Thursday, 5 January 2017

Twelfth night - time for the decorations to all be down ...

Hi everyone

Are you still in the state of limbo between getting all the Christmas things down, going back to work & returning your homes to its pre-festive state?

My late grandmother was a stickler for traditions & always insisted that all the decorations were down by the night of the 5th of January. There is always a debate in the media about whether twelfth night falls on the 5th or the 6th of January, we have always observed the 5th as our night to have it all down.

Our door wreath is always the last thing to come down - it was again a welcome gift from the lovely Linda, a students Mum & it has been much admired since it went up. This year I had battery lights wrapped around it & it looked so welcoming.

The two topiary also had lights & those have come off, along with their present decorations ...


The door wreath always gets repurposed to the shed doors where it still looks lovely for a few more weeks, & the birds love pulling the moss out of the wreath for their nests.


A very cold & crisp day in the Shire as I repurpose our greenery - the second gifted wreath has been on our chimnea & it will stay there for a bit too  ...


I will miss the battery lights by the front door flicking on for 6 hours each night with their twinkling lights, but traditions must, so they are packed away for another year.  (The dark shapes on the facias are just shadows from the large bushes .... )


However, these  battery lightbulb lights have been in our living room - their batteries are still going strong so they will stay in the dining room for now as their lights flick on for a couple of hours each night ... aren't they pretty?



I took off our lovely fireplace garland in the week & replaced it with calm bunting & some lovely birds & hearts ... the Christmas card string was still up, that is now down ...


A lovely lavender bag which I bought on the markets in Dorset - handmade by a lovely lady - it is in the centre of the bunting


It looks much plainer & I always find the transition from the glorious Christmas decorations to January really difficult ...



As evening sets in, I light a gifted candle & think back over the Christmas period & the 12 nights since Christmas - it was a blessed time with friends & family!


I hope your Twelfth night is blessed, thank you for stopping by & taking the time to read & comment,
Dee ~♥~

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

A deer scene ...

Hi everyone

It is no surprise that deer are not just for Christmas in my home. They pop up all over & many stay all year round.

This lovely hyacinth was gifted by my visiting cousin & it looks just fine with the deer 'nibbling' at it.


The 2 little white deer were a recent find & they look just right with the taller one that we have had for some years.  I think this little group looks just fine in the dining room so they will stay for a while before they move about the house.

Do you have collections that you display all the time? Tell all or better still, blog about it & share ...  Thank you for stopping by,
Dee ~♥~

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Have you embraced the Hygge way of life?

Hi everyone,
I am sure the concept of Hygge has not escaped your attention; it is all over the press, in magazines & on tv discussions - it is one of the buzz words everywhere.

A Wondering Star gifted me the popular book & it was interesting to read about it in a little more depth ....



Country living tells us it is ....
 hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) alludes to a feeling of cosy intimacy and contentment. It's all about creating feelings of happiness, friendliness and wellbeing within everyday life.

Before we all get in to a tizz, I realised that many of us already get many of these concepts right - we just haven't put the Hygge name to it - it is about the quality of your life, the warmth, comfort & cosiness we embrace which leads to contentment ....


It is about spending quality time with friends & family, sitting by a fire or enjoying firelight -


Keeping things simple by enjoy relaxing candle light with friends & family over lingering suppers.




Keeping grounded by mixing old with new,  wood grounds us with its tactile surface, a reminder of its permanence  ...


Baking & settling down with comforting hot cocoa is another Hygge activity - we do not need much encouragement to do this ...


 Enjoying a slice of home-baked cake, Hygge is not depriving ourselves of things ...


Hygge recommends getting outdoors too - I am curious by nature & love exploring new places

In Africa

Walking & exploring our vast canal network ...



Exploring Riga & taking in new experiences & cultures


Pick up a book or two or three - do you have books all over your house? Too many to read but unable to resist bring in a new one?


How do you hygge? The suggestion is to create a hyygekrog or cosy nook at home with candles, fleeces with a cup of warming coffee or hot chocolate  while choosing rustic over new decor,

In South Africa, we use the word geselligheid which fits in perfectly with the similar ones ...


