Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Years Eve 2015

Many thanks to you all for all your support, reading my waffle, your lovely comments and generally just dropping in! I really appreciate you!

May stars shine always over us and 2016 be a kind year for everyone, full of hope. Whatever you work for, hope and dream may it come to fruition.

Whatever you're up to this New Year have fun, love, hug, kiss 
and stay safe and true to you, XXXX

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Brighter Outlook

Hi there! Hope you have enjoyed the type of Christmas you hoped for?
 I had a lovely time, particularly as I have my Grandson now, a new little one, now 13 months old, totally enthralled with all the new things to look at and make a beeline for! Unfortunately I now have Laryngitis, singing and talking being the culprit!!

This morning I opened the back door to find the torrential rains have dissipated, leaving behind extremely strong winds, the type that blows everything all around the garden.......Hurricane Frank! But then amongst it all I saw this! A beautiful pink rose that either I have not noticed before or has sprung overnight. It really stood out after all the devastating weather experienced.

We are lucky, we live high on the moors and the water continued past our house along with stone and rock. I do hope you have not been one of the people who sadly have had to fight to keep family, pets, homes and belongings safe. So many people in Cumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Manchester spent Christmas Day trying to  keep water from their homes or baling water out of their homes, having to leave their homes. Absolutely devastating.

& so, I saw the rose. I like to think it is a sign. A sign of brighter days (& better weather) to come :-)

Back Soon Lovely People!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

A Little Bit Of Me Time.....

On Sunday I attended a 2 hour Meditation at my Pilates Studio. It was a wonderful 2 hours, which left me feeling utterly refreshed and revitalised.
Sue had set the room out beautifully, all of us sat in a circle of yoga mats, pillows and blankets, the room cosy and warm - sadly I had left my phone in the car so didn't get any photos. There were little trees with fairy lights, lots of candles and beautiful music.
The meditation was Yoga based, which I have not done for a couple of years it also incorporated the Winter Solstice, bringing the light and warmth in, saying goodbye to the darker days.
We started by chanting a Peace Invocation, something I have never done before, the words are
We had to start slowly to say the Sanskrit, gradually increasing pace until it flowed from our tongues! The chant completed we  focussed on grounding the Chakras, followed by some strong yogic poses, Warrior!

Beneath the trees were envelopes, we each were to pick one; inside two slips of paper, one to write on what you hope to take forward with you into 2016 and one to write what you wish to leave behind. These were then to go home with Sue to be placed on a fire.

Lighting of a candle - this was done in a cold dark room, then brought back into the studio, again the symbolism of  light replacing dark, warmth replacing cold. We all placed our candles onto a tray in the middle of our circle, focussing on the dancing flame of our individual candle, eventually closing our eyes, if we were lucky, seeing colour, which I did and only can when I am thoroughly chilled :-)

Finally, we got to lie down for relaxation, I could hear Sue's voice drifting gently away..........when I sat up, everyone was already sat up, ooopppsss. This is my body, telling me I need sleeeeeep!!

Finally, we were presented with a little gift from Sue. I have waited until I was on my own to open mine, I have the perfect time now whilst Mr. & Son walk the pooch. Oooohhhh, the candle that we had lit, contained within, along with a gorgeous smelling soap of lavender and patchouli, Pukka tea to enjoy with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate. Perfect. The whole session was a gift from Sue to 'us' and it is one I am so grateful for and has set me up for all that Christmas may throw at me! Thank you Sue, X

I hope wherever you are, you are at peace and enjoy the kind of Christmas you hope for.
Lots of Love, thank you for being here,

& So, This Is Christmas

& what have I done?

I've wrapped presents beautifully, using a mixture of papers including scrunchy brown paper courtesy of Ikea (when I bought new crockery!) I'm all for recycling ;-) Love the crinkled effect once ironed!
Tried to buy consumable gifts; food, drink, toiletries, candles, useful items, not clutter!!
Shopped local and Fairtrade as much as possible; smaller shops struggle against big websites and stores - you know who I'm talking about!!
Took Sebby to see Santa for the first time, completely under awed, much preferring the lights!
Took my Nephew to the theatre to see 'Twas The Night Before Christmas'
Baked three christmas cakes - currently waiting in the kitchen to be iced, whoops; 1.00pm on Christmas Eve, best get a spurt on!
Meditated - used my Headspace daily!
Drunk cocktails with friends.....

Best of all, due to recovering from my hysterectomy, I have had the most chilled week, with no work pressure. Usually I cover the service I work for until 5.00pm Christmas Eve! It's been nice to have lazy mornings spent with my husband and Son home from Uni.

So, what have you done? What are you trying to get done? 
I wish you luck, whatever it is! XX

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Around Here Lately

Oh my goodness. I've not been here for a while. Just wanted to drop in & say "Hi!" I hope all your plans for this Festive Season are going well. 

I've been suffering from insomnia - I was warned I would go straight into menopause following my Hysterectomy, whereas usually it is a slow onset, it has been headlong. They warn you about the hot sweats (around 30 to 40 a day currently) but not about how that affects your sleep. I am mentally and physically drained. Not good......hoping to start HRT next week. Bring. It. On

Luckily I have been able to embrace this wonderful season slowly, I have written Christmas cards (next year I think I shall buy a goat instead of sending cards!!), instead of the usual frenzied wrapping I am just wrapping a few presents a day, I have the first of three christmas cakes in the oven and am sat here nursing a cup of lemon and ginger tea, the dog at my feet and the sweetest little tree with its twinkling lights turned on to enjoy. It's 6am.....
This year I bought some gorgeous christmas cards from Michaela Gogova, a lovely lady who I met at my Sister In Laws hen party a couple of years ago. You know when you just meet someone and hit it off? Becoming Facebook friends, watching as she has flourished, showing works in London Galleries, Liberty purchasing some of her designs, posters on the Underground and now a student again at Central St. Martins. Her designs are simple forms but with the most intricate detail added, often with hidden words (spot them!) Love them! Hoping for a t-shirt for my birthday.......
 My Daughter and Sister share the same birthday. Both Sagittarians. Both fiery. My Daughter celebrated her 21st this time, I saw this card and thought the words were perfect advice for a 21 year old - maybe for me too! In fact, everyone ;-)
& for my Sister, this from A Two Pipe Problem - She loves her GIN! First seen on the lovely Jen's blog Little Birdie 

Whatever you are doing, I hope you manage to relax this weekend!
Thanks for dropping by, I really do appreciate it, XX

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Lytham St. Annes

Last weekend I had another stir crazy moment - I needed to go to the sea! Do you ever get that way? I love the smell of that salty air and the sound of the crashing waves. It really is good for my soul, 
re-energising and sorting my head!!

Arriving late afternoon we had a short but exhilarating walk, admiring the amazing sunset and got really lucky as it turned out to be the Christmas light switch on with Christmas Carols and entertainment followed by a firework display. Lytham St. Annes is a small coastal town in Lancashire, around 26 miles away from home. It has a thriving town centre with lots of individual shops and at the Christmas light switch on the community spirit was palpable.
 Olly got fed up watching the entertainment in the town centre!!
Fish and chips - has to be done, then home to catch up on X Factor!!

Thanks for visiting - 
hope you are having a nice week!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

& So It Snowed!

Yesterday I woke to a blanket of snow. Not a very thick blanket, more of a sheet, beautiful nevertheless.
I have started to walk the pooch through the field twice a day now, so knowing how much he loves the snow I was dressed and out!
It's magical isn't it? Everything cloaked in white, bringing with it a stillness to the air. As I walked I had a smile on my face and laughed out loud as Olly dove into drifts. Living high up on the moors we get that bit extra - lucky - especially when not battling to work ;-)

& so my thoughts turned to Christmas - well, it does doesn't it when there's snow? This year feels extra special as I imagine Sebby seeing the christmas tree and decorations, the wonderment of it all. What goes on in those little heads?! A first visit to Santa, I can hardly contain myself, eeeeekkkkk!!

Of course the gathering of family and friends, sharing and creating memories and special moments. I try hard every year not to enter the madness, try to be mindful of what I am buying. For Christmas should be about coming together; not the dashing from shop to shop frantically finding something that matches what 'you spend'. 

This year, there is a calmness in my heart, it makes me want to change my lifestyle even more and think about where I want to be; what I want to do, for I know this calmness is because I am free of the stresses of work (not for much longer!!)

So, some pictures that I really enjoyed taking this weekend - thank you so much for stopping by and for lovely comments!

Whatever you are up to this weekend,
may you be calm in your heart, XX

Friday, 13 November 2015

Slowing Down In The Kitchen

My evenings usually go something like this (when I am in work). I arrive home to Olly very eager to go for a walk, so straight out of the back door I go, whatever the weather. I return, get tea on, throwing whatever I have in the oven, not particularly thinking about the food I am putting on our plates, just how quickly I can get it done.

Baking I find different to cooking, I thoroughly enjoy baking and often when I am stressed find myself in the middle of baking a cake - comfort food!!

But, I want to enjoy cooking more, to plan more thoroughly, to take my time preparing and more importantly eating. Despite throwing whatever in the oven we do have a really healthy diet, as in lots of fish, more protein, limited carbs, but just thrown together by the seat of my pants ;-)

This week I have enjoyed being in the kitchen, because I have had time. I tried a couple of new recipes and have slowed down my eating - I don't have anywhere to go at the moment, I'm not going running, dashing off to Pilates......

First up, this gorgeous colourful Vegetarian Chilli which I forgot to picture when on the plate!!
I wasn't too sure about this Cauliflower Cheese with Crispy Bacon, but made it for lunch and it was yummy. So simple, yet filling too! I forgot to roast mine, Frugal Queen's looks better, haha!
Last but not least this comforting, autumnal Roasted Pumpkin Soup. It was delicious and enjoyed by all who tasted! :-) I have made pumpkin soup before, which was left to go cold by everyone, me included. I picked a bad recipe....this time I went with Jamie Oliver. I did water it down quite a bit after these shots, I also added sweet potato :-0

So, I'm trying to embrace the slow, taking advantage of my time at home as I recover. Looking for inspiration, planning to eat something new at last once a week. I'd love if you could share or point me to any recent recipes you have tried and loved.

Happy Weekend!

Notes From An Exhibition #TheYearInBooks

So, back in September I made my proclamation to read Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins whilst on holiday. I did start it, but somehow lost my way. Eventually I restarted it - and oh my what a book! Demolished it in two sittings last week. Towards the end I actually felt frightened reading it, thinking things like 'run' 'call the police' - if that isn't the sign of a great read, what is??

So, ever late to the party, I have chosen  Notes From An Exhibition for my November read. Almost half way through the month but I have all the time in the world as I recover from my hysterectomy :-) I have never read anything by Patrick Gale before so looking forward to reading one of his 15 novels!!

Joining Laura at Circle Of Pine Trees - why not share what you are reading - or see what others are reading?

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Being Granny & A First Birthday

Being a Granny is the best present I could ever be gifted. This last year has seen changes to our family in the most amazing way possible, my Grandson brings such love and joy. 
We often all sit and observe him in wonder. 
Watching as he overcame the obstacles faced at birth, slowly awakening to this new and wonderful World and family that just love and adore him so much.
Lately he has gone from crawling to cruising and standing alone - those first steps taken, the confidence just needed! He's learning to communicate, sounds changing all the time, a new repertoire of first words being formed. He reserves certain nuances for different people, for Grandpa it's playing monsters, for me huge snuggly hugs you just don't want to end :-)

And so at weekend we celebrated this little man's First Birthday! With of course our family tradition of Henry Hedgehog cake, which his Mama wishes to continue (so sweet)!
Days like these are to be seized with both hands they really are a gift -
 I can hardly grasp, a year gone so fast!!
 This time the branch was hung with hearts - what our home is full of!
 There were sweet treats - of course!
 & here he is - this little man who has turned our World upside down - Sebby!
As a Mum I was chilled but I'm so much more chilled as a granny ;-)  Timing doesn't matter, the loose routine stays the same but we eat when hungry, go to bed when tired...embrace spontaneity, housework can always wait.

Thanks for reading this Granny's musings!