Sunday, 31 January 2010
Friday, 29 January 2010
- When both 'kids' are home in the holidays and I go to bed knowing all four of us are safely tucked up in bed in the same house
- Alexander the Meerkat's 'compare the market.com' advert - always makes me smile
- A chilled glass of prosecco or champagne
- Snuggling under a fleece blanket on the sofa watching Grey's Anatomy. Especially enjoyable if I know I really ought to be doing the ironing
- Going to my sister's holiday home in Portugal, the minute you open those patio doors and feel the warm Portuguese sun on your face you know that relaxation time has begun
- Reading just before I go to sleep at night. Even if my eyelids can barely stay open, I love a good book
- Seeing my son's name as 'online' on Facebook while he is at uni. Sometimes that's as close as I get to having a 'conversation' with him all week
- Doing something creative and if it causes a mess throughout the study or dining room, so much the better.
- Trying out a new recipe. Especially if the first ingredient is chocolate
- Having friends round for dinner, eat, drink and be merry, that's my philosophy!
And now to pass this award on, with the instructions to follow my lead and list those things that make you happy too. There are a couple of people I would have included but someone else got there first so I will choose people previously un-nominated:
Denise for being a brilliant friend over the last 32 years and for introducing me to scrapbooking
Robyn whose blog has such great variety, I only know her through cyberspace but she's the kind of person I'd like to be friends with
Abi who I 'met' through Shimelle's blogging class. I relate to her stories as she's not far off the age of my son and when I read them I can almost hear the way she is writing them (does that make sense?)
Rachel B she has a gorgeous little boy and I love the pictures she takes of him and the little snippets of info of the funny things he does.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
250g plain choc
150g milk choc
4 tbs syrup
200g broken up biscuits
150g Brazil nuts
150g glace cherries
125g mini marshmallows
Melt chocolates together with butter/marg
Chop up nuts and cherries and add to the mix with the broken biscuits and marshmallows
Pour into 10" square greased tray.
Put in fridge to set and then cut into squares.
(I cheated and melted a bar of milk chocolate with nuts in rather than chop nuts up and add separately!)
Sunday, 24 January 2010
We almost booked a holiday yesterday. Even got as far as sitting in Thomas Cook. But we can't quite decide where to go or what to do. We had almost decided to go on a cruise, decided on a route and everything. Then actually priced it up. Blimey they are expensive! To be honest, I quite like having a couple of short breaks in the year as well as a week or so away and if we went for the cruise, that would be it for the year. So that is on the back burner.
Back to the drawing board. We have to go in school holidays as I work in the office of a secondary school. My husband doesn't 'do' extreme heat and I don't 'do' activity holidays. We need somewhere where the sun will be shining, preferabley a nice beach, good food, pretty scenery. Photo opportunities for serious scrapping on my return. Somewhere with a bit of local charm and atmosphere. Anybody any recommendations?!
Friday, 22 January 2010
I've been very patient.
It's been hard not to touch this.
We HAD to finish the contents of a pretty bottle so I could decant it ;-)
But these little juicy berries have done their business.
They've fermented and matured and given up their juiciness.
And now the time has come
To sit down, relax and enjoy ...
Thursday, 21 January 2010
It was so funny and if you find yourself with 2 hours to spare and you fancy a relaxing evening, I suggest you find a friend to go with. I don't think it's a man's film so husbands/boyfriends should be left at home!
Whether you like Meryl Streep or not you have to admire her for not worrying about appearing without make up or fancy clothes. It was a good film and I think it had the right ending, it could have gone either way but she made the right choice in the end I think.
Go see it, let me know if you agree!
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Once upon a time there was a novice scrapbooker called Deb who had been encouraged to go to a monthly Scrapbooking Crop day by her friend Denise. She had been a few times and managed to keep up with the work set. Every month the organiser of the crop would send a 'Sneak Peek' of what they would be doing and details of what needed to be taken from home.
On this occasion, they were told that the designer was a very talented lady called Michelle Mogford and that among other things they would need 2 head and shoulders pictures 3cm x 3cm. Pretty small for a 12 x 12 scrapbook layout huh? Denise assured Deb that she would enjoy MJM's work, she was quirky and original and her layouts were very different, modern and fun.
