Friday, 1 April 2016

April Showers


Spring has sprung. Warm sunshine and blue skies on at least two days prove it. Today however was a washout. Cold, windy with endless pelting rain. The wood burner warmed us up from early morning and the little ones and I planned some April fun.

This month we're celebrating the birthdays of our eldest and littlest. We're hoping to see a carpet of blue in the bluebell woods. We're planning to answer the call of the sea. We're hoping to enjoy a picnic on the lough shore.

We've crossed our fingers that the sun will shine and that the rain will disappear, so we can enjoy these long days of spring. 

What about you, what are your April plans? 
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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Brownies for my Loves


Valentine's Day is celebrated quietly in our home. A card for my love, a bunch of tulips for me and some home baked treats for our little loves.

On Saturday, I baked brownies. The most indulgent, fudgiest brownies you can imagine. They are so delicious it would be a crime not to share the recipe with you.

Brownies (makes 16)

Ingredients

170g butter
200g caster sugar
100g soft dark brown sugar
100g cocoa powder
50g flour
1tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 large eggs

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a 20x20cm deep baking tin. 

Melt the butter over a medium heat until it turns golden brown. Leave aside to cool slightly. Beat the two sugars and the eggs together. Add the vanilla extract and melted butter and beat until they form a smooth batter.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and salt a little at a time and fold in gently. The ingredients will gradually come together into a thick mixture. 

Fill the prepared cake tin with the brownie mix. Put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Test with a skewer. There should be a few crumbs on the skewer when they are ready. Be careful not to overbake or they will lose their chewy texture. Allow to cool on a rack. When cool, cut into 16 squares and enjoy.

Joining in with the #abakefortheweekend and #createmakeshare hashtags.
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Sunday, 14 February 2016

late winter days






This morning we were awakened by sunshine streaming through our bedroom windows. An unusual occurrence this wet, grey and stormy winter. An opportunity to get outdoors. One we didn't want to miss. So we took off exploring, searching for signs of spring. We were perhaps a little eager, as this far north it seems everything is a little slow in stirring from the long sleep of winter.

But, we happily found signs that spring may well be on its way and that these precious late winter days deserve to be savoured too. It was cold and bright, and the sun shone warm on occasion. We listened to birdsong and marvelled at the tiny wonders of nature. Beautiful blue skies and wispy clouds were a pretty backdrop to the bare branches just beginning to bud. And we discovered a carpet of snowdrops in full bloom. 

Tomorrow we're hoping to go adventuring again. This time to the coast. Fingers crossed we wake up to sunshine streaming through the windows again.
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Sunday, 17 January 2016

simple pleasures




Just a few of the simple things making me smile lately. 

: :     Bright blue skies and birds singing.
: :     Her joie de vivre. Her feet never seem to touch the ground.
: :     Top knot. The current style of choice. So perfectly pretty.

Joy can be found everyday if we just take a moment to look around and find it. I know January can be a struggle sometimes, but just appreciating fleeting moments and simple pleasures might help shorten this long winter month.

So what's making you smile lately? I'd love to know.
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Sunday, 10 January 2016

beginnings


So 2016 is already under way. Like last year I have some good intentions to live by. Resolutions don't feature in my welcoming of the new year. I simply don't enjoy the pressure. 

Last year, I intended to live simply, take time to slow down and enjoy the everyday. To enjoy special moments and simple pleasures. And I'm pleased to say I had a lot of fun doing just that. 

This year, I want to continue exploring, learning and adventuring. Enjoying experiences and availing of opportunities as they arise. 

A lyric from a song by Kacey Musgraves has been playing around and around in my head recently. 'Follow your arrow, wherever it points.' This year I will be doing exactly that. I'm excited to see where it will lead me. 

Wishing you all a wonderful 2016 and thank you for stopping by to read my ramblings. I really appreciate your company. 
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Thursday, 24 December 2015

life lately and a christmas wish






Life lately has been all about festive making, foraging, woodland walks, decking the halls, celebrating solstice and enjoying the welcome glimpses of sunshine.

The little ones finished school last Friday for the holidays. We have been enjoying a slow build up to the big day. Tonight though, excitement levels are considerably higher. In fact, I think there is a real danger someone may spontaneously combust. Reindeer food has been liberally sprinkled on the lawn to guide Santa on his way and three stockings are hanging by the stairs. All that's left to do, is to get snuggled into bed for a Christmas bedtime story. 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas full of love and laughter.
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Sunday, 13 December 2015

first snow






This Saturday morning, we were awakened by excited squeals of pure delight. "Mammy, Mammy, snow! Its snowed! Daddy, look its snowed." Our little ones were so excited. Noses pressed against the windows as they marvelled at the winter wonderland outside. They couldn't wait to get out into the snow to play. 

After wrapping up warm they raced out into their winter playground. Little snowmen were built, snowballs were thrown and snow angels were made. They stayed outside until they couldn't stand the cold any longer. 

Hot chocolate beside the stove, warmed tingling fingers and toes. The snow is now all but gone. Minus temperatures meant frost this morning, but milder temperatures are forecast for the week ahead. Hopefully the snow will return again and another fun day will be on the cards. 
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