Browsing Category:

Family

Redecorating The Girls’ Bedroom

KayCee and Ella

KayCee and Ella had the biggest room when we moved here. It made sense because between the two of them, they had much more stuff to store than Ant and I had.

We decorated the whole house using magnolia paint when we first bought it because we just wanted it clean and fresh for when we moved in.
The plan was to choose colours and style for each room at our leisure but it hasn’t really happened yet!

Girls’ Room

The girls’ room is still magnolia, it had the same curtains, carpet and light shade until a few months ago when we changed the curtains and it’s in great need of redecorating.
We bought a lovely cream carpet for their room when we first moved in but we’re regretting it now!
Within the first year, it had slime, felt tips and nail varnish dried into it and after 6 years, it’s now horribly stained.

KayCee and Ella's bedroom with new carpet - redecorating

Cheap Carpet

We’ve told the girls’ we will buy them new carpet when we do the redecorating but it’s going to be cheap carpet this time, especially as they regularly use super glue now to attach their fake nails; I just know it’s going to be dried into the carpet sooner or later!

The problem, now though, is that they can’t decide on colours! We may have to resort to splitting the room in two so they can each choose their own wallpaper and accessories but they’re going to have to make sure their carpet choice suits both sides!

After Christmas

I did plan to do the decorating in the next few weeks but I think it’ll be better if we wait until after Christmas.
They always get lots of new stuff at Christmas and it will all need storing somewhere, so if we wait until after Christmas, we can plan the storage accordingly.

Arguments and Stress

That photo up there may give the impression of two beautiful sisters who love being together but don’t be fooled; when it comes to their bedroom, they have very different ideas, which is another reason to leave it until after Christmas – I can put off the arguments and stress for as long as possible!

This is a collaborative post

No End Of School Questions This Year

KayCee and Ella

I started asking KayCee and Ella some end of school questions back in 2012.
It was KayCee’s last day at infants and Ella’s last day in reception.

They’ve answered the same set of questions every year since, except this year.
This year Covid-19 hit the world and school as we knew it had to drastically change.

I can’t actually remember when the schools closed or how long they’ve been off, I just know it feels like a very long time!
Both KayCee and Ella coped well with the lockdown. They didn’t moan about all the new restrictions, they understood why we had to have them and just got on with it.

I don’t think they worked as hard as they could have on their school work during lockdown but I’m confident they’ll be able to catch up when they get back to school properly.
If your children need some extra help before going back to school, check out Tutor Bot to find lots of online, educational games.

Fingers crossed, the schools and the school children will be able to get back to some sort of normality in September, although, what ‘normal’ will mean then is anybody’s guess!

So, while I haven’t got the answers to the end of school questions this year, I do have updated photos of my beautiful girls 🙂

KayCee
Ella

My Very Own Kitchen Adonis & Our Anniversary Menu

When Wayfair got in touch and asked me to take their latest interactive quiz: Dating Disaster or Recipe For Love, I decided to pass the link on to the SWH (super wonderful husband!).
The reason for this is because the kitchen in this house belongs to him and he does like his gadgets and utensils!
I’m happy to say he got 8 out 10 and was given the title of Kitchen Adonis 🙂

kitchen adonis - Wayfair dating disaster or recipe for love quiz results

I can see that he’s now going to expect everyone to call him Adonis whenever he’s in the kitchen!

Special Anniversary Dinner

I’m very lucky to have a kitchen adonis, however, especially now we’re in lockdown and won’t be able to have our week away at the end of April for our 15th wedding anniversary.
He’s going to cook us a special anniversary dinner instead and two of the children will be here sharing the day with us (KayCee’s moved in with her Nan to look after her while we’re on lockdown).

15th wedding anniversary menu

Ant has his own recipe for French Onion Soup. I’ll share it on another post soon. It’s absolutely delicious.

The dauphinoise potatoes recipe is from BBC Good Food and the shredded Brussels Sprouts with slow fried shallots is from myrecipes.com

The profiteroles recipe is from BBC Good Food.

Making The Best Of Lockdown

Even though we won’t be celebrating our wedding anniversary the way we had planned, we’re not going to let lockdown dampen our spirits!

The only way we’re going to get through this tough time is by being positive and focusing on making the best of things.
We’ll use the special dinner set, make a lovely table centrepiece and light candles.

I can’t wait!

I Ended Up In The Hospital – Again

We’d all been staying home as the government had asked us to, except for Ant who still has to go and check on his dad.
I didn’t mind staying home as there’s plenty to do to keep me occupied and I was quite looking forward to reading more and getting more book folding done.
Instead of having a relaxing Mother’s Day though, I ended up in the hospital.

Mother’s Day

On the 21st of March, just after lunch, I got up to make a coffee. Everything was normal until I sat down and found myself struggling to breathe.
It was as if I’d been on a fast run and anyone who knows me, knows I don’t run!
My chest was tight and it hurt to breathe in.

It carried on throughout the day, gradually getting worse.
It took me ages to get upstairs at bedtime because I had to stop on each step and get my breath back.

I didn’t sleep very well because I couldn’t breathe and when I got up on Mother’s day, I was shattered so I lay on the sofa.
After half an hour or so I got a pain on the left side of my chest and it was spreading into my armpit.

Ambulance

We decided to phone 111 but it was really busy so we went to the 111 website instead.
I put in our postcode and clicked start. The following page opened:

Ant phoned 999 after seeing the warning about tightening in the chest and within 10 minutes the ambulance arrived.

After doing all their checks, they said I needed to go to the hospital to have a blood test to check for heart problems.
I had to go on my own because they weren’t allowing family members to go to help minimise the spread of the virus.

Different A&E Procedures

Due to the coronavirus and my breathing difficulties, we weren’t allowed to go to the regular A&E. While in the ambulance I had to put a face mask on. We were sent to another entrance and a man took my temperature before we were allowed on the ward.

They did all the tests and got me to go through what happened again when the doctor came.
The nurse had trouble getting blood so another nurse tried and he didn’t have any luck either. They had to get the doctor to come and take the blood then put a cannula in.

I had to keep the mask on the whole time I was there and whenever a nurse came into the room, they had to put a mask, gloves and apron on.
Also, all visitors had been banned but Ant was allowed to drop me a bag off with everything I needed for a few days stay.

Medical Emergency Assessment Unit – MAEU

I was sent to the MAEU ward after a few hours. There were only 2 other ladies there and I got chatting to a lovely lady called Mandy.
We were allowed to take our masks off on this ward but the staff had to put masks, gloves and apron on whenever they came on the ward.

If they had to leave the ward for any reason they had to bin the mask, gloves and apron and put fresh ones on when they came back on the ward.

When I left the ward to go for a CT scan I had to put the mask on again. It was horrible trying to breathe with a mask on when you’re short of breath but obviously it had to be done.

A new lady in the bed across from us had dementia and she was shouting all night. Coupled with the beeps from all the machines and being woken for observations, I hardly got any sleep Sunday night.

Pulmonary Embolism

The CT scan showed I’d got a Pulmonary Embolism again. I was in the hospital for 10 days in 2009 when I had the first PE and I wasn’t looking forward to spending another 10 days in the hospital.

The ward was empty most of Monday then it started filling up in the evening.
It was noisy again and I was shattered. Around midnight they woke me again to transfer me to another ward.

I was wheeled, on my bed, to an isolation ward. I had my own room with a bathroom attached and to say the silence was golden would be an understatement!

Isolation

I stayed in the isolation room all day Tuesday and Wednesday and had a heart scan on Wednesday.

My results came back from the test they did for coronavirus when I was at A&E and thankfully it was negative.

Moved Again

In the middle of the night again, I was moved to another ward where no one had to wear masks.

The doctor came to see me on Thursday morning and told me I’d be on blood thinner tablets for the rest of my life because this was my second pulmonary embolism.

He also said that I could go home 🙂

After not seeing Ant or the kids since Sunday morning, I was so happy to be going home.

Still Tired

I’ve slept much better since I’ve been home but I’m still feeling tired all day. I had to have a nap yesterday and I’m thinking I might have to have another soon because I’m struggling to stay awake!

It’s been a bit stressful but I’m glad I won’t have to go through it again because the blood thinners will stop me getting another clot.

I’m so grateful for our wonderful NHS.

Thank you NHS

Decorating Update

Poor Ant has been left to finish the decorating on his own after I ended up in pain for a week with my hernia, after stretching to paint the walls on the first day we started decorating.
We finished the hall downstairs and my Treasure Hunt Bookcase wall canvas is looking lovely 🙂

treasure hunt bookcase from photowall
Treasure Hunt Bookcase from Photowall

He’s painted the stair steps black and the bookshelves white and fixed the floorboards on the landing upstairs. He’s ow painting the woodwork upstairs and will then move on to painting the rest of the walls.
The final job will be painting the floorboards on the landing.

The stair risers are still to do and I should be ok helping with that job because it doesn’t require any stretching at all! We’re going to paint the front of the risers white before painting each one a different colour ready for the book titles I’ve cut out of vinyl using my Cricut Maker.

Hopefully, we’ll get it finished this week and I can come back next week with the ‘After’ photos 🙂

Feeding the Squirrels

My mother-in-law has lots of squirrel visitors to her garden. They eat most of the food she leaves out for the birds and they’re always knocking the seed holders over and tipping the seed on the patio.
Her dog, Chichi loves sitting at the window watching the squirrels!

We had some mixed nuts in shells leftover from Christmas and this morning I took them for the squirrels.
We spent a good half hour watching them and taking photos 🙂

squirrel eating a nut
squirrel climbing up to the bird house
squirrel eating a nut in the bird house
squirrel on the bird house
squirrel in the tree
squirrel on the birdhouse
squirrel on the birdhouse
squirrels in the garden

KayCee and Veganuary

cartoon cow with a red 'no' circle on - veganuary
Image by jean-bernard Devaux from Pixabay

KayCee went on a school trip to France last month and on the coach on the way back, she had a conversation with one of her teachers about veganism.
She decided that she’d like to try being a vegan so asked if she could try Veganuary.

After having a discussion with Ant, we decided we’d fully support her.
Ant did some research into veganism as he wanted to be sure she was going to be eating healthily while eating this way for the month.

Two Weeks In

We’re two weeks into January and she was really enjoying being a vegan until she weighed herself and discovered that she’d lost 11lb in 2 weeks which puts her on the edge of the Under Weight category on the NHS height and weight chart.
We had another discussion and said we’re happy to keep on supporting her, however, we’d much prefer it if she chose to be a vegetarian while her body is growing and when she’s an adult she can then choose to be a vegan if she still wanted to.

To help her as much as we can, we’ve decided to make all family meals vegetarian-friendly.
Ant needs to cut down on red meat anyway and whilst I could never be vegan (could not do without milk, cheese and yogurt!), I’m quite happy to plan vegetarian family dinners.

Slimming World Recipes

I’ll now be posting a lot more Slimming World vegetarian recipes in the coming weeks.
I’m quite looking forward to trying lots of new recipes and hopefully, it’ll help keep me on the right track to lose weight this year.

KayCee drinking hot chocolate

If you’re trying Veganuary, we’d love to hear how you’re getting on. Please feel free to share your links or comments below 🙂

Happy New Year and a Look Back at 2019

I hope you all had a wonderful new year’s eve. Ours was a quiet one without the girls. Ella slept at her friend’s and KayCee went to her sister, Kellyann’s.
It was just Aiden, Ant and myself at home and Ant slept for most of the evening before waking about half eleven!
As usual, here’s my look back at 2019.

January

I completed my Goodreads challenge again.

My Year In books - Goodreads 2018 reading challenge

February

It was a frosty end to February. So cold but so pretty.

frosty trees

March

An email I got in February changed my life in March; I got sent a Cricut Maker machine to review.
Now, I know it sounds a bit dramatic saying it changed my life, but it truly did.

I’m self-employed and work from home. All my money was earned through my blog but since having the Cricut Maker and finding out I was actually quite good at paper crafting, I started making things and selling them.
I love working with the Cricut and hope to get lots more business this year.

Cricut Maker

April

As well as the Cricut Maker I also got sent an Easypress 2. I was very excited about being able to design t-shirts but a few months on and I’m not as enamoured!
I don’t enjoy making them as much as I enjoy paper crafting so now I only make t-shirts if KayCee or Ella want one making.

Ella wearing her new t-shirt

May

I finally got around to reading the Game Of Thrones book. I’d been wanting to read the series for a while but they’re so long I kept putting it off.
I really enjoyed it.

A Game Of Thrones Book Cover by George R.R. Martin

June

Work started on the garage for my new office/craft room. I was taking up too much space in the living room with the Cricut Maker so we needed a better solution.

notebooks and a pen

July

I ask KayCee and Ella a set of questions at the end of each school year. I love looking back on them.

KayCee
Ella

August

KayCee and Ella had their birthdays in August but now they’re getting older, they’re not wanting to be blogged about as much so I didn’t do the usual birthday blog posts this month.
In fact, there aren’t any personal posts in August except for a book review!

September

My new office/craft room was finally finished and it’s now called the studio 🙂
I love it so much!

my new studio

October

I was too busy making Christmas paper crafts in October to do any personal blogging.
I spent all day in the studio making advent carousels, nativity stars and Christmas tree decorations ready for my first craft fair.

November

The Christmas adverts started and I was pleased to see Kevin the Carrot was back again.

December

Apart from having terrible hernia pain that started just as our guests arrived for the Christmas Eve party and stayed with me all of Christmas Day, I still had a lovely Christmas.
Spending the day in hospital on Boxing Day wasn’t much fun either, especially as it meant I missed seeing the rest of my family.
As always, we were all spoilt by our friends and family and I had some lovely gifts.

Christmas day 2019

Well, that was my look back at 2019 and it was quite a good year for me.
Here’s to 2020 and hopefully, an even better year for everyone 🙂

Absolutely LOVE My New Studio!

I have a wonderful new studio where I can work on the blog, make brilliant(!) paper creations and photograph said creations without having to find somewhere with a nice background.

Since getting my Cricut earlier this year, I was slowly taking over the dining room table, bookcases, shelves and basically, that end of the room!
I bought an organiser trolley from Hobbycraft for my Cricut Maker as I got fed up with having to keep putting it away when dinner time came.

Hobbycraft rolling organiser

I also bought two other trolleys from Hobbycraft so I could organise my craft supplies a bit.
However, it got to the point where I really couldn’t fit anything else in the living room and the dining table was more of a craft table than somewhere to eat.

Ant’s Office

When we moved in here, Ant set up his office in the garage. We never planned to use the garage for the car and he needed all the space for all his computer ‘stuff’!

As time went on, the office got filled up with anything and everything and it was so cold in there during the Winter that it stopped being used.
The only time Ant had to go in there was to see to the server.

My New Studio

We decided to empty Ant’s office and turn it into an office/craft room for me. We’ve been trying to get it done all Summer but something always seemed to come up to stop us.
Finally, about 3 weeks ago, I decided to take the week off volunteering at the charity shop and use the time to get the office emptied.

Before Photos

Ant's office before I claimed it as my own!
ant's office before
Ant's office before the transformation
Ant's office before
Ant's office before

After Photos – My Lovely New Studio!

New studio
New studio - office desk and crafting desk

I haven’t got the monitor connected to anything yet. The plan is to set up a computer especially for use with the Cricut. At the moment I’m using a phone and whilst I can use it to make projects I’ve saved, I find it easier to create and make the projects on the laptop.

New studio - storage shelves

I love the A4 paper storage shelves. They were from Amazon and only cost about £12, I think. They’re very sturdy.

New studio - photo staging corner

This is my photo corner. I need to iron the background and sort out the one on the bench as it’s just loosely folded at the moment.

New studio - comfy chair and quilling storage

This is the old chair that I used when working in the living room. We got a new electric recliner and this one got put in the garage until we decided what to do with it.
Now it has a purpose again and I glad we found a use for it. I know it’s not the best looking chair but it’s comfy and that’s all that matters!

New studio - most important part - the coffee machine!

This is the most important corner because it houses my new coffee machine given to me by my lovely friend who does the weighing with me at Slimming World every week.

I love not having to go inside every time I need a coffee.

New studio - office desk
New studio - crafting corner - Cricut machine storage

This is my crafting desk. It is so wonderful to have everything to hand when I’m paper crafting.

New studio - crafting desk
New studio - office desk

Please excuse everything that is on the outside of the window; the covered bbq patio is out there and at the moment it is currently full to the brim with everything that came out of the garage!

I love it all so much, I’m even happier to be working from home now!

Back To School And College

Where the heck did those Summer holidays go?! I can’t quite believe it’s back to school already.
We didn’t do a Summer bucket list year due to both girls having plans with friends and family right through the Summer. We didn’t get a chance to go to the beach, to Daisy Made or on a family day out at all because they were too busy! And now it’s back to school and college and I’m a little bit sad.

Aiden started back at college today. He took his first train ride today to get to his new college and he’s also started a new part-time job. It’s totally a day of first for him!
He’s not sure what time he’s going to get home tonight as he’s working in a kitchen. I can’t wait to see how his first day has gone 🙂

I know I’ve said it before and every parent says it at some point, but I really can’t believe how fast time is going. KayCee’s started year 10 today and Ella went into year 8.

KayCee year 10 - back to school and college
Ella year 8 - back to school and college