Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sewlutions Round Up 2013

Back in January I thought it would be a great idea to enter Karen of 'Did you make that?'s Sewlution sewing resolution jar.  What was my Sewlution?

"I would love to enter my resolution! I will make 5 garments from my current ‘To Do’ list. I have very little time to sew now I have 2 jobs so this will be a big challenge for me."

So how did I do?  

New Girl Red Dress
Sorbetto PJ Top
Apple of my Eye Dress
Uh Oh!  I only managed to complete 3 garments!  I am sorry Mistress of the Jar I have failed my resolution!  To be honest I thought I had missed it by a lot more than 2 garments as I have not had a lot of sewing time this year due to:

a) buying a house 
b) moving into said house 
c) totally re-decorating above house (lots of house related stuff I know!)
d) completing my fast track supervisor training program (which squeezed a years worth of learning into 3 months)
e) planning our wedding!

None of those things were really on my radar last January so considering all that I don't think I have done too badly!  I haven't been completely idle with the sewing, I did manage to create a few other non-garment pieces.
London Underground Cushions

I am very much looking forward to improving on this and completing next years Sewlution!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Apple of My Eye Dress

Our house sale finally went through and we now have the keys in our hot little hands so I will be on a sewing break for a while now until we have decorated and moved in.  Progress pics will be popping up soon!

Here are the details on my polka dot dress for the recent wedding I attended.  I used Simplicity 3780 which is a vintage re-print pattern which I have made before for my sister and it turned out really well.  I really want to use this for my own bridesmaid dresses too so this was a good trial run.
Myself and the bride
I used an awesome polka dot print fabric (saved in my Pinterest for ages!) with some of the dots actually made of little apples!  I was a bridesmaid and we got to pick our own dresses so I just had to make mine.  Unfortunately I didn't buy enough of the fabric (I really should have read the envelope rather than assuming I knew how much fabric I used last time) so I only used the pattern for the bodice and just made a simple gathered skirt.  The fabric is by Riley Blake and called 'Apple of my Eye' which I thought was a good name for my dress as I am so pleased with it.
Myself and Amy
I used a plain white cotton for the halterneck band and some sweet little glass buttons from my grandmothers button box which made it that little extra bit special.  I did try to pattern match the bodice but it didn't really work when I cam to sew it up.  I did manage to get the front piece to frame a little apple at the top though.
I am really pleased with how it turned out and the wedding was pretty much on the last day of summer so I didn't look that out of place in a summer dress.

The only problem with the gathered skirt is that it bunches around my waist and because I am holding my bouquet in each picture it doesn't really look like I have a waist!  In my bridesmaid dresses I will use the skirt pattern that came with the dress as the circle-shape is a lot more flattering.  I bought these gorgeous cream coloured wedges as I didn't want to sink into the soft earth and they worked a treat.  Unfortunately they are nearly the same colour as my pale legs so they don't really show up in the pictures!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Wedding Daze

I love a wedding.  Seriously I LOVE them!  I love all the random crazy little things that brides have sent hours obsessing over like place cards and favours and I love crying at the vows and laughing at the speeches.  Going to weddings reminds me why I am planning my own when I get bogged down in the details, it is the overall air of love, happiness and lifetime commitment which I love most of all, not whether the napkins match the tablecloths.

These are some images I took of Kylie and Matt's relaxed garden wedding in Oxfordshire.  Such a different non-traditional wedding from anything I have ever been too.

