27 April 2016

Liebster Blog Award.

Well, that's a first! Someone asked me to do the Liebster Blog Award thingy. I am flattered, I have never been asked to do anything like this before and despite the fact that the person who nominated me is my lovely daughter, I am still very excited to do it. So here goes. Firstly, thank you to Lucy at Becoming Mama Lucy for the nomination. (By the way, you should check out her latest blog post about my little Grandson and his nursery escapades, I laughed ..... A LOT lol !!)

These are the rules.
  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to his/her blog
  2. Copy and paste the Liebster Award badge to your post
  3. Answer ten questions you’ve been asked
  4. Nominate 5 new bloggers that you want to share with the world
  5. Then create ten new questions for the bloggers you are nominating
  6. Notify the bloggers that you have nominated

And here are my ten questions.

What is your favourite family moment/memory?
Meeting my little Grandson for the first time was pretty special but honestly, there really are far too many to pick just one.

If you could rule the world what would you change?
The inequality between the very rich and the people who have nothing.

Favourite holiday destination?
Wales. I went there a lot as a child and I still love going back and of course, Cornwall, which luckily, is where I live :-) And I went to Venice earlier this year which was absolutely beautiful.

Do you own a pet? (If so, what is it?)
I have 3 dogs, 8 cats, 2 chickens, 3 llamas and I am bunny sitting my daughter's rabbit Mr Darcy at the moment. 

What was your favourite school subject?
Biology, although I wasn't very good at it. I didn't really enjoy school when I got to high school, which is why, at the age of 43, I thought I would give it another go and I went to university and did a foundation degree in Marine Biology, a BSc in Marine Conservation and an MSc in Sustainable Environmental Management. I wish I had done it a lot sooner and I enjoyed every minute of it. 

What was the last book you read?
The Martian, I read it before I saw the film and I absolutely loved it although, about half way through, I did have to read the ending to find out if he survived or not, just so I could prepare myself if he didn't!! 

What is your favourite season and why?
Spring, it has so much promise and I love getting the garden ready to plant my veg, it's so exciting. Sad but true lol.

What do you love most about blogging?
People leaving comments and reading other blogs. 

What is your favourite phone App?
I have just discovered Instagram. I am now totally addicted. 

Who inspires you the most?
My mum. 

Anyway, those are my questions and answers. I now have to nominate 5 other blogs to do the same thing and I have to think of 10 questions to ask them. 

So, here are my blog nominees 

And here are my ten questions.

  1. What is your favourite meal?
  2. What has been your best ever bargain buy?
  3. What are your top 3 favourite films?
  4. If you could invite 3 people for dinner, either living or dead, who would it be?
  5. What was the last book you read?
  6. You are stuck in a well and the cast of the last television programme you watched are coming to rescue you ..... who will be hauling you out? (Mine would be the cast of Gardeners World, I watched an episode I recorded a while back last night before bed lol)
  7. Marmite .... Love it or Hate it?
  8. If you could have a super-power, what would it be?
  9. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
  10. What is the one thing that makes you think of Summer

Thank you again to Becoming Mama Lucy for my nomination. 

12 April 2016

A Thrifty Pasta Bake and My Favourite Bread Flour

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I'm trying to get back into my old habits of making all my meals from scratch again and not falling into the trap of using ready meals because I'm tired and fed up when I get back from work. It's also a lot cheaper, which helps to keep my spending down, essential now I'm trying to pay off my credit cards so I can get rid of them. Pasta is usually my go-to-stand-by meal when I'm watching the pennies and I absolutely love pasta bakes. They're versatile, you can put anything in them and they are so easy to make. But, believe it or not, I have actually found an even easier way. In my local Morrissons, they often have special offers on fresh pasta ravioli, which I love, so when it's on offer, usually at £1 per bag, I buy a whole load of them and pop them in the freezer. Then I simply use them straight from the freezer to make a totally delicious ravioli pasta bake. It takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and it hardly costs anything. 

I used:

1 bag of fresh ravioli that I had frozen - straight from the freezer no need to defrost. (£1)
1 tin of tomatoes (33p)
3 teaspoons of red pesto to give depth of flavour (about 30p)
3 cloves of garlic - cos I love garlic but you don't need to add it if you don't like it (about 20p)
half a can of cold water
Grated cheese for the top (about 40p - cos I love cheese)

I simply popped the frozen ravioli into a baking dish, fried the garlic in a little oil in a saucepan to soften it before adding the tinned tomatoes, the red pesto and the water. I added a pinch of salt and poured the tomato mixture over the ravioli, topped it with grated cheese, covered it with foil and baked it in the oven until the ravioli was tender. I usually serve it with a crispy salad and garlic bread for a deliciously filling supper but I didn't have any salad in the house and my salad leaves aren't ready to pick yet so I just dived right in. 

While the oven was on, I also popped in a loaf of bread that had been proving and rising for a couple of hours. I have found the most amazing flour. It's called Mathews Cotswold Eight Grain Flour ........ no idea what the eight grains actually are but it makes amazing bread with a lovely nutty taste. I got it from my local Aldi a few weeks ago. It's not a regular stock item in the shop and they only have it every so often so when I see it I buy 3 or 4 bags. At £1.70 ish, it's a bit more expensive than the bog standard strong white bread flour I usually get but it makes such delicious bread I really don't care.

7 April 2016

Robin Update

Hi all, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break. I had a lovely Easter with an unexpected week's holiday due to the holiday entitlement that I had unknowingly built up since starting work. It needed to be taken before the start of April so I had a fabulous week of pottering around the house and garden, watching movies, baking cakes and eating chocolate. It was lovely. I also had visits from two of my daughters and with a little help, I managed to get all the fences in my field mended. It's a great relief that it's sorted and it means the llamas now have their other field back to graze around in. 

I met my middle daughters new pug puppy, Bandit, for the first time when they came to stay for a couple of days. He's just sooooo cute and sooooo adorable. We had a lovely breakfast at Seaton Beach Cafe and a long walk on the beach. The weather was perfect. 

I pottered around in the garden and potted on some cute little geraniums. 

I baked some scones ..... and then I ate some scones :-)

And I played with some fabric. 

I will be hopefully opening my little Etsy shop in the not too distant future so at the moment, I'm busy sewing away. 

Also, very excitingly, I spotted that the robin's eggs in the nest outside my window have hatched. I can see the chicks in the nest. I've spotted three so far but there may be more further back in the nest. Again, like last time, the photos are taken through a dusty window because I don't want to open it to clean the outside in case I disturb them and they abandon the nest.

Daddy robin was on feeding duty. I spent this morning turning over a patch of earth to expose the worms and bugs for him to take back to his chicks. I didn't know male robins sat on the nest but they clearly do because the last photograph I took, the eggs hadn't hatched and he was definitely sitting on them. 

All in all, a lovely couple of weeks. 
Pity it's now back to reality and the dreaded work :-(