Tuesday, 30 June 2009
A sad event happened on Sunday, my husband James' grandad passed away.
He had been in hospital for a month. James and I were both with him as he passed, so he wasn't alone.
His grandad suffered from dementia which makes things so much worse when someone like this has to be taken into hospital. It has been a difficult month for James and I as we are the only next of kin close by as James doesn't have a very big family & so all the responsibility fell to us, which of course we didn't mind in the least it just makes it a little harder.
I just wanted to post about this as I won't be blogging much over the next few days, James' dad is arriving from Australia (where he lives) tonight to stay with us & of course we have all the neccessary arrangements to be making.
He had a good old life, he was 89. He helped so many people throughout his life, he was a local councillor, a mayor, chairman of the county council, was made an Alderman & received a BEM from the Queen, so he certainly had a good life whilst he was here.
He will be missed ...
Friday, 26 June 2009
This wonderful recipe has just landed in my inbox from Prevention & it just looks divine, one I will certainly have to try!
1 ready-made piecrust (9" diameter), baked and cooled
3 cups cold fat-free milk
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar or Splenda
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Non-dairy light whipped topping
1. Heat 1 1/2 cups of the milk in a heavy sauce- pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar or Splenda, cornstarch, and salt. While whisking, gradually add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cold milk and the eggs. Mix until smooth. When the milk in the saucepan is warm, add to the cocoa mixture. Whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat.
2. Add the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate melts. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Pour into the piecrust. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or until set.
3. Serve garnished with a dollop of topping.
Fat-free milk cuts fat where you won't miss it, and unsweetened cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants.
Thursday, 25 June 2009
This is from the wonderful interior stylist Atlanta Bartlett ~ I just love her style!
Whilst browsing pretty pictures again whilst waiting for the paint on those chairs to dry ~ 'er herm' no I'm not procrastinating at all *giggle* ... I came across this pretty picture ...
I just love this idea of hanging old utensils (which do remind me of my Nana in her kitchen *smile*) in a plain box frame. Isn't it just so wonderful? Taking something old & used and making it into something completely new ~ pretty art for the home! Lovely!
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
This afternoon when I got completely fed up of painting our dining room chairs ~ yes re-vamping is going on in the Vintage Amethyst home yet again ~ sanding, under-coating 3 times & finishing in 2 coats of eggshell on 6 ornate wooden chairs is very very time consuming ... I decided to take a quick break & treat myself to some pretty pictures & ideas on the always wonderful Country Living website.
I came across this pretty but simple summer table idea. If you look closely those little flower pots are in fact tin cans just painted in a pretty pastel colours, such a pretty way to use an everyday item, so of course that is now on my 'to do' list too. I will certainly be rummaging through our recycling box later on after I've done more tedious painting that it .... it will a look lovely in the end I know but that doesn't stop me complaining in the meantime does it?
Monday, 22 June 2009
Here are some of the pretty cottages I took photos of whilst we were in Cornwall, well how could I resist they are just so lovely!
The above photo was taken in a lovely village called St Tudy which was just near where we stayed. We actually stayed in Hengar Manor Country Park which was just lovely & has 35 aches of grounds with the Manor House in the centre.
This is one of the pretty homes in St Mawes.
St Mawes is just one of my favourite places in the world, if you have never been please do visit, it is incredibly pretty & every house seems to be adorable and most of them look out on to the harbour & the sea, it is all very tranquil & idyllic. I have very fond memories of St Mawes from being a child & it certainly didn't disappoint this time visiting either as it was a wonderfully hot & sunny day with the most heavenly blue skies.
More pretty houses, although they look much prettier in their setting than these photos show.
Here is that wonderful pink cottage again which was actually called 'Pink Cottage' too! When we first approached an elderly gentleman was sitting in his front garden looking out towards the sea looking quite dapper in his summer suit & panama hat!
This is the wonderful 'Ivy Cottage' as my mum calls it. She wants to move in & whilst we were there a little old lady wandered in ~ lucky thing I thought living in such a beautiful home. The front door was open too, as it must be most days when it is warm ~ just perfect.
Here is a sneaky closeup of the front door & window, isn't it just the most perfect house.
This pretty old cottage below was found in the grounds of Lanhydrock Victorian Country house which we visited. Such a beautiful house & gardens & imagine having this in your garden!
This pretty cupcake pink cottage was found in Boscastle, remember the small fishing village which suffered those terrible floods 5 years ago! A trip to the visitor centre recalls all those horrid images of peoples lives being ruined, but today the village is restored & as pretty as ever.
Hope you love these types of pretty cottages as I do, I must admit I do feel slightly guilty taking photos of peoples homes but I do soon sweep that away with a quick flick of my hand as folly as I think if I lived in a sweet pretty candy coloured cottage I wouldn't mind people taking a quick snap ~ although I must add if there is anyone who lives in these homes, firstly you lucky lucky people you but if you do with the photo to be removed please please don't hesitate to contact me & I will do so, pinky promise.
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Well here we are home again after our week away in Cornwall.
