Monday 30 January 2012

Hey Ho the Big Four O

I said I would share my birthday and here it is.  It's more for a record for me because, now that I'm forty I'm sure the memory will start to go :)

The morning started off with a call from Paul wishing me a happy birthday which was lovely.  But then he said he might not get to see me because he was working the next day; he'd told me earlier in the week that he had the next day off, so I was very upset.  Best friend, Sarah, called and I told her how upset I was.  Went to see my Mum and burst into tears because of the possibility I wouldn't see Paul - thought it was strange that she wasn't that concerned but only had a chance to see her for a few minutes and then I was going to my crop.

Arrived at the crop and Sandra came out to the car park to sing Happy Birthday to me, I burst into tears - at this point I must assure you that it was not her singing that caused the tears! Calmed down and went into the crop where I was greeted with this:
 All the girls at the crop had bought me presents and Sandra had baked me a beautiful cake - more tears!

While I was sitting scrapping my brother, sister in law and nephews walked past so I ran - yes, actually ran - out to see them, but they had to rush off so I was left feeling a bit down.  Basically I was tearful and feeling a bit sorry for myself all morning, no fun on your birthday :(

I went outside for some fresh air just after lunch and who should drive into the car park.....Paul!  I was so pleased, it really made my day and yes there were more tears :)

In the evening me, Paul and Sam were going out to dinner with my friend Sarah, her hubby Chris and her daughter Emily and I was really looking forward to it now.  I was just going to wear jeans and a t-shirt but Paul convinced me to dress up a bit, boy am I glad I did! 

We went over to Sarah's where I opened some more presents before walking to the restaurant.  When I went into the restaurant I was greeted by this:
 My whole family were already there! More tears because I was so happy and they really fooled me, I didn't have a clue.
 Paul had been in on the surprise the whole time! I also found out that my Mum was worried my surprise would be spoilt because when she saw me so upset she wanted to tell me all about it. Sarah was worried I would drop everything and drive down to Paul's and never find out about the surprise.  My brother, Jon, and sister in law, Lisa, had been worried that my nephews would spoil the surprise when they saw me earlier in the day. My sister, Jessica, was worried that they wouldn't get from the pub to the restaurant before I drove past and spotted them!
 Sam was a bit concerned about having to use chopsticks, Emily thought it very funny.
 Me with my lovely Mum.
And all of the balloons I was bought so that nobody had any doubt what the celebrations were about!

Such an emotional but happy day and I know I am so lucky to have such great family and friends.  Thank you all xx


Monday 23 January 2012

Been Having a Whale of a Time!

The year has got off to an amazing and busy start!

I turned 40 and I will do a whole post about the amazing day I had but here are a couple of highlights:

Cocktails after work the day before my birthday.

Homemade birthday cake, thank you Mrs GottaCraft, at my crop (how great to have a crop on my actual birthday!).

Monday saw me handing my notice in at work. Yes I have a new job and yes I'm very excited.

On Tuesday I was very spontaneous and went to Paul's for dinner. Yes I know a 212 mile round trip is a bit excessive for dinner but he thought it was a 'fantastic surprise' so it was well worth it.

Wednesday saw me recovering from my trip to Paul's but Thursday was crop day so I was playing with paper and glue.

Friday was boring but Saturday was busy. I helped my friend move in the morning, what a work out that was!

In the afternoon I was back at Paul's and scrapping. He picked the title for this layout which, I hasten to add, will be going on his wall not in my album! :)

Sunday was great and me and Paul spent it together watching films while I scrapped, bliss.

Now it's Monday and back to work :(

I hope your week goes well.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

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Sunday 8 January 2012

My Week

Well it has certainly whizzed by and I can hardly believe how quickly it went.  I'm pleased I've been able to take  photos every day and I'm hoping I can keep it up for the whole year.

