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 →

Stewed Apple & Cinnamon Oatmeal

Perfect start to the day

Perfect start to the day

” I’d eat the f&*k right out of thon” –  friend and self appointed food critic Tony.

 

With such an enthusiastic endorsement as that, it’s no wonder I decided to share this quick and easy breakfast recipe that can make a cold rainy Autumn morning feel a little brighter! I love porridge almost as much as I love soup, in fact it’s probably the breakfast equivalent. Frugal, warming, healthy, lots of different ways to change up the flavours, it’s a perfect slow energy releasing start to your day. Continue reading →

Carrot, Orange & Coriander Soup

Vegan, Frugal, Filling Soup

Vegan, Frugal, Filling Soup

Oh soup, let me count the ways I love thee. Warm, filling, comforting, easy way to pack in veggies for both adults and kiddies, quick to make, frugal…. it’s like a hug in a bowl. This one in particular is a gorgeous example of a soup that’s fresh yet filling with the slight zingy hit from the orange. A staple in our house when I’ve gotten carried away with organic carrots being on sale then wonder what I’m going to use them all for. Continue reading →

Lavender Lemon Mousse

A rich but airy vegan mousse made from chickpea brine

A rich but airy vegan mousse made from chickpea brine

Chocolate mousse. Decadent. Rich yet light and airy. Bubbly yet smooth and melt in your mouth indulgence. Made from the drained liquid in a tin of chickpeas..wait, what?! Yup. Welcome to the magical world of aquafaba. The glorious vegan revolutionary ingredient that I’d been throwing down the sink for years! For anyone that’s missed the hype the past year about chickpea brine, basically Continue reading →

Vegan Honey Recipe and Autumn Spiced Cookies

Vegan HoneyAutumn. The crisp cool air. Kicking leaves. Open fires. Hot chocolate. Halloween. Warming spices. Soups and stews while snuggled inside listening to the rain hammering off the windows (ok so here in Ireland that could just as easily be July but I digress). I adore it. I always get renewed energy at this time of year and have so much fun finding recipes to use up the fresh seasonal produce. Every year I seem to end up with a glut of apples that cry out for some creative cooking other than the standby crumble, pie and cider. Continue reading →

10 Ways Simplicity Changed My Life

The Wonderful Benefits Simplifying Life Has Brought Me

The Wonderful Benefits Simplifying Life Has Brought Me

It’s a familiar feeling for a lot of us – if I buy this product life will be better/easier/I’ll be happier etc. Bombarded by advertising every way you turn, it’s easy to fall into the consumerism trap, pinning hope on some shiny new item to make you feel more complete. Except it usually doesn’t. Chances are it ends up being a burden – having to clean it, tidy it away, maybe making you feel guilty when you see it on a shelf unused ,reminding you of wasting money or incomplete projects. Possibly even shoved into storage boxes not to be seen for years as the mounting piles of stuff in the attic/garage seems like too daunting a task to undertake. Continue reading →