Thursday, 1 October 2009


I can't remember if I mentioned in my last post that I've recently been suffering from seven year itch NOT of the marital variety, I hasten to add, but of the domestic.

I've been feeling really unsettled at home and little things around the house have been starting to get me down. Of course I blame it all on The BGF, as she has recently moved to a shiny new house where the shower doesn't leak, the carpets don't need cleaning and so on... A few of my other friends, girls who moved on to our estate at the same time as us and have children in the same classes at school have also moved away, leaving me feeling that everything is changing and OK, I admit it - I'M NOT GOOD AT CHANGE.

Anyway, a good while back we Moonshine's were returning from a visit to Cannock Chase through Brocton (a small village, the place to live in Stafford) and we drove past my dream home, Heather House. I told Mr M. that I wanted to live there, it was my perfect house, all gables and sticky-outy bits with a huge garden and gorgeous garden room. He laughed of course, as it wasn't on the market - yes, but if it ever was...

Well blow me if it hasn't been on the market this summer at a whopping £850 000, sadly way beyond our budget and my frequent prayers to ERNIE seem to be falling on deaf ears...

Oh but it's perfect; an older property, full of character, newly refurbished, 6 bedrooms - which would give me a dedicated craft room rather than using the spare room (which the neat freak in me wants to have as a nice bedroom not a work space), summer house, double garage, drive that will park a small fleet of cars, sorry I'm rambling... but completely out of our reach.

Then I saw in the paper another 6 bedroom, new build at only £650 000! Only! but you guessed it, still way too expensive and I can think of half a dozen reasons why it wouldn't really be suitable (I hate the black appliances in the kitchen for a start). So you can see where I'm going on this can't you, I'd become unhappy with what I've got and was hankering after things I could never have and of course, that way lies deep unhappiness...

So I had a big rethink about life, the universe and everything (well not quite everything, I didn't think much about quantum physics, still don't, to tell you the truth) but I came to the conclusion that you must be happy with what you've got, and if what you've got doesn't make you happy - change it. So that's what I'm in the process of doing.

One of the main things that has got me down ever since we moved in is our kitchen. There's just not enough storage, and the two biggest cupboards are those annoying corner cupboards where if you want anything out of the back of the cupboard you've got to empty the front out first and then contort yourself round a 90 degree bend whilst trying not to bang your head on the useless drawer above you. Aaargh! So I've gradually got more and more fed up and cooking has become more and more of a chore and I've got less and less pleasure from doing something which I used to love. So, after six years of putting up with this I've taken matters in hand and completely re-organised my kitchen and utility storage. All my food is now stored in a big larder cupboard in the utility room and all the gubbins that was in the larder is now in the useless cupboard in the kitchen. And BLIMEY do I wish I'd done it years ago! What a difference it has made. I can now get to all the food - even my baking ingredients, I can see what I've got at a glance, (You really DON'T need THAT many jars of sun dried tomatoes!) and best of all, I've even been inspired to bake again.

Actually I did have an ulterior motive for baking, my friend Tracy was coming round for coffee and relieving me of our now sadly vacant guinea pig hutch. (Just as well really as I was this close to buying a beautiful silvery-black Netherlands dwarf rabbit last week - Mr M. would have gone ballistic!) and she told me that if she was expected to do manual labour then she would want biscuits with her coffee (a subtle dig because when she came last time I hadn't got any). So I thought biscuits, I'll give you biscuits! Out came my Rachel Allen's Bake book (gorgeous!), on went the apron and an hour later I had two batches of cookies ready and waiting. The scrapbooker in me couldn't resist the opportunity to embellish the jars and take some pics which I will get round to scrapping...


Cookie Jars

Double Choc Chip

Stem Ginger

Stem Ginger up close

The stem gingers are my favourite, buttery, melt in the mouth cookies with delicious, chewy nuggets of crystallised ginger Mmmmm! Mr. M has ordered some pistachio ones for next time - and the kids wont even try them - can you believe that?

I think the labels look very sweet and I've almost decided to make them for all my Kilner storage jars, but I'll laminate them for durability. That will be a lovely little project for a sleepless night, or when there's football on the telly!


Label X-Cut die
Stamp Papermania, Sweet Nothings
Ribbon from stash

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