Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Belated Happy New Year.....I'm back!.....(sort of!)

Hasn't it been a while?

So sorry to have deserted you.

I will answer your messages and comments and also post the finished poncho as requested, thank you for your lovely comments and concern for my absence....heart-warming.

I've been unwell since early last year, but it finally caught up with me in September and I had to stop all but everyday activities, in fact, some everyday activities too!

I want to say it was nothing serious so as not to alarm you, but this would underestimate the severity and destruction of mental illness and play down it's ability to be life threatening. But for some reason, (and I generalise as I realise not everyone is the same) generally in society we do play down mental illness. I guess we can see a broken limb, but what we can't see we don't recognise and find it hard to know how to deal with mental health issues.

Having dealt with mental illness in members of my family, I never thought it would bite my backside!

Anyway, I'm not recovered by far, I have really bad days...and for no logical reason other than my head is working through some stuff.  But I feel OK enough today to stick my head above the parapet here and say......

Hellooooo!

In the New Year, I decided that I needed to be a priority and I needed to concentrate on helping myself so that I could be well enough to get back to being a Mum, wife, housewife, friend, business manager....the list goes on!  So I decided on New Year..... New Me.......I'm kicking my butt in 3 self-worlds....craft.....home ....and body!

For home, I'm following Flylady to streamline and clean a home that has been neglected for many months.  I'm doing OK, the loft has been cleared and cleaned....yes...I CLEANED my loft!!  Along with a bulging airing cupboard.

Little Lady has a pared down room, Teenage Daughter has done her own and redecorated!

I even managed to steam clean the velux window right up in the stairwell....it involved some dubious balancing and climbing on the bannister....but I did it!!  Haha! I'm now onto the middle level (3 bedrooms, a bathroom and the hallway) I am purging, selling, charitying and only storing real treasures in the new found space in the loft....happy days!

For body, I am aiming to exercise at last 4 times a week....it is said to help mental illness and I could do with a bit of shaping here and there!  I'm not beating myself up if I don't and I have no real plan I just ask myself everyday if I fancy doing something and I do if I want and don't if I don't!  It could be walking on the school run, vigorous housework or gardening, cycling or planking or pilates exercises from my Pinterest board of 'Healthy Hints for the Lazy and Uninspired!'

I've stopped ballet for now as I couldn't make the commitment and when I didn't turn up, I beat myself with a big stick (metaphorically!), so that's on the back burner and I shall reconsider that for September.  I do occasionally slip into my pointe shoes as they make me smile.....




Lastly craft.... my UFOs (UnFinished Objects) have got a bit out of hand, so I'm setting myself a UFO challenge..... to get at least one thing a month finished. I'll try and post those on a board in Pinterest, so if you want to join the challenge, leave me a comment and we'll do our best to link up on Pinterest and you can post your photos on the 2016 UFOs Challenge board, any shared inspiration has to be good eh?  And it doesn't matter what it is....gardening, DIY, craft, hobby, food....just something that's been nagging you and you have been inspired to complete!

Part of that is also not starting or buying anything new......well....that's fallen by the wayside a couple of times already!! Tee-hee!

I can't promise I shall regularly post here, but I shall do my very best to keep in touch.

Hope you might join me for at least one of the self-world challenges....no big sticks allowed!

I shall return ......when I have something to show you...even if it's a list of UFOs so you can all help motivate me! Haha!

Until the next time...
Lots of love
Nora
xxxx

Monday, 7 September 2015

Summer Holiday - Day 18


Little Lady and I went to the Frozen Sing-along back in February...it was one of her Christmas Presents along with the full Queen Elsa dressing up costume.

She knew we were going and counted down for weeks.

What she didn't know was that her totally bonkers Mummy had made a Princess Anna outfit!

This time she didn't even know we were going!

So she didn't suspect a thing when I suggested she don her Princess Anna costume (her present to herself from our trip to Disneyland Paris).

Until that was Daddy popped her into the car, I got in in my costume and we headed off the 10 minutes to our local theatre! 

