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Brankie

Posted on 28 December, 2014

Everyone keeps thinking it is over but I’m not ready to say good bye to Christmas quite yet.

This Christmas was a rosy cheeked delight! Ewan has only had two Christmases but he has mastered the technique of continuous eating with relative ease. He spent Christmas day wandering between all his grandparents, hugging his new toys and randomly declaring “hurray! “. I think it is safe to say he loved it too.

As for me, I made a new word which captures my Christmassy happy place, “brankie”. Brankie is the perfect combination of both brandy and blankie. If  you add in family, a box of quality street and a fire the result is this very smug selfie!

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Once we left the house and sought daylight again the frost nipped  at any bit of skin showing. Despite the cold I couldn’t resist stopping at every leaf and hedgerow we came across. Here are just a few of the frosty offerings.

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Happy Christmas

Posted on 22 December, 2014

I will bid you adieu for 2014. I hope you have a wonderful break. I plan to eat, drink and be merry as much as the season demands!

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by the blog, especially to those of you that came back and another big thanks to my shop customers and anyone gave me an encouraging word when it wasn’t going so well.

Happy Christmas to you all and here’s to a happy 2015,xx

 

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Making and Doing

Posted on 16 December, 2014

With the cold weather outside and a make and do fire in my belly I’ve been keeping myself busy inside. First, there was the early morning soda bread baking.

white soda bread, avoca soda bread

 

Then I  finally bought a tiny little tree to tie to my dinky Mini that I picked up at a car boot sale . It is bizarre how long I have wanted to do this. I bought the Mini this year but before that I had a little blue and white bus that I wanted to do the same thing with and that was back in 2007! Getting a tiny tiny tree was clearly a low priority item! But now that I completed my little car carrying a tree dream it makes me so happy!! (I’m a girl of simple needs)

 

dinky mini cooper with a tiny bottle brush tree

 

As I mentioned last week  I have a huge list of projects, recipes and pretty things all  bookmarked sitting on my computer. My bookmarks are highly disordered and range from roast potatoes to corrugated iron art. So without any hope or desire to tackle them all, I am taking on the ones that tickle my interest now.

Given my new found festive cheer I set about making this sparkly Cheers sequin sign I found by A Beautiful Mess. If you don’t follow that blog I’m not sure you are using the internet properly!

But seriously I would recommend it with a word of caution. It is guaranteed to make you feel wholly inadequate. Those girls churn out so many DIY projects that you can’t help but feel like your wasting your life and that there are actually more hours hidden somewhere in the day that you just haven’t found yet.

It took me 7 years to get around to buying a tiny tree and tieing it to a tiny car. 7 years! If I was them I would have bought 50 tiny trees, bleached them and dyed them a range of cute and complimentary colours (they actually did that and it looked amazing!) See, sickening!

But you do have to hand it to them their DIY projects are cheap and in this case very cheerful!

 

 

You can see their full tutorial here. I got a bit confused at the first step with figuring out the correct text to use. They advised using Function Pro Bold. I’m guessing this is a choice on Apple computers? Being a Microsoft Word girl I didn’t have that font option so I went for Arial and sized it to 600. This worked for me.

diy cheers sequin sign, a beautiful mess

If you do fancy making this be sure to stretch your sequin trim as you go. I didn’t and ended up  used 4 metres of trim while they used one yard (less than one metre!).

gold sequin trim

The big pluses of making this were I got to play with my glue gun, it’s doable in one nap time  (if you have enough trim!) and it actually turned out like it was meant to.  The end result has sparkled up the hallway and makes me smile every time I pass it.

gold sequin trim cheers sign DIY gold sequin sign

 

 

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A week in festive photos

Posted on 12 December, 2014

This week has been the most Christmassy I have felt in years. Ewan is old enough this year to start getting into the excitement of it all. He doesn’t fully understand the hullabaloo but he knows it comes with lights, balls (baubles) and horsies (reindeers).

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To add to the Christmas cheer Santa came to the parent and toddler group today. I, for one, was crazily excited about the whole thing.

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Ewan was not too sure at all but the tears were few and short lived so I’ll take that as a roaring success! In between the festivities I’ve been making a few more trips to the post office thanks to a few new customers of the shop.

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After last week it is so good to be back to normal and be able to go out and about again. Oh how I missed the outside world.

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Crafty Christmas

Posted on 8 December, 2014

This Christmas I want to re-kindle my crafty spirit. Throughout the year I have bookmarked so many projects with the niggling feeling that I’m not really going to do it. Well no more.

It’s time to get my craft on. Between now and Christmas things are going to get super crafty around here!!

First up is a tiny pine cone tree! I have seen tutorials online for pine cone trees that involve styrofoam cones and sheet moss. This is a bit  elaborate  for my humble mantel piece so I simplified instead. I gathered small pine cones from fallen branches at Steve’s parents garden (yet again the source of my crafty adventures).

Next, I took the screw top of a wine bottle (I’m a classy lady) and got my glue gun out and started sticking.

diy pine cone christmas tree

I bought a glue gun at the weekend and I frankly have no idea how I got into my 30’s and never owned one. It’s so fun and easy to use that  I started looking around the house to see what else I could glue!

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You can see I made a little paper tree to give myself a guide as to the height and base I wanted. It turned out this was a totally unnecessary step so don’t worry about it!

Next, you just layer  the pine cones on top of each other reducing the number of cones as you go. Be sure to keep a particularly cute little cone aside for the top. I roped Steve in to make the cardboard star for the top and hey presto!

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I then got out my magic box of tricks which is filled with old cake decorations, sequins, buttons, string and other random things and started spreading the joy around the mantle piece.

diy pine cone christmas tree and button garland diy pine cone christmas tree and button garland IMG_8442 diy pine cone christmas tree and red tin christmas train

The little train came from a Cork online shop called Style 25. She is between premises at the moment and has set up a glorious online shop in the mean time. So if you fancy supporting a small Irish business and add to your Christmas cheer then pop over and have a look.

While your there I’m going through my bookmarks to find my next excuse to use my glue gun!

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Raisin Diet

Posted on 5 December, 2014

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This week we have resisted all kinds of movement or activity. Ewan has been sick since Monday night and the couch has been our home since. Fireman Sam has looped over and over again and he has decided that he can live only on raisins and all other food types have been dismissed as undesirable.

Life has been pretty slow. The days felt long and we have all forgotten the joys of a good nights sleep. I noticed all was not normal when I caught myself getting excited about going to the post office!

On the upside he has got the all clear from the doctor today, he is going to be totally fine and by all accounts he’ll be back to himself in a few days. Added to this it’s the weekend, the shop is newly re-stocked, a wonderful friend is visiting and Steve and I are buying a Christmas tree as an excuse to crack open the mulled wine and  most importantly WE WILL BE LEAVING THIS COUCH!!

Hurray1  Hope you have a lovely weekend and that you too dive into the mulled wine. Tis the season!

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Etsy Madness

Posted on 30 November, 2014

Things were quiet  on the blog this week because over in the shop things have gone bananas!! Properly, bananas!

First, there was a run of orders….

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I thought to myself that was great but that’ll be it for the week now. Then, more orders flooded in.

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Just when I thought I was finished, you guessed it, more orders arrived over night.

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I realise shops get busier over Christmas but I didn’t think mine would get that busy. Especially because everything seemed to have ground to a halt for a while. I have no idea what has changed but it has been amazingly busy. Thank you to everyone who has bought something or  visited the shop to have a look and thank you to everyone who gave me words of encouragement when it wasn’t going so well!

After all that wrapping and packing I’m excited for all these pieces to reach their new homes! Long live vintage!!

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Irish Blogs I love

Posted on 27 November, 2014

One of the great things about getting nominated for the Irish Blog Awards was sniffing out the competition which resulted in a lot of new Irish blog addictions! There are some great Irish blogs out there that keep me entertained as well as giving me a little gentle push to up my game!

As an aside I want to say again thank you so much to everyone who voted for me in the Blog Awards. In the end I came 30th out of 200 and something. (I say two hundred and something because I did a very rough and inaccurate count!). I was chuffed with that and I’m so thrilled that people voted. I have the best readers and I’ve been given such a warm welcome to the blogging world!

Anyway, back to the task at hand. Here are some of my favourites Irish Blogs. Some I found through the Blog Awards, some I’ve followed for years and others I stumbled across and got hooked!love irish blog

Vintage: First up is  Brand New Retro. If you haven’t seen this site pop over right now! It’s a site all about vintage Irish pop culture. They are digitising old images, magazines articles and adverts and it’s all completely addictive! Next up isTurquoise Flamingo. I placed the blog in the vintage category but it could fit in nearly all the others too. It’s a great mix of life, vintage and DIY. My favourite posts are the ones of her and her daughter just doing their thing. Next is Thrifted Treasures. I followed her blog when she was in Australia and now she’s moved home to Ireland she falls nicely into the Irish blog category. My favourite thing about her site is when she shows off her vintage collections. It makes me absolutely green with envy, in a good way!

Food : First and foremost is Lilly Higgins, basically I love everything she does and her blog is no exception. It feels like a nice relaxed space that is filled with cakes, what’s not to love.  Next up is  Edible Ireland, I was hooked as soon as I saw her banner heading. It makes me smile everytime I see it! I have also just bought her book Slainte which is a complete guide to Irish craft beer and cider and my only regret is that it is a present for someone else! Next is  Eat well Travel Far Love Often, for me this site is just food porn. I’m all about image when it comes to this blog everything makes me make that “homana homana” noise!

( I’m trying to keep it to three a category so I won’t mention that I also love Like Mam used to Bake!)

Fashion : I came across Rua Ruth through the blog awards and I’m hooked. Some of my recent favourites are Dublin’s loveliest loos and I’m waiting with baited breath for more photos from her recent trip to Marrakesh!  Pink Elephant is not to be confused with either the restaurant in Cork or the very strong beer with a pink elephant as its logo. My favourite thing about their blog is their Penneys  Picks, who doesn’t love Penneys! Next is Teddy and Alex  all I will say is go forth and swoon!

Parenting : The first is Ouch my Fanny Hurts. As you might be able to tell from the title of her blog she doesn’t hold back on the honesty front and she makes me laugh out loud. Similarly,  The Airing Cupboard is a straight talking parent blog and this is definitely my kind of parenting blog. No pretense, mess, poo, sleep deprivation anything goes! (Plus I love her “About” page and pretty much just want to copy it!).  Office Mum is another firm favourite. My addiction to the blog started with her Office Mum Stories section. It’s a series of interviews with mum’s living in Ireland who work full time or part time (with some stay at home mum’s too) and I find it compelling!! If you want to know how Mums in Ireland juggle their lives and how they feel about it then pop over and have a look.

Last but not least I have two other favourites that I want to mention one is Evin Ok. It’s a crafty blog with life put in the mix too. One of my favourite recent posts was where she asked readers to complete a survey about which potential book cover they prefer.  I love a good survey, I actually do! It’s one of life’s underrated pleasures if you ask me! Anyway, the cover I voted for ended up as the choosen cover and I like to think that every vote (especially my vote) counts!  I will leave you with Foxglove Lane and all I can say is that I dare you not to be impressed!

Phew!  I have a bigger Irish blog addiction than I thought.

Now your turn, what are your favourite Irish blogs? Who have I missed?

If you have a blog feel free to take the image and make your own Irish blog love list. I’d love to see!

 

Oh me oh my what a wreath

Posted on 24 November, 2014

Last week a goodie pack arrived at my door from the Oh me Oh my DIY team. They have made their very first DIY home tutorial video. It’s a floristry online workshop which talks you through how to make a festive wreath. Once you purchase, they send you a kit of  the bits and bobs you’ll need and a code which allows you to watch the tutorial given by Jill (the nice florist from the workshops) who walks you through each step.

In the interest of all things true and Christmassy I will declare that I got mine for free. But I did resolve not to blog about it unless I actually liked it and thought that other people might like it. So as you may have guessed by the fact I’m blogging about it I’m pretty pleased with myself and it smells amazing!

On the website they don’t seem to give you a full list of what’s in the starter pack so I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Well okay  I might just spoil it a little because here’s a sneaky look at some of the goodies….

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.. and I will spoil the surprise a bit more and  say that all you need to add is greenery.

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Greenery is also where I went wrong. On my first trip out foraging I forgot/ ignored Jill’s advice and just picked anything green that wasn’t grass. This was a mistake.  Once I listened to the video again I realised that this nothing like what she said. Jill is wise in all things floristry and I should have listened! The first result was a sad wreath that  withered as I was making it. Undeterred by my poor attention span I set off again this time listening to Jill’s advise and getting some extra advice from Ewan’s Oma (whose garden I also raided).

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Hydrangeas were not part of the original plan but they are just so beautiful that I ad-libbed a little!

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As I’ve attested here before Jill is a great teacher and mixes in the tips and tricks with gentle reminders to just get creative. I took ages doing it, not because it’s hard, but because it’s really fun.

I’d never made a wreath before and they are always pretty pricey so I’ve never bought one either. For my first ever wreath I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the end result!  (Also I’m not sure if they did this on purpose but I got so much stuff in the goodie bag that I’ll have enough for next year too! )

So if your wanting to bring a bit of DIY to your Christmas cheer this year but like me you haven’t got a green finger on your body then I can definitely recommend giving Jill, and the bumper pack she comes with, a go! She’ll talk you through the twists and turns of making your very own Christmas wreath. God, I wish Christmas was tomorrow!!!!IMG_8383

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A week in Photos

Posted on 21 November, 2014

Luckily this week has been significantly healthier than last week. No-one has careered off anything or all fevers and bugs have dissipated! Instead we’ve got back to normal life. With music groups, parent and toddler groups and swimming sessions a go-go it’s nice to enjoy the times in between with something a little less hectic. In true Irish style the weather is throwing everything at us so we enjoyed some wanderings in the low winter sun…

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..some unsuccessful and chilly foraging for my next DIY project…

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.. and when the rain came we just made a tent and hit the books!

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This weekend I plan to raid Steve’s mum’s garden to make a wreath. More on that to come. So in the mean time have a relaxing couple of days:)

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