chocolate by genevie

Today I’m really pleased to be able to share with you this competition for what looks like a pretty fabulous prize! These yummy chocolates are from Chocolate by Genevie and have been made in Belgium by artisan chocolatiers. I’m feeling peckish just typing this!

The lucky winner will receive this box of 16 chocolates, I of course, recommend not telling anyone you’ve won and keeping every last one to yourself!! The box contains: almond praline x 2 ~ milk truffle x 2 ~ pistachio praline x 2 ~ white truffle x 1 ~ dark coffee liquor x 1 ~ pineapple & coconut x 1 ~ white cointreau x 2 ~ naugat praline x 1 ~ dark marzipan x 1 ~ champagne truffle x 1 ~ arabica truffle x 1 ~ dark truffle x 1 and you can see more details on it here. View Post

michael goveDear Michael,

I’ve been putting off writing to you for a bit now. I figured you’re probably having a bit of a bad time of it at the moment, that you get enough mail from people telling you how to do your job from the comfort of behind their own laptops. But Michael, I thought I should write and say, it’s ok, you know? It’s becoming more and more obvious that you’re starting to show some rather big signs of being too stressed. Michael, you’re over-reacting and I think you need to chill it out.

My problem, Michael, is the report this week from the Save Childhood Movement about the value in children not starting formal education until they are older. Of course, there are other things I could mention (actually Michael, there’s a whole blog full of stuff to mention but then I’d never get my crochet done) but we’ll stick to that one eh?  View Post

So last week I wrote about learning to crochet at Beautiful Things in Brentwood with the super-dooper talented Claire Mackaness. I’d wanted to learn to crochet for ages but am generally mega klutzy at this kind of thing and so asked Claire if she would swap a review in return for me taking a class.

Best. Idea. Ever.

Having finished the class now I am so certain that I never ever would have learnt any of this if it wasn’t for Claire, I hold my crochet hook differently to how all tutorials say I should, I struggle to follow the pictures I’ve seen of what to do, but you know what? I did it and here’s what I did

chain stitch View Post

painting furniture quicklyI’d love to be one of those craft bloggers that spend all day doing amazingly beautiful crafts, but in reality? Well, I’m heavily pregnant, a stay at home mum to a two year old and hey! I like to go to bed early these days! 9.30pm? Yes please! So this isn’t any old guide to painting furniture, this is the busy parents guide to painting furniture, which personally I think is far more handy!

I posted a couple of weeks ago about a dressing table that we had turned into a new sideboard for our dining table and I mentioned at the time that we had also started on another project. Well, that project was a dining table and six chairs. We had a nice dining table. Arguably it was the most expensive item in our house (oops!) but our cats had scratched the legs, it looked really dark and out of place in our new room and it damaged so easily that it was permanently covered with a really grim heat resistant tablecloth. So when we saw a slightly knocked around dining set in the charity shop for £25 we decided to go for it. After all, it wouldn’t take long to fix, right?! View Post

Hilltop Farm Benfleet is a bit of a hidden gem. Not many people know about it but it’s a great place for fruit or strawberry picking in Essex. Occasionally we go out as a family and I think ‘I’m not going to blog about this, I’m not going to blog about this, I’m just going to have a nice time…’ and then ‘Argh! This is too nice! I have to blog about it!!’ So this is my review of it – if you want to know about the farms opening times or other places for fruit picking in Essex then I’ve popped these at the end of the post.

pick your own fruit benfleet

This weekend we went to Hilltop Farm in Benfleet, which is about a twenty minute drive from central Southend. I’ve wanted to do fruit picking for ages, I grew up in Kent and picking strawberries was just one of those things that you did every summer holiday. As I grew older I had friends who worked on the farms picking blackberries and the likes and to me it always reminds me of my childhood. Fruit should be something we can pick, not just something we pick up in Tescos. But round here? Well, despite the loveliness of the seaside I live in one of the most densely populated areas in the country. There’s foraging to be done, but it’s at the side of busy roads, so the discovery of Hilltop Farm was a rather sweet one. View Post