Monday, 30 November 2009

And So It Begins……….

Tomorrow is the first of December & in the Robinson household the countdown to Christmas begins!  While our tree & lights don’t go up until next week, tonight I have put out the Advent Calendar…

…which I stitched for Alex’s first Christmas in 1996, it’s pockets suitably stuffed with chocolate treats…this year I bought exactly 48 (1 per boy per day!) so that I couldn’t be tempted to eat the extra’s myself!!

…and our countdown Santa, with his chalkboard!


He sits in the hallway & the boys take turns each morning to change the number & I’m glad to say that with each passing year the numbers are becoming more & more legible!!

I always feel the excitement of Christmas afresh…& this week will be industrious, giving the house a deep clean before the tree & decorations go up, as well as wrapping gifts already bought to place beneath the tree next week!

Out comes the CD of carols which will play while I write the cards to send greetings worldwide & we are looking forward to singing along to the ‘Sleeps till Santa’ song on Heart FM as we drive to school each day from tomorrow!! 

Tomorrow is also the first day of Shimelle’s ‘Journal Your Christmas’ on-line class…I did this last year & only managed to get to day 7!!  So… I am hoping to get a bit further along this year! I’ll keep you posted as to how I get on!! 

Apart from my good friend Karen, who is so well prepared, it’s scary!! Is anyone else taking part this year? If so, please leave me a link to your blog so that I can pop over & check out your journal entries…

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Oh! How I loved the 80’s……

The latest challenge for TAAFOMFT was a LO to record my favourite decade. Without doubt my favourite has to be the 1980’s! I loved everything…..the music…..the movies…..the fashion! I loved Big hair…Big earrings…..Big shoulder pads!! I loved the glamour of the new romantics…Spandeau Ballet…Boy George….Madonna!

We sweated it out to ‘feel the burn’ with Jane Fonda & I tasted my first McDonalds!! Sony Walkmans meant we could listen to mobile music & we didn’t even go out until the latest episode of Dallas or Dynasty was finished & then we danced in the clubs till 2am!

In the 80’s I turned 21….left home at 23… married at 26! I joined Elizabeth Arden in ‘84 & spent several fabulous years working in Harrods, Selfridges & in Bond Street. I loved the whole dressing up thing….even in jeans we looked glam!!

So, I thoroughly enjoyed putting this LO together & reliving ‘My Era’…….

80'sresize The photo’s of me are from the years stated alongside……

Thanks for dropping by….why not pop over to TAAFOMFT & check out all the other entries in the gallery….such a great source of inspiration!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

About a boy!…..

Yesterday we attended a meeting at Alex’s school to review how he is settling in! For ourselves we have been pleasantly surprised that the transition from middle to upper school has gone relatively smoothly….given Alex’s ADHD/Aspergers Syndrome issues, not forgetting his Diabetes management!


After four very successful years at middle school, where the teaching staff were so supportive, we worried that in a school of six times the size he might get lost in the system & would regress before moving forward again.

BUT…….the SENCO at school reported that they too have been so pleased with how he has adapted & while he still has full time 1:1 support & still has issues entering certain classes, he is making progress.

Today he has gone into school with a mini-laptop to use for his work as we all agreed that actually putting pen to paper is a real stumbling block for him! he is such an intelligent boy, but needs constant motivation!! It is so scary that in a few months time he will be having to choose the subjects that will affect his future so much!! But hey!… least we are reassured that for now he is doing better than we all expected & we can all continue working towards increasing his levels of independence!

Last night I set off to my good friend Karen’s house……she was hosting a gold party with the same dealer as we saw at another friends house a little while back…..I had dug out a few more pieces that I just don’t wear & would not pass on. These ‘parties’ are such fun…..finding out what everyone is selling & then how much money they get!! So….my Chicago fund is due another boost this month…Yay!!!!

To finish today……I forgot to share my thoughts on the ‘end of the world’ disaster movie that is 2012!!!  I went along prepared to be terrified…….and it was hilarious!! OK, I will admit that the special effects are great, but it is just soooo unbelievable, which wasn’t what I expected! I did enjoy it though & laughed out loud so many times at the corny one liners & especially at the cameo appearance of Her Majesty, complete with corgi’s…..or maybe that was just a lookalike?!!

So, wishing you all a good weekend…..I’m off into the attic now, to sort out the Christmas decorations & some toddler Toys to list on ebay!!  I may be some time!! 


Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Mission accomplished…..

FFresize Today I headed off to the gym…..with a goal in mind! Wednesday is my swim & sauna day & you may remember that  last week I managed six lengths of the pool……you may also remember that I planned to do eight this week. Well I am pleased to report that I did in fact complete those eight lengths & then spent ten minutes in the sauna, before getting back in the pool to complete another four!! So, having doubled last weeks achievement I am feeling really smug!!
If I may take a step back in time, I would like to share the highlights of my  weekend with you……On Friday evening, Nathan & I queued for what seemed an age to get in to see the new ‘Twilight’ series movie ‘New Moon’. I stumbled upon the first one by accident & enjoyed it thoroughly…I have never read any of the books so was surprised at how popular the whole thing is. Nathan at age 10 loved every minute of it…so did I, but maybe for different reasons!….Please see below!!!!


Now that’s what I call eye-candy!!!!  The transformation from pretty boy to this gorgeous hunk certainly grabbed my attention…werewolf or no werewolf!!

I don’t remember many eighteen year olds looking like that when I was a teenager, they were mainly spotty oiks with  greasy hair & no style….well it was the seventies so style was a scarce commodity!!


On Saturday I spent a wonderful few hours with my friend Amanda, mooching around Camden Lock. 

I had not visited Camden since before the boys were born, so there were many changes…the Stables is a fabulous development which has been beautifully adapted to house an indoor/outdoor market with gorgeous life size bronze horses randomly placed around the original stalls, which themselves house stalls of a different kind!

I could have spent a fortune in the craft market & the retro stores where I found many vintage pieces that I remember using daily in my childhood home!!…how old did that make me feel!

We ate lunch ‘al fresco’ & prayed that the pigeons were tired of target practice…but no….I was hit fair & square!! Ah well….it is supposed to bring good luck!! I made one purchase only…a pair of Vans skateboard shoes for Nathan, I am hoping he will be pleasantly surprised for Christmas!!


Love_Ya_Award1Finally……..I had a lovely award passed onto me by Jocelyn………so a big ‘Thank You’ to her & do pop over to her blog…it has a real feel good factor! I would like to pass this award onto Karen, Anna, Valerie, Mary & Lisa.

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

OK…Let’s see how this works!…..

So, here I am, trying out ‘Live Writer’ for the first time….just to see how it works!  I will keep this post short & simple & if all goes well, will try again in more detail with my next post!

I had my weekly weigh in this morning & AT LAST have reached my first milestone & earned my first ‘Half Stone’ lost award!!


So….I’m on track for my 1st Stone lost award by Christmas…I just need to stay focussed & avoid ANYTHING coated in chocolate!!

Well, that wasn’t too difficult!  I just need to get to grips with Picassa & this ol’ Blog could have a whole new look!!!!!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Bad Hair Day?.....

Do you, like me, have the occasional (?!?!) 'Bad Hair Day'?...Those days when you look in the mirror & think "Why do I bother?".....When all you see are those gorgeous celebrities looking 100% every time they appear!! I have a fridge magnet that sums up those days Say's 'Some days are just a waste of good make-up!'

But....if you do, then take are some photo's I recently received in an e-mail which give me reassurance that the benchmark isn't as high as we may think!!!!

So you see....even the immortals have an 'Off' day!! Enjoy!!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Done & Dusted.....

This week has found me sweating & breathless in the company of a young man half my one point I was flat on the floor while he knelt between my knees & bent my legs at angles I would not have thought possible!...of course I am referring to Nick, my personal trainer at the gym.....& the leg bending?...that was advanced ham string stretching!!

I am sooo enjoying my thrice weekly trips into that temple to fitness....sadly my introductory sessions with Nick are now over & I can now only afford to book him for a half hour every other Friday (or dip into the Chicago think not!!) so am having to rely on my own motivation between times!! Yesterday I swam & sauna'd...absolute bliss...I am not a strong swimmer but achieved six lengths of the pool & plan to increase that by two each week.

