Friday, 31 January 2014

January Happiness

Five things which have made me smile this month...
1. Preparing several meals for the freezer ready for when I might not feel like cooking during our IVF treatment. At the moment there's four portions of Cheese and Bacon Lasagne and two portions of Ham, Leek and Sweet Potato Pie squirreled away.

Cheese and Bacon Lasagne
2. My new toaster!
Morphy Richards Accents Toaster

3. A lovely day out with LilySJ and lots of new blogging girlies at the Bristol Blogger Meet - and a suprising amount of samples and gifts.
Bristol Blogger Meet
4. The fact that I've now been taking my IVF drugs for 3 weeks and so far (touch wood) I haven't had any of the really nasty side effects. A bit of tiredness, a few minor headaches and a couple of hot flushes but nothing (thankfully) that bad.

IVF drugs
5.  This guy at Frome tonight. It's about the fourth time we've seen him live and he's just amazingly funny - definitely worth seeing live!

Russell Kane tickets

What little things have made you happy this month?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

100 Happy Days #2

The second instalment of my attempt to catalogue 100 Happy Days... :-)
Tuesday 21st January
Bristol Royal Infirmary entrance
More of an #100ThankfulDays picture than happy days but the fact that we have a free NHS in the UK with very talented doctors and nurses is definitely something to be happy about.

Wednesday 22nd January

Hot water bottle
A cold night meant a hot water bottle to bed!

Thursday 23rd January

Early night in bed
Beginning to think this might be a bit tenuous but one side effect of the IVF drugs is tiredness so getting an early night is a happy thing.

Friday 24th January
KFC Fillet Tower burger
Friday night treat after visiting the hospital - KFC Fillet Tower Burger!

Saturday 25th January

Asda duvet cover
Fresh bedding is always a happy thing - although I'm well aware pretty much every blogger has a similar duvet set...

Sunday 26th January
  Blog planning
Getting a load of blog posts planned and edited is very satisfying!

Monday 27th January
Wrapped presents
Last week there was a new baby in the family, plus next week there's two birthdays so I spent an evening getting organised and wrapping everything early.

Tuesday 28th January
Joe Browns Spring Catalogue
The new Joe Browns spring catalogue dropped through the letterbox that morning - far too many pretty dresses...

Wednesday 29th January
First daffodils of the year, just beginning to bloom :-)

Thursday 30th January
Bird print dress
Wore one of my favourite dresses to work today - covered in bird print!

Previous instalments can be found here...
Part One

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Midweek Hop - I'll have a...

The other half's guest post - three music videos on a theme...
(inspired by Desmond Carrington's 'The Music Goes Round')

'Ami Continental 2' 1962 Jukebox
'Ami Continental 2' 1962 Jukebox
This weeks theme is - I'll have a...
Inspired by the end of January on Friday which also means the end of dry January!
(although, I've had a dry 2012 and 2013 and will probably be having a dry 2014 as well)
As always everyone, drink responsibly.

1. Have A Drink On Me by Lonnie Donegan

Possibly not a song to be singing when entering a bar...
'Have A Drink On Me' entered the chart on 11th May 1961 reaching Number 8.

2. Drink Up Thy Zider by Adge Cutler and The Wurzels

Grab your zider jug and sing along!
'Drink Up Thy Zider' entered the chart on 2nd February 1967 reaching Number 45.

3. Cool Water by Frankie Laine

Most cowboys want a stiff drink in a saloon bar - must've been January when Frankie wrote this song!
'Cool Water' entered the chart on 24th June 1955 reaching Number 2.
Happy listening!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

52 Lists - Things to do on a Rainy Day

And we certainly seem to be having a lot of those at the moment!

Garden on a rainy day
One thing we like to do on a rainy evening is play board games. We actually have a games cupboard in our dining room, complete with the usual Scrabble and Monopoly as well as more unusual games such as The Great Game of Britain and Pit.
So in no particular order, our favourite games to play on a rainy day are...
Pit card game
Scrabble board game
The Great Game of Britain
The Great Game of Britain board game
Card games (such as Rummy, Patience and Sevens)
Card games
Woof Woof
Woof woof board game
Monopoly (the Somerset edition)
Somerset edition Monopoly
What do you think? Are board games for life or just for Christmas?
Anything you'd recommend playing?

