Happy weekendy stuff

I woke up on Friday morning and looked out of the window to see a grey, rainy and generally yucky day outside. But something was telling me I needed to get out there. Like I needed to breath in big lungfulls of damp, warm, fresh air. So after breakfast that’s exactly what we did. I needed to go to the shops for a few baking and bbq bits so with coats and rain-covers, we headed off by foot instead of the car. It felt good. It was so peaceful and still, the rain had stopped but everywhere underfoot was wet. I absolutely love the smell you get after the rains have been. A real earthy, leafy smell. The smell of the outdoors and nature. It’s only about a twenty minute walk to our closest supermarket, and a rather nice walk it is too.

  
I’m sure we’ll be paying many visits to these fields with Baby J and a ball.

  
It was spookily quiet out, not another soul to be seen.

After we’d been to the shops we walked back the same way, admiring the gorgeous colours sprouting from the old walls.

  
I’ve been wanting to have a go at making elderflower cordial, so have been on the lookout for elderflower growing in the hedgerows. I’m not 100% sure what I’m looking for really. I saw this on our way home but need to do a bit more research. If anyone out there knows if this is the right stuff, do let me know!

 
Once home and Baby J tucked up in bed, I made this yummy cake ready for my step-sons 13th birthday.

  
Not bad for a packet mix. Tasted good and got brownie points for adding mini Oreos & chocolate fingers. We finished the day with another bbq as the weather had been kind for the rest of the afternoon.

Saturday morning was glorious. Look at that blue sky …

  
We were able to eat breakfast, lunch & tea outside which was lovely. 

  It was very warm, and I managed to get a wee bit sunburnt, oops! I sat outdoors and did one of my favourite summertime things, podding peas! I remember helping my nan do it when I was a little girl & have loved it ever since.

  
Look at those perfect peas ready to be popped from their pod!

  
It’s a wonder that so many made it into the bowl. They’re so scrummy to eat straight from the pod. A lovely way to spend half an hour, with a little magazine time of course. August’s issue landed on my doormat this morning, can you believe it!! I’ve never got why they’re so ahead.

Late afternoon we decided to bundle everyone into the car, dogs and all, and head ten minutes to the beach. It was so nice, very breezy, but not too many people about. Perfect for the dogs to have a good run & Baby J to have his first proper paddle. He loved it!

   
 

He cried when we had to leave, aw, I did feel bad. We’ll definitely go back soon and for longer.

Sunday morning was forecast for heavy rain, but it wasn’t actually too bad. So me, hubby, baby j & the dogs piled back in the car and went off to west kirby marina for a walk. It was still tough to get parked even with the weather.

   
  

 

It is a good place to come for a walk, just the right length. It takes about 30-40 minutes to get around the whole lake. You can see right across to Wales from here, it’s an amazing sight.

   
   

Well that’s it for my tales for now. I hope you enjoy taking a little peek into my life and out & about on my mini travels. I know I like having this blog to be able to look back on. I really will be doing some crafting this week too so I’ll be back soon to tell you all about that and show you my fantabulous new kitchen too. 

Xxx

Teeny weeny egg

Just a really quick post, I had to show you this teeny tiny egg that I collected from the chicken coop this afternoon.

  
It’s so small, we’ve never had one anywhere near that size before.

This is it against one of our large eggs..

  
I’ve no idea which one of our chickens might have laid it! Isn’t it extremely cute though?

Here’s our size range..

  
Well, I had to see inside……

  
Aw! It’s even got a baby yolk!!

Cuteness overload xxx

Secret Gardens 2015

Well, the day finally arrived that we’d been preparing for, for what seemed like ages. The Secret Gardens of Oxton 2015! This event has been going for 14 years now and is a huge deal. It’s even won tourism awards in the area. The idea is that around 25 gardens in the village, of all shapes and sizes, open their gates to the general public for the day, allowing people to have a nosey around your garden. Money is raised mainly by ticket sales, £6 in advance or £8 on the day.  There’s lots of entertainment going on around the village including carousels, craft stalls, musicians and punch & judy. There are hundreds of volunteers that help run the event and all money raised goes to local charities. My hubby has been an absolute star, working tirelessly getting the garden looking amazing. I’m very proud of him and our beautiful garden.

Now believe it or not, I have been quite reserved in my photo taking. Just bear with me, I hope you enjoy visiting our little garden…

   
                       

This herb ladder was quite a talking point on the day. Lots of people off to dig out their old wooden ladders and a paintbrush!

  
We had a good few thousand visitors this year, the most so far we think.

   
     

It was quite bizarre having to wait for complete strangers to come past before I could move around my own garden. They all had such lovely things to say about it though, it was really nice to hear all the hard work has paid off.

We had the great pleasure of live music in our garden too, courtesy of my friends dad. He was amazing, and created a real ambience.

   
 

The chickens were on top form too. They were one of the most talked about things all day!

 
Here’s a closer look at some of our pretty plants. 

