Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Food Indulgence

Hello All - hope everyone had a good weekend?  Wasn't the weather great?  Thanks for your comments last week about children, it's always good to hear that lots of others have trauma's every now and then!

This weekend for us, was all about food and drink!  Despite the hot weather I wanted to give work a rest and spend time in the kitchen, so Friday afternoon was spent helping the boys making some apple and cinnamon scones which turned out reasonably well, apart from the fact that they were slightly flat!

Whilst flicking through some recipes I spotted an easy, quick one for Strawberry and Vanilla jam - you can imagine where we went on Saturday - the good old PYO and got ourselves 2 baskets full of them.

I had some blueberries left so added those with the strawberries and the seeds of a vanilla pod - my, my, it did taste good.  The subsequent jam recipe, I just used strawberries and vanilla sugar.  It went down very well with the scones and a glass of Pimms later in the afternoon!

Not having fulfilled my quest to bake, I set too, making some Lemon Meringue cakes filled with lemon curd.  Anyone fancy one?

In the evening we all went to a Golden Wedding Anniversary party which was lovely.  I did partake in a little 'dancing' (embarrassing my 10 yr old at the same time!).  Well, I did have half of my body weight to burn off after consuming rather a lot of cakes!

Sunday was just spent doing a bit of this and a bit of that and a Pimms or two!

Boys have now been dropped off at school so I'm off for a huge cup of coffee to see me through the day.

Toodle Pip!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Two things

Hello folks,
Hope you've had a good week?  Isn't the weather great and how long have we waited for this. Long may it continue.

Two things have dominated my week.  Children and Wimbledon.

As you know I went to Wimbledon for the first time on Wednesday and what a fab time we had.  We were there an amazing 11 hours, left at 7am and got back at 12.30am......It was quite surreal having watched it on the TV for all these years, to step through the gates and actually be there.

I was also lucky enough to be within touching distance of Isner and Mahut as they came off court.  They finished their game just as we finished watching another match.  Never did we think it would continue into a 3rd day.  What a whopper of a match.

I haven't got any photo's as I left my camera behind, I had to keep my phone off and as I don't know how to put it on silent so there's nothing to share with you, but take my word for it, it was fab.  The weather was an absolute scorcher and at one point we were in sat in direct sunlight and I did think we would frazzle, but good old suncream did it's job.

Either side of  Wimbledon, I've had a number of child related problems to deal with.  I apologise to those who haven't got children!

We've gone through the academic year swimmingly without any major issues or fall outs with friends.  Well, I thought that was too good to be true  In the last week there's been day after day of problems.  One gets blamed for something which in fact he didn't do, hubby has to go into school whilst I'm at Wimbledon, it then gets escalated and then 1 day later it was established mine hadn't done anything.........but if he had been believed in the first place........I hate injustice!  There are another couple of minor skirmishes which I won't bore you with the details.

The other son comes out miserable because he keeps getting told off for being silly so as a consequence he's not getting any special stickers. Simple solution - don't be silly and stay away from those who are. He's adamant he's not chatting or being silly.  Emmmm.

So all in all nothing major but enough for me to get stressed about, and resort to wine and chocolate mid week!!  On the flip side, I should be grateful that both are doing well and to get a few issues 3 weeks before the end of term is no biggy!

To end on a more cheery note, I did treat myself to a couple of goodies at Wimbledon.  Yet another bag......Toby did remark that I could have bought a cheaper bag at either Primark or Tesco's.....random or what?  Hubby, meanwhile stayed silent.

and a cute keyring.

Have a good weekend everyone and enjoy the sunshine!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Elderflower cordial

Hello again,on another Monday!
I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend.  I knew that I had to stay in this weekend due to too much work, but I knew working continuously for the entire weekend would have been torture so in between jobs I made, (with a couple of helpers!) some elderflower cordial, taken from The River Cottage book.

I was confident this year after picking it last year that I knew where it grew and what it looked like!  So off we went and picked ourselves a good 26 elderflower heads.

Give them a good wash

Add orange and lemon zest and juice, boiling water and leave to stand for 24 hours.

Simmer with 1kg of sugar, strain and hey presto you have yourself 2 litres of elderflower cordial.  For flowers that smell completely rank, when you add boiling water to them, the smell is delectable.

It's so simple, I can't believe I've never made it before, and the taste is fantastic.

Whilst in the kitchen I made a white chocolate and blueberry cake and it really was scrummy (none left now)!  My only error was not using a good quality chocolate as the cheap chocolate was quite difficult to work with, but I'll know for next time!

My WIP hexagon cushion is now complete and sits proudly on my favourite chair.  Don't you just love it when projects get completed.  Rather than get on with the other WIP's I thought I may as well add another one to the mix - a patchwork bolster cushion.  Have you guessed I like patchwork?!

Changing the subject completely - I'm lucky enough to be going to Wimbledon on Wednesday - I've never been and always wanted to go.  My friend's son plays tennis and gets tickets through his club.  She managed to get 3 tickets, 1 for her and 1 each for her 2 boys.  Fortunately for me, 1 of her boys doesn't want to miss England's match (he may regret that based on our previous performances!), so she offered it to me!

See you later on in the week.


Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Practical Householder

I am finally getting round to unpacking my goodies from Sussex believe it or not and here a few of them -

These Practical Householder magazine bring a new spin to DIY - don't you love the covers?  A dealer was selling about 20 of them, the price he was offering for the whole lot was too much and he wasn't prepared to do a deal so I settled for just 2.  I have to say I picked both out based on their covers!

From 1958, they contain literally everything you would ever want to build.  It really does emphasis making it yourself rather than buying something ready made, and it does show how resourceful people were, but then again there weren't the choices then as there is now.

For example, there's an ad to buy a kit to make you own guitar

(You might be able to click on the picture to get a better look)

Instructions to build a china cabinet

Making a chandelier

I'm not sure I would want to undertake making an electric blanket - yes, that's right an electric blanket!!

I love 'Fred Theed's Page - chats about this and that!

The original IKEA

Even then, they were conscious of insulating their house's well to save money on fuel bills

Don't you just love this - ' a folding bed tabe, build this table and have breakfast in bed'

I hope you enjoyed that little glimpse into the year 1958! 

Monday, 14 June 2010

I'm back......again!

Morning all!

Thank you all for your well wishes last week, it was really appreciated.

We had a great weekend in London starting off at Portobello Road.  Not having been there before, we weren't too sure where we were going - but judging by the mass of crowds all heading in the same direction, we could guess!

For those who haven't been there before, it's a haven for vintage everything and towards the end is fruit/veg/oils/breads/cheeses and stallholders cooking lots of tasty treats.

Have you ever seen so many vintage sewing machines.

Of course good old CK had to have a shop there and with my trusty Easy Living discount voucher I did feel it would have been rude not to use it before it expired.  (As I have yet to unpack goodies from Sussex and now London! - I'll share those with you on another post).

As there was so much to see at the market it was almost too overwhelming - but a good excuse to go again.

Then off, back in the car heading across London to the South of the river where our hotel was.  I hadn't realised it was Trooping of the Colour so it was so busy and a lot of roads had been shut-off.  The boys were fascinated by the volume of police around and lots of diplomat cars whizzing by!

The hotel was fantastic!  Our room was glorious and we had a snapshot view of the Houses of Parliment as well as a great view of the London Eye, which was even better at night when it was all lit up.

We timed our day by having an early tea at The Rainforest Cafe, a quick cab ride back to the hotel so 1 male member of the family could watch the England game.........

Yesterday was another busy morning on the Duck Tour bus which are WW1 vehicles transformed into yellow duck like vehicles which can also go into water!  For 45 minutes you get a great informed tour round some key London sights, then a drive into the Thames for 30 minutes. Brilliant!

Out again - visit to the Florence Nightingale museum, check-out of hotel, in the car to come home and 2 boys completely flat-out asleep for 2 hours!  Once we got home I opened my presents from friends and family and flaked out with a good bottle of wine and some chocolates!

Feeling a little tired this morning!

Bye for now.

Friday, 11 June 2010

The big 40 weekend!

Yes, that's right - I am 40 this coming Sunday and I'm not excited about being 40, although I'm really, really excited about the weekend ahead.

Last night I went out for a meal with a friend and it's always good to get out, have a good natter, put the world to rights and indulge in a glass of wine.

Today, family are over for a mini celebration, then...............

on Saturday we (hubby, me and the boys) are off to London for the weekend, staying in a swanky hotel with views of Big Ben and Westminster.  There are treats in store hubby promises, so I can't say anymore than what I've told you........!

I feel very naughty about being away for yet another weekend but I have the perfect excuse don't you think?

Anyway, I'll say bye for now and I'll fill you in on the weekend activities next week!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A collector of pretty much everything

What a really, really wet day we had yesterday eh?

Whilst unpacking my new bits and bobs from Sussex, I realised that I seem to have a collection for pretty much everything I own.

I think we all remember collecting things as children - mine were rubbers, pencils, notebooks, book marks and probably a whole lot more.

I wonder what makes us collectamaniacs....em.

I do still indeed collect notebooks and the like, but my collection of 'stuff' now is more varied.  Some, and I stress some of my favourite 'collections' are these -

I know you can only knit with 2 needles at a time but my collection of coloured needles do make me smile.

tea-cups - now I know many bloggers have the same fascination for a good old tea-cup and saucer so I don't feel too bad.

 especially when I pick up this haul at a car boot sale last week for a good old fiver.

pincushions - there is something quite lovely about colourful pins sticking out of a pretty pincushion

beads - now this one definately goes back to when I was a small girl putting my nan's beads round my neck and then slipping into her shoes - I felt very grown up!

I won't mention jugs, hankies, cushions, crochet blankets, Enid Blyton books, Ladybird books, bags, buttons, fabric, brooches, egg cosies- shall I go on????

What do you collect?

PS - Toby collects the dreaded football cards which are around at the moment and Jack collects toilet roll innards (you never know when you might need one, apparently!)

Sunday, 6 June 2010

The wanderer returns

Hello All!

Well, we're back after a lovely break in Sussex.  For once, the week was a lovely long one - probably because we jammed packed so much in (as always).  Unfortunately, we're not the sort to sit, relax and lounge on a beach all day.  Normally, we return feeling we need another holiday!

Anyway, we stayed in a lovely converted barn at a place called Vines Cross, with only a couple of neighbours.  Views were wonderful and we woke listening to a cuckoo and watching swallows dart between barns - all very Enid Blyton!  Here's a little snapshot of our barn.

Days were spent at many National Trust properties, time at the beach, lots of walking following Pooh Bear's stomping ground in Ashdown Forest (my favourite part of the holiday), and of course a holiday wouldn't be a holiday without some thrifting and a car boot sale or two!  Those parts, I'll save for my next post.

For now, here's a little snapshot of our week.  Only 1 wet day out of 7 so we can't complain.

Right on with work today - self-employment and holidays just don't mix!  Hopefully I'll get a chance to pop by everyone's blogs later, oh and hello to my new followers!  See you during the week.