Saturday, October 30, 2010

baking day

So I decided to do some baking today. I made some bran muffins that usually have dates in them. I omitted the dates and added raisins, grated carrots, and apple chunks. Very healthy, and yummy! I also made some pumpkin pancakes and added grated apple to them. I was just planning to have them as a quick and easy breakfast for the week. But after a couple hours of baking and cleaning I had no desire to make dinner. Also, I have a cold that doesn't really want to go away and I was beginning to feel rather rubbishy. So I had pancakes for dinner and they were delicious!
I could tell I wasn't feeling well as I made quite a mess.
We need a bigger mixing bowl, I had to use the stock pot!
The gloop that became the muffins.
Mixing up some pancakes!
Pancakes ready to go! (And my happy butter dish.)
There they are getting all scrumptious in the oven.

Also, sorry the pictures aren't great. The lighting in the kitchen is rubbish and I took them with my computer which made it difficult to get the right angle.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


So, I've been listening to the Craft-Lit pod cast and she was talking about her plans to build a chicken coop out of plastic bottles. So I googled it, and found some amazing pictures of houses, churches and temples, sheds, all made out of bottles. Amazing! Here are a few of my favourites:

You see, the chemicals used to melt down and recycle plastic bottles are as bad as the ones used to make them in the first place. So this is an amazing way to repurpose large quantities of plastic bottles without any of that fall out. You should do a google image search on building with plastic bottles, fascinating!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

five little pumpkins

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
First one said, "Oh my, it's getting late."
Second one said, "There are witches in the air."
Third one said, "But we don't care."
Fourth one said, "Let's run and run and run."
Fifth one said, "I'm ready for some fun."
Oooo went the wind and out went the light.
Five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Today I received five little pumpkins in a box...

One was a jar of pumpkin butter. I'm going to have some very yummy toast in the mornings!
Two was a box of pumpkin muffin mix. Gonna add some chocolate chips and have some delicious and easy to make snacks!!!
Three and four were cans of pumpkin so I can make pumpkin bread or pumpkin bars or pumpkin soup or ... ... ...
Five was a bag of pumpkin spice hershey kisses... Oh. My. Goodness. They are delicious!!!
Thanks Mom!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


It's the end of a rather lovely weekend.

Yesterday I did a bit of cleaning and lots of laundry and some knitting. Then I went to a small worship and prayer gathering which was slightly wonderful followed by an evening hanging out with friends discussing theology and irish history and fun things like that.

I was pretty sleepy and didn't wake up in quite enough time to go to church. So I had a quiet morning at home including a lovely quiet time. (That sounds rather redundant doesn't it? But you know what I mean, don't you?) Got all the laundry folded and put away, bed made up, room generally tidied. Wrote an update letter. Did some journalling. A lovely day.

Then I sat down with my knitting and watched the live action version of 101 Dalmatians on BBC iplayer and this rather fantastic movie which I purchased for £6 when I was at the north coast last weekend.

"There's a lot of attitudes going on around here... don't let me get one."

"Redemption? Sure. But in the end he's just another dead rat in a garbage pail behind a Chinese restaurant."

"If what I think is happening is happening... it better not be."

love it!!!

Also, my police check came in the mail yesterday which means I can start my placement this week. Yahoo!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

child development

I am loving learning about child development in college! Most of the other units we're doing are currently focusing on different aspects of health and safety, and in all honesty seem to be running into each other. But our Unit 2 class on child development is so interesting!

As a "childcare practitioner" with over 10 years of experience (that sounds so ostentatious!) I have had ample opportunity to observe children in pretty much all stages of development. But now! Now I'm learning the language, what the normal milestones are, delving into the relevant theorists, learning the reasons behind the mechanics of it all. I'm loving it!!! As we're reading and discussing these things my mind can immediately jump to such and such child in a particular situation and say, "Yes, I've observed that!" or, "My experience has proved different." I'm absolutely loving it! (Did I say that already?)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

north coast

This, incidentally, is my 300th post, posted on 10.10.10!

Went up to the north coast yesterday with my friend Rachel. We shopped and walked and ate and watched movies, and generally had a good time. Wandered around Colraine, spent the night in her parent's holiday cottage in Portballintrae, and meandered our way back to Belfast along the coastal route. It was a lovely weekend!

Ireland's smallest church!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Top 5 things I miss about the US:

1) Appliances. Garbage disposals, dryers, dishwashers. (And washing machines that don't take an hour and a half to wash a load of clothes.)
2) Having a car so I don't have to walk in the rain.
3) Food. Chick-fil-a, dill pickles, canned pumpkin.
4) Thanksgiving.
5) Convenience, everything is just a bit easier.

Top 5 things I love about living in the UK:

1) Being able to walk pretty much everywhere. (Except when it's raining.)
2) Food. Percy pigs, lemsip (technically a medicine), tea, fish 'n chips.
3) Meeting new people.
4) The slower pace of life.
5) Fireworks in the fall.

Friday, October 8, 2010

a plea for pumpkin

It's October! Can you believe it? The year was going quite slowly for me until August, and now, all of a sudden, it's October. Goodness!This is the view out my bedroom window. I think the grey sky, red leaves, orange brick looks very nice framed by my faded blue curtains. Fall is definitely here, in all it's force. It's getting colder, raining more often, the days are growing shorter. Not gradually mind you, all of a sudden it went from getting dark at 8pm to getting dark at 7pm. Just this week, when I wake up at "half six" it's dark outside.

This has left me craving hearty, warming food. Earthy root vegetables and pumpkin. Mostly pumpkin. Pumpkin bread and chocolate pumpkin muffins and those new pumpkin spice hershey's kisses (which, ironically, I've never had but I still want them!). Only one problem, you can't get pumpkin here. At least not canned pumpkin. And while I have one can of pumpkin left from last year, I'm hoarding it for Thanksgiving. I suppose I could buy a pumpkin, saw some at the market this morning, I'm not sure I want it bad enough to deseed, carve out, roast, and mash in order to make my own pumpkin puree... Not yet anyway.

I've been scouring asian markets and international food shops in hopes I may find some here. I did find teriyaki sauce and cornmeal and large bags of kidney beans, but no canned pumpkin.

So I sent out a plea on facebook: I will very happily trade any requested British goods for pumpkin products from the US!!!

In happier news, bananas are quite easy to get here. Tomorrow I'm making banana bread and chocolate chip banana muffins. That'll have to do!