Saturday, 31 March 2012

Good stuff going on

The last wee while has been busy but like everyone across the country we have been enjoying the fab weather!

The top pic is a lovely sunny pic of my mum (She is on the right, complete with flower in her mouth!) on a girls holiday abroad when she was about 17. By its tattered state you can see I love this picture and have kept it in a wee wallet with my other old pics since I left home. Its just such a happy, sunny picture and so totally the essence of my lovely Mum. To celebrate the sunshine this week it is currently residing on my favourite print from Kerry at Seventy Tree, bought for our re-decorated bedroom and so kindly customised for my colours (I have tried to photograph the whole pic but they didn't come out well- will keep trying!). So Kerry thanks again- we really love it.

The second pic is me and the kiddos fab Friday afternoon at a dear old friends house. It was a lovely catch up instigated by my bestie Richard. The kids and I had a ball in the sunny garden, great company, food and maybe a wee bit of wine for the adults!

The last pic well it wouldn't be a post from me without a weekly thrift shot! You know I saw this handsome Wade pair at the start of last week and only bought the wee bowl as my own words  from previous posts echoed in my head and well, like I needed another milk Jug........But I just fell in love with the James Borsay designed Raindrops pattern and by an amazing stroke of luck the wee jug was still there this morning and the two are reunited again! The blue green glaze is unusual and beautiful.

Hope you are having a great weekend,

Jo xx

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The one about Ikea Family Live Magazine....

It was really, really nice to get some kind comments about this room yesterday- thank you all very much. And they have prompted me to post these pics again which I put on here at the very start of my blogging journey. We did this extension a few years ago and I can't tell you how much it has changed our lives for the better. It replaced a small projection on the back of the house which would have been the original wash house. It had a solid floor, no insulation and was running with damp. We now have a big, open space where the kids can scooter about- straight outside if they want (West coast weather permitting!).

We were really chuffed with how this family room, cum kitchen/dining room (you can't see the dining room here) turned out. So much so that it a fit of excitement I sent these pics to Ikea Family Live magazine. Then I totally forgot about it until a few months later I got an email saying they were considering my house for a feature. Well I was excited but my heart dropped a bit when they asked for pictures of the rest of the house. Firstly the rest of the house is a turn of the century semi, quite different from this modern room, although my usual mixy- matchy decor, and well secondly I was putting myself and my home out there to be judged. I guess a bit foolishly I sent off more pics and never heard anything until eventually I got a rather sheepish email telling me that my home wasn't 'strong' enough to be featured after all.

I was quite upset about this and felt really stupid to have been so arrogant as to send the pics off in the first place! I suppose I felt like I had forgotten what my home is, its a repository of the things we have pulled together from our separate lives and then what David and I have created together- a happy home for our family. So a lesson learned- I won't be sending off any pics to magazines again. And I am showing it here on my terms because I am proud of what it is. Sometimes you live and learn. We love it and its a happy, bright, muddled, creative space. We think its a 'strong' family home and that's what matters isn't it?

Jo xx

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sunny Sunday!

It was a really sunny day here in Glasgow today. Very, very warm. The boy and I started the day forming part of his local nursery garden work party, lots of potting of plants which made me feel a bit shamefaced about the state of our own wee garden. We spent the rest of the day in our garden or thereabouts and we all loved how happy the sun and the outdoors made us feel.

David cut the grass and we kept the doors open till the evening. The kiddos are a bit scared of the lawnmower so watched it from the safety of the house.

The top two pics are of glass lampshades which were another cheeky charity shop buy in Crieff. I have plans for them and couldn't resist photographing them in the sun! Despite them only costing a few pounds I think the more pink of the two is actually quite lovely- maybe a bit older than I originally thought!

I swear we heard that fairy bell ring!!

Jo xx

Saturday, 24 March 2012


We had a great family day out today at Finlaystone Country Park. The kids had a ball- it was warm and sunny, lots of things to play on, the first outdoor picnic of the year and lots of signs that spring is here. Hope you are all having a fab weekend. Jo xx

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Thank you Lou for a lovely sunshine award. Its been great to meet you online and I do love your blog and covet your artwork!! 

Oh I just realised that Rebecca at Littletree Designs also gave me an award! I just found her lovely blog recently- check it out.

Ladies I do appreciate this- I am just a bit slow at it all!!

Here are my answers;

Colour: Green- from celadon to neon!
Animal: Oh kiddos put paid to animals! My dog Ella though!
Non-alcoholic drink: Yorkshire tea.
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
Getting or giving presents: Getting is always nice but giving to the kids is lovely.
Flower: Rose
Pattern: 70's floral everytime!

Passion: My wee family, our health and anything 70's retro (and can I say Courtney Love too!)
Number: 4

I want to pass on sunshine to the following ladies I love reading;
(my usual disclaimer- sorry if you have been inundated- I just think its nice to spread a wee bit of kindness and appreciation- we all need it ! No pressure to carry this on, Jxx)

Little Buckles
This Girl is
Sunken Treasure
Betty Crafter

Jo xx

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A small bit of shopping!

So you didn't think I went away for a few days and didn't venture to check out the charity shops did you!!!! I managed to sneak away on my own for an hour and can report that the shops were chock a block with nice stuff in Crieff. The top three pics, although all fab stuff I DID NOT BUY- primarily as I am trying to practice what I preach and not buy anymore of things that I already have lots of. The bottom two pics- a wee set of lovely retro patterned bowls and the flowered tea towel- yes they are now mine!!

Jo xx

{and yes that set of plates in the top pic was £20!!!}

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Hydro - Therapy!

We had a wee break Sunday/Monday night. We went to Crieff Hydro. I grew up in Perth and the Hydro is a bit of an institution in central Scotland. It was originally a Hydro spa but has evolved into an amazing family hotel, with lodges, lots of activities for the kids and if you want it free childcare for the kiddos for a few hours a day.

It was the kids first time staying in a hotel and they were high as kites! We all had a great bit of r&r and are back home today re-charged and looking forward to Spring, that is definitely on its way!

1.Stop off at my folks en-route- my boy.
2. Play park fun.
3. Mothers day pressie.
4. Practising writing at High tea!
5. First necklace!

Jo xx

Ps that Urban Outfitters cardi is very rarely off my back!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Kaj Franck

Utterly obsessed by this just now. I would so love this- it is mine in my heart!! Believe me if I had more funds it would be mine in a heartbeat! Anyone want to buy it for me???

Jo xx

{Find it here on Ebay}

{pics posted with kind permission from Michael Fisch}

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Snack bowls?.....Or Casseroles?

A recent acquisition was this snack set from Etsy seller Tara at Visualizing Vintage. I love the colour and retro pattern and that its called a 'snack set' - love it! It is also quite tough plastic and they stack too!

It got me thinking about the vintage china and kitchen stuff that I buy. I always aim to buy things that I will use- its not just for admiring in this house. And if it doesn't work for its keep its takes a trip back to the thrift shop! When I started buying vintage stuff I was taken up by all the great casserole dishes that you could find, until I realised that I just don't cook, eat and serve that way. In fact I don't think that many of us do now. I'm all about taking away the formality around mealtimes- those formal meals of the past where the woman serves out of a range of dishes, to the menfolk first- well I shiver thinking about it!

To make entertaining more relaxed I do a trick from Nigella- put the plates and cutlery out informally. I often wrap the cutlery in napkins and put it in a lovely Hornsea vase for people to help themselves. And food to share and pass round is much more me.

Two exceptions on the casserole front however are the Figgjo Flint wee casserole dish (third picture above) and the JG Meakin green one (fourth pic). The Figgjo Flint one is the perfect size for my homemade hummus or mackerel pate and the Meakin one was a present from my Aunt. Its good for rice or pasta salad in the summer.

Anyway I digress- snack sets like this one I can use. For dips, chips, kiddo parties, salad- I could go on but you get the idea. I think I could probably make room for some more too!

Do you mainly buy for use or for display? I would LOVE to know?

Oh and thanks fort all your recent comments it makes my day!

Jo x

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Weekend bits

Hope you are all having a great weekend. We are loving the better weather, hence being out in the garden a lot and glimpses of sunshine- it's all good.

I am so happy how well the kids are playing and interacting together these days.

1. Admiring the newly swept garden stairs.
2. Snapped by boy, so no head! My new top with my lovely necklace from A Merry Mishap.
3. Loving this newly thrifted necklace- thinking its very 1980's, Rio!
4. Kiddos in the sunshine at Granny's.
5. Transport Museum trip.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

My Mum's Pizza

{Mum and I circa 1976}

We all have family and heritage recipes. We all cook things that are dear to us.  The act of cooking and eating much more than that, as the as memory, the remembering, the loss, happiness, regrets of our lives are all wrapped up in what we feed ourselves and our loved ones.

My Mum has always made a very simple, plain scone based pizza. In it's essence it is part of the culinary landscape of the 1960's, where those that were adventurous cooked spag bol with mince and Tom sauce, curry with left over chicken and madras powder- these were all derivatives of the original authentic dish and massively adventurous for 60's Britain. And it is so, so easy to make a 'proper' yeast based pizza dough, but somehow the scone based pizza took off- a real 60/70's home cooking trend. And you know what the fact that I still crave it, cook it and write about it here is testament to the fact that it is more than culinary nostalgia. It might not be a looker but man it tastes good.

A plain scone base and a simple homemade tomato sauce topping and sorry, wait for it -a Cheddar cheese. You know its not that strange, I happily read Giorgio Locatelli say that in fact Italians don't mind pizza with a stronger cheese than mozzarella, and in fact Italian immigrants to the UK positively love pizza with stronger UK cheese on top- so hello authentic permission I believe!

When I grew up I lived right next to the school gates of both my primary and secondary schools. Coming home for lunch was a regular thing and my Dad came back too as he worked nearby. My Mum had a fine range of 70's dishes to feed us- Tomato Cheeseburgers (more later!), Leeks wrapped in ham with cheese sauce, cheese souffle, homemade Quiche and this gorgeous pizza.

Mum and Dad vacated the house for my 18th party and I asked Mum to make me some trays of this pizza. Many an inebriated teenage lad scoffed at the pizza but to a man they wolfed it down. Taste it and you will be hooked and if I tell you that it is totally storecupboard ready I will tempt you even further!



225g/8 oz self raising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
50g/2 oz butter
about 150ml/1/4 pint milk

Sift the flour with the baking powder into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Using a fork add the milk slowly to make a soft but not sticky dough. Roll out into a rectangle on a floured surface and carefully lift to a greased and floured baking tray.


One tablespoon of olive oil
One onion finely chopped
One 400g tin of tomatoes
Pinch of celery salt
Teaspoon of Italian herbs
Teaspoon of oregano

Fry the onion till turning golden in the olive oil, Add the tinned tomatoes and herbs and seasoning. Cook for 20 minutes on a low simmer till the sauce has reduced. Don't be tempted to add any sugar to the tomato sauce as you would for a pasta sauce. You want a tart, tomatoey sauce here as the scone base is ever so slightly sweet and its the taste contrast that makes it so yummy!

To assemble;

Smooth the tomato sauce on top of the scone base, add whatever topping you want. Mostly we have this with just the tomato topping, cheese on top and some black olives. Top with grated cheese- you can use mozzarella or better still strong cheddar. The recipe is easily doubled up and I often do this.

Cook in a moderate over for 20 minutes until cheese is bubbling- serve with a lovely crispy salad and coleslaw. Yum

Thank you for reading, have a lovely weekend when it comes, Jo xx

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Am I doing this right.....?

{an excuse to show another fab vintage dish!}

I was really happy to be tagged by Jen from Little Birdie today! I just discovered Jen's lovely blog recently and she is a fellow Glaswegian, which is always good to hear! I still feel very, very new to this blogging thing and am totally oblivious to all protocol etc if it exists. This blog has always been about a space for me to write, connect, take pictures and to well have a wee break from all that makes a working mum's life stressful and hard! So if I connect with some more great people through tagging then that sounds good to me- its worth a go!

So what I think I have to do is post some random stuff about myself, answer Jen's great questions- then somehow think up some of my own and tag some blogs that I read and like. So here goes and double sorry if this is a bit haphazard!

So this is what you have to do those that I have tagged;

^ Post these rules
^ Post 11 things about yourself
^ Answer the questions provided by the one who tagged you
^ Create 11 new questions for the people you tag
^ Go to their blog and tell them they've been tagged!

11 Random things about myself;
  • My other half and I travelled three times to Australia before we had children and seriously considered emigrating there. 
  • I LOVE our house and we bought it even thought it was a total wreck. We have been 8 years doing it up- a serious labour of love.
  • I nearly did a Theatre Studies course at Uni.
  • I knew my other half was the 'one' after our first night out.
  • I used to be a goth.
  • My favourite poet is Mary Oliver.
  • I went to New York and New England for my honeymoon.
  • My favourite food is North African.
  • I cry loads at sad bits in films.
  • I love John Denver (a childhood thing!).
  • I have an English Literature and Sociology Degree
And Jen's questions;

^ What is your favourite 1980s movie?
Promised Land- an old Kiefer Sutherland and Meg Ryan movie.
^ Sweet or savoury?
Savoury- sugar is evil- I try to keep away from it....!
^ Who was your childhood hero?
Probably Laura Ingalls Wilder- I read and re-read the Little House on the Prairie series.
^ What would be your dream job?
Something creative- a writer maybe. I am not too bad on the old grass is greener front. I like what I am doing now.
^ What really annoys you?
Injustice of any shape or form. Its a bit of an unequal world we live in and I try to make a difference where I can.
^ What colour are your eyes?
Dark green.
^ What is your favourite piece of art?
Anything by Joan Eardley.
^ Beer, wine or cider?
Red wine- totally necessary when small children are in bed at the end of the week!
^ What's the nicest thing that has happened to you recently?
The kindness of friends.
^ Who is your secret crush?
Very, very sadly I have to admit Chis Martin. I know not why!!
^ What's your favourite novel?
Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

My questions;

1. Etsy or Ebay?
2. Have you any regrets so far?
3. What is the best gig you have been to?
4. What is your special place?
5. What is your favourite novel?
6. What is your signature dish that you cook?
7. If you could travel back to anytime in history when would you choose?
8. What is your favourite country that you have visited?
9. How would you describe your personal style?
10.Who is your favourite actor?
11.What do you collect?

I am going to tag the following blogs I read- and so sorry if you have been tagged already. I have so little time I haven't checked your 'tag status' and I'm just going to go for it!(and hey and if you don't feel like the questions no pressure to do it at all). 

Please do check these out they are great blogs,

Thank you everyone!

Jo xx

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Saturday Find!

Took the boy to a wee friend's party early on Saturday morning and on the way home saw a car space right outside the local charity shop. Well it would have been rude to pass up a quick look.....

Glad I did- found these fab glasses and jug. They are in seriously mint condition. Love the colours and pattern. They are quite 1950's aren't they?

Got some great books for the kiddos as well- more of that later. Out in the garden doing some post winter clear up today- the sun is shining in Glasgow! Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Jo xx

Friday, 2 March 2012

Little Green Shed

I am very excited that Lou at Little Green Shed has these lovely postcards for sale in her shop today! I think they are lovely and can't wait until the prints are there too! Check out Lou's blog and her Etsy Shop shop for lots of lovely images and great writing. Its one of my favourites.

Happy weekend everyone!

Jo xx

{Images by Lou}