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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

YS and Bargains

When we did the shopping yesterday we must have timed it just right for a change as I found lots of YS items for just pence.  They were all in date too. The juice drinks will be perfect for the GC when they come to visit on Thursday (there were 3 fruit shoot but you can see that one has lost it's seal so I won't risk giving it to the GC) and at 9p for 2 they were a bargain.  The herbs and spicy things will be used to add flavour to stews in the slow cooker for my meat eating OH.  The dried yeast for 9p is in date too so I will tackle bread making in a day or two now that OH is feeling more himself.
I added everything up and the original price would have been £14.25 the price paid was £1.48 , much more palatable! Oh, and we ate the 9p rice for dessert after our tea :)


Today I popped into Holland & Barrett for some ginger as I had been emailed a coupon for £3.00 It wasn't a points reward as I haven't spent anything in there for ages so I knew I hadn't a reward due. Anyway, it's usual price was £4.69 but it was on offer for £2.69 so I bought some cranberry mix too for snacking (healthier than biscuits!) .....



Both items cost me just £2.58 instead of £7.58 Woohoo! ....


That's my kind of shopping :)

How was your day?  Hope it was a good one.

Take care x

Monday, 24 October 2016

Crafting Piccies and the Vet

Things seem to be looking up again here at Small Treasure's Bungalow, thankfully.  Thanks to all the lovely people who left comments on my last post, I do appreciate it.  OH is much better and tootled off to work on Saturday leading to a flurry of weekend crafting :)  Wendy @ The contented Cavern asked if I would post some photos of my projects so here Wendy, especially for you.  The cards are quite simple to make but I do die cut and assemble the shapes and hand tie the bows in order to keep the cost as low as possible ( I never cost my time into the equation )  I completed a couple of dozen in various colourways and with different wording as I never like to make any two identical....



This one was a decoupage kit I'd forgotten I had in my stash......


Some birthday cards made using Hunkydory products....


And two little girl's cards, also Hunkydory.  I just love the image on these......


I also found a cream painted wooden plaque left over from last year so made a quick calendar....


A bit of sad news....

The GC's last Guinea Pig (they started out with 3) had to be put to sleep on Friday :(   She was 8 years old and had developed a lump for which she had several courses of antibiotics to no avail.  The vet said she could operate to remove it but believed it to be cancer.  After discussing it with the children it was decided that it would be kinder to let her go to sleep and the deed was done.  She has been buried in the garden with her 2 siblings.  Her headstone should read "Here lies the most expensive Guinea Pig in the world"  She was so loved.....

Have a lovely day everyone whatever you have planned and thanks so much for popping in x

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Healing the Sick

Firstly, welcome to Rose and Jane Austin my new followers, what wonderful names!



Sunday was our wedding anniversary.  Not an insignificant one, mind you, our 45th, our sapphire!  At the last minute on Friday afternoon we decided to take the caravan to Stratford for a few days as the weather forecast was looking favourable so we booked to travel on Monday morning.  Noooo....the gods decided we were definitely NOT going. OH was working on Sunday (fine anniversary I thought to myself) but I packed and we went to bed.  At 2.30am OH was throwing up and groaning loudly (so sorry if you're eating whilst reading this) so we were going nowhere....
He is still not well, the bug has completely knocked the stuffing out of him.  It's doing the rounds in blogland too by all accounts. Pam from A New Life in Wales has been very poorly too, poor soul.
Me? I've been doing my Florence Nightingale bit....


We have two toilets; bathroom and en-suite and I have had to confine him to using just the en-suite one :/   to try to limit the risk of infection for me.  I know if I catch it I won't get the F. Nightingale treatment!

The bed linen and night attire has been changed and washed immediately, the bathrooms disinfected within an inch of their lives, boiling water poured over toothbrushes, crockery and cutlery washed in very hot water etc  Small windows have been opened during the day even though the heating has been on as OH has felt so cold, but I need to get the germs OUT.

Do you have any tips on getting rid of germs?  Is anyone out there suffering too?

I have been unable to do any crafting as I don't want to risk getting germs on anything so I've spent the quiet time when the patient has been in bed reading, which is no hardship at all :)

OH has eaten practically nothing since Sunday so my meal plan has gone to pot.  I've been eating simply so at least the budget is intact!

Take care everyone and thanks everso for popping in.  I hope to have a more up-beat post next time x

Friday, 14 October 2016

A Nectar Bonus

Today is turning into another good day! I needed to shop at Sainsbury's today for stuff for the weekend and when I went through the checkout, scanning my Nectar card, I received this...


Woohoo! 500 free points worth £2.50 !  If you have a Nectar card and spend £10 or more today, Saturday or Sunday then you will win at least a guaranteed 200 points.  It's well worth remembering to scan your card, in my view.  To collect your win you only need to go through the checkout again before the expiry date on the voucher (in this case 30/10/16) Fumbling in my coat pocket for my keys I found a £1 coin I had forgotten about and I also had 56p left from the food budget.  I decided there and then to share my win so went back inside the supermarket and spent the cash on 6 items for the Food Bank. When I scanned the voucher my 500 points were added immediately....Win, Win....no need to use petrol going back to the store another time to claim them and extra for the Food Bank.

Today has not been an NSD but I've definitely had value for money :)

Enjoy your day and be kind to each other x

Thursday, 13 October 2016

It Comes in Threes...

Bad news, it is said, generally comes in threes.  I have found that good news sometimes does too.
I am happy to say that:

1)  I have sold 3 items on eBay and there will be £30 cash after deducting all the fees and postage costs.  It will go in the Christmas pot for gifts.

2)  Last night I had a surprise text asking me if I would like a table at the local drama group Christmas production in the village hall.  They are putting on a play and want to make the evening as Christmassy as possible so I can have a sales table for free, just a donation to the drama group.  That will be wonderful.  I am more than happy to donate a percentage of cash taken for my card sales and I can perhaps make some calendars and decorations to sell too. 

3)  Perhaps best of all....GD stayed for after school club this week for the first time :D  She still gets the collywobbles first thing in a morning but she must feel a bit happier to ask to stay for club.  To say that I am over the moon is a gross understatement....


Anyway, I will be googling ideas of things to make.  What sells well at the moment I wonder?

We had a lovely day at the NEC in Birmingham on Tuesday.  We had cheap tickets and took bananas to munch and some cartons of drinks, had free tea and biscuits from one of the exhibitors, then treated ourselves to a shared portion of freshly cooked cod and chips around 4pm.  OH bought an awning for the caravan as we will need a bit more space to put wet shoes and coats in when we are away for a month early next year but it was a considered purchase and a good show price which we have saved the cash for.  We were totally whacked at the end of the day but it was amazing to see all the new motorhomes and caravan models just coming out. BIG money though... :/

Today has been a NSD and I intend to aim for many more in the approach to Christmas.  My list has been made....well, a list of names at any rate....a tentative budget has been set, now to put my thinking cap on for inspired gifts.  I will be blog hopping for ideas!!

Thanks everso for popping in.  Have a wonderful evening x

Monday, 10 October 2016

On Crafts and TLC

It has been a gorgeous day here today;  quite chilly but sunny and fresh.  Did you all have a good weekend?  A big welcome to Jada, my new follower :)

The family arrived for tea on Saturday and the hot dogs went down a treat followed by carrot cake and a scoop of vanilla ice cream each.  Last week I had invited GD to sleep over on Saturday as I thought it might give her something to look forward to and give us a chance for a girlie chat just the two of us.  She has been so excited all week giving a count down of 'sleeps' until the big day.  GS was a bit miffed that he couldn't stay too but he had a football match Sunday morning and I couldn't have got him there in time.  Anyway, I wanted to give GD a bit of TLC.  We went to bed at 9pm and took it in turns to read pages of her school book about vampires until we had had enough.  We then slept like proverbial logs in sleeping bags on the floor of the study (OH had the comfort of our one bed, lucky chap) and I did wonder if I would be able to straighten up again next morning...lol... :D
We awoke at 7.12am and sat with our morning drinks on the sofa wrapped in a throw until OH went to work at 8am.  GD, bless her cotton socks, then cooked us both a bacon roll for breakfast.
DD had sent 'just a little' homework to be done before we could have fun (thanks DD :/ ) so GD did that first so then it was PLAYTIME!

I had bought chipboard letters for £1 each from The Range so that GD could decorate them as she wanted.  One was painted blue for her brother  (note the table was well covered because I am a nightmare around paint!)


and one cream for herself....


then contrasting dots of paint applied.....



they looked lovely when dry....
 
 
A knitting session followed by a roast chicken lunch with lots of veg led the way to getting out the sewing machine and GD made herself a drawstring make up bag with very little help from me.
 



There's no doubt we both had a really fun day as well as a little chat about school.  I am convinced she is just daunted by the size of the school and the numbers of people milling around and shoving during breaks.  Oh... and she got 13 out of 15 for her last French test on months and days of the week.  Well done G!

Tomorrow OH and I are treating ourselves to a day out at the NEC B'ham where they're holding the Caravan & Motorhome show.  I expect we'll be totally cream crackered when we get back so I probably won't write a post tomorrow.

Have a lovely day, whatever you have planned, thanks so much for popping in x

Friday, 7 October 2016

Cider Hotpot & a Washing Up Fairy?

In my last post I mentioned making food stretch and yesterday I made a cider veggie hotpot.  It used up more carrots and the last of the broccoli plus a quarter of a pint of cider in the stock (OH was allowed to drink the rest of the can so he was more than happy) It made 4 portions so we ate 2 last night, I ate 1 portion for my tea tonight (OH fancied a prawn salad sandwich using up the last of the frozen prawns) so that leaves a portion for OH to take to work on Saturday.  He can microwave it there and it will sustain him as it's a long 9 hour shift. In case you were wondering, I often serve our meals in pasta dishes because a) it's a way of controlling portions and...b) it sometimes allows us to  eat whilst watching The Chase on TV :D



DD and her family are coming for tea tomorrow, I'm trying to watch the spending and have 9 pork sausages in the freezer plus 3 Quorn ones so it will be hot dogs with lots of fried onions.  I've popped the box of sausages in the fridge to thaw overnight.  3 packs of  bread rolls were just £1.50 (18 rolls) and that should feed all 6 of us.  All I need to sort out is dessert so I'll see what's on offer at the supermarket tomorrow.  There's always a bit of fruit in the house too..... Oh, and a jelly is good for the tiddlers....

When OH goes to work on Saturday and Sunday he makes himself a bacon butty.  He leaves stuff EVERYWHERE so I asked him to at least put it all in one place.  Last Sunday I got up to this lovely sight ....this is to the left of the sink......

 
 and this is to the right....



How does that help exactly????

Have a lovely evening everyone and thanks for popping in.  Be kind to each other xx

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Veg Tagine, Autumnal Food & Christmas Lists

Thank you all so much for your responses on my last post.  I'm hoping that my GD will settle into her new school but, at least, we have some alternatives if she doesn't.  It always helps to have a back up plan I think.

Autumn is definitely showing it's face here with chilly nights and mornings and condensation on the windows first thing.  The heating kicked in for the first time this morning at 12 degrees so we left it on for just half an hour to remove the chill and allow us to get up and dressed in comfort.  I'm getting too old to shiver!

I am on a mission at the moment to use older stuff up and s-t-r-e-t-c-h  the meals to feed more people or to make extra portions to freeze for when I don't feel like cooking.  I found a small sweet potato in the cupboard and some frozen spinach tucked in the very bottom of the freezer.  It must have been there at least 12 months so I put it into a dish to thaw and looked for a recipe. 



Tagine came to mind.  I've not made it before so I improvised with what I could find in the cupboards.  I cut a carrot and the sweet potato into small pieces and microwaved them in a little water until tender.  Then I softened a small chopped onion in olive oil in a pan, added the drained carrot & sweet potato, the spinach (squeezed dry), a small can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed) a carton of chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp ground cumin, half a tsp ground coriander and half a tsp chilli flakes.  This was stirred gently and simmered for about 10 minutes.  Served in a bowl with boiled rice, it easily served 3 people and it could be stretched to more if I had used more veg.  We don't like our food too spicy but you could add more if you wish to spice yours up. 
Voila! Cheap, cheerful and warming......


I have been reading up on breadmaking.  Now OH likes his sliced and white with plenty of additives to make it last longer :/  I prefer fresh wholemeal or granary.... hmm...with colder days on the way I will be making more soup and I do like a big wodge of crusty bread with it so I am going to attempt to make a white crusty bread that both of us will enjoy.  Please wish me luck (I'll need it)  and watch this space!.....

I have been following Sue on A Year Without... blog where she has been sharing how she has managed with loyalty vouchers and very little money for over 9 months since the start of the year.  She has been amazing.  Although we have no chance of growing much in the way of food crops to supplement our budget, I have been saving up my Nectar points for some time and will use them to buy food with from January 2017.   I haven't been spending much in M & S this year either ( trying not to buy clothes but manage with what I have ) so will not have much in the way of vouchers from them but will use the ones I do get on food items too.  I'll post the totals later in the year.

photo from Google
 

The next task will be to prepare a Christmas gift list.  I like to start early in order to spread the cost as it gives me plenty of time to tune in to what people would actually like too.  Since January I have been putting loose change into a sealed pot and will open that on 3rd November.  That, plus what money I have made from my card sales, will be my Christmas gift budget.  I'll post about that too next month.

Have you begun your gift shopping yet? Or do you leave it until the last minute sales?

I have 3 important birthdays to buy for in the next 4 weeks so they will have to be first, then

Chrisssstmasssss!
 
I do LOVE it :)
 
Thanks everso for popping in, I do appreciate it x