When was the last time that you went offline? For me, it’s probably been years. Ever since I got my first smart phone I’ve not had a day away from the internet. Well, when you’re carrying a computer in your pocket at all times, and your job is based online, and your friends contact you via social media, how can you ever really get away from it? It used to be easy to take a break: on a Friday night you’d simply shut down your computer and relax for the weekend. There was no social media to tempt you to stay up late scrolling through posts, and no-one expected a reply to their emails until Monday morning. In fact, no-one really sent those Saturday evening emails, because they too had closed down their computer at the end of the working week.After months of hard work, I knew I needed a break so hubby and I went away for a relaxing weekend away in Badger cottage in Sweffling. It’s a charming little barn that’s been converted into a super-cosy two bedroom holiday home in the beautiful Suffolk countryside. Arriving on Thursday evening, were delighted to find original beams and character galore, a deep reclaimed roll-top bath, and a big log fire. Everything we needed was right there at hand in the well-stocked kitchen, bathroom and living room. The stack of firewood and flickering woodburner let us know that we were in for a warm and cosy weekend. Candles in every room offered a calming sense of hygge and we felt completely at home the minute we stepped inside the door.Taking time away from the internet was partially self-inflicted and partially down my GiffGaff phone not being able to get any signal. I wanted to make the most of my time away from home, of course I did, but I’d still brought along my iPad and phone in case I ‘needed’ to get online. After an inital ‘why isn’t it working?!’ frustration, I asked myself why I was even trying to get online anyway. I realised that just knowing that I could get online if I wanted to was a bit of a comfort blanket. And I also realised that I’m a grown-up and don’t need comfort blankets anymore! And if I could have logged on, it’s likely that I would have wasted the whole weekend scrolling through Instagram or saving things on Pinterest (I convince myself it’s okay to spend time doing this because it’s ‘research’). So thank goodness that I couldn’t find that 3G signal anywhere, and thank goodness that I didn’t go searching for a wifi hotspot. Because it turns out that I had the best few (internet-free) days ever… Continue reading “No wifi for the weekend” »
Weekends for me are precious. It’s not because I’m working in a job I hate all week long – far from it, I love my work – it’s simply the fact that the world seems to slow down for a couple of days. Weeks whizz by and there never seems to be enough hours in the day but weekends bring a wonderful break from the madness of day-to-day life. It’s the potential that those two days hold that I love so much about weekends. They can be filled with oodles of fun activities, you’ve got time to see friends and, if you want, it can be two whole days of complete relaxation to recharge your batteries before starting another crazy week.Sunday is also the only day of the week that I actually sit down to have a ‘proper’ breakfast and can enjoy cooking up a treat for the family. My daily bowl of bran flakes is cast aside as Sunday brunch comes calling. Hubby and I like to try out different brunches each weekend, and have been cooking up pancakes, full English breakfasts and lots and lots of eggs over the past few weeks. Again, this is probably the only day of the week that I eat eggs, so I like to incorporate them into my cooked breakfast each Sunday. I love eggs and it’s definitely the season for it – my mum’s bantam hens are laying eggs like there’s no tomorrow. We’ve got about a dozen it the fridge at any one time and, other than in baking, we rarely get to use them up. Except for on Sundays. Whether scrambled, boiled, fried or poached, eggs are the ideal lazy breakfast food. They’re good for you, are a low-cost way to fill up your rumbling stomach and even come self-packaged in their shells! Last weekend I using my eggs in a different way and thought I’d share this with you so that you can recreate it yourself this weekend. I made eggy waffles. Like eggy-breads, or French toast, but instead of dipping a slice of bread into the egg mixture I dipped a cooked waffle. How does that sound? It’s bloomin’ delicious, I can tell you! You end up with something like a cross between a donut and French bread – or if you use cinnamon waffles, you get a cinnamon Danish effect. It’s the ultimate base on which to stack lots of healthy berries, sliced fruit and yoghurt if you’re feeling hungry! Here’s how I did it: Continue reading “Pieday Friday – A weekend breakfast treat: French toast waffles” »
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.
There’s nothing better when the sun is shining and you’re sat outside enjoying an alfresco dinner than sipping on a cocktail with your friends as the sun goes down. That is exactly what I got up to last weekend and I wanted to share my new favourite cocktail recipe with you so that you too can enjoy a cheeky drink this evening! As it’s my absolute favourite drink, I went on the Southern Comfort website looking for inspiration and was met with a massive collection of cocktails. Actually, it took me a couple of attempts because the website asks for your date of birth to check you’re over 18 before letting you onto the site. Very responsible of them, but they didn’t count on my dodgy typing that ended up with me telling them that my birthday was on the 51st of the month and in 1998 – ha, I wish! So I was blocked out oops!
I was glad that I persevered because the range and ideas for Southern Comfort-based cocktails was great. Having only ever really enjoyed it with lemonade in the past I was very excited to try out some new recipes. I plumped for the yummy-sounding Scarlett O’Hara, mainly because I had all the ingredients to hand! While looking at the history pages on the website I found out that this cocktail was created in 1939 when “Gone With the Wind” was released and not long afterwards in 1945 Southern Comfort arrived in the UK. The spirit was actually developed by founder M.W. Heron in 1885 so it took quite a long time to reach us in the UK but I’m so pleased that it eventually did! I mixed it up in a jug so I increased the quantities, mixed it with handfuls of ice and added some slices of orange to look pretty and add a little extra zest to the mixture.
Here’s the cocktail ingredients:
1 part southern comfort
1.5 parts cranberry juice
a dash of lime juice
1.5 parts club soda (or as much as you prefer to dilute it to your taste)
I’m going to try out a second recipe this weekend that I spotted on the website called “Dixie Punch” – I just need to pop out for some pineapple juice to make this one. There are user-submitted cocktail recipes too so maybe I’ll experiment a bit with my favourite flavours and add my own “Cassiefairy” cocktail?? Plus, I’ve just discovered that there is such as thing as Bold Black Cherry Southern Comfort – wow, I can’t wait to try that! Let me know if you have a go at making a tasty cocktail this evening and you can enter your favourite concoction into the “Go Drink Yourself” cocktail creation competition – here’s the link www.southerncomfort.com/drink-yourself-uk and use the hashtag #whateverscomfortable to share your cocktail photos on twitter or instagram – but please please drink responsibly, like me 😉