As I wander around blogland, I pick up all sorts of useful information, snippets of this and that, an idea here, a recipe there. I noticed this week a few of the things that have made their way into my life via blogs.
Firstly, there are a couple of books on our current reading pile.
"The Reading Promise" by Alice Ozma.
I have to confess that I can't remember where I saw this book recommended, but I am so glad I did. If it's you, please let me know, I'd love to give credit where it's due for this discovery. It's written by a girl whose father made a promise to read to her for one hundred nights. And when they'd read for one hundred nights, they just kept going, every single day, until the day she left for college. As well as the educational benefits of having things read out loud, it also fostered a strong connection between them both. They referred to it as their Reading Streak. Me and the two littles are having a little streak of our own. We'll see how many nights we manage - I have high hopes.
Towards the bottom of the pile is "The Photographer's Eye" by Michael Freeman. Leanne was lucky enough to get this for Christmas, and it seemed like just the thing to inspire me to take better photos. I feel I struggle with photography, although it's something I love. I'm hoping that I pick up a few tips. The low winter light that I love so much doesn't help my pictures. Witness, the next photo.
By the time I took a picture of these fruit bars it was late afternoon and this was the best I could manage. I promise they look more appetising in real life. They're another blog find, this time from Hannapat at Cosmos and Cotton. They're full of seeds and nuts and fruit and not too sweet. And they're particularly delicious, although maybe a little too wholesome for the littlest boy who was particularly dramatic after he tried one. I love them though, and I'll be making them again and again I'm sure.
I also had to try making some pineapple cookies.
These are from Kirsten's blog, Cozy Things and the recipe originally came from her grandmother. I'm a sucker for old recipes, so I had to try them. They're really nice and pineappley.
For the sake of completeness, I'll show you the swiss roll I made, although this wasn't from a blog. I know it may seem as though I just spend my whole time baking cakes and cookies, but it's not entirely true. Some of the time I am sat around eating them as well. Call it defense against the creeping damp.
Back in December I saw this scrumptious yarn mentioned in a post on Vanessa's blog, Coco Rose Textiles. I love the things she makes, and this yarn stuck in my mind until one day it magically turned up on my doorstep. Hurray for internet wool shops. It's pretty, although I'm not sure I'm really doing it justice. As with most things, my knitting is quite basic. But I'm learning, always learning.
Something else that turned up on my doorstep recently is this fantastic calendar.
I was lucky enough to win it, along with the two lovely ornaments in a giveaway by Rosa at A Life of Whimsey. Rosa is a photographer and a gardener, amongst other things, and her garden calendar is full of stunning pictures.
It's something else I'm finding inspirational.
I'll leave you all with a glimpse of the things I look at when I'm washing up (from all that baking you know).
I love the acid colour of the candle, it's a nice fresh antidote to the gloom and the rain beyond the window. Today was full of blue skies and sunshine, but now the rain is back. I feel desperately sorry for those who are flooded. The misery is hard to imagine. Unfortunately more rain is going to fall over the weekend, and apparently for the next couple of weeks at least. If anyone needs me I'll be in the kitchen.