Monday, 31 August 2015

Autumn on its way folks..

I love Autumn..and i think its coming..hopefully we will have some more warm days to come but we have been putting the lamps on at about 8ish in the evenings.
We usually go for a nice cup of tea and chat in the evenings outside in the garden..the last week or so we have had to come in earlier as it has got dark and a little chilly..i will definitely miss these evenings when its too dark.
The bonus is we have seen lots of bats flitting about and have been able to spot stars and see the beautiful moon all whilst having a cuppa..very relaxing.
I have always loved this time of year,,kind of like a slow down period from rushing around and being busy.
Drawing the curtains and getting cosy..lighting lamps and doing those things you just don't seem to have the time for ..for me over the Autumn and Winter i plan next years projects,what we are going to grow on the allotment and discuss our successes and failures in that department.
For us going for long walks this time is an absolute pleasure,the tree's changing colour into brilliant reds and yellows and golds..amazing it can fairly take your breath away at times.
I have a slow cooker and this time of year i start thinking about casseroles and stews and thick soups..porridge in the mornings as well.
I get the girls in bed and put on my warm pj's with some very thick bed socks..and sit and knit and read or like this year i plan on learning to crochet.
I enjoy the changing of the seasons..some don't and do nothing but moan..thats up to them.
Embrace the changes and see the new beauty that every season brings to us.
What do you do over the Autumn/Winter months?
sara

Making the most of just about anything i can..even if its 30 plums.

Hi all..last week we picked our very first crop of plums..we were surprised at how many we got from our little tree.

 I found an amazingly simple plum jam recipe..just sugar and half a lemon.
Leave it for an hour or more..covered in sugar and lemon juice

Bring to a boil..and boil til it thickens up

Remove lemon.

Bottle it..it will keep in the fridge for 3 months,if it lasts that long.
Its a lovely dark ruby colour..and delicious.It smells plummy too..i have got mine in the fridge ready for toast in the mornings.
We had some tomatoes ripen as well..not many but enough..they are 2 different varieties ..
Moneymaker is the big one..Gardeners Delight is the little one.

I chopped them up with some courgettes and a shallot

A little olive oil and paprika..i roasted them .

In 2 tubs for freezing.
I like to do some of my veggies like this..that way i have a taste of summer in the depths of winter.
More beetroot for winter.
I also try to make the best of our money.
I don't have much money so mending clothing and household items is important for me. I look after what i have and appreciate i could be a lot worse off.
I love going shopping but realize i can't chuck things in my basket willy nilly like i used to do.
I take a list with me..i shop around and stick to my budget .
By changing my shopping habits i have saved quite a lot on my grocery bills..no one has gone hungry and having an allotment has eased the bill also.
I bake and freeze..all my home baking is made using smartprice or basic range ingredients.
I make jam and chutneys..
I plan meals around my cupboards and freezer
I home school so this time of year is good for me to stock up on supplies,,pens,pencils,paper,card and paints.
I have been selling lots of items on ebay and made quite a bit from it.
I used my ebay sales money to purchase a lovely bundle of clothes for Fern for winter which in turn means Iris gets some new to her clothes from Fern's wardrobe.
I also used my ebay sales money to start Christmas present shopping..a few things have arrived and been put away.
I did splash out and bought some darning mushrooms for all the socks and jumpers that need doing and some lovely balls of wool to make a little lap blanket. A bonus with the wool was 2 sets of knitting needles and 2 crochet hooks..i can't crochet but am planning on some Youtube tutorials over the next few months so i can learn.




