Thursday, 29 November 2012

What is the true meaning of Christmas?

Where ever you look and who ever you speak to Christmas is the hot topic of conversation. I know this is quite obvious as it is less that four weeks until the day. The boys have been asking me what I would like for Christmas and all I have asked them for is that everyone is happy and we have a happy Christmas as this is truly all that I wish for.

However I have been thinking what truly makes a happy Christmas, what do I really mean and what do I expect to happen for us to have a happy Christmas. We have as a family never had to go without some way or somehow Jay has always provided for us. My boys have never known what it is like to not have gifts for their birthdays and lots of gifts nestled under a Christmas tree, they do not know what it is to go hungry or want and not get as Jay would do his utmost and work to get them something special but they are not spoilt and have learned how to share and the importance of being a family.

The above photo was taken about two years ago, we hired a cottage and had a Christmas with just the six of us and a wonderful time we had too. It had been ten years prior since we had our last Christmas day with just us and it will be the last as the boys have grown up fast and are in relationships of their own bringing in new members to our family circle, extending and growing.

In my own personal opinion we and many others do not celebrate Christmas for it's true and original meaning, we do not attend church unless called upon by means of a wedding, funeral or christening.

I cannot explain what Christmas really is but this is our Christmas a time  for the giving and receiving  of gifts, chomping on a tin of quality street and the boys eating their selection boxes for breakfast, having a trifle in the fridge ready for tea and a bottle of sherry, lots of nuts a turkey with all the trimmings and a bad case of wind ensues by eating the seasonal sprouts combined with the nuts, coupled with an outrageous fit of the giggles due to over consumption of sherry and maybe a glass of something fizzy with dinner and that's just me.

Our afternoon and evening is spent crammed in the front room with several members of the family snoring with the TV on or even some of us chatting round the dining room table. This Is what our Christmas is all about and the essence being enjoying each others company in a relaxed and informal manner.

This is our Christmas and we love it, I have my family around me all with full  tummies and a happy contented  smile.

I asked Ben earlier what would be his ideal best Christmas ever, if he could choose anything to make a perfect Christmas what would it be and he replied being together, our family as it would not be Christmas without you all.

That sums up Christmas, money could not buy that. You don't have to buy Christmas, just doing little things for each other and being together can make it a truly special magical time. Making a gift of your own can make anything seem extra special with the thought and work that you put in is a gift alone.

When I started this post I did not know where it was going to lead or the outcome but in my heart what I want to say is that lavishing your kids with expensive gifts does not make it the best Christmas ever what makes it the best is the time you spend together, listening to one another, laughing, sharing and caring all of which can be freely given, these are the really important gifts we can give x

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Preparation is key...

As the saying goes, getting there slowly. We have finally finished all the preparation and the first bit of paint has landed! Dad is a bit of a perfectionist even though he would never admit it. He can often be heard saying if a job is worth doing it is worth doing properly.

Soooooooo as dad is helping me with the decorating we are doing the job properly, we have filled all cracks, holes and crevices. We have sanded every surface and we have washed down everything too. And at 1 pm today dad was applying the first coat of paint to the ceiling.

As there was nothing for me to do whilst dad was doing the ceiling I ventured out into the garden and pottered about. The sun was trying to shine through the clouds and the rain had stopped. I cleaned out the girls whilst they caused the usual mayhem about the garden. I managed to clean out the dead plants and debris from the greenhouse and I also planted out the garlic.

I am hoping for a dry warmish day next week so I can get out and clean down the greenhouse so it is all ready for next season. I will also need to look through my seed box and get to grips with my planning out for next season too. I am hoping to make a start with some seed sowing over the Christmas holidays. (peace and quite in the summerhouse and greenhouse!) There is always a method in my madness, however I will be wearing a thermal vest!

So plans for tomorrow are for me to give the ceiling and coving another coat of paint after I have walked the dogs and then get cracking and get some paint on the walls. I have three craft fairs over the weekend, the first one is on Friday at Britannia Primary School in Ipswich starting at 3.20 pm and then I am at Holbrook Village Hall on Saturday, 10.30 am til 2.30 pm, this one is in aide of the R.S.P.C.A and then on Sunday I am at The Kesgrave Social club form 12 noon til 4 pm.

Last night I finished off six hats by adding the final details and tonight I shall be making and finishing off some more bits and pieces just in case I do extremely well at the fair on Friday and have nothing left for the weekend. (I can live in hope!)

Right that is it from me for today, a double posting I am really spoiling you! Dinner is all prepared and just  needs to be popped into the oven, nothing fancy just a meatloaf (link for recipe on recipe page) served with jacket potatoes and the good old baked beans. I am off for a much needed shower,  until next time x

Just popping by...

Hi everyone as usual another busy weekend and this week I am trying with the help of mum and dad to get this lounge finished. The garden jobs are still waiting on my todo list. As like most of the UK it has been quite wet and the run is once again water logged. The girls really need some wellies!

The sun is shining today and I am off to walk the dogs once I have finished this before getting back to decorating.

I had the postman knock on the door yesterday with a letter which had to be signed for and it was addressed to me, was it going to be a good or bad letter I wondered! Well if you remember a while back I mentioned that I had won £50.00 worth of shopping vouchers for Aldi's, that is what the letter was. Perfect timing to get some goodies in for Christmas.

For a chance to win shopping vouchers for Aldi's visit their website for details


Well that is it from me for today, this post has taken an hour to do due to internet problems and now it is raining!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Robbie Williams at the 02

Ben with his signed programme
Some photos from our trip to the O2 arena on Saturday. 
slowly filling up

Robbie arrives centre stage

These are the best photos that I took, we were quite high up from the stage, we had a fantastic view of the whole arena. We didn't meet any celebrities much to Ben's disappointment but we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the show.  Jay drove us there and me and Ben went off to enjoy the concert whilst Jay and Adam went and had a meal and went to the cinema. 

The drive home was hard going as the weather was so awful, we got lost and saw the same round about several times and we got in the door about 2.30 am exhausted but happy.

Friday, 23 November 2012


I can't remember if I told you but I have skimmed through previous posts and cannot see anything so I shall share what I have got to tell you now.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Well this all started several weeks ago and Ben kept it a secret for a few weeks, I can't believe he never said a word!

Are you on the edge of your seat yet?

Anyway Ben was in his room playing on his Xbox and he had the laptop on idle on the desk, he was on skype  and a celebrity popped up on his screen and started chatting to him through skype and then another celebrity appeared!

oooooooo I bet your itching to know who it was...

Anyway this celebrity offered Ben some free tickets to go and see their live show. Ben never said a word until two weeks later as he thought nothing would come of it however Ben got a phone call
from a publicity agent requesting the telephone contact for his parent so Ben gave them Jay's phone no.

That night Ben rather solemnly asked if he could speak to Jay and he divulged what had transpired.

I know we could not believe it either! Two weeks and he said not a word

Anyway Jay received a call from this publicity agent and they told Jay what they had told Ben and said that we needed to give permission for it to be used for a television programme that is being shown.

Well you can imagine this had gone to another level  all this had transpired from being on skype at the right time.

Okay I have dragged this on enough you must be climbing the walls in anticipation by now.

So the outcome from this is that Ben might be on the TV tonight on skyone at 9pm UK time and we have been given VIP tickets with backstage passes to the sky area at the O2 arena for tomorrow night. Ben has been given two tickets and myself and Jay have been squabbling over who is going to accompany Ben. Jay asked if there was any chance of a third ticket but there wasn't, he had to give the names for the two that were having tickets so he gave them Ben's and mine.

Having the four boys I always miss out on going to concerts as they like stuff that I really don't so Jay has always gone with them.

