Tuesday 11 December 2012

Yet Another Round Up

It's been so busy here but I bet that's the same for everyone at the moment! I thought I'd have a quick look back at what's been going on and I hope that everything will eventually make it into my Journal Your Christmas album.
I was very lucky to get to spend a final weekend with Paul, he's off on lots of tours this month and will spend Christmas in Austria! We went for coffee and cake:

I got this fabulous package for my crop advent swap and I'm loving opening a gift every day:

I put my Christmas tree up so the living room looks all cozy:

I was shocked to wake up to snow, didn't see that in any local weather reports!

Maddie got a new phone which she loves:

I had emergency milk delivered in a teapot!

The bingo girls went out for a Christmas meal at Jimmy Spices, it was lovely and so were the cocktails!

I went to my nephew's birthday party and snapped a picture from outside looking in. They all looked cozy inside and that's how my family make me feel:

I've had cuddles with him:

And cuddles with her:

And, so far, December has been great.
I hope you're having a great month without too many stresses.
Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday 26 November 2012

Time's Been a Flyin'

This month has absolutely whizzed by so I thought I'd do a round up of what's been going on.

We bought new winter hats:

We've had plenty of red cups!

I started to crochet a granny stripe blanket, wide enough for a double bed!

We went to the Victoria and Albert museum for the Hollywood Film Costume exhibition.

We really only went to see the dress and ruby slippers from the Wizard if Oz but everything else there was amazing.

I went to Eastbourne with the crop girls for a day of scrapping.

It was a Wild West theme!

I finally had my hair cut.

I've done a bit of Slimming World baking.

And a little bit of scrapping.

It's been busy but it's been fun.

Now I'm doing the countdown to Journal Your Christmas, exciting times!

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.
Jo x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday 19 November 2012

Another New Week

But I am feeling so refreshed that I just don't care that it's back to the office today!

I had such a lovely weekend and it all started on Friday when I went on a road trip, with a couple of scrapping friends, to Eastbourne (stopping en route to shop for stash!).

On Saturday I got all my boring, horrible jobs out of the way like housework and food shopping before heading out to have dinner with some friends.

On Sunday I had a real 'me' day and got my stash out.  I'm in a sketch group and I've been so bad that I still hadn't got round to last month's sketch, that has now been rectified.

This is the sketch:

And here's my layout:
Me and my oldest friend celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee back in June.
Using papers and embellishments from Portobella Road collection, which were perfect for the event.

I hope that you had a great weekend and are looking forward to another new week.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo x

Friday 16 November 2012

Frosty Festivities Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to my little corner of blogland.  This weekend Jennifer, over at Jennifer's Jumbles, is hosting a blog hop, the Frosty Festivities no less!  Jennifer has a fantastic prize on offer and all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning, starting at Jennifer's, is comment on all of the blogs you visit returning to Jennifer's to let her know you've done it.  The prize is items from the Basic Grey Aspen Frost and Carta Bella Winter Fun ranges.

Now it will be no surprise to the people that know me to find out that I absolutely love the winter.  Mother Nature plays out her final, fantastic symphony of the year in autumn.  She shows us how amazing everything around us can look when it has a splash of gorgeous reds and oranges and then it's almost like the lights of nature are switched off.  That's when it's our turn to brighten the place up with Christmas decorations and lights!

When I was younger and living at home there used to be a train station at the end of the road.  In the winter, when the wind was blowing and the rain was falling, I used to sit in my room, cozy and warm, watching the commuters rushing home after work. I loved being indoors with the rain beating down, I felt so relaxed, safe and happy and I think that's where my love of winter stemmed from.

When the snow fell we would grab our sledges and head for the hills, returning later in the day wet through and freezing cold.  Now I love to be walking in the park with the dogs in the snow. I love how the sounds are muffled and I sometimes feel like I'm the only person on the planet.  Like a big kid there is nothing I love more than to be the first person to leave footprints in freshly fallen snow!

