Monday, 23 April 2012

good morning blueberry pancakes

Nothing says "Good Morning" like a batch of blueberry pancakes :)
I like to rustle up a plate of these on those mornings when only something sweet will do.  Pancakes used to be a once a year deal in my household growing up when my Mom would cook them on Shrove Tuesday, but I've been waving the flag for American-style pancake breakfasts ever since we visited Austin, Texas 5 years ago.

Because of the high sugar content in pancakes these really are a once a month treat as usually I prefer to kick start my day with whole-foods. However, i can feel ok about the blueberries in these pancakes and the more you stuff them with blueberries the better the nutritional value of this delcious breakfast treat.
I could sing about the health benefits of blueberries all day long, they are classed as one of the number one superfoods alongside spinach and salmon. You gotta love 'em!
Here is my current recipe I am using for blueberry pancakes, however I am always tweaking it. Also, you're of course not limited to just adding blueberries,  the beauty of pancakes is you can add any filling you like. As you can see from my photo I was feeling a little fancy that morning and added raspberries too. I also find adding shredded coconut and mashed banana to the pancake batter ridiculously yummy.


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (or any chosen filling) 

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. In a small bowl, beat together egg and milk. Stir milk and egg into flour mixture. Mix in the butter and fold in the blueberries. Set aside for 1 hour.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

blowing out the candles

I was so happy to be able to celebrate my Mom's birthday with her yesterday before I hitch on out of here on Wednesday. This gal's gonna miss her Momma that's for sure!
Yesterday morning was for surprise birthday breakfast trays, handmade cards, homemade jam and scones and the three of us huddling and cuddling on my parents bed giving hugs and kisses which were half birthday, half  'Sweet Lord I'm gonna miss you'. I can't even let myself think about it yet.
That afternoon we threw on some glad rags and went out for a fancy family lunch, picking up a few recruits along the way...a cousin here, an uncle there. It was nice to get everyone together in one place, to eat, to laugh and talk, I'll be leaving with such lovely memories and a heart so full and thankful for my amazing family.

This was the birthday breakfast tray I made for my mom. I made her Raspberry & Vanilla Jam with Cranberry & Coconut scones.

I found the jam recipe here and the printable jam jar labels here.

The birthday card tutorial is here.

The happiest of Mondays to you all! x

Thursday, 19 April 2012

avocado toast

Ok this has become a firm staple in my breakfast repertoire recently. I give you: avocado toast.
This is everything you want from a  good morning breakfast: quick, easy delicious and nutritious. The mix of  ripe, nutty, buttery avocado on top of wholegrain toast is to die for. This is so good I even snack on it sometimes.
And this is why it's good for you: yes, avocados are high in fat BUT the fat is un-saturated (you know the good kind, like in nuts) so it won't clog your arteries and actually helps reduce cholestorol. Avocados are also packed with lutein which keep our skin, eyes and heart healthy. I have an aversion to white bread, but brown I can't get enough of, specifically wholgrain which is packed with good wholegrain carbs which again, unlike refined carbs, will not promote weight gain and are stocked with fiber to keep your tummy happy and full till the lunch time snack attack :)

To make avocado toast you simply have to:
  1. Halve a ripe avocado and scoop out the flesh into a bowl
  2. Add a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt & pepper and mash together with a fork
  3. Toast one slice of wholegrain bread
  4. Spread the mashed avocado over the top and sprinkle with cracked black pepper
  5. Devour: Om Nom Nom Nom Nom!...:)

Monday, 16 April 2012

D.I.Y Peter Pan collar

 On a recent clear out of my Nana's home I acquired some lovely handmade lace doilies. I'm not really one for placing doilies around the house but they are beautiful and they were made by her so I got my crafty mojo working and came up with a way of putting these lacey little lovelies to good use.

Here's how I made a lace Peter Pan collar from a doilie in 4 easy steps:

1. Take a doilie and find a top or dress that could do with a little embellishing

2. Cut your doilie in half using a pair of scissors.

3. Place each half of the doilie around the neckline of your garment and cut the doilie to fit the curve.

4. Fold the doilie around the neckline and sew onto the garment using a needle and thread.

 Voila! You can breathe new life into countless old tops or blouses this way and it really couldn't be easier. So off you go and raid your Grandmother's drawers :)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Aren't we all just dots on the map?


                                                   Lazy Butterfly by Devendra Banhart on Grooveshark

The winds of change have arrived and whipped up a fair storm around here... billowing and blowing and whispering promises of good things to come, they've left me all dazed and excited and pulling the twigs from my hair.
  I'm about 90% ready to pack my bags and leave for Korea again. Just me and my plane ticket. After 4 whole months of steady family and home time it's going to seem a little strange to up and leave my freshly feathered nest. But I just know once I see that back-pack sitting at the end of the bed full and ready to go I'll get that old tingling delicious butterfly feeling of wanderlust in the pit of my stomach again.
And, of course, I just can't wait to end 4 painful months of missing this fellow:

Handsome. And that's Korea behind him and above. Pretty, no? Actually there's little about these pictures that don't make me want to hoist my bag up on my back like a travelling gypsie and walk on over to Korea this minute!
Oh, and I'm to teach little children :) I just know already I'll want to put them in my pocket and take them home with me at the end of each day. Korean kids are the darn cutest.
I have about 2 weeks to prepare my poor little heart for a lot of goodbyes that I just don't want to think about yet.
So for now I'm just going to listen to Devendra and plan out my teacher outfits and count down the days till I see my love.
Here's to good changes and happy travels.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Breakfast Club

