Sunday, 9 November 2014


This is the first before and after! A year ago we moved into our new house. It's a brick terrace built in about 1910. When we arrived the front room was a little dark and run down. It had unfortunately lost its fireplace which we decided not to replace in the end. It's quite a narrow room and we have a lot of stuff so we just thought make it feel small. Plus it's the perfect size for the T.V.

First, we had some shelving and cupboards built in the alcoves which fits every book we own. The cupboards are still waiting to be filled! We went a little eccentric on the door inspired by a trip to A la Ronde!

Shelves and woodwork: Crown Alliance Matt
Walls: Farrow and Ball House White Estate Emulsion
Floor: Homebase Slate Grey Silk

The curtains were given to me by my aunt and uncle who recently redecorated. The fabric could have looked a little chintzy but teamed with the other colours I think (hope) it works.

Saturday, 8 November 2014


The house is slowly coming together. We have been in it almost a year and we are just finishing off the last room. Doing up a house (even just cosmetically) takes a lot more work and time than I envisaged. Standing back and looking at the finished result makes it worth it though.

My love affair with brown objects seems to be growing. My parents found this rather lovely vase for me. It has a slight lustre to it which makes it even better! It was perfect for the dried hydrangea that my Mother-in-law gave me from her garden. I REALLY need to grow a hydrangea but the slugs love them. I have 10cm mammoth slugs in my garden so if anyone has any tips for getting rid of them!

The fashion for all things tin seems to still be going strong. There are some great tin advertising signs about and some lovely tin boxes. Got to watch out for dodgy reproductions! I fancy these two for sale at the moment on ebay: French Tin Candle Box and Mabel Lucie Attwell Tin SignTempted as I am by them, I found this beautifully decorated 'Parkinsons Confectionary' tin in Lincolnshire for a tenner. If you're ever up that way Horncastle is brilliant for antique shops.

Happy Hunting in Horncastle!

Friday, 7 November 2014


Back when the days were long and the fragrant sweet peas were out my friend celebrated her 26th birthday. I don't think enough flowers are given nowadays. Yes they are quite expensive given they die in a week or two. I get that it seems a little frivolous, but with a little effort even supermarket flowers can be made to look a bit special. 

I found these sweet peas in Waitrose for less than the price of a bottle of wine and using some garden twine made a hand-tie. Sweet peas are very easy to tie because of the woody, straight stems. You just have to be careful not to knock the flowers off. I lost a few which was no big deal.

The birthday girl was very pleased and said that the sweet peas made her house smell beautiful for a week and brightened up her living room.

Little Things!

Thursday, 6 November 2014


I saw something similar to this on pinterest. Theirs was a lot prettier and better put together but I was in a rush. Nevertheless it made a nice simple side dish for a dinner party and looked like I had done something fancier than chopping and layering!

Two graffiti aubergines, two courgettes and two big tomatoes cut into rounds and layered up with Malden sea salt, cracked black pepper and olive oil. If you haven't switched to Malden sea salt you totally should. It is delicious.


Next time I will use four tomatoes as their wasn't quite enough. I would also take the time to cut everything much thinner and layer more densely. That way it would cook without burning but look even better.

Happy Experimenting!

Saturday, 1 November 2014


The clock collection is growing! Found this first in a charity shop for a fiver. Bargain! The second actually works and is made out of some sort of pottery painted gold. Pretty bling!

Beaded Light shade - I'm guessing 20s and I got a pair!

Happy Hunting!

Friday, 31 October 2014


I have had to call this post 'the best fish and chips number one' because I hold hope that out there somewhere there are more delicious fish and chips for me to discover. If I have found the best ones at the age of 27 then, frankly, I peaked too soon. I am worried though. Very worried, because these are so scrumptious I can't imagine better ones. The secret is beef dripping. Apparently this is the traditional (extremely unhealthy) way of frying fish and chips, but let's face it fish and chips are never healthy. Why on earth wouldn't you always use beef dripping to get the best possible flavour?

I have a small confession. They were so good I ate them in under five minutes and totally forgot to take a picture. I have a habit of doing this. Thankfully, whilst I was waiting for them, the shop itself provided ample photo opportunities.

The shop is in the Black Country Living Museum and you therefore have to pay entry to the museum and then buy the meal. Hardly the cheapest meal in the world then! However, the museum is a brilliant day out. 

