Sunday, 31 October 2010

Trick Or Treat?

DS had his first invitation to a Halloween party this year.  Halloween isn't something that I've paid much attention to in previous years; I'm not even sure that I like it.  The invitation stated that the children should be in costume but, given that DS has been poorly this week and that the venue was outside, I opted to put him in a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt over lots of layers.  There was also a 'naughty' pirate mask, but that didn't stay in place for very long.
My friend's eldest daughter was the perfect hostess-with-the-mostest and looked amazing in her witch costume, which had been rustled up by her talented mummy.
Our contribution to the party was a fresh batch of Oatmeal & Cranberry cookies.  I was able to find a suitably themed cake box and I used the free 'Boo' download from Ali Edwards to make a tag and embellished it with orange ribbons and the plastic spider sent to DS by Deb with the Hershey's Candy Corn Kisses.
And you know what?  DS hated it.  He hated the darkness.  He hated being not allowed into my friend's house (long story as to why not).  He hated that the garden was chocca-block full.  He hated that Daddy had stayed at home (DH's turn to be unwell today).
There's always next year ... but it's fine with me, son, if you never like Halloween.

304/365

~ Wear your poppy with pride ~

Saturday, 30 October 2010

303/365

~ Late lunch ~
DS was struck down with a vomiting bug just after breakfast this morning, so most of my day has been spent cuddled up with him on the sofa.  He asked to go to bed at 6.30pm; we may regret that tomorrow morning, as the clocks change in the early hours.  Technically, we gain an hour, but I fear DS won't.  (As I type this, DH is cleaning the lounge carpet ...) 
Don't forget that you have another day, if you'd like to enter my Just Because GiveAway.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

301/365

~ Mud magnet ~
My beautiful GodDaughter has brought her mummy and big brother to stay with us for a few days this week.  With three under-fives in the house, it is chaotic and somewhat noisy!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

MTAV: Pages U And V

 


U is for Uniform, United States of America and Upgrades.  V is for Very Much Like To and Virgin Atlantic.





So.  I'm almost there; just W, X, Y and Z to complete.  I'm open to suggestions for categories relating to me under the letter X ~ suffering writer's block on that one right now.
Shimelle's new class is now on day 3 and I've yet to do a thing, apart from photograph my massive pile of pretty notebooks.  But, it's okay, because the true stories of my life aren't going anywhere and I'm drawing inspiration from great posts by Mel and Amy, to name just two. 
Don't forget that you still have a few days left, if you'd like to be entered in my Just Because GiveAway

300/365

~ Keeping Postman Pat in business ~

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Keeping It Simple

Over in Amy's Australian world, it is tomorrow morning and her day is about to begin.  She's not one for taking it easy, is our Amy.  She has 2 Small People, 1 The Engineer, 1 The Dog and a house in the middle of major redesign & alterations.  But how does she begin her day?  With a blog post about a scrapping challenge set by a friend of hers and she then throws down the gauntlet to the rest of us ScrapperBloggers.  I told her I'd have it done by lunchtime in Australia, but I lied.  It took all of 10 minutes, simple is good.
This LO is destined to be the opening page of an album I'm planning on putting together for my mum.
Did I mention that I like simple scrapping?
Oh, and don't forget, you still have until Sunday evening to enter my Just Because GiveAway ~ details here.

299/365

~ Dental check-up for DS ~ 

Monday, 25 October 2010

Shimelle's New Class: True Stories & A Just Because GiveAway

Shimelle's new online class began today and it's all about putting pen to paper.  No computer wizardry required, not even the creation of a new scrapbook album, unless you want to. 
No, all that was needed today was a pen and a notebook ...
Can you believe that I was able to immediately put my hand on 6 notebooks?  Mind you, each of them tells a story.  For example, the top one was a gift from my mum ~ isn't it beautiful?  And, in real life, it's so very tactile and has perfect appeal for a scrapbooker.
In all honesty, I'm thinking that I probably do have too many notebooks.  No, it's true.  They take up valuable storage space, which could be used for scrapbook stash, and a girl can only really write in one at a time.
So.  In recognition of Shimelle's new class and the fact that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I have decided to give away my Smythson leather bound Think Pink notebook.
If you would like to win this beautiful, nay, divine notebook, tell me who you would write a letter to and what would you say?  (The imaginary recipient can be either alive or dead.)  I'll draw a winner on Sunday evening, 31st.

