"We're not going to a fancy dress party"

18:07 Karen 5 Comments

Those were the words muttered by the main man as I came out of the house to go for a walk.

He obviously didn't appreciate my funky combo of denim skirt, black leggings and my girl's Smartie patterned, short wellies (she has taken my very expensive full length wellies on holiday with her).

I thought I had dressed quite sensibly, under the circumstances - we have had heavy rain quit a bit this week and as we were going to a National Trust park for a walk I thought :-

1. wear a skirt then you don't have to tuck your trousers into your wellies and look an idiot.

2. wear leggings under said skirt so that a) your legs are warm and b) they will tuck into your socks and be covered by the smaller length of my girls wellies.

3. wear the only available pair of wellies as I discovered last week that my walking boots leak.

So yes, maybe it was not the choice of clothing for a normal woman of my age but heaven forbid that I would ever look or dress like a normal woman of my age!!!

While we were out walking we saw a couple of really huge fungi and were surprised as we thought it was quite early in the year for these to be out but obviously not.

Also we found this really cute heart shaped hole in a tree.

But yesterday, my fears were confirmed - my girl not just a geek but a super geek extraordinaire! When she phoned to give us a run down of her day I asked if she had been surfing. No she replied, I just sat on the beach reading. What novel are you reading I asked? Now wait for this - her reply was "I wasn't reading a novel I have brought my Chemistry and Biology books to read." "Do you have a test when you go back?" I asked. "No" she said "I just like reading them!" I feel sorry for her boy, he has to study whether he likes it or not.

We once took her out for a meal and when I looked down she was reading a Biology book while waiting for her meal. I know most mothers complain that their children don't study enough but really - taking Chemistry and Biology books on holiday as a little light reading - no wonder her bag was so heavy!

I have almost finished my 'Alice in Wonderland' mini album - I thought I would just do a little last night and before I knew what had happened it was 2am and I don't do late nights usually. So hopefully, I will have it finished tomorrow and will do a little blog show and tell.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. I don't care if I look like I am wearing fancy dress - it makes me happy!

2. A lovely companionable walk with my main man and then a cup of tea in the tea room is a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.

3. My girl is comfortable enough in her own skin to do what makes her happy rather than what is expected of her (I wonder who she gets that from?)



She's A Log Dog

11:03 Karen 6 Comments

It cannot be denied, my Kiera is a real 'log dog'. Whenever she goes for a walk the first thing she has to do is find a huge branch or small log, or more commonly wrench a piece off from a tree, to carry round with her. She has been known to carry/drag a piece of tree for several miles.

Choosing a suitable piece of tree.

On our walk yesterday, she managed to pull off a rather sizable branch from a tree

which she dragged for most of the way

and then found another smaller but fatter piece of tree

and finally (no photo of this one) a very large and very fat piece of tree. She will run along with these in her mouth and woe betides anyone who gets in her way as you will get a very forceful whack on the back of the legs as she passes! What is it with Retrievers that they always have to have something in their mouths? When she is at home she will always have one of her several teddies, or a bone, or a ball in her mouth constantly - it must just be a dog thing!

As well as going for a walk, yesterday, I managed to make the covers for my LSNED album for this year. Did you know that Echo Park make hybrid versions of their 'A Walk In The Park' and 'Life Is Good' ranges. No, nor did I until I saw them here.

What a bargain, I purchased them, re-sized them, printed them, cut them out and there we have it - beautiful pieces for my cover.

The trees are from this digi kit.

This year my album pages are going to be 6 x 4 digi pages, I have a template that I am going to use for each page and then once they are printed out I may pretty up the pages with some hybrid bits and pieces. My covers are 7 x 5 and I will either put book rings or Bind It All at the top (I will have to peel back a bit of the embellishments if I am going to do this!) I am really getting excited about the class and can't wait.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. It's a bank holiday weekend - 3 days with the main man xxx

2. My babe has turned into a surfer chick and has been body boarding and even managed to get up onto her knees on a proper surf board. I am so pleased she is enjoying herself.

3. My quota of invoices for today have already been typed so after doing a quick Sainsburys shop the day is mine to do as I please.



A Cherry On Top!

13:56 Karen 5 Comments

What a surprise - I have been awarded this from Sheleen - she is such a talented and creative lady and I love looking at her blog to see what she has made next so to receive this award is a real treat. So a very big thank you to Sheleen xxx

There are 5 conditions to accepting the Cherry on Top:

1.) That I thank the person who gave me my award! -

2.) That the receiver places it on their blog -

3.) Receiver lists 3 things about themselves

In my head I am a 30ish tall. leggy blond - in reality I am not.
I get really grouchy if I don't do something creative every day.
Although I am very sociable I really like my own company too.

