Friday, 30 June 2017

Back In The Button Tin

Not only do I have the lurgy, but I have passed it on my my young chap too, so our grand plans of days out have disappeared for the time being (although we did squeeze in a little trip to Wales on Wednesday). Plus, after watching episode 8 of Twin Peaks we can do little but stare at each other and gasp anyway. 

So I decided to sort out some more of Dan's Grandmother's things, being especially careful after finding the Royal Artillery badge in with some craft items. I have decided to keep a couple of craft items but I sorted out a nice pile to take to the charity shop too. 


Mainly threads, sewing machine bits, buttons and beads, these should sell pretty quickly. At the bottom of one of the boxes was an old piece of paper. 


An old receipt.



Someone had splashed out on a new coat. 


Look at that! 1940. This fancy sounding shop is now... an Argos!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Stash and Dash

I have a rule at home - nothing goes in the attic. Even at my most untidy and disorganised it was a rule. Looking at the mess was bad enough without thinking there was yet another placed stuffed with stuff. We don't have a shed either, for pretty much the same reason. 

We do, however, have a garage and although ours is less packed than some - we keep the car in it it can still be a cluttered space. It's so easy to put something on a shelf in there rather than just dealing with it. It's been particularly stuffed over the past five months or so as we've been clearing two houses and taking things either to the tip or to the charity shop. 

Our holiday has taken a bit of a rubbish turn as I've picked up a cold somewhere and have felt pretty rubbish, certainly not well enough to go out gadding So what better than to stand in a dusty garage for a couple of hours sorting out junk?


Here we are at the start of the clearing, stuff everywhere. 


Here we are at the end, still not a place of great beauty, but much better. There are two shelving units on the left side, one of them is only half full now and the other isn't as crammed as it was. As you can see, we were able to get rid of one set of shelves altogether, now I have plenty of space to use my lovely potting table. 

I've added a list of things we got rid of to the Decluttered 2017 page.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

What We Ate June - Week 4

It was a bit of a weird week. From Tuesday to Saturday I was ill so didn't eat anything, then Sunday and Monday Dan had to fast so he didn't eat anything. Other than treating ourselves to something from Earthworm Kitchen at the kite festival in Morecambe on Saturday afternoon we haven't eaten a proper meal all week.


we shared noodles and a thai-style burger, topped with fried rice noodles, yum!

I spent part of Monday preparing meals and picnic food though, it was nice to get back into the kitchen after a week of nothing at all. So here are some pictures of things we're going to eat this week instead. 


Assorted roast veg

Soup, made with squash, sweet potato, onion, red pepper, lentils, stock, curry paste and coconut milk

squash and pumpkin seeds roasted in soy sauce (I overdid the sauce a bit)

turmeric cauliflower

chana masala, well, I used carlin peas rather than chickpeas

jam buns






Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Shopping Haul June - Week 4

It was a huge shopping week this time round, we ran out of a few things and as we are on holiday I wanted to make sure we had some nice things for picnics and so on so we don't eat out too much.

Sainsbury's £3.73
potatoes 63p/ almond drink £1/ cauliflower 24p each/ broccoli 38p/ bananas 63p/ cucumber 50p

I also had to pay 5p stupid tax as I forgot to take a bag with me. I can't believe I actually got hold of some yellow sticker stuff, the potatoes and cauliflower were all reduced from £1. I had plans for a cauliflower anyway, so I'm really happy to have picked two this cheaply. 


M&S £2.94
guacamole £1.90/ iced and spiced buns £1.04

Home Bargains £3.64
coconut milk 69p each/ jalapenos 59p/ baguettes 39p each/ dates 89p

Grape Tree £10.36
I lost the receipt but I know the lentil chips were £1.49 and the pecans £3.99 so the others were £2-something each

Holland and Barrett £11.98 (I think)
Lost the receipt again but these were just under £12 for two bags

Atkinsons £5.50
just some coffee beans

Aldi £12.69
cereal 89p/ squash 72p/ nut bars £1.99/ curried lentils £1.29/ onions 55p/ spring onions 47p/ broccoli 39p/ peppers 91p/ peaches 65p/ tomatoes 71p/ sweet potatoes 89p/ lettuce 95p/ houmous 55p/ pea snacks £1.29

The nut bars and lentil pouch were for Dan, he had to fast before going to the hospital for an afternoon appointment so he wanted something quick to eat as soon as he'd finished. Poor lad didn't eat for over 30 hours. 

Finally 
Sainsbury's £17.62
almond drink £1.25 each/ bread 34p/ bread £1/ peanuts 70p/ sesame oil £1.80/ pasta 85p/ marmite crisps £1.25/ mushrooms 62p/ potatoes £1.50/ chillies 60p/ spread £1.60/ tomatoes 50p each/ chickpeas 85p/ garlic bread 70p 

Prior to fasting Dan could only eat certain very bland foods, hence all the bread in the world. I bought fancy chickpeas for use in a salad, they're bigger and more splendid than the cheap brands so I splashed out! 

Oh my goodness, that makes for a final weekly total, well a final 10 days or so total, of £68.46. The June total is a ridiculous £176.04, I need a lie down.

Friday, 23 June 2017

In The Window

Even though we were on holiday only a few weeks ago, we are on holiday again next week - why not? So, on the hottest day of the year, I primped the window at the charity shop. I actually think I had a little bit of heatstroke afterwards as I felt sick and all manner of other things, it took me an age to walk home. Never to worry. I decided to not go for an obvious summer theme but instead went for lights and metallics. The massive bonus of taking this route is that there's no need to stuff the display, as the shine does a lot of the work. 







I stole the idea of using jars to display accessories from a charity shop merchandising page on facebook. As seen from outside 



It's a bit subtle, but it received a lot of attention. And of course after doing a very summery window it rained the following day!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

What We Ate June - Week 3

As promised there are a few less healthy options in here this week!


jacket potato with beans and mini sausages/ lentil and mushroom pie/ pie filling


curry from the freezer/ curried bubble and squeak type thing, it looks disgusting but it was delicious/ hazy falafel sandwich

Then it got hotter, we we ate a variation of the same thing for a few night so I didn't have to cook.

veggie burgers/ roast veg cous cous

The burger mix was sent as part of the packaging for the record player, it was just a case of adding water then cooking them on the griddle for a few minutes. 

toasted seeds and cashews/ assorted salad and things/ a plateful

And to finish of course we had to have some banana nice cream, this was macadamia and cocoa flavour. 


Dan had brought home some chocolate buttons as a surprise, so they came in handy! 



Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Shopping Haul June - Week 3

Holland & Barrett £5.25
Dan came home with some macadamia nuts this week after a lunchtime walk.

Heron £1
After the macadamia nut purchase, Dan also ventured to Heron and picked up three blocks of puff pastry for £1. He'd very kindly cut them in half and put them in the freezer before I took the picture. 

Sainsbury's £2.61
broccoli 62p/ frozen berries £1.70/ onions 29p

So it was all going very well until we went to Manchester.

8th Day, Manchester £16.71
I didn't get a receipt so don't know the cost of each item. I remember the crisps were 69p, the flour £2.44 and the teriyaki sauce £2.99

Beer wouldn't usually come out of the grocery budget, but I paid for it on this occasion. It was so hot when we got home from Manchester that I refused to cook so we treated ourselves to yet more things

Booths £6.55
crumpets £1.15/falafel £2.10/ tomatoes £1/ houmous £1.30 (!)/bread £1

Total for this week £32.12. 

Monday, 19 June 2017

In The Morning

We ate our breakfast outside today, something we never do. Other than the sound of the bees and birds it was silent, there was no-one else around, a good start to a Monday - especially when it's yet another one of those days where the news is not enjoyable viewing. 

photo by Dan, wow his phone has a better camera than mine!
I bought a circle scarf from the charity shop the other day, it was going to go into the rags and I wanted it to chop up and add to my stitching, but this morning I noticed that it's actually a Gap scarf, still with the tag on, so if anyone would like it then I'm happy to pass it on, if not I'll chop it up. 


Thursday, 15 June 2017

In The Window

For the last month or so I have been back in charge of primping the windows at the charity shop, so here's the latest look. We have sold and replaced a few things in the main window since I first did the primping and I did NOT add the hats! It's not the most exciting window I've ever done but hopefully next week we'll have some exciting stock to play with. 



The side window


There's a lot of glare, but you get the idea. And our two new models inside 



There's a lot of red and blue there, maybe I was influenced by the election!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

What We Ate June - Week 2

I actually forgot to take photographs of most of our food last week for some reason, but it featured a lot of veg. We spent more on plants and garden things last week than we did on food, I think it was all good value for money though, hopefully one day the weather will play along and we can combine eating and being outside, who knows!


obligatory stirfry/ cous cous salad 

spicy rice - the plan had been to make jollof rice but we were so hungry we didn't wait for it to be dry and delicious!/ baked onion bhajis

I don't make them all that often for some reason, but I love these baked onion bhajis - recipe here. They're easy to make and because they're baked they don't use too much oil. 

dhal/ roast squash cakes

The oven was in use on Saturday so i roasted the squash then realised I had no plans for it, so decided to adapt this recipe for Yotam Ottolenghi's sweet potato cakes, it worked really well and I will make them again, very tasty and a little messy, lovely with some spicy chutney.

I am learning to love my new blender and I admit it is good for smoothies, I'm having them a fair bit as I've started exercising again, so I can blitz up oats, fruits, flaxseed and other goodies without any grittiness. The food processor is more powerful than my old one so houmous and pastes are very smooth now, lovely. 

The other small change of the week is that I have switched one of my shifts at the shop to a morning rather than doing two afternoons, it started as a temporary thing but I've decided I'd rather get it over and done with in the morning, freeing up time for me to have a walk in the afternoon, go shopping or just do the other little bits and bobs that crop up during the week. We'll see how it goes. 



Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Shopping Haul - June Week 2

Holland & Barrett £3.18
I bought two of these, not much else to say, I like a cup of tea!

Morrisons £3.23
bread flour £1/ plain flour 45p/ seeds 83p/ yeast £1

Home Bargains £1.50

Aldi £9.93
mushrooms £1.38/ sultanas 88p/ almond drink 99p/ potatoes £1.25/ squash 72p/ broccoli 39p each/ cucumber 39p/ houmous 55p each/ carrots 42p/ passata 35p/ tomatoes 71p/ spring onions 47p

Booths £1.50

A pretty basic week, we did splash out £14.30 on brunch this week too, but that wasn't from my grocery budget. I still spent a little more than I wanted, but I hadn't taken into account the bread things and I hadn't planned to buy the lentils, but I do love them. That brings the total for this week to £19.34 and has let me with a lot of cooking to do!