Category Archives: Happiness Project

Friday I’m in Love: Poppies

My mother loves poppies. The red ones that grow (or used to…) on the edges of English fields. The Flanders poppies that everyone wears on Remembrance Day. But then we moved to America and I saw the California version…interesting colours, attractive foliage, and even after they die they are interesting…poppies montage

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Filed under California, Flowers, Gardens, Happiness Project, Nature, Plants, Seasonal Pleasures

Foodie Friday: Ginger Banana Bread

I love ginger. I use it anywhere ginger can be used…and a few places it probably oughtn’t… so when I needed to use up a whole bunch of over-ripe bananas, guess where my mind went? I found this – thank you, Pinterest! – but it was not nearly ginger-y enough. Here’s my version:

 

Ginger Banana Bread

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 ripe bananas or 3 frozen bananas, defrosted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 cup raisins pre-soaked overnight in 1/2 cup ginger tea (or you could use your favourite alcohol…)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups sprouted spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped crystallised ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger

Spray a standard loaf tin with coconut oil and dust lightly with flour. Preheat oven to 350F.

Beat together the eggs and sugar until thick and lightened in color (about 5 minutes). Add the banana, vanilla, sour cream, raisins (and any remaining tea) and oil, and stir until combined.

In another bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together. Gently fold into the egg mixture.

Pout into the prepared loaf tin and bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (about an hour).

Delicious slathered with butter while still warm, though the flavour will improve if kept. Also good toasted. Don’t expect it to last long…!

 

 

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Filed under Food, Happiness Project, Recipes

Design Inspiration: Henrie Haldane

On my last trip to England I managed to connect with the talented painter Henrie Haldane. We originally met through a women’s business network and I was instantly captivated by her work. Lovely Man and I commissioned this 20140731-081248-29568428.jpgfor our house in England, inspired by photographs I’ve taken of nearby lakes.

She now lives in Spain and the colours and light of her new home shine through in her latest works. 20140731-071513-26113813.jpgWe commissioned another painting, in a darker palette inspired by this20140731-071513-26113055.jpg and on my current trip I’ve finally been able to see it in place.  

 Isn’t it gorgeous?

Henrie can be contacted via her website

 

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Filed under Art, Decor, England, Happiness Project, House Updates, Photography

Friday I’m in Love: Pink Roses

I love almost every colour of rose, but I think pink roses are my favourite. And even though it goes against my California-native/drought-tolerant principals here in California, I couldn’t resist a few David Austin roses in my new planting schemes. This

Gertrude Jekyll rose with deer sageis one of my all-time favorites, Gertrude Jekyll, planted last year and finally hitting her stride. Doesn’t she look great against the grey of the deer sage?

And this

Charles Rennie MackIntosh budsis a new friend, Charles Rennie Mackitosh, planted in February and about to reward me for my faith. You can take the girl out of England… 🙂

 

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Filed under California, England, Flowers, Gardens, Happiness Project, House Updates, Plants, Seasonal Pleasures

Friday I’m in Love: Hibiscus

Another new addition to my courtyard. Hibiscus 1

IMG_9108

Hibiscus 1Such a glorious colour, and complements the grevillea beautifully!

 

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Filed under California, Flowers, Gardens, Happiness Project, House Updates, Plants, Seasonal Pleasures

Friday I’m in Love: Grevillea

Grevillea is an Australian shrub, evergreen and relatively drought tolerant. I have it growing in pots in my very sunny entrance courtyard. Isn’t it amazing? And hummingbirds love it…an all-round win!

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Friday I’m in Love: Clivias

This plant was new to me before coming to California but the camellia collection at Descanso Gardens is underplanted with a mass of them and they are spectacular. They are very expensive and I thought them out of my reach, but my gardener has a source…and voila! 

Clivias in the "woodland garden"Instant sunshine, even in the shady corners…

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Filed under California, Descanso Garden, Flowers, Gardens, Happiness Project, Plants, Seasonal Pleasures