Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A Review of 2014

I can't believe the year is at it's end already, it doesn't seem possible.  But my word, what a year it has been.

I've always wanted to do one of these review posts, but amongst all the Christmas chaos have never been organised enough to do one, but all that has changed this year.  I'm a very organised person but this year I'm aiming to be super organised starting from now.  So here it is my review of 2014.


January was a good start to the year.  I bought my wedding dress, visited London with my Mum for a spot of window shopping and to see the Bodyguard, which we both loved.  Country walks were had, time with friends was enjoyed.


Sadly February didn't follow suit.  It started badly from the off with the devastating news that our dear neighbour and landlady had passed away.  We had only known her for a year, but in that short time she touched our lives and our hearts and we will remember her always.  The rest of the month wasn't much better with constant rain and flooding.  However, the chickens didn't seem phased and there was progress made with the wedding plans.


March saw the start of spring and what a welcome sight it was too.  A visit to my Grandad's bench, lots of daffodils and cherry blossom.


April embraced spring time with beautiful apple blossom.  We had our first camping trip of the year complete with little lambs.  I visited my first craft show of 2014.  A weekend was spent apple pressing to make cider.  We celebrated Easter.  I received happy mail from Canada and colour was beginning to appear in the garden.  It was a pretty month.


During May lots of time was spent outdoors.  The weather was very kind to us and an early summer was enjoyed.  I began the practical part of my bee-keeping course.  Spent a day at the young farmers country show.  Visited the 2 churches in Willingale with family and enjoyed watching the skies during the occasional downpour.


In June we welcomed 2 new chickens to Hensington Palace.  Annie & Clarabel are light Sussex hens (we discovered in September that Clarabel was in fact Clarence, so was replaced by Pip) I made Elderflower cordial for the first time (probably the last, I wasn't keen).  Spent a day with my Mum & my Nan and enjoyed afternoon tea together.  Lots of jam making in preparation for our wedding and lots of lovely flowers and confetti making too.


I celebrated my birthday in July.  Me and James spent the weekend camping, we got to try out the Tiny House at the camp-site we regularly visit and James had booked me onto a basket making workshop.  Cream teas were had by myself and Marie and some stunning sunsets were seen.  A very beautiful month indeed.


August involved lots of wedding planning with crafts aplenty, bridesmaid hair trials and dress fittings, days out with my girl in London to visit the felt Cornershop, a trip to the seaside with my man, and walks across the fields to sit on hay bales and watch the sunset.  Perfect.


Lots of hen celebrations in September.  First with a weekend in Bath followed by my country bridal shower consisting of yet more cream tea and pottery painting.  My new passport arrived.  And lots of wedding preparation took place.


By far the best month of my life.  We got married on the 10th of October, it was a truly magical day spent with all of our friends and family, seeing all of our hard work and efforts coming together was a great accomplishment.  We honeymooned at Ragdale Hall health spa and enjoyed each others company for an uninterrupted week.  The end of the month involved Halloween & Firework plans coming together.  


We celebrated Fireworks night with our friends and family with a Halloween & firework party at ours.  I carved our giant pumpkin.  Spent time blogging.  Spent a day with Gemma at the Country Living Country fair and met Cherry Menlove.  Another Christmas adventure was had with Marie at Norpar Barns.  Christmas preparations were well under way.


December is one of my most favourite months in the year, purely because of Christmas and this year was no exception.  Lots of tree photos, and yummy food, family and gifts, a spot of crafting and lots of candles.  We were even treated to a wedding this year too.

It has been an amazing year, Thank You 2014.  Let's see what 2015 holds.

Happy New Year x

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Reading Tag

I spotted this on Victoria's blog here the other week and being a lover of books thought I would join in.

Do you have a certain place for reading at home?
More often than not, I tend to read in bed.  This does mean that I don't tend to read very much as it isn't usually long before my eyes begin to get heavy and I have to close the book and get some sleep.  When I worked in London I used to read a lot on the train, I miss those days.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?
I'm a bookmark girl.  The prettier the better.

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain number of pages?
I have to get to the end of the chapter or a page break.  I don't mind admitting I have OCD and could never just finish midway through a page.  This goes for being interuppted too.  If James starts talking to me I have to get to the end of the page or paragraph before he can have my attention.

One book at a time or several at once?
One at a time, I get too confused otherwise.  Plus it takes me ages to read a book now, so if I were reading more than one it would take forever.

Reading at home or everywhere?
I'd read anywhere, I don't really mind.  I tend to read mostly at home though, but if ever I go away somewhere a book will come with me.  Likewise, waiting rooms are often a good place to get a few pages read too.

Reading out loud or silently in your head?
Definitely silently.  There was one lady who used to get on the same train as me when I worked in London and she would trace the words on her page with her finger and mouth the words, it used to drive me crazy.

Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?
No, but I will give up on a book if I'm strggling to get on with it. 

Breaking the spine or keeping it new?
Keeping it new, I'm sad like that, although I get a lot of my books from charity shops (I'm an authors worst nightmare) so they often tend to be broken already.

Do you ever write in books?
Not really.  I have been known to make notes in reference books in the past but it's not something I tend to do very often.

What are you currently reading?
Breakfast at Darcy's by Ali McNamara.  I'm a real chick lit type of girl.  I like soft and fluffy, feel good books.

Please join in with the tag, and let me know if you do.  I'd love to hear your answers.

Love Gem x

Monday, 29 December 2014

Christmas Gifts

Well that's it for another year, Christmas 2014 is over.  I had a lovely Christmas spent with my family, our first time hosting our very own Christmas.  Everything went well and we all had a wonderful day.

Once again I was spoilt by all of my loved ones.  I received some gorgeous gifts.  

This Laura Ashley Pie dish from my Nan, although I'm sure it will mostly be James using it seeing as he does all the cooking in our household, but I may make a few sweet pies in it :)

I'm also looking forward to filling this pretty plant pot she bought us too.

Mum and Dad bought us this door mat, quite appropriate for us if you ask me ha ha.

The girls in the family are also off for a spa day in the new year too.  I can't wait for that.

Marie really spoilt me this year.  With lots of lovely gifts.  I'd seen this door mat in a shop and commented how it looked like our own chickens, she sneakily went back and bought it, the crafty mare.

She knows how much I love Christmas and also bought these cute tea towels and a gorgeous Christmas teapot, which I've forgotten to photograph, you will just have to take my word for it.

She also made this gorgeous table runner.  It's the first thing she has properly sewn and I am thrilled to be the owner of it.  It's absolutely stunning, I love it.  Far too good to get anything spilt on it from the dinner table so it will be used on our dresser or even as a bed runner at the bottom of the bed.

While we are on the subject of handmade gifts.  Another good friend of mine knitted this scarf up for me.  She only started knitting this year so I am overwhelmed with this beauty.

I love the colour of it too, and it feels sooooo soft.  It's perfect.  i really do like a home-made gift :)

The brother in law also did well this year.  He bought me a personalised T-Shirt, which I LOVE.  Plus a pair of Pj bottoms that match perfectly.

James got one too.

My mother in law knows me well.

I've already started filling this in ready for next year.  My Obsessive Christmas Disorder will be taken to a whole new level hahaha.

I'm so pleased with all my gifts this year.  I've done very well, wouldn't you agree?

What were your favourite gifts this year?

Love Gem x x x  

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas

I wanted to stop by to wish you all a very merry Christmas.

Don't panic, this is a scheduled post.

Right now I'm celebrating Christmas with my family.

I'm hoping to pop back before New Years to catch up with you all but until then I hope you enjoy the celebrations.

Love Gem x x x x

Simply Christmas, Creative Stitches & Hobby Craft Show Excel

At the beginning of the month myself and Marie were headed out on another Christmas adventure.  This time to London's Excel for the Simply Christmas, Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts show.  We had been to their craft show earlier in the year and saw this advertised, we made a promise that we would visit seeing as we both adore Christmas.

As soon as we stepped through the entrance the sound of Christmas music greeted us and we both fell in love with this fella.

We wandered around the many stalls buying the odd Christmas gift as well as craft materials, although this was all more Marie than myself.

The displays were my favourite part of the show though.  All of these items had been made by cake, yes cake.  How amazing is that.

I'd definitely go again.

So all that there is to say now is Happy Christmas Eve.

Love Gem x x x x