Friday, 29 July 2011

Excuse me if I seem a little distracted but there is a wild, ginger kitten tearing up and down the room, trying to yank the power supply with his teeth from the laptop as I try to blog about my latest crafting.
Here it is. A scrappy heart that I made yesterday evening. It is very rustic. I'm no seamstress and maybe making this while also sipping a glass of Hubby's homebrew and watching Torchwood at the same time, gives it that extra thrown together feel!
I had to make this after seeing the lovely one made on Sarah Sellers 'Tranquil, Peaceful, Calm' website. The pattern came from the book above 'Fast Fabric Gifts'. So I bought the book (don't tell Hubby!) and made one from the fabric bundles I keep buying off the local market stall. I've placed it on the mantlepiece with along with the 'LOVE' ornament that I bought at the Wildwood giftshop and the teddy that I bought in the Cath Kidston sale today. Hubby keeps complaining about the teddy - that it is so well camouflaged (I thought, blended in) against the wallpaper that it is like a 'predatator' teddy. He likes my scrappy heart, though. Of course he does!
And... Auntie Julia came round today bearing gifts. Julia teaches a drama class and recently (can't remember if I blogged about this) we went to see one of her excellent shows. This car was a prop in one of the scenes and Henry was obsessed with it. My Uncle Ken made it and they said Henry could have it when the shows were over. So here it is - in The Lost Garden of of Hooligans. It's great. They love it. Thank YOU!!!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Le weekend

All week, the children have been coming home from school with armfuls of paper and card as the big end-of-term clear out got underway. In anticipation of our new arrival, Henry brought hom this enormous cardboard box. He said it was to be the bed for the new kitten. But then all three children got into it and went for a wild ride. One hour later and it wasn't much good for anything.

This was our lunch on Saturday. Just simple ol' nachos with guacamole and soured cream. The drink is a watermelon cooler. It's just watermelon whizzed up with a scoop of ice-cream in the top. When I was pregnant with Henry, I had one of these in a mexican cafe and was hooked on them. Lovely.

And here he is. Little, ginger, fluffy Hugo. He is seven weeks old and adorable.

Another Wildwood maths trail

It's the summer holidays again! Woo, hoo!
We started ours with a maths trail at the wildlife park, Wildwood again. I can't believe it is a whole year since I posted about the last one. The questions were quite similar to the last one, with HM working out how long the journey there took, how fast I was going (60 mph) and how far would we get in half an hour. At the entrance she had to work out the cost for a family of four and then what the saving would be if the special family ticket was purchased.

Henry's questions involved recording times, speed, money etc. They both had to record the numbers of adders, wolves and rats seen and construct a bar graph to show the info. HM had to construct a pie chart also.

This is the beaver dam. They are huge (asleep in their burrows ) but Hope had been waiting all this time to see her favourite animals... the baby ducklings!

I intend to do a lot more of this sort of thing over the next six weeks.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A bit of home-grown and home-made.

Oh! Look at me! Back on blogger, two days in a row. This might have something to do with Hubby having commandeered the telly to watch "The Legend of '81"- a documentary about Ian Botham (yawn).
Just look at my veggie patch, there. It has a life of it's own. At the bottom of our garden is an awesome looking field of sweetcorn and in spite of never seeing a farmer, it is all growing in nice neat rows with not a weed in sight. Now, I'm not the most conscientious of gardeners but I do try my best to potter among the veg and flowers, trying to keep things tidy in between school runs, cooking, shopping, teaching, washing... etc etc. I only have to turn my back for 5 mins and all sorts of things crop up/ die/ get eaten before I can stop it. However, some mysterious 'weeds' have grown up among the lettuces bearing pretty purple flowers. I have no idea what they are but I have left them alone for aesthetic value.
But this post is about what I have been up to in the kitchen this week, really. I have been combining our homegrown veg with leftovers to make up this weeks meals as follows:
Sunday: Roast chicken dinner (including my mothers cabbage from her veg patch) (I saved the left over chicken carcass)
Monday: Boiled bacon and parsley sauce with tatties and supermarket veg. (I saved the remains of the bacon joint and some of the cooking water which included onions and celery).
Tuesday: Chicken and bacon pie with broad beans from my veg patch (made with leftover chicken and bacon and parsley sauce adding extra cream in a dish with leek and topped with puff pastry and more of Mum's cabbage).
Wednesday: Summer potage! A soup made from chicken stock that I made from the old carcass plus some of the bacon cooking water I had also saved. Then I added pearl barley, chopped chicken and bacon, more broad beans and lettuce from the veg patch and then I sent Hubby out to get a tin of chopped tomatoes to put in also.

Now, I was in the supermarket a few days ago and found a massive punnet of blueberries being sold as seconds for just 39p! They were fresh. I think, maybe, a few packets had split so they had been done up again like this. So, apart from putting some au naturel in the kids' lunchboxes, I made these blueberry muffins with them. The kids had the little ones for snack after school today. The big ones are for breakfast tomorrow. They are fantastic. The pics are a bit blurry (sorry) but can you see how the blueberries are juicily oozing out of these muffins? Num, num!

So here is today's dinner, the summer soup served with baguette and a selection of cheeses. I wasn't really looking forward to it at first, but it was delicious. I was almost tempted to open my Mum's bottle of homemade plum wine, but then thought "no. It's only Wednesday!" But then Hubby walked in with the tin of tomatoes... and a bottle of rose wine. 'Nuff said. Hubby and I were chatting about how much we both used to dislike pearl barley when we were children. But all our kids love it and we seem to like it now, too. Funny, that!
Look at those happy faces!
Tomorrow: sausage, mash 'n beans.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A bit more decorating.

Some of our wallpaper needed tidying up a bit.
Here are the walls after Hubby stripped off the old wallpaper.

And here is the new wallpaper. It is very similar to the old one, I know. I saw it in a magazine (I shouldn't keep looking at these magazines!). It's from B&Q. When I got to the shop, I wasn't sure about how it looked on the roll, but I decided to take a chance with it, after all, it's for quite a small area. But once put up I think it looks very pretty.
I repainted the fireplace, too, with my posh paint!

Friday, 8 July 2011


Today I took the kids to see our soon to be new member of the family... a gorgeous, ginger kitten. We are all very excited. One of Honor's friends from church has a cat who had four kittens and we are having one of them. At the moment, they have all been named after Harry Potter characters and ours is called Ron, but I think we are agreed that when he comes here, his name will be Hugo.

A maths update

Here, Honor is working on pie chart fractions with plasticine.
And we've been using these rainbow fraction circles quite a bit lately.
Here, she is adding fractions with different denominators.

We used the fraction circles to visually demonstrate how to convert the fractions so that they have the same denominators.