Wednesday, 23 July 2014


I made a picnic loaf this week for the school picnic, it's so simple to make and very tasty. You basically buy or make a round loaf, cut a lid at the top and then scoop out all the bread inside (which you can then use for breadcrumbs which can be frozen if not used straight away). 

To fill mine I roast aubergine, peppers and courgette in the oven at 180 degrees for half an hour, with a generous amount of olive oil and garlic. 

Then I layer inside the loaf with rocket leaves, tomato, basil and mozerella cheese. Squashing it firmly down inside.

finally adding the roast vegetables on top and gently but firmly pressing down the lid on top. You can fill it with whatever takes your fancy, even stews in winter. You then slice it up to serve and you should see all your layers as you cut generous wedges! Simple, easy and delicious, perfect for a summer picnic.


My eldest was born at the height of a summer heat wave, much like the one we're having at the moment. The local fields we full of barley ready for an early harvest, where swifts screeched across the sky and beautiful blue cornflowers were in bloom. He wasn't in a hurry to come into the world, but he has been in a hurry ever since. His energy, enthusiasm, kindness and love inspire me and wear me out in equal measure but he has taught me so much. Happy birthday my eldest son x 

We woke him up at 7.22 am in the morning with a breakfast of pancakes, drizzled with maple syrup.  

Life has been so hectic recently I hardly had any time to go shopping, luckily the lovely Sarah Benton, of the Lion Street Store swung into action after I had admired some of her posts on Instagram! She photographed a picture of all the fab things in her shop that would appeal to an eleven year old boy, so I could easily choose! The presents arrived wrapped in really cool wrapping paper (below). Thank you Sarah, he loved the gifts they were perfect and it was a great way to go shopping!

The little one secretly stole the sweets and was caught eating them behind the flowers! He is turning into such a monkey.

This year the boy didn't want a birthday cake, instead he chose a pile of brownies, so the day before the younger boys and I made a mountain of 36 brownies!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Ever since my eldest started school I have looked forward to the summer holidays and can't wait for school to finish. This year, however, my eldest has left primary school and it feels like such a big step from the local village school to the big town secondary school five miles away that I haven't wanted the school year to end. He's loved primary school, and I've loved being part of his school life; volunteering when I can, helping with school trips and lifts to sporting events and watching him and his younger brother grow into such clever little chaps.

Big school feels like leaving the age of innocence behind as I won't be able to pop in to chat to his teacher, in fact I probably won't be able to keep up with which teacher he has for what! Big school feels quite daunting and whilst I am conscious of not saying any of this out loud so he too may worry, I am sure that wrapped up in his enthusiasm there are butterflies. One things for sure is that I need to make this a summer to remember and spend time together doing fun things.

Saturday, 19 July 2014


It wasn't a good idea to attempt to make forty elderflower jellies on the hottest day of the year!  

It was the year 6 leavers' party this week, and despite wonderful parties with water slides and leavers' assemblies at school, I have a heavy heart as change is coming. After this summer my eldest child will start 'big school' and the wheels of change are turning faster than I can keep up with, leaving me feeling quite emotional. Sometimes I wish I could press the pause button! 

Sunday, 13 July 2014


I thought I'd share with you my current favourite Instagrammers that I follow. You may already know that I'm shamelessly addicted to Instagram and most of my pictures that I use here are taken using the Instagram app. So here's my top 10 summer Instagrammers to follow (in no particular order and having left out many others!);

1. Courtney Adamo @courtneybabyccino 
I discovered Courtney, when she was a guest at the Blogtacular conference a few months ago and am addicted to her pictures of her four gorgeous children and equally gorgeous house, how I wish mine were that tidy!

2. Jo Hanlon-Moores @johanlonmoores
I am proud to call Jo a friend, she is the most beautiful soul and shares pictures of nature and her canine companions often on their early morning walks together. Hers are often the first pictures I see in the morning and are the perfect way to start the day.

3. Andrea @littlebuckles
Having moved from Britain to France, Andrea is living the life many of us dream about. Her pictures are of her French life with three gorgeous children, I dare you not to be enchanted!

4. Artemis Russell @junkaholique
Having followed Artemis' blog for a few years it was a natural progression to follow her adventures on Instagram. She blogs about her jewellry business, collecting vintage wares and camping with her very gorgeous family. 

5. Sarah Benton @lionstreetstore
Owner of the Lion Street Store in Rye, Sarah Benton is a stylist extraordinaire! Her vignettes of her home, store and holiday apartment are a masterclass in styling and my dream is for her to come and wave her magic wand over my home. 

6. Michelle Crawford @hugoandelsa
Another Instagrammer that I've followed in the land of blog for many years is Michelle. She lives in Tasmania and I love how our seasons are opposite, as we're getting ready for spring, she is hunkering down for autumn. Her food styling is beautiful as is her home.

7. Leonie Wise @leoniewise_
Another Instagrammer I'm delighted to call a friend. Leonie has recently moved back home, to an island in New Zealand, one day I will join her on one of her morning swims in the sea.

8. Sian Tucker @coldatnight
Sian is owner of Fforest in West Wales and shares glimpses of the campsite, weddings at Fforest and her own daily adventures. I love the beaches, enamel teapots, blankets, flowers in jars and home grown food as well as glimpses of the cutest little pub ever!

9. Rachelle @tedandagnes
Followers of Ted and Agnes are rewarded with a patchwork of colour from Rachelle's many makes, from lovely clothes to lovely lunches. Her studio alone will make you most envious!

10. Laura @circleofpines
I love Laura's table shots of her bread making adventures and weekly cake baking, always styled with a beautiful linen tea towel or fresh flowers, it inspires a simple life.

Who are your favourites, do share as I'm always excited to discover more?

Saturday, 12 July 2014


The boy as a pirate (they were all wearing their mum's boots!) 

We dressed as pirates to run the PTA bar 

I think he enjoyed the fight scene the best!  

we entered into the spirit of things too! 

My boy was a pirate in his end of school play last week. The play was so good, he is in a fantastic class with lovely children and it has really hit home that he only has seven days left at primary school and they'll all be going their separate ways. They looked so grown up, I can't believe how quickly time has flown by, it seems only yesterday that they were all starting school.

Friday, 11 July 2014


I've made Stanley a play kitchen in the garden out of an old crate and some old kitchen bits and bobs from the bric-a-brac stall in the local market. He loves it and has been making mud pies all morning proving that you don't need to spend a fortune on toys. The crate I think cost about £5 a few years ago and the kitchen bits cost £3.50, a bargain!
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