Thursday, 30 April 2009

Lovely Day.......

Yesterday was such a lovely day!! I woke to thick fog, but that kind of fog that you just know will lift to reveal a sunny day, and lo!! By the time I had showered & dressed it was just beautiful out!

There is something about a sunny morning! The boys got out of bed with less of a battle, argued less over breakfast, and we were out of the door at 8am on the dot, nothing short of a minor miracle!!

After the school run I had to go into work for an hour, for my performance appraisal! There were no surprises & the outcome was good, so I was happy about that!

On my way back to Bedford I called in for coffee with my good friend, Karen, to meet her new puppy, Teddy. (now six months old! where does the time go?!!) He is an absolute poppet, very cheeky & sooo cute! I am smitten! Karen has just had a new kitchen installed & it is 'To Die For'!! That girl just has so much style she should carry a Government Warning!! If you want to check it out, click on the link in my Fave Blog List. But prepare to be green with envy!!

We sat in the conservatory eating lemon muffins (don't worry all counted & allowed on my days food diary!!) & soaking up the sunshine - it doesn't get much better!

My afternoon at home, before the school run, had added excitement as I waited for some of my ebay auctions to end!! I love ebay!! Buying & Selling!! It's so addictive!!

It doesn't end there - after our evening meal I was collected by Donna & off we went to the cinema to see 'I love you Man!' - sooo funny - we were both in hysterics!

So, all that & in bed before midnight! Today, once I'm done here, I have to catch up with the housework!! Both boys have friends home from school for tea today so may bake some treats for them too! Not too yummy though or I'll be tempted!!!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Back in the zone.......

One of my early posts on this blog was lamenting my lack of staying power when it comes to weight loss. I want, more than anything to shed this surplus weight, for more reasons than just looking good!!

Well, after two weeks away from my Slimming World group, I returned this morning to yet another 1/2lb GAIN!!!! How ridiculous is that!! I am capable of so much better!!

The upside of this is that I now feel back in 'the zone' - motivated & able to say "NO"!!! I have stuck to plan today & hit my 'daily 5' (fruit & veg!!) before midday!!!

I have printed off this photo of myself (about 20 years old I know) to stick on the fridge door. I'm hoping a visual reminder of the figure I'd like to have again, will stop me falling off the wagon!!

The sad thing is, at the time that photo was taken I thought I was so FAT!!! - Oh! to be that fat again!!

Some Blog Candy to be won here.....

and here......

Monday, 27 April 2009

A thought for the day.....

I recieved this in a email today & thought I'd share......

"The woodpeckers will have to go!!"

Everything We need to know about life, We learned from Noah's Ark.

One : Don't miss the boat.
Two : Remember that we are all in the same boat.
Three : Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
Four : Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
Five : Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
Six : Build your future on high ground.
Seven : For safety sake, travel in pairs.
Eight : Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
Nine : When you're stressed, float a while.
Ten : Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

NOW, wasn't that nice?

Friday, 24 April 2009

Takin' Life One Day At A Time: A Gift For You... To Celebrate! (aka RAK)

A Blog I love to visit & follow avidly is offering a very generous RAK - but, whether or not you are lucky enough to win the fabulous goodies on offer, no matter!! It's treat enough to read the posts, but be prepared to laugh out loud!! What are you waiting for? Go, check it out now.......

Takin' Life One Day At A Time: A Gift For You... To Celebrate! (aka RAK)

Thursday, 23 April 2009

St Georges Day Greetings...........

A day for English patriotism! I was pleased to see, as I drove around today, plenty of St Georges Crosses on houses & cars, & even being worn! So, Happy St Georges day!!
Another lovely day today, not quite as hot as yesterday but warm enough to dry six machine loads of washing! I spent all day outside working on the garden furniture.
We have a new 'drop leaf' table which will seat eight. So much better than our old round table which struggled to accommodate four! We have eight chairs, four of which were desperately grey & dirty! I used a gel to renovate them & each chair took about an hour to gel, sand & wash off, but the result was worth it! They now look clean, but still need a second coat of oil to bring the colour up to match the table!
Our other four chairs just need washing down & re-oiling, which I hope to get done tomorrow. I look forward to getting loads of use out of them all through the summer, weather permitting! I'm hoping for a dry Saturday to get the garden ship-shape! Hubby will cut the grass & I'll work on the borders & my 'Fruit Corner'!! I have a small apple tree, raspberries, blueberries, a grape vine & strawberries. Unfortunately my blackberry looks a bit sad, so not sure it'll produce much this year! I quite fancy trying to grow some potato's, so will need to look into that!!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Last day of the hols!

As today is last day of the Easter hols, I turned my back on housework (no change there then!!) this afternoon, & took Nathan, Alex & his school friend Aimee to the cinema to see 'Race to Witch Mountain'. I actually enjoyed the film as much as they did, especially as it stars Dwayne Johnson, formerly known as 'The Rock' - the only reason I used to stay in the room when the boys were watching the wrestling on TV!!

Afterwards we spent some time at Priory Park, feeding the ducks/geese/swans & generally enjoying the sunshine. We had planned to eat at the Priory Marina & sit outside, but they were closed for refurbishment, so we used plan B & went to Pizza Hut instead!!
After the 'relaxed' attitude to bedtime during the holidays, both boys complained when they were shepherded off to bed a 8.30pm. I've used the evening to organise 'stuff', so uniforms are laid out (thankfully they are now in polo shirts for the summer instead of collars & ties - so much simpler!!) & PE kits packed, just lunches to box up fresh in the morning!!

But do you know, it's only 5 weeks till they break up for half term!!!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

It's April, it must be 'Ally Pally' time again...........

After three days of feeling 'under the weather', I was glad to feel well enough to take part in a girls day out to 'The Big Stamp & Scrapbook Show' at Alexandra Palace in North London. At 8.30am sharp 'D' arrived & we set off in the sunshine to pick up 'S' & 'J'! As driver I must say it was a thoroughly enjoyable drive through the Bedfordshire countryside to the A1M & we met with little traffic all the way down into London, arriving at 'Ally Pally' in time to park, walk up the hill (and boy! is it ever a HILL!!) & buy our tickets in time for doors opening at 10am!
I never fail to be impressed by Alexandra Palace. As well as it's part in the history of TV broadcasting, it is an impressive sight, sitting on it's green hill with panoramic views over London.

This year, I have to comment, the 'de rigeur' accessory for the discerning craft shopper seemed to be the environmentally friendly, jute shopping bag! It seemed as if every person making the climb up the hill to the BSSS had at least one & that's got to be a good thing - right?!!
The Spring BSSS always seems so much busier than the Autumn one, and as soon as we were through the doors it was madness! We split into two pairs & headed into the fray! Our first stop was the 'Everything a £' stall ( & 12 items for £10!!)!!! - Serious bargains to be had!! I stocked up on basics like double sided tape & glue dots, chipboard sheets & scissors. Still not feeling 100%, I felt the need to break for drink & a sit down at 11ish & then back to bargain hunting! We all met up at 12.30 & took our packed lunches outside into the sunshine, it really was a beautiful day. After comparing our morning purchases we returned to the West Hall to complete our circuit! All four of us managed a satisfying 'haul' & I think we all came in on budget!!!
We finally met up for coffee & a last minute dash to a stall that had been overlooked, selling patterned paper at 25 sheets for £5! (7 gypsies, Basic Grey, Crate Paper, Urban Lilly - all good stuff!!!) & then headed off to load our bags into the car!! The journey back to Bedford was just as pleasant as our drive in, but a good deal quieter! Everyone just enjoyed the sunshine & 'D' kept her window open to stop her dozing off!!
When I got back home & had spent some time with Hubby & boys, I enjoyed unpacking my bag of goodies, & feeling thoroughly smug about the good value!! But my favourite purchase of the day has to be this woven label, tiny, but it says it all!! My only comment is that it should read 'XL' instead of 'Medium', but a girl can dream!!
Now all I need to do is to get the boys back to school on Tuesday, restore order to the house & allocate myself some serious scrapping time!! If only it were that easy!!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside........!

We were all lucky enough to be invited to join friends & their two boys, to spend the Easter Bank Holiday weekend in Brighton, staying in a basement apartment belonging to friends of theirs. Now, I have never been to Brighton & apart from hearing about shopping in 'The Lanes', I had no real idea what to expect. I think I visualised something quite 'grand' & 'genteel' so wasn't dissapointed when we arrived at the apartment! Housed in a beautiful crescent, with a large, private, gated & neatly maintained, park/garden (& an even more private, gated, secret tunnel as a shortcut to the beachfront!!) it was impressive! As we arrived at dusk, the apartments on the upper floors were lit & we could sneak peeks at fabulous chandeliers!!

Once we had unloaded the car, we set off to walk along the seafront towards the pier just over a mile away. As we neared the pier & the main part of town, it soon became apparent that we were staying at the quieter end of town!! As it got darker & neon lights shone, I realised that Brighton is really just another British seaside town, with all the trappings!!! So, with the best "if you can't beat 'em....." attitude, we tucked in to chips as we walked along. (why is it chips always taste better outdoors?!! & why can't they be wrapped in newspaper any more?!!) Hubby & boys enjoyed a game of crazy golf & we watched as, in the distance, the fairground rides at the end of the pier got into full swing!

Next morning dawned hazy but mild. Now, before leaving home we had had three days of cold rain & the forecast for the weekend wasn't much better, even for the south coast! So, I had packed jeans & sweaters for the boys & jackets for all!! But by the time we were breakfasted & out, the sun was shining & we were peeling off layers & wishing for shorts!! We took the little electric train (over 100 years old!) along the beach to the pier & walked further on into town. We had planned to spend some time in 'the lanes', but by 11am Alex was already finding it hard to cope with the growing crowds & being in an unfamiliar town, so we headed back to the seafront & had ice cream! (always good for what ails you!!!) We did manage to walk through the Pavillion park though, so I did get to see the famous building, if only briefly!

Alex was fascinated, but also quite distressed by the remains of the West Pier (above), which was burned beyond saving some years ago. We managed to convince him that the remaining Palace Pier wasn't about to burst into flames the moment we set foot on it, but even so, it was a flying visit, only made by blackmailing him with the promise of a visit to buy sticks of rock, at what we were told is the best rock shop in Brighton, about half way down! He did relax & enjoyed it in the end, especially the seagulls antics!!

Having spent the biggest part of the day in the sunshine, among hustle & bustle, we gradually worked our way back towards Kemptown & the peace of the apartments garden. The men went in to fetch tea & biscuits & we sat in the evening sunshine just chilling, while the boys explored the seemingly endless garden, until it was time to shower & change before heading to the Marina for dinner. Everyone was 'glowing' from our day in the sunshine! I hadn't even thought about packing sunscreen - if anything I'd thought about umbrella's!! But we all slept well after all that sea air!!

Our last day wasn't quite so bright, but still mild & dry so we headed off to the Roedean cafe (in the shadow of the famous Roedean school), for breakfast. After that we parked up at the beachfront & sat on the pebbly beach to watch the boys (All six of them, aged 8 - 50!!) skim stones & play at the waters edge. Alex got braver & left it later & later, before dodging the incoming waves. Inevitably, he got caught out!!! but took it in good humour!! Luckily I had dry clothes & shoes for him to change into, & it was just so good to see him & all the boys having such fun.

So now it's back home to the second week of the Easter holiday! A suitcase full of laundry & new school shoes to buy! The next 'event' on the calendar for me, is the 'Big Stamp & Scrapbooking Show' at Alexandra Palce, next Saturday - so, watch this space!!

Saturday, 4 April 2009


Today I did a little ironing! Now, ironing is my absolute least favourite household chore, and the one thing I will put off at the drop of a hat! So, imagine how I felt, opening Nathans wardrobe to this.....................................
These are all clean 'ironed' clothes that were neatly stacked & now look like chewed rag!! What a waste of time!!! The sad thing is, I will carry on ironing & folding as I can't bear to see either of the boys wearing clothes that looked 'slept in', even if they don't care!!! It's a good job I love them both to bits!!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Yay! Last day of term!!

It has seemed a long time coming, but today is the last day of term & school is out for two weeks!! The whole school had earned a treat in the form of a trip to the cinema this morning. They saw 'Monsters vs Aliens' & thoroughly enjoyed it! School finished at 1.30pm & the sun came out to celebrate!! We stopped by the park to feed the ducks (geese, seagulls etc!) on the way home & I have to admit to losing the feeling in my hands, it was so cold!! But at least it's not raining!!

I had a second cinema visit myself this week when a friend invited me to see 'The boat that rocked' - it was fantastic! As someone who was a child in the 60's with older sisters, I remember listening to 'Radio Caroline' on small tinny transistor radios while Mum & Dad listened to the World Service on the big 'Radiogram'!!! If you are of a certain age & need a good laugh, I recommend you go see it & the soundtrack CD is definitely a must have!!

I though I'd share this with you - a friend sent me this picture in an email & it cheered me up no end! Enjoy!