decorating, drEAming, gardening, general chit chat, homestEAding

A bit of this and that…

I don’t know about you but I quite enjoyed myself last weekend.  Friday morning was spent doing the usual catch up –  a bit of ironing, washing, paperwork and then a couple of hours enjoying a cup of tea and a chat with my neighbour. 

Paint testers

Saturday we tried out the tester pot I had bought on Wednesday night but found it a little too white for the ceilings (colour on the far left) and I didn’t like the name of the colour anyway (I know it may sound strange but I find I always have to like the name if I use a paint colour!).  So we may have to rethink, and at £3.99 a tester pot we need to have a very accurate rethink!  Sorry picture not very good – not even a good resemblance of the colours!
In the afternoon we drove over to Sheffield and spent a few hours browsing the kitchen display sets trying to decide between different cupboard doors, worktops and appliances!   We have hit a few snags trying to fit the units we like into the space called our kitchen and other than extending our kitchen to fit we will have to make a few compromises either to the design or the style of units. 
We borrowed a couple of door samples to see them in situ in our kitchen and I fell immediately in love with the dearest (story of my life) so now we are looking to either a) save some money on the prices of the appliances and all the other bits, b) save more money elsewhere – like eat bread and jam for 3 years, or c) win the lottery – which would be extremely difficult as we don’t play!
On Sunday lovely hubby had to leave home just after lunch and drive down to Bury St Edmunds for work via Sheffield returning the doors so I had most of the day to myself just mooching around tying up a few loose ends.  I never enjoy just cooking for one so I put some potatoes in the oven to bake while I mooched.  In  the evening I gave my feet a pampering pedicure and then snuggled down to watch Call the Midwife uninterupted.

Cyclamens

Remember these flowers I bought last week ( they appeared on my other blog)… well on Monday evening I got away from work on time at 4pm and it was still light and sunny when I arrived home so I went into the garden and planted up a couple of terracotta pots with the primroses and cyclamens.  So now I have a splash of colour outside my front door.
Tonight I did my Sainsbury’s shop which you can read about on my blog Re-routed together with my menu plan for the week and tomorrow I will be making a birthday card for my colleague at work.  So a busy week but I am finding that with the lighter nights and mornings I suddenly feel a bit more energetic.

Hope you had a productive / restful / eventful weekend and enjoy the week  x

being thrifty, cleaning, decluttering, getting things done, managEAble, nEAtening, rEArranging, trEAsury

Tidy Friday…

I just had to take a photo of some of my gorgeous presents.

These little vintage cups, like a dolls tea set, are actually measuring cups for 1/2 teaspoon to tablespoon quantities and the birthday bunting  – isn’t it just so cute? –  it is teeny tiny and made out of thin painted wood.  The card is applique and embroidery and the stocks and roses in the background smell wonderful.  As well as the above I received a bottle of Neal’s Yard Seaweed and Arnica Foaming Bath (just in time as I have recently finished the last one), a book on running a small holding as a business, a beautiful silk top from ‘Mint Velvet’ and a goat from Oxfam which will add to my collection (so far I have Arthur and Annie goat and Alfie Alpaca).  I love all my presents – my friends and family know me so well!

After my ‘doing nothing’ day yesterday I felt quite refreshed but thought I had better get on with doing something today so I had a quick Friday Tidy with a bit of a Friday Fling thrown in.  The weather was back to its usual wet and dismal self so my plan to do a Friday Fling in the garden shed has had to be postponed but hopefully not for too long.

So I turned my attentions to the kitchen.  I do find cleaning and putting the kitchen back in order quite therapeutic – I like the gleam of the sink and appliances and the clear surfaces when I have done.  I learned long ago when we bought our first old house and the kitchen was pretty tatty and waiting a complete makeover that cleaning and shining all appliances and surfaces makes a difference and any kitchen can be transformed even if it is shabby.  This is the trick that they use on adverts for cleaning products – just watch one and you will see!

I always start with the sink and find that the best thing to use is a sprinkle of soap powder and rub with a non-stick pan scrub or one of those Eco pads that come with the Eco cloths.  I finish off by putting a couple of cupfuls of Soda Crystals down the plug hole followed by a kettle full of boiling water – this freshens and clears the drains.

At this point I empty the fridges of any old food and then do all the washing up including any recycling such as empty jars removed from the fridge.  When everything is clean and put away I wipe down all the surfaces with a cleaner and wash and polish up the kettle and appliances.

The kettle has seen better days and the limescale around the spout has built up again and now looking quite yucky – so out came the vinegar and after a few attempts it is now much improved although not gone altogether. A good wash with soapy water and a rub with a soft cloth and it comes up like new.

This Friday I had a mini de-clutter all around the kitchen removing bits and pieces that have accumulated over the last few weeks.  Items that needed returning to their rightful places or put in the recycle or just dealt with – I am never quite sure how all this stuff ends up in the kitchen or who puts it there (or should I say ‘leaves’ it there) – does anyone else have this problem?

Whilst decluttering I made sure anything that needed refilling such as the storage containers and cleaners were topped up and I checked over the cupboards where I keep the staples such as sauces, pasta, rice, cereals, supplements, etc to update myself with what I had in stock and make a note of any food we are running out of as well as removing anything that was past it.  Apart from an empty Mango Chutney jar and out of date Jelly to throw away all the cupboards needed were a quick tidy and a wipe down.

I have been trying to do this more regularly as time allows and find that it is less wasteful both on food and money as I can pull out things that need using up to prevent them going out of date.  Like on my dressing table I have a toiletries use up box’ I have started a kitchen ‘use up box’ – this week for instance I know that I will have to make a Nutloaf to use up some of the nuts that I have so I can build this into my menu plan.

Finally a quick once over the notice board, water the plants and sweep and mop the floor and I am done.  When my kitchen and cupboards are clean and in order I always feel better and more in control.

So my kitchen is ready for another week – I just wish I could wave a magic wand on the rest of the house.

You may also like to read…

The Friday Fling                That Friday Feeling