Friday, 28 December 2012

Almost done

I managed to get mum's hat and scarf finished yesterday, they are popping over tomorrow for coffee and cake and a catch up.

 I have been out with my family today, well almost Lloyd has gone back to work so he was unable to join us. We went for lunch with some friends to celebrate a birthday. I am now totally stuffed and could not eat another morsel.

We are out again this evening visiting our god-daughter and family and then on Sunday we are over to Framlingham to see some friends who we don't get to see often enough but about once or twice a year and then it will be time to get ready for the new years eve party!

I could not say where the past year has gone but it seems to have flown by. I am not sure I am yet ready to say goodbye to it or if I want to hang onto it for a bit longer rather than face what is in store for us next year. Watching the news these past few weeks makes for a sorrowful and a doom and gloom year ahead. I suppose we should be grateful that the world never came to an end as was predicted, but as is change is afoot.

Belts will need to be tightened yet again and care will need to be taken in all that we do. We are such a throw away society, however this need not be, we can make do and mend, we can buy second hand goods without feeling any shame, shop at the cheaper stores but still eat well. There should be no shame or embarrassment that we have to live within our means rather than build up a lifetime of debt and be forever chasing our tails as we try to live up to what society expects and cajoles us to believe in.

It takes a better person to take a step back and see things for what they really are than for one to go along with the flow because it is easier than standing away from the crowd and doing your own thing.  

We made a start this year on cutting back and making saving (ohhhhh I can here the moans and groans already!!!) and We, yes I did say We! shall be expanding on that next year.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you who have been reading and /or following my blog. I hope you have all had an enjoyable festive season and wish you all a very happy  New Year. Until next time x

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Tying up loose ends

As the year of 2012 draws to a close it is time to look back at what was and what wasn't achieved last year on the ever lasting todo list. Looking over the list I feel that we done quite well to get the jobs done that we did, especially as it wasn't until the latter part of the year that we actually got our butts in gear and cracked on with getting jobs done.

There are a few jobs that did not get done and will have to roll over to next year, the painting the exterior front of our house has been rolled over for the past three years. I am determined that this job will be one of the first that gets done once the weather warms and hopefully dries.

As you can see my todo list is at present blank, I have another list, yes I know it is a little quirk of mine I just have to have an abundance of lists on the go! Anyway on the list I am jotting down stuff that I want doing around the home and once I think I have finished I will then write it out in my book in the order of doing them and hopefully we will get through the list this time, however you never know what is going to crop up and throw  a spanner in the works so it is not set in stone that they have to all get done, just as long as we try. Have you managed to get your todo lists completed for 2012?

I have had a few unfinished projects on the go and have been getting some of them done today. I had some shopping bags that I was making out of pillowcases that still needed the handles sewn on, these I got done earlier.

You remember the old curtains that I dyed and was going to make some new cushion covers with? Well I also got them done today. I just made two simple envelope cases so there was no need for zips or buttons. I followed Frugal Queen's simple instructions, but adjusted them slightly to suit my needs. I have spoken of Frugal Queen before she is a great inspiration for all who are living on a budget and is looking for ways to save and also great ideas on making things with a sewing machine.

As you can see in the photo above I also recovered a barrel cushion. I just cut an oblong of fabric and put a hem all the way round and tied the ends with some blue ribbon.

The back of the cushion so you can see the simple envelope opening

As I was given some money for Christmas so I treated myself to some ready made cushions which I found in the sale. There were some lovely cushions but I refused to pay over £10.00 just for a blooming cushion!

I paid £30.00 for four cushions, a little extravagant but they do look nice.

This is my seat!
As I have said before when the boys are all in and the girlfriends are over, trying to get a seat in front of the TV can prove difficult, Mum saw this cushion and bought it for me, it is so very apt. Jay bought me the lamp so I can sit and crochet with the extra light, my perfect little corner.

It has been very wet as has most of the country the past week or so, however yesterday remained quite dry so I went out and cleaned out the girls and had a look around the garden to see how things were going. The girls feathers are growing well and they do not look so threadbare as they did just before Christmas. Matilda seems fine and was busy hurtling up and down the garden trying to take off in flight whilst I cleaned out the coop.  All the garlic had emerged. So far so good as this is the only thing that I have planted to over winter this year. 

I am hoping to get out and down to my potting shed and greenhouse at some point next week  to see what can be sown yet. I have two lidded polystyrene boxes that Jay has gotten fishing bait in before and I kept them thinking they would be great propagators to use in the greenhouse. I am going to hold fire and not try and sow too soon but sow at the later end of the allocated time frame for sowing. More planning and list making.

Well time to get back to finish of some more projects, I am making a hat and scarf for mum, a slightly belated birthday present. My hand had swollen quite a bit and it was too painful to crochet. It is better now that I have rested it for a week so I shall be finishing that off, a bag still needs finishing a about three more hats that just need finishing off. Once these are all done I can then start thinking about some new projects that I have in mind.

Until next time x

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Just want to say thanks

Well the big day has been and gone, Jay was a star, he prepared and cooked Christmas dinner with little help from me, I spent the day with my bottom parked on the sofa wearing a pair of new pj's and watching the TV and it was pure bliss. I have had a nasty throat infection for the past week that I have been battling with and I am now left with a dry irritating cough that likes to be a pain during the night and keeps me awake.

Mum and dad came over and we all enjoyed a sumptious feast a big thank you to the wonderful chef Jay.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Well the big day has arrived and I am ready and waiting. The gifts are all wrapped and under the tree

The house is all clean and tidy

Jay has done all the veg

I made the red braised cabbage this morning, it smelt so nice that I had to have a bowlful just to see if it tasted as good as it smelt, and it did!

Well it just leaves me to wish you all a very merry Christmas, until next time x

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Running out of time and energy...

Lets get baking

It has been a hectic few days, I have done most of the baking yesterday, the lounge is not quite finished or set out how I want it but it will have to do until after the festive period and we don't have such a full house everyday.

We went and collected the bird in a bird early this morning and then headed over to do the big Christmas shop. £300 later we had all the bits for Christmas and all the store cupboards are full and we have dog food, chicken food and will not have to go food shopping for at least three weeks. So it can snow, rain or whatever it wants as I have no need to go anywhere except to walk the dogs.

I spent all day yesterday in the kitchen, I made an assortment of different biscuits, spiced, shortbread, ginger shortbread, choc chip shortbread and plain shortbread. I made a ginger cake, fruit cake and the boys favourite chocolate cake. I also made some rocky road and Jay made some sausage rolls and is now in the middle of making more sausage rolls and some cheese straws.

Our biscuit box
Mum & Dad's Home-made Christmas hamper

Dad took home their Christmas hamper today, I wrapped it in cellophane and added a big red bow, I must admit it did look quite impressive. I added the chocolate as my dad does love his choccy.

I am trying to catch up with the washing and it has been so wet and damp that it is all having to be hung indoor and finished off in the tumble, as it takes longer as there is not much space, it does not take long to build up, and I am constantly getting 'where are my clean boxers, socks!'

Tomorrow will be spent cleaning the house and probably more washing and then finishing off the evening with the vegetable preparations whilst watching a good Christmas film on the TV and slurping on something alcoholic.

With all the rain the girls run was one big massive smelly swamp and they have all decided to malt and they really do look a raggedy bunch apart from Octavia as she malted earlier. I cleaned out the coop whilst they roamed about the garden, again they were enjoying the soil and making a right mess scattering the soil far and wide. Matilda seems back to her normal self and I think she is laying again as there were four eggs in the nest box earlier.

Well that is it from me today, I need to strip the beds and put clean bedlinen on them. Finally I would like to say a big hello to my new follower. Until next time x

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Getting all Christmasssy!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

Getting nowhere fast...

Well the countdown is almost at an end, just a few manic and hectic days remaining and it is all for just one day, how bizarre we are.

We still have no tree as it is still stuck in the loft, we have not ordered the turkey yet and no food has been purchased but I am writing out my lists and trying to get myself organised.

I have been looking for some recipes for treats over the festive period and I have found quite a few and have settled on a few to try.

One of my favourite foodie sites is the BBC good food where I have picked the braised red cabbage recipe to have on Christmas day, I do like this but no one else does so I will make a batch and freeze it in smaller portions so I can have it when I want. I have also picked out stilton puffs, red onion and brie tartlets and pasty parcels.

Ben will be making his pizza whirls and between them Adam, Lewis and Jay will be making the pastry for the pies, sausage rolls and other pastry bits. And I shall make the cakes and other sweet stuff, this we will be doing on Saturday, and then on Sunday we are doing the big Christmas shop.

Jay is in charge of Christmas dinner and always has been so it is usually the traditional Christmas fare and we now have a bird in a bird in a bird roast, which I think is about 4 or five different bird meats all layered inside one another.  This is really good value for money as it is all meat and we use up all of the meat and it often lasts us about five days. We drive out to a farm butchers called Bramfields to get our meat for Christmas.

I am hoping to get the tree up later today, I need to shift things about to fit the blooming thing in!

On Monday the sun was shining and it was quite warm, I cleaned out the girls and they enjoyed the sunshine along with a muddy dust bath!

Well I best get a move on, I hope your preparations are going well. Until next time x

Friday, 14 December 2012

Another hectic weekend is looming

Here we go again, another weekend of craft fairs and then it will be all hands on deck to get Christmas in the Jennings household under way. When I say all hands on deck that means mine apart from Jay extracting the boxed up Christmas tree from out of the loft along with all the decorations.

Today I have been thinking food for Christmas, this year I want to make lots of goodies for us. The usual sausage rolls, cakes, biscuits, savoury cheese things, however I want to try some new things this year, we are not entertaining much or going anywhere so I will be doing what we call a running buffet most days over the Christmas period and of course the leftover days.

So at some point over the next few days I will be trawling the web for some recipes, if I find some real tasty looking ones I will share them with you. If you have any great recipes do drop me a line so we can share them.

Yesterday I made the peppermint creams for the Christmas hampers. It had been a while since I last made these. I used the simple cheats way of using fondant icing and adding peppermint essence and then I decorated them with plain melted chocolate.

Well that will be it from for now. I hope you all have a great weekend, until next time x

P.S. I have posted a webpage for frugal gift ideas, to have a peek click on the following link:
Frugal Gift Ideas

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Almost done...

I promised you some photos so here goes, it is not quite finished but I'll give you a taster of our progress

All ready for decorating

Meet Percy & Peggy the penguins!

Old bookcase been revamped was a yucky orange pine 

Remember these pillowcases? 

Now it's a bag!

curtain fabric was like this

Tadaaaaaaaaa lush!
So that is just a taster of all that has been going on. I did take photos of the bookcase before I started but I can't seem to find them anywhere on my laptop.

Hopefully by next Monday the lounge will be complete with window dressings and furniture! oh and maybe even the Christmas tree. Until next time x

ooooo how exciting!

The fabric is in the washing machine, I stood and watched for a few minutes just to see what happens. It looks a lovely colour. I can't believe how excited I am over dying a piece of fabric! 

Be back soon with pics...

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

resisting temptation

We have had quite a few new stores open up in our town, a Next out of town massive store, John Lewis and a Waitrose and until yesterday I had resisted temptation to go and have a nosey around. I knew that I would see lots of things I would love to own and decorate my home with, especially as we have been decorating.

I was determined to make as much as I could for the lounge and update and refurbish what we already had, however the window dressing was a bit of a problem as we are having these vertical blinds which Jay supplies and fits along with flooring. I think they look too harsh and office looking especially as we have a large window, so we have compromised. We are having the blinds but also curtains of some sort to soften the look and to make it feel more cosy.

I was thinking about making some type of pelmet using the old curtains we had in there and dye the fabric to match the new d├ęcor. I am no whizz on the sewing machine but I can make basic things and will have a go at making new things. But... and this is a big but, I am running fast out of time and to be honest energy and I opted for the easy option and bought a pair of curtains from Next yesterday.

They are the perfect colour to match the room, and it was just too easy to hand over the cash and have my ready made curtains.  I reasoned with myself that I have made savings with regards to the furniture and also I resisted buying any of the lovely looking cushions, pictures or any of the little nick-nacks.

I have the old curtains which were 90"x 90" and are a cream jacquard fabric and also lined so there is plenty there to make a throw and lots of cushion covers. I am off into town today for the last time this year as I hate going to town even more so at this time of the year! Back on track I am going to get some fabric dye but as yet I am undecided on the accent colour. I do like the teal/aqua but I also love the greens oh and pinks.

Being the only female in the house pink goes straight out of the window, so it will be the blue or green. Decisions decisions!

Matilda is still plodding about, we have had a very frosty cold morning and the girls have come down to eat and drink and gone back in the coop for warmth. They have the right idea of staying inside in the warm as for me it's time to venture out and walk the dogs before heading into town and get amongst the manic hoard of shoppers.

Hopefully I will be uploading photos later today of the finished or almost finished lounge!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Moody Monday!

What a hopeless weekend it has been and today has not been too great either! I have a car that keeps dying on me. I spent all weekend at craft fairs both of which were a waste of my time and effort, the washing pile had taken over the bathroom as no washing had been done since Friday. I have been working all weekend and I was minding the shop on Friday and the mess was building up, it does not take long in our house for things to go awry.

I awoke this morning to a text message from orange telling me an answer phone message is about to be deleted and do I want to save it arghhhhhhh! No I don't so sod off. I knew I had lots to get through today and I still have lots to still get done.

Jay's cousin was coming over to do the lights so I had to walk the dogs and  get back before he came over. Max and Clyde were going nuts and desperate to go walkies. I was trying to get my wellies on and Clyde kept barging past me making me almost lose my balance grrr. We get in the car it starts and I am half in the road when the blooming things conks out yet again. I manage to get it going again after the third attempt it finally keeps going and we get to go on our walk.

The cars were parked bumper to bumper and I managed to perch on the end, which I hate doing as it means the dogs have to get in and out of the car on to the road and sometimes you get the idiots that go speeding past. As usual we did not see another person walking their dogs and yet there was no parking left, it always strikes me as odd that we rarely see another walker and yet lots of parked cars.

I was walking round deep in thought about how everything seems to go wrong or life just does not go the way I would like no matter how hard I try. It was like a black cloud was following me and Clyde had bolted off I was shouting for him to come back when I tripped and flew yes flew through the air and ended up sprawled across the ground. It bloody hurt, and as I type another part of me begins to ache. My eyes smarted as I got up and started to carry on walking (the only good thing is no one saw me do it!) Like my day could get any worse.

I got home and had a cup of coffee before venturing outside to clean out the girls. Matilda is still not right but she is eating and drinking and getting about slowly.

I have managed to finish of my last crochet order, I have had to wear wrist supports as my hands are really hurting. I think I may have over done it and will be having a break from any more crocheting for a while. I have three more craft fairs this weekend which will be the last until the spring. However I do have lots of new ideas swimming around in my head for what I want to do next year.

The lights have been done, thanks to Shaun and dinner is now in the oven. I am waiting on Jay to sort out the floor and we will be all done, just the finishing touches to be done and then we can get the Christmas tree out and get all Christmassy and festive rather than being a grumpy not so old woman!

And finally I would like to add that I have created a new facebook page and I shall be adding to and updating on a regular basis (hopefully!) If you would like to check out the page click on this link.

A glass of sherry for me and a coat of varnish for the updated bookcase! On second thoughts scrap that idea just knocked over said glass of sherry and smashed glass when on way out to put girls to bed, think I should join them! Until next time x

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Quick update on Matilda

I went out this morning with trepidation not knowing what to expect, it was bloody freezing! I opened up the door of the coop and out came Bell, Dory and Octavia all trying to get through the door at once, it was a bit like the Christmas sales!

I was about to lift up the roof and there she was little Matilda, she poked her head out and with some coaxing she came down the ladder. She has had some food and a drink and promptly went straight back up to the coop back in to the warmth.

I am off to a outdoor craft fair and as I said it is freezing cold, I have on lots of layers to hopefully keep me warm. The craft fair is at Charles Mannings Amusement Park behind the big white fountain at Felixstowe. I shall be there with many others hoping to have a busy day. The fair is on from 10 am til 3 pm.

Catch up with you all later, bye for now x

Friday, 7 December 2012

Nurse to Matilda

Thursday 6th December - Well what a day was had yesterday, Matilda has not been her usual self and was waddling about like a penguin and losing her balance. I concluded she was egg bound of had a problem in that area. Her bottom was down and she was making this sorrowful little sound.

I got myself organised as I could feel that this was not going to be plain sailing. I brought the big dog cage down from the summerhouse and set that up, lined it with newspaper and an old jumper to keep her warm and snug. 

I did not have anything that I could put some water in for her to have a warm bath and then I had a light bulb moment and remembered that mum had given me her foot spa! perfect for the job, I did not put the massage of bubbles on as it was far too noisy and would have probably scared her to death.

I set the footspa up and went out to fetch Matilda, she is normally a nightmare to catch, but I could get her quite easily mind you she did keep having a peck at me. I placed her in the footspa she did have a bit of a flap but I soon managed to hold her wings and and she sat down in the water. I kept her in there for about 20 minutes and she seemed quite content to sit in there. I have not been able to see or feel an egg but I am sure that this is the problem as she keeps straining. 

I kept her in the cage through the night I was not sure if she was going to make it until the morning, however when I cam e down she seemed quite content sitting on my old jumper in the warm. She has eaten and had a drink this morning, however her tail is still down and she is struggling to walk normally.

Friday 7th December - Matilda is still living in the study in the large cage and seems quite content and happy to become a resident house chicken! She ate and drank a bit yesterday and spent most of the day with her head tucked under her wing and slept. I came down this morning and she is walking about almost normally her tail is starting to go in an upward direction.

She has eaten some seed, broccoli and some other scraps and has been drinking, her eyes are bright her comb is still bright red and upright as it has always been. I am going to put her back with the others shortly before I go and help out Jay in the shop and then I'll check on her when I get back. Fingers crossed she will be fine and  is on the mend.

The lounge has come to a bit of a standstill, Jay is laying the floor at the weekend and then we just need the lights and window dressing sorted. I am so fed up of it all now that we will not be doing any more decorating until the new year.

I have been busy making new things for the weekend, I will post photos later when I have more time.

Must dash, have a great day, until next time x

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Cream Crackered!

Phew let there be light at the end of this tunnel! Sorry for a delayed posting life has been very hectic the past week. The lounge is coming along nicely we are I should say on the home straight, we just have the woodwork to gloss, this is being done today. The new lights and sockets need fitting, the floor needs doing and I need to sort out the window dressing. Hopefully this time next week it will be all finished as I have had enough of living in a mess now.

As you know I had three craft fairs over the weekend which all went quite well, I need to make some more bits to replace what was sold ready for this coming weekend where I have another three craft fairs. I am so looking forward to a few days in my Pj's sitting in front of the TV over Christmas and doing nothing!

I found a few bargains at the RSPCA craft fair on Saturday, I was next to the cake stall which after about half an hour started to turn into a bric a brac stall after the cakes were sold. I bought some great fabric in the form of eleven pillowcases all for £1.00! I have plans for those so watch this space.
My bargain pillow cases all washed and waiting!

 I also bought a cake, some shortbread, bread and butter pudding and a jar of lemon curd all home made for £3.40 a great bargain and I also bought a pretty little bone china sugar bowl for 50 pence to go on my welsh dresser that I painted.
Still plenty of space to fill, charity shop rummages on my agenda!

We have been waking up to a frost most mornings and I have wrapped fleece around the girls water container and added a bucket on top to stop it from freezing. I still have not managed to get out there and finish off the last few jobs yet, just keeping up with cleaning out the girls and cleaning up after the dogs. Hopefully next week I will have some time.

I finally remembered to take my camera to one of the craft fairs but only managed the one photo because as usual the blooming battery was running out.

not the best photo but it gives you the idea
Well that is it from me for today must toddle off and get on with my jobs, have a good day. Until next time x

Thursday, 29 November 2012

What is the true meaning of Christmas?

Where ever you look and who ever you speak to Christmas is the hot topic of conversation. I know this is quite obvious as it is less that four weeks until the day. The boys have been asking me what I would like for Christmas and all I have asked them for is that everyone is happy and we have a happy Christmas as this is truly all that I wish for.

However I have been thinking what truly makes a happy Christmas, what do I really mean and what do I expect to happen for us to have a happy Christmas. We have as a family never had to go without some way or somehow Jay has always provided for us. My boys have never known what it is like to not have gifts for their birthdays and lots of gifts nestled under a Christmas tree, they do not know what it is to go hungry or want and not get as Jay would do his utmost and work to get them something special but they are not spoilt and have learned how to share and the importance of being a family.

The above photo was taken about two years ago, we hired a cottage and had a Christmas with just the six of us and a wonderful time we had too. It had been ten years prior since we had our last Christmas day with just us and it will be the last as the boys have grown up fast and are in relationships of their own bringing in new members to our family circle, extending and growing.

In my own personal opinion we and many others do not celebrate Christmas for it's true and original meaning, we do not attend church unless called upon by means of a wedding, funeral or christening.

I cannot explain what Christmas really is but this is our Christmas a time  for the giving and receiving  of gifts, chomping on a tin of quality street and the boys eating their selection boxes for breakfast, having a trifle in the fridge ready for tea and a bottle of sherry, lots of nuts a turkey with all the trimmings and a bad case of wind ensues by eating the seasonal sprouts combined with the nuts, coupled with an outrageous fit of the giggles due to over consumption of sherry and maybe a glass of something fizzy with dinner and that's just me.

Our afternoon and evening is spent crammed in the front room with several members of the family snoring with the TV on or even some of us chatting round the dining room table. This Is what our Christmas is all about and the essence being enjoying each others company in a relaxed and informal manner.

This is our Christmas and we love it, I have my family around me all with full  tummies and a happy contented  smile.

I asked Ben earlier what would be his ideal best Christmas ever, if he could choose anything to make a perfect Christmas what would it be and he replied being together, our family as it would not be Christmas without you all.

That sums up Christmas, money could not buy that. You don't have to buy Christmas, just doing little things for each other and being together can make it a truly special magical time. Making a gift of your own can make anything seem extra special with the thought and work that you put in is a gift alone.

When I started this post I did not know where it was going to lead or the outcome but in my heart what I want to say is that lavishing your kids with expensive gifts does not make it the best Christmas ever what makes it the best is the time you spend together, listening to one another, laughing, sharing and caring all of which can be freely given, these are the really important gifts we can give x

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Preparation is key...

As the saying goes, getting there slowly. We have finally finished all the preparation and the first bit of paint has landed! Dad is a bit of a perfectionist even though he would never admit it. He can often be heard saying if a job is worth doing it is worth doing properly.

Soooooooo as dad is helping me with the decorating we are doing the job properly, we have filled all cracks, holes and crevices. We have sanded every surface and we have washed down everything too. And at 1 pm today dad was applying the first coat of paint to the ceiling.

As there was nothing for me to do whilst dad was doing the ceiling I ventured out into the garden and pottered about. The sun was trying to shine through the clouds and the rain had stopped. I cleaned out the girls whilst they caused the usual mayhem about the garden. I managed to clean out the dead plants and debris from the greenhouse and I also planted out the garlic.

I am hoping for a dry warmish day next week so I can get out and clean down the greenhouse so it is all ready for next season. I will also need to look through my seed box and get to grips with my planning out for next season too. I am hoping to make a start with some seed sowing over the Christmas holidays. (peace and quite in the summerhouse and greenhouse!) There is always a method in my madness, however I will be wearing a thermal vest!

So plans for tomorrow are for me to give the ceiling and coving another coat of paint after I have walked the dogs and then get cracking and get some paint on the walls. I have three craft fairs over the weekend, the first one is on Friday at Britannia Primary School in Ipswich starting at 3.20 pm and then I am at Holbrook Village Hall on Saturday, 10.30 am til 2.30 pm, this one is in aide of the R.S.P.C.A and then on Sunday I am at The Kesgrave Social club form 12 noon til 4 pm.

Last night I finished off six hats by adding the final details and tonight I shall be making and finishing off some more bits and pieces just in case I do extremely well at the fair on Friday and have nothing left for the weekend. (I can live in hope!)

Right that is it from me for today, a double posting I am really spoiling you! Dinner is all prepared and just  needs to be popped into the oven, nothing fancy just a meatloaf (link for recipe on recipe page) served with jacket potatoes and the good old baked beans. I am off for a much needed shower,  until next time x

Just popping by...

Hi everyone as usual another busy weekend and this week I am trying with the help of mum and dad to get this lounge finished. The garden jobs are still waiting on my todo list. As like most of the UK it has been quite wet and the run is once again water logged. The girls really need some wellies!

The sun is shining today and I am off to walk the dogs once I have finished this before getting back to decorating.

I had the postman knock on the door yesterday with a letter which had to be signed for and it was addressed to me, was it going to be a good or bad letter I wondered! Well if you remember a while back I mentioned that I had won £50.00 worth of shopping vouchers for Aldi's, that is what the letter was. Perfect timing to get some goodies in for Christmas.

For a chance to win shopping vouchers for Aldi's visit their website for details


Well that is it from me for today, this post has taken an hour to do due to internet problems and now it is raining!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Robbie Williams at the 02

Ben with his signed programme
Some photos from our trip to the O2 arena on Saturday. 
slowly filling up

Robbie arrives centre stage

These are the best photos that I took, we were quite high up from the stage, we had a fantastic view of the whole arena. We didn't meet any celebrities much to Ben's disappointment but we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the show.  Jay drove us there and me and Ben went off to enjoy the concert whilst Jay and Adam went and had a meal and went to the cinema. 

The drive home was hard going as the weather was so awful, we got lost and saw the same round about several times and we got in the door about 2.30 am exhausted but happy.

Friday, 23 November 2012


I can't remember if I told you but I have skimmed through previous posts and cannot see anything so I shall share what I have got to tell you now.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Well this all started several weeks ago and Ben kept it a secret for a few weeks, I can't believe he never said a word!

Are you on the edge of your seat yet?

Anyway Ben was in his room playing on his Xbox and he had the laptop on idle on the desk, he was on skype  and a celebrity popped up on his screen and started chatting to him through skype and then another celebrity appeared!

oooooooo I bet your itching to know who it was...

Anyway this celebrity offered Ben some free tickets to go and see their live show. Ben never said a word until two weeks later as he thought nothing would come of it however Ben got a phone call
from a publicity agent requesting the telephone contact for his parent so Ben gave them Jay's phone no.

That night Ben rather solemnly asked if he could speak to Jay and he divulged what had transpired.

I know we could not believe it either! Two weeks and he said not a word

Anyway Jay received a call from this publicity agent and they told Jay what they had told Ben and said that we needed to give permission for it to be used for a television programme that is being shown.

Well you can imagine this had gone to another level  all this had transpired from being on skype at the right time.

Okay I have dragged this on enough you must be climbing the walls in anticipation by now.

So the outcome from this is that Ben might be on the TV tonight on skyone at 9pm UK time and we have been given VIP tickets with backstage passes to the sky area at the O2 arena for tomorrow night. Ben has been given two tickets and myself and Jay have been squabbling over who is going to accompany Ben. Jay asked if there was any chance of a third ticket but there wasn't, he had to give the names for the two that were having tickets so he gave them Ben's and mine.

Having the four boys I always miss out on going to concerts as they like stuff that I really don't so Jay has always gone with them.

I am so excited to be going, I can't wait! Well I better get a wriggle on as usual lots to do before tomorrow arrives. Until next time x

Opps I forgot to mention who the celebrity is, silly me well it's only Robbie Williams! toot toot!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Typical weather

Well the weather forecast was totally wrong it is presently piddling down and it is to hard to think about pottering about in the garden.

I have put all the rubbish from the house into the skip and I just need to sort the rubbish outside, however tomorrow is supposed to be a better day so fingers crossed. I have caught up with all the house chores so I will have a bit of a crafting day.

On Monday I started repainting an old bookcase that we use for storing all our dvd's. I want this to go back in the lounge once it is all decorated. It was originally a honey pine colour but I am painting it a slate grey to match the room. Photos to follow when finished.

You know life is going good when you have time to bake a cake! I was just taking a chocolate sponge out of the oven when mum and dad arrived yesterday. By the time it had cooled and I had finished icing it they were leaving however they did take a large chunk home with them. They had a great time in Egypt and the rest has most certainly done them good. I did not tell dad the list of jobs I have lined up for him but I did drop a few hints.

Well that is it from me for today, dinner is already cooking and the day of crafting is waiting. Have a good day, until next time x

P.S. The recipe for the chocolate cake can be found on the recipe page along with lots of other great tasting, simple recipes.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Turned out well...

Well even if I do say so myself I think it turned out rather good, even Jay and the boys were impressed. It was the biggest piece of furniture that I have attempted before and it has been years since I painted my last piece which was a small side table that is looking a bit sad and tatty and needs redoing.

Anyway photos as promised, the photos are not the best, space was very limited and I now realise I did not take that many and I have not got one of the whole cabinet before I started on it.

Bottom part of dresser prior to doing anything to it

Top part after sanding

I did not need to sand it too hard as it is only veneer, and the primer would give the paint a good hold 

After primed


For the primer I used a special primer which enables you to paint any furniture, however I did read on sharon's crafty musings blog that you can use a mix of emulsion and plaster of paris. I then used the emulsion that I had used on the walls as the final colour. I gave it two coats of polyurethane varnish for protection. 

As you know the whole process took over a week giving plenty of time between coats for it to dry completely before applying another.

Well I have just finished my coffee and toast and the skip has arrived which needs filling, it feels so good having a good de-clutter. I hope you all have a great day and I'll catch you later x

Monday, 19 November 2012

Bleary eyed!

Another week has whizzed by again, it was all a bit of a blur as it rushed me by almost sweeping me off my feet. This week looks like it is going to be another busy one, I get the feeling Christmas is going to be upon me and I am not going to be ready for it.

Let's just recap on what I have been up to since my last post. I had a craft fair on Friday at Gosling farm In Trimley St Martin. We were in a poly tunnel which is usually full of strawberries or some other fruit. It was quite a chilly day so I dressed with several layers of tops to keep me warm. However the chill crept up through your feet and into all your joints. The day went quite slow especially as we were unable to sit down so I could not keep busy and warm by crocheting.

I came home and had a hot drink to warm up and changed into my pj's and climbed into bed as the lounge is still out of action. I wanted to make some more hats for my next craft fair on the Sunday so I made a start on those.

Saturday was the day of baby Lola's naming ceremony, the morning zoomed by and before I knew it, I had to jump in the shower to get ready and go. We spent an enjoyable afternoon with friends. Saturday evening was spent in front of the TV and finishing off some bits for Sunday.

Sunday I was up and out early for the craft fair in Felixstowe, this was in aide of guide dogs for the blind. It was quite busy, there were guide dogs in the building, it seemed strange to keep hearing the odd dog bark, especially once the local brownie group finished their singing. The brownies were going for their entertainment badge. They had to do a solo performance, some of them sang, some read a poem and others played an instrument. It was a pleasant little ensemble and was enjoyable to watch. Just seeing the delight on their little faces when they were applauded and cheered.

It was nice to come home and put my feet up for all of the time it took to drink a cup of coffee as washing was still waiting to be sorted and dried. Jay and Ben had made dinner, a hot chilli but we had this big pile of nachos first which was really tasty. Thanks guys 10 out of 10.

Well that was the weekend and today I have finally given the welsh dresser it's final coat of varnish. Once it has dried it will be moved to it's final resting place and I will post the photo's. I took the dogs for a walk and remembered to take my camera.

  I was hoping you would see the glorious colours but they just don't appear as stunning as they did last week. I'm not sure if it is my camera that makes them appear more dull of it might even be that there was no sunshine today. I love the carpet of leaves crunching underfoot, it is almost as good as walking and splashing in the puddles!

Max and Clyde had me in fits of giggles as they were running round with a bushy branch. They kept dropping it at my feet for me to throw but it just went a couple of yards it was not a good throwing stick.

It was a nice crisp dry day perfect for a brisk walk, once we came home I went straight out into the garden so I could clean out the coop. I even managed to heave the bag of bark down from the summerhouse and piled it in the run to help dry out the mud and give the girls a drier surface to walk about on.

The girls were out and about the garden digging through the stones and Max had followed me down the garden when I went to fetch the bark. He would not come back down the garden but stood behind the bench with a dopey look upon his face and looking at the girls then at me. I had to walk back down the garden and lead him back, daft thing was afraid of the girls! Mind you stones were flying about at a rate of knots!

I just placed the bark in the centre of the run, the girls have since scattered it about and have had a good dig through it. I just hope I can still get in through the gate.

I have lots to get through this coming week however I saw the weather forecast last night for the coming week and Wednesday is supposed to be dry sunny and a little bit warmer so that will be my gardening day for this week and hopefully I will get through that last little list of gardening jobs that needs doing this side of Christmas.

That is it from me for today, I hope you have enjoyed reading and seeing the photos. Hopefully the dresser will be all sorted tomorrow so keep an eye out for that. Until next time x
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