29 October 2015

Cosy Sunday Morning Wishlist

Sunday mornings, you'd think after almost 10 years of living in my own home i'd of had lots of lazy Sunday mornings but the truth is I haven't. As an early bird with a husband who likes to lay in, I am often out of bed before him and that is that.

Since we moved into our new home though, I have managed a few. Snuggling up with a coffee, the sunshine streaming through the windows, surrounded by crumpled sheets and and in my favourite bed socks. And with the mornings getting colder there is nothing I would enjoy more than to snuggle up in some of these beauties. This is my Cosy Sunday Morning wishlist...


Cosy Sunday Mornings
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25 October 2015

Barbie Saddle ‘N Ride Horse Review

Growing up, I would have given anything for a Barbie with her own horse and for one that walked, I'm sure my little heart would have burst!

My daughter has now got to live my dream, with her own Barbie Saddle 'N Ride Horse. Not only does this horse move but even better, Barbie jumps onto the horses back and off it goes. You simply pop Barbies gloved hand into the side of the horse and then pull her round until she clicks and stands up, you press the button which is the horses mane on the front of the head.




The horse is more steady on a flat surface, it falls over on our carpet, so this is something to bear in mind if you are thinking about getting one.

The excitement when we finally popped the batteries in and got her moving was just brilliant, my daughter was giggling and laughing and to be honest I was too. The way she flips round onto the horse is just amazing and you can tell lots of thought went into it. The horse has a brushable tail and comes with it's own little brush which attaches to the gloved hand.

My daughter loves brushing her hair and we even played with our other Barbies, they shouted from the sidelines as the Barbie and Tawny raced through the dining room.



We both love the Saddle 'N Ride horse, the horse itself is really cute and we love Barbies outfit, the cute little floral top and denim jacket combo is great and the fact she has hat for safety is also really helpful when trying to get my daughter to wear hers on the her scooter.


This would make the perfect Christmas present for any Barbie or horse loving child and for me this is something that will get played with over and over.

And finally if you haven't seen this wonderful new video from Barbie then I can highly recommend a watch, it certainly put a smile on my face.


NB: We were sent this doll to form a review, all words opinions and pictures are my own.
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24 October 2015

Pumpkin Picking, an Autumn Treat

It's half term for us at the moment and with the weather holding out for the time being, we headed to Maxeys Farm Shop for a bit of pumpkin picking. We visited last year and the kids loved it, if you are local to Nottingham I can highly recommend it.

With a wheelbarrow in tow, we headed out into the field to survey the pumpkins and pick the ones we wanted. With prices ranging from £2 to £5 or a bit more for the really big ones, there isn't much difference between buying from a supermarket, except with this you are supporting a small and local business.





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19 October 2015

Learning Food Photography at The School of Artisan Food

This weekend, I was invited to attend an Introduction to Food Photography Course at the The School of Artisan Food on the Welbeck Estate in North Nottinghamshire. I love taking pictures of food so I jumped at the chance.

Food is something that I not only love to make, but also love to take pictures of, it doesn't move around and can look stunning if styled right. So, I went along, having not really used my camera on anything but automatic before, I didn't really understand the settings. No matter how much I tried before, nothing ever changed, so understanding more was something I was looking forward to.

First of all, the wonderful Joan Ransley sat and told us about her work and explained to us which settings to use on the camera, both on and off the tripod. It was really insightful and taught in a way which made sense. After some coffee we went down to the foyer to find the best light, with it's huge glass windows, this was the perfect place.

Learning about light and how important it was made sense to me, I have always found that natural light is great for pictures. Joan went through in great detail how she was using her camera to capture the image and how to place the wonderful produce we'd been given from the school. She had many wonderful props with her and I couldn't wait to use them later on.


After lunch, which was all homemade at the school, we were set free. In groups of two we chose our produce, again from the school, to go and take pictures with. My partner Elaine and I chose this wonderful plum tart, the lines and detail in the cake were perfect. We went outside to the abbatoir, the stone floor was perfect for pictures, as was the light. How important the light is is something I only became more aware of recently, the light that came through that door was simply perfect.
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18 October 2015

Black & White Photography Project Week 67


I went on a food photography course yesterday, it was inspiring and thought provoking and I had so much fun. Although this isn't one of my favourite from the session I wanted to save those for another post. This is still full of detail though and the shapes and textures of the plums, cake and stone floor is just wonderful.

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16 October 2015

Exploring Nottingham

I have lived in Nottingham all my life and as a child spent so much time visiting many of the city's attractions, whether on school trips or with my parents. Some of those attractions are long gone, like the Tales of Robin Hood for instance and for a time Brewhouse Yard which now only opens at the weekends.

But there is still a lot this beautiful city has to offer and on Saturday as part of the Get Creative Arts Festival we were invited to visit some of the attractions and really experience what Nottingham has to offer.

First of all, we stopped by the wonderful and historic Theatre Royal, this building has been standing proudly in our city for the last 150 years. Meaning that many generations of my family will have seen it and most likely been inside too. The Theatre is as magnificent now as you imagine it would have been back then, with very few changes having taken place in that time, not because they couldn't be bothered but why change something so beautiful and that works. Having only really ever been in there when it's full, I hadn't had time to appreciate the acoustics of the theatre, it was magnificent and a true work of art in itself.




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12 October 2015

Marlenka Honey Cakes Review

Imagine a cake that you can buy and keep in your cupboard for a few months, that emergency pudding or cake for friends or family who pop over unannounced, well with Marlenka cakes you can do just that.

These cakes can keep for up to 90 days, I say can because as my son said to me 'we should have these more often' so I don't think they'd be in our cupboard long.


We were sent some of the honey cocoa nuggets, honey lemon nuggets, honey cake, honey cocoa cake and a couple of the snack bars, which are all great in their own way.

The nuggets were the perfect treat to have with a cup of tea, they were also ideal for me to pop into my Yumbox for work, in fact it was like they were made for the little pot I popped one in. I offered them to all my family that visited and they all thoroughly enjoyed them.


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11 October 2015

Black & White Photography Project Week 66


Yesterday we were lucky enough to be invited on a fabulous blog event in Nottingham, we visited several of Nottingham's wonderful attractions, more to come on a blog soon but I wanted to include this beautiful picture of my daughter making a clay butterfly. It works so well in black and white and I just love how it works.


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7 October 2015

Southwell Ploughing Match 2015

A few weeks ago, we headed over to the Southwell Ploughing Match, it has grown since we last went and we spent at least 6 hours wandering round the many stalls tents and exhibits. It was a great day out, that also allowed us to show the children what farming was like many years ago and now.  As well as how important farming is to Britain and how we need to support local producers with a fair price for the extremely hard work that goes into farming.

The ploughing itself took place early on in the morning, so first of all, we went to the fields to watch this. With lots of different machinery, from horse drawn ploughs, through to the first motorised models and to the modern machines of today, it was a wonderful look into how far we'd come.




Afterwards, we grabbed some food from one of the many wonderful food stalls in the farmers market area, for lunch, we chose our favourite farm shop which is Maxeys and grabbed a few of their wonderful burgers. As well as a few beers from a local brewery's stall, later on in the day we bought some cakes from All Mine Cakes and some raw milk from Milky Business, both fabulous local businesses. 

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4 October 2015

Black & White Photography Project Week 65


Goose fair, it has been a tradition for us for the last few years to visit with the children something we hope to continue for many more years to come. This picture was one I snapped earlier on as the darkness fell. It is magical in colour but I loved the outlines of the rides in black and white.


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