Friday, 28 December 2018

Happy Holidays Honeys x

Hello Honeys
I hope you've had a wonderful time over the Holidays and are looking forward to Monday's New Year's Eve celebrations ๐Ÿ’–

Happy Holidays from our sweet furbaby Jade x

I'm so sorry I haven't posted in a while, I'm trying my best to cope with entirely drained body batteries.  Even sitting here typing this is more than I'm able to do right now but this poor blog has been sitting here, being neglected and from my page views, readers continue to visit, thank you so much for that dear ones, it means more than I can say๐Ÿ’– and I do feel as if, after all of the work I've put into my much loved blog, that I'm letting my blog, myself and most importantly you honeys, all down.  That hurts me.

I'm still working, only two days a week but they're long and very tiring shifts and they really do knock the stuffing out of me now, so I get through my shifts and spend the rest of the week trying to re-build my energy levels back to their now constantly near-drained level. That really is as good as it gets honeys. 

It's so infuriating to feel this way because in my drafts folder I have 55 posts, in different stages of preparation, some have photos done and are waiting to be written, some are mostly written and are sitting there waiting to be edited... 

Draft posts waiting to be completed.

For over 20 years I've been battling rheumatoid arthritis, and for the past few years also osteoarthritis in the base of my spine too.  In the past I've always been able to find ways to cope with the limitations they put on me but the pain in my spine is proving especially difficult to live with right now.  I'm sorry honeys, this is turning into one of my least favourite things, a pity party, I don't mean it to I just want to explain what's happening. 

I'm determined not to let it beat me honeys, I promise I'll post when I can and hopefully far more regularly than I have this past year.  Here's to a better year ahead for everyone.  Only a few weeks now, 14 to be exact, till the clocks change and we're back into British summer time and the days will get longer, hopefully a little warmer and best of all, the gardens will start to wake up from their long winter nap. I so miss our roses in the winter.

Till next time dear ones, smile lots and hug even more, huggles always xx

Huggles Always Honeys, Rosie x

Friday, 30 November 2018

Friday Smiles: Dressing my feet in Hogwarts Houses Uniforms & Treating Myself To An Advent Calendar ๐Ÿ˜Š

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products, I'm just hoping to share some smiles ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hello Honeys,
If you're on Instagram you might have seen me post a photo recently of the latest additions to my sock collection ๐Ÿ˜Š  Socks Rosie? Socks made you smile?  oooooo just wait till you see them honeys ๐Ÿ˜Š they're not your run of the mill plain old socks you pull on and forget about ๐Ÿ˜Š

If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know I'm a bit of a Potter fan.... well strictly speaking I'm an Alan Rickman fan who went to see the first Potter movie because dear Mr Rickman was in it and then fell in love with the Potter world ❤

Well, Potter collectables seem to be appearing everywhere right now, from make up and toiletries, tote bags, pyjamas & nightshirts, bedding & cushions all the way to socks.  Socks you say Rosie? Well there are a lot of sock designs out there honeys but these have jumped to the top of my favourites list...

Harry Potter Hogwarts Houses socks from Primark

Sorry! I just made that little high pitched squeal noise again ๐Ÿ˜Š  When removed from their packaging these socks, designed to resemble the uniforms of all four houses of Hogwarts, look like this...

Harry Potter Hogwarts Houses socks from Primark are making me smile :)

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Cheryl's Magical Recycled Harry Potter Themed Light Bottles

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to recommend any products, I just wanted to share some beautiful crafts being made by a friend. The photos in this post (except my rose at the end) remain the property of Its On The Cards and are used with kind permission of Cheryl, thank you honey x

Hi honeys
How are you today? The weather's been shocking here most of this week, constant rain ☂ Oh well, you know what they say, if we didn't have rain we'd never see rainbows ๐ŸŒˆ

Do you remember I shared some beautiful terrariums created by a dear friend, Cheryl, recently honeys? If you missed the post you can see it here, well today I thought I'd share a few of the gorgeous Harry Potter themed light bottles she's been making....

Cheryl's Beautiful Light Bottles - Happiness can always be found if one only remembers to turn on the light.

Isn't it stunning?  The bottle in the image above has Dumbledore's famous quote "Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light..." from The Prisoner of Azkaban.  Let's have a look at some of Cheryl's other bottles...

Friday, 9 November 2018

10 Easy Ways To Practice Self Care & Find Your Calm

Disclaimer:  Please consult your Doctor or health care professional before starting on any kind of exercise if you have any health issues honeys x

Hi Honeys
How are you today? It's another Friday and as usual I have a couple of very busy shifts ahead of me.  It's a busy time of year all around of course because we're now in the run up to Christmas.  Would I sound awful if I said I'd be happy to hibernate till Spring? 

Now I sound like the Grinch don't I?  I don't have anything against Christmas itself dear ones but I don't cope terribly well with all of the overwhelm that accompanies it.  At work that is, not at home.  There is no overwhelm in our little home, it's my happy place.  I work retail honeys and retail at this time of year with only a few weeks left till the holidays is all about overwhelm. 

I was watching a Columbo dvd last night (it was the one with Johnny Cash as guest star, I ❤❤❤Peter Falk as Columbo. and Johnny Cash too so it's one of my favourites) well anyway, a thought drifted aimlessly through my otherwise happy mind that I had work today and how busy (and noisy) it'll be and I have to admit my heart sank a little.

You might have heard me mention honeys, how important self care is?  It's vital that we take a little extra care of ourselves, all of us, not just if you have chronic health issues as I have.

You're so worth caring for dear ones but sometimes, especially in the run up to the holidays when there is never enough hours in the day to get through everything on your to-do list, well somehow self care just slips further and further down the to-do list until it gets forgotten about in the scramble to make the holidays perfect for everyone else. 

10 easy ways to practice a little self care & find your calm

It really isn't so difficult to head off that overwhelm at the pass honeys, to re-fill your happiness chest so that you can cope a little better with all of the demands of organising, cooking, shopping and hugging the holidays bring every year.... I adore the hugging part, that's my favourite bit and we already share that anyway ๐Ÿ˜Š  You know the old saying, a hug is the perfect gift, one size fits all,  nobody minds when it's returned and the only accessories needed are smiles ๐Ÿ˜ƒ 

For all those other holiday chores, you know what dear ones, we are our own worst enemies!  We need to learn to delegate.  OK, let's see a show of hands.... who knocks themselves silly every year doing the shopping, the cooking the decorating & tree fixing and cleaning the house from top to bottom for visitors and never stops to ask anyone around them for help?  You see the problem?

Divide and conquer that to-do list.  Write out everything that needs done and split it and share those jobs out.  Split that list with your partner, with friends and with the children. Tiny humans can clean their rooms for Santa visiting.  Why not set up an elf camera so Santa can see how helpful they're being and tell them they'll for sure end up on the "nice" list,  hint: Poundland (Dollar stores) B&M Amazon and lots of others have Elf accessories this year including a perfect little artificial "Elf Cam" or why not make one?