Saturday was spent with like minded company at the Crafty Stash crop......the kit was for two LO's designed by Heidi Kelley. I only completed the first as the second was just too 'busy' for my taste.....but can't please all of the people all of the time!! I did make a start on a second LO using the leftover bits but it's not yet finished! Anyway here's my take on the first LO

At last I can share with you the results of my DIY efforts!! Although these took three times as long as planned to complete, I am very happy with my achievements! On Sunday I finally put everything from the hall back in it's feels good to have completed the job & here are a few 'before & after' photo's

I am pleased with the final colour on the walls & it was well worth all the extra effort or painting over my original too-yellow choice!

My 'Parasol' plant is happy to be back in it's usual place, but I'm amazed that even with a short stay in the lounge it's leaves have already 'turned' to a different position & there is now a gap where there wasn't one before!

Most of the artwork on our walls has been created by family & friends........while putting it all back up I thought about how I don't really 'see' it anymore! Do you do that?...become so familiar with things that you don't notice them? So, as I cleaned them all I tried to see them afresh & appreciate the work that went into them. This piece of calligraphy was from my Mum-in-Law shortly after I became a Mum for the first time...her way of telling me not to stress about the housework & miss out on enjoying right she was!

On Tuesday evening I went with friends Karen, Hilary & Linda to see 'Bright Star'....Linda's son Ben had the lead role of John Keates, the poet. I love historical drama's, especially true stories, they always bring home just how tough things were in history & how much we take for granted today.
After the movie, we went to Prezzo's & spent a thoroughly enjoyable time putting the world to rights! I know I've said it before but how valuable is quality time spent with good friends?

Finally, just to share Alex's culinary creation with you...this time an apple strudel! Even though I haven't fallen from the 'Slimming World' wagon once. in over two weeks now, I did allow myself a weeny slice & it was delicious!! He really does have a talent...not sure where he gets that from though!!!

I'm off now to check out Picassa...I've had it from two sources that it's the place to go to get creative with my photo editing!!

Hope you are all having a good week ......Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Blonde Moment?!!.....

Duh!!! I signed off my last post saying I'd be back on Sunday.....completely forgetting that I need to post my TAAFOMFT LO here to be able to link it to there!! It must be all the paint fumes I've been inhaling lately....or maybe not!!

Anyhow....the challenge this time was 'My Favourite Vacation' & while I have a few holiday destinations that I love & could be my personal favourite, usually involving a beach & as few buildings as possible, the one holiday that stands out as the most memorable was in fact our Honeymoon to Amsterdam, with not a beach in sight!!!
My Darling Hubby is so not a beach person, so the choice of a city break for our Honeymoon was a no-brainer! Neither of us had ever been to Amsterdam, so that's where we headed & it was an amazing week. Buoyed up by newly wedded bliss, we went everywhere & did everything on the tourist agenda.

Anne Franks house was poignant, the diamond factory dazzling, the flower markets intoxicating, the red light district fascinating & the shopping fantastic....De Bijenkorf became a favourite haunt! We ate at the most amazing restaurants & drank in the 'Brown Bars'.....we rode the trams as well as boats along the canals & needless to say we both came home with a pair of wooden clogs!! I just can't believe it was all 23 years ago!!!

So, with that done I will go back to restoring order to my house & I will indeed be back on Sunday!!!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Remember, Remember......

Today is Armistice day......a time to reflect & pay respects to those who have given their lives in combat. The first Armistice day was in 1919, on the first anniversary of the end of WW1..... it was decreed that the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month would mark the moment when two minutes of silence would be observed, to pay respectful rememberance to those who gave their lives to ensure that the remainder could retain their freedom.It always strikes me as quite ironic that 90 years later we are also remembering millions of others who have died in battle since the 'War To End All Wars' came to a close. The fact that we have lost so many brave souls to war in more recent months makes this year even more poignant. So I would like to say "Thank You" to all our Heroes who continue to fight to preserve our way of life......may God keep them safe.

Also this week we have had Bonfire Night....another time to remember! This time the failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament by a 17th century terrorist, Guy Fawkes. "Remember Remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder, Treason & Plot
I see no reason why Gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!"

