Monthly Archives: November 2015

Handmade Felt Nature Play Mat

Our nature play mat with waterfall, hilltop, river, beach, sea, apple trees, meadow, veg patch and pond.

Our felt nature play mat with waterfall, hilltop, river, beach, sea, rock pools, apple trees, meadow, veg patch and pond.

A large play mat for the floor with a shimmering waterfall, an apple orchard, forest, flower meadow, river, duck pond, beach, sea, rock pools, vegetable patch, hideaway secret cave and a hilltop. That is what I imagined in my head to make for Coppertop’s 2nd birthday. One that could be the host for many different stories and imaginary play that could be easily folded up and stored when not in use. I made a little sketch in a notebook, checked what fabrics I had and got to work….oh, no wait, that’s right, I procrastinated and put it off until 3 days before her birthday….. so glad I’m not quite that bad anymore. No more nights staying up until 1am trying to sew beaches to seas and gluing tree trunks to cut corners until I could later sew them down! Continue reading →

Spicy Courgette, Pea And Leek Fritters

Light yet spicy fritters served with a cooling mint and yoghurt cashew dip

Light yet spicy fritters served with a cooling mint and yoghurt cashew dip

Necessity truly is the mother of invention. When you reach the end of the week and your fridge only has a few sad looking items languishing in the bottom then it’s time to get creative.  I usually make sure I have a decent store cupboard built up so that I can turn meagre offerings into a simple delicious meal. This dish is a perfect example. I had 1 leek, a few courgettes, half a cucumber and some chilli peppers in the fridge so came up with a spicy fritter recipe this morning that used up all my odds and ends while creating a satisfying lunch that could easily be turned into a main course with the addition of some flat bread and salad. Continue reading →

Homemade (Waldorf-y) Marionettes

Our little Waldorf inspired marionettes

Our little Waldorf inspired marionettes

Being a perfectionist and procrastinator with a fear of failure is a joyous combination that I’ve battled since being a teenager. Giving my all to a project then giving up right before the finish line. Leaving things to the last minute so if they don’t turn out like I’d hoped, I could always tell myself, “ah well, I didn’t have enough time….”

Luckily since discovering the benefits of simple living and minimalism, I don’t really have any half-finished projects taunting me from the shelves anymore. Apart from these dolls…. a glowing testament to my lack of confidence and faith in my own capabilities. These poor souls lay smushed up in a basket for the past year. Yep, since last December( ok pedantic people, NEARLY a year). I had created them from scratch having never done any form of doll making before and had managed to stumble my way towards charming little marionettes for Coppertop and I to put on plays with and tell stories. Except for the hair. Continue reading →

Vegan Moroccan Harira Soup

Deliciously warming , sweet and slightly spicy soup

Deliciously warming , sweet and slightly spicy soup

I can’t tell you how long I searched for the perfect harira. Well, actually I probably can. About a year and a half, countless recipes, many gorgeous soups guzzled down but they were never quite like the one I’d tried a year and a half ago in a veggie café on a day out. I’m not usually a fan of tomato base soup but I’m a huge lover of Moroccan cuisine in general. The earthy ,smoky, sweet spices, the use of chickpeas in nearly everything, the slight warmth on the palate without tear inducing heat…….. so when I tried this richly spiced soup with tons of vegetables, a little kick to it and of course, our family favourite chickpeas, I was immediately in love Continue reading →

Autumn Acorn Forest Folk

Our adorable acorn family, how cute is that baby!!

Our adorable acorn family, how cute is that baby!!

I love creating things inspired by nature , especially if it’s something that Coppertop will enjoy. This charming little Autumn family created from cones and acorns fit that criteria perfectly. We made these last Autumn but thought I would share as they brought us a lot of fun and lots of happy memories. The day we foraged our supplies was a typical Irish Autumn day, showers of rain on and off, punctuated with blue skies and golden light, just cold enough to have our gloves on but warm enough that we were hot after running about in the leaves for a while. We decided to go on a hunt for Continue reading →

Leek And Potato Soup

Hearty and fresh leek and potato soup with parsley and mint

Hearty and fresh leek and potato soup with parsley and mint

We all have our tried and trusted recipes that don’t require much thought, always hit the spot and can be hard to remember the exact amounts that go into the pot. This is one of my top ones. Thanks to a chance decision to buy soup in a juice bar across from the health food store I worked in, in St Andrews, Scotland, I discovered the joy of adding mint to what is a fairly common soup dish. The mint really gave the soup an added depth and ‘zing’ to it, especially welcome as I needed some comfort food that day Continue reading →

Sea Glass Foraging & Autumn Adventures

Hi everyone! After a little blogging break I’m back to reflect on one of my favourite places here in Northern Ireland, that has gifted Coppertop and I with many special memories.

allotment in walled garden

allotment in walled garden

beautiful flowers in the walled garden

beautiful flowers in the walled garden

Antrim has a stunningly scenic coastline with many different attractions ,but the place closest to my heart would be Glenarm. From the Walled Garden in the castle grounds with its beautiful floral displays, water features, fruit trees and allotments, to the magical forest walk and pretty beach. We discovered Glenarm forest after walking up through the town and ended up spending a few unexpected hours surrounded by the most enchanting elements of nature in Autumn. Continue reading →