Monday, 24 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

Joining in again with Sian and the Monday Memo Makers where we share our mail, our Mondays and anything new we have learned.  

This little beauty arrived with my mail this weekend which is the perfect cue to put the kettle on, brew up a cup of tea, dive into the cake tin for a rock cake and sit in the sun having a good relaxing read.  
It's such a lovely magazine, and about the only magazine I've subscribed to that I have found my husband looking at from time to time!  

So after a half an hour reading and relaxing it was with a relaxed sense of calm that I opened the other mail, that envelope that we'd both not bothered to open as it was simply addressed to 'the occupier'.  To discover that a house just around the corner has put in a planning application to change it from a mock Tudor red brick and timber frontage (in line with all the other houses in the road) to an ultra modern, white rendered, grey tiled property.  I think they've been watching Grand Designs.  We have no issue with them demolishing all internal walls, extending out the back, moving rooms around, and adding a huge glass verandah to run the whole width of the back of the house - after all, what happens indoors, stays indoors - but changing completely the whole style of the exterior?  It would look so out of place and completely at odds with the rest of the street, and so, for the first time ever, we will be objecting to a planning permission!  The design they've chosen is very modern, and would look lovely in the right location, but that location isn't in the middle of a row of traditionally styled houses.  Watch this space ...

Anything else new?  Well I've now made 30 flowers - yes I know that the number hasn't increased dramatically, let's skip over that.  However ... there is something new to report

I have finally got to grips with that hot glue gun ...

I can see me getting quite carried away with this new toy piece of crafting equipment.  So all 12 wicker hearts now have three little rose buds on them and look very pretty, and I am currently trying to think of what other projects I can come up with that may involve a bit of hot glue gun action. 

Talking of weddings, a new pair of shoes has joined my wardrobe.  Grey suede, rather gorgeous, and hopefully part of the MOTB wedding outfit.  I just need to have the bride give her opinion on them.  But they're staying whether I wear them to the wedding or not, because they fit beautifully and I absolutely love them.

So that's what is new in my world, I'm just of to Sian's to see what's happening with everyone else.  Happy Monday everyone!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

The very best of good intentions is my theme for my Monday post, linking in with Sian and the other Monday memo makers. Which has nothing at all to do with any intention to restrain myself from eating chocolate for breakfast yesterday.  But if that had been my intention, it is only fair to be honest and say I failed miserably.  No, this is an intention to dust off the sewing machine ...

"Let's completely refurbish the conservatory" said my husband, so we did.  New roof, new windows, new window sills. 

"As it looks so lovely and new again, let's replace the furniture too" he said, so we did.  

"That quilt that Coco likes to sit on when she's enjoying the sun on the sofa out there is looking old and faded" I said, "I'm going to order some new fabric to make a new quilt to pick out the colours of the buttons on the new sofa", so I did. 

"I'm going to make a start on that new quilt as soon as the fabric arrives" I said, but I didn't.  

Before I give you my excuses as to why I haven't even cut out so much as a square of fabric, let me first take your mind off the fact that I've not started what I promised by sharing with you a picture of the fabric that I bought.

I think it will look nice.  
When I get round to cutting it out and sewing it together.  
Which may not be any time soon.  

Because no matter how good my intentions are to get going on that project,  my other mail this week included the ingredients needed to make these ...

We're going to hang a little decorated wicker heart on the end chair of each alternate row along the aisle of the room where Rachel is getting married.  Which means we need 12. I thought I could get away with just winding the stem of each flower into the wicker but I don't think that it's going to be sturdy enough.  So it means that I need to get to grips with a hot glue gun.  Which I have never done before; wish me luck!

I also received the paper to make these ...

My dear friend Denise very kindly cut out the petals for me, and I 'just' have to curl and cut and stick them together to make flowers which will eventually be stuck onto ribbon (more hot glue gun action) to wind round serviettes on the dinner tables at the reception.  Since taking this photo I've done a few more and it total I now have 26 finished roses.   

I need 80.

You see my dilemma - there is no time constraint on making a quilt but I have a deadline for the flowers!  I know it seems like I have a long time but you have no idea how long it takes me to do each flower.

So that's me for this Monday, sitting amid a crumpled heap of metallic foil which once decorated an Easter egg, and trying to get rid of the crumbs of chocolate from the keyboard of the computer.  Let's hide the evidence eh?  

Friday, 14 April 2017

Liberate Your Art 2017

I'm not sure what made me decide to join in with Liberate Your Art for the first time last year.  One of those spur of the moment things I guess, because there is no way on earth that I consider myself an 'artist'.  I have trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler, so there is no paint related artist blood running through my veins!  So when I read through the sign up post I realised that art takes many forms, not just the initial idea of paint on canvas.  I've always been keen to create - whether it be by sewing, knitting or sticking bits of paper onto other bits of paper and creating scrapbook pages - so as a 'newbie' to LYA I photographed things that I had made as examples of my 'art'.

When the LYA mail started arriving last year I discovered that out of the postcards I received, some of my favourites were photographs and I realised that you don't actually have to physically make something for it to be art, that you can make art through the lens of a camera.  I filed that idea away for the coming year's project!

Enough of my history with LYA - let me share some very special mail that has arrived on my door mat within the last couple of weeks.

Aren't they fabulous?

From street life observations, finding art in a close up view of a vintage object, collage, and original art. 

And along the way I've discovered new blogs to check out and new Instagram accounts to follow.  None of which would have happened if I hadn't been brave enough to put my insecurities aside and sign up and join in.  My postcards came from many different states in America and one from Europe.  Yes, one postcard had a very long round trip from Slovenia to America and then America to England!  Now I'm thinking, we need to advertise this more in countries this side of the Atlantic - so please consider joining in next year.  It's always good to receive Happy Mail, be inspired by others and forge new acquaintanceships.

For my postcards this year I didn't photograph 'things' that I had made, but when I was on holiday last year I kept an eye out for things that I thought may be suitable for making into a postcard.   Inspiration came in many ways!  While on holiday in Portugal I found some very clever street art painted onto old crumbling cement walls.  Then while laying on a sunlounger and staring up at the sky I noticed how striking the opening petals of a lily growing on the patio looked against the blue, and on an early morning walk, the blossom on the tree looked pretty with the sun gently shining through the branches.  A trip to the English coastline gave me inspiration for my final card.  I love beach huts, and we are lucky to live in an area which is well known for its colourful huts along the sea front.  These were taken while walking between Frinton on Sea and Walton on the Naze on the Essex coast.  So these were the five postcards that I sent out.

 Please do visit Kat's blog to see the kind of mail which has been travelling between the participants of this year's project. Click here for more information.  Ready for some facts and figures? 

876 pieces of art were sent around the world
146 people took part, and those people came from ...
12 different countries

But even better than that, join in next year!  It really is a great project and Kat makes it so easy to participate in even if you live outside of the US. I promise to let you know when the sign up starts for 2018, so start thinking about what you can make into a postcard now!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

When you look at the work calendar and you see that you have two weeks away from the office for the Easter break, it brings a smile to your face and puts a spring in your step.  Two whole weeks.  Oh the things you can do with two whole weeks to do what you want.  Then a short while later you look at the calendar again and realise that you've already had one of those weeks and have very little to show for it apart from getting up when you want to, having lunch when you want to and having as many tea/coffee/biscuit breaks as you want to.  How can I possibly have frittered away half my holiday on not doing very much at all?  Or maybe that is part of the holiday experience, not having to do very much?  One thing's for sure though, my postman has been busy giving me ample exhibits for joining in with sharing mail.

Liberate Your Art postcards are flooding in!
The idea is that you will receive 5 cards from fellow participants and one from Kat, who organised the whole thing.  In addition to this some people do 'side swaps' so it's lovely to receive more than the minimum amount.  I love checking out new blogs and hearing about the inspiration behind the postcard, or a quote written on the back.  This year, I even have one which travelled to me from Slovenia via Kat in the US.  The majority of people taking part are American, so I think it's time to spread the word this side of the Atlantic!  Check out the project here - so you can join in next year!

One thing the postman should have been delivering, but didn't, was my fabric for my new patchwork project - I received an email to say the layer cake pack of ten coordinating fabrics I ordered was out of stock, so instead I've chosen some of the individual fabrics and fingers crossed, they will be here in time for next week's Mail, Memos and Me post.

Other news this week

Our long term houseguests have gone home!

My daughter, her fiancĂŠ and baby have been having a lot of work done on their house and asked if they could move in here 'for a couple of weeks' so they didn't have to live with all the dust, dirt and disturbance of the builders.  Now multiply that by three, and that's how long they've been here!  In some ways it has been lovely; we've seen Leo grow two teeth, be weaned onto real food and learn to crawl.  But it makes you realise how much you forget about the demands of a baby, and how they gradually take over every room in the house!  As I type this up, the quietness of the house seems weird, and everywhere looks a little bit empty as all his paraphernalia has been taken back to his proper home. 

But I had better get the bed linen changed and room aired quickly as our son is coming home for the whole Easter break - instead of early retirement next year, maybe we should consider opening a Bed and Breakfast :-)

A long weekend for everyone next week - I wonder how many Easter eggs we'll have consumed in time for next Monday's check in? 

Joining in with the Monday crew inspired by Sian,

Monday, 3 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

Oh my goodness, April - you're here already.   I mean, obviously I knew you were on your way, but the time has just flown.  I see you've brought the sunshine with you so you are very welcome in this corner of the country.  You're just in time to join in with Sian's Mondayers. 

Postcard 2 of the Liberate Your Art project arrived this week

Just look at the texture on those bowling pins.  What a clever photograph.  Big thanks to Paula Bogdan of  Quite apart from loving getting artistic cards through the post, I love how this project introduces you to blogs you would never otherwise have come across.  Pop over to Paula's blog, and be prepared to be very impressed by the creative work that she produces.  I have particular sewing envy of the little squares she has on her blog post.

The conservatory project is 95% finished

Before and after shots, taken 4 days apart.  I hadn't realised just how grey the tint was on the old polycarbonate roof we had, changing it for plain glass has made such a difference.  We've also changed the windows so that instead of having a small opening window at the top of each panel we only have 2 on each side like that so the eye line isn't broken up so much and it really does make the whole room feel bigger.  New armchairs arrived this week, and a new sofa is on order - watch this space ...

New furniture and a dog who likes to sun herself out there means that a new throw needs to be made.  A perfect excuse to get the sewing machine out, buy some new fabric and get back into patchwork mode.  Add a sprinkling of sunny spring weather and I think my Easter school break is sorted!

I hope the sun is shining on your Monday, wherever you are, why not join in with the rest of the Monday brigade and share any mail related or Monday memos?

Monday, 27 March 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

Very special mail for me to share today as part of Sian's Memos, mail and me

Leo made me a card!

I think he may have had a little bit of help from his mummy!  What a lovely idea though.  It also explains why his feet were a little bit red when he took his socks off the other day after he'd been to 'Discovery Tots'.
Those little feet learnt how to stand up for themselves this weekend.

Watching Granddad mow the lawn.  He was totally engrossed, then Coco came bounding across the grass to the patio and stared at him, eye to eye, through the window and the shock made him sit down.  Won't be long until he's out there 'helping' ...

Some more artistic mail arrived through the post this morning

My first 'Liberate Your Art' postcard arrived 

I love receiving post like this, to think how many miles it has travelled to get to me, and to connect with people that I would never
meet in any other way.  This card started life in Chicago, which made me smile as that is where my penfriend who I have been writing to for almost 50 years originally came from, and it's the city in which my future daughter in law's father grew up.  Seems like me and Chicago are destined to be together!
Better finish this post off now, it's much later than I normally post my Monday memo, but my husband and I had some important shopping to do first thing this morning.  Important wedding shopping.  The Father of the Bride suit has been bought.  Now if only the Mother of the Bride could get her act together ...

Monday, 20 March 2017

Memos, mail and me

The postman was kept very busy this week ...

It was my birthday on Tuesday

My last year of being in my 50s.  That sounds very scary.  I thought that it was very unfair of the school to make me go into work on my birthday but apparently you aren't allowed the day off so I had to turn up as normal.  I've decided that I'm definitely going to stop working when I'm 60 and it seems very strange to now be beginning a year of 'lasts' in the office.  Last time I'll have to co ordinate the Easter revision sessions, last time I'll have to organise Awards Evening, last time I'll have to pay over the odds to go on holiday because I can't go away outside of the school holidays ... I'm not convinced that my line manager believes me that I'm going but she can't say that I haven't given her enough warning!
It wasn't only small envelopes that got delivered here this week though.  Some flat pack furniture arrived.
Phase One of Operation 'Update the Conservatory' begins ...

We had our conservatory built about 15 years ago and it's looking a little 'tired'.  So we are about to have the windows and roof replaced in a more modern style.  I shall have to take some before and after photos.  It should be quite a bit more energy efficient and will, I think, just have a more modern feel to it.  We currently have traditional wicker furniture and a chunky pine coffee table.  In order to get it looking a bit more contemporary we've replaced the one big table with three smaller ones.  My next mission is to find a new sofa and chairs.  Fabric swatches have already been ordered - watch this space!

Wedding(s) update

I met my son's future Mother in Law for lunch on Friday and she showed me the dresses she's bought for their registry office ceremony and the big marquee wedding celebration the following week, so now I have an idea of what she's wearing, I feel like it will be easier to find something for me to wear.  I didn't want to be too over the top or too understated in comparison to her.  The things us 'Mothers of the ...' have to think about!

My daughter and I are meeting with the lady who is doing her flowers later this afternoon, it's going to be fun choosing bouquets and buttonholes!

Joining in with Sian's idea to share our mail on Mondays. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Memos, mail and me

I have something very pretty to share as part of Sian's idea to share our mail on Mondays.
Another thing to tick of the 'to do' list for the wedding.  Although as you can see, as they arrived through the post, a bit of careful ironing of the bodice top is in order!  Things are gradually falling into place.  The overall colour scheme is emerging, creams, pale pistachio green and pink in a vintage kind of style.  Table numbers and place cards are here, ribbons to go round table napkins are ordered and my lovely friend Denise has kindly offered to show me how to make some rather gorgeous flowers to add to the ribbons.  Mother of the Bride outfit?  Ask me again next month ... (memo to self, must start to seriously get out to the shops)

It's been a week of getting out the 'not quite summer, but lighter weight than winter' clothes.  Long sleeved t shirts rather than jumpers and cotton chinos rather than jeans.  The lawn was mowed for the first time this year and I have aches and pains to prove it.  Husband rather conveniently pulled a muscle in his back playing badminton last week so was only able to offer encouragement from a comfortable seat in the conservatory whilst having a cup of tea.  Thankfully we were out to friends for dinner in the evening and a couple of glasses of prosecco soon took a little of the discomfort away. 

My last day of being 58 today, I'm pretty sure I'm far too young to be this old!  See you all next week, same time, same place ...

Monday, 6 March 2017

Memos, mail and me

Monday - again! 

Joining in again with Sian's idea of sharing our Mondays.  Last week's postal deliveries are definitely an indication of how little 'snail mail' I get sent.  Nearly every piece of post was like this:
An invitation to treat myself.  Those marketing rascals nearly got me last week.  20% off everything . Hmm I thought, that's a good offer ... and then I thought, well there was no way I was thinking of buying something until their voucher came through the post, and 20% off is still more than the nothing I would have been spending if I had not received the offer.  Be warned, marketing managers, I know what your game is.  Until the weather changes and I realise I don't have a thing that I like in my wardrobe for the spring season!

(oops, wrote this post on Friday in advance, then 'accidentally' bought something in the Phase Eight discount day on Saturday.  My willpower is obviously not as good as it should be!)

A lot of post went out of our household last week.  Wedding invitations are finally in the post.  Well, the ones for the day guests anyway, the evening only invitations are still to be done.  It reminds me a bit of trying to entice Rachel into writing her Thank You notes after Christmas when she was a child, she sees no urgency in the job!

This weekend I did try something new.
Now I know that no one will believe me if I say that this is my first taste of gin and tonic - no, the new thing here is where I drank it.  A new restaurant in town which - as the name will give a clue - cooks Turkish food.  I've never been to Turkey, and I've never eaten Turkish food before so it was definitely something a bit different - and I loved it!  Wow.  So tasty.  I will definitely be returning! 
The sun is shining here today, it's warm and very spring like.  I hope Monday is looking good where you are too!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Memos, mail and me

Hello Monday!  I've woken with a spring in my step and a smile on my face as I can definitely join in with Sian's plan to share Mondays and Mail.  No scratching around trying to find random pieces of mail that fell onto my doorstep this week, oh no.  This week has seen a few delivery men stopping at my door with exciting packages.  Because the end of February brings with it the promise that March is not far away and with March comes ...


This package?  Destined to go to my great-nephew on his fifth birthday at the end of the week.  It's great being five isn't it?  So much energy, so much mischief.  He wanted a slinky.  Not a plastic one from the pocket money section of the local newsagent, a big, shiny, metal one.  One that you can leave on the stairs for your sister to fall over on.  One that will scare the living daylights out of the dog as it comes thundering down the steps.  Naturally, while browsing on the gadgets and gifts website I could not resist also buying him a torch projector that will show large dinosaurs on your walls, because let's face it, a five year old boy can never have enough dinosaur paraphernalia.

He's not the only one having a birthday at the end of this week either.  My son has cleverly arranged for his birthday to be on a Sunday so can, with a bit of careful planning, start celebrating in advance on Friday evening, and continue on all weekend.  His wardrobe is in need of a bit of a revamp so a browse through ASOS will hopefully mean that he'll have a few new things to wear very soon.  It still seems odd to not having him home for his birthday but I am sure we will make up for it in the next few weeks.  
Incoming mail doesn't just have to come through the post though does it?  I met up with my friend who is an author last Monday lunchtime and she had been to a book launch at her publishers where they were given a 'doggy bag' of new books that weren't in the shops yet.  She had far too many to read herself (after all, she is supposed to be busy writing her next novel!) and generously gifted some to me.  The one on the top of the pile here is already captivating me.  A little bit dark, and a little bit mysterious and will apparently ends up a thriller.  I already see a backlog of housework in the offing.  Ironing v a few chapters of a book?  No competition.

And there's not just incoming mail.  Oh no, there is outgoing mail waiting to be dealt with.

The wedding invitations have arrived.

We still have to organise the evening reception ones but we do actually seem to have made progress.  Now all we need is for Rachel and James to get the envelopes addressed ... 

Well.  That's it for me.  I feel as happy as a Year 9 student who has, for once, handed in her homework on time, and is relatively happy with its content.   Happy Monday everyone! 

Monday, 20 February 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

She's back!


I hope that Sian doesn't mind me slightly amending the Monday Meme, but the best bit of 'post' I received this week didn't come through the letter box, it was hanging from the rear view mirror of my beautifully repaired car!

She looks exactly as she should do, shiny and unblemished. It felt so good to get in the driving seat again and I can assure you that on Tuesday night, when P's friends come round for him for badminton, she will be safely locked away in the garage, out of harms way.  When the guy dropped her off, he asked how the accident had happened and his exact words were 'what an idiot'.  That was the moment at which we bonded, with that mutual agreement that technology is fine, but if you have a pair of eyes in your head and three mirrors in and around your car to see where you're reversing, don't wait for a 'beep' to become a continuous note. 
So, half term has been and gone and I need to seriously review the amount of cake and sweet stuff I have got into the habit of eating.  Although, I don't work on Mondays and have plans to go out for lunch with friends today - ok, good intentions will have to start tomorrow. 

Monday, 13 February 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

The mail fairies are trying to tell me something, I know they are.  And it's not just so that I can join in with Sian's idea of sharing what arrives in the post on a Monday.  Clearly, retail therapy is needed and I need to have temptation sent through the mail.
Now, I've never ordered anything from Seasalt and it makes me wonder how much of our information is shared from company to company.  Although, if they didn't share, I might miss out on some goodies ...
But with two weddings in the family this year, I think I should try to ignore that 15% discount and free gift that White Stuff are trying to entice me with and be saving my pennies for mother of the bride/groom outfits as a trip to Cambridge on Monday confirmed what I had suspected, this is not going to be cheap!  I decided to do some background research in John Lewis, Hobbs, Coast and LK Bennett and whilst I didn't see any dresses that were suitable - I was very, very tempted by a rather gorgeous pair of shoes.  However, my friend pointed out that it will be much easier to match a pair of shoes to an outfit, rather than start with the shoes and then try and find an outfit that went with them.  I reluctantly had to agree (although they were lovely, perfect wedding outfit shoes and oh so comfortable) don't you hate it when someone talks you out of something by giving perfectly sensible good advice? ;-)
There's a new car on my drive
Yes, my poor little Mini was collected on Thursday to the intensive care unit of a nearby bodywork repairers.  Fortunately I was at work so didn't witness the sad sight of it being loaded onto a truck and taken away by strangers.  In its place I have a brand new (only 350 miles on the clock) black sports edition Corsa so I am still mobile.  It is nice to drive, the only slight 'oops' moment came when I was driving home from work, went to go from 5th gear to 6th and realised there was no 6th gear!  I saw the guy who reversed into mine earlier in the week and he was again very apologetic and told me that it was the beginning of a series of bad things that happened to him that week, culminating with cracking a tooth and losing a filling while eating his dinner one night.  I tried to sound sympathetic but part of me was thinking that it was his 'just desserts' - literally!
Wedding 'props' have begun to be bought

There's more to a wedding than just the venue and clothes and it's high time we started to think about all the little extras that are needed.  Everyone seems to have a personal wedding hashtag to use so that people can upload pictures to instagram and twitter and you can see what your guests were up to, so we are starting to gather together some photo props that people can use.

The bad planning of not looking at what was behind me when I took this photo means that we have the added bonus of seeing what I would look like if I wear a fancy fascinator instead of a hat for the ceremony.

 And of course every wedding has to have a sweet trolley doesn't it?  So we have the glass jars, now all we need to do is think of things to fill them with.   The colour scheme will be vintage pastels so we bought a big tub on flying saucers and some bags of marshmallows - any ideas as to what else we can get?  I have had to hide the sweets we bought as I cannot be trusted not to open the packs and have a little sample when no one else is looking.

So that's a little of me this cold Monday - first day of the half term holidays - which means I'm home all day and those sweets are definitely at risk of  being opened.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

 Today I have good news, and I have bad news.  There's been plenty of post here this week for me to join in with Sian's Memo's Mail and Me.  So that's the good news

and the bad news?

Someone reversed into the side of my car. 

Three dents and a scratch of paintwork gone.  Which is horrible.  But the worse thing is, it was done by a friend of my husband.  So while I want to weep and wail and scream about the injustice of it all, I know he feels bad and I know it was an accident.  But even so.  HE'S CRASHED INTO MY CAR. 😢  While my husband was a passenger in the back seat.  There's irony for you.   And whilst I know that I wasn't in the car at the time, it was parked, so no one was hurt and whilst he admitted total liability for it, I wasted the best part of the morning of my day off dealing with insurance companies, repair companies and rental car companies, phone calls, on line documents, printing things off - through no fault of my own.  And I have the inconvenience of having to have a hire car and wait in for that to be delivered and my car taken away.  All because someone took no notice of the reverse beeping alarm going off as he got ever closer to my lovely, not even one year old yet, Mini. 

And I looked in Julie's book for wise words and  to see if she had something appropriate to say.  Of course she did.

Wine, that's what I needed.  Well said, Julie. I knew I could rely on you.

But Mr Postman knew I needed something pretty to look at, and look what else arrived

A Boden catalogue

I do like to look at the catalogue and whilst I have a few Boden bits in my wardrobe, I've never paid full price for them!  My neighbour has Boden parties from time to time and it's nearly always at least 30% off and with a free gift so I look and make notes and then hope what I like is still in stock by the time of her party.

Another pretty thing arrived too 

Pink glittery heart stickers to go on the back of wedding invitation envelopes

Now that is enough to make anyone with a slightly bashed up Mini smile again isn't it!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

Ever since Sian introduced Memos, Mail and Me for the New Year, the postal fairies have hidden any interesting mail and I'm at a loss to know what to post to join in.  (excuse the pun)

In fact, nothing of interest arrived on my door mat this week and I can see that I'm going to have to resort to ordering something on the internet, just to be able to join in.  This is clearly a very thinly hidden ruse to do a bit of retail therapy and blame someone else for it! 

But instead of anything interesting arriving, I am preparing my envelope of postcards to be sending out to Kat for the Liberate your art project.  Hopefully, sometime after March I will have lots of new post to share!

I did like Sian's idea to try and post something hand written for every day in February, and may join in with this idea.  After all, I only needed 5 postcards for my swap, and Moo's minimal order is 20 so I have plenty of supplies!

Wedding planning going on here this morning, lots to discuss and share at a later date!

Monday, 23 January 2017

Memos, Mail and me

Last week was the first of Sian's plan to share the best bit of post from the previous week, and I pre-wrote my post when there had been nothing of interesting arriving on my door mat.  I scheduled the post to publish and half an hour later the postman arrived with a rather lovely surprise of a small premium bond win.  Cue late minute editing of the original post!
This week it was much easier to choose!  My monthly subscription of 'the simple things' arrived on Saturday just at the point when the coffee machine was on.  Ah, nothing better on a Saturday morning to sip a cappuccino and browse though a good magazine.  There were a million and one things I should have been doing, but it was lovely to take a half hour out of a busy day to relax and recharge my batteries because we had a busy weekend ahead (more of that below) and there was much baking and cooking to do.

How about the rest of the weekend then? 
Well it was party central here yesterday.  We were celebrating Paul's mum's 90th birthday.  I guess that getting to that age and having your family gathering around you, you would assume that you would be the centre of attention wouldn't you?  Not with this little cutie stealing your limelight ...

Monday, 16 January 2017

Memos, mail and me

I knew that there'd be a twist in the tale for Sian's Memorandum Mondays in the new year.  And there was - the plan is to share our favourite piece of post from the previous week.  A great idea - except - this was probably the only week of the year that I didn't receive much post!  This was the week where the only mail addressed to me was a credit card bill (definitely not my favourite) and a bank statement.  Even Coco got more interesting mail than me - Pets at Home sent her some vouchers to spend on food.

Which makes me think that it's time more happy mail was circulating - but happy mail is not a one way street, in order to receive, you have to send so I have a cunning plan.  Last year I took part in Liberate your art and received these lovely cards through the post

I've signed up to take part again and am in the process of choosing my postcards to have printed.  Minimum print order is 20 and I only have to send 6 for the swap ... I think that's the perfect excuse for sending a few random 'hellos' through the post in the near future. 

I bet I'm the only person who only received boring post since Sian's Memos, Mail and Me idea, so I'll be popping over there to see what exciting things have dropped through the letter box for everyone else in the last week.  Surely I'm not the only one to only receive bank related items

But wait!

Look what's come through the post box
Now that's more like it !


