Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tea Time Catch Up

Welcome on this lovely sunny Saturday, how lovely of you to have some time to spend with me this weekend.
I do love catching up with friends on the weekend, the week seems to go by so fast that I never have much time for it during the week.

You are in luck today as I made some Caramel Oat Slice the other day and there are still a few squares left, so let me put them on a plate for you and we can have a drink with them whilst we catch up.

This month for me has been very quiet, I have spent the whole month so far being reasonably good and resting in the house following my surgery at the beginning of July. Everything went well and I am mending nicely thank you.
Only problem is my current addiction to the computer game 'The Sims'.
What else was I meant to do sitting in the lounge all day on the lap top? I surfed all the sites I wanted and caught up with Bloglovin on a regular basis but that still left me with too much time on my hands!!

I guess the biggest thing to tell you about is the baby shower we had on the weekend just gone, not my baby shower by the way! My cousin's, she is due in September. Her sister just had a baby back in June so we are in baby fever at the moment in the family.
She decided that she didn't want a traditional shower with lots of ladies sitting around eating little sandwiches and blue cake (is a boy after all) and playing silly party games, she wanted a family get together where everyone could come together and have time to chit chat and a great laugh.
Talking of family here let me show you the crazy snaps from the baby shower, even though we were there to celebrate the little boy that is arriving soon unfortunately this little girl stole the show and the hearts of all that held her.

Yes my brother is actually feeding a baby
but the picture was meant to be of the 3 adults!
My Uncle and I while my brother go gaga over baby Leah

The star of the afternoon, baby Leah

My 12 yr old nephew thought she was adorable

This was him joking about how he could maybe get one to take home!

My husband being very cheeky to my cousin

Wish I could admit to not knowing any of this rabble
but the couple wearing glasses are Leah's parents!

Quick there is a baby.....let's take a 1000 pictures of her!

My own baby

Some more party rabble!

Every good Grandma making sure the baby stayes warm

 So that was our family rabble getting together to worship a darling little new girl who has joined the ranks of the family, poor wee thing, especially as once the royal baby was born her mother posted on Facebook that 'a future husband had been born!' and yes she stands a chance as she is half British.

Well I understand that this is turning into a busy weekend with others to catch up with, so I will let you go now. It is so lovely of Abi to hold these monthly catch ups so we can all visit each other for tea and cake, well if you are serving some.
I thank you for stopping by and I look forward to catching up with you again next month.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Winter Time

I wish I could say I had chosen the right time of year to stay inside and recover.
To an extent I have, it is winter after all, a little frightful outside at times.
But on the other hand we are having a really nice winter with brilliant blue skys

and then the occassional morning of fog

However the warm temperatures are making it really nice to be outside during the day which in turn is reeking havoc with the plants!
Ok so June 1 was officially the start of Winter and Sept 1 is officially start of Spring, so that makes us slap bang in the middle of why do I have daffodils already in flower??

the white plant is ornamental kale

Which means the vegetable garden is going crazy

and I finally have my first 2 limes on my tree

but on the other hand we have all the mystery of winter happening in the garden with the spiders leaving cute little webs all over the grass each morning

I don't do cold very well but I am loving being at home this winter.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Game Time

When we have a weekend at home you can guarantee there will be some arguments over who's turn it is on the Xbox or the Wii or even the computer!
Sometimes it is my husband that joins in the fun and I observe and cringe from the side-lines. I have even been known to be the mean mummy and simply press that ultimate know the one I am talking about.....the ON/OFF switch on the side of the tv!

Occasionally I manage to distract the whole family with something simple like a board game and then suddenly the music goes on the stereo and we enjoy some peaceful family time playing a game.

This is what happened one Saturday evening and it was a great time.
Everyone had a drink and all was right in the world for a time.

So much so that it extended on into Sunday and we all sat round the table eating our sandwiches at lunchtime having another game of Rummikub.

The boys are slowly getting the hand on how to manipulate the tiles on the table and we are also trying to teach them strategy!
We have been known to help them with some moves to hopefully show them some ways to do things that will benefit them, sometimes it sinks in and sometimes not so much, but they have both managed to win a few games so sometimes we leave them to their own devices and they do just fine whipping mum and dad!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Yesterday or Was That Last Week?

Even though I am sat at home not doing too much for July, the days can sometimes pass by very quickly.

Last week I decided that as I had nothing else to do then I would update myself with my scavenger hunt finds and see what else was needed and give it some thought as to how and where I would find such items.

#1 open air market - now this has to be easy, there is the farmer's market and another local market held every other weekend just down the road, just need to actually remember to attend one of them!

#6 someone or something taking a nap - come on I have 2 cats in the house, they do nothing but nap, just need to once again remember to get the camera out and take a picture!

#13 a fence - nice one outside my house or the house next to us or the one next to that or even the other 30 in the street!

And so the list goes on.
Of course the 1 item that everyone is having fun with is item 12 a cloud in the shape of something.

So I went outside to see what I could see;
I spy with my little eye.....

Not a cloud in the sky!
Hang on it is meant to be winter, aren't there meant to be clouds with the sun just barely shining through, perfect for shapes in the sky?

Today I remembered that I had this post to write and thought I would once again, while I had the time, check outside to see if I was going to be in luck with #12?

I spy with my little eye.....

True winter skies full of fog!
Which means that by lunchtime we will have blue skies again with not a cloud in the sky as the sun will have burnt away the fog.

Hopefully by September I might get to see a cloud?

Month in Numbers

Over the last few months I have seen people write a post about their month in numbers.

I never thought anything of it much.
Happily read their post, loved some of the things they had aspired to do in that month and life just went on.
One day however I suddenly wanted to know more! What was this all about, why were they writing this stuff down and how were they doing it?
Up popped a link to Julie's place and suddenly I understood this whole amazing world in numbers so much more.

Now I am a numbers person, drives my husband mental that I know my credit card number and can just type it in when required, might also drive him mad because that makes it so easy to use online when I want to buy something!

I was intrigued, I wanted to join in and have a go, so I did.
So I give you my month in numbers for June 2013

Apart from deciding how to display the numbers for the month, it was a lot easier than I thought to gather information.
July is already being collected and I look forward to collect more over the next few months.
If you fancy a different type of blog post that shows what you have been up to then why not consider rushing over to Julie's Notes on Paper and start compiling your own month in numbers.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sweet Memories

When I was in hospital for my surgery I made sure I took some nice shower gel with me as I knew that the soap they supplied could be yucky stuff, even if it was a private hospital.

Luckily a few days before going in I found a nice little gift sample package of mango shower gel and body lotion from the Body Shop in the back of my bathroom cabinet. Sure my Sister in Law must have gifted it too me a few years back when she worked there.
It was perfect to take with me, a nice refreshing fruity wash, just what I knew I would need in those first few days post surgery, and it worked too.

Mum stayed with Steve and the boys for the days I was in hospital, helping out, doing school runs and generally just being there so Steve had the freedom to come to the hospital to be with me if required without having to worry about the boys. It was a great help and we are eternally grateful that we have a Grandma that is such an important part of our sons lives.

On the Friday, mum brought the boys to the hospital to see me straight from school. She was leaving that afternoon and so we decided the boys could sit with me in the hospital for an hour or so, watching tv (obviously!) until Steve finished work and would collect them.
Alex looked like he had joined the mud wrestling team when he arrived at the hospital, so we decided to put him in the shower real quick. Joy of having your own private room, oh and the fact the nurses were leaving me alone as I could have actually gone home that day but decided to stay and have just one more day of rest before going home.

Now my 2 boys don't like showers, they love them.
They will happily while away 20-30 mins in the shower with the warm water running down and lots of bubbles from the shower gel.
Alex did just this at the hospital, it was a whole room shower with a wet floor, so we closed the door to the room and left him to it. Mum got a little concerned after 10 mins that he was taking so long having a 'quick shower' so she opened the door and all we got was this huge waft of hot sweet fruity mango come our way as Alex was happily having a shower covering himself in my shower gel.

He snuggled with me afterwards when he was all warm and sweet smelling, just a perfect snuggle to have whilst in hospital recovering.
Thanks Alex for the sweet memories.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Patience of a Saint

Patience of a Grandfather

A woman in a supermarket is following a grandfather and his badly behaved 3 year-old grandson.

It's obvious to her that he has his hands full with the child screaming for candy, cookies, you name it. Meanwhile, Grandpa is working his way around, saying in a controlled voice, "Easy William, we won't be long . . . easy, boy."

Another outburst and she hears the grandpa calmly say, "It's okay, William, just a couple more minutes and we'll be out of here. Hang in there, boy"

At the checkout, the little terror is throwing items out of the cart and Grandpa says again in a controlled voice, "William, William, relax buddy, don't get upset. We'll be home in five minutes, stay cool, William."

Very impressed, the woman goes outside where the grandfather is loading his groceries and the boy into the car. She says to the elderly man, "It's none of my business, but you were amazing in there. I don't know how you did it. That whole time you kept your composure, and no matter how loud and disruptive he got, you just calmly kept saying 'things would be okay.' William is very lucky to have you as his grandpa."

"Thanks," said the grandpa, "but I'm William. The little shit's name is Kevin."

Monday, July 08, 2013


So I go away for 1 week and suddenly I have so many posts to read on the blogs I follow!
Either I follow too many blogs or the ones I love catching up with are super good at posting lots of posts!

However seeing as I am resting up for the next week or so following surgery then I have all the time in the world to read the 63 unread posts that are showing on Bloglovin.
Yes I ventured out and joined Bloglovin.
Even by following Abi's little demonstration video I was able to set up little groups for the different types of blogs I follow and suddenly I can see what I want to read now and what I want to read when I have more time etc.

And time is something I suddenly have plenty of.
Believe me when you sit down and wish you could stay there and not do anything it is a lovely thought, until such time as you do actually have to sit there and do nothing, and I mean nothing......

No washing
No cooking
No cleaning

Ok so I am happy to not have to do any of that for a week but it is difficult to sit knowing the vacuuming needs doing, that the table needs wiping etc.
You also don't want to sound too nagging from your place in the chair with the blanket wrapped round you as you try so hard to point out that said jobs need completing.

But I really can't complain. All the washing has been done and is dry. The house has been vacuumed and the bathroom cleaned, well sort of. And last night we had roast chicken for dinner and it was so nice that I didn't cook it.
Now I remember that my husband is a great cook and I think there will be some turning of tables when I am back up and running, maybe like he can be in charge of dinner every Sunday or something like that?

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Scavenger Hunt # 14 - Stained Glass Object

At the beginning of June, my cousin kindly gave our family a darling little girl to swoon over.

Whilst visiting them all at the birthing centre I happened to notice the beautiful stain glass around the door.

So last week, the boys and I paid the centre another visit, but this time we only got as far as the door!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Cooking Shows

My husband watches anything on tv and I mean anything. Cooking shows, shows about travel, history of islands, beaches or animals.
It does have its useful moments, like when he will tell me the most useless information which actually turns out to be quite interesting. He seems to suck up all the information that is shown and saves it for a rainy day.

However he is good at recording most of the cooking shows and suddenly the boys have got into watching them.
Jamie Oliver's 15 minutes meals, Nigel Slater's dishes, Secret Meat business etc
And occassionally there will be a dish on the show that we all fall in love with and I just know I am going to have to recreate said dish.

This Chicken and Leek Pie was one such dish.
Nigel Slater completed it on one of his shows and it was simple and looked devine. Having since made said dish I can was devine.

Cook chicken thighs in milk with peppercorns, onion and bay leaf

Fry bacon and then add leeks to soften, then add chopped chicken from the bone

Seal all in a large sheet of pastry on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes

When nice and golden it

It went down very well in ths house and was even better the next day as left overs.
There is a link up above to the recipe but I will give it too you here as well

Chicken and Leek Pie (Nigel Slater - BBC tv)

2 chicken thighs
2 chicken legs  (although I just used 4 thighs)
8 peppercorns
1/2 onion
1 bay leaf
milk (enough to cover chicken pieces)
6 rashers of bacon, cut into small pieces
30g butter
2 leeks, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tsp of Dijon Mustard (I just used multi grain that I had in the fridge)
2 sheets of puff pastry
1 egg for glazing
parmesan cheese, grated for topping

Pre heat oven to 200c/400F/ Gas 6
In a saucepan add chicken, peppercorns, onion and bay leaf.
Cover with milk. Bring to boil and simmer for 25 mins until chicken is cooked.
Fry bacon in the butter, add leeks and allow to soften
When chicken is cooked, removed from milk and flake off the bone. Add to leek and bacon.
Add flour and cook through for 2 mins before straining the milk into the pan to remove the onions etc.
Add the mustard and stir constantly to make a thick sauce.
Roll out pastry to a rectangle about 5mm thick, lay on a baking tray.
Place filling onto the pastry sheet and then cover with remaining sheet of pastry, crimping the edges to seal.
Brush with beaten egg to glaze and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden

Monday, July 01, 2013

Scavenger Hunt # 10 - Outside Bench

It seems nowadays that everywhere you turn there is a bench to sit down on, well that is until you have to take a picture of one for a project you are completing, like the Scavenger Hunt! Then suddenly they all up and walk away!

We have a new building opening this week at the hospital and they very kindly put some new benches outside.

I thought they looked very smart indeed.