Saturday, 31 October 2009

DS And The Pumpkin: Part 2

I'm loving the photo of DS checking out the lit pumpkin and I'm also loving how my first carved pumpkin turned out!
Oh, and how many Trick or Treaters did we get? Not a single one, which DH approves of because he can now eat the chocolate!

Pink Saturday

It's that time of the week again: Pink Saturday. Thanks go again to Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for hosting and organising what must be becoming an enormous task! This week I'm showcasing these beautiful roses, picked up this week from the supermarket along with my shopping. They really are stunning! I have another Give Away this week, you can see what's on offer here.
To be in with a chance of winning, please leave a comment to show that you dropped by; become a follower of this ordinary, run-of-the-mill blog if you'd like a 2nd chance of winning. The random number selector thingy will choose the winner at 12 Noon (GMT) on Tuesday, 3 November at 12 Noon (GMT).

This week, I'm recommending that you pay a visit to Leann's blog over at The Old Parsonage.

Happy Halloween

So here they are ... my first ever carved pumpkin and DS's pretty fabby Halloween card. I know that my pumpkin won't be a patch on the one(s) produced by my BIL and nephew, but they've had more years to practice!

Friday, 30 October 2009

HSMSHS on Facebook: Tin

Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is tin: 1) a silvery-white metallic chemical element. 2) a lidded airtight container made of tinplate or aluminium. 3) chiefly Brit. a sealed tinplate or aluminium container for preserving food; a can. 4) an open metal container for baking food.
The trusty family biscuit tin fits the category for this one.

SLYMI: Week 44

This week's challenge was to scrap about something that scares you. I decided to be honest and admit that, for me, it's being a mummy!

DS And The Pumpkin

DS made a brilliant Halloween card at nursery on Wednesday (you'll be able to see it here tomorrow), so DH and I decided that this year we would get a pumpkin and have a go at some carving. Would you believe me if I told you that the supermarket only had 3 left? It's true. I chose the biggest one and was thrilled to discover at the checkout that it was a mere 75p - an absolute bargain! I also bought mini chocolates for any Trick or Treaters who may call tomorrow evening, but I'm thinking that DH has his beady eye on them. I'll need to hide them overnight!
Pop back tomorrow to view the carved pumpkin and DS's card, plus a chance to win my Pink Saturday GiveAway.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

HSMSHS on Facebook

Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is tied: 1) attach or fasten with string, cord, etc. 2) form into a knot or bow. 3) restrict or limit to a particular situation or place. 4) connect; link. 5) achieve the same score or ranking as another competitor. 6) hold together by a crosspiece or tie. 7) Music unite (written notes) by a tie.

Commercials On The Common

This afternoon on the Common, partially hidden behind the Circus, were these guys. Our area of West London is often used by film crews so it's nothing out of the ordinary to see stuff set up in areas you wouldn't expect. I couldn't see anyone famous, so using the pup as bait, we edged a wee bit closer. Very few grown men can resist the sight of a Chocolate Labrador with a cute face and a very waggy tail, I find! It wasn't anything that exciting after all, they were shooting a commercial for Nokia and it seemed to involve an awful lot of standing around and drinking tea. The pup got a biscuit out of it and DS made the guys laugh by telling them it was exciting!

Normal Service Is Resumed

DS woke up from his 2 hour nap a different child! But I should add that he woke up just as I published the previous post ... no 40 winks for me! He wanted to go the the park, which is generic for him, he means outside, so I saddled up the pup and we headed to the Common. A good call because DS had a wonderful time checking out all the lorries belonging to the circus and then moving on to London's buses. Our pup is brilliant whenever DS is poorly or under the weather, it's a though he senses it and sticks close by him. So cute, as you can see.

And The Darkest Hour ...

