Monday, 30 September 2013

Weekly Wishes - Week #2

Happy Monday everyone!

I'm joining in with Melyssa at The Nectar Collective again to share our Weekly Wishes.
The theme this week is 'Happy'.
This is Jasmine, my parent's beautiful and incredibly loving Labrador Retriever. This was taken last year, when she was a little, cheeky, puppy. She's grown a lot since then!
Jasmine embodies happy. She just doesn't do sad. And she's never happier than when she's rolling around in the green grass with her favourite chew toy.
Watching her play makes everyone happy!

So. Weekly Wishes...
What did I wish last week? Let's recap:

1) I wanted to start up my Etsy shop. I've decided to put this on hold until I have more work to fill it with. No point in being premature and starting with things I'm not happy with.
But I did Join Twitter....come follow me!
2) Re-start my food diary. Kinda achieved....I may have missed a few things off so I need to be more strict with this.
3) At least 30 mins a day excercise. Kinda achieved. Will be better this week now we have the bikes back up and running.
4) Sort my 'floordrobe'. Yep, done - phew I am no longer a sloth. However, see this week's wishes for further bedroom related tasks.
5) Pick & freeze some fruit. Yep, done. See, I told you about it here.

This week's wishes:

1) I haven't said much about it as I don't want to bore, but I am currently job hunting. So, wish one is to have at least 5 more applications under my belt & ideally, by this time next week, have something lined up.

2) Continue the 30 minutes per day excercise. STOP SNACKING - only eat at mealtimes & practice portion control.

3) Clean our bedroom - sort out my accessories & products on my dressing table. Finally hang the art work I made for our wedding, that I've been planning to put up in our room.

So, that's it. Think I'll keep it simple and stick to those three this week!

Are you joining in too?
Find out more by hitting the button....

The Nectar Collective

What did you achieve last week & what do you plan for this week?

Look forward to finding out all about it!

Sarah x

Days Out - The bikes are back!....& we took them to Wrea Green

Thanks to my lovely dad I spent some of last week bringing back to life our bikes, that have laid unloved, flat and gathering dust in my parent's garage. Couple of new inner tubes, a bucket of soapy water, squirt of oil and plenty of elbow grease later and we were ready to roll! (or cycle to be exact).

Sunday was the most perfect day for our inaugural cycle ride. So we decided to stay local to begin and we set off in the perfect Autumn sunshine to the little village of Wrea Green.

It took us only 30 minutes of easy, breezy pedalling (our area is perfect for cycling as it's generally really flat) to reach Wrea Green - a picture perfect little village just inland in rural coastal Lancashire. 

Because it's so very picturesque Wrea Green is a very sought after place to live. Highly paid footballers regularly fight over the pretty houses with views over the village 'green' & there's always a rumour of which movie star is planning to move in next...of course they usually stay as just that...rumours! There's a cute little church, tiny parade of shops, a primary school, 
even a duck pond

On the day we visited a (somewhat elderly) local football team was playing a match. It's a surefire sign of Autumn when footballers replace the regular summer sight of Cricketers on 'the green'. Mr Peach is happy to watch either so was in his element.

There's a lovely little pub called 'The Grapes' facing the green too - a perfect little bolt-hole for a sunny sunday afternoon. 
However, since we're trying to watch the pennies, we came prepared with our chiller-backpack full of picnic goodies....including a mini-bottle of chardonnay as reward for my efforts....

Time for a quick selfie before hopping back into the saddle...

Not the best selfie ever, but can you see the Duck Pond there behind us?

Then we jumped back on board and pedalled off a little further.

Final stop was a pub called 'The Birley Arms' - that I used to visit regularly when I was younger...usually on horse-back!

Around here, no Sunday Bike ride is complete without a good old British Pint of local ale...

...hmm, looking particularly crazy there Sarah!

What a perfect end to a perfectly wonderful Sunday! 
Welcome back bicycles!...why did we ever forget you?!

Sarah x

Thursday, 26 September 2013

From my sketchbook - Des cercles de dessin

  • (Circles of pattern)

Pages from my sketchbook. Still playing with pattern and overlaying with colour.

Some thoughts for this Thursday....

  • Today is the two month anniversary of Mr Peach and my wedding. The sun is out just like it was on our wedding day (though it was a lot warmer). I hope he comes out to celebrate with us on 26th of every month!

  • The Sunshine theme continues as Avoir-La-Peche has been given its first award, 'The Sunshine Award' by gorgeous Mal at Lazy Boleyn. Hop over and find out more about Mal and her lovely blog here. Then hop back to see me answering those questions and making a few nominations of my own in the next couple of days. Very exciting!

