Welcome to Frugal Queen’s new home!

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Hello Dear Reader,

I’ve moved. If you’ve found me without me giving you any clues then well done! Life in all it’s thriftiness/ish has continued. Hopefully, there won’t be the problems with commenting or who can read the comments that my previous format had issues with.

We’ve had the usual week of doing our very best to not spend any money! I capitulated and bought new work shoes. I could have carried on with the shoes I had but they were looking decidedly down at heel and I have a professional role and should look so too. Quite rightly so, nonetheless, I searched online with Clarks, found the shoes were half price(reduced to £22.50)  and had them sent free of charge to the local shop where I could try them on and then pay for them if I liked them. I did and now I look smart and professional again but for half the price.

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More thriftiness throughout the week. We’re eating very simply. Lots of meals where I cook once and then we eat that for lunch for the next few days too. There was a lot of turkey cottage pie, carrots and broccoli this week but it kept us going. Some weeks, it’s soups, this week it was mince and mash. I don’t mind and it saved thinking about lunch for most of the week. I could tell you about how we don’t eat out, don’t eat takeaways, don’t eat ready made food but then you know that. I succumbed to a £2.25 pack of Sainsbury’s sushi of Friday as I needed a ‘lunch on the run’ as I had a lunch time opticians appointment. I’m studying a lot recently so bought some single vision lens glasses and bought some from their cheapest £25 including the lens as it’s not great to sit in front of a screen for hours with my vari-focals. Totting that little lot up this week…..£49.75 makes a hole in our savings but some things, with the exception of £2.25 on sushi, are needs must!

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The sun came out today and didn’t it make a difference! My furry friends had another trip by car in their dog carriers. Very little moaning from them today and they settled really quickly. Normally, they have the back seat to themselves so they are doing well to be contained and in their little crates. We went to Hannafore beach at Looe which is enough of a drive for the dogs to have ‘crate training’ but a treat for them at the end as they love to get their paws in the sand.

We’re being proper tightwads this month as we’re saving for the wood burner in our Huelgoat home. I always install a wood burner where ever we go. It’s a massive initial investment but it soon pays for itself. It’s much cheaper to get the work done there than here as it’s so much more common to have one as the sole source of heating in your home. Ours here is a dinky 5KW stove but there it will be a 12KW monster to heat the whole house and will be the sole source of heating and clothes drying. The downstairs is open plan and the stair case is open tread so the heat will circulate. (Modern wood stoves have a double burn system so they’re virtually smoke free and not sending particles into the air. Wood is also carbon neutral and renewable.)

Here, we also need to pay for next years wood that gets delivered tomorrow and will see us through next winter. I always buy it a year in advance and stack it away what’s more, I always stock up when I’ve been paid as a form of security as I always feel better when the bills are paid and this is sort of our heating bill.

Not much else to report this week. Although it’s a delight to drive to work and back in the day light, see the daffodils in the gardens and hedgerows and there’s also a glimmer of blossom here and there.

So, from trying our best not to spend any money to me blowing money on work shoes, glasses and sushi……it’s been an expensive week. Note to self: must try harder next week!

I hope you leave a comment, even if just to say hello, tell us about your thrifty week or what you think of the new format.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx

 

 

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Today was summer! All day!



Hello Dear Reader,

It was great to press the pause button  tonight. The sun was still hot when we got home at five pm and we could lie in the sun until almost seven. I had such a job trying to convince my dogs to lie in the shade and not the sun. It was hot, I started off in shorts and ended up in my underwear! 


I got the podgy knees out! 

I dozed happily in the rare bit of sun we get here. In fact, sun is so rare that if I were Prime Minister, I would make hot sunny days National days off. On those days you would all have my blessing to lie in the garden in your knickers!

There’s something so indulgent about doing nothing for a couple of hours. I skipped slimming club tonight so I’ll just have to wait a week to find out what I weigh.

If the sun comes out tomorrow and you’re not at work could you go out in the sun for me, when it’s not too hot for you, put your feet up and enjoy it. 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx





Celebrating the positives of a wonderful life.





Hello Dear Reader,

I thought I’d share a bit of mindfulness today. Here are the things I’m grateful for today

My healthy family who work hard on being positive, occupied, busy and well.

Being close to my family and being able to get together.

Great times with friends.

The positive attitudes of the people I surround myself with.

