29 July 2014

Frugal Cooking - Curry & Muffins

So its coming up to the end of the month and a wee bit of economy cooking is needed. Last night we had a rather unusual curry which had banana, mandarins and tea (red bush), in the list of ingredients, and I have to confess, it was pretty good, I would definitely make it again.

creamy curry recipe

Curry recipe is here

After dinner we had some muffins which I had baked in the afternoon. These were from the book How to feed your whole family: A healthy, balanced diet with very little money.
But in essence they were muesli, flour, sugar, honey, 1 egg, and they were also very tasty. I always feel the need for tasty food when the money is running low, it helps me feel less worried about half empty cupboards.

muesli healthy muffin recipe

28 July 2014

We Finally Did It

black lab labrador puppy on the beach

We were able to take Biba out this weekend for the first time (7 days post vaccinations). We knew exactly where to take her too.....

black lab labrador puppy on the beach

black lab labrador puppy on the beach

black lab labrador puppy on the beach

black lab labrador puppy on the beach

Oscar had a great time. Is there anything more fun than a puppy on the beach for the first time? I think it is going to be repeated over and over again.

black lab labrador puppy on the beach

25 July 2014

A Weekly Oscar

Monday's child is fair of face

Shrek musical amateur play

Tuesdays child is full of grace

Shrek musical amateur play

Wednesdays child is full of woe

Shrek musical amateur play

Thursdays child has far to go

Birthday party at gym

Fridays child is loving and giving

Birthday Party At Gym

Saturdays child works hard for a living

Shrek musical amateur play

 But the child that is born on the Sabbath day, is bonnie and blithe and good and gay

Sleepy boy

23 July 2014

yarn along


yarn crochet cardigan purple

i confess, i do have a slight obsession with granny squares, mainly for the obvious reason, they are easy to manage. i am attempting a shrug with these (10 round) squares. this will be my first attempt at clothing for myself so i have used fairly cheap wool in case it ends in disaster. watch this space

crochet owl baby hat

this little hat is crochet for a new baby born in my church. the pattern was a set of 5 little creature hats downloaded to my tablet. i can see many of these little guys being done, they are fairly quick and easy, and really cute. i cant wait to see baby lilly in this one.


game of thrones book 2 clash of kings

i am back to the game of thrones books. i was about 200 pages in with this book, but since that was um, 2 years ago, i decided to start again. this is the 2nd book in the game of thrones series, and it is just as good as the 1st one. this will see me through until series 5 returns to tv in 2015.

Joining in with GINNY and friends for Yarn Along

21 July 2014

how to tell if there is a newcomer in the house

since biba came (which incidentally, vix  told me means 'good sweet girl' in punjabi), this little cottage has been turned upside down. we are all living as though there is a newly mobile toddler in the house.

black lab labrador puppy

- waste baskets are on tables
- toys are on shelves
- blankets are tucked up
- the two outer doors are being treated like an airlock system
- the bathroom door is always closed
- somebody's shoe is always in the garden
- there is a new shampoo next to mine in the bathroom
- we rarely get a full meal in peace
- somebody can always be found standing yawning in the garden as the sun comes up (not me)

and fyi

- I found oscar on top of his slide (outside) at breakfast time in his bare bottom while the puppy ran off with his pj bottoms !

black lab labrador puppy

just like a toddler, i hear its a phase, its just as well she is so cute, and we all fell in love with her right away.

18 July 2014

the changes of life.

i have been feeling really off this week, a migraine from monday to friday will do that to you. the puppy and i have spent a lot of time hanging out in the bedroom. the floors have a light covering of sand because oscar has spent 3 afternoons at the beach, and no-one has swept up. i managed some crochet last night, a hanging plant holder, it is not finished yet, i cant wait to finish it and hang a new ivy.
my body cycle is changing and it is running amok with me. i am ready to move on now, i thought i had, this month seems to say differently.

beach coast scotland

the changes of life are sometimes happing before we know it. i am craving simplicity, naturalness and to sweep away the dust and the clutter. the Lords robes smelt of cassia (cinnamon), aloes and myrrh, i long to fill the house with these smells, maybe mingled in with the smell of wood and wood-smoke, and baking bread.

i want to sit on cream sofa's and cushions and be surrounded by calm. next week i may want the house to be purple.

i have been thinking of creating a vision book, maybe that will satisfy my need for order? i have never been very good at completing things, my attention span is too short, maybe it will end up like so many other of my books and journals, 90% empty.

i know there are blue skies above me, thorny brambles are blocking my view. i will clear the way somehow. i have an amazing helper.

i live for the weekends right now, even though i know it is wrong. i long to live each moment to the fullest. this week i have craved sleep more than anything else, i am so so far from my mark.
today is friday, and i can relax when the 7.15 train brings my beloved home.  you can be asleep but not really relaxed.

thorn brambles leaves bush

plans are as always, lunches and dinners, laundry and cleaning, church and prayers, not always in that order. maybe curry or pizza or olives and cheese or chocolate pretzels too. maybe i can tear some things down and rip some things out?

17 July 2014

the cat lady.

black lab labrador puppy

Up until now I have mostly been able to ignore the fact that I live in a small cottage by the sea, and I have 2 cats, a slightly eccentric husband, a passion for wool craft and baking and a bit of painting thrown in for good measure. Because really, that list is edging me towards being a crazy cat lady.
Now we have Biba, I think I can slightly relax on that score, because crazy old 2 cat and 1 dog lady does not have the same ring to it. Its funny being a doggy household after years of just us and the cats. We like it, but every now and again the old girls and I sneak off to another room to catch up on some crochet. The puppy cant be trusted with the yarn yet.

crochet yarn wool cats

Maybe also by way of compensation, I went crazy on my hair (please excuse the no make-up face I have had a migraine for 3 days, and it shows). I love it ! Not sure how well it will fly at church on Sunday though. "C'est la vie"

Bright Red Hair Dye, Fringe, Bangs

16 July 2014

this moment.

Duncan sent me a text this afternoon that simply said "Love you so". It made me smile, it never gets old. Today I replied, "Really? Even if I stay in my nightie and cardigan all day, and ask for take-out for dinner?" I waited for his reply. "All the more because of it", he said.
So that's what I'll do. I am not ill, just tired. Do we all have days when we just want to lie on the bed and read blogs, and watch You Tube and maybe pick up a bit of (the most amazing shade of purple), crocheting?
I don't want to cook, so we will do what we usually do when I don't want to cook, and Duncan will call in to 'Khans' once he gets off the evening train.  I nearly always feel guilty when we do this, but I go along with it anyway.

From my spot on the bed I can hear Oscar playing with the puppy. Right now that consists of Oscar running at her, the puppy jumping up at him, a scream a bark and they both run like wild things. I really cant wait to take her for walks, although I doubt that would be conducive to nightie days.

Its raining outside, of course, even though it is mid July, but its warm and humid and its quite nice to have all the windows open and listen to the rain.

The cats are watching the rain, they are more fond of window ledge spots then ever because they have figured out that the puppy can't reach them there.

I wouldn't mind a cup of tea, but there is no chocolate in the house except Oscar's and I doubt I could sneak it past him without him noticing. That would make the banana and honey snack I gave him seem rather unfair. Tea without chocolate can seem all wrong on days like today.

Sometimes it is good to document a 'down' day, it means that in a few weeks or a few months when I feel like this again I can look at this post and say, "Well, no floors we mopped, no laundry was folded, no dinner was cooked, no shopping was done, no beds were made, and yet we all survived well enough, so no need to feel guilty any more".

dinner kebab food

15 July 2014

sand sea and sky.

Scotland is a beautiful country, and we are especially lucky to live in a nice part of Scotland, but the truth is, Scottish summers are notoriously bad. This last week alone has swung from rain to sunshine and back again several times over. What that really means is, we have learned not to put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

Like trips to the beach

beach in summer scotland

Especially it if involves sketching

sketching at the beach

I have embarked on a course on CRAFTSY, called 'Oil Painting Sand, Sea & Sky'. I am not much of an oil painter having only dabbled with it at art school, but I have to admit, I am pretty keen to get going with it. I managed some sketches in the field on Sunday, but it has been cloudy and overcast ever since.
I wasn't sure about the format of lessons on Craftsy either, but actually its been quite good (this is NOT a sponsored post, I am just trying it out for myself.
I guess a grey tumultuous sea scape can be just as interesting if not more interesting than a sparkly blue foamy one, but I think I would like a summer one to hang in the cottage to keep me going through the long dark winter, a promise of what is to come.

14 July 2014

puppy bathtime.

Little Biba was a little stinky so we decided to give her a bath at the weekend. She was not totally impressed, but she didn't cry and just kind of put up with it.

black lab labrador puppy

black lab labrador puppy

black lab labrador puppy

We are all enjoying having her in the house very much, even if she is a bit nuts and a bit bitey.

black lab labrador puppy