Saturday, 25 August 2012

Old Kitchen Drawer Revamp

This is my new kitchen:

Hmm, not so inspiring. Sadly, we cannot yet afford a new one (but that doesn't stop me dreaming on Pinterest).

In the meantime, I'm doing a quick revamp of what we've got, to at least try and make it more habitable for the next few months. I quite like the shabby chic look of one of the (two) existing units:

Today, I'm renovating this drawer from the unit above:

So that every time I open it, there's a tiny little bit of calm amongst the chaos of the rest of the house.

Here goes...

1. Firstly I gave it a super duper clean and removed all of the old lining and the old fixings:

2. I then lightly sanded the drawer to prepare it for painting. I used Dulux Kitchen matt emulsion in Frosted Steel and a small roller to apply, as I prefer the finish a roller achieves:

3. I gave it a few coats...

4. ... And then a few more, until it looked covered (I did 3 coats, which used the whole tester pot):

5. I then used some d-c fix adhesive film to line the drawers (I chose mid blue with tiny light blue polka dots, but look at all of the choice on the d-c website:

6. Here's the finished product (apologies for the quality, had to use my phone for these!)

7. Only trouble is now I want to re-paint the outsides too!

P.S. Check out i heart organizing for some inspiring drawer lining projects, ahhh!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Instagram Challenge- Week Twelve

85. Sneaky bit of eBay shopping

86. New oven from Freegle :)

87. First ripe tomatoes from the tomato plant

88. A lovely old bus parked in Cirencester

89. Cafe by the lock

90. Packing up the Lodge

91. Cows on the common

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Friday, 17 August 2012

New Neighbour Cookies

When we spent our first weekend at the new house, we wanted to meet our new neighbours. I am very excited about having neighbours, having lived in a little lodge that's a bit out on its own. So I wrote them a note suggesting they should pop in and baked a batch of oat and raisin cookies:

I was a bit disheartened when nobody came at first, but later that evening, nearly everybody was out in their gardens enjoying their decks (see my garden pinspiration for more whimsical dreaming about our plans) and we got to meet them all. They were all lovely and it's made me even more excited and even less inclined to want to do this as a speedy project to sell on, much to Dave's amusement.

On the Sunday, next-door-but-one, who had been away the previous day. knocked on the door and look what they had made for us:

And they were super lovely, just like their cakes!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Home Made Make Up Remover

I've been waiting for my make up remover to run out so I could try this homemade eye make up remover by a thrifty mrs, one of my favourite bloggers.

You may remember I obtained the bottle in this post to use for the task (a Starbucks frapuccino bottle from my local supermarket, in case you're wondering). It's probably wholly impractical for the task as it's glass and I'm rather clumsy, but it looks great in the bathroom. Apologies for the quality of the photos, DIY Dave was at the new house with the camera, so I used my phone.

If your existing make up remover bottle is easy to fill (mine was not as it had a nozzle), you may find it easier to use that.

Anyway, a thrifty mrs' instructions were really easy to follow, so I did just that. The only thing I would add is to do a test run with plain water first to check your bottle is water tight, as you will need to shake it to mix the oil and water every day before use.

1. Pretty bottle, all cleaned up and ready to go:

2. There are just 3 ingredients: cooled boiled water, olive oil and rose water:

3. Stage one:

4. All of the 'ingredients' added:

5. Shaken up and ready to use:


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Instagram Challenge- Week Eleven

78. Home made iced coffee

79. Gu pudding- special treat after a stressful week

80. An amazing lime green caterpillar

81. Dave's present/subtle hint- my house gift to him

82. Wild flowers at a beautiful garden party

83. Kitchen 'shabby chic'

84. New house book- Dave's house gift to me

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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Takeaway at Home- Duck Pancakes

We all love a takeaway every now again. Unfortunately takeaway doesn't always come cheap, but this is not a problem when you can make your own duck pancakes at home and pretend you're having takeaway! This works especially well when duck is on special offer (like it has been in Sainsburys lately).

This takes a bit of preparation, but if you're savvy you can persuade someone to do the washing up in return for this Chinese-style feast.

Duck Pancakes
Serves 2

Duck- how much depends on how hungry you are and whether this a starter or a main course- I used 2 legs for two hungry adults

For the pancakes:
125g plain flour
1 tsp sugar
A little sesame oil (to be authentic) or olive oil (if you don't have sesame oil)

To serve:
Finely sliced spring onions
Finely sliced cucumber
Hoisin sauce (this recipe looks good) or plain ol' soy sauce
Prawn crackers to keep you occupied whilst the duck cooks

1. Pop your duck in the pre-heated oven- I cooked two legs and these needed 90 minutes at 160℃. Go eat some prawn crackers until the duck has around 45 minutes left. Check the duck and turn if necessary.

2. Put the kettle on to boil whilst you measure out 125g plain flour and a teaspoon of sugar in a heatproof bowl. Pour 100ml boiling water into the bowl and mix well, until a ball of dough is formed.

3. Knead the dough for a few minutes on a well-floured surface, then place the dough back in the bowl and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to rest.

4. Meanwhile thinly slice the spring onions and cucumber and, if you're being super enthusiastic, make some hoisin sauce.

5. Once 30 minutes are up, take the dough out of the bowl and form into a sausage shape. Divide the sausage into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then gently flatten to form a circle- make your dough circles as thin as possible without them breaking/tearing.

6. Brush 4 of the circles with a little sesame/olive oil and then place the non-oiled pancakes over the top of these to form 4 pancake 'sandwiches'

7. Heat a non-stick frying pan and cook the pancakes 'sandwiches' for 1 minute on each side, until they puff up and start to colour, remove and keep warm whilst you serve the duck.

8. Enjoy a delicious (and smug) Chinese 'takeaway' feast!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A thrift too far?

Sometimes you can take thrifty too far. No really, you can. Today I went and bought Dave his own shampoo because I thought he wouldn't appreciate the use of this £14 Percy & Reed moisturising shampoo. Which would be perfectly OK had I paid £14 for it, but this shampoo was a lovely freebie with Glamour magazine, so it didn't even cost me a penny. Yet I still didn't want Dave 'wasting it'. I think I am dangerously close to the thrifty vs mean line here!

In case you're wondering, the shampoo is rather nice, but I wouldn't be spending £14 on it- a good freebie though!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Instagram Challenge- Week Eleven

71. Whilst clearing out ready to move house, I came across this mask I made in year 7!

72. We got the keys!

73. Champagne with friends at the new house to celebrate

74. Why can't I harness the power I generate from one of these- could I make enough to light the room?

75. Patriotic and delicious carrot cake, made by a kind friend for pudding after a long day of house clearing

76. Antique lampshade from the house

77. Pick me up this afternoon (and empty bottle for a thrifty project this week... watch this space!)

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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Thrifty Terrace

Today we got the keys to our very first house, eeek!

It's a bit of a 'project'...

With some crazy wallpaper...

Questionable fireplaces...

And some asbestos thrown in for good measure...

Or as the estate agent described it, 'in need of modernisation'. So watch this space for thrifty house renovation at our new 'Thrifty Terrace'!