The Simple Things & Strawberries dipped in chocolate.

Oh the simple things in life that we enjoy…….., an autumn walk in the park with the dog, a bottle ( or two! ) of wine with friends, a giddy game of hide and seek with the gorgeous niece and nephew, curling up by the fire with a good book…….or finding a copy of the fab new magazine `The Simple Things’ in the magazine stand at work.:)

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I had heard about the magazine a couple of weeks ago whils’t reading the lovely Rosalilium blog and thought it sounded interesting….then totally forgot about it! I shouldn’t have.The premise of the publication is ‘ Embrace A Simpler Life’ and articles include a Gourmet guide to cheese( mmmmm),A day out picking apples and a guide to Trees on an Autumn walk.Theres also a story on seed swapping and a bloggers experience of living in Berlin.

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The magazine is also packed full of recipes, gardening, crafts, and nature articles.The October edition is out now.:)
Speeking of simple things I decided to make a simple dessert to take to my sisters for dinner tomorrow eve.Our friend Becky is making one of her famous delicous cheesecakes so these are simply a quick and easy extra.

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All you need are
Strawberries
a bar of milk chocolate
a bar of white chocolate

Simply melt the milk chocolate very gently in a glass bowl over a pan of water on a low heat.

Take off the heat when melted and holding them by their stalks dip some of the strawberries so they are covered half way in chocolate.

Place the dipped strawberries in the fridge to set on a plate or tray covered in baking paper.

Repeat the same with the white chocolate.

Enjoy!

Now im off to bed with my copy of The Simple Things.Night Night.x

What to do with your Vintage Tea Cups : )

Ooooooh I love teacups and I have about a zillion hidden around the house. Sssshhhhhhh don’t tell the other half.My teacup fetish is getting out of control! Most of us probably have a couple of them lurking in the cupboards unloved and unused. Here are some ideas on how you can make the most of them. : )

I love this teacup bird feeder. The spoon makes a perfect perch too. : ). For a tutorial check out Cap creations website.

Teacup candles are so easy to make and give off a lovely translucent glow. I make them and sell them at craft fairs and on my facebook page Mrs Tibbs Teacups & Candles. Instructions on how to turn a teacup into a pretty candle can be found in my July posts.

A simple yet effective cake stand can easily be created using pretty china plates & teacups and a tube of super glue.
Easy as that!

Why not turn your teacups into cute cactus gardens. Simply cover the bottoms with little stones for drainage and then plant in soil.Voila!

Mmmmmmmm Chocolate pudding in a teacup. Nom Nom. How decadent.The recipe can be found on thewhimsicalwife.com

Teacups & saucers make gorgeous trinket holders.If your handy with a drill ( Or in my case,know someone who is), you can buy the fittings very inexpensively on ebay.

Hope this post has inspired you to create some treasures with your teacups.:0)

Walking The Dog

Jake

Hi I thought I would share with you my other blog over at Shazza.blogspot.com/ called’ Nature spotters blog with a dog’which I got the idea for last year when we lived briefly near the beautiful river Ribble. I have always loved wildlife, having grown up in the countryside and you do spy quite alot of flora and fauna when out walking the hound. Jake our rather handsome black labrador , like all labs absolutely loves water so most days we headed to the river. Sometimes I took my camera and whil’st Jake was busy paddling I snapped away at various birds and flowers. Then spent an awful lot of time trying to coax a very wet Jake out of the water. I think he would live in it if he could!
Oyster catcher on the Ribble.

Peacock butterfly
We usually take Jake away with us whenever we go camping too so there are always lots of great photo ops especially in the dales and the lakes.
Swans and cygnet, Elterwater

Nuthatch

Me & Jake sunbathing and camping in Silverdale

Hemp, River Ribble

More recently we moved closer to town and as Jake is approaching his 13th birthday we only occasionally venture down the fields to the river and walk more round the grounds of Clitheroe Castle.

Red Admiral & Tortoishell on budlea , Castle grounds


For more pics check out my Nature Spotters Blog with a Dog over on blogger. : )

Foxy Favourites ^ ^

Im Loving all the foxy print clothing and fox inspired homewares that are around at the moment. Makes me feel all bright eyed and bushy tailed! Here’s a few of my foxy favourites that are avaliable to buy online and on the highstreet : )

Fox Lampshade from little treasures vintage

Next Knitted Across The Body Bag £25

Urban Fox Mug from HunkyDory Home £12.50

Sugarhill boutique foxy print dress £55

Cute Wild things little girls fox dressing up dress £45

Oasis Fox Scarf £18

Sleeping Fox Cushion with Inner £11.49 from Base.com
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Which is your favourite ? Im quite liking the sugar hill boutique dress myself.Roll on Payday 🙂

Hedgerow Harvest.Autumn food for free.

Elderberries

Went for a wander down some country lanes at the weekend to see what I could gather to make a crumble. : ). There is already an abundance of fruit in the hedgerows. I found a couple of elder shrubs bearing clusters of reddish black berries. These can be used in pies and crumbles when added with other fruits such as blackberries. I have found an even better use for them however : ). Check out this blog link http://willowswoollyworld.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/elderberry-vodka.html
;Rose hips
The fruits of the Wild Rose known as ‘Hips’ are actually a major source of vitamin C and contain twenty times more of the vitamin than Oranges.WoW! I remember drinking rose hip syrup as a child….and I also remember the scratchy effects of homemade itching powder made from the prickly seeds : (, However the fruits can also be made into delicous jams and jellies.http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/rose_hip_jelly_and_jam/


I also stumbled upon a plum tree but the plums were way to high to gather without a ladder.Here is a link to a recipe for a yummy Plum upside down cake ( I will check to see how many fall off!)http://www.spadespatula.com/2012/7/27/local-plums-call-for-upside-down-cake/
In the end I played it safe and picked a few blackberries which I decided to put in a crumble with some apples one of my friends gave me from a tree in her garden.


I used Sophie Dahls autumn warming Apple and Blackberry crumble recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup flour
Half cup rolled oats
1 stick butter plus one tbsp to add to fruit
Half cup brown sugar plus 2 tbsp to add to fruit
8 oz blackberries
8 0z apples cored & chopped

Mix the flour, oats and butter in a blender or with your fingers in a mixing bowl so it looks like nubbly bread crumbs.Then mix in the brown sugar.

Put the fruit in a pie dish and add 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp of the sugar.Cover with the crumble mixture.Bake 30 mins until golden brown.

Serve with creme fraiche or custard

Serves 6

Look out for more posts featuring Autumn food for free. : )

Autumn days

Ok a tiny part of me is still holding on to an Indian summer : ), but many of my fellow bloggers are already writing about the changing season,hunting in the hedgerows for blackberries and sloes, walks in the country wearing skinny jeans,woolly jumpers& boots and baking apple crumbles.MMmmmmm I’m feeling all Autumnal already!
Thinking back to my childhood, having grown up in the countryside on a farm and attended the local village school, the different seasons all had their own attractions.Autumn was such a lot of fun! I remember playing conkers with my friends,picking damsons and crab apples for Mum to make jams and jellys,waving goodbye to the migrating swallows and running from cheeky schoolboys bearing itching powder made from crushed rose hip seeds mixed with flour. Hmmm I wonder if today’s kids know how to make Itching Powder??
I also have been thinking about a hymn we used to sing in school assembly and harvest festivals called Autumn days which has brought back to life those memories of Autumn for me, and it had a catchy tune too. I looked up the lyrics and so here they are:

Autumn Days Lyrics

Autumn days, when the grass is jewelled
And the silk inside a chestnut shell
Jet planes meeting in the air to be refuelled
All these things I love so well

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget

Clouds that look like familiar faces
And a winters moon with frosted rings
Smell of bacon as I fasten up my laces
And the song the milk man sings

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget

Whipped-up spray that is rainbow-scattered
And a swallow curving in the sky
Shoes so comfy though they’re worn out and
they’re battered
And the taste of apple pie

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget

Scent of gardens when the rains been falling
And a minnow darting down the stream
Picked up engine that’s been stuttering and
stalling
And a win for my home team

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you

I mustn’t forget

Autumn days by Estelle White

What are your memories of Autumn?

Tea Cocktail Party

It was a friends 30th birthday recently and she decided to celebrate by holding an Afternoon tea style party ….. with a twist : )
Of course there was the usual sumptuous sandwiches cut into triangles, sweet and savoury scones, delicious home made cakes and a cakestand full of yummy cupcakes.

What a spread !

She decorated the house with lovely cath kidston style bunting and she borrowed some beautiful vintage teacups to serve the tea in as well as several teapots.Much to everyone’s delight the tea was actually iced tea cocktails! I had lent her ‘The Vintage Tea Party book’ by Angel Adoree which is packed full of fun ideas on how to create your own Vintage Tea Party.

My favourite tea tipple was ‘The Green Tea & Pear Cocktail’.It is light, refreshing and really delicous. Warning! It is quite lethal! Other heavenly cocktails in the book include ‘Teana Colada’,Tea Tini and Tea-Quila Sunrise.: )

Getting tipsy off Green tea and pear cocktails


Why not put on your tea dress and have a Tea cocktail party yourself!

Breakfast at Tiffanys on the Big Screen

One of my fave all time films is the fabulous Breakfast at Tiffanys. But I have never seen it before at the cinema. So I was super excited when some girl friends invited me to a Ladies Night film screening of this wonderful Audrey Hepburn classic at our local cinema ‘The Grand’ in clitheroe. The Ladies Nights are on the first Tuesday eve of every month and they include a yummy two course meal and a movie for the very reasonable price of £12.50 per head.

Amazingly Some of the girls had never seen Breakfast at Tiffanys before. Incase you haven’t, the film is a 1961 romantic comedy concerning a kooky naive New York socialite Holly Golightly ( Hepburn ) and a struggling writer ( George Peppard-Remember him from the A-Team!) who live in the same apartment block. Here are some fab images from the movie: )

Holly singing Moon River.

Holly being woken up by her flatmate ‘Cat’

Holly and Paul larking about in cat and dog masks. Love this part of the film!


I love so many of the fabulous accessories Holly uses in the film. I am quite inspired to purchase a lovely blue eye mask , some big shades, a little black dress and er maybe even a young George Peppard. : )

Tuscan Inspiration

check out my lovely friend Scarlets blog and her heavenly descriptions of the tastes of Tuscany.X

The Adventures of Moonie

This is my entry to a competition run by Tuscany Now which offers an extensive choice of holiday rental villas in Tuscany .

“Inspired by Tuscany”
What do you think about when someone says Tuscany to you? Is it the beautiful landscape? the weather? or the lifestyle? Does it inspire you?

To me the most inspiring part of Tuscany has to be the food, although I have never been lucky enough to visit that part of the world is has always been and always will be at the top of my list. In this modern world with internet, television and a food retailers that import food from far and wide we can experience another country at our dinner table, but I see so many people not take advantage of the lessons that can be learned.

Tuscany celebrates food and celebrates with food. Food is honored in many ways from the…

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Camping in Wales.

Just got back from a few days camping at Manorafon farmhttp://www.manorafon.co.uk/ near Abergele in North Wales. This basic family friendly and dog friendly campsite was just the thing for us ( 2 adults, a tent and a dooog) with its hot showers, distant sea views and only £13 a night.

I don’t know about you but I always like to take a good book camping–especially one I’ve been meaning to read forever and never got round to. The crumbling ruins of Gwrych castle looked over the site so my choice of Mary Shellys gothic horror ‘Frankenstein’ proved to be an inspired choice : )

On our first day we headed over to Anglesey. The beautiful fishing port of Beaumaris is definantly a must visit with its lovely castle and gorgeous craft shops and tearooms.

Then we went over to Benlech with its gorgeous and happily dog friendly beach. Jakey was very happy to go for a paddle. : ) Someone had even carved this welsh dragon in the sand.

The following day we drove inland to the mountains of snowdonia National park. Betws-y-Coed is a picturesque mountain resort crammed full of outdoorsy shops and gift emporiums as well as a railway museum and minature steam train.

My favourite place that we visited was the delightful Conwy ,a harbour town encased in the ancient city walls of Conwy castle.We loved the Quay area especially the ‘smallest house in Britain’. How cute! Being a shorty i could actually live here quite happily I reckon!


Kids and er Bigger kids will love crab fishing from the Quay. A bucket and bait can be bought from Conwy Mussel Museum for £3. Its such good fun and very addictive. : )

Food in wales is yummy too. Two of my favourite places to eat this week and both are short drives from the campsite are The Old Stag at Llangernyw http://www.theoldstag.com which has a very olde worldy decor and The Tides cafe bistro based at the Beach caravan park inbetween Abergele and Llandulas.

All in all we enjoyed a fab camping trip in wales. : )