Thursday, 31 May 2012

Decor Inspiration: Simple Floral Displays...

I adore fresh flowers and love nothing better than buying or receiving a lovely fresh bunch! However while browsing Pinterest I've been admiring lots of gorgeous floral displays where just one or two flowers are placed within a pretty holder! My daughter attended a fabulous wedding last weekend where they used  Gerberas in many different colours in little vases for each table (see picture below she snapped ) ... Such a cute idea!!


Here are some more inspirational pics via Pinterest I have come across ...









I think the simpler the display the more effective and better it is ... perfect for adding that little extra something to a summer dinner party/event or alfresco dining table setting!

Hope you all have a lovely day :)
Anne xx



Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Scents Of Summer ...



Today on my blog I am delighted to introduce an Irish business called Max Benjamin. It's a home fragrance company owned by brothers Mark and David Van den Bergh.They named the brand after their twin nephews Max and Ben! All the products are hand produced in County Wicklow Ireland using 100% natural waxes and Italian cotton wicks.The finest essential oils are then added to produce their unique blend of fragrances.



The company sent me some gorgeous candles to sample and I only wish you could smell them on the screen as they are absolutely divine. I have a lemongrass and ginger one lighting behind me as I type, and there is an amazing fragrance wafting around me .I am also loving the French Linen Water diffuser set. It's fragrance is reminiscent of an evening on a veranda in Provence! A fabulous addition to my newly painted bedroom :)

For lots more information and pricing you can visit the website here. What I love about the brand is that they have all the packaging and fragrance of top quality products but they're kept at a very accessible price point. They would actually make a gorgeous gift for birthdays, teachers or a delightful present to bring to a summer dinner party for the hostess!


And now for the exciting part, I have this gorgeous DODICI candle up for grabs on my first ever giveaway on the blog. It has a stylish perfume infused with oils of Rosemary, Sicilean Lemon and Marjoram ...  To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is be an existing follower of my blog ,or join me by clicking the GFC on the sidebar and leave a comment in the box below letting me know you would like to enter. The competition is open worldwide so good luck to everyone.

*****
Good luck and in the meantime I hope you all enjoy checking out Max Benjamin

Have a lovely day:)
Anne xx.

The winner of this giveaway is  MM .

Monday, 28 May 2012

Sunny Weekend Style....


Happy Monday!
I hope you all had a fabulous weekend:) It certainly was the hottest one we've had  here in a long while. I took full advantage of it by chilling in the garden, eating delicious food from the bbq and admiring  my new plants!
 I actually feel very refreshed  today... sort of like I've been on a mini holiday or maybe it's just the feel good factor we get from long lazy sunny days.









I did venture out for a quick drink with Philip and wore this floral top I found in the depths of my wardrobe! I definitely need to purchase a few more summer tops and dresses
 as I am seriously lacking in that department!
Here's hoping this weather continues for another while!!

Wishing you all a lovely week:)
Anne xx

Friday, 25 May 2012

Weekend Time...


Happy Friday!!

What a fabulous morning we are having here:) As you can see from above I have donned a dress so it must be warm!! It's a navy and white stripe sundress another 13 euro bargain from Penneys /Primark! Great for lounging around the garden :) 


 As Laura is off today we decided to have an early brunch, so I literally threw this tomato tart together to eat on the patio outside. It turned out great and if anyone would like to try it this is what I used 

Ingredients...

1 packet shortcrust pastry thawed
3 large tomatoes sliced or 10 cherry tomatoes halved
3 tbsp pesto
chopped spring onions
grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese
basil to garnish


Directions...
Grease a baking tray and line with the pastry making an edge at the sides. Bake for 10mins in a 180c oven until golden. Remove and spread the base with the pesto and place the sliced tomatoes on top. Sprinkle liberally with chopped spring onions and the grated cheese. Return to the oven for twenty minutes until the tomatoes are softened and the cheese is bubbling . Garnish with fresh Basil. 




I'm not sure I will be doing much housework today ,but might as well enjoy the sun now that it is here!!

Also on a different note Laura is featured on Klury today, if anyone would like to take a peek into her closet! I am only hoping she will organise mine in the same manner fairly soon!:)

Hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend:)
Anne xx

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Decor Inspiration: Outdoor Lanterns...

Hi everyone!
Hope you are all enjoying your Thursday! I 've had a lovely relaxing morning sitting in the sun , drinking coffee and browsing interior magazines! Well we do have to make the most of it when it appears here!! As I was reading I came across some lovely images of outdoor lanterns and I love how much ambience they can add to a summer setting. Here are some gorgeous inspiration photos I found on Pinterest...




