Sunday, 29 August 2010

What have we been up to??

The days are just slipping away at the moment and I can't believe Emily will be going back to school on Thursday - where did the summer go? (both weather wise and school holiday wise!)
I've been doing a bit of knitting for Alice Rose (being a November baby I feel she's going to need some cardigans!) On Thursday, Emily and I went to Holyport near Maidenhead to pick up some baby clothes for Claire. My SIL's step son and his wife had a little girl a couple of months ago and asked if Claire would like some Newborn clothes, hence our trip. Unfortunately, the weather was horrible and our hoped for picnic in Windsor didn't materialise but we did stop off at a local pub for lunch. The food was very tasty and it was nice and warm inside. Emily always has a book in her bag so when I popped to the loo, her book came out of her bag ;o). She can also read in the car - something I've never been able to do - so had a chance to read on the way home as it was pouring down and I had to concentrate on my driving. We still did it in good time and were home in just over an hour. It was my niece's birthday on Friday so I made a card for her on Thursday evening. I love this Martha Stewart butterfly punch so it was good to get a chance to use it. On Friday we went round to Theresa's in the afternoon for tea and cake. Tyler was so excited about the cake and the candles and ended up blowing them out for Mummy :o), while Mum and Dad (Tyler's Great Grandma and Great Grandpa) looked on. Alyssa just wants to walk all the time so my sister was kept busy as Alyssa'd only let her Mummy or her Nan hold her hand. She's teething at the moment and didn't want to go to anyone else.
Apart from that Emily and I have been school shopping for school shoes and uniform; I bought my first pair of Converse and love them ;o), I worked yesterday and today and I'm enjoying feeling a bit more creative again. I'm wanting to start another quilt and am toying with the idea of using this pattern on Susan Weinroth's blog, it would be something different for me and I thought I could try a small Moses Basket size in pastel colours and see how I get on.
For now though, I need to decide what I'm going to make for dinner and I should really start tackling the ironing pile before it grows any more - I'd much rather start cutting out strips for the quilt though! I wonder which will win ;o).
Hope you're enjoying your weekend, whatever you're doing...

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A layout!!

Please don't faint, I know it's been a LONG time since I've done any scrapbooking but this evening as I was about to check my emails, this photo of Emily came up on my screensaver. I had forgotten I had it but it is so Emily at the moment and I knew I wanted to do something with it. The layout is a little out of my comfort zone with all the flowers but I'm quite happy with how it's turned out :o)
The journalling reads:
I had forgotten all about this photo until it came up on my screen saver. When I saw it I knew I had to do a layout because this photo is classic you! When I come looking for you I'm likely to find you in your bedroom either reading or on the computer, while listening to music or chatting to friends. This is so YOU at the moment and I love that it's been captured! Photo: 04/2010
Perhaps it's the cooler weather that has got my creativity going again. Whatever it is, I'm not complaining - it felt good to scrapbook again :o)

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Playing catch up

This afternoon has been spent catching up with my tag books. I've been making notes of what I've done most days but today I sat down to transfer my notes on to my tags. My problem is, I haven't taken photos every day so I'm going to have to use general photos from around the house/garden to fill in on those days - either that or leave those days photo free. June is complete but needs to have the holes punched and rings added to hold it together. July has a few days left to write up and August is nearly up to date.
I feel so much better for getting this done at last! It's fun to flick through the books and see the photos and read the everyday happenings :o)

Monday, 23 August 2010

28 Weeks Today

Claire is 28 weeks pregnant today. We normally take a couple of photos on the 20th of each month (I can't remember why we started on the 20th, but we did). This morning we were back at the Princess Royal for Claire blood tests to be taken.
She had the morning off but was back in work this afternoon. Craig was working late tonight so, when we remembered we hadn't taken proper photos on Friday, we decided to take a few this evening :o)
Claire says there is no way any of you can say she hasn't got a bump now ;o). It's certainly getting bigger and growing week by week. Less than 3 months now till baby is due!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Recap and a Recipe

