Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Christmas Eve in Paris

The 23rd December is mine and Hubby's Wedding Anniversary (that's last Tuesday if you're anything like me and forget what day of the week it is at this time of year!) and Hubby took me out to Dinner........in Paris. If you'll just allow me a minute or two to be slushy, I'd just like to brag a bit about how wonderfully romantic my man is - He always likes to treat me for our anniversary, last year we spent a lovely couple of days in London, another year it was New York, but this year he chose Paris as we visited there on our honeymoon and loved it. He always tells me how ridiculous it was to get married so close to christmas and do I have any idea how difficult it is booking something at this time of year? (no is the answer!) But secretly we both loved our Winter Wedding and it makes the whole christmas and new Year festivities even more special. In fact we like christmas in our house - if you read my last post you will see that it was our Nathaniel's birthday on the 28th December, mine is one New Years Day and Hubby's is the Day after mine, the 2nd January so we are pretty busy anyway at this time of year.

I wasn't planning on doing much shopping in Paris (not with the current state of the Euro) in fact on arriving at St Pancras International it seemed that everyone was going in the opposite direction to us - that is, the French were all heading to Oxford Street to do their christmas shopping, seeing as they were getting much more for their money. I wanted my 24 hours is Paris to be more about soaking up the atmosphere, wandering up and down the Champs Elysees and having some nice food and wine

I had intended to go up the Eiffel Tower, having run out of time to visit there on our Honeymoon, but when we arrived the queues were so long, I decided that my time in this beautiful City was too precious to be spending it in a queue. You will have to make do with a photo looking up at it instead!

I didn't intend to do any shopping, but there was one shop on my list which I had to visit - the huge Sephora Store on the Champs Elysees. As a self confessed make up junkie, this store is my idea of heaven, I don't know why we don't have them in the UK, as a trip to their website shows that just about every other country going has a chain of Sephoras. I didn't take a photo this time, but here is a photo taken of me looking very happy with my purchases way back on our honeymoon

Although we weren't in Paris for too long, the trip didn't end when we arrived at the Gare du Nord, travelling back to York first class was a truly relaxing experience which I spent planning my next trip to Paris, and snoozing, and sipping my lovely red wine.
Thank you Tim for our lovely trip - You are a wonderful Husband who never fails to surprise me - love you lots x x x x
So one week later, and what has everyone else been up to? - After recovering from our trip, and visiting family, we now have a few lovely relaxing days at home - at the moment one son is starting a Simpsons puzzleball, the other is playing on his DS Lite, my little girl is tired out from her bike ride (don't you know how tiring it is being pushed whilst peddling backwards?!) and I am going to spend my afternoon finishing off my new Maeve Binchy Novel and catching up with all your news.
If I don't see you again before Thursday then I would like to wish you all a VERY HAPPY 2009 thank you all for your friendship, your kind comments and your generosity throughout 2008 - Natalie x

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Happy Birthday Nuggs

My little boy turned 9 today. How time flies! It seems like only last year, let alone 9 years ago that I spent my christmas on the edge of my seat with a baby who was too laid back to arrive on time and entered the world 10 days late and 9lb 2oz.
Nathaniel Joseph was named so, because the meaning of Nathaniel translates to 'Gods Gift' and Joseph means 'Second Son' so it seemed a perfectly fitting choice, his nickname of Nuggs came around the age of 3, due to his love of chicken Nuggets and boy has it stuck, even his teachers and school mates know him as Nuggs!
Nathaniel was the perfect baby, so laid back, he made no fuss and always had a cheeky smile on his face. I can't believe that the boy sitting on my sofa right now, looking so grown up and playing with his new ipod shuffle is that same little boy who sucked his fingers and never let pooh bear out of his sight.
Nathaniel, you are an absolute joy to your dad and me, so loving and so generous - and clever too (well done for coming top of the class in your recent maths test!) The dedication you show when you are doing something that interests you like the 5 hours you spent building Indiana Jones aeroplane out of lego is amazing - Don't ever change - we love you just how you are - Happy Birthday x x x x x x

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Housey Pics

See, I told you I wouldn't leave it so long!
Thought I would just share with you a few photos of my dining room - although it is downstairs (our lounge is on the first floor) I like to trim up in there, so its nice and festive for christmas dinner. I usually have a second tree in there, but since I borrowed it for the shop window this year, I am making do with this little white tree and a few decorated twigs.

The table centrepiece is from Next - I have it on the table all year round, but with a few silver pinecones and baubles thrown in, it looks kinda festive don't you think?

I think I am more or less organised for christmas now - my big food shop is being delivered on Sunday, and Im finding it really handy being able to keep 'logging on' and adding to my basket when I think of another 'essential' I've forgotten!
Hope you enjoy the pics, I'm loving looking at all your christmassy rooms

Monday, 15 December 2008

Countdown to 2009!

Hi everyone - firstly, just a little note to say - Yes I'm still alive! - Thank you for all your kind enquiries, I did not go away altogether, but I have some serious catching up to do with all your news, which I look forward to doing next week when I will have 2 whole lovely weeks off work!
Life has been pretty hectic, in a not so good way! - Firstly I arrived at work one morning about a month ago to find that during the night half the shop ceiling had collapsed - It is all sorted now thank goodness, but it was a lot of mess and upheaval, and although we only had to close for a very short period of time, it gave some people fuel to say that we had "gone bust" which is not a nice thing to keep hearing, even if people are saying it in a joking manner. I don't know, what is it with these small towns and the gossip that people like to spread?!
Anyway, to show you all that I have not 'gone bust' (well not just yet anyway!) here is a photo I took today of our shop window, which I think looks lovely and christmassy

We are very busy this week, trying to get things fitted for christmas (poor Tim is going to need a month off work, never mind a fortnight!) and we also have a few internet orders to complete, which was very welcome in the current economic climate (but don't get me started on that!)
We have also been really busy christmas shopping like everyone else. shopping for 3 of our own children, both of our (large-ish) extended families. not to mention 3 of our birthdays and our wedding anniversary also fall over christmas! - thank goodness for the internet is what I say.
But anyway, onto the title of this post - I love New Years, I think I love the prospect of a brand new shiny new year even more than christmas. It has nothing to do with the fact that my birthday marks the start of the year (35 if you must know!) It is all to do with the lists, the goals and the brand new Diaries full of empty pages. I love starting the year by making a lovely long list of all the things I hope to achieve during the year - this years items include such things as "Knit a pair of socks" and other life changing events like that!

I like making lists full stop and I make a list every year of how many books I read too. Here is my lovely new diary which has a page for each day - big enough to make lovely lists on each page (I'm aware I'm starting to sound really anal now, I know!)
I also have a smaller handbag diary for appointments, although usually I end up carrying both around with me simultaneously. So I leave you with a piccie of a corner of my kitchen, with my Good Homes Calendar (lovely photos) and my spotty diary - Oh and you might just like the hyacinths I picked up today too.
Take care and I promise I won't leave it so long till my next post x

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Weekend Ramblings

Hi Everyone, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, just been really busy doing other things, and to be honest have been suffering a little from 'bloggers block' One of the jobs that has been occupying most of my time has been adding more fabrics to my website . As I mentioned in my last post, we will be advertising in the Ideal Home magazine, the Christmas issue of which is due out in Early November, so I wanted to have as much choice available as possible ready for then!
I love this time of year when the clocks go back and I can start organising for christmas - My hubby is quite the opposite, he hates the dark mornings and dark evenings, but it makes me feel all cosy and festive!

