Thursday, 27 February 2014

Eggs Provencal recipe

 photo EggsProvenccedilal_zps9d98da04.jpgWe are lucky in that we have a free and plentiful supply of eggs courtesy of my father's chickens who live a very happy and pampered life. My dad loves his chickens and is always cleaning their huge pen, checking them over and having a little chat with them. We are very grateful for all the eggs we receive and like to think of new recipes to make with them. 

One that I like to make myself for a quick dinner or the whole family is my version of Eggs Provencal.

Fry some crushed garlic cloves, chopped onions, mushrooms, red peppers and a handful of cherry tomatoes in a little vegetable oil for a few minutes.  Sprinkle with some Tabasco Sauce for a bit of oomph! Pour mixture into little baking dishes, I use these little brown dishes that I picked up in a charity shop - they have been so useful. photo P1000884_zpscd65d930.jpg Make a hollow in the mixture and crack an egg into it. I crack them into a ramekin first just in case I get any egg shell in it. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top. Season and add some dried basil or oregano. 

Place into the oven until the egg sets and the cheese has melted.

A very quick individual meal, serve with a little salad or some crusty bread. 
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This post is an entry for the #ShortcutEggsperts Linky Challenge sponsored by British Lion Eggs. Learn more and find recipes at www.eggrecipes.co.uk
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Monday, 24 February 2014

The lucky 2 pence tree stump

country park
puddle splashing
splashing in puddles splashing in mud and puddles moss twiggy houses
spring signs
new shoots country park tree avenue bulldog meet up mud sploshing/></a>
<a href=fungus 2 pence tree
duck quacking
happy ducks Mere forest floor woodpecker signpost
We visited the country park for a walk with our two dogs again. They are loving all these extra walks and meeting new friends although they were very surprised to see a gathering of bull dogs. Lots of them, making their snuffly, grunty noises stumping around in their cute, stocky way. 

Our terrier lurched towards them as he often does with other dogs, eager to have a sniff to say hello. I know we don't know for sure but I like to think that these are all new experiences for him having come from a city pet rescue centre. He is certainly a happy little fella now.

Plenty of muddy puddle splashing and also some pebble throwing into the woodland ponds. A new feat for Little Bird, throw....plop....throw....plop. Picking up stones and sticks, an over arm throw and squealing as the ripples move across the water surface. Taking turns with daddy and trying his best to throw as far into the water as he could. 

Little signs of spring have started to peak through the woodland floor. Spears of green leaves curled at the edges and buds on little branches. I'm ready for it now, are you? I've had such a long, long winter and cannot wait to feel some sunshine on my head. I asked the lucky 2 pence tree stump as we walked past for a lovely warm spring to be on its way.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A treasure trove

old drink trays for Pepsi and 7up old milk church and bottle trays vintage shot glasses tea room this way retro cafe pink retro cafe enamel ware vintage plates boar vintage crates train signs for sale metal train line signs
Ambling for hours in a wonderful treasure trove, different floors to explore. I didn't know which way to turn.

Antiques, junk, retro fun and items that made me all nostalgic.

Knick-knacks, unusual trinkets and collectables. Items forgotten, some a little tacky but you will find something you love. One mines rubbish is another's treasure as they say.

I would love some of the old railway signs to put on the garden wall as my grandfather who I never met worked on the trains and it would have some meaning to me as well as looking pretty. A big station sign with patio fruit trees either side. 

Looking back at these pictures I wish I had purchased the Christmas in .... plates as they remind me of folklore and of the book I'm reading at the moment, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - I recommend it, pure magic.

See the boars head? He ended up being a gift for me. I had no idea when we were picking him up that he was in fact mine. A gift for helping with a website for a local group of the Richard III Society and the the boar is one of our symbols so he was very appropriate. He's in my kitchen at the moment, Lovell is his name and I'm waiting until spring to get him secured to the wall. I do love my eclectic garden items.

Why wooden floors are perfect for homes with kids

If you've got children, you will know that from time to time, they can be a handful. It’s in their nature to explore, to pick, to squeeze, to rub, to colour, to spill, to bash – you get where I'm going with this.

As the exploration continues it can often be at the expense of your furnishings and assets. When you've spent hundreds and thousands of pounds on the dĂ©cor and interior of your home, the last thing you want is for it all to be ruined with one little accident.

You have to be brave to choose white, cream and light coloured themes when fitting your home improvements, especially when working with fabrics and carpets. But there is a much simpler, appealing and unique way to enhance the look of your interiors.

Many floors often go unnoticed as users tread and trample its surface and over time, carpets can become worn and dingy. Wooden flooring brings sophistication, elegance and a brilliant finish to almost every interior design making one of the most popular choices in both traditional and contemporary houses up and down the country.

Always one’s for expert advice, we have teamed up with the guys over at Posh Flooring, the UK’s leading wood flooring suppliers, to list why wooden floors are perfect for homes with kids.
Source: Pinterest

#1 – Elegant Finish

With a huge variety of wood types, colours, grains and finishes to choose from, you can create a wooden floor that will fit any design. Its quality manufacture and protective finish will keep floors looking glossy and vibrant all year round – even if the little ones decide to wash your floor with squash.

