Tuesday, 28 February 2017

In February I Have Mostly Been .........

To Butlins

February half term is so wet and miserable so for the last few year we have spent it at Butlins in Skegness. It's only an hour from us and has everything we need. The girls love it and this year has been brilliant as Little Miss is older has a bit more patience so we were able to see more shows and do more activities. We manged to squeeze in some bowling and a trip to the cinema to see Sing which is brilliant.



























Reading

Flesh Wounds by Christopher Brookmyre
Betrayal by Martina Cole
The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan


Baking


Me and the girls have been baking this month. We made banana bread last weekend and two loaf cakes this week, one had blueberries in which we ate warm with lemon curd. So good.


























Crocheting

Chunky necklaces which I am completely obsessed with and they really jazz up a boring outfit. I have also made Little Miss a Mermaid tail blanket and have just started one for BG.



























Playing with New Make Up

My friend is a Avon lady and gave me some samples of lipstick to play with and then I couldn't resist some new make up. I try to support my friends where I can whether its buying from their Etsy store or a few bits from Avon. By the way have you tried their makeup lately? Their new lipsticks are amazing and I haven't found a mascara I don't like it. 




























Looking for Signs of Spring

The girls and I have been on the search for signs off spring and have seen a flowers popping up and blossom on the trees. Spring is almost here!

























What you been up to?

Friday, 20 January 2017

Slowing Down and Keeping It Simple

Well its been a while since I have blogged, I meant to do a 2016 roundup at the end of last year but I just never got around to it. Last year was a real mix bag, there were parts that were incredibly difficult and others that were a complete delight.

It was a big year of change for me personally both physically and mentally. I started last year with very high blood glucose and a vitamin d deficiency and a cupboard full of medication. I have now lost 3 stone, my vitamin d is fine and I have half the amount of diabetes medication that I need and my blood sugars are consistently under control.  Its not been an easy ride, there have weeks when my bad habits slipped back into my life and I worried that I could get back.Thankfully my willpower is stronger than I thought and I am 3lbs down this year already. I still have weight to lose but this year it will be a slower journey, the urgency to lose the weight and get my health back on track has lessened as I am in a good place and I can now focus on mental well being as well and my physical health. 


Start of 2106

End of 2016


Last year I had to take on quite a bit of extra work and OH was unemployed for a period of time, thankfully he found work towards the end of the Summer. However I still had the extra clients and had several months of working all the hours. Towards the end of last year a few clients dropped away and even though the extra money was nice, I am enjoying the work load much better. Little Miss is at nursery two and a half days a week and I can get the bulk of my work done then which means no more evenings and no weekend work. 

With the slight drop in income I have had to cut back on a few treats and actually that feels good. I got the point where I have several subscription boxes and they were just pilling up. I am just two from next month and that's good for me. This month has been tight due to Little Miss's birthday next week and I have resisted the sales which is actually quite satisfying, I have some Christmas money but I am saving it for when I need something or see something I REALLY want. 

We have gone back to meal planning and only buying what we need and this simpler life is much calmer for me. At Christmas for the 2nd year running we simplified our gift giving at home with something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. Not only does this save money (though its not the main reason for this) it means that we don't fill the house with tat.  The girls really took time to think about what they really wanted and were not disappointed that they only got a few gifts. They did also get a stocking from Santa and a gazillion gifts from the rest of the family. 

I also started a bullet journal which as been a revelation and I now use that for everything rather than have several planners and notebooks on the good.  

This year I am hoping to carry on in the same way with slower and simpler life or at least less drama than last year!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Blog Tour for Lilly’s House by Cassandra Parkin

Today it’s my turn to host the blog tour for Lilly’s House by Cassandra Parkin. I have to say I completely and utterly love this book. It’s one of those that drags in you from the very first chapter and you just have to keep going.



When Jen goes to her grandmother’s house for the last time, she’s determined not to dwell on the past. As a child, Jen adored Lily and suspected she might be a witch; but the spell was broken long ago, and now her death means there won’t be any reconciliation.

Lily’s gone, but the enchantments she wove and the secrets she kept still remain. In Lily’s house, Jen and her daughter Marianne reluctantly confront the secrets of the past and present - and discover how dangerous we become when we’re trying to protect the ones we love.

I love a twisty, turny book and you definitely get that with this novel. The trips back to past are not jarring like in some books, it’s seamless.   

I was hooked all the way through.

It’s a great read and perfect this autumn snuggled up under a blanket with a big mug of something hot.

Lilly's House is available to buy now. 


Do checkout the other book tour blogs. 


Monday, 15 August 2016

Corner to Corner Summer Shawl #whaticrochet

I haven't blogged about any of my crochet projects for ages. The last few months have been super busy and I have crocheted loads including what feels like a gazillion baby blankets for family and customers. I decided I needed to make something for myself for the cool summer evenings (and days) so I made myself this gorgeous shawl.






Its just a corner to corner pattern that is easy to crochet once you understand the pattern. Its essentially boxes of triple stitch. I have been making my current blankets in this stitch and thought it would make a great shawl. I just kept going until it was big enough for me.

The yarn it Patons 4ply mercerised cotton which I got from a charity shop. I got a huge bag of the mint green colour,  in fact I have several balls left. The purple came from the same charity shop haul and I still have some of it left as well. I used 3 balls of the green and then did the final two rows in the purple. 

It was so quick to work up and drapes like a dream. Its perfect for when I am sitting n the garden at night and will make a great scarf in the spring.

The corner to corner pattern is super simple and you can find loads of patterns online. The Crochet Crowd have a great corner to corner video tutorial if you google it. 

I am currently working on a stunning beaded shawl which I put aside until I have the time to focus on it as its a bit fiddly.  Next up I am working on several blankets for Christmas gifts and I have a commission for two picnic baskets of food which I will blog about one day!

What are you working on?

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Breakfast in the Park

This morning Little Miss and I had breakfast in the park for the first time. We have a little park three minutes from our house but we decided that the park in town was the best one for a breakfast picnic.

We left the house just after 8am. A quick stop at Lidl for their freshly baked pastries and then Costa for coffee and hot chocolate and we were ready for the park.  Ayscoughfee park is a stunning park with a hall, duck pond, little maze, tennis courts, bowling green and cafe.

We had a breakfast by the duck pond and then played in the park until Little Miss was ready to leave. Most of the time we had the park to ourselves and we stayed there for almost and hour an a half. 






It was such a nice morning and I didn't spend a lot. I could have taken a flask of tea but its nice to have treat. I have promise BG we will take her with us next week for another one.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Book Blog Tour: Wildflower Bay by Rachael Lucas

I am over the moon to be starting off the book blog tour for Rachael Lucas’s new novel Wildflower Bay. You may remember that I was part of the book blog tour for Rachael’s last book Coming Up Roses and if you enjoyed that story you will love this one!



We are taken back to the Island of Auchenmor in Wildflower Bay a place we were introduced to in her first novel Sealed with A Kiss and I for one am glad we are back!
Right first the blurb….

Isla's got her dream job as head stylist at the most exclusive salon in Edinburgh. The fact that she's been so single-minded in her career that she's forgotten to have a life has completely passed her by - until disaster strikes.

Out of options, she heads to the remote island of Auchenmor to help out her aunt who is in desperate need of an extra pair of scissors at her salon.

A native to the island, Finn is thirty-five and reality has just hit him hard. His best friends are about to have a baby and everything is changing. When into his life walks Isla . . .

Where do I start?? I thoroughly enjoyed this book, in fact I couldn’t out it down and read it in less than 24 hours.

 It has everything you want, an uplifting story, romance, a little sadness and quite a few giggles.

I loved being back on the Island and even though we meet a few friends from the first book they are not a huge feature and the new characters totally stand on their own. I have now re found my passion to go off and love on a remote Scottish island!

The story is spilt into three parts which lent it’s self nicely to be publish in three small eBooks which can purchase now on kindle (The first one is currently free). I was saving all mine to read together and then I was kindly sent a paperback version to read.  You will be able to buy it in paperback on the 11th August!

If you are looking for a great summer read, then Wildflower Bay is for you. I can’t wait for the next cracker from Rachael and I would rather like to see more books from the Island. I think she should have an Auchenmor chronicles like Jilly Cooper has a Rutminster chronicles.  

Joking a side Wildflower Bay is a must read.


For more about Rachael, visit her website at rachaellucas.com, say hello to her on Twitter @karamina, or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/RachaelLucasWriter 

Tomorrow you can find the tour over at Jax’s


Monday, 11 July 2016

Surviving

I feel like for the last 12 months we have just been surviving. It's been one thing after another. I’ve been ill, my Other Half has been ill and his mum has been ill. OH has had diabetes complications including eye problems. His mum has had cancer twice in the past 18 months, thankfully she has now had the all clear. OH was also out of work for 6 weeks, which doesn’t sound like a lot but we didn’t know when he would get another job and with me only working part time its been a worry about having enough money to pay the bills. 

Luckily he found work and I managed to get some extra hours which kept us going. Money is always a huge worry for me. I know what it’s like to be homeless and skint, proper skint, the kind of skint when have to decide what days you are going to eat that week. It’s the reason I keep working, to make sure I have money coming in and we are not left in a position where we can't pay our mortgage. It’s paid off in the last two months as we have survived unemployment and a big drop income. 

The downside of having extra work is finding the time to do it. Once OH starts his new role on Monday I will have less child-free hours in the day and soon the girls break up for summer and the real juggle begins. 

In the past I have only worked when I had childcare or OH was home or at bed time but it just leaves my so tired trying to fit my work into those few hours so this year they are going to have to learn to entertain themselves at time. My girls get up early, super early so my plan is to get some work done in those first hours before the day begins. I have also bought myself a little netbook so hopefully I can do some work in the garden while they play or while they watch film if the weather is bad. 

OH has been working hard on the garden so I can work outside in the holidays

We just need to survive the summer and then Little Miss starts her two and half days at nursery and I will have a decent amount of time to get my work done. It's amazing what you can achieve when you have a decent block of time to work. Then hopefully we can stop surviving and start living again.