27 October 2011

*achoo*

Along with what seems to be most of the people in the UK I am currently a little under the weather and fighting a cold. Thankfully it seems to be at the tail end and is now clearing up. Most of my evenings over the past couple of weeks have been spent curled up in bed or under a blanket on the sofa with a copious amounts of tea!

Now I am feeling better I really need to give myself a kick up the backside, I have recently joined in with a couple of friends and their craft project, its in the very early stages, but I shall share more as it progresses and develops. I have lots of new ideas for my little shop, and I am going to be going full steam ahead with both that and some other things. Exciting times are ahead! :)

The clocks change this weekend so curling up in the warmth of an evening and crafting/making stuff sounds like a great idea to me... Which is just what I am going to do now, my cuppa, crochet and crap telly are all calling me.

Happy Thursday. x

13 October 2011

Landed home...

On Sunday we landed back at Luton Airport after a week in Malta.
I really don't like flying, but its rather a necessity if you want to travel. One thing I do *love* about flying is seeing the wonderful scenery out the window. I get so entranced by the scenery it completely takes my mind off the fact we are in a giant tin can in the sky.
The holiday itself was lovely, warm, relaxing and mostly filled with snorkeling, reading and eating. (What's not to love about that!)
I had yesterday off work and instead on unpacking and doing the washing all day, I half heartedly unpacked and then decided to clean the fridge and make jam. (That's totally normal right? Haha)
It was my first attempt at jam making so I didn't take many photos as I was a little unsure how it would turn out.

As it happens it turned out bloody marvellously, and now I am 1- kicking myself for not taking photos, and 2-eating jam at each possible opportunity.
It turned so well in fact that I can't see myself ever buying jam with my grocery shop ever again, so I'll no doubt share future recipes/attempts when the urge takes me. X
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1 October 2011

Saturday Mornings.

My Saturday mornings generally go like this... Wake up at an ungodly hour, Take my husband to work, Do the grocery shopping...

I am normally at Tesco (other grocery stores are avaliable) for about 6.30am. Today it was more like 5.30, so here are my for's and against's for early Saturday grocery shopping.

Against:
Its early. 'nuff said.
You have to dodge cardboard boxes strewn everywhere on the floor while people fill shelves.
You only have self service kiosks, its not unknown for me to have to go and hunt for someone because I have some alcohol and it wont let me check out.
The days newspapers are not yet out.
Costa Coffee opens at 7, so I don't always get to grab my regular skinny hazelnut latte!
Its early (worth 2 mentions, I am not a morning person)

Fors:
Tescos is empty! I'd rather dodge the cardboard boxes than 1001 other people with trolleys.
Driving. The roads are also empty, I love driving when the roads are quiet, its one of the best things.
The skies on the way home, The sun is just rising on some part of my journey (today, as I got home)
You see lots of bunnies playing on the verges.
And a large gaggle of geese flying over the house (just after I put my camera away typically)
When I get home, and the shopping is away, I can sit down knowing it is all done and I dont need to think about it again for another week and have myself a lovely little breakfast.

Happy Weekend xx

 my breakfast this morning
view from bedroom window when I got home

22 September 2011

A Few things...

10 things that are on my mind at the moment...

1- I eat too much. My portions are huge, and this is because I am greedy and I want everything for myself.
2 - I love baking, it makes me happy.
3 - Related to the above, have you been watching Great British Bake Off?? Seriously, it my favourite program! love it.
4 - I really should get my name changed on my passport.
5 - It costs HOW MUCH to get my name changed on my passport!! Maybe that'll wait a while.
6 - I love my ombre hair, but I can't afford the upkeep. (dyeing roots and tips different colours is a hassle)
7 - I need to get on with it and dye my hair soon, my roots/grey hairs are glistening in the sunlight.
8 - Gargling with TCP is horrid, but it makes toothache lessen immensely.
9 - I am running out of moisturiser.
10 - I really love lists.


image found here
ironically, the place I got the pic is a review of the first episode, which generally rips it to tatters. Whatever, is we all liked the same it'd be a dull dull place. and I like cake. and bunting. so there. x

15 September 2011

Is anyone there??

Its been rather quiet round here of late... Well ok, yes, its been deafeningly silent.

In all truth, I don't really know why, I just haven't had the urge to write. We've not been up to much. I baked my most amazing olive bread to date. (seriously, amazing! and HUGE we ate it for lunch and dinner the day i baked it, and oh, oops, there is none left. Who needs fruit and vegetables when you have lovely bread?)

Not long after that occurrence we started P90X. That hurts. Seriously, Its a killer. But, I've lost 3lbs in my first week, and if we cancel our gym membership that's a nice chunk of cash we'll be saving. Hoorah.
Erm, what else? My lovely cousin got married (such a fun evening, drank a little too much, hurt the next morning)
The home improvements/conservatory building are on hiatus until the spring. We did however score the table we wanted from Ikea for said conservatory on Ebay for a snippet of the real price (and it was just down the road for us to go and collect) That is now sat in the corner of the living room. Its so nice having a table to eat at after so long without one! happy days. :)
Plans and progress are both being made with my buddy Leanne for a little side project we are hoping will take off. I am sure I shall share more details when we are ready.

So yeah, that's that really.
It may be quiet on here for the next few weeks while things fall into place and I get myself in a little routine, but I shall be back. and I'll be back with a spring in my step and a song in my heart. xx

28 August 2011

Sunday Snapshot

I think we need a bigger spice rack...
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14 August 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Its Sunday afternoon. The DVD player in the bedroom broke. Brought a new one and a Ipod clock radio thing and dress for my cousins wedding reception in 2 weeks. Now knackered after shopping and cleaning, so movie time, in bed with the BIGGEST mug of tea in existence!! Happy Sunday x
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12 August 2011

Sometimes...

Sometimes I forget to write,
This blog, though try as I might,
Whether June or December,
I never remember,
And that just isn't polite!


I've been writing a lot of silly little rhymes lately, I might share some of every now and then. I have a few ideas simmering below the surface, and I am hoping they shall flourish and make some wonderful little blog posts soon. :)

We have a busy weekend ahead of us, tidying and clearing out our garden. Now the patio is finished (Hoorah) and the shed is in place (love it) we can give the place a good tidy and get it looking ship shape. Yes in a few weeks we shall start digging near the house to prepare for building, but for those couple of weeks at least we'll have a tidy, clear garden!! (I've already been planning what I'll be growing in the veg patch next year!)

Happy Friday everyone! x

7 August 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Duvet cover as a tablecloth, raincoats and umbrellas while BBQing in the rain!
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1 August 2011

So do any of you watch Dragons Den?

Normally we don't but after a BBQ and drinks with our neighbours last night we popped on the tv as it was finishing.
Now I do realise I shall go to hell for this, it may have been the effect of the drink, but the new dragon lady... This is all I could think about!
Eeek!! Just watch you kids round her, that's all I have to say. She'll turn them into mice as soon as your back is turned!
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31 July 2011

Sunday Snapshot

We've spent the weekend painting and building our new shed... Its not yet complete due to being distracted by our neighbours BBQ and copious amounts of sangria.
So here is our tool shed door, re-painted in the same blue as our new shed. :)
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25 July 2011

ooh, something new. (Make it Monday V1)

Another little occasional feature I am going to start on here is 'Make it Mondays' a suggestion from my friend Nic.
Now, I am certainly not suggesting that I am any good at making stuff, hell no, but its more so I get off my backside and start geting productive. of course I had planned to start the feature today, but well... I didnt make much! (you know my life at the moment is spent either at work or in the garden/doing diy right?)

What I did make was a small acceptance card for my cousins wedding (in just under 5 weeks!! eek) super simple, but how hard do you want an acceptance card to be?

Tools needed:
Card (in whatever colours you choose, I chose pale sage green and cream)
sticky jewels (or just jewels and glue, I happend to have some pre sticky pearls)
paper string (noral string, twine, agin, whatever you choose)
doule sided tape (I couldnt find mine! so ued micro dots instead)
sticky letters (or a printer and cute fonts, or stamps and ink of course)
craft knife
PVA glue
tweezers (so much easier when positioning fiddly items)

Decide on the size card you want to make and cut your coloured card to size. Then cut your 2nd colour card to around 1cm smaller (so you have aprox 5mm boarder when they are stuck together)
Stick these together using your double sided tape
next take your little jewels and stick these in each of the corners of the smaller card
peel your sticky letters and place these in the top center of your card
Cut another piece of your coloured card and stick this under your letters
Next take a piece of string, and shape into a heart, make sure it will fit nicely in the square you just cut.
Now the messiest bit, pop PVA along the back of your heart, the string will not hold its shape fully so if your anything like me, you'll get covered in glue!
carefully place this in the centre of your coloured card, hold in place fo a few seconds sothe pva grips, and leave to dry.
Ta-da. Your acceptance card is complete and ready for you to write a note to the couple on the back and pop in the post to them. :)

Now I must dash, we have gravel and bricks to buy, The shed is arriving tomorrow so we need to be ready/finished so we can paint/put it up as soon as possible.

Happy Monday. x

24 July 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Not so pretty now, but when its done we'll have a little water feature for the birds to drink from :)
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20 July 2011

Lately...

My spare time has been filled with gloss paint (radiators and woodwork in the downstairs WC) Rain. Laundry (seriously, seems like its never ending when you can't dry stuff outside!) Work. Sims3. Shopping for sheds. Rain. Good coffee. Shopping for bookcases. Cooking for friends. Filing paperwork (urgh, so tedious) Rain. Looking for/deciding on holidays and oh did I mention rain??
Ok, so its not been quite *that* bad, but come on! Its summer. Give me sunshine! Not grey skies and drizzle. Booo to mr weatherman!

The plus side of rain... Rainbows. <3 this photo, which is of very dubious quality, was taken a couple of weeks back when it was absolutely lashing it down. It was the brightest biggest most lovely rainbow I have ever seen. Fact. I was driving, it was raining, I didn't want to concentrate on the road I wanted to look at the pretty rainbow. So we pulled over for a short while and I snapped this through the rain covered windscreen.

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17 July 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Badge we saw on the front of a car while shopping today...
It wasn't yellow so it wasn't bumblebee!

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12 July 2011

Tasty Tuesday - July 11

Good Mornin'
First things first, I know I have been rather lacklustre with this blog of late, I have good intentions, they last a couple of weeks and then I run out of steam and it all goes kaput. Not much fun for me, not much fun for you!
So instead of me trying to do the stuff I want every single week, I'm concentrating on doing stuff monthly. Quality over quantity! :)
So yes, there will be less, but it will be more regular and much better... I hope. ;) Tell me if its crap ok.

Now I love food. Good food. I love it, and I am also greedy, always have been. 'Eyes bigger than my belly' and 'bottomless pit' my family used to say.
and if you can have good food thats also super simple and easy to prepare, all the better. Means you get to eat it quicker/with less hassle. woo-hoo. That cannot be a bad thing. (If any of you have some lovely simple recipes you would be kind enough to share with me please do, I love to try new things. Or, let me know if you fancy taking over my Tasty Tuesday one time too!)

This is something that I spotted on a blog I have become a regular reader of. A wee bit of cooking, and it inspired me to give baked gnocchi a bash. This has become a firm favourite in our home and its so super simple and easy anyone can do it. (I totally cheat and use pre prepared stuff from the supermarket! ha)

Ingredients
Gnocchi
Cherry tomatoes
Dried garlic
Dried chillies
Passata (I use the stuff with basil, yum)
Black pepper
Cheese (Parmesan, grated cheddar, mozzarella... whatever)
Spinach (or rocket, just a nice green salad to serve it with) 


Method
 Cook gnocchi as per pack instructions
(This takes about 3 minutes, and when its cooks it bobs up to the surface, so just remove from the pan with a slotted spoon)
 Place gnocchi into a baking dish and pour over the passata
 Add chopped cherry tomatoes and stir
Sprinkle with black pepper, dried garlic and chilli flakes
Add some torn fresh basil if you have some and sprinbkle with whatever cheese you have
Shove it in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until its golden brown and lovely
Serve with your salad and a slice of garlic bread

Hey presto, dinner is served
(told you it was easy)

Happy Eating. x


6 July 2011

popping back

Just to quickly say 'hi'
I've not forgotten about my wee blog, things have been go go go recently, what with my birthday, car shopping, going to see Foo Fighters at MK at the weekend and work is just crazy busy. All in all its meant me spending time on this blog has slipped down my list of priorities.

I still don't have that 'blogger mindset' of taking photos to blog about later, I'm enjoying things as they happen and being in the moment I guess, and in all honesty I don't really want that to change. I am hoping however that once things have settled down and I am into a nice routine with work and my own stuff that things will fall into place nicely and we shall A: have more time to do stuff that we'd like to to, and B: I'll remember to take photos of said stuff so I can blog about them later! :)

I have some photos from Foos that I shall share soon, it was a great day out with my best bud and the menfolk, some good music and some crappy food. other than the palaver getting out of the car park at the end of the night (2hrs!! 2 flaming hrs!) it was very much enjoyed.

anyway, break over so back to work! x

25 June 2011

Happy Saturday

11am Saturday morning, and currently I am in bed. I have been up and made myself breakfast and tea, but I brought it back to bed with me to watch the TV I'd recorded through the week (Geordie Shore and Love your garden!... random!) and have a bit of a pamper.

I didnt post my weekly menu yesterday, I was in a bit of a sulk since I'd gained 2lbs this week. Sure I'd had a couple of days where I hadn't been an angel, but to gain 2lbs! I was miffed to say the least. But its water under the bridge, there is nothing I can do about it so onwards and upwards. Even with my birthday on Monday, and celebratory meal out this evening I still want a loss this week, so I need to be supre super focussed.

Monday - EE - My Birthday! weather dependant we'll bike to the local farm shop for lunch. the day looks like it will pan out much like I hoped

Tuesday - Green - Yoga in evening
B - fruit & cereal
L - Quiche, salad & potaoes
D - pasta & sauce

Wednesday- Green - Gym in evening
B - fruit & cereal
L - Leftover Quiche, salad, potatoes
D - Chilli bean & potato bake

Thursday- Green - Balance & SW in evening
B - fruit & cereal
L - Leftover Chilli bean bake
D - cheese on toast

Friday - Green - Zumba in evening
B - fruit & cereal
L - Leftover chilli bean bake
D - Pepper & Mushroom Risotto

Saturday - EE
B - fruit & cereal
L - hot chicken salad.
D - Boxing on tonight, we have some friends coming over so i'll do some nibbles and make sure I have healthy stuff for me to eat!

Sunday - EE - Going to see Foo Fighters - No idea what I shall eat. hopefully We'll find a jacket potato stand! :D

These are my plans for the week anyway, mainly based around what we have in the cupboards already. Save money on grocery shopping as we have a busy week ahead. :)

Happy weekend xx

22 June 2011

My birthday wish list

Is it wrong for me to be posting a wish list of things I would like for on my birthday? I don't want to seem greedy, its not gifts I am after, but rather a little list/plan of the things I would like to make my birthday special (to me) and I thought I would just share the things I would love on here for all to see!


A lot of it seems to revolve around food!... hmmm...


Warm croissants and fresh fruit for breakfast, with tea, coffee and oj! Ideally in the garden... if its fnished (and please be sunny!)
A lazy morning, perhaps a little shopping, and then a drive to a lovely local farm shop/tea room for lunch and a slice of cake.


Then home, to curl up on the sofa with a movie or two and some before mentioned Jelly Belly Beans.


Later on some Olive Bread (mmmmm, I could eat home baked olive bread all day long) With some mozzarella cheese a selection of cheeses, various cold meats and pates. Perhaps some home made pizza with some spicy chicken dipper things, or a BBQ in the garden!
 If my birthday pans out like this I will be one blissfully happy (and relaxed) lady!
*ahem* lovely husband take note ;) xx


Whats your perfect way to spend your birthday??


(ps. celebrations with friends & family will happen at the weekend! I'm not ignoring them! haha)

21 June 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Spaghetti Bolognese


Ok, so I know that pretty much everyone knows full well how to cook good old Spahetti Bolognese. But this is another firm favourite in this household, my husband simply loves it (you know when sometimes you just get a craving for something and could happily eat it over and over for days on end? This is his favourite thing of the moment!) I thought, I'd do a super quick post on how I make it.
Ingredients
 Spaghetti (I know I have tagliatelle in the photo, It was all I had in the cupboard)
500g lean minced beef
1 red onion - chopped
4 tomatoes - chopped (or a good handfull of cherry tomatoes - halved)
2-3 peppers, any colour - choped
Beef stock (about 300ml)
Dried garlic (I use this so much more than fresh, its so much easier!)
 Lea & Perrins worcesteshire sauce
dried or fresh basil
black pepper

and if I have some, I shove some mushrooms in too!


Method
Fry light a large saucepan, Cook onions and mince until browned
add peppers, a good glug (around 1 tablespoon) worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, garlic, basil, black pepper and beef stock (sometimes it looks like it needs more/less stock, just add what you think is best, you can always add more if it starts to look dry while its cooking!)

add mushrooms if using
Stir well and leave to simmer for around 30 minutes stirring occasionally
While this is simmering away, cook your spaghetti
Then simply serve, with plenty of parmesan sprinkled on top and with either  a nice slice of garlic bread, or some lightly toasted ciabatta

Nice, quick and easy, and lovely comfort food. Just what you want after a day at work (especally if its a bit cold and raining!) x

20 June 2011

Monday - 20/6


Just a quick update today as I want to get on with some stuff round the house. My 2nd monday off and it's jam packed with stuff to do this afternoon, and I want to get on with mking some things this morning... If I can find my fabric etc in the spare room organising/decorating chaos.
Its true that things get worse before they get better right? Please say that it will get better...

Its lovely outside a the moment too, so I am thinking I shall get all my stuff together, and while I may not be able to sit and work in the garden, I can at least sit and work in the living room, with the back door wide open and sun streaming in.

One last thing before I dash off, I don't know if any of you read Peonies blog? But her post today about her wardrobe struck a chord with me (apart from the post baby belly of course, post 'eating too much cake and trying to shift the weight belly' is more acurate!) Might try and fit in a half hour of wardrobe purging today, even if I only get a couple of drawers done, its a good start. getting anywhere near 33 items will be nothing short of a miracle, but I am going to be strict and only things I love (and fit properly) will be allowed to reside in my drawers

oo-er missus. ha. x

EDIT - what do you think of the new blog layout/makeover?? The sun is no longer shining, so instead of basking in its rays I got rather carried away dong this instead! :)

19 June 2011

17 June 2011

Weigh In Result & Meal Plans

Evening campers! A bit of a late update for a Friday. Its been a busy busy week at work, but its been a good week thats for sure.

At Slimming World last night I lost 2lbs! hoorah. Hopefuilly this is me back on track and there will just be more and more weight loss to come :) Next week is my last weigh in before my birthday, I'd love to hit a stone loss before my birthday so I need to kick arse this week to shift at least 3lbs!! Fingers crossed and send me motivational vibes please! :D

Here are my meal plans for the next week ahead...

Mon - Green - Gym in afternoon
B: Cereal/toast & Fruit
L: leftover spanish omlette
D: Baked gnocchi & garlic bread

Tues - Green - Yoga in Evening
B: Cereal/toast & Fruit
L: leftover gnocchi
D: slow baked potatoes, cottage cheese & salad

Weds - Green - Gym/Walk in evening
B: Cereal/toast & Fruit
L: Baked potato, cheese & salad
D: Mushroom pasta bake & garlic bread

Thurs - Green - Balance & SW in evening
B: Cereal/toast & Fruit
L: Baked potato, cheese & beans, and some leftover muchroom pasta
D: Cheese salad wrap

Fri - Green - Zumba in Evening
B: Cereal/toast & Fruit
L: Baked potato, cheese & beans
D: Veggy curry & rice

Sat - Extra Easy
B: Egg on toast or Granola & Fruit
L: spanish omlette
D: Italian meal out to celebrate my Birthday! ... no diet this evening. :)

Sun - Extra Easy
B: Egg on toast or Granola & Fruit
L: leftover spanish omlette
D: Cheese & Broc past bake & garlic bread

Have a wonderful Weekend all of you. x

15 June 2011

Lust List - June 2011

Oops. I haven't done my lust list for a couple of months now! A bit belated perhaps, but here are the things on my Lust List for June...

1: A lego lunchbox!! omg. I'd never use it, but still I love it!
2: Boring I know... but seriously, I need some Billy bookcases for the spareroom/office!
3: And while i'm on the subject, this would be lovely too!
4: I am loving the coloured denim thats in the shops at the moment. I'll not be buying any just yet, need to get these hefty thighs slimmed down before I even consider donning anything bright and attention drawing! haha. Not 100% sure they are really my style either, but they are lovely for summer!
5: I know that I post shoes a lot on my lust lists, I think I may have a problem, I looove shoes. l've them, and currently I love these!! (whats with all the pink!)
6: Really love this dress from boohoo too. Such a lovely colour.
7: This is definitely something I need!
8: A corkscrew... shaped as a unicorn!! .. why yes please!!
9: A cople of these for when our garden is finished would be just wonderful
 10: Finally, This is probably what I want most out of all the items on this list.
 Bit of a random list this time round! Its taken me a while to compile it too. I've put myself on a bit of a spendin hiatus, and so as not to be led into temptation I've just downright avoided looking at lovely stuff!! haha. It'll be worth it in the long run.

14 June 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Coated Chicken

This is a Slimming World recipe thats known as 'KFC Style chicken' I call it coated chicken because it tastes bugger all like KFC chicken in my opinion.
Not that it matters, because I actually personally prefer this to the take out 'finger lickin so good' version! (so good as a slogan just isn't as catchy as finger lickin' is it?)
We have this quite regularly, it does feel lik your having a naughty fast food treat.


Ingredients





2 Chicken breast

half a tub of Chicken Bovril paste
1 egg
1 clove crushed garlic - Or use dried like I did! (optional)
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper (optional)
half a teaspoon mixed spice (optional)
half a teaspoon of mild chilli powder (optional)
2-3 slices brown bread
1-2 teaspoons mixed herbs

Method





Place chicken breasts in saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 30min. When cooked, drain and leave to one side to cool
While chicken is cooking  preheat oven to 180deg C
Place bread and herbs into a food processor (I have one of those mini choppers!) and blend until made into breadcrumbs. Put them in a bowl to one side
in another bowl mix together your egg, bovril (I just guesstimate the half tub, dont bother measuring) mixed spice, garlic, chilli and pepper. Mix with a fork until a kind of gloopy paste is achieved



Cut the cooled chicken breast into chunky sized strips
(I always do the coating prep while chicken is cooking, so its never fully cooled by the time I cut it into strips. if its not fully cooled be careful not to burn your fingers!)

Get your baking tray and spray it with frylight now. Keep it close to hand
Take each piece of chicken, dip it first into the gloopy mixture, then into breadcrumbs
(this can get messy you could also just pop the chicken onto the baking tray and drizzle on the gloopy mix followed by the breadcrumb mix, I like mine coated all over though)


place coated chicken onto the baking tray, place in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are nice and golden.
When chicken is cooked, remove from oven and serve! We normally have ours with some homemade chips/wedges, salad and coleslaw. Yummy
And you know whats best of all??... if like me you are following Sliming World, use the bread as part of your HEB and its totally syn free!

Let me know if you give it a try. xx

EDIT - I don't know whats going on with blogger and why some of the text is underlined, some not, some bold etc! It muddled everything up when it first published too, so apologies if you read it and wondered what the hell I was on about! :) thanks. x