Friday, 31 December 2010

Hello MMXI!

I don't like using the word "resolutions" at this time of year. It makes me think of all my past resolutions which were either abandoned by mid-January or never even attempted. Which isn't a great way to start off a list of things you want to achieve in the upcoming year!
As I wasn't blogging this time last year, I didn't post my 2010 List which was just as well. It didn't go so great.
So perhaps sharing my 2011 List on here will give me the motivation to get my arse into gear a bit more. 


Get my savings up to £3000
On last year's list I had £2000 as my aim which I achieved. It was about the only one I did.
Have a blog revamp
Really looking forward to this. I like the wooden floorboard background on this blog...that's about it.
Learn to play guitar chords without looking 
I will not get bored and let my guitar get dusty again. 
Get The Buddha cat down to 10lbs
Exactly what it says on the tin. Fat cat, must lose weight. Before she eats us too.
Finish that damn crochet blanket
If for no other reason than to stop seeing it on my New Year lists!
Repaint the walls and skirting boards of the house
Yes I know. Very boring, but it bugs the crap out of me to see how tatty the walls are. 
Get chickens
Thanks to my awesome husband, I'm already half way to achieving this one. Score!

As much as I'd love to write more, I can't. The aforementioned awesome husband is starting to get antsy. We're spending New Year with some friends in Cardiff and we're supposed to leave in fifteen minutes. He seems to think it's going to take me that long to put on a pair of shoes. Maybe I will take that long, just to mess with him..

Happy New Year folks!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Home Sweet Home

And the chicken coop is built! I'm so happy with it, as you can see from the insane grin above.

It looks smaller than it did in the picture and I wouldn't say that its a four chicken coop like it was advertised as being. No matter though. I'm only planning on getting three hens and will be letting them room free in the garden daily so this will be more than fine for them.

So what next? Ah yes, the chickens.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Christmas coma

So the last...eight (??!) days have passed in a blur of food, wine and sleep.

I can't remember what hunger feels like and I've reached the point where I've started to crave boring, healthy stuff like water and non-chocolate covered food stuffs such as vegetables. Poor abused body.
Not so much a temple as a battered old shed.

Christmas was lovely and Dan surprised me with this..

As you can see it's a picture of a chicken coop, but more specifically, it's a picture of MY chicken coop. I'm getting chickens!

The coop is now sitting outside waiting to be put together. I'm itching to make a start, but it looks like a two person job and unfortunately Dan is now back at work. So in the meantime I'm looking into what else we're going to need to, straw etc. We'll be getting three chickens, but I'm not sure how old or which breed they will be yet.

We had chickens when I was little, but I never paid much attention to their upkeep, that was Mum's job. I just fed them occasionally, collected the eggs and picked the odd one up whenever I was feeling brave.
I also remember dropping one off the milking parlour steps once to see if it would fly. It didn't and it has to be said that while it wasn't hurt, it wasn't best pleased either.
So probably best not do that again then.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Another 'watch this and thank me later' post

This offering is Never Play by Emily and The Woods and it's FAN.TASTIC.

Go on, you know you're just a little bit curious..

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Make and Do Sunday

Not so long ago I went to Westonbirt Arboretum and brought back leaves, conkers and eucalyptus pods and today I finally got around to using them.

With the leaves I made this mobile. It looks lovely now ('scuse the bad paint job in the background), but making it was a royal pain in the arse. The thread I used was so fine and they kept getting tangled up. I mean to add more leaves to it, but maybe not just yet.

I finally got around to having that eucalyptus infused bath too.. didn't work very well. The pouch smelled gorgeous, the bath smelled of..well, nothing really. But no matter, radox came to the rescue!

And just because it surprised the hell outta me, look what I woke up to this morning. Frost!

And if you look really closely, you'll see the conkers I collected in the shed windows. 

And you know what? They DO keep the spiders away! I now have an excuse to go conker collecting every year. Score!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

How to give a cupboard door it's sexy back

A while ago I did a pretty up job on our living room cupboard door and then promptly forgot to blog about it. Far too busy sitting back and admiring my handy work you see.
So seeing as I'm currently juggling a granny blanket, making a Sunday roast, updating this blog and drinking a cup of tea (I know, I'm a multi-tasking extraordinaire), here's a very quick looky at the before and after pics. 

Before (Obviously. The fact that it's lying on my decking and not attached to the door frame kind of suggests as much.)

This is what it looked like when it was attached to the cupboard door frame. That corner never looks as clutter free as this normally. I'd just finished painting the wall so all crap had been moved to another corner instead.

And et voila! 
What do you mean you can't see a difference?
Oh gawd, ok so I realise it doesn't look that much different, but I promise you it does in real life. It's been sanded, varnished with a warmer coloured wood stain and had new knobs added. It's got it's sexy back, although you might just have to trust me on that one. 

