Saturday, 31 March 2012

A Princess and a Pretty!

How grown up does Evie look in this shot - she was heading out to play with the boys in the backgarden and its not often she lets me fasten her hair back so i snapping away. I was taken aback by how grown up she looks - wheres my baby gone!?
Thanks to the fabulous Lucy at Attic24 for the tutorial on how to make this beautiful petal cushion, I will be making one of the flower blankets from Adikeren on Etsy to go with it for Evies big girl bed!

**I got my first page proofs through from the publishers and it looks fab if i do say so myself!!** SO EXCITED!!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Happy Birthday Jake :)

Our 3rd born isnt so little anymore, and growing by the day! 9 years old today!Happy birthday sweetheart! xxx

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Beautiful Geneva!

Me and mum had a fabulous time in Geneva this weekend :) I won £1000 of holiday vouchers last year as part of my Miracle mum prize (when I met Kirstie Allsopp etc) so I spent half on a weekend away for me and mum :) As it was part of mums Christmas pressie I let her choose where we would go and Geneva it was!
We arrived around 3pm on Friday and left at 9am on Monday so had 2 full days of sightseeing and wandering around the beautiful streets! It was certainly expensive (at £6.50 for a glass of orange juice!) and £25 for a pizza!! EEK We had a fabulous time though and must have walked for miles around the old town and along Lake Geneva. 3 boat rides and a solar train ride later we were aching from head to toe and having clocked up the miles by foot retired back to the room each night to sample some Swiss delicacies including jelly filled pies we saw being made on Hairy Bikers last week! lolWe will go back and have made a promise that when the lottery win comes in (and it will!!) we are heading back to stock up on some fabulous clothes from the likes of Chanel and stunning jewellery from Rolex and Chopard! *swoon*
We visited the United Nations - quite impressive and overwhelming, not sure why but I felt really glad I had visited it while we were there!
The Broken Chair. It symbolises opposition to land mines and cluster bombs, and acts as a reminder to politicians and others visiting Geneva.
It was a 10 minute visit but it was cool say we had seen the United Nations!

**edited as i posted wrong info last night about the chair - I was tired!**

Next on the bucket list.....VENICE!!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Eye candy - part 3!

Go grab a coffee, you will need it...honestly go now before I start..I will wait :)

Ok, are you sitting comforably, then I will begin!
I have seen so many blogs lately linking to the latest Selina Lake book Homespun Style. Wondering what all the fuss was about, I looked at the photos shared and ooh'd and ahh'd and it happened to just fall into my basket (isnt it amazing how often that happens with online shops!) lol
It arrived and with trepidation and fear of over hyping this book I sat ready to look through! I cant be the only one who gets excited at looking over other peoples homes and 'stuff' - Am I?Coffee in hand and Evie settled in front of the PS3 playing football with Ethan, everyone else squirrelled away to their rooms doing homework etc I decided to indulge in a little more eye candy....oooh ...and ahhh, oops did I just spill some coffee....Hubby doesnt get it - says theres too much 'stuff' - I love 'stuff'! I love seeing piles of tea towels, trinket bowls full of sparkles, crockery piled until it looks like it might topple over...
**sigh** this book makes me happy! :)

As if that wasnt enough I want to share a treasure with you...OH MY WORD this book is to die for! A hardback book with photography to die for! Each and every project will have you following my little conversation with self, it went a little like this..

Oooh im so making those birds...Ooh that cushion is gorgeous, I will make that one first..How cute are those boots, those first...or the jumper...Nooooooo that one first!
How delicious is this crib! I know I cant make that but heck how adorable is that little rosebud blanket!
I so need that pouffee...and cushions!!
*sigh and sigh again* This happy bunny just got a little happier! :)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Eye Candy - Part 2!

Didnt want to leave you hanging too long before sharing some more pics from my new books!

I love sitting outside in the summer making crochet blankets etc (I taught myself in the summer of 09 - here) so it only stood that I would spend some of my trade in pennies on new crochet books in the run up to this years sunny season!

The lovely Deanne from Quirky Boots recommended this book to me and boy does she know what I like!
Crocheted throws and wraps is filled with everything from lace wraps to heavy shaker style throws this book sent me into a tizz on what to try thinking this Navajo blanket is a must...
...or maybe this puff baby sweet?!!

