Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In with the new...

The object of a new year, is not that we should have a new year.
It is that we should have a new soul.

Wow, what a year it's been.

So much has happened in these past 12 months...

...I started blogging for one thing, which has enabled me to meet some fabulous, creative, passionate women, which in turn, encouraged me to get creative myself...oh, and tell the world a little bit about me...

...I said goodbye to my life in Canada and realised that as much as I wanted to go home, part of me will always be left in beautiful Unionville, and there will always be a little bit of Canada in my kids...

...My eldest child graduated and turned 18 and in the process made me feel old, old but proud!

...We found our new home....and I found out my Mum was sick but is now better...

and I learned to laugh, have fun and make the most of those precious moments.

Next year, I plan to do more...more of everything...more of what makes me happy...and more of what makes me scared - I guess that's my New Years resolution.

What about you? Is there something new you're going to start doing? Or maybe there's something you want to stop doing? Let's nail our colours to the mast!

Wishing you all a happy, joyful and peaceful New Year -
I can't wait to share it with you!

B x

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas...

picture taken this morning on the moor

The news I've been waiting for... it was was great...

A few weeks ago my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was booked in for surgery immediately.
Then, we had to wait and see if the test would show if the cancer had spread into her lymphnodes.
Yesterday we got the results...she got the all clear.

...I can't put into words how I've been feeling the past few weeks...

but now... I am truly...


Merry Christmas to all of you, from all of us at Pear Tree Cottage.

B x

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Great Expectations...

I am waiting...for some news...I hope it will be good news...waiting can be very hard...but wait I must...

In the meantime, I have missed you. Are you ready for Christmas? Is your tree up? Are your stockings hung? As you can see, I have made Max and Eva's stockings, tomorrow I will finish Jess'. I'm so glad to be back home this Christmas- for many reasons. We are having my sister, her husband and their 3 girls over on Christmas Day and will be off to see Cinderella in Panto during the holidays.

So much to look forward to...I have great expectations...

B x

Sunday, December 6, 2009

That's Life...

I am going to be taking a short hiatus (maybe a couple of weeks). 'Stuff' is happening in my life and blogging is not the first thing on my mind at the moment - I do hope you understand.

I want to thank you all for your support. Where possible, I will be popping in to see you individually from time to time to say "Hi". And I will be back (that's for sure) I hope you guys will be here when I am- I think I'll need it.

Love to you all,

B x

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How do you know?

Chris and I are the blessed parents of 3 beautiful children...
Once upon a time, due to personal circumstances, I thought I would only have 1 child...just me and my girl and that was fine...

...then I met Chris and he adopted 2 became 3...and soon after we were 5, when Max and Eva came along in quick succession.

We decided a long time ago that 3 was enough for us (probably when Eva had had her 5th tantrum of the day!) but we never got around to making things 'final'.

So here we are 5 years later, and we have finally decided to really get things 'sorted'. And Chris (reluctantly; as he hates hospitals) has said he would bite the bullet and get 'the snip'. It was what we both wanted.
I feel like I am finding 'Me' again - I am no longer only "Mum". We are after all entering a new phase in our family, where we can all go to the movies, play boardgames together or just hang out - I love it.

So why when, my husband calls my mobile to tell me that he has an appointment to see the doctor, do I burst into tears in the supermarket?

What's that all about!?

I am done with bibs and bottles and teething and potty training...
I am done with sleepless nights and early rising...
But I am that woman who can't hear a baby cry without her womb contracting.
I can't help cooing at an infant in a restaraunt or bending down to talk to a toddler in the mall
I am eternally broody.
I am not saying I am even thinking about having another baby. I know that from my reaction when we've had 'scares' over the passed 5 years - and there have been a few! Apart from anything else, we can't afford another child. At the moment we are putting one through college and 2 through private schooling - all on my husband's salary. Something I know he could do with a hand with; not possible with a new addition to the family...
...But the thought of there being no possibility of ever having another baby, frankly, scares me.
So, my question to you lovely ladies (especially those of you who have already been down this road) is...
...How do you know when you're done?
B x
(I don't know where I got the image from; sorry)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Who's wearing their catcher's mitt?

Not quite sure what's up with my family, but we've been sick...again!

