Thursday, 21 March 2013

Decorating for Easter

An early Easter is always tricky.

Here we are on the first day of spring, but the weather is still feeling decidely wintery.  And Easter is less then ten days away.

We will be spending Easter in Brittany.  We leave next week, but I still like to have elements of Easter in my London home.

My daughter and I had a lovely time the other evening adding a few touches of Easter to this house, we are both really looking forward to decorating in Brittany next Thursday.

Here are our London efforts.

Have a lovely weekend, and I'll catch up with you next week once  we have arrived in France.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Eight Blogs that Rock!

This month I enrolled on an e-course called Blog Boss.  It is run by Holly Becker, who runs a wonderful and very successful blog called decor8, you can find her blog here and if you follow the links you can read about her inspiring e-courses.

Each week Holly sets her students homework, and this week we have to post about eight blogs we think 'rock'.  Now that might sound easy, but in many ways it is like Dessert Island Discs, how on earth can I choose only eight blogs?

Please don't take it personally if I don't mention you in this list, if I follow you I think your blog is fantastic anyway.

Here are eight fabulous blogs which are inspiring me today:-

First there is  Pine Cones and Acorns.  Elizabeth writes a delightful blog, she posts regularly and always has interesting things to say, additionally her posts are filled  with beautiful images, some are her own photographs, others she has discovered.  It was Elizabeth who first mentioned Holly's courses having completed Blogging Your Way a while a go, and she inspired me to improve my own blog through study.

My good friend Laura blogs about food, at how to cook good food.  She cooks stunning meals for her family and writes about her work as a food teacher as well as publishing recipes in many journals.

Nazima who is a busy working mother writes an inspirational food blog with her husband at Franglais Kitchen.  The blog is well worth a visit, for delicious ideas and stunning photographs.

Vanessa started her blog Goddessonabudget while she was writing her cookery book Prepped, and she has continued writing, championing Fairtrade Ndali Vanilla and embracing local produce, in addition to running her own cookery school.  Every post she writes is thoughtful and thought provoking.

If I want a recommendation for an exhibition or a good read, I turn to Mary at Mrs Minever's Daughter, she writes with wit and great knowledge, I just love her posts.

Tania Kindersley writes a blog called Backwards in High Heels, which started after the publication of her book of the same name, co-written with Sarah Vine.  She is a true writer, and her use of language makes me feel ashamed at my meagre attempts.  Her photographs are beautiful.

We were asked to include two blogs from fellow students, this was tricky as there are 250 students on the course and many, many delightful reads on the blogroll.

After a great deal of thought and consideration I have chiselled my choice down to:-

Fork and Flower, this swiss based food blog is stunning to look at, beautifully styled photographs of simple yet delicious food, I look forward to following Scarlett as she continued to cook in Zurich.

My second blog is also food related.  Simple Provisions is written by Amelia, who lives in Australia.  How lovely to see summery foods, while we are stuck in this forever cold winter here in England.

One thing that all the food blogs mentioned above have in common is a love of seasonal, fresh, high quality produce, and as that is core to my cooking philosophy, I feel that they will continue to be a source of ideas for many years ahead.

The blogrolls on both A Trifle Rushed and Simplicity is the New Black have many more blogs that I find interesting and I know that I will be adding to them at the end of the course, as I discover more new and inspiring writers, photographers and cooks.

Jude x

I do hope that spring is on the way, here are a few photographs I took recently, before the grey, leaden clouds reappeared!

Oh and :- Happy St Patrick's Day to You!

I love daffodils

They are so courageous, battling the early days of Spring

And of course, Wordsworth always springs to mind!

Sweet little crocus, another brave flower

Buds just begining to show on trees

And the first shoots of leaves

After two months with us, the dog is growing more confident
I can now let him off the lead and know that  he will
 come back when I call him

Like a small child, he is not good at posing for a photograph!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Monday, 4 March 2013

An early spring walk

I had such a busy week last week, teaching at my daughter's school, that I found I had no time to post these photographs.

Today the sun is shining, but over the winter, we have had, day after day of leaden skies.  However with a new, young dog and a six and a half year old daughter there is no excuse not to be out and exploring.

Do you remember the joy of puddles? My daughter loves them, particularly if there is a thin layer of ice to break!  And we're delighted that the dog is gaining confidence, he is now walking off the lead, it's wonderful to watch him blossom!

Testing the ice

Squelchy footprints

An air bubble under the ice



Look at me...

No lead!

Gaining confidence!

First buds...

I love these early signs of spring

A nest being built...

And a feather waving in the breeze!