Friday, May 29, 2015

May declutter, Day 29: 29 Items, 435 Total


All books today - mostly from Alex's bookcases (his room is very small, and his book storage space is also quite small) - these are all books which he has read but doesn't feel compelled to keep. The bottom two are from my bookcases - another for my friend's pile and one for the charity shop - I probably won't read this again, and anyway, it's an old paperback with very small print!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Book 48: Music and Silence by Rose Tremain


Historical fiction, set in 17th century Denmark - the story (mostly) of the lutenist to King Christain II of Denmark. Also the story of the king, his wife, her servant, the servant's brother and many other bits of intrigue. I enjoyed this but for some reason found it a much slower read than I normally would. Perhaps I was just tired every time I tried to read it, so only read it in very small amounts.

Dinner, 28/5/15: Risotto with Bacon and Mushrooms


May Declutter, Day 28: 28 Items, 406 Total


Can you tell which kitchen cupboard I finally got around to clearing out?

  • (1 item) a pair of rechargeable batteries which no longer hold any charge - battery recycling at the civic amenity centre
  • (2 items) surplus plastic takeaway pot (I have a few - good for when you don't want to have to keep the plastic container; this one is a different size and doesn't stack well); plastic bottle which came with a lunch box which no one ever uses; recycling/charity shop
  • (4 items) lids for which we have no containers - recycling
  • (6 items) books from Alex's TBR shelves which he thinks he'll never read - charity shop
  • (8 items) books I've read  - a friend to whom I pass on books
  • (4 items) plastic pots which don't keep the lids on well; plastic pot with no lid - recycling
  • (3 items) plastic pots surplus to need, these are the older, more battered ones - recycling

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book In


Found this one in the charity box at the Wetland Centre (50p for paperbacks). Next time I'm in the mood to be depressed but in a beautifully written way, I'll know what to reach for...

An afternoon at the London Wetland Centre









May declutter, Day 27: 27 items, 378 total



A mixed bag today, from various places around the house:

  • (2 items) a couple of books I won't read again - charity shop
  • (4 items) two packs of photo paper (I have loads - someone gave me lots a while back and I don't use it much), some dividers, some plastic sleeves - bin/charity shop
  • (9 items) various mailing envelopes - I kept a big selection but there were just way too many - most of these are cardboard sleeves, not padded (the padded one was ripped), so are less useful. I think I kept half a dozen. Recycling box.
  • (6 items) bookmarks - again, we have loads. I got rid of some freebies/old worn out ones - recycling box
  • (2 items) 2 cardigans I never wear - they are quite heavy weight, but short sleeves, not practical - charity shop
  • (1 item) - a pile of alphabet magnets we accumulate from a brand of smoothies we like - charity shop
  • (2 items) - a couple of empty ink cartridges (recycling box at school) and some air filters for a food waste box we don't use (we now have one from the council which doesn't use filters)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book 47: This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart (re-read)


Again, a bedtime book which slipped into the daytime (though not much). I do have a daytime book which I am almost finished with as well, which will show up before the end of May, I'm sure...

Dinner, 26/5/15: Carrot Soup with Cheesy Biscuits


The soup was leftover, from the freezer (I didn't take a photo of it) but we had these cheesy biscuits to go with it, which I did photograph...Yum!

May Declutter, Day 26: 26 Items, 351 Total


More stuff from the shed, mostly -  a number of pottery pieces made by me (I've kept a lot, but these are ones I don't really use/like), some plastic plant pots and a few misc bits and pieces I dug out of the basket in the hallway which holds useful stuff like spare umbrellas, shoe polish, etc.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dinner, 25/5/15: Spanakopita (Spinach Pie), Potatoes, Salad


I've made this so many times, I don't even think about recipes any more - basically, it's spinach (wilted, wrung out and chopped), spring onions, feta cheese, eggs, nutmeg with a layer of filo pastry at the bottom and either a layer or some scrunched up bits on top, depending on my mood. I'm sure there are a million recipes for it on the web...

May Declutter, Day 25: 25 Items, 325 Total




  • (3 items) stomp rocket, kids' gardening tools and gloves - these all going to a neighbour with smaller children than I have
  • (9 items) gardening seive, dead gloves, old compost bags (empty) dustbin lid, bits of clothes line, broken bird feeder, flange bracket, etc - mostly going in bin, though the seive will go with the freecycle stuff
  • (6 items) bits of broken pots, old basket, old half rolls of wallpaper, etc - rubbish
  • (7 items) plant pot trays - with the freecycle stuff

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dinner, 24/5/15: Burgers, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie


Regular burgers, leftover veggie burgers from a while ago (from the freezer) and some hot dogs - too bad the weather wasn't good enough to eat on the patio!  And an apple pie for dessert - Alex made the crust (his first pie crust) under my expert tuition and it turned out really well - very light and flaky. An excellent pie - but then again, I do love an apple pie...



