Thursday 30 December 2010

Rinse, Peel, Chop and repeat

Found a wonderful bargain today in Aldi. 1kg of carrots for just 19p!!!!
Unfortunately I only had a few minutes to shop but managed to nab 4 bags and also 2 bags of parsnips 1kg for 19p.
So now begins the freezer prep for my mini carrot mountain. Peeling, slicing and bagging it all up.
And tomorrow I'm off to see if they have any more.
At 19p a bag I'm stocking up for the year. Whoo Hoo.

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Frugal Christmas tips

Yes.... I realise this is the wrong side of Christmas for tips but it is the right side of next Christmas. That's right Christmas 2011 is already on our money saving minds. Here are my top things to do for next Christmas.

  • If you send cards or intend to send cards next Christmas pick up some of this year reduced cards for pence.
  • As you take down this year decorations make a note any that need replacing and again take a look around the sales to pick up some snazzy new ones for pennys.
  • Don't forget to make gift tags for next years gifts from this years Christmas cards. The blank backs make useful scrap card and shopping lists.
  • Keep your eyes open for cheap stationary items like sellotape and bluetack. Many shops overstock on these over Christmas and reduce them for a quick sale afterwards.
  • Give a good look over any reduced wrapping paper. Is it really a design that just suits Christmas? Plain foils and star patterns can suit most occasions so make sure you stock up for the year.

I hope some of you find these tips helpful, please feel free to add your own in the comments section. Happy Christmas 2011.
x x x x

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Little Somethings.

I'm sure we all have a little something that keeps us sane on those horrible days that creep up now and again. My personal little something is bath products. Particularly Lush bath products. No matter the stress level or the disaster, 35 minutes and some hot water later I can re- emerge collected, calm and ready to go.
Today has been such a day. No one thing in particular has upset me, I just need that little piece of me time and some luxury. So may I introduce Lush's Matryoska.
Isn't she lovely. Based on a Russian nesting doll she is made of two pieces of apple soap on the outside. And two different scented bath ballistics on the inside. Her scarf is the perfect size and softness for reusing as a hanky, and deliciously scented from the soap. And best of all she is half price in the January sales.

I will see you tomorrow, bright and chirpy, and smelling of apples.
Take Care Everyone
x x x

Monday 27 December 2010

Welcome back

Thought I would share a few photos of my Christmas with you lovely people. To ease myself back into blogging after the Christmas break.
First up is my Nana having just received her lap blanket. She was really thrilled with it and I have a feeling it won't be taken off for a fair few months.
And secondly a snap of Anya on her first Christmas morning. The sharp eyed among you may notice she is ignoring her present in favour of a sparkly tree bauble. This was a common occurrence throughout the day, though eventually she managed to open all her presents.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

The kindness of (almost) strangers.

A couple of days ago my wonderful OH arrived home from work with a giant carrier bag of fruit from a friend of a friend. Apparently word has spread of my abilities to make use of almost everything that comes our way and if anyone could find a use for it all then I could. So after feeling a little big headed from my apparent fame I dove in to see what goodies had been kindly passed our way.
This picture doesn't really show how many satsumas there were (around 30!) but that glass mixing bowl is the one I use when making doubled up cake recipes!
So that evening was spent duly peeling the majority of the satsuma mountain, removing as much of the pith as possible and separating the segments. Next I packed them into some clean, sterilised jam jars and covered them in a simple sugar syrup (8oz of sugar to 1pint of water).
The next day I popped them (lidless) into the oven while I cooked the family dinner for around 25-30 minutes until the liquid was bubbling away furiously. Once ready I carefully took each jar out of the oven in turn and screwed the lid on nice a tight. As the jars and contents cool they create an air tight seal and a delicious popping noise as the "button" on the lids descend. And voila 4 jars of satsumas in syrup for my pantry. I could possibly have made 4 1/2 jars but some segments seemed to go missing during production lol.

(Please excuse the terrible picture my camera seems to be having an off day!)

Tis the season to be shopping.....

....tra la la la la. La la la lah.

A very successful trip to Mr. A's today.

  • 3x packs of 6 crumpets reduced down to 9p
  • 3x packs of 4 teacakes reduced down to 14p
  • 3x packs of 3 stems of Rhubarb reduced down to 10p (from 80p!!!!!)
  • 1x vegetable platter with dip reduced down to 10p (from £3!)
  • 2x packs of pre-sliced mushrooms reduced down to 10p
  • 1 large punnet of cranberries reduced down to 10p
  • 4 packs of 10 Xmas cards reduced down to 5p

The crumpets and teacakes have been frozen down. The rhubarb I roughly chopped quick and have frozen down to be made into crumbles on my next baking day. The mushrooms I chopped into much smaller chunks and have frozen for adding to pastas, pizzas and omelette's. The Christmas cards are nice a small so if I don't use them all they will be perfect for next years gift tags. The veggie platter seems to have mysteriously disappeared (nom nom nom)
The cranberries are something I have always wanted to have a play and an experiment with so that's tomorrow afternoons entertainment sorted out!!!!
This may be the season that traditionally spells expense but if you are sharp eyed and prepared to have a good rummage there are still bargains to be found out there.

x x x x

Monday 20 December 2010

Great Nanna Gift.

A late night post for my Blog friends today. I am happy to say that I have completed my lap blanket for my dear ole Nan's Xmas present. I'm really please with how its turned out actually. It's the first time I've ever crocheted anything but a granny square so I was a little nervous but I soon got the hang of making these flower squares thanks to this blog

And so without further ado here it is.......................

Please excuse the fact its a bit squished up as I haven't even had a chance to press it yet, rest assured it will be pressed, folded and tied with ribbon before being presented to my Nana.
And also here is a quick photo of why I don't get a chance to knit and crochet quite as much as I used to anymore lol.

Saturday 18 December 2010

Snow day

This is the sight that greeted us this morning, I popped out to get some photo's while it was still pure and untouched. Our church (St.Faith's in Havant) is a beautiful building on a regular day but with a touch of snow it transforms into something magical.

So today, instead of working on my current crochet project (tut tut) I will be taking advantage of all that wonderful light that is reflecting off the snow and into my living room but starting the embroidery project I have planned for the summer months. I think we all enjoy a bit of a change once in a while.

x x x x

Friday 17 December 2010

My new years resolutions for 2011

  • To live a better more Christian life in accordance with the Bible.
  • To eat healthier and hopfully as a concequence a little weight.
  • To learn more self-sufficency skills.
  • To love me family more and make them smile every day.

Sunday 7 February 2010

Frugal Valentines Decoration Tutorial

Being a quiet lazy Sunday with an OH watching several football matches I've been feeling an urge to craft bubbling away inside of me. So after a bit of imagination and experimenting here is my fugal valentines tutorial. Hope you enjoy.
You will need;
2 Oblongs of card/paper (One plain oblong and one fancy oblong.)
Glue, Blutack, Sticky tape.
Step One; Cut out two oblongs the same size. I have used an old mail order catalogue but you could use wrapping paper, magazine pages, telephone books, sheet music or even fabric. Experiment and go wild!!!!
Step Two; Lay the two oblongs on top of each other and make as many or as few cuts along the length as you want. Cut no more than 4/5Th's of the length. Make sure you don't cut all the way to the end or you will end up with lots of little strips with the next step lol. Try to keep the cuts reasonably even.
Step three; Before you separate your two oblongs use your scissors to round off the uncut end. Now do you see why we didn't cut all the way along? These rounded edges will make your heart shape.
Step Four; Separate your two oblongs and lay them on top of each other as pictured above. Take the first strip of your fancy oblong and lay it over the top of the first strip of the plain oblong. The second fancy strip goes under the first plain strip and over the second plain strip. Continue weaving the strips over and under until you have your finished heart.
Step Five; One you have woven all the strips you should have something like the picture above. At this point you can use a dab of glue or sticky tape to secure the loose ends. Also if you find your edges are not quite even you can trim them down to neaten them. Step Six; Now you can really play with your creation. Above I have made several and decorated my front door. You could also use them in scrapbooks or card making, perhaps turn them into a piece of wall art or mobile. Endless possibilities await you.

Saturday 6 February 2010

A few handmade knits.

I am a huge huge fan of just about any crafts I can get my hands stuck into. Even more of a fan if they can produce something beautiful that makes me a saving or stops me from spending all together. A high favorite on the list is knitting. There is something magical about making....

a lovely pair of warm socks.....

......... to a softy toy elephant for a friend.
Really the possibility's are endless so why not try a new skill, pick up some needles and wool, and go wild.