Organisation and ‘what success means’.

Warning: Slight Chance of Philosophy Ahead.

Hello there. Another week has flown by with no discernable house progress.  The to-do list is fairly steady, although I did manage to sort a bunch of stuff out that’s just been hanging around.  We’ve had a hire car for a few weeks whilst mine was in the shop.  That meant we had to take everything out of our car, which in turn, meant I had to sort out everything in our car.  There was a broken steam mop and half a rice cooker in there.  A fun afternoon of sorting was had.  I’m only mostly being sarcastic here-I genuinely enjoy sorting and organising.  Mr E always jokes that I have a thing for containers, and he’s absolutely 100% correct.  I love a good jar, and it was with great glee that I finally sorted out the world’s smallest pantry.  Well, it’s a cupboard, but I can call it a pantry.
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I’m calling that success.  We were talking about what success means to us, and came to the conclusion that it’s really simple.  Being Happy.  I feel pretty damn successful at the moment.  I don’t earn a ton, but I spend time with my little man.  I don’t have a massive house, but my flat is full of exactly what I want.  I like my job, I’m happy with my self image (shock!) and the few friends I have are ace.

Mostly though, I like to open cupboards and see things all neatly arranged.  It certainly makes baking much easier.  This weeks’ TOTW wasn’t that great.  I made baked doughnuts but they were a bit too heavy and cakey for my liking.  Perhaps I’ll resort to frying again.
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TOTW
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Already so interested in the record player.  This was a calm Sunday morning playtime shot, and he decided he wanted to climb.

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Salmon Teriyaki Noodles

Salmon Teriyaki Noodles

The healthy food cravings have been insane lately! I spread some pre-made teriyaki sauce on the salmon, and fried it in a skillet. I chopped some veg and boiled some udon noodles and then threw them in the pan when the salmon was done. A few sesame seeds on the top and I. WAS. DONE.

The Stint at 46. And doughnuts.

Good evening all,

Sorry it’s been so long, but hey, I’ve been busy.  ON TO BUSINESS!

Things are coming together a bit at the inlaws (and the sitch that shall heretofore be called ‘the stint at 46’).  Today I completed the glosswork in the bedroom (skirting, doors and coving) and got another coat of blackboard paint on the cupboards in the kitchenny bit.  I also got to smash ‘Bizarre Kitchen Island Unit’ with a sledgehammer.  That felt pretty good.  I also painted the wall my old favorite, Chic Shadow by Dulux.  We got a lot of stuff cleared out of the room too, which helped a buttload.

Mid progress:

The grey on the walls really calms it all down a notch.

 And here we have the best shot I took of the missing kitchen Island.

I had to all the painting with a brush and not a roller because it’s actually tongue and groove panelling, so that was fun.  On the plus side however, because we did a whole bunch of work there today, this is what we had for dinner:

That’s right, you crazy kids.  Homemade sugar doughnuts, fresh out of the pan, smothered in sugar and cinnamon.  They were truly epic.  

So, to recap:

Cons:  Essentially homeless.  Pros:  Doughnuts for dinner.
Oh, we also had a charity bake sale at work, you know the drill.

Check it, yo.

Chocolate Ruffle Cake

What day is today? It’s Mickey’s Birthday! What a day for a birthday, let’s all have some cake!

I made a lovely ruffle cake, thanks to Pinterest (Did someone say ‘addiction’?)  It’s Hummingbird Bakery Brooklyn Blackout chocolate cake-my go to chocolate cake.  There’s three layers of that with chocolate ganache both inside and out.  This is a chocoholics dream.

My house is in full on birthday mode today, with balloons strewn across the floor…

 And my homemade birthday chandelier.  It’s just balloons, ribbons, pom poms and a homemade crepe paper fan hanging from wire.  It makes me happy.

 And of course the epic cake.  This also makes me happy.

Well, the tea party is on Saturday, and I’ll be making cake pops, rice krispie treats, cupcakes, macarons for the first time, and some savoury bits and bobs.  Expect more pics! 🙂

Allotted time!

Good Morning!

After sitting on a waiting list for three years, I have finally become the proud owner of an allotment.  It’s a half size plot, and in pretty good shape, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.  I’ll keep you all updated as things grow, and will probably end up posting recipes for my produce too!

Watch this space!

Furoshiki!

Good Afternoon all,

I’d like to share with you my latest obsession:  The Japanese art of Furoshiki, or cloth folding.  This is usually used to wrap gifts or carry things such as books or even watermelons!

I’ve been using a (homemade) furoshiki wrap for my lunch this week, and I think it’s super cute!  I made the furoshiki wrap by cutting up a square of fabric (that I made from the same fabric as my ironing board cover) and hemmed a simple edge onto it.  Then the fun started…

 Lay the cloth out in a diamond in front of you…

Pop your lunch in the centre of the cloth- I use a small clippy box for fruit and a medium clippy box for soup or leftovers or whatever.  There’s usually a banana or a cereal bar balanced in there too…

 Take the left and right corners and bring them up over the lunch and tie in a double knot…

 Turn the whole thing round so the loose sides are on the left and right again and bring these up, a bit like wrapping a present.

 Both sides up…

 …And tied in a double knot.  I tend to do this quite loosely, and not tie the knot too close to the lunch inside, so it acts like a carrying handle.

You can even slip your chopsticks through the ‘under-knot’.  I really like the way this looks, and the way it holds your lunch together, especially if you’re like me and end up with all sorts of random or loose items in your lunch!  The good thing about this is that it doesn’t matter if your lunch is an awkward shape either, because you’re not forcing your food into a square box! 🙂

Mini Apple and Blackberry Pie

Good Afternoon all,

As progress with the house has slowed a little, please indulge my frequent posts about baking. I’ve just bought two tiny, super cute pie dishes from Cargo Homestores, via Amazon. They arrived on Wednesday and I was amazingly keen to make a cute dessert for the Mr. Cue rummaging through the fruit bowl and freezer…In the end I used an apple and some blackberries that I picked and froze from our trip to Manor Farm Country Park. I also decided to try a lattice crust, which I’ve never really done before, and I think it worked rather well.

And here is a pic of the pie once baked and crispy…

To give some idea of size and scale of the cute mini pie dishes, here is how big they really are!

The pastry was ready roll shortcrust pastry (I know, I’m lazy) and the filling was made using one apple (I think it was a golden delicious or something, just what I had in the fruit bowl) peeled and cut into chunks. I popped this in a bowl with about a tablespoon of caster sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon and microwaved on high for 2 and a half minutes. Then I added in a handful of frozen rasberries and drained off the syrupy liquid. I lined the dish with pastry and filled it with the fruit. I cut the rest of the pastry into strips and put a lattice on top, brushing the edge with milk to make sure it stuck. Then I trimmed the edges, brushed the top with more milk and sprinkled a little lot more sugar and cinnamon on top.

Bake at about 180C for 15 to 20 minutes (perhaps longer if you’re making more than one) then EAT!

Of Country Parks and Crumbles…

Hello there, I’ve decided to integrate some of my exploits and baking into this blog, and create a well rounded picture of my life :-).  Today we took a trip to Manor Farm Country Park where I saw piglets and lambs and chickens, and even milked a cow.  I went through a victorian school lesson and hand fed a turkey.  We walked for miles, and on the way back to the car we pilfered blackberries from the hedges.

Once home, I decided that a tasty blackberry and apple crumble was in order.  Alas, I wasn’t using scrumped apples-I’ve given up that habit after the Mr. discovered and honest-to-goodness caterpillar in his lunchtime apple…

There’s all sorts going on at the moment too!  I painted the en suite bathroom lemon and added lemon and grey chevrons to the inside of the wardrobe (but it kind of sucked).  We’re planning on repainting the hall stairs and landing green-grey, the bedroom the same dove grey as the lounge, and adding a touch of grey to the dining room-as well as get a new desk out there!  Busy busy!
See you next time (I may be brave enough to share my rubbish chevrons yet…)