Saturday, 16 November 2013

Top 10 Pinterest DIY Christmas Projects

The time has come to trawl through my Christmas Pinterest board and decide which of all the ideas and projects I have pinned will actually make it to reality. I gave myself a fright by checking my bank balance today and decided that presents still left to sort will not be bought but made, and preferably by the kids. It is with one eye on budget and another on the required skill level that I have narrowed it down to the following pins. Actually, the kids chose them, hence all the sweet recipes.

And to package some of them: 

What Pinterest creations will you be doing for Christmas this year?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Meal Planning Monday - The Damsels Edition

Glancing up at my little used recipe book shelf I spied the red folder that is my Damsels cookbook? Does anyone remember this? I compiled it about 7 years ago whilst pregnant with my second son. I was waiting for my redundancy date to kick in at work and had a lot of time on my hands so copied as many recipes as I could find from the Food and Drink forums and emailed it to anyone who wanted it (with Damz' permission, natch). The only recipe I tend to use from it these days is Habanahansa's Celebration Brownies, so I thought I'd utilise it for this week's meal plan.

Slow Cooker Chili
Jamie Oliver's Botham Burgers
Orange Chicken
Philly Chicken and Veg
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Egg, beans and bagels

There's another Clandestine Cake meeting this week and I am determined to make amends for my crap effort last time. I'll be baking Chocolate Torte with Salted Caramel and Almond Brittle and, just to make sure it all goes smoothly, I'll be doing a test run!

Last week's meal plan was a total success and I have added Oxtail Stew with Pumpkin and Cinnamon (I used normal stewing beef and served it with quinoa for really delicious and healthy dinner) to the Shared Family Favourites Board on Pinterest.

Remember to check out Mrs M's linky for lots of Meal Planning Monday posts. It's quite a community over there and there are always heaps of tasty meal plans to inspire you.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Random Likings

It's been a while since I posted one of these so here, for your delectation, is a list of utterly random objects I have seen and liked recently. Ta dah!

1. Ryan Gosling Tea Towel
I am not sure £9.95 is worth having Ryan's face swooshing around in my mugs and bowls, and what's all the popcorn about?

£9.95 at Prezzy Box

2. Sockadoo
I have a think about sock monkeys and I only have to look on Etsy to see that I am not alone. Sockadoo is a Cardiff based woman making cute sock animals. They're mainly £8 plus postage and, being CE Certified, would make fab pressies.

3. Lego Wall Decal
£43.36 from Etsy

4. Philip Veale Photography
If I ever doubted that I lived in a stunning part of the world just looking at the gallery at Peter Veale Photography would remind me. This is the Sugarloaf near Abergavenny.

5. Staffordshire/Derbyshire Oatcakes
When I saw these on the breakfast menu I thought it was weird to have crackers with sausages and eggs, so imagine my delight when they turned out to be like big, thin blinis! Unlike blinis these are made using fine oatmeal instead of buckwheat. Yeast is on my shopping list and I will be attempting these in the near future.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Meal Planning Monday - The Sainsbury's Magazine Edition

This week's meal plan is mainly brought to you by Sainsbury's Magazine - not because they're paying me (I wish!) but because a) I have a seeming truck-load of pumpkin to use and b) I took the November copy of the Sainsbury's Magazine away with me this weekend and there are lots of nice recipes in there I want to try.

Double Bubble Sweet Potato Gratin and gammon (with pumpkin instead of sweet potato)
Chicken with coriander yoghurt chutney
Spaghetti Bolognese
Baked rice with Ham, Peas & Stilton ('cause fussy husband won't eat macaroni)

 Pumpkin Soup with Tomato, Corn and Coriander Salsa
If there is any pumpkin left over I will try this Autumn Pumpkin Chutney or possibly just cook and puree them to make into soup at a later date.

If you have a favourite pumpkin recipe why not post a link to it in the comments section or add it to the Shared Family Favourites board on Pinterest (just add a comment below letting me know your Pinterest ID if you don't already have permission to pin to this board)

Don't forget to check out more Meal Planning Monday inspiration at Mrs M's

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Corvette Silo

Corvette Silo

Imagine a pretty pink shop in a peaceful courtyard. Its exterior beckons you with promises of treasures within; treasures which, when you step through the door to the sound of a bell tinkling, are better than you could have hoped. That's Corvette Silo.

Bakewell has more than it's fair share of gift shops - twee and otherwise - but Corvette Silo stands out as being gorgeous, unique and affordable. You can buy anything from a metre of ribbon to something for virtually everyone (female) on your Christmas list. I didn't have much time to browse on Saturday but finding the website was one of the first things I did when I got home and had a free minute! I am so happy to see they deliver UK wide.

All I bought was these fab wooden Christmas garlands, but there are definitely more than a few items I have my eye on, such as:

Robert Kaufman Christmas Fat Quarters £21
Sass & Belle lilac pom-poms £3.30 for 3 metres

Hessian Stag Head £19.99

Striped buttons £1.25 for 10
If you're near Bakewell you have to make time to check out Corvette Silo. It's the pink house at the back of Kings Court. If you need to bribe your other half or kids to behave while you indulge, there's an amazing chocolatier next door, and a delicious looking cafe which I would have liked the opportunity to try. If the Peak District isn't on your agenda just go to and go crazy. You can also find Corvette Silo on Facebook.

Silent Sunday

Friday, 1 November 2013

Win a Copy of Adventivity - 25 Days of Christmas Crafts

If you saw by post on 25 of the Best 2013 Advent Calendars you might have noticed Adventivity at number 3. This fab book is packed with 25 different Christmas craft activities - one for every day of Advent. There are lots of press out cardboard decorations and great ideas to keep kids happily occupied while you enjoy a cuppa in peace finish your Christmas preparations. It retails for £12.99 but one lucky reader can WIN a copy in time for Advent - how cool is that!

All you have to do is enter using Rafflecopter then sit back and keep your fingers crossed. The competition ends at 12.00am on Tuesday 19 November 2013. The winner will be drawn then and the prize posted ASAP. If you win I'll need your name and address by 8am on Thursday 21 November, otherwise another name may be drawn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway