Monday, 31 January 2011

A Day In The Kitchen

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I had been in the kitchen, which is very unlike me, but I am trying to improve on my cooking skills and what better way then to pull up my sleeves and get stuck in!

We had homemade pizza for dinner last night, although I wouldn't really class that as cooking, it is pretty simple.

I made choc chip cookies, which I forgot to take a photo of, and by the time I realised I hadn't taken a photo they had been well and truly demolished by my colleagues at work, so I am guessing they tasted OK, they went down a real treat ; )  I even got to use one of my new cookie cutters too.

Finally we also made homemade Raspberry Jam, and this time I remembered photo's.

I don't know whether you noticed the beautiful glass bowl in the last 2 photos, I just had to get it in the shot.  It belongs to James' Mum, it was her Nan's.  It is beautiful and goes so well with their new country style kitchen : )

I have been inspired by Sue for this next part.  Some of you may have heard that I am doing a  GIVEAWAY .  I will be doing the Giveaway once I reach 20 or more followers on blogger (not Facebook).  So all you have to do for now is spread the word.  Once I reach 20 or more followers I will post about how to enter.  You never know this time it may be you who is the lucky one.

Love Gem x x x x

Sunday, 30 January 2011

My Giveaway Win

As some of you will know, I have recently won a giveaway over at Sue's blog, Our New Life In The Country.  I actually squealed when it arrived, I was so excited ha ha.  So of course I set about opening it, to see what was waiting for me inside.  I tried to do as I said I would and treasure the moment, as opposed to tearing it open, and the moment to be over in a matter of seconds.  I done pretty well if I may say so myself.

So I can hear you are all crying, what did you get.  Let me show you.

Beautifully wrapped in of course, Lavender.  If you read Sue's blog you will know that she used to have a lavender shop which sadly she had to leave behind on her new life in the country, however she does still sell her Lavender products at local farmer's markets.

 Included inside a lovely letter, complete with a picture of the cart, which I just love.

Also inside, 2 x handmade cards, 2 x handmade soaps, one Lavender one Rose (my fave), a jar of homemade blackberry jam, a dozen eggs which through my excitement I have forgot to photograph and a beautifully made lavender filled heart which is now hanging in my bedroom, the fabric used is gorgeous and the smell is just divine

THANK YOU so much Sue, I love my prezzies, and really cannot thank you enough.

It's been a busy weekend for me, yesterday I was making felt and today I have been in the kitchen, yes me in a kitchen.  I will be posting about this tomorrow so pop back to see what I have been cooking up :).

I hope you have had a brilliant weekend, and have a good week ahead.

Love Gem xxx

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Wet Felting

I had said yesterday I wasn't too sure what to expect from today, I was a little apprehensive this morning and was worried it wouldn't be for me.  I shouldn't of worried, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, well almost, sewing on all the little beads at the end got me down a little bit, I didn't think I would ever finish it, but I did, and I could easily do it again, and again and again, beads and all : )

It was held at Hylands House, the same place I went to for my Flower Arranging and the Torchlit Tour.  The lady running the course was Lynne Sharpe, she is so lovely, I would highly recommend the course.  I know for most of you, you are not local so if you fancied having a look at some of the things that Lynne has made, or would like to buy some of her makes then you may like to have a look at her Folksy Shop, Love From Lynne

In the meantime, let me show you how I got on.

Originally I did have a slightly bigger piece of felt that I had made from my pieces of wool.  As you can see I have already cut quite a few bits out of this piece.

The bits were cut out then stitched together to hold in place and to form the shape of the flower petals.

I then cut a circle out of the felt, stitched around the outside and stuffed with wadding to form the centre of the flower.  The started to sew on pretty little beads.

And this is what it looks like when it is finished.  I love it, and will definitely be making more.  so that is now another craft tucked nicely under my belt and the first new craft for 2011.

To top off a great day, when I got home there was a lovely little parcel waiting, just for me : ).  I will let you know what was in it tomorrow.

Hope you have all had a lovely Saturday.

Love Gem xxx

Friday, 28 January 2011

I've Been Spending Again

I just can't seem to help myself recently, for some reason I just have the urge to keep spending money, at least this time it hasn't been on household items for the house that I don't even have.

 A bag for my new laptop.
I just love this floral print. (Sorry not the clearest of pictures)

A new pair of socks, you can never have too many socks (I actually do not own a pair of plain socks), and some pretty tights.

Some new shoes for the summer.  I know it is early day's but you have to be quick at buying this sort of stuff from Primark, when it's gone, it's gone!

 Again have you noticed the floral pattern ha ha, I think I am becoming very predictable : )

A gorgeous new scarf.  Grey and Pink , my favourite colours.

 And a new cookbook for all that cooking I do.  Ha yeah right, me and cooking just don't mix.

 But this is deffinitely my idea of a cookbook to help you lose weight.  Chocolate Heaven Mmmmmm.

I am hoping this is the end of my spending spree.  I think I have spent far too much this month, but I will be honest I have enjoyed it.  Have you bought anything new recently?

Well I've got my Wet Felt course tomorrow.  I'm not really too sure what to expect, I am hoping this is a better approach as I should enjoy it even more if I am not expecting anything from it.  I guess I will know more tomorrow.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  I will be posting tomorrow to let you all know how I got on, and hopefully with some pictures to show you my finished result.  Don't get too excited, I am not promising anything pretty ha ha.

Love Gem xxx

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Valentines Heart Swap

With Valentines day just around the corner and a new month fast approaching I have decided to join in with Beki's Heart Swap. I'm so excited as I have not taken part in one of these before so it will be another first for me, and all in just 48 hours WOW. If you would like to join in with the swap please head over to Beki's Blog, the more the merrier and you never know, you may be swapping with me : )

Have you taken part in a swap before? What type of swap was it? What did you send and what did you receive?

Talking of Valentines day I have recently bought a new book to get me in the mood for this loved up celebration.

A book of love letters. Not at all what I would usually read but, I thought it may do me good to get out of my comfort zone once in a while.  As you can see it is sitting beside my bed, some light bedtime reading, something short and easy, just what I need.  
Gem xxx

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

I Am A Winner

Today has been a good day. A brilliant day in fact. I am feeling rather positive, which is a great feeling, as for the past week I have been feeling rather down in the dumps.

My Grandad has had a good day today, the doctors are really pleased with his progress and are looking to send him home in a week or so. It has been a real roller coaster of a ride , we really thought this was going to be the end of the road, and it is an awful feeling. Still we can move on from this scare now, and hope we don't have another one like this for some time.

Then just when I thought the day couldn't get any better I went over to Sue's blog to find out the update of her decision and realised that I had won her giveaway. What a result, my first giveaway prize. I shall be posting my prize for you all to see :) I'm so excited. I hardly ever win anything. I can't wait to receive my parcel so I can open it up to see what goodies are concealed inside. heheehe how exciting. Have you won any giveaway's before? If so what did you win?

Picture taken from Sue's blog - Our New Life In the Country

Well that's all from me tonight.
Gem xxx

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Virtual Coffee

Please join me this evening for a well deserved coffee :)

If I were really having coffee with you today I would suggest we meet in a nice warm and cosy coffee shop.  You don't seem to get many of them any more which is a shame, they have all been over run with the very Costa's and Starbucks :(  I will be honest I do use both on the odd occasion but that is usually as I don't have any other choice but to use them or go without, but when needs must - well what can I say.  Instead I am sitting here with a lovely hot chocolate, with the gorgeous scent of gingersnap and the calming flicker of light from my new candle (thanks Jef), and listening to the rain beating against my window pane.  Ahhh I may as well be in heaven.

As you probably know from other posts I love listening to rain, well so long as I haven't got to go out in it and I am nice and comfy in the dry.  I just find it so relaxing.  And with my candle burning away as well I am feeling very chilled out, which is just what I need after the day I have had.

