Welcome to Homemaking Heaven: Make it Home. Pull up a seat and pour yourself a cuppa!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Ferris Bueller Has Nothing On Me

Days off mid week are utterly delicious. They are like stolen gems of time and are enormously more fun than a week-end. Those are simply days off for working all week. These are the days spent chasing those chores that slipped away when you came home too tired. Week days spent lounging are like a month of Sundays-rare, but even the thought of them make your toes wriggle with delight.

Tomorrow is one such day. Tomorrow is for hanging washing on the line outside, a big pot of tea and the papers. It is for a big breakfast and for a jaunt into town. It is for a look around the delis and charity shops. It is for tea and cake where ever we wish to visit. For garden centres and gardening. Tomorrow will be good.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Blue Sky Thinking

I love waking up to bright uninterrupted sunshine through my window. We go to bed when it’s dark and rarely use the curtains, so while the sun is rising at a reasonable time I am more than happy to let it wake me gently. The skies are so massive right now with no clouds in the way making things seem gloomy. I hope that March is as good to us as February was. I’m slowly putting more and more thick bottom pans away, I think there are fewer and fewer casseroles being served up and things are beginning to get their bite back in the kitchen, we will soon we crunching our food instead of having so many nursery teas!

I love this weather!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Garden Jobs

There is something about being able to stretch and go outside after such a very long time inside that really does quite a magical thing to you. I have been experiencing this magic recently as we are now enjoying a short visit to the garden shortly after waking up. We take our tea and coffee and watch Daisy Dog potter about, investigating the same tree, and barking at the trees when the wind blows through them.

I have been making preliminary plans for the garden which right now is a patch of grass, moss and weeds. There is no bare soil and it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting any pleasant surprises popping through to greet us. I have plans, but it looks like a lot of what I want to do will be an Autumn job-remind me to save my holidays from work for then!

We have an area of the garden which seems to be in perpetual shade as it is in the middle of the house and wood shed/garage, if there were no windows facing it I think I would do the easiest thing and put some gravel over it and fill the area with boxes for wood. It is, however, right in front of the kitchen window, and although from there we get a pretty view if standing at an angle, I can’t stand the idea of making it so dark and boring. I am going to be trying to find the best plants for such a dark, dampish area so that I can brighten up one small corner at a time.

Until then I think we will spend some of the coming weekends at garden centres reading up on the plants they display trying to figure out what can be done now to brighten the place up. We will be busy enough quite soon chopping down three trees which cast a giant shadow and seem to be precariously close to the house and garage. The Husband is also in the midst of putting a fence up so that Daisy wont have to be supervised on her jaunts in the garden, with so many squirrels about I worry that she will dash after them.

It seems like everything is coming together nicely and I’m sure it wont be too long before it all falls into place and we’ll be sipping strawberry daiquiris in the warm sun!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

New Clothes

I have been on quite the buying spree recently.  I am in love with Boden and their beautiful clothing.  It was always one of those catalogues that came through the door, found things I loved, but never did anything about it.
Riviera Shirt Dress

This last week I saw a couple of dresses that I just couldn’t live without, so I just had to have them.  As a new customer I got a discount, which is always welcome!
Amelie Dress
What a bargain, ok, well now I just need some shoes, a bag, a necklace.....

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

25 Things About Me

I read a blog a little while ago that had a 25 Things About Me part of it which I thought was really fun and cool. I guess when you blog all the time people get some sort of fragmented idea of you. I love the Cherry Menlove website and vividly remember that she posted some pictures of a pheasant she was about to cook which caused some uproar. I remember thinking that it is certainly odd what you may or may not feel passionately about when finding out that another person likes or deems it acceptable. Hence the 25 Things About Me….

