Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Getting there!

We have been trying to update the kitchen in recent months. As usual on a budget, so just ripping out the old one and choosing new fixtures and fittings was not an option. We have been delighted to see that just some re-plastering, new tiles and painting of the pine cladding has already brought about quite a transformation. We just need to get some new flooring and paint the old dresser and then we are there.
During our (very lengthy) DIY attic conversion, we were told by the Building Inspector we had to board up a small window in the kitchen. Quite why I am not sure, wouldn't wood burn quicker than glass in the event of a fire? Anyway, we did as we were told in order to get the work signed off.
When we started to re-tile the kitchen we had initially thought we would just fill in the  window area and tile over, but once hubby had started to clear the area, I thought perhaps we could convert it to a little storage area for herb or spice bottles.
Yesterday it had the finishing touches added to it and I was able to put my little jars there. I wasn't sure if I was going to use it for herbs or spices, but once I had separated them out I was surprised to see there are only a few spices that I actually use, whereas I have three or four that amount for herbs and seasonings. So...spices made it to the new storage area!

I have been keeping my eyes out for a new clock since starting the kitchen re-fit, but without much success. Today however, when I wasn't even looking for one, look what I saw in Asda! I don't say I am going to fill my new kitchen with polka dot, although I am often drawn to it, but want to add a splash of colour, without committing to one particular design. The clock, however, will look great in place of the old one, underneath my little polka dot birdies. I am also really pleased the clock has numbers on. Teen Two is an SEN child and telling the time analogue style is confusing for all sorts of reasons, taking away numbers just adds one more hurdle!

Whilst in Asda, I saw these slate placemats and coasters. I fell in love with them ( but resisted, having already treated myself to the new clock!) and thought they would be ideal for a craft project....but what craft project? They would really lend themselves to being used for chalking on, but at the moment I haven't thought just how I would use them. So....any of you crafty bloggers out there got any ideas?

Now two treats in one day would really be rather extravagant wouldn't it? But I eased my conscience when this little delight took my eye, by reminding myself it was really something Teen One would this was therefore a treat for her! I didn't go looking for anything to add to our Summer display, but this starfish trinket dish just leapt out at me as I was innocently wondering around the fitted sheets section!  It was just £2. With a little candle and some shells added, it works a treat I think!

Not sure if this is going to be its finally home, will do my usual thing of living with it for a few days and see what I think then. I am particularly proud of the doiley underneath as it is one of the first crochet patterns I ever managed to follow!

Here is another area of the fireplace that is having a bit of a "Summer makeover." The decorated tile in the background was made by Teen One many moons ago. We had gone for a cycle ride round the shoreline near our home and collected a few bits and pieces....I hasten to add, not all that is on the tile was found that day, some came from our crafting stash.
The mini "Seaside Holiday" Yankee Candle  was bought on a visit to their Village store in South Deerfield  Massachusetts some  years ago. Little did I know then I would have a teenage girl persuading me to give the house a summer makeover!

Lunch today is one of Teen One's favourites and she will be delighted when she comes home from college and finds it in the fridge. Feta and cherry tomato salad, drizzled in that yummy Tesco olive oil infused with basil, with plenty of baby spinach leaves. I say feta cheese, but in actual fact I have been using any supermarkets "Greek Style Salad" cheese, which at a fraction of the price ( around 70p) tastes  just as good.

Both the Teens are suffering with hayfever at the moment. I have switched antihistamines, but at the moment its not making much difference. A checkout assistant told me about a little machine one of her customers had told her about. So, I ordered it online at the weekend, rather pleased to see it was currently on special offer, and it arrived today.
The online reviews give very positive comments, so we shall see how the Teens get on with it. At the moment its no fun for Teen One, who is waking up throughout the night with a constantly runny and itchy nose.  I shall keep you posted as to how successful it is!
Teen One enjoyed her Feta salad, and then set about trying to complete a homework task she had been set. If she is successful it means she doesn't have to go into college tomorrow afternoon, which will mean the official start of her long summer holidays! It was rather warm in the garden, so we both tried out the watermelon lollies....we both give them a big THUMBS UP! I didn't have  any mint, so just coated them in caster sugar as soon as they came out of the freezer. Very refreshing indeed, and ( sugar aside!) so healthy!

As nice as it would be to sit out in the garden all day, there was dinner to think about. Today I had planned to try out another of the Amish recipes. Cabbage and Hamburger ( minced beef to us Brits) Bake. 
We shall see what the family make of it later on.
As the oven was on, I thought I would quickly whip up a recipe I saw online the other week, which looked interesting as it has "no eggs, milk, butter or bowl" so is ideal for any who are lactose intolerant. There are other interesting items on the website so I shall be back to investigate another time.
It turned out ok....but the proof of the pudding ( or cake!) is in the eating, so I shall keep you posted on that one! I added some chocolate frosting using this recipe...which is not dairy free, so those who want to keep it suitable for lactose intolerant folk, you will need to substitute as appropriate.


  1. Wowzer - you've had a creative day. Am loving the summer decorations but the food looks yummy!! I don't know about you but its been really hot up here so the watermelon lollies will just hit the spot!!

  2. BTW - loving the new spice rack - very inventive

  3. Another interesting read! I have decided that you have more hours in a day where you live, than we do!!
    Love the slate place mats, I think you should mount them on the kitchen wall and put the dish of the day on them, one for main course and one for pudding. The family would then have their taste buds titillated in anticipation. I love this time of the year, with all the sales etc. on you can pick loads of lovely little nik naks. Xxx

  4. Well dinner has been eaten, the Teens liked it, for me it lacked a little something.
    The chocolate fudge cake ( as I have named it) was delicious though, and I am not keen on chocolate cake usually! The frosting was rather sweet..perhaps some cream or ice cream would have balanced out that issue for me.Would definitely make again though, am interested in how long it stays fresh, with no butter or eggs in.

  5. Good idea re the slates by the way ME