Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A Bit Of Everything

My blogging has been pretty sparse the past few days.  If I'm honest it's because I haven't really got anything to say, which is unusual for me.  Thought I'd share a few photos instead.
The park I walk through to get to and from the station each day.
This was taken around half 7 one morning, it was so peaceful.
I have been having a little play around with my blog layout, I'm still not set on this design but it will do for a while at least.  I get bored pretty quick so don't be surprised for it to suddenly change from time to time. 
The river running through the park.  This was taken one evening while the canoeists were going out for a paddle, which is a regular thing during the summer months.
My weekend was pretty quiet, I spent Saturday with James wandering around Brick Lane, I didn't take any photos, I guess as I have been there so many times before I didn't think to get the camera out.  I also came home empty handed, as we are really trying hard to save the pennies for that mortgage, it is a hard struggle but will be so worth it in the end, it just means for this year at least we will be going without quite a few of the luxuries in life we are both used to. 

Taken from round the corner to James' house, I love going past this, makes me feel like being on the set for Made In Dagenham!
I have also taken my first step to finishing off some WIP's (Work In Progress) or UFO's (Un-Finished Object's) whichever you would prefer to call them.  I have joined Laa Laa's UFO support group in the hope this will give me the kick up the bum I need.  I have also vowed to myself and now to you all, that I will be buying no more craft related items until I have finished projects that I have already started or already bought the equipment needed to complete - there I have said it.

It all got a bit too much for this poor little fella, I hate finding dead bee's, so sad.  However he found himself a pretty good resting place.
I'm working on a few things to share with you over the next few days so although I have not been blogging as much as usual I am still here, I promise.

Some yummy cupcakes James bought home for me from a food and drink festival he was working at.  I didn't eat them all myself, I did share them, honest!
I'll be back to share all with you soon.

~ Gem x

Friday, 22 July 2011

25th Wedding Anniversary Celebrations

I was planning on posting this Wednesday but have been so busy I just hadn't got around to it, sorry.
Saturday evening my parents threw a party to celebrate their 25th Wedding Anniversary which was on Tuesday.  We had a great evening spent with friends and family and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. 

Mine and Rebecca's lantern (my brother's girlfriend)

And it's off floating through the nights sky

And there it is stuck in the tree :s whoops, don't worry no harm was done and eventually it went out, we were just lucky that it had rained a lot earlier in the day.

25 years, that is longer then my life time, so here is to another 25 years.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Love Gem xxx

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Virtual Coffee - A Week Away From Work

If I were really meeting with you for coffee today I would request that we meet over at the secret garden, I will explain more in just a sec and I'm sure you will see why I want to meet there.  I would also tell you all about my week off work last week.  It was a quiet one, well quiet as in I didn't get up to much, my time was pretty much consumed by my Mum who had an operation on her foot last Friday, it was certainly an eventful week.  My Mum had already planned a party to celebrate hers and my Dad's 25th Wedding Anniversary which is today, (Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad) for Saturday just gone, so I was running around trying to get the place organised.  I will be posting about the party tomorrow.
I would tell you that it was good to have a break away from the usual routine, even if the week wasn't a restful one.
I would tell you that it was a strange week with ups a downs.  We will get the downs out of the way first.  4 months after my Grandad passed away from cancer, my other Grandad (my dad's dad) has been diagnosed with bladder cancer.  There is just no escaping from it for me, as if working with it 5 days a week isn't enough, my private life is filled with it also.  He already suffers with very bad Parkinson's disease and has done for the whole of my life and some time before hand, it really is so un-fair, we just have to wait now to find out what happens next.  To top that off my cousin who is only 42 had a heart attack.  She is fine, but it was such a shock for the whole family, I couldn't believe it.  So bad news over with, let's move onto something more positive.

Myself and Mum found an amazing place to go for coffee and we will most definitely be visiting again in the future.  It is called the Secret Garden.  I'm sure from my photos you will be able to see why I have suggested this place to meet today.

A very welcoming entrance

All signposted

Pretty paths with flowers leading the way, with lots of pretty lanterns

More flowers

Little windmills and different furniture dotted all over the place

Oh look a little visitor

Yum hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, a scone with jam and a toasted tea cake, just what the doctor ordered.

Another visitor (it would have been rude of me not to have shared my scone with them)

Time for a close up

And how cute is this little fella hiding here : )

It really was a lovely place, beautiful surroundings and very well hidden from the main road, which is where I'm guessing the name comes into it.  What i loved even more is how darted around the place they had blankets draped over chairs for you to wrap up in when it gets a little chilly as it was all mostly outside.  there is an indoor section but sitting out in the fresh air is a must!

As well as this I also met with a very good friend of mine for coffee.  I hadn't met with her in ages so it was lovely to catch up and see her again, we really must do it more often.

So a real mixture of good and bad news for me.  I only hope your week has been much better.

Hope you enjoyed your coffee.  Linking up today with Amy

Love Gem xxx

Monday, 18 July 2011

Birthday Celebrations

Last Saturday (10th) was my 24th birthday.  It was a quiet one this year as my Mum had an operation on her foot on Friday (8th).  For some time now I had been meaning to visit Barleylands Farm, they have a craft village there with a number of shops and different crafts to watch.  I can say i have now been there but doubt I will be going back, I was a little disappointed and had been hoping for a bit more. 

