Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy 2009...

To everyone who has visited and left me such lovely comments. Thank you and please accept my good wishes for a Happy New Year.

I hope that all those who join you at the start of the year are also by your side as our year will close in 365 days time.


Meat Balls!!!

This one is a firm family favourite. If you have a food processor, it makes it so easy and quick to make too!

500g (1lb) minced beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp chopped oregano
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 slices bread, crumbed
1 egg, beaten (I leave this out as I can't eat eggs anymore and it makes no significant difference to the end result)

Olive Oil (only a little for frying)

1 onion, quartered
397g (14oz) tin chopped tomatoes
600ml (1pint) beef stock
2 tbs tomato puree
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp chopped oregano
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp sugar

Put all the sauce ingredients into a food processor and blitz to a puree. Transfer to a large saucepan, bring to the boil, stirring continuously then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer while making the meatballs.

(Quick method) Put all the meatball ingredients into the food processor and mix thoroughly. Shape into meatballs (about 1" across). Fry gently a few at a time until browned all over. Transfer to the sauce while cooking the next batch of meatballs.

Once all the meatballs are cooked and added to the sauce, simmer gently for 20 minutes. Shake the pan gently and try to avoid stirring the meatballs in case you break them up.

Serve spooned over a bowl of hot spaghetti. Grate fresh parmesan cheese over the top.


** You can freeze this recipe when the meatballs and sauce are cooked. It will keep for up to 3 months. Just defrost and reheat thoroughly. Serve over freshly cooked pasta.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

If it's worth eating...

...then it's worth cooking.

I'm not a lover of fast food / pre-packed / processed / mass-prepared food and as such the kids have grown up being the same. I can't remember the last time we had a KFC & the kids REFUSE to eat McDonalds (I'm not normally that polite with their name - think McDogfood!!!) Even as a little one, I remember Jacob asking if he HAD to go to a friend's birthday party, as it was at McD's and their food is yuck!!! Good lad!!!

Anyways..... I always make my own pate and cranberry sauce for Christmas day. The first batch of pate (made Christmas eve) has all gone now :-( so it was a trip to Sainsbury's this afternoon to get the essentials. If you want to have a go, then I'll list the know how below - 5 ingredients - how simple can that be? As I can't eat pork (intollerance) I always use chicken livers which have a much stronger, richer taste anyway. So, here goes: (oh, by the way, I NEVER said it was calorie free!!!!)

1 pack (400g) Fresh chicken livers (if you can't get fresh, then defrost some frozen ones.
1 medium onion, choppped.
1 (generous) tsp mixed herbs.
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pack butter

Melt 1/4 pack of butter in a large frying pan, add the liver, onion, herbs and garlic.
Fry gently until the liver is cooked and the onion is transparent.
Transfer to a food processor and add 1/2 pack of butter.
Blitz until the required consistency (I like mine smooth).
Put into a serving dish.
Gently melt 1/4 pack of butter and pour over the top of the pate. (melted butter is also known as clarified butter in case you see the term and wonder what it means).
Leave to cool before placing in the fridge.

Voila! Home made pate! I told you it was simple, didn't I?

You can substitute the chicken liver for pork if you fancy. Most commercially bought, pre-prepared (crappy) pates are made with pork liver (think cheaper ingredient!!) You can also add a schleush of sherry/marsala wine while it's cooking, the alcohol will evaporate leaving just the flavour behind.

Serve chilled generously spread onto crackers/toasts and a blob of caramelised red onion chutney!

I'll post my recipe for home made meatballs in a bit. Kids fave meal!


To my Aunty Jenny and to Russ who gallantly got down on one knee to ask her to be his bride during a Christmas party.

I am so sure that they'll be really happy together. She tells me it'll be a long engagement - I told her not to be so bloody silly and get married again; he's lovely and totally adores her.

I thought that the saying on their card was so appropriate given my instructions to her!

Especially as her and mum recently lost their brother. Find happiness and grab it with both hands, you're a long time dead!

Monday, 29 December 2008

I'm an addict!!!!

I have an addiction which I need to publicly admit to.....

I don't drink, so it's not alcohol.
I don't smoke, so it's not cigarettes.
I am addicted to......... RADLEY bags!!!! So much so, that I thought I'd share my little addiction with you all.

I got them all out today as I started making a little book to record them in and sat them down (they are sooo patient and well behaved!), I photographed them and labelled my photos with the name of the bag (yes, I know it's VERY sad - whatever!!!! LOL)

Anyhoo.... My collection (addiction) currently stands at 17 items. Carousel is exclusive to John Lewis and was my Chrimbo pressie from Will (What a hunny!!!)

Introducing (in sad, addicted 40 year old woman, alphabetical order!)

This is my Christmas 2008 baby.... a new briefcase!

The collection (aka addiction) started with this one...

And before anyone says it.... yes, I know it's sad having a handbag/accessory fetish. It's even worse to photograph them and make a mini book out of them. It's my indulgence and makes me VERY easy to buy pressies for!!!