OK, so we've decided to delegate some of the work of the holidays, and yes I know it sounds wonderful and oh so easy and yes I'm fully aware that we'll all still end up doing too much and feeling that overwhelm if we're not careful so.... I thought I'd share 10 of my favourite ways to practice a little self care and just take a little time to find our calm.

Why not grab a cuppa honeys (and maybe a cookie) and I'll share my favourite ways to top up my little store of happiness and smiles that lets me (mostly) avoid feeling stressed ๐Ÿ˜„  I'll see you back here in a few minutes....

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Finding Beauty in Recycling

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products, I just wanted to share some really beautiful things being created by a dear friend.  I loved seeing them and thought you might too x  Please note: these images remain the property of It's On The Cards and are used here with kind permission, thank you Cheryl xx 

Hello Honeys
How are you today?  It's been such a busy week here, I did some shopping on Tuesday (a rare thing for me since other than going to work and trips to the Doctor's surgery or to the arthritis clinic at the hospital I'm rarely out at all) and I spent most of yesterday afternoon making up goodie bags for visits by tiny trick or treaters ๐Ÿ‘ป

Since another (very) busy weekend lies ahead of me, and since I know that in order to have a chance of getting through my increasingly busy shifts, I have to rest today and re-charge my batteries.  I thought I'd do that by enjoying a little calm time spent enjoying some beautiful images of some stunning terrariums created by a dear friend.

Terrariums are everywhere right now, in all different sizes.  From a tiny glass dish being home to a single small succulent, to a much larger container housing an assortment of little cacti and other tiny succulents.

No matter how many terrariums you've seen though honeys, you won't have seen any as awesome as the ones you'll see in this post, all lovingly created by a dear friend Cheryl...

Cheryl's Beautiful Terrariums - created using beautiful recycled glass bottles, these terrariums are a true work of art.

Isn't this just beautiful honeys?  There's something very calming about these beautiful mini gardens.  They'd be perfect I think as part of a small meditation space, a reading nook or just to sit on a window ledge to bring a little of the outside in ๐Ÿ’š

There are quite a few (really beautiful) images in this post dear ones, so it might be a good idea to fetch a cuppa and maybe a cookie?  Meet you back here in a few minutes...

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Hogwarts Fun With The Latest Huge Harry Potter Haul...

Disclaimer:  I have not been paid to promote these products, just thought I'd share my latest Potter smiles with you x

Hi Honeys
How are you today?  All well I hope? It's starting to get chilly and our garden is full of leaves (again! after all that work Hubby put into clearing it) I thought I'd share a few smiles with the latest additions to my Potter collection, including the latest item, a gift from my dear Hubby and so precious it may be kept in its box to avoid any damage caused by the single most clumsy person ever... yep, you guessed it, me ๐Ÿ˜Š

Is anyone else a Professor Trelawney fan? Poor dear Sybill Trelawney, bless her, stuck all the way up at the very top, on the seventh floor of the North Tower of Hogwarts.  It would seem that even (certain) witches and wizards think very little of the subject of Divination, of seeing into the future, for her classroom to be cast so far away from the inhabitants of the most famous school of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

I adore dear Professor Trelawney.  She has a gentleness of spirit I think, in spite of her often doom laden pronouncements.  You can imagine how thrilled I was then for Hubby to surprise me with an actual, official Potter collectable that celebrates the character of dear Sybill... but I'm getting ahead of myself dear ones ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Rosie's Latest Harry Potter Haul...

Why not grab a cuppa and maybe a cookie (or a few... this will be a long post) and meet me back here in a few minutes for lots of Potter related smiles...

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Scottish Jam & Coconut Sponge - A Happy Schooldays Memory

Hi Honeys,
Autumn has definitely arrived. The garden is filling with leaves, there's a wee chill in the air, not enough to feel really cold just yet but noticeable enough that I've started reaching for a cardigan and thinking of adding a scarf before leaving for work.

As always happens at this time of year, my mind wanders to thoughts of comfort foods.  Not just warming evening meals I can prepare to greet my sweet, hard working Hubby when he gets home but memories are stirred of lovely childhood treats too ๐Ÿ˜‹

One of the most popular posts on this blog remains my recipe for one of those childhood favourites honeys.  Scottish caramel shortbread, served with thick, warm custard, was a much loved favourite among school children of my generation and remains a happy memory for those of us... of a certain age ๐Ÿ˜Š  If you haven't sampled it yet, you can find the recipe here.  Be warned though, it's seriously delicious.  I mean it's eat-a-whole-tray-with-a-spoon kinda delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹ Enjoy!

I was at a loss for something to do today and I thought I'd make another childhood favourite, again served in "dinner school" the busy, noisy lunch hall of my schooldays.  Were you ever served Jammy Coconut Sponge as part of your school lunch?

Scottish Jammy Coconut Sponge: sliced and served with yummy warm custard.

As with Caramel Shortbread, this too was always served with that same thick warm custard.  The downside of course was that the custard would always form an icky, thick "skin" over the top before you even made it back to your table.  This yukky skin would just be pulled away to the side with my spoon and ignored ๐Ÿ˜Š

The delicious jammy coconut sponge though, now that was always heavenly, dreamy, an absolute treat!  Let's go to the kitchen then shall we honeys, fetch our aprons and make this delicious jammy coconut sponge...

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Slow And Steady Wins The Race. How a chronic illness teaches us patience and how not to be too angry about it

Disclaimer:  This is NOT medical advice, if you have any health enquiries or problems please discuss them with your Doctor or health professional dear ones.

Hi Honeys
How are you today?  All well I hope?  I'm sorry I've been missing recently.  I'm learning to accept what is honeys, even if I'm not so happy about it.

Slow and steady wins the race: How a chronic, long term health condition teaches us patience and how not to be too angry about it...

For the past few weeks now I've been battling the extreme fatigue that's so well known to anyone living with a chronic (long term) health condition. Alongside this hideous feeling of complete exhaustion has been near constant pain, including frequent visits by the muscle spasms generally referred to by Doctors as "restless leg."

"Restless leg" has to be the worst, the most useless identifying name given to any health condition ever and has clearly been given by someone who has never suffered from the painful, uncontrollable jerking of limbs (since it affects more than legs, I have them in my arms too at times) which feel as if electric shocks are racing through the affected body part. 

Luckily my wonderful Doctor, now retired unfortunately and I miss him terribly, found a medication which helps to control this painful torment so I take my medication and wait for the spasms to pass.

Much like my arthritis dear ones, there is no beating it, no cure for it, there is only acceptance and doing my best to get through each day.

In fact, I'd say that accepting the limitations placed on us is the first, and definitely the harshest, lesson those living with a long term medical condition are faced with on our journey down the alternate route we've been forced to take in our lives.

No one, when young, healthy and able bodied, ever thinks to themselves "I'd better make the most of this, some day I'll have difficulty walking any distance at all."

It sounds depressing doesn't it dear ones?  If I'm honest some days it does feel like too much to bear and I don't cope at all well.  The thing is though, it really needn't be.  Why not grab a cuppa, and maybe a cookie, and meet me back here in a few minutes and I'll tell you why...

