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I live on the south coast of the UK. I'm very happily married to Tim (who looks after me, cherishes me and works so hard) and we have 2 daughters and a cat, Floyd. I love Hello Kitty, Littest Pets, crafting, reading, baking, playing on my Nintendo ds, cute dresses and all manner of hair accessories. I'm also, without doubt, a future crazy cat lady.

Me, Tim, April, Rosie and Billy and Floyd-the-cat :)

Versatile Blogger Award

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Rosie's Art Portfolio

Portfolio

Cats Protection

Forest Pines Riding Centre

One Pretty Thing

Dorset Wildlife Trust

Thingamablog

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Please DO NOT link directly to pictures on my website!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Oh happy day!

Today has been wonderful.

Learning with the kids.

Homemade jam jarts (with homemade crab apple jelly in them)

Stitching together a cute patchwork blankie.

Snuggling.

Something yummy (lamb rogan josh) bubbling in the slow cooker to welcome Tim home.

...ending up with some great and welcome news!

I am so grateful for days like this.

 

Posted by Sarah at 4:11 PM [Permalink]
Categories: At Home, Cute Stuff
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On being atheist

"It’s a lot like being the only sober person in a car full of drunk people,

and they refuse to pull over and let you drive." ~ A Citizen of Earth

I feel like this every time I go on a hunt for completely religion-free home ed materials. It's like religion can somehow find its way into everything. I went on Pinterest to find stuff about the lunar cycle and the amount of "god made the moon" nonsense I had to wade through was frankly terrifying.

Posted by Sarah at 11:48 AM [Permalink]
Categories: At Home
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Crab Apple Jelly

Everso sorry ....really late doing this recipe! Anyway, if you can get a bunch of crab apples next year (we got ours from our garden and a walk in the New Forest), you can make this very yummy jelly.

Here goes.

First, give all the apples a quick rinse and remove any really dud ones. Then put them all in a big pan (no need to de-stalk or chop up), along with a cut up lemon and a cinnamon stick broken in half. Add water until the apples are just covered.

Bring to the boil and reduce to a good simmer for around an hour until the apples have gone all soft and mushy.

Now you'll need to strain the apples, preferably over night. Here is my clever husband's homemade straining device! Line a colander with a old, thin piece of cotton fabric, place over a large jug and bung in the apples. Allow to drip through. Resist the temptation to squeeze as this will result in cloudy jelly.

When done, throw away the apple pulp and measure the juice. You will need 450g sugar for every pint of juice. Pour the juice and sugar into a large pan. Bring to the boil and continue to boil rapidly for around 25 minutes. While the juice is boiling pop a saucer in the freezer.

At around 25 minutes, get your saucer and spoon a blob of the liquid onto it and allow to cool for a second. If setting point has been reached the blob will wrinkle when pushed with your finger. Unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of this. If the jelly is still runny, setting point has not been reached so continue to boil for a few more seconds and test again.

Once the setting point has been reached, immediately spoon the jam into pre-sterilised jars and screw the lids on tightly. For sterilising instructions see below. WARNING: Make sure the jars are hot and the jam is still hot! If you put hot jam into cold jars (or vice versa) the jars will explode!

Sterilising:

While your jam juice is boiling, arrange your clean, pre-washed jars on a baking tray - make sure they are not touching!

Pop them into a pre-heated, 180 degree, oven for at least 10 minutes. While they're in the oven, put the lids of the jars into a saucepan and boil for the same amount of time.

Finished jelly - beautiful colour!

Posted by Sarah at 6:55 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Cooking
Comments [ 0 ]

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

This week....

....there has been rain. Much rain. Torrential, sideways rain. And wind, don't forget that. Oh, and thunder ....and lightening ...and hail. Quite a lot of sunshine too. Weird.

We've had April, dodging the downpours and going outside to feed her slugs and asking "mum-mum, do you have any scraps for the slugs?" many times. So we go on a hunt for scraps. Bread? Yes. Carrot peelings? Yes. Broccoli leaves? Yes. Potato peelings? "no mum-mum, they're too starchy!" Oh, ok then.

There have been science projects about moths and butterflies and making little paper moths, coloured in lifelike colours, stuck up by our nature table.

 

Rosie has been drawing ...and drawing ...and drawing.

She draws funny little ball-chickens ....just because. They make me laugh.

 

...and beautiful dragons .....this one, simply called "Autumn"

I have have been baking ....bread, pear tart, fruit cake, flapjacks, sausage rolls.....and beginning to start thinking about Christmas cake (in about 3 weeks - where did the time go?!) I have been tired (not sleeping too well).....and busy. Today I trudged across the playing field in the mud to take April to a party and then Rosie and I stopped off at the shops on the way home to buy bikkies. We walked back down the alleyway, got to our back gate and saw a weirdo in our garden peering over the fence. Actually, it was Tim ...back from work and unable to get in!

It's been ...that sort of week :)

Posted by Sarah at 3:46 PM [Permalink]
Categories: At Home, Autumn, Cooking, Crafts, Places, Rosie's Art
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Thursday, October 02, 2014

Autumn Scent Jar!

Before I get going, just wanted to say that I'm going to update the cooking and crafts page over the weekend. I'm. Going. To. Do. It. However, I've abandoned the idea of compiling all my stuff into printable pdf's because I simply do not have the time to do it and if I continue with that idea I'll never get anything on those pages at all! So, I'm going to put links on those pages to all the cooking/craft activities I do to make them easier to find (basically, how they were originally!)

Ok, on to this idea - it's the first of several autumn ideas I'm going to post over the next week or so. The crab apple and cinnamon jelly is up next but first this quicky! A scent jar! These are great for putting in your entrance hallway for 2 reasons. First, they give off a lovely aroma and second if, like us, you keep shoes in your hallway, the bicarb in the jar does a marvellous job of absorbing nasty niffs!

Dead easy to make, and very pretty, you just need:

  1. a clean, empty glass jar (not too large)
  2. some cotton fabric in a seasonal shade (see below)
  3. pinking scissors
  4. bicarbonate of soda
  5. essential oils in appropriate smells
  6. a hair elastic

  1. Here is my summer jar! This one contained lavender oil in the bicarb and summery blue/white fabric.
  2. Here is the fabric I chose for the autumn jar.
  3. Cut out a circle of fabric using the pinking scissors to stop fraying and give a pretty edge.
  4. Half fill the jar with bicarb and add in a few drops of oil. I used cinnamon and orange oil for my autumn jar.
  5. Cover the top with the fabric and secure with a hair elastic.

The great thing about these is you can give them a little shake every time you walk past to refresh the smell and, when they lose their smell, just remove the lid and add a few more drops of oil. At the end of the season, just wash out the jar and refill with new bicarb, oil and a new cover :)

Posted by Sarah at 3:05 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Crafts, Website Stuff
Comments [ 1 ]

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Tomodachi Life Birthday

Here is my biggest girlie and me (and a character she created called Zippy) celebrating her birthday - Tomodachi Life style. Funny how I look littler than her! Adorable. :)

 

Oh and a bonus - me and Rosie at the funfair :)

 

Posted by Sarah at 10:45 AM [Permalink]
Categories: Tomodachi Life
Comments [ 0 ]

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

How exactly did this happen?

She turned 17.

17 years. Where did they go? This lovely, slightly mad (but in a very good way!), talented child of ours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night she had the birthday dinner of her choice - Domino's Pizza, potato wedges, nachos and Ben and Jerry's Caramel Chew Chew icecream. These were taken last night ....today she's 17.

 

 

Love her so much x

Posted by Sarah at 3:46 PM [Permalink]
Categories: At Home
Comments [ 2 ]

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

In search of crab apples

Went to Linford Bottom today, probably for the last time this year as it is somewhere that we always regard as being peculiarly summery - eternally warm and mellow. Don't ask me why but there you go.

We went, primarily for these, to make jelly:

Crab apples - actually some of these are from our garden - the bigger, yellow ones. Just don't have enough in my garden to make jelly.

 

There were loads and loads of crab apples there and we had great fun picking up the fallen ones and shoving them into my Tigger backpack which was absolutely bulging by the time we left. By the way, no, we didn't strip the trees bare! There were many, many, many apples left for the wildlife!

Now I've just got to make the jelly! I've been collecting our jam jars for ages and I'm going to make crab apple and cinnamon jelly. Yum! :)

Here's another piccy from our walk - Rosie and New Forest pony friend :)

Posted by Sarah at 6:33 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Autumn, Cooking, Places, Wildlife
Comments [ 1 ]

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Loving his holiday so far

...for me, for no other reason than he's here :) For him, not having to get up the butt-crack of dawn and go to work probably features quite high!

The weather has been perfect (cold, misty mornings followed by warm, mellow days), and we've stopped watching clocks and have just chilled. We've been getting all our "getting ready for winter" jobs out the way early in the week so that we can go on a few days out later. So, we've been gardening and pulling out heavy furniture to clean behind it and washing curtains and what-not.

It's just so fabulously lovely having Tim at home more and having the space to do more of the stuff that we love. For me, it's having more time in the evenings to curl up by him while he sprawls on the sofa watching t.v and rest my head on his lap and snuggle. Then he'll shift his legs slightly and I always, always take that as a cue to get up and he always, always grabs my head and says "I didn't say you had to get up!" :D ....and in the mornings, it's lovely to see him getting lie-ins and catching up on some snoozies and sometimes I'll hop back in the bed with him and he'll open his eyes and give me the fake "what are you doing back in bed?" glare before drifting off again. It's just all....gorgeous.

Hoping the rest of the week is as super ...hopefully....a certain young lady celebrates her 17th birthday in a few days! :)

Posted by Sarah at 12:17 PM [Permalink]
Categories: At Home
Comments [ 0 ]

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hodge podge

It has been insanely warm..actually, hot, here over the last few days. Uncomfortably so much of the time. Today, however, it has been a bit cooler and misty and drizzly and actually felt autumnal. April and I went out in the garden to collect fallen leaves to put in our nature basket. We also put our faces in several large cobwebs.

 

Talking of cobwebs, apparently it's going to be a "good" year for spiders due to the mild autumn weather so far. Good? Good for them maybe, not so good for us who don't like the creepy little critters. Anyway, to try and put a lighter spin on it, I invented this ....

Taa-daaaa! The Spidometer! See the 19th? Draw a spider on the calendar for every little creep we see in our house over the next month! Yes, Tim is capable of spelling "holiday" correctly by the way. It's just a silly thing like how we spell Christmas as chrismoose.

 

What else? Hmmm, well we made a lovely pie! This is chicken, leek and ham. I made the pastry, Tim and I made the filling together (you should try cooking with your other half sometimes, it's big fun) and I rolled out and assembled. And put hearts on the top. Yes.

Most delicious.

 

Ooooh! and I've been making this, for me! I make lots of stuff for the kids and around the house but this was just for me. A snuggly blankie! I have another similar which is basically a huge granny square in a deep red (this is pink/white/lilac) but this one was a bit more detailed. They're not huge, like a throw, but big enough to snuggle ...and cuddle :) Nowhere near finished yet though, got loads of rows left to go!

 

Finally, Rosie sent me this message this morning. She's been waiting for the new Smash Bros. game to come out (for the 3ds) for about 3 years and several weeks ago they announced a release date of the 3rd October. Needless to say she's been counting down the days with great excitement and then, a couple of days ago, they announced a demo was being released today.

I suspect she might be a tad excited :D Bless her!

 

PS - Tim is on holiday for a week now! Yipeeeee!

Posted by Sarah at 2:51 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Autumn, Crafts
Comments [ 0 ]

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