Sunday 6 June 2010

Maries Sunday Six

Here it is Sunday again, the first Sunday in June and we all know what that means. It means that I get to share with you six things in the past week that made me smile. Of course there are always way more than six things that bring me joy each week, but these are the hightlights! I just love sharing them with you!

I discovered the most wonderful page this week, Liberty Biberty. Created by Mercedes a miniaturist, crafter, scrap booker, mom in New Zealand, I fell right in love with this fabulous blog. She has created the above doll house and if you think the outside is stunning, you should see the insides!! I am right in love!

Here is a tiny peek of the bedroom in it. You can hop onto her page and see a lot more detail. I have been completely mesmerized by it and have gone back countless times to have a look. Having a doll house like this has always been a dream of mine, and to think that most of this she has created all by herself surely made me smile. It is all so very sweet and adorable. It made me smile!! Thank you Mercedes!

Fairies in the garden make me smile! I just love fairies and I have quite an extensive collection here in the house and they are starting to spread out into the garden!! I just love this large fairy. I have this large one and a few smaller ones which are in pots hidden amongst the greenery. I think garden fairies give our garden such a magical touch. They surely bring a smile to my face every time I see them. What do you think?

The finals of Britains God Talent surely made me smile over this past week. In some respects I was a bit annoyed . . . there were far too many dance groups, and they all pretty much did the same thing, but the ones that went through each night and that were in the final last night were all very, very good! Each one deserved to be there and I was so impressed with them all.

This little lad drummed his heart out and was so wonderfully talented. Little Kieran Gaffney was not only a fantastic drummer, but he had a tenacity of spirit and maturity that is seldom seen in a lad his age these days. It made me smile to think that there are some really good kids out there. They are not all hoodlums! I really wanted Keiran to win, but alas . . . he came third. I am sure though that there is a very strong possibility that this is not the last we have heard from Keiran and that he will have a very healthy career doing what he loves most, which is drumming!

The winners were Spellbound, and they were very good also. A nice group of very talented young gymnasts, I found them to be very entertaining and quite different. You could tell they worked very hard to be there in the finals and I was not disappointed that they won, even though I had been really pumping for a win for Keiran. These young people also deserved to win. Actually all the talent that was in the final show deserved to be there and to win. It must have been a very close call all around!

Watching all the shoots come up in the garden. It is so lovely to see things growing and changing with every day that passes . . . little miracles from seed. I can't wait to eat some of the things we are growing. There is nothing tastier than vegetables you have grown all by yourself in your very own garden is there? Each day brings a new surprise. Todd forgot to label most of the rows and so we are waiting in anticpation to see what each one is! I do love surprises don't you?

We took ourselves off to the beach at Prestatyn yesterday morning. Oh how fun it was walking in the sand along the water's edge. There was a lovely cooling breeze and it was not over crowded. Sand between the toes always feels sort of magical to me. I love the way it massages my feet. I also loved the way Todd helped me to clean them off afterwards. He is such a loving husband. I am so very lucky to have him. I love spending time with him. When I was working at the Manor, we had very little time together . . . I worked long hours each day and often when I got home I was too tired to want to do much together. I am really enjoying this time we have to spend with each other. It's a blessing and it really makes me smile.

The old fashioned Tudor Roses that are blooming on one of our bushes that we brought with us when we moved up here to Chester make me smile. They're so pretty and a wonderful reminder of the beauty that we had down there . . . I just love nature and all that it gifts us with. I never tire of it, never . . . Everthing is like a tiny miracle from above and I am so very grateful for all of it, but I especially love flowers. They make me smile in a very big way. I prefer them to be in the ground growing . . . a picked flower is a flower that fades away and dies in a very short time . . . but in the ground we get to enjoy them ever so much longer!

I know it's seven, but I just can't help sharing with you this lovely little Fairy Door I found that belongs in our garden. Maybe one day we can have one of these, but in the meantime I can dream about having one of these. Isn't it just darling? I just adore it! Fairy Doors make me smile!!

And that is that. I could go on and on. I hope that some of my smilemakers this week were also things that made you smile too!

Here is another smilemaker. Strawberry Season is here! This is the way my mom always made Strawberry Shortcake. No horrible store bought sponges in my family, lacking in flavour and texture. Always homemade biscuits. Oh how scrummy it is! I really look forward to strawberry season each year so that we can enjoy this lovely dessert at least once!!!

*Mom's Strawberry Shortcake*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

Homemade Biscuits, slightly sweetened and crisp and fill with delicious crushed berries and whipped cream. Summer in a bowl!

2 cups of four
4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
12/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
2/3 cup of milk
a bit of milk for brushing and some sugar for sprinkling
4 cups of strawberries
1/4 cup fruit sugar
Sweetened Whipped Cream:
1 pint double or whipping cream
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/Gas mark 5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, soda, cream of tartar and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the sugar. Cut the butter into chunks and then briskly rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips, until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Stir the milk in gradually with a fork, to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and, using your hands, gently pat it into a large circle, about 1/2 inch thick. Using a sharp round cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Use a sharp up and down tapping motion, straight up and straight down. Do not twist the cutter or your biscuits will be lopsided. Repeat with any leftovers, repatting them and cutting until the dough is all used up. (*See note below)

Place them onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush lightly with some milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until well risen and lightly browned on the tops and bottoms. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely.

Prepare the berries by slicing them in half into a bowl. Crush them slightly with a fork and then stir in the sugar. Allow to sit for 15 minutes or so for the juices to really develop.

Beat the cream with a wire whisk or electric beaters until it falls in soft folds into the bowl. You do not want it too stiffly beaten. Fold in the sugar and vanilla.

Carefully split the cooled biscuits in half. Place bottom halves onto dessert plates. Divide the sweetened crushed berries between them and top each with a dollop of whipped cream. Top with the remaining halves of the biscuits and serve.

*Note - If you like you can add just a bit more milk to the dough and rather than patting them out you can drop the dough by large sponnsful onto the prepared baking sheet, dropping them about 3 inches apart. I like to do this sometimes because it gives you lots of craggy crunchy little bits. In this case I don't brush them with any milk, but I do still sprinkle them with a bit of sugar!

It's a Welsh dish, Black Currant Plate Pie over on The English Kitchen today!


  1. Hi Marie,

    We have just eaten strawberries after late lunch. They are a winter treat here.

    Enjoy your day.

  2. Thank you for sharing your SMILES this morning and the beautiful pictures and recipes too! We always did strawberry shortcake with homemade biscuits too.
    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  3. What a lot of lovely things you have to smile about this week.... You found a new blog friend with amazing talents....a new fairy made her home in your yard.. and Britain's got talent picked a winner. America got's talent just started here. I keep wishing I could put Claire on it but with thousands and thousands auditioning to get on I don't think we would have a chance. However, those that do hear Claire are blown away by her voice... I can dream ...but then as long as I know she has talent I guess American doesn't need too.

    I am glad your garden is coming along. I love it when my plants do well. I do not have a green thumb like my mom did.

    How nice that you got to go to the beach. I love the beach but we are over an hour away and we don't get there often.

    I am glad you had so many smiles.
    You make me smile. Now I must run or I will be late for church.
    Much love, Lura

  4. You make me smile too! I think it's the format of the show (B.G.T.) that I dislike so much. I hate the humiliation of those auditionees who were never going to be good enough. Yes, I suppose they all know what they're letting themselves in for but the tragedy is that they always go there thinking they ARE good enough. They really believe they are and I just think its a dreadful cruel way to have your dreams shattered, in front of millions of people.

    That said, the acrobats were worthy winners. As Amanda Holden said, a brilliant opener for the 2012 Olympics.

  5. Hi Marie,
    I'm late reading my emails today because I've been out all day. This morning I went back to my old church where we used to live and after that visited my friend who has cancer, it was so lovely to see her, and I'm pleased to say that she looked better than I thought she would...I told her so too! She's had chemo and starts radiotherapy in two week's time so I'm glad I got to see her today.
    I LOVE your Sunday six (seven!) today, especially the doll's house, I'm going straight on that site after I've written this, also the fairies, I love them too, and I can use my grad-daughters as an excuse to buy them for our garden! ~~~Love, Pat xx

  6. Marie, the beautiful garden fairy and the fairy door are so awesome. I once met a nice lady in Scotland and she was really inot fairies too. Are they very popular in the UK or did I just meet two people from there that really like them a lot?

    I also enjoyed looking at the miniature doll house. What a lot of work and fun that must be!

    Your strawberry short cake looks heavenly. Sure wish I could drop over and have a taste!

    How are things in your new ward? Hopefully good! And how are you feeling?

    Hugs, B

  7. oh my that dolly's house looks like a real house. My Freckles would surely love it...Thanks for sharing.Mica

  8. we were just at the beach last week-nothing like walking along the sand and listening to the sound of the ocean!

    and wow, that miniature dollhouse looks amazing. i'd love to see that in person!

    and lura, you guys need to try to get claire on something-she would totally rock it and win it!!


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