Sunday, 1 December 2013

Open Sesame

This is what I saw

I sorted, counted, totted up and 
 £   4.43
 £   6.38
 £  14.00
 £  16.60
 £  25.20
 £  11.00
 £  25.00
 £ 312.00
 £ 450.00
 £  40.00

Actually I am a tad disappointed as I was hoping for four figures – in the last few weeks I have not spent money to have the change to add to the tin, or to receive a £2 coin or £5 note.

The money will be taken to the bank, changed into notes put it back into the tin, the tin will be resealed and we will start collecting again until beginning of December next year. Need some inspiration have a look over here.

Must go as I have cakes that are in need of a marzipan blanket.

* Open Sesame

MummyHen X

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Two busy weeks

Spent five days in Holland week before last; planning for 2014; it came as no surprise that some of the projects that had been planned won’t start as the business made a huge loss and some that started during past few months will stop.  It’s a disappointment but that happens with innovation; if the business isn’t making money then we are one of the first in the firing line for cuts.

On a lighter note; I had no trouble taking this Christmas cake with me on the plane – I was glad when I got the office with it;  It was a little cumbersome carrying it around. It went down really well - not a glitter ball was left.

My flight on the Monday was delayed due to technical issues which very sadly meant I didn't get to the Rijksmuseum and then even more annoying its not open late; all the museums close at 5pm every day.  I was hopeful that on the Thursday they would be open till 8pm and we could get to see some lovely artwork – I am sure there will be a next time.

This last week was spent catching up – stupid hours have been worked but hopefully that’s it now for this year – no time for any me time.

Today, DaddyHen and I went to Borough Market at London Bridge; it was packed, we think its lost its charm - its way too touristy

Some delicious looking food - we resisted.  The only things we bought were a ham hock, some mushrooms and a pawpaw.  My mum and I used to have pawpaw for breakfast when we lived in Africa - yum yum with lime juice and a sprinkling of sugar. 

We didn't spend long - ahhh why do people just stop dead in front of you for no reason. Too many people for out liking - back on the train to Kent.

Tomorrow is the opening of my sealed tin – can’t wait…

MummyHen X

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Gifts, awards and cakes

Busy busy at work – but then as we near year end there is always heaps to do.  I received a lovely box of expensive chocolates – to be honest I would have preferred something else I’m not really a chocy person; don’t get me wrong I really enjoy a chocolate desert but not into eating chocolates – boy I sound ungrateful – I’m not; they have been put in the Christmas box and I’m sure we will all enjoy them at Christmas, That was on Tuesday then on Friday I received a recognition award – formal company recognition award from one of the General Managers – Dinner for Two.  I’m really pleased.  I do work hard (DH says too hard), I get paid well so receiving this is lovely.

Question is now where do we go – no value has been mentioned - I need to ask as I don’t want to be extravagant but on the other hand don’t want to spend £50 and for them to say ah you could have spent £100.  I was told to choose a ‘nice’ restaurant – what does that mean?!

A colleague knows that I always make Christmas cakes and recommended Nigel Slaters Christmas cake – not tried that one before – it came out looking really good; I had trouble getting ground almonds; perhaps there's a shortage both Mr T and Mr S had none, DH ground some for me - I had whole almonds in the cupboard.

I will be away in Holland all this coming week – and I decided to take a Christmas Cake with me 

it sounded like a good idea at the time but carrying a cake in hand luggage – umm maybe not such a great idea; I did check with the airline and the airport and both said it was ok.

MummyHen X

Sunday, 10 November 2013

We will remember

We will remember all the fallen of all wars – bygone and recent

We particularly remember Alfred William Dewberry killed at the battle of Battle of Arras 10th April 1917 aged 34.

Alfred and his wife Georgina and baby Alfred taken in Jersey in 1908.

MummyHen X

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Christmas cake

Yeahh – I set myself a target to get my Christmas cake made this week – well I sort of archived it. The fruit has been soaking for a few weeks

One huge 12” square cake which will be cut into four smaller cakes - I had to split the mixture into two bowls as my mixer couldn't cope the amount of mixture

One 8” round; I thought I had two 8” round deep tins umm I'm sure did but I didn't so couldn't make the two at the same time as I had planned. 

