Sunday 29 November 2009

Advent Calendar and Sloe Gin Labels

I am full steam ahead with Christmas planning right now. We are off to London at the weekend and need to drop off 90% of our gifts, and I only really realised this a few days ago. We are getting there though and it will be a great relief to be a little ahead.

Also, I've been doing Mil's advent calendar. That's what that little preview on the last post was. I have numbered 24 little envelopes and drawn and coloured a Christmas themed token for in each one, as well as a written activity for each day. I am going to peg them to a ribbon, in an as yet undecided location. I'll show you pics when they are up.

If you would like to use the sheet I made for the 24 advent tokens I have made it available as a pdf here. You could use it for colouring-in fun, or gift tags too. I warn you, some of the drawings are somewhat primitive! I have also put our activities here as a pdf too. A lot of these are the same as those that are all over blogland at the moment.

I also made some labels for our sloe gin, as we are giving these as gifts. I have done these as a download too, but not sure how many of you will be using Mendip sloes! I'm rather pleased... it feels like things are coming together!

Oh, and look, my hyacinth is flowering and smells glorious.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Christmas is coming

A little preview of some Christmas related crafting... what could it be?

A short post as we've been away visiting relatives. Pretty much all our relatives live in Cambridge, and as we aren't going to be there over Christmas we have just spent several days catching up with folk there. A very restful weekend was had with walks along the towpath and at Wandlebury. Lovely.

I'm glad to be back and happily have Christmas on my mind.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Pebble vest

I finished my vest! I actually finished it 10 days ago, but it has taken me a little while to get it up here. I really enjoyed this knit. It was simple and satisfying and I love the yarn which was a bargain. I am going to knit another, but try and size it up so that it will last a little longer.

Ravelry link to my project here, the free pattern is Pebble by Nikol Lohr, The Thrifty Knitter. I used the DK yarn Sirdar Escape in colour 0187. I used just under a 50g skein.

Not sure who this is for yet. There are babies due to pop out all over the place so I'm sure it will find a good home, and then I'll be able to have the satisfaction of seeing this on somebody.

And to end, here are some pics of the kids enjoying carnival on Friday night. We had a great time, the power stayed on, and we were able to cook our lasagna (which was yum!).

Friday 13 November 2009

Kitchen Poetry 05: Friday

Tonight is carnival night here in our little city, and seeing as we live on the route, we have friends over so the kids can press their noses up against our front window, and the adults can skulk in the back room drinking wine.

I was going to post some pictures of general merriment from this evening, but we were struck with a power cut in early evening and this has become the story.

It is lasagna, salad and garlic bread on the menu tonight, and luckily B had made the red sauce earlier on today, but I had to make the white sauce and construct the things. Power cuts don't usually last long around here, so I was pretty confident we would be able to get them in the oven, but did need to make this other sauce. Now, you would think the gas hob would work, but it has some safety cut out, so here I am cooking on the camping stove.

All back on now, after an hour and a half which is the longest I've known for a while.

Happy carnival all!

Thursday 12 November 2009

Kitchen Poetry 4: Thursday

Now, this really is poetry. Well, poetry to me anyhow.
Welcome to our kitchen... it NEVER looks like this. This morning we have been cleaning like mad things as this afternoon we have an agent coming to value our house. (And, frankly the place is a tip, so it's a good excuse).
We are not going to put the house on the market, but recently have started to think about the possibilities of moving and would like to know the value so we can start looking with a bit more sincerity.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Kitchen Poetry 3: Wednesday

I love cooking. B loves cooking. We used to cook a lot together. We would spend all week planning what feast we were going to create on the weekend, and then spend all day preparing, and have friends over to eat with us.
Now we have a little one around, we don't have the time to cook as much as we did, but we do eat well, very well.
Our library of cookery books (there are some gardening ones there too) is dipped into all the time and we try to cook new things as much as possible.
Do you see any glaring gaps that need filling? Any recommendations?

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Kitchen Poetry 2: Tuesday

Tonight it was a lovely supper of Leek Cheese and Baked Potatoes. This is a childhood favourite of mine. My mum says she invented Leek Cheese, but I am not sure as this feels like it should be a classic in every home. So, does anyone else make cheesy leeks?

Edited to add: so it seems I should have added the recipe first time round... see, there I was thinking everybody knew how to make this... I guess maybe my mum did invent this!
  • Trim a couple of leeks, and cut in half down the length. Wash.
  • Quickly steam/ boil leeks to cook.
  • Put leeks in ovenware dish and pour over cheese sauce (a recipe can be found here)
  • Bake for 30 mins or so in a medium oven.

So you see, just like Cauliflower Cheese (which is definitely a classic) but with leeks.

Monday 9 November 2009

Kitchen Poetry 1: Monday

We always eat breakfast in the kitchen, sitting on stools or leaning against the counter. Today I had porridge, all the good work undone with a ton of brown sugar. This was M's first porridge... he had jam, ate the jammy bit then decided he didn't like it. Pretty typical of the moment really - the boy is fussy about food right now as he is struggling with his last back teeth.

If you want to join in with this week of kitchen photo posts then please do and comment here so we can all enjoy the fun.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Anyone fancy another round of Kitchen Poetry?

I was having a little look back at what was going on in the blog this time last year and found that at the beginning of Nov 2008 Toni of Simple Sparrow (now here) hosted Kitchen Poetry. Kitchen Poetry was a week of photographic posts from in your kitchen. The photo could be of anything as long as it was in your kitchen.

I really enjoyed this exercise and (with Toni's blessing) have decided to do it again running from tomorrow (Monday) through to Sunday.

Anyone want to join me? If you do please comment on this post and point back to it, that way I (and anyone else who joins in) can enjoy the weeks happenings in your kitchen too.

Eeek... here comes a week of daily posting... better go and clean the hob!

Friday 6 November 2009

Eye Spy... Shoes

Did you know Bug and Pop does eye spy and this week it is shoes? I thought I would join in with this one and show and tell you my two favourite pairs. I'm a little late (it starts on Sunday), but better late than never.

First off, the pair I bought to get married in... I obviously LOVE them and they are also surprisingly comfy. From Celine. You can't see from this picture, but they have a very lovely square toe.

And, my most worn pair... my Raw Terrain boots from here. This is my second pair of these. I wear them all winter.... 98% of the time. I walk in them, I hang out in them, they are cosy, they are waterproof, you can drive in them, they only cost £35... and last year, before we had carpets, I even wore them like slippers in the house.

I have just washed all the mud off them from Wales.

Ahh.... Shoes.

And... I did some sewing! I miracle! Very boring but functional sewing. Here we have an inadequate box for a spare airbed and pump...

And here we have an ample and lovely bag for bed and pump, and even a small pocket for the puncture repair kit!! I was very very excited about doing this yesterday... small pleasures!

Monday 2 November 2009

Good wholesome October times

Looking back over the past couple of weeks at the photos I have taken has made me realise that although it feels like a bit of an uphill struggle at the moment, there have been some really wonderful moments and all of it so, so autumnal.

We were lucky enough to be invited to stay in a beautiful house with friends in mid Wales, we paddled in streams, walked up mountains and got looked at by sheep.

We've been walking back in our very own Mendips too, finding bear caves, woody streams and rich brown bracken topped moorland.
I'm also being charmed all over again by our pretty little City. How many people have to walk past a moat in order to get to the swings?
And who cannot get excited about carving up a spotty pumpkin... the gnarliest we could find, and the instructions were to make a happy pumpkin... no scary pumpkins in our house this year.
I've even being doing a (very little) bit of crafting. I'm knitting a vest, and love love loving the autumnal colours in my yarn.

So, uphill it may be at the moment, but we sure are having some nice times too.