Get ready for a picture dump!
Father of the Bride and the Bride 
 Kylie's dress was an original 1950's party dress with gorgeous rhinestones on the bodice which I LOVE.  Her hair and make up was done by her very talented friends which I got to meet for the first time prepping for the wedding.
 Our gorgeous bridesmaid bouquets, made by some of the bridesmaids themselves!
Amy, bridesmaid, and Kylie
 Excitement at arriving at the venue and pulling a 'Kylie face.'  We soon discovered that the bride could not stop giggling through the ceremony, at least until the point she started crying instead!
 The bride and groom.  Look at those happy faces!  What they wore really reflected their personalities and there was so much of 'them' in the ceremony and party.
Bridesmaids, Best Man, Bride and Groom
 The four bridesmaids (that's me on the end and a sneak peek of my finished Apple dress) didn't have a dress code, we just wore what we liked (though some coordinated in advance!) and we had sweet flower crowns and bouquets too.
 They had looooads of pretty and colourful decorations hung everywhere around the venue and I love this picture of lanterns, fans and birdies!
 Th tables were named after mythical creatures and we were on the Dragon table roar!!
 Kylie hand made the glittery stars and the chiffon fabric really made it feel magical without blocking all the light.  We had fabulous BBQ food served family style and I loved the roasted peppers and homemade coleslaw.
 There were lots of garden games including mini golf and, of course, jenga and there were so many little photo op places around the grounds, see the bench with lanterns behind?  These lit up at night and there were fairy lights everywhere.  It was so magical!
 As you can see Kylie is a really good sport and we just had to take a few photos are the place, there are many more like this (one of a crazy dwarf beard that appeared during some manic dancing) we all had a brilliant time and I can't wait to see Kylie and Matt again soon.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Wedding Hoopla

What do you get the crafty bride who doesn't want presents?  Something homemade of course!

One of my bestest buds got married this weekend and I made her an embroidery hoop with their wedding date as a present.  The lanterns were taken from her hand-drawn invitations, ala Tangled, and it was my first time at embroidery, which was better on the lanterns than the writing but I did perfect my French knots.

I am really happy with it!  It went down a STORM and really broke the ice with all of her wizard friends (she's a Harry Potter nut).  I knew she would like it as strangely, seeing as I turned them into animals, it actually looks like them.  Kylie is a vintage loving, mis-matched print wearing red head and Matt loves metal, horror films, gaming and Wolverhampton Wanderers, hence the football shirt. The wedding itself was fantastic, so much laughter and happiness, lots of pictures of that to come!

Oh and if you haven't seen this the watch it!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Summer Catch Up

Eek!  Time for a bit of a catch up!  I'm afraid I had to have a little break from blogging due to other commitments.  It is not easy to work 2 jobs, help run a guide unit, organise a camp for 12 girls, potentially buy a house, organise a wedding and start my supervisor training course!  When I look at it like that I wonder how I have any free time at all!

So where was I?  I finished off the last week of Me-Made-May with these outfits.  I managed my target or 2-3 outfits a week, and really that is about all I could do as I spend so much of my time in uniform.  I did make me take much more time over planning and decided which outfits to wear which was really interesting.

Vogue Summer Dress
Banana Carousel Dress
I also made  my first Sorbetto!  
Sorbetto Wearable Muslin
I used some random fabric from my stash and I think the pastel colours work really well for sleep wear.  I measured myself and cut the Sorbetto but I could really have done with cutting it at least 2 sizes bigger as it is really too tight.

To make it fit I let each of the seams out as much as possible, using really tiny seams.  I also found that the bust darts are way too high on me, I shall have to change them next time I make this pattern.
Pink fabric was a bit see-through!
I used some pretty floral bias tape for the edging and although my stitching is pretty straight on the front, it is a bit wobbly on the back.  I think I need to find some techniques to improve this.

I have already cut out my second one, from some sheer polyester chiffon that I had left over from my Titanic dress and I am leaving out the pleat and just using gathers at the top to make it really free and flowing.  I am hoping this works out as I am in need of summery clothing at the moment!

I will endeavour to post more regularly but with everything that is going on I am not getting much sewing time at the moment.  I do have lots of sewing plans though, next will be a summer dress for a wedding from this awesome polka dot apple print!

Monday, 20 May 2013

On the back burner

My recipe challenge, that started so well, has come to a halt.  Week Three- 29th-6th I didn't manage to cook ANY recipes due to over work and the sad fact that my weighing scales died after being dropped on the floor.  They were only a plastic cheap set I bought before going to university but the fact they had lasted nearly ten years and helped me make many a cake made me sad.  Plus is was my birthday on the 9th and I wasn't able to make a cake for it.

Week Four - 7th-15th
I rustled up a recipe of my own without needing scales but again, it was a poor show for the recipe challenge.  I did cook quite a bit but I made things I already knew and as the other half did the shopping and we had guests it meant I stuck to roast dinners and stir-fries.

I rustled up this pasta dish one night when I was on my own, similar to the stuffed peppers recipe (as that's what I like!)

