Sunday, 27 January 2013


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013"

Alfie - trying to concentrate on difficult homework, whilst his two younger brothers create mayhem around him. His friends are all being tutored for the 11+ exam later in the year, but we're not sure that's the best path for him, but you can't say 'don't have a go' else what message is that to your child! It is a big worry. 

Stanley - loves crawling under the table and pulling himself up on the bar underneath! 

Ted - is nowhere to be seen - but the evidence that he was here is on the table with all the crafty stuff left everywhere! 

I would never usually post such an out of focus picture (I took it very quickly whilst trying to cook lunch *late*, tidy and help with homework) but it is a fairly typical scene in our house most days!  When I was younger I always wanted a loud busy house with lots of noise, play and fun, but sometimes it really is all too much!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

lomokino love...

I've been playing with my new toy - a lomokino 35mm movie camera! I love it, it's tiny and clicks in a satisfying way as you turn the handle! I found the film tricky to load the first time as with all film cameras as you get to know them. I filmed the whole film of the boys sledging, and now need to send it away to get processed, I think the beginning will be damaged as I pulled too much out trying to feed it onto the receiving spool. I can't wait!

I've also subscribed to the lomography film service - to feed my love of film and keep my lomo and lomokino ready and loaded at all times! Some of my favourite pictures ever were taken on film and you can see some of them on my film flickr set from years gone by!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

oho tracks in the snow, whose are these tracks and where do they go?

images ©Amy Lewis

We've been out looking for tracks in the snow today, thanks to this brilliant guide by Wildlife Watch, the junior branch of The Wildlife Trusts.  Snow is a fab time to look for tracks and trails but unfortunately we didn't find anything as exciting as a badger, plenty of cats and dogs though! 

Monday, 21 January 2013

outside / inside...

Outside the blanket of snow creates silence,
the countryside is dressed in beautiful white,
the thaw begins; drip, drip, drip
icicles hang from the rooftops

Inside we make snowflakes
carefully folding and cutting paper,
we make intricate shapes
as no snowflake is ever the same!

Sunday, 20 January 2013


I have been woefully late to join in this particular party. I have really enjoyed reading Jodi's blog and watching her children grow throughout 2012. Through her blog Che & Fidel she has created the 52 project, to take a portrait of her children, every week, throughout 2013. Even though I think what a wonderful idea and meant to do this last year, I'm not sure I have enough will power to take three decent portraits each week, especially as the big ones are getting camera shy (what will my blog look like without their pictures!) So here I am in week three with one child, and maybe I'll manage just one each week, who knows, we'll just give it a go!

The 52 project: a portrait of my children, one a week, every week in 2013

Stanley: nearly nine months old and this week was the first time he has seen snow! 

(I might just post a few posthumous portraits for weeks one and two at a later date too - so at least when I look back at the year I have a record of each week)

making the perfect hot chocolate...

Basic hot chocolate recipe
100g dark chocolate
500ml milk
sugar to taste

grate the dark chocolate into a saucepan of warm milk, adding sugar to taste, then whipping to make frothy. We heated ours today on a campfire in the snow.


1. For grown ups add a glug of ameretto, a pinch of sea salt and some crumbled ameretti biscuits on top (my current fav!)
2. For a spicy hot chocolate add a cinnamon stick and star anise to the chocolate, add whipped cream, and grate some nutmeg on top
3. For children add the seeds of a vanilla pod and mini marshmallows
4. Or for something really special add some squirty cream and a crunchy or flake crumbled on top!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

snow day...

The narrow roads were icy, the school was closed and it wasn't long until the main road was shut, with only a few 4x4 drivers braving the treacherous lanes.

the treehouse looked like an alpine lodge!

We journeyed on foot up the hill, pulling the sledge and pushing the baby in the pushchair!

We sledged and caught little star shaped snowflakes on our hat!

Friday, 18 January 2013

how to make snow lollies...

How to make snow lollies...

❄ Boil maple syrup in a pan for approximately ten minutes
❄ To test it is ready drop a spoonful of mixture into a glass of cold water, if it dissolves it isn't quite ready
❄ When the mixture solidifies in the glass it's ready, remove the pan from the heat and leave to thicken for a few minutes
❄ Pour mixture in strips in the snow
❄ Twiddle a lolly stick to lift the syrup whilst it is still tacky, you need to do this quickly before it sets hard!
❄ Then enjoy your maple snow lolly!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

our forever home...

We have never considered the house we live in our 'forever home'. It is of adequate size for our family and its location is great, in a village with school, pub and post office. We didn't entertain the idea of living here as long as we have, so we didn't want to spend a lot of money on it. But after being sidetracked by having three children, and with the house being on the 'very sluggish' market since April, we have come to the realisation that we may as well do all the little things we've put off for the past ten years. Then at least we can enjoy living here, not be embarrassed to invite people around and it will have a better chance to sell. So armed with the power of Pinterest, the decluttering inspiration of Lottie and the desire to live more simply here are a few bits I'm hoping to emulate...

tile behind the oven with brick effect tiles and grey grout - like in Michelle's gorgeous Tasmanian home - I have the lush aardvark 'kill your TV' print too!

extend our chalkboard in the kitchen to a whole wall!

make simple blinds to hide the washing machine and dryer

buy a roll top bath (love the nature print in the bathroom) and add paneling 

replace our broken built in wardrobe doors with either two gorgeous wardrobes like these belong to the wonderful stylist Tara Sloggett - or find some mirrored doors from old wardrobes to hang or customise 

put more plants around the house

love this sofa - although might be one for the future!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Was heil!

Through the narrow streets we walked, carrying fire-lit torches and banging on pots and pans. Warning against evil spirits and waking the fruit trees from their winter slumber. Such a peculiar centuries old English custom, dowsing the roots of the 'king tree' in the orchard to encourage growth for the year ahead and a good harvest.

So a "was heil" as the norse would say, may your year be healthy and your harvest bountiful!

Friday, 11 January 2013

It's here, the new email newsletter from Bradshaw & Sons...

So after weeks of playing around with many designs, I finally pressed send on my email newsletter! I've kept it really simple and plain, with seasonal ideas of things to do and a recipe for Lamb's Wool (and if you don't know what that is, you'll have to take a look!)

I'm now a bit nervous that you'll like it! I've reintroduced the monthly things to do list that I dropped from my blog a few months ago too, so hopefully you will find a whisker of inspiration too. Do let me know what you think?

If you would like to sign up, then you can, just over there on the right ☞

Thursday, 10 January 2013

comfort food...

I want to shop local, but sometimes it isn't always possible and with my return to work I was craving the convenience of a Riverford Veg box. On arriving home today my small veg box was waiting for me full of healthy greens and a lovely spelt loaf from Bertinet Bakery. I also ordered some Seville oranges to make our annual batch of marmalade this weekend, perfect for when snow is forecast - yes snow!

But as the temperature drops tonight, I'm rustling up a warming bowl of pearl barley, it's behind me right now on the stove simmering in vegetable stock and smells delicious. I'm then going to add mushrooms, roughly chopped and cooked in butter, garlic, thyme and red wine on top and eat in my pyjamas in bowls in front of the fire.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

are you going anywhere nice this year?

picture above of National Trust Beach Kynance Cove ©Emma Bradshaw 2012

I always feel quite sluggish in January, the desire to tidy, de-clutter and start afresh but with the extra winter pounds from Christmas eating, slowing me down and long dark days making me lethargic. The way I usually get round this is by booking our summer holidays, and I'm not the only one as January is peak trading time for travel agents too.

As with many other families we are feeling the pinch and will have to be careful to watch our spending this year. So we have decided to go on a sensible two week summer holiday in the school holidays (even though this is the most ridiculous time to go away as holiday companies double their prices!) We have chosen to go back to Cornwall, we love it and have the benefit of knowing our way around having been many times before.

