Crafty fun in my new craft studio :)

Something you may not know about me... I am a huge bunting fan! The other week Al (my lovely hubby) was clearing out his art supplies from his university and he had some lino and carving tools, I made my 1st stamp! Going for something simple I did a heart, only took about half an hour :) The triangles are made of off cuts of canvas Al's gets for me from his work, heres my picture tutorial.

I think it turned out really cute but next time I'll lighten up the red, looks a little dark. Maybe use some different brighter colours but there are so many options and they are so fun and easy to make I'll be making more for sure :)

If you don't have access to free canvas you could use card, draw symbols on them or even print patterns on the card before cutting the triangles out - so many options...

 I'm loving my new craft studio so much!

I believe :)

I also believe I'll be back to blogging regularly really soon! Have so much to share but so little time! It's all good though, life is wonderful, I hope it is for you too and I just hope you'll excuse my absence. 

P.S - I really do believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls :)

You can do it! You CAN bake your own bread!

Recently I've had a lot of people tell me how amazing it is that I bake my own bread and how they'd love to, if they had the skill/time/energy/insert an excuse of your choice here lol Now I am no expert nor do I have tonnes of spare time or energy but it really isn't as hard as people think and once you've done it a few times its so so easy and quick to make loaves like this.

Here is my recipe, adapted to be hassle free, easy to remember and hard to mess up! If you've ever wanted to start baking your own bread, give it a try, you'll not be disappointed I promise :)

I use 'fast action yeast' because it means you don't have to leave it to rise twice, thats right, just mix, knead, rise and bake!

Put 500g strong white bread flour in a bowl add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons oil. 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of yeast. Add about half a warm pint of water and mix, add about another half and keep mixing.

If its too wet add flour, too dry add water. Get your hands in and rough it up a bit! Knead for at least 5 minutes after its all mixed in, 10 minutes if you have time or your not confident with your kneading skills... You'll need to keep sprinkling with flour while kneading or it'll be a sticky mess!

Optional extra - 2 small handfuls of seeds or nuts or oats etc

No you don't even need a bread tin! Just oil it up and put it in any good size cake tin or roasting pan then leave to rise in a warm spot covered with a tea towel. When its doubled in size, should look something like this...

Put the oven on at 180 and bake until browned on top, turn once during baking, normally takes about 35 minutes, leave to cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Please excuse my nearly week-long absence, this week has been so busy for me, exciting too though. We've been working away on organising and de-cluttering one room at a time and our home is starting to show more of our personalities, I like it :) We moved the raised bed I made last year from our old house round to our new place finally! Now we have even more growing space woo hoo! - post on that to come soon. Also I've been baking lots and trying out new dinner recipes so I haven't had time to blog much but I have enjoyed reading your posts over cups of tea when I've had a second! There's always time to read blogs isn't there?!

Not much space? Grow above ground in tyres!

Even though it goes against 100's of years of Irish tradition we did plant some spuds in old tyres this year! It's sort of an experiment because we'll have some in the ground soon too so we'll be able to see the difference in yield, if any. So heres my simple growing in tyres DIY, hope you like it :)

Two of the tiers came from our car, we had to get new ones so instead of being charged £1 per tyre for them to be disposed off, we took them home in the boot. The others were picked up from a pile of dumped ones down the road.

a journey to a dream
Filling in the first tyres

We had to mix sand into our heavy clay soil then add half rich mulch type soil.

Lots of mixing.

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Spuds ready to plant :)

 We don't use seed spuds, just leave our favorite variety from the supermarket till they sprout and they work a treat - saves a few pounds too!

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I dug right down, about 20cm from the bottom then covered it up

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All done, with our signature cat deterrers!

a journey to a dream

Once the plants grow up about to the height of the top of the tyre we'll fill them up again with more soil, just leaving a bit showing, add a tyre and repeat till it starts flowering - I wonder how high they'll end up, 3 maybe 4 high?

Apart from this, other things are slow in our garden. The first round of mizuna lettuce we planted is providing us about 2 sandwiches worth a week... The other lettuces are coming up, broccoli is up too and will need planted out soon, peas are coming up in the greenhouse but only a few in the outside bed are showing. I think it might be because of the odd weather we've had here, cold then lots of sun then cold again but I think we're definitely into the spring/summer now so hopefully things will pick up a bit of pace outside - myself included lol!

My 101 challenges 4 months in...

Well so far I think I have done quite well with my 101 challenges in 1001 days. Some things have been harder than others... I did the list to encourage myself to live the life I want now, not put things off and when I pop back to read it every now and then it does give me a little nudge "don't forget to keep that up" or "must make time for that this month". Its a great thing to have going on and I recommend it to anyone :)

Keeping up the baking. Number 34

Number 21 "buy no lettuce in 2012 - grow it all ourselves" has been the hardest LOL this weekend is the first time we've had lettuce this year! Lettuce has been really really missed in our house but we replaced it with sprouts and survived, we will not go without again - I've planted so much!

a journey to a dream
Mung, chickpea and alfalfa sprouts

Number 99 "say 'I love you' to my husband at least 3 times a day, every day" has been the easiest I'm crazy about him and he knows it :)

a journey to a dream

So far I have crossed off 15 and am on track with 16 others, not too bad but having a good look through again has made me see how many amazing things I have planned, and since I have some extra time off these next 2 weeks I am really gonna focus on crossing some more off!

I know lots of you are doing the 101 challenge, hows yours coming on? Anyone near the end of theirs? Anyone need a cyber kick up the butt? Just kidding... or am I? haha!

One easy step to make your followers happier!

All of us bloggers love to read comments left by people who have enjoyed our ramblings. I think its one of the best things about having a blog, developing a connection with other like-minded people.

Wouldn't it be great if there was something you could do to to make it easier for those people to comment on your blog, to encourage people to leave their thoughts and ideas? But there is! Just turn off your word verification, that one simple change makes leaving a comment on your blog so much more enjoyable.


Word verification is pants... Even if you're lucky enough to get an easy one its still annoying and don't get me started on the really hard ones that you have to type twice...

So now your thinking, fair enough but I don't want male enhancement or get our of debt quick comments on my blog either. Don't worry about that, bloggers internal spam detection is so good you'll likely never see a spam comment in your spam folder never mind on your posts. A few really big blogs that I follow have also said that they never get spam and don't have word verification.

Since turning off my word verification I've had 60,000 views and about 600 comments - no spam on my blog at all, one (non-offensive, but you could tell it was fake) comment got sent to my spam folder. Thats it!

So please please please if you still have it enabled on your blog get rid of it!

How to turn off word verification in blogger settings

So its still raining...

I know I am nearly alone in my indifference to the weather. Weather is something that seems to effect everyone to varying degrees, everyone except me! So I thought I'd share with you some of the reasons I'm OK with any weather in the hopes it'll help you keep smiling through the rain :)


  • When its raining I know its great for all the plants and the farmers. 
  • We don't pay water rates atm but if there was any type of rain shortage I'm sure that'd be another bill to pay. 
  • I have a lovely cosy and dry home to live in, hearing the stormy weather outside reminds me of how lucky I am.
  • Ireland is the most beautiful country in the world, if we had much more sun it'd change the colour of landscape completely.
  • I have lived all over the world but when it came to choosing somewhere to settle I realised weather came after, safety, ability to work, education options, accessible healthcare, welfare  (should I ever need it) and friendliness of the people.
  • When it's windy I think of all those wind turbines whizzing round creating free renewable energy.
  • And lastly anyone who is really really bothered about the weather should remind themselves that they are so fortunate that they don't have bigger issues clouding their thoughts like serious health problems or loosing a job that supports your family etc

There is so much you can control in life, why spend time worrying about the things you can't? I hope you have a lovely Easter weekend whatever the weather decides to do! I'll be crafting, baking and gardening, unless it rains ALL weekend lol :)

Vive Le Revolution!


Just think of 10 things that are making you happy this month, write them down and grab the banner above for your post! Lets forget about the negatives for a minute, turn off the news and give some attention to all the good things in our lives!

The 10 things making me happy these days are:
  1. Lettuce in our garden being so nearly ready to pick!
  2. Watching movies snuggled up with my hubby and a comically large bowl of popcorn :)
  3. My DIY watering can going viral online - so cool!
  4. Seeing my recycling habbits rub off on my pre schoolers  "Aaaaastra someone put paper in our reeeeeal bin and your not supposed to heeeeey?" "Nope" "If I see who done it I'll tell 'em we re-schycle in pre school room K?" (it just melted my heart!!!)
  5. Talking to my Auntie about a possible 2013 christmas family reunion in South Africa
  6. Everyones spirits being lifted by the better weather we've had these last few weeks
  7. Getting so much good advise and so many encouraging comments about our next exciting step of buying a house :)
  8. Hot chocolate instead of tea for a little treat in the evening
  9. Hairy Maclary Stories, read the first one here
  10. The wonderful dreams I've been having about our future - I wake up with a big smile on my face every day
Don't forget to comment below so I can add you and people who want a positivity kick can come find you!

*This months revolutionaries!*
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