Category Archives: Trips and outings

Today

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It’s late, well past my bedtime, but today has been so special that I wanted to record it here. Nothing big happened but it was beautiful none the less.

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There was some unexpected sunshine as I enjoyed a cup of tea at an old barn (Bredon, in this case). Any meal tastes better with a healthy dose of fresh air!

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On arriving at our final destination we took a quick dip in the pool before donning the woollens once more for fish and chips on the beach. Eaten in the dark with the crashing ocean as background noise it was the perfect end to a lovely day. Here’s to a weekend of beachy fun and family time! I hope your day is beautiful too, x

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A New Year Beach Trip

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A Happy New Year to you all! As has become my habit, it’s a time for starting over which finds me returning to this blog to say hello once again.

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This last year has brought about big changes in our life but, in another way, returning here reminds me how things are just the same.

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I am now back at work and we no longer have a tiny baby and a toddler but a girl who is already beyond the toddling stage, zipping about the place desperately trying to keep up with her brother, and a growing boy wise beyond his years.

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2015 also saw major upheavals with a house move, including a few months squatting at my wonderful parents’ home in between, as well a new addition in the shape of my adorable niece. Only 6 weeks older than my Little Lady she has settled beautifully in our family and our hearts and we could not be happier about it.

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Everything’s changed and nothing has. New additions, new surroundings, yet here I am blogging about a winter trip to the beach. Buckets, spades, a picnic lunch and the sounds and smells of the ocean. Fabulous family time that I hope never changes.

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Here Comes the Bride

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Greetings all! I hope this post finds you well. Today I’d like to share a few pictures of the beautiful wedding that I was lucky enough to attend last weekend.

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The bride is one of my oldest and bestest friends and I had the honour of serving as matron of honour with a speech and everything!

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Held at the beautiful Deer Park Hall, this was a proper fancy pants wedding and the effort that the bride and groom had put in shone through. No detail was overlooked and there were little touches everywhere that made everything a little bit more special. (See the bunting in the top photo? Endless streams of pretty triangles all cut, sewn and ironed by the groom. Spectacular!).

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The Little Man did his bit well, dressing up and posing like a star all day as well as making this rather special heart for the bride, complete with buttons and sparkles. He’s really got into his crafting at the moment and I am loving it!

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The weather was a mixed bag but warm and generally kind, giving us plenty of time to enjoy the stunning views.

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The sunset was spectacular, even if I did manage to miss taking a proper photo as hubby’s phone chose precisely that moment to die.

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Needless to say the skies were incredible and the countryside glowed.

Of course, there was the star of the show (excepting the bride and all that jazz!) and that was the cake. And boy did this wedding have cake! (Made by the wonderful Marie Green).

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At number one we have this beautiful gold leaf three-tiered number that hid a surprise…

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Cut it open and it was a rainbow of pink sponge (can a rainbow be one colour?!). You must excuse some of the photography – as I did not have a bag on me most of my snaps were stolen on hubby’s phone in between bridesmaid duties and childcare. It was really strange not having the time to take a few candid shots whenever I wanted and, I have to say, I really missed it. The ones I did get, however, do give a good idea of how lovely the day was and I want to record it here for memory. I hope you will indulge me!

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Onto cake number two and this was a ‘naked’ sponge that held a wonderful surprise when eaten – it was coconut and totally delicious! The flowers used for decoration in the evening were from the two mothers’ gardens, which I thought added a lovely, personal touch.

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Moving onto number three and we have the evening buffet – the cake of cheese from Ansteys. Nom! We had one of these at our own wedding (note our board underneath!) and they always go down well. Not to mention the fact that, when the celebrations are over, it is nice to know that your wedding can still feed you in the weeks to come!

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And finally, at number four, we have my favourite – the cupcakes. Coming in vanilla, carrot and chocolate orange flavours these were scrumptious! Strictly speaking these are more fairy cakes as the were small and made out of light, fluffy sponge instead of cupcake batter. Either way, they were both delicious and adorable.

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We were lucky enough to be gifted a few to bring home so they have been providing a sweet treat of an evening with a cup of tea and some crochet. Perfect!

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Thank you for letting me share these memories with you. It was a magnificent day that I hope will mark the start of a long and happy married life for these two special people.  See you soon! x

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Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World

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Hello my dears! This post is somewhat late but I did promise you some photos from our trip to Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World so here goes!

