Monday, 21 December 2015

No more posts here.

I won't be posting on this blog anymore. I have loved it since I began but time for a new one. I will put a link to this on my new blog when I get a minute in case anybody would like to take a look now and again.x

News! News! News!

Today all paperwork is complete and we have exchanged on our house so this means... well check out my new blog. Hope you will continue to follow me. xxxx


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Thank you all.

Just to say thank you for everybodies kind words regarding my last post. Very kind of you.xx

Monday, 14 December 2015

I consider myself an intelligent woman but..

today something happened to make me realise everybody is vulnerable.

I was the victim of a scam artist on the telephone. I was lured into thinking there was a virus problem with my computer and after gaining access to my bank account I lost over £900.

Thankfully, most gratefully and forever in debt will I be to the bank we were refunded our money.

I will not go into all the details, mainly because I am so very, very embarrased about it all but suffice to say do not give anything of yourself away over the telephone, EVER! 

People will always ring back if they are legitimate or find another way to contact you. If you are even mildly suspicious of their intentions then hang up!

Never buy anything over the phone. 

I would hate anybody to feel any way near the way I did for about 4 hours this afternoon; sick to the stomach thinking I had completely ruined Christmas.


Friday, 11 December 2015

Christmas Memory In My Vignette (if that is the word).

At Christmas I like to have little displays around the house. I mentioned the other day about Pretty Nostalgic and the bottom left of the photo shows another issue of this with a festive article about toys, along with a couple of other things.

Bottom right is a vintage colouring book produced in 1958 by the Blackpool Cooperative Society which I picked up at a car boot fair for £3.50. 

It is untouched in pristine condition and I think there may be some of the inside pages shown from an earlier post here.

The book at the back is very special to me. Again I think I have posted about it before but it just epitomises the way I aspire to decorate and enjoy my home at Christmas, plus it is a bit battered as it was a present many years ago.

Does anybody else have a special Christmas book they like to look back at? I know A Christmas Carol is a favourite of Sadie over at A Life In The English Rain.



Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Christmas Catch Up


Been a bit busy the last few days so thought I'd let you see what I've been up to.

I've been doing some making and baking so have some yummy clementine curd as an alternative to lemon for a change.

I've been making mincepies with the Mary Berry pastry I think I mentioned. In the picture below you can also see an open copy of one of my Pretty Nostalgic magazines. Anybody heard of them? I subscribed to it for a good while and love using the vintage images in lots of my sesonal decorations throughout the house. This one as you can see is Christmas themed.

No picture of mincepies as all my first batch have been eaten, but I am on it!

Now this image is of something I have been getting round to doing for a couple of weeks and finally it is done! I saw something on Pinterest making stars out of wood so I salvaged some kindling and made this. It may go outside in a little while but for now adorns the microwave with the other items. Quite chuffed with it.

Today, after cutting some greenery for a a friend to take to her craft class I decided not to put it off and have brought in my own. I love the fact that I have cupboard and shelf tops I can dress!  The photos below are from the kitchen; the first the top of the dresser (my Panetone cake is sitting there, too, nom nom!).

The above photo is one of the shelves above the cooker end and below are the shelves above the Rayburn and microwave.

We were busy at the weekend and did not have time to get a real tree, plus the busget didn't really allow for it, so we have decided to go with the fake white one. I love it, and here we are.

And finally the front door now has a decoration. I never quite get them big enough but I love it and it is nice to see when people get up close at the door.

Ok, all caught up and now must dash as I've muffins to come out of the oven for when the boys come home in a little while, and a slow-cook sausage casserole to go in.


Friday, 4 December 2015

Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) anybody have trouble with this?

Good afternoon.

I've just put two loaves in to bake and now I'm having lunch whilst listening to Jeremy Vine. (Eating an uber un-healthy Pot Noodle but what hurts now and then?) 

Current subject is as the title of this post. I have, of course, heard of it before. I do feel very sorry for people suffering from this condition. My favourite times of the year are Autumn and November. I love the drawing in of the nights, comfort food, closing the curtains early and lighting the fire at about 3pm so all is cozy when my men come home; somebody on the radio described the dark days as mushroom sky. 

I know the last couple of weeks here in Wales we have had rain and wind of biblical proportions, but I have to say that as long as we and the dog are indoors safe and we are not making unnecessary journeys then we are ok. 

It really is some sort of mental health issue though as people report having suffered from depression before the SAD is diagnosed.

I have always been quite a positive and up beat kind of person and not really susceptible to periods of darkness.

As I said, I have realy sympathy for those who find the darker months of the year a real chore to deal with.

Does anybody have trouble with this or know anybody?


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Kitchen decorations making me smile.

(Decided to go red for Christmas typing.)

I love love love decorating the kitchen, more than anywhere else in the house I think becasue I spend a lot of my day in here. Being lucky enough to have the fab table and benches Jon made, I sit and type my blog, eat my breakfast and lunch, write letters etc. Plus I have a good window out to the world even on a dull day.

Today I have been putting up more decorations and here are some of the ones in the kitchen. I have incorporated my love of French linen where I can because I really like the red with the off white and is perfect for the season.

Can't have Christmas without Country Living!
Great to have a table decoration that can be moved quickly and easily if necessary.

Don't know what the HT stands for.

Simple way to dress up a plain candle.

I think I have about reached the limit for the kitchen, but the tree goes up at the weekend and then I have a couple of projects in mind including one for the front door but I need Hub's help with that.

Bye for now, Lou.x


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Preparation for pies and other stuff.

Despite the terribly windy and wet weather we ventured out on Sunday to get the food shopping. I was desperate to get the last ingredients for the mincemeat and this I did.

Once all was unpacked and the boys had been fed I set to with the mincemeat. The boys helped a little which was great.

I made a huge amount with a base of 4lb of dried fruit so I don't think we'll run out!

Pastry will be next at the weekend with the lovely recipe from Mary Berry which includes icing sugar and orange zest. Mmmm. I will also need to get a few other things as I'm making Clementine curd, I have the clenetines but need a lemon or two as well.

Some poeple have been talking about their planning methods to make sure they get stuff done. Well, I always have a planner of some sort at Christmas and here it is for December. I have back sheets for shopping lists, things to bake and make, things to do for the boys etc.

The decorations began going up this morning, starting with the kitchen as usual! I have been dreaming about putting this paper globe up in the kitchen ever since I saw Jamie Oliver had one in his kitchen, and I saw one in a magazine. We bought it and a couple of small ones last year but so pleased I could get this one up here!

Well, better go as have one loaf proving and one baking just now.

Take care, Lou.xx

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Not wishing to tempt fate but....

Oh we have just had some news. 

The financial arrangements I spoke of regarding us completing on our situation here in Wales has moved on a step. Paperwork has been signed which will be with solicitors by Tuesday at the latest and this means there is a distinct possibility that our house will be our home by the end of next week.

Anybody who has been with me regarding all this mess and stress will know just how much this will mean to myself and my family. Suffice to say my new blog will be up and running when we have the news.

Take care. Lou.xx

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Proud As Punch, Proving and Pilates!


Yesterday I went to Felinfach to see the presentation my boys were taking part in at Canolfen y Felin. This was for the parents to see just how well the children had come on in their Welsh course and we saw just how confident they all were - hence the proud mum!!!

The boys were given certificates to celebrate their achievements.

They had also been making decorations for Christmas so we came home with cards, wreaths and tags and the proceeds are going towards a little Christmas party. None of the children the boys met when they went to school at Bont that first week have stayed the length of the course, go boys, so it will be fun to have that last time with the ones they have made friends with.

So that was yesterday really, apart from making a quick loaf of bread in the Rayburn at the same time as the slow-cooked chicken and rice for tea.

Today I am popping over to the Community Centre as we have a Coffee, Cake and Book swap once a month and this is the last one before January. I picked up a great casserole recipe book the first time I went. It was first published in 1965!

Whilst I'm there I'll have two loaves proving ready to bake when I get back. I am so chuffed I have not bought a loaf of bread since November 9 and am completely resolved to make all the bread we need, apart from things like wraps, but who knows; I have made japatis and panadia in the past so they could be a possibility, too.

It is my Pilates class this evening. Again, this is held just across the road. The teacher is a bit fluffy, my hubs would laugh his socks off if he knew I was standing there being asked to breath out my negative energy - don't really have much to be honest - and not very clear with her instructions some times, which can be tricky for a beginner like me. We are not sure if the class will continue after Christmas as a few people have fallen off and mentioned about the teaching methods.

Well, I'm away to have another cup of coffee. Flour etc is measured out for the bread so will get on with that, then I have a bed to make and a bit of tidying up before I head out at about 11am. I'll let you know if I come across another gem of a book!

Bye for now.xx

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Inspiration for us stay at home-ers!


I have today discovered a fantastic blog called Down To Earth.

I came across it and thought how wonderful it was to find somebody celebrating and enjoying a more simple life, homemaking etc and not being ashamed of it. I have commented on a couple of the posts and hope you will visit it some time as I feel sure you will find it inspirational and encouraging.

Yesterday I really got some use out of the Rayburn. I worked out the timings and managed to bake two loaves of bread, a proper baked rice pudding, baked potatoes and chicken kievs for the boys' and our tea. Really proud of myself because I wanted it all ready so the boys could have the bread warm when they came home and everything would be done for tea time.

What do you reckon to my loaves? Yummy with just butter or for breakfast with baked beans was lovely, too.

And I've just taken scones out of the oven ready for the boys getting home shortly.

Right, must dash as they will be home any second.

Bye for now.x

Monday, 23 November 2015

Finally photos!

At last, I am able to transfer photos from my phone to here. Hurrah! 

Here is my Christmas cake mix which my youngest said was smelling yummy. When decorated it will probably look something like the photo underneath. This was my cake last year and I like to go for the simple approach.

My 2014 Christmas cake simply decorated. Love this! Am I allowed to say that?:

I was hoping to be making my mincemeat this week but not going into Aber for that kind of shopping until the weekend so it will have to wait. Not worth doing a 26 miles round trip for a bit of dried fruit etc. 

This is a bit of a strange picture but it is the foot off my ironing board and hubs now has a job welding it back on asap so the ironing pile does not get out of hand!

The boys were away with the Gramps at the weekend so hubs and I had a mooch round a shop in Aber called Craft. It is a bit of an Alladins cave and we went looking for a lamp for the living room and ended up with this fab side board. I'm going to be honest and say it was a super deal at less than £35.00 and I love it! I can't wait to get a drinks tray on it ready for the festivities and I'm already planning on moving the glasses from one of the kitchen cupboards into here. It will probably also house the chocs and nibbles.

Whilst in Craft I also found a fabulous jar for said mincemeat for the bargain price of £1.50. 

We have a rocking chair in our bedroom which we have always planned to paint pink as an accent colour and we bought a tin of Laura Ashley perfectly coloured paint for £1.50, and we were given one free, too. (No photo.)

Today is bread making day and I have quite a busy week in general. I am beginning to accept cleaning in this house is more than my other house with the age of this one plus the wooden and slate floors, a woodburner which is lit most days just now and a husband who works at a saw mill!

I am walking to a friend's house in the morning for coffee. Hubs has the car most days for work so I will get some exercise in the chilly weather as it will take me a good half hour to get there and the same back.

Wednesday I am going to a presentation the boys are taking part in at their Welsh learning centre. I can't wait but unfortunately hubs cannot come due to work but I understand they are making cd's to take away for a small price.

Thursday will be bread day again and Coffee, Cake and Book Swap at the Community Centre across the road; nice to have a cuppa and a chat for an hour or so.

So, now I have caught up and hope I can continue with my photo transfer thing working! Best get on with some jobs now, one more coffee though! xx


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Christmas, Cakes and Cawl

Good afternnon.

On Sunday I got the Christmas cake baked. I use an American recipe I found on the internet where you boil most of the ingredients before adding the flour and eggs. Fool proof as far as I am concerned. I'm really miffed because I'm not able to put photos on my blog at the moment so apologies for the plain text until I get it sorted.
It is now sitting in a tin in my newly prepared Christmas cupboard until I feed it with some form of alcohol next week. I normally use Gluvhein, is that how you spell it, so hope Lidl have the equivalent to the bottle I used to buy from Aldi. My youngest said the cake mix smelt like mince pies so I siad they would be coming soon, too, but not just yet! 

I've also tried my hand at baking Welsh cakes. The first batch have come out ok I think. My youngest just loves them and I normally cannot go into the shop at Bont without picking up a pack, hence giving them a go myself.

