Thursday, 27 December 2012


Hello friends

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas doing lots of fun thing with love ones. We did.

Earlier this month I joined in with a snowflake swap run by Kate at  Kate partnered us all up and my partner was Maggie from We had to introduce our selves to our partner and set a price of what we were to spend and how many gifts to send each other and it had to include a snowflake either knitted, crocheted or stitched. You can find out what I got busy with by Reading Maggie's post.

This is what I received. A beautifully wrapped gift in festive tissue paper.

Inside was some lovely items.

Some lovely festive jam pot covers with ribbons and rubber bands.
Just what I was after to create lovely tops for some marmalades or chutneys for next Christmas 
Next there was a selections of similar festive fabrics with a few buttons and ribbons and cords. I'm not quite how I'm going to use these yet. I've had a few thoughts but can't make up my mind
yet. Don't they look nice?

There was also a garland of stockings that took pride of place pinned to the table covering under the tree. Lovingly placed by L and a crochetwd snowflake garland which I draped on our sideboard. Will find a better place for it next year.
This photo of the garland was taken on a dark cushion to show how pretty it is and next is the snowflake I hung in our tree right at the front.

 Thank you Maggie for all the lovely gifts.

To crochet the snowflakes it's a bit fiddly but so worth the effort so I may make some more for next  Christmas.                                               I'm going to go away now and think about my new year resolutions and possibly some challenges.

Enjoy the rest of the holidays and have a good new year.            Carolx


Friday, 21 December 2012

Chicken Liver Pate

Hello friends

How are your Christmas preparation doing?

Yesterday I made some pate amongst other things and I thought I would share my pate recipe with you. I don't have proper measurements as I just through things in.
Sorry there are no pictures as the finished product was not very photogenic.

1 Pkt of Chicken livers (trimmed )
Garlic (as much or as little as you like)
Some onion finely chopped(I only use a little as I have a problem digesting them, but you can use a whole one)
4 Sundried tomates - optional
Butter (I have a problem with dairy so I used oil. Butter will give a better consistency when cold)
1 button mushroom (optional. I found one lurking in the fridge)
A slug of Port (optional can also use Brandy, Sherry, Orange Liquor - mmm orange liquor next time with some orange zest)

Melt the butter in a frying pan. you will need quite a bit if you are using a whole onion. Add the onion and garlic and gently fry until soft. If you have one place a lid on pan and turn the heat right down.
Add the chopped sundried tomatoes and chopped mushrooms then stir. Replace the lid and allow to cook for a few mins.
Next add the chicken livers and stir. Chefs on the TV say that the livers should still be pink inside but I prefer to cook them a little more.
Next I added the port and stirred then cooked a little longer, until gently bubbling.
Now you can either use a stick blender, a liquidiser or any other kind of blender you might have and blend until smooth,
Spoon into ramekins (I filled 4 small ones) or what ever dishes you like and cover with cling wrap. When cold keep in the fridge until ready to use or freeze.
Enjoy with crusty bread, savoury biscuits or even on toast,

I hope you can follow these instruction OK.

Does anyone else make pate?


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Decorations and wrapping

Hello friends

Welcome to new follower Penny Wise

We put up our tree at the week end. (I say we but in actual fact it was mostly M and L as  I was round at mum and dads washing mum's hair) They did a grand job. Last night L and I tied some thread onto some sweets and chocolates and hung them on the tree after I took the photo. Next week I will post about the recent gifts I received.

Stocking bunting was a recent gift

Crocheted snowflake was another recent gift

Tomorrow I will start some cooking for the freezer ready for our Boxing Day buffet.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A Beautiful Find

Hello friends

Look what I found at the week end. I was mooching around a new charity shop that has opened near me and found this beautiful lace table cloth and it was only £1.

It's not vintage or cotton but I like it all the same and it will look lovely on the Christmas table over some dark material. I think  have some black somewhere.


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Tongue Tied

Hello Friends

The unveiling of the knitted Christmas tree went well on Monday with Radio Lancashire. Afterwards I had to rush off as I had an appointment at Leigh Infirmary have my tongue polyp

My appointment was for 12 noon so we set off at 10:30 just in case the weather was bad and any hold ups on the motorway. M was driving as I don't like driving outside of my comfort zone. I really don't like driving at all.

