Friday, 19 April 2013

Last Weekend's Owls

I did manage last weekend to drag myself out of bed to go to the Salvation Army 'Shabby Chic' sale on Saturday morning. The large, hanger like Salvation Army Store on Glasgow's Dumbarton Road is rightly an institution. It is in my opinion the best charity shop in the city. For starters it is huge, it therefore has a vast turnover of stock and it always, always has a fair pricing system. The staff have been the same for years and are lovely, and its the one Charity shop I let my kiddos run around in unhindered by buggies. There is a great buzz about the place.

They do hold specific sales every so often, the last one was a 'Geek Sale', for that read Dr Who, Star Wars etc memorabilia. Some of these sales are auctions and others like the 'Shabby Chic' one are first come first served. They also fill one of the huge windows with a display of what they will sell, so you can set your heart on something and attempt to secure it on the day. I had spied a kitsch owl print with four owls that my wee one had already identified as the four of us. It wasn't a terribly valuable thing so I reckoned I would take my chances.

The sale started at 10am and I got down there at 9.30am, already there were 30 people in front of me. I could hear people talking about the things they had set their hearts on. One woman in front of me was desperate for a 1930's mirror that reminded her of her grandmothers, another wanted the pink retro fringed standard lamp for her living room.

Eventually the doors opened and a very polite sort of scrum ensued. The owls were nowhere to be seen, but I consoled myself with a beautiful tile mirror with an owl and a pussy cat at each side, a bargain at £5. Then when I went to have a final look in the window and I spied my print propped against a table. Delighted I scooped it up and paid for the two of them. After closer examination I just love the mirror, its a wee bit 1950's and goes perfectly with my Tretchikoff print. And the four owls, well they are actually all the way from Kampala (Framing details on the back) and now hang above our breakfast bar.

The lady got her 1930's mirror, and she had tears in her eyes as she hugged it to herself in delight.

{I have so many posts I want to do but of late I have had little time or energy. We all had a horrible vomiting bug at the end of the Easter hols and with being back at work this week, school and nursery we are all playing catch up. More to follow!}

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Some more memories - Nature in the home

I have been consciously taking pleasure in this series of Lou's.  For me it is all part of being mindful, seeing and appreciating what is around you; and this little mantra I have been saying to myself recently 'If you look - you will see'.

I always like to bring something living back from the woods, or the garden to the house, I just haven't done it systematically before.  Nature in the home has slowly changed that - Come the middle of the week I begin to think..... My eyes found this tiny bottle on a shelf in my room early this morning.  My husband secretly bought it for me from a vintage stall in Hawes, on one of our first family holidays.  I had seen it earlier in the day and I think I had passed it up because, well I didn't really need it (money was tight) - but he went back and bought it for me as a surprise, he knew I loved it.

It's actually a little peach brandy bottle, in that very pale, dusky blush pink that I love so much.

As it was being remembered so fondly today, the wee vase needed something to show off and these tiny flowers, from a shrub in my rockery were the perfect colour and scale to match it.

{Joining in with Lou's series Nature in the Home}

Sunday, 7 April 2013


An unexpected gift is a beautiful thing. And you know for me its the thought, and the love behind it that means everything - more so even than the gift itself. The fact that my lovely cousin picked out this card, brooch and choccies (for the kiddos) and then packaged them up, as a complete surprise, that is what touches me.

She took time out of her busy life and wanted to drop a wee package into mine.

Thanks Cousin, I love my two special owls.

Wishing everyone a good start to the week. I am off this week so no Sunday blues for me tonight! Jo xx

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Nature in the Home

Here is a simple moment from my Easter weekend. My mother's Bougainvillea in her sun room. I sat beside this papery beauty and read my book and watched the children playing in the garden. This is a lovely memory to progress through the week with.

Thanks Lou for making my eyes take in the beauty around me.

{Joining in with Lou's 'Nature in the Home' series}

Monday, 1 April 2013

Our Easter Cake

It is nice to come home with a new cake recipe, even more so with the last few slices of said cake! This is the cake that my Mum made for my husband for Easter. For health reasons he eats a very low fat diet, which means oil rather than butter or margarine in baking. My Mum and I are always scouting for suitable recipes for him that we can all enjoy together.

This cake is a keeper - its light, but moist at the same time. We ate it with extra raspberries and strawberries with a little soya cream, or you could add ice cream or dairy cream. Its also perfect mid morning with a cuppa.

175g self raising flour
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
150 g Total Fat Free Greek yogurt
110mls sunflower oil/olive oil/rapeseed oil
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
150g fresh raspberries
2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 160c/gas 3
Grease a round 20cm cake tin. In one bowl place flour and caster sugar and mix together. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla and almond extract until smooth. Pour this into the flour mixture then stir in the raspberries till combined. Pour the cake mixture into the tin, spread out then scatter over the almonds. Bake in the oven for 20 - 30 mins until a skewer comes out clean from the centre and its golden on top.