Thursday, January 31, 2008

TV Programmes

Hello again,I guess this is a good time to blog about my favourite TV shows, seeming that i have been inside for a week and have no idea what is happening in the outside world, in civilization as we know it...

Anyhow..does anyone out there watch Whose Line Is It Anyway? Oh I love that show,its brilliant.I love Ryan Stiles,Colin Mockery and Greg Proops...and Tony Slattery is...well...a honey!I think those guys are so talented to improvise like they do - my husband and I laugh so much each time we watch it.

Another show we don't miss is American Idol.What is it about that show - is it Simon Cowell that keeps you coming back for more?Is it watching people make fools of actually I hate seeing those poor unsuspecting people getting slammed by the judges..
The best part of the show is when they get to Hollywood and you begin to see the real talent come out.
I also love watching some of the reality TV shows that are on such as the wedding programmes,interior design shows and the ones that advertise Sun Holidays!
Once I am over the flu, hopefully by next week - I had better get up off the sofa and do something more constructive with my time......Cheerio!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Feeling Sick

Blah, I have the flu and I feel really low.One thing I have learned to do is to light a really good fire...Its freezing in Ireland and waiting the whole afternoon for my hubby to come home is really long.......does anyone else feel that way?
Its the highlight of my day when he walks through the door.
I guess thats a good sign?
These are some of my daughter's lovely dolls,the one in the middle was given to her by my friend Lisa, all the way from the U.K. She is gorgeous, very stylish!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

January's nearly Over

January is definitely a tough month to get through.At the moment my daughter is really sick and I feel the flu coming on as well.
Why does this feel like deja-vu? Every year seems to be the same story.
Anyway, we will get better...and life will go back to normal.
I was very excited last night to come across a dress-making course (correspondence) through an Irish college, it looks really good.
They send you the full kit you need including fabric, thread, patterns and you have 6 to 9 months to complete the course, and by the end you would have made a skirt and I think a I am so keen to find my machine,probably going to look in Argos, and as soon as I have it I will hopefully sign up for the course.It will be a dream come true, as I have always wanted to know how to sew and I want to start making my own things.
The various crafty web-sites are so inspiring,and i can see them being a great help through my learning process!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My comfy Spot..

This is where I sit everyday and try and come up with ideas for articles,book reviews etc...and where my beloved hubby and I watch tv and read books at night...
The wall surrounding the fireplace was cream..then pink and now its striped,I can never leave anything alone and untouched for very long.Drives my husband mad because he generally has to do the DIY work!
As you can see, I attacked the coffee table a while back and it has now become naturally distressed from use,just how I like it!The green paint is by Cath Kidston.

Well...its been lovely and sunny in Ireland, much to my delight,although my little girl is sick with a cold at the moment and so we have had a quiet weekend.
I baked a lovely banana bread today and am finally sitting down on my comfy sofa.Sigh...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Oh the housework...

This is my entrance way...I love my cupboard (which took me ages to save for and pay off at a little shop near to where I live...) - the color on the wall is Cord, which I just love.It goes with so many different decor styles.
Because I have only been blogging now for a few weeks, I find myself drawn to all the beautiful blogs...sitting for hours musing until my bottom is sore...and guess what?The housework does not happen...guilty, YES.In fact I have just sent my dear husband out to tesco to buy me a new Mop Head, because I am soooo sincere about wanting to mop the floors later today. Why isn't there time to blog
blog blog, shop, be a good mom, bake and have a pristine house? Oh, and try look half decent in the process. 24 hours is just not enough.Agree?

Friday, January 25, 2008

My Childrens Room

Max and Payton decided they wanted to share a room, which has worked out beautifully!They enjoy each others company at night and really don't (by some miracle) get in each others' way!
The top picture is Max's side, which reflects his personality with his "Aliens" on his shelf and the bottom pic is Payton's side of the room, which reflects her love and adoration (thats all she talks about and reads about) for - HORSES!!
I love my children's room, but am thinking of a color to paint it, perhaps a nice green...or duck egg blue...I just don't want to make it too dark.

Life with Bella the Boxer...

Oh my,where can I start with Bella...We got her as an 8 week old pup a year ago,she was one of 8 puppies, her mom is Bella and her dad, Benny.
My daughter picked her out of the entire litter...because she thought she was the quietest, most shy...ha ha ha.Not so I'm afraid...
But then, boxers are known for their boisterous nature and also for their loyal and loving personalities.
Oh how we love Bella, but the past year has not been easy.We have had a lot of difficult behaviors to deal with and a very energetic dog who requires a lot of exercise....So every morning after dropping the kids at school, Bella and I take to the woods (or some other long walk) and this really gets me out and about,helps with a healthy mind, thats for sure.
I would recommend a boxer as a family dog, however, be careful if you have small children as their loving nature can sometimes be over-bearing, and they can get really excited and enthusiastic and knock things (and little people) over! Please let me know if any of you out there have a Boxer or a boisterous dog and how you handle day to day living with your pooch.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

And the sun shone...

After a rainy wednesday, Mr Sun showed his when I fetched my little boy from school, we headed straight for the playground.
It was a joy to watch him out in the fresh air, sliding and swinging.
I have to say, since moving from South Africa to Ireland, I have a new appreciation for warmth, the sun and dry days.Something I always took for granted is now a gift!

My Precious Family

This is a picture of my Grandfather and my Grandmother on their wedding day in (I think) the late 1940's or early 1950's.
When I look at this,it paints a picture of my history...although I never met my grandfather,my dad was 16 when he Grandmother played a pivotal roll in my childhood and influenced so much of my thinking and other elements of my life.And I love her with all my heart.
Unfortunately,my dear Grandma (Ouma) lives thousands of miles away in South Africa,and I miss her everyday and just wish I could sit with her and have a cup of tea and a scone.

How I love Greengate...

Oh how I love Greengate....I have discovered all sorts of little shops around Cork that stock this lovely stuff, and just need a few more hundred euros to satisfy my craving for Jugs, spoon, cups, saucers, dish-towels...I love this little jug, my friend who was here over December bought the beautiful bowl like this..more Greengate pics coming up soon!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jamie Oliver's new Book

Hello again from a very very wet Ireland...The rain
has not stopped ...When I talk to my mom in Cape Town, South Africa, she complains about the it looks like we all have our gripes with the weather no matter where we live!

My friend Lisa bought me this present in December - Jamie At Home,and I have to say that it is such a beautiful book! And I am ashamed to say that I have not had a minute to sit down and really look through it properly, but I am going to to do that today. Some of the recipes look amazing...and the book has such a beautiful, aesthetic quality about it.
Some recipes which I would like to try soon are the Roasted White Fish and Leeks, Crispy chicken thighs with squashed new potatoes and tomatoes,Quick sausage meatballs with a tomato and basil sauce,spaghetti and sweet raw peas...............aaahh the list is endless................when I get round to cooking some of these dishes, I will let you know the outcome.
In the meantime, I am going back to turning the pages and dreaming about all this wonderful food...and also planning how to start growing some of my own veggies!I'm inspired!

Photo of Sheepy

This is Sheepy!The picture was taken by my little
boy,Max,who is 5 and has autism.He will often grab my camera and click away, leaving me to delete 20 photos of the floor!But he often takes some really good shots...The other pic is of my daughter,Payton all dressed up on a sunday. Isn't she lovely?

Monday, January 21, 2008


With a pretty small budget for shoes,clothes....and all things nice, I really get excited when I get my paws on something out of my price range.Ah how I love these shoes (Monsoon).I feel like a million dollars when I wear them, they are truly an indulgent purchase which is not soon to be repeated.
I've never been one to wear stockings with open-toed shoes, but I think this works somehow.My friend,Lisa was here in December and we both decided that we want to get our wardrobes up to scratch with a few lovely pieces of clothing. Problem is my taste is usually very expensive. I long for flea-markets and thrift shops that you would find in England...I think I need to save some "pounds" and book a shopping weekend in London...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Scenes from my home..

This is my dresser and my fridge door, both in the kitchen...i like everything in my home to have a good feeling about it and battle to leave anything plain and simple...thus the clutter...Which drives my husband mad,but I have tried not to collect...problem is the shops just keep on producing more and more beautiful things...and whats a girl to do?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Meet my Beautiful children!

This is Payton and Max!
Payton is 10 and Max is 5, this photo was taken in the gardens at Bunratty Castle, Ennis, Cork.They had such great fun that day, there was a magic show, face painting and they found the castle facinating! It really was a great holiday.

Tips on Beating the Winter Blues

I really know what winter is since moving to Ireland...I've been here through 6 or more...and each year I realize that there are things you can do to make those winter days not seem so long or gloomy.
These are a few of my ideas to brighten up your dreary winter days!

  • Take a walk!I have discovered so many beautiful woods since moving to the east of Ireland and I am sure there are many in your area to!I wrap the kids up in their jackets,hats and wellies and off we go.Our boxer,Bella comes along too, and she loves the freedom of being outdoors. The kids collect sticks and leaves and it is so lovely to see them out in the fresh air.
  • Light a fire! I love a big, gorgeous, roaring fire on cold winter days.It is so comforting to curl up on the sofa with a book and a blanket and sit by the fire.
  • Light candles! Candles create a wonderful atmosphere in a home.Buy yourself different candle holders, look for different textures - glass, wood,beads - they will create a wonderful feeling in the home.If you have small children, you can use the top of the fireplace or shelves that are out of reach.
  • Read! Lose yourself in a good novel.Sitting on the sofa or lying in bed with a cup of tea, reading a book is such a relaxing experience. I am reading "The Memory Keepers Daughter" by Kim Edwards at the moment and will be posting a book review on it when I am finished.See for more information on this book.
  • Cook wholesome Meals! Why not try making a lovely stew?I learned to make stew by trial and error, I make it differently every time,using an assortment of meat and vegetables.I will be posting a recipe here for one of my stews!
  • Head for the coast! May sound crazy, but a walk along the beach in the crispy cold weather is invigorating and the kids will love it!Why not book a weekend, or even a night away down the coast for a well earned break.
  • Change your Decor! I have been painting furniture and re-arranging my house over the winter.It is really therapeutic and can help you get through those long winter afternoons. Try whites, creams and duck-egg blues to brighten and lighten your home when the days are darker.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Easy to make Banana Bread


2 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
A quarter Teaspoon Salt
Half a cup butter
3 Quarter cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs,beaten
2 and a third cups overripe Bananas,mashed


Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
Sieve flour, baking Soda and salt.
In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar.Stir in the eggs and banana.Then stir in the flour.Pour this into a loaf pan and bake for 60 - 65 minutes.

Delicious Vanilla Cupcake Recipe


Half cup butter
2 thirds cup Granulated Sugar
3 Large eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract/essence
1 and a half cups Flour
1 and a half teaspoons Baking Powder
A quarter teaspoon Salt
A quarter cup milk


Preheat oven to 177 degrees Celsius
Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.Add eggs one at a time,beating well after each addition.Beat the Vanilla essence in.

In a separate bowl whisk the flour,baking powder and salt.Add this to the butter and egg mixture, along with the milk and beat.
Spoon the mixture into paper cups and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Enjoy!These are Yummy!

Frosting: (Optional)


2 cups Sugar,sifted
Half a cup of butter
One teaspoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Cream

Blend the ingredients and mix until you have a smooth, consistent paste that looks like icing.You can add more or less butter or sugar according to preference.
Sprinkle with Chocolate flakes or grated white chocolate for added yumminess!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Living Abroad

Its hard to believe that we have been living in Ireland for over 6 years.
We moved to Cork from beautiful Cape Town in July of 2001.My daughter was just 3 and a half and it was hard for all of us to say goodbye to my parents and to our home.
Arriving here was strange.The place was totally unfamiliar,of course, and it was nothing like home.There were no similarities!
The saving grace was that it was summer when we arrived,so the streets of Cork were alive and the sun was shining.That truly helped a lot with the adjustment we had to make.
We moved into a small apartment in the city and my husband went to work a few days later.
then it hit me! I looked at my daughter and knew that I had to make this work, it was just her and I most of the time, and I had to be positive.

I enrolled her in a playschool in the city, which she loved, that enabled me to explore a bit and get to know the place, but also to have time to myself to decide what I wanted to do.
I grew to like Cork, especially the city.I loved the atmosphere and I would sit at the top of Marks and Spencer with my coffee and my books on "How to write a novel" and look down at the street, and I felt quite inspired!

A huge blow was September 11th,which happened just a month and a half after we arrived.It scared me so much and made me feel really alone.I think I called home hundreds of times during that period and I felt very insecure.
Then, in the October, just as the weather was getting cold and windy, I received news that my Gran had passed away.I was really upset,especially when I heard my mom's voice over the phone and I couldn't be there for her.

We moved to a lovely house in the suburbs soon after that, and Then i found out I was pregnant.I have to say I was thrilled! My daughter started school in the September and my precious boy was born in the January of 2003.It was a wonderful time, but also very lonely.

My daughter was thriving at school and had seemed to adjust to life in Ireland very well.
My parents came over from South Africa for the first time when my son was a year old and they spent a month.It was lovely to see them, and I loved the fact that they could travel for the first time ever!Very exciting!

When my son was about 3 and a half, he went for tests to see if he had Autism (after a friend suggested he had the traits)
He was diagnosed in December 2006 and of course I was devastated. My world began to unravel and I believe that because I had no family support it made it a hundred times harder.
But a year later - and here we are!
He is attending an excellent school in Cork and I am so pleased with his progress and so so proud of him.He has just turned 5.
As for my beautiful daughter, she turned 10 today and she makes me smile everyday. She is such a precious girl, so down to earth. She loves horse riding and animals in general.

I have a wonderful husband who has always supported me through the rough times.
Life is so full of ups and downs, joys and disappointments, you have to take the good with the bad.And all the time, try and keep your chin up!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Hello and welcome to my blog!
I enjoy talking about a number of different topics...motherhood,housekeeping, books, films,music....
I hope to meet many interesting people and get loads of opinions!

My daughter is 10 years old and my son is 5.He has autism.
I am living in Ireland, but am originally from South Africa. We have been here for 6.5 years now and there certainly have been good and bad times...the hardest being my sons diagnosis and living so far from my family.

However, we have en devoured to make a life here....and finally bought our own house a year ago.
I am interested in Home Decor issues, particularly shabby chic,vintage and french styles.
I am an avid reader of Country Living and Country Homes and Interiors magazines.
I love reading and watching movies and talking about general topics, be it global or local issues.

I truely hope we can share interesting stories and ideas and I hope to be around for a long time to come.