Who said bad luck comes in threes?

1.  Pranging the neighbour’s bumper with our car……………………………..£180

2.  Dropping a new bottle of the dog’s insulin……………………………………£ 30

3.  The plastic housing coming off the water pump on the car…………….£230

4.  Dropping my phone and smashing the screen………………………………£ 70

5.  Add to that an expensive year anyway (unexpected trip to Kenya

for Lily for her Grandfather’s funeral, a school trip to Barcelona, etc, etc)

………………………………………………..EQUALS……………………………………..£0 left for Christmas.  Oh well.  It’s just as well that I had already decided that we would be focusing on the real meaning of Christmas this year anyway!

Last night for FHE we watched this video.  It is a really beautifully made version of the nativity story.  We also started a scripture paper chain and are planning to read from these each night.


This is what it’s really all about. This is so beautiful.


It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…


The Christmas tree went up yesterday. I think that’s the earliest we’ve ever started our Christmassey build up but we couldn’t wait any longer!


After a rugby tackle, a headlock and a heated discussion it was agreed that it was Lily’s turn to put the star on the tree this year.

And our decorating theme this year is ‘the more the merrier’. Like it is every year. Otherwise known as ‘throw every decoration we’ve ever owned onto the tree’. And I love it!


It was proper cold this morning. Not just a bit nippy but a real deal icy morning. I had to scrape ice of the car before jumping in…and I love it! Maybe the novelty will wear off soon, but in the meantime I plan to embrace the shift from Autumn into Winter.


After collecting the boy from school we decided to walk round the field on the way home. These photos were taken at 3.30pm and I can’t believe how low the sun was in the sky.


Look at the length of the shadows!


Despite the blue in the sky it was still chilly…


…and the mist was already building. Twas very atmospheric!


But it was lovely to get a fresh air fix and enjoy being outside.

Continuing cosiness.

I had a whole weekend off this weekend – what sheer joy! And I had originally planned some energetic activities.  You know, the sort that would actually require us to get dressed and leave the house.  But after my Friday afternoon cosy-fest I decided on an indulgent, all out pyjama day on Saturday. BLIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS!  In our defense, we have all been knocked sideways by various tummy bugs and coughs & colds, so (in my mind anyway) a PJ day was practically medicinal.

We baked…(using this recipe – the dough was LOVELY to work with and the results yummy!)


and I crocheted little stars…(very cute – pattern found here)…


and played with Hama beads…made homemade wholemeal pizzas using this recipe for the base, and topped with BBQ sauce, chorizo, peppers and cheese (I didn’t get any photos as they didn’t survive long enough!)…watched rubbish TV…had loooonnnnngggg bubble baths..read some of my favorite blogs (including 71toes, Posie gets Cozy, My Rose Valley….and took time to smell the lillies.


Mark brought these home for me last week when I was feeling most sorry for myself.  He also brought Imodium, Sudofed, extra loo roll and a Greggs Custard Slice.  Who said romance was dead?  That man knows me so well.

Sunday continued in the same way after church.  Mark went to play golf, the kids went about their various indoor activities and I snoozed on the sofa.  We had the first rehearsal of our new choir last night and it was so lovely.  We are practicing songs for a couple of Christmas services.  I LOVE Christmas music and I came home having sung/bellowed/screeched my heart out feeling all festive.  Which added to my weekend of cosy beautifully!


I’ve been feeling very ‘Novemberish’ over the past couple of days.  But I decided that that is a GOOD thing!  I’ve always hated November.  And January and February, come to think of it.  But I found myself with a spare hour before the school run this afternoon so I filled it with some of my favorite things…

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…a lit fire, a hot chocolate, crochet, something tasty to eat (NOT slimming world friendly – ooops!).  And I decided I like the cosiness of November, more so because of rain and cold outside.


I’ve finished the bobble blanket and I LOVE IT!  Hopefully it’ll be going to it’s new home next week.

