Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Lemon Curd!

Today has turned out to be a very productive day in terms of Jams & Preserves. 1st in the pan was Blackberries & raspberries to make some lovely jam. Next to be started was homemade Lemon Curd, we seem to have a glut of eggs at the minute, so time to use a few. I used the Mrs Beetons recipe and it has not let me down yet.

Lemon Curd

4 Eggs
1lb Caster sugar
4oz butter
rind & juice of 4 lemons

Break the eggs and separate white & yolk. Whisk the yolks, add the other ingredients and stir oer a gentle heat in a bowl over pan of hot water for about 20 - 30 minutes or until thick. Pour in to sterilised jam jars.

It normally makes 3 jars and keeps for about 2/3 weeks.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Just Original Animals!

On the last post about our ever growing animals I showed you just 2 original chickens, Beatrix & Mabel. But after a visit to an agricultural show back in May I could not resist little MAY our Rhode Island Red Bantum. We thought she might get bullied by the other 2 bigger chcikens, how wrong were we. She has a British Bulldog instinct!

If I had known what great pets they make, I would of got Chickens years ago!

Here's Boo my daughter Beautiful Bunny, very loving and loves getting out in the garden with the Chickens.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


I don't know if any you out there are like me & hubbo but we are desperate to move but so many factors are stopping us!

The usual: Money, jobs, practicalities such as who would look after daughter when I am at work, etc, etc.

We look at Rightmove every day for houses within the vicinity of where we are looking, we do find houses within our price range and within the area we want but the doom and gloom of the practical side of a move put doubt in our mind.

We were 3 weeks away from moving in August 2009 when me & hubbo split up. Obviously we are back together again now, but the reason we wanted to move are still there. We do live in a nice village now, the reasons we moved here was to be close to the road network as both of us were based out on the road, but these are now the same reason as we want to move.

Our chosen area for the move is the Yorkshire Dales, we do love it there we went to Reeth for our 1st ever weekend away together 10+ years ago. We have looked at other options, Lake District & Scotland but property prices and distance put those areas on a back burner, so Yorkshire Dales is still our 1st choice.

We have twice jumped in the car to look at properties as it is only 1hr - 1hr 1/2 away. The pictures show a few of the properties.

However this long winded post is all about the fact that this weekend I have had a blow out and basically decided we are not looking anymore as I feel I am putting my life on hold and not getting on with the NOW!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Birthday Girl!

From this to this in 7 years! Happy birthday little dear.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Road Trip!

Tissington Hall

Edward & Vintage Shop

Cromford Mill

We decided today was the day to head out in the car and to visit a few places on my wish list.

First we visited Cromford Mill near Matlock, I was a little unsure what to make of this place, very interesting about the history, but not a museum. A few of the shops were a little tired in there choice of stock. The antiques shop was great though and very reasonably priced.

Next on the list was Tissington near Ashbourne. I absolutely fell in love with this place, the buildings and peace & quiet were amazing. I also loved the fact that a lot of the houses had honesty boxes outside the front where they sold excess fruit, veg, flowers, eggs and Jams & Pickles. Also a major attraction there was a great sweet shop that a spotted on someones blog.

We managed to pick up some great local produce alon the way, flowers, cheese, butter, sausages and black pudding.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Hedgerow finds!

Thursday saw me & my family go for a walk up the Chesterfield Canal. We were expecting a nice pleasant walk in the sunshine, what we did not exact was the haul of Blackberries and Sloe's. They seem to be very early this year!

The sloe's are spending the next week in caster sugar before the gin gets added. The Blackberry jam on the other hand are being sold in my local shop to raise some money for Mencap.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Summer Holidays!

A trip to Filey with cousins was a definate winner with the kids, parents would disagree greatly! 3 adults 2 babies and 3 kids in a 2 doubled bedroom apartment!!!!!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Easing myself back in gently!

Even though the school holidays are upon us,unfortunately not a lot has been done or achieved around here except working!

The picture above was taken back in the May holidays, this is my little dear and my nephew, little dear adores him (little dear does not do children). It was taken on the choo choo train in Matlock Park.

Hopefully I will try a get back into the blogging malarky!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Ta Da!

New dresser just waiting for some new handles. Love that I can now display all my treasures.

My fabulous table and chairs, really wanted different coloured chairs. Just need to make pads for them.

My great £10 ebay purchase, hubbo done a great job on this.

A great place to hide little dear rubbish.

Fabulous occasional chair, love my Cath Kidston curtains in the background.

Just having a really lazy weekend now, as shattered from all DIY jobs over the 2 previous weekends.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Easter break!

Well what a great few weeks, I only worked the 1st 3 days of the school holidays and then I only went back for 3 1/2 hours this Saturday morning. Both long weekends have been spent painting furniture for the dining room. Included in the paint fest was a 1950's kitchen dresser, pine dresser, table & 4 chairs and a school desk & chair. I have to say I'm shattered. Obviously hubbo has been helping out!

Hubbo was still off on Easter Tuesday so we went on a jaunt to Filey, and then with hubbo back at work Me, my Mum, Sister, little dear and nephew went on a jaunt to Matlock. It was a great day the weather was very kind to us. Little dear took my nephew on the choo choo train in the park both really enjoyed themselves, and for 60p is does not get much better than that.

We also paid a trip to the fantastic Bow Boutique, it is really worth a visit. It's a great mix of new, vintage and locally handmade. I have to say money was spent, mainly on my sister's part.

Chicken Love!

Meet Beatirx (Ginger) & Mabel (Grey). We collected our chickens 2 weeks ago after having the eglu since February. We also had to chicken proof the garden e.g put up a fence. It has been a bit of a learning curve, how much to feed them, what to feed them! Will are still waiting for the 1st egg, but each morning is like Christmas morning here.

The chickens were from Jody at Raw Green Cottage she has a great set up and really knows her stuff. She has lots of different breeds and also runs chicken keeping courses.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

A few treasures!

I had a lovely Mothers Day, look what little dear bought me, I felt very spoilt!

Picked up this great commemorative Tetley tin from the coop, £2.50 and it was full of tea bags!

My lovely sister bought me this, I personally think it was bribe in exchange more marmalade, it's from Matalan.

And then finally again from my sister, her mother in law passed it onto her, from her family, but given my sister hubbo is an only child she had no no one to pass it onto, so my sister asked if it was ok to give it to me!

Look how much there is, 2 boxes worth!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Beamish Open Air Museum

During half term we took a visit up to Beamish Open Air museum. We had prebooked the tickets back in January and booked into a Premier inn for the night before, we felt we had got a right bargain all in £29 for the hotel & £21 for the tickets into Beamish.

We had a great day and more than worth the trip further up North. I can imagine that going in warmer weather would have its advantages as believe me it was freezing!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Its a soup kinda day!

My favourite winter warmer soup at the minute is Butternut Squash & Yellow Pepper. So easy to make and the smell and taste is out of this world.

How to:- Makes enough for 2 adults depending on how thick you like your soup (I like it thick).

Cut 1 yellow pepper into strips about 2 cm thick, lay on the bottom of a shallow oven proof dish.

Cut a squash in half and take out all the seeds, (dry & roast feed to birds). Make slits into the flesh of the squash to speed up the roasting process.

Lay the squash on top of the peppers.

Place thin slices of butter onto the squash and drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Cut a vegetable stock cube up until it turns into a fine powder and sprinkle over the squash, you might not need to use all of it.

Place in oven for 45 - 1hr depending on if the sqaush becomes soft enough to scoop out.

Place scooped out squash and pepper in to a processor and blitz. Add some boiling water to make the soup into the consistency you require.

Voila Butternut Squash & Yellow Pepper soup.


Saturday, 5 February 2011

RIP (Room in Progress)

The decision was made just before Xmas to decorate the Dining room, it was spurred on by the new gorgeous light I bought a few weeks earlier. The flying ducks I bought in the sale last January. All that is left to do is:- new floor, new curtains (in progress), dresser needs painting, 1950s kitchen cabinet to be painted! And the list goes on!!!!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


Me & my sister paid a visit to Welbeck Garden centre, just outside Worksop last week. And at the end of the tills there were two trolleys full of diaries & calenders, a man who worked at the garden centre said they were all going free. Well lets just say I did not need to be told twice. Sarah Ravens diary went straight into the bag! Thank you very much!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

My Dad's birthday!

On Saturday it was my Dad's 65th birthday, an important one I think, it's the one where he retires in June, a big thing for a man who runs his own business!

We made the decision to go out the Monday previous, luckily one of his favourite nip and pop restaurants was ok reservation wise, Prezzo is great for food and always child friendly. We had a great meal and the company as ever was great. We topped off a great meal with Fancie cupcakes, as ever they were gorgeous.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Family treasures!

Following on from my last post about loosing my Grandad, here are just a few of the treasures that I have been able to have. First of all is my Nan's edition of Pride & Prejudice, it was given to my Nan in 1943!

This is just one of many water decanters that my Nan & Grandad had.

A group of random silver spoons.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

In a blur!

Little dear opening her presents on Christmas morning!

Lunch at my Ma & Pa's!

Trip to Clumber Park on Monday, to help clear away the cobwebs!

The festive period, well in fact all of December have just passed in a blur. I seemed to be so busy with NOTHS orders when the snow hit us, that by the 6th December I decided to suspend my shop as working, sewing, packaging and get supplies back in stock was all too much. I know I made the right decision as I did feel I might have to let people down.

New Year has of cause bought upon me new energy, my plans for me Just Original, home and family are endless. A little at a time though. My Nan gave us some money for Christmas so we have joined the National Trust, hence the trip to Cumber Park twice this week. Many other destinations are on the visit list too. Getting fitter by walking will also be a added bonus. My personal plan though is to read more, so for the last 2 nights I have gone to bed early and read a chapter of my Kirsty Homemade Home book. For Just Original the plan is to find some more wholesale customers, and to start preparing Christmas stock now.

On a more personal note my Grandad died just before Christmas. He died just the way he would of wanted though, in his own home, instant and with all of his dignity still intact. My mum is having the not to pleasant task of clearing out a house that my grandparents have lived in for 55 years and they are hoarders. I will show you on my next blog the treasures that I have been able to have.