Cinnamon Apple Roses

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Hello! Remember these little beauties from the other week? They proved so popular that I have already made a second batch. Obviously I gave you the link to the superb video of the recipe but I felt that it would be much more convenient to have a written version. This is not to replace the video but will be a handy reference for when I (or anybody else!) next want to whip up another bouquet of roses.

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Halve and thinly slice 2 red apples and put them in a bowl of water with lemon juice. Microwave for 3 minutes then drain.

Mix 3 tbsp apricot preserve with 2 tbsp water and microwave for 1 minute.

Roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry into a longer, thinner rectangle and cut into 6 strips. Spread on the apricot jam.

Lay the apple slices along the top of each pastry strip and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Fold the dough in half to hold the fruit in place (watch the video to see this process in action!).

Roll up the dough strips into roses and bake in a muffin tin at 190 °C/375 °F for 45 minutes.

Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving warm with a blob of ice cream.

Enjoy!

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Baby Granny No. 3

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Greetings my friends. I warned you that these cups would be reappearing soon! The Little Man and I have been baking so grab a ginger nut and let’s do a bit of blanket loving.

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This journey started four years ago when I first picked up a hook and began learning how to crochet. You can read the story here. My grannies quickly became square and I was hooked (excuse the pun!). Fast forward to just before the Little Lady was born and I found my original practice granny along with the King Cole Chunky and decided to put them to good use.

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It wasn’t long before I had a reasonable sized square (1 m x 1 m) in these fabulously vibrant colours.

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Next came the fun part – the border (#10 in Edie Eckman’s ‘Around the Corner Crochet Borders’). Made out of popcorn stitches separated by 5 chain stitches and a treble it is fun and frilly and I love the effect. There is nothing subtle about this blanket! Beware though, this edging is time consuming and eats yarn like nothing else so be prepared before embarking on a large border!

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Ta-dah! There we have it. A super thick and warm baby blanket, perfect for wrapping a little one in on frosty walks.

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The chunky yarn gives this blanket a really tactile quality that the Little Lady really enjoys. It makes me so happy to see her pulling on those little bobbles, all warm and cosy in her woolly nest. The King Cole is not as smooth as the Stylecraft feeling somewhat more ‘plasticy’, especially when wet, but blanket is soft, snuggly, rich in colour and washes well.

So there we go. A simple project that has been an excellent stash buster as well as putting a practice square to good use. Win win! I know you have seen my final picture before, but it is so cute so you will have to humour me. Be back soon! :)

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Sweet Pea Snapshots

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Evening all! Can I offer you a cup of tea? My lovely aunt came into possession of the most delightful Royal Winton tea set in Sweet Pea and very kindly gifted it to me. It is positively divine and I love every sip from it. I have a feeling that you will be seeing these pop up frequently from now on!

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The weather has been up and down this week. Beautiful sunshine, some much needed rain and a few grey, chilly mornings which have allowed us to wrap ourselves in the cosy blankets around the place. It makes me so happy to see them being put to good use.

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Even my Summer Garden Granny Throw was put to work as an impromptu picnic blanket.

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There has been a pleasing amount of crochet happening here at the moment. My South Bay Shawlette is coming along slowly but surely (the pattern can be found on Ravelry). The yarn is Drops Baby Alpaca Silk and is a dream to work with.

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Don’t you just love a bit of al fresco hooky? My Crochet Mood Blanket 2014 has become a 2015 mood blanket but I am loving choosing which colour it is to be each day.

However the most exciting news of this week has to be from Little Lady. Drumroll please…my little poppet is now eating!

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Yes, weaning take 2 has begun. I cannot believe how well she has taken to eating. She is even giving her brother a run for his money! So far she has scoffed banana, pear, orange, potatoes in all forms, carrots, swede, brocolli, peppers, tomatoes, Weetabix, Rice Crispies, turkey with five spice and ginger, steak, chicken curry, oxtail stew, red rice with feta, cheese sandwich, crumpets and probably loads more that I am forgetting. Here she is enjoying a pitta stick with cashew butter.

