Wednesday 27 April 2011

A Day in Photos










See more days here

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday?

You may have noticed that the very messy Messy Mat has been removed from my desk this week. We have been making some little rabbits a la Aranzi aronzo and I didn’t want to risk spoiling the felt with gesso, paint or general inkiness.


Head on over to Julia’s place if you want to see what everyone else has been up to. I’ll be doing my best to visit as many of you as I can, now that my children have gone back to school.

Fiona x

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Something to do with leftover roast chicken

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for different ideas to use up leftover cooked chicken and this is a favourite in our house at the moment. A very kind friend brought back chopsticks for my children from her recent travels in Japan. The novelty of using them hasn’t worn off yet, so noodles are requested on a weekly basis! I came up with this recipe a few weeks ago, which kills two birds with one stone. Just make sure one of them is a chicken.

Chicken noodle stir fry


For each person you will need:

1 nest of fine egg noodles

1/2 a red or yellow pepper, sliced

2 spring onions, diagonally sliced

100g (approx) roast chicken, shredded

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp mild chilli powder

a handful of frozen peas (optional)

1 tsp  of cornflour

1tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sugar


Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the pack. Drain and rinse with cold water.  Set aside in a colander.

Put the cornflour and sugar in a jug. Mix to a paste with the soy sauce and then top up with 4 tbsp of water to make the sauce.

Heat a good glug of oil in a wok or large frying pan and add the sliced pepper and spring onions. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken, garlic, spices and peas. Stir fry for a minute or so and then pour in the sauce.

Stir until the sauce thickens and then add the drained noodles.

Heat through and serve.

I tend to be a make-it-up-as-I-go-along and chuck-it-all-in kind of cook, so measuring out the ingredients precisely isn’t in my nature with this kind of dish. However, I realise that is not much help when it comes to sharing a recipe!

Sometimes I cook this to satisfy my children’s need to eat with chopsticks and sometimes as a family meal. I thought it was easiest to give the quantities for each person and you can just multiply to suit your own family.

I put the peas in to get an extra 5-a-day portion, but that is entirely up to you. Beansprouts would work well instead, but that would require forward planning on my part. As it stands this is pretty much a store cupboard meal for me, as I would usually have all these ingredients on hand.

If you make it, I’d love to hear about any variations you try.

Fiona x





Friday 22 April 2011

Five Things I’m Loving This Friday

This week I’m loving that…

….there is a soup called Ciao Bella from New Covent Garden to welcome in the Spring.

….there is a character called Cotton-headed ninnymuggins on Little Big Planet, created by my children.

….there is a blog called Domestic Sluttery, which has a great mix of food, design, Etsy picks and handbags.

….there is a colour called cerulean blue and the sky has been that shade almost all week.

…there was a girl called Marina and I was lucky enough to have her in my life.

Fiona x

Wednesday 20 April 2011

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday?

It’s the second week of the Easter holidays, so still not much crafting going on, especially now that the sun is shining.


I was a very lucky girl to win the blog candy that Winnie offered, to celebrate her first year of blogging. I was very excited to find a plump package, all the way from Australia, on my doormat when I came home this afternoon. In the absence of any projects, I thought I would show you all the goodies instead. There is a Heidi Swapp chipboard alphabet and assortment of flowers, a pack of SEI rub ons, a Daisy bucket clear stamp, a pad of Basic Grey paper in lovely autumnal colours and some very pretty flowers.

If you’re new to WOYWW, then pop on over to Julia’s blog, where you can read all about it and find a whole list of other desks to visit.

Fiona x

Tuesday 19 April 2011

It’s Tuesday…time for something a little different

I’ve been blogging for a month now and it’s fair to say that I jumped in feet first without any clear idea of my blog’s theme. A few friends had encouraged me to set one up as an easy way to share recipes, but I’ve noticed that these posts are actually the least popular!

I was also keen to participate in WOYWW and needed a blog to enable me to do that. I love having a nose around other people’s desks, seeing where they craft and the things they like to make. I hope that other people are interested in what’s on mine too. I plan to do a few more crafty posts in future, to show some of those projects in a bit more detail.


