Living Simply - Living Well

Thankyou for visiting my blog. I write about everyday life and also things I enjoy, such as nature, wildlife, bird watching, gardening, keeping silkie chickens & our aviary birds, days out, baking, charity shops, car boot sales, vintage treasures and much more. We live simply - we live well.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Freebies, Coupons & Comps


Welcome to my new follower Lynne.


I thought maybe at the end of every week I would do a post on any freebies I get in the week and also coupons and competition wins (if anyone is interested that is).

I am an avid freebie hunter, companies give away 1000's  of free samples every week, after all it is a way of promoting their products.

This is just a small selection of things I have received over the last few months.








I only spend 10 mins or so daily checking a few freebie sites. Getting freebies helps save money.

Couponing is something I do occasionally, anyone seen the show Extreme Couponing? unfortunately in the UK it is not really a big thing, but there are coupons about if you do a bit of research, sometimes you can get things completely free.


Comping ( entering competitions) has been a hobby of mine for years, of course it is the luck of the draw, as us compers say you have to be in it to win it.

I haven't really spent much time on it this year but I have won the following:

Huge card making kit
Cast iron crepe pan
Fresh fish box
Restaurant voucher
Royal mail stamp set
Sulpher (for growing veg)
6 various books

I shall be spending more time on this hobby now as I do enjoy it, and you never know what the postman is going to bring you.

I have won some really good prizes over the years, including luxury hampers, luxury skincare, jewellery, perfumes, holidays and mini breaks, a new cooker, and much more.

I still have more wins on the way, but I shall wait until I receive them before I show. 
The internet is flooded with advent competitions at the moment, so I am busy with those daily. Fingers crossed, last year I won a turkey dinner, champagne, and a hamper all in time for Christmas.



I have had just a few things this week.

Freebies ...

A couple of sachets of a supplement for joints.





These were from Checkout Smart app, you buy the product, upload your receipt and get paid by paypal back, this freebie has expired now.


This turned up today, it was a competition win.




I must just add I only do online competitions as they are free to enter.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Slow Cooker


I really do love the slow cooker or crock pot as it is know in other parts of the world. I am trying to use it at least three times a week minimum.

It is a handy piece of kitchen equipment with many advantages.


  • It uses less electricity than an oven.
  • It really brings out the flavour in foods and will help tenderize the less expensive cuts of meat.
  • Less washing up if it is all in one pot.
  • If you have a busy day and you know you don't want to think about cooking, just throw in the ingredients in the morning and just forget about it, and tea will be ready without effort.

On Sunday I made us a rice pudding in it.

Here's the recipe...

110 g Pudding rice
50 g   Granulated sugar
300 ml of Double cream and then add milk to the cream to make up to 2 pints.
50g Butter

Optional ingredients you could add: sultanas, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla pods, etc depends on what you fancy.

On this occasion I added sultanas.

Put all the ingredients in and turn on the high setting, it took approx 2.5 hours, this will depend on your slow cooker.

This recipe will make 4 portions, using cream instead of all milk makes such a difference.

The result.



It really was very good.



This morning I put all the ingredients in for a lamb casserole.

Frozen lamb, potatoes, carrots, peas, onions and garlic.




I would then usually make a thick gravy to go over it, but on this occasion I used a couple of these as I bought several packs when they had been reduced to 10p.



Just put everything in and forget about it.




Time for tea.

Delicious with a little mint sauce on top.



















Monday, December 3, 2018

Tis the season to be jolly.


The Christmas present shopping has been done apart from a few gifts I have to order online. We are only giving gifts to each other under this roof now, we stopped most of giving to other family last year, I did give to a few friends, but I won't be doing that this year.  I shall start doing some of the food shopping next week, some things will have to wait to a few days before like veg, cream etc

The decorating has been done.

Nothing over the top.

Just keeping it simple.



























So I am in the mood and ready for it now, I love this special time of year.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Made with love



One simple pleasure for me is spending time in the kitchen.

Making, baking, preparing, knowing what has gone into what we consume.

Today in the kitchen.



Cookies fresh from the oven.

Rustic hand shaped bread.


Spicy butternut squash and chickpea soup.

Recipe from here.



Blackberry vodka bottled up - a taste of summer for a cold winter evening.



It would be so easy to go up the shop and buy biscuits, bread, and tinned soup.
But that's not me.

Everything shown here has been made with love.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

A busy few days

Welcome to my new follower Deb B.

Wednesday we took a trip to Cribbs Causeway shopping centre in Bristol, and also looked at some other stores in the area, this was to do some Christmas shopping.

All looking very festive.



We bought a few gifts, and will be going out again next week to finish it off, I can't be doing with all the chaos at the last minute.

Thursday it was a proud parent day.

Our dear son Jack graduated, 
the ceremony was held at the racecourse in Cheltenham.


He got a BA(Hons) in television production.





 So proud of you Jack, you will go far, love you lots xxx

The ceremony was followed by a meal.




Now it's back to the grindstone listing as much to sell as possible, the car boots here are only on for a few more weeks, but it is getting to the stage where it is not worth going, so now we only have charity shops or auctions, so not as much income over the next few months. But hey ho its only money, I am sure we will manage to keep the wolf from the door.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Liquid Lunch


About 4/5 weeks ago I bought one of these.



The last few years because of the damn menopause and my cancer meds which I have to take for 5 years (nearly finished now thank goodness)  and an underactive thyroid (which I have had for most of my life), I put on over a stone and half, and I was just getting fed up of it, I am only a petite girl at 5 ft 3 and weight doesn't sit well on me.

So I decided I would try the NutriBullet.

I eat a normal breakfast which is always healthy apart from one or two slices of toast at the weekends.

4-5 days I will have a smoothie for lunch, and just a normal tea.

Weekends I allow myself a few small treats.

I have lost around 9 pounds so far, so it is slowly coming off, I am going to start walking a lot more so that will also help.

Today I had this...



Some days I drink it all - this makes about two and a half glasses, other days I will have just half of it.


I really enjoy them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Having a look can be expensive!!



Welcome to my new follower Jacqui.

On Monday I went up to Asda for a few things and came home with much more, spending £17.44.

Yesterday I had to go up the medical centre, near Morrison's so I went and had a quick look and spent £10.20 on bargains.

When I arrived home my husband loaded up the car and off we went to the recycling centre, and on the way we spotted a big sign saying the new large Lidl store was open, so we went and had a look. A look cost £34.31. I loved the new store and will be going there at least once a month. 

Also there was a new food warehouse opened, which I was not impressed with (thank goodness). The only thing I thought was a good deal were onions,a 5 kg bag for £2.50.




Today I went up to get some bread, butter, cheese, and some veg and fruit, I have a nutribullet now and have a smoothie everyday for lunch so I got the things I needed for the next few days. 

These "basics" cost £14.44




I have spent £78.89 in the last few days in the supermarkets.

I like to think of myself as a sensible savvy shopper, but prices keep going up and we all have to eat.  



I am sure like myself you are all getting fed up of hearing about "Brexit", but whatever will be will be, we will just have to wait and see.