Thursday, 29 October 2009

An Award!.....

I have received an award from the lovely Jocelyn, so big Thanks to Jocelyn!......why not pop over to her blog & read her list too?!!

I need to pass this on to 5 other people who's blogs I visit & enjoy.....and answer this long list of questions with single word answers!! So here goes.....

1. Where is your cell phone?..... Dresser
2. Your hair?..... Untidy!
3. Your Mother?.....Missed
4. Your Father?.....Distant
5. Your favourite food?.....Mexican
6. Your dream last night?.....Forgotten
7. Your favourite drink?.....Coffee
8. Your dream/goal?.....Contentment
9. What room are you in?.....Scraproom
10. Your hobby?.....Scrapbooking
11. Your fear?.....Infirmity
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?.....Here!
13. Where were you last night?.....Restaurant
14. Something you aren't?.....Slim!!!
15. Muffins?.....Please!!
16. Wish list item?.....longevity
17. Where did you grow up?.....Hereford
18. Last thing you did?.....Painting
19. What are you wearing?.....Bathrobe
20. Your TV?.....Emmerdale
21. Your pets?.....Piggies
22. Friends?.....Loyal
23. Your Life?.....Good
24. Your Mood?.....Easy
25. Missing Someone?.....Always
26. Vehicle?.....Vauxhall
27. Something you are not wearing?.....Jewellery
28. Your favourite Store?.....'M&S'
29. Your favourite colour?.....Blue
30. When was the last time you laughed?.....Today
31. When was the last time you cried?.....Saturday
32. Your best friend?.....Lee
33. One place that I go to over & over?.....'Tesco'!!
34. Facebook?.....Sporadically
35. Favourite place to eat?.....'Break for the Border'

That was not easy...the questions aren't difficult but keeping the answers to one word was!!!!

I would like to pass this on to


I look forward to checking out your lists too!!!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

He is a boy!!.....

Well....after weeks of deliberation...prompted by schoolyard taunts of "Hey Ginger" & "Girlie!" .....along with the trauma of his recent 'occupation'!!! Nathan is no longer a contender for the role of Jimmy Osmonds 'Long haired Liverpudlian'!! His decision entirely, but one I was happy to comply with!!

On Monday, I took up my scissors & the boy re-emerged!! The first step was to scrape all those lovely strawberry blonde locks into a pony tail, which I then severed in one fell swoop! What resulted was a perfect graduated bob that would have made Victoria Beckham proud!!!

I then set about snipping & shaping......& this may sound strange, but just like Samson, who's strength was lost to him when Delilah cut his hair, I swear that Nathan's 'Attitude' also fell to the kitchen floor along with his shorn tresses!! He seems like a different boy & it's so good to see those 'baby blues' out in the open instead of hidden under a curtain of hair!! No more constantly pushing hair back from his face & he hasn't even uttered one "yeah...whatever" in 48 hours....Result!!

Yesterday we took a trip to Milton Keynes....we called in to Ikea & amazingly came away with only serviettes, squeegies & a couple of hand puppets!! I should have known why Lee insisted on us going in his's too small to take any impulse buys from 'Bargain Corner' weakness!! I got to pop into Hobbycraft, where again I was very restrained, selecting only a sheet of Alpha rub-ons & a Versa Magic inkpad...not like me at all!!

Then it was 'boy time' & we hit the 'Centre MK' & it's various Game stores....the boys have discovered trading & it's lovely to see them both confidently handing over unwanted games for credit & then choosing new ones within their budgets.....they are learning just how much things cost, the benefit of recycling & also love the Independence! For Alex especially, it's good to see him gaining confidence in interacting with people outside of his usual circle, & his obvious sense of achievement when he's done.

We had a wonderful lunch at Nando''s informality suits us perfectly...& then I managed a little solo browsing in M&S & NEXT...& yes I did pick up some new undies..needs must!!! Finally we spent some time in Xscape, watching the skiing & snowboarding on the indoor slope, children reaching amazing heights on the climbing wall & perusing the outdoor clothing shops, where Nathan invested in a hat!! I think he's anticipating how cold his ears will be this winter, now that all that hair is gone!!

On Monday, I made a proper start on painting the walls in the hall/stairs/landing....this is my goal for the half term break, to complete the decoration!! We have bought the wallpaper for the feature wall & that will be the last thing to be done...a real challenge for me as I've not hung wallpaper for such a long time....I'm hoping it's like riding a bike & will all come flooding back....I hope so, have you seen the price of wallpaper these days?!!!

And so, at last to a little bit of creativity!!! I had a list of challenges I wanted to take part in...all due by the end of this month, but what with my cold & general life taking over, I have had to prioritise!!!

I have managed to complete the 'Season' challenge for TAAFOMFT I had so many ideas on how I wanted this to look, but it hasn't ended up like any of you find that happens, where a LO sort of has a mind of it's own?!!! Anyhow, I guess it say's what it's meant to...that Spring is my favourite season...I love the promise that Spring life & fresh beginnings. It always makes me smile to see snowdrops & crocuses in my garden... & of course the noble daffodil, lining the hedgerows in vast numbers under trees of Catkins & Pussy Willow.... not to mention Spring lambs in the fields...sorry, am I rambling?! LOL!

Finally...& on time this is how my desk looks this morning, after working until after midnight last night it's still a muddle, which I will tidy away very soon!!

So that's me...I'm off to get back up that stepladder...I'm on the tricky bit over the stairs at the moment...good job I have a reasonable head for heights!! In between laundry & preparing meals I'm hoping to at least complete my first coat everywhere today!! Tonight we have a sitter booked & Lee & I are having one of our very rare evenings out!! We've not decided where yet, but just to be able sit & talk without having to break off to referee some squabble or other, will be good!!

Wishing you all a Happy Wednesday! x

Friday, 23 October 2009

An Invitation, A Gold Rush & uninvited guests!.....

Well.....I am pleased to announce that I am almost fully recovered from my cold! I did spend almost a full 48 hours in a comatose state last weekend, which unfortunately meant I missed work on I'll have some catching up to do...sales target-wise!

By Tuesday I was without a voice....much to the amusement of my menfolk...but had stopped streaming & even ventured out to my Slimming World group! Nothing to report there...I had maintained yet again!! Still, if I didn't go, heaven only knows what size I'd be!!!

Anyway, in a more interesting vein, I received an e-mail from my good friend Karen, telling me that she & Hilary (another scrapping buddy) are planning a trip to Chicago next year & would I like to go to?!!! WOULD I EVER?!!!! I have always listened to Karens accounts of her regular visits to the windy city with her hubby & how she spends her time in 'Archivers' & 'Michaels' while he is in business meetings, drooling with I have coveted her purchases, brought back & pulled out at crops!! So look out Chicago...the three Amigo's are heading your way!!!I have broached the subject to Lee & while he didn't say "Why yes, of course you should go!" he also did not say "No!!" I have to bear in mind that whenever we go, he will be left in charge of the boys & all that entails, so he isn't going to be over enthusiastic!!! I haven't yet told him that I will also be wanting my week in the sun at some point too!!LOL!!!

So....having prepared the way for being allowed to skip my wifely/motherly duties for a week to jet off to the windy city, I now have to turn my attentions to the funding!!

I have always been a bit on the independent side & while I know Lee would not begrudge me a return flight, in view of the change to our household income over the last couple of years (Lee is currently training as a teacher after redundancy) I will not ask!!

The trip is not set to take place till about May next year, so I have set myself the challenge of raising all the necessary funds myself! I am not a regular saver, so am starting from scratch & I have vowed not to involve a credit card either!!! So...wish me luck!!

With this in mind, I set off to a friends house on Wednesday evening.....she was hosting a 'Gold' party! Lately there are advertisements everywhere to sell unwanted gold for cash & I had resisted, thinking them a bit of a rip off! But I felt a little more secure sitting face to face with the dealer across a friends table!!

I gathered together bits & bobs that I have had in the bottom of my jewellery box for over 20 years,(NOT pictured!!!LOL!!) that had no real sentimental value & neither of the boys would want!! There were even a couple of earring backs & a broken chain!! But they weighed in at 30g...all 9ct, along with some unexpected overtime in this months paycheck, I already have 20% of my 'Chicago' fund accounted for!!

After all that excitement I will share with you with a tale which will start me itching as I write!!!!

You will be familiar with my younger son Nathan & may remember a post a little while back about how long his hair is getting......that hair is due to be cut quite short, at his request, during the half term break.

But....last Monday evening, Nathan was having a bath & called me to help rinse out the conditioner. I did this & glancing down, thought "I don't remember him having so many moles on his back"........can you guess where this is leading?!! Yes....Head Lice!!!

He had THOUSANDS of the little blighters...a whole colony that had taken up residence, un-noticed since his last shampoo!! Now look how much hair he's been two years since I've had to deal with an outbreak & then his hair was short! It took me two whole hours of combing & rinsing, drying, treating, re-rinsing & re combing before I was satisfied that I had cleared his head. Then I had to check myself & Lee & Alex!!!! No evidence was found, thank goodness, but I have been itching psychosomaticaly ever since!!

So, while you are all going "Ugh!" & scratching too, I will leave you with my WOYWW photo.....once again a little late, but here is how my desk looked on Wednesday..
The work in progress is my 'Favourite Season' LO for the latest TAAFOMFT challenge, due in by 29 October, so I will hopefully get it done over the weekend!

I'm off to enjoy the start of half term, no alarm call for a whole plan is to complete the decorating of hall/stairs/landing, & to get listing some items for sale on ebay too!! Got to keep that fundraising on the up!!!!!

Friday, 16 October 2009

A code in by dose.....

I have been battling with a head cold since last Sunday......dosing myself up with Beechams Lemsips & hugging my old faithful hot water bottle!I have to admit to fighting a losing battle & today my eyes are watery, my sinuses blocked, my nose is streaming & my throat feels like barbed wire! But hey....... at least it's Friday...I get to sleep in tomorrow if I need to!

The Postie made my day today...he delivered my Prize Kit from Dixie Pieces! The poor man nearly jumped out of his skin, so quickly did I open the front door in response to the doorbell!! I have lovingly stroked each & every item & all that scrappy yumminess is now laid out on my scrapdesk, all ready to play with!
Happy Sigh!!
It is definitely becoming a habit, but I am once again late with WOYWW...this time by two whole days!! is how my desk looked on wednesday....
As you can see, I did manage to finish the one LO I started at the Crafty Stash crop on Saturday, from the class kit designed by MJM.

I used a photo of my Sister Rosemary & I, taken back in 1993 BC (Before Children!!) We used to have regular weekend trips to Paris & in this photo we were at a musical evening in a Bistro......Rosemary decided to have a go with an accordion & much hilarity ensued!!!
The journalling reads "With Rosemary at a musical evening during a winter weekend visit to Paris. Rosemary had never played an accordion before!! I won't say it was the most tuneful of performances ...but what we lacked in musicality we more than made up for in enthusiasm! Fun Times!"

The reason I only worked on one LO at the crop was because we had a tutorial on making paper roses using various sized heart shapes & a brad, which was fabulous, but I was so engrossed I completely forgot the time!! I'm sure the more I do, the quicker I will become....and I will be making more...when I think what I pay for Prima blooms & these are just as effective....I may try using old book pages next,,,& then crepe paper...Oh the possibilities!!
I was so pleased to catch up with my good friend Donna this week, she sent me a very pointed email, addressed to 'My long lost friend'....I have to plead guilty...we live so close to one another, but I have been very remiss in not popping round to see her! It was good to catch up & hear what's been going on in her life! I know she pops in here, so {{hugs}} Donna, thanks for the prod & lets get together again soon!

We went to the cinema to see 'Couples Retreat' - a great cast, lots of laughs & a fabulous location...I want to go there! Not for the counselling...just the beach!!

So .....I'm off for another Lemsip...then I may refill my hot-water-bottle (or better still get someone to do it for me!!) & veg out on the sofa in front of the TV!! Have a great weekend all!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Favourite time of day & other ramblings!....

I had a fabulous time at the crop on Saturday....there were three projects in the class kit, but I have to admit to not even fully completing the first one!! Part of it was a tutorial on making 'shabby chic' paper roses...I made three & love how they look, but for me, as a notoriously slow scrapper, they took most of the morning!! I still have to add a title & some journalling to that LO, but I will share it as soon as I do!!

Here we are again!....tomorrow is the deadline for the 'A Few of My Favourite Things' challenge! (In by the skin of my teeth yet again!!) This time it was my favourite time of day....I had to think about this!.......was it early morning & the stillness before the days hubbub begins?....or our evening coffee time, once the boys are in bed? I finally decided on Bath-time....which is truly ME time!!
The journalling reads: "Whatever the day may throw at me, a soak in a hot tub will usually dissolve all my stresses away! Sometimes by candlelight, sometimes with soothing music, sometimes with a good book...........but always with bubbles!!"

I have to tell you that my darling husband raised his eyebrow quizzically when I asked him to take a photo of me in the bath!!....&
must admit it's not something I ever thought I'd be doing a LO about!! It was very gratifying to use those blue dome stickers & that little yellow duck, both of which have been in my stash for literally years!!

In my last post I mentioned another blessing I had to share, well it was a wonderful 'Honest Scrap' award, passed on to me by Jocelyn.I am a keen follower of Jocelyns blog, she is the master of positivity & posts a weekly 'Happy List' which is such a pleasure to read. She has been going through some challenging times recently & yet she is always so 'up' & ready to share a kind thought or word.

Now, how this award works is I say a big THANK YOU to Jocelyn (why not pop over to her blog & check it out for yourselves?) & then I have to list 10 honest things about me & pass it on to friends who's blogs I follow & enjoy. So.....and this has taken some soul is my 'Honest List'!!!

1. I am a procrastinator!! Big time!! I will always delay the things I the ironing &
this is so silly, because when I've done it I feel so good!!
2. If willpower were a tangible substance, mine would not fill a thimble!!

3. I need a lot of sleep! Without it I become a short tempered grouch!
4. I am not ambitious...I just want to be happy!!
5. I cry at the movies, TV shows, News many things tug at my heart!
6. I have spent the last 10 years trying to achieve my goal weight! day!
7. I can be a very lazy 'LEO'.....but I do have regular bouts of highly motivated activity!!
8. If it has chocolate on it I am a fallen woman!
9. I worry about the state of the world & how it will be for my boys in the years to come.
10. I own far too many pairs of shoes!!

So, with that done, I pass this award on to



Remember to copy & paste the award picture for your blog, link back here & pass on to your favourite bloggers......I look forward to reading all your 'Honest Lists' too!!

Now, it's time for what is becoming a weekly movie review!! This Sunday we saw 'Love Happens' starring Jennifer Aniston & Aaron Eckhart....fabulous!! I went into this one expecting your usual sugar coated chic flick!! How wrong I was poignant & moving, I cried in more than one place as well as laughing out loud in others...Aaron Eckhart is just too gorgeous & his smile ought to carry a 'swoon' warning.....Great film....Highly Recommended!!

On Friday, as we arrived home from the school run, our house & those of our neighbours looked like a scene out of Alfred Hitchcocks 'The Birds'....there were thousands of starlings, both on the roofs & flying about in tumbling swirls. The noise was alarmingly loud!!

