Sunday, 31 July 2011

A week of dusting to come?!?

Jobs for today:

  • A little bit of washing
  • Recover from a slight over indulgence last night
  • Attempt to tidy the house
  • Pitch the tent for Mimi to play in.
Additional jobs which crept in
Just before it went in the oven.

The finished bread fresh from the oven.
  • Started to dig over the vegetable patch and weeding of the garden - the bindweed was strangling all of the roses.
Whilst we were sitting at the table for Mimi's tea the farmer has just turned up with his combine harvester and has started to harvest the wheat in the field in front the house.  To put this into some perspective the field is about 3ft from our kitchen window.  I don't mind as we have fab views out over the field and the sea but just check out the dust cloud it is creating!

View from the Kitchen Window

Yesterday I took Mimi shopping because I had promised her that if she managed to get 10 smiley faces through out the week then she could have a Thomas the Tank Engine.  I have learnt a valuable piece of parenting knowledge - Never promise something like this until you have checked the prices.  I nearly had a fit the first Thomas we found was about £40.  Luckily for me as Mike would have killed me Mimi found some Rabbit ears (in the sale so even better!) which she pranced round the shop in and a little set of George Pig & Danny Dog figures.  These were considerably cheaper than Thomas although I did find a slightly cheaper version for £10 which I will have to remember for future.

They're Off

The Crew

My cousin Rob Sleep has just set off on his latest crazy adventure.  He is part of a small team which includes Jock Wishart who have just set sail on their Row to the Pole Challenge.
There have been various articles on Radio 4 and the Telegraph to name a few.  You can check them out on YouTube. 

Saturday, 30 July 2011

A Crazy Few Days

Jobs for today:

  • Visit Grandma (they are off on holiday early tomorrow and my Mum is desperate to see Mimi before they go away)
  • Shopping for some fabric, Get Well Soon Cards & Wedding Cards
  • We are off to a Wedding Reception this evening and we are all going to stay at Granny & Grampy's so I need to organise everything & get ready to leave the house by about 3ish. (hopefully Mimi will settle better than last time we attempted this!)
We have had a few crazy days with some good news and some not so good news.  We have had the horrid news that Mikes aunty has been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and is to start chemotherapy on Monday for 3 months.  On the better news side I had a smear test which showed dodgy readings and had to go for tests which on further inspection they don't seem too worried about (although I have to go back in 6 months).  With regards to this I was called and called to go to the doctors for a smear and I kept ignoring it as I am sure like most women it is not something I look forward to.  It was only when I received a letter from the doctors saying that I had to sign a disclaimer and they would stop sending me the reminders that I thought I had better go.  Despite the fact that I then had to have further tests and in view of Mikes aunt I am now pleased that I did go.

The really good news is that I have decided that I am finally going to take the plunge and set up a small design business selling some of my design projects.  I just have to decide on a name - suggestions would be gratefully accepted.

On a lighter note we have had a busy few days. After going to the Howletts Zoo in the morning with her Daddy Thursday evening was carnival night so we walked down to the seafront to watch it.  Mimi had a lovely time - I was a bit tight and refused to buy her a helium balloon on the basis that they were £5 and would be flat by now.
Howletts Zoo is quite good at the moment they have an annual entry which costs about £16 but you can use it as often as you like.

Then yesterday we had to do some shopping then D came over (on my recommendation) she had brought a HTC phone but was struggling with it so we had a CPD session.  I then managed to find time to finish Project 7 an ABC poster for Mimi's bedroom.

Then Kate popped up for a cup of T and a glass of wine followed by my Mum & Dad and Mikes parents for a BBQ - which we had to eat inside as it with typical British weather it started to rain!

I caught Mimi looking out of the window with her binoculars.
With my Mum & Dad going away tomorrow I have been given the honour of looking after the "special plant" which was carefully delivered last night and apparently needs a pint and a half of water a day.

The "Special Plant"

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Jobs for today
  • Pop into work to sort a few bits out
  • Tidy the house and put things away
  • Continue/finish chair project (when Mimi has her afternoon nap)
We have our first tomatoes of the season!!!

About a week ago I decided that I was going to renovate an old chair that we found in the loft when we were clearing out a few months back.

It was in a bit of a state with a cork pad which had been stuck to the seat and paint that had seen better days.


I carefully removed the cork seat sanded it down, gave it a couple of coats of undercoat paint and found some paint in Harbour Blue in the garage (which we brought ages ago to paint the bathroom in France).

I then made a cushion cover using some old jeans we were going to use for rags and some recycled cushion covers (found in the garage) which I dyed china blue.


The final bit (which I will complete tomorrow morning when Mimi & Daddy go to the Zoo) will be a coat of clear varnish.

The remainder of the day was spent occupying Mimi.  We went Blackberry picking again and then after Tea and bath we went to the beach to watch Daddy go sailing.


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Yay No Washing!

Jobs for today:
  • Yay No washing!!!
  • Visit D&H for coffee
  • Take Mimi on her promised walk to the beach to collect yet more pebbles.

Afternoon walk to the beach for pebbles.

Wow time to spare so I have managed to find some time to work on the cushion for my chair project and I started my next project for Mimi's bedroom.

Continuing on from the theme of Thrifty Saturday I have been after a vintage style afternoon tea plate for my cakes and sandwiches.  I saw one in a second-hand shop at the weekend, (but the shop was shut) so this morning Mike took Mimi for 10mins whilst I popped down to get it.  I think this could be my purchase of the week.  My brother and his girlfriend are coming down in a couple of weeks and I can't wait to make a traditional afternoon tea.

I didn't go to bed until nearly midnight as I was busy trying to finish my onion chutney, I was so tired that I forgot to take a photo of the finished product.  So I took a couple this morning.  I was pleased with the outcome it tastes good although I don't think Mike will like it very much as the chilli is a little overpowering.

Mimi has been a little monkey today and has had to spend a fair few minutes on the naughty mat for jumping on the sofa.  I was hoping that we had started to master the concept of potty training yesterday although this does not appear to be the case as we have had several accidents today.  We are now in a state of flux, I didn't want to risk going to D&H's in knickers in-case we had an accident so decided to go in nappies.  However Mimi found nappies quite traumatic and kept shouting "I need a wee wee".
Having thought about it and after speaking to D I think we are going to tell Mimi that the nappy fairy has taken all of the nappies away and left a big pile of chocolate money in place of them.  Each time she goes to the toilet she can have some chocolate money.  Watch this space!!!!!!! 

I have also upped the anti with the naughty mat.  Mimi really wants a Thomas the Tank Engine.  We have decided that she can have one but she is going to have to earn it.  So each time she goes on the naughty mat she gets a little black cloud marked on a wall chart and if she does something good she gets a smiley face sticker.  When we have 10 smiley faces we will take her shopping and she can choose her Thomas.

Mimi collecting smiley faces for helping Daddy

Monday, 25 July 2011

Manic Monday

Jobs for today:
  • Yet MORE washing!
  • Food shopping - carrying on from Thrifty Saturday this involved a variety of stops.
  • Cook beetroot and rhubarb (which I brought on Saturday)
  • Visit Granny & Grampy
  • Continue with the potty training
Jobs which crept in but were not on the original list
  • De-heading the roses in the garden
  • Digging up the potatoes and putting them carefully in a cardboard box in the garage
  • Tidying the house and cleaning the bathroom.

Roses from the garden

Mike dug up a potato in the shape of a heart .

Its been a bit of a manic Monday.  Having started my blog a few weeks ago I am finding it a particularly inspiring part of my life.  I love all of the other blogs I have found, but all this inspiration means that I have lots of creative ideas for both Mimi and I and not enough time in the day to complete everything.

Having got up early by the time I had sorted out all of the washing, got Mimi dressed several times and run to the toilet too many times to count we finally managed to be heading out of the door at about 9.30am.  We had a variety of shops on my hit list today - TKMAX as I wanted some cushion blanks for my chair renovation and some jars for my chutney.  They didn't have what we wanted so we ended up at Dunelm Mill where we managed to get the cushion blanks some jars and a photo frame for my next project for Mimi's bedroom.  
By this time we were running a bit close to lunch so we stopped for a coffee before heading off to Lidl.
Lidl became a firm favourite when we were in France after stopping with G&A.  One lunch time they had the best ham and I was shocked to discover that it had come from Lidl.  After shopping in a few in France I thought we would give it ago back here.  Some stuff was cheaper although I thought that some things were more expensive.  So after collecting the things we wanted we headed off to the till.  I found it a little disconcerting that the length of the till does not give you much time or space to shovel all your things in to your trolley.  Then after being told the amount I put my card in to the machine only to be told in a very disdainful voice with a look as if to say are you totally stupid we don't take credit cards.  Trauma over we got back to the car where I sorted my bags out, then off to the farm shop for vegetables and then home.
I since feel as though I have spent the afternoon glued to the kitchen trying to cook Mimi's tea which has disguised vegetables, and all of the other little tasks I have set myself such as making chutney 2 different types plum and red onion I found the recipe on the internet although I halved the quantities. (I didn't get round to both), cooking and pickling my beetroot (I discovered today that you can use beetroot juice to dye rice pink!), making leek & potato soup for tomorrow, sorting out the rhubarb for rhubarb crumble and the endless trips to the toilet and the little voice shouting OOOOOhhhhhh No I have done WEE WEE Ohhhhhh NO! 

