Sunday, 25 May 2014

Healthy Living

I like to think I lead a relatively healthy lifestyle. I have my vices, we all do, but on the whole I do ok. I eat pretty well, I don't stress over it too much because I exercise. I exercise so that I can eat what I want. It's a simple equation. 
But so much to do with a healthy lifestyle is not to do with whether you eat your five a day, or whether you work out. If you feel good within yourself, you look after yourself. 
I found this on Pinterest and it sums it all up. 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

My Workspace

My workshop is small but perfectly formed. 
Desks a bit of a bomb site. 
Big basket of fabric. I would love to say that it's all organised and neatly folded. But it's not. I'll iron it when I use it. 
Somewhere under there is my birdcage notice board. Ooh, there's the reversible bag I made today. Had a making day today and a making day is a very good day. 
On the top shelf, my collection of craft and sewing books, next shelf down, my repair tools. 
My sheet music library. This is a multi purpose space after all. 
Jack. My chair warmer and back scratcher. 
My vintage equipment. 
That's it. A tiny space. But all mine. 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Fashion DIY

Well, kiddie fashion anyway, extending the use of one of Amber's favourite tops. 
She's had this Tatty Teddy top for a couple of years, it's age 2-3 and she's now 4 and a very tall 4 too. Around the body it still fitted fine, but it was a little on the short side and the sleeves were too tight. 
So the first thing I did was to make it into a T-shirt which was just a matter of cutting off the flowery sleeves. 
I then cut off the seam and the hemmed cuffs and sewed them together to make a long strip.
The long strip I cut centrally lengthways, evened it all out so it was 3 inches wide,  and sewed them all together to make a band. I ran a gathering stitch along the top edge, pulling it up so it was the same   length as the bottom edge of the T-shirt. I pinned it in place, rights sides together, with the frill facing upwards and sewed it up. To finish, I ironed the frill down. As its jersey it saves you the need to hem as it doesn't fray, making alterations a breeze!
An easy new summer top and a bit of extra life for an old favourite. 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Best thing about being an adult

1. Drinking as much coffee as I want. If I cant sleep its my problem.
2. Midnight snacks. I buy the food, I'll eat it when I choose.
3. Being able to paint my house whatever colour I want. Mr B detests painting, so as long as I do it, he doesnt care.
4. Going to bed at a stupidly late hour. So what if I've got to be up for the school run in five hours? I can do that, because I can take..
5. Naps.
6. Less drama, less gossip. That's right, I don't talk to anyone on the playground.
7. Having a house. A house! Crazy.
8. Knowing sunny days will dry your washing for free.
9. Meeting friends for coffee and feeling dead sophisticated.
10. Wine.

That's is all.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

My Favourite Decade

The 90's!
Without question. 
I entered the nineties aged 13, so it was the decade I grew up, probably the most influential time of anyone's life. I know I had tough times- what teen doesn't? But the stand out memories are great. 
It was the decade I fell in love for the first time, had my heart broken too. It was the decade of coloured vinyl, cassette tapes and recording your favourite songs off the Top 40 on a Sunday night. 
It was the decade I went to my first gig- The Almighty at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, obsessed over Skidrow
Mm. It was all about the music, the clubbing, the festivals. Having the best of times with your closest friends. I think I saw Dodgy about ten times
The Offspring about eight
I moved to Leeds
Never went anywhere without my Walkman
So true..
It was the decade I got my first job at Scheerers music shop in Leeds, the decade before mobile phones, when you had to wait for your mates to phone you. When organising a night out took, like, forever, and a large quantity of calls to lots of people. 
And when, in this decade, I got my first mobile, this is what I played on it!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Day in photos

I'm a day behind with this one. I sat here last night, checked out yesterday's topic, finding it was 'your day in photos'. And at half seven in the evening there was not much I could about that. But I'm pretty sure today was slightly more interesting. 
This is the nice version of the day. I spared you the bickering and grumpy moments!
So, with the girls packed off to gymnastics for a couple of hours- Mr B's turn to take them, I got stuck straight into a bit of Zumba, followed by a spot of yoga and a short meditation. Great start to the day. 
A nice coffee outside enjoying the sunshine before the girls returned and the peace was shattered. 
Nothing like a new playdough kit to keep them entertained!
A lovingly thrown together picnic was pretty much abandoned in favour of the playground. 
A walk up to the stunning Blickling Hall for ice creams and a peruse of the second hand bookshop. 
Returned from Aylsham library heavily laden with books. 
 Pork stroganoff and fried gnocchi for tea. 
FA cup final. Can't believe he got away with watching this. I usually only get to see the first lap of a Grand Prix and the girls are wanting their programs back on!
Early evening walk to feed the ducks. 
So that's it pretty much. 
Catch you tomorrow. Probably;-)

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Home Sweet Home

I have been on a mission today. With Amber being off from school poorly, my day to myself was cancelled so I had to find a plan b. And that was cleaning. I think I've pretty much cleaned everything today. If its stood still for long enough, it got cleaned.
Im not usually like this. Its a once or twice a year occurance. The sun was shining and I got the spring clean bit between my teeth. But I let go worrying about the state of the house a while ago. Its not a tip. I do keep it relatively clean. I do keep it relatively tidy, well, as tidy as you can with two children, especially two girls with a passion for crafts. (Wonder where they got that from!) I let go stressing about playdough on the carpet. I dont worry about them painting or playing with pasty or fondant icing in the kitchen. Lifes too short and messes can be cleared up. I don't get anoyed by the fact that not one single room in our house is finished. From a lick of paint to a bit of coving, they all need something doing. But it'll get done at some point. Thats just our home.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Fashion, beauty and grooming

You'd think that being an Avon representative, I'd have the whole make up and beauty thing sorted. A couple of months ago, make up free selfies were doing the rounds on Facebook. But that's me on a day to day basis. I don't wear make up beyond mascara. I don't like the feel of it, I can't stand lipstick and in all honesty I think my skin is a lot better for it. 
That's not to say I don't care about my appearance, although those of you who see me on the school run may disagree, I don't know! I wage an ongoing battle with my hair. It's never red enough- I would love it to be something like this:
And it's naturally curly, but not in the way that my girls' is- lovely ringlets, no, mine is just frizz. This is not aided by the weathers persistence of raining at school run times. 
As far as fashion goes, I'm one of those people who never really graduated beyond student. I don't know how to wear 'grown up' clothes, I live in jeans and trainers and a lot of my clothes have come into and gone out of fashion several times, I don't iron and I don't hang clothes up, they get stuffed into drawers. But one thing I do love doing is upcycling clothes. When jeans wear out I make then into skirts, I've made jeans that are too big into skinnies, cut up old T-shirts for workout tops or scarves. And these are a couple of projects I intend to try next. 
So, see me down the charity shop in the next few days in search of mens shirts!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Pizza night take 2

Mr B has just informed me that he intends to go gluten free for a while. He suffers from IBS and sometimes cutting out gluten improves things. But I always shudder when he does this because it is so difficult to do, not to mention expensive. Gluten free food is easily double the price of its standard counterparts and although I've had relative success making cakes with gluten free flour, bread is nigh on impossible.
And of course its pizza night tonight. So we had a theme on variations. For Mr B, I made a base substituting spelt flour for strong white flour. I know spelt still contains gluten, but it is a lot more digestable than flour and he always tollerated it before. That worked fine.
For myself I tried making a base using cauliflower. I've seen these on the internet and been intregued, although in most instances they seemed to be pretty cheese heavy. Then I found a recipe which just binds the cauliflower using a beaten egg, so I tried that. Again, although not the same as a lovely crispy, bread base,  it actually tasted nice. And saved on the calories too. So more pudding then!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Reuse in minutes

A quick five minute project to shoe horn in at the last minute today. 
We bought a mirror frame, probably about a year ago and it's been kicking around the house ever since, one of those, I must do something with that, kind of things. My initial idea was a blackboard. But we have a lot of blackboards. We also get a lot of artwork Two small children. Lots of pictures. 
So for a very quick make, I grabbed a staple gun and some wire, stapled it into the frame in a zigzag pattern, add a few pegs and hey presto! New notice board!
Quick, cheap, simple, useful. Should have done it sooner. 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

All in the mind

I have been feeling good the last few days. Not just happy, but different within myself. I feel positive, much more confident, I am facing challenges with a completely different attitude. And although I'm not completely sure, I suspect it may have something to do with meditation. 
For the last month or so I have been falling asleep listening to guided meditations on You Tube. The lucid dream hypnosis clips have been fantastic, I've had amazing dreams and felt like I've had a really good nights sleep too. 
Like I say, I'm not completely sure that meditation is the key, but then I found this on Pinterest and it kind of sums up the way I'm feeling. 
And for a few minutes a day, or just listening to something as you're falling asleep, that seems like a pretty good deal to me. 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Passion Projects

Today's suggested topic is Passion Projects, what you would love to do and earn money from. I can always remember my dad telling me that your working life is a long one so pick something you love- or words to that effect. 
I must admit that having a degree in music is perhaps not the most useful of things. The job pool is pretty limited but as I think I've blogged about before, I have been fortunate enough to fall lucky in some ways because I do love repairing. I live the fact that no two jobs are the same, that you're always being pushed, always learning something new. 
Something like this turns up at my door and its a dream, there is nothing like a full on restoration project, turning something that's effectively junk and making it play again, giving it its reason back. 
Having said that, I obviously love making things too, a quiet afternoon with my sewing machine is my idea of heaven. 
And then I found this picture on Pinterest (yes I am addicted) and I'm starting to wonder if I can combine the two!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Ten track shuffle

I'm going to break away from the set topics today as I really didn't have much to say about it. So I delved into Pinterest for inspiration and found something different. Today I hit shuffle on my iPod, and here are the first ten songs. This is the randomness that is my taste in music. 

1. Alice in Chains -Stone. Loved Alice in Chains in my teens, so glad they came back and this song was everything I expected and more. 

2. Professor Elemental -Everything Stops For Tea. Genius bit of chap hop, smile inducing silliness. And my girls love him too. 

3.  Arctic Monkeys -Mad Sounds. Such clever songwriting, and a taste of the north which reminds me of good times.

4. Tchaikovsky -Manfred Symphony 4th mv. Powerful stuff this. I wrote my dissertation on Tchaikovsky and no matter how many times I listen to his music it still makes my skin goose bump. 

5. Buckcherry -Crazy Bitch. From one extreme to the other. This is nasty, sleazy metal with a rubbishy guitar solo in the middle, but for what ever inexplicable reason, it works for me. 

6. Abney Park -The End Of Days. Haven't listened to this in a long time. Abney Park are a steampunk band and I guess I just have to be in the right mood for this. 

7. Halestorm -Here's To Us. A fairly recent discovery, the lead singer is a lady who seriously rocks. This song has way too many swear words for child friendly listening, but it's a great power ballad nevertheless. 

8. Crusell Clarinet Concerto No.1, 2nd mv. I am so badly out of practice, but I can still knock out fairly decent renditions of Crusell's concertos as the notes fall so easily under the fingers. If I have ten minutes and fancy having a play, this is what I pick. 

9. White Stripes -Catch Hell Blues. I have a love/hate relationship with the White Stripes. Generally I pretty much hate them, but just occasionally they come up with a track that lodges itself inside my head. This is such a track. 

10. Katy B. -Why You Always Here. Rounding off what is a distinctly rock and classical list with a bit of pop! Well variety is the spice of life!

Few. That's wasn't too embarrassing, and given some of the tracks in my iPod, it could have been! 

Sunday, 4 May 2014

May the 4th be with you..

Yes, today's topic is Star Wars day. So here are my top ten pins on said subject!