Welcome to Homemaking Heaven: Make it Home. Pull up a seat and pour yourself a cuppa!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Don't tell me!

I have recorded The Mary Berry Story so that I can sit in peace and watch it tonight all at once.  I've seen some mixed reviews of it from papers and things, but I do adore her! 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Summer Holiday? No Thanks!

I would and always have loved to go on a skiing holiday. Well, when I say skiing it doesn’t mean to say that I can, in actual fact, ski. I think I would prefer the sort of holiday where I really just rest, look at snow and perhaps find a lovely spa.

With us looking at holidays more and more as time passes we are starting to think of what we could do and when. I blogged earlier in the month about going to London for our anniversary in October, this means that we are wondering what to do as a two week holiday at another time of the year. I didn’t want to squish two holidays very close together as its not like we have loads of time off or money!

Skiing in Hochfuegen - Zillertal - Austria
This takes me nicely back to my first statement about a skiing holiday. TH is already very good but I wouldn’t mind if we spent time apart through the day every so often for him to get back into it. There seems to be so much to do and I was looking at the food you get in some of these places too…which all but swung it for me!  I love Scotland and we have the Cairngorms here for having a 'wee' go first, so I think this could be on the cards for sure!

The chalets look gorgeous and I do believe that you should ‘splash out’ a bit on holiday. I’m frugal like the best of them, but I won’t do cheap for the sake of it. I think Best Value when on holiday-I mean, you are away from home, why not make it the best it can be?

I’ve been looking up loads of sites and I really like http://www.supertravel.co.uk I’m a person that wants to feel totally in control of what I do and when so I love searching for my own deals and bargains and more importantly tailoring making my holiday. I have been following the blog posts for a while and after looking at the pictures and day dreaming for way longer than is normal I feel like i should just make my dream happen.  Right now I am searching through hotels that have a sauna and swimming pool. I wish I could afford to go to one of the chalets, but I think I will have to wait a long time before that!

Friday, 25 January 2013

The Great Comic Relief Bake Off

I have loved every episode of this show!!

The funniest thing i have seen in ages!

Can't wait to buy the booklet!  Job WELL DONE!

Step Back and Count to Ten

Although the move started in early December we have still got a lot of things at the old house. We had one trip with a man and a van, and many more in the car. We still have garden things in the garden, a big heavy chest of drawers and lots more little things that take up much more room than you would ever think they did or should.

Our friend is moving house quite soon, and although she is going to be moving a far greater distance than us and has done it a couple of times before I still feel like any advice would be helpful. Even more than that is another set of hands. We luckily had plenty of sticky tape and storage boxes left over and we’re loaning some big plastic crates. She had a good look around at some self storage prices and that will take the pressure off her too. The fact that we’ve been able to keep things securely in one place while we organized the new one has been invaluable. I

I know moving can be so stressful and she has three little ones-so I really couldn’t run away and put my fingers in my ears as soon as she mentioned a move; even though I wanted to. Her partner is a farmer and they have lived in beautiful areas in the past, and she is so kind and always invites us to her gorgeous country houses they move to. I definitely get house envy when I spot her aga, various open fires and plethora of spare rooms she inevitably has! Then I remember I cant exactly stay in a farm house like that and travel into town for work most days…oh well, I don’t think I could survive another move anyway-especially as we haven’t finished this one yet!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Chance of a Get-Away

When the adverts for Summer holidays start being shown on TV all that I want to do is get organized. This year we are hopefully going away with another family, so I can’t be the only person in charge of this like I normally am and love being. This means that not everything is in my hands and I can’t start envisaging a nice break.

So when TH got offered the chance to have a couple of meetings in Exeter and one in Edinburgh I jumped at the chance to head off with him. It means I get to investigate a new place with Daisy Dog and have lunch and shop in a new area.

TH had to organise the venue and let me tell you it was not all a bed of roses. Once we got started it became a doddle, but I had started off by trying to ‘google’ them and I was going insane with it! He will have a meeting room, we will have a nice dog friendly hotel as central as can be-so that I don’t get lost!

Its not a mini-break but its my chance at a break from work. I find that as soon as I get a day off normally I manage to fill it with boring house-hold chores. This way I will be forced to get out and about.
I can’t wait to take some pics of Daisy and I roaming around a new location!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Where the Books will take you

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”

― Roald Dahl, Matilda

Friday, 18 January 2013

Location, Location, Location

Oh I do love that show, made even better by the fact they were in my home town last night. I kept pointing at the TV and telling TH where they were as if he hasn’t ventured out of the front door before.
One couple was shown two areas to live in, and TH and I have lived in both of them. It’s like when you have visitors and they point out lovely things you never noticed before. Theses things are always under your nose, and you never quite appreciate them enough. It was like a seal of approval from one of my favourite shows. “Right, just need to get a deposit together and give them a call”.

Snowy Weekends and Kitchen Plans

The radio this morning told me that more snow was coming, well actually, that “blizzards are to batter the North East.” We were also told to phone in when we saw the first flakes, and were reminded that the other end of the country has a red warning. I wanted to reply that yes snow can be disruptive, it can be dangerous, and it can be a pest, but we are not children that need to be told to wear our mittens, and not go out at play time. Surely this is not the way it has always been? Surely people actually kept calm and carried on instead of screeching it at the top of their voices from their car as they over take you on a bend in a snow storm? “Oh dear, the roads are bad, I must rush home as fast as I can to be safe!!”
This weekend I intend to be inside, safe and warm. I will toast crumpets and keep toasty. I will read specific chapters of books that contain any reference to snow. I have already started to re-read The Wind in the Willows, one of my favourite books, even if it is aimed at little ones.

TH is making a loaf and we will gorge on soup and warm bread this weekend. I would love to get into the kitchen and start the baking I always promise myself I will make time for. I would like to pull all of the things I need to make marmalade together and use the kitchen I fell in love with when we first saw the property. The garden needs work, but it will be hidden in a whirl of flakes, and I don’t believe you can be cross with a warm tummy full of good things.

The Snow, The Snow

Thick luscious flakes slowly float down onto the car, the garden and the trees in the field. The hills just beyond the garden fence have disappeared behind a screen of snow.
The journey to work is slow and cautious. The country roads are kind to us and we manoeuvre our way through them.

Once I’m in work I find that the big road into work has tail backs with people waiting over two hours to move less than a mile up a treacherous hill. That’s the way we need to go home…
At work I am constantly distracted by fakes falling on the Georgian sash window panes. I look onto a building made with solid granite, sturdy and strong, with rock that never changes. Its turrets are now softened by the dusting. I can see down the hill at work to the other side of town, everything is soft and beautiful. Brighter and more serine, it is impossible to rush in the snow.

I stare out of the window and speak consistently of the snowfall until I am told that I must head home. Worries have been voiced since the break of dawn that we will all be trapped in cars on the roadside-it has never come to this and doubt it will, but the thoughts of everyone are already at their fireside.
The Husband comes to collect me and we trundle through town, down the carriage-way and onto the country paths which lead us home. As soon as our boots hit the drive we are home.

We are home and can put the kettle on, we are home and light a fire, we set the table, we eat our tea and we talk. We are home, and this is ours and we had better make the best of it. It is cold outside and I know how lucky we are to be here.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Friends for Tea

Having friends for supper is one of the loveliest ways to spend your time. We did this the other night and it was a real ‘moment’ as we knew that the house was no longer so cold we were embarrassed and it was quite organised. No boxes, no carrying the heater to and fro until the boiler is fixed, just warm and welcoming.

I had made a lasagne the night before so it was a simple ‘lift from fridge and into oven’ job after sprinkling on cheese. We gathered around the table and tucked in. Reaching out for delicious spoonfuls and gathering them on our plate until they tumbled down upon each other.

Yup, this was what the house was supposed to be.


The Husband and I are looking at booking a little mini break for October. The plan is that, seeing as its our five year anniversary, we will actually DO something to celebrate. I went to London when I was 21 and loved every minute of it. The city is so beautiful and being a history lover there was plenty for me to do. I still look back at the pictures I took of lamp-posts and buses as the whole place was so exciting for me. (Now that I am…..erm….older, and most certainly wiser, I’m sure I won’t do such a silly thing this time round!)

I fell in love with London before I visited, I fell in love again for the Royal wedding, again for the Olympics, and for all the beautiful things I’ve read and looked at in between. Just because these particular events are over, there is hardly a shortage of events in London. The city encapsulates every buzzword you can think of. I would love to go at Christmas, Spring or Summer, however I will be going this year in October.

Because October isn’t quite the time for a Christmas buzz there isn’t anything that instantly springs to mind to visit, however that’s where my crazy planning streak comes into its own!

I would love for us to head off to London to make it like our little ‘event’, it will be our ‘thing’ where we make a fuss of ourselves (seeing as we work pretty darn hard the rest of the year). I’m already looking at restaurants and bars which will be conveniently located around the city. I love the idea of just popping into cosy bar with a little nook or sashaying into a chic room with high ceilings that is light and airy.

So for now I am looking online, I am compiling my lists and after showing all of this to TH I will then head off and do my own things anyway! I can’t wait to start sharing my plans with you.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Sometimes all you need are these words

“I understand what you're saying, and your comments are valuable, but I'm gonna ignore your advice.”

― Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr. Fox

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


January can so often be a gloomy sort of month. I know that I feel deep down inside that seeing as Christmas is over it may as well rush into spring. I want to see the bulbs and go from deep rich colours to more muted tones. I then zip forward a couple of months when I start to plan our summer holiday, and by the time that’s over its autumn and I might as well get planning the Christmas shopping trips all over again. This has been the cycle for a little while-but long enough for me to get into it-and I want to stop it.

How dull to plan your life away, constantly wishing I was a couple of months ahead of where I was. There are wonderful things in January that I should be grateful for now. I don’t want to get to a busy weekend in spring planting out seeds and wish I could be wrapped up cosy like I should have been in winter.

This January I hope to be different. I have read so much in papers about failed New Years Resolutions, and so I aim to make this difference through celebration of the season. I hope that by ensuring January is kept, well, January like I will see it for what it is and what it can give me.

This means buying in season, and following January pursuits-marmalade making included. It means being true to what your body tells you. I don’t crave salads, I want soups. Last night we had the most delicious bangers and mash, not exciting, just slowly sautéed onions made into thick gravy with gorgeous butchers sausages and lump free mash- heaven after a long day, and definitely worth waiting for.

We are still on for having game-feathers and furred, and although we can no longer pop out to buy super fresh fish from our little village harbour I still want to eat seasonal seafood. I am always keen on buying up veg and using it to bulk up meals and winter root veg is the best.

We now live outside of the village and rely heavily on a boxed veg scheme and a local butcher for much more of our food. I hope that this keeps me in line to succeed in my aim. I love reading about what everyone is up to this January and imagine I will be getting lots of ideas!!

Friday, 4 January 2013

New Year

Celebrate a new year!
Happy New Year everyone, I hope that Santa was good to you and that you had a wonderful Hogmanay. Last year was such a funny sort of year. Summer was a wash-out and my Christmas celebrations began on the 22nd when we finally got our heating in.
Part of the lack of blogging was that I was very busy with boring things nobody would blog about-unless I was particularly angry and I would then drag you all into my rant, and part of it was such an awful lot of disappointment. I found it when trying to build bridges with people, when TH and I were both trying to find time together when there were so many things pulling us every which way. I found it when looking for jobs or even planning things to do on a rainy summer day. I felt it when I believed that I should or should not be doing a certain thing at a certain time of the year.

expectationsI think it would be all too easy to set up very high expectations and fall so terribly short with them, goodness knows I’ve done it more times than I care to remember. Last year I hoped that I would DO something each and every weekend. I feel that we certainly did for the first little while, but I did have many a very lazy unproductive weekend too. I was inspired by The Wonderful Weekend Book, which is my favourite sort of book, to not be so awfully boring and be able to make my way back to work on a Monday morning and proclaim that I knew exactly where my weekend went.
This year I would like to work on the very same thing. This might take the form of getting back into baking, or celebrating the seasons more or maybe even getting out in the rain in the height of summer and doing something or other. I may end up taking a class like TH who I am immensely proud of for following his dreams. I may even join a club at our local community centre-seeing as it is just over the fence!

What all of this boils down to is celebrating what you have in life. Not what you wish you had, like more time, people of a certain nature around you or warm weather. Not only because, I work full time, can’t change other people and live in the North East of Scotland. It boils down to not wishing your life away. It boils down to recognising I am busy with a full time job that I wanted and my heart burst with pride when they said they thought I were the perfect candidate. It boils down to being grateful, and I would be truly ashamed if I was not that.