First me and the oldest 2 got flu, with a dash of vomiting thrown in for good measure, at the same time as I was having the living room and dining room decorated. Then Eva joined us, maybe she was feeling left out!?

By the end of last week I'd had my fill of paint fumes, decorators, sick bowls and snotty tissues! However, my house is starting to resemble a home; pics to follow...

Then my babygirl turned SEVEN...

(picture taken summer '09) on earth did that happen? We celebrated modestly (the party happens this Saturday) the 10ft trampoline is still waiting to be erected.

And Chris and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. We had all kinds of grand plans of taking a train into Paris and having a blissfully romantic weekend - sans kids. But given the week we'd had, we decided to stay closer to home and spent a fabulously luxurious night at this gorgeous local hotel.

We enjoyed a lovely romantic dinner, champagne cocktails in the bar and after waking up to this view...

(taken with iphone)

and soaking in this bath...

(taken with iphone)

...I was treated to a calming facial the next morning in the spa.

All of this was just what I needed before returning to the humdrum (I mean joys) of school runs and cleaning house. Now to get on with arranging a party for 25 6 and 7 year olds. Joy.

Have a really fun weekend - whatever life throws at you!

B x

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My name is B... and I am a 'dump-diver'...'s time to confess. I have taken to frequenting my local dumps/recycling centres on the lookout for pieces that will fit in my period home but without the 'antique' price tag...

...And here is my first find...

I was sure that this little chair could be totally cute with a little TLC...

I started by gently sanding it down before beginning to paint...

....I used tester pots of paints that I already had in the house and followed up with a little *distressing* and then 2 coats of clear varnish...It took about 4 hours in total and I made dinner and put the kids to bed simultaneously!

And here i the end result....

This chair cost me....NOTHING! And I couldn't be happier with the outcome! I'm very proud of my chair from the dump... now I just need to find a desk to go with it...hmmmm....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thank you!

I just wanted to take the time to thank the readers, commenters and followers of this blog (old and new) for their constant support.

I have learned a lot about myself in the months I have spent blogging and although I have not reached my goal- of knowing what I want to do with my life now that the children are all at school and feeling 100% fulfilled. I can say, without doubt, that I am a lot nearer than I was when I began blogging.

You ladies have been such an inspiration and I admire so many of you for just knowing who you are and what you deserve and I am learning that that makes for a happier wife, mother, daughter and friend.

I realise that this may seem like one long ramble...and I have had 2 glasses of wine... but I feel that after many years of giving myself to my family, blogging (and specifically you guys) have given me permission to dream, to create and to plan for more. And I am excited for what may lie ahead.

As I said, I'm still not sure where I'm going with this...originally I thought that sewing, specifically children's clothing, was in my future. But now I am enjoying casting my net wider. I am looking into making jewellery, housewares, furniture...there is so much that interests me, this is my time to create and find out what I'm about. Maybe it's more that one thing? Maybe it's a market stall? A little shop? An Etsy store? Who knows? But I feel that with friends like you I can do anything I set my mind to; you are such great inspiration.

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Winter warmers...

It's definitely getting colder around here. In the mornings you can see your breath and we rely on condensation to warm our hands. Of course, after 4 years in Canada I know what real cold is, and England has it pretty easy. Still, it's time to get the woolies out. Time to snuggle up and keep warm. As warm as Toast.

Unexpectedly, the other morning, a publication dropped through my letter box that just made winter look a whole lot brighter...

Here's to bright, crisp days and cozy, dark nights.

Enjoy your week,

B x

all pictures are from Toast at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New discoveries

Before we lived in Canada, we lived in Hertfordshire. Practically where we are living right now; only 4 miles up the road. At that time I had one at school and 2 babies at home and life was hectic.

While strolling along the high street, on the way to our weekly Mother and baby group, I regularly passed a shop that I liked the look of, but wouldn't dream of entering. At that time our furniture was practical, wipe clean and usually from Ikea. And that's how we liked it. But even then I had a hankering for all things vintage, aged and loved.

However, those were the days of roaming hands and impromptu tantrums and I figured it was best to keep walking for fear of the damage the munchkins might cause if we were to venture inside.

Now the kids are older, and I have discovered a whole new world of beautiful (and sometime even practical) things. So, my new favourite place is called Home and Colonial. It's always been there; it just seemed so out of place with my life back then but now...oooh, the possibilities!


