Saturday 26 January 2019

Marmalady and Tuppence

Took me ages but I've decided to call my new girls Marmalady and Tuppence!  I had loads of suggestions from friends and family but nothing seemed to fit.  They've settled in really well and all 3 girls are getting on like a house on fire.

All 3 are laying an egg almost daily so I've loads to use and loads to share!

It's been a long week at school, I experienced my first DWP tribunal and I've lost my voice.  I feel ok otherwise, just sounding VERY husky!  I rarely shop at Waitrose but last night I found myself passing so popped in.  I scored lots of reduced meat and have spent today prepping for the week ahead and for the freezer.  I'll share some with my eldest DS too.

I made a huge lasagne for tonight (hopefully with lots leftover!) and have 3 generous portions of spaghetti sauce too! 

It has loads of hidden veg and lentils so is super healthy 😉 

Both eldest DS and The Teenogre love sausages so I made 2 sausage casseroles. According to the label on the wee sausages 2 sausages equals 1 portion!! Seriously??

These ones are chicken sausages.  They were very pale before I browned them and cooked them in a little white wine, Worcester sauce and tomato puree.

I also made a big pot of lentil soup so most of next week's lunches and dinners are sorted.

I mentioned the DWP tribunal above which was for eldest DS and when I've stopped being upset/angry about it I'll say more.  I suspect it will be a bit ranty so I'm better waiting until I'm calm!!

Sunday 20 January 2019

Name my new chickens!

I got new chickens yesterday!  They're not really rescues but they're 'rescued' from a commercial free range flock who were selling off one of their flocks. It was dark when we got back home so they were popped into the coop and the door closed.  The first photo is them just after I opened the door.

There was a bit of squabbling with Penny (black one on the right) but by the time I took apples out at lunchtime things seem to have settled down.

I've left the enclosure gate open now so they can free range for the afternoon.  It will be interesting to see if I can get them back in later!!

So far the new girls have both laid an egg 😊 Their eggs are darker than Penny's so I know it's def them.  The black and white one is a Speckledy hen and the brown one is an Isa Brown, both prolific egg laying breeds.  At 18 months old they should still lay 3 or 4 eggs a week.  Not enough for a commercial flock apparently but perfectly fine for me.

They don't have names yet so leave me any suggestions in the comments.

As ever Emma takes it all in her stride.  Or should I say sleep!!! 😴

Saturday 19 January 2019

January, brrrr!

This made me laugh as the weather this week has been cold, damp, frosty and windy, usually all before 9am.  Typical for January here.  Higher up ground had some snow, even OH who lives just 7 miles from me had a covering last night!  None here (yet!)

I've just spent half an hour tidying up the back garden and my fingers are frozen despite wearing warm gloves.  Brrrrr!!!  Emma (dog) and Penny (chicken) were watching and following me with interest.  It was like they knew something would be happening later 😉😉😉

OH and I are having a rare night out tonight to see Craig Hill (a Scottish comedian) at our local theatre.  I'm not a huge fan but he can be funny if I'm in the mood.  I'm finding I have to force myself to go out as I'd much rather stay at home these days.  Not sure if it's just because it's winter or an age thing 😕

Stay warm and safe wherever you are!

P.S.  'weans' and 'bairns' are Scottish words for children 😄

Sunday 13 January 2019

Less scunnered

Thanks for the supportive comments on my last post.  I survived the rest of the week by keeping my head down, working through some of my lunch times and not bringing any work home 😊 So I'm feeling less scunnered now especially as I've started my next big DIY project!

OH decided the next house project should be the dining hall, stairs and upstairs landing.  I wanted to do the downstairs bedroom as it would be a smaller (and cheaper) project.  But heyho, I'm not turning down his help. He started by removing the bulky alarm box that sat on the meter cupboard and making the wiring safe.

We then took all the carpet off the open tread stairs (typical 60s design feature in Wimpy houses!) but have left the half landing carpet for now.

Originally there wouldn't have been carpet on the stairs and all the woodwork is a lovely(!) orange woodstain!!!  🍊

 OH filled in all the holes left by the carpet staples and I stripped the wallpaper off the walls.

Luckily the paper came off cleanly without any damage and no gluey residue so it looks like I can simply paint the wall after a light sanding. Woohoo!

You can see the wall colour a bit more clearly in these photos of the upstairs landing.  Everything is yellow.

Yellow walls and orange woodwork!!!  The plan is everything will be white.  The stair treads, the woodwork and the walls all white and the carpet a sort of beige neutral. I've already ordered some specialist floorboard paint for the treads (£29.99 for 2.5 litres) but already have lots of white paint suitable for the walls and woodwork so will start by using up what I have.  The biggest expense will be the carpet.

I'm aiming to have it finished by Easter!  Although I do have some other small projects on the go as well 😉 Today I was painting some old photo frames and once my sewing machine finally comes back from servicing I've got some cushions to make and curtains to finish.

In other news (also making me feel less scunnered)  I've lost 0.5kg/1lb this week simply by not eating the cakes in the staff room!! 🍰

Wednesday 9 January 2019


A Scots word used to mean that you are world weary, down-trodden, and thoroughly bereft of any lust for life when these words and expressions are simply too inadequate to signify the magnitude of your slide into "shitdom".  (Urban dictionary meaning)

And tonight I have a thumping headache that won't shift.

I did go back to school on Monday with a positive attitude and was ready for the new term but some of my colleagues (who I actually have good relationships with) have done a few strange things that have left me both annoyed and a bit upset.  I haven't fallen out with anyone but I'm really rather pissed off and definitely scunnered already.  I spoke to another colleague tonight who had also noticed what I did.  So it's not just me.  Phew!

So it's head down, get on with teaching and avoid the drama that others seem to enjoy creating *sighs*

Hopefully an early night will help my mood 😴

Friday 4 January 2019

2019 Goals

I've taken a few days to really think about what I want to achieve this year.  So here are my 2019 Goals:

1.  Keep decluttering my house.

I have 11 rooms in my house (living room, 3 bedrooms, kitchen, utility room, dining hall, 2 bathrooms, study and a family room/den) and I've only got 2 rooms left that are full of clutter.  And when I say 'full' I mean you can't see the floor or open any cupboards!! Once they're done I want to really clear out my garage as well.

2.  Keep decorating the house on a tight budget and re use as much stuff as possible.

I'll stick to the white paint (it's cheaper when you buy in bulk) and use colourful accessories to personalise it.  I'll shop from charity shops or re use stuff from family and friends.  The aim is still to make the house easy to sell.  My biggest cost is always going to be new carpets (see no 9 below)

3.  Grow more fruit and vegetables

I wasn't too successful last year so this year I'm going to make more of an effort.  The raised beds at the front need some TLC and topping up with nutrients.  My back garden is a mess (mainly chicken trashed!!) so I need to make it a lovely place again.  I'm setting myself a total garden budget of £150 so I'll see how much I can do with that!

4.  Keep eating sensibly.

I just need to watch my portion control!!  I also want to eat less meat and will try a vegan day once a week.

5.  Exercise.   

I need to prioritise exercise a bit more and make an effort when OH is away.  I still don't like going to the gym on my own (partly because of the dark walk from the car park to the actual gym.)  I also want to do a more regular yoga practice.

6.  Switch off from work.

I'm going to try not bringing any work home.  At all.  This means doing more during my lunch break and probably staying a bit later but I think it would be worth it.

7.  Craft more

I really enjoyed my summer challenge when I created something every day.  I have loads of craft materials so I'm going to use them up.  I've been thinking about my Etsy shop and wondering if I should re open it.  We'll see.

8.  Stick to my clothing budget.

This year's budget is £510.84 (£500 + £10.84 leftover from last year.)  I can't think of any major purchases I need so here's hoping it's a frugal clothes year.

9.  Save as much money as possible

My savings account is very low so I'll be trying to save as much as I can each month.  I need to pay someone to re render some outside walls and possibly replace my guttering.  I need to replace some old worn carpets and they're not cheap!!

Edited to add:

10.  Reduce my plastic use

I'm slowly replacing my plastic containers (when they're no use any more) with containers made from glass and other recycled/recyclable materials.  I will not buy single use plastic items unless there's absolutely no alternative.

Most of these goals I'm doing already but being more specific and writing them down keeps me accountable 😊

Today is my last holiday day.  I've already got a reduced turkey in the oven (OH got a large frozen one for £12.50 in Sainsbury's), I've got a load of chicken breasts to prep for freezer meals and I need to run a few errands now the shops/banks are all back to normal opening hours.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Wednesday 2 January 2019

Review of 2018 Goals

I like to look back at the previous year's goals before I set myself new ones.  I call them goals rather than resolutions as they're something to plan and work towards.

So how did 2018's realistic goals work out?  Full details on the goals HERE and my thoughts on them below in bold.

1.  Keep decluttering my house BUT do it one room at a time instead of everywhere at the same time.   Yep, this definitely helped me stay focused.  This goal is a keeper this year.

2.  Keep eating sensibly. I did The Body Coach 90 Day Plan and lost 10lbs before going to Australia but sadly I've put it back on as the plan isn't sustainable for me. I do eat sensibly, I just eat too much!!

3.  Exercise.  For various reasons we didn't make it to the gym as regularly last year, one of them was due to OH's busier work schedule.  When he's away I just don't go on my own.

4.  Switch off from work.  This keeps on improving and I definitely do less school prep at home.

5.  Grow my own fruit and veg.  I grew some things but deliberately didn't spend any money on seeds or plants as I knew we'd be away for 3 weeks during the main growing time. I used up all the seeds I had and left it to luck. 

6.  Decorate/modernise the house on a tighter budget.  Yep, been doing that successfully.

7.  Stick to my clothing budget.  I under spent for the second year in a row and have carried the £10.84 forward to add to this year's £500 total.

8.  Save as much money as possible each for 2 huge events this year.  Yep, went to Australia and bought a flat for my son.

I'm really pleased at how my goals turned out.  I think I achieved most of what I set out to do.  So using that info I now need to plan my 2019 goals.

Tuesday 1 January 2019

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!! I hope you've been enjoying some down time with family and friends.  We had a simple Christmas and a fairly quiet Hogmanay.  We walked up to the castle for the organised display and had a perfect position under the fireworks to welcome in the New Year.

I've spent the last week doing lots of thinking and planning for the year ahead.  And lots of decluttering!  Parts of my house are looking good, the rest I'm working on!!  More on that later 😊

So here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019 for us all  🎉🎈🎇