Sunday, 31 January 2010

25 of 365

If you've seen my Scrap Your Day post you'll already know what I did on January 25th - and you'll know that I had a lot of photos to choose from!! I went with my tambourine as representative of my day's teaching, and the curry and naan bread as the yummiest food I had that day:

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Roast potatoes

Hello, fellow roastie fans!! :-) My previous post seems to have made people hungry.... All I did was show you these!

But a couple of you asked about my 'secret' and I'm more than happy to share :-) One of the things I do is to boil them for a little longer than usual - so they're not just parboiled, they're almost completely cooked - so when I shake them in the pan the edges rough up a LOT. Also, certain potatoes will crisp up better than others. King Edwards are pretty good; at the moment we're mostly using Rooster potatoes which are a red-skinned variety, and they roast very nicely.

The other thing I do, which may not be an option for you if you're trying to be particularly health-conscious, is that I roast them in a mixture of butter (well, buttery spread to be precise) and olive oil. For each serving I put about 1 teaspoon of the spread* and 1 teaspoon olive oil* into a roasting tin, heat it in the oven for a few minutes, then put in the potatoes and turn them to coat. I roast them for about an hour. The butter makes them extra-tasty as well as helping them to crisp.

(*Estimating here. What I actually do is put a slug of olive oil and some buttery spread into the tin. I think it works out at about a teaspoon of each per serving. Which isn't too terrible, even if you are trying to eat healthily!)

Hope that helps :-)

24 of 365

On the 24th The Lovely Doctor looked after The Children for the afternoon so I could go out for a quiet coffee and a bit of 'me-time' reading the Sunday papers :-) So I went to Costa and had my favourite small, skinny, Fairtrade, gingerbread latte! (I also bought a sewing machine. Not from Costa. From the Tesco store within which Costa was located.)

I then returned home refreshed and ready to prepare our Sunday roast - which included my crispy roast potatoes:

Yum! Though I do say so myself.... ;-)

Friday, 29 January 2010

23 of 365

On January 23rd I turned the above into a filing cabinet :-) And all without swearing! (But look out for a future confession...)

I'm definitely the DIY-er in our household. The Doctor, being very much The Academic Type, is not exactly what you might call practical. He is very helpful when I tell him exactly what to do, but he doesn't quite manage to 'see' how things should go. (This is fine - I'm plenty practical myself, and happy to take on the DIY tasks in the house. He does all the heavy lifting and brute force bits. We're a good team.)

I also turned eggs, mushrooms and cheese into this omelette:

Thursday, 28 January 2010


Oh drat and bother and flip and blow and gosh darn it!

In replying to Stacey's question about how I create my Wordles, and telling her that I change the settings so my blog shows a week's worth of posts at a time and hence so does the Wordle, I remembered that I hadn't changed my settings when I did the Wordle earlier and so it was only showing 7 posts and not 7 days.... You see, so as not to overwhelm visitors to my blog too much, I usually only have 7 posts showing at a time and if anyone's sufficiently interested they can always click back through to the previous 7 and so on. I made a mental note that I needed to change the blog settings before making each Wordle. And clearly put the mental note in a 'safe place' and forgot about it. Oops.....

But at least Stacey's question helped me to realise the mistake today while it's easier to fix :-) (Thanks, hun!) Here is my new and improved Weekly Wordle (4 of 52):

It may not have the delightful 'pics need details' or 'unloading chocolate', but at least it has 'mixed moment', 'post layout', 'blog now', and, appropriately, 'disaster'. And 'bare partly'. And 'Clair's little breaktime'. So all is not lost!

Weekly Wordle: 4 of 52

Well, looks like I've committed myself to doing these Weekly Wordles now :-) I think I've figured out how to backdate them though so if I do miss one it won't be a disaster! (I know that it shouldn't be a disaster anyway, but I am Me and therefore it would be. I just accept my Me-ness now and get on with it.)