I always rush home from work during the winter months to shut my front door on the world, light the fire and do some crafting.  Although I scrap all year round I always feel most creative, with all of my hobbies, during the winter months.  It's probably because I don't feel guilty in the winter for sitting in all day and knitting, sewing, painting or scrapping.  In the summer months I know my mum would be mortified if she found out I stayed indoors when the sun was out, in fact she calls me every day just to check!

Winter for me is all about Christmas and coziness, hats, scarfs and gloves, walking in wellies and enjoying eggnog lattes and mulled wine! I never see it as a dreary month with drab colours.  What do you love most about winter?
Thank you for visiting Buckingham's Palace, your next stop is with another Jo and if you've got a little bit lost along the way here is the full list of all the fantastic people joining in:
ME :)
Jo S
I hope you all have fun hopping and enjoy your weekend.
Jo x

Monday 12 November 2012

Beauty in the Making!

I was recently asked to do an example page for a friend who has set the weekly challenge today over on UKScrappers.

Her challenge is to scrap using a colour you wouldn't normally use, to dive into your scrap basket and to get arty, great challenge.

Well Maddie turned 18 back in June and on the evening before her birthday we decided to do some girlie things and have a relaxing time with face packs!

Every time we looked at each other we got the giggles!

I even laughed when she tried to pull scary faces.

I knew this had to go in the albums so decided to scrap one of the photos for the challenge.

I used green because it's not normally my 'go to' colour, everything came from my scrap basket and I painted some bubble wrap and used it like a stamp to make the background.

Hope you had a lovely weekend and feel refreshed for the week ahead.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday 31 October 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different!

All of this year Shimelle has been running a class/challenge over on UKScrappers called And Now For Something Completely Different.  On the 10th of the month she posts a list of materials and on the 20th of the month she posts a list of instructions along with photos of the different stages.  I was very late to the party and only just got round to joining in.

I had a look at the list of contents, which you can find here.  I liked what I saw so thought I would join in this time.  The instructions were put up here but this month they were just a little bit different, there were no photos! This made me want to join in even more because I love a blind challenge :)

This is how my layout has turned out:
I used papers from Authentique, Dear Lizzy and Echo Park along with some Thickers, gems and twine. The photos are of Maddie on her 18th birthday and I just love the expressions on her face in these photos.

Today is the big reveal for everyone who took part this month so I have no idea what everyone else has come up with for their layouts, I really can't wait to see them.

I don't know how this layout compares to the others but I really am pleased with it:
I will enjoy looking at all the other layouts later on today.

Thank you for stopping by
Jo xx

Monday 29 October 2012

Fall Back

Well the clocks have gone back an hour and I love it.  I love how the nights are drawing in now, how I come home from work, close the curtains on the world and cosy up on the sofa with  the dogs and some crafting.

It also means that Halloween is nearly here.  I love Halloween and look at all the pictures of the decorated American houses with pure envy, it all looks great and so much fun.

When I lived in a flat we didn't get any trick or treaters knocking at the door so, six years ago, when I moved to my current home I really went to town on Halloween.  I had ghosts and ghouls lighting up the windows, pumpkins on the door step and a pumpkin head full of not one but two tins of sweets!  How many people knocked on my door? Zero, zilch, none!

Me and Maddie have a tradition of watching Hocus Pocus on Halloween and that's exactly what we'll be doing this Wednesday.

Before I go I'll share this layout of my own little witch when she dressed up way back in 2002:
She was such a pretty little witch.

I hope you all had a good weekend and have an equally good week.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Friday 26 October 2012

Just Dessert!

I've been sharing lots of recipes for main meals and I thought it was about time I shared something we love to have for pudding.  All of the recipes I've shared are SYN free on Slimming World and this one is no different.

You will need:
Two sachets of Hartley's Sugar Free Jelly and two Muller Light Yogurts, I used raspberry jelly and vanilla yogurt but you can mix it up however you please :)
Make the first sachet up as per the instructions on the packet.
Once it's made up then half fill your dishes with the jelly, I used these little ramekin dishes but you can use whatever you have.  Put the jelly in the fridge to set.
With the second sachet of jelly you make it with half a pint of boiling water and then leave to cool.
Once it's cooled stir in the two yogurts.
Pour the jelly and yogurt mix over the top of the set jellies then place the dishes back in the fridge for the top layer to set.
Finally, enjoy!

