Saturday 28 November 2015

Project 365 week 48


Love this time of the year, lots of shops sell this, yum yum yum.

I love this stuff


Had a moan about hubby eating the jelly from the trifle last week, the only bit I eat, so being the lovely man that he is he made me some potato scones while I was out.

home made potato scones


Sharing this for those of you who might not have seen it. There has been a safety warning issues for Indesit, Creda and Hotpoint tumble dryers. Some of them can be a fire risk and need an adjustment. You can check here if yours is affected here.  Yes I deliberately blurred my serial number.


Went to meet up with a friend for a catch up and while there had a wander round the Christmas department, could have spent a fortune.

some of the Christmas decorations 


Dinky is not very keen on being away from home without either mum or dad so normally when I babysit them I have them down there. But they were wanting to do some sorting out that they could not do with the twins around so I brought them up here. Apart from a few minutes of settling in she was fine. No tears or temper tantrums just four hours of fun. The two of them spent ages playing with a tea pot that sounds like it is pouring tea and pouring it into the cups and we all drunk it a few hundred times.

an indoor picnic


Bob decided he was staying over night. In the morning he had a couple of satsumas as part of his breakfast. After I had put it on the table for him and before he got to eat it Granddad had drawn a face on it and placed it back down on the table so Bob got a fright when he picked it up, and made us both laugh.

just what you expect to find


Today is my birthday, the seventh one in four weeks, Thankfully no more now until February.
Daughter made me a cake and Bob spent an hour making a pooh bear that would sit up on my cake from fondant icing. He told me that I taught him well. The rewards are worth the training.

a fondant icing Pooh bear

the cake with Eeyores house built out of matchmakers 

Monday 23 November 2015

Stovies - a simple slow cooker recipe

One of our favourite winter recipes is for Stovies. Quick, easy, warming, filling and more to the point cheap. So I give you

Stovies-a simple slow cooker recipe.

The joy of this recipe is you can use what you have to hand. The staples for me in this recipe are potatoes, carrots and onions. But you can add any others that you have, I often ass turnips, butternut squash, leeks, broccoli, sweet potatoes. I often add sweetcorn and peas an hour before the end of the cooking time. It is also an easy to make meal, thrown it in the slow cooker before you leave home and it is ready when you get back.

I peeled onions, carrots. butternut squash and potatoes.

and chopped

I then added the chopped veg to the slow cooker, potatoes first as I feel they cook better on the bottom, added some herbs and seasoning.

Then poured over a tin of tomatoes and a tin of water.

I then layered the slice sausage on top of the vegetables, I appreciate not every where can you get slice sausage but cut up links will work in much the same way.

 put the lid on and left it.  An hour before serving add frozen peas and sweetcorn

I cook enough that this does more than one night, tastes even better on day two and freezes well.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Project 365 week 47

It has been a week of feeling crap and four birthdays.


Still feeling really awful so another day in bed sleeping and gazing blankly at daft things on the tv.
Daughter No2 was down to see her sister and the children for the weekend, and look -  she brought me back some screen wash, this made me laugh.


Today is DD No3 birthday. She was away to Glasgow with a friend for the day.

My peak flow has been terrible this last 24 hours, the cough is getting sorer and the sleep has been none existent. Even hubby abandoned me and went and slept in the spare bed. So I phoned the doctor and got an appointment. Hubby drove me there despite the fact he had to change beds. Gave me an antibiotic to stop it settling into the chest. Also bought some more throat pastilles and paracetamol, plenty of juice and headed back home to my bed, .


Have got three birthday cakes to make this week, and really have no notion. Feel like a washed out dish cloth. Have to admit had it been the gruesome twosome's birthday first they would have go a shop bought cake with a bit of icing on the top and a few chocolate buttons on as they would be none the wiser, but Fifi was expecting me to make a cake for her. So here is the stuff for all three cakes as well as some Minions to put on top of Bob's cake.


Fifi turned thirteen today. Seems no time. So I had made her cake, covered in chocolate butter icing ( dairy free of course). I then broke three different colours of kitkat into single pieces and stood them up round the cake alternating the colours. Tied a red ribbon round the cake and then topped it with a box of maltesers. She seemed to like it. Made Bob a few that got the butter icing on and topped with a few minions.


Once a year round about his birthday hubby changes the batteries in the five smoke detectors we have. So this week the batteries were changed. Here are the old ones.


A bit of a hectic day. Had BT out just after 7am to changed over the tv box, Made the twins cakes before I went out, and decorated them while tea was cooking. Also had to go and help out daughter who gave me a tearful phone call as she was trying to get stuff done but Minky was not well and Dinky was doing her usual drama queen act. So sent daughter upstairs to get some peace, bunged stroppy Dinky into her buggy and ignored her mood and dared either of the older two to give into her. Cuddled into Minky till he settled then he went to Bob for a cuddle while I made tea for them. Bob lovingly made his mummy a plate of snacks and asked me to make her a sandwich and got Fifi to make her a coffee. thought that was lovely of him, Mummy appreciated it.

Once calm had been restored, daughter calmed down and fed I went home to decorate the cakes for the twins birthday, and took it down while my tea was cooking. It is actually two separate cakes.


The twins turn two today, no longer babies, but opinionated stroppy greeting faced temper tantruming little people.  Oh boy can Dinky strop when she wants to!! But we all love them to bits and  adore the little people they are turning into. 
Back to work today, and woke up to our first snow of the year. It had snowed, thawed a bit and frozen again. The car was solid ( this is next doors car as the scattering of snow shows better) the pavements and roads sheets of pure ice. My lovely hubby got up and went out and defrosted my car for me. I thought I would go along the bus route rather than the road I usually use out of the village hoping it had been gritted but it hadn't, thought I did pass the gritted heading towards the village. 

Thursday 19 November 2015

Dreams of fast cars and space ships

A guest post written by my husband.
As a young boy growing up in the early 1960s like many others I had many dreams and ideas about what I was going to be when I grew up. The ideas ranged from many things (changing almost daily) such as a cowboy, a spaceman, well the space race was going on at the time, and even at one point and for some strange unknown reason a pantomime horse.

image by TAW4 from

Towards the end of the decade as I was getting a little older, and somewhat wiser, and more than likely because by this time I was reading the plethora of adventure comics that were around at that time such as The Hotspur, Valiant and Tiger to name a few my aspirations changed somewhat and I decided I wanted to be either a Spitfire Pilot, a Racing Car Driver or a Power Boat Racer, not quite the same I  am sure you will agree as a pantomime horse.

image by Aleks Melmik from

Anyway those were my dreams and as the decades progressed unrelentingly onwards it became more apparent that those dreams were not going to be realised. First came the sensible job followed by marriage and then the children. My sense of adventure was curtailed to getting dizzy on the roundabout at the local park or occasionally trying to show the kids that I could still ride a bicycle without falling off.

image by Stuart Miles from

Now  heading quicker than I would like towards my twilight years I have resigned those dreams to that region of my brain where such things reside when someone pointed out that it was never too late for adventure and indeed they were correct when I discovered this fantastic company.
I suddenly realised that maybe I could fly a plane, drive a fast car, or indeed power a fast boat along a lake, dreams of being the next Douglas Bader, Jackie Stewart or Malcolm Campbell started to reassert themselves in my brain. This is a hint to the family if they are looking for something for my Christmas. However the Spaceman may remain a little trickier to achieve.

PR Collaboration

Saturday 14 November 2015

We went to the park

Not a very exciting post, but just a few pictures as these two are growing so quick. I am sure family will appreciate them if nobody else does. I took the twins and Bob to the park the other day to give their mum a break from them. It turned quite cold while we were out so did not manage much more than an hour. Bob requested not to have his picture taken so I respected that.

Minky, the wee boy in the red, is such a climber and explorer and is into everything, Dinky on the other hand runs about but only goes on the swing willingly and will slide down the slide if you lift her onto it and let her slide, but will not go up the steps or sit right up the top, and goes on nothing else if it involves above ground height.

The mirror provided lots of fun, I did try and put Dinky up but she was for none of it

look it is Minky

look it is Grandma as well 

He spent ages backwards and forwards across this. Bob also spent a while trying to work out if he would get from one side of the green railings to the other without touching the green base. His arms were not quite long enough, so he put his legs up and shuffles across. Then banged his head at the other side as he forgot to duck.
shouting over at me

This was as high as she went, then straight back down again

look her feet are off the floor

This provided her with quite a bit of fun for some reason

sitting on the chain

See saw see saw says Dinky as she pushes her brother

Minky gets rocked

Project 365 week 46


On the spur of the moment I bought two lucky dip lottery tickets. When they they change to more than fifty numbers? Having said that you only need two numbers to win a free lucky dip ticket, but sadly I could not even manage that.

