Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Special Friendships & Tea Time...

I have been excitedly awaiting this moment to share a special post with you...
I know you will enjoy meeting two of my dearest friends and taking a peek into the special few days we spent together whilst I was visiting in the Cape a few weeks ago...

Apart from catching up with the latest news in our two families, going for a lovely walk in the crisp winter sunshine, sipping far too much tea, admiring gorgeous vintage items and going fabric shopping, we enjoyed a very blessed time of fellowship which I will remember always...

 ...But now let me share my absolute favourite part of our visit with you ~ our delightful high tea!

 

Here are the three of us all dressed up in pretty dresses and ready for our tea party...  
On the left is Miss M who is my very dear penfriend, and her lovely sister, Miss J...  
Both are precious sisters in the Lord and whenever we get together there is much giggling and chatter! 

 Miss J and I posing...it reminds me of the cover picture of Sense & Sensibility...?

~
We have a fun tradition that whenever we get together, we have a special tea party, as we all love pretty tea cups, tea and all things vintage, elegant and lovely...


 We spent Tuesday morning baking a few sweet treats, making little cucumber sandwiches and setting the table for our high tea later that day...of course we used the most elegant tea set and the daintiest of touches to decorate our tea table!  Smiles...

We then went upstairs to change into pretty party dresses and do our hair and make~up...


Miss J is gifted with an elegant hand...her unique style of calligraphy inspires me!  

 

Miss M creatively arranged different flavours of tea in gorgeous Royal Albert tea cups, and Miss J made the labels so that we would know what tea we were drinking...there were many amazing and delicious flavours to choose from!

"Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage."

~ Catharine Douzel


 This stunning Royal Albert tea pot was a purely delightful addition to our tea table!
I love the elegant shape, and don't you think the gold edging gives the tea pot a very regal look...?
 
"A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards."

~ A.A. Milne

Cucumber sandwiches creatively arranged on a bed of spinach leaves...

Honey Scones that were oh, so scrumptious!

Sweet little flowers adorned the table...

 We spent a leisurely afternoon sipping tea, munching the delicious eats we had made and attempting to engage in 'old fashioned conversation'...smiles...we slipped back into our 'normal' ways soon enough, though!


...And so ended the most beautiful of tea times, although each of us admitted that it just wasn't quite the same without my sister, Nancy, who has always been a special addition to our gatherings in the past and was greatly missed...

We are praying that before long we will meet again, and we excitedly await that wonderful day and you can be certain there will be another fabulous high tea to celebrate!

~
Wishing you all the most beautiful of Wednesdays, sweet friends!



Monday, July 27, 2015

Vintage Treasures ❤

A very dear friend of mine recently blessed me with this beautiful book by Edith Holden...
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady...smiles...thank you Miss M, you are indeed a treasure!


My sweet friend knows how much I love anything vintage, beautiful, and country~inspired,
and I was touched beyond words that she thought so particularly of me...❤

   "A friend is a gift you give yourself..."  

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

  There is so much lovely detail on every page...the love Miss Holden had for the countryside is evident in her beautiful and detailed paintings...

 "Edith Holden's words, all carefully written by hand, include her favourite poems, personal thoughts and observations on the wildlife she saw surrounding her home in Warwickshire, and on her travels through Engalnd and Scotland.  The equisitely beautiful paintings on every page of birds, butterflies, bees and flowers, reflect her deep love of nature; they have been executed with a naturalist's eye for detail, and the sensitivity of an artist..."

~ Introduction to The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

The daily journal entries are written with such care and simplicity, and a warm colour palette is used for her incredible paintings...

"The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein."

~ Psalm 24:1

 ~
The other day, upon visiting the post office, I was excited to find a very sweet letter waiting from me from my new and very dear penfriend in Virginia...smiles...  
Did I ever mention how much I love receiving letters in the mail?  Letters bring such pleasure!

  "There are a few things that people really value in their daily life, and one of them is certainly receiving letters.  In spite of the vast electronic communication services available to us, most people still love to get letters in the mail."

~ Lady Lydia

 Oh, and just look at this beautiful and delicate vintage hankerchief dear Ashleigh sent me...she said she found it on a recent visit to her local antique store and thought it needed to move into my cottage...wasn't that so thoughtful and kind of her...? 