I am a lover of lists and know that lots of others are too, so Five Things I’m Loving This Friday was born. At the moment this consists of a typed list with links to some of the things I mention. I have thought about changing the format to include photos in the post, but I do quite like the simplicity of it.

I’m always interested to read about other people’s family lives, but until Sunday I hadn’t written anything truly personal. I wasn’t sure it was entirely appropriate, as the post was part of Mel’s blog hop, but it felt right somehow. I would like to write more about every day life, as a record for myself as much as anything and in the hope that it might strike a chord with other readers.

I know, from the kind comments, that a few of my friends visit and some fellow classmates from Shimelle’s blogging course, but what would be most likely to bring you back for another look? If you have a minute, I’d love you to take part in the poll and let me know what would keep you reading. Thankyou xx

Of course if you have more to say, then feel free to leave me a comment as well!

Sunday 17 April 2011

Alphanumeric Blog Hop ~ Eulogy

I had lots of ideas for my letter, including Easter and eggs, which would have been topical. Then my cousin died unexpectedly yesterday and I wanted to make my post about her. I hope nobody minds.

When I was a little girl, I thought my cousin was like a princess. She was kind and beautiful and I loved her.

Mostly I will remember her….

….walking by the river with me, during those endless childhood summers.


….dancing, around my Gran’s sitting room, to the Top 40 on a Sunday evening.

….drawing the most amazing pictures I could imagine.

….looking so grown up and glamorous, with her Farrah Fawcett hairstyle.

….letting me have a sip of her Cinzano and (nearly all) lemonade at Christmas.

….just being there.

Rest in peace my beautiful cousin xx

July 1961 ~ April 2011


If you’ve happened upon my blog by chance today, you may want to go back to the beginning of this hop, which was organised by and starts with the lovely Mel

If you are following along then you’ll want to know who’s next and that would be Jenna aka Surefiredaisy 

If you’re already hopping, but have got in a muddle somewhere in the middle, then below is a complete list of the participants:

I Speak Melsh:
BE Glorious:
Captured On Film:
Chatty Crafty Arty Pig:
Creating Room:
Curiouser and Curiouser:
Daily Life - Bits and Pieces:
Deb's World:
Den's Crafty Diary:
From High In The Sky:
Gallo Organico:
Ginger's Life Of Spice:
Handmade By Kirsty:
Havoc and Mayhem:
Heather's Scraps:
Helena's Creative Maven:
Holaday's Happy Hearts:
Just Jimjams:
K's Crafty Corner:
Life...As I See It:
{Life Behind The Purple Door}:
Lisa E Design Blog:
Living Life One Blessing At A Time:
Mary's Musings:
Michelle Loves...:
Obstinate Pursuit:
Over At Our Place:
Paper Turtle:
Peonies and Pennies:
Random Reflections:
Rosalind Revival:
Scrap Dreams:
Scrapworthy Lives:
Staring At The Sea:
Surefiredaisy Says:
This Kalil Life:
This Little Life Of Mine:
Xnomads' Blog:

Note: If any of the posts aren't up yet, please bear with us - the different time zones and the peculiarity of blogging platforms when it comes to autoposts may mean that one or two posts don't appear on time! If that's the case, come back to this list to pick up from the next blog, but do please pop back and try the other link later, when the post should be there for your enjoyment.

alphanumeric hop badge

Happy hopping!

Fiona xx

Saturday 16 April 2011

Hippity hop!

Check back tomorrow if you want to take part in a blog hop masterminded by the lovely Mel :)

Fiona x

Friday 15 April 2011

Five Things I'm Loving This Friday....

  1. Seeing how much fun my son has fighting off hordes of orcs and goblins.

  2. Spending time browsing through the haberdashery with my girl.

  3. Eating lunch out and not having to cook tonight.

  4. Having a daughter who loves stationery as much as I do.

  5. Buying a bag full of triple choc muffins to eat at teatime.

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday 13 April 2011


I had to reclaim my desk from my daughter today! She has been drawing chibis, or cute little creatures, to those not initiated in manga styles.

