Sunday, 31 January 2016

January recap

My main aim for this year is to finish things. Projects that have sat about, kits untouched, books unread, games unplayed etc.
To try and keep track of how well I'm doing at the end of each month I'm going to blog and recap what I've managed to do this month.

Pounds lost - 7

Games completed - 0 (but close on 2)

Layouts done - 3

Projects finished - 5 PL style layouts, one huge hama bead stitch, 10/28 secret projects done.

Cross stitch done -
From this:

Books read:
The letter, Kathryn Huges.
Blurb - The Letter tells the story of two women, born decades apart, whose paths are destined to cross and how one woman's devastation leads to the other's salvation.
This wasn't what I expected. It flitted from the past to the future and about halfway through I knew exactly where the story was going and I was right. Started off as an interesting suspense story, but soon turned into fluffy chick lit. Nothing wrong with that if you like it, was an easy read and predictable. Just not what I expected.

Pretending to dance, Diane Chamberlain
Blurb - Molly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She lives in San Diego with a husband she adores, and they are trying to adopt a baby because they can't have a child on their own. But the process of adoption brings to light many questions about Molly's past and her family—the family she left behind in North Carolina twenty years before. The mother she says is dead but who is very much alive. The father she adored and whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison's Ridge. Her own birth mother whose mysterious presence in her family raised so many issues that came to a head. The summer of twenty years ago changed everything for Molly and as the past weaves together with the present story, Molly discovers that she learned to lie in the very family that taught her about pretending. If she learns the truth about her beloved father's death, can she find peace in the present to claim the life she really wants?
Mixed feelings on this one. I usually love Diane Chamberlains books. They twist and turn and keep me guessing. This one however seemed unrealistic from the get go. The twists were predictable and the characters were unlikable so to be honest I didn't really care too much what happened to them anyway. :(

Once gone, Blake Pierce
Blurb - Women are turning up dead in the rural outskirts of Virginia, killed in grotesque ways, and when the FBI is called in, they are stumped. A serial killer is out there, his frequency increasing, and they know there is only one agent good enough to crack this case: Special Agent Riley Paige.
I've not looked into it yet but I get the feeling this is at least the second in a series as it refers to a previous case quite often. That said it can be a read as a stand alone book just as well.
I didn't expect too much of this one as it was a kindle freebie but it was actually really good. There were a few interesting twists, the Riley character was interesting and I found myself hoping she would get things sorted out for herself. Will be keeping an eye out for more in this series.

A turn in the road - Debbie Macomber
Blurb - Sometimes, where you think you’re going isn’t where you end up. . .
Bethanne Hamlin has her life all mapped out. Until her ex-husband, Grant, suggests they reconcile – now Bethanne’s facing a turn in the road. So when her former mother-in-law, Ruth, suggests a road trip she jumps at the chance to escape…

Depending on my mood, I like lots of different kinds of books. Sometimes I'm just in the mood for a fluffy, predictable, girly love story and Debbie Macomber is great for those. This however was a bit too fluffy for my taste.
Don't get me wrong I like the whole 'boy meets girl, love at first sight' stuff but this dragged out a bit too long and was full of the whole 'You make me want to live again, I didn't know I could love again until I met you' cliches.
If it wasn't the 8th book in a series I've so far enjoyed I wouldn't have bothered finishing it.

Well I didn't think I'd done much this month but looking at it written down like that it doesn't look too bad :) Well except the cross stitch. Better get moving on that one!

