Wednesday, 28 December 2011

We didn't make the snowflakes but...

I did make all of these.

Christmas was.... well let's just say it was not one of our usual ones but with my job I guess that was to be expected.

I'm exhausted physically and emotionally but I am counting down the days to a whole week's leave. Hopefully that will help me start 2012 with a bit of va va voom. I'm determined that I'm going to rock 2012 and it's going to the year I make good things happen. Wish me luck.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Ho Sodding Ho

And that's me being polite ;)

Not one speck of tinsel has found it's way out of the Christmas decorations box yet. Small people have neither queried or requested it so I'm wondering just how long we can go without it all before it becomes silly and folk start to think I've really been reading those WatchTowers.

I've managed to scrabble together most of one child's presents from Santa, a wee pile for another child and barely a bulge in a carrier bag for the third one. Why does no one know what they want this year?!?

Where is my Christmas spirit? Well the bottled kind that had been languishing at the back of my cupboards for cough cough some time were shoved into a homemade hamper that I put together back in October for Mother to take back down the road with her for my brother and sister-in-law. How organised was I! Yeah ok I guess using the word shoved does imply that it was more a hasty thought of ooh let me quickly put something together for them and save myself a gazzillion pounds in postage.

I spent the equivalent of a small countries debt on sheets of stamps the other day in the hope that it would motivate me to actually write the Christmas cards. Not worked so far. Why do we have to send Christmas cards, am I the only one that finds writing them a chore? If you haven't spoken to someone all year why do you feel obliged to send them a card with snow on the front of it just because it's Christmas? You're probably not going to speak to them again all of next year.

I do however have our Christmas day meat sorted. I expect that says more about me than I'd want a psychologist to know but it was on offer and we really wanted to try one last year but they were all sold out. It's one of those 3 bird roasts thingys and its taking up a huge chunk of my freezer space as we speak. It better be good!

I think I need to sit down with my small people and make the hundreds of snowflakes we do every year and if that doesn't put some sparkle in my baubles then I must be a lost cause and there's no hope for me.

This post was brought to you under the advisement of dear bloggy friends who tell me to just write something/anything.....well you asked for it so how was it? :D

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Lost: One blogging mojo

If found please return to Taz, she kinda misses it.

Reward: Possible handmade gift if said mojo has her crafting mojo tagging along.

Thank you.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Have you seen that Taz anywhere lately?

Isn't that her over there?

Is it? Are you sure?


If it is her she better have some bread! Leaving us here all this time!

Photos taken by Taz during the summer holidays when we actually had a sunny day!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wordy Wednesday


NAYENGEZANI, Destroyer of Wizards,
Bearing the war club, the quiver and bow,
Sang as he strode through the roar of the blizzards
Over the road to the Mountain of Snow--

"There dwells the Cold-Woman, high on her barrow,
Sending the Winter to fetter the land;
Her shall I slay with the flint-headed arrow,
Freeing my race from her evil command!"

Deserts he traversed through perils uncounted,
Fearless of weapons, regardless of spells;
Threading the ice-cumbered cañon, he mounted
Clear to the crag where the Storm-Brewer dwells.

Wrinkled and agèd, unfed, unbefriended,
Lacking the lodge fire's comforting glow,
Shivered the Cold-Woman, tempest attended,
Shaking the robes of her pallet of snow.

Swept in a cloud through her frigid dominions,
Vague in the mists that enveloped her form,
Snow buntings fluttered on eddying pinions--
Spies for the Winter and heralds of Storm.

Loud spoke the Hero: "Thy harsh rule is ended!
Cruel my errand! The Spring to restore,
Ready to slay thee my strong bow is bended;
Men from thy rigors shall suffer no more!"

Tossing her tresses, she answered in sorrow,
"Loosen the arrow and slay, if thou wilt,
Blindly triumphant, forgetting the morrow!--
Mine be the triumph and thine be the guilt,

"When all the prairies, the forests, and mountains
Parch in a Summer that findeth no close!
When all the rivers and nourishing fountains
Fail for the lack of my bountiful snows!

"When not a breath of my blustering season,
Health-giving, freshens a pitiless sky!
When those thou lovest, undone by thy treason,
Thirsting shall perish and fevered shall die!"

Low spake the Hero, unnocking his arrow:
"Mine is the folly! Thou, Mother, art wise.
Rule as thou wilt from thy snow-shrouded barrow,
Sender of blessings that come in disguise!"

Nayengezani strode down through the ranges
Homeward, untainted with death-doing wrong,
Blessing the Year for its glorious changes,
Weaving his thought in a burden of song:

"Dark is the East Wind and yellow the West Wind!
Blue is the South Wind and white is the north!
Who hath the wisdom that knoweth the best wind--
Save the Creator Who sendeth it forth!"

The Cold-Woman - Arthur Guiterman

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Wordy Wednesday

On the Way to School - Charles Ghigna

I'll tell you why I'm tardy and I hope my excuse will do.
I stopped to view upon a leaf a spider and some dew.
She spun a web before my eyes with a soft and silver hue,
And when she looked, I looked at her and whispered, "Peekaboo!"

I think I may have startled her and so I waved good-bye,
But when I turned around to go, I met a butterfly!
I almost caught him in my hand to bring to class for you,
But when I tried to peek inside, away my treasure flew.

And that is how I'm tardy, but I had to tell you why.
It's all the fault of a spider's web and a sneaky butterfly!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Busy bee

That's me!

Ok obviously I'm not actually a real bee, this was one that I managed to snap quickly on my old point and shoot digi camera (wish I had a better camera - one day maybe but it's at the end of a very long list) while the kids were playing at the park.

I'm currently fostering a young lad who needs a LOT of attention so my computer time has gone from hours and hours to mere seconds. :) So I'll probably not be around as much for a wee while until things settle down and routines get put in place.
It was a lovely sunny day here yesterday but I see that there was a lot of rain everywhere else, mind you we had a full day of rain on Saturday so when the sun came out to play yesterday we went paddling in the sea and making the most of it because it'll probably be rain again tomorrow.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Wordy Wednesday

This is She - Arthur Guiterman

On order that must be obeyed
I sing of a dear little maid;
A mirthfully serious,
Sober, delirious,
Gently imperious

And first we'll consider her eyes
(Alike as to color and size);
Her winkable, blinkable,
Merrily twinkable,
Simply unthinkable

Then, having a moment to spare,
We turn our attention to hair;
Her tendrilly-curlative,

Forbear to dismiss with a shrug
Her nose, undeniable pug;--
Her strictly permissible,
Urgently kissable

Now, moving a point to the south,
We come to an Actual Mouth;
A coral, pearliferous,
Mainly melliferous

Observe, underneath it, a chin,
Connoting the dimple within;
A steady, reliable,
Hardly defiable,
True, undeniable

By all that is fair! it appears
We'd almost forgotten her ears!
Those never neglectable,
Tinted, delectable,
Highly respectable

And last let us speak of herself,
That blithe little gipsy and elf,
Her quite unignorable,
Wholly adorable

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Home Grown

Now I mentioned homegrown tomatoes. Oh yes I did.

Despite spending several back breaking - my muscles are still under protest several days later - hours working in the garden my veg plot is still half strawberry patch and half land of the weeds.

The rest of the garden is more weed free but still desperate for something more doing to it. The lawn still has a huge brown patch from our camping adventure at Easter! And when you have to mow your block paving you know you're definitely losing the battle of keeping up with the gardening.
Oh and did I mention the neighbours who chopped my hedge down? Or the fence man who STILL hasn't come to put me up a fence so I can have some privacy in my own garden? Aaaagggh!

Anyway wee one and I took ourselves off out for a drive the other day and found ourselves at a Homebase, don't ask!

I didn't get any of the things I actually need (lack of funds) but we did pick ourselves up two bargains that will hopefully pay for themselves.

Not sure why as they didn't appear any worse for wear than those that were still at full price.

