Entries in celebrating Mothers (3)

Wednesday
Mar222017

Mother's Day 2017 - some gift ideas

 

Isn't Mother's Day really rather wonderful?  A whole day dedicated to celebrating our Mums.  Whether that's with a homemade card or breaksfast in bed.  A walk on the beach or dinner out.  There are lots of things you can do the most important is spending time with your Mum.  

Marks and Spencer have some really delightful gifts for Mother's Day.  I adore their handtied bouquet of 100 stems of tulips and daffodils.

Daffodils like sunflowers are flowers that smile at you from the ground.  Looking at them makes me happy, their bright vibrant yellow reminding us of the joy of spring.

Marks and Spencer handmade nougat is a real treat soft chewy nougat with fresh crisp hazelnuts and pistachios, are blended with English spring honey and dried sour cherries.  You could enjoy it on a car trip with Mum for something to nibble or after dinner with coffee.  I would even say you could have a bit at elevense.

 This hummingbird tin filled with Scottish shortbread it vibrant and full of energy, Marks and Spencer have really chosen a winner with this colourful motif.  I love that the tin can be used after the shortbread is long eaten, filled with buttons or bobins.  

Bubbles are an essential part of any celebration - but don't whatever you do buy cheap and nasty one's - enjoy the light freshness of this Monticella DOCG Prosecco Jeroboam prosecco from Marks and Spencer.  It is a fresh lemony and light aromatic wine with pear and gooseberry, apple and violet hints, the finish is dry.  It is also available in a magnum bottle which is great fun, a party in a bottle, or so they say.

Craft 3 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from Marks and Spencer is refreshing and light.  Its a good Sauvignon Blanc - with a pink grapefruit and fruity palate that is not overly bitter on the palate.  There are hints of the usual gooseberry and passionfruit, but its herby aroma makes this an interesting wine with a good texture.

I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day.

 

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Sunday
Mar082015

Mother's Day 2015 gift ideas

Don't you just love daffodils? Their bright cheery demeanor lift anyroom.  Everytime I look at a bunch I cannot help but smile, at their vibrancy, at the wonder of their promise of spring breaking through the cold colourness of winter.  Daffodils reflect the energy and zingy zest of spring.

There are lots of flowers on offer for Mother's Day, but any Mum would be over the moon with a huge bunch of daffodils.  This large bunch I created by buying two of Marks and Spencer bunches at £3 each letting them come into bloom, then wrapping them quite tightly with brown paper, to allow them all to bunch together, creating a really vibrant abundant bouquet.  This is a great bouquet to make with children who may wish to spend their pocket money on flowers for their Mummy.

 Sherry and nuts make an original present, this Fernando Di Castilla Don Fernando Oloroso sherry from Marks and Spencer, comes in a feminine thin bottle.  This rather wonderful 10 year old Oloroso from the 1st Criadera of the bodegas finest Oloroso solera, has a deliciously nutty flavour, and warming finishing is perfect served chilled in small tall glasses with some salted nuts before dinner, or as a nighttime snack.

Fruit and Tea Chocolates by Marks and Spencer  are deliciate and tiny balls of delight.  They come in a beautiful lace cutout box that can be used for years to come as a very stylish storage box.  The chocolates comes in five well thought through rounded flavours - African Roobios, Earl Grey, Matcha, Blueberry Caramel and Raspberry Cream.  The white chocolate matcha is my favourite.  Made in Ireland, these chocolates not only are a beautiful and unusal gift for Mother's everywhere they show Marks and Spencer commitment to Ireland's agri-food industry, and allow those who purchase them to do the same.

 

 Who doesn't love honey!  A life giving property that is a great filling for chocolate.  These Belgium made chocolates from Marks and Spencer got a huge thumbs up from the Salt and Sparkle team, they are truly lovely, with a delicious combination of different honeys filling each sweet. These are very special chocolates that stand out from what is on offer on the High Street this year.  There is a Chestnut Honey and Almond in a crisp dark chocolate shell, a Lavender Honey Ganache in a dark chocolate shell, an Oranage Blossom Honey worked into a smooth caramel under a milk chocolate shell and a Wildflower Honey with pieces of Honeycomb, smothered in white chocolate.  Their distinctive yellow box is eyecatching.  These honey chocolates are very memorable.

 Is there anything better than a crisp thin piece of lemon shortbread?  I would argue not.  These lemon shortbread thins from Marks and Spencer come in a distinctive stylish tin that will quickly become useful to house alsorts of kitchen bits and pieces.  A sweet refreshing lemon flavour mixed with a firm crumb makes these biscuits a great afternoon snack with a cup of tea.  

Crumbly buttery fudge with a texture of tablet has long been a favourite in our household, a sweet treat that goes back with generations of our family.  Splattered cookbooks list recipes for this sweet treat.  Firm to the bite these melt in the mouth pieces of fudge have been laced with pieces of Australian ginger for a slight spicy kick.  

The Marks and Spencer Les Ruettes Sancerre is crisp and sharp.  Refreshing to sip as an apertif, it has a soft golden colour with a minerally flavour that is flinty and fine.  Made with 100% Sauvigon Blanc grapes this youthful Sancerre has a rich lemon flavour that works well with fish and chicken.

Marks and Spencer has always been one of my favourite places to stock up on food and wine treats for Mother's Day.  I can be assured of the quality of the product and the thought behind the flavour combinations.

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Mums who read my thoughts.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Sunday
Mar232014

Family Inheritance - a guest post by Lynn Bourgeois

Today we are happy to welcome the beautiful Lynn Bourgeosis, an amazing garden designer, with the next post in our series 'Celebrating Mothers'.  Lynn shares with us about the special bond between mother and daughter, that may not always be immediately apparent.

My mum was a remarkable lady, but I never really knew it until she wasn't there anymore. You see I grew up in the generation where parents protected their children from anything that could hurt them, but sometimes also forgot to tell them the things which would make them strong....I don't mean anything bad by that, my mum loved me totally as her child, but we just never really learned to apreciate each other.

We had a difficult relationship, she always loved me, but I never really understood her love, we were at cross purposes, she wanted me to hug her and I hated hugging, and I wanted her attention and she was always busy . We never really learned to communicate how much love we felt for each other, we never learned to communicate at all, past the day to day buzz of life, and so much of who we were we hid from each other.

When she died of cancer 11 years ago. I started to hear tales of this remarkable woman I had never really known. How she used to bake buns for the neighbours when they were housebound. How she served tea and coffee at the local prison for those who had had to travel so far. How she searched out the lonely and marginalised, and was always there for the people that others forgot about. It was a picture of the most beautiful person, who I knew and yet really didn't know.

After she died I spent years traumatising about the fact that I hadn't really got to know her properly, but I realised that that was just how she wanted it, in some way she was trying to protect me from.. everything.

Over the years God has been gracious to me, and allowed me to see glimpses of my mum as she really was, not just as an amazing woman, but also how much she really loved me, her precious daughter.  

And, you know all those times when I was angry at my mum for never having more friends, for never having a exciting life ... All those times when I swore I would never turn out to be just like her, a housewife who had no influence in her life, just melted away.

In a strange way, I have turned out just like her, I have two beautiful children whom I love dearly and just like her, my heart cries out for the marginalised, for those people who feel lonely or alone. Helping people in need is what makes my heart soar, and when someone mentioned doing work in the local prison service recently, my heart skipped a beat.

I know now that she had a quirky sense of humour, that bordered on sarcasm, and which I never really understood until I watched her interact with my husband...All those conversations make more sense now. They weren't meant to put me down, but to build me up and make me laugh...I just never got it!.
Now, my heart, which never really understood, blossoms with love for her, this wonderful, gracious lady
This lady that I am so proud to call my mum and who's footsteps I am so happy to be following in.

So daughters, before you wish you were different from your mum, look closely and see all those beautiful ways you can be like her in the little things, and embrace those and be honoured to be borne of one so beautiful in Gods eyes.

For Pearl x

Psalm 33:11 NIV
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Jeremiah 31:3 NIV
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Lynn

Thank you Lynn, we loved having you at our place today.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt and Sparkle = Life Remarkable