Monday, 25 February 2013

♥ 52 Weeks of Happy (8/52) ♥

I'm feeling down in the dumps.  I wish I didn't.  Not sure why I do, maybe it's just the time of year.

I do have four 'happy moments' to share with you though.

This week has been very, very chilly but we have had some sun too.  I braved the cold to pop out into the back garden to photograph the mass of purple crocus - it's lovely to see some colour in the garden.

Alison, my little sis, came down for the day so we went out for lunch and had a little browse around the shops.  I bought myself a new book (I didn't recognise the authors name - Pauline McLynn is the lady who played the housekeeper on Father Ted).  I didn't really need a new book, I have a stockpile of about 20 paperbacks that I'm sure I'll get round to reading one day?!?

I also bought this little box of sticky toffee chocolates for my friends birthday.  I love the illustration and packaging - I hope the chocolates taste good too (you'll have to let me know Ginny).  I'm quite a chocoholic (quite?!?) so I'm quite impressed with my self-control not to 'taste test' them! 

Now don't laugh.  Look at my little crochet flowers!  I made them.  Yes, me!  I am chuffed to bits with my first 'real' attempt at crochet.  I have picked up a crochet hook before but found I was all fingers and thumbs and got into a real tangle.  I just couldn't figure out how to hold the wool and ended up with stitches too tight to pull the wool through.  I, am no natural.  But I sat in front of my computer, hook poised and ready for action, and followed a couple of YouTube videos.   and... slowly (very, very slowly) my first flower took shape.  I could see the odd 'odd' stitch but my next attempt was a little bit better then my next was better still and I started picking up speed - well, from very, very slow to just slow!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

♥ 52 Weeks of Happy (7/52) ♥

1.  I would love to be able to crochet.  I see so many beautiful crocheted items on blogs I follow and I am so envious.  Especially the ripple blankets that Lucy at attic24 and Heather at LittleTinBird make - I'd love to be able to make myself a beautiful, colourful, ripple blanket. This year I'm hoping to learn to crochet.  I have watched a few YouTube tutorials, bought myself a book, a hook and this magazine (which came with theses pretty coloured wools).  I have also found a local lady, Stella Adams Scholfield, who does craft workshops so I will sign myself up for the next crochet workshop in April if I haven't put myself off and got totally frustrated and defeated by then!  

2.  Pretty rabbit bunting at the Rheged Centre.  A bit early for Easter bunnies but pretty never the less.

3.  Pancake day, what can I say?  Yum-yum.  Sugar, lemon and a wee dod of ice-cream.  

4.  We woke on Wednesday to a covering of fresh white snow.  These snow covered leaves looked like love hearts (not quite captured on my camera!).  A huge bank of snowy love hearts - they looked lovely and made me smile.

Friday, 15 February 2013

handmade valentine's day

I woke to find MrG had left for work but had left a little card and pressy on the bed.  A lovely handmade (not by him) card and a handmade (not by him) love heart mug.  Handmade by someone else but lovingly chosen by him for me!

I handmade a card for MrG (as per my Handmade Card Challenge) using a free download from GerberaDesigns, printed the design onto handmade paper (not by me) then coloured in the design and stitched the border on the sewing machine.  (I must point out that the photo doesn't do it justice!)

I bought him a red rose (he laughed) and a bottle of red wine, then I made him a meal of Chicken Tarragon with fresh pasta followed by a Toffee Apple Tart.  I hadn't tried either of these recipes before so I was relieved that they were both easy to make and delicious. Thumbs up!

There's a lot to be said about food photography.  If this photo had accompanied the recipe I may not have been tempted to try it!  It did taste good though.

trip to Penrith

Yes, breathe a sigh of relief, no early starts or school runs for us this week - it's our half term holiday.  We're slightly out of sync with most of the country I think.  We live on the Cumbria/Lancashire border and for some reason the schools in Cumbria are off this week and Lancashire off next.  I'm not complaining though.  We have had a pretty 'full-on' start to the year with lots of revision, assignment deadlines and exams so we were all ready for a break.

