Thursday, 17 August 2017

Animal House

A while ago I spoke about all the animals that made their way to my picnic blanket. Today I noticed that there are quite a few more animals around the house too. 

There are birds

Ducks, owls, and some Moomins


A cow, frog, pig, dog, and a bear

A hiding manatee and some hares

Some cats in Dan's dressing room

Idefix the dog

 A lion, a bear and a dinosaur walked into a jar

Lions everywhere!

I wonder if I look hard enough I might find a rabbit or two?

Monday, 14 August 2017

Buying And Eating - August Week Two

I forgot to take pictures of what I bought this week, but it was the usual vegetables and that kind of thing, oh and lots of crisps. 

Working through the fridge and pantry continues, this week I opened the bag of quinoa from the big Hodmedod order we did a while ago, and I am pleased to announced it was a win! I have not been in love with many of the products we bought but the quinoa was very nice indeed. So here are a few things we ate this week, in no particular order.

Red Thai curry with brown rice

nut roast and plenty of potatoes

the last of the butterbean and lentil stew from last week with roasted peppers and lemony quinoa

bananas and custard (on an exceptionally grey day)

 we had a blob of this with our bananas, it's a gorgeous caramel marshmallowy gloopy type thing, very sweet, very delicious

Dan's delicious foldovers with houmous, falafel and grated carrot

For three nights we had a really delicious chilli, but apparently I forgot to take pictures on any of the three nights, silly me. Anyway we had it with potato wedges followed by quinoa, and finally flatbread. As I've said before, this is not a low carb household.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Freebie And Bargain of the Week

I'm not going to lie, the past couple of weeks have not been light on the bank account. 

We have replaced most of the lighting in the house and bought a full length mirror for the main bedroom. I had been peering into the window of The Attik at this mirror for a long time, it was just kind of propped up to one side, not really displayed to any great degree. Finally, after the whole thing with the bathroom we decided to nip in and just ask how much it was. Of course, we both knew that as soon as we set foot through the door we would leave with a mirror, that's the main reason I only peer through the window as I pass by on my way to the charity shop. In fact I frequently take alternative routes to the shop in order to avoid this place altogether, so many beautiful things!

Turns out it's just right for above my little side cabinet/ dressing table thingamy that came with the chest of drawers we bought last year. 

That's really just to put my mini bargains into some kind of context. This week my bargains are all clothes. Someone gave me a top, and I bought two others, so three tops for the sum of £4.50, not too bad. I'm going out with some people from the shop tonight so I'll be giving one of the tops a whirl, the other two are just everyday affairs. I tend to keep my clothing pretty simple, but I am very pleased the the orange and black top, I used to have a top in the same colours but it ripped, so I've been keeping an eye out for a replacement to go with my black white and orange skirt.

First, the freebie, this will be a good one for at the shop.

The other two tops are from next, they look huge but the orange top is an 8 and the other a 6, they're pretty flappy though even so. 

Can't go wrong with some sequins from time to time!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Buying And Eating - August

We're working our way through the freezer at the moment which is great and there is now some space in there, I've also been cooking up all the bits and bobs that have been in the pantry for a while. But not the giant cous cous, that I just can't face, Dan doesn't mind it though so I think I'll make a roast veg salad with it for him to take to work next week.  

The weather has also been all over the place, as I'm sure it has been for a lot of people, so I've been making a few more autumnal meals. Last week I made myself some soup with green lentils, spinach, dried mushrooms, and a single portion of pasta that was hanging around. It was actually delicious and served me for a few lunchtimes. 

As I've been using things up we've been eating a lot of leftovers, so there's not that much to see this week. I also made a batch of curried roast veg and lentil soup, which always goes down well. I have been shopping a little bit too, although I really am trying to cut down, it's a bit of an addiction.

We've been to Waitrose a couple of times over the past few weeks as we've used the John Lewis click and collect service for a few things for the house. There are some good yellow stickers to be had. We picked up some reduced pak choi (the white bunny's favourite), courgettes,and bread (not pictured). I went a little grapefruit crazy. 

The guacamole from M&S was not a bargain but I really like it every now and then. 

More reduced bread, reasonably priced vegetables and a couple of other bits and bobs (also potatoes, unpictured). I have cut down my Home Bargains habit over the past few weeks, that's a bonus. 

The other day, before going shopping, it turned out I only had one potato left, so I sliced it up, coated it in paprika and stuck it in the oven then served it with some sweet mini peppers (from Aldi) stuffed with tomatoey lentils, and some roast veg. There's some v-pud hidden under the peppers too. 

It was cool and wet again on Sunday, so I made a stew with lentils, butterbeans and some sweet potato and butternut squash from the freezer, topped with the rest of the v-pud and served with some mash. I made lots of this, so we'll be eating it today and probably tomorrow too. It's hearty but still light enough for summer. We don't have mash all that often so I very much enjoyed it.

I think we're going to be staying in this weekend so hopefully Dan will get back to breadmaking, he's certainly making noises about it It would refill the freezer but not in a way that means things would loiter around for months on end. 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Black And Blue

It was a little bit of an odd weekend, we had plans to attend two events and we didn't see either of them through to the end. We left Lytham Festival after only a couple of hours because we found it a bit boring. Then on Saturday we went to watch a football match, the match was abandoned due to crowd trouble - a section of the away fans ran at home fans in the same stand then started throwing seats. In that particular stand the seats are made of wood, so it's no joke. I've never seen anything like it, and I have been to lots of sporting events. 

So we thought it would be safest to stay at home on Sunday and start to tackle the front bedroom! I love the front bedroom, it's so cosy but we wanted to up the cosy levels. This room has probably had the least amount of new stuff of anywhere in the house. Other than a few cushions, a mattress and a blanket everything in the room came with us from the old house or has just been taken from other rooms here, not that it's a bad thing, we just wanted to pull things together a bit more. 


We bought a new mirror for the main bedroom, so I propped this charity shop mirror (£2.99) up near the bottle garden and put the spare blankets into a box we had in the garage, the brown blanket was a gift from my parents when they went to Mexico many years ago. 

The sideboard came from my parents house, you know how you pick up these things when you move into your first house, it was dark wood, I painted it blue. I just need a frame for the print then it can go up on the wall. 

The wooden church was made for me and was sent by a friend I met online a long time ago, it came all the way from Canada. The little pots were a couple of quid from the charity shop and hold my quilting pins and other sewing notions.

We bought this print from the same place we bought the new mirror, Dan wasn't convinced at first but now it's up he loves it! On the opposite wall we used a few bits of my embroidery, just tucked into a corner.

And I can't believe it's a year since I finished the big bedspread! 

The carpet is a bit very stinky in places so that will be leaving the building soon and we're hoping to get a get a new bed, the one we have is not in great condition and is a little bit big for the room, we'll see about that though. 

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Pantry Prep Power Hour

As part of the kitchen rejigle/ getting ready to have the pantry refitted while we wait for the bathroom I tackled a small task that I'd been putting off for a ridiculously long time. I'd been keeping brushes, the mop and assorted other cleaning things on hooks in the pantry and it wasn't very practical, we kept knocking into them and had both been smacked on the head countless times by falling dustpans, so it had to change.

The pantry is pretty narrow at 72 cms from wall to wall, obviously much of that is taken up with shelving, so having mops etc hanging opposite made it pretty difficult to navigate. 

I decided to turn the porch cupboard into a utility area. It has always been a cluttered mish-mash of things - coats, shopping bags, clothes airers, shoes etc. The porch is just as big enough as it needs to be, fits one person at a time and the cupboard is fairly shallow at 45cm (I had to take the doors off to take the picture) but it is ideal for holding all those unattractive but necessary household things. 

Behold! Not exactly a thing of beauty, but it does make things easier. 

This morning has been spent dealing with other micro-tasks, such as putting up some pictures, Dan has replaced some slats on the kitchen blinds, things have gone to the tip and charity shop, all those little things that just make a house better. Next is to venture into the garage to see what we have in terms of paint. 

Friday, 4 August 2017

Freebie and Bargain of the Week

This has been a week of long lists. We received the first quote for the bathroom, it was about what we expected, but when we had a chat about it we agreed that there was just something about the man that we just weren't quite happy with. Dan has spoken to someone else, who comes with a recommendation from a work colleague, he sounds right up our street, but wouldn't be able to fit us in until January. Dan is especially keen so I have agreed that if he can fit us in then I am (just, after some persuasion) prepared to wait. 

Having said that I have said I'm not prepared to not make any headway with the rest of the house while we wait, so we've started a list and we're each going to prioritise our version then we'll see what rises to the top! Nothing to do with freebies or bargains but it has taken up a lot of my brain space. 

I'm still working through the contents of the freezer and am making headway, today is a cooking day as we're going to Lytham for the 80's v 90's night of Lytham Festival, then tomorrow we're going to a football match so I want to have our meals ready. On the menu is a lentil pasta sauce, soup, nut roast and I'm going to make pie with some lentil and mushroom pie filling plus pastry that are both in the freezer. 

As you know I am not the owner of a new vase but I did pick up a couple of books from the charity shop. Firstly a home book, maybe it will give me a few ideas for our housey revamp.

And a novel, I've seen this popping up all over the place, lots of people I know are talking about it, so I was surprised when it turned up at the shop as I'm guessing it's a fairly recent release. 

The books were 99p each.