Thursday 25 February 2021

Bananas about bananas


I was given quite a large bag of bananas a few days ago via the Olio app. I'm determined to make good use of them.
A left a few on my parents doorstep which sounds like the set up for a very cruel joke but I promise I told them first 🤣
The children have been eating the best looking ones at snack time, and the ropey bananas are slowly turning into baked treats.
On tuesday we made banana cupcakes and today we tried a recipe for banana and oatmeal cookies. Sadly they've turned out to be more cake than cookie but not to worry they will soon be eaten anyway.

For my next trick I will work put how to use up several red peppers. 

X x X

Saturday 20 February 2021

Waste not want not

Today's book is quite boring and uninteresting which has gotten me quite excited!
I was hoping to find at least one hardcover book in my book box that I could use for some art work, and dear readers this is the one.

The book itself is quite big. Each county of England has it's own chapter which describes interesting snippets of history and points out any famous landmarks etc. 
I originally wanted a book to practice watercolours in but these pages are far to glossy for watercolour paints and there are lots of very dark photographs and drawings.

So instead I have decided to create my own rainbow book of collages.
I've split the book into 6 equal sections with the intention of filling each section with mixed media collages in the relevent colour. 
As you see above my first collage is a collection of red. I think I'll decide on my next collage depending on my mood at the time and the things around me.
I shall keep you posted of how it develops.

X x X

Friday 19 February 2021

More books.

My next books to explore come as a pair.

Volumes 1 and 2 of The War Illustrated. 

The first world war isn't a topic I have much interest in so I've only had a brief glance through them. Both are in pretty good condition considering their age of  about 106 years.

The artwork is beautifully done on each issues cover and some of the photographs were quite interesting. I quite liked the old nursing uniforms. 

 There's even some funky fold out maps throughout which is a feature I wasn't expecting.
A quick peek on Ebay tells me that they may be worth trying to sell so I will pop them on facebook marketplace shortly. If I'm lucky they might cover a few trips to the Community pantry. 

X x X

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Feeling creative


Compaired to the last two books this one isn't particularly old at all. 

I wasn't expecting great things from it and was already thinking of using it for art journalling until I opened it.

The illustrations are beautiful!

 Far to pretty to be hidden in a book! I've seen some lovely ideas on Pinterest of framed botanical prints. 
I definitely need to do something of that type with some of these. I bet the remaining pictures would be wonderful in junk journals and scrapbook pages.
I'm buzzing with creative ideas now.

X x X

Tuesday 16 February 2021

V.R.I Her life and Empire (1901)


Tonight's book isn't much to look at on the outside. The old addage of never judging a book by it's cover is apt here. At 120 years old it is looking quite battered but some how that does make me love it a little bit more.

The book is very rose tinted with every story about Queen Victoria showing her only in the best light, which I pretty much expected. It can get a little gushy in places.
There are several interesting things that jumped out at me like the description of the Royal wedding cake. 
I wonder if anyone has ever tried recreating it? 

The full page art prints are stunning. I was curious to see that Queen Victoria wears her bracelets midway up her arms in many paintings. A quick search of Victorian paintings shows this to be a popular way to wear them. I wonder when and why bracelets started to be worn on the wrists rather than the arm? Futher research may be needed.

Towards the end of her life photography arrives and you can see the beautiful dresses and accessories in wonderful detail.
I googled a few, like her wedding dress for instance, and found some really clear close up photographs of the fine detail that went into her outfits. 
It's made for a thoroughly fascinating evening and has led to me looking up all sorts of tibits of information.
The Royal family seems to be a theme of several books in the box I tecieved. I wonder which Royal I'll learn about next?

X x X

Tuesday's Pantry visit

Tuesday's are fast becoming my favourite day of the week! 

This weeks blue token deal was for a selection of store cupboard fillers.

Tea bags



Wheat biscuits (not pictured)

Selection of tins.

My other blue token paid for 1kg of Dominos  chicken. I think it's what they use to top the pizzas but I think it might be nice added to pasta or rice. 

My red tokens;

2x Richmond sausages

2x frankfurter hotdogs

4x hot cross buns

2x baked beans

2x mushroom soup

2x sweetcorn 

2x chopped tomatoes 

1x bolognese sauce

Free items;


2x enchilada mix sachets

2x salsa

2x liver

2x dairy free coconut yoghurt

  Some new things for us all to try this week. My mission for the week is to clear out the freezer a bit. My brother is moving home and has offered us some freezer food to save him relocating it. At the moment it wouldn't fit so making space is our main priority.

 X x X

Monday 15 February 2021

Simple Pleasures


 I was very kindly gifted a box of vintage books today. They came at just the right time as today has been an absolute arse of a day to be honest with you.

I have spent the afternoon focussing on self-care and gentleness. If nothing else it has calmed everyone in the household down for a reasonably peaceful bedtime.

I've decided to spread the excitement of the books out over a few days. Tonight I made myself a warm drink and snuggled in bed with Bees in Amber by John Oxenham. 

I don't often read poetry and the book was a bice mixture of topics and styles. There were a few poems that stood out to me. 

I found this one particularly enjoyable. It would make a wonderful base for a tragic short story I think. 

Once I had finished flicking through the pages I looked up the poet to find John Oxenham is a pen name for William Arthur Dunkerley. He seemed to be quite a prolific àuthor and poet in his time. I will make sure to look out for some more of his works.

I don't feel the need to add the book to my permanent collection of vintage books but I have found a poem I think a good friend of mine might enjoy. I'm going to pop it in the post as a nice suprise for them. 

Pop back tomorrow to see what secrets the next book reveals.


Saturday 13 February 2021

Chinese New Year


 ⁰Our Chinese meal went down well with everyone this evening.  

 We splurged with one of Asda's Chinese for 2 boxes and a handful of extra sides. It still worked out a fair bit cheaper than ordering a take away though. The duck spring rolls were especially popular.

We all enjoyed our meal listening to traditional Chinese music and finished off with fortune cookies. 

Tomorrow we will be celebrating Valentines day with lots and lots of locally made cakes 🥰 I can't wait.

X x X

Thursday 11 February 2021

Look at those Tarts!

We found ourselves twiddling our thumbs this afternoon so myself, #3 and #4 decided to get baking.

We decided on red and yellow tarts to represent the colours of Chinese New Year.  It also helped that we had jam and lime curd that needed using up. 
Gman decided just making tarts wasn't enough and created a pastry dinosaur to join them.

Great job guys!

DD2 certainly enjoyed them and even allowed me to take a photograph of her! This almost never happens as Miss D hates being photographed usually.

X x X


Tuesday 9 February 2021

Oh my!

  Whoever was sewing this fabric was obviously pretty frugal. I've unpicked a seam and found the makers name, print year and design name. 

 A quick bit of Googling has led me to a seller on Ebay. 58cm squares for £23! I have several metres sat beside me. 

 Hmmmm...decisions decisions...

Keep it and craft or try selling it for some extra funds 🤔

What would you do?


Pantry day

Tuesday is fast becoming my favourite day of the week.
I only had the butternut squash and a little bit of onion left from last weeks visit so that made its way into a Squash and apple soup.
It was delicious! With clean plates all round the table. We even mashed a little into a puree for Baby C.

This weeks meal was sausages, potatoes, carrots, onions, peas and gravy. 
Well worth a single token I think as I was planning to get more sausages anyway.

Blue token - more sausages. Meat options were a little thin this visit. 

Red tokens -
Stock cubes
2x mushroom soup
2x baked beans
2x sweetcorn 
1x chocolate weetabix things
1x bolognaise sauce
2x mr kiplings Viennese whirls
1x chocolate biscuits

Free items -

Hard cheese 
2x cucumbers
6x oranges
A handful of sweet potatoes 

  I will be working out this weeks meal plan this evening when the children are in bed. I'm definitely thinking of spag bol and a sausage curry this week though. 

X x X 

Monday 8 February 2021

When life gives you limes...

Make some lime curd! 
Someone on Olio was rehoming an enourmous box of limes. I asked for 2, not wishing to be greedy. I was gifted 9! I passed a few on to some fellow frugal neighbours and the rest have become 3 jars of delicious lime curd.
I had a bit of a panic about halfway through when a police man knocked my front door asking if we'd witnessed something. We hadn't but I approciate they have to ask around. 
I'm sure i looked really worried and desperate to get rid of him in case my curd caught while i was away. No one wants a lumpy curd! 

I've had to put my current sewing project on pause thanks to injuring my thumb. I've caught my thumb nail on something and somehow torn it about halfway down a lot lower than I could trim it back. The raw edge is catching on everything and any pressure makes my whole thumb throb. I'm not one for making a big fuss about these things but it hurts a lot more than you think it should by looking at it. 
My current crafty project is some unpicking. Easily done with a thin double ended knitting needle so relatively pain free.
The fabric is some sort of unfinished project i found at the scrap store with a beautiful late 70's print.

I think I might have enough fabric to make the girls some dresses for Easter/Spring. Perhaps a pair of pj trousers for Gman to keep things fair.
I will keep you posted of progress.

X x X

Sunday 7 February 2021

Almost free lunch


 Today's lunch was a complete bargain.

4x naan breads - free from Olio

1 packet of sliced corned beef - free from Olio 

Grated cheese - community  pantry

Topped naan breads are always a popular meal or snack in the Spurrier house. 

I pop them in the oven for about 5-8 minutes to melt nicely.

I served them with fresh sliced apple which were also free from OLIO.

X x X

Tuesday 2 February 2021

Community pantry


 This weeks meal option at the community pantry was for a fry up. Sausages, bacon, beans, mushrooms and tomatoes. We were give double portions of everything as a large family. 

Apologies for the terrible photo. I didnt realise it was that blurry until I uploaded it 🙈

My remaining blue token was swapped for a bag of frozen sausages.

The red tokens;

1x hunters chicken cooking sauce
1x bolognese sauce
1x box of cereal
2x mushroom soup
1x roulade cheese
1x ice cream tub
1x mixed pretzals tray
2x cucumbers

Free items;

1x enourmous onion
1x butternut squash
1x enourmous broccoli 
1x bag of apples
3x leeks
2x pots of liver
1x wedge of hard cheese

 A very nice haul that will make some very tasty food. 
This afternoon will be spent finding recipe ideas. 

X x X

Monday 1 February 2021

Upcycling fun


 After the excitement that is Monday's Homeschooling I needed something calm and relaxing to do. 

So I dug out an old net curtain from the depths of the airing cupboard and turned it into a collection of drawstring produce bags. I've made a fairly big one for things like spuds, medium ones for apples, oranges, carrots etc and a few small ones for single items like onions or little things like mushrooms.

 My poor punnet of mushrooms was all over the place once I got home last week. They seem to have had a whale of time in that carrier bag 😂

 It was a lovely peaceful sewing project to enjoy while sipping tea and watching a bit of Ru Pauls Drag Race on Netflix. 

I do like being useful AND thrifty at the same time.

X x X