A Little Love Story....& a BIg Giveaway

It's Valentine's Day...and these are my sweet feet...another wonderful present from one of my Twitter friends, Rosinda!

I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day....I believe that if you love someone, you should let them know every day, not just once a year. I also am aware that those without a significant other can feel isolated and sad on this day when the world seems full of red roses and chocolates. That's why I prefer it not to be just about romance.I always send my niece and nephews a card each, with a funny message that says how much they are loved. I used to so look forward to seeing a red envelope in the mail when I was a child (usually from my dear Grandad!) I'm so happy to have received 6 cards this year that were all from girlfriends! They mean as much to me as the one I opened this morning from Paul.

But I just wanted to send a little tribute today to that man...my darling husband. Many of you will know that I had a very unhappy first marriage...for many reasons, with faults on both sides and mostly stemming from the fact that we were WAY too young to even think about marriage. I had some very dark times back then Until my handsome prince came along. We were friends for a long time before it became a romance...we would talk for hours about all sorts of things....and then, one day, we danced in the dark of a Monday evening and everything changed.
He isn't perfect. But he's perfect for me. One of his best qualities is his generosity and kindness. The first present he ever bought me was a dress. Not any dress....one that I absolutely adored and coveted (I still don't know how he knew as I never told him!) One day, there was a big carrier bag, filled with tissue paper - and underneath, although I could hardly believe it, there it was!
my dream dress in the right size (he always gets the right size!)....purple, sparkly, heavy, beaded...

I still, 12 years later, get so much pleasure from just looking at it. I'll pass it on to my niece one day, as I have no daughter of my own...but not yet!
That's Paul - my sweetheart, my dearest love. Other wonderful things about him: he LOVES to iron...he ALWAYS puts the lavatory seat down...he brings me a cup of tea in bed most mornings...he can tell when I'm tired and fed up and will just take over cooking supper, or run me a bath, or fill my hot water bottle...he warms my side of the bed...and if it's really cold, he'll warm my pyjamas on the radiator too. He's thoughtful and caring. Of course, he can be so irritating that he makes me want to scream...he spends longer in the bathroom than I do...and takes much longer to get ready on a night out...and the closet is 3/4 his clothes and shoes, while mine have to squeeze into the remaining tiny space...

But every day, I feel loved and special...and I know how lucky that makes me. xo

So, soppy bit over! This is my 101st post...I can hardly believe it...and to celebrate I wanted to have a special giveaway. Something that encompassed all the facets (or most of them) of Mozart's Girl...so here we go...

Firstly, it had to be my other Valentine, my darling Mozart! This CD is two of his wonderful piano concertos (21, the very famous one, and 22) played by an amazing young pianist, Jonathan Biss. I hope that whoever wins will listen and love it and think of me too! Next:

Emma Bridgewater. I love her. And this little tiny Union Jack cup is to celebrate her and the UK...along with

this little Cath Kidston pin badge which shows a lovely illustration of York Minster and would be fun to have on a bag or jacket...

For my beloved Australia there's this cute little notepad, with an illustration of a possum family. I bought it on my trip there, in the lovely hill town of Maleny. It has a magnetic strip on the back so it will stick to a fridge or somewhere else useful. And lastly....

one of my favourite books, always on my bedside table (this is a new copy!!) 'Stuffed- growing up in a restaurant family' by Patricia Volk. Warm, funny, sharply observed and filled with love, family and FOOD!
So that's my giveaway...but that's not all!
As 100 posts is a big milestone, I thought I'd celebrate properly by having a second smaller prize so that two people have some Mozart's Girl joy!
So, the 2nd person out of the draw will win...
this little Emma Bridgewater egg cup that has a tiny rooster and the words 'Wake Up Rise & Shine' printed on it - so sweet. Lastly....

a very special set of decorated notepaper and envelopes by my darling friend Susan Branch ! I think this was discontinued quite a few years ago so is probably now quite rare! There are 10 envelopes, with illustrations on both sides and a lovely pile of writing paper with watercolours and quotes in her inimitable style for those special letters - and everyone loves snailmail!

So, all you need to do to have a chance of winning one of these prizes is to leave me a comment on this post,,,anything you want, although I'd love to hear your favourite things about the blog, or if there's anything you'd like to see more of!

I'll draw the names a week from today , that's Monday 21st February....I can't wait to hear who wins!

Thanks so much for reading....this blog ( and my other one, Baking Brownies for Mozart) are such fun for me and such a part of my life now...it's great to have met so many new and interesting people through them xo


  1. Good Morning darling Girl...Loved everything you wrote about Paul!!! That dress!!! You deserve every second of it! It's really TWO wonderful people at your house...Happy Valentine's Day Sweetheart...xoxo from your friend for life, Anna Susanna Dana Branchburger the third

  2. Dearest Rachel,
    Let's try this again! LOVED reading your post about your darling Valentine! I am so happy you found your prince! Nobody is perfect, but seems to me that Paul comes close. How absolutely romantic that he brings you tea in bed, runs you a bath, warms up your side of the bed, and even warms up your pjs!! It's these little things that matter the most in life. You are both very blessed to have found each other. By the way, your dress is gorgeous! Paul has great taste. Please don't include me in your giveaway, as I have won in the past. Just wanted to leave you a comment. Good luck to all the participants!! I love the little EB rooster egg cup. Adorable! xoxo

  3. Well, there are so many wonderful blogs out there in Blogville, that i mostly don't have time to read them... BUT, i was taken in by your blog, firstly because Susan Branch retweeted it lol and i know that if she likes something then i know i will too, and it's proven again :) ... Your blog is so pretty and i love your writing.
    I think Paul sounds like a dream, and i'm glad you found him after your first marriage...
    I, like you, think Valentine's Day isn't just about lovers... I make it special for my kids... a nice Valentiney snack waiting for them when they get off the bus... then they decorate their own valentines for the family members... and a Valentine Loved-Filled supper and dessert then we share our Valentines :)
    I love helping my Ingleside Lambs to see that Valentines Day is about sharing your love with everyone, not just a husband/boyfriend, etc :)

    Denise of Ingleside,
    Prince Edward Island

  4. Nobody in my family ever rhapsodized about the loves of their life, tho it was clear everyone was loved. It's such a pleasure to me to see you say how do I love thee, let me count the ways and to share all the special and tiny personal details that animate your love story. It makes it all so real. I'm glad you found your true love and that every day you wake feeling loved and treasured. You deserve it. The best thing about your blog is you and your great and wonderful spirit of devotion, generosity and appreciation for all things magical. Happy Valentine's Day. The point is to appreciate the magic of love, which is all around all of us, whether we have a sweetheart now or not. To feel it is the greatest thing ever no matter what form it takes!

  5. Oh what a lovely posting this was! What a great love story..God has blessed so many of us with a second chance!! I love reading both of your blogs..you are a gifted..

    Your giveaway is so desirable ... I want...I want...I want! smile...

    xoxo Gert

  6. Such a beautiful post. The sun is shining, the house smells of baking, the day is lovely, and your post has really made me smile.

    You are of course, completely right. Love is not just for the 14th February, and today isn't exclusive to those in relationships. I hate that some people will find this a painful day.

    Gorgeous giveaway goodies.


  7. I just LOVED reading about Paul. Love is so amazing and transforming. I am so glad that you have the fabulous, thoughtful man you deserve now. It warms the heart to hear stories of love like yours, especially when you recognize those feelings in your own relationship.

    You are so generous, look at all those goodies! Crossing my fingers. :)

    So happy you blog Rachel, you share so much goodness with the world!

    Love, Dawn

  8. Dearest Rachel,

    You and Paul have been blessed with forever kind of love. The line Tom Hanks says in the movie Sleepless in Seattle, "I touched her hand and it was like coming home, to a home like I'd never known," makes me think of you and Paul. I love all the small ways he says I love you on any given day, just because he loves you so much. That's real love. And I think he is adorable and you make a wonderful couple. So happy that you shared a bit of your story with us. May your life together always be filled with magic! xoxo

  9. Sweet Rachel, I loved every word of your love story. You, indeed, have found your prince and he looks charming! Not many find their true love and you have and write about your love so elequently. You are one of the most generous people I know! Please do leave my name out of the drawing as I have been so very fortunate to have won recently, but I commented because I was so moved by your words!! May everyday be Valentine's Day as you celebrate your love for each other!!! Hugs, Sherry xx

  10. You sweet Girl...I loved reading all of this and seeing your Paul. What a kind and thoughtful man. You are so lucky...and you know it...and what a generous give-away...everything is lovely....

    Rachel...thank you for Teddy's lovely Valentine delivered SPRCIAL DELIVERY and thank you for my goodies...you are the MOST kind and thoughtful person ever...always thinking of others...you are a treasure and I consider your friendship a gift.

    and YES !!! I would LOVE to do a Sarabeth post with you...let's work on that...

    Sending Valentine Love to my SPECIAL friend and sweet Alice too...from Farmhouse to you.
    Kary and Teddy

  11. Firstly, I find that story about your husband buying you your dream dress adorable... what a wonderful heirloom to pass down to your niece! You most certainly have been blessed with a thoughtful husband :)
    Secondly, could this Giveaway be anymore perfect?! All of my favorite things!: Emma Bridgewater, Cath Kidston, and of course, Susan Branch! I do hope I win something! :)

    Have a wonderful Valentine's Day, friend! ♥

  12. I don't like Valentine's Day much either: I always found it depressing when I was single and stressful when I was in a relationship. To enjoy it, I think one should keep it small really. And never, EVER go to a restaurant on Valentine's Day.

  13. Lovely Rachel,
    I am teary reading this post--so many similarities dear Rachel, but I do not want to dwell on that. I want to tell you that sometimes, truest love comes when we most need it and least expect it....
    Your blog sings to me, like music from my little birds outside...real, genuine, and true. I LOVE when you take me to places you have been and allow me to see inside your world...feel the cold and the rain, anticipate, with you, the coming of a new season. The desserts are wonderful and so decadent, but in a solid sort of way, if that makes sense....the cultural difference is inspiring! So, for me, everytime you take me with you on your journeys....home from a walk, inside the coffee tree, a restaurant review, or a weekend away with your sweetheart, I grow to love you more and realize the kinship of women around the world who share the passions of home and hearth. Continue on sweet Rachel....I'm with you through your day!
    xx Joann

  14. Dearest Rachel
    Thanks for this wonderful blog. So cheering to read that true love is alive and well somewhere in the world...
    It was beautiful and he is a very lucky man.
    Love love love

  15. oh yes....one more thing: he has wonderful smile lines; you bring him great joy!! He is very happy with your love wrapped around him!

  16. Thank you for sharing about your husband and thanks for showing us that beautiful dress! Wow, I love it! And oh, I love to read your blog. And oh, how I would love to win any of these lovely things from you! Happy Day to you! Kay Guest

  17. Paul is a keeper and a cutie for sure :) And, Rachel, this shouldn't be called a giveaway -- it should be called Christmas!! You are a dear, generous soul. xoxo

  18. Hello, Kary mentioned that you're interested in joining us for another Sarabeth bakeoff! That would be wonderful! We had so much fun! I just told Kary in an e-mail that Sarabeth is going "viral" in blogworld!

    Have a great day, lovely Valentine post! I love the dress, purple is a favorite color of mine! Oh, the socks are cute too!

    I enjoyed my visit today!


  19. Rachel, I am still filled with excitement at the arrival of my package today! I just wanted to add to everyone's comments, too. This is a wonderful post telling about your romance! The giveaways are super as well. I have some Susan Branch stationery I am hesitant to use because I just know I will not be able to find it again.:) You have a real talent for writing as I feel I am walking down the walks with you as you move around your village. My best to you, always.

  20. Rachel, I have loved your blog(s) from the moment I found them! Everything about them, but I especially your very positive and fun writing! And then of course all the desserts you share... Beautiful giveaway from a beautiful lady!! Much love, Silke


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