Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Blog Review | 2013

Two hundred and twelve posts this year.
120,560 pageviews, approximately, in the life of this blog.
143 followers, plus a handful of others who regularly comment but don't actively follow me. 
This blog had its ups and downs, and it turned out to be my quietest blogging year to date.

Successfully completed were:
  • Project Life ~ none of which was blogged, which somehow made it easier to keep on top of things.
  • December Daily ~ love, love, love this annual project.
  • 30 Days of Thankful ~ a great way to look at life's blessings.
  • One Little Word ~ the word for 2013 was change and I admit that I lost interest in recording things about it after the summer.  The world didn't end.
  • Move More, Eat Well ~ none of which was blogged but there was definitely more of the moving more, the eating well less so, but two years in, I'm still heading in the right direction.   
~ self-portrait 31 December 2012 ~
Projects for 2014:
  • Project Life.  Moving in to year 4 of documenting the mundane everyday.
  • One Little Word ~ the fourth year and the word for 2013 seems to actually be two words: be more. Plans are to keep it very simple.  A homemade album, 8x6, using multi-pocket page protectors (left over from the December Daily album), one page protector per month.
  • Move More, Eat Well ~ moving into the third year with the same good intentions and the goal of building up to running one mile a day.  
  • Me: The Abridged Version ~ see foundation pages here.  This would be a project for The Boy Child, where I completed the foundation pages in November 2011.  I then put the album on the bookshelf and forgot about it.
  • A mini-album about my days in the Royal Air Force.  I may not have many photos from back then, but plenty of my old pals post theirs on Facebook.
  • A mini-album about London's landmarks for The Boy Child.  I had grand ideas originally, but am now thinking of keeping it simple.
  • Mini-albums about our proposed holiday ideas: New York City and Paris are in the frame.
  • Finishing off outstanding projects, such as our album about the London 2012 Olympics  
  • More scrapbook pages.  Plain and simple.
  • Yet more photographs of the everyday.
~ self-portrait 31 December 2013 ~
Thanks for sticking with me this year and I hope that we'll meet up again very soon. 
As 2013 draws to a close, I wish family, friends, readers, commenters and blurkers a very happy and healthy 2014.





Saturday, 28 December 2013

December Daily | Days 22-25

I finished up December Daily this afternoon.  Again, every page was kept clean and simple.
Days 22 and 23: Old friends came for the afternoon and the purchase of a reindeer hat.
Days 24 and 25, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: new pjs and the magic of Christmas Day.
I added extra photos to the 25th and I also included the Advent calendar my mum had sent The Boy Child.
I felt duty bound to include a family photo of the Christmas jumpers!
For the very last page, I just used a piece of patterned paper cut to 8x6.
And there it is, another completed album to add to my collection.
Clicking on any of the photos will make it clearer.
December Daily is the brainchild of Ali Edwards and the really cool thing about it is that it can be anything you want.  Ali posts once a day about December Daily and always includes a linky you can add your own December Daily post to.


Friday, 27 December 2013

The Nutcracker

Many moons ago, in another life, I had the good fortune to work at the Royal Ballet School.
A perk of the job was the frequent visits to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, using the entrance reserved for members of the Company.
I didn't know anything about ballet back then.
I don't know much more now.
But I do know enough to know that The Boy Child was now old enough to sit through a performance of The Nutcracker.
And he loved it!
But he gave it a qualified review: "Mummy, it was awesome, but not as good as Star Wars!"

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

From Me to You

From our house to yours.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season.
May it be filled with love and laughter. 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

December Daily | Days 16-21

Okay. Five days in Gibraltar and how they fit into this year's December Daily album.
On the 16th: we flew out for a five-night stay in Gibraltar and met the Macaques.
On the 17th: we went up the Rock via the cable car.
On the 18th: we went on the bus to Europa Point, Europe's southern-most point.  The Boy Child was very grumpy.
On the 19th: we had a difficult day.  The Boy Child had had a very disturbed night and Autism was front and centre during the day.  It was also the day that a Macaque tried to climb in through our 3rd-floor window.
On the 20th: we went back up the Rock, this time on foot and the weather was amazing.
On the 21st: the day we came home.
If you're thinking that I put these pages together quickly, here's how I did it.
I took the journaling cards with me, along with my daily Project Life cards, and wrote them up every evening once The Boy Child was in bed.  (The Brainy One and I would sit in companionable silence, reading or writing, until The Boy Child Child was asleep and then we would have a cuppa and watch a bit of TV.  Rock and roll, I tell you, rock and roll.)  I also wrote in more detail in our holiday journal.
I printed the photos last night while I was waiting for the washing machine to finish.  I use an Epson Stylus Photo P50.  Each page is ultra simple and I think I used just the one embellishment.
Clicking on any of the photos will make it clearer.
December Daily is the brainchild of Ali Edwards and the really cool thing about it is that it can be anything you want.  Ali posts once a day about December Daily and always includes a linky you can add your own December Daily post to.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

They Have No Fear

The sun came out in Gibraltar this afternoon, and blue skies also made an appearance.  The Brainy One had opened our room window a fraction and within five seconds, honestly, there was a Macaque trying to climb through it
I'm not sure how The Brainy One managed to avoid trapping its fingers.
Our room is on the third floor and we do not have a balcony.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Simply a Moment | With a Macaque

We're only 50 metres from the hotel when we hear her.
A little girl, younger than The Boy Child, is crying her heart out.
Her mother is clutching her hand and looking as though she has no idea what to do next.
Curiosity piqued, we stop and follow the mother's gaze.
A Macaque has the child's pink rucksack in one hand and is helping itself to prawn cocktail crisps with the other.
The Boy Child shrieks and is plainly nervous.
The Macaque rifles through the rucksack and triumphantly starts on a ham sandwich.
Welcome to Gibraltar.

Hello Monday

Hello dog and house sitter.
Hello Gibraltar.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

December Daily | Days 13-15

On the 13th: the first day of the Christmas holidays and the day mum went home.
On the 14th: The Boy Child and I went to see the Nation's Christmas tree and then on to see our Chelsea Pensioner friend.
On the 15th: Nothing Christmas-related happened at all, but the pooch did go off to the dog sitter.
Clicking on any of the photos will make it clearer.
December Daily is the brainchild of Ali Edwards and the really cool thing about it is that it can be anything you want.  Ali posts once a day about December Daily and always includes a linky you can add your own December Daily post to.

Friday, 13 December 2013

December Daily | Days 10-12

On the 10th: mum and I went Christmas shopping.  We were super organised and had time to squeeze in a light lunch in the M&S deli.  (I spent far too much money.)
The cutlery badge came in a recent Studio Calico Project Life kit.
In the album, on the facing page , there is a 6x8 flyer from the Council about recycling dates over the Christmas period. 
On the 11th: I spent a lot of time at school.  Firstly, wrapping presents for Santa to give out and then later at farewell drinks for the Deputy Head.  I also had fun pointing out a grammatical error to SKY TV, who were filming their Christmas commercial.  (You will have seen this if you are friends with me on Facebook.)
In the album, on the back of the Council's flyer is a photo of The Boy Child posting some of our Christmas cards.
On the 12th: I made a big batch of cranberry sauce.  Something of a Christmas tradition for me.
Clicking on any of the photos will make it clearer.
December Daily is the brainchild of Ali Edwards and the really cool thing about it is that it can be anything you want.  Ali posts once a day about December Daily and always includes a linky you can add your own December Daily post to.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

December Daily | Days 7-9

On the 7th (which turned into a five page spread) : the day Christmas arrived for our family: meeting Santa, watching Frozen, driving a Lego F1 car and choosing our tree.
You can read about the Santa photo here.
 This is how the two pages look side by side in the album.  The Boy Child's letter to Santa is in the middle.
Ink-sprayed wooden letters and stitching brightened up an otherwise dull photo.
On the 8th: we went to look at the Christmas tree outside the Town Hall.
Here's how it sits in the album.
On the 9th: the magic that is the Lower School Nativity.
Clicking on any of the photos will make it clearer.
December Daily is the brainchild of Ali Edwards and the really cool thing about it is that it can be anything you want.  Ali posts once a day about December Daily and always includes a linky you can add your own December Daily post to.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Hello Monday

Hello last week of term.
Hello to mum arriving for a pre-Christmas visit.
Hello to the Lower School nativity and whole school carol concert.
Hello to the school disco.  When I asked the Boy Child's teacher what plans he had in place if it turned out that the disco was too much for The Boy Child to cope with, he all but rolled his eyes at me.  He really doesn't get it.
Hello to school Christmas lunch and a visit from Santa.
Hello to visiting the nation's Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square.
Hello to The Brainy One missing everything because of work commitments abroad.

How does your week look?


Sunday, 8 December 2013

One Amazing Day

Christmas arrived with a bang in our house yesterday!
First up was a visit to Santa.
The above photo is probably the worst professional photo that I have ever paid good money for.  The Boy Child's stance is awkward and the light across their faces is shocking. (Can anyone advise me, in simple terms, how to make it look better in PSE, please?)
So why did I pay for it?
Because this was the first year that The Boy Child was happy to stand with Santa without me.  In fact, he actually said, "No, Mummy, I can do it without you!" (Did you hear my heart squeeze?)
And for that alone, the photo is worth every penny.  And there's a scrapbook page, too.
After Santa, it was up to the cinema to see Frozen.
We both really enjoyed it, especially the antics of Olaf the Snowman.
And there was Lego.  In for life-size form of a Formula 1 racing car.  The Boy Child was in seventh heaven.
The professional photographer took an excellent photo and there was no charge.
Santa and elves: take note.
After a brief stop at home to collect The Brainy One, we headed off to get our Christmas tree.
We were practical and economical this year, given that we will be away from home for five nights (and the house/dog sitter will be enjoying our tree!).  We went to our local B&Q and spent just £20 on an almost 6 foot divine smelling Norway Spruce.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Scrapbook Saturday

Along side December Daily and Project Life, I've completed two pages this week.
The closing page for our Florida album.  Yes, it's finished.
I also made a page in the style of here-and-now scrapping because I wanted to record a recent funny exchange between me and The Boy Child.
I've also made up a mini scrapbook for our up and coming trip to Gibraltar.  I used the same type of book that I used for the Florida journal, but just took it apart and reassembled it as a smaller version.

Friday, 6 December 2013

December Daily 2013 | Days 4-6

On the 4th: I had to admire/condemn (delete as appropriate) the anything-to-make-money approach of the card industry.
On the 5th: I had a joke with my brother and sister-in-law over their approach to Christmas.
On the 6th: A few Christmas-related observations.
Clicking on any image will make journaling clearer.
December Daily is the brainchild of Ali Edwards and the really cool thing about it is that it can be anything you want.  Ali posts once a day about December Daily and always includes a linky you can add your own December Daily post to.
The 3x4 cards are from Cathy Zielske's Cool Yule range.
The Bah Humbug postcard came from Paperchase.