Mr Fawkes & his fellow plotters were fired by religion & politics......some things never change!! This year we celebrated at Nathan's school, who hold an annual fireworks display on the Saturday closest to the 5th. This years offering was out of this world...absolutely stunning, but I can never watch without thinking of the amount of money that has just gone up in smoke!!

OK! what else has been happening in the Robinson household?.....Alex has had his Swine Flu vaccination & it gave him less bother than his normal winter flu jab two weeks ago......with cases of Swine Flu on the increase, I feel happier knowing he has had it.

This Sundays movie was 'A Christmas Carol' 3D!! It's an amazing computer generated animation with Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman & Bob Hoskins, to name but a few, providing the voices.It is a true adaptation of the Dickens novel, without sugar coating, so not really one for the little'uns!! We enjoyed it though & I came out feeling well on the way to the festive season!!

The DIY is still ongoing, but the end is in sight! Today I have gloss painted a bookshelf & radiator cover & half done a second coat of the new emulsion downstairs!! It will feel sooo good to get everything back in it's proper place......planned for Friday!

I have had no scrapping time for two whole weeks! My scrap room is swathed in dust sheets & has been seconded as a painting area! It is also crammed with bits & bobs moved out of the desk, likewise, is a bit of a dumping ground.......hence this awful photo for WOYWW!!
However, tomorrow, after my gym visit, I am planning some scrapping time to complete a LO for the current TAAFOMFT challenge 'My Favourite Vacation'. It may take a little time to clear the decks first, but it will feel really good!!

To round off the week it's the Crafty Stash monthly crop at Tempsford on Saturday.....Yay! I need to sort out my photo's for that too! So with my next Personal Trainer session booked for Friday morning, Shimelles prompts to catch up on & DIY still to complete I will be kept well out of mischief for the next few days at least!!

I hope to be back with pics of my completed DIY project & some creativity to share on Sunday! Thanks for dropping by & I wish you all the rest of a good week!

Monday, 9 November 2009


Just thought I'd pop in to explain my absence since my last post a whole week ago! I have been living life as it was before PC!! Before I became addicted to logging on at least once every day! The first couple of days I had withdrawal symptoms but once I got past that I have had a very full & productive week!! It just proves how much time I 'lose' when I'm blog hopping & surfing!! So what have I been doing with all my 'reclaimed' time?.....

I seem to have spent most of it halfway up a ladder or ferrying between Homebase & home! After completing the wallpapering of the feature wall, I started to feel unsure about the colour of the paint already applied (in two coats) to every other wall in my hall & landing! It just looked too yellow!! I had put together a 'mood board' when deciding on colours, but it seemed different seeing it all on the walls, somehow!

Anyhow, after deciding a change was in order I called into Homebase on Tuesday morning, wallpaper sample in hand, to search out a new shade of paint. A young man (why do they all seem so young these days?!) called Andy, was very helpful & scanned the gold in my sample & mixed up a sample pot which looked good. Off home I went to paint a large square of this new shade next to the papered wall & it was PERFECT!!

So, before the school pick up I went back to Homebase to buy a 5 litre can of paint! Andy mixed it & showed me before putting on the lid. I commented that it looked different, but he reassured me that it was because it was a different base type (Endurance matt instead of standard matt) & would be OK on the wall when dry. Once again I shimmied up my ladder & painted a square next to the sample square & it was soooo not a match!! I left it to dry for 2 hours & still it looked wrong...sort of a greenish putty colour with no warmth at all! Once more I pootled off to Homebase, to find that the Andy had left for the day & no-one else had a clue why the paint wasn't the same colour!! Aaaargh!! So I took a refund & called it a day.

On Wednesday morning I called into our other branch of Homebase, again with my wallpaper sample, & another very nice young man (!!) called Nathan, tried to match my sample pot, scanning & mixing three lots before we agreed that one was almost a match. I went home &....yes you've guessed it...added another square to my patchwork wall & hey...while not a perfect match it was damn close, just a shade lighter but with the right amount of warmth! So, in a final call into Homebase, I picked up sufficient of this new mix to complete the job & this is what I seem to have been doing in every spare moment, ever since!!

