Word Of The Week

21 Feb

Week 8: 15th February – 21st February 2015

My Word of the Week this week is Baby, well technically 2 words Baby Shower as I had Baby the week before last.

I’ve spent the week preparing for my friend L’s Baby Shower.

Little t; her & her partners baby boy is due at the end of March.

The Baby Shower had a Library theme.
Silly me in my haste forgot to take pictures of all the little bits & bobs I made and the overall day. I do however have a couple.


The invites were done in the style of a book. The Topsy series being a favourite of L’s when she was little.
The details were on a library borrowing card on the cover page, followed by a brief ‘Once Upon A Time’.. Story asking guests to bring books not cards as gifts. Then hand sewn together to bind.


I made name tags that represented library membership cards.



We had a light lunch, followed by cookies and treats made by my friends partner and an ombré cake made by Mr S of all people! The cake topper was little book bunting.

The entertainment was based around a quiz done in teams. The quiz had different parts to it relating to babies and books/nursery rhymes, animals & their young etc.

The decorations had been inspired by Pinterest. I had purchased several children books to display around, I made pompom sheep, laminated The Hungry Caterpillar pictures, purchased mini ducks, as well as making book bunting.
Little t’s Paternal Grandmother brought some helium balloons and a Sash for L.


To end the day we all sat and enjoyed the parents to be open their gifts and as it was time to leave I had made little book worm favours from Marks & Spencer’s Colin The Caterpillars and Make a Wish Bracelets.

All in all I think everyone had an enjoyable day. Now I can’t wait to meet Little t.


The Reading Residence

Word Of The Week

14 Feb

Week 7: 8th February – 14th February 2015

My word of the week this week is Allotment.

Hundred Acre Farm is expanding to plot 11a as of Friday 13th February 2015.

I’ve wanted an Allotment for a while and enquired when we first moved in but heard nothing back and with this and that I thought it best not to follow it up.

But late last year; as we decided we wouldn’t be moving just yet, the thought popped into my head again.

Of late, with our main meals for £20 a week, we have been eating lots of vegetables so my rusty brain cogs started turning and I contacted the local allotment group again this time I had mild success in that they replied and put me on the 2 year waiting list.
I promptly forgot all about it.

Then out of the blue this week the chair of the allotment committee rings and announces there are a few plots up for rent would I still be interested.
We set up a meeting to view plots the very next day (I put the phone down and got very over excited; dreaming, planning and anticipating).

I had a couple of little niggles though
A) I had to be realistic in what we could managed; Mr S works long hours, we have very busy weekends as it is and my energy levels & body are not always compliant.
B) Money !!! I started to tot up all the bits we would possibly want and then narrowed it down to need. I had a good evening looking on Free Cycle and Gumtree. This is not a scheduled expense at the moment in keeping with plans, so I have not got lots of money to spend.

Sleeping on things I began to worry.

Never or less I meet the chairman after lunch the next day and had a pleasant chat as he showed me around.

Lots of plots had recently been vacated; 6 full plots & 1 half plot.
(These are not national size plots- yes there is a ‘standard plot’ measurement I am learning lots already)
The local plots are half plots & quarter plots on the national standard.

Once I had seen the sizes I opted for a full size as I think we would soon out grow a half plot.

There were lots of lovely plots with good and bad points but as soon as I saw our plot I knew it was for us.


The previous plot holders had obviously cared for this plot and invested time and money – on top of this they had kindly left numerous fruit canes & bushes along with a shed, bench etc and a few tools.

My previous nights worries started to fade.

I think I shocked the chairman as I was quick in making my choice and within 10 minutes had signed the papers & paid in full £30 for the year. He was a little taken aback I acted so quickly but I was sure this was our plot and felt so lucky given the circumstances the previous people had helped by leaving so much.

So let me give you a brief tour of Plot 11a HAF Lottie.


We have a Bench, Water Butt (the bin) and Compost heap at the back of the plot. Also left were lots of handy pots and pieces of wood.


Our shed and a fab little fire pit.
(We moved the bench and placed it on paving slabs to stop the feet rotting and placed the fire pit of slabs too)


Our Strawberry beds and at the back is a Rhubarb crown.


Inside out shed, they left us tools and a few other handy bits and bobs.


Here we have Raspberry canes, Gooseberry bushes and Redcurrant bushes.
We also inherited 3 small trees which we can only guess at what they are currently Im guessing 2 plum trees and an apple.

And that is The HAF Lottie: Plot 11a.

We mind is now whizzing with plans and Im dying to get on as if we are quick we can catch up before its time to start planting out.

