In the continued quest for low-fat meal ideas P - who is an amazingly inventive 'concept chef' - came up with the idea of trying a cottage cheese pizza. Luckily for me I love cottage cheese - and eat a great deal of it these days - but I have to admit I was a bit hesitant about putting it on top a pizza. Do you know what? it was a genius idea and the pizzas were bl**dy lovely.
I did splash out and use M&S cottage cheese as the topping - onion and chive for me, prawn for P - as I hoped it would be less watery than some of the cheaper varities. Although the pizza dough was a little bit soggier than when topped with cheddar cheese, it was still really really good. The pizza bases were made in the bread machine and spread with tomato puree, then the cottage cheese, and topped with sliced tomato, a few green olives and a sprinkling of dried basil. So, that's another low-fat recipe to add to the - ever-growing - list of favourites. Kudos to the 'concept chef' for such a brilliant idea.
I didn't bother with the boot sale yesterday as it was just too hot, but today is much better - sunny and warm but with a lovely refreshing breeze blowing. The boot sale was not as large as usual but I managed to find three different lots of Laura Ashley material.
And a pair of curtains that I am pretty sure are Laura Ashley glazed cotton as my Mum has the same pattern on her bathroom curtains. I paid £3.00 for the curtains - they are in really nice condition and are lined too, although they do need a good iron. All the Laura Ashley material is destined for ebay later in the week.
Apart from a good haul of fabric, I also found another pair of jeans for me for £1.00. It's a bit of a relief to find another pair as I only had the jeans I bought the other week that I could wear now. From the same seller, and for 20p each, I also got a lovely pair of M&S loose linen trousers - very handy if this hot weather returns - and a pair of khaki combat trousers. So that's me sorted with trews for the rest of the summer.
P and I nearly always go to Southend-on-Sea on Easter Saturday - and this year was no exception. P goes to have a look at the Chess Congress (not so good this year, I gather) and I go to have a wander round the charity shops (also not quite so good this year!) Then we meet up and have lunch (definitely not so good this year as my choice from any menu is severely limited.) Despite all the 'not so goods' we had a lovely relaxing day out in the sun.
I did find a couple of things in the charity shops - most usefully two unopened packs of Sloggi knickers in my new size for £3.50 per pack rather than £24.99. Bargain, and extremely gratefully found - I'm getting a bit fed up with having to keep hoiking up my undergarments as they're a tad voluminous these days!!
For 75p I also found this little framed embroidery of blue tits - I love the sugared-almond-y colours that were used. I bought it originally thinking I could take the frame off and use the embroidery in a sewing project but, having go it home, I'm rather liking it as is.
I was thrilled to receive an e-mail out of the blue yesterday from one of the researchers for Channel 4's 'Superscrimpers,' asking me to get in touch with them. As we had an urgent appointment yesterday afternoon, I replied and said I would phone her this morning.
Anyway, I watched the programme yesterday evening, had a good old think about whether I really wanted to see my mug on TV (I have a face and figure far more suited to radio,) talked it over with P and, finally, slept on it. The upshot was actually, no, I didn't think I wanted to take the opportunity any further. Who knows, maybe I should have said yes, but I know I would have felt very uncomfortable about it all. I was chuffed to bits to be contacted in the first place though and I'm very much looking forward to seeing Ilona's money-saving tips when she appears on the show next week.
ticking covered vintage feather cushion pad - fortuitously found at the Scout Jumble Sale the other week, two thrifted balls of cream Icelandic Lopi wool - a charity shop find last year for £1.00 a ball. Keep your fingers well and truly crossed that you've got enough yarn to make the cover big enough - barely just, but I managed to cram it all in!
Then add six gorgeous handpainted wooden buttons bought at last summer's Vintage and Handmade Textile Fair. (The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed there are actually seven buttons on here, not six. That's because stupid here made seven buttonholes instead of six - I had to add a vintage yellow one from the stash. Gah, I despair of myself sometimes, I really do!!)
I've linked this post to Apron Thrift Girl's Make Share.
The best thing about thrifting is never knowing what you're going to find on any given day. This morning, as always on a Monday morning, I called in at the 'Coffee and Jumble' which is held in the town centre church hall. This week they had stacks of material that someone had donated for 50p a piece. I wasn't that enamoured of many of them - plus I have a teetering pile of fabric waiting to be turned into other things in the corner of the bedroom - but I did buy a largish piece of dark blue denim, which I have some future plans for, and I also bought this fabbo piece of Hello Kitty fabric.
