Wednesday, January 25, 2012

True love and happiness, what is that exactly? How often do you feel it? Do you know what it is? Is it easy to lose sight of? There are so many questions around the 'meaning' of love and happiness and I use my inverted commas to highlight the point.. What is love? Happiness?

This past weekend I spent with my husband and big girl in the dales celebrating my dear friends Kate and Tom's wedding. It was a magical weekend full of love, nostalgia and laughter and I felt happy, relaxed and totally ecstatic for the bride and groom - their love and adoration was palpable and I was extremely proud to be a major part of their day. Not only them but their parents, friends and all who came together to celebrate their marriage - everyone was calm and joyful and embraced all aspects of the time together. I think it's sometimes easy to forget the friends and families involvement at a wedding but I was acutely reminded when the vicar asked the congregation to support the couple in their marriage (to which we all answered with a resounding 'we will') that it is easy to overlook those around us when we are in a marriage, but that there are times when we need and will rely on the support of our loved ones to get us through, especially at times when our wedding vows are challenged. 

Love, to me, is in the detail, and I don't just mean the love between a man and wife, I mean in every thing, love for friends and family too.  Things like cooking a meal for a table full, handing over the last cookie, talks in the middle of the night about anything and nothing, making yourself extra chips when she says she doesn't want any, because you know she will!  The filling up of her car, or de icing it on a frosty morning, surprising him with his favourite cooked breakfast after he has returned from walking the the dog in the cold whilst everyone else cuddles up on the sofa, opening a bottle of wine or running a bath for them to come home to because you know they have had a rough day, the impromptu kiss in the middle of the high street just because your smile makes his heart soar, the fact that you engage each others families, regardless of differences.  And with friends; the handwritten card that falls on to the doormat with a personal message inside, making plans together for the future, the text message that says they are thinking of you or had remembered a little discussed anniversary or occasion, the time taken to spend time or visit each other, or even picking up the phone despite busy schedules, the unfaltering support in times of immense hardship, the fact that you still love them as much as ever despite the geographical distance, that you would move heaven and earth to help them and that you can forgive, even though your heart is breaking.  Love brings happiness, so take time to be thoughtful and loving to those around you - sometimes hard, but always worth it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Finally I am back at my laptop (usually monopolised by the husband!) so I thought that I would finally post the pictures of my completed Snug room.  This room sits between the kitchen and the main living room and it is really the family room, contains kids' toys and inexpensive sofas that, being chocolate brown, hold their own in a kid friendly environment.  It has been 2 and a bit years in the creation but at last I can say that, for now, it is done.  Ideally I would love some wallpaper on the wall with the cat picture, but for now that can wait.  I know it has taken an age but I am really happy with the results.

So, October 2009

Then Feb 2010

Finally Jan 2012 ( I have more to add from camera - these are phone ones - but I have screwed up and taken a load of pics in RAW and can't edit them until I have new software on laptop grrr)

Shelves all done by hubby, art deco fire place, £72 from eBay, it is cast iron and weighs a ton!  Hubs did that and made new cabinet for TV too, mind you that needs to be properly finished.. rug, Next from 2010.

Labrador and small child are movable :)

Close up of fireplace - currently accessorised with Teya's Bday cards!

Last photo is of the photo wall, directly opposite fireplace and leading in to kitchen.  All frames are either Ikea or Cargo, black wooden frames.  The light fitting is a battersea pendant lamp from Garden Trading via Not on the High St

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Argh LUST alert - sneaky lunch break look at the BMB site and I really really love this beauty

Pauli leather jacket
Sadly it is still £333, which - although a bargain as it was nearly twice that *faints* it is still, sadly unattainable.  Off to think of sensible wants for SS'12 along my promised lines of KEY items and QUALITY before I get back to my Casing Management Training Manual!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finally I have recovered after all the fun and excitement of THE Hen Weekend to come on and update everyone as to how it went.  On Friday lunchtime I met Birls at the station and, a very excited pair, we set off for the Cotswolds,  Thankfully a really smooth drive over meant that we arrived at Lane House Farm at exactly 4pm, just in time to take charge of the keys and set up the house ready for the Hen herself. So, we had a good nosey round the fab 6 bedroom farmhouse, put on the Aga, unloaded our provisions, lit the fire and opened a bottle of Oyster Bay Sauv to get us started.  Everything was so wonderful, the Hen and her car full arrived at 6, closely followed by Shell, Pooj, Emma P, Sam and Claire.  We had such a giggle over the entire weekend, we headed out for supper at the Shaven Crown (brilliant name) that evening and really got the party underway, terrifying the locals and making a lot of noise - of course everyone overcooked it on the first night and it ended up with much  singing, dancing, drunken articulate and a 3.30am clearing of Birls' vomit from the bathroom floor by yours truly!  Was so so funny though that I forgave her.

The next morning saw a few sore heads but extremely high spirits so we set off in search of some fresh air and hangover food in the nearby Chipping Norton.  We met Davina and Shell, Pooj, Birls, Dee and I headed to the Crown and Cushion for quite honestly one of the most hilarious lunches I have had in a long time, one of the highlights was when the waiter (after a 20 minute wait for our drinks) brought Birls over a straw for her coke on a plate presented on 2 napkins!  I can't really tell you what we talked about it to make the whole thing so amusing but by the end of lunch my face and sides hurt from laughing so much and when the waiter asked the elderly couple at the table next to us whether they had enjoyed their lunch, the lady replied, 'oh yes thank you, and I think we enjoyed the entertainment more..!' with a nod in our direction!  So, hangovers satiated we returned to the cottage and rallied the hens around to bring all the gifts and bring them in to the lounge - it was time, now that everyone was here, to spoil our gorgeous Bride To Be and open the fizzy.  We handed out presents, including the photobook that I had put together from us all, and told amusing stories, before Pooj whisked her upstairs to change in to her bollywood outfit!  Cue much more laughter and 2 fantastic routines led by Pooj and Kate - and some excellent involvement from all of us in scarves and bhindis.  Next it was time for more fizzy and to enjoy the fantastic array of cakes that all of the hens had contributed before heading upstairs to get glammed up..  At 6pm everyone came through in to the kitchen to find that guys from Shaken and Stirred had set up a fantastic cocktail bar for us and we spent the next few hours concocting our own cocktails in our teams before the final judging, we (the Hen's team, consisting of Kate, Vic S and I) won the competition with our Maldive Sunset, a revolting mixture of gin, mango and lychee - god I felt so sorry for Tom and Paul having to taste them all - and it was then a free for all as we carried on making and consuming vast amounts of cocktails!  at 9.30pm (an hour and a half longer than the guys usually stay!) we all sat down to my homemade chilli (veggie and steak) with baked nachos, jacket potatoes done in the Aga and a large salad followed by Fi's choc and Guinness cake, Tattinger Champagne and a very funny and tear jerking Mr & Mrs Quiz that the lovely Groom had helped me with.  It was such a brilliant night and I was so very relieved that everyone had such a great time, especially my darling Kates and when we fell in to bed at 3am I was hugely relieved! 

Sunday morning saw us head out to the beautiful village of Burford for brunch at Maison Blanc before saying our goodbyes and heading back home, all light of heart and looking forward to the Big Day.  It is now time for me to get out running and sew my mouth up so that I can look halfway decent in my dress, because believe me, the Bride is going to look so stunning, I am going to be one huge bag of emotional goo on the 21st January, that is for sure.

Monday, January 02, 2012

I am feeling really sorry for myself today, my cold has finally erupted making me feel shocking and generally full of snot! Kev has gone to see Steve but I daren't risk giving him more bugs so the kids and I are having a pyjama day. I have been lusting after this since Saf and I spotted it in selfridges before Christmas! Part of me is relieved that it isn't in the sale but I really love it!
Reiss Madison Coats and Jackets
I did however buy this coat with my crimbo M&S vouchers, £59 down from £110, and it's really gorgeous, it looks much better on, it is just not quite as amazingly wow as the Reiss one (however much more practical!!!)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy new year! Tbh I'm not looking forward to this year but hey, I'm ready for all that it brings and am determined to make it as good as I possibly can, to seize every opportunity and enjoy everything that I can. Life is too short for wailing and gnashing of teeth. My 2012 has started perfectly, hubby went for a bike ride with his pals this am whilst the kids and I had a lazy morning and then we all went for a dog walk followed by more slobbing and then off to Saf and Ram's for a wonderful afternoon celebrating with dear fiends. Now in bed with iPad and wine and everyone else sleeping... Night all, see you soon x x