Clackers ready, snowflakes ready, crown unfurled and ready for the coronation and grey balloon inflated and waiting for the troll moment!  If you've never been to a sing-along....you won't get this AT ALL!

Here we are in our seats, waiting for the start of the performance......





You get the words to the songs on the big screen, an Anna or Elsa to help you sing and in our case......snowflakes in August!.....




Here's a snap of us when we got home......what can I say....it just had to be done!....




But it was a quick change as we were out for lunch at ASK Italian (Little Ladys choice, her favourite place to eat out!)

And here am I in my newly finished Cherry Dress from the Sew Mag Bette Dress pattern....TA-DAH!!!!




I hopped on-line to some forums about this dress and there were lots of discussions about how awful it was....too large....too long......I followed the pattern to the letter (1.5cm seam allowances), shortened it to fit me (by about 12cm) as advised in the instructions and hey presto....fits brilliantly!  It was a useful lesson to me in...Follow-the-Instructions!

The meal was lovely by the way!

We're off for the next few days, so I'll catch up with you very soon with another fun day out!

Until then, toodle-oo,
Love
Nora
xxxx



Sunday, 6 September 2015

Summer Holiday - Day 17

We were exhausted from the trip on Day 16, but having looked at the weather forecast.....this is the only good day this week to take a trip when we'll be spending most of the day outside!

We took the train to London, couple of stops on the underground to Regents Park Tube, a short walk across Regents Park to London Zoo!

We were going to try and make lots of the put on chats, but after the first one, we decided that you could read the information and see much more if you gave those a miss.

We had to do the favourites.....you know about Little Lady's love of all things 'Melman' (from the film Madagascar), so we start with that.....




These fellas are a little more elusive, but if you look hard at the left hand edge of the otter slide, you will (hopefully!) see four little otters making their way up!




This chap was hilarious.....I think we were the entertainment in his eyes!




This gorgeous boy had just settled down for his afternoon nap.... 




Both my girls love these amazing creatures.....




Little Lady loved the colour on this...and she took the photo.....




This shell was big enough for her to get in to.....so she photographed this too! 




We aren't great spider lovers, The Hubs has to get rid of any round here.  He did take Little Lady through the open room of spiders....Mummy on the other hand  most certainly DID NOT go....the thought of one dropping off the ceiling into my hair....blergh!  No thanks!

But we got this mug shot for you to enjoy...think it needs a Ladyshave on those legs!



These were more to my liking, I can't tell you how small they are, but such a lovely vibrant colour....



We saw so much more, but I don't want to weigh you down with endless photos, just a small sample of our day.

Of course no day would be complete without a souvenir from the gift shop and a family mugshot.  So please let me introduce the newest addition to our family (having a whale (did you see what I did there?!) of a time) on the train home with her new family.....Rosie, the pink monkey!



I'll be back soon with some more summer doings very shortly, in the meantime, take care.
Love
Nora
xxxx

Friday, 4 September 2015

Summer Holiday Days 8-16!

The title is a bit misleading!

Of course we actually lived days 8-15, but they were taken up with looking after the In-Laws, catching up with paperwork and a rough patch with The Hubs.....it was not an easy week!

By day 16 we found ourselves with a small person who needed to get out and about (as we did!)

As she is looking at 'Turrets & Tiaras' when she returns to school (and this is likely to involve King Henry VIII!), we thought we'd visit the stunningly beautiful Hever Castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn.

Here it is in the distance......




..and up close.....




Beautiful with its moat full of Koi and these gorgeous houses.....




Of course, we had to photograph the all important portcullis.......




This is the other side of the moat (to the right of the front of the castle).....




Look at these amazing woven willow deer.....bet they'll look great through the mist on an Autumn morning....




There is a great kids adventure playground here, a couple of mazes, an open air theatre.  We had to stop for the obligatory ice cream....




Then Little Lady got hold of the camera, I have to say, she's rather good (she took the next 5 photos).....




..in the rose garden......




...with permission from one of the gardeners to walk on the grass and smell the roses......




...this was her favourite, called 'Nostalgia'....beautiful!




Love the magenta rose against the green.....I think she captured this one so well.....




Finally, just when she was getting tired....we lead her to the water maze!  Needless to say, she found a bit more energy!




There is a way to pass through the maze without getting wet....but that's just no fun, is it?

Good job Mummy had packed a towel and spare clothes!

Thoroughly recommend a visit here...The Hubs and I plan to return, just the 2 of us to take a tour of the castle....they have accommodation here too, so who knows!

More days out and fun planned, so until the next time....take care.
Love
Nora
xxx

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Summer Holiday - Day 5, 6 & 7!

At kids club the children get me (real name Karen!) and Crafty Friend (Carol!) muddled up, so for a joke, she had these t-shirts printed.

We know some of the children can't read...but the ones who can thought it was hilarious and insisted on this photo!



Work became one VERY long day of cleaning (9 hours!!), clearing out the academic year, we reorganised the room too.....gets the kids thinking about where they can find things when they come back and they remember better then if we were to tell them!




The next day we undertook all the preparing for the next year!  Still not finished to be honest!




The in-laws came down for a short stay and during a trip into town, I managed to get this shot of my beautiful Teenage Daughter...she'll hate me for this!




On Sunday, I decided to get my head into a different space.  Having ordered some new jeans from H&M, who thankfully sell jeans by the waist and leg measurements, I can get a pair that actually fit without a gaping hole in the small of my back to fill with shopping!!

Hence my lovely old pair (that I had worn through at the knee!) became my cut-offs for playing and gardening!

I cut the jeans across the knee, just above the hole.  I chose some nice bright fabric and sliced it across the width at a 2" depth and ran it through my clover bias binding gadget to produce a nice binding...pinned it on like this..........





I whizzed round the binding with my sewing machine and then flipped the binding over and hand stitched it to the inside......



And ta-dah!...cut-offs!

I've left them long so that as they wear, I can just cut them shorter and shorter!



So , that was those few days.....the next week went in a whirlwind...so I'm not sure how much of that I can really show you in photos!

But after that we made some trips...those I will share!

Back soon!

Love 
Nora
xxxx

Summer Holiday - Day 4

Today was a funny one, Little Lady didn't really get into anything (too tired), so she plodged herself and beloved Minnie in front of the TV.....




It was quite fortunate that she needed this switch off time as it gave me time to prep dinner for Kids Club, bake and decorate a cake for them too and catch up on a bit of paperwork.

This afternoon (at kids club) we spatter painted and decorated biscuits along with the usual mix of dressing up and scooting.








She enjoyed her tea and I'm very much looking forward to Prawn Curry, lovingly cooked especially low fat by my talented hubby.

Not sure what she has planned for tomorrow, and I have work again in the afternoon.

See you tomorrow,
Love
Nora
xxxx


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Summer Holidays - Day 3

Today we had an outing to the cinema!

Little Lady and her Tiniest Friend downed a bag of popcorn whilst watching......




It was great!

Nice little story and only about an hour long...perfect!

We returned Tiniest Friend home and headed into town with Crafty Friend to buy Playhouse Curtain Fabric.....




Little Lady's choice.  We haven't scheduled in when we will do this, but we have fabric for when we do.

Little Lady took herself off for a nap whilst Crafty Friend and I had a chinwag over a cuppa or 3.

We rounded the day off with a Prawn Stir Fry.  I was quite impressed with my saucy efforts which were:

Light Soy Sauce (about 6 tablespoons)
2 large finely chopped cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of shaved (from a frozen piece) of ginger
2 teaspoons of dark brown sugar and
1 tablespoon of cornflour
1 tablespoon of Chinese Five Spice powder

I marinated the prawns in this before cooking....it makes a sort of Chinese Gravy! Yummy.

So now I've caught up with myself I think it's time for a Green Tea and bed.

Nite, nite
Love
Nora
xxxx