I'm very fond of Hello Kitty myself and thought this material was fantastic - especially the vibrant images printed on the black background. It's quite a large piece of fabric and I seriously toyed with the idea of making myself a top or something from it, then I thought what a ridiculous sight that would be - I'm nearly 51, not 11!! Anyhoo, when I checked out how much Hello Kitty fabric sells for on ebay I knew I'd be re-selling it ASAP.
Despite the weather being totally gorgeous again - I could really get used to such lovely weather so early in the season - and despite there being masses of sellers (and buyers) again this week, I didn't really find an awful lot at the boot sale.
A humungous number of travel size Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries - mainly shampoo, conditioner and body wash - 10p each. A teeny tube of No.7 Protect & Perfect Intense - 50p. I've been quite fancying giving this stuff a try so I was pleased to find that. Molton Brown facial wash - 50p, and an unopened travel size Nivea cream (always useful for P when he's travelling,) also 50p.
Probably the star find of the week was a little Cath Kidston zip-up oil cloth make-up bag / pencil case-type thingy. I do love anything oil cloth, anything with flowers AND polka-dots combined, and am quite fond of CK items too. I paid 30p for it.
I did find another book for re-sale on Greenmetropolis, and another vintage Moulinex Mouli Grater - which I paid one whole English pound for - only to unpack it at home and find it was broken!! B*gger, that one will be put out with the rubbish this evening. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.
Yay, can't quite believe it, but I managed to squeeze my jacksie into jeans that are two sizes smaller than the last pair I bought - whoop, whoop!! The new jeans are quite 'snug' and the old ones were always on the more 'comfortable' side but even taking that into account, I guess I can safely say I've definitely gone down one-and-a-half jeans sizes. It was an amazing feeling to fit into a size I haven't fitted in for about 15 years, I came out of that changing room walking on air, I can tell you.
Although I have always been on the 'big' side, the slow but steady weight gain in my forties had got to the point where it was beginning to worry me as to exactly where it would all end! My problem has always been that a) I'm bone idle so never do any form of exercise (apart from walking and very occasionally swimming and b), much more importantly, I adore my food and always have. I'm definitely one of those 'live to eat' type people and spend considerable time deciding what I'll be having for my next meal. Love food, love eating - always have, always will. Which makes my weight loss even more amazing to me because the only thing I have changed is to cut saturated fats out of my diet as much as is humanly possible in order to help my gall bladder problem. Honestly, I'm never hungry - if I'm hungry I eat something, anything I fancy as long as it's low fat - I haven't done any more exercise, and I'm enjoying my food as much if not more than before. Truly, I find it miraculous to have shed two jeans sizes in less than three months and not to have suffered, or even tried very hard!!
Anyway, enough of this smug talk. As I'd spent £3.50 to get to Basildon by bus I naturally checked out all the charity shops and, as it was a Friday, called in at the 'Bargain Box' in the town-centre church hall too.
They even had their original case and only cost me 50p. I checked them out on ebay as soon as I got home and this style of vintage sunnies seem to sell really well. I took some photos lickety-spit and listed them yesterday afternoon - they've already got 18 watchers!! Looks like they might make a nice profit by the time the listing ends on Easter Monday.
Another Thursday afternoon, another busy ebay listing session. What with the recent jumble sale and the car boot season now in full swing, I've got plenty of items to list on ebay at the moment - and that's without going through my wardrobe and sorting out clothes that are now too big for me (some never worn and with their labels still attached - tsk, tsk!) I'm saving that job until I've finally got myself some new jeans that don't fall down every time I move and then I can judge which tops still look OK on and which ones are now verging on the comic. I'm hoping to take myself down to Basildon tomorrow and have a serious trying-on session in Evans to see what size I should be wearing now (I know I've definitely gone down one size and it may even be two - paws crossed) and, hopefully, finding some jeans I actually like (not always an easy task!!)
Anyhoo, I finally got round to listing this vintage Brexton picnic set that I bought almost a year ago - I paid £5.00 for it at a sale in the local Salvation Army church hall. I nearly ripped my arm out of it's socket carrying it home and it's been gathering dust in the dining room ever since. I'm hoping it will sell well - some on ebay have fetched near on £100, others not so much. Presumably it depends on the colour and the pattern on the china plates and cups so I've no idea how much mine will make. Plus mine does have the handle missing on one of the tea cups and the case itself is definitely looking a little 'tired.' Ah well, time will tell!
I had a nice little find in the charity shop this morning. I'm always a sucker for anything made out of oil cloth and this little make-up purse caught my eye. I only paid 50p for it and when I checked out the make online, I see they sell for £10.00 new, so that was a good bargain.