I hope you like this little dessert.  If you're pushed for time you can just make the jelly and yogurt mix and leave that to set.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Another Hobby

Well I've started another hobby, it's one I've wanted to do for years but I've never managed to conquer. Finally, fingers crossed, I've got the hang of it. What is this new hobby of mine? Crochet!

When I was a small girl my aunt used to crochet dresses and cardigans for me. I used to watch her fingers flying like shuttles hooking the wool and I was fascinated.

Years later I asked her to teach me and, bless her, she tried. She showed me how to make doilies but mine always ended up looking like bowls! My tension was to tight and I couldn't really work out where to do the stitches. I think the problem was I wanted to be as fast as she was, trying to run before I could walk.

Since then, every few years, I've gone out and bought a hook and some wool thinking I'd be able to master this craft. I never could and just ended up with quite a collection of hooks!

Last year I turned up at my aunt's and asked her to show me again. She looked at the wool, then looked at the hook, then looked at me and laughed. "I've forgotten how to do it" she said! My chance had gone, the master of crochet had lost her skills.

I'm not a quitter though, I knew I'd learn one day, then I saw this post on Katherine's blog. Time to buy another hook and some more wool and try, try, try again!

This time, though, it clicked! I was crocheting, slowly at first but speeding up the more I did it. I started on the Wednesday and by Friday I had made this:

I had managed to crochet something I could wear, something I was proud to wear:

Now I'm just a little bit addicted. So I've made one cowl, I've nearly finished another and I want to do a Granny Stripe blanket. I've done a practice piece for the blanket:

Just needs a little more practice. But…I finally feel I've cracked the art of crochet.

Now that's something crossed off my bucket so what next? :)

I hope you're having a good week.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Monday 22 October 2012

A Dreary Day

Today is dark, foggy and downright dreary!  I love when the weather is like this but only if I don't have to venture outdoors, I love to snuggle :)

I had a great weekend because I managed to spend a day in London with Paul on Saturday.  I haven't seen him for a month so it was lovely to spend a few hours with him.  On Sunday I scrapped and I really enjoyed myself.

The weekly challenge over at UKScrappers had a baking theme so I thought it was perfect for my pictures from Frieda's.  Part of the challenge was to use this sketch which was great because I had a lot of pictures to scrap!  The other elements to use were washi tape (not that I need an excuse to use washi tape!) and numbers.
The dreary weather has no consideration for the fact I have layouts to photograph, I guess I'll have to get used to that over the coming months. Maybe I need to get a daylight bulb for my lamp.

Tonight I plan to snuggle on the sofa with my new hobby, I'll be sharing that soon :)

I hope life is being kind to you
Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Friday 19 October 2012

Colourful Carbonara

I'm back with another low fat, easy recipe for you...carbonara.

You will need:
11oz dried pasta, 6oz smoked back bacon, 2 garlic cloves, 1 green chilli, 3.5oz closed cup mushrooms, 7oz frozen peas (defrosted), 2 medium tomatoes (I left these out because Maddie doesn't like them), 3 large eggs, 3.5oz quark.
Roughly chop the bacon, finely chop the garlic, deseed and finely chop the chilli and slice the mushrooms.

Boil the pasta as per the packet instructions.  While that's doing dry fry the bacon for 3-4 minutes then add the garlic, chilli and mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes before adding the peas and tomatoes.
Separate the eggs and discard the whites.
Then combine the quark with the yolks.
Reserve some of the water from the pasta before draining it.  Put the pasta in with the bacon and vegetable mixture and give it a good stir.  Remove from the heat and add the egg and quark mixture, adding some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce a little.
Then serve!

I always take any leftovers to work with me the next day and they always taste great.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, next week I have an super easy dessert to share.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx