18 October 2017

Delivery Central!!!

Judging by the amount of parcels our poor postie had to drag to our door this morning I think I know what DD is up to when she goes up to bed at night....Christmas shopping online.
Five parcels for her and one for me.
The biggest delivery of the day has just arrived in the shape of my new cooker and that will be decorating the corner of the living room until the weekend when it gets installed.

Now that the fabric and pattern have arrived for my nightdress I need to have a shufty round and find somewhere for the overlocker to sit while I use the table to cut out my pattern and then cut out the fabric.
There is never enough room in here to do something without shifting something first.

I can't do anything at the moment as I am currently dealing with two massive cauliflowers that Andy picked up from the veg shop this morning. They are being turned into tubs of cauli in white sauce for the freezer. I know I am trying to empty them but you can't pass up massive caulis at 59p each and they won't be too long getting used up as it is one of our favourite side dishes.

So I will go and crack on with the making of the white sauce and then I am ready for a cuppa.

Hope you are all having a good day.

17 October 2017

Just What I Need!!!

I don't know where it has come from but I have woken up this morning with a bad case of the sniffles and a head that feels like it's full of cotton wool and aches like the devil.
Well it can just bu**er off. I don't want it.
Now Andy has gone to work I think I will go and run myself a hot bath and have a soak to see if that will make me feel better.

We were very lucky here in our part of the Midlands to escape the attentions of Ophelia. Just some very odd looking skies yesterday and a bit of wind towards the later part of the evening and nothing damaged as far as we can see.
Today we have blue skies, sunshine and a good stiff wind....ideal for drying but no laundry to do.

No cooking as such today. DD and I are immersed in a new box set called Vikings. It's brilliant so tonight we will be watching it while we have toasted three cheese bloomer with beans and a cup of tea.

Last week I bought myself a couple of new nightdresses and I am not very pleased that what started out as nice below the knee and comfortable after washing they are now twisted and only just inches south of indecent. I have decided to make my own and have found a lovely simple pattern and some gorgeous fabric which should be here tomorrow. I have also ordered a pattern for Marlowe to make her some new dresses. Not a baby any more....I had to order toddler size πŸ˜•
I will pick up some suitable fabrics for her when I go to The Rag Markets at the end of next month.....DD is taking me as my Christmas present with spending money and I know I'll be able to find lots of lovely fabrics for very little money.

.......and now I am off to wash Andy's lunch pots and then go and run myself that bath.

Hope you are all having a lovely day.

16 October 2017

Hoping For A Crafty Week!!!

Well....that was a 'blink and you miss it' kind of weekend wasn't it?
It seemed like no sooner had we had our Sunday lunch than it was time for bed and here we are back at Monday.
Up early this morning and I am already on laundry load number three. Unfortunately no line drying today as it's very mizzly outside and it looks like the clouds might be chucking something a bit heavier down on us sometime during the day.

Andy is on an afternoon shift this week so I am feeding him an early lunch. My kitchen currently smells disgusting as I am cooking some spare ribs he bought from the butchers ready marinaded and they stink of Chinese five spice powder which I just cannot abide.
Once I have washed up and seen him off I shall have some time to crack on with some crafting until it's time to make the Cheats Chicken Parmegianna that DD and I are having for our evening meal. Cheats because I am using some battered chicken breast steaks instead of fresh chicken to get them used up out of the freezer.
Talking of cooking......the cooker has finally blown a gasket and we are now limited to the main oven and two rings. DD soldiered on very bravely yesterday and produced a beautiful Sunday lunch but it has got to go.
We are not really at the stage where we can start any kitchen renovations so the range cooker has been put on the back boiler and this will be arriving at The Mansion sometime on Wednesday...........

........and moving swiftly

Remember this from Poundland........

Loved the decoration but just not that Merry X-mas so I took these..........

........and turned it into this.........

I like it much better now.

If you want to alter your own I would advise filling in the lettering with wood filler before you add any paper......and any questions.....just let me know.

There is stuff cut out to make the gifts for the girls so I am going to sit and do some hand sewing this afternoon with something on catch up on the computer. I have not done that for so long so if the dog behaves himself it should be a blissful afternoon.

Hope you have a gorgeous day doing what you want to do.

14 October 2017

Crafty Minx!!!

I am spending some time this weekend crafting but not neccessarily working on the calendars. I have to admit that I have seriously gone off them and am considering bagging them up as kits and sending them to the charity shop although I am not sure I really want to foist them on somebody
So far I have completed the altering of the Poundland wall decoration and will shortly be starting on a gift each for the girls involving felt and metal buckets.
I was very excited to see that Poundland had the beer crates back in HERE but on close inspection every single one of the ones in stock at our Poundland was either broken or very badly made. Not a good base for an altering project so I am moving on to another idea which I will show and tell when it's done.

So just a pottering weekend here.
Andy has cleaned out the gigglies and I have given them a brush and tidy up. 
DD poddled off to Derby for a wander round and a haircut and also popped to Hobbycraft to pick up the last coupl of bits for Ruby's Christmas gifts.
She is now giving Smudge a haircut as he is badly overdue.
All in all a happy at home rushing and no big jobs......bliss!!!

Hope you are having just as good a weekend.

12 October 2017

Advent Is On The Go!!!

......and she's off.
The Advent calendars got some attention yesterday and are now all trimmed and pockets folded and pressed ready for sewing.
All I need to do now is scrabble about under the table to find the batting and I can do the layering and quilting.
I'm not in the mood to do that today but it will get done at the weekend as I have no plans to go anywhere.....unless Andy or DD have plans for me that I don't know about.

The freezer emptying is still ongoing....and going pretty well.
Tonight I am using up the last of the sausages which we will have grilled with some tomatoes and I will add some mushrooms for Andy.

Not sure what I am going to be doing today but there is some tidying needing doing in the dining room so I will probably do that even though I just want to snuggle up on the sofa and watch's quite cold here today....but if I want to sew at the weekend I need a tidy room to do it in.
I think I'll have a nice hot cup of coffee first though....and maybe some toast for my lunch.

Hope you all have a lovely day whatever you are doing.

11 October 2017

An Absolute Disarster Dahling!!!

