Monday, 26 December 2011

Happy New Year (Resolution Time).

Happy New Year (nearly) and a very Merry Christmas to everyone! Giddy goodness. I done it again. Huge gap in posts. Ah, well, nearly New Year is as good a time as any to get this wee baby up and running again and it's also resolution time. I'm pants at keeping them so this year I thought long and hard about how I could make things a bit easier for myself. None of this 'win the lottery' or 'build a house from egg boxes' for me. I can't cope with the pressure and then the failure. I thought about the things that annoy me about myself or things that I really wish I was better at and the things I love and came up with this list:

1.  I'm an avid crocheter but I am CRAP at finishing projects. I get half way through, lose interest and move on the the 'next big thing', which also gets abandoned half way through.

2. I would rather eat my own foot than have to turn the oven on. I live off cereal, pasta and pitta breads stuffed with cheese and salad.

3. I've been an Irish Dancer since long before the Riverdance made it fashionable. I started when I was about 7 and stopped at 15. Started again at 21 and stopped about a year and a half ago.

4. I have a massive aversion to getting out of bed in the morning, hit snooze a good 3 times and end up leaving myself with approximately 3 minutes and 28 seconds to wash, dress, eat and get to work.

5. I love this blog but feel so overwhelmed at the quality of all the other blogs I read that I abandon it on a regular basis, convinced I'm boring, crap, never going to match up blah blah.

So, to this end - here be my New Year's Resolutions. Ta-daaah!

1. Started something? Finish it. Stop thinking the next project will be waaaay better than the thing you're half way through. Imagine the pleasure of actually having a finished item that you made.

2. Ok, so you hate cooking. And you're not overly bothered about food to be honest. Start simple. A few ingredients, a small amount of prep and cooking time et voila! A meal that doesn't come out of a cereal box! Make it colourful. Everything looks more appealing when it looks like a big ole rainbow.

3. Dance. You love it, it makes you smile, keeps you fit and gives you knock out legs. Find a local class and get stuck back in.

4. Willpower. That's what is needed here. Think about how you feel in the morning when you are hopping round the room, one leg in your combats, toothbrush in mouth and trying to get your hair up and boots on all at the same time. It sucks. You feel stressed. Make time for a slow start to the day.

5. Sod everyone else. This is your blog. Stop worrying and comparing and just enjoy it. Get rid of the self-induced pressure and write what feels good. Who's going to die because your blog isn't the best in the world? Hmm?

You know what..... I actually think I can do this.... Hurrah for 2012!


Thursday, 3 November 2011

Fear - We all have it.

The lovely Ashley over at Eisy Morgan has recently set up a wee blogging therapy group - a chance for us to all have a little chat about the things that cause us pain and worry and, maybe, to feel a little release after doing so. The prompt for today's session was 'Fear' and I felt an IMMEDIATE need to start clacking away at the keyboard. I'm not one for discussing anything vaguely emotional both in my life or on my blog and the main reason for this.... ? Fear. Fear of being judged, fear of saying too much, fear of making myself vulnerable. I was recently diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) both of which have completely taken over my life. I worry ALL the time about EVERYTHING. I worry that I'm not a good enough Mum but I'm too scared to talk to anyone about it. I worry that I'm failing as a soldier, that I'm weak for not being able to cope with the things I've seen and experienced but to highlight these worries to my bosses? What if they think less of me? What if, what if, what if. My biggest fear? Failure.

Over the last year I have become increasingly more isolated. I stopped eating, sleeping, socialising or leaving the house unless I absolutely had to. I worried people would stare at me in the shops, that I am constantly being judged and falling short. I worry that my blog is crap, that I talk crap and no one gives a shit about my crap. I worry that my clothes aren't up to scratch, that my hair will get laughed at, that if do make an effort people will think I've tried to hard. I worry that I'll never be as fit as I want to be, as slim as I want to be, that I'll never get to travel out of combats , that I may never get a full night's sleep again. I worry that I'll be single forever, that no one could possibly love me, that I am just too much like hard work. I worry. Constantly. And those worries turn in to fear that gnaws away at my stomach and stop me from enjoying just about anything.

I've recently started a long course of therapy and medication and I'm already much better than I was this time last year (when I was pretending everything was ok). And if there's one thing I've learnt it's that this fear has taken over my life. I'm being taught to ask myself 'What's the worst that can happen?' and this ranges from anything as trivial as 'if I wear a nice dress to the shops' to 'if I tell my boss when I'm having a really bad day'. This fear has stopped me from getting out and about with my wee one, from joining a climbing group, from going for the promotion I wanted. My therapist also makes me highlight the things I already CAN do even though I worry I'm not doing them well enough. For example I wear a UK size 10 and I'm 5ft 6. If I wore a smaller size I'd probably look ill so why do I think I need to be slimmer? I can outrun most of the boys I work with because I do phys every day. One because I like to work out and two because it stabilises my anxiety. So why did I think I need to be fitter? Who do I want to be fitter than? Everyone? No one.

The best thing I've learnt is to take each fear, problem and worry and break it down into bitesize chunks and then to deal with each little mouthful separately. And also to look at the bigger picture as highlighted above. I am slim, I am fit and my daughter is outgoing, happy, smiley and bright so I must be doing something right. It's just remembering to remind myself of this stuff EVERDAY so I don't lose focus. I still have much to work on but I'm gritting my teeth and getting stuck in. It's exhausting, painful and slow but I feel a little bit more like me each week so the struggle has GOT to be worth it.

Wow. Did I ever need to get that out in the open. Thanks for listening.

Linking to....

Monday, 24 October 2011

Much Love Monday

What a funny old day. Both Baby Boo and I woke up this morning with the very definite feeling that we didn't want to get out of our pyjamas. So we didn't. We read books, made a mess with some paint, took silly photos, ate chocolate and drank sweet, milky tea.

Sometimes you just need to recharge those batteries. Bliss.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

And she's back!

Ok, so that was a bit of a break but I needed it. The whole negativity thing really got to me but I know I'm not alone in feeling this way so, today, I thought 'sod it!'. I'm just going to do my thing and let everybody else do theirs.

So, what have I up been up to? Lots of crafty stuff mainly. I'm currently in the process of working on my own version of this scarf after seeing it, dribbling, then bawking at the price. I mean, really?!

You can't really see it in the pictures but the black wool has little sparkly bits all the way through and I love it so much! I'm a sucker for glitter. There's a bit of a neon theme throughout too because I spotted some neon wool on eBay and just could. not. resist. despite promising I'd not buy any more yarny stuff until I'd worked my way through my current stash. Whoopsie.

Anyways, good to be back and I hope everyone is ok. Muchos hugs from this here girl.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

I'm about to rant...

For the most part I love blogging and I super love reading blogs but sometimes I see things that make me go a bit red and misty. One of the things really gripping me at the moment is the constant argument over whether we should be able to share other pictures, tutorials, ideas from other people's blogs. I think this depends on the content. And the re-poster's intent. There's a fairly large divide between sharing a tutorial with your readers and, say posting up a tutorial and claiming it as your own. There's a definite right and wrong there and I think most of us have enough integrity and intelligence to know the difference. I'm well aware that there are some that don't but I do think they are in the minority. I rarely see pictures around the blogosphere that don't link back to the original source or at least give credit to the owner.

I recently saw a blog post from someone who is upset about someone 'taking' her pictures and pinning them to Pinterest despite the fact that they gave full credit and when you clicked on the pics they sent you straight back to her blog. I don't see how this is taking?! Pinterest for me in an online scrapbook and saves me hours of printing off, cutting and sticking but I'm wondering if going back to my old methods might be less agro. And what about if I see something I love and stick it on my desktop to show my Mum? Is that allowed? What makes me laugh is that the biggest culprits are often the ones that constantly hold giveaways, sell ad space and sponsorship and are constantly trying to draw in more readers. You'd think they'd be kind of pleased and flattered that people are promoting the good things they do at no cost to them, surely? Or am I totally wrong here?

I also have a big problem with people that write shitty posts and then use a bad day, week, month as the reason behind it. This, to me, is akin to texting when drunk. I have had some bloody awful days recently but did any of you lot know how awful? No, because I don't feel this is the place to air my dirty washing. I pick up the phone for a good whinge. I don't hit out at the lovely people that take the time and effort to read my rambling (that would be you gorgeous lot) so to drop a shit bomb every time I feel a bit crap.... not fair, really is it?

When I use images in my blog I credit them. If I can't, I put a shout out to anyone that might know the original source and I never claim them as my own. Same with tutorials. If I had to write and get permission from everyone whose pictures I use I'd never have time to blog.... or hoover.... or sew.... or crochet. It's all got a bit silly really. There's a severe case of Princess-itus going round if you ask me. Not that you did. Just saying.

End of rant.

Cartoon by Cox and Forkum

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The One Where I felt OLD....

On Tuesday we celebrated my baby sister's twentieth birthday. Twenty! When did that happen?!  Friends and family gathered in our garden for a BBQ in true British style..... flash downpours, thunder, 30 people crammed in to a gazebo fit for 10..... and Baby Sister opened her presents with Bruno Mars serenading her quietly in the background.

About every ten seconds she suddenly looked up and exclaimed 'OMG! I'm 20! I'm like really old now. I gritted my teeth trying not to bemoan out load the fact that I turn 31 next month. Old indeed!

Saying that, I remember 20 vividly. I had a ten month old baby who, on the positive side, could melt my insides with one toothy grin, but, on the negative, wasn't really in to the whole sleeping thing. I was about half way through an 18 month language course which meant studying every night and I could regularly be found in the early hours pacing the living room floor flashcards in one hand, grumpy baby in the other. I remember 20 being exhausting. Enlightening but exhausting. Thirty one's not so bad. And I really feel like I'm getting the hang of this adult thing. Better yet, I have an 11 year old...... who sleeps through the night! Yeah, baby! Take THAT, 20!

Happy Birthday Bob Bob. Love you lots like jelly tots.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

I made.... something!

As many of you know I am totally addicted to crochet. What started as a simple way to pass the time of an evening is now bordering on obsession. What you don't know, however, is that (before today) I'd yet to finish a single project. I know, disgusting right? I get so excited when I come across new projects in magazines, on blogs, youtube etc that whatever I'm working on promptly gets abandoned so I can take up this much newer, much more exciting task.... ahem. With this troubling me as I tried to sleep last night, I got up this morning, shoved cinnamon and raisin bread in the toaster and dived head first in to my WIP box (which is bigger than your average caravan - I really must get a grip).

Lo and behold, two hours, two slices of toast, four cups of tea and a chocolate biscuit later and Ta-DAAH!!!

A hat!

Crocheted in the garden during this freakishly hot weather we're having in the UK.  Ah well, no need to worry.... it'll be freezing in a couple of days if normal British summers are anything to go by and then I can stroll around town in my new woolly creation. Plus I now know what everyone is getting for Christmas....

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Long overdue...

Oh my giddy goodness. I can't believe how long we've been away. The whole moving thing.... much more of a nightmare than I envisaged it to be (despite the fact that this is our 8th move in 12 years...). It all started with the removal men turning up a day late - cue much crying, shouting and kicking of boxes - and got progressively worse from there. I won't bore you with the details but, suffice to say, the last few weeks have been severely lacking in morale and not even chocolate donuts could bring a smile to my face. We're all sorted now though, which is the main thing, and our small, little house is really coming together. It feels homely and comfortable and it's close enough to my Mum that we can turn up on the doorstep demanding to be fed when I can't be bothered with the whole oven thing..... much easier to just use it as extra storage space in the kitchen :)

Anyway, I'll leave you with some pics and a big hug for everyone that stuck around long enough to read this post. I've been desperate to sit down and write. Tis lovely to be back.

My Babies

C'est Moi!

The man in my life

My pretty, new sandals

The gorgeous Robbie - lead singer of my
FAVE band.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Stick with me...

The madness is almost over. Please wait for me! Back real soon, I promise. Thank you for all the lovely comments you've left whilst I've been running round like a headless chicken. Really boosted my flagging morale :) You guys are fab.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Must. Motivate.

You know how I'm moving from Germany to the UK in 8 days? And how I should be all motivated and stuff. Putting things in boxes, cleaning windows, dismantling beds etc....?

Well, I keep getting distracted. Boxes are AWESOME! You can make transmogifiers out of them....

And robots...

And cars...

Cakes even!!


Now help me get back on track. Before the removal men turn up and find me playing Cowboys and Indians in my very own fort....

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

We have a HOUSE!!

Baby Boo and I have finally been allocated a house!! With 17 days left until we move. Luckily we've doing this thing long enough and completed enough manic pack moves to know that everything is always left to the last minute with Her Majesty's fine Army!

I can't believe we actually have an address. Bricks and mortar. It's been a long time coming. We were due posting last November but, due a housing shortage in the area we're posted to, we've just had to sit back and wait. That's the official reason anyway. I reckon it's got more to do with the fact that, due to budget cuts, the Housing Office were told they had to downsize from Krispy Kreme donuts to digestive biscuits at coffee break and this was their revenge. Just a theory, mind.

Still, it's all sorted now. The house is small and the garden is about the size of a postage stamp but, quite frankly, they could have allocated us a tent and we'd have found a way to get the sofa in.

Army houses are always painted Magnolia (dirty cream), have either blue, green, dusky pink or claret carpets, heavily flowered curtains and the kitchens and bathrooms often leave a lot to be desired. If there's one thing you learn very quickly as a soldier it's how to make the best of what you've got. We are masters at finding the perfect rug, whipping up the perfect window dressings and covering the walls with as many pictures and photos as possible. Oh, and we always buy plain coloured sofas. I once made the mistake of having the most gorgeous purple sofa and was allocated a house with claret (dark, yucky red) carpets. Two years of walking in to my living room and having to swallow back vomit taught me a lesson or two.

Also, when you move out of an Army house it has to be left exactly as you found it so we don't often paint the walls. Blu-tack is our friend. Painting them back just adds to the stress of the three million other things you need to do including packing and scrubbing the house to within an inch of it's life. If it's not 'Army clean' you get charged.

So what better way to celebrate than with a big cup of tea, a donut (take THAT, housing office) and a mooch through my inspiration folder?

** I've had the majority of these lovely pics for yonks and failed to save sources. If they belong to you or you know who they do belong to please let me know. Credit where credit's due **







Saturday, 14 May 2011

Why I blog...

Why do we blog? Do you ever ask yourself that question? I never had until today but after reading Alycia's post over at The Curious Pug I couldn't stop asking myself. I got so absorbed in this one, little question that my cup of tea went cold and I forgot to eat the three Jaffa Cakes I'd just stealthily removed from the biscuit tin! I know! I forgot to eat biscuits! I still haven't really answered this question to my satisfaction but I came up with a few things.

1. I started blogging out of pure jealousy. I saw pretty, inspirational, funny blogs and I wanted one. Simple as that. I still have a long way to go but I'll get there one day. I still very much feel like a newbie.

2. When Baby Boo first went to boarding school I was so lonely and so sad that I completely shut myself away from 'real' people. Not that you guys aren't real but the people I worked with, socialised with - I cut them all off. I just wanted to cry... and you can write blog posts without anyone ever knowing you have tears running down your face. This doesn't work so well with face to face conversations. Funnily enough.

3. I discovered 'crafting' soon after Boo went to school and I kind of hoped that one day I'd be good enough at something to be able to do cute tutorials for the cute things I've made. Still working on this one too. It's not helped by the fact that I'm still in that phase of trying everything because it's still so new and exciting.

