03 May 2014

bye for now

Hello friends and Happy Weekend :) The time has come to say goodbye to my blog, for a little while if not forever. I've been meaning to write this post for weeks but it's been so tough to make the final decision to end something that has been such a huge part of my life. It's been an amazing few years watching my little online diary read by a few people grow into an inspirational hub enjoyed my tens of thousands of readers around the world. But recently (actually, over the last nine months if I'm being honest) I've felt my small space of the worldwide web has lost its way a bit. I'm churning out posts that I haven't put my all into and due to changing priorities it's been tough to find the time to stay involved with the blogging community - promoting posts, visiting other blogger's spaces, interacting with my readers and spending time with local bloggers. Blogging is time-consuming and my heart isn't 100% in it anymore.

I will miss my readers dearly. I'll miss being paid to write about things I love and it'll be bizarre falling asleep not organising in my head what I need to share on the blog this week! To begin with, the amount of free time is going to be very strange.

I'm looking forward to having time to hang out with friends in the real world and to make new friends, to throwing myself into finding a good job*, to getting out and about with my camera and learning to edit my photos, to finally picking up my ukulele and teaching myself to play it, to running and reaching my 10k goal, to working on some big creative projects, to reading a book a week, to making relaxation a priority and to feeling less busy and being more available to others.

I hope to be back in the future, in a different capacity, but in the meantime I most certainly won't be falling off the face of the earth - you can find me frequently posting on Instagram (@helenlimbrick), every now and then on Twitter and I'll also continue to share patterns on my Ravelry page when I can.

Thank you a million times to everyone who has popped over here to read my rambling thoughts, take inspiration from my posts or to leave a comment, you've been stars! Please do stay in touch. Much love, Hx

*If there are any recruiters reading this you can check out my linkedin profile ;) Also I will still be available for knit and crochet pattern design, so feel free to drop me an email!

01 May 2014

french bobs

Top: 1,2 | Bottom: 1,2,3

I'm sure I was supposed to be doing something productive just now but instead I found myself typing 'French bobs' into Pinterest. I'm such a Amelie-wannabe. Sigh.. Hx

Ps, summer hairstyles and more short bobs.

29 April 2014

red berry and chambord pavlova recipe

Normally Phil makes me a pavlova (my favourite ever pudding) on my birthday but this year HE FORGOT! I didn't actually mind because it meant I could make my first ever pavlova.. I combined a few different recipes and then, since I'd already decided we would be drinking Chambord cocktails that evening, added an awesome black raspberry liqueur and strawberry sauce. Yum! I haven't shared a recipe in a while but this one can't be kept to myself..

28 April 2014

operation nice wife - week sixteen

Hope you had a smashing weekend! Here are a few fun things I did to surprise hubby last week..

Day 106: A waffle mould! Weekend breakfasts are about to get so much more fun..
Day 107: An apple corer.. Handy for coring apples, obviously, but I actually bought it because whenever I make a stack of pancakes for breakfast Phil likes to make a hole through the centre and fill it with maple syrup (like the Americans do). It always ends up getting a bit messy and since I haven't been able to find a pancake-holer in this country, I thought he might like to try this alternative solution.
Day 108: After a pretty tiring week I was really up for a lie-in on Good Friday morning, but I got up super early to take Phil to play Footgolf with his friends.
Day 109: We made waffles! Phil did most of the work in the end but it was still nice :)
Day 110: Left this cute little Easter bunny on Phil's pillow. It took him hoouurs to notice it but when he finally did it was demolished in one bite.
Day 111: A whole day of Easter Monday fun, which started with a trip to the beach, ice-cream, loads of amazing food and then I suggested a spontaneous round of Pitch n' Putt which Phil loved. Great times!
Day 112: There is no escaping the fact that I live with an insanely messy man. I hate doing laundry anyway but gave up folding and putting away his clothes within the first week of marriage because I discovered that everything only ends up on the floor within a day. However, today I decided to neatly fold all the freshly laundered clothing (which I normally just throw on top of the pre-existing pile - what the heck) and put away the whole jumble of clothing that had congregated next to the chest of drawers.  Awesomely, he noticed and thanked me for my efforts. Result! (You may also be interested to know that today I introduced an excellent new rule*: if there are three t-shirts on the floor one of those t-shirts must be worn, otherwise put away in exchange for a fresh t-shirt. I can't wait to see if this works..)

More Operation Nice Wife posts here and on my Instagram (@helenlimbrick). Hx

*I'm allowed to make weird rules like this because I am an otherwise excellent wife. Fact.

24 April 2014

sweet paul spring salads

I think I mentioned the other day that Phil and I had a week of eating salad. Salad Week probably sounds a bit boring but au contraire.. We enjoyed four very exciting salads* using recipes from Sweet Paul. In case you're not familiar with Sweet Paul, it's a seasonal magazine packed full of inspiration for food, crafts, decor and life in general. It's such a delight to read and best of all it's free to view online! Sweet Paul was created by Paul Lowe, a Norwegian craft and food stylist who has just written the book Eat & Make, which I can't wait to get my hands on.

The salads we enjoyed included Cabbage, Goat Cheese & Blueberry Salad, Warm Bean & Feta Salad, Crunchy Apple & Radish Salad and Avocado & Mango Salad with Miso Dressing. All very different and all very delicious. I love Spring dining, it's so light and elegant and refreshing. Hx

*On day 5 we cooked for friends and didn't think they'd want to eat salad ;)

22 April 2014

easter weekend

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend? Ours was different to normal but really lovely and super relaxing. On Good Friday we went our separate ways (Phil to play Footgolf with friends and I to enjoy a delicious lunch with my mama followed by an afternoon of baking and drinking tea with one of my best ever friends who I hardly ever get to see). On Saturday I was totally wiped out so we spent the whole day on the sofa eating amazing food and watching awesome films (have you seen Frances Ha? I loved it so much, the lead character is totally bonkers). On Sunday we had a fabby morning at Church where we met some great new peeps and then cooked a beast of a roast: lemon and thyme organic roasted chicken with buttery carrots and rosemary and garlic crispy potatoes, yumm. On Monday we set out on an adventure to The Knap, a pebble beach near Barry Island. We found some secluded rocks on the side of a cliff and fell asleep in the sun, it was glorious. After some very delicious chocolate ice-cream (and after Phil had managed to convince me not to load up our car with driftwood to decorate our living room, boooo hisss), we headed back to Cardiff for a round of Pitch n' Putt (Phil won of course, but not by much and my score had dramatically improved compared with last time!)

Such a dreamy weekend! It's my birthday tomorrow so i'm looking forward to more fun hapepenings including a meal at Bangkok Cafe and seeing The Double at Chapter Arts. Have a lovely week. Hx

20 April 2014

operation nice wife - weeks thirteen-fifteen

Thought it was about time for a catch-up on Operation Nice Wife! I can hardly believe I'm nearly a third of the way through my year-long mission to do one nice and surprising thing each day for Phil. It's been a hectic few weeks but I have managed to remember to be nice at least once a day ;) Here's what's been happening..

Day 85: Was really struggling to think of a nice thing for today and then I remembered there a strudel in the freezer that Mr W didn't know about. Such a great surprise pudding.
Day 86: Football stickers! (No Spurs players, booo).
Day 87: All good Friday evenings start with very cold white wine upon returning home from work.
Day 88: We hadn't had a home-cooked fry-up in ages so I presented Phil with this Saturday morning feast.
Day 89: We decided to have a week of salad as we'd been eating pretty badly so to mark the start of salad week I gave Phil these salad hands. They're pretty darn useful.
Day 90: Phil loves fancy pasta, even more so when it's on offer. I spotted this Taste the Difference 'Trompetti' for a bargain.
Day 91: I made this incredible salad dressing and Phil was mad for it so I decided it could be his nice thing (couldn't think of anything better to do, ha!)
Day 92: We had half a red cabbage in the fridge and Phil decided he wanted to make sauerkraut with it so I stocked up on some awesome herbs and spices for him to make it extra good.
Day 93: I made salted caramel chocolate brownies for friends. Normally I disappoint Phil by washing out the pan and not leaving him the leftovers..today I remembered and left it for him to find when he got home. I know this sounds simple but there are no words to describe how happy he was when he discovered it!
Day 94: After a super busy week and hardly seeing Phil I text him a picture of myself to let him know that his nice thing for the evening was ME.
Day 95: We drove to my uncle's birthday celebrations and I let Phil listen to Radio 5 Live even though I can't stand it and it gives me a headache.
Day 96: If there's one thing better than whole crab, it's whole crab in the discount aisle.
Day 97: Football.
Day 98: More football.
Day 99:  And even more football. What a crap three days for me/nice three days for Phil :)
Day 100: Phil was feeling a bit ill and miserable so I sent him this picture of gorgeous Bluebell to cheer him up.
Days 101-104: I was super busy preparing for/attending/recovering from my sister-in-law's birthday weekend so didn't have any time or energy to think up anything nice or surprising at the time so I made up for up it by leaving out these super posh chocs for Phil even though I would quite happily have scoffed them all myself!
Day 105: A 3m HDMI cable. It doesn't get better than this. No, really.

Hope you're all having a grand Easter weekend. Hx

17 April 2014

la marinière

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Oh dear, I've just discovered la marini√®re, a highly addictive website featuring Breton stripes and Breton stripes only. So dreamy. Hx

16 April 2014

bedroom tour

I thought it was about time I showed you our (almost) finished bedroom makeover. I say almost, because we are still owners of a particularly disgusting pink carpet (we plan to rip it up sometime in the near future as I've spotted some rather lovely floorboards beneath it), the walls could do with a lick of fresh white paint, and a few more plants are needed to make the room feel complete. Otherwise, I am super happy with the results and Phil loves it too :) So with apologies for the awful pictures, and without further ado, here are the before and afters, if you'd like to see..
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