Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Free Giveaway and favourite things

As I have now reached over 1,000 views since I started my blog just before Christmas I have a giveaway to show my appreciation and give you my thanks for popping over and visiting me. The prize is for some yummy chocolates and biscuits made in Dorset (see below).

The chocolates are made by House of Dorchester who have been making chocolates since 1963. They sell in good food stores including Waitrose. My OH bought me some like the ones below for Valentines day, the mixture may seem a like unusual but they were delicious.  The fudges biscuits are also wonderful!

If you would like to have a chance of winning these goodies please leave a comment telling me what is your one of your favourite items and why. The closing date for this is Saturday 10th March when I will draw a name out of the hat to find the lucky prize winner!

To give you some inspiration here are a few of my favourite items from around the house.

I love blue and white china the bowl belonged to my Granny and the jug belonged to my Mum.

I have always wanted a camper van. This money box is the closest I have got and I am saving my pennies for one!

I loved this photo my husband took, so we had it developed onto canvas.

I have noticed when visiting other blogs that quite a few of them mention from time to time one of my favourite magazines Country Living Magazine.

 I have read it for many years and one of my favourite features used to be "Tales from a stone cottage" which chronicled life in a rural village. The last article was produced in February and the tales of a stone cottage are alas no more! Aly Wilks who wrote the articles does however have a blog so if like me you have been missing her, do go across and visit her. Her articles about life with all her animals will put a smile on your face!

Don't forget my giveaway - you have to be in it to win it!


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunshine and signs of spring in the garden

What a beautiful day, I was going to write a post to join in the making Winter blog but somehow it didn't seem appropriate today!

It was wonderful to get out in the garden, enjoy the sunshine and do some work!

Pulmonarias are such easy plants and seed everywhere.

Daisy and Twinkle love us being out in the garden with them.

Old barbecue recycled! 

There is something strange in here!

 Our first camellia in flower.In the New Forest they already had blooms at the beginning of the year!

Most of the garden is still wearing it's winter coat.

 I hope you had a chance to enjoy the sunshine too. We noticed people enjoying ice-creams and even sunbathing this afternoon in Weymouth!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Taking the wrong turn

We have both been on leave some of this week and have been meeting up with siblings and redecorating our daughter's room, which is taking a long time!

We decided today to have a break from this, and one of us remembered a lovely walk we had seen in Devon Life magazine. This was at Budleigh Salterton in Devon, (where we had never been before), so we got out instructions for the walk and set off. There was a wonderful light over the sea when we arrived and as usual I had to stop to take some photos.

The planned walk was a stroll around the Otter estuary in a loop and as we walked along we enjoyed the views across the estuary.

When we reached a bridge, I spied a sign to a farm shop, so we just had to take a detour and look what we found!

I love alpacas, their colours matched the chickens!

The farm shop was in a beautiful setting and we didn't leave there empty handed! We retraced our steps and walked on the other side of the estuary. When we came to the end of headland we discovered we had come the wrong way as there was no way we could cross over the water without rock climbing or swimming - neither of which either of us excel in!

To far down!!

We decided instead to stop for an impromptu picnic -  first one of the year ( it was just as well we had been to the farm shop) and admire the view instead before retracing our steps!

Good local food from Devon
Spectacular views

There were wonderful reflections in the water of the walkers.

We both agreed it was a good mistake to have made and the good news is that we got back to the car with a minute to spare and still have the rest of the walk to do another time!

Not another walk please !

Do you often get lost on walks too, or is it just me! I tell my OH and children it's always an adventure when they come out with me!

Have a good weekend and hope you don't take any wrong paths too!

Sarah x

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Following a tree

I have just joined Lucy over at Loose and leafy and have agreed to follow the life of a tree for a year, if you are interested in this too, please contact her to join in.

 I think trees are underated they are all round us but don't get the glory they deserve. When I came to think about it trees have played different roles in the background throughout all my life.What are you earliest memories of trees?

 I used to live in a street which had an avenue of horse chesnut trees. The sticky buds turning into the lovely candlelabra blossom and then the conkers which were very popular! We also had a cherry tree in the garden and when it had to be cut down, as it was rotten, I was so upset.

 My Dad was in the Services and I spent most of my childhood in Germany when I was 11, I went to boarding school in Kent which I loved. Our home was a huge manor house in the Kent countryside (can you imagine running a house with 86 girls!) and at the bottom of the garden we had a small beech and rhododendron wood where we made secret dens and played imaginary games.

When we moved to Dorset we lived in a pretty wooded valley and some of my favourite wedding photos are taken under the trees.

I love walking through woods and although it may not be a weekly excursion, and we have had many happy outings with the children and dogs over the years.

We have now lived in our current house for 20 years and the only thing in the back garden when we arrived was a large conifer. I am afraid to say that this came out and was replaced with five trees, and it has been a delight to watch them grow over this period of time.

My dilemma was which tree to watch, my first choice was my favourite tree in the garden. One of my best friends died at the age of 32, and we decided to plant a tree in our garden to remember her by, as she lived far away. It was a magnolia and it is such a beautiful tree and is a such a fitting and constant reminder of her.

However I do look at this tree all the time, so I have decided on this tree below instead.

It is a willow tree which lies beside the River Jordan that flows into the sea. Quite by chance last weekend I took a photo of it as we walked down to the beach and then I read Lucy's article, and almost felt it had chosen me! It was a favourite stopping point when the children were younger for them to climb on, so watch out for future reports on this beautiful tree.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A grand day out in Dorset

It was my birthday this weekend. I had asked my OH for some tulips and what a surprise to find three beautiful bunches already in vases on the dining table when I came downstairs! Unfortunately the children weren't able to come home, but I talked to them over the phone. I was very lucky and had some wonderful presents.

The weekend would not be complete without a visit to the sea and this time we went to the Chesil Beach, which is a pebble beach stretching 18 miles (28km) from Portland to West Bay. For over half of this length it is separated from the mainland by a lagoon known as the Fleet.

The Chesil  Beach looking towards Portland

The waves looked huge, but don't look very big here !

I love the way the sea and sky combine.

The pebbles vary in size along the length of the beach. At Portland they are the size of your fist and at West Bay (near Bridport) they are the size of a pea. By the time you get to Abbotsbury they are already quite small. Rumour has it that there are over 180 billion pebbles I wouldn't want to count them!

We stopped in Abbotsbury to buy some food as the local shops are good, and supply local produce.

We also visited Compton Valence which is famous for it's snowdrops, that line each side of the narrow road, and give the impression of banks of snow. It was beautiful, despite the start of a rain shower.

Finally we ended up at a lovely traditional Dorset pub, full of locals and excellent home cooked food.

 I hope you had a good weekend too!
Sarah x

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Vintage treasures

One lunch hour this week I was going to the country-store on the industrial estate where I occasionaly buy dog food for Daisy. My eye was suddenly caught by a sign to the Dorchester Curiosity Centre and I just had to go and look.

It is a huge warehouse with lots of hidden corners with many traders selling all sorts of things! It was just like an Aladdin's cave!

Such a lovely collection of cages!

French chic

Such a beautiful display!

Look at all those moulds!

I'm always attracted to old kitchen utensils!

Beautiful cards and home made notices

 I love old cookery and travel books.

A selection of vintage fabric including an old welsh shawl
I had such a wonderful time looking around and hardly had any time to go across the road to get the dog food!  Now I have found it I will be spending many more lunch hours down here!! If you are ever around Dorchester I would recommend a look. It is open 7 days a week and serves tea and coffee as well as wonderful home-made cakes and soup, all served on vintage china!

I recently won a giveaway over on one of my favourite blogs Sal's snippets! and this is what I won.

Sal specialises in vintage material and she gave me a wonderful selection of this (the photo doesn't do it justice), some very pretty labels and a beautiful lavender bag with a crochet flower.

I will have to get creative, so watch this space! Thanks again Sal for such a lovely gift.


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