One thing we have done this week is hand our boxes in for the Samaritans Purse charity. We always do a couple of boxes each year and it keeps it in my childrens minds that not every child is as fortunate as them.
We went for a lovely walk the other evening along Filey Brigg. It is a great walk, which is only possible at low tide, and you have to make sure you don't hang around too long as it is possible to get cut off by the sea, there are hundreds of rock pools to explore and loads of sea birds to identify. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera with me but when we returned home, I saw this photo opportunity, which I thought perfectly summed up our family

Finally while wandering around the house, I decided to take a photo of this window seat in my dining room, it is a favourite place to sit, or snooze, especially in the late evening when the sun is going down.

So there you have it, a bit of a mixed bag of a post, I'll try not to leave it as long next time
Natalie x

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Tumble Driers, Haircuts and Granny Squares!

What a strange week it has been so far - nothing out of the ordinary has happened, but it just seems to have been a loooonnnngg week!
I have a couple of days off work now, the first in ages, I am off tomorrow to take delivery of a new tumble drier, my old one finally gave up the ghost at ten years old - probably decided it had had enough after years of being overworked! I have gone for a condenser tumble drier this time, as the siting of it is nowhere near a window, and have tried to find one as energy efficient as possible, but the best I could find has a 'C' rating.
The in-laws are also coming through tomorrow for a long weekend, so me and the hubby are taking advantage by having another night out - (the second this year - steady!) and I am having my hair cut and coloured on Saturday in preparation and am really looking forward to it.
My eldest son has joined the Filey Sea Cadets this year, which you can find out about here He is desperate to get his uniform, but I must admit to being a bit concerned when he announced after one session that he thinks he might like to join the Navy - he is only 10!

Thank you to everyone who had a look at my new website and was kind enough to leave a comment, it seems from your comments that we have achieved what we set out to do which was create a clean looking, easy to navigate website which was free from gimmicks. We will be advertising in the christmas issue of Ideal Home magazine, and each issue thereafter, so if you read Ideal Home, look out for us! I have done a little draw, and the winner was Kelly, so thank you very much Kelly (and everyone else) for taking the time to comment, and if you e mail me your address I will pop a little something in the post for you!
Finally, I can't go without letting you know about my Granny square progress, as you can see from the pictures, I have completed 29 and have another 16 which are waiting for the final two rounds of pink to be added, so that's 45 in total. I had originally intended for this to be a 56 square blanket, but I now have another plan for it, and so it may become bigger, but details of that in my next post.
Have a good weekend everyone - Natalie x

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Going Live!

Well, after months of waiting, my website is now live! - I would love it if you would take a look, and if you would tell me what you think, that would be even better! - You can find the website here, or by clicking on the link in the sidebar. We will be adding lots more fabrics over the next few weeks, and for all my blogging friends out there (or friends of friends of friends) you can receive a 10% discount on your order by entering the promotional code Summer08 at the checkout.
For everyone who is kind enough to leave some feedback, I will enter you into a little draw, I haven't decided what the prize will be yet, but it will definitely be something nice!
No photo's on this post, but I'll be back later in the week with some piccies of all the crafty things I've been up to this week.
Natalie x
P.S - And for anyone who is wondering, yes, that really is me on the homepage!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Finally! - Bo Bo's Bedroom

Finally, after a couple of months, Bo Bo's room is finally finished - well, I say finished - I still have to put a few pictures on the wall, but I always find that bit the hardest and it seems to take the longest.

The lamp I made by glueing all different scraps of fabric (cut with pinking shears) onto an old white shade, then finished off the edge with a pom pom trim

And here is a little unit that is above her cot

All in all I'm really pleased with how it has turned out, the wallpaper on the chimney breast wall is 'Summer Palace' by Laura Ashley, as is the Roman Blind. I am going to have a picture of Bo Bo with her brothers blown up and made into a canvas to go above the 'fireplace'.
I must add however that a fair few toys have to be removed from the room prior to photographing for the sake of 'styling' which included a bright pink plastic motorbike, a bright pink little tikes car and a bright yellow mini plastic patio chair, which I'm sure you will agree you would never see in an ideal home spread!
Moving on, last night we were fed up of being in the house and decided to go down to the harbour at Scarborough for a wander around - that's the beauty of living by the sea, a ten minute car journey and you almost feel like you are on holiday yourself

This first picture was taken of the harbour as we arrived, you might just be able to see the castle up on the hill

But it wasn't long before it became dark, and this is the harbour again at night time. We headed back to the bright lights for some Harry Ramsdens fish and chips, a couple of pounds worth of 2p's played on the slots and a ride on the merry-go-round

Not quite the Saturday nights of old - but still sounds like a great night out to me!
Natalie x
P.S. - If anyone is wondering, we always refer to Georgia as 'Bo Bo' - Bo is her middle name (as in Bo Derek) but since the day she could talk she has always called herself Bo Bo and boy has it stuck!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Sunday Ramblings

Hi Everyone
Well, surprisingly its a beautiful sunny Sunday here in Filey, after all the recent rain, its lovely to see the sunshine, but unfortunately it will be just through the windows today as I have loads to do in the house, and I have just seen hubby carrying his toolbox into Georgia's room, which can only mean that he is going to change her window. When that is done, I promise I will post lots of pictures of her room, you will recall that decorating it was a mammoth job, involving taking all the plaster off right down to the wooden framework. I have shown you snippets, but have held off showing you the whole room until the final bit (i,e the window) was completed.
Yesterday we had a lovely day visiting York. It is three years since we bought any new bedding for our bed, so I picked up this lovely set in BHS.

Even lovelier was that it was discounted when I took it to the checkout. Sorry the pictures are so dark, but I took them late last night. the bedding has really vibrant embroidery on it, and I think it will look lovely with some Cath Kidston floral pillowcases behind the main pair.
While I'm at it, I also wanted to show you this lovely mannequin I picked up in a quaint little shop in Whitby. Georgia refers to it as 'Lady no 'ed' so that it how she is known now. It is my intention to pin all my brooches etc onto it - pretty isn't she?

A week or so ago I was tagged by Joanne and have to tell you 6 quirky facts about myself - I can't promise they will be wildy exciting, but here goes!

1. I am such a light sleeper that I simply cannot sleep without earplugs, years ago, when there was a spate of car crime on the estate where I lived, I was always the one able to give a statement to the police, because I only had to hear something on the street at an unearthly hour and I was out of bed to see what it was!

2. I have had a baby in the 7lb range (Callum 7lb 10), in the 8lb range (Georgia 8lb 4) and the 9lb range (Nathaniel 9lb 2)

3. I love to run, I have a treadmill in my bedroom (OK so I wish it wasn't in my bedroom and I am thinking of places to re-locate it to) I try to run at least 2 miles a day, usually uphill for extra pain!

4. 18 years ago I was a WAG - my boyfriend at the time never made it into the first team, but during that time I met Gazza and went to a party at Vinnie Jones house.

5. When I was 14 I won a competition in the local paper and became their 'Junior Editor of the Year' I really wanted to become a journalist, but that dream died when I left school and realised that if I got a job I could earn money right away. Funnily enough, my Eldest Callum now dreams of being a sports reporter for a national newspaper so I will encourage him all I can.

6. I have to wash my hair every day, it is very fine and looks greasy really quickly, I am jealous of anyone who only has to wash their hair every 3 days or so!

So there - not that fascinating. I am now supposed to pass this on to 6 other bloggers, so I will hand the baton to Tracy, Josie, Lucy, Jessica, Julia and Debbie
See you all later in the week
Natalie x

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Lovely Swaps from Sarah

A couple of months ago, Sarah and I from Pink Petal designs decided to do a swap, it has taken us some time to get round to it, but last weekend I received these lovely items in the post

I love everything, although I said to Sarah that the lovely crocheted coasters are destined for my dressing table, I don't want anyone dripping tea on those! - Look at the little baboushka doll, isn't she sweet? and Sarah made the little rolling pin especially, after I saw it on one of her previous posts. Sarah sells lots of her lovely things on etsy, you must go and have a look.
I thought I would also give you an update on the Granny squares. With 19 done, there's still a long way to go, but I am still enjoying it and think it will be a lovely project to crack on with now the nights are pulling in again (Boo Hoo!) My mum had a look at her stash and sent me a big parcel full of wool oddments, some of which were jumpers she knitted for the boys when they were babies, so each time I look at my blanket it will remind me of those days.

So we are into September now, the boys went back to school on Tuesday and the Summer seems all but over. It has been another strange Summer hasn't it ? - My thoughts are now turning to Christmas, I like to start my christmas shopping early, or at least get ideas together, and with lots of christmassy craft projects lined up for those long winter nights, I'm sure it will be here before I know it!
Natalie x

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Relaxing Weekend

Hi everyone!
This bank holiday weekend was a very relaxed affair - Tim's Dad and Stepmum came over from Rotherham, and Tim and I took the opportunity of a night out together (yes, a proper grown up night out!) We hadn't had one of those since we went away for our wedding anniversary in December so it made a lovely change.
On Bank Holiday Monday we decided to explore some of the nice places not far from us, up here in North Yorkshire. Firstly we went to Thornton-Le-Dale which was really picturesque - just look at this gorgeous thatched cottage - it looks straight off a chocolate box

The weather was bright and breezy and so we enjoyed an ice cream on our stroll.
I love this picture of Georgia and Tim dropping twigs in the stream and watching them float away

We then went on to Pickering which was just as lovely and has a great flea market - I could have spent ages in there, but unfortunately the rest of the family didn't feel the same way!
Just a short post today, we have been really busy of late, I can't believe the school holidays are now drawing to a close, but I will hopefully be back to posting more regularly come September
Natalie x

Monday, 11 August 2008

One Weekend, Two Parties, One tired Mummy!

This weekend saw us shut up shop and travel to Sheffield for my Nieces first birthday party. We had a lovely time, it was great to see all the family again and catch up on everyones news. My sister loved the cushion I had made for Sophia, which I showed you recently, and my Grandma was especially pleased to see us all again - I mean this literally, as she has just had a cataract operation on one eye and can't believe how well she can see now, she is waiting to see if she can have the other eye done now, it has made a great difference to her quality of life, as her eyesight was so poor, she was classed as partially blind. My Grandma is 91 years old, and has 4 Great Grandchildren (3 of them belong to me, the little one is Sophia, my sisters little girl)

I am sure you will agree that she looks great, I am going to blow this picture up and send it to her.
This next picture is my boys enjoying the party - they look like they are having fun don't they?

On Saturday evening, we stayed at Tim's Dads house in Rotherham, and on Sunday we were invited to a BBQ at some friends of theirs, back in Sheffield! - It was their grandaughter's birthday and although the weather wasn't forecast to be very good, it actually surprised us for a change. The kids spent the day running round the garden, and Georgia spent most of her time on this little trampoline (I hope Father Christmas is taking note!)

By the end of the afternoon, we had three pairs of very dirty trousers, the boys were mainly caused by diving headfirst down the slide onto the lawn - Georgia's trousers started out white linen and ended up black, amazingly though, they have washed up nicely (the wonders of vanish spray eh?)
I couldn't resist taking a photo of these dirty feet though!

Before we left my Mum and Dads on Saturday, my Dad gave me a load of veg from his garden, some Courgettes, Beetroot and Runner Beans - We are having them for tea tonight with some Lamb chops and I am really looking forward to it.

I don't know what it is about parties, basically just sitting round talking, drinking and eating food that someone else has painstakingly prepared for you, but they can be really tiring - By the time we arrived back in Filey at 7.30pm on Sunday night, I was bushed!
And its the start of another week again - The forecast is not good (anyone else getting fed up of this weather?) so our evenings will probably have to be spent inside - At least its a good chance for me to carry on with the crochet - thank you to everyone for all your kind comments - I am pleased to say I have now completed 8 squares towards my blanket.
See you later in the week
Natalie x
P.S - I received my swap parcel on Friday from the cupcake and tea swap, so I will show you what goodies I received in my next post!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Holy Moly - I can crochet!!!

Just wanted to share this with my blogging friends - I am not quite sure how it happened, but - I seem to be able to crochet! I have been practising like mad over the past week or two, and there has been much unravelling and starting again, but bit by bit it seems to be clicking into place, (might have something to do with the fact that I'm a Capricorn and can be very determined). There were times when I thought I was never going to 'get' it but finally, on Sunday, I produced a 'Granny Square' and have made two more since (without using the pattern I hasten to add!). The squares measure 6" each, So I reckon 42 or 49 of them will make a good sized blanket.
This is one project I'm determined to finish, as I do have a history of starting lots of different things and never finishing any of them - So I expect you, my blogging friends to keep hassling me on whether I've done any more squares for my blanket.
Its hard to think of needing blankets to snuggle up on the sofa and keep warm, the weather here today is glorious, but I'm sure it will be with us all too soon
Bye for now
Natalie x

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Corners of My Home

Not a long post today, just wanted to show you a little corner of my home - in this case my lounge, and the lovely lilies I bought yesterday.
My lounge is on the first floor and looks out across Filey's bowling green (on the right) and the tennis courts (on the left) - We have a window seat built into the bay window and whenever we have anyone round, they always seem to want to perch on the window seat so they can enjoy the view outside.

Finally, I keep forgetting that I have been nominated for the Brilliante award 3 times (not that I want to brag or anything!) I know the rules are that I should pass the award onto other bloggers, but to be truthful, I think this one has been doing the rounds for a while, and most of the blogs I read have already had it! Hope I don't offend anyone.
Have a good weekend everyone

Natalie x

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Cups, Cushions and Crochet!

At the weekend, Tim's Dad and Step mum came through again to see us for a couple of days - We had a lovely time, exploring Scarborough's Italian Gardens, eating fish & chips and sitting in the sun - Saturday was glorious weather, but unfortuntely I forgot to take the camera, never mind, I really enjoyed the Italian Gardens and am sure I will be going there again before the summer is out. The Gardens are located just off Scarborough's Esplanade and not far from the building where they film 'The Royal' on ITV. Sunday was a different thing altogether, a really bad sea mist hung over Filey all day - The beach was packed, but it was like sunbathing in thick fog - you couldn't see more than 10 metres in front of you, so there was no point in taking any pictures.

However, Terry and Sue came bearing gifts, and for me, were these 8 lovely pink floral mugs. I have put 4 under this little cabinet that hangs in the kitchen and the other 4 are hanging from my other little kitchen shelf. They look lovely and are really nice to drink from too.

Next Saturday, will be my niece Sophia's 1st Birthday and we will all be travelling through to Sheffield for her party. I know she has loads of clothes (because I pass a lot on to her!) and I'm sure she is not short of toys either, so I decided I wanted to make her something she could keep. I made her this cushion onto which I have appliqued her name, and trimmed it with cream lace and some little dragon fly motifs - I am really pleased with how it has turned out and I hope my sis likes it too!

For a long time now, I have wanted to learn to crochet, but the time has never been right, however I am determined this time, and armed with these 2 books I have been practising away. I am a fairly accomplished knitter (my mum taught me at a very young age and I remember making my first item of clothing - a maroon tank top at the age of 10) but trying to learn crochet from a book is harder than I thought. I did however manage to make this little heart using this pattern

I don't know how i managed it, and lets just say it didn't look very 'heart-shaped' until I blocked it, but its a start!
The lovely Lucy over at Attic 24 has been very helpful, giving me tips on which yarns are best to use - so all I need to do now is keep on practising. I am aiming to make heaps of ripple and granny square blankets for this winter, when I can't afford to have the gas on!
Hope you all enjoy the last day of July and I'll be back in a couple of days
Natalie x

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

I love school holidays!

I have always been one of those mums who love having the kids around, sometimes, when I see other mums during the school holidays and they say the kids are driving them mad and they'll be glad when they're back at school, I have never been able to agree with them. Of course, my kids DO drive me mad sometimes, but I love being at home, and I love being at home with them.

Having the shop means a bit of a juggling act though, since I usually work in the shop 6 days a week, and Tim is usually out measuring for or fitting the curtains and blinds that we sell, school holidays can pose a bit of a problem, but we have found a way round it - the boys will go to the Holiday club run by our local Surestart centre from 10am-3pm on Mondays and Fridays, Wednesdays they have to come to the shop for the day, and Tuesdays and Thursdays I get to be at home with them while Tim mans the shop, and that is fine by me.

Here is a picture taken this morning of our kitchen table (if you can see the table underneath all the glue, stickers, sequins etc) They were busy making some cards for a special nana who is going into hospital soon (close your eyes mum). Georgia's card has so many stickers on it, it will be a wonder if it stands up, but it is her first experience of crafting, and she seemed to really enjoy it.
After all that crafting, it was time for lunch, and what else could we have but toasted sandwiches? - I love my Breville with a passion, I know its a bit 70's but I think they are great. Callum had ham and cheese, Georgia and Nathaniel had plain old cheese, and me being the sophisticated gal that I am had cherry tomato and goats cheese. (I had thought about finely slicing some red onion in there too, but knew that Tim wouldn't thank me if I greeted him at 4.30pm with onion breath!)
The next photo was the cause of much giggling by the boys at the fact that I was taking a photo of their dinner (you could see they were thinking 'wierdo') - 'Hey, get used to it' I said.

In his book 'Jamie's Dinners' Jamie Oliver devotes a whole 2 pages to the breville and some of his suggestions sound lovely, I particularly like the sound of mozarella, tomato and pesto - I think I will definitely have to give that one a try.

Finally, I can show you the items I made for the 'cupcake and tea' swap organised by Rachael Rabbit - I was told that my partners favourite colour was lime green, so I made this sign to hang in her kitchen - a little stuffed heart (cupcake fabric on one side and lime green on the other), a knitted cupcake and some cupcases - I hope she likes them - Being from Yorkshire, the only tea I could send was of course some 'Yorkshire Tea!' - These are all now parcelled up and on their way to Australia.

Hope you are all enjoying your time today, whether it is at home, or at work - Natalie x

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Random lovliness

Well so far I'm doing ok in my efforts to blog more often, suddenly it seems I have loads to talk about and loads to show you!

First off is the drawer in my 'new' dressing table - although I intend painting it up, I couldn't resist using it straight away. The plastic box with my earrings in, is an organiser I bought from hobbycraft, its supposed to be for storing embroidery threads, but its ideal for jewellery too.

Next up is these gorgeous glass draw knobs I wanted to show you which are going to go on the said dressing table - the picture frame is also a new purchase, just £1.99 from Ebay - I just need to find a piccie to put in it now!

Third up is these goodies which I received in the post from Faye
I saw the glass 'violets' bottle and thought it would also look lovely on my dressing table (hmmm this dressing table is starting to look not so much of a bargain!) and the little pink cushion at the back is a little something Faye popped in the package and it smells lovely. I can't show you what is in the other 2 packages as they will be winging their way into someones christmas pressie this year and i can't risk spoiling the surprise, but just look how beautifully Faye has wrapped them.
Last and not least was the little surprise I received in the post from Jessica - A lovely handmade birthday card and some pink floral fabric which I'm sure to find a use for - Thank you Jess!

Well, my next post won't be too far away as I've been busy working on Rachel Rabbits 'Cupcake and Tea' swap, so I'll show you some piccies of what will be winging its way to Australia soon
Natalie x

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Once a bookworm....