Saturday, 25 October 2014


A small selection of objects that I really want in or by my house. I found them all in the Black Country Living Museum. I know, I know, I am totally obsessed with this museum but honestly, it's brilliant. I am currently scouring etsy, ebay and local antique places for an embroidered picture but still haven't found the right one.

I can't remember what this car is annoyingly. Also a two seater, three wheeler car isn't exactly practical. This is a fantasy car.

Lovely thirties pink glass lampshade.

Enameled saucepan

Beautiful intricate ironwork

Abject object envy (A.O.E.)


In July my brother-in-law came to stay and we used it as an excuse to finally visit the Black Country Living Museum. We have been recommended this by many people and they were not exaggerating when they said it's a FANTASTIC day out. It is a very idyllic world with a huge array of interesting buildings, displays, tours and people. I enjoyed chatting with the mechanic in the vintage car building the most. A typical extreme enthusiast who held the most incredible amount of fascinating information in his head. We heard great stories about where each of the motors was used in the black country before finding a home here. It is a working collection and they often parade through the village. He was our first encounter with the staff and we instantly had a whimsical smile on our faces that lasted the whole day.

This is the village centre which houses the local 'supermarket', bakery, pub, corner shop, sweet shop and of course FISH AND CHIP SHOP OMNOMNOM (I'm not kidding - It's so freaking good I'm writing a separate post about it). There were vintage games on the village square that were...well surprisingly difficult requiring good hand-eye coordination...but good fun.

I would say, despite not having any myself, that it's a great family day out as well. There was plenty of great attractions for kids. There are regular lessons at the school house to give them a feel for an early 20th-century education (!) and an entertaining underground tour of the mine that all the kids on ours loved. You could even leave them at school whilst you indulge in a quick drink at the pub!

Happy Outing :)

Sunday, 12 October 2014


A slight(ly huge) hiatus in blogging. Sorry about that! The house is progressing nicely and I thought I'd share a couple of lovely items recently purchased from eBay. I suspect we have passed by vintage and retro and are heading down the difficult road to full on kitsch with my latest items. Kitsch is difficult to control. I now have the overwhelming urge to fill my house with brightly coloured plastic animals and have a slight obsession with wall mounted flying birds. Oh god help me. The first, a flying saucer like fifties (?) lampshade for the spare room.

Then we have THE BEST LAMP EVER. We found the spun fibre glass lampshade in the loft and already had it on a very dodgy base...but then perhaps this new one is even dodgier? 

Who couldn't love dried flowers and a shell suspended to perfection in resin?

Of course a shopping spree wouldn't be complete without another broken vintage clock. This is a westclox cream enamelled metal case with curved glass, complete with originally complicated winding mechanism. It tick tocks so we keep it wound down.

Happy Hunting!

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Sunday, 20 July 2014


Last week I was given a fantastic thank you present from one of my schools. They keep chickens and grow vegetables in the playground and had a bumper crop that week. I don't know if it was real or just the idea of eating home grown food, but it all tasted ten times better than supermarket stuff!

I need to find out what variety of potatoes the red ones are because they were gorgeous. The skins were almost like a plastic transparent film that flaked off and they were fuscia pink underneath. Any ideas? 

The beetroots were much prettier than supermarket ones and tasted stronger. I roasted them with carrot and sweet potato. Yum!

Today, I turned my attention to the peas and broad beans. Here is the recipe for my summer salad with grilled trout. Hands down the tastiest lunch I've had in months!


Serves 1 (but if served with bread or new potatoes could feed two with an extra piece of fish)


  • 1 large fillet of trout
  • 2-3 Parma ham
  • Handful Broad Beans, double podded (see tips and tweaks)
  • Handful Fresh Peas, podded
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 100g Asparagus tips
  • Handful pea shoots
  • knob of butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the grill to medium and place a frying pan on the hob on a medium heat. Wrap the trout in the Parma ham and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Grill for 10 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.

2. Meanwhile melt the knob of butter in the frying pan and add the asparagus. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the spring onions, peas and broad beans. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

3. Scatter the plate with the pea shoots, top with the vegetables and the trout.


The first time I encountered broad beans I double podded them without blanching them first. It took ages and I was almost crying with frustration by the end. Then I tried eating them with the skins on. Bleurgh! No need! First, pod them and then add the beans to a pan of boiling water for 1 minute. Plunge into a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking further. Take one and make a tiny incision with your finger nail through the outer skin, squeeze and the bright green bean will pop out. Watch out, they do sometimes fly out quite quickly!

Happy Experimenting!