Monday, 3 December 2012

How ya doing?


I know I've been neglecting this blog for a while, sorry about that, but if anyones done a degree or postgrad course, you'll understand why.

Really, though, If you pop over to my other blog, you will find a couple of recent posts and my attempt at a Christmas craft series, 12 Crafts of Christmas.  I can't say for sure that I'll finish them all in time, but perhaps some post Christmas crafts wouldn't be too bad.

I'm also moving my thrifty adventures over there too, so check them out.

I'd love it if you fancy following the dressmaking diaries, You'd be making me smile like noones buisness!


Freya May

Monday, 5 November 2012

Found on Pinterest

As the nights are getting colder and winter is truly settling in, my mind goes to all those places I want to visit in this world.

Hold on there, itchy feet, some point, soon, and we'll be travelling again.

Freya May

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Recipe Courgette and Potato Soup

Another tasty, tasty soup for you today- also made with produce from my MIL's allotment.

We've been over to visit this weekend, as my brother-in-law was up for a visit.  It's half term for both he and Dave, so it was a great way to start the week off.

Speeking of produce, while gathered, we shared out the giant pumpkin that my MIL has grown- I love pumpkin!  I think its the fact that it's only in the shops for the two weeks leading up to Halloween that makes it so appealing- hard to get hold of.  Anyway, I'll be sharing some pumpkin based recipes with you all shortly.

To the Soup- Serves 6

1kg Courgette, chopped
600g potoatos, chopped
2 onions
Glug of oil
1 pint of stock
(anyone seeing a pattern in this yet?)

  1. Fry the onions until soft then add the potatoes and stock and boil for 10 min.
  2. Add the courgette and boil for a further 5 min.
  3. Blend.  Add extra water to get it to the consistency you want, and season.
Easy as pie, this will freeze for a couple of months.  I've made bags of this and all the soups I've mentioned for the freezer- ready for those chilly winter days (as if they're not here yet).

Hope you've enjoyed reading my soup recipes.  As you must see, soup is soo easy, I hope you have a go.

Freya May

Monday, 29 October 2012

Found on Pinterest #18

Isn't this the cutest idea!

I sew this and decided quickly that I needed to make one for our own place!

I had to decide on white board vs. chalk board, and settled on chalk, because I'm having a love affair with it!

Last summer Dave and I made a whole bunch of chalk boards for presents etc, this is the last one we had left- it's so lucky it's the perfect shape for this project!

I used acrilic paint on top to write the 'I love <3 you because.....'

Ta da!

I wish I had come up with another way to write on the first bit, I'm not a big fan of my own handwriting, but It makes it match with the rest of the note when I use it, I guess.

What do you think?  Now Dave and I can be super mushy even when we don't get to see one another in the
mornings or whatever.

Freya May

Friday, 26 October 2012

Nice to Meet You- 6 Products I Love!


I'm linking up with the Nice to Meet You linky party to share with you 6 of my favourite things-

1. My Moleskin Diary

This diary is awesome- this is the third one I've bought because I really do love them.  They are arranged with all the days of the week on one page and a notes page on the adjacent side.  It's so useful for taking notes with out taking up all the space on your day to day stuff- I use it for reminders, booklists, blog plans etc.

2. My Slowcooker

I don't use this for anything fancy, just simple spaghetti bolognise, chilli, soup etc.  It's excellent, I love coming home to dinner already done!

3. Rimmel's Eyeliner

As a girl on a budget Rimmel's eye-liner is my absolute favourite.  The pencil is just soft enough to go on easily, but has good staying power, and the liquid eye-liner is brilliant.  I tend to wear liquid on a day to day basis, it's got a fine brush and stays put all day- what more can I ask for.

4. My Sewing Machine!

I was given this for Christmas 2010, and it's been the catalysis for my sewing hobby- read about my homemade wardrobe here.

5. Neutragena's Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash

I've never got into a good habit of face washing as a teenager, in fact, I've only just got into a habit I would call regular- I used to just use face wipes, and constantly put off washing my face properly (I know it's all a little gross- sorry, it's just the truth!) But, I love this face wash, and I now use it in the shower.  Such a simple trick to get into, as I'm already wet! lol.

6. My Ipad

Dave bought me my Ipad for my birthday, and it's the most useful thing in the world, while simultaneously being one of the biggest time wasters!  I use it to download PDF files for reading for uni, and I have a word processing app, and a time management app and other really useful things.  BUT, I also have instant access to my blog, Facebook, on-line shops etc, which I'm afraid I spend too much time by far on.  At least I deleted the Pinterest app, or it would be sooo much worse.

So, I hope you feel you've gotten to know me just a little better, please check out the other bloggers who've linked up by following the button at the bottom of this post

Thanks for stopping by!

Freya May
Nice To Meet You

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Thrifty Thursdays: Date Night

Hey, I wanted to share an outfit I wore when Dave took me out for drinks last weekend- We don't go out very often because we're on a tight budget at the moment, but there is this one pub we love!  It's about a 15 min drive away, and it's so lovely! A proper country/gastro-pub.  They do a great menu too, and we've gone there a few times with my parents-in-law for end of term treats.  The sharing platters are too die for!  

And, it's quite a classy place, so I had to dress the part.  

The blouse is originally from Dorothy Perkins, I picked it up last March for £2.95 from my favourite charity shop.  And the bag is originally from H&M, purchased for £2.50 from another charity shop in Loughborough.

I love this outfit, comfy, but smart enough. I struggle to wear this cardigan with out feeling just a little bit trashy, so I'm pleased to have found one item to pair it with.

Cardigan; Zara 

Blouse: Dorothy Perkins (Thrifted)
Jeans: New Look
Shoes: F+F Tesco
Bag: H&M (Thrifted)

Freya May


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Squash and Red Pepper Soup Recipe

Another great soup to warm the cockles of your heart :D

This is a beautiful and easy soup that I made with butternut squashes from my MIL's alotment, I LOVE fresh produce!

I've been really enjoying making and freezing soups for us for cold lazy days, when we get home from work and don't want to put any effort into cooking.  It's been a busy week so far, I'm working hard to stay on top of uni work, and Dave's slogging it out for school as usual.  Man, those kids are darn lucky to have a teacher who puts in this much work.

Makes Thee Portions

2 small to medium butternut squashes cut into 2cm cubes
3 Red peppers
2 Onions
A glug of olive oil
1 pint of stock
(Isn't it awesome how few ingredients you need!)

  1. Fry off your onions in the olive oil until soft,
  2. Put in the squash and the stock and bring to the boil, simmer for 5 min.
  3. Add the peppers and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Take off the hat and blend until smooth.
  5. Season to taste.
  6. Serve with crusty bread- Yum!
And we're done, in about 25min- How easy, quick and (trust me) tasty!!!

Have a go, let me know what you think!

Freya May

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Potato and Leek Soup Recipe

Autumn is really here, I unpacked my hats and scarf's today, stocked up on thick tights last week and honestly can't leave the house with out at least three layers (I really feel the cold).  If you didn't know, I'm not the biggest fan of autumn/winter.  Unlike most other bloggers I've read, I dread the cold weather, including having to wear layers!

There is, however a saving grace to the change of the seasons, and that is the food! I love soups and casseroles and all that hearty, comfort food that seems out of place in the warmer months.

I'm going to share with you some of my favourite soup recipes, this one is a classic. 

I make it in bulk and freeze it, as it keeps for up to 3 months.  This recipe serves four and is super easy!

Four large potatoes
One large leek or two medium ones
One pint of vegetables
Glug of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Chop up the vegetables, and sauté the leeks in the heated oil.
  • Add the chopped and peeled potatoes and the stock, and bring to the boil.
  • Let the pan simmer for about 10 min or until the potatoes are soft.
  • Use a blender, we have a handheld, and blitz! 
  • Add extra water if you like to get it to the desired consistency, I added about another half pint.
  • Now is a good time to season if you like.
  • Serve with a swirl of cream, and croutons or a grilled cheese sandwich- Yummy!


Freya May

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Thrifty Thursdays Waterfall Skirt


How's everyone doing?  I've had a super busy week, lots of work and lots of studying.  I've enjoyed it, but, wow, I am tired!

On a much more exciting note, last night we went to see Michael McIntyre show in Sheffield!  It was brilliant!!! We bought the tickets when they came out about two years ago- but it was totally worth the effort!  I love that man, he never fails to make me laugh :D

Anyway, I wasn't actually this well dress for the event.  I went straight from work.

This skirt I picked up from a charity shop over the summer as a regular full length pleated granny skirt for £2.50, and had a go at DIYing it to waterfall skirt- I'm quite happy with the result.

This was my second go, actually, the first I gave to my sister because I cut it too short for me to wear, but she is fearless.

This time, I cut it quite conservatively until I got it to the length I wanted, took about half hour, and totally worth it :)  I just need an event to wear it to- like a comedy show, maybe...

Freya May

Monday, 8 October 2012

Found On Pinterest #17

I love date nights!  Spending time with Dave, without coursework or marking or planning to get in the way is precious.  But between us, we are two of the most indecisive people you might ever meet.  Perhaps it's because we're both quite easy going, we want to do something, but don't mind what that is!

So this pin is going to save us some arguments and wasted time trying to think of things to do on our date nights.

Instead of coloured sticks, I have gone for an easy option of coloured paper to differentiate date types

I've used Red Paper for expensive date, costing more than £30 a time.  It's likely that these dates will only get selected once, maybe twice a year, for special treats!  I included-
  1. Groupon Weekend Away
  2. Theme Park Tip
  3. Theatre Trip (London)
  4. £££ Meal Out (her choice)
  5. £££ Meal Out (his choice)

I used pink paper for less expensive dates, costing between £10-£30.  I imagine we'll select these to do one of these dates every month or so.  Ideas include-
  1. Cook Three Course Dinner Together- Go all out, cook your favourates and enjoy
  2. Bookshop Date- buy coffee and pick up a new book each
  3. Pub Walk
  4. Weekend Cinema Trip
  5. ££ Dinner Out (her choice)
  6. ££ Dinner Out (his choice)
  7. Order Take Out
  8. Bowling
  9. Dessert Only Date- head somewhere a little fancy and pick from the dessert menu (yum!)
  10. Dress Up for Drinks- make the effort to get all dressed up and go to a local bar.
  11. Breakfast Date

Then, white paper, dates which cost less than £10.  These are the ones we'll use most, maybe weekly or fortnightly if we're busy.  My ideas so are are-
  1. Orange Wednesday Cinema Trip
  2. £ Dinner Out (her choice)- to a fast food place or something
  3. £ Dinner Out (his choice)
  4. £5 Tesco Challenge- Pick a main course, like pizza, then each get to choose a side and a dessert, not costing more than a fiver total.
  5. Blockbuster Film Evening (her choice)
  6. Blockbuster Film Evening (his choice)
  7. Walk at Bradgate Park- with or with out visiting the cafe.
  8. £10 Dinner Date- Tesco or M&S meal deals
  9. Trip to Starbucks
  10. Charity Shopping- each is given £5 to buy the other a gift
  11. Board Game Evening with wine
  12. Picnic
  13. Indoor Picnic- set up a rug, or a den, and enjoy the feeling of the whole world disappearing.
  14. Cook Dessert Together

These are ones that I've thought up over this afternoon, but I want to keep adding ideas (and ask Dave for his ideas) as life goes on. 

It was really easy to put together, I'd recommend it to any couple that, like us, can never decide or agree on what to do on date nights.  And the fun is not knowing what you're going to get!

Easy as pie,

Freya May

Friday, 5 October 2012

Chutney Crazy (Recipe)

As has happened over the last few years, we've been getting a whole lot of vegetables from David's parents allotment-  genuinely we get boat loads of courgettes, broad beans, cabbages, and blackberry's that need to be eaten, frozen or preserved.

I've been lucky over the last couple of weeks and had a lot of time on my hands, so I have been making lots, and lots, and lots of chutneys and preserves.

It's so fun, I love making things in general, and producing beautiful jars of colourful yummyness is totally up my street!

