21 July 2012

A mummy of teenagers....

Being a mummy of teenagers means ....
  • When the boys come home filthy  (& deliriously happy) from a week away at SU camp my first thought is to make them something to eat.... 
Chocolate Marshmallow Delight
  • Jumping into the car & driving from one end of Ireland to the other (that's over 5 hours driving) to watch son number one in the Irish Rowing Championships
  • in the rain (of course!)
  • An endless battle (which I never win) with the laundry pile...
  • More cooking... 
    • Barbecue Pineapple Chicken with Wild Rice & Leeks
    • Squeezing in a little bit of sewing when everyone has gone out 
    Liberty Purse for my In The Frame Swap partner
    • More baking....
    Making Millionaires Shortbread

    • And, if I have any free time left.... trying to catch up on all the wonderful stitchy stuff in blogland!
    I hope you have had a great, fun-filled week. I'm so sorry I haven't been around, but I'm off now to see what you all have been getting up to...
    In the meantime, if you fancy the look of the Millionaires Shortbread, here's the recipe:

    Preheat the oven to 160' C / 325' F
    • 225g Self Raising Flour
    • 150g Butter
    • 75g Caster Sugar


    • 1 tin (397g) Condensed Milk
    • 150g Butter
    • 100g Caster Sugar
    • 15ml Golden Syrup
    • 2 drops Vanilla Essence
    • 150g Dark Chocolate

    1. Shortbread: Mix flour & sugar & rub in butter. Tip into a 30cm X 20cm swiss roll tin & press down evenly. Bake for 20-25 mins in preheated oven. Leave to cool in tin.
    2. Caramel: Melt butter, sugar & syrup in a saucepan. Add condensed milk & vanilla essence & simmer for 6 mins, stirring continuously. Pour over shortbread base & leave to cool.
    3. Topping: Melt chocolate and pour over caramel. Leave to set (if you can resist!) & cut into squares
    I hope you have a great weekend... I'll be back soon.....
    Take care

    12 July 2012

    Floral Finds

    Hello there!
    I hope you have had a great week....over here on the Causeway Coast the sun has finally come out & the flowers have been enjoying a sunny respite from the rain
    I've been trying to get a better grasp of instagram & its amazing filters, but unfortunately I think (yet again) my children are better at it than me... This is Hannah's photo from a sunset walk....
    Anyway, if you are on instagram do let me know, or if you have any tips I'd love to hear them... I'm birdsongstitches - I think...
    As you can probably tell, I've been spending a lot of time in the garden enjoying the flowers & scents (in between weeding & grass cutting) & dreaming up lots of stitchy possibilities,  so I thought I would share some flowery loveliness with you ...
    Crochet Flower Card
    Pattern available here: little birdie secrets
    Flower Hair Clips
    Tutorial available here: oh for sweetness sake 
    Aneela's Summer Flowers Embroidery
    Pattern available here: comfort stitching
    Krista's Liberty Lemonade Table Cloth
    Tutorial available here: poppyprint
    I hope this gives you a little bit of floral inspiration... if you're looking for some other interesting stitchy stuff, click here which will take you to some more pinterest finds.....
    Hope you have a lovely rest of the week & wherever you are, that the sun shines - at least a wee bit!
    Take care

    8 July 2012

    Giveaway Greetings

    Hello there & a special holiday greeting to all American readers!
    I hope you have had a wonderful week whether you were soaking up the sun...
     walking in the rain
     or building castles in the sand
    With the children out of school for the summer, I've been doing all three this week - which was lovely, but it means I am a wee bit behind on lots of other important things, like blogging & catching up on all the fun on Flickr.... 
    But back to the giveaway. Thanks again for all the lovely blogiversary wishes (especially to Judith & Amy!!) & congratulations to number 72 
    who was
    gccmom29 June 2012 23:12
    What lovely things. Congratulations on your blogiversary! Fudge is my absolute favorite candy!!

    Could you please email me your address so I can get this lot of lovelies off to you
    If you didn't win this time, don't forget I'll be having another giveaway at the end of July & it might just be your lucky month!
    While I was away, we stayed in an old converted monastery deep in the mountains of the tiny island of Majorca
    The scenery was stunningly beautiful & I tried to capture it on Instagram
    At every turn there were wee courtyards, cobbled streets, a wonderful sense of history 
    and most importantly, NO RAIN!
    I'm off now to see how Andy's getting on at the tennis, but I'll be back with a tutorial next week & some exciting news
    Hope you all have a lovely rest of your weekend & if you have any instagram tips, do please let me know
    Take care

    1 July 2012

    A Momentous June

    Hello there
    I hope your week has been going well..... Thanks so much to all of you who sent me such lovely blogiversary wishes - I really enjoyed hearing from each one, so many thanks again... If you haven't already entered for the June giveaway, please do by clicking here ....
    As I sit here in front of the fire (YES, THE FIRE IS LIT....its the end of June & its so cold we have a lovely fire crackling in the hearth....) But anyway, I was thinking how momentous this June has been for our country with the Queen's Jubilee. But for me, it was also a momentous month for family & friendships.... 
    Here are some of the highlights:
    The FAT QUARTERLY RETREAT in London was wonderful - a fantastic weekend to meet & laugh with bloggy friends ...& maybe get a wee bit of stitching done too!
    I managed (just at the very last minute) get this backpack finished with some wonderful Summersville fabrics
    The Olympic Torch arrived in town & my two lovely boys (& the rowing coach) were there to help receive it!!
    My wonderful daughter finished her school years....
    It seems that only a wee while ago she had her first day in a tiny school house in Scotland
    How the years have flown by!!
    Fathers Day included some more stitching
    McGinty became a model (at the request of a local photographer I might add!!)
    And in between all this & the exam (GCSE & A level) trials & tribulations & trying to avoid the rain, I made this sunshine tote for someone in our do. Good Stitches Circle
    So a few stitchy things done & some still to do... Here's (some of) my plans for July
    You might notice a lot of hand sewing over the next couple of weeks!! I'm wondering what you all will be up to.... Well, no matter what your plans are for July I wish you all a great month, filled with lots of stitchy creativity & birdsong!
    Take care