Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Our first Geocache! great days out with kids!

Our first Geocache!
Geocaching is a real world treasure hunt! The idea is you download the app it's finds your location and suggests different geocaches to find.
A geocache is a capsule or box or anything that can hold items and a list of who has found it.
You can find the website here http://www.geocaching.com



It's absolutely fantastic to do with kids and the app tracks your found geocaches and suggests your next ones. There are plenty all over the world so you will always have another one  to find somewhere.


We started out on a nice long walk with the dog , the weather looked a bit grey but the sun was shining on the outset. Harry grabbed a nice long stick and Owen tried to dodge the mud as he didn't put his wellies on.
We walkers to the site of our first geocache which was a nano cache ( small one ) near the church, after stopping for photos and then  we used the app to point us in the right direction.



We thought long and hard about where someone would hide something and Owen spotted a small old camera film case in the base of a tree.

We found it! Owen was pleased as punch and let's face it it takes a lot to keep them interested now they are teenagers! We forgot the pen to sign the log but we will go back and do that. So we logged the geo on the app as found and placed it back for someone else to find. We want to do our own one now.

Pleased we had found our first geo we headed home and got caught in an almighty hail storm where Harry exclaimed that this was the Best day ever!

I used the picture of us finding the geocache as our first 190 happy days photo.


 is the real-world treasure hunt that's happening right now, all around you. There are 2,341,423 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide.

100 happy days , catch up.




Heres my last few 100 happy days photos I've shared.

Day 4
Here's Harry licking all the cake spoons , that's the best bit about making cakes!


Day 5 was my book I've been listening to on audible , I'll tell you all about that another day , but my husbands secret is proving to be a good read!


Day 6 , Group hug! ( Doug is there somewhere? ) 
The family came over for Harry's birthday , it was a lovely evening and Eden entertained is all!

Day 7, Harry's birthday! What could be happier than that?




100 happy days day 3 country music!

Someone mentioned the country to country festival at the O2 and it got me thinking about the music and why I like it so much.

So I started listening to the napstar country channel. Before I knew it was dancing and sidestepping around the house to the likes of lady Antebellum( my fave ) , Dolly Parton and this artist whom I now know as  Kacey Musgraves. 




That's why I like county  music so much each song tells a story. Follow your arrow had me laughing out loud loved the lyrics.

 

100 happy days , cuddles with my little one day 2


What's better than an early morning cuddle ? 

I'm grumpy in the morning , I can't help it always have been , so a big hug works wonders.

Who know maybe in a few years he won't be wanting cuddles as much?

This makes me happy.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Minecraft cake for Owens 13th Birthday


I know most children are in to minecraft these days, So when i came to owens 13th birthday i thought decorating a mine craft cake would be the perfect idea.


Ive never iced a cake before so this was my very first effort and i thought squares would be easier.
I made two chocolate cakes in a 10 inch tin. I  basically used a chocolate cake recipe and made quadruple the amount so i had enough.



I covered it in green fondant and was quite pleased with my efforts. I started to decorate it with small squares of icing which i had cut up. The figures have been supported with toothpicks.


As i had plenty of left over icing i made some matching cupcakes which were great as we were going out for tea.


As you can see Owen was thrilled with it and so was Harry.




Now i just have to decide what cake to make Harry this week ! watch this space .TFL.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

100 Happy days!

Today  in going to start and follow 100  Happy days seen first on http://100happydays.com .What a fabulous idea i cant wait!


The concept is to take one photo everyday for 100 days and post to instagram or twitter or Facebook. adding the tag #100HappyDays


100 Happy days


Can you be happy 100 days?

Life moves too quickly i don't want to miss it , the children are growing , i get hung up on things that i needn't be, i get stressed, tired and grumpy.
Let change the outlook and grab life and cherish every day! i cant wait!
Im afraid ill be doing more than one  photo though!
Photo coming soon!




Thursday, March 20, 2014

What in your shopping trolley?

Whilst standing at the queue in tesco I was l looking at my conveyor belt of bits thinking each bit tells a story, ok so i sound like nuts but my brain was ticking it over.
Tesco conveyor what did you buy
So it was a quick shop but the rolls are there because I have my friend Julie over for lunch and to do her hair, was slighted peeved that one roll is 40p and six were 60p? Think this is very misleading especially for people living on there own or who don't notice , so much for not promoting waste too.
If it's 60p for six the rolls are 10p each???
Why should people be ripped off? (Rant over)
Mince , beans, salsa, got the family over for dinner as it's Lewis's birthday ( my little brother ) easiest thing to cook for lots of people with jackets too. The refried beans in a can are for the nachos which as you can see when I got home I realised I'd forgot them. My friend Kirei made amazing nachos with them a while ago and they were fantastic!
Fat free Greek yogurt much healthier than sour cream.
Hot cross buns, that means Easter is near , I have got a great recipe for hot cross buns will share soon they are super scrummy to make, two packs here as it cheaper again so will freeze one.
Chocolate brioches, much easier to buy in the uk now . These remind me of France and are a great filler for the kids.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My first still life watercolour.

Today I thought I'd have a go at a still life , I've  only ever done about  four watercolours and I'm finding it very hard. I don't know weather I should be embarrassed to show it on here but I want to document my art as I go keep a diary so to speak, and hopefully I'll see some improvement.

I did art only in the first 3 years of senior school and I didn't take it as an option at school , one of my only regrets in life.
In the last few months I've been going to deans art classes at barley lands billericay http://m.deansmithart.com
I did my others there, at the moment I am painting a canvas in acrylic for my sons bedroom it's nearly finished.

I'm aware it looks quite childish but I'm sure I'll be able to improve with practise. I would love to be able to paint and draw with confidence.
All of the paint colours were total guess work the only bit I like is the glass.

Thanks for stopping by x

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Domestic goddess! ( not ) coping with building mess!

I strive all the time to keep things organised and clean and tidy , It's so hard! I have a good old tidy up vacuum and dust and before I know it it's chaos again!
Having a house under construction again does no favours, 
So first i took  to packing most of our ornaments, books and things not needed in to boxes to save on dusting. This meant i had a good clear out too.

It's got to be a better idea than leaving it all on display plus it's leaving me with time to do all those odd jobs that can be done whilst living on a building site .

Harrys Travel themed boys bedroom.

With all the work going on it will be a long time before the boys would get nice smart bedrooms, Harrys room was very babyish and needed a temporary update.
We installed new sliding wardrobes which housed everything! a new lick of paint and some accessories

Boys travel world themed bedroom



little box shelving from next , photo frames, storage unit  and net boxes from ikea here
The ikea storage unit was for all of Harrys lego , each box is for a separate theme ie star wars , ninjago.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Epping forest memories, The Gravels, High Beech and Baldwins hill.

Whilst sitting on a train to London I noticed a competition to enter about memory's of the forest, it was the Woodlands trust  love it or lose it campaign.
So being inspired to write I told the story of Epping forest. Unfortunately  I never forwarded my piece . I found it today whilst searching through my notes on my phone so I thought I'd add it here.


My earliest memory's are of golden autumn days, crunchy leaves, fairys hidden in the hollows and seeing the faint furrows of lines  left from the rows of potatoes planted in the war. 
My nanny dolly taught me how to ride a bike , tell the time and enjoy the magic of the living forest . Doris jessie harrington or dolly as she was better known was bountiful women who had a heart of gold , having grown up in Peckham she found the move to Essex  made easy by the fabulous maze of Epping forest! 

As a small child she would lead  is in to the forest and walk for hours every one would comment that even the dog couldn't keep up! 
She knew every path every brook and every wishing well! Many a penny was thrown in on a wish in the hope it would one day come true.
Sliping gangly feet in to cold Wellies to walk in the brook was the best part, or sledging down baldwins hill on a tray with Sam the dog shivering in his fluffy coat. 
Ill always remember the stories she told me as she walked how grandad learnt to swim in the "gravels pond" and then subsequently my mum fell in it in later years. Or how her great nan used to live in the house at the top of baldwins hill which was then only a porch.


One things for sure one of those little penny wishes didn't come true in that I wished my nanny dolly would be with me forever . The pain is still with me but over the years it becoming easier to cope and i don't feel like I'm drowning anymore,  I can take comfort in my heart that when ever I visit those gravels my nan and grandad are always with me. I can enjoy the memories and crunching in the leaves with my own children and hopefully my own grandchildren one day .


