Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt - November

Another month has come to an end and this rather wonderful tradition of sharing my Scavenger Hunt pics happens again. This is my 10th month of doing this - I missed January because of family stuff but otherwise I've completed each month and I'm pleased with myself for doing that. This month was for me probably the easiest - the only time where I had more than one picture for each heading! After some deliberation, here's my efforts for this month;

Poppy - the symbol of Remembrance pinned to my sons RBL uniform.

Memorial - the one on Aldeburgh seafront.

Silhouette - the view from the front window one evening as the sun started to set.

Something I've made - a felt poppy pinned to my coat.

Something purple - the Hebes in the garden were still flowering mid-month and attracting so many bees and insects.

Warmth - so unusual for November - ladybirds, sunning themselves on the bench in the garden.

Polka dots - on a toadstool - fly agaric I believe.

Lucky charm - my Good Luck Care bear - he sat on my desk during my end of school exams and others exams I've taken since.

Comfort food - sausage stew & mash.

Staircase - my nemesis at the moment - still going up and down on my bottom!

Something that lights up - the lava lamp on the kitchen dresser - it provides a cozy glow these dark evenings.

Self portrait - I hate having my photo taken and trying to take one of myself proved very tricky - this is the best of a very bad bunch.

Thanks Kathy once again - I look forward to seeing the December list :)

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 28 November 2011

Brrrrrrrrrr Monday

Good evening

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Another weekend rushed by>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This morning saw our first ground frost of the season;

As my dear bloggy (and RL friend) Dawn put it in her post earlier, the silly season has begun. The festive madness has started especially for my 2 brass playing menfolk. Saturday saw them playing in Aldeburgh for the switch on of their Christmas lights. Apparently it all went well and there are some pics on Dawn's blog - including one of Little Sons right ear!!

I opted out of that particular one as I knew it would be a long afternoon and the lack of comfy seating would mean I'd have to do loads of standing around.

However, I did make it out to Little Sons training band engagement at Minsmere Bird Reserve yesterday afternoon. It was lovely the band played really well. Not easy to get pictures as the space they played in was rather tight - but here's one of little son - as you can see the training band is rather more casual than the full band;

Looking at the gig list next weekend is even more hectic - 3 engagements - have a feeling he'll be sick of carols by Christmas Eve!!

Not sure if I've told you before but I've a bit of a thing about postcards - I seem to collect them from all over and have a hanger on my kitchen door which is changed over regularly.  The very clever Nina @ Tabiboo takes the most brilliant photos and she's turned some of her festive / wintry images into postcards - I couldn't resist;

 Even the packaging makes a nice picture.

Inside - these 3 gorgeous cards - not too Christmassy so they can stay up for a while.

Thanks for all the comments on yesterdays Pause post :)

Right see you later in the week for Novembers Scavenger Hunt pics and finally the contents of the lovely swap parcel. BTW still no housework fairy - I was planning on getting the boys to help on Wednesday when they are off school but they've gone and got themselves some paid work with MrVV!

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 27 November 2011

First Pause in Advent 2011

Thank you to Floss for organising another year of pauses in Advent. As other years there are lots joining in and the posters and their styles are all so different so if you've time, take a look at the list on Floss's blog and have a read.

I think by now most readers will know that I'm not a religious person - I pick and choose from lots of different beliefs and faiths. I know it seems strange evening taking part as Advent is such a part of the Christian calendar - I can't explain why I do this but I do enjoy it and I hope you do to. 

One of my posts from the last Advent series about Simplicity is one of my most read ones ever so I must have got something right.

Onto my first theme for this year, its about taking things for granted.

We here in the Western World take it for granted that when we turn on a tap that clean & safe drinking water will come out. If we go to a supermarket, the shelves will be full and the prices (even allowing for the current increases) will be fairly sensible - imagine finding out that a simple loaf of bread costs half a weeks wages! Its something we take for granted that won't happen here (make sure you're listening Messrs Cameron, Clegg & Osbourne).

Most of our children take it for granted that come the morning of December 25th, there will be presents for them - either from Father Christmas or family & friends. Also that there will be a meal of some sorts - whether its a traditional Christmas lunch or perhaps for those in the southern hemisphere a barbecue on the beach.

I know I take stuff for granted  - I did when I had this accident. I knew that I'd be looked after and that MrVV & the boys would rise to the challenge of looking after me and taking over many of the household tasks. 

Perhaps just for once we could all think about what would happen if those things & people we take for granted let us down. What would we do, how would we cope?? Perhaps we should all let those special to us know how much we love them and not just take it for granted that they know.

So I'll say now - Thank you P, E & W for all your help over these past 3 months - we're now half way through this and hopefully it won't be long before I'm back to 'normal' again.

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Progress and pretty things :)

Good morning

And yes it is a very good one today. The reason - I've had my first shoe wearing session outside the house in just over 12 weeks :) I've been to the physio and he'd very pleased with me. However it does mean next week I get more exercises added and more time in the gym. Its a lovely sunny morning here and when we got back I went for a kick in the leaves in the garden;

Its not been a bad week actually. I went out the other day with my MIL - we headed over to Saxmundham for a change of scenery. Firstly I traded loads of old bits of broken jewellery in for a lovely fat cheque. Then we headed down the high street for light retail therapy.

Firstly yarn - my leg gets cold and as I can't fit my boots on yet, I thought I'd knit legwarmers for around the house - after much pondering, I chose some