Next up is the Cute & Easy crocheted Baby Clothes book - this book is so colourful and full of pretty accessories that look easy enough to make all the way up to a wardrobe of beautiful dresses and shawls and jackets!Tomorrow - be still my heart I have saved the best for last!

I will share pictures (believe me it will be picture heavy!) from the gorgeous Homespun Style (ive seen this on so many blogs lately and now I know why!!) and Knitting at Home. (JUST WOW!)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Eye candy!

I live in a house with 5 smelly boys - I need some escape!

I find that escape in the pages of many delicious magazines and books, I love looking at the backgrounds in the shots and not just the projects - the whole scene grabs me and the colours send me into a tizz of wanting to bake cakes, make goodies and completely overhaul my home!
Thanks to Amazons new trade in system i recently sent in a load of cookbooks, textbooks and an odd game or two that we no longer used. The refund had no sooner hit the account and was gone, sucked into oblivion by my overflowing basket! (I dont think ive ever had an empty basket at Amazon!)

So today I thought I would share some eye candy with you...

This oh-so-gorgeous-I-want-one-in-my-size cardigan that im going to make for Evie! From The Close Knit Gang book. So many wonderful things in here for boys and girls. Trendy with a cool Swedish feel to the book and layout of it all - I can see me using this book for quite a few projects!
I adore this book, there are so many cute little projects in here which shouldnt be too hard including this pretty smock dress. There is a fabulous little jacket plus another cardigan that I want to make from here so again - another book that will be well used! Essential Kids by Debbie Bliss.
Another book by Debbie Bliss - Special Knits. This book really is adorable and holds 22 fabulous patterns for special handknits....Im in love with the little jacket on the cover which led me to buy this book in the first place! Then I flicked over the pages and theres one nice thing after another ...and how cute is this ribbon edged cardigan!
Im off to have a browse through the others and drool some more but I will be back with a little snippit from each of the other books tomorrow....for now im off to grab a coffee and escape a little :)

*Im flying to Geneva with my mum tomorrow at 10am so have scheduled posts for the next few days - will share photos etc when I get back - fingers crossed my toe behaves this weekend!*

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Kenco Millicano V Carte Noire

The funny thing with blogging is that things come in fits and starts. Not only was I asked to review the new Kenco Millicano stick packs but also review the Carte Noire Instinct coffee!

I decided to do a little one V the other challenge with hubby to see which he prefered and which he would drink again (ok who am I kidding, if hubby could get a drip set up to supply him with any caffeine 24/7 he would be happy!)

These are the stats:

Carte Noire coffee - a tasty and silky blend of coffee that smelled delicious. Hubby drinks every drop in his cup so noticed that there were some 'bits' in the bottom of the cup that dont dissolve properly. Me, Im lucky if I get half way down the cup before its too cold to drink so I didnt even notice! The granuals did mix with plain hot water to use in cakes and it did give a strong but not over powering taste. Overall - yes we would drink this coffee again and I would use it in baking!

Kenco Millicano Stick Packs - Now these I can see me carrying round in case of caffeine emergency! Cute little packs that you can slip in your pocket/bag. Practical, useful and the same great Millicano taste as always. Hubby loved this too and was pleased when he could drink it all - me, I still havent finished a whole cup! LOL

A word from Carte Noire -

New Carte Noire Instinct is a Wholebean Instant coffee, meaning all the qualities of finely milled roasted coffee beans have been captured and combined with Carte Noire’s finest instant coffee to create a deliciously silky and deeply aromatic cup of coffee that will seduce your palate with every sip.

Simply add one to two spoonfuls to your cup, mix with hot water just off the boil, then sit back, enjoy a me-time moment and be seduced by the distinctive taste of Carte Noire Instinct.

Carte Noire is a premium coffee with a French heritage; made from a delicious blend of 100% Arabica beans to create a rich, velvety and aromatic coffee. This is the first major product launch for the brand since it came to the UK in 1996. Available in all major supermarkets, the Carte Noire range includes Instant, Roast and Ground, Cappuccino, TASSIMO and now NEW Carte Noire Instinct.

Find out more about Carte Noire Instinct and request a sample at

A word from Millicano -

Kenco Millicano is Kenco’s first ‘Wholebean Instant coffee’, a clever combination of instant coffee and finely-milled beans that is quite simply the closest thing to ‘proper’ coffee in an instant. It offers the convenience of instant with the quality and taste reminiscent of roast and ground coffee.

This week sees the introduction of Kenco Millicano stick packs; individual handbag sized packs so coffee lovers can enjoy delicious Kenco Millicano wherever and whenever they want.

Small in size and individually wrapped, they are the perfect addition to any coffee lover’s handbag – just pop one in your handbag to enjoy your favourite Kenco Millicano coffee on the go; perfect for all the busy women out there who need a quick boost!

Kenco Millicano is £3.99 for the 100g tin and £2.99 for the 85g refill pack. Kenco Millicano stick packs will be available from 14th February 2012 with an RRP of £1.99 per box of ten. For more information on Kenco Millicano visit

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Working in groups of 5...

Thats what I have decided!

Im going to work in groups of 5 from now on, knitting, crochet, baking, name it... 5 it is!
I love starting new projects and get completely sucked in, you know that 'oh my goodness where did the day go' feeling? That 'Im sure I was going to do something before I got sucked into this project' feeling?!So far today my working in groups of 5 theory has worked - I did 5 rows of my vintage crochet line blanket, 5 (ok 6) rounds of petals on my blossom cushion, 5 rows of the chunky beach/picnic blanket, wrote up 5 recipes and worked out theres 500 new projects I want to do! lol
Tomorrow I may go back to working on one project until Im done or I may stick to the 5 theory...heck I may even start 5 new projects....ooooh I like that idea!! ;)

Monday, 19 March 2012

Mothers Day!

Breakfast in bed - check!
Day with no housework - check!
Hubby made dinner - check!
Spend from 9.30pm until 5.30am in Accident and Emergency with a dislocated toe! - CHECK!

**If you dont like feet look away**

Yep, what a way to finish off an otherwise perfect day. Rolling around on the floor after a run in with Scott (poor kid was in tears thinking it was his fault but we were all messing around), foot went one way, toe went the other!
Hubby dropped me at A&E where i sat feeling worse and worse (he had gone home to keep an eye on the kids as the wait time was said to be around 4 hours), lip went tingly which is an indication im going to pass out (believe me i know the feeling after passing out every Monday during assembly at school when they made us stand for half an hour!) - apprently I went a lovely shade of yellow/green then all I remember is coming too almost upside down on a trolley in the hospital hallway! There i stayed until 2 x-rays, 4 shots of local (in through the same two holes to try and ease the pain a little - nope didnt work!) and a dose of gas & air later they tried twice to pop the bone back into place - Oh My Word!! Gas and air took away all the pain of childbirth but didnt touch the pain of my toe last night!
Im now strapped up and have been told not to wear heels for a while - heck im not sure i can even get shoes on let alone heels!

** bonus though - at least I looked skinny on the x-ray** ;)

Flying to Geneva on Friday so Im hoping the ache and swelling will have gone down by then!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Goodbye 6lb!!

Im such a happy bunny this morning... and not just because the boys came bursting into the bedroom at silly o clock with a bottle of water for me for Mothers Day breakfast!

Ive lost 6lb this week - wohoo!! The kids are all trying to help me and offer me water (hence this mornings early shout!), they are almost pompom waving each time I eat a salad - hmmm maybe this losing weight is a little overdue! lol

Ive realised that I need to have something different to eat to keep me interested and motivated and thats exactly what ive been doing this past week. Im gathering lots of inspiration to start making my own salads etc and calorie counting but for now its just so much easier to rely on those little dishes of salad that are already prepared.

Piccolo salad, Chilli chicken noodle salad with pomegranate for dessertChicken and Basil Couscous with pineapple for dessertFalafel and butternut squashAs its Mothers Day today im going to have Piccolo salad for lunch then a little Sunday Dinner as a treat!

Im also thinking a little crochet while watching the first F1 race of the season and a lot of relaxing - what are your plans for today??

Friday, 16 March 2012

A Pretty Crafty Home!

Isnt it wierd where the internet takes us?! I would probably never have found this fabulous blog if it wasnt for a forum, who posted a link to Ravelry, who had a blanket that had been hooked by a lady who had this blog!

Did I tell you how thankful I am for the internet? Well if not, then lets just say I am a smiley happy bunny right now! :) I have spent the last two days browsing Sandra-CherryHeart blog and all of the links down the right hand side - boy am I brimming with ideas and inspiration now - go take a look, I promise you will lose hours but gain so much more that you simply wont care! :)

Anyways! Back to the reason for this post - I have joined the quest for a Pretty Crafty Home - basically there are some ground rules (...good ground rules!)

1. Tidy, tidy, tidy and clean, clean clean!
For me this means try to keep on top of 5 kids! It is so easy to let things slide but when theres only 2 people at home leaving things around thats only 2, 4, 6 things....for us its 7, 14, 21 - see how easy that builds up! EEK!

2. If it has to live here, it should be pretty.
With 4 boys im always going to struggle with making things look pretty but now that we have Evie i have back up!! LOL

3. If I don't like how it looks, and I can change it, I will.
Not knocking down walls or anything but if i can change it within a budget then I will :)

4. Thrift, re-use and recycling are my watch words.
Im a carboot and shabbychic charity shop fiend so spending pennies on pretties doesnt make too much sense to me - as long as it is pretty and can be loved once again then its perfect :)

5. Crafting is king!
The most important thing of all. This project is all about home improvement through crafting. If it's home made and it makes me happier about my home then it's part of the project.

I have already started by taking a couple of pictues of things that need changing here, I have always proclaimed that my home is just that - a home - its lived in, its used and it contains 7 of us! I will start with the downstairs loo, kitchen dresser, fireplace and knitting nook!

The downstairs loo! It was awful when we moved in and so dark so the first thing i did was give it a coat of peppermint paint and cover the bottom half with wood panelling. It still looks bright but now looks boring and needs a pep! An injection of colour and some fabrics, the wood panelling still needs the edging pieces to finish off and could do with another coat of varnish.

The kitchen dresser.....aka the dumping ground! If it needs to be out of reach of the gets put here, if I need it for gets put here, if its something hubby got out of the cupboard but darent put back in case the precariously balanced contents may fall (...thats another story for some other day!) gets put on get the idea!

The fireplace - recently done and just decorated so i need to make it pretty! Change the pics in the white frame from Alice in Wonderland (i bought it for the babyshower last year and never got them changed!) Those money jars are for our caravan pennies (yes they are pretty empty! LOL) ...but we have only just started the fund hence the jars in full view as not to forget! Must find a better home for them!
The wool nook! Erm ok, so I get obsessed easily! Yes Im addicted to wool at the minute! There I said it - heck theres worse things I could be doing :)
I have more than one project on the go, the final ball of wool came for Evies bollero jacket yesterday so that got finished off last night! One project moved and the rest has been tidied into project bags leaving just my favourite (stripe blanket in progress) on show :) Yes, THE blanket heavily inspired by Sandras blog and the whole reason I ended up there in the first place! :)
OK, so thats one project done and the others still to do but its progress :) Baby steps :)

There are so many bits of our home that are full of bits and pieces, the need for storage is a huge issue and hubby is currently constructing built in shelves for the living room (as shown in the after pic of the wool corner!) I have so much to do that I have realised I cant get everything done in one go so the whole ethos behind the Pretty Crafty Home is ideal - Im going to work on sections at a time and carry on with carboot sales throughout the summer to get rid of lots that we no longer need and bring in things that make us happy and look pretty! :)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A day without electricity!

The council are renewing the telegraph poles in the area so we keep having days when the electricity is turned off...thankfully they are few and far between (but secretly im wishing they happened more often)!
As we had no internet (no bloggin, surfing etc), no cooker (no baking), no television (no background noise) I took Evie into Durham and we happened to take a detour into WHSmiths - bad move!! How many new cake mags are out there?! Yes i did take a few to the counter...ok so i bought 3 cake mags and the last Mollie Makes. (New one is out tomorrow so im guessing another trip is in order!)
Lunch was had at a local farm shop as MIL was visiting so we all went out (break from the diet as i had scampi and chips but tea is only salad so not too bad!), Evie got to play on the slide and a huge wooden house type climbeing frame...too cute!Back home to a little crochet while Evie had her nap and before the boys came in from school!

The electricity is now back on, photos downloaded and dinner in the oven for the kids ..... salad here i come! :)