Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Why is it that all the children that I read about in other people's blogs always come across as well behaved, loving and delightful individuals?

Why is it that my two "delights" fight, argue, never ever listen to me and are at times (read as often) a pain in the bum?

Where am I going wrong that's what I want to know?

Last night Alex decided to have see what would happen if he gently peeled the corner of his wallpaper! No real damage done, nothing that a bit of wall paper paste won't put right but why did he feel the need? He is old enough to understand that we spent all last weekend decorating and making his room nice for him.

This morning I had a full scale argument with Daisy over her school dress. I thought I was being helpful and saving her a bit of time when I laid her school dress out on her bed. I went up stairs and she was wearing a school skirt and shirt. I casually asked why she wasn't wearing her school dress (as in "oh you not wearing the dress I left on the bed?") and she then tried to convince me (read as blatantly lie) that I had left the skirt and shirt out on her bed and she had not swapped her school clothes. I saw red, not because she had swapped clothes, I couldn't care less which school uniform she wears but the fact that she had lied to me, it was pretty convincing too - tears and looks of why don't you believe me. I went on and on like a demented fool about telling lies and not being able to trust her in future.

I am now left feeling like a horrible old witch whilst they have skipped off happily to school. I do try to be a good mum but boy oh boy do they test my patience at times. How do you stop shouting and make them start listening? Is it just kids being kids and part of growing up? Are children on other peoples blogs really so delightful all of the time?

Someone please tell me the secret of being a lovely level headed non shouting mum.

As penance for my horrible outburst I have decided to bleach the bathroom floor. Picture if you will me stripped down to bra and knickers with a cloth under one foot and a green scourer under the other gently ice skating over bleach covered tiles. Oh I wish I had listened to the tiler who warned me that white grout wasn't such a great idea on floor tiles.

Hoping to post a more cheerful post crammed full of perfect children photos some time soon!


Monday, 28 June 2010

A Taste of Summer

Hello, are you all enjoying this gorgeous Summer sunshine? It's been rather warm here in Bucks to say the least but I'm not complaining, it beats wet and windy any day!

We have been making the most of the gorgeous weather and have launched ourselves into Summer mode with a vengeance.

On Saturday we enjoyed a stroll around the farmers market in Old Beaconsfield followed by a rather hot pick your own excursion. We picked a tonne of of strawberries and a massive punnet of cherries. Alex lived up to his reputation as the monkey of the family. I have never seen such a small boy climb so fast and high up a cherry tree. He has always been a bit of a climber to say the least. At 18 months he could reach the top of the largest of climbing frames whilst I would be in a state of panic waiting to catch him should he fall.

Pick your own is always followed by a jam making session and this year was no exception. Daisy likes to be in charge of jam. She did a great job with the strawberry jam whilst I made a small batch of cherry jam.

You realise the success of the jam is all in the stirring so I was informed!

Bubbling away.

The end result! Some of the jam will be given to the teachers as an end of year present. I suppose it makes a change from chocolates or smellies!

The sunshine has allowed us plenty of playtime out in the garden. We have pretty much eaten all our meals outside for the past week.

Alex enjoying a swing in the sunshine.

Daisy and Alex scaled up onto the roof of the playhouse so that they could see the puppies in the next door garden. The pups are 6 weeks old now and have been moved to their outside kennel until they go to their new homes in a couple of weeks time. They are black labs and are so sweet. Daisy and Alex spent about an hour around next door playing with them and then spent another hour watching them from their lofty spot!

The roses are still looking pretty good, I especially love the little pink ones that are slowly climbing up the remaining trunk of our old cherry tree that we had to chop down last Summer. Pretty aren't they?

The runners are starting to grow rapidly and the tomatoes are looking promising.

Great excitement at the weekend, we had our very first crop of new potatoes. They were lovely with lots of butter, mint and sea salt.

We have had a fair few strawberries too, so all looking good on the grow your own front.

Summer wouldn't be Summer without a sports day or two. Here is Alex throwing the foam javelin last Monday. He had a great afternoon and was very excited about the whole affair. I wish I could remember sports day that fondly! Daisy's sports day is next Monday.

And finally a picture of the ginger goddess of the catty world just because she's worth it!

I'm really hoping this sunny weather continues into the weekend as we are camping out at school on Saturday night. I have only every spent two nights in a tent in the whole of my 41 years and am having mixed feelings about it. I guess I can always sneak home if the weather is bad or I hate it that much.
Haven't done much crocheting until yesterday due to decorating and the like, but I have churned out a good few squares over the last two days. I will finish my granny square blanket even if it kills me. I also have a dress to make for Daisy, my kiss cushion to sew, a union jack cushion to complete, two cross stitches to get on with. I am the official queen of WIP. Too much thinking/talking and not enough doing as Mr P likes to point out on occasion. He is definitely a doer and get things done sort.
Have a lovely sunny Summer week.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

A Quick Hello

Just popped by to say a quick hello, its been a while since my last post.

Only one picture today, I haven't had the time to photograph anything, I have been busy decorating since Friday and we are nearly there I think. I feel like I have been trapped in Alex's bedroom for days, rather than just 48 hours.

I started Thursday afternoon, emptying out his room, it took me nearly 4 hours to sort through all of his toys and books. Some have gone to my sisters house for storage until his room is finished and his new bed is delivered, some toys and all of his beloved lego models are currently in our room. The upstairs in our house looks a total wreck at the moment. That is the joy of decorating I suppose.
This is the bed we have ordered for Alex, except his is being painted in a light sailing boat blue, it should look nice in his room. I managed to pop out to Laura Ashley today as they were having a 25% off of everything weekend. I bought Alex a duvet cover and blue stripped fitted sheet for his new bed, some woven blue storage boxes and a really sweet rug for his room. His room is wall papered in a pale blue paper which is covered in little dark blue stars. I will add some pictures once its finished and his bed is in situ.

Had a busy week, I did lots of crocheting during the first part of the week, the granny squares are adding up. I attempted to crochet a few together just to see how it's done and also to get a feel for how the blanket will look when it's finished. Good old Lucy at Attic24 she really is a marvel when it comes to all things crocheted. I undid the few squares that I joined and have decided to be patient and wait until the end before joining them. At least I know how to do it now.

I made a cushion cover on Tuesday for one of the cushions I use on the bench out in the garden. I did a simple envelope style cover and appliqued a beach hut on the front made from candy stripped bed sheet off cuts that I bought at the charity shop the other week. I was pleased with it, it wasn't stitch perfect but it only took just over an hour and it will only be used out in the garden so I didn't feel the need for total perfection! I will add a picture on my next post.

Well the little ones were packed off to Nanny and Grampy's house after school on Friday and won't be back until tomorrow evening. It's been a very quite house to say the least. I have enjoyed the time spent with just Mr P, it really took me back to how it used to be pre-children. We had 7 years together as a couple before children and I realised today that I do sometimes sort of miss the time you get before your little ones arrive. We had a nice lie in, and spent the day decorating listening to the radio and singing along to all the old 80's songs, enjoyed a nice meal together and we have both just enjoyed some time off from being parents. It has made me realise that all parents need a break sometimes however much you love your little ones. Saying all of that though it will be nice to see their little faces tomorrow and I'm sure Alex will be on a real high after seeing his bedroom.

We are all meeting up for a meal out for Fathers Day tomorrow evening with the In-laws and lovely sister in law and her boyfriend. They have just come back from Serrento in Italy the lucky devils - that's one place I am definitely going to without the kids!

Fathers day tomorrow, Mr P had his pressies on Friday as the little ones were going away. Happy fathers day to all the dads, I sadly lost my dad nearly 17 years ago, I miss him like mad still and and he will be in my thoughts tomorrow, he was a top dad, one in a million.

Till next time.


Saturday, 12 June 2010

A Brand New Love Affair!

Hello and a happy Saturday to you all. Just watched the England game, so not feeling quite as happy as I should be. I didn't think it was a bad game, just a shame about the dodgy goal keeping incident, feeling a tad sorry for Green, lets face it he's not going to be getting man of the match. Right that's the the world cup talk out of the way.

We've had a rather lazy Saturday. Had a bit of a lie in before Alex started demanding pancakes for breakfast. After breakfast Daisy and I decided to head off to the little antiques fair in Beaconsfield. We picked up my friend Julia on the way who had decided to come along for a mooch. We arrived to find that the fair was not being held as the church hall was being used for a first holy communion celebration. We decided to have a look in the charity shops but we didn't find much to buy, a couple of vintage ladybird books and a few books for Daisy. We managed to squeeze in a coffee and danish pastry before heading home.

Mr P was given time out for good behaviour and headed off to play golf this afternoon. We decided a day at home was just the ticket. Alex played on his new Wii game for far too long, Daisy finally managed to do her project on the Vikings and I caught up with some jobs and made some yummy hummingbird chocolate cup cakes.

Do you like my new mixing bowl, yes the Jamie Oliver one (see previous post)? It's a great size for cake mixing.

Here they are finished, I love the hummingbird book, they never seem to fail and they taste so good. Alex always scores these cakes 100 out of 100, they are his favourite.

This is what my two little darlings were doing whilst I baked, both flaked out watching Alice in Wonderland. They could have been playing out in the sunshine or helping me bake but no, they both seemed to need a lot of lounging time today.

The plus side of two tired lounging little ones is that I had a really quiet afternoon!

I did make a little purchase today, do you like my toadstools? I have had my eye on these for some time. They weren't expensive and I probably won't even fill them with salt and pepper, I just liked them and thought they would look nice in the kitchen.

Now for news of my brand new love affair. On Tuesday Julia and I headed off to our monthly knitting group. We arrived and sat there practising a crochet stitch that Julia had found on an on-line tutorial. It was good practice stitch but it still felt like a million miles away from ever being able to crochet a granny square blanket. In walked Marie, she wasn't there last month, so we had no idea that she was the crochet queen. I plucked up the courage, swapped seats and asked her to show us how to crochet a granny square. Well, she was like flipping grease lightning. I felt my heart sink as my much coveted granny square blanket seemed even further from my grasps.

She then slowed right down and helped me start my first ever granny square. It was slow going, there was lots of unpicking but eventually I did it! I made my first ever granny square and I was so happy.

The following evening I sat in bed, crochet hook in hand and decided to try and follow the tutorial on Attic 24's blog. I took my time and eventually I managed to make a summer garden granny square. That was it, Thursday morning, Julia and I made a trip to the sewing shop and both stocked up on lovely yarns. We both have one single goal in mind - our first ever granny square blankets.

It has been a total love affair with the hook and yarn. I just didn't get why people got so excited about hooking, but it is so addictive and so very satisfying and the best bit for me has been watching the colours unfold.

So this afternoon, after cake baking, whilst the little ones were engrossed in Alice in Wonderland, I took these ( a crocheters must have)

and headed outside to here, my current favourite hooky spot

and made lots of these (currently completed 9)

I never ever thought I would post a stack shot of granny squares crocheted with my own fair hands.

The start of my very first granny square blanket. I can not tell you how excited this is making me. Lucy at Attic24 is always saying how heart skippy it makes her feel and do you know I really get what she means now. It has made me very heart skippy today just to sit and hook these little squares. I keep imagining Alex or Daisy snuggled up on the sofa under these little heart warming squares.

The only down side is that I have been suffering crocheters finger (as I like to call it), a rather sore finger from the pressure of holding the hook.

Right, a bit more hooking before bedtime me thinks.

Have a lovely weekend.

Alison x

Monday, 7 June 2010

Clean Cars, Clean Cupboards & The Big Bad Bed Swap Row!

Monday again! The weekend seemed to whizz by at top speed and here we are again, back on the treadmill of everyday normal life. The little ones were back at school today, they trotted off quite happily, glad to see their friends again. I came home to a strangely quiet house and did the normal Monday chores before tackling the worst job in the world - cleaning out the very filthy car.

It had reached that point when drastic action had to be taken. I hoovered up endless crumbs, dirt, squashed sweeties, washed stains and stickies off seats, threw away loads of rubbish and sweet wrappers, removed various coats, rugs, gloves and four odd socks, polished the dashboard and finally restored the car back to a condition that is fit for humans to travel in. I treated the old girl to a whizz through the car wash and she looks so much better for it. I am now officially promising to take better care of her in future. I am not going to allow the poor thing to ever get into that state again - promise.

The weekend was fairly relaxing, we spent time out in the garden on Saturday morning before heading off to spend a very pleasant day with the In-laws.

I took a few pictures of some of the lovely flowers that are blooming and looking at their very best.

These Arum lilies were bought back in March with only two flowers open, haven't they gone mad!

The poppies are looking fab too, rain please don't wreck them just yet.

All the roses are looking magnificent this year, I reckon the really cold winter did them the power of good.

The strawberries are getting fatter by the day, they just need to ripen up now.

Saturday morning brought great excitement when the postie delivered my fairy tale swap parcel. Vanessa at hapi-ness sent me these gorgeous goodies. She apologised as two items she had ordered for my parcel hadn't turned up. I think the parcel was pretty fab even without the items.

All wrapped up and ready to open

I got all of the following:- two fab china cups and saucers, a bag of sweeties, some Hansel & Gretal note paper, a very sweet spotty diary, a gorgeous smelly bath bomb, a very sweet little note book and some fairy tale packing tape. Thank you so much Vanessa, once again you have proved to be a great swap partner.

Saturday morning we took a walk up the road in search of some of these little beauties...

Elderflowers. We picked lots of flower heads, here we are picking away....

