Sunday, 23 June 2013

I love being able to cook

I love that two hours ago I had no idea what we were having for dinner and after a pop to the shops and 15 mins in the kitchen there's a lovely Roast Chicken dinner cooking for us all

I love that on Thursday I was so miserable I NEEDED cake and within the hour I had whipped up some much needed chocolate brownies.

I love the fact that this library lend has got me so excited (I may have to buy this as it's AMAZING!)

I love the fact that I've spent about an hour today reorganising my food pins on Pinterest (another love) and getting very excited about July's meal plan....

.....which is good as I had lost my cooking mojo recently having been poorly and run down.  We are away this week so will be eating out most of the time which will also help to have a break from cooking and thinking what to make.

Of course all of this is really based on my biggest love of all ....FOOD and EATING!

The only downside is it will be meal planning time for July when we get back which can be a chore even with all this enthusiasm!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Facebook Free Friday

A friend recently said that she tried to have a Facebook free Friday.  I thought this sounded like a brilliant idea particularly as I'm a tad hooked on FB and spend far too much time checking it.  I do love it though as it's a great way to keep in touch with people (and nosy at what everyone is up to without having to do your make up) but it can become all consuming.  In addition to this I am making a concerted effort to turn our telly off during the day as well and I've really noticed a difference with my little mans play; he plays so much better and more focused-ly without the screen on as he appears unable to ignore it!

So what did we do on our free days?

Well the first week we did some shopping and then had a teddy bears picnic in our lounge

The teddies (and mice and frogs and sheep!) lined up for their picnic.  As you can see Kermit had to have a bite!!

Lots of lovely summer fruits for pud

And on our second Friday we prepared for Fathers day with lots of lovely messy baking.....

 Yes that is my kitchen floor covered in flour!!! 

My little helper

The results of our mess - grissini, muffins and carrot cake muffins

And this what we did for little man's daddy - which was very much appreciated :) 

Now I'm not saying we wouldn't have done these things if I hadn't had a facebook free day but it was very nice not to keep checking my phone every five minutes so I will be continuing with this.  It makes you remember how we lived without it!! 

Now I must confess that I'm not following facebook free Friday today as it's my birthday and a birthday girl has to check her messages but I will be back on it next week :) 

Just whilst writing I wanted to share a couple of pics of my rose bushes that are currently in full bloom:

This one is in my front garden - look at those lovely red blooms 

And this is in my back garden and is a particularly special as it sits on the spot where we buried our beloved cat Henry's ashes almost a year ago.  I am so pleased that this rose bush is doing so well.  Still miss our boy so much.  

Thursday, 20 June 2013


Further to my post the other day about the reality of activities on pinterest, today I tried again with this this. And it worked!!  The little man loved it and played with it for half an hour even though I totally forgot to add the glitter.

We did some writing with our fingers and a paintbrush but mainly he liked making circles (his favourite things!).  The instructions say it can be stored indefinitely but after most of it going on the floor several times I binned it but still have half a jar left from on pot of 29p salt which I think is a bargain!! 

I'm currently working on a BIG project which I will tell you more about once I'm sure it's going ahead but I got this out today to help me with it - which is my old flower press which was a birthday present probably about 30 years ago :O  and it's still going strong :) wish I could say the same for me!!  But am hoping our upcoming holiday (and possibly some sleep little man if you're listening) will help with that.  

All I will say about my big project is that I've got two spreadsheets and a folder on the go already ;) 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Who am I?

I've been a bit poorly recently which has led me to feeling a bit low about myself and a bit lost as to who I am.  It then struck me this week as I've started to feel better than I'm a bit stuck in a rut with my clothes which used to take up a lot of my time.  Don't get me wrong I still make an effort when I'm going out and you will rarely see me without at least a bit of slap on but 9/10 I will be in jeans and a top and as someone who used to hate jeans this is not a fab way to go and very uncreative and unimaginative.  So yesterday I decided I would cut back on my jean wearing and put on a lovely pink and brown skirt that I love but never wear and felt much happier with the world.

Today however I was back in jeans .....until the sun came out and the rain went away and now I have a pretty dress on.  It is much easier to not wear jeans in the I've purchased this little lot to help me make more use of my skirts and dresses in the colder times.  And yes they are bright blue tights!! :O

Burgundy and tan leggings, dark blue jeggings and cream and bright blue tights!! 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Reality vs Pinterest!

So it's no secret that I'm a little bit addicted to Pinterest....ok a lot addicted!!

I saw this pin the other day which made me laugh a little too see I've recently had my own nailed it moments with activities I set up for the little man.

I am trying to reduce both our screen time (more on that on another post) and do more activities with him so firstly thought we could try sticking foam shapes to our glass doors with water (very brave inside don't you think!!).  Well this worked ok for about 30 seconds before he wanted to just paint the door with water and nothing else and then dragged me to the cupboard to get the actual paint out!!!  I thought I can cope with this....and spontaneously with no care for my kitchen got some paint out (only 3 colours mind) and let him paint the big cardboard box that we had been playing with.  Oh yes this was more like it he thought....until he got some paint on his hands and then he was not best pleased.  I managed to clean it off and he painted some more but his heart wasn't in it and was soon back in the living room playing with his toys whilst I was looking calm and serene like the people who write the blogs with these ideas on them - more like a frazzled mess!!!!

And today I tried to do this activity here - I had to improvise in some ways as we apparently don't have any water animals other than a couple of bath toys and a slightly out of proportion frog but I had quite a nice selection to play with and my blue water was something else.

Now note that one of the little guys on this post played with this for MOST OF THE DAY.  My little man lasted 2 minutes before he wanted to play in the shed instead.

As the initial link says....Nailed it!!!!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Colourful cushion.... and what to do next?!

I managed to finish my colourful cushion last night.  As I previously mentioned it had worked out to be a bit too big (I think as I measure it with the original cover on which was much thicker than I realised).  I therefore folded down one side and made a border from double crochet and shell stitch which I sewed on top of the join.  I the made some little flowers and leaves from here (have I mentioned how much I love this blog?!).  I sewed the flowers on the border and placed three flower buttons in the centre.  Looks quite cute I think - although not quite as crazy as I thought it would!!  Must try harder next time. 

Another project I've finally finished is my patchwork kitchen curtain.  Quite pleased with it although am not sure I've hung it correctly!!  

So that's most of my big projects done.... :O   Other than the play kitchen which I can't get on with whilst looking after the little man as it's in the garage and he will want to try and help me paint it!!  Also I need some help - so it's a weekend job but it will get done in time.....!  I've also got plans for the old bureau I bought last year but that's for after our holiday I think. 

So I need a crochet project to pick up and put down as and when.  I've looked through my stash and have two distinct groups of colours (I really want to use up what I have before I order more wool!)

These lovely bright funky slightly 70's colours which I think I'm going to make into this crochet bag - see told you I liked this website!! 

But then these more muted colours I think I want to make another granny square blanket - maybe with squares all of one colour - something like this.  Although where I am going to put it lord only knows!!! 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Bottling Summer

I was kindly given a huge bunch of rhubarb from my auntie a week or so ago and so I turned to my little book of preserves and found a recipe for rhubarb and beetroot chutney and as I had some vacuum packed rhubarb in my fridge it seemed rude not to give it a go!!

Here's the rhubarb simmering in all it's lovely pinkness

And here is all the chutney jarred up and ready to go :) 

But I have to wait a month before I can eat it - that could be hard going!! Although it might take me a month to find some pretty labels to put on them!

I do love the idea of bottling up the surplus of summer and putting it in the cupboard for the darker days - much as we used to do before we could buy everything anytime due to the supermarkets dominance.  I will be on the lookout for more garden bounty on the roadside whilst we are out and about as I don't think my small efforts at growing produce will keep us going for long.  

Last week summer arrived (it's gone again now :( ) And so I crept outside whilst the little man had his nap to do a bit of hooking.  

This started off as being a crazy cushion - as I though the colours looked a bit crazy altogether but...

They actually work really well don't you think?

I had this cushion on my sofa which I got from Next last year which at the time I thought was totally adorable and had to be purchased - however since then not only have I gone off it but it's got very grubby and bobbly (white knit with a toddler?!?!!?  What was I thinking!!!)

So it's been given a new lease of life.  However the cover is a tad too big so have plans to make it a bit more fitted - watch this space :) 

I've not been very well for the past few weeks with a sinus infection and then a sore throat/gunky chest which resulted in me losing my voice for a bit (yes that is my husband you can hear cheering!!).  As a result I've been wiped out totally and not been doing much cooking or anything at all really.  But thankfully although I'm still shattered my mojo seems to be returning and have been in the kitchen today and made the following:

This is quite nice but I think I may have over cooked it a tad and the overpowering smell of olive oil was slightly off putting.  Might try again with vegetable/sunflower oil 

Pain de campagne (ooo get me!!) from Paul Hollywoods earlier book that I still have out from the library.  This has homegrown oregano in it and it looks fab - but it's for lunch tomorrow so not tried it yet!