Roasted Sweet Potato and Goat's Cheese Pasta
1 small sweet potato
7-8 cherry tomatoes
1 serving of pasta shells (you can decide how much this is!)
1 tbsp pesto
Crumbled goats cheese over the top

Peel and cut the sweet potato into small cubes then roast in the oven with oil for 10 minutes.  Add the cherry tomatoes to the oven dish and cook for a further 10 minutes.  Boil the pasta and once the veg is cooked, stir it together with a spoonful of the pesto and crumble the goat's cheese over the top.

Quite simple but really delicious.

Sweet Potato and Goats Cheese Pasta
 This challenge was pretty hard but I did manage to make 4 dishes from my book and make up 2 of my own.  Not as many as I would have liked but I think I will continue trying to challenge myself to use my cookbooks more often.

Me Made May - Week Two and Three

I'm doing 2 weeks in one post as I haven't managed that many outfits and I have got behind on blogging about them.

Jersey Circles Dress (pre-blog)
This is one of my first ever makes but I am still wearing it even though I should have made it a size smaller and the hem has pretty much come undone.  I wore this on a rare half day at home, it is comfy for lounging around.
Anchors Away Circle Skirt
I wore this skirt paired with a top I bought recently, I thought it might be a bit too matchy-matchy but I actually really like it.  The photos are grainy as I took them just before bed after nearly forgetting and the camera was out of focus and it was dark, hence the shiny glasses.

I actually wore this to go an visit a possible wedding venue which is actually the top one of our list at the moment.   Sam's parents had come to stay so it was helpful to get their opinions on it too.  It was really lovely to go and visit even though it was pouring with rain!
Ditsy Floral Dress
I wore this on my day off and I am not so sure about this dress now.  The length feels a little too mumsy to me now unless I wear it with heels and the sleeve cuffs are too tight.  This seems to be a common problem with my me-mades, perhaps I have muscular upper arms!  (Awful photo, again, before bed and being blinded by the flash.)

This week I have a holiday from my day job so I am only working 3 evenings which will be bliss.  I am hopeful of getting some serious sewing time in as I do not have that many plans this week which is rare for me!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


For the spring issue of Something Borrowed magazine I was asked if I could make a pinwheel tutorial as they were running a fairground wedding themed issue.  This sounds like great fun and is actually something that some of my close friends are thinking about doing at their wedding.
I made two sets of pinwheels, one with coloured acetate and one of card, they are surprisingly easy to make, the trickiest bit is threading the wire through the holes tightly enough that they stay in place but not so tight so that they don't spin.  I found a length or drinking straw really helped.
I think these would be really fun for an outdoor reception, especially one with lots of children running around.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Me-Made-May 2013 - Week One

Thursday 2nd May
 This is the first outing of my Birdy Skirt this year!  The sunshine has finally hit Swansea, just in time for MMM!  I wore this for a meeting at a pub (not the best idea, we had to shout over the music) and it did make me feel summery.  I sort of forget about this skirt a lot of the time, which I shouldn't really as I like the shape of it and wore it with my striped tee in an effort to make it different from last years May!

Sunday 5th May
I'm feeling the sunshine today so I wore my Spring Daisy Dress which always makes me feel summery.  I am glad I only decided to do 2-3 days as this week has been so packed full of work and Guides that I have only had one evening and Sunday to wear anything other than a uniform.  I am trying to mix up my outfits a little and not wear my makes in the same way as usual to make it more interesting for myself.

I hope you are all having a good MMM so far!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Cooking up a storm!

 This weeks recipes have been pretty successful, I even experimented in making up one myself!

22nd - 28th April

Easy Crispy Chicken from 'The Hairy Dieters - Dave Myers & Si King'
Another book I bought in an effort to eat healthier but also because I just love those hairy guys enthusing about food and riding around on their motorbikes.  I like to think they are the modern version of the Two Fat Ladies!

mmm chicken!
Recipe - Serves 4 (or 2 hungry people!)
4 slices of white sliced bread
4 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 tsp flaked sea salt
25g Parmesan cheese, grated
4 tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt (I needed more like 5)
1-2 tbsp plain flour
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (mine were really huge boobies!)
Black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200*c and grill the bread in the oven until golden.  (I skipped this and just used the toaster, apparently the oven is better as it dries the bread rather than toasting it but it worked for me.)  Leave to cool then remove the crusts.  Blitz the bread in a food processor into crumbs, tip them into a bowl and add the herbs, salt, cheese and season.  Put the crumb mixture onto a plate, the yoghurt onto another plate and the four onto another.

Dip the chicken into the flour, then yoghurt then coat in the breadcrumbs until it is pretty thick.  (This is quite a messy bit and you end up crumbing your fingers too but it is really fun!)  Put each breast onto a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 22-25 mins (mine took a little longer as they were really big breasts!) leave to stand for a few mins before serving.

I served mine with green beans and potato wedges which I didn't make as I had run out of potatoes.  We had two each and were stuffed full, I could have happily eaten one but I was too greedy!

Sweet Potato & Cheese Frittata from 'Hamlyn 200 Low Fat Dishes'

I forgot to take a picture of this one, but it combined some of my favourite ingredients, goats cheese and sweet potato.  I knew Sam would not be too in to this so I used cheddar cheese on his portion and cooked some bacon to go with it so he didn't reject the veggie option out of hand.

Recipe - serves 4 (hmm we ate this between the 2 of us for lunch!)
500g sliced potatoes
1 tsp olive oil
5 spring onions, sliced
2 tbsp fresh coriander (I left this out as I didn't have any)
4 large eggs, beaten
100g goats cheese (I just the milder crumbly kind as it is my favourite)

Peel and slice the sweet potato and boil for 8 mins and then drain.  Heat the oil and fry the onions and potato for 2 mins.  Stir the coriander into the beaten eggs and season then pour into the pan.  Arrange the goats cheese on top and cook until almost set.  Put under a hot grill at the end to melt the cheese in totally.  (My grill isn't working so I just cooked it on the hob and added the cheddar cheese to half and goats cheese to the other half.)

Stuffed Peppers with Goats Cheese - by me!
I wish I had made more!
I had quite a few vegetables and other things left over from cooking this week so I decided to make something up with them myself!  This is what I came up with and I absolutely loved it!

1 sweet red pepper
2-5 chestnut mushrooms
2-3 vine tomatoes
2 spring onions
Crumbly goats cheese
2 tsp green pesto
Knob of butter

Cut the red pepper in half and de-seed, then brush with oil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes around 200*c.  Melt the butter in a small pan, chop up the mushrooms and fry until most of the water has come out of them.  Add the chopped onions and tomatoes and stir until cooked through.

Fill the roasted pepper with the veggie mix, spoon the pesto over the top and add some crumbled goats cheese.  Return to the oven for 10 minutes then serve.

I hope everyone has had a lovely week!  I had a fair bit of time to cook during this second week though the same cannot be said of this week!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Me Made May 2013 Pledge

'I, Sarah of Sorbet Surprise Gets Sew Crafty blog, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear me-made clothing 2-3 days a week for the duration of May 2013.' 

 It is Me Made May time again!  I am going to sign up again this year as I did have fun doing it last year.  However I have been more realistic this year.  Last year I did the full me-made everyday pledge and it was a struggle.  Firstly I don't have enough me-mades for a whole month and secondly there were a few days when I went to work (in uniform) then ran Guides which meant I was in uniform again and didn't get to wear me-made.This year I have 2 uniformed jobs as well as my Guide group which is obviously also uniformed so I am changing my pledge so that on my days off work when I can actually wear my own clothes, I will choose me-mades.  I have not really completed that many new garments this year either, as the ones I have done tend to have been fancy dresses and not everyday wear.  Still, I am looking forward to the challenge, especially as by the end of May we and *fingers tightly crossed* hoping to be moving.  Maybe I need some me-made decorators overalls?  heehee!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Going Underground

