Tuesday, 6 October 2015

All About Home...

This week is all about home. Well apart from the lovely day we had in Derbyshire, that is. Sunday was gorgeous, so I bundled my lot, moaning, into the car, and we drove out to Monsel Head. There was a cycle event happening, far too busy for me, so we only stayed a little while then went to the pub for lunch. On the way home stopped off at The Vintage Rooms in Matlock. Marvellous shop. (And I resisted buying anything!).
Autumn has got me all homely. I've made very few arrangements to go out and about this week, preferring my own company, snuggling down, reading magazines. I've been in the kitchen a lot too, making pizzas, which were delicious...and some Green Tomato and Apple Chutney. It smell delicious, I will let you know what it tastes like in a few months time! I made some chia seed chocolate moose, but it was a bit too 'grainy' for me, I like it smooth.
Last week, my hubbie and I literally lost hours of our life, trying to find some paperwork we needed. It was so frustrating, and quite unnecessary. So this week I've been sorting out and organising. I've got some cheap, black box files, and we've sorted out five drawers so far, full of old bills, documents...lots, and lots of stuff. We are on a roll, there's a blanket chest, three chest of drawers, three wardrobes and a large cupboard to do. Oh, and then there's the kitchen cupboards...phew! But boy, does it feel good. I know where every piece of paper is now. Bliss.
Another benefit of sorting out stuff is that I've found my hexie project. I've not seen this for a long, long while...in fact only the day before, I was kicking myself, wondering why I'd given it to the charity shop! Maybe I will finish it now?!
There's work to do in my studio too...hopefully I will share that over the next couple of weeks. I've finally got myself a decent sewing table so can get my sewing machine out of hiding. It's means I've got to juggle the room around a little. I've got a little heater in there too, for those cold winter days. So watch this space! Perhaps I'm nesting? Getting ready for the pitter patter of little, tiny paws?
So My Lovelies, what are you up to? What are you cooking, what WIPs have you got on the go, how are you spending you Autumn days? I'd love to hear. Right, now I've a blanket chest to sort out...
Amanda :) xxx
Minnie checking out the new mustard rug I purchased from IKEA, the earlier picture shows the colour off better. This will eventually go into my husbands music studio, but I'm enjoying it for now.



Thursday, 1 October 2015

Goodbye September...

Goodbye September. You brought me...
Florence and Venice.
Time with my sisters, and niece.
A finished Minnie Blanket.
Fresh tomatoes from the garden.
Foggy mornings, and sunny afternoons.
And Puppy Plans...
Hello October! Wonder what you will bring?
Thank you all so much for your puppy advice, I keep having a little word with Minnie, telling her she's going to have someone to play with, she looks decidedly unimpressed! ;)
Hope you all have a great weekend,
Amanda :) xxx


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Big Changes Ahead!!!

What a beautiful weekend we have had here in the UK, well in my little patch anyway. We've started with the usual foggy, autumnal mornings, but that's quickly disappeared, and been replaced by glorious sunshine! It's been a weekend of friendship. All unexpected and unplanned...the best way I think. I love nothing better than catching up with friends, over something good to eat, and something good to drink.
There's been some gardening too...I'm enjoying these last rays of sunshine. Winter is not my favourite of seasons, so I'm soaking it up whilst it lasts. I've made a good start on getting the garden ready for the winter, cutting stuff back, and digging up those weeds I hadn't seen. The vegatable beds have been brilliant this year, very productive. There's still plenty in them, carrots, shallots, courgettes, beetroot...and piles of green tomatoes. I don't think these will ripen, so a batch of green tomato chutney is in order, I think. I'm not sure what to grow over winter, any ideas? I want to put some garlic in, there's PSB and kale. I may turn one of the beds into a strawberry bed for next year, increase the yield. What do you plant now?
I'm definitely going to need a little heater in my studio soon, it's a little cool in there first thing. Minnie's crochet blanket is growing, I thought it was big enough, but the girls want to be able to wrap her up in it...so more rows needed! I'm loving the colours and the yarn is so easy to work with.
When I've finished this one, I will have to start another...quick sharp. After years of resisting, being far too sensible, I've gone and done a u-turn! At the end of October, this little fellow will be joining my family. Nothing will quite be the same again. We will have our very own dog, a miniature duchshund. Well I say miniature, his mum is small but his dad not so, just hope he doesn't turn our to be a Digby (1970s reference there, do you remember him?).
So, yes, lots of Big Changes Ahead...not only in the seasons, but also in my family. My quiet routine will change dramatically. I know he will bring exhaustion, little puddles, little piles of brown stuff, more noise, and a far few chewed up belongings. I also know he will bring more love, and laughter to my little quirky family. That he will brings love and reasurrence, when sensitivities and insecurities are high. For me, he will be company, and some exercise. And for him, a place where he is loved and looked after, where he gets lots of cuddles, and has two young girls to run around with him, and a two grown ups!
My biggest concern is for Minnie...I wonder how she will cope with the big changes ahead. I hope she isn't too put out. Any advice on puppy rearing, and getting a cat at accept him, would be greatly appreciated!!!
Hope you all have a great week.
Amanda :) xxx



Wednesday, 23 September 2015

New Routines...

Life has taken on some new routines since September. Both girls now go to the same secondary school. This means I don't need to get up so early as their Dad drops them off, on his way to work.
So after they've gone, I can get myself ready...do any bits I need to do around the house, then wander down to my studio. It's a lovely, gentle routine. Don't get me wrong, there's the normal, teenage angst first thing, mainly revolving around hair and brows. But then there's quiet.
It's at the pace I need. I've vowed to myself before I went away, to only ever have three things on my To Do list, anymore than this causes me too much stress. Very different to how things used to be, I think I've always been a stress junkie, seeking out challenges over and above what was good for me. Taking on extra responsibilities, supporting those who were very vulnerable, and absorbing their stress too.
Of course, at the time I didn't realise what an impact this was having on me. Sometimes it takes a drastic change in our health, to understand what's happening in our lives. Would I have done anything differently, I like to think I would, but in reality I think things would probably have been the same.
Now, as soon as I feel any stress, my body reacts immediately. It's almost as if someone has injected me with a poison, that's the only way to describe it. Poison, felt instantly, causing me to shut down, physically and emotionally. I suppose it's my body trying to protect itself.
No ones life is completely stress free, well I don't think so. I have my fair share of stresses, it's not all roses. So I try and build in 'stress free' moments throughout my day. Crochet and craft. Meditation. Eating well. Gentle excersise...keeping my body moving. Time in my studio. Time in my garden. All helps.
So, if you are feeling under a lot of stress, try to find some way to release some of this pressure. Create a new routine if you can, put yourself first, even if it's only for a few minutes each day. Take care of yourself, there's only you who can really do this. Don't let your body down.
Right, a few more rows of crochet has been prescribed, by me...for me!
Amanda :) xxx
Stress free cat.



Monday, 21 September 2015

Summer 2015...Yorkshire

Had my Grandma not fallen in love, whilst she was on holiday, I would probably have been a Yorkshire Lass...its in my DNA. I'm not sure why I've never been on holiday before to the Yorkshire coast, but I know it won't be my last.
I fell hook, line and sinker. It felt like home. Spectacular moors, quaint towns and villages...a coastline to take your breath away. It was a fantastic family holiday, relaxed, and as stress free as is possible, with my quirky little family.
The place we stayed was quiet and peaceful, just as I need it to be, with just the steam trains for company. Tucked away amongst the moors. Hidden from the world.
Runswick Bay, why, oh why, did I not discover you when my girls were little? Staithes, Robin Hoods Bay, Saltburn-By-The-Sea...little gems, full of character and charm. It felt like time had forgotten these little towns. Perfect.
Looking through these photos has brought the biggest smile to my lips...just loved it...and I will be back!
I've just returned from Florence and Venice. I feel very lucky to have spent a very special few days, with some very special people. More on that soon. Thank you for popping by, this week I'm planning on resting lots and popping over to visit my favourite blogs. Back soon :)
Amanda :) xxx