I love to read, always have, always will, I don't mean to sound patronising, but I have always rather pitied people who don't read, for they don't know the magic of getting wrapped up in a really good book.

From being very young, I always read. On Friday afternoons, my friend Susan's mum would give us a lift home from school via the library, a couple of villages away, and I would look forward to a long weekend of doing little else other than reading. To begin with I loved any mystery books, but the series by Enid Blyton was my favourite - I particularly remember 'the mystery of the strange messages' and 'The mystery of the missing necklace' - I also loved the Famous Five, but wasn't so keen on the secret seven. As I got older I loved the 'Twins at St Claire's' stories and would have begged my parents to send me to boarding school had I thought it was anything like the one I so loved reading about. Even older still and Enid Blyton gave way to the 'Sweet Dreams' romance books and 'Sweet Valley High' which I admit that I still loved to read long after I should have outgrown such books!

It therefore made me feel all warm inside, when, at the weekend, in WH Smiths, my eldest Callum picked up a copy of 'Treasure Island' by Robert Louis Stevenson and asked if he could buy it with his own money.

So 9.15pm every night has become the time when me and my two boys curl up on the settee downstairs and read a chapter of Treasure Island, usually alternating a page each - It is a really nice time and I hope that the experience will give them a lifelong love of books.

When my daughter came along, I never really gave much thought to what this meant, until recently when it dawned on me that now I had a legitimate excuse to read and enjoy these books all over again!

And so my little stash of 'books to read with Georgia' has begun, starting with one of my all time favourites, Milly Molly Mandy!

Here is a picture of the little reading corner in Georgia's room - the bookshelf was from the 'Great Little Trading Company' and is great because she can see which book she wants to read from the cover, instead of just seeing the spine. There are a couple of baskets full of books under the shelf and a comfy beanbag just out of shot - we often sit up here and read a book or 2 or 3 or 4!
But Im not a book snob at all - I will quite as happily read an autobiography by Katie Price as I will a book by Jane Austen. Of course, with life being so much busier than it was when I was a schoolgirl, I don't get time to read nearly as much as I would like.
Here is a list of the books I have read so far this year - have you read any of these?
1. Whitethorn Woods - Maeve Binchy (I love Maeve Binchy, 'Tara Road' is my favourite)
2. Shopaholic and Baby - Sophie Kinsella (have read all the shopaholic series)
3. I did a bad Thing - Linda Green (very enjoyable)
4. The Island - Victoria Hislop (I simply loved this - read it if you haven't already)
5. Pushed to the Limit - Katie Price (Jordan setting the record straight)
6. P.S I Love You - Cecelia Ahern (The book made me cry, I haven't seen the film)
7. How I live now - Meg Rosoff (dark but wierdly enjoyable)
8. Diva's Don't Knit - Gil McNeil (I love knitting almost as much as I love reading)
9. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith (read because I heard so many good things about it in blogland - and it didn't disappoint)
10. The Friday Night Knitting Club - Kate Jacobs (another knitting themed book, but a great story too)

So, not a very long list from someone who professes to love reading so much, but if the truth be told, I do have a book in my hand most nights, if it is not a novel, it is usually one of my craft, home or interior design books.

The above two books are two I bought at the weekend, Im reading the Jane Green book first, I love Jane Green and this one is not disappointing either, I'll have it finished tomorrow to start on Jill Mansell!

Unusually, I don't often keep my paperbacks, I usually either sell them on Amazon (to raise cash to buy another) or I take them to the charity shop, which is where I buy a fair few of my books too
So please do share if there is a book you have really enjoyed, I would love to hear all your recommendations.
And as for two posts in as many days, I have realised I love blogging almost as much as I love reading, so I'm going to make an effort to post much more often!
Natalie x
P.S - Thanks for all the dressing table love you sent my way - I bought some lovely glass knobs for the drawers today, I'll show them to you later in the week!