I cannot tell you how exciting I am finding this second journey into Baby Led Weaning (not least the improvement that we have seen in the length of time that she will go between feeds in the night now!). I will try to restrain myself from boring you with details of every meal time but please allow me this proud mommy moment as I leave you with one more picture.
See you soon!

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The Week In and Out

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Hello my dears, I hope I find you well. Thank you for your kind wishes for the Little Lady. Her spots are now clearing and normality has returned.

Do you like the yarn play that I enjoyed with my Little Man the other day? He is not the most enthusiastic artist/crafter but, with a bit of encouragement, we have some lovely sessions together. I am planning on creating a spider to live in his colourful web so it can hang in his bedroom.

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There are times when I get myself in a tizzy about this blog, planning posts, not writing them and then ending up stressing so I am hoping that this post clears a backlog. The last fortnight has been a busy mix of mundane, comfortable at home time (the in of the title) and merry outings here and there, picnicking with family and friends. Bits and pieces that make for messy posts but are a truthful reflection of everyday life. My latest obsession, Instagram, is a wonderful outlet for these moments but I still love writing my blog. If you’re on there please come and say hello @rosy_hill!

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On Bank Holiday Monday we had a magical day out at one of our favourite places, Shugborough. I have taken you there before here if you want to look around but on Monday it was a relaxed, family affair that centred around the little people and the picnic!

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It makes me so happy to see the joy my Little Man gets out of life’s simple pleasures. Chasing a ball around. Picking dandelion clocks.

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Bless him.

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Another wonderful moment from last weekend was creating these little beauties. So simple, so effective, so delicious and so much fun! I have never used YouTube videos to cook from before but these worked out really well. Check it out here.

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Served warm with a blob of ice-cream they made quite a spectacular dessert!

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Today we are down in Kent with family and we took a trip to Riverhill Himalayan Gardens. We timed the visit well with the woods being carpeted with bluebells. What a smell!

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The little people had a wonderful time and the weather was kind to us. It only rained a little bit and the sun even came out to say hello.

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The Little Man was here, there and everywhere…

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…even getting up close and personal with the sculptures! I took so many pictures of the flowers, the views, the art but mostly it was pretty overcast and they just don’t do justice to the beauty of nature. Trust me, we shall be visiting again!

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Finally, we have been busy setting up the garden for the summer. Seeds have been planted, bushes have been mulched and some dubious seed potatoes have been plunged into the ground with fingers crossed! I hope to have some more to show you soon when things get going.

Thank you so much if you have made it to the end of my musings. Flicking through it all looks pretty bright and colourful so I shall leave you with a reminder that we’ve had the rain and clouds too, we’ve just carried on regardless! :)

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Filed under Crochet, Desserts, Gardening, Recipes, Trips and outings

Curry Comfort

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Good evening all, I hope this post finds you well. I was all set to do a ta-da post for a couple of pieces tonight but I am frankly just too tired to find the words. Illness has struck again as it is now the turn of Little Lady to be blighted by chickenpox. The poor little lamb is covered in spots, much more than her brother was. Luckily she does not seem to be overly unwell, just incredibly itchy.

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For the past few days I have therefore given myself over to a lot of sofa snuggles. She is a bit restless, waking regularly from her naps and needing extra comfort so I have kept her close by, resigning myself to a few days of films and crochet (well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!).

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I have taken the opportunity to resurrect a long forgotten project, my Summer Garden Throw. Using Lucy’s (Attic24) Summer Garden Granny Square this blanket is a colour bonanza and I am loving every minute of it.

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Yesterday I did manage to rouse myself from our cosy nest to create a rather delicious Carrot, Tomato and Lentil Soup. (Simply softened onions and garlic with paprika, salt and tomato puree with chopped carrots, tomatoes, red lentils and parsley).

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And today I took some time out to cook up a batch of comforting vegetable curry from Be Healed, Be Healthy, Be Happy. I absolutely love this recipe and, best of all, it’ll fill my stock pot with enough for 2 meals for the three of us and 3 lunches for me. The only real changes I make are using swede instead of butternut squash (cheaper and quicker to prepare) and adding a tonne of coriander (1 tbsp ground and as much fresh as I can get my hands on). I also only use 1 can of coconut milk, making up the difference with water.
Anyways, I have just fed and resettled the Little Lady so I am going to take the opportunity to grab as much sleep as possible until she stirs again.

Enjoy your weekend. :-)

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The Bard’s Mother

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Good evening my dear fellows. Do forgive the rather grand title of this post but we have been journeying back to Tudor times today. We have been taking a peek into life as it would have been for Mary Arden, the mother of non other than William Shakespeare himself.

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Having purchased a five house pass in December we have been doing the rounds of properties in and around Stratford that have a connection with Shakespeare but we had not yet made it to Mary Arden’s Farm. What a treat was in store for us! This delightful farm is full of interesting things to see around every corner.

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There was a full schedule of activities, including the goose parade!

Barn Owl

The staff and volunteers, all in costume, were friendly and interesting and really added to our enjoyment of the day. The Little Man was delighted to have this barn owl swoop low over his head. He is quite the bird enthusiast at the best of times so this was quite something for him.

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The surrounding area, including the working farm with traditional breeds, is beautiful, well maintained and was shown off to its best in the glorious sunshine that we enjoyed all day.

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Traditional crafts are practised here including ironmongery, wood carving and willow weaving.

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The attention to detail continued in the play area, full of beautiful carved animals. Unfortunately the light and shadows prevented me from taking any good photographs here but the above is one of my favourites from today. See those tiny feet peeking out, copying his nanny? So cute!

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Of course the obligatory picnic was enjoyed, giving me the opportunity to show off this year’s must have for al fresco dining – my Wild and Wolf enamel Folklore Owl Mug by Nina Jarema. Oh my do I love it!

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Finally we come to the gardens. The traditional cottage garden was full of flowers and herbs living in peaceful harmony but it was the blossom that really caught my eye.

The delicate frills of the the pale pink cherry blossom…

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And the glorious white flowers covering the apple trees…

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Just magical!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed noseying around Mary Arden’s Farm. I do so love having you come along. x

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A Moment

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Hello my lovelies! Just wanted to bring you a moment of sunny, snuggly goodness that the Little Lady and I slipped into our weekend whilst her brother was having his nap. Daytime hooky is quite unusual for me so this opportunity was a real treat. What’s more, I got chance to use my new Queens Couture ‘Swallow’ mug.

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Oh it makes me so happy to drink from this beauty! During my pregnancy I became a little obsessed with drinking from china cups (strange how hormones affect us!). However, I still wanted a good sized cuppa, not to mention something that can go in the dishwasher. Since discovering these mugs we’ve built up a little collection. So many colours, patterns and styles. Major wanties! But I shall be good for now and enjoy my birdies.

Hope you have a moment today. x

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Springtime Catch Up

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Hello! Hope you’re keeping well. I’ve been out of action for a little while as we’ve been battling a bout of chicken pox whilst simultaneously organising (and attending) a hen party for my lovely friend. It’s been all go! Luckily the Little Man bore his illness well but he found being confined to the local area a little bewildering. He could not understand why we were not venturing much further than the park! I am just so grateful that we had the glorious sunshine and spring blossom to keep our spirits up and allow us to enjoy the fresh air as much as possible.

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We are still trying to enjoy as much alfresco feasting as possible whilst the weather holds and a favourite treat at the moment is these wheat free pancakes. I originally began my search for a simple, flourless pancake recipe when the Little Man began weaning but I was disappointed with the results. They generally contained apple or banana and the results were somewhat on the heavy side. These, however, are light and fluffy. Let me be clear, they do not compete with a proper, rich, butter laden scotch pancake but they are an excellent substitute whilst project ‘shift some baby weight’ is still in action. They will also no doubt prove to be useful when the Little Lady begins exploring solids. So here’s the recipe:

35 g / (1/3 cup) porridge oats
240 ml / (1 cup) yoghurt
3 eggs, beaten
Ground cinnamon

Simply mix together the yoghurt and oats then stir in the beaten eggs. Add cinnamon to taste. Fry in batches. When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, turn and cook for a further couple of minutes. Enjoy sweet or savoury with your favourite pancake topping!

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Baby Granny No. 2

Hello all! I promised you crochet this time so here we are.

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Just as with the Little Man, I made 2 new blankets prior to the arrival of the Little Lady. I had always intended to create another baby granny like the one that I shared here. So, with the arrival of my baby imminent, I reread that post and set to work as instructed – whip up 6 squares in each of your 6 colours and border with cream. Excellent.

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Although we did not know what the gender of our child was to be I was inspired by the autumnal colours around me so went for seasonal browns, yellows and pinks and got started. 36 completed squares later I decided that there’s no point in reinventing the wheel and began to copy the original colour placement. It did not take me long to realise that my previous post was wrong. The first blanket did not contain 6 shades of blue/green but 7. Whoops. I blame baby brain. I will revisit that post and amend the details! Never mind, onwards and upwards.

However I was not going to start crocheting more squares at this point. So Baby Granny 2 really does only contain 6 colours and cream but I do not believe that it is any the poorer for it!

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Ahh, my two blankets for my two little munchkins. As you can see, there is a slight disparity in size despite being the same yarn on the same hook. This is simply because, as the years have gone by, my crochet has become more relaxed and even giving it a softer texture and resulting is a slightly looser weave.

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(Excuse the clutter but this one’s just so darn cute!) There is an extra special reason why this granny means so much to me. It was the day before my due date and I was desperate to both finish hooking and have the baby! By lunchtime the blanket was done. A few hours later I went into labour and out she popped on her due date, clever girl. She’d just been waiting for mommy to finish before she arrived.

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Blanket Stats:

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK

Hook: 5 mm (H)

1132 : Shrimp
1114 : Sunshine
1064 : Mocha
1035 : Burgundy
1123 : Claret
1029 : Copper
1005 : Cream

Pattern: 4 round Granny Square then Bunny Mummy’s ‘chain round a granny‘ before the final round

Size: 90 x 90 cm (36 squares)

Edging: Double V Edging

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Magic Moments

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Greetings all! Easter is over and spring has well and truly arrived. Lots of little things have been going on around here and I have a hundred posts buzzing in my head so I have decided to do a Magic Moments post to clear my mind and share a few bits and bobs that have been amusing me lately.

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Most exciting of all has been Little Man turning 3. His birthday was on Sunday and his requests were simple – a picnic, pizza for dinner and cake (‘If me has cakes mees will be happy’, bless him). The only other thing that he asked for was to take his cars and play with them outside at the picnic.

I am pleased to say that we managed to tick everything off his list and a wonderful day was had by all. We chose Packwood House as the location for the picnic. There was the added bonus that the National Trust were once again running the ‘Cadbury Easter Eggsploration’ so entertainment was provided! The day was topped off by a family pizza making party and ended on a high with us all tucking into the amazing cake made by my lovely mommy.

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The beautiful weather has lured us into the garden a lot more. Last autumn we planted a load of bulbs in the herb pots and these are really coming into their own now.

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This is the Little Man’s garden. A planter choc a block with spring colour! Over winter it provided a splash of colour in the form of cyclamen, primroses and pansies. Now the bulbs have sprouted and there are so many wonderful blooms to admire. It might not be a very subtle display but the Little Man is very proud of them and loves watching the bees that they are attracting.

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One of the best things about the warm weather is the opportunity for garden picnics. As you know, we picnic out and about in all weathers but it is only when the sun is shining that we start enjoying as many meals as possible al fresco.

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Finally, we have crochet! The other week saw me enjoying the luxury of a few hours on a train, alone. The sun was shining, I had downloaded a couple of programmes on catch up and I had my hook in hand. Bliss. There’s not been a lot of hooky action on the blog lately but I have some projects to share and even a few finished items! Making the most of the sunny weather on Monday I tried to photograph a few pieces. So I shall leave you with a picture of my little helper and will be back soon to share some more. Enjoy your own magic moments!

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