Monday, 19 September 2011

Time has flown....

Wow! Over 2 weeks since my last blog post- where has the time gone? I know! Work! I'm still loving it & am just adjusting to the new hours. It's working well so far i'm just a bit more tired sometimes but I think a lot fo that was down to not sleeping well the night before a morning shift because I was so scared I wouldn't get up! I'm relaxing a bit more now. I'm also a bit more organised about doing packed lunches etc- especially now as I have 4 to make!
My littlest guy started school last week. Here he is (with me)

He just loves his uniform & has a smile on his face every morning as he puts on his uniform. As he keeps telling me, "green is my favourite colour".
Here is one of 3 of them - all ready for school. Joshua is missing because he had a grump on because he didn't want to stand next to 'her' i.e his sister lol

Last week he was in every morning & today he started full days. He has gone to school with his packed lunch. I'm a little bit lost - not sure what to do with my afternoon. I am used to him not being here in the morning but afternoon's are a whole new thing. I'm sure tomorrow will go rather quickly when I have to go to work then go straight off to my supervision session (for my breastfeeding work). That will be fun- I finish work at 10am & have to be at supervision for 10am. Then I'll come home for lunch & housework & before I know it it will be time to collect the kids from school.
I've just finished my lunch without being asked to 'share' but I kind of miss it.
Oh well I have to go & grab something for dinner then collect kids from school & take Iona to the dentist. Won't that be fun with all 4 of them!
Oh & then I have to come home, cook dinner & then go off to work. A woman's work is never done.......

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I survived!

I survived my first day of my new shifts & the kids all got to school ON TIME! Woohoo!!
I didn't sleep very well because I was so worried about being up on time plus it was raining hard all night which woke me up a few times.
Anyway I got up this morning, checked everything was in order then left for work. It was busy in work because we had a delivery so the time went quickly. Before I knew it it was after 9 o'clock & I didn't have much time left. I got home about 10.20am & then DH left for work.
The day is now mine (& Nathaniel's) until I have to go collect the kids when they finish school then it will be hectic getting dinner ready, sorting out packed lunch boxes & getting the kids to bed.
Busy, busy, busy.......

Monday, 5 September 2011

Almost time for school

Yesterday was the start of my new contract at work. I've taken on some extra hours so instead of my usual 13 hours I'll be doing 20/22 hours a week. Things have slightly changed in the way we work so it's a bit of a learning curve.
As I'm doing extra hours it means to hubby has to take on some extra childcare. At the moment I work in the evenings/weekend so he's not in work. My new hours involve 2 mornings with starts of 7am & 8am. That means hubby has to take the kids to school. Now *that* will be a learning curve for him! He will take them to breakfast club at 8am then carry on to work. I'm really hoping it all works. The closer it gets the more worried I am! Tomorrow is the first morning of the new routine for hubby so we'll see. I plan to make a list & stick it to the door so he can check the kids have everything they need- lunch box, PE kit - that will be on the first day only- coat, book bag & whatever else they need. As Nathaniel doesn't start school until next week hubby will be off on the mornings I'm working. Next week he will take him to school/breakfast club with the others then after work I will collect him. The first week he is only in mornings then the week after he is full time. I also have to remember to make the packed lunch the night before meaning the only thing hubby will have to do is make sure kids are dressed, have breakfast & get to school!
In preparation for them starting a new school year I will be sorting out their uniform today & making sure they have their PE kits ready. I have checked their lunch boxes & their uniforms are all ready & just need laying out tonight before they go to bed. Oh & are the bain of my life. We have a porch where we have a shoe rack, only the kids seem to forget to put their shoes there, then when we need to go out they can't find their shoes! The same with coats, we have a coat rack where they can hang their coats. Do they hang them there? Do they heck!
So today will mostly be making sure that everything is ready for tomorrow. I just hope everything goes to plan!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sassy Shopper

So I did it- I used my cutting mat starter set for the first time. I made the 'Sassy Shopper' from issue 5 of Mollie Makes magazine.
It all started out well- I managed to cut all the pieces - straight!

The next thing to do was make the handles & after a brief issue with the tension on the machine they were made.

Then I went on & made the rest of the bag. I found the pattern quite hard to follow but I often struggle with patterns because they just don't make sense & I don't 'get' what they are telling me! I think when logic was given out I was probably last in line!
Eventually I managed to get the bag finished!

It folds up into a neat little 'pack' so you can keep it in your handbag.

For some reason, I think a combination of the strap being a bit too short & the velcro being sewn on wrong, the bag folds up into an unintentional bow. Kinda cute though.
I've yet to test out my bag but I like it but I will be making more. Hopefully next time I won't make so many mistakes!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

I can cut in straight line!

So, as I have been doing more crafting, especially sewing, I decided to invest in a cutting mat & rotary cutter. It arrived last night while I was in work- the delivery guy told the kids it was a cake- It was an A1 flat box lol.
Here it is
I got a great deal from Creative Grids  I bought one of their starter sets which included a cutting mat, a rotary cutter & a ruler. It came in at under £45 for the 3 items, a saving of over £10, plus I also purchased an extra blade for the cutter. The lady at Creative Grids was really helpful & made me up a pack with imperial & metric measurements on the mat. Delivery was really fast & included in the price!
I have just laid it out on the table & had a go with a scrap piece of fabric- oh my! How have I ever managed before now without one. It's great! I now have a long list of projects that I have been lining up ready for when my mat arrived. Now all I have to do is make a start! Not sure what I will do first....I'm off to have a look........

Friday, 2 September 2011

Pinterest & Mollie Makes.

I have spent some of the morning rearranging my Pinterest boards. For those who don't know Pinterest is a kind of virtual pinboard where you can 'pin' all of the ideas & nice things that you see. Mine mostly consists of crafty things that I want to make, or just dream of being able to make! It's very addictive but also great for having all the links/projects in one place. If I see something I like I always make sure I pin it. I learnt the hard way, I found something I wanted to make then when I went to find it I couldn't & I spent a lot of time looking for it. Once I'd found it I made sure that I pinned it straight away. Lesson learnt. I get so many ideas from there. I also have a long list of recipes which I really must try.
Another inspiration for me Mollie Makes magazine. It a fairly new magazine but I love it. It's a little bit quirky & just a lovely magazine to sit down & read & look at all of the lovely pictures. Each magazine also comes with a 'free' kit. I'm now a subscriber & look forward to the magazine dropping on to my doormat each month.
So there you go, now you know about Pinterest & Mollie Makes.......that is all........

Thursday, 1 September 2011


Or should that be lack of????
I am so busy, isn't everybody? I went to work last October after a gap of about 6 years. I love being back at work & since I went back I have always done around 12 hours a week. It involves a few evenings working a 3 hour shift then every other weekend I work both Saturday & Sunday for 4 hours, each shift. It means that I can get out of the house while DH takes the reins at home & looks after the children. Working in the evenings & weekends also means that we don't need to pay for childcare.
With Nathaniel starting school in September I was looking forward to getting a few more hours at work when the children would be at school. So from September the 4th I start my new hours at work. I'm going from 13 hours a week to 22 hours. I'm just doing a few extra hours, 2 mornings a week.
This means I need to be organised. A bit of a scary word for me as I'm not a naturally organised person. I started off last year by purchasing a diary & a calendar from Organised Mum. I love them! I got the Family Weekly Planner & the Family Life Book Diary. They are my life saver. I have a column for each person in the family & plenty of space to write appointments, work etc. I have not long received my new ones & am busy transferring the information across. I think I would lost without them. I tried using Google Calendars but I just need to write it down &, as I discovered last year, the calendar can totally wipe some appointments & I end up missing meetings etc.
I also have this white board which, during term time, I add information about the various after school clubs the children attend & things like when they go swimming etc. There is nothing written on it at the moment as it's still school holidays but I'm sure that after a week or two in school is will be full up again.