   
           

All in all it was a very successful day, which we rounded off with our first BBQ of the year. And now we have our garden back to enjoy for ourselves.

Happy gardening! Xx

Blanket love

I haven’t touched a crochet hook in almost 3 weeks and I’m starting to get withdrawal symptoms. The mess and disruption of home at the moment hasn’t really been conducive with crafting but I do miss it so. Hopefully next week, normal routine can resume along with some regular crafty time slotted in.

I’ve decided to re-ignite my passion for this project…

  
Do you remember when I started it a good few months ago now? It’s been on the back burner far too long. I think the enormity of it maybe scared me off a little. It is going to take me ages to complete but what a perfect summer project. Here, in my lovely Cath Kidston knitting tin, is where the flowers so far have been safely stashed, awaiting hundreds more to grow with them..

  
I’m very excited to get cracking on this again, think I’d better read the pattern again to refresh myself.

Meanwhile, my first ever blanket made for Baby J is, I’m delighted to say, getting lots of love.

   
 

He cuddles up with it when he has his last feed at night, then it goes to bed with him. He also grabs it when he comes into mummy and daddy’s bed for morning snuggles. He’s never really been clingy to any possessions before but this seems to be a comfort to him. You don’t know how happy that makes me. It really does fill me with joy that something I made for him is well loved and used. 

Happy hooking xxx

Allium Amore

Hello, I hope you’ve had a good weekend? We’ve been out all day today in Birmingham at the BBC Gardeners World Live exhibition. We had a great but exhausting time. We covered an awful lot of ground and saw some amazing things, but these HAVE to be my favourites…..

   
 

Aren’t they just stunning? This next one reminds me of fireworks exploding.

   
  

 

They’re like beautiful Pom poms bobbing about.

   
   

Plenty more where these came from…

   
   

I was going to apologise for the amount of pictures but then thought, no! I’m not sorry, these are gorgeous. Who wouldn’t want to look at these??

   
   

I was being very restrained with my picture taking all day until we came across the Alliums. In fact I hadn’t taken a single photo, then it all went a bit downhill. They’re such amazing, structural plants. They almost don’t look real they’re that perfect.

I was going to leave it there then I came across another absolute favourite …

   
   

I adore hydrangeas, they make such a statement I think. I have half a dozen of last years flowers dried and in vases around the house. Their colour is so me, that vintage greeny, pinky shade. Lovely. 

   

 

Those last ones look like they’re made of paper. So very delicate.

We bought a lovely selection of plants there, we hadn’t intended to but they just finish off our garden perfectly, ready for our Secret Gardens event next weekend. Of course, that included an Allium or three…

  

The chaos before the calm

Hello! I just thought I’d pop into blog land for a bit as I’ve not been here much lately. Things are very messy here at the moment. We’ve been having a new kitchen fitted and it’s gone from being one week into almost two! What with wonky walls, ancient fuse boards and everything else that comes with owning an old house it’s been quite a tricky one for our builders. But the end is near, I can just see that little LED light at the end of the long tunnel that is home improvement. I just need my house back now, and my freedom to be able to go out. The four walls of my living room, lovely as they are, are becoming a bit of a prison now and I want to escape. Escape outdoors where the sun is shining and the air is fresh.

 
We did manage to have our first breakfast Al Fresco the other morning which was wonderful. Almost feels like you’re on holiday.  Long may this glorious weather last, so I can get out and enjoy it.

I’ll be back soon, when the builders have gone, my home is looking more beautiful and calm has been restored. Xxx

It’s a……cushion!

Hello! I’ve been beavering away here with my granny squares, you know, the ones that I wasn’t too sure what they’d grow up to be? Sometimes it’s been hard to see any progress what with baby J trying to get in on the action.

   
 

After I’d finished four whole squares I put them up against each other and decided they were definitely destined to be a nice, cosy cushion which would be lovely in my bedroom. It also worked out well that there was just enough cream wool to complete the job.

  
I wanted both sides of the cushion to be the same so as I knew exactly what I was doing I set to, making up these little beauties.

  
They’re so cute! I could quite happily have a little basket of these just sitting next to me all the time, no need for them to become anything, just be little baby granny squares, to have and to hold. However, these babies were growing up and becoming a cushion, so I gave them all a round of cream.

  
I do love to see them all stacked up in a neat pile. Just those dreaded ends to contend with.

Now at the moment, we’re in the middle of having a brand new kitchen fitted. I’m super excited about this and will tell you all about it soon. But it’s very chaotic having our kitchen all packed up, food in boxes in the living room and having to keep ourselves confined to one room. During the day the dogs have to be kept in there with us too so they don’t get under people’s feet and it’s been very restricting as to what I can do. I decided crochet was the only option so today’s achievements were great.

  
Eight lovely squares, made with love.

  
All crocheted together and encompassing a plump, feather, squishy cushion pad. But it needed something else..

  
A nice scalloped edging. And a snoring dog by my feet.

   
     

I’m really pleased with this and surprised at how quick it all came together in the end. Now, what’s next??! xxx