Welcome to Homemaking Heaven: Make it Home. Pull up a seat and pour yourself a cuppa!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

My home

I love my home because of its proximity to the sea shore. I love walking out of the front door and smelling the salt. I love knowing what the sea is like before I reach it. I want to know what sort of day it is because of how the air smells.

I like that I can smell peoples fires. I like that there are roses and sweet peas outside of my front door. The window boxes outside the front door and our window are filled with lavender as well. I liked planning those boxes, I dreamed of those boxes for so long before we got them.

It doesn’t seem like much but it can instantly make you happy. I smile as soon as the scent hits me. It’s my home, its how I planned it and I’ve always wanted it.

I think it’s not very wrong to want lots of things, it just depends how you go about getting them and how attainable they are.

I want lavender and sweet peas. I can get them easily and it’s a very good goal to want those. It’s in the same respect I think about little children. I know when I have children I’ll want to give them everything I can, I already want them, and part of the way we run our home is about the planning for children. I will give my children everything-but by that I mean good food, days in the garden and books. Walks down the beach and shell collecting, warmth and hot chocolate. Blankets to make forts with and patience. I will give them tiring days and the scent of sea at bedtime, lavender outside of their window and lots and lots of love. It doesn’t seem like much, but it will be everything I have, and what keeps me going-when wishing alone doesn’t always work, is that I have more time to prepare and gain patience.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Welcome Summer


 It’s so bright and lovely here right now. I've been drooling at all of the garden posts on the old blogging sphere at the moment.

Well, actually, they’ve been going for some time. We haven’t had the sun that the rest of the UK has had and only now are buds appearing outside. It is most certainly an exciting time.

It's so bright and welcoming, and fills me with hope.  The joy that comes with planting tiny little seeds and then seeing them come up in a variety of leaves dotted all over the garden!
We didn’t have a garden this time last year, and we’ve only been able to potter about for a wee while. I went a little wild in the aisles buying seeds and after a couple of early problems-notably the ex-gardener raking up my first two attempts at planting-we are on our way. It’s a little bit haphazard for two reasons. First the gardener issue. And the second is that I like a country cottage garden look. I didn’t really know how to achieve this and so decided to empty all the seeds I had out into a big bucket, mix said bucket with compost and throw over raked soil! Something tells me Monty Don isn’t shaking in his boots!
The garden is a mixture of grass with various borders around it. One side of the garden had really high bushes, and the part closest to the cottage has great big ugly slabs. The back garden looks to the west, and so the sun passes right over it casting all sorts of shadows at different times through out the day. The back border was empty except for a tree and a rhododendron. I am glad to say that I have changed that!

Their were two other little patches of sad empty soil which I originally planted scented flowers in, however these were destroyed and the scented flower seeds only survived if they happened to be near bulbs poking through or the lavender seedlings. The second chance I had at planted resulted in much of the same. However by the third time I came to planting there I had decided on herbs.

This is the garden last year as we found it.  Lovely all the same, but with much more colour this year!  Sadly the camera died half way through my trip outside to get all the pictures i could and so here we are with a reminder of last year!

Quite a lot of the bulbs are well and truly leafy and I can see little buds, and the bushes are doing all right. I'm a tad disappointed to not find any poppy seedlings as they are my most favourite flower and would have done well is my sandy soil.
I guess time will tell how well things are going. I just want a garden full up of colour and scent. I want bee’s and butterflies to hover around and get well nourished. I want to be able to cut away at whatever I like and bring it inside-even if it does make me feel like I'm robbing nature!

I can’t wait for long days lying in a beautiful garden, The Husband getting the BBQ on, and lighting the fire pit. I love Summer!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Bed in Summer

Bed in Summer

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday, 26 June 2011

What’s the first book you loved?

When I was very little, oh my goodness did I hate visits to the library. I did not want to be taken into town to visit that branch. I did not wish to be dragged along to the mobile trundling down the road. I did not like sitting quietly or getting into a story. I, for some reason or other, did not want to hear more about whatever I wanted. The most magical places created on paper did not mean a jot. I wanted to play, I ran around outside until I was tired and then I fell asleep.

