dreaming of spring and making plans

It’s time for me to start browsing those seed catalogues and make solid plans for the garden.  I’ve started a new plot in the other field to rotate potatoes, curcurbits and cut flowers and free up some space in our current plot.  With two little ones it’s a challenge not to get too carried away, and to remember to ditch any expectations, but I allow myself to think of spring and how lovely it is to get those first peas and broad beans in the ground.



bird watching

The bird watching has begun in earnest and M has a fellow birdwatcher to keep her company this year.  They are so sweet, A saying “wow” at everything and M saying “look A a blue tit!”ect.  We made some stuffed pine cone gifts for the birds around the solstice, and we made this little birdwatching space in the window when we pretty much moved in because it seemed so perfect for that and not much else.  We keep a basket with a few books on birds, binoculars and a book for drawing birds in.






a playtime dress for Ada

When I made this I felt like I was making a dress for a doll, I think it’s the fabric that I chose (it’s long been sitting in my stash) paired with the lovely pattern that I received for christmas (thank you lovely inlaws!).  And thankfully A is still at an age where she’ll wear whatever I put on her.  Sewing for my wee ones is so much fun, I’m planning to make the tunic for M in a different fabric to avoid any matchy matchy.










Happy New Year

Happy new year everyone!

We have been revelling in these last weeks of nothingness.  No work for Alex and no big plans or to do list, ahhh bliss.  Which has also meant no blogging (I’ve barely taken a photo), just a LOT of playing and eating and enjoying this goofy family of mine.  It’s the best way there is to bring in this new year.  It’s going to be a good one, I can feel it.

Welcome 2014!!!


PS. Thank you Alex for letting me put this photo of you dressed up as Mr Blue (I dont know), you are truly a good sport, he he.





welcome winter




We spent the morning making treats for the birds (to give tomorrow for the solstice) and treats for ourselves (mince pies!! YES!!!).  I LOVE mince pies.  I’ve learned the hard way not to give them as gifts around here and M doesn’t like them either but Alex and I love them so all the more for us Ha Ha!  I made and canned some mincemeat a few years back and I must have made a ton because I know I used a lot last year (ahem) and it’s still going strong.  I must have known that it wouldn’t go to waste.











The afternoon was spent soaking every ray of sun we could outside and with the wee ones asleep at last the Autumn books have been put away to make room for our winter collection.  I think M will be thrilled to see these out again (I know I am), we’ve got some really magical ones for winter.



in the kitchen

It’s been a while that I’ve been in denial about this, but, whilst no one in this family is allergic or even what I would call intolerant, it would seem everyone here is better off without dairy and gluten. I’ve just had to tweak our evening meals, rice noodles instead of egg noodles, potatoes instead of dumplings, rice instead of tortillas ect but I’m still figuring out what to make for breakfast (I’m looking forward to our glut of eggs again) and I often find myself stumped at snack requests.  We are mostly dairy free too and the small amount of cheese we eat is either goat or ewes cheese.

Thankfully we are fortunate enough that I won’t have to keep M away from her Roquefort or deny anyone the mince pies but I’m quite enjoying the shake up going on in the kitchen, and goodness knows filling those little bellies and seeing their bright eyes and bushy tails is, of course, worth it.

Here are some pictures of things that have been a hit, , pear salad (got to find more things to do with pears, any ideas?!), polenta pizzas and baked apples with custard and granola.






two eggs


With the solstice just around the corner the ladies are laying just two eggs a day for us, and really two sees us through ok, but, in those spring and summer months when we’re collecting 5 eggs a day and I don’t need to feel guilty for using 9 eggs for one lemon tart, well, these two eggs seem very precious.  Most of them get used in the baking that goes on here, in pancakes and the occasional fried or boiled egg.  Thanks chickens, we are very grateful.


M came up with the great idea of making a book for A for Christmas.  She has written a word and then a picture to show what the word says because “A can’t read yet Mummy”.  She’s such a sweet one!






There are a lot of Christmas messes being made around the house, with all kinds of creativity and goings on it’s the kind of mess I’m happy about.

We made a huge batch of gingerbread dough last week (it will keep for weeks), so whenever we get the urge to bake something delicious, or top up the ones we’ve eaten off the tree, M can just throw on an apron and get to it all by herself if she wants to.  It helps too that the wood burner is on at full throttle now and the oven is always at the ready to cook up some treats.