Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Cheap as chips

We all love a bargain right? Well I'm sure you'll be impressed with this one. A supermarket find. About 5min before closing time. Mr Petit Filoux pointed them out and I just couldn't believe my luck. Not the apples, those are from the garden. No no, look behind.

Aren't they beautiful? So so colourful. This is where when I'll be buying my flowers from now on. They ask silly prices for flowers here at the market, and I refuse to pay high prices for flowers that don't even smell or last very long. At least when you pay 29p to 69p a bunch, there's only smiles all round.

Even more smiles when you get to enjoy said flowers in a bargain jug, found in a tiny little charity shop in Staffordshire last week. I did indeed take 10min out of my working day to peruse around the place and it was oh so worth it. Got a couple more treasures, but will save those for another day! Before I go though, have a look at the other bunch of flowers I got for under a quid. Quite a good flower day I reckon! It's one flowery happy home :-)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Matching frocks

Do you ever get the feeling that something just Has. To. Match? No, just me? Well, maybe I take it to the extreme sometimes, but when I came home to find a delightful and most useful addition to our bathroom, I knew I had to tweak something. It's not like there's some sort of colour scheme in there to be fair, but there was something that just stood out and I couldn't let it slip. It's a room that gets very much used, and I want it to look as pretty as possible while staying practical.

Enter a crochet hook and some yarn. Add a little time, some measurements, double crochet, some frogging and a little more patience.

What comes out? A cover for my contact lenses liquid bottle. I'm starting to feel more and more that unless packaging is stylish, I have little time for it. And this bottle as it was originally definitely didn't help the bathroom look. There's still much to be done of course, but I reckon this little crochet coat helps quite a bit. (Yeah, I'm thinking calling it a bottle 'coat' sounds pretty cool. And probably makes me sound fairly mental. I can live with that.)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Happiness is where the heart is

I felt this was especially true during the last week or so, when I was sent away for work and didn't particularly enjoy it. I'd left my heart at home and felt rather miserable so far away  from it. Having just moved in my first proper home, I felt a little hard done by to have to stay away for so long, which probably didn't help. But work being work, there wasn't much I could do about it. So after a few tears and several phone calls, I managed to pull through.

This little old lady definitely helped me get through it. There's nothing quite like a truly lovely dog who greets you as you're only just getting out of the car, and within a few seconds goes to find the nearest stick (/twig/ piece of tree trunk, whetever was nearest!) to play. (And yes, I'm a little off cats at the moment after my delightful little shit of a cat-neighbour has decided to start using my lovely gardens as a toilet and using my cute little bench as a scratching post. Not impressed). The goat was equally lovely, although it was more interested in eating my jumper I reckon.

Friday, 9 September 2011

That favourite room?

Not that I'm trying to convince you or anything. But you tell me this wouldn't be your favourite room too if this was the view you had first thing in the morning?

Yep, thought so!

Have a lovely Friday everyone, the weekend is around the corner!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Who knew?

It would be so frigging difficult to choose a carpet colour. One that will match our future curtains and wall colours (that haven't been picked yet!). One I'll be happy with. One that doesn't look dirty before it's even been used.

I never knew there were so many shades of beige/cream/ off white. Someone help me.

Well actually I've been trying to help myself by making little colour montages...

Quite inspiring I think! And so much fun to make too... If only there was no budget to stick to!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Apples from the garden

I mentioned these muffins I made at the weekend in yesterday's post, and to be completely honest, I have to write down the recipe straight away or else I might forget it! The muffins are now all gone... I'm already thinking of making another batch..

The muffins were a bit of an experiment to be fair. Basically, we've got a wonky little apple tree growing in the back garden and the apples looked pretty good and ready to me on Sunday. So I plucked three to see what they were worth. We're pretty sure they're cooking apples, and I didn't feel adventurous enough to bite into one, so I decided to cook with them. "Cook" in the loosest sense of the word. I made muffins for goodness sake.

I used a Nigella Kitchen recipe as a basis and totally adapted it to what I had at hand and the fact that I'm pretty lazy. And don't own a dishwasher, so I did my utmost to only use one bowl. Washing up takes up waaayyyyy too much time in my life right now. Anyway. Here's what I used, and here's what I did.


  • 2 eggs
  • 100g honey (place your bowl on a scale!)
  • 100g vegetable oil (place your bowl on a scale!)
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 3 small apples, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 140g plain flour
  • 110g wholemeal flour

  • Preheat your oven to 160degreesC.
  • Line a muffin tray with cases. This makes 12 muffins by the way.
  • Mix the sugar and the wet ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add the apples.
  • Mix.
  • Add all the dry ingredients.
  • Mix.
  • Plonk the mixture into your lined tray.
  • Bake for 20min.
  • Leave to cool down for 5min in the tray then transfer to a wire rack. Scoff the lot 30min later.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

At the weekend I...

