Monday, 26 November 2012

*NEW* advertise on Bradshaw & Sons...

Yup, that's right - you can now advertise yourself, your blog, product or website right here.

Bradshaw & Sons is accepting adverts from like minded individuals, bloggers or businesses! You can see my blog stats here and choose from three great advertising packages, a standard advert, an advertorial feature or newsletter sponsorship of my brand spanking new newsletter, soon to be launched.

But don't worry there are only a few opportunities each month so as not to bombard this little space that unlike my house I try and keep as simple and clutter free as possible!

I look forward to hearing from you,
Emma x

Saturday, 24 November 2012

a homemade Christmas...

We have been busy making Christmas decorations for our handmade Christmas, jam jar snow globes and pine cone fire lighters. 

how to make jam jar snow globes
you need a selection of jam jars
vintage trees, small play deer or bits of pine tree to blue tack or glue to the lid
fake snow - I used a product called insta-snow bought from my local toy shop that you add water to and it grows! 
we also added a little white glitter to the snow

How to make pine cone fire lighters

you will need
pine cones
cinnamon and mandarin essential oils 
an old saucepan, non-stick cake tray & spoon

Wind a short length of wick around the base of the cone, leaving a short length (1cm) free for lighting
Carefully heat the wax (follow the instructions on the packet)
Add drops of essential oil to the heated wax
Spoon the wax into each cake tin dimple, placing a cone into each
Leave to set (I put mine outdoors in the cold to set!)
Once set, you should be able to lift them cleanly out of the tray

We're going to wrap them up to give them as gifts to friends and family with fires and wood burners this Christmas, as they make a lovely fire lighter and give off a Christmassy aroma too! 

Thursday, 15 November 2012

shopping locally...

One of the nicest things about being on maternity leave is having time. Time to meet friends for coffee, time to plan and make Christmas presents and time to shop in local towns and villages. Today I met up with lovely Anna for a coffee in the new 'canteen' coffee shop, part of Sharland and Lewis shop in Nailsworth, followed by a mooch around the shops. After an obligatory stop in Hobbs House Bakery for some lardy cakes, jammies and my new favourite loaf, organic soda seeds, we called in to the Yellow Lighted Bookshop to browse the beautiful books on display and pick up some lovely Christmas cards (pictured above).

I also found a lovely little antique shop, although I can't remember what it was called selling old plant pots and football comics from 1961/2 - perfect for my football loving boys Christmas stockings - although I am quite tempted to cut out the vintage pictures and frame them! The pots are perfect for planting some hyacinth bulbs in to give as gifts. Finally I called in to Mother Goose, a crafty/Steineresque shop in Market Street to pick up some small candles. I'm delighted with my haul today and the fact that I've made a small start towards Christmas.

Monday, 12 November 2012

a sneak preview...

Here is a tiny sneak preview of the NEW Bradshaw & Sons newsletter, launching soon. It will have things to do, recipes and naturey stuff that you usually find here on the blog, but in a compact monthly format delivered straight to your inbox! All you have to do is leave your email address in the box to your right ☞

Friday, 9 November 2012

six months already...

the babe is six months old! I can't quite believe how quickly he's grown. He is really smiley, starting to try foods such as pear and parsnip and is even sitting up on his own. He still wakes a few times each night, but is quickly forgiven when you see his smiley face in the darkness. Yes, I think he has us trained!

I took this picture of him using my grandmothers 'black out' curtains as a backdrop and sitting him in his bouncy chair in front of the french windows. My trick to capture his attention and keep him still was to use his brothers in the background blowing bubbles and giving him silver foil to play with. I used my cameras shutter priority mode [S] with a 2.5f (depth of field) and increased the ISO setting to 1400. I haven't made any adjustments on photoshop (really should of washed his face first as I'm sure I can see traces of butternut squash in places) and think it would probably be more striking in black and white.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

the queen of hearts...

The boys wanted to do their own baking at the weekend, making jam tarts, and I left them to it! I helped with the oven of course, oh and the eating too.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Whole Foods Opens in Cheltenham

Oh my goodness, I had a sneak preview of the new Whole Foods Market in Cheltenham yesterday, it's the first store to open outside London and it's amazing! There are over 150 local suppliers, with items such as meat sourced just a few miles from the front door, and of course my favourite Stroud Brewery and Winstones Ice Cream. The peanut butter machine (pictured above) looks like loads of fun ~ I know a few small boys that would be very excited to use it! The ingredients are sold in the quantities you need, no matter how small, the beer in refillable bottles and meat sold in whatever cuts you want - perfect for when you are following recipes. There is also a cafe, demonstrations and lots of in store events.

My friend who used to live in the US where Whole Foods originate, said they nicknamed it 'Whole Paycheck' and I can see why, I am totally seduced by the concept, all supermarkets should be like this, so am keen to visit after it opens tomorrow to do my first shop, I'll let you know how it goes and how much I spend!

Monday, 5 November 2012

gunpowder, treason and plot...

Remember, remember the fifth of november!
But remember to check your bonfires for hibernating hedgehogs before you light them, you wouldn't want a hog roast of the 'hedge' variety!

I love taking pictures of fireworks and sparklers! The picture above was taken on my cameras manual setting with a 4" shutter speed and a depth of field of f11 on the aperture setting to ensure the background remains dark. Some cameras have a firework mode, but I would rather play around with different shutter speeds until I like what I have taken, they are never perfect as my children will only let me practice a few times before getting bored and running off!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

how much is that doggy in the window?

last night we visited the most gorgeous puppies, six little week old spaniels. Pete says with three boys we can't possibly cope with a dog too - of course he's right but I can't help dreaming of a new little addition to the family!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

fungus foray...

an autumn family foray,
with a nip in the air we pulled on our new Boden winter woollens*, hats and gloves,
beech woodlands lit by a low autumnal sun
boys with basket and opinel knives
a sleeping baby wrapped up warm
lots of fungi on the woodland floor with names like amethyst deceiver, earthstar, St. George's mushroom and oyster mushroom
none for tea though as they are so difficult to identify!
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