Monday, 28 February 2011

Hello, Hello I’m back again…

Did you miss me…yeah…while I was away?  Sorry to those too young to remember the ‘Glitter Band’ & this 70’s hit song!! I also apologise for my prolonged absence!! The last eleven (!!) days have passed in a flash!!

Half term started off well…the boys finished school at 3.10pm on Friday & by 9am on Saturday Nathan was complaining that he was bored!!! Oh to have time to be bored!!!

The weather wasn’t very co-operative & we didn’t get any days out…BUT…I did blitz both boys bedrooms! Removing all of the furniture, which meant dismantling beds, & rearranging everything to maximise the space & get rid of excess clutter!! It only seems five minutes since I did this job the last time, but we still filled a car for a trip to the tip!!

I did the same with my scrap-space too, removing the TV, since we will be switching to digital at the end of March & it will be useless then! I’ve gained quite a bit of work surface with it gone!! I even shredded loads of old statements & receipts I’d been hoarding in my filing cabinet & ruthlessly sorted my stationery supplies! It feels good to be de-cluttered!!

In between these jobs I did two days overtime at work…the journeys there & back were exhausting! When you’re used to relatively clear roads on a Sunday, the sheer volume of traffic on weekdays added to delays from road works & bad tempered drivers is enough to put anyone off going anywhere!!

34 Birthday AThe highlight of the week has to be Nathan’s birthday!

He started the day coming into our bed to open his cards & presents!

35 Birthday B

 

 

It was a motley selection of wrapping paper! I had decided to use up all the leftover bits & bobs rather than buy new!! I know it sounds mean, but it only gets ripped off in an instant & I don’t think he even noticed!!

36 Birthday C The silliest thing he got was a monkey hot-water bottle …that was from me, because he’s always pinching my hottie!! He also got a load of cash from various relatives & a selection of stuff for scootering & the X-Box!

Lee snuck in a pack of pork scratchings for him!!  I hate these things…they are a recipe for a coronary in a packet!! But Lee’s argument was that it’s only once a year!!! Men!! Nathan waited till I was at work to eat them!!

37 Birthday D For the first year ever, he turned down a party in favour of having just one friend for a sleepover!!   His one request was that they could have a KFC family bucket for tea!!

…& what did this street wise just-turned-twelve scooter dude choose for a birthday cake! Why ‘Hello Kitty’ of course!!!

38 Birthday E

 

 
I’m sorry, I should have taken the photograph before the candles were lit & blown out!!

 

39 Birthday F The rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ was a bit sparse with just the four of us singing, but he blew out his candles in one hit & seemed to make a very ‘involved’ wish!!

After tea they set about having a ‘Nerf’ gun battle!  The house was a riot & Lee & I escaped to our respective bolt holes!…thankfully nothing got broken, but I am still finding ‘Nerf’ darts everywhere!

They finally fell asleep at about midnight!

I can’t believe that this time next year we’ll have another teenager on our hands!

To wrap February up…I met my good friend Sally for brunch today. We met years ago when we worked together, but don’t see one another as often as we should. Distance is what stops us, but making the journey when time permits is so worth it!

40 Sally & I

We are both ladies of the larger variety, who would really rather not be!! We both try to lose weight & laughed today that although we are  members of Weight Watchers, we are both exactly the same size & shape as the last time we saw each other in 2010!!

So…we set ourselves a challenge!  We are going to treat March 1st as a second New Years Day & start over on our weight loss resolutions! We plan to meet for lunch on 28th March & our goal is to have lost 10lbs (each!) by then!!

So on that sobering thought I’ll make my farewells!! Thank you so much for stopping by & I will be back very soon to share the gorgeous Dixie Pieces March kit & what I did with it, along with the latest challenge over at ‘From Screen 2 Scrap’…see you then! :) 

Thursday, 17 February 2011

A wet week so far… in more ways than one!!

snowdrops It seems that, with Spring just around the corner, we are still doomed to more wet weather before the sunshine is here for any length of time!

The snowdrops are bravely pushing up through the leaf mulch & I am itching to get out there & start the big tidy up, but the ground is so soft underfoot that I’d probably pull up half the topsoil with any weeds  & the grass is just way too soggy to cut! 


So I’ll make do with a little sweeping & raking…I need to freshen up my pots & baskets & I can also do some cutting back of my ramblers & climbers…after that I’ll just have to bide my time till Spring gets here in full force…God willing, may that be soon!!

A-Little-Bit-of-Heaven-Poster Our Sunday cinema trip took us to see ‘A Little Bit Of Heaven’ starring Kate Hudson.

After last weeks film disappointment we thought we deserved a light & fluffy ‘chick flick’…little did we know!!

It was lovely…Kate Hudson is so good as the lead character & has inherited her mothers comedic timing…BUT…it is such a sad story!!

I sobbed…I mean literally sobbed!! Even Amanda, who usually makes fun of me being such a softie shed more than a few tears!!

 
And is if that wasn’t enough….Monday morning, I settled down with my breakfast to watch the final episode in series four of ‘Larkrise To Candleford’

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b00gbbl0_178_100What can I say…it started well, with the return of Dawn French’s character, Caroline…from then on it was an emotional roller coaster!! I laughed, I cried, I choked on my granola!!!


I have all six episodes on Sky+ & I will be re-watching them all in anticipation of series five! It cannot come soon enough!

Apple Pie! So, all cried out & emotionally drained, what did I do? Why I baked of course!

Just an apple & blackberry pie, but it hit the spot that only comfort food can!!


I have been scrapping this week too, but as it’s all for March challenges, I can’t share it yet!!  Now they're all done & dusted, I’m hoping to get some more of my ‘Catch Up’ scrapping done!!

This coming Friday see’s the start of half term & it’ll be a very busy week ahead…As well as working Sunday, I have two days overtime to work next week & it’s Nathan’s 12th birthday on the Friday with all that entails!  I’m hoping to fit in a hair appointment & a bit of DIY, so I’ll be back when I can!!!

Thanks for dropping by & I hope you’re all having a great week! :)

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Check Ups, Errands & time spent with Friends!

25 EyetestA What a week it’s been…as well as three trips to the gym, returning to Weight-Watchers after four weeks absence (!!) & the usual grocery shopping errands, there have also been dental check-ups for all of us & Alex’s annual Sight test!

26 EyetestB

Because of his Diabetes he also has annual retinopathy photography so it’s quite a long appointment but he coped admirably & the good news is, he still doesn’t need any specs!! Not long ago he used to be totally freaked out by this whole process, but he now takes it in is stride…no small thanks to the patience & persistence of the team at our local branch of Specsavers!!


I also got to spend some time with Karen this week! We keep tabs on each other via our Blogs & the odd email, but we haven’t actually seen each other since waaay before Christmas!  I drove over to hers & we accompanied her daughter to a nearby town, where she had a job interview.  While that was underway we had a wander around the town centre, ending up in ‘Poundland’…as you do!!

19 valentines Like most shops, they were geared up for Valentines day & we could not avoid the vast array of naughty & nice novelty items on display. Karen picked up a pair of red furry handcuffs & proceeded to try them on…it was then that I asked her if they came with a key!!!

 

20 cuffs

Luckily she managed to remove them without having to ask an assistant for help!!

Then I spotted some sequinned nipple tassels & that was it! Karen was sold!! She bought a pair & I am now waiting for them to be featured on her blog!!

21 tassles

 

 

 

It was about now we got the call to say that the interview was over, so we picked up said daughter & headed back to the house for lunch.

 

22 pepper1 Now, Karen is an amazing cook & she set about preparing Quesadilla's from scratch! She had just asked me if I liked peppercorns, when the air became ‘blue’!!! The lid had come off the jar of black peppercorns & the entire contents were spread over the pan, Aga & surrounding worktop!!

24 pepper3
23 pepper2

A quick clean up followed & lunch was thankfully rescued…it smelled so good…

 

 

…& tasted every bit as good as it smelled!  After lunch I got to check out Karen’s completed scrap room, which is to die for, & her Project Life album & an amazing photo book she had put together. 

Time certainly flies when you’re enjoying yourself & soon it was time to go & pick up my boys from school, so I left Karen & daughter waiting to hear the outcome of the mornings interview…I received a text later that afternoon & you can read all about it HERE.  Thanks Karen for thoroughly enjoyable visit, lunch & gorgeous, guilt free slice of Chocolate Birthday Cake!!

Last night I set off to the ‘3 Jolly Scrappers’ crop at Brampton…the first of this years Friday crops. This is such an enjoyable crop, lovely venue, great people, oh-so tempting goodies in the shop & last but not least…home-made cake!!!

12 Feb 2011 005
We spent the evening catching up, scrapping (of course) & laughing…real belly laughs, tears & all!!  So good for the soul!!

Ann spent time in what is becoming her natural habitat…rummaging through the bargain baskets in the ‘shop’….with PP’s at 20p who could blame her!!!  She was working on a gorgeous mini book in between…!

12 Feb 2011 003

 

Dawn was also there…another of life’s natural gigglers!!  She completed an awesome LO featuring her daughter on a trampoline & introduced me to some fabulous kits from ‘Sarah's Cards’ which I will be checking out further!!


Unfortunately, I can’t share anything I created last night, as it is all for the March programme of challenges over at Dixie Pieces…but as soon as it’s ‘up’ I will!!

I’m off now to make myself a cup of green tea & settle down to a bit of TV & knitting!!

Thanks for dropping by & I hope you’re enjoying a good weekend, whatever the weather may be throwing at you!!  : )

Monday, 7 February 2011

A Quick Round Up!!

Having Mum-In-Law to stay has always been enjoyable…I am really lucky to have a great relationship with mine!  This visit was actually a lot less active than her visits have been in the past!  She has been diagnosed with leaky heart valve, which is operable, but she needs to regain some lost weight before they will put her through surgery.

So I’ve been feeding her up & have sent her home with lots of ideas for quick & easy high carb’ meals…like a lot of older people on their own, she often feels she can’t be bothered to cook just for herself!

IKEABefore she headed home on Saturday morning, we had a ‘girls’ day out on Friday!  We headed off along the new by-pass to Milton Keynes…first stop?

IKEA!!


IKEA BPat had a great time picking up all sorts of bits & bobs! It’s amazing at IKEA how you can find so many ‘essentials’ that you didn’t even know you needed!!

I had gone with a list…mainly for storage bags & boxes…but even I ended up with extra bits in the trolley that I just couldn’t leave behind!!!



Coffee at IKEA


I took my lead from Pat & as soon as she felt the need to sit & rest, we headed off to the restaurant!  Resisting the meatballs & Dime Bar Cake (!!) we settled down with our ‘bottomless’ cups off coffee & proceeded to chat as if we hadn’t actually been sharing the same house for a week!! & there was me thinking she needed to get her breath back!!!

 
Hobbycraft From there we headed off to ‘Hobbycraft’…Yay!!   Pat decided to sit in the car while I popped in to pick up some gold card to die-cut some votive wrappers for a friends wedding!   Any chance to browse & spend was checked!!  Maybe just as well!!

Hide&Seek@Frosts!
Time for lunch & we headed back towards home & stopped off at a local garden centre.  Fortified after a toasted sandwich, Pat felt up to a bit of browsing in the shop. 

I think she held up pretty well! Then it was time to collect the boys from school!


SchoolCouncil On the subject of my boys…I have two pieces of good news to share!! Firstly Nathan has been elected to the School Council & is taking his responsibilities very seriously! He’s already involved in the campaign for a change of uniform being put forward by the ‘Student Voice’ & coming up with some very reasonable arguments as to why change is needed!!  We are very proud of him!

Secondly…roll on the drums!…Alex has finally, after ten years since he was diagnosed with Diabetes, taken ownership of his insulin injections!!  We have been encouraging him for what seems like forever & most children are doing their own injections by age eight. But this week, something clicked & he just went with it…& like most things with Alex, once he does it once, there’s no looking back!  I am so thrilled that it’s another step achieved in his becoming more independent, & it also gives us a little more freedom into the bargain!

I’ve been working with my Dixie Pieces March Kit over the last 48 hours! It is fabulous, but you’ll have to wait till March 1st before I can share anything with you!!  Meanwhile, there is a chance to win some fantastic CHA goodies over on the ‘Dixie Pieces Facebook’ page…just for leaving a comment!!  A different prize on offer each day for the next seven days!! Go check it out & Good Luck!!

black-swan-movie-poster Finally, after missing out on the cinema last week, this Sunday we saw ‘The Black Swan’. What can I say?!! That it has been given a 15 rating is astounding! I’m no prude, but I think it definitely should be an 18!!

It’s a very ‘dark’ tale, with violence, drugs, lesbian sex scenes & also a not-too-easy-to-follow plot line!! If this is a true reflection on the world of pro ballet, I’m glad I never did it!!!

Natalie Portman is so beautiful & played her part well, but did I enjoy it? Not really!!!


So that’s it from me for today! Thanks for stopping by & have a great week! :)

Saturday, 5 February 2011

A couple more challenges!

I’ve just put up my first two challenges as a DT member over at Dixie Pieces. The theme for February is ‘What I Love’ …so I went with ‘texture’ as that’s what I always like to see, & achieve, in any of my projects!

13 Textured cardTo find two examples for my challenges, I went into my albums & chose this card…

 

 

 

14 Textured LO …& this Layout…

 

My challenge for both card & LO is to use at least three techniques that add texture & dimension!

 


There is already some awesome creativity on display in the DT  Projects Gallery & full details of all the DT ‘What I Love’ challenges can be found HERE…& the awesome prize for the February Challenges will be a complete line from ECHO PARK - BE MINE!

So come on over & join in…I’ll keep an eye out for your entries in the gallery!! :)

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

February Is The Month Of Love…

1 Valentines Day …& to celebrate the February challenge over at ‘From Screen To Scrap’ is the movie poster from ‘Valentines Day’. 

I remember thinking, when this film was first released, what a great scrap page this poster could inspire!   So it feels good to have finally done something about it!!

The added criteria to earn extra points are to use a black background, a large heart & the word Valentine in the title.  There are some awesome prizes up for grabs, so do pop over & check it out!!

This is what I did…

2 My Funny Valentine
…featuring (obviously) my Hubby, who after all these years, still makes me laugh!

Now, I’ve just logged on in a quiet moment, as Mum-In-Law has gone to visit relatives in Cambridge this morning, so it’s a quick round up of our ‘Christmas Mark Two’ weekend!

3 Christmas gifts #2 We had a wonderful Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings on Saturday evening & exchanged our gifts….all that was missing was the tree!!  I was spoiled with a generous cheque, some socks, a really cute Christmas Pudding cream jug &…

 


4 Bloomers! …these amazing bloomers!!  Of course they’re not underwear at all, but two dish cloths!! The little label reads

“Don’t get excited, Don’t get mislead, These aren’t for you but you’re dishes instead. So pull out the yarn & pull out the stitches. You’ll have two nice dishrags, but you’ve lost your britches!”

How cool is that?!!!

 

I’ve not had any scrapping time since Mum-In-Law arrived, but we’ve been sitting like two old dears, knitting!
 
7 Nanny Knits A8 Nanny Knits B
I’m in awe of the lovely scarf she is knitting at the moment. These days she doesn’t tackle anything big, but chooses things that she can just rattle off almost without looking, so she has a fair collection of scarves…as do all the family!!! LOL!!

9 Finished Snood I’ve made a start on my jacket, but as promised here is the finished snood I made as a Christmas gift for a friend.

I always knit a twist into a snood, so that it sits flat instead of hanging like a cowl, but this one was 12” deep (folded in half in the photo) so can also be worn as a hood. I just hope she likes it!!

 

Finally for today, a little bit of creativity to share…this time from Nathan! He has been working on this project for the last few weeks in his DT class & I am so impressed with how beautifully ‘finished’ it is!

5 Nathans Box A

6 Nathans Box B

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m off now to open up & investigate a pizza box that has just been delivered! I know it’s my Dixie Pieces DT kit for March & cannot wait to see what’s in it!!! I’ll be back at the end of the week with details of my February challenges, but meanwhile do pop over & check out the February kit & the first challenges being posted now…not forgetting the awesome inspiration in the DT gallery! Hope to see you playing along too!