Saturday, 30 January 2010

three little bears...

I finally got around to framing and hanging pictures on my son's wall. The bear print is called 'this is my boyfriend' by Julia Pott from here, and the little bear in the box frame was made by the Cheltenham Cake Fairy, to go on top of his third birthday cake!

Friday, 29 January 2010

what will you find this weekend?

I love these nature journals by blue yonder's boys, I think it's the child's handwriting! It makes me want to go out on a nature trail this weekend, to see what we can find. Many people don't go out in winter as it's cold or they think there isn't much to see, but it's one of the best times to spot nature. With the leaves off the trees, it makes mammal and bird spotting a lot easier! And with plenty of rain you could even look for tracks in the mud, otters by rivers, deer in woodland and dogs in your local park!

Try it and let me know what you find this weekend?
Emma x

Thursday, 28 January 2010

blog love: Liivian Talossa

I have followed Liviian Talossa's blog for a long time, admiring her beautiful life through her photography, but not being able to read Finnish, I have never been able to read her posts! Until yesterday, when I discovered Google's translate site, and in seconds, it had translated Liivia's posts from Finnish into English for me! How cool is that?

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

sharing some secret thoughts with you...

aren't these images absolutely delightful? I found them here on a great blog, called 'and her head popped off' and are of artist Nina Schmidt. My friend Jo, of 'wag, bark, love' discovered the blog today.

I have been thinking for the past two years about having baby number three, and as my youngest gets older, I yearn for another baby and want to be at home more for the boys. It's funny though, the time never seems right and as my youngest gets nearer to four, I realise that my motives are wrong. I love my boys, they are great fun to be around and I wish I could be a 'stay at home' mum and spend more time with them. My husband, bless him, just wants a good nights sleep! But he loves his boys and even he is starting to say "I miss it when..." again.

I love being a mother and I don't think I'm too bad at it, which is why when life gets hard, work is difficult, or I feel unhappy, I desire to stay at home and have a brood of children running around my ankles! ~ I do have quite a romantic idea of these things. But right now, and as hard as it is to admit, these are the wrong reasons for us to bring another child into the world. It's even harder to admit as much as I love being a 'mum' I like just being me too and it seems that having the energy to be a wife, friend, housewife, marketer, photographer and to have moments to myself is just as important in the balance of things.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

the poppies...

I have been nominated for a Poppytalk award in the category 'favourite photographer' which is just fab as my name is right next to some great photographers and friends whose work I greatly admire. There are lots of categories packed full of great artists and crafters, go check them out and if you feel inclined please vote for me here.

thank you, emma

Friday, 22 January 2010

there's something in the woodshed...

gathering wood in the snow is so much better when wearing my new Toast coat, bought in the sale. I am so glad we managed to get the woodburner fitted before Christmas! We are certainly getting through some wood in this weather!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A tipi adventure...

I am delighted that some of my pictures are now dotted throughout the gorgeous Cornish Tipi Holidays website ~ check it out! I must admit I regularly pop back to this website to listen to the birdsong and remember the good time we had whilst staying there last summer. If you are thinking about your summer holidays I would recommend a trip here, especially if you have children or want a romantic trip away.

Let me warn you though, this is real camping and there are people whose idea of living in a tipi for a week is probably a little rose tinted! For those who don't mind a spot of dirt, and relish the thought of chopping wood and lighting a real fire then this is for you. There is no electricity on site, so your fridge is a cool box, the wind is your hairdryer and the toilet is a short walk away. It is in short, an adventure. Our boys aged 3 and 5 at the time, absolutely loved it, catching fish in the lake, rowing the boats, having the freedom to run and climb trees, chopping wood, this is childhood as it's meant to be!

What I loved best was having nothing to do, no distractions, no mobile reception, I don't think I have really been 'away from it all' for years, possibly never! I started to tune into the abundant wildlife around the site, the toad in the toilet and the dawn chorus at 4am!

If you would like to find out more then visit the Cornish Tipi Holidays website and if you book tell them Emma Bradshaw sent you!

We'll see you there...!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

albion caff style...

my lovely friend Leonie discovered the Albion Caff a few months ago after a visit to the Columbia Road Flower Market. I was enchanted with the cutlery stored in Lyle's Golden Syrup tins on all the tables, so have copied this genius idea! It really works well for children to be able to reach and set the table and help clear away too, rather than in a high kitchen drawer.

I was also really fascinated to read on Kate's blog 'needled' the history of the lion and bee's logo ~ I had never even realised it was a decaying lion! Well you learn something everyday don't you? Even better Leonie has promised to take me to the flower market and Albion Caff!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

the retreat...

cottage by Susannah

Alfie: Why do girls cuddle?

Me: Because thats what you do when you really like someone.

Alfie: oh

Me: Did you want a cuddle too?

Alfie: no, boys don't cuddle

Ted: I liked the one with long hair

Me: Which one sweetie?

Ted: all of them

conversation in the car with my boys a few hours ago, after they picked me up from the 'retreat' with Susannah, Sas, Megg, Leonie, Penny, Jo and Lisa. They like my friends too!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

three more sleeps...

Three more sleeps until the weekend,
and I am spending time with the owners of these feet,
a weekend generously organised by a great friend to be
in a truly beautiful place,

new friends to meet,
time to talk, connect, laugh, plan, eat and maybe sleep
I am very excited, so excited
I hope it doesn't snow too much!

Monday, 11 January 2010

last night was very cold...

freezing in fact. Some places dropped to below -18, the coldest temperatures for over 30 years. In the UK there are estimated to be 10,500 homeless or rough sleepers, mainly on the streets of our big cities. I cannot imagine being homeless ~ today I am thankful for my family and warm home.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

is soup just for winter?