I can't believe it's a week since the Baby Shower - I think it's taken me about that long to get over it ;o). Emily and I have had a fairly quiet week, we've been in to town a few times, met up with friends and also had a chance to stay at home and read our books.
On Friday, Claire had an appointment at The Princess Royal at 9am and they warned that they are doing some building work so to leave plenty of time to find parking etc. We left home at 8am, got to the hospital by 8.30am and found parking without any problem. We didn't see any building work in progress either so I don't know what that was about. Long story short, Claire needed to have some blood tests done that have to be sent down to Brighton (not anything serious) but they didn't have anyone that could do that on Friday so we're going back again tomorrow morning. At least we didn't have to hang around too long and we shouldn't have to tomorrow either. We did a little bit of shopping on the way home and Claire had time to have lunch before going in to work for 1pm.
I had bought the ingredients to make a Key Lime Pie for last week but couldn't find Claire's recipe book with the recipe in and couldn't ask her for it otherwise she'd have known something was going on. Yesterday, however, Craig got the book out of the loft for me and I was able to use the ingredients before I had to throw them out ;o) This recipe from Mary Berry's Foolproof Cakes is one of the nicest I've tasted and in case any of you feel like trying it out, here it is:

Key Lime Pie

4 large


400g (14oz) tin

Condensed Milk

450ml (15 fl oz)

Double Cream

For the Base

150g (5oz)

Digestive Biscuits

65g (2 ½ oz)


25g (1 oz)

Demerara Sugar

· For the base, put the digestive biscuits into a polythene bag and crush them to crumbs with a rolling pin. (Or put in a food processor and pulse till like breadcrumbs)

· Melt the butter in a small pan, and add to crushed biscuits and the Demerara sugar. Mix well, and then spread the mixture over the base and sides of a 20cm (8 in) loose bottomed sandwich tin, pressing it with the back of a metal spoon to make it firm.

· Remove the rind from 1 of the limes with a zester and set aside to decorate the top of the pie. Squeeze the juice from all the limes

· Put the lime juice, condensed milk and 300 ml (10 fl oz) of the double cream into a mixing bowl and whish until well blended.

· Pour into the prepared crumb crust and gently level the surface. Chill for several hours until set, push up the tin from the base to remove the ring.

To decorate, whip the remaining double cream until it just holds its shape, then either spread over the surface of the pie or spoon it in blobs around the edge. Decorate with the reserved lime zest. Serve well chilled.
I also made some Chocolate Brownies (recipe here) which turned out beautifully (even if I say so myself ;o) ) I took a slice of each to the lady I help on the weekends.
I hope you're having a great weekend too.
PS Apologies for the way the recipe has posted, I don't seem to be able to get it to look the way I wanted in Blogger :(

Monday, 16 August 2010

Anyone interested?

Rachel of The Adventures of an American Mum is thinking of possibly holding a photography course, here in the UK, next summer and is wondering how many people might be interested (I know I certainly would be!). Anyone else interested? Pop over to her blog and let her know :)

Claire's Surprise Baby Shower

We held a Surprise Baby Shower for Claire :o). After a bit of thought Jon suggested holding it at the Cafe at the Church. It's a lovely light area, tables already set out and a kitchen we could use; as well as having a car park so no one had to worry about parking. It was the ideal venue. I made some bunting to hang and we ordered balloon "bouquets" for the tables. Having seen a few "Diaper cakes" on the web I decided to make my own "Nappy cake" to go on the present table.
People waiting for Claire to arrive
I had help with the baking from Claire's friend Rachele; Craig's Aunt, Tracey and my niece, Theresa. My contribution (sausage rolls, savoury pinwheels, pumpkin cake and chocolate cake) all had to be made (or in the case of the chocolate cake - bought) while Claire was at work.
Craig was in on everything from the word go - from helping me with names of who to invite to working out how we were going to get Claire there without her suspecting anything. He did a great job and I was so impressed he didn't let anything slip out - well done Craig :o)
As a result, Claire thought she and Craig were going to visit Craig's Nan yesterday afternoon. Jon had been going to offer them a lift but when he arrived home (after helping to set things up) he was just in time to see Claire and Craig walking up the road and wasn't sure what was going on. Claire had decided they were running late and told Craig they had to go - it put our plans in a spin for a short while but fortunately Craig used his head and when we phoned him to find out what was going on (using his Nan's phone, of course) he told Claire his Nan had gone to the Church cafe for a coffee and they were to meet her there. Quick thinking Craig!
Claire wasn't sure what was happening when she walked in the door and everyone shouted SURPRISE! She got a bit emotional when it hit her but it didn't take too long before she pulled herself together and started to enjoy her party.
The present table :o)
We played a couple of little games
and had something to eat and drink
then Claire opened presents
Theresa and Alyssa watch
as one present after another was opened.
Hugh's girlfriend, Sarah found these really cute shoes ;o)
I couldn't resist this little snowsuit
and Tracey, Craig's aunt, gave her a beautiful baby quilt.
All in all it was a huge success, I think everyone enjoyed themselves and Claire was totally spoilt! Now we can't wait to see Alice Rose in the beautiful clothes she's been given :o) but until then Claire's having to find room to put everything away lol! Imagine what it'll be like when baby is here ;o)