And I know I get pathetically excited about how the Wordles turn out but again that's just Me so please indulge me a moment...

How cool is the 'go' inside the 'photos'?! And did you see, towards the bottom left: 'pics need details'?! And very little and cute, top left: 'unloading chocolate'?! There's a 'plan lunch', and a 'post rather ready' - which I shall take as a hint that this post is rather ready, and hit publish ;-)

22 of 365

On Friday mornings (well, most of them) I go to a Bible study group with other women from my church. On the 22nd we looked at a passage from Matthew. We also laughed a lot. And I spilt my coffee. Well, actually, I didn't - but it was my coffee that got spilt and as I had put it on the floor I suppose I might have been partly to blame....

And for lunch I had beef, a salad made from mixed leaves and grated beetroot, and bread and butter:

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Scrap Your Day: 1 of 12

Hello little blog :-) I haven't been neglecting you as such, my Project 365 has meant I could set up some autoposts to share those pics with you, but oh BOY have I had a busy few days!! I feel like I haven't made a 'proper', chatty, wittering post for soooo long....

One reason I've been busy is that Monday was the first day of my Scrap Your Day project. If you haven't heard of it, here it is, briefly: Shimelle ran it a while back, and the idea was to take lots of photos on the 25th of each month and do a layout of that day right through 12 months. I think the original project ran from an April till the following March, but it can be started at any time, it doesn't have to be the 25th, you could do blog posts rather than layouts - basically, you can do it any way you like!! All the details are downloadable from the link above. I came across the project last autumn and decided to start it this January (I didn't want to take on anything extra and new at the time, and I like the idea of finishing with Christmas).

So, the 25th being Monday, I kept my camera handy all day and took LOTS of photos. There was a snag in that I was working on Monday, and couldn't take photos of the children I was teaching, but it was quite good fun thinking of representative shots that didn't show any kids! Here's my day...

Started off the day by reading my Bible - working through 1 John at the moment.

Breakfast when I got to work - a hasty cup of tea and cinnamon and raisin bagel.

In between bites of bagel and mouthfuls of tea I was photocopying resources and setting up my laptop...

...writing the date on the board and finding my tambourine (it's a great way of getting the class's attention without needing to raise my voice at all!)

An unexpected break duty meant my breaktime coffee and fruit had to be consumed in rather a hurry!

After break I taught Science to Year 5. We were starting a new topic - Sound - so I had some resources ready to show them how sound is caused by vibrations.

Lunchtime - leftover curry sauce and rice from Saturday night mixed with leftover chicken from Sunday's roast, followed by natural yogurt and peach puree.

Oh, and another cup of coffee, this time drunk in a more leisurely fashion! Also a chance to exchange texts with The Doctor to see how each other's day is going, and to catch up with emails.

Year 5 again after lunch, Maths this time - a practical involving dice.

Last lesson was cut short by a fire drill. Then after school I gave an hour's one-to-one tuition to boost a Year 6 child's maths.

After that, time to collect The Girl from after-school care and The Boy from Science Club, dash home, put dinner on, and phone the tax people (aaaaargh!!!)

Dinner had to be quick and easy so we had breaded cod, oven chips and baked beans. I had apple juice with sparkling water to drink.

After dinner, time to take The Boy to Cubs. Today they were visiting the library as part of their book-lover's badge.

I plan to photograph these trees near my house every month, to show the changing seasons. Of course, having been at work all day, I only saw them in darkness - but that helps to show the shortness of the days, and you can still see that the branches are bare!

Finally, the chance to relax! I caught up on some blogs and played a bit of Lego Indiana Jones on the Wii... a bit of Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz (the latest Alex Rider book) and watched America's Next Top Model (we'll gloss over that for now, shall we?! But look out for a confession soon....)

Buttered toast and minty hot chocolate for supper, then I made The Children's packed lunches ready for the next day.

And finally, because it was a cold night and I am completely nesh, I heated up my wheat pack in the microwave.

Yes, my wheat pack is a cuddly cow. I call it Roast Beef ;-)

And yes, I need to clean my microwave....

So, I had the photos - plenty of photos! And I had the 'album'. The kit Shimelle put together was no longer available of course, but I loved the calendar she'd used as an album and thanks to the help of the lovely Jess I managed to get hold of one :-) I'd already prepared it as recommended in the downloadable notes (except that I forgot to ink the edges. Or add background stamp detail. Oh well...) Each month has an optional sketch, too, so I used that to help me plan my layout. I wanted to include lots of photos - it was a busy day, after all! - so adapted the sketch a little, cropped and resized my photos and printed them ready. In a happy coincidence, after I'd chosen my photos and printed them, I realised that there were exactly 25 :-) The rest was basically just sticking it all together:

Yes, I actually took a photo of myself and included it :-) I plan to do this each month too.

I added two little sets of hinged photos to fit in all the food and drink pics - I wanted to include them but they were less important to the overall layout.

So far all I've added to the journaling block is the stamped number 25, and the handwritten word january (copied from Ali Edwards' handwriting). I'm not sure what extra journaling to add, if any, but I have all the details I need right here in this blog post so it won't matter if I forget anything in the meantime :-)

I've decided that for me, it's more important to get the photos and have fun with them, and to see what changes over the year, than to create a beautiful, detailed layout each month. In fact, in some ways I prefer this blog post to my actual layout! But I shall just quote Kate and enjoy the process anyway :-)

And now to go be busy again.... Catch up with you all soon xx

21 of 365

On 21st January I went round to Clair's :-) She very kindly let me play with her sewing machine - I've been wanting to try sewing on paper for ages, but didn't want to splash out on even a simple machine till I'd had a chance to try the technique and be sure I'd like it. (I did like it, so I will definitely be splashing out at some point....!) She also did the stitching for me on a couple of scrapbook layouts (I was a bit nervous of doing it on an otherwise complete page till I've had a bit more practice); she advised me on a jewellery-making query; and she fed me bacon butties!! She is indeed the best kind of friend :-)

I did a spot of baking before going, so that I could contribute foodwise to our lunch. I made baked mini doughnuts with cinnamon sugar:

Ahem. I should confess that this was the second batch. It turns out that the 'grease the tin' step was rather crucial.....

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

20 of 365

It's another housework photo! Since loading and unloading the dishwasher is something I do on a daily basis it was bound to crop up sooner and later - and it's not such a bad job. I'd better be careful though, having said that I don't mind this task so much and I don't mind doing the washing, you might start thinking that my feelings about housework aren't as strong as I've led you to believe! Trust me, when it comes to tidying, vacuuming, polishing, cleaning the bathroom, etc, my feelings are very strong indeed....

I had a healthy snack of apple and grapes to keep me going till lunchtime:

Monday, 25 January 2010

19 of 365

I'm still taking German classes on Tuesdays, and I'm still really enjoying them :-) It is mostly revision of what I learnt at school, but I'd forgotten so much that it's good to practise it all again, and in particular to gain confidence in speaking it!

By the way, the reason there's a big bar of chocolate on my desk is that I'd just won the bingo game we'd played to practise times in German. And the reason most of it has been eaten is that I shared it round the class. I have to say that again because I can hardly believe it myself - I shared chocolate!

And here's something I drank that day:

I've included this photo for two reasons. One is that I drink coffee most days - I drink 'good', filter coffee because I enjoy it, and I drink instant because I need the caffeine! The other is to shame me. You see, one of my classmates always brings her own mug and when we have our coffee break she uses that and takes it home again afterwards. I always notice this and admire her organisation and forethought and her environmentally-friendliness, and resolve to do so myself. And I always forget and end up using the disposable polystyrene cups. I promise to do my best to remember for next week!