I am so excited to be going, I can't wait! Well I better get a wriggle on as usual lots to do before tomorrow arrives. Until next time x

Opps I forgot to mention who the celebrity is, silly me well it's only Robbie Williams! toot toot!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Typical weather

Well the weather forecast was totally wrong it is presently piddling down and it is to hard to think about pottering about in the garden.

I have put all the rubbish from the house into the skip and I just need to sort the rubbish outside, however tomorrow is supposed to be a better day so fingers crossed. I have caught up with all the house chores so I will have a bit of a crafting day.

On Monday I started repainting an old bookcase that we use for storing all our dvd's. I want this to go back in the lounge once it is all decorated. It was originally a honey pine colour but I am painting it a slate grey to match the room. Photos to follow when finished.

You know life is going good when you have time to bake a cake! I was just taking a chocolate sponge out of the oven when mum and dad arrived yesterday. By the time it had cooled and I had finished icing it they were leaving however they did take a large chunk home with them. They had a great time in Egypt and the rest has most certainly done them good. I did not tell dad the list of jobs I have lined up for him but I did drop a few hints.

Well that is it from me for today, dinner is already cooking and the day of crafting is waiting. Have a good day, until next time x

P.S. The recipe for the chocolate cake can be found on the recipe page along with lots of other great tasting, simple recipes.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Turned out well...

Well even if I do say so myself I think it turned out rather good, even Jay and the boys were impressed. It was the biggest piece of furniture that I have attempted before and it has been years since I painted my last piece which was a small side table that is looking a bit sad and tatty and needs redoing.

Anyway photos as promised, the photos are not the best, space was very limited and I now realise I did not take that many and I have not got one of the whole cabinet before I started on it.

Bottom part of dresser prior to doing anything to it

Top part after sanding

I did not need to sand it too hard as it is only veneer, and the primer would give the paint a good hold 

After primed


For the primer I used a special primer which enables you to paint any furniture, however I did read on sharon's crafty musings blog that you can use a mix of emulsion and plaster of paris. I then used the emulsion that I had used on the walls as the final colour. I gave it two coats of polyurethane varnish for protection. 

As you know the whole process took over a week giving plenty of time between coats for it to dry completely before applying another.

Well I have just finished my coffee and toast and the skip has arrived which needs filling, it feels so good having a good de-clutter. I hope you all have a great day and I'll catch you later x

Monday, 19 November 2012

Bleary eyed!

Another week has whizzed by again, it was all a bit of a blur as it rushed me by almost sweeping me off my feet. This week looks like it is going to be another busy one, I get the feeling Christmas is going to be upon me and I am not going to be ready for it.

Let's just recap on what I have been up to since my last post. I had a craft fair on Friday at Gosling farm In Trimley St Martin. We were in a poly tunnel which is usually full of strawberries or some other fruit. It was quite a chilly day so I dressed with several layers of tops to keep me warm. However the chill crept up through your feet and into all your joints. The day went quite slow especially as we were unable to sit down so I could not keep busy and warm by crocheting.

I came home and had a hot drink to warm up and changed into my pj's and climbed into bed as the lounge is still out of action. I wanted to make some more hats for my next craft fair on the Sunday so I made a start on those.

Saturday was the day of baby Lola's naming ceremony, the morning zoomed by and before I knew it, I had to jump in the shower to get ready and go. We spent an enjoyable afternoon with friends. Saturday evening was spent in front of the TV and finishing off some bits for Sunday.

Sunday I was up and out early for the craft fair in Felixstowe, this was in aide of guide dogs for the blind. It was quite busy, there were guide dogs in the building, it seemed strange to keep hearing the odd dog bark, especially once the local brownie group finished their singing. The brownies were going for their entertainment badge. They had to do a solo performance, some of them sang, some read a poem and others played an instrument. It was a pleasant little ensemble and was enjoyable to watch. Just seeing the delight on their little faces when they were applauded and cheered.