1. I am passionate about Irish history.
2. I chat to my dog incessantly and make up and sing songs about her when wondering around the house.
3. I got married when I was 23.
4. My first holiday when I was little was sailing around the Greek Isles for six weeks.
5. I love bitter and sour flavours.
6. I got a degree in History after moving from Politics, I also studied Divinity for a short while.
7. I moved house four times in one year when I was little.
8. My favourite perfume and song is Amazing Grace.
9. I love going to Church and feel truly happy there.
10. Pink is my favourite colour and I only became girly when I turned 16, before then I went through a bit of a grungy faze.
11. I am a tea fiend and abhor coffee.
12. I have an incredibly dry sense of humour.
13. I love University Challenge and do a lap of honour if I get 10 points.
14. I love make up counters.
15. Christmas Eve is infinitely better than Christmas Day in my mind.
16. I hate the taste of all alcohol.
17. I was in the Air Training Corps when was 13, and made it to Cadet Warrant Officer before becoming an Adult Sergeant.
18. I loved cross country running when I was younger and competed for the country.
19. I am a ‘Blue Person’, which means I love evidence, knowledge and order.
20. I can’t watch Strictly Come Dancing without shouting SEVEN.
21. My favourite meal would involve lasagne.
22. My favourite books include Mere Christianity and How to be a Woman.
23. I love gummy sweets.
24. I learnt to swim because I decided to one day while on holiday in Portugal when I was 8. I got into the pool not being about to and left 10 hours later with a lot of confidence.
25. I adore getting The Guardian on a Saturday and spending the whole day pouring over every inch of it with a cup of tea.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Needing a break

This weekend has been so mixed up and very tiring-physically, emotionally and mentally. There were some unpleasant things on Thursday which meant that TH and I had no Valentines to speak of, and spent Saturday driving to Edinburgh in a bid to sort ‘things’ out. We have hopefully done as much as we can, and the rest is completely out of our hands. I hope I don’t seem like I’m speaking in riddles or trying to be very cryptic, I just wouldn’t want to say things about my family, yet I really need to get some things out.

All of the bad, sad, scary and infuriating things aside we did have a drive to the capital and we did go the long, lazy coastal route which made an awful journey a little better. We stopped off at half a dozen coastal villages and spent lunch time at St Andrews which I love unequivocally. I don’t know if it because it is a University town and I always feel better as soon as I am at my own alma mater. It was time well spent as we almost forgot what was going on and it was nice to look into all of the different charity shops and boutiques. It made me think back to the time we took The Nephew down to St Andrews as an impromptu trip due to it being a nice day outside. Being there reminded me of nicer times and although I can neither will myself out of these trials or study my way to a solution, I feel like one way or another it will have to be gotten through and so I had better hold tight and get to that point.

When we finally got home it was a little after one, so due to an early start on Sunday when we sat down in the afternoon we collapsed into the sofa with cups of tea and were dead to the world in ten minutes. I hope better weekends were had by all!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

All at Once

This is really partly a post I was going to do on Shrove Tuesday which this year seemed to come on really early in the year for me. I have had Valentines Days in snowy settings, but I normally just want Easter time to be so full of buds in bloom and all manner of exciting and Spring like things. I was looking in some shops through the week and saw beautiful Easter bunting and decorations for Easter trees and cakes, but I couldn’t get my head into pale palettes and soft pastel colours.

Now that I am thoroughly off track I will try to get back on by saying that Pancake Day was accompanied by the usual tummy ache from eating all day long. Warm pancakes, bacon and maple syrup for breakfast were followed by cold pancakes and jam for lunch. After Dinner we got the bowl and whisk out again for some more and I was able to really getting into flipping them!

Wednesday wasn’t any less eventful and I got sent home ridiculously early due to the bad snow. It was such a scary journey what with the gales coming through the Glens of Foundland, from the fields all around us and it swirling about the car anyway. We got through two road closures and even had a police escort to the front door-just so they knew we weren’t trying to break open the closed snow gates. We were so grateful that when the wind calmed down a bit we got all of the hill walking gear we own, through it over us, and headed out to give the Police at the road diversion some coffee. Daisy Dog was so unimpressed on the way back that she simply sat down, her poor fur had gotten all matted with the snow so that she really couldn’t take a step further!

And so here we are on Valentines Day! I don’t have lots of pictures of flowers and cards and chocolates and tickets for trips away…just a little blog post! TH and I will be having tea at home and while I know that he has got me a lovely card I am giving him a postcard of a lovely picture at our local art gallery. I also found a beautiful mug with a picture of the chapel we got married in on it, which has been done by a local artist and was for sale in the gallery shop too.

I hope you all have a fantastic day!

Monday, 11 February 2013


I love Edinburgh, I always have and I can't imagine ever finding it boring.  We went out when it was cool and crisp and very, very peaceful.  I wouldn't want to take little Daisy Dog out when there were lots of people, so had planned the trip around lots of lanes and parks...
We walked up and down lanes....

Daisy and I walked along Princes Street Gardens...until her legs could carry her no more...
so we hopped on a bus! 
Please re-direct mail to here, I love it!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Contented Sorted-ness!

A friend of ours is renting out a house in Aberdeenshire and I have said I would help her get it sorted. The house was left to them and being able to rent it out-after trying unsuccessfully to sell it- takes a load off their minds. They have been through so much recently that I just want to offer up any services I can to help them get back to real boring normal life.

This weekend I spent most of my time trawling through various shops attempting to buy a fire blanket of all things. I thought I would just be needed to splash a bit of colour on the walls. Once we had visited some shops and given up/got sufficiently bored we came home only to find that TH had found out exactly where to purchase a fire blanket online! I could have got down on my knees and thanked that site! It’s on the link if you have found yourself wondering the same thing!

Our friend wanted to have things in place so that the letting agency could get her the best people as the house would be totally up to scratch. I could also understand that she didn’t want to waste time or money letting them do these things for her. I’m sure by the time they’d have stuck in a few fire alarms and some basic safety features they would have charged an arm and a leg-we might as well do it for free.

We have lived in a couple of properties, all rented, and getting things as simple as a fire blanket actually do matter. Although maybe some of my earliest landlords (whilst I was a poor student) could have thought of this! I can tell you that I have stayed in all sorts of accommodation while finding my way in the world, and I would have loved to have had a home as lovely as the one my lovely kind friends want to get let out.

I feel like this will close a chapter for our friends and I can’t wait for them to tell me the house has got some tenants in it. It really is such a beautiful home, made all the more beautiful when you hear about children growing up in it etc, and I know that this couple just need a little while to have this house out of their immediate thoughts.

It’s just one of those things that are making me look more and more forward to Summer, of knowing that long warm days are in front of me, and I know that friends will be as thankful as me for the chance.

Always a Good Time

Will be posting shortly on an amazing trip to Edinburgh with TH!  Just getting some pics together...went a little 'snap happy'.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Snow Time at Home

Add caption

More snow fell this weekend.  Sometimes it feels as if Spring will never come.  I love the peace that the snow does bring and it always makes me so happy to see Daisy playing in the garden.
At least I have an excuse for why I am not digging in the garden!

Planning, Planning, Always Planning

A friend of mine has just come back from holiday determined to buy property in Turkey. I thought for a moment she has got in with a crowd giving away those dreaded scratch cards on a beach front somewhere, but apparently she has way more sense than me and is fully aware of what she will be doing and getting into. I wouldn’t want to discourage her-read I am looking forward to free holidays-so I have signed up to go to a show with her later in the year and help her track a place down by any means.

When we go on holiday we always stay in an apartment and enjoy the freedom it gives us. We always seem to find what we need and such very little helpful hints and leaflets of activities close by make us exceptionally happy. I know that if I had the money I would certainly do this myself. She lives nearer a big airport than I do and I know from speaking with some friends of ours that claim the smart thing in these circumstances is to book flights far in advance and then to rent out the rest of the time.

The pool is quieter than a hotel and the ‘cooking’ isn’t a chore as we live on salads. I nearly swooned when I saw her holiday snaps. A couple of the girls were talking about going on holiday together and as TH will be spending some time away in Asia with work it would be good for me to get away and not be reminded of the fact I was alone in the house.

I think some cocktails and some time and we will not only have organized either this apartment, a holiday, but most probably set the world to rights too.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Blandings, like Sundays I remember

I have been watching too much TV recently, but I do have to say that Sundays are for Blandings! I am in fits of laughter and in awe of an all star cast.

I do have to say that this show makes me think of Sundays when I was little, and what the BBC are known for-excellent programme for the whole family!