As well as working part time & being a full time Mom I am also a Breastfeeding Helper & run a breastfeeding group once a week in a local children's centre. Part of my work involves supervision sessions & attending various meetings with other helpers or representing helpers who work across the area.
Then there is the Advisory Board for the Children's Centre & I am also a parent governor at my children's school.
All of these things make for a busy life so those things are my life saver. So I pretty much have that part sorted. Now for meals......
It is still work in progress. I try to meal plan & when I do it it works really well. I just need to do it more often & be more organised, there's that word again. I'm sure that doing more hours a work will *make* me meal plan or we'll just end up eating takeaway & rush meals all the time. Sometimes it's just so hard to decide what to make, everyone likes different things. I'm sure it is the same with most families.
So I *will* get more organised & I *will* menu plan, I promise, soon.......

Old friends

 This is me with some of my old school friends.  I recently discovered these photo's, scanned them & posted them on my Facebook account. I'm friend's with all of them, bar one, on there. I had so many comments about these photo's & it brought us all that bit closer together. We decided to have a mini reunion as one of my friends was coming to visit for the long weekend. We decided to meet up for a quick, yeah right, drink. Who were we kidding.
We met at 6pm & I told my hubby I would be out 'about an hour or two' , I eventually got it in 1.35am! We had such a great time reminiscing about old times & talking about old friends & what people were up to. It was like we'd never been apart. It nice to have friends like that. Our lives are all different but we had so much to talk about. Out of the 3 of that met (& a token husband who came along too!) 2 of us were married, 1 engaged & only I had children. I think with 4 I was making up for the others who didn't have any!
One friend from this picture was missing. I know she out there somewhere & I'm looking for her. She was my bridesmaid when I got married - the first time- but over the years we lost contact. I'm hoping that soon we will be able to catch up.
It was funny because I sometimes look at pictures or listen to people talk about friends they've known since school & I always thought 'wouldn't it be nice to have friends like that'. Then I realised I do! I'm very thankful for my friends, all of them. We may have lost contact & been in & out of each other lives over the years but the important thing is that we are still there. Still there to talk to & still there to catch up & have a laugh. I LOVE friends!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

I have the crafting bug

Since Craft Fairy I have my crafting mojo back. My current 'thing' is sewing, especially bags!
I made this last week

I ended up giving it to my Mom as I thought maybe she would like it. I think she liked it! I used this tute to make it. It was only after I made it that I realised it was for a reversible bag & not ljust a lined bag but it didn't matter!
Yesterday I finally made my Cath Kidston bag from this book. I've had the book for a while but have never been brave enough to make the bag. Then a few weeks ago a friend of mine at work had made one & it was so cute I had to have a go. I got the book & pattern pieces out then promptly put it away 'for another day'. A forum I go on has a craft sub forum & some people on there had made it so I decided that I just had to bite the bullet & give it a go. And I did!
The bag itself wasn't lined or anything so I added a lining, & a bit of interfacing too, &  even a pocket for my phone & a pen. The stitching is wonky & it's not perfect- but then that's the joy of handmade, it doesn't have to be! - but I love it. It's so cute.

It's just a small little bag but I'm sure I'll use it.
So after I had made my bag my Daughter, Iona-Mae, decided that she *had* to have a bag. Well what girl doesn't! We set out looking for material & she chose some from my (mini) stash. She requested a bag which was 'like nana's' but that had some pockets in. I came up with this

It had a pocket for a pen & also a larger pocket, one on each side just like she asked for.
I have now had requests from other members of the family. Nathaniel would like a 'bag with 10 pockets'!  & Joshua would like a wallet for keeping money in. Oh yes & Iona-Mae would like a purse to match her bag. So it looks like I'm going to be busy.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


Just a short little post with some pictures of some crafty things I have made. After a long absence from almost anything crafty I got my crafty mojo back. I signed up for a craft fairy. Craft fairy works like this:
You are given a recipient to make a gift or gifts for. You can make them for them, their home or their children. You can make anything crafty & you then post it off & wait for them to receive their gifts! Once the gifts are received then they post pictures. It's so lovely to see all of the things that all of the fairies have made. I received my gift & I got lots of lovely stuff...

The shawl is so soft & snuggly.
Now for my recipients gifts that I made. It took me a little while to decide what to make but in the end I decided on a Kindle cover

It took me 4 attempts to get it right but I think it worked out pretty good.
I also sent her some soap, a new craft for me to try & a tad addictive & also a little lavender heart.

I just realised I don't have a picture of the lavender heart. I ddi however make some other ones for a friends birthday & also for Joshua's teacher at school. So here is one
So...on to teacher's gifts. It was the end of another school year so we decided on a few gifts for the teachers & teaching assistants.

Iona chose an apple & Joshua decided on a hand. His reasoning was his teacher was leaving - to work in Singapore!- & it was his hand waving goodbye. All his idea & a pretty good idea I think. We also made some soaps which they gave to the teachers. Joshua also gave his teacher a lavender heart to put in her case while on her travels.
Last, but not least, Nathaniel was leaving his rather wonderful playgroup. We decided to make some number beanbags.

The nursery loved them & Nathaniel helped by putting in the beans! crafting mojo is back. I have a huge list of things I want to make & things I want to do with the kids.
One of my latest addictions is Pinterest. For those who don't know Pinterest is like a virtual pin board where you can pin your ideas & things you like. Go & have a look I will warn you's addictive.....very addictive!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Well we had a busy weekend. On Saturday we had decided to go to Yorkshire Sculpture Park We've never been before but after seeing some pictures that a friend had taken & also discovering that there was a Jaume Plensa exhibition on we decided to go.
Saturday was a lovely day, although it did get rather hot as the day went on. We left later than planned & took a picnic with us.  By the time we got there it was lunchtime so we sat down & had our picnic. Once that was over we grabbed our map & went off exploring the park.
It is massive! So much to see. Lots of Henry Moore. The kids had some activity sheets that the lady in the shop had given them- it was like a little treasure hunt. We enjoyed listening to the kids deciding what each sculpture was. One was everything from an ear to a boat!
My favourite part was the Jaume Plensa sculptures. I just love his stuff. He did a sculpture in St.Helens, entitled 'Dream'  It is commonly known as 'the big head' in our house & is a sign that we're almost at Nana & Grandpa's house. The kids loved it. Nathaniel especially loved 29 Palms.

They were all metal letters which you could run your palms along & it made the most beautiful sound, like wind chimes. Anybody who knows me will know I love wind chimes- the sound reminds me of my childhood & visiting my Grandparents on Bowen Island- I guess they had wind chimes!
I think my favourite sculpture of all was called Urma-Nuria.  It was just gorgeous & looked lovely with the backdrop of the Yorkshire hills behind it. 
We had a lovely day, lots of walking but worth it. I'd love to go back again. The kids seemed to enjoy it to. There was so much to see & I'm sure that there was stuff that we missed. It was only an hour's drive 
& such beautiful countryside. 
Today is not such a nice day. We've had rain overnight & this morning but it seems to have gone off  now so maybe we'll go for a walk later. We have a little 'woods' close by & I have a camera to test out! We're planning on getting a digital SLR camera so are testing one out which has been borrowed.  

Friday, 29 July 2011

It's been a long time.....

I can't believe how long it's been since I wrote my blog! I've been thinking about writing it again so decided today was the day.
Lots has changed. We have moved house - 5 days away from where we lived previously- & we bought this house- our first ever home purchase! We have been here now for about 20 months. We still have lots to do in the house- & out of the house - but we're getting there. Hopefully at some point we'll be able to extend.
Hubby is still working at the same place & I've started work again, part time, in October. I'm loving being back at work.
The kids are growing up fast. Nathaniel starts school in September as Joshua will begin his last year in Primary school.
As well as my work I also do some voluntary work for BFN & I'm also a parent governor at my Children's school.
Well not much more to say but I'll be updating later with some pictures & a 'what we have done today' type post.