A new year and good intentions {no more chocolate for breakfast}

Happy, happy new year! Although — as we’re exactly two weeks into January — is it appropriate to say happy new year still?! It’s been a slow start for me. I’ve been taking my time and easing myself into 2018 gently. There’s no rush after all. We’ve got 12 (well, 11 and a half) shiny new months months rolling out ahead of us. By now I’ve usually written my resolutions and goals —  and am focussing on the task in hand — but this year I haven’t felt the urgency to get them down on paper just yet. I feel as though I need to have a proper think and take my time. We’ve only *just* started back in the regular routine again. The boys are back at school and I started back to work last week too. The Christmas shimmer and shine has been packed away for another year and normal eating habits have resumed. No more mountains of cheese at suppertime or chocolate for breakfast. Anyone else do that? We seem to have had a veritable cheese mountain in our fridge; that I can’t leave alone for want of trying. And, equally, my breakfast — on more than… Read More

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
{And why Lapland UK is better with friends}

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, Every creature was stirring, As they’d all been kept awake by two very excited little twin boys. OK — I know that the old rhyme didn’t go *quite* like that but that is definitely what’s been happening in our home this evening. I’ve always loved Christmas — and have had a childlike fascination for all the myth and legend surrounding it. Everything from the birth of Jesus to Father Christmas. I love it all. But the festive season kind of takes on a different slant when you have children. And since we’ve had the twins, we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy Christmas through their eyes too. For me, the whole of December means a glorious excuse to spend time with friends and family. The lead up to Christmas presents golden opportunities to do fun things. Weekends are (very well) spent, getting into the festive spirit. Fetching the tree is always a highlight; and something that I’ve loved since I was a small child. But since my boy and I have been together, it’s even more of a tradition. I’d go as far as to say that it’s my favourite day of… Read More

Easy No Bake Malteser Cheesecake {You’re Welcome}

What will be on your Christmas pudding menu this year? Sherry trifle? Traditional Christmas pud? I can tell you that both of those will be on ours — along with this little beauty. A super easy no bake Malteser Cheesecake. Nom. I made it a couple of week’s ago for a festive get-together with friends and it’s the perfect, show-stopping finish to a meal. Or just enjoyed on your it’s own. {With a Christmas film on the box and a blanket wrapped around your legs maybe.} Aaah lovely… Sorry — I appear to have drifted off there for a moment — back in the room now. Here’s the recipe. How To Make Easy No Bake Malteser Cheesecake You will need: For the base — 300g chocolate covered biscuits (I used Cadbury Wheaties) 75g butter 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (if you’re not keen on coconut, replace this with another 25g of butter — if you like coconut, you will love this) For the cheesecake topping — 540g Philadelphia (or similar cream cheese). I used one 180g pack of full fat and two 180g packs of Light Philadelphia. If you’re not calorie counting, go the whole hog and use all full fat!… Read More

White Shirts, Diamonds and Ironing
{Breville DiamondXpress Review}

The classic white shirt; a perennial favourite; worn by men and women up and down the country. A quintessential, fashion basic that never seems to date or go out of style. Beautifully simple for everyday office-wear. But pair it with diamonds — and a red lip —and voila — you’re channelling Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. But whilst a crisp, cotton shirt is a lovely thing to wear, this wardrobe staple requires substantial maintenance to keep it looking good. i.e — Ironing*     *This word should be accompanied by the music to Hitchcock’s Psycho Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that ironing is just not my bag. I am rubbish at it. Handy, then, that my husband is an ironing wizard. He and I naturally fell into our household chores fairly early on in our relationship. And — given the fact we’ve been together for 22 years next May — that’s a substantial amount of time to perfect our techniques. I’ve always done the cleaning; he has always been on food and beverage detail. I do like to make cakes and sweet things but I am not wholly keen on cooking savoury food. Lucky for me that Mr D is… Read More

Is it a bird, is it a plane? {GLTC Festival Van / Play Kitchen Review}

The first week of December has given us a bitter wind and the clearest, bluest skies. As you know, I’m not keen on the short dark days but I make an exception for the final month of the year. I love December. From the very first day — to the very last — it’s a month full of excitement and anticipation. The lead up to Christmas is usually a  happy one for me. The rituals of advent; calendar opening, present buying and planning for the big day are things that I relish. I’m definitely a Christmas fairy — rather than a Grinch. Talking of Christmas, if you’re still looking for a present to wow the little people in your life — be it your children or even your grandkids — I wanted to share my number one best present idea with you. I give you — drum-roll please — the Festival Food Van from GLTC. Ta-daaah! A play kitchen with a difference; one to keep little ones amused all year round (certainly not just for Christmas). This clever bit of kit is a master of disguise. Is it a van? Or a play kitchen? Well. It’s both. And — depending on how… Read More

The Best Eggless Pancake Recipe EVER {Featuring Nutella}

When you have a child with an egg allergy, you spend a lot of time googling things like — ‘How to make egg free Royal Icing‘ and  ‘What is the best eggless pancake recipe EVER?’. And so on. It’s all a bit daunting to begin with but eventually you realise that there are some fabulous ‘free-from’ recipes out there, that you can modify to suit your family’s taste buds. My alternative for egg free icing has been such a hit and I’m happy to say that the eggless pancake recipe — that we’ve perfected over the last few years — is now a firm, family favourite too. We make them on pancake day, high days and holidays; for special celebratory breakfasts and on Christmas morning. There’s something very comforting about creating a big stack of fluffy pancakes, in the knowledge that the entire family will dig in and share them. There have been lots of variations on a theme; lemon and sugar (for me particularly — I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to pancake toppings). Honey and banana is one that the twins particularly like and my big (man-shaped) boy prefers his with maple syrup and bacon.… Read More

All Things Bright & Beautiful {Bosinver Farm Cottages}

When you think of Cornish holiday cottages, what’s the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to decor? Blue.   Whitewashed wood.   Seaside themed accessories. Certainly not punchy brights, designer prints and funky furniture then? No. Me either. I must admit, they certainly wouldn’t be top of my ‘Cornish cottage decor’ list. So when we went to Bosinver Farm Cottages back in May, I was really delighted to find something a little different from the norm. There are twenty cottages at Bosinver and none of them fit the stereotypical ‘coastal holiday cottage’ mold. They’re all individually decorated — and brimming with colour and pattern. Bright and Beautiful Decor It’s lovely to go somewhere where the decor has been so carefully curated. Very often I feel that holiday cottages rely on the beauty of their surroundings; and the interiors are often a little bit basic or tired. They’re so often just ‘somewhere just to rest your head’ — rather than a place to actually spend time in and really enjoy. Bosinver Farm Cottages are all so homely. The decor is definitely not just an afterthought. I loved how some of the bedrooms had sweet little dolls sitting on the… Read More

Dreaming of Camp Bestival, Cocktails and Summer
{How to make the perfect Mojito}

Winter has us well and truly in it’s grips. It snowed here yesterday morning! Funnily enough, it snowed in November in the very first year we moved into this village too. Proper snow. Big fat flakes that fell swiftly; then lay on the cold dry ground, like a blanket. I remember feeling so excited. We were in a rural village — we were snowed in — and for the first time ever, we had a car that could actually cope with the extreme conditions (should we desperately need more supplies). We’d lived in the south for so long and had never — in all that time — had proper snow. It felt like such a treat for my boy to be given a couple of ‘snow days’ off work and it was lovely to cosy up indoors, with the snow falling silently outside. We had no children back then — it was just me and him — and I relished any days that he was at home, midweek. But anyway — sorry — I’ve massively gone off on a tangent!! Instead of reminiscing about days gone by, I actually wanted to share the news I recieved on Friday. We have… Read More