Friday, 30 September 2016


Hygge, pronounced "hoo-gah" is something you may have already heard about, or if not, you certainly will.  Its set to be the biggest trend since Marie Kondo, and the joy of decluttering.

It comes from Denmark, which is said to the be happiest country in the world, and although there is not an exact translation for the word, its about a feeling of coziness and home.

Of course, anything home related calls to me; and this is one bandwagon, I'm more than happy to jump on.  Its about the simple things in life .... drinking coffee and really savouring it.  Curling up by the fire and just reading a book, or inviting those you really want to be around for dinner, and enjoying good old fashioned comfort food.

Yes, its a new word to us, but in reality, its something we've always done or used to do ... board games, and friends; candles and warm socks. The best things in life, really are free.  This is certainly a word I hope catches on more.

image via Pinterest
Here's a few glimpses into the book, which so far, I"m loving.  Its one of those that you can pick up and just flip to any page and read ...  perfect for those moments when you've a hot chocolate in hand and complete silence around you. 

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Hygge ... you'll see there are many many books available on this subject, but I'm happy I started with this one, although I'll be honest, I have a few more in my Amazon wish list .... sssshhhh don't tell hubby. 

Happy weekend friends. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Entertaining Friends with a new found Cocktail Recipe

Happy Monday Friends!!

My husband and I have  great many friends and, of course, family who we love to have over and entertain, and I am always on the look out for new recipes to try out. The same goes with providing our friends with drinks. Sometimes, it is nice to try something different, and today I am bringing you a cocktail recipe from my new cook book, Simple, by Diana Henry, which by the way, is a fabulous book full of mouthwatering recipes. Nigella Lawson has even endorsed it. Not that I need encouraging when it comes to trying out a new recipe book!!

This cocktail contains one of my favourite ingredients, lemon!  Pour in some prosecco with the addition of a little vodka and you end up with a wonderfully refreshing drink that your guests are sure to love! I am also looking forward to trying out different flavoured sorbets as mentioned in the recipe above.

Have a great week Friends!!

Maria xxx

Friday, 23 September 2016

Lord Mayor Banquet

Happy Friday friends.  Today, I was going to share with you a few products I've being using and testing over the past month, but last night, Maria and I attended an event which I thought you might like to see photos off.

The event was the annual banquet, of the Worshipful Company of the Paviors, of which my hubby, Simon is a member.  This event is always held in the The Mansion House and attended by the Lord Mayor of London, which is actually his residence.

Its honestly, the most magical and majestic venue and event.  So, here are so photos which you may enjoy.

Much clapping, signalled the arrival of the Mayor of London.

 The room that the banquet is held in is just so beautiful.
With the tables looking stunning, and the food amazing. 
Next was the ceremony of the Loving cup, which comes with it's own rules.  Without being too longwinded, the idea is that only 3 people should be standing; the person who drinks, the person who holds the lid of the cup, and the person sitting on the other side of the person drinking, who guard and stands back to back with the drinker. 
The ceremony is said to derive from the assassination at Cofe Castle on 18 March 978 of King Edward whilst he was drinking from a cup passed to him by his stepmother Elfrida.  She wanted her own son Ethelred to be king and so she set up the murder of her stepson; he was stabbed in the back whilst drinking from the cup which he held with both hands. 

Elfrida was successful in her deed, her stepson is now known as King Edward the Martyr, and her natural son as King Ethelred the Unready. 
This is one of the Gold Loving cups at Mansion house (not the one we drank from, or pretended to drink from)

There you have it, a few (ok, a lot) photos for a very beautiful and memorable evening.  Wishing you a lovely weekend 
Sandra xx

Monday, 19 September 2016

How to Make Your Own Garlic Infused Olive Oil

Happy Monday Friends!!

The weather is slowly, but surely becoming more autumnal,  and my thoughts always turn to Christmas, which to be honest, comes round far too fast once the children are back at school. 

So as in previous years, I start to think about making some homemade gifts in advance such as this garlic infused olive oil, which I tend to add to a basket/box of other goodies I have made. 

Its a great addition to have in your store cupboard. I like to add it to homemade hummus, spaghetti bolognese and other recipes that call for olive oil and garlic. It certainly saves time chopping or mincing garlic cloves and especially great for when you've run out of the fresh stuff.

It is really simple and easy to make. Here is how.....

You will need 1/2 litre of regular olive oil, one bulb of garlic and a sterilised bottle for steeping.

You will need  8 cloves of garlic from the bulb

Roughly chop up the cloves to release their garlic flavour 
Add the chopped garlic to the olive oil and let it steep for 48 hours

Sieve and decant the garlic infused olive oil into a sterilised kilner bottle. You can add a tag or label to the bottle and  if you are giving it as a gift you can decorate it by adding a bow of your choice.