Saturday, 30 January 2016


I live a boring life lol. Tonight Caitlin is sleeping over at her friends while Cameron sleeps over at my Mums. This means we have a child free night for the first time since I don't know when.
What are we doing? Getting a pizza and watching tv lol. Ah well, it's the simple things :)
So my Mojo is still on holiday. I have been crafting this week but its been either PL style layouts or things I'm making for gifts so can't share.
So instead, here is a quick recap of my week and the last of the Milton keynes layouts :)
So last week I was relaxing in the bath while Mark barged in and managed to miss my Kindle, with its neon rainbow case, stood on it and smashed the screen.
Gutted :(
I had planned to just go without for a while, but Mark felt dreadful so with a bit of imaginative budgeting, selling some bits and cashing in some vouchers I got this :)
TBH besides the backlight I don't see much improvement from my old keyboard one, I know its touchscreen and all that but lets face it I'd still be happy if they brought back CDs lol.
So that was a high point..........then the Next bill came. Woops lol.
So back to the high points lol. We got a message from a friend who told us that Warwick Davis from Star wars was going to be at our local Tesco this weekend. 'Yeah right' we thought. But looked into it and yes he was!
We went down and it was heaving so I left Mark and took the kids in the cafe. Mark was made up when he got to meet him :) Everyone says how nice he is and Mark said he was really lovely and joking along with everyone. Nice when famous people are not arrogant I think.
So as I said, while he was meeting Warwick I took the kids to the cafe. It was lunch time so I left them for 2 minutes to go and get some chips. During this time Cameron decided to put my handbag handles over his head so it was hanging around his neck...and got it stuck.
Only MY child could get a handbag stuck on his head! A good yank and I managed to get it off but he has a lovely red mark above his eye now. *rolls eyes*
Anyway this is the last layout I did while away last year. Really need to do some scrapping soon!
The photo was taken on Marks birthday, Mollie was staying round for a sleepover so we included her in the breakfast/gift giving festivities. Love the happy looks everyone has.
Lots of little bits used up again. Still lots to use though!!
It's grannys birthday tomorrow so going down to see her, then hopefully some scrapping time next week.
Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Cheer up giveaway

Well so far this month has sucked lol. SO many things have broken, including an unfortunate incident where Marks foot met my kindle :( Sadly it seems a lot of people I know are having similar poor luck. January is NOT a fun month.
So in an attempt to promote some good cheer, I've decided to host a give away :)
While clearing out my craft stuff I've found a fair few embellishments etc that I'm never going to use. So I plan to send these and a few other bits and bobs as happy mail to one lucky winner.
If you want to win this bundle. Just comment on this post and I'll pick a name out of a hat next Monday night. :)

While sorting out my layouts I found a few from when I went away with Jess last year, including this one of Caitlin and Mollie in their Brownie uniforms.
This was the first night Caitlin went in full uniform and she was so proud. :)
I used washi to make the strips in the middle of the page then used lots of brown, yellow and green embellishments to mimic the colours in the uniform.
Love this flair and flag, cheap bargains from The Works!
Well better go check Caits uniform is ready as it's Brownie night tonight! Good luck with the giveaway :)

Monday, 25 January 2016

Project life style layouts.

I'm not a big fan of Project life myself. Don't get me wrong I love looking at what others have done and think it's a brilliant idea, but I'm not going to kid myself I could keep up with such a regular thing.
That said I do love the Project life page protectors. Like most people I take a lot of photos. A LOT of photos. Some need a 12x12 layout to explain them, some are just of pretty scenery or the kids standing in front of something interesting.
For these photos the PL pages are great. Went we went to London to go sheep hunting for example.
So my pile of photos, scraps and embellishments are piling up. Again. So I'm puting 12x12 layouts on the back burner for a little while and doing a few of these.
I don't find them as fun as 12x12 layouts, probably because I have less space to work with, but I can use a lot of photos, a lot of scraps and a lot of little embellishments up quickly. Brilliant :)
Just to give you all a giggle too, Cameron asked if we could do some cooking this week. I found a recipe for cereal bars but needed demerara sugar and I only had brown. Cue a very big autocorrect fail to my Gran.

