Monthly Archives: September 2012

2 things for the kitchen, and 1 for the suitcase

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Now that the seasons are changing, its time to think about stews, casseroles and soups!.  i decided that i would treat myself to 2 new kitchen applicances to aid this – a slow cooker and a stick blender!. Image

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As i type, the slow cooker is doing its thing with a casserole based on the Edmonds Cookbook basic recipe – very handily, the info book the cooker came with has a page on converting regular recipes, so fingers crossed, about 6pm tonight, i will have casserole and mash for tea – yum!.

I have plans to make soup later this week, I’m going to try a roast kumara, butternut squash and carrot soup. I don’t have a recipe, i’m just going to play and see how it goes!. then i’ll get to play with the stick blender!.

while in the supermarket, i also brought this…..

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it’s not Christmas without Quality Street!. i’m going to tip the contents into the suitcase to take home, although, seeing as how they have shrunk the tin, i may need to get another one!.

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Ally Pally Goodies!

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this morning when i woke up (4:30am!) i decided that i would go to the scrapbook show and at Ally Pally here in north london. it is an amazing venue, and i must remember to take my camera with me one day to capture the London skyline – can see it all from here!.

i wanted a few bits and pieces for Project Life i plan to start next month. I wrote a shopping list and didnt deviate that much!. they have put the show in the large hall, and boy!, it makes a huge difference. it used to be that you had to wrestle anyone and everyone to move about. now, you have breathing space, although there were still stands where it was hard to move about.

so here is my haul, plus the first plays – love the stensil and the effects of the distress ink!.

Pip Studio

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it’s always the way – go into one shop for one thing, and come out of it with another ……

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yay!!, my very own piece of Pip Studio – i have been coverting this line for the last couple of years, struggling to decide if i should collect some. This afternoon i went into John Lewis for something else and thought i might look for a butter dish while i was there. I didnt like the 2 options i saw, then as i was leaving the kitchen area i decided to check the back of a display, and there it was – shelves of Pip Studio!. oh swoon!!. i stood there for a bit, umming and arrrghing!. i saw the above dish and thought, is that a butter dish?. i couldn’t see it listed on the price list but rather handily, next to me on a pillar was a scanning machine, so i scanned it, saw it was indeed a butter dish, and saw the price was very reasonable – that sealed the deal!. i now have a butter dish and some Pip Studio, all rolled into one. 🙂

Memory Keeping

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I’ve been struggling with how best to record me memories lately, now that i dont directly look after children. when i did i used to take photos all the time, both of the children and of the places we went to. now i teach those who look after the children, so the photo opportunities are limited and i seem to spend all my time working or trying to get to grips with my life after a tough couple of years.

I tried the calender monthly page for 3 months i think and while i got to record what i did, it doesnt give you much scope for photos and decoration. i havent put up my Aug page and it is very ho hum!.

I’m being  drawn to Project Life more and more, and am beginning to think a version of this might suit my needs. I love to record what happens but things dont have for me everyday so i’m thinking a monthly spread for the most part.

I’m pretty much made the decision to try this way for a few months and see how that works for me. so i’m not going to continue the art journal calendar page for now. But i am still going to continue art journalling in my book as i enjoy that process.

My plan is to start my version of PL in the month of my birthday in 2mths time, so that gives me time to get some of my vast stash pile ready and in the right size/some form of organisation.

Incidently, i’m debating with myself about going on a day trip to Paris for my birthday, to replicate the one i was taken on 5yrs ago. Being as i’m heading to NZ for a month 3 wks later, i cant decide!.

Slow Living Essentials

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This is my first post followin the idea set out by Slow Living Essentials blog. I really like the idea of focusing on things that promote a more simplier pace of life, and on the things and items you use.

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch overpackaged, over-processed convenience foods and opt for ‘real’ food instead. Share favourite links/recipes/tips from the month here =

This is pretty easy for me, as i have been 95% making my own for several years now, however, now i’m back in my own space i am getting back into it in full force. I use very little preprocessed food in all meals i make, and now I no longer buy biscuits and cakes – i have to make them if i want them. this month i tried Tan Slice for the first time. its a common slice avaliable in NZ and if you love caramel like me, its yummy!.

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season. Aim to reduce dependency on store bought items especially those known to contain BPA and other suspect additives. Stocking up on dry goods when prices are low counts too =

for me, this relates to the above post. I live on my own, and i if i want to make sure i eat healthily i have to batch cook – pots of chilli or bog sauce. when i do my monthly shop i get meat for the meals i plan to make and i put several portions in the freezer for meals later in the month. this stops me eating junk sometimes when i’m tired coming home from work – providing i have remembered to take the meal out of the freezer.

REDUCE/Reuse/Re-purpose/Repair: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. A ladder into a strawberry planter? A sheet into a dress? Share ideas and project links here, allowing others to be inspired =

not alot for this section this past month. I have reinstigated the wee wipes!. so much nicer than toilet paper!. I have another cot sheet to cut up and hem to add to the pile, as i accidently sent one wipe down the loo!.

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous =

at the moment, this is still in its infancy. i want to get into homemade cleaners firstly – i just need to find some recipes and have a go – maybe that should be my challenge to myself for this month!.

GROW: plant/harvest. What’s growing this month? What’s being eaten from the garden? Herbs in a pot, sprouts on a windowsill or and entire fruit/vegetable garden -opt for what fits space and time constraints. Don’t have a backyard? Ask a friendly neighbour or relative for a small patch of theirs in return for some home grown produce, they may surprise you! =

this section is going to be had to follow as i’m now in a one bed flat on the second floor with no outdoor space at all!. Still, when i moved here i brought a blueberry with me from my old allotment, and for the last 6 wks i have being enjoying freshly picked berries. this photo is of my last crop

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. Create something as simple as a handmade gift tag or something as extravagant as a fine knit shawl. Share project details and any new skills learnt here =

this i like!!. I have slowly been working on a cushion cover – it really should be finished now but i’ve been waylaid by something (more on that later!). I have also been doing art journalling as i get the inspiration.

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Trawl libraries, second hand shops or local book shops to find titles that fill the need. Share titles/authors of what is being read this month =

in my new place i am about 8mins walk from the main borough library. in essence that should be great, but i’m dismayed by the lack of books in the library, and they dont accept donations – i’ve tried!. anyway, i had to see what they had as i am writing a course for work and wanted some recent publications. you may also spy what has sidetracked me this month! – i gave in and have almost read all of the 3 50Shades books!.

ENHANCE: community: Possibilities include supporting local growers and producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or food swap, joining a playgroup or forming a walking or craft group. Car pooling where possible and biking/walking instead of driving. Even start up a blog if you haven’t already – online communities count too! Or maybe just help out someone trying to cross the street! The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold =

I am not going to have a lot to add to this at the moment – i have to walk now, unless i use the buses, as i no longer have a car. my ‘spare tyres’ are not impressed that i walk everywhere and are leaving!!.

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment. Share a moment to be remembered from the month here =

I’m not going to talk alot about this, but my enjoy moment is with someone who means a great deal to me.