I've made Spiced Courgette Chutney, Sweet Tomato Chutney, Nectarine and Vanilla Preserve, and Bottled raspberry's and blackberry's.

You can find the recipe for the Spiced Courgette Chutney on the BBC Goodfood website- HERE

You can find the recipe for the Nectarine Vanilla Preserve on THIS website

Both the Sweet Tomato Chutney and the Bottled Fruit are from my 'Woman's Own Cookbook' by Alex Barker from 1981 that I was given when the Food Technology dept. at work were having a clear out last term- I love old cook books, they really are fonts of knowledge that is often missing in today's cookbook world.  Anyhoo, they are such good recipe's I just have to share.

Sweet Tomato Chutney
1.5kg Ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
2 medium onions, sliced
1 tbsp salt
275g soft brown sugar
900ml malt vinegar
1 knob of fresh root ginger, bruised
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
6 cardamoms
6-8 peppercorns
6-8 cloves

Pop the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, the onion, salt, sugar and vinegar in a large pan.

Tie the herbs and spiced in a small muslin bag, and add it to the pan.  Let the whole thing marinate for around 24 hours.

The next day, stir the mix and bring to a simmer and leave it bubbling away for an hour and a quarter, regularly giving it a good stir so it doesn't burn on the bottom.  Then boil until thick, you can tell when it's ready when you run a spoon through the mixture a small amount of liquid fills the trail.

Remove the muslin bag and bottle.

I didn't want to go over how to bottle chutney because I was sure that there would be a simple and consise explanations already out there on the web, but I have to tell you that in a quick search, I couldn't find one. So, this is what I do based on the instructions in the book and advice from other recipes.  I'm in NO WAY an expert, so please find other resources too.

Storing Chutney
Wash your jars and lids carefully in very hot water, then dry in a oven at 100 degrees for at least 30 min.

Put the food in the jars while both are still hot.

Fill to the top of the jars and top with a wax disc.

Recycling jars with pop up lids is possible, as the mixture cools, the lids button should stay down, if it doesn't the seal is not made and you should try to reseal or eat asap.

But if you haven't got those lids use cellophane jam pot covers.

Store in a cool, dark place, date and label all jars and rotate the store.

Freya May

Monday, 1 October 2012

Found on Pinterest #15

I first saw this when a friend was planning her wedding decorations, she used wall paper and was making absolutely tons to decorate heer reception hall.

As the pic from Pinterest shows, it really is easy!  I've enjoyed making it, but without an event like a wedding, there is certainly a limit of how many you can, or should, make.

These are the ones I made to put up in my new craft/office desk.

Very cute indeed.

Freya May

Sunday, 30 September 2012

My New Craft Room

I've been super lucky this last week, and had my dreams of a dedicated craft work space realized!

Until now, I have had a set up on out dining table, in the middle of our living room, and it was a pain to keep the madness that is craft supplies tidy, especially when guests were coming over.

But, now, I have moved into our office, replacing our spare bed with a desk made from two bookshelves from Ikea and a door.  It looks great!  And it's huge!  Plenty of space for both my crafting and my studies.  Read about my inspiration for decorations here.

I still want to decorate the wall some more, I have plans to hang a calendar  some bunting, my paper hearts and some photos or something.  Time to make some more crafts!

Freya May

Friday, 28 September 2012

Thrifty Thurdays (on a Friday)


So, here is something you might not know about me- I love cats!!!

At home we have almost always had little furry friends, and, despite being allergic, I intend to get one when we move to a cat friendly home at some point.   I figure an antihistamine a day is a low price to pay for furry awesomeness.

Anyways, side tracked due to the print on this weeks Thrifty Thursdays dress- check it out!

Dress- £4.99 (secondhand)
Cardigan- £2.95 (secondhand)
Belt- £2 (secondhand)
Necklace- Gift
Tights from H&M

Isn't it wicked!  Love it!  Knew I had to pick this up the minuet I sew it, especially as it was just £4.99.

I'm trying to mix it up to wear into the autumn months, as it is quite light.  But adding some thick tights, nice woolly cardigans and a hat, makes it totally feasible!

Freya May

p.s. feeling way too lazy to leave the house for outfit shots today.


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