Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rainy Day

It was really misty when I woke up and it has started to pour with rain for the first time for ages. The gardens need it and it will be great to have some water in my water butt but it is such a contrast to yesterday when we were basking in the sunshine.    

We decided to take our 3 grandchildren to the beach yesterday and we had gathered towels, sun cream, hats, drinks, buckets and spades etc by 9am and set off.  The tide was out so we took off our shoes deciding to splodge around in the pools of water left behind, when No 1 grandson said " what's this Grandad?"  He was holding a jellyfish!   It must have been dead as he didn't get stung thank goodness but they were everywhere!   We swiftly left the beach picking our way carefully back to the car and headed for a play park and woodland walk instead.  They had a fun afternoon as their three teenage cousins came up and played cricket and hide and seek with them. It was nice to see them together, the big ones enjoying it just as much as the small ones.

So today as we couldn't go outside they made cards for a family birthday tomorrow

                                                       made by Grandson No. 3 - aged 3
made by Grand-daughter aged 7
                                                      made by Grandson No. 1 - age 9

                       This afternoon they wanted to make cakes for his birthday and for tea

                                                                 These ones are for us

They have watched a video, played with cars and dinosaurs, played schools and robots and now finally at teatime it has stopped raining so they have raced outside, jumped into the car and are pretending to go different places.  A happy Sunday.

                                                                          Terri x


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Highland skys

We get some amazing skys up here, thought I would show you some pictures that my OH has taken

This pic was taken early morning, the colours are genuine, not altered in any way.  Amazing colour

and this was the sky tonight at 9pm
Hope you like them
Terri X

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cheesy lentil & vegetable pie

Hello everyone,

I arrived home this morning after travelling all night collecting the Grandchildren for their holiday.

Now totally shattered!

So I am preparing one of my standby recipes that I can do with my eyes closed literally!

I will give you the basic recipe, I adapt it very easily to fit in with my Slimming World diet to make
this a free meal for me on a green day.

Serves 4  (today this is serving 3 adults and 3 children)

1 tbsp. sunflower oil  (I used fry-light)
1 onion, finely chopped
500g /1 lb carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves
large tin baked beans
125g/4 oz red lentils
450ml/3/4 pt vegetable stock
salt and pepper

For the topping

1 1/2 lb potatoes
150g/5 oz savoy cabbage or sprouts
4 tbsp. semi skim milk
100g/3 1/2 oz cheddar cheese, grated

1. Heat oil in a pan, add onion and cook for approx. 5mins until softened.
2. Stir in carrots and garlic, cook for 2 more minutes
3. Mix in the beans, lentils and stock.  Season well
4. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for approx. 20mins until lentils are tender
5. Boil the potatoes and steam the cabbage or sprouts
6. Mash together using the milk and two thirds of the cheese
7. Spoon the hot lentil mixture into the base of an ovenproof  dish  and top with the mash
8. sprinkle with the cheese and place under a hot grill until golden brown

You can eat this on its own or serve with sausages etc.


I did plan to take a picture but it went too fast sorry.

Update on diet - this morning was my week 4 and in that time I have lost 13 lb. Quite a lot more to go though!!

Terri X

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Getting ready for the holidays

Today it has been warm but windy, sometimes overcast but we didn't have the rain forecast for the West coast.  We live right in the middle of the Highlands, its approx. 40 miles to the West coast and 30 miles to the East coast and about 600 ft above sea level  so you can never rely on the weather forecast to be totally accurate if its different weather on either side. 

Today was a good day to get all the bedding washed and on the line in preparation for the Grandchildren coming to stay with us for two weeks once they have finished school next Tuesday.
I will be flying south this week  to pick them up.  I booked it on the cheapest cost day for the month, only travelling with hand luggage to save money.  Its so hot I can wash and wear!  I have to catch a few trains as well so I made sure to book tickets in advance to get the cheapest prices.

Me and my OH just can't wait....we so look forward to these couple of weeks every year. I'm sure there will be plenty of trips to the beach
Happy days
Terri x

Monday, July 15, 2013

Playing tourist

                                     This is Cawdor Castle

 I don't know what this tree is called.  Every branch was covered in these pretty pink flowers


The column was stacked slates and ball was glass


this was a bird feeder

It wasn't a cheap day out as on top of diesel £15 to get there, the entrance fee was £9.95 each as it is a privately owned castle.  It was very homely, in one room there was a Dan Brown paperback alongside the antique looking books!  We went into the cafĂ© but it wasn't a huge success, OH didn't like the cheesecake (it was a bit dried out) and I managed to have just a bowl of strawberries (without the cream as dieting), a tea and a coffee, just over £10.  The gardens were lovely though and it was a pleasure to stroll round the flower beds in the sunshine. It is nice to play tourist occasionally.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Good morning! 

This is how I am going to start my day today.  I love eggs and I have always had a bit of a thing about chickens since childhood.  Unfortunately I am not able to have any of my own at the moment but I have a friend down the road who keeps them so yesterday I popped round to buy a dozen. 

Look at these.....freshly laid, delicious and they only cost £2.50 for a dozen.  The other advantage for me at the moment is that I am trying to lose some weight following the Slimming World diet on my own.  If you have ever done this diet you know that you can eat eggs galore and they are free to eat! So 2 boiled eggs this morning I think.
When I look round my kitchen I seem to have lots of chicken things so I will show you a few pics

I hope you all have a lovely day, Bye for now

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dipping my toes in the water!

Hello everyone, this is my first post!  I have been lurking around blogland for a few months now and never worked out how to even comment on peoples is not my thing...but I have learnt so much from reading other blogs that I decided to join you all :)

People are  talking about the BBC programme about food poverty in the U.K.  I am glad it is now a subject being highlighted, I for one can relate to the people's stories in this programme.  There have been quite a few times when we would have no money for food and family members have come to our rescue.  I never relied on processed foods although I understand why it is sometimes easier, I always preferred to make a home cooked meal if possible, 101 ways with minced beef became my speciality!!  

I hope to make this blog about the ups and downs of our life in the Highlands, having to be frugal in what we do, the crafting things I make, reducing and recycling, the bargains I find, the recipes I use.  Let me start by showing you where I live

This is an old crofters cottage that has been extended into the roof space.  We were starting again with nothing and feel we were so lucky to be able to find this cottage to rent. It is idyllic in the summer but hard in the winter, no central heating, no insulation at all and the temperature can drop to the -20's, but just look at the view I have when washing up

Beautiful isn't it.