We have chosen to stay with Forever Cornwall again as their properties are so beautifully furnished to such a high standard and have everything you need and more for your holiday, we have previously stayed in the Driftwood Beach Chalet in 2011 & Wildwood cottage in 2012 and I can't recommend them enough. I hate holiday homes which look beautiful on the outside but inside are furnished with musty smelling granny sofas!

fishing at Cornish Tipi Holidays ©Emma Bradshaw 2009

I had been entertaining the idea of the Isle of Wight with a week in a camper van as we had so much fun when we stayed in a camper van a few years back, followed by a week in a beach chalet. I've heard lovely things about the island but the cost of the ferry crossing has been putting us off. Fforest, home of the Do Lectures is in one of the most beautiful corners of Wales and I've heard great things from people that have stayed there - so really want to visit there too.

We have always had the most amazing holidays with Under The Thatch in Wales and Feather Down Farms, although expensive, are just the BEST holiday ever and is worth eating lentils for the rest of the year for! If you are the adventurous type and fancy getting back to nature, then Cornish Tipi Holidays are for you, sleeping in tipi's, catching fish for your supper, real fires under the clearest of skies; no TV, no electricity, no distractions - just proper family time together, we loved it!

Are you going anywhere nice this year?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

eight months...

He is eight months old already, has two bottom teeth and has started moving, albeit just a bit of bum shuffling backwards so far. We have been virtually inseparable since his birth, but now as my maternity leave is coming to an end, we are to face a change to our daily routine when I return (part time) to work next week. Despite having done this twice before, it doesn't get any easier and I'm feeling quite daunted by the energy I will need to keep on top of work, the house and three children!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

looking forward to 2013...

I'm not one for resolutions, but as you know I love making lists. So here are just a few things that I'm excited about in 2013...

A visit to the daddy of all museums, The Natural History Museum and some smaller museums too, such as the fossil museum - next to the amazing Square and Compass pub in Dorset.

The new cookery book from the Ethicurean Restaurant due to be published in May - the brains behind the award winning restaurant Jack Adair-Bevan, Paula Zarate and brothers Matthew and Iain Pennington will infect you with their love of seasonal cooking and inventive enthusiasm for homegrown and ethical produce.

Giffords Circus goes from strength to strength and each year we go we never fail to be enchanted by the creativity and romance of this 1930's inspired village green show that tours the Cotswolds every summer. We look forward to new daredevil acts as well as greeting old favourites; Bibi and Bichu and Tweedy the Clown.

The Do Lectures take place annually in deepest Wales, and are a series of small and intimate lectures over a few days by very big inspiring people. I would love to attend, only a few do as it is by application only, but the lectures are available to view online afterwards and there are now day workshops too.

2012 saw the launch of lots of new magazines such as The Simple Things and Cereal. I'm looking forward to The Foodie Bugle due to be published early 2013 in particular. I'm going to have go with my own email newsletter and you can sign up here to receive a copy.

Paul Weller at Westonbirt Arboretum part of the Forest Tours

I'm really excited to start using my new Lomokino camera and capturing analogue film. Also dusting off my lomo and Polaroid too and rediscovering my love of film.

The Hobbs House Cookery School is due to open in the spring, I can't wait to see the prospectus and learn how to bake bread properly!

Holidaying in Cornwall in the summer, we have been returning to the same place, west Cornwall for a few years now, nowhere else compares. We will have barbecues on the beach, surf lessons, eat pasties and dream of owning beach houses like these!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year...

Today after what has seemed like weeks of rain, we were blessed with beautiful blue skies and that low winters light that makes anyone with a camera dance with excitement. We travelled far to a small and very quiet ice rink to play on in the sunshine. A good start to a year of change ahead.

Happy New Year I hope the sun smiled on you all today too?

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