A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

Happy and Home: The Joy of Little Love Notes


When I was little my Mum always left me little love notes, in my lunch box, little letters when she went away, and when I was a grumpy teenager and she wanted me to hang the washing out, she would draw me cartoons of washing dancing on the line too. It is something I try to do for my kids too, it brings a little joy to life and makes a happy home.

My kids leave me little notes now and so I was blown away with Mr G’s love and kisses post it note installation which covered my computer last week. Continue reading

Happy and Home: How to Make Elderflower Champagne

How to make Elderflower Champagne

When I was 18 my Mum presented me with a cookbook with all my favourites and many ideas from across the family. This recipe was one of hers and while I remember her making it when I was small, I was always too young to taste this mildly alcoholic brew. Walking with Max over the bank holiday weekend I stumbled on some elderflowers and decided, after all these years, it was time to try out that recipe. Continue reading

Reflecting on what makes a happy home #happyandhome

Rope mirrors from Wayfair UK with printers block reflected

What makes a happy home? It’s a quest I have been on for a few months now, I’ve looked at homes in different countries, considered my own home, I have loved reading other people’s posts about finding the happy in their homes. My curiosity has now got the better of me,  happy homes has become a research project. In case you missed it, I’ve moved Happy and Home to Tuesday. Continue reading

#happyandhome is moving to Tuesday

HappyAndHome 6

Just a note to say #happyandhome will be moving to Tuesdays from now on, Monday is always such a busy day, it makes sense to move it a day.  My quest to find out what makes us happy at home continues tomorrow!

Bloggers – if you have a post full of love of things happy and home – a happy moment at home, gardens, crafts, food, interiors, home makeovers, entertaining family and friends, relaxing or enjoying life at home – do come and link up a post tomorrow.

Have you tried switching it off and on again? #happyandhome


Rooms Made For You Magnetic Plaster Office Wall Reveal

On Friday night I whisked the kids home from school, gave them free reign over the telly and went back to my computer to meet a deadline. Just as I was nearing completion, an almighty wail arose from my youngest, big fat sobs and proper tears. Fearing he had hurt himself, or another goldfish had died, I ran to see what was happening.

There he stood in the hallway, iPad dangling limply at his side, head raised to the heavens screaming. Continue reading

When you feel overwhelmed, look skywards #happyandhome

If you ever feel overwhelmed or stuck I recommend opening the back door and staring at the sky. I can’t take credit for the idea, my friend Jess suggested it to me last week. Everything was breaking, my to list was bulging and I was getting nowhere fast.

My office overlooks the garden. While I battled with failing wifi, an overloaded computer and an unhappy website, outside the garden was being transformed before my eyes. Paying a gardener was the best decision. I had managed to transform half the garden in March, but since then it had been staring back at me weed covered and forlorn.

Last year our friend and garden designer Pip transformed the space for us – creating new borders and sinking the trampoline and I had vowed I wasn’t going to let her fabulous work disappear again. Continue reading

How do you settle home after a holiday? #happyandhome

Hello! Hope you had a lovely bank holiday? Thanks to all who have been linking up with Happy and Home, it really is a lovely source of inspiration and warmth. I need that, after a month of travel, coming home isn’t quite what I expected. I don’t know how you feel after being away or on holiday, how do you settle home after a holiday?

For me it’s wonderful to be home with my family again, but home itself feels confined, I pace about like a caged tiger who can’t get comfortable, after having had the world to roam around, four walls feels so restrictive. After living out of a small bag, having a house full of stuff is maddening. Continue reading

Fabulous Lighting Inspiration From Madrid #happyandhome

This week’s happy and home comes from Madrid, where I spent the weekend celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday. What an incredible city, the colours and energy hit you straight away, the escalator at Madrid airport is like entering a whole other dimension of home possibilities. Madrid is full of great value, fantastic little bars and eateries, many with the most brilliant contemporary decor.

I don’t know about you, but when all my home inspiration starts to come from things I read about, I can lose interest in interiors rapidly.  Madrid was just what I needed, to see stunning design ideas come alive. After Iceland the weekend before last, I had a busy three days at home painting and finishing my office for the magnetic office wall project, which I am very close to sharing the final reveal for. The one thing I don’t have is a lampshade, and having spent hours online hunting, seeing some amazing real lampshades In Madrid made me smile and renewed my enthusiasm. Continue reading

Icelandic Home Style #happyandhome

I still haven’t been in my own home for much more than a couple of days in the last week. So this week Happy and Home comes from Iceland where I have been lucky enough to participate in a gourmet food press trip to Hotel Ranga and meet old friends who live here.

I met two Icelandic girls in 1997 when I worked as a chambermaid at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, and have kept in touch and remained friends all these years – it was wonderful to see how our lives had moved on in nearly 20 years, and I’m still fascinated by tourism and hotel life! This was my third trip to Iceland, knowing someone in a country makes you feel at home so quickly. Icelandic people are incredible, warm and welcoming and incredibly good fun. They know how to tell great stories and are really knowledgeable about their country.

So Iceland always feels like a kind of coming home to me. The colourful corrugated iron cladding you can see pictured above, at an Ice Cream farm we visited, always conjures Iceland to me.

We drove through the landscape, newly awoken from a dark, cold winter and each time it appeared, the sun made the land truly come alive.

I took this picture of a little summerhouse, I love the red roof against the blue sky, nestled beneath the mountains. I can see why Iceland has become such a popular tourist attraction, we all want to unplug and escape. Continue reading

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