Saturday, 6 February 2016

Time for some pancake flipping ...

Hi everyone,

The UK really embraces Shrove Tuesday or pancake day in a big way! This year it falls on Tuesday 9th February & it is always time for communities, schools & families to bond over a pan ...

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday & the start of the 40 days of Lent when you are supposed to give up something until Easter.

I lOVE pancakes & we often make some small ones as a quick treat with whatever fruit we have to hand at home.

For small scotch pancakes I use my Mom's recipe

1 cup plain flour
1 egg
5/8th cup of milk (or more to make a thinnish batter)

For small pancakes, I cook 3 at a time in the pan, turning them when bubbles have formed on the top.


For thinner, large pancakes, I make the mixture a bit more runny with extra milk then use a soup ladle to spoon some in to a hot frying pan & swirling it around. I flip it over when it is done on the first side


Some favourite fillings include any fruit we have at home & Greek yoghurt. We always have lots of cinnamon sugar & a little maple syrup drizzled over it ....


Small or large ones?


Small or large ones?


Pancakes are good with any fruit you have to hand ...


A quick treat ...


How will you be having yours? Do you flip or slide them over? There are some lovely ideas here if you need it ...

After chats with my students this week, I was surprised to know that some bought in ready made pancakes!!!

What - I cried in surprise - WHY? Half the fun is gathering around the stove to make & flip the pancakes then carry them to the table to stack it  up with your choice of filling ...

I hope that is what you will do this Shrove Tuesday.  Do tell what your traditions are & which fillings you favour ...

Thanks for stopping by & for taking the time to comment,
Dee ~♥~

Saturday, 30 January 2016

A sewing project for the study ...

Hiya everyone

Sometimes my work - tutoring elective home education students - just takes over & I have little time, so apologies for my absence. Thank you to those faithful who stop by to support, read & comment - I appreciate your time ...

We have a small study at home that belongs to hubby & I have a little side in it but resist the urge to take up too much of his space as he loves the space which is his own.

We initially had loose units in the space with a free standing desk. However, the space just didn't work well & last year I decided to have it built in with more storage & working space as a gift to hubby.

The space works much better now with a large desktop & space for my desktop computer (used for my work) as well as a laptop working space & our home CCTV; it is the hub of our home & it appeals to hubbies ordered mind so is a space he loves with his awards & bits around him ...


Our favourite leather books are kept in the side shelves where they are protected from light & scuffs. I LOVE leather books & the textures of their tooled covers ...


Can you see the badge on the shelf?


I have my desk upstairs in the bedroom - painted to my liking where I like to work at, computer free where I write letters & plan my projects & time.

Hubby has his Dad's embroidered blazer badge that came from his family home. It was from the blazer his Dad always wore in photos for the dust jackets on his books & which we all associated with him.  I found it in hubbies drawer & so I decided that it needs to be on display.


I am partial to vintage frames & have been lucky enough to find some on the vintage stalls I frequent.  A good match size wise ...


I found a length of heavy duty blue felt amongst my sewing bits & I think it complements the still vivid blue, gold & red colours. I matched up a dark blue thread & hand sewed the badge on to the felt. 


The sewn project was then inserted in to the vintage metal frame, sans the glass.


I love heraldry & shields so this is very pleasing to look at. It now adorns the shelf alongside hubbies others special bits; much better than it lingering in a drawer. A satisfying project done ... 

Do you have a regular list of projects?  Because I embrace change, I like to have a list of things that I want to update, change for a season or just enjoy a change of displays. Are you the same? 

I hope you have enjoyed this project, enjoy your weekend & thanks for stopping by, 
Dee ~♥~

Thursday, 21 January 2016

House plants for health

Hi everyone from a rather frosty & cold England - this week the temperatures have dipped in to the minus with severe morning frosts & I am aware that I am spending long evenings in the warm, cosy house with the heating on. Even though I am in & out all day with students, I am still happy to hunker down at night.

One of my first Winter checks is always to make sure the fire & carbon monoxide alarms are in good working order for safety & peace of mind.

My home planted hyacinths are finally - nearly a month after Christmas - blooming & they fill the downstairs with the most divine scent.  I consciously do not use any air fresheners / plug ins at home because of concerns over the chemicals in them, but I am partial to scented flowers.


Our Cyclamens are now blooming & bringing some welcome colour. 


This poinsettia was gifted early in December & is, dare I say it, thriving still



These plants look good but one of the best plants for naturally cleansing the air is peace lilies. My A Wondering Star daughter has a knack of growing these & all of ours are from her plant which she has potted on.

Our carpets, paint, cleaning products & furniture pollute the air in our homes & so I like to open the windows on brighter days & bring in helpful plants, especially in Winter.


Fortunately, peace lilies look lovely with the added benefit of cleaning the air too. We have several dotted around the home.

We also have a peace lily in each bathroom where they enjoy the light from the windows



I have various succulents in pots in our conservatory & they seem to thrive there. I also grow sone Aloe Vera plants. My friend Kathy gifted me one plant & they multiple easily so now we have several that are potted on. 


Aloe Vera is a we'll known health supplement but there are lots of benefits from using the gel in the leaves & they are also easy to grow & they look good too....


I was recently gifted this lovely basket of plants by a visiting cousin. English Ivy is another beneficial plant ... 


(Hedera helix)
This hearty, climbing vine thrives in small spaces. It also fares well in rooms with few windows or little sunlight.

How it Helps: Its dense foliage excels at absorbing formaldehyde—the most prevalent indoor pollutant, says Wolverton—which shows up in wood floorboard resins and synthetic carpet dyes.
Small changes that I feel are helpful to the air quality of your homes particularly in Winter when we ventilate our homes less.  In our quest to keep our homes clean, we have to be aware of the health risks from all the chemicals used in that process ...

It is worth considering the health benefits of plants that you have at home when you buy a new plant so they are pretty as well as healthy.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope your week is going well.
Dee ~♥~

Sunday, 17 January 2016

A favourite winter meal ...

Winter has finally arrived after a wet & mild December.  Heavy frosts, a dusting of snow & freezing temperatures heralded in January in our Shire.

My working day often  carries on till quite late without a break, so by the time I get home, I am  famished & want something quick & easy to eat.

I have always been a great fan of roasted root vegetables & am pleased that the major supermarkets are now selling foil trays of ready prepared vegetables for roasting.

I like to buy two trays so I can roast both at the same time then use the second one for soup.

The roasting process brings out the flavours & then it is quick to turn it in to a nutritious soup. This is how I do it ...

The prepared vegetables are roasted in the oven as per instructions.


I make up some vegetable stock - I favour an organic one but any stock is fine.


The roasted vegetables, stock & a pinch of chilli flakes is boiled for about 10 minutes to soften them


I use a stick blender to make the smoothness I prefer, then test for seasoning.


I love these soup pots with their lids to keep the soup warm. I am trying to cut down on bread so ...


This is a nutritious soup that is really tasty - give it a try for these cold winter days ...


What is your standby meal for when you need something hot & quick?  Please share your inspirations for winter meals.

Thanks for stopping by & taking time to comment.
Dee ~♥~

Sunday, 10 January 2016

A pretty cottage in the Lakes …

Hiya

I have been wanting to share this lovely cottage that we rented in the Lakes recently. A Wondering Star daughter, her man Andy & pup Apollo invited me to join them in the Lake district for a few days. It was somewhere I had not visited previously so I was keen to accept their invitation.

I loved the modern decor in the vary traditional cottage. The bathroom was modernised with lovely crisp white subway / metro tiles.



















The one double bedroom - comfortable with interesting finishes




The beautiful stairwell & stripped floors ...

























The bedroom I enjoyed with a lovely view across the river in front ...








Lovely vintage items displayed on the very generous window ledges.
The top attic bedroom were almost identical to what we had in an old family home in layout. These are beautifully decorated once again.  I love the vivid tartan blankets against the white bedding. 












I am always interested in colour schemes & painted furniture as it is something I do myself ...
Heading back downstairs to the comfortable living areas.  The practical wooden peg hooks in the hallway were really useful for hats, scarves, coats & the dog lead.  






The sunny window seat in the living room facing the bird tables & the river
The log burner was a perfect to take the chill off the night air & make for cosy times sitting around chatting by the fire. The underfloor heating made the room so comfortable . 







Interesting collection of modern deer heads ...

The lovely large panty cupboards stored the additional crockery, glasses, games & books perfectly.


Folding doors lead in to a well planned, compact modern kitchen extension 





A large & smaller dining table are perfectly placed next to the kitchen for meals ....

The compact modern kitchen extension is well planned with everything that is needed for a home from home break ... 










The traditional slate / stone exterior is warm & welcoming in the sunlight 



What I particularly loved about this cottage was that there was a very good bakery / eatery just 2 minutes walk away, as well as a very good pub that we had supper at.  A Wondering Star & Andy loved how dog friendly the area was with well behaved dogs welcome in all the pubs.

We have owned & lived in older properties, one was not dissimilar to this in layout, but this had been sympathetically modernised so it stayed true to its traditional features but with a light, modern touch. The colours were particularly pleasing too ... most enjoyable!

I hope you have enjoy the visit with me, thanks for your company.
Dee ~♥~