Sunday, 27 January 2013

Library Love...Maggot Moon, Mutton, Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast, Granny Square Crochet...

This month I've been mostly reading....

Maggot Moon - Sally Gardner
This is the story of Standish and Hector, and the space race.  Hector is taken by the totalitarian regime of the 'Motherland' and Standish and a band of rebels try to save him.  It's a really quick read (it's a YA book) but deals with dyslexia, homosexuality, conspiracies and governments gone mad!

Mutton - India Knight
I found this a really interesting discussion about the way women look, although I did get a bit bored of all the characters vanity by the end (good job it's a short book!).  Clara is 46 and buliders have stopped whistling at her.  Gaby is almost 50 and has returned from LA with a face full of plastic.  Gaby comes to stay with her old school friend Clara, self-esteem issues ensue.

Anjums Indian Vegetarian Feast - Anjum Anand
There is a brilliant, easy sounding grilled naan bread recipe in here I'm planning on trying.  Lots of other Indian recipes with a British twist, or British recipes with an Indian twist too.

Granny Square Crochet - Catherine Hirst
This has loads of lovely projects in...hats, gloves, scarves, blankets, baby clothes, and they're all really pretty and use simple techniques.  I'm probably going to buy this one day!

Have you read anything great this month?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Potato, Leek and Lentil Bake Recipe...

This is my mums concoction, we call it a Monday Bake, because we make it on a Sunday when the oven's on for the Sunday dinner, then heat it up for tea on Monday.

It's one of those concoctions that doesn't really use quantities in the recipe, just eyeball your baking container of choice and guesstimate how much you think will fit in it!  I usually use one sweet potato, 1 large carrot and 2 or 3 medium potatoes.

1 leek
garlic - to taste
potato, sweet potato and carrot
red lentils
2 oxo cubes

1.  Cut the potatoes, sweet potato and carrot into thinnish discs, steam in steamer till just tender.

2. Cut the leek in half, then slice quite thinly (wash if needed), crush the garlic or finely slice, fry in a little oil in a pan until it's wilted down and just starting to caramelise.

3.  Crumble the oxo cubes into a jug, tip the water from steaming the veg in, making about   500ml of stock.

4. Layer up your bake, put in half the leeks, a sprinkling of lentils, half the veg, half the stock, repeat, so you have 2 layers. (don't use all the stock if it's too much, depends on the size of your oven dish!).

5. Put in the oven for about an hour, until the stock's been absorbed and it's nice and golden brown on top. (Mine's a bit burnt...the perils of a new seems a lot hotter than the one at Mum's house!).

You can eat it straight away, or put it in the fridge and heat it up the next day.

I portion it up, put one portion in a smaller oven dish ready for the next day (it's lovely with garlic bread, which you can make in the oven at the same time as the bake is heating up!), the rest in boxes for the freezer.

Yummy, cheap, easy and warm!

Linking up with Eco Kids Tuesday and Ta-Dah! Tuesday.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


We have lots of snow here...I took these at home and on my way to work the past couple of days...

Do you have snow?? Hope you're staying warm!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Make One Small Change - Use a Bamboo Toothbrush.

Adopting eco friendly habits, for me, is easier taken one small step at a time.  Lots of small changes add up to a big difference.
I bought a bamboo toothbrush, from here on Ebay.  It's handle is bamboo, and you could choose plastic or bamboo bristles.  I went all out and got the bamboo bristles, even though I thought they'd be scratchy and gross.  They are not scratchy and gross, they are nice and smooth and feel like plastic ones!  I like my bamboo toothbrush, it cleans my teeth nicely and it looks nice hanging out in my new bathroom (not like my previous florescent green one!).  It would be good if the end of the head was a little thinner, to make cleaning my back teeth easier, I can still get round there but it's a bit of a struggle.  I have a rechargeable electric toothbrush that I alternate with, so it's not too much of a problem.  And, it was £2.50, which is more than I'd pay for a plastic toothbrush, but cheaper than some of the other 'eco' options I've seen.

Plus, it came in a really cute box with a panda brushing his tooths on it!

Have you made an eco-friendly swap recently?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Indoor Gardening...

I wanted a house with a garden...I got a flat with a balcony.  I therefore intend to fill my home with plants and do my gardening inside.  (I'll garden on the balcony too of course, I have a few pots out there already, but it's a bit cold for much more than that yet!).