#2 – Low Maintenance

Wooden flooring is easy to maintain and will not stain should your kids knock or drop something onto your pristine floor. With a simple cleaning agent and kitchen towel, you can wipe up the mess in no time at all. No need for screaming and kicking, you can carry on with the rest of your day.

#3 – Hard Wearing

All kids are the same; excitable, enthusiastic and eager to move onto their next adventure. So when your child comes running in indoors bringing half of your garden with you, you will no longer need to pull your hair out and search for a new floor. Wooden flooring is one of the toughest materials around capable of withstanding heavy wear, bumps and scraps as well as the unexpected.

#4 – Health & Safety

Carpet is renowned for retaining dust, hairs, odours and a variety of molecular structures. This can cause a number of health and medical issues for children suffering with allergies, asthma and an increased risk of children choking on small objects. A wooden floor eliminates every one of this and with a regular clean once a week; you can have peace of mind when it comes to leaving your children alone.

Wood flooring holds many advantages over carpets and other flooring types, but its compatibility with children and young children really are some of its most noticeable. The last thing you want to be doing is worrying about your children’s wellbeing which is why it’s important to have a floor that offers peace of mind, low maintain and a truly beautiful finish.

Phil Warrington, a home improvement blogger, looks at the benefits of wood flooring for homes with children in association with Posh Flooring.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Out and about in Church Stretton

Acorn Cafe Church Stretton
 I had a recent walk with a friend around the market town of Church Stretton in the wonderful county of Shropshire.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Storm Damage

Minor compared to other people across the country especially those with gardens submerged under several feet of water but the storm did its bit to our garden last night. What on earth is going on with the weather!
Annoying fence panels have smashed so I need to take the dogs out on leads into the garden now for fear of them escaping. Little Billy the terrier you just could not be sure of him just running and running, although he loves his home very much. He'd hear a jingle of a cat bell and zoom that would be it and we live on quite a busy road.
Hello neighbours garden to my left.
Nice neighbours pretty hellebores. Hellooo there!
The panels have all been damaged before and DB has done his best patching them up but now I think it is time to get the whole lot done. Arghhhh! The cost, the cost! No idea how much it will be but I'm sure its not cheap.
Quick something to cheer me up. A pretty Azalea bud all pinky and lovely and a pussy willow, such a beauty. Thankfully the willow is coming back to life after taking a bashing whilst doing some garden work. My all time favourite, the primrose, a cheery yellow to brighten my dull garden.
Oh and hello neighbour to the right! Another fence panel so I'll have to get in touch with the landlord of next door about that one. We have fixed this several times as because this house is rented, the people that come and go haven't really bothered too much over the years. I do hope somebody settles here one day.
My plastic greenhouse is in tatters too. Oh well, they really are a waste of money to be honest and I won't buy again as every year I end up replacing them and their covers. I just want spring to be here now so we can all get out and start tidying whilst Little Bird plays and has some garden fun. Were you hit by last nights storm? or even worse, far worse been effected by the floods. My heart really goes out to you xxx
Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

CUT IT OUT Wall Stickers review

I have noticed in interiors magazines that wall stickers have become very popular and when CUT IT OUT contacted me to try one of their wall stickers I was very excited. They have a huge range to choose from. There are stags heads, quotes, flowers and children's designs to personalised stickers. There really is something for every taste and style.
Each sticker is designed by the graphic design team and cut out of very thin coloured vinyl so it looks like it has been painted onto your wall.

I chose a trendy design of a balloon that says 'Oh happy day' in light blue. It was actually available in 20 colours from red to silver and in a choice of sizes. For the wall area I required I picked a medium sized sticker (83cm high). The sticker was a lovely matt finish and cut out really well, we just needed to stick it to the wall following CUT IT OUT's online instructions. I must admit I did wonder how it worked and got DB to help me as he's better at instructions than me. photo wallstickercollage_zps5cd8e7c3.jpg
It was then actually very easy to attach the sticker to the wall, firstly anchoring the design down the middle with some tape to get it into the right position. Then peeling away half the backing paper, cutting that away and then smoothing the design down using a plastic card to smooth out any air bubbles. Finally after about 20 minutes you carefully peel the transfer paper off , leaving just the blue sticker and voilĂ  a lovely design on your wall.  photo P1000828_zpscc501831.jpg
I think these wall stickers are a great idea when you want to spruce up a room on a budget. The sticker I picked retails at £11.99 with free postage and packaging, which is a bargain isn't it for such a good effect. They are said to be easy to remove and I could see that would be possible, so maybe they would be good to use in rental properties or just if you fancy a change to improve a room.

I put the sticker in our family room and I think it makes a cheery addition. I love the personalised stickers which are very reasonably priced from £12.99 and would be great for a child's room.

Disclosure: I was sent a wall sicker from CUT IT OUT for the purposes of the the review but it is my own opinion.