Sunday, 29 April 2012

It's Show Time

Last night, we had tickets to see Eleanor perform with her drama group in a concert at the local church.

They were singing songs from the shows. The first half was taken up with songs from Les Miserables, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and a song from Miss Saigon. The second half was a little more varied with an Abba medley as well as songs from other shows.

Eleanor sang I Don't Know How To Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as performing in all the songs sung by the chorus. As usual, Eleanor loved it whilst I was sat like a bag of nerves waiting for her turn to come. I do enjoy listening to her though, she's got a lovely voice, not inherited from me I might add.

It was a wonderful show, there's lots of talented kids involved, and as usual, Eleanor did us proud.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Sewing In No Time

I was thrilled to bits when Eleanor decided to take textiles as one of her options at school. Although there's lots of different aspects to the subject, she will be taught how to use a sewing machine. She started taking an interest in sewing a few years ago, it's something I can't help with at all as sewing is not something I've ever learnt. I have tried to encourage her though, we bought her a sewing machine a few Christmas's ago and she does tinker on there every once in a while.

She's really enjoying her lessons at school, so to give further encouragement at home I decided to buy her a book. It's one I'd seen on The Book People, Sewing In No Time by Emma Hardy. I'd read some favourable reviews, and as it was discounted from £14.99 to £3.99 I ordered it.

Each project is set out well, giving details of all the materials needed, the time it will take to make and clear instructions with diagrams as well as lovely photos of the finished items.

I didn't realise that the book is actually filled with ideas for soft furnishing projects for the home, I don't think Eleanor will be interested in making a roll-up blind, but there's still plenty of projects that have caught her eye.

I particularly like the Lined Storage Basket,

as well as the Pet Basket

and the Ribbon and Button Lavender Bag.

I've already got a list of materials needed for some projects Eleanor wants to have a go at so I hope that by buying her this book, I've piqued her interest a little more, and who knows, I might give something a go myself.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Another Liebster Award

It doesn't matter how many times I'm given an award, I'm still so very grateful. I'm thrilled to bits that anyone reads my blog, more thrilled when they decide to leave a comment, and my excitement goes right off the scale when I'm given an award. That's just what happened recently when Emma from The Log Cabin passed on the Liebster Award to me, thank you so much, Emma.

As part of the award, I have to list five random facts about myself, so here goes.

1) The first job I had was in a shoe shop on a Saturday whilst I was still at school. I used to earn £1.10 per hour. I thought my pay packet containing £7.70 for a full Saturday was loads.

2) I'm allergic to human hair. My mum discovered this when I was little as every time she brushed my hair I would sneeze. I was subsequently tested for fifteen things and was allergic to thirteen of them. Later in life I had another test, this time for twenty two things and was allergic to them all.

3) I can touch type, though I've never had any typing lessons. I think this just goes to show how long I spend on the computer. Not good.

4) I have a mobile phone but very rarely use it. I got a text on Friday and only realised today when I took my phone out of my bag to charge it.

5) I love going on holiday but I love coming home just as much. I'm a proper home bird.

I now have to pass the award on to five more blogs.

Life in the Slow Lane

Please don't feel under pressure to accept the award if you don't wish to do so, I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog.

Friday, 20 April 2012

More Socks

I went back to knitting socks in March. I'd knitted a pair for my dad for Christmas and he was so pleased with them that I thought I'd knit a pair for his birthday.

I used the Regia World College Color in Ceremony colourway which I bought from Kemps at a greatly reduced price and it knit up lovely. It's thicker than the sock yarn I usually use so it makes the socks that little bit warmer.

The pattern I chose was Thuja by Bobby Ziegler, it's nice and easy but gives a great ribbed design.

I was really pleased with them, my dad was too and that's what counts.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Confession Time

I think it's time that I owned up and told everyone how bad my healthy eating plan has been over Easter. I didn't actually get any Easter eggs, so none were consumed, but that didn't stop me from eating lots of other unhealthy things.

I had done so well right up until the beginning of the school holidays, and in total had lost two stone three pounds, or thirty one pounds. I didn't seem to struggle over February half-term, so I can only assume that seeing lots of Easter chocolate around the house during these holidays was my downfall.

I've eaten crisps. Before I started my healthy eating plan I used to eat lots of packets of crisps, I love them. I don't think there's a flavour I dislike. I thought I'd miss crisps more than I do actually.

Eleanor spent an afternoon baking so I had to sample what she made. There was caramel shortbread, Easter chocolate Cornflake nests, chocolate chip cookies and buns with icing and chocolate faces. Can you see a chocolate theme here? I tried everything.

We even had an Easter treat of a takeaway. I had a Chicken Bhuna with a few chips and a chapati. Indian food is my very favourite. The only time I get to eat it is when we have a takeaway as no one else in the family will eat it. Our takeaway also does pizzas, burgers, pasta, wraps and kebabs, so there's something for everyone.

I've even been indulging in the odd glass or three of wine. Very naughty.

I have to admit that most of the naughtiness was in the second week, so after putting on a pound at the end of the first week I was expecting to put on several at the end of the second week. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I'd only put on another single pound, so two in total.

It was back to school yesterday so there's no one here during the day to lead me astray now, so I'm back on the straight and narrow.

I'm just hoping that last week's indulgences don't catch up with me at the end of this week.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


I mentioned a couple of posts ago that Mick and Eleanor had been decorating Eleanor's bedroom over the Easter bank holiday weekend. They managed to get all the painting done, and yesterday we went to choose a carpet which will be fitted next weekend, so it's now the fun part, choosing the accessories.

I thought I'd show you the bedding which Eleanor has chosen. I have to say that I'm really pleased with her choice, it's something I would have chosen myself. We had a trip to Dunelm Mill and came across the Isabella range.

The quilt set is printed with a dreamy floral design.

There's only one pillowcase supplied with the single bed set so we bought a coordinating Oxford pillowcase as Eleanor sleeps with two pillows.

The bedspread matches the Oxford pillowcase having a striped design.

Eleanor loves having lots of cushions on her bed so I treated her to the matching cushion.

I did draw the line at paying £14.99 for this cushion that she fell in love with, afterall, it's not an essential, so she bought it herself out of money she had saved up. I think it will coordinate well though.

It's definitely going to be a 'grown up' bedroom now that Eleanor's thirteen. You can't really get the full idea of how it will look when everything is still in packets, but it does give you an idea, and I'm sure it's going to look perfect.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The book I'm reading for April is The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. It's taken me a while to get in to it, but I'm really pleased that I have because I bought the second book in this series from the charity shop a couple of weeks ago.

I'm aiming to read at least one book each month. I mainly read in bed, but after a chapter I can feel my eyes closing so I don't finish books very quickly. Having said that, I took Eleanor and her friend swimming this morning and it made such a change, whilst they were in the pool, to sit in the spectators gallery and get my head in a book. It's a very easy to read book, once you've got in to it, so it shouldn't take me long to finish it now.

The book I read for March was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I really enjoyed this book and was quite sad when I finished it, but I'm looking forward to watching the film now.

I think I'll take a trip to the video rental shop soon.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Craft Fair

We haven't done very much over the Easter bank holiday weekend, mainly because Mick and Eleanor have been decorating Eleanor's bedroom. Today is the day for glossing, so before they got started we headed off to give Archie a walk at Lotherton Hall. There was a craft fair and farmers market on today, as well as lots of Easter themed entertainment for the children.

The first stand we came across was a bird of prey exhibit. Mick headed off with Archie in a different direction so that Archie didn't spook them. They're such beautiful birds. This one, a male European Eagle Owl, was watching everything that was going on. He kept twisting his head right the way round.

This is a female Kestrel. We often spot these in the sky around where we live.

A female Harris Hawk. She's a beauty.

There were quite a few craft stalls, some near the car park and others in the courtyard near the cafe.

The farmers market was a little disappointing. There were very few stalls, and none selling fresh produce. From what I can remember there was a couple of fudge stalls, another selling oils, one selling jams and chutneys and a scone stall.

The stables at Lotherton house a carriage collection and they were on display today. This Town Coach was built in the mid 1800's.

This State Coach was once owned by the Earl of Derby and it was kept at Knowsley Hall in Lancashire. It was purchased by the museum section of Leeds City Council in the 1950's and since being restored in the 1980's has been used several times by the Lord Mayor on official occasions.

I didn't come away from the craft fair empty handed. These hand made soaps were made by It's Soap and smell good enough to eat. I chose lemon, lime and dewberry.

One of the activities in the grounds was making an Easter flower basket so Eleanor had a go. She wrapped a plant pot in hessian and tied it with raffia, then planted it up with a primula, tete a tete daffodil and hyacinth.

It'll look lovely when they're all blooming.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful

I'd heard the weather forecasters predicting an overnight snowfall in my part of the world, but it was quite mild yesterday so I thought they must have got it wrong. Imagine my surprise when I woke to find a covering of the white stuff.

This is how bleak our walk was this morning, the sky still looks to be full of snow and the temperature has plummeted. Archie was pleased that he was wearing his coat to keep him warm.

It's still snowing now, though I don't think it will last as it's already quite mushy, but Mick cancelled an overnight trip to Bristol as he heard that the motorways were quite bad. It's hard to believe we've got snow again after the gorgeous weather we've had just lately.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Flower Frenzy

I've had some gorgeous flowers brightening up my home throughout March. At the moment I've got these pretty roses, they're red tinged with yellow. They're displayed with some yellow carnations and another yellow feathery flower, which I don't know the name of, and they complement the roses well. This little posy cost £2.00.

Near the start of the month, I had some white chrysanthemums. These are a great bargain as they just seem to last forever, they were only put in the compost bin very recently. These were £3.00.

I was feeling a little down and taken for granted a few weeks ago so Mick gave me a surprise visit in the middle of the morning, when he should have been at work, with this gorgeous mixed bouquet. He doesn't often buy me flowers so it was a real surprise.

As the flowers began to fade, I picked out those which were still going strong, cut them down and made up a new arrangement in the jug which Mick had bought me for Christmas. They're still going strong.

I love my little jug and agree with the sentiment, Home Is Where The Heart Is.

It was Mother's Day two weeks ago and Eleanor bought me these gorgeous pale yellow carnations as well as the vase that they're displayed in.

I bought a tub of hyacinths from the local greengrocer for £1.99. I didn't know what colour they were going to be until they came in to flower but I wasn't disappointed in the least, isn't it a gorgeous colour? The scent was wonderful, far superior to any air freshener on the market, though the men of the house didn't agree, they weren't too keen on the perfume.

I'm sure you'll agree I've had a house filled with colour just lately. Which ones are your favourites?