Tuesday, 31 January 2012


 This afternoon, as I was standing unpacking some shopping in the kitchen, a movement caught my eye out the window. When I went to have a look, there was a number of horses galloping in the field behind the house.  We've lived in this house for 4 years now and, although I knew there were horses on the farm down the road and had been told they sometimes come up to the fields behind us, this is the first time that I've actually seen them here.  I stood watching them for a while (wondering if they'd actually managed to get free and were going on to the public footpath that runs up to the side of our house) and it was only as some of them started to drift away again that I thought I should take a photo.  The above photo, which I'll use as my photo for today, was taken with my lens at 135mm.
This one gives you an idea of where they actually were as it was taken from our kitchen window and the horses are in the top centre third of the photo (which was taken with the lens at 22mm).



This sight is not uncommon when Alice is here :o)  She loves climbing the stairs! There doesn't have to be a reason but sometimes Mac will be there for her to talk to, half way up, and other times Grandpa will be waiting at the top of the stairs to play a game with her. Sometimes she goes all the way up to the top of the stairs and then has a wander around the bedrooms/bathrooms and other times she'll decide she won't bother going all the way up and will slide back down again. Whatever the reason (or lack there of), one of us needs to be near by because, unfortunately, our stairs don't have a banister and are open on one side! As we're up and down them numerous times in a day, by the time Alice goes back to Mummy I feel quite shattered! ;o)

Sunday, 29 January 2012


We had a lovely visit from Michelle, Matthew, Josh and Lily today and although I've taken loads of photos and will post more in the next day or so, I've chosen this one as my photo for today.  Claire finally got to meet her new niece and Alice her little cousin.  We asked Alice if she'd like to say Hi Lily, and she did ;o)  Too cute.  It's going to be such fun watching these two precious little girls grow up :o)


Saturday, 28 January 2012


Mum and I went to do our weekly shop today as Michelle and family are coming to visit tomorrow :).  When we were going in we saw that Help for Heroes had set up a stall in the carpark and said we'd stop by once we'd finished our shopping and coffee. I've been wanting to get a new apron for a little while so this polka dot one was just what I needed. And, I have a thing about mugs so, when I heard this was the last one they had, I had to take that too. It's for such a good cause.


After a day looking after Alice, it was quite nice not to worry about cooking dinner as we went to the Nizam for a curry. Then it was home to watch Crazy Stupid Love. It had a couple of twists in it and was a good light hearted watch. A nice way to end the week.

Thursday, 26 January 2012


I'm trying to work my way around the house tidying and clearing/getting rid of the stuff we no longer need or use. Today I made a start in my work area. This shot was taken after quite a big clear up (you wouldn't have wanted to see a "before" shot!). I've cleared some more since but I've come to the conclusion that, with a laptop, Silhouette and hard drive on my desk, there's not much room left over for creating scrapbook pages. I guess it's lucky I'm next to the kitchen and can use the table in there or, as is more likely the case, the worktops. If I had chosen a word for this year, I think it should have been organised! That's what I need to become and that's what I need our house to be. Something I'll need to work on this year!


Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Happy mail arrived today :o)


Tuesday, 24 January 2012


Emily and Young Lin, ready for their next Korean/English lesson :o)

We also got to taste a Korean potato noodle dish which had fish cake (thinly sliced) and veg in it. Really tasty!  Emily also had a Korean pancake and, as you might imagine, wasn't overly hungry at dinner time ;o)


Licking the Spoon

I loved these photos from when we made cupcakes last week and wanted to record them on a layout. So, over the weekend I continued playing around with what I had and finally finished on Sunday night.

I knew there were a few photos I wanted to use so I designed a photo collage template in Photoshop Elements 9 with a 4x6 photo as the main photo and three little 2x2 photos to the side. However, when I printed it out I felt it neded something to divide the photos. I played around on my Silhouette Cameo (which I was lucky enough to get for Christmas) and managed to come up with this frame to go over the photos which, I think, finishes them off.  The title was also cut on the Silhouette using one of the fonts I have on my computer and the tab, little heart and spoon were shapes downloaded from the Silhouette shop (though I did add the inner oval on the spoon). 

This page is a little out of my comfort zone because I usually keep things very simple with plain cardstock, maybe a little patterned paper and a title. So adding ribbon and embellishments (if you can call them that) is different for me.  It's got the photos scrapped though and that was what I wanted :)



Alice loves getting to go on the computer. Emily brought up the CBeebies website and they were listening to the Baby Jake theme song - Baby Jake is one of Alice's favourites and she gets really excited while he's on :o)

Monday, 23 January 2012

Project Life : Week 3

Another week completed and I'm really starting to enjoy Project Life.  I didn't know if I'd keep it up but if I continue as I have been so far (and I know it's early days) it would be wonderful to have a full years worth of photos to look back on.  I'm sure seeing the pages of other people on the internet is also helping to keep me motivated and give me ideas of other ways I could set out my pages.  So glad I've finally got on board with this and that it's starting to click for me :o)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Tyler's birthday

 Tyler turned FIVE on Saturday and we were all invited for a family birthday tea. 
 He was so sweet - super excited but also wanting to show that he is a Big Boy now :o). He waited until everyone was there before opening his presents and sat in the middle so we could all watch.
 However, for us, the thing that stood out most was that suddenly Alice wasn't the baby any more. She was up there with the other two, joining in and following them around.
 I love this photo where you can see the two girls playing in the background while Tyler opens presents. 
The girls played with their babies and followed each other around, sometimes having little cuddles :o) which was so cute!
 Alice enjoyed the party food and would keep coming back to help herself to a little bit more.
But the thing I learnt? Is that it's okay for photos of children not to be in focus because as you can see from this last photo, they certainly don't stay still for long!!


Debbie & Dave (my sister-in-law and her husband) popped in to visit us on their way back to Yorkshire from Deal.  They moved to Yorkshire last year but the last time Emily and I actually saw them was when we went to stay with them in Cambridge in May last year (and for Jon it was longer than that). It was lovely to see them again and to get to catch up.  They've invited us up to go and visit them whenever we want so perhaps we'll have to think about it for Summer this year.  Thanks for stopping to see us, Deb & Dave.

Saturday, 21 January 2012


Tyler's 5th Birthday :o)



Working on a scrapbook page - more to come next week (because it's not finished yet lol!)

Thursday, 19 January 2012


This morning started out grey and damp and, although we had a brief spell of sunshine somewhere in the middle, it's ending grey and damp as well.

Taken this evening with the street lamp showing the wet patio and bench

However, the damp weather certainly didn't dampen my spirits!  As Thursday is one of my "days off" (ie. I don't have Alice that day), I was going to make the most of it. I popped to Waitrose first thing for a few bits I'd forgotten on my weekly shop before heading to Cafe Nero for coffee with a few friends. After that I met up with another friend for a long catch up chat and it was close to 2 o'clock by the time I got home again.
Coming back to my ironing all done is a wonderful feeling - empty wash baskets :o) = Bliss!

This afternoon I caught up on some blog reading and watched a couple of video tutorials. I have a question for the UK ladies who read my blog - where do you buy your scrapbook supplies from?  Do you have a local craft store you go to or do you buy online?  If you buy online, who do you find has the best selection of supplies?  I think the problem with reading American blogs (in the nicest possible way ;o) ) is seeing all the wonderful products they have but it's so difficult to find them here and if you buy from the US, the postage is so high. So I'm curious about where you shop. 


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

18:365(+1) & our day

This morning was grey, damp and fairly chilly (though not as bad as it has been recently) so after picking up Alice I decided we'd have a stay at home day.

