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.


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Stoptober Update

Hello Friends

Welcome to new follower Alison.

I think I have done well this week, no, I know I have done well this week. Monday was L's 13th birthday. She got lots of lovely presents and one I would like to share with you.

Ls favourite colour is pink. I made this before the summer holidays, whilst she was at school, so she wouldn't see it and then hid it away. (It took 2 balls of the bobbly yarn and then I crocheted a fluffy edge). We then had a lovely tea at home. At half term we've  planed to take her and a Friend bowling and a sleepover. Tuesday I did a little Christmas shopping from my budget and Wednesday I went grocery shopping. No spending at all from Wednesday to Friday. 
My best day has to be Saturday. L was in a hip hop dance competition at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.We got the bus into town to save on parking and we didn't know how long we would be. We took a packed lunch and loads of snacks and drinks (it's very expensive in the Winter Gardens). She got as far as the second recall. Not bad for first time entering, she's determined to come away with a trophy next year. By mid afternoon L had had enough and was tired and so we came away but instead of leaving the building we went round the Vintage and Handmade Fair that was also on but in a different part of the building. There were some very nice stalls with lots of temptations but, I didn't spend a penny. After texting M, he picked us up and on the way home he told us about a new fairy shop that had opened so we went and had a look. Amazing, the shop was quite magical. Here is the website so you can take a peek of the products, again I didn't spend anything but it was very hard not to although I'm thinking Christmas.
How's your week been?

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Hello friends

On Sunday we went to my local supermarket to see what bargains I could get as they were closed on Monday for refurbishments. Well, I got a watermelon (I love watermelon) for £1 instead of £2.50 and some red potatoes reduced to a £1. and that was it. We should have gone earlier in the day to get more choices. The store was so busy just like at Christmas time and it was difficult to find somewhere to park. I hate it like that.

I usually go shopping Tuesday morning after dropping L off at school (she starts at 8.30am) and the store is fairly quite then. I didn't go yesterday when it re-opened as it was busy again and I didn't think there would be many bargains. I went today instead.  Wow!
The store looked amazing around the green grocery and flower area. Lots more exotic fruit and veg and more varieties of the regular items all beautifully displayed in wicker baskets on chilled cabinets down the middle of the isle. The fresh herbs have this chilled steamy cloud passing over them, to keep them fresher for longer I suppose. It all looks clean fresh and spacious. You can now get flower bouquets made up while you wait and they now sell a small selection of children's clothes supplied by Peacocks. The rest of the store has had a move around too so it took me longer than usual to find what I wanted off my list. I still didn't get any bargains though but on the good side I spent £20 less on this weeks shop.

I have joined Froogs in the Stoptober of no spending during October. I have a set budget each week for grocery shopping and a separate budget for Christmas shopping (saved a set amount each month)and that will be all the spending I will be doing. I plan my car trips so that I use as little fuel as possible but may have to put some in before the end of the month as the tank is just less than half full.

I was going to make some Rhubarb jam this week but I don't have enough jam jars. My parents have plenty so I will cadge some later in the week and make it next week.

I'm going to have a hot lemon and honey now to help get rid of the sneezy cold. Ahchoo!


Monday, 1 October 2012

Book Cover part 2

Hello Friends

As promised the photo of the said book cover.

The cover is knitted in an Aaron weight yarn, I cast on 80 stitches and continued in Knit 1, Purl 1 until it measured the size of book it was to cover. The other one was done in same yarn but Knit 2, Purl 2. If you make it too long just fold it down to make a cuff. You could also use it to cover a kindle or Ipad to stop the screens from scratching.
What do you think?


Busy May

The weather has been glourious this month, almost wall to wall sunshine. Some say it will last all summer. We'll have to wait and see. ...