Monday, June 24, 2013

Lilac Sugar

I can't believe that I didn't find this recipe before the lilac season was over!  Never mind, one to keep up my sleeve for next year I guess.  I love the smell of lilac, it has a particular sweetness that reminds me summer is on its way.  Making this lilac sugar is so simple; all you need are two ingredients...

Lilac sugar
  • Clean, dry lilac petals (preferably purple as they are very fragrant)
  • Granulated sugar
  • a jar
Layer flowers and sugar in a jar. Let it stand in a dark and cool place for a few days, shaking every now and then. Now your sugar is ready to use. Perfect for baking cupcakes, a vanilla sponge, or even in a cup of tea.

Here are some more recipes that incorporate this delicately fragrant blossom...I'm also thinking that this might make a fab springtime cocktail...

images: 1,2,3,4,5

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday Words - Love

Nothing is more important than telling those closest to you, friends and family that they are, from me to you, my friends, family and wonderful readers ... you are loved!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Piano Guys

I have my lovely brother-in-law Wadds to thank for getting me into The Piano Guys.  Their combination of classical music with pop is a refreshing take on some old favourites and what's not to love about this particular clip - piano and cello in ancient woodland - enjoy!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Being Mindful

Mindful: (adjective) attentive, always heedful

It's been a buzz word for a while now, mindfulness. I first came across the concept of 'mindfulness' a few years ago when I was looking for a way to relax and switch off; in the course of that search I took a meditation class with a wonderful Buddhist monk.  Amongst other things, he taught me to look at the moment; to stop looking ahead, or indeed behind and back, and to be completely focused on the moment; to pay attention to the now.  Sometimes easier said than done, but it's a practice that enhances the joy of the here and now.  I've been reminded of the need to be mindful in this past week as my family received some fairly devastating news and as I process and digest this news I'm trying not to race ahead, catastrophising and pre-empting a situation that may not arise.  Again easier said than done.  However, in the face of a situation that cannot be erased and with the future of someone I love so open to uncertainty, I find myself needing to be mindful.  Wanting to be mindful. Needing to remind myself that the only moment that counts is the now.  Not my fears for the future, but the pleasures of the present;  for each moment is just that - a gift, a present, and we should not dare to waste it. 

So, with this thought in mind, during the last few days I've been taking care to be present in the moment and to find happiness in the small things, the small moments;  sharing laughter and meals with close friends; the beauty of flowers growing in my garden; warm comforting baths.  For every moment that brings sadness, there is the equivalent moment of joy and pleasure.    These are some of the things that have given me pleasure in my more heedful moments this week:

{hydrangeas, a gift from a friend; sweet smelling roses from my garden}

{aromatherapy candle, just lighting it each night feels like a mindful moment}

"The truth is my love
that days of sadness will come,
but I’ll come through them."  
Haiku, Tyler Knott Gregson
What do you do when life hits you with a curve-ball?  How do you stay in the moment?  I'd love to hear...

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

June Moodboard


"It always seemed to me that the herbaceous peony is the very epitome of June.  Larger than any rose,
it has something of the cabbage rose's voluminous quality; and when it finally drops from the vase, it
sheds its petticoats with a bump on the table, all in an intact heap, much as a rose will suddenly fall,
making us look up from our book or conversation, to notice for one moment the death of what had
still appeared to be a living beauty."
-  Vita Sackville-West

Monday, June 03, 2013

Glimpses of the week past

I know I've been 'offline' all week; mainly because I decided to take a little blogging break over's good to take time off occasionally I think; rest and regroup.  Anyway, here's a little glimpse into what I've been up to during the week

{a trip north to visit family and a little visit to the gorgeous St Pancras station and this art installation}

{a visit to see my grandparents! namely the Frosterly marble headstone that has just had my Granny's name added to it}

{Northumberland gardens! My dad's allotment, my sister's garden; Coquetdale
{evening in a Northumberland garden}

{beautiful blossom; a present from my nephew}

{homemade lemon curd - made by my lovely neice}
{an amazing curry}

So, as you can see, my week was fairly full on.  Lots of eating, seeing family, relaxing in the beautiful Northumbrian countryside.  Back to reality now!  Here's wishing you all a good week to come....

Sunday, June 02, 2013


Hello to sunshine, bbq's, laughter, light evenings, geraniums, pink fizz, cotton dresses, candlelight...