Friday, 30 September 2011


 We've been busy at the allotment harvesting the various fruit and vegetables. Sweetcorn, that tastes so different if you pick it and cook it straight away. Raspberries that hardly ever make it home because they taste so good straight off the plant and enough potatoes to see us round til next year!

Today was the girl's harvest festival at school, outside in the playground in the glorious sunshine, and I really loved listening to their songs and poems, watching my smallest whitething proudly holding up her lettuce picture and eldest whitething playing her recorder. This is the last year they're all together at primary school so I'm especially treasuring all these precious memories.

So, this morning I wanted to record this moment for posterity but of course nobody wanted their picture taken with their harvest boxes (grrr!) so here is one of them last year (when it was much colder!) at the allotment on the way to school.

I am so thankful for all that I have, my lovely family and friends, a home (with at least one nice room in it!), a choice of food to eat, making and creating things and a sense of purpose for my life through my relationship with God. It truly is the simple things that make me happiest (and things always seem better when the sun is shining!) Happy sunny weekend everyone!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Wonderful weekends!

Before you read this post I have to advise you that these are the highlights of the last couple of weekends, I've left out the arguments, the perpetual ironing pile, the broken glass, the overtiredness, the loooong car journey, the whining, the unfinished jobs etc... because I figured no-one wants to read about them! But be assured they did happen, we're quite normal! But as they say - here are our best bits!
We decided to embrace Autumn this weekend and make something different to our usual preserves and chutneys. We have a garden full of fruit trees,unfortunately we missed most of the damsons and plums while we were on holiday but still have loads of apples! One of our varieties, is very good for juice so we dusted down the old juicer and bunged them through - great fun for the smallest Whitething! It tastes really rather good and what's even better is that it requires no chopping or peeling! We've put some bottles aside in the garage to maybe turn into cider - need to find out how to do this though! Unsurprisingly, this was not my idea!
We made some elderflower cordial earlier in the year and had left some flowers to turn into berries. Then we found this recipe in countryfile magazine for elderberry cordial and after reading about it's amazing health benefits (extra Vitamin C, antiviral properties) we decided to give it a go, here's what it said.

200g black elderberries
400g sugar
12 cloves
2.5cm sliced fresh ginger

Strip the elderberries from their stems using fork or fingers!
Put them in a pan, add a cup of water, bring to the boil and simmer for about half an hour.
Mash the berries to release the last of the juice then strain the contents of the pan through a sieve.
Add the sugar, cloves and ginger to the strained juice.
Return the pan to the heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Bring to the boil for a further 5 mins and then strain and pour into a bottle.
Seal and store in the fridge. Drink diluted, hot or cold.

Almost makes me want to catch a cold to see if it works! Anyway, it tastes rather lovely regardless.

My husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary (belatedly) with a weekend away in Devon in our original honeymoon cottage. It's a converted barn with a galley bedroom, in a little hamlet, a real rural retreat!

 We had a lovely time not doing very much, enjoying the tranquil setting and going at our own pace for a change. It was lovely to go back in time and remember what it was like before the Whitethings came along! And huge thanks to my parents for having them, it's the longest we've both left them. Our middle Whitething did wake us up on our return, claiming she'd forgotten what we looked like! Bless!

So, there you go, a lovely couple of weekends, great marriage and family time and space and time to reflect. I am very grateful and I have been thinking of these verses a lot recently, they're great to take on board!

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, 
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." 
Lamentations 3 v22-23

Monday, 12 September 2011

Award winning Whitehouse!

Please forgive the boastful nature of this post! But I just had to share about our allotment show the other weekend. Our allotment is at best fruitful but rather untidy as we cannot give it as much time as we'd like. However, we keep it ticking over and enjoy making things with what it produces. 

My mother-in-law persuaded us to enter some of our strawberry jam into the jam class at the show and convinced my eldest Whitething to make a Victoria Sponge for the cake class. We duly did, not thinking much of it as we were away camping for the weekend and wouldn't be there.

Well, imagine our surprise when we heard the results!

Our jam came second in it's class and the cake came first! 

Whitething no.1 (age 10) was chuffed to bits as she had beaten all the other adult competitors to take the first prize!