MissG and I went up to Penrith for a few days to have a mooch around and get our bearings (we are hoping to move up there this summer) and also pop into the office to unpack more boxes.  BT have now connected us so MrG is now working from our new office in Penrith - hooray! 

We and I checked out some local shops and eateries.  There aren't as many 'high-street' shops as MissG would like but Carlisle is only a 20 minute drive away so she'll be able to go there for her retail fix when we move!

We popped into Rheged.  A visitor attraction just five minutes drive from Penrith.  It is a large grass covered building that houses a tourist information centre, a cinema, an indoor (and outdoor) play area, a gallery, a pottery painting workshop, a selection of cafes and 10 small shops - I bought myself a lovely new vase.

We went to Brougham Hall.  An impressive looking castle-like building that we learnt was once the scene of a bloody battle between the English and Scots!  Today it is a restoration project - it looked particularly stunning in the snow.  Inside there are buildings that house a brewery, a holistic centre, a hair salon, a photographic gallery, a pottery studio and a cafe - we can recommend the lemon cake!  I'd like to go back on a nice sunny day to explore the grounds.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

♥ 52 Weeks of Happy (6/52) ♥

I'm still not feeling a 100% so I haven't been out and about much this week or taken many photos.  

But... I do have four small things that have made me smile.

1.  I found this flower pot in a cupboard when putting a vase away and it made me smile because I don't remember planting any bulbs and I really haven't a clue what they are!  We'll just have to wait and see...  mini daffodils perhaps?  The snowdrops in the front garden have come to life this week too - such delicate looking flowers yet they must be quite robust little things to brave against the rain, hail and snow.

2.  On Thursday MissG had to go to the dental clinic - not really something you would think would put a smile on your face!  We weren't looking forward to it because although it was just an initial consultation to decide what could be done with her broken tooth we knew that she was probably going to have it removed.  Anyway the consultant we saw was so funny - we both came out of the clinic still laughing.  She was lovely and kind and said some really positive things to help MissG have the confidence to face her next appointment.  Much relief all round.  Phew!

3.  On Friday our school was closed for teacher training so MissG and I went to see Les Miserables.  I don't know why but I enjoyed it so much more 2nd time around, the acting was so much better, the singing was so much better and I was much more moved - I cried in the cinema and I cried in the car on the way home.  What a wuss!  MissG loved it too (without crying) and talked about it non stop all night - she was so shocked that Russell Crowe jumped!   

4.  This weekend I've been able to tick off a few more things on the list of DIY jobs to do before we put our house up for sale.  Boring I know, but to keep me company, while down on my hands and knees painting the radiators, I have been listening to Desert Island Discs.  Such a diverse list to chose from in the BBC archives.  Martin Clunes, Brian Moore and Eve Pollard kept me company this weekend with their fascinating life stories and obscure music tracks. Loved it.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

♥ 52 Weeks of Happy (5/52) ♥

Well, what a week that was!

I'd like to continue with the '52 Weeks of Happy' and share with you my four happy moments of the week but it really is a struggle to think of four this week.

It started off quite promising with a successful Review Day for MissG.  Basically a Parents Evening held during school hours, a chance to meet the teachers to discuss MissG's GCSE predicted grades for the forthcoming exams.  All very positive and encouraging.  A well deserved pat on the back for MissG!  We went to a little cafe for tea and cake on the way home - mmm very nice.

The week from this point went downhill with the onset of cold/flu symptoms that started on Wednesday and steadily got worse as the week progressed.  How do you know if you have a really bad cold or have the flu?  Headache, sore throat, burning nostrils, fever, tiredness and loss of appetite - I had the lot.  As you can hear, I'm feeling quite sorry for myself.

Let's hope that next week I have a double-dose of happy moments!

Hope you have a good week too. x