Thursday, 27 February 2014

How to add pages and their respective tabs

I have been asked to produce a tutorial on how to add pages and tabs to your blog. As you can see, I have quite a few at the top of mine. I should point out here though, that I don't use the normal blogger page tabs but a navigation bar. Creating a blogger page/tab takes a little more time than creating a post, which you will all be used to. However, once you do your first one, the rest will be far more easy:)

Pages are very useful for putting specific information onto, that your readers can easily access, without having to trawl all the way through your blog.  HOWEVER, pages are stand alone features. Whilst you can add links to your page from posts, (see my recipes tab above) you CANNOT to my knowledge, link a page tab itself to a single post.

Also, too many pages can look a bit of a mess, so don't overdo it.

Let's get started!

On your dashboard (the page that opens up when you access your blog) - push the same button as you would to create a new post. INSTEAD of going on to click Posts, click Pages:
When you click Pages, a new screen will open up:

Click on New page. This screen looks like a new Posts page, but where you would normally put your title, it says 'Page Title':
I tend to put the page title in and then save. You can now type a new entry from scratch or go and search your blog for a post you might want to copy and paste onto this new pages. The other day for example, I did just that to create my laundry detergent tutorial page. It should also copy and paste your pictures directly onto your new page without problems.

Remember to push save whilst working on your first page and save, then close, when finished. Don't publish at this stage.

You have now created your first page but a few more things need to be decided before you publish. Go back to your dashboard and again choose Pages as per the top picture.

Now you will see a screen that looks a little different from when you started but again, very similar to your posts home page:
Here, you can see my Laundry Detergent Tutorial. On the left hand side of this screen, look for and push the layout button:

You will then come to another screen, the top of which will look something like this (you will probably have been here when setting up and designing your blog in the first place:
In my case, the page title War Diary Year IV is showing. (It is also in this top position, beneath my blog title, as I want my page tabs to be at the top). Click on the Edit tab to its right and you will bring up this screen:
Here you can see the title of my page. Tick on the box that 'automatically adds new pages when they are published' and into the boxes to the left of any other page titles you wish to show. If you leave any un-ticked, they will not appear on your blog.

On the right hand side of this screen is the Page order. Here, you simply drag and drop pages into the order you wish them to appear on your blog home page. Don't worry it you don't get it right first time. Just come back to this screen, and drag and drop again.

When you are satisfied, go down to the very bottom of the screen and save:
That screen will now disappear and you will be back to the layout page. To the right of that screen is a bright orange button that says 'save arrangement'. PUSH IT!
Nearly there now, are you still awake:)

Look at the top of the screen once you have pushed save arrangement, and click on Template Designer. At the top of this new screen, but down the left hand side, click on Advanced, then Tabs Background:

You can now decide what background colour you wish your tabs to be when they have been selected. Otherwise they remain grey. I am working on this to see how to change the colour, because lets face it, grey is pretty boring. Push the orange button 'apply to blog'

Next, click Page Text and choose your font and text colour etc, REMEMBER each time to push the orange button 'apply to blog' before clicking on anything else:

Then press Tabs Text and do the same:
DO NOT leave this page without pushing the orange button - top right - 'apply to blog'!

Finally, go back to your dashboard, choose pages, find the page/pages you wish to add, make sure the little box to the left of them has a tick in it and you have dragged and dropped pages to where you want them. Now publish each page in the same way you would a new post. View your blog to see if everything is working as it should.

You used to be able to have only 20 separate pages/tabs with quite a length of information on them. Now it appears, you can have as many pages as you wish but each pages is limited to 1MB of text.

If you no longer wish to have it showing, un-tick it on the Configure Page List, save and it will disappear from your home page but remain available if you choose your mind on the Configure Page List screen!

You can have these tabs on the top of your home page or down the side. I hope you find this useful and can navigate your way around my directions.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Ah look...

Welcome to my new follower, Lindjemp.

DS and FDiL came down for a few hours on Saturday to choose their new puppy and our third grand-dog!

Here he is, a Fox Red Labrador - Master L!

They will be back down again in a couple of weeks to pick him up. It will be the first time all 3 will be together so should be interesting. No doubt, S., the eldest of the three, will probably just raise her eyes to the ceiling. M., currently the youngest, should be okay but might change her mind once she realises he will be going home with them!

The next few weeks should be interesting for DS and FDiL but knowing how well trained S. and M. are, L. will quickly follow suit, especially as he will have two older sisters to show him the ropes:)

Monday, 24 February 2014

Making a new batch of faggots

First of all, welcome again to Frugal Mummy as a 'new' follower, who is having tremendous bad luck with her blog continually disappearing.

The other day, I bought all the ingredients to make both faggots and our version of meatballs.
I used my recipe which you can find on a post from 28th October 2013 (an adapted version by Froogs!)

