Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Wonderful Christmas

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas - didn't it go quickly? I always feel a tinge of sadness once the big day has passed, however, there's lots still to enjoy before normal routine beckons!

The snow came just at the right time, and we had enough for the boys to play in and enjoy - it certainly helped to wear off lots of excess energy!

Time was spent drinking and eating lots, plenty of walks, pleasurable activities with friends and family, and an odd game or two of Monopoly.

We really enjoy the 'traditional' Monopoly and this version takes it to a new level - including electronic banking! - great when you've had a few mulled wines..........

Santa certainly didn't let us down, with plenty of lovely goodies to enjoy. I'll share some of them with you next time.

Whatever you're doing for the rest of the Christmas break and New Year, have a fabulous time and see you bright and breezy in January!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

This is it!

Let the excitement begin!

The house is now decorated, the schools have broken up, presents have been wrapped and all that is left is some enjoyable baking!

Having seen everyone's lovely snowy photo's, I was feeling rather 'jipped' as we hadn't had any snow at all - apart from the early hours of this morning. We have finally had some - not much but enough for the boys' to have a good play in it. What great timing!

There is something very magical about the first snowfall, completely untouched by human hands, watching it sitting majestically on the trees.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year - I'll be back in 2010 with more adventures.
Take Care.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

In the bleak mid-winter

Every day I pop outside into the back garden to go into my summerhouse to pick up my work supplies, and very rarely do I stop to have a look at the garden - firstly because I haven't got time, and secondly it's just tooooooo cold.

Well, today was different. I was so pleased as my little primrose's I planted back at the end of August are still flourishing. As silly as it sounds, it made my heart skip - for a number of reasons. You see, as much as I like Christmas I struggle getting through the winter months, and as I get older I resent the winter months even more. Primroses signify spring, birds' singing, bulbs and those much awaited longer days. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly a 'glass is half full' kinda girl, but boy seeing those primroses this morning really did lift my mood.

Isn't it amazing that despite nature going into hibernation, you can still get glimmers of colour.

I salute you, primroses!

Monday, 14 December 2009

I might be making progress

Morning All,

I hope everyone is getting on with everything they need to do for Christmas? We can now officially say that Christmas is next week - yippee! I don't know about everyone else, but I'll be mighty glad when the boys' break up, it seems to be taking forever.....That's when I feel I can relax a little!

The tree has finally been decorated, the lights twinkle on the tree outside, wrapping has commenced and baking is underway.

Whilst at Country Living I bought what looked like Christmas puddings wrapped in fabric. - in fact they were scented rosehips tied in a bundle with some string - such a simple but great idea. The scent coming from them is glorious and fills the room when you walk in.

I managed to get the backbone of orders completed over the weekend and only have a few left to get finished this week so all is good.

Jack has been busy with his art work over the last few days - he did a drawing thinking that there was a competition at the school fair - unfortunately there wasn't so his drawing had to come home. I was secretly quite pleased as I thought he had done such a good job so we now have the pleasure of it.

Amy from Bubbles Thoughts was kind enough to give me an award over the weekend

I have to list 5 things I like doing and pass it onto 5 friends' - Here's the 5 things I enjoy doing -

1) Being with my family

2) Running my business

3) Cooking

4) Having a good old rummage through antique and charity shops

5) Being outside

I'm going to cop out on the passing it on, as there are so many enjoyable blogs which I read. Anyone who reads my blog and would like this award, accept it with my pleasure.

See you later in the week.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Florence Nightingale part 2

Hello All,

I can't believe it's been a week since my last post, and boy what a week it's been. Non stop 'stuff'.

The decorations are slowly making their way to their temporary new homes, the Christmas tree has been bought in from outside and is waiting for us to glitz it up! It's taken me a couple of days to move it, turn it and straighten it to make sure it looks good from every angle - does anyone else do that?

Looking at the photo, it isn't actually straight, better get onto that, ggrrrr.

Victoria from Florence and Mary noted on her blog about the new Delia book to accompany the series. I really enjoyed watching the programme, so popped out at the weekend to buy it, and what a good book it is. I've written my list of recipes I'm intending to do, whether they'll happen or not is a different matter.

If I get a chance today, I'll give the cranberry chutney a go as it looks quick and straightforward and ideal for the store cupboard.

I have home son number 1 with the same symptoms as son number 2 a couple of weeks ago. I got the dreaded phone call from school asking me to pick him up as he had a temperature and a headache. I must say he looked very ropey. Today he's not so bad but I can only describe him as a deflated balloon. Such a shame but I'd rather him at home rather than being at school catching whatever else is going round.

Before I forget - did anyone see Kirstie's Christmas programme last night? - it was really enjoyable and very inspiring, although I'm still not a converted tinsel lover. Baubles yes, tinsel no. What I like about her is that she's very real and doesn't pretend to be something that she's not.

The Lewes antiques centre is the exact one we went into a few weeks ago on our little jaunt to Sussex. It is the best antiques centre I've been in and couldn't quite believe it when I saw it on TV last night.

Anyway, cranberry chutney to be getting on with.


Thursday, 3 December 2009

It's no good

I can't resist temptation any longer - it's time to get a few Christmas decorations out. I've pondered about when to start, for the last week, and today I've thrown caution to the wind and thought 'what the heck' - a few won't hurt!

The glorious advent calendar hubby bought certainly didn't disappoint. Sometimes advent calendar's look great on the outside but not so good on the inside. The pic's are so sweet.

Time tonight to open a bottle of mulled wine and indulge in a few chocolate truffles.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Enid Blyton at her best

Like many other bloggers, I'm a great fan of Enid Blyton and we are all familiar with most of her books.

One which I hadn't come across until discovering it on Amazon is this one - Enid Blyton's Nature Lover's Book.

Every now and then when I want to forget the pressure's of every day life I get the book out to flick through. Having not done poetry since A'levels (remember those?) I had forgotten how enjoyable poetry can be.

This book contains many, all with a nature theme - this is November's.

It epitomises everything great about each season starting off with a short story for each month of the year, interesting things to do, such as fir cone birds -

The illustrations are so lovely.

My favourite is this one.

It is packed full of useful things such as identifying flowers, birds and trees.

I have to remind myself every now and then, that reading is good for the soul, and for me a book like this puts a perspective on life (simple pleasures) - thanks Enid!

So, for anyone interested in adding a book to their every growing list of books to buy, this is one of them.


I know when Christmas is coming

when I start making mince pies

when I flick through the Christmas CD's, put them on and start singing....
When I start putting out the miseltoe garland lights across the console table

I thought I would be restrained in my Christmas preparations this year, as I went into Baa-humbug mode protesting that I had gone off Christmas and would be relieved when it was all over. I was obviously in some sort of mood as that's all completely changed.

I'm in full swing and itching to get the Christmas decorations down. I love unboxing them all, remembering what was there and which ones to put out. Each year, I buy a few more and put them away, trying to forget about them, so I can yelp with joy when I see them again.....

My address book is already out in preparation for Christmas card writing which I normally do at the end of November.

My Christmas present notebook has all the goodies that I've bought various family members and friends, along with receipts (you never know!). The notebook goes back to the year 2000 when Toby was first born - it's lovely to look back to see what he was bought. Some may find this all quite clinical but in my quest to remain highly organised and in charge, it's proven to be invaluable!

Whilst on the subject - better go, got lists to write.....!!!!

PS - look what arrived at the front door for hubby.....unless he's not telling me something - I reckon inside the box is my Christmas present! Better not peep!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

A bit of TLC

Poor old Jack has come down with the dreaded lurgy - temperature, sore throat etc etc etc. Lots of children have it so I'm not too surprised he's got it.

Yesterday he spent the whole day doing this.

Whilst flicking through a magazine at the weekend, I saw a great crafting idea to do with children - Make your own Snow Globe. Jack loves the ones he's got so yesterday was the right day to make one.

Choose a small plastic toy - we've got tons of Playmobil so Jack picked a Father Christmas man. Glue the object to a jam jar lid. Pour a small amount of glitter into the jar, then fill to the top with water. Secure the lid tightly and shake to create your own winter scene!

Ha Ha - we did have a slight disaster so we'll use our first one as a prototype! The man came unstuck from the lid and the glitter statically stuck to him..........so fab idea but will need some work.

I used the Slow Cooker yesterday too and it made a great beef stew. I wouldn't say the meat fell apart, but the flavours were really intense and a lot better than cooking it conventionally. So all in all I was really pleased and looking forward to using it again.
Do I dare say it, but I sneakily put out a Christmas decoration at the weekend. Not that you could call it that really......I spotted a set of 3 red toadstools at the garden centre and rather liked them. The centre had done various themes and this one was with toadstools, pine cones, etc - more of a 'nature' setting and it did look good. For me, my toadstools are now on our console table in the hall and there they will stay till the New Year!

Right, on with my Florence Nightingale duties!

Bye for now.

Friday, 20 November 2009

New Toy

I am so thrilled with my new toy - a Slow-Cooker!!! See, I've even blogged about it before taking it out of it's box! I'm hoping it will aid the speed at which I do things! Being an over organised person, I always time my day to the last minute (sad I know). As we have so much on after school, I either have to prepare meals during the day when I should be working, or it's a mad rush on our return.

I'm anticipating that with my new toy I'll be able to 'stick' something in pot and 6-8 hours later on our return from school stuff, the house will be filled with the aroma of home cooking (without actually being there - genius!).

I also treated myself to a cookbook which is great - you can do soups, stews, casseroles, roasts and even puddings. I feel like a new woman already. I hope it lives up to the expectations I have for it. I'll keep you posted.

Here in the south we had a glorious Friday so I took the opportunity of putting the laptop down, knitting needles, and paintbrushes and getting out to cut bushes back, sweep up leaves, clean windows and all those other little jobs that build up. It was lovely to get out into some sunshine and not really think about anything other than what I was doing. OK, they were domestic jobs, but I was outside and under no pressure to clock-watch, wonder what the boys were up to, or what needed to be done next. I'm sure so many of you will relate to that............

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

What a whopper

Here at Wednesday already - time is flying isn't it?....

With the 1st of December approaching, the boys get quite excited about their advent calenders, especially as they are chocolate ones - the only time of year they can have chocolate in the morning......I do try and get them to understand the true meaning of advent and Christmas, and I think they do appreciate it - both go to a C of E school who have good traditional values around Christmas and Easter. However, children will be children and like many (me included), get sucked into all the marketing hype - and why not, as long as there is a balance I guess.

Anyway back to advent calenders. Hubby came home last night with a huge bag and inside was a lovely advent calender for moi. Shaped like a snow globe it measures a massive 18" by 19". It's so pretty, I don't want to open it. There are so many gorgeous advent calenders around and I used to buy them for the boys, but in the end succumbed to the chocolate variety.
A little while ago Alex from Pink Feather Paradise and I did a little swap - I really liked her crochet doggies and she fancied something for her Christmas tree - unfortunately I didn't take any photo's of my goodies I sent her, but here's what she sent me. Thanks so much Alex - love the colours as they are right up my street!

Back to the CL fair - there was a glorious scented stall when you first walked in, selling fragrant wreaths, orange slice swags etc etc. I managed to spy some vintage spools threaded with pretty ribbon. They had also been scented with a spicy orange scent. I thought it was such a good idea, I bought 2. Now, the question is - do I dare do that with some of my own vintage spools???? Might have to think some more on that one.

When we were in Sussex I pounched on a lovely black velvet wooden handled bag, with some great patchwork on the front and back. I paid less than £5 for it. Whilst at the CL fair last week I saw something quite similar for £20.......so am quite glad I got my black one. I'm hoping, during the Christmas break, I'll be able to get on with some patchwork. I've recycled some blouses and tops which will be perfect for a little project or two!!