Friday, 31 January 2014

Gung Hei Fat Choi!

Chinese New Year - Spring Festival - 2014 marks the year of the horse.

There will be firecrackers and dancing dragons, parades and lion dancing.

The meaning of Chinese New Year runs much deeper.
 The first week is often spent with family and friends and traditionally was to honour 
the household, heavenly gods and ancestors.
The second week many traditions are undertaken for good luck, the end of this period often marked with a lantern festival!

Manchester has thousand's of these delightful lanterns hung all over the City.
They look absolutely stunning, down every street, in every square, everywhere you look!

Thanks for dropping by - Wishing all a Happy Year of the Horse!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Beginner Running Group Week One

Bit of a punt here but I thought I would share the ten week 
Walk to Jog to Run Group that I lead along with a guy called Alex.

We had training from UK Athletics via Run England. 
We are both keen runners and make a great team - Alex is an ultra runner taking part in events like THIS - mad as a box of frog's he is - I like mad people!! :-) 

& me - I like to do a bit of trail, a bit of road - with the emphasis on how I feel - 
NOT the mileage...which I hope to pass on to our runner's....

So, above is week 1 - always a variation in our group!

We did a warm up within a circle, walking around, bit of a jog, then call out a number and the group did the action relating to the number, for example "Number 4" was turn around, "Number 1" clap above your head.

We also played tig, yes really, shouting our name when tigged to get to know each other. It's fantastic to see a load of adults dodging and ducking, squealing and laughing - 
moving & being a little bit competitive without even realising it!!! 

At the end of the session we also cool down, really important and we encourage all our group to take part, stretching out and slowing down - breathing.

Yesterday I went on further Run Leader Training - and have been left buzzing 
to introduce some new ideas to the group.

You can join a Run England group & have fun :-) all over the Country

Some more Beginner Running Programmes below;

What do you think - yay or a nay?

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Pretty Pink Glasses

A few weeks ago I had a meal at my friend's house.

She had the prettiest shade of pink glasses, with a pretty pressed flower design.

Long story short, I found four sat on my desk a week later -
aren't they pretty?

Find them at Ikea, along with other pink offerings!

What do you think? Pretty no?XX

52 Weeks of Happy (16/52)

It's been a funny week, busy, in fact time has flown, but I have felt SO tired!
Amazing how one week you feel so full of energy and then *meh*....

So, four moments that have made me this week!

  • Starting a new 10 week running course and 26 people turning up on the first night! Wow - bit frantic but definitely one to put a smile on my face :-)
  • My friend managing to bag tickets before they sold out to the first ever Radio 6 Music Festival Line Up here, especially looking forward to seeing Haim
  • Friday night perfection! Wine, popcorn and the Shoequeen Tamara Mellon, who incidentally liked one of my Instagram pic's - well it was of her book - but all the same - Tamara Mellon - eeeeeeekkkkkkk!!!
  • More Run Leader Training - spending this morning with a fabulous group of inspirational people - and coming away buzzing with ideas :-D

So, it would be wonderful to hear what's made you smile this week?

* This blog hop was started by Jen who writes the lovely Little Birdie Blog - drop by!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Finger Knitted Good

I have received so many compliments when wearing my lovely, chunky wool 
wrist-warmers. They were a Christmas gift, from 'Forage' who had a stall on
 Manchester Christmas Market.

Recycled, sustainable and fairly traded the 'Forage Finger Knitted Project' started in 2008, 
teaching women in poor communities to knit with their fingers, supplying the wool then buying the hats & wrist-warmers back for a fair price.

With my lovely wristwarmers I got a  leaflet with pictures of the women in Northern India involved with the project and a small label telling me mine were knitted by 'Kamala'. Probably the elder of the women, the kids said "Ah, she's really cute!" Ha!

 You can see how perfect the colours are for me!!

It's so nice to receive a gift that's a little different!
Even more when it's ethical too.
Hop over to Forage & take a look  :-)

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Naughty Sales Treat Two (Ooopppsss & Three)!

Impromptu family pub lunch called for a throw on dress.
I bagged this Hush dress in the sale. 
Great for flinging on with tights and chunky boots
which leads me to my third sale bargain - naughty!

& here I am - off for that pub lunch!
Another throw on dress I tried, but the colour was too much!!

Who else has been perusing the sales?XX

52 Weeks of Happy (15/52)

Four moments that have made me smile this week!
Little things.....

  • Maybe not a little thing - most of this lot sold on Ebay netting me over a hundred pounds - yay!
  • Home-made bread, pure & simple :-)
  • Spending a morning with a lady who was so special to my beautiful friend, sadly gone. We drank coffee, ate cake, reminisced, laughed and cried.....
  • This gorgeous stag - stag fetishist here - tea towel from my deer friend!

What's been making you smile this week?

* This blog hop was started by Jen who writes the lovely Little Birdie Blog - drop by!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Spot's or Stripe's?

None! It's ZIGZAG'S for me!!
Gorgeous jumper from Fat Face available in rouge, cerise & mint too - 
but this one is my favourite!

What do you think?
Will you try zigzag's this year?

Monday, 13 January 2014

Magic Little Plate

Just had to share this cute little piece of kitchenware my Son bought me for Christmas.

He got it at the Christmas Market in Manchester. It's a grating plate, 
used for over a century in Spain, France, Italy......

Hand made and painted, I think it's beautiful - my boy couldn't wait to tell me all about it & what it could do!! It grates, grinds, zests & purees....

Gorgeous strong colours, reminiscent of pottery often found in Spain, 
I did a google and you can find them in this country in loads of 
different colours to suit every kitchen - a thing of beauty :-)

As you can see from the pictures it IS really effective, it retains the juice of the 
garlic which is often lost when using a press.

So all you culinary whizzes who I'm sure read this blog ;-0
would this little plate find a place in your kitchen?

Sunday, 12 January 2014


I don't make New Year resolutions, I've said it before, 
but I do have a few hopes for this year.

The big one is to sell our home, to downscale, still have enough bedrooms for the kids to have a space too, but by downscaling we will be afforded more freedom, from looking 
after this very old house of ours but also paying family bills for just us two!

With this in mind it is also time to scale back belongings, clothes, books, 
furniture, pots and pans - the list goes on.

 I am definitely not a hoarder, but things just *accumulate*.
It is also difficult to get the rest of the family to embrace scaling back!

 Last year I read a fabulous book - The Joy of Less by Francine Jay - then went through the house like a dose of salts, while everyone watched absolutely aghast.

The area I didn't get round to was clothes - so yesterday I hit my wardrobe!
Hooks on the side of my wardrobe hold jackets & gilets which are worn regularly.
Scarves are on a rail on the side of the wardrobe.
& bags on hooks inside the wardrobe door....
...along with belts.
Pile for charity...
 Boots for Ebay - see how they go - never sold shoes on Ebay before...
 Ebay for this lot!
 These are to try on, then decide....

So this is what went on Ebay (for now - more to go on next week!)
6 tops
3 belts
2 scarves
1 vintage suede jacket
1 poncho
1 pair trousers
1 cardigan

Who else is downscaling? Who has sold on Ebay before?Any tips to share?XX

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Vintage French Postcards

You may remember I posted here about my trip to Paris and meeting Helene who has been selling vintage postcards along the Seine for many years.

 I knew I wanted to do something with them but wasn't sure what.....the postcards were sent to loved ones and are addressed & stamped. 
A beautiful memento - 'a reminder of the past, a keepsake.'

I meant to post this before Christmas.....

I had also bought some little silver doves and had some fabric buttons in my craft box - so here is what I did!

Beautiful - I hope they survive another 75 years!