Monday, 9 January 2017

Memorandum Monday

Thought for the day

As normally happens at the start of a new year, the press is full of what is, and what isn't, good for us and the more I hear, the more I realise that that old saying 'a little of what you fancy does you good' is more true than we realise.  You just need to make sure you put the emphasis on the word 'little'! 
I've written this post to join in with Sian in advance to publish on Monday morning because I won't be near a computer then as I will be

at the dentist 😢

Yes, that same dentist that text me on Christmas Day, emailed me on Boxing Day, made me feel guilty enough to make an appointment the following day, emailed me to confirm the appointment, and then text me on Friday to ask me to confirm that I hadn't forgotten I had an appointment today.  He's very keen to see me it would seem!  This will be my second visit to this dentist.  My previous surgery stopped offering NHS services and so I had to move to a brand new practice.  It's all very high tech, brand new building, super smart surgeries, all manner of services offered, on line booking and open 7 days a week.  Doesn't make me look forward to going any the more though - I'm a bit of a dentist phobic and it's only the fear of something going horribly wrong and causing me pain that makes me go every six months.  Let's hope all the biscuit eating hasn't taken its toll ... (Yes that tin in the photo is now empty)

There is something new going on today though - this is ...

... the first week of my new reduced hours which mean I don't have to work on a Monday any more!

Oh happy day.  And where better to spend  the beginning of that lovely extra day off?  Needless to say I have something much nicer planned for later on, lunch out with a friend!

I've also

signed up to Liberate Your Art 2017

Are you in too?  Check it out here.  I joined in last year and received some lovely postcards from all over the world.  It is so easy to do and costs very little, even for people not living in the US (people from 12 different countries took part last year) Kat makes it really easy to pay postage fees via paypal.  It's fun and you can interpret the word 'art' in so many ways. Don't be put off if you aren't an artist in the traditional sense and don't know one end of a paintbrush from another!  I'm concentrating on using photos that I have taken this year, but your art could be collages, sewing, knitting, words, scrapbook pages, cards - all you need is a little imagination!  Just look on it as releasing 'happy mail' out there and making new connections.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Memorandum Monday 2017

I've kind of got into the habit of blogging on a Monday as part of Sian's Memorandum Monday and I'm not sure if that is continuing into the new year but I'm here anyway!

Not that there's been much new happening around here, in fact it's quite the opposite - continuing the normal post Christmas activities.  Today is the day I've earmarked for taking down the Christmas decorations.  There goes my excuse for not dusting regularly!  As I'm looking around the house I realise that my favourite parts of the decorations this year were the more simple ones

and whilst I'm not planning any New Year resolutions, I do have a New Year intention, and that is to try and make things more simple in a general way.  I guess I'm planning to embrace my inner 'Hygge' - I know it's a bit of a buzz word at the moment but it's true that we should make the most of the little things that we take for granted a lot of the time.  And just to take time.  I'm sure I make life more busy than it needs to be sometimes.  A little more forward planning may be in order.

I'm sure I'm not alone in having been bombarded with emails from companies I've bought through on line this year, amazing discounts and bargains and I must admit to being guilty of having clicked on some of their links to see what wonderful things I need to buy in the sales.  And here's the thing.  I don't need to buy anything.  It's always nice to have a few new bits and pieces in the wardrobe, but I don't desperately need anything.  I'm planning on waiting a week or so until things calm down and then if I go into town, and I go into a shop and I see something I really like, and it's in my size, and it really is a bargain, then it's meant to be and I may buy it.  But if one thing comes into the wardrobe, one thing has to go.

I'm really happy to be able to say that as of now, I do not work on Mondays anymore!  I've been wanting to cut my hours for a while now and due to someone else part time leaving, I was able to ask for my Monday hours to be tacked onto their new job description and for me to only work Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday mornings.  It's all part of my master plan to retire at 60.  My line manager doesn't seem to think I'm serious but I am.  And now we are in the new year, I can say that 60 will be next year! 😊

My other intention is to get back into the blogging habit more often.  I've become very lax about that this year and I want to get the blogging mojo back, because the blogosphere is full of lovely people.  This year is going to be so busy, I know it already.  Two weddings to plan and more to the point, two wedding outfits to buy!  Any recommendations on where to start looking for Mother of the Bride outfits will be most gratefully received because as soon as the sales are over, I'm going to be a mother on a mission!

Happy New Year to everyone and thank you for your kind comments over the past year.  I wish everyone good health and happiness with time to relax and take care of ourselves, not just everyone else.  OK 2017, let's see what you've got in store ...