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Showing posts from April, 2018

Avoiding The Shops - What We Ate

I'm trying to ditch my love affair with food shopping, it's very hard, I find it to be very relaxing, not as relaxing as Ikea, but not bad at all. A couple of times this week I've been the only one eating at home so when I have prepared something I've made enough for me to just heat and eat when I'm on my own. It's been a bit of a hectic and slightly stressful week, so comfort food has been the order of the day. 

At the weekend we ate hash, it was mainly to take with us when we went to Stoke for the football, but I made a vat of it so we enjoyed some after our full day in the garden on Saturday, and plenty on Sunday. 

No meal plan here is complete without noodles.

I found a packet of ready cooked noodles in the pantry, I must have felt very lazy the day I bought them!

This is a nicer-than-it-looks butterbean and vegetable stew with roast potatoes and veg.

The leftover stew was mixed with some pasta and topped with v-pud, just what was needed for a wet and windy even…

Freebie And Bargain Of The Week

Quite a few things this week. 

My parents came to visit earlier in the week and gave me a plant, they also brought lunch and Easter chocolate! My niece came with a bag of greens for the rabbits too. 

We had a couple of television offers thrown our way too. From my phone provider I was given 3 months free BT Sport access, which is good for the European football finals. At the weekend Now TV contacted us with the offer of free Sky Cinema and children's channels for a month, I don't know if we'll watch them but you never know. 

I missed out on something I wanted at the charity shop this week, I've been after a burger press for ages, I spotted a brand new one when I arrived at the shop on Tuesday, by the time I'd taken my coat off someone had bought it. I did buy two dresses for a couple of quid. I'm still going through my blue phase apparently. 

A nice Monsoon summer dress

and a linen pinafore type dress. I was sceptical about going for linen but I wore it at the footb…

Small Things Done Well

We collected our artwork from the framer yesterday. Oh my goodness, he is very good at his job, everything looks amazing.

Dan's Great-Grandfather worked as an engineer in the cotton industry and worked around the world, this beautiful painting was presented to him when he worked in Kobe, Japan some time in the 1930's. We just went for a very simple black frame to keep all the attention on the painting. 

This is just a print we bought on a day out in Wales last year, I love the pale grey frame, it looks just as I imagined. 

I am so happy with this print, I didn't know what style of frame I fancied until I saw this zingy yellow aluminium, it was the perfect choice. I also love how it looks as though there's no glass covering it, we went for museum glass as it's going to be in a room with some direct sunlight. Compare it with the reflections on the first picture, amazing. 

This is Dan's birthday present, another woodblock print. Just simple, black again, it will be hu…

In The Clearing

I think I actually squealed with delight this morning when I went out to feed the birds. My garden has already been a bit of a slog, but we are seeing progress. The shade bed I spoke about the other day used to look like this

and that was after we'd done the initial cutting back. Anyway, this morning I was looking at the back border, where the plant jumble used to be 

This morning I saw this

there's only one, but I am so happy as I love these little flowers so much! We're discovering new plants all the time, so many things are popping up at the moment that we haven't seen before, amazing that things have survived being so blocked by the overgrowth. In with the roses and honeysuckle I also saw this that I don't remember seeing before

Is it some kind of mahonia? It has spiky leaves like my other mahonias but the flowers are round rather than long and pointy. I'm happy to see it at any rate. There's so much happening outside at the moment that Dan is even going to…

April In My Shower

This post may contain the two most boring photographs ever shared. 

We always like to talk about people doing the small things well don't we, learning something, making a corner of the garden look a little bit better, making a cake that pretty much nailed it. I'm celebrating that today.

On the last official day of the bathroom redo the plumbers were packing up when they discovered a chip in the shower tray, this week it was repaired.

The shower magician started the job on Wednesday, then came back yesterday for one last blob of silicone and a buff of the tray. 


We still have no flooring, and the walls aren't painted, although we did buy some paint last week so the end may be in sight.

What We Ate - Convenience Week

This week has been all about convenience, if it could be shoved in the oven and left to get on with it, or came from a packet or the freezer then that's the option I took! 

Dan made some wedges and pitta chips, for dipping into plenty of houmous while we watched The City And The City, I read the book last year and loved it. I don't tend to watch tv adaptations, but I made an exception for this.  

I attempted to be healthy by starting the day with porridge, it's not for me, at least not first thing in the morning. Oats with almond drink, frozen berries, banana, loads of coconut and a bit of agave. 

Obligatory noodles, served with some rice burgers. They came from a packet mix sent over from Germany, just add water then form into patties. The flavour was a little like making something with a packet of curry flavour savoury rice. 

We had a small amount of yoghurt to use up, plus lots of frozen berries, so I made some breakfast muffins. Even though I used less sugar they were real…

Not In The Slightest Bit Vintage

Don't let me turn this into a rant about how difficult it is to find professionals willing to do work at the house, suffice to say the window repairs are not happening any time soon, and we're painting the bathroom ourselves. 

I may have mentioned it before, but Dan did not like the coffee table, over the past few months I'd go as far as to say he's been openly hostile towards it, so I've been hunting for a replacement. Here's the offending article, first mentioned in this post. I find it adorable that back in July 2016 I was so optimistic about the bathroom refit. 

It's just a glass table, nice and big. Turns out the size was part of the issue, one of us is rather untidy and Dan was quite unhappy that it was always covered with books, nail files, sewing stuff and magazines. 

We've seen many, many lovely tables, but even I am not daft enough to spend hundreds of pounds on a nice mid century table that will live in the room where there are two rabbits wande…

A Date With My Fantasy Self

For as long as I can remember I have flirted with the idea of jaunting about the place, shopping at the greengrocer and using local shops for our weekly food shopping. So yesterday that's what I did. 

In the town on the first Thursday of the month we have a small market, my plan was to nip there for some vegetables. When I got there the stall was packed and when I could grab a peek there wasn't all that much I fancied, and some of the produce were things Dan can't eat (turnips etc.). So I picked up my v-pud and thought about what to do as I'd missed the train, and didn't want to hang around for 50 minutes for the next one. So I got the bus.

IT'S SO EXPENSIVE! The train is £2.10 return, a bus ticket was £5. FIVE POUNDS! But in the spirit of being more light and loose I went with it and headed off to Lytham. 

Lytham was absolutely packed as it was a gorgeous day and I was already starting to suspect my trolley would be a hindrance. I nipped to the cookware shop and …

What We Ate - Easter Weekend

To make sure we didn't eat too much junk over the weekend I started making a few things on Thursday evening, we had a day of relaxation planned for Friday.

First I roasted some vegetables for soup and salad

then had a houmous sandwich or three

In the evening I made some tofu scramble and fried rice

The sauce was really simple, just some soy sauce, agave and sriracha

Friday was treat-filled. Dan made pitta

we had a delicious brunch

Butterbean and squash pasties at the football

There were plenty of leftovers to enjoy on Sunday. A half eaten bowl of leftover quinoa and lentil salad heated up with the remaining pasty filling, smoky and delicious. 

We rounded the long weekend off on Monday with a very welcome nut roast. 

It feels like we've done nothing but cook and wash up!