  • You can now find me on Twitter too! Avoir-La-Peche is to be found at @AvoirPeche 

  • When we went fruit picking the other day we decided to leave the Sloes another week or so to ripen, before we pick them to make 'Sloe Gin'. But maybe we needn't go to the trouble. We could just nip to the supermarket to visit the sweetie aisle and join my friend in making...

Pear Drop Vodka.

Recipe: Litre of Vodka, Hand-full Pear-drop boiled sweets.Method: Take some Vodka from the bottle to make room for the sweets (may I suggest a round of vodka-tonics?). Bash the sweets up a bit and put them into the vodka bottle. Shake bottle once a week until sweets are dissolved (around christmas if you start now).

Apparently you can also use Skittles, Jelly Babies, Werthers Originals, After Eights....basically any sweets. You can also (repulsively) speed the process up in your dishwasher! Yuk, no thanks!


Hope you're all having lovely Thursdays! 

Sarah x

Monday, 23 September 2013

Weekly Wishes - Week #1

(Joining in with Melyssa's 'Innocence' theme...that's me back in the days when all I had to worry about were my Spaceman sunglasses and my Minnie Mouse dress...oh the days of innocence!)

Happy Monday everyone...hope your week has got off to a good start!

Because I'm a big brave blogger I'm joining in again...this time with Melyssa at the Nectar Collective and her fabulous Weekly Wishes share. I think it's such a great idea to share our wishes for the week ahead and celebrate our achievements together. (Hello to everyone else joining in!) I'll have to be careful though, as I have a tendency to write ENORMOUS lists for myself, then feel disappointed when I don't manage to cross everything off.
So, I'm limiting myself to a maximum of 5 each week.
Here goes with week 1....

1) Kick off my a.l.p. Etsy shop and list at least 1 item.

2) Re-start my food diary (hence less snacking)

3) Take at least 30 minutes each day to excercise - even if only a walk around the park.

4) Sort my 'floordrobe' which is now getting ridiculous & driving Mr Peach crazy 
(yes I am actually admitting to being that untidy!)

5)Pick and freeze some fruit 
(blackberries, elderberries, apples & sloes from around my parent's home) 

1 week should be enough shouldn't it?
We'll see!

Want to join in Weekly Wishes too?
It's easy...just click on the button below and learn all about it:

The Nectar Collective

Sarah x

Days Out - Lancashire - Brockholes Nature Reserve

Autumn is setting in and I'm determined to make the most of it. The cricket season is over which means I get cricket mad Mr Peach back, all be it around winter football fixtures. This fall I'm on a mission to get out more to explore the North-West of England. I want to find new places and expand our usual fall-back circuit of Sunday trips. The only limit is our budget.....prepare yourselves for day-tripping on a shoestring!

Yesterday we visited the super new nature reserve of 'Brockholes', just south of Preston (and therefore only a 40 minute zip up the M55 for us). Locality and ease of access....Win #1 (Mr Peach is like an impatient child when it comes to day tripping - it helps when I drive as he can keep himself occupied DJ'ing and surfing on his phone, but I still get 'how long?'...'how long now?'... like a stuck record until we arrive).

Brockholes is a nature reserve on the site of a former quarry, lying between the river Ribble and the M6 motorway just south of Preston. In just 5 years, from 2006 to 20011, the Lancashire Wildlife Trust developed the site from industrial wasteland to a tranquil parkland, with secluded wooded glades and fantastic views over beautiful, quintessentially Lancastrian countryside.

Apologies as these aren't the best photos ever, but here's some of us exploring one of the woodland trails, up through Redscar woods.
We started walking down to the River Ribble...

It turned out to be a beautiful sunny early Autumn day. That's the River Ribble behind me.
Everywhere we walked we were followed by the most beautiful (but camera-shy) red Dragon Flies!

(On a style note - I was roasting and ended up carrying that coat most of the way. I need to review my choice of clothes and hair styles for days flyaway hair really does not like the outdoors!)

The reserve has such stunning views across the Lancashire countryside 
(OK I'm bias, but it really is beautiful!)

Then we headed off into the woodland. There are several routes, some for bikes and people, some only for people. We chose the on-foot routes, but will definitely be returning on two wheels when we get our bikes back up and running as the cycle routes looked so much fun! 

The paths were really clear and easy to follow. If you have little ones (or an easily bored husband) there's great signage showing what nature you can spot in the woods. We played along...of course!

