Monday, 30 June 2014

Family Fun...

For a household that doesn't particularly support any football teams we seem to have spent an awfully large chunk of time watching the World Cup...I now feel fully qualified to say "football is boring!"

I am and always will be a rugby girl. Growing up in Cornwall rugby was supported and religiously followed. People still talk of the time Cornwall and it's Trelawney Army marched (or rode on the train) to Twickenham to win the County Cup. Living with a proud rugby living Welshman means that our children will be booked into a junior rugby session as soon as they can toddle about on wobbly legs!

All being well on the 12th July we will find ourselves heading to Wimbledon RFC to join in with the Legends Rugby festival in aid of The Tag Rugby Trust. There's going to be action both on and off the pitch for people of all ages.

Teams from lots of Premiership clubs such as Harlequins, London Welsh & Saracens will be competing in a tens tournament while children with have their own mini tag rugby to join in with and Dazzle & Fizz to entertain them all day long!

If watching giant men at the peak of their physical condition get sweaty isn't your thing (really?!!) there's plenty of entertainment arranged throughout the day. JellyHammer and Me and Mrs Brown will be given a concert of their brilliant covers during the evening music festival and DJ Marie Claire will be playing in the VIP tent. There will also be a headline act shortly announced - last year UB40 played into the evening.

Tickets are from £20 for adults and £10 for children aged 5-15. VIP tickets if you fancy rubbing shoulders with the Premiership players are priced at £40. There have been BOGOF      flash sales, reducing the price of an adult ticket to £10, but I can't guarantee that this offer will be available when you purchase.

What I can guarantee is that readers of Time to be an Adult can claim a 10% discount on purchasing by quoting LR2014LONDON. Just visit http://www.legendsrugby.co.uk to buy.

Legends Rugby is a charity event in aid of The Tag Rugby Trust. I have not been compensated for writing this post. No links contained within this post are affiliated links.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Exbury Gardens Part One

We recently played host to our friends who had flown over from Holland for a long weekend. Knowing that they enjoyed nature and walking we knew we had to take them into the New Forest, but we had already shown them Lymington, Lyndhurst and Beaulieu.

And then inspiration struck...knowing how much Annie loves Exbury Gardens I knew it was a perfect place to take them. Every corner revealed a beautiful view. The plants and trees were incredible, we found ourselves almost running to the next section just to see what there was. I took so many photos I have to split them into two posts - so this week trees and shrubs...next week flowers!













After I'd taken the photo of the pond I looked down at my feet and notice a tiny little froglet hopping near my foot...I looked closer and there were hundreds of the little things hopping around. I had to call Sion to help me navigate my way through them without any casualties! 

Hop on over to Mammasaurus to see what everyone else has been up to for this week's How Does Your Garden Grow?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

G is for...


Glastonbury Tor...walked up during a beautifully sunny March afternoon. The view and the hill taking our breath away.

Of all our trips and holidays, two nights in a little Hobbit hut left us refreshed the most. We've already re-booked to visit in September. This time when we walk the Tor we'll bring a picnic to enjoy while we soak in the sunshine.

Joining in with PODcast's Alphabet Project - next Wednesday will be H...I will still be on my HOLIDAY so will be joining in with I the following week :)

Monday, 23 June 2014

Wonderful Weekend

Last weekend we opened our house to two very dear friends from Holland. After rather a lot of preparation it was so lovely to see that they loved our house as much as we did.

Friday also happened to be the first game of the World Cup for The Netherlands so we invited a few friends to watch the game...



Saturday saw us heading into the New Forest to find the wonderful Exbury Gardens...such a peaceful, tranquil place. it must take so much work to keep the gardens looking so well kept - we'll certainly be back with a picnic in tow!




Of course any trip out has to be topped off with a glass of something cold in a traditional country pub. We just happened to find the only one with a giant owl and a telephone box in the beer garden...no photos of the owl, I was too scared to go near it!!


