28 November 2014


 If you are stickler for Christmas starting on or after the 1st of December then this will not please you one bit.

A little surprise for the girls before they return home from school in an hour, something to torment themselves with by looking at the bags from all angles until Monday 1 December comes round.  What is stashed inside and who will open the first bag, they will debate.  I got the little gold bags at Attwoods, bought a selection of small Schleich packs from here, then broke them up so each day they got one piece, like a haybale or a bunch of carrots.  The idea is that they amuse themselves each morning, incorporating the new piece into their existing Schleich farm scene.  But they don't know this, and I hope Lucy doesn't all of a sudden take to reading my blog.

The pretty white and gold bunting I bought this morning at Kikki K.  And it was my good fortune that they just happened to have 20% off today.

The sewn nativity scene sitting on the hearth is from last Christmas (sans quail chicks).

The next few days are going to be tough going for the girls.  But with steely determination and a little parental guidance I think they will last the distance.  I truly believe at least half the fun lies in anticipation.

26 November 2014


brightening up my workroom.  So beautiful.

22 November 2014

The posh pineapple lump

My diet is gluten free (I've been diagnosed with CD), vegetarian leaning towards vegan, with the added hurdle of choosing to eliminate nightshades.  I know, whoa!  I get pretty excited about GF recipes that actually work (and there is a wealth of great websites now) but also about finding an old favourite that is safe for me to eat.  Well, fellow GF-ers, let me introduce you to Queen Anne chocolates, made in Christchurch, New Zealand.   Gluten free with natural flavourings and colours, and some flavours are gelatine-free, which is great for vegetarians.  A lot of the mainstream filled chocolate brands use artificial flavours, colours, wheat and gelatine (what a medley!) so my sweet treat choices have been pretty limited.

I bought the Butterscotch Nougat, Mint Nougat and Pineapple Nougat boxes.  The butterscotch is rich, buttery with good caramel chewiness, covered in a dark chocolate. The Pineapple Nougat is the bomb, like a glorified version of the humble pineapple lump - no gluten, no gelatine.  This is exciting stuff!

What I'm still on the search for are gelatine free marshmallows free of artificial colours.  Big ask? If anyone knows, please do share.