Cornwall won at Twickenham today!

I live comfortably.

I live in freedom.

I live in a country in peacetime.

I live in a democracy.

I have choices.

The changing seasons.

I have a job I love.

I am safe and loved.

There is food in the house.

Fresh air.

It’s not raining.

Warm breeze.

I’m well enough and motivated enough to exercise.

The lush green trees and fields I can see from the window as I type.

Clean clothes.

My resilience, health and tenacity.



I started writing this blog as a point of reflection where I could look at the sum of all my days. I no longer have any reasons to moan, to worry, to be unhappy and can now reflect on all the good times that make this life so wonderful. It might all sound a bit smug and self satisfied but no one has to read it. I could sit on my backside and do nothing but I would be bored and that’s just not me. Reflecting on this week, we’ve gardened, walked, cycled, met up with friends, gone out with family (offspring are well), eaten out, some more walking, some decorating, some de-cluttering, had my hair done, been to the salon, had lots of lazy lie ins, stacked away the winter logs, watched films and read books. We’ve spent no more than we could afford and had budgeted for and have topped up our relaxation batteries for the weeks ahead until the summer break when we go away. 

Over to you to share your mindfulness; what do you have to be grateful for today?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx








Free fun

      
Hello Dear Reader,
I’ll let you into some local knowledge, if you want the Camel Trail almost to yourself, then set off after four in the afternoon. We loaded up the bikes and drove the fifteen minutes to Bodmin to ride the Bodmin to Wadebridge section. You ride just to the right of the river. Earlier in the day the route is packed and is very much a victim of its own success. Another quiet route is to enter the bike trail at Dunmere and turn right and head out towards the moor. Either way, it’s totally idyllic. The trail, when it’s packed isn’t any fun at all, I like to get on it and give myself a good workout. It’s six miles to Wadebridge and we did each leg in just over forty minutes.
Parking is free as at Dunmere, turn into the car park by the Borough Arms and push your bikes down to the trail. We take our own bikes and the trail is free. Typical of us, free fun.
      
I love getting out on the Miss Marplemobile and prefer a bit of peace and quiet. I’m trying to fit in as much exercise as possible so I’m getting in a forty minute hilly walk each night. I do this purposefully when I feel low, or I lack energy or I’m not sleeping well as its proven that exercise raises serotonin levels and improves mood. I sleep better, I worry less and it’s good for my overall health. 
      
                                              
We stretched our legs around Wadebridge and this made me chuckle. Socks for Alpacas? Alpacas who have an active social life or might need different socks, maybe for hiking or formal occasions? If so, there’s a shop that sells socks for them. Well, we all want cosy feet and I love the idea of Alpacas trotting round in fluffy socks.
       
I wish I could have shared ‘aroma blog’ as the hawthorn blossom was amazing. It also rained on our way home and the smell of rain on dry fields was delicious. We need to fit in plenty of bike rides as we’ll park the car when we’re on holiday in a couple of months and cycle everywhere. There’s a few untoned muscles that need some practise.
We love our simple quiet life, how happy we are and the peace we find in every day life.
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxxx

    

Girly gossip and a catch up

                  

                                 

Hello Dear Reader,

I spent the day with a friend I made at the school gate when both our daughters were at nursery school, they are now young women in their early twenties so we’ve been friends for ages. Today, it was my turn to take her out. I live close to Liskeard station and it has a small branch line that took us to Looe on the coast. It’s a gentle twenty minute ride in a single carriage through beautiful countryside that follows the river down to the sea. The train was packed to bursting with families and tourists taking the ‘park and ride’ option to save them driving the winding road to the port. The stations along the route are tiny and my favourite has the name St Keyne Wishing Well Halt. 

                                 

I took a quick snap at the station with the river, that by now forms part of the tidal estuary, as people waited to get on. From the station, it’s a fifteen minute walk into the town. It’s half term so understandably, it was really busy. It was lunch time when we arrived so we headed off to a fish restaurant on the quay. The food was ok in the end but the gluten free choice was extremely limited so I had fish and salad. No menu adaptations, it was a take it or leave it option. I won’t dignify the place with a review and suffice to say, I will not be going back. It’s no wonder I don’t go out very often! Lunch  was good and we had a great time. Cornish sardines are amazing cheap little fish and if you haven’t eaten them, then that’s another reason why you should head on down here.

                                 

After lunch, we headed from one side of Looe to the other, taking the bridge and walking round from East Looe to West Looe and then we headed off for a walk up the hill to Haanafore point.

                                 

Here, the gull has its back to East Looe and I love this picture as it shows how clear and clean the sea is in the harbour. The light was amazing today and the harbour, which is tidal was full of water. Accents let us know that families were there from all over the UK and many of those families just sat on the harbour side, dangling their legs over the side relaxing by the water.

                                 

We walked up the hill and looked back at Looe beach, it was packed with families. There really isn’t anything more lovely for children than a day at the beach, with a bucket and spade to play for the day. Our walk ended at Hannafore with a coffee at the outside coffee shack and we sat on a bench outside and caught up with each other’s news. 

                   

Here are said friends, trying as the old birds that we are to master the ‘selfie’ as we crossed the harbour on the water taxi. It’s 50p each and saved our legs the long walk round. We made our way back to the station as the tide was dropping and the day was cooling.

                                   

Here’s the view if the estuary from the tiny railway station of the tree covered hills in the back ground. Looe isn’t one of Cornwall’s trendy hot spots and if you don’t like or can’t eat pasties or chips, then healthy food is hard to find. All that aside, it’s a lovely little place that to visit and it was great to treat an old friend to a train ride, a bit of lunch and a coffee and a chat.

Anyone else wishing they lived in Cornwall?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx







Sam’s in the city

                        
Hello Dear Reader,
There are amazing restaurants in Cornwall and it is a county of amazing food. It has its fair share of Michelin stars, high class dining and tariffs and prices that will leave an oligarch breathless. However, there are some which are reasonably priced, informal and family friendly. I’ve known about Sam’s since a young bloke and his mates started selling amazing burgers and seafood on the main street through Fowey. Now, there’s the original Sam’s in Fowey, Sam’s on the beach in Polkerris, Sam’s on the Bay at Crinnis beach, his mobile catering vans and Sam’s in the city in Truro. We went there today. 
It’s brilliant for families, with plenty of pram parking, lots of high chairs, child size portions and a really relaxed atmosphere where you feel welcome, best of all, it’s still affordable so young mums can meet their mates for lunch.
                                      
I asked to amend the order (with IBS, so I need to eat low fat and Coeliac so I can’t eat gluten) and usually when I do this if I eat out then I feel a nuisance. This was no problem at all today and everything was changed to suit me. I loved the chef, who really looked as if he’d just stepped off a surf board and oozed Cornish cool and came to speak to me so he made sure he knew what I could and couldn’t eat.
Here’s what I ate. My started was a half pint of prawns, it came with a piquant herb salad. DB had the calamari on a pile of salad. 
                                     
DB’s main course was a massive homemade burger with blue cheese and bacon, their burgers have always been mammoth with celeriac coleslaw and mounds of salad. 
                                      
My haddock was grilled, lightly seasoned and on a generous bed if salad. It was not on the menu (the haddock was with something else). Plus, my lunch was low in fat, low in calories and really fresh and healthy. 

                                      
DB’s dessert was sticky toffee apple tart with ice cream and a caramel sauce. I didn’t have a dessert but his looked lovely.
                                       
I don’t often eat out, so if I’m going to part with my money, then I like to go somewhere that’s good value and the food is going to be of great quality. Now, before you go thinking this was a freebie, it wasn’t and we handed over cash money and I genuinely love this small but ever growing chain of local restaurants. If and when you are in Cornwall, look up Sam’s Cornwall and try their food http://www.samscornwall.co.uk Sam’s in the city, is just along the street from the cathedral with plenty of parking nearby. 
Oh, as a p.s, I lost another 2.5lbs this week. Any local readers or visitors to Cornwall lucky enough to have eaten at Sam’s? 
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxx

Light Caesar Salad


Hello Dear Reader,

We’re loving our time off. We spent yesterday gardening the communal areas around our terrace of cottages. Like a lot of old Cornish cottages built before cars were even thought of, the only access is on foot. We carry what we’ve bought or brought home from the car park. We don’t mind, those communal paths are where we meet our neighbours, stop and chat and usually have a good moan about the state of the paths. Some people can’t be bothered, feel they don’t have time or would like to do something but haven’t got round to it. I totally ‘sweat the small stuff’ and weeds and overgrown hedges fuss me so as no one seems to mind, I’m tidying the place up. Dearly Beloved and I have done this together and we’ve bagged it up (several car loads) and have taken it to the recycling centre.

Today, I had a long lie in and a lazy lunch. Really not feeling like a big Sunday roast lunch right now so made a lower calorie version of Caesar Salad.


I started off by making ‘croutons’, normally that’s cubes of bread, deep fried and sprinkled over the salad. Instead, I sprayed two slices of bread with Frylight and popped them in the toaster. It came out crispy and then I cut the slices into cubes. Gluten free for me and every day bread for DB.

I’ve discovered Morrison’s Nu Me range of salad dressing and I mixed four tablespoons through the salad so two spoons each and then when I served poured another spoonful over the salad which came to 27 calories (1g of carb and 1g of fat – it must be mainly water!) 


We both had 25g of grated cheese each, mine half fat cheddar and DB had full fat Parmesan. He’s lost 15lbs so far so it’s doing him good too!

I grilled five rashers of smoked back bacon (I’ve included a link to show what this looks like – our bacon is quite lean and as I grill it on a raised tray and all the fat renders out) and then cut them into chunks and sprinkled that over the salad and gave it a drizzle of the low calorie Caesar sauce. 

It was heavenly, and the scores on the doors? 351 calories, 35g of carbs, 15g of fat, 24g of protein. Cost just under £1.50. 

My indulgence at this time of year are seasonal local strawberries. They taste lovely, I had mine with some defrosted blackberries, a sprinkle of stevia and a big spoon of fat free natural yogurt. I felt I’d earned it after all the weeding and tending.


If you live in the UK, you’ll have a lot more weeds around the pavements and car parks, it will be cleaned less than usual and hedges might not get cut at all. It’s easy to wave the banner of entitlement and sit back and do no more than moan that the council doesn’t do its job properly or realise that unless we want higher taxes then we can save money and find our community spirit and do it ourselves. 

Over to you, any Guerrilla gardeners out there? In case you think there’s a whole pile of health and safety regulations about doing such a thing in your community there usually isn’t. It’s the case of using common sense and doing what you can. I’ll have another go tomorrow. I’m also going to try and speak to neighbours and get them to do ‘the bit’ by their back/front doors to keep the place looking tidy.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

A perfect day!

Hello Dear Reader,
Quick hello and popping off again. A perfect day when all members of my family were here today. They are well, independent, getting on with their lives, doing their own thing, their own way and they are just great.
I’ve waited for what happened today to happen. (nope, sorry…no details)
I’ve waited years.
It happened.
So, everything was okay in the end.
Lunch was lovely, I skipped anything ‘synful’ or fatty but took great pleasure in serving lovely food to everyone else. 
Woods were walked in. 
Bluebells were sniffed and admired.
Lots of smiles and laughter.
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxx

Cornish Cream Tea



Hello Dear Reader,

This is just what I wanted whilst I was out and about in St. Ives yesterday but kept my money in my purse and promised myself that I could and would make this when I got home. Afternoon tea is an elaborate affair of sandwiches, quiches, scones and cream and dainty cakes all served with a pot of tea and hopefully refills. It’s all very ‘now’. Here in Cornwall, we’ve been having a ‘cream tea’ for as long as I can remember. We’re supported of the National Trust and used to share a cream tea when we visited. It’s difficult to get a gluten free version when we’re out so I usually just opt to admire from afar and go without and eat when we get home!

Here’s my recipe for gluten free scones

Set the oven to 200C

250g of gluten free flour
50g of sugar
50g of butter
2 tsp of GF baking powder
1 egg
125ml of milk

1.Add the baking powder to the flour
2. Rub the butter into the flour.
3. Beat the egg and milk together 
4. Add to the mixture and mix well to form a dough.
5. Pat down, no need to roll.
6. Cut out with cutter, this should make eight scones.
Bake for ten minutes.
Cool, but great eaten still a bit warm.

Serve with cream and jam and of course, plenty of tea. Best eaten here in Cornwall with the sun out, in the garden looking at the camelias in flower. Traditionally eaten with Cornish clotted cream but I didn’t have any so I whipped up some double cream. 

Over to you Dear Reader, what type of scones do you make? Cheese, fruit or plain? I sometimes make GF cheese scones to have with soup instead of bread.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx