Friday, 5 September 2014

Friday Happies


1. Order. Oh, you've no idea how good it felt to get down to some serious sorting, cleaning and tidying, after weeks of muddle. Happy holiday muddle, but still muddle.


Each day this week I have mopped floors and vacuumed carpets, sorted cupboards and tackled piles.


This room alone was a day's work. 


I put in a day's work on the blog too, doing some behind the scenes things. Tidying up there, too, sorting out some new pages.



2. I'm really delighted to tell you that I've started writing for This Is Your Kingdom, which is a rather wonderful website full of things to see and do all over the UK, with reviews all written by contributors who've visited and enjoyed different places. I get to indulge my loves of photography, writing and going to nice places, so it's all good! Do have a look at their website, they have some lovely suggestions and ideas.


3. Hotdogs for lunch. John's idea. We'd had a really nice morning together - we went for a run (my first in ages, I really need to get back into it) then went for coffee and cake at a nearby bookshop, then he decided on a whim that he had to have a hotdog for lunch. It was pretty fantastic. It just needed a pile of fried onions, that would've made it perfect. I hate that John works weekends, but the upside is that we get some time together during the week.


4. We now have a slow cooker! And a slow cooker cook book.  I haven't used it yet (I'm a bit scared of it to be honest, I need to ease myself in gently) but I am looking forward to some warming stews and pot roasts this autumn. If anyone has any recipes for the slow cooker they'd recommend I'd love to hear them.

Talking of seasons, wasn't the weather utterly gorgeous today? It was misty first thing but by mid-morning the sun was hot and the sky blue. The sun feels softer and more mellow in September and every extra good day at this time of year is a blessing. I hope you all have a great weekend.


44 comments:

  1. Wow what a transformation. Even the books on the shelf are neat! I hope it stays that way for you. I love a good tidy up but I have to be in the mood. Enjoy your slow cooker, they are great for those hearty winter casseroles. T x

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    1. Yes, I am hoping to make lots of those. :-)

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  2. There are 2 recipes at the website/blog Smitten Kitchen that are delicious. Santa Fe Chicken and Asian Pork with Mushrooms

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  3. I used to make Delia Smith's bolognese recipe in my slow cooker, on for 6 to 8 hours during the day. I like using it for many stews that need 2 or 3 hours in an ordinary ove. Stick in less water and leave for 6 to 8 hours; yummy.

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  4. I'm always looking forward to your Friday Happies. What a great job you did in the house! After many busy weeks and weekends our house needs some attention too. The feeling afterwards is so satisfying!

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  5. Congratulations, on your new writing adventure. Will pop over and give it a look.
    Jacqui xx

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  6. Oh it's so lovely to restore order isn't it. One of my favourite things, although I do miss them the minute they're gone. Of course it doesn't take them nearly as long to mess it all up again. You're right, the weather has been beautiful hasn't it, and there is more to come next week. I shall have to start watering the garden again at this rate. Congratulations on writing for This Is Your Kingdom, I shall pop over and have a look. I hope you all have a good weekend. CJ xx

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  7. Congratulations that you're writing for This is your kingdom !! I'll keep an eye on it for your stories !!

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  8. This brought back memories, my daughters bedroom used to be like that and used to take me all day to clean and tidy.
    I have made bolognese in a slow cooker it works really well and other casserole dishes. If you're a rice pudding lover that's worth trying in a slow cooker too. Have fun!

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  9. Wow, you did a great job cleaning and tidying up!! It always feels good when it's all done, doesn't it. xxx

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  10. Check out the archives on A Year of Slow Cooking blog, I love her Vietnamese chicken and falafel recipes!

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    1. Thanks for that tip, I will go and have a look.

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  11. I recently cleared and cleaned my two littlest boys room... it is quite satisfying to be able to walk into a room without stepping onto some sharp edged toy. I recognise some familiar toys in your photos! I am going to explore This is Your Kingdom this evening, congratulations on becoming a contributor. x

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  12. It's so satisfying to restore order to chaos isn't it, although it feels like climbing a mountain at the time! Congratulations on writing for This is Your Kingdom, I'll be sure to go and have a read. Have a lovely weekend.
    Jane x

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  13. You HAVE to get this cook book for your slow cooker, it has never failed us and there are some truly delicious, easy family recipes in there...
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Easy-Slow-Cooker-Various/dp/1849750424/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409994864&sr=8-1&keywords=easy+slow+cooker
    Yummy yummy, if you get it let me know and I'll give you our fave recipes from it xxxx

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  14. don't think the amazon link worked, but the book is called "Easy Slow Cooker" it's Ryland Peters Small book, my most used recipe book ever xxxx

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    1. Thanks Lucy, I will look out for that! x

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  15. This has been a fairly full week hasn't it. Well done on the housework, you are welcome her ANYtime...! Congrats on your writing job too.

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  16. You've been good, I wish I'd been half as productive around the house in the first few school days!

    S x

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  17. Congratulations on your new writing venture. It's a really great website. I still hanker after a slow cooker - it always seems to be the answer to healthy tasty weekday meals. I also hanker for a cleaner! After a week back at school, home is a mess! x

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  18. How fun to have a new place to write about the places you love to visit. Don't be afraid of the Crock Pot, you are going to love it.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  19. Great post Gillian and I know what shiftwork is like, but we got used to it and made the best of what time was left over. I can recommend Sally Wise's slow cooker books and another one I use are a couple from New Zealand, whose name escapes me now, but when I get home in October, I'll send an email with the name. I use mine so much, even in summer and it is now nearly 30 years old and still going well. Have a great weekend (weather lousy today isn't it) and take care.

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  20. Ah the sorting isn't it satisfying. I use a slow cooker all the time, it will be coming into it's own soon when I am working a full day and winter stew beckons - Beef and Ale stew is our favourite. jo x

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    1. Ah, beef and ale stew...that is a favourite here, too. Yum.

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  21. Aaah clean and tidy, tidy and clean! And how fab to be writing for This Is Your Kingdom!!! Brilliant. How did that happen? Were you approached by them? Sounds very exciting. You know, it must be hard sometimes if John works weekends, but you never moan. I moan about everything lately. You have inadvertently made me pull my socks up about all that whining on. Thank you lovely girl.
    Leanne xx

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  22. Wish I could tidy up my house somehow just cant quite bring myself to do it!!! Love that website off fo a look. x

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  23. I love a good tidying up...I can relax so much better when the house is clean. I hope you can kick back and enjoy the second half of your weekend in your nice tidy home.:)

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  24. Oh there's nothing brings out the OCD in me like the kids book shelf with books hanging off and flopping everywhere! I'm going to invest in a slow cooker this Autumn too, we've never been able to have one as our old kitchen was so tiny there was nowhere to put it. I'm looking forward to lots of tasty casseroles and soups!

    I've already been reading about your adventures on TIYK, it's such a lovely website :)

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  25. What a great list of happies! Ah, to be able to walk a straight line on clean floors - it doesn't take much to please us, does it? ;-) Big congrats on Kingdom, you'll be perfect for it! I've just started running (shhh, don't tell anyone, I'm rather shy about it!) and I'm enjoying building up my time and actually feeling a bit healthier. I bought a slow cooker two years ago, you will *love* it, especially when it's dark at 5pm and you feel all blah and then, ta-dah! dinner is all ready from the morning! I'll email you my fave recipes ASAP...Chrissie x

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  26. Wow, well done on sorting out your house. Same here, I still have one child at home but as soon as the other one went back to school, I began to madly rearrange/sort/clean etc.. It feels good. September always feels like a new beginning to me, even more than January..
    And congrats on your new writing venture! I have just discovered This Is Your Kingdom and I love it, it's beautifully designed, full of beautiful photos and cool places, great find!
    We also just got a slow cooker and I've been feeling a bit disheartened after trying it 3 or 4 times and each time not turning out so great, but keep me posted on recipes, I'd love to hear more..
    Have a good week. xx

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  27. Pulled pork, brisket and steak pie fillings are my favourite uses for the slow cooker. It really is a brilliant invention

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    1. Yum, yum and yum to all of those. Brisket. Mmmm.

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  28. You're going to love your slow cooker, we use ours for so many different meals, hearty veggie casseroles being favourite.

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    1. I was thinking mainly meat, but of course, I'll be able to do veggie stews too. Thanks Annie. x

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  29. I love your house, even messy it looks good! I don't have a slow cooker (the requirement to put things into it in a morning defeats me), but many friends love them.
    It is so nice to get things in order. We have recently had wardrobes fitted in the bedroom and I find myself just sitting looking at their neatly closed doors (no clothes festooned on them) and opening the doors to take in the newly ordered insides. My daughter said it won't last and has taken a photo to remind me of what they look like right now......

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  30. A friend and I were just saying yesterday how useful it would be to have a slow cooker - neither of us has one. I love a hotdog though I very rarely have one. It has to have fried onions in it but no mustard or ketchup.

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  31. It's lovely having the children off in the summer but the constant mess and not being able to get properly tidy does annoy me after a while! Nice to be tidy again, even if it doesn't last long.
    Slow cookers are a bonus in the winter, sling it all in in the morning and just let it do it's thing, brilliant.
    Well done on the TIYK writing. I have subscribed to them for a while now. I'm sure you'll be wonderful at it with your combo of great photos and friendly writing.
    Lisa x

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  32. Wow, looks like you were busy! Good news on your extra writing, sounds interesting. My favourite slow cooker recipes are all from one book called Ultimate Slow Cooker by Sara Lewis. Fairly easy, interesting and tasty and recipes that get used time and again.

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    1. Thanks for that recommendation, I'll look out for that one.

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  33. Such great happies Gillian. What a great job you did on your children's room. We've just undertaken a switch round of beds (although not bitten the bullet and let the littlest out of the cot yet) which resulted in a HUGE clear out and then a trip to Ikea!! I've been thinking about a slow cooker for a while too. I'd be interested to see how you find it. xx

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  34. Nice interior designing and interior furnishing.

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