Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sunday sneezes

Happy Sunday to you all, its a very sneezy and snotty Sunday here as my cold has come out with a vengeance. I am currently nursing a blackcurrant lemsip and feeling just a tad sorry for myself, I am so bunged up, which for me is the worse part of a cold. Oh to be able to breath through my nose again, it would be such a treat.

I was rudely awoken at 6.30am (old time) by my small boy who was fed up with sleeping. he decided it was time everyone was up and at 'em. It was just as well really as both of them have loads of homework to do and today we effectively loose an hour.

The Country Living Show was fab. We spent four hours drooling over the lovely stands and lets just say rather a lot of purchases were made. My MIL is the worst (read as best) person you could take to such an extravaganza of craftiness, she has no restraint at all and is down right encouraging when it comes to purchasing lovelies.

My best buy was my Jan Constantine cushion which I have been coveting since last Summer when I saw one on the Isle of Wight. Mil treated me to half of it instead of an Easter Egg (I bet she wished I'd chosen an egg, it would have been considerably cheaper). I took ages to choose as when faced with a huge choice I just go to pot. This is what I finally choose.

I got a lovely vintage glass jug and a print (just need to find a frame), a very sweet little needle case, a sweet little cotton nightdress for Daisy and a single patchwork quilt for Daisy's bed.

I liked this little print, its a copy of a piece of embroidery, thought the washing line pretty much sums up my life at times.

Here is the little needle case, I might have a go at making one but I will embroider Needles onto white felt rather than paying out for name tags.

Daisy was also treated to some Maileg furniture for her little rabbits and mice. I must admit I fell in love with the little highchair and the crib.

We enjoyed a nice lunch there too and all in all we had a lovely day.

Alex and P spent the day at London Zoo and I think they enjoyed themselves in spite of the weather.

Pepe is feeling better I think, she likes her new food and seems much more perky.

Here she is having a bit of a roll, the fat old pudding that she is!
Not a lot planned for today really apart from the normal Sunday chores of ironing, Sunday dinner, homework etc etc etc.

Hope your Sunday is considerably less snotty and sneezy than mine.

Alison X

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Cadbury Goodness

Today has been a rainy grey day here in Bucks, a bit of a disappointment if I am totally honest with you. Anyway when its grey and miserable the best way to cheer oneself up is to get baking and make some yummy treats for the little ones and the big ones in the family.

I thought a few chocolate fairy cakes were in order and here they are all hot and naked from the oven.

A little bit of chocolate butter icing and some delicious Cabury goodness later and here they are all dressed up and ready to eat.

Did I ever mention my slight addiction to Cadbury's chocolate. I just love love love it and I really don't think any other chocolate compares. You can keep your fancy Swiss chocolate or your posh Belgium treats, give me a bar of good old Cadbury's any day of the week. Here are my top five Cadbury treats:-

1) Creme Egg


3)Chocolate Buttons

4)Freddo Frog

5)Dairy Milk

Do you enjoy a bit of chocy? Go on tell me your favourite nibble.

I am a bit worried about Pepe at the moment. She has been acting very depressed for the last few days. She has hardly budged off the bed and has eaten very little of her food. I am guessing the food is the problem, she has gone on hunger strike after deciding she hates Felix pouches. She has been a misery and not her normal self at all. Maybe some new food tomorrow will cheer her up, if not I fear a trip to the vets will be in order. Here she is in all her grumpy gingerness.

The foam finally arrived to make Daisy a cushion to go on the top of her chest in her bedroom. I was all excited and keen to start making the cushion cover. Well let me tell you what a bugger it was to make. I sort of got impatient and rushed it a bit rather than do it slowly and think things through. I wasn't happy with the finished result but Daisy was thrilled and has turned the chest into a little sofa. My next job is to sand the chest down and paint it white. A job for when the weather is a bit more consistent I think.

Here is the little spotty bench seat, adorned with Daisy's cushions and her little owls. Do you like the little knitted owl, he was from the craft fair at the weekend. He is filled with lavender and wheat and you can warm him up in the microwave.

Oh look another little owl sat in Alex's room next to Bertie Basset, they must be breeding those little owls.

Here's another pic of the bench, check out the rubbish looking cover. I may try to make another one when I get a bit more time and have a bit more patience.

Sorry this post has been a bit rambling, I did plan on writing it this afternoon when I was in the mood but P came home early and dragged me down to the garden centre for a cup of tea and a mooch round. I am now tired, not really in the mood and Alex is hassling me to use the computer. I am also coming down with a cold judging by the amount of sniffing and sneezing I'm doing.

Looking forward to Saturday when we are off to the Country Living show in London, which should be great.

Have a great weekend whatever you do.



Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Happy Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, its been a good day so far. Just the right mix of doing what I want to do and doing what has to be done.

I have spent a very pleasant morning making Alex's long overdue bunting whilst listening to radio 2 (how old does that make me!!). Here it is, its a mix of Cath Kidston Stars and racing cars. I have strung it up on the wall by his bed, I hope he likes it.

I have also finished the ironing and done two lots of washing so all up to date on the house work front.

Also been scoffing these all morning, little jelly bean hearts - delicious. I am supposed to be watching what I eat and these are definitely not what I should be eating but honestly who could resist?

We had a lovely weekend. We went to the school craft fair on Saturday which was enjoyed by all. P had a work phone call after we had been there for about five minutes and had to go off (I'm sure he planned that!). The In laws came along as well and we all enjoyed looking around and having a little spend too.

I bought this little shelf for £6 and I think it's perfect for my Emma Bridgewater mugs, what do you think?

I bought this union jack cushion too and my MIL bought me two little crochet broaches, Daisy decided to pin one onto the cushion and it looks as though that's where it's going to stay.

Also very excited about this cross stitch cushion kit I bought. My MIL bought one too. They look fab when they are made up and really remind me of a fair ground. I think its the writing it wouldn't look out of place on a carousel if you know what I mean.

Daisy & Alex went to an Easter flower workshop and made these little table decorations. They really enjoyed working with the flowers and each little decoration has a tiny moss birds nest and a chick.

We awoke on Sunday to a glorious sunny and warm day. I spent a couple of hours giving the house a bit of a spring clean (only a little one, lots more still needs doing). P and the kids went out into the garden and the little ones decided to spring clean the play house. We have decided that new curtains are in order this year, I have added them to my list of things to make, do or complete (its a very long list).

We went of for a mooch around the garden centre and came back with some frilly pansies, an arum lily, two children's gardening sets, and some tropical looking plant that P has been after for a while. We also visited a little flea market and collectors fair which was just down the road from the garden centre. I bought a Stratton lip stick holder (I am sort of collecting Stratton compacts) and a brand new Tula pink leather purse for £3, what a bargain. I bought my MIL one of these a few years back and it cost £40.

So after a spot of garden we decided a little walk over the fields was in order whilst our chicken was roasting in the oven.

We only have to cross over the road and walk down the little lane and you have four huge fields to walk through.

Daisy found a fallen tree to climb over, she has always had a bit of thing for climbing trees!

They also had a spot of digging to do, not sure what they were digging for.

Then we walked on down from the woods to open fields and spotted lots of brown hares chasing each other and generally going a bit loopy. I really wished I had brought my binoculars with me. Alex wanted to know whether it was the same brown hare from the book "Guess how much I love you?"

If you carry on across the fields you eventually come to Little Marlow and the River Thames. That's another walk for another day.

After our walk we enjoyed a lovely roast chicken tea and before we knew it was time for bed and the start of a new week.

Hope you are having a good Tuesday too.



Friday, 19 March 2010

Our House

I wanted to do an end of week post but wasn't sure what to write about as today has been rather uneventful and very mundane. So I thought I would give you a little tour of our home.

Our house was built in the 1880's and is an end of terrace cottage. It was originally a two up and two down with an outside loo but after several extensions it is now a small three bedroom cottage. We have lived here for nearly 12 years and this is probably our last year here as we are planning on selling in the next six months. We need a bigger house with a bit more living space. The downside of us moving is that we love, love, love living here. We got married whilst living here, brought home our two babies to this lovely little house and have generally had a very happy twelve years here. Our neighbours are lovely, we can walk to school and to the village shops. I think it may take us some time to find a bigger house that has all the things that we want.

It looks a bit scruffy from the outside but that's part of its appeal.

We have a little slate tiled porch that leads through to our lounge.

I'm not at all into the minimalistic look, I like lots of stuff around, photographs, nic naks, cushions galore. I like our house to feel homely and love finding little bits to fill it with.

Our kitchen and dining room is a lovely soft creamy primrose, which is a lovely sunny colour to cook and eat in (the kitchen was all the rage when we fitted it 10 years ago - honestly). As you can tell, I like stuff out on display and have a strange addiction to classic styled kitchen gadgets (usually cream coloured). I dream of owning a Kitchen Aid mixer one day - blimey how sad does that make me!!

As you can see we have very steep open stairs. When we moved in there wasn't even any banisters. Daisy and Alex have each fallen down them at least once when they were little even though we did have stair gates (luckily it wasn't from the top).

This is Daisy's room, its cream with one wall papered in a very pretty Laura Ashley butterfly wallpaper. She loves soft toys and has way too many. Both my children take after me for their love of stuff everywhere. This drives P nuts, he doesn't really do "stuff" and is constantly muttering about the quantity of clutter we have.

Our room is a deep teal colour and has one wall of Cath Kidston mono rose wallpaper. I try to keep our room clutter free just to keep P happy but as you can see we have plenty of cushion and my bedside cabinet is always pretty full.

Finally Alex's little room, it has a funny slopping ceiling but it's just big enough for a six year old boy and his collection of Star Wars toys and lego sets. Actually its not that small and does also contain a book shelf, desk and chest of drawers and a built in wardrobe/cupboard. I tried photographing the other side of the room but is a Star Wars cluttered mess of built lego sets and playmobil toys.

We have bought the paint and paper to decorate (bought it last April) but just haven't got around to doing it. I think we might give it a lick of paint even though we are planning on moving. He choose some pale blue star wallpaper from Laura Ashley, which will look lovely if it ever gets put up.

Alex absolutely hates his bed, and desperately wants a normal bed i.e not a cabin style bed. However, you would not believe what junk is hidden behind his little bed curtains. It hides a multitude of toys, so I'm not sure a normal bed would be such a good idea.

Anyway that's my post done, I hope you liked the guided tour, its not a big fancy house but its our little home and we love it here.

I hope you all have a great weekend planned, we are going to the school's two day craft fair this weekend, which is normally very good and the kids have birthday parties to go to as well.

I have cakes to make for the craft fair and am planning on finding some time to learn a few more crochet stitches (I still plan on making a granny square blanket eventually).

Enjoy whatever you do.

Alison X

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

This is not what I'm supposed to be doing....

It's a beautiful sunny Tuesday here in Bucks and I was supposed to be tackling the Mount Everest sized pile of ironing but instead I've been taking pictures in the garden of the tiny signs that Spring is trying its hardest to arrive.

A Primrose that was planted last year and totally forgotten about, has flowered. I'm amazed it has survived to cold cold Winter.

Some dangly little lambs tails, just hanging around waiting to be admired (or picked by the kids).

A little crocus looking rather beautiful and a tiny bit lonesome.

This year seems to be a good year for our hellebores (I think that's their name). They are covered in lots of little pink flowers. Are these also called a Christmas Rose?

I love gardening but know very little about plant names, my Mother-In-Law is the gardening expert in the family, she spends hours out in her garden making it look lovely. She is like our very own female version of Alan Titchmarsh.

Our garden is a typical cottage garden, its long and not overly wide and in the late spring looks absolutely beautiful. Its full of delphiniums and lupins, tulips and alliums to name but a few.

P has a strange addiction to large jungle type plants and he spends most of the Summer tending to his small collection of tree ferns and other big weird non native plants. They look great and add a quirky feature to an otherwise typical cottage garden. They are all packed away at the moment, covered in fleece and bubble wrap to protect them from the frost.

We are in our second year of trying to grow some veg of our own. Last years success's were carrots, runner beans and salad leaves. The beetroots were a disaster with a capital D, so we aren't bothering with them this year.

This year we are planning on growing beans, carrots, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and have loads of packets of flower seeds to have a go with. We used to have a green house but we dismantled it when Daisy was a toddler as I had visions of her running into it. It would come in so handy now. Its pretty tricky growing your own without a proper greenhouse. We have one of those little greenhouse shelving units with the plastic cover which is ok but its not ideal. When we get a new house we are definitely having a greenhouse.

Daisy and Alex are out in the garden as I type, they are out there rediscovering just how much fun can be had on the trampoline.

Anyway, my morning of ironing turned into a morning of cooking and pottering. I made some butterfly cakes for the children, adorned with Cadbury's mini eggs, which went down rather well as an after school snack.

