Thursday, 31 May 2012

May aspirations update

Is it me or is time absolutely flying this year? I can't believe that tomorrow is the 1st June already. So here is the round up for this month lets see how I am progressing through my list for the year. On my original aspiration list for this month I had;

  • decorate my room - bumped as I am still trying to do the hallways

  • make curtains for my room See above

  • summer dress for Stephanie She has several already so I am reluctant to make anymore until she needs them

  • Knit school cardigan for Stephanie Does thinking about this count?

  • Summer skirt for me

  • plant seeds  I have planted all sortrs of seeds this month, some are growing nicely in the green house, others have already been demolished by snails! GRRRRR

  • I also set myself a target of taking more exercise, I have not done as planned and been swimming and cycling. I have however began running I have been getting up and running before work for the past few weeks, I have been using the NHS couch to 5k pod casts. I am due to start week 7 tomorrow.
    I also finished the swoon quilt.
    I am still working on the Henry the eighth cross stitch I am optimistic of showing you the completed thing in the next couple of weeks.
    Decorating the hallway- I have began this the banister has been painted as has the ceiling. I am trying to find someone to borrow a ladder that will enable me to paint the top part o the wall above the stairs- does anyone have one I can borrow?

    So aspirations for June are

    • Knit school cardigan for Stephanie
    • summer hat and dress for Stephanie - I think I my alter this to just the hat as she has lots of dresses
    • Summer dress for me
    • plant seeds
    • harvest
    I also want to add;

    • finish Henry VIII cross stitch
    • decorate hall way
    • Organise allotment, it is looking dire again! I am struggling to keep up this year!
    • Sell unwanted stuff to raise extra cash

    Wednesday, 30 May 2012

    In love!

    Just wanted to share my latest purchase with you and I have to say I am in love with them, they are everything I expected from the picture. So much so that I eagerly ripped open the package and put them in as soon as I got home from work today.

    These are hand made earrings by Astra They are described by Astra as "The white beads are hand spun, fair trade glass beads from India. The flowers are brass and they hang on silver plated findings"
    They are just perfect, I love them. As they are hand made you won't be able to get a pair exactly like mine, but take a look at Astra's Etsy shop and find a pair you love too.

    Monday, 28 May 2012

    Thunder storm

    We have been blessed with  some absolutely scorching weather the past week or so. I love the sunshine and can never wait for summer to arrive. This afternoon just as I was getting ready to leave work we had a thunder storm and some very sudden and heavy rain. When I got home this is what I found;

    It looks like a lovely country park or somewhere where we may go walking at the weekends doesn't it? It is in fact the main road leading onto my estate. The rain came down so suddenly the drains could not cope and the road flooded. A lot of people turned around and went alternate routes but some people decided to chance it;

    When I got home the neighbours and children were all trying to guess what was causing all the traffic and sirens that they could see and hear. They could not see this road from our houses. They thought I was exaggerating the state of the road so I walked them down to have a look. This bottom picture shows the children being very excited and trying to jump over the waves of water as if they  were at the beach. While us parents/ other adults were disbelieving that some of the cars tried to get through or the way people were (on the other side of the road from us) driving on the paths instead of going a different way in order to try and avoid becoming stuck in the water.
    A little light entertainment for all before we came home for dinner!

    Sunday, 27 May 2012

    Our week

    I have been so busy this week with work and home I haven't managed to post. I am going to do one round up post too give just a brief over view of our week in the glorious sunshine.
    I have been starting each day with a run, I am running the race for life in a fortnight so I have been training, I have used the NHS couch to 5k programme as a basis. I did not start the plan 9 weeks before my race as I should have if I was organised. However, my beginning level of fitness wasn't too low. I adapted the plan to work for me. I have been running everyday rather than every other day as is suggested because of the time I have to do it. I have found this fine I have done the first 4 weeks as daily so instead of doing the same run for a week I have done it for one day then moved on. I have completed week 5. I hadn't downloaded the podcasts past week 5 I realised this morning when I was planning on beginning week 6, so I ran to the podcast of week 5 run 3 but took myself on a 5k route to gauge where I am at. It took me 25 Min's to complete, not bad but I am aiming for 20 minutes. I'm progressing towards this hopefully I'll be able to make it in the next fortnight to my target.

    Then comes work, I have been taking salads for lunch, the children are enjoying my home made bread and have told me they would like it if I never buy bread again! That is indeed fine praise. We spent the beginning of the week going to the allotment after work, we need to empty the pallet compost bin as it is collapsing. We are currently at 2/3 of the way through the first side. Once it is empty I will be rebuilding it.

    Stephanie had a Jubilee party at school on Friday where they could bring in a food treat to enjoy. I had forgotten (oops!) Thursday night I asked what she would like to buy and she said I don't want to go to the shops can we make choc chip cookies? So we did;

    They were yummy and best of all the ingredients were already in the cupboard.
     Yesterday Dylan and I decided that we wanted a barbecue for dinner. I bought one of the £5 barbecue packs in Iceland's. We cooked less than half of it; the rest will be saved for another day. I made the bread rolls myself. I used the recipe I got from Astra for making a loaf and just split it into roll shapes after kneading. I had much more success with the round buns than forming the sausage shaped buns, I need to work on those more.

    Now my bread bin is filled with scrummy fresh bread rolls. Perfect :-)

    As well as all this I have managed to begin decorating the hall and have moved flowers out of seeds trays into their final positions in the garden. I uppotted my tomatoes as they were outgrowing their little pots, but I fried my poor little seedlings, I forgot to open the 'door' on my little greenhouse before going to work the other day, my garden is a sun trap so very warm even on the not as scorching as it had been days. So poor little things now look cremated I need to get some new ones now or will have no lovely tomatoes this summer.