4. Once I'd started blogging and discovered how much I enjoyed it, I vowed to get better at it. To build the kind of blog I'd always wanted when I first began reading other people's. I want to learn html and photoshop and learn how to take good pictures and how to write things people will enjoy reading without compromising me and the things I want to write about.

5. It's made me realise what a big place the world is. I love reading blogs from the US and Australia and the UK and Japan and... well, you get the picture. It's nice to throw a little bit of Germany in to the mix. Though with our move back to England I'll just have to blog about the good old North East coast! Stand by, stand by! 

6. To make new friends. I love people. People are awesome.

How about you? Why do you blog? Pop over to The Curious Pug for a little linky party.


Monday, 9 May 2011

Much Love Monday

I'm still loving crochet. I'm also loving that I'm getting more confident and more experimental as each day passes....and I'm loving that every time I manage to make something I want to run down the street, bang on people's doors and scream 'LOOK WHAT I DID!' before thrusting my latest creation in their faces.

Ok, so it's just a bit of fabric and a bit of pretty crochet edging but I made it all by myself! And now I'm giggling because I'm all pleased and stuff!

You watch.... by next week I'll be whipping up something like this!

Too cool - check it out

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Sleep? It rings a bell....

I've been awake for 52 hours. I'd like to tell you I'm doing it for charity but, truth be told, I'm just having one of those stressy, worry about anything and everything weeks and I still feel unsettled without Baby Boo. I'm beyond exhausted, slightly on the hyper side and possibly bordering on deleriousness (yes, it IS a word. Well, it is now).

Going without sleep = bad
Discovering new internet goodies as a result = hurrah!

Look what I found whilst googling 'pesto pasta'..... at 3am this morning....

Food Gawker! How have I never found this before?! A website where all the best foody blogs in the world kindly place all their yummy recipes in one spot with links to their blogs saving me hours of searching and RSI!! I found this scrummy recipe and even dribbled a bit at the picture. It's ok, I had my PJ's on.

Gimme some Oven Found via Food Gawker!

I know! Amazing, right? Wait, gets better....

Dwelling Gawker! Yep, thousands and millions of pictures of fabbity, gorgeous homes. Suddenly 3am isn't so bad though it would be much better if I lived here and could nip out for a night time swim....

Studio Home found via Dwelling Gawker.
Yeah baby!

Oh, did you think I was finished? Nope, saving the best for last....

Craft Gawker! By the time I found this I was almost wetting myself with excitement. Seriously. I may even have jumped up and down on my bed a bit. Maybe.

I'm heading down town in a bit so I can buy what I need to make this!

Between the Lines found via Craft Gawker.

Happy browsing everyone. Let me know what you think. Just nudge me if my eyes are shut.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

I miss my Baby Boo.

That's the little one back at boarding school. I feel bereft. I miss her already. We've had such an awesome couple of weeks and the weather has been beyond fab so lots of lovely, ice creamy days were had. And not just little ice creams but big, fat, holy cow I'm never eating again ice creams...

Nails were painted...

Granny Squares were made...

Pets were much loved...

Silly sunglasses were worn...

Mummy and Boo were at their most blissful...

Roll on the summer holidays when hopefully we'll be able to get some swimming in..... in the North Sea! Brrr! We is brave. Well, Boo is. I'm going out on a surf board so I don't have to get my feet wet.

On another note entirely, 3 sleeps until the Royal Wedding! I'm actually quite excited considering my interest in the Royal Family normally only runs to reading what mischief Prince 'Bad Boy' Harry has been up to.

Hope you all had an awesome Easter. I'm off to run off my chocolate feast. Might even throw in a sit up or two.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Winner winner winner!!!

Just popping on to announce the winner of the fab-a-dooody sponge mic giveaway. Will be back tomorrow with pics of moi et Baby Boo and the fabulous Easter Hols we've just had. She's back to school tomorrow so I will be able to sit still for five minutes, breathe and write me a blog post. If I could bottle that kid's energy and sell it I would be so rich I'd never have to turn away a pretty pair of shoes....EVER.

Ok, I just used to draw the winner and it gave me number 9!! However, on account of my complete and utter lack of computer skills, I can't figure out how to display the widget with the result attached and I'm too scared to play with html stuff so you're just going to have to trust me. Next time I am drawing numbers out of a hat....

Congratulations Andy!! Hope your girls love it. I've sent you an email so you can let me know where you want your prize sending. Oh, that felt so good. I'll have to have another give away soon. Who knew they could be such fun?! Thank you for entering and giving me that warm, gooey feeling that comes with doing something nice.


Monday, 18 April 2011

Do Re Mi Fa....And a giveaway!

I was standing at the sink earlier washing up the dishes from dinner and daydreaming when my pink and floaty thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a cat fight from upstairs. No, no... a lion fight. Actually, what's bigger and louder than a lion? Well, it was one of those and it was being tortured! Abandoning the dishes I shot upstairs and realised, with some alarm, that the bigger than a lion thing was my very own Baby Boo.... singing.... in the shower. What is it about the shower that makes you sing loudly and and with the kind of passion that normally involves several alcoholic drinks and SingStar? And why does everyone sound like Pink,Taylor Swift and Karen Carpenter all rolled in to one only to discover the next time they hit the karaoke that they can't hold a single note?

C'mon.... time to share your shower songs. I will if you will. And the best song (as voted for by will win one of these babies bought with my very own pennies.

Yes, that is a sponge shaped like a microphone. And yes, you do need one even though you didn't know you did. I came across it whilst googling 'singing in the shower' pics and it was just too good an opportunity for a fab first giveaway :) All entries need to be in by Friday 22 April @ 1300hrs (CET).

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Blissful Week

Oh my giddy goodness. Another week (and a bit) gone by. Where do the hours go? I swear this whole 24 hour thing is a myth. Want to see what I've been up to? Huh? You do...go on, you know you do.

I had the best weekend last weekend in the UK. Like best ever. On the Friday I got to see my biggest cousin get married. In shoes that made me look like a hooker. Only I didn't realise they made me look like a hooker until I saw the photos after. Awesome.

I got to meet my middle cousin's fiancĂ©. They're getting married in July in a biiiiiiig, beautiful barn and I can't wait for the wedding. Let the dancing commence.... in pretty shoes. Not hooker shoes.

I got to meet my baby cousin'! Tell me you don't want to take a big bite out of him. Too gorgeous for words. He didn't care what shoes I was wearing so long as I kept blowing raspberries on his chubby, little cheeks.

On Saturday I hit Oxford Street in London for shopping and lunch with my bestest buddy and my handsome God-son, Little J. Hamley's didn't know what hit them when we walked in. I'm not sure who was more excited actually. Me or Little J? The guys there have the best job in the world. They turn up, play all day then go home again. I mean, really?

It was totally a weekend for seeing all my favourite people. And the best bit? I got to see my most favourite person in the whole wide world. And I got to bring her home to Germany for THREE WHOLE WEEKS!

Welcome home Baby Boo. Mummy missed you. And the noise you bring with you. Now be a good girl and turn your music down.... No, no! Just kidding!

Hope everyone is feeling as blissful as I am right now :)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Manic manic manic...

Aaaargh! Can't believe it's nearly a week since I last posted. Bad blogger! I'm so sorry. I was supposed to be flying back to the UK for a wedding this weekend and then going up North to spend the Easter holidays with Baby Boo but, as often happens in my job, I now have to fly back to Germany the Monday after the wedding and have spent the last few days running around like a mad'un cancelling flights, booking flights and sorting out a way to get Baby Boo from North to South so she can come back with me and spend Easter here instead. I'm feeling frazzled. Lots of crafty projects to share over the next couple of weeks and I'm still keeping up with my blog reading even if the blog writing kinda went out the window this week. Must. Breath. In. Out. In. Out.

Oh yes please.... via.