Monday, 27 January 2014

This Weekend at the Duckpond

We have mostly been...
Visiting - Andrew's dad in hospital. Thank you all very much for your best wishes last week; he's made good progress and was moved from Intensive Care on Thursday to a Gasto-Intestinal ward (I keep wanting to say 'Gastro' which is completely the wrong thing given that most of the people on that ward can't eat or drink!).
He's only being allowed small sips of water and will probably be in hospital for another good week or so but at least everything's heading in the right direction!

Sorting - out lots of things from one place in the house to another. Now that we've got the spare bedroom back into an almost fully functioning room again, it's time to move all the stuff back into it.

Spying - a rainbow through the rain and storms!
Planning - lots of blog posts for the next month to get through when I might not feel very well and am undergoing all sorts of lovely hospital treatment.
Blog drafts
What did you get up to at the weekend?

Saturday, 25 January 2014

I Spy A January Bargain...

And also a December bargain or two!
Even though I probably own more than enough clothes (read: dresses) to last me a lifetime, there were a few things I picked up in the January sales, plus some things for the house and a couple of charity shop bargains down in Cornwall just before Christmas.

Joe Browns Dresses
First up, a couple of things we picked up in the charity shops of Cornwall (actually, they were both in one charity shop in Penzance - it was a very lucky shop!)
 We've been on the lookout for a new clock for our kitchen for a while. I did have a gorgeous dusky pink one from Asda with birds on but both me and Andrew managed to knock it on the floor (whilst moving a ladder) and after that, unsuprisingly it didn't work any more.
This retro-looking clock was only a few pounds on a bric-a-brac table - we'd seen some similar clocks for hideous amounts of money in John Lewis a few weeks earlier so we were very pleased to stumble across this!

Vintage looking clock

And in the same shop was this gorgeous blue and brown coffee pot for £2.50. I don't even drink coffee but I couldn't resist buying this to put on display in my kitchen. It says on the bottom, 'Royal Cauldron, Bristol Ironstone, 'Christine''; I have had a quick Google for any info about it but can't find that much on it, although I think it's from the 60s.
Royal Cauldron Bristol Ironstone Christine Coffee Pot
My first January sales purchase was something (or two things) I've wanted for ages - a retro-style kettle and toaster matching set. Our toaster's been on it's last legs for ages, the handle was broken and it didn't smell that great when it was toasting bread. I put my foot down and said 'that's it, I'm buying a new one' and thought it would be better to get the one I wanted rather than just put up with another cheap one. I noticed Dunelm Mill had both the kettle and toaster reduced to £31.99 each (down from £44.99) and if you spent over £50 you got free delivery as well so I went for that - and very pleased I am with it too!

Morphy Richards Kettle and Toaster

Next up on the list of sale purchases - several (far too many) purchases from Joe Browns...

Andrew spotted these shoes in their sale leaflet and to be honest, the fact that he was interested in actually buying some form of clothing was such a rarity that we had to get them. His verdict is that they're very comfy and I've noticed outside of work, he's worn them pretty much all the time.
Men's Joe Browns Shoes
 The Essential Boot - £26.95 (down from £54.95)

Next come the dresses that just accidentally 'fell' into my online shopping basket whilst buying said shoes...

You'll have to excuse the awkward posing, I don't think modelling comes naturally to me (you wanna see the amount of pictures Andrew took just to get one or two good ones!)

The Flattering Oriental Print Dress - £8.95 each (down from £29.95)
Joe Brown's Dresses

The Dotty About You Dress - £17.95 (down from £29.95)
Joe Browns Dress
The Sweetheart Dress - £14.95 (down from £29.95)
Joe Browns Dress

And my favourite dress of all...the Rock and Roses Dress - £37.95 (down from £54.95)
Joe Browns Dress

Joe Browns Dress

Have you bought anything nice in the January sales?

ps. this post is in no way sponsored by Joe Browns, I just really like their clothing!