losing tickets


Son in law is on days at the moment so is home to either take Bob to gymnastics or for daughter to take him in his car, but Fifi also had time trials at swimming so I was needed to do the gymnastics run. Cold wet horrible evening and it did not appeal to walk for an hour, so I took my kindle ( well tablet with a kindle app) and a thick jacket and sat in the car reading.

kindle app
to keep me company


Had the oven on so popped a cake in the oven. A chocolate Victoria sponge. I used a coconut cream and plain chocolate ganache for the filling and topping. Very yummy it was as well.

rather delicious


Son in law is undergoing management training at the moment, which involves him being away from home for up to forty eight hours occasionally. So being the nice mum/grandma  that I am I went and took Bob and the gruesome twosome out for a while to give daughter a chance to relax for an hour or so. We went up to the small park to play as it is fenced off and much easier for one adult to look after the twins safely. Also if we went to the big park I could not have kept them out of the puddles and it is too cold to get that wet. 

that is Minky


Bob decided he was coming to stay last night. We made pancakes for tea which he enjoys and then played on the wii for over an hour. Thursday morning he helped me with chopping up veg and prepping tea for the slow cooker before we went and played on the wii again. Took him down the road eventually but it was nice to spend some time with him, its been a while since he stayed. 
Minky was not feeling too good and cried when mummy left him with me, didn't cry for long but snuggled in. 

in his Connor Potter sweatshirt


Hurricane Abigail was suppose to hit but we did not get the weather as bad as was predicted for us. Windy but not much more so that can be expected at this time of year. Think we only got the very tail end. The beach still made for a nice picture regardless. 

Abigail storm
a windy beach


The car my daughter bought three months ago that has been off the road for the last four weeks with a faulty gearbox went into pour local garage for an independent report. They say it is too dangerous to have back on the road. So we took our car down to get the twins seats out plus the other stuff. Sadly they are not compatible with my car so we cannot use them to take the twins out. They are now in our loft until she needs them again.

two Britax car seats

Thursday 12 November 2015

#Lestweforget at Rozelle's Remembrance Woodland

I think it is amazing that we as a nation we still want to remember the atrocity that was not only WWI, the war that was suppose to end all wars but also WWII. One of the ways that locally we have a very nice if slightly different remembrance is Rozelle's Remembrance Woodland.

We went for a walk round this attraction today, and I have to say it was nice to see it busy on November 11th.

Rozelle Estate covers an area of 37 hectares in South Ayrshire, which has a wealth of plants and wildlife.
First open to the public in 1968 for cultural and recreational uses, the grounds of the Rozelle Estate combines mature woodland, rhododendron walks, parkland and ornamental ponds, to produce a rich and varied landscape for all visitors.

There has been a lot of clearing going on in the park over this year, and I love what they have done with one part they have cleared.

A poignant and permanent Remembrance Woodland – including a stunning tree sculpture trail featuring wooden soldiers and poppies – is taking shape at Rozelle Park in Ayr as the country gets set to mark Remembrance Day on 11 November.  
The sculptures were created by professional chainsaw carvers Iain Chalmers, Andy Maclachlan, Peter Bowsher and Craig Steele 

This is believed to be the only woodland of this kind in Scotland.

 These statues are all cut from trees, most of them single piece full sized models, very cleverly cut from trees that were being naturally felled as part of a rolling clearance program, and the impact is quite moving.

So we went for a walk round today to have a look. The first statue you see is a soldier kneeling over a dead friend.

added hubby so you get a height perspective

loved the detail 

WWI bench

World War II  remembrance bench

I love the way a lot of the area has been left wild and desolate and the clearing has not been fully cleared, it adds to the ambience. There are paths laid round the area linking up the statues and benches, but I would recommend wellies as it  was quite boggy.
the desolation 

a post with helmet, bugle and gas mask

unknown soldier
war graves with a dove

a machine gunner

on top of a mound

a German soldier with his binoculars 

a large poppy

me sharing on instagram

there are a lot of poppies along the route

a soldier reading his mail. 

hubby left the Scotsman his poppy

just love all the detail

The Englishman borrowed the poppy

plenty of detail adds to the experience

The English man and Scots man taken from the German

loved the track marks

Was quite humbling to be there especially on November 11th.

South Ayrshire Council tell us here that  There are also plans to develop the area in future years to incorporate features, images, and armed forces personnel from other conflicts such as World War 2, the Korean War, the Falklands War, the Iraq War and the Afghanistan conflict. 

We did see various trees left up round the trail that will be used for this.
There is a few trenches in the area and it might be quite nice to see one of these actually made into a WWI trench with its edges shored up.

We will need to go back a few times a year to see how it is getting on.