Monday, 31 July 2017

Never Eat Shredded Wheat......

.....was a mnemonic we used at school to remember the points on a compass.
That and Naughty Elephants Squirt Water.

Let's not get sidetracked though as this post is all about the cereal as today is Shredded Wheat day.
It's not a cereal we usually eat so I had to buy some especially for today's recipe of shredded wheat and raisin custard.

I can say with some certainty it proved to be less popular than the cheesecake and although it was good to try as part of my yearly challenge, it won't be baked again. 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Say Cheese.....cake

My dad would have loved today.
He enjoyed eating a good slice of cheesecake so Cheesecake Day would have been a winner in his book.

This one was quick and easy to make, like my favourite kind of recipes are, thrown together whilst listening to a little bit of vintage comedy on the Radio 4 extra Iplayer. 

The base was made from digestive biscuits and melted butter and on top of that was spread a couple of teaspoons of jam. The topping consisted of cream cheese, icing sugar and Greek yogurt flavoured with a dash of vanilla essence. To finish off fresh strawberries were sprinkled on top.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Tigers and Lipstick

Not a combination you see every day.
International Tiger Day just had to be something we recognised. 
You see ever since we became a family this has been one of the nicknames we have had for our T.
 He shares his name with the Frosties Tiger and when, a couple of years ago, I found this glass I just had to buy it to pop in T's Christmas stocking as a bit of fun.
So it was the perfect receptacle for my breakfast orange juice.

To stay with the tiger theme I went for orange and black in my choice of clothing today. A black shift dress with an orange cardigan to keep out the chill of another cooler day's weather.

I don't wear makeup and so wearing lipstick was out. Instead I went for the easy option of a piece of fun jewellery in the shape of a brooch.

I haven't done any cross stitch for a while and I enjoyed whipping up this quick and easy lip motif. I am either going to turn it into a card or use it as a gift tag for a friend at work who goes nowhere without first making sure her lippy is looking good!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Flags on Friday

On 28th July 1707 the Union Flag was, by royal proclamation, made the National flag of Great Britain.

A nice and easy one for today.
Seeing as I have plenty of red white and blue in my wardrobe I thought trying to incorporate the flag into my outfit was the way to go. 
I had a couple of different options but in the end it was the wet and windy weather which chose for me.
My dress (shown middle photo) isn't made up of the flag's bold colours but is within the red and blue spectrums.
I have heard it said the flag should only be referred to as a Union Jack when used at sea so I wore my ship and anchor brooch on the pocket of my dress. The badge was pinned onto the strap of my handbag.
The last accessory was a scarf which I bought from Primark a few years ago. 
I was thankful for it as I walked over the bridge on my way to work this morning, it really felt like summer had disappeared and I certainly needed it to help keep out that cold wind.

Thursday, 27 July 2017


As well as yesterday being coffee milkshake day it also happened to be my mum's birthday.
The plan was during the day she went out with my sisters and then early evening me and my brood were going to join them all for a takeaway.
Once back home again G and I were going to be sampling these goodies waiting for us in the fridge and freezer, therefore ensuring a tasty way to end the day.

Only you know what happens when a plan is made.

We arrived at my sister's a bit later than planned and then the takeaway took ages to be delivered.
A lovely evening was had by all but we were home much later than we thought we would be, sadly too late to be thinking of Bailey's and ice cream.
Never mind.
We may be a day late but the occasion will still be marked as G is due home from work very shortly and a coffee milkshake will be waiting.

The activity I chose for today is linked to the Olympics.
On 27th July 2012 we were on holiday in Spain and sat in a bar watching the opening ceremony of the London games.
I'll never forget how astonished and then amused we were seeing Daniel Craig striding through Buckingham Palace off to meet the Queen.
I thought this pin was such a simple and effective idea and thought this would be fun to do with S. 
S measured out the ingredients and whipped up the cake batter in no time and we popped them in the oven. Time came to take them out and well, they looked a little strange. I lifted one out of it's case and it felt hard and heavy. We looked at each other in disbelief. I broke it apart and took a tentative nibble. It had an overpoweringly salty taste.
Realisation dawned. 
That glass storage jar which we thought had white caster sugar in it actually contained salt!
We laughed and laughed and laughed.
Just wait until Dad hears about this S said.
Despite the fact we don't have any fairy cakes to decorate I think we have had more fun because of our mistake.
Sometimes the best things happen when they don't go to plan.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017


A large proportion of the days I am marking throughout this year relate in some way to women. Yesterday was for a fictional Wonder Woman and today is for a real life one. 
Svetlana Savitskaya was the first woman to walk in space on 25th July 1984.  
Such an extraordinary accomplishment.
What could I possibly do to do justice to something so historic?
Inspired by the space themed photo in this collage G and I set to work with a box of chalk.
And here is our effort.

Not sure going shoeless in space is recommended though.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Wonder Woman in Warminster

For day 3 of my challenge I am marking the birthday of the original 1970s  Wonder Woman the actress Lynda Carter.
I had an idea of something I wanted to make and once I had sourced some ribbon I began looking for an online tutorial.
I wanted to make a rosette like this one so I could wear it pinned to a jacket or cardigan, but I couldn't find any instructions.
Instead I cobbled something together and as it turned out much larger than I had planned I pinned it to the handle of my bag.

Today is the first day of the summer school holiday for S.
What a start it has been. Her friend A was being taken to Chessington by her aunt and uncle as a birthday treat. She was allowed to take a friend along and it was S she chose to accompany her. Off they went at just after 8 this morning. They came home 11 hours later having had a wonderful day.

G was off today and with S out and busy we looked at going out somewhere ourselves. G was on the case and he suggested Warminster.

Normally when we go somewhere I like to do a little bit of research beforehand. As it was G who came up with the destination I thought I'd go with no preconceptions about Warminster and just see what it had to offer.
What it had in abundance was beautiful old buildings. We noticed a couple of them had blue information plaques and had I done some research beforehand I would have found this trail which would have been interesting to do.
Lesson learned.

On the road into Warminster from Salisbury there were a few buildings which were in need of a bit of TLC and if they had that it would make that end of town look so much more easier on the eye.

G was pleased to discover a vinyl record shop and came home with a few goodies. If Warminster was nearer I would consider going back to explore further as what we did see provided me with plenty of pretty features to snap.

Clicking on this link will show you a much better photo than the one I took of this stunning sculpture of a young girl sat on a stack of corn sacks on the site of what was once one of the largest corn markets in the country.

I will have to look online and see if the town hold any events which may be of interest to us and which could entice us back again. I know G would like another look around the record shop!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

David and Victoria

This post isn't about either of the Beckhams.
The David I am referring to is David Essex.
Today is the birthday of this twinkly eyed man and Day 2 of my year of days

To mark the occasion I have baked a batch of Rock (On) cakes.
Never baked these before. 
I followed Delia Smith's recipe and they turned out ok.
More than ok, quite tasty actually.

Keeping the Mr Essex theme going today I wore my star patterned shirt with a star necklace.

G and I had planned a little trip down to Southsea today but unfortunately the rubbish weather forecast put paid to that.
As we were up bright and early we took ourselves off to Royal Victoria Country Park for a good long walk instead.
The sun shone whilst we were out and it was a wonderful way to start our day.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

A Years Worth of Days

Yesterday was my 49th birthday.
So this means next year I'll be 50.
I'm not sure quite exactly how I feel about that.
It does seem like a very large number.
Does it mean I should feel like a proper grown up?
Because, well, most of the time I don't.
I do, however, have a plan.
Each day of the year means something to someone.
Be it a birthday, an anniversary, a national holiday, a raising awareness for a charity day, a day important to a particular religion.
You get the idea.
So every day between now and my birthday in 2018 I shall mark each day with something that is pertinent to that date.
It's something I have done now and then and if you have been reading for a while you may remember S and I crafting for ballet day, or the cake I baked in honour of Rick Astley's birthday, or something as simple as wearing a brooch for sunglasses day. 
I've spent time over the past 6 months researching this little project and have a very long list of ideas of things to do.
Of course this is going to have to fit in around everyday life and so some days it will have to be something which doesn't take too much time. 
Therefore it could be something as straightforward as my choice of clothes that day or what I cook for our evening meal. Other days I may try something crafty or bake something I've never attempted before.
Each and every day is special and in some small way I want to show that.
I would like a whole year worth of everydays each with a little bit of extra ordinary in them, something extra added to each as we head towards my 50th on 21st July 2018. 

As each new month begins I plan to list all celebrations right at the start and if anyone would like to join in with me on any given date then please do, it would be fab to see what ideas others come up with.
As we are near the end of July here's what's up coming for the remainder of the month.

22. Mango Day
23. David Essex's birthday
24. Lynda Carter's birthday
25. First woman to walk in space
26. Coffee milkshake day
27. 2012 London Olympics opened
28. Union flag adopted in 1707
29. Tiger day and Lipstick day
30. Cheesecake day
31. Shredded Wheat day

Let's kick things off with something nice and easy for Mango Day. 
Two things I've never tried before.

A delicious Mango smoothie was how G and I started the day.
One cup of mango, one cup of pineapple, one banana blended with one cup of vanilla yogurt. Delish.

Then to end the day we will be indulging in a bottle of this mango and raspberry cider.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Weekend Snaps

Saturday morning breakfast was banana and oat pancakes.

I am a little undecided about whether or not I liked them, it was a texture thing rather than the taste.
G liked them.
One of the recipe options has a chocolate chip variety, I may give these a try.

I decided to paint the key cupboard red, then decided that actually it really needed to be pink.

The decorating of the utility room has stalled. The hot weather has sapped my energy when it comes to painting. When G toddled off to London for most of Saturday (he went to see Bat Out of Hell with his sister) I decided I really needed to be a bit more proactive and so phase one of the key cupboard makeover was set in motion.

A new A4 sized notebook has been purchased.

Back in 2015 I finally figured out a page a day diary set up which worked for me. This served it's purpose well but over time I began to miss the option of having a whole week on view, I just find this easier when trying to plan the week. 
Over a few weeks I trialed some new layouts and have now settled on going back to having an A5 week to view diary for my handbag which I can scribble the day to day stuff in. This A4 book stays at home, close to hand, and on a double page spread for the week contains the master list of all things which need to be done or are happening.

Whilst doing the above along with some more general pottering I finished watching The Gilmore Girls.

I bought myself the first season a couple of years ago and since then G bought me series 2 through to 7 as either birthday or Christmas presents.
From what I've read I'm not sure I want to watch the four specials they did last year to bring the story up to date.

Sunday morning we went to the car boot sale.
I spent half an hour with G and then when my mum and sister arrived I went wandering with them whilst G was happy to go and do his own thing. He gets bored waiting for me as I dawdle round whilst he prefers a more speedy approach.
My sister spotted this brand new M&S dress for me. The seller was only asking £3.00 which I thought was very reasonable and I was going to buy it until my mum offered to buy it for me as part of my birthday present. As it's only a few days away she suggested I took it on home with me, which I was more than happy to do.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

20 Years

Today marks our 20th wedding anniversary.
Two decades of married bliss!
To celebrate we met in town after work and went to watch the tennis.
A huge screen has been erected and rows of deck chairs set out.

The whole area has been covered in fake grass as well which is a great touch and I like the sign they have up.

As to a glass of cooling refreshment, well it just had to be a Pimms didn't it. 
I could quite get used to this after work.

We watched the final set of the Federer/Raonic match and then G suggested we made a little detour on the way to hopping on the bus back home and in doing so we wandered past this little seating area. I think they are supposed to look like old travelling cases because of our City's links to the sea, G thought they looked like hay bales.

Our destination was the registry office where we said I do. We weren't expecting to be able to get in as we were certain it would all have been locked up by then but as luck would have it there was access to the area next to the registry office where thousands of people must have stood over the years to have their wedding photos taken, us included. Today we made do with a quick selfie.
Happy days.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Dance and Music

S's dance group had a mini performance slot at a local primary school's summer fayre on Saturday afternoon and she said she would be ok with me and G coming along to watch her.
It was lovely seeing S and getting a flavour of what she does each Friday at her street dance class.

Whilst there I took the opportunity of having a look around the school garden.
What is more colourful and cheery than a bicycle basket full of geraniums.

The other colourful feature which I really liked were these funky looking birdhouses.

Sunday saw us in Salisbury.
A little wander along by the river

before we settled ourselves in Lizzie Gardens 

for an afternoon of Music in the Park. It's the third year we've been going to these free concerts and it's such a lovely way to spend a sunny summer afternoon.

The band playing yesterday were Break Cover and they played a whole range of songs. We had stuff from Status Quo, The Kinks, ZZ Top, Steve Earle, Billy Idol and The Monkees. An extra reason for going along yesterday was for G to say hi to an old school friend who is one of the guitarists. He is the chap second from the right wearing a hat. They haven't seen each other since 1993.

And here we all are. I like this photo G took of us all as we sat chatting away.
Lovely family times.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Leaves and Acorns

I bought this skirt a couple of weeks ago in a charity shop where everything costs £1.00.
It's a size 14 and normally that's fine for me but after wearing it to work today I've decided it's not a keeper. I spend most of the day sat down and it was too tight around the waist for comfort.
I have one skirt in my wardrobe which is a 12 and fits fine, a few 14s, a couple of 16s and even an 18.
Sometimes the labels can't be relied upon.
 This one will either go off to another charity shop or I may try it on ebay first.
I was drawn to it because I liked the neutral colourway and the styling of the flowers and leaves reminded me of the work of Angie Lewin.

I wore a plain beige scoop necked t-shirt with it and my choice of jewellery was easy to pick. This necklace with an acorn, leaf and fir cone kept the natural theme going.

There could only be one choice of earring, squirrels to go along with the acorn!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Cat Nap

I'm watching the tennis.
Melvin is doing what cats do best.
I think he's feeling quite relaxed don't you.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Southbourne to Boscombe

Last Monday G and I took ourselves off to the seaside.
We hopped on the train nice and early and hopped off again a short while later at Pokesdown.
We've made this journey a few times and always headed off to our right, down the high street towards Boscombe.
This time our plan was to turn left as this would take us towards Southbourne.

Southourne is definitely much more trendier and tidier than it's near neighbour.
Things which caught my eye within a few hundred yeads were the faded sign on the side of a shop, the turret and a beautiful shop on the corner.

This window is also part of the shop. 
It was such an elegant building with so many architectural features it was a shame it was empty.

Does anyone else like the coffee shops Coffee#1? We've been in a few of these now and we like to see what art work they have on the walls. Each one seems to have something on display which pertains to the history of the area it's situated in. The one in Southbourne had a purple heron which has been spotted at nearby Hengistbury Head and a Victorian seabather harking back to when the area became popular with those coming to the seaside for the benefits to their health.
Another reason G likes Coffee#1 is for their cheesecake, he recommends you try it if you can.

Had we not already stopped for refreshment then this find further down the road would have been a good choice. Called Close Knit it's a combined cafe and wool shop.

The knitted throws, parasol covers and hanging basket made it look a very inviting place to stop.

Just a short stroll away from the shops was our destination. 
And mighty fine it looked too.

We took our time walking along the front. Stopping to gaze out to the horizon, feeling the sun on our faces and enjoying the cooling breeze too. Wandering past the rows of beach huts and then sitting a while too to drink in the view, storing that feeling of calm time out at the shore can give.

Then it was up through Boscombe Chine gardens and into Boscombe itself for a spot of lunch. 
Just the kind of day out we needed.