Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A Plethora of Blessings…

First Daffs 2013I have found so many things to make me smile since my last post!

These early (almost certainly forced!) Daffodils were too hard to resist at the checkout in Tesco & brought a lovely splash of Spring into our kitchen!

On Friday we had our first girls night out of the year & it was so good to giggle & gossip over a cheap & cheerful meal & a few drinks!


Lee surprised me this week with a very early St Valentines Day gift…

New Toy   …I have been thoroughly
   spoiled! I had wanted to
   upgrade from my first
   Kindle to a Kindle Fire &
   had been trying them out
   whenever we were in a
   stockist. Lee suggested I
   look at the Nexus 7
   tablet instead & then I
   couldn’t make up my
   mind! So he made it up
   for me!!

I have to say I’m thrilled with it! I’ve installed all my music, all my books, a load of Apps & as long as I have Wi-Fi I can use it for facebook, emails & to track my Weightwatchers online!! I didn’t really feel my needs justified investing in an i-pad but I wanted something bigger than my phone (I struggle to see the small print even with my varifocal lenses !!) & this ticks all the boxes! I’ve yet to download a movie or TV episodes, but I will be trying that soon too!

Comfort Baking

I’ve enjoyed some baking time this week too & had some success with a recipe for Brownies with a WW pro-points value of just 3 each!!  Now that is something to smile about!
Did anyone else enjoy the Comic Relief Bake Off on TV? More smiles guffaws!

Cool UK

   I loved this photo, which
   was taken, via satellite, by
   NASA on 26th January!

   It shows just how much of
   mainland UK was blanketed
   by the recent heavy snow.

   Now of course, if they took
   a similar photo it would be
   hard to make us out from
   the surrounding oceans…so
   much rain & thawing snow
   has meant much of the
   country is having to deal
   with floodwater!

We are no exception & once again the River Great Ouse has burst its banks & my daily constitutional along the Bedford
Embankment is not quite so do-able…

Flood 1 
…this is the bench where I sometimes stop to feed the ducks & watch the world go by…but not today!!

Flood 2 

   I’ve had some ‘Me’ time over the
   last few days too…always worth
   a smile! Firstly my routine Shellac
manicure on Monday & then yesterday a wonderful (half price offer) facial…Me Time

…complete with a neck & shoulder massage & lots of hot towels…I swear I left the salon a couple of inches taller than I arrived!

The girls at the salon I go to are getting quite used to me asking them to take photo’s during treatments & haircuts! I think they just humour me when I tell them it’s for my blog, or this year, Project Life!!

Xmas Lunch part two  Finally, today I met up
  with Amanda for the first
  time since mid December
  so we had a lot to catch
  up on! We had lunch at a
  very nice local Thai/Indian
  restaurant & exchanged
  very belated Christmas
  gifts, much to the
amusement of the waiting staff! P1270300

It was such a lovely lunch & I was thoroughly spoiled (again) with another ‘Cath Kidston’ bag to add to my collection!! Thanks again Amanda!!

So, as you can see…many blessings & many reasons to smile! Not much creativity gone on here this week…except a little sewing project that I will share with you next time!  I do need to get my scrappy head on tomorrow though as my ‘From Screen 2 Scrap’ DT submission is due on Friday!! :0

I hope you’re all keeping dry & safe from the floodwaters! Thanks for stopping by & come back soon! Open-mouthed smile

Friday, 25 January 2013

All White Now…

P1140182  Phew! What a week! Last
  Friday morning I was oohing
  & aahing over a gorgeous
  sunrise which turned all the
  frost rimed trees a beautiful
  glowing salmon pink. Less
  than an hour later it started
  to snow…& it snowed…& it
  snowed!! From 9am until I
  went to bed at 11pm it fell,
  steadily & fast! Hubby was
  home at lunchtime as his
  school had closed & we set
  out at 2.30pm to collect the
  boys…a round trip that should only take about 45mins…it took nearly two hours!! Why is it that even with warning, in this country everything grinds to a halt when snow arrives? 

P1180204On Saturday morning I got myself ready for work but had such a job getting out of the village, only to find the A600 was also sheet ice, that I turned back & called in to say I was taking a snow day! I detest driving in icy conditions & didn’t want to find myself stranded in Cambridge…or worse somewhere en route, should more snow fall!

As it was, no more snow fell on Saturday, but Sunday brought the next wave & both boys & Lee were pleased to hear that Monday had been declared a snow day for all of them!!


  We bundled up on Monday &
  took a trip out to pick up
  some supplies & to watch
  the village kids having a
  wonderful time at the skate
  park & surrounding fields!

  The grit/salt lorries had done
  their job on the main roads
  by this time, but our village
  is still like the land that time
  forgot & we slip & slither our
  way about…both in car & on

  I will be back at work
  tomorrow…if the forecast is to be believed, the big thaw happens tomorrow night & then it will be floods we’ll be trying to avoid!!


I ventured into town yesterday as I had appointments for a dental check up & an early morning blood test.
The centre of town is still very slippery, so I gingerly made my way to my first port of call Costa!



