The World of Suzy Homemaker - www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

Magnificent magnolia

Magnolia Tree | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

Ahhh... spring. Don't you just love this time of year?

Longer days, lighter evenings, warmer weather, new leaf, baby baaaa lambs...

But do you know what I love most?

Hands-down, my absolute favourite thing about spring, THE thing I look forward to most every year, is the splendour that is the magnolia.

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Suzy of Sherwood - Cosying up in a cabin with Forest Holidays

Forest Holidays - Golden Oak cabin, Sherwood Forest | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

Few things give me greater pleasure than spending quality time with Beloved. I love nothing more than cracking open a bottle of wine, sharing a nice meal and putting the world to rights.

It's what makes the rest of my world so enjoyable.

Throw in a weekend away and my world is complete... Especially if that weekend involves a cabin in the forest.

Hiding out in a log cabin with nothing but trees, birds and the odd mammal to disturb us is our idea of heaven. From the moment we arrive, it's like coming home. Our shoulders drop and we feel instantly relaxed.

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Cinnamon Swirls – the easy way

Cinnamon Swirls - the easy way | The World of Suzy Homemaker

I'm not what you might call a talented pastry chef. In fact, you could say I'm pretty pants! I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but every attempt I've ever had at making pastry has ended up in the bin.

Resigned to the knowledge I shall never become the next Lorraine Pascale, I've long concluded that readymade pastry from the chiller cabinet is a perfectly acceptable alternative. From shortcrust to puff, all the hard work's done for you.

I was decidedly clap-happy to discover Jus-Rol's 'Bake-it-Fresh' range. From Apple Danish to Croissants, all you have to do is shape it and bake it.

Bloody marvellous!

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DIY French-inspired vintage flower pots

DIY French-inspired Flower Pot | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

Whenever I look at photos of beautiful homes, I'm always taken with the stylist's use of plants to bring a scheme to life. I just love lush greenery against a backdrop of white, don't you?

When I was looking for ideas to decorate my mantel, I just knew I had to have some. The only problem is, OneandSeventy's living room is North-facing and doesn't get an awful lot of light, so real plants wouldn't survive very long.

Also, being the clumsy sort, there's a very real chance of me ruining my mantel when I watered the plants!

My only option was to fake it.

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Weight Watchers friendly Chilli con Carne

Weight Watchers friendly Chilli con Carne | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

When Number One was little, I used ready-made sauces for all my pasta and rice dishes. Like many working Mums, time was tight and I wanted something quick and easy. Now, I make my sauces from scratch and I can attest... they are HANDS DOWN better than stuff from a jar!

Even with shop-bought sauce, making Chilli con Carne took me around 40 minutes. This one takes 50... including the prep. So not only is it tastier than ready-made, it's still on the table within an hour.

It's also cheaper than shop-bought and better still, I know exactly what goes into it so I can regulate the calories AND the heat!

At first glance, it may seem like a lot of ingredients and yes, it does involve a little more work than cracking open a jar but trust me... once you make your own chilli from scratch, you'll never go back.

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You are unbreakable

You are unbreakable | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

At the end of 2014, I decided to move my PA business onto a 4-day week. I figured that if I'm going to write a blog, it'd be quite helpful to have one day a week that I actually do stuff I can blog about!

My clients took it really well, especially those concerned with personal growth, who applauded my decision. Consequently, Fridays have now become "Mydays", when I get to do what I want, when I want.

Today, I decided to... clean my office.

SO rock and roll!

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Super simple Broccoli and Stilton soup

Super simple and simply heavenly Broccoli and Stilton Soup | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

It may be the beginning of March, but even the advent of spring can't loosen winter's frosty grip on our extremities. Brrrr! So while it continues to be brass monkeys outside, how about a little something satisfying to warm the cockles?

Down boys.

I'm talking about my super simple, utterly delicious and freezer-friendly Broccoli and Stilton soup. Oh yum! Even if you don't like Stilton, you will love this. Quite simply, this thick and creamy, hearty snack is ditch-the-diet comfort food at its very best. It also happens to be one of Beloved's favourite weekend treats.

Enjoy!

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How to make a DIY canvas photo using a home inkjet printer

DIY Photo Canvas using an inkjet printer and Mod Podge | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

Everyone says you can't use Mod Podge on inkjet images. But I'm here to tell you, YOU CAN!

There are tons of brilliant tutorials out there, with step-by-step instructions on how to transfer photos onto a variety of surfaces. I've even tried a few, with varying degrees of success and you'll find links to a bunch of my favourites at the end of this post.

You're welcome.

But the vast majority say you must use toner-based images, i.e. photocopies or prints from a laser printer. So I wanted to share with you a simple method for making your very own photo canvas, using Mod Podge and your home inkjet printer.

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What defines you?

Nothing defines me, Confessions of a Shopaholic | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

During my period of enforced downtime at the back end of last year, I had a lot of time on my hands. I spent much of it improving @SuzyHomemakerUK's social media presence, by connecting with fabulous people all over the world on Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest.

I also discovered Canva - a brilliant app that allows me to while away many an engrossed hour designing visuals, without ever leaving my sofa. (Did someone mention addiction?)

I even managed to take in a few of my favourite films - Practical Magic, Miss Congeniality and Confessions of a Shopaholic to name a few.

Who doesn't love a chick flick?

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Easy song lyrics canvas DIY

DIY Song Lyrics Canvas | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

If you're looking for a unique and very personal gift for your Valentine, you can't go far wrong with something homemade and a piece of artwork that features words from your special song is very romantic.

When I bought a metre-long canvas from my favourite Buy/Sell/Swap Facebook site, I had no idea what I was going to do with it. It was cheap, so I bought it!

After months of leaning against a wall in my office, I finally decided it was going in the Master Bedroom, but that was about as far as I got. I still had no clue what I was going to use it for. It was then that Beloved made the brilliant suggestion of making a bigger version of my Glittering Canvas to use as a bedside light. 

Oh how I heart that man!

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