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Rosie's Scottish Apple Turnover Recipe

Hello Honeys
How are you today?  I hope your week is off to a great start dear ones. We're definitely heading towards autumn, the temperature has dropped just a little bit and leaves have started appearing on the lawn in our back garden to our furbaby Jade's delight ๐Ÿ˜Š

Jade does love to play with the leaves, bless her ๐Ÿ’—  One of her favourite things is to wait until her Dad has piled the leaves up when he's tidying the garden and to jump into them ๐Ÿ˜„ Yep, our furbaby goes full on Snoopy and her dad doesn't even seem to mind ๐Ÿ˜Š

Last year Hubby bought one of those ... I have no idea what they're called. It's like a garden vacuum and or blower?  He can use it to just vacuum up all the leaves and then empty them into the garden bin but he doesn't because he knows how much Jade loves her leaves ๐Ÿ˜Š

Instead he'll blow them all into the one area of the garden so that Jade can have fun and after tidying away all of the other garden untidiness such as the fallen twigs and other garden debris he'll tidy the leaves away. Of course by then Jade will have usually gotten bored with playing with them and will be keeping an eye open for squirrels to play with.  So far, not a single squirrel has wanted to play with her, even when she drops her ball at the foot of the fence for them ๐Ÿ˜

Enough about the garden then honeys, although todays post is definitely connected to our garden ๐Ÿ˜Š  Today I thought we'd head for the kitchen to make something delicious...

Let's bake some delicious apple turnovers...

Do you remember that I recently gathered our very first real harvest of Bramley apples from our little tree in the back garden honeys?  Our tiny tree is over 11 years old now and over the past couple of years has produced 2-3 apples but this year, no doubt at least in part, thanks to this year's gorgeous summer, and (counting the apples pecked off by our garden birds) there were 31 apples!

So, I thought I'd make some lovely apple turnovers as a treat for Hubby, and also thought I'd share how this wee Scottish lady makes her apple turnovers.  There are as many recipes for turnovers as there are cooks because everyone has little tweaks they make to the recipe that makes their turnovers theirs ๐Ÿ˜‹

Let's head to the kitchen then dear ones, why not make a quick cuppa and join me again in a minute or two?

Thursday, 16 August 2018

I've been spoiled! Harry Potter Slytherin Themed Gifts From My Dear Hubby...

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products or stores, just wanted to share some gifts bought for me by my sweet Hubby x

Hi Honeys
It's that time of year again ๐Ÿ“‘  Last weekend Hubby went off to Comic Con and bless him he brought me back all kinds of Harry Potter related goodies.  I felt completely spoiled, since earlier in the week he'd already popped into one of the larger Primark stores in town and had brought me home some Slytherin goodies!  Thank you sweetheart ๐Ÿ’‹

Since I know I'm not the only Potter fan, and since my previous post about Hubby's sweet Slytherin themed gifts was so popular, I thought I'd share what he found this time too.

Honeys I'm being spoiled! Harry Potter themed gifts from my sweet Hubby...
Goodness!  You can see why I'm feeling spoiled honeys ๐Ÿ˜Š I just made a little squeal noise again when I spotted the adorable little Bowtruckle in the above photo, he's so cute!

Why not grab a cuppa and a cookie dear ones and we'll have a closer look, see you in a minute or two...

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

An Early Harvest For Beautiful Scottish Bramley Apples And How To Store Your Apples Once Gathered...

Hi Honeys
It's harvest time at Rosie's cottage ๐Ÿ˜Š The extreme summer weather this year, I mean over six weeks of near constant sunshine and above 20C temperatures, for us Scots that's pretty extreme ๐Ÿ˜Š  has been such a blessing! Not just for us but for our precious garden too.

I went into the back garden yesterday and the branches of our little apple tree were literally sagging with the weight of the apples on them!  We've been so blessed honeys ๐ŸŽ

A beautiful summer has given us an early harvest of apples from our tiny tree.

We planted our little tree in the back garden in Spring of 2007 so it's around 11 years old and it's been a journey watching it grow.  The first apple, a single, perfect apple, appeared in 2014, and each year I've been so excited checking to see if our (still very young) tree would have apples that year.

In 2015 there were three apples and I was so happy ๐Ÿ˜Š  The following year was the first time I was able to make mini apple crumbles using our home grown apples and there are no words for how much it made me smile honeys ๐Ÿ˜Š

Our very first crumbles made using the apples from our own garden in 2016.

Well, this year the tiny apple tree has outdone itself dear ones and in fact Hubby had his own Sir Isaac Newton moment when an apple decided to resoundingly clock him on the head ๐Ÿ˜

After that, it was obvious that our extremely hot, humid summer had brought harvest time forward and it was time to collect those apples before they either end up scattered all across the garden by the wind or Hubby (bless him!) our furbaby Jade or myself are taken out by another apple incident!

Let's have a look shall we?

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Cuteness Overload at Home Bargains! Would You Like To Join Me On A Shopping Trip Honeys?

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products or the store honeys, just thought you'd like to join me on a very-rare-these-days shopping trip and share some smiles ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hello Honeys,
How are you today?  I've been feeling a bit drained this past few days so I thought I'd snuggle up on the sofa and take a look back over the photos I took during my recent shopping trip with Hubby (I took my tiny Nikon along with me) and then I thought maybe you'd like to come along too ๐Ÿ˜Š

Why not join me on a recent shopping trip to Home Bargains?

I don't get to go shopping very often anymore, my mobility isn't so great.  I have osteo arthritis in the base of my spine and the pain makes walking (and standing) very difficult.  Hubby does our weekly grocery shop (thank you sweetheart x) and he's completely fabulous at it too.

We only went into a couple of shops, I've learned from experience that shopping trips (or any trips) really do completely drain my "body batteries" so even small outings have to be planned ahead and that also means factoring in the day or two of exhaustion and pain that follows too.  Fellow spoonies will understand and are probably nodding as they read this (gentle huggles honeys x)

Our shopping trip then takes place in a far-too-large-for-me-these-days Home Bargains store.  Why not go grab a cuppa, and maybe a cookie, I'll do the same and we can meet back here in a few minutes?

Monday, 16 July 2018

Finally! We Have Rain And I Love It As Much As The Roses Do...

Hello Honeys
How are you?  A wonderful thing happened yesterday.... it rained!  All day! The whole day!  It wasn't heavy rain, it wasn't anywhere near a storm.  It was just gentle, freshening-the-air rain and it was lovely honeys ๐Ÿ˜Š

To hear a Scot bemoaning the lack of rain in Summer is unusual to say the least dear ones ๐Ÿ˜Š  We're more used to almost constant rain on the west coast of Scotland than sunshine, so any break in the grey clouds these past few years has been heartily welcomed with BBQs, ice lollies, everyone wearing flip flops and celebrations ๐ŸŽ‰

At long last, after 6 weeks of warm, humid days, we have rain!

This year has been one of extremes honeys.  In March we had a very disruptive visit from a storm the press called "the beast from the east" which brought with it biting Siberian winds and so, so much snow! It literally brought the country to a standstill and caused absolute chaos. 

Snow storms in March turned a Scottish spring into winter.

It's so odd honeys to think that all of that snow was only a couple of months ago.  To compare the weather in the above photos with the sweltering temperatures we've had for weeks now is more than a little odd. 

Summer temperatures here might reach the highs of 15-17 C or if we're being spoiled maybe even reaching the low 20sC.  For the past few weeks these have been our night time temperatures! Daytime temperatures have been in the high 20s and even reaching 30C! Scots weren't made for temperatures like those! We melt! ๐Ÿ˜Š

It's been (except for the very brief hammering by Storm Hector around a month ago) an almost endless stream of beautiful, perfect, sun soaked days, which I've absolutely loved!  I swear, I'm not complaining!  Hang on to that thought for a second ๐Ÿ˜Š

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Sweetest Gift From Hubby: A Wildlife Fairy Garden Set

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote anything nor am I trying to, just sharing a lovely surprise from Hubby that made me smile ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hi Honeys,
I hope you're having a wonderful week and enjoying the beautiful sunshine ☼

I honestly can't remember the last time we've been blessed with a summer like this on the west coast of Scotland. I can say though dear ones that it's been a fair wee while, so everyone's been making the most of the long, warm, beautifully sunny days by doing what they love ๐Ÿ˜Š

In my case that's been finding and doing as much laundry as I can.  I know, odd, but I can't help it, I looooooove laundry ๐Ÿ˜Š  Unfortunately though, our home only has so much laundry each day, so whenever I run out of laundry to do, our furbaby Jade and I have been having such fun out in the garden ๐Ÿ˜Š

Do you remember the little fairy garden I started work on recently? Well Hubby surprised me with the sweetest gift for it...

Smiles abound with the latest additions to the tiny fairy garden...

I'm smiling again ๐Ÿ˜Š Just seeing the photo has made me smile ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hubby does our weekly shop, bless him.  Once in a blue moon, definitely not very often any more,  I'll go with him but my mobility isn't great anymore and even shopping the three stores our weekly shop needs will leave me very drained and in a great deal of pain so my sweet Hubby does our shop each week. While shopping, my lovely Hubby spotted this...

Friday, 22 June 2018

Finding Smiles On A Gratitude Scavenger Hunt...

Hi Honeys,
What do you do on days when smiles are a little harder to find?  Not every day can be fun, especially when living with a chronic illness (gentle hugs for fellow spoonies ๐Ÿ’• be well dear ones.)  It's so important to have coping mechanisms for not so great days in our self care kit don't you think honeys?

As a child I was taught to count my blessings and on days when I'm not feeling so good or it's just a wee bit more difficult to find my smile, taking stock of how blessed I am in my life really helps me to appreciate how lucky I am and to cope with whatever life is throwing at me.

Finding fun and smiles on a gratitude scavenger hunt...

Scrolling through Pinterest looking for smiles recently I saw the sweetest graphic that immediately made me smile and truly brightened my day honeys, here it is...

Friday, 15 June 2018

Garden Smiles: After Storm Hector..

Hello Honeys,
Well we survived Storm Hector, with its 70 miles per hour winds and heavy rain.  In the garden we lost a few precious roses but the new fence, which Hubby completed during his recent holiday from work, is still standing.

Garden smiles - After storm Hector the garden is still smiling :)

After past storms he would usually have been outside looking at the wreckage of a fence, and facing days of work repairing it, but thankfully now that he's lowered the height and allowed for those 2-3 times a year storm winds by leaving a slight gap between each of the fence panels to allow the winds to flow through, the fence should (touch wood) survive any other pesky storms in the future.   

I really do feel blessed honeys, with all of the damage reportedly caused by storm Hector, that all we lost this time were a few roses.  The rose shrubs are still standing, there are still pretty roses in bud and I know they'll bloom soon.  As with the limited damage in the back garden, we've been very lucky this time around and I'm so grateful.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Fun In The Garden Part Three: Being Blessed By Our Garden...

Hi Honeys
I hope you've had a fabulous weekend.  It's been a little strange here to say the least.  After over three weeks of solidly (very) warm, sunny days... right up until Thursday when we had a lovely rain shower that lasted around 10 minutes or so and saw Jade and I in the garden loving the soft sprinkle of rain. Well, late on Saturday afternoon we were hit by the most incredible rain storm!

It was torrential and went on for around forty minutes or so, managing to flood my workplace and to include hail stones too!  On a day when the temperature was around 18C we had hailstones ๐Ÿ˜ฒ  It was a shock to the system dear ones but as soggy as everyone, and everything, got.... well I think the gardens must all have breathed a huge sigh of relief to be finally seeing a proper end to the mini drought it's been enduring.   

Fun in the garden part three: We've been truly blessed this year honeys.

Speaking of the garden, just wait till you see what's been happening out there!  Almost (wee shower and then torrential rain storm aside) four weeks of (mostly) unbroken sunshine here in Scotland.... unheard of! ๐Ÿ˜Š  All of that gorgeous sunshine has worked wonders dear ones, it's truly beautiful out there and I'm so grateful that we've been so blessed and can't stop going outside to just stare ๐Ÿ˜Š

As grateful as I am for the beautiful flowers our garden has blessed us with this year, I'm also grateful for all of those lovely, sun-drenched days we've had this past month.  Sunny days mean laundry days around here and you know how much I adore doing laundry ๐Ÿ˜Š 

I know, I'm odd.  I've been told this.  Usually by people who wonder how I can adore doing laundry so much ๐Ÿ˜Š  I've always adored laundry, it's by far my favourite part of housekeeping.  There's not a single part of it I don't love ๐Ÿ˜Š

Back to today's post then dear ones, wait till you see what's been happening in the garden during this very unusual for us (but we're not complaining!) dry spell. Why not grab a cuppa and maybe a cookie (or two) and meet me back here in a few minutes?

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Fun In The Garden Part Two: Re-Building The Garden Fence

Hi Honeys,
Another beautiful day and I spent part of it doing laundry as usual ๐Ÿ˜Š Carrying on from yesterday's post where I tried to make a start on making our garden a little more bee (and fairy) friendly, I thought I'd share our biggest garden project for a while although, weather permitting, we have a couple of other large projects we'd like to have done outside, such as painting and possibly setting up a new seating area on the patio. 

Our biggest garden project in a while has been Hubby stripping down our badly weather damaged fencing and re-building it.  Wait till you see the results!

This was all Hubby's work bless him (great work sweetheart x) my contribution was to bring him lots of cups of tea and things to eat... and every now and again get in his way with my camera ๐Ÿ˜Š  I can't wait to share what he achieved honeys because the difference to our little garden is like day and night.  I keep going outside just to look at it ๐Ÿ˜Š

There are lots of photos in this post so it might be best to fetch a cuppa and maybe a cookie or two, meet you back here in a couple of minutes dear ones...

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Fun In The Garden Part One: How To Encourage Bees To Visit Your Garden...

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to recommend any products, just sharing my latest fun filled project in our garden x

Hi Honeys,
How are you today?  All well I hope and able to enjoy the glorious weather we've been having.  Hubby was on hols from work all last week and I had last weekend off too so we spent all week busily working very happily on home projects and given the gorgeous weather, we decided to concentrate on the garden ๐Ÿ’ฎ 

Hubby has worked so hard during this holiday bless him, taking down the high garden fence between us and our neighbours (a left over from the previous owners) and re-building a lovely new, much shorter, fence in its place.  I'll share lots of before and after photos in my next post, it looks fabulous and I'm so proud of him he did it all on his own.

I've gone back to de-cluttering cupboards and drawers again and we're building quite a collection of things all ready to be donated.

On Tuesday of last week we went grocery shopping and managed to find a few things to help in two long awaited and very much wished for projects in our garden ๐Ÿ˜Š  Let's take a look shall we honeys?

Fun in the garden: creating a welcoming environment for busy bumble bees and starting work on a fairy garden...

We've all been hearing this past couple of years how the worlds bee population is shrinking terribly and I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that this is disastrous for humans as well as for our little buzzy friends.  Bees play such a vital role in so much of the food we eat.

I very often see bees hovering around our much loved roses in our tiny front garden but I wanted to do more to help them so I set about finding out as much as I could about how to encourage them to feel welcome in our garden.

Imagine how pleased I was then honeys to see this marvellous little bee and insect hotel while grocery shopping...   

Imagine how wonderful it would be if there was a calm place for bees to rest and to lay their eggs in every garden?  I'm sure this would go some way to addressing the disastrous fall in bee numbers.

We spotted it in the gardening aisle in Home Bargains and I was thrilled.  I was even happier to find when we got to the checkout to find it was actually priced at £4.99 (even though it says £12 on the wrapper.)

We took it home and I was so happy with it I asked Hubby later in the week when he took a trip back to our local retail park for some masonry paint to bring me another one back.  Unfortunately Home Bargains didn't have any of the large ones left (although they may well get them back in stock) when he went in but they did have a smaller model...
Little bee hotels all ready for tiny guests to check in and "bee" happy :)

As you can see it's around half the size of the larger bee hotel but as it turns out that makes it perfect for what I have in mind too!

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Future Learn: How To Study & Learn Online For Free!

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote Future Learn, Springest or any other company, just sharing something fun I found in the hope that you'll think it's fun too x 

Hi Honeys
I hope you're having a wonderful week and enjoying the gorgeous sunshine outside.  I had a very rare weekend off work and I spent a whole lot of it doing laundry yaaaayy ๐Ÿ˜Š  I love doing laundry beyond all reason. I love every little thing about it.

I love the sorting, the actual washing, made easier these days by having automatic washing machines but remember I got married in a time when having a twin tub machine was a luxury ๐Ÿ˜Š  I even love the ironing! Even though I can't stand very long these days I've learned thanks to a dear friend (thank you Francine x) that I can just sit at my ironing board and iron away happily ๐Ÿ˜Š

You can see then why I'm grinning my head off while writing this honeys.  I don't have work today but I do have the most glorious sunny day with beautiful blue skies, lots (more) laundry to do and my little laundry assistant, our furbaby Jade, to keep me company while I'm pegging it outside. I am awash with joy. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Later today I'm hoping to sit down and continue with the coursework on the History of Royal Fashion online course I began last Monday.  I'm getting ahead of myself.  I'm so excited by this and can't wait to share with you.  Do you, like me, love to read and learn honeys?

How to study and learn online for free!

What if I were to tell you that I discovered a way that you could sign up and study online with Colleges, Universities and even to study career related courses with professional providers to help you progress at work?

What if I then told you you could learn everything from languages, to digital skills, including coding and online security, to history, to a first aid course, there are too many courses to list!  Now what if I were to tell you that you can study many of these courses for free?  The courses are open to everyone so international students can study too.  It doesn't matter where you are in the world, if you have access to the web you can study and even earn certificates when you pass the courses you choose. Too good to be true? 

I thought so too honeys but as it turns out it is true!  Why not grab a cuppa and I'll show you how it's possible.  Meet me back here with a cuppa and maybe a cookie ๐Ÿ˜Š

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Beautiful Peony Roses Begin To Appear...

Hi Honeys,
How are you today?  I'm sorry I've been missing for so long.  I'm struggling dear ones.  I have eight blog posts in various stages of completion and I just can't sit down to work on them because of the almost constant pain I've been in for weeks now.  I can't sleep, getting to sleep isn't a problem because I'm so drained all the time, it's staying asleep.  I wake up in pain and mostly I'm still sitting there watching TV or reading when Hubby's alarm goes off around 5.30am. 

This little blog means the world to me and it's awful that it's suffering because of a bunch of aches and pains.  I'm sorry honeys, I really am.  I'll try to do better ๐Ÿ’‹

Today I went to the back door to let our furbaby Jade out into the garden and was surprised and happy by what met me ๐Ÿ˜Š Other than helping my arthritic joints to torture me, it looks like the almost constant rain recently is working wonders in our Garden ๐Ÿ˜Š  Look what's happening to our much loved peony roses...

Beautiful peony roses finally begin to appear...

So many leaves! All of that foliage feels as if it's just appeared out of nowhere.  As if I looked away, turned back and.... there it is!  So beautiful as always.  I do wish peonies stayed in bloom longer.  They'll be here and gone again so fast but I still look forward to seeing them each year ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Do you remember honeys, back in January, I got so excited to see these little buds begin to push their way through the earth in search of the sun to warm them...

Peont roses begin to push up through the earth looking for sunshine to warm them.

Well, it wasn't terribly warm but still they kept growing.  By late January they were under snow but by the time late February arrived the snow was gone again and it looked as though we were on the right track for spring.....

By late February it felt as though Spring had truly (almost) arrived with warm sunshine and the garden waking from it's long winter nap...

The sun was warm, we had blue skies with the occasional fluffy white cloud bobbing along and just as I was starting to look forward to warm soft breezes, sunny spring days and laundry pegging in the back garden... well this happened...

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Beginnings And Endings: Farewell To Polyvore And New Rose Shrub Planted!

Hi Honeys,
How are you today?  I've spent most of this week hanging onto the walls to get around our home because of the worst pain in my spine.  You know, I've decided dear ones that I'm fed up of arthritis now.  I'm fed up of not knowing what, if anything, I'll be able to do each day.  I haven't been able to sleep more than an hour or two each night this week and it's all getting to be a little too much is all so just ignore my complaints honeys.  Regular happy-Rosie will be resumed in no time. Even the worst pain can't keep me down for long.  I'm too stubborn ๐Ÿ˜Š   

So, arthritis aside, having longed for and counted down to Spring for months and in spite of having reached almost the middle of April, it's raining here.  Not just a little either.  It's literally "chucking down" outside, which is fine because as the old saying goes "April showers bring May flowers" and I do adore our garden ๐Ÿ’ฎ⚘๐Ÿ˜Š

Now usually, when I'm feeling this awful one of the ways I cope is to hide away from the world and distract myself by creating my dream closet on the Polyvore site.  Do you remember my singing the praises of Polyvore honeys?  I even shared some of my sets here and also here.

Polyvore was a little like having access to every fashion piece, and household items too since Polyvore wasn't only for fashion fans but also would-be interior designers too.  Did you notice just then I said was honeys? 

Endings & Beginnings - Farewell to Polyvore and back to the garden to plant more roses!

It's true.  Polyvore is gone.  Without any notice the site was sold to a clothing supplier and all of our collections, sets, the friends we'd all made there, all of it has disappeared.
Goodbye Polyvore, you'll be missed terribly!  These are some of my sets, created during my time as a member of Polyvore.

As you can imagine honeys, there has been quite an outcry of disbelief and unhappiness on social media over the way the closing of the Polyvore site has been handled.  No one knew it was going to happen, there was no email sent out to warn members. 

I checked and up until the day before it happened I still only received the usual marketing email from Polyvore with no mention that the site was being sold and our sanctuary from world overwhelm closed with the loss of everything created over the years.

All is not lost!

Well honeys, they seem to have heard because they've set up a link to request a download of your sets & collections. You can request a download by going here logging in, using the email address you joined with and the password for your polyvore account. 

Important: You only have until May 15th to request a download of your sets & collections!  At this page you can also opt out of your information being passed to the company who have taken over the Polyvore site. 

When you request your data download it will take a day or two to prepare and then when you go back to the above address there will be a link to download a zip file containing all of your sets etc.  

It's beyond sad to lose Polyvore honeys, it was a little oasis of calm for me on less than calm days and I'l miss it terribly but I'm also so grateful to Polyvore for providing this wonderful little platform for all of us for so many years.  It was provided free after all and meant a great deal to those of us who relied on it. Thank you Polyvore, it's been awesome ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

On then to happier thoughts honeys...

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Let's Make Some Marvellous Mini Hasselback Potatoes

Hi Honeys
How was your Easter? I hope you had fun, found lots of eggs and even more smiles and hugs ๐Ÿ˜Š  Working in retail as I do, you can imagine I had very busy shifts to get through but they were so much fun too ๐Ÿ˜Š

On Saturday we had a "dress down" day where instead of our uniforms we were to wear something "spring like."  Of course that meant pastels for me and I wore the prettiest baby blue blouse I had forgotten I even had!  I found it while searching through my cupboard, having bought it on sale who-knows-how-long-ago ๐Ÿ˜Š

As part of Sunday dinner I decided to experiment with one of Hubby's favourite potato dishes, the wonderful, versatile and incredibly yummy Swedish Hasselback potatoes.  Till now I've always used medium to large baking potatoes, my favourite being King Edwards but I've used lots of different types of potato including sweet potatoes.  All of them have been scrumptious! You just can't go wrong with these fabulous roasted potatoes honeys ๐Ÿ˜‹

So, what did I do differently then?  Well since I'd bought some Scottish baby potatoes for our Sunday dinner I thought I'd try the Hasselback method of cooking them, thinking it might be interesting since they're much smaller than the more usual baking potatoes.

Marvellous Mini Hasselback Potatoes

Don't they look amazing?  There are just no words for how delicious these smaller version of one of Hubby's favourites were and I'll definitely be making them again.  Let's see how I made them shall we?

Friday, 23 March 2018

Finally Spring! & Ignoring The Leftover Snow To Peg Out Laundry..

Hi Honeys,
How are you today?  It's been a mixed week here.  Spring finally arrived officially on Tuesday of this week (20th March) if following the astronomical calendar or so I heard on TV, all I really cared about in that little snippet were the words "spring is here" ๐Ÿ˜Š

It's felt like a really long, really harsh winter this year honeys and yes, I know that in Scotland we don't see the genuinely harsh conditions seen elsewhere on this little globe we all call home and I'm so grateful for that because I (barely) cope with Scottish winters.

Cold, damp conditions combine to torment spoonies and to seep into arthritic joints and make pain so much worse.  So, every year (and yes I drive everyone crazy at work with it) I have a running countdown to the clocks changing over again and our getting rid of the torment that is winter. 

I know that our cousins across the pond are have already moved time forward (hello honeys! enjoy, hugs x) but for us in the UK the clocks go forward by one hour in the wee small hours of Sunday this weekend and I can't wait ๐Ÿ˜Š

Finally Spring and ignoring the leftover snow to peg out laundry :)

On Monday of this week we woke up to the most glorious sunshine.  It was beautiful outside, with a lovely soft (albeit chilly) breeze but with the temperature (according to the smiley weather girl on TV) sitting at 5 degrees C it could have been (for us on the west coast of Scotland) almost summer! You know what that means don't you honeys?

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

How I'm Adding A Touch Of Glamour To Every Day...

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to write this post nor was I given any products.  This is an honest review of my recent purchase of two bras from the wonderful Ms Pomelo Company.

Hi Honeys,
It's Wednesday, it's raining but you know what? I really don't mind at all ๐Ÿ˜Š  We've just had two amazing days in a row where the sun shone, there was a lovely breeze and I got to peg out laundry! Yaaaay!! If you've read this blog at all in the past you'll be fed up hearing how much I adore doing laundry, love it ๐Ÿ˜Š

I was standing in the kitchen earlier watching the rain trickle down the windows and I felt the calmest, and happiest, I've felt in a long time. Summer is coming dear ones and I'm so happy I could burst!

I don't cope at all well during the winter months.  The cold and damp always combine to make my joints ache terribly and I lose all of my energy.  Every year I say I want to hibernate and I so mean it ๐Ÿ˜Š

On to the subject of today's post then honeys.  I wanted to share a recent purchase from the lovely Ms Pomelo Company.  You might remember my singing the praises of this wonderful company last summer after attending an online webinar, which you can read about here. 

Well, dear ones, in the spirit of my self care project I'm trying to work on, I recently treated myself to two of the gorgeous Pola Negri bras from Ms Pomelo after receiving an email with an offer code in it and I'm so, so, so happy that I did! 

How I'm adding a touch of glamour to every day...

There is no doubt about it honeys, happiness is a comfortable bra and if that (very) comfortable bra makes you feel completely fabulous too then that happiness is beyond measure ๐Ÿ˜Š  Let's take a look shall we?

Friday, 16 March 2018

6 Ways To Be A Perfectly Professional Part Time Worker!

Disclaimer:  This post is NOT legal advice honeys, if you have an employment issue please speak to a professional, there are some links that might be helpful at the end of the post x

Hi Honeys
I hope you've had a fabulous week and that you're looking forward to a wonderful weekend full of fun and smiles ๐Ÿ˜Š

I was chatting recently about work and said, quite honestly, that I love my job just as I've said many times before.  The person I was chatting with immediately gave me a "no, really?" look that, since no one ever seems to believe me when I say it, I've come to expect. 

I actually do love my job honeys.  I really do. I smile the whole time I'm there.  I know I've mentioned elsewhere on this blog that I work in retail, and I do.  I work part time, my days can be made interesting by always new targets to be met and by customers who might have had a difficult day taking their stresses out on those of us behind a checkout.

Still I smile through every shift because I really do love my job.... even on days I almost don't.

6 ways to be a perfectly professional part-time worker

Of course smiling till my face hurts (which is actually a good thing) isn't the whole story dear ones, why not grab a cuppa and maybe a cookie and I'll share a few hints on how to be professional, and happy,  at work   See you back here in a few mins...

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

A Trip Down Memory Lane... Via DVD

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to promote or recommend any products, just sharing the latest additions to our dvd collection x

Hi Honeys
How are you today?  I hope you're staying warm? Late last night it finally started to rain and our over a foot deep snow started to clear. I can't remember ever being so glad to see rain arrive.  Everything came to a complete standstill during last week.  The bus service almost entirely stopped and what few buses still running were only travelling short distances.

Well dear ones, early this morning with (finally) clearing snow, Hubby and Jade came back from their morning walk only for the skies to open again to another very heavy snow storm! Luckily, the streets and roads were already too wet from the overnight rain for it to be able to settle very much.

I'm so, so tired of winter now honeys.  I'm tired of the cold, the damp, the long, long (really long) dark nights and mostly if I never see snow again I'll be a very happy wee Rosie! Thankfully it's not too long till the clocks change to welcome in spring.  Our cousins across the pond move into daylight savings time this coming Sunday, and for us in UK we'll change our clocks one hour forward on 25th March, so we have two more weeks to wait.

We've been passing the bitterly cold evenings by watching the latest additions to our DVD collection.  We still had some Christmas gift tokens left for Amazon and decided to have a look at their box sets and found two series we both adored in our teens.  They were quickly ordered and thankfully had arrived before the worst snow storms in over forty years met Storm Emma and the country came to a standstill.

The two series we ordered (and have been absolutely falling in love with all over again) are Monkey and The Water Margin...     

A Trip Down memory Lane Via DVD with Monkey & The Water Margin

Even looking at the photos for this post makes me smile ๐Ÿ˜Š  I'm so thrilled to finally have them in our library.  I can clearly remember running home to be there in time to settle down and watch both these wonderful series. Let's have a closer look will we?

Thursday, 1 March 2018

The "Beast from the East" Arrives To Create Havoc in UK

Hi Honeys
Winter has definitely made its presence felt here in the UK this past day or two and how!

For days the media was full of dire warnings of incoming rain and snow and of course everyone carried on with their lives because what else can you do.  We've had snow twice so far this winter but they were nothing compared to this latest bitterly cold, wintry blast.

Siberian winds & snow storms, named "the beast from the east" by the media, hits the UK

The media quickly named the approaching weather front "the beast from the east" coming as if has from the direction of the frozen plains of Siberia.  It was mentioned a few times in the break room at work, and even on the TV that's always switched on in there, but everyone smiled and no one took it too seriously.

Last Sunday I even pegged out a little laundry in our back garden, the first I've done that this year, and it all dried.  Then during early evening on Tuesday, this happened...

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Smiles In The Garden: Spring Is Almost Here!

Hello Honeys,
How are you today?  Our furbaby Jade and I have been in the garden.  We have blue skies, fluffy clouds, our beloved peony roses are looking for sunshine and it won't be too long now till Hubby has to get the lawnmower out for the lawn's first cut of the year ๐Ÿ˜Š

I love this time of year! Everywhere I look I can see little signs that the garden is beginning to wake up from it's long winter nap.  Soon there will be roses, in the shape of those much loved peonies, and lavender by the back door and an abundance of gorgeous roses in our tiny front garden to greet guests too ๐Ÿ˜Š 

It's starting to look like spring in the garden honeys...

Every year I snap lots of photos of the roses in our front garden honeys, they never fail to make me smile ๐Ÿ˜Š  You can see them dotted all around this blog (in the search bar to the right hand side type roses in and you'll see what I mean) but there are (quite) a few downloadable printables too, my favourites of which you can find here and another, which shows a gorgeous rose in the rain can be found here.  Enjoy honeys ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’‹

For today though, let's open the back door and see what's waiting for us shall we?

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

All Change! Planning & Prompting - How A Notice Board Will Help Improve My Blog...

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to promote any products, just sharing my latest little project that's making me ridiculously happy x

Hi Honeys,
How is everyone?  Here we are running towards the last week of February and the days are getting a little longer, the skies a little brighter and today we've reached the lofty temperature of 8 degrees! That's almost a Summers day here ๐Ÿ˜Š

In an effort to make up for last year, when our dreams of an organised, down-sized home were knocked off track by my health issues, I'm trying to set in place some organisational systems to help us to get back on track.

My latest project though is aimed squarely at myself, and at getting this blog back up and running.

Planning and prompting - How a notice board will help improve my blog...

So, having determined to (try) to get myself back on track this year I thought I'd start by actually planning my blog posts. Yep, you heard me dear ones.  "Rosie! You mean you don't have squillions of posts scheduled months ahead?" I hear you say..... Well, no honeys.  In my drafts folder right now there are... I'll check and do a screen cap for you....

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

My First Mini Organising Project Of The Year...

Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to write this post. I'm just sharing my first mini home organisation project of the year and hopefully some smiles too ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hi Honeys
How was your weekend?  Mine has definitely been a mixed bag.  At work on Saturday evening I was hit with the worst case of the chills. To begin with I just felt as if it was getting colder.  Just the usual evening temperature drop since it was after 6 pm, very dark and the store I work in has a metal roof so all of the heat mostly goes up and out.

A couple of hours later I felt as if my bones were literally made of ice.  Such a chill honeys and I couldn't stop shivering.  By the time home time rolled around though I was actually burning up, even though I still had that awful, frozen, chill in my bones. When I got home I had my shower, got all bundled up in my warmest nightie etc and hugged the hot water bottle Hubby made for me (thank you sweetheart x) I settled on the sofa under a huge sherpa throw.

During Saturday night and through Sunday I just felt so completely drained of energy honeys but at least the chilled feeling, and temperature, had gone by mid Sunday.  Yesterday I started to feel a little more like my self which was such a relief.

There are so many bugs, viruses, flus and what-nots going around right now and having been ill for over four months with the last chest infection (which turned into bronchitis and led to my having a CT scan) I just really don't want to catch any of them.

Late yesterday afternoon, annoyed at myself that I didn't get anything done, not even catching up with laundry, over the weekend, I put on a load of laundry and set out to find something to do ๐Ÿ˜Š

Rosie's First Mini Organising Project Of The Year...

There was a project I'd asked Hubby to do for me that he hadn't gotten around to yet.  We'd even bought a Variera shelf insert (the larger of the two sizes available) for this little project on our last trip to Ikea.

"Why not try doing it yourself?" I thought.  Why not indeed.  This is what happened honeys...

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Happy Homemaking Haul

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to promote any products, anything mentioned in my little smiley mini haul below was bought and paid for by Hubby & I, just sharing my latest homemaking smiles.

Hi Honeys
Happy February ๐Ÿ˜Š It feels as if the holidays were just days ago but here we are on February first. Of course it's still very cold and we even had a little sleet and snow yesterday (it didn't hang around though thankfully) but we're finally heading towards Spring and I can't wait ๐Ÿ’ฎ

Spring is coming - time for a spring clean!

Spring around here means two things.  The first of course is my absolute favourite of the two... laundry!! Lines and lines and lines of lovely laundry pegged outside in the spring sunshine, gently floating in the breeze... joy!!

The other spring joy is cleaning the house from top to bottom.  Throwing windows open to let in the lovely fresh air and making a start on filling boxes to take to our little local charity shop.  I was ill most of last year honeys and didn't get anything I wanted done to our home but I'm determined (with Hubby's help - thank you sweetheart x) to make some headway into organising and purging our home this year ๐Ÿ˜Š

So, let's have a look at our latest home buys shall we? Why not grab a cuppa?

Friday, 26 January 2018

Super Easy, Super Yummy, Vegetarian Rigatoni Bolognese

Hi Honeys 
How are you today?  Do you remember all of that lovely snow recently?  All gone now, replaced with rain and a breeze so icy and sharp it could chill a nose off a face... or feels like it anyway.  It's definitely still mittens, scarves, hats and layers weather outside ⛄ 

I'm so wishing for spring to arrive.  Only eight weeks to go now until the clocks change here in UK and it really can't pass quick enough.  We're starting to see glimmers of sunshine now and again but I so long to peg lots of lovely laundry outside and to see our much loved garden wake from it's long, long winter sleep.  I miss seeing our beautiful roses when I open the front door honeys ๐ŸŒน

Super easy, super yummy vegetarian rigatoni bolognese

It's January and my resolutions for this year are pretty much the same as they were last year.  Last year I promised I'd make some headway into organising and downsizing the amount of clutter we have in our home and I also promised I'd try to take more control of my health too.

I have the most wonderful Doctor and I'm blessed to attend a great clinic at the hospital for my arthritis, but last year was truly awful, health wise, for me.  The constant joint and muscle pain went off the scale, restricting my mobility even further, to the point I wasn't coping at all well anymore. 

As if that wasn't enough, in the later part of the year I had a chest infection which turned into bronchitis. I battled this for over four months leading to yet another new experience. I had to go have a CT scan.  I was taken off my arthritis medication (it flattens my immune system) for several months to allow my chest infection to try to heal but this allowed the arthritis pain to run riot.

The result was that I didn't do much de-cluttering or have a chance to look into the pilates or yoga I'd been told might help my spine pain or anything else to be honest honeys.  I wasn't in the driver seat last year dear ones. I woke up every day and tried to make it to bedtime. 

Not a good way to live and I'm so determined to make an effort this year.  I really can't live another year like last year so, first thing first, I'm hoping to pro-actively do something about my health.  I've gotten myself two beginners Yoga and two beginners Pilates dvds, and I'm changing our diet to a far healthier one. 

To that end I was rummaging about on Pinterest looking for recipes and stumbled across a fabulous vegetarian version of one of Hubby's favourites, Bolognese ๐Ÿ˜Š  I clicked on the link and it took me to a wonderful recipe and a fabulous blog written by a lovely lady called Trinity.  I'll include a link to her blog so you can go say hello honeys but first I'll show you a version of her Vegetarian Bolognese.

I hope Trinity doesn't mind but I left out some things (neither Hubby nor I are fans of celery) and added others (I had to add the rigatoni pasta it's taken over from macaroni here lately as favourite pasta ๐Ÿ˜Š) I would have loved to use fresh basil but I didn't have any on hand  but I'll show you what I did and you can tell me what you think of it ๐Ÿ˜Š

To the kitchen dear ones....

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Fresh Snowfall, Feeling Calm & A Happy Furbaby...

Hi Honeys,
We had a fresh fall of snow yesterday and it was so beautiful I wanted to capture it before the never far away rain arrived and washed it all away.

So, I grabbed my camera and out into the garden I went with our furbaby Jade...

Fresh snowfall, a serene garden and a very happy furbaby

I do adore our little garden.  I still miss our gorgeous sycamore trees since the local council cut them all back.  They hid the view of that large ugly metal fence in the lane behind our garden, but more than that honeys they gave our beloved garden the feel of a secluded little space where I could escape the world when life got overwhelming.

In the Spring we're hoping, when the always unpredictable weather allows of course, to create a little seating area.  We were hoping to do it last year but with what must have been one of the wettest years ever it just wasn't possible.

Do you remember the beautiful bench Hubby bought for me a while ago?  Almost two years ago in fact.  It's still in it's box waiting to be assembled and take pride of place in the garden.  I can't believe the weather has been so dreadful for so long.  Maybe this year we'll be surprised by mother nature with an actual summer ๐Ÿ˜Š

Rose bench - A gift from Hubby and soon to be part of our little garden seating area.

As you can see, it has a wrought iron fretwork design of roses on the back rest. I can't wait to see it as the centre piece of our little seating area and to be able to sit out in the garden, watching lots of lovely laundry floating around in the breeze ๐Ÿ˜Š

For now though, we have snow and, as I said, I wanted to capture how beautiful the garden looked before our almost inevitable rainy lead up to Spring begins.  Let's have a look shall we?

Friday, 19 January 2018

Spring Is Coming! Peonies Have Appeared...

Hi Honeys
I'm so happy I could just burst!! Having opened the back door to let our furbaby Jade out into the garden to see if her squirrel friends are about (like the ducks on the canal she loves to visit, she adores the squirrels but they don't ever want to play with her bless them) well standing at the back door I noticed something...

I'm so happy I could burst honeys! Our peonies have started to shoot, maybe Spring is on her way after all :)

I then wandered over to the huge pot our much loved peonies grow in to see if I was actually seeing what I thought I was seeing and.....

Our much loved peonies begin to push their way through the earth in spite of the frost, snow and ice...

It's true! I did spot tiny, precious shoots fighting their way through the soil looking for sunlight!  This is wonderful honeys! I always judge how close spring is by our beloved peonies appearance each year.

Part of my brain tells me that, according to the calendar at least, we have a little over nine weeks till the clocks roll forward and we welcome Spring, and as much as I look forward every year to losing that hour.... don't judge me honeys.  I'm awake before the birds are every day so an extra hour in bed is just an extra hour for me to wait till anyone else wakes up to keep me company ๐Ÿ˜Š

Well, anyway, as I was saying ๐Ÿ˜Š as much as I look forward to losing that extra hour (I don't mind the hour itself, more time for me to read or do a puzzle in the morning but it can be lonely) well it takes us closer to spring you see.  I am so not a winter person. Spring is my release from the cold and the long, dark days that seem to drag on forever.

I'm reminded of the wonderful Harry Secombe singing "If I ruled the world, every day would be the first day of spring"  and I wholeheartedly agree ๐Ÿ˜Š  Such a beautiful song with wonderful lyrics ๐Ÿ’–

So now that the peonies have begun to grow it'll be no time really until they look their gorgeous self and make me smile every single time I open our back door...
Beautiful Peonies in Bloom

What's making you smile today honeys?  Are you looking forward to spring as much as I am?  I've just glanced out of the living room window and the snow is coming down heavily again.  I have to leave for work in around half an hour too, time to get all bundled up warmly ๐Ÿ˜Š

Stay warm and safe dear ones, till next time, huggles always xx