Monday, April 20, 2015


These little birds fascinate me ........ I adore them !!!!
We've put out feeders for the past few years, and would get sporadic visits from one or two hummingbirds each season. I've always used the store bought nectar.
This year, I decided to change things up after chatting to a friend of mine, who makes her own nectar. She has hummingbirds that pay her visits daily throughout the summer. I also decided to put up more feeders, in the hopes of attracting more birds. The nectar I make up is 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. I empty out the old nectar and wash out the feeders before refilling them with fresh nectar every Saturday ..... such a rewarding weekly chore.
Well, I'm pleased to report, it has worked, and I am elated !!!

This male kept us entertained all through dinner tonight. The weather here is glorious at the moment, so we're taking every chance we get, to eat our meals outdoors. This little guy spent about 30 minutes this evening, flying down to feed, then he'd fly up and sit on a branch in the magnolia tree you see behind the feeder. He was not bothered by us .... and let me tell you, when they make an appearance, we go into paparazzi mode !!!!

This little lady is also a regular - I think they may even be a pair :-) You can see how we have multiple feeders in a row - there are 4 in total, and they visit all of them.

There little wings make the most amazing humming noise - very loud for such little things !!!

I'm hoping these birdies will hang around all summer .... they're a sight to behold :-)

Thursday, April 16, 2015


21 Years ago today, I married this awesome man ........ I'd do it again, in a heartbeat !!!!
Happy Anniversary My Love. 
Love you always and forever XXXXX

Monday, April 6, 2015


So how was everyones Easter? Full of family, friends and memory making I hope. Ours was quiet, but sweet. Just the four of us.
I thought I'd share with you all today, Easter 2015, in The James home :-)

On arriving in the US 10 years ago, I was horrified to discover that Hot Cross Buns were an unknown entity !!! They were an entrenched part of our Easter tradition back home, and something that I really missed. I hated the idea that my kids wouldn't know what they were, or how delicious. This year, I was determined to bake some. I did an extensive search on the internet, to find just the perfect recipe. They couldn't have icing crosses, that just isn't traditional enough .... had to be the flour and water paste ones. It couldn't have "added extras" .... things like apples !!! Where did that come from !!! I found THIS RECIPE ..... it is everything a good Hot Cross Bun should be !!! The process is a little time consuming, you'd expect that though, when working with yeast, but this recipe is a keeper, one that will take up its rightful place in my recipe folder, to be used year after year :-)

Ready for the oven ....

Fresh out of the oven, and glazed ....

Another favorite in most families I think, is THE Easter Basket !!! Richard started asking about his at least a week back. I decided this year to get a few good chocolate Easter eggs (Brittany has decided that Lindt is her chocolate of choice ..... can't blame her really !!!), and then a non chocolate item .... a book for Brittany that she'd been wanting, and some fishing lures for Richard. Andy got his fair share of chocolate (and gummy Easter bunnies, I couldn't resist ) !!!

We skipped Easter Lunch this year, because we attended the Baptism of a friend of mine at Church, instead of attending my regular Easter Sunrise Service. Lunch, I decided would be a snacky affair, and that I'd do Easter Dinner instead. I've wanted to make one of these bread bunnies for ages, but have never got around to it ..... this year I was determined, and I'm so glad I did ...... it was SO cute !!!

With a hollowed out hole in his tummy to hold the veggie dip ..... He is a definite do again. If you want to give him a try, there are tons of tutorials on Pinterest, that you can have a look at.

Easter Dinner was a roast turkey breast and sides occasion ..... lamb or glazed ham would have been my prefered choice, but Brittany only eats poultry, so turkey it was. It was quite delicious !!! I made Lemon Meringue pie for dessert, but we never got to eat any, as everyone was too podged ...... lucky us, dessert on a Monday night :-)
I like to pretty up my dinner table on special holidays .....

This was our place settings ...... my kids LOVE crackers, so when I found these Easter ones at World Market, they were a must have :-)

Aren't these little carrot patches just the cutest!!! I used THIS TUTORIAL to make them. They were pretty easy to put together ... the dirt insert was a little fiddly, but I think they were worth the effort. The kids loved them :-) Lindt chocolate carrots - what's not to love about that !!!

This year is flying by .... Easter has come and gone, and we're on the rapid down hill, with only 8 weeks left of school, until the kids are out for the summer.... I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I love having them home with me ... Summer Holidays are no problem for me ..... except for the hideously awful heat, of course :-(

Wishing you all a wonderful week.....