    Saturday, 19 May 2012

    Independence day challenge

    I've not got around to writing a challenge post for a couple of weeks so I am doing a post spanning the past couple of weeks as I can't remember exactly what slots into where since I last posted.

    1. Plant something
    I have panted lots of different seeds over the last few week as many of the previously planted ones have not survived. I have planted squash- butternut and pumpkin, peas, beans, Brussels, cucumbers and a couple of varieties of tomatoes. I have also potted up some that had outgrown their previous pots I am hoping to plant them out properly in the next couple of weeks.
    2. harvest something
    I have harvested some rhubarb, cabbage and leeks.
    3.preserve something
    I have frozen 3 cabbages for later use. I have yet to do something with the leeks.
    4. waste not
    I have donated a lot of plastic/ cardboard waste to the school junk modelling trolley meaning it gets used again.
    5. want not
    I have bought a LOT of yellow labelled foods I rarely buy anything else it seems! I have also got some plant pots which were left out by another allotmenteer with a note saying they were free, I have bought some home and planted into them. As there were still a lot there nearly a fortnight after they were first placed there I have taken some more; I am planning on taking them into school as another teacher is trying to improve her outdoor area and do some planting with her class.
    6. eat the food
    We have been eating a lot of homemade bread as well as [reserved food out of the freezer and jam.
    7. build community food systems
    By taking in the plant pots for another class to use I am helping do this as the children learn about where the food comes from.
    8. skill up
    I have learnt to make snail/slug traps that work. A little gross to empty but there are a lot less on my cabbages now. I put some beer (left over from Christmas) into old plastic party cups and 'planted' them amongst the cabbages and they worked; lots of slugs and snails to empty out when I went down a few days later. RESULT!

    Tuesday, 15 May 2012

    Shampoo rave!

    Just to be clear, this is not a sponsored post. I am writing an honest review on a product I have found and love!

    I have very greasy hair, I hate washing it daily yet I have not previously found any shampoo that makes my hair clean for more than 24 hours, most of them work much less. When shopping the other week I found this shampoo on sale in the 99p shop. I love a bargain and the packaging says 97% natural so it appealed to my eco-friendly wannabe side. I am very pleased with the results in the 1st wash my hair was feeling soft and non greasy so much so that I have not needed to wash it for 2-3 days at a time RESULT!

    So what is this amazing shampoo? I hear you ask. Here it is;

    Naked Detox 2 in 1 Shampoo
    I am doing some more reading up on their products on their website here I must say I'm liking what I have read so far; recycled packaging, plant based products, no animal testing. I also like the price I paid, the bottle I bought in the 99p shop is on the website for £3.99. What a fantastic bargain!! I would never have paid that much for it, especially with not knowing how well the product works for me. However, now I have tried it if I can't get it in the 99p shop again I would pay more for it. Now I wonder what other products I can buy.......

    Sunday, 13 May 2012

    Bank holiday

    When the children found out last Monday was a bank holiday they straight away asked if we could go camping. We sat together and decided on where we would go we decided on staying at a farm in Pett. It was a fantastic escape from it all site, it was a field set in the woods. The bits I was most impressed with were the composting toilets and that we were allowed to have proper camp fires. Here are some of the pictures from our stay;

    It was a Fantastic site, we are hoping to go back again in the next half term. It worked out at £15.50 per night. I took food from the cupboards for us to eat while we were away, all I bought whilst we were there was some wood for the fires and some eggs from the farm- £1 for 6 fresh free range eggs such a bargain that I bought a dozen to bring home with us.

    Friday, 4 May 2012

    May's happy list

    Joining in with Astra, Here are my 10 reasons to be happy in May;

    1. I'm having a weekend away with my children thanks to the bank holiday! Our 1st camping trip of the year.

    2. Longer days; means I wake up in the day light and get home from work in the day light. I am awake/ working the same length of time it just feels better when I see more daylight.

    3. I have learnt to bake bread that my children like, they complained this week when I gave them shop bought bread :-)

    4. I made my new picnic blanket, so the sun has to come out now so that we can trial it.

    5. My beautiful children :-)

    6. I have a large amount saved so that I can buy my new car in the next couple of months, only a little more saving to go.

    7. There are strawberries forming on the plants in my hanging baskets.

    8. There is a half term coming up so I'll get to spend lots more time with my children.

    9. I have just had a girls night out, and have another planned for in a couple of weeks.

    10. Life is good.

    Thursday, 3 May 2012

    Swoon quilt

    Back in January when I said I was going to join in the Swoon-a-long I never imagined it would take me almost 4 months to complete! I finally finished it today;

    I have been meaning to make a red quilted picnic blanket for about 2 years so this swoonalong finally gave me the opportunity to finally put this into action. The various fabrics used were either bought for eventually being turned into a picnic blanket, leftovers from various other projects I have done or were given to me by family members. The dotty material I used for the backing is a fleece blanket I picked up in a discount store for this. I decided to use this and no wadding as it was more cost effective. I am very pleased with the result.

    Must dash my second batch of bread should be near ready for baking..

    Wednesday, 2 May 2012

    Something beautiful

    I'm having a bit of a 'blue' day, feeling a bit down in the dumps. Usually when I feel like this I go into the garden and study something like this;

    But today not even the way the rain drops have delicately fallen on  the petals has helped lift my mood. I am off in such of wine, choc and a film. Perhaps that will be more successful!