Saturday, 28 September 2013

Project 365 22nd - 28th September 2013


There is a company doing house insulation locally, and its noisy enough from this side of the street, goodness knows how noisy it is in the house.


Went off picking blackberries today, first of the season that I have managed to get time to pick.


Had the children for a while tonight as daughter was away to physio as she is having a lot of discomfort. As I know I will be late to pick them up on Thursday we did some baking today instead. We made blackberry muffins.
The two of them were stood in the kitchen doorway once we had finished and Fifi was boxing his ears and he was laughing at her....strange boy!!


These are the cakes the children made yesterday. Bobs are on the left.

Went out with a friend to visit another friend and for some strange reason the zebra crossings appealed to me.


Was late picking the children up yesterday, time I picked them up and fed them they wanted to watch a film rather than play games. So Bob and I played the wii this morning after Fifi went to school.


This came in the post yesterday as part of the Brit Mums Barny post. Lets hope its dry next week so we can get out and use it.

ps we got out on Tuesday and used it if you want to go look, have blogged about it here

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday, 27 September 2013

Bob and Auntie H went to the park ( with the camera)

Auntie H took Fifi to Pizza Hut the other day, nobody else can eat out of there so Fifi feels she is missing out, and so she promised Bob she would come and take him out yesterday. Bob is not keen on the bus and Auntie H does not drive, so they have no choice but to stay in the village.

Bob decided to take Auntie H out round the village, but came here first to pick the camera up. We still need pictures for Capture the colour so the fact he is still showing a huge interest is good.

Here are some of the pictures he took, in no specific order, maybe not competition winners but fun none the less.

We now have all the colours we need and I will get them sorted for our competition entry.

a litter bin

a pile of sand in the school playground

a truck that doubles as bench and table

Smurfs on the front of the car

Bob in the park taken by Auntie H

a climbing frame

a strange swing

flowers in a garden

a sign in the park

Bob posting my letter

looking across the park. 
the back of the truck

the front of the truck

the drivers seat in the truck

Thursday, 26 September 2013

What we did with some blackberries we picked.

Have been saying for a few weeks now I need to get and pick some blackberries before they all go mouldy and they have gone for another year. Well I got round to it at the start of this week.

So what did I decide to do with them so far?

We made blackberry muffins, you can use this basic recipe here and just stir through blackberries at the end.

We also made egg/wheat/gluten/dairy free blackberry muffins using egg replacer, gluten free flour and hemp milk

blackberry muffins, egg free, dairy free
gluten free to the left

Next off I measured a pint of Hemp milk into a pan, added 2 dessert spoons of sugar, and added a heaped teaspoon of vegeset and brought it all to the boil stirring constantly. Once it had boiled I added some blackberries and cooked them for a few minutes. Leave to cool for five minutes and then blend for a few seconds with a stick blender if you want some texture, or until smooth if you dont.

hemp milk, blackberries, vegeset,
hemp milk mousse

I used the rest to make milk shakes with. Blend a banana and some blackberries along with ground flaxseed through the milk. Serve immediately.

hemp milk, milk shake, banana, blackberries

What is hemp milk?

