Monday, 30 April 2012

Weekend Recap...A Little Sunshine and Florals

Hi everyone!
Hope you all had a fun filled weekend! I had a fantastic time down in Cork. A little short for my liking but it was nice to get away all the same! On Saturday we headed out the country to my brother's house for lunch. It was a lovely afternoon...

where we enjoyed good company, lots of laughter and some great food :)


 The sun did make a brief appearance, enough to shed the raincoat and wear some Spring florals with a light cotton cardigan... 

Top/H&M  Cardigan/Topshop  Jeans/A/wear  Necklace/vintage

 Here is Sarah wearing her florals looking all Springlike in Mum's garden!

I can't believe tomorrow is the first of May... Where does time go!!

Hope you all have a good week :)
Anne xx

Friday, 27 April 2012

Weekend Time...

Happy Friday!

 I must say I am glad to see the back of this week with the torrential rain, high winds, hailstones etc. I don't think it's set to improve greatly for the weekend but at least it's Friday. I am heading down south to Cork for a stay over with Mum. Tomorrow we have a belated birthday luncheon for my SIL. Usually she hosts the best bbqs around, but I'm  not sure with this awful weather if we can dine outside or not!

Trench/Topshop    Stripe top/Jigsaw    Bag/H&M   Shoes/Topshop   Jeans/Abercrombie 
Umbrella/Lulu Guinness

 As it is still raining at the moment, the above attire is similar to what I shall be wearing today! I would have been lost all week without a mac and umbrella (although I have broken two already !) A change of top and shoes with some bright accessories will be fine for the lunch tomorrow, so I am travelling light this weekend:)

Hope you all have a good one!
Anne xx

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Recipe: Rustic Apple Shortcake Squares...

I never tire of baking with apples and love to come across different recipes in which I can use them! This is one I have adapted from my mum's original apple traybake and  it actually turned out great! The addition of a layer of pastry gives it a nice crunchy bite when combined with the apple mix...


225g self raising flour
 125g  butter
125g  castor sugar
3 large eggs
3 large cooking apples : peeled diced and stewed
1 sheet of puff pastry
icing sugar to dust


Lightly grease a baking tray ( preferably one with a 1in deep lip) and spread your puff pastry in a single layer on the bottom of the tray .Stew the diced apples in a pot until soft, and spread evenly over the puff pastry. Mix the flour, sugar, butter and eggs in a bowl until well combined and pour the mixture over the apple and smooth with a palette knife or the back of a spoon.

Bake in a hot oven 180c for 45 mins until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool before dusting liberally with icing sugar! Cut into rough squares and serve .

Could also be used as a dessert served hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Happy Thursday!
Anne xx

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Style Inspiration: Floaty Maxi Dresses...

While writing this piece the rain is bucketing down outside so I need to console myself by looking at some lovely summery maxi dresses!  Nothing beats a long floaty style paired with sandals ,sunnies, lots of jewellery and a summer tote.

Dress/Mango  Bag/Michael Kors  Sandals/H&M  Ring/Republic   Bracelet/Stella and Dot   Sunnies/Mango

Here are some more styles I could happily float around in ...

Sunny yellow from French Connection

Orange ditzy maxi from Wallis

 A gorgeous floral dress from Miss Selfridge who have a fantastic selection at the moment!

The maxi is a must have piece for the Spring/Summer season, flattering to any figure whilst looking elegant and stylish! Now all we need is some nice sunny weather. Looking out my window right now it seems a long shot but at least we are heading towards May !:)

Hope you all have a great day!
Anne xx

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Decor Inspiration: Arched Hallways...

As it is usually the first part of the home visitors see, the entry/hallway  is a very important space! When we first bought our home I thought mine was quite big but having looked at so many gorgeous homes online it now seems small in comparison! If I were rebuilding  my favourite design would be a long arched hallway as seen in photos below...

images via

I love everything about the above photo ... the wood floor, large mirror, floor rugs and art on the wall! Perfect!
I may keep on dreaming unless I win the lotto in the meantime!

Have a lovely day:)
Anne xx

Monday, 23 April 2012

Style Inspiration: Black and Yellow...

Happy Monday!

Hope you all had a good weekend! I didn't do much myself to be honest, but sometimes you need a break like that just to relax and enjoy whatever comes along! With the weather being so changeable at the moment it is very hard to know what to wear! I have to say I am delighted I bought my black leather jacket from Zara! It has come in very handy to make up an outfit at the last minute when I'm stuck for ideas! Black and yellow was my favourite combination this weekend and here are some  fabulous outfits I took a little inspiration from...

I hope you all have a great week !
Anne xx

Friday, 20 April 2012

Happy Weekend...

Hi Everyone!

 Friday time again already! I wish this weather would sort itself out! Hail, rain and howling winds have been the order of the day this week! My boots are out again, but I am refusing to wear the heavy winter woolies, so lots of light layering has been the solution.

For a little lift I have been wearing  my new Lily perfume from Stella McCartney ,which has a nice summery floral fragrance! I always find perfume can be an instant mood booster and feel I'm missing something if I don't wear it!

On a different note the weather hasn't harmed my herbs, and they seem to be thriving in the pot! I spotted this  lovely scissors online for chopping them.

While I was browsing , I also spotted these gorgeous gingham napkins on a roll. A great idea for all the bbqs and garden parties ahead!  Well one can dream anyhow!  For these and more fabulous other bits take a look here

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and some nice weather to go with it! :)
Anne xx

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Recipe: Pistachio Coffee Cake...

I have always loved coffee cake so I was delighted to come across this lovely recipe in You magazine for The Daily Mail last Saturday. My mum is still here so we decided to road test it for a change from her usual coffee cake recipe. I have to say the addition of the pistachio nuts adds a fabulous texture to the mix...


225g butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
3 tbsps strong cold coffee
75g pistachio nuts finely chopped
250g self-raising flour,sifted
25g icing sugar,for dusting

300ml double cream
2tbsp icing sugar
110g pistachios,roughly chopped


Preheat the oven to 180c .Grease two 8in sandwich tins. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Add the cold coffee and the chopped nuts then carefully fold in the flour. Pour the mixture into the prepared tins and transfer to a warm oven. Bake for 20 mins until risen and golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.

For the filling, pour the cream into a bowl and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Add the icing sugar and nuts and fold gently with a spatula until the mixture forms soft peaks.

To finish spread the filling on one half of the cake and sandwich together with the other half. Top with a dusting of icing sugar and serve.

A gorgeous mid afternoon treat ,and one which I will definitely be making again soon!

Have a lovely day:)
Anne xx

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Decor Inspiration: A Natural Touch...

My mum and I were chatting about room decor the other evening, and out of the blue she commented that I have no tall plants in the house at the moment! I did have I replied, but they've all since died on me. I am not great with the large variety of plants, but I do like succulents and some smaller leafy ferns! It did make me look at some inspiration photos in a new light, and I was surprised how attractive large greenery can be if used in the right way:)

images via

The first photo would be the one I could relate to more... I imagine the lads in the house would think I'm losing the plot if I appeared with one as large as the plant seen above! It might obstruct their important viewing of the TV!!  However I do think  the contrast of greenery against a plain backdrop looks great!

Anyone else like big leafy showy types, or are you more of a small potted plant person like me?

Have a lovely day:)
Anne xx

Monday, 16 April 2012

Style Inspiration: Seeing Stripes...

Happy Monday everyone!

Hope you all had a good weekend!  I had a very relaxing one I must say! I finally got around to planting some flowers and herbs in the garden!  Looking forward to using them in future recipes for Summer:)  For a simple Sunday outfit, I wore my white Zara blazer over a striped Zara top , my trusty skinny jeans and a pair of wedge sandals! A casual yet chic outfit for a weekend look...

And I wasn't the only one wearing stripes here, as my two girlies were wearing some also! 

Here is Laura my eldest daughter, wearing her H&M top with a pink Zara blazer. We like a lot of Zara in this house!  If you would like to see more of her photos she blogs over at Style Notes.  

And here is Sarah wearing her stripes with skinny jeans and leather look jacket!

 My husband wanted to know if there was a reason why we were all dressing French style yesterday!! I would have liked to have told him we were heading to Paris for the afternoon instead of a local country drive!!  It just goes to show that some of the best looks are ageless and never go out of fashion :) Personally I think French women are amongst the most stylish in the world!

Hope you all have a lovely week!
Anne xx

Friday, 13 April 2012

A few random Bits...

Happy Friday everyone!

Another short week over, and I am glad to say I have nothing major planned for this weekend. I started off as I mean to go on by making a delicious smoothie for breakfast this morning! After last weekend's major chocfest it tasted very refreshing!  Here are another few random bits I am loving this week  ...

For anyone with young daughters especially around the pre-teen stage, you will know how hard it is to dress them in age appropriate clothes! What you like doesn't necessarily mean they will, and so the conflict ensues! I am loving the DVF range for Gap! I think there is a fabulous selection here to suit all ages and tastes 

Check out some more fabulous styles here

A big thank you to Vanessa at Cakes and Teacups for awarding me the Versatile blogger!  It is always an honour to know that someone likes your blog and what you write , so I am delighted to receive this again!

I am also hoping to do a little planting up in the garden! It is in sad need of a little colour!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
Anne xx

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Decor Inspiration: Adding Colour...

Hi All!

With Easter gone by Spring fever is well and truly upon us, and hopefully we'll soon be enjoying the long sunny days ahead (fingers crossed!!). This gets everyone in the mood for a little shake up on the decor front, and having a room with a bright and cheery atmosphere is the only way to go!  Who wants to look at dull and boring , when a few small changes can drastically improve any space!


 A neutral colour scheme in a living room (as seen above) is a great bonus when it comes to adding new accessories, as you can change the colours to adapt to your personal taste with each new season!


From the above photo you can see the difference a burst of bright colour makes to a room! Whilst a world map painted on the wall may not be to everyone's taste,  it is a fine example of how a strong statement feature can totally change the mood of your space...

Below are a few accessories which will help achieve this idea, and as I'm loving all things bright and zesty at the minute, I have gone with a sunny yellow mood board !

Plant holder/Habitat     Cushion/Dwell      Throw/ Calypsostbarth.  Candle/Diptyque   Plant/Amazon

I have my eye on a few cushions very similar to the one above for my sunroom , but I'm waiting for some painting to be
done before adding the final touches!

Hope you all have a good day!
Anne xx

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

On My Wishlist ...

One of my favourite trends right now is the maxi skirt and the high street
 has lots to choose from at the moment.
 I'm loving all things coral and cream and really want one of these Zara  numbers I have spotted online ...

Lovely chiffon pleats in a fabulous coral hue...

Love this loose flowing floor length version also....

Add a denim jacket, a simple t/shirt with a scarf and sunnies and you have the perfect casual Springtime day look.The outfit below is based around a gorgeous maxi from Miss Selfridge and combines the two of my favourite colours...

          T/shirt/Mango   Skirt/Miss Selfridge   Jacket/ Notify at Net-a-porter     Bag/Zara    Sunnies/DKNY

I have a dark denim jacket ,but I think the lighter blue version or even a shirt is nicer for styling spring/summer skirts and dresses! Now for the decision as to which style and colour skirt to buy!!

Hope you all have a good day!
Anne xx

Monday, 9 April 2012

Easter Sunday :Chocolates and Cashmere...

I hope you all had a lovely day yesterday and are not feeling too sick today after lots of chocolate! Sarah was up bright and early here on an Easter egg hunt and Mum and I were busy prepping for the lunch..

I got this gorgeous white chocolate Leonidas egg from Hubby which I haven't opened yet (it will be today I think!!) as I was too full from a huge lunch , and ate tons of mini eggs while cooking !!

It was great having mum here and she helped me cook a delish family meal , complete with turkey, ham and all the trimmings!

I was also thrilled  the day turned out warm and sunny, as I got to wear my Duffy cashmere cardigan which I won in a competition over at The online stylist. A huge thank you  to Julia and the team at Stanwells for such an amazing prize. They had the cardigan delivered to me super quick and it really is a gorgeous piece to wear!

I think it has taken over from my Malene Birger white coat as the most favourite item in my wardrobe right now! I am sure it will be getting lots of wear in the foreseeable future:)

Have a lovely day!
Anne xx