A sticky end to 2012

I’m not going to write a big end of year post, but it is nice to end the year on a high, and I do like little things, especially unexpected things. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow as they say.

I have rediscovered my love of cooking. I have always loved cooking, not that you would guess from this blog as I don’t have the patience to type a recipe up. I’ve realised I find cooking, when it’s not scrambling round to make a meal in 10 minutes cooking, but that lesiurely lock yourself in the kitchen away from the rest of the family cooking, really therapeutic.

I went to visit Panasonic again just before Christmas, to test combi ovens, and it sent me giddy, back to being my 14 year old self in Home Ec class.  Except the Chelsea buns we made in Home Ec never ever rose, either we were too busy pinging raisins at the boys, or the recipe was flawed. But, look, these did, what lovely buns I made when I got home:

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New Year’s Eve: Review

My favourite films and stories are ones that have multiple protagonists, so when Warner Brothers offered me New Year’s Eve to review I was keen to see what it had to offer. I won’t lie to you, the reviews weren’t great when this film first came out, but could it be the right film to inject a bit of spirit if you watched on New Year’s Eve? Continue reading

My favourite Nut Roast recipe and Vegetarian Gravy recipe

I don’t have a close up, so for now it is nestled in front of the candlesticks, with the gravy to the left. I will update this pic if I remember to take one this year!

This is the gorgeous nut roast we have pretty much always had at Christmas. I think about changing it, but I can never quite bring myself to do it. It has a layer of tomatoes and parsley in the middle which makes it attractive, extra special and a little bit festive too. The meat eaters always have some as stuffing and since I discovered this gravy it has been the only one we ever make, for veggies and meat eaters alike. Continue reading

Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking petition hand in

Human Trafficking petition hand in by 38 Degrees, on Flickr

The blog has always been a bit of a filing cabinet, a place to squirrel away ideas and sometimes to bounce them. Sharing worked with the children’s story I was writing and I hope it might work for the novel I started at the beginning of my OU Creative Writing Diploma. I would really like to finish it, or maybe to morph it into a new version.

I’m still really moved by the theme, people trafficking. Continue reading

Quick Green Tips

Green Elephants Garden Sculptures

Follow me kids, we’re going green. Green Elephants Garden Sculptures by epSos.de, on Flickr

I’ve thought about my financial New Year’s resolutions and I thought it was about time I worked on my green resolutions. Children and being busy seem to cause no end of shortcuts, waste and principles I once held dear going out the window. I accept I can’t do everything I would like, but maybe it is a case of flipping it and thinking what I can do, what baby steps can I take to be more green? I came up with eight quick green tips Continue reading

Did maternity leave take you on a journey?

Road

Road by King Haan, on Flickr

Did maternity leave take you on a journey? Did it help you to find a new career, or a change your outlook to your existing career? Maybe you found a new talent on the way? I was reflecting on this yesterday. I’d taken Miss L to the dentist, she hopped excitedly about, chattered away confidently and asked the dentist about a bijillion questions. Continue reading

New year financial resolutions FLIP IT!

Patrioric Barrells

Patrioric Barrells by Uncle Catherine on Flickr

As 2012 draws to a close I am thinking about resolutions, all will come clear with that image, bear with me. Knowing I love a bit of psychology, Becky over at Family Budgeting lent me Flip It by Michael Heppell, it is a really fascinating book about changing your thinking. It’s really inspired me to flip my thinking about my beliefs, situations I find myself in, life in general and money. Continue reading

Last minute holidays

Why does it always rain when I go to the hairdressers? I stepped out this morning with my neatly tongued curls, it wasn’t quite the Florence Welch do I had planned, but I was very happy with my locks.

Outside was still damp dark morning, as I passed the travel agent I watched a little girl inside the window, she was sat on a bucket chair, swinging her legs, bundled up in a duffle coat, scarf and hat, while waiting for her parents to finish booking a holiday. She was sat next to a poster of a beautiful beach, with a little girl playing in the sand. The cruel juxtaposition made me laugh out loud.

The pictures in the window made me long so much to be somewhere hot, somewhere where the sun shines all day and there’s actual daylight outside of that bit when I am required to be at my desk working. I’m excited about Christmas, but one year I would just like to leave it all behind for somewhere hot and exotic.

I read an article yesterday saying a half of British workers in the UK only see sunlight if they bother to leave work over their lunchbreak and a whopping 2/3rds of respondents to the survey said they stay in most the weekend too.

So we are a sun starved nation. All can think about now is getting away in the sun and holiday hunting over the break.

Back to School

Back in September I was debating whether to go back to teaching after Mr G starts school. Well last month I went back into a secondary school for the first time in years. Only this time instead of teaching, I was producing and presenting a short film for the publishers I do some freelance education consultancy for. Continue reading

Our Baker Ross Gallery – Festive Fun

We’ve had a fab time again with the materials from Baker Ross. I have been posting our efforts as we have gone along, on facebook and Instagram. Miss L is busy colouring in the make your own cracker set ready for next week, and being someone who rarely follows instructions for long, she’s turned the animal outlines from the colour your own mobile into giftags.

I love Baker Ross kits for those moments when they need a quick fuss free distraction. L and her cousin enjoyed making these woven creatures together when L felt a bit left out on Mr G’s birthday:

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Batman: The Dark Knight Rises at Wollaton Hall

The stunning Elizabethan Wollaton Hall, in Nottingham, became Bruce Wayne’s mansion in the recent Warner Brothers DVD release Batman The Dark Knight Rises. With a deer park, lake cafe and house full of stuffed animals and other curiosities, Wollaton is one of my favourite places for a family walk in Nottingham. Continue reading