298/365

~ Cold, but clear and bright ~

Sunday, 24 October 2010

297/365

~ Ironing mountain ~

The Let's Eat International Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to Amy’s international Let’s Eat Blog Hop! However you’ve come to me, through the blog hop guest list via Lee (she of the original frogs) at The Linear Studio, or otherwise, you’re very welcome. Whatever time of day it is for you, you’re never too early or too late for a cuppa and a slice of cake.
For cake, and biscuits, is what I shall be talking about. Full domesticity in the kitchen came late in life to me, as I didn’t get married until I was 37. It didn’t take me long to learn how to knock out a casserole, thank you, Delia, or to throw a proper pasta dish together, thank you, Jamie, but I was still scared of the mysterious art form known as baking. As a single girl, I hardly ever ate cake and biscuits came from a shelf in the supermarket. However, enlightenment came through the power of Blog Land ~ Deb’s Peanut Butter Cookies and Robyn’s Coconut Loaf were enough temptation to persuade me that I was, in fact, perfectly capable of making an edible cake and/or biscuits. That and the fact that I didn’t want my toddler son to be consuming goodness-knows-what if he ate shop bought cake or biscuits. (Have you read the list of ingredients on a shop bought cake?) And then the BBC ran a series called The Great British Bake-Off …
So, without further ado, let’s get onto two of my favourite recipes. First up, a very easy, but extremely tasty, recipe for Oatmeal and Cranberry Cookies:
• 85 g butter
• 75 g soft brown sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla essence
• 75 g dried cranberries
• 50 g plain flour
• 75 g porridge oats
• 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the remaining ingredients until completely combined.
Shape into walnut-sized balls and flatten them slightly by pressing down with your hand onto a lightly grease baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
(This recipe and photo came from my sister; you can find her blog here.)

Secondly, a slightly more adventurous recipe is for a delicious Lemon Drizzle Loaf:
• 6oz Stork, plus extra for greasing (given that Stork is a brand, I suspect that any butter will do);
• 6oz self-raising flour;
• 1 tsp baking powder;
• 6oz caster sugar;
• 3 medium eggs;
• 2 tbsp milk;
• Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons.

For the lemon syrup:
• Juice of 2 lemons, strained;
• 4oz caster sugar.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease and base-line a 2lb loaf tin. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn out onto a wire rack. For the lemon syrup, gently heat the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. While the cake is still warm, drizzle the syrup over. Slice and serve warm.

Before I forget, Amy provided a useful link for converting my measurements to your preferred choice and it can be found here.  I believe that caster sugar is known in the US as superfine.  Thanks very much for stopping by during the Let's Eat Blog Hop and, if you continue on, your next port of call is FaithHopeCherrytea.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

A Reminder ...

Amy's Blog Hop kicks off tomorrow at 10am, UK time, so be sure to stop by and whet your appetite.

An Early Halloween Surprise

Our Postie was extremely late today in delivering the mail, but he was forgiven for turning up at 3.30pm because he delivered a parcel for DS.  A parcel for DS from Deb in Arizona.
Earlier this month, Deb hosted a Halloween giveaway and the prize was one of these delightful little gift boxes:
(Photo from Deb's blog)
And inside the boxes were Hershey's Candy Corn Kisses:
(Photo from Deb's blog)
But, the thing is, I wasn't the winner of the give away.  Deb, however, wasn't going to let a small thing like that stop her, oh, no.  Without saying a word, she parcelled up some goodies and posted them off to DS ... just because.
So to Deb from DS and me ~ a huge thank you!
I've cheekily borrowed photos from Deb's blog, because, as you can see, the light for photography is obviously much better in Arizona than West London in October!  Oh, and I can tell my British readers than Hershey's Candy Corn Kisses taste like Nestle's Milky Bar (well, I had to road test the one I'd unwrapped, didn't I?  I'm sorry, what was that?  Didn't I give it to DS to try?  Erm, no ...)

296/365

~ Preparation ~
Remember here and even here, when I talked about learning to dance?  Well, as it happens, DH spotted a flyer for a new dance exercise class in the church hall at the end of our road and, as a result of that, I went for my first session last night.  Hence the need for a new pair of trainers.  More to follow about my new class soon.

Friday, 22 October 2010

You Scrapped A Photo Of What?

I had to laugh last night, when I put this LO together for DS's frog album.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe that I would create a page using a photo of chewed batteries.  But, that's the magic of scrapbooking, isn't it?
(It isn't the best scan, but you should get the general idea)  What's the strangest subject matter you've ever scrapped? 

295/365

~ Local opinion ~
The blackboard outside that local cafe is making itself heard again this morning, as you can see.  It's true that we, as a country, don't appear to have any money in the coffers, but I think that the point of no return was reached on 6 July 2005, when London was awarded the Olympic Games for 2012.  Now we just have to make the best of it and believe that triumph will overcome adversity. 

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

293/365

~ A gift for DS from my SIL ~
Perfect for DS, given that they have frogs on!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

292/365

~ One of my favourite little people ~
I bumped into this little poppet this morning at the end of the school run.  She and her mummy had just dropped off her big sister at school (a different one to DS) and her mummy asked if I'd time for coffee.  I made time. 

The Things They Say


DS: "Mummy, my excellent mummy!  I had a good rest."
Mummy: Unable to speak because her heart is full.

Monday, 18 October 2010

MTAV: Pages S & T

S is for: Scotland, Scrapbooking, Sisters and Sprouts.  T is for: Tango, Television and Travel.
Sisters:
Sisters are probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.  ~Margaret Mead.  I read this quotation and know that it is true.  When we were children, we weren’t always kind to each other and we used to argue like cat and dog.  Now, when I look back at that time, I feel regret for wasting that time with her, but I also feel enormous love, pride and gratitude that we have that shared history; a history that is ours alone, and no-one can take that from us.  Love and storm together.  See also: J****, Mum & Quotations.

Tango:
I would love to able to dance properly.  When I worked at the Royal Ballet School, I would convince myself that learning Classical Ballet would be easy, because the pupils could do it.  Now, when I watch Strictly Come Dancing every autumn and winter, I think, “I could do that!”  And the funny thing is, is that I probably could, albeit not to such a professional standard.  All that stops me is the ability to find a local dance class for beginners of a certain age.  Perhaps that should be a goal for 2011?

291/365

~ Thomas: DS's current favourite ~

The Chelsea Pensioners

You may recall that we are fortunate enough to have a Chelsea Pensioner for a friend.  When he came over for supper last week, he told us that he is about to become famous!  It seems that he has been drafted in to the Royal Hospital's equivalent of a boy-band and that their 1st album is released on 8 November.  All profits will go to the long-overdue renovations of the living quarters for the Pensioners at the Royal Hospital.  Such is their 'celebrity', they have already been asked to perform at Royal Variety Show in front of Her Majesty. The energy of our friend never, ever ceases to amaze me.
That's our friend there, smack bang in the middle (and the shortest, but don't tell him I said so!)

Scrap Weekly 2010: Challenge #42

Cal has set the challenge this week over on the Scrap Weekly 2010 blog and it's to use 'white space', bearing in mind that white space doesn't necessarily mean that it literally has to be white.
Yesterday's photo-of-the-day was perfect for this challenge, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, 17 October 2010

290/365

~ Mummy's little helper ~
DS loves to 'help' walk our dog and, luckily, our dog is usually happy to go along with it.  But, just look at DS's stride ~ he looks as though he's on a route march and not two minutes from home!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

289/365

~ Face at the window ~
Now that DS has given up his afternoon nap, I have instigated rest time.  It's not a regular event, it's only called into play when I feel that DS is becoming over-excited and in danger of heading for a meltdown.  Even though I draw the blind in his room, DS knows that he is allowed to look at his books or to play quietly.  My theory is that a semi-darkened room will help to calm him down and, so far, it seems to be working. 

Friday, 15 October 2010

MTAV: Pages Q And R



Q is for: Queue, Ability to, Quiet & Quotations.
R is for: Radio, Rainbows, Royal Mail & Ruth.

Quiet:

Living in London means that it can be difficult to find a quiet space. There is aircraft overhead all day, given our proximity to Heathrow, sirens can be heard as the Emergency Services regularly race up and down the North Circular, even the Tube trains can be heard if the wind is blowing in the right direction. After 5 years, these things I tend not to notice too much, they blend into the background as part of the every day. Where do I go if I want to experience total and complete silence? My beloved Scotland, of course. In the woods near Balmoral and in the woods near Fochabers, I have experienced the sound of silence. See also: Living in London & Scotland.

Ruth:

That would be me. In the forty-plus years I’ve had this name, I’ve only ever met a handful of other Ruths (including one who also had my surname; that was very weird) and I’ve had to put up with a lot of silly jokes about it as well. The definition of my name comes from the Hebrew for companion or friend; in English it translates as compassion. I can live with any of those. See also: J****, Mum & Sisters.

London Olympics: 2012 ~ Ticket Prices & Events Schedule

London 2012 has released details about much tickets will cost for each event and you can view them here.  You can also look at the preliminary schedule of events here.  I'd better start saving up for Team GB in the Track Cycling events ~ Sir Chris Hoy does it for me!

288/365

~ Self-portrait ~
The promised shot of me wearing my lovely new specs.  I realised this morning that I've worn them everyday this week, which is probably a good thing, as it will have given my eyes a rest from contact lens.  Oh, and see my fluffy hair?  A by-product of walking to nursery school in the damp Autumnal air.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Witnessing A Miracle

Today has been the most extraordinary day.  Thanks to the power of the global media, it has been possible to witness the awe inspiring rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners (20 are back on terra firma, at the time of writing).  Truly, a miracle.  Witnessing God's presence as He guides the engineers who have worked around the clock for the last 6 weeks to make the rescue possible has been both incredible and humbling.

286/365

~  Mr.Nosy ~
What's that you say?  Was it me who pointed out the hole in the fencing of the vicarage garden wall?  And that it was me who encouraged him to take a look, in order to get a cute shot?  How well you know me ...
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