My poor Mother would read to me, drag me to these places, take me on trips, and it went clean over my head! How awful, I bet I have a child exactly the same and it will teach me!

This was most certainly the case until about primary four. We moved three times in that one year, and with it I moved school. I was quite obviously in a low reading group and was given The Dragon in Class Four to read at home. Like normal it was thrown in my bag and only retrieved when my Mother asked if I had homework-I replied no-and very untrustingly delved into my bag to recover homework.

Like always I was sat on my Mothers lap and she listen as I read out from the book. Something really quite magical happened, my Mother had read the note accompanying the book stating that I was to read to chapter one. When I turned the page to get to the end of said chapter I kept going. This was a massive moment. Whilst moving schools I was given this book a couple of times to read and I read and read.

It took one very special little book to get me to love reading. I wanted similar books and so read Through The Dragons Eye as it seemed like it could be similar, it really wasn’t, but when I was found reading that by my teacher she handed me The Chronicles of Narnia…and so from there I kept going.

Isn’t it lovely how some books just change everything? They mark out a specific time or moment. My shelves are packed with books and pictures. But really they do the same job. I know where I got every single item; I know what it meant and what I was into at the time.

I really started thinking about this the other day. Whilst tidying a small section of children’s books the other day I came across The Dragon in Class Four. I just held the copy for a moment and opened it up to read a few lines. I think I'm going to have to get a copy from somewhere, not to read now, but to have in case someone visits the house. My two nephews are getting bigger by the day, and I want to give them everything I can.

Can you remember the first book you loved? I bet because I learned to love reading so late its very easy for me, I’d love to know what you fell in love with.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Summer is about being outside. Busy or still, it’s about feeling the warmth on your skin.
I tend to think of Summer and Winter as still months, while Autumn and Spring are busy.

 Spring is sowing and organising, it’s all about tidying up inside and throwing all of the windows open.  Autumn is about gathering the bounty, but the months before and after are about enjoying the peace.
We are in Summer now; we are feeling the benefits of the work in Spring.  We are clear and clean inside.  We are already tidied away and at peace in the house.  The clutter has been cleared-the very best a hoarder can clear away things.

Right now I feel I need the peace and the quiet and the flowers in the garden.  Right now I need to sit, bare foot staring out at the bumble bees.  I need the still, still summer.  The long days, the bright mornings.

Things are changing-the seasons as well as in our home.  We’re making decisions and facing tough choices so we are welcoming all that can bring calm.

I hope you are surrounded by the ones you love and having a much more peaceful existence in your own homes.
x x x

Friday, 24 June 2011

The CK sale!

When the CK mag dropped through the door a couple of days ago i nearly screamed out with joy!
So first thing this morning i started adding things to the shopping basket...
I've ordered up the little blue bunny for a friend of a friend who is having a little boy.  We have only quite recently met up, and i normally forget Birthdays and the like, however with little ones i think you really should remember, so I've got this and a little bib and booties set.

This is so utterly adorable-and also another present.  Its for my little nephew-his Birthday is in October, but i love this so much and if you have the spare pennies and love it....why not buy it now and put it aside?

Also for my little nephew-his Daddy is a farmer, but his Grandparents on my friends side are both bikers.  I thought i better keep them both happy!

Um, i can't pretend its a present, well, unless you count me?!!  Its a seaside theme and we live by the sea, what more can i say?!

See above!  The kitchen needs brightening up and napkins are a very cheap and effective tool in brightening up any place setting.

OK, this is better, also for a friend, I'm just putting it by until their Birthday roles around.
I can't wait for it all to come through in the post, I am in serious need of some cheering up!  Hmm, come to think of it, i wish i ordered more than one of a couple of things.
Have a lovely weekend.

A trip West

A teeny wee while ago i posted about a trip my Uncle, Aunt and myself took westward for an event.  They were very kind in asking me if i'd like to go with them as i was a teeny bit lonely what with The Husband being away from home and working on the other side of the world!