If I were really having coffee with you today I would have to tell you that my Grandad is currently in hospital.  He has been there now for a good couple of weeks, hence it has been so manic for me recently.  It wouldn't be so bad should we have lived closer, but he is in North London and as you know we are in Essex.  It isn't too bad for me to get there from work, however that is in South London, but so long as the underground is running smoothly with no delays, it takes around an hour, which I can cope with.  If it were just that I don't think it would stress me out so much.  Don't get me wrong I love my Grandad to bits and I do worry about him all the time.  He has cancer and has had so for a couple of years now, the thing is I work on a cancer support line, so for me there is just no escape and my mind is constantly occupied by my Grandad which makes work very hard.  I am lucky to have great support from my colleagues / friends and I guess for them they can understand what I am going through, so in theory I am in the right place.  For that I would like to thank them for the support they have been giving me, they have been great.  Also my family.  we are very close anyway so it is good that we are supporting each other through this.

My Grandad

So that's all my news.  What's going on in your world?

Enjoy the rest of your evening
Gem xxx

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Some Things I Love

There are many things in life I love, some of which I'm sure you already know about but I thought it would be nice to post about them today. 
There is nothing I love more in my life then my family (including Molly the cat) and James.  They are what get me through each day, I'd be lost without them and I love them all dearly.

A visit from Tinkerbell at Disney in California

On holiday in Menorca

Molly playing :)

I have a love for many other things too.

Usher, I last saw him at the summertime ball in the summer.  I am seeing him in a few weeks and I can't wait, I'm so excited :)

Gerbera's my favourite flowers, they are gorgeous.

Elephants, amazing animals, I think they are beautiful.

Chocolate, need I say more?

Holding hands.

Shabby Chic

Buttons, an endless use for these beauties.

Well that's all for now, look out for more posts like this in the future.

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend, it has been a quiet one for me, which has been nice as the week was so manic and it looks as though the week ahead is set to be pretty much the same.  Oh well, no rest for the wicked as they say.

Gem xxx

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Fifty Questions

I am posting along with Coco Rose Textiles on this one.  I thought it would be a good opportunity for you learn some things about me that you may not have know about before.  Please feel free to join in on your own blog, I would love to hear how your answers compare to mine :)
1. What time did you get up this morning?  9:30, Well it is the weekend.

2. How do you like your steak? I'm not a lover of steak, but any meat I eat has to be medium to well done.

3. What was the last film you saw in the Cinema? Life as we know it.  Brilliant film, I loved it :)

4. What is your favourite TV show? I can't say I have a favourite, I have many.  I love The Inbetweeners, Gavin and Stacey and Big Brother, all of which have you noticed are no longer continuing.  I also love Kirstie's Homemade Home & Christmas.

 5. Where would you like to live if you could choose anywhere in the world? I would stay in England, somewhere amongst the countryside.

6. What did you have for breakfast? 2 Weetabix, I'm trying to eat healthier at the moment.

7. What is your favourite cuisine? Has to be Italian, I adore pasta and pizza

8. What food do you dislike? Chicken.  I hate it, I know that shocks most people :)

9. Place to eat?  The White Hart, a country pub in Margaretting Tye, good food, lovely people, beautiful surroundings.

10. Most annoying habit? Probably biting my nails, it even annoys me.  I have tried so many times to stop, and I have on many occasions but for some reason I always end up starting again :s

11. you are....? Very critical of myself, and at times very blond ha ha.

12. Favourite clothes? Leggings, they go with so much and are sooooo comfy.  

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Italy, mainly Venice. Poland, to visit Krakow and Thailand.  There are many other places but I could go on for hours so I won't continue.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 1/2 full, life can be negative enough without me adding to it.

15. Where would you want to retire? I've got years before that happens so I haven't even thought about it yet, sorry.  

16. Favourite time of day? Depends what day it is.  If I'm not working then I like the morning as I have the whole day ahead of me to do what I like, If it is a work day then I like the evening.  I'm sure you can all appreciate that.

17. Where were you born? Chelmsford

18. What is your favourite sport to watch? I'm not a lover of sport.

19. Bird Watcher? I wouldn't call myself a bird watcher, I couldn't tell you the names of very many, but I do like to sit and watch them fluttering around the garden or when we are camping, it is a lovely sound to wake up to on a morning as well (so long as it isn't too early!).

20. Morning person or night person?  Refer back to question 16.

21. Do you have any pets? A cat called Molly and a Goldfish called Dave.

22. What did you want to be when you were little? I can't remember what I wanted to do as a really young child.  I know by the time I got to senior school I wanted to be a Travel Agent, which I did for 4 years, then decided I had had enough of that and wanted to try something new. (ha ha that doesn't sound like me at all, NOT.  I get bored with things very easily.)  

23. What is your best childhood memory? Christmas time.  Going into town with my family Christmas Eve to buy the last minute presents, listening to Christmas songs and decorating the tree.  Then waking up Christmas morning, glancing across to my stocking at the end of my bed, running to my parents and shouting at the top of my voice "He's been, He's been".

24. Cat or dog person? Cat.

25. Married? No.

26. Always wear your seat belt? Always, it is not worth taking the risk of not wearing it.

27. Been in a car accident? Yes, a couple of little ones, never anything very serious thankfully.  I just hope it stays that way.  

28. Any pet peeves? Bad manners.  There is just no excuse for it.  

29. Favourite pizza topping? I'm pretty boring when it comes to pizza, I tend to go for plain, with lots of cheese mmmmm.

30. Favourite flower? Gerbera's beautiful bold colours, they look gorgeous.

31. Favourite ice cream? Chocolate & Mint

32. How many times did you fail your driving test? This is a bit of a sore subject for me.  I actually failed five times, which is really bad but I am putting it all down to experience.

33. From whom did you get your last email? Leah my line manager at work.  I had just sent her some photos that I had taken on leaving work yesterday and she replied to say Thank You.

34. Do anything spontaneous lately? Another boring answer from me on this one as well I'm afraid.  The answer is no, I'm a sucker for planning so I can't even remember the last spontaneous thing I have done.  Is that bad????

35. Like your job? Love my job.  I work with some great people.  The job can be very tough and demanding and my colleagues who I look at as friends definitely pull me through the bad times.  We are lucky to have a rewarding job, making a difference to other people, it is a great feeling :)

36. Which store would you use to max out your credit card? Primark, if it is even possible to do that in there :)  Also a local store Tickety Boo, this is where I bought my wash bag from :)

37. Broccoli? Take it or leave it, I'm not really to fussed either way.  

38. Favourite vacation? I'm torn between 2 here.  Orlando, Florida with my family, I have been there 5 times now, there is so much to do and something to please everyone.  Corfu, been here twice with James, it is so pretty and very relaxing, but with plenty to do if you want to.  I can't go on holiday and do nothing, Like I said earlier I get to bored!  

39. Last person you went out to dinner with? James

40. What are you listening to right now? Bruno Mars, I think his music is great.

41. Favourite colour? I have 2 favourite colours Pink and Grey

42. How many tattoos do you have? One of a daisy on the bottom left hand side of my back 

43. How many are you tagging for this quiz? Anyone that wants to take part! Bit of fun and always a nice read on peoples posts!

44. Coffee drinker? Occasionally but not very often. 

45. Smoker? No, it's expensive, it smells and it's bad for you, enough said.

46. Irritating habit? Refer back to number 10 

47. Guilty pleasure? Buying things for the home, which as soon as I have bought it I have to find somewhere to store it away as I don't have my own to display it in.  

48. Frustrated...? Too often, so we won't go into this one.

49. Favourite game? I'm not really a games person, so I can't think of one at the moment.

50. Coast or inland? I like both, but it really depends on my mood.

So there you have it, 50 facts about me.

Hope you are all enjoying the weekend

Love Gem xxx

Friday, 21 January 2011

Country Rose

I mentioned in my last post about a running theme with the polka dots, well while sitting in my bedroom last night I noticed another running theme I have going on.

It is a beautiful print, I absolutely love it, as you can tell.  I have bought quite a few things from the range.  the first item I bought were the PJ's which you can see folded up in the bottom right hand corner of this photo, I then added to the collection with the matching dressing gown which everything is laying on.

I just love the colours and the simple detail in the print.  It has that real fresh summery feeling to it.

I added to the collection with these Rose scented  hearts which I hang on my cupboard door handles, they are just too pretty to hide away in drawers or cupboards.  Also have you noticed the polka dots again, they just keep cropping up :) 

The make up bags, which I am going to save for holidays, a mix of the two prints, very bright and bold.

They have recently added a new design to the line, I'm not sure that I like it as much if I'm honest, but it is still really nice and has the same effect as the original pattern, fresh and summery.

A new polka dot shopping bag.  Not that I needed any more as I already have so many, but seriously, can a girl ever have enough bags? Really?  I didn't think so.

For any of you who may have been wondering the line is called Country Rose and can be bought from Avon Cosmetics.  I'm not sure that you can still buy the full range, but you can still get the make up bags, I only bought those a few weeks ago and the shopping bag is due out in brouchures very soon.  As well as that I guess it is a case of keeping your eyes peeled for what they bring out in the future.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.  What have you got planned?  I'd love to hear.

Have a good one

Love Gem xxx

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Treating Myself

After the stressful and manic week it has been so far I decided today that I would treat myself to something nice.  I have seen this lovely vase a few times now when shopping for my lunch in Sainsbury's and today I thought to myself, rather then just looking at it every time and thinking "hmmm that looks really nice" that I would just buy it, so I did.

It now looks lovely sitting on my desk.  All I need now are some beautiful flowers to fill it.  I will wait until Monday for that, it seems a shame to buy some now when I am not going to be there over the weekend to enjoy them.

I wasn't able to just stop at the vase though :-s  I ended up spotting this ceramic jug complete with a cyclamen plant.

I also bought the plant you can see in the pot behind this one too.  As you can see my desk is looking a lot brighter now with all this extra colour.  It gives me something nice to look at, well other then all my colleagues of course hehee.

The only problem is that I didn't stop there either, I just couldn't resist this little piggy.

Isn't it gorgeous.  I have never owned a piggy bank before so this is a first for me.  I also sense a theme running with the purchases I have bought today, they all seem to be covered in polka dots.  Well they have certainly done the trick in cheering me up for a bit, so I am pleased at that :)

Night all

Love Gem xxx

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Virtual Coffee

Now I know I am a day late for this, but surely that is one of the added bonuses of it being virtual.  Am I right?  I'm afraid I can't stay for long though :(

If I were really having coffee with you today firstly I would have to own up to actually drinking hot chocolate and not coffee :).  I love hot chocloate, especially if it is topped with marshmallows mmmmmmmmmmm.

If I were really having hot chocolate with you today I would tell you how grateful I would be for some time out to sit and put my feet up and listen to everyone's news. 

It is only Wednesday but so far this week has been so stressful and hectic, I don't know that I can keep up with it all. 

Told you it was a quick stop today.  Duty calls.  I'll be back again soon.  Hope you all enjoy your coffee or whatever is taking your fancy today.

Gem xx

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Hylands House Torchlit Tour

It was brilliant.  I really enjoyed it.  We didn't see anything but if I am honest I am quite glad about that, I'm not sure how I would have reacted if we had of, but I'm sure it wouldn't have looked pretty.  The stories were spooky enough for me :) 
As well as the stories of sightings, I actually learnt a lot about the house which was nice.  I have lived in Chelmsford all my life and to learn things about the area that I didn't know was really interesting and has encouraged me to want to learn more about it.
It was a very atmospheric night and one I won't forget for some time.

What have you been up to this weekend?  I hope you have all had a good one.

Gem xx

Saturday, 15 January 2011

My Word For 2011

I thought I would join in with Gemma and Cherry Menlove with this.  I have heard people do this in previous years but have never really thought much more about it.

I have been thinking now for almost a week and still cannot decide entirely on one word, I have many, so rather then sticking to just the one I am going to tell you all of them, as I feel dependant on my mood and what is happening in life there is a chance of these words changing.  I am hoping that these words will cover all situations I my be faced with.

My words are:

To the full


Everything especially life

In times of weakness

When you need it most

Who knows by the end of the year I may have decided upon one word that has been mine for 2011, but for now I think I will stick with all 5, if they don't get me through the year, I don't know what will :)

Fingers crossed I shall be posting tomorrow with how my Torch Lit Tour went, I am really looking forward to it, just not sure how I am going to stay awake for so long though, I still have another 6 hours to go until it starts and I'm already tired, I may be having to have that little nap I mentioned before.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend

Gem xx