Friday, 29 June 2012

Reading List

My whole reading list on here has been deleted,its not showing as im following anyone.So im now having to go through and re follow,It may take a while to get you all back.Today is little ones 4th birthday so we are off to Legoland.4 generations of my family are going .Pictures to follow.
Lastly if i have followed you could you put a link to your blog so i can re follow again ,might make it a bit quicker for me.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


My life seems to always have so much going on in it.Im sure Eastenders could get enough depressing inspiration for a weeks worth of programmes.
Thanks for all your lovely comments on previous postings.
My DS seems to be taking all his frustrations on his girls leaving out on his father an I at the moment.My youngest daughter (the voice of reason) says he is waiting for an apology from both of us on how he feels he has been treated over the whole drama between him and his sister (very long story) I have played back over and over in my mind what i have said and done and nothing warrants an apology,im the first to say sorry if i do something wrong as it plays on my mind.I feel if i apologies for the sake of it im admitting that his actions were OK and then it can all happen again.
Last night was our last Tuesday with the girls coming over,they seem very upbeat about it all,even though little one has now left playgroup( her friend cried) and big one leaves school today.They will be staying with my son from Thursday evening onwards and get picked up about 10 am on Monday.
Friday is little ones 4th birthday so we are all off to Legoland,we managed to get Corporate tickets through daughters work so have managed to get them alot cheaper.
Im still struggling on with the debt busting and have cut back drastically on my grocery spending as im using things up from the freezer.I have been putting my grocery money into a purse each week and what is left over is put to one side to go towards buying my woodburner.Its been a hard week with paying things off as i bank with Nat west the bank that has had all the technical issues,its now been a week and cheques that i have paid in have not gone onto my account,i have been told its a waiting game.

On a lighter note i got myself a book from Amazon with my Swagbucks vouchers its a lovely book and i want that life.

Im very excited about Paris,even though travel tickets cant be booked yet as DD hasn't got her passport back.This hasnt gone easy either.Because of her age her last passport was only valid for 5 years.She will now get a 10 year one,because we need it quicker than the 6 weeks now being quoted she has to go to London for an interview.Shes a British citizen with a passport that has only just expired and we have to go through all this hassle.Im not even allowed in the building with her as only one person is allowed in .Well thats happening on the 9th July so hopefuly on the 10th our transport can be booked.

Hope you all have a good day
until later

Monday, 25 June 2012


Sorry i haven't posted for a few days. This weekend we celebrated my OH's 50th Birthday.
It was touch and go whether it actually would go ahead as on Friday after all his moaning about wanting a party he decided Friday morning he didn't want one.By Friday afternoon he wanted a Party again.
So as Saturday was supposed to be the better day of the weekend,we invited about 20 people around.
Freezers were raided for as much suitable food as possible and then a trip to Iceland for the rest.I didn't spend a fortune .I worry about gatherings but apart from the rain,the BBQ not working(gas) and my eldest 2 children causing a bit of grief it went well.

I left the last few stragglers with OH and went to bed at about 1.30 am as a sucker for punishment i had to be up at 5am to take my youngest to work.

Sunday was OH's actual birthday not that he saw much of it as he didn't get up until well after 12..
DS even though a tad argumentative over the last few days has finally shared some wonderful news to most nearest and dearest,apart from eldest daughter who still doesn't know as he refuses to allow anyone to tell her.Thats a depressing story for another day. I digress never too old is going to be a nanny again...Baby is due 5th January.We did find out a while ago but it was hush hush.Its very sad that my lovely granddaughters are going to be so far away from little brother or sister and this is going to be another obstacle my son is going to have to overcome in making sure he gets up to Scotland on a regular basis.We now have less than a week before they move,sad.

2 of my little ladies are now laying.I had my first white egg ,I'm so looking forward to having that tomorrow.

Hope everyone is well
until later

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

1st Egg

One of my ladies has laid her first egg, small but perfectly formed.When i arrived home from work i looked in the nesting box and was disappointed at seeing no eggs.
I bent down to give them a talking too and low and behold there it was in the middle of the run.

 I do hope they get used to laying in the nesting box.
Still no decision made on who's going to Paris.Both my girls passports have expired.Eldest definitely wont be able to afford to renew yet and youngest has to renew hers soon anyway.

So its talk time. either OH goes and takes DD 2 ,I go with DD2 Or i go with OH but he will have to fit in with my plans,i want to site see not sit in a bar or restaurant. I found out today that we would be going by Eurostar because of where i live.Tim Burton exhibition is 11 am on the Saturday and takes a few hours.
Hotel isn't far from Louvre so maybe that could be Friday and the car taking us to and from exhibition could drop us near the Eiffel Tower after exhibition. Decisions , decisions.

Until later

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

What a day

There i was minding my own business ironing for a customer when my phone rang.I didn't recognise the number so didn't answer it because i was busy.Voicemail was left so i listened and was then in a state of shock.Apparently i had won a competition and this was the handling house confirming details stating an email was being sent and i had to confirm details.
You will never guess what i won.

2 nights in Paris staying in this hotel
with flights
limousine transfers
and tickets for the Tm Burton exhibition.

pretty amazing but as you all know thinks are never straight forward in my house.
The days we are due to go are 20th to 22nd July.The 21st July is my eldest daughters 21st birthday,
She is being taken for a spa day on her birthday 9 til 5 but i feel bad about being away .
OH wants to go but he hates Paris ( i know who hates Paris) and youngest daughter wants to go who would really appreciate it.

So who do i take,someone is going to be upset.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Eynsham Hall Hotel

We didn't set off until about 3pm yesterday as OH had to work.On our way we stopped to pick up a compost tumbler which i had got off Freecycle. It took us about an hour to get to the hotel which was on the outskirts of Oxford about 2 miles from Witney.
We drove down a long drive and saw the hotel at the end and it had the wow factor.We parked and went to check in and they couldn't find our booking,luckily they had rooms available but not in the main house.I was a bit disappointed until she told me we had a suite in one of the lodges.
We walked into our room and to the left was the bedroom to the right was another door which was a sitting room ( and another bathroom.It was very clean and very comfortable.We decided to drive into Witney for something to eat as we knew we could eat and drink for alot less than eating in the hotel.On returning to the hotel we went to our room and with a bottle of wine .We had a lovely evening.
The hotel is in extensive grounds so we went for a wonder the gardens were immaculate.

Breakfast this morning could not be faulted either, full English plus freshly cooked items. I had Poached eggs on English Muffins,delicious....

It was a nice sunny morning so we decided to visit a few places nearby before going home.
We went to Bibury


then stopped at an amazing farm shop just outside Abingdon.

A wonderful cheap break away from the norm...
Dinner out tonight was paid for courtesy of Clubcard vouchers and home just before the heavens opened.
I'm shattered now so time for bed.

until next time


Saturday, 16 June 2012

Christmas Present

On Christmas day last year an offer was advertised on MSE for £50 off hotel breaks through a certain site.DD2 decided that she would book us a 1 nights stay away as she had wanted to get us something else.So a hotel was chosen and it was decided we would go in the Summer(now that's a laugh).And today is the day we go,OH is working at the moment so we will be going this afternoon.Pictures will follow.It cost her just over £25 for bed and breakfast for both of us.
Picnic wine glasses are packed.we will pick up a couple of cheap bottles of wine for this evening.I cant wait.

My chickens still haven't laid,i know its early days they are about 19 weeks old now,we think the white one is older .
Sue if your reading this what do you think of this?

Our coop can be moved around so even though we want a bigger run for the girls, we want to keep them safe from our dog,even though she is being good with them and they don't bat an eyelid at her.Mia is from a rescue home and we were advised that she was there because she doesn't mix with other animals.So we don't want to risk it. She wont jump in  or break in we just need something so she knows her boundaries.I hope that makes sense.

Friday, 15 June 2012

My little jar of loveliness

Many thanks for the answers to yesterdays question.
I was up way to early this morning so decided to use my time wisely.I roasted the nuts on a low heat for about 10 mins (mini oven) let them cool down.Whilst this was happening i went down to open the greenhouse and water it,picked a few weeds from the raised beds and then sorted my little ladies out.Clean water ,obvious muck picked up and bedding fluffed up.(i know this isn't necessary but i like them to be comfortable lol)

Back indoors and its still only 6.10 am.... Skin rubbed off nuts very easily. Into blender and chopped to an inch of their life's.Dash of oil,salt and sprinkling of sugar and voila peanut butter ,popped into a sterilised jar and ready for me to try on my toast.Very nice it was too,not like i normally have a lot lighter in colour but i would imagine so much better for you.( i hope)

Now confession time i thought peanut butter was made with butter...Is it just me that's dense?

Here's where i got my inspiration its an American site

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Advice needed please...

I have found a recipe for homemade peanut butter,very straightforward apart from the bit where you have to remove the red skin off the nut,Does anyone know any easy way to do it?
I have shelled the monkey nuts but its going to take an age to peal them if i don't find an easier way.

I had a bit of a result today.In the post i had confirmation of my gas and electric going up(after negotiations my gas dd was reduced and my electric increased) so I'm now paying £5 extra a month on both.
Another letter was from the insurance company i have my buildings insurance with,giving me my renewal quote.(its separate from when we lived in a different house whilst repairs were being done) I got a quote for combining which was very good a saving on what i pay now.I then phoned Nat west who i have my contents insurance with to enquiry about either leaving or adding building insurance.Very unhelpful and a fee for leaving(£26) or a fee for adding.
Phoned 1st company back and asked if they could cover the leaving costs and the end result was an either better price £48 a month a saving off about £30.

I know that I'm charged for paying monthly but at the moment that's the only option at the moment.
But all in all a result I'm about £25 a month up now thanks to this reduction.

Its now pouring with rain again( makes a change)
So as i cant do anything in the garden i have been catching up on some blogs one in particular is Sue's
I have gone back to the beginning and its a great read.She has done a few challenges one of which was her spotty jug challenge.She worked out how much she normally spent on groceries got the cash out and anything left over went in her jug to save for her holiday.
Well I'm thinking of doing that.I want to cut back on my grocery spend so I'm going to put £70 in a separate purse and work really hard to reduce it and then any left is going into my saving pot for my woodburner.

So fingers  crossed
until later

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Its so cold

My house is so cold ,I'm sure its warmer outside but i refuse to put the heating on.
I have now decided as well as debt busting I'm going to try and save for a wood burner.It will take a while because you have to get a liner as well and get it fitted but I'm going to try.In the meantime I'm going to collect wood and chop it up and leave it to cure so when i eventually can afford it and its all fitted we will have some logs being prepared for future use.

Granddaughters came tonight its now less than 3 weeks until they move ...As i mentioned before we were hoping that we would be able to collect the girls from Manchester and bring them home once a month but after chatting to my big brother over the weekend i don't think any of us will be able to afford it.His eldest lives in Manchester and it cost him £100 in fuel there and back.So we will have to work something else out.

Decided to do a spot of baking this evening some lovely Chocolate Brownies,delicious even though i do say so myself.

My fluffy little ladies haven't laid me any eggs yet but it should be soon (hopefully)but they are lovely if anyone is debating having chickens i would highly recommend it.Even our dog has got used to them and they were never worried about her.
My wormery produced a nice big bottle of worm fertiliser i watered this down and used it on my vegetables .I cant believe how brave i am becoming.I can now pick up my worms and move them all be it with gloves on.

Hope everyone in blogland is well,
until later

P.s welcome to my new followers,

Sunday, 10 June 2012


I must admit i dont normally take much of an interest of where my food comes from.I would like to have higher morals and only have free range products but my budget just doesn't allow it. I have been catching up online a programme called Jimmy versus the big supermarket. The 2 i have watched have been about sausages and meatballs.He would like Tesco to have free range value products achieved by using bits of the animal not normally used.He made some sausages using the tongue and heart of the pig.Joe public tasted them and loved them but as soon as they found out what was in them they said they wouldn't buy them Im afraid  that would be me...
The other i watched was meatballs,He couldn't  make a cheaper alternative but what he did do was to get Tesco talking about stocking Rose Veal.Once again i had misconceptions about veal in this country but these have been put right now.A few farmers do produce veal but Tesco charge a small fortune something like £23 a kilo for veal from Europe where the welfare standards are poor.
At present male calf's in this country are shot within the first couple of days of life and burnt as there is no market for them.I'm sure if Tesco would support farmers ( and all the other supermarkets) to raise the males for rose veal (currently sold at £5 kilo) everyone would benefit.

Watch the programme if you can,next week is Chicken Kiev.

