Friday, 30 October 2015

Little Love Gifts

I opened the lounge curtains this morning to find these beauties staring back at me.
Clever Hubby must have spotted me admiring them yesterday at the garden centre.

I can't think for the life of me how he did it though. I don't remember him leaving me yesterday, and certainly not long enough to buy them and hide them in the car. Plus I would have smelled them instantly my whole downstairs is perfumed with lilly.

I swear he's part ninja that man.
 X x X

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Halloween fun

We have been really enjoying our half term holidays here. We've been very lucky with OH'S work rota and have managed a few days out together. 
We're also blessed with a huge amount of free/low cost community events to attend. 

The local shopping centre always puts on wonderful free events throughout the year. Yesterday we went to saw a Science show and made masks, bags and finger puppets. 

We've enjoyed lots of frugal home fun too.
Like roasting marshmallows, carving pumpkins and watching classic Halloween movies.

X x x

Monday, 26 October 2015

Spooky Staunton Farm.

We decided that the weather today was just too nice to let pads. So we dug out our farm membership card and headed out for the day.
The whole farm has a spooky theme for half term. They have done a great job this year! Every tree and shrub has a spider or ghost, several animal pens have spooky skeletons or carved pumpkins.

There are spooky crafts in the Gothic tower with a real witch (hat and everything!) She showed us how to make a bat and cat wand for out spell casting at home.

There is also a fantastic animal encounter walk you can do. We stroked millipedes, hissing cockroachs, snakes and lizards. At the end is a challenge to put your hand inside four mystery boxes each containing something strange. I  won't spoil the suprises of what they contain but rest assured many a brave person finished with a scream. Me included!

By the time we found some freshly marked graves in the flower gardens we were quite spooked out.
Time for home and a warming cup of hot chocolate.
Both girls are already asking to go again, I'm wondering if we can convince Nanny and Grandad to join us. I'm desperate to see my mum stroke a cockroach and try out those boxes!!!

X x x

Friday, 23 October 2015

Introducing Bella.

Today DD1's class celebrated the last day of term by inviting the parents into school.
On a Friday afternoon all the children have 'special time' where they enjoy an activity of their choice.
We were invited by DD to come to gardening club. Apparently DD is a bit of a marvel at gardening and likes to remind the teachers that the "little spades" are called trowels, and when the class plants seeds she asks if they need a cloche to stay warm.
Today's activity was making grass heads, which actually was a huge amount of fun. DD has named her creation Bella Sparkleson.

Hopefully if we get a little bit of light we can share some lovely pictures of Bella with a full head of gorgeous green hair.
What a lovely companion for the half term holidays.

X x x

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Family dinner

I had two hungry little ladies today after the school run. And being an overcast gloomy type of a day we decided on pasta for dinner.
 I had a quick scout for ingredients in the fridge and came up trumps.
DD1 cut up a few slices of bacon with the kitchen scissors.
DD2 peeled and crumbled some mushrooms.
I quartered some cherry tomatoes and opened a carton of passata. 
And voila dinner was made in no time. 
Just needed a handful of cheese to top it off and it was clean plates all round.
I definitely need to cook dinner with my girls more often. DD1 is already pretty good in the kitchen at baking but I'd like to show them both how to prepare some simple meals. 

X x x

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Pumpkin picking.

We spotted a sign for pumpkins at a local farm shop a few days ago. Today we took the girls to pick their pumpkins for this year's celebrations.
It was magical watching their eyes light up as they spotted the maze of haystacks piled high with every size and shape of pumpkin imaginable.

Even little G got in on the Autumn action with some cute pumpkin photos. 

And here's this year's pickings. For now they have been hidden away from harm in the veggie cupboard. Now we just need to decide how to decorate them...decisions decisions....

I also took the chance to nab a tray of small eggs for £1.99. They are just right for some buffet sized pickled eggs come Christmas time.

X x x

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Art and disasters.

DD would like to show you all her hand made coaster. All the children at her school have made one to help raise funds for the PTA. 
I thought it was a lovely picture of two ladies sharing ice cream but DD has confirmed that they are actually fighting over it. 

The shower disks are now in for round two. They came.out far to crumble and melted in seconds when Hubby tested one. 
So I've crushed them all back down to powder and this time added water until runny. Rather than pat them into rounds this time I poured them.
 Hopefully they will set a bit firmer this time.

X x x

Friday, 16 October 2015

Geranium Girl

It's been a week since my birthday. A week of knocking my birthday cards off the windowsill every time I open and shut the curtains, and picking them up when certain daughters rush past to quick.
Not to mention breezes, elbows, playful three year olds and the occasional poltergeist.
They are now in the bureau drawer until preschool request them or I see a cute idea on Pinterest.

But now my pretty windowsill display is gone, it looks a bit stark and empty. Birthday cards annoy me but they are beautiful to look at. It's a love hate relationship lol.
I had a brainwave while putting the bins out and spotting my hanging baskets full of beautiful geraniums. I have several heads out and lots more in bud getting ready to explode into colour. I snipped off two pink and two red, and recycled a bottle from one of my birthday beers.

Sweet, simple and brings a smile to my face each time I walk past them. 

X x X 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Spiced Plum Crumble Slices

Yesterday dinner time we finished the last slices of my birthday cake. So today was baking day. After the hugely chocolatey and gooey birthday cake I fancied something a little less sweet and a little more crunchy.

On Saturday my parents treated me and the children to some tea and cake at a local garden centre. Mum and me had the most delicious Plum crumble slices, and promised each other to hunt down the recipe online 
After a few false starts I found this
I just changed the peaches to plums and voila!

It tastes heavenly just the right amount of sweet and sour in one bite. I'm definitely stashing the recipe for the future.

As I was washing up my Hubby asked if I'd seen what Baby D was doing. Fearing the worst I dried my hands and rushed into the playroom.
She was "baking" with her play kitchen. Using my oven glove to take trays of cereal in and out of oven. I think someone's been watching her mama in the kitchen. So adorable!

X x x

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Baking in my airing cupboard

It was my birthday on Friday just gone. I'm officially 30 years old! I feel like it's a good time to launch a new project and make some life changes. So watch this space ladies and gents!

One if my big goals is to become more self sufficient. I want to be able to make more things for myself so we can minimize what we buy in.
Today I am experimenting with snuffly shower discs.
The idea is you drop one onto the floor of your shower and as you wash they release helpful scents to unblock your sinuses. 
I didn't have any of the oils the recipe asked for but I did have a bottle of Olbus oil in my cupboard. We're big fans of it here in the Random house. 
The whole thing is basically bicarb mixed to a paste with water. You spoon it into cake cases and add a few drops of oil. Then let them dry out in a warm place (some recipes bake them in an oven like a meringue).
My 500 gm box of baking soda  (wilko £1.50)
And 1/3 of my Olbus oil (wilko £1.60) have made 40 petit four sized discs. So each discs is around the 5-6p mark. Pretty frugal!

I'm going to give them 48 hours to dry nicely and then pop them in a big kilner jar on the window sill. I will let you know how sucesful they are in a few days time.

X x x