Tuesday, 29 December 2009


Just a quick post today to keep me blogging. Both me and Brian were back to work today but I didn't realise I was only working half a day so that was a major bonus! I'm also only doing half a day tomorrow and have the day of Thursday so it's shaping up to be a pretty good week! So how did I spend my unexpected afternoon? Cleaning the kitchen of course! In doing so I discovered that old facial exfoliators make brilliant oven cleaners (handy tip). Brian thinks it's very funny that I'm blogging about cleaning. Not because of how stupidly boring it is but because he thinks I'm showing off for cleaning and to be honest I am :) I would also like a medal please :)

Actually my main reason for blogging today is to show off my chicken house I have found and that we will hopefully be purchasing in the next few months so that I can get my chucks! (Wow, that was a bit Northern). So here it is in all it's glory, the Egg Ark 4 (cool name)
It's so lovely. Can't wait to get it :) That's it for today really. I could write for a bit longer to delay having to think about tea but I'm not sure Cal's stomach would thank me. Here is my lovely picture for today. It's an arty one I took up in Scotland a few weeks ago and I quite like it :)

Sunday, 27 December 2009

New year, new look, new blogs (hopefully!)

Well I'm finally back after my 2 months blogging drought. As predicted by many, my blogging took a bit of a back seat after a while when things got busy but I've spent the last few days looking at some other blogs and have become re-inspired, hence the new look! I'm not even going to bother promising to blog a certain amount at the mo. I think I am just a sparadic blogger at heart. Lots has happened since my last blog. If I start explaining it I'll waffle on for ages so as a way of keeping myself brief I'll put it all into bullet points :)
  • Started working at the dental practice (good)
  • Went to cottage on Alpaca farm in Scotland for Brian's 40th (very good)
  • Found a house and moving at the end of Jan (very very good!)
  • Celene had her operation and all went well
  • Had a lovely Christmas
  • It snowed...lots!
There has probably been lots more but never mind. Two of the most exciting things about the house we are moving too is that it has lovely apple tree and I can keep chickens!!!! Me, Brian and Cal are booked onto a chicken keeping course in two weeks which I'm sooo excited about!!

Think today is just a mini 'get back into blogging' blog so thats it for now. Will leave you with a lovely picture of the snow xxx

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Who ate all the pies?

Hey! Me again :) only blogged yesterday but I thought I'd have a go at shorter, regular blogs so here we are. Today was a mixture of cooking and brownie crafting for me. Brian was up early to take Cal off to football (which his team won 2-1!) so I had a lovely lye in while they were out getting cold and soggy. Once I was up I started on cooking a lovely Beef and Ale pie. It's a Jamie Oliver special which we love. We've tried it with a potato topping and a dumpling topping so today we decided to go with a pastry top. I fried off celery, carrot and onion with 4 bay leaves for 10 mins and then added some cubed beef, a table spoon of flour along with a whole bottle of guiness and a tin of chopped tomatoes. Then it all went into the oven for 3 hours. When it was all lovely and cooked I added a puff pastry topping and put it back in the oven for half an hour and here is the end result. It was reeeally yummy :)
While the stew was busy cooking away Brian and me went to the local ASM (Asian Supermarket). It was a brilliant place with so much stuff to look at. They had some chutney's to try. I picked the papaya and lime one and Brian tried chilli and lime. They were both so yummy we got a jar of each. I also bought some diva lamps to show the girls for when they make there own along with some really pretty bangles which I have wrapped up and put into bag I decorated for a game I have planned. Here's a picture of them. Hopefully the girls will like them.
My main plan was to get some Diwali sweets for the girls to try. I looked around the supermarket but couldn't really see any which I thought was weird. Then I noticed a window through to a little shop next door where they had a whole giant deli of sweets! I went round and I really couldn't pick which ones to get as they all looked so nice so the lovely guy let me try lots of them :) You can see in these pictures the diva lamps in the middle with the sweets either side and my decorated prize bag. The other picture shows the sweets which I'm sure we'll enjoy eating :)

I think this blogging daily is working pretty well and doesn't fill my brain up to much with things to remember :) I think today I'll leave you with a nice picture Brian took when we were driving home a while ago of some low cloud in a valley at sunset. Night xxx

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Minty's broken doughnuts

Hello again :) over a week since my last blog again. Lots of things have happened since then. I blogged last week the day before my interview. Well the interview went really well and I was offered the job pretty much on the spot and they upped the hours to 4 days a week for me. I just had to get my registration sorted. I hadn't originally planned to nurse again so I hadn't re-registered but the lack of jobs has sent me back into my old job again so my registration has gone off to the GDC and now I just have to wait. There are so many things I want to blog about on here. I think I might have to start doing smaller daily blogs to keep up!

I'll move onto the cooking section of my blog for now. Me and Brian fancied some home made soup last weekend and you can't have homemade soup without warm homemade bread so Brian got to work on the veg soup and I made the bread. I used the bread mix again like we used for the pizza dough. Here you can see my bread before baking and Brian's soup mid-cooking

and here's the end result. Both were very yummy :)

I got the random urge last week to start up some volunteering again, Not really sure where it came from but it seemed like a good idea. I had a look on the do-it website (brilliant site) which gave me the idea for helping out at Brownies. I loved Brownies and Guides when I was younger and I love the idea behind it of involving kids in the community and giving them positive roll models. I sent off an email to the area's district leader saying that I'd like to help out ideally on a tuesday or wednesday (Brian's college nights) and I got a phone call the next day. She was really happy I had rung as it turned out she had just heard that a Brownie group in Stalybridge had just let her know it was closing down and it also happens to run on a tuesday night! She was planning on having me go along with another one of her guiders until I was happy to run it. So tuesday night arrived and I went along to the meeting not knowing what to expect. There turned out to be 11 girls in the 7th Stalybridge Brownie group and they are all so lovely. It's currently beeing run by two lovely ladies who have been running it for many years but who are finding they just don't have the time free to commit to it any more. I really loved the evening and they bought some lovely flowers for me which you can see here. They got me the roses and Brian got me the white flowers along with Terry's chocolate orange with popping candy (how amazing!) for getting my job.I have had loads of fun planning things for the Brownies to do next tuesday. It will be diwali next saturday so I have been thinking of games and activities based around that so I'll let you know how it goes.

My next story this week is all about my beloved car minty. I was spending Monday and Tueday at the dental practice observing their way of doing things and on the Tuesday morning I was driving to the practise when there was a horrible clunk under my car and then a nasty scrapping sound. I worked out what the problem was straight away and luckly managed to dragged minty and all his bits back to the house. This picture shows what I found when I got there.Poor old minty :( We also thought there was a hole in the exhaust so we decided to get it all sorted. Brian's friend James works in a tire and exhaust garage and he said we could bring it down so my lovely, manly fiance went and tied my exhaust up with some wire and while he was doing that he found the culprit. Minty had a dodgy doughnut! There are two of these things holding the exhaust up. I'm pretty sure you can work out why mine fell off from this pic.The exhaust fell off again half way to hyde so lovely Brian got out and tied it up again on the road side (isn't he great). James got minty up on the ramp when we got there and gave him two new doughnuts and gave me some spares :) he also had a look at the hole and welded it up for me
and now Minty is better than ever and he didn't charge us a penny! What a lovely man :) James told us there was a quiz on that night at his pub so we decided to pop down there to buy him a pint for doing the work on minty (even though he ended up buying us one in the end!). We weren't intending on staying for the quiz but we sat on a table with a team and really started getting into it and ended up joining in and eventually we won! It was a great quiz night with loads of games like 'what's in the box' and 'quingo' (my favourite) and we ended up getting home after midnight. Thinks its on every thursday so we might be going back again :)

I'm off to plan a bit more for Brownies now so once again I'll leave you with a lovely picture from up North. This weeks is a very local one from Stalybridge itself. I took it standing on the bridge by the post office. It's the river Tame which gives Tameside it's name and I think is very lovely :) bye for now xx

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Well it's been nearly a week since my last blog and I've lost track of where I am in the week really? Lots of things have been going on in all departments including the cooking and job ones (also a large amount of stressing over making my blog pretty!). Where to start? Well I guess I should start at the begining but thats far to normal. I'll start with the most exciting instead. After searching for aaaages, Callum (Brian's son) let us know yesterday that his best mates mum (who happens to be a dentist) has a Dental Nurse job going. It's only part time but it's better than nothing at the moment. I dropped my CV in today and got a call about an hour later offering me an interview tomorrow! It's great news but I've started panicing about it already, at least I haven't got ages to worry!

On to other news. In the cooking side of the blog this week me and Cal attempted our own pizza's at the weekend. We cheated a little bit by buying bread mix flour so it had the yeast in it already and we just had to add water but we still had to let it rise and mold it etc. Cal had the great idea of stuffed crust (my fav) so we put cheese round the edge and folded the dough over. I topped mine with tuna, red onion, mushrooms, basil and cheese and Cal went for Chicken tikka, pepper, onion, mushroom, cheese, basil and anything else edible in the kitchen :)
Here they are before cooking with mine on the left and Cal's on the right,
and here they are after cooking. They were yuuuuuummy!
Cal's was voted the best. I'm still waiting for a re-count (his was pretty good though). The afternoon before the pizza making me and Brian went out for a walk in the peaks and I managed to get a few pictures of my photo shy fiance. This is one of my fav's.I'm not so shy about having my picture taken. This is me showing off my amazing new raincoat (essential up north) with cool flowers all over :)
I still love going out in the peaks. There are so many amazing views. I'll leave you with one of them for now as I need to start making tea in time for Brian coming home from college. Bye xx

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Back from the South

Well I just got home an hour ago after spending a few days downs south with the family as my Grandparents have flown over from New Zealand for my Great Granny's funeral. I haven't seen them for 6-7 years. We had a great day at the Spinnaker tower in Gunwharf on Monday after a really yummy meal at the Customs house pub. The picture below is of my sister displaying my parents and grandparents at the top of the tower. I'd forgotten how good it is up there and how amazing the views are. I think it's even cooler because I lived down there for a while so I recognise so much stuff.
My Grandparents left my parents house Wednesday morning but I stayed down to see Nikki that evening and we had a proper girly night watching a chic flick and eating a whole tub of Ben and Jerrys Cookie Dough ice cream, yummmmmmy!

Today Celene had a gap between lessons at college from 11.00am to 3pm so I went and picked her up and we decided to decorate my car with some decals I've had for ages. They look so cool!!! I'm really enjoying this blogging and keep taking photos for it so I stopped at the M6 services tonight and took pic's of my funky car.This is my favourite bit with the daises and bee. Think I'm going to get some more flowers.
After grooving up my car we had lunch. I had a random urge for french toast despite never having made or eaten it before. I also decided I knew how to make it even though I'd never read the recipe. 'How hard can it be?' I though (you know this is going to go horribly wrong don't you). So I cut myself a large chunk of hedgehog bread-my favourite (no hedgehogs were harmed in the making of it) and then whisk an egg in a bowl and then soak the bread in it. I did wonder if I should butter the bread but I thought the egg wouldn't stick. I also made sure all the egg was soaked up (this may be where I went wrong). I then fried it but very soon after placing it in the pan, I started to have suspicions that it was all going horribly wrong. What I ended up with can only really be described (in Celene's words) as an 'omlette bread' and, of course, here is a picture.
I then took a look at what Celene was making - a tuna and cheese toasted sarnie and decided to go for that instead.but mine obviously had to be a bit different so I tried a blob of sweet chilli sauce-
and it tasted amazing! I think it looks pretty good too :)
and here is jessie waiting for her share as usual. She really would win the most persistant dog award!Well I'm not sure anyone is really going to be interested in 'what I had for lunch' but never mind. I'm enjoying wrtting this blog a lot more than I ever have a diary so I'll just keep going for the moment. My journey home was pretty long (5 and a half hours) but uneventful. There was a lovely sunset for ages though which I got to watch. Nature is so cool and pictures never do it justice but I did try so I leave you with my attempt.Better get off to bed, night night x

Saturday, 19 September 2009

My first ever blog!

Well here it is, my first blog! My master plan was to start this as I moved up to Manchester but after much procrastinating of 'how should it look?' and 'what should I write about?' here I am a month and a half after moving with no blogs! Today I have decided to bite the bullet and just start waffling really. My plan is really to have this blog so people back down south can see what I'm up to and also any family any where else in the world. Knowing me i'm probably going to be a sparadic blogger at best with some weirdly questionable content but you never know, I might amuse a person now and again.

I don't know how this blog will come out when I post it but I think there should always be a picture so I'm going to include a picture of my amazingly yummy (if I do say so myself) Hobgoblin and red onion toad in the hole-the beginnings of my cooking blog :)

I've started this blog as I start all my new projects, with multiple random ideas about where it will go. The current mix of ideas is somewhere between a diary/cooking blog/ranting post/craft page/fairy land so who knows where it will end up! I'm not going to do the 'who I am bit'. Partly because i can't be bothered and partly because the only people who will probably be reading this will know me any way. So, what should todays subject be? Hmmm...? There are quite a few things going on but I'll be here forever if I write about all of them so I guess I should pick one? I think I will pick telling you about mine (and Brian's) new hobby idea. As you may know my hobbies tend to change on a fairly regular basis. This isn't, as some people tend to think, because I get bored easily. It's normally because I think of something I want to do e.g. holistic therapies, I then do it and then move on to the next thing. (Ok, maybe I get bored easily too).

Anyway (I really can ramble can't I?) as you may or may not know, me an Brian tend to go to a lot of camps where they often have markets where people can sell their home made bits and bobs. Brian had the brilliant idea a little while ago of growing lots of herbs and plants to sell as seedlings as he's so green fingered. I've been thinking for a while about what I want to do. It was someone at a camp who gave me the idea. She said how she was looking forward to Autumn so she could start making preserves. After moving in with Brian I've been feeling quite domesticated what with all the cooking and cleaning (hence possible cooking blog) and I really fancy some good old fashioned homely crafts like making jams and chutneys. We also fancy making some mead and wine. All this also links in with our long distance future plans of running foraging courses at our B&B. I'm also considering soap making and anything else that feels quite W.I.-ish.

As with any plan we're making at all at the moment, it's going to have to wait until we have a bigger place. That really has turned into a very annoying motto at the moment-'when we get a house'. Everything is hinging on me getting a job at the moment (no pressure!) but as I keep saying, 'we'll appriciate it more when we get it'. I do think this blog will also follow my failing attempts at getting a job too.

Think thats it for now. I'm off to enjoy a nice cozy, lazy, rainy day in the house with everyone, chilli and wedges for tea, yum yum :) Bye for now!