  I enjoyed a delicious lemon &
  poppy seed muffin…I felt I was
  entitled to one after enduring
  the blood test! I’m rather a
  challenge for a phlebotomist…
  my veins are so small I always
  end up black & blue…so it’s
  always a traumatic experience!

P1100185Today I’m tackling another traumatic experience…yes Karen!…I am trying to keep up with one of my resolutions…to keep on top of my ironing! It is my least favourite chore & I’ll always find something else more important to do…like blogging!!! We’re not even a month into 2013 & already I’m struggling!! But I will have an empty basket before the day is through…just in time for it to fill back up again on Monday!!

The postie was early today & brought me some happy mail!


  Back in 2012 I had ordered
  some scrappy goodness from
  Crafty Steals & they arrived
  along with some fees from the
  Customs Office!! Whoever had
  shipped the parcel had included
  the shipping cost in the total
  shown on the import label
  which took me over the limit
  for paying tax!

  I contacted CS
  & they provided all I needed
  to claim back the tax but I
  wasn’t able to claim the Post
  Office charges! So..the lovely
  Stephanie at CS issued me a store credit to cover the shortfall & I’d been waiting to use it when one of their fabulous steals took my fancy…& this one did!

It’s Theresa Collins ‘Tell Your Story’ kit & I’ve been stroking & cooing since I took it out of the box!!  If you’ve not discovered Crafty Steals yourself, do check them out, everything is reduced by 40-70% & the shipping is reasonable…not to mention great. personal, customer service!!

So that’s me up to date! I do hope you’re all keeping warm & safe & even getting some enjoyment out of the snow!! Thanks so much for stopping by & be sure to come back soon! Open-mouthed smile

Monday, 14 January 2013

Time Well Spent…

The one negative thing to come out of my now working Saturdays instead of Sundays is that it will now be almost impossible for me to get to join my scrappy friends at various crops!

154404_10151259689967978_1955789740_nIn December I joined Karen & Hilary in attending the ‘Enfield Scrap Mates’ crop for the first time. It was the extended Christmas crop & these three lovely ladies made it such a great day…

We even sat down to a full Christmas lunch…


   …there were two class
   projects & two challenge
   layouts with random
   prizes. Later on there
   was a raffle & afternoon
   tea with amazing sweet


It was lovely to put faces to names I’d seen & heard from other scrappy friends, both IRL & in Blog Land. It really was a wonderful day & I felt sad that I’d probably not be able to get there again!





So, imagine how pleased I was that I was given Saturday January 12th as a lieu day for working New Years Day…& that just happened to coincide with the January crop date!!

There was a bit of doubt as to whether I’d feel well enough to go, but I did & I’m so glad I did!!

P1090172   Of course, I got to spend
   time with my usual
   partners in crime…

   …I got to sell (& buy!) a
   few items at the ‘Bring &
   Buy’ table…pick up a few
   bits at the ‘Freecycle’

P1090168…AND I got to meet the lovely Deb for the first time & her partner in crime Den, who I have met twice before! We’ve visited each others blogs for such a long time & I think it’s fabulous how we all have so much in common & yet without scrapbooking & Blogging, our paths may never have crossed!

”But…” I hear you ask…“did you actually get any scrapping done during this social event?”…& the answer is yes!! Ann had created two lovely class layouts for us & here’s what I did with mine…

14 Christmas Day 2012

15 A Brand New Year 
…& just in case you wondered, here are the two layouts I completed at the December crop!!

The first was a design by (the other) Karen

12 Christmas 08

…& the second what I did with the first kit challenge…

13 Love Snow

I still have the class mini book & the second challenge LO to complete!!

Well, that’s me for today…outside my window the snow is falling thick & fast! I have a dental appointment before I pick up the boys this afternoon so I hope the roads remain passable!! After that it can do what it wants…within reason!!

Thanks for stopping by…stay safe & warm…& come back soon!! Open-mouthed smile

Friday, 11 January 2013

New Year….Old Germs!!

EssentialsI can’t believe I’m still without a full voice & it’s three weeks tomorrow that I lost it!!  It is partially restored, but ironically, the better it gets, the worse I feel!!

I’ve slept through the best part of the past 48 hours, dosed up with Lemsip & regular doses of throat spray, cough linctus & lozenges!

I had to cancel a lunch date with good friends today too…such a disappointment. But I’m going to bite the bullet & still attend a pre-booked crop tomorrow. It will be the last Saturday I can attend for a while & as long as I can keep the cough under control, things should be fine!

Laundry backlog

   Apart from feeling like a total wimp,
   this week has been about restoring
   order around the house, sorting the
   kitchen cupboards & throwing out
   all those jars with ‘Use By’ dates
   going back to 2004!! (is that just
   Me?) I’ve done a Costco shop & a
   Tesco shop & brought my
   finances up to date on-line!! The
   laundry backlog is under control
   & all this before yesterday when I
   crawled back under the duvet!!