I only eat soup in the winter it seems. Today hot spiced parsnip and butternut squash, although I got a bit too excited with the turmeric for Ted's three year old palette! It is snowing outside again and playgroup have just called to say they are shut until further notice due to burst pipes! At least I have my new pair of Toast wrist warmers to keep me warm.

Friday, 8 January 2010

hot chocolate in the snow...

another day sledging, felt a lot colder today! Minus two on the thermometer outside at lunchtime! The UK is on the same latitude as Moscow and Canada, so our weather would be like this a lot more if it wasn't for the gulf stream! Climate change isn't just about warming, should the gulf stream fail we would experience more severe weather patterns, including very cold winters and wetter summers!

Pete patched up the broken sledge so it should last for a few more sledging trips over the weekend, more snow forecast over the weekend and next week!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

minus six...

there's only one thing to do here when the temperature drops to minus six and there is snow on the ground. We head for the hills, where the first hole of the local golf club turns into a 'black run' ski slope! Most villagers have a sledge and most teenagers seem to find something inflatable {inner tube/paddling pool/surf board} to launch themselves down the slopes on! Check out this clip on you tube for some really crazy sledging from last year!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

lounging around...

I wish I had more money as if I did I would buy this gorgeous sofa. My lounge has had the same deep pink {yes pink} hand me down sofa for the past six years. We need two armchairs too, so that when we have guests we don't have to sit on the floor like students!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

thinking of our feathered friends...

It has been snowing here all day, the school closed just after lunch and the Police advised people to go home early due to the treacherous roads. We stayed inside this afternoon making chains of monkey nuts to hang in the garden for our feathered friends, who struggle to find food and water in this weather.

Monday, 4 January 2010

My thoughts on {eating and cooking together as a family}

Mamma's new pasta maker

I try really hard to involve the boys, whenever possible, in cooking or food preparation. It means a lot of mess and things take a lot longer, but it also means they know how to cook, where their food comes from and are more likely to eat it!

I am very lucky in that my number one son has good table manners, number two is definitely more fussy and gets away with more! We have always taken them to pubs and restaurants from an early age, so that as they grow up, they know how to behave. Not that we go to a lot of restaurants, but even ordering a plate of chips means they order, then have to sit and behave, whilst they wait. They love it, they like sitting at a bar and asking for a blackcurrant squash "with a straw and no ice please" and they like the fact they feel grown up. We have been in some pubs where the locals have frowned upon us, but we usually only have one drink and then go, with two fidgety children, we know when not to push it! It also means that we feel as if we haven't given up everything in our lives for the children, as going out together is so rare, a fleeting moment when the boys are sat happily blowing bubbles down their straws, is enough for us!

At home they make pasta, help bake cakes, spreading, making jams, stews, popcorn and porridge. I closely supervise anything that involves the oven and don't allow them to handle sharp knives yet. We try to sit down and eat together as often as possible at the table, laying the table, carrying things to and from the table and sometimes even writing or drawing menu's {another sneaky way to encourage writing!}.

We have huge pressures on time and at least once a week, I forget to take meat out of the freezer so serve up pizza's! Besides I grew up on fish fingers, faggots and smash and I turned out alright ~ didn't I?

Sunday, 3 January 2010

when I grow up...

We are big kids in this house, especially after hearing about this new special event that the Natural History Museum, London is running. Called 'dino snores' it is the first sleepover that gives children the chance to explore the Museum outside of normal opening hours.

Dinosaur themed event
Part of the Nights at the Museum series of after hours events for both adults and children, Dino Snores at Natural History Museum is a dinosaur themed sleepover sure to appeal to youngsters who love the ancient giant lizards. The sleepover takes place beneath the fossilized skeleton of the Diplodocus that graces the Central Hall of the Museum.

Torch lit tour
Special events at the kids' sleepover includes a torch lit tour of some of the museum's famous galleries, including the wing housing the dinosaur displays. Kids have the chance to explore the corridors at night and marvel at the shadow cast by the Tyannosaurus rex, and Dino Snores at Natural History Museum also features film screenings and the opportunity to try out the new Sony PlayStation game InviZimals.

Bugs and breakfast
TV presenter and naturalist Nick Baker will also be on hand along with the museum's resident insect expert to host a live show about bugs and all things insect related. Dino Snores at Natural History Museum finishes with a breakfast and more fun events before the museum opens to the public on Sunday.

Dino Snores at the Natural History Museum takes place from 7pm - 9.50am, from Saturday 16th January 2010. Tickets cost £45.00 per child for non members of the museum. There must be a minimum of five children and one adult in your group; accompanying adults are free. The only downside is that children have to be aged from 8 - 11 years old, which means we have to wait a year and a half to take our little explorer!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

brushing away the cobwebs...

another bright sunny day here, but in the wooded valleys where the winter sun doesn't reach, the ice remains. We walked along a favourite woodland path and stopped to say hello to the ponies and the sheep. We watched the farmer feed the sheep as the grass was too frozen for them to eat and admired their lovely woollen coats. Then we stopped in at a favourite pub for some warming hot chocolate by a roaring fire ~ the best thing about a winter walk!

Friday, 1 January 2010


today is a lovely crisp, cold, sunny day and with it brings a desire for me to clean. The low winter's sun showing every smear and fingerprint on the windows and crumbs and dust on the floor, accumulated over our Christmas confinement. I feel a real sense of out with the old and in with the new today and am going to spend January de-cluttering my life keeping only what is beautiful, useful and enjoyable {yup ~ the husband may have to go!}.
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