Here's Mr Peaches looking angry...he wasn't actually, but was trying to out-cool the woodland. He loves this photo as he says he looks like terminator...i'm less sure.

Even in this little woodland glade we spotted footprints, acorns, odd sounding birds and a teeny tiny cute little frog disguised as a mossy stone. 

It's been a bumper year for fruit and there were signs of this everywhere. Blackberries in every nook and cranny. Look at the big, juicy (but very inedible) berries on this tree:

We climbed the steep steps up to the top of the woods.

This is taken about half-way up, there's the same number of steps behind us here!
If you're not so steady on your feet (or feeling unfit like me!) don't worry, as there's little benches or clean swept fallen tree trunks to rest on placed at convenient intervals along the way. 

When we reached the top the pathway opened right out onto open pastures where it connects to the Preston cycle network, the 'Millenium Wheel' circuit...which we also can't wait to explore when we're back on two wheels. 

We don't know why the stretch we were on was called 'Pope Lane'....something to investigate...

The path was super easy to follow with directions everywhere - we followed them back through the woods on another path, past the brilliant outdoor play-centre and back to the start of the trail.

After our little wander around the reserve we headed down to the fabulous visitor centre. 
The whole visitor centre actually's brilliant!
(of course I forgot to photograph this - here's a couple of photos from the Brockholes website)


Ok, I have to admit now I actually had an ulterior motive for choosing to visit Brockholes yesterday. 
I had heard that Crafty Vintage were paying the centre a special visit that day...


We paid our bargain £1 entry fee & spent a great half hour exploring the fab little stalls.
Were we not there on a shoestring I could have spent a fortune.
 I must remember in future to budget in the price of a cake and a hot chocolate for Mr Peach to keep him entertained whilst I shop...and some spending money for me ;)

After the fair we visited the great interactive information centre and sat by the lake admiring the view and stretching our ornithological muscles (but not, of course, feeding any scary birds!)

As the sun set the sky turned dramatic and a little ominous...

So we headed back home, full of fresh air and fun.

Thanks Brockholes - see you soon!


Tips for your Trip.....

What to Expect
Parking - £3.05 for nearly 3 hours. The reserve is free to visit but proceeds from parking go back to Lancashire Wildlife Trust. (There are sneaky ways of avoiding the parking charge, but you'll have to explore them yourself as it wouldn't be fair to publish them online). **TIP** Take LOTS of change for the car park...there was change swapping en mass between strangers at the pay point!
Public Transport - Preston is easy to get to by Train. If you took your bikes you could cycle from the station to the reserve, through the centre of Preston to the outskirts, in around 20-30 minutes. 
Good for children? - Yes....10/10, provided your little ones enjoy nature and outdoors. The visitor centre and playground were particularly great and there are guided tours and the like too.
Food & Drink? - Yes - a great looking little cafe, overlooking the lake. I didn't notice the prices but looked like the perfect stop for a cup of tea and a cake. More information on the website.
What to take - A picnic....there are picnic stations dotted around in great places all around. Bikes - perfect cycling tracks, no matter what your age.

What will we do differently next time?...
We'll be taking our bikes and our cool-pack full of a nice big picnic!
We'll also be exploring more of the Preston Millenium Wheel cycle network and taking advantage of the sneaky parking tricks ;)


Sunday, 22 September 2013

My pretty dress...Ma jolie robe

A little study on the way to explore more pattern in my work.

What do you think? Do you like my pretty dress?

Sarah x

Friday, 20 September 2013

Five for Friday - Cinq pour Vendredi

Thank fajita it's Friday!'s been a bit of a tedious one in the peaches house. Mr Peach has had a tough week at school and i've mainly been stuck in a kind of limbo waiting on what feels like a thousand job applications. On the plus side i've been able to catch up with art & design work and I got to meet loads of amazing inspirational new 'friends around the world' when I took part in this link-up on Tuesday.

Onwards to the very welcome weekend! Here's my five links for Friday to get it started...

- Hemingway loved a burger...who knew?! And he insisted on making his own...a man after my own heart (home-made are the only burgers i'll eat). Salad, coleslaw, wedges & my very own Hemingway burger....perfect Saturday night dinner i think!

- Hands up who's been having this debate recently? (Northern hemisphere issues....) I'm a woos who hates the cold with a passion, but for now we've settled on an hour a day (to get things dry)...and a hot water bottle and a blanket!

- Make these lush bath melts with ThisEnchantedPixie! Of course you will need to run a nice hot bath and sample one.....then wrap up the rest as perfect pressies for the emergency pressie drawer!