... is just before dawn. You may recognise that line from the Mamas & Papas song "Dedicated To The One I Love" but, in this case it refers to last night in this house. Poor DS seems to have picked up the nasty cough that DH and I have been struggling with these last few weeks; last night the poor wee boy coughed so much that he made himself sick ... twice. So there I was, with the time getting on towards 11pm, cuddling and soothing a sodden mess of a boy and having to change him and his bed completely. And, of course, wouldn't you know it, his very favourite teddy and blankie were covered in yukky stuff, which meant a trip to the kitchen to use the quick-wash program on the washing machine. It was gone midnight by the time I'd got them dry enough for DS to have them back. He, of course, had gone back to sleep again ... until I'm woken by his wailing at just after 4am. He wasn't sick again, thankfully, but very out of sorts and took half an hour to get back to sleep. 7am rolls around, DS wakes up and we start our day ...
Apart from looking tired, DS was remarkably chipper this morning, so much so that I took a chance and dropped him off at nursery, as usual. A flying visit to the supermarket for me and I'm back home by 9.30am, with time to enjoy tea and toast alongside the latest copy of Scrapbook Trends magazine and the newspaper.
But where was your DH, you may be asking? Didn't he help? DH is currently away on a business trip and I've noticed that DS falling ill always seems to occur when I'm on my tod. Ho hum, such is life!

You'll have to excuse me, I think I might just pop off for 40 winks ...

Celebrating Friendship

At the end of next month, my BF and I will have been friends for 20 years. Quite an achievement, I think, when you consider the completely different paths our lives have taken over those years. Happily, we're now at a stage where we can share loads: we're both SAHMs, our sons are only 6 months apart in age (amazing, especially when you consider that BF and her DH have been married 15 years and 1 whole day longer than we have!), she is Godmother to my son and I am Godmother to her daughter ... I could go on.
So, in honour of those 20 years, I have come up with a small plan to mark the occasion. A plan that is still very much a work in progress, but a plan all the same. More will be revealed next month ...

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Planning A New Photographic Project

Well, new for me at any rate. I've been following a couple of blogs where the owners of them have been producing a photograph a day for a whole year. Check out Lens And Pens and DottyDotty for brilliant examples. I really like the idea of a Photo Journal for a whole year so I've set myself the target of photographing 2010, one day at a time. Everyday life in all its glory and mundane-ness! And to that end, this afternoon I've covered a recipe journal I've had for a few months (bought with the idea in mind to use it as something else) and turned it into my 2010 project. Inside, I've removed all the blank pages and put in 12 dividers (one for each month) and 6 plastic wallets, which I plan to use for the Monthly Best Shot (or some other such pack-a-punch title ... I'm still thinking about that one!) Each photo will be a simplified mini LO, of varying sizes, but no bigger than a 7x5 photo ... or, at least, that's the plan for now.

(For the scrappers out there - I used Cosmo Cricket's gorgeous Early Bird range. The small flower paper is Apron Strings, which I thought was appropriate, given what the journal started out as.)

This Saturday's GiveAway

It's time for a sneak peek at this Saturday's Pink Saturday GiveAway: another concertina mini-book, decorated for Christmas. If you'd like the opportunity to win this, all you have to do is drop back again on Saturday and leave a comment.

Visitors On The Common

I took the pooch out for his morning constitutional earlier and look who we found setting up shop on the Common. They visit twice a year and usually stay for 10 days to a fortnight. We like them because they never cause any trouble and always leave the Common in a spotless condition, unlike the funfair people, who also visit twice a year.

HSMSHS on Facebook: Slice

Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is slice: 1) a thin, broad piece of food cut from a larger portion. 2) a portion or share. 3) a utensil with a broad, flat blade for lifting foods such as cake and fish. 4) (in sports) a sliced stroke or shot.
Good old Warburton's sliced white bread fits the bill.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

HSMSHS on Facebook: Cheap

Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS on Facebook is cheap: 1) low in price. 2) charging low prices. 3) inexpensive because of poor quality. 4) of little worth because achieved in a discreditable way. 5) N. Amer. informal miserly.
My best bargain of last week's shopping - yummy Chocolate Digestives on offer at 63p a pack. I just need to hide them from DH!

Living A Good Life?

This is a post I've been giving a lot of thought to of late. I recently expanded my blogging horizons and joined the Pink Saturday project; this in turn has introduced me to loads of other fellow bloggers with similar outlooks to me. What has taken me by surprise is the number of comments I've received saying how kind, generous and utterly fabulous I am because of my weekly GiveAways ... OK, so I made the utterly fabulous bit up! In reality, as much as I've loved reading all those comments, I've been a wee bit embarrassed by it all. Because, you know, I'm just an ordinary 41-year-old wife and mummy trying to find my way through life, without annoying too many other people along the way.
There's an EcoCamp down on the River Thames at Kew Bridge just now. Technically, they are breaking the law by squatting on land owned by a housing development company but I think they are doing it for the right reasons. They have a banner facing Kew Bridge which reads, "Be the change you wish to see" and that has given me food for thought. With that in mind, add into the equation this quotation from my hero, Winston Churchill, "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give" and you might just get where I'm coming from. Also factored into this is David Bruno's 100 Thing Challenge, a challenge that left a huge impression on me.

I'm fed up with this take, take, take attitude that seems to be ever encroaching into our culture and I want to make a stand. And this is one of the ways I'm making changes, albeit very small ones, and one done in a way to please me. I scrapbook and I have way too much stash. My GiveAways enable me to make things from pretty paper and card and then know that a stranger will gain joy from them (hopefully!). The other changes include the use of Freecycle, regular donations of goods to charity shops and regular monetary donations to our chosen charities (Cancer Research, The Royal British Legion, Help For Heroes and Guide Dogs For The Blind).
I'm not sure that I've articulated this post as well as I'd planned in my head, I certainly don't want anyone reading this to believe that I'm on my soap-box, preaching the Gospel according to Saint Ruth, but I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say.
I'm not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but I hope I'm living a good life, a life that my son will be proud of.

And The Winner Is ...

This week's Pink Saturday GiveAway winner is Char from Someplace In Thyme. Congratulations, I'll be by your blog shortly with the news. I'm late doing the draw today because domesticity got in the way!

Monday, 26 October 2009

ER: The Complete Box Set

With a slight link to the previous post, yours truly will be happily suffering from the disease that is known as "Death by ER: The Box Set" for the next few months. And, as it happens, DH is going to be away a fair bit over the next month, so I can nab the sofa-bed in DH's office after DS's bedtime and watch ER on the new super-duper TV. That is, if I can operate the thing ...

That reminds me, would anyone like the complete set of ER: Series 1 on DVD (UK compatible)?

Boys And Their Toys

DH has to go into hospital next month for a routine operation and we've been discussing where he will spend his first few days of convalescence. I pointed out that DS won't understand about Daddy being off limits if he sees him lolling about in the lounge, watching day-time TV. I suggested DH should spend those first few days upstairs and even said that we could buy a small TV for use in the bedroom. (DH always says that TVs have no place in bedrooms.) Anyway, he has obviously been giving it some thought because look what turned up at the end of last week! HD, plasma screen, BluRay, blah, blah, blah. Still the same old rubbish on the TV, however you look at it. And no, it is not in the bedroom, it is in DH's loft office.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

SLYMI: Week 43

This week's challenge was to scrap with flowers.


One of my regular readers, Mrs Magpie, commented recently that she always thought DS couldn't get any cuter and I (he) always proved her wrong. Just look at these shots taken this morning, during what has become our weekly visit as a family to Maidenhead! We were lucky enough to have gorgeous Autumn weather (sorry, Sib, up there in rainy NE Scotland) and my SIL suggested taking DS to visit Shires' Farm (the old Courage Brewery Shire Horse Stables) while DH and FIL were visiting MIL at the hospital. (Are you still with me?) I did take some good shots of a friendly Alpaca and a rather aloof Eagle Owl but realised once home that DS had left his fingerprint on the camera lens! Note to self - buy lens cloth this week.
Oh, and did we remember to have that family photo taken? That would be a no!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

The Magic That Is Duplo

I love Duplo, the baby version of Lego! DS is now finally at an age where he wants to build stuff, mostly towers of bricks, and Duplo is perfect for this. We were given a large box of the stuff by SIL when DS was very small. It had belonged to SIL's twin boys who, by the way, are now nearly 28-years-old! I don't suppose that SIL ever thought her brother would be 45 before becoming a father; she'd probably imagined that she'd get shot of the stuff to him years ago. Anyway, we have added to it, mainly more plain bricks and the Duplo Town box set. I think Santa may be bringing DS the Thomas The Tank Engine set, given that we already have masses of track.
You can imagine DS and me this afternoon - he's building towers as tall as he can manage and I'm building houses with roof gardens (Kevin McCloud on C4's Grand Designs has a lot to answer for) and trying to build shapes that may just resemble a dinosaur or the Loch Ness Monster! (Apologies for the poor quality of the image, but you get the general idea.)