I have lots of lovely house plants  some that came with me and some that have been presents...hyacinths, aloe vera, dangly plant, Christmas cactus...

Spider plant, Swiss cheese plant, umbrella plant, false castor oil plant...

This is my kitchen windowsill, I have lots of succulents and in the bottom photo you can see my experiment in growing veggies indoors.  I have spinach, kale and spring onions, all the seeds have germinated, I'll let you know how they get on!

 Are you growing anything exciting?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Easy Green Things To Do This Month...January 2013...

I thought I'd do a round up of a couple of easy eco actions each month, just little online actions, interesting reads or things you can do in your daily life...

Sign Friends of the Earth's online petitions to help bees and to ask for investvent in clean energy.

Sign Greenpeace's online petition to protect the North Pole.

Recycle your Christmas cards - if you haven't got round to it already you can take your cards to Marks and Spencers until 31st January and for every 1000 cards M&S receive a tree will be planted by the Woodland Trust.  

Check out Climate Revolution, endorsed by Lush and Vivienne Westwood sign up for email updates and have a read of their blog.

Take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch organised by the RSPB to help discover the state of UK birdy-wildlife.  Watch the birds in your garden or local park for an hour sometime on the weekend of 26th-27th January then record your findings online.

Love Food Hate Waste have a list of food waste related new year's resolutions, in case you need a push in the right direction!

Signatures are still needed for the online petition to end fishing discards. Even though the TV hype has finished the work is still going on and changes are being promised. (Suggested by Dreamer - I don't eat fish, but if you do then for goodness sake don't waste it before it even gets to the plate!)

The Vegan Society offers support, info and advice to those thinking about going vegan... take a vegan pledge for 7 days, 2 weeks or 1 month, might be a nice new years resolution. (Suggested by Kay)

If you have any ideas to be added to this months list, then let me know in the comments and if I like it, I'll add it!  And feel free to share any of this info (or the whole post) wherever and with whoever you like! 

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping Christmas Swap...

I took part in a Christmas Swap this year, run by Lakota at Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping.  The rules were to swap between 3 to 5 items, including at least 1 handmade thing, 1 thing from the charity shops and 1 with a link to a Christmas song.

I was partnered with Sian (who is vegan and likes reading and works in a museum - awesome!).  This is what she sent me...

Some embroidered felt snowflake decorations.  These were perfect for my new Christmas tree this year.  I always really appreciate hand embroidered stuff, cos it's a craft I don't do myself.  There were some lovely paper-cut snowflakes in the package, they found their way onto my tree too...

She also sent a book...Rock Crystal by Adalbert Stifter...haven't read this one before and I'm looking forward to starting it!

And a pretty sparkly stone...which I belive is a blue  goldstone...

Sian sent me some lovely pieces of blue vintage fabric, one with spots and one with little flowers.  To my shame I have buried this somewhere in one of my 'I've just moved house and need to organise this' piles, it's lovely fabric and I will add a photo when I've rediscovered it!

Thank you Sian for a lovely swap! 

What I sent...

Some vintage circus glasses, a stripy granny triangle shawl, some vintage mini crackers, a little vintage black cat brooch (she has a black cat) and a book which I forgot to take a photo of.  I had great fun finding stuff for this swap!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


This year...

I've moved...

I've gardened....

I've Crafted...

I've Read...I've read 52 novels this year, and loads of non-fiction!

My blog has grown from having 2000 hits a month to 5000, so thank you all for visiting and being my blog friends!

Here's to 2013!!

Delightful December...

This month I've loved...

* MOVING!!!!! into my lovely little flat! * Unpacking and making everything pretty * baths * several Indian takeaways * Christmas trees * being given sweeties at work by a customer to say thank you for helping her * Christmas swaps * stuffing balls * friends being home * bucks fizz * Father Christmas coming - he bought me a new purple nighty with owls on, ear muffs, polar bear socks, chocolate and some pennies * fleece nighties * hot water bottles * being given a lovely peace lily for my new flat from my friend at volunteering * Christmas quizzes * watching my mum singing carols * The Hobbit - soooo good! * new purple laptop * 

This is the tree at the National Trust house I volunteer at..isn't it huge and pretty!?

Hope you had a lovely December!  And a happy Christmas if you celebrate it!