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

Home and Interior Design Blogs You Need to Know About

Rooms Made For You Magnetic Plaster Office Wall Reveal

Hello from my office! Today I thought it might be fun to share some other great home and interior design blogs you might want to check out – apart from A Residence of course – and the people behind them. It’s always great to find new blogs and there is a real variety here, from modern to vintage to quirky to budget, from families to couples to singles. The inspiration for interiors is far reaching, these bloggers are influenced by travel, food, fashion, culture, environment, relationships. Continue reading

Living, Eating and Travelling Danishly: Making Smorrebrod

Eating Danishly - Learning how to make a Smorrebrod at Snaps and Rye in London - 6

I’ve discovered the perfect family weekend ritual, Smorrebrod, this is going to make you so happy to be home! Snaps + Rye is London’s only Danish restaurant, situated on the Golborne Road and run by Danish husband and English wife team Kell and Jacqueline Skött. Spotting a gaping hole in the market and as keen foodies, they decided to turn their hairdressing salon into a cafe.  Having sampled their amazing Smorrebrod, or open sandwiches, at Blogstock festival I ‘snapped’ up the chance to learn how to make them at their restaurant with the experts in Scandinavian travel, Best Served Scandinavia last week. Continue reading

Happy and Home: Free champagne!

Making Elderflower Champagne

Okay I admit it, it is 11am on a weekday morning and I am happy and home drinking free champagne. I was so excited to taste my elderflower champagne and share my successes with you here. Oh, and to tell you to absolutely make this, it is the most divine tasting thing I have ever made and costs next to nothing to make – just the cost of a few lemons and a bag of sugar. I actually feel guilty for sitting on the recipe my mum gave me for over 20 years. It’s in this post here, quick, go make some! Continue reading

House Fantasy: A Villa in Ibiza

Ibiza Villa by Clickstay - 4

You know when you stumble on that villa, the one with the jaw dropping views, the incredible terrace, a complete seaside retreat, the stuff of dreams?  When you know it is absolutely the perfect situation? I caught a glimpse of Villa Wu Wei over on Clickstay, and I knew it had to be my next ‘House Fantasy’.

This blog began many moons ago, on a sun lounger in Spain, so Spain will always have a place in my heart. Ibiza is also is somewhere I never went in my youth, but there is no reason not to go with kids, it’s more than a hedonistic clubber’s paradise… Continue reading

Q&A: Lord and Lady Carnarvon, Highclere Castle

Q&A: Lord and Lady Carnarvon, Highclere Castle

Recently I was invited to Highclere Castle, with Visit England, to explore the Capability Brown gardens with Lord and Lady Carnavon, to see the Egyptian Museum and tour the house which was featured on Downton Abbey. In my last post on Highclere I had just sat down for afternoon tea to find the 8th Earl of Carnarvon sat down next to me, so over the course of the day, I even managed to sneak in some of the A Residence Home Q&A questions… Continue reading

Happy and Home: How to make sushi (with prizes)

Have you ever made sushi? It's easier than it looks and really satisfying. Find out how to make sushi in this post

The ‘joy’ of tidying the kids bedrooms and then learning how to make sushi. It was a Japanese kind of day. The tidying was an emotional affair, but the sushi making on the other hand, was truly joyous. Leading Japanese foodie brand Yutaka challenged us to make our own sushi, come see the fun we had moulding sticky, sweet rice into little sushi rolls. Yutaka have also kindly offered a sushi kit for two to giveaway to one of the bloggers linking up to happy and home today, along with a stylish sushi plate set from Wayfair. Continue reading

The Ultimate Unforgettable Wedding Gift Guide

Wedding gift guide - the art of imaginative wedding gifts that are truly unforgettable

I asked those who have been happily married for years to tell me which gifts stood the test of time for this wedding gift guide. I’ve also woven in a few new gifting ideas from Wayfair you might like too, if you are venturing off list or putting together a wedding list. Although many couples have a wedding gift list these days, increasingly wedding guests are looking off list, for something really unique and memorable. The married couples I asked all admitted to appreciating the gifts from those who went off list much more than they realised. Continue reading

7 Easy BBQ Salads, Plus A BBQ Giveaway

Watermelon, feta and tomato salad

It’s great to get some veggies into a BBQ, but the last thing I want with a burger is the traditional BBQ fare of a heavy pasta or potato salad, neither do I want to just empty a token bag of salad into a bowl, that no one eats. BBQ salads can be really easy as well as complimenting, and even over shadowing the food on the BBQ, here are some ideas to get your mouth watering.

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

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