HOWEVER, I did decide this time not to put the gravy on the faggots after 30 minutes. Instead they were roasted in the oven for the full 45 minutes - turning halfway through to get them to not stick too badly.

They were put onto a plate to cool down:
Then packed into foil trays and frozen without their gravy, as the last couple of times we have frozen them in their gravy, once thawed, we found them difficult to reheat without turning them into mush so hope this new way will be better:
I made up the 4 pints of gravy, poured half of it into the two trays used to roast the faggots, scraped them around to pick up all the sticky bits etc, then poured it back into the saucepan. It was divided into various containers until cold then poured into freezer bags. Each bag held 3 ladles - enough for 2 people) plus one spare for another day:

The ones still on the plate were for our tea!

We managed to get 4 foil trays (plus gravy) and enough for tea as well. Not necessarily the cheapest meals we make but I know what has gone into them, know we will enjoy them and for me, that is worth more than gold!

Friday, 21 February 2014

A nice few days....

Weather-wise, here in the East of the country, we are due a few nice, sunny but blustery days. With that in mind, I have just hung a load of washing onto the line and with the wind, it should dry okay after a few hours.

We have finally finished sorting out the front garden, from late Autumn:
To today:
The snowdrops are fully grown and on a day like today, when the sun reaches them this afternoon, should open up ready to be pollinated. Same with the crocus' in the back garden. Haven't heard many bees flying around though!

In a couple of weeks time, I shall be covering one of my raised beds with two heavy-duty sheets of PVC to warm the soil ready for sowing. Mid March I will begin sowing seeds indoors. I don't like to start before then as we haven't got a proper greenhouse and usually, cannot plant out tomatoes until very late May but lately, early June. It is clear that weather patterns are changing.

DS and FDiL are due for the day tomorrow, coming down to say hello and to choose their new dog. Can't wait to see them, especially DS who has a fractured finger:(

That's all for now, see you again after the week-end.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Gammon/Ham meal stretching...

Welcome to two new followers - Mickle in NZ via here and Ellen Ashley via Bloglovin. You are both most welcome.

Taking a leaf out of Frugal Queen's recipes, we decided to try her meal featuring ham, and spicy tomato sauce. Her link is here:

We bought a gammon ham joint on a 'special' offer for £5 (around 800g in weight) which we thought pretty good value for the size of it. Anyway, here is our first meal from it:
We liked the tomato sauce but for us, needed to add a little sprinkling of chilli flakes. We sliced most of the joint but kept about a 1/3rd back to use as chunks. Then we had a ham sandwich for lunch another day, followed by this for tea:
Another day saw us having a snack of cheese, gammon and mayonnaise grilled on toast. The last of the slices were diced up and used in a pea, mushroom and ham risotto:
The chunks were added to a leek and vegetable white sauce mix and created two 'pies' topped with mash:

There was also enough of the sauce left over to be stirred into 6oz of spiral pasta, topped with a small grating of cheese to make this:

All in all, that £5 joint made 6 main meals (for 2 adults) and 2 snacks for us, plus another snack for DB as well. Now I don't know about you, but I reckon that was pretty good going!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Trialling a new but un-expected...


We had to nip to town the other day to do a food top up and treated ourselves to a coffee and cake. Next to the payment area were bags of yesterday's scones - £2 for 4 and they were huge, the photograph below doesn't really show how large they were but they measured 4" across:

We microwaved one the next day and shared it with a cup of tea. Two more went into a new pudding, which I hoped would be somewhere between a crumble, sponge and bread and butter pudding.

I melted in the microwave, a good knob of margarine, and once mushy, beat in an egg and a mug of milk:

Then 2 of the scones were roughly cut up:
Stirred into the liquid and left to soak it up for about half an hour:
Oh, sorry, I should have said that the night before doing this, I thawed a 1lb bag of raw gooseberries, stirred in 3 tablespoons of sugar to coat them and added them to a dish, you could do this pudding using any fruit you like of course:
Once the scones mixture was as soaked as it was going to be, it was added to the gooseberries:
As I was making some jacket potato, it went in once they were finished, into a 180C oven for 30 minutes. A light sprinkling of sugar was added and it was returned to the oven for another 10 - 15 minutes:
It is lovely. The top is crunchy and sugary like a crumble and bread and butter pudding. The base is soft like a sponge and the gooseberries were just acidic enough to not be mouth puckering!

We shall eat it over 3 nights with some custard:)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Almost ready...

Firstly welcome to two new followers via Bloglovin - Vada Wetzel and C. Gunn.

Having decided this was the year I was going to have a go at quilting, I have sorted and cut off all unwanted bits from the material I had and in this last week, have hunted through charity shops galore (gosh, some of their prices are awful) for extra bits.

I decided to not take Froog's advice about buying shirts and pyjama's from them as they ranged in price from £4 minimum to around £7 - I can just about buy new for that price. It must be nice to live in places where people can find really good deals.

