Saturday, December 31

. hAppy nEw yEar's Eve .


. 1 . looking forward to reading this in the nEw yEar .
. 2 . looking forward to lovely winter days like this .
. 3 . would love to find a secret garden just like this .
. 4 . this . just so wonderfully quiet & whimsically fairytale like .
. 5 . this . just such a lovely way to say thankyOu .
. 6 . this . would be lovely to wear to a nEw yEar pArty .
. 8 . popping these on my to make list for nExt yEar . #bake
. 9 . popping these on my to make list for nExt yEar . #make
. & . finally . hAppy nEw yeAr .

. have a hAppy dAy .

Friday, December 30

#2016 . #momentsofmine .



i'm not sure when i realised that 2016 wasn't just a blAh year for me . but . was actually a blAh year for the entire world . it has all felt slightly off kilter . as if fate has gone on a year long holiday . & . the holiday cover was just a little out of their depth . & . nothing has gone quite the way it should have done ?

that said i went into this year feeling a little bit lost so in a way the seemingly strange turns of events . { Brexit & Trump } . and . the losses of so so many lovely people . { too many to list :( } . possibly justified my feelings in some way .

but . all that strangeness has made me feel even more thankful for the glimpses of goodness amongst it all . and you begin to feel grateful for the quiet moments . for the days without drama . for all those still moments . the good moments . the happy moments . so my penultimate post of the year is all about those moments of mine { which just so happens to be one of my favourite new instagram hashtags this year ! } .

in no particular order ;

. the Clandestine Cake Club . #makeitdelicious . it has given me the best excuse to make and eat a ridiculous amount of cake this year . i've met lots of lovely new people . found some lovely new places . & . tried some delicious new recipes . a joy to be part of .

. Scotland . #wonderfulplaces . a family wedding in one of the most beautiful places i've visited . & . the opportunity to spend time in a part of the country i'd not been to before . 

. Dirty Dancing at the Secret Cinema . #seekmoments . just the best night with two of the best girls i could share this with . laughing . dancing . drinking . hugging . & . staying up way way past our bedtime !

. Goodreads . #simplethings . the aim was to read 24 books this year . & . i read 24 books this year { yAy ! } . from the wonderful classic Jane Eyre, The Miniaturist, which had been on my to-read list for so long, Not Forgetting the Whale and FairPlay, which both took me by surprise in their quiet loveliness, The Forgetting Time which made me cry, to the short story of Angela and the Baby Jesus which made me smile . 

. HappyDays . #thehappynow . 2016 will end on my seven hundred and fifty second happy day . and . i think if this year has taught me nothing else, then it's to realise how true the saying, that every day may not be a happy day, but there is something happy in every day . 

maybe this year won't go down in history as one of the finest there ever was, but in it's own way we can learn from it, and learn to cherish all those really good moments even more than we already do .

. have a hAppy dAy .

Thursday, December 29

. a lOvely . { free + perfectly printable } . 2017 calendar .


i'm absolutely sure that you're all a lot more organised than me . & . already have calendars and diaries for 2017 all sorted out . bUt . just in case you haven't then { in the words of BluePeter } here's one i made earlier !


i'm working on giving lily+Bloom a bit of a new look . she's starting to look a little tired and in need of a new image . this may take a little while so please don't hold your breaths . in the meantime next years calendar gives you a little sneak peek into what the future may look like .


the calendar comes in two sizes . little + large . { well it's that between christmas & new year time when thinking any harder than this is just . well . too hard . forgive me ! } . the little one is perfect for taping up on the wall at home . one month at a time . or . every month to view the whole year ahead . it's also a great size for keeping to hand on your desk . just pop into a card holder and switch the months as they go by .

the larger one works well on a clipboard . or in my case . a piece of cord board cut a little bigger than the calendar with a bull dog clip to secure it in place . or . you can punch holes in the top and string with some { neon } ribbon to hang anywhere you have a little wall space .

{ four months to a page . print on A4 cardstock }

{ two months to a page . print on A4 cardstock }


i'd love to know what you think of the calendar . & . once you've downloaded it and printed it would love to see how you display it ?

i will leave you to enjoy { or endure ? } the last few days of this year . & . i think everyone will breathe a collective sigh once we start to welcome 2017 into the world .

. have a hAppy dAy .

Sunday, December 25

Saturday, December 24

. hAppy Christmas Eve .


. 1 . wonderful . festive mess making .
. 2 . gorgeous . gift wrapping .
. 3 . * whispers * . it's nearly Christmas .
. 4 . twinkly . seasonal word joy .
. 5 . handmade . with Christmas love .
. 6 . teeny . tiny Christmas Cake .
. 8 . cosy . mug of hot chocolate .
. 9 . a . Christmas Kiss ?
. & . finally . have a Merry little Christmas .

. hAppy Christmas Eve .

Thursday, December 22

. my festive five . a medley of mincePies .


i have a bit of a love / hate relationship with mince pies . i love them when they're homemade . i love them when they're fresh out of the oven . so hot you burn your mouth on the mincemeat . i love them when they're not too sweet . when they are drowning in a bowl of vanilla custard . 

and equally . i hate { most } shop bought pies . i hate them when they're cold . when they are filled with a measly amount of fruit . i hate them when they are sweet enough to set your teeth on edge . and . i hate them outside of the month of december . in a world where we can seemingly lay our hands on anything, at any time of year, anywhere in the world, my unspoken rule is that mince pies should only be enjoyed in the month of december .


so now it is december . lets enjoy them in as many ways as we can . 

lets start with a lovely homemade mincemeat . for so many years i bought the " luxury " mincemeat - by the way, don't you love that most recipes for mince pies use shop bought mincemeat, but ask that it be " luxury " mincemeat, as if, in some way, that mitigates the use of a shop bought mincemeat ? anyway, i digress - but over the past few years i've become a bit wary of what ingredients are included, how much sugar is added, the suet, things that perhaps aren't that necessary ?  a little bit of googling & pinteresting later and i found a fruit mince recipe on TheHealthyChef . apples, cranberries, raisins, spices and apple juice simmer away for an hour to produce The Most Heavenly { and totally deserving of those capital letters } mince meat . you will be eating it from the jar . you will be adding it to your morning porridge . and . you will be questioning your logic of only making half a batch ?

as it doesn't have lots of added sugars and things it won't keep for as long as other mincemeats, but i don't think this will be a great problem . the longest a jar has lasted me so far is three days .

onto pastry . for years i used a simple shortcrust pastry . that is until i stumbled across Paul Hollywood's recipe for mince pies . oodles of butter, a little sugar to sweeten it, enriched with an egg, it's an indulgent pastry, but then it is christmas . 


and there you go . my favourites to make up a classic mince pie . 

but . in the spirit of my festive five . lets mix things up a bit & add a few variations . 

{ two . mince pies topped with a cinnamon streusel crumble }

{ three . mince pies topped with a homemade marzipan star }

classic christmas flavours of cinnamon & marzipan inspired variations two and three . the crumble topping is spicier and lighter than the usual pastry lid, the marzipan star brings another sweet dimension, and is reminiscent of a frangipane topped tart - which would also be quite lovely .


last year i spotted so many mince pies topped with viennese whirls, though didn't give them a go . with this year's viennese whirl making fresh in my mind these became mince pie number four . and for the last of my medley of mince pies, a recipe i found last year . in that after christmas lull, when you may just have reached your fill of the classic pie, and you are looking for ways to use up the last of the leftover mince meat and the words Sticky . Toffee . Apple . jump out at you . imagine a mince pie married with a slice of gingerbread . the best of christmas in one little bite !

{ four . mince pies topped with a viennese whirl }

{ five . mince pies topped with a sticky toffee sponge and slices of apple }

so there they are . my medley of mince pies .

oh . i forgot to mention in the recipes . 

to finish . dust liberally with icing sugar . it looks pretty . hides a multitude of baking sins . and . well. just because it's christmas .


after a couple of months absence, i'm pleased to be able to bake again as part of Bumpkin Betty's Baking Club . with this month's All Things Festive theme . i'm sure i won't be the only baker to choose mince pies  . but so far there have been a wonderful array of festive bakes;


and . lots more on the club page to drool over . there's still time to join in the festive baking, so head over to the facebook page or her beautiful blog .

. have a hAppy dAy .

Monday, December 19

. my festive five . Christmas Stockings .

. 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 .

i think the one aspect of Christmas i miss now i'm all grownUp is the christmas stocking . our stockings when my sister & i were little, were our dad's chunky cream { and i hasten to add, clean } aran boot socks . at the time they seemed huge heavy things, full of hidden gems, the first glimpse of christmas, as you nudged your toe against it as you woke on christmas morning, a sign that santa had been . 

i doubt that there was a huge choice of stockings when i was younger, and though i would probably still hanker after the nostalgia of my dad's boot sock, there are plenty of lovely stocking choices out there . here are some of my favourites .

. dashing through the snow . to this gem of a stocking from Anthropologie .
. a touch of vintage kitsch . with this swallow stocking from KitschAttic .
. cosy & chunky hand-knit stocking . knitted by LaurenAstonDesigns .
. a DIY vintage photo stocking . follow the how-to by SweetPaul .
and . if you have a stocking but no fireplace to hang it by .
. a DIY branch stocking display . from the { wonderfully named } Merrythought .

. have a hAppy dAy .

Friday, December 16

. hAppy fridAy .


. 1 . grOw your own . Christmas Tree .
. 2 . where cUte & practical collide . thanks to City Goats
. 3 . what your littleOne could be wearing next Christmas . { MarMarCopenhagen } .
. 4 . what your littleOne could be wearing this Christmas . { Christina Rohde } .
. 5 . a sUper cUte Christmas kokeshi gang . { from MirDinara for LandOfNod } .
. 6 . and talking of sUper cUte Christmas characters . { from RoryDobner } .
. 7 . Christmas gift wrap . with bells on . { literally ! } . at Papermash .
. 8 . always . Jingle All the Way .
. 9 . festive baking . Part1 . gingerbread .
. & . finally . festive baking . Part2 . mincepies . { with a nutty twist } .

. have a hAppy dAy .

Wednesday, December 14

. my festive five . xmAs cArds .

. 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 .

as i type i'm sitting surrounded by glitter, and trimmings of paper, card & ribbon, but all my cards are now made and { mostly } written . i love making my own xmas cards, but it's safe to say i would be spoilt for choice if i were to buy them . so many creative designers out there putting there individual handwritings to the festive season . here are a few of my favourites .

. mistletoe . merry christmas . drawn by Jade Fisher .
. you're the bobble . on my beanie . designed by Snowdon .
. nOel . doodled by Have a Gander .
. london city . snow globe . sketched by Kimberley Rose Studio .
. robin's . christmas wishes . drawn by Stephanie Davies .

. have a fEstive dAy .

Monday, December 12

. my festive five . { giftwrap } .

. 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 .

don't you just lOve days where your To-Do list reads . 1 . trim the tree . 2 . bake mince pies . 3 . play christmas songs . 4 . wrap gifts . 5 . make christmas cards .

{ i have a feeling they'll be a trail of glitter & crumbs all over my house by the end of today }

just as much as i love finding the right gift for people . i love wrapping those gifts to be as gorgeous as the gifts themselves . some years it's a little more successful than others ! this year i'm being a little bit more eco with my gift wrapping, making use of the copious amounts of paper . ribbons . & . trimmings that i've collected over the years . which may make my gift wrap theme a little on the ' eclectic ' side this year . 

i'm also trying not to get distracted by the lovely wrapping inspiration shown above . but . hoping that this may give you a few ideas & thoughts . 

. have a gOrgeous dAy .

Friday, December 9

. hAppy fridAy .


. 1 . a lovely christmassy read . illustrated by Carolina Rabei . shared by LovePrint .
. 2 . a lovely paper stocking . perfect for stocking fillers . made by MeriMeri .
. 3 . a lovely basset hound . { on wheels } . sold by Alice&TheThimble .
. 4 . another Christmas Stocking . hand knitted for Anthropologie .
. 5 . gift wrapping to make you smile :) { this & others shared by Your DIY Family } .
. 6 . christmas hairstyle goals . or . WTF !
. 7 . { now } 16 sleeps until Xmas . & . 1 sleep until last posting day for Australia .
. 8 . leave a little sparkle . or . in my case . a sprinkle of gold glitter all around the house .
. 9 . danish butter cookies from Wallflower Kitchen . { childhood xmas memories } .
. & . finally . how do you make scones a little more festive ? 
              { answer . cranberries & pistachios & chocolate } .

. have a hAppy dAy .

Wednesday, December 7

my festive five . { cookies } .

. 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 .

this could quite happily have been a festive fifty favourite cookies . so many to choose from . but i have been a little more decisive and a little more selective . & . here are five of my favourite christmas cookies . 

. a classic . chocolate chip cookie . baked by Not Quite Nigella .
. a spicy . zimtsterne / cinnamon star . baked by Fig&Honey .
. an iced . snowflake cookie . baked by Fork&Flower .
. a gingerbread . christmas tree . baked by raspberri cupcakes .
. a tiny . linzer star . baked by Freutcake .

{ eat . bake . repeat } .

. have a swEet dAy .

Monday, December 5

my festive five . { trees } .


