Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The good thing about having Startitis is that one day you finish lots of things all at once. Now although this is only one thing, it's made up of a back, 9 small squares and 4 fat beady tassels.

Here we have the back of the cushion that has been made up of left-overs from the Mystery Blanket. I love stripes, there's something very pleasing about the way they look so stripey!

And here is the front. Quite like this side too. What do you think?

Oh and by the way, I finished the i-cord bath mat. It took some doing, starting to panic somewhat on Christmas Eve, but it got done and wrapped in time for the big day! Photos another day. If I remember!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

The turkey's in the oven, the pudding is sitting happily in the slow cooker, Mr Stressy is for once not living up to his name and the children are on the play station, merrily killing aliens.

Happy Christmas to you all, may your day be calm and peaceful and your new year bring nothing but good things.

I'm off for a sherry - anyone want to join me?


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Brownies (or how to put 3lbs on in one day)

When I go to Fat Club tomorrow and have put weight on, I am blaming this woman for sending me her recipe for the Best Ever Brownies. They truly are the best I have ever tasted. And what a lovely change to not have to battle with raisins or walnuts, but to just savour the delicious, fudgy, chocolaty brownie. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

Monday, December 21, 2009

General chatter.

Ooh, sorry. How long ago was it that I wrote to you all? Truth be told, I wouldn't even be here now, I'd be sitting knitting, but my men are watching the Sun Military awards. I managed about 20 minutes of this, but was crying so much I had to come away. As soon as they got to honouring Wooton Bassett, I knew that was that. No more tears, I can bear this programme no more.

I have always held all Military Personnel in very high esteem. Quite apart from the uniforms (be still my beating heart!), I have always been in awe of their dedication and bravery. Many years ago, Mr Stressy - a soldier at the time - declared that he was disappointed not to be heading off to war in Iraq, that he felt a party was going on to which he wasn't invited. He had trained for war for much of his life and was to stay in this country. To my simplistic mind, this was insane. And my God, was I glad he didn't go.

The fiance of a friend of mine is serving in Afghanistan as we speak - he comes home tomorrow for a 2 week break, then heads back to finish his 7 month tour of duty. My heart goes out to him and everyone out there. Come home safely one and all.

But enough of this, it's nearly Christmas, time to be happy.

It is snowing again. If it carries on snowing, we shall be looking forward to Christmas dinner without the turkey. I'm not going out in this weather.

But I'm a bit stuck anyway - our car broke down nearly 3 weeks ago and went to the garage for repairs. Sadly the engine has to come out, pistons need replacing and the whole thing sounds scarily expensive. I am trying not to think about it! (But in the meantime, I wish they would lend me a courtesy car.)

Oh bugger. I'm doing it again aren't I? Come on woman, cheer up.

Tell you what, let me show you something exciting.

Having seen the fabulous Advent garland over at Attic 24, I just knew that I had to learn to crochet. So a lunch was arranged, cake was promised and Picperfic and blogless Cybil came over to teach me. And look what I made! Me! I can crochet! I tell you everyone, I am so proud of my little stars. But now that I have a few, I've decided that I really only want them in Christmassy colours - reds, greens and whites. So the pinky ones will just have to be used elsewhere.

I'm still plodding on with the i-cord bath mat. Barely 3 days to go, so I seem to be sewing up at every available opportunity. But Mr Stressy is here now and I don't want him to see it. I am determined to get it done - it's much bigger than when I last showed you. Maybe next time it will be finished.

Dare I mention the diets? I managed by some miracle to lose 1.5lbs last week. Due to large quantities of mince pies, I do not expect the same result this week. Oh, yes and I made a new pudding tonight - chocolate Christmas Pudding was its title. Amongst the ingredients were plain chocolate, breadcrumbs, milk chocolate, cream, butter, white chocolate, cocoa and flour. All the things which Slimming World frowns upon. But I tell you now people, it was worth every single ounce of weight that will go on the hips. It was delicious. It was so delicious in fact that I never even got round to taking its photo. I was too busy ramming it down my throat!

Until next time - I promise a pre-Christmas update - take care and keep warm.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Millions of miles

You may recall that sometime ago I mentioned that I had about a million miles of i-cord. Years ago Clara sent me some dishcloth cotton - far too nice to use for washing the dishes and using for all my mucky pots. So I got my mum to turn it into i-cord (she's good like that is my mum!) and had a great idea of transforming it into something beautiful.

As it happens, the beautiful thing is new rug for our bathroom. I was full of enthusiasm and was going to give it to Mr Stressy for his birthday. That was 8 months ago! So I have now decided to finish it for Christmas. Unfortunately, it's taking far longer to sew together than I first thought.

A million miles is a very long way in deed. So here it is so far, a mere fraction of the size it will be when it finally grows up. I am trying to sew each and every 'row' together to make it super strong. How long until Christmas?

Not long enough, she shouts, panic rising with every breath.

Here's a cake I just knocked up the other day. Both my children wanted it for them. But as neither of them is called Georgie and nowhere near the grand old age of 30 I said they couldn't have it. What a mean mother.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bloggy Diet Raffle

It has all gone very quiet lately regarding weigh-ins. Come on everyone, how are you doing? Let me know if you've slipped through the net and I've not recorded your weight losses in the side bar. Remember the draw will be taking place on New Year's day, so you must have told me by then how you've done.

I lost half a pound this week, which considering the chocolate cakes from the last post, is somewhat miraculous! Here's hoping for better news next week!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chocolate cakes

As promised, here are the chocolate cakes I made this weekend. The top one is called Trillionaire's Shortbread. Chocolatey base, chocolatey fudgey middle and chocolate top. The name is very apt. Each piece contains at least a trillion calories. And I had a whole piece as well as licking out the bowl!

This next one is Chocolate shortbread tart. It is not like shortbread. It's a very moist almondy base with even moister chocolate almondy topping. Delicious with vanilla ice cream. I had a piece of this too (not as big as the piece in the photo). And it was bloody good. Warm from the oven, gooey, melt in the mouth, crisp on top. A chocoholics dream. And I am a very big chocoholic.

And following the weekends' piggery, I fully expect to be just that at fat club. Big.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Cakes

Well it's that time of year again when my thoughts turn towards Christmas Cakes. I very rarely make them to sell and just end up giving them away - presents, raffle prizes, you know the thing.

This one was made for Mr Stressy's boss - she sold it at the Travelling Fair she'd organised to raise money for a few local charities. Sold it for quite a bit I might add. Well done her!

Now this one is for mum and dad. We don't go a bundle on the cakes done with marzipan and icing, preferring this sort. I would far rather do these - they take a fraction of the time to decorate and I think look so much more festive. It has nothing to do with the fact that I adore Brazil nuts and when decorating them, put one on the cake, one in the mouth, one on the cake, one in the mouth. Oh no, that would not be wise for someone on a diet. Not wise at all...

This last one has gone to a friend who orders a cake every year. And without wanting to sound like I'm showing off, I think this is my favourite Christmas Cake I've ever done. There are small subtle differences to the cake at the top and this one just makes me smile.

Anyone fancy a piece? I've got a lovely looking recipe for 2 chocolatey cakes which I am determined to make today, so if fruit cake isn't your thing, call back another day to see how they turned out.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stop Press!

Have you seen this? I for one will be queuing up, finger poised on the refresh button!

In the weight loss stakes, I'm down another pound - felt I deserved more, but just the one it is. Perhaps if I hadn't eaten the bag of Brazil nuts, almonds and pecans, it might have been more. (I have now officially lost 10% of my body weight since starting at Slimming World!)

Updated to add - She's Back! WMK is blogging again under a new name. She is planning to run a marathon (in 80 years time by the looks of things) and needs you to visit her. Welcome back WMK, er, Mama!