Friday, 30 December 2016

Mini Travel Cup For Spoonies, Moms, furbaby parents.....

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products, just wanted to share my latest ever so helpful find x

Hi Honeys
Just a quick post as I dash around getting ready for my shift today.  It's so, so cold outside right now and my yearly chest infection has appeared 😩  Very (really very) little sleep last night because of all of the coughing, my head feels as if someone's been using it as a football and I have to work till 11pm tonight. Yuk.

Please wrap up warm honeys, add an extra layer or two, especially if you have to go outside to run errands or anything else, OK?

Being a spoonie can be challenging, even on days when your lungs aren't trying to give up thanks to a chest infection, so finding something, any little thing that can help make life easier can be a real blessing.

Mini Folding Travel Cup For Spoonies

Have you ever been outside,away from home, and needed a cup to take, or mix, medication?  I have. Many, many times.  As a money saving measure my workplace recently partially closed our break room. We're still able to use the break room itself but there are no meals served there anymore, just vending machines.  While there are bowls, plates and mugs available for our use, the dishwasher has been decommissioned and placed out of service too.

This means everyone relies on co-workers to thoroughly wash any cups and dishes they've used in hot water and to rinse well too.  This doesn't always happen I'm afraid and so many times I've looked for a cup to dissolve my effervescent  medication and the cups available sometimes look very dingy to say the least.

Goodness, I do sound like a princess don't I honeys?  In fact, in order to treat my rhuematoid arthritis I take a drug which intentionally flattens my immune system, prevents it from working as it should. This is necessary because in RA the bodies own immune system attacks the joints.

So, even if using cups which may not have been washed properly didn't completely gross me out, which it so does, I have no immune system to battle common everyday germs.

Enter the wonderful little gadget which has changed my life... or at least my breaks at work 😊

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The Joy of Christmas Roses...

Hi Honeys
Happy holidays!  I hope you've had a fabulous time over Christmas and that Santa brought you lots of surprises πŸŽ…πŸŽ„

Today I thought I'd share a sweet surprise I was given this week at work.  It so made me smile...

The Joy Of Christmas Roses

A dear friend (thank you Karen x) surprised me with the most perfect, beautiful miniature roses in a pot...

Perfect Miniature Roses

Aren't they simply perfect honeys?  There were wrapped in an adorable plastic sleeve with a smiling Santa on it which I've removed of course to allow them room to breathe.  They're now on the window sill in the kitchen so they'll be warm and also get the best of what (very) little sunlight there is here in Scotland at this time of year.

The little pot they're in is already far too small though so I'll be re-potting them into a larger pot and once Spring arrives and it's warmed up outside I'm hoping to plant them in the front garden, in one of the trellis planters we have by our front door.

Thank you Karen, I adore these little roses and they make me smile every time I see them 😊  I was blessed with a couple of other precious surprises this week but I'll share those in another post x

What's made you smile over the holidays honeys?  I hope you're having a fabulous time, hugging lots and smiling even more 😊  Till next time dear ones, huggles always xx


Friday, 23 December 2016

Fairies, Fairies, Everywhere...

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to endorse or promote any products, just sharing my latest smiles in the hope they'll make you smile too x

Hi Honeys,
I'm writing this as storm Barbara arrives on the West coast of Scotland.  It's getting wild out there. The rain is battering against the windows driven by the winds which seem to be picking up by the hour.

I need to take my mind off the weather, especially since I have a busy (and late finishing) shift ahead of me tonight and will need to wrap up against the elements to make my way to work soon.  What better way to distract myself than by sharing pretty fairies...

Fairies Fairies Everywhere

I've adored the magical, mystical world of fairies for as long as I can remember. As a child I truly wanted to believe every garden was home to fairy folk who spent their days frolicking and dancing on tiny shimmering wings and cared for the flowers and any animals they met too of course.

As an adult I still want to believe that they co-exist somehow with us clumsy humans on this tiny planet, making good our careless foot steps in their garden homes.  We have tiny fairies (and angels) sprinkled throughout our home in pewter, crystal and glass, peeping out from shelves and bookcases.

I've been known to write (terrible) poetry in their honour and I'm still planning a fairy garden outside, hopefully we'll start work on it in the Spring when the weather gets better but for now we have the sweetest solar powered little log fairy home living on a shelf in our entryway/mudroom, which I'm hoping with be at it's heart....

Solar Powered Fairy Home

It looks adorable at night when the windows glow with a soft, warm light and I think it will look fabulous as part of our fairy garden.  I'll take photos to share honeys, promise x

I've just added to my fairy collection and one of the items I've wanted for such a long time and silly though it seems I can't wait to add it to our home and I know exactly where it will be placed too 😊

Let's take a look at the latest fairy themed additions to our home decor shall we?

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Picture Perfect Project: The Final Post

Hi honeys
I'm sorry this post is late, it should of course have been published on the second Thursday of the month, that would've been last Thursday, but I had my dear and much loved Brother in Law visiting last week and I haven't been feeling very well at all this past week. The cold and damp is playing havoc with my arthritis I'm afraid. Enough of my moans though, on with today's huge post πŸ˜ƒ

The Picture Perfect Project December The Last Post

I feel really sad to be writing this final post in this wonderful series.  I've had so much fun taking part in this project, which challenged bloggers to take more photographs, improve their photography skills and in doing that, improve their blog too.  Thank you so much to the lovely ladies who hosted the Picture Perfect Project for letting me take part. It's been a joy.  

This project has left me with a wonderful record to treasure of a year in the life of our much loved garden.🏑  I'm so grateful for that honeys.  It's like having the past year stored inside a little time bubble to re-visit time and again.

I had been hoping to have some snow to show you, to bring our little project to a close.  A blanket of beautiful snow covering our garden, and we did actually have some snowfall recently.  It didn't last though I'm afraid.  It fell in late evening and by early next day it was gone.

I have a feeling the snow will, like last year, wait until the new year arrives and fall in January.  Last January our back garden looked like this...

Picture Perfect Project Jade is curious about the snow in the garden

I did say this was a huge post and it really is honeys 😊  It's taken me a whole day (literally, I haven't gotten anything else done!) to make collages and pull all of these images together for you but you're worth it and I'm so looking forward to sharing πŸ’™

Why not grab a coffee, and maybe a cookie too, and join me back here in a few minutes?  OK? See you in a mo...

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Soap And Glory: The Whole Glam Lot Limited Edition Set

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products, just sharing the contents of the latest Soap And Glory Christmas set.

Hi Honeys
It's arrived!  The moment every Soap and Glory fan waits all year for is here!  Hubby went into town very early yesterday morning to pick up a set for me (thank you sweetheart πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–) What can I say honeys it's fabulous as always and in a change to recent years the set is presented in a gorgeous metal retro look flight/vanity case in a collage design made up of many, many individual (and teeny tiny) images.
Soap and Glory The Whole Glam Lot

As always this years set is beautifully presented.  Inside the case, the products lay flat and are covered, though not wrapped, in a sheet of the gorgeous Soap and Glory tissue paper, fastened together with a little sticker...

Soap and Glory The Whole Glam Lot case interior

Opening the tissue paper honeys, we can see the goodies all packed inside...

Friday, 2 December 2016

8 Ways To Be A Perfect Party Guest

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any companies or products, just trying to help the party season go with a smile x 

Hi Honeys
Well, here we are.  We're in December and the party season is about to begin.  Time to plan party outfits and accessories... what did I do with those cute reindeer earrings?..... it's also time to dust off your planner and be organized about how many invitations you accept and, crucially, that they don't overlap!

How To Be A Perfect Party Guest

Of course there is so much more to consider than sparkly outfits and not accepting so many invitations you end up with no time to do anything else.

When someone invites you to be part of a social gathering or to be a guest in their home it is a compliment.  They are including you in their plans and it should be treated as the mark of respect or honour it is.

The very least you can do then in order to repay your host or hostesses thoughtfullness is to be mindful of their kindness and to be at all times a respectful visitor in their home or guest at their function.  It really is a simple case of etiquette.  Manners not only maketh man they also make the perfect party guest.

8 Ways To Be A Perfect Party Guest

1. R.S.V.P 

Always reply promptly to invitations.  Your host/hostess is making plans after all, they will be investing their time and money into planning this event and may need an accurate head count in order to book a function suite or if the party is in their home they'll still need to know how many guests they'll be catering for in food and drinks. 

2. Keep Your Word 

If you do accept an invitation, go! An unexpected family emergency is an appropriate reason to call your host and cancel, changing your mind because a better party has come up or because you really can't be bothered on the day is most certainly not!  If you do have to cancel, apologise and follow up with a note or a card thanking your host for their invitation.

3. Running Late? 

If you are delayed on the night, call your hosts and let them know.  A little call saying you're stuck in traffic and an estimate of when you'll be with them will be appreciated.  Unless your hosts are very good friends, and maybe you're helping set up, never arrive early.  Your hostess might have spent some considerable time setting up and won't want you to arrive while she's still getting dressed.

4. Show Your Appreciation

Take a small gift for your host or hostess to thank them for including you.  A bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers is usually welcomed or if you want something a little more imaginative you'll find ideas here.  

5. Be A Helpful Guest 

If the party is being held in your hosts home, why not offer to help by passing round canapes or nibbles or by topping up drinks?  Your host will be, on occasion, answering the door to welcome other guests and might be very grateful for your help.  

6. Help The Party Mood 

During the evening make an effort to mingle, try to circulate and chat to as many other guests as you can.  It will help the party mood and you might even meet a new friend.  When chatting with another party guest, concentrate your attention on what they're saying, never glance over their shoulder while they're chatting. Think how you'd feel if someone did it while you were speaking. 

7. Be Mindful At All Times 

Your hosts have paid you the compliment of including you in their plans, show your appreciation.  Be careful not to drink too much. It's easy to lose track when drinks are being passed around and everyone is having fun.  

Try to never be that guest.  The one who spoils things for others.  Be aware of when the party is winding down and others are leaving, let this be your signal to go home.  If you have had even a little to drink, call a taxi/cab to take you home.  Safety first always, for you and for other road users.

8. Always Remember To Say Thank You 

Thank your hosts before you leave for including you and follow up with a card or a note next day. Your hosts will appreciate that you took the time to thank them and a little card can mean a great deal after all of the work involved in planning an event. 

There we have it honeys, perfectly simple ways to be the perfect party guest 😊 Can you add anything to the list? Have I missed anything?  Whatever you're doing this weekend, have fun and stay warm, it's getting cold out there!  Till next time dear ones, smile lots and hug even more, huggles always x

Huggles Always Honeys

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Advent Calendar Fun!

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

Hi Honeys
Well here we are, it's the first of December.  Everyone around me at work is counting down to Christmas and the new year and I have a countdown of my own.  On Saturday night it will be exactly sixteen weeks till the clocks go forward an hour in UK.  This marks the beginning of daylight savings time and of course the start of British Summer Time.

Word of my wee countdown is getting around, a couple of co-workers have even asked me what week we're on recently and I'm even thinking about making a little badge that says "ask me when Spring is..." 😊   Sixteen weeks isn't so long really, and it can't pass soon enough for me.

I so desperately long for sunny, warm days to peg out line after line of laundry and of course to see our much loved garden wake up from its long winter sleep.

Back to today though honeys.  The first day of December means opening the first little box on advent calendars... 

Advent Calendar Fun - Make up for me & treat for furbaby Jade :)

Do you remember the make up advent calendar I bought recently? I haven't ever had one of these before and it seemed like such fun.  This is the set I bought...

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Happy Thanksgiving! Downloadable Menu Printable

Hi Honeys
I hope you're having a wonderful weekend.  It's gotten very chilly here, it was so cold when I left work last night and walking towards the house was scary because the pavements (and road) had started icing over.

Brrrr! Time for mittens, thick winter socks and scarfs honeys.  I'm so looking forward to tomorrow when I can spend the day snuggling on the sofa with our furbaby Jade and watch TV.  Jade adores hugging her Mum and sharing a blanket bless her.  Just like Sheldon from TVs Big Bang Theory she has "her spot" on our sofa 😊

Happy Thanksgiving

I made a little printable menu for Thanksgiving dinner which I hope you like...

Thanksgiving Menu Printable

It's sized at A4 (choose print to fit in your printer settings honeys) and you could either laminate it and pop on the fridge to make notes on or place inside a photo frame and write on the glass.

You can find the printable in JPG format here and in PNG here.  Enjoy!

I have to dash to work for another very busy shift, enjoy the rest of your weekend dear ones,  have fun and stay warm, till next time smile lots and hug even more :) huggles xx

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Ikea Muffinsmix Citron - Lemon Flavoured Muffin Mix

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to promote this product, just sharing some fun Hubby & I had in the kitchen making yummy muffins x

Hi Honeys
At a loose end and with nothing much on TV to watch last night Hubby & I wandered off into the kitchen to try a muffin kit we'd bought on our last visit to Ikea a while ago.  

You might remember I tried one of these shake and bake cartons some time ago, the Ikea BRΓ–DMIX FLERKORN Multigrain Bread Baking Mix so you can imagine I was curious when I saw a similar carton promising yummy lemon flavour muffins ❤ 

Ikea Muffinsmix Citron

I adore baking honeys, I really do.  I also adore muffins.  Add grins & giggles with Hubby in the kitchen into the mix and we have a winner πŸ†

The Muffinsmix Citron, or lemon flavour muffin mix, comes packaged in a bright, pretty carton and is also available in chocolate flavour.  The cooking method is the same as the bread mix in that you are asked to add water, shake and then bake.  It couldn't be any easier!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Super Moon Over Scotland..

Hi Honeys
I hope your week is going well. I actually got to peg out laundry yesterday! It was a beautiful, if chilly, sunny day outside with a good "drying wind."   Whether it was all likely to dry or not wasn't really important I was just so happy to be able to peg it all out. There's simply no substitute for the gorgeous scent of bedding and towels pegged outside to dry,  now if someone could just make a perfume of that scent I'd be a happy wee Rosie!

In fact all of my towels did dry, as did most of my laundry, with the exception of our duvet cover which is made from a very thick, brushed cotton and two of our furbaby Jade's soft fleecey blankets, since they were the last to be pegged out and our sunshine is gone so early.  Not a problem though, they were soon dried in the tumble dryer.  Just being able to peg laundry out at all made me smile yesterday 😊

Another highlight of this week was, of course, the much reported appearance of the "super moon" on Monday night. Did you manage to see it honeys?  I saw so many beautiful images on Twitter from around the world but I thought, even though they're not nearly so impressive, I'd share how this gorgeous, seldom seen occurrence looked over the West Coast of Scotland...

The beautiful "super moon" over Scotland

We won't see the moon pass this close to earth again until 25 November 2034 - not for another 18 years! Indeed it hasn't passed this close to us since 1948 so I was determined to at least try to catch a photo of it.  Here are the best of the images I caught...

Friday, 11 November 2016

The Joy Of Book Kits

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

Hi Honeys
I hope you're staying warm in this chill, the sun is shining beautifully outside but oh my it's cold! Again (what? again Rosie? sheesh...) I'll say that some people are just made to hibernate and I happen to be one of them! Spring can't get here quick enough for me, seriously.

Moans... er.. concerns about the chilly weather aside (hee hee :) I'm actually feeling quite chuffed today.  I've spent the past couple of weeks feeling quite dreadful, just constantly drained, completely without energy.  My Dr called me to tell me my latest bloods showed my iron levels were even lower than they normally are (and that's usually on the low side.) My get up and go had got up and gone :/

As it always does though, it (eventually) passes and I think <touch wood> I might be on the mend.  I feel better today than I have for a while so hopefully...

The Joy of Book Kits

You might have noticed that I adore books just a little bit :) So, any day with new books in it is a day to celebrate.. or at least to sit on the sofa with our furbaby Jade and grin a lot :)  I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of Christmas really, I might like it more if it were in Summer and we could celebrate out in the garden with the roses :)

What? So, I'm odd (I like to think in a nice way mind) you hadn't noticed by now? :)  I don't dislike Christmas it's more to do with the cold and the general horribleness of the weather, it's winter I have a problem with.  There are elements of Christmas I do kinda like, like the availability everywhere of candy canes... which are beyond fabulous stirred through hot chocolate! Yummmm!! :)

The other thing I love, love, love about this time of year is that book kits start to appear.  Book kits, those wonderful little sets, perfect as gifts or for book loving folk like me who like a little fun with their reading, are essentially a book packaged with complimenting accessories designed to help the reader make use of the book or just to tie in with the subject matter.

While grocery shopping in our local Asda/Walmart around a week ago I found two such kits and they instantly made their way into our trolley :)  I'm still grinning just looking at them sitting by me while I type this post :) So, without further ado then here they are honeys...

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Picture Perfect Project: November: The Last Rose..

Hi Honeys
Back again for the almost, nearly last post in The Picture Perfect Project.  I've had such fun taking part in this wonderful link up and it 'll be fabulous to be able to look back over a year in the life of our much loved garden.

Picture Perfect Project: The Last Rose

The Picture Perfect Project encouraged bloggers to take more photographs and along the way to also improve their photography skills as well as the appearance of our blogs.  It's been an honour and such fun to have been part of this lovely link up this past year.  I've looked forward to snapping away happily in our garden each month.

The link up itself ended last month but me being me I can't bear to leave it unfinished.  I've had far too much fun :)  So, even though the link up is complete I thought I'd finish the year with two additional posts.  How else can it truly be a year in the life of our garden?

I'm so glad I decided to continue because our garden hasn't let me down :)  While everything is settling down for their winter nap we had one last rose patiently waiting to be captured forever...

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Winning The Battle Against Chronic Fatigue...

Disclaimer: I do not mean this as medical advice, please consult your medical professional for advice honeys.

Hi Honeys
Chronic illness sucks! There, I said it.  It hits us where we live.  It's insidious.  It chip, chip, chips away at everything from our energy supplies, our general health, and outwards into every aspect of our lives.

Winning the battle against chronic fatigue

Fellow *spoonies will know only too well how it goes.... " I'd so love to see that movie but I know that an evening out will leave me completely drained for a day or two,  I'll wait until it's released on dvd... yes that's what I'll do..." and on and on until it's taken away far too many good things we have in our lives to make us smile. Except it doesn't have to be that way honeys.  It just feels as if it does at times.

This past weekend has been very challenging because my workplace, being retail, was incredibly busy and it will be every bit as busy now for the next nine to ten weeks at the very least.  Uppermost in my problems right now isn't the pain from arthritis, spoonies learn to cope with pain, it's that my iron level has dropped from the already constantly low point which passes for normal for me.

I know from (long) experience that in time it will rise again to its usually still low but more manageable level but for now the almost constant fatigue I live with is that little (seriously Rosie? little?) bit more challenging.  In other words dear ones, my usual "running on nearly empty" feeling is becoming more difficult to hide from the outside world in general and to my employers in particular.

I'm lucky, blessed actually, that I only have two days a week at work where I have to, on the outside anyway, wear my mask, to appear to be perfectly fine and dandy.  Bright of eye and bushy of tail so to speak.  I used to work four days a week but was forced to reduce my hours due to awful "black outs" or fainting spells I was having both at home and at work.  I was told by a doctor at the hospital at that time that I had been "writing cheques my body couldn't cash"  He told me that if I wanted to keep working I had to "work smarter."

Working smarter meant to work with my body and not against it.  Self care is so very important and this is too often forgotten in the fight to keep our challenges hidden, particularly from the outside world. One of the most difficult things spoonies are faced with dear ones is the complete devastation of our own sense of self image, self worth.

It's incredibly difficult to admit to oneself that the things previously taken for granted, boundless energy, the ability to do what we want, when we want to do it without notice simply vanishes to be replaced by limits over which we have little to no control.  I know from chatting with other spoonies that in our current economic climate I'm not the only one afraid of losing my job. Of being replaced by someone who doesn't have health challenges.  There are many of us wearing masks.

Spoonies And The Masks We Wear

Our first instinct, of course, is to fight against the limits our health imposes on us with an "I'll show you" attitude but this is doomed to failure simply because by doing this we're treating our own bodies as the enemy. Adapting is not submission honeys, it's survival.  When I reduced my hours I began to cope again. I learned how to plan ahead.  How to carefully allot my limited reserves of energy as needed.  How to use my spoons* wisely.

image via PicMonkey

Now that we're in the run up to the holidays I know that work will be really busy, in order to keep up, and to reach the end of my shift in one piece, I will now have to rest for the two days prior to my shifts instead of my more usual one day.  This doesn't mean I have to park myself on the sofa and not do anything at all, in fact that would be damaging in itself.

Arthritis makes movement painful but in order to prevent further loss of mobility we have to keep moving.  Something my beloved Gramma always referred to as "use it or lose it."  The solution is to plan carefully and to do little and often.  To keep moving but to also rest when your body tells you to. Adapting is not submission.  It's how we win. It's how we remain independent, it's how we live life on our terms. It's how we win.

Managing pain and fatigue, once mastered, can make such a difference honeys.  Please don't be afraid to chat to your doctor and ask for advice.  A problem shared is a problem halved as the old saying goes.  Sometimes another pair of eyes can see solutions we're missing and at times it's good just to be heard, to know we're not alone.

Something else, just as important in my humble opinion, as coping skills is to preserve joy in your life.  It doesn't have to be a singing, dancing cabaret every day but there should be some joy in every day.  Mine is wrapped up in my beloved Hubby and in our dear furbaby.  They make me smile till it hurts, they make my heart smile every single day.  You need to find your joy honeys and remind yourself every day how blessed you are.  Chronic illness does not define you, you can win.

Wishing you a surplus of spoons and smiles every day dear ones.  It's getting cold so please stay warm and safe.  Add an extra blanket and hug your furbabies.  Till next time, smile lots and hug even more, huggles always xx

* If you haven't read it, please do read The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino it's inspiring and explains wonderfully the choices those living with chronic illness face every day.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Furbaby Smiles :)

Disclaimer: I'm not being paid to promote any products, just sharing the cutest furbaby treat we found for Jade while grocery shopping x

Hi Honeys
1st of November! This past year has gone so fast!  The season's changes have been almost unnoticed. In fact, you'd be forgiven for thinking this past month has been the tail end of Summer instead of Autumn here in the UK with (mostly) beautifully sunny days and summer temperatures in the low 20Cs.  All change now though, it felt very chilly this morning.

Time to add a sweater or cardigan to the outfit for the day :)  It's also time to start noticing holiday items when grocery shopping.  Christmas is a time to treat our loved ones and surely that has to include our furbabies :)

Misfits Furbaby Munch Box Dog Treats

Whilst grocery shopping in our local Asda (Walmart) we spotted this adorable treat tin and just knew we had to take one home for Jade.  We buy the misfits treats regularly anyway so I knew she liked them (I think her favourites are the Liver flavoured Wonky Chomps) but I'm willing to admit the downright cuteness of the container made it inevitable that it made its way into our trolley and came home with us :)

Seriously honeys, how adorable is this tin...

Misfits Limited Edition Tin With Dog Treats

The cardboard wrap-a-round label announces that this is a limited edition tin but it doesn't say anywhere that it's exclusive to Asda, so it might well be available in your local supermarket.  The adorable furbaby images are on all four sides of the tin and it is a very snazzy, eye-catching colour too. Would you like a look inside?

Monday, 31 October 2016

A Halloween Smile :)

Hi Honeys
I hope you're well and enjoying Halloween.  We've had lots of tiny humans trick or treating tonight, mostly tiny witches and vampires but also an adorable fairy as well as a little angel :)

I spent Thursday afternoon making up lots of little treat bags for visiting trick or treaters, with sweets, lolly pops and Halloween balloons inside and we still have a few left over which no doubt Hubby will take into work in the morning and leave in the break room for co-workers as he always does :)

A Halloween Smile

We had such fun over the weekend at work. We were all asked to dress up and on Friday I wore a dress with way too many petticoats, a hat with a veil, added my pearls and some bright red lipstick and I went all retro :)

On Saturday I wore a head to toe Hogwarts school uniform including my gorgeous scarf,  a gift from my dear Hubby, bought when he attended Comic Con earlier this year (thank you sweetheart, I love it and you of course x)

Harry Potter Slytherin House Scarf
In addition to my scarf, I wore black trousers, a white shirt, black v neck jumper, a House tie,  a Hogwarts student gown and a fabulous velvet witches hat, another gift from Hubby (thank you sweetheart x)  I also had a wand and a small cauldron :)

As any Potter fan knows it's possible to be sorted into school houses (and, of course, to have virtual wands chose us) at Pottermore. I was sorted into Gryffindor House but you might have noticed that Hubby bought me a Slytherin scarf.

My Hogwarts uniform simply had to be Slytherin honeys, to honour our beloved Alan Rickman so sadly taken from us this year.  I owe my love of all things Potter to Mr Rickman since having lost my heart to him many, many (really many) years ago, I only went to see the first movie because he was in the cast.

Dear Mr Rickman brought the Head of Slytherin House, Professor Severus Snape, beautifully, heart breakingly to life.  So, you can see why dear ones, there was no option but for me to be a Slytherin House student for the day and oh my what fun it was!

I lost count of how many customers asked me "where's your owl?" or "where's your broomstick then?" to which I'd smile and occasionally wave my wand in their direction, to be met with grins all round :)

Later in the afternoon an adorable wee boy, maybe around six or seven years old, was staring at me. After staring for a minute or two he asked me why I was wearing a witches hat.  I told him I wasn't really wearing a witches hat because I'm not a witch yet, that I attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry so I'm only learning to be a witch.  

He replied "no you're don't!"
"Yes, I do" I said "why else would I be wearing a uniform?"

Silence for a minute or so and I continued chatting to the wee boy's Mum.

"If you really go to Hogwarts what are you doing here then?" asked the wee boy
"Have you ever seen older boys and girls helping to pack bags sometimes?" I said.  He nodded. "Well, if you're old enough they let you work a checkout too."

Silence again.  Again I chatted to his Mum and again this very smart wee boy mulled over what I'd said.

"If you really go to Hogwarts where's your animal?" He said.  "Everybody knows if you go to Hogwarts you get to have a pet.."

I reached into the little cauldron sitting by me at the checkout and lifted out my little frog and introduced him to my young interrogator.  "This is my friend, Theodore Arbuthnott the frog" I said.

Theodore Arbuthnott The Frog

"Why isn't he moving" he said.
"He only moves for me" I said "and everyone knows we're not allowed to do magic outside school.  It wouldn't do if a muggle were to see anything magical"

This darling wee boy looked at his Mum and said "Mum, I want to go to Hogwarts!"

:) I hope you've had a fabulous Halloween dear ones, till next time, smile lots and hug even more,
huggles always * xx

* If, like me, you're a Potter fan you'll know we take "always..." really seriously :) x

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Yummy Apple Crumbles Made From Apples Grown In Our Garden

Hi Honeys
I'm so sorry I haven't been posting very much lately. I'm still feeling terribly drained and run down due to a low blood count.  I'll be fine dear ones, low iron is something I live with it's just that now and again it gets fed up being in the basement and starts to dig 😞

Enough of this moaning honeys, today I thought I'd share a happy smile 😊 Do you remember our much loved little apple tree in our back garden? Hubby planted it for me and I've so loved watching it welcome Spring by bursting into gorgeous apple blossom the last few years.  You might remember that it even started to produce apples too with a first, single perfect apple in 2014 and with three apples last year.

This years apple adventure got exciting because I was actually in the garden with our furbaby Jade when the apples fell from the tree! Our dear wee tree has produced two full size Bramley apples, easily large enough and perfect to cook with and of course you know what that means...

First Ever Apple Crumble Made Using Bramley Apples Grown In Our Garden

I look forward to the day when our tree (which, at nine years old, is still very young in the world of trees) will grow a basket full of apples but for now I'm so chuffed!  This year the tree has grown two apples.  Two full size, healthy, beautiful Bramley cooking apples....

Two Perfect Bramley Cooking Apples

Even looking at this photo makes me smile honeys :)  Onward then to our crumble recipe!

Friday, 21 October 2016

A New Look For Autumn

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to promote any products, just sharing my recent purchases from a new range.

Hi Honeys
You might remember I promised in a recent post about the Technic Cosmetic Advent Calendar that I'd share my order from Avon's new True Colour range, so today I thought that's what I'd do :)

A New Look For Autumn

I'm in a funk honeys.  There is zero self care going on around here and there hasn't been any Rosie care for a very long time now that I think on it.  The most I can do every morning is to have my shower, get dressed and run a brush through my hair.  It's simply not good enough.

As if the cosmos heard my thoughts, at that precise moment an ad appeared on TV for the new Avon range, promising to let us "say bye to your morning face in five minutes!"

Intrigued, I went to their website to find out more, only to find that since the range was new, most items were also around half price as part of an introductory offer. What's to lose I thought honeys and this is what I ordered...

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Picture Perfect Project: October: Hubby's Fence building Project

Hi Honeys
I have to start this post with an apology! I'm so sorry this post is a week late honeys.  I haven't been feeling at my best, my bloods are terribly low again and while I have posts lined up, just getting them written & published is proving difficult right now.

It's time then for another post in the wonderful Picture Perfect Project, the fun link up which encourages bloggers to improve their photography skills, as well as the appearance of their blogs, by taking more photos.  Practice makes perfect after all :)

For my tiny contribution to the fabulous Picture Perfect Project I've been documenting a year in the life of our garden and what fun it's been!  It's so good to be able to look back at the past year and to re-live our gardening smiles :)

Picture Perfect Project: October: Hubby's Fence Building Project

Autumn has finally arrived.  We've been lucky in that we've still had beautiful blue skies in place of the more common (for the west coast anyway) grey skies and constant rain for this time of year but the temperature is starting to fall now honeys,

Maybe not quite time for warm sweaters, mittens and scarves yet but certainly there is a change in the air.  Most noticeable in the early morning when Hubby takes Jade for her walk.  Jade has her jacket on now to keep her warm on walkies.

Jade waiting to go walkies
The garden too has settled down and is beginning to prepare itself for it's winter nap.  Our tiny front garden though is still blessed with a little colour from the lingering roses...

Friday, 14 October 2016

Saying Goodbye To Friends & Hanging Onto Your Smile...

Hi Honeys
This has been such a sad few days.  My dear next door neighbours, loveliest couple ever, have decided to move out and have found their perfect flat/apartment.  I really am happy for them because they're so happy with their new flat but at the same time it feels, genuinely, like an end of an era.

Saying Goodbye To Friends & Hanging On To Your Smile

We've been neighbours for over ten years and aside from missing them both terribly I'll also miss their two furbabies adding smiles to my day with hugs and kisses.  Having already lost her fur-pal Gypsy, the most beautiful of black labradors, who would come across our tiny cul de sac for play dates and hugs, a couple of years ago and her gorgeous golden retriever shaped bundle of joy and hugs fur-pal Sam very recently, both gathered by angels, I worry how she'll cope with losing another two fur-friends.

We've talked about adopting another furbaby to keep Jade company, if we could I'd adopt every furbaby who doesn't have a home bless them, but on a practical level Hubby's knees are not great anymore and I can't walk to the end of the street without awful pain, so walking Jade is about all Hubby can do. It's unfair to adopt a baby if you can't care for him/her.  Hugs and love we have in abundance but exercise would be a problem :/

I really (really) don't cope well with change honeys.  Even typing this I'm holding back a major anxiety attack.  Writing it down makes it real.  Of course the world around us changes and coping with that change is important and I will cope with it, eventually, but that doesn't make it any easier or bearable.

I grew up in a time and place, not so long ago, when everyone knew all of their neighbours.  The neighbours children grew up together and your parents neighbours would be known as "auntie" or "uncle."  I know I'm not alone in missing those happier days because I hear others reminiscing around me at work frequently.  Life moves so fast now, people don't connect in the same way and while neighbours may say hello in passing, there isn't the same community there used to be.

I've spent the past couple of days trying to take my mind off losing two lovely neighbours who became far more than friends by throwing myself into my happy place as a distraction...

Hanging Onto My Happy Place - Laundry Smiles

The beautiful sunshine, and wonderful "drying winds" this past week have cheered me up honeys and as a bonus I freshened up lots of our bedspreads and duvet sets, not that they get to sit on a shelf long enough between washes to be anything else.  Will my new neighbours be friendly? Will they be happy to chat at the back door over the garden fence?

Time will tell dear ones. I've been told a few details so far.  I know they seem, according to our present neighbours, to be a lovely couple, that they have two daughters, no furbabies I'm afraid, but you never know.  Maybe they'll meet our furbaby Jade and might want to adopt a furbaby of their own :)

How do you cope with change honeys?  Do you have any tips to turn a smile upside down?  They would certainly be helpful now if you do.  I'm going to stay positive.  I didn't know our present neighbours before we moved in and look how we became such good friends, so onward to new beginnings and new friends. I hope.

I'm off to check on a rhubarb crumble I have in the oven for our neighbours, they'll miss my crumbles :) Have a fabulous weekend dear ones, fill it with smiles and hugs xx  Till next time, huggles always xx

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Christmas Smiles In October: Cosmetic & Beauty Advent Calendars

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any of these products, just sharing some online smiles and virtual window shopping x

Hi Honeys
I hope you're having a good week so far.  This past week I received my latest order from Studio.  You might remember the little organizing trays which I've put to fabulous use in our kitchen.  I adore those little trays so much I'm going to order another set :)

Also included in this latest order was something I've been curious about for a while now and have never gotten around to treating myself to.  Have you ever seen a cosmetic advent calendar honeys? I'd spotted one listed on the Studio site and thought "why not!"

Christmas Smiles in October - Cosmetic Advent Calendars Rock!

I don't wear make up much, well lets face it (see what I did there? :) unless I'm at work or have a doctors appointment I'm at home so somewhere along the line I think I just decided it wasn't really worth the effort or maybe that I wasn't worth that tiny bit of self care.  I have to work on that.

To that end I'm expecting a delivery from Avon this week (I'll share when it gets here honeys) but for now back to the cosmetic advent calendar I ordered from Studio...

Technic Cosmetic Advent Calendar From Studio

My first reaction when it was delivered was that the box is huge! I haven't had a cosmetic advent calendar before (although I'd heard of them) but I suppose I was expecting a box along the lines of the chocolate advents which appear in shops at this time of year but it's larger than those.  Let's have a closer look at this set and maybe a sneak peek at the contents then shall we....

Friday, 7 October 2016

Mini Kitchen Organizing Project

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products, just wanted to share my latest little organizing project x

Hi Honeys
Back again :) I'm sorry I've been missing for the past week or so.  I really needed a short break. I've been feeling very drained, I'm feeling much better tho so I thought I'd share my latest little organizing project in our kitchen :)

Mini Kitchen Organizing Project

Have you noticed that sometimes even a tiny change in your surroundings makes you feel good? This week I had our latest order from Studio delivered and included in the order were these three organizing trays...
Set Of Three Organizer Trays From Studio Cards & Gifts

I already knew when I ordered them that I'd use these trays in our kitchen and that's what I did :)  The three organizing trays all have tiny silicone, non-slip feet on their bases. In addition, as you can see from the image above, the trays have a silicone inner layer to prevent their contents from sliding around, which would make them ideal as drawer organizers, but I had other plans... 

Friday, 30 September 2016

Blogtember Day 30: Advice From The Heart..

Hi Honeys
This is so sad! We've reached the last day of Blogtember again! Thank you so, so much to our lovely Bailey Jean for all of her work each year organizing and hosting this fabulous link up for us, thank you Bailey x

Blogtember Day 30

So, on to today's prompt then:  Picture this, you've been stopped on the street by the photographer of Humans of New York and he asks "what advice would you give to a large group of people?"  Share a picture of yourself along with the advice.

As the beyond compare Oscar Wilde is purported to have once said "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken."  This quote has always made me smile because who else can we be?  It is true though that "the grass is always greener."  There is a huge industry (advertising) built on the premise that if someone famous walks down the street with an item, whether it be a handbag, a pair of shoes, a watch, then that item will sell massively.

Image sells.  Look no further than the Kardashians who have built careers on image.  I wonder how much happier the world would be though if everyone were happy just being themselves.  Being comfortable in their own skin.  Smiling when we look in the mirror instead of wishing our hair was thicker/longer/shorter/curlier/straighter.

My advice then would be don't compare yourself to anyone else.  Even the world's most confident people, I'll bet, have something they wish they could change about themselves. We all have our fears, our insecurities, but some people are blessed not to be bound by them.  You, yes you, are the perfect, wonderful, fabulous, only version of you. No one else can even come close and somewhere there is someone wishing they had your hair, your eyes, your manner, your confidence.... Be happy dear ones. You're perfect just as you are x

You're Perfect

Always be kinder than you have to be, always smile even when its the last thing you feel like doing, because honeys, that's when the world (and you) need your smile the very most.  My beloved Gramma always told me that I should start every day the same way.  Before leaping out of bed to start my day I should look around me, that if I had a safe bed to sleep in, a roof over my head and food in the kitchen, I was already blessed and I should take a minute to thank my angels for looking after me, because for sure they were.  We should all take that minute, just to be grateful for everything we are blessed to have honeys xx

Start Each Day With A Grateful Heart

The last part of today's prompt asks us to attach a photo and if you've read my blog you'll know I don't have a single photo of me online. So, this will have to do...

Have a wonderful weekend dear ones, fill it with smiles, happiness, hugs and fabulous memories x

Till next time, huggles always xx

Blogtember 2016

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Blogtember Day 29: My Favourite Blogs & Bloggers..

Hi Honeys
Well, here we are. Almost at the end of Blogtember again for another year!  I can't believe how fast it's passed us by and I'm so happy!  I managed to post each day this month even tho I didn't vlog or have a guest post and had to play catch up a few times when my body battery was drained, I still managed a post for each day this month so far yaaaayy!

Blogtember Day 29

Today's post has to be the best!  What could be better than sharing some wonderful blogs & bloggers?

Today's prompt: Your Fab Five.  Share your favourite bloggers/besties and tell us what you love about them! Share a link and give a shout out.

Here it is then honeys, a little list of fabulous, fun, inspirational, wonderful, blogging gals who fill my days with joy.  They are all of them the sweetest, kindest, loveliest people and also all phenomenal bloggers! Thank you for the smiles honeys, hugs xx

Leah of  xLoveLeahx - Leah works tirelessly to promote body positivity and self care.  She's an inspiration and also the sweetest, most genuine person. When you visit Leah's blog you'll always be met with a hug :) Thank you for being you, Leah, you're awesome x

Heather of Icing On The cake - Heather is an angel. She's about to pass her finals to become a licensed family therapist and her clients are the luckiest people in the world because they have Heather in their corner. Heather, you make the world a better place just by being in it honey and I'm so proud of you xx

Yvonne of WooSangWasHere - Yvonne is a photographer, currently working on her degree and shares the most breathtaking photos of her native Australia. Yvonne is also the sweetest, kindest lady and her blog is a joy to read.  She also shares the most fabulous outfit posts too via her instagram,Yvonne, you rock honey x  

Meagan of Works of Heart - Meagan is a writer and book-lover too, she's also an awesome crafter (I soooo wish I could crochet as well as she does!) on her blog you'll find recipes, book reviews, craft projects, smiles and hugs :) Meagan is just the sweetest ever person, a ray of sunshine and a real joy x

Rhonda of Saturday Larks - Rhonda is a sweet, lovely lady who is a new Mum to beautiful baby J and she blogs about her life in gorgeous Canada where she and her Hubby have just overseen the building of their lovely new home x

Pamela of Doggone Healthy Choices - Pamela is a writer and on her fabulous blog she shares her adventures with her wonderful furbabies, who even have their own blogs too! Pamela writes about how to live a healthy, happy life with the help of our furbabies and her blog is so full of smiles x

Bailey Jean of Brave Love Blog - No list of favourite bloggers would be complete without dear Bailey who puts so much work into organizing Blogtember each year for us all.  Thank you Bailey, hugs always xx

Since we're all sharing favourites today honeys, can I also mention a few of my absolute favourite online magazine/blogs too?  I adore home design and when I need inspiration or just want to become lost in the most gorgeous images of interior design, home makeovers and dream homes I visit Decoist and Homedit both sites are a joy to the senses. Most mornings begin with me sitting on the sofa with our furbaby Jade and a cuppa and checking out the latest posts from Decoist & Homedit. There is always something stunning to see and to read.  Do visit, you'll be glad you did x

If you love DIY projects, fashion, recipes and so, so much more you'll adore my next two online favourites DIYS and Wonderfuldiy.  Both sites are jam packed with fabulousness and crafting goodness and I know you'll love them.  If it's technology & gadgets you adore then you need to scoot over to Device Mag every morning for the best in news, reviews and inside info on all things tech. All, well worth bookmarking for later honeys.

Till tomorrow, the last day of this year's Blogtember dear ones, please do check out the other bloggers taking part in Blogtember today here and remember to smile lots and lots & hug waaaaayyyy more :) Fill your days with hugs honeys! Huggles xxx

Blogtember 2016

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Blogtember Day 28: My Year So Far In Photographs

Hi Honeys
Back again for today's Blogtember post.  We're almost at the end! I look forward to Blogtember so much and it always feels like it's barely started before it's over again.  Thank you so much to Bailey Jean for planning, organizing and hosting this wonderful link up each year for us all.

It's such fun and I know I can't be the only one who looks forward to September each year because "it's nearly Blogtember!" :) Thank you Bailey for all you do x

Blogtember Day 28

Today's prompt The top five pictures that illustrate your year so far.

A year (so far) in photos then honeys, OK, grab a coffee, and maybe a cookie, and meet me back here in a few minutes :)

Blogtember Day 27: Recent Smiles: Doug the Pug does Poldark

Hi honeys
I'm playing catch up with Blogtember today :)  We're on to the last few days and I couldn't let yesterday's prompt go past without posting, and sharing, something that made me literally squeal with delight!

Blogtember day 27

Today's prompt: Something that made you laugh or cry recently.  It could be a video, a picture, a post, a memory.  Anything that moved you.

Without further ado then dear ones, here is the little clip that made me literally squeal!  Seriously! our furbaby Jade looked at me with her head tilted to one side :)  This clip has all of the cuteness, adorableness and all over fabulousness...

Isn't it fabulous?  Apologies to the gorgeous Aidan Turner but if it's a choice between him and Doug the pug playing Poldark I'm afraid my vote goes to Doug :)  What a cutie!

Of course there is another beyond adorable furbaby who keeps me smiling all day, every day :)

Our furbaby Jade

This is our furbaby Jade.  She's six years old and we were blessed to adopt her from a local rescue. She is the centre of our home and fills every day with smiles.  I tell everyone that its taken years of intensive training but she's just about got us trained the way she wants us and that's just as it should be :)

Furbabies spend all day long waiting for a cuddle, a treat or just a kind word from us.  Why not hug your furbaby right now, just because?  They love you with their whole heart bless them.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if every human loved them back just as much as they love us?

I hope you're having a fabulous week honeys, please do remember to check out everyone else's Blogtember posts and smiles here.  Till next time, smile lots and hug even more, huggles xxx

Blogtember 2016

Monday, 26 September 2016

Hubby's Back Garden Fence Building Project

Hi Honeys
I'm determined to post every day this month for Blogtember and today I thought I'd share Hubby's latest project at home :)

Hubby's worked so hard this past week and what a difference he's made to the dreadful, weather-beaten ruins of the back garden fence.  That poor garden fence has suffered so much storm damage these past few winters and been repaired so many times :/

Hubby's Back Garden Fence Building Project

Honestly honeys I can't believe he did all of this, taking the whole fence apart before re-building, painting and lowering it's height, all on his own and in only four days!

Let's take a look at some quite ghastly before photos shall we?