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Aaaah, still loving our life!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Cocktails A-go-go!

Last year I made an attempt to stock the drinks tray for Christmas and we did ok. However this year I really am determined for us to have some proper cocktails.

When we ordered a few festive bottles (Jon and I don't drink that much so we like to have something a little special at Christmas). We are also having people over on Boxing Day so it will be nice to have a jug of something nice on ice to offer.

This is how the sideboard is looking. Also, because this piece of furniture is of a period that PERFECTLY suits the idea of cocktails it would be a crime not to make the most of it - well that is my excuse!




















I have also invested in a proper cocktail book; contents were important of course but it did have to look right, too. The circular shaker and glass holder was a gift and it's just right!
 

In other news father in law is out of hospital and home. Has to rest up with no heavy activity/work for eight weeks.

The wind last night was ferocious and the tarp has been part blown off the Poly House, again, so I am PROPERLY ignoring it now.

The boys had great fun in the snow this week, sledging and making snowmen. It has now all gone now I might add. They are back to school after two days off with most of the Christmas activities having been re-arranged so they all fit in before they break up on December 22, same day as Jon. Woop woop!



I managed to snap this little visitor at the top kitchen. May use if for a card next year!




Ok, better dash as it is our community Christmas lunch at 12.30 and I have made a big pot of bread sauce to take as my contribution.

Hope everybody is recovering from any snow/bad weather.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx






Sunday, 10 December 2017

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Bore da!

We awoke to the perfect version of A Child's Christmas In Wales, weather wise anyhow!

The forecast was snow from 4am today, we were awake at 5am and it was already coming down heavily. It is still snowing some now. Jon and the boys have gone to clear our neighbour's path and driveway then are going sledging - I am NOT!

Here are some of the views around the house; here from the top kitchen,


across to the chicken enclosure and....


the cars!!


I am of the mind to load the Rayburn up with baking potatoes and make a big pot of veg soup. 

We will have to see if the boys can get to school and Jon to work in the morning. I have just seen the first two vehicles, a land rover and a tractor. It said on the Internet that it was taking two hours to get from Lampeter to Carmarthen. We are going nowhere, hunkering down and just enjoying the time together.

I have just seen the Aberystwyth Neighbouring Policing Team go past so I guess people are being looked out for.

Hope all is well with everybody, Dawn I see you have had some winter weather at yours.

All take care please.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Mince Pie Mayhem and Poly House Protection!

This was the kitchen yesterday.



This was the first mince pie session of the season. I tried a couple of new things - a pecan nut under a circle topping on some of them and also painting some holly leaves; Tracy can vouch for my ridiculous sense of joy over the latter! Eeek!



I actually made a total of 42 but managed to burn a dozen when I got sidetracked by something. Aargh!

Here is me being a little festively naughty, considering I was going to Slimming World last night (still managed to only put on 1lb so still within my target weight after 8 weeks I think.) First mince pie from my kitchen. Mmmm, and Jon said they were better with me having cooked the mincemeat when I made it.


We are pretty much Christmas Central here, just a few more decorations to go up but I'm loving, as usual, the living room with my paper chains and paper globes.


I have this basket display in the bottom kitchen window and I'm very pleased with it. I like to have some things I can pick up and move to other places if I want to decorate somewhere else quickly.

However we are not getting the tree until the weekend what with Jon being back and forth to see his dad.

Now, on Sunday there was a team effort, so no time for action shots,and we got some tarps put over the Poly House. This means that as I find the time to do so I can start and tidy up inside a bit. It already feels better as I can dry out things like pots and tray that are just carrying so much water.

















It isn't the prettiest thing in the garden by any stretch but it is serving a purpose until Spring. 

(So pleased that the angle of all these photos means you cannot see what an horrendous state my far veg patch is in just now!)

In other news FIL still hasn't had his op but it is scheduled for Thursday, fingers crossed.

Right, boys home shortly and better be ready to referee the mince pie situation as they are already getting eaten up stupidly quickly, but that is what they are for!

Bye for now.

Lou.xx


Monday, 27 November 2017

Stir It Up Sunday And Practice Christmas.

Good morning.

Yesterday was Stir It Up Sunday when traditionally puddings etc are made. Well I have already made my cake but I did make my mincemeat. I made it with a base of three packets of suet and for a change I added some dried figs - my new fav fresh fruit so thought why not.

I've made extra to use up some of my suet surplus so this is how it worked out.
























I have never cooked my mincemeat but did do this time and i have to admit that as the suet melted and coated the dried fruit it made it plump up and the cooking definitely added to the flavour of the mix. 

Not sure how much I made but it was a lot - some jars are big! I was one jar short so there is some in the plastic container in the fridge which might get use in the next couple of days.



It looks a bit funny where the the suet is showing white but I am assured that is ok.

In the last week or so you know I have been getting round to some Christmas papercrafting. Well, I have begun two little projects which is some mini bunting/Christmas garlands. 

These are about an inch and a little more square in size and are taken from the cover of the 12" x 12" papers I bought - waste not want not! 



The second lot are toppers from cards we have received, stickers put onto card and anything else I had in stock that was the right size. I'll string them together but I haven't decided where to put them yet.



I am starting to feel ridiculously Christmassy and I blame Tracy to be honest - but for that I am grateful! Also this weekend we had a kind of pre-Christmas Christmas when Jon's cousin and her fella came to stay. We were presented with gifts to play and eat in this wonderful case/box - I LOVE it! 




We opened it on Friday night/Christmas Eve playing Quizoo, where you have to guess tunes each of you are playing in a kazoo. On Saturday evening we had turkey dinner, well chicken Thai curry, and crackers then played Pictionary. Sunday was out for coffee and a mince pie on Sunday/Boxing day. Just a fabulously, lovely relaxed time and our ideal kind of Christmas.

We've ordered a three-pack of Christmas DVDs and can't wait to start watching those on Sunday afternoon. Friday,1st December, is D Day, Decoration Day, but I think I'll be sneaking a few out tomorrow as the weekend present box came complete with some lovely silver and blue tinsel and lights.

This week I'm starting niggly little cleaning jobs before the main decorations go up. This includes paintwork behind sofas and tables plus bookshelves needing a proper dusting and tidied out in readiness for greenery to be brought in and placed on top of the cupboards etc.

Since I began writing this a few other things have happened. My eldest has come down with a cracking cough so we are off the doctor shortly, therefore the other is suffering with a bit of lacking in attention issue but have that sorted now I think. Also, my mum has managed to fall over and banged her head and broke a bone in her thigh; she will be flat on her back in hospital for some time I think and her dementia will be a challenge for the nurses... We are also visiting Jon's dad who is due to have a heart valve replacement op today so Jon is off to Nantwich on Saturday morning and I will be staying home as we have an Airbnb booking that night! It never rains, however that is exactly what it has been doing A LOT lately, thought not just now!

**********UPDATE, MUM HASN'T BROKEN ANYTHING SO THAT'S A POSITIVE**********

Hate ending a post on doom n gloom but I'm determined not to let it put a downer on things.

Hope you all had a good weekend and look forward to seeing what you have been getting up to.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx



Tuesday, 21 November 2017

It's Beginning.......

I know not everybody is getting ready for the festive season just yet but I am beginning to feel it, I have to be honest, hence the red text so I am pretty much going for it from now!

The odd thing has been collected/bought/made recently to give me a little Christmas spring in my step. In Aber on Sunday I saw this in one of the charity shops and thought it could be used as part of a display or to contain a present, though probably the former as we don't do that many presents.



I had to buy a new Christmas flower, Poinsettia, as last year's did not last like I normally get to do. This was £1.99 from Lidl and is a nice size which fitted in this green pot cover - just needs a bit of ribbon to brighten it up. 




I'm going to leave this with you for now and come back to it at a later date...



I had three Ikea milk bottles on one of the kitchen shelves that looked like this....


and here they are with a few crafting embellishments; I'm really happy with them.


The cakes have been fed again, although I might give it a miss next week as they are very moist so won't matter if they sit for a bit longer. This week I'll be buying the ingredients for my mincemeat which I'll be making after the weekend; this is a task which really makes be feel properly Christmassy! 

I'll also be checking I have all the things I need for this...

WILL BE MAKING THIS CHRISTMAS!

I have a pot of this on the side of the Rayburn practically all the way through the festive period. I don't necessarily smell it all the time I am in the kitchen, but when I go out of the room or somebody comes into the kitchen for the first time you can really enjoy the yummy fragrance. It really gets me in the mood when I have my Christmas music on whilst making my mince pies and just getting things ready. Eeeek!

Right, better get on.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx




Friday, 17 November 2017

Cellar Store Room - One Year On.

Afternoon.

Just a super quick post showing how I'm using my Doomsday Prep cellar store room.

Just a year ago I was so excited that it was finished and couldn't wait to actually use it. Bovey Belle said that in a year I would be running out of space for things so that is why I decided to do a little before and after post.

Here is how the main part of the space looked on completion...


and here is how it looks now. Eeek!


I'm not exactly running out of space but it is definitely VERY useful. The shelves are now home to my spare preserving things along with the goodies I've managed to make this past year. Also I keep coffee/tea etc. supplies for the Airbnb room there as well as spare non-perishable items; I have a few things in stock for Christmas housed on the shelves and I still get a buzz out of going in there!

I've just sorted out a couple of cardboard boxes that were underneath the gingham curtains. They were a little damp, after all it is still a cellar, so as long as non-plastic things are kept off the floor then all is well. I'll soon be bringing up the Christmas decorations as they quite happily live down there now keeping dry in proper boxes.

Such a useful room as I also keep my recycling bags down there in between collections. After Christmas I will give it a good sweep and wash the curtains; I might even take them up a little as they drag on the floor a touch.

Ok, going on about this JUST a bit too much.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx

Monday, 13 November 2017

Cake and Christmas. Eeek!

Good morning!

We awoke to a temperature of -4 - ooh nippy chippy as we say in our house. The boys went off to school after having warmed their gloves, hat and scarf on the top of the Rayburn. However I myself was kept warm by listening to the beginning of the BBC Radio 2 auctions with Chris Evans for Children In Need and the kindness of those giving money. There was a Christmas feel to the items being bid for along with some early festive music but I more than forgave them. This morning already £809K has been raised for Pudsey's piggy bank! Wow! Last year the total was £5.7 million

In other news I've been baking and creating. It was Jon's birthday at the weekend so I baked for him, and for the first time for me, a coffee and walnut cake.



I've been getting down to some crafting recently by making use of the fab value Christmas papers I bought recently. I love making tags which are big enough to give as a little gift or to use as a decorations around the house; the ones I currently have I think I made about five years ago so I now have a couple of those in stock and also started on a couple of cards. Jon and I don't send each other cards and I don't give them in general; I do like to give them to neighbours who have been helpful and kind over the year.


I also fed the Christmas cakes yesterday for the first time; here they were very well packed up after the mishap last year.





They are now packed away again until next week.

Right, I think that is it for me just now. Regular chores to do today but loving catching up with blogs to see how people are preparing for Christmas. Had a thought the other day to use the sugar syrup left over from preserving the apples to use for making apple vodka. Has anybody ever made apple vodka? I lots of people make flavoured drinks, especially 
Dawn and Tracey.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx