Thursday, 14 January 2016

Another Great, Gone

It's incredibly sad that just a few short days after we mourned David Bowie, we are having to say goodbye to yet another great man.  I don't think anyone will ever be quite the equal to Alan Rickman - who meant so much to so many.  Enough said for today.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Back to the grind, but finally finished!

Have been flying under the radar for the last few days - focusing on getting back into the routine of packed lunches, school runs and work, and all the other elements that make up the week.

In the time since my last post, I've both finished my hat and scarf, and started a new diet/lifestyle kick.

The hat and scarf can be seen below - as modeled by me!  The actual pattern suggests a fringe for the scarf, but I'm not a big fringe fan.

I did, however, add a huge pom-pom to it - although the picture doesn't do it justice:

I used two strands of Hayfield Bonus Aran, in Tweed and Cream (bought from Hobby Craft a couple of years ago and currently on their 3-for-2 offer - here).

The pattern for the Hat can be found here - and the scarf, here

I've really enjoyed making these - the main delay in finishing was finding the right buttons - but I got them throught the post today and am really happy with how they look.  And I think I've finished weaving in the ends in time as the weather is getting colder, so am looking forward to being toasty and warm on the coming school runs.

In other news, on the weight loss front, I was listening to the radio last week, and heard an interview with the authors of a book on 'Sirt Foods'.  My ears pricked up, as they would, on the mention of a potential 7lb weight loss in 7 days . . . . dangerous, and not necessarily realistic were my first thoughts, but given my current weight, definitely tempting!  Also, they weren't advocating magic pills or potions, just really upping the intake of certain foods that I already know are really healthy.

However, tonight I'm going to get to bed early and snuggle as it's cold outside, and I can hear the wind and rain at the window.  Tomorrow I'll share the low down on how the first few days on the diet have gone, and just how good, or bad, I've been!

Oh, and one last thing - David Bowie died yesterday.  I'm not one for great outpourings of grief, but I will always remember what I was doing when I heard (reaching into the cupboard for cereal) and just what a shock it was.  He was many things to many people, and no one single thing to any.  For me one of the things he'll always be is Jareth, the Goblin King.  Am sure I wasn't the only girlie who would have been quite happy to stay with him!!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Foodie Monday

Ok, so this wasn't really supposed to be about food, but when you're trying a new recipe, and it turns out well, you want to share it with people!

This is the Lemon Butter Chicken, from the Damn Delicious blog.  I came upon this recipe the other day and thought to myself, my that looks very tasty, I've just got to try!

 And, so I did!  

This is part way through, after the chicken had been browned, and when most of the other ingredients have been added to the pot.  By this point both of the kiddies were making vague hints as to how it smelt 'ok', which for my two is a grudging sign of approval!

Here, the previously browned chicken had been added back to the mix, after it had been simmering as per the instructions - looked fantastic already!!  

This was the dish straight form the oven - the spinach worried me slightly until I realised that I could probably get away with it if I called it herbs!  By now both kids were hungry and saying that it smelt good - a huge improvement!  I served it with baked potatoes and broccoli, with raw carrot sticks (they won't eat cooked carrot)

Now, with my kids, I've come to the realisation that if one declares a love, or even a like for a particular food, it automatically discounts that food from ever being eaten by their sibling again.  With this dish, although not wolfed down, they both ate almost all of their portion of chicken without either screeching that it was awful!  In our house that's almost a champagne toasting success!

For now though, I'll settle for a glass of Chablis whilst I crack on with the ironing, now that they're in bed.

Edit - myself and my husband generally eat later than the kids during the week, as he often doesn't get home, even at the earliest, until 7:30pm (although tonight he was caught-out by someones birthday and was therefore home much later than normal, so we ate seperately this evening).  Therefore, I've just finished my portion, which I had with a baked potato and lightly sauteed green beans, broccoli and carrots, and I can safely say that this dish is delicious.  It's very rich though, so I wouldn't have it every week, but it's definitely going on my preferred list of recipes to have at least once a month - especially knowing that the kids will at least eat it, even if they deny loving it!

I will get round to putting up some crochet at some point, but life is so exciting with all kinds of things, and at the same time exhausting as I've slept really poorly for the last two nights, that I sometimes drift from my path - and it can take days to drift back . . . .

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Pause for Thought

Earlier today I was being grumpy in the kitchen - mentally moaning that it's only me that does the washing, and most of the tidying, and calculating all the jobs that need to be done today before the normality of back to school and work hits us tomorrow morning.

Then I had a realisation . . . .

Yesterday the local FB pages were filled with news of a horrible accident on the A21 near us.  A very nasty collision had resulted in 7 people being injured, and despite it happening very close to the nearby hospital and A&E unit, the Air Ambulance was in attendance as some of the injuries needed extra special attention.  As it turned out, the ones that went in the Air Ambulance to London were two of the children - an 11 year old girl and a 9 year old boy.

I found out this morning that the family were from our local school, and I know the Mum - not well, but we've exchanged pleasantries on more than one occasion.  4 of her kids were injured - two with minor injuries (bump on the head, and broken fingers - bad for them, but one was able to go home with her Nan that day), and Mum was treated at the local hospital whilst her other little ones were taken to London.  I can't imagine how that must have felt - to be seperated from your kids, knowing that they are desperately injured, and not knowing exactly what's happening to them, or when you'll get to hold them again.

So this morning, as I grumbled to myself, I realised that this Mum would give anything, absolutely anything, to have her babies all at home, uninjured and safe, and the only worry being how much washing and sock-sorting she has to do before her kids go back to school.

Count your blessings peeps.  No matter how grumpy and grey your life is, someone would rather be living your day than theirs.  I will hold the family in my thoughts and prayers, and be very grateful that all I have to worry about today is the housework, some ironing, and remembering to put my work phone on charge and turn the morning alarm back on.


Friday, 1 January 2016

Well, it's a happy new year here!

We had a great night with fab friends, with the kids having a good night too with their friends too, although they didn't manage to see the new year in.  Not that it bothered them in the slightest!

Today was slightly delicate, as you may expect, but the house has been de-Christmassed and mostly tidied before I ran out of steam.  The kids are having showers and will be shoe-horned into bed early tonight, and I don't think I'll be far behind!  I do plan on mostly finishing the scarf I started the other day, I just need to get the right buttons.

There hasn't been any work out today, but hauling trees, lights and decorations back up to the loft is, I feel, a fair amount of exercise!

I hope you had a great time, and saw in the new year with the determination to make 2016 a good one!  With that in mind, I'll leave you with this, from Neil Gaiman: