Friday, 20 September 2013
We bought it back in April. I'm so glad we had an overlap with our rented house as this house was DISGUSTING. The previous owner clearly did not own a vacuum cleaner or a cleaning cloth.
My Dad came over from France and spent a couple of weeks with us to get it into a state suitable for a family to live in. (Huge thank you to my Dad!) We had a very tight budget and needed/wanted to paint almost everywhere, replace the flooring in the lounge/diner and get white goods.
Whilst looking for an cooker on Freecycle, I came across one that came complete with a kitchen! The previous owner ended up leaving his cooker so we negotiated to take the kitchen units, sink and worktops. My Dad ripped out the old kitchen and refitted with the freecycled units. We bought new worktops, flooring, kitchen tap and a few fittings. Including some bargain white goods (thanks to Preloved), our 'new' kitchen came in at around £500. We had the cooker professionally cleaned which cost around £60. It looked as good as new when finished - money well spent.
It still needs some finishing touches, but we're getting there! It's now a place I love spending time in.
Monday, 6 May 2013
Firstly, my son was born at the end of January.
It took us ten days to name him and we eventually settled on Oliver. I hated him not having a name, but it was SO HARD to choose!
I'm working on losing the baby weight by using My Fitness Pal and Striiv. My Fitness Pal makes you take stock of what you are eating and has made me realised just how many calories are in some biscuits (oooops). Striiv has been such a great motivation. It's a pedometer with social networking and a game wrapped up into an iPhone app. The game and challenges are very addictive while the social networking aspect has you competing to see who can walk the farthest each day. The best thing is that the two apps link up and the calories burnt logged by Striiv automatically appear in the cardio exercise section of My Fitness Pal. I've fallen off the wagon whilst moving but now we're about 80% moved in, it's back to it today.... I've a weekend away booked at the end of the month!
We finally completed on our house purchase two weeks ago. It has taken nearly six months and the chain just grew and grew! We've just moved in and are clearing and cleaning out the old rented house. Gosh we have so much STUFF.
Rather than write one huge post, I'm going to break down our house progress to date. To summarise though: we have refitted the kitchen and decorated almost the entire house so far!
Saturday, 12 January 2013
So here's a little update on what's going on!
A good place to start would be with my progress update
- The regular bike ride - well they weren't so regular once I got a bit bigger. We also bought our daughter her own little bike for her third birthday so I've taken her out on that too.
- Advance Driver course - getting pregnant gave me a cotton wool brain, so I've had to defer this one if I have any chance of passing!!
- Learning a new craft - I bought a sewing machine and have been dabbling with occasional bit of sewing. I intend to make more use of this in 2013!
- To make Elderflower wine - TICK!
- To complete the dolls house - fail. big time.
In other news, we have a baby due sometime soon (watch this space!) and are in the process of buying a house! So my goals for 2013 will be to pick up on 2012 goals not yet achieved (although I may defer the Advance Driving course to 2014).
I will also be looking at returning to my pre-pregnancy weight and decorating/DIY around our new home.
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Becky at Clean White Paper and I decided to do a craft share and make papier maché bowls.
I haven't done papier maché since I was at school so I was quite excited at trying it again!
I decided to use a PVA/water mix (two thirds PVA glue to one third water).
I tore newspapers into strips of about 1" by 2". This was to be my mistake. As I was layering the paper on, I realised I should have used smaller pieces of paper to create a smoother finish. So I decided I would go for a rustic look!
Using a balloon as a mould I simply started dipping the strips of newspaper into the glue mixture, wiping off the excess and laying them onto the balloon.
I created two layers at a time, then let the paper dry overnight.
Once finished, I removed the balloon, trimmed the edges and gave the bowl a coat of emulsion paint. I decorated the bowl by punching holes around the rim and weaving ribbon through.
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
This year I vowed to catch the flowers. My Elderberry wine takes about four years before it is matured. Elderflower wine needs only a few weeks!
Back in June, I collected flowers from my in laws Elder tree. You only need about 4-6 heads of flowers to make 4.5 litres (one gallon).
You will also need:
- a large pan (big enough to hold 4.5 litres)
- 3 x 2 litre soda bottles
- 2 lemons (sliced)
- 750 grams sugar (I used granulated)
- 2 tablespoons of cider or white wine vinegar
- 4.5 litres water
Fill the pan with 4.5 litres of water.
Shake the flower heads to remove any bugs then add to the water with the sliced lemons.
Cover and leave for one day.
After 24 hours, add the sugar and vinegar.
Stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
Then strain through muslin and a sieve and pour into the clean soda bottles.
Place the caps loosely on the bottles but don't screw them down just yet.
After a few days, you'll see bubbles start to appear. If after a week, no bubbles have formed then add some yeast (I used bread yeast). You only need to a about a quarter of a teaspoon.
Leave for one - two weeks before screwing the lids down. Then leave for 4-6 weeks to mature.
Keep an eye on the pressure in the soda bottles and let some gas out if needed. The picture above is what happened the other day to one of my bottles! We came home from a day out to find the kitchen had been turned into a disaster zone - Elderflower wine all over the kitchen floor, spice rack smashed, fridge magnets broken... I hadn't kept a good eye on the pressure in the bottles and one had exploded. Lesson learned!
When the wine is ready for drinking (and this is down to your taste, the longer you leave it; the dryer it'll be), filter again into a serving jug and enjoy.
Monday, 25 June 2012
One of my favourite things to do with rhubarb is schnapps... so here's how I made it.
You will need:
- a large container for infusing the mix
- about 3 large stems, or 5 smaller stems of rhubarb, washed
- 3 cups of granulated sugar
- 1 75cl bottle of vodka
- bottles for the finished product
Chop the rhubarb into chunks and place into your infusing container. Add the sugar and vodka.
Mix well and leave in a dark place for 4 weeks, stirring the mixture periodically.
After the 4 weeks are up, strain the mixture carefully and bottle.
Leave for another couple of months to mature.
Saturday, 9 June 2012
Having been on holiday the week before, we left our preparations until we returned. Bunting was no where to be found so we made our own - triangles of paper painted, hole punched and strung up along the curtain poles with string.
Paperchains were made from a pack of streamers - simply cut equal lengths and glue each length into a ring, looping with the previous ring. We hung these from the ends of curtain poles to the light fittings. Be careful not to have them near the bulb though (fire risk!). We don't use our ceiling lights anyway.
I decided to make typically English cakes - cheese and marmite scones, plain & raisin buttermilk scones, rhubarb & lemon curd cake ( replacing raspberries with rhubarb), and victoria sponge.
The party was a great success. It's so good to get to know your neighbours and we are lucky to have nice neighbours living around us. Who says the community is dead nowadays?!