Here's how my week shaped up:
 Monday I took the Christmas decs down and had a spring clean while Maddie put her feet up!
 Tuesday I was back to work but found time in the evening to bake Paul a marzipan fruit cake.
 Wednesday I found time after work to go to the pub with Lauren.
 And Paul arrived for a few days.
 Thursday I went to a crop and scrapped this cute photo of Maddie at Christingle.
 It's one of my favourite photos of her.
 Friday me and Paul went to bingo and both had a little win which was nice.
 Saturday was my friend Sarah's 40th birthday and we had fun playing Abba Just Dance.
 I beat her...twice. She blamed her superior age because she is a week older!
 Sunday and I had a lazy day of scrapping.
Maddie had a pained grin rather than a smile in this photo!

I hope you've had a fun week, dashing off to watch the amazing Sherlock now.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Wednesday 4 January 2012


Happy Wednesday to you.

I normally like to do lots of baking in the run up to Christmas but because of all the crazy knitting I was doing I just didn't have the time.  This has changed now that Christmas is over and I have been baking a few bits and pieces.  Last night, for instance, I quickly knocked up the Nigella marzipan Christmas cake.  I did it because Paul's coming tonight and we didn't get a Christmas together so we're going to make up for that now.  I can't tell you how nice the kitchen smelt while it was baking and I may just have to make a few Christmas things throughout the year now :)

Anyway, the week after Christmas I found a couple of apples at the bottom of the fridge that Maddie refused to eat (she's like that if they've been there for more than a day) so I put my thinking cap on and came up with this:
 An apple cinnamon cake!

I beat together 6oz of butter and 6oz caster sugar then I added 3 beaten eggs a bit at a time.  I folded in 6oz of self raising floor, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp of vanilla essence.  I put half of the mixture into a cake tin, grated 2 Braeburn apples over it then put the rest of the mixture in.  I baked it at 180 for about 35 minutes and left it to cool.  Once it was cool I drizzled icing, made of 4oz icing sugar, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and enough water to make it a but runny.
And it was delicious.  Maddie doesn't like cooked fruit and neither does my friend Clare but they soon wolfed it down!  It made a light alternative to a cake filled with butter icing and I hope some of  you may try it yourselves.

Today, in keeping up with being spontaneous, I went to the pub after work!  Now I'm off to get ready before Paul arrives.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you're all well
Jo xx

Monday 2 January 2012

Happy New Year - 2012

We had a very quiet New Years Eve, just me, Maddie and Alfie.  We toasted the New Year in with a Calypso coffee, cup of tea and a slurp of water!

I love seeing in the New Year, it feels like such a fresh start, and this year is certainly a biggy for us here at Buckingham's Palace.  I turn 40 in less than two weeks and Maddie is 18 in June, I can't believe how quickly the time has gone!

I haven't really made any resolutions this year, just a few things that I want to concentrate on:

1. I want to manage my time better.
2. I want to put myself first more.
3. I want to read more - my reading has slipped a bit since I stopped getting the bus and started walking to work.
4. Be more spontaneous, I am already quite spontaneous but I want to take it to another level this year.

Talking of being spontaneous, I started yesterday - how good it that? Paul saw the New Year in at Disneyland Paris, how lovely I hear you say but I can assure you it's awful.  I worked there at New Year for five years and it is freezing.  You would be totally surprised (maybe) and gobsmacked (possibly) if I tell you the amount of parents who take their children to Disneyland Paris, at New Year and don't think they'll need a coat!  Do they think that the sunshine in Disneyland Florida is provided by Disney and they'll be afforded the same weather in Paris?  It always ends in tears (and blue lips) before midnight.  Anywhoo I have totally digressed.  Paul was returning to the UK yesterday and was having to make a stop at Clacket Lane services, a mere 50 minute drive from me!  What did the new, spontaneous Jo do?  She hopped in the car just to spend a mere 30 minutes with her man, not only that but she remembered to take a photo so she could write all about it in her Document 2012 album!
 A bit dark but he looks so handsome in his uniform!

Yesterday I cracked on with my JYC album and managed the first 8 days!
 While Alfie laid on the sofa next to me, I think Christmas and New Year have exhausted him - typical man, didn't do any work but still had to have lots of naps! :)
I hope your New Year got off to a great start.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx