Friday, 31 October 2014

Day 303 - October 30th

Today we started our Halloween preparations by carving a pumpkin.

Lara wanted to make a 'Cannibal Pumpkin' so we bought a large pumpkin and 2 small pumpkins (we couldn't decide in the shop which small pumpkin would be best so bought 2!)

As it was a nice sunny afternoon we took the pumpkins outside to carve them

The little pumpkin was put inside the big ones mouth.

After we'd finished with our pumpkin we decided to make some roasted pumpkin seed snacks.

We washed the seeds in water and then spread them on a baking tray. We put a few good lugs of olive oil over the seeds and added plenty of salt, garlic powder and ground chilli flakes. 

The seeds were baked in the oven at 180C for about 10 minutes until the seeds were lightly golden brown. Once cooled they are a tasty snack for grazing on.

Day 302 - October 29th

BBC's Autumnwatch started this week and I was interested to hear that at this time of year Ivy pollen/nectar is a vital food source of many insects and in particular Ivy Bees. Ivy Bees are a relative newcomer to the UK and are slowly spreading northward. Each morning Millie and I walk past an Ivy bush growing on a fence. The past few week it has been covered in flying insects. I assumed they were wasps but maybe they are Ivy Bees.

Day 301 - October 28th

Two youngest children had 6-monthly check ups at the dentist today. All was good.

Day 300 - October 27th

Lauren and James gave me a Hyacinth Basket for my birthday so today Lara helped me plant it up. It has now been put in the garage for the next 6 weeks or so, and then we'll bring it back  into the house for the hyacinths to flower in the New Year.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Day 299 - October 26th

Today was my birthday. I received lots of super presents.....

..... a lovely cake ......

...  and lots of cards and facebook messages including a greeting from Google.

The day was made even nicer with it being at a weekend so I was able to spend the day with the family and also got to spend some of the time with my niece and her husband who were visiting this weekend.

Thanks everyone for a lovely day.

Day 298 - October 25th

This morning we visited a Rubber Stamp and PaperCraft Show in support of the East Anglia Air Ambulance.

There were lots of lovely craft supplies for sale and lots of examples of cards and other beautiful handmade items on display.

Day 297 - October 24th

Christopher has come home for the weekend which meant a lunchtime trip to Bedford Station to collect him.

Day 296 - October 23rd

A few days ago I ordered a new mouse mat for Lara. It arrived today and the name on the return label made me smile. 

Day 295 - October 22nd

Time for some cardmaking today.

Day 294 - October 21st

Tonight Lara's Guide Company were shown how to make sweetie flowers.

Different kinds of sweets were fixed onto a polystyrene base using either cocktail sticks or icing and the finished 'flower head' was attached to a ribbon covered stick for the stalk. Although a few of the sweets fell off in transit the finished flower was lovely.

Day 293 - October 20th

Today I spotted a single, solitary Cyclamen in the garden starting to flower.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Day 292 - October 19th

Today was the second birthday party that Lara attended this weekend - a visit to Battlefield Live combat gaming

Day 291 - October 18th

Whilst out for a walk this morning we noticed that winter crops (Oilseed Rape, we think) are already growing in the fields. 

Day 290 - October 17th

Tonight was Lara's Halloween School Disco. Pussy cat ears were an essential part of her outfit.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Day 289 - October 16th

The recent wet weather has made everything very damp. It has also made the leaves look very pretty.

Day 288 - October 15th

I saw this jelly mould in town a few weeks ago. When I originally saw it I resisted it but today it managed to jump into my shopping basket. Brain shaped jelly for halloween appealed to my sense of humour!

Day 287 - October 14th

Many years ago our local council was giving away free trees to householders for plating in their front gardens to try and encourage people to plant trees. We were given a small tree and we planted it in the border. For many years it lay dormant and we forgot about it but a few years ago it sprung into life and this year it is covered in berries. I thought it was a Whitebeam but comparing the leaves to those seen on the Internet I'm not thinking it probably isn't

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Day 286 - October 13th

I found time today to finish the scrapbook page I started the other day. Only a sneak peek today though because it won't be published on the blog I design for until next month.

Day 285 - October 12th

This afternoon I decided to try out a recipe that I found on Facebook - Magic Custard Cake. The mixture when put in the oven magically separates into three layers: a cake layer on top, a custard layer in the middle and another dense cake layer on the bottom. It was delicious (especially after it had been chilled) and I will definitely be making it again.
4 eggs (whites separated from yolks), room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
125g butter, melted
3/4 cup plain flour
2 cups milk, lukewarm
icing sugar for dusting cake
Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease and Line 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish with greaseproof paper.
Separate eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer and beat egg whites stiff. Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.
Beat the egg yolks & sugar until light. Add butter and vanilla. Beat for two mins. Add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together. Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula, repeat until all egg whites are folded in. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for approx 60 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. Cool and dust heavily with powdered sugar.

Day 284 - October 11th

You have to love autumn skies.

Day 283 - October 10th

We're not enjoying the sudden change of season. Millie finds the best way to cope is to hunker down in her bed and snooze the day away.

Day 282 - October 9th

I plan to do some scrapbooking over the next few days. The first part of the creative process is to choose some papers to go with my photo. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Day 281 - October 8th

The route I walk with Millie in the morning is looking very autumnal with lots of crunchy leaves.

Day 280 - October 7th

This morning Wayne had an appointment at the hospital to try and sort out his back problems. I think we have all seen our fair share of hospitals this year!

Day 279 - October 6th

After a lovely sunny day yesterday, I woke this morning to this sky at 7am. This photo is straight out of the camera - no tinkering with the colours.

The saying 'Red Sky in the morning, Shepherd warning' certainly was a warning this morning because it didn't take long for the rain clouds to roll in and they stayed around for most of the day.