4.) Receiver posts a picture that they love

A photo from the weekend but I love that they are deep in conversation and completely oblivious to the rest of the world around them.

5.) Tag 5 people to pass the award onto, and to keep it going.

Eileen - because she is such an awesomely talented scrapper and introduced me to this hobby that totally sucks you in.

Sue - I have always admired her as a person and love all the beautiful things she creates.

Karen - because it may make her stop making excuses and start blogging her beautiful creations again.

Denise - because she doesn't realise how good a scrapper she is .

Deb - I love reading Deb's blog, she has such a funny way with her journaling and her scrap pages are beautiful too.

What else has happened today? Well Gracia left at 6:30am to go down to Devon with Josh and his family and she has only just phoned to say they have arrived - nightmare traffic she said!

Also, instead of sorting out the customer statements (my job for today) I made a digi page for this site about a conversation Gracia and I had this morning while she was waiting to be picked up. That girl is just so witty with her answers.

The journaling reads 'Today I asked you "How come you know how to do your make up when I have never shown you?" You replied "It's like birds just know to fly south in the winter, well, I just know how to do my makeup - instinct!" Pretty good instinct I say!'

I rarely wear make up, usually just pull a brush through my hair and can be up and out in 10 minutes, so where does she get it from?

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Vegetarian Shepherds pie (reheated and spiced up with a bit of Daddy's sauce) for lunch was absolutely delicious as I expected it to be.

2. Even though I took Kiera out for a 2 mile walk this morning, we are going out for another this afternoon as it has stopped raining.

3. The prospect of having a couple of days with just David and I is a very good one.




18:27 Karen 5 Comments

First of all a huge thank you to everyone who congratulated the kids.

We have been AWOL, well not really but we have been away for a few days to the Peak District.

The last time we went there I was 12 weeks pregnant with Gracia. It is such a beautiful part of the country and I would recommend it to anyone.
We left early on Sunday morning and went straight to Carsington Water - an activity centre with a fabulous restaurant and craft shops. We hired bikes and cycled for a couple of hours

and then David, Gracia and Josh went for a paddle in a 3 man canoe - I stayed on dry land and read my book for half an hour.

On Monday we went for a 10 mile walk

(it took us over 4 hours due to the speed that Gracia walks - look how far behind they are and I had to use full zoom on my camera to even get this photo) around Bakewell and the surrounding area.

It pelted with rain the first half of the walk but we finished it in glorious sunshine. The carrot that got Gracia round was the promise of a Bakewell pudding at the end.

As I said, the last time we were in the peak district was 18 years ago and had gone to the Bakewell Pudding Shop, I am afraid that our memory must have played tricks on us as we remembered these with fondness - what a rip off! It cost us £33.00 for two bowls of soup with 'homemade rolls' which were akin to ones you can buy from ASDA's value range, Gracia had a roll and jam and David had a roast vegetable pannini. We decided that we would go for the £8.00 Bakewell Pudding for 4 - £8.00 for a piece of puff pastry with 1/2 an inch of filling and no bigger than a tea plate! Added to this it took 1hour 50 minutes from the time we sat down to the time we left and there were 5 people serving and no more than 30 people in the restaurant!

Yesterday, we dropped the kids off at Alton Towers for the day they went on loads of rides

but, get this, they spent an hour looking at the gardens and grounds - more the sort of thing pensioners would do rather than teenagers

- love this photo from Monday when they were being 'old people'.

and went walking around Dimmingsdale and had lunch here.

Now if you are ever in this area I would thoroughly recommend this place. The food was delicious and David had lemon merangue pie for dessert and I tell no lie it must have been 6 inches deep. The lady said that they used 2 dozen egg whites for the topping.

Whilst we were out walking we came upon these fungi - they looked like white jellyfish!

So back late last night, washing and drying clothes all day today so that Gracia can go to Devon with Josh and his family tomorrow for 6 days. This will be an eye opener for her really as they are camping in a field without any facilities - no electricity for hair straighteners, no running water for daily showers and the family spend all day on the beach so the boys can body board and surf! Not an activity for a girl who doesn't like sports! Well, I am sure love will win through and just spending time with Josh will be good.

