All posts tagged: home

Homemade Toaster Strudel

Sometimes we get a hankering for toaster strudel, but it isn’t something we can find in the frozen food section at the grocery store.  Ready-made puff pastry to the rescue!  With this and a bit of jam (or curd, conserve, or fruit), we can make wonderful strudel ourselves.  In fact, we can make just about any variety – far more than the limited flavour variations available in the US. Betty Crocker vanilla frosting in a can is the closest thing we’ve found to the original topping.  Just microwave a couple of tablespoons of frosting for a few seconds and drizzle it over the baked pastries. Homemade Toaster Strudel: 1 package ready-made puff pastry 1 jar of jam or conserve (you won’t need all of it) 1 can of prepared vanilla frosting (again, you won’t need much of this) 1 egg, beaten Unroll the pastry and cut into 8 equal pieces.  Spoon about a tablespoon of jam onto one side of the cut pastry and then brush around the edges with the egg (see picture above). …


Sometimes I find it difficult to appreciate Winter.  It’s cold, dark, and the storms blowing in off the Atlantic are brutal (my shattered greenhouse will attest to that).  At the moment, daylight occurs between 8:45am and 3:45pm which means I get to see the sunrise most mornings.  This is the view from the landing window over our back garden – and it helps make this depressing time of year a little more bearable.

New Flat

We moved into our holiday flat last weekend, but had to run back home so that we weren’t caught by what turned out to be a fairly major storm.  We were back this weekend to relax and add the fine details.  Here is our lounge, nearly done.  The walls are white and very tall, so more artwork wouldn’t go amiss.   The bedroom is the closest to being complete.  We had a clearer vision of how we wanted it to look.  We painted several pieces of furniture for this room, and I think the time spent doing it helped us to picture it a bit better.  Well, perhaps as well as we could.  We’d only been in the flat once before!   The dining room is nearly finished – just a few more things for the wall and I believe we’re done.  This room joins a small kitchen and a private bed recess.  Mr C and I enjoyed a lovely meal from the chippy here last night.   The view outside is the real star. …

Bird in the Hand

Yesterday, I noticed the tell-tale sign of a chilly night – condensation on the windscreen of my car and inside the greenhouse.   So I decided not to chance losing the remainder of my tomato crop and harvested the lot.  We now have four jars of gorgeous green tomato pickle – ready to bring a bit of sunshine this winter, when we’ll need it most.  

Handbag Storage Solution

They say admission is the first step to recovery, so I’ll just put it out there: I have a bit of a handbag addiction.  After looking for a storage solution that didn’t involve shoving them under the bed or putting them in a closet, I decided to try a hat rack.  And it’s perfect!  I can now see all of my bags which makes it easier to grab the one I want to go with my outfit for the day.  The hat rack I chose came from IKEA, and it has many hooks for handbags.  


Deep in my heart, I am a minimalist. But having two children and several pets makes actually living a minimalist lifestyle impossible. I still find places to hide clutter away, though. This little tin box houses my calculator and PIN machines.

A Room of One’s Own

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. – Virginia Woolf I don’t write fiction, but I do need my own space, and on Wednesday I moved into my office here at home. It’s a lovely room with beautiful light – and enough peace and quiet so I can think!  

Testing Paint

Has it really been a month since my last update? We’re nearly to the end of our renovations, and the new extension is two weeks away from being finished. And then it’s on to the fun bit – decorating!


Our fruit trees have been good to us this year. We’ve had buckets of plums, apples, and even a few pears. To make use of everything, I’ve been making jam and baking cakes. I hope to have enough apples for a small batch of apple butter.


Yesterday we stripped the crabapple tree bare and made jelly. I’ve put it with the strawberry jam I made on Wednesday. Our plum tree looks like it’s going to produce more plums than ever before, so I have extra jars at the ready. The jam cupboard should be well-stocked for winter this year.

Narumi Pioneer

I bought a set of china in an antique mall in Alabama in the late 90s. The stamp on the underside of the dishes says that the china is from Narumi (Mikassa) and the pattern is Pioneer. I’ve searched for ages, but I’ve never been able to confirm this pattern ever actually existed, and I’ve never seen another piece anywhere. I’d like to start using it more often, but I’m terrified I’ll break a piece and have no hope of replacing it.


This weekend is my last bit of freedom before I go back to work on Monday. I’m never sure what to do with days like these — cram them full of fun activities or laze about like a sloth? The sky is grey, and the weatherman tells me there is rain coming. I’m opting for a lazy day.