The eagle-eyed of you may have spotted that I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I was away on holiday in Yorkshire last week. So this week I wanted to tell you all about my trip to York and share some photos of a fantastic exhibition that I went to. It was in York Castle Museum and I was temped to visit the exhibition after spotting a rather eye-catching image online last month.Remember Kim Kardashian’s infamous champagne bottle photo that ‘broke the internet’ recently? Well, the York Castle Museum has recreated that image to coincide with their Shaping the Body exhibition, which launched on 25th March this year. Pretty cool, huh? It just goes to show that displaying a rounded rump has been a fashion staple for centuries! I was expecting a very corsetry-focussed, undergarment-based exhibition for adults but, in fact, the Shaping the Body exhibit was also about outer-garments throughout the years, clothing trends and construction methods. As I wandered through the halls, two further parts of the exhibition were revealed to me; learning about how food and lifestyle shapes the body too. These sections included kitchen scenes of the past century (including a very 80s-looking kitchen that I swear could have been my own childhood home at some point!) and the foods that we eat, plus an exhibit on professions and how work has shaped people over the years too. Very interesting indeed.
ESo we’re already in the middle of a lovely 4-day break over Easter and I thought I’d better share a quick round up of all my Easter-related blog posts for you. I really feel like I have lots of spare time over Easter and it allows me to make some easy weekend craft projects and lets me spend time creating something fun with the little ones. I’ve made some simple Easter pudding recipes that would be great for Easter lunch, and some classic cornflake cakes you can make with the kids too. Get your crafting stuff together, pull on that apron and start creating! Here’s some inspiration for you to get started:
What do you think of these quick and easy DIY projects and recipe ideas? Check out each of the step-by-step tutorials by clicking on the pink links above. What do you like to do over the Easter weekend? I hope you all have a lovely break and I’ll catch up with you next week!
With Easter coming this weekend you may, like me, be planning a gathering of festive proportions. Yes, Easter is often the first opportunity that the family has of all getting together post-Christmas so I like to make a big deal out of the 4-day holiday and make something special to eat and drink. As you can probably guess from the title of the blog post, today’s I’ve mixed up a fruity (non-alcoholic, good for all the family) cocktail that’s just right for a enjoying with a Springtime gathering. Plus, I’m hosting a massive giveaway to win over £100 worth of crystal from Dartington Crystal (the lovely people that I got my jug and tumblers from) so that you can recreate this recipe at home. Read on to enter..!But first up, is my spring punch recipe. At this time of year I want something fresh, fruity, sparkling and a little bit chilled. Yes, I’m hoping for sunny days and hot weather over Easter weekend (however unlikely that may be) so I’ve stocked up with ice and frozen fruit for my fizzy fruity spring cocktail. Here’s what you’ll need to mix up the same recipe at home:
Ingredients: 1 carton of low sugar raspberry and cranberry juice, 1 litre of sugar free lemonade, a punnet of frozen mixed berries (the type you’d use in a smoothie or crumble filling), a squeeze of fresh lemon and lots of ice.
Get out your biggest jug – mine is from Dartington Crystal – and pack it full of ice and frozen fruit. Pour over the fruit juice and top up with as much lemonade as needed. Add a squeeze of lemon and stir the ingredients together. As the fruit defrosts into the drink it will release even more fruity flavours. Pour over ice in tumblers and add a cute paper straw, and perhaps some more fresh fruit.
My jug has one of those pinched lips so that the ice in the jug can’t plop into the glasses so it keeps splashes to a minimum. This is a bit of a godsend because I always spill. Whether I’m dealing with ice or tea, you can guarantee it’s going to end up all over the table. But not anymore with my new jug! By the way, if you’ve ended up with too much leftover punch, you can decant it into a bottle and drink another day.
Now here’s your chance to win a set of 4 Shine On Tumbler Glasses (worth £15) and a fantastic Large Cooler Ice Lip Jug (worth £89) from Dartington Crystal so that you too can enjoy a rather posh glass of punch this Spring. There are plenty of ways to enter the competition via the Rafflecopter widget below – simply share on social media and leave me some comments to earn as entries as you like. The winner will be picked at random once the giveaway closes and you’ll be sent your very set of crystal tumblers and stunning serving jug straight from the Dartington Crystal glass blowing works.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Competition open to UK residents only.
Everybody knows wellington boots are an amazing accessory for any wet day, but unfortunately we tend to find ourselves only wearing them a handful of times throughout the year. As a result of this, especially with the little ones, the next time you go to pop them on they’re too small. Well, if you find this to be the case then don’t worry, you can make yourself some welly planters! What better way to not only add a little fun to your garden, but to recycle too! Here’s a guide on how you can make your wellies into fun little plant pots and add a little extra colour to your garden.
Before you begin making your welly planters, there’s a few things you’ll need:
- Wellington Boots
- A Drill
- Watering Can
- Stones or Pebbles
- Waterproof labels (if you wish to label your plants)
Now you have everything you need, you can get started. Make sure you wash your wellington boots with warm water and a little soap, just to give them a freshen up. Dry them off with an old tea towel and then you’re good to go. You can use new wellington boots if your current ones still fit, that’s up to you, but I’d recommend going rummaging at the carboot sale to pick up a used pair for pennies! Next, remove any insoles or liners that are inside the wellington boots, as we need as much space as we can get.