It really is that simple, and it has been a well received gift in previous years. I make this year all year round as it is a great store cupboard essential so why not make some for yourself!

Have a great week Friends!!

Maria xxx

Friday, 16 September 2016

Little House Smash Book

Now, I'm hoping that You'll see a video at the top of this post from YouTube .... I'm not 100% sure if what I've done works, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

So let me start at the beginning .... I thought I'd share with you my Smash book which I've created on the Little House, or what my vision was when we were refurbishing it.  So far, I'm pleased with it.

Now, for those of you that aren't crafters, or know what Smash books are ... it's a sort of catch it all book.  You can of course use it for creating scrapbook layouts, or just your everyday memories.  For instance, you can put your momentoes from days out, ticket stubs etc.  Just have a little search on YouTube or Pinterest, and you'll see hundreds of ideas for their uses.  My Smash book, and I'll be honest, I have a few .... so maybe I should say! This Smash Book is a large A4 size and its where I'm sticking in all my fabric and wallpaper samples. I also store, the torn out pages from magazines with ideas, I first liked.  So let me show you how its coming along. (I apologies now for the amount of photos)
I started it with my colour scheme, or at least the one I had in mind when I started. 


When I look back through my pages, which I do regularly, I will say, I've pretty much kept to my original plans.  Its still a work in progress, but yes, I'm happy I started it, and it helps me keep on track of my original ideas ... of course those ideas will change, lets face it, I'm forever tinkering with our home, but its good to have somewhere to store all those odds and ends before I forget where I found them,

I hope you enjoyed this little view into my process, I will of course share with you in other posts, how those ideas are looking in real life.  For now, though I wish you all a lovely weekend.
Sandra xx

Monday, 12 September 2016

My New Office Space - An Update!

Happy Monday Friends!!

A couple of weeks ago, I said I was going to be keeping those blue units in my new office space. Since then, I have been slowly moving all of my office upstairs to my new room, and I have to say, my husband has been in his element. I can't really blame him, I do have an awful lot of books and other paraphernalia!

It was only once I had started to fill those blue and white units with my books, and other bits and pieces, that I realised how much I really didn't like the blue. I think if they had been a lighter shade or even navy blue, I might have been able to live with them.

I had also sourced these gorgeous handles from Amazon as I wanted to create a garden theme for my new office space. However, when I put them on the blue doors, they didn't stand out or show off their prettiness.

So now I was faced with a dilemma as I couldn't move my stuff back downstairs so I had to come up with an alternative way of changing them. It was even harder as I had a tiny budget, and at some stage in the future they will be replaced so I didn't want to spend a fortune.

I initially thought of adding some detail to the edges so as to distract me from the blueness and came up with the idea of using washi tape. Sandra kindly let me borrow from her huge stash I and went about changing the edging. I have to say that I was pleased with it, but still it didn't distract me from the blue!

Then I came across this fantastic stuff.......

Fablon 67.5 cm x 2 m Matt Roll, White

I ordered two rolls of matte white. I was concerned that it would be a bit like those horrible phone protector films, which you cannot get the air bubbles out of, but it was so easy to apply anyone could do it. Considering, the doors weren't removable, I had to put it on situ, which was more of a challenge, but still not that difficult.  I chose only to do the doors as I can live with the inside parts being blue, for now that is ;)

Here is the final look to the units.

 I still have the boxed in piping at the base of the units to contend with, but for now its remaining blue. 

Have a great week Friends, and I'll be back soon with another update on my new office space.

Maria xx

Friday, 9 September 2016

Makeover Starts

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was starting yet another room makeover and I was dithering over paint samples .... Well decision made. 

After much faffing around and thinking about which colour would be right, I decided to go with Strong White for most of the walls. Its a slightly more grey white, and I'm hoping with the Skylight on a feature wall, (well I did have some of that left from painting the dressers, so I thought I'd use that up), I think it will be a good contrast.

I had thought of Skimming Stone for the pew, but after talking to the assistant in Farrow and Ball, he showed me it up against a paint sample of Skylight and it looked very lilac. As this is the wall the pew sits against, I decided against that.

So my final choice for that, was Cornforth White.

As you can see, I've started ... The pew needed sanding and then had a coat of Zinsser primer on it.  So far one coat of Farrow and Ball Cornforth White, and I'm loving it. 

I will be back with more of the makeover, as I've got hubby off for another week, so I'm taking full advantage of his sanding skills. 

Have a lovely weekend 
Sandra x