Reduced from £4.99 to £1.98

At that price is would have been daft not to have a matching pair eh? :D

They perked up considerable after a good watering, but then inevitably not long after I watered them it started to rain and didn't stop for hours and hours!
Here's hoping soon we'll be able to nip out to the back door and pick some of our very own tomatoes.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Summertime Nom nom nom's

Now having a pinterest account for some time now you'd think I'd have saved where I found this recipe wouldn't you?
No you probably know me well enough now to know that I wouldn't, that I would see it, think ooooh that looks not only yummy but really easy to do. Thus store it away in my head and have it pop back up again when I least expected.
Yeah that's the Taz you know so well. ;)

So anyway I didn't invent this recipe, I don't even know what the proper name for it is BUT I do know that it is delicious and wee one agrees.

There are only 4 ingredients, well 5 if you want to include the bread. ;)

I don't have quanities I'm afraid. I just used my eye and thought "yeah that looks about right."

* So take a large bowl and pour in a good glug glug glug of olive oil.
* Chop up a bunch of spring onions, finely.
* Chop up a good couple of handfuls of toms, I used cherry vine ones but you could use nice big ones, especially if you've got some home grown - more on that later.
* Take some feta cheese and crumble up. Again no quantity but I guess it depends on how big a bowl you are making.
* Mix up together with the oil and leave to sit for as long as you like, or not long at all if you're like me and wee one and just wanted to eat it straight away.
* Slice up some nice fresh bread, we used a French Stick.

Take yourself out in the sunshine, sit down, take a slice of bread and smoosh it into the dish.

And enjoy!

Added bonus - wee one spotting that the end of the bread was a heart shape, the end to a perfect meal.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Wordy Wednesday

Father William - Lewis Carroll

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head--
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door--
Pray, what is the reason of that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his gray locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment -- one shilling the box --
Allow me to sell you a couple?"

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak--
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose--
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down-stairs!"

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

I'm Bored....Jar

Like most parents I'm always on the lookout for something to keep the smalls entertained, especially over the long summer holidays. Up here in Scotland that's right now. We have made a list of things we'd like to do or could do in the past but after coming across this on HomeSpunThreads wee one and I spent an enjoyable afternoon making up our own I'm Bored Jar. Oh and a spare wee one for when she's at her Dad's as she tells me it's always boring at Dad's house. :/

First take a clean jar or you could use a baby's milk can or coffee can with a lid.

Some colourful paper.

One of these beauties.

A glamorous assistant who does things like this.

Yeah ok the remnants of the nail varnish isn't so glamorous...moving swiftly on!

Write lots of ideas for fun things. The link on the website gives you a couple of sheets of ideas but they are very American based so you may want to write some of your own. Plus you can sneak in a few of your own ideas in there. Y'know those things you've been wanting them to do for ages but they're always too busy with homework and after school stuff. ;)
We sprinkled in a few sparkles too, well you can never have enough sparkles can you?

And there we have it. Two I'm bored Jars ready for action. If we start running low after a couple of weeks I'll just pop some more ideas in. Don't worry about repeating ideas. I think we put in about 5 make a cake's and several go to the beach/park's. ;)

I'm hoping the jar wee one plans to take to her Dad's gives him a nudge to do more with her but as the saying goes you can lead a horse to water. Yadda yadda yadda. I don't think it's even entered his head how hurt big one is that he took himself off on a last minute holiday before going back to work instead of spending that precious time with her before she went to Malawi. You'd think the fact she could barely bring herself to talk to him properly on the phone might have given him a clue but no. I'd give him the heads up but the last time I tried to help in a situation like this he threw it back in my face and refused to take any responsibilities for his actions. So you'll understand how much it all upsets me, when all I have ever wanted is for him to put them first.

Anyway now I'm rambling and this was supposed to be a happy how to post. Let me know if you make your own I'm Bored Jars and any good ideas for things to do. ;)

Monday, 4 July 2011 is the bathroom

A double shower cubicle and a nice white toilet and sink to replace the avocado suite.

We shifted the sink round from it's original setting as it made no sense having it there plus it freed up space on that wall keeping all the pipework together instead of the huge box thing that had hidden it all before. I took great pleasure ripping that box out I can tell you.

Nice shiny towel warmer/radiator that's very good for hanging socks on to dry. ;)

Another shot of the shower. Oh and the added bonus of being able to see where the ex tore down a wall in the back hallway about 3 years ago and then well you know the rest of that story. You can see where the wall was by the missing lino on the floor. You'll notice that the tiling is not finished at the doorway. That's because the plan is to continue the tiling out into the back hallway and kitchen, so to keep the flow we left it like that for now. I keep saying we - that's me and the guy that fitted the bathroom and never came back. LOL

And there we have it my shiny new bathroom minus the air extractor that hopefully I'll get fitted one of these days. Don't look too closely as I took these pics quickly to show you all and I hadn't done the housework yet. Yet! Who am I trying to kid - it's too sunny to do housework! LOL

Friday, 1 July 2011

Radio silence

Well that's that then. Big one is away to Malawi and I won't hear from her now until the end of July when she comes back.

The drop off on Wednesday was a bit of a drama. There were tears, there were highs and lows and there was a middle of the night drive to collect a missing item of her uniform while she slept unaware that her wee sister and I would be standing at the pick up point in the morning ready to give her that one last hug and kiss that she wasn't expecting. Oh and the missing bit of uniform. :)

When I looked back after leaving her at her friends house and saw that sad face how could I not do something that I knew would make her smile? She had said earlier in the evening that she wished we could be there in the morning to wave her off.

Once wee one and and I had done the return 100 mile drive (fortunately wee one had slept during the night's journey) she took herself to school for the afternoon and I took myself off to my bed for some much needed shut eye. I'm getting too old for a 400 mile drive and a night of no sleep not to have an effect. :p

Later in the afternoon I switched on my laptop to discover a beautiful message that big one had left the previous afternoon, just before we left the house to take her down.

Then up popped a private message - she was at Heathrow, the flight to Malawi was due to leave shortly but she just wanted to send wee one and I more hugs and kisses and let us know that the fact she was about to fly to Africa really hadn't sunk in yet. Bless her.

I'm really going to miss having her here but I know she is going to have an amazing experience that hopefully she will look back on in years to come with good memories. I'm so proud of her and I can't wait to hear all about her adventures and I'll be sure to share with you all too. ;)

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Wordy Wednesday

On the Ning Nang Nong - Spike Milligan

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There's a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can't catch 'em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

Friday, 24 June 2011

6 months today

We'll be waiting on Santa arriving ;)

Ducks quickly to avoid all the things doubtlessly getting thrown at my head! :D

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Wordy Wednesday

Attention please! Attention please! - Roald Dahl.

'Attention please! Attention please!
Don't dare to talk! Don't dare to sneeze!
Don't doze or daydream! Stay awake!
Your health, your very life's at stake!
Ho–ho, you say, they can't mean me.
Ha–ha, we answer, wait and see.

Did any of you ever meet
A child called Goldie Pinklesweet?
Who on her seventh birthday went
To stay with Granny down in Kent.
At lunchtime on the second day
Of dearest little Goldie's stay,
Granny announced, 'I'm going down
To do some shopping in the town.'
(D'you know why Granny didn't tell
The child to come along as well?
She's going to the nearest inn
To buy herself a double gin.)

So out she creeps. She shuts the door.
And Goldie, after making sure
That she is really by herself,
Goes quickly to the medicine shelf,
And there, her little greedy eyes
See pills of every shape and size,
Such fascinating colours too ––
Some green, some pink, some brown, some blue.
'All right,' she says, 'let's try the brown,'
She takes one pill and gulps it down.
'Yum–yum!' she cries. 'Hooray! What fun!
They're chocolate–coated, every one!'
She gobbles five, she gobbles ten,
She stops her gobbling only when
The last pill's gone. There are no more.
Slowly she rises from the floor.
She stops. She hiccups. Dear, oh dear,
She starts to feel a trifle queer.

You see, how could young Goldie know,
For nobody had told her so,
That Grandmama, her old relation
Suffered from frightful constipation.
This meant that every night she'd give
Herself a powerful laxative,
And all the medicines that she'd bought
Were naturally of this sort.
The pink and red and blue and green
Were all extremely strong and mean.
But far more fierce and meaner still,
Was Granny's little chocolate pill.
Its blast effect was quite uncanny.
It used to shake up even Granny.
In point of fact she did not dare
To use them more than twice a year.
So can you wonder little Goldie
Began to feel a wee bit moldy?