While we're on the subject of new discoveries (kinda!) I am the proud recipient of a new award. This was given to me by the adorable Lacey from 'Inspired Lately?' Thank you Lacey, you made my week! Go check her out and tell her 'B' sent you!

Here are the rules of the "one lovely blog award"

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.

3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So, 15 new discoveries who delight and inspire me......

Lulu Letty

Kitschy Coo

Transparent Mama

Twinspirational Runner

I'm living proof that God has a sense of humour!

Hesitant Housewife

Endless Inspiration

Belle and Boo


Brown Button

Creative Vignettes

Dust Jacket Attic

Flower Patch Farmgirl

Fresh Mommy

Kay Loves Vintage

Finally, the house is looking better every day, the flooring is down and the internet is back up!

Hoping to post some pictures soon.

B x

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reno hell!

The floor boards are up and now the Internet and tv are down. My husband is away , and i'm hanging on to my sanity by the skin of my teeth. This is Reno hell. I am sending this from my phone as I sit on a window ledge; the only seating in the house at the moment. My tv/Internet provider can't get a tech to me for a week and the kids are on half-term school holidays from Friday. Oh boy. This is gonna be a long week! Back soon; I hope!

Wishing you all a better week than me,

B x

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Come for a walk in the woods...

The sun is shining,

the leaves are falling...

...come for a walk in the woods.

There are trees for hiding...

...and dogs need walking...

...and a reason to wear your new boots.

B x

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My new 'neigh'bours...

..bad, bad joke I know, but I couldn't resist...

So, I live in a village on the edge of a town. We have a moor (or heath) opposite us. In fact our house was built around 1840 when the village was founded and the property is one of a few, which come with "Rights of pasture". This means that the owner of the house is free to graze their sheep on the moor; which could come in handy when I want to let my sheep stretch their legs!

The moor is a lovely place to walk the dog and let the kids run around. Last Sunday they went and wadded into the stream. As someone who grew up in the middle of bustling, grimy London, it was lovely to see them take their socks and shoes off and paddle in the clear water. They tried to get Cookie our pup in too, but she doesn't like to swim. At the moment there a hundreds of conkers on the ground as the moor has many Horsechestnut trees. We collected lots so that we can harden them and have conker fights.

But the best thing about the moor are the wild horses, they are so quiet and gentle and will come over to see if you have any good stuff to eat.

Enjoy your week,

B x

Friday, September 11, 2009

Memories of Greece...

We didn't have much when I was growing up. Mum was a single parent and times were hard. However one of my best memories is of a holiday we took in Wales. It was me, my Mum, my baby sister, my Nan and and my great Grandma. I was about 5. We were all cramped into this tiny caravan which was parked in a field. Sometimes, it rained. But I would welcome every new day on that holiday, as every morning when the sun was coming up I would look out over the field and there would be not one, not two or three, but a GAZILLION bunny rabbits chomping on the grass all around us! It was such an amazing sight and one I shall never forget and to this day reminds me that all the money in the world can't buy happiness and beautiful memories.

Our holiday this year on the Greek island of Rhodes was an unqualified success. You know how sometimes you go on holiday and the expectaion is so high that the holiday almost can't live up to the dream? (Or is that just me?!) Well not this time!

The villa was ok, but just ok. We had a pool and that was all we needed. The kids are that bit older, and we all worked together to make the most of what we had, it was a joy.

No crying about sand in their shoes or having to put them down for naps.

We taught them how to play blackjack and Eva learned how to swim.

We even had our own 'holiday pet' the kids named her "Ursula" and she brought her 3 babies every day to say hello.

We went on a road trip all around the island,

which took us up into the mountains where we had a beautiful view of the other Greek islands just as the sun was going down.

And 'Babe' even let me use the perfect backdrop to take his picture!

It was so lovely to see my family relaxed and getting on so well; there was A LOT of laughter!

Actually I feel a little bad as I often didn't take my camera and missed many great photo opportunities, but sometimes you just have to put the camera down and live the life, before it passes you by; you know?

So, here's to a fabulous weekend my friends, making beautiful memories.

B x

p.s as usual my photos are unedited, what you see is what you get :O)
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