun…..

The weekend started early, as my lovely friend Brigitte came up for a little visit. After a cup of coffee and a slice of the amazing Peanut Butter and Chocolate Brownie she’d made for us, we took a good look around the brilliant Antiques and Collectables Market that takes place each Friday in Hitchin. We also had a good snoop around all the charity shops in town, as well as the cook shops, and came away with a good few treasures! I made us a sweet potato and coconut soup for lunch, then after we’d taken Cooper outside into the garden to play with his ball for a while, Brigitte made her way back to London and I set about getting ready for the weekend.

Gifts from the lovely Brigitte!

Hitchin Market Treasure

I had a little lie in on Saturday morning, although as I’ve been getting up earlier since we got Cooper, it was a far more reasonable hour than usual! As it was raining, Cooper and I walked up to meet Adam’s Mum, so that she could show me her rainy day walking route. Despite the wet, I rather enjoyed myself, especially as we decided it was time to let Cooper off his lead for the first time! He was very good, and came back when called (eventually at least!), and had a nice play with some other dogs we met along the way.

Adam made us a yummy omelette for breakfast when I got back, which set me up well for the rest of the day….at midday I made my way to the station to meet up with the girls, and we all headed into Covent Garden for the start of our friend Katie’s Hen Do! We had a great lunch in Belgo’s (pils, moules et frittes, yummy!) then popped just round the corner to Pineapple Dance Studios, where we were to take a dance class together!

The Bride To Be with her goodies!

Yummy lunch

Starting as she means to go on with a chocolate Schnapps

It was amusing to us getting ready in the changing rooms, alongside lots of professional dancers putting on pointe shoes and whatnot….it was awesome to be there though! Once all ready in the studio, our lovely teacher announced that we’d be learning the Gangnam Style routine and the hilarity commenced as we all started learning the moves! It was all pretty bonkers, but great fun watching each other as we all rather inexpertly made our way through the routine, and we were shattered after our hour of exercise!

Pineapple!

Concentrating….

Once we’d all changed into our evening outfits and scoffed a load of jelly beans, we made our way out West to drink cocktails and play Hen Do games. Katie was made to pick out her hubby-to-be Peter’s body parts from a stack of photos of eyes, belly buttons and elbows…..she managed to guess most correctly but got landed with a couple of forfeits for the ones she didn’t (and I don’t think she ever completed them, tut tut!). Then there was a quiz of questions which Peter had been made to answer already, and Katie had to guess what he had answered….there was lots of giggling and ah-ing as we heard some rather silly and soppy answers!

Next it was off for dinner at the Tiroler Hut, a fabulous Austrian restaurant and music venue at Bayswater. Katie’s sisters had dressed her up in a wonderfully silly Austrian style outfit, including ridiculous blonde plaited wig, and we all joined in the silliness by plaiting our hair into pigtails. After a delicious dinner (Ungarische Krautroulade, cheese Fondue and Kaiserschmarrn for me!) the entertainment began, and we were soon rolling around with laughter watching Katie join in with the cow bell playing! There was lots of singing along to tunes from Sound of Music, as well as dancing to the birdie song and the okey cokey! It was a brilliant night of fun (I’d VERY much recommend a night out at the Tiroler Hut!), and I was absolutely shattered as we journeyed home…..I wasn’t back at the house until 2:30 and was delighted to hear our hound guarding the place as he barked and bounded downstairs before realising it was me and coming for a cuddle before he settled back down on his bed!

Despite the late night, I still managed to get up at a far more reasonable hour than most Sundays, and we headed off to Oughton Head Common for a nice long walk. The cold morning woke me up in no time, although I was glad I’d taken along another bit of Brigitte’s brownie to eat along the way, as I was in need of calories! It was gorgeous to see all of the trees starting to sprout little bits of green, and to find some blossom finally blooming!