Needless to say we and especially Granny are very proud of her! And very tasty it was too!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer

Sorry for the long delay in blogging, the last few weeks of the summer holiday rather ran away with us! We've been camping, had lots of days out and good times with friends and a rather nasty sickness bug that got the better of us! 

But now, it's all over and my little White things have gone back to school which meant that I also went back to work and missed them terribly!

We've had so much fun, here's some of our highlights!

Boscombe Pier
Here come the girls...... and the waves

Roundabout pushing daddy style!


Had a fabulous time seeing the The Wizard of Oz!

Walking with friends
This summer also brought a plague of Korknisse to these parts, thanks to inspiration from Annaboo's house! Once I started making them I just couldn't stop! Soon, all our little friends wanted them too so we have started quite a community! I have hardly any photos as they are too busy being played with given away as soon as they are finished!

But I did find these pair in an empty ice cream box, floating in a bowl, having had a little sofa made for them (by my girls and their friends!) and I just had to snap it!

Camping with the Korknisse

How cute! Let's see what Autumn brings!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Lavender's blue

Woke up with a horrid head yesterday and was feeling quite sorry for myself, however by the afternoon it had started to wear off and we went to explore a local lavender farm 

You pay in the lovely gift shop/tea shop, they give you a bag and a pair of scissors and tell you to help yourself as you walk up the field! Fabulous! Just what I needed to clear my head and to fill some fabric and knitted hearts I'm making! So off we went, had a wonderful time and came home with armfuls of lavender which I think looks great in my fireplace!

I have also combined some with some dried rose petals (birthday flowers from my husband way back!) in this basket.

Nice eh? So, what with my new found passion to knit things, a habit of listening to The Archers and now a love of lavender; I must really remember how old I am not!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Bakey makery!

Been a busy mummy today! Led a craft session at our children's centre based at our church which went well, canvas painting, clay modelling, felt sewing, frame decorating and so on. Then lots of making and baking back at home trying to keep the girlies quiet while my husband sleeps off a night shift and it's too wet to throw them out in the garden! 

Anyway, I was too busy to take some photos so thought I'd post some other photos of our bakey makery that were flying out of our oven at the beginning of the summer for various birthdays, fetes and events. We do like to bake in the White house and one of my girlies is gluten free to so we also experiment a lot! 

Pink cupcake, our favourite and our best!

Chocolate cupcakes for my sister's 40th

Mini doughnuts for their friends at the end of term
(gluten and gluten free!)

All wrapped up and ready to go!

And I know that we're all a bit past the Royal Wedding now, but I was rather pleased with my first attempt at colour swirling! So please forgive me for sharing!

Well, I'd better sign off now before I'm tempted to turn the oven back on and make some more! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

New chicks and a special request!

So, after a fabulous holiday we're back home again but amidst the unpacking and washing we had a rather exciting day!

Firstly, we collected five 8 week old chicks to join our brood! We have only got one chicken left who doesn't lay anymore so needed to replenish our egg laying potential! These came from the reception class at the girls' school! They seemed to have settled in very well, although cheep rather loudly! Let's hope they don't all turn out to be male as the girls are rather attached already!

Secondly today, my girls were asked to be bridesmaids next year to a very good friend of mine! So, even more excitement! They (and I!) are over the moon and we can't wait! We feel very honoured and I just know the whole wedding is going to be gorgeous!

So, lots of excitement here in the White house and a new found love for all things crafty, watch this space!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Teacher thank you gifts

So here's a little idea the girlies and I came up with to say thank you to all their teaching staff at the end of the school year (all 16 of them!). Homemade strawberry jam from the allotment, homemade strawberry shortbread biscuits (made by the girls with the cutest plunge cutter) and a lovely matching strawberry tin picked up in the bargain bit of a supermarket. All in a matching gift bag with tissue and a handmade card from the girls. Job done! Was fun to do, didn't cost the earth and went down a treat!

And in close up!

It said thank you with our time rather than our money which I always think is always more valuable. (Not that we have much of either!) Hope you liked it!

Friday, 5 August 2011

So this is the beginning of a new adventure!

Having spent the last few months really enjoying reading many different types of blogs, I decided to start my own and share some things with you all. So thank you all for the inspiration! Here goes......