May Declutter, Day 24: 24 Items, 300 Total


  • (7 items) various cans of paint, either so old as to be no good, or from colours we no longer have in rooms - or both. Off to the tip ("Civic Amenity Centre").
  • (4 items) misc stuff from shed: box of grass seed eated by mice, dried up grout pen, other exciting things
  • (5 items) old sponges, brush, turtle wax so ancient as to predate my marriage, probably
  • (8 items) plant pots, trays, propagation trays, etc. A couple of these will go in the bin, the rest are being set aside to put on freecycle when I get around to it.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

May declutter, Day 23: 23 items, 276 Total


A real mixed bag today (so to speak) as we cleared out the shed a little while back, and there was lots of stuff from that. And some household items.
  • (3 items) pincushion (I have loads; this one is never used), scissors, pen - charity shop, school and bin (doesn't work anymore) respectively
  • (2 items) a couple of cookbooks I never use (charity shop)
  • (2 items) old outdoor chairs, one broken (tip)
  • (6 items) old basket, plant pots, bin, etc. all in bad shape, not worth saving or giving away - tip
  • (6 items) balls. some flat ones in the bin, the other ones to a neighbour with small kids
  • (2 items) old metal shelves (from shed, replaced by better plastic ones displaced from house in remodelling last year); fluorescent light cover no longer in use
  • (1 item) bucket with no handle - tip
  • (1 item) old blanket (all chewed up by mice - even found a little mouse nest inside it - almost hated to get rid of it - tempted to put it back for the mice...)
  • (1 items) pile of old teatowels from shed - bin


Dinner, 23/5/15: Lemon Chicken with New Potatoes, Carrots and Beans


This was a nice, simple, different way to cook chicken breasts - they were really succulent and tasty. We liked the sauce, as well, which isn't pictured on my plate (pre-sauce photo!). A keeper.  And one for my mental stock of Recipes Sarah Can Cook When She Goes Off To University (fairly cheap, easy, not too many ingredients)...


Friday, May 22, 2015

May Declutter, Day 22: 22 Items, 253 Total


  • (3 items) surplus cords
  • (3 items) a few books to add to my bag for a friend I pass books onto
  • (4 items) a few pairs of earrings I never wear - two going to a friend who likes novety earrings (if she wants them) the other two to the charity shop with the other jewellery
  • (9 items) button cards with cute vehicles on them. Collected back when Alex was very small with the intent of Doing Something With Them. Going to send these to a friend who is much more likely to use them in crafty endeavours than I am
  • (3 items) glue, glitter pots, very fine glitter. Sending the VFG on to aforementioned friend, the other bits are going in the bin (the glue is mostly dried out)




Thursday, May 21, 2015

May Declutter, Day 21: 21 Items, 231 Total


Finishing up in the bathroom, then on downstairs again, to the drawers with all the computery stuff in them...

  • (2 items) a couple of old poufs (insert joke here)
  • (5 items) some old cups which were demoted to bathroom use - except we have several others so we don't use them, a nearly empty thing of talc, a very old sunscreen
  • (6 items) various old phones. I've kept two others as emergency spares - these have all gone to Oxfam
  • (2 items) old DS with broken touchscreen, old camera (gone to school for backup)
  • (6 items) old MP3 player which no one uses, two more old phones (they just kept coming out of that drawer - it was amazing) - also gone to Oxfam - two mice which don't seem to work, spare charger (we have about a gazillion)

Books 45/46: The Diabolical Baron/The Rake by Mary Jo Putney (re-reads)


Putting these two together because they are related and I read them back to back in a couple of sittings - starting as a bedtime book, but then just finished them (very quick reads).  When clearing out the top of my cupboard recently, I found a stash of romances which I hadn't read/looked at in a while, and remembering how much I enjoyed some, I decided to have a quick re-read. Sometimes at the end of a long day, it's nice to have something which doesn't require a lot of focus, but which is still well-written and entertaining. Some romance novels are better than others. I only like the better ones...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May Declutter, Day 20: 20 Items, 210 Total


On to the bathroom today...

  • (6 items) various old medications which were either empty, nearly empty and not used or in one case, had a broken lid, which made them annoying to use
  • (4 items) bags - one broken, one really old, one an annoying shape, one just never used
  • (6 items) various flannels - kept a few, but we don't really use them much, using sponges and scrubbies more
  • (4 items) odd bits of soap/etc (the flower bubble bath wand a nice idea, but didn't really work well), a tiny funnel, a tiny pot for putting something in, which we never do

Monkey Cake


My entry for the staff bake off (cakes with an animal theme) - it was banana cake inside. I didn't win my round (which is good, as it means I won't have to bake in the final). It was fun though - usually I don't bake for the bake off because it's hard to find time to bake on a weeknight, but I got sucked in this year...

Dinner, 20/5/15: Springtime Pasta with Meatballs


Realised after I pulled this recipe out that it's not really a recipe, but it wasn't hard to work it out - combined everything up to the oil to make the meatballs, and that was about it. I think the sauce could have been a little saucier, but it was still nice.