Friday, 23 December 2011
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Sunday, 16 October 2011
And I've just made another batch of chilli jam, cross your fingers that this lot sets! I've pureed some of the faulty batch, it seems to made quite nice chilli sauce!
We're in the process of redecorating Bambino's bedroom. We've decided to move her before the twins arrive so it's all systems go!
Monday, 26 September 2011
We had our 20 week scan last week and all is doing well in there. I could have told them that. I am the size of a house! We still don't definately know the sex of the babies. They were reluctant to cooperate which is so funny because so was bambino. The sonographer said they could be girls but because we have a scan every four weeks from here I think she felt we could try again next time!
I'm a bit worried about what I'm going to put in this blog in the next few months. I have zero energy for crafts and very little enthusiasm for cooking and food. I did try to make chilli jam a couple of weeks ago but it didn't set. I tried this remedy and still no luck. I read something about it being a bad idea to increase ingredients in jam - so I guess quadrupling the recipe was a bad idea? And I had lots of orders based on friends and family's enthusiasm for last year's batch, so disapointed to let them down. I may have to sweet talk PJ into giving me more of his precious chillies (said in manner of Lord of the Rings).
Monday, 5 September 2011
As I cut into the trousers I thought, I should be photographing this. But I didn't sorry, had no idea they would turn out so well!
I bought some black t shirt material in town this morning. I cut of the waist band and then cut a half moon shape out of the front, completly taking out the zip.
Using the pieces I had removed I cut new, slightly more generous pieces from the t shirt fabric and sewed them to the existing trousers.
Saved myself a few pennies there! Feeling very smug! I'm now 17, nearly 18 weeks and these babies are growing fast. I keep reading about how twin mummies tend to grow out of their maternity clothes. Therefore a lot more improvising likely in the coming weeks!
Friday, 5 August 2011
We are delighted, if a little shocked and now assesing how much life will change, do we need a new car, we're going to have to buy a triple buggy...
For now, here are the TWINS!
Friday, 15 July 2011
I saw this tutorial over on "Always a Project" (great blog name) while I was blog browsing and although I liked it for some reason I forgot to bookmark it. So I had a go without any instructions and although I love the finished product from the front it's not a pretty picture on the back! It was joining the washers together that I messed up. I must have another go and this time pay attention! Anyway it was gratefully received and it is pretty from the front which is what really counts!
Sunday, 12 June 2011
I have to say, being back at work has really put the brakes on my experimenting with new recipes! But I still try to have a go at something new on a Friday which is one of my days off. Last week I tried...
Zesty Haddock with Crushed Potatoes and Peas It was yummy! Definately printing that one off for my binder. We had cod instead of haddock and I also used spring onions instead of chives because it was pouring with rain and I couldn't be bothered to walk to the bottom of the garden to get chives! I think when I make it again I will still use spring onions, nice to have a bit of crunch.
This weekend we've had a very chilly BBQ and tonight I treated us to crispy duck and pancakes, yummy, yummy. I've also knocked up a batch of my Rhubarb Jelly now that it's in season again.
...will be a busy one. My parents are on holiday and I'm going to be watering their mammoth garden as well as looking after Daisy, their dog and keeping an eye on my Nanna. So quick and simple food is required. Some of the meal on plan are...
Chicken allla cacciatora
This is a Nigella recipe and I've made it many times, it is super easy, quick and tasty. I might freeze a couple of portions for Bambino.
Homemade fish finger sarnie
Another fishy favourite, fairly recently discovered. I love the way that the fish is coated in cornflakes, you'd never know when you taste it!
I'm also going to make Bambino some Cheese and Carrot Muffins from Annabel Karmel's 100 Finger Foods. She likes muffins for tea and I have some lovely silcone cases to make them in.
Friday, 27 May 2011
Here's hoping for some more bridal orders. They're so much fun!
The bride's tiara
The bridesmaid's tiaras (a little less bling!)
The bride's jewellery
Monday, 23 May 2011
I was so pleased with it. Now I need to decide which paper I am going to use for my board and find some suitable magnets. Here it is again!
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
I've been making a couple of things, though craft time is seriously depleted by being at work three days a week! I can't reveal anything today as one is the tiaras I mentioned, for a friend's wedding, not til next weekend and the other is a present.
Be back soon!
Sunday, 17 April 2011
My shape has changed massively since I got married nearly two years ago, mostly due to having a baby a year ago. Pre baby I had had fairly consistently been a size 12/14 and had lots of clothes that I got out every year with the change of the seasons.
Post baby I was a size 18, with no clothes that fit and had almost no money (the only draw back of maternity leave). Not only could I not afford to invest in new clothes, at a time when you really need to feel good about yourself, it seemed a waste as I wanted to loose the weight.
So I bought myself some basic bits and pieces to 'get me through' the first few weeks on Ebay and although I was going for the things at the cheaper end of the scale I was surprised at how much some pieces with the right title, ie. good brand, BNWT (brand new with tags), went for.
I have dabbled in selling bits and pieces before. I even bought a dress for my brother's wedding, days before the event, and sold it on (on Ebay) at a profit. Many of the sellers dispatch goods quicker than any commercial outlet! (This is key to good feedback and your long term success). Anyway before I returned to work, size 16, I cleared out my wardrobe.
I didn't discard everything that was size 12/14, I still hope to get there one day but I had to admit some of it was simply no longer my style or practical for my new lifestyle. I didn't make a packet, and previously I would have taken it to the charity shop, but it did make a sizable contribution to my return to work clothes budget at a time when I was struggling.
My top tips would be
- Use the advanced completed searches to price it right (that includes weighing the item and getting a postage estimate from the Royal Mail website so you don’t underestimate this and loose money).
- Take several good photos (use a mannequin if possible).
- Add loads of detail to the description; style, dimensions, fabric content.
- Be friendly and helpful if someone contacts you with questions.
- Post the goods ASAP.
Monday, 11 April 2011
But tomorrow is my birthday and PJ and I are going out to dinner. I even have a new posh frock! So today I set about mending the shoes, two new buttons in hand. But I didn't have the type of thick black elastic that had been there previously. I was just about to resign myself to wearing my sensible mummy shoes to dinner or digging out my silver sandals (too cold). Then, looking around the study in desperation I saw that one of my old college folders had the same type of elastic on it. Bingo! Bit of needlework and we're in business. Hope I don't fall and break my neck from lack of practice!
Sunday, 3 April 2011
There was one ‘new to me’ dish on the menu last week Honey mustard chicken pot with parsnips
Honey mustard chicken pot with parsnips: It was really nice and as many other people on the site commented it benefited from being left to bubble a bit longer, which in this house, where Bambino’s bedtime routine needs to be negotiated, is a good thing!
Second week back at work = two days this time = boring menu
Mediterranean Chicken & Potato Stew Nasi Goreng Hot-smoked salmon with creamy pasta & pine nuts Spaghetti bolognaise Stuffed chicken breasts and tomato butter beans
Hot-smoked salmon with creamy pasta & pine nuts
Stuffed chicken breasts and tomato butter beans
All tried and tested, a couple are even from my Student Cookbook and have been made many, many times before! The Spaghetti Bolognaise is actually sitting in the freezer, ready prepared by moi!
But…Today I invited my mum and mother in law and respective families to Mother's Day (my first!) lunch and I’m very pleased with how it went. I love roast dinners (being cooked for me!) but I sometimes find it very stressful, trying to get all elements of the meal together at the same time. So the dish I went for today was the perfect compromise.
Roast red wine lamb with Italian beans: I’ve cooked this just for the two of us before. Parts of it are a bit involved, like putting the roasting pan on the hob after you’ve roasted the lamb and set it aside. But you can get around it; I just poured the meat juices straight into the gravy, tasted fine to me. It’s good to marinate the lamb the day before and to get the beans started by frying the rosemary and tomatoes then adding the beans, just saved a few precious moments on the day.
Puddingsutes to make and can be made well in advance. Thinking of making one to have in the freezer, except that I would probably eat it long before we had any guests!