. 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 .

this december i'll be putting together a few festive boards . starting with today's five festive trees .

how will you trim your tree this year ?  part of me would love to do something as simple as the unadorned tree in a simple basket . & . then i think of all my beautiful baubles and the idea gets swept aside . but i do love the idea of a large painted tree hanging on the wall . no baubles required, just a touch of gold paint to give a tiny bit of sparkle .

. have a hAppy dAy .

Friday, December 2

. hAppy fridAy .


. 1 . the prettiest start to dEcember . with hello miss may .
. 2 . the loveliest bow in leather . perfect accessory to the loveliest lace blouse .
. 3 . a beautiful blush pink cosy cape . from Caramel .
. 4 . who will be choosing a tree this weekend ? 
Oh . and trim your tree to this christmas playlist . from the simple things .
. 5 . then wrap the first of your gifts in this gorgeous gift wrap .
. 6 . pOpping this cake on my * to bake this xmas * list .
. 7 . lOving these mid century inspired xmas trees
. 8 . my thought for the month . just sparkle !
. 9 . i might finally master crochet with these amigurumi advent patterns from Mollie Makes .
. & . finally . my inspiration to master macarons . thankyOu juniper cakery !

. have a hAppy dAy .

Thursday, December 1

. hEllo dEcember .

{ 'tis the season to sparkle }

hEllo dEcember


. let the #festivefaffing begin .

. have a spArkly dAy .

Monday, November 28

. tIs the season to spArkle .

without wishing to sound as if i'm collecting my pension . is it me . or . has christmas started ridiculously early this year . i know that it's now expected that the tinsel and baubles start making an appearance in the shops as soon as the easter eggs have rolled off the shelves, but i have been spying christmas trees . fairy lights . and . decorations galore in sO many people's houses near to me . it's still nOvember folks ?  a wonderful month of bonfires and autumn leaves, pumpkins and pies . can we not enjoy each month for the loveliness it brings, rather than wanting to rush headlong into the celebrations of the next ?

so . for the last two days of nOvember i will be embracing all that autumn loveliness still . & . then once dEcember arrives i'll feel we can start to enjoy lots of festive faffing . tinsel . glitter . gift making . gift wrapping . & . all that christmas sparkle . 

just two days . we can all hold on for just two more days can't we ?

. 'tIs the season to spArkle .


. have a spArkly dAy .

Friday, November 25

. hAppy fridAy .


. 1 . jUst the prettiest biscuits . from Biscuiteers .
. 2 . jUst the prettiest dress . from Nellystella .
. 3 . a beautiful collection spOtted on Milk . The Small Gatsby .
. 4 . a beautiful shoot spOtted on Babiekins . Jodye Sabatini Photography .
. 5 . a rainbow of handmade booties . by SincerelyBillie .
. 6 . #makingwinter cosy with craft creativity & cake . yes please SilverPebble .
. 7 . a little craft . from Suzy Ultman
. 8 . my thought for today . seek magic everyday
. 9 . a little creativity . from Little Cube
. & . finally . not cake . but crumpets to make any winter morning very cosy . 

. have a hAppy dAy .

Friday, November 18

. hAppy fridAy .


. 1 . when linen is still lovely for aUtumn dressing . via Yellowpelota .
. 2 . when your spOtty bow matches your spOtty blouse . via Free Babe & Soor Ploom .
. 3 . when you are just tired out from shOpping for adorable little things . via local milk .
. 4 . dark aUtumn days make me crave dark cosy interiors .
. 5 . dark aUtumn days make me crave cosy knitted homeware .
. 6 . crUshing on rose gold & metallic craftiness . via Cloud Craft .
. 7 . fabulOus flOrals . fAffing . & . fridAys . via The Vintage Palace .
. 8 . my thought for today . 
. 9 . a lOvely idea for sharing thoughts . via Bread&Jam .
. & . finally . this weeks caramel is accompanied by pumpkin & puff pastry . #givethanks .

. have a hAppy dAy .

Monday, November 14

. inspired . #12 .

tonight will see the sky lit up by the most spectacular supermOon to appear since 1948 . the moon will appear bigger & brighter as a result of it being closer to the earth than it has done for nearly 70 years . however . the weather has not been kind today & despite looking out for it since dusk, the skies have been cloudy & overcast with no sign of the moon . i will be keeping my fingers crossed for clearer skies tomorrow, which will see a slightly less than supermoon, but still a slightly more spectacular than usual moon .

until then here are some very spectacular & lovely moons in all sorts of shapes & sizes .

. inspired#12 .
. sometimes the moon is all i have .
. 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10 .

for lots more moonlight take a look at my pInterest board

. have a hAppy dAy .

Friday, November 11

. hAppy fridAy .