As you are reading this we shall be travelling to our dream holiday in The Maldives. I've scheduled a few posts for the next two weeks, when usual service will resume. Until then no phones, no internet, no queue at the bar...!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Holiday Time!

The bags are yet to be packed, in actual fact there is a wash load on that will need to be dried before the packing can start, but I am now officially ON HOLIDAY!

I guess this post is my blogging equivalent of Out of Office...

I am now on annual leave from Sunday 22nd June, returning on Friday 4th July. During this time I will be unable to respond to emails due to being stuck on a tropical island with crap internet and/or incapable due to excessive cocktail consumption. If your query is urgent feel free to come and join me in The Maldives, alternatively ask someone else or just wait until I am back!

Despite having a holiday in November so much has happened since then we need this trip away to recharge and just have a bit of time away from our day to day lives. When we come back I will be in my new position at work and Sion has just been offered an amazing job opportunity which will involve travelling to training courses and different sites, so there's no chance of having a slow, relaxing Summer- but I wouldn't change it for the world.

I have scheduled a few posts for while I am away, but obviously I won't be able to join in with any linkys or do much tweeting (what language is this I speak...linkys, tweeting??!)

Have a great few weeks and I'll be back soon with lots of photos and tales of our adventures to bore you with!!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

F is for...


Foxglove...oh so gently swaying in the afternoon breeze. Standing tall in the garden as if standing watch over the delicate blooms below. A convenient stop for the bees to load up with pollen, drowsy in the heat.

Joining in with PODcast's Alphabet Project - next Wednesday...G

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Santorini or bust...

My experience of the Greek islands up until now have been limited to reading Gerald Durrell's "My Family and Other Animals" and watching Mama Mia on a long haul flight to Brazil. I thought they were all alike, how wrong I was!

In my quest to get to grips with the mystery that is Pinterest I stumbled across this photo and I fell in love!

Image via Pinterest from here
 That deep, deep blue against the cool white washed walls - I can already hear the crickets chirping away and feel the sea breeze against my arms. As much as I cannot wait to get on the plane to head on our amazing trip to the Maldives on Sunday, part of me wishes I had found out about Santorini before we booked. With our savings depleted and growing a baby high on our agenda I doubt we'll be heading there any time soon.
 
I do however have a very light and spacious conservatory which I could make into my own little slice of Greek heaven. As soon as that thought hit my mind I was off, pinning away like a fiend to make my own inspiration board...
 
Image via Pinterest from here
 
Image via Pinterest from here
Image via Pinterest from here



As luck would have it Jen of interiors blog Love Chic Living has recently launched an exciting competition that combines two of my latest obsessions - Home Improvement and Pinterest! Along with The Swelle Life, in partnership with Cunard Crusies you could win £1000 of John Lewis Vouchers. In the words of Jen, here's how -

"How would you like to win £1000 of John Lewis vouchers? Of course you would. And not only that, I have a 2nd prize of £500 and a third prize of £250. The blog, The Swelle Life and I are offering you this fabulous competition via Cunard, and their Mediterranean Cruises.

All you need to do is hop over to the Cunard Mediterranean destinations page, pick your favourite and then create a Pinterest Board with images that remind you of this port of call. Of course, I would love it if they were home and interiors focused, but they don’t have to be. Just make sure they really give me a sense of that destination."

Competition is open until 20th June 2014.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Word of the Week - Prepared

This week I have prepared.

The beer is chilling in the fridge
The meals have been planned, purchased and prepped
The house is sparkling, every room has the scent of "fresh laundry" liberally sprayed in it
The garden has been mowed, strimmed, pruned and planted
The car has a full tank and the sweet stash has been topped up

Everything is done.

This weekend is the first time that dear friends from Holland will stay in our house.

Sion will soon drive to the airport to wait like an excited child to see them walk through the arrivals hall. When he lived in Holland they opened their house to him, gave him a home and family when his own was so far away. I didn't know him then, but he's told me so many stories of laughter, advice and love that helped him make a life for himself. He became the person I fell in love with when he lived in Holland. I think Riet and Terry had a hand in this.

We visited them last year, they welcomed me into their home, introduced me to their children, fussed over us and showed us places that they were proud of.

I don't think they realise how much I appreciate them, for looking after Sion, for loving him and helping him, for sending him back to England a better man, the man I love.



Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Morning Sun

“The next morning dawned bright and sweet, like ribbon candy.”
Sarah Addison Allen, Garden Spells

The patio in our garden seems to get the most golden light early each morning. You can almost sense the plants soaking up the warming rays, ready for a day of growing. My word, how everything is growing!





We're starting to see the fruits of our labour in the fruit & veg section too - the four ripe strawberries we have had so far have been slowly savoured as if they are the finest delicacy...now we just have to wait for the mass of green jewels to turn ruby red...the tomato plants have finally started to show the first splash of yellow flower, time to start feeding!


 
And yet in amongst all these cultivated shrubs and plants, it's the wild flowers that caught my eye the most, dancing in the morning sun...
 
 


Joining in this week with Mammasarus #HDYGG
  
Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

E is for...


Exuberance...that joyful moment when the sun has heated the water all afternoon until it is the perfect temperature. The scent of the bbq is wafting across on the afternoon breeze. Your pleas to Uncle Sion have been heard and answered. Weapons are found - a hose for you and a Viking helmet for him. With giggles and shrieks, the water fight starts. The water quickly empties; soaking t-shirts, splashing onlookers, fanning out like a spider's web of wetness.

Until as suddenly as it started the teeth start to chatter, the t-shirt gets cold and soggy, attention is taken by the burger topped with plastic cheese. Towels are found to wrap you in as you devour the burger a grin plastered to your face. The first water fight of the Summer is over...the photos remain forever.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Better with BRITA - Lemon Meringue Pie

Well where has that last month gone? It seems like only yesterday I nervously pressed "Publish" on my first ever giveaway as part of the Better with BRITA campaign. Happily people did actually chose to enter and I am please to announce that the winner was Merlinda who writes over on Glimmer of Hope - Well done Merlinda!

As I have mentioned before BRITA believes that you should not have to compromise when it comes to making recipes that use water as a key ingredient. In recognition of this, they, along with Delicious magazine, have launched the Better with BRITA competition to award three individuals the chance to showcase and sell their produce at The Big Feastival running from the 29th August - 1st September 2014.

An expert judging panel will decide on a shortlist of people to come to London to make their produce for the judges. Of these shortlisted people, three will then be chosen for an experience of a lifetime selling their creations at The Big Feastival.

The closing date for entries is not until the 30th June 2014 so you have plenty of time to upload your recipe with a photo of the finished product and your background story to the Better with BRITA competition page.

It's only fair that I share with you some ideas of recipes that you could submit - here is the Ham & Pea soup that I have submitted for my entry (feel free to vote-you have one vote a day to use!)

If you have sweeter tendencies how about giving this Lemon Meringue Pie a try that I made last weekend?

Lemon Meringue Pie - Serves 6-8 (or 2, don't judge me)

For the pastry (if not using premade sweet pastry)



150g plain flour
35g icing sugar
85g cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 egg yolk beaten
zest of 1/2 lemon
1.5 tbsp. milk



 For the lemon filling & meringue


Filling
3 tbsp cornflour
300ml cold BRITA filtered water
6 tbs caster sugar
zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 egg yolks

Meringue
2 egg whites
125 g caster sugar

Put the butter and flour into a large mixing bowl and gently rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add all the other ingredients and mix together until it forms a ball of dough. Wrap in cling film and re-fridgerate for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C. Grease your loose bottomed (ooh-err) 8" flan case.

Take your pastry from the fridge and roll out to an approximate 5mm thickness, placing gently into your flan case, trim any excess dough and use the offcuts to cover any cracks or holes. Bake blind for 15 minutes.



