Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Book Plan Update - May 2016

Continuing in 2016 to make inroads on the books I own (un-read) and not buy too many new ones. Progress to date:
  1. January: books removed from list: 7,  books added: 2; net result -5
  2. February: books removed from list: 4, books added: 0; net result -4 (total YTD: -9)
  3. March: books removed from list: 8, books added:8; net result 0 (total YTD: -9)
  4. April: books removed from list: 6, books added: 0; net result -6 (total YTD: -15)
In May:
  • I read 2 books from my list (The Enchanted by Rene Denfield, Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz)
  • I tried and abandoned 2 books from my list (The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada)
  • I read one book of short stories by Dorothy L Sayers (Lord Peter views the Body), recently purchased to help complete my Peter Wimsey collection (doesn't count as a "book added" on my list as it goes with the permanent collection, not the "to be read" shelf)
  • I re-read 5 books which we already owned (Beauty by Robin McKinley, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J K Rowling, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona ClubStrong Poison and Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L Sayers)
  • I read one book we had in the house already, which Geoff has been trying to get me to read for ages (The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean)
  • and one book which Sarah had (Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell) which I keep seeing listed on every list of great books both YA and just regular lists, so I thought I should really read it.
  • I read one library book (The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald)
  • I bought two books in the charity shop (Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgkin) and two books in Waterstones in Kingston (Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and All That is Solid Melts into Air by Darragh McKeon)
  • And finally, I removed two books from the list which really shouldn't have been there anyway - charity shop crime fiction, which just comes in and goes out again - I know I'll read these as they are by authors I frequently read, so it's not the same kind of issue as with other books I acquire (Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon and  Bad Boy by Peter Robinson)
May's tally is therefore...
books read: 11
books removed from list: 6,  books added: 4; net result -2
[Goal (no more than 1 book added to the list for every two books removed) not met this month.]

Here's the updated list of Books to Read in 2016.  There were 55 books at the beginning of January, and now there are 38 - of those, only 5 are left from before 2015. [Books with an asterisk]. 
  1. Kate Atkinson, A God in Ruins (Waterstones Kingston, January 2016)
  2. Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone (AbeBooks, March 2016)
  3. Philip Baruth, The Brothers Boswell (Waterstones Canterbury bargain bin, July 2015)
  4. Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead (AbeBooks, October 2015)
  5. Wilkie Collins, The Haunted Hotel (birthday present, November 2015)
  6. Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White (Waterstones Kingston, Boxing Day 2015)
  7. Arthur Conan Doyle, Adventure of Sherlock Holmes (World of Books, October 2015)
  8. Jean-Paul Didierlaurente, The Reader on the 6.27 (Waterstones Piccadilly, March 2016)
  9. Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend (Waterstones Piccadilly, March 2016)
  10. Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl  (charity shop, May 2016)
  11. Ford Maddox Ford, Parade's End (Nov 2012 - birthday present - bought after the BBC adaptation - but I knew I wouldn't read it straight away as I wanted to let time pass from the adaptation.  Enough time has probably passed now...) *
  12. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (would be a re-read, bought shortly after his death - spring 2014 - as I was reminded how much I enjoyed it and I didn't seem to own a copy - think my old one fell apart, probably...) *
  13. Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (2014)*
  14. Kate Grenville, The Lieutenant (charity shop, December 2015)
  15. Frances Hardinge, A Face Like Glass (Mother's Day present, March 2016)
  16. Melissa Harrison, At Hawthorn Time (Waterstones Piccadilly, March 2016)
  17. Georgette Heyer, A Christmas Party (from my mother, December 2015)
  18. Antonia Hodgkin, The Devil in the Marshalsea (charity shop, May 2016)
  19. Andrew Michael Hurley, The Loney (Waterstones Piccadilly, March 2016)
  20. Maria McCain, The Wilding (charity shop, December 2015)
  21. Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (charity table, Wetland Centre, May 2015)
  22. Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men (charity shop, December 2015)
  23. John McGregor, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (charity shop, April 2015 - will be a re-read as have read it in (apparently) October 2004 for a book group)
  24. Darragh McKeon, All That is Solid Melts into Air (Waterstones Kingston, May 2016)
  25. Tom McNeal, Far Far Away (AbeBooks, January 2016)
  26. Philipp Meyer, American Rust (charity shop, December 2015)
  27. Alice Munro, Runaway (Waterstones Piccadilly, March 2016)
  28. Kim Newman, An English Ghost Story (The Last Bookshop, Brisol, Sept 2015)
  29. Flannery O'Connor, Complete Stories (charity shop, December 2015)
  30. Elizabeth Redfern, The Music of the Spheres  (charity shop, December 2015)
  31. Sunjeev Sahota, The Year of the Runaways  (Mother's Day present, March 2016)
  32. Jane Smiley, Some Luck (Waterstones Reading, October 2015)
  33. Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Barnes & Noble (in MD), Summer 2013 - a re-read, as I read it when a teen) *
  34. Emily St John Mandel, Station Eleven (Waterstones Kingston, May 2016)
  35. Matthew Thomas, We Are Not Ourselves (Waterstones Kingston, Boxing Day 2015)
  36. Rose Tremain, Tresspass (charity shop, December 2015)
  37. Barry Unsworth, The Ruby in her Navel (2014) *
  38. William Wharton, Birdy (The Last Bookshop, Bristol, Sept 2016

