Sunday, 28 June 2015

Anniversary Giveaway

Yes it is that time of the year again.

Image result for 2nd anniversary

Now some of you stick with my Lazy days and Sundays at Willow Cottage blog and some stick with my Tea & Biscuits & a Good Book blog and some of you follow both.
What ever your preference it's all amazing and I am very grateful to all who take a bit of time out your busy lives to come and see what I have been up to. 

I have spent the last few weeks thinking about  what my give-a-ways should be this year and I think I have come up with the right choice. 

I was first introduced to Tea Pigs by Kate at Just Pootling when I won her give-a-way last year and I have been enjoying them ever since. And if I am making tea as part of my give-a-way I thought I needed to include a nice cup & saucer from which to drink it.  I love shortbread and quite often enjoy a piece or two whilst reading my latest book. As we all have differing tastes in what we like to read I decided to go for one of my favourite bookmarks rather than a book. You quite often see my sheep Book Tail in my posts.

So there we are Tea & Biscuits & a Good Book(mark)

my second give-a-way is themed around the lovely bumbles who visit our gardens.

Included in this give-a-way are

These gorgeous scissors and yes they do have little bumble bees on them.  I have at least three sets of these around including this set.  They are great for crafting, household and for snipping at things in the garden.

Gardening gloves which have my two favourite things from the garden Sunflowers and yes more bumbles.

A Bee Happy mug for that well deserved cuppa as reward for all your hard work and an absolute essential for after an afternoon weeding and dead heading 
and lastly 
 a little pamper kit from Burt's Bees to prevent chapped lips and hands.

So what do you have to do to enter my give-a-way?  Whether you  are a reader or a gardener or both just leave me a comment stating your preference or whether you would like a chance at both.
To give everyone a chance I will pick the winners on

Sunday 12th July

And remember it doesn't matter whether you are a regular commenting visitor or someone who pops by in passing if you would like to be included don't be shy  just leave a comment.

Happy Sunday one & all


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Thank you Mr Kerridge

Well looking at the comments I was left last week about feeling like the hamster on the wheel it would appear I am not the only one, but you still left lots of lovely comments.  Yes this week has been a little easier and I have managed to get home before the suns goes down.

Today is Father's day here in the UK so just want to wish all the dad's out there a happy father's day.  D is still fast a sleep having a well deserved lie in. 

So why is the title of my post Thank you Mr Kerridge?  Well I don't know about anyone else but I can get very bored with food.  I eat a varied diet, D & number 3 on the other hand do not.  For number 3 that is down to his autism and bless him when I am cooking he will ask to try something but then once it's ready to serve he can change his mind in an instant.  D has got better in the 15 years we have been together. He didn't eat any other meat than pork when I met him and definitely no fish,  This has changed over the years and he will eat some fish and now includes chicken as well as pork.  Trouble being that he goes to the butchers and we do tend to end up with an awful lot of chicken to the point where I start to feel as though I am about to sprout wings and start scratching the earth and clucking.  Yesterday we had decided to have a pre father's day meal as if the weather holds we may go out later today.  I had got the chicken breasts out of the freezer and was sat with one or two cook books looking for inspiration whilst watching Saturday Morning Kitchen. During the program that Tom Kerridge had a slot and shared his recipe for Lush lemon pepper chicken. My little ears pricked up and I grabbed a pen and paper and made a note of the ingredients required all of which it turned out were in my store cupboard or fridge.   

having sourced a main that just left a pudding.

It's a while since I have looked through my Gary Rhodes books. I have both the Spring-Summer and Autumn - Winter from his Cookery Year series.  At one time he never seemed to be off our screens showing us how to make delicious foods and I did get some great tips from Mr Rhodes.

I decided to go with his soft chocolate pudding

and here are the results.

Lush lemon and black pepper chicken

and soft chocolate pudding served with gorgeous clotted cream ice cream

So that is why my post is titled Thank you Mr Kerridge for giving me the inspiration to create a lovely meal.
D told a friend it was the best meal he had had in ages. 
I'm not sure whether that was a compliment or not.

And as I hadn't made either of these recipes before it also ticks my June make or bake challenge.

If you want to have ago at Tom's recipe you can click on this link Lush lemon and pepper chicken you won't be disappointed and it is one that will definitely be enjoyed again in our house.
And this is the link to the  Soft Chocolate Pudding.

Have a lovely fathers day if you are spending it with yours.

Right time to see if D would like a cup of tea in bed.


Sunday, 14 June 2015

Stop the world I want to get off!!!!

Image result for hamster on a wheel

is it just me or does anyone else ever feel like this.

It seems to be my permanent state of mind at the moment.  

Work has been so incredibly busy over the last few weeks and with the holiday season upon us I can't see it letting up any time soon. 

I either feel like a mouse on a wheel constantly running but never reaching the end 
or like

Image result for alice in wonderland white rabbit

The white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland who is always late for a very important date.

I did however take some time out last Saturday

and take myself off to a Quilt Show that was being held locally.

I am not a quilter (yet) but I love to see them. All the work that goes into them and the detail down to the last minutiae, absolutely fabulous.
I particularly the little scarecrow, I know he's not a quilt but even he would be beyond my capabilities. 

I took the photo of the camper vans as my colleague is mad about them and this quilt had been awarded a first. I might be able to manage Father Christmas if I could stitch him by hand. It is on my bucket list to learn not only how to use a sewing machine properly but to learn how to quilt but at the moment work still gets in the way of any new hobbies but a girl can dream can't she....

Right time for a cuppa and a bit of time to catch up on my blog reading.
I may not always get time to comment for the time being but I am still keeping any eye on you all.


Thursday, 4 June 2015

500 Words 2015

Here in the UK we have a very cheeky chappy called Chris Evans. He is best known for his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show and his appearances on BBC 1's 
The One Show. 
In 2010 he  helped to launch a competition for children aged from 5-13 years called  500 Words. 
500 Words invites children under 13 years to write and submit a story.
 These stories are judged in two categories 5-9 years and 10-13 years. 
I believe they had over 4000 entries this year. Each story was read by a team of teachers and librarians and from the 4000 entries the top 50 stories were picked. 
These top 50 authors are then invited to the final which is broadcast live on
 Radio 2. 
In the past they have taken place as part of the Hay Festival but this year they had a very special invitation when they were invited by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall to St. Jame's Palace.  The final took place last Friday 29th May and the top three stories in each of the two categories were awarded a medal. 

If you didn't get to hear any of the final or you had not heard of this competition before I urge you to go to the website here and see the winners. You won't be disappointed and for a couple you will need to have your tissue at the ready. 
It is such an inspiration that we have such talented young people and if they are writing this type of story now what are they going to be able to produce in the future, 

I have three books to recommend to you from those I read last month.
  1. The Forgotten Garden   - Kate Morton
  2. The Girl on the Train - Paul Hawkins
  3.  The Missing Half - Brooke Powley
The links above take you across to my post on my Tea & Biscuits & a Good Book blog.
All I will say is that for at least two of them you will require  large box of Kleenex and  chocolate. 

My return to my childhood read this month is Follyfoot by Monica Dickens. I loved  this series of books as a child.  For anyone in their golden years you may also remember that there was a TV series made based on this series of books.

After the wind and rain of the beginning of the week today seems to be a bit brighter. Here's hoping that Mother Nature has finally realised we are in JUNE!!!!

Have a lovely weekend one & all