I have a couple of lanterns already but I must add some more styles to my collection... Here are a few of my current favourites..


Bamboo style @ French Connection Home



 Porthole Lantern @ M&S


Marrakesh Lanterns @ Littlewoods

Now I'm off out to catch a few more rays and as I haven't done any baking this week I may fit in a recipe tomorrow for the weekend .

Hope you all enjoy your evening:)
Anne xx

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A Few Random Bits...

Hi All! 
I haven't done a post like this for awhile, so here are a few little random bits around the home that I am loving this week


Pretty bedding for Sarah's room.... I went shopping for myself and ended up with something for her instead!!


I did buy this for myself ...a striped cushion cover for the dining room...


New serviettes for summer dining (alfresco hopefully!!)


I was also delighted to come across this glass dome cake stand for only 16 euro in Ikea!!


I've planted lots of herbs around the garden this year and I am looking forward to making some pesto with my lovely Basil.

Hope you are all enjoying the welcome sunshine this week:)
Anne xx

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Sunny School Run Inspiration ...

The sun has finally come out to play and I'd a great time last evening planning some outfits for the week ahead! One of my all time favourite basics is a pair of white cropped trousers or jeans. Throw on a simple top, add a few bright accessories and you are ready for that early morning school run or shopping trip/coffee stop as the case maybe! Below are a few pieces I have put together which can be mixed and matched in a variety of colours to suit your own personal taste. Mine happens to be orange/coral at the minute!!



Sandals     Cropped Jeans     Top     Bag       Sunnies     Bracelet     Necklace



Hope you all have a good day:)
 Anne xx

Monday, 21 May 2012

Weekend Style...


Hi All!
Hope everyone had a great weekend :) On Saturday we enjoyed a lovely afternoon at the communion party, but as it was absolutely freezing  I went through several outfit changes before finally deciding to wear a jacket and trousers! I will have to hold off wearing a dress for another while! I did manage to use my new orange clutch as I think it added a nice pop of colour to the overall look.





Jacket/Zara  Trousers/Next (old)  Top/Coast (old)  Shoes/Guess   Bracelets/Warehouse  Clutch/M&S

Hope you all have a good week:) I hear there might be some sun coming our way over the next few days! At last we will get a chance to wear some summery outfits:)
Anne xx

Friday, 18 May 2012

Weekend Time...

Hope you all had a good week! It has been a bit of a mixed bag here with Shane doing college exams and Sarah knocked out with a gastro bug again!! Seriously if anything is doing the rounds at school she always seems to pick it up. Speaking of which the weather better warm up for my friends communion party tomorrow, or we will be wrapping blankets around us and huddling by a fire:) 





Now I am off to check some recipes as I am on dessert duty and hope to present something lovely like this pavlova ! 
Fingers crossed it works:)

Wishing you all a lovely weekend:)
Anne xx

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Raspberry Scone Slices ...


I am sure everyone has a favourite scone recipe and I've yet to meet someone who would turn down an offer of tea and hot scones. Normally I would just bung in some sultanas to mine  but I wanted to use a pack of raspberries I bought, so I've added them for a little sweet treat. I adapted the recipe from a simple one I found here ...

Ingredients...

225g self raising flour
45g butter cubed
25g caster sugar
100 ml milk
1egg
pack of raspberries

Directions..

Heat the oven to 220c. Sieve the flour and caster sugar in a bowl. Add the butter cubes and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs.Whisk the milk and egg. Add to the bowl and combine until the dough is formed. Add the berries and gently knead into the dough. I added a few extra to the top of mine because they do tend to squish a bit in the middle when kneading!


Spread onto a well floured surface and form into a round shape. Brush with a beaten egg and score with a knife to make triangular shapes. Bake for 15-20 mins. Cool and serve with butter or fresh cream.



If anyone would like to use another fruit I think blackberries or blueberries would suit the recipe also!

Have a lovely day:)
Anne xx

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Decor Inspiration: Outdoor Potting Table...

I wouldn't call myself a big gardener by any means and certainly don't take after my parents who would've spent long happy hours outdoors whenever they got the chance :) I'm more of a tub gardener I suppose and actually love the whole idea of having a little potting area all to myself for herbs,small plants etc ... Here are some lovely inspiration pics I found on pinterest...


Love the rustic vibe with the apples in the tub and the wooden crates...


A handy spot to store some wood also!


images via

I love the above photo with the little herb pots hanging from the branch!

