It’s been a very busy and fun weekend (is it Wednesday already?) and I only now have a chance to catch up on blogging. We had family arrive on the ferry last Thursday and the house has been alive and bouncing with excited little ones up to the beginning of this week. Over the visit we took my mother-in-law and the kids bowling, to the beach, up to the allotment and to the Royal Manx Agricultural show as well. They all had a blast. Elderflower and White Grape Jelly wins

Last night was my first night in a 4-week pottery course being taught by Faye Christian – and I’m so excited for the next! Five friends of mine and I are in her very first class, which is being held in her cute little studio in Crosby.The aim of the class is to introduce us to clay and to build a tea set composed of at least two mugs and a pitcher which we will be able to take home at the end of the month. I like that Faye

Beeswax and honey make a sweet smelling soap Honey soap smells of caramelized honey and will usually turn a golden brown color. By adding a little beeswax into the mix you’re making a truly bee-autiful soap that is also hard and smooth. Be careful with how much beeswax you use in soap though, using more than 2% of your recipe can stop it from lathering up. Honey, Oats and Beeswax Soap 700g batch – makes approx. 6-7 bars 5% superfat 98g (3.5oz) Sodium Hydroxide 200g (7oz) Water 210g (7.4oz) Refined Coconut oil 301g

I’m sure the sales of artificial vanilla flavouring would plummet if more people knew how easy it is to make real vanilla extract at home. It’s really as simple as two ingredients: about 110ml of vodka and 1 vanilla bean.To make, simply split your vanilla bean lengthwise, flatten it a bit and then insert it into a dark coloured bottle. Fill the bottle up with vodka, screw on the top, give it a good shake and set it in a warm window that you’ll come to on a daily basis.

A visit to several ‘hidden gardens’ and the Port St Mary Allotment There are nine allotments on the Isle of Man and it’s my goal to visit all of them eventually. Not only is it fun to check out what everyone is growing but it’s a great opportunity to see local gardening techniques and gather new ideas. So when I was recently invited to visit the Port St Mary Allotment by a member of their committee, I jumped at the chance. On the day of our visit, Anthony Murphy picked

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