My Dad enjoyed talking to a local wood turner, he is a chippy by profession although works now fitting double glazed windows and doors and has been doing so ever since I was born.

It looked very attractive, there just wasn't much there, a lot of the shops were pretty much the same.

We got to watch some glass blowing which was very interesting, I was so mesmerized I didn't get any photos, sorry ladies. 

We spent about an hour then and then decided it was time to go home.

There wasn't really very much that I wanted this year apart from a few books and DVDs so other then that I got mostly money.

My brother's girlfriend bought me this beautiful necklace as well as lot's of other pretty little goodies.  I was spoilt : )

Getting money only meant one thing, SHOPPING!!!!!

This is one of my fave buys, taking calls all day, I always find as soon as I make a cup of tea the phone rings, it wouldn't be unusual to be on the phone for half hour, by the time I finish my tea is cold, so hopefully this will help keep it hot for longer :) 

New luggage tag, the colours match my suitcase as well - bonus

As I said in my award post I am wanting to learn how to cook so I am hoping this will help.

I have already started to transfer all the recipes I have collected from magazines into the book, hopefully this is something that can be passed down to my children and their children, I'm sure you get the picture.

Today was my first day back at work for a couple of weeks and I was surprised with a gorgeous toffee cake, £25 Monsoon / Accessorize vouchers and a bunch of flowers, how lucky am I????

I was truly spoilt by all those who love me and all those who I love in return.  I would also like to thank all of you who sent me birthday wishes too, it was very much appreciated.

So that's it for another year. 

Love Gem xxx

Friday, 15 July 2011

Charity Shop Swap Parcel & A Few Charity Shop Buys Of My Own

Hello Ladies (and Gentleman if you are out there, why are there hardly any male bloggers?????, I'd like to see more) Anyway, I recently took part in Lakota's Charity Shop Swap and was partnered with Kerenza from KezzieAG, do pop by and say hello, she has a lovely blog.  I loved opening up this parcel, all my gifts were wrapped so beautifully, I didn't want to open it but was glad I did, the gifts inside were lovely. 

I should have taken a close up of the handmade card, it was beautiful

Lots of little bits to help with my crafting

I loved this idea of a small jewelry box with a button stuck on top, it was very effective

How cute is this felt bag, and with a ladybird, I really smiled when I saw this : )

And this pretty little button bracelet. 

Thank you so much Kerenza for all my lovely gifts, it was great swapping with you.

So on the theme of charity shops I have been a bit naught again recently, I just can't seem to help myself.  The problem is I really am starting to run out of space to store all these homely goodies.  I may just have to start using my Grandad's garage, I'm sure he would be pleased to know it is being used for a good cause : ) (sorry about the quality of these photos, they were taken last night so the lighting isn't brilliant, they are all now packed away in boxes otherwise I would have taken more photos today)

Firstly this great Cadbury's mug, you can never have enough mugs and this had my name written all over it.  You can imagine how delighted  I was to then spot these.

I originally just bought the Cadbury's one but then when James see it and I told him about the Horlicks one he made me go back to see if they still had it, good job they did hey! I'm sure these will look great in the kitchen.

Then there were these cups, I had seen them on my first visit to the shop but when I went back to get the Horlicks jar and they were still there I just had to buy them and they were only £1.99, bargain (I only would have regretted it otherwise *giggle*)

I love the pattern on these and the colours are so vibrant, I'm not sure if the pink one is supposed to be part of this set or if it has got muddled over time but I like it so I'm not too worried about it.  We don't really tend to eat soup from a Chinese but I really liked these and for 99p I wasn't leaving without them!
So what have you been buying recently?  I'd love to know, it makes me feel less guilty for my purchases : )

Love Gem xxx

P.S Hope you all have a great weekend what ever you have planned

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Virtual Coffe - A Week In Shipley

It feels like ages since we met for coffee last, then again I have been rather busy lately and what with having to work away last week.  Anyway, if we were really meeting for coffee today I would share with you the photos I managed to take while away last week.

One of our offices is located in Shipley, Yorkshire and recently a new job role has been created, I was asked if I would mind working there for a week to help with their training.  A week of different surroundings sounded pretty good to me so I jumped at the chance.

I would tell you that some areas of Shipley are not very nice, however some areas are absolutely beautiful.

Monday evening we went for a walk along the canal to Saltaire.

I was lucky enough to be able to walk along this path every day to work.  My journey in took me 10minutes, yes you heard that right a 10 minute walk, it certainly beats the almost 2 hour journey I usually have to work : )

The band stand in the park.

Lovely cobbled streets, although they are not great on the feet.

I would tell you that I had a great week and really enjoyed myself.  There was a group of us that went and we had a real good laugh. I haven't laughed so much in ages, this week was really what I needed.  We ate good food every night with great company.  We were all concerned about what we would be doing of an evening as we weren't expecting there to be much to do, how wrong we were.  One evening had us at the local bowling alley, I haven't been bowling in years.

Such bright colours

Part of me was quite sad to have to come home, however I did miss one or 2 people.  Work wasn't quite the same without Manjiv, my little buddy and partner in crime!  And I know that my line manger was missing me and Ruby, sorry Leah : )  We will both be back soon, I promise.

So that was my week in Shipley.

Thanks for stopping by for coffee I am now off to Amy's for another.

Love Gem xxx