I've made some broccoli and Stilton soup for tomorrow's lunch and I have finally stuffed the fillet of pork and wrapped it in bacon ready for tea. We were supposed to have this yesterday but I spent the day feeling decidedly icky and couldn't face cooking a roast for tea. My tummy was whirling like a washing machine all day yesterday and I had a pounding headache also. Feeling much better today thank goodness (even though P has just popped his head in the door and said you still look rubbish - cheers mate!)

I have also spent most of the morning trying to keep the ginger rascal out of the cupboard where her favourite catty snacks are kept. She keeps opening the cupboard door and trying to help herself.
I keep pulling her out and telling her no in my sternest voice, but she just doesn't listen.

Finally a picture of my yummy breakfast in bed on Mothers Day, note the burnt toast !! Also I'm not really sure why I needed a plum with my eggs.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Happy Mothers day

Just popped in to say happy mothers day to all the mummies. I hope your Mothers Day has been special.

I had lots of lovely gifts and cards and in particular a lovely card made by my little man at school using his very bestest hand writing and I know that bestest hand writing is not easy when you are only just six. Thank you for picking all the lovely gifts that you knew I would love. Brainwashing you little ones into being able to spot lovely Cath Kidston or Emma Bridgewater eventually pays off.

I had a lovely lie in and had some yummy boiled eggs delivered to my bed for me to enjoy. Did have to send the toast back though as silly Daddy managed to burn it and burnt soldiers with lovely boiled eggs just won't do particularly on Mothers Day.

We are off to have a very naughty Wimpey for tea later on. I was going to cook roast stuffed fillet of pork, but sadly forgot to get the pork out of the freezer last night. Anyway I think a night off from cooking and a little bit of junk food won't hurt in the grand scheme of things.

P is engrossed in his weekly attempt at catching up on the dreaded business paperwork. The terror twins are busy making Harry Potter spells up in Daisy's bedroom, they have pinched a selection of bowls, spoons and kitchen stuff to help them. I can hear lots of chanting going on and shouts of "oh it didn't work" lol. So I am enjoying a sit down, a little bit of surfing whilst celebrity cash in the attic is on in the back ground. I think I might pop the kettle on and make a much needed brew. I have my lovely new Emma Bridgewater tulip adorned mug to try out thanks to Alex.

So it leaves me just this to say, thank you Daisy and Alex for all your lovely gifts and for just being you. You make me smile and laugh daily with all your funny little ways, the things you say and do and although you drive me nuts at times, I wouldn't have it any other way. Love you both very much - Mummy xxx

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Rude Awakenings

Why is it that some people think it is perfectly reasonable to phone at 7.30 am on a Saturday morning. The whole house was rudely awoken by said phone call, which was not a matter of life or death merely a boring unimportant work phone call. I so look forward to my little sleep in on a Saturday morning. You see, I'm not really a morning person, I'm more of a late night sort of a girl and ideally I wouldn't wake until at least 8am given the choice - but sadly I don't have that choice. Anyway moan over, at least it has given me the chance to update my blog, so every cloud and all that.

Been another busy week, and quiet stressy at times. We have a couple of issues on-going at the moment, one work issue and one family issue. Both seem to be taking up a lot of my time and causing a lot of stress and worry. I find that stress just seems to zap all my creative energy and I find it hard to concentrate on my crafty projects.

On Tuesday the work issue seemed to take up a large portion of my day so by teatime I was feeling very stressed indeed. I decided to sit down and do a jigsaw puzzle to take my mind off of things. I'm not a big jigsaw puzzler to be honest but there is something quite therapeutic about fitting those little pieces together. I only attempted a 250 piece kids puzzle but it did the trick and amazingly I felt less stressed afterwards. Here's is my kids map of the world...


I have had a good week searching in the charity shops, went out on Monday but didn't find a single thing to buy (always disappointing) but on Tuesday I found these lovely little finds..

A little green glass dish, perfect for buttons or bits

This very sweet little sauce boat, it has a little fuscia on it. I also got some old buttons to add to my tin.
On Thursday I popped into my local charity shop and found these

I call them fruit spoons and they are perfect for puddings. They had never been used so I quickly grabbed them and bought them home.

I love this little glass jug, I don't know if its old or not but it has an art deco feel to it and it looks lovely along side all of my other jugs. I also found a hand made large glass bowl for £4, which although modern will be perfect as a salad bowl.
The cupcakes turned out really well, it was a bit of a strange way of making them but they tasted great. We will definitely make them again. Here are some of the little chocolate beauties...

They didn't hang around for long. Alex wanted to do some cooking when he got in from school on Friday so we made some shortbread biscuits. I was planning on making a traditional shortbread in a round tin to then cut into triangles but Alex had a better idea.

We made hearts, circles, bats, one witch, a couple of rabbits and an apple. Lets just say I have a lot of biscuit cutters!

On Friday I had to pop to the local music shop to buy Daisy some more recorder music. A few shops down from the music shop is a lovely little art shop which sell prints, does framing and sell lots of little handmade goodies. I managed to get these little ceramic buttons in there. Aren't they sweet?

I also bought this little picture for our bedroom. It isn't what I would normally go for but I just loved the contrasting colours and I loved the actual picture too.

The picture is an actual postcard and it has all been cut out. Apparently the chap who designs these postcards is famous for this type of work. Not sure who he is or what this cutting out work is called (is it a type of fret work?). Anyway P gave it the thumbs up, which is always the first hurdle that needs to be overcome. The picture is of a mummy being kissed by her little boy, well that's how I see it ( I suppose it could be a midget and his lover lol)

A picture of my union jack cross stitch below. I have managed to do some this week and spent a bit of time yesterday evening working on it. I can't wait until its all finished and is turned into a little cushion. I need to find some fabric for the backing. I have only got the blue triangle left to do and that will be a whole quarter finished, I finished the other white section last night.

Off for an early Mothers Day lunch today with my in-laws which will be nice. We are just going to a little tea shop which sell the most fantastic sandwiches and cakes. It is like taking a step back in time when you go through the door. My sister-in-law is coming also and she has eaten out on Thursday, Friday and is going out tonight too, this is why we have chosen the teashop for lunch as she only wants something light to eat!
Mothers day tomorrow, maybe I will get my lie in then. Have a great weekend whatever you get up to.
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Monday, 8 March 2010

Crochet, cupcakes and little bunnies

Monday again, how did that happen so quickly. The weekend flew by so quickly, Friday night one minute then suddenly its Monday morning again.

Had a busy weekend, the children both had parties to go to and so did me and P. It was friends 40th birthday so we had a nice night out and the kids had a sleepover with Nanny and Grampy. It was lovely to put on a dress and heels for once. I am so used to wearing jeans and trousers all of the time that it feels quite strange to dress up. I am definitely not cut out for high heel wearing on a regular basis. However there is something about a pair of stupidly high heels that I am magnetically drawn to, particularly if they have peep toes or are patent leather. I think its the slut in me trying to get out lol.

We decided to brave the very chilly Sunday weather and go for a walk to Burnham Beeches. The sun was shinning and the sky was blue and cloudless but blimey was it parky. We had a good walk through the Beeches and found the perfect fallen branch to make our Spring tree. It was going to be our Easter tree but the children wanted to decorate it on Sunday afternoon and decided they couldn't possibly wait until Easter. So it looks as though this little beauty will be in the lounge until at least Easter. Here it is in all its glory (trust me it looks better in real life!)

P and Alex walking in the Beeches.

Crafting has taken a bit of a back seat this weekend but I did have my tea and crochet lesson from the lovely J and here is my very first ever attempt at crocheting. Are you ready for it......

I think its going to be a scarf for Daisy's favourite toy Doggy.

I am determined to learn enough to be able to make a blanket, that's the plan anyway. I can do the chain stitch (think that's what it's called) and the double crochet stitch but that's all at the moment. I fear I have an awful lot to learn. I found it incredibly tricky to start with and got very frustrated but then it seemed to click into place and away I went.

If any one has any tips or easy blanket patterns that they can recommend for a beginner then I would be very grateful.

Both my children have suddenly discovered hot chocolate. Neither ever drank hot drinks and now they are both addicted to a pre teeth clean bedtime cup of this..

I just wanted to leave you with a picture of the cutest little mice and rabbits my two have been playing this weekend.

They got their match box mice for Christmas and I found the little bunnies in John Lewis last week. How cute are they all lined up.

Planning on making some cupcakes tomorrow. I picked up a copy of the Humming Bird cupcake book in Waitrose last week. It was on the end of an aisle that had been decorated with all sorts of lovely things for Mothers day. I couldn't resist it and it had £3 off.

I am going to make some chocolate ones I think, they look pretty good. I will take a photo for next time of the finished results. I make chocolate cupcakes ordinarily but I will follow their recipe and see whose taste the best. I like a culinary challenge.