Dinner, 31/5/16: Free form Asparagus and New Potato Tart (Good Food)

Very tasty. I feared the bottom might be slightly soggy, but not. 

May declutter: Final Day! - 31 items, 496 total

More clothes from Sarah's room, including some pairs of shoes she doesn't wear for one reason or another. And a book I finished today, which will go to the charity shop (as will most of the clothes & shoes). And finally, a small selection of stuff for the bin (broken sunglasses, empty watch box, headphones where only one ear works) and the recycling.  I'm sure Sarah has a lot more stuff she could declutter, but for the moment, I'm not documenting it, at least!

Book 51: Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz

I've read Horowitz's other Sherlock Holmes pastiche and enjoyed it (House of Silk) and this one was ok, too, but I couldn't completely settle to it. I won't discuss it in detail for fear of spoilers, but my main issue I think was to do with not really connecting to the narrator, which always makes a book difficult to read, I think. (Probably why I'm in that small minority of people who can't stand The Catcher in the Rye.)

Book 50: The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

I'm not actually quite done with reading this, but I've been reading it on and off all month, and I want to count it in May's reading. This is non-fiction, and it's about the Periodic Table - a bit about the history, and a bit about the physics and chemsitry, but more anecdotes about elements and their unusual properties and interesting things about their discoveries. The science bit is a bit too chemistry-y for me sometimes, but the anecdotes are pretty good. Geoff's been suggesting I read it for ages, so I thought I'd have a go (despite not being a huge fan of non-fiction, or, indeed, chemistry). 

Monday, May 30, 2016

May Declutter: 30 items, 465 total

Today's stuff comes mostly from Sarah's room - with the exception of a quilting ruler (replaced by a new one, but I didn't keep the old one "just in case it was useful for something" so it still counts!), a pair of Alex's old slippers which are two sizes too small and a small bottle of face scrub which none of us really like (it was a free sample). 

Book 49: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

This is a Young Adult title which keeps popping up on lists of great books (both YA lists and other, more general lists). As Sarah had it in the house already, I thought I'd give it a try. Verdict: I agree, a lovely read. Felt very authetic, which is something not all books about teens do. Very sweet.

Dinner, 30/5/16: Potato and Bean Salad (Moosewood), Chicken Breast Strips, Biscuits

This was a very nice salad; I served it with grilled chicken breasts - not something I do a lot of (plain cooking) but it seemd to go nicely with the salad. And Sarah knocked up some biscuits for us as well. Wish the weather was as summery as the meal!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Book 48: Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L Sayers

Another in my re-read of the series - I think I've only read this one once before, which was great, as I didn't remember whodunnit. A friend and I have been discussing the merits (or not) of this book, (which she doesn't really like, despite loving many of the others in the series) but I have to say, on re-reading it, I found I really enjoyed it. It's not my favourite, probably because it has an awful lot of worrying about train times and whatnot, but on the whole it's cleverly plotted and I liked the characters - even the nasty ones.

