Today’s Baking and other Jobs….

It is Monday again already, it is always a busy day of the week for me as you know it is when I do most of my baking.

Today I have made two mixed flour loaves (wholemeal and white flour) which will last the week for sandwiches (I have frozen one to stop it going stale) and I have made a large fruit loaf to slice and toast for breakfast.

I have also made a cranberry and blackcurrant upside down cake. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be any good as there didn’t seem to be enough cake mixture to cover the fruit, I possibly should have used a smaller tin! It is a very shallow cake but very tasty so it wasn’t too bad in the end! The cake doesn’t look particularly appealing – more of a purple berry mess!! ( it isn’t black, it just looks it in the photos)!

Monday is also our shopping day so I get the list ready and plan what meals we are going to have throughout the week. I browsed my recipe  books for some more interesting meals. I have a few different casseroles planned for this week that I am looking forward to making.

To a lot of people my weekdays are possibly quite boring but I fill them with lots of other things – I walk our puppy twice a day, I keep on top of washing up, laundry and cleaning and I also have my embroidery project on the go. There is always a job to be done and with spring around the corner there will be plenty of gardening activities!

Planning the Veg Patch and Sewing the Curtains..

The vegetable seeds that I ordered have arrived! 

As you can see I ordered quite a few seeds and I can’t wait to start sowing them. Before I can do that I need to add more compost to my beds and I also have another bed to make. I then need to plan what to grow where by looking at how long each vegetable will take to grow and how much space they will take up.

The growing season will begin soon with some of the vegetable seeds being able to be sown indoors in February! I shall use the propergator for this to keep them warm so they can germinate.

I have also been concentrating on embroidering the fabric for my curtains. I think it is going to take me quite a while but I have made some progress. 

I think it is beginning to look like a feather! But I have lots more feathers to sew so not sure how long this will take me….

Sewing Project -Handmade Embroidered Curtains

I am making curtains for the first time! I wanted to make something unique that goes well with the decor for our new bedroom.

I haven’t made it easy for myself as I want to embroider feathers onto the fabric which will take a little while to get done.

I have bought a plain white cotton fabric and chosen a green embroidery thread that matches the green on the wallpaper.

My plan is to copy the feather pattern from the wallpaper onto the curtains. I will only do one panel of feathers across the curtains as it will take me all year to sew feathers all over the fabric!!

Here is the wallpaper – I want to incorporate this pattern into my curtains.

I have cut the fabric for one curtain to start with, I have three to make as we have two windows in the room. ( the small window only needs one curtain)

I have began the embroidery with the stem of the feather. (I drew out the pattern in pencil to sew over) Hopefully it will look more like a curtain soon and I am hoping to add more embellishments to the fabric to add texture and colour.

I shall keep you updated on my progress!

Baking and Tiling!

I spent today finishing the tiling in the hallway. I cut the the last two tiles and then got them stuck down. When they were all set in place I grouted them and then washed them. I am very pleased with the outcome as it was my first time at tiling a floor and using an electric tile cutter!

I also did a little bit of baking as it is Monday and that is my traditional baking day! I baked some Chelsea buns as I have always wanted to make those. They turned out very well and were just like ones from a bakery. Delicious! 

I also made some cereal biscuits using leftover cereals – a great way to use up all the crumbs at the bottom of the packet. I used a variety of cereals and added a handful of sultanas along with some other basic ingredients to make biscuits. These are great for a yummy snack.

My only problem is that there are only two of us and there are 7 Chelsea buns left! I think they are best eaten fresh but I have no one else to give them to as we don’t live close by to any family members. Unfortunately I don’t have any friends either to give them away to and I don’t know many people at all in the area we live! I am sure my husband and I will be able to enjoy a couple more tomorrow though! 

A Fulfilling Day

Today I have been busy and made accomplishments which always makes me feel positive about the day. 

On Monday I began tiling the hallway floor. I have been putting off finishing it all week as I really don’t like measuring! The tiles needed cutting to certain sizes – some were quite complex where they needed to be cut around door frames. I don’t like to be defeated so I got measuring and cutting as soon as our puppy was having a sleep!

Most of the tiles are cut and positioned, they just need sticking down and then grouting.

I was pleased that the bed linen I had ordered arrived today for our new bedroom! I went upstairs to make the bed right away! The bedding goes really well with the decor and I furnished the bed with cushions that were a wedding present from my sister and a bed throw that was a Christmas gift from my brother in law. 


I am hoping to make the curtains for the bedroom. I have got ideas in mind and I am looking forward to going to a craft shop to choose my materials!

It has been a lovely sunny day here which always makes me feel happy, especially in the winter when it is often dull. I had a lovely walk with our puppy in the sunshine.
I have also got all my cleaning tasks done for the day including hoovering, washing and cleaning the bathroom. I will be trying out a new recipe for dinner – Hot and Spicy Parsnips and Chickpeas. 

Whilst there is always a job that needs doing I am quite satisfied with what I have achieved today.

Waiting for Spring


I am looking forward to getting back in the garden again. I can’t wait to see all my fruit plants come back to life and see the blossom appearing.

I have just ordered my vegetable seeds for this year and I am very excited to be growing a variety of vegetables. I have probably ordered more seeds than what I can grow but I will consider it a challenge trying to grow as much as possible!

I have another large vegetable bed to prepare and I also want to top up the other beds with more soil, I am just waiting for it to dry up a bit outside as it has been very damp and dull all week. 

Last year wasn’t too bad considering I grew most things with little planning and preparation. But this year I have a lot more planned and I am looking forward to the growing season! Also my fruit plants and trees will be more established this year so I am expecting more fruit!

Homeowners for a Year

On the 15th January 2016, we got the keys to our first home. It was very exciting for us and we had a very busy year!

Now just over a year on we have achieved a lot but still have so much left to do!

The Living Room

You wouldn’t believe that this is the same room! There are still jobs that need doing in here, we need some trim to finish of the shelving and we need to get some doors made for the cupboards. (It is a little messy without the doors) There is also some coving to be done and then our living room is finished!!

The Kitchen


The kitchen was another major project and a huge transformation, we just need to get some more pelmet to go along the back of the worktop and seal it and then that room is finished!!
The Bathroom


The bathroom was very dated and had no toilet ( there is a downstairs toilet). A lot of work needed doing to bring it into the 21st century. Again another room not completely finished – all that needs doing is the bath sides putting on.

Our Bedroom

Our most recent and ongoing project – I recently posted a blog about it. We have now got the bed in there and I have ordered some new bedding to go with the decor. I am currently contemplating making the curtains for the room. It is in need of soft furnishings and furniture.

Those are the main projects but we have done so much more, the garden, painting the window sills, cleaning and painting the pantry etc! I have just started tiling the hallway floor too! 

This YearsProjects

  • Finish all the above rooms
  • The dining room
  • The guest bedrooms
  • Finish painting the hallway
  • The garden
  • The utility room

As you can see there is always something that needs doing. I hope by the end of this year that we have a fully decorated house and a beautiful garden!

We are very blessed and happy to have our home. 

Friday Night Pasta Bake

Homemade pasta bake was on the menu tonight. I always make my pasta bakes from scratch so don’t weigh any ingredients other than the pasta.

I really enjoy pasta bake, it is a very warming comfort food, perfect for the end of the week. The soft cheese made it more creamy and indulgent.

Ingredients for Pasta Bake ( I don’t really know what to call it as there are too many ingredients in it)!

  • Chicken breasts ( I used two small ones)
  • Pasta (I used 150g)
  • Cheese
  • 1 leek
  • Kale
  • Peas
  • Passata
  • Garlic
  • Chilli
  • Soft cheese ( I used 1 tablespoon of)
  • Dried oregano (1tsp)
  • Ground black pepper (1tsp)
  • Chilli flakes
  • Salt
  • Butter

Method

Boil chicken breasts in water until cooked.

Slice leeks and cook in a pan with the butter, add 1 crushed clove of garlic and pour in some frozen peas. Make cuts in a whole chilli pepper and add to the pan. Add oregano, salt, pepper and chilli flakes.

Meanwhile bring a pan of water to the boil and add the pasta and kale – cook until the pasta is nearly soft but not quite – it will finish cooking in the oven! 

Shred the cooked chicken with two forks and then add to the pan with the leeks, pour on the passata and add the soft cheese. (Shredding the chicken helps it to spread out more evenly amongst the pasta)

Drain the pasta and kale and add into the pan with the passata mixture. Remove the whole chilli and then tip the pasta into an oven proof dish, cover with a blanket of grated cheese and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden.

A simple yet satisfying recipe!

Healthy Dinner in a Bowl

Not the most artistic of photos! – but I wanted to share with you our healthy salmon, noodles and greens dinner!

This meal is full of flavour and packed with green vegetables. It is a very tasty filling dinner.

Ingredients:

  • Salmon fillets
  • Noodles (I used dried noodles)
  • Broccoli – sliced florets
  • Green beans
  • Spring onions – sliced
  • Leeks – sliced
  • Kale
  • Lemon zest
  • Chilli – sliced

I baked the salmon in the oven with a lemon oil dressing that I made up with lemon juice, oil, ground chilli and ground ginger. This baked for about half an hour.

I steamed the vegetables and boiled the noodles for 5 minutes and then put them into a wok with the chilli and grated over lemon zest.

This is a simple yet satisfying mid-week meal. I like to eat the salmon skin as it is crispy and it contains omega 3 and other nutrients!

The photograph makes the meal look very messy,I wasn’t intending on taking a picture but it looked so healthy and yummy so I decided to blog about it!!

Home Renovations – Bedroom

We have nearly owned our house for a year and a lot has changed since we first bought it. We still have many projects to undertake but there have been vast improvements and we know there will be many more this year.

I have been the main painter and decorator and the most recent project has been our bedroom. We are finally approaching our room being finished!

IMG_0120.JPG 

This was how our bedroom looked when we first bought the house, there was a chimney breast on the wall which we removed and then had to build the wall back up where there was only a single layer of bricks! This took a lot of work and was a very messy job! However, it has given us more space and made the room more square. After removing all of the wallpaper and carpet we stopped work on this room to focus on the kitchen, bathroom and living room. We removed the light fitting from this room and put it in the kitchen, we thought it looked better there!IMG_0231.JPG

Finally in October we were ready to have the room plastered so we could get on with decorating!

A blank canvas ready to be decorated……

The room is all ready for the carpet being fitted tomorrow. We have ordered a pale green carpet and I am excited to see it all fitted!! After this we need to start getting soft furnishings – curtains, bedding etc. And furniture of course!! This room has been long awaited so I greatly anticipate the finished project!