Friday 29 June 2012

Kool Kotton

You may remember a few posts back when we visited Haworth, I mentioned that we had called in to Coldspring Mill. I've been here a couple of times before, a really good place for picking up bargains of the yarny kind.

With my granny square blanket coming to an end, I've just got the border to do now, I was looking for a new project. I've decided that I'm going to make a cushion cover so I was looking for some cotton yarn to make it with.

I came across Kool Kotton by James C. Brett, it's a brand I've never used before. This yarn is 50% cotton and 50% acrylic and machine washable, a necessity with a cushion cover as they get so much use in this house, we do like our comfort. It's so soft and squishy that it should make a very pleasing cushion cover.

The colours I've gone for are KK11 tomato, KK 7 coral and KK 12 olive. Not a colour combination I would usually go with, but it will make for an interesting outcome, I hope!

I've got another crochet project in the pipeline too, but I'll save that for another time.

Monday 25 June 2012

A Weekend At Uni

A large proportion of our weekend was spent at Leeds University. On Saturday, we attended an open day with Daniel, who is now looking for a university place for when he finishes his A levels next year. We were back again on Sunday with Eleanor who was performing there in a charity concert.

It was quite a hectic day on Saturday as we rushed from one talk and tour to the next. Daniel's still unsure which subject he wants to study at university so we visited different departments to hear what's on offer, and he managed to gather plenty of information.

I have to say that I was very impressed with the university and all it has to offer, though as it's the first one we've visited, I don't have anything to compare it with yet.

Eleanor took part in a charity concert for The Rotary Club of Headingley with her drama group in The Great Hall, a beautiful gothic style building which is used for graduation ceremonies. She sang a solo, I Don't Know How to Love Him, as well as taking lead in I Have A Dream, and singing in the chorus.

It was a busy weekend, but very enjoyable.

Friday 22 June 2012

Food Diary

Ever since starting my healthy eating regime back in January, I've kept a food diary. It's actually just a notebook, nothing special. At the time, I didn't quite realise how important it would be to me to jot down everything I consume, but it has helped immensely.

When trying to lose weight, it's easy to fall in to the trap of unhealthy eating, missing out on five a day fruit and vegetables, or just not consuming the amount of calories that my body needs. I can keep a check on this with my diary.

I think a diary helps me to keep on the straight and narrow. I ensure that everything I eat is written down, and by doing this, it actually makes me think about what I'm putting in my mouth. Even if I munch on half a carrot whilst I'm preparing tea, it gets written in the diary.

It's important to be honest. I could easily pretend I haven't eaten some things which I have, but I'm only conning myself. Therefore, everything gets written down, but I don't berate myself for straying off the straight and narrow, a little of what you fancy does you good.

At the moment, I'm still eating much healthier than I used to, but I'm eating far more snacks than I would like, so a few pounds have crept back on. I really need to focus again as my holiday is only a month away and I'd like to lose a little more weight before I go.

Monday 18 June 2012

Chilling Out

Apart from a little shopping on Saturday, I didn't do much at all this weekend. It's lovely to just chill out sometimes as Eleanor and Archie know only too well.

Mick spent some time at the allotment, whilst I spent time at home with my granny square blanket.

I'm still crocheting it together at the moment, then I need to do a border around the edges to give it that finishing touch. I can see the end in sight now.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Matinee Set

My finished items for May were a bonnet, mittens and bootees to go with the matinee jacket which I knitted in April, for a neighbour who's just had a baby girl.

You don't often see babies in knitted bonnets anymore, but I think they're so lovely.

I thought it may be too warm for a baby to wear mittens, I needn't have worried with the weather we're having.

The little bootees should keep her tootsies nice and cosy.

So this is the whole set.

They were wrapped in tissue paper and popped in a gift bag. Eleanor took them round to give her and she was really pleased with them.

I love knitting baby clothes, it's just a shame I don't know more people with babies to knit for.

Monday 11 June 2012

It's Not For Me

I've heard lots of people say how good The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is, so I jumped at the chance of reading it when Mick's auntie offered to lend me the book.

Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I'm on a mission to read at least one book each month this year as my reading habit had fallen by the wayside over the last few years. I only read a chapter or so each night when I go to bed, so it's nice to have a nice easy read, but I found The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was too hard to get in to. It took me several nights to read just a couple of chapters, and as I was starting the third, I realised that I hadn't kept track of who was who and would have to go back to the start again, which I didn't want to do as I really wasn't enjoying it.

That's not to say that it isn't a good book. I often struggle with books at the start, but once I've got going I really enjoy them. I just don't think that this book is for me. I'm trying to get back in to reading so I want to look forward to picking up whichever book I'm reading, not dreading having to go back to the start as it's a struggle for me to read. I may go back to it at some point, but not for a while.

I've started reading the second book in The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, Tears Of The Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith. It's a nice gentle read, just what I need before sleep, and I'm engrossed already.

I popped in to the charity shops on Saturday and picked up five new books, two of Gervase Phinn's and three more in The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

The pile of books at the side of my bed is growing, I've got plenty to go at.

Friday 8 June 2012

Temple Newsam Rhododendron Walk

I mentioned in my last post that we visited Temple Newsam last Saturday. It's a place we often go as there's lots of space to give Archie a good walk and run, as well as having plenty to offer us too.

In one of my previous posts about Temple Newsam, I mentioned that a popular feature is the Rhododendron Walk. These bloom in May and June and were absolutely stunning when we visited last weekend.

There's all different colours intermingled with each other.

The Rhododendron Walk takes you right along the lake, and you can see that more are planted on the other side too.

Archie enjoys the wide open spaces that Temple Newsam has to offer. He enjoys being let off his lead and having a good run, but we have to be careful when we're near the lake otherwise he'll jump straight in, he loves water.

I love that Temple Newsam has so much to offer, we often don't see many aspects of it. We don't very often walk around the back of the house, but we did on Saturday. The gardens here consist of formal flower beds with box, yew and beech hedges.

There's a couple of wonderful laburnum arbours in the garden too.

If you're in the area, I can thoroughly recommend a trip to Temple Newsam, and if you visit within the next couple of weeks, you'll be able to see the rhododendrons in all their glory. Well, that's if the rain ever stops.

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Loverrrrrly Jubilee

The Diamond Jubilee celebrations started early for us as last Tuesday, Eleanor was in a concert at school. She performed three songs with her music class, one of them being something she'd co-written with a boy in her class. Later in the concert she sang as part of a choir which she attends after school.

On Saturday, we headed off to Temple Newsam, a place we visit often and one which I've mentioned quite a few times previously on the blog. I will tell you more about Saturday's visit in my next post.

My mum and dad came for dinner on Sunday and we had a lovely lazy day, sitting and chatting and watching the river pageant on tv. Dinner was traditional British fare, roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, and it was delicious if I do say so myself. We don't often have a roast on a Sunday, we usually have it on a Monday instead, so it made a real change. I think we chose the right day to stay indoors as it absolutely poured down all day, and watching the river pageant on tv, we could see that many people got drenched.

Haworth was our destination on Monday. It's somewhere we have a couple of trips to each year, strolling up and down the main street and looking what the little shops have to offer. The street was decorated with bunting and looked very festive.

Some houses were decked out in red, white and blue. I thought this house looked particularly pretty with lots of plants in pots outside.

We called in at Coldspring Mill at Cullingworth on the way home, where I stocked up on some yarn, some for knitting and some for crochet, but more of that another day.

On Monday night, we headed to Barwick In Elmet which is the next village to us. It comprises the buried remains of an Iron Age hillfort and a twelfth century motte and bailey castle. Hall Tower Hill is West Yorkshire's largest Motte, and this was the location for one of the Jubilee beacons.

Daniel and Eleanor headed to the top, but as we had Archie with us, Mick and I stayed at the bottom and watched from there. After the beacon had been lit, there was a rousing rendition of God Save The Queen.

We had another lazy day yesterday. The crochet hook came out and I joined a few more squares of my granny square blanket before putting it aside and getting out the knitting.

Mick's back at work today, but I could really get used to these long weekends.

Friday 1 June 2012

Heaven Scent

I adore the scent of stocks, they're so highly perfumed that you can smell them all around the house.

I don't venture in to Leeds very often, but when I do, I make sure to pop in to Kirkgate Market and visit one of the lovely flower stalls there. They always have a wide choice of flowers which are always lovely and fresh and very reasonably priced, so when Eleanor and I had a shopping trip a fortnight ago, my flower of choice was stocks. I love the buttery yellow colour of these, and at only £2.00 I couldn't resist.

Earlier in the month, I picked up a little bunch of roses and carnations from Tescos. These were only £2.00 too, but I always find that roses fade much quicker than other flowers, so they were gone quite quickly, but the carnations lasted for quite a while.

These are the flowers I'm enjoying at the moment, a mixed bouquet which I picked up from the reduced basket last Sunday, and which are still going strong. The rose and carnations have opened out beautifully and look quite stunning against the yellow chrysanthemums.

I'm sure you'll agree that this was £1.50 well spent.