30 November 2013

Things that I'm liking... {myhigh.st wishlist}

We are marching headlong towards December and Christmas is peeking it's Santa bearded face around the corner.
I'm in the process of dropping hints.
I've thought loads about the children's gifts and building up the Christmas memories for them.
Now I'm thinking about me.
I was recently introduced to http://myhigh.st/ and it's 'feel good shopping' experience.
Just perusing all their offerings definitely made me feel good.
Here's just a snippet of what I'm liking...
Things that I'm liking {myhigh.st} // 76sunflowers
3. Trowbridge Gallery - White Mug £6:00 Castle Cary, Somerset
The idea behind myhigh.st is recognising the fact that people like to support independent shops and help local economies. The website brings a range of localities and businesses together so we can buy direct from these traders whether they are locally on our doorstep or further afield. 
My idea of 'local' spreads it's wings far.
Back to my home county of Norfolk.
Hence no.1.
The image of Salthouse reminds me of my late dad who always had paintings of churches hanging at home - this one has a modern twist though, not sure he would approve of it but I love it.
Numbers 3, 4 and 5 sit perfectly together and number 2 completes the image in my head of me enjoying a warming cup of tea, with a beautiful bracelet adorning my wrist whilst admiring some modern art hanging on the wall.
One day.
What's on your wishlist?
x x x
Disclaimer: this is NOT a sponsored post but I am entering a competition with myhigh.st. I have to say though the products across their site are rather lovely.


29 November 2013

Circus Time! {Camp Bestival 2014}

*shouts* Roll up, roll up the circus is in town.

 Camp Bestival 2014

Kind of.
We're looking ahead to next Summer - I know we haven't had Christmas yet but a girl likes to plan ahead - to the family festival extraordinaire that is Camp Bestival!
Regular readers will know it is an annual pilgrimage down to Dorset for us here having gone every summer since 2010.
Next year's theme has just been announced - I'm just hoping not too many clowns turn up.

All the information you need is on the Camp Bestival website with detailed ticket news, including the very useful payment plan, here.
Even though clowns give me the heebie jeebies I'm allowing one on my site.
Just this once. 
Only because I'm sure the Camp Bestival ones will be lovely.
Camp Bestival 2014
Check out past reviews and all things Camp Bestival here.
x x x


25 November 2013

Cherry Traybake

Cherry Traybake // 76sunflowers
Following Stir Up Sunday and Christmas Pudding making yesterday I had some left over glace cherries, and as always had a pot of natural yogurt in the fridge, so made a rather scrumptious Cherry Traybake.
210g SR flour
180g caster sugar
150g Stork
150ml natural yogurt
half tsp baking powder
3 eggs
Mix all of the above until smooth.
Stir in 12 chopped glace cherries and 6 chopped large marshmallows.
Spread into a greased and lined 20cm x 30cm tin.
Bake at 170c for 30-35 minutes until springy to the touch and lightly golden.
The marshmallows add some chewy surprises and extra sweetness but am sure this would work just as well without them.
x x x

24 November 2013

Stir Up Sunday

Stir Up Sunday // 76sunflowers
Today is Stir Up Sunday - the last Sunday before Advent.
I only recently learnt of this traditional day of Christmas pudding making from the lovely people at Yeo Valley who sent some ingredients, and that lovely Cornishware pudding bowl, so I could have a go at my first ever Christmas Pudding.

I followed their traditional recipe and as I type the pudding is happily steaming away.
Fingers are crossed.
Yeo Valley Christmas Pud // 76sunflowers
Adding to the Christmas preparations, yesterday we headed into town for the Christmas lights switch on.
Manned by an amazing team of volunteers they did the town proud.
Christmas Lights // 76sunflowers
And a final message from my little helpers...
Happy Stir Up Sunday! // 76sunflowers
Have you been making Christmas Pudding today?!
x x x
Disclaimer: Yeo Valley sent me some ingredients and the Cornishware pudding bowl so I could take part in Stir Up Sunday. 

19 November 2013

The Simple Things

The Simple Things // 76sunflowers

I often think I try too hard as a parent.
Always needing to please.
Always thinking about how I can go that extra mile to make an amazing day.
Trying to make the best moments to establish those childhood memories.
But sometimes it's just the simple things that they love.
A scoot round the block and an hour at the little park down the lane.

The Simple Things - Make a tree // 76sunflowers
The Simple Things - Leaf Threading // 76sunflowers
The Simple Things - Leaf Threading // 76sunflowers
The Simple Things - Make a tree // 76sunflowers
Walking through the leaves, making our own trees, perfecting our fine motor skills by threading leaves with care and hoping that the big green space doesn't get covered by hundreds of houses jam packed in as tightly as can be.
Not a penny was spent but they loved it.
Quality time with me.

