Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Christmas and New Year

I hope that you all had a wonderful christmas. Just catching up with afew pictures from the last couple of weeks. Sorry they are a little blurred. We have been
Snuggling by candlelight
Watching he brave people swimming in our Boxing Day Dip (truly mad mad people)
Watching the lights twinkle on the christmas tree.
From our little house by the sea we wish you all the very best for the new year.
S xxxx

Monday, 15 December 2008


Yesterday the children and I had the most wonderful day out enjoying lots of old fashioned christmas cheer. Sadly Andrew was unable to come with us as he was home sick and spent the day in bed with flu...
When we came home and the children were tucked up in bed I decided it was about time that I made a start with the christmas cards, I had out it off enough.

What better way to get off to a good start... Candle light, cards, pen, ink and a wax seal for the envelopes.
We bought the pen and ink today as the children were wascinated by it. I normally use a good quality fountain pen that my Gran bought for me years and years ago but have never really used one that you need to dip in the ink, it was fun to try.. It makes you think about what you are writing as you need to concentrate so much on getting just the right amount of ink on the nib and all that. The candle light just added that extra touch.... The wax seal has the initial of our surname on it and looks sweet on the back of the envelope...... Simple.....

Sunday, 30 November 2008

We have been enjoying som lazy days here recently, kind of stopping to smell the roses. It is about time
Christmas cakes have been made
Dods have been snoozing

And beautiful walks have been taken. We have had the most stunning weather this last couple of days. It has been so very cold and icy but once you have wrapped up it is just so nice to be outside. The water here is frozen solid, it is so quiet that if you drop something on the ice you hear the strangest of noises.
The air smells of cold and fires, I love the smell of fires.

I have finally started with some christmas shopping. It is going to be a fairly modest affair this year but as long as time is spent together it really doesnt matter to us. I am not going to list gifts on here just yet as I know that family read this blog.
Another idea I wanted to share with you ( I cant claim this to be my own idea, borrowed it from another blog)
My children have got a chocolate advent calendar which was bought for them and also one of those fabric ones that you put a gift inside the pockets (which was made for them). Rather than use the fabric one for chocolates I will put a little note into each pocket with an activity on it, it could be making popcorn, baking, watching a movie or anything. I think that this is a wonderful idea as my children wont remember the chocolate they had but will the time spent with their family. I will blog mre about it in the next few days.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Thank You

Thank you to GTM over at A Life Full Of Blessings
for this award.
The rules are that I need to nominate 5 other blogs. Here you are,
(click on the links above) This is for inspiring me in many different ways, for this I thank you.
I also wanted to thank everyone for their advice regarding the last post. I have a few ideas now and will update them later as it is getting late now. It can be hard to stand by ones life choices at times, especially when they may not always be what is classed as the norm. However I have always said it would be rather dull to be normal, who wants to be the same anyway?
I know that I feel squashed and trapped in what we class as "normal" and feel the need to spread my wings and be the real me.
I look around the school yard when I collect my children from school and dont want my children to be the same as everyone. I know that it is harder for our children as I know only too well how cruel children can be when someone is not quite the same but I have always told mine that they should stand up for what they believe in and be proud. Anyway, enough it is getting rather late and I am very tired.
GOD Bless,
S xxxx

Sunday, 23 November 2008


I am hoping that my dear blogger friends would give me some advice. As you have probably read I am on a quest for some simplicity in our lives. I feel the desire to stear away from some of the modern consumerism and other stuff that modern day living pushes us towards and although this is something that has always been with me, that desire has for some reason become such a greater priority right now.

We have made some changes and TV free was one of them. I set the family the challenge to watch no tv for a week and it was a complete breeze. I could be quite happy to turn in the TV and never have one again. The children were not concerned at all and if I am honest I thought that they would miss it. They rediscovered long lost toys and games that they had forgotten about and just played for hours and hours. There is nothing more entertaining than listening to the giggles of children having fun. We still have the tv and we can watch it but I think that it gave us all a little more appreciation of the other things we have in our lives. Where we go from now? I dont know the answer to that right now, but I know that it will include much more fun.

Right now, I am hoping that some fo my blogger friends will help me here. There are no right or wrong answers as everyone is different...
What does simplicity mean to you? Is it staying at home, avoiding consumerism or whatever?
Can you share your ideas and perhaps give me some more ideas.

Also as we head to what can be the most expensive time of the year I need some ideas for Christmas presents, mainly for my children age 9 Girl and 7 boy. It is hard to try to be simple with the children over christmas but I am lucky in that my children never ask for anything, so this avoids some problems but it also makes it difficult to get them things that they would like. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Amish Apple Butter

This is so yummy that you must run into your kitchen, put on your apron and some wonderful music and make some.. The house smells wonderful and although it may take some time it is worth every little bit of the effort.
Peel and core the apples.
6 pounds of apples
1 Cup of apple juice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
quarter cup cider vinegar
2 cups dark brown sugar
Peel, core and chop the apples. Put them into an ovenproof dish. Add the apple juice and bring to the boil. Simmer and cook until the apples are cooked (about 30 mins)

Press the apples through a strainer into a bowl. Return mixture to the pot adding the cinnamon, vinegar and brown sugar.
Bake in the oven 350' for 3 hours.

Place in clean jar and refrigerate for up to three weeks.

Make it look all pretty.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

TV free

Thanks you for your kind comments and emails about my previous post about change. There is nothing wrong (thankfully) but I have felt the need for change for some time but didnt know what or how to do it, I just needed time to figure out what it was.

There is nothing huge planned, we are still living in the same house and will still go to the same jobs but it is just all the rest that has been looked at.

One of the things that has been a bug bear of mine is the TV. I HATE Tv, it is full of absolute junk and either old hasbeens or wannabe celebs. I think you can guess I dont watch alot of TV..
Anyway, this week I set the family a challenge of NO TV for a WEEK !!!!!
We started on Monday and I can honestly say that it has not even been switched on since. Nobody has even asked or commented that they miss the idiot box. We have done other things and I a so glad of it, the house seems a whole lot calmer without the constant noise. When we decided on this week we didnt realise that it was Children in Need on Friday, so the children are been allowed to watch an hour of it on Friday and that is it.

I will let you know how we get on with this. Another thing that is been looked at is Christmas, I think that it will be in another post though.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

A day out.

This has to be my most favourite place to visit, I love it. I drag my children around showing them things, showing them how life used to be. They even love to go now. You literally step back in time.

I want a kitchen like this, I want to sit by the fire and cook bread and cakes and drink tea. This lady actually had bread baking in oven. Smells wonderful.
Need to take a trip to the grocery store?
Did I ever tell you that I am obsessed with the smell of Coal Tar Soap and Carbolic Soap? I should have included that in my earlier tag. I cant pass Coal Tar sopa in the shop without picking it up and smelling it. I have it in the kitchen and just love the smell of it by the sink. I used to hate it as a child when we had it at home.

Fancy some fabric to make a dress?

Just look at the fabric.

Wouldnt you just love to shop here. It reminds me of my home town in a way. I thik that it is the canopy on the left that looks like the indoor market place.

My daughter took this picture to give to Daddy so that she can show him how she would like to have her bedroom decorated.
I told you they were as obsessed as me, what other nine year old wants to have her bedroom modelled on a room of the 1900's?

Tuesday, 11 November 2008



Ages ago I was Tagged by Faerie Nuff and shamefully have only just gor round to posting it (bad blogger I know)... Anyway here it is,
  1. Link to the person who tagged you.

  2. Post the rules on your blog.

  3. Write six random things about yourself.

  4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.

  5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

  6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
* If I go to the shop to buy a bar of chocolate I will feel it to make sure that it is not broken.. If it is I will have to look for another bar as I cant possibly eat a bar that has been broken. I have no idea why this i but it is just the way I am.

* I am a mean Mummy ans let my children sort out their own arguments ( I can hear one going on upstairs right now...he he he)

* If I had my dream job I would be working in a museum, I would want to work with the children who visit for the day.

* I love to bake and will spend many a relaxing hour it the kitchen.

* My sister used me as an example in her Counselling Portfolio when she was doing some work on people with OCD. I think that it is perfectly normal to want to have clean hands and wash your hands a gazillion times a day. I mean if you had my job and you saw where children put their hands you would wash too. hehehehe

* I love to read about the Amish way of life. I dont think it is an easy idealistic way of living but there is something about it that interests me.

Ok so I am supposed to link to six other lucky duckies, but y'all know I am a rule breaker and now the argument upstairs has turned into tears for the benefit of Mummy to hear and come and see what is happening... Oh the joys of parenthood... If you want to join in then please do so..
I am off to be a peacekeeper...

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Bonfire Night

Firstly..... Happy Birthday to my big sister, I hope that you have a wonderful day and evening.
Love ya lots !!!!!!

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

On the 5th November 1605, Guy fawkes was caught in the Houses of Parliament with barrels of gunpowder to blow the place up. He was sentenced to death and was executed. The day has since been remembered and is used as a warning to others that treason will not be forgotton.
Fast forward some years and most children will only think it is the day to set off fireworks and have a bonfire, I dont even think that children make a Guy these days. Although it is quite a horrible thing to get a child to make a figure of a man (Guy Fawkes) out of clothes and stuff and chuck it on the bonfire to burn to death. We used to get children knocking on the door in the run up to Bonfire Night asking "Penny for the Guy"... Perhaps this has now been taken over with the commercialism of Halloween and trick or treating, I dont know....

I have lots to catch up on but havent got around to downloading the pictures so that will have to wait and I have also been tagged by the very talented "Faerie Nuff".. Stop by her blog and have alook at what she has been making..
Whatever you do this eening have a wonderful but SAFE time.

Sarah x

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Its all about to change !

You may remember a little while ago I posted about changes... Well this family is changing...
I rush around, run here there and everywhere, skip meals, spend a fortune on petrol, often get to my evening meal and realise I have not had a drink all day and many other things (Hubby is just as bad ) . Well today is the day it STOPS...........

I once heard a saying "If Mamma aint happy, aint nobody happy".
Well this Mamma aint happy, OH NO SHE AINT.

Dont you sometimes feel that the days fly past and suddenly you realise you didnt have the time to sit with your little ones and listen to them read, you get them to rush their homework on a sunday evening because you have been too "busy" to do it with them earlier. What impression does it give to our children when we just dont have time, I dont want to say "Mummy doesnt have the time" anymore.. It is an easy trap to fall into, dont you think.

I want to take a side step and jump off the rollercoaster and spend as much time as possible nurturing my children and giving them the time that they deserve. I want to take more time for me and do the things that I like, I am sure there are some and I have just forgotten.

There are changes happening around here and it feels good.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Let me introduce...

Here is my little Bellatrix, also known as Belle!!! She at times does resemble her name sake and is a little madame but generally we are getting along OK. Isnt she just a darling????

She is now eight weeks old and I think that she is starting to settle in. She has howled and howled but for the last few days she has started to settle down and is fitting in quite well.

My son wanted to call her Tinkerbell but I couldnt see Andrew shouting "Tinkerbell" in the park, neither can I hear him shouting "Bellatrix" which is why we settled on Belle.

I think she may be turning into a pampered pooch !!! Have you seen the stuff you can buy for dogs these days?

I have been so bury recently and there has been very little for me to blog about. We have spent today in the kitchen baking yummy cakes. I got to spend some time with my dear daughter and we listened to some Andrew Lloyd Webber in the background. Most of the goodies will be sent on their way with Andrew to work in the morning but we shall keep some for us.

Here is what we made, the cakes are to be made into Fairy cakes and so will need to be iced, Marshmallow Crispie cakes and Snickerdoodles (very moreish)

Saturday, 27 September 2008


At last the sun has started to shine, it is so warm here today. I wont complain and will drink in every last drop of sunshine we get until the weather changes back and we are yet again in Autumn and then winter.

The week has dragged as Andrew has been away, we went to the airport to collect hime on Friday only to see Ant and Dec come off his airoplane. The excitement of collecting Daddy was soon replaced with excitement of the Ant and Dec kind (fickle children !!!).
Having a week on my own (with children of course) has given me time to do afew jobs around the house that have beenneeding to be done and also given me much time to reflect. With the change of the seasons come changes, so what better time to make afew changes to your lives or homes for the better.

I have afew up my sleeves and nothing too big but just a gentle reminder to spend more quality tie with the children and now that the dark nights are here what better excuse to get back into the habit of family movie nights or games nights.

I have also had the chance to sort through some craft things and get out the things we need to make this years christmas cards. I have some in mind for friends and then others that will be sent to close friends and family.
Thank you all for your sweet comments, I really do treasure them all. I will try and reply to you all soon.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Out of the mouths of babes

Picture the scene..... Mummy helping her dear 7 year old boy to do some homework. He wants to join the school gardening club and has to fill in a form to say why. One of the questions was "What would you do first if you joined the club?"....... I asked my son and his reply was

"I would dig a tunnel out"....

Not alot you can say to that is there?
Although I had visions of the Great Escape Film....

In other news my Sister and her friend are planning a Fairy Ball , so I have to plan a Fairy Cotume for next May... Cant wait, it just HAS to be PINK !!!!!!!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Treasuring Autumn

Melissa at The Inspired Room is hosting 20 Little Things to Treasure in Autumn, follow the link to have a look and perhaps join in.

Here are mine,

1 Snuggling up under a blanket
2 The smell of Jacket Potatoes cooking in the oven
3 Sitting with only the gentle flickering of candles for light
4 Pumpkins
5 The cosiness of dark nights
6 Bonfire Night
7 The sound and smell of fireworks
8 Bonfires
9 Toffee Apples
10 Kicking leaves when walking through the park
11 Walks along the beach
12 Yummy stews cooking
13 The smell of the cooler air
14 Blankets on the beds
15 Hot chocolate
16 Coming inside to a warm house
17 Apple picking
18 Lots and lots of cake making
19 Wrapping up warm
20 Loved ones

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Cozy toes allotments and a giveaway..

I am realy pleased to say that I have finally got my much desired allotment. I have wanted one for ages and have grown disheartened about the small (read miniscule) patch we have been using in the garden. I am not sure of exactly how big it is so will have to get it measured but it is HUGE, more that big enough for us so we are going to share it with a friend. We are allowed to keep live stock on there and there are alreadu alot of people keeping chickens and geese so I think that once it is sorted then I may look at getting some chickens.

It is very overgrown and will need alot of work done to it before we can even think about what we are going to grow, however the main point it that it is now mine, ALL MINE !!!!!!

Autumn is well and truly on the way, you can smell it in the air. This next week I intend to get the beds sorted with their extra blankets and sheets, I may even sneak a hot water bottle in their also. I love to snuggle up with a hot water bottle to keep me warm, I actually have an old stone hot water bottle that I used until quite recently. The stone gets incredibly hot so it needs to be wrapped up in a towel or something otherwise it is far too hot to handle.

I have been adding little touches of autumn into the house this last week. I know there is no real need to decorate for the seasons but I love the warm colours and the only thing I have actually bought are three gourds from a flower shop today, everything else was found in the house (its amazing what you can find). Thank you to Periwinkle for helping me to find them.

I cant wait to get some pictures of the allotment and I will show you some of my autumn decorations soon.

I have also recently received an award from the lovely Pixiedust , but shamefully never got it posted on here. Thank you Pixiedust and sorry about the delay.

I am supposed to nominate 7 blogs for the same award, I will be thinking and posting them soon.

I have nearky written my 200th post, so to celebrate I will be having a giveaway very soon.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Autumn Thoughts and other stuff

For me once we get into September we are in Autumn, I dont know if it is officially Autumn but for me it is. I have been browsing some blog candy recently and love the way that in America lots of people will decorate for the season, whilst in good old stiff upper lip England we just dont. Now I hear you moan and remind me that I have this "THING" or obsession (call it what you will) about going to America and if i were able to travel anywhere in the world this is where I would choose. HOWEVER I love the idea of decorating for the seasons and have decided that i will try and include some Autumn (or Fall) decor into this house.. Hoorah !! any excuse to decorate !!!!! Do you decorate for the seasons?

Here are the cakes I made the children for when they returned from school this afternoon. I thought that we should celebrate the very first day back at school and what better way to do this than to eat cake? I love cake way to much as my hips will tell you, but what can you do? WHAT CAN YOU DO ??????

Have you seen this? I was yet again looking at blog candy and came across this link for a show that was on English tv called Time Warp Wives... Did you see it? I didnt but was able to watch it on 4 on demand, I want one of these houses and those cars I need one of those cars... (sigh !!)
Basically these people have chosen to live in the 30's, 40's and 50's and their homes, cars, clothes and lives are as close to the lives of those who lived during that time. One issue the couples raised was that todays society have very poor morals, they feel that back in the 30's, 40's or 50's people had a better sense of what was right and wrong and did more for other people. They have taken these values which are seen by some as old fashioned and applied them to their lives and they say that they feel much happier for it.
I agree with alot of the things they said and would love to have my home authentic to the 1940's (yes yes I hear you moaning again, my other obsession). It may have been because my Grandmother lived with us when I was a child and heard endless tales of the war time and how life was different then and that I love history. I dont know but take a look at these links and tell me what you think. Have a look here and here .

Sunday, 31 August 2008


Well I can honestly say that the last few weeks have beena wonderful break in many ways. I have tried to blog afew times but deleted it and thought I would wait a little longer, although I did catch up on your news.
We have done lots over the summer regardless of the weather, if you let the weather dictate what you did then you would do nothing. We did have afew days camping and the above is the view of the lake from the camp site. It was wet but we were warm and were able to keep dry. The kids had a great time which is what matters to us the most.
We return to school in the morning and I guess we are back to our usual routines, we have to fit in Brownies, Tennis and Swimming lessons and no doubt endless activities at school. I have bathed my little ones this evening and tucked them up as snug as a bug in clean bedding with a little love note tucked under their pillows. They are sooo excited to be back to school and for my little one this means the excitement of going to a new school and been at the Junior school, what happened to my baby?????
I baked and iced some cakes for them to enjoy when we get in tomorrow evening, I thought we could celebrate our back to school together. I am not sure I feel like celebrating going back to work but I dont think that I have ever turned down the chance to eat cake.
We are heading off to the best time of the year for me, I love Autumn and Winter.. the house is warm and cosy and we get to snuggle up together and have reading time and enjoy hot chocolates. There have been days recently when it almost feels like the seasons are changing but it still feels a little too warm, it wont be long though.
Well it is nice to be back, take care...

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Taking a break

Hi everyone, just taking a break from blogging. I need to be spending a little more time with my family and enjoying been at home. I will be back soon.
Enjoy the summer and have fun with your little ones.
Sarah xx

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Summer Living !!

When you live in the North east of England you learn that the weather does not lways last and you have to make the most of the beautiful days. We have been lucky with wonderful weather but the last couple of days have been covered in thick fog. One of the joys of living on the coast I guess.

As we ended week one of the school summer holidays I have been trying to make the holidays special for the children so that one day they will look back and say "Remember when !!!". I am lucky that I work in a school so get the same holidays as the children and this means that I am always here for them as though I were still at home full time.
Here is a little fact about me, I HATE the TV.. Goodness, it is just hours and hours of rubbish and repeats. I never have it on during the day and can honestly feel my bloodpressure rise when Andrew comes home from work and switches on the news or some other stuff. I would be happy to be a no tv family but I dont think that it would go down very well to be honest. I am lucky in that I am not subjected to football as he doesnt like it, however I am subjected to lots and lots of motorbike racing every weekend. I will be so pleased once the MotoGP and Superbikes are finished, although I would put money on them repeating the whole season for your viewing pleasure. BLEURGH !!!

On Saturday evening I sat in the garden with the above whilst my children splashed in their pool, it is so nice to take time for yourself but I did enjoy listening to them playing and laughing together. I am lucky that they get on well, although they do have their moments together.
I love that Tea Cup, I cant bring myself to drink tea if it is not in a Tea Cup and has been brewed in a pot. It just does not taste the same.

We were going to an airshow on Sunday but had a change of plans so went to the river instead. We had the most glorious day, the children played and swam and I hid under the shade of a tree.
I have made three picnics in the last week, dont you just love a picnic? There is something quite special about having packed a picnic and setting off on an adventure.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Christmas in July !!

I am a member of a Christmas forum and we decided to do a Christmas in July swap. The idea was a kind of secret sister, you wouldnt know who was sending you a parcel until it arrived and it was not the same person you were sending to. The parcels were to be opened today as it is the 25th.. Here is a picture of my Gifts waiting to be opened.

And here is what was waiting for me inside

I now have the perfect evening planned, I am going to watch my movie, eat my choccies and either drink the hot chocolate or have a glass of wine. Oh and errr Hubby will be sent to the pub !!! Thank you to my swap partner.