Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Photo a Day: 31st January

~ Trying to hitch a ride home ~

Month in Numbers ~ January

Thanks to Sian {for monthly inspiration} and to Julie {who started the whole month in numbers idea}, I've dipped my toes in counting numbers for January.
50: the number of minutes it took to open a savings account for The Boy Child. Hello, I'm trying to give you money.
5: the number of times I drove our car in January.  For trips other than the supermarket, I walk everywhere.
15: the number of visits to Costa Coffee {and where I spent a whopping £44.85}.  Some of the trips were with The Boy Child, some were with friends and some were solo visits.  Mostly it was just coffee, but some visits included purchasing a yoghurt or a croissant.
217:  the combined ages of the six people we know who celebrated a birthday in January.
34: the number of thank-you cards I wrote on The Boy Child's behalf for Christmas and birthday presents.  Will be very glad when he can do this himself.
179: the number of 6x4 photos I had processed for free at the store where my camera came from.  A very welcome voucher.
60: the number of pounds spent topping up Oyster cards {used for cheaper travel on London transport}.

How about you?  Do you count through your month?

Monday, 30 January 2012

Just One Sketch: Parts Four & Five

In part four of Just One Sketch, Kirsty wanted us to "look at going monochrome.  Monochrome means that the design is in one colour, or shades of one colour.  Now, given all the the beautiful colours that are available to us in scrapbooking stash, you might wonder why we'd want to both working in just one.  But the effect can be beautiful and, as with anything new, if you give it go, you might find you like it.
I'll be honest.  Monochrome layouts fill me with dread.  Don't get me wrong, I like the look of them, I just don't feel that I somehow capture monochrome in the best way possible.  Is there even such a thing?
This layout shows my nephew's fiancee just after she became a British citizen last week.  Their wedding is in late September and we are hopeful that we will be able to go.  The venue is about 7,000 miles away. 
Part five was about inverting the colour of the layout and I enjoyed this immensely, possibly because I had such a cool photo waiting to be scrapped.
I would never normally scrap with such large blocks of orange and green, mainly because I tend to think that they are not-me-colours.  Just because they are not colours I would wear doesn't mean that I should discount them when scrapping.

Photo a Day: 30th January

Hasn't food shopping become expensive?  I didn't do a particularly large shop this morning, small trolley full as opposed to large trolley and I still managed to spend almost £75.  Just think how wealthy we would all be if we didn't have to eat.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Photo a Day: 29th January

I don't know about you, but I can't get through cooking a roast dinner without my trusty timer.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Photo a Day: 28th January

What's the length of too short a haircut?  About 7-10 days, I reckon.  I have a lovely hairdresser, but he does like to chat.
Chat, chat, snip, snip, what do you think, snip, snip, did you read about, snip, snip, did you see, snip, snip, did you hear about, snip, snip.
And before you know it, your hair is shorter than you'd planned on having.
There are two options:
1) blast hair from underneath with a hair dryer and slap on styling product.
2) wear a hat.  

Friday, 27 January 2012

Photo a Day: 27th January

The Brainy One intends to fully comply with our One Little Word for 2012.  I had to go to a nearby shopping centre this morning for a few things and The Brainy One decided to accompany me {one of the perks of being your own boss}.  Once there, he treated me to lunch in the Deli of the local M&S.
Champagne in the middle of the day, on a school day to boot.
Life's not bad.

Just One Sketch: Part Three

The challenge was to create a mirror image of our sketch.
If you remember, my sketch looks like this:
I really, really like the mirror image effect.  The photos with The Boy Child looking in to the page work well, although the photo of TBC outside Pizza Express was actually taken as we were heading home.  I know that it's not the most exciting thing to scrapbook, per se, but it deserves to be recorded because it was our first outing out for supper as a family.  We weren't brave enough to inflict TBC on strangers before now ...  

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Photo a Day: 26th January

The lovely ladies in the salon where I have my eyebrows waxed.  They make every visit such fun.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Photo a Day: 25th January

Pyjama case masquerading as a dog.  When The Brainy One leaves the house without the pooch, he {the pooch} positions himself in front of the door and makes himself as flat as possible.  He can stay there for up to an hour or more.  Talk about unconditional love.

Just One Sketch: Part Two

So, sticking with my beautifully drawn sketch, the idea was to flip it; I went with one turn to the left.
This time, I also added an extra sheet of plain paper, cut to 11x11, the colour being an almost match for The Brainy One's gown.  The journaling tells the story of the day The Brain One received his Doctorate.
It's amazing to see just how different this layout looks from the first one.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Photo a Day: 24th January

The one day of the week when I drive our car ~ supermarket shopping.

Happy Mail 2012: #2

There will be 2 parcels of Happy Mail departing tomorrow.  The recipient could be you if you left a comment here.

  • An hardback notebook (A5, I think)
  • Four large postcards with envelopes
  • Two thank you cards
  • Four standard postcards

  • I was going to show you the contents, but it's no fun if you know what might be coming your way, now is it?

    One parcel is heading overseas and one parcel is staying within the UK.
    If you'd like an chance to be a recipient of the next round of Happy Mail, just send an email with your address to: roo1968ATyahooDOTcoDOTuk with Happy Mail 2012 in the title.  No limit to how many rounds of Happy Mail you can enter.  It would be nice if you left a comment here as well.
    Stalking the Postie, one of my favourite past times! 

    Monday, 23 January 2012

    Just One Sketch: Part One

    Kirsty began her on-line class about two weeks ago and this is the first I've be able to pay attention to it.  First up was to think about the elements you like to see on a sketch and then draw it out.
    Here's Kirsty's ...

    Here's mine ...
    {Did you notice the time and date on it?}
    Here's the thing.  I love using a sketch.  So how come I've never thought about drawing my own?  Probably because I am unable to draw a straight line, as you may have noticed ...

    Photo a Day: 23rd January

    The best cuppa of the day is the one I have once home from the school run.  It's the best because it's the only one I get to drink when it's piping hot.

    Carrie's Crunchy Chicken

    For supper last night, I tried out a chicken recipe Carrie posted earlier this month.
    It's incredibly straight forward:
    Carrie's photo ~ I forgot to photograph it! ~

    • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
    • 6 slices of Swiss cheese
    • 1 can of cream of chicken soup (I used Heinz Cream of Chicken, but will try Campbell's next time)
    • 1 box of Stove-Top chicken stuffing (I used Paxo)
    • 1/2 cube butter (melted)
    • Preheat oven to 350* F (180* C)
    • Cut chicken breasts into small pieces and spread evenly across the bottom of a large glass baking dish (I fried the chicken lightly first) 
    • On top of chicken, evenly spread out Swiss cheese slices so that the chicken is covered completely (may take more or less than 6 slices depending on the size pan you use).
    • On top of that, spread out a can of cream of chicken soup.
    • On top of that, evenly spread out the box of stuffing.
    • Drizzle melted butter on top of the stuffing.
    • Bake for about 30 minutes, until brown on top and chicken is cooked all the way through.
    I served it with green salad.  The Brainy One enjoyed it, but suggested more seasoning and a stronger flavoured cheese.

    Sunday, 22 January 2012

    Photo a Day: 22nd January

    Most Sundays see The Boy Child and The Brainy One visiting the park for boys-only-adventures.  Some Sundays see them go on to visit Grandad and today I joined them.  By joining them, I observed their Sunday ritual: 1st stop is the cafe where The Brainy One has a coffee and The Boy Child has an ice-cream, regardless of the weather.  Then they run up and down the slopes, play hide and seek and pretend to be trolls under the bridge.
    Some days, The Boy Child just wants the ice cream.
    Funny that.    

    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    Photo a Day: 21st January

    When I was small, I loved jigsaws.  I remember two in particular that we had at home, probably because they were round ~ Henry VIII and his 6 wives and the naval battles of Horatio Nelson.  The Boy Child doesn't really show that much interest in putting jigsaws together, although he likes to play with the pieces and scrutinise the box.  What works for him just now is that either Mummy or Daddy puts a jigsaw together and he {The Boy Child} admires the finished image.

    Friday, 20 January 2012

    Thursday, 19 January 2012

    Photo a Day: 19th January

    There are days when I am convinced that I somehow magically do the laundry for another family along with my own.  We're a family of three and remember that one of us is still small, so how come we produce so much dirty laundry?  I think it multiplies in the basket ..

    Wednesday, 18 January 2012

    Photo a Day: 18th January

    I fully appreciate that I'm lucky enough to be able to scrap during the day.  It's a very pleasurable thing.

    Tuesday, 17 January 2012

    Photo a Day: 17th January

    Going out for breakfast doesn't really fit in with what I was talking about yesterday, does it?  But then, it's not every day that The Brainy One unexpectedly asks me out for breakfast, is it?

    Monday, 16 January 2012

    Move More, Eat Well 2012

    Cathy Zielske regularly writes about her attempts to lose weight and get/stay fit on her blog.  I can't emphasise with her first goal, but I can with the second.  I'm not a naturally sporty kind of person.  The gym doesn't thrill me at all.  I'm the sort of person who gets on best in a structured exercise class.
    When I saw that CZ (that's said out loud as C Zed, being British, not C Zee) was offering up a class on Moving More and Eating Well in 2012 on BPC, I dithered.  Did I really need to sign up for a scrapbooking class in order to get fit and improve my eating habits?  Well, no.  But I did it anyway.  The fitness is down to me, but I know that there will huge support and encouragement from Cathy and the on-line class community throughout the year.
    The Statement of Intent:

    "This isn’t about me going on a diet.  I’ve never been on a diet in my life.  I’ve always been lucky and had the sort of metabolism that burnt off everything I consumed fairly easily.  These last six months or so have seen me put on about half a stone.  I’ve no-one to blame except myself.  Too many evenings eating chocolate while watching the TV, too many bags of crisps, too many skipped lunches, snacking on rubbish and worry about The Boy Child.  The Brainy One very kindly says that he likes me with “a bit of extra lard.”  That’s because he loves me.
    But I don’t want that extra lard, where my jeans feel tight and there’s an obvious tummy on show through my clothes.  I should care more for myself, both on the inside and the out.  And that basically comes down to what sort of fuel I am putting in to my body and how much daily maintenance is going on.  I can’t run at constant high level if I’m refuelling on rubbish.  A serious overhaul of my daily eating habits is called for.   
    My levels of fitness have seen peaks and troughs; in 2011 my fitness level was below average, I’d say.  Sure, I walked lots ~ school run twice a day, to the shops and back, round the Common with the pooch.  But it wasn’t the right sort of exercise.  I flirted with Zumba classes in the Church Hall in the winter of 2010 and really enjoyed them.  Now I can’t remember why I stopped going.  And the thing is, once I get going, I really enjoy it.
    Hello 2012; hello 44 years of living; hello new beginnings"
    Five Things {about me; modesty not allowed}:
    1) I can take a fairly decent photograph
    2) I can drive a car well (thanks to learning when serving with the RAF)
    3) I can scrapbook to a reasonable standard
    4) I'm a loyal friend
    5) I remember obscure facts easily
    My story:
    "I’ve never been a naturally sporty person, but I’ve wanted to be.  The best I could do at Primary School was the netball team and two 1st places and a 2nd over three years in the Egg & Spoon race on Sports Day.  At Middle School I played occasional 1st team netball, usually when someone was ill and I could just about manage to keep a place on the House team.  Running was okay but seemed pointless ~ I really didn’t get running laps of the Red Gra for any other reason than I could.  And I so wanted to be like Mandy Jones who could throw rounders’ balls over arm for what seemed like miles.  At Senior School I desperately wanted to be good at hockey (inspired by Malory Towers, no doubt) but I can still see the PE teacher (name long since forgotten) rolling her eyes whenever I managed to hit the ball in the opposite direction to where she wanted me to.  The mid 1980s saw me become very fit after 16 weeks of regular PE with the Royal Air Force.  My best time for the mile and a half was 10 minutes 48 seconds.  Then it all dropped away again.  The early 1990s saw me discover aerobics and step and I was hooked ~ 4 times a week, all the kit and the fittest I have ever been.  I don’t really know what happened after that.  Structured exercise has been haphazard and irregular.  Now that I’m approaching my mid 40s I realize that only I can be the master of my fate, only I can be the captain of my soul.
    My new plan for 2012 is Zumba twice a week ~ Wednesday lunchtime and Friday evening.
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul. " 
    One Thing {in January}:
    "This month I will commit to eating a proper lunch at the proper time.  No more elevenses, no more squares of chocolate, no more snacking on rubbish."
    I didn't get far today on not eating elevenses, but, at lunch time, I had just plain yoghurt with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.
    There's space on this page (where the quotation is) to list all my measurements.  I don't intend to do that here.  I am not on a diet and I have no wish to invite any negative comments from anyone.  I've spent my adult life being called skinny and hearing remarks like, "it's alright for you ..."  
    I am not on a diet.
    I am planning on better eating ~ eating well.
    I am planning on more structured exercise in the form of Zumba twice a week.  And doubling the number of circuits around the park and/or Common with the pooch, which he is more than happy about.  Moving more.

    Photo a Day: 16th January

    Mid morning snack ~ blueberry jam on seeded batch.  Delicious.

    Friday, 13 January 2012

    Photo a Day: 13th January

    4x6 Photo Love: Twelve

    To round off the 4x6 Photo Love series, it was a case of getting 12 photos on to a layout.  I didn't think I'd like Shimelle's idea of creating a stack, but it turns out I do.
    A good way to take care of numerous photos of The Boy Child opening presents.  I must share with you what he said when he saw his mountain of parcels early on Christmas morning ~ "I'm a very lucky boy!  Is there a bus in my parcels?"  All he wanted from Santa was a toy bendy-bus; I'm pleased to say that Santa obliged.
    My favourite months of Shimelle's 4x6 Photo Love series was March (three photos) and April (four photos).

    Wednesday, 11 January 2012

    Photo a Day: 11th January

    Can't get much more everyday than the dry cleaner's.

    Happy Mail 2012: The Opening Gambit

    I've talked before about Happy Mail, both the giving and the receiving.  I also mentioned Happy Mail in my blog review:  "An explosion of Happy Mail.  I haven't quite worked out how this will work, but the bottom line will be fairly simple ~ send me an email in response to a Happy Mail post and you could receive a wee surprise by Royal Mail."
    In order to kick start Happy Mail 2012, I've randomly selected 5 books from the World Book Night 2011 series for posting around the globe.  The batch offered up last June allowed you to tell me the title you were interested in, but not this time. The thing about Happy Mail is that it is so much more exciting to receive it if you don't know it's coming.
    It's also quite handy if I already have your address ... 3 parcels are bound for the USA, 1 for Australia and 1 for here at home in the UK.
    The book titles are:

    • Killing Floor by Lee Child
    • The Reluctant Assassin by Moshin Hamid
    • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
    • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
    • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Attwood.
    All books have been registered with bookcrossing.com.  The full list from 2011 can be seen here.
    If you'd like an chance to be a recipient of the next round of Happy Mail, just send an email with your address to: roo1968ATyahooDOTcoDOTuk with Happy Mail 2012 in the title.  It would be nice if you left a comment as well.
    Stalking the Postie, one of my favourite past times! 
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