Monday, 24 September 2012

Tickled Pink

A gratuitous photo of my favourite girl on her newly crocheted blanket - so nice to be able to incorporate pink into a bit of crochet!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Vintage Teas and Clothes Swap

A sunny Sunday afternoon and a trip out with a friend to a small village hall in the country for tea and clothes swapping..

A fantastic spread was put on -  I found myself particularly partial to the small 'crustless' cucumber sandwiches (with a hint of mint) and was informed by the lady who made them, that these were served at the Queens' Summer Garden party this year along the road at Balmoral Castle - yogurt and mint with a slice of cucumber: must try making these at home!
We both came home more than happy with our 'swaps' - a couple of designer numbers and a vintage Tux for Mr N.Hi-L.  All in all a fantastic and unexpected Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, 20 September 2012


A consignment of logs to stack....

A bit of baking (spelt crispbread - would have made these years ago if I'd known how easy they were)

..and finally at the end of the day, our cosy new stove to sit in front of - those logs burn well!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Saturday Road Trip..

A 6:30am start last Saturday, as the whole family piled into the car for a trip over to the Cairngorm Mountains.  We are lucky enough to live in a small town on the edge of the Highlands and within 30  minutes we are pretty much into the wilds of Scotland.

...Past the out of season Ski centre (The Lecht)

..arriving at 8:40 at the beautiful Loch Morlich where Mr N H-L is to take part in the Annual Cairngorm Adventure Triathlon (Canoe/Bike/run).

The sun shone all day, and if it hadn't been for the fierce and chilly wind blowing off the Loch you may well have thought you were in another country!

 and then back along the twisty, windey road .....home..

Monday, 10 September 2012

Scratching Post..

Little Beau, our rescue cat has settled beautifully into our house and it's hard to believe we have only had her for 6 months.  Aside from the odd live baby bird brought into the master bedroom at 4 in the morning, I am loving being a cat owner and am defiantly well on my may to becoming 'crazy cat lady'.  However, Beau has decided that she'd rather use our sofa/footstool than her strategically placed scratching post to sharpen her claws and this has resulted in the sides of the footstool being shredded....

Not to worry, I have crocheted a nice cover to go along the bottom edge, covering all those unsightly 'pulls'.. I even managed to work my newest, favourite wool colour (neon yellow) into the design....

..and now I'm thinking she might just have done us a favour...!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Daily Bread

I have been bread making for about 10 years now, ever since the boys were little babies and there was nothing more satisfying than to see their chubby little hands grab thick fingers of freshly baked bread and cram it into their mouths.  Of course it was easier back then to produce a fresh loaf ever day or so- I was at home all day, and there didn't seem to be as many demands on my time outside the house as there are now.
Over the years i have honed my bread making skills, using my trusty bread making machine to mix my dough for me.(I gave up baking the actual bread in the machine years ago as the results became too unpredictable) 

My two main problems I have always faced in my bread making adventures are 1) a loaf is usually devoured in one sitting by my greedy family, and 2) My attempts at making the loaf slightly healthier using wholemeal flour have always given a too heavy result.
Last year my 10 year old started refusing sandwiches in his packed lunch - this has been a major cause of stress to me as one of my most loathed chores in the morning is making packed lunches, and nothing is more soul destroying that emptying the box at the end of the day and finding an untouched sandwich.  Apparently it is the 'bought' bread  that is the issue (how spoilt are my children ?),  so at the start of this new term I decided to try something different - bake enough bread on a Sunday to see us through the week.

This isn't as difficult or time consuming as you may think - I had just stumbled upon the most fantastic recipe for Spelt bread, where the quantities used were more than enough to make 3 loaves. 
Eat one on the day, with enough left over for Mondays sandwiches and freeze the other 2 for later on in the week.  Oh yes, and another trick was to use a loaf tin, making the loaf more uniform and easier to cut.  I need to try and pick up some bigger loaf tin (as you can see i only have 1 big one) but in the mean time, four weeks into the school term, its working - sandwiches are being eaten again and we have enough fresh bread to see us through the week.

Monday, 3 September 2012


Huge excitement this week in the N H-L household - we are getting a Wood burning stove installed in our livingroom. I really can't wait and feel it will add some great cheer and comfort to the long, cold, dark Winters we have up here.

Anyway, with this in mind, I managed to persuade the family to take a trip South last Saturday to the small coastal town of St Cyrus where I had heard of but never before visited 'Steptoes Yard' in the quest to find some fireside accessories.

This place is something of a legend around the North East area - quite unbelievable that I'd never been before.  The excitement was rising (for me anyway) as we parked  in front of a large farm -like yard and proceeded to try and take in what lay in front of us.

First thing - never go to these types of places with your children - in less than 2 minutes the familiar 'can we go now' started and I literally could not focus on any of the 'stuff' that lay in front of me.  After ten minutes my impatient children were starting to annoy me and I could no longer concentrate on the job in hand and the sheer quantity of 'things' started to overwhelm me- to be honest most of it looked like a pile of junk, but I'm pretty sure, given the time and some peace (come alone next time!) there would be some hidden gems to find......