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Thursday, 27 January 2011

The lists for 2011

A little while ago i wrote a post that you can find here, in which i explained that this year i was writing up a little list of things i wanted to do through out the year.  Its quite similar to what my Mother made me do when i was little, every summer time we wrote out a list of things to do on rainy days and things to do on sunny days.  Mum would get all the dates of festivals, galas, fetes and parades and we would plan the holidays around those.  Anyway-like i say-I decided that it seemed a good idea to make one of these lists for the whole year.  I'm in the middle of encouraging The Husband to do the same, but unfortunately he really wrote out a list of things he wanted to paint...and i don't really want to incorporate those into my fun list!

The exceptionally lovely Flossie and Tom blog said i should post some of my list (note NOT The Husbands list) so here it is:
  • I've never visited half of the museums in Aberdeen and its been ages since I've had a really good look in the art gallery so i would love to do that.
  • I want to go to the theater more (luckily The Husband and I got box office vouchers for Christmas from a lot of my side of the family)
  • Take time to visit the Cairngorms
  • Go camping at Ballater
  • Join the National Trust for Scotland and see more castles and stately homes
  • Swim in the open air swimming pool at Stonehaven
  • Visit the Falconry
  • Go to the concerts the church so regularly holds
  • Go to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness for various trips (as i do love trips to big cities)
  • Go berry picking at Forres and have a picnic at Baxters afterwards (like when we were little!)
  • Go to London in November
Most of these things are so simple, except for the last one, and are so easy to do.  Berry picking in the countryside and a trip around the Baxters visitor centre won't take much planning.  Joining the NTS will pay for itself in no time at all.  Some of the ideas I've written down are things like having a BBQ on the beach during the nicer weather, some things include walks I've been on and want to share with The Husband. I would like to see more events at The Word Festival and attend more talks at the Humanity Manse lectures (a series of lectures on Irish history at my old University). 
I also hope to get ideas from other bloggers, and i guess as the year progresses i can add more things too.  Hopefully i can 'keep on top of the list', but most importantly feel like i have used my free time wisely...that means sometimes sunbathing, and sometimes at lectures!!

Weigh in Weekly

Hooray, I'm not like the cartoon this week!! I've lost 2lbs this week!  I'm very proud of myself, because quite frankly i thought that last week i was going to put weight on, and then believed that it would show up this week.  Although i haven't been working out, I've been taking the dog on extra long walks and still eating healthily.  I read an article on another blog about emotional eating too, and feel that it really helped, i now don't ever eat anything unless i am genuinely hungry.  I always ate 'what i fancied' before thinking that a little would be OK, but unfortunately I'm not that type of person, if i could eat one square of chocolate and move on it'd be alright, but no...I'll eat the bar...family size or not!! 
I'm hoping that I'm only a couple of lbs short of a 'round number' which is quite exciting for me!!
Have a lovely Thursday...one more day until the weekend!! Yay!!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A little bit about Robert Burns

Hello all!! I hope that anyone who did want to do anything for Burns night got to, and anyone who forgot or never even heard of it had a wee search online to find out...if not, fear not, i am here!! Hehe, no, not the font of all knowledge, but i can tell you about it.
Last year was the year of the Homecoming in Scotland, think of it as a kick on the bottom for getting people to appreciate their surroundings and history.  It sounds like its 'nationalistic' in the 'bad' sense of the word, but it was really an excuse for a parade and trying to help the tourist industry too.  In Aberdeen which is my nearest town we have started to have Wallace Day after William Wallace.  He was "one of Scotland's greatest national heroes and leader of the Scottish resistance forces during the first years of the long struggle to free Scotland from English rule." (Encyclopædia Britannica

And so on to Burns, he is the "national poet of Scotland, who wrote lyrics and songs in the Scottish dialect of English. He was also famous for his amours and his rebellion against orthodox religion and morality." (Encyclopædia Britannica)
He wrote many poems, stories and songs and is really well known for being an intellectual in a time where religion was super strong and orthodox.  People eat haggis, turnips and potatoes (haggis, neeps, and tatties) on his Birthday because it was his favourite meal.  The whole supper is broken up with some of these poems in between the dishes...an awful lot of dancing ensues! 

I love.....

I love........
Jam & Jerusalem
A wonderful tale of a small village

If you've missed it heres a good little round up of what you've missed. 

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Have a wonderful Burns Night!!

Have a wonderful Burns Night!!

Have a wee look to see if there is anything you can do to celebrate, even at this late hour there will be something you can do if you want to!!

We've got a little party organised, but i'm not going to be eating any haggis what-so-ever, i will be quite happy with tatties and neeps!! (maybe some mince seeing as there will be lots of dancing too)

The Selkirk Grace

The Selkirk Grace

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

Remember to say this before your Burns supper!

Address to a Haggis

Address to a Haggis

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm :
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o'need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin', rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethankit! hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer
Gie her a haggis!

Robert Burns
(25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796)

Monday, 24 January 2011

Aren't Mondays Heavenly?

One Born Every Minute...heavenly!!  Makes me cry...and laugh.  Makes me wonder if i really do only picture being a Mother as someone who gives birth....makes me picture how I'd be (SCREAMER), but its a lovely show!  I was accepted into the Midwifery course at Robert Gordon's University when i was 19.  I had been applying since i was 16 and kept updating all records.  There is a massive waiting list to get into this course as its one of the only ones in the UK where its not a Post Grad course after nursing, so people that wish to be Midwifes only do the Midwifery aspects...anyway...i got into the course, i made the friends, bought the books and then FREAKED OUT.
After a little think i realised i probably wouldn't be able to handle the course.  Don't get me wrong, i can study and get my head down, but i didn't think id be able to handle the emotional aspects of the course.  I don't think i could do a job where no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try and pray....sometimes it just goes down a route no one ever thought, or expected it to go.  So i packed up and headed to full time employment until i got into the University of Aberdeen to do Politics and International Relations.  Well, after one term i knocked on the Politic lecturers/advisers door and said no more did i want to study those subjects.  I was only going to do History (what sort of job did i think id get?)  I loved searching about for sources so much i thought that a career as a Librarian would be the way forward.  I hope I'm still in a career where i can help people, but i hardly think there will be a channel 4 show on my job!!  I think i enjoy this show much more this year as last year we really wanted a baby and it was a bit sad to watch it, but i just couldn't stop.  If i were ever to feel sad after watching this (mostly just weepy from seeing all the new families) i would then turn over to....GLEE!
Makes me sing along and laugh an awful lot! 
Squeeze joy out of everything you can, laugh and sing when you can, read during the day and go to the cinema by yourself.  Do what makes you happy.  Abandon things which make you sad, embrace things that can scare you, push yourself and achieve all the things you believe are worth you time.
Have a great week!

What will the year hold?

Hello, hello, hello...are you still looking forward to the year or have you been brought down by the press constantly telling you how depressed you should be by a) the weather b) finances c) the government
It all gets a bit much doesn't it?  I hope looking about on blogland and seeing all the crafty crafters and brilliant bakers has cheered you up, its what i do!  Well I'm not here to be a beacon of light, but i am here to ask....what will the year hold for you?
Ive made a list this year of all of the things I'd like to do.  Ive asked The Husband what he's wanting from this year and have been hinting about him doing a list too, but he has yet to write it!  I'm not being bossy or terribly organised-although I'm not sure if organisation can ever be terrible..however, i have made up a list of everything id like to do and hopefully as the year goes by i can tick off each occasion.
Some things are relating to events id like to visit or see, places i wish to go or things i wish id had time for or even remembered to do last year.  Some items on the list are as little as berry picking in the summer, tours around stately homes, or fairs while others are larger and are holidays id like to go on.  They are mostly very little things, like promises i always make to myself about keeping up a 'date night' with The Husband.  I hope if its all written down we'll have no hope but to honour our own wishes!
I urge you that if you are the sort of person that can tend to get a bit stuck (I most certainly am) then this would seem to be a good way of getting un-stuck.  I hope that i can stick to it, as i really think i owe it to myself to do nice things and make nice memories. 
If anyone else makes these plans or others id love to know....and most probably copy you!  Id also love to know what your hopes for the year are...trips?  Crafting plans?  New ventures?
Have a lovely day!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Thinking of the Summer

Staring at glossy magazines, lazily dreaming of floating around the countryside.  The wind sighing with contentment, warm breazes and the sunshine enveloping my summer dress and slightly tanned skin.  I can't think of a better thing to think about.  Being able to hope, and to dream, is something i am grateful for.  Things don't always go to plan, but i come from a family that will help you up if you fall down, and that gives me hope.  It has literally given me the ability to be able to hope.
I sincerly hope that not one of you has ever had to go feel otherwise.  It may still be deathly grey here, but there will be one day where we wake up and the sunshine is streaming in through the window, every single little thing goes to plan and we feel utter contentment becuase we know, for a fact, that we have helped someone, in some way.  Have a good week.  If its bad, its not going to be forever, and if its good remember to share the joy!!x

Homemaking Heaven Tips!

  • Want to know a super effective nontoxic trick to clean the silverware is to fill an aluminum pan (or one lined with aluminum foil) with hot water, add salt and baking soda, and stir to dissolve. When you add the silver pieces, a chemical reaction occurs, removing tarnish!
  • Fill up your freezer, since the fuller it is, the less energy it uses to keep food frozen.  I put plastic bottles of water into it so that they they are icy cold-this usually happens the closer we get to shopping day, but it works just the same.
  • For greasy pots and pans try scouring with salt.  We all try to be great cooks, but every so often things go wrong, so just remember this trick..just in case.. Fill the pan half full with water, so that it covers up any grilled on spots, spoon in baking soda, let it soak overnight, and bring to a boil...then easy peasy lemon squeezy the stains come away!
  • You know when the sink gets a bit clogged up with rubbish every so often, so matter how much you try to stay on top of it?  Well just pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 3 cups of boiling water, and let science take over. It's a much safer choice than commercial drain cleaners, which can harm skin, eyes, lungs, and the water supply.
You can get all of these tips and much more from Country Living mags.  I keep all of my old ones, but every so often i put together a scrap book of things i like.
I hope these have come in useful!

Friday, 21 January 2011


I have been rummaging around in the Thrift shop and have been rewarded generously with some lovely finds!
Brambly Hedge is a lovely little children's book...I am so lucky to have found such a beautifully kept copy of The Four Seasons.  

I cant wait to share some delicious recipes, I've already bookmarked a couple which will no doubt be as lovely on my tongue as they are in the book....no not my big head, they actually look like they were written by someone who knows that we all don't have all the time in the world, but want to eat well and things that taste good.  So i hope that what I've read will prove not too difficult in the pan and come out quite nice!

Another glorious weekend, another glorious find!

Weigh in weekly

Hello all, i hope your January's are going well and you haven't been pulled down into a funk....I'm thinking of Glee!!
I'm sorry that I've already broken my promise about posting every Thursday...things have been a bit rough here these past few weeks and I've really not had anything jolly to post.  It seemed to me like i could, but they wouldn't be particularly happy posts so i just hid under the duvet...  That leads on to the weight loss, um, em, eh?  Its stayed the same, no up no down.  However I'm hoping that my last couple of days eating giant bowls of hearty lentil soup made up for the fact that the first two days of this week i literally hid under the duvet and ate nothing but chocolate and crisps.
I promise to start posting and such again, even if it means trying my very very hardest to be happy and merry, fake it till you make it!
Have lovely magical weekends full of everything that makes you happy.  Be utterly kind to yourself and surround yourself with everyone you love.  You make my day just being here...you really do!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Weigh in Weekly

Firstly I want to thank you all, sometimes in ‘this world’ it can be easy to forget how naturally kind others can be, but I definitely reminded of it when I did my first weekly weigh in post last Thursday.

This sounds ridiculous but I was really embarrassed writing about being in the violent red category when checking out my weight. Only ten years ago I was a size six, albeit that was from doing hockey, netball and cross country running most weekends…oh and dancing the night away and only drinking water (never much liked the taste or the cost of alcohol!)
Yet you lovely lot made me feel OK about what I was doing, you kind and thoughtful bloggerettes only wanted to wish me luck and your sweet natures flowed right through your screens into my home!! So I thank you, it’s very easy to be (in my own and very silly way) courageous.

Now on to the other business…..the weigh in
Hooray!!  I'm sure because of my size i should actually manage a wee bit more than the average amount of weight at first, but to tell the truth i haven't been healthy all week, the snacks left over from Christmas were all a bit too tempting, but i don't normally put bad things in my shopping basket, its actually the portion sizes i need to combat and I'm working on that by now eating on a beautiful side plate which makes me a bit more dainty too!!  Thank you for letting me be accountable and use this space to speak freely about something that's important to me!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Its not the sales, but im still shopping!

I have been buying, but i have kept my promise....i didn't go near the sales!

I don't have them yet, that's the thing.  I don't carry them home from the shops, and it doesn't feel like I've been naughty.

Its that well known naughty Amazon...you start by innocently making a wish list, and the prices are so good you might as well add it to the basket, oh and just one more thing, and another, and another.....
Cant wait to get them and share how lovely they are.  Id love to hear what anyone else has found about them, even if its not good...I've got so many bargains from thrift shops i might as well give at least one book back...but only if i have to!!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

I love....

I love.....
Lark Rise to Candleford
Sunday nights restored to how they should be

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Getting back to normal

I am trying my hardest to get back to normal and keep up to date with all the lovely and exciting things going on in blogland, but i am terrible and haven't been able to do that much of late.  It was probably this time last year that i started to really write this blog and its odd to see how much it has come on!  I'm surprised, and really humbled to know that i have followers.  I know that there are a million and one other things for you all to do with your time, but yet you chose to be so kind as to come here and have a little read of what I've written.  I always do try to read other peoples blogs, and its always quite exciting to find a new one that you just 'get', you just know that you will read and read and never ever get bored...ever!
Lately i haven't been keeping up to date with as many people as id like to, but (and i know its a bit late) id like to make a New Years Resolution and say that i will try much harder, but this post isn't really about that so much.
It really is a massive thank you to all the lovely people out there that come on here, leaving comments or not, and really just being kind, being themselves and utterly sweet!
I hope to start getting some things together for a give away soon as a way, however small, of saying thank you.  Your comments genuinely make my day.  They bring me so much joy!  And i get very, very excited when i see another follower pop up on my screen....i always have a little investigate to see them and their lovely blogs, and more often than not i end up practically stalking their every bloggy move.

So thank you, i love you, i love your blogs and you make my day, have an utterly brilliant day yourself.....you totally deserve it!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

New Years Resolution

I have, for much too long, been overweight. You know where this post is going now….don’t you? Like a lot of people I try to make New Years Resolutions. I understand that an awful lot of people say that they’d like to shed a few lbs, however my ‘journey’ is a wee bit harder than that.
I am in the obese category of any BMI and NEED to lose three stone to be in the green area of the indicator.
Seeing as I got to this point by myself you’d think I could get out of it by myself, but no, its been like this for a little while….actually since I’ve been with The Husband (yup, that old story).
So from now on I will post each week what, if any weight fluctuations there have been. This is entirely to keep me accountable, and hopefully I can keep this up. I'm hoping that I'm practically shamed into keeping this up. So, one week today I shall post to say what fluctuations there have been…I'm sure it’ll take some time before I think up some snappy name for the weigh in, but if and when I do I'm sure I will post that too!

*wish me luck*

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Welcome to January

Welcome one and all to the month of January. The Christmas decorations have all come down-even though Twelfth night falls on Thursday-and although the house looks a tad empty I'm trying my best not to go out and fill right back up again!
This month is still quite full of warming food that need to be jam-packed with energy. Hot soup, juicy steaks and steamed puddings will all be playing a massive part in tea time planning this month, although salad has its place too. I love casseroles in Autumn, but by January I feel like it needs mixed up a teeny bit. Personally I love Greek food, and like to picture the summer holidays and have warming food that’s very Greek, I'm talking kleftiko and stifado…..yummy! Running around the sales could burn off any heavy food calories you have had, but it won’t do any good to those resolutions you only made a short while ago about being the Queen of Thrift.
Remember if you want to buy cheap food mackerel is great right now. We’re really lucky living by the sea and can easily get a whole bunch of fish if we want, I'm learning to be braver as when we moved here I had no idea how to prepare it…but I've slowly been learning and I urge you to try to prepare it yourself if you can! Crab would be a good place to start, so try it now as in January its perfect. Also try to get some seasonal Swede, make some delicious mash with it, it’s really scrummy with proper sausages. For pudding get some great forced rhubarb and make a pie or crumble with ‘lashings’ of cream…what was that resolution about being healthier?
Of course January ends with Burns Night on the 25th, so you have to get your haggis, neeps and tatties ready for your Burns Supper!

2010 has been.....

I'm so glad that I started to keep a blog, there are many reasons I can be grateful for this, and happy that I have it, but one of those reasons is that I can keep track of things we’ve done or things that happened to us.

In January I’d set my heart on becoming a Mother, can you believe the amount of stuff I thought I needed to fulfil that wish? Well, it obviously hasn’t happened, but the fact that I thought it would straight away took up the whole of January. Horrible cold January was made about one million times worse because of things so far out of my control its ridiculous!
February was the same, but I'm not about to go down the path of explaining all that again…however we had a lovely Valentines Day. Each and every Febrauary the 14th The Husband and I take it turn about cooking each others dinner. I had decided to go down the ‘everything should be heart shaped’ route and so a lovely pasta dish was created by yours truly!
March is the month of The Husbands Birthday and I had a wonderful time creating his Birthday tea. I’d hoped that I could take him away for his Birthday-much like the year before, but unfortunately the school holidays came too close to it and it all would have been much too expensive for a couple of days out of town!
April was lovely as The Husbands family from Edinburgh were up and we got to take them to Kincardine O’Neil to show off the beautiful Antiques shops that they harbour in that part of the world. Our beautiful niece Keira was getting healthier after being born quite underweight and she took up much of our time too!
Hooray for May the month of my Birthday and The Mother in Laws of course! Much celebration and more shopping-thrift of course.
In June we decided to move, we’d had quite enough of the town and decided to get out into the wilds! Busying myself about a new home helped to heal the ‘pain’ of January and earlier in the year and in general I think I started to feel a lot better! The sun was also shining and we opened the door to countless walks and adventures.
July was the moving month and one of the worst gout attacks The Husband has ever had….cue lots of stress and anguish on both our parts. However there are a whole range of amazing things that did happen that month! July was jam packed with sunshine and trips to the beach…never a bad thing.
August was also full of sunshine and something I was not used to at all, visitors. We had a spare room…why not fill it with people! A brand new way to feel happy and share all of the lovely things The Husband and I have built together.
September was a walking month…full of visitors and walking. The nephew came over quite a bit and I was already thinking of Christmas. We had trips away and met with family, life was good.
Our anniversary is in October and I think everything was geared towards that weekend off, my last holiday from work was a distant memory and spending time in the deeply golden autumnal sunshine of October was both refreshing and almost medicine for my soul! I love Autumn and the coming of one pot suppers…but winter was around the corner.
How did I know November was coming? But we sure as heck didn’t know that the snow was…the snow started and it hasn’t stopped since…well, its stopped, but then it just starts again, and again, and again! 
December…the years all gone, Christmas fills every space in the house and we feel refreshed. Healed by what has come and what we’ve accomplished.
Bring on 2011

I'm not too awful and a massive Thank You

Hello one and all, and may i also add HAPPY NEW YEAR.  I have been quite absent this last little while, and no...its not because i was at an amazing party to bring in the New Year.  I have been struck down with actual FLU!  I don't think I've had the flu for about 7 years, colds and sniffles, but i have been very lucky, no matter, I'm not one for big parties and especially the new year, so if it had to come, then good job it didn't come in Spring or Summer time.
There are a whole host of things i haven't been doing lately and some of those are on here, in blog land.  I haven't said thank you for my wonderful swap parcel.  So here i am, going a very short way towards saying a massive thank you to Purple Sparkle Crafts for way too many gorgeous things and thoughtful presents.  My camera is dead and the charger has gone walk about again so i don't know when i can even begin to take pictures of all the amazing things i received.  Once again I've not only been astonished, but utterly floored by the kindness of the lovely bloggers out there.  Not only did Purple Sparkle Crafts organise the Christmassy Secret Santa Swap, but she outdid herself!
The obligatory New Years Resolution post will follow shortly, but sadly i must take down the Christmas decorations now.
Wishing you all a happy healthy new year full of the realisation of dreams and the love of the ones you care for.