So make your space warm & cosy - bring in light & cosiness, home made comforts rule ...


Create a home that you love living in,  a welcoming, safe space that reflects you with personal things that tell your history & your story.  Welcome others in to your space too ...



I love tactile things & mix vintage & modern in my own style ...


Books & ceramics - what is there not to love? I have both in abundance at home; I love leather books & the smell / scent you get from vintage books & the beautiful tactileness of tooled leather & embossed covers ...

Do not get me started on ceramics - I just love ceramics as you well know from my sideboard posts ...


We are not short of a few clocks at home ... 


I love this vintage floral oil painting - it is easy on the eye for me & is not everyone's favourite at home but it is a calming image that I see daily ... live with what you like & what speaks to your soul.


Most of us already embrace the Hygge concepts in our comfortable homes. Enjoy your space, be grateful & embrace pleasure, harmony, comfort & togetherness from the atmosphere you  create in your shelter / home. Those are the foundation concepts ....

I will be mindful of the concepts & this year, I will continue to make my home the Hygge space it should be.  I hope you will also look at your space & just think about what really works for you & yours ... thank you for stopping by & taking the time to visit ...

Dee ~♥~




Monday, 2 January 2017

A comforting post Xmas mincemeat pie

Hi everyone

Do you find that you still have well intentioned festive things to use up in January?

With a very busy end of year mainly due to visitors & being away for a Baltic break, I did not do all the baking I usually do for Xmas so had some bits still lurking accusingly in the cupboard.

I was invited to share New Years eve at my Godsons,  so I decided to bake something.

I have had festive mincemeat pies (made with a fruit mix for those not familiar with it) but had not made it. However, with a good jar of the prepared mincemeat, a roll of bought shortcrust pastry & some additional glace cherries & soft fruits on hand, I decided to make a tart.

This is how I did it:

Butter & flour a loose bottomed flan / tart dish & preheat the oven to 200C

I mixed the shop bought festive mincemeat, some cut glace cherries & a soft fruit mixture in to a bowl & added a little splash of sherry to it.


I rolled the shortcrust pastry thinner & cut it to fit in to the prepared flan dish.  Prick the base of the pastry with a fork  all over, then rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to reduce shrinkage.  I rolled the remaining pastry between the paper & put it in the fridge to firm up again.


Cut a greaseproof paper circle to fit on the pastry & fill with baking beans to hold the shape.

Bake for 10 minutes then remove the baking beans & paper & bake for a further 5 minutes, take out of the oven & cool.

Fill with your prepared fruit mincemeat mix.  I used the additional pastry offcuts from the fridge to make a thin disk to cover the fruit (mainly so it wouldn't spill over the pastry case).  Using a small star shaped cutter, I cut out some stars, then repositioned the cut out stars on the pastry top.


This disk shaped top was placed on top of the pie, the edges gently firmed down,  a cherry was popped in each star space, then it was baked for 20 minutes till a golden colour.

Icing sugar was sieved over the top then it was ready to go with to our get together where it was well received.


This was the first time I had made it & it is certainly going to be made again ...

Dee ~♥~

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Welcome 2017 ...

How soon time flies and another year is almost done.

2016 has been amazing - our wondering star daughter tied the knot,  & they had a ceremony in France too; Stacy sparkle is in to her Masters year at University,  I continue to have a job I really enjoy ...

I have had visits from friends & family not seen in years for lovely catch ups & learnt some new skills. I have visited new places & tried new things ....

As the year draws to a close,  I am always abundantly thankful for family & good friends who make life easier & more interesting & most of all, who are just there for me.  I am thankful too for those who stop by my blog & who send messages when they connect with something I have shared.

In 2017,  I want to continue to ...

~ Be the change I want to see - kindness, consideration, friendships, loyalty

~ Visit somewhere new & to enjoy a new culture

~ Do random acts of kindness - it makes a difference to people, a pebble in a pond that spreads

~ Make that call, write those letters, keep connected

~ Take time out to just be - I find peace & inspiration in quietness

~ Do something new, learn a new skill ...


2017 is still a new book,  a new year - make it a good one , filled with abundant blessings. This from charity sparrow



"Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Dee ~♥~