In Store

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Working, Working Working!

What a week its been. I received a phone call from my previous employer, Rhinegold Publishing, asking if I could do some freelance work for a couple of weeks from home. Needless to say we need the money so I jumped at the chance but Oh Boy what a juggling act it has been with looking after my little 1 year old daughter especially as she wants to play on the laptop and punch all the keys like Mummy! She can be happily playing away with her toys or some little oddity that she has found lying around, out comes the laptop and Pow! she pounces straight away causing all sorts of chaos to happen on screen. I am on the look out for kiddies laptop and Amazon seem to have a lot of choice so will have a browse and choose something for her age group. I have also been selling lots of vintage jewellery through Ebay this week and now have to restock my shop...when I get a spare moment. I am sitting on bags of other vintage jewellery awaiting repair so need to get cracking and learn how to use a soldering torch to fix 'em up as it could help to pay some bills.
Autumn is here and I have been enjoying the best of what it has to offer - hot chocolate, pumpkins and beautiful Autumnal colour - I made some lovely pumpkin and cinnamon cupcakes topped with cream cheese icing which went down a storm. YUM! Very easy to make by simply grating pumpkin flesh and adding it to the mixture. I have about 4 more pumpkins to get creative with - a shame their season is so short as I think they are very undervalued as an edible vegetable. Of course I'll be carving one for halloween and putting it in my window to draw in the trick or treaters. I don't think I'll dress my baby girl up this year but maybe next! I also finished the Christmas cake that I mentioned last time and it all looks great. A bit of an origami lesson though with double lining the tin but it is worth all the effort to stop the outside from burning etc. Now I just need to decide how to decorate it this year and of course feed it regularly with more Rum! The first picture is of the 3 sets of ingredients ready to combine into one - the dry, the wet and then the soaked fruit and the second picture shows off my origami skills!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Celebration Time!

What a busy 2 weeks preparing for my daughter's first birthday and making the house ready for guests as it has been a while....and now it is all over until the next event....Christmas...yes do I dare mention the word? Personally, I love it - the cooking, family gatherings, surprises, giving presents, carol singing and tradition. Feeling in a festive mood today too after soaking the fruit ready to make a Christmas cake tomorrow with lots of rum courtesy of Nigella Lawson's fab cookery book! As we are strapped for cash this year I will be looking for ideas for hand-made gifts to give friends and family that will be appreciated. last year I made lots of chutneys, chocolates and cakes as well as giving beautifully packaged jars of mints and jellies etc with hand-written labels. So this year I will have to think of something different and will probably need to make a start soon especially as things take twice a long with a toddler in tow.

So my little angel is 1 year old now!  We had a low-key affair with her grandparents and a lovely dinner. We had a birthday cake of course, candles and singing which she enjoyed. I came across a great book called Spectacular Cakes in a local charity shop a while ago which has proved to be very resourceful for recipes for various size cakes but I need to start being more ambitious with the decorating. My next project is for fireworks night so will start planning now to do something other than buttercream icing!

Even though the weather changed for the worse last week we still had our weekly adventure as I had the car for the week. This time we ventured to Sissinghurst Castle in Kent which was absolutely beautiful even in October so I will definitely be returning throughout the year to view the gardens in each season. There is an Elizabethan tower set in beautiful formal gardens with lots of separate spaces, views and corridors of hedges with statues at the end etc to draw the eye. So a photo op at every turn.

Now as for this week, apart from making a Christmas cake I am going to venture into the local police station, bus station, ambulance station and the local council offices to see if they would like to host a VIP Christmas Shopping Evening courtesy of Jamie at home. I thought that if they work long unsocial hours then this will be right up their street! So fingers crossed!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Is Summer Back?

Okay, so one moment I hear that we are due snow in October and then I've just been checking the forecast for next week and it is saying 24c! What's that song? Four Seasons in One Day? Well in this case it will be Four Seasons in One Month. Now as a true Brit I often go out with sunshades and an umbrella to cater for all eventualities so will it now be suncream and a snowsuit? I think scientists are still divided on whether this is due to climate change/ pollution etc or whether it is a cyclical pattern that happens over centuries. Even if it is the latter I believe that we should still be finding sources of clean renewable energy as the earth's natural supplies of oil are running low and we are now shipping in from the Middle East therefore hiking up our fuel bills and anyway the burning of oil produces so much pollution too. But what is the answer? Personally, I don't mind the wind turbines but they have had a bad press in terms of how effective they are and their short lifespan. There is a lot of work going into tidal energy so that may be a the answer. I try and do my bit to limit my carbon footprint for example, using rainwater in the garden, recycling paper, plastic, glass, foil and waste food regularly, I buy second hand when I can, turning off lights when I leave the room etc etc etc. But I think that we need to look to larger companies and businesses to do their part too rather than all the burden put on individuals. Anyway down from the soap box now!

Have had more success with feeding my little girl this week - she has enjoyed beef casserole and cannelloni! So at least she has been getting the iron! I went to the local pound shop and bought lots of feeding items for her including a new messy mat, a bib with sleeves and lots of small tupperware pots for freezing separate portions and these have been put to good use already so we now have frozen cannelloni and green vegetable Thai curry filling up the freezer! All for £9 so will be venturing back there soon for more bargains.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Success at last!

What a week it has been! A week of many FIRSTS!

As mentioned last week I had the car all this week at my disposal. Now you may think so what? Well, I am quite new to driving and have only been driving over the past 2 or 3 months and they have only been short little journeys. Well this week I could have gone to the moon and back! In reality though I drove to Scotney Castle which is owned by the National Trust in Sevenoaks and back (Including a stint on the dreaded M25) then the next day I went to Whitstable as it was such a gorgeous day plus I put petrol in the car for the first time! So no stopping me now! Only that come the weekend my husband will be having the car back so I'll be back on the buses but at least I can say I have made the most of the remaining days of summer. The motorways were not as daunting as I thought they might be although with a crying baby it can be a little fraught but thankfully she fell asleep for most of the journeys.
Scotney Castle was lovely and a great place for budding or professional photographers as there is a ruined castle sitting on a lake which provided some lovely reflections. Unfortunately I only have a simple digital camera so could not do the setting justice.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Where's my week gone?

So Sunday already! Thankfully I had a couple of days off this past week with my husband "playing Dad" on Wednesday and my in-laws babysitting one afternoon so got a few essential things done but this week coming I am on my lonesome as hubby is off to Ireland for 2 days and my in-laws are on a cruise for 2 weeks! Alright for some! Talking of cruising though I would recommend it for ANY age group, not just for retired couples as is the misconceived idea. We did one a few years back and had a great time climbing up waterfalls in Jamaica and snorkeling in the Cayman Islands plus some kayaking too! Oh those were the days before being a Mum.... but wouldn't change it for the world. She has been such a little comedienne this week hopefully not a sign of trouble later on!
Had a successful Jamie at Home party on Friday night with lots of quizzes, raffles and giveaways. Another one on Tuesday so getting into the swing of it all now.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Welcome to my world!

Welcome to my personal space on the web and to my first ever blog!

I am very new to this and was unsure of my direction at first but I wanted to write about what I am passionate about and share my thoughts and ideas with like minded people and to create a little community. At first I wondered what my niche market would be and my husband told me to just write about what I know best. I asked what that was and he said “A Mum trying to get by in the world”. In my case being a modern-day mother with old-fashioned principles and interests and trying to earn some money from a combination of selling vintage finds and hand-made gifts coupled with a new part time job as a Party Planner for Jamie at Home. Phewee! A multi-faceted personality and I never knew.
I have so many interests and hobbies but seem to dabble in all of them so a Jane of all trades I imagine.  Now with a 11 month old baby girl in tow I am finding it even more difficult to pursue them seriously but having this space in which to write my thoughts and updates will hopefully motivate me as I cannot have a blog with nothing to write about now can I?  I feel like I am currently juggling so many things hence the title of my blog and all you mothers out there are no doubt SuperMums too. What with housework, earning some money, being a dutiful wife, a loving Mother, a best friend and so much more!
So how’s my first week gone? One of my aims was to cook or bake a new recipe each week so we are not eating the same old things. We are quite good with the weekly menu planning on our kitchen chalkboard but we still seem to waste stuff so maybe I should also have one evening each week to leave blank and just name it “Leftover Night” and see what we can rummage together. Plus it would help us save even more money! It's like the jars of Pesto that you use once but waste the rest as I never seem to use it within 5 days. Well this week I used it as a base for a flan and tonight we have just had Pesto Pasta with bacon and roast chicken. (The chicken being left overs too!)
The new recipe I did this week, well there were two, but the first was a Key Lime Pie from the Hummingbird Cookbook which was a lovely gift from my Mum. It turned out well but I think I needed to whisk the eggs further for the meringue topping. Maybe next time I will do it with just whipped cream.
The next one was a pasta dish called Farafalle with Carbonara and spring peas from Jamie Oliver's "Jamie's Dinners" which my husband brought me for my birthday back in August. Now this was really easy to make and had a simple carbonara sauce with cream and an egg just mixed in at the end. A great weekday supper dish.
Things will start to pick up now as my husband, a self employed graphic designer has arranged to be Dad every Wednesday to allow me to pursue various paths of earning money whether it be through making bunting from recycled fabrics, handmade jewellery or through Jamie at Home so now I just need to make sure I make the most of the day and don't procrastinate too much.
So enough for now.
Thanks for joining me