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There is something magical about these beautiful creatures and I love having the opportunity to be so close to them.

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The range of shapes and colours was just breathtaking…

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And the flora was equally dazzling with tropical blooms all around.

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The staff were wonderful, eager to share their knowledge and get the little people involved.

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They also had minibeast and reptile handling, which the Little Man loved!

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My favourite thing was that you could literally stand and watch the birth of a new butterfly emerging from its chrysalis (truly awe inspiring).

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And, of course, when I stood still long enough then I was lucky enough to get up really close and personal. Love it!

And do you want to know the very best thing about this place?

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The Butterfly World is situated on the same site as Dobbie’s Garden Centre so you can take a break and get some sustenance before returning to the green house. How good is that?! (Oh, and expect to see my attempt to recreate this coffee delight sometime in the not too distant future!).
Back soon! x

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An Edinburgh Adventure

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Last Thursday the opportunity arose for us to pack our bags, bundle the kids in and head north for a weekend with my father in law.

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I love Edinburgh. So grand yet so comfortable. Castles, mountains, culture, food. It has it all. What I had never appreciated before was how much amazing coastline there is within a short drive. This is Gullane beach and was a complete revelation. Wide stretches of clean, sandy beach with rock pools full of things to discover.

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The Little Man was in his element covering vast distances as he walked back and forward from our camp down to the water to drop a pebble into the sea.

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Unusually for us we indulged in a selection of bought treats from Gullane’s little treasure, the German Bakery Falko Konditormeister courtesy of my lovely father-in-law. The Little Man and I shared the raisin brioche bun above whilst hubby had a rather fancy continental sandwich. For afters we shared raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake and bakewell frangipane. So good!

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The beachy agenda was agreed before we set off from home so we remembered to pack a few trusty buckets and spades in preparation. I love the fact that many of these were used by my sister and me 25+ years for our own castle creations. Happy memories!

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Saturday saw us head indoors to escape the howling gales but Sunday saw the sun come out to play so we once again headed to the coast. This time we were on familiar territory as we returned to a favourite haunt, Queensferry.

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I love it here with the Forth Railway Bridge spanning the water and the boats clanking in the (permanent) breeze. As I couldn’t safely carry the Little Lady over the slippery rocks I once more had the luxury to indulge in a bit more seaside hooky with my South Bay Shawl. Bliss!

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The Little Lady did come out to play as well. She was fascinated by the feel of the pebbles and the sound they made as she threw them. She is such a happy baby and so interested in the world around her. Everything is new and exciting when you are 6 months old!

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Before long I got somewhat distracted by the brightly coloured sea glass that literally littered the beach. It wasn’t long before we were all sifting through the pebbles. The Little Man was especially proud of his haul, bringing each piece to me for my approval. He favoured the larger pieces and spent the rest of the day rooting around in his pockets to rediscover his hidden treasures. Bless.

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Thank you for joining us on the beaches. Next time I shall share our Saturday adventures with you. 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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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!

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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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Coughton Court

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Today saw us venture out to one of our regular haunts, Coughton Court in Warwickshire. This awe inspiring Tudor House is a fascinating place to visit but it is the gardens that are the real draw for us.

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Passing through the formal areas the landscape opens to reveal the beautiful Bog Garden. I love this quiet and peaceful oasis and could spend hours watching the reflections dance across the water.

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All around there was a promise of what is to come as the fresh green shoots were peeping out of the mud. Every so often my eye was caught by a clump of golden yellow in the form of pond lilies and primulas.

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Overall, this was the perfect habit for a curious toddler with a stick to explore.
imageThe only disappointment of the day was that we didn’t get to see any of these beauties.
imageimageThe photos above are actually from a visit we made to Coughton Court at the end of April last year. As you can see, the grounds were full of rows upon rows of gloriously technicoloured tulips. Unfortunately the walled garden was closed today but I am hoping that this is just a temporary arrangement and we shall soon be treated to such a visual treat again.
imageBack to this year and we all felt invigorated after our walk and ready for a sit down and a bit of sustenance. I shall therefore leave you with a cup of tea and a slice of Chocolate and Beetroot Cake served on my latest charity shop find. Wishing you all a lovely day, x

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365 Project – Week 7

The Lake

Hello my dears. There is always room for another lake picture so I have squeezed an extra one in to begin with. Maybe next year I shall do a 365 lake project! Tree

Sunday 9th February: The mixture of sunshine and storm clouds in this picture is a perfect metaphor for this day. On the one hand, we had fun in the park and a wonderful party of family and friends for my brother-in-law’s birthday. On the other hand I had a poorly husband and my sister spent the day in and out of A&E after an altercation with a food processor. I don’t think this is the place to say any more but I am glad that my life is not usually full of such drama! A day that I will not forget in a hurry, that is for sure.

Mood of the Day: Pinky red – happy, dramatic, family and friends.

Leaf stitching

Monday 10th February: I make a very conscious effort to seperate my working life from this blog. Afterall, it would be a miserable 365 project if my daily image was a pile of books to mark each day (even if it does feel like that sometimes!). These pretty leaves, created to inspire my class in their creative endeavours, just had to appear alongside my cheerful, lilac square for that day. Life was feeling good.

Mood of the Day: Lilac – a good work day.

Crochet Mood Blanket

Tuesday 11th February: As always happens in these cases, work managed to throw a curved ball today to bring me down with a bump. Hey ho, let’s just bury ourselves in colourful crochet instead. (See here for my Week 6 update).

Mood of the Day: Peach – a very unsettled colour after my good mood being crushed at school!

Heating whisky

Wednesday 12th February: A rather late Burn’s Night Supper of haggis, neeps and tatties. After last year’s triumph, the whisky sauce once again took pride of place. Delicious and the Little Man loved it (the haggis that is, not the sauce!).

Mood of the Day: Bright blue – happy, bright, a good day.

Cheese and haggis sandwich

Thursday 13th February: The most amazing sandwich ever – cheese and haggis topped with tomato and fresh basil. Always the best part of having haggis for dinner.

Mood of the Day: Maroon – cosy, comfortable.

Valentine's Day

Friday 14th February: Happy Valentine’s day one and all. We shared a Chinese take away with my sister and her husband before battling it out over Settlers of Catan. A strawberry and kiwi pavlova from my lovely hubby topped it all off perfectly.

Mood of the Day: Bright purple – a happy feeling of deep contentment.

Fish and Chips

Saturday 15th February: Fish and Chips at the Black Country Museum. Amazing! I was quite concerned when we realised that the old chippie, who used to fry the chips in beef fat, had closed but these did not disappoint.

Black Country Museum

We had a marvellous time, stepping into the past and experiencing life in a Victorian mining town. The ranges were so beautiful, although I do not envy the women having to clean them out.

Mood of the Day: Steel grey – grey skies in the Black Country. Grey can be a beautiful colour.

So there we have another week in pictures. So much happiness. I hope that you take a moment to think back over the happy times of your week. x

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Crochet Mood Blanket – Week 7

Crochet Mood Blanket

Evening all! Here we are, Tuesday again and time for Hazel’s Crochet Mood Blanket link party. Very exciting this week as we actually have photographs taken in the daylight. Whoop whoop!

Crochet Mood Blanket

I am so pleased to finally show you the true blanket so far. You can appreciate the subtle differences in colour: the purples (usually school days) from the bright, cheerful shades for happy work days to the dull, lifeless tones for the tired, stressful days. The pinks showing happy days with family and friends and the blues indicating how the weather has affected my mood.

Crochet Mood Blanket

A happy pile of colourful squishiness.

Ends

Tonight I made an effort to deal with some of those pesky ends, sewing and snipping to secure them firmly. So boring but a very satisfying job. The overall appearance will be improved ten fold when it is complete.

Happyland Play

Today has been a cosy, homely day with lots of cuddles and familiar play. Many books have been read, toy boxes emptied, the track has been carefully assembled and spectacularly demolished. All good fun.

Ripple Blanket

To top it all I even managed to hook a couple of rows on my sister’s ripple blanket (see, my dear, I have not forgotten!).

Pizza Soup

As well as a lot of stay at home time, we’ve also been living life al-fresco this week, dodging the grey skies and making the most of any break in the weather. Today I chanced upon a notice on the Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries website announcing a visit from a mobile zoo at Blakesley Hall. A cheap, easy outing which would allow us all to have a breath of fresh air and enjoy a spot of outdoor dining.

Tea and Scone

We demolished the rest of yesterday’s Pizza Soup before tea and scones for dessert (not homemade but you can’t have everything!). A lovely little outing before bedding back down in the warmth of home. x

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