Sunday, 22 February 2015

Snippets from Spain

Hola!

Very grey skies here in the UK today, so thought I would share a little of the Spanish sunshine DH and I were lucky enough to experience last week...







We have fallen in love with this amazing country, and feel blessed that we have been able to visit again.

Back soon with some very photo heavy posts, don't say I didn't warn ya :-)

Have a lovely Sunday, Helenxx

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

And breathe...

Hello everyone hope the week is going well.

Finally after a very hectic time at work for us both, DH and I have sneaked away for a few days.

Being the person I am I have been taking random photos of our hotel rooms, first I love this picture which was in our room in our airport hotel, reminded me of the sunsets I have been blessed to see in this beautiful part of the world...


Our hotel for the rest of our stay has this lovely lamp...


The next picture is a very obscure clue as to where we are...can you see the flags?


Hopefully back soon to reveal where we are!

Helenxx

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Hearts and flowers

Good morning everyone - hope you are well and that you are looking forward to the weekend.  I have had a very hectic 6 weeks since Christmas at work.  I have fallen behind in so many things, including blogging.  But there have been very nice things happening as well, including my birthday, wedding anniversary and some little local walks out and about.  And now it is the start of the Half Term Break :)

As today is Valentines Day I thought I would share a few "Hearts and Flowers" themed photos.  My DH bought me two lovely bunches of flowers for our anniversary which are still looking great, and the scent of them is quite intoxicating (there was also a yummy box of chocolates but they disappeared quite quickly...)

A fabulous mixed bunch of lilies and roses in deep pink shades...





Then a bunch of lilies in a most unusual shade of purple, here in the photos they look blue, but trust me they are deep purple...



Here are our cards on the mantelpiece, together with a little pot of daffodils I picked up in the supermarket for £1 (bargain!!)...


We don't really celebrate Valentines Day as such as our Wedding Anniversary is so close to it, but I hope you have a lovely day, whether you celebrate or not.

To close, there must be a loving feeling in the air as even the cats (who don't get on that well) are sharing some of my crocheted cushions...


Happy Valentines Day!


Helenxx

Sunday, 1 February 2015

First of February

Hello everyone, I just can't believe we are in February already!  This last month has  gone by in a complete blur, work has been so hectic that some evenings, when finally leaving school to go home, it seems as if my brain has finally given up the ghost and sometimes this has been exactly how I have felt...

Google images

*Kimi, I share your feeling of confusion :-)

However, it is only 2 weeks to go until half term :-) :-) :-) :-) so will just battle on...

So, when lovely thoughtful gifts from lovely thoughtful folk like Taci are delivered all the way from the US you can imagine how gratefully these are received...just look at what she made for me...


A sweet bird made by crocheting pretty fabric, it is beautiful, I am writing a blog post on my tablet for the first time so the photo doesn't really do it justice as the camera isn't a very high spec, but you get the idea.  Taci I love this little bird and love that you made it for me. Thank you so so much!  Bloggers really are the best aren't they?

One thing I found out today though re. The tablet camera is that it does have a wide range of editing settings including one called oil painting, this is what Taci's bird looks like using this setting...


Pretty cool I think! Can see myself using this setting a quite a bit.

Hope you have a lovely relaxing Sunday!

Helenxx

*Kimi Raikkonen

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Lovely Heart surprise!

Hello everyone, hope you are having a great weekend.

We had a very busy day yesterday, with in-laws visiting us, so cue a big clean up operation and a big cooking session.  I will show what I made at the end of this post as first of all I would like to start off with what definitely cheered my day amongst all it's hectic-ness.  My dear friend Betsy sent me a lovely package all the way from the United States - just look what was inside:


Betsy has made this lovely felt heart brooches for me and some of our other dear blogging friends...


I love the sweet embroidery of this flower...


and isn't the card adorable?


I shall be wearing this tomorrow on my return to work...

 
Betsy, thank you so, so very much for this gift and your sweet message, you really are a sweetheart!
 
And the arrival of these lovely gifts were such a pick-me-up: I don't mind cleaning and cooking marathons, but have to confess that I do find these things a little stressful when having to complete them to a set deadline.  My work life is what you might call "an extreme deadline environment" so in my everyday life I choose to be on a slightly more flexible timetable.
 
But thankfully everything was done and dusted (literally) with 30 minutes to spare before the visitors arrived.
 
And this is what I had spent 3 hours making:
 
 

 Galnish...
 
A traditional dish from the Caucaus region...
 
 
To give you some idea of the quantities, it requires 2 large bags of flour, 4 pints of water, and a lot of elbow grease and patience!  The trays (of which eventually there were three in total) are large enough to cover almost a third of my dining room table - that is each tray is that big!  Yes, we are talking of industrial quantities here.  Does my family have a healthy appetite?  You bet!!
The flour is wholemeal, but has to be sifted to take the larger pieces out.  Then, it is mixed with water to form a stiff dough.  About 6 years ago I had surgery on my hand and found kneading the dough too painful, so DH treated me to a Kenwood Chef Major so that I can use it with the dough hook for this dish.  Yes, it is a family favourite and worth investing in such a piece of kitchen equipment!!  Then the dough is rolled out (by hand) into long sausage shapes, about the diameter of my little finger.  These are then cut into pieces about 2 inches long and hand rolled into the shapes you can see above.  The good news is that any left over pieces can be frozen before cooking, so every time I make this dish I freeze some.  This means that on average, after 4 times of cooking I end up with a 5th batch in the freezer for "emergency visitors".  Or when DH wistfully says "I really feel like having Galnish for dinner"...
 
A soup is made with meat (the relatives) or onions and milk (me).  The meat (or onions) is taken out and put on one side, then the Galnish pieces are cooked in the soup in the same way you would cook pasta.  The cooked pieces are served with the meat (for the meat eaters) and a garlic sauce.  It is a very rustic but delicious dish, and although I sometimes groan when I am making it, the eating of it makes it all worthwhile!
 
Today I am taking things a little easier, just a big pile of ironing and some paperwork tidying later on.
 
Have a lovely Sunday!
 
Helenxx