"The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it..."

~ Unknown

~
Today is gloriously clear and crisp - the perfect day for tending the garden...my mom and I are very busy planning our spring garden and discussing all the lovely flowers, vegetables and herbs we are hoping to plant this year...Spring is just around the corner, my friends, and how very glad I am!

~
Thus, I bid you farewell for now, sweet friends...
I hope you have a beautiful week ahead filled with many lovely blessings and smiles!

 ~ Blessings ~


~ Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for breathren to dwell together in unity!  Psalm 133:1 ~

  ~

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Birthday Musings...

...And so a lovely day of celebrating came to an end...
Now I take delight of sharing a few of the photographs from Beth's party with you...
Firstly, let me thank each of you for your lovely birthday wishes for Beth...how kind you all are!

~
After ever so many vintage, pink and girly party themes over the last few years, we decided to do something completely different for a change and thought a Wild West party would be lots of fun!

We saw an adorable idea in a magazine for a cowboy boot cake, complete with spurs...so I set to work on Tuesday baking a deliciously rich chocolate cake and whipping up some lovely butter icing...hmmm... 

This cake was so much fun to make...

That evening whilst Nancy was busy wrapping Beth's gifts, I began by cutting the shape (drawn by my dear mom!), sandwiching the two layers together and giving it an initial layer of icing to ensure no bits of cake were visible in the final layer...  Then Nancy wove her magic with fondant icing to create the details...

 Pure excitement...smiles...
 
Wednesday dawned beautiful and crisp...  After Beth unwrapped her birthday gifts, we had some delicious hot chocolate made with dark chocolate, and what hot chocolate would be complete without marshmallows...?

Beth with her hot chocolate...perfect for a chilly winter's day!

Rebekah enjoying her cup of hot chocolate...

We then prepared the few things we needed to give Beth a little party...  We just had one sweet family join us, which was lovely...
Nancy and Mom made these cute party packs containing a bandana, a sheriff badge and a few chocolate coins...

The party bags...wouldn't you like to receive one, my friends...?

The goodies within...

~
 Tea and cake were the simple but delicous refreshments served at the party...along with smiles and laughter...
 

...And so the day ended with a wonderful family dinner...smiles...

What a special, relaxed day we had with the birthday girl...I honestly can't believe
she is 11 already...how the time flies!  ❤

~
I hope you enjoyed a peek at Beth's birthday party, dear friends!
Have a wonderful weekend further!

~ Blessings ~

Friday, July 24, 2015

To Dearest Little Beth...


To my dearest little sister, Beth...  Happy, happy 11th birthday, precious girl!

"...Do not lose sight of these things.
Use priceless wisdom and foresight.
Then they will mean life for you,
and they will grace your neck.
Then you will go safely on your way,
and you will not hurt your foot.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid.
As you lie there, your sleep will be sweet."

~ Proverbs 3:21-24

~
It is such a wonderful joy to have dear Beth in our lives and I am so glad the Lord spoke to the hearts' of my parents all those years ago, and brought not only sweet Beth, but three more precious girls into our family...  They make life richer, fuller and happier, and cause us to abandon all selfishness and draw our strength from Jesus...

I feel so incredibly blessed to have a close family with the friendship of so many
lovely little ladies...  While we do indeed have our troubles, we have a close bond and 
love each other tenderly...we share smiles, laughter, sorrow and tears...
I believe this is essential between sisters and draws us nearer to one another and also to the heart of God.

~
Beth is the sweet girl who absolutely loves animals, particularly horses and dogs...❤
Riding her bicycle...playing dress-up with her sisters...running around and climbing trees...
Just a few of the many things that make her happy and bring laughter to her lips!

But most importantly, she loves Jesus with all her heart and as she is growing
older, she is developing a softer heart more in tune to hear His voice...I pray that the struggles
she faces in her life will only lead her closer to the Father and that she may rely on His 
guidance and grace every single day...

"...Guard your heart more than anything else
because the source of your life flows from it."

