Monday, 29 October 2012

...very happy bunny!!

I just ordered a new sewing machine.
I'm very excited. 

I've been quite restrained.  Once you start looking you can talk yourself into NEEDING all kinds of fancy stitches and lovely features, I could have gone a bit mad.

However I've ordered the Janome XL601 and can't wait for it to arrive. It has £50 off at the moment and a free quilting pack too, so I'll have more feet than I know what to do with.

 I did see it first on the Clothkits website however in the end I managed to find it at a local(ish) store that also sell online so will have somewhere to go back to if I need to. They took Paypal which was a bonus as I had £30 sat in there from some ebay selling. I'm seeing that as a further discount and another justification for my purchase :o)

They also say on their website they offer 2 hours of free tuition when you buy a new machine, so I'm looking forward to finding out more about that when it arrives. 

Hopefully I can book something in when the kids are back  at school and spend an hour finding out what my new baby can do, and another hour learning a new skill! 

Friday, 19 October 2012

.."skirt please Mum"? Part 2

I finished!

Me and that sewing machine really don't get on very well. 

 Oh and I'm RUBBISH at cutting

 And pinning

And sewing any kind of straight line.. 

Hope she likes it :o/

Thursday, 18 October 2012

..birthday gift for a girl friend

I wasn't sure what to give a friend for her birthday this weekend and whilst floating about on pinterest I came across this how to for a heat pack. Given that she's a bit sporty and has a bad back at the mo, I thought that might be appropriate so me and the sewing machine did battle this morning and I made this!
Instead of the usual lavender scent, I used orange, mango and cinnamon tea, a little extra orange zest and some crushed cinnamon to hide the cooked rice smell when you warm it. 

I figured something to eat is always good too, so made some chocolate ganache and flavoured it with a slug of spiced rum liqueur. This should also help it last longer (if it doesn't get eaten straight away!) as sugar and alcohol act as a preservative in a ganache. 

Last but not least, something to dunk into the ganache.. homemade vanilla shortbread. I used this recipe, but made it into bars. They were still a little soft in the middle and a bit chewy but I wanted them like this as I figured they'd work better for dunking! 

...and ta da! The finished gift. Bundled into a white stuff shoe box - their stuff is so pretty..
I used my Lotta Jansdotter labels to bring it all together. I love these labels soooo much. I'm going to have to find some spare pennies to buy some more because I can't bear the thought of being without them! Stationery fetishes live on long after "back to school" shopping.. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

.."skirt please Mum"? Part 1


We'll see about this one. 

My sewing skills aren't great. I want for them to be better. I like to blame my hand me down machine for all the swearing and cursing, and to be fair my mum has said "oh it wasn't that great when I had it.." but I think it's more to do with lack of practice. 

Anyway, I've been keeping an eye on the Clothkits website for a while as their clothes are just swoooooooooooooony. Somehow I think it's easier to justify spending money on the kids than it is yourself though, isn't it? I hate that sometimes. In this case though it meant when I saw their gorgeous EASY PEASY Birdie skirt reduced the other day, I couldn't resist.
I mean. It says it's EASY PEASY.
How hard can it be?  Famous last words...

It arrived this morning and I definitely don't have time to do it today. Far too busy making other messes.  I can't wait for a little bit of time to get on and get it done though. Imagine how proud I'll be if I manage to make a skirt for my little girl, even if it is from a kit! 

bowl of delicious soup..

Yesterday it was grey and miserable outside and I was cold and in need of cheering inside.
I had a bowl of homemade chicken stock begging to be turned into some sort of soup, but didn't have anything much in the veggie drawer in the fridge. 

Then I had a lightbulb moment.

Apple's Persian Onion Soup from the Leon 2 book. 

It's not a quick recipe - you need to sweat off the onions for 15 mins first, add some spices and cook them through....


before adding stock and simmering it until it all softens down to a delish bowl of soup.
Probably about 45 mins in all but well worth it!

If you fancy making it, you can find the recipe here

Thursday, 11 October 2012

more organized mom..

Yesterday I decided enough, was enough.

After giving up work in June I'm yet to get organised and find my feet. I haven't managed to find a new rhythm, something to carry me through the week with an element of predictability, a framework within which to work. 

Of course the kids are now back in school and the littlest one has finally started his "full time" hours. They still have certain things on different days, but there's been nothing to ground me at home. No constants. 

I came across this image on Pinterest which sums me up well: 

I might dislike the restrictions of a routine, rail against the "Ohhhhhh look what I have to do today" feeling some mornings, but actually, I function better within it. 

I'm the kind of person that swings on her chair for a while, saves it all up and attacks it in one giant, sweary, chaotic go. Always have been. I work better that way really, but actually, for everyday kind of stuff, that doesn't necessarily work all that well. Not when I'm meant to be looking after a husband, 2 kids, a dog and an aging cat as well as just me.

So anyway, yesterday, enough was enough.

I pulled my finger out, wrote a huge list and got on with it.

Oh I was ON FIRE. I got loads sorted - I, in no particular order:
    Picked the blackberries and raspberries in the garden

    Did 2 school runs

    Booked Little One's birthday party

    Cleaned the kitchen

      Walked the dog - complete with a teeny tiny run in the middle - first in ages
        Cleaned the lounge and dining room
          Hoovered/swept/mopped the downstairs
            Made carrot cake (complete with icing carrots as requested by the Littlest One)

            Swish and swiped all the bathrooms
              Washed the manky fleeces that protect the back seat in my car from the mucky kids
                Half an hour of ironing
                  Ordered Littlest One's iPod for him using his b'day money

                  Did monthly flea treatment on both pets

                    Meal planned till half term
                      Sorted out for Bin day

                      Made homemade fishcakes 

                      Put a heap of stuff in the garage

                      Painted my nails
                      Cleared up the kitchen AT LEAST three times
                        Filled up the dog food container from the big bag lurking in the garage
                          Made berry & apple crumble
                            Homework and reading with the kids
                              Did a bit of crockpot freezer bag menu research  just need to clear the freezers now.

                              See how on fire I was?? Amazeballs. 

                              And most importantly I planned out a new weekly routine using this gorgeous free planner from

                              So far today I've drunk coffee and tea and faffed about on my laptop.

                              Maybe I haven't changed so much just yet..

                                Sunday, 23 September 2012

                                .. Lazy Sunday

                                All four of us squeezed in for cups of tea and juice in bed

                                Wellies hastily shoved over stay-in-all-day joggers to give the dog a quick walk in the rain

                                Mid morning bacon sarnies for breakfast

                                Rainy days meaning family movie watching and sneaky snoozes, skootched up on the sofa 

                                Lazy dog enjoying the attention

                                Flowers opening and bringing the outdoors in

                                Cake eating and game playing whilst Dad watched F1

                                A teeny glass of wine whilst cooking a roast

                                Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory  - the original and best

                                A very naughty roast dinner on our knees whilst we watched films

                                Duck fishing in the bath

                                Hooky in front of the fire..