I think I am going to pretend that Monday never happened.
It was definitely my day for disarsters in the kitchen.
Soup was on and simmering merrily away and the bread was whirring merrily away in the breadmaker.......or so I thought.....but it wasn't. The flaming thing was whirring but the paddle wasn't doing anything at all.
I had used a packet mix that I had in the cupboard and it looked way too dry and thick so that came out and I redid it with my own mix. No joy so that came out and had to be done by hand.
Meanwhile....totally distracted and brain fogged by the doings of the breadmaker I went and double salted the soup which turned it into the domestic version of the Dead Sea in a pan. I tried everything to rescue it but it wasn't having any of it so out it went.
Very unfrugal and wasteful but there you go.
I redeemed myself by making a gorgeous chicken and veg bake topped with sweet potato yesterday so I am now back in my pairs good books.
.......and to add insult to injury I never got chance to play with my overlocker either Monday or yesterday.

Fast forward to today.......all jobs done, simple tea planned as Ruby will be here and joy of joys I have threaded and used the overlocker.
I have to say that it was so much easier than I expected. I did try Pam's recommendation of tying the new threads to the threads that came in the machine but one went and snapped so I had to take all of them out and start from the beginning.
Threaded up I cautiously tested it, it worked first time and I just need to have a fiddle with the tension when I go to sew a garment.
I can see this machine will get used a lot. Love it.

Very grey and windy here today but it's not cold so the back door is open to let in some fresh air.
Nothing much to do until Ruby comes so I really am going to get those Advent calendars finished....or at least get as much done as I can before she arrives.

Thanks for dropping by today.

09 October 2017

Brain Overload!!!

So many things I want to do today and my brain is feeling pretty scrambled.
I need to prioritise which is something I am not awfully good at but I think if I start with food so that my pair are fed today and work from there things should be OK.
So first thing will be a pan of leek and potato soup and a loaf of homemade bread to go with it.
After that there is tidying and hoovering, three loads of laundry still to do and a kitchen floor to sweep and mop.
Once that is all done and Andy has gone for his nap I should....if nothing comes along and spoils my plans.....have time to sit and have a really good look at my new machine and make an attempt to thread it up.
If you never hear from me again you will know that I have strangled myself on all those

Right....apron on and on with the housey stuff then.
Hope you all have a great day today.

08 October 2017

Yesterday & Today!!!

Yesterday I was out all day.......Christmas shopping and I am chuffed to say that........apart from a pair of side bent tweezers and two bottles of glitter glue.......Ruby's is finished and just needs wrapping, bagging or boxing.....whichever I decide to do.
I know what Marlowe is having and I have seen other things to go with it to compliment it so as soon as I have replenished the coffers that will be bought and stashed away.
That will be the bulk of spending out of the way and then I just have five more people to buy for.
I have to say that I don't quite have the stamina for it that I used completely shattered me and I am still tired today.........and so.......Andy has cooked the dinner. He and DD had lamb and I had mine meat free as I just wasn't in the mood to be gnawing on a great thick chop which Andy always brings when he goes to the butchers.
I have washed up and am trying to fight off a nanna nap by unboxing my very brand spanking new overlocker and trying to get to grips with the instructions.

Hope you have all had a happy weekend.

06 October 2017


I'll try and get this typed up before the internet goes off yet again. Been having a bit of trouble with it dipping in and out over the last couple of days and it's driving me crazy.

So....yesterday winter coats and big jumpers fetched out and sorted then washed and dried. Throws and quilts laundered and dried. Food shopping done along with a little more Christmas shopping......just a few bits to add to Ruby's gifts but every little helps.
Extremely cream crackered by 9:30pm so just sat and did nothing until bed time.

Today a few bits of laundry done....winter cushion covers mostly, a chilli made and bubbling away on the stove.
Just the hoovering to do and then I am for today apart from cooking rice.
Have also emptied the tin where Andy and I put our spare 20p pieces as it was full. I nearly dropped dead when I counted it up....£184.20. I couldn't believe it.
That will pay for the girls' big presents for Christmas and plenty left over for some of their bits and pieces too.
Very happy about that so as soon as I get another tin we'll start again.

OK....desperately need a cold drink before I tackle that hoovering.

Hope you are all having a good day.

04 October 2017

Ooooh It's Chilly!!!

There is a very spiteful wind this morning making me feel very chilly indeed.
The heating has gone on to warm the house through for when DD gets in as she will be out in it and chilled to the bone.
Normally when I'm sitting I will wear a huge jumper to delay putting the heating on but today I am pottering with my hands in and out of water and the sleeves won't stay up....even with elastic bands round them.

No cooking going on as I do believe that I am being taken out for tea tonight.

Thank you all so much for helping to identify the cutlery that Andy bought. I can't wait to get it all cleaned up so that I can use it although I absolutely loved Catriona's idea of putting them into a box frame for display. I will probably look for some more to do just that.

Today I have done a stock take on my large thread cops ready for Sunday when I get my overlocker which I am thrilled to say is a Singer. I just hope they will have the colours I need to make my collection up to fours of each. 
This will be my early Christmas present from Andy....bless him.

Ruby was delighted with the candy floss. I just felt sick watching her eat it and I dread to think what the colours were doing to her insides.....her tongue was nearly navy

Well I think I am going to have a nice cup of tea before I go back to my faffing about.

Hope you are all having a lovely day.

03 October 2017

What Are They?!!!

Andy likes to go a-wandering and at the weekend he wandered off to the nearest village that has an actual bank and also an antique shop.
We both have a bit of a 'thing' about old cutlery and kitchen paraphenalia and he picked these up.......

I think the fork on the right might be a pickle fork but I am not sure what the wider fork would have been used for and also not sure if the spoon is a jam spoon or a sugar spoon.
Whatever they are I love them and they were only 50p each.
I've told him to look out for some more as I think they will look gorgeous when we have the family get togethers....well once they have been cleaned up anyway.

This morning would have been lovely and peaceful if it hadn't been for the tree surgeons working on a very tall tree on the green in front of our house. I think the machine they had going was for chopping up branches as they lopped them off.
It all looks nice and neat now though. They have done a good job.

I have been pottering today and it's been lovely after a couple of days of extreme busyness.
Miss Doodle will be here in about an hour or so and I am looking forward to cuddles and kisses from my gorgeous girl. Then when we take her a home we'll have a quick visit with my other gorgeous girl before we nip to the supermarket.

There is a slight change to the menu tonight as I forgot to ask Andy to pick up some eggs this morning and I am completely out so I can't make the corn fritters.....corn on the cob it is then but Ruby won't mind.
Her tea probably won't even touch the sides will be eaten very quickly so that she she can try the multicoloured candy floss that DD bought home for her from the Statutes Fair last night.
Gawd it makes my teeth ache just looking at it.

......and that is me for today.
I hope you are all having a lovely day.

02 October 2017

Late Again!!!

Another day gone by in a flash although I have managed to get quite a bit done in the house today.
I did want to go out and wash the windows but didn't fancy it much with it being so windy and cold.

Tea had to be quick tonight with DD coming in and almost going straight out good old baked beans and scrambled egg on toast with a cup of tea. It was very, very nice.

Tomorrow Doddle is here so I need to find something that we will all have and I am thinking crispy chicken in a roll with salad and maybe some corn fritters as a change from corn on the cob. I hope she likes them.

Now I am aching in places I didn't know I had so I think a nice soak in the bath and then bed for me.

Sleep tight everyone.

01 October 2017

Look At The Time!!!

Nine pm and I am only just thinking about blogging.
I don't know where the day has gone.
DD has cooked a roast beef lunch....delicious, I have started the laundry to give me a bit of free time for other things tomorrow and I have also pickled the onions Andy peeled yesterday after leaving them in brine overnight.
Now I am going to prepare the red cabbage ready to pickle that tomorrow and that is all I am doing picklingwise this year. The pickled eggs I did last year were just too disgusting for words so I'll not be repeating those.

I really wish I could fill the house with the smell of winter pickles and chutneys, mincemeats and other goodies but the truth is they would never get eaten and there is not really anyone to appreciate them as gifts. I still dream of a dresser stuffed to the gills with homemade goodies

It has been very warm here today.
There is no heating on and at 9pm the heating thermometer is reading 21.5 C. How crazy is that when yesterday we were shivering and I went to bed with a hot water bottle.
No sign of any high winds or torrential rain just a stiff breeze and a quick drizzle earlier on.

An early night tonight as I have a book nearly finished.....if I have a marathon reading and a new one waiting in the wings.

Hope you've all had a fab weekend.

30 September 2017

Thank You!!!

Thank you all so much for your prayers and kind thoughts for my niece yesterday.

The operation she had was a tracheostomy as while they kept trying to wake her from her sedation for the brain bleed she was choking on her tube which was very distressing for her.

When she came round after the op she smiled at her partner when he told her that we all sent our best wishes....apparently a good sign that there is no brain damage.

I am still waiting to hear from my sister how things have gone today...hoping that no news is good news.

Meanwhile here at The Mansion we have had a fairly quiet day.
An early start with a birthday breakfast at The Doodles for Andy which was just so lovely.
He then went one way in town and DD and I went the other.
I needed dowel rods for the advent calendars and pineapple to go with the gammon for tea.
Andy beat us home and we opened the door to a house stinking of onions which he was peeling ready for pickling.
They are good strong ones as they were making my eyes water in the back room and he was in the living room.

The day has turned really nasty now....cold and the heating  is on and my pair are watching a film which doesn't appeal to me much.
I'll go and snuggle the gigglies (guinea pigs) down for the night and I might just go and veg on the sofa regardless of the film.

Hope you have all had a good day.

29 September 2017


No frivolous blog post today.
I am anxiously awaiting news of my niece who is at the moment in the operating theatre after suffering a brain bleed.

Any spare prayers and healing thoughts would be so much appreciated right now.

Thank you.

28 September 2017

Not So Crazy Today!!!

Ahhhhh....that's better.
No crazy today....all is calm and peaceful for now.
This morning I have pottered about and then pottered some more, prepared the veg and everything for the evening meal. I am using up a tray of pork chops today from the freezer.
The inside one is nearly empty so I will soon be able to start bringing stuff in from the outside one to get used up.

It's a reasonably nice day but bright and sunny. No breeze though so I am not even going to bother doing any washing.

After dropping Ruby off last night and spending a bit of time being entertained by Miss Marlowe....who gets cheekier by the day....neither DD or I felt like going shopping so that will be done tonight. Just basics like butter, milk, bread and fresh veg so we shouldn't be too long.

Tomorrow is Andy's birthday but it will be a fairly quiet day as he comes in from his last night shift and spends the best part of the day sleeping.
DD is treating him to Chinese for his birthday tea and we have been invited down to The Doodle House for a birthday breakfast on Saturday morning. I will think of something special to cook for tea on Saturday and then that will be his birthday over for another year.
I don't know why he didn't book tonight off so he could have a full day up tomorrow and we could have gone for a ride out somewhere.

Now I am off to finally iron, prep and pin the calendars ready for sewing over the weekend.

Have a smashing day.

27 September 2017

Crazy Day!!!

It's a bit mad here today.
Andy has had to get up early so that we could go and have our flu shots.
Not long back from there and he has gone out to pick Ruby up from school to bring her here for tea.
A few minutes rest and then he'll be back out to the doctors again for his diabetic review appointment and he won't be back until after 5pm.
DD comes in at about 4:45pm so we'll have our tea and then Andy's will have to be cooked when he comes in.
Good job it's only sausage, chips and beans tonight then.
6pm-ish we will take Ruby home and then DD and I need to go and pick up some bits from the supermarket.
Once we are home from there we will not be going anywhere else until it all starts again

Hope you've all had a lovely day.

26 September 2017

Back In The Groove!!! And For Joan (Devon)

This is going to be a big post today...a two for one kind of deal as I have at last managed to put together a post about die cutting for Joan.

Anyhoo....yesterday was quite a productive day after my fairly lazy day on Sunday.
Lots of niggly little jobs finished off and a plan made to start on clearing the freezers ready for cleaning them out before restocking them....although the calendar panels are still sitting on the airer awaiting sewing.

Andy and I had a quick ride up to the garden centre as I needed a bottle of glitter glue and while we were there we picked up two Christmas gifts. Luckily they have not finished the Christmas displays yet so I couldn't waste any time looking around them.
On the way out we stopped the van to collect some more conkers and got some absolute beauties for our spider scaring mission.

This is the Christmas dec I picked up from Poundland

The letters have now been filled in with wood filler and it's been put on one side to dry. Once dry I will give it a light sanding and then I'll be covering that panel with some decorative paper and adding die cut letters and some more snowflakes.

A good start on the freezer plan today as tea will be all made from leftovers from the freezer. So a lasagne made from leftover fresh pasta sheets which I froze, a tub of spicy mince and beans and a half jar of white lasagne sauce which had been frozen too. This will be served with roasted cauliflower and green beans sauteed with garlic and black pepper.
Should be quite tasty.....and it has freed up quite a bit of space in the indoor freezer so I can move some stuff in from the one outside.

.....and on to the post for Joan

Unfortunately Joan if you want to get into die cutting you do need a machine to do it.
This is my machine of choice

Image from Sizzix

This is the Sizzix Big Shot and the cheapest I can find it currently is The Range at £54 and the dearest I have seen it is £109.
It comes with all you need to get started but this does not include any dies.

The Works has a small range of dies at the moment and these are what I have purchased from there

These are low profile dies and can be used for cutting paper and card....although not chipboard. You can also with some of the less complicated dies cut felt and fabric although you may have to run the die stack through the machine a few times.

You can also buy sets of stamps with matching low profile dies. These were free with magazines.

For using low profile dies you get a platform with the machine and two clear plates. So you layer the plates as per instructions place your die and paper on one plate and cover with the other....roll it through the machine and out comes a perfectly cut shape.

Also in the machine you can use steel rule dies. These are completely different to low profile dies and can be used to cut a much wider range of materials including chipboard, this includes leather, balsa wood, sticky back plastic, fun foam and many others.

A steel rule die comes fixed into a tray and is covered with a dense foam which helps to release the shape after cutting.
The die above will cut out everything you need to make the gorgeous gingerbread man. I am going to be making some in both felt and fabric which cut very easily with these dies.
To cut these you only need to use the two clear plates and not the platform.

This die is also a steel rule die but is longer (about 13") and does require a pair of longer cutting plates. It too will cut out everything you need to make these stockings.

I should also add that steel rule dies can cut multiple layers of paper and card which can save lots of time.

Well I hope this was useful to you Joan....and I am so sorry it took me so long to sort it.
If you need anymore help or information just ask.

Right....there is a kitchen floor needing mopping and a couple more jobs to do while I wait for Andy to get up so that I can hoover.

Hope you are all having a fab day.

24 September 2017

Heavenly Day!!!

After my busy week today has been like heaven.
Some time spent in the kitchen this morning getting an early lunch ready while Andy and DD pottered about doing their own things. Then just a fairly lazy day surfing the internet for Christmas ideas in between loading and unloading the washing machine and dryer which means I won't be at it all day tomorrow. Just two loads of bedding left to do now.
The fabric panels have been sprayed and soaked with starch and should be dry enough to iron tomorrow. Steaming them just didn't get the creases out.
I might also get the Poundland decoration sorted this week as Andy picked me up some new wood filler after finding ours had gone hard in it's tube.

The plumber came on Friday and now we have a nice neat outside loo and basin. The old loo was so cracked that Andy had wrapped it in duct tape to stop it breaking any Just need to replace the loo roll holder and do away with the towel and soap holders. I don't keep a towel in there as spiders hide in them.

I think our next expense is going to have to be a new cooker as my top oven/grill has just about had it and all the control knobs keep breaking and having to be mended with wire and superglue.
We are trying to work out if we can fit in an all electric range cooker by removing a small piece of worktop.
I will be one very happy cook if we can......especially if we can do it before Christmas.

Well I think I will do a bit of blog browsing and then have an earlier night......I quite fancy a reading session before I go to sleep.

Hope you all had a lovely Sunday too.

23 September 2017

Grubbing About!!!

Sorry for the short absence but I have been a tad busy doing some sorting out in the attic bedroom trying to relieve DD of several boxes of my crafting stuff which are cluttering up the eaves storage area. It's all cardmaking stuff some of which will come downstairs but much of which will have to stay in it's boxes on the landing sideboard for now.
Lots of ferreting in boxes under beds looking for stuff I know I have but didn't have the foggiest idea where it was and total shame at the dust bunnies found living under there😲

The Christmas packaging/card boxes have also been dragged out and checked and a list made of what we need. Definitely no cards this year apart from family ones as we picked some up in the sale last year and they will probably last me for five years.
Some gorgeous gift boxes have been purchased from B&M for The Doodle Family's gifts so I just need to stock up on gift bags now and I will be ready to wrap everything as we get it to save a mega wrapping session later on.

The guinea pigs have been moved up into their Winter quarters. They are now in the shelter of the house where the rain and wind doesn't tend to reach so they should be nice and cosy.

So several jobs done that have been wanting doing for a long time.

I am a bit over traditional Sunday lunches for the moment and have decided that this week we will have a lovely lamb stew with mashed potatoes and cabbage. The stew is simmering away now and then will be cooled and put in the fridge overnight so dinner will be fairly quick and easy tomorrow.
Tonight is a simple tea of pasta with tomato sauce and a grating of Parmesan with tear and share garlic bread so now the jobs are done and the meals sorted I might get some time to myself tomorrow to make a start on these flippin' Advent Calendars.

Hope you are all having a fabulous weekend.

20 September 2017

The Conkers Are Primed!!!

Cobwebs are vanquished and the conkers are in position ready to frighten off the eight legged monsters.
I really hope they work. Some people swear by them and some say they don't have much effect so we will see.

I've had a bit of a lazy day today after all that swishing about with the feather duster and dragging the hoover round yesterday.
I have been watching You Tube videos on overlocking for beginners as Andy will be buying me an overlocker on October 8th when they have them in at Lidl.....although I will only have one if it's a Singer like my other two machines.
They usually are from there so my fingers are crossed and I am proper excited.

The Advent calendars are out of their box but they need a bit of prep work before I can get sewing. Neither one had been folded very well on to their card bolts and they are very creased. A good spray of starch which I will let dry and then a good steam iron should put that right but I didn't feel like hunting the clothes airer out of the shed to hang them on to dry.

To go with my lazy day....a lazy tea of cold meat, salad and crusty rolls while we watch some more Lucifer.....lovely.

Hope you are all having a lovely day.

19 September 2017

Too Much Of A Good Thing!!!

I like nature....I really do but there is far too much of it making itself at home inside my house for comfort at the moment. Not so many flies now but spiders....huge spiders and my least favourite.....Daddy Long Legs.
There were two flying around around in the kitchen last night. DD was kind and tried to catch them to put them outside while I was screeching in a corner. I would just have whacked them if she had let me.
Today I will be ferreting in corners to remove all cobwebs and placing pierced conkers in all the nooks and crannies. It may work or it may not.

Miss Doodle is coming for her tea today as there will be nobody to drop her off tomorrow. Just a simple tea of tomato soup followed by trifle for her and beans on toast for DD and me as she will be going out shortly after getting home.....the cinema visit was rearranged for tonight.
Daddy will have to pick Ruby up so once she has gone home I am going to see if I can summon up the mojo to get out the Advent calendars I need to make for my girls so that I can then start filling them ready for the start of December. It's very hard finding small things that don't cost a fortune to fill them up so I like to make an early start.

I must admit to having already bought a Christmas decoration from Poundland. It's so beautiful that I knew if I didn't get it they would all be gone. I do need to alter it slightly as I don't like the fact that it says Merry X-mas but that will be easily remedied.
I'll show before and after pics when it's done.

Just need Andy out from under my feet now so that I can get on with my spider hunt and do some tidying before Ruby gets here.....if the dining table is tidy I will be more likely to get the sewing out.

Hope you are all enjoying a sunny day today as we are here.

18 September 2017

Sunday And Monday!!!

I was going to blog yesterday when I got back from watching the girls....honest I was......but just ended up with no time again.
When DDIL is on call she can't really take the girls out very far so she asked if Ruby could come back to our house for lunch and a play so that she got a change of scenery to ward off the boredom.
Unexpected but lovely just the same although she wasn't in the best of moods.
By the time we had taken her home in a very scary thunderstorm, had another squidge or two with the gorgeous Marlowe and got home again I wasn't fit for much.

Today....well today is Monday so that means laundry and clearing up after the weekend so nothing really exciting.
Tea will be one of DD and my favourites....leftover veg and roast potatoes from Sunday lunch with some lamb gravy and mint sauce. We eat it out of a bowl with a spoon so we call it Sunday Dinner Soup.....very comforting and warming.
I'm sure DD will appreciate it today as it is very chilly.

At the moment I am just trying to organise everybody's holiday bookings for next year as we want to take Ruby away for a week to the seaside in Cornwall. Andy wants him and me to go away on our own for a week and then DD and I will go away for a week and take Ruby so I need to get all the dates sorted out before I can book anything. It's a bit of a nightmare but we'll get there in the end.

Anyhoo....there's washing to fold and more to dry so I had best get on with that. No chance of line drying today so It's all been tumble dried which means very little ironing...yay.

Have a good week.

16 September 2017

Thursday, Friday, Saturday!!!

I seem to have been really busy the last few days and haven't had time to blog.....and I am not sure that what I have been up to is all that interesting to be honest.

Thursday was spent just doing housey jobs and clearing out the middle brick shed which houses a loo and wash basin which I would like to do away with but find too useful.
Well the loo and basin must be over 25 years old and need replacing so Andy has been and bought a new cloakroom set and engaged the plumber....yes...Mr Dilatory Object
He should have turned up to work yesterday morning but he just turned up to say that he would be coming this morning instead......then this morning we get a text to say he would be coming next week. Hopefully this is the last job we need him for until we can afford to have the kitchen done....gawd help us on that one.

Friday was shopping and collecting Miss Doodle from school to deliver her home and an unexpected trip to the cinema when DD was let down by some friends who were going to see 'It' with her. I couldn't watch that to save my life as I don't like clowns so we went to see Victoria and Abdul. What a beautiful film. We both enjoyed it very much.

This morning DD and I have been down to entertain the girls for a couple of hours while Mummy worked from home. It is her weekend on call so I will be back doing the same tomorrow while DD cooks dinner.

Not long got in from doing that  so I am going to have an hour or so of peace and quiet before I start tea.

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend.

13 September 2017

Wild And Windy Staffordshire!!!

Boy is it windy here this morning.
I wouldn't dare hang washing out in it else I'd be fetching it back from the next it keeps thrashing it down with rain.

The minted lamb meatballs turned out really nice.
No photo as they were gone before I could blink.

400g minced lamb
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
2 Tsp dried mint

Mix the ingredients thoroughly and shape into balls.
I got 16 good sized ones from my mixture.
Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs until browned all over.
Transfer to a saucepan and add 2 pints of lamb stock.
I used one stock cube.
Simmer until meatballs are cooked and then thicken the gravy with lamb gravy granules which you can now get from T***o. They are quite strong which is why I only used one stock cube in two pints of water for simmering.

Miss Doodle will be here tonight after school so we always have something that she will eat and tonight it is pizza and salad and as it is quite cold I am making a jam sponge and custard for pudding.
I don't often make puddings so I thought I would treat us tonight.
After tea....a little more crafting on the papier mache Christmas tree that Ruby is making and then it will be time for home 😒

DD and I are watching another box set....Lucifer season one which we have watched before but we are refreshing our memories before we start on season two which she picked up the other day.
The heating will be on, we will light my beautiful Goose Creek Maple Butter candle and that will be us cosy for the night.

Hope you all have a lovely day and a nice cosy evening.

12 September 2017


The Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash bake we had last night was absolutely delicious so I thought I would share with you how I made it and show you what it looked like.
The original recipe from Sue was her way of using up a glut of courgettes but as I can't abide courgettes I decided to do a bit of swapping on the veg front.
It really is one of the nicest dishes I have ever made.

1 small or half a large butternut squash
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 large red onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
1 Tsp garlic granules
1 440g jar tomato and basil sauce or the equivalent homemade tomato sauce.
2 slices bread
1 handful of grated cheese.

Peel the squash and potatoes and cut into chunks.
Peel the onion and cut into eighths.
In a large bowl mix the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic granules. 
Add the vegetables and stir to coat and tip onto a baking tray.
Alternatively you could just spray the baking tray and the veg with a light oil spray.
Bake at 180C (Fan 160) until the veg are slightly charred but still hold their shape.

Tip the veg into an ovenproof dish and top with the tomato sauce.
Make the slices of bread into breadcrumbs, mix in the cheese and then spread over the veg.
Bake at 180c (Fan 160) until the top is browned and crispy.

Serve with extra veg.

I think this would also be lovely served as a side dish to grilled chicken or pork chops.

Today I am cooking for the meat monster.
Minted Lamb Meatballs in Gravy with new potatoes, dark green cabbage and cauliflower in white sauce and mint sauce.
That should keep him happy until break time at

......and that is about me today....being mostly a kitchen slave but with the alter ego of a Dark Defender.....fighting off huge and monsterous flies......wooden spoon in one hand and fly swatter in t'other. Just have to make sure I don't get them mixed
The evil damned things are out in force today.

Hope you are all having a lovely day.

11 September 2017


I didn't blog yesterday as we didn't do anything very exciting.
We just drove up to Carsington and had lunch at The Knockerdown Inn.
It is a lovely drive there though through some beautiful countryside, the town of Ashbourne and my most favourite village....Kniveton.
It was very cold and windy and by the time we had eaten lunch I was freezing cold and ready for home.

Today has started out very wet and windy. Not too cold though and now the sun is out I might chance some line drying of things I don't like to put in the tumble dryer.

Lots of veg prep will be going on shortly. 
Sweet potato and butternut squash for a crispy topped bake which will be served with sauteed sprouts and garlic.
Steamed cauliflower to coat in a white sauce. That will be for the freezer.
A mound of veg for more soup which I will squirrel away too.....a chunky veg soup and leek and potato......and a filling of veg in cheese sauce for a pie later in the week.
Somebody is going to have very sore fingers when she's done.

Christmas wishes for Ruby and Marlowe have been discussed and a list has been made so I will soon be starting on my gift shopping. I would like it done and dusted as soon as possible with everything wrapped and ready before the end of November.
Will I be organised enough? We shall have to wait and

Andy has just handed me a lovely cuppa so I will drink that before I go and tackle me mountain.

Have a lovely day.

09 September 2017

On A Veg Kick!!!

I've just been out in the pouring rain to do a bit of shopping.
Usually we would be straight out of the car and into T***o but this morning I needed to walk through town to the veg shop.
I spent about £11 and got two big bags of beautiful fresh veg including 2 large cauliflowers at 39p each, a massive cabbage at 69p, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, leeks, parsnips and swede.
There are plans for all of it.....a pie with vegetables in cheese sauce, two more soups for the freezer, a squash and sweet potato bake and some fresh veg to go with other meals.
I have been neglecting our vegetable consumption a little bit so this will start to put that long as I get at it before the animals

Agnes the Kia Picanto came home last night and we are very pleased with her although it's very strange being so low down after years of travelling about in a people carrier.
Ruby was over the moon that it was blue which is her favourite colour.

Tea will be earlyish tonight as I am off out babysitting the munchkins while Mummy and Daddy go to the cinema.
Marley Moo will be in bed unfortunately but Ruby will stay up and watch a film so I am taking popcorn for her. I can't stand the stuff but she loves it.

Tomorrow we are off to Carsington for lunch....just to give the car a run out for Andy to see what it's like so I think it's going to be a nice weekend.

Hope you are all having a nice one too.

08 September 2017

Dodging The Raindrops!!!

Well we managed to get the car cleaned out. It was polished and hoovered to within an inch of it's life while we tried to dodge the raindrops so at least I feel like I did something worthwhile yesterday. She is ready to go and we are really ready for the smaller car that will be coming home tonight.
Ruby will be thrilled to be one of the first people to ride in it when we drop her home later.

Today I will be scratting about in the fridge and using up anything that needs using to make some soup for the freezer.
With DD working outside she will soon be ready to take something warming for her lunch.
The breadmaker will also be going on to knead some dough which I will then take out and make into rolls to part bake and freeze so that they can be whipped out and finished off when she needs them.

Once Ruby has had tea we will be doing some more work on her papier mache Christmas tree.
It has been gessoed and had two coats of green paint so now we need to add the coloured spots of paint ready for their coating of glitter. She is being such a good and patient girl while everything dries in between the stages but she will be ecstatic when it comes to time to put the glitter on.

I'm hoping that doing some crafting with Ruby will kick me up the backside and get me started again. 
I'm finding it quite hard to get the urge back since I lost it when we lost Maggie but I really need to do something. it it well past 2am I suppose I had better get to bed. I love this time of night when Andy and DD are asleep and the dog doesn't want letting out every five minutes. It's quiet with rain lashing at the windows and I feel quite calm and peaceful.

Hope you all have a lovely day.

07 September 2017


I seem to have spent the whole day faffing....flitting from one job to another. I may have achieved something but I am not sure
Do you ever have days like that?

Just begging for the rain to keep off for a couple of hours once DD gets in as we need to clean out her car.
The outside got washed at Tesco last night in preparation for her taking it to the dealer tomorrow after work to exchange it for a lovely blue Kia Picanto.
It will make a change from the hulking beast she has driven around in for several years.
Would you believe it....she has just turned into the drive and it has just started raining after managing to keep off all day!!!
Still it has to be done so we'll get off and do it.

Hope it's dry where you are.

06 September 2017

Wednesday Waffle!!!

Another neither here nor there day weatherwise today......a bit of this and a bit of that.
I've got a couple of things to hang out which may or may not dry so we'll see.

Feeling a bit down as I got a message last night to say that Ruby wouldn't be able to come to tea tonight as there is nobody to drop her round but she is coming Friday instead so I have that to look forward to.

Not much going on here today as I am caught up with most things so I think I might bake some sultana buns to use up some eggs before I buy new when I go shopping tonight.

DD found a car she wants at a local dealer online. Andy has been down this morning and sorted everything out so before we go shopping tonight we will empty her car and get it hoovered out then give it a wash ready for her to take it tomorrow and bring back her new car.
She doesn't even know any of this yet as she was expecting to go and sort it at the weekend so I can't wait to tell her when she comes home.

Haven't given a thought to tea yet but there is salad to use up so it will probably be that and either something out of the freezer or just cheese and pineapple which will mean no cooking which is always

Anyhoo....I am ready for a cuppa and five minutes peace now Andy has gone off to work.

Back tomorrow.
Have a lovely day.

05 September 2017


Yesterday was a totally vile day.
I am not going into huge detail as it would be just too gross but suffice it to say it involved one disgusting dog, bathing of said dog and me vomiting and nearly passing out.
Believe me you don't want to know any more than that.

Suzanne....thank you for the recommendation of the ultrasonic thingymadoodle.
We have purchased one. It has been in the garden since Sunday and this morning we got up to a clean lawn.
I shall be very, very happy if it continues.

Joan (Devon) I am sorting out a post for you regarding die cutting so keep an eye open for that.

Today I am just having a general clean up downstairs as things have got a bit untidy and I want to have it all nice and cosy for when DD comes home so we can settle down with our salads and rewatch our box sets of 24. We have nothing new so decided on that.

Well the Marigolds await so I'll go and crack on.
Hope you are all having a good day.

04 September 2017

A Mixed Day!!!

Looks like we are getting a bit of everything today weatherwise.
It's grey but there is a tiny bit of sunshine peeking through.
It's misty over the fields and it's raining.
No sound of the children playing out so I expect they are all being dragged around town picking up last minute bits for going back to school on Wednesday.

Today I will be cracking on with a bit more sorting out and decluttering. 
It's the turn of the wardrobes and in particular I want to sort out the clothes Ruby has here. She has shot up alarmingly and at seven and a half is just about up to DD's shoulders so I expect there will be things in there that won't fit her any more.

A solution has been found for keeping all of the bathroom stuff together in one place.
I have quite a large vegetable rack which used to be in my craft room which will be kitted out with the cleaning stuff, cloths and dusters. It will be stored neatly in what was the airing cupboard along with the hoover and extension cord. I should be able to store the loo rolls in there too and then I will just need to buy a slim unit to fit alongside the bath for spare toothpaste, toothbrushes etc and the job will be sorted.
I'll try and get Andy to come with me to order the carpet at the weekend.
I hope they'll come out and do a fitting in such a small room because I can't tackle it any more.

Peace and quiet this afternoon for a change as Andy is at last back into his shift pattern after having to swap about to cover shortages.
I get so much more done when he is out of my

Okey bags at the ready and off we go.

Have a lovely day and I will be back to catch up with more blogs later.

03 September 2017

What A Treat!!!

I didn't have to cook last night as Andy wanted a Chinese which was absolutely gorgeous but today I have eaten something even better........a totally DD made Sunday lunch. No help from me apart from being asked to give the meat a poke and see if I thought it was ready.
It was a delicious meal and DD is rightfully quite proud of herself.

Once lunch was over we decided to go for a drive into the big town and have a look around The Range. I didn't spend much but I got a lovely red tablecloth to use at Christmas....a bargain in the sale at £3. I also found the sea bird with the long beak that I wanted for the bathroom and a couple or so small dies for some cardmaking.
The store was a little messy as it is at that 'between season' stage at the moment but they already have Halloween out and we spotted huge pallets of Christmas stuff needing unpacking in a cordoned off area so I expect that will all be out next time we go.

DD is rather excited at the moment as she has reached the time when she is in need of a new car. She no longer needs to have as big a car as she has now and is really looking forward to getting something smaller. I don't know what she will get but for me as long as it has four wheels and a CD player I'm I am having a whole day off today I think I will go and have a play on my game for a while before I go and chuck meself on the sofa.

Hope you are having a relaxing day today.

02 September 2017

It's A Lovely Day Today!!!

A lovely bright day although it is rather chilly and the thermometer says we can have the heating on if we want to....and we may well do tonight once we settle down.

Dvd's are all sorted and DD has gone off to take them to the shop so that's one big bag of decluttering done.
Andy has been pottering outside so the lawns are mown and the guinea pigs are all clean and sweet smelling again.
I love piggy sitting them while Andy does the cleaning out. Skylar the black scruffy one is so sociable and loves to eat out of your hand and have a little natter. Ginger is quieter but likes a cuddle.
I'm so glad we got them.

Just waiting for DD to get back now and then we are going upstairs to do some sorting up there.
Tea tonight is Andy's choice of a Chinese takeaway to have while we watch a film.

I am loving being back in the swing of things and long may it continue.

Hope you are all having a smashing weekend.

01 September 2017

Running The Gauntlet!!!

Happy September.

A lovely sunny morning here and nice enough to hang out some washing which I have done although I did have to run the gauntlet of heaps of cat mess all over me ruddy lawn.
I am getting really tired of it now. We are having to clean the lawn every day just lately.
There must have been an explosion in cat owning around here because where as we used to get the occasional mess we now get eight to ten done over night.
Apologies to all cat lovers but I really don't like cats.

I've just replied to a comment from Marlene at Simple Living regarding the oxtail soup.
This is the first time I have ever made homemade and I really don't think that it is worth the time and effort to make. Sure it tastes nice and there are no preservatives in it but it has taken two days to make as you have to leave it in the fridge overnight for any fat to solidify to be able to remove it and that is after simmering it for three and a half hours. Also there is the cost. At one time oxtail would have been very cheap to buy but not now so I also think that cost wise it isn't worth making either.
This batch will be eaten and enjoyed but I won't be making it again. I'll stick to my veg soups.