We took them home, gave them a good shake out and placed 20 heads into a large bowl. We then added the rind from two lemons and the two lemons sliced up, 75 grams of citric acid.

We then added 1.8kg of granulated sugar into 1.2 litres of water and brought the sugary liquid to the boil. We very carefully poured the boiling sticky syrup over the flowers and lemons and left them to steep for a day.
We carefully strained the liquid through a sieve and muslin cloth and bottled up the golden liquid into bottles and made our very own elderflower cordial. Delicious diluted with water - fizzy, spring or plain old tap. These three bottles will be gone in a flash.

Sunday - Mr P was up early and headed off to play golf, so I got up and decided to sort out some of the worst offending kitchen cupboards. I long to have a dresser so that I can display all my vintage china and cornish ware but that's not going to happen until we move house. In the mean time I will just have to make do with a glass fronted kitchen cupboard.

This cupboard looks much better for a wash and sort out. Before it was full of odds and sods. I even cleaned out the medicine cupboard, some stuff was 6 years out of date!! Note to myself - CLEAN OUT CUPBOARDS MORE OFTEN YOU LAZY MOO!!

After the mini spring clean we poped out to the magpies nest which is held every month. I found this pretty cup and another Stratton compact for my collection. Alex was desperate for me to buy him a ship in bottle, it was horrid, so when he came home he made himself one from an old jam jar and a paper boat! I treated Daisy to a couple of Wade Whimsies for her mini collection.

Guess who went to a Jamie Oliver at home party the week before half term? Guess who has absolutely no will power and bought three new storage jars with ceramic pea green lids, a mixing bowl with a pea green rim and an over priced "make your garden feed you" tea towel. Yep you guessed it! I must stop buying, I must stop buying - repeat after me!

It all went a bit pear shaped on Saturday night in our house and resulted in what has now been officially called "the big bad bed swap row " - it's long and messy story which involved a poorly Alex who would not sleep in his bed (he wanted to sleep in our bed with Mr P), an hysterical Daisy who point blank refused to swap beds and sleep in Alex's 3/4 sized cabin bed (so that I could sleep in her single bed) and me who was nearly bed less at one point. There was lots of crying and sobbing, hysterical shouting and threats of "you will be sleeping in the play house if you don't stop crying" - not a pretty scene at 10pm.
The row highlighted the fact that 3/4 sized cabin beds are rubbish for fully grown adults particularly when you can feel the springs in the worn out mattress. So today I ordered Alex a very smart new full sized single bed. This prompted the "we must decorate his room" conversation and so a date has been set for the weekend after next. I fear a busy few weeks on the horizon.
Off to knitting group tomorrow and book club on Thursday, looking forward to both. Have a great week.
Till next time.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Tea Party Friday

What a lovely day for a vintage tea party. The sun was shining all day, the cake making went according to plan (well almost) and the guests arrived bringing more tasty treats for tea.

We sat down at 3.30pm for a tea time feast of little dainty sandwiches, home made sausage rolls, crisps, scones with the obligatory strawberry jam and clotted cream, millionaires shortbread, iced chocolate fairy cakes, strawberries and a jam filled Victoria sponge. We washed it down with pink lemonade, ginger beer and tea for us mummy's.

It was lovely to bring out all the miss matched china that I have been slowly acquiring and we even strung up a piece of bunting just for fun.

The kids had a great time supping pink lemonade from fine bone china cups and saucers.

The pictures aren't great as it was a bit of a rush to take a photograph before the little ones started to demolish the tea, they were pretty hungry.

Alex knocking back the pink fizz.

Daisy sporting a very cheesy grin. She has decided a vintage tea is just the ticket for her birthday party in September.

Julia dressed for the occasion by wearing her new handmade skirt. The skirt was made from a piece of bargain fabric found in John Lewis. It looked fab on, I really couldn't tell it was homemade it was that good. She has inspired me to make a start on the dress I have promised to make for Daisy. Maybe next week when they go back to school and I have a bit more time.

I finally finished Vanessa's fairy tale swap package, so hopefully she will like what I have sent and appreciate the hand made item which for some reason took me ages to finish.
Talking of swaps, my apron arrived from Australia on Wednesday. Now had I put some thought into it then I would have photographed the package and the beautifully wrapped parcel inside, but no, I ripped it open at top speed. Alex has excelled herself and made me this gorgeous retro apron. I feel like a proper 1950's house wife wearing it. It is made from a gorgeous floral print fabric and has cute scalloped edges, ticking straps and two sweet little pockets, oh and not forgetting the rick racking. Thank you so much Alex its fab.
I'm not really sure what we are doing this weekend but I am really hoping the lovely weather continues.
Have fun whatever you get up to.