Saturday, 23 January 2016


Ok not blogged again for a while 'slaps hand' It's been another one of those weekend where every time I sit down to blog, someone needs something.
At the moment though Caitlins at her nannies, Camerons on the computer and Marks sleeping so grabbing a few minutes while I can.
So, this week has been very productive :) Managed to get lots of little niggly things ticked off the 'To do' list and I managed to finish 3 PL style layouts which have been sitting about for ages!
I would have done more but the amount of half used embellishments I had lying about was driving me mad so spent a day sorting those out. I swear I spend the same amount of time sorting my stash as I do using it.
Usually Saturday is a busy one in our house. Doing any shopping that's needed, going out on trips or to the cinema or something. This weekend however we have nothing planned so dug out a few of the more random Christmas gifts which hadn't been opened yet.
Now Caitlin asked Santa for a Yummy Nummies kit.
For those of you who don't know (lucky you) these are teeny, tiny kits where you mix powder with water to make little edible sweets which taste like actual food. So for this one the chips taste like potato, the burger tastes like a burger etc. There's no cooking involved besides a microwave so kids can do this pretty much on their own.
Cute idea right? Yeah, but at £10 a box a little on the pricey side.
Luckily Caitlin has cheapskate me as a mummy lol. I knew these were an English rip off of Kracies poppin cookin range from Japan and a quick look on Amazon and I was able to get 9 different kits for £15 :)
Santa was very generous ;)
We'd already done the jelly sweets one which went down well so we picked the burger kit to do this time.
There was lots of mixing, lots of exclaiming 'this really does smell like meat!' lots of laughing and lots of fun.
Caitlin had opened the packet before I could stop her and managed to rip the little case for the fries but oh well. This is our finished product on a saucer to give an idea of how tiny it really was.
Our burger looked less like bread and more like honeycomb but oh well. There was also 'cheese' and 'tomato sauce' in the burger too.
Now to try it. The chips tasted like smash, which was probably what they were, but the burger tasted scarily like a mcdonalds burger! It was actually quite tasty! Now worried what on earth goes into Mcdonalds burgers but we'll just try and ignore that thought ;)
Having homemade fish cakes and wedges for dinner tonight, bit higher quality than lunch hehe.

Monday, 18 January 2016


So I've been AWOl again. Its been a rough few days here and I haven't felt much like blogging, but a lovely family weekend has helped my mood no end and a few things have been sorted so yey!
Sunday we woke to snow! Ok it wasn't exactly the 2 foot we were promised by the weatherman but it was enough to go sledding and make a medium sized snowman lol.
Te kids both loved sledding. We haven't had snow for a few years now so it was almost all new to Caitlin who could barely remember when we went last time.
Got to love Cameron, as soon as I took this photo he asked if he could eat the carrot!
So my scrapping mojo has gone right out the window recently. My desk has sat untouched for too long.
I did sit and try and do something but my mind just went blank. To try and give my creativity a bit of a kick start I decided to do some hama beads instead.
At Caitlins request I made her a large Stitch for her door.
Problem is I don't have a new iron yet so I can't iron it! lol, oh well.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

I'm squashed

I'm sure I blogged this, :\ Oh well, gives me something to blog today :)
The past few days have all been about lists. Shopping lists, to do lists, birthday lists, I actually have a list of lists I need to make!
I don't mind really. I always feel better with lists as it helps me keep track of what to do and also keep track of what I've done, which has been quite a lot over the past few days :)
Today is a bit quieter, ironing, cleaning then taking the kids to a playcenter after school and Mcdonalds for dinner. Easy.
So layouts :) This was the first one I did with my twenty sixteen kit. I always think the first layout from a kit is the hardest. I worry that I'll cut a sheet in half then later on find the perfect use for it. I usually end up using as little paper as possible and lots of embellishments as I have plenty of those!
I love this photo. It's a running joke at the weekend that Mark refuses to get out of bed and the kids will come in, try and drag him out and end up being tickled or wrapped up in the duvet and trapped.
This time I snapped a photo on my phone. I love spontaneous photos like this, little snapshots of family life.
More home made enamel dots, look theres glittery ones too!
Love these little bow paperclips too :)
Still loads of this kit left and not long left until the next one is out, better get cutting!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Pikmin 2