Now I know we always have food for the birds in our garden, but quite why they chose this area as a meeting point I do not know! They were obviously preparing to set off for warmer climes for the now I look forward to seeing the Robins & other winter birds visiting our bird feeders.

To round off this very lengthy post....(and thank you if you've made it this far!!) I would like to share last nights sunset with you...I went to pull down Alex's bedroom blind & it quite took my breath away, it was just too beautiful & has fulfilled it's promise of a lovely sunny day today too...cold!...but sunny!!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

So many blessings.....

So where to begin?!!! I suppose at the beginning!!

Monday morning on the school run & we can really see the leaves changing colour as Autumn takes hold...The road between our village & the next is like a tunnel of green, gold & red...just beautiful!

On Tuesday I travelled up to London for a days training at head office. Christmas, as you can imagine, is the busiest time of year in retail, especially within the beauty industry, so the focus was on all things seasonal! We were given our Christmas gifts from the company to take home with us.....A gorgeous 'Juicy Couture' fragrance gift set,,,how cool is that!!Having left home at just after 7am, and arriving home just before 7pm, I was exhausted! I logged on to check emails etc, to find that I had been lucky enough to win the September Challenge Prize on Dixie Pieces!!! Suddenly I didn't feel quite so exhausted any more!! The prize was my choice of a past Dixie Pieces kit & I chose this one....'Spring Nonsense'I shall be watching for Postie with a keen eye from here on in!! It was a tough decision as there are so many gorgeous past Dixie Pieces kits to choose from!!

One more unexpected blessing came when I went along to a Bingo session, yesterday evening, with two friends...we had each received vouchers for a free nights Bingo, without knowing that the others had! When it came to light, we made an impromptu decision to go along.... & guess what?.......We won!...not one, but two prizes!! It was so exciting!!

There is one more blessing I have recieved this week, but I'll share that with you next requires some thought on my part!!

I am, yet again, a day behind on WOYWW!! This is how my desk looked yesterday, just a few bits & bobs I'm preparing for a journal!!

Finally, my good friend Karen is dipping her toe into the world of blogging! She isn't finding it easy so far!! She is a gifted scrapbooker & such a fun person to spend time with, I just know that when she's up & running her blog will be as entertaining & inspirational as she is!! So why not pop over & say 'Hi' & leave her a few words of encouragement!!

Monday, 5 October 2009

He did it again!...

Friday was a total break from routine as Alex's school was closed for teacher training, so I had him home with me all day, much to his brothers annoyance!! He announced that he didn't want to sleep in, but get up as usual to maximise his 'free' time!! I think he had plans to spend the entire day in front of the X-Box!! Well, on that we differed, and it could have been a potential flash point, but there is more than one way to skin a cat!!! Had I gone in all guns blazing, forbidding a full day of gaming, we would have come to verbal blows!!!

So, as he had enjoyed his DT project so much last week, I suggested we did some baking together. I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly he agreed & how much enthusiasm he had! I have to say this took me waaay back to when he was a tot & had to stand on a chair to reach the counter top to help stir the mix for cupcakes!! Now he's almost as tall as me & just got on with it by himself!! I had to resist the urge to clean up around him...that was sooo hard!!!!....but in spite of him being covered in flour & our feet sticking to the floor, the end result was wonderful!!

While it was cooling I sent him off to change & I finally cleaned up the kitchen!! After he'd glazed & drizzled it we stood back to admire his handiwork......we resisted the urge to taste until after Dad & Nathan got home...& it was D-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!!! You will be pleased to hear that I limited myself to just the one piece!!

As usual, after work on Sunday, I met Amanda for our cinema night...this week we saw 'The Invention Of Lying'...which was released on Friday. I love Ricky Gervais, he is so clever in the way he takes the every day & makes it hilarious. The concept of a world where everyone tells the truth all the time just has so many opportunities for comedy & he exploits them all! Amanda & I were laughing so hard at one particular line, we missed the following 10 minutes of the film!!!

When we came out of the cinema we were greeted by an amazing sky! I tried to capture it with my little 'point & press' camera, but I really didn't do it justice! The sky was black & clear except for one wide strip of 'speckled' cloud, through which the moon was was all gold & bronze & unlike any sky I've seen before. I'm sure there's some explanation for it, but nature never fails to amaze me!
Not much in the way of creativity to share this time, but I did 'do' the cover of the album that I bought to store my 'Favourite Things' LO's.I have been working on Shimelles LSNED project, but have nothing completed to show just yet! This coming Saturday is the monthly Crafty Stash crop that I attend...this one promises to be fabulous...I'll share the results next week!

For anyone at a loose end for some inspiration in October, may I suggest you pop on over to Dixie Pieces. Tammy is running a 'Summers wave goodbye' class. It's FREE & registration is open now...... it starts on 19th October & runs for a week with a lesson each day. Tammy 's work is an inspiration & this class will include making your own embellishments, amongst other things!!

Thursday, 1 October 2009


I have known my Darling Husband for 32 years....and we have been married for 23 of those! To say he knows me well is an understatement! He has the uncanny knack of being able to read my mind!

I remember one particular instance when we were living in Milton Keynes & we had a falling out over something very trivial.....I flounced out of the flat (as you do!!), jumped into my car & drove off to the lake, where I stomped around the lakeside in temper!! Now, from the flat, Lee could not have seen in which direction I had driven off, and there were any one of a dozen places I could have made for, but when I returned to my car, there he was, waiting patiently to give me a hug!! How did he know?!

Over the years there have been many times when I've thought of something I've needed from Tesco's & he's arrived home from work having stopped off to pick up that item!! Or there's been something I forgot to ask him & the phone has rung...& yes you've guessed, it it was him!!

Well, last night I stayed up past my bedtime as I became engrossed in a movie that Lee was watching on TV, and it was almost midnight before we got into bed. Now I should explain that in our household, we have a tradition of shouting 'White Rabbits' on the first of the month - don't ask me why - we just do!!! I had glanced at the clock & wondered if, as it was nearly midnight, whether I should shout 'White Rabbits' or wait till the morning...when Lee said, out of the blue "you know, they were talking about white Rabbits on TV earlier tonight"....spooky or what?!! Sometimes I feel as if I live in the twilight zone!!

As you know, I have a habit of counting my blessings on a daily basis & today we were presented with a lovely one!! Alex came home from school proudly carrying his latest DT project...a loaf of raisin bread! He struggles with DT as he panics about sharp objects & hot ovens, so to be told that from weighing out ingredients, mixing, kneading, shaping, glazing & putting in & getting out of the oven, he had done it all by himself...well, I was almost bursting with pride!! It was absolutely delicious too & we enjoyed it, still warm & buttered with a cup of tea!! Diet? What Diet?!!!!!!

Which brings me to this weeks weigh in!!! I have to report, in some dismay, that the scales showed a 1lb gain this week!! Aaaargh!! That night at the Thai must have been even more calorie laden than I had supposed!! Ah well - it is a new week & so far so good....I may have to try a few 'Red' days to give me a boost before next weeks weigh in!!!

Once again I am a day late with my WOYWW photo this week - but I did take the picture yesterday & here was how it looked!!

As it was the end of the month I have no challenges in progress, but I was pulling together all the bits & bobs needed to work on Shimelles 'LSNED' project. This has been running all through September & I have been keeping notes daily, but have yet to start constructing anything!! That's the good thing about Shimelles classes - they are always stress free & you can go at your own pace!

Finally, those eagle eyed among you may have noticed the change in the layout of my blog! I have often wondered how to go about setting up a 3 column template & lo & behold, on the TAAFOMFT blog, Julie had placed a link to another amazing blog, Three Column Blogger , which gives stunningly simple instructions on how to do just that!! I did!!! Hope you like how it looks!