I can imagine in many years to come, I won't be the sad old woman surrounded by her cats. I'll be surrounded by my bags and the leather dog tags LOL.

So there! I've admitted my addiction. I have absolutely NO intention of giving it up and hope to grow my collection too.

Just worked out, I have spaces for 9 more photos in my little book I've just made!!! ;-)

Thank you Karen

Karen awarded me the 'Your Blog is Fabulous' award that I received recently from Gez.

Thanks Karen. I'm really glad that I don't type up blog posts to myself and that people actually like what they see.


A few little cards for a first baby

I forgot to blog these cards for a work colleague and his partner who had their first baby at the beginning of December.

Congratulations to you both, Dean & Emma!

I really must be more organised - I'm blaming my cotton wool brain on my recent cold!

Debbie Moore

Debbi will be on QVC on Tuesday 6th January 2009 at 10am.

Tune in to see what she'll be showing. There may be one or two new products being shown along with (hopefully) a couple of my cards!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Indigo Mill - Sneaky Peek - January kit

For those that remember, Indigo Mill were kind enough to sponsor our Rosie-Dee's challenge blog a few weeks back.

I'm so excited that Steph has asked to design for her using the January Kit for Indigo Mill.

Steph is changing the direction of her shop from January and sent me THE most gorgeous set of papers and stash to play with.

So far I've made 3 LOs and a couple of cards and I still have papers etc left over to play with some more. But for now, here's a little peek at some of the work that I've done...

Saturday, 27 December 2008

There's a sale going on!

Over at Indigo Mill, there is a massive sale of up to 60%

Crate Paper Lemon Grass range is included - I've used this and it's really gorgeous. I love the design and the texture.

Bazzill cardstock is reduced to 15p

American Crafts is down, down, down too!

Quick, grab yourself a bargain. I have!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and wondrous wishes for 2009.

May all your dreams come true, may your heart heal if it's been broken or is sad.

May love be the light at the end of your tunnel.

Hope Santa is good to you all and brings you stash or cash for stash! HAHA!

Lots of love,

Monday, 22 December 2008

I've been awarded

This special award from the very lovely Gez. Thank you so much darling, I really do appreciate it.

The rules of the award are as follows:

You have to give it to five others, who shall give it to five others. You must link to the one you got it from, and also to the ones you give it to and let them know. And there is more ... You have to write down five things you are addicted to!!

Right then! My 5 addictions are...

1. My family, I could not live without their love, support and affection.
2. Chocolate - c'mon, it's a girl thing!
3. Radley bags! - It's a Rosie thing!
4. Crafting which gives me my 'me time' - something everyone needs now and then.
5. My driving licence - it gives me my independence and gave me my career.

The 5 lovely crafty Blogs I'd like to offer this award to that I love to go visiting are... (in no particular order) .....

1. Kaz
2. Kathy
3. Karen
4. Hazel
5. Kirsty

You all have so much talent in so many ways. Enjoy your award, you all deserve it. xx

Debbi Moore Designs...

Oh wow! I received a fab goody bag from Debbi in Saturday's post.

I got one of these...

One of these...

And something spectacular that is not yet on her website.... you'll have to check back to see what it is when I can reveal it! All I CAN say is that it took me totally by surprise as it's not something that I would normally go for! I have been converted!

Debbi will be on QVC on Tuesday 6th January at 10am where there is the possibility that some of my cards I've designed using Debbi's fab products will be featured.

I can't wait to get started on making some cards using these cds and the ??? product that I've received. I have just the right paper in mind to print out some of the paper designs onto - a lovely pearlescent ivory.......

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Christmas pud, made with love...

I have a friend that I made when I taught her to drive a few years back. I really admire her; she was in her early 60's, recently bereaved and so very determined to learn to drive. I was the Driving Instructor she chose to help her gain her freedom and independence.

During her lessons, we laughed and cried together; shared special stories, both happy and sad, and built a firm friendship. Since she passed her test a couple of years back we have remained friends, have taken each other into our hearts and remain there for each other during times of need. She has adopted my two children as surrogate grandchildren, never forgetting a birthday or Christmas for them. Will receives his birthday card too.

Every year since that first meeting she has graciously made us a Christmas pudding from a generations old family recipe (which remains a secret to me). It is made from scratch, sorting through each and every piece of dried fruit by hand before being washed several times. Mixed with love and a wish and packaged up ready to be enjoyed Christmas day.

My 2008 Christmas pud was delivered this afternoon (I HAD warned her I was fully of the lurgy but she didn't mind if I was contaminated, she had a delivery to make! LOL)

So I'm sending Brenda a HUGE thank you once again this year for my Christmas pud and for her friendship throughout 2008. Enjoy your retirement when it starts on Christmas Eve.

Lots of love



Seems my tyre had a puncture and wasn't just feeling deflated like me! The lovely tyre man struggled to find the culprit and pumped it back up. Only after about 10 mins with the soapy water did the little blighter reveal itself! It turned out to be a staple thingy; very thin and it had started to rust so had been there a little while. Anyhoo! It's all repaired and fat with air again! YAY!!!