Seems like I haven't finished a book in ages; this is because I was actually reading four at once, so be prepared for an onslaught now!

Dinner, 29/5/16: Sausage Hotpot (Beverly LeBlanc) with mashed potato

Did this one in the slow cooker, as I knew I was going to be out right up until almost dinner time; it was nice.

May declutter: 29 items, 435 total

Only a few days to go, but I think I might have to hit one of the girls' rooms in order to finish the last two days. Which is good, as it means that although my house may not seem totally decluttered to a vistor, at least I've gone through and got rid of things I don't think we are using...

Anyway, a few items from the kitchen which we don't need, a towel (which is a pool/beach towel, but very small), a charger which doesn't work, some jewellery I don't wear, a pair of shoes with a hole in the sole (nearly) (these were recently replaced, but I hadn't got rid of the old pair yet), some more books - some to charity shop, some to school, some in a pile for my mother to read on her next visit, and then to the charity shop. Some lip glosses which are old and tacky (in texture, not in look), and two spray paints which are clogged up and don't work (and which I never use anyway).

Saturday, May 28, 2016

May declutter: 28 items, 406 total

Bits and pieces: some soap we are unlikely to use (we use mainly shower gel and for soap, I really like chunky homemade soaps) (3 items), a small selection of medicine spoons and syringes (3 items), some old ear piercing lotions, more small soaps and two mini pots of sudocrem about 10 years out of date (6 items). A cosmetics bag which has a tear and no one really likes (1 items), a commemorative duck (1 item). And finalyl from the bathroom, a tube of toothpaste we all hate the flavour of (1 item). From my room: 3 pairs of earrings and a brooch I don't wear; a couple more older bras (not very comfortable), and a scarf which looks nice in principle, but isn't really practical (7 items). And some more books - a couple for the charity shop and a few for my classroom's book corner (6 items).

Dinner, 28/5/16: Pasta Bake, Garlic Bread, Salad

A quick and easy one tonight, as I knew the girls and I might have spent a long time shopping in Kingston (but we got prom dresses -hurrah!). Yummy, though.

Books In

Shopping in Kingston today (Prom Dresses: Accomplished!); Geoff came along for the beginning to choose a few non-fiction books from Waterstones, so I had to grab a couple of interesting looking titles from the display tables. Of course!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Dinner, 27/5/16: Sesame Chicken (John Whaite), Pak Choi, Rice

Another one from the Perfect Plates in 5 ingredients cookbook. This was tasty, though nothing super exciting. Still, a nice, quick weekday supper type dish. And easy!

May declutter: 27 items, 378 total

More of Alex's clothes, all too small: a pair of shorts (1), two pair of tracksuit bottoms (2), two pairs of trousers (2), 5 t-shirts - a couple of real favourites, but he really can't fit in them any more (5), a batman shirt which is too small (1), 4 pairs of school trousers (4), then some cookbooks I never use (and which Sarah wouldn't really be interested in), which are off to the charity shop (5 items), some envelopes and notecards (2), three novelty type boxes from notecards (in the junk modelling bag for school) (3) and two more reusable bags, both of which came free with stuff and neither of which are really useful (going with the others for Project Linus quilts to go in when I donate them) (2). 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May Declutter: 26 items, 351 total

Nearing the end of the month now, which means that although there aren't many days left, each day's declutter (if I play by the original rules) requires a greater number of items. But no fear - I still have two children's rooms to clear out if need be...

Here's the last of the toys from Alex's room (clothes to follow) - his two Build-a-Bear bears. They've gone to a special charity shop locally which specialises in kids' stuff - I think I said. I reckon they'll easily find new homes there. (2 items)

A bunch of miscellany from the hall cupboard - weird stuff like a bad hanger, a torn long-life carrier bag, a few old pairs of glasses (which will go back to Specsavers for their charity program), some dried up shoe cream, etc. (11 items)

A few books to make shelf space (3 items) a cookbook and some cook booklets (the kind that come free on the front of cookery magazines) - these are only semi-decluttered, as they are going in the pile of cookbooks for Sarah to take to uni with her (8 items).