I also have 120 blog posts to read according to Googlereader!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. The washing is all done - just the ironing to tackle now.

2. We both agree that spending time with Gracia and Josh is a really fun thing to do, they spend all their time laughing and are such good company.

3. I have decided to do this year's Learn Something New Every Day and am now planning how I am going to tackle it - I think digi and then print them out.



Didn't They Do Well

08:29 Karen 9 Comments

The kids went to get their A/S results yesterday and they both did really well, all their hard work and revision paid off and they have the results they need to apply for the universities they want. As they have not posted on Facebook their results, like so many of their peers have, I am not going to say what their results are but suffice to say we are all extremely proud and delighted with what they got. (A bit of a clue in the title of the page I made yesterday!)

A first for me was to take a photo, get it printed at Sainsbury's 10 minutes later and start scrapping it within 30minutes of taking it! So here is my page and I can tell you I am basking in a huge proud mummy moment.

Reasons to be cheerful:-
1. Even though their friends poke fun at them for studying so hard, the last laugh is on them!

2. They can now focus on their A levels knowing that they have the results to get into any of the universities they have short listed.

3. The stress of exams is over for a few more months!



Celebrating Birthdays and Blessings.

09:02 Karen 5 Comments

Yesterday was a big day in our little house - The Main Man's birthday. I'm not going to say how old he was and he 'doesn't do birthdays' but we do. For me, his birthday is a time to show him how much he means to us and how much we appreciate all the hard work he puts in to giving us the best he can. For the past 18 years he has worked almost continually to double the size of our cottage and to install the best facilities that he possibly can. Yes he is fastidious, a perfectionist and always wants things to remain looking as though they are new, but he accepts that sometimes, as much as it distresses him, that things do get accidentally damaged and that life wears things out.

Hi is in need of a haircut in this photo - he doesn't usually have such 'tall' hair.

So what did we do for him, G&J both made him cards, hers had a cello on to celebrate his love for his cello and his diligent practicing (not always to our taste)! J painted him a card with a seahorse on, his first attempt at a seahorse at the weekend looked like a sea slug and caused much amusement but this one was beautiful and the time and effort put into making it was really appreciated. For the first time G wouldn't take any money towards her dad's present and chose and paid for 4 polo shirts, he loved them all.

I made the ultimate sacrifice - having been a vegetarian for almost 24 years (only eating a little meat during my pregnancy) I went to the local supermarket, stealed myself and ventured into the meat isle. I then had to decide which steak to buy, not having a clue about these things, I chose the mid price steak. J very kindly got it out of the packet and put it into the pan (G is also a vegetarian and has been since she was three and realised that meat was dead animals). So for supper the boys had steak, chips and vegetables and the girls had Quarn burgers, chips and vegetables. There were shop bought puds but, of course, I did make some cupcakes - vanilla sponge with Nutella filling, orange icing and topped with Maltesers because they are his favorite sweet.

Kiera, and this is a first ever, was allowed the little bits of steak that the boys left. We don't allow her 'people's' food but this was a very special occasion!

We had a really lovely evening together, our little family of 4+1 and I know he went to bed with the warm glow of knowing that he is much loved.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Having spent all day yesterday tidying my craft supplies and only managing to throw out half a carrier bag of bits, I can do some cutting and sticking today with the happy feeling of knowing I can put my hands on whatever I want, instantly, because today, maybe not tomorrow after a day of playing, I know where everything is. In fact, I have started already by cutting out butterflies whilst watching Masterchef on the i-player.

2. I am sitting here thinking about how lucky I am to be able to spend time with such amazing people as those in my family.

3. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and all is well in my little world.



A Photo Frenzie!

21:36 Karen 6 Comments

Today, I have managed to complete all but 2 of Shimelle's photo challenges and made digi los for 2 of the sketch challenges. I really wanted to get some paper crafting done but too many other things have gotten in the way today :( Nevermind, I still got to walk the dog and take photos and I am going to do some more of the challenges later in the week. I may even get another tag made tonight, if I have time and don't give in and go to bed.

Crafting challenges:

The second sketch

The third sketch

Photo challenges:

Man made

I saw the sign

Night light


Study Session

Get in the picture

Craft in progress

Zoom out


Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Going out with my SIL and youngest neice for lunch tomorrow and maybe a little roller skating in the afternoon.

2. Discovering the joy of ASDA Home Delivery.

3. A day spent getting lots of things done, even if they were things I didn't really want to do.