~ Proverbs 4:23


 It is truly beautiful to see her enjoying things such as drawing, calligraphy, baking, reading and now sewing...
The two of us have very similar personalities, likes and dislikes and we share a very close bond...  Sharing a room has allowed us to talk when all is quiet at night and I am humbled to be able to share my walk with the Lord with Beth and encourage her to seek Him daily as He can indeed be found, even in the midst of pain...  
 We don't always see eye to eye, but by God's grace we have a special relationship which I pray will only deepen as the years go by...

"Listen to your father's discipline,
and do not neglect your mother's teachings,
because discipline and teachings
are a graceful garland on your head
and a golden chain around  your neck."

~ Provers 1:8
 

...It is with great expectation and joy that we watch her life unfold...the Lord has a very special,
unique plan and purpose for Beth...
What a privilege to celebrate another birthday and another year with her!  
God is so good and His love endures forever!

~
Thank you so much for your sweet birthday wishes for Beth...I look forward to sharing a few
photographs of her little party with you tomorrow...
Until then, may each of you have a very blessed and special weekend ahead!  ❤

~ Blessings ~


"Wisdom will come into your heart.
Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Foresight will protect you.
Understanding will guard you."

~ Proverbs 2:10-11

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday


The best and most
beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.

~ Helen Keller

~
Wishing you a lovely Thursday, sweet friends!
I pray your heart has been blessed and encouraged...

 

~ Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgivess all your
sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and 
crowns you with love and compassion...  Psalm 103:1-4 ~

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I Am Back...And a Little Giveaway ❤

Good afternoon sweet friends and a happy Tuesday to you!
After a lovely week away, I have once again resumed my delightful sewing, gardening 
and the various bits and pieces which form this busy, but truly wonderful life...
What have you been up to recently...?

~
Today is beautifully overcast and just a little chilly...rain during the night and early morning
left the earth shining and fresh...  Dainty water droplets adorn the flowers, like diamonds...  
I just finished baking a deliciously rich chocolate cake for Lady Beth's birthday tomorrow,
and have now settled down to share a lovely little giveaway with you!

My sweet and remarkably creative sister, Nancy, has been quite industrious in her craft room lately, and designed and made these charming little crocheted earrings which she is kindly offering
to one dear reader...❤


 Aren't they simply gorgeous...?
I thought that having a fun giveaway would be just the thing for this week,
and a wonderful way to resume blogging too!  Smiles...
My, I was so touched with each of your lovely comments and well wishes for my trip...
I look forward to sharing a few photographs sometime soon!

But now, onto the giveaway...


These feminine crocheted earrings are lovingly handmade by my sister, Nancy and
I have one pair waiting to be shipped to the winner...❤

~
To stand a chance to win these earrings...simply leave me a comment...

To gain extra entries...

Follow via Google Friend Connect
Like Beautiful Girlhood on Facebook
Share this giveaway on your choice of Social Media...
{...And let me know what you did so I can pop an extra name in the hat!}

~
This giveaway will close on Friday, the 31st of July...
I will ship anywhere in the world, so do feel welcome to enter.  ❤

Wishing you a wonderful week further, sweet friends!


 "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." 

~ Psalm 16:11

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hearty Lamb & Butternut Curry


 This delicious butternut and lamb curry is the perfect meal for a chilly winter’s evening...

A fire to warm the house and the aroma of gently cooking curry makes for a pleasant and comforting atmosphere in the home…

~
The flavour of this curry is just excellent; mild and just a little spicy… 
The addition of fruit chutney makes it pleasingly sweet, with a tang which the dried apricots and lemon juice add...
The lamb is perfectly soft, and the butternut gives this dish a soft, buttery taste…
And fresh coriander leaves add a lovely finishing touch!
  

 Lamb and Butternut Curry

45ml olive oil
6 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
1kg lamb knuckles
2 onions, chopped
8ml crushed garlic
8ml grated ginger
10ml each ground cumin and coriander
paprika, to taste
2 cans whole tomatoes or 
8 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
300g butternut pieces
100ml dried apricots
10ml lemon juice
50ml hot chutney
50ml chopped fresh coriander
rice, to serve

Heat 30ml of the oilve oil in a saucepan.  Add the cardamom and cinnamon.  
Stir, then add some of the lamb.  Cook until browned on both sides.  
Remove from the pan and set aside.  Repeat with the remaining lamb pieces.
Heat the remainng oil and add the onions.  Saute until soft, then add the garlic, ginger and spices.  Cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes.  
Bring to the boil, then return the lamb to the saucepan.
Cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the lamb is almost tender.  
Add the butternut and dried apricots and continue to cook for 30 minutes or until tender.
Stir in the lemon juice and the chutney, and season to taste.  Garnish with coriander and serve accompanied with rice. 
 Bon Apetit!

Recipe Courtesy:  Ideas 365 recipes for every day of the year 

Dear friends, thank you so much for visiting me today...I truly appreciate the extra time you take to leave such sweet words that bless and encourage me!
And I warmly welcome my lovely new readers and hope that you will enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!

Have a blessed, beautiful week!   
   

"She is like merchant ships.  
She brings her food from far away.  
She wakes up while it is still dark and 
gives food to her family..."

~  Proverbs 31:14-15

   ~

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Papercrafting Happiness...

 Happy Monday, sweet friends...  
A new week has happily begun, and I am enjoying a lovely time 
away visiting family and precious friends...:)

But I thought I would show you a few of the cards
I made just recently...  Is there anything more delightful than
creating with pretty papers, ribbons, gems and pearls...?

Oh, I always love playing with my supply of cardmaking goodies!
And I especially love making cards for dear people...
It brings me such pleasure...how true the 
Bible is when it says it is more blessed to give than to receive! 

"I have shewed you all things
how that so labouring ye ought to
support the weak, and to remember the
words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is
more blessed to give than to receive."

~ Acts 20:35

~

 This adorable bird card is for a very sweet friend of mine...
I just had to add some of my new hessian twine, and a few striking green gems,
and a simple greeting completed the card...

Do you enjoy using gems on your paper creations...?

 I always seem to have a little trouble creating a masculine card!
I made this simple blue card for my dad for Father's day, hence the 'F' 
which I created using some of the more masculine buttons in my little collection...  
Again, I used some hessian twine, as well as dark blue grosgrain ribbon

 Do you like making masculine cards...?

...And as many of you know, sweet Miss Rebekah celebrated her
sixth birthday in June!  I thought a simple
monochramtic card would be just lovely, so I layered different
patterned and textured green papers and added a length of
gorgeous lace as well as a cute cream coloured straw hat!

How do you like creating monochramatic cards...?

~
Thank you for stopping by, my friends...
Wishing all my dear readers a wonderful and very blessed week!
I look forward to visiting each of you very soon!


~ She seeks out wool and linen with care and works with willing hands...  ~

Friday, July 10, 2015

Vennison Casserole...




Winter is most definitely here...  Although it isn't my favourite season, I am enjoying some delightfully cosy days pottering about the kitchen...

Recently we were blessed with some lovely venison, but as this particular cut of meat can be a bit tough, I decided to cook it slowly in a wonderful gourmet casserole...

   
Venison Casserole
 
 45ml olive oil
1kg venison shank cut into pieces
1 leek, finely chopped
8 baby onions, peeled
8 cloves garlic, peeled
4 whole cloves
1 carrot, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2ml each grounf nutmeg and cumin
25ml red wine vinegar
300ml red wine
200ml tomato juice
1 sprig rosemary
4 bay leaves
30ml tomato paste
60ml chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 
 Heat a layer of olive oil in a casserole dish or saucepan.  
Brown the meat in batches over a medium to high heat.  
Remove from the pan.  Add a little more oil to the saucepan. 
Saute the leek, baby onions, garlic, cloves and carrot for a minute.
Add the spices and stir until fragrant, then add the vinegar.
Stir for a minute before adding the wine, tomato juice
rosemary sprig, bay leaves, tomato paste and 250 ml hot water.  
Bring to the boil.  Transfer to an ovenproof dish.
Cover and bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees Celsius) for 2 1/2 hours until tender.  
Add the parsley and serve with rice, pasta, mashed potatoes or couscous.

~
 I do hope you enjoy this delicious casserole as much as my family did!
I actually cooked up all the venison in this way and froze it for future use...:)

Blessings on your Wednesday, dear friends!
 

~

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday




"Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition."

~ Jeremiah Burroughs

~ I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.  Phillipians 4:11. ~

Have a wonderful Thursday, sweet friends!
Many blessings...


Painting by Fredrick Morgan