Hawaiian Gifts 3

With the new year came new gifts courtesy of Joyce, our friend in Hawaii. The unopened box was tantalising with the sticker proclaiming what was inside whilst managing to still create some mystery. Through reams of bubble wrap emerged a tiny ceramic house with Aloha written down the side and a flickering light that goes inside… sooooo cute, AND hidden further in the depths of the box was this bottle of Hawaiian Ginger Syrup (from Maui). As I was opening the box on my own I was tempted to hide this and keep it to myself because that may be the only way I actually get to taste this. But I shall share and together we will pour it over ice cream and waffles and when its finished we shall say, ‘well its as good an excuse as any to go back to the islands to get some more!!!!!

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Looking for Snow

Since we moved to the south west of England in 1999 when teenage son was just ten months old he has never seen a blanket of thick white crunchy snow in his hometown. When he was three we spent Christmas in Yorkshire and he remembers building a snowman. It’s like his first memory, but, the very thing he made is now as elusive to him as a real live snowman. Yes there have been winters when we have seen snow and we can travel up onto Dartmoor, where it stays around on the ground a little longer. And now there’s talk of snow on the way, but I doubt we will see much in this neck of the woods.(would love to be wrong there).

So we’ve been thinking about heading out to find some real snow, the sort that blankets the landscape and makes you want to curl up with a book or board game in front of a real fire. We’ve been looking at Iceland or Finland and other countries of course, Norway and Sweden, but aren’t they prohibitively expensive? But this week I met with someone who’d spent Christmas just gone in a cabin in Iceland. Great, I said, that’s just what we are looking for and yes Iceland, we fancy Iceland…

‘We couldn’t go out there were only two hours of daylight…the sleet was coming down HORIZONTALLY… we spent a fortune beforehand on clothes that would keep us warm…the driving (on ice) was REALLY stressful…don’t go in the winter – you can’t get out…wait until it’s warmer’

Now I hasten to add they were in a cabin miles from anywhere, but that’s what you want isn’t it?  You know somewhere like this


Ina Matt on Apartment Therapy

or maybe this…


DGSN on Apartment Therapy

Or maybe that’s too modern looking for you, so what about this…


Image from kappachan.tumblr.com


Maybe I will listen to her and go when the weather gets better, just as long as there’s still snow on the ground so that we can build our second snowman!

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Its a wet day and the rain has put paid to a New Years Day walk on the beach so its an excuse for taking down the Christmas decorations and cards. Why does the house look so messy by now? New year’s day seems the perfect day to get rid of the old and create a space thats clean and fresh for the new year. 2016 will not go down as a vintage year, in fact it was pretty rancid so 2017 HAS to be better, hasn’t it?  The one thing that is joyful, whatever the year, is the view from the chalet and across the bay so I am leaving you with a selection of vistas from 2016.

Happy New Year from Sea Field View

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Chalet Christmas

What do you do when you live in a small cabin and a Christmas tree would take up a quarter of the living space? I’ve been looking on Pinterest and am taken with all the creative ways you can make a nod to the festive season without it taking over the whole room. I am particularly enamoured of these below  but…we don’t really have a vacant wall.


The above images all come from Lonny Magazine  plus there are a few more ideas in the article as well.

There’s also this Scandi  style around this season, which is just a small unadorned bit of greenery, either a branch in water or a small potted tree. This I really like, it’s like saying no fuss, no tinsel, no tat, just natural – and less cleaning up, so whats not to like. Okay I won’t do the light thing (below right), I can see needles ending up in the Christmas dinner, but the other two are pretty fool proof…no`?

all pictures found on Pinterest

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Cabin Envy tiny house


Whether wheels or stilts whats not to like … and the bottom one is from Hawaii

Top right and bottom  http://www.countryliving.com/home-design/g1887/tiny-house/?slide=38

Top left from The Fabulous Weird Trotters 

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cliff top Yuccas


So Yucca plants like a hot arid landscape and can normally be found in warm climates and desert-like conditions (after all the flower is the state flower of New Mexico) but has adapted to coastal sands and mountains. Which is why, I suppose, there are some to be found on the inhospitable cliffs of Whitsand Bay. What is doubly interesting is that the flowers come and go over the summer but as we had a late season this year continuing into a mild autumn these Yuccas above gave us a late showing. The photograph in the top left was taken in what looks like the height of summer but was actually at the beginning of October with the other two pics being taken a couple of weekends ago. It lends a tropical air to the cliffs don’t you think?

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Hawaiian themed chalet gifts 2

The patchwork quilt was sent by Hawaii based friends ( and blog readers) when our son was born, its a cot blanket and I was loathe to pass it on when we no longer needed it. Our son is 18 now and I have always wanted to up cycle the quilt but never got around to it. I am thinking I will create something with it for the chalet, so watch this space… The Carlton Ware pineapples were a gift from my friend and festival buddy. On my first trip to Hawaii with him indoors one of our highlights was a trip around the Dole Pineapple canning factory…no seriously! Unfortunately it has since gone and the Hawaiian pineapple experience is now out in the fields where they are grown, with a theme park vibe. I loved the retro feel to the old factory with vintage canned pineapple signs and ephemera. So these pineapples are an addition to our tropical themed cabin. I need to make some pineapple jam or marmalade for the pot I reckon.

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