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

Wednesday 16 October 2013

It's Snuggle Time

 Isn't it beautiful? My mum picked up this little beauty last week and past it over to us. It's just the right size and weight to make a perfect snuggle blanket on our leather sofa. Now the temperatures dropping you don't really want to be sat directly on the leather, particularly first thing in the morning lol.
 I love the almost Christmassy colours on the front. At first glance I thought it was a genuine patchwork blanket but mum soon put me straight. There is also a tell tale M&S label on the rear that I didn't notice earlier.
The backing material is also lovely with a retro yellow flower vibe.
 I wonder what it must have cost someone originally? A pretty penny I should imagine. Well I can promise it will be well loved in this household we love our blankets. Thank you Mum for thinking of us when you saw it.


Tuesday 15 October 2013

Birthday leftovers

 I'd been looking for something to do with my birthday cards rather than throw them away. I like to think people have spent a little bit of time thinking about what I would like to receive so I don't like to just throw them away. This year I found a really simple tutorial for making a card into a little box. You can find the tutorial here.
Wouldn't these be perfect for little gifts or storing trinkets. DD is currently using one as a little boat for Peppa Pig to sail around the living room while evading attacks from bath duckies.

Monday 14 October 2013

Lazy Sunday

 Yesterday was the laziest Sunday for a long time. Apart from a run to Asda for nappies and milk, we did sweet nothing. Watching movies, knitting blanket squares and working on the jumper project.
 Eating little cheesy biscuits with Baby D

And eating cheese and french toast with DD. It was a lovely quiet family Sunday and I feel recharged for the week.

x x x

Friday 11 October 2013

It's a bit Chilli

 I have been coverting these Chilli plants in Waitrose for months! I knew if I waited and kept a careful eye I would eventually get one for a lot less that the £3.50 a plant they were charging. I managed to swoop in at reduction time and grab this fella for a measly 45p. However now I have him home and settled on my dresser in the sunshine I am researching how to care for him and what to make with those lovely chillis.
Any tips from my Green fingered readers?

 X x X

Thursday 10 October 2013

Down in the Park

 It's been the first really chilly day of the season here today, but still the sun has shone beautifully. This afternoon we got ourselves well wrapped in our winter coats and headed to the park for some free fun. DD enjoyed showing me all her moves on the slide.
 And even Baby D enjoyed clambering over the smallest sized slide for a few minutes. She is getting so much confidence in herself now and is always ready for an adventure. Climbing is her newest hobby and she can scale a set of stairs in seconds. Considering we don't have stairs at home to practise on, that;s pretty impressive.
 We also enjoyed hunting for conkers. Havant Park has several huge Horse Chestnut trees so there are about a thousand billion to sift though to find the best ones. DD definitely had her eye in and found bigger ones than I could.
And finally a little update on my knitting project. Two sleeves are now complete and I have cast on the back. I'm aiming to have finished the back by the middle of next week, possibly the weekend depends on various events. Really pleased with how it's coming though so far.

Now do excuse me but I am off to spend some time in the bath with Brian and a bottle of Crabbies.
Did you know we share the same birthday? All the best people are born on 9th of October you know!

Who do you share a birthday with?


Wednesday 9 October 2013

Happy birthday to me!

It's my birthday!!! I have been spoilt rotten all day with every unfrugal luxury I could want including a luxurious Indian takeaway for dinner. I feel stuffed and lazy and wasteful and I am loving every second of it! 
OH has surpassed himself with amazing gifts for me.  I have a lovely pile of reads stacked up. And as much Hugh as a girl could want. 
The best present of all though is one I can share with you.  A promise to give me 30 minutes every day to blog in peace and quiet.
So look forward to more random waffling from me as of tomorrow.

X x x

Wednesday 2 October 2013

A Quick Frugal Memo Holder

 I was kindly given a little goodie bag today from a local opticians as I walked through town. Inside my little bag of goodies were a glasses case, cleaning cloth, 2 clicky pens, a post it note pad and 2 pompom bugs. As you can see from the photo above the pompom bugs didn't last long and were soon adopted by DD.
 However I was having a thinking about what I could do with the remaining bits. Waste not Want not.

And voila. By unpicking the stitches around the glasses case and resewing it the other way (top to bottom not side to side) I created a pocket big enough to display my post it pad and hold the pens. A little more thread attached to the back made a hanging loop.
 I now have a handy memo holder to hand in my kitchen ready for shopping lists, love notes, to do lists and random movie quotes. And it hasn't cost me a penny!!!

What do you think readers, am I onto a winner?

x X x X x

Tuesday 1 October 2013


I've won the Septimus Frugalus Competition over at the Frugaldom Forums!

 For those that don't know the item above is handpowered (well footpowered) washing machine. It means I am able to wash clothes electricity free either in the bath, shower or garden. Not only does this look really practical it also looks super fun.  My first job once I've worked out how it all works is to convince DD that it's a game and get her pumping for me lol.
 You can find out more by clicking on this link HERE.

I'm looking forward to joining in with this months challenge named Octavius Frugalus, why not pop along at join in. We are the friendliest bunch of Frugalers you'll ever meet.