Saturday, 27 November 2010

No better time to count my blessings!…

It’s been twelve days since I last blogged & what a roller coaster it has been!!

On the negative side, we were without internet connection for five whole days!! (Eeek!)'…my car died unexpectedly & needed a new alternator (£500…double Eeek!)…& on what was forecast to be the coldest night of the year, the fan on our gas central heating broke, leaving us with no heating or hot water…luckily It was fixed within 24hours (£350…triple Eeek!!!) So it looks like beans on toast for Christmas dinner this year!!



On the positive…I lost 5lbs in my first two weeks on the new Weight Watchers Pro-Points programme…I got to see the new Harry Potter movie at it’s first showing in Bedford at 9.30am on Friday 19th…& being housebound & with no internet access proved to be the catalyst for my getting loads of DIY jobs done…I have wallpapered & painted two rooms this week!!!



I do have quite a backlog of creativity to share, but I’ll save most of that till next time.

Nov27 2010 012What I would like to share is the ‘special’ challenge currently running over at ‘These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things’ which involves making Thank You cards to send to two very worthwhile causes. I made these two cards & am sending one to each. Full details can be found HERE, & there’s still a little time left if you want to take part, both stories are very moving & really made me stop & count my blessings in spite of all our recent challenges!

That’s it from me for now, I hope all of my UK visitors are keeping warm & not snowed in…I can’t believe it’s going to get worse before it gets better!!! For my US visitors, I hope you’re all enjoying your Thanksgiving weekend!! I’ll be catching up with my blog visits soon & all things being equal, it certainly won’t be twelve days before my next post….

To everyone…Thanks for stopping by & do come back soon! :)

Monday, 15 November 2010

It wasn’t meant to be all about food!…but…

This week I went along to my Weight Watchers meeting to learn all about the new ‘Pro-Points’ programme!  Nov152010 020Quite a lot has changed, but it’s still the same old principal…Eat the ‘right’ food in appropriate quantities, move more & lose weight! It’s the first one I have an issue with!! BUT…having to focus more on the new programme has meant that this far (six days in!) I have had a text book week & have definitely not gone hungry at all!

It all comes down to the planning, which stops me reaching for convenience foods!  This week we have enjoyed a curry, pasta arrabiatta, homemade soup & even a roast…with pudding!

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The pudding started out as a basic apple crumble, but then I discovered I had some Blueberries in the freezer & threw them in as well!  It was a lovely juicy combination!!

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Nathan had a DT class this week… the recipe they sent home was for ‘Aubergine Muffins’?!!! Well, we don’t do Aubergines!!! So I sent him in with carrots instead!…& very nice they turned out too…all cheesy & soft…& 9 ‘Pro-Points’ each!!! So I only had the one!


Nov152010 029 I’m sorry Mel…I had my first mince pie this week too! (7 ‘Pro-Points’!!) Well, Tesco had this amazing offer of ‘Buy One Get TWO Free’ on Mr Kipling mince pies, which meant they turned out at 50p per box of six, so I stocked up!! I couldn’t bake them myself for that price!!

Nov152010 024 On the ‘Move More’ side….I saw this flyer & decided I’d give it a try!  Years ago I used to do an Aerobics class at least twice a week & thought that this must be similar! Accompanied by my good friend Kali, I set off on Thursday evening in loose comfy clothing (no Lycra for me these days!!) to see what it was all about!

Well…the hall was full! Ages ranged from low teens to eighties, there were male & female, skinny & extremely large bodies & the class was taken by Tony…a very cute black guy with a body to die for & Boy! could he move!

It was such FUN!!! I was beetroot red before the warm up was finished…I guzzled my way through a whole litre of water in the hour that we danced!…& I mean danced!!!  We Salsa’d, we belly danced, we reggae’d, we jived, we calypso’d  & even did ‘Zorba the Greek’…double time!!  I will admit to fluffing the steps repeatedly & collapsing with giggles once or twice!  But…I did not stop! In spite of being completely breathless & drenched in perspiration at the end…it was a whole hour of thorough enjoyment & I would recommend it to everyone!!

On Saturday I went along to a workshop at ‘Crafting Time’ in Shepreth. Hilary was there & it was lovely to meet Denise in the flesh too!

Nov152010 001Marie took the class & we all created a lovely ‘7 Gypsies’ book using all sorts of different techniques.Nov152010 003 


I’m not a ‘messy’ person by nature so some things went against the grain, but I got stuck in & am very pleased with my end result!!

Nov152010 002We learned how to ‘book bind’ using the stitching technique, which was a bit fiddly, but it gives such a neat & professional result. Time didn’t allow me to do the ‘waxing’ of the book cover bit, but I’ll be finishing mine off at Thursday evening crop (Thanks again Marie!) so I’ll share it with you in my next post!

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Finally, something to make you smile! While I was unpacking Nathans unused DT ingredients, I left the empty bag on the table. I heard a rustling & I turned around to find the cat had made himself very comfortable in said bag & he stayed there, watching me bustling around the kitchen until I had to turf him out to be able to lay the table for dinner!!  I do enjoy his visits!!

So that’s it for now! I have completed my first LO for my first ‘From Screen To Scrap’ DT  submission, but I can’t share any more on that with you until it’s ‘up’ over there…suffice to say it was great fun to do & please do check out the challenge for yourself in December!! The submissions for Novembers ‘Casablanca’' Challenge are looking good too!

Thanks for taking the time to drop by! Wishing you all a great week! :)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Scrapping, Sorting, Sparklers & Scooters!…

Here we are…another week closer to Christmas!!…I’m allowed to use the ‘C’ word now that Guy Fawkes night is done & dusted!!

This week saw some very enjoyable scrapping time at the  ‘Crafting Time’ crop in Shepreth on Thursday.  A whole evening to catch up with Karen, Ann & Hilary & all the exciting & highly entertaining stories they had to share!  I must admit my scrappy mojo was noticeably absent & I struggled to actually complete the LO I had taken along to work on, but did in the end!

Oh Crumbs!   
Do you ever look at your scrap supplies & just draw a blank? I usually have a flash of inspiration as soon as I see a particular photo or embellishment & really hate those times when nothing speaks to me.  Thankfully, Ann had her ‘Page Maps’ book to hand & although my LO ended up looking nothing like the sketch I chose, at least it got me started! Thanks Ann!

I’m really looking forward to this coming Saturday when Hilary & I are attending a ‘7 Gypsies’ mini book workshop at ‘Crafting Time’ so all I have to think about is which photo’s I want to use!!

I did receive a rather fabulous email this week!  The lovely Shazza has invited me to join the Design Team over at ‘From Screen 2 Scrap’!  This is a challenge blog which has monthly challenges inspired by movie posters & some awesome prizes to boot!!  I recommend you pop over the there & check out some of the inspiring work submitted & maybe even take part yourself! 

Casablanca-MoviePoster Novembers challenge poster is ‘Casablanca’ & offers all sorts of possibilities for interpretation!!  There are also ‘added criteria’ which if included can earn up to an extra six points!

My DT position starts in December, so I can’t share my December LO until it’s ‘up’ over there, but I am loving the poster chosen for Decembers challenge!!

What a great idea for a challenge blog this is, especially for an ardent cinema-goer like me!!! I do hope you’ll check it out!

Nov06 2010 008 While I was trying to pull out photo’s to use for my latest LO’s I decided to rummage through my non-digital picture library, housed in numerous Ikea file boxes & even some in a mish-mash of albums!  This led to my deciding that they were so mixed up that they needed to be sorted properly…resulting in everything being laid out across our bed & a dozen sea grass baskets Nov06 2010 006 being brought down from the loft for the sorting process to begin!  A few hours later I had managed to empty four of the Ikea boxes, but now I have eight baskets of semi sorted baskets!