My uncle was doing something or other and my Aunt and i decided to head to the church and then over to the Lonach hall.  You may have heard of this tiny place as its where Billy Connolly lives.
Its such a beautiful part of the world.  I love it as its really hilly which is something we don't have here.
We met up with such lovely people and the church service had three of my favourite hymns in it-What a Friend we have in Jesus, Glory, Glory Hallelujah and Then Sings my Soul.  I really love the louder and faster hymns!

We met up with my Uncle after a lovely afternoon tea and tumbola-in which i won a can of cola and a tub of hand cream-and we all had a little walk with Daisy Dog.

It was a lovely day and i was so happy for the company and chance to meet up with some old friends and meet lots of new ones.

The worth of books?

I guess if you’ve followed or read this blog for any length of time you’d know either that I'm a librarian or that I love books. The book thing is pretty self evident, only if you’ve known me for mere moments, you’d catch on pretty quickly.

Before heading to work the other day I caught a little bit of the news-I always keep either Chris Evans or BBC 1 on in the morning so I can see the time as I run about trying to iron things or find accessories. Anyway, I will get back to the point! I heard a little segment all about reading and so thought I would give myself five minutes to actually SIT and listen. I was so upset to hear that one in three children come from a home with less than ten books. Now I don’t know if that was only in England and Wales-because it was about the curriculum which is different in those countries, or if it was the UK, or in fact GB, but the fact remains the same.

In no way at all do I mean that I was thinking of children from homes where parents don’t collect all the ‘stuff’ that I do here, and I certainly wasn’t upset to think of little ones that have so many visits to various libraries that they just don’t bother buying books. I instantly thought of little ones not encouraged. Not the ones that it’s hard to pin down, just the ones left to their own devices, flailed about, failed and didn’t try again.

I feel lucky that I work in an environment where the children are already brought in, either because they do have encouraging parents or the children do want to read or learn. We, at that point, haven’t fought the battle. We have these little sponges eager to learn, they are placed right in front of us, and we give them whatever they want. I am so lucky that we aren’t fighting a loosing battle once I attend work. It’s the meetings and what not that we have to prove our worth, but once we’re in the building we are instantly thought highly of by little ones. We give them all the time in the world to find exactly what they want-no matter how odd sounding the request is. We’re the ones that give their grown-ups the stories that get read to them at night time.

I know I don’t have any little ones, and boy is it easy to make promises when carrying them through isn’t going to happen any time soon. But I certainly pray that I will always have the energy to give a child attention when it comes to books. I think the world of any people that trudge down to their local library in the pouring rain. The grown ups that escort their little ones down in the snow, tugging them in little red sledges, piled up with books to return and replace. YOU are heroes to me! Not only do you keep me in a job-thanks for that too-you actually make me think the world can be an ok place for the children brought into it!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Trips away

A little while ago The Husband and I went to Edinburgh, TH was working and I packed up and went along with him. He had found a nice hotel that would also allow dogs which was quite close to the town centre. We packed up one day, jumped into the hire car-which by the way was MUCH nicer than our own-and headed down south.
Although we’ve got family there, we don’t often get to visit, so I was very excited. I always get quite excited when I see the forth road bridge and luckily we got into town and found the hotel quickly.

As TH was working he got himself all set up for some emails and contact with the office while I whisked Daisy Dog away for a little walk. To tell the truth I always like to go out for a little explore when I find myself in a new destination. TH had himself a little nap when we got back and I took myself off to the gym and swimming pool. By the time we both felt like it was time to eat, we were much too late to find anywhere normal, and so we wondered down to The Hard Rock Café for some burgers, fries, nacho’s and potato skins, quickly followed by a giant sundae. It was supposed to be a joint dessert, however TH isn’t a pudding person and I happily devoured most of it!
As TH had to get off to a meeting quite early the next day we took Daisy Dog off for a wee walk and headed to bed. Just a teeny bit squished as no matter how many blankets and cushions we took Daisy had to be squeezed into the middle!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Birthday Presents

Because The Husband was away for my actual Birthday you may remember that i had two birthdays

It didn't mean i got two lots of presents....but at least it means they were spaced out!

No Birthday of mine could be complete without a candle..could it?  I haven't had this one before but it smells lovely.  I adore sweet, sweet scents and this one was worth waiting for.  Im awful at keeping canldes for Autumn and Winter, but this one won't wait!

My main present was this perfume...i am utterly addicted to Amazing Grace by Philosophy and luckily got this perfume!
I got some nail polish, bottles of wine, westie related things and lots of vouchers!  I love getting vouchers as not only do you get to say thank you for being so kind when you receive them, but you also get to tell the person what lovely thing you bought with their kind gift

Sunday, 12 June 2011


This counts for excitement when you're married.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

A nice day for a drive

Last week while The Husband was away my Aunt and Uncle called and asked if I'd like to go on a trip with them.
So i packed up Daisy Dog and headed out for the weekend 
I spent the Saturday night with them and we headed West for the trip on Sunday bright and early 
We went to a beautiful place, i definitely want to come back later in the Summer with The Husband 
And i guess we'll be visiting next year too, as its a bit of a tradition really
and I'm very glad to be part of it.
I promise to share more later as I'm a bit caught up with The Husband being home today, and just much too excited to do anything.  Hopefully we'll be having more trips into the Cairngorms so i can get much more pictures...ooops, I've said too much!
Have a great weekend.  I hope its nice where you are!

Friday, 10 June 2011

We were spoiled for too long...

We were too spoiled for much too long. We ran around last week shouting "We're hotter than Ibiza, we're hotter than Ibiza."  And indeed, we were.  It made the local news on the hour every hour.  We were warm, no, strike that...we were much too boiling hot for a village on the North East coast.  Windows were perpetually thrown open and at dusk every night i ran outside to try to water the plants.  Too many of them took a bit more sun than was good for them and my  poor sweet pea's have dwindled down to about a pot and a half worth now.  I still hope that they can come up through my roses later in the summer.
Last week was a reading week, just reading in the garden, and the occasional nap.  "We're not made for this weather," we would tell our neighbours.  I knew too well that we all got a little bit more friendly when it snowed outside, but i never have gotten the oppertunity to find out we were more open to peeping over garden fences in the Summer heat to chat too.

We had it good for too long, it started to get too 'close', even spending the day down on the beach didn't help.  There was no 'air', no breeze or freshness.  My head hurt non-stop for a whole week, we all felt the pressure building above our heads....then...BANG!
A giant thunder and lightning storm.  It lasted all night and the rain poured down.  Giant drops, not spring or summer showers.  Wild, crazy, howling, thrashing wind and storms.
Dasiy dog barked twice and went back to sleep.  I sat in the porch for a while watching it all, but quite frankly it got a bit dark after a while and the storm calmed and i headed off to bed.   
In the morning my head didn't hurt and it was cool outside. The next couple of days The Storm was all we spoke about...very British, its all about the weather! "Did you hear the storm?", "Were you kept awake by the storm?", "Cleared the air, that storm did, didn't it?"
We will never be happy, unless we're just happiest talking about the big news in the village, which apparently is just the weather.
Have a great weekend, The Husband is home and i couldn't be happier!

Friday, 3 June 2011

We're hot

The pup is in the porch panting, I've lifted her inside twice, but she crawls back into the warmest place in the whole house and pants....The windows are all thrown wide open and she has a bowl of water with some ice cubes in it in three different rooms...she is doing well, nobody looks after me when its too hot to do a thing.

Everything is so happy that the sun has come out to play, its all so green and luscious.

I think she is soaking in all the heat she can while it is hot.  We had a dog that would have to be dragged from the fire side when he got too hot, so i know that its in their nature.
She hid under the lush foliage of the bushes in the garden earlier this morning, but then collapsed into the sunshine on the patio.  Its too bright to sleep and I've already tidied up the house, ran outside re-potted a whole bunch of things i should have cared for long ago and tidied up the garden.  Now that i feel like closing my eyes in the sunshine i know i need to head off to work and put in another couple of hours!
Roll on the weekend, it is going to be good!