Anyhow, after trudging around looking for beddings in colours that I needed to supplement my stash, I found these three items:
A really nice single lilac and pale green duvet cover (£2.50) - actually, one side of it looks like a quilt already so I could cheat but I think I would like some of its squares in another project. I have just measured it and it is a double so a bonus there!

Then I found this lovely king size quilt (£5.50) in nice creams and mint greens:
Finally, this single quilt for £3.00, a cream background with pink and green flowers on it:
Therefore £11.00 got me an awful lot of material for future use and more importantly in the colours I needed. All I need to decide now, it what size squares (or oblongs) to cut and begin...

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Coming along nicely...

I have had washing drying on the line for most of the day, it can finish off indoors on the rack.The double snowdrops (taken from our school garden before it closed):
 are finally beginning to open. The yellow crocus are beginning to open their flowers:
the purple ones open a little later. This cowslip has been flowering on and off for a couple of months now. It has a few more flowers yet to open:
Finally,  hidden behind some foliage, my first daffodil:

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


First of all, welcome to my two new followers via Bloglovin - Jill Davidson and Elaine Rickett.

Lasagne is one of a few dishes that I never buy or eat out. I suppose the same goes for any dishes based on mince - one piece of gristle and I throw up!

Anyhow, such an oddity to one side, I made some lasagne mince base, some white sauce and some pancakes - lots of pancakes (well DB cooked them at least!)

DB and FDiL are coming soon to chose their new puppy so I thought I would make us a pancake based meal.

When 3 pancakes had been made, a cardboard template was placed on top and 3 oblongs cut out to fit individual foil dishes:
A lot of work you might think but there was method in my madness:)

Layers of sauce, followed by a pancake were duly put into each dish:
The final layer was home made white sauce and a good dusting of finely grated Grana Padano cheese:
In the end, we had lots of chunky meat sauce and pancakes leftover so managed to make a round lasagne for two evening meals. The first we had last night with a jacket potato and home made coleslaw. The second bit will be for tonight with another jacket potato and roasted vegetables:
So... what did we do with all the leftover pancakes bits from cutting out the oblongs - see - told you there was method in my madness:
They were microwaved, tossed in lemon juice and sugar and we had them for a pudding! Yum yum...
The large round lasagne and 4 foil container versions used 1lb of mince for those 6 meals - not too bad really.

Sunday, 9 February 2014


First of all, welcome to my two new followers - Robyn via Bloglovin and Chel via here!

A few people have posted recipes for meatballs but I quite like Froogs' version where she adds sausage meat to the mix! You can find her link here

Anyway, herewith my recipe - into a mixing bowl put 4 skinned sausages (I used Lincolnshire ones flavoured with sage), 3/4 lb minced pork, 1 minced or finely chopped onion and some sage and onion stuffing mixed up as follows. Place 4 level tablespoons of dry stuffing mix into a jug, top up with boiling water to the 1/2 pint mark (top up not add 1/2 pint!!) and mix. If it is very stiff add just a little more water to get it to a soft state - similar to the picture below:
Mix everything together well. You need to get your hands into initially then when reasonably mixed, you can finish with a wooden spoon. I was aiming for a soft cake-like end result. Using a bare tablespoon of mix, form into meat balls, roll into flour and set aside until the mixture is used up. I could have made 22 but settled for 20 as the rest of the mixture was being used to create a hot sandwich for lunch!

Froog's chose to oven bake her version but I fried mine until browned on most sides. Towards the end, I added another diced onion, made some stock, added a good handful of our tomatoes that had been oven dried and frozen and cooked for around 50 minutes with a lid on. Once ready, the gravy was thickened and adjusted for taste.

We had 5 each for tea with delicious creamy mash and peas. The meatballs were soft textured and just melted in your mouth:
The other 10 were put into two foil trays with some of the gravy, then frozen for future meals. Cost wise, I'm not too sure as it depends on what price you pay for meat where you are. I only use meat from our butcher who displays where the meat has come from (usually local). For us, I estimate all in, including the mash and peas - £1.65 each.

Saturday, 8 February 2014


It may now be February but I have finally got around to trying (being the operative word here), some appliqué. I wanted to trial rough edge (left) and needle turned versions (right) and here are my first attempts:
The rough edge version (at least it should be once washed to fray its edges), used two strands of embroidery thread (in three different stitch styles) and the turned version had a single strand of sewing machine thread. I struggled in the preparation but the sewing side seemed relatively easy. I think I prefer the right version the most.

I certainly found it difficult to turn it in situ so cut it free, and tacked around its edges. The template was put back in and the sides drawn up, before ironing it roughly into shape. I have no idea if that is how you are supposed to do it but it worked for me. There is a slight pull on the background material in places but I guess that would disappear once its backing and background stitching is in place?

The rough edge version on the left had a small 1/2" wide circle of bond-a-web ironed into place, 1/4" from the outer edge, very fiddly!