I plan ahead for birthdays,christmas,easter etc.
When i shop i always keep an eye out for any bargains.
Like these jars below

Lovely Mason jars..i have my plum jam in one and pickled beetroot in the other.and at 99p each a bargain,they will last for years.
Also little things like this

Its a certain little girls birthday in October..but i saw this and at 19p i couldn't resist..plus i will give it to my dd to use for her dd's birthday in the December.
Using the internet for recipes and school work is invaluable as well..the library is one of our favourite places to go ...i love it there and we probably get far too many books but its worth it.
Buying from charity shops is a must at times..i always carry a small little book with me that has up to date sizes for everyone..and it has the things i need on it..
Wool
Jumpers
Cardigans
Jeans
Skirts
Dresses
Tops..etc
Jigsaws
Books
Games

i also have another little list..this one is for me and Simon..
Gardening books
Cookery books.
Storage tins/jars
Enid Blyton books
Ladybird books
Cecily Mary Barker books..rare but i do find occasionally.
Anything suitable for girls as presents.
I have had some amazing finds in charity shops in the past..unfortunately some of the shops have put up the prices and make it hard to shop there when i can go else where and buy the item i need brand new(you know who you are charity shops).
So there is my making the most of what i have..what about you ladies/gents..anything to add or advice for me.
take care
sara





Baby frogs and Dragonfly eggs..

Hello all..Wow what a grey day it is here..it was raining when we were rudely awakened by a Sylvanian House falling off the wall and scaring the living daylights out the girls who were sitting up talking..we both jumped out of bed and went running..no one was hurt and nothing broken..but what a wake up call.

As my title says we have baby frogs and dragonfly eggs..we were getting a little worried about the froglets we haven't seen any at all..normally we have a lot doing fast little jumps across the garden looking for a damp spot to hide.
Hubby managed to catch one


Look how tiny they are

Can you spot him..all his little mates are there as well.
It was sheer chance Simon spotted him hopping about..we pulled back the ivy a little and there are lots there.
So small and cute but very very fast.I now have to watch where i walk and plonk my wash basket..i wouldn't want to squash any of them.

We saw the Dragonflies last week..3 of them..they are quite big and zip about..i couldn't get a picture at all..but i did see one of them on my Bullrushes..look what they left behind.
Lots of little eggs.

The Bullrushes have done amazingly well this year..the wind and rain today has made them bend over a bit..but hopefully they will right themselves.
So have you spotted any little critters in your gardens?
take care
sara

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Wedding photo's..

Hi all..sorry they are late folks its been hectic here..not a moment to ourselves..

Iris pretty in pink

Fern beautiful in white

My gorgeous Fionna

Fern,Iris,Emma and Hollie

Andrea,Heather,Angela and beautiful grand-daughter Leah

Unknown to bridesmaids their dresses turned see-through in sunlight

Fionna and her husband Matt.

Wedding cake

Gorgeous cupcakes

All the little ones having fun..grandson Sam in his suit
Well it all went without a hitch thankfully..they got married and i blubbed all over..it was so emotional to see.
I started to cry when she came in looking radiant on her dads arm.
As it turned out it was so hot..muggy and then chucked it down but we got photo's done before it did..we could hear it rumbling with thunder whilst doing them.
The reception was low key as they wanted..the food seemed to keep coming.
Unfortunately Fern was poorly and i had to take her home early..poor Fern.
Iris had a great time with her dad and all the other little ones there..dancing and playing..she was worn out when she got home.
Just one thing..my dress was amazing ..yet the zip got stuck halfway up and it would not go further..i got all sweaty trying to do it up..i gave up and just kept my handbag over it..thing is when i got home i couldn't get the darn thing down either..so there i was sweating to death and stuck in god damn frilly dress with poofed up petticoat..i had to get down on my hands and knees and get Fern to pull it over my head in the end.
I swear i popped like a cork out a bottle..so relieved..and instantly felt so much cooler..laid on the floor in my petticoat and bra for a few minutes to cool down..
Will have a few more pictures in the week to come i hope.
I hope that your all ok.
take care
sara

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Dentist!!!!

Hi all..
Today i had to go to the dentist for a filling.
This fills me with a terrible sense of dread.
My dentist Mr.Smith is absolutely the most charming and gentle man..he knows how terrified i am and is so patient with me.

I have gas and air to help me cope with it..its not the needles or the work he is doing its the drill..i literally cannot bear it at all. I have the injections no problem and don't mind him poking about..but the moment he starts the drill i shake and feel sick and almost burst into tears.
Mr.Smith is quick and efficient and then lets me literally run out the surgery.