Apart from that....wait for it.....I have rejoined the GYM!!!!! I felt that I needed some desperate action to kick start my goal to shed this blubber. So Hubby offered a years membership as my Christmas present, to start now...& I have had two sessions this week with a personal trainer! Again a very nice young man (!!!) called Nick, who has set up a programme to ease me back into the world of normal fitness levels with the minimum of required co-ordination!! So, reaching that 10% weight loss before Christmas once again looks achievable!!!

Anyhow....apologies for the absence of pictures today...I'm off to catch up with my backlog of 186 emails & check through Shimelles prompts to date! I hope to have more to share with you before the weekend!!!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Another Haircut, Pumpkins & This is it......

Well, Half Term is almost over! Alex returned to school today & Nathan is back tomorrow. The last few days I have been focusing on DIY...although I have to admit to running over schedule on the wallpapering!! I will unveil the end result before the weekend, all things being equal!!

But what else has transpired since my last post?!!...Well, haircuts seem to be the order of the day in the Robinson household!! Following last Mondays shearing of Nathans tresses, I myself, set off for the salon on Friday afternoon....intending the usual assistance with maintaining my once natural blondeness & a trim....but succumbing to the capable scissor skills of Elena!!I came away with a 'swingy' bob at just below chin length!!
I must admit that this feels a little bit like 'coming home' for me, as this was how I always wore my hair up until about 5 years ago, when in the grip of 40-something crisis I decided it was now or never if I wanted to experience long hair before it became non-viable! So, been there, done that, and was getting bored of always tying it back or having to use the straighteners, so....anyone need a drawer full of scrunchies & hair clips?!!!

Saturday dawned bright, if a little damp & I wondered if Halloween may prove a wash-out, but happily it remained dry enough for us to deck our porch with all of the usual paraphernalia required to advertise our house as 'Trick or Treat' friendly!

Alex had decided that this year he might be a little too big to go out with Nathan (who was joining his friend Josh & Josh's Dad) and to stay at home, in costume to hand out the treats instead. However, by the time Nathan & Josh came back to knock on our door, he abandoned his duties to us & set off for the remainder of the route with some catching up to do!!

We had some wonderful callers, little mites as Pumpkin Fairies, Bats & Witches & even a three year old Grim Reaper!!! I love it when they spot my hubby, who works as a Teaching Assistant in the village school, & we get a chorus of 'Hello Mr Robinson' in that slow chanting way five year olds have!!

Anyhow, both boys finally made it home....Treat bags bursting with more candy & chocolate than you could shake a stick at, fully intending a record breaking attempt at consuming as much as possible in
one sitting! I have to own up to being a spoilsport & rationing the haul....while dipping in for a few bits for Lee & I to indulge in while settling down to watch X-Factor!!

All in all, a very good Halloween....& in between all that I managed to carry on with the emulsioning in the hall, gloss paint the radiator covers & a bookcase, as well as spraying the radiator cover grilles with metallic paint!!

After work on Sunday, Amanda & I had our weekly cinema visit.....this time we managed to see the Michael Jackson movie 'This is It'. I had anticipated, that as we had not pre-booked tickets,
we would have difficulty getting to see it. But I was so surprised to find that when we settled into our seats that there were no more that two dozen people in the audience!! Maybe it was the 6.30pm start time that wasn't popular? But I had truly expected it to be a sell out.I enjoyed watching MJ performing with all the old magic, but I felt close to tears the whole time. It is so hard to accept that he is no longer with us. In the film, he looks so relaxed & happy......there is no sign of the torment of drugs or pain. I know it will have been sensitively edited, but he was so obviously enjoying himself, doing what only he could. His voice sounded wonderful & the dancing was just amazing.... the show, had it gone on, would have truly been spectacular.....such a sad, sad loss.

Anyhow, today saw the start of Shimelles 'Blogging For Scrapbookers' on-line course. I have been busy with the wallpaper so have not yet had a chance to check out todays prompt, but have popped in on my good friend Karens blog & BOY!!! Has she made some changes!! Pop over & check it out for yourself!

Thanks for dropping by xx