Friday, 27 November 2015

Get well wishes

I made this card a couple of weeks ago for one of my dearest friends who is currently quite poorly

The very worst thing about living at the other end of the country to most of my friends and family is not being able to dispense hugs so easily

I used Melissa Frances and Stampin'Up  papers and some fabulous webbing which my lovely friend Carol gave to me a long time ago, I am very frugal with it as I love it and have not found any to replace it with - it only lands on very special cards and gifts

The large pink flower was a hideous purple to start with but it was the only one I had that size, so I set about it with inks and embossing powders 

Sending much love to my dear dear friend P, love you xxx

In other news

We have just enjoyed our very first non-family house guest by way of Jan
Thankyou so much for coming Jan, it was so nice to catch up with all the news, thankyou for the gifts ( I will be sharing the gorgeous tag book on my blog for everyone to see) and thankyou for the inspiration, but most of all thankyou for your company xxx

Molly has started puppy school

If there was an award for the naughtiest puppy each week, such an award would be going to Molly - hands down, or should I say paws down !!!

And.... drum roll please, I have actually started making my christmas cards - before December no less . Will be sharing them soon

Love and healing wishes


Friday, 6 November 2015

Birthday Girl

 Happy birthday Amy

Today saw my beautiful daughter turn 22, I know I say it and think it every single time a birthday comes and goes but I honestly have no idea where the time goes

Amy is staying with my mum and dad for the week so her card and gift were sent and I am saving lots of hugs and kisses for when she comes home at Christmas

This is the card I made, Amy is a massive animal lover and her favourite of all living creatures since she was a baby is the rabbit, she cannot resist anything at all bunny

And the most recent photo I have ( stolen from Instagram of course )

I hope you have had a wonderful day sweetheart, I know Granny and Grandad will make you feel special

We couldn't be prouder of our daughter who is as beautiful inside as outside

Love and birthday kisses

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Shades of autumn

There has been a definite nip in the air today and the skies have been a little gloomy, Cornwall is sitting under grey clouds laden with impending rain

Definitely a day to cosy up at home and potter

I have been saving glass vases of all shapes and sizes with a mind to utilise them in seasonal decorating, little vignettes with a subtle nod to the time of year

I have been lucky to come across a few at work, where I also found this cute little Gisela Graham frame

And so with autumn in mind, aromas of cinnamon and vanilla wafting from the pot pourri, I set to work

The vases were a little grubby but a good wash with fairy liquid and a dash of vinegar had them sparkling once again, I halved the pot pourri ( bought from our local 'The Range' which is a five minute drive from our house) and distributed between the two vases

The round vase sits on my dining table, with my napkin holder, on top of my cotton and lace table runner (from TK Maxx)

The taller more oval vase sits in one corner of my kitchen, along with the frame

I printed some word art onto a piece of scrapbook paper using photoshop to position and vary the fonts

A very pleasant way to while away an hour

Love and little vignettes


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Pupdate - the adventures of Bruce and Molly

A gentle stroll, for about five minutes along the chalk track, beside the railway line and stream opposite our house, you will come across a sheltered little park,  nestled between our local football team's home ground and a public basketball court

It's the perfect little sun trap, safe from any roads or hazards (Molly is capable of finding the most innocuous place or item, and, turning it in seconds to a life and death situation)

This is the home to Bruce and Molly's newest adventure

The trials of the tennis ball

Bruce is smart, he knows that to be able to chase the ball (which he loves) he must bring it back

If he catches it or gets to it first he leaves Molly standing

And he brings it back, and Molly follows, and it all starts all over again

Sometimes (usually when Bruce is totally knackered), Molly gets there first (or, more aptly, Bruce lets Molly bring the ball back while he has a breather)

 Molly has a totally different variation of the game which includes escaping to the nearest filthy ditch,  whereby it is a whim that decides whether she will actually keep the ball or leave it in said filthy ditch ! Or will she run and not come back, instead, sit on the perimeter of the field waiting with a grin, whilst, in exasperation, me, Neil or Bruce ends up having to go to her, whereby she will sidestep past us ( she must have been taking note of the footballers next door ) and run hell for leather into the farthest corner at the other end of the field, or,  she will she get totally sidetracked, drop the ball mid-play  and go off to investigate the nearest wonderful and totally mesmerising stick, leaf, rock (whatever, it matters not) !

On those rare occasions whereby she does in fact bring the ball near enough to perform a grab and go technique, we can resume play, Bruce waiting patiently, as always, as his silly puppy playmate learns the part of fetch that does indeed keep the ball in play !

Love and puppy kisses


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Slimming World Update

First the stats :

Starting weight on 5.8.15 - 13st 3.5lb
Current weight 30.9.15 - 12st 9lb
Lost 8.5lb

So, I am losing on average a pound a week

Doesn't seem much, but, when you put it into perspective, at that rate, I will be almost a stone and a half lighter by christmas

I am aiming more for a new lifestyle, healthy eating that I can maintain without feeling like I am deprived or 'on a diet'

So far so good

Here are some of the meals I have been enjoying ( most of which my family have been eating too - no complaints so far !)