The boys immediately dived in, asking ‘Who’s this?’ & ‘Where’s that?’ which slowed the process somewhat, but I’m hoping to have them all filed away by the end of the week, in the dozen or so albums that have been sitting, empty, in a drawer for way too long!  This may not be the best time of year to start a project like this, but it will feel good to get it done!

Nov08 2010 174 Friday was November 5th…‘Guy Fawkes’ night, & we were at a loose end! In the past we’ve always supported our boys school fireworks display, but that school no longer exists! 

We have never seen the sense in spending good money on fireworks to set off at home & I’m always a bit nervous of them close up, & while there were various organised displays going on locally, the admission prices just seemed ridiculous!! (Bah! humbug…LOL!!)

So we ‘invested’ in some sparklers, which I can just about deal with from a safety point of view, & just enjoyed what we could see from our back garden!!!  I got to play with some of the settings on my camera & was pleased to capture some decent shots of the sky & the boys & their sparklers!

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On Saturday afternoon, Nathan asked if we would take him over to St Neots skate park, so that he could ride some of the bigger ramps on his scooter.









He is getting so daring with his ‘scooting’ now!  Achieving ‘Big Air’ & performing some amazing tricks… like his trademark ‘Double 360’!!!  You see,  I’m getting quite good at all  this ‘skate-speak’ terminology…much to his embarrassment!!  Heaven forbid I should dare to say that something is ‘cool’ in front of his friends!!!  In his words..’Mum you’re just too old to say that’!!


Finally today…this weeks cinema visit!  My guilty pleasure…Robert Downey Junior (sigh!!) in ‘Due Date’!

OMGosh! this is hilarious…several really cringe-worthy but just-have-to-watch moments!  Zach Galifianakis is amazing! I didn’t see ‘The Hangover’ but on the strength of his performance in this movie I will be renting the DVD to see him in that too!

If you loved ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles’ with Steve Martin back in the day, this film brings that story into the 21st century! Go see it!!!

So that’s me for now! Thanks for dropping by & hope you all have a good week ahead. We have remembrance day here in the UK on Thursday, so to all my UK visitors…wear your Poppy with pride!   Come back soon :)

Monday, 1 November 2010

Half Term, Halloween & the bits in between!…

You would be forgiven for thinking I’ve been AWOL this past week! In fact it’s been a full nine days since I last posted & probably as long since I had a proper hop around all my favourite blogs!  So…forgive me if you’ve felt neglected…I will be dropping by to ‘see’ you all very soon!

So, where have I been & what has been happening?  Well, it’s been half term & that in itself brings its own challenges!!!!  I love not having to watch the clock, but having all three of my men folk at home at the same time, for such an extended period is exhausting!!   I gave up on trying to keep things tidy & I did get some ‘quiet’ time in my scrap room, away from the arguing!  We did also have a couple of trips out, firstly to the cinema to see ‘Despicable Me’…

…what a thoroughly enjoyable film!  I loved how so much of the humour went completely over the kids heads!!!  It’s been a while since I’ve been in the cinema where the audience gave a round of applause at the end of a film!

wave We also had a visit to our local Beach Pool  where it’s impossible to actually swim very far, but you can enjoy jumping the waves, riding the rapids (inside & outside), risk life & limb on the ‘Flume of Doom’,  or my favourite…relaxing in the bubble bed!!



Thursday saw Alex preparing lunch…albeit only mini pepperoni pizza’s!  he has become very adept at making my morning coffee too!!!

Nov12010 006Now all I need is for them all to clear up after themselves & I can live a stress free life!!!  On that subject, I came downstairs late on Friday morning, to find both boys on laptops at the kitchen table, surrounded by empty crisp packets, biscuit crumbs & numerous used glasses!  Bearing in mind I had cleared away breakfast & left it all clear earlier!   Then, when I looked into the lounge, the TV was blaring, the recliner sofa’s left up, throws & cushions on the floor & yet more ‘boy’ detritus scattered around! Again, a room left neat & tidy the night before…

Well, you can imagine how I reacted!! ‘Bellowed’ is the word that springs to mind!!!  But this is the interesting bit…how did they react?  Well, like chalk & cheese!  Nathan made himself scarce…later discovered with his headphones on in the study where he could neither hear or see me!!…while Alex started picking up cushions, attempting to fold throws & even got out the Dyson & vacuumed all through downstairs for me!   Now, if only he’d do it without me having to go into meltdown!!!  As for Nathan…???!!!