When the crop began, Michelle explained that she was going to teach something that could be incorporated into card making or interactive scrapbook layouts. The class were going to learn how to make the mechanism for moving characters. You know the type of thing, you pull a tab and a lever moves behind the front paper to make something on the page move up and down or side to side. Very clever, very intricate and quite outside of Deb's comfort zone! It was then that the handout was given out and the class realised that the characters that would be moving up and down were a mermaid and a mer-man and this is what the little photographs were for. Now, Deb wasn't sure that her 19 year old son and 23 year old daughter (whose photos she had taken) would be happy to see their little heads bobbing up and down in a sea-scene attached to the bodies of amphibious creatures. Denise was quietly confident that her very macho sons would be equally unhappy.
But none were more unhappy than those ladies who had brought along photos of their cats.
On a brighter note, the other layouts we did with MJM were fab, fun and funky, it's just that the mermaid one always makes us chuckle.
Monday, 18 January 2010
Sunday, 17 January 2010
There were Webster's papers (Yay!)
There were roses
There were pearls
There were sparkly stick ons
There were fancy rub ons
But best of all .....
There were no mermaids!
Saturday, 16 January 2010
Thursday, 14 January 2010
You may be forgiven for thinking that after my confessional on Monday about the absolute pure naughtiness of overindulging over Christmas, Rosemary Conley herself had descended on the class and taken me to the equivalent of dieting jail until I lose those pounds.
Or maybe the government had decided that having been given 3 snow days last week, all school secretaries should be locked in the schools overnight to clear their work and make up the lost hours. (Shhh don't give them ideas)
Maybe I had been whisked away to some exotic location by a loving husband, some magnificent 5* luxury spa resort in a hot foreign climate.
Nothing so exciting I am afraid.
Yes, I had put on weight but only 2 lb and that will soon go providing I stay on the straight and narrow for a couple of weeks.
Yes, I have had a fair bit of work to catch up on, but I've nearly made up for the lost work time.
Yes, my husband did take me away from home yesterday, but it was only to Sheffield to take our son back to university.
To be honest, I haven't had any scrapping to showcase, nor any exciting tales to tell and I was just plain tired after a 300 mile round trip within 7 hours last night.
So anyway, Shimelle has asked 'why do we scrapbook'. Well for me it is to make something pretty out of the masses of photos we have stored on our computer. OK, it's easy to take loads and to have them stored, but there is nothing quite like picking up an album and flicking through. It's a way of documenting important moments in our lives and archiving what we were doing at any point of time. I have so many photos that my parents had kept and many of them are of people I don't remember and places I don't recall. My scrapbooks will help my kids and their kids know a little more about me, how I was feeling, the people that were important to me and the occasions I celebrated. And not just me, my whole family. They are a little part of my history. Oh, and they are a good excuse to lock myself away in the study for a while and lose myself in creating something.
Monday, 11 January 2010
Sunday, 10 January 2010
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/gas 4
Line muffin tin with 12 paper cases
115g Plain white flour
pinch bicarbonate of soda
25g cocoa powder
225g plain chocolate
200g caster sugar
100g walnut pieces roughly chopped
Sift together flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder
Melt chocolate and butter together (I microwaved mine for about 1 minute)
Put eggs and sugar in large bowl and whisk.
Add flour mixture, then stir in melted chocolate mixture and then the chopped walnuts
Fill muffin cases with batter and bake in oven for 30 mins until a crust has formed on top but the muffins are still slightly moist in the centre.
Bet you can't wait until they have cooled down before you try one ;-)
Saturday, 9 January 2010
Friday, 8 January 2010
Husband has gone into work today and whilst it was lovely to have him home yesterday, he did intrude into my day somewhat. I waited until he was happily listening to something on his ipod and then sneaked upstairs for a bit of scrapping. Next thing I knew he was sitting at the desk - filing. Asking questions. Moving MY bits of paper. Tutting over the 'mess' I was making. I was not happy. I was part way through this layout and finally realised it would have to wait until I was home alone to be finished in peace. So after encouraging him to try to get into work today, I dropped him at the station this morning and came straight up here to finish it off. I just wanted to keep a reminder of this week for the future because by the time next January comes, we'll probably have forgotten just how much snow we had this year. I'm not sure that the cactus in the picture is wholly appropriate for a wintery page but the colours went with the layout!
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
To all those with children who were reluctant to go back to school yesterday, can I please reassure them that the staff would have been feeling the same! It was so hard to go back. I thought I had left things in an orderly fashion, I'd even left myself notes on what needed to be done. Letters stored on the computer post dated to 4 January etc (I am school secretary not teacher!) but I was hit by beginning of term-itis and let's just say it took a little while for my brain to defrost. Thank goodness I only work until 12.30 on a Monday! Highlight of the morning? - opening my new 2010 Brad Pitt calendar to hang on the wall. At least I have a nice view now ;-)