We got lost twice and was an hour late. we had to phone the hospital to say that we were on our way but was lost. The lovely lady on the other end of the phone gave us some directions once she established where we were, and as it turned out we weren't far away.

The operations didn't start until 2pm so was still ok. I got into a gown and because I didn't have a dressing gown they gave me another gown to use the opposite way round and I had to wear these lovely and sexy netty knickers.

The surgeon came round to do her check and said I was last on the list and could't say what time I would be called for. Ten minutes later I was called for - that's quick I thought, The surgeon had swapped her list around and I was first.

The operation was done under a local anaesthetic but I had my eyes closed so didn't see or feel anything and I have either 2 or 3 dissolving stitches, I can't tell but it's very neat.

My tongue was very sore and swollen and still is but not quite as bad.

I have been having lots look warm soups and fruit smoothies through a wide straw and I can just about manage some soft bread if a break it into small pieces and I put it to the opposite side of the wound.

Yesterday I sneezed and bit my tongue it was ouch ouch ouch aaahhh!!

Right I'm off to make a banana orange and mango smoothie for breakfast, Lunch will be yesterdays pea and mint soup and tonight I will make a tomato soup all homemade of course.

I hope you all have a nice day


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Knitted Christmas Tree

Hello Friends

We have had a few days of sunshine  and I've been out in it so I feel a little more cheerful.

For just over a year I have been going to a craft club, at the local library, and I take my mum along, (although she has dementia it's the highlight of her week) and throughout this year most of us have been knitting these......

What are they? I hear you ask.

They are knitted rectangles with their corners turned into the middle and tacked into position. In total we made about 1,200 of varying shades of green and these are the leaves for the Christmas tree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                           Next these leaves had to be tacked on to a backing cloth which took several weeks to do. The ladies started at the bottom and worked their way up to the top. Some of the ladies who don't knit were happy to do some sewing.
This afternoon, after the library closed, some of us helped to erect the tree. This is the frame to hang the leaves from, it was made by a very kind gentleman who lives next door to the lady who runs the craft club.

Next the leaves. Doesn't it look good with the different shades green?

Now it needs to be decorated. The decorations have also been knitted by some very talented members. Some pom poms have also been made ( these will be used on hats for next years community project for streetlife a local charity that helps the homeless).

The official unveiling will be Monday morning at 10.30am. Unfortunately I can't attend at that time. Also Radio Lancashire are doing their breakfast show from the library between 7.30 and 9 am.
 Here are some more pictures of some of the hand knitted ornaments

After Christmas the tree will be taken down and taken apart then the leaves will be stitched together to make blankets that will be donated to a charity. It has not yet been decided on as to which charity will benefit, this will be done in the new year.


Saturday, 24 November 2012


Hello friends

Welcome to new follower Maggie from Flowers in the Window.

For the past couple of weeks or so I have been feeling progressively down and this morning I realised why. I've been hit with S.A.D..  Usually it hits around February time but this year it's hit early.

What is S.A.D? I hear you gently whisper. It stands for, Seasonal Affective Disorder you can find out more here.

When I think about the awful weather we have had this year I'm not surprised that S.A.D has hit early, more rain and dull days than sunshine. What am I going to do to get through it?  Well, I don't want to go to the Dr's who will prescribe anti depressants and no way can I afford the special light box so the next best thing it to get out into the sunshine as and when it appears and brainwash myself with lots of positive thoughts.

Today was meant to be a sunny day (it tried hard to get through the hazy clouds), So whilst L was out with her friend M and I  went for a walk along the promenade from the Norbreck Castle Hotel to Gynn Square. Approximately 2 miles. It was a lovely walk and I took some pictures to show you (below). I have lived on this coast all my life but never walked this bit, I've always walked up the top by the road passed the hotels and posh houses. We enjoyed our walk but I don't feel any better, not to worry positive thoughts (soon be spring)and where's that chocolate box hehehehe.