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I think Lee could tell I was feeling stressed & on Saturday came home with some lovely roses to put a smile on my face!! They are beautiful & sort of papery…yellow petals with orange tips & yes, they did make me smile & have continued to do so over the weekend too!


This week was also the final week of ‘Glee Club’ over at Dixie Pieces & after hanging on to the lead by one point for two weeks, I lost out to the secret points for the week six challenge…achieving four, while the winner scored an impressive full five!!!! This was such a fun contest & I fully recommend you watch out for the next one & get involved!!

The final challenge was ‘Golden Oldies’ with a choice of Buddy Holly titles & had to be kept in the theme of the 1950’s. I chose ‘Oh Boy’ & dug out all my Cosmo Cricket ‘Early Bird’ stash, which I think has a definite retro feel! My subject was Nathan on his beloved scooter!!…

Oh Boy!   
Oct292010 016There was also a mini challenge to make a card for Halloween using the song title/lyrics ‘Monster Mash’ for inspiration…this was a race against the clock as our electricity was due to be turned off for a few hours, just half an hour after this mini challenge was posted!!

That is as much creativity as I’ve had this week!! Shimelle’s new class ‘True Stories’ started last Monday… 1485 I’ve been reading the prompts, finding time to scribble in my prepared notebook, but not actually turning anything into a LO just yet!!  I’m hoping to catch up with things in the forum soon!

Nov 040 Of course, this weekend was taken over with Halloween. I had to go into work yesterday & left Lee & Boys to decorate the porch & hall in readiness for the ‘Trick or Treating’ ghosts & ghouls who would probably start to call before I got back!

They did not disappoint & I arrived home to see every Halloween decoration we’ve ever owned out on display! 

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From 6pm onwards it seemed like every child in the village called at our door…I love the fact that when they recognise Lee (he works at the village Lower School)  we get a chorus of ‘Hello Mr Robinson’!!

My boys went out themselves, even though for the past week they’ve been saying that they’re too old to!!!!  I guess the promise of all that candy being given away was just too hard to resist!

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But I think they had just as much fun handing it out to our callers as they did collecting it for themselves!!

Anyway, this lot should keep them in supplies for a few weeks to come!!


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I did keep one pumpkin back, un-carved!  I’ve never made pumpkin pie or soup, although I have recipes for both that look so easy,  so I’m going to try both before the week is out!!  I’ll let you know how I get on!! I will probably be the only one eating them as none of my ‘guys’ enjoy vegetables!!!!


red-movie-poster Finally, I’ve just realised that I’ve neglected to report on my last two Sunday cinema viewings!!  We managed to squeeze in (& I mean squeeze…there was not a spare seat to be had!!) to see ‘Red’…& it was well worth it!! Such a great cast. lots of action & loads of laughs!

John Malkovich was hilarious…Bruce Willis proves he doesn’t take himself too seriously, Morgan Freeman as good as ever & Helen Mirren as you’ve never seen her before!!!

I do hope they follow this up with a sequel!!

We also saw ‘Life as we know it’…a must-see for any parent or anyone intending to become a parent for that matter!!!

LOL funny in places, touchingly sad at others, the story is lovely & does indeed have the required happy ending!

I didn’t recognise either of the leading actors (!) but the baby (or twins probably, knowing what the working child laws are like!!!!) stole the show anyway!

So that’s it…that’s me, up to date!! The boys went back to school today, I went back to the gym!  Lee unfortunately has a gastric flu bug & has been in bed for most of today, but life goes on much the same!!

I do hope you all had a great week & enjoyed Halloween too…Thank you for stopping by & I look forward to catching up with all my blog visits very soon! :)