Well today has been a lovely, relaxed Sunday so far :)
We had a pj day yesterday as the weather was dreadful, so we were pleased to see the sun shining this morning. We wrapped up warm, clipped on Scamps lead and drove to Fermyn woods.
When we got there however I realised that I hadn't brought any cash for the parking. Woops.
Luckily I'm not the only idiot who does this so they keep some parking tickets behind the counter in the cafe which could be bought with the credit card I keep in my phone case, crisis averted! Would have hated to tell the kids we had to go back home when we just got there lol.
The kids played in the park for a bit then we went for a walk. It's perfect for Mark here as they have a number of trails including one for those less able. Its shorter, flatter and has lots of seats along the way for resting. There are also lots of signs showing wildlife you can usually see in nicer weather. Bit redundant at the moment but made the kids eager to come back in Summer at least.
Snapped this photo of them walking ahead, so cute!
So I haven't blogged, or crafted, for the past couple of days, but I have an excuse! (Kinda)
Before I had the kids I was probably what is now known as a gamer. Most of my spare time was spent playing computer games, I collected retro games and consoles and any spare money was spent as soon as the newest ones came out.
Obviously having the children my spare time and money was spent elsewhere, but I still like to play the odd game now and then :)
For my birthday last year Mark managed to track down a copy of one of my old favourites, Pikmin 2. I played it quite a bit over the summer but then it sat, unloved and uncompleted. One of my resolutions this year has been to complete some of the old games I have sitting around. To my shame some have been untouched since Cameron was born!
So Friday morning, Mark was in bed, the housework was done I was at a loose end so sat down to play for an hour.
Next thing I knew it was time to pick up the kids from school, woops!
In my defence the kids love it too so as well as me playing they've been playing too. Cameron also loves to sit and watch me play while giving me a running commentary on how he would do it. *sigh*

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Just relax

Its time for the first Challenge YOUrself for 2016! Seems only days ago it was 2015!
Since it's the start of the year and everyone's busy after Christmas we have a nice easy challenge for you this month, so here is number 25, anything goes :)
Obviously you need need a photo with YOU in it but other than that no colours, no sketch, no theme, whatever you want goes. :)
For mine I used my newest Like for ever kit, twenty sixteen, and made this layout, Just relax.
The photo is from Butlins last July, there was a huge play area which was set up like a giant beach with oversized castles, beach balls and a sun lounger where I lay while the kids played. Perfect :)
I used lots of layering in this one to make the photo stand out against he dark background. The kit each month is wrapped in different coloured tissue and I love using this to mount my photos as it is super thrifty and adds texture too.
One of my Chrstmas gifts was a box of mixed, home made enamel dots. I'd tried doing them myself at home and they did NOT work but this other lady had cracked it so she sent me a massive box!
Expect them to show up on lots of layouts in the future :)