Hope you all have a good weekend

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Lamb Burgers

Hello friends

Yesterday I went into Aldi and found some mince lamb at half price, bargain, so I got one packet (short on funds other wise I would have got more).
I used to use a lot of minced lamb in place of beef as I don't eat beef. I would make Bolognaise, Lasagna, Chilli. Now I use minced turkey or pork instead as they're cheaper and L doesn't like the taste of red meats. Poor M who loves beef only gets it occasionally, if it has a yellow sticker on it or a burger.

Anyway back to the minced lamb. I Thought I would show you what I did with it.
I mixed the lamb with a sachet of Garden Mint. You could add some onions and garlic if you like. I have a problem digesting onions so I didn't use them.
After mixing it by hand I made 3 burgers, using my burger press, and 6 things on sticks for our Boxing Day buffet. I don't know what to call them, they're a bit like kofters then flattened. 
I might even make a mint dip to go with them (my mouth is watering at the thought). 
It's a nice dry and breezy day so off to hang the washing out.

Sunday, 11 November 2012


Hello friends

This morning we all went to the local Cenotaph for the remembrance service, L was with the Guides. The Cenotaph is at a cross roads and every year more people come to pay their respects and this year was no different. There were people standing in the road and crowds on the other three corners and the centre was filled to overflowing with uniformed groups and veterans.
The ground was soaked from last nights rain but the sun was shining this morning. The service was conducted by the very nice Rev. Jayne Ward.

The crowd begins to gather.
May we remember all service personnel and civilians who have died as a result of conflict both past and present.

Friday, 9 November 2012

My Christmas Preparation

Hello friends

Welcome to new follower Sassy Breese from Muddle Puddle.

I've been doing some Christmas preparations recently.
I've made two more book covers for L's two best friends. These were done in double knit and L picked the colours from my stash.

On my needles at the moment I have a scarf for my baby nephew (18 months old) and I will buy a pair of mittens with little grippy pads so that he can still have his bottle without it slipping out of his hands.
I'm planning to knit an infinity cowl for my teenage nephew who is a student at sixth form.
I've made a heat pad for my dad as he suffers with arthritis in his neck which not only gives him neck ache but also bad hedaches.

When out shopping on Monday I looked at the Christmas displays and gift packs etc. This has inspired me to make some felt tree decorations that can be used on presents for the females, the males in our family wouldn't appreciate them. I've also started a scrap/note book for future ideas using pictures from the stores Christmas catalogues and magazines and my own notes. This will help me to be more organised and I'll know what to look out for when I'm at car boot sales and charity shops, and any home makes can be done early.

I've also been looking at the party foods in the supermarkets. In the past I have bought some and put them in the freezer to bring out on Boxing Day. But this year I'm planning to make my own in advance and put them in the freezer. I just need to work out the menu. That will be a post for another day.

I have some bread rising and it's nearly ready for knocking back. I'm still looking for a recipe that all the family likes. Does anyone have a favorite bread recipe that they would like to share?
We've tried making bread in a bread maker but we don't like it. We were very lucky to find a bread maker in a charity shop for £20 with instructions but might sell it on. I'm currently making the bread in my Kenwood mixer and using the mixer to nead the dough as I've got arthritis in my hands and find it diffcult to nead it on a board.
The dough is ready now.

Hope you all have a good day.



Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A Gift from Canada

Hello friends

I went grocery shopping today and got our Christmas turkey. At £9.00 for a small frozen turkey, that was much bigger than a big chicken, I decided to get it now before they go up next month. When I got back I found this on my door step:

It was from Sassy Breese at Muddle Puddle. I bet you're wondering what it is?  I'll show you
A beautifully wrapped parcel. Looks interesting. I bet you are wondering what it is. I'll show you
It's a bag. It used to be a t-shirt. Sassy makes bags from old or unwanted t-shirts and has recently opened a shop at Etsy called Morning Breese. The bag is lovely and folds up small enough to fit in my handbag and stretchy enough to hold quit a bit of  shopping. Why not pay Sassy a visit to either at her blog or her shop.



Friday, 2 November 2012

Met Office Got it Wrong Again

Hello Friends

This morning before I went out I checked the weather report on the computer. Usually I check it with the BBC but as they are often wrong I decided to check with the Met Office.
Fine all day until about 3pm. That's good I can hang the washing on the line and it should be dry before the rain cames.
Half an hour after hanging out the washing we got hail stone and it continued for another 10 minutes after taking this photo. And it has rained ever since.

