Saturday 28 March 2015

Project 365 week 13


Took the weekend off work, needed to use up the last of my holidays. Daughter No2 was down for the weekend as so we decided to take her dog for a good walk before they started their long journey home. He was stood nice until I got the camera out and then would not.


Husband has been busy clearing out the sheds in the garden as part of the revamp and so we had a lot of rubbish to go to the dump. Thought we might as well go a walk along the river while we were out as it was a nice day.


I am hosting my first ever geocching event on April the 11th, based around Tunnocks tea cakes and our other national drink. We approached both companies to see if they could maybe send me out a few badges or other bits and pieces to give away. One company said no, the other gave me seventy two tea cakes, two aprons, two tea towels, two caps and some trolley tokens. I am using one of each as a give away on my blog and the tea cakes and the other items will be given away at the event. Much more than I expected from them.


I broke the screen on my touch screen camera a month or so ago, it still takes pictures, but apart from zoom I cannot do anything else with it. So as I had a small unexpected windfall a week or so ago I decided to treat myself. Did lots of reading and research and decided to move away from my usual Fuji and go for a Samsung as I really like the spec and the features it has, But none of the local shops had it in and we had to go to East Kilbride to pick it up, So we thought what better a test for it than to stop at Whitelee Wind Farm and try it out It is the UK's largest on shore wind farm, and very interesting. Have to say so far I am impressed, and of course we picked up some caches while we were there.


Fifi had decided she did not want to come out with us, but Bob and I set off regardless. I had planned on taking him somewhere else but the wind was horrendous and it had rained on and off until gone three. So we set off up the estate but instead of going along the muddy paths by the river we decided to go a different route that we have not been before. It is quite nice to get one of them on their own and he was telling me all about Percy Jackson, He is enjoying learning about the Greek Gods through the book, and as he is home educated this gives my daughter an easy way to follow it on with a project on the Gods.


DH has been in the garden changing round things with the intention of moving sheds and things and part of this has been taking out old rotten cupboards and putting up shelves. So today Bob was helping Granddad put up these shelves.


Had had another picture ready to take this morning ( like to have an idea of Saturdays picture before hand). But changed my mind and am running with this.
This is the puddle on my windowsill  despite having a new window fitted about ten weeks back. Last week when they came to look they reckoned we had the "wrong type of bricks" round our window.....hmmmm the same type of brick as the rest of the house and they are all ok!!
Another phone call and argument to follow.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Win some official Tunnock's Merchandise

Earlier in the year DH and I went to look at the Great Scottish Tapestry at Stirling Castle. But now it is coming to our home town and as it will be free entry i and we will  go for another look. It is coming to Ayr Town Hall from the 4th April until the 31st May 2015. The work is amazing with so much detail in every piece of work, we spent hours walking round and looking but there was just too much to take in in one go.

One of the Tapestries shows a picture of our other national drink and a Tunnock's tea cake.

So we have decided to celebrate this union with a geocaching event. This event will take place on 11th April at 3pm in Ayr. You can read more about it here if you would like to join us. 

Anyway knowing that we were doing this event I approached Tunnock's  to see if they would be nice enough to provide me with some goodies to give away on the day and some to give away on my blog. They said yes, and supplied me with seventy two Tea Cakes to distribute at the event to save people bringing their own. The also supplied me with some goodies that I will give away to people that turn up, as well as some to give as a prize on here.

I have some official merchandise items to give away. I have an apron and a tea towel,

 a baseball cap

 and a shopping trolley token. . 

Entry is simple, just follow the instructions on the rafflecopter below. If the rafflecopter form does not come up just refresh your page. 

The first comment is compulsory all other methods of entry are optional.

Good luck to all and if you are going to be in the area during the time of my event please feel free and join us. The more the merrier. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Loquax, home of many great competitions.
as is Competitions at ThePrizeFinder - See more at:

Sunday 22 March 2015

A Thursday morning experimenting in the kitchen.

I had a rare day with the house all to myself and so decided to potter through to the kitchen to experiment with a few different ideas. I had seen a Facebook posting the other day looking for ideas on filling healthy breakfasts and somebody shared some easy overnight oat recipes. Now one thing that I know is good for me is oats, but no matter how I have tried in the past I just cannot tolerate the texture of oats once they are cooked into porridge, and so I was quite excited by this link.

I had some coconut milk in the fridge so I decided to use it and give this a try. Some of these recipes recommend adding grated raw fruit but as I am intolerant to most fruit raw  I adapted them to suit my own needs.

So I took half a pint of coconut milk and half a pint of oats and added the two together. I then added a very large handful of raisins and popped it in the fridge for twenty four hours. It swelled beautifully, and I have to say it was very edible, not soggy or slimy. How much easier does a recipe get?

oat breakfast

Think rice pudding texture. I served it topped with cooked fruit, a mixture of bananas, pears, blueberries and strawberries. The milk gives a delicious coconut flavour and I am sure you could add dessicated coconut along with the raisins.  

Now as I had the milk open I decided to come up with other ideas to use it up.  The other week I made some bulgar wheat soaked in fresh orange juice and so decided to soak some in coconut milk this time.

bulgar wheat

Bring half a pint of coconut milk to the boil, and pour over half a pint of bulgar wheat.

and it will swell to twice its size.

 Refrigerate until required. I have eaten this topped with yoghurt and cooked fruit. It could also be stirred through your cereal or added to home made pancake mix as I have done with the one soaked in fruit juice.

To use up the rest of the milk I made a banana and strawberry milkshake.

I also sliced various fruits and caramelised some pears, apples and strawberries and added them to the bottom of a baking tin and topped with sponge, the small ones were suitable for Bob, the big one just normal sponge was added.

Saturday 21 March 2015

Project 365 week 12.


Normally a hard day to get inspiration for a photograph, but with it being Mother's Day this made it easy. Though I have to say I was in shock when Daughter No 2 who is notorious for cards/postcards/pressies etc being a week of two late, you always get them but not usually on time. On Saturday her card turned up and I got a lovely mug from the grandchildren that D No1 had made, it is black until you add hot water and then the pictures come out. One big pic of the grandchildren and lots of small ones.

a card and a mug


This year the plans for the garden involve moving sheds and things to where we want them to be, relocating the chickens to the bottom of the garden and moving the table and benches up to the top. Stage one of this is painting the fence to move the chickens into the corner.

painting the fence


Not a lot going on today, but I did make a carrot cake and a lemon drizzle cake. The carrot cake was lovely, the lemon drizzle was lacking something but was ok with custard.

been baking cake again


We popped across to Stirling today to visit a friend. Decided to do some of the newish geocaches while we were in the area. One of the ones we went to find we had no luck with, but we wandered off to find a couple of others and came across this waterfall. Looked very pretty in the sun.

a waterfall in Menstrie


Bob had a hospital appointment this afternoon and to save daughter having to take the gruesome twosome with her I volunteered to babysit as SIL is back at work this week. We had lots of fun playing games and reading books, Fifi came in from school and we had even more fun.

big sister loves them


Next door bought a puppy just before Christmas, and she is a cute bundle of fluff. She comes out into the garden and comes to the fence to have a wee woof, and then runs away again.

woofing at me


Daughter No2 and future son in law came down last night. Daughter and I have spent the day buying everything I need to go with my dress for my Mother of the Bride outfit. Future SIL is away today to sort out the kilt hires, pick up the rings and visit his mum and dad.
Here they are writing out some of the invitations.

the happy couple sorting invites

                                                        TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday 14 March 2015

Project 365 Week 11


I came home from work on Saturday night after doing an eleven hour shift right through and had gone into the bathroom to go the loo and clean my teeth ready for bed. Well just as I was about to place my ample bottom on the toilet something black scurried across the floor. Now I have this massive massive phobia of eight legged creatures and my first thought was this thing was tarantula sized so I was ready to climb onto the toilet seat when I realised it was only a mouse.
So I shouted DH who went up the stairs to fetch the children's net to try and help catch it. Its not the biggest bathroom in the world, so I moved the bin and it ran to the right, so I moved the toilet roll holder and it ran to the right again, so I moved the cabinet under the pedestal and it had disappeared. Not sure where it went to but have not seen it since.

a mouse net


A proud Grandma moment. Fifi started playing the drums just after Easter last year and the teacher was really impressed with how well she did. So in August when she went up to secondary school she carried on with them I have to say she is loving secondary school, not just the lessons but the lunchtime and after school activities as well. 

On Monday evening her school were involved in the Ayrshire Music Festival, this is their 90th year. She very proudly sat on stage and played the drums to accompany the brass and woodwind band. She did amazingly well considering this is the first time she has played in public. The show was running over an hour late and they did not get on stage till gone 9pm so all in all they did brilliantly. 

She get a mention in the summing up by the judge. This is the only photograph I have of the evening as for obvious reasons I could not take a picture of her on stage.  Well done Fifi, not sure where she gets the musical talent from as we are all tone deaf. 

watching the competition play


We had a log on one of the caches we own to say the tub was cracked and it was needing some maintenance, so as it was a glorious afternoon we went to maintain it. While out I decided we would go and pick up a nearby cache as well.We found one of the two we looked for, the other one evades us every time we have looked for it - most irritating.  For all we have walked a lot in the area we placed our cache in we have never been further down the road, so today we did.

Down there we discovered Burnbank Woods and Ladyton Loch. The area is quite pretty, though I would imagine it would get rather overgrown in the Summer months with brambles.

Think I will take the children along here over the Summer but we will walk round the pond and the woods and look for wildlife rather than wander off looking for caches.

blue skies and swans


Sorry but another proud Grandma moment - and why not?
Fifi has many talents, and no idea where they come from, but again she is loving secondary school and the more grown up opportunities this is offering her. One of her loves at the moment is art class. The local council hold an annual art exhibition with works from the local schools and there were three pieces of work chosen from her class, and hers was one of them.

So as I was in the town I popped into see the work. The talent some of these children have is amazing. Some of the advanced higher work was stunning and must have taken months of work. Fifi's and her class mates were smaller pieces of work, but equally as brilliant and talented.

peas in a pod


Daughter needed to nip in to pick up Fifi after school and to save her the hassle of taking the three wee ones with her I went at looked after them. Bob was not in the best of moods but the twins and I had fun.
When she got back I brought the older two up the road. We had hoped to get out somewhere as it is light now till gone 6pm now but the rain was bouncing inches off the road. So to try and cheer grumpy Bob up I got him busy helping make tea in the kitchen. He chopped carrots, tomatoes, peppers, onion and a smoked pork sausage which we used to make roasted veg for the tea.
His next task was bananas, pears and plums which  we made fruit sponge with. This seemed to cheer him up and he was in a much better mood time we had spent an hour together. Fifi had done her usual and gone off out with her friend.

Was actually thinking as I watched the two of them sharing the table and the biscuits and their drinking cups how much harder life would have been had one of them had the food issues Bob has got. I mean how would you tell one they could not share with the other?

at their table eating biscuit


I feel so sorry for poor Bob. His skin is a mess. On the advice of his allergy specialist he had cut out all citrus and berries for the last two months He was not best pleased about that as he loves his oranges and fruit juice but he is also very fed up of being itchy and scratching and having to apply cream two, three, four times a day, so he agreed to try it for a while but it was clutching at straws and it has made no difference. So he is now allowed them again, and is now waiting for an appointment at Yorkhill Hospital to see f they can come up with any better ideas.

hs legs are even worse


I like entering competitions, and it is always nice to win the odd prize or two. I got an e-mail the other day from the lovely Sarah over at Boo Roo and Tigger too to tell me I had won a first aid kit in a competition over on her blog.We had been talking about renewing some of the items in the kit in the car so this is a handy win.

a handy win

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday 7 March 2015

Project 365 week 10


My family are MAD, mad mad mad I tell you. Daughter No1 had another pile of bits and pieces that go down the road with baking etc and she phoned to say she had a tub with a plate and a few other bits rattling around inside it. So I told her I did not want it rattling around and that she needed to stuff it with something, so I suggested £20 and £50 that is exactly what she did.

even got the queens head on


DH went out to warm the car up for me before I went to work ( he is quite useful that way). On the front seat I found our little man sitting with a note. We picked him up on holiday last year and he sits on the middle console, but he looks like he is bleeding. See I told you my family were mad, no need to wonder where daughter gets it from!!!

his right arm is "bleeding" 


We went to see The Great Scottish Tapestry a few weeks back at Stirling Castle. Little did we know at that stage that they were going to add extra venues and that it is now coming to Ayr. So we have decided to take our geocaching to an extra level and organise an event based round it. We are organising what is called a flash mob and ours is based on two items seen in one of the tapestries - people have to bring along a can of Irn Bru and a tunnocks tea cake, meet for 3 o'clock and disperse by quarter past.We are encouraging people to go in and see the tapestry either before or after the event.

So I was along sussing out the best place for the event to happen and decided here was a good as place as any. Did a blog post on it here.

a sign t my venue 


Went for a walk down to the shop and post box and then went along to see daughter and the children.
Minky had been in a right mumpy mood all day apparently, but managed smiles for granddad. We got them both playing peek a boo. It is quite funny Minky hides and forgets to come out, and Dinky has not quite got the coordination to cover her eyes but laughs at you anyway as she pulls her hands away from her cheeks.

Minky covers his eyes, Dinky says boo


Got  phone call just after eight o'clock to ask if I would go and sit with the three wee ones while daughter ran Fifi to school. I then took them for a two hour walk  to give daughter a break and a chance to catch up with some housework.

After Dinky finished her breakfast I got her dressed and then she played away happily.

car works better this way


For the last few months when ever it rains the gutters over flow and splatter down the building, so we picked up a phone number from an ad for a local man who cleans them. Hopefully this will help and save any further damage to the building.

gutter cleaning


Last year we spent a lot of time and effort on vegetables in the garden. Apart from the potatoes and the tomatoes nothing came to anything. So this year we are going to do potatoes, tomatoes and try peppers, but that is it. So when Daughter was in the shop the other day she spotted these and picked them up for us.

heres hoping this year

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday 6 March 2015

Trying to be more diabetic friendly with low carbs and high protein

When DH had his annual blood tests in January it seems his diabetes is not as well controlled as it could be. A lot of the ideas we had about what is healthy has been brought into question, and so we have decided to make some changes. 

We decided to go for low carb, high protein, high fat, and more fibre. A lot of the fat change we are making is a change in dairy products, apparently the butter spreads are not good so we are going back to proper butter, changing from semi skimmed to full fat milk, none of these changes will affect me as I don't do dairy but hopefully they will help DH. This is a hard choice as we need to worry about cholesterol it seems impossible to get one right without the other being off balance. 

I know when he was first diagnosed we were advised to stop using lo salt and we changed to natural sea salt. We have also now been told that wholemeal bread is not good for him and so have changed to seeded bread. Its all a balance to try and stabilise any spikes in his blood sugar. 

One of our favourite foods in mince and mashed tatties, but it seems mashed tatties are one of the bad foods I am feeding him, and so that was our next change. He is not a huge lover of sweet potatoes, which are much lower in carbs and therefore better. 

Chilli con carne shepherds pie

I cooked up mince as I normally would but made it into chilli con carne, personally I am not a lover of kidney beans but I am not starting to make two different meals and so I am having to put up with some foods I am not as keen on just as he is. As per usual I added plenty of carrots. 

While the mince was cooking I boiled not quite enough potatoes for the two of us but added 100g of red lentils in with it when cooking and mashed the two together, Put the mash on top of the mince and brown under the grill. 

The lentils with their low GI help to balance out the mashed potato, as well as adding other nutritional value to the dish. The same can be said for the kidney beans. 

chilli con carne shepherds pie

Fruit omelette

I try to manage my five a day but that has become more difficult over the last few years as I can no longer digest uncooked fruit, it just causes me horrendous pain. So I am always looking for new ways to use it once it is cooked. This keeps in with low card high protein. 

Firstly I cooked up some sliced bananas, apples and plums and placed them in the bottom of a baking tin. I poured over some eggs beaten with some milk and sprinkled with some omega mix, and cooked for approx 12 minutes at 140 oC.

Slices nicely to pop in a tub and take to work for lunch. 

fruit omelette 

Fruity Bulgar wheat.

Another option for using cooked fruit. Soak 2 oz of bulgar wheat and a handful of raisins in 8 oz boiling orange juice. Leave to steep until all the juice is absorbed. Then stir through some cooked fruit. Makes a great snack a breakfast or a pudding.

fruity bulgar wheat


I used steak mince but you could use your favourite type. Soak 2 oz bulgar wheat in 8 oz boiling water or stock. While the stock is absorbing ( approx 20 mins) very finely chop an onion and grate a peeled carrot. Mix the chopped onion with some seasoning of your choice a generous squirt of tomato puree and an egg.

Mix the soaked bulgar wheat with the mince and grated carrot and bind with the seasoning/egg mix. If you prefer you could use some cooked and cooled red lentils instead.

Place in a loaf tin and cooked for 30 mins at 160 oC. Remove from the oven and top with sliced tomatoes and some grated cheese. Return to the oven for approx 20 mins.

I served this with oven chips but vegetables could also be used


Green Lentils, white fish and veg

Cook some green lentils according to the packet.

Meanwhile peel and slice potatoes and carrots, and parboil for 5 minutes.

Prepare a selection of vegetable, I used onions, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, and parsnips.

Drain the carrots and potatoes and place in a baking tray along with your other vegetables. Season some olive oil with seasoning of your choice and sprinkle over the vegetables.

Cook in the oven for approx 35 minutes at 170 oC, Remove from the oven and place some white fish on top, return to the oven and cooked for approx 15  mins until everything is done. Flake the white fish through the vegetables.

Drain the lentils and mix through, serve.

green lentil bake