24 August 2016

Wonderful Wednesday ... 18



Well well it's been a busy old time here... I was just too busy and flustered to do my little happy post last week (boo). I work in a university and as A-Level results day approaches we get VERY busy as you can imagine... We were all whisked off to our Lancaster campus to work 12 hour shifts for clearing. It was busy and stressy, I was away from home for 2 nights... just ugh. 

So that explains my absence last week... but THIS week I feel like I have TONS to keep me smiling...

1. Wednesday off I'm off work today! hurrah! Not being at work is all I can think of at the moment, so this makes me very happy indeed. Today is my day off in lieu as over the 2 days I was in Lancaster last week I worked enough overtime for a full day off. I am also off the rest of the week on planned annual leave for something SUPER exciting...

2. Festival Wuhu! Mark and I are off to local festival Solfest for the long bank holiday weekend. We go tomorrow and will be camping 4 nights. I'm praying for good weather... eek... but what can you really expect from the Cumbrian countryside. We are taking the BIG tent and Mark even purchased a separate shower tent and solar showers... it will be like luxurious festival glamping! (except of course for the awful toilets we still have to use! griiiiim!) But let's not dwell on those... 

3. Glitter Just always, am I right? There's always an excuse for glitter no? I remember when in my teenage years (and no doubt a good portion of my twenties) tipping bottles off the stuff all over my face to go out to 'rock' clubs in the evenings.... Now as I very quickly (save me!) approach the grand old age of, cripes... 36... (Oh god, that was tough to write that!) there just doesn't seem to be the glitter opportunities there once was. Sob. But FESTIVAL! I WILL wear my hair in bunches, I will wear silly little dresses with wellies, I will wear flower crowns, put neon face paint on and of course ALL the glitter... wuhu!

4. Craft fair crafts see my blog post here for more on this. I have been working hard and squirrelling away some super cute small crafts for a charity craft fair recently. I approached my deadline at the weekend and I spent some time gathering them together and photographing them. Oh my my this made me happy. I'm never one to shout about myself much, but I don't think I'm actually too bad at crafty things. It makes me smile to see lots of little bits and bobs that have actually worked out. I get so much pleasure from packaging them up nicely and seeing them off to new homes. 

5. Hanging out with my friends This weekend was super lovely. I went to see my bestest friend Jools just over the border in Dumfries. We don't seem to see each other very often which is very sad but it's lovely when we do get together for long chats and Pimms! This weekend was extra special too as all 3 kids were home (seems to be a rare occurrence) and we all hung out.  We chatted about impending uni, youtubers, clothes, made friendship bracelets, and played Pokemon! wuhu. It is dawning on me that I have more and more in common with the kids than my friend Jools these days... hehe. (never grow up!)

6. Being back home with Mark Being away from Wednesday to Friday for work kind of sucked. It was loooong boring, busy days and it felt like I was away a lifetime. I'm not too good at going away really (unless to friends houses of course, or with Mark) so it felt SO nice to eventually land home around 8pm on Friday night and spend some quality time with Mark. Coming home always feels so nice.

7. Happy smiley birthday face This one should have been in last week's missed one, but I couldn't not include Birthday Boy Corey in my little happy list. My eldest nephew turned 3 last week and we had a dinosaur party for him. It was LOTS of fun! We were all so excited to see his little face when he walked into the room all decorated... and he did not disappoint! A big smiley face and a lovely big 'hello' and a cuddle for us all. 


What's been making your week that little bit extra happy? Need an extra pick me up... pop on over to the most wonderful of the Wednesdayers... Sally... and not forgetting this lovely bunch too ... MichelleKateHelen, and Cat.


21 August 2016

Craft Fair Crafts


I've made my very first items for a craft fair! exciting! I had SO much fun with these...

My Goddaughter got in touch recently to ask if I would like to make some crafty items to sell at a craft fair she was organising in aid of some charities she has been supporting on her gap year. Check out Georgia's blog here to read all about it... You can also donate to her JustGiving page here... Georgia is fund raising to provide safe water and a toilet block to a school in the Gambia where she spent 3 months. We are all super proud of Georgia!

I hope these little craft items can help to raise a little bit of money...

So I decided to try and make lots of little bits in the time I had as I figured they might sell better, also perfect excuse to make some cute little things I don't normally make.

I also set myself a thrifty challenge to only make items from my current craft stash. I easily achieved my challenge, and could have made double this! (I have a big craft stash!)

I started (naturally) with a Pinterest board full of inspiration for super cute small crafts.

As you can see from my Pinterest none of these patterns are mine, they were all inspired and I got the patterns free online, you can find all the links below:

Strawberries http://www.ravelry.com/projects/kathykoo/crocheted-strawberry 

Apple http://www.planetjune.com/blog/free-crochet-patterns/amigurumi-apples/

Lemon http://media.craftyarncouncil.com/sites/default/files/health/StitchAwayStressLemon_Crochet_CYC.pdf

Baubles http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/bauble-decoration.html

Hanging hearts - Not exactly a pattern, I just 'borrowed' this idea from this pin... https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/164240717640396350/ I simply drew a heart shape and used my machine to stitch them all in one chain.


All my crochet items, the fruit and baubles are made using Rico Creative Cotton which you can find here and I used my trusty 3.5 crochet hook.


Pretty hanging hearts...


These amazing Attic 24 baubles aren't just for Christmas! I purposely chose non-Christmas colours. I love these hanging round my house all year round, I hang them from drawer knobs etc.



I might have to go back and make myself one of these wee strawberries, super fun to make, and I think look really good!



Of COURSE I was also excited about packaging up my little crafts! Again all the packaging I already had in my stash. Some simple clear plastic bags and some cute stickers to seal them. I purchased my stickers on Etsy ages ago, but the shop here seems to now be closed. There are TONS of sticker shops on Etsy though to find similar...


I also popped in one of my little business cards to each package... Just to show who made them and also might get me a little crafty business... you never do know! hehe. I got my business cards from the amazing Moo.



I loved seeing my little crafts all packaged up like this! I do hope someone wants to buy them....???

This has REALLY made me want to do some more craft fair crafts... might have to check out some local opportunities...

10 August 2016

Wonderful Wednesday ... 17

Another beach shot from my little trip to St Bees for my header again this week, not been anywhere prettier to take photos (boo). 

Well this little post has sprung up on me yet again and I don't feel organised, nor do I have any ideas yet again... However sitting down to write and think of my list, they so quickly come to me. No matter how 'blah' you think the week has been... plodding along in my normal routine it is really rather easy to spot those lovely things that jump out that make life that extra bit wonderful...

1. Dinosaur claws I was off for two blissful days this week (or last week in an actual M-F work week) I made no plans and just wanted to go with the flow... I ended up meeting my mum in town and she was babysitting my nephew Corey... Corey is absolutely OBSESSED with dinosaurs, of course what's not to be obsessed about, dinosaurs are cool! He knows all the names and can pronounce the super long ones I have not even heard of. 

So of course we popped into a few shops to look for dinosaur related things... he has them all, literally... trying to spot a little present I could treat him to.. 'No I have that one', 'got him'... then we spotted them... huge dinosaur hands (or rather Velociraptor claws I am reliably informed by my nearly 3 year old nephew!) his whole face lights up... yes that will be the present Aunty Jo can buy! 

This post of course needs a visual... raaaaah!

2. Colleagues I am super grateful for lovely colleagues this week. Work is well work, isn't it... I do not hate my job, but I won't also confess to 'loving' my job either. It is a job, it pays the bills. I'm not terribly ambitious I just want something not awful, that I can do, that stretches me a little bit, good pay, good holiday, M-F 9-5 and my job ticks all those boxes... but most importantly for any job I have had over the years are one's colleagues. Life at my uni where I work can be pretty bleak in the summer months, no students, everyone off on leave etc. It makes me miss the buzz of busy offices I have worked at before. But I do have some lovely colleagues here and having those little chats, giggles and yes, let's face it moans, to each other, really do make the day.

3. Reading I have a stack of exciting, lovely books by my bed (and on the shelves) I am desperate to read. I keep telling myself I want to make time to read more, but do I make time to read? No! Why not? No idea.. well not true I blame YouTube, it's all THEIR fault...! Screens dictate my life... I know I enjoy the simple pleasures of reading an actual real life book but actually giving myself time to do that seems impossible. But this week I did... I had about 1 hour of reading a book I've been dying to read... it was GOOD! I loved it... I want to read more... Maybe I will get another few chapters read in another five years or so... 

4. Not being so hard on myself This probably comes into Number 3 a bit too. I'm a 'to-do list' person, always have been, always will be. Yep, I'm that person who writes themselves a to-do list at the weekends... It's usually full of stuff like, READ more... meditate, go for a run, drive more, blah blah... and do I ever tick all of these off? HELL no! Then comes the beating myself up about not having achieved all these things. Well this week I said screw that! (It will probably only last this 1 week!) and I have instead of all the impossibly un-achievable things on my to-do list I picked 1. To focus on my driving... and I've been driving every day. And cos there's only 1 thing on my list, and I've been able to tick it off, cos there's only 1 thing, I feel pretty darn happy with myself.

5. Trying new recipes I tried 2 new recipes this week. I never try new recipes... I suck badly at cooking, so I stick to the few meals I know I can make and I get bored, very bored. This week I made a new risotto, it was delicious, I loved it, it might go in my regular repertoire (lol even I chuckled to myself at the use of that word!) of meals I make until I'm inevitably bored of it... then I made a chick pea curry, with lentils and spinach and all the things, the recipe sure sounded good, but it was NOT! As exclaimed I suck at cooking.. dam it. But you know... Number 4... not being so hard on myself. I tried, it failed, but I did WIN at one of them at least.

6. Suicide Squad We went to the cinema last night, Mark and I and our friend Ailsa. It was good fun, had a good time. Suicide Squad was awesome! Favourite character of course Harley Quinn, she's so dam cool and super funny too. I would SO have idolised her when I was younger.... oh who am I kidding..... I am desperate to dye my hair pink and blue and do my make up and nails mismatched...

What's been making your week that little bit extra happy? Need an extra pick me up... pop on over to the most wonderful of the Wednesdayers... Sally... and not forgetting this lovely bunch too ... MichelleKateHelen, and Cat.

3 August 2016

Wonderful Wednesday ... 16


Almost forgot about this little post there for a moment... so just getting it together rather late...

Here's what's been making me smile this week...

1. The thought of 2 days off work... Went and booked myself a rather short notice little couple of days off. I only made the decision on Monday... my days off are tomorrow and Friday, bliss! I have no plans yet whatsoever... but I suspect they may contain something along the lines of Netflix, YouTube, crochet, cat cuddles, PJs.. might even throw in a little bike ride if I'm feeling energetic.

2. A trip to the beach. We were out for a bit of a drive at the weekend and went past a place in West Cumbria called St Bees, neither of us had been before but had heard nice things. It was nice! Super nice! A beachy place and really pretty. (yep that's it in my pic above)We wondered to ourselves why we had never been before... We explored a bit, did a lovely cliff walk, got some ice creams... went home again. It was nice to explore somewhere new in this wonderful county of ours.

3. Exploring woods. Another new place! We went woods exploring, something Mark and I actually do a little bit of... Mark wants to buy some woods you see, and that's SO exciting! So we go and visit little woods to buy. This one (not too far from St Bees) that we explored at the weekend is a contender. It had some lovely huge old trees. I'm crossing all my fingers...

4. A good catch up with my friends. My friends came round on Saturday night to chat. It was nice! We chatted mostly about babies, and baby things... cos everyone in the world seems to be pregnant or just had a baby. Talking about babies is great, as long as the conversation doesn't turn round to 'so when are YOU having babies then', LOVE that one, NOT! hehe.

5. A morning with my nephew. More babies! hehe. Well actually Corey isn't a baby anymore, he is almost three whole years old. My plan was to go to soft play, then the play park near my new house, see Meg the cat and then home on the bus... Corey didn't want to go to soft play, then he did, he didn't want to go in his pushchair, then he did... then changed mind again completely and just wanted to stay in instead... he DID want to eat the not so secret stash of bribery chocolate buttons in my bag of course (top aunty tip, always have bribery buttons!!! Us auntys get away with naughty treats! ha ha ha (evil laugh). So in the end we downloaded about a MILLION dinosaur games onto Aunty Jo's phone and played them for about 4 hours straight. We had fun though.

6. More sleep. I keep saying to myself I would be happier, more motivated, less likely to resort to energy drinks (ugh), and eat better if I got a bit more sleep... I'm averaging maybe 5.5/6 hours per night and its not enough. Combination of never going to bed at a decent time, my insistence on getting up super early to either a. drive with no other cars on the roads, or b. run,  plus not to mention the cat jumping on me as soon as the sun rises. But some how this week I have had some decent sleep. Like 8 hours for a few nights! what! How did that happen? .... And you know I do feel a bit fresher for it...  Let's try and do this a bit more often Jo, eh!

How has your week been? Anything that has made it that extra bit wonderful? For an extra dose don't forget to pop along to  SallyMichelleKateHelen, and Cat. 

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