Hold the wellington from the bottom, sole facing upwards (and use a clamp on a workbench to hold it in place!) while you drill a few small holes around the edges of the boot and a couple on the sole. This will make sure that when you water your plants, the water drains out evenly and the compost will be able to breathe. Fill the bottom of the wellington with some stones or pebbles, this is to weigh the welly down so that if there are any blustery days, your new planter will be less likely to fall over. Also, having stones at the bottom will make it that little bit easier for the water to drain out, as there will be room between the compost and the holes.
With the big Easter holiday looming at the end of the month (and a bit of time off, phew!) I’ve been busy making plans for Easter fun with the family. We all love to get together at some point over the four-day holiday and enjoy a meal together, as well as organising an Easter egg hunt around the garden. It’s always great fun entertaining the little ones at this time of year, as they love to run around the garden, ride on their toy tractors and spot the daffodils coming up.Having already had a trial run of my Easter cheesecake recipe, and with lots of bags of mini eggs rattling around in the cupboard I couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted to make Easter cornflake cakes and I wanted to make them now! So I’ve actually already been making super-cute Easter cakes with the smallest members of my family this week. And it was an very enjoyable cooking session indeed, not least because I got to take a tray of cornflake cakes home with me to scoff all week long! Continue reading “Looking forward to Easter – Mini-eggs, toys and outdoor fun” »
Believe it or not, winter is almost over! It’s nearly time for those lighter evenings and sunny mornings and I actually cannot wait. This does mean that the long awaited (by children mainly) Easter holidays are creeping up on us, and we can almost hear the cry of ‘I’m bored’ in the background. There are so many ways in which you can utilise your home and garden to get the best from it without having to spend a fortune. Here are a few ways in which you can make the most out of your garden for both yourselves and your little ones.Garden TLC
First things first, your garden will probably need some tender loving care. We’re all guilty of neglecting our gardens when those blistery winter days set in and the rain doesn’t stop for weeks, however now that the days are getting brighter there’s no better time to get outside and have a little tidy. Decide what you want to get from your garden, how much space you need, things you might want to add etc. My husband and I actually dug over the veggie patch last weekend, so it’s already ready for the seeds to be sown. If you have decking or patio space and want to host a few ‘get togethers’ over the summer then give it a quick clean, get rid of any little weeds that have settled in over the winter and then you’re good to go!
How will the Easter bunny know where to deliver your chocolate eggs if you don’t hang a spring wreath on your door?? The whole Easter bunny thing is like Santa, right? Well, I don’t want to risk missing out on my chocolate goodies so I’ve been DIYing a wreath for spring this week and I’ve hung it on my caravan door already, just to be sure. Continue reading “DIY Easter bunny wreath for spring” »
I went as far East as possible yesterday. That IS what Easter means, right? 😉 I headed to the East coast in East Anglia and braved the coastal winds to enjoy a walk along the seafront with my family. I enjoyed a traditional fish and chips lunch and a cup of afternoon tea before walking the promenade and ogling all the gorgeous seafront properties with much jealousy. One of the more interesting buildings on Aldeburgh seafront is the South Lookout Tower, an art space owned by Caroline Wiseman Modern & Contemporary which plays host to artists-in-residence and presents engaging exhibitions.
This weekend’s art offering included seascape photography in the very top of the tower (for those who could brave that spiral staircase in blustery winds!), an installation in the middle of the tower to represent how writer Laurens van der Post had used the lookout Tower in the past to write, and a though-provoking exhibition entitled Void – The landscape of waste packaging in the gallery space. The artist invited holiday-makers, visitors and locals to join in with the creation of a ‘landscape’ of waste by bringing their own used packaging to the exhibition in order to have it cast in concrete. The resulting sculptures formed an industrial landscape which grew over the course of the artist’s Easter residency and joined the existing waste landscapes that the artist had previously cast, painted and photographed.
Happy Easter everyone! I’m taking a day off and heading to the seaside so I’ll see you all after the Bank Holiday! In the meantime, here are some lovely images from my ‘Special Holidays’ board on Pinterest that I’m sure you’ll enjoy looking at over the Easter weekend – have fun and let me know what you get up to!
Here’s an easy but impressive recipe for your Easter roast lunch – mini toad-in-the-hole. These are also great for parties and evening meals so give it a try with this easiest ever batter recipe and let me know how you get on!
Ingredients: Chipolata sausages (the long ones, not cocktail sausages), 140g plain flour, 4 eggs, 200ml milk, pinch of salt
Brown the chipolatas in the oven at a temperature of 230C/fan 210C/gas 8 and the fat from the sausages will grease the base of the tin, ready for you to pour the batter into. The browning should only take about 10 minutes.
Mix together the flour and eggs in a bowl using an electric whisk until smooth. Gradually add the milk and carry on whisking until the mix is completely lump-free. Pour the batter over the hot sausages, distributing evenly into each muffin/brownie space and working quickly so that the temperate of the pan doesn’t drop. Cook for 20-25 minutes without opening the oven door and you should have puffy golden-brown toad-in-the-holes for your Easter lunch at the end of the cooking time!