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

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Wasted Lives

I'm guessing the title of this posts gives away what I am talking about.  The world is full of news of death at the moment, all starting with the incidents in Oslo on Friday, so sad that so many innocent people have been affected by this and my thoughts are with those poor families affected by this tradegy. 
Secondly I was shocked to hear the news about the death of 27 year old Amy Winehouse.  Shocked, I'm not quite sure why as it was bound to happen sooner or later but I kind of hoped that she would beat her demons and come through this a stronger person but the addictions were too strong for her to beat.  She was a very talented person and it is a shame that she could not do more with this or that someone else could have had these talents who would have benefitted from it rather then throwing it away.

She was a very troubled person and I hope that she has now found peace now that she is in a better place, although I cannot imagine what her Dad must be feeling right now, he never gave up hope on her and I loved that about him, a man who reallyloved his little girl and to him that is exactly what she was.

R.I.P Amy

Love Gem xxx

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

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to Callie over at MuMu And Squeaks Place who nominated me for this lovely award last week, apologies it has taken me so long to get round to blogging about it.

So 7 facts about me, here it goes.

1. I tried fish / cod for the first time a couple of months ago and actually liked it.  I am a really fussy eater so being able to find new foods that I like is usually quite a milestone for me.

2. I suffer slightly with OCD.  I can usually tell if someone has been in my room to borrow or use  something.  Everything has it's own place and I am always positioning everything just so.  It is a habit that annoys everyone especially me, I have tried so many times to break it but I just can't.  I think I have my Nan partly to blame for this and fact number 1.  I remember as a kid my Grandad would always move ornaments around and as soon as my nan walked into the room she would move them all back again, we really used to laugh about it but somehow it seems to have rubbed off on me :s.

3. I have pretty much overcome my fear of the dentist.  Don't get me wrong I don't look forward to going but I don't dread going like I used to.  I have been lucky enough to have found a great dentist who has made me feel at ease while I am there, 1 less thing in life to worry about : ).

4. I am addicted to blogging.  I hadn't really noticed it until recently.  I was starting to get really agitated last week not being able to catch up on what was happening in blogland and not being able to blog myself, I really missed it.  James is always winding me up and the other day said to my Mum 'She blog's don't you know' as if it is something really important, then the 2 of them just laughed.  Then it hit me, it is really important to me, I love it, it has become part of my life,  one of my fave things to do and I would recommend it to everyone in fact quite often I do. *giggle*

5. Part of me (a small part but the feeling is still there) is already looking forward to winter.  Yes I know I can hear you moaning at me.  The thing is, I love summer but when the weather is drab and miserable like it is at the moment I would rather winter just hurry up and get here so I can get out all my winter clothes.  I love the change in season, there is so much to look forward to.  Halloween, Fireworks Night, Christmas, but once that is all over with I want it to be summer again.  See I am never happy!

This was me queueing to get into the last Celebrity Big Brother last year

6. As a kid, from about the age of 6 I was a tomboy.  I refused to wear dresses or jeans and lived in tracksuits until about the age of 11.  My parents hated it, especially my Mum as I was a nightmare to buy clothes for.  I remember when I was about 8, going to have some photos taken, my Mum had to take a dress with her, which I reluctantly changed into to have the photos taken, no sooner had the photographer finished I rushed off so I could get changed back into my tracksuit, ha ha.  Jeans and dresses is what I live in now, I'm so glad that was a phase I grew out of.  

7. I can't cook.  That is kind of a lie, I can cook just not very well, to be honest I don't really enjoy it which could be why I can't do it.  I always manage to under-cook or burn things and can never get the timings right.  I love baking cookies and cakes I just hate cooking meals.  Maybe if it was something I was better at then I would enjoy it more, who knows.  I am off to add learn to cook to my list of what I want to achieve right after I have submitted this post. 

So there you have it 7 facts about me.  The longer I blog, the harder I find it to share facts about myself, as you pretty much know all there is to know about me already.  Sorry if they are rubbish facts, I have tried my best to make them as interesting as possible. 

Now all there is left to do is nominate another 7 blogs who I would like to pass this award onto.

1. Gemma @ Musings Of A Gem
2. Kazzy @ A Mermaids Purse
3. Kath @ Inverleith
4. Sian @ Diary Of A Tinyholder
5.Lynne @ Love From Lynne
7.Vicki @ Vintage Vicki

Thanks again Callie.

~ Gem x