Thursday, 31 October 2013

Wet, wet, wet. Or, it's raining cats.




What a horrible day it’s been today. Weather wise I mean. Cold, wet and windy all day. I got wet just walking up the road to catch my bus to Deal for my volunteering stint this morning. Got wet again at the other end of the journey. And yet again when I was back in Dover keeping my appointment with my adviser at the Job Centre. With DH working at the moment we aren't receiving benefits but I sign on to keep my National Insurance contributions up to date now that I no longer receive child benefit for my youngest, and also for the help and advice they’ve given me in getting back into work after a nearly 30 year break. I’m still hopeful that someone will give me a chance even though I’ve been out of the job market for so long. I’m not really wanting full time work, just a couple of days a week to boost our household income and to keep me from going completely insane being cooped up in the house. I’m only 56 so have a few years useful life left in me yet.

No pictures of dinner tonight and I can’t really price it because it was just a chicken stew from the freezer made over into a curry and served with Thai Style rice from Approved Foods. I also threw in a couple of lots of leftover veg (peas, carrots, green beans) from the fridge to use it all up. It was really yummy for such a pot luck kind of meal. I try not to waste a thing if I can help it and bung all kinds of bits and pieces into stews and soups or mix them with savoury rice or make into a pasta bake to make another meal.

As they have probably been clicked more than my kids in the 2 years we’ve had them, here are some more pics of our British Shorthair kitties just chilling out…as usual.








Ilona on Life After Money shared tips for frugal pet ownership. Luckily our kitties aren't too fussy about their food and will eat pretty much what's put in front of them, which is where AF comes in handy again because when they have a good deal I stock up. As we live at the junction of 2 busy roads they are indoor kitties, having the run of our 3 storey, 4 bedroomed Victorian terrace as their territory, and plenty of attention from the 5 adults who live here. It does mean they have to have litter trays, of course, and they're fussier about their litter than about their food, preferring the wood pellet kind which we buy at 2 x 30 litre bags for £16 from a local pet store which lasts about a month. They recently had it on offer at 2 for £14 so we bought a couple extra bags that month. We'd have liked to buy more but the bags take up quite a lot of room. We have them insured with Animal Friends for about £5.50 each and I also pay £18.98 (for both of them) a month to our vet for a scheme that includes all their flea and worming treatments, plus two check ups a year, their annual injections, claw clipping if we wanted (we usually do that ourselves every 2 weeks), and 10% off any medical procedures or treatments. It's money well spent as their flea treatment alone would cost £180 a year and the check ups and injections another £70. Yes, it does all add up but we love them to bits and feel that if you keep pets you should look after them properly. Insurance means we won't have to worry about affording their treatment should they ever be ill or injured. I would say that including food, litter and insurances they cost about £60 a month or £15 a week for both of them (£7.50 each) which isn't a great deal really, but when I often make meals for us that are only between 50-75p per serving it can still be a chunk out of anyone's budget. So, I guess my point is that keeping a pet shouldn't be gone into lightly.

Hope that didn't come across as too preachy, but in a town where many people seem to consider the whole pavement is a dog loo and you can't walk more than a couple of yards between piles of muck I get quite passionate about people being responsible for their animals.

Tomorrow is forecast as another wet day so I might stay in and make a start on a bag I have to make as a birthday present. If I do I'll try and post pictures.

And lastly many thanks to the folks who are reading my ramblings and leaving me such lovely reviews.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Pie and Mash on the Cheap



Dinner tonight was a homemade steak pie from the freezer, served with mashed potato, the second cauli I’d bought in Deal last Thursday, half a bag of frozen carrots and gravy made with granules.


I made the pie using 2 tins of stew steak (2 for £1.20 from Approved Foods) and pastry mix that I bought in a big catering sized pack also from Approved Foods for (I think) £1.99 for a 3kg bag. With half the bag of mix I made 3 large pies in 10 x 6 inch oblong tins, and I had some pastry left over which I've frozen for another time. 

 
The pie therefore cost approx £1.55, the cauli, mash (using potataoes from the sack) and carrots (£1 a bag from FarmFoods) were 50p each, and about 3 tsp gravy granules was approx 10p. Total cost around £3.15. For 6 servings that’s 52p per serving for a large plateful. In fact the pie would serve 8 but my boys had more than 1 piece each. 

 
My weigh in was great. I lost 4 1/2 lbs this week, a big lump out of the 7 1/2lbs I put on last week, and I was only really good for the past 3 days. I’m back below 12st at 11st 12 1/2lbs and my size 12 jeans are fitting better again. Now I need to be extra good this week and try and lose the other 3 lbs to get back where I was and then I’m hoping to lose another 2 1/2lbs to get my 4st off award before Xmas. 

And yes, I’m aware pie and mash isn’t exactly a diet meal but I ate very little else all day because I knew I was having that for dinner. I’ve found its all about making compromises. I can’t have everything I want all the time or I’d end up right back where I started, but I can eat pie and cake and anything I fancy sometimes. I just need to make allowances elsewhere in my diet if I’m not to regain a load like I did last week. And if I mess up, as long as I get back to the plan the weight will come off. 

I've been out of the house most of the day and although its definitely been colder the sun's been shining and the wind has dropped. I don't like the cold and would have summer all year round if I could, but I'd rather have it cold and bright than warmer, wet and overcast. 

No crafting done, but I do need to make a bag for DS2's girlfriend's birthday in a week or so. It might have to wait until next week, though, when DH will be back at work and I'm not out and about quite so much. I also have a couple of birthday cards and some Christmas cards to make. So, plenty to keep me busy when I get around to it.
 
I think that's all for today...and sorry if I sound like an advert for Approved Foods sometimes but discovering them revolutionised my shopping and saves me so much money.

Monday, 28 October 2013

I’m Still Standing.



I was up until 1 am listening to the increasing wind and the rain pouring down, knowing I wouldn’t get to sleep unless I was absolutely exhausted. My strategy worked and I slept straight through until 7.30 whereas I generally wake 2 or 3 times a night with the dreaded hot flushes or in need of the loo.

We were really lucky and apart from our bin blowing over we hardly knew there’d been a storm at all. By 10am all that was left was a strong breeze so we went into town for a couple of hours to get out of the house. I even did two loads of laundry and hung it outside, making the most of the wind and lack of rain and it was practically dry when I brought it in at 4pm. There have been some instances of trees felled in the surrounding areas and some disruptions to rail and ferry services but otherwise I think in this corner of Kent we got away pretty lightly, especially as in some parts of the country there were power cuts and extremely sad fatalities.

Nothing to do with the storm but yesterday morning there was a serious house fire here in Dover, just a couple of roads over from us. It was a terraced house and was gutted and spread to one of the adjacent houses so that both roofs caved in. Families in other nearby houses also had to be evacuated. It must have been terrifying. Two people were injured, one man badly enough to have to be flown by air ambulance to a special hospital in Essex. And latest reports are that said man has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

Makes me really appreciate how fortunate we are.

Sorry, I forgot to take pics of dinner tonight. It was a sort of cowboy beans made with Quorn mince and baked beans and adapted from an old Weight Watchers recipe.

Ingredients

Onion, chopped
Garlic clove, chopped or squished
400g tin Baked Beans
300g pack fresh or frozen Quorn Mince
½ x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
Black pepper, Paprika, Chilli flakes
Frylight or oil

Fry the chopped onion in a pan sprayed with Frylight or 1Tablespoon of oil until softened a little, add garlic and fry another couple of minutes. Add the Quorn mince, fry for a few minutes longer then mix in the tinned beans, tomatoes, seasonings to taste and a little water. Simmer for approx 15 minutes until the onion is cooked. Add a little more water if getting too thick or dry. Serve with mashed or baked potatoes.

I adapted it and used up some squishy tomatoes I had in the fridge, a tablespoon of tomato puree and ¼ pint chicken stock (also leftover in the fridge) instead of the tinned tomatoes. Of course, the addition of the stock made this not quite vegetarian but I wanted to use it up and wouldn’t normally add anything meat based to a vegetarian meal. Not sure of the cost because I’d had the Quorn mince in the freezer for a while and can’t remember how much I paid for it. It wouldn’t have been more than £1.50 because I won’t pay more than that for it and always buy a small stock when it’s on offer. The baked beans were 25p from Aldi and the tomatoes were from the last lot I bought at the market (£1 for 500g) so probably around 25 pence worth. With the onion, garlic, seasonings and potatoes I suppose the whole meal might have cost around £2.60 for 4 portions. You could always add an extra can of beans to serve more people.

It’s my Slimming World weigh-in tomorrow morning. I’ve had a mixed week, still overeating for the first few days but getting back on track somewhat over the past 3 days. My own (not very accurate scales) showed a couple of lbs off already this morning (I can lose a few lbs quickly when I cut out bread and sugary stuff after a binge). I’m hoping for a small loss and then hopefully I’ll be fine for the rest of this week and lose more next week. 

Almost forgot to say 'hi' to Sarina. I love that folks are enjoying my little articles enough to comment and follow the blog. Makes it all worthwhile.

True Blood’s on tonight (Fox at 10pm). I love me some vampire action and Eric is so yummy. Hanky at the ready for all the drooling I’ll be doing.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Lunch and Hexies


Not much to report today.

My headache is mostly gone, just a little twinge every now and then.

No pics of dinner as DH and I are here alone today so we treated ourselves to lunch out at our local Weatherspoon’s using the last of the vouchers we were given as a present last Christmas (we’ve spread them out for treats over the year). For £6.09 for the basic meal, including a drink, we both had the Sunday roast, although we paid £1 extra for DH to have the large one. I had half a chicken and DH the sliced pork, served with Yorkshire pudding, roast spuds, broccoli, peas and gravy, and we had diet Pepsi to drink. DH got another Yorkshire and extra potatoes. There was plenty of it and it was very nice. We didn’t pay the extra £2.20 each for dessert, instead we dropped into MacDonald’s on the way home and had a Mississippi Mud Pie McFlurry each at £1.29, saving £1.82 on pudding. The total cost of the meal plus dessert was £15.76 minus our £5 voucher, so £10.76 for 2 roast dinners, drinks and dessert. Not bad, and a nice treat when we’ve been feeling a bit low lately and the weather is so horrible.

We used to eat out or go for coffee quite often a couple of years ago, but that’s one of the things we’ve cut back on severely, so it’s a real treat now when we do go.

The only pics I have today are of my growing Hexie patchwork. 


It’s all hand sewn and I’ve been working on it for a few months doing a bit here and there whenever the fancy takes me. All the main hexies are prepared, now it’s just adding the plain fill-in hexies and joining it all together. 


I’m not quite sure how I’ll finish it off yet but I’ll decide that when the main part is completed. Apart from a table runner I made at a patchworking class using a precut fabric Jellyroll, I’ve never made a quilt before so this will be another first for me. 



I hope the expected storm doesn’t hit too hard in your region of the UK. For us the highest winds are predicted after midnight until about 9am Monday, but it doesn’t look as if it will be quite as bad as first expected. Luckily DH is off for half term next week and DS1 has a week’s holiday so they won’t have to negotiate fallen trees etc. tomorrow, although DD3 and her boyfriend are both working. So, fingers crossed for a calmer than expected night for everyone.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Cheap and Cheerful Vegetable Curry



A slightly shorter post today because I’ve had a headache all day that won’t shift. It’s not really bad, just making me feel a bit under the weather (and considering the weather report for this area is hurricane winds expected tomorrow night, being under it isn’t a good thing).

I did get into town this morning; DD2 treated DH and I to coffee in a local cafĂ© and we had a good chat. I’ve actually managed a No Spend Day and have also fed over £6 from my purse into my sealed pot. I’ll need to spend on petrol and milk tomorrow, unfortunately.

Anyway, dinner tonight is courtesy of the slow cooker again. A vegetable curry. This is my favourite veg curry recipe from a Vegan cookbook I’ve had for ages as you can see by the state of the pages (click on the picture to view larger copy). I just throw everything in the slow cooker instead of cooking it on the stove.





It can be a bit fiddly preparing all the veg from scratch although I rather enjoy chopping veg, but this time it was all pre-prepared from my freezer. I can’t give definite costs because it was made from bits and pieces I already had and some, like the spices, sultanas and pickles, I can’t remember what I paid for them. Most of the veg was from a stew pack I got yellow-labelled at 19p from Morrison’s, I bought about 6 and froze most of them. I added half a swede that I also got reduced along with several others for 50p each and chopped up and froze (so 25p for the half), plus a potato from the sack. The cooking apple was a freebie from a friend’s garden.



Total cost can’t have been more than £2 for the whole lot, including the garlic and coriander couscous it was served with that I think was £1 for 4 packs from AF (I used 2 packs). So the meal was only about 50p per portion. Now that’s what I call frugal fare.




As I wasn’t feeling so well, I spent a lot of time sitting around this afternoon and I finished up my daughter’s scarf/cowl. I’m really pleased with it and hope she will be too. Here’s yours truly modelling it. Not bad for £3.50 plus a few hours of my time.


Don’t forget to change the clocks tonight. See you all tomorrow, minus the headache, hopefully.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Trying Something New



First a big HI to SFT whose amazing blog I’ve been following for some time and who was the inspiration behind me starting my very own sealed pot for savings. I’ll try sorting out a ‘followers’ button but I’m very new to all this and slowly finding my way around Blogger.

Today’s been a day for trying something new. Three new things actually.

Firstly, I got a bargain in our local Hospice charity shop, a ball of that weird yarn with the bobbles on it for £3.50 - half the normal retail price. I’ve never used it before because I’m very much a plain knitter and when I have tried fancy yarns in the past I generally have trouble keeping count of the rows and totally mess up any shaping. However, I’d seen a scarf I’d thought of buying for DD2 for Xmas, and this yarn was in just the right colours and actually came with a scarf pattern printed on the inside of the ball band. And it was half the price of the scarf. It was obviously meant for me so I snapped it up and have been knitting away this afternoon on needles several sizes larger than the pattern recommends as I wanted it to be a fairly loose-weave. 



Its already about half done, and I’m going to join the ends and make it into a sort of cowl/snood just like Frugal mum of three has made for her kids at http://onelifeand3kids.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/more-preparations-for-winter-knitting.html. I just have to stop my DD from looking at this blog or it will spoil the surprise. 


The other two new things both concern my slow cookers. I got some lovely big cauliflowers yesterday at 2 for £1 in a greengrocer in Deal when I was over there for my volunteering. Today’s dinner was Cauliflower Cheese served with Baked Potatoes. I usually do my potatoes in the microwave but even then 4 large ones can take forever to cook and I hate wasting gas by putting the regular oven on just for a few potatoes. Anyway, I’d read on various sites that you can cook them in a slow cooker. You just scrub them clean as normal, rub with olive oil and wrap individually in foil. 

 

As I have a huge 6.5 litre cooker and a smaller 3.5 litre one I wondered about doing the cauliflower cheese in a slow cooker too. I looked online and found a few recommendations that I’ve adapted. So, I did 7 potatoes in their silver jackets in the large cooker and one of the caulis broken into florets and covered in cheese sauce in the smaller one. In the spirit of using up food stuffs I already have I cheated and mixed a dried cheese sauce and a white sauce mix together and poured them on. 



I also chopped up and added half a chorizo sausage I had in the fridge for a bit of extra flavour. As the sauce was a bit runny I stirred in a couple of dessertspoons of cornflour and I sprinkled over some grated cheddar to melt about an hour before serving time.Cooking time for the potatoes was 4 hours on high and the cauli was 2 hrs on high and 2 on low.

This is the result.






 
Overall a success although I'd use less liquid in the sauce next time because of what came out of the cauliflower during cooking. 
 
Total cost for 4 servings was about £2.65 but it could probably be stretched for 6 if your family isn’t as piggy as mine.

20p for 2 sauce mixes (10 for £1, Approved Foods)

10p (approx) for the Cornflour

20p (approx) for 2 tablespoons of dried skimmed milk (also from AF and mixed with the dried sauce mixes and water instead of using regular milk)

50p (approx) for 100g grated cheddar (bought in bulk and then frozen in 250g bags from www.devoncheese.com - their value mix is 10kg for £28.50)

40p for 4 potatoes, approx 10p each (bought by the 25kg sack from a local farm shop for £7.80)

50p for one of the 2 for £1 cauliflowers

75p half a chorizo ring (1.49 from Aldi)

So about 88p per serving but would be less if not using chorizo, and I also cooked the 3  extra potatoes at the same time for lunch tomorrow and to use up spare space in the slow cooker.

I think that's all I have for tonight. Maybe I'll have the scarf/cowl/snood finished to show you tomorrow. 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

What To Do With Leftover Mash



I had some mashed potato leftover from when we had pie and mash earlier this week so I used it to make some fishcakes. My mum would use tinned pink salmon to make her fishcakes but we prefer tuna. Tuna used to be a really cheap fish for us when I had all 5 kids to feed, but it’s so expensive these days that when I saw 2 tins for a £1 on Approved Foods a while back I ordered 40 tins. They are currently stored under our bed along with my stockpile of tinned beans, condensed soups, tinned stewing steak and cardboard boxes filled with various dried pasta shapes and rice. We could probably survive a lengthy siege on what I have stockpiled in our bedroom.

Back to the tuna…yes, it is in oil but a rinse with a hot water gets rid of most of that, and it is nice solid chunks rather than the flakes that just disappear down the sink when you drain them. So, tuna fishcakes made my way.





Tuna Fishcakes

This isn’t a precise recipe as quantities of ingredients depend on how many cakes you want to make and flavourings on your personal taste. The amount it makes depends on the amount of mash you have and how many tins of tuna you use. To 1lb of mashed potato I’d add one tin of tuna and probably make 6-8 fishcakes depending on how big you like them.

Ingredients

Leftover mashed potato (or cook as much as you need and allow to cool before use – it should be fairly stiff, not sloppy)
A tin or tins of tuna
Tomato Puree or Ketchup
Dried Parsley (or chopped fresh if you prefer)
Black Pepper
Beaten Egg(s)
Dried Breadcrumbs (or you could use fine oats or just flour)

Method

This is easy peasy. Mix the well-drained tuna into the mash along with dollops of tom puree or ketchup, parsley and pepper to your taste. 





And now for the messy part. Form the mixture into round cake shapes, dip in beaten egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs.



Allow to chill in the fridge before either frying in hot oil or brushing with oil (or spraying with Frylight) and baking in the oven. Serve with chips (we prefer oven chips and bake the fishcakes and chips at the same time), and peas, mushy peas, baked beans, or salad as desired. 




On another subject, I wonder whether there are any other volunteers out there. I’ve recently started volunteering, doing admin work at my local Volunteer Centre. As well as getting me out of the house and doing something worthwhile, I’m hoping that the skills I’m learning and having up to date referees might help me to get back into the job market after nearly 30 years as a stay at home mum.

I’ve also taken part in an Employability course that I was referred to by the Job Centre. It's funded by the government and run by LearnDirect. We don’t qualify for benefits as DH (a supply teacher) is working at the moment, but by signing on every two weeks my National Insurance is credited towards my old age pension and I’ve found them very helpful in suggesting courses I can take free of charge and ways of getting back to work. Volunteering was near the top of their list so I can tick that off as done, and also the Employability course which was extremely helpful. I now have a presentable CV and more confidence that I might actually find paid work at some stage in future. Not that I’m in a hurry, but now all the kids are grown I feel I should do more to contribute to the household. My next step is to take the ECDL (European Computing Driving Licence) which I can also study for free through LearnDirect and which will also give me skills used in office work.

So, my point is, volunteering is not only helpful to the charities and organisations requiring volunteers, but also to the volunteer themselves. If you're interested in opportunities for volunteers the best site to look at is www.do-it.org.uk. If you find an opportunity you're interested in you can apply through the site which will send your enquiry to your local Volunteer Centre and someone like me will contact you with details of who to phone or email at the charity or organisation concerned. If you are in the Dover, Deal, Folkestone, Canterbury area you can contact the Dover District Volunteer Centre directly by phoning 01304 367898 (ask for Vince or Karen) or email office@doverdistrictvolunteering.org.uk

Okay, that’s me doing my promotion for volunteering, and I'm now done for tonight. Thanks to my new reviewer, Pam. I hope you like the cake when you get around to making it.



Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Cake and Crumpet



First the cake.



DD3’s boyfriend, who also lives with us, cooked chicken fajitas tonight so as I didn’t have to make dinner I treated us to dessert. We picked about 15 lbs of blackberries this year and have bags and bags of them in the freezer so I made a family favourite – Apple and Blackberry Crumble Loaf Cake. I actually made 2  (just double up the ingredients) to justify putting the oven on and I will freeze one. That's the plan anyway, but knowing my lot it might not last long enough to get frozen. 

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients

250g/9 oz Self Raising Flour (I use half wholemeal)
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
175g/6 oz Butter
175g/6oz Soft Light Brown Sugar (I use half Caster Sugar)
1 small eating Apple (peeled and finely chopped - use that last wrinkly apple in the bowl)
2 large eggs
Half a teaspoon of Cinnamon
2 tablespoons Demerara Sugar
225g/8 oz Blackberries (I use mine straight from the freezer as they keep their shape better) 

Method

Grease and line a 9 x 20 x 13 cm loaf tin. Mix together the flour(s), baking powder and cinnamon. Rub the butter into the flour etc. until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the soft brown sugar.  Reserve 5 tablespoons of this mixture in a seperate bowl for the crumble topping and add the demerara sugar to it. Beat the eggs and add to the main mixture along with the diced apple. Stir together until just mixed (do not overmix), then gently stir in 3/4 of the blackberries. Spoon this mixture into the prepared tin, level it out and then scatter on the remaining berries and finally sprinkle over the reserved topping mix. Bake for approx 1 hour 15 mins at Gas mark 4, 180 C/ 350 F. Test with a skewer and if its still gooey in the middle cook a little longer. If it's getting too brown on the top cover with foil or baking parchment. When cooked, cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Or can be eaten still warm. Yummy with custard, ice cream or cream.

Just out of the oven



 Yummy with custard




And now for the crumpet...



That would be my gorgeous hubby modelling the hat I’ve been knitting to keep him warm on his journey to and from work during the winter.

Knitted in navy blue, double knit, acrylic yarn on straight needles in K2, P2 rib it took about 2 days to knit in short bursts while watching TV. 

Here’s the hat on the needles.


The finished article.




And as worn by my very own male super model.


And lastly, a big thank you to Angela, my very first reviewer for taking the time to leave me a comment. Its lovely to know someone is reading my humble offerings.
 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Just as expected

My weigh-in was just as bad as I expected...7 1/2 lbs gained in one week. Okay, I'll cut myself some slack. At least 3-4 lbs can likely be attributed to me wearing more and much heavier clothes this week. Instead of my thin, short-sleeved cotton blouse and summer cotton trousers I was wearing jeans, a t shirt and a long-sleeved linen shirt over it. I've been told jeans can weigh around 3 lbs or more so that might explain some of the gain. Ther rest was purely down to my piggishness. So, I have been better today. Not brilliant, but I haven't pigged out again and I'm hoping I've gained back some self control. But at the moment I'm caught in that vicious circle that has me depressed because I've gained and eating fit to bust because I'm depressed.

I had a healthy frugal lunch of jacket potato done in the microwave (from the 55lb sack I bought for £7.80 at our local farm shop), served with a little low fat soft cheese (Aldi 59p), 30g grated cheddar (bought in bulk and frozen in 250g bags) and a handful of cherry tomatos (£1 a bowl containing about 1lb of toms from the local market). I followed that up with a baked Bramley apple (free from a friend's orchard), a few sultanas and a drizzle of honey.

Instead of dinner tonight which was leftover chicken pie, chips and beans for DH and DS1, I had some oatcakes (Aldi 55p) and a little Wensleydale cheese (Aldi £1.49), followed by stewed rhubarb (free from a friend's garden) and a fat free vanilla yogurt (Morrison's pack of 4 for £1) So, I probably ate a bit too much cheese today, but much better than the biscuits and chocolate I've been scoffing all week.

I still want to eat for England, but I'm managing to restrain myself a bit better. Knitting a nice woolly hat for DH, for when the weather gets colder and he has to stand at the bus stop and wait for the bus which is nearly always late, has helped keep my hands busy. I'm hoping to get it finished tomorrow and then I'll post a picture.




2 Contented Kitties

We have 2 adorable British Shorthair cats, Halo and Shadow, who are brothers from the same litter, although you'd never know it to look at them as one is a colourpoint and the other a blue. They are different in temperament as well, with Halo being more stand-offish - although he loves attention on his own terms - and Shadow is the mischievous one, into everything, and loves hiding in boxes and bags. We don't actually know which one was born first but I always think of Halo as older and more sensible and Shadow as the imp who gets into scrapes that his big brother gets him out of. Here are some pics for you all to enjoy.









Monday, 21 October 2013

Hi there and welcome.

This is my first post on my new blog. I hope to combine my love for crafts - knitting in particular - my attempts to be frugal, plus my other interests into something that others might like to read. 
Why, oh, why after 15 months of Slimming World, learning how to eat healthily, losing nearly 4 stone and knowing I feel totally pants both physically and mentally when I don't stick to the plan have I spent this past week stuffing my face full of any rubbish I can get my hands on? Tomorrow is my weight in and I know - I just know - I've put on at least 3 lbs. I can feel it, all bulky around my middle and I feel a bit sick tonight from all the fatty, sugary crap I've eaten. And yet I'm craving more. Have to get back on track. I absolutely will not go back to being so heavy I can barely make it upstairs on my own. So tomorrow I will start with a healthy breakfast and keep myself busy all day so I don't want to keep eating everything on the shelves in the nearest supermarket.