Friday, 12 May 2017

Latest Avon Order Has Arrived!

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products, just sharing my latest order and, hopefully, some smiles x

Hi Honeys
It's Friday again, after a beautifully sunny week of highs and lows, the highs being the sunshine and the lows being an arthritis flare in my spine (seriously ouchie) and a squirrel attack on our much loved peony roses.

I was in need of a smile this week for sure and first our order from Studio, with the cutest little egg cosies, arrived (I'm still smiling when I go into the kitchen and see them 😊) and then my Avon delivery arrived too yaaay😊

Yaaay! Latest Avon Order Arrived!

To be honest I'd actually forgotten what I'd ordered 😊 I'm seriously turning into a goldfish lately honeys.  I'm losing my glasses... a lot! I might need to start using one of those little cords that hang around the neck to keep track of them.

I keep walking into a room, forgetting why I went there and then after standing there wondering for a minute or two and once I've wandered off again, I'll remember whatever it is I'd intended to do. There's no hope for me 😊

So, while I still remember the contents of my latest Avon order (hee hee) I thought I'd share it with you 😊 I've added links where I could find them in case you're interested in trying anything.  Let's have a look shall we...

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Disaster Among The Peonies!

Hello Honeys,
It would seem the old saying "pride comes before a fall" might well have some truth to it.  Do you remember I was recently waffling on about our much loved peony roses?

This year, for the first time ever, we have seven special rose buds appear!  The most we normally have is three so I couldn't believe my eyes.  I was so happy, so proud.... aha! There's that pesky pride.

So, I've been keeping a close eye on them, feeding and watering them, moved them up onto a higher point in the garden so they could soak in the most sunshine, which let's face it is rare enough in Scotland so I wanted them to have the best of it while it lasted.

Then dear ones, it happened!

Disaster! A squirrel attacks our peonies!

You know I've spent many a happy time in our kitchen watching the odd visiting squirrel frolic in our garden, run along the top of the fence and up and into the nearby trees.  I'm a huge squirrel fan actually.

I stand up for the wee furry critters all the time.  I hang wee bags of peanuts in our garden on the apple tree when food gets scarce in winter time.  Then this happens...

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Smiles In The Kitchen - Egg Cup Cosies For Douglas 😊

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to endorse or promote any products, just sharing my latest little kitchen smiles 😊

Hi Honeys
Our kitchen is making me smile so much right now 😊  It really is the silliest thing to be smiling about but I just can't help it! Even glancing at the photos for this blog post have me all 😊

Smiles in the kitchen - egg cosies for our Lurpak Douglas egg cups

I always adored Douglas honeys.  Hang on, I'm ahead of myself aren't I?  After all, what if you don't know who Douglas is?  Douglas lives on a shelf in our kitchen, or rather a few mini ceramic versions of him do.

Douglas was a creation of Aardman Animation, famous for their stop motion work which of course includes the wonderful Wallace & Gromit characters.

Douglas, sometimes known as the "butter man" appeared in a series of TV advertisements promoting Lurpak butter which ran from 1985 until the early 2000s.  If you haven't ever met Douglas you're in for a treat honeys...


Monday, 8 May 2017

Yippee! New Book Arrivals!

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to recommend any books, just sharing our latest book shaped smiles 😊

Hi Honeys
How are you today?  I did laundry with my assistant, our furbaby Jade and planned a yummy dinner for tonight (baked potato with tuna and red onions in mayonaise as a side... yumm!)

A wee exhausted me got home from work late Saturday night to find a large box on the coffee table. Immediate smiles honeys, the books I'd ordered had arrived! Yaaay!

Latest additions to our book collection

Saturday's shift at work (and the night before too) had been so exhausting, great shifts actually with more than my fair share of smiles, but exhausting none the less, so to find a large box of books waiting for me at home was wonderful!

Let's have a look at what was inside shall we?

Friday, 5 May 2017

Bank Holiday Monday - Sunhine, Smiles, Laundry & finding Lost Treasures...

Hi Honeys
What a fantastic week we've been had here.  After a long, (really,really long... I mean it went on forever) and very bizarre winter that actually felt more like a never-ending Scottish summer... you know, not warm, not cold enough for an extra vest but day after day of seemingly constant rain.  Just eugghhhh!

Well, the miraculous has happened and the sun has remembered where the UK is! Not only did she remember us though, she remembered in time for a bank holiday weekend! Will miracles never cease!

There is a sort of unwritten law that says British bank holidays should be complete wash outs.  Wall to wall, chucking down from the heavens, will it never end, rain-fests.

Misery, thy name is a rained out bank holiday weekend!

Then, this past long weekend happened...

Bank Holiday Monday - Sunshine, Smiles & Laundry!

It was glorious honeys! It was sunny, warm, I was at work all day Saturday.... arrrgggggg! Not to worry I kept telling myself, there's always tomorrow.  Of course I don't ever really achieve anything much on Sundays really so maybe I was being a little optimistic.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Sunshine & Roses...

Hi Honeys
I hope you've had a fabulous week and you're looking forward to the weekend.  It's a bank holiday here on Monday which means Hubby gets a day off work πŸ˜ƒ

We're hoping to either, depending on the weather of course, work on some organizing projects upstairs or if it's actually not raining outside maybe make a start on garden work.  We have seeds to plant and still have plans for a little seating area outside.

Today I thought I'd share a little sort of garden related smile.  Now I say sort of garden related because technically they still live on the windowsill of our kitchen, where they've lived since a very dear friend bought them for me at Christmas (thank you Karen, I love them x)

They will though eventually, I'm hoping, join the other roses in our tiny front garden outside.

Sunshine & Roses - an update on the tiny miniature roses from Christmas

Do you remember the tiny, perfect, miniature roses honeys?  They looked like this....

Perfect Christmas Miniature Roses...

For the past four months they've lived, and still do, on our kitchen window ledge being watered and cared for.  Of course along the way I had to re-pot them again into a much larger planter and now, again I'll have to re-home them because they're growing out of the larger planter too!

You won't believe how that tiny pot of perfect miniature roses has grown honeys...

Friday, 21 April 2017

How I Back Up My Blog Posts & Why You Absolutely Should Too...

Hi Honeys
Do you blog? If so, do you back up your blog?  How do you make sure you keep a safe copy of all of your posts, you know, just in case something happens and they disappear?

First, a true story.  I recently went looking for a particular post in order to pin it to one of my boards on Pinterest. Having found it I was horrified to find that a good deal of the post just wasn't there!

How and why you need to back up your blog

The post started fine, then around a third of the way through... it just stopped, literally mid-sentence. Everything after that cut off point was missing.  All of the images as well as the text.

I refreshed the page.. still the same.  I went to my posts page on Blogger and clicked on the edit option on the post to see what it looked like there.  It was the same!  

What had happened to my post?  How long had it been sitting like this?  Had people been clicking through from links on Pinterest, Twitter etc and finding an incomplete post and leaving angry?

Luckily honeys, because of a system I've used for as long as I've been blogging, a little over 3 years now, it took me less than 3 minutes to fix the post and have it looking good as newly published again.

Truth be told dear ones, when I first started blogging I didn't know what "backing up" was but I trained as a paralegal, a legal secretary, many (many) years ago so it's pretty much part of my DNA to keep a copy of everything 😊  Why not also my blog posts?

Of course I later found out that everyone recommends backing up our blogs but by then I had my little system in place and it was working really well.  I'm happy to say it still does, as is shown by this recent "the internet ate my blog post" moment πŸ‘

Each time I write a blog post I do the same thing immediately after publishing.  I file it.  The text, the images, everything that makes up that post. I file it.  Twice.  So you could say my back up has a back up.  Best part is that backing up twice takes just minutes.

Let's have a look at my back up system then shall we honeys?

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Oh To Live By The Sea...


Hi Honeys
Oh to live by the sea.  We're finally moving, altogether too slowly it feels like, into Summer and isn't Summer the perfect time to spend all day long at the beach? Feeling the salty air on your skin, the breeze blowing through your hair and the sun warming your skin?

If we lived by the sea shore I'd collect beautiful sea shells, I'd play fetch with our furbaby Jade on the beach where she could run in and out of the sea with the waves chasing her.  We'd go for long evening walks, Hubby, Jade & I.

Mostly though I'd spend hours sitting, staring at the waves, feeling the sand between my toes and fingers and my shoulders relaxing, every bit of tension disappearing to be replaced by an inner calm.

Do you remember my beloved canvas honeys?  The one that hangs on the wall of our master bedroom?  It calms me this beautiful canvas and represents, to me, my dream home.

Dream Home By The Sea

The times I've, in my mind at least, walked down those steps and onto the beach, only to sit on the sand with eyes closed, breathing the fresh salty air.

It's good to have a dream.

Oh to live by the sea...

Winslow Homer - On the Beach

I hope you're having a fabulous week dear ones, huggles always xx

Friday, 14 April 2017

Retail Therapy: A Peek At My Latest Avon Delivery...

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to promote any products, just sharing my own latest purchases and hopefully a couple of smiles x

Hi Honeys
Here we are at Good Friday already, where has the beginning of this year gone?  Again time is passing so fast.  This weekend will be so busy at work.  As with every other year the store will run out of chocolate Easter eggs, except maybe for the Pot Noodle and the Marmite flavoured ones, or at least that's what happened last year.

Lots of people will complain, as they do every year, that we've run out of stock and, as with every other year, they'll be reminded that we've had Easter eggs on the shelves since January.    

Happy Easter, dear ones,  to you and your family, whatever you have planned for this weekend I hope you have heaps of fun.  I have such happy childhood memories of Easter.  On Easter Sunday I would have a new dress and shoes and would wear them to church and later in the day we would have an Easter egg hunt, organized by our Sunday School, searching for boiled eggs painted brightly with water colours.

Precious, smile filled memories πŸ˜ƒ

Other smiles this week included a visit by my lovely Avon representative who dropped by to deliver my latest order and for a chat.  I thought I'd share the contents of my order with you to see if you've used any of these products and if so, I'd love to hear what you think of them.  I'll add links where they're available honeys in case you want to check them out.

A Peek At What Was Included In My Latest Order From Avon

First up then are four of the shower gels from the Avon Senses range...

Assorted Avon Senses Shower Gels

These shower gels are lovely honeys.  The different scents are amazing, I've ordered different scents in my last three orders, and Hubby likes them too.  Last order I had added the Amazon Jungle (sage & sandlewood scent), X-Treme (grapefruit & cedarwood) Ocean Surge (peppermint & marine) & Intense Freshness (a limited edition scented with bergamot & cardamon) for him.

Included this order were:

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Choosing Your Battles - 3 Ways To Cope When Living With A Chronic Illness

Disclaimer: I don't mean this post to be taken as health advise. Please speak to your Doctor or Health Professional if you have any problems.  I just wanted to share some of the ways I've found to cope over my nearly 20 years or so of living with a chronic illness.

Hi Honeys
How are you today?  Very well I hope dear ones.  I've been a bit on the quiet side recently haven't I? For months actually.  I am sorry, I have so many posts, started and abandoned, sitting in the draft folder but arthritis and brain fog seem to be winning the battle, especially lately.  They haven't won the war yet though honeys and I'm not about to give up without a fight but recently even everyday things have seemed far more difficult to cope with.

Like all spoonies I've had to learn to prioritize.  To assign a level of importance to daily tasks, chores & activities.  Each day begins with so many things I'd like to get done but since I was long ago forced to realize I simply can't go writing cheques that the Bank of Body can't cash, I know there are limits. I know I have to choose carefully my battles for each day.

There are days when even having my morning shower, getting dressed and combing my hair feel like an achievement and then there are my (unfortunately far more rare recently) good days where I can be showered, dressed and started my morning load of laundry before pain slows me down for a while. Slows me long enough to have to re-group. Maybe to take my pain meds or to wait for the pain to ease enough to move on to another (gentle) task.

Every choice carries a cost honeys.  A morning of cleaning will almost certainly mean a difficult afternoon. It can be incredibly frustrating to have invisible walls appear blocking our plans for the day but this is where forward planning is everything.

3 Ways To Cope When Living With A Chronic Illness

Being a spoonie means being realistic about the limitations your chronic illness places on you.  It changes how we live, but that doesn't mean that you have to give up, admit defeat and resign ourselves to a future of sitting on the sofa all day.  We can't ever do that dear ones.  We can't let it win you see.

We still have to live.  We Just have to live a little smarter than our non spoonie friends.  Planning is key.  Planning, with a dash of self-care included, is everything.  We have to learn to stop being so stubborn, so determined to beat the limitations set on us by our health that we end up sabotaging ourselves.

I have a feeling this post may require a beverage and maybe a cookie (or two) so I'll wait here while you go fetch a coffee and cookies.... I wouldn't mind if you brought one for me too πŸ˜ƒ  See you back here in a min then....

Saturday, 8 April 2017

An Unexpected Smiley Gift...

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products, just sharing a happy smile x

Hi Honeys
I hope your weekend is off to a sunny, smiley start 😊  The weather is improving, or as a co-worker said to me "at least the rain is warmer" πŸ˜ƒ and everyone around me seems to be smiling more too.

I love this time of year.  We're emerging from the almost constant darkness of winter, the days get brighter and our beloved garden is springing to life again.  I don't even mind the rain after all as the saying goes "April showers bring May flowers" and it makes the days when I can peg out laundry mean all the more too 😊

As if garden smiles weren't enough though, and they so are,  my dear, sweet Hubby brought me home a surprise 😊

An Unexpected Smile...

You might have noticed I'm a bit of a Harry Potter fan.  I'd recently been looking at the Potter range at Primark online and when Hubby collected my prescription for me he also brought me home a bag and inside was this...

Harry Potter Gryffindor fleece throw from Primark

It was such a lovely surprise, and it just made my day πŸ˜ƒ  It's made from a lovely, cozy soft fleece and measures (according to the attached label) 125cm by 150cm which is roughly 4 feet by 5 feet or single bed size, or in Rosie measurements it's the perfect size to share with our furbaby Jade on the sofa on cold rainy days while we watch TV 😊

Our baby does love blankets for nap-time...


That photo always makes me smile 😊

Quite apart from being Potter related it really is a very beautiful and super soft, throw and the pattern looks like this...

Harry Potter Gryffindor Throw Pattern

I really do have the sweetest Hubby in the world, don't I? 😊  Thank you sweetheart, it was a wonderful surprise x

I hope your weekend has lots of smiles in it honeys and that you're seeing lots of lovely summer sunshine.  Whatever you're doing this weekend, have fun, smile lots and hug even more. Till next time dear ones, huggles always xx

Friday, 7 April 2017

We Have A Bumper Crop Of Peony Roses This Year Honeys...

Hi Honeys
How are you today?  I hope this past week has been fabulous for you and has been full of smiles and hugs 😊

It's been a mixed week here I'm afraid.  A combination of not being able to sleep and damp weather tormenting my achey joints have meant I've spent a great deal of this weeks days off work on the sofa wishing the air would stop moving around so much because I swear I could feel it and it hurt.

Luckily though, as always, I had my own little smile generator keeping me company 😊  Our furbaby Jade can always be relied on to make me smile bless her, whether it be by bringing me her toys to throw for her to play fetch with or just by snuggling with her Mum on the sofa to watch TV she's always there 😊  Hubby usually asks her to look after Mum in the morning when he leaves for work and look after me she does 😊

I wanted to share some much needed smiles (by me anyway) before dashing to work honeys...

Bumper Crop Of Peony Roses This Year...

If you could see me right now you'd see a very smiley person who has been grinning so much this past hour that my face is actually starting to ache 😊

As always at this time of year I love to check on the garden and watch everything grow and in particular our roses... you might have noticed if you've read any of this blog before I kinda like roses more than  little bit 😊

Today though I got quite a shock, although in a good  great wonderful way πŸ˜ƒ  Wanna see what I found?

Friday, 31 March 2017

Peony Roses, Fairy Doors & Catching Up...

Hi Honeys
I'm sorry I've been missing the past week or so.  I've spent most of the last few days on the sofa, hugging our furbaby Jade and feeling as if my body was trying to twist me into a human pretzel. Ick.

Peony Roses Fairy Doors & Catching Up

It hasn't all been bad though.  As a matter of fact the start of the week began wonderfully!  I had a long shift at work last Saturday, stationed near the windows where I could see the most glorious sunshine, accompanied of course by the bluest of skies and lots of fluffy clouds. Heaven!

Or it would have been had I not been stuck at work and had instead been at home pegging out row after row of lovely fresh laundry.

First thing Sunday morning then honeys, there I was watching the weather report hoping against hope and... yyyaaaaayyyy!! Another glorious day was forecast!  Well, you don't have to offer me the chance of a sunny, rain free day twice so, at around 6.30am on went my first load of laundry.  Bliss!

With Hubby's help (thank you sweetheart x) I got the lines in our back garden all filled, and oh my what a feeling that was.  Next day, Monday, again we had the most gorgeous sunny day and off I went in search of stuff to wash.

Managed three loads of laundry, although that meant re-washing stuff that didn't actually need washing but... well... it was sunny!

By the time Hubby came home on Monday night my body had already began it's efforts to torture me, twisting and turning the joints in my shoulders and spine enough so that, I swear, I felt as if I could feel the air move around me.  Not great.  Not great but so, so worth it honeys.

Rheumatoid arthritis has spent the past almost twenty years bossing me about! Deciding what I can and can't do and when.  It's taken so many activities and placed them on the other side of a line I simply can't cross.  While at University I used to run now I can (barely) walk and then for very short distances.

I don't do pity parties dear ones.  Spoonies know that we have to adapt to changes and adapt we do. We get the strength to adapt I think from holding onto whatever brings us joy.  In my case this has always been doing laundry.  You're reading this with a look on your face now honeys aren't you? It's OK, I'm used to it 😊

Laundry Days Are Joyful Days...

I adore doing laundry, every single part of it.  I like the sorting, the washing (although the machine does that to be fair, I just wait (im)patiently for the cycle to finish and the little door lock to release) the folding and even, yes the ironing.  An episode or two of Judge Judy to watch and a chair to sit on at my ironing board and Hubby's shirts find themselves on hangers neatly pressed.

Rheumatoid Arthritis may well be winning more days than not lately but I'll be damned if I'll let it take my laundry away from me!  I accept though that there are trade offs.  A day or two of glorious weather does mean I can go a little laundry loco but as payment for that I have to accept that it will lead to a day (or maybe a few days as with this week) of being trapped on the sofa taking pain meds and saying ouch a lot.

So, there it is honeys, my catch up.  That's what I've been doing most of this week.

On to a happier note then.  As if the weather knew I would be sofa bound, the rain arrived on Wednesday and has been with us since.  Just look at what's happening though, because of our wonderful Scottish rain....
 
Peonies Begin To Appear In The Scottish Rain...

Just look at how our beloved peony roses have grown. They are going to be fabulous this year! I can't wait to see them bloom. 

A tiny project in our little entryway/mudroom has also been making me smile. Do you remember our entryway re-vamp recently?  I'm still loving it. Everything has a place and it seems to keep itself tidy and organized because of it.

Our Entryway/Mudroom

There is a teeny, tiny addition now though that's making me smile.  It might probably be missed unless pointed out but each time I go to the front door I see it and smile all over again.  Below the Ikea Trones unit in the photo above, currently home to umbrellas and my gardening gloves to prune our roses, you'll see this...

Fairy Door Finds A Home...

Do you remember the tiny fairy door I bought a while ago honeys? It finally has a home...

A Fairy Door & A Smile...

Isn't it adorable?  A tiny, daft thing in the scheme of things but I can't walk to the front door without smiling and that has to be a good thing 😊

Well, dear ones, I have to dash to work but I hope that the weekend brings you smiles, fun, laughter and heaps of hugs. Beware, tomorrow is April fools day! Beware of jokers playing pranks and if you do get caught out, smile and hug your prankster, smiles (and hugs) make the day brighter 😊

Happy weekend honeys, goodbye March (already!) and hello April! Huggles always xx

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Spring Arrives And Snow Comes To Scotland...

Hi Honeys 
Well, it happened.  After what has to be up there with the rainiest, soggiest, most miserable winter ever, we finally, the day after the spring equinox, the day we finally said goodbye to winter, got snow...

Spring arrives and snow comes to Scotland

I went downstairs this morning to be met with this sight outside our back door...

Our beautiful starting-to-grow peonies covered in late snow...

Our much loved peonies live in a huge planter at the foot of the couple of steps leading from (or to) our back door.

Looking further out into out back garden, mother nature had been equally generous in sprinkling our lavender, the tops of storage sheds and lawn with the sparkly, wintery stuff....

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Our Furbaby Jade Has A Birthday Adventure...

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products, just sharing some smiles...

Hi Honeys
How is your weekend going?  It's been very busy here, yesterday flew past.  I had an early appointment at the hospital to attend, then Hubby & I went to Ikea.  A trip to my happy place, Ikea, is a very rare treat since the store is quite a distance away so I'd been looking forward to going.  I took lots of photos (although not as many as I would normally I'm afraid) and will share those in another post.

Hubby has been home all this week using up some of his accumulated annual leave (the man never takes holidays bless him) so we've been trying to get some work done around the house, or rather Hubby has and I've been "gaffer" deciding which organizing project to do next 😊

One of the items to be crossed off our list during yesterdays very busy day was of course our furbaby Jade's birthday trip to Pets at Home...

Our Furbaby Jade's Birthday Adventure

Since we don't own a car, Hubby had hired one for the day and had driven me to my hospital appointment.  From there we went to Ikea where we have a tradition.  Choosing a soft toy for our furbaby Jade.

As I said we don't get there very often and she does love her stuffies.  She still has lots from when she was a puppy, through to now, and will sit in the kitchen watching them go around and around in the washing machine when it's their "bath time" patiently waiting for them to come back out again.

I do like the Ikea toys because there are no buttons or glass eyes that could make them dangerous for furbabies to play with.  If your furbaby tears toys though or has very strong jaws which would make them deteriorate over time it might be good to check on what the filling is.  None of Jade's has ever torn so this hasn't been a problem.  

This time around we brought her home a very jolly looking parrot...
 
Jade's parrot soft toy from Ikea

Isn't he quite fabulous honeys?  Jade adored him on sight and when she went for a nap she rested her chin on him as a pillow 😊

Friday, 10 March 2017

Finding Calm - Mindfulness Through Colouring

Hi Honeys
How are you today?  Here we are at the end of another week, another week closer to the clocks changing over.  I've been having a countdown to the end of winter for what feels like forever.

I'm not a winter person honeys.  In all honestly I'd as soon hibernate and wake up around the end of March each year to a cup of tea and a lovely load of laundry waiting to be done and pegged outside😊

Winter drains the life from me.  In Scotland, during the deepest parts of winter we're lucky to see six hours of daylight here and the seemingly constant darkness wears me down.  I feel more unsettled, I can't sleep, sometimes waking three, four, five times during the night.  

Insomnia or broken sleep has been linked to hypertension, or high blood pressure so trying to get through each day with only three or four hours of broken sleep certainly can't be helping my high blood pressure.

I've decided honeys that I need to do something to tackle my health concerns.  I may not be able to make the arthritis go away but with a little work maybe I can improve my blood pressure.  

Finding Calm - Mindfulness Through Colouring

In today's 24 hour world, where many, myself included, work odd shifts and life just doesn't stop, not even a little it's increasingly difficult to find any sense of calm.  Even when we all go to bed our phones, tablets and other devices are never far away. There doesn't seem to be any escape from the hustle and bustle of life and the world outside.

I've been making a concentrated effort to find little pockets of time where I can switch off.  Literally switch off, in that I turn off the TV, my laptop, everything, so that our home is completely silent except for the reassuring, and calming, sound of my beloved Mother in law's clock in our living room.

I then sit on the sofa, usually with our furbaby Jade and I disappear into an intricate pattern or a beautiful landscape, aided by nothing more than a few colouring pencils...
  
Finding Calm - A quiet space to find peace

Of course serenity doesn't live in the pencils or colouring books honeys, I find the same levels of calm, where I can literally feel the stresses leave my body, feel my shoulders and muscles relax, when I listen to music or to a favourite audio book.

There's no doubt though that colouring does help me relax.  Our senses are bombarded each day with countless things demanding our attention, so to just switch off that mind clutter, that noise, and be still.  To concentrate our minds on nothing more than the lines on a piece of paper and allow ourselves to breathe is priceless.

Finding Calm - Silence really can be golden when looking for peace.

Summer is coming and that will help me feel better too.  Only two more weeks, it's already starting to become lighter earlier in the mornings and staying lighter that little bit later at night.  Maybe I need to find a way to bring a little hygge into our home.

Hygge, a wonderful method of bringing happiness, cosiness and joy into your home and life during the long, dark winter months, originated with our Danish cousins.  You can read a little more about it and watch a wonderful short report on it here at the Visit Denmark site.

How do you relax and get away from the bustle of life honeys?  Do you colour?  Do you paint? Draw? Listen to music?  Please share in the comments section, I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Till next time dear ones, stay warm and safe, it's still chilly outside.  Have a fabulous weekend, smile lots and hug even more.  Huggles always xx

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Stop Food Waste By Making a "Use Me First" Bin in Your Fridge & Free Printable

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to promote any products just sharing my latest organizing project x

Hi Honeys
How are you today? I've had such a good afternoon.  I was looking for something to do to cheer myself up and decided to empty and clean our fridge.  Yes, this, like my beloved laundry, is fun to me. Odd I know but even the silliest little homemaking tasks make me so happy 😊

You might remember that we use bins to organize the contents of our tiny fridge, so emptying it didn't take long.  I then used a bottle of anti bacterial spray and a microfibre cloth to clean the inside of the fridge and outer door.

Once that was done I turned my attention to the bins, emptying them onto the kitchen counter, washing the bins thoroughly in warm soapy water, drying them and then re-filling them.  This was when I got a little annoyed with myself honeys...

Cut Back On Food Waste By Making A Use Me First Bin For Your Fridge

I like to think that we're really good at not wasting food, but today I binned far too much from our refrigerator and I'm more than a little miffed at myself.   I've taken my eye off the ball honeys.  For the past few weeks I haven't been coping as well as I might, the arthritis in my spine has been making life difficult and I haven't been as vigilant as I normally would be.

So, being unhappy at wasting so much food, I decided I would do something about it!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Smiles & Latest Avon Goodies

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products, just sharing my latest goodies x

Hi Honeys
How are you today? I had such plans for today but instead I've spent most of the afternoon hugging our furbaby Jade on the sofa.  It's so cold, I swear honeys my bones feel like they're made of ice water.  I can't wait for the last chills of winter to leave.

As a distraction I thought I'd share my latest goodies from Avon, delivered last night by my lovely Avon rep...

Avon - My Latest Purchases

I really did need cheering up last night dear ones, so my order couldn't have been delivered at a better time.  Let's have a look at what arrived shall we?

Friday, 3 March 2017

Spring Arrives In The Garden..

Hi Honeys
It's such a gorgeous, sunny day outside today but it's so, so cold today!  Here in the UK we have exactly three weeks from tomorrow night till the clocks roll forward, we lose an hour but (hopefully) we gain warmer days 😊

OK, I know that technically British Summer Time (or BST) begins at 2am on Sunday morning of 26th March (which is also Mother's Day this year) but we always change our clocks before heading to bed so they're at the right time when we wake up
😊

I so can't wait for Spring honeys. Winter feels like it's really dragged on and on this year, even though we haven't had any serious (lasting) snowfall.  What we do have, every year, though is darkness.  So, so much darkness.  In the deepest part of winter here honeys it will become dark by around 3.30pm.  It isn't a gradual darkness, it always (to me anyway) feels very much as though a switch is thrown and pow! Just like that we have complete darkness.

It won't begin to become light again until after 9 or 9.30am.  This means that for around a quarter of the year we live with around 18 hours of darkness each day.  Being a Summer baby, dear ones I'm not made for winter. I need blue skies and fluffy clouds, you know, 
the kind of day where I can sing and happily peg out laundryπŸ˜ƒ 
Spring Arrives In The Garden

There are already signs of Spring arriving in the garden, due it seems to our having had a milder than expected winter. Let's have a look will we? 
Do you remember our precious peonies beginning to wake early (in January) honeys?  I didn't want the frost to damage them so I covered them in an extra layer of compost to protect them.

They've now begun to make their way through the extra compost again, looking for the sun to help them grow.  There are now seven shoots appearing...

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Time For Pancakes!

Hi Honeys
I hope you've had a fabulous day today and managed to miss the snow & sleet we had earlier today.  I was standing outside our Doctor's surgery when the rain very quickly turned to sleet and then very, very light snow, all in the time it took me to wait for a taxi to take me home!

Got home, hugged Jade and, with today being Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday, I thought I'd whip up a batch of pancakes for Hubby coming home as a treat πŸ˜‹

Time For Pancakes - Basic Pancakes Recipe & Serving Suggestions

Would you like to join in the fun honeys?  Let's start off with a basic pancake recipe then shall we?
How can something that tastes so good be so easy to make?  Let's get started then dear ones, to the kitchen...

Friday, 24 February 2017

How To Stay Safe When Out & About: Part Two: Staying Safe In A Crowded Place

Hi Honeys
I hope you've had a fabulous week and, if you're in the UK, that you were able to be inside and safe yesterday from the effects of Storm Doris which was, as I started to write this yesterday afternoon, literally blowing a gale outside our home.  Our furbaby Jade & I spent the afternoon hugging on the sofa listening to the noise outside and I was hit with a horrible headache.

We were blessed to get through the storm with only a couple of fence panels blown off in the back garden. Compared to past years this really is a blessing and I think it's mostly due to Hubby working so hard to reduce the height of the back fence last year. 

Storm Doris has now mostly passed us in the UK and is headed toward our cousins in Europe.  Be safe dear ones, if you can, stay in doors until it passes.

Safety has been on my mind a great deal lately.  So many upsetting stories in the press and on TV on a (it feels like) daily basis, so, last post I wrote about ways to stay safe when out and about.  For this post I thought I'd continue this theme by looking at ways to keep yourself and family safe in crowded places such as venues.

How to stay safe when out & about: part two: staying safe in a crowded place

Staying Safe In Crowded Places...


So, you've planned an outing.  Maybe its to the beach on a gloriously sunny day (if you're blessed to live near the ocean.... oh how I dream of that honeys) maybe it's to a community picnic, to a large auditorium to see a show or pantomime, whatever it is, you've got it all planned, bought your tickets, everyone gets into the car and off you go.

Friday, 17 February 2017

How To Stay Safe When Out & About: Part One: What We Carry And Being Aware Of Our Surroundings...

Hi Honeys
How often do you think about the safety of your home or possessions?  I've been hearing about break-ins recently and there has been enough concerns about thefts such as pick pocketing for it to be mentioned regularly in our local paper over the past couple of months.

Hubby and I had a conversation about the security of our home and have agreed that while we are lucky in that our home is never empty (we work our shifts around our furbaby Jade so that one of us is always at home with her, she's a very nervous little dog) there are a few things we need to work on, such as adding a chain to the front door and adding further security lighting at the side of our garden which at night is in total darkness.

How To Stay Safe When Out & About

I'll write another post about home security to follow honeys and share how we're improving ours but for today I thought we could look at how to stay safe when outside our home.  I know from chatting to customers at work that too many have been victims of pick pocketing and/or handbag theft.  Often through being too trusting of their environment or by leaving their bag in the shopping trolley and being distracted long enough for it to be taken.

I wish we lived in a completely safe world, one where we didn't have to give a second thought to our personal or home safety but the simple fact is that we don't dear ones  Now, that's not to say that we should all be so afraid of crime statistics that we never leave our homes and barricade the doors and windows but there are some simple steps we can take towards keeping ourselves, and our possessions safe.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Our Latest Bargain Kitchen Smiles

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to promote any products or store,just sharing my latest smiles 😊 If you don't have a poundland it's worth looking in your nearest pound or dollar shop to see if they have these items too, chances are, they might.

Hi Honeys
It's silly what can make me smile 😊  As you'll know if you've read this blog before, with the help of my dear Hubby, I'm on a mission to declutter our home and I really do avoid buying anything that can re-clutter it.  

I spotted a couple of things recently though in our local Poundland store that just made so me smile and I just had to have them.  The fact that they were only £1each was just a bonus 😊  

Our Latest Bargain Kitchen Smiles

I'm trying to feel guilty about buying these little treats but I really can't honeys.  In total they only cost us £4 and I've been smiling every time I see them 😍  So, nope, no buyers remorse here, just smiles 😊

Let's take a look at these smile-inducing-and-actually-quite-useful items shall we?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Super Easy, 3 Ingredient Valentine's Day Shortbread Cookies

Disclaimer: I haven't been asked to promote any products just sharing one of my favourite yummy recipes.

Hi Honeys
Valentine's Day is on the way so I thought I'd make some super easy (seriously! If these were any easier to make they'd make themselves!) incredibly yummy, shortbread cookies πŸͺ

Super Easy Super Yummy 3 Ingredient Recipe For Scottish Shortbread Cookies

This is my never-fails, go-to recipe for Scottish Shortbread and it really is as delicious as it is easy to make honeys.  I've cut the shortbread dough into hearts, double hearts and lip shaped cookies using adorable cookie cutters.

These are perfect to sneak into packed lunches with a little love note ❤ for loved ones or why not make a huge batch for gifting?  Tiny humans will love to help make these too πŸ‘Ά

Let's make some magic shall we?

Friday, 3 February 2017

The Most Important Thing You Can Do When You're Ill...

Hi Honeys
I think I'm finally <touch wood> on the mend! After over six weeks of my body trying to cough up a lung (or two!) I've reached a point where I can stand at the back door to watch over our furbaby Jade in the garden without being bent over in a coughing fit.

Changes in temperature still bring on coughs but I've been a passenger on this yearly chest infection roundabout ride for most of my life, having been born with damaged lungs, and I know it's near the end now.  Winter is fun around here. Not. It hasn't lasted this long for a few years and while it hasn't been fun I'm happy that I've managed not to miss any shifts at work.

The Most Important Thing You Can Do When You're Ill

I'm blessed to only work two days a week, although they are the two busiest days of the week and both run through into late evening, but bills need paying so I do feel blessed not to have lost any much needed pay.

What I have lost though is January.  Hubby & I had such plans for the first month of the year.  We were going to start the year by decluttering & organizing each of the rooms in our home before making a start on decorating projects but here we are in February (how did that happen!) and nothing done yet.

Which brings me to my point honeys.  The single most important thing you can do for yourself when you're not feeling your best is to treat yourself with the same care as you would any other loved one. We know that, right?  Then why is it so difficult to do?

We're wired that way dear ones.  We keep our homes, we cook, we clean, we care for furbabies & family members health but when it comes to self care our programming flags this behavour up as being selfish.  Mine certainly does. Loudly.  My inner voice can be a real nagging Nellie and can she guilt trip me!

I've learnt though, from hard won experience, that unless we're willing to invest the time and self care that's needed when we're poorly it will take far longer to shift whatever ails us.  Writing cheques our bodies cannot cash is a sure fire way to make any illness drag on and on.

You have to take care of you honeys, because if you don't, how are you going to be strong enough to care for your loved ones?  We have to block the voice in our head that tells us we're being lazy or selfish for snuggling on the sofa with our furbaby when we're ill.

Tell that inner voice to shush. Pay it no mind and do what you need to do to get better.  Rest.  Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated, eat regularly, even if it's only a small amount, but most of all rest. 

Wishing you good health, smiles, love, laughter and a whole heap of hugs dear ones.  Till next time, stay warm, smile lots and hug even more x

Hugs Always xx

Friday, 27 January 2017

What Happens When A Laundry Addict Loses Her Washing Machine...

Hi Honeys
I am bereft of happiness! Honestly. Inconsolable even! It is now late afternoon and I haven't done a load of laundry today.

So what, right?  It's only laundry.....

What Happens When A Laundry Addict Loses Her washing Machine...

That's the thing though honeys, to me it's really not.  Laundry is just one of many coping mechanisms I have to help me get through each day.  My habits, or systems, help me get from morning to night even on less than good days.

I start my day each morning by having my shower, getting dressed and on goes my first load of laundry.  Yaaaaay! Usually I'll have (at least) two loads each morning.  Whatever Hubby wore day before, same for me and our night things as well as two bath towels because we've each had a shower that morning, split into whites and anything else, so as to keep my lovely white towels, and hubby's t shirts, from dulling and losing their bright whiteness.

Sometimes, joy of joys (it's sad I know but I actually do mean that) I have more! I'll maybe have (with Hubby's help) stripped and re-made the bed, or I might be washing our furbaby Jade's wee blankets from her day bed downstairs where she naps and maybe from her actual bed upstairs where every night she's tucked in and snuggled under her blankies with whichever is her current favourite soft toy.

Maybe it's just a sunny day outside and I've decided to pull out a whole shelf (or two) of our linen cupboard to wash and peg out on the line. You know, just because πŸ˜ƒ  Of all of the housekeeping tasks needing done, my laundry is the job that gives me most pleasure.

I love laundry.  Seriously love it.  I've had dreams of nothing more than me (and my assistant Jade) doing laundry. True. Of course in my dreams I don't have the aches and pains of arthritis to contend with, just Jade and I, a sunny day and endless pegging out of laundry.  Bliss.  Whether in dreams or in reality. Bliss ❤❤❤

Every time I manage to complete my laundry it's my own personal "take that arthritis! you haven't beat me today!" Even when the rest of the day is spent taking pain meds and hugging Jade on the sofa.  I don't just adore laundry, I always have, even when younger and in good health, I need it.

So, yesterday as always, did laundry.  Had battled extreme pain in my spine for almost two full days (not fun) and so laundry had started to (as near as it ever gets to it around here) pile up.

Four loads of laundry done and on the fifth load my beloved wee washing machine lit up like Blackpool illuminations! All of the lights went on, stayed on then went off and it ceased to be.

Farewell to a washing machine...

The horror! Hubby had a look at it (he's great that way) but all he could do was to empty it. Aaaarrrrgggg!!  It's the modern age's fault.  Everything is electronic these days.  Cars, household items, all made to be used and replaced. All designed to have a "shelf life."  All having some (or lots) of circuit boards designed to frustrate efforts to make do and mend.

I find myself longing for the little twin tub we had in our first tiny flat just after we were married. Back when things would break down and you got them repaired. Back when repairs didn't cost more than replacing the item. We're living in a very wasteful world honeys.  Easier to throw away than to mend.

In years past Hubby would take the washing machine apart and replace a pump, unblock pipes, do whatever was needed to have it up and running again.  Now though, machines turn into a light show and the electronics burn out and we have to replace them.  Leaving behind a small stressed Rosie with a trembling lower lip, nervous tick above her right eye (it's still there!) and battling an anxiety attack.

I know this seems odd, and no doubt to some a huge over reaction, but honeys this morning I had my shower and out of habit wandered through to the kitchen to the washing machine with my nightie and bath towel but.... aaarrrrgggg!

Hubby has ordered me a new washing machine (thank you sweetheart x) but I'll miss my old friend.  It's also an unexpected expense we could well have done without and will hurt for a while.  I'll have a few days laundry to catch up on by the time it's delivered... hang on... I don't mind that bit... although this tick above my eye will be dancing a can can by then and I'll probably be hyper ventilating.... πŸ˜ƒ

Till next time dear ones, have a wonderful weekend, smile lots and hug even more, huggles always xx

ps:  For those blessed to still have their washing machine <sobs!> here are 10 (hopefully) useful tips to make laundry day a breeze! Enjoy x

Friday, 20 January 2017

A Little Short Lived Snow & Early Awakening Peonies...

Hi Honeys
How are you today?  Well, I hope, and staying warm & cozy.  I'm still battling a horrible chest/cough thing that just refuses to go away.  Being in the fourth week of this battle and seemingly getting nowhere, I finally relented earlier this week and called our Dr even though I didn't want to.  Isn't that what you're supposed to do when you're ill though Rosie?  Call the Dr?

I didn't want to call for two very good reasons honeys.  First and most important being that I knew our surgery would be completely overwhelmed with this chest thing going around, seriously everyone seems to have it right now, and I didn't want to add to their workload.

Secondly, being a spoonie every day I have to take so many pills and potions already that I can't bear the idea of adding to it even a little bit so I tend to put off calling the Dr until, as now, I've tried the resting, drinking lots of fluids and praying it'll go away thing.

My horrid cough though has turned as it usually does into my yearly chest infection.  Yuk.  It's really irritating honeys, I have so many things I'd like to be getting on with and instead I'm stuck on the sofa, wrapped in a throw and hugging a hot water bottle and our furbaby Jade.  I don't mind that last bit actually, Jade is a very huggy furbaby and adores hugs as much as her Mum does :)
 
A Little Short Lived Snow & Early Awakening Peonies...

Its not all bad though, during the early part of last week we had some snow.  I even went to the back door to try to catch a quick photo of it falling for you...

Snow falls in Scotland

It was so pretty it was even (sort of) worth the coughing fit it set off by my standing at the open back door even though I wasn't there very long and went straight back to our living room and watched it from the window with Jade.  She seemed fascinated with the snow falling outside bless her.

It did make our tiny front garden look pretty...

Friday, 13 January 2017

I πŸ’™ Ikea! 7 Of My Favourite Products & How We've Used them In Our Home...

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to promote any products, I just needed cheering up and thought I'd share some homemaking smiles 😊

Hi Honeys
Back again πŸ˜„  Today, in an effort to cheer myself up from the never-seemingly-wants-to-go-away cough I thought I'd chat about some of my favourite things from one of my favourite places..... Ikea and how we've used them to create some kind of order in our home.

Seven Ikea Favourites & How We Use Them In Our Home.

I decided to limit myself to just a handful of my favourite products (not easy!) so here are seven of my Ikea favourites and how we've put them to wonderful use....

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Why Is It Socially Unacceptable To Be A Non Alcohol Drinker?

Hi Honeys
How is your week going so far?  I'm still hugging our furbaby Jade on the sofa and coughing a lot. I'm now in week three of this cough & chest thing and to say it's annoying is an understatement.

Oddly enough I'm mostly OK in a warm room such as in our living room where there is a constant (warm) temperature.  Sudden changes though, such as Hubby stopping at the (held open) living room door on his way to the kitchen because he's remembered something he wanted to tell me about <rolls eyes> bless him, I adore him but sometimes 😊 well any differences in temperature seem to bring on the most terrible hacking and spluttering.

I should have been at the Doctors on Tuesday morning to have my blood pressure checked but it was so cold outside and since even opening the back door a little to let our furbaby Jade out causes my body to try to cough up a lung, I called and explained to the receptionist who said I should call and make another appointment when I'm feeling a bit better.  Wise advice I think.

At work I've had so many people advise me to make a "hot toddy" when I get home and while I know they mean well, seeing the same expression on so many faces when I say I don't drink always gets me.

When did not drinking alcohol make a person anti social?

When did the world have a meeting and decide that it was socially unacceptable to not drink alcohol? It must have been a good while ago, this meeting, because I've faced this same incredulous expression from people most of my adult life.

At college I was lucky enough to make a group of friends who also adored hot chocolate with mini marshmallows ☕ Alcohol wasn't barred it just wasn't a major "thing" so there was never any pushing, prodding or "oh go on.... a little drink won't hurt, it'll get you in the party mood.."

I mean absolutely no offence to anyone dear ones but does my not drinking alcohol really make me queen of all the killjoys?  How does what's in my glass affect others so profoundly that it forces them to make my drinking a glass of wine, or a hot toddy,  a personal quest?

I've worked for my current employer for over ten years and have never been to a works night out, in spite of having lots of  lovely friends there. The reason?  I really don't want to be "that person" the one others feel the need to "persuade" because "well, she can't be having a good time if all she's drinking is orange juice!"

Well, yes I can enjoy myself whilst powered only by fruit juice, a can of soda/fizzy drink, a nice cup of tea or even by my beloved hot chocolate with mini marshmallows!

I don't dislike alcohol, nor others enjoyment of it.  I'm not on a quest to make the world a tee total place.  I just don't drink alcohol and would really like to be able to say so without using a hushed tone or having to see so many different versions of the same "poor you!" face looking back at me.

Am I being unreasonable honeys?  Should I just quickly change the subject whenever anyone raises the topic?
"oh look! a butterfly!"
".....but it's January and we're in a supermarket....."
me = πŸ˜„

Over to you then honeys, what are your thoughts?  How is your week going so far?  Is anything bugging you lately? Hopefully not this dreadful cough.  Till next time then, be safe, stay warm, wear extra layers till this cold snap lets us out of its grip.  Mostly though, smile lots and hug even more dear ones, πŸ˜ƒ huggles always xx

Friday, 6 January 2017

Happy New Year!

Hi Honeys
Happy New Year! I know, I'm almost a week late but I've been battling the mother of all chest infections for the last few weeks.   I'm afraid I'm still at it's mercy too.  It simply doesn't want to give up its grip of my poor beleaguered lungs. This horrible cough means I'm not sleeping either so I didn't want to be a "moanie minnie" here.

Happy New Year Honeys

Of course this has happened when we're at our busiest at work during the Christmas and New Year festivities.  I'm so happy that I haven't missed work, nor have I made any co-workers ill, thank God.  I usually use anti bacterial hand gel as if it's my job anyway, but during these past couple of weeks I've gone through it by almost a bottle a shift.

Whenever I've coughed it's been into a used-once-then-binned tissue before immediately soaking my hands in the gel and replacing the tissue with a fresh one which is stored in my sleeve.  Should I have been at work? My Doctor would have said no, had I consulted him, which will annoy him that I didn't call.  I know though that the one place as busy as any retail unit at this time of year is a Doctor's surgery!  

Don't worry honeys, I have an appointment this Tuesday morning, for my BP check and I'll mention it then. He'll tell me off for not calling straight away, born with damaged lungs, battling asthma etc, but my Doctor has never worked retail during the busiest time of the year with even one co-worker missing.  Chaos.  We are overstretched on a normal day but at this time of year... oh my 😞

Of course there are other reasons I wouldn't, and indeed couldn't, miss work honeys.  First I was very lucky this year in that, due to the way the rotas fell, I wasn't required to work any more than my normal days.  This actually helped a lot even though I have arguably the busiest shifts, weekend, which run through into late nights.

Secondly we just simply can't afford for me to skip shifts.  We have bills that need paying and even though I don't earn much, retail is right on minimum wage after all, as a famous competitor says in their ads "every little helps."

So, dear ones, we've managed to get past the holidays and now what lies ahead is the best part of the year!  Spring will arrive soon and the garden will start to wake up from its long winter nap.  I've been boring everyone at work with my weekly countdown πŸ˜ƒ I've even thought about making a little badge "ask me when Spring arrives.."  For the record we have eleven weeks from tomorrow evening till the clocks go forward an hour.  This will welcome the start of what is laughably known to anyone familiar with our weather, as British Summer Time πŸ˜ƒ

We have all sorts of plans ahead for the Spring, and I'll share them as they happen here honeys. Hubby still has to finish the very last part of the back garden fencing as well as to make a new garden gate, possibly two since we still don't have a new gate for the front garden yet.

In addition we still have our planned little seating area to organize on the patio, under the kitchen windows.  Do you remember the beautiful bench Hubby bought for me with the wrought iron roses on the back rest?

Roses garden bench

Whatever our little seating area in the garden ends up looking like honeys you can bet this beautiful bench will be at the heart of it πŸ’“❤  I so can't wait to create our little calm space.  I'm hoping to go shopping for more lavender soon too.  Our calming, settle-down-with-a-good-book-while-laundry-dries-on-the-washing-lines space definitely needs the gorgeous scent of lavender in the air.

Laundry! Other than watching the garden go through it's year of growth and change my absolutely favourite thing about the spring and summer months is that I can peg laundry outside. Such joy!

Had I lived a hundred years ago honeys, I'd have happily been a wee "washer woman" who would take in others laundry to wash, dry and iron for them and I would have sung as I worked dear ones 😍 I really do adore doing laundry more than any other household task.  Always have, always will 😍

Among other plans for this year, we're hoping to get back to our great household clear out, de-clutter and organization project.  We had started quite well during last year but my health has repeatedly knocked us off course, I'm absolutely determined to get back to it this year though, even if it is just one drawer or cupboard at a time.

What are you most looking forward to in the new year honeys?  Do you have any plans made already?  Are you, like me, happily counting down to spring?

Till next time dear ones, we still have a few weeks of winter ahead so stay warm and snuggly, add an extra layer when outside, smile lots and hug even more πŸ˜ƒ  Huggles always dear ones xx

Huggles Always Honeys xx