Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Monday Bake Day..

I baked some bagels yesterday (recipe here) - a first for me, but the jury is out on whether or not it will be a last.....they were very tasty, but I am now starting to think that £1.25 for 5 at the supermarket is actually quite a bargain given the amount of time and effort they take to make (it was that extra poaching in the pan step I think....)

But nonetheless they look great showcased next to my latest enamelware find -£2 for a vintage enamel coffee pot (does anyone know how you actually use a pot like this to make coffee??)

I baked up a storm yesterday, on what has become my 'Monday bake day'.  It's the only time in the week I actually have any time now to bake, and its a good feeling to stock up the tins for the packed lunches ahead.  These Lemon Muffins came out great and I also made wholemeal based pizza slices with sunflower seed topping as a substitute for sandwiches..phew...

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Homemade Air Freshener

Growing Boys + Sporty Husband = Smelly Trainers, lots and lots of them...Not quite sure how we have managed to reach this point, but all of a sudden my shoe cupboard is full of stinky trainers and football boots.  I found this great idea via Pinterest on 'The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking' on how to make your own air freshener.

It's a beautifully simple idea and works a treat - basically Bicarbonate of Soda and your favourite essential oil mixed up in a jar with holes punched in the lid - shake gently to release extra smelling power.  I used some clove oil - not everyone's cup of tea, but I love it's deep spicy scent and use it in a lot of homemade cleaning products for it's antibacterial qualities- you can usually pick it up for less than a pound in your local chemist.

Cheap and easy to make, I have put one in the shoe cupboard and dotted a few around the house - lovely!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Wet, Dry,Wet!

At around 9am on Saturday morning it stopped raining and the mist rose from the hills - loch Morlich was as still as glass..

and miraculously it stayed dry for the whole event..

before the rain started up again..

Thursday, 15 September 2011

my week...

A busy, but good week, with a few hi-lights to share:-

Monday - at last some charity shop success (been having a dry patch for months now) in the form of 2 Lustre glazed dishes.  The first is a 'Fire King' bowl - I looked up the make when i got home, as it was slightly unusual and had a vintage Pyrex look to it - apparently it is ovenware from the USA, I paid £1 for it, and thought my new season pears looked particularly pretty sitting in it.

The second was a pretty little yellow pot, coincidentally with the same kind of iridescent glaze as the bowl (50p), I might use it in the bathroom to store toiletries etc.. This thrifting lark really is a cheap hobby, or at least this is how I rationalise the addition of yet another bowl to the household to  Mr Northern Hi-lights and  the pleasure I get from these finds is quite incredible!

Tuesday - Work and a lovely lunch break with my friend the Black-eyed Blond

Wednesday - I played at being the official photographer for the school I work for's  annual sponsored walk.  What a great day- unbelievably the sun shone for the whole day making the Deeside countryside look magnificent - slightly achy legs this morning though..

Thursday - a day off work, which has been spent spent shopping and cleaning out the old caravan for a trip away this weekend.
For the past 5 years a group of us head up to Loch Morlich for the 'Cairngorm Adventure Triathlon' (I must add that it is Mr N-HL, not myself who is participating) This year, we're looking at 15 children and 10 adults - it's normally fun, but complete chaos and I'm just hoping for better weather than last year!

the essentials have all been packed (beer and biscuits), sheets washed and beds made..

Please, please, please let it be dry!

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Book Group.

I am a voracious reader.  There has never been a time in my adult life when I haven't had a book 'on the go', so I was never really that bothered about joining one of the many book groups in our local area - imagine being told what to read!  Two years ago a few of my close friends wanted to start up a small, informal book group and I was persuaded to go along and be part of it.  It's been a mixed experience for me - on one hand the social side it great - we meet at someones house approximately once a month, drink too much wine and eat far too many crisps.  To start with we all felt slightly shy  and awkward about critiquing the book, so discussions were short, but as the months progressed, we became better - sometimes we actually spend a whole hour talking about the book before moving on to other more pressing topics.  Some of the book have been (in my opinion) awful, others a real revelation and despite all the 'no shows' and the 'non readers', we are now embarking on our third year.

 Last week we chose the books for the next 6 months - it was quite a heated debate, but we finally came to the agreement of reading the above books.  I have read 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist', but the other titles I have not -looks like a fairly interesting selection - I'm quite looking forward to reading all of them!  Comments anyone?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Chilly fingers

There's been a definite Autumnal feel to the days this week, with cold mornings and chilly breezes in the air.  My crochet mind is turning to hats and gloves, although according to my Mum - mittens are the new gloves this season!
My Mum is the knitter of the family, knocking out beautiful gifts for the whole family at an impressive rate. Last week my Mum sent me up a lovely pair of woollen mittens, accessorised with cute heart buttons - These will defiantly Cheer me up on frosty mornings.

♥ note ♥ Mitten Pattern taken from 'Fun and Funky Knitting' by Emma King

Monday, 5 September 2011


Sorry, it looks like Monday is turning into my weekly cookery post! It's because it's my day off work and the only day of the week I get the time to play about in the kitchen. 

Unfortunately for me, my other half has absolutely no interest in cooking or baking at all - If I weren't around he would happily exist on cereal and digestive biscuits.  I might also add, that he is a fitness fanatic and is currently in training for the 'Caringorm Adventure triathlon' which is taking place in a few weeks.  Right now he is expending a great deal of calories with all the training he is doing and as he doesn't really take his own nutrition seriously, I try to make some 'healthy' snacks for him to munch on during the day at work. Today I decided to use up my surplus of seeds and nuts with this 'Spicy Roasted Pumpkin and Sunflower seed' recipe.

I Googled a recipe and honestly, this 'Joy the baker' recipe popped up first in the results - it was meant to be, you know what a fan I am!

I added a tablespoon of this smoked hot paprika instead of the chilli powder, which gave the mix a lovely smoky, BBQ flavour and in addition, threw in a handful of sesame seeds and flaked almonds.  The mix was incredibly quick and easy to make - its has been jarred and labelled, and is now sitting at the front door JUST in case Mr N H-L's  (as is the norm after all my efforts) forgets it!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Re-Cycled T-Shirt Yarn

 I've been playing around this morning - cutting up an old t-shirt and winding it into a ball of yarn. I found this very enticing tutorial via Pinterest and had to give it a go.
My yarn didn't end up looking quite so smooth and due to probably a slightly blunt pair of scissors I now have very sore hands - but thought I'd round up the morning trying out (another!) a bangle:

Three rounds of single crochet was all that was required to make this very sturdy and rigid bangle - it looks slightly 'rustic' around the edges, but overall I am pleased with the result - I think I just need to work on making a better ball of yarn in the first place -better go and sharpen those scissors!