Little heads up. If you have an Asda near by or you normally order on line they already have the fabulous Pierre Darcys bubbly on offer, £10 instead of £18 and this lasts unitl the new year. I bought a total of six bottles over the festivities last year and it is great to make sure you always have something decent in the fridge, good to take if you are popping to see somebody and just because, basically! I will be ordering my supplies when the Drambuie is on offer as that it my husband's tipple. Personally Christmas isn't Christmas without a proper Snowball made with Advocat, plus it is fab poured over your Christmas pud - that is in the cupboard already as one left over from last year.

The reference to Cawl was that I thought I might make my soup into Cawl as I learned to make it at the cafe, but I think I will leave that to another day. 

Hope everybody is well. xxx

Sunday, 1 November 2015

A Little Update


I just thought I would update you a little on our situation.

We have not exchanged or completed on our house but we are in the process of getting to the point where the house will soon be ours at the beginning of December with any luck. We haven't had much of that recently but things are definitely on the up. Not to go into too much of the financial detail but we have made arrangements regarding our house we were selling in order to release funds to buy our Welsh dream home. To be honest it doesn't matter how we get the house as long as we get it!

It was five weeks on Friday that Jon started on the renovations in the house and he is just putting down the floor in the bathroom and then we are DONE! Apart from the cellar rooms but they will wait until Jon has gone back to work and be finished in the evenings and weekends but I don't expect that will take him long. During the past five weeks he has taken down, put in new joists, replasterd and painted four ceilings, re-configured our youngest's bedroom for more space, painted the TV room and bulit a stand for the TV, taken out a nasty wardrobe, re-plasterd one wall and painted our bedroom, painted our oldest's bedroom and built cupboards, plastered one wall and painted all of the bathroom.

I am so very proud of him because we have saved SOOO much money with him being able to do the work himself.

I don't feel I can share much more about our life at the moment because my aim was to start my new blog when we moved into the house. Although we have been in the house about three weeks we will not feel it is ours, of course, until all the paperwork is complete.

However, I hope to be able then to share and tell you lots of things about our new life, and in time for my preparations for Christmas which I am so excited about this year, not much change there really!

So I hope you will hang in there and keep an eye out for my new blog posts. 

Take care. xxx


Tuesday, 29 September 2015


I have just one thing to say today, well nearly, you know me I ramble a bit. 

I am really missing not being able to bake properly. 

The caravan oven is just about able to cope with our family meals, as long as I start everything an extra 30 minutes early! 

Now the house kitchen is out of commision completely until we move in I cannot even pop anything in there.

Never mind, I will have a right old time of it getting used to and using the Rayburn very soon!


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Mmmm what a situation for us!


I have been absent from my posts for a couple of weeks but unfortunatley not for the right reasons so settle in for a few minutes!

We moved ourselves to Wales on September 5 under the impresion that exchange would take place within a couple of days.

This has not happened, yet!

Our vendors had agreed to us camping out on the land at the back of the house until the exchange and they are still more than happy for us to be here doing that. They are the most lovely and understanding people.

We have had issues with that I will not go into but, although I have lost count of the number of times we have said this, we hope today that after a change of solicitor we will have some news.

We have not started work on the house, we have been in the caravan for just over two weeks and are full of anxiety, worry, stress and any other word you think fit.  However, we are also very angry because we have done everything we have been asked to do by Estate Agents, buyers, vendors (although everything is good to go on our purchase) but we are still in a bit of a mess.

I truly hope when we speak to hub's dad tonight that he has some news. We only had our Broadband and landline connected last Wednesday and we have no mobile reception from the house for about 2 miles so communication has been very difficult at times therefore he is helping out with the whole thing.

All this aside, the village is wonderful, we have met some very friendly people, the boys are in classes at a local Learning Centre and coming on in leaps and bounds with their Welsh after only a week there. They leave home at 7.45am and are home at 4pm.

We marvel at the scenery and, even after heavy rain over the last couple of days, it is a glorious place and we are never leaving!

I have today gone for a little chat at a local cafe in Tregaron and hope to start a job there maybe next week. Very strange trying to get into work after so long but it is something I am familiar with due to our business we owned when first married.

Well, this is not the first post I had hoped to write after we moved here and feel really quite sad about that. However I have a new blog all lined up, just tweaking it a bit and trying to remember how to put some of the same things I managed to do on this one!

Wish us luck for the next couple of days. I had so hoped to celebrate my birthday in the house but that is not going to be as I thought either.

Will be in touch soon in a more positive mood I very much hope.xx