It's going to be a busy weekend here.
Now that the bathroom is finished all bar the carpet....I need to sort out a storage space for everything that came out of the bathroom but won't fit back in again due to losing the shelves in the alcove.....formed by the false shower wall..... disappearing.
There is other stuff wants sorting on the landing and we are also going to have a sort out of films we no longer want and take them to CEX. Might as well make a bit of money on them and make space for more πŸ˜ƒ
DD is hoping to get out in the garden and do some tidying up but I don't know what Andy has planned I'm sure.

I'm slowly catching up with all of your blogs. Boy are there a lot of posts to catch up on but it's lovely to read them.

Well Andy is up now....quite early today so I will go and shove the hoover round and then I might make a start on sorting out those films seeing as I have no cooking to do today.
Just chicken and salad for tea with crusty rolls....yay....lovely to be back in charge of me own kitchen.

Hope you all have a fab weekend.

31 August 2017

Just A Quickie!!!

Just a quick post today as I woke up feeling rather human this morning and have been busy stripping meat from oxtail bones....what a nasty job......and sorting out computer problems.

I rashly promised Andy a roast dinner today so I need to get my skates on and get that started.
I'm actually looking forward to it too as I haven't eaten a roast dinner for a couple of weeks or so although Andy got his on Sunday as he, DD and Ruby went up to Carsington while I was nursing an upset stomach.
So pork chops with all the trimmings today....yummy.

We've given up on Glee as we don't like it. We'll need to find something else to watch for the next few nights though goodness knows what.

Ruby didn't come yesterday as she was spending some time with Daddy on his day off. The next time I see her will be next Wednesday after her first day back at school. It doesn't seem five minutes since she broke up. I don't think she is really looking forward to going back.

OK....on with the spud bashing and veg prep.

Hugs to you all.

30 August 2017

It's All About The Food!!!

There has been a touch of Autumn around here for the last couple of days. Dull heavy skies, drizzly rain and mists and last night it was dark before 8:30pm. I have even read this morning that there will be some frosts this week.
This is all very good news for me as it heralds my most favourite time of the year......time for soups and stews and all manner of warming and comforting food for my family.

Today there is a pan of of spicy mince and beans bubbling away on the stove. Some for tonight's meal and some for the freezer.
There are also the ingredients waiting for me to make a pan of homemade oxtail soup once Andy has been into town to pick up a couple of things for me.
I need carrots. Once I just had to fight the dog for carrots but now we have Ginger and Skylar I am always running out of

The get together went very well and we all had an amazing time. Everyone really enjoyed the food and sitting round the outdoor table under the big umbrella while it drizzled with rain.
We sat out quite late with Ruby and Marlowe snuggled in the sofa quilts while we read story books. I think Marlowe will be as big a bookworm as Ruby.

DD and I started watching Glee last night but we are not over impressed with it. We'll watch a few more and see if we like it any better but if not will give it up as a bad job. No loss really as the whole of season one only cost £1.99 from That's Entertainment.

I've not managed to catch up with anyone's blog yet but I will do it either today or tomorrow. I'm not sure if Ruby is coming today for her tea but whatever happens I desperately need to go out and do some shopping tonight.

Rightio....that is my late coffee break finished so I'll go and tackle the mess I have made in the kitchen.

Have a lovely day.

29 August 2017

I Think I Am Back!!!

Well that is a good old bunch of days that I wouldn't care to repeat anytime soon....or anytime in fact.
The migraine stayed with me for a long while and on some days got really bad making me feel very ill indeed. There has also been two bouts of a sickness bug and a summer cold so basically I have just felt like poop for days on end.

I wasn't feeling great when Ruby arrived on Wednesday for a slightly shortened holiday but her being here has certainly cheered me up and we have had some great fun baking, crafting, playing games, shopping....and best of all snuggling.
Her holiday was shorter than planned because the previous week she had been away down south and had a bit of a meltdown with homesickness and had to come home early. Mummy and Daddy decided maybe it would be best if she had some days at home before then coming to spend five days with us which actually worked out well as the plumber finally came on the Monday and Tuesday to do the bathroom walls and then a joiner came out on Wednesday to do the bath panel....which means that the bathroom is now finished and we just need to go and order the carpet and have it fitted thank gawd.

As you can imagine my being out of action means that the house ain't quite what it should be and I have a lot of catching up to do on the housework front. I was looking forward to having some time on my own this week to get those jobs done thinking Andy was on afternoon shift but he's not he's on nights which means I can't do anything noisy like ferreting in corners with the hoover until he gets out of bed.
Cue much gnashing of teeth and cussing as I really wanted to get caught up.
So convinced was I that Andy was on afternoons that I cooked his main meal at lunchtime and made plans for DD and I to just have beans on toast for tea so that we could slob in front of the tv and start on our new box set.....the first season of Glee. That won't be happening now as Andy hates musical things.

Anyhoo....that is a bit of a catch up from I have to pay some visits and catch up with what you have all been up to since I last managed to visit your blogs which seems like forever ago.

Hope you are all having a lovely day.

24 August 2017

Still Breathing!!!

So sorry again to be missing in action.
My health took a bit of a nosedive and I have been quite unwell.
I have Ruby here at the moment so I am taking the rest of the week for much needed cuddles and I'll be back at my blog on Monday next week.

16 August 2017

Keeping It Simple!!!

The menu for Sunday is just about sorted I think and I have decided to keep it quite simple.
Chicken done in a couple of different marinades for those who like spicy and then plain for those who don't.
There will also be a few burgers and sausages but I won't go mad with those.
Hot potatoes in a fresh mint butter, beetroot and red onion salad in a balsamic glaze, coleslaw, a plain green salad and crusty rolls.
Deserts will be a choice of hot plum crumble or Eton Mess but I haven't given drinks a thought yet.....maybe elderflower cordial and some Bucks Fizz.
I have most things in already so there won't be much extra on the shopping bill this week just the fresh stuff.
I just hope it's nice enough to eat outside but if it isn't....well we've all squeezed inside before so I'm sure we can do it again.

Today I am giving the kitchen a good old scrub out and as I am busy the freezer has come to the rescue with a tub of spicy mince and beans. I'll just shove some sweet potato jackets in to go with that....easy peasy.

Well that's me five minutes break done so I'll get back to it....if I really have I'll just read a couple of blogs first.

Hope you're all having a lovely day.