Pumpkin

Yesterday my family were really sweet and let me have a nap, while they popped to the supermarket. And they bought me a present back, this fabulous looking pumpkin.

Which is a really, really perfect pumpkin with a difference

It’s tiny!

I’m dying to get more of these and make them into mini lanterns for Halloween, the are Munchkin Pumpkins from Waitrose but at 99p a bit pricey. So I’m hoping that when we go pumpkin picking this weekend we’ll find more the same size and not just massive ones. Wish me luck!

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Link Love – The Halloween Edition

Forgive my absence this week, but it’s been manic.  I’ve been making all sorts of blogs beautiful check out Tales from the Village which is the latest one to go live and I have another going live on Monday.

It’s been Harvest Festival this week as well, so Miss L and I were busy putting together a beautiful box. Also this year the new school had a competition, the children were asked to make a bread shape for Harvest and there would be an award for the winner. Miss L decided that we should make the cathedral out of dough – no small task!  We had loads of fun doing it, I don’t think for one minute we’ll win but it was hilarious, dough and flour everywhere!

We’ve also been getting into the mood for Halloweeen, as you can see by the blog. A huge thank you to Shabby Miss Jenn and her talented team for the images – I couldn’t have made better. Check out her Shabby Blog Store I adore it!  I also found the Martha Stewart ‘Halloween’ magazine in WH Smiths – it’s fantastic with all sorts of ideas for decorating, parties and food. So with that in mind here are my favourite Halloween inspired posts from my Google Reader this week.

13 Free Halloween Printables from Living Locurto

From Fantasy to Fete Fright Night – Coco + Kelley

Best Cake Topper Ever – Jan’s Gems

Creepy Candles – The Summer Kitchen Journal

Halloween Cupcakes 101 – Tip Junkie

32 Creative Ways with Pumpkins – Tip Junkie

How to Preserve your Jack o lantern – Tip Junkie

Halloween Countdown – Martha Stewart Blog

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Weekend Away

We’ve just had a fantastic weekend, it started on Friday when Interflora sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers because they like the blog, they made it the same colours as the blog and they are just stunning. Nothing makes me smile more than a giant bunch of flowers!

On Saturday we left Miss L and Betty with my parents and headed down to London to see one of our friends in his first boxing match. Getting back from London isn’t too bad but I decided that we needed a bit of luxe, so I booked a hotel to stay at for the night – any excuse to have a night away!. We got down there mid afternoon and as the fight was at London Bridge, we headed down to the South Bank to walk along the Thames and find somewhere to have dinner and a drink or two.

It was the most gorgeous late autumn day

We ended up spending most of the afternoon in ‘All Bar One’ near Thames Shad, which serves some surprisingly nice food and the cocktails were pretty nice too! We don’t often get to spend time on our own, so it was great to catch up properly without being interrupted and just get to chill out and enjoy each other’s company. When we left the river was still looking beautiful, the sun was just going down.

We wandered over to where the fight was and met up with our friends. The fight was ‘White Collar Boxing’ which is where people have trained to box who have generally no previous experience at boxing and have just been training in a gym. None of us knew what to expect, as you can imagine boxing isn’t really my thing and I was just really going to support our friend. But you know what it we had a really good time, the venue was really nice and well run. This sign near the ladies toilets made me giggle – my kind of place!

I have no idea why no stilettos? Maybe the floor surface?? But I can like anywhere that bans stilettos, speaking as a converse girl.

After that the rest of the evening was bit of a blur, our friend won (yay!), we cheered lots and lost our voices and then headed happily back to the hotel. A really fantastic night and we are very, very proud of our friend for winning his match – thanks for inviting us down we’ll come again anytime!

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September

September is flying by, it seems like moments ago Miss L was heading back to school and I was starting up work again. But between settling her into her new school and getting my head back into work, it’s put me totally behind in getting Thrifty Christmas up and running. I’ve not had a chance to make a thing yet, even the easiest tiny project I was going to start is still sitting on the side in the hallway. So I’ll be launching it on October 1st instead – sorry about that!  But I have been collecting links from more organized folk to give you some inspiration in the meantime and I’ll post that soon.

At the weekend we had lots of fun walking the dog and collecting conkers from the local trees. I do think Miss L is the only small child in our town who still collects them, as there are loads on the ground and still in the trees.

As much as I hate to say this because it makes me feel old,  they would have been long gone by now when I was a kid.  I remember spending hours with my friends throwing sticks at trees to knock them down.  I guess they’re not allowed to play it at school anymore, it does make me wonder why. Has anyone actually ever been blinded by a conker?

Yesterday after school,  we spent time putting holes though them with a screwdriver and then stringing them which led to a family game of conkers which Paul one due to my rubbish threading 🙂 Pah round 2 today after school I think, I need to win back my crown!

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Harvest

As we’ve gotten further into September, we as a family have been harvesting our crops from both my garden and from my parents allotment.  Here’s Dad and Miss L harvesting a crop of salad potatos, which are now all washed and stored in potato bags.

Arthur waiting to help harvest the runner beans.

However there is one very important crop I can’t harvest at the moment – my apples!  They are all ripe for picking but we had an unexpected last minute visitor.

Normally the female dove nests in the tree in the spring, and has never been here in the autumn. So until they’ve flown the nest, our apple tree is off limits.  But it’s lovely to watch them flying in and out of the tree while I’m washing up, which more than makes up for a lack of apple pies.

What are you harvesting?

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{Fall Nesting Party} Table Makeover

As we woke up to the first autumnal mists this morning it seems appropriate to join Melissa at The Inspired Room‘s ‘Fall Nesting Party’ where you can share how you change your home for the new Autumn season.  My first post is the makeover of a sad little table I’ve had sitting in the corner of the dining room for the last 10 years. When we moved into our first house it was sitting out in our lean to it’d been left by the last owner as she didn’t want it. I was delighted with it, it’s a lovely shape but I’ve never been too sure what to do with it.

As you can see it needed some love, and I decided to take the plunge and paint it.   I did think about painting it white or cream, but I just felt it might look a bit out of place and too glaring, so I settled on Farrow & Ball ‘Lamp Room Grey’ which is the colour of the sky here in the autumn. As the table isn’t that big a tester pot for £3.00 covered it perfectly.

I did two coats of paint and as the paint dries pretty quickly the table was done in under and hour. Here’s the finished table – sorry not very autumnal but there’s not a lot in the shops here in the UK yet.

What do you think?  I’m really pleased with it and Paul likes it so much he’s letting me paint our bookcases in the same colour!  I just need to finish the kitchen first 🙂

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Inspired Room’s Fall Nesting Party

Inspired Room is one of my favourite blogs, Melissa who runs it is such a kind and generous blogger.  A long time ago when I was a blogging newbie I emailed her to ask some daft questions and she generously replied with great advice and we became blog friends. Her example is something I’ve tried to follow over the years, whenever I’ve been asked questions by new bloggers.

So I was very excited last week when I read that Melissa is launching her 3rd Annual Fall Nesting Party in September – hurray!!  I’m so over our cold, wet summer and I want to think about snuggling up, reading other blogger’s creative ideas and making things rather than fighting with my garden brambles!

Here are a few of my posts from the last couple of years that the Fall Nesting Parties have inspired:

Creating a Gallery Wall

Candle Making in Tea Cups

Apple Harvest

Cooking Apples to Store

Garden Furniture Makeover

And here is a sneak peak of the project I’ve just started for this year’s party, I can’t wait to show you the finished post.

The party starts on Sept 8th and read more about it here to take part.

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Halloween Bookmarks

Miss L is making these for her classmates to give out Friday as a little Happy Halloween present from her.  I found them on Yellow Moon, which also has lots of really good Christmas Crafts for kids (ideal for Half Term projects!). When you pay you can also search for your child’s school and a percentage of the bill will go to them if they have subscribed for fundraising.

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Apple Fair 2009

Apple Fair is my favourite celebration held in town and we had a great time this year. It wasn’t as sunny as usual but I managed to get some good snaps to share with you.

The Stalls

The Stalls had a great selection of apple juices from local orchards, plants, woodturning, cider making, knitting and other country crafts.

apple collage2

One interesting stall was the orchard locations in Cambridgeshire and the heritage apples they produce.  Sadly a lot of these varieties are being lost as orchards are sold off for farm land and housing developments.

