Reels

A month or two ago, my friend Claire asked me if I was interested in giving a home to her Nan’s tin of old cottons. Obviously I squealed a big ol’ yes!

They arrived in a beautiful old tin.  Not a tin ids usually choose, but definitely beautiful with it's retro still life decoration!

They arrived in a beautiful old tin. Not a tin I’d usually choose, but definitely beautiful with it’s retro still life decoration!

What a beautifully satisfying sight. Perfectly packed, creating a perfect pattern.

What a beautifully satisfying sight. Perfectly packed, creating a perfect pattern.

These are what I call 'proper' cotton reels! No cheapo flimsy plastic- all lovely wooden reels.

These are what I call ‘proper’ cotton reels! No cheapo flimsy plastic- all lovely wooden reels.

The promise of beautiful colours to be revealed!

The promise of beautiful colours to be revealed!

As you see, I was not disappointed!

As you see, I was not disappointed!

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 <3  :)  <3

<3 :) <3

A Quest for Self Improvement.

Hello Darlings.

Sorry I’ve not been around so much for a while now. I’m finding my little chaps to be at a rather demanding age at the moment, they have to be watched so much, and when they are napping, or I can sweet talk Mini Moo into watching them for a while, I like to try and get a handle on some housework!

We jollied off to Cornwall on holiday last week, and I intend to put some lovely photos up and tell you all about that very soon, but for the moment I’m going to tell you all about my quest for self improvement.

As I’m sure you know, I’m a larger lady, and I’ve never really been very fit. Sport has always been my nemesis so after school days were over I just shunned the concept really.

I’m generally quite at ease with my build and my figure. I’m a positive kind of girl as y’all probably know by now! But for a while now, Brian and I have been commenting that we’d like to lose a little weight and be a bit fitter. Then with the holiday on the horizon, I decided I should progress from “We really should try and get a bit fitter”, to actually doing something about it.

A lot of my friends seem to be taking up running just lately and for some reason the idea really appeals to me. I think its because its such a self contained sport; something I can do on my own with no specialist equipment and without it taking too much time out of my day.

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I researched the Couch to 5k program, and it looks great, but I wasn’t fit enough to even begin that, so I simply decided to walk. I began by walking about a mile, and built it up, walking every other day, until now I am aiming at a 3 mile walk most days. My first target has been to be able to do the first Couch to 5k workout.

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Well now, as much as I can work on my fitness, which really was all I was going for in the beginning, it became clear that in order to really be able to run, I would probably have to lose some weight. And so instead of diving into a non-sustainable crash diet, I’ve decided to focus on clean and healthy eating.

On holiday, we ate from a local farm shop; all organic and locally grown. Check out those amazingly vibrant carrots! And look at these delicious strawberries too!

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Lovely stuff!

Do you remember me mentioning my Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook “It’s All Good”? Well, I’ve added a new book to the clean eating cookbook arsenal. I’d heard about it and seen these lovely ladies on TV, but like so many thoughts that I have, my “ooh I must look up that book” got wafted out of my brain in a whirlwind of children and housework! Then, my ridiculously beautiful cousin Susanna mentioned it and I finally looked it up. Ooh it’s a good’un! I decided a birthday money investment was on the cards.

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Worth every penny.

I’ve tried a few recipes. Firstly this quick and simple one-

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Courgette salad. Mine isn’t quite as pretty as the picture in the book I grant you, but for ridiculously few calories I’ve been so full from eating it at lunch that I had to delay eating my supper!

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And what was supper? It was this delightful little number-

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Lamb meatballs with Cauliflower Tabbouleh.

I don’t think I’ve ever told you before about how much I love cauliflower. It’s so under rated and yet oooh its delish! Genuinely, I’m quite the closet cauliflower freak. One night on holiday when I didn’t know what to have to supper, I just ate a whole baked cauli to myself! #crazylady

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The cauliflower gets all grated up and then steamed and mixed with other beautiful vibrant ingredients.

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To make a mixture pulsing with goodness!

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I have to admit to being a duffer and forgetting to take a snap of the meatballs, so I’m afraid you’ll just have to imagine those. Think small bitesize nuggets of….. meatball-iness. :)

And the consequence was….

Well, I have almost lost a stone which is lovely! Also, just the other day I reached my first fitness target and completed the first Couch to 5k workout! How epic is that!!!

That is 3 and a half weeks on my healthy eating, and just over a month of walking, and GREAT RESULTS ALREADY!

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I hope you are all happy and healthy out there in blogland aswell, and I shall be back very soon. x

Jam Tarts!

Life is still a whirlwind here. Not long now until the holidays! I can’t wait, I do love having all my chickies at home. Of course I also have a big birthday looming… the big 3-0! Then off we jolly to Cornwall for a week awsell!

Nothing particularly exciting is happening just yet though, its all just domestic routine that I’m swamped in at the moment. And I do love it. I love to be home with my children, bringing them up, seeing all the firsts. The other day was another first for my little chaps- first ever JAM TART!

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It was a messy affair! I was glad Brian was home to help me clear up afterwards.

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There was jam everywhere.

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This face that Disco Boy is pulling is known, in this house, as a “salmon face”. It is a happy face despite what it may look like! Mini Moo came up with the name for it, because its “the sort of face I pull when I’m made to eat salmon”.

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Dunking has also been discovered. Now they eat real food pretty much all the time, these boys LOVE to dunk as much as possible in ketchup.

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I haven’t had any of the jam tarts myself though, as I am trying to get fitter and lose some weight. I did treat myself to a white wine spritzer with strawberries though last night. I had just walked two and a half miles though…

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All other treats shall be kept of the ‘magazine’ variety!

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Looks good huh? I’ll let you know as I haven’t had chance to properly dive in yet!

See you all very soon! x

Nuggets

Hello ducklings!

It’s still all go here. I decided to try and make use of the little nuggets of time I often have while hanging around in between other occupations. For example, five minutes sat in the car before collecting the girlies from school, two minutes while something is heating on the hob- these little wisps of time add up! So I thought I would try and jot things down on my Evernote app to then mash together into a blog post.

Here’s one I wrote last night. (Don’t be fooled by the time being wrong in the top corner, that’s just when I did the screenshot!)

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I even snapped a pic of me looking frazzled!

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Stuck in the car with three young children for half an hour?! Gaaaah!

Mini has gone off on another trip today, and Tron has one on Thursday aswell. It’s not just me who has a busy life at present!

There’s several projects on the go here for me to tell you about next time. I’ve just made a canvas for our living room wall, and also it’s time to start making end of term gifts for the girls teachers… I’ll be back soon to tell you all about it. X

Life Never Stops

Hello everyone! I’m sorry I’m so scarce at the moment, life is just so full. It’s ironic really, life is so full and I could tell you so much, yet BECAUSE life is so full, I don’t have the time!

Here are some pictures for the moment. I shall try and write something more exciting and cohesive soon. xxx

Ooh hello!

Ooh hello!

Feeling happy and healthy, if a little tired just at the moment!

Feeling happy and healthy, if a little tired just at the moment!

The joy of finally sitting down in an evening and noticing that Brian has recorded Barry Manilow at the BBC for me! :) x

The joy of finally sitting down in an evening and noticing that Brian has recorded Barry Manilow at the BBC for me! :) x

New library book from which I have been trying a few recipes.  I'm not a Tana Ramsey fan, but I thought I'd give her book a go.

New library book from which I have been trying a few recipes. I’m not a Tana Ramsey fan, but I thought I’d give her book a go.

Big success was this one- Butternut squash spaghetti lasagne.

Big success was this one- Butternut squash spaghetti lasagne.

Homemade egg fried rice.  A favourite of mine, super simple, I'll share my 'recipe' sometime if you're interested.... x

Homemade egg fried rice. A favourite of mine, super simple, I’ll share my ‘recipe’ sometime if you’re interested…. x

Evening downtime, watching Twilight and crocheting in bed!

Evening downtime, watching Twilight and crocheting in bed!

A reward and chore chart  to combat some challenging behaviour from Mini Moo.

A reward and chore chart to combat some challenging behaviour from Mini Moo.

Summer garden fun.

Summer garden fun.

Followed by coke floats!

Followed by coke floats!

Cupcakes for little chaps.

Cupcakes for little chaps.

Yum yum!  And check out that big unruly tuft of hair round his ears!!!

Yum yum! And check out that big unruly tuft of hair round his ears!!!

Hair so tufty in fact, that what's that?!

Hair so tufty in fact, that what’s that?!

Yup, it's a quaver.  Wedged behind my son's ear, tangled in a tuft!

Yup, it’s a quaver. Wedged behind my son’s ear, tangled in a tuft!

So Brian got his clippers out and we gave the boys a trim.  Number 5 all over.  Not Brian's best picture (sorry dear), but the light catches Thunderpants blonde crewcut very nicely in this particular pic!

So Brian got his clippers out and we gave the boys a trim. Number 5 all over. Not Brian’s best picture (sorry dear), but the light catches Thunderpants blonde crewcut very nicely in this particular pic!

Some of Little Tron's work that I saw at parents evening.  I have two excellent little girlies so I do!

Some of Little Tron’s work that I saw at parents evening. I have two excellent little girlies so I do!

Hula hoop practice.

Hula hoop practice.

And the green hex blanket plods on.

And the green hex blanket plods on.

:) :) :)

Ten Random Facts

I read a fabulous blog post a month or so ago, over on Coco Rose Diaries ( http://cocorosetextiles.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/ten-random-facts.html ) which had ten random facts about the blogger. I really enjoyed reading it, and thought it was such a simple yet super idea! So here come my own ten random facts.

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1. I bought my first pair of ‘serious’ trainers in fifteen years the other day, being as I have started running. They are absolutely amazing and solved all my shin splints problems!

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These are the ones I have! They are actaully mens, but they were more comfortable.

2. I am currently watching Michael Palin’s New Europe on TV. I really enjoyed this series so I was glad to stumble across it on the Travel channel this evening. I’ve never been hungry to travel, but just lately I seem to have got the itch. I’d love to visit Russia, that’s number 1 on my list. I know its a bit morbid, but I’d like to visit the room where Rasputin was murdered!

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Obviously that is Alan Rickman as Rasputin, I’m not completely dense. But any opportunity to sneak in a bit of Rickman! ;)

3. Following on slightly from the above fact, I would love to learn to speak Russian, and a few years back I taught myself the Russian alphabet. I used a few sources on the net for this, one being a clip from Russian Sesame Street!

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4. I bought a second hand bike yesterday. I intended to do some ‘easy’ cycling to build some fitness in a lower impact fashion. I have to say though I am finding it terribly hard going! You may never forget HOW to ride a bike, but you sure do lose the fitness! I have actually found the run and walk easier!

The bike I have is just a basic, kind of rusty mountain bike in silver and purple. But I’d love to get good enough at riding it that it would be worth saving up for something as beautiful as this ->

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5. I have a profile on Day Zero Project. If you’ve never been on there, just Google it and go explore. Basically, its an online way of making ‘Bucket List’ type of goals. I haven’t set myself any targets that are too outlandish because I would like them to be things that are do-able in my life, rather than it just being a list of dreams.

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One of the first goals I completed was to walk up to Glastonbury Tor. It was an amazing day and an amazing acheivement.

6. I love Facebook and Pinterest, but find Twitter strange.

7. I really like good quality art/drawing apps. I love the amazing artistic effects that can be achieved. David Hockney did an whole exhibition of pieces he ‘painted’ on the app ‘Brushes’.

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There’s the David Hockney above, and following is my own humble attempt.

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8. About five years ago I made a list of 50 novels I would like to read. I chose a wide range, including old and modern, lesser and better known. I still, of course, haven’t read them all, but I have got through a fair few. It’s funny you know, because I made a point of including books that I would never usually give a second glance, and have still really enjoyed most of them. There have only been two that I couldn’t finish.

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A suprisingly un-put-down-able read was Fathers and Sons, which I LOVED.

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And less to my tastes, was Housekeeping. It’s a beautifully written and perfectly atmospheric novel, but I found it too slow and bleak for my liking.

I’ll put my list up on a separate page if you’d like to see it…. check up on the menu bar shortly! :)

9. I am so obsessed with Harry Potter that certain phrases when I hear them, cue my brain to complete them in my mind in Harry Potter style. For example I heard on the radio just yesterday- “The Minister for….” and my head says “MAGIC”! Also, and this may have been on the very same radio bulletin, “A representative for the misuse of….” and my head screamed “MUGGLE ARTIFACTS OFFICE”. If anyone ever mentions “Red hair and pale complexion”, I think “Must be a Weasley”. Also, I quite often find myself saying “Sirius-ly” instead of “seriously”.

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10. I am really rather tired and sleepy at present, so I think it may be time for a Jaffa cake to fuel my journey up the stairs to bed.

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Night all! xxx

Maybe I could….

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RUN!

Yes, maybe I could run. Maybe I am far too overweight and actually it will cause injury. But I need to try.

So yesterday evening I dusted off my manky battered old Nikes that I had when I was 15 years old (which worryingly, come July will equal HALF MY LIFE ago!) and gave it a go.

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I roped in the assistance of two little helpers (Mini Moo and Little Tron!) to run slightly ahead so that when I ran I could pass it off to frightened onlookers as me chasing my unruly children, and also just for a bit of company. I figured it would do them good and help them sleep. I have to say, they loved it! Seeing Mummy run is an extremely rare occurence and induced fits of excited squealy laughter from Little Tron especially.

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Well, I achieved my first goal although I must say it was HARD! You’ll laugh when you hear what my first goal was….. I wanted to run one tenth of a mile. ONE TENTH! That really is nothing. But I did it and I feel very proud of myself. And also a bit ashamed being as that was all I could do. But mostly, I can’t wait to get out and do it again! After the teensy run, we then had a brisk walk for half an hour. Looking at Google Maps I think we covered, in total including the tidgy run, about a mile and a half.

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Today I have had terrible shin splints and have ached royally. The shin splints, my sources tell me, will be helped with some proper running shoes. So tomorrow we are off to try and get some better, more cushioned, less old and battered trainers.

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I’ve had a rest day today, but tomorrow evening I plan to get out and do it again. It’s funny, but as much as I’ve ached today I can’t wait to get out again! It’s made me feel very empowered, very “YES I CAN!”

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Good grief, look at those trainers! Half the sole is missing!

I’ll keep you up to date with how I progress! x

Apologies!

Hello my darlings!

I’m sorry I’ve been kind of absent just lately. Half term was a busy old time, and then I’ve had a bit of a period of feeling kind of low. Also over last weekend my little Moo was poorly and had a funny turn and had to go into hospital briefly.

Here’s a couple of pics, and I promise to be back with a more coherent post very soon!

Half term seaside trip!

Half term seaside trip!

Half term Pizza Hut trip. That there is some ice cream factory fun! X

Half term Pizza Hut trip. That there is some ice cream factory fun! X

Some messing around!

Some messing around!

Rainbow loom bracelets!

Rainbow loom bracelets!

Trying to be more inventive with feeding the boys.

Trying to be more inventive with feeding the boys.

And a poorly Moo. X

And a poorly Moo. X