Birthday present for a lovely lady friend

My lovely friend has a birthday next week, so I decided I would make her something (my first project in my craft corner).

I was charity shop browsing last week and bought a wooden photo frame for £2.

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I then, in my head, designed a lovely idea for a framed picture to sit on my friend’s new desk (we did teacher training together last year, and both start lives as primary school teachers on Monday).

So I sat at my craft table, got out some bits and pieces, printed out some scrabble tiles from the Internet, cut up some pieces of fabric & a top, arranged them, glued them (this all sounds very quick, but I did actually think every step through carefully!) and here we are…

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I’m absolutely delighted with the outcome, and I know she will love it.

Actually, I love it so much that I’m going to make some more, and maybe even take orders from people. I just think they make the perfect gift! So my mission over the weekend is to trawl some charity shops for nice but cheap frames 🙂

Hope you like it as much as I do 🙂 (I actually want one for my own desk!)

Family Meal

So last night I cooked dinner (ably assisted by my lovely man) for 6 people. The two of us, his parents, his 91 year old nana and his auntie. No pressure there then…

After spending about an hour coming up with the menu, a £50 spend at Sainsburys and 4 hours in the kitchen, dinner was served – and it was a fantastic success!

Pre-dinner drinks: Apple Mojito Mocktail

Starter: Meze style (crackers, dips, crisps, feta, tomatoes, salami etc)

Main: Sausages (a choice of meat or veggie), roasted potatoes & aubergine, homemade seeded coleslaw

Dessert: Ginger upside down cake with strawberries and blueberries (adapted from a recipe in the new Good Food magazine for gingery plum cake)

Everything was delicious and everyone enjoyed it. We had a fab night with lots of laughter. I’ve certainly picked a wonderful family to become part of 🙂

Here are some pictures of the feast! (The coleslaw, the cake before the batter was poured in, then the finished cake – with a section removed for tasting, obviously!)

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Workshops

Feeling proactive this weekend, and have booked myself on to 3 different craft workshops in September and October.

First up is Basic dressmaking and clothes alterations, then Knitting, then Crochet.

Really looking forward to them, just a shame I have to wait a month until the first one!

There are lots of other workshops that look great too, but I think I’ll stick with these 3 initially – I don’t want to overwhelm myself!

It’s been a while…

Wow…it’s been so long since I wrote anything on here. I’d almost forgotten what to do!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all of the things I say I want to do. The things I really want to do (Learn the guitar, learn to speak French, make lots of homemade goodies, learn to knit etc etc. The list is endless).

But why do I get no further than just saying these things or thinking about them? Is it laziness? Do I not want to do them as much as I think I do? No. I really do want to. So why haven’t I yet?

In my defence, I work very hard and put A LOT of time and energy into my job. But I do have time that I could dedicate to achieving my other goals…it’s just as simple as that. I need to actually dedicate the time. Make the time, prioritise.

So, as I’m a teacher and my mind works in school years, I am setting my New Years resolutions for September. And number one on my list is:

Dedicate the time to do the things I really want to do.

Only I can do it. And it’s the only way I’ll ever be able to play the guitar, speak the lovely French language (and NOT with a Geordie twang!) and make lots of gorgeous homemade crafty goodies!

So there we have it, it’s down in writing now, published on the web for the world to see. I guess I better to stick to it 😉

Confused…

So, earlier this evening I posted  on my blog…a post about how I had neglected my blog writing over the past couple of weeks. With an apology to my blog for this neglect.

But…it has not appeared 😦 It seems to have disappeared…

Basically, I was simply saying that I have been super busy this past couple of weeks. Getting back into the swing of things at work, getting lots of uni work done, and doing a lot of exercise (The countdown to Egypt is now 10 weeks). So I haven’t been able to blog. I have, however, been making lots of yummy meals…which I shall get onto the blog over the next couple of days.

I hope everybody is happy in blog world 🙂

 

 

Jamaican Chicken Curry

Last year, my mum bought me a gorgeous book called ‘Skinny Meals in Heels’, and as part of my resolution to cook things from my huge collection of recipe books (and the fact that my bf and I are both trying to lose weight), I thought I’d cook something from this. 

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After trying to decide between a Chicken and Apricot Tagine, or Jamaican Chicken Curry, I finally decided that the curry was more of a Friday night dish. I gathered all of the ingredients, most of which I already had, and then set about making it. 

Here is the recipe:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5cm piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts fillets, chopped into chunks (I used 7 boneless, skinless thighs instead, as I had some in my freezer, and they have more flavour!)
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • fresh coriander
  • basmati rice, to serve (I used brown rice instead)

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and saute the onion, ginger, chilli and garlic for 5 minutes (or until soft). Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the spices. Saute for another minute, then add the sweet potato and chicken. Pour in the stock and vinegar. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the sweet potato is cooked through. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the tomatoes. Scatter with the coriander and serve with the rice.

Here is the result:

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I can honestly say, it’s the most delicous curry I’ve ever eaten. The flavours were incredible. And good to know that I was enjoying a guilt-free meal! The bf was very impressed too. Will definitely be making this again.

Mail it Forward

I saw a lovely idea on another blog today, and didn’t hesitate to get involved. So now, this is what happens:

‘The first five commenters on this post will receive, from me, during the year of 2013, something hand made in the mail.

I can’t say when it will be (but it will be this year)
I can’t say what it will be (but it will be something I have made – a card, collage, fabric postcard, small gift…)

In return, you pay it forward by offering the same deal to five other people.

Let’s spread crafty mail loveliness all over this world, and brighten each others days!

ps/ if you are one of the first five commenters, I will email you privately for your snail mail address – I don’t advise leaving it in the comments section

I just think this sounds like such a lovely idea, and fits in perfectly with my aim to try lots of new crafts this year. So who’d like to get something homemade from me in the post??

xxx