Double chocolate cheesecake: Another easy peasy dessert. My PJ loves cheesecake and he seemed fairly impressed so thumbs up all round!
I wanted to give my lady guests a little extra something to take home with them so I made these Cookie Dough Truffles. They are really simple to make. I have tried making sweets before and failed because I refuse to buy a sugar themometre (I don’t know why). These could not be easier and they are so tasty. I had some little cellophane bags and this recipe made enough truffles to make eight presents so the rest have gone in the freezer! Did I mention that I LOVE my freezer?
My Bambino is nearly one year old! Watch out for a party planning post coming this way!
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Sunday, 20 March 2011
The one on the left in a lovely pink ditsy flower print is mine. The one on the right with a great fruits tile print is for Bambino to take her lunch to my parents house. They are looking after her on the days that I work. Hers is circular because I make and freeze her lunches in little circular pots. I made the 'pattern' up myself.
My bag is based on the boxy bag tutorial I also used to make my pencil case it has a pink spotty oil cloth lining and a clasp fashioned out of a colourful hair elastic and and a button! Bambino's bag is lined with cow print oil cloth.
Now to fill the freezer with the delicious treats they will carry!
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Beef in ale with horseradish dumplings Yummy Sunday alternative to roast. Dumplings need a little longer in the oven next time. I liked another user's tip about adding parsnips and may expand on that.French Onion Soup We had this on pancake day to leave plenty of room for dessert! Unfortunately didn't have any beef stock so I used lamb. I think it probably does need beef.
Honey, mustard & creme fraiche baked chicken I think this is going to become a family favourite because it's so easy, you just shove it in the oven for 40 mins. Next time I think I'll add more veggies. Tinned potatoes were a fine, cheaper, quicker alternative to 'the real thing'.I'm obviously turning into a sad 'housewife' because I am very excited about the new freezer we have bought (all part of the return to work plan). I can now plan ahead much more and batch freeze stuff for us and for bambino to save time. This week I'm planning to make Chilli Con Carne, Spaghetti Bolognase and some mini Cottage Pies for Bambino.
This week's new recipes
Easy oven frittata Monday nights PJ plays football so I have to have a meal which I can shove in the oven and forget about for 45mins while I bath bambino and give her her bottle. If it's a one pot including veggies so much the better.
Braised butter beans with tomato I love the butter beans you sometimes find alongside marinated olives so I thought I'd give this a go and team it with some chicken breasts, stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. I may even freeze some.
Spaghetti Puttanesca I know this is a very easy dish but I've never cooked it. I want to add lots of quick cook recipes to my repertoire for when I'm back a work. I hope to have at least one night a week where I'm cooking for less than half an hour.
Yummy scrummy. Quite hungry now. May have to start lunch (soup & sandwiches)
Thursday, 10 March 2011
The notebook cover slips over a cheap hardback notebook so I could use it on another book once this one is full. It has a closing tab with a magnetic clasp and a piece of pink elastic to hold my pen. There's also a couple of pockets on the inside of the cover to stash loose bits of paper or business cards. I looked at a lot of tutorials for covering a notebook but I didn't follow any particular one, just combined the bits that I knew I would use.
For the pencil case I followed this tutorial which I've used a few times to make make up bags for family and friends but this is the first pencil case. Most of the bags I've made I've lined with a piece of oil cloth which makes them hold their shape better and gives them a waterproof lining. For the pencil case I had a scrap of green polka dot oil cloth left over from making my bambino's nappy change mat.
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Our new freezer arrived today - a huge part of my return to work plan. Now I can set about cooking and freezing to save time when I am tired after a day in the office.
Sunday, 27 February 2011
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
The case my husband had was a white 'leather' pouch which has now seen much better days so I have made my own. I used to make these for friends when I was at uni and my house mate Gemma nick named them 'Phone Cosies'. It's been years since I've used one but I am very pleased to be able to use this scrap of lovely sunflower material I had. It's lined with yellow fleece to keep my phone nice and snug (plus protected from my clumsy drops and bumps!)
Sunday, 13 February 2011
Saturday, 12 February 2011
Friday, 11 February 2011
- 1 nappy
- disposable changing mat
- wipes (pack with 20 or so only left)
- nappy sack
- water (or milk)
- small snacks
- small toy/teether
- maybe a bib.
Despite an impressive array of handbags (that rarely see the light of day now) I had nothing appropriate to stow these bits in because it really needs to be totally waterproof if it's going to sit permanently in my buggy basket. So I was thrilled to find that I had enough of this cool oil cloth to make a tiny bag with two separate waterproof sections and a holder for the water bottle.
I am really pleased. It will be much easier to pick up and carry into toddler groups alongside my increasingly heavy, beautiful bambino!
Friday, 4 February 2011
Mr Tesco delivers my goodies tomorrow so I plan on making her some Banana Bread. Hopefully that won't be so messy!
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Monday, 31 January 2011
Sunday, 30 January 2011
- Homemade Fish Finger Sarnies
- Turkey Steaks with Garlicky Bean Mash (good with chicken too)
- Scallops with Thai Scented Pea Puree
- Roast Red Wine Lamb with Italian Beans
- Pork Steaks with Gin & Corriander
This week we will be having a few staple favourites; Chicken Cassserole, Fritata, Nassi Goreng as well as one of my firm favourites
and a new recipe
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
A lot of the 'shower websites' advocate using baby clothes strung on a washing line as decor but that isn't actually that cheap if you want to buy nice clothes and pass them onto the mum as she goes home. The most helpful thing I read was to use everyday items as decor. Luckily my friend is having a baby girl so I was able to use my daughter's toys.
I also made a banner for the mantle piece. I made the template in Word. I am really pleased because I didn't think I'd be able to cut the serif font out of material but I first cut the letters out of paper and then pritsticked them to the fabric as an outline to cut round. I fabric glued the letters to the flags, ironed them and went round the outlines with fray check. I am hoping I might be able to use the banner for another friend one day! On the mantle I had three straight vases with pink flowers in them and pink net tied around the vases. It kept the decor fresh, sweet but not too childish.
I had some single use baby bottles which were no long sterile. I filled them with pink bubble bath and tied pink net round the neck of these too. I put them on the window sill, interspersed with my daughters rubber ducks. They were decor and also prizes for the ladies who won the games.
I took the lead from Kate, who organised my baby shower with my sister. They asked the guests to bring cakes so that they simply had to make the savouries. We had a delicious selection of cakes (on both occasions). I made sandwiches; cucumber, cream cheese & chive, ham & mustard, turkey & coriander, tomato & pesto and beetroot, especially for Kate, her favourite!
I think baby showers are no alcohol occasions on the whole, esp as a) mum to be is often abstaining, b) there may be children present, c) it's usually during the day and I might fall asleep. So I made Baby Berry Cocktails from cranberry and pomegranate juice and lemonade. There was of course tea and coffee too and excitingly I was able to get my best cups and saucers out! (I am easily pleased!)
As I say, I felt games were important to make sure everyone was involved but I didn't want anyone feeling uneasy or embarrassed. I had two games. The first was running when the guest arrived. I found pictures of celebrities when they were babies online and with current day pictures created a random slide show for the guests to try and match up. The second game was a simple memory game. I put out 16 baby related items (nappy, vest, bottle etc) on the table and gave the guests just a few minutes (without paper) to memorise the items and then after clearing the items away gave them a few minutes to try to write them all down. I couldn't really afford to buy lots of prizes so I had baby related tie-breakers, which I needed. One was...
Q: "What percentage of babies arrive on their due date?"
The closest person won the baby bottle of bubble bath. I also organised the regular guess the date weight sweepstakes.
Lots of people bought presents for Kate rather that presents for the baby. I did want to give her something pretty, but practical so I made her a matching changing bag set...
Changing Mat from this book, which my mum bought me.
- A nappy bag, nappy sack bag and wet bag (for a change of clothes/dirties
- Soft rings toy from somewhere online that I now can't find - sorry!
- A hand sanitiser holder from this blog (made one for myself while I was at it!)