FAQ - Questions about GOOD HEMP

  • What is GOOD HEMP made from? – GOOD HEMP is made from natural hemp seed and water. It is naturally sweetened with grape juice and enriched with calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Where is it made? – GOOD HEMP is produced from UK hemp and made in the UK by an independent family-owned business.
  • What does it taste like? – GOOD HEMP is creamy, nutty and refreshing. No bitter taste or watery texture.
  • How does it compare with cow’s milk? – GOOD HEMP contains no allergens or lactose and is easy to digest. It is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free unlike cow’s milk. It is purely plant-based. It also contains omega 3, which is an essential fatty acid (EFA) for immune health, skin, hair, joints and cholesterol balance, brain development.
  • How does it compare with soya milk? – GOOD HEMP contains no allergens and is easy to digest unlike sometimes soya milk, which can cause bloating and digestive problems. It is plant-based, low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free like soya but has the additional health benefit of omega 3, which is an essential fatty acid for immune health, skin, hair and joints.
  • How can I use it? Can it be used in tea or coffee? – GOOD HEMP can be used just like milk. It’s great in tea and coffee, cereal, milk shakes, in cooking or simply on its own. Use GOOD HEMP in exactly the same quantities as you would milk.
  • How is it good for the environment? – GOOD HEMP is made from UK hemp which is entirely herbicide and pesticide-free. Hemp is one of the world’s most sustainable plants, which locks up to four times as much carbon as a similar sized field of trees. It is the second fastest growing plant in the world and Braham & Murray use the entire crop. The seed is used for food and the fibre is used to create sustainable building materials which has incredible thermal properties. Our fibre is helping to build 250 eco social houses this year.
  • Why is there a grainy sediment at the bottom? – As GOOD HEMP is a natural food product, it can vary slightly in texture and taste. There may be some sediments at the bottom of the pack, which is hemp seed particles. These particles are actually source of protein and fibre. If you want to be sure of getting these, simply shake the carton well each time before pouring.
  • Is it safe? Isn’t Hemp like Cannabis? - It is absolutely safe. It is even good for us. GOOD products are made from FOOD GRADE Hemp Seed which contains 0.00% THC (the psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis).  Hemp is an entirely different strain of plant to Cannabis. All GOOD products are made using EU and UK approved varieties of Hemp. Hemp is one of the most important crops in Europe.
  • Where can I buy GOOD HEMP - Milk and Soya alternative? - GOOD HEMP is available from Waitrose, Tesco, Ocado and good independent retailers. A number of e-commerce websites also sell it and can deliver to your home.

Bob liked the taste of this milk and happily drunk it, I have to say I didn't. 
Disclaimer I was sent a carton of the milk to try out, but the recipe ideas are my own. The Healthy Supplies items were sent to me to use as I see suitable. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Using mulled wine spices to make a few tasty treats.

spicy fruit
I like to make food that can be a bit different, and so I found hidden at the back of my cupboard when I moved a pack of Mulled wine spice and as we are not wine drinkers I decided to do something else with it, so I added half a packet to it with a pint and a half of water and two pounds of mixed vine fruits  and brought them all to boil in a pan.

added the apples and topped with fruit
finished apple pie
Once the mixture had cooled I used some of the mixture to make a spicy fruit and apple pie.

I rolled out a pack of sweet pastry, lined the pie dish with apple slices, topped with spicy fruit, added a top to the pie and cooked for approx 25 mins.

served with Kelly's of Cornwall* ice-cream

Next off I used some to make a fruit cake. This was just an ordinary cake but using Fruisana sugar and light brown self raising flour and added wheatgerm to make it more diabetic friendly. Such a beautiful spice flavour, you certainly would not notice the friendly sugar

*What OH thought of the Kelly's of Cornwall ice-cream

I have always considered myself to be a bit of an ice cream connoisseur  over the years having tried more varieties and flavours than I really ought to have had so when I was asked to give my opinion on Kelly’s of Cornwall  I felt I really had no choice but to do so.

I was fortunate enough to be able to try two flavours and the first one I tried was the Clotted Cream and Raspberry and I certainly was not disappointed. The flavour was fantastic and the texture although a little stiffer than the Honeycomb flavour was still smooth and creamy there was certainly no traces of ice crystals that have ruined the experience on many lesser ice creams.

The second flavour I tried was the Clotted Cream and Honeycomb and once again the flavour was superb and the texture rich and creamy and again no trace of the dreaded ice crystals.  The only small criticism would be that a few bits of the honeycomb were a little hard however as they were spread evenly throughout the cream it was only a minor thing.

I can honestly say that these ice creams are amongst the very best that I have tasted, the combination of the Clotted Cream and the flavours really works well the texture was fantastic and both spooned out of the tub very easily I would recommend them to anyone, I am certainly looking forward to trying out a few more.

Disclaimer we were sent a voucher for one tub of ice-cream, but as they were on special offer we added £1 and bought two.

The highlighted items were supplied by Healthy Supplies.

Monday, 23 September 2013

My dream home

As all you regular followers are aware I have just moved house and  have been having fun doing it up the way I like it. But I have to say I often dream about  "My dream home" if I was to suddenly win a lot of money. I am sure we all dream about a nice win on the lottery and what we would do with it, but I would have my house built from scratch designed just the way I would like it.

lots of bulbs for lots of light
First off I would lease a chunk on a nice remote Scottish Island. May not be everybody's cup of tea and I am sure a lot of you would want to go abroad somewhere warm and sunny, but that is not for me. I would be off to one of the more remote islands. In the summer the days are long as it is getting quite far north, the downside to this of course is in the winter the days are short, but if my house is designed correctly that will not matter. Plenty of triple glazed windows on the correct side to enjoy the natural light when it is available  and I would put a lot of thought into what indoor ceiling lighting I would use. LED bulbs give off a  much nicer light than conventional low wattage bulbs so we would make sure our lights were compatible with them.

First off my house would be a single storey, no up and downstairs for me, thinking ahead to my old age here. It would be good size rooms without being to big to heat, but big enough to be spacious. My rooms would all have vacuum cleaners built into the walls, just a matter of stretching out the hose, no lugging a bulky machine, no bags to empty as they will hoover straight into my bin.

I would build in some nice safety features like smoke detectors that when they go off will activate machines that will suck the smoke out of the room, after all smoke kills more people than the fire. All my smoke alarms would be electronically linked to give as much warning as possible.

My heating would be the underfloor type, firstly as hot air rises seems daft to have it half way up your wall,and secondly no more cold feet or the need for slippers.

I would have four bedrooms, big enough for the family to visit but not too big that we will rattle around when we are just our two selves. All four bedrooms would have a toilet with two of them made en-suite. My en-suites would be wet rooms, offering nice spacious showers, and again looking towards my old age when I cant climb in or out of a bath or a shower. I would do away with the need for a towel for my body by getting big blow dryers put in, like you use for your hands only bigger. Would also put hand dryers in my toilets and kitchen as well. I would do away with conventional taps using sensor technology same as they have in the hospitals.

I appreciate there may be times of the year where you cannot get off the island due to the adverse weather, but I would be prepared for that with a basement type storage area that I could fill with tinned and frozen food. I would own my own boat so that I could leave the island when I wanted too and it would double up for hubby to use for fishing and a heliport would be essential for quick trips across to the mainland not to mention a nice 4 by 4 for leisurely driving around the place.

Hubby would like a cinema room with a huge big wrap around television, and he can watch films while I swim in my heated indoor swimming pool that I would have added on.
My swimming pool room would be made from glass that I could see out and watch what is happening but those outside could not see in.

Most importantly I would have a satellite broadband signal so I could still update my blog.

Right....guess I better start buying lottery tickets cos it wont happen any other way.

What would you like built into your dream home?

Disclaimer - this is a featured post. 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Project 365 15th - 21st September

Had thought about not joining in the Project this week as it had a huge anti-climax to it and the only photos I have taken relate to it. But my blog is about my life, what is happening to me and again one day may need to look back on this week and remember the highs. For legal reasons I can not mention on here what was going on but the outcome was a huge disappointment.
Having said that being together as an extended family group in small confines all week was not as bad as I expected it might be, a lot of reminiscing and some great laughs.


Thought it made a nice picture.

The outside of our home for the week.

Our room for the week. Was not a bad size, had electric sockets so we took kindles, mobile phones, laptops and such like with us. Could have done with a coffee maker or at least a water machine.  On Monday they took my camera off of me, so today I hid it at the bottom of my bag. Would love to have gone wandering round with the camera the inside of the building was just screaming out to be photographed but this was the only picture I took inside.


We took the train up and back every day, think this was the only afternoon we had it was not raining and misty. You can just make out the windmills in the background, the pylon was a happy mistake, right place right time.


Amusing myself on the train home, we had picked at rubbish all week between us.

Went into an Italian restaurant for lunch, and this fine chap was stood in the corner. One of our group asked Why a Roman centurion in an Italian Restaurant? To which we all fell about laughing and then told her cos Rome is the capital of Italy.


We had been discussing tomatoes at work last week, as you do, and so my lovely work partner brought me in a tub of tomatoes. I ate half of them and have put the rest in to eat during my break today (cos I'm typing this on Sunday). I didn't actually get a break  so I brought them home again.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday, 20 September 2013

Definately nurture not nature

 I sometimes wonder about my children  off spring, I wonder about their mental state, but I'm convinced it comes from living too long with their step-dad, nothing what so ever to do with me.

Last month I lent my daughter the sat- nav to take on holiday with her, then when we took it out of its box last week it had a note in it, the note really made me laugh. It is the sort of daft thing my husband would do, so I was not really sure who to hold responsible.

The note read

Dear Mum and Dad

These people are evil.

They took me all the way to the Lake District,or so they say, and didn't get me out of the box once.

I didn't get to see any of the scenery, and they managed to navigate their way there and back without any help. I was really looking forward to seeing somewhere new. It's been a while since I got to practise my skills at connecting to satellites ( oh yes and losing them at random points just for the fun of it) and directing a driver safely on their way.

What is the point to me if people can find their way without my help?

Why oh why do I exist/

From what I overheard, something called "road signs" did my job. Is this a new fangled invention? Will it take over from the traditional  way of having a sat-nav telling you where to go? Are my days numbered?

How will you know you are breaking the speed limit without my caring "bings"? What warning of speed cameras will you get without my bleeps? How will you find the nearest tourist attraction without my menu function? Who will direct you into a field, or the wrong way up a one-way-street if I am not there, perched on your dashboard, glowing in the dark?

As revenge, I will be deliberately directing you the wrong way for the foreseeable future. You will not know whether to trust me or not, whether I will lead you safely to your intended destination, or to an alternative point picked at random. You choose the centre of Glasgow? I will take you to Inverness. You want a McDonalds? I will find the nearest seafood restaurant. You want the M77? Fine, I'll take you to the M77, The wrong way up the M77!!

That will bloody teach you. All of you.


your (rather pissed off) sat-nav

p.s. I have reset all of my speed limits to 20mph lower than they really are and turned the volume of my bings to full. Try driving up the motorway at 70mph now!! Or past a school at 20. One of the most evil plans , I dare say. Enjoy your future drives.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Decisions Decisions.

I moved into this house back in June, those of you that follow me regularly will know that. When we moved in here only two of the rooms did not need their flooring replacing, the rest of the house needed flooring of some sort. 

I have to say having been a private rented tenant for nearly twenty years this is the first opportunity I have had to actually pick my own flooring, wall paper, curtains and such like in a long long time. It will  also a long time before I will be in a position to replace them and so the decision about what we put up and down had to be right. 

We have a lot of allergies in this household and this needs to be taken into account when furnishing the house with anything at all. We have a leather suite, it is easy to wipe and does not hold dust and I try as much as possible to keep this theme throughout the house as much as possible. We have vertical blinds in all the rooms and don't have curtains in some of them. 
Birch textured laminate

One of the things we looked at when deciding on what to put down was Laminate Flooring. Laminate flooring is great for allergens as it does not hold dust, does not get damp like carpets can and therefore cannot grow mould which can affect people like me. 

Ceramic Effect Beige Travertine Laminate Flooring 

I remember when laminate first came out, it really was not the prettiest stuff on the planet but now you get many different types, finishes, colours and textures. The product comes in many colours, whites, pine and oak to name a few. Your finish is all important and you can choose from embossed, gloss, high gloss, matt, textured as well as wood grain. You can still buy one that looks like planks of wood but others resemble tiles or even cushion floor. 

Bob has been spilling baking stuff on our laminate flooring

I like the fact it is quick and easy to fit, most of the modern laminates these days is click lock, gone is the need to glue. This has the added advantage that should you somehow manage to damage a piece then you can relatively simply just replace the panel. A lot of them also come with a guarantee against normal wear and tear so if they do damage you have some comeback. Laminate is also easy to keep clean, just a brush and a wipe with a damp cloth is all it takes. I use antibacterial wipes on mine makes it dead easy after the ids have finished baking. 

Disclaimer - this is a guest post. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Free Tickets to Allergy UK Liverpool Show

Here is an offer I thought I would share with you. No use to me as too far south, but may be of use to a lot of you.

If you do download them from here, can you just pop me a comment in to say you have done so, a thanks, or got them, or what ever will do.

Enjoy the show if you go.

You are just 45 seconds away from securing complimentary tickets to the biggest allergy-related event to ever hit the North West…

Allergy UK is an exhibiting gold partner of The Allergy & Free From Show North (Liverpool, 26-27 October) and has secured unlimited free tickets for all our friends!
Download your free tickets now, in just 45 seconds
You probably have heard, or perhaps attended London’s smash hit Allergy & Free From Show.  The same people now run a second edition of the event in Liverpool, at the BT Convention Centre situated on the city’s stunning waterfront.
This year’s northern show will be bigger and better than ever before…
  • MORE delicious ‘free from’ food to try and by
  • MORE fabulous skin/haircare products
  • MORE inspiring cooking classes – invaluable mealtime solutions
  • MORE expert advice from leading health professionals
  • MORE dedicated activities for kids – introducing Allergy Adventures
  • MORE ‘free from’ solutions, MORE fun – all for FREE!
Allergy UK will be there on stand D45, so make sure you come and see us!  Also, don’t miss our Chief Executive Jim Bennett’s talk on the incredible Allergy UK Nurses Appeal!
Book your tickets today and we’ll see you in Liverpool!
Allergy UK team.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Project 365 8th - 14th September

We have spent a lot of time with Son No 1 this week, he is getting very nervous about next week and is worried it may all go horribly wrong. Sadly we cant tell him it wont.

Wasn't in for my own shift at work, though I did go in to do overtime,  so had a very nice day in the house by myself as OH went fishing with Son No1. Very very rarely do I get any time in the house on my own, but it is very nice when I do.

Have to say the camera did not do this sunset any favours, it was much more amazing than this makes it look. Maybe it wasn't the camera, maybe it was the photographer but we wont go there.

OH took down the manky painted over air vent in the bedroom  we are   he is  decorating and found this wasp's nest inside the wall. It was maybe 2-3 inches in height. Not sure how many it would have housed. We dissected it to see inside.

All very clever when you consider how it is made.


A fellow blogger had asked me if I would like the yoghurt maker she had been sent as she would not use it very often. Me I make yoghurt just about every week but use my slow cooker, so thank you Helen from The Crazy Kitchen  for sending me this.


Back out at the cottage again. Not sure what they are but I am sure earlier in the year they were in bloom.

Was hoping to go blackberry picking with the children today, but it rained and rained and rained, so we didn't. Bob and I made some cakes while Fifi did some painting, and then Fifi and I made pancakes for our tea once Bob had finished.

Fifi has been asking to paint these for a few weeks and I had told her the first wet day we get, so this was it.


Got a phone call from Daughter No1 to say did we want to go to the Church Fete that was on in the community centre. It was just before 7pm and so we took a walk down to pass an hour away. We have a metal box but its not really big enough any more so saw this, looks brand new and unused and a bargain at £2.


Seem to get an awful lot of starlings down in a morning. No sure what is bringing them down in such large numbers as we do not put food down this close to the house.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky