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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 Floyd-the-cat :)

Versatile Blogger Award


Rosie's Art Portfolio


Cats Protection

Forest Pines Riding Centre

One Pretty Thing

Dorset Wildlife Trust


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Please DO NOT link directly to pictures on my website!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nails, telly and history

Oh what a dull title!

First, a quicky. Don't very often big up cosmetics on here because I tend not to bother much with make up and whatnot but I do love a good nail colour. Today, I'm in praise of this cheapo - Boots Natural Collection, Cosmic Crush for £1.99! This is probably the darkest colour I've worn in a long time and I do love it! So far it's held up well with no chips and it went on nicely in one coat.

Could not be more purple favourite colour!


History? Well, about to start a history project with April based on the book Kings and Things by H E Marshall. We've had this book a while and started reading it but it got forgetten amongst everything else so we're starting again. If you haven't got this book, get it. It is, in the words of Stephen Fry, "perfectly, beautifully, hilariously executed....rather like Anne Boleyn". History lovers like myself will absolutely love it and it's so funny that kids who are not normally bothered by the subject will go for it too. We're going to follow it up with Our Island Story by the same author. Anyway, for this one, we're going to make an "aged timeline" (more on that later!) with pictures that I'm collecting from the internet. I'll put all these in a file and place them on my home ed page so you can make a timeline too if you want. It will contain pictures of the kings and queens (apart from a couple of the really early ones which I haven't found) and other, relevant, historical events.

Here are a couple of fun ones from the set:

Canute, trying to avoid getting his frock wet and failing


...and Richard II marrying the 8 year old Princess Isabella of France. The creep. *shudders*


Finally, telly! Yes, Autumnwatch is back, back, BACK!! It starts at 8.00 on BBC2 Tuesday 28th and is only on for 4 nights so don't blink or you'll miss it.

Posted by Sarah at 2:03 PM [Permalink]
Categories: At Home, Homeschool Projects, Telly
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Lanterns

Like the new, seasonal look? Thought it was time to go all Halloween on you :)

Talking of which, here is a little craft the kids and I did today - lanterns! These are really effective and are just made from a plastic cup, tissue paper and a battery operated tealight. They look fantastic when it's dark!

Posted by Sarah at 2:59 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Autumn, Crafts, Homeschool Projects
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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.


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!


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
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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
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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
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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 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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