Monday, 29 December 2014

Garden plans

I have started to organise our garden space. I have made a list of what we would like to grow this year. I am sure I will add to this as the weeks go by. This is our new garden. so much more space. I am planning on turning the top right corner into a vegetable patch. I am also toying with the idea of growing in the front garden too. I shall start with the back and then see how time etc. goes.
We also have a patio area which was littered with my plant pots which I brought with us from the old house. It was all everywhere- dumped! As the first thing I saw as I come out the back door it wasn't very inspiring. So yesterday after I had rebuilt the trampoline for the children I had a quick tidy up. the plants have been moved to underneath the dining room window. they look much tidier there, and means this is a better looking space as I come outside.

The pallet in the photograph is destined to become the first of the raised beds I wants to place in the garden. I am hoping to get out and make that this week. then I will try and source some more once I know how well they go. then a bit of a sweep and the patio area will be ready- even if the weather isn't! LOL
This is onne of my main goals for the next year- to have a more fruitful garden and was one of the reasons for the house move.

Sunday, 28 December 2014


As I mentioned yesterday I have been feeling reflective. Then over on Elaine's blog I saw a video from Jack Mindstore. He is offering ways to help us to have a more positive 2015, by setting goals that are important. Today he said about clearing the clutter in our lives. My first thought was, pah I don't have any, we only moved here a few weeks ago and I took 5 car loads to the dump before we moved. However, I sat and pondered for a while. Intrigued by what I had heard on the video I listened to the first post I had missed yesterday. I listened to the video twice. During the second listening I reached onto the shelf next to me and pulled out a notebook I used to use at uni. I used to write my reflections about what I had learnt in there. I started by making my wheel of life as prompted as Jack spoke. I paused the video several times to give myself time to think as I made my wheel. I suspected that my life wheel was out of balance- however actually making one showed me just how out of balance it is. This is something for me to address over the coming year.

I then went out in the kitchen to make dinner, as I was sorting the meal I looked up and realised that my new home isn't as clutter free as I would like to think. For instance just look at this window ledge;

It certainly wasn't clutter free. So I set about organising all of the things which have accumulated on there and put them in their rightful places. It now is a much better place, let's face it if my plans to grow more vegetables in 2015 are going to come about I shall need that space for my seedlings!

Then as I put away the kitchen foil I realised I have another place in my home collecting clutter;

I am off to organise that now, I wait eagerly for the next instalment of Jack's wisdom over on Elaine's blog.

How do you see your 2015 panning out?

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Gulliver's World

I wanted to take the children to a magical grotto this year. I thought that last year might be the last year that Stephanie would believe, but the magic is still there this year. I was talking on facebook asking where the best grotto's people had been to were. Some of them we had already been to, my sister suggested that I look at Gulliver's World, Warrington as she had been there last year and loved it. An added bonus of this is that she lives less than an hours drive from Warrington so we could stay with her and visit my 'Up North' family for a few days as well.
I am so pleased that we did go there. It cost more than going ot the local shopping centre grotto's at £50 for the three of us to enter, but we had a day in a theme park in with the ticket costs as well, which made the day more appealing for Dylan.
To get to the grotto you got to ride on the Santa Express. Which was eventful, as the express tried to pull up a slight hill the wheels slipped and slid on the track and the train went back to the station. Twice. We found this rather amusing and made some jokes about this. Third time lucky the train managed to successfully pull away, with the help of a little sand. As we were driving along we could see little Christmas scene's set up with elves etc. Then we got out of the train and walked up a ramp into a truly magical set up! We spent a long time wandering around looking at the different scenery. There was so much to look at, I took a few photographs but soon forgot as we were so caught up in what we were doing.

There were talking trees, telling us all about Christmas, there were trees, Santa's, Reindeer, sleighs- everything Christmassy. It wasn't small either it took us a while to get around. It was only us in there for much of the time. Other families had got off the train with us, but we took loner to wander around. There was no rush, I get the feeling we could have spent as long looking as we wanted to.

When we had almost got to where Father Christmas was a Christmas Fairy was waiting with her pot of magic fairy dust. She put it on the children's hands and as we went through to the final section. If the dust glowed brightly you were on the nice list- phew- We were!
We waited with an elf for just a minute before we went into see the man himself.
Stephanie went very shy and was only giving poor Santa one word replies! But he carried  on chattering regardless and in no way made us feel rushed to get out the door. We then passed through into the elves workroom where we were able to select our very own gift from their shelves.
Once we ha chosen we passed through to an elf hut where we made Reindeer food to put outside on Christmas Eve;
Once that job was complete the children decided it was time to hit the rides! These were not your huge theme park rides, but a gentler selection enough to amuse older children but not to rough for the more delicate riders like Stephanie. she surprised all of us by how many rides she did go on, she normally hates all rides!

We went in the haunted house, on the dodgems, the carousel, the roller coaster, the scary-pillar aka the caterpillar among many other rides. We also had a Christmas treat by eating in the café. It was reasonably priced for a day trip place. The food was fairly good. Staff very friendly and polite.
 I have seen some reports that Gulliver's is looking a bit dated, sure its not as glitzy and glammy as some of the bigger theme parks, but it was clean and tidy- including the toilets. However, I think it was fantastic we all came away saying what a great day we had had. We visited as a group of 4 adults, 4 teenagers and 2 younger children. I thoroughly recommend it as a magical Christmas day out- I have already been asked if we can go back next Christmas!

Friday, 26 December 2014

Thinking ahead

There is something about boxing day that makes me want to sit and plan for the future. I think it may be as Boxing Day is often spent with time for me as opposed to all the days through December which tend to be full of busy-ness. Also once Christmas is over I find myself thinking that spring is on the way. With the new house to organise I have a few things I need to do, many of the household jobs have been completed, there are a handful of jobs to go but they are all relatively easy and I am hoping to complete them over the next couple of days.

To help with getting organised I have made myself lists. I have one full of wish lists- I want  a new, bigger and less wobbly dining room table, I would like a compost bin, water butt etc. for the garden along with a few other bits and bobs. I have a to od list comprising of things such as building the plant beds in the garden, put up the bathroom shelves, organise the shed and other such household things. the third list is my plant list, I have been thinking about what I want to grow in the garden next year. If I make a list I can organise a planting schedule and it will also help me to think about space as I begin to set upo the garden. I am considering giving over my front garden to vegetable growing- it is an odd triangle shape, on a downward slope and not much use for anything else! In the back garden I will have one corner where I intend to put the raised beds, then the rest will be family space. I have a picture in my head- only time will tell if this will work.

Hmm this photo won't let me turn it. So if you really want to see the beginnings of my lists, I have no doubt that they will all grow faster than they are completed, you will have to turn your head! Sorry...

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Christmas Gifting

I enjoy buying people gifts and seeing their responses to what I have chosen. However, I can not afford to buy for everyone as much as I would love to. So I have been making gifts for most people with Stephanie. We have painted some recycled jars we have been collecting throughout the year. They have all been personalised for the recipient with a picture of something they like and their name. They have then been filled with candles (for adults) and sweets (adults and children). This project has cost some money in sweets but not as much as buying a nice gift for each person would.
Here are a few of them:
What gifts have you made for people this year? Do you make any with your children for family members?

Saturday, 13 December 2014

We're in.

Sorry for the silence these last few weeks, we have been rather busy with moving home and a lack of internet has made it difficult to keep up with the blogs I enjoy reading as well as posting here.
The house is almost straight. My father in law and Dylan are currently in the middle of boarding out the attic for me so that I can use that as a storage space. The living room is straight. The dining room as almost straight. Stephanie's room is ready for use as is Dylan's. Just my room to finish organising currently it is the storage space so until the attic is finished it will remain a bit messy.

We are in and loving the new house. It feels like home and has since the day we move in. I have a few little bits to do- pictures and mirrors to hang and then it will be done. I am struggling with the concept that Christmas is in less than 2 weeks- I still have present to make/buy. We also have a few nights away booked before the big day. Hmm as always busy busy busy here. This evening my niece and nephew have come for a sleepover.

We also have Jane the elf come to visit us from Father Christmas's workshop. She hasn't been very mischievous this year. So far she has put up the Christmas tree, made snow angels  on the Christmas side, spelt her name in cereal, and left us peppermint seeds to plant which grew into candy canes. I wonder what she will do next!