Monday, 20 October 2014

I Had a Break, I'm Back, I think

I frequently stumble across other blogs with explanations of why the blogger hasn't been keeping us all updated with the details of their private lives and I always feel a bit sad - of course bloggers have normal messy lives and of course their lives sometimes have to take priority over writing a blog.

To some of us, I guess, blogs take the place of soap-operas where we can see all the ups and downs as the writer stumbles through life and we can all share a little in the joy and sadness along the way.

I don't tend to show all of my life here - I started this blog to share how we were DIYing our home back together, over time, and due to my circumstances it became more about the little DIYs, cooking, mending and painting than the big renovation jobs. But I don't tend to go into lots of detail about our private lives, religious or political views, there are no birth stories, no breastfeeding woes, no political hobby-horsing and no bereaving the death of a loved one - I crave writing about all these things too, but I'm not for sharing too much of what should remain between friends and family.

I have been away for a while, and it was one of those times when real life had to take priority over writing and taking photos.

Here's a little (not too detailed) tale of why I've been gone...

I've been battling the ridiculous condition that pregnancy caused on my body, and the knock-on effects on my mental health. I have been in the care of various health care professionals - some of whom have been amazing, some have been god-awful.

After a short while of wallowing I started getting on with some everyday busying. In between looking after the 2 little-uns I have been making, painting, cleaning, teaching, weaning, voting, cooking and general busy stuff - Perhaps I'll remember to bring y'all up to date on what I have been doing over the coming weeks... stay tuned.

What I have discovered -

  • Keeping myself busy is the best way for me to cope with the crap life throws at me.
  • I am a multi-tasker who needs to see results.
  • Some folks in the medical profession are completely clueless when it comes to mental health (I was told to drink wine, on my own, and watch crap telly to deal with my mild depression - it didn't help)
  • I have less patience with others than I thought I did.
  • Medical professionals find it almost impossible to see you as a multi-dimensional human being.
  • I need to work hard at taking care of myself.

So I'm back for now, I think, but I do need to work hard at getting the balance right. I love my wee blog and I love that you guys are out there reading my wee blog... I hope I can stick around for now.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Easy Banana Muffins

These are delicious earthy wholesome breakfast muffins that only take a few minutes to throw together - you can even make the mix up the night before and just whack it in the oven in the morning.

I love that this recipe has no eggs or sugar, because sometimes we run out and I still want to bake, it's always handy to have something in your repertoire for cakemergencies
This recipe roughly based on Nigella Lawson's Banana Muffin Recipe from How to Cook. I've changed the recipe somewhat over time to make it really simple and possible for Small to bake on her own. (except for the oven bit)



30g - Butter (or Margarine or spread)
2 tbsp - Honey
½ tsp - Vanilla extract

2 - Super-ripe Bananas

150g - Flour (wholemeal works well)
1 tsp - Baking powder
1 tsp - Bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp - Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt


Put your oven on at 180C

Measure out the Butter, Honey and Vanilla into a heatproof bowl and melt them together - We pop it in the microwave for 30/40 seconds.

Stick the bananas in the bowl and mush them up - you could use a masher or a fork, but if they are really ripe the back of a mixing spoon will do.

Add all the dry ingredients and stir.

Don't stir too much, just enough to have no dry lumps. At first it will look very dry, but it will come together.

I get between 9 and 12 cup-cake sized muffins, because I don't have a proper muffin tin, but this size suits us. The same mixture will work for proper sized muffins or mini-muffins, just adjust the cooking time.

Pop them in the oven for at 180C for 20 mins (or until golden brown on top)

These muffins taste lovely with a bit of Nutella while they are still warm and moist... If you leave them to cool they make a lovely addition to a packed lunch or picnic.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Fixing Broken Brio Track

We inherited a HUGEMUNGULOUS box of pre-loved Brio when our friend moved out of our village. A few of the more exciting pieces were missing their pegs and had sat in our not-spare-spare-room for a few months before I eventually got round to fixing them.

I don't always update the blog with the wee things I do that make our home 'handmade' - this is one of them.

ouch! sorry boys!

I used the hacksaw to cut the 'male' bits off of a few bits of track that were damaged in other ways (a couple had been coloured in with felt-tip pen)

I sanded down the rough edges.

Then I Superglued them to the broken pieces of track

Then I won the award for:
'Best Mum Ever Who Can Fix Anything'!


What I definitely did NOT do:

  • Superglue my hand to a piece of brio track (Yeah, I did)
  • Superglue a piece of paper to the table (Yeah, I did)
  • Play with them too soon and have to re-glue (Yeah I did)
  • Mistake Superglue for eyedrops and get rushed to hospital (I didn't do this, but one of my siblings once did - so at least I know it runs in the family)

The Nitty Gritty:

  • I couldn't find any on-line tips for doing this, so I made it up as I went along...
  • I had quite a few broken and messed up bits of brio track, I fixed the most exciting bits at the expense of the less-than-perfect bits.
  • A cheapo baby hacksaw - fitted with a wood blade.
  • A sanding sponge block: grade 120 - you could use a wee bit of fine sandpaper, or an emery board (which are brilliant for sanding tiny things)
  • Superglue - in the USA I think you call it Krazyglue? its the stuff that sticks anything to anything else... especially skin.

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