While the case is baking mix the cornflour & a little filtered water in a small bowl to make a thin paste. Pour the rest of the water into a large saucepan and add the sugar, lemon zest & juice. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves then bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling turn the heat down to a simmer and add the cornflour paste, it should thicken immediately. Cook over a low heat for 3 minutes and remove from the heat. After 5 minutes add the egg yolks & whisk them vigorously into the sauce. Allow this to cool for a further 25 minutes.

Take the flan case out of the oven, removing any baking beads/ rice & greaseproof paper. Turn the oven down to 150C.

In a clean, dry bowl whisk the egg white into stiff peaks, slowly add the remaining sugar a few spoonfuls at a time, whisking in between. Once all the sugar has been combined with the egg whites you should have a thick meringue mix.

Pour the cooled lemon mix carefully into your pastry case.


 Carefully spoon the meringue over your pie, gently spreading it over the top.


Bake for 25 minutes until the top is lightly brown in colour but not burnt! Leave to cool so that the lemon layer can set, before serving with cream, ice-cream or both.


To get more information on the judging panel and to upload your application or vote for your favourite entry, head over to the Better with BRITA competition page


Friday, 6 June 2014

WOTW - Proud

proud
praʊd/
adjective
adjective: proud; comparative adjective: prouder; superlative adjective: proudest
  1. 1.
    feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one's own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated.
 
This week I am feeling proud.
 
Proud for being given a promotion at work. I am now a Finance Manager. We'll gloss over the fact that in the Finance Department there is the huge sum of one staff member...I'll be the Manager of...ME! We'll even gloss over the fact that my role and responsibilities remain largely the same and the small pay rise that I've been given covers the rise that I didn't get along with everyone else last September. Because it isn't those things that have made me proud.
 
I'm proudest for the fact that the MD of the company (who is leaving) told every member of staff in a meeting, that he has confidence in my ability to complete my work without it needing to be double checked, that the decisions that I make will be the best for the company, that I have earned my right to be a member of the Management Team and that I am an asset to the company.
 
I lost confidence in my ability in my last job. I lost my way and I lost the power to make the right decisions. Being told, and more importantly, believing that I have become a better employee over the last two years has given me the proudest of feelings.

That and being chosen to review a pretty expensive bit of kit on this little blog of mine...I'm not going to think about the video review element of it just yet - that's for after our holiday!

As always I'm joining in the week with the fabulous Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence to read more great Word of the Week posts - go on...pop over and take a look at a few others!

The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

D is for...

 

 
 
Little steamed balls of pork-y pleasure...DUMPLINGS!!
 
Eaten in a restaurant on Friday night and re-created at home days later. We now have 40 frozen dumplings just waiting to be cooked and enjoyed next weekend when we have friends visiting from Holland - I may have to use some this weekend...in the interests of research you understand?!!
 
 
Joining in with PODcast's Alphabet Project - next Wednesday...E!!
 
 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Scrubbing up nice...

This weekend like every other one was jam-packed!


On Saturday Sion and his sister finally managed to have a gliding taster lesson each in Bicester. This was a 2012 Christmas present that has been booked and cancelled about 5 times...it's our temperamental British weather at it's best! Normally I would have tagged along, particularly with Bicester Village shopping outlet so near, but instead I stayed at home trying out different recipes, ranging from a lemon meringue pie to Japanese steamed pork dumplings. These were put to the tasting panel when they got home and everything except the frankly weird tofu was declared a success.

Sunday saw us up bright and early to celebrate the Christening of two very special little girls, one of which Sion did a charity skydive last year for. It was a beautifully sunny day and with no wedding invites as yet, our first opportunity of the Summer to dress up smartly and sip cold champagne.



We spent the rest of the afternoon in the garden - Sion mowing the overgrown grass, me reading the Sunday papers...as it should be!

Joining in this week with Magic Moments and What's the Story?