Saturday, 24 June 2017

Saturday Smile: Who Are Your Angels?

Hi Honeys
I hope you've had a fabulous week and that you're looking forward to a wonderful weekend 😊  It's been a bit of a week so I thought I'd make myself (and hopefully you) smile πŸ˜ƒ

Is it OK if I share the sweetest, loveliest, made-me-smile-till-my-face-ached (in a good way) gift I was given recently?  I'm still smiling as I type this! I love it so much! More so because it was a gift from a very dear friend.  How sweet are these adorable angels?

Sweetest gift ever - A true friend touches your heart

Aren't they wonderful honeys?  Such a beautiful message too πŸ’–  Thank you Jenny, I love them!  I'm still sitting here smiling just seeing them in this photo πŸ˜ƒ  There are angels all around our home. They peep out from bookcases, smile from shelves and even live in my purse 😊  I have the sweetest pewter coin, a gift from Hubby many years ago which has a blessing on it and an angel engraved into one side.

Do you believe in angels honeys?  I do. I always have.  In the times we find ourselves living, with so much of the world making no sense, we all need our angels.  Not all angels have wings though.

How many times have you ever been at your lowest point when something unexpected, something wonderful, something truly uplifting happened? Maybe the day of your beloved Mother-in-law's funeral when the world is still shattering around you and the phone rings and it's a dear friend who knows, just knows, you need someone (thank you Francine, love you honey xx).

We're all blessed with angels dear ones, even if sometimes it doesn't feel like it.  We're living in a world where everything moves too fast.  Social media can make everyone else's life look effortless by comparison to our own and it's so easy to doubt ourselves and to become isolated.  I was told once by a very wise person that if I ever found myself in a dark place in my life, before fighting my way out of it, to stop, just for a second and to look around.  The people still around then, they're real friends. Well, I would go further honeys, I'd say the people willing to be with us when the world has turned it back on us are our angels.

On the subject of angels, my darling Gramma told me a story when I was very young.  She said that when babies came into the world, they knew everything there was to know.  All of the history, the languages, everything.  "Even stuff that properly clever folk don't know..." these babies all know. Then, at the very second they're about to learn to speak, their own guardian angel appears, places a finger to their lips and says "ssshhh...."  and that's how we all get that little bow in the centre of our top lip 😊

Who are your angels honeys? It's wonderful to count your blessings, I do it often, but it's just as awesome to count your angels 😊 Wishing you a fabulous weekend dear ones, full of smiles, hugs and angels too ❤  Huggles always xx

ps: Jenny honey, look where your dear wee angels are living. They have friends all around them too 😊 Thank you honey, I adore them and will treasure them.  Thank you for being one of my angels sweetheart xx

Angels make me smile... 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

5 Awesome Storage Solutions You May Not Have Tried Yet!

Hi Honeys
You know what they say, necessity is the mother of invention.  I've found that's certainly true when in search of that tiny bit more space when organizing our home 😊

Our home organization journey is certainly a long ways from being complete.  Hubby & I have both been major pack rats throughout our long marriage so there's still a whole lot of junk we want to get rid of.  One day at a time though huh?

During the organizing projects so far worked on we've actually managed to create some (I think) pretty neat storage solutions where none previously existed.  So, dear ones, today I thought I'd take a little trip down memory lane and share with you the ones we're still using, the ones that still make our lives easier and help our home just plain rock πŸ’—

5 Awesome Storage Solutions you may not have tried yet

OK before we dive in, do you have a coffee? Maybe a cookie? You're going to love these πŸ’– but it's definitely a post you'll want to have a coffee & a cookie for.  Put your feet up honeys and let's begin at the beginning shall we..

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Super Easy, Super Yummy, Baked Chicken Breast With Garlic & Tomato

Hi Honeys
It's been glorious outside all day! I hope you're enjoying the weather, but also being careful too.  On the south coast of England today the temperature reached 34C while up here, north of the border, we made it to the dizzying heights of 21C which for us is practically tropical 😊

Hubby works very hard all day in a far too hot office so I thought I'd make him a super yummy dinner to come home to.  Nothing too heavy, being mindful of the mini heatwave, but something I know he loves.  This is what I made...

There are no words for just how delicious this meal is honeys.  It's all prepared, and cooked, in a single, oven proof dish too so yaaaay for less cleaning up too 😊  You probably have all of the ingredients right this minute in the kitchen too! Let's head to the larder & fridge shall we?

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Guest Post By Jade, Our Beloved Furbaby

My name is Jade.  I'm seven years old, I'm a Staffie cross and (I know this because my Mum tells me all the time) I'm the prettiest, smartest, best dog in the whole world.

I'm excited today because Mum has agreed to let me write a guest post for her blog...

Guest Post By Jade Our Beloved Furbaby

If you've visited Mum's blog before you'll know me from my ever present photo on the right hand side of the page, but, you know, I'm more than just a pretty face, so I thought I'd share a little glimpse of my world πŸ’“

Beautiful Smiley Jade

I came to live with Mum & Dad when I was quite young really.  Mum asked the vet if she could guess my age when we went to register and to arrange for me to have my inoculations, get a micro chip (Mum says it will help me get home again if I ever get lost) and for me to be dressed so that I don't have puppies.

Jade as a baby

The vet asked Mum why she wanted to know my age because it was clear I was young and Mum said I couldn't have a birthday party if I didn't have a birthday! Well, the vet checked my teeth and said, at a rough guess she thought I was no younger than maybe five months and no older than seven months because I didn't have all of my grown up teeth yet.

Mum said that if the very oldest I could be was seven months and I'd come to live with Mum & Dad from Rescue via my foster Mum on 17th October then she'd take seven months away and that would give me, like her Majesty the Queen, an official birthday.  So, my official birthday is 17th March πŸŽ‚ which Mum's best friend, my Auntie Miriam, says is a very lucky birthday because it's St Patrick's day.

Mum says it was love at first sight when they met me at my foster mumsπŸ’“ and together we're a very happy family.  I'm seven now but Dad says I still have the energy of a puppy and make him feel old when we go for long, long walks 😊

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A Happy New Home For Our Beautiful Miniature Roses

Hi Honeys
Fourth day in a row of constant rain.  For a wee Rosie who adores laundry as much as I do this is depressing! Winter is very long around here and Summer is short, short, short!  There is only so much potential for pegging our laundry and it's slipping away from me by the day.

I can console myself that, at least, the rain is good for the garden. As promised yesterday I thought I'd share an update on our miniature roses now that they've found their new home 😊

A new home for our miniature roses

I've so enjoyed watching these tiny roses growing for months now, ever since I was blessed with them as a gift just before Christmas.  Since then they've lived on our kitchen window ledge quite happily being watered and fed.

When the weather finally became warmer they moved, during the day, outside into the back garden to soak up the good Scottish rain, of which there is lots, and the rarer Scottish sunshine 😊  They blossomed wonderfully as you can see...

Miniature roses in the rain

Having been re-potted once already and very obviously running out of space in their latest pot I decided it might be time to move them again and where better I thought than to one of the much larger planters which sit either side of our front door.

Decision made, a rare sunny day appeared and off into our tiny front garden went Hubby, our furbaby Jade and I and this is what happened...

Monday, 12 June 2017

A Homemaking Aha Moment! I Found Somewhere New To Clean!

Hi Honeys
I'm sorry I've been missing.  Both Hubby & I had last week booked off from work to get some things done around our home.  It was lovely spending time with Hubby, even after all these years he's still my best friend so any extra time we get to spend together is wonderful.

We spent our time working on de-clutering, organizing as well as a little work in our front garden which included a new home for our miniature roses which has been living in the kitchen on the window ledge since Christmas.  Now they have a happy new home in our tiny front garden and we have the prettiest display of bright pink roses by our front door.  I'll share in my next post honeys, promise 😊

The best part of the week, other than spending time with Hubby and our furbaby Jade, was being able to fill bags to take to our local charity shop.  Now our home can breathe a little better because more clutter is gone and hopefully the bags of clothing and DVDs will raise a little money for our favourite charity too.

While working on our master bedroom upstairs I had a real "aha!" moment where a cleaning penny dropped and I had to share πŸ˜ƒ

My homemaking aha! moment - I found somewhere new to clean!

Since we were going to be working on our master bedroom, going through storage boxes and containers looking for things no longer needed, we thought we'd combine our de-cluttering mission with giving our bedroom a roof to floor cleaning too.

In the main I'm happy with our master bedroom honeys.  It's easy to clean because we have systems in place which make keeping it tidy really easy.  We have ways to fold laundry which have become second nature and makes it so easy to put it away quickly and easily.  I'm still using that little closet/cupboard in this room that holds, thanks to storage systems, way more than it's size should allow it to and I still love pocket storage 😊

So this room rarely needs more work than making the bed and the occasional once over with a duster and the vacuum cleaner.... or so I thought!

I've now discovered that some items do need to be taken apart when cleaning and that a quick dust or once over with the nozzle attachment of the vacuum cleaner just isn't enough.  OK, what I'm about to show you horrified me!  I can't stress this enough honeys, it really did.

It left me quite upset and actually worried because having been born with damaged lungs and living with asthma what we discovered is not only annoying to me as a homemaker but is potentially harmful to my health too.

Let's take a look at what we found shall we? Fair warning this is quite gross....

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Latest Avon Smiles

Hi Honeys
Happy Saturday 😊  I hope you're having a fabulous weekend so far and have lots of fun planned.  I have work today but I'm hoping for a rain free day tomorrow (are you listening Mother Nature?) so we can re-pot our miniature roses into a lovely planter by the front door.

My latest Avon order was delivered while I was at work and I thought I'd share it with you before dashing off to work today.
Latest Avon Smiles - What's inside my latest Avon products delivery?

There is quite a fun little mix in the Avon carrier bag this time around honeys.  To be honest I had forgotten what I'd ordered by the time it arrived so it was fun taking the items out of the bag one at a time 😊

Let's take a look at what was in the bag shall we?

Friday, 2 June 2017

Friday Smile: Sweetest, Most Adorable, Harry Potter Themed Gift From Hubby

Hi Honeys
Good morning and happy Friday to you.  I hope you're looking forward to a wonderful weekend full of smiles, hugs and all good things.  I'm working as usual but looking forward to Sunday because, weather permitting, Hubby will be helping me (well he'll be doing the actual work bless him x) to re-home our miniature roses from their present pot to a lovely planter by our front door which has a trellis attached.

Speaking of Hubby, he surprised me with a little bag yesterday (thank you sweetheart x) and I thought I'd share it's contents with you in the hope they make you smile too.

Sweetest Harry Potter Related Snape Smiles From Hubby

You might have heard me mention that I'm a little bit of a Harry Potter fan?

Theodore Arbuthnott the frog

Well, to be fair I only went to see the first Potter movie because one of my all time favourite actors, the beyond fabulous Alan Rickman, was in it and I was completely bitten by the Potter bug.

Back to yesterday then and can you imagine how happy I was to open the bag Hubby handed me to find the fab Snape related items inside?

There is a mug which Hubby told me to use but he knows me well enough to know that's just not going to happen 😊  My arthritic hands cause me to drop things far too often for me to risk that!  The mug really is beautiful honeys.  Let's have a look shall we....

Thursday, 1 June 2017

8 Ways To Keep Houseplants Healthy & Blooming All Year Long

Hi Honeys,
There was a time in my life when plants were simply not safe around me 😊 I've always adored all things living and growing but unfortunately it seems I simply wasn't born with a green thumb.  A fact that weighs very heavily on me since a great deal of the joy in my life stems from our little garden.

"How can my plants go and die on me" I was constantly asking myself, well not constantly but enough to be depressing.  I adore plants! I water them! What am I doing wrong?

Well, as it turns out dear ones, quite a lot.  As with all things in life, we learn through experience and I learned there was a whole lot more to happy houseplants than just wandering over with some water now and again.  

8 Ways To Keep Houseplants Healthy & Blooming All Year Long

Right now any houseplants we have are temporary... although in a good way 😊  What I mean is that recent houseplants in our home have tended to become outside plants eventually, as in the case of our little miniature roses which will soon be re-homed into a trellis planter by our front door.

I'm no expert honeys, not even a little bit, but I've become much better at keeping plants alive and content for months on end while they wait for the unpredictable Scottish seasons to allow them a chance to survive outside 😊

I thought today I'd share a few of the ways I've learned over the years to keep living green things... well living and green in our home 😊

Friday, 26 May 2017

Finding Smiles In The Garden...

Hi Honeys
I've spent most of this week looking for a reason to smile and maybe find a way to stop crying and I know for sure I'm not alone.  I can't bear to switch on the TV or to read the news.  Something terrible happened in Manchester this week and it's sent a shock wave through the entire country.

When terrible things like this happen, when good people, when innocent children, are hurt and killed deliberately, it's inconceivable.  How can this happen?  First there is shock, then I think our brain tries to make sense of it, but there's no sense to be made honeys.

I've been crying off and on all this week.  I've found myself crying while doing the dishes, while sitting with our furbaby on the sofa, while pegging out laundry on the line, even while doing nothing at all.

As I so often do when I'm finding it difficult to cope I headed out into out garden in search of a smile. I'm not sure it's really helped to be honest honeys but I did take some photos and thought I'd share in the hope that maybe they'd make you smile.

Friday Smiles In The Garden

Do you remember those little miniature roses, a gift from a dear friend at Christmas, well they're still blooming...

Miniature Roses In Bloom

In the above photo they're sitting in front of our blueberry shrub which is enjoying the recent sunny weather and growing well too.  It looks as if there will be another great crop of blueberries again this year.

The little miniature roses really are growing well, so much so that I've moved them outside into the garden so they can soak up the sunshine...

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Ikea Muffinsmix Choklad - Yummy Chocolate Muffin Mix From Ikea

Disclaimer:  I have not been paid to promote any products, just sharing some fun I had yesterday in the kitchen x

Hi Honeys
Feeling at a bit of a loss for anything to do yesterday afternoon I wandered off into the kitchen and discovered something I'd actually forgotten buying!

On our last trip to Ikea I had picked up a pack of their make in the carton chocolate muffin mix.  I was interested in trying it since I have previously tried the other two items in the range.  One being their multi-grain bread mix (yum!) and the other being another muffin mix, this time a lovely lemon flavour.

Having really enjoyed the multi-grain bread, seriously delicious when topped with a little marmalade I thought, and the lemon flavour muffins I had promised myself we'd pick up a pack of their chocolate muffin mix on our next visit.

Having brought it home it was promptly forgotten all about and left to languish in the cupboard.  To be fair though I have been battling a persistent, and ouchy, arthritis flare for what feels like forever now and baking has been the last thing on my mind.

Anyway dear ones with my laundry all done yesterday and on the lookout for something to do I saw the cartoon in the kitchen and I thought "why not?"

Ikea Muffinsmix Choklad

If you've tried any of the Ikea mixes honeys you'll know they are essentially a carton containing the ingredients to which you add water and then shake vigorously in order to mix them together. This is explained in the usual Ikea fashion by an illustration on the packaging...

Ikea Muffinsmix Choklad - Ikea Chocolate Muffins Mix Directions On Packaging

Now I know there are mixed feelings on the Ikea illustrations which act as wordless directions on how to use their products but I like them and have to admit I find them charming 😊

So, on to the muffins mix itself then honeys, what are the pluses and the minuses.....

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 on the beach, staring at the waves, feeling the sand between my toes and fingers.  I'd sit there, I'd feel 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 minds eye at least, walked down those steps and onto the beach, only to sit on the sand with my eyes closed, breathing the fresh, salty air.

It's good to have a dream honeys and mine is so vivid, so longed for that I can almost feel the salty, breeze on my face.

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!