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But in case I want to make another one again I thought I’d better make a note of the pattern (taught to me by my Mum)…

chain row in multiples of 5, plus and extra 4, plus two for turning.

Row 1: triples across the whole row.

Row 2: 4 double crochets. Make 4 trebles into the next stictch then take your hook out of the stitch, insert it into the first of the 4 trebles and slip stitch it through the fourth treble (which makes the bobble).  Carry on with another 4 doubles, then repeat with another bobble, then carry on like this for the rest of the row.

Row 3: Trebles all the way back again.

Row 4: Double crochets with a new colour.

Row 5: Double crochets with the old colour,

then repeat from row 2.

I hope I can make sense of that if I need the pattern again!


I’ve got the urge to paint that blue wall green.  I feel a pinterest binge coming on to get some inspiration!  It’d be great to get it done before Christmas.


Memory dump – September 2014


It’s amazing how many of the photos I took in September are of food!  It’s easy to see how preoccupied I’ve been with sticking to my diet and feeding the whole family more healthily.


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This is my favorite Slimming World recipe to date.  BBQ pulled pork, done in the slow cooker.  Ridiculously easy to make but oh so good.  It’s been a big hit with the whole family.


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I took Lily for a back to school haircut and had a shock to see how grown up she looks. Scary stuff.


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A random boy and his dog photo.

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A regular pudding or night shift treat…sugar free jelly with chopped fruit and yogurt.  YUM.


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I really enjoyed this risotto that I cooked from a recipe I saw on Instagram.  Risotto is one of the ultimate comfort foods and you get to have loads of parmesan for a HexA.


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Slimming World Eton Mess – a crushed meringue nest (3.5syns) with chopped fruit and yogurt.


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The best use of 7. 5 syns ever.2014-09-14 06.48.28


And this was the month I discovered Overnight Oats.  35g oats mixed with yogurt and (optional) chopped or frozen fruit and left overnight.  I am seriously addicted to these oats…thick, smooth and creamy.   2014-09-15 10.16.30

I look forward these most mornings.

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Steak, slimming world chips and tomatoes.  This diet is no hardship!2014-09-16 20.52.13

The best of a lot of blurry photos of Spike, Patrick’s hamster.  He really is very cute and extremely tame.

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A little treat I shared with Mum while out for lunch with a friend (Eugene).  And I enjoyed EVERY LAST MOUTHFUL!


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More fruit, more yogurt (there’s a theme here) and sprinkled chocolate.

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I started a new baby blanket for a friend’s newborn.  I’m enjoying this pattern that my Mum came up with and I’m making good progress.



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I got my 1.5 stone award…2014-09-24 11.28.22

and was slimmer of the week again!


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5.5syns of loveliness!2014-09-26 10.26.16


SW cooked breakfast…all completely free.2014-09-26 13.10.29


Mark, my Mum and I went for a wonder around the churchyard on top of the hill one sunny Friday afternoon.  Beautiful.2014-09-26 13.16.17

2 stone down.

Paddy is home from school poorly so we’re spending the day hunkering down from the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo.  It’s been nice to have a day pottering around, having a half-hearted attempt  at a tidy up.  Housework and keeping the place tidy seems to be completely beyond me at the moment but I hate living in a pig sty.  I read about this book on another blog, so I’ve down loaded it…it’s got to be worth a try!


I went to Slimming World last night and was over the moon to get my 2 stone award AND my Club 10!

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I feel so much better having lost 10% of my body weight and I can’t help imagine how much better I’d feel if it was 20%.  Or 30%.

It’s my second yoga class tonight and I’m really looking forward to it.  I went last Tuesday night and on Wednesday Julia and I went to Alton Towers.  By Thursday EVERY MUSCLE IN MY BODY was aching.  It’ll be interesting to see if that was down to the yoga or the day I spent being hurtled around on amazing rides!  I’ve only ever done Hatha Yoga before but this class is more Dynamic/Power Yoga and wow…you can tell the difference!