Talking about Chickens,I'm loving my hens I've only had them a week but they are adorable.No eggs yet but hopefully soon.

Blanched all my reduced veg and its all frozen in 2 portion bags.Hoping to be able to reduce my grocery budget again so more money can be put towards debt repayment.
My veg and fruit are slowly growing lots of flowers appearing on the cucumbers and broad beans.Picking the odd cherry tomato but not much else happening.

Now i have a question

When i do finally harvest all my tomatoes later in the summer what shall i do to preserve them.
Would love to hear all your tried and tested recipes for ketchup, chutneys etc.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Could someone please remind me of the date..

I cant believe its flaming feels like October .It looks like our hosepipe ban is going to be lifted very soon not that we actually need to water anything.
Had my utilities bill today my electricity monthly payment needs to go up my gas can come down so i think i have evened out.Just don't quite know how come we use so much electricity.

Whilst other half cooked dinner i made a curry in a hurry sauce to freeze, 4 bags of hopefully lovely curry sauce all made with store cupboard ingredients,here's the recipe taken from another blog i follow.

OH was rained off this afternoon so he came with me to Tesco to take back a paper shredder i had purchased that was useless.Ive changed it for a better one which actually shreds paper. The smallholder who we got our hens from recommended shredded paper in the nesting box and as we get loads of junk mail its another way to recycle it.We also stopped at a tyre firm where i asked if i could take a couple of old tyres which he didn't mind at all.Ive now stacked these on top of each other ,filled with compost and planted some leaks in them.( thanks Sue i pinched this idea from you)
I'm actually missing being able to potter in the garden, i wander up in the morning to look, flowers are coming on the cucumbers but not much else is happening.

Until later

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Back to normal

Jubilee party went well we had a lovely evening.I forgot to take photos but the little girls next door loved my cakes and even my egg sandwiches.I worked yesterday an extra job,cleaning the cleanest dining room ever and the strangest thing ever happened....
The lady in question is in the prime of her life and apparently she used to be a medium (not paid) and a healer.Well when i had finished she turned to ma and said that i have inner turmoil,2 members of my family are upsetting me with their actions ( my DS and DD don't speak to each other) She also said my mum is always with me and described her to me,told me the flowers she liked and the colour flowers she disliked. I was gobsmacked that this person i didn't know from Adam knew so much.It was amazing.

Back to normal work today and after work i went to Asda as i had read on Martin Lewis
they have loads of basic food stuff reduced to clear managed to find lots and for once managed to pick up loads of reduced veg (including asparagus)so had a blanching session and froze it all in portions.

Hens are doing well cant seem to stop myself from just watching them,garden is growing well.I think we have had enough rain now need some more sun to ripen the strawberries.
Debt busting is slow going haven't won the lottery so still just paying what i can, oh wait you actually have to buy a ticket to be in with a chance of winning,that's where I'm going wrong.

Hope you are all OK
until later

Monday, 4 June 2012


Morning all and welcome to my new followers,

The weather in my neck of the woods has been awful the only thing it was good for was the garden.Th baskets and veg are looking good.Except my cherry tree,not many cherries on it this year does anyone know why?
The chickens are settling in nicely.The 2 ginger/brown ones are the friendliest,OH is going to build me a bigger run for them so we can keep the dog away from them,she is getting better but you cant take any risks.
A few no spend days here which is great for the debt busting.
Our Jubilee party was postponed from yesterday because of the awful weather and was supposed to be today but most of the people down my lane are miserable and said if it wasn't going to be yesterday they couldn't come.Well its there loss a few of us are going into my neighbours for our on little party.

I'm off to bake some cakes now.
pictures to follow.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

New additions

Say hello to the new additions to our family.

They are a bit nervous so aren't venturing out much at the moment.All 3 are around the 17 week mark a few more weeks before they start laying but all 3 will lay a slightly different type of egg.
I have wanted hens for quite a while now so when neighbours got them OH said i could so i ordered the coup and today we went to choose our lovely ladies.
The all over ginger one is a Warren,docile and child friendly.
White one is a White Star
The other ginger one has black tail feather is a Columbian Blacktail.

Our dog has to learn to get on with them,thy are used to dogs as a few of them were running around the small holding we went too.

Im reading up lots of how to look after chickens but i know a few of you out there have them so any advice would be gratefully received