Miss L and I were fascinated by the apple peeling contest, how good are these?

There was also yurt there (sadly I didn’t get a photo) with information about Ely becoming a Transition Town which aims to help lower reliance on fossil fuels, deal the with consequences of Peak Oil and to lower the city’s Carbon Footprint. It was very informative and I’m very proud of Ely becoming such a city. Find out more about it here

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Monday Link Love

I have a pot of coffee on, the housework is done and now it’s time to chill with my Google Reader and share with you my favourite blog post of the last week.

Home

 

India Knight now has a blog, and boy am I loving it!  She stayed at Kirstie Allsops, beautifully restored and refurnished Meadowgate property that some of you will remember from Kirstie’s Homemade Home Read India’s review here and go subscibe to her feed you won’t regret it.

Melissa at Inspired Room – Quick Fall Nesting

Julia at Hooked on Houses – Beach Cottage Makeover

Tsh at Simple Mom – The Best Kept Secrets to a Clean Home

Callie at Grayson: a diferent shade of grey – Hot Colours

Linda at Restyled Home – Bountiful Table (Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to Linda!)

Classic Style

Tina at Luphia – Pure Grace. Stunning vintage photos of Grace Kelly proving that style and grace transend time.

Parenting

Emily at Maternal Tales from the South – Love for my Stepdaughter had me in tears. Beautiful.

Emily at Remodeling this Life – Special Moments

Josie – Sleep is for the Weak great blog for those still in the throws of non sleeping children!

Gardening

Debs at Carrots and Kids – Cow Parsley Passion (stunning photography!!)

And remember the Violet Posy Halloween Party starts this week (shameless self promotion!)

 

 

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Halloween Blog Party

I love Halloween!

I know it’s not very British but one of the delights I’ve discovered of being a Mummy has been dressing up with Miss L, decorating the house and celebrating All Hallows Eve. I’ve discovered that I have a talent for pumpkin carving (thanks Waitrose for the templates!) and here’s my attempts at doing a Martha Stewart style pumpkins from the last couple of years.

So I’m throwing a Halloween Party here at Violet Posy for all of you to join in.

All you have to do to join in the fun is, add a direct link below to your Halloween Posts (any to just your main site will get deleted). You can have as many as you like, about what you like be it dressing up, parties, cooking, decorating I don’t mind it just has to be about Halloween and the fun you are having at your house 🙂

Also the British Mummy Bloggers Halloween Carnival is up at HotCrossMum

I can’t wait to here about your celebrations!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

 

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Harvest Festival Box

Yesterday Miss L and I made her Harvest Festival box for the service this weekend at the Cathedral. We fill it with canned and dried foods and then it gets taken to the local Food Bank for distribution.  I think it’s one her of best ones yet – all her own design with a little help from me.

I must admit it’s a bit odd as a non religious person to have a daughter who’s interested in religion, but each to their own!. However I’m really looking forward to seeing her at the Cathedral on Sunday as she’s reciting part of a poem to the whole congregation, I’d be terrified, she’s looking forward to it!

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Apples, Apples Everywhere – Fall Nesting Part 2

Melissa at Inspired Room is running between 2-5th September ‘Fall Nesting’ and I love joining in with the fun.

I posted about harvesting all the apples from our tree,  but what to do with them all?  I’ve sorted out the edible keepers which will be wrapped in newspaper and stored in our shed for use in the coming months, but the bruised and tiny apples are not really fit for keeping.  But for the rest?

We have a tiny freezer, not big enough to store apple pies in for the winter, so I make pie filling and freeze it instead.

applecollage

My recipe is

Apples

150ml – 200ml of water

Pinch of cloves

Teaspoon of cinamon

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

Pop it all in a saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes, have a taste as it’s cooking and add more of whatever ingredient you want to.  You might need more sugar depending on the type of apple.

Leave to cool and then removing the juice transfer into freezer bags or boxes and then pop in the freezer.  You can then break one out whenever you want to make a pie in the coming months.  Let it de-frost, make some pastry and then bake.  Easy and quick!

If you’d like to read about more ‘Fall Nesting’ pop over to Inspired Room, there is always a wonderful selection of ideas.

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