- Go on a girl's night out with Mal at LazyBoleyn, and four of her favourite historical ladies! Who would you go out with and what would you wear? (As you can see in the comments I LOVED this idea, and got a little carried away imagining who I would party with!)

- This newsreader made a hilarious mistake....I hope this makes you giggle as much as it did me! Poor guy, he does work some odd hours...bless him!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
Sarah x x x

Quote me! - On marriage....Citez-moi! - Sur le mariage

Like and Share if you agree

So, so true!! I LOVE it!
One of my favourite things about being with Mr Peach is that I never have to sleep alone - put it down to my Gemini roots if you like. I always have this debate with one of my best friends when she asks me 'do you not just like to potter around in your own company sometimes?' nope! Given the choice I'd have people with me all the time.
More than that, this quote says everything about those little times we spend together, doing pretty much nothing (well nothing of any consequence) but having so much fun because we're doing it together.

I told Mr P I'd read this quote and he laughed, then gave me a big squeeze.
And that's why I love him so....

Thursday, 19 September 2013

From my sketchbook - Playing with pattern...Jouer avec d├ętail

I'm trying to get more detail & pattern into my work. 
These pattern boxes are some of the most fun studies I've done.

I sit and doodle whilst watching TV, at dinner, on the train, in bed....
Mr Peach looks at me confused and says I've gone a bit 'Rain Man'.

Ha!....he's probably right!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Fox - Le Renard

This is the first sketch from a photo that I've done in ages - inspired when checking my emails on my phone this morning and accidentally hitting a button (which is annoyingly easy to hit) that brings up a search page...inspiration in the most mundane of places! This beautiful photo of a proud and wiley fox (well actually a portion of this beautiful photo in proportion to my phone screen) was the background image.

So, I decided to quickly sketch Mr Fox. And here he is. Not the best sketch I've ever done and not really the type of sketch I usually do. However, since he only took around 15 mins, I'm quite pleased with him.

Together with this great proverb, he's reminded me that unless I make a start then I won't achieve anything. Well, at least that's what I'm thinking it means, since that it perfectly relevant to many areas of my life at the moment!

So, today I'm off to find some proverbial meat.

Before I go, since I'm really excited about the prospect, I'd also like to say a big hello to you first few followers!

Wishing you all have wonderfully productive days too.

Sarah x

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

From my sketchbook - Hide with me?

Pouvez-vous cacher avec moi de la pluie?


Autumn is coming.
Some days I want to dance in the rain. Today i'd just like to hide from it please.

Friends around the first link-up!!!

Today I'm excited to be taking part in my first blog link-up 'Friends around the world'.
Thanks to Rachel @ Brachel Boulevard and Nicole @ Treasure Tromp for arranging this new link up.
You can join in too....just click on the button....

Friends Around the World Link Up Blog Hop

It's the first time I've been brave enough to join in, plus I wanted to wait until there were at least a few things to read on my little blog, although it's far from fully grown yet!
I've already found a few fab new blogs which I'm looking forward to following.
Welcome to anyone who find me here via the link up!! I look forward to sharing more fun in the future!
Sarah x x x

Monday, 16 September 2013

Viva Havana!

Hope you enjoy a few photos from our amazing and inspirational trip to Havana during our honeymoon in Cuba. What a crazy, vibrant city....though I warn you every time you blink there's another amazing photo opportunity... by the end Mr Peach was nearly threatening divorce if I didn't put my camera down!

1 - That blue is apparently 'Havana Blue''s no wonder if you look at the sky in some of these.
2 - Buena Vista Social Club follows you down every street - these guys look like they might have been contemporaries!
3 - Amazing colours everywhere.
4) - La Bodeguita del Medio....a tiny 'typically cuban bar', one of the oldest in Cuba - graffitti is welcome to make your mark.
5) Partages, the oldest tobacco factory in Havana, still in operation today.
6) Even the graffiti is funky and vibrant!
7) In Cuba, when it rains, it really rains! Stranded in a market in an electric storm....perfect time for photos.
8) I had totally the wrong lens setting in this photo, but somehow love the result all the more!
9) My favourite of my Havana photos...wet streets, peeling walls, ancient car...but somehow all the more beautiful for each of these.

Monday, 9 September 2013

On beginnings 2


Today I'm going to let this picture of a print by the amazing and inspirational Lisa Congdon do the talking for me.
I visit Lisa's blog every day for inspiration, usually spending far too long in awe reading over her work. Thanks Lisa for the hope.

Today I will be leaping............