He recommended i use an MP3 to listen to loud music,close my eyes,breathe the gas and relax..its sounds like a kerfuffle and a bit of a weird thing..but it works and i have my fillings no problem. Its before hand,i work myself up into such a state,,i feel sick and so on the verge of doing a runner.
I don't hate the dentist at all..just that darn drill.
I really don't feel safe having it in my mouth..nothing bad has ever happened to me with the drill so i don't know where the fear of it has come from.
All this has kind of made me paranoid about having good teeth,which i really don't..but my children do..they never miss check ups and i am religious about teeth brushing..i would hate for them to suffer the agony of an abcess as i have several times.I do look after my teeth but sometimes its the luck of the draw and i got the poop end of the stick.



Today i found out that i have to have one extracted..the filling fell out a month ago and it can't be saved..and guess what i don't mind having them out at all..that does not fill me with fear or make me feel funny. So 3 weeks today i will have a sore mouth but i will be ok with that.
How about you ladies..do you have a fear of the dentist ?
Take care
sara

All smiles til bedtime..

Hello all ..i hope that your ok.
We had the twins on Sunday for our DD who has hurt her back and could barely walk..she has pulled a muscle and been given some painkillers from the doctor.
They are so gorgeous..but thats half the problem..you get reeled in by the cuteness and gummy smiles..but then Wham..too late you have been carried away talking,playing,cooing to them..they are over tired and boy have they got lungs on them.
We survived..and have to give total credit to our DD..how she manages them both on her own is amazing..we were drained when they went home.
Anyway i had my camera out and was clicking away..so here you go some baby pictures to go aww to.
Olivia with grandad

Esme just about to smile

Olivia talking to grandad

OMG..grandad am naked here

Olivia having a nap

Esme having a nap


Just chilling...
Andrea had to take the twins to the hospital for their assessment and health check this week..both have been discharged and are doing brilliantly. They were both weighed too.
Olivia weighs 12lb 11oz
Esme weighs 12lb 2oz.
So they are both little chunkies who love nothing more than to tell you a story and give big smiles..beautiful.
take care
sara

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Wedding countdown...and hair dye disaster.

Hello all i hope you all well..

Well this weekend our 2nd eldest daughter Fionna gets married to her lovely fella Matt.
She has organized it all herself,paid for just about everything themselves too.
I am so proud of her and Matt..they are a beautiful couple who are blatantly still very much in love after 10 years together.Matt adores our daughter,looks after her and is also a brilliant father.
We couldn't ask for more in a son-in-law.
As its the wedding countdown we have all tried on our fancy dresses..the girls outfits were bought earlier in the year..i was hoping they hadn't had a growth spurt,they haven't and the dresses look gorgeous.
Sandals were bought and accessories sorted..i know how i am doing their hair..i have a pony tail looper and some very pretty flower hairclips.
My dress kinda fits..its a size 12..its needs the shoulder straps shortening and a small tuck in the back..it is beautiful though..Navy blue 1950's style swing dress with the nipped in waist and full petticoat underneath..i get very annoyed at times when i buy dresses..if i buy a 10 its uncomfortable,yet a 12 is too big..so i am stuck literally in the middle.I have navy suede court shoes and some navy lace gloves..ooh posh.
The dress is absolutely stunning though..i feel like a princess in it..i promise to post pictures of all of us dressed up.
I have washed and ironed Sam's white shirt,his shoes need a polish and his suit is absolutely fine so he is sorted.
Simon has had his final suit fitting and only his shoes need a polish and he is done.

As its a special occasion we all had our haircut last week,the girls had their hair trimmed at the back and fringes done.
Sam had a crewcut courtesy of me..i love my clippers saved me a fortune over the years.
Simon is bald so no expense there..i have to add bald by choice..he shaves his head rather than go bald slowly, he took the plunge and did it..thing is it really suits him.
I had my hair trimmed and thinned out..me thinking that all my old hair dye will be gone..o no it hadn't.
I decided to colour my hair this morning..Hubby very kindly mixes it and then puts it in my hair..he has big hands and gets good coverage.
I left it for the 30 minutes..went to wash it out and what a shock i got..i looked in the mirror to see what colour it was and to my shock i have some silvery,grey purplish streaks in it.
I didn't panic but just put the conditioner on and left it for 3 minutes..washed it out and o flipping snowballs its still there..so now i have lovely honey blonde hair with some rather interesting colours in it.
I keep looking in the mirror hoping they are fading but no..if anything they seem more pronounced.
Its just typical really..big occasion and i have weird coloured hair.

Last year i used a different hair dye to the one i always use and ended up looking like a bloody dandelion it was that yellow.I ended up using Touch of Silver shampoo to dumb it down..then had my haircut again to remove all traces of it..but even then when i dyed it next i had the same coloured streaks in my hair..weird or what..well my handsome husband has assured me it looks good and the girls (who are renowned for saying what they think)say it looks nice.Its too late to try and fix it and i have no idea how much it would cost so its got to stay i'm afraid.
At least you will be able to spot me on the wedding photo's.
What about you ladies have you ever had a hair dye situation?
take care
sara


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Home Happenings..

Hello all..o my i hope any of you that got the rain today are ok?..its only just started to rain here..and its very muggy.
Its been yet another busy time..more veg pick and frozen from the allotment..its all been weeded again..we keep hoping to bump into our allotment neighbour..to politely ask him to stop running his car wheels over the end of our plot..he has ruined quite a few potato plants..its not like he can't see what he did..so rude.

I have been bitten by something nasty..it must have got into my top and took a bite well three actually..they are quite swollen,red and feel hot..i have put calamine lotion on them but to no avail.Hopefully it will die down in a day or two.

Anyway back to what we have been doing..i painted the Pergola..it was a faded grey not the green we originally painted it..we have the paint and the time so we got on with it..i admit it looks so much better and hopefully it will last a few more years..i painted my downstairs windowsills and my dilapidated meter box.
My before pic when i had just done a little bit

looks much better.




Beautiful French beans picked,blanched and frozen..we already had some and they taste so lovely.

I did some more baking and forgot to take pictures of the Choc-chip cake and the Chocolate Choc-chip cake..its all gone so tomorrow i will be baking again.


My husband had to nip to town to pick up some pills and he nipped into Lidl on his way home..look what he got me..



Isn't it lovely..its been repotted into a big glass bottle..and it will reside in my bathroom.
 Sam put some slabs underneath the swings for me..the grass was dead and the ground was solid..scuffed away by little feet swinging..i did want to re-grass it over winter but the ground was like concrete..i spotted these 2 slabs hiding behind the shed..so out they came and my lovely son put them in for me..and the girls promptly decorated them..
I went shopping and picked up some bargains from Wilko's..5p a packet brilliant..i only bought what i needed..and added them to my seed box
 These seeds are my husbands..i bought them off Ebay for him..they all are good for another 2 years so hopefully i won't need to buy any next year.
 My seed box..i can't actually remember where i got it from.
 All packed and ready for next year.
I found our son's old walker in the attic..its handmade and just perfect..i was considering selling it but i can't part with it..so i am going to paint it a lovely Ruby Red and use it for decoration..

At the moment its being used by Iris to push her teddies around and play at being Doc Mcstuffins..so sweet.

I found these old Barbie backgrounds last week in the attic..not sure what to do with them yet..i was thinking a kind of art project..anyone have any ideas.


We often just have a wander around the garden to see what we can see..we spot butterflies,bugs,try to count the fish and spot little froglets in the pond..well look who we found hiding in the Bull Rushes..
Four little frogs..Derek,Eric,Terry and Barry..how do i know that well Iris told me that is what they are called..who am i to argue with that.
We also love to cloud watch..


Looks like someone put a knife through it..


Gap in the sky..
It was a beautiful afternoon just perfect for sitting and watching the world go by.

So ladies what have you been doing this week.
Take care
sara