Thursday, 22 December 2011

beetroot brownies

if like me you have still have beetroots growing in your garden, allotment or window box, and are not sure what to do with them, try these little beauties. they are deliciously moreish and contain one of your five a day so they must be good for you, right??

250g raw beetroot, boiled, peeled and pureed
200g plain chocolate
250g butter
250g golden caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
150g self raising flour

step 1
heat the oven to gas mark 4 180C
melt the chocolate and butter together in a pan

step 2
whisk together the sugar and eggs, then pour in the melted chocolate and butter

step 3
fold in the flour and then mix in the beetroot.

step 4
pour mixture into a lined tin and bake for about 30 mins, or until a skewer comes out just a little bit sticky (they are brownies after all)

ready to eat. yumm sooo good!

i also just wanted to share with you some christmas presents i wrapped using paper and tags made at the handmade christmas event which was held recently by saltash environmental action group.

ambika x

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


this is where we live.

i love it. the chicken run is bigger than our house, the shed is also bigger than our house and taller than the workshop. the living roof which we created about 3 years ago, has amazingly big flowers growing on it, and the birds in the sky above our garden have smiles and beaks. nothing amuses me quite like a 5 year olds perspective.

we have been baking a lot lately, getting prepared for christmas.

i took my wedding ring off when we were making these mince pies and forgot to put it back on. i remembered when we were out shopping in town. francisco said, "don't worry mummy, everyone will know that you're married by your happy face"

4 days till christmas, i get the count down daily, there is a lot of excitement here.

ambika x

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

my little chimney sweep

our towns christmas light switch on was celebrated by a dickensian themed day and evening lantern parade and carols. franc and i knocked up a very quick chimney sweep outfit for the occasion, complete with black net chimney brush.

To our great surprise and pleasure he won the kids fancy dress competition and was awarded with this beautiful engraved bauble. Francisco is the cheeky chap in the middle with the brown scarf.

the lantern parade was magical, it has been such a long time since something in my town has sent such a warm feeling through me. the streets where packed and the mood was so happy. it really was a beautiful way to get into the christmas spirit. after the parade carols were sung in the street, accompanied by the town band. we finished off the evening with a drink and a bite to eat in the local pub with crazy kids hiding under the table demanding ice cream.

ambika x

Friday, 2 December 2011


i've been away from this space for a while, and i've missed it. it wasn't a conscious decision to stop blogging. life just somehow got in the way as it often does when things get busy, creative, emotional, and just a touch romantic. i got married.

after being in a happy monogamous relationship for nearly 14 years we finally decided to tie the knot. i'm not really sure what bought about this decision but i think being asked helped to move things along.

in very typical us style we bought begged, borrowed, stole*, created and laboured to make the day really special, and despite our obvious exhaustion it really was magical. it could never have happened as spectacularly as it did without the help of all our amazing friends and family. we feel really lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people.

we made each others wedding bands, it what a fabulous experience, it has really given me the urge to try some more metal work. ebay became our best friend as we began buying everything from candle wax, to wedding suits and marquees.

we dug and built our own composting loos, and constructed a stage where our friends and family performed all night long and into the next day. that is after they had eaten a sumptuous feast prepared by my lovely brother and his sister in law. i cant say anything more to describe the enormity of the occasion and pictures speak louder than words.

ambika x

* thank you maurice huggins tea room for supplying the lace doily which made the sleeves of my dress, which was also handmade by chloe

counting down the days

this year i thought we'd do something a bit different to count down the days until christmas. i think i saw the idea in mollie makes. i bought the local shop out of small match boxes. then used a book of coloured paper that has lasted us for years it seems, to cover them. i got number stickers from the local craft shop, and finally filled them with sweets, little messages and gifts. oh and i got the jar from a charity shop for £6.25 in a half price sale. i thought i could use it again and i do love the shape. when i showed it to him on thursday night, well, i didn't manage to get it together for the morning, it produced the biggest smile. today he got a jelly bear and tomorrow is a message saying 'let's get out some of the christmas books'. I haven't quite finished all the matchboxes, but i figure i only have to be a couple of days ahead! we have a traditional advent calendar too (you can see it in the background). sent to us every year by grandma along with an advent candle. that parcel is always exciting to open. yesterday, after arranging all the matchboxes in the jar, ages later he kept saying 'i just need to check that the number 2 is still on top'. as he had placed it there ready to open this morning. he is so excited about the advent calendars and just christmas in general. 4 is such a sweet age. it's going to be fun watching it all through his eyes.

happy weekend,

sarada xx

Monday, 28 November 2011

3 things

i was in town with my 4 year old the other day and he noticed the christmas lights. i think they went up at the end of october, can that be true? after seeing them he asked me why we hadn't got our decorations up. hmm, well to keep him happy we got working on something as soon as we got home. some simple decorations made out of cardboard, inspired by these found via pinterest. i think the point is to let some of the card show at the end but we got rather carried away with the painting. we found the twig in the woods on the way to the allotment and i hung them up with odd bits of ribbon that i had in my stash. finishing off with some bright cards and handmade christmas cards on the wall behind. oh and our lovely stacking christmas dolls, thanks katy - we still have them.

i also made these neck warmers for my boys. well, i say made but really i just snipped off the polo necks from a couple of those cosy woollen jumpers i have been collecting lately. the orange one is cashmere and the green one is felted wool. even though it's still beautiful outside these days, there is a slight chill in the air. so these are perfect for keeping my little ones a tiny bit warmer.

and last but not least, i am really excited to say that my sister ambika will be returning to join me in this space once again. i'm really pleased as that's the reason we started this blog in the first place, as another way of connecting with each others lives. i can't wait, it will be so nice.

hope you are having a good week so far,

sarada xx

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


i always find myself reflecting at this time of year. as autumn turns to winter and the year comes to a close, i like to mull over how it has all turned out. the good and the difficult times, the happiness and frustrating moments. these days i am quiet and thoughtful as the nights draw in, wondering what the coming year will bring and if there are any changes we need to make on our path through this life. it's hard not having all the answers and worrying at each decision if we are doing all the right things for our little family. i'm doing a lot of digging up at the allotment at the moment and finding it a great task to clarify my thoughts or just clear my head as i breathe in that crisp autumn air. as i carry on digging of course.

sarada xx

Friday, 11 November 2011

lovely company

my mums come to stay for a few days and it's lovely. she brought some homemade quince jelly with her. it was sweet, aromatic and jewel like, just look at that beautiful colour. so delicious. we had it on croissants whilst browsing through cook books from the library and drinking lots of tea. and of course, chatting, we always have so much to chat about. it's so nice to have her here for the weekend. such lovely company, it's going to be fun. and she's kindly looking after the babies tomorrow night (thanks mum), while we go out to see gillian welch. i can't wait.

i hope your weekend is lovely too,

sarada xx

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

thoughts on a grey day

i finally got round to having some breakfast this morning. cornflakes with blueberries. this got me thinking about alys fowler, she loves them too with ice cold milk. she's a gardener and writer of the edible garden. it's a lovely book and oh, i want a garden like hers. still, i love it for allotment inspiration. although the allotment has been a bit of a disaster this year, but grey rainy days like today are great for planning what to do with it next year. if i could only plant some shallots and garlic before the end of the month then i think that would get me off to a good start. now i'm almost over my cold i need to start going up there and sorting it out. basically, everything we planted got eaten before it even got a chance to grow, plus the soil is terrible. chalky and too tough for any plant to push roots down into. remember the teepee? i had such high hopes but every single plant got chomped on by snails and slugs i'm guessing. i tried putting down sand but need to revise my approach. and the pink fur apples potatoes. from 10 plants, i think i got one tiny handful. the rest, you guessed it. there's a photo of a few tomatoes and raspberries gathered from a couple of months ago. the other photo's are of the surrounding allotments. i must admit i did get a bit of allotment envy this summer, when nothing was growing on our plot. i think the best harvest we got were from the blackberries on the hedge that borders the allotment. oh well, i think we need a good dose of manure and then take it from there.

sarada xx

Friday, 4 November 2011

a walk with my baby

hope you have a lovely weekend,

sarada xx