Monday, 30 August 2010

Seaside Gems

This gorgeous beach is like a secret, it was almost empty on a sunny day in August!
The white peaked roof tops is where we stayed, tucked in behind the sand dunes which open up to this....

the beach went on and on, the sea was so far out and it was stunningly beautiful.

The pier at St Anne's.

We also visited Southport, a lovely seaside town.

Fleetwood Dock.

There has been a change in the weather since we returned home, English seaside days may well be over for this summer.
How lovely it was to walk the promanade in Southport, to have my feet in the sand at St Annes and to watch the boats in the harbour at Fleetwood.
The North West coast is in my blood, childhood and adulthood memories anchor me there.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Hearts and Flowers

I have been married to my darling for 21 years.
Tin hearts, big flowers, and an antique silver ring.
He knows me so well.
Happy Anniversary x

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Oh you pretty things!

Sometimes you just have to take time to look at the pretty things.

Going away for a few days, traveling North to Lancashire where I was born.

Back next week.


Sunday, 15 August 2010

Harley and Tilly and signs of the harvest.

I went to a 'Great Dane Fest' today

When my son asked me to go I didn't know what it was either!

He is the proud owner of these 2.

Harley and Tilly.

We drove with the dogs to a country park where we met about 30 other Great Danes and their owners.

We went on a 2 hour walk through the park and woods and I have to say it was a dogs and dog lovers perfect day.

All the Danes together were a pretty impressive sight.

On the way to the 'Fest' we drove past the tractors and combines bringing in the last of field harvest and while walking in the park and woods signs of the harvest yet to come were all around.

Hope your week to come is full of blessings.


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Rainy Saturday Cooking

Saturday morning and I woke to the sound of the rain hitting the windows.
It has been a day of heavy showers with glimpses of bright blue sky and sunshine in between.

Just the kind of morning to cook something other than salads.

Shepherd's Pie and Cupcakes! what could be better!

Every family has their own recipe for Shepherd's Pie but if your looking for a good one then try these books Rachel Allen's 'Home Cooking' and 'Sophie Dahl's 'Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights'.
Isn't it nice to know you have a pie all ready and waiting for the oven at dinner time.
We love cheese on top of ours.

I make cupcakes using a recipe I found which was credited to the Magnolia Bakery in New York.

This makes about 30 Cupcakes:

180g self-raising flour
150g plain flour
250g soft unsalted butter
500g caster sugar
4 large eggs
285ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Top with Vanilla Buttercream.

Make up as you would a traditional sponge - beat the butter till light add the sugar beating till light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
Add the combined flours a third at a time along with milk and vanilla extract, gently beat these in till just incorporated.
Spoon into cupcake liners in the tin Bake for 20 -25 mins, cool in the tin for 15mins then place on a wire rack to fully cool before swirling over buttercream topping and decorating.

Shepherds Pie ready for eating. Cupcakes ready for giving.
Note: I found these lovely cupcake boxes at a local store.
This week I also read a headline that said " The cupcake is so over"
Well ... not in this house it isn't!


Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Handbags and Gladrags

I am an accessories girl.

I love bags, scarves, boots and bracelet's.
I am inexplicably drawn to brown leather handbags!

See what I mean! these little darlings are hanging on the back of the study door.

This is the last one I bought (Love it)

Love this summer scarf too.

When I said I was not going to buy any more clothes (see older posts)
does that include accessories??????????????????????


Sunday, 8 August 2010

Sunday, Sunday.

It is the end of my 'at home week' and I have cooked, cleaned, sorted, read my books, gardened and spent time with family and friends - just about perfect I'd say.

It is a rare Sunday that there is just the two of us (wonderful large Sunday afternoon family gatherings are the norm!) so we made the most of it and spent time in the garden this afternoon as the sun was shining after a stormy few days.

As we were reading the Sunday papers this little fellow came for his Sunday bath.

Spent some time looking through Sophie Dahl's cook book titled 'Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights'
I like her recipes (not too complicated!)

Cooked Roast Chicken with lemon and herb rub (not from Miss Dahl's book!) for Sunday dinner.

Lovely, lovely Sunday.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Home is where the heart is.

Dream House = New England style double fronted clapboard house, painted white with shutters at the windows, light filled rooms painted in pale colours, a touch of Shabby Chic, a touch of New England Shaker, a little Colonial and a lot of love.

Real House = Smallish brick built, not a lot of outside style, no shutters, some light filled rooms, pale colours in some rooms (they just do not work in the grey English light of my living room!)a touch of Shabby Chic, a little English Colonial, a touch of New England Shaker and a lot of love.

Light fills the dinning area but the sitting room needs warmer colours.

The upstairs rooms have my favorite colours, whites, creams, and pale mink browns.

We don't always get what we wish for but this house has been a place of laughter and tears, joy and sorrows, celebration and comfort, parties and a solitary refuge, a platform to launch from and a blanket to snuggle in.

It is without doubt a home where many a heart is.

Shelly x

Friday, 6 August 2010


Blogs can give the impression of an 'ideal' lifestyle which is concerning as that is definitely never the case.
For me 'market town girl' is a way to focus on the positive things, reflect on the blessings, life's moments of serendipity and capture my place in time before it moves forever onwards.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Menu Plans

Being at home this week meant I could go to the mid-week market in the town and stock up on fresh veggies and fruit.

The town holds a market on Saturdays as well with a good selection of fresh food stalls, local villages also hold Farmers Markets to support local growers.

The menu planning for the week has continued to go well and it has definitely saved me time and money in wondering each day what to cook and heading to the supermarket.
So that's a keeper! I will be planning the week to come menus every Sunday.

Last night I had planned for His and Hers salads:

He had Scampi Salad. I had cheese and new potatoes.

I really want to try and use the supermarket less and use the market town shops and farmers markets more.

Lovely roasted veggies that we had on Tuesday night with Pork Chops.