Monday, 14 January 2013

Progress & a Lovely Meal

DH and I have made some good progress on those jobs we need to do. We're not there yet and our curfew has slipped by us a couple of nights, but we're definitely feeling more positive.

Tonight I thought I'd just pop in to share my cheap but perhaps a bit odd meal tonight. Our weekly shop is tomorrow so it was the ususal what have we got left mish mash and I thought I'd actually try a spot of home cooking.

I don't have a lot of spices in the cupboard so this is what I threw in the frying pan:-

Most of one red onion chopped (I didnt have a white one!)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp finely grated root ginger ( I have a huge root and haven't used it yet as I don't really know what to do with it)
2 tsp ground  cinnamon
2 tsp paprika
1tsp tumeric
1 tsp mild chilli powder
400g can chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp artifical sweetner ( not the aspartame kind)
250ml vegetable bouillion
1 large sweet potato peeled and chopped
1 long life carton of haricot beans
1 can sweetcorn

A totally fat free, very low cal, healthy tea. I probably could have done with less stock as it was very liquid-y, but that "mopped" up nicely with a couple of slices of wholemeal bread. I was able to put aside two portions for another day and still had an enormous plateful.

Will be checking in on all your Blogs later, so hope everyone has been well.

Lots of Love

Arwedd xx

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Doing things differently

DH and I had a quite heavy discussion this afternoon, for a couple of hours, as we thought about our year ahead. It was all very 'grown-up' and we were totally "on the same page". Odd as I still don't feel very grown-up, despite my advancing years.

We were both in total agreement that several things have to change this year. I'm not really in a position to share most of them, which sounds very cryptic and I don't mean to be, but they're not just my things alone to share, so I won't. Suffice to say that we are both getting very lazy as we reach "middle-age" and we're just not keeping on top of all those things we should be. Today we have resolved that we must do better.

We have to be stricter with ourselves, if we want to achieve our goals for 2013. We are both procrastinators and great at wasting time, or allowing ourselves to be distracted by others, either in person or reading our daily Blogs, or tidying out a cupboard instead of making an important phone-call. We have tried to renew our resolve today and promised to help each other.

For both of us, one thing this means is getting an earlier night. Its quite hard when you have a teenager who doesn't go to bed until 10pm to get to bed early yourself. We tend to find that if we were to go when we really needed to, we would be going at the same time as him. This leaves us with absolutely no evening "to ourselves". Not that we dislike his company, but some things we do need to talk about without his presence. However, we must get to bed by 10:30pm, at least half the nights, if we are to increase our energy to do the other things, that must now be done.

For me, this means I cannot continue to spend so much time on leisure activities. Unfortunately, I count amongst these writing my Blog. I therefore simply must reduce the frequency of my posts. It also means the crochet or card- making, or any other crafts, can only be picked up when I have done at least something, every day, towards all the other tasks. It means not sloping off to my favourite Cafe so often, when there are things which must be done, no matter how lovely it is there.

Apologies, therefore that you will see less of me, but if we don't put in the effort now, then we only have ourselves to blame when we fail. I hope you will still continue to support me as your comments have often helped far more than you will realise.

Here's hoping for something Exceptional.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Monday, 7 January 2013

Clouds in my Coffee

I'm not exactly sure why Carly Simon had clouds in her coffee, but I've made the decision not to have anything in mine and I'm regretting my decision already, and it's only Day Two.

One of the things I am determined to do in 2013 is change to a more healthy eating and drinking regime. Nothing too limiting, I can stand all those cravings again, but it definitely has to be Fat Free at least for a while. I don't have butter on bread, in sandwiches, although I did use it for frying and have now swapped it for a low fat alternative. I have cut out cheese, and I don't use a lot of milk, as I don't have cereals etc. I tend to use it for a chesse sauce, (got to go), and in coffee. Boy, do I like a milky coffee. I'm a real Latte fan, but I have decided to try and drink my coffee black. We do use Semi-skimmed milk, having tried the Skimmed and found it just too watery the boys just can't tolerate it. However, for health reasons I really do want to go dairy free for a bit, and I don't really want to try a different type of milk, as that's just something else to buy and I would have to go through just as much, to try and get used to the taste of that, just for extra expense.

No I'd rather try and get used to it without, but I can't get over how different the coffee tastes without milk.

I do vaguely remember though, when I first started to have my coffee without sugar, more than 20 years ago. I know I stopped because a schoolfriend (Hayley, I wonder whatever happened to her?), was told by her dentist to cut out sugar and I wanted to support her. I also remember it was equally as difficult at first and I had to persevere through several horrible cups until my taste changed. Now putting sugar in it tastes disgusting. I do hope I don't have to suffer too long before my tastebuds change this time, as I do love my coffee. It's not because of the caffiene as I have mine Decaff, my heart objects otherwise, so there must just be something comforting about hugging a mug of coffee, and maybe I can see clouds in it after all.........

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Not a good start

My prayers today go out to two special ladies.

One of my best friends just wasn't herself in Church this morning and when I asked her after the service, if everything was really Ok, she broke down and told me her Dad was very poorly. He went for a New Years walk, fell and has badly broken his upper leg/thigh. He has had surgery and it has been pinned. Unfortunately because he was in the woods, they had to get an all-terrain vehicle out to rescue him, so he was on the ground for nearly two hours. As a result, he has an infection in his leg and also a chest infection. She said he is in Intensive Care and when she spoke to him very briefly for only a minute or two he was not himself at all and very confused. He lives 'up North' from here and I know how difficult it is when you can't physically get to see your sick relative for yourself. It just adds to the anxiety and worry. I am thinking of you both and the rest of the family today.

Another friend said to me after the service today that she had been really struggling since the New Year. She like me struggles with depression and has had long periods off work. As soon as she said it, I could identify with that strange disembodied, numb, flat feeling she was experiencing, which is somehow made worse when everyone around you seems to be full of fun and hope and looking forward to a New Year. I'm sure we are not alone and there are lots who find the start of a New Year actually quite hard. When your brain doesn't work properly all you can hear is a very sarcastic voice saying "Yeah, great, bring on another crappy year, brilliant!"

But when we are all thinking straight we know that the Year doesn't have to end the way it started. (I know FM would agree). Things can change so quickly, and the sun can appear immediately as a storm stops. So I pray for these two lovely ladies, that things will improve from this moment on.

Lots of Love

Arwedd xx

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Twelfth Night

Not sure when exactly this is, or what the exact consequences are, but my  decorations are now down and back in the attic. It managed to keep the boys entertained for a while this afternoon and we actually sorted out several boxes of decorations we don't use any more. Broken bits are ready to go to the tip and some bits are on their way to the Charity shop. Sorry to all those Mums who keep every decoration their kids have ever made, but there was some right 'tat' that my kids have made at nursery, that will never go on the tree and are now in the bin.

The house now feels bare, except for the bits that always come off the tree and the tinsel. I have only hoovered three times so far and it normally takes several more goes round to get rid of it all.

Oddly this evening we have been watching Christmas movies on the TV. Tomorrow #2 Son has a Cinema trip with a friend to see Madagascar 3 in 3D, so a nice way to bring the holidays to a close. Now I only have to find something to entertain him on Monday. Nearly there!

Lots of Love

Arwedd xx

Friday, 4 January 2013

How much longer?

Are the school holidays going to last? Don't get me wrong I love my two (well three really,with DH!) boys, more than I can possibly express, but they are now officially ready to go back to school. It hasn't helped that it has still been quite wet, this week, in my little part of Devon.

I knew when the lights in the downstairs ceiling started to shake, after lunch today,                                                                     that things were getting a bit out of hand upstairs. #2 Son had got a friend around for the day and whilst they kept each other entertained, they also managed to wind each other up to fever pitch.

So during a break in the clouds, we headed out for an hours play, to try and release some of the steam. Even my big lad (*enormously tall lad, rather than mature lad) decided to join in.

I think the two little ones just enjoyed chasing the big one round and round the most.  Strangely he seemed to enjoy it too, but stated he was just trying to  prove how much quicker than them he was.

All the climbing frames were free, but I was convinced to part with a whole £1 for these hideously expensive things.

50p for a whole minute and a half of whizzing round in circles, but it was worth it to hear their very girly giggling!!

I have now totally run out of ideas and I still have three more days to fill. I'm sure when I've slept on it I'll come up with something, but tonight I think I'm off for an early night.

Lots of love

Arwedd xx

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Patterns in the Snow

(( Apologies, to anyone who was inundated with test Blogs from me today. I did several today and think I have finally mastered my new little machine as a result. Although, that said, I am back on the big computer again tonight as the photo I needed was on here!)).

Thanks everyone for your kind comments about my Table Runner. I have decided to follow your advice and block it but think this will need to wait until the Boys go back to school next week so I have the time and space.

Here by popular request is the pattern.It is written in British English not American.

Foundation Ring: ch 6; join with sl st in first ch.

Rnd 1: ch (counts as first dc), 11 dc in ring; join with sl st in initial ch1.

Rnd 2: ch 3 (counts as tr), *ch2, dtr in 1 dc, ch 2 ** tr in 1 dc. Repeat from * 4 times, and from * to ** once more. Join with sl st in 3rd ch of initial ch 3.

Rnd 3: sl st in next ch 2 space, ch 1 (counts as dc), htr and tr in same ch 2 space. *[tr, ch2, tr] in dtr, [tr,htr,dc] in ch 2 space ** [dc,htr,tr in next ch 2 space. Repeat from * 4 times, and from * to ** once more. Join with sl st in initial ch1.

Rnd 4:  *ch3, Skip htr, htr in 2 tr, [htr, ch3, htr] in ch2 point. htr in 2 tr, ch3 Skip htr, sl st in 2dc. Repeat from * 4 times, and from * to ** once more. Skip htr and join with sl st in dc. 

Finish off: weave in ends.

On the second snowflake, I joined as I went by replacing the middle one of the ch3s in the point with a slip stitch to the ch3 space of the first snowflake. So the second one was joined at two points, 1 & 2 in red in the picture, then the 3rd was joined at points 3 & 4 in red, and so on for the middle row of 12.

For the 13th snowflake, I joined it with a sl st into the ch 3 space at 1,2, & 3 in blue above.

The 14th snowflake is then joined at 4 points, 1, 2, 3, & 4 in green.

There are 11 snowflakes in each of the two outer rows.

I haven't really ever written instructions in a Blog post before, so if that isn't clear enough, please let me know and I will try again.

Off to try a different snowflake yet, before starting a different project for 2013.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A Flurry of Snowflakes

((AARGGHH!! Computers, sometimes I HATE them. I had a new little 7" tablet for Christmas and I have now tried to blog this post on it three times in one browser and once in Blogger, spent nearly two hours trying to correct it's totally random typing and accidental deleting when the backspace key is pressed, that I am about ready to throw it out of the window, only to end up posting a blank Blog. I have reverted to my 'normal' full sized computer.)) Rant over, that's not what this post is about and breathe!!!

Frugalmummy asked the question "What are you working on?", so I thought I would share with you what I have been making between Christmas and New Year. I made some of these lovely snowflakes to hang on the front of my Christmas cards this year (sorry last year!), which could then be taken off to hang on the tree or twig. I enjoyed them so much I thought I would try joining them together to make a Table Runner.

I haven't got a table big enough to show it all, but here is 2/3rds. It has 12 snowflakes in the middle row and is made from cotton. Do you think it would benefit from blocking? and does anyone know if this works just the same with cotton? I think there was something about it not working with certain types of yarn?

I'm not sure who will receive it yet, but at least I am getting ahead on this year's presents? Anyone else got 2013's Christmas presents sorted (or started)?

I really love these snowflakes now I'm just waiting for the real thing and hoping we get some this Jan/Feb, instead of this rain.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Strange Traditions

Our New Years Eve celebration consisted of watching No 1 Son's Christmas DVD "Batman, the Dark Knight Rises" until 01:30 this morning at the Parents-in-Law's house. We did have a very short break to watch the fireworks on the telly, which weren't too shabby.

However, New Years Day sees a very strange tradition I've only ever come across in my DH's family. Its something called the "Snowbear". Every New Year after lunch the "Snowbear" provides a present for everyone in the family which we are handed out and we all open together. Mainly because all the ladies get the same thing and all the men get the same thing. It's not a big pressie, just a little something extra.

Here's the Snowbear with No. 2 Son:-

Not too sure what M's pose was all about, but those trousers are definitely too short for him. Never mind Santa did bring him a new pair, he just hasn't put them on yet!!

I forgot to take a picture of my actual pressie, but it is a little tea-light holder that, when lit, illuminates my name. Instead here's another picture of a decapitated Snowbear.

I'm guessing no-one else has this tradition?

Thankfully we don't have to 'help' Snowbear buy the presents until New Year 2015, so I have time to think of something. It gets harder every time to find something that will actually be useful for around a fiver!!

What strange traditions do you have?

Lots of Love Arwedd xx