The cold and bleugh-ness that I'm feeling got the better of me and forced us to miss my Christmas works do last night :-( I slept for near on 15 hours on Friday night, I managed to get up before lunch yesterday, put the tree up for the kids and left them to finish it off before I went back to bed for a couple of hours (what a wimp!) Will text my boss and also cancelled grandad's baby sitting service to say that we won't be going out as I was poorly (bless him). He's been a real sweetie through all of this. When I've been in bed by 6pm/6.30pm he hasn't moaned or groaned and has just got on with all his parental duties like the fab dad that he is. I guess if I have passed this on to him, then I had better be as nice eh?!

I had booked tickets about 10 days ago to go and see Twilight at Kettering Odeon this morning with Deanne. I was up in time and determined to see the film without falling asleep (didn't take my medicine before I went as I figured it would be slightly embarrassing falling asleep through the movie!) I STAYED AWAKE and really enjoyed the film too. Not quite as good as the book, but then again, I love the fact that when you read a book, you create your own pictures/film to go with it.

It's 6pm and I'm still awake - the first time I haven't had to catch a nap through the day or fallen asleep by now, since last Sunday (even had to grab half an hour at work the other day - rang the boss and told him not to come into the office in case he woke me up! HAHA!! - I'm very lucky that I work for a small company and the two owners are very understanding - spesh as it was my boss that passed it onto me in the first place - thanks Lea!!!!!!) Will was a bit annoyed with me that I worked all week through it though as in his eyes, "I'd have gotten rid of it earlier if I had stopped being a bloody martyr and worked through it!!" Would it have gone earlier if I'd had a day off and slept through instead of working and then sleeping from tea time until the school run and work the next morning? Who knows! All I do know is that it hit me like a steam train, zapped all my strength and energy and is now finally going on it's way to find it's next victim!

Hope it's not on it's way to any of my friends....

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Great time of year, isn't it?

No?! What do you mean??

In my household we've had...

* a bereavement recently
* Freya has had a chesty cough
* I'm down with the worst cold that it seems I've ever had (still at work through the day and then collapsing in a heap, being good for nothing at night)
* I had a flat tyre this afternoon and had to pump it back up. I'll have to check it again in the morning in case it's a puncture. We had a look and can't see any offending item in the tyre, so fingers crossed, it's just feeling as deflated as I am at the mo.
* I have present shopping still to do
* I have the house/tree still to decorate
* I have Christmas cards still to make
* I have food to buy so we can eat on the big day
* The housework to do

I need.....

* Energy
* Vitality
* More hours in the day
* My cold to bugger off and leave me in peace
* A cleaner
* A personal shopper
* An elf or two to help me out
* To sleep through a whole night without coughing, sneezing, blowing my nose or just laying awake feeling totally crap!

Any suggestions....? Please don't say alcohol as I don't drink and that would be a punishment to me (I'm a lightweight as far as booze goes - one glass of wine and I'm giggling before snoring! LOL)

Any offers of help, very gratefully received.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Cold for Christmas!

I am absolutely full of the cold and just in time for Christmas too! How kak is that timing? Sore throat, runny nose and feeling totally tired! Just what I need when I'm not prepared for big day, eh?

I'm out at a customer's on Wednesday, finish work on Friday, have a friend (Steph) staying over Friday night, and it's the Christmas party on Saturday night. The way I'm feeling right now, I'll need my fortnight off work to recover - note I said recover and not to be normal - that would never do - normal is boring lol !!!!

Can anyone help please?

I remember seeing in a magazine quite a while back a link to a 'wordfetti' site but I'm damned if I can find the mag or remember the site! Can anyone help me please?


Rosie-Dee's Sneaky peek....

Over on Rosie-Dee's, we're getting all wrapped up for Christmas. Pop over and see what we have for you this week?

Friday, 12 December 2008

Happy Birthday Sam!

Sam's birthday is today so I'm sending her some cyber wishes and hugs as she's far too far away in Newcastle.

Just incase the bloomin' posties lose your card (as they are apt to do!!!!), here's a piccy of it! HAHA


Sunday, 7 December 2008

Wanna bag a bargain?

If, like me, you love a bargain, then you want to pop over to Steph's shop, Indigo Mill to see her sale! She has some things reduced to the most amazingly low prices. Christmas has come early in the craft world it seems!!!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Happy Birthday Daniel!

Today is our friend's son, Daniel's 13th birthday. A teenager at last.

Wishing you a fabulous birthday Dan!!! Hope it's a good one!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Happy Birthday Deanne!

It's Deanne's birthday today - so to a very good friend - HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUN!!!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Training the Cricut

You know when you fancy a new gadget and are looking on line to find the best deal....

Well, I came across the Cricut Express site in the USA. I am mightily impressed with their little 'clickable' video clips showing you how to use the Cricut, clean it etc.

I still want an Expression. Anyone know of any bargain places to buy one?


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