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

4 Simple Goals Update # 2

So, it's been over a month since my last 'Me Day' so I booked today off work and decided to have a lazy one. I did a few bits here and there in between all the laziness. One those "bits" was to organise my granny squares so that I could finally start sewing them into a blanket. I think it's going to look good!

There's 104 squares there. 

And then into the garden where I am growing/have grown strawberries, sweet peppers, garlic and check out my parsnips!

And then I decided to make myself a little insect nest. We had a lot of ladybirds in the garden this summer and since I've taken down all the sunflowers I was worried they wouldn't have any where to hibernate for the winter. So hey presto, now they have this!
Ok, so it doesn't look like much, but I'm assured the bugs will love it. 

I wedged it under the decking to keep it dry and sheltered from frosts and winds. 

And those folks, were the highlights of my second Me Day. S'cuse the waffling, it's actually quite late and I'm tired, but wanted to finish this post because I go to bed. 
And I'm done, night! x

Sunday, 3 October 2010

I Heart Autumn

I bloody love this time of year! My only complaint is that it really doesn't seem to last very long. And with that in mind I badgered the bloke into going to Westonbirt Arboretum with me yesterday to see the trees in all their autumn finery. He in turn, badgered our friends to come along, who in turn brought their dogs and a brilliant day was had by all.

Well by me at any rate, I can't speak for the others, although I suspect the bloke enjoyed himself despite being a full time grumpy sod. Here are some of the pictures from our day, I was doing my usual 'hoarder' thing and ended up bringing half of the woods home with me!

I collected a whole load of leaves which are currently being squished between two very heavy books. I've got a couple of ideas as to what I'm going to do with them, but that's for another post.

I don't care how old you are, you've got to collect conkers! I did more than my fair share, although I do have an excuse. I heard somewhere that conkers deter spiders. I'm going to put them in the conservatory/shed/kitchen corners this winter to see if it works. I'm sick to death of sharing my house with spiders every year!

Luckily there were flipping tonnes of them just lying on the ground, all lonely and unclaimed..

Eventually I was dragged away left of my own accord with 62 conkers!

Gorgeous colours were seen..

..and eucalyptus seed pods were collected. I'm going to crush them and have a eucalyptus infused bath tomorrow night. Mmmmmm...

And to wrap up, here's a picture of a handsome moo cow who played the part by also being autumn coloured. Good old moo!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010


Didn't get to see Sam Brookes in the end. He either didn't play or he was playing earlier than I thought. Also we're supposed to be going to Westonbirt Arboretum this weekend and the weather is meant to be awful.

I am officially sulking.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Watch this and thank me later

This here folks, is Sam Brookes. Now I know what you're thinking, "yeah, yeah, yeah. He's amazing, he's the next whatever until I listen to him and realise that he's actually shit", but you'd be wrong!

He really is as good as I say he is, so don't bloody argue ok? Seriously, give this clip a shot and you'll see what I mean. It looks fuzzy in the still, but it's not so don't worry your sweet heads about that. 
He's playing at the Uni tomorrow and I'll definitely be popping down to watch him which will make it the fourth time in three months...shit. 

Does that make me some sort of crazed super fan/stalker?

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Relief, fences and Scrumpy.

Relief. It's such an underrated emotion don't you think? Granted the tension/stress/pressure that precedes it isn't so great, but has anyone ever not enjoyed the feeling of "ahhhh, thank feck that's over"? Exactly.

My relief came in the shape of finally finishing the bloody garden fence. If you've read my last post you'll know that weather proofing the fences is one of the things on my winter to do list and it's been one of the biggies that I've been dreading ever since I put it on. 

These things often don't take so long or as much effort in other homes. Perhaps the lady in question is lucky enough to have a bloke about who likes DIY or at the very least, willing to do it when asked. Or perhaps she's got enough moolah to employ a handy man to do it all for her. Unfortunately I have neither a man who is willing/capable and I most certainly do not have enough moolah. Dan will help if I need him to, but he doesn't enjoy it so doesn't make an effort to get involved and will usually go into hiding whenever he sees me with a paint brush/screw driver/hammer in hand.

So yes, I am feeling very relieved right now. And with help from a hot shower and my mate Scrumpy, I will soon be feeling very relaxed, woozy and eventually, asleep. On that note, I will leave you with a picture of my mate Scrumpy. 

Isn't he handsome?

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Winter List

It's that time of year again folks. I've written out my list of things to do before winter comes a knocking and I'm more excited about this than is probably considered normal.
This year I've decided to include my list here so that I can blog about my progress. This makes me feel all kinds of happy and nerdy for two reasons.

One, I'm a sad muppet with an unhealthy love of lists and two, blogging about it will give me an incentive to complete the damned thing. Something I always have problems with.

So without further ado, here follows my 2010 winter list. Look see, it's got categories and everything! *happy sigh*

  • Put foil behind the radiators (I tried this once and it bugged the crap out of me as the foil kept sliding off the wall. Still I've read time and time again that it's a good tip so I'll give it another shot).
  • Make a draft excluder for the living room door
  • Clean windows and window sills in conservatory
  • Clean all windows in house
  • Brush cobwebs from the external walls of the house
  • Get boiler checked, check the insurance cover is up to date
  • Make 2 door curtains - 1 for the kitchen/living room arch and 1 for the main front door
  • Weather proof conservatory..or do the best you can - it's falling apart.
  • Cover air vents in kitchen and bathroom with cling film to avoid draughts and spiders
  • Collect conkers and put in shed to deter spiders (I've heard this works)
  • Mulch garden bedding and pots
  • Check fences and secure where necessary
  • Varnish shed - DONE
  • Varnish garden fences
  • Pull up weeds from front of house and clear any rubbish
  • Prune grape vines and mulch pots
  • Buy a pair of warm trousers for work
  • Check hat/scarf/glove situation. Mend, make and/or replace as necessary
  • Buy some more winter socks (mum's been slack and my stash is dangerously low)
  • Get winter clothes down from attic
  • Move summer clothes up in attic
  • Get ankle boots re-heeled
  • Sew up the buggering big hole in winter slippers
  • Get a new pair of knee high boots

  • Add winter stuff to car - torch, blanket, ice-scraper, de-icer, wind-up telephone charger thingy
  • Check the lights are working properly
  • Hunt down hot water bottle (it's somewhere in the attic)
  • Stock up on candles
  • Finish last year's crochet blanket
  • Make a Christmas list..yeah, yeah I know. Shut up. I like lists remember?
  • Make a list of winter meals to make and freeze
  • Stock up on mulled wine sachets or find a cheaper alternative
  • Make a list of soups to make and bring to work that don't bore you to death
  • Buy a flask
  • Stock up on containers for soups - margarine tubs?
Having now read through this list I see that I come across as a right spider wuss. I'm really not. They just piss me off. Especially after spending last winter sharing a house with so many of them.

By the way, if anyone knows if that conker thing really does work then do let me know!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Banana bread, shed and er..something else that rhymes with bread

So I made banana bread tonight. I was sat on the sofa with the smell wafting in from the kitchen, feeling all Nigella-esque. Then I checked on it and, oh dear..

I still tastes damned good though which is the main thing eh? So other than whipping up a storm, *ahem* I mean mess in the kitchen I also roped in a reluctant husband to help me varnish the shed ready for winter. This was how it looked before..

And this is how it looks now..

Ok so granted it's not a great deal different as the "varnish" had the consistency of green water, but it definitely looks tidier and is slightly more water proof than it was so I'm happy.

I made a list of things to do before winter and will at some point add it here. It's nothing exciting, just a list of chores that need doing around the house in order to get organised before the weather becomes too cold and wet.

All this list making and chore creating may sound like the least fun way to spend your time, but I'm getting sad, and a tad anal in my old age of 31. It just makes me happy to prepare for the winter months like this. I can enjoy the changing of the seasons while I get them all done and come December when it's cold and yukky, I can snuggle up indoors guilt free, happy in the knowledge that all the tiresome jobs are done and dusted.

So up next...varnishing the fences. Because that's just how I roll ma peeps.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Seed Harvesting

For the last few weeks I've kept a couple of sunflower heads in the conservatory to dry out and today I decided to stop putting it off and harvest the seeds for use next year. And I got a decent amount of the little beanies too..


And here's a little close up of the seeds, simply because I was that proud of my little stash.

..even if it did bugger up my finger. S'cuse the chipped nail varnish.

Et voila! Seeds for next years sunflowery goodness!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

4 Simple Goals Update # 1

Earlier this month I set myself a little challenge, 4 Simple Goals. Today I killed two birds with one stone. I got my hair cut and had my 'Me Day'. Lovely, very, very lovely. Of course some shopping was called for..

And of course, the hair cut. This is the before shot.

And here's the after shot. I freaking love it!

So haircut? Check! Regular me days? On track. Photos? On track....increase my water intake?

Well three out of four isn't bad!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Living Room

This week I have been painting the living room.

It's taken me ages because I've been doing it bit by bit, around cats, furniture and husband. But today, I finally finished the three walls, skirting boards and ceiling.



I know, it looks very blah in the second picture, but trust me, it looks better in real life. Brighter and warmer. Over the next couple of months we'll be wallpapering the wall behind the sofa and adding some colour with curtains, cushions, pictures etc.

I wanted to make the room look like a blank canvas and I think I've managed that. The next step will be to make some new curtains ready for the winter months. For now though, I'm just going to breathe in the paint fumes and enjoy a job well done.

Other posts you might be interested in..

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