October: birthday and back to work 

October is now a special time for us as it’s Felicity’s birthday month. A year has gone very quickly and she is most definitely a toddler, she’s rampaging everywhere now and we have even had a few tantrums – eek!

Look - a butterfly!

Butterfly house exploring

We had such a lovely time celebrating her birthday though. The actual day was one of my working days, so Will and I booked the day off and took her to the zoo with my parents. She was very very impressed with the butterfly house, it was small enough that she could toddle round and admire (chase) the butterflies. Elephants were dull in comparison. We’re currently debating whether we should get a membership so we can go back with no pressure to see everything in a day.

Happy birthday baby

First birthday puffin cake

We also had a little birthday party with lots of baby friends, it was a little manic but very enjoyable. I even managed to make and ice a cake half-neatly. My grand plans to make elaborate decorations didn’t happen, but luckily my sister-in-law had crafted an amazing puffin to go on top – Felicity’s favourite book is about a puffin, quite a lot of the presents ended up being puffin themed too.

October also saw my proper return to work, rather than just the odd day. I am really enjoying this, but I have been putting a lot of  energy into getting back into the work mindset, as well as getting Felicity used to her new routine and making the most of our days together. And that’s without making sure we’re all clothed, fed and living in a vaguely clean house. 

My big hope for November is that I can maybe do something that isn’t work/Mama-ing/housework or watching Gilmore Girls whilst slumped on the sofa exhausted. Gilmore Girls is obviously time well spent, even if we’re only averaging an episode a night, but I’m hoping I can maybe get my hygge on with some candles at the same time, or actually pick up some knitting or crochet. Wild ambitions!

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Sunday night delights #19 (a bit late)

I’m a little late with this post as I really wasn’t feeling very well most of last week lasting into the weekend. Magic antibiotics have helped though!

This weekend…

Was mainly about packing, sleeping and pizza. Packing because – drumroll – we have exchanged contracts on our house which means we’re moving at the end of this month! So excited it’s finally happening. There will be much blogging about DIY I’m sure when we’re in.

Sleeping because of said feeling poorly. So much time in bed reading, and little trips out locally and generally taking things slowly. Didn’t feel we missed much though as when we did (briefly) get outside it was grey and drizzly.

Pizza, because of Valentine’s Day. We don’t really ‘do’ Valentine’s Day at all, in fact this year we didn’t even do cards, so instead we treated ourselves on Saturday to a takeaway pizza with some friends. Will and I also did a little bit of the suggestion on Seeds & Stitches of telling your partner why you love them – this really was lovely and is completely free with no real preparation needed (which with our move is a massive help as we’re doing nothing but preparing in other aspects of life). Good for all year round of course, doesn’t just need to be saved for Valentine’s Day or anniversaries!

The week to come…

There’s going to be pancakes (it’s the season), birthday present choosing – we have about six special birthdays in the next month – and crochet, which has got horribly neglected with house stuff and illness. Nothing helps me focus more generally in life than making in the evening, really notice it when I’m not doing anything. I’m still not really making anything specific, just lots of granny squares which I’ll work out what to do with them at some point.

5 things I’m grateful for right now…

  • Knowing we will be moving into our lovely new house – can’t even express how lucky and blessed we are for this one.
  • Antibiotics – for obvious reasons (ie they’re magic)
  • I’m re-reading the Poldark novels, as the new TV series will be starting soon. I’m a lifelong fan of the books and the 1970s TV series – so the remake is a big deal for me!
  • It being light in the mornings when we’re getting up – makes waking up that bit easier.
  • Packing our boxes using multi-colour tape I got from Tiger and eBay – colour coding heaven!

Sunday night delights #17

Prosecco

This weekend…
Has been mainly about distracting ourselves. We heard on Monday that our house move might have fallen through. I won’t go into details here about our situation, as it’s still developing and involves the rest of our chain, but basically we might not be able to buy the house we want. We were near reaching the point when everything was signed and we would have a moving date, so it was a bit of shock. Things could still sort themselves out – hopefully this week – so please cross your fingers for us!

Distracting ourselves has mainly taken the form of seeing friends; a cheeky drink at lunchtime in our lovely local gastro pub and lots of Good Life DVDs. So despite the house never being far from our mines, still not a bad weekend.

The week to come…
We’ll ignore the hope of house news, as I’m in danger of sounding like a broken record. Other than that, I’ve got lots of crochet time this week, with hardly any evenings out – heaven with the snowy weather! Although we have got one evening out to see the Jersey Boys at the theatre with my parents and Will so I’m looking forward to that.

5 things I’m grateful for right now…

  • My wonderful Mum and Dad – had lunch at theirs today with some family friends and they are super.
  • Will being home from his work trip – it was very lovely having him back this weekend.
  • Very nice glasses of prosecco.
  • Getting out all my old games for the younger visitors at my parents earlier – so much nostalgia!
  • The Good Life, if you haven’t ever watched this seventies comedic gem, then go seek out a box set now.

Sunday night delights #16

This weekend…
Had a busier weekend than I’ve had for a while, which I’ve really loved. So good to fill the weekend with new things and changes of scene to refresh me for the week ahead.

Saturday was the day of bargains, as I had so many successes in the local charity shops, including a brand new pair of floral canvas shoes, a Laura Ashley jumper, a bargain rotary cutting mat, some floral vintage glass bowls and some Staffordshire ware mugs which were 69p each. Such bargains! Would love any information anyone has about Staffordshire pottery – can’t find anything about this design online but it says Staffordshire on the bottom so assuming it’s the same thing as some of the more famous patterns. Doesn’t matter either way though as Will and I love these designs.

Staffordshire mugs

Today was spent in London with some University friends, eating and chatting lots but also visiting the Foundling Museum, which was excellent. I’m planning a whole post on the museum along with the launch of a new blog series – watch this space in the next week or so for more about this.

The week to come…
Will’s just headed off on the sleeper train for work, he’s away for the whole of this week. Although I’ll miss him, I’m trying to look on the bright side and concentrate how nice it is to choose exactly what I like to watch on TV and read for as long as I like in bed. A week is long enough to appreciate these things though, so I’m also very much looking forward to seeing him again on Friday.

5 things I’m grateful for right now…

  • Timing my day perfectly so I coincided waving goodbye to my friends in London with Will arriving to catch his sleeper train. We had a lovely dinner in town before saying goodbye. Love it when things work out like that.
  • Colourful wool – I’m busy crocheting granny squares at the moment and the combination of lots of bright wools are so happy making.
  • The snowdrops are out, which means Spring is in the air.
  • Trains – never stop being thankful I can whizz into London in under an hour. Sitting on the rail replacement bus this morning made me appreciate the quick journey home this evening even more.
  • Charity shops. There is so much stuff in the world already that being able to buy second hand, and in a tiny way reduce the amount of demand for new ‘things’, is something that I think is rather wonderful.

Sunday night delights #14

Well we’ve done it, first week back at work complete after Christmas. Will and I were so exhausted by Friday, but I think we’re back in the swing now and ready to tackle the working year.

This weekend…

There were lie-ins, there was a tasty lunch out, a cinema trip and a girly night with my friend. All in all it was a very lovely relaxed weekend. As I mentioned last week, Will and I always try to do something fun the first weekend in January. It’s to remind ourselves to make the most of our free time, especially at the time of year when it’s cold and and everyone’s feeling poor after Christmas. This year we rather randomly went to laser tag with some friends from work, we did end up getting chased by some six year olds – but it was so much fun. We followed it by a trip to a nice pub that served mulled cider – so delicious and a perfect way to spend a winter’s day.

The week to come…
It’s a busy one, think we have something planned for every night this week. My craft group is starting back up again after the Christmas break, and I don’t have an obvious project to take along. I realised that after finishing wedding crafting, then Christmas crafting, I can actually just start any projects I want. It’s quite liberating. I’ve decided to attempt a crochet blanket, so I need to decide on colours and order wool this week – eeek!

5 things I’m grateful for right now…

  • There was a suggestion of a house moving date this week, it actually seems to be happening. We are so lucky that we’re hopefully moving into a lovely new home by the end of January.
  • At the same time, I’m happily sitting in our cozy living room, and I never forget how lucky we are to be warm and dry in own our home. It’s so easy to take it for granted.
  • Super cheap leftover Christmas chocolate in our local shop. 25p for chocolate coins – amazing!
  • Long chats with good friends which involve lots of inappropriate jokes.
  • Sleeping well. It was so hard getting up this week, but it’s only because our bed is so comfortable, and I’m sleeping so well. This isn’t always the case, so I’m valuing it at the moment. Though it really is hard leaving my warm bed when it’s actually dark outside.

Sunday night delights #13

As I’m back at work tomorrow (Christmas holidays are heavenly until they have to end aren’t they?) it’s time for another batch of Sunday night delights. Will and I watched the documentary Happy on Netflix earlier after hearing a bit about it. It examines what drives happiness and explores the world of happiness research. I found the whole film interesting, but one thing that I really picked up on was a study that had been done that suggested people who took the time to think of five things they’re grateful for every Sunday would be happier than those who don’t – so I think I’m on a good path with these posts! The same research also showed that after taking the time to count your blessings, doing something that showed compassion and helping people made you even happier – so I clearly need to work on that. I am going to start adding a brief five things I’m grateful for at the end of these posts as a start though.

This weekend…

Has been wonderfully social, I met up with my University friend J on Friday, we have been trying to meet up for months but haven’t managed it til right at the end of the Christmas holidays. We met for lunch in London, then wandered round Heals department store. I love expensive shops as it almost feels like wandering round a museum, as the prices are so far out of my range, but it’s so full of beautifully designed homeware that it is such an enjoyable way to spend an hour or so.

On Saturday Will’s best man and his girlfriend came to stay, and we played games and ate lots so it was a successful weekend visit! I cooked a massive fry-up this morning, accompanied by a left over bottle of Bucks Fizz, to see out the holidays in style. We then headed to Cambridge to see another friend (with cake, because clearly we needed more food!)

The week to come…

Hard to think of positives for the first working week back at work! However, Will and I always try and do something fun on the first weekend in January, so I am looking forward to planning what that’s going to be this year. I’m also hoping to go on some walks during lunch at work, which I used to do really regularly but have got into the habit of sitting on the computer or running errands instead. Walks are so much better for the soul.

5 things I’m grateful for right now:

  • Having lovely friends, and spending time with them
  • A lovely tidy house ready for the working week (we tidied for house guests!)
  • Our house move should hopefully be proceeding now Christmas is over – fingers crossed for a moving date!
  • I’m starting The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley tonight, I’ve been wanting to read it for ages.
  • After I cooked the massive fry up this morning, Will had done most of the washing up before I’d even realised what was happening – awesome husband.