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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 outside๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

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
๐Ÿ˜Š

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 laundry๐Ÿ˜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...