Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sunday - it's a funny day.

I always find Sundays really hard work. I don't know if it's because, traditionally, it's supposed to be a day of peace and calm and I am crap at sitting still but I always find I play the 'my life would be so much better if' game an awful lot on Sundays. Does anyone else do this? My life would be better if I was thinner, fatter, taller, smaller, richer, poorer...... ? Sometimes I wish for important things and other times I wish for silly things. My current list goes something like this:

My life would be better if I lived here:

Or if I had a craft room

Or these shoes

Or if I could take a gap year (at the age of 30!) and go backpacking

Am I too old to go backpacking? That's something else I worry about (mainly on Sundays). Would I get laughed at by all the young ones? Sigh. I need to go do something productive. Then I won't have time for all this thinking. Time to break out the crochet....

Friday, 25 February 2011

Blonde Moment

It all began fairly innocently on Wednesday evening at Leeds airport as I prepared to fly back to Germany. I'd arrived on time, checked in my bag, grabbed a cup of tea and was waiting in line at the gate waiting to board. I managed to safely navigate my way on to the tarmac without dropping my hand luggage, spilling my tea, losing my book page and, being the clumsy oaf that I am, I was congratulating myself on a job well done. On flashing my boarding pass and being directed to my seat I got myself comfortable, strapped on my belt and settled back in to my book. As I turned the page my ears pricked up and I tuned in to the loveliest of Irish accents. I am a sucker for the Irish accent. Seriously, my knees go wobbly and everything. I lived in Northern Ireland for a year and used to blush when the young lad in KFC asked if I wanted ketchup with my meal. I then realised that there were actually a whole group of Irish accents behind me and could feel girlishly giggles starting to build in my chest. Determined not to embarrass myself I desperately tried to refocus on my book but the melodic Irish brogues kept breaking through my concentration. About two minutes later a middle aged man approached me and announced in yet another Irish accent that he thought I might be sitting in his seat but that he was happy to toss a coin as to who sat on whose lap. Now at this point I started to wonder if there was some big football match between Northern Ireland and Germany that I was unaware of. Either that or I was being punked. Luckily this was soon cleared up by the pilot who announced that the flight to Belfast looked like it was going to be a smooth and clear one. Yes. Belfast.  A lovely city but a bit further east than I was hoping for seeing as I was supposed to be on a plane to Dusseldorf.

Mortified is not the word. I had to clamber out of my seat (which wasn't actually mine at all), walk (sprint) the entire length of the plane, bashing people round the back of the head with my handbag in my panic. The air steward, bless him, was lovely and calmly radioed to the Dusseldorf plane that 'we've got one of yours on ours' and I was rushed back across the tarmac and settled in to my new and improved seat. New and improved because it was actually mine. Oh happy days. The air stewardess on board the Germany flight laughed the whole way across the North Sea but, in fairness, I did get a free ham and cheese toastie.

Blonde moment aside, it's a bit worrying though isn't it? I got all the way onto a plane that I wasn't even supposed to be on despite having my boarding pass checked on three different occasions by three different people. Makes you wonder why they bother to get you to remove your shoes and check the inside of your toothpaste tube in the first place....

I love Belfast

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Lost my love for lunges...

I'm in a rut. A training black hole if you will. I love exercise. I love running, I get a buzz out of doing sit-ups, I do lunges round the house because I love that achy feeling the next day that tells you you had a really good workout. If I don't end a session hot, sweaty and gasping for breath I don't feel like I've worked hard enough (you gotta love how the Army brainwashes you). I love exercise. Yet, for the last two weeks, I have NOT been able to motivate myself to even consider putting my trainers on. I feel blah at the mere thought of dragging myself out of the house for a good run and that's so not like me. I feel guilty for not doing anything for two weeks but even that is not enough to push me out the door. Now I'm sitting here feeling like I'm a good two dress sizes bigger than I probably am. BLAH! The stupid thing is....I feel so much better after a good session. It sets me up for the day, gives me some colour in, my otherwise very pale, face and I have so more energy. Plus I can eat without feeling like it's going to make me ten stone heavier....

I'm trying these out for inspiration.

A nice run by the sea..Source unknown
Zest Mag
It might be working. Slowly. Might attempt a few lunges round the kitchen tomorrow. See how it feels. What do you do when your motivation packs it bags and fecks off on holiday without telling you?

Monday, 21 February 2011

Much Love Monday

Today I'm loving starting a new project. I'm about 1/28 through a crochet blanket which, because I crochet slower than a monkey with no hands, is starting to make me feel a bit grrrrrrrrrrrrr. And I don't like to feel grrrrrrrrrrrr. So I'm putting it aside for today and starting on this instead.....

I've not done much embroidery so lets hope it goes a bit faster than the crochet. Ahem. The pretty little house is from The Floss Box which has loads of free embroidery and cross stitch patterns, all of them gorgeous.

Happy Monday, everyone. Don't worry, it's nearly the weekend....

Linking to 'Much Love' because it gives me something to look forward to on a Monday!

PS. Please excuse my shockingly crap picture taking. It's on my 'List of things to improve on' which is growing every hour...

Friday, 18 February 2011

I am chuffed to bits!

Remember a few days back I mentioned Boo and I snuggling up under the quilt I made her? Well, I thought I'd show it off a bit. It's the first quilt I've ever made and now I want to make a million more! Saying that, this one was supposed to be finished a little while ago (ok, a BIG while ago) but now it's finished I want to start another one straight away! It's got mistakes unique, quirky bits all over it but I love it and, more importantly Baby Boo does too.

I did that twirly, whirly stitching (stippling?) which I think looks pretty cool and feeding the quilt through the machine gave me biceps to be proud of. Who knew quilting was such a workout?! Right, off to pick out fabric for quilt number 2.

PS. Sorry about the grey skies. I did ask the weather fairy for blue with a hint of fluffy cloud but she muttered something about budget cuts and so that was that. Linking to Whipperberry's Friday Flair with the 'Baby Boo Quilt'.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Me and my labels.

So today I thought I'd share a few things with you about me. There are two 'labels' that sum me up quite quickly. Mummy. Soldier. My life revolves around these two words and just about everything I do is connected to one or the other. So here we go.....grab yourself a cuppa. Not for any particular reason but just because I have a lovely big mug of tea next to me.

1. I joined the Army straight from school after my parents refused to pay for me to go to drama school. I'm not quite sure where the idea to join the Army came from and I wasn't one of these kids that always dreamed of being a soldier. On my first day in uniform when asked why I had signed up I was honest and stated 'Well, Sgt, I wanted to be on the stage in the West End but my Mum said it wasn't really a career so here I am'. I spent the next ten minutes being roared at and doing press ups. Despite this slightly shaky start I love what I do. I grew in to the role and I love that I was financially independent at such a young age. At 17 I was running my own car and had my first mobile phone. It was a great brick of a thing and I still have over developed muscles in one arm from lugging the stupid thing about.

2. At 18 I got pregnant with my daughter. It became very apparent, very quickly that, if I was going to have this baby, I would be going it alone. So I did, despite many many many people telling me there was no way I would cope. I'm stubborn like that. And thank God. Baby Boo is the best thing that ever happened to me. She keeps me grounded and I love her so much it actually hurts sometimes. It has been bloody hard work juggling both Boo and the Army and we've had some rough times but we've got through them and my little girl is always smiling. I'm one proud Mama.

3. I'm currently serving out in Germany and we've been stationed out there for nearly three years now (which means a posting back to the UK is imminent. Hurrah!). We've also lived all over England and also Northern Ireland. Germany is one lovely country and Baby Boo and I have taken the time to explore and seen some beautiful sights. I am totally in love with Bavaria and would happily settle for life in a little log cabin at the foot of the Bavarian Mountains. I'd buy a cow with a big bell and spend my summers hill walking and my winters skiing.

4. I was last deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan which was one of the most mentally and physically draining things any soldier will do. Sometimes I was so tired I could barely remember my own name. Saying that, I still found time to play in the sand...... thanks for my present Mum!

5. Boo goes to a private boarding school and has been there for a year now. By the time she was ten she had been to more than 6 schools and the amount of moving around we were doing was so unsettling for her. She was also at the age where she was making proper friends and leaving them every couple of years was starting to take it's toll. I miss her desperately and frequently have to fight to stop myself from bringing her home but reading her school report (my kid is awesome) and talking to her teachers (yep....plain awesome) reminds why we did this. I am also scared she's going to leave there at the age of 18 with a posh accent but I can beat that out of her if need be ;)

So there you go. A bit about me. Mummy. Soldier. Fiercely proud of both. I love my labels.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I hope everyone is feeling loved and treasured on this fine day? Doesn't have to be your husband/wife/partner for those of us that are single. My unconditional love is coming from my gorgeous 11 year old who loves me even when I get so absorbed in a book that I burn her dinner. Bless you, Baby Boo and thank goodness for iron-clad stomachs. I also have Mum's dog, Guinness, lying on my feet looking up at me adoringly. It might be because I have a cheese sandwich on my lap or it might just be because he luffs me very much.

Today I am loving that Valentine's Day has fallen on a Monday so that I can link up with 'Much Love Monday' with these crochet hearts I sat and worked my way through last night!

I used the lovely Bella Dia's tutorial and it was so simple to follow. I'm a little bit in love with them, truth be told.

If you are also in to crochet hearts then pop back tomorrow for a completely unrelated post that has nothing to do with crochet hearts whatsoever! I thought it might be time to tell you a bit about me, Baby Boo and our life as a soldier and soldier's daughter :) Some will relate, some might enjoy and some will be so bored that they'll want to pick out their eyeballs bit by bit just for something to do! So something for everybody.... that's always good, right?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

I won something!!!

A lot of the blogs I read have some of the most gorgeous giveaways and if it's something that I would genuinely use, something that makes my tummy tickle from the inside or something that has me hopping up and down in my seat then I enter. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those obsessive compulsive giveaway comment leavers but sometimes you see something and that little voice in your head says 'Holy McFlipper! I will DIE without this lovely bit of gorgeousness!' This particular giveaway (the one that I WON...did I mention that already?) was definitely a 'Holy McFlipper' moment. Whilst catching up on my Google reader goodies I spotted this post from the lovely Little Chief Honeybee offering the chance to win a $75 voucher for Tiffany DeMichele's etsy shop. Tiffany makes and sells wigs in the most glorious of colours and I instantly fell in love with all of the them! I'm in the Army and I'm only allowed to dye my hair a colour I could have been born with and yet, sometimes, I have this overwhelming urge to dye it every colour of the rainbow (probably because I'm not allowed - I'm such a wannabe rebel). I have a red wash in/wash out thingy on my hair at the moment because I'm on leave for two weeks but they last about as long as a cupcake does when my Baby Boo is within sniffing distance so I am chuffed to bits that I can now treat myself to a wig that will make me feel that little bit more unique and special. Many thanks Kaelah and Tiffany. You are officially awesome (but you knew that anyway). Now which one should I choose.... ?

Friday, 11 February 2011

Today = Awesomeness

Today has been such a lovely day. I arrived in the UK late Wednesday night and spent a lovely day yesterday with my Mum and Step-dad. This morning I got up and spent a little time on this wee blanket that is slowly growing day by day...

Then I made heart shapes out of the you do...

THEN... and here's the best bit... I drove across the North York Moors (in thick fog) to pick up my Baby Boo from boarding school for her half term holiday! Hurrah! I am complete again. We got back to Mum's, tucked in to mince and mashed potatoes and then snuggled up under Boo's patchwork quilt, which I only just finished yesterday, and watched the Chronicles of Narnia.

I am now snuggled up in bed with my whole world snoring next to me. I give it half an hour before I'm fighting her for the quilt.... Welcome home, Baby Boo xxx

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

A little Lemon Yellow....

Lemon yellow is the colour I most associate with Spring. Pretty, subdued and pastel. That's three posts on Spring and your know why? Because the sun has been shining for three days straight over here in Germany! After a long, cold, dreary Winter I can actually feel a little bit of hope building up inside me that THIS is going to be a good year. Sigh. Anyone know what the weather is like in the UK? I'm flying in tonight for two weeks with my lovely family and I plan to spend as much time down on the beach as I can. Hell, I'd sleep down there if there wasn't a risk that the north-east winds would blow me straight in to the sea tent and all!


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Hello Spring!

Another beautifully crisp and sunny day. On days like this I love living in Germany. The scenery, cleanliness and the complete and utter love the Germans have for their homes and gardens is so much more apparent than in the UK. As soon as Spring rears it's pretty little head the lovely people of Deutschland can be seen sweeping the paths outside their houses, weeding the pavements and smiling and waving at everyone that passes. There is still such a sense of community over here...something I sometimes feel disappeared with the 70s back home. Wouldn't it be nice to go back to the days where neighbours actually knew other's names and regularly spent hours chatting over the garden fence? Where the whole street clubbed together when someone was sick to help with housework and children? When it was safe for your kids to wander more than 5 feet from home in order to climb trees, fish in the rivers, get covered in mud and then return home exhausted but happy. Ok, ok so I know I'm probably seeing the past through rose-tinted glasses but rose-tinted just makes for such a lovely hue don't you think?


Monday, 7 February 2011

I'm loving...

That when I woke up this morning the sun was peeking through my curtains and the sky was bluer than an Eskimo's bum! I haven't been this excited in days! I rushed downstairs, shoved my feet in to my wellies, grabbed the dog lead, opened the back door and shouted the dog before removing my wellies and rushing back upstairs to get out of my PJ's. Whoops. Once I'd managed to master the whole getting dressed thing Sandy Dog and I spent a blissful two hours skipping through the woods and marvelling at the warmth of the sun on our faces. Hurrah for spring! What are you loving on this gorgeously awesome day? Get yourself over to MUCH LOVE and join in 'Much Love Monday'.


Saturday, 5 February 2011

Memory Lane

Whilst catching up on one of fave blogs recently I came across this over at Strumpet's Crumpets and HAD to share. It's such a lovely idea and so, without further ado..... This handsome little fellow is David (who joined us for a photo shoot a couple of years back).

David originally belonged to Mum but made his way in to my cot soon after I was born. I love him more than cupcakes and would seriously DIE if anything happened to him. He's been everywhere with me over the years. Every sleepover, a school trip to Austria, all round Germany whenever we get the travel bug and he's also lucky enough to have been to Florida with us. He even came to Afghanistan with me when I was deployed last year. I think the idea was that, once I had children of my own, he would be passed down through the family but I am SO not ready to give David up yet so I just share him with Baby Boo when she needs a special cuddle and none of her own teddies will do. He still sleeps on my bed and I'm not ashamed to admit that I regularly doze off with him wrapped up in my arms. Thanks David for being the most special bear ever.

PS. Becky..... David thinks Lucy is rather cute. Just thought you should know.

Brown paper packages tied up with string...

These are a few of my favourite things.

Clockwise: Sign, Dress, Cup, Bird, Fabric, Rabbit

Friday, 4 February 2011

My baby is awesome!

You know when your child does something that makes your heart sing? Today was one of those days when my heart sang, did a little happy dance and threw a backflip in for good measure. My gorgeous little girl recently went for her school council. She wrote a speech, stood up in front of the whole school, smiled sweetly and gave it to them gooood! And she won!! The only one from her year to be voted in! Man, I'm proud. Well done Baby Boo. Have an extra £5 pocket money on me. Love ya!!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Fashion - it's a funny thing...

Ok, so the other day I hit the shops with a desperate need to buy something, anything, to update my wardrobe. I didn't really know what I wanted or what I was looking for. Skirt, jumper, shoes? What colour? I should know better to go shopping when I'm like this. I get frustrated and, erm, so do the people shopping with me. Those that are still prepared to come...sigh. As luck would have it, though, I stumbled across this.....

From New Look
And so began the love story of the month. I'm currently trying to incorporate it into every outfit, every day. I'm so in love with my snuggly buggly cardigan. If someone had told me this time last year I would be going out of my way to wear brown I'd have laughed. Hard. And maybe even snorted a bit. But there you have it! And on a similar note, know what my Mum said when she saw it? She said, and I quote.....

"If I'd told you before you went out that you'd come back with poo coloured granny wear you'd never have believed me." 

Uh, thanks Mum.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Once upon a time.....

There was a girl. And this girl had a blog. It wasn't the best blog but it was a blog all the same. Overtime the girl realised that actually this blog was rather blah and, being the perfectionist that she is, she stopped writing that blog because it just didn't feel right. Then, after having a little think, she started a new one. She's fickle like that..

I love me some letterpress..