Much nicer looking at this weather when you're nice and warm inside ;o)
 We did a little baking. I use the term "we" loosely as you've no doubt realised ;o)  Alice sat and watched me weigh everything out and then I held her as I used the beater (don't think she's that sure of the noise). She was then quite happy to be put in her chair ready for licking the spoon!
 I think she enjoyed it :o)
 Cakes made (little fairy cakes which we added choc chips to - so I didn't need to ice them!)
 Far away - but she enjoyed the cake and ate it all.
This afternoon while we were playing Alice got into the cupboard under the TV and pulled out the Wii remote control. She'd seen us use it last week to set up Netflix so was a bit confused as to why it wasn't doing anything on the screen. Look at that little face (and did you notice the bed head hair?) - I can't help kissing her and I'm sure she probably gets fed up with me!

So which one is my photo for the day?????  At the moment it's a toss up between the bottom two - any preference??



Korean pancakes

This afternoon Emily and I had Korean pancakes. I have a Korean friend, Myung San who lives a couple of minutes from us.

I met her when our children were in Primary school. I was sitting in my car, doing some patchwork, while I waited to pick Emily up. I'd just joined my first patchwork and quilting class and was making a sampler quilt by hand. Myung San saw me sewing and came over and knocked on the window. We got chatting and she told me she'd been quilting for a number of years and asked if I'd like to go round and see some of the quilts she's made - which are absolutely beautiful and all made by hand. We've been friends ever since.

Last year Myung San's friend, Young Lin, came over from Korea to stay with her and to do some studying in the UK. When she heard that Emily was teaching herself Korean she offered to give her some lessons when she got back from her Christmas in Korea. Emily started the lessons last week and is loving this opportunity (she wants to teach English in Korea for a year or so after University. We're talking 6+ years from now but she feels if she starts learning to speak the language now she'll be that much more fluent by the time she goes) but she wasn't able to go today because she has an exam tomorrow and needed to do some studying. Myung San had promised to make her some Korean pancakes today so, instead of making them at her house, she brought the mixture over here and showed us how to make them. 

I think they're probably more like American pancakes as they are thicker than pancakes I've made before and the one Myung San made was big enough to fill a small side plate.  I tried mine with lemon juice and cinnamon & sugar.  I don't know if that's something they would normally have but it was very tasty :o)


Tuesday, 17 January 2012


I have to choose which of these photos will be used for the 16th.  I love the one of Alice after our little walk but Cloud was in a pretty bad way yesterday and I feel that should be documented too.  Might end up with both in my Project Life.

The vet is a bit concerned about Cloud at the moment as this particular sore doesn't seem to just be an abscess. There is some infection there but it certainly doesn't appear to be a normal abscess. I won't go in to all the details (it's pretty yeuch!) but she is on strong antibiotics at the moment to try and contain whatever it is before they have to do some surgery on Thursday. The antibiotics really seem to have helped and the swelling has gone down a bit today. She's still quite happy in herself but from the vet's point of view, that in itself could be worrying as she would expect something like this be causing her more of a problem. I don't think the vet had actually seen anything like it before herself. Jon will be taking Cloud back up to the vet tomorrow evening and we'll find out more about the surgery required then.


Monday, 16 January 2012

Our first walk

One of the things I've been looking forward to is going for little walks in the neighbourhood with Alice. Today we had our first little walk.

 We didn't go far. I didn't know how far Alice would be able to walk before getting tired and I didn't want to end up having to carry her long distances to get home again ;o).
 We walked to the end of our road, up a small hill and then she had a short carry until we got to the top of our path again before she walked back round and home. She enjoyed stopping to look at little rocks and stones and the twig in the photo above must have been quite tasty ;o).  The only thing I hadn't thought through was how I was expecting to take photos on this walk while holding Alice's hand or reins and keeping her upright when she wobbled!  These two photos were all I got, one near the beginning of the walk and the other when we got home :o)
 Once inside again Stripey Horse got some attention (she likes the Stripey Horse books too)
and not long after, the postman arrived with her new peg hammer bench. I'm quite impressed with this one - it's sturdy, the pegs aren't too stiff to hammer and the hammer is a nice size.  It may be a little while before she's got the hang of it but she enjoyed pushing the pegs and playing with the hammer for now.

Alice has been asleep for about an hour now and soon I'll have to go and pick up Claire and then take Cloud to the Vets (for a nasty absess :o(  )


Project Life Week 2

 Left Page:  The Christening we went to; Alice with Tom; playtime when Aunty Em gets home from school, Mum's nosebleed at the Doctors.
 Right Page: Alice counting; Sunrise; one of the Netflix movies I watched; Happy mail from Ruth; picking up Hugh from work
As I said before - 2 weeks completed, 50 to go!


Sunday, 15 January 2012


Coffee at Starbucks with Mum after the weekly grocery shop :o)

Saturday, 14 January 2012

14 : 365(+1)

When Hugh works on a Saturday he usually asks for a lift in to work and then home again later to save him having to pay the parking charges. For some reason, this afternoon when I was going to pick him up, I picked up my camera before leaving home.  I managed to get this shot as he was walking up towards the car. 

It was really cold this morning with the heaviest frost on the ground that we've had this winter.  I had expected it because the sky was so clear last night and you could see the stars.  By this afternoon, with the sun out, it had warmed up a bit but it's back to being really chilly again this evening. I guess that talk of a mild winter must have jinxed things a bit and we're getting our first taste of winter this year :o)

I'm now off to put the last couple of photos in this weeks Project Life pages and write the journaling for the last couple of days.  Two weeks down and only another 50 to go ;o)


PS.  In case you're wondering where my photo for 13 : 365(+1) is, I'll be using the photo of the happy mail from Ruth in the previous post :o) 

Friday, 13 January 2012

Happy Mail & 13:365(+1)

I was delighted when I received some happy mail from Ruth this week and excited to see that I was one of the people chosen to receive one of the World Book Night 2011 books.  I did have to chuckle at the book I'd received though because my Mum, Norma and my nephew, Kyle all read Lee Child and it has been suggested before that I try his books but I never have.  I've had a quick look at Killing Floor and will certainly give it a go and see how I get on :o)  Only problem is, if I enjoy it I'll have Mum, Norma and Kyle saying "I told you!" ;o) 

Thank you Ruth for wonderful happy mail.


12 : 365(+1)

I know we've all been talking about how mild our Winter has been so far and it's the same here. Hardly any frost, never mind snow! One thing we have noticed though is that we've been having some lovely red sunrises over the past few weeks. This morning was one of those mornings and as Emily and I sat talking about how pretty it was I thought, What am I doing sitting here? I should be out there taking a photo!

Same view a couple of hours later - not nearly as pretty ;o)


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Thanks Carrie ;o)

 On Tuesday, Carrie posted about her 10 recommendations on Netflix and asked if we had Netflix.  Well, I'm the first to admit that I'm not up to date with all the latest things so I went and asked Hugh if he knew.  Turns out Netflix has recently become available in the UK and Hugh had just signed up and thought it was great.

Yesterday Hugh signed me up to Netflix. He signed up through his Xbox so he can watch the films/programmes on his TV and he signed us up through the Wii so we can watch on our TV. It can also be watched on iPad, iPhone, I would imagine iPod Touch and your computer. Am I impressed? Very!! You have a great selection to choose from and the streaming is fantastic, no delays!  At the moment we've signed up for a month's free trial but if we decide to stay with Netflix it's a really reasonable monthly fee.  Have a look and see for yourself.

I really enjoy a feel good movie and last night I watched "A lot like love", I didn't know what to expect but I really enjoyed it. It made me laugh in a couple of places and at the end of the movie I was in a happy place ;o)  

Thanks for telling us about Netflix, Carrie. Anyone else going to try Netflix?