And two pairs of pyjamas which are too small for Alex. Luckily, I have a neighbour with a son about 4 years younger than Alex (but who is tall for his age), so all the boy's clothes from my house just go a few doors over for her boys (she has 3 total, so everything will get very well used). (2 items)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dinner, 25/5/16: Kale Carbonara (Sainsbury's magazine, I think)

Pasta with a creamy sauce, and bacon - oh, and kale.  But very yummy.

May Declutter: 25 items, 325 total

More stuff from Alex's room (nearly done now) - some maths magazines (primary school level) which I will take into my classroom; some masks and other tat (recycling) and some unwanted books (charity shop).

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dinner, 24/5/16: Pork Chops, Asparagus, New Potatoes

Taking advantage of the (relatively short) asparagus season...

May Declutter: 24 items, 300 total

Most of these things from Alex's bookcase - a number of activity books and KS2 revision books (charity shop), plus a pair of shoes which are too small, and a spare PE top which is also too small, really. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Dinner, 23/5/16: Jacket Potatoes with Toppings

I had tuna; others had beans and cheese - whatever works!

May Declutter: 23 items, 276 total

...and here's some more stuffed toys off to the charity shop. I should take a photo of all the ones he ISN'T getting rid of - there are still loads. Also some pencils (school), little rulers, a notebook, and a collection of 2012 Olympics cards. At the bottom, there's a few books, and finally some accessories for his two Build-a-Bear bears, which he has decided to send off to the charity shop as well. The bears, too. I'm going to take all the Build-a-Bear stuff to one particular charity shop which specialises in children's things. Given the the bears are in good shape and one of them is dressed as Obi Wan Kenobi, it should prove a popular money maker for them. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dinner, 22/5/16: Spanakopitas, Salad

I usually make one larger spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie); this time I was inspired by a photo from a fellow foodie and decided to make little ones - I didn't use a recipe, just made it up based on my normal no-recipe Spanakopita, so it wasn't quite perfect - the mix was a little too runny for wrapped parcels, I think - I can take care to cut back the liquid a bit next time (not that there's much liquid in it, but I probably needed to squeeze the spinach even more than usual and cut back on the egg...)

May Declutter: 22 items, 253 total

More stuff from Alex's room: a tractor shaped money bank - he has another shaped like a Mexican Day of the Dead skull which he actually uses, so the tractor is going to the charity shop. A cardboard penny bank (recycling), a star shaped box full of seashells (charity shop). Lower left: a couple of toys and a panda bag (charity shop); a selection of soft toys (Alex absolutely adored stuffed animals as a small boy and had well over a hundred. Over the past few years, he's been narrowing them down to the really special ones, so here are a selection which don't qualify. And it occurs to me that there were two more which we are giving to an English friend living in the US which I didn't photograph: a hedgehog and a little owl, but never mind.) Don't get me wrong, even after this major clearout (and there are more stuffed toys to come) he still has several dozen stuffed animals!  And finally, a Marvel Comics bookbag with a broken clasp, a little Olympics flag and another toy of some sort. Everything off to the charity shop...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dinner, 21/5/16: Sausages, Broccoli, Potato Waffles

May Declutter: 21 items, 231 total

Helped Alex clear out his room recently, so a lot of the upcoming stuff came from that sort out. You wouldn't think such a small room had so much stuff in it, but he hasn't really had a good sort out in years, so there were lots of kiddie things that he no longer wanted. Anyway, here's today's lot: Necklace/earrings which I never wear (not from Alex's stuff) (2 items), 2 tin Cadbury's vans (charity shop), a handful of knights & horses, which will go to school as either year 1 or 2 does a unit on castles (5 items), some little figures he doesn't want (he still has LOADS of little figures - most but not all of them Lego minifigures) but these ones are a bit meh, so he decided to chuck them (6 items) and a couple of other bits which I'm not really sure what they are, but they are going in the bin, so they count (2 items). A pop-up dinosaur book which is brilliant, but he's just too old for it. I'm saving this one in the cupboard until I find someone I know with a small child who loves dinosaurs. It's very awesome.

Friday, May 20, 2016

May declutter: 20 items, 210 total

Some of these are from the desk area, some from my bedroom. Some printable certificates, which a friend passed along to me a long time ago when she was having a clearout of her home office, thinking they might be useful for school. I've never used them. (2 items), some partly-used spiral notebooks, which the kids won't use any more for whatever reason, going to my classroom for the writing area/whatever (4 items), padded envelopes which are in bad shape/too small to mail anything useful (I still have a significant collection in the event I need to mail something) (4 items); a t-shirt which is too pink to wear and some socks I don't really like (4 items) plus some pants (5 items) and a few free cosmeticy things which I never use (1 item). 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May declutter: 19 items, 190 total

A selection of craft items (11 items) which I won't use, for the charity shop, where hopefully someone will find them useful. Some GCSE Geography revision materials, textbooks, magazines - Sarah did GCSE Geography, but Olivia doesn't do it, and Alex won't - and even if he did, the textbooks/syllabus would probably have changed (7 items); a pair of little lights which never really worked as I hoped they would (as under cupboard lighting over the desktops) because they either wouldn't stay stuck to the surface, or ran out of batteries constantly (1 item). 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dinner, 18/5/16: Ravioli with Herb Butter

The simplest of simple meals (unless you make the ravioli, which I didn't). But excellent when you have a forty minute window for both cooking and eating your dinner...

Book 47: Strong Poison by Dorothy L Sayers (re-read)

Another re-read in this series - heading towards my favourites now, but I'm not going to skip ahead, I'm going to keep going in order, which means Gaudy Night will be a while yet. Sigh.

May declutter: 18 items, 171 total

An odd mix today - some elastic bands (our little container is overflowing and I actually need some at work, so I'm taking them in to use there) (1 item); a selection of pyjama bottoms and tops which I never wear (5 items)  a colouring book (going to my classroom) and a puzzle book which is mostly completed (recycling bin); a selection of stamps I don't use (charity shop) (6 items); some ink pads and other craft stuff I don't use (4 items). 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book 46: The Enchanted by Rene Denfield

This was a quite a remarkable little book; an interesting idea. It's told (mostly) from the point of view of a death row inmate who has committed a really unspeakable crime - we don't know what, because it's unspoken - it's a glimpse into his mind and while it's never made light of that these men (in this instance) have done terrible things, the exploration of their sometimes fractured and tortured minds is really touching. The book focuses mainly on people who have themselves has truly awful experiences as children, etc - and questions whether part of how they end up is created rather than born. But there's balance there as well and perspective. It's a tricky thing to carry off and I think is done very beautifully. Not a single character is surplus to requirement in the author's examination of human nature and the whole thing is just truly remarkable.  I'd read this again - and it would be an excellent one for a group to read; so much to discuss!

Dinner, 17/5/16: Cheeseburger Quesadillas (John Whaite)

OMG, you're thinking - it's like a cheeseburger and a quesadilla at the same time. And you'd be right. OMG, you're thinking - it's such an awesome idea and I could eat loads of those. And you'd be right.

Another one from the Perfect Plates in 5 ingredients book - definitely we'll be having this again. Not to mention, it's going on Sarah's list of uni meals. In fact, I may buy another copy of the cookbook for her to take with her.

May Declutter: 17 items, 153 total

Some more things from my craft supplies: some other paints - again, with very little in, or dried up (6 items); 2 bags which I imade at various times in the past, which I never use - think these will get donated to Project Linus perhaps for a raffle or their sale stall. A selection of earrings I don't wear for whatever reason (6 items), two jumpers which Olivia stuck in the charity shop basket recently; a book which I'm finished with, which will go to the charity shop.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dinner, 16/5/16: Jacket Potatoes with Beans and Cheese

A good one for a weeknight where the girls have to eat about 15 minutes before I get home from tutoring. My potato can just stay in the oven a little longer...

May declutter: 16 items, 136 total

The paints from yesterday's basket -most of these are either dried out or nearly empty (like a teaspoonful left). And to make it up to 16, this old wallet, which I replaced ages ago - it still works (mostly) but is very worn. No idea why I kept it, frankly!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Dinner, 15/5/16: Tahini and Honey Chicken with Paprika Potatoes (John Whaite)

From a new cookbook: Perfect Plates in 5 ingredients. The idea being you don't need a long list of ingredients for a meal. Doesn't include basic things like salt & pepper and cooking oil,  but still. This used a marinade of tahini and honey on the chicken and some paprika on the potatoes, and was excellent. Another recipe from this book to follow later in the week.

May declutter: 15 items, 120 total

Some of these items are from the craft drawers, etc, some are from elsewhere - a bit eclectic today. The paper pads (5 items - a few are too small to count as an item) are ones the girls won't use - lined paper with no holes (not useful for revision as you can't put it in your ring binder), weird yellow paper with lines, yellow paper with no lines. I'll take it to school and put it in the scrap paper drawer or the writing corner or something.  A set of marbling inks (1 item) which are pretty much dried out - we've used them in the past, but won't again.  Extra bookmarks (6 items) which are going to school for my book corner. We still have enough bookmarks for everyone to read 3 or 4 books at once (which does happen - I've got three on the go at the moment myself, and one has two bookmarks in it - one in the text and one in the notes section at the back!). Some coloured foam (1 item) off to school and some crafty clay (charity shop). And a basket which had loads of paints and stuff in it, but which is fairly broken and has been for a while (bin). 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dinner, 14/5/16: Hot & Sour Soup (Frugal Gourmet)

I long ago got rid of this cookbook, which I almost never cooked anything from (the main issue was that it was a regular hardback sized book with no photos, and I found it hard to get inspired by it) but this soup, which we make fairly regularly, I tore out the page for! It's Geoff's favourite but because of the mushrooms (Sarah, Olivia) and the eggs (Olivia) we don't make it as much as we might. However, he's been asking for it recently, and as he's away for the next week, I thought it was a good time to have it.

May declutter: 14 items, 105 total

More stuff from the craft drawers in the living room (this is mostly the kids' craft stuff, not my stuff - that's still to come, if I have enough energy for it!).   A bunch of mostly used paint tester pots (7 items), some dead felt tips (one item) and a pile of paper for the recycling (from a different source than yesterday's paper - 1 item). Then, from the hat & gloves drawers, two pairs of gloves which are too small for anyone to wear, and a hat which no one wears - off to the charity shop.  Finally, from the toilet upstairs, a room spray which I don't really like the smell of, but have never got around to throwing out (bin). 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Book 45: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Dorothy L Sayers (re-read)

Finding it very hard to settle to a book at the moment, so I decided it was a good time to go back to re-reading the Peter Wimsey titles. This is the one I'm up to in the running order; soon I'll get to the Harriet books, which are my favourite. But I'm going to read them all in order, like a good girl...

May declutter: 13 items, 91 total

Some more cross stitch patterns today - this is the last of them for the time being anyway. There are 7 of the Little Sheep Virtues - again, I'll be giving them away on my blog (or trying to) before sending them to the charity shop, if no takers (or I might list them on eBay, with profits to charity). A bag of colouring pencils (counts as one 1 item) which are going to my classroom at school - we have a number of sets which are being saved; this is the miscellany. And some really short ones which aren't very nice, which are going in the bin (one item). A pile of papers for the recycling bin (one item) which I sorted out of a file folder of stuff. And finally, some dead paints (one item) and two mostly used trays of cheap watercolours (2 items) - the better quality watercolours are being saved, of course, as well as all the paints that aren't used up/dried up.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

May declutter: 12 items, 78 total

Some more cross stitch patterns: the ones at top left I haven't stitched (one I have two copies of - the paper one which was a free gift with something I bought), the others are all ones I've stitched already and won't stitch again. All the patterns will go in a giveaway on my blog, and if no takers, to the charity shop. Also, a single glove from the glove drawer (bin) and an earmuffy thing which Olivia never wears, which is going to the charity shop.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dinner, 11/5/16: Black Bean Burritos (unknown source)

Another perennial favourite; this recipe came from an American magazine, quite some time ago (probably one I bought in the US or a recipe I clipped from something lying around my mum's house) but I didn't make a note of which one, so I can't credit it. I've altered the recipe a little, but it's still something we eat quite often (for us).  And very easy and quick for a weeknight.