HSMSHS on Facebook: Wisdom For The Weekend

This week's Wisdom For The Weekend on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is inspired by Whitney Houston's song Greatest Love Of All, specifically the lyrics "I believe children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way."
In this photo, you can see me (well, the top of my head), my DS and my DN in a group hug. All the more special because it was initiated, quite spontaneously, by DS. We are in the Biblical Gardens, Elgin in beautiful NE Scotland, August of this year.

Cafe Society

The plan, this morning, in between the rain showers, was to take DS and the pooch to the park. However, half way there, DH decided that he didn't want to go to the park and suggested stopping for coffee instead. We chose to sit at a table outside the coffee shop, but under the canopy, because it had a clear line of vision for all the buses passing by (double dose of buses today, as the Tube is running a rail replacement service while they carry out engineering works on the lines). DS thought it was brilliant and was literally bouncing up and down in his seat with excitement! Isn't it wonderful that little people get such great pleasure out of ordinary, everyday things?

Pink Saturday

It's that time of the week again: Pink Saturday. Thanks go again to Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for hosting and organising what must be becoming an enormous task! This week I'm showcasing this beautiful Cyclamen, which is currently flourishing in my SIL's garden. The Cyclamen is a plant/flower that I've very fond of but I never seem to be able to keep the poor things alive!
I have another Give Away this week, you can see what's on offer here. To be in with a chance of winning, please leave a comment to show that you dropped by; become a follower of this ordinary, run-of-the-mill blog if you'd like a 2nd chance of winning. The random number selector thingy will choose the winner at 12 Noon (GMT) on Tuesday, 27 October at 12 Noon (GMT).
This week, I'm highlighting Riet's blog as one well worth a visit.

Friday, 23 October 2009


In our family, a "JBP" is a Just Because Present, given for no specific reason other than thinking that the recipient would like it. This small JBP is for Auntie S and Grandad Skipper, both of whom are not feeling their best just now.
The craft paper envelope came in this month's Scrapagogo kit, along with these lovely papers from October Afternoon and Cosmo Cricket. It was a wee bit fiddly, getting everything to sit right but I think I'm pleased with the end result. The inserts are made from cream cardstock and covered on one side with either OA or CC paper. The photos of DS are all from this year and are some of my favourites. You may have noticed that one card is missing a photo ... that's reserved for a family shot of the 3 of us, which we'll be asking SIL to take on Sunday. As I'm always the one behind the camera, there isn't a single family shot of us this year, which is fairly pathetic, wouldn't you say?

This Week's GiveAway

Here's a look at this week's Pink Saturday GiveAway ... another Christmas-themed mini-book! (Only another 3 to give away and then I'm done with Christmas-themed stuff until next year, I promise!) It has 10 pages, 20 sides, and is 6x4 approximately. I've deliberately left it slightly under-embellished, because of the strong designs featured on the patterned papers. It would be a case of sensory overload, otherwise!

Drop back again tomorrow for a chance to win it.

HSMSHS on Facebook

Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is dream: 1) a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. 2) a cherished ambition or ideal; a fantasy. 3) informal someone or something perceived as wonderful or perfect.
Here you can see DS in April 2007, when he was a little over 3 months old.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

HSMSHS on Facebook

Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is chain: 1) a connected series of metal links used for fastening or pulling, or as jewellery. 2) a connected series, set, or sequence. 3) a part of a molecule consisting of a number of atoms bonded together in a series. 4) a measure of length equal to 66 ft.

A plug chain fits the bill.

Poppy Appeal 2009

The wonderful Dame Vera Lynn launched the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal for 2009 today. It's time to dig deep and wear your poppy with pride. The wearing of your Veteran's badge is also encouraged.

"At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them."

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

HSMSHS on Facebook

Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is power: 1) the ability to do something or act in a particular way. 2) the capacity to influence other people or the course of events. 3) a right or authority given or delegated to a person or body. 4) political authority or control. 5) physical strength or force. 6) a country viewed in terms of its international influence and military strength: a world power. 7) capacity or performance of an engine or other device. 8) energy that is produced by mechanical, electrical, or other means. 9) Physics ~ the rate of doing work, measured in watts or horse power. Mathematics ~ the product obtained when a number is multiplied by itself a certain number of times.
DH's electric drill does it for me.

The Complexities Of Registering For A Nursery School Place

Since DS and I began our YMCA classes again after the summer break, quite a few of the mums I've become friendly with have been asking where DS will go to Nursery School next September and whether I've got him registered at the school of our choice. What do you mean, registered for school? He's not even three yet! Turns out, the Mummy-Mafia (as I like to fondly refer to them as) all have their children registered for Nursery School from a very young age. A bit like the old days, when boys born into the landed gentry were put down for Eton or Harrow at birth, I suppose! Anyway, it seems that I have been behind the curve when it comes to knowledge about getting your child into your preferred school (and probably a whole load of other stuff people assume I automatically know about? I've never had a child before, so how am I supposed to know this stuff? Presumably, I'm to absorb it, osmosis-like, without noticing!)
So, dutiful mummy that I am, I call in at the local Primary School, which has a 60 place Nursery unit, this morning. The receptionist is very helpful and explains how the system works, but laughs like a drain when I ask her how I'm supposed to know this. However, it seems that luck is in my favour. Last September, I'd called in at the school to make general enquires as to how the system worked. Then, an unhelpful receptionist had given me a very basic form to fill in and that was that ... or so I thought. That basic form, which I filled in on 4 September last year, has secured DS a place on the list for entry to Nursery in 2010. Where abouts on the list? Number 50 (remembering that the Nursery unit only has 60 places, 30 in the mornings and 30 in the afternoons)!! I was speechless! How on earth could I be the 50th parent, in September 2008, requesting a Nursery place for September 2010? It's madness. We now have to wait until around March next year so see if he will be offered a place. I've come to the conclusion that parenting a child preparing to start school is a whole new education in its own right.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Autumn Light LO

Although I've been having fun making up Christmas-themed (oops, there's that pesky "C" word again) mini-books for my Pink Saturday GiveAways, I have been rather neglecting my ordinary scrapping. My Scrapagogo kit arrived late last week and is bursting with oodles of Autumn-themed papers, card stock and embellies. It is absolutely lush and eminently stroke-able! Here's a page for our 2009 album, scraplifted from a LO called Rainbow Creek by Andrea Gourley, which can be seen in the new issue of Scrapbook Inspirations on page 56 (issue #59). If anyone can give me tips on how to photograph a 12x12 layout, without risking life or limb, I'd be very grateful!

HSMSHS on Facebook

Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is retro: Involving, relating to, or reminiscent of things past; retrospective.
Here you can see part of Leadenhall Market in the City of London. A large part of it is currently undergoing renovation, which will only make it more beautiful still.

And The Winner Is ...

The winner of this week's Pink Saturday GiveAway (the Christmas-themed concertina mini-book) is Sheila at The Quintessential Magpie. Congratulations, Sheila, I'll be by your blog shortly with the news. Master of Ceremonies today was DH, who looked rather bemused by it all. Do stop by on Saturday for another Pink Saturday GiveAway.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Outside Adventures

As the weather has been dry, but cold, this weekend, we've tried to be outside as much as possible. Saturday saw two trips out with the pooch en famille, the AM walk to the local park so DS could go on the swings and the PM one to the Common at the end of our road. There's an end-of-line bus stop next to the Common, which is such an added bonus for DS; he is in love with London's red buses (such a shame they are no longer Routemasters) and becomes so excitable if he comes within 20 feet of one! Today saw us visit the InLaws in Maidenhead and DS had the opportunity to help (or hinder, delete as appropriate) his Uncle L with the Autumn planting, mostly Pansies and Cyclamen. DS was very funny, because when all the planting was complete he said to his Uncle L, "Well done, fantastic!"

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