Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The {#PostCircle} take-over


You may have heard through the #PostCircle grapevine that our lovely Anna has taken off her sorting hat and handed the #PostCircle project over... TO ME!  It really is sad and wonderful news {<< click to read Anna's post}.

You'll be pleased to know {if you're a #PostCircle member} that the project will still be running just as smoothly. With the help of my Angels: Debbie, Claire and {introducing} Helen we'll all be working away in the background making sure your applications, group sorting and general queries are all managed as they always have been.

If you read this and don't know what I am talking about then hop on over to the new #PostCircle blog page and all your questions will be answered {hopefully}

A x

Monday, 8 September 2014

Blog Hop

Thank you to Miss Beatrix for passing the Blog Hop on to me.



Why do I write?

I have always been a writer. I have collections of books from my primary age self with lots of stories and pictures. I remember creating little jotters for all my teddies and dollies so that we could all write together. As I grew up I still had a passion for writing and during my teenage years I had many penpals and often my letters would be my own stories to them.

Fast forward to more recent years, in 2002 I embarked on creative writing and poetry courses... sometime before 2002 (I can't quite recall the year) I had two poems published in anthologies.

Over the years since then I have written for many websites (from craft to medical) and I still do to some extent.  Present day I don't write as often as that ole devil called work takes up a lot of time. Although I promise myself often that I will write more.

There's a book in me, maybe even two.  Who knows, I may write it one day,  I hope you buy it.


What am I working on?

Lots of things, all unfinished... piles of fabric just waiting to be made into curtains for my littlest bedroom, our office and a window dressing for my bedroom.  More fabric crying out to be fashioned into a Princess Sofia costume and a Tiana (from Princess and the Frog) costume.  A lovely white jewled cardigan on my knitting needles that just needs another sleeve and the collar. A Cath Kidston bag weeping to be sewn together...and lots of new recipes to try out.  I must make time!


How does it differ from others of its genre?

There's a lot of variety in my blog, from cooking to crafts to lifestyle.  I do wish I would post more.


How does my writing process work?

For being such an organised person in my day to day life: working full time, managing my own small graphic design and photography business and also working (when time permits) as a service assessor for various companies, I don't seem to have a scheduled process of writing for my blog.  Often I'll jot some ideas down then I leave it too long to write about it. I really enjoyed the 'Blog Every Day..' project I signed up for as it gave me a goal to write more.  I need to focus on a plan and put it into action.


I'm now going to pass the blog hop baton on to Youngonesfive, I look forward to reading your Blog Hop.

Thanks for reading,
A

Friday, 1 August 2014

Changes

...there's been a few changes around here recently. First, my big girl {my middle child} has flown the nest! She has moved in with her boyfriend. We knew it was on the cards as she seemed only to visit home and stay for just a few days a week but it's official now and she has moved out all her things. At 20, I still see her as my little girl, now she's my little girl who has grown up!

A few weeks after she moved all her things out, we started working on her room. We had planned to convert the garage at the end of the year into an office {might not do that so soon now} but for now we've given the room a lick of paint and put in a desk and some shelves and tada we have an office.

before we moved my huge amounts of stationery in

I have a lot of stationery... a lot! Now that I've carted it upstairs and into the fitted wardrobes {great storage place} I wonder how on earth I fitted it downstairs into my bureau! I'm planning on a blog post to show you the crazy amount of things I have! It's like Paperchase's stock room!

stocked up!

It's a bittersweet moment, it's so good to have a place to work, {I work from home at least one day a week, and add in some hours at night if my work load is crazy and I also run my own business from home} but I do miss my girl. She's happy, so I'm happy that's how it works right? {brave face}

I ignored the insensitive comments on social media suggesting {ok blatantly saying} I had rushed into changing the room, like I was some heartless Mother who threw a leaving party once my girl had gone... I'm not the type of person who can sit about when I know something needs doing. What would have been the point of leaving the room unused?

So, changes... that was a big one!

A x


Monday, 23 June 2014

AWOL

I've been AWOL. The truth is, I've been here but I've been angry with the world so that's probably not the best time to blog {as I would have probably swore, still might}. I've not been angry about one specific thing just lots of things bottling up and bringing me down. But I'm going to kick it in the ass...

My milk allergy has gotten the better of me again... boo! I had suffered terribly for many years with numerous health problems and had years of tests for breathing / throat / swallowing problems, gastric problems and skin problems... even the medical professionals didn't think to put them all together but eventually someone did {my new Dr when we moved house} and voila, I'm allergic to milk... which can be quite serious {think nut allergy but with milk}.. please do not confuse this with being lactose intolerant it's like saying night is day, plus is gets me mad as they are so different! {rant over}... anyway, after I had the littlest (2011) I accidentally tried a piece of twix.. it was tiny but I really really had to try it and I wasn't ill, I could still breath and the tummy didn't growl to richter scale proportions. {Note that I wasn't on a mission to be ill, I had been advised after the birth to try something with milk as a shock to the body such as having a baby can shift an allergy that had appeared suddenly}.

Since then I gradually introduced milk back into my diet {scoffed truck loads of chocolate!}. The symptoms were not gone completely but I thought it was worth a little discomfort to have a normal diet again and not spend hours in the supermarket reading labels.

Two and a half years have passed since that bite of twix in the Tesco carpark and probably for the last year the symptoms have been growing... I can recognise them now having suffered them for years before but not knowing what they were. So, I'm milk free again and so far {this is week two} I feel heaps better already, still a long way to go before I feel normal again but I know it will happen.

Swedish Glacé ice cream - delicious


So much has changed since my last milk free diet, there are literally tonnes of more products to buy, I spent a fortune in Sainsbury at the weekend and have eaten fudge, cookies, cake and heaps of Oreo.. Oreo weren't milk free before, this excited me! I did have hopes of losing a lot of weight by changing my diet as I lost a good few stone before but now, with all the goodies there's no way the weight will drop off! {although I have lost 5lb, I think it's a fluke}.

Do you have any allergies?

Ax


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

{#BEDM} gadets!

I love my gadgets!! A lot make my life easier, such as a smart phones {yes, I have two}, iPad, laptop, android tablet, smart TV.. but having a think, my two most favourite gadget type things are...

CCTV

CCTV we have in littlest's room. We initially bought the camera to install outside our home but we tried it out inside to set it up and we've not put it outside yet. It is secured to the ceiling and can turn 360 degrees, can pan and tilt, has night vision and you take a snap shot or even record footage. It has sound and you can even talk through the camera! It has been fantastic to use, when littlest goes to bed we set up the iPad or tablet {you can also access via webpage, smart tv or any smart phone by downloading an app} and we know that she's still in bed, or when she's asleep or when she's climbing up to get a book... Big Brother is watching!!


Hive

The HIVE... have you got the Hive? It's brilliant! It's a Scottish / British Gas product and it connects to your WIFI router and you can control your heating system remotely from anywhere using your smart phone. Hopefully I'll explain this correctly as I tried to before to someone and they didn't get it...

Our heating system is modern as we stay in a new build. We have a thermostat in the living room and have a digital system that we could set temperatures for the house and if the temperature at home dropped below the pre-set then the heating would kick in. It was also programmed for set times of the day for different temperatures and it also controlled the hot water, set times when it would be on to heat the water.. blah blah.. does that make sense?

Well now with the Hive we still have all that but say we were all out working and the temperature in the house was set to 18 degrees but it was frozen outside and snowing and you wanted the house to be really warm for you coming home from work... no problem open the app, flick up the temperature setting and the heating kicks in, drive home and go inside to a warm and cosy house. I guess it's the same as if you're sat at home and your cold or warm so you need to actually get up off your chair and go change the temperature setting of the heating at the heating control unit {ours was in the Utility Room at back of house}... you can be even more lazy now and do it from your phone. 

Another great feature is the thermostat, it's portable! So you can take it off the wall and take with you to whatever room your in so it will then gauge the temperature from that room!  And the controls are on the thermostat too. It really is remarkable. Looking forward to zoning being introduced then I can control the temperature of each room separately. That will be a great tool and bound to save more money on utility bills.

What's your fav gadget?

A x

{#BEDM} passion project

My passion lies in design and creating. From a young age I was always drawing and making things, I'd save my pocket money up and go on a spending spree to John Menzies (like WH Smith) and buy tonnes of stationery. Now I'm just the same, and I buy tonnes of stationery!

You may {or may not} know that I have my own graphic design and photography company called AEM Photography and Design and when time permits I sell personalised prints {mostly from my Facebook page}, I always have an order or a project on the go to keep me sane.

Two of my best sellers and my favourites are...

personalised home print

This is the home print that I had displayed in the hallway whilst I was pregnant with the littlest now the McBump has been changed to her name. I have sold loads of these, great for a wedding gift or a new home gift and great for a family gift for a new baby.


baby bunting

The baby bunting prints are so cute, they have 3D bunting and can be personalised with date of birth, weight, time of birth and in any colour... this one pictured sits on top of my TV cabinet.

I'd not be able to retire on my earnings from my passion project or give up my full time job but it's a hobby that earns me some pocket money and I love creating.

A x

Monday, 5 May 2014

{#BEDM} Cinco De Mayo

It seems there's a lot of history behind 'Cinco De Mayo'...

Spanish for "fifth of May". It is celebrated in the United States and in Mexico, where the holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla).

It originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War, and today the date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. (Source Wikipedia)


Chilli Nachos

Today I'll be celebrating with a feast of Chilli Nachos for dinner, it is one of my favourite meals. Here's how I make mine:

Ingredients
lean minced beef
beef melting stock cube
onion
peppers
garlic
mixed herbs
tomato puree
mild chilli powder
worcester sauce
tin of kidney beans or mixed beans
tin of chopped tomatoes
a carton of passatta

Method
brown the minced beef with a little water, once brown drain off all excess liquid. Add garlic {2 cloves if fresh or a good sprinkling of dried garlic granules or some garlic puree}, mixed herbs and mild chilli powder {to taste}, mix to combine. Add the beef melting stock cube {love these, they are so tasty}, worcester sauce and tomato puree. mix to combine. Add onion and peppers {you can also add celery, mushrooms.. whatever you fancy}. Cook for a few minutes to combine all the flavours then add in the tin of chopped tomatoes, passatta and the beans.  Stir until all combined.

I cook mine in a big pot and let it cook slowly for a few hours stirring every 20mins or so.  OR, you can toss it all in a slow cooker and leave it to cook all day whilst you're out.

{I don't season mine with salt until it's cooked then I decide if it needs salt or more chilli... we could all do with less salt in our life right? Plus the nachos are salty enough}

Serve
Serve over nachos, sprinkle with grated cheese and if you like add some salsa, guacamole and sour cream {or natural yoghurt}

Is it dinner time yet?

A x

Sunday, 4 May 2014

{#BEDM} Star Wars Day...nah

Oh dare I say I am not a fan of Star Wars, although most likely only because I've never seen a Star Wars film... yeah, never! {go on, hit me with your light sabre}

So due to that fact {me being oblivious to Star Wars} I'm declaring the post about one of the most beautiful woman I have ever seen... chic, iconic and an inspiration.

Audrey Hepburn - image source

Audrey Hepburn {would have been} 85 today. Not only beautiful and such a talented actress but fluent in 6 languages and her work with UNICEF... I tip my hat to you Audrey!

A x