Thursday, September 30, 2010

hello, oh blog of mine

See, I knew that my blogging streak wouldn't last, but did you enjoy it while it did?

Today I'm at my parents' house. My wonderful daddy looked after Sophia while I got my hair cut. I also looked for some new clothes, but only managed to buy some underwear, but that was needed, so it's all good.

Ok, Sophia's trying to help me type, so I shall leave you with this... a rare photo of Sophia with a hat on (note my arm putting the hat on, and Sophia's hat about to pull it off again!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Who would've thought it?

I don't eat fish. The thought of eating fish makes me feel queasy, even the smell of fish makes me feel sick, I avoid it at all costs. And yet, nowadays I buy it about once a week and cook it, without feeling sick, for Sophia. Wow, things have certainly changed.

I've been making green tomato chutney. I made one batch Saturday night and took some photos as I did it, although they weren't that good. I bought more onions today as I have enough green tomatoes to make one and a half times the original quantity I made. I will post the recipe and my photos once I've got the camera and computer to agree to link up.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I had a funny dream this morning.

I dreamt I'd gone back to visit the school where I worked before I went on maternity leave and didn't go back! I walked into a classroom, which was sort of the one I used to work in, but also differnet. It was Friday afternoon and that's the teacher's non-contact time, so there was a supply teacher there, but she was getting all flustered over teaching them about 'more than' and 'less than' (> and <). I was even getting them to tell me thumbs up or thumbs down or in the middle (or green, amber and red traffic light colours), to indicate how well they thought they understood. I was an amazing teacher!)

Buy anyway, I noticed I could hear this sort of babbling noise that someone kept making in the classroom and I was going round trying to find out who it was. I was getting so frustrated that I found out the classroom next door was empty and sent the supply teacher in there and was in the process of sending the children there with her one by one to figure it out by process of elimination. I was down to a couple of boys and I was looking at them, but none of their mouths were moving, so I just didn't know who was making the noise...

...and then I woke up, and realised it was Sophia chatting away to herself in her cot.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The fun of free food

Guest post by HB my sister:

This summer I have loved eating free foods picked from the wild. My husband and I had a week at my in-laws house while they were away on holiday.
In their garden they have a large number of runner beans, an apple tree and a couple of plum trees. So we had a feast of food to eat!! We'd been instructed to pick the beans daily and eat as many as we could and give some away. Believe me, there were masses of beans, I'm amazed they weren't coming out of our ears!!! But it was lovely being able to give away beans to friends and neighbours.
We picked many plums and apples too and I made a lot of crumbles for puddings while we were there. We were also able to take some away with us to share with my family and to bring back home with us.
On the way back home, we also visited a friend and decided to go blackberry picking along a country lane. By the time we were home we had several bags of fruit to put in our freezer and we are still eating our way through blackberries now!!
I wish I had fruit trees in our garden. Maybe when we next move I'll have to put it on my wish list!! In the mean time I'll just have to carry on raiding my family's gardens and the wild!! I thoroughly recommend you give it a go too :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thinking thoughts

Why, when the weather is about to turn, did I suddenly feel like cleaning and washing everything - like the pillows and duvet cover...? I'm trying to be realistic though, cos I know it's going to rain tomorrow!

I made apple cake and Menard says it's yummy. I'm trying to avoid eating any, but it does smell good.

Sophia is getting better at walking with her push along toy. I'm sure she'll be doing it by herself anytime soon.

I'm starting to think about Christmas. I know it's still September, but I figure at least this way things will be ticking over in my mind and I'll be all organised. Worth a try anyway!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Holday smiles

(Thank you Grandad (aka my daddy) for letting me raid your photo collection!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm addicted... to my slow cooker

I have a copy of 'Fix it and forget it lightly' and I decided that I wanted to start using my crock pot more, this is apparently a match made in heaven!
Last week I made bolognaise sauce and then on Sunday I tried a recipe from my cookbook, and this is the one I made and loved...

Lemon Garlic Chicken
(makes 4 servings, ideal slow-cooker size 3 1/2 quart)

1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 chicken breasts (I used turkey breast steaks cos that's what I had!)
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 cup water (I put more like 1/2 cup)
3 Tbsp lemon juice (I put about half a lemon, but didn't really measure!)
2 garlic cloves, crushed (I used 3 cos Menard loves garlic)
1 tsp low sodium chicken bouillon granules (I used vegetable)
1 tsp minced fresh parsley

(can you tell I'm one of those people who uses a recipe just as a basis?!)

1. Combine oregano, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the chicken. Brown chicken in the butter (or margarine) in a skillet. Transfer to slow cooker.

2. Place water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon in skillet. Bring to the boil, loosening browned bits from the skillet. Pour over the chicken.

3. Cover. Cook on high 2 - 2 1/2 hours or low 4 - 5 hours.

4. Add parsley and baste chicken. Cover. Cook on high 15 - 30 minutes, until chicken is tender.

Per serving 180 calories

(Also posted on One Weigh or Another)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Very Hungry Catapillar...

I seem to be creating my own version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar on the top of my fridge...On Satuday he ate through three pears, four avacadoes, some crossaints and a box of plums...

Saturday, September 18, 2010


There are a whole bunch of blogs which I read intermittently (because sometimes I forget about them and sometimes I just don't have time to read) that I've been thinking I ought to add to my blog roll.

So here they are...

We are that family - I started reading this blog when Works for me Wednesday moved from being hosted by Rocks in my Dryer to here. I got hooked by the posts about real life, real love, real faith, and I'm still reading.

The Diaper Diaries - I remember following a link from someone's blog to find this blog. Probably Shannon's blogroll over at Rocks in My Dryer (before she changed her blog around and I had to start finding other people's blogs for myself!). I have dabbled a little into her 1 Cor 7:5 challenge, and would recommend it to other Christian wives!

The Common Room - I first came across this blog while living with Blest for three months (My Texan adventures!). I have come to recognise that The Deputy Headmistress, as she calls herself, writes wise, thoughtful and thought provoking stuff both at this blog and at Frugal Hacks. I might not always share her opinions or come from the same background, but I always come away with some little nugget to chew upon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

switching off, one plug at a time

Ok, I have a question. I'm sure I could google it and read lots of articles, but it's more fun to ask my readers...
I've got a bit obsessive about turning off switches in this house, especially in the kitchen (although obviously not the fridge or freezer). But I generally just switch them off, I don't remove plugs from the socket. Do I actually save energy/money by doing that? Or should I be unplugging things where I can as well?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Less than 12 hours old

How time has flown.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Debs thinks about blogging

I am a blogger. I still blog. I write blog posts ALL THE TIME. Problem is it's usually when I'm lying in bed, or sat in the car, or even on the loo! When I sit at a computer there are way too many things to distract me from the actual sit down and type it bit. There's facebook and twitter, my blog roll and other people's. And then there are all the blogs that I read that I really need to get around to adding to the blog roll. Then there's replying to tweets and checking my @debsenglishrose messages. Then making some comments on facebook, checking my emails, saying hi to the goigs, looking at ebay to see if any of my stuff has sold, and then refreshing the page to see if anything else has changed in the past ten seconds. And... no wonder I'm better at blogging in my head than at the computer.

Well, I'm trying to change. I love blogging, and I love the feedback I get from other people. People who have similar lives to mine, and people who are totally different. People who comment, and people who don't so much (but who I would love to hear from once in a while, especially if you knew me in a past life, so to speak - Esther, Imogen, Bud I'm talking to people like you..!)

I have so many blog post ideas wandering around in my head. Things like showing you photos of Sophia that have finally been uploaded from my phone, we're talking early days here people, blast from the past and all that! Not to mention photos and stories from our holiday just recently. And then (I like those two words today) there are ideas that are just forming. Ideas that I'm trying to get straight in my head, that I'd like to blog about, but I'm hesitant to do so cos I don't want to be shot down (for example, thoughts on contraception). And then there are the random, out of nowhere, silly thoughts that surely my blog ought to be a good outlet for.

Ok, so I'm trying. Watch this space. And if nothing happens, go away for a few days and do your own thing, and then come back and watch some more. I'll be here, eventually. Blogging's in my blood, I just can't help doing it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Does not compute

I was reading a post on Kathleen's blog yesterday about buying school supplies (at least I think I was, I just looked and I can't see it anywhere now, did I just dream it?) and it reminded me of the same thing I've thought every time someone talks about school supplies at this time of year.
"What? You have a list of things that your child has to have for school?!"

You see, over here (by which I mean my limiter experience of British schools) sure you get ready to go back to school, but you decide for yourself what you need. At primary school (age 5-11) I recall that we were mostly encouraged not to bring our own stuff from school, but rather use the school's pencils etc. I can understand that thirty 5 year olds arguing over which pencil case belongs to which child is not really ideal. I think that towards the end of primary school we were considered sensible enough to bring in our own stuff to use, but again, there were school resources there to use, and we were encouraged to use them.

Or course at secondary school you had to bring your own stuff. I remember the days when my pencil case had been the one thing that hadn't been stuffed back in to the weighty overpacked bag and I'd have to spend the day blagging off over people. Pretty much you were on your own with that. But no one ever told us buy this folder and not that one, or buy such and such. Actually, to be truthful, I vaguely remember being told what sketch pad and pencils to buy for Art lessons, but that's about it. Oh, and maybe an apron for Food Technology.

But really, this whole list of exact specifications of what to buy just does not compute in my brain.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Those of you on twitter, or who pay attention to my twitter box on my sidebar may have noticed that charity shop shopping was the thing to do while on holiday this year. My grand total in the end was 51 charity shops, two children's stuff second hand shops and one general second hand shop. These were found in a number of towns and cities, including, but not limited to Exeter, Exmouth, Sidmouth, Topsham and Cheltenham.

And boy, did we find some good stuff. The photos below show some of the stuff we bought, but not a lot of the stuff my parents got, cos it was getting a bit ridiculous, besides, my mum could only distract Sophia for so long while I laid it all out.
There were lots of toys and books. Notably one on baby signing, and I've now taught Sophia to ask for milk (blue book on the left). The best toy buys were probably the yellow box of Duplo (the small people's version of lego) - 90 pieces for £3, and the box to boot. And the ride on/push along toy. We've been thinking of getting something like that for Sophia to practice walking without us (and she did for the first time today, photo to follow at a later date).
We also got lots of clothes. Actually, a lot of my clothes finds were actually on the final Saturday, and therefore after I'd taken this photo. Here we have several dresses and tops for Sophia, and a cardigan which she was in great need of. Towards the left you can see a blue top and a black with flowers top which are mine. And one of my favourites, the hat at the top, which has strings, so I can tie it on Sophia and she can't take it off again in the next mili-second. It was a total bargain as I got it for 10p!
Finally, a lot of the stuff I found were named brand items. I got clothes for Sophia from Next, Gap, and more... and at prices like 50p or 99p. Sounds good to me :)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I'm back!

But tired and recovering from food poisoning (yeah, not what you want when you're driving home).
Hopefully tomorrow I will be eating proper food and blogging again :)