Thursday, 12 August 2010

2 in 1 day ;o)

I know, you don't hear from me in ages and now two posts in one day - what is going on!!
Emily took this photo of me today so that I could use it in my monthly tag book. I had my hair cut last night. I had been growing it for a while but it had got to the stage where I found myself tying it back every day or putting it in a pony tail - I didn't like the hair hanging down the sides of my face and felt it didn't have any shape any more. So last night, when we went for our regular trim I decided to have a change. I think there must have been 2 - 3 inches cut off and the sides have been shaped so the no longer "hang"! I feel so much better. Another month or so and it'll probably be time to go and top up the highlights with the sun not coming out as much (ssshhh, I don't want to say winter is coming!) And I thought I'd post the final photo of our sunflower which I downloaded off the camera at the same time. They are just starting to fade now but they have been really beautiful. We did look them up and they definitely are sunflowers ;o) but I can't remember their name. I guess Dad got a mixed packet when he planted this year's sunflowers :o)

Playing with digital

After reading Cathy's blog this morning I checked to see if I had her Monthly templates (which I had) and thought it might be fun to play with digital scrapbooking again. These were the two pages I came up with.
I don't claim to be very good at this and I still think my pages look a bit flat but it was fun to put some photos from this month into the templates and I could possibly see this as something I might like to do and then make a book with them all in once I'd completed a year's worth. Another option might be to use the templates to print out my photos the correct size and use them on paper layouts instead. There are definitely possibilities :)

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Surprise visit :)

I know it's been a while since my last post but it's summer and there's stuff going on (more of which I'll hopefully get round to blogging about soon).
So, this surprise visit ;). I "met" Tammy a while ago after leaving a message on her sister Mandy's blog, when Mandy asked where people who visited her blog lived. I said I lived in West Sussex, England and shortly afterwards Tammy contacted me because her son was a missionary in West Sussex. It turned out that he was based in our town at that time and Tammy and I sent a few emails backwards and forwards.
To cut a long story short, yesterday Tammy contacted me on Facebook to let me know she was in England (a surprise birthday present) and wanted to know if we could meet up. Today that happened and we had a great time. Hugh and Emily came with me and we met Tammy, her husband, Alan and son Brandon for a drink and something to eat, before they carried on on their way to Eastbourne. It felt like we'd known them for ages and we could have quite happily spent longer in their company. Isn't the blogging world a fantastic way to get to know people from around the world - and sometimes even get to meet them :D
Tammy and me
Emily, Hugh and Brandon - sorry Brandon, not the best photo of you, can we blame your Dad ;)
Tammy, Alan and Brandon, thank you so much for stopping in to see us; we really enjoyed meeting you :) Enjoy the rest of your time in England and safe journey home.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Today I've been ....

Working on my "to do" list.
Six months of filing done and put away. One less thing to worry about! One step closer to relaxing and reading books :)Enjoying the last few flowers on my orchid. Most of them are now losing their flowers (after a number of months) and it could be a while before they bloom again. Taking photographs because I feel like it. Tom is always a good subject, I love his markings and he's very photogenic ;)
I'm working my way through the "Brothers & Sisters" TV series and really enjoying it. We're now on Season 3 - not sure what season is the current one but I think there's still a Season 4 box set to go :)
Hope you've been enjoying your weekend too :)