The best bits of Autumn with Sykes Cottages

Sykes cottages are running a bloggers competition to find the best bits we all love about Autumn, for me it is a great time for photography, from the colours of the leaves to the photo opportunites for the children to play in them. The sun is low in the sky and when it is shining it creates a beautiful golden glow that is unmistakebly Autumn. But our best bit has to be November the 5th as we as a family love firework night, the children always get so excited about it, we often have to visit several displays and have parked up and watched random ones before. My photo is from Lyme Regis firework event, again the children were very excited about the whole thing. My in-laws live there so it is nice they can see their excitement too. We always get the children sparklers and in fact last night I let the children do some early as we had friends round for the evening, We leave the fireworks to the professionals though!


We all love the Autumn time

A time for fireworks, Halloween and having fun

Throwing leaves and conker trees

Chilly hands and in an Autumn breeze

Misty mornings and walks to school

Damp school shoes from the Fall

Puddles and falling leaves are the clues

As well as sparklers, bonfires, clock changes and orange hues

We so all love the Autumn time


by Charlotte (age 11) and mum!


This is our blog post for Sykes cottages competition, why not enter too, the details are here.

Style a shed from Tiger Sheds and

Shoffice style

When I saw that Tiger Sheds and were offering bloggers the chance to win some shopping vouchers I thought it was the ideal opportunity to decide what I would like to do with one of our sheds. Currently its just a toy store, mostly of things the children have grown out of. We have suggested converting it before but the loft took priority, this has now been made into a teenagers den, with gaming consoles etc. So when asked what I would like to do with the shed, my answer would be to convert it to a shoffice – my friend has one and I have alwayls been envious of her being able to separate her work from home life. My office is currently part of the living room, it makes it look really messy especially when I am busy, so this would enable me to close the door on work and separate the two! If you need a great quality shed then take a look at the Tiger Sheds website, they do great garden sheds and log cabins, storage and metal Sheds as well as summerhouses, wooden playhouses,  and Garages and much more. They offer reasonable prices plus FREE UK Delivery. Why don’t you enter too, but hurry it closes on the 2nd November.

Follow anna’s board Style a Shed on Pinterest.

I have chosen clean lines (as I don’t have the option of that in the house – having 4 children) and I just love the feature wall wallpaper, its funky and different. I love the idea of the photos which span the whole wall too, as I am a photographer so I have no lack of photos to hang. I hanker after minimalist but know that realistically its not really possible, so storage would be a great solution to keep it tidy and organised. I would love to win as it would mean my idea of a shoffice could come one step closer to reality.

I’d love to have my office in my shed;

A chance to organise and to get myself ahead

As I get so very busy near Christmas;

No time for unfinished business

All I need is a nice tiger shed;

Which would make me want to plough ahead

Superb interiors and photos on the wall

I could pop my feet up and take a conference call

So tiger sheds please make my dreams come true…

With an office separate from my living space

No sight of work not even a trace!

Easy peasy gooey Rolo chocolate fudge brownies

When I saw @AOatHome were running a food bloggers competition I felt I had to get the girls in the kitchen baking. All you have to do is come up with a great looking recipe and then tweet your link with the hashtag #aoshowstopper. Charlotte is 11 and Eleanor is 6, both of them love chocolate and brownies are a simple and great looking treat for any guest. We decided to add Rolos to them to give them a nice gooeyness to the centre. I always dislike complicated methods or recipes that have really obscure ingredients that you need Google to help you understand, with us simplicity is key. Now you have a couple of options when making brownies; if like me you are always in a rush and are trying to do 100 things at once you have the option to cheat slightly. I always have a packet of brownie mix in the cupboard as a standby mixture for when guests turn up or the children want to do some ad-hoc cooking. Or if you prefer you can make them from scratch, whichever you choose, it is a straightforward recipe and one that you are bound to have the ingredients for. We added Rolos to our mix, but if you have Smarties or m&m’s you could try them instead!

photoIngredients – The non-lazy version!

  • 1 packet of Rolos
  • 125g butter
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g brown sugar
  • A small amount of fudge (optional)


Weight the butter out and melt so it is easier to mix, break and melt the chocolate too. If you microwave them be sure not to overheat and burn the chocolate as it is easy to do. Tip the plain flour and cocoa powder into a bowl trying to make sure there are no lumpy bits. Add the eggs and the brown sugar and whisk until creamy, add the butter and chocolate from the first bowl. Pour the mixture into a brownie tin and bake for 10 minutes at 180ºC, then carefully take out and add the Rolos and finely cut fudge (optional) to the mixture while it is part baked. Now bake for a further 5 minutes which will make the Rolos melt slightly.

There we go easy chocolate brownies that look and taste just perfect!



This is my entry to the @AOatHome food bloggers competition’