It was nice to come home and put my feet up for all of the time it took to drink a cup of coffee as washing was still waiting to be sorted and dried. Jay and Ben had made dinner, a hot chilli but we had this big pile of nachos first which was really tasty. Thanks guys 10 out of 10.

Well that was the weekend and today I have finally given the welsh dresser it's final coat of varnish. Once it has dried it will be moved to it's final resting place and I will post the photo's. I took the dogs for a walk and remembered to take my camera.

  I was hoping you would see the glorious colours but they just don't appear as stunning as they did last week. I'm not sure if it is my camera that makes them appear more dull of it might even be that there was no sunshine today. I love the carpet of leaves crunching underfoot, it is almost as good as walking and splashing in the puddles!

Max and Clyde had me in fits of giggles as they were running round with a bushy branch. They kept dropping it at my feet for me to throw but it just went a couple of yards it was not a good throwing stick.

It was a nice crisp dry day perfect for a brisk walk, once we came home I went straight out into the garden so I could clean out the coop. I even managed to heave the bag of bark down from the summerhouse and piled it in the run to help dry out the mud and give the girls a drier surface to walk about on.

The girls were out and about the garden digging through the stones and Max had followed me down the garden when I went to fetch the bark. He would not come back down the garden but stood behind the bench with a dopey look upon his face and looking at the girls then at me. I had to walk back down the garden and lead him back, daft thing was afraid of the girls! Mind you stones were flying about at a rate of knots!

I just placed the bark in the centre of the run, the girls have since scattered it about and have had a good dig through it. I just hope I can still get in through the gate.

I have lots to get through this coming week however I saw the weather forecast last night for the coming week and Wednesday is supposed to be dry sunny and a little bit warmer so that will be my gardening day for this week and hopefully I will get through that last little list of gardening jobs that needs doing this side of Christmas.

That is it from me for today, I hope you have enjoyed reading and seeing the photos. Hopefully the dresser will be all sorted tomorrow so keep an eye out for that. Until next time x

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Jobs done...

Well I said I would do it and I did! It had been a dull damp day but I still managed to work up a sweat as the day did seem to get warmer as it wore on.

As promised some photos

As you can see the overgrown and tatty flowerbeds, I feel a bit of a nit standing in the front garden taking photographs, the neighbours already think I am bonkers always taking photos of stuff about the garden. The plasterer gave me a odd look as if to say what are you doing.

There much better all nice and tidy except for our new garden feature, a pile of rubble.

A peek at the tatty side border, the shrubs and bushes are in the neighbours garden. I removed all the shrubs and trees that were on our side as they had been left for several years and were taking up half of the driveway. I think I am going to clear the area and plant a couple of small fruit trees and lay down some weed membrane and cover the ground with shingle to keep the weeds down and hopefully the area tidy.

Whilst walking the dogs earlier I noticed the lovely colour display from the trees, they said there would be wonderful autumnal colour this year.  I will take my camera with me tomorrow and take some photos to share with you.

I cleaned out the girls earlier whilst they enjoyed a pile of leftovers that were in the fridge.  The run is quite muddy again and as I sit here writing this I have just remembered I still have a bag of bark chips in the summerhouse which I can use to help dry out the ground a bit for them. It is too dark to do it now so I will try and get it done tomorrow, in between walking the dogs and the hairdresser appointment that I desperately need as I am looking rather much like an old scarecrow!

I still have a few jobs that also need doing in the back garden
1) clear out the greenhouse and give it a clean
2) General tidy up about the back garden
3) Sort out all the various pots and containers that are scattered around the garden
4) Empty out the grow bags on to one of the raised beds
5) Plant out the garlic

I will have to try and get these jobs done next week whilst waiting for paint to dry in the lounge. As I said earlier it's all go in our house!

Well that is it from me for today, I hope you have enjoyed the double posting today. I am now going to give the welsh dresser it's first coat of varnish and then I have some bits to finish of for the craft fairs at the weekend. Until next time x

going going gone...

It's all happening here this week, the plasterer has almost finished, a lovely man but he can't half talk the hind legs off a donkey! The welsh dresser will be getting it's first protective coat applied later today and hopefully another coat tomorrow and then will be in it's new standing place on Friday.

But the best bit of news is that we have finally managed to sell the caravan that has been standing on the drive, we did advertise it last year but it was too big for all that came, and we have had a few viewings this year and this morning it was towed away. The garden looks so different now, lots of space. The only down side is that now the bit of garden that was hidden behind it is now on show and looks a right mess!

Well I did say I would be doing the front garden today come rain or shine. It's not raining or shining but now I have an even bigger job on my hands. I will just do what I was planning as mum and dad are back from their holiday next week. I'm sure dad will look forward to being outside in the damp miserable weather after being in Egypt for two weeks, te he he. I will save that task for him as I think we are in desperate need of a skip to remove all the rubbish that has started to accumulate from my clearing and sorting and also from the lounge being done, and there is quite a bit of rubbish and things that will need removing from the overgrown scruffy area.  If I wait for Jay to get round to doing a dump run the rubbish will still be here this time next year!

Right off to get cracking. I'll be back later with some photos!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Not a lazy weekend

Well another busy weekend has been and gone and I am already gearing up for the coming weekend which I have two craft fairs one on Friday and one on Sunday, it is Ben's birthday on Friday and he is wanting a sleepover and on Saturday we have a baby naming ceremony to attend for little Lola.

So lets get back to the weekend just gone, as has been the norm these past few weeks there was no gardening. On Saturday the weather was not that great and I also had to take Ben back up the hospital as his leg had swollen quite a bit and also was a funny looking colour and was quite hot to the touch. However once we had been up there a while waiting to see someone his colouring had returned to normal it was no longer hot however it was still swollen. Once we were finally seen we were advised that this was in fact quite normal and that he still needed to elevate his leg and also he must do exercises and also continue using the crutches for about a week. All of which we were not told when the cast came off and we saw the specialist. So that wasted three hours on Saturday.

The welsh dresser is coming along, it has been sanded, had two coats of primer and three coats of my chosen colour. It needs one more coat and then will need a couple of coats of protective varnish. I'm hoping to have it all done by Thursday evening at the latest. I will post the photos once it has all been finished so you can see the project from start to finish.

I have also been busy crafting and making new items for my stall. I have made some bookmarks and also some fridge magnets and some new bags too. I will have to post photos next time as I seemed to have mislaid my camera cable, the house is in a right pickle at the moment with furniture stacked everywhere as the plasterer arrived today and will be here again tomorrow so we are living in a higgledy piggledy mess!

I cleaned out the coop yesterday and the girls had some time roaming and rummaging around the garden. The raised beds have had a good digging and Octavia likes to get behind the summerhouse where it is not very easy to get her to come out from. They have spent this afternoon huddled up under the coop as it has been wet and miserable, luckily I walked the dogs earlier before the rain came.

I really need to plant out the garlic, hopefully I will get that done this week, and I have forgot the name again I will have to check that and get back to you. I have some wooden crates up on the decking and I am going to plant the garlic in these. As I have mentioned before I really need to get out in the front garden, hopefully I will be able to do that on Wednesday, even if it is raining I will get the job done.

Well that is it from me for today, I need to go and finish off the pie we are having for dinner tonight, minced beef and onion pie with lashing of gravy, mash and peas.

Finally I would like to say a big hello and welcome to my new follower, I hope you enjoy your visits. Until next time x

Friday, 9 November 2012

Grumpy old woman...

I started my morning of with a couple of slices of toast smothered with my home made pumpkin jam and washed it down with a coffee.  After breakfast I headed of out to the local charity shop with a car boot full  of stuff that I had been busy sorting out the past few weeks. I was greeted  if I can call it a greeting by the most grumpiest miserable and ill mannered  woman I have had the pleasure of meeting in a charity shop ever.

Anyway I had been having a major sort out the past few weeks and I managed to sort out the last room yesterday so I thought I would pile it all in the car last night ready to drop off today. Whilst there I got this pile of buttons for the bargain price of £3.00

I am gradually getting through my todo list, I had a major sort out in the lounge and packed away the nik naks, dvd's, games and books which are now stored in the garage. The plasterer is arriving on Monday and we will be able to make a start on the decorating at the end of the week. I also sorted out what was my study but has become my dumping crafting in fact my very messy area, it is now much less cluttered and messy.

Tomorrow I am making a start on refurbishing the welsh dresser I purchased early on in the year but just never got round to doing it. I will take photos so you can see my progress from start to finish.

I Hope you all have a great weekend, until next time x

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

feeling old...

Well I certainly know that I done some digging yesterday! Last night when I finally managed to shift me bum upstairs every step was torture. I should know better than to do too much, but as usual I don't do as I should. I have taken it easier today.

I made the pumpkin jam last night and also a batch of pumpkin soup. I had one and a half pumpkins and it made 10 jars of jam and 3 pints of soup. I had some of the jam on toast this morning oh it was rather yummy!

Ben now has his plaster cast off and the bones have healed well, he still has to use crutches for a couple of days as he eases his weight upon his foot, however no sport for 4 - 6 weeks!

I have been busy making some new items for my craft stall, I will take some photos when I have finished and post them next time.

Well just a short post today, until next time x

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

In need of a hot bath...

I finally managed to get in the garden today, it was cold and damp but great for digging. I let the girls wander around the garden whilst I was busy on the vegetable plot, Max was outside also to keep an eye on them.

Well I can well and truly say that I can feel the burn! My back, legs and shoulders are aching like mad, a nice long soak in the bath would be great right about now however as we only have a shower I will have to make do with a long hot shower instead and hopefully a back rub from Jay!

I dug over half of the plot and then emptied out the compost bin and spread it over the soil. I also dug up and moved the rhubarb. I could not believe how much the root had grown in just two years considering the size of it when I first planted it. I have placed it in the top corner of the veg plot out of the way of the girls.

Once I had spread the compost as evenly as I could I then covered the area with a weed suppressant membrane.

I then dug over the rest of the plot which had already had compost added earlier in a pile where the pumpkins were growing so I spread this about and then covered the area also. I was surprised at how much the soil improves each year. Every spadeful of soil was full of wiggly worms. When I first dug the area over to start growing vegetables I was lucky to see just a couple of worms.

I have left the parsnips uncovered in the middle there are only about eight but I thought I would leave them to see if they grow as I have never grown them before. There is not a lot of top so hopefully there will be some root.

The girls made a right mess about the garden, when I was trying to fill my trug tub with compost Dory was trying to get at the compost heap after the worms. A hard job made more difficult thanks to the girls.

You can't even see the path as the girls had been so busy tossing the stones and leaves all over the place!

After the digging I took the dogs for a walk, it was lovely as no one else was there just us, by the time we finished there was no where left to park so we timed it perfectly.

I am about to make a batch of pumpkin jam and then make a start on dinner, we have another bargain of Jay's, reduced pork chops which will be grilled and naughty but nice home fried chips and beans yum!

It is D day tomorrow, Ben will be finding out if he will be plaster free, we have to be at the hospital for 8 am so an early start. Hopefully all will be fine and dandy as I have had enough of the school run and fighting to park the car! Finally I would like to say a big well done to Lewis who passed his driving test last week (I forgot to mention opps) and also well done to Ben for getting a distinction in his oral Spanish. Well done both of you.

Well that is it for today, until next time x

Monday, 5 November 2012

Catching up

Well that is another weekend over and done with. Saturday was a lovely fine day, however I was sitting behind my stall at a craft fair. I made a couple of sales and whilst there I managed to make another hat, and a pair of bed slippers.

Sunday was a very wet day so not a lot got done we had a bit of a lazy day. Me and Jay took the dogs for a walk over the local golf course as it had started to dry up and the sun was trying to peek through, but half way round the course the heavens decided to open up and it poured down so we had to make a mad dash back to the car.

We came home dried off and settled down to watch a dvd and enjoyed a bottle of bubbly with some yummy dips and nibbles, in my opinion a perfect day.

After spending over an hour sorting out the monthly menu and doing the monthly food shopping and wading through piles of washing I managed to get an hour or so out in the garden late this afternoon. I cleaned out the girls whilst they ran around the garden ferreting for grubs. I pulled up all the weeds that had emerged down the side entrance to the garden. As the girls were not ready to go back in the run I emptied out the pumpkin and squash plants from the raised bed.

The garden is looking rather untidy and the vegetable patch needs doing, if the weather is fine tomorrow I am making that my job of the day otherwise it will be pottering about doing housework. I felt good to be out in the garden earlier I do so miss gardening during these wet miserable winter months. The front garden is also in desperate need of a little TLC.

The pumpkins and squashes are now sitting on the windowsill upstairs there is a slight tinge of orange and yellow coming through, hopefully another couple of weeks and they will be ready to use.

I have also been busy sorting out and cleaning the display cabinet, it took several hours to clean and to get the glass and mirrors to shine and get rid of the smears, white vinegar with water was my cleaning product of choice and newspaper. I hope it is not going to need that much cleaning for a while. I waxed all the wood and gave it a good buffing with a soft cloth.  I have put a few things in it, but most of my nice bits and pieces are still packaged up in the loft since we moved in over nine years ago. I will get Jay to fetch them down when he goes up to get the Christmas decorations down, blimey it's creeping up!

We had homemeade meatloaf, vegetable chilli and rice for dinner tonight. I was a bit heavy handed with the chilli but it did warm us up on this cold night. The recipe for the meatloaf is on the recipe page along with many other great tasting economical dishes.

I hope you have enjoyed reading, until next time x

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Winter Warmers

It is getting rather chilly and it is that time again when the slow cooker is in operation and the stew pot is bubbling away. Tonight we are having stew & dumplings a perfect winter warmer. This is being made with stewing steak that was reduced as it was on it's last day and lots of fresh vegetables and a cup of stew and soup mix, which consists of dried peas, beans and pulses which I have soaked for 24 hours. And a rich gravy and fluffy dumplings mmmmmm yummy! The cost of this meal which will easily feed us six and probably some left over was about £9.00

It is coming to the end of our monthly menu, I think it has worked out quite well. I will be doing a food stock check later to see what we have left and do a menu for another 4 weeks. Doing this has certainly saved us money on our food bill and when you have a large family every penny counts especially at this time of year when the cost of living increases due to fuel, heating and of course the arrival of the big red man.

We have been trying to make savings in certain areas of our lives which can be difficult with four teenage sons who by no stretch of the imagination has any idea of how much electricity, water or infact anything costs! But our water bill has gone down £10.00 a month since I have given time limits on their never ending showers. So my new rules and changes are working, even if they still forget sometimes and I have to holler up the stairs!

Jay bought me home a nice surprise yesterday, he was given by a customer a lovely display unit for free. It is now sitting in my dining room waiting to be cleaned and filled (another job on my todo list!) It looks great and adds nicely to the empty space we had. I will take a photo once it has been cleaned and filled. He also was given a beautiful decorative lamp which will look great in the lounge once it is done. The plasterer is booked so it will all be done and finished in time for Christmas, it's only taken us 9 years to do. It has had a lick of paint in that time but it has never been redone properly since we moved in as other things always got in the way.

Well that is it from me for today, I am off to enjoy my stew. Until next time x

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