So much for getting my washing dry.

Maybe tomorrow


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Autumn Walk

Hello friends

There is a walk we like to do that is not too far from home. About half an hour away by car. It's a fairly short walk but beautiful all the same. We've been in the summer when all the trees are in full leaf. In spring when the ground is covered with bluebells and wild garlic. We even went in the winter once when it was covered in snow but we've never made it in the autumn until last Saturday.

We took one of L's friends and they wore their wellies so that they could go stream walking. They had so much fun. M had fun swinging on a swing that someone had erected by the stream and I took lots of photos. It was a lovely afternoon and not too cold either.


Just a few photos.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Stoptober update 4

Hello friends

This is my last post for no spending in October. I realise that there are still a few days left.

I did well with the grocery shopping and saved £15 but ended up spend some of it later in the week for some supplies for Saturday night as L had one of her friends for a sleepover (have another one tomorrow night). However I didn't do any other spending.

On Friday I looked after my little nephew whilst his parent moved house so L and I took him out, in his pram, and went window shopping. L thought we were looking for new windows and when I explained that we we going shopping without any money and looking through the shop windows there was a big sigh of relief and a little disappointment because she likes shopping. It was a lovely walk but it was very cold.

What have learnt from Stoptober -

The main thing that I've learnt is that if I don't go near the shops I can't go in them and spend. I like charity shops and often find some nice bits for L but for the time being she doesn't need anything and of course it will soon be Christmas. And next year I want to declutter so there's no point bringing more stuff into the house.

What have you learnt if you have been part of the Stoptober?


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Meet Scooby

Hello friends

Scooby is our Red Rump Parakeet. We've had him for around 6 weeks and is about 26 weeks old. We got him from a local pet shop.

Scooby lives, in the living room, in a big cage during the week but at weekends we let him out (if we are staying in) and he spends most of the day on the fire place looking in the mirror, occasionally he likes to sit on the window handle looking outside. M made a lovely perch for him to sit on the fire place. Unfortunately birds can't be toilet trained so we have lots of little messages to clean up afterwards. To make it a bit easier we put paper under his perch. At night when he's ready he will return to his cage.

We got a book from the library about how to care for parakeets and how to teach them to talk. We talk to him daily but he hasn't learnt anything from us yet (might do when M starts doing DIY and the air turns blue). He picked up a sound before coming to us - a smoke alarm that needs a new battery, which can be a bit ear piercing. However he does have a lovely natural song.

Two weeks ago I was sat knitting and he decided he wanted a bath and dunked his head in his water bowl and then proceeded to stand in it and bounce up and down to spread the water. It wasn't very successful so later in the week we went back to the pet shop to get a bird bath. It fits in the door way and you put in just a bit of, room temperature, water. Scooby has been investigating it but has not ventured inside yet. Lena, at Frugal and Thankful, said that they used to lightly spray their birds but as Scooby is a very timid bird and moves away when we approach him so we felt that that probably wasn't a good idea.

He lets us know when he wants to go to bed and and if we are late waking him up. We cover him with a piece of black material at bed time. Last weekend he let us know that he wanted to come out by pecking on his door. He also likes to watch the TV at night but doesn't appear to have a favourite programme as yet. He talks to the oven timer when that goes off  and also the microwave.

I think that's it

Hope you all have a nice day


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Stoptober Update 3

Hello friends

Welcome to new follower Emma from The Log Cabin.

This weeks no spend has been good and bad. I managed to save  £5 on my grocery shopping on Wednesday only to spend it on a bird bath for our parakeet, Scooby. Then on Saturday evening M took me out for a meal to a local carvery pub where they were doing an offer of 2-4-£8 and 2 drinks. Total cost £12.

L was on a day trip to London with a family friend. A late birthday treat. We had to get up at 5am in order to get to Preston station for 6.50. They goat back to Preston at 11.30pm very tired after having a fantastic day.  M and I were tired after a long easy day.

Have a good day


Thursday, 18 October 2012


Hello Friends

Welcome to Julie from A Tale From Toadstool House

I've done a big ooops. I washed the light colours this morning with some yellow material. You can guess the rest. Yep! I turned the white cotton table cloth a lovely shade of pale lemon along with my white cotton t-shirt (quite like that) my pale pink cotton pj top (can live with that) and 2 of L's little crop tops. L's polyester school shirts are ok, pheww. I used a colour catcher just in case the colour ran, but I guess it had butter fingers and dropped the colour. Good job there weren't any of M's things in there. Hehehehe that would have been funny, giggle giggle.
Has anyone used Vanish crystal white and is it any good? just in case L doesn't like her new underwear.
The yellow piece of material is no longer yellow, it's now a pale yellow. I can still use it though.

better go and give the bread a bash before I pick L up from school.


Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Hello Friends

I've been tagged by Sassy Breeze at Muddle Puddle and now you will learn a bit more about me.

The Rules:

Each tagged person must post 11 random facts about themselves.

Answer the 11 questions set by the previous blogger,

Create 11 more questions.

Tag 11 more blogs, with less than 200 followers. (Sassy arbitrarily reduced this number to 5 which
I will go along with because most of the blogs I follow have more that 200 followers.)

Inform the blogs that they have been tagged.

One of my favorite colours is yellow (reminds me of the sun), I'm an early riser but also like seeing beautifull sunsets, I wear gloves when gadening as I don't like getting dirt in my finger nails, I don't like drinking tea, I can sign the alphabet, I love frosty mornings, I have athritis, I have natural highlights in my hair, I love the countryside.

Sassy's Questions:

1, What are you reading right now?

Churchill's Bodyguard by Tom Hickman. Its a biography of walter H Thompson and is based on his memoirs. It's interesting but not very exciting.

2, If you could have lunch with any one person that is alive today, who would it be and why?

Sue Hayward. The year before last I met her briefly. She was the Lancashire Woman of the Year. She runs the charity Children of Watamu. you can find out more at . She has so much passion and drive in what she does and is a true inspriation.

3, If you could have lunch with any one person in ALL of HISTORY! who would you choose and why?

My Grandma. She died when I was in my early thirties and I still miss her. I never asked about her early years we only talked about the here and now. I was once told by a psycic that she watches over me so every so often I say hello to her.

4, What is one action or inaction you regret?

Not walking away before I got married the first time.

5,  What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

I don't realy know the answer to this question. Despite the above answer, my late ex-mother-in-law used to say "what goes around comes around" and I truely believe in it. It has got me through some rough times.

6, What was your favorite candy bar as a child?

Caramac, a caramel flavored choclate type bar.

7, What is your favorite treat today?

Galaxy Chocolate with a cup of coffee.

8, Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

I used to work behind the residents bar in a 4star hotel in Blackpool and I met quite a few famous people but the most memorable and nicest has to be the comedian, Russ Abbott, when he was at the height of his career, a really nice genuine man who hadn't let his success go to his head and Vince Hill he was the same.

9, If I gave you $100 (or euros, pounds or whatever...) with instructions that you must spend it today, what would you do with it? 

Invite you to join our family day out with a nice meal and take lots of photos.

10, What is the one item you own that you really should throw away but probably never will?

My 1st wedding dress. My mum and I designed it and made it. I am very proud of our workmanship.

11, What was your favorite thing to pretend when you were a young child?

My friend and I would dress up in our mums old evening dresses, that they had given us, and we would pretend we were posh ladies.

Well thats one bit done. I'll have to come back and carry on tomorrow because picking L up from Guides now.

Ok I'm back. Good afternoon. I've had a vey busy morning.

What's my next task, oh yes, my 11 questions:

1, What is your favorite "me" time activity when you get the chance?

2, Do you prefere Spring or Autumn?

3, If you could have just one wish what would it be and why?

4, When as the last time you did something for the first time and what was it?

5, What was your favorite subject in High School?

6, When taking a holiday what do you prefer, countryside, seaside or city and why?

7, If you were hosting a dinner party who would be your guest of honour and why?

8, As a teenager who was you idol?

9, Do you prefer to read a book and turn the pages made of paper or a kindle?

10, What is your prefered footwear, heels, trainers or flats?