It was Sam's birthday last weekend and as we are planning on moving soon he said he just wanted things for the house.  He has a bit of a weakness for cushions (yay!) and the London underground so when I found this fabric it was like a match made in heaven.  Unfortunately it is now out of print so I scoured the web to fnd somewhere that might still stock it.  I came upon Creative Quilting which still had stock and ordered a metre.  I then had a very nice e-mail from the company to say that unluckily it had sold out over the bank holiday weekend and they would have to refund me.  Sad times.  However they would send me the end of the bolt they had left FOR FREE!  Talk about good customer service!  I then did a quick ebay search and found someone selling a similarly sized bolt end for £4, snapped it up and with a bit of creative thinking I had enough fabric to make a lovely pair of cushions!
I see the Jubbly, Bakerpoo and Pickawilly line!  (Yes I am a child!)
I actually think I have ended up with a more interesting cushion than if I had just made a solid fabric one.  The red and blue boarders reminds me of the underground sign itself and I made the backs in one of each.  The red was actually left over from my new girl dress (which I have finished but haven't blogged yet, actually I am wearing it as I type!) and the blue is from my anchors away circle skirt.  Nothing like a bit of reusing off cuts!
King's Cross!

In actual fact these ended up being the cheapest cushions ever by happy accident!  I might add a button to the back as the cushion pads were slightly large for the finished cushion but I love making these envelope style backs, so easy and effective.  Sam really liked them and I think they will go with pretty much whatever colour scheme we choose in the new house!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Cooking up a new resolution

I have a confession.  I can't stop buying cook books.  I love them.  The shelf in my kitchen is currently so full that they keep falling off as I now have 22 books sitting on it!  Perhaps this isn't a bad thing if I actually used them but 60% have never been used and out of the remaining 40% I have only made one thing.  This strikes me as a waste so instead of buying more books, my resolution is to actually use the ones I have.  So here is my resolution me-made-may style!

"I, Sarah of Sorbet Surprise gets sew crafty, swear to use at least one recipe from a cookbook I already own once a week from 15th April to 15th May."

I know this is back dated by a week but I have already started this resolution I have just been unable to detail it due to working a 9 day straight!  (Which involved moving over 92 shelves, yes I counted them!)  Also we may be moving house soon and we don't own are own cooker so I will just go for a months resolution this time.  If it works well though, I may extend it.  So here is a little catch up of what I have made.

Week One - 15th - 21st

Tuna Enchiladas from 'Hamlyn 200 Low Fat Dishes'
I bought this cookbook in an effort to eat healthier as I have been finding that recently I have been living on 'freezer surprise' as we like to call it e.g. frozen chips, nuggets, fishfingers, all those things Jamie Oliver tells you not to eat.

I have a tendency not to stick to the recipe or to substitute things so I have written where I made changes.  Also I do not stick to portion sizes.  I am pretty bad and I know that myself and Sam eat much bigger portions than we are supposed to so I have written what the recipe suggests and how much we actually ate!  Haha!  I wasn't sure about sharing recipes from books online, when I searched it said so long as the original book was credited and it wasn't a direct copy it should be ok.  I am going with that as I don't really think this would stop someone buying the book, in fact if I saw a recipe from a book on a blog I liked, I expect that book would end up on my shelf too!

Recipe - Serves 4 (I made 5 enchiladas which served 2 in reality)
2 tomatoes, chopped (I used 4 vine tomatoes which are smaller)
1 red onion, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
8 chapattis (I used tortillas and only used 5)
300g tinned tuna
150g low fat cheddar (I used regular, it tastes better!)
Salt and Pepper
Fresh coriander (I didn't have any)
(I added 1 sweet red pepper )

Chop up the tomato, onion (and red pepper) and mix with the lime juice and season.  Spoon the mixture down the centre of each wrap, top with tuna and cheese.  Roll each wrap and place it in a dish (I only had room for 5 in my dish so I made 5 quite fat wraps.)  Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and salsa.  Cook for 15mins at 200*C and garnish with coriander.

Victoria Sandwich from "Merry Berry 100 Cakes and Bakes"
I love this book, it is pretty much my staple for baking as you can't go wrong with Mary Berry and I have 3 books by her.  I have been using her recipes since I was making cupcakes as a child as my Mum always swore by her too.  I am very happy she is getting so much more recognition after the Bake Off.

I made this cake for Sam's birthday as I didn't have much time and I know it is always a winner.  I have used the recipe before so although it is not new to me, it did make me get the book out again.

225g butter
225g caster suger
4 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
(I added 1tsp of orange essence but should have made it 2 as you couldn't really taste it)

Preheat the oven to 180/160*C, grease and line 2 20cm loose-based sandwich tins.  (I just used 1 square tin as I didn't want to make a layer cake as Sam is not too keen on butter icing.  I know, crazy right?)  Cream the butter and sugar together, then add all the other ingredients to the bowl until mixed.  Plop into the tins and make the top smooth with a spatula.  Bake for 25mins until risen (It took me about 35 to have it cook through but I was using a single tin)  Leave to cool in the tin and then use the loose bottom to pop it out.

Once it was cool I juiced 1 lemon and added icing sugar and food colouring to it and decoratively splashed it about over the top.  This is quite a strong lemon tasting icing but Sam loves lemon so I made it that way on purpose.

There we go, week one down and 2 recipes done!  Yay!  If you would like to join in, please feel free, just link back to me and start your month of recipes from today's date.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Red New Girl Dress - Finished!

I finished my dress!  I actually completed it in time to wear it to the meal the day before the wedding I went to at Easter.  I didn't have enough time to make a dress for the wedding itself as I had intended but at least I got this one done.  Once I had put the skirt in I realised the weight of it meant the bodice fit was off.  Luckily I remedied this by pinching out a wedge of fabric at the neck to shoulder seam which pulled all the darts back into position as if by magic!  This did reduce the size of the neckhole though (which I didn't think about at the time) so it is a little snug to get on and off.  

 I am really happy with how it turned out.  I decided to make the capped sleeves in the end and now I am glad I did as I think they balance out the skirt portion.  The skirt itself is a half circle skirt that I drafted using a really useful tutorial on the Snug Bug Blog and she even has a handy dandy circle calculator!  I have lined the skirt too as I thought it would give it a bit of body and I really love the result.  I do need to take the lining hem up a little as it does occasionally peek out but that is no big deal.
Back view
 I had real trouble getting the side zip in this one.  The fabric and lining meant it was so thick that my zipper foot kept slipping off the guideline of the zip and stitching through the teeth.  Not good.  In the end I hand sewed the zip and it turned out much better than when I do them by machine!  I think this might be my new way forward.  I hate zips but love hand sewing so maybe I can combine the two.
You can't really see the bodice sections in these photos, but they do show up better in real life.  I had to adjust the brightness as it has rained ALL DAY today and I couldn't wait any longer to take pictures.  The actually dress I made is quite different than the New Girl one but I think my version is more wearable and the bright red has really cheered me up on such a miserable day.  I can see myself making this pattern up again, I really think it would look great with a contrasting colour fabric in the bodice side sections and with a pencil skirt.  Oh the possibilities!

Spring Catch Up

 March Snow! Nr Durham
Long time no post!  Sorry guys, it has been a while!  Real life has just gotten a little crazy so I thought I had better do a little catch up post for the last 2 months.  Firstly we went to stay with the fianc├ęs sister and now husband near Durham in the run up to their wedding at Easter weekend.  We didn't have any snow in South Wales so turning up to snow like this at the end of March was just a little bit of a shock!

We had a lovely few days making confetti cones, a hat box, running wedding related errands and sledging.  
Sledging fun

Toby, the best sledge Retriever ever!
After a few days staying at their house we checked into the gorgeous wedding venue and hotel at Matfen Hall.  I would completely recommend it as a venue though it is definitely out of my wedding price range, it was a lovely place to stay and Sam and I had the whole weekend there which was really lovely.
Kat & Colin
The ceremony was lovely and everyone had a fantastic time at the wedding.   It has definitely sparked a relapse of wedding fever in me, heehee!
Stunning dress
  The flowers were gorgeous, I loved the colour scheme and they were all put together in situ the day before by a member of Colin's family.  The food was lovely with a to-die-for chocolate pudding that we managed to order in the bar the next day too!  Staying with Katherine and Colin before the wedding really helped me get to know them better and I know they will have a very happy marriage as they compliment each other perfectly.

The week before the wedding we had been viewing houses and had settled on one really liked.  We took the weeks holiday to decide properly then had another viewing with my parents who came to stay for a few days and put in an offer.  Our first was rejected but our second got accepted!  Hooray!  How grown up do I feel buying a house?  Crazy.
Back of the house from garden
So now we are waiting for the boring bits of mortgage and searches to go through, so have everything crossed for us!