Sunday, 29 December 2013

Back to Blogland

  I hope you all had a lovely Christmas Bloggy buds. The Frugal household was spoilt rotten your be pleased to hear. 
Yesterday DD and I busted out a card making kit we'd received.( We actually got one each!) and while Baby D was napping we made several cards for later in the year. The pack was stuffed full of backing papers, toppers, stick on jewels, ribbons and lots more so we had a whale of a time.

 DD was very proud of her work which is rather complex and about an inch thick lol.

I have also started my spring cleaning by cleaning out the vacuum cleaner. I'd noticed over Christmas it had lost some sucking power without the container being full up. So I took it to pieces over a carrier bag and gave everything a good clean off. Tip for life; Use a paintbrush or toothbrush to clean out the filter to get into all those nooks and crannies. After about 20 minutes I was done and my vacuum is as good as new! 

And finally a little peek at my latest project which is part of DD's birthday present in March. Not much time to knit over Christmas but I am already on square three of twelve.

x x x

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Ohhh I'm famous

 I thought I would share this article in a local paper I spotted yesterday. That's me in the front in the black tshirt. Not the most flattering picture, my mum already says I look like one of the army guys rather than one of the knitters!

 I'm still proud of being in the local paper though.


Sunday, 15 December 2013

The beast is done!

 I am pleased to announce I have just finished the last few stitches of the Rudolf jumper. Sadly I've not had the light to sew him together yet, so that is tomorrows job, along with weaving in the ends.
 Hopefully I can get him in the post on Tuesday or Wednesday.
I'm already getting twitchy fingers about what to knit next lol, I'm off to peruse my pattern stash.

x  x  x

Busy as a bee.

  The fun just doesn't stop here and the Frugal Home. On Friday it was DD's school play, she was a Christmas star. After the performance there was a special visitor who arrived to give all the children presents.

And because he is a magical chap, Father Christmas also knew Baby D would be there (along with all the siblings in the audience) and brought them all a  little something too.

And finally I wanted to show you my attempt at Angela's Chocolate Mountain Pudding. I haven't got any icing sugar to decorate it, and due to moving soon I don't intend to buy any until we are in our new pad. But I do think it looks delicious enough with the Swiss roll edges alone. We had a few slices between us all last night and it was a huge success. Thank you Angela! I've tucked the recipe into my stash already to make again for New Years.

x x x

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Christmas Jumper progress report.

Just wanted to post quickly. Both of the girls are having afternoon naps and that NEVER happens!
 Here is my current progress on the jumper project. A few more days I think and I will be all done. My next project in the works is knitted blood for a charity so watch this space.

x xx

Monday, 9 December 2013

It's just another manic Monday

 It's been manic here today. Every few hours we have been checking our online sales and finding another two or three things needing posting. Which is fantastic for our sales but it means I have to stand in ques like the one above regularly in the Post Office.

 However the wonderful people at Waitrose cheered me up no end with these four little goodies from their reduced baskets. I LOVE bagels! Chilly weather, Bagels and homemade jam is just a match made in heaven.
 The pastry is something I've always made myself but as it was a ridiculous price I was tempted. Plus Anchor have a reward points scheme that I've been told is good.

Yup, it really was that cheap! I love doubled up promotions.

Once we got home DD wasted no time in making up a batch of heart shaped mince pies. We had one each after our dinner and they are delicious! I think they might be lucky to make it to the morning as OH is already eyeing them up each time he enters the kitchen.
 She did the entire thing herself , only needing me to open the jar of mincemeat and do the oven side of the baking. It meant I could get on with reboiling my marmalade from yesterday which hadn't quite set overnight.

x x x

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Busy weekend

 DD and the Birthday Princess.

 Saturday's birthday party for Princess H was brilliant fun. DD let me put her hair up for the party and kept in for the whole event, only taking it out once we got back through our front door. I was flabbergasted as DD hates anything in hair usually and fights against even wearing a hat.

 DD and one of her many balloons

DD was entertained by the copious amount of balloons everywhere you looked. She was very industrious and tried to collect them all in one place to make her own little stockpile. She also was giving out free hugs to anyone who moved close enough (whether they wanted one of not).

