Thursday, 31 March 2011

Things I Love Thursday...

This week I love....

* planting spinach and coriander seeds * making a seed sprouter * 16 degrees!! * lying in a sunbeam, reading and eating an ice lolly * nice leg stretchy walks * having a very cute conversation with a little boy buying sunflower seeds that would grow 'as tall as the moon!' * Glee * chick peas for lunch * clean bed * garlic bread * reading 'The Bluebird Cafe' * starting my rag rug * watching all 6 episodes of 'Desparate Romantics' in 3 days *

What do you love this week?  Hope you're having a looovely one! xx

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

What I Bought this Month...

1. owl tshirt
2. bra
3. bird book
4. rug making book
5. purse

The trouble with working in the library is that you see all the books that are being discarded and want to buy them!  The purse was from the charity shop (79p!) but the owl tshirt and bra were from a new-things shop.  I needed the bra sooo much, my old ones were terrible!  The owl tshirt is a naughty thing to have bought though, it was from Primark, it's not fair trade or organic, I shouldn't have bought it :(  No more shopping with mummy for me!

I got rid of sooo much stuff this month - we cleared out the loft and my wardrobe and freecycled most of the stuff, but sent some to the charity shop, a massive amount of paper work from my teaching days was recycled and some broken bits and bobs had to go in the bin :(

Monday, 28 March 2011

Harry Potter Scarf. My First Knitting. Griffindor!

This thing has taken me 4 years to knit!  I'm very glad it's finished, I don't think I'm a natural knitter! 

Hand knitted Griffindor scarf.

Hand knitted Griffindor scarf.
I'm 5 foot 1 and this is about 2 feet taller than me...shame it's stopped being scarf weather really!  Although I have been amusing myself by wearing one of those blankets with sleeves backwards like a robe with my new scarf and pretending I'm at hogwarts : )

Saturday, 26 March 2011

How to Make Vegan Chocolate Sauce...

I'm very smug at the's only March and it's been 16 degrees here, which means I've already had my first ice lolly and my first ice cream of the year!

I usually have B'nice rice milk chocolate ice cream, but my fave independent health food shop recently closed (sob!) and I don't know where else I can get it from, so I've been trying out some Worthenshaws Freedom chocolate frozen dessert that was on special offer at the supermarket.  I know it doesn't say it's actually ice cream on the pot, but I was disappointed because it's not very creamy or chocolatey.  To make up for the lack of chocolateyness I've been making large amounts of hot chocolate sauce to go with it!  It's very yummy and it doesn't come out of a plastic bottle either!

You need 1 and a half teaspoons of cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons of golden syrup and 1 teaspoon of vegan margarine, melted together in a pan, or the microwave, until they've started to bubble a bit.  That's it!  That makes enough for 1 greedy person, or 2 not greedy people. 

Happy summer everyone!  Have you had your first ice cream of the year yet?

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Things I Love Thursday...

This week I love...

* reading Eat, Love, Pray * Zombie Glee * Lush Karma body lotion * Luke saying to me 'have you lost weight your face looks thinner' yes, yes I have! * my big boss at work saying to my colleague 'I've never worked with Susie before, isn't she lovely, she's so helpful!' * job interview next month * walking to work without my coat on * realising how many trees there are down my road (a lot!) * cool breeze through the train window * putting up a marquee and standing in it and feeling summery * lovely people at volunteering making my mum and birthday cake and singing to her! * eating lunch on the patio in the sun * gardening without my thermal vest on! * birdsong * comfy sofa * drinks with work people * nice but sad goodbye to our lovely, Spanish work experience boy * growing seeds * daffodils * going to see Frankenstein at the cinema with Benedict Cumberbatch in it *

Hope you're having a lovely week!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Library Love...

My favorite things from the Library this month are...

The Thrifty Gardener by Alys Fowler
Mostly this book is pretty and has nice pictures.  It also has lots of inspiration for creating gardens for not very much money (as the title suggests!).  There are sections on technical gardeny things to like composting, checking soil type, and growing plants.  My favorite part is the couple of pages on houseplants, Alys suggests gorwing cheap houseplants from seeds you have in your kitchen, I'm currently growing a peanut and an apple pip, but I'm really waiting until I spy someone eating an avacado, then I can nick the seed and sprout it in a jar of water!  I like it so much I'm looking for a second hand copy to buy!

Handcrafted Rugs by Sandra Hardy
This is another book I love so much I bought a copy (we had a duplicate copy I bought from the discarded books at work).  It has lots of different techniques for rug making (braiding, weaving, felt, needlepoint, prodded, hooked, knitted and some others too) and a rug design and instructions for each type.

Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
I LOVED Stargirl.  A Lot.  This is the follow up.  The original was from Leo's point of view, where he thought Stargirl was all magical, this is from Stargirl's, where we discover her thoughts have unmagical moments.  She seems to spend a lot of time thinking about Leo, even though she's not seen him for about a year, which I found quite irritating.  Once I got past that I really liked it and there were some magical moments, but it's not as good as the first one.   

Glee The Music Season One
Need I say more?!  This is what I've been dancing around to in my PJs every morning before I get up!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Things I Love Thursday...

This week I'm lovin....

* watching Avatar * reading Withering Tights * Rose saying she likes my hair and customers at work saying they liked my glasses and my top * planting lots of seeds for our garden * the smell of bay trees * nearly finished Harry Potter scarf * watching Lost in Austen * rag rug excitement * listening to Arctic Monkeys * sunshine * coffee and chatting with Naomi * watching a squirrel dancing around the lawn and patting it with his paws * hearing cedric the cockrel who lives at my volunteer place in my own garden * making falafel and flatbread * underbed tidying * quiet time * Christmas Glee! * teaching my spanish friend lots of interesting english phrases * linnets in the garden * seeing a black steam train at the station making lots of white fluffy steam * planting veggie seeds in the sun at volunteering *

What you lovin' this week?  Hope you're having a lovely one!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

More Springy Gardening...

We had a bit more gorgeous sunshine so me and mum did some more planting...

These potatoes are being chitted

The red onion sets are chilling out with their roots in some compost, this apparently makes them grow better once they're in the ground.  The ground we plan to plant them in is at the new house my mums buying not this one we're living in now.  We're trying to be ready with seedlings that can go straight in the ground once we move so we don't leave it too late!

This is our new garden...the blue garage and the greenhouse is ours, there's another greenhouse behind the garage too!  There are also some water butts and what looks like a compost heap and raised beds for veggie growing at the very end!

And here are some salad leaves, Pak Choi (this is called chou de chine on the seed packet, which I think is really sweet and is what I'm going to call it from now on!) and basil and oregano.

Is it sunny enough to garden where you are?

Monday, 14 March 2011

Homemade Falafel and Flatbread...

Learning to make falafel is one of my new years resolutions, and today, with the house to myself and a left over half-tin of chickpeas I decided to make it happen.

I used this recipe, mainly because it was one of the simplest.  I only had dried parsley and coriander leaves, I think fresh would have been soo much better.  I also would have liked to have added wholemeal flour instead of white for extra healthiness. I found the first batch of these I made had a funny, watery texture (I don't know if this is because they were missing the fresh herbs) so I added half a slice of brown bread crumbs to the second batch (I halved the recipe and it made about 9 falafels) which seems to have helped a little.  I have a bit more tweaking to do before I have perfect falafels!  Do you have an excellent falafel recipe?  I want to hear it!

I also made a homemade flat bread, which is another first for me!  This is ridiculously easy, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 of water, mix together then bring into a ball with your hands, roll out into a circlish shape and put in a dry, hot frying pan for about a minute on each side.  You can tell when it's cooked  by trying a little bit off the edge, it should be white and quite dense looking, not squidgy and a bit transparent.  I added sesame seeds to mine because they're super good for you and full of calcium and iron.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Springy Garden Day...

Inspired by last nights episode of Gardener's World with that nice Monty Don we took ourselves to Wilkinsons and bought some seeds, trays and organic, peat free compost. 

Here are our rows of little beetroot, green and purple broccoli, broad beans and peas.

In the pot are courgette seeds, there's another pot with bell pepper seeds, I don't know why that isn't in the photo, the tray has leeks in and the two little pots are my experiments.  I've been reading 'The Thrifty Gardener' by Alys Fowler and she suggests growing interesting and cheap houseplants from seeds in your kitchen cupboards.  I've planted a peanut and an apple pip who are going to live in the airing cupboard for a while so they germinate.  I'm waiting for someone to give me an avocado seed that I can root in a jar of water!

This is our bay tree, the winter wasn't kind to him!  There were a few green leaves under all the dead stuff - I have my fingers crossed for him!  By the way, pruning bay trees is lovely because they smell sooo nice!

Spring has sprung in our little garden!

Have you started your growing this year?  Tell me all about it!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Betty Bike...

My lovely lovely friend gave me his old bike!!!!!!  I'm so excited!!!!!!!  She's currently a bit rusty and needs new tires and some oil (I think) and I'M GOING TO PAINT HER PINK!!! But for now here she is...

I'm going to call her Betty!  and I'm going to buy her a basket!

Here is some pink bike inspiration for now...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Things I Love Thursday...

This week I love...

* lovely walk with no one else about and green springiness and sparrows and springish smells * sleep on the sofa * listening to Glee CD * tidy bedroom * peanut planting experiments * finding my sylvanian famillys in the loft, especially the gypsy caravan and horse! * smiling dogs * listening to Fall Out Boy * watching South Riding * broccoli * beautiful sunny blue sky day * singing Jessie J and Black adder at work * planning to have coffee with a potential new friend * bowling ball haircuts * funny, bendy-knee walking * surprise birthday cake and singing * my new, free bike! *

What do you love this week?  Hope you're having a most excellent one!

Sunday, 6 March 2011


I was always attracted to the idea of meditating and being all zen-like, but I could never get my brain to switch off and be sensible.  That changed when I went to a 'creating calm' workshop as part of my teacher training, a wonderful man did a chakra-cleansing guided meditation with us and afterwards I felt A-mazing!  And I discovered that if I could use my inner voice to imagine calming and healing stuff going then it didn't keep interrupting me or thinking 'this is stooopid!'.  And it works, I am now more calm and zen-like, hurrah!

I usually use the free 'healing rains' meditation by Goddess Leonie Allen  from here (you need to sign up to be a VIP goddess to get it), it's fun and easy and it's only 8 minutes long!

Do you meditate? Whats your favorite way?

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Things I Love Thursday...

This week I love...

* sunshine * spring * daffodils * warm and nice smelling greenhouse * robins * PJ bottoms * laughing * the smell of Lush * emails from Em * watching the Edukators * laughing at mums very loud burp * feeding a pidgeon a large crisp and watching him to to work out how to eat it * it being light when I get out of work * watching The Kings Speech (especially when he's a penguin and where he swears A Lot!) * meeting Sir Cedric Stripey Pants, the noisy new cockrel at volunteering *

What do you love this week?  Hope you're having a good 'un! xxx