Can it really be nearly 2 months since I was here last? Although quite a few things have happened, the news today has not changed a great deal in all those weeks. August was busy and fun. Fitting in study work between a really successful church holiday club and a very wet camping trip with the Guides. It rained nearly solidly for 4 days, but thankfully ended warm, bright and happy.
Then came September. Kicked off by visiting a wonderfully inspiring contemporary and heritage craft event, but then as the days progressed illness has set in again. It feels strange to go from being one of those people who rarely gets sick to one who seems to never be well. I've managed a couple of weekends away, the last of which was beach hut 'glamping' at Hengistbury Head - photos to follow soon.
What I'm currently doing:
Looking after and enjoying being with the children.
Trying to get my studies finished up - deadline is November 12 and I will not be sorry to see it all done and dusted.
Once those studies are out of the way I intend to dedicate the next year to a complete home overhaul - which could be very slow going health permitting! My plan will be to update my progress here. On the crafting front, I still need to complete my Konmari and revamp my working space, there's a blog post waiting to happen about that. In the meantime, I think I may get involved with Kathy's 30 day colouring challenge. Taking out some time each day to colour could be what I need for relaxation and to ease me back into creating ready for when my studies are complete.
Not exactly a thing of beauty, but the idea was there. The outer ring is a chocolate chip, orange muffin mix baked in a savarin ring from Lakeland. Whilst I was in Lakeland, I picked up a small round tin that fitted in the centre and used it to bake a chocolate cake for the Eye of Sauron to sit on.
I was keeping to 'natural' colours, so the ring just has a soft sheen of gold over the white icing. I need to learn to do a better piped icing for writing. I use the pens that they sell ready made, in this case milk chocolate, but as with all other I've tried, it was far too runny.
The boys got it and the rest of the family just said "What on earth is that?" Of course the correct question is "What on middle-earth is that?" The Dinky Diva suggested that the savarin ring would make a good Simpsons doughnut, challenge accepted. Watch this space.
It's that time of year again, Branston Pickle's (youngest son's) birthday. Last year he requested Hobbit cake and apparently this year is to be the same, however, the cake must be a different design!!!
There are some definite things about this tent I like. It comes in a roll down bag, similar to a dry bag, so when you're packing up in a field there is plenty of extra room there for less than acurate folding and rolling. After it had been dried out and aired at home I had no trouble getting it back down to the original size and shape.
It went up easily and single handed, no complaints there. The pegs are small and light, but a little hard on the hands for pushing in and pulling out.
Plenty of room inside the porch and sleeping area. There's no floor in the porch though, so be prepared to share that with all manner of creepy crawlies and check inside your boots before you put them on. The inside stayed completely bug free and using it for one person meant my kit got to stay bug free inside too. It would sleep 2 if you don't mind being cosy. I did get one rainy evening/night and, having pitched up against the hedge for protection from the wind, I only had the use of one of the doors and plenty of water came in with me every time I used it. I found it helped to shake off excess water before opening the zip. The bonus from having no floor in the porch meant I treated it as a wet area and was able to take off boots, waterproof coat and trousers keeping the inner tent completely dry. As I would expect from Coleman the whole tent was water tight and the only rain inside was what I brought in with me. At 3.2kg it would be too heavy for me to carry hiking, but it would be my go to for overnight camping on my own.
A glorious holiday in Lyme Regis over half term has left the rest of life feeling a little lack lustre. Must upload some pics and reminisce. Came back with a bit of a cough, but that was nothing compared to Branston Pickle having toncilitis and one of my sister's having a highly contagious eye infection!!
Today I've been to a Gluten Free fayre, not a coeliac fayre, a gluten free fayre. However, some stall holders were incredibly rude if you didn't have a diagnosis or prescriptions - like we would eat gluten free bread for fun!! Thankfully, there were loads of friendly helpful people interested in letting you try their new products. Shout out to:
I've tried pies, cakes, pastries, bread and ice cream todayand I've brought lots home to stash in the fridge and try later - individual reviews to follow. Feeling a little more happy and satisfied now!
I couldn't resist the current craze for all things planner related. But, when looking at all my lists, notebooks and post its, it kind of made sense to bring everything together in one place and get organised. I knew I wanted A5 size but wasn't prepared to invest too much in it yet. I need to see if I can resist cute notebooks and loads of other list making tools first. I went for this.
It's a Filofax Clipbook, the full Filofax budget cousin, so far it's ticking all my planner boxes.
One thing I am definitely planning is my diet. A trip to the changing rooms at M&S today meant I was confronted with a 360 mirror and I didn't like what I saw! I was trying on this cute T from the sales. In fact, I think I have broken the planner habit already as I bought a cheap 2015 diary to try and track my food intake before it even occurred to me that I could use my planner. Oh well!
Happy Mother's Day all. Hope you had a good one. I had some hand made goodies from the children and 2 boxes of chocs. One smaller one I can't eat, but that's OK cos everytime a little hand reaches for my Thorntons I can shove a Lindt one in their direction instead!
My 1st camping trip of the year will be in May this year and I've been busy buying thermals in the M&S sales in preparation.
I should be studying, but instead I've had the urge to reorganise my kitchen on a complete whim! I blame Alejandra. I keep watching her videos and wishing for a neat and tidy existence.
I've found so much out of date food it's practically criminal and packets which have been ruined by inadequate storage. A Glebe cake mix that was only just out of date has gone in the oven for an afternoon reward.
Once I had purged the old packets I worked out what new storage was needed and popped into town for an hour. Luckily TK Maxx had some Lock & Locks for £1.99 so I scooped them up. They are my favourite storage containers as the kids and even SMO can't fail to put the lids on properly.
I also treated myself to these from Lakeland. They are now full of food packets, baking supplies and the lids off of spare food containers. Now, what shall I clear out next?
Are you struggling to walk to school on wet or icy pavements whilst holding up 2 children, one on each arm? If this sounds like you, I have a recommendation for you. Antarctica boots.
Last winter, fed up with slipping around on slick wet/icy pavements I decided to try some snow boots from a local independent shop and I haven't looked back. I've unpacked them again this winter and they're still going strong. A good grip on wet or icy paths and the bon us that they work for snow days too.
I was wondering if they will last for a 3rd winter and started looking around for a new pair. To my horror I couldn't find them and the girl in the original shop I had bought them in just looked at me blankly (that vacant Saturday shop girl expression!) Then by chance I found a pair in John Lewis and discovered they have become a John Lewis own brand! This pair are now mine. These are similar to the style of the pair I originally bought (great for fitting any calf size.) They aren't listed as Antarctica but you can see the label in the pictures. I shall be keeping an eye open for the sales and maybe adding a 3rd pair to my collection. Maybe in a different colour to black. Hopefully they will be popular at John Lewis and they will continue to stock them. Then I will never have to worry about finding winter boots again!
It's the start of anotheryear and my thoughts turn to the future. My personal hopes for 2015 are:
To complete my level 3 Diploma in Chrildren and Young Peoples Workforce (early years pathway if that's of interest to anyone!) It's been far more work than I ever anticipated in terms of the number of hours involved. Perhaps it's best I hadn't known or maybe I wouldn't have taken the plunge and started it.
As I start to pack away the Christmas decorations this week I think about whether we will be putting them up here at the end of the year or in a new house. Each year I have thought it will be a new house and each year it's not. This year I plan to set myself smaller goals on the way to moving and then at least I should be able to see us moving forward.
To be creative. In my spare time I would like to see myself being creative. Time restraints have meant that I have had to let go of my position on the Blue Moon Beads design team. The guilt that I wasn't making anything from one month to the next was just too much. I am still completely downsizing my craft supplies and I will explain that in full in a later post (I know it caused a few comments when I anounced the cull on a previous post!) For now my goal is to be creative for me, making things I want to make, when I want to make them.
To organise my photography. The loss of the main computer has meant that I can't easily access my pictures. Nothing is lost, I have discs and memory cards, but I have no where to easily access them right now. I think an external harddrive is definitely on my 2015 plan. I would like to plan photography time into each week. I'm not sure yet what form that will take as one of my major projects took a hard knock at the end of the summer and I haven't fully recovered my enthusiasm yet.
Well that's it the four main aims of my 'spare' me time. The rest of my time is of course filled to the brim with family life!
Wishing everyone a very happy start to the New Year.