Sunday 14 September 2014

Decorating the outhouse!

This weekend has been a doing weekend.   I like those type!

We've started decorating the downstairs toilet.  Granted, we were forced into it because of a leak, however we grasped it with both hands and thought about the best way to get this done so that we won't have to do anything (other than routine clean of course!!) before we put it up for sale in 3.5 years time. 

It's more of an semi outhouse as it's at the back of our utility and has no heating.  The kids use it when playing in the garden, wellies and all, and it we have posh guests they can go upstairs!

Here's what it looked like in 2007 on the day we moved in:
Previous owner kindly left all you see ?!?!
It's seen a few iterations since then however this will be its final with us.  We're tiling the whole thing and putting a new suite in it.  Then I can just spray it down and wash it as I need to.

GH has been working hard on it today - he's ripped out the old suite which was put in never to come out again!  The floor's been levelled and the tiles for the floor have gone down.  Sounds easy?  Harder than it sounds :)

More updates and current pics tomorrow.

Saturday 13 September 2014

Frugal home cooking and knowing what you eat

In an attempt to continue to save the pennies and keep September as a low spend month, I've plunged into home cooking and baking again.  The kids are well into it too so it's been a family effort (GH does the taste test).

So far we have the plum jam as pictured previously, which is going down a treat and in an effort to know what we eat I've been using the bread maker for home made bread.  It is gorgeous!  Tonight I have taken a recipe from Frugal Queen's blog and adapted it with what I had in.  It was the fish and rice one and it was lovely.  Thanks to her for that.

We've also done some jam tarts, ice lollies and crumbles.  It is so rewarding to use foraged fruits and pantry items to produce lovely meals. 

Friday we went to a garden party / festival and it was quite fun - I've never been to one before and won't hurry back, but it was nice enough. 

I am also finding that as soon as I'm getting organised, things start unravelling just as quickly!  So this weekend has so far been spent trying to get outstanding jobs done and organising as much as possible for next week and then the aim is to stay organised!!!

Our jam tarts with home made plum jam

Grace chilling with the chicken Jess (Jess is moulting a lot at the moment)

Shot from our festival

Happy Saturday everyone

Tuesday 9 September 2014

The nights are feeling Autumnal but the days are still bright...

The days are starting to get that little bit shorter.  When gorgeous husband is getting up for work it's no longer bright daylight and night time is still lingering.  The chickens are taking themselves to bed earlier and earlier which means we need to start locking them up earlier in case the pesky fox makes his way around.  The curtains are getting closed for the first time in months and I'm remembering where the draughts are in the house!  It's lovely to see and be a part of - starting to wrap up warm and snuggled in the house and see the summer coats shedding from the animals to make way for their winter furs. 

Following the jam making session at the weekend the great news is I have jam at the consistency it's supposed to be and the other great news is it tastes like jam!  It's a tiny bit sweet but could be so much worse - this one is plums as I'd not been back for the brambles when I had time to make it.  Now, what to do with 12 jars of sweet plum jam!!  I see a jam tart session coming on.

Biggest load of plum jam you've ever seen!

Stones from the plums taken out at boiling point as per Good Housekeeping
I've had some (more) thinking time lately - the only me time I get is in my shower after a long day so I relish this time....  I'm wanting to try and cut out, even more than we already do, the junk food that's in our lives.  Over the last couple of years, we've cut down all ready meal type items such as frozen pizza or heat up Indian meals - we literally have one every 6 months or so and that's through emergency type situations and we eat very few jar sauces - one every couple of months.  So I would like to continue and build on this effort. 

I have made our own bread on and off so will make extra effort to make this again.  The aim is to eat things knowing what's in them and that mostly have been provided by nature.  Obviously there are limits here but it's a good starting point!

We've had some lovely days at the farm to balance out the long days at work.  It pays the bills that will eventually mean we can afford that farm!
Our new friend who's appeared out of no where

The kids pampering a very lucky pony

Friday 5 September 2014

Almost done

Well we've almost made it through another week.

This afternoon/evening shall see me trying to make a new jam, inspired by a post from notjustgreenfingers' blog.  My first attempt was a disaster through overboiling the jam however that hasn't put me off!  I now have some tips from notjustgreenfingers' comments and so my gorgeous husband has picked me some plums from our tree and I have my sugar so I'm ready to go!  We're going bramble picking again on Saturday but I can't wait that long (yes a day I know!) so plum it is.

If we're going to aim to be self sufficient one day then I need to at least get jam right :D

The other night on the way to the livery yard (a 10 minute drive from home, everything's 10 minutes from our house lol) I had to stop and take a picture.  As I keep saying, I love this time of year and this is just one of the sights I love to see.

It's been a busy few days but we're getting a little routine going on so I'm hoping to stay fresh and focussed and keeping this blog is a lovely way of recording our lives and talking about our plans for the future.

Even GH mentioned our 4 year plan to someone the other day so I suspect he's a tiny bit excited too!

Happy Friday everyone.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

A Long Tuesday

Tuesday's are NOT my favourite day of the week!  It's a long day at work.  Plus I'm working 8-10 tonight so I'm taking 5 minutes to myself to update the blog. 

Last night my son (4) and I made a cake using the foraged blackberries and it was gorgeous!  Then I made some jam and it was a disaster!!! It turned out to be rock hard lump!  I'm guessing I overcooked it!  I'll try again at the weekend when we get our next lot.

I've also got plums and apples from the garden so need to find something to do with them. 

The kids are both at school now and loving it and we're back into the swing of work again.  As I keep reminding us pays the bills in the mean time!

week 17 w/c 22 April Just photos :)

April 22, 2024 - Week 17