Thursday, November 3, 2011


Halloween went by in a blur! I knitted Maisie's witch's hat last year and knitted, then felted her witch's skirt for this year. When I find my scribbled notes, I'll stick them up.

She loved her costume and looked darned cute, might have to make her another, not black, one!
We had a fun day, dancing in the puddles, feeding the ponies down the road from my parents house and admiring the berries and litchens becoming visible on the trees. Then some last minute pumpkin carving happened followed by trick or treating with Maisie for the first time. Such fun!

puddle photos thanks to Hugh!

Hope you had a wonderful Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Identifriday- where we identify the wildlife we come across on our doorstep and on our travels and get into the habit of noticing and appreciating our local biodiversity!

Tegenaria domestica - Common House Spider
We have had a few visitors of the arachnid variety recently! I always forget just how big these guys seem when they're scurrying across your living room floor. But, as we tell Maisie, they are nice guys, just looking to get in from the cold for a while... This photo was taken a while back, we seemed to have had at least one a day in the house for a while but as Tegenaria domestica are widespread and common it's no surprise to see them often.
Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Harvest time....

We almost missed blackberry season! Not sure why, time just sometimes seems to race away from me....
But we did get out there a while ago and picked probably the last of the crop.

Picking and some eating at the same time!
 We also took the last of the apples from the apple trees. These were a happy discovery made after we had moved into our new house!

Maisie had a little taste of everything first. Actually she has picked an apple everytime we've gone into the garden since mid-summer, seeming unbothered about their bitterness!
Then it was onto the kitchen and a slight adaptation of the Blackberry Tart recipe from Dennis Cotter's Paradiso Seasons. If you've not been to his fantastic resturant in Cork, put it on your to-do-list!


Is there anything yummier than Blackberry and Apple Tart? Well at this time of the year when you've picked your own berries and apples....I don't think there is! 

Friday, October 7, 2011


Identifriday- where we identify the wildlife we come across on our doorstep and on our travels and get into the habit of noticing and appreciating our local biodiversity!

Pararge aegeria- Speckled Wood
The Speckled Wood can be seen between late April and mid-October along hedgerows and woodland areas with dappled sunlight.  According to the wonderful Discovering Irish Butterflies by J.M. Harding it is one of our most common and widespread butterflies and our most abundant woodland species.
We spotted him on an unseasonably warm wednesday last week in the perfect dappled sunlight he loves!
Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New places.....

 We're still settling into the new house, there are still boxes to empty and furniture to move...and new walks to find. I've spend a good deal of time recently finding somewhere we can go for our everyday walk and also looking for places we can drive to easily.

We found this magic little place recently. It's very close to the house. It's a walk that starts on a small country road then goes off onto a trail over the mountains. But the best bit is the forested section at the beginning. Horse Chestnut and Beech mostly with the odd Oak. It's wonderful.

Maisie (and Murphy!) have become fascinated with conkers!

It's good for running, going on your trike, climbing on walls....

and tasting wild mint! 
Think it ticks all the boxes for a good family walk then!

Friday, September 30, 2011


Identifriday- where we identify the wildlife we come across on our doorstep and on our travels and get into the habit of noticing and appreciating our local biodiversity!

Hirundo rustica - Barn Swallow
On the railings outside our house and around the fields you can see them gathering and grouping, almost like they're planning their journey home. Although we are entering into my favorite season it alway makes me a little sad to see them go. This is a chick, the last of the summer broods and an adult, the photo was taken a few weeks ago. They'll be off to South Africa over the next few weeks and according to this only 30% of the chicks will make it over there.
Have a safe journey you two...really hope we see you both next year.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

She's two!

So, this happened a while ago but my summer baby celebrated her second birthday! No less than four times actually. A day for the three of us, her actual birthday and one with each set of grandparents. It was more like a birthday month....she's been singing Happy Birthday pretty much every day since then!

My sweet inspire and challenge me every day. The day you arrived into our lives you brought the greatet happiness your Dada and I have ever known. We love you Chickpea.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's the little things.....

    • Exploring our new surroundings

    •  New work on the needles for a new "little thing" arriving the end of Winter!

      • Getting our toes into the (rare) sunlight whenever we can.

        • Finding new favorite trees.
          • Birthday celebrations that last a week and family-get-togethers.
          Especially these days, still surrounded by boxes and the general chaos that moving house brings, it's the little things that are making my day!

          Tuesday, August 9, 2011

          New jumper!

          A while ago.....I knit this Baby Hoodie from Blue Sky Alpacas. After finishing the knitting part, it lay over the back of the couch for a few months. Then when I finally finished it and put it on Maisie, it was summer! Luckily summer in the mountains still calls for an occasional wolly jumper!

          A few seconds after this photo was taken, she toppled head first into the Liffey and the photo shoot was over for the day. Luckily it was a warm day!

          Saturday, June 25, 2011

          Cupcake heaven!

          Using the cupcake recipe from The Gentle Art of Domesticity we made some cupcakes for Dada on Father's Day! I wanted a little something extra for the icings so after some rummaging around the cupboards and some experimentation a new icing recipe was invented....

          Icing for a Special Man

          1 cup icing sugar
          2 tbsp ricotta cheese
           a few drops of maple syrup
          coco powder/zest and juice from an orange

          1. Sieve a cup of icing sugar into a bowl.
          2. Add the ricotta cheese and the maple syrup.
          3. Mix in either the sieved coco powder or the zest and juice, a few drops at a time!
          4. When cupcakes are cool, spread on thickly using a knife.
          5. Hide immediately if not to be eaten straightaway!


          We decorated them with roasted almonds, marshmallows and choc chips and then had to take precautions as a certain someone decided she didn't really want to wait for Dada to come home before tucking in!