Friday, 24 January 2014

52 Lists - Things That Remind You of Home

Lovely Home sign

Things that remind me of my mum and dad's home...
Piles of stuff and mess everywhere
(I grew up in the sort of house that wouldn't look out of place on those 'obsessive hoarders' TV programmes)
The sound of my brother screaming in excitement at some kids TV programme or someone at the front door
Takeaway wrappers in the kitchen (my mum just didn't cook)
Things that remind me of mother and father in law's home...
Potatoes cooking on the hob
Music from the 50s and 60s playing on a jukebox
Constantly being offered a cup of tea
Things that remind me of my own home...
A pile of washing up on the kitchen side (usually things our dishwasher has decided it doesn't want to wash...)
Radio 2 (or 6 Music if I have my choice) on the radio
The sound of banging and hammering coming from the garage

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Midweek Hop - Tam O' Shanter

The other half's guest post - three music videos on a theme...
(inspired by Desmond Carrington's 'The Music Goes Round')

'Wurlitzer 1400' 1951 Jukebox
'Wurlitzer 1400' 1951 Jukebox
This weeks theme is...Tam O' Shanter
Inspired by Burns Night (this Saturday, 25th January) - so three songs with a Scottish theme!

1. Mull of Kintyre by Wings

Who'd have thought a song about a long misty peninsula in west Scotland could become a Christmas number one?
'Mul of Kintyre' entered the chart on 19th November 1977 reaching Number 1.

2. Donald Where's Your Troosers? by Andy Stewart

Clearly Donald still hadn't found his trousers by 1989, after 29 years...
'Donald Where's Your Troosers?' entered the chart on 15th December 1960 reaching Number 37 and then again on 9th December 1989 reaching Number 4.

3. Hoots Mon by Lord Rockingham's XI

I think you'd actually have a hard job finding a 'moose loose' in Scotland!
'Hoots Mon' entered the chart in 24th October 1958 reaching Number 1.
Happy listening!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

A Photo Every Hour - Saturday 18th January

As you probably all know by now, I like a challenge and the lovely Janey from Is That You Darling came up with a fab idea to do a Photo Every Hour day once a month. I really enjoy taking part in those sort of challenges, even if sometimes my day seems a bit mundane!
The first one of the year was Saturday 18th January - a day that involved a bit of shopping, a bit of cleaning and a lot of feeling middle aged...

8am - At the moment my day always begins with the first of my IVF drug fixes
(there's four in total over the daytime)
IVF drugs - Cheese omelette
9am - Cheese and spring onion omelette with toast for breakfast. Pretty simple to make but delicious!

10am - After about 2 hours still in my dressing gown, it was time to choose an outfit, slap some make up on and head out to do the jobs we had planned...
Make up on the dressing table - Paint in B&Q
11am - The first job was trying to find some green paint in the right shade!

12pm - The next job was sourcing some curtains just the right size, colour and price for our new bedroom.
Curtains on display in the shop - Driving to the parents house
1pm - In between visiting different shops we popped into my mum and dad's house for a cup of tea.

2pm - On our way home (after finally purchasing some curtains, yay!), we popped into Asda and ended up looking round the dresses (which is always a bad idea...)
Asda dresses - Tea and Cake at Farringtons Farm Shop
3pm - Last on our list of jobs was a visit to Farringtons Farm Shop to investigate a few things (can't say too much more in case the person in question could be reading this!) and obviously we treated oursleves to tea and cake as well. :-)

4pm - New curtains up and they look pretty good, if I say so myself!
New curtains hung up - Ingredients for Lasagne
5pm - Dinner tonight was going to be Cheese and Bacon Lasagne
(with 4 portions of it going in the freezer for another day).

6pm - Lasagne assembled and about to be chucked in the oven!
Lasagne about to go in the oven - Lasagne cooked
7pm - Lasagne cooked!

8pm - We gave our games cupboard a sort out in preparation for my blog post about things to do on a rainy day.
Board games - Scrabble
9pm - And ended up on the sofa playing Scrabble!

10pm - Time for a hot drink before heading up to bed a bit later.
Hot drinks before bed - IVF Belief CD
11pm - Just as my day starts with IVF things, it also ends with IVF things. I wouldn't say I'm a convert to hypnotherapy but this CD is certainly relaxing and positive - and to be honest, anything's worth a shot!
If you fancy taking part in the Photo an Hour challenge, head on over to Janey's lovely blog to join in next month!
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