. 1 . i think we might all be in need of a hUg right now . 
. 2 . i think this ├╝ber cute jumper would be like wearing a hUg . 
. 3 . i think this might be the most darling of all Mrs.Mighetto's prints . 
. 4 . crUshing on this gorgeous gold & silver pleated skirt .
. 5 . crUshing on this stylish sweater & flannel pants outfit .
. 6 . wondering if one of these kits might { finally } help me master the art of crochet ?
. 7 . wondering if i would be able to resist eating the whole loaf in one go ?
. 8 . i think we all need to believe in a little magic right now .
. 9 . oh hellO . Heart Vintage is having a little sale so snap up a pretty plate . { or two } .
. & . finally . oh hellO . chocolate . caramel . honeycomb . loveliness . #weekendgoals .

. have a hAppy dAy .

Friday, November 4

. hAppy fridAy .


. 1 . autumn days were made for baking cOokies . especially ones that look at cUte as these !
. 2 . autumn days were made for keeping cosy . especially in onesies as cUte as this !
. 3 . autumn days inspire autumn colours . & . this pretty pOppy dress from Velveteen .
. 4 . autumn days inspire autumn prints . & . this beautiful wOodland dress from Aristocrat Kids .
. 5 . this weekend . etsy are having a 4day pOp up with their everyday emporium .
{ take a read here to discover what unusual currency they are trading with ? }
. 6 . oh my Object Style . i do so need this in my life ! 
. 7 . oh my Make Hey . what a ' bear 'y cute shelfie !
. 8 . remember . we all have magic inside us .
. 9 . an oh so very charming calendar . from . These Charming Things .
. & . finally . these are my current recipe crush . double chocolate rye muffins . just tOo good !

. have a hAppy dAy .

Tuesday, November 1

. hEllo nOvember .

{ we all have magic inside us }

hEllo nOvember

. welcoming the month { literally } with fireworks .

. spending time reflecting & remembering .

&

* whispers *
. starting to get think about christmas .
with
. visits to lOts of christmas markets .

. have a mAgically hAppy dAy .

Friday, October 28

. it's a spOoky fridAy .


. 1 . bOo . it's nearly hallOween .
. 2 . i think i could cope with this { playful } haunted house !
. 3 . in need of last minute { DIY } halloween costumes ?
. 4 . perfect pUmpkin pOp tart { yummy } loveliness ! 
. 5 . a beautifully haunting hallOween film .
. 6 . sweetly scared looking cats . for our sweet hallOween witch .
. 7 . cute pom pom bats . for these sweet hallOween cupcakes .
. 9 . cute spiders web cookies . for all those trick Or treaters .
. & . finally . rather than painting a pumpkin this year . i'll be making this pumpkin sOup instead .

. have a spOoky dAy .

Wednesday, October 26

. mAke your own mAgic .

at the moment i'm feeling incredibly lucky . i'm enjoying quiet days & a break from working . i'm loving the beautiful aUtumnal weather we're having . the ombre shades of colours in the trees . the cosy darker nights . & . the lovely seasonal flavours of pumpkin . apples . blackberries . aUtumn has brought with it a wonderful slow way of living, that for now, i'm making the most of .

nOvember feels like it will be a month of getting ready . getting ready for * whispers * christmas . but also getting ready for something bigger in the NewYear . after a year of feeling like i was standing still in the middle of a busy road, watching everyone else carry on with purpose, i'm feeling a little more purposeful . that nOvember & dEcember will be months to take tiny steps towards something a little more in the coming year .

for now though i will leave you with nOvember's calendars & my quote for the new month . . . 

. we all have magic inside us .


. have a mAgical dAy .

Friday, October 21

. hAppy fridAy .


. 1 . this weeks style crush . via . pepperPics .
. 2 . the cUtest conkers . via . happiestCamper . & . sogoodineveryway .
. 3 . i have sUch very talented friends . the darling doodles of heidi .
. 4 . the cUtest image . via . the OneJumperProject
. 5 . a Winter Play Date . by . Vanity's Edge . with . Fleur+Dot . { just lOve } .
. 6 . the Chicken Story Stories . the . Field Maple . by . a Bookish Baker . { just lOve } .
. 7 . moody & mysterious . cosy & comforting . gorgeous grey / gray .
. 8 . yAy . it's sweater weather .
. 9 . so . yAy . to these beautiful british made sweaters . via . Peregrine .
. & . finally . very tempted to try baking pumpkin pie for the first time .
{ you had me at gingersnap crust ForkKnifeSwoon ! } .

. have a hAppy dAy .