Me , my Mum, my Nan and my Sister , this was the last visit to the forest with my nan before we lost her.

Henry Hoover! Where have you been all my life!



I have just inherited a Hoover called Henry,  well borrowed! And I'm pleasantly impressed with it!
Having had dysons for years I thought I'd never look back and we are on our third! The DC 25 ball , which has been very good even though a little heavy.
But still, having all this work done at home is proving to play Havock with my poor dyson and it just can't handle it!
We haven't actually hoovered any major brick dust or plaster dust just general  dust around the floor we've washed all the filters but still is losing the will to live. It can be revived I know,  you get excellent customer service with dyson and complete service for a charge after warranty so it may have to see a repair man.
Hence the Henry!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Our little bit of essex, The Build!


Welcome to our home in essex, we decided after moving here that we would do it up from scratch and make it our own.

(Taken whilst celebrating the royal wedding)

The kitchen was extended some 15 years ago before we moved in, and protrudes from the back of the house and all though it's beautiful we feel it now needs a new life and to be more open plan and suits our family needs.
My husband and a  close friend of his designed the house and put plans in to the local council and after a few tweaks here and there the plans were excepted.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our french home in normandy

Twelve years ago we bought a lovely house in Normandy France, Nestled in the small village of Percy amongst the Normandy cows and rolling fields.
We had the house many years choosing to go there for holidays and quiet breaks before finally taking the plunge and renovating!
It went from a large Farmhouse with two bedrooms and numerous barns to a beautiful double sided house with so far Six bedrooms five bathrooms and two kitchens.
Here is the house before all the work started this was taken in 2004.
2004

As its been four years now since we have started building im going to try and recap some of the events in making this house our piece of bliss.

2013

Monday, March 10, 2014

What she wore, Cheeky little meal with friends.


Ok so out again sat with friends for a meal , I never know what to wear I like to be comfy when sitting and eating so here is what I wore.
Shoes nine west Flax black suede Take a peek
Oasis black skinnys Take a peek
Next blouse Take a peek
Anya Hindmarch emerald green faithful clutch the out net Take a peek


Sunday, March 09, 2014

A trip to summer hill garden nursery

Last Sunday it was a beautiful day first bit of sunshine for ages, so what do you do? We'll you follow the hoards of people and plod off to the local garden centre.

Summerhills on the a127 in Basildon is one of my favourites they always do it up so well.


Stunning displays of indoor plants, but I was interested in some spring colour so I popped outside and spotted these beautiful camellias .


This is jury's yellow camellia .



This beauty is Japanese desire .


Although I really wanted to purchase one I felt what with the build our gardens took a back seat so maybe when we are nearer to the end and it can have a nice spot where it won't be moved.


Some people weren't so impressed with the flowers!


Until we bought him some sweets from the candy bag shop! 

Behind is a pretty little heart basket with some primroses I bought whilst there.





Red stiletto courts, perfectly tarty!

Friday night was girls night out for a friends birthday , so I though I would invest in a pair of sexy red courts.

I wanted a pair for a while and imagine my surprise when I spotted this fabulous little pair for £28 in Next. Take a peek
I find expensive shoes get ruined on a pub night out and this pair did come home with some tequila rosé On them,  which did wipe off with a wet cloth and they now look no worse off for their little tipple. 
I chose to wear them with a black tapered pair of next trousers bought the same day for £22 Take a peek
A mango leopard print shirt I've have for some time, and my new Anya Hindmarch Gracie mini in black gunmetal! Purchased from the outnet for £225 ( rrp was £450! ) Take a peek
All the pics are taken in my sons bedroom excuse the bad fitting carpet edge on wardrobe hubby did a quick fix  awaiting new carpet when builds over.




Thursday, March 06, 2014

Liz Earle cleanse and polish hot cloth cleanser review

Today in the post I received a brochure and free trial of a Liz Earle product so it's inspired me to tell you about my favourite  beauty product.
The Liz Earle range consists of luxurious body, face, hair and make up ranges using amazing ingredients and scents,
The products feel like a real treat to use. 

Cleanse and polish is one of there well known products and one that I love!
I've never been a fan of cleansers you have to wash off as I feel like it drys out my skin but this doesn't . 
The ingredients are very natural and would be great for skin that's prone to spots or delicate skin as it won't strip it and promote more oil production.
The product gently cleanses and exfoliates its smooth and creamy in consistency and contains chamomile and cocoa butter to name but a few. It even has eucalyptus oil in which is fabulous in the morning as very refreshing and  it smells amazing. 
The idea is to massage in to your face and wash of with a nice hot cloth it feels very luxurious and my skin never feels dry. It removes all traces of the days make up and grime.

The polish comes in various sizes in a tube or a pump so great to get a smaller one for travel you often get a sample one free too when you order online.
A starter kit is £14.75 for a 100 ml pump and a cloth, but every month they do an offer for your essentials , this month one for March 2014 is 200mls cleanse and polish ,plus tonic ( toner)  , moisturizer , a cloth and an eye creme for £43, think I may well be investing . 

I've a few other Liz Earle favourites that I use that I will review next time, I m of now to try the bergamot & ginger silky body lotion they sent me! 

Watch this space! X

Mulberry Effie satchel oak spongy pebbled (large) review.

This is my first mulberry purchase! However technically a very good one seeing as most of it was payed for by my husbands points! ( thanks dear! )
The feeling of owning this little beauty was very exciting still is every time I open the dust bag.

I chose the large Effie  satchel mainly for the colour and size , I wanted a tan bag, and the size is great for the daytime. I can fit long wallet, sunglasses , kindle, cardholder and lots more bits and bobs.
It's a lovely soft rounded shape which is casual and fun and one which I have enjoyed and will enjoy carrying around. Bought as a summer (and or) holiday bag it's fitting it's purpose perfectly, it will be out of the dust bag again soon and being used as soon as the sun comes out.
The spongy oak leather is exactly that! its lovely and soft and does wrinkle slightly with wear, in saying that I do feel it needs protecting and worry that it may easily get scratched, albeit in the 5 months I've used the bag it hasn't .
The bag has been used during the summer and stored in a dust bag for a few months over winter with paper inside to keep it in shape.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Morroccon lamb shanks minus the shanks

Tonight tea was a success!
Moroccan lamb shanks that fell of the bone!
Ok so it may not look all that appetising I'm not that good at the photos of food but it tasted good and very healthy here's the recipe .
2 lamb shanks
1 chopped onion 
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 inch ginger grated
1 green chilli finely diced
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
100ml water 
1 tablespoon of honey
1 can of chopped tomatoes 
1 can of chickpeas ( I used cannellini beans)
Any fruit raisins , dried apricots or apples
Slow cooker

Monday, March 03, 2014

Diet Monday , twinings peach and cherry blossom green tea review

Now I don't confess to knowing all about dieting and being a size 10 I here you say you don't have to diet!
Well not entirely true! After having the boys my weight steadily started to go up a couple of pound here starve a bit loose a pound and a couple more pounds there, before you know your one or two stone heavier and up two dress sizes. 

So i went to Slimming World! which was fantastic and a real eye opener I didn't know half the stuff was even fattening!
I lost well over a stone and I've managed to keep it off even now.
So I thought I make diet Mondays the days where I tell all my little tips and tricks of how I keep it under control. After all we all know what it's like after the weekend!

Today's tip Green tea! 

Sunday, March 02, 2014

trials and tribulations of being back in the blogging world!!

The trials and tribulations are quite demanding!
When i set up my blog many moons ago on blogger it was straight forward in the way that you didn't have much choice and you could google something quick for the answer.
Now however the choices are endless the templates to purchase the gadgets to add and so on are pretty confusing!
Im planning on turning my blog around adding more information make it look pretty and be informative!
I promise when I've learnt the failsafe easy ways to technically set up your new blog i will post tutorials here.
Here i what i need to know!

Do change templates in blogger or edit the classic version?

How to add gadgets?

How to find the perfect wallpapers and adding them to backgrounds?

How to get my domain name working?

just about everything really so in the meantime i will add some info and post and keep it going while i persevere!!

Anyone who sees this feel free to help! Thank you X