Monday, 30 January 2012

New Year's Resolutions 2012

Ok, it's nearly a twelfth (!) of the way through the year but I decided just before January that if I was having an eye operation then I'd probably end up failing all of my resolutions straight away. SO I decided that my New Year would begin in February.

My resolutions are:

  • Meal planning - planning ahead every week before I do my shopping so that I know what we're eating every day
  • New foods - trying at least one new recipe a week 
  • Cooking properly most nights AND for the children - my kiddies are a little on the fussy side and generally when the Husband is working of an evening I cook whatever they want, usually it involves beans, toast or pasta with cheese sauce. My aim this year is to cook properly no matter who is there for dinner and the serve the children the same as me.
  • Keeping the sink clear - leaving the sink and draining board EMPTY every night (as in do all the washing up, not as in stack it on the cupboard)
  • Start sorting the garage and de-clutter

I figured 5 resolutions was enough. And 3 of them all focus on the same sort of thing so shouldn't be too hard really... I'm on holiday (self-catering at Center Parcs (with the in-laws)) next week so the meal planning will have to wait another week!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Spare room of DOOM

I tackled it.
We have 3 bedrooms, ours, the girls' and the spare room of DOOM. Originally intended as a piano/sewing room (how quaint) it ended up as a dumping ground. We moved in 6 months ago and it has been cleared a couple of times already.

My last excuse was Christmas - I needed somewhere to bung all the gifts, and everything else I couldn't be bothered to sort out.

Today I tackled it. It's not perfect, things still need sorting and it still looks so FULL. It is a small room, you could probably get a double bed in but nothing else! It holds Hubby's clavinova (electric full-sized piano), a dolls house, an ikea short wide billy bookcase, a really thin tall book case, 3 sets of plastic drawers, a printer and my sewing desk. Plus the 4 spare dining room chairs and a few boxes of stuff Hubby is selling on ebay. It holds all our papers, all our craft stuff, some of my cake supplies (boxes) lots of books AND presents.

We've done a lot of sales shopping this year and we have enough presents to hopefully see us through the year! Unfortunately these are now piled in the corner of the room and covered in bright towels. We literally have nowhere else to put them.

The spare dining room chairs get in the way, but there is nowhere else they can go and we do use them every couple of weeks but our lounge is too small to house them permanently (get the general SMALL theme here). At the moment they are stacked in 2s in front of the presents, near the piano.

But the floor is clear, the room now HAS a floor. We can get into the room, I have a rough idea of where most things are, and that will have to do for now!

P.S I will post photos but will wait until I've had a chance to hoover then you can see the difference!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Macaroons (or French Macaroons) plus recipe link!


Monday evening I made (and ate) macaroons for the first time EVER. It will not be the last time.

Now I think some people know macaroons as being coco-nutty and biscuity? Served in bakeries and being a biscuity brown sort of colour.

But if you google 'macaroons' you will find you also see brightly coloured discs that are sandwiched together with some sort of cream. I think these are officially French macaroons.

How to describe them? Crunchy meringue-esque shell, slightly chewy and soft inside, the taste of ground almonds and a hint of vanilla. Heaven basically. I don't eat a lot of what I bake but these I ate. And most of them. There is a myth in the baking world that they are really hard to make. I didn't find it too hard, I followed the recipe and directions on this amazing blog (recipe here Bravetart macaroon recipe) I followed the recipe to the letter.

My only problem was having brown baking paper that I could see my drawn circles through so the size of my macaroons varied and they were a little wobbly as I don't have a straight piping nozzle so I just cut the end off of one of my piping bags.

This is what they look like:

They are a brighter colour than they look in the photo and the photo was just a quick snap taken with my mobile. I sandwiched them together with a vanilla buttercream.

Tonight I hope to try and make some more, maybe pink this time.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Nappies for a dolly!

I was browsing through some of the blogs I follow and I came across this:

Bee In My Bonnet - dolly diaper tutorial

And it is a simple idea that works so well and would make a lovely present alongside a bought doll as a present.

My eldest got a Tiny Tears doll for Christmas - for those of you unfamiliar with these, you 'feed' the doll water and it cries and wees! Great fun but a little messy. The doll comes with a towling outfit but I think it'd be lovely if we had some proper nappies for her.

I reckon I've got enough pretty scrap fabric to make a set of pretty nappies, I might even try some bibs too. I'll post pictures when I get round to it although it'll be a while (apparently operating a sewing machine with double vision isn't advised?!)

I love the idea of the wipes too, I might get one of those plastic wipes dispensers as my two have always loved pulling wipes out of the packet!

Ebay isn't showing me much when I search for 'towling fabric' so I might have to investigate that one a bit further. I guess I could always go down the route of using a cheap towel or flannel but I think towling would be softer!

P.S I aspire to be able to sew as neatly as the lady in the tutorial <3

Monday, 9 January 2012

Well... that wasn't much fun!

I had my surgery, and ended up starting a blog about it ( because when I looked for information I couldn't find anything that fitted my situation or that seemed up to date so I am hoping that someone might find my experience useful!

Due to spending 5 days laying on my left side (see other blog) I've not been doing much worth blogging about. I am now crocheting myself a Kindle case using a lovely thick chunky red yarn which is soft and crochets really nicely. I've also ordered myself a pretty set of metal crochet hooks in a variety of sizes.

I'd love to get sewing soon but I can't until my vision is better. I think that this is a good excuse to go to a wool shop and buy some pretty wool as I can manage to crochet!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year. New Blogger.

I’m not technically new to blogging. I’ve attempted a few half-heartedly before and I’ve helped Jingles (the visiting Christmas Elf) keep a blog during advent for the last 2 years but I’ve not actually managed to keep my own.
Part of what puts me off is the fact that I LOVE reading blogs. One of my favourite parts of the day is when I have 5 minutes spare with a cup of tea and I can flip through the hundreds of blogs that I follow and delve into other people’s worlds. I love the eclectic mix of other blogs that are out there, I follow sewing blogs, crochet blogs, crafting blogs, kiddy blogs, cake blogs, food blogs, family blogs, weight-loss blogs, clothes blogs, home organisation blogs and ones that are a bit of everything. And I don’t think I fit into any of those categories. I can work a sewing machine but I’m not great at it. I can crochet but tend to stick to blankets and things that can be made out of rectangles, I like crafting with my kids, I cook sometimes etc etc. I do love to bake, that’s my main hobby, but it’s not necessarily something I want to blog solely about. So I don’t know where, or even if I do fit into the blogging world? I guess time will tell!
My idea was that I’d have blogging as a New Year’s resolution but I’ve got an emergency operation (detached retina) on one of my eyes on Tuesday and it’ll affect my vision for at least a few weeks. So I may or may not start blogging straight away. I might not even be allowed to use my laptop for a while!
Wish me luck, and I hope to blog again soon!