First InjuryLee & the boys have both returned to school/college this week, but as soon as they hit home it’s back to enjoying their Christmas gifts! In Alex’s case that’s playing two new computer/X-Box games & for Nathan, heading to the skate park with his new BMX! He is very enthusiastic & so far we have one badly grazed elbow & one grazed & badly bruised knee!
You see…helmets, elbow & knee pads are deemed ‘uncool’ & scars are badges of honour!! Boys!!

One thing I am very pleased to have completed is my ‘365 +1 in 2012’ project. I had fallen about ten weeks behind (again) at the very end, but have finally completed all the collages & created a photo book which should be winging it’s way to me as we speak!!

11 My 365 1 in 2012 photobook
If you’d like a preview just go to my sidebar & click on the picture of the book & it will take you to the Photobox site to browse through it! By the way…I did not pay the price shown on the page…I had a Groupon voucher for 70% off!! I really wanted to have a solid keepsake of the project…I really enjoyed it & must say ‘Thank You’ to Suzie for setting it all up & giving us our daily word prompts!

(I must also admit that in the last few weeks there were one ore two words I really struggled with…so I cheated & substituted alternatives!! If you played along you will probably be able to spot them!!)

So, that’s me for today! I’m off to climb into a hot bath & have an early night! Lee is out at a school function so I only have myself to think of…the boys can do their own thing…quietly!!

I hope you all have a good weekend & enjoy the predicted snowfall!!!  Thanks for stopping by & come back soon! Open-mouthed smile

Monday, 7 January 2013

A Challenge & An Apology!

I feel I must apologise to the lovely Shazza over at ‘From Screen 2 Scrap’ as I failed to post the December Poster Challenge on my blog! As a member of the DT this is one requirement & as I was AWOL it didn’t get done. Sorry Shazza!

'This Christmas' Movie PosterIn retrospect & just so you know what you missed!! The poster for December was ‘This Christmas’…

…the added criteria for extra points were…

1. Red CS Background
2. Tearing Technique
3. A Family photo

This was my LO for the challenge…

Christmas Morning 2005

I actually had this one completed well before the deadline for DT submissions in November, using a photo of us all about to open our stockings on Christmas morning 2005!!

ted movie posterWithout further ado, let me share the challenge for January! The poster this month is from a movie I have yet to see…’Ted’.

The added criteria are…

1. White CS background
2. A large, bold one word title
3. A teddy somewhere on the page

I had a real think about this one. I
couldn’t decide what to do with it! In the end I went with a baby photo of Nathan I love but have never actually scrapped & went from there…


A bit of inking through a mask, a few dabs of Stickles & a little blue felt teddy that’s been in my stash since year dot!

Why not play along with us this month? It would be lovely to see a few familiar names in the gallery. There are some lovely prizes up for grabs & you have until midnight on the 31st January to link your entry…so go HERE to join in! Tell ‘em Sandi sent you!!

That’s it from me for the moment! Tomorrow see’s the start of Spring Term & routine will be restored…do you know, as much as I love the festive season, I do enjoy getting back to the more mundane things in life!! How sad am I?

Thanks for stopping by & come back soon! Open-mouthed smile

Sunday, 6 January 2013

My Precious…The First!

1 Packing AwaySo here we are… Sunday January sixth…to some, Twelfth Night, to others Epiphany…
& according to superstition, the day by which all Christmas decorations must be packed away!


P1040614   But here in Blog land, it’s
   the first ‘Storytelling
   Sunday’ of 2013…

   …courtesy of Sian over
   at ‘From High In The Sky’

This year, Sian has invited us all to pick our precious items & share their stories on the first Sunday of each month.

Mums Musical Box

The very first thing that came to mind was something that is older than I am & belonged to my Mum. As a little girl I would spend a lot of time playing with this very ordinary item, that seemed magical to me then!

I always thought of it as a musical jewellery box. It has a key in the lower roof that still makes a very pleasing ratchet sound as it’s wound & then plays a very pretty tune, quickly at first & then more slowly as the mechanism winds down!

3 January 'Precious'
It’s a little Swiss chalet with rocks on the roof & flowers in the window box & those two little red toadstools used to fascinate me! I used to imagine what the inside would be like if I could only open up that little wooden door? Silly really, as the whole roof lifts on hinges & I could easily see my Mums earrings & trinkets inside!!

Those two wooden pine trees were originally painted green but have faded over the years! This little house was the backdrop to many imaginative games I would play, seated at my Mums dressing table in the bay window of my parents bedroom.

When my Mum passed away in 1994, it was the thing I asked my Dad for as a keepsake & I learned that it was, in fact, a cigarette box & was the first gift he ever bought her, when they were courting. The tune it plays is ‘Night & Day’ which was their tune & now, of course, I recognise it & can sing along!

As my boys grew up, it sat on my dressing table & they were allowed to play with it too, carefully of course, because it is so precious!

So that’s my first story for 2013…why not pop over to ‘From High In The Sky’ & share your precious story…& check out some of the other great stories there too…you’ll be glad you did!!

Thanks for stopping by…Happy New Year…& come back soon! Open-mouthed smile