Beetroot risotto, salad and a dollop of fromage frais

Slimming world pizza ( the base is actually chicken and it was so yummy)

Gammon, egg, spinach and potato rosti stacks, mushrooms and roasted cherry tomatoes

A favourite for lunchtime, wholemeal toast (HexB) with spicy beans, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes

Garlic and herb chicken, homemade coleslaw and salad

Fruit salad, fat free yoghurt and crumbled pecans, I sometimes have one of these for pudding or as my breakfast

Wholegrain Ryvita (HexB) , with Laughing Cow Light spread cheese (HexA) ham and pickles

Cooked breakfast with grilled tomatoes, bacon, mushrooms, beans, Drakes pudding and a ducks egg

Fruit salad with fat free yoghurt, a large banana and an Alpen light bar (HexB)

Large vegetable stir fry with home-made and syn free chinese sauce, with meringue, lemon yoghurt and dessicated coconut for pudding

Overnight oats - these are so lush and more like a pudding than a breakfast and I have had them for both

Crab salad and a bowl of home-made spicy butternut squash soup

I have found that the Alpen Light bars are lower in sugar, lower in fat, lower in calories and higher in fibre - gram for gram than the Hi-fi light bars AND they are currently on offer at both Co-Op and Poundland, so that means they are also half the price of Hi-fi light bars - it's a no brainer, so as you can see I am stocked up for quite a while !

One of the little tasks I set myself each week is to prep all my fruit and veg for the week and store in tupperware in the fridge, it keeps nice and fresh and is all ready to go should I get an attack of the munchies

I have found this little tip saves me time and saves me syns as I don't reach for something that is easy but naughty

I tried a couple of days on the SP plan last week and felt that although it was quite restrictive ( no carbs ie potatoes, bread, pasta, rice) I did feel better in myself on those days, less bloating, more energy and I did lose 2lbs, even though I had a couple of meals out and a few extra syns here and there

I am going to try and do a full week of SP this week to see if it makes much difference to my overall feeling of well-being and of course to see if it does in fact give me a little extra boost with the scales

Stay tuned, I will let you know how I get on

Love and happy eating



Saturday, 26 September 2015

Great Cornish Food Festival

What a beautifully sunny day it has been today, warm and bright, a cloudless sky lifting spirits and helping shed layers of clothing

We headed out to Truro today to sample the delights of the Great Cornish Food Festival and we certainly weren't disappointed

Crowds of 40,000 were predicted over the weekend and whilst Truro was quite busy we had no trouble exploring everywhere we wanted and the large marquee housing most of the stalls was comfortable and easy to navigate

We ate inside the marquee for lunch, Neil tried the paella and I sampled the chowder, both were absolutely delicious and were cooked in front of us in huge dishes bubbling away and wafting wonderful aromas all around the tent - who could resist !

The rest of the shopping area didn't seem much busier than a normal saturday and we wandered the cobbled streets in peace

There is some beautiful architecture in and around Truro, this lovely stone building now houses Barclays bank but I can imagine it having a much grander history

The bunting was out and looked stunning  fluttering against the cloudless cerulean sky

The spires of the cathedral just peeping over the roof tops as we sat and awaited the park and ride bus

We paid a pound each to park and ride to and from the city centre and I can highly recommend the service, we always use it now as it is so regular, easy and cheaper than actually just parking

And did I succumb to any delicacies you may ask

I was actually quite restrained but came away with just a few new treats to try

Some lovely large duck eggs

Drakes pudding, which is similar to hogs pudding but made from duck instead of pork

And a couple of tubs of  flavoured Cornish sea salt, we sampled most of them but ended up buying the garlic one and the onion one as we thought they were most versatile, but, having seen some of the recipes on their website I have a feeling I might be going for the complete collection

You can check them out HERE

We have enjoyed a fabulous day today and are now home and cosy, settled in for the night with only the outcome of the rugby to think about

Love and foodie fun


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Green fingers and muddy boots

The raised flower beds surrounding our house had been sadly neglected for many years

Building rubble, odds and ends, everything except flora and fauna in fact, had been dumped unceremoniously into each one, stifling any growth other than the weedy variety

We had a local landscaper and general odd job man come by to renew some fencing, add trellis around the back and also replace all the rubble and rubbish with some brand new weed-free fertile topsoil

Neil and I, with the help of the kids, all home for the summer, then set to, with paint brushes, to transform the fencing from dull brown to coastal blue and all the masonry to pure brilliant white from the grim institutional grey that it had been previously

And then the fun began, several trips to local garden centres later we had some lush foliage and pretty petals to brighten up our beds

This one runs along the boundary to the side of the conservatory

The larger corner bed at the front of the house. My lovely boss from the hospice shop where I worked in Cleethorpes wanted to treat me to something for my new home and I have three hardy perrenials in this section from her, so thankyou Wendy xxx

This long this bed runs between the two front corner beds and as the stone is original, unrendered and traditional stone walling we have left it in it's natural state, it would have been sacrilege to paint this

Also in the larger bed is a stunning rose, sent to me by my wonderful and very thoughtful friends Anne and David. It has bloomed all summer and all my neighbours have commented on how beautiful it is, every time I leave the house or look out of my front windows it reminds me how very special Anne and David are, thankyou so much xxx

Leaving the front garden and moving around the side of the house I have another raised bed which is not far from the kitchen door, so I wanted to create a herb garden here, and thanks to the wonderful Cornish weather my herbs have run riot and been abundant all summer

The chilli pepper plant you can see in the bottom left of the photo was a gift from Amy and Ben, they bought it back from the Eden project for me and it has been resplendent this month with pops of bright red 

Most of our planters didn't survive the storage, so we have replaced the contents of those too ( and yes you can spot a gnome, I only have the one - and it needs to stay that way but for some strange reason I love the little fellow)

We have one smaller bed in the front garden that houses my cornish palm, this was here when we moved in and it will be staying as we love it. The soil beneath drains well and can get quite arid, so I have planted up with alpines which thrive in drier conditions. I had some local purple slate left over from a previous project and tipped it around these plants, I love the contrast between the various shades of green and the purple of the slate

And finally the majestic palm reaching toward Cornish cobalt skies

Love and life's little blessings



Thursday, 17 September 2015

Thoughts on thursday

Never has this saying been on my mind more than in the recent few weeks

Neil and I have enjoyed the three 'children' being home for almost three months, our new home search and summer holiday was spent with them, altogether

The living arrangements have changed dramatically from our last home of ten plus years, to the temporary abode of the caravan for five weeks and now our new home

We have all had to make some serious adjustments and have had to literally live on top of one another, especially in the caravan 

We roughed it a little when we first moved into the empty house as none of the furniture could be delivered for three days - picnics on paper plates, borrowed chairs and old fashioned unplugged entertainment

But it was an adventure and we had some good old belly laughs and some truly heartwarming moments as we all pulled together and made it work

And I was once again made aware of just how wonderful and resilient kids can be,  grounded and content, all pitching in and helping, going with the flow and I counted my blessings

Our recent relocation reinforced the realisation that it really doesn't matter what kind of house we are living in, or indeed whether it is a house, it makes no difference where in the country we settle or what we possess materially, the true meaning of home is where our children return to be safe and loved and happy

This last couple of weeks has been a wrench after such an exciting and busy summer

Robbie was the first to head back to Liverpool, he wanted to get a head start on the job hunt, he has an interview for Anfield ( bar work not football) and is hoping to supplement his student loan with some finances of his own

Amy left for Leeds yesterday, her course starts soon and another train took one of my babies away, two empty beds and a little less noise/teenage clutter in the house

And last week AJ started his new school

I have seen a massive change in AJ over the summer, his confidence has grown, he has become chattier and healthier

The first week was a little traumatic, he got lost a couple of times, was blanked by all the girls and ignored by the boys

Friday was a turning point, with a friendly encounter on the school bus followed by a warming up from the boys in his group

They are letting him in slowly, but for a while my heart was breaking, I can only imagine how hard it must be for a 15 year old to start a new school, but he soldiered on, kept smiling and accepted the challenge

All summer I have heard parents saying they can't wait to get their kids back to school, and all I can think is that I can't wait for mine to come home

Love, wings and roots


Thursday, 3 September 2015

New Home Card

Finally !!! I have managed to find my mojo and make something

Just a quick and easy card to gently ease me back into crafting mode

I made this for my lovely new Slimming World consultant Elaine

I used some of my favourite papers out of a paper pad bought from The Works, it was an absolute bargain, my friend Jan had bought some and you know how it goes, I just 'needed' them too - so thankyou Jan xxx

The sentiment was computer generated as I wanted a modern looking font and didn't have one among my rubber stamps

I made the little bird house using my paper trimmer, just cutting basic shapes, I used a Woodware punch for the heart shaped door and the flower, and I used an EK success border punch for the roof, string, bling and lace  - all bits and bobs from my stash The inking was all done with Frayed Burlap distress ink

I hope Elaine likes her card and loves her new home

Love and feathering the nest



Monday, 31 August 2015

Walk with me

We have enjoyed a beautifully warm and sunny day today here on the south coast of Cornwall

The grass had been mowed, the washing is blowing on the line and my walking shoes were singing songs of temptation

Take a little wander with me around one of the many walks in and around our home town

Leaving our house and crossing the road, I entered the small park which sits directly opposite our home

Through the park and out of the other side you can just glimpse our house through the trees

Once through the park, you can either take the chalk track along the stream

If you took this track you would pass a lovely view of our local church

You would continue past our home team's football ground, and if you followed the path to it's conclusion, rejoining a second route over a road and headed towards the trees you can see in the distance, you would be at the Eden Project, which is nestled just behind those two hills

But if you opted for the track on the other side of the stream, there is a gentle amble through a small wooded area

Which gradually opens out a little

And then meets the same road that the other track comes to

Both these little walks lead inland, where the landscape is lush and green, peacefully perfect for a warm afternoon's gentle stroll

Among all the abundant greenery there are always plentiful little bursts of colour peeping through ferns and ivy

What a beautiful way to spend an hour on a bank holiday

Love and simple pleasures