Hope you all have a good day:)
Anne xx

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Some Shoe Love...

I always find it hard to find the perfect everyday shoe when swapping over from winter boots. I would love to wear ballet flats but I feel more comfortable with a heel. One style I've always loved is the espadrille wedges. I was admiring  Kurt Geiger ones in Brown Thomas on Sunday whilst shopping. I also bought a couple of similar styles from LK Bennett over the years which I wore constantly and were really comfortable. I must take a visit to our local outlet in the Kildare village to see if they have any in stock at the moment. In the meantime here are some gorgeous shoes I would love to own ...



1/2  LK Bennett    3/4  Kurt Geiger   5/Topshop

If you like a heel I think these are a great style to buy, as they can be worn with jeans or trousers for casual wear or with skirts and dresses for a more formal work look.

Have a lovely Tuesday:)
Anne xx

Monday, 14 May 2012

Sunday In Dublin ...

Happy Monday!


Hope you all had a nice weekend! It was gorgeous here for a change and I spent a lovely Sunny Sunday in Dublin shopping with my daughter Laura :) 


Stephens Green Dublin


We had a lovely lunch at The Bailey off Grafton Street


And of course another stop for afternoon coffee in Bewleys...


I spied gorgeous clothes in all the stores, but I was really on the hunt for an orange clutch to match an outfit I'm wearing next weekend. I found this one in M&S which was exactly what I was looking for !


As the sun came out to play, I was delighted to shed my mac and leave the brolly at home! I wore my white Summer coat as I call it ...  I bought it a few years back and it is the most versatile piece I have in my wardrobe as it can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion! Here I teamed it with a tunic and jeans for a smart casual look.



Coat/Malene Birger   Tunic/Penneys   Jeans/A|Wear   shoes/Guess   Bag/River Island
Sunnies/Chanel

Hope you all have a good week :)
Anne xx

Friday, 11 May 2012

Hello Friday...


Weekend time again! I know I say it every week but this one really did pass by in a flash! More than likely  because I was so busy painting our bedroom. I'm really looking forward to taking a break from it for the weekend. All the nitty gritty bits will have to wait till next week :)


 I am going to a communion next weekend so I need to prepare an outfit for that. I have these blue Carvela shoes that I would love to wear and pending weather (freezing here of late)I will decide whether a dress or trousers would be more appropriate. I am hoping for sunshine to wear a dress though (sick of jeans and trousers!) I spotted a pair of cobalt blue shoes teamed with  an orange Tibi dress on Pinterest last night and it gave me some fabulous styling ideas!


I bought this lovely dress in a local boutique sometime ago ...  it is perfect for a day event and very comfortable to wear.



I am thinking I could liven it up with a bright orange clutch and maybe add a belt and some bright jewellery Pinterest is such a great source for gleaning some fabulous inspiration! I'm not sure I would have thought of orange had I not seen the photo!

Clutch Zara..

If the weather is horrendous I suppose I may have to resort to plan B given that we are sitting outdoors and having a bbq! I 'm thinking along the lines of a multi print tunic with trousers.
Either way it will be nice to have something to look forward do ... I do love an event and a chance to dress up a bit!

Lastly wishing all my lovely followers who are celebrating Mothers day this Sunday a fantastic weekend :)

 Hope you are all spoiled rotten!!
See you next week:)
Anne xx

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Recipe: Lasagne Muffins ...


I have been dying to try these since I came across the recipe here! This week was perfect as I have a painting project in progress and lots hungry mouths still to feed. I needed a quick yet filling recipe and these seemed ideal...

Ingredients.

24 wonton wrappers or 12 sheets lasagne pasta
1lb steak mince
jar of favourite pasta sauce
8 oz mozzarella grated
3 0z parmesan grated
4 0z ricotta

Directions...

Fry the steak mince for 15 mins until well browned and cooked through. Add your chosen pasta sauce, combine well and set aside. Spray the muffin tin with oil and layer with wonton wrappers or lasagne sheets. I used  lasagne sheets which I simmered in boiled water to soften , I think it would be easier to work with wonton wrappers if you can get them!


 Add a blob of ricotta, meat and sauce mixture and sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan on top. layer another sheet of pasta or wonton wrapper and repeat layering process to suit your own personal taste. Bake in a 180c oven for 20 mins until bubbling and golden.



I can personally vouch that they taste divine (I devoured one the minute they emerged from the oven!! )
but I will try making them with the wonton wrappers in future! If anyone brings a lunch to work I think they would be delicious served cold with a salad also!

Hope you all enjoy the recipe:)
Anne xx