Monday, 8 September 2014

Busy Busy Busy

“We need to make sure that we never get too busy with life that we don’t have time to live.” 
― Daniel Willey

Just lately I have changed the way I have been living.  There are things afoot at home which has seen a change in the way mine and Mark's roles are being played out.  Basically put I am no longer a lazy arse and pretty much do it all, (shock horror I hear you all cry, I know you all thought I was the epitome of Domestic Goddessness!!)

Well because of this I actually have to have some structure to my day, as opposed to getting up, having breakfast faff about on YouTube, maybe then have a couple of snacks, catching up with blogs; then clearly I would have to check what's going on in the world of Facebook, etc etc, you can see where I am going here can't you?

So Grace is back at school, and I have managed all the washing, washing up, hoovering, polishing and everything else that needs doing before Mark gets back by about 8.50ish.  Granted I am only concentrating on the downstairs for now but small steps.  I've even got back into cooking the meals in the evening, much to the distaste of the girls because this means new experiences, yay!!!

On top of this I am still sewing so my days are certainly full now and coffee has again become more new best friend.  No more quick snoozes in the afternoon,even though I have all the new housework skillz I still don't seem to have picked up the sleeping skillz, small steps eh body?

Because of the new improved me I need something to do at the weekends that will keep me occupied as I will most certainly nod off if not.  This weekend I thought I need something calm, relaxing, not too taxing, as much as I love sewing I do become a little bit stressed.  My favourite non stressy but constructive past time has to be colouring, and as I am working hard to get some items made for a Craft Fayre at the end of the month I thought I would combine this and make some Halloween cards. I love putting these together I try to make each one different as I get a bit bored with repeativeness, so I crafted some of these up and put them on my Etsy shop, but I can also get to take them down with me to the Fayre, it's like advertising overkill, or something!

There is something so calming about letting your juices flow and just be.  That's why I'm so excited about the new membership 'box' about to be released into the world, from the wonderful people at Crafty Creatives, a box dedicated to paper, and all things stationery.  In a world of busyness and business we sometimes need to take a moment and slow down.  I can't wait to try #paperhaul and I'll be able to share all the goodness with you on my blog here.

Love paper? love #paperhaul

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Days Out

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.” 
― Anatole France

In the Summer Holidays we didn't get a holiday as such this year, we just couldn't afford it, but we did go for days out, with hindsight this probably costs as much but it was those spur of the moment things.

Anyway, on one particular day My Mum, bless her and thanks, offered to take us out for the day. She will be 80 next year and although she is all 'there' in her head her poor little body is having a hard time.  With arthritic osteoporosis and COPD I felt it would be good to go somewhere she could be pushed around in a wheelchair, not that she has one; she borrowed it from a friend! So we decided to take a trip to Woburn Safari Park which is only about an hours drive from us.
We all piled in the car, and trekked off.  We have been to Woburn before and actually really liked it, lat time we missed the giraffes though, for some reason they hadn't been let out of their enclosure.  Mark and My Mum both get in for concessional (disability and OAP respectively) so we told the lady on the gate this and she then said that because we had two concessional admissions we could have two people who can be classed as carers, which are admitted for free, and Grace is a child so we ended up paying £33.00 for the five of us, which as I am sure you will agree is very reasonable indeed.

I love to see the animals roaming, yes they are still enclosed but seem much freer than an actual zoo.  The only animals that were enclosed this time were a Lion, as he was a new introduction so was being integrated slowly, and then there were some wolves, which had been kept separate from the other wolves as they were originally from two different packs and weren't taking too well in being merged together.

I think our favourite part though was when we went to the Monkey Enclosure and this time we had a Monkey jump on the car. Last time the monkeys passed us by as there were lots of cars were feeding them through the window.

Here are a few of my favourite photos.

By far my favourite animals have to be the wolves.  I was quite emotional when they were running near the car.

Which would you like to see if you went?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” 
― Jorge Luis Borges

All I seem to do at the moment is talk about books, but books to me are a natural thing.  I am surrounded by an immediate family that doesn't read, which I find very strange.  Growing up my Dad always had a book in his hand.  I always had a book in my hand and for a part of my life reading was part of the reason I think I am still alive.

Over the holidays Grace took part in the Library's Mythical Maze challenge, which I think is a brilliant idea if it encorages children to read.  As she was doing this we had to go to the library every couple of weeks, somewhere I hadn't been in a few years.  I lost some library books, so of course there were overdue payments and replacement costs; which me being me I buried my head in the sand and hoped they would go away, so felt very guilty going there.  I even made Mark go with her and get her a library card.

We are lucky to have three libraries quite close to us and we travelled to a couple of them to chose Grace the books she wanted, (these details are all for a different post) whilst there I fell into that moment of pure calm.  Yes gone are the days of matronly bespectacled women constantly shushing you, but there is still that cool air of quiet and calm. With hushed tones and the distant sound of a Mum reading The Tiger Who Came to Tea for the 300th time.  Always an old man sitting reading the newspapers and the rustling of sweet wrappers.  I love it, I love that final sound of peace.

In a world of constant noise and hurry, this little oasis of quiet is maybe something we all need once in a while, even for 30 minutes to check out the free magazines and have a sit down.  Or catch up on your favourite childhood book to see if those simple memories come back.

What did I get?
A couple of crime story books, love those and haven't read any for ages. A knitting book, maybe a couple of Christmas presents to made in there. And as we are now into September a book about Christmas, because I love to read about useless information!

When was the last time you went to the library and what did you get out?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Book Review

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

When I received this book, I'll be honests with you, I had absolutely no idea what it would be about but there was something vaguely familiar about the title, which was strange as it was a new book.

Reading the description on the reverse I was still unsure I would enjoy it as I am not a 'gardener' type of person - even though I studied Clinical Herbalism-, but the intrigue of travel seemed to pull me in.

The story follows the life of the female lead, Alma Whittaker, in a mainly male dominated environment, it shows the struggles of being a woman at the turn of the century and the various ways that women have to hide their gender to be taken seriously. Saying that even in her independance, the story shows how her life is dictated by the actions of the men around her.  From an early age you are aware of how important her Father is to her and she has to compete with her prettier adopted sister, Prudence.  She has the brains but believes she will be overlooked because of her plainness.

Alma finds herself falling for several men, but each in their own way let her down.

This is the story of a woman who has the money to have and do what she will, she has the ability to travel the world and see things that not many people of that time have the chance to experience.

It was a riveting book, I really enjoyed it and imagined how things may have been.

Alma's life may have been full and amazing but I felt that she surrounded herself with people but inevitably she was a lonely person.

 The Signature of all Things can be bought from Amazon for £6.29, just click on the picture to purchase.

Thanks to mumsnet who sent me the book for review, all opinions are my own.
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Sunday, 6 July 2014

Living the life.

As I've stated in a couple of posts I've lately written I haven't been well and hopefully I will now start to get better, firstly though I have some pain to go through.
On Monday I had an operation to have my gallbladder removed as I have had the most amazing gallstone pains, even having a few nights stay in hospital through a possible stone passing through my bile duct and becoming quite ill with jaundice. The worst thing about that stay was the fact I found out I am allergic to a certain penicillin and went into anaphylactic shock. I have remembered the name of that certain drug and will let everyone know. I don't want that happening again. The procedure was carried out under a general anaesthetic and keyhole surgery. Foolish me I was under the impression that as it was keyhole surgery it wouldn't hurt, don't ask me why, my husband thinks I'm an idiot thinking that too. Well I knew that there would be a recovery time of around two weeks and I was looking forward to sitting in bed catching up with Netflix, can't even do that I'm so bored. I thought I was able to be one of those people who could just sit and do that. Well I can't.
Today I have decided that I'm sitting downstairs and behaving like a normal human being and I asked my lovely husband to bring all my crap downstairs and I'm surrounded by it all and just trying to chill.

Thursday, 3 July 2014


Scars, just like the book says, we all carry them.  Some you can see and some you can't, the ones you can't I think are more dangerous.

I was given the opportunity to be able to review a new book written by the talented, in my opinion, Amanda Jennings.  I have previously not heard of this author but I a certainly going to look into getting her other book Sworn Secret.

The Judas Scar

This is a story of a disrupted childhood and how hiding things will always come and bite you in the arse.  We all have a past and this just goes to show how dangerous things can become when we don't let them go, or even if we think we have let go, but really our past constantly shapes our future.

I am one for reading a book and moving on to the next, a type of book bulimia, constantly inhaling all the words and never really tasting the story, but this one had me gripped from the get go.

I don't want to talk to much about the story as I don't want things to be given away but there are a couple of twists and turns, processes that happen and you think 'How did I not see that coming?'  As I have been ill lately and not sleeping well I have spent a few early hours of the morning finishing this book.  It is one of those where you want to get to the end because you want to know what happens? Will they live Happily Ever After? But I also didn't want it to finish, and even now a few days on from finishing I want to go  back and read it again, see if I can see a different side to it.

It also made me think how the actions of one can change the lives of so many, and how flippant and fickle people we really are.

Nice one Amanda, I really enjoyed it.  Thanks.

Thanks BritMums for the review copy.

You can catch up with all of Amanda on line happenings either on her website Amanda Jennings or on twitter @MandaJJennings

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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Proud to be..


It doesn't happen a lot but sometimes I feel proud of me.

Since January I have been frequenting Slimming World and as such have lost 27lbs, which probably isn't a big deal for some but for me is HUGE, almost two and a half stone huge.  Firstly, I have never lost this amount before, which also means I was never this heavy before, but that's in the past now, and secondly, I've stuck at it.  Yep there have been some up and downs and gains and losses and some weeks I just haven't wanted to go but I have gone, even if I knew I was going to have a gain, and now I'm reaping the benefits.  I no longer have to ask my daughter to just 'run upstairs and get me...' because I knew I would get out of breath; or struggle with my breathing and have a burning chest for an hour after taking the dogs for a walk.  In fact he other day when we came back from a walk, it was about twenty minutes later when I realised I had no burning chest at all!!!

Because of this I am proud of another thing, I had to take my pyjama vest in by about FOUR inches!! Firstly, it saves me money and secondly I 'Made Do and Mended' something that got me into sewing to begin with, I wanted to make all my own clothes.  That fell by the wayside as I realised that fabric was quite expensive! I have made a few items of clothing, more of which I should share here I guess, but for now I feel accomplished.
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Is there anything you have done lately to make you proud?