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

My brother my friend

So 3 layouts done since the new year and my mojo seems to have run off screaming lol.
Oh well.
Today has been a lot more productive than yesterday at least, except I managed to melt a hole in my basin while descaling the iron so doing dishes is difficuilt now. Woops, hehe. Dentist went well, Caitlin had a great time out with her friend and Cameron is all excited about a school trip tomorrow so I have a happy household at the moment :)
While everyones happy and calm (before I tell them its time to do teeth and go bed and all hell breaks loose) I'm catching up on online questionnaires, blogging and binge watching Private practice which is my new 'go to' tv show.
6 seasons to watch so gives me something to do for a few weeks :P
So layouts! This is the 3rd one I've done with the Like for ever Twenty sixteen kit. I admit I've barely touched the last few kits (no time not I don't like them) but I'm loving this one. The papers are difficuilt to use on their own but are great to pair with plain cardstock. Can see this kit being stretched out very far.
In this kit were some washi strips. There were some in a previous kit which I haven't used yet but when playing around with them I liked the 'staircase' look.
I didn't want to use much patterned paper as I would have lost the washi so some mists, drawing around a plate and a few embellishments and I was done :)
I love the result of this layout. It's one of my fave photos of the kids on Caitlins first day of Junior school. Her and Cameron are so close and while I know this there are certain situations where it hits home iykwim.
One of which is described on the tag behind the photo. One day Caitlin came home from school and was a little quiet. After asking what was wrong it turned out she had missed her 'wave with Cameron' She explained that every morning at school they had a school wide assembly and Cameron always waves at her. She said it makes her feel safe and happy for the rest of the day but that day Camerons class had a project and missed assembly and she missed her brother. As soon as Cameron got out of his class he ran up and gave her a huge hug which made it all better for her.
It made me realise that even when I'm not there for them they are still there for each other. I hope they stay that way.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Get on with it

Yesterday was kinda depressing. My health was iffy, my car was iffy, my patience was VERY iffy which made me feel guilty.
Ugh January is always rubbish but I'm excited about getting back to school and routine.
See I love my kids, course I do, but Cameron can be very draining at times. He talks, constantly. Seriously, he talks to himself, to everyone around him, he talks, CONSTANTLY. We've took him to the Dr and had him checked to make sure its not a sign of anything like ADHD or Aspergers syndrome. OK sounds like an over reaction but honestly I mean constantly.
Anyway it seems to be nothing more than an over active mind but by God its a lot 24/7 lol. So sending the kids back to school this morning was the start of a break for us and back to routine for them. Yey :)
So while yesterday was rubbish, I was determined to make today better. I hit the ground running putting a wash on and cleaning the kitchen, then went to hoover the kids room.
Then the hoover broke. So I go online to see when I bought it.
Internet goes down.
Go on my phone to use my 3g, find out the hoover is a month out of warranty ans new part will be £40.
Go onto bank account to do bills and budgeting, bank website is down for maintaince.
Deep breath, I'll do some ironing. Few items in, the iron spits brown water all over Marks white shirt.
Abandon all housework, go to town to meet my Mum for coffee.
Costas coffee machine isnt working (Seriously?!?!?!)
They finally get it working, I get my caramel latte and sit down........for Mum to knock the table and spill it on my lap.
I *may* have lost it at this point and shouted 'What the fu...' before I realised where I was and stopped. lol
Considering how this week is going I'm a little concerned about our dentist appointment tomorrow and Marks hospital appointment Thursday........
So, it's been a crappy couple of days. But nothing I can do about it now! Just got to get on with it :)
On a good note I've managed to do a couple of layouts today (yey!) but the light is too poor to get a decent photo (boo!) BUT I still have a layout I did when I went away with Jess I haven't shared yet (yey again) so I can blog that instead.
This layout tells the story of how we came to get Scamp. We had planned to get a puppy in the new year but in October my Mum bought Poppy, a cute little fluffball and that made me impatient lol. So we started to look into it and found someone in a nearby town selling pug puppys for £350.
We phoned and asked for one of the girls and she agreed to let us pick her up the next day. We asked my Mum and Gran to lend us some money and scraped the £350 together. Yey! So excited we told the kids who were made up and we were all excited :)
Later that night we rang the lady back (as she had asked) to find out what time was best to collect, but she didn't answer the phone.
We rang a few more times before she finally picked up and told us she had sold the puppy :( We were gutted and the kids were devistated.
We looked around but couldn't find any more puppies for sale near us within our budget. However we did find a woman selling pugs for £450 who had just started advertising them.
On the off chance we rung and asked if she would take £350 as that was all we had and after a few questions about us and our lifestyle she agreed!
The next afternoon I went and picked Scamp from a litter of 5 cute little babies. :)
He fits so well in our family, obviously he was just meant to be with us.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Work in progress

Remember how I said about having a lot of works in progress? Well one of those is my cross stitch I've been working on since Cameron was a baby.
This is how it will look finished.
This was back in March 2012.
and this is now
At this rate I think I'll be done in time to give it to my grandkids lol.
So tonight is a cup of tea, Netflix and stitching :) Rock and roll.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Too much

Today I made the choice to go through my new craft stuff and add it to my stash. I got SOME of it out to sort, sat on the bed with it around me and thought 'I don't even know where to start'
OK I know pretty much every crafter has been here at one point, feeling overwhelmed by she sheer amount of STUFF that can accumulate so fast, and I think it does affect my crafting. The more I have, the less I use.
So, to work on this, I'm going to pick a type of embellishment each month, buttons, wooden shapes, patterned paper etc, and I'm going to focus on using at least a little of it on each layout.
This month is washi. This may be a small amount to others but to me this is loads. So be prepared to see these popping up on layouts soon!
That method may make a little dent but to go further I decided to make up a few kits too. So 4 hours and 3 mugs of coffee later I made these 4 kits.

So no paper has been cut into today, but going through everything has got my mojo going a little, and with Cameron going to his friends house tomorrow hopefully Caitlin and I will be able to make a little more of a dent in my stash tomorrow :)

Saturday, 2 January 2016

New year new start (cos thats how it works lol)

So we're on the second day of January now, time to do the whole fresh start thing. So these are the resolutions:

1 - Finish my works in progress from this year. I have a few layouts, a cross stitch and a mini book that have been half finished for wayyyyy too long now.

2 - Lose weight. I weigh a lot less this year than I did at the start of last year but still have a bit to lose before I'm comfortable.

3 - Find a balance. Last year I was either bored or overwhelmed, spending loads or banning myself from spending anything. This year I want to be a bit more balanced.

4 - Stay home more. Every Friday night my kids ask me what we're doing that weekend. If I say 'Nothing planned, pj weekend?' they cheer. I think I try and stuff so much to do in that they end up getting a bit sick of it all. So staying home more is on the cards this year. :)

Easyish ones to stick to I think :)
So today was crazy hectic in the morning, then nice and chilled out in the afternoon. We're still in that weird limbo between Christmas and new year where nobody is sure what day it is so I was very glad my phone reminded me yesterday about Caitlin having a party to go to today lol.
Then I slept in. Phone failed me there!
So rushing about getting everything done before dropping her off at 2 for the 'very posh tea party' her friend was having.
Doesnt she look so grown up!
Cameron was a happy bunny today for a while too. We got his Wii exchanged this morning, then found out this afternoon one of his new games doesn't work. Swear the boy is cursed. So off to Game again Monday to exchange that.
Think they're going to start locking the doors when they see me coming.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy new year!

Well today got the year off to a great start :) Nice relaxing lie in, yummy latte to start the day then a trip to a local woodland park with the kids and the dogs.
It was EMPTY! Seriously we were the only ones there! It was a cold but clear day and they were having a great time in the park so Mum and I left them there with Bri and took the dogs for a walk in the woods.
Was a lovely peaceful walk. After being the chaos of the past couple of weeks it was really refreshing and just what was needed.
Kids were crazy as usual. Got to love Cameron. Smile nice he was told *rolls eyes*
Oh almost forgot to share my christmas gifts! I as spoiled as usual :) Got the traditional PJs, wine, chocolates, craft bits, but my fave gifts were my new pandora charms.
A beautiful camera from Mark, a dog in a chrismas hat from the kids, and a disney infinity charm from my mum!
I was amazed when I opened it. It takes a LOT to surprise me but she managed it :) Her friend went to new York just before Christmas and Mum got her to pick it up while she was there.
All so special :)
Well tomorrow is busy again. Got to go town to return Camerons Wii U, then Next to return clothes, Asda for shopping then Caitlin has a birthday party in the afternoon. All back to normal now!