Spring springing

After heading home for a quick breakfast, we dropped the hound off with Adam’s Mum, and went over to Biggleswade with Adam’s Dad to a little antiques fair. It takes place there at the Weatherly Centre every month and is clearly very popular as it was packed with stalls and fellow shoppers. I saw far too many treasures I wanted to bring home with me, and despite being fairly good, I couldn’t resist buying a very delicate string of Art Deco pearls, as well as a 1930s necklace which will be kept as ‘special’ for my wedding outfit!

Antiques fair

We picked up the hound and then stopped into our local, The Half Moon, for a half pint (Belly Dancer for me, Dog Dancer for Adam!). It was so lovely to take him there for the first time and he soon made himself at home!

Pub pooch

The rest of the evening was spent slobbing about and cooking up a big fry-up for supper….I felt the treat was well deserved (and needed!), as was the early night I got (asleep by 9:30!).

Ems x

It’s snowing again…. Thank goodness for Heat Holders!

Way back a hundred years ago at the start of winter, I shared some tips and favourite products to help you through the seasonal chill. I raved on about Heat Holders‘ wonderful thermal socks, and as a result the lovely people there sent me a whole load of their other products to try out! I was delighted to receive two big parcels full of their super-warm treasures, many of which I had very much wanted to try out already!

I’ve been putting the various things through their paces ever since….during our several cold snaps here in the UK, whilst on my trip to Vienna, and now that it’s snowing again….in honesty though I’ve hardly gone a day without wearing the lot! I have to say, I’ve been delighted with each and every product I was sent, and truly impressed by how warm they’ve kept me. I have totally rubbish circulation and really struggle to keep warm from September onwards, especially my hands and feet…..but the Heat Holders gloves, socks, base layers and hat have kept me cosy and warm, and I wouldn’t be without them now!

Also known as ‘The Ultimate Thermal Sock’, these beauties are for us hard-core coldies…. they have a tog rating of 2.3 (I personally find it impressive simply that they *have* a tog rating!) and come in Ladies, Gents and Kids sizes, as well as in longer versions and wellie or skiing options. They also come in various colours, and I personally would recommend having a few pairs! They’re a bargainous £6 for the Ladies original socks, and worth every penny. One word of warning though….they are super thick and you may struggle to get them into some shoes and boots, but their snuggliness is worth the effort of putting on a big pair of boots over them.

The Heat Holders gloves and hat are just as thick and snuggly as the socks, so you won’t be using your smart phone or keeping you posh hair-do neat whilst wearing them, but again they offer unparallelled warmth. These boast a tog rating of 2.7 and 2.9 respectively, and have kept the chill off even my fingers and ears! They’re both available in bright pink and black at £10.

It may still seem a bit much to be wearing thermal underwear so religiously, but this Spring thing just isn’t happening fast enough and I sure need the extra layers! The Heat Holders underwear is just brilliant, and I’m so glad I’ve found it. The long sleeved vest and leggings have been a God send to wear underneath every outfit….they are really quite fine so don’t bulk out what I’m wearing, whilst they still offer 0.39 togs of warmth. They have a soft brushed inner which traps extra air next to your skin to keep you warm, whilst the cotton blend ensures you don’t get hot and bothered at the same time. They are both just £15 a pair.
Perhaps the best find though has been the tights and leggings. These are 0.63 togs and finished to look like regular opaque tights and leggings, so they’re ideal to wear on their own as outer wear (or even on top of each other in my case!). They have super soft brushed linings to lock in the warmth, whilst they’re still breathable and comfortable enough to wear all the time. I’m usually incredibly fussy about my tights and leggings becuase I so hate when they wrinkle around the ankles and when the waist band slouches down….but these are about the best tights and leggings I’ve ever owned. The waist band is strong enough to keep everything up, whilst not irritating my skin or cutting me in two, and the legs are stretchy enough to fit perfectly without ever wrinkling. I’ve happily worn the tights into the office, and even had the leggings over the tights when it’s been really cold. They have bobbled a bit after washing, but their matte black finish has remained smart enough to wear with little dresses and heels. What’s more is that they are ridiculously good value….the leggings and tights are just £8 a piece and last really well (I’ve caught them on extremely vicious thorn bushes and they show no signs of even a pluck, let alone a ladder!) so definitely a worthy investment!

You can currently buy Heat Holders online, directly from Sock Shop, but I have been noticing more and more stockists locally….our fab little hardware store in Hitchin, Brookers, sells the socks, as do some of the garden centres. However, shipping to UK addresses from Sock Shop online is only £1.95 for orders up to £10, and is free on orders of £30 or more….so I’d buy one of each if I didn’t already have them!

Ems x

Something from the weekend…. a rather special birthday and a pretty big surprise!

What a fun weekend we had!

Friday was Adam’s Mum’s 70th Birthday, for which we’d been planning a surprise party for weeks! I set about readying the house and baking for the celebrations on Friday afternoon, before heading over to see the birthday girl in the evening. We shared a bottle to toast, and gave her the gift we’d made….Adam had scanned and photo-shopped an old photo of him and his brothers, getting rid of the faded colours and imperfections to make a good-as-new photo! Liz loved it, as well as the other stacks of gifts she’d received from her friends!

20130305-103650.jpg

Rather successful Lemon Drizzle Cake!

On Saturday morning we were busy from early on, making salads and quiches and whatnot, and putting up balloons! We were only just about ready when the doorbell rang for the first guests….we’d asked everyone to arrive at 2pm so that Adam’s Dad could bring Liz round at half past and she wouldn’t spot anyone coming in! We are so used to our friends being late that it was quite the surprise to have everyone arrive bang on time!

20130305-103844.jpg

Adam brought back amazing breakfast pastries from his trip to Quotidian for the bread

20130305-103905.jpg

Balloons!!

Liz arrived right on time too with the dogs….they knew right away in fact that something was going on, but Liz was thoroughly shocked when I opened the living room door to reveal 20 of her friends! She’d thought she was coming round for a quiet afternoon tea with just Adam and I so there was quite a lot of swearing when she realised we’d all plotted together to surprise her! She was delighted though to see all her friends together, and I certainly loved having the house full of happy chatter!

20130305-104002.jpg

Liz, Adam and Me (and what was left of the spread by cake cutting time!)

We were exhausted by the time the last guests had left and we’d tidied up from the feast we’d prepared, so we skulked off to bed at a ridiculously early hour of 7pm to watch American Horror Story (we’re now on Season 2: Asylum) and eat left overs from a sort of bed-buffet tray!

20130305-104037.jpg

Newton got the post-party blues

Sunday started with the traditional and much-needed lie in, before we headed out to the market for the weekly car boot sale. I relished the fact that as I’ve sold quite a few bits from my new vintage shop on Etsy, I could allow myself to buy up lots of new treasure! We certainly left the market with a good haul, and rewarded ourselves with a brunch of coffee and pancakes at the super-quaint Halseys Deli and Tea Rooms.

20130305-104120.jpg

The car boot sale haul!

After that we made our way up to Adam’s parents cottage to help his Mum use the bread maker she’d received as a birthday gift from her friends. I’ve not used one for many years, and they seem to have developed and improved a lot, so I was very impressed with how easy it was to prepare a simple wholemeal loaf. We left it to bake whilst we took a walk around the nearby Priory grounds to see all the snowdrops in bloom. They’re so enchanting scattered about the woods, and it’s just a shame that they don’t photograph very well…I find it impossible to show how pretty they are and get the white balance right!

20130305-104140.jpg

Seriously yummy home-baked bread

Once back, we took out the now baked bread and were SO impressed with how it came out….it’s not at all like the bread maker bread I’ve tried before (which I always found a bit too solid) and is just deliciously light and fluffy! We tested some just with butter and loved it! We had an early supper, and another very early night….yumming up scones with jam and clotted cream in bed whilst watching more American Horror Story (it’s SO much better than the first season and we’re quite hooked!).

20130305-104101.jpg

Naughty supper in bed!

How was your weekend?

Ems x