What are your simple things?


16 November 2013

Muddy Boots & Honey Cake

Muddy Boots // 76sunflowers
The weather has turned a bit for the worse and the ground is now well and truly soggy.
Welly walks are calling despite the mud - that just adds to the fun.
We discovered electrical monsters looming up from the fields and created mud monsters of ourselves. The boy mastered the stiles with grace then nearly lost his boots to the mud.
Two hours later we deserved some cake.
Honey & Yogurt Cake // 76sunflowers

Due to a new found love of honey on my girl's part, I used Greek style yogurt with honey which proved to be a good choice making the cake moist and, more importantly, delicious.
130g SR Flour
100g caster sugar
150g Greek style yogurt with honey
30g Stork
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp honey
Mix all of the above until smooth.
Pour into a lined baking tray (approx. 28cm x 19cm)
Bake at 170-180c for about 18 minutes until lightly golden and springy to the touch.
Eat and enjoy!
A tried and tested alternative is to replace the honey yogurt and honey with Greek style yogurt with vanilla.
Equally delicious.
Honey & Yogurt Cake // 76sunflowers
x x x
 I'm linking up with the great Country Kids:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

12 November 2013

Ginger Cupcakes with Chocolate Gingerbread Stars {Recipe & Review}

Ginger Cupcakes
The time of year is getting closer when I begin to think about mulling some cider and filling the air with the aroma of Christmas spices, like ginger and cinnamon. Today I made some simple ginger cupcakes to kick start that feeling.

Makes 12
120g SR Flour
120g light brown sugar
90g Greek vanilla yogurt
30g butter
2 eggs
half a tsp ginger
Mix all of the above until smooth.
Spoon equally into 12 bun cases.
Bake at 170c - 180c for 18 minutes.
Leave to cool.
Spread buttercream on top - I added some ginger to this too - and place your chocolate star on top.

The milk chocolate gingerbread star tops the cupcakes off perfectly and makes me feel just a little bit Christmassy. The star is one of eight that come in a box, neatly wrapped and presented, from Tesco's latest seasonal range. The chocolate is thick and chunky and topped with caramelised biscuit and ginger crumble and a white chocolate swirl.

Tesco Gingerbread Chocolate Stars
Ginger Cupcakes with Tesco Gingerbread Chocolate Star

I also sampled the above Chokablok Santastic Cinnamon chocolate tree. I think they knew my love of these flavours but don't think the delivery man appreciated his package - spot the jigsaw effect. The tree is good quality chocolate decorated with a white chocolate swirl and topped with cinnamon and gold dusted malt balls and caramelised biscuit and ginger crumble. I couldn't resist topping it with a star. Both of the products taste of a high quality chocolate - which hints at the fact they have been created by master chocolatiers behind Hotel Chocolat and Harrods - but retail at a more affordable price: £4 for the stars and £5 for the tree. A perfect stocking filler.
x x x

Disclaimer: I received the chocolates for review purposes from Tesco. As always views and opinions are honest and are on my own.


6 November 2013

Up Close at Stourhead

Stourhead - Autumn

I think it's been well documented on this very blog how much we love visiting the National Trust and Stourhead. If you missed those posts then take a look here.

Since discovering How Does Your Garden Grow? I have started to observe gardens around me more, whether it be my own or those on a much grander scale. Now I stop and look, get close up and really appreciate it. I noticed so much more on our recent trip to Stourhead earlier this week by doing just that.

Stourhead Gardens
Stourhead Gardens
Stourhead Gardens
Hydrangeas Stourhead Gardens
Hydrangeas Stourhead Gardens
Stourhead Gardens
Acer Stourhead Gardens
Oak Tree Stourhead Gardens
Fallen leaves at Stourhead

Flowers dying back, poppies still in bloom, plants climbing the walls, changing colours on the hydrangeas, trees almost as tall as the sky, the red of the Acer, the oak tree without its acorns, fallen leaves and enormous tree trunks.

So much to see.
So much to take in.
But still time to just sit by the lake.
And look for Wally.

Stourhead Lake
Stourhead Lake

All in all the ideal place to spend a sunny, crisp Autumn day.

I'll be linking up with Annie and other wonderful gardens...

Mammasaurus - How Does Your Garden Grow?

x x x

4 November 2013

Musing on a Monday... {Domestic Chores}

Domestic chores.
It's an on going cause of debate in our household. I try not to pick arguments over it and I try to see that sometimes it is just best to get on and do something rather than nag. However, when it's noted by certain others that the Hubs does 'too much' then I do get cross. So I've made a list - I do love a good list.
Things I do regularly:
  • washing-up
  • laundry
  • ironing
  • bed making
  • tidying
  • vacuuming
  • cleaning
  • cooking
  • baking
  • swimming lesson run
Things the Hubs does regularly:
  • weekly shopping
  • weekly bins
  • weekend cooking
He works full time, I work three days a week.
We share the school runs.
I sense this is the norm.
I feel I do my fair share seeing I'm not at work full-time.
I don't think the hubs does too much.
Sadly I do want to regain the responsibility of the weekly shop - control freak in me - and during half term I did a mini one, which I enjoyed partly due to the fact that I got to try out a new bag. Or more to the point a bag of bags.

Trolley-Dolly Eco Bag // 76sunflowers

The bag was fantastic - the Eco 8-bag Set Mini Dot Turq/Choc from ZPM. The colour combo is perfect and the cross body design with adjustable strap is great for hands free action in the supermarket. It has lots of nifty features including a see through pocket for your list, Velcro to attach to the trolley itself, trolley token, phone pocket, zipper compartment for your wallet and extras and a spacious middle compartment holding vest style shopping bags, box shopping bags and net bags for fruit and veg. It definitely beats dragging out bags full of tatty bags every time.

The shape and look means it can also be used for general day to day use with the main compartment comfortably big enough for an iPad and extras.

For more information on how you can get a discount please see here.

So, how do the domestic chores get split in your house?

x x x
Disclaimer: ZPM sent me the bag for review purposes. As always, all opinions and views are honest and are my own.

2 November 2013

Things that I'm liking...

As we march into November my thoughts turn to Christmas.
I love to make a list of those things I would love to receive but more enjoyably those things that I would love to give.
Keeping a sensible price in mind I have come across these lovely things in the past few weeks whilst browsing online...

Things that I'm liking... // 76sunflowers

1. Vintage Ivy Cake Tins dotcomgiftshop £12.95
2. Papar iPad Cover  Beatrix New York £29.95
3. 'Eat, Drink & Be Hairy' Mug  Bread & Jam £8.50
4. 'Stuff I'm Likely to Forget' Notebook Bread & Jam £6.50
5. 'Today is the Day' Print Bread & Jam £18.00

The notebook would be perfect for home or work - and being a stationery obsessive I believe you can never have enough notebooks.
The mug would suit the hubs perfectly.
The print would hang just nicely in the hallway giving me a positive push out of the door every morning.
The iPad cover is already keeping my precious tablet safe from the prying hands of the children
and the Vintage Ivy tins are full of cakes and sweets sitting in the kitchen as I type.

So, what's on your lists this year?

x x x
Disclaimer: I came across Bread & Jam online and simply love their products. I received the Beatrix New York iPad cover and dotcomgiftshop tins for review purposes on this blog. As always my thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.


1 November 2013

Lacock Abbey & Blood Orange Cake

Lacock Abbey // 76sunflowers

It's been a busy week with the ever increasing build up to Halloween and all things pumpkin. For the first time we have been frugal with our pumpkins baking the flesh and roasting the seeds - the latter being a very pleasant surprise.
The weather finally improved and we had some lovely days out including a wander around the National Trust's Lacock Abbey...

Potion trail in Lacock Abbey // 76sunflowers
Potion trail Lacock Abbey // 76sunflowers
Greenhouse at Lacock Abbey // 76sunflowers
Greenhouse at Lacock Abbey // 76sunflowers
Strata Outdoor Sculpture Lacock Abbey // 76sunflowers
Strata Outdoor Sculpture Lacock Abbey // 76sunflowers
Strata Outdoor Sculpture Lacock Abbey // 76sunflowers
#50 things // 76sunflowers
A potion trail, clues all around, growth in the greenhouses, outdoor sculpture and tree climbing - one more thing to tick from our #50things list. There is always plenty to see and do here.
Back home potions were made.
Magic Potions // 76sunflowers
And a cake was baked...
Blood Orange Cake // 76sunflowers

This delicious, moist and autumnal cake was made using Yeo Valley's Blood Orange & Caramel Yogurt - unfortunately a limited edition flavour. I adapted this recipe.

150g caster sugar
230g self raising flour (I used half and half regular and wholemeal)
70g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
250g Yeo Valley Blood Orange & Caramel Yogurt
2 eggs
150g unsalted butter
grated zest of half an orange
glug of milk - if mix is thick and not smooth

Mix all of the above using an electric mixer adding milk at the end if not smooth.
Pour into a 20cm greased and lined tin.
Bake at 180c (160c fan) for 45 minutes until the top is springy.
My tin measured 18cm and the cake took nearly an hour.
Cut and serve.

Blood Orange Cake // 76sunflowers


I'm linking up with the inspiring Country Kids...
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
And the delicious Tasty Tuesdays...
Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

x x x

© 76 sunflowers

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