That’s my word of the week: Allotment.
I look forward to sharing the developments with you.


The Reading Residence

Word Of The Week

6 Feb

Week 6: 1st February – 7th February 2015

It’s Word of the Week time and this week my word is Baby.

I’ve been mostly concentrating this week on my friends Baby Shower.

I can’t wait !
It’s a surprise – so I can’t reveal all I’ve been up to but I can share the invites as L has now seen these.

The theme for the baby shower is build a library.

So off I went with the computer and made some invites based on a book.


One of Mummy to be, L’s favourite childhood book series was “Topsy & Tim” written by Jean & Gareth Adamson, so when it came to the front cover and I found the series did a book called “The Big Surprise” it was my obvious choice for a front cover.
I change the authors on the front cover to my friend & her partners name.



Next I made little old fashioned library borrowing cards to tuck in the front cover.
I used these as the main invite. Adding the Author as my friend and her partner, the date, time, place etc.


My first page of course had to start with the classic opening line “Once Upon A Time..”


Followed by a little introduction invitation.
It has been requested that guests bring a book rather than a card, which will build a lovely little collection for the baby and memories for years to come.


Finally the back cover has a map and directions. The invites were then sewn to bind them.

I’ve obviously been planning other little bits and bobs based on the library theme which I will share with you after the event.

I look forward to reading about your week.


The Reading Residence

Meal Planning Monday: Winter Menu, Week 4

2 Feb

So this is the last week in my Winter Menu Meal Plan Rotation.

Week 4:


As I’ve explained we will work on this 4 Weekly Meal Rotation from November 2014 – March 2015 and then switch to a Spring Menu.

It really has helped keep us on budget and made the shopping so much easier as I have all the ingredients on the back of my laminated menu cards ready to go.



I stopped going into the supermarket and now use the online delivery this stops me impulse buying, enables me to check the cost of my shopping as I go, as well as the added bonus of saving time and energy on top of money.
To save further; Tesco also have £1 delivery slots on orders over £25 so I always use these slots.

I’ve been looking into ‘couponning’ and an app called ‘Shopitize’ but I am as yet to find these helpful in anyway… Do any of you use them or have any tips?
My problem with them all is we do not eat the things they have coupons for. We are gluten free so that cuts out all the regular breads and biscuits, we have a milkman (which works out cheaper) so never use the milk coupon and the rest are brands and products we would not use due to even with a small discount they aren’t cheaper than the alternatives.

On the topic of Gluten Free/Coeliac Disease.
All my Menu plans are based on being gluten free; so are more expensive anyway than the average persons would be.

An example:

Tesco Penne Pasta



Tesco Gluten Free Pasta


Admittedly Pasta you can get on Prescription but most people still have to pay for their Prescription (£8.05 each item in England, although Doctors tend to do multiples of one item for food allergies). This was just an example of a common food used as a cheap option in lots of thrifty recipes.

Obviously making homemade is cheaper but do any allergy sufferers have any tips for money saving?


Word of the Week

31 Jan

Week 5: 25th – 31st January 2015

My Word of the Week for this week is Mediocre.

Everything has been Mediocre which isn’t a bad thing… It just means I am keeping things under control while I am having a trying time.

It actually is quiet positive as it means that the coping and organisation methods are working. As right now I could be sobbing surrounded by the ominous mountain of life. But I’m not I’m enjoying a cup of tea on the sofa in
a clean, ironed pair of PJs and taking a breather from the intensity.


I am listing all the things that need attention that are niggling at me making me feel uneasy so I can address them one by one. Im trying my hardest to over come the frustration and guilt that is felt with pain & chronic medical issues by acknowledging the foolishness to harbour such thoughts as they manifest and cause a greater impact on my health.

I am putting it down to the winter blues.

How are you all feeling? Are you feeling the winter blues?


The Reading Residence

Bring Back Paper: Read, Write Create.

28 Jan

Well I thought I would join in once again with Jocelyn at The Reading Residence Bring Back Paper challenges.

New for 2015 Jocelyn has introduced Read, Write, Create for 2015.


The idea is to Read, Write and Create each month then on the last Wednesday of the month link up with Jocelyn at The Reading Residence with your blog post of what you have been up too.

So let’s begin …

I’ve actually not purchased any new penpal stationary for a while as I am trying to use up my stock pile before I invest in anything new.
So I’ve been trying to be inventive with what I have.
Joining – sticking – cutting – doodling.

As I write this Im remembering the couldn’t be refused Washi tape I purchased at the beginning of the month.


So correction I’ve only made a little purchase.

January’s activity was to send some happy mail & as a letter writer an additional piece of happy mail you would not normally send- I’ve written a post earlier in the month about this activity as I am participating in ‘Pay it Forward’ this year.


However I was moved by Jocelyn’s post featuring the Charity Postpals and although I haven’t put pen to paper yet I fully intend to in the next few weeks.
Postpals charity enables letter writers to “Post a Smile on a Sick Child’s Face’ by the sending of cards, letters, emails and little gifts to seriously ill children and their siblings”. Letter writer or not why not take a look at their website you may want to take part.

Read, Write, Create

Read: Well I haven’t done much book reading at all of late but I have had a lovely letter from my #postcircle #goose pal in New Zealand.
Which I read over a cup of tea and cheered up a dreary day.


Write: I’ve been catching up on a long over due letter this month as well as my usual catch up snail mail.


Create: I’ve been trying to be creative with my stationary supplies of late in an attempt to use some up before I replenish stocks.


I’ve also been creative with my Filofax this month; making my own planner pages as well as decorating my diary pages.


That’s my papery month!

You can see others & Jocelyn’s papery month over at the The Reading Residence .



Meal Planning Monday: An Extra Week

26 Jan

This week should be the 4th week in my winter meal plan but last week, some of the meals were replaced with quick omelettes or toast nights as Mr S worked late lots and I wasn’t feeling like dinner some nights.

So I have found we are nearly fully stocked for Winter Menu Plan Week 3 meaning that this week I will add a few extras but stick mainly to this.



Word of the Week

23 Jan

Week 4: 18th – 24th January 2015

My Word of the Week this week is Anniversary.

Monday saw the Anniversary of Mr S and I meeting and the 6 month Anniversary of us getting married.

We couldn’t have wished for a more Wonderful Wedding Day.

Our ceremony was held in my childhood village Church on the most humid day in the year.

It was a very traditional Wedding with Church Service, Wedding Breakfast and Evening Reception.

I loved my dress and cathedral length veil. Mr S looked super handsome in his tails.


My Grandfather was also super handsome! He means so much to me.

I still haven’t sorted our photographs from the wedding so these are a selection of photos that our Friends & Family took.


My Aunt & Uncle surprised us with a Harpist. I had secretly (or not so secretly it seems) wanted a Harpist but had cut one from the budget with the more and more the cost of the wedding went up. So completely overwhelmingly my Aunt & Uncle arranged a harpist for us as an extra surprise present.


I was attended by my Matron of Honour; My Best Friend of many a year, 2 Older Bridesmaids; my cousins, 4 Younger Bridesmaids & A Flower Girl; 4 Nieces & Our God Daughter.

My Matron of Honour made our fantastic cakes.


We had a 2 Tier Lemon Cake, 5 Tier Fruit Cake & 2 Tier Chocolate Cake.
As Well as cupcakes.


I look forward to sorting the Photographers Photographs and sharing a whole post with you.

For others Words of the Weeks pop over to The Reading Residence .


The Reading Residence


21 Jan

Well Hello Wednesday … I’ve been doing some tea break window shopping today continuing to get inspiration for when we tackle redecorating the house.

I thought I would share with you a few of my favourite window shopping finds once again in a Window Shopping Wednesday post.

So tea in hand let me share with you.

I do love Anthropologie.

These measuring cups appeal to the love of ‘gold’ embellishment I’ve developed. With their cute little gold speckled shells.


Continuing with Anthropologie.

The romanticist in me also likes this mirror.


Alas I don’t think the walls in our home would even hold such a mirror, let alone having the right wall to command such a mirror.

Ooo this rug would look lovely in the same imaginary house as the above mirror.


An Edwardian town house perhaps?

Moving on while hunting light fittings down I’ve been quiet impressed with BHS.

I’m totally materialistically glum about the fact we are saving not spending as I had to pass up a very nice light fitting earlier in the sales from BHS, but now look at this lovely bed spread reduced to £45 (I would want to see the quality for £45, still it says cotton)


I wouldn’t use it as a bedspread I would use this as a Garden/Camping Blanket to snuggle under the stars on summer evenings.

I feel a traitor to Winter thinking about Summer. Im happy with snuggly winter, with hot chocolate and frosty mornings.
If only I could shop for some snow !


Meal Planning Monday: Winter Menu: Week 3

19 Jan

It’s Week 3 in my Winter Menu Meal Plan.

Tuesday’s Aubergine Tagine makes extra for the freezer and Thursdays Sweet Potato Eggah makes extra for Saturday nights meal but once again the Menu Plan is Gluten Free and the main meals; dinners work out at roughly £20, I say roughly as the shops are forever changing the prices.




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