Tuesday, 28 October 2014

So Long, Farewell......

Today I watched as my beloved Aga was slowly and carefully dismantled to be taken away – probably to warm the cockles of a new family’s heart!!

Turned off ready to go, our three oven Aga - the tiles behind are from Fired Earth.

We have had Aunty Aga – named by my nephews – as they misheard when I said "On the Aga" or "In the Aga" and she fondly became known as Aunty Aga – she is definitely a she!! She knows so many secrets, sssshhhhh………………

We have loved her and she has been perfect for our home, which originates from 1650. We bought her 14 years ago and she has warmed our hearts and home ever since, despite breaking down on 3 occasions – naughty girl – once in the first year of having her – 2 days before Christmas – oh yessss – and Aga told me they wouldn’t be able to get an engineer out till after the big man in red had been! Can you imagine? All that planning for the first Aga cooked Christmas dinner? This was swiftly sorted when Mr.L got on the phone and a nice engineer was out next day, probably on triple pay or something…

I feel sad and will miss her warmth when I come in to the kitchen on a blustery Autumn or snowy Winter’s day, clothes warming on her ready to change in to. The dog lying with his back against her and I remember when we had an ill chicken in a box at the side of her.

I’ll miss watching Mr.L moving food for friends and family around the different ovens, in his element, often in a Chef’s hat. The best, most moist cakes ever and always exclamations of how tasty the food is and how succulent the meat!!  

I remember when my Son started secondary school and had to write a detailed piece on how to make a slice of toast in Home Economics – “First, lift the left hand side boiling plate lid up” – haha!!

So, why are we saying farewell? When we got her she cost around 28 pounds a month to run, now five times that – that isn't for the heating – our Aga isn't linked to do the heating like some and to change this would cost a fortune.

She has become an extravagance and I feel our money could be better spent, particularly as it is just me & Mr.L at home now. We have a wood burner and central heating and obviously will be using them more than ever, but I feel I can no longer justify paying out so much money every month.

So, now I'm trying to find a range oven to fit the space. I still want a large oven as I love cooking and having friends and family over, but at least I will have the choice of what I'm using when. Below are the last things I baked over the weekend - one of three Christmas cakes and a cherry and coconut traybake, mmmmmm - I can't have any - juice detox!!!

Ok, so now the hunt is on for a new oven quick!!
Any recommendations? Share!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Juice Bar

Hi there! I have decided I need an overhaul, read I need to drop a few pounds :-) We all know our optimum weight and I am currently carrying quite a few excess pounds. I have read lots about juicing, including this book by Jason Vale, aka The Juicemaster and am convinced that this for me is the right route. I have never dieted in my life, but have some bad eating habits, mainly the refined sugar kind. For me it isn't just about dieting but making changes and getting out of the bad habits......

I bought myself the Fusion Juicer by Jason Vale and so far so good. His book is full of really good tips such as preparing all fruit first, having a bowl of hot soapy water ready to encourage you to clear up straight away, great as juicing can be a really messy business!!

So, I have started to try out different recipes from this funky juicing book and up to now I have only found one that I do not like :-)

The next part for me is going to be the hardest - I am planning to do the 7lbs in 7 days detox! I have booked this week off work and intend to detox my home as well as my life!! I shall be walking my dog, taking short runs and practicing Pilates during the week. And juicing LOTS. 

Jason also recommends setting up a juicing bar - this was fun! You can see mine below!

I am the person who wakes up wanting to eat my own arm - so wish me luck!! 
I'll report back here daily as to how I'm doing ;-)

Does anyone reading juice? Would you do a detox?
Please call back and see how I'm doing! :-)

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Baby Shower

Last weekend I organised a Baby Shower for my Daughter. I wanted it to show how very loved and cared about she is as well as celebrating this beautiful Mama to be.

I could have taken more photo's but I was very in the moment :-) 
We chatted, played games (Amazon became my friend!!) and drank blue champagne 
(food colouring - simples!)

The personalised sash was from a company on Amazon....
I just adore this scrumptious, precious baby bump :-)
The local Card Factory was great for ordering balloons at reasonable prices and meant a quick five minute dash in the morning to pick them up!
The display below I came up with whilst wandering in The Range which is where the white wicker heart and coloured tags are from. 
The tags were for people to write their good luck wishes and advice titbits :-) 
It worked really well and looked pretty too......
A lovely friend had reams of blue bunting, which I ran through the 
kitchen and study,It looked so pretty. 
So many places to hire bunting on line which is worth doing if you need a lot.
These letters were just cut from card and strung on a stick hanging from a beam.
 I knew there were children coming to the party so ordered this blue elephant 
themed partyware from Amazon.
To make the day easier I had ordered pasties - meat & potato and cheese & onion, 
which were really tasty with a nice glass of white ;-)
Bubbles with added blue food colouring for a toast!
Some beautiful gifts were given, should have heard the "oooohhhssss" & 
"aaaaahhhhhhssss" as they were opened, such sweet happy times to come.
It's all in the eyes....so cute :-)
The muslins below are from Mini Boden, I'm so happy with them, 
they are super size and excellent quality.
These fun cards are brill - to put on the photo of your little one as they achieve all 
important milestones! Love them!
The cake! Oh my, the cake!! I was so proud of this! I asked my best friends daughter to let her imagination run and make a cake, I gave her the elephant theme and this is what she came up with! This is the third cake she has made, at only 16 she definitely has a talent....
 Proud Mama and Mama-to-be :-)
 The all important cake lighting & cutting....
& the making of wishes....
Details schmetails....games and invites from Amazon
 These beautiful candles for winners of the games - going to go back for some for moi ;-)
 House looks really bare now - oh well, nearly Ch.....................aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!
Young love! Six weeks until the little man arrives ;-0

Thanks so much for dropping by - 
hope you enjoyed sharing a small part of our celebration!