Inside her tummy, something stirred.
A funny gurgling sound was heard,
And then, oh dear, from deep within,
The ghastly rumbling sounds begin!
They rumbilate and roar and boom!
They bounce and echo round the room!
The floorboards shake and from the wall
Some bits of paint and plaster fall.
Explosions, whistles, awful bangs
Were followed by the loudest clangs.
(A man next door was heard to say,
'A thunderstorm is on the way.')
But on and on the rumbling goes.
A window cracks, a lamp–bulb blows.
Young Goldie clutched herself and cried,
'There's something wrong with my inside!'
This was, we very greatly fear,
The understatement of the year.
For wouldn't any child feel crummy,
With loud explosions in her tummy?

Granny, at half past two, came in,
Weaving a little from the gin,
But even so she quickly saw
The empty bottle on the floor.
'My precious laxatives!' she cried.
'I don't feel well,' the girl replied.
Angrily Grandma shook her head.
'I'm really not surprised,' she said.
'Why can't you leave my pills alone?'
With that, she grabbed the telephone
And shouted, 'Listen, send us quick
An ambulance! A child is sick!
It's number fifty, Fontwell Road!
Come fast! I think she might explode!'

We're sure you do not wish to hear
About the hospital and where
They did a lot of horrid things
With stomach–pumps and rubber rings.
Let's answer what you want to know;
Did Goldie live or did she go?
The doctors gathered round her bed,
'There's really not much hope,' they said.
'She's going, going, gone!' they cried.
'She's had her chips! She's dead! She's died!'
'I'm not so sure,' the child replied.
And all at once she opened wide
Her great big bluish eyes and sighed,
And gave the anxious docs a wink,
And said, 'I'll be okay, I think.'

So Goldie lived and back she went
At first to Granny's place in Kent.
Her father came the second day
And fetched her in a Chevrolet,
And drove her to their home in Dover.
But Goldie's troubles were not over.
You see, if someone takes enough
Of any highly dangerous stuff,
One will invariably find
Some traces of it left behind.
It pains us greatly to relate
That Goldie suffered from this fate.
She'd taken such a massive fill
Of this unpleasant kind of pill,
It got into her blood and bones,
It messed up all her chromosomes,
It made her constantly upset,
And she could never really get
The beastly stuff to go away.
And so the girl was forced to stay
For seven hours every day
Within the everlasting gloom
Of what we call The Ladies Room.
And after all, the W.C.
Is not the gayest place to be.
So now, before it is too late.
Take heed of Goldie's dreadful fate.
And seriously, all jokes apart,
Do promise us across your heart
That you will never help yourself
To medicine from the medicine shelf.'

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Father's Day

One of the last conversations with my Dad that has stayed with me all these years was while he was up staying with me in the Easter holidays of 2004.

I was just about to go on a field trip to Prague with my college and my Mum and Dad were up to look after my girls while I was away.

My Dad wasn't big on showing emotions, he had had a pretty crappy childhood. A Father who was in his 50's when he was born and a Mother who was so busy keeping her husband from sharing his fists and dealing with her own grief of a still born daughter meant there wasn't a whole lot of love shown in his childhood.

Despite all that my Dad was and is the only man in my life that I knew loved me and really did. He may not have talked about it but he showed me it in so many ways that now having two daughters of my own makes me realise my girls are missing out on so much.

Anyway...that conversation was an out of the blue moment. The girls were playing in the garden. Big one was 9 and wee one was 3 and a bit and my Dad was sat in the sun keeping an eye on them when he turned to me and told me how proud he was of me. Proud that I had spent the last two years studying at college for my HND and achieving A grades and proud for me keeping it all together, family and home when I had left everything I had known, including my own career, behind for my husbands job which effectively left me alone as a single parent the majority of the time.

Within a few days of my return from Prague my Mother in law died, three months later I received a phone call telling me my hero had had a heart attack and shortly after came the most horrendous call of my life telling me my Daddy was gone.

I thought when people said their legs gave way was just a phrase of speech but I can honestly say when I heard the words that my Dad was dead my legs gave way and I sank to the floor screaming.

This July will mark seven years of my life that I haven't had my Dad. I still have the urge to phone him to ask for advice when I'm attempting some diy project or I need to hear his voice. Seven years on and I still haven't deleted his number from my mobile phone.

Today there will be no Father's Day celebrations. My small people's Father has taken himself away on holiday despite the fact that big one is due to leave shortly for her month away in Malawi. I think that just about says it all!

I miss you so much Dad and I am just glad that we had that last chance for you to tell me how proud you were of me. I love you then, now and forever Daddy Bear. I hope you're still proud of me xxx

Friday, 17 June 2011

Thank **** it's Friday

I'm not sure if there's some sort of universe shift going on but a lot of my friends seem to be feeling out of sorts this week, there have been many cases of if it's going to go wrong then you can pretty much guarantee that it's going to. And today I was pushed to my very last limit - that is to the limit that I actually did something about it and instead of allowing myself to be treated like an ever useful doormat I did what I find so easy to do for everyone else.

I stood up for myself.

There were tears, mainly due to sheer frustration and the amount of stress I've had piled on to my already fun packed days.

But I did it.

I stood up for myself, I reiterated that my No actually did mean NO. I told, when asked, exactly how it was and how I felt I had been backed into a very tight corner and I was thankfully met with understanding.

I shared with friends who rallied round me and one arrived at my house to take me out for coffee and a good old fashioned chat.

I came home and threw myself into yet another cupboard purge and then the phone rang. I received an apology from someone who actually didn't have anything to apologise for but it was nice to think that they thought they needed to do it and were prepared to offer it so freely.

The person who has caused all this stress has not phoned. In fact I don't even want them to, I do have an outstanding appointment with them next week and my gut is already twisting thinking I have to see them.

For now it's Friday night, I have a glass of wine prescribed by a friend and I have a huge shopping day to 'look' forward to tomorrow. I don't know if you remember me mentioning it before but my eldest small person is off to Malawi this summer. She leaves in 12 days :( and she will be out of my reach until the end of July. I can't phone her, text her, email her or even know how she's managing unless there is an emergency and then they will phone me. Hmmm yes thinking about it perhaps it was not the best time for someone to try and upset my little world when I have all that going on in my head.
Anyway that's the reason we're going shopping, she has a kit list as long as my arm and it's going to leave my purse very empty BUT I am so proud that my 16 year old is off to do something so worthwhile and have such an amazing experience.

I hope you've all had a better week than me and have something fun to look forward to this weekend.

Pics of bathroom are coming ;)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Wordy Wednesday

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter - J R R Tolkien.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

Monday, 13 June 2011

The fugly bathroom

When the ex and I bought this house 9 years ago it was decreed that we could live with the avocado bathroom for the time being but it would be refitted in due course.

7 years on and the ex had left but I was still living with the bathroom. Did I mention the walls were originally painted yellow? Oh yes this bathroom was just delightful!

Just imagine that the toilet was once that delightful shade of yucky green too, I forgot to take proper before shots and the toilet had already been changed as I started ripping it all out.

This all took place last year, as some of you may remember. I have still to get the extractor fan fitted, the guy returned once with the wrong size fan and has not been seen again. I am still in possession of his step ladders though so not sure how the exchange rate works on that. I'm not out of pocket anyway. He was paid for all work undertaken so I'm guessing the fitting of a fan is not worth his while to come and get paid to fit. Anyway minor details, let me show you the good stuff. ;)

I learnt a new skill - tiling! Well it helped keep the costs down.

This was my first wall. :)
I have to admit I didn't do the fiddly bits of tiling that involved cutting round things like the shower hose and outlet pipes. I left that to the professional.

The big white wall tiles were sale bargains, the fancy wee border tiles were expensive but I bought a couple of boxes of the large tile size and cut them down into strips myself which worked out far cheaper than buying them as strips ready cut. Crazy!
Floor tiles again were an on sale bargain.
Toilet and sink were a set in a box from the cheap and cheerful range.
And my lovely big double shower base was bought during a quick buy it now and we'll take a few percent off the price weekend. :)

Do you want to see it all finished now?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Cupboard cooking


1 chopped onion, peel off and cut away the dodgy bits if it's been lying about in the cupboard too long.
A couple of crushed cloves of garlic, if the fresh stuff has shrivelled up in the cupboard hunt for the jar of lazy garlic you know is in there somewhere.
1 tin of chopped toms or if they're not chopped as mine weren't just use a knife and chop them up yourself.
A squirt of tomato puree, cut the tube open as you would toothpaste to get that very last bit out.
S+P, Herbs to your own taste or whatever you can find in the cupboard.

Simmer away in a pan until you have your very own lovely tomato sauce.

Cooked with a bag of Quorn Mince found stuffed at the back of the freezer when you were doing your clever inventory.

Now either make up the packet of cheese sauce again found in the cupboard or make up some fresh cheese sauce with some flour, milk and that hard bit of cheese that was in the fridge that nobody seemed to be eating.

If you're me then realise you've no pasta sheets then take the left over tortilla's from the bread bin and use in place of said pasta sheets.

Then get on with some fancy layer work.

A bit more of that grated cheese because of course you'll have remembered to hold some back for the final topping.

Pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes, I can't be more accurate than that I'm afraid as I kind of lost track of time and just judged it by eye. This style of cooking makes my small people giggle as the timer bell inevitably goes off when we're already sat down and starting eating.
Anyway I digress....
Serve up with a lovely salad and there you are..

A healthy, frugal yummy meal from things you already had in your cupboards/freezers/fridges - see told you those lists would come in handy eh? ;)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

This is really cool

What happened in my birth year.

Check it out!

Do you know exactly what you have?

Don't panic I'm not asking you to share anything racy but rather I'm curious as to whether other folk know how much food they have in their cupboards and freezers.

I'm sure I can't be the only one who used to rummage about and couldn't remember either buying that or when exactly it was put in the freezer.

I've been doing weekly menus and posting them up on the fridge door for some time now. Not only is it a great money saver as I know exactly what I need to buy each week, it has also stopped the daily "What's for tea Mum? Ooooh do we have to have that!" conversations. Everyone knows what's coming and amazingly no one seems to moan. Of course no doubt now I have totally jinxed myself saying that.

So there I was buying only what I need for each weeks menu but still having to do the rummage to fit things in the cupboards and freezer.

Enough I thought to myself, well I probably said it out loud to the dog. Poor old beast has to listen to a lot of my ramblings bless him.

So I pulled everything and I mean EVERYTHING out of the freezer and the cupboards and I wrote me an inventory.

As you can see when I painted the kitchen cupboards with the blackboard paint I didn't have enough to do the insides of the doors - oops!

Once the lists were made I realised I could feed us for a good couple of weeks only having to buy a few fresh bits and pieces thus saving my grocery money and having that cash free to put towards an upcoming large bill. Brilliant!

Now each week I consult my lists and never have to wonder whether I have something when the mood takes me to make something.

Next job is to design some nice sheets so they look a bit prettier stuck around my kitchen. :)

So do you know exactly what you have?

Friday, 10 June 2011

New stuff for the walls

In an attempt to make my house prettier and with very few spare pennies to spend on non necessities I decided to try something out from my stash pile.

A few fabrics that I have been loathe to chop up and some embroidery hoops bought very cheaply from my local charity shop (big one went through a cross stitch phase) and this was the result

I've tucked the fabric in at the back so I can still use it for a future project when either I tire of them on the wall or inspiration strikes me.
For now one wall in my living room looks a whole lot nicer. In fact my wee one on her return from school asked if I could do something similar for her bedroom, unfortunately big one didn't agree and thinks this is just yet another example of my weirdness. LOL

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Cakes but you can't eat them

A couple of weeks ago I sent very patient swap partner, yes that's you Beki, her parcel

I didn't take pictures of everything I sent - because I am useless in more fields than just posting things.

But I did manage to take photos of the cake bits....

A mixed media painting of something I know Beki enjoys

Beki tells me the sprinkles survived the journey south. :)

And a knitted dishcloth....

Just something to help brighten up those tedious daily chores.

Like I said there were other things but no photos I'm afraid.