Want to know a secret about me? I love breakfast.
 It's my absolute favourite meal of the day. Most nights before I go to sleep I'll visualise what's in our fridge and plan what breakfast concoctions I can create with them in the morning. Ask my boyfriend. No matter what time of the day we get up at, even if we've been out all night and get up in the afternoon, I have to get up and make us some good breakfast food. Because c'mon, breakfast food rocks! Hello? Eggs, avocados, bagels and burritos? Aren't you just a little bit hungry now? 
Breakfast is just not a meal I'm prepared to skip.
I'm also a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It's the perfect opportunity to load ourselves up on some vital nutrients and prepare our minds and bodies for a fabulous day ahead. So here I am to celebrate breakfast and share some of my favourite breakfast go-to's. I've been busy pinning great nutritional breakfast ideas that I want to try out too so I'll be sharing those as I try them.

So I'll kick off with one of my breakfast staples: a soft boiled egg. You seriously can't go wrong here, it's quick it's easy and delicious. Eggs in the morning are such a good idea for so many reasons: they are a complete source of protein so they are not only good for you but they'll keep you going till lunch time. Most of my breakfast plates include an egg of some description or another!

I like my soft boiled eggs really runny as I usually make some toasted soldiers to dip into them! To make the perfect soft boiled egg you need to:
  • Place your eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water by about 1 cm
  • Put the eggs on at a high heat untill the water comes to a rolling boil
  • Turn down the heat and simmer the water for 3 minutes
  • Remove and serve

How about you? What are your favourite delicious and nutritional breakfast dishes? Let's share!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

april showers

It must be quite dull around these parts because Spring seems to have decided to move out and do her thing elsewhere. She's turned her back on us completely the last week or so and Misters wind and rain have stepped in to pound away at our window panes instead. Well, the windows are locked you two, you're not welcome around here! I've decided to see their arrival as an open invitation for me to spend all day in my pyjamas, which I actually don't mind at all :)

Today my Pop surprised me with the hot cross buns I was hankering for on Easter Sunday. He's a gem. I toasted and buttered and wolfed these guys down with a big cup of tea and the puzzle page of the morning paper :)

I've also been keeping my fingers busy making these super simple pencil eraser stamps and dreaming up crafty ideas for a gift for my Mom's birthday in a few weeks. There's so many amazing tutorials online. I just wish I owned a sewing machine.
And knew how to use it!

Monday, 9 April 2012

-x- Bloglovin -x-

speckled and sugar coated

                                                  Armageddon Song by The Dutchess & the Duke on Grooveshark

 It sure doesn't matter how old I get. Easter eggs still make me happy as a clam :)
Yesterday was full of family breakfast dates, desert eating, watching Mary Poppins on tv and minding a hyperactive 6 year old cousin on chocolate egg overload!.
I missed out on the hot cross buns because the shop was out but I'll sneak a few in later on in the week, I'm sure Easter won't mind.
I'll be keeping a few little eggs aside for my loved one who isn't here (*makes side-eyes at the Atlantic ocean*) but I'm sure they'll keep untill we meet again. x

Last night my cousin Christine and I went out on the town in Monaghan for a few drinks. After spending so much time hermitting indoors it always feels extra good to put on some lipstick and heels and let my hair down a little.
I perhaps let it down a little too far as I have just a bit of a cosmopolitan hangover today! I see a date with the couch, lots of peppermint tea and some Woody Allen movies in my future :)

Happy Bank Holiday weekend all!

Friday, 6 April 2012

book worm.

Ever since I was a pony-tailed kiddo I've always been a bookish kind of a character. My Mom still teases me about locking myself away in the bathroom for periods of time carting a book along under my arm.
Well, I sure don't do that any more!
 But my love of all things literary has followed me into adulthood and I still love nothing more than tumbling Alice-style into the unknown worlds hidden between the covers of a book.
Earlier this week I got a real treat and took my first step into a library in more than two years (living in Korea put a stop to such excursions) and I felt such a lovely familiarity in the place. All libraries are alike with their old-book smells, hushed ambience and the sound of slowly turning pages. I'd love to have been a bookstore clerk or librarian, I definately would be the kind that rocked horn-rimmed glasses :)
I wanted to spend hours in there gliding through the rows and rows of bookshelves, taking my time and reading a few back covers, but with my Mom waiting in the car I had to quickly decide on three and rent them out with my grandmother's library card.
Since then I've spent cosy hours creating warm recesses on the bed covers and getting aquainted with heady new characters, colorful languages and images ripe with thick and thin beauty.
My long days of solitude are almost to an end.
 I can't think of a better way of passing them.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Outside In

Like I a wily highwayman I hustled the streets on Friday afternoon, thieving woodland trinkets from the trees to pretty up my room. The apple blossom wasn't so happy about giving up his confettied limbs to me, it was a fair fight just to get away with two for my collection. After my getaway home I stashed my loot in some water and found a space for them in my window. I also found a great way to display my Donegal beach shells, in the bottom of the water jug. I love the mix of wood and beach and bringing a little bit of outside in to my bedroom :)

Time for tea?

 I found this great gift idea on Elsie's blog a couple of weeks ago. A D.I.Y teabag tutorial :)
Suffice to say that a certain birthday girl and a certain boyfriend overseas have recently been furnished with hand-sewed and hand-stamped teabags!
So if you have a needle and thread and a side order of free time it's the perfect idea for gifting when your a jobless gal in a pinch like me.
Enjoy your cuppas :)