Thursday, 15 November 2012

A cold and frosty morning

It's a grey and foggy day here.  I love it, especially if I'm working from home like I am today.  I tune into Radio 2, switch the fairy lights on all over the house, light a few scented candles and take my time over my first cup of coffee.  Andrew lights the wood burners and banks them up with logs before he goes to work, and the house slowly comes alive.  It's a lovely way to start the day.

The days and weeks are whizzing by.  I can't believe we're just weeks away from Christmas.  I am going to drag out the festivities this year so that it all feels less rushed and frenzied.  

I won't be putting the Christmas trees up early but I am starting to sneak out the odd decoration and I'm off to Sainsbury's this afternoon to buy some Christmas Spice tea lights.

This is my very favourite time of year and I am making sure I savour each and every day.  


I really enjoyed watching the Nigellissima series recently (I have a girl-crush on Nigella) so I bought the book a couple of weeks ago and have already made loads of the recipes, all of which have been amazing.  Nigella's macaroni cheese is a new favourite in this house, it's so gorgeously cheesy and creamy without being bland or sickly.  A generous handful of rocket is the perfect partner for it.  Other favourites include the sausage meatballs and the super-speedy Orzo with pancetta and peas.  

Last week I made the yogurt pot cake (its Italian name is a ciambella).  It's a lightly lemon-flavoured, kind of dry breakfast cake (it has quite a large amount of cornflour in it).  It is delicious with a cup or two of strong coffee. 

I like these ring tins because they're great for plain sponges - you get nice small slices (if that's what you want!) and I think the cake looks quite appealing too. 

As well as cooking and eating, I have started to learn to knit.  I have been hugely inspired by Suzie Johnson of the Wool Sanctuary.  She is a hand-knit designer and creates really cool patterns that use texture and colour to maximum effect without being complicated.  I've started with the Princess Margaret scarf and, despite a bit of a false start (ie lots of negative knitting) I have got into my stride and the scarf is starting to grow! 

My stitching is getting a little quicker and I don't poke my tongue out as I'm working quite so much.  The tension isn't exactly perfect yet but I'm over the moon with how it's turning out.  I feel like an actual genius! Ha!  My mum taught me to knit when I was about 8 so it has been like opening a dusty old book in my brain.  I dream of knitting knee blankets, socks, wristwarmers and shawls.  My next project is going to be one of Suzie's beach houses.  

I haven't ditched the crochet.  I'm currently working on a ripple blanket  and a rope stitch snood which I have now decided isn't going to be a snood after all but another knee blanket. 
It's about double the size now.  Taking me yonks.  I haven't had the concentration skills required.
Was a snood, now a blanket.
The pattern for my ripple blanket is from Loop's Vintage Crochet book.  The pattern for the snood/blanket is on Sarah's lovely blog - Annaboo's House.  Doing the rope stitch with chunky wool means it's really quick to work up.  It's the fastest I've ever got through a ball of yarn and it looks lush.  I'm definitely using the pattern again!  Thanks Sarah.


As well as being cosied up indoors I've been out and about all over the place - the back half of the year has been so busy!  I have mentioned before how much I love the jewellery handmade by Belinda at Wild Acre.  Well, last Friday evening she held a private viewing at her gorgeous home and I took along my new BFF, Claire, to have a looksee.  I was clutching a wad of notes that Andrew had given me for one of my Christmas presents and I could have spent it ten times over.  Belinda's jewellery is right up my street - contemporary designs, gorgeous textures and simple but stunning details.  I chose five rings to wear stacked all together.  I cannot wait to get them!  I have already planned my next purchase - the oak leaf ring, oak leaf pendant and a pair of pip earrings.  Have to start prioritising my spends so I can buy them.  :)

Busy day at work today so I ought to wrap up here.  Before I go though, I just wanted to let you know about my friend's new blog:  Erinshine Stitches.  I've mentioned Erin before - we met through Instagram.  Erin makes the most gorgeous stuff and has a lovely sunny outlook to life (she is also learning to knit too but is a bit quicker and braver than me!).  I am delighted that she's started a blog - pop on over and have a nose.

Enjoy the rest of the week.  The weekend is so close we can almost taste it!  Yay! 



PS Thank you Victoria at Lily Loves Lola for tagging me recently.  I will do my questions next time - I love tag posts!   

PPS The dog has had her bi-monthly cut and blow-dry.  They've trimmed her face right down but left her body quite big.  She looks a bit of a pinhead.  Poor thing.

PPPS I have bought many, many, things lately but my favourite has to be the white, furry, bunny-eared onesie I'm wearing right now.  I bought it from Next recently inspired by a photo I saw of a [very gorgeous] 8/9 year old in one.  I think I'm highly flammable but it's the warmest thing ever.  Scarily, the husband quite fancies me in it.  Ha! 


  1. Oeeee your blog is delicious Nicki! I'm so enjoying your adventures in knitting over on Instagram. I find knitting a struggle myself, I don't mind too much about little mistakes luckily so I tend to just leave them in there! I'm starting to think about the festive season too,I don't want a frenzied rush on home-made presents this year. Any ideas of what you might make? Kath (inverleith) xxx

  2. Your knitting and crocheting is looking great sweetie, can't wait to see the finished items :) bet your house looks wonderful with fairy lights and the fire on, it sounds great too

    Bee happy x

  3. I really would love to learn to knit,yours looks fabulous! and your cottage is so pretty with candles and fairy lights,sounds a lovely morning how you described the log burner being stacked.
    I will look out for Nigella's book too,i just ordered two Peggy Porschen books that i had seen at a friends house that are gorgeous.
    The ppps made me laugh,too funny!

  4. I warned you he'd want a piece of your arse!!!

  5. I have just googled Suzie Johnson and she lives just down the road from Me, I may have to look into her workshops. I love knitting but have a long way to go before reaching perfection.

    Beki xx

  6. Cosy post for a cosy day! Thank you so much for the sweetest mention, 3 of your rings are ready, other 2 in production!:)

    Might forget to tell R about Andrew's bunny-wife penchant!! Bxx

  7. I love your long blog posts. I could read about your life all day! hehe *stalker alert*

    I'll be checking out all of the links here, thanks for sharing!

    We were rushing last Xmas due to moving house etc so this year I'm being as organised as I can and hoping to do lots of festive baking, decorating and singing (currently listening to Michael Buble's Christmas album haha!)


  8. I adore the way you write,your posts always make me smile.I LOVE this time of year too and filling the house with sparkle and glow.
    Can't wait to bring the little M and S Christmas tree I was given last year into the house and decorate's twice the size now! They'll be a big one in the window as well of course.If you can't be OTT at Christmas,when can you be?
    Every year I say I'm going to make all my presents for people...but I never do!

    Love Bellaboo X

  9. That cake looks and sounds amazing! x

  10. Yay to learning to knit! Your scarf looks ace and very professional to my beginners eye. My first project is wrist warmers and like you im basking in the 'i can do it!' Glow of first sucess. Happy knitting in your cosy place x

  11. Your house sounds so inviting, I want to come round! My other half won't let me put the heating on! I also loved the Nigella series and want the book! x

  12. I missed the Nigella series as I was in my caravan when it was on and for some reason I never switch the television on when I am there. I love this time of year too. I have decided to start things earlier this year and not fret about the shopping bits but enjoy the season more. Have a lovely weekend. xxx

  13. I recognise that book! ;-) It looks fab in situ.

    Also, I really need to learn how to crochet. It was on my 30 before 30 list but I totally didn't get around to doing it. :-S


  14. Ooooh, I'm TOTALLY with you on the girl-crush on Nigella. That woman could honestly teach me how to empty a bin and I'd still watch it!! I'm in the middle of reviewing Nigellissima right now for Modern Country Style. YUM!

    Now, off to check out your lovely links!