 DD munching her cucumber

Birthday Girl's mum put on a wonderful spread of finger foods for all ages and abilities. There was even jelly in little pots!
 Baby D munching

Baby D found the Jam sandwiches particularly declicious and I think she's have happily scoffed the whole platter if I hadn't stopped her at 3! I didn't think she'd ever nap after all that sugar but as soon as the party died down and we started walking home she crashed out for a solid 2 hours.

 Hubble Bubble

Today has been much quieter. I cut up 3lbs of oranges on Saturday evening and let them soak overnight in a little water. Then this afternoon once I'd caught up on various jobs I popped it into my brand new Jam pan and got some Marmalade on go.

 Just made

Just over 2 hours later I have 4 large jars of Marmalade ready for Hubby's morning toast. 2 have been flavored with a shot of whiskey for a little extra kick. Tomorrow I need to start processing a pile of huge cooking apples.
 What have been up to this weekend?

x x x

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Foody Christmas

 We have just finished hanging our homemade Christmas decorations on the tree. We decided that as we are moving home just after Christmas and we need to use lots of things up that this year is a Foody Christmas. So we will be decorating our tree every so often with a selection of foody treats for everyone to enjoy. Currently we have a choice of coconut and cherry or orange and ginger shortbread hearts.
 We are also planning popcorn and peanut garlands, stained glass biscuits, gingerbread people (how PC!) and whatever the Internet shows us in the mean time.
 I have also just put a few pounds of sliced orange into some lemon juice and water to soak ready for marmalade making so watch this space for that to :)

x x x

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Frugal Christmas windows

Did anyone else see that gorgeous sunset last night? The beautiful pink sky made everything in the town glow in the most beautiful way. I was so taken by it I snapped this shot as I crossed the park on my way home. Not a bad picture for a phone camera.

This morning the D's and me have been making some window decorations and watching Snow White. Okay so they watched Snow White while I made some decorations! As hard as I tried to catch their interest they just weren't getting it today.
 On the way home from picking up DD from preschool I have been collecting "nice" twigs. I've been letting them dry in a vase on the dresser for few days until we had enough. With a few simple knots and some hairy string I now how two very festive looking stars to hang.

I also knocked up a few paper snowflakes from a gift catalogue I picked up a while back. I like looking through gift catalogues for ideas each year but it's so wasteful to just chuck them away after a flick through. My whole window has cost me pennies to decorate so far. I estimate 1p for tape to stick the snowflakes and another penny for the string which I can reuse after Christmas anyway.

And as requested by Angela over at Tracing Rainbows here is my progress on the Christmas jumper I've been working on. Just the antlers to knit and then I'm onto the sewing up and collar. I'm hoping to have it finished by the weekend.

x x x

The Random's are back!

 It's been one hell of a November for the Randoms, but we are never ones for dwelling on the past! So onwards and positivity is the order for the rest of the year.
 As its been over a month since I last updated you all here's a little catch up with each of us.
Baby D is growing up so fast and her vocabulary is growing day by day. Her favourite things to do at the moment are singing games, playing with containers and trying to climb into the washing machine!

 DD is rapidly approaching 4 years old. Her favourite things are anything princess, baking/cooking, and painting. She is coming on in leaps and bounds at preschool.
 OH is mentally still about 6, but I don't think that will ever change at this point lol. He is still into Arsenal and video games. I still utterly adore him with all my heart.
And finally me. I am still into knitting/crochet, self sufficiency and money saving. I'm hoping that next year will be a great year for us. We are moving home just after Christmas so 2014 really will be a year of new beginnings.

 x x x

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Time for tea

Today my parents popped up to Havant to visit us. It's not often we can coincide on a weekday visit between people working and DD in being in preschool 3 days a week.
 We took the opportunity to have a little look around the town, mooch some charity shops and check out a new tea room that opened a few weeks ago.
 Mum and me choose to have a cream tea. As you can see the fruit scone was a delicious crumbly homemade affair. There was plenty of cream and jam for spreading and a huge pot of tea to share.
Grandad choose to have a cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate cake, and DD had a glass of milk and little sample of everyone's food on her own little plate.
 While we were finishing our tea the waitress popped over and asked if DD would like to see their playhouse in the courtyard. The playhouse is in fact an old coal shed that has a little old fashioned window and wooden door fitted. It even has curtains in the window and a little welcome mat.
Inside are a little table and chairs for tiny teas, a blackboard wall to draw on and a whole host of toys to play with and books to read with a comfy beanbag to sit on. It was so sweet watching DD play house while we enjoyed 10 minutes peace. She's already asked to go back again.
 With some delicious food on offer and somewhere fun for DD to play I will definitely be returning here soon. (I'm actually rather jealous and want to move into the playhouse)

X x X

Monday, 28 October 2013

Foody Sunday

 Yesterday was a bit of a foody day at the FHMH. First I made 2 huge quiches using up the last of the chicken. I bunged it some onions, chives, cheese, potato and sausage as well for good measure.
I really should make quiche more often, it is so easy and uses up all the ends of things nicely.
I have also started an experiment with my chestnuts. Marron Glace - they are very popular in France but I've never heard of them until I saw them on River Cottage. They take ten days to make but don't involve anything more strenuous that boiling them over and over in the sugar solution.

And last but not least, check out Project jumper. The back panel is almost complete and I'm almost ready to start on the final section - with Rudolf's face.

x x x

Friday, 25 October 2013

Mr W Bargains.

 Guess who's been shopping in Waitrose again?  It's my second home come 4pm most days. And its great for stretching my food budget in a way that lets me feed my family organic meat, prime cuts and exotic treats I couldn't usually afford.
  So how much did this little pile cost me?
That's right just £5.02 . The chicken is huge and will make three or four meals easy enough. I'm cooking it tonight and will pick it over in the morning when it has cooled. Just need to keep hubby from snacking each time he passes it. 
Perhaps I can use these two to distract him. Don't believe this photo though, the pair of them have been grumpy horrors all afternoon.

x X x

Knit your part

  The photo above is the knit and natter group I attend each Thursday. Yesterday we had some very special visitors to pick up our donation of knitted hats for all the local troops headed out to Afghanistan soon. We have been knitting them now for a year or two and donate around 150 at a time to a local barracks.

They also appreciated our offer of a cuppa, and soon everyone was chatting like old friends. No one took up the offer of a knitting lesson from us though, maybe next time eh?

But they did enjoy modelling a handful of the various designs and picking their favourites. So now our store is empty it's time to get knitting again for what we're told could be the last lot to head over in May. We will have to get our thinking caps on about who to knit for next! Any suggestions?

x x x

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Tarts with Hearts

 Today has been wet and miserable for the most part, so we decided to get baking and make some yummy treats for Daddy. A lack of eggs meant we needed to think a little on the clever side, but we soon came up with Jam Tarts. We used our newest jam, Grape, as I had a quarter filled jar from misjudging amounts when I made it.
 DD loved rolling out the pastry and cutting out the circles and hearts. Most of the jam made it into the bases but I'm sure more than a little disappeared mysteriously between jar and baking tray. 
 As you can see above I need to label my plain and self raising flour in a more obvious fashion! We lost a lot of the jam in each one to the bottom of the oven. Luckily I picked up a frugal tip years ago about lining it with a bit of tin foil so the clean up took seconds.
And finally today I managed to take a good shot of the family all together on my phone. But if we are ever murdered in our beds I recon it was Baby D that did it based on this photo and that deadpan stare. She is usually the smiliest, happiest thing you have ever seen, I promise!

 X x X

Monday, 21 October 2013

Getting in the Spirit of Halloween

 Today has been pretty fun. I decided on Friday that I need to get back on track with our shop. With everything that has piled on top of us these past few months it is time to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and get on with stuff.
 So over the weekend I made a little pile of Halloween decorating things. The end of a roll of crepe paper from Christmas, a pack of Halloween invitations I picked up for 15p after last years event, and a handful of cotton wool.A quick hunt on google found me some free printable templates for ghosts, bats and Pacman characters.
 Today I decorated the window and had enough left over for one of our main display cupboards that desperately needed updating.
I cost me nothing but time to get our shop into the Halloween spirit. It has already prompted several conversations about the ultimate spooky game and horror movie. Both of which have led on to sales, so I am feeling pretty pleased with my get up and go.

x x x

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Frugal fun on a Rainy day

 It's been pouring it down here all day. So when I spotted a bag of Marshmallows in Lidl for £1 I got the inkling of a fun afternoon activity. Nabbing a tea light candle from my stash, and a handful of forks, we were ready. Toasted marshmallows all round.
It was a great opputunity to show DD just how hot and dangerous fire can be, but at the same time how it can be a useful tool if we treat it with respect. DD cooked several marshmallows on her own and was really pleased with herself.

x X x