We are out all day Sunday so the second it will have to wait until Monday.

Looking back I seem to be behind this year – my cakes were all made by this time last year.

MummyHen X

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Hooking for Kitties

Having seen Amanda @ crafty in the med appeal for stray and abandoned cats in Spain - we have two here in the coop . Humphrey 

and Sheene

I just had to pick up my hook. Having got my crochet mojo back a few weeks ago – I started to crochet this blanket;

I saw it on Little Tin Birds blog another great blog if you've not come across Heather before – the colours are muted but really beautiful.  I didn't have an owner in mind so perhaps it can be sold to raise some funds.

I will finish these pin cushions and send them to Spain to help the strays cats.

MummyHen X

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Hello – it’s me

I am here.  After a short sabbatical from blogging I am back – perhaps not as refreshed as I’d like but back none the less am back.
Work is still ‘the tiger in the room’ and I am trying to tame it – but it’s difficult. Part of my strategy to reduce the number of hours I work [my contract says 35 but reality is near 60] is to set goals each week for none work activities and stick to them.  We went to see Captain Philips a couple of weeks ago on a Friday afternoon – I had said I would finish work at noon and NOT check email or log back on to work until 8am on Monday – it was VERY difficult but I did manage to stick to it.  I am still waking in the early hours with work on my mind and finding it increasingly difficult not to go into my home office and login.
Money saving is going well – a few wobbles in the last few months but nothing that a months or so of being extra thrifty won’t solve. We have finished paying the community charge so that’s an extra £175 for the next 5 months that can towards credit cards; the final payment on the car loan will be made in a few week then we will be loan free – wooohooo – another £430 for snowballing.
My tin for the Sealed Pot Challenge is still sealed and weighing over 8.5kgs I am really hoping that there will be more than £1,000 in it when its opened on 1st December – getting excited about it. 
Fruit for the Christmas cake has been soaking for a few weeks and I am hoping to that I will be able to make the cake this week.
My mum had her 82nd birthday at the beginning of last month and we spent a lovely day with her and Betty - I made a lovely PoppySeed and Lemon cake; it was really yummy.
SonnyHen has started to play rugby again after not playing for a season.  This means that Saturdays revolve around where he’s playing; we all travel together so arrive a good few hours before kick-off which gives DaddyHen and I time to go for a long walk.  Last week we gathered sweet chestnuts (note to self don't gather them without gloves - I still have tiny tiny splinters from the spines in my fingers).  This week there were hips and these purple berries
I think they are sloes but not sure - if you know then let me know. 

MummyHen X

Monday, 26 August 2013

Bettys Party

We had such a lovely time at my Aunts family birthday party on Saturday; family party because on Sunday she had another party for church friends and then today is her actual day.

We only tend to get together, as an extended family, at major events the last one was my mother’s 80th a couple of years ago prior to that it was my father’s funeral. 

We had a lovely lunch at a restaurant in called Moorings; very reasonably priced good food in large portions.  Mum seemed to enjoy her ice cream sundae. 

Back to Mums house for tea, cookies and cake.

MummyHen X

Friday, 23 August 2013

Cookie Central

I am still here!!

These are my iced cookies – am actually really pleased with them; given I’ve not attempted anything like this before.  Lets hope everyone enjoys them

 Daisy - she enjoys her garden

 Cross - represents her faith (not sure what happened the icing its a little blotchy)
Artist palette - her love of painting
Elephants - many years of living in India
Sorry for the poor photos but I did take these very late last night as I boxed everything up to go to the party.
MummyHen X

Sunday, 4 August 2013


I mentioned in my last post that it was Aunties birthday in a few weeks and I would be making cookies – not something I have done before but after researching the web I found some inspiration – boy are there some very talented cookie makers out there.  I decided I would give it a go – I can bake and have iced cakes before so why not cookies.

I made a test batch yesterday and my chief tasters – DaddyHen and SonnyHen both asked if there were any more; NO.

During the week I had decided on the shapes – each having a special meaning to my aunt;

So today I made over 100 cookies, recipe from here the only thing I did different was to put the dough in the fridge as when I first tried it was far too sticky and the cookies became misshaped moving from the work top to the baking sheet.  For some reason on one batch I got the timings in the oven wrong it should have been 7 mins but for some reason the flowers and some of the crosses got a little too brown; if I get time I will remake these but once they are iced it won’t show and they aren’t burnt just brown. These are now in the freezer awaiting icing – now that’s going to be the tricky bit.

I have approx. another 40 cookies to make – they can wait until next weekend.

I’m really happy with the elephants (Auntie lived in India for over 30 years) as I searched for a suitable cutter – nothing really jumped out but then I stumbled on this delightful elephant herd – I really liked the shape and the design but I couldn’t find the cutter in the UK and was not going to pay for it to be shipped from the states and I really don’t have the time to wait.  So I made the cutter – I printed out the shape and made a cardboard template and then used a strip of aluminium and bent it around the cardboard template into shape;

I used flat screw driver to bend against for the right angle corners, an old battery to get the bend in the trunk; it took a good few hours to make but I really enjoyed it.

MummyHen X

Friday, 2 August 2013

A weigh day – Day 8 - 12

I have not had the time to give you an update

I lost 9lbs in the first week – am really pleased

Monday I decided that I would try a green vegetable only juice; water, chard, cucumber, pear. 

Umm – it isn’t my favourite – it was very pulpy; I don’t have a juicer and I think with the blender the pulp doesn’t blend.  So for Tuesday I strained the juice though a clean J-Cloth it was much better, it’s still isn’t my favourite drink.  Tuesday lunch I was back to my old strawberry with coconut - yummy

Dinner: DaddyHen has made some lovely dinners – sole stacks (layers of sole fillets) with crushed Jersey Royals, capers and caper berries

Duck with fondant potatoes with cherries

Exercise: Managed a couple of time –but really to need to focus on the exercise 

Work has been very busy; was informed Monday that with immediate effect all budgets would be hit with a 10% reduction, the impact has been that some contractors have been given notice (which I just hate doing), some investment will now been postponed or scaled back.  Hopefully, 2014 budgets won’t be too hard hit as we have some exciting innovative IT projects planned. 

My Mums sister is going to have a landmark birthday in three weeks; I will be making a cake and some cookies.  I have been doing some research into cake and cookie design icing options etc.  I’m no expert but will give it ago – the designs will have meaning to auntie.  I soaked the fruit for the cake this week and made the cake this afternoon – its smells lovely, the holes on the top will be filled with cake that I'll cut off the bottom to make if sit flat. Will be experimenting with cookies tomorrow.


MummyHen X

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A weigh day - Day 7

Day Seven

Breakfast: left over Smoothie from yesterday - I'm really liking these

Mid-Morning: cup of tea.

Lunch: still had some left over from yesterday - it has now all gone so will be trying a purely veg juice tomorrow.

Dinner: Special Chicken and mixed salad.  Chicken pieces are just a false economy so I always joint my own chicken; plenty of places on the web to learn how.  Yesterday, I butterflied the chicken, cut open the chicken (I use scissors) by removing the back bone, turn over and press with ball of your hand - it will click and crunch.  This way the chicken lies flat with the breast in the middle and the legs open flat.  I marinated the chicken overnight; in a small bowl add good glug of apple juice (around 100mls), table spoon of hot smoked paprika, table spoon of chili powder, 4-6 cloves of garlic; this marinade isn't an exact science if you don't want it too spicy leave out the chili equally if you want it more spicy add more.  Lay the chicken in a flat dish and pour over the marinade, cover which plastic wrap and put in the fridge - baste a couple of times I baste before bed, then again in the morning and at lunch time.  Cooking is easy 45mins - 1hour on high heat 190 in the oven.

Mid-evening: cup of tea
Water throughout the day – aiming for min 2litres above another other liquid

Exercise: None – 15 mins on the bike; the plan called for a rest today but I felt energised to do some exercise.

Acknowledgement: The meals we have eaten during Monday - Friday have all been prepared by my dearest DaddyHen, weekend meals are by MummyHen.


MummyHen X

A weigh day - Day 6

Just realised I’m blogging a day behind – today Sunday is Day 7 so there will be two posts today

Day Six

Breakfast: Raspberry smoothie from yesterday, always a little thicker the next day so I always add about ½ cup of water and give a quick blitz.

Mid-Morning: cup of tea.

Lunch: Pineapple Strawberry Smoothie Recipe from here; I missed: out oats, pumpkin seeds (didn't have any), sweetener - I added a few dates; and I added a handful of spinach. 

Dinner: steak with mixed quinoa salad (toms, cucumber, grilled pepper, courgette, gherkin, asparagus) & rocket

And watermelon for pudding

Mid-evening: cup of tea

Water throughout the day – aiming for min 2litres above another other liquid

Exercise: 15mins on the bike which is just over 4 miles.


MummyHen X


Saturday, 27 July 2013

A weigh day - Day 5

Day Five

Breakfast: Nearly missed breakfast again - but no; Banana, a few dates and a few cashew nuts

Mid-Morning: cup of tea.

Lunch: Raspberry Smoothie from here; I added ½cup of oats, missed out the mango and added a few dates.  Nice to see pink in a glass other than green!!  It was lovely but a little pippy from all the raspberries - but its all fibre!!

Dinner: Haddock & Poached egg, with samphire & asparagus

Mid-evening: cup of tea

Water throughout the day – aiming for min 2litres above another other liquid

Exercise: None – will have to make up for it over the weekend

MummyHen X


Friday, 26 July 2013

A weigh day - Day 4

Day Four

Breakfast: cup of tea, had series of early calls today so just had a cuppa - need to be more organised and have a juice in the fridge from the day before.

Mid-Morning: cup of tea.
Lunch: Egg mash-up – scrambled egg/ omelette with a little pepper, spring onion & courgette & chilli.  Decided on something a little more food like as I'd missed breakfast.

Dinner: Salmon salad

Mid-evening: cup of tea

Water throughout the day – aiming for min 2litres above another other liquid
Exercise: 15 mins on the bike

Need to start thinking about strategies for the weekend – as I know from previous experience that this can be break time.  During the week everything is structured but the weekends have no structure.

I have to stop drinking about 8pm otherwise I'm up at least twice in the night.  I did contemplate doing three juice meals but I know from doing a well known weight loss programme that is built around no food just 'food packs' shakes; that just drinking and not eating it a real killer for me.  So two juices/smoothies a day with a sensible high protein evening meal is the way to go.   

MummyHen X

Thursday, 25 July 2013

A weigh day – Day 3

Day Three
Feeling positive about how its going; had a slight headache this morning so upped the water; I know from previous changes to diet that if I don't up the liquid then I tend to get a thick head and yak breath.  A good pointer as to if your drinking sufficient water is the colour of your wee; it should be a pale straw colour.

Breakfast: Lime & Ginger drink, cup of tea

Mid-Morning: cup of tea.  

Lunch: Lime & Ginger drink; had some left over and wasn't going to waste it, so added an apple, a few cashew nuts and a little more water; 

Dinner: Lamb & Chicken & Veg kebabs - peppers, courgettes and tomatoes

Mid-evening: cup of tea

Water throughout the day – aiming for min 2litres above another other liquid

Exercise: Yes - cycled for 15mins

My contraption arrived - I already have a bicycle, space is limited so bought a bike trainer - it converts your bike from mobile to static; the back wheel is fixed in to the gadget and off you go except you don't go anywhere. 

I tried to use my bike to attach but it didn't work so have had to use DaddyHen's its not that comfy but will persevere. I found a few cycle programmes on the net so will follow them buy building up the time on the bike to get fitter.

This article caught my eye Stand up to lose weight - I will try standing when I have my teleconferences - I have a Bluetooth headset so am not tied to the computer via a fixed headset it might work a tiny bit!?!.


MummyHen X

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A weigh day – Day 2

Day Two

Breakfast: Morning Mango Smoothie - the mixture makes enough for two generous servings, cup of tea

Mid-Morning: cup of tea

Lunch:  Lime & Ginger drink; I didn’t like this one as much as the Mango from this morning and yesterday but it was still very nice 


Dinner: Sea Bass and a pile of steamed veg – yellow courgettes from the garden


Mid-evening: cup of tea

Water throughout the day – aiming for min 2litres above another other liquid
Exercise: None –but am hoping to rectify that from tomorrow


MummyHen X