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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Lovely Carbs and FB Challenge Update

It's now early afternoon and we have had a smashing morning.  The sun has shone and it's been cold but very fresh and...no rain!  I popped out to get some food as DD and family are coming to tea but I still need to stay within budget so I bought a big pack (2.5kg) of baking potatoes (11 in the bag) for £2...


A pack of lovely Somerset cheese also £2 and which has been grated and boxed ready to top the baked spuds......


Two tins of baked beans for 50p in order to give a choice of topping......


A value cheesecake for £1.25 which should give 6 portions for dessert.....


Total cost £5.75 to feed six of us and there should be spuds and some cheese left over too.  I will start the potatoes off in the microwave then bung them in a hot oven for about 20 minutes to crisp them up (I LOVE crispy skins :) It's all a bit carb heavy but it will fill everyone up and the kids will have been to football and dance classes so they will be more than ready :)

Oh, and a quick update on the #30FestiveFoodBank challenge Days # 17 to23 as shown I am concentrating on treats at the moment and am looking for some reasonably priced chocolate to add to the box.  I'm still a bit behind but I'm determined to do it.




 
 
Have a lovely weekend everyone and thanks everso for popping in x

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Amazing Freebies!

Thanks for all the comments on my last post.  I am not alone it seems in disliking the changes Blogger has introduced :(

Anyway, I was reading the latest weekly newsletter on www.moneysavingexpert.com and found a reference to some freebies offered on O2    Priority Moments.  I checked my phone, found the offer, accepted it and visited WH Smith when in town this morning.  I got a pack of 30 Christmas cards worth £6.99 absolutely FREE!


I told OH so he did the same and got these.....


Absolutely FREE! 


 
Another offer was a pack of batteries from Halfords, also FREE.  You can choose AA or AAA...



I wanted to share this as soon as possible so that readers who don't know about Priority Moments can get the free app and take advantage of any offers which appeal to them.  I tend to be slow with technology so Martin Lewis and team

Thanks a million! You are all ACE!
 
If anyone reading this can't make out what to do just leave a comment and I'll help as best I can, although I'm sure you are all much more au fait with technology than I am :)
 
Today has been a really good day for refreshing cold breezes, brisk walks and bargains!
 
Stay warm everyone and thanks so much for popping in x

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Stocking Up and Changing Tack

I do wish Blogger would stop messing around with settings.  I just get used to using everything and then...bam!...something either isn't there any more or a link is gone, or they have changed the layout.  Boy, does it make me cross.  Is anyone else finding things different?

Anyway, this week we decided to try out the new, refurbished and expanded Aldi store near us.  It is right opposite Morrisons so it's no effort to shop in one store for bargains and finish off in the other.
I sometimes treat myself to a bunch of flowers and these were just £2 as opposed to £3 in Mr M. They are lovely, lets see if they last as long as my usual purchase (around 2 weeks)....

 
We found this nice bottle of red wine too at just £2.99.  The one I usually buy in Mr M's is around £4.  The eagle eyed will have noticed it has been tested too!  It's very acceptable!!


Now, I've heard of Aldi's Super 6 but never bought any before as the local store used to be dismal and off putting so I never ventured in. This week we bought a bag of pears for 59p, a swede (enormous!) 49p, cherry toms 69p (Dutch), pack of 4 leeks 49p (to make lovely soup) and a bag of red onions for 69p.  Everything looks in lovely fresh condition too.  A pack of 400g of British diced beef was £2.75 and has been cooked today in the slow cooker. It has made 3 portions (one of which OH ate tonight and declared delicious) so 2 left to chill or freeze.  I added carrots and onions to the pot but could probably have added more veg to eke it out to 4 portions instead of 3.  I'll know for next time.  Aldi shopping is definitely a keeper now....

As the weather is much colder now I will be aiming to cook more warming stews, soups, quorn lasagne, veg cottage pie etc  OH loves meat but is perfectly happy to eat veg based meals on a regular basis too and it's so much easier not to have to make a veggie meal and a meat based one for the same meal.  Tonight I had a jacket potato with cheese and salad whilst he tucked into the beef but having 2 more portions of meaty delight for him tucked in the freezer will be a godsend.

I think I need to do a store cupboard clear out and make an inventory of what I have so that I can begin to organize myself properly.  I'd like to begin to stockpile certain items so that during the (usually) freezing cold of January I can rest assured that I don't need to go out at all if it's bad underfoot.  I have a dread of falling in the ice and snow and breaking bones now that I'm getting on in years :/

Is anyone else planning to stock up in case we have the horrendously bad winter we have been warned about?

Stay warm everyone x

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

More Crafty Makes and Butter Fingers

Despite a very busy weekend I have managed to make a few more things for the craft stall next week, this time some little knitted stocking tree decorations.....


Each one has a tiny bit of toy stuffing in the toe to give it shape and is then filled with a small packet of Haribo sweets,  a wrapped chocolate biscuit (think Penguin style) or a Maoam bar as they are all just about the right size.  This makes the stockings light enough in weight to hang on the tree.  I've made red and white, white and red, blue and white etc but you can use all your scrap bits of wool to make whatever colour you like....



I really need to get a move on though because the more items I can make the more I might sell and the more left over for the CS to sell in time for Christmas.

Changing the subject completely, we have had two days of torrential rain here, both during the night and the following day.  It's been awful but hasn't stopped me going out (driving very carefully to avoid flooded areas).  I went to see the GC in their dance school show on Sunday and it was amazing!  GD is only 12 and took part in performing the routine from the film Chicago called 'Cell Block Tango' which I thought very racy for a girl so young :/  If you don't know it do google it and you'll see what I mean.  Apparently they couldn't perform it last year because some Nans objected.  I can see why!  Does anyone else think that innocence is being lost far too quickly these days? Anyway, the show was delightful and all the children worked very hard to pull it all together.

Today was spent chatting, drinking coffee and eating cake at Halfpenny Green Vineyard along with 9 friends and neighbours.  My kind of day!  Then a walk around the shop and craft centre too, no more money spent though, I had to keep my hands firmly in my pockets.

Tonight I decided to have a nice hot bath and, guess what....I dropped my clean warm towel right into the bath water.  Doh....I told you I was getting clumsy :(


Anyway, thanks everso for popping in.  Stay warm x

Saturday, 19 November 2016

A Scald and an Update

Crikey, it was a sharp frost during the night.  Even at 10am this morning I had to de-ice the car windscreen before I could go out.  We have been spoilt up to now and this has come as a shock!

Ashamedly I have to report that I am lagging a bit in my Festive Food Bank challenge but here is the contribution for days 12 to 16
The baby lotion was on offer at just 40p in Sainsbury's (they must be changing the packaging or something) and I would have bought shampoo too (54p) but it had sold out.  I'll try to catch up on the number of items next Monday when we do the 'big shop'......


I seem to be becoming clumsier and more accident prone in my old age and somehow managed to scald my hand with steam from the kettle.  I did it a couple of weeks ago and, boy, did it hurt!  The top skin came off after a few days leaving a raw red mark and only now has it faded a bit.  If my hands get cold a purple mark now appears where the scald was.  Doh.....


It's going cold outside again now and it's already quite dark by 4pm in the afternoon.  I hate these short dark days, do you?

Thanks for popping in.  Stay safe and warm x

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Lest We Forget



Today is Remembrance Sunday when our thoughts turn to all those men and women before us who gave their lives to serve their country and make things better for us.   And to all the service personnel who still put their lives on the line today, risking injury every day, I just want to say one thing:

 
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart,
 
God Bless and protect you





I will be taking a blogging break for a few days as there is a lot going on here but I'll be back with a #30FestiveFoodBank update next weekend.

Stay warm and safe & thanks so much for popping in x

Thursday, 10 November 2016

A Sprain and a Bargain

Today has not been so cold.  Chilly, yes, fresh, yes, but not the biting cold of the last couple of days.  We had arranged to pick up two of our dearest friends and take them to lunch. My friend's hubby has recently lost his sight so they no longer have a car.  They are great company so we spent lunchtime with them and then went in to coffee when we dropped them off home. We all enjoyed it immensely.  It's great to have a catch up :)

Oh my goodness... little GS has so far this year suffered a broken finger, a cut above his eye and now this.....

Apparently, he and another boy went to kick the ball simultaneously during football at school yesterday and GS came off worse with a badly bruised, swollen & sprained foot.  Mum, as usual, ended the day spending 4 hours in A & E...sigh... the pleasures of motherhood, I remember them well  :/

A couple of days ago Tesco emailed me a loyalty points reward coupon for £1.50 so, as they had their mince pies at 89p per box, I bought two boxes which cost me just 28p so:  one box for us and one for the Festive Food Bank contribution day # 11



That's all the news for the moment, thanks everso for popping in x

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Shopping and a Freebie

Just a quick post tonight 'cos I am knackered!  Today I went into town in order to complete my Christmas gift shopping then, in a burst of energy, decided to wrap everything up and be done. Woohoo!!

This week's food shop was completed on Monday & my Festive Food Bank donations for days #7, 8, 9, 10 are as shown below....




When I did the food shopping last week I was given a voucher, for my birthday gift of a pack of free cookies. I collected them yesterday.  FREE..... my favourite thing!


There was quite a frost this morning - a car window scraping before setting off - kind of frost and tonight it's raining.  We have a flood alert for a local area too :/  Uh oh....Winter is on it's way...

Stay warm folks and snuggle in!  I'll be back tomorrow x

Monday, 7 November 2016

Christmas Show and Tell

Firstly, a warm welcome to my new follower, Sue :)

I had a lovely relaxing day on Sunday.  OH was at work all day & I was expecting no visitors so out came the craft stuff .  In the back of the kitchen cupboard I found a pack of cute camper van egg cups which have never been used (the hollow where an egg sits was much too shallow) so I decided to make them into pin cushions by cutting a circle of fabric, making a line of running stitch around the edge and drawing it up into a ball which I stuffed firmly with toy stuffing.  The little ball was then glued into the hollow so it looks like a luggage bundle sitting on the roof.


They look quite nice wrapped in cellophane & tied with a bow.  Now...what price to charge...do you think £2 each is reasonable at a Christmas craft fair?


I'm experimenting with calendar making too, this is my first one this year and it hasn't turned out too badly so I'll be making more in different colours and themes.....


A bit of felt was turned into a hand sewn Christmas tree brooch by the addition of a fastener sewn onto the back...



It also crossed my mind to make felt stockings etc into little brooches too as I made myself one last year which gets compliments whenever I wear it.  I'll see how it goes.

Meanwhile enjoy your evening and stay warm, it's getting mighty cold outside in Worcestershire :) xx

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Bonfires, Queues and Chilly Toes


I took DD and her family to our village bonfire night celebration last night and BOY was it cold!  We thought we were well wrapped up but wellies, even with up to 4 pairs of socks, are mighty chilly things.  I was hoping for a nice glass of red wine to warm the cockles of my heart but...nope...they were not selling wine or spirits just beer and lager, so we (the GC and I ) settled on paper cups of hot chocolate.  The queues for food and drinks were absolutely massive and little GS (of course!) was hungry so we queued for 25 minutes for a £3 burger :/  By the time the fireworks were lit we were all freezing with numb toes and noses, and to add insult to injury we were not allowed to light the sparklers we had brought with us...wha....t ??  To say we were glad to get home was an understatement of massive proportions.  I don't think we'll bother buying tickets next year. It cost me £15 for a disappointing evening out.

I had a lovely surprise on Friday morning though when the postie rang the bell and handed me a package.  It was this....


I have wanted to try this for ages but it's quite expensive to buy and this was FREE !  There was no packing note but I think it was from supersavvyme.  I do apply to test things from time to time and I must have been successful.  I can't wait to try it :)

Whilst having a drawer tidy up yesterday I found some unopened pink shower gel so that will go into the Food Bank challenge box along with some tinned custard and a cute little tin (from the pound shop) containing genuine Scottish shortbread.  That's sorted out days # 4, 5 and 6....



After lunch today I made a start on some crafting for the December fair, making felt tree decorations.  I want to make more stuff tomorrow so I'll show and tell then.

It's promising to be a very cold night again tonight so once OH gets home around 7.30pm we will lock the door and hunker down for an evening of Hygge (is that how it's spelt?)  I have my blanket ready, my knitting to hand and pj's will be ON !

Have a lovely evening everyone and please be kind to each other x

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Christmas Shopping and Festive Food Bank

Firstly, a warm welcome to Sue & Sherri, my new followers :)

Thanks too for all the lovely birthday wishes you left on my last post.  On Tuesday, my actual birthday, OH treated me to the Silver Screen cinema (£3 each complete with a lovely coffee and biscuits thrown in) to see the film Jason Bourne.  There was a bit too much action for my taste with lots of car crashes and running around but I did enjoy it and felt it tied up a few loose ends in the storylines, however I was a bit shocked to find it was classified as 12A and described as having 'moderate violence' when in my view it was very violent.  When did contract killings, shootings and torture become 'moderate violence'??  I certainly would NOT like my 12 year old GC to see this kind of film.

Do you think acceptable levels of violence on screen are becoming worse?  Is it down to the violence of certain computer games making us a bit hardened to it all? I find it worrying.....

#30 Day Festive Food Bank 

For the first week I will be donating toiletries so:

Days 1 to 3......



I checked the website of our local food bank and they are in need of the following:


The needs might be different in your own area so do please check with your local branch what they are desperate for if you want to help.  I will buy the next few items on Saturday so I won't be posting 'show and tell' every day but in batches as I can afford to buy them.  Bargains will still need to be the order of the day :)



Speaking of bargains,  I met DD and GD yesterday in the local out of town shopping centre to do our annual 'Girls Only' Christmas shop.  It was exhausting but fun and we managed to get most of our gift shopping done on our set budgets.  I have found that lots of discounts are available online so arranged click and collect on many items saving at least 10% on every item (some much more)  One thing I found annoying was adult PJ's cost £10 but a child's pair cost £16!  How can that be justified?
Just in case anyone was wondering...GD wasn't skiving off school she gets 2 weeks for half term and doesn't go back until Monday next :)  It was the first time she was allowed to come with us as belief in Santa has well and truly waned now and she really enjoyed herself. 

Have a lovely evening and thanks everso for popping in x

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Festive Food Bank Challenge Day #1


Today is my birthday!  It struck me how lucky we really are in the scheme of things. Yes, we are pensioners on a fixed income but we are warm and well fed in a small home of our own. Yes, our DD's husband has lost his job for the second time in less than 2 years, but they are not starving and also have a warm home and food on the table.  Frugal Queen has posted about the Festive Food Bank 30 day challenge whereby you take a box and put an item into it each day for your local Food Bank, taking it to them on 1st December in time for distribution to needy families in time for Christmas.


I aim to participate in this and will be starting tomorrow with two items.  They might be toiletries, I am not yet sure until I have bought them but will keep you in the loop.  Does anyone else fancy doing it too? Please tell us if you are!

Thanks ever so for popping in x