I needed to make a birthday card in a hurry, so turned to some Waltzing Mouse stamps that usually help me out on such occasions.

Pop on over to Julia's blog to join in the fun this week.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Just a quickie!

Easter holidays here, so it has to be a quick recipe today, but it’s still a good one.

Quick smoked mackerel pate

1 pack smoked mackerel fillets (approx 200g)

2 tbsp cottage cheese

1 tbsp creme fraiche

juice of half a lemon

freshly ground black pepper

It’s entirely up to you whether or not you remove the skins from the fish.

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have the texture you like. That’s it!

Spread thickly on crusty wholemeal bread or toast.

If you are counting the calories, then substitute half fat/low fat versions of the cottage cheese and creme fraiche and spread on ryvita instead.


I cooked the creamy tomato risotto again the other day and remembered to take a photo this time! I've added the image to the original post, for anyone who would like to see the finished dish.

Friday 8 April 2011

Five Things I'm Loving This Friday....

  1. Throwing the french windows open to let the sunshine in.

  2. Coming across this much loved old book while tidying up this morning.

  3. Finding my kit to make this skirt with a beautiful Rob Ryan design.

  4. Knowing that with this ball of wool and a pair of chunky needles I can make a scarf in an hour....maybe!

  5. Having my children home for two and half weeks. Woo hoo!

What about you?

Thursday 7 April 2011


I know I’m a day late with my photo, but Blogger has been behaving very badly and it has taken me until now to regain control of it!


As you can see, not quite as tidy as the first time I participated! A lot of the same things still in residence on my desk and a few new ones joining them.

Looking forward to visiting lots more of your desks this week.

Thanks for popping by and if you don’t know already know about WOYWW, but love a good nose, then check it out here on Julia’s blog.

Fiona x

Time for a recipe Tuesday!

OK, so it’s Thursday, but I got there in the end!


Chocolate Muffins

2 eggs

200g caster sugar

130g plain flour

50g cocoa powder

2tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

160ml milk

1/4tsp vanilla extract

160g unsalted butter, melted

120g dark chocolate, chopped

12 hole muffin tin, lined

Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas Mark 3

Beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and well combined. I use an electric whisk.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

Put the milk in a jug and add the vanilla extract.

Add these two mixtures alternately into the egg mixture, until all is well combined.

Stir in the melted butter with a wooden spoon, until well incorporated, then stir in the chopped chocolate.

Spoon into the muffin cases until two-thirds full and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched.

Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then remove to a wire cooling rack.

This recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. It’s a different method to my usual chocolate muffins and they don’t rise up into the classic muffin top. However the sponge is dense and chocolatey and very yummy!

Normal service is resumed….I hope!


After much hair pulling and cursing over the last few days, I have given up trying to get Blogger to behave for me! I’m having a go at using Livewriter to see if I can get on with it.

I hope to return later this afternoon with the promised chocolate muffin recipe.

Fiona x

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Technical difficulties.....

Sorry, if you called in yesterday expecting to see a recipe. I typed up a post all about chocolate muffins, but Blogger decided it wasn't gong to play nice! Instead of my carefully laid out list of ingredients and method, it posted as one extrememly long sentence! Not very helpful if you actually wanted to make them. I will have a go at sorting out what I did wrong and try again soon. Fiona x ETA:Arrrggghhh!!!! It's still doing it. This didn't happen last week and I'm sure I'm not doing anything different.

Friday 1 April 2011

Five Things I'm Loving This Friday.....

  1. The jug full of daffodils on my kitchen windowsill

  2. The kindness of a lovely friend, who sent me a parcel today

  3. The latest flavour of Vaseline lip balm

  4. The free Craft Stamper e-zine full of fabulous projects

  5. The clean sheets on my bed ready to climb into tonight

What are you loving today?