Please note this wonderful pink cottage isn't our home ~ oh if only! It was one of the beautiful cottages in St. Mawes but I think I will have to do a post on just those pretty cottages alone at a later date.
We had a lovely week. Had mixed weather, some lovely hot & sunny days & then some horrid rainy ones too ~ hey ho that's the British summer for you isn't it?
We tried to fit as much in as possible and visited lots of the wonderful places to visit in Cornwall & of course ate & drank far too much and now we are in desperate need to diet but that can probably wait until Monday!!!
Needing time this weekend to relax & recover from such a hectic holiday ~ does anyone else ever feel they actually need a lovely relaxing holiday to recover from a holiday? Although last night I did have a wonderful long soak in the bath, popped on a pair of cute & comfy pj's & we had nibbles whilst sipping Pimms Royale (Champagne & Pimms) & watched a Miss Marple ~ just perfect!
Of course today I'm on with the huge amount of washing that needs to be done & the weather isn't being kind to me, I've already hung a load out on the line, in bright sunshine I may add, only to have to dash & collect it all in again 2 minutes later as it was absolutely pouring down I got soaked & then of course once I came back inside with a basket full of wet laundry, bright sunshine again! Oh I could spit! (Oh I do love that old fashioned phrase ~ note to self: use it more often!) Oh just looked outside again & it is raining again and the washing machine has just finished another load, nice!
Anyhoo, it's back to business with the shop & it certainly doesn't stop as 30 minutes after I opened again 2 orders came so it's back to work for me for sure.
It certainly is lovely to be home again though although thoughts are creeping in about when we shall be off on our travels once again ...
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
We are packing our bags, grabbing our sunglasses, popping on our on our flip flops (well I am anyhoo even if the weather is being naughty at the moment) typing St Tudy into our sat nav as tomorrow morning we are heading on our long journey south to Cornwall! *Yay*
It is going to come as a most welcome break as up until the other day we didn't know if we were going to be able to make it or not due to a family situation but we have been told that it is fine and so with many a 'nod-to-nautical' outfit packed ~ yes I do love to theme my clothing to places we are visiting & Cornwall is such a wonderful nautical place isn't it, call it one of my quirky obsessions to be kind! ~ I do have a whole overnight bag allocated for shoes & accessories alone though, well a girly has to look good with only a holiday capsule wardrobe with her doesn't she?
Anyway we are away from tomorrow until Friday 19th & so I have suspended all orders on the website as so many people shop on a weekly basis & I won't be able to update the stock levels whilst away so thought this was the easiest thing to do instead of returning to stock level & order mayhem which of course wouldn't be nice ~ so apologies for any inconvenience but the Vintage Amethyst Boutique will be open again on 20th June.
So wave us Bon Voyage & we will see you on our return ...
Monday, 8 June 2009
This weekend the continental market was back in town.
We love visiting these different markets we always have in town, they are always so full of colour & life.
It is so wonderful to see the different sights, sounds & smells at these markets ~ although I'm vegetarian so sometimes these meat stalls although I do love the look of all the produce the smell can be a little bit overwhelming for me!
There are always so many beautifully laid out stalls but it is quite hard to get a good photo of them as they are always so full of buyers. Luckily this time I did get a few good ones but there were lots of other stalls I would have loved to have quickly got a snap of. I just love those stalls selling all different types of olives with all the colours, textures & scents.
I just can't wait for the next speciality market to visit.
Friday, 5 June 2009
For a relaxed get-together with the girls, whip up a simple cake slathered in luscious pink frosting. Serve with pink lemonade or cocktails in fancy glasses.
This is a wonderfully pretty idea to spend a summer afternoon in the garden from Country Living, how scrummy does that cake look?
A pretty table cloth & napkins which could be a thrifty find & really don't need to be matching along with a pretty plate & a jug filled with garden flowers make this relaxed get-together in the summer sunshine so special without an awful lot of effort. Your friends will feel super special & only you will know how little time it took to put this pretty affair together ~ just perfect.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Hi everyone, well sorry not much has been going on here lately but this past week has been one of those horrid stressful weeks which we could all do with out, on a personal & professional level ~ The Royal Mail is currently my arch-enemy ~ when something is sent Special Delivery Next Day & is guaranteed by 1pm the next day shouldn't it really be there by then!?! Especially for a frantic bride to be! Oh & thanks for today's breakage too, nice work Royal Mail! Thankfully I have the bestest & most loveliest customers in the world who always send me sweet e-mails which with this past week I am so grateful for!
To top everything off I am feeling so icky lately too, so everything else seems so much harder. The thing which is keeping me going is that the weather has been glorious although we haven't seen much of it unfortunately with everything that has been going on but also that we are off to Cornwall for a week next week which will be just wonderful, so please please please weather Gods be kind & let us keep the sun for at least the rest of June if not all summer ~ pretty please?
Hope everyone else has been enjoying these sunshine filled days ~ white linen trousers & me are totally best friends again *yay* ~ flips flops & me hit a rough patch on Sunday when one of mine broke whilst I was out shopping but hurray for husbands & a nearby Primark!