Day 4 Good Clean Fun – Clear out the larder

17 11 2014

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It is essential to clear out the larder every so often. It is the opportunity to throw out any stale biscuits or unused flour; do a bit of a personal stock take and reorder any sauces or herbs that are low in supply; do a Ready Steady Cook and transform your seemingly mismatched ingredients into an inventive family meal and of course clean up any spillages.

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10mins later…

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…perfection now off to do my online shopping with my updated list and use my rediscovered baking ingredients to bake a cake. Maybe a few episodes of Corrie first with one of those Belgium biscuits on my naughty bottom shelf.





Day 3 Good Clean Fun – Window Sills

14 11 2014

Window sill dust

Window sills are a bit of a novelty as I didn’t have any in my previous home. I have however discovered, that while they afford me the space to display some of my knickknacks, they are also dust magnets. So today I banished the cobwebs, dust and debris, so now my ornaments are showcased to perfection on each polished ledge.

Tips: Try to remove dust and dirt before adding any liquid as the muddy residue is difficult to remove from corners and try not to get wood soaked so not to damage the paintwork and make sure you dry the sill thoroughly afterwards.

I used a dry duster to remove any dirt before mixing some detergent in warm water. I used a microfiber cloth to wipe down each surface and dried with a paper kitchen towel. As I was doing this I took the opportunity to dust my ornaments including one of my tea light holders was filled with the remains of a bunch of flowers.

Window sill dirtThis was a moderately satisfying job as the results were visible and I did tackle the window sills in each room so I felt I had achieved something in the kitchen:

Window sill 4

the longue:

Window Sill

master bedroom:

Window sill 2and the baby’s bedroom:

Window Sill 3

I am rewarding myself with a cup of tea and a biscuit – but I will be sure not to get any crumbs on the carpet.





Day 2 Good Clean Fun – Microwave

14 11 2014

Microwave dirtyThis is a fairly neglected job in my house.

I don’t use the microwave that much but when I do the evidence suggests that it is usually to heat food that is vivid orange or red.

The problem is that as it is not used often, once the door is closed the food spatter is forgotten. It is unsightly, smells funky and lets face it unhygienic.

it took me 10mins to clean. I put a mug of already boiling water into the microwave and set the timer for 5 mins.  After that I simply wiped it clean with a kitchen paper towel. The glass tray went straight into the dishwasher.

I also discovered a lovely trick to get rid of all the nasty smells. After the microwave as been cleaned cut a lemon in half and place it cut sides down onto a saucer with a tablespoon of water. Set the timer for about a minute. Remove lemon. If necessary wipe down the inside of the microwave with a paper towel and it will now be all lemony fresh – lovely.

I didn’t get quite the same level of satisfaction doing this as I did for other tasks as once the door is closed the results are not visible. Still it is reassuring to know that it is clean and fresh for the next time it is used.

Microwave clean





Project Happy

1 11 2014

I am taking inspiration from The Daily Post and setting myself a schedule of sorts for the upcoming months by starting a project designed to promote a sense of happiness and well being.

Project Happy – I know, its a terrible name but it gives me a lot of scope. The premise  is based on the fact that I feel more secure and content if I am organised and have specific goals to work towards. Despite peoples preconceptions when they discover my job as a drama teacher I don’t do “airy fairy” and thrive with structure. So the plan is to look at how planning simple daily tasks can make me feel happier and give me a sense of accomplishment.

I will pick a topic each month e.g. my first month will be based on my home,  and I will set myself one 10 min task to complete per day and consider the feel good factor I achieve. I hope that my little and often approach will result in big changes to how I feel overall.

This isn’t a new concept in fact people often take this approach with healthy living, diets and weight loss. My hope is that other people will join in the challenge with me and consider how little improvements make them feel happier. If you decide to give it a go with me please leave comments and feel free to add photos etc. I will not be contacting people, sending email updates or Facebook requests – it would just be nice to know if anyone else is feeling happier by the end of the month. I am also happy to take suggestions for topics as long as they can be broken down into 10 mins a day.

My first topic will be about improving the environment in which I live – details to follow in a few days and the challenge itself will start on 1st November. Hopefully some of you will come along for the ride.





Suggestions Please

24 10 2014

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As you will have noticed I have been attempting a little baking while I am on maternity leave. I don’t want to be a total cliche but I decided that I didn’t want to be one of those Mums who cannot make their son a birthday cake. Not that I  am making any judgement about those who do choose store bought options – after all there is a wide range of fantastic cakes and treats available now without the hassle or the almighty mess that baking creates in ones kitchen. However for me it is about choice and having never baked a single thing in my life I felt that it was a case of now or never.

So far I have successfully attempted two simple recipes for Cheesecake and Pavlova.

To inspire me further, FOMS came home the other night with the object pictured. A dinosaur shaped baking tin (there is a bit of a ‘dino’ theme happening in our household at the minute).

The only issue is I have absolutely no idea what to do with it.

Next week I am taking my son to his first Halloween party and have been tasked with bringing a dessert so I implore any of the bakers among you to give me some suggestions of simple tried and tested recipes utilizing my dinosaur tin. Preferably something that will make me the envy of all the other Mums 😉

I will of course post a picture of the finished product.





Strawberry Cheesecake

30 08 2014

Whilst on maternity leave I am determined to pick up some new skills. I have never ever made any home made deserts before so I thought I would give it a go.

It turns out that FOMB (father of my boy) loves strawberry cheesecake so I got a recipe from my Mum and gave it a go.

The results were fab and I was pretty proud of my first attempt pictures above.

If you want to try to make your own version of this cheesecake the ingredients are listed below:

Ingredients

8 ozs crushed digestive biscuits

4 ozs margarine

1tsp cinnamon – optional

1 large can evaporated milk

1 lemon jelly – flavour of your choice

¼ pint boiling water

8 ozs cream cheese (e.g. philidelphia)

4 ozs caster sugar

Lemon colouring

Lemon flavouring

Once you have all your ingredients ready just follow the simple steps below:

Base

1/ Grease 7” loose bottomed cake tin in a dish

2/ Place digestive biscuits in a sandwich bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

3/ Melt margarine in a pan then add the crushed biscuits.

4/ Spice mixture – optional

5/ Press mixture into the tin and place in the fridge while preparing the top.

Topping

1/ Beat evaporated milk until thick and creamy and leave to one side.

2/ Dissolve jelly in the boiling water. Alternatively dissolve in microwave without adding water.

3/ In another bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together. Add all ingredients and beat together. Add flavouring and colouring at this point if desired.

4/ pour mixture over the base and leave for minimum of 4 hours to set.

5/ Decorate with fresh cream, fruit, grapes, flake or even nuts.

 

I made some changes such as using strawberry jelly instead of lemon and I left out the colouring and lemon flavouring.





Epic Clear Out Part 2

28 12 2013

Book collection

My Epic clear out that started some time ago with my shoes is not progressing as quickly as I had initially planned or hoped. I have no energy with which to approach such complicated tasks right now and any endeavour taking longer than 10mins of my time seems to exhaust me beyond reason.

However the time has come to tackle the mammoth task of managing our book collection. It will come as no surprise that FFOMC and I are both big readers. Moreover we both value books and believe them to be amongst the few sacred things we own. We take care of them and find it extremely difficult to part with them. However they are gradually taking over our home with our post Christmas selection of new titles still underneath our Christmas tree, an ever growing hoard in the bedroom and a computer room collection that cannot be confined to the bookshelves originally purchased to contain our obsession.

But time for change before our home looks like this:

book hoarder 3

Watch this space for an after picture hopefully with a lot fewer books and a lot more space to clutter with baby stuff.