11. What is your favorite fairground ride?

Next I have to tag my blog friends who have less that 200 followers. I can't do 11 but I can do 6 and here they are:

Kate at Granny Taught Me To Crochet
Pamela at Feral Homemaking
Alison at Heavenly Handmades
Belinda at Frugal Workshop

Now I just have to let them know. I hope you have fun doing this


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Stoptober Update 2

Hello Friends

Welcome to my new followers Scarlet and gigibird.

This week hasn't been too bad for spending. I did my usual grocery shopping on Tuesday. I go on Tuesdays because I used to get some good bargains but not so recently. However I spent £25 less this week.

Earlier in the week I had an hospital appointment and forgot to take a drink, don't know why I forgot because I rarely go anywhere with out taking a bottle of water with me, anyway we had to stop off at a local Spar shop in Wigan and bought a bottle of water, it was only 49p not bad considering it was the Spar and is usually quite expensive..

Yesterday L and I went to get our flue jabs at the Dr's surgery. The Que was ever so long but was moving steadily. We could have gone next Saturday but a dear friend is taking L to London for the day as a late birthday present. Whilst in town we did a bit of birthday sleepover shopping (out of birthday budget). and booked two games of Bowling for three people.
We also went into L's favourite shop, Kylie's, to have a look. She has some birthday money to spend, she found a few things she liked but not what she wanted. We will have a look again when they have their next sale.

Looks like it's going to be a nice day today the sun is shinning.

Hope you all have a nice day


Thursday, 11 October 2012


Hello friends

Yesterday I went grocery shopping and spent £25 less of my budget. How did I do that?
Well I took a tip from Frugal Queen. On Sunday she did an inventory of her cupboards, fridge and freezer before she went shopping. I did the same on Monday also I stick a piece of paper onto the front of one of my kitchen cupboards so that when I use something up I write it on the list (M is on permanent training) and then take the is with me,
After doing the inventory I found I didn't really need that much. One thing I did get was two chickens. Didn't have any real chicken in the freezer.

I always butcher a chicken so that I get several meals out of them which is what I did  yesterday.
Here they are all portioned up. The wings were cut up and bagged for the freezer. These will be saved for the Boxing Day buffet and some will be flavoured with some kind of sauce or dressing.
The legs I skinned and jointed them and put together a chicken casserole. Two breast went in the freezer and the other two I batted them to make them thinner, spread on some garlic and herb soft cheese, rolled them and wrapped them on bacon. Next I wrapped them in paper lined foil ready for cooking.
The carcass's were cut in half and put in a pane with scraps of veg and boiled for stock. When the bones were cooked I drained the stock off and put that to cool so that I could skim off the fat then freeze ready to make soup. I stripped the bones of any cooked meat and that will do for sandwiches.

I had a hospital appointment yesterday afternoon at Wigan, I've got a polyp on my tongue that needs to be removed,(80 mile round trip). I set the oven timer so that tea was cooked for when we got home. I filled the oven with the wrapped chicken (tea) jacket potatoes, carrots and sweetcorn cobs in a casserole filled with water and a tight lid and the chicken casserole (which will go in the freezer today).
I did some knitting in the car as I have two more book cover orders from L's Friends. Oh, by the way hubby was driving.
Today's tea is pizza, L made in food tech, with salad homemade coleslaw.

Hope you have a good day


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

Hello friends

Welcome to new follower Angela

Yesterday I made Rhubarb and Ginger Jam. I've not made it before although I have tasted it and thought it was delicious. Its very easy to make.

 Makes 1lb

1lb Rhubarb sliced into 1inch lengths
1lb sugar
Juice of one lemon
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
2oz preserved ginger finely chopped

Bruise the fresh ginger and wrap it in some muslin. Pace it in the preserving pan (or heavy based pan) and if possible tie the end of the string to you pan handle. Add the rhubarb and sugar.
Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 15 minutes.
Remove the fresh ginger and discard. Add the preserved ginger and boil for a further 5 minutes or until setting point.
Remove any scum and then pot into sterile jars and cover.

I made double the recipe as I had the rhubarb, I would have made more but my pan isn't big enough.



I've taken some time to think this through and decided to stop blogging. I'm not getting out of it as much as I did when I first sta...