Thursday, 24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

to everyone at Woodward MPC and all you people over the pond.

We had our own little celebration here in the UK and went for dinner at our favourite Indian restaurant, Yuva

2011 Nov 24th Thanksgiving

Not a very American equivalent I admit, but delicious all the same.


Chris sends his love !!! ( I told him he would regret that pose )

We are truly, thankful for the wonderful people he gets to work with on a daily basis.

We also took the opportunity to look for a little run around for Tasmin now that she has passed her driving test. We don’t want anything too fancy or new, as we have a feeling it may get a few scrapes and bumps along the way.

So, we thought this could be a contender ?


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Project Life

Somehow I have managed to keep up with my Project Life. It has been hard going the last few weeks. Because I was stuck confined to a  hospital bed for 3 days and on strict rest on my return home. I have been cross with myself on numerous occasions, when I have forgotten to pick up my camera when I’ve had visitors. So I have had to use a bit of poetic license to fill my slots.

Sorry, the images are a bit dark and the white balance is crap. But I couldn’t carry the album downstairs to shoot it in natural light.  I had to make do with a dark lit room.

Week forty One



some extra inserts from a photo shoot of my nieces .

I have one more to add to this collection of my friends Sandra and Hilary.











Week forty two



Yep, I even took my camera to the chiropodists ! I can’t tell you what bliss it was having my feet looked after. I haven’t been able to reach them for a year and a half. It was £30 well spent.

Week forty three



extra insets for the week.



Week forty four



Week forty five


Week forty six


So, that’s it so far. But I have lots of recent photos I’ve taken to share at a later date. I am so well, I am raring to go with some new photographic shoots. I’ve just got to wait for this dingy, grey weather to disappear.

poor girl

at 25 Beautiful Homes magazine has just spent the last couple of hours, asking me questions for the feature on our house.

She sent me the jpegs from the shoot. I was pleased to see, the house looked like our HOME. Readers of my blog will know I was concerned on the day as a lot of my “stuff” was removed, making some of the rooms look soul less to us.( original blog here )

Here's some of the pictures that were taken on the day.


I had written eight A4 sheets of answers to her questions!!

Eight !

You know me, I talk a bit….. I have a lot to say…….always…….


The magazine wanted to know, where I had bought all the items in my home. I was surprised at how many came from Dunelm Mill and Matalan ( they are like a Target ,to you Americans reading this ) I hope it proves that you don’t have to spend a lot to get a unique looking home. I like to mix, one off pieces, with cheap sale items and I keep my eyes open wherever I am. Even in Tesco's.

I do the same with my own personal, fashion style. An expensive bag (here), jewellery with a Sainsbury top with a fur collar added, and a pair of  £4 pumps from Primark. That look is actually harder to achieve, than buying everything out of Next. That goes for your home as well as your own personal style. Mix it up a bit, open your eyes to lots of other places that offer something different and unique to you.

Now my penny pinching doesn't stop there. I do the same with food. I LOVE to cook, I rarely just reheat a pre-made meal. I always check out one of the cheaper supermarkets first to see what they have on offer. i.e Aldi or Lidls. Then I do a larger shop in one of the big supermarkets, always just keeping to what is on offer. Morrisons is my current favourite place to shop. I wait and bide my time until something I want goes on sale. Then I do an expensive shop in Waitrose or M & S every so often.  Again, keeping to their offers.

I spend about half the amount on food as my friends and family. But I always have a freezer and larder full of food . There are always homemade cakes, Ben & Jerry's ice cream in the freezer and fresh vegetables and meat to hand. I have cupboards full of ingredients to put a Thai meal, pasta dish or cupcakes together at a moments notice.

I remember being shocked once, years ago ,when talking to a friend about the price of chicken. We were living on a VERY tight budget with two young children. I once had, at that time just £8.00 to feed us four, for a week!! But I did it ,with the help of a calculator in my handbag and the knack for putting meals together from very little.

My friend had no idea how much chicken cost. Not a clue. She said she just grabbed something from the shelf, with not a care in the world. At that time I was buying the £1.99 Tesco Value chicken to feed us for a week!! But do you know what I felt sorry for her, not for myself. I could be a lottery winner and I would still be canny with what I buy. I guess it’s just inbuilt. And luckily both of my children seem to have inherited that gene…..

I couldn’t resist including a picture at this point, of my friend Judith when I took her shopping in Aldi this week. A very funny experience, she was a cheap supermarket Virgin.


I popped her cherry good and proper and I think she will be making a repeat visit , but maybe in camouflage next time…..

At, bloody last !!!

Tasmin had her FOURTH driving test today. She is always so nervous ,her thinking goes out of the window and she fluffs at the last moment of the test.


So for this one she literally drank a bottle of Rescue remedy.  And it obviously did the trick as she PASSED. With no majors or minors.


Apparently the examiner said that only happens 1/15,000.

He sounded great. Tasmin had, had him before and he remembered her. He chatted to her  for the entire test,as he could  see she was very nervous. He even joked with her whether she had been unfaithful to him and had a test with someone else !!


She did really well seeing's, she has an eye infection and her eye is all swollen.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Some scrapping

Before I went into hospital I went to a crop for a few hours. I managed to get a lot more done than I expected. It was a bit pot luck, as I just went with what was already loaded in my crop bag from a previous day.


This layout is from when Tasmin was very brave as a three year old. I never allowed my children to have any dangerous climbing frame equipment in my garden. Mainly because Ryan was such a dare devil, I knew it would only be a matter of time before he injured himself. So I bought a small framework of tubes from The Early Learning  Centre that could be made up into different shapes and structures. 

But of course Ryan managed to work his wicked way with even that !Tasmin was sat on it. It was only about knee height. He rocked it until she fell of on to the grass. But somehow her funny bone on the corner of her elbow broke off. So she had to go into hospital and have an operation that night to repair the damage. They thought her arm would never grow to it proper length ,but she’s had no problems since, except a big scar as her war wound.


This one is of Tasmins 4th Birthday. I got to use a piece of a birthday card Tasmin sent me for my last birthday. I peeled the Birthday Girl cut out piece from the card and stuck it on the layout with 3D tape.


This one is still waiting for the hidden journaling. The photo was taken during my sisters wedding reception. She organised her entire wedding in about 5 weeks, after we found out my dads was terminally ill with cancer. If your reading this Andrea could you leave a comment as to what date  the wedding was. I have forgotten !!


This layout was for my old family history album. It’s of my dad and his twin sister at the front and his two older siblings. Again I have used hidden journaling on a tag, as I hate to see my writing on a layout.

Don’t worry

I am still alive after my operation!


The problem is hubby bought me an iPad for my time in hospital and it is impossible to blog from. The iPad was a necessity when I was bed bound for three days. No food or drink for four days. So it was a great asset to have, to keep me occupied. I even got to bore my anaesthetist with images from my blog and Flickr. He came to visit  me on one of my long evenings. He stayed for over an hour chatting to me. Just shows you get what you pay for!!

My operation seems to have gone very well. I wasn’t in too much pain from it. The unbearable pain came from me being bed bound for days with pumps on my legs. Because I couldn’t stand or walk about, the pain I get in my left leg was uncontrollable. Morphine wouldn’t even dull it. The surgeon was very concerned by the third day and I was prescribed some new medication to try and dull the nerve. He even mentioned it looked like I would have to have another back operation in six weeks time. My disc space turned out to be very narrow and he wasn’t sure if he had managed to get everything out and away from the sciatic nerve.

2011 Hospital last few days of the week

But the new medication seems to be slowly doing the trick. I still have to stand up in the night and during the day to walk off the leg pain that starts. It is certainly less than it used to be. The pain down my leg has disappeared on the few car journeys I have had since leaving hospital. So that is a blessing.

I am soooo sleepy all the time, that I spend most of the day asleep. I’m not sure at the moment if it’s my new medication or the result of the operation. But I am making the most of the rest. As I am not allowed to do any housework, it gives me lots of time to rest. I still have lots of ready made meals, I cooked before the operation to get through, so I’m still enjoying home cooking.

I struggled with the hospital food, as I knew I would. I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink for four day as my bowel was paralysed . In fact it wasn’t a problem, as I wasn’t at all hungry. I just craved some fruit pastilles, that were sat in my bedside drawer.When some blood tests came back that my blood sugars were dangerously low, I was allowed to suck one, as they hooked me up to yet another drip. It took me an hour of bliss….


Because there was nothing on the menu I ever ate, I was allowed to order anything I fancied. But when you have no appetite, it’s hard to decide what to order. I would forget what I had put down for the chef to make me. I’d lift the silver dome at meal times and my heart would sink. Uncooked chips, raw omelette or lumpy mash ! The only meal I could ever eat was breakfast.



Do you know what the most annoying thing from my stay in hospital. I didn’t even lose a whole pound in weight. How the hell not ? I even grew in height , but still no weight change? Must have been something in all those darn drips I was on.

Everyone but me seemed to be freaked out by my catheter bag. I wore it as if it was the latest's fashion accessory.


I was allowed home early as I was doing so well. But, I slowly began to deteriorate as I was trying to do too much. I thought I could go shopping in a wheelchair, but I found it too low and soft and I was in pain for the rest of the day. So Chris is glad he never has to push me around in that again.

I now just take it easy and sleep a lot. And leave everything to them to do. (except today. Everyone has abandoned me. So I am fending for myself)

IMG00227-20111110-0929 (1)

As soon as I had my staples out, I felt a lot more comfortable. I have to wear a huge back brace and it’s tight right across the scar, so that isn’t too great. The scar is twice the size I was told it was going to be and is also in a different place. Maybe I will find out why, when I next see the surgeon. He did say to me it would depend on how easy the access would be in my abdomen.


Anyway, I am taking each day as it comes.


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