  • Despaired at the cloudy start to Saturday only to rejoice at the real summer's day that ensued.
  • Made the most of it by having our very first barbecue in our new house. Very first barbecue of the year too. Oh dear, in September, that says quite a lot doesn't it?!
  • Enjoyed some lovely wine brought back many moons ago from a holiday in the south of France. Oh memories...!
  • Made wasp traps... which didn't end up having a purpose as for some unknown reason, the wasps didn't come out that afternoon...
  • Watched a very poignant movie. Not exactly your Saturday night happy laugh-out-loud movie, but I'm pleased to have seen it. Another reminder of what human nature has done...
  • Used another spare notebook to make a house inspiration/ decoration ideas notebook. Lovely. Makes me drool, makes me dream people!!!
  • Had fun with the neighbour's cat. Felix is my new garden buddy. Every time you're out, he comes and finds you. A nice cat that enjoys human company and snail hunting (see below).
  • Went on another snail hunt. Felt very brave and went on a slug hunt too. During the day, the little buggers rest under bricks we have in the back garden.
  • Made myself feel quite ill due to the above point. Actually physically unwell. I did find the biggest slug I'd ever seen in my entire life.
  • Started making plans for Christmas. I know, I know. I wish train/plane/hotel companies allowed us to be a little more spontaneous, but this is the kind of world we live in.
  • Made some apple and cinnamon muffins. Best ever. I'll try and post the recipe later on this week. If you know what's good for you, you'll try it.
  • Enjoyed the torrential rain we had on Sunday by lighting all the candles in the living room. It felt magical! Hey, if you can't beat it, you might as might as well make the most of it!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Christmas presents

Before you run a mile, I'm not talking about Christmas 2011. Oh no. Go back a few months and set your mind back to Christmas 2010. You were given plenty of lovely presents, but unfortunately one was a replica of something you'd been given only a year before - and there's only so many pasta machines one person needs. So you apologise profusely and obtain a voucher instead of the original present. You buy yourself something with that voucher but realise that said item is not in pristine condition and decide to get replacement. You go to the shop, only to find they don't have any more in stock. So you leave with money in your pocket, instead of a voucher. Result! Suddenly a world of possibilities opens up before you and you consider spending your pennies somewhere else. What to choose, oh the dilemna! Suddenly, you think of little things you've been meaning to buy for some time, but couldn't quite justify the expense. But now, you can and it's really a Christmas present so it's allowed right? Oh yeah. I present to you my late 2010 Christmas presents. Chosen by me. It doesn't get any better I reckon! I feel like a kid in a sweet shop. Or an adult who's been to the library and come home with lots of goodies. Only these I get to keep :-)

:-) :-) :-)

Friday, 2 September 2011

Nearly there

Would you believe it, I've nearly finished my first item of handmade clothing!! I'm talking about this crochet top for those of you with a good enough memory!

The annoying thing is, in normal circumstances, I would have finished this about a month ago now. But throw in a house move in the equation, and suddenly things become a tad more difficult. No pins at hand, all packed in a box. No towels to pin garment to to block it, all folded and put away in a bag. And to be fair, even though I might have been able to retrive those items, I didn't think Mr Petit Filoux would have been overly impressed in having a bit of crochet drying amongst the mountain of boxes.

So it's there, patiently waiting to dry. It will be time soon, I promise. I'll make the time soon to finish it up, surely getting it bloked is already a massive step? It's a summer top after all, and I'd be truly gutted if the summer came and went and it didn't see the light of day (and a little warmth? Indian summer anyone?).

So hang in there, it won't be much longer now before I can sew in the ends, stitch it together and crochet the final bits. May not sound like the most exciting bit of crafting, but let me tell you, I can't frigging wait.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Garden notes


Take an old but much loved notebook you've had since university.

Carefully count the number of pages left and work out how many you can get for each letter. Yes that's right, you're now going to be cutting each page very carefully in order to create "alphabet dividers"! Such fun!

Find those magazine cuttings you've been keeping for a while because you didn't want to throw all those clever tips away. Stick them on the appropriate pages.

Enjoy your lovely new garden notebook and think of all the wonderful things to come in those little outdoor spaces of yours :-)

Finally, think about improving the look of the dividers and the cover too - I was just too excited to show this to you, I just didn't take the time to finish it properly!