Cooking the beetroot 
OOOO it dyed everything including my hands.

I forgot to add that we also managed to squeeze a quick trip over to Granny & Grampys and Mike finally managed to book himself an appointment at the doctors about his hearing.  I have been on his case for ages and I am sure that it is getting worse but according to the doctor there is nothing wrong with his hearing.  I have concluded that he must just tune out to my voice!

Garden is doing well, we have our first ever crop of Blackcurrants, our first Tomato of the season and a Butternut Squash.  I am very proud of my squash as I attempted to grow them last year but something ate it from the roots up and so it never materialised.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Another Sunny Sunday

Jobs for today:

  • Hopefully my last load of washing for a few days
  • Continuation of Project 5 - Chair Restoration
  • Wrap M & V's Birthday presents
  • Grandma popping in for coffee
  • K & S's for a BBQ get together with V & A
  • More potty training mayhem (Although we went to K&S in a nappy!)
Got up early so that I could give my chair another coat of paint before Mike went sailing.  Mimi was a little horror and had to sit on the mat several times in quick sucession for 1) Drawing on the sofa with felt tips, 2) throwing a pen at me when I was sitting on the toilet because I wouldn't draw her a cat, 3) drawing on the bedroom mirror with green crayon, 4) throwing a book at Daddy for not reading it to her INSTANTLY!  All of these interruptions made the process of getting ready take twice as long.

My mum popped up for coffee on her bike and whilst I was finishing my make up in the peace I could hear her (referring to the pen on the sofa) saying to Mimi "Well I think you are lucky you only got away with sitting on the naughty mat - if you had been living with me you wouldn't have been so lucky!"  I just chose to ignore her and carried on with what I was doing.

Walking along the beach with Grandma

Weather didn't start off so great this morning - I thought the weather wasn't going to hold out so dressed for the BBQ in autumnal clothing only for the sun to come out and for me to then sit in the garden boiling but I shouldn't complain as it is a marked improvement on last weekend's weather.  
We have had a lovely afternoon with great food and great company.  As usual K & S produced a great spread with the most amazing pavlova by Delia.
Mimi was a little minx and had to sit on the naughty mat for throwing Thomas the Tank Engine at M.

Back home with a lovely cuppa and I think (when Mimi has gone to bed) that I am going to take my make up off, soak my feet and then carry on with Project 4 - Mimi's cardigan.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Project 6 - Vicky's Birthday Present

Project 6 - Vicky's Birthday Present.

In line with my previous post Thrifty Saturday I decided that I would make my friends birthday present.  A lovely personalised fabric covered notebook.

Note Book before restoration

Buttons threaded on to the page divider

Mimi discovered that the buttons fitted nicely in to her little Tangled  frying pan.

A while back I inherited a load of old buttons and today I came across this old Debenhams bag

The finished article a personalised fabric covered note book.

A Thrifty Saturday

Jobs for today:

  • Completed yet more washing - it feels like the washing basket has become a bottomless pit.
  • Shopping for a few essentials - I cannot face going into town on a Saturday as it takes longer to get in and out of Sainsburys car park than it does to complete my shopping.
  • Visit Grandma & Pa
  • Continuation of tidying the house
  • Project 6 - Vicky's Birthday Present.

After going through the bills last night I realised that we have had a few expensive weeks.  So on the back of this we have had a thrifty day, we have brought some beautiful flowers, some runner beans, beetroot and rhubarb all for £3.50 from the lady round the corner who has an allotment and sells her produce with an honesty box from her drive.

I have been after a vintage feel for my photos for a while and today I have been experimenting with a new photo app FX Camera on my htc phone.  I am quite pleased with the results so far.

We then had a cheap relaxing afternoon on the beach watching Daddy sailing. 

Mimi on the beach with her little friend and her beach treasure.


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