Sausage and bean stew

I am afraid I have no sewing posts to share with you because my sewing machine broke and has been sent off for repair. I feel like I’m missing a limb! I am no good at being unoccupied and whilst my machine is in for repair I have taken the opportunity to clean and sort my sewing space (a corner of our living room). I have also spent some time cutting out my next projects so they are all ready to sew together when my sewing machine returns. It can’t come soon enough.

A lot of my time has been occupied with poorly little ones.  It has been one of those winters for us sadly.  This January I have spent a lot of time cooking comforting nourishing food in an attempt to get us all back to full health.  My eldest daughter commented the other day that everything I cook is “goodness”.  It has become a little phrase we use now. “What’s for tea Mummy?” “More goodness I’m afraid”.

Feeding my family good, healthy home cooked meals is something I am really passionate about so I thought I would share a recipe with you all.  This stew is one my Mum used to make when we were children and I now cook for my children, those sorts of recipes are always the best. Most pleasingly of all This sausage and bean stew is inexpensive and easy to make.


Sausage and bean stew (serves 4)


  • 1 onion (fresh, frozen, tinned – however you buy them)
  • Garlic (again fresh 1-2 cloves or if you buy as a paste 1-2 tsp)
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • One Matteson smoked pork sausage sliced (if you can’t find this use Frankfurter sausages)
  • 2 tins of mixed beans, drained


Fry the onion and garlic until soft, add the sausage slices and lightly fry for a minute or two. Add the beans and chopped tomatoes fill the chopped tomatoes tin two-thirds full of water and add that to the pan as well. Bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer for 35-40 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary (beans are thirsty creatures). This can be served immediately or kept in the fridge once cool and then reheated when needed (the longer its left the better the flavor). ladle generously into bowls and enjoy.


Blue Monday

Hello friends, today is blue Monday in the northern hemisphere. The day of the year where statistically we feel at our worst. The upside of this is that things can only improve from here. Anyway if you are feeling a little blue today I hope this picture I took inspires and uplifts you.


Follow me on bloglovin.

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Hi All just a quick little note to say I am on Bloglovin is a smart way to read and follow blogs all in one place. All you do is sign up (you can do this through various social media accounts so you don’t have to remember yet another set of log in details).  Add the blogs you read regularly to your reader and new posts will all appear in your feeds. You can save posts to come back to later, mark them as read when your done and click through to go to the blog your reading.  its a lovely interface and very easy to use.

Its great if you read a lot of blogs, have a variety of interests or like me  have a memory like a sieve for remembering URLs. the best part of bloglovin is you’ll never miss another blog post again.

Styling the seasons – January

I’ve decided to join in the Styling the Seasons this year. Read more about this lovely project from its originators here and here

I found out about Styling the Seasons through Instagram which I joined about 8 months ago. It’s a platform that’s always appealed to me but as I’m not an iphone or android user couldn’t access. Finally an app was released I could use & I have enjoyed the Instagram experience even more than I anticipated. I began practicing my photo skills with the photo a day challenges run by fat mum slim.  I love that Instagram is all about camera phones (mostly) it makes it such a level playing field.  I’ve always enjoyed photography but never have (and probably never will) owned a proper camera. Once I found my feet I began looking at other hubs and tagging my photos to them. I’ve found such inspiration through Instagram and made some lovely friends. I have even had the great honor of having a few of my photos featured. This sends me screaming around the house and leaping up and down with great excitement. I have got much better at taking landscape and outdoor shots (natural light is the best) and I’m getting better at macro shots, still life and little vignettes but lighting is my nemesis. Our home sadly lacks much natural light and all windows are north facing. However I did get some small photography lights for Christmas. I thought joining in with Styling the Seasons would not only give me great pleasure but also a chance to practice lighting and styling areas of my home.

So without further delay I bring you January. I am not a fan of January and February, they are tough months from me. It took me quite a while to find the inspiration for this month. The area I have chosen to Style is my bedside table. Getting out of bed In the dark in January may well be my least favorite thing so I thought waking up to this pretty scene and hopefully the smell of hyacinths in the days to come would be a good tonic.


I spent A LOT of time on this first photo and honestly, I’m still not happy with it. However as I said this is a learning experience.  I’ve also given our bedroom an early spring clean so it feels clean and inviting. I’m hoping to spend some time like this.



Don’t be fooled by this serene little vignette just off camera there is a baby wreaking havoc.

You carry my heart.


I’ve a rather anxious 4year old to get back to school this week. Four is such a young age for full time school especially in the depths of January.  For those moments when my Lolo (not her real name) feels a little wobbly and wants Mummy I’ve made her one of these & I say to her “you carry my heart and my love goes with you”.


This is a very simple project I used a biscuit cutter as my template. It can be made in felt or choose some pretty fabric together.  sew it, stuff it and either add a couple of teaspoons of dried lavender to sooth or a few of spritz of Mummy’s perfume. Then slip it into a pocket or up a sleeve on the big day… go home and make yourself a lot of tea and try to both be brave.  Maybe I need to make one for myself.

Happy New Year

Happy new year to you and thank you for stopping by my little corner of the inter-web. I don’t know about you but I love the prospect of a shiny new year full off promise and new possibilities.  That’s the optimist in me speaking. A new year really does make me want to plan, organise, clean, tidy, sort and aspire.  I like new years resolutions, I’m good at keeping them too.  A few years ago i decided to teach myself to knit, I am still learning but by the end of the year I had two projects under my belt.  In 2014 I decided to work on my photography skills and this has bought me both great pleasure and some very pleasing photographs.

This year I am excited to announce that I have decided to strike out and put my creative talents to good use.  I shall be opening an Etsy shop this year and also turning my attention to blogging again all under the banner of Sew Simone.  Those that know me will know I am a bit of a magpie for projects, ideas and passions and so if sewing isn’t your thing don’t worry I intend the blog to be so much more than just sewing projects and ideas.  I am both excited and hugely doubtful about this latest venture. I am trying to keep the words “nothing ventured, nothing gained” in my mind as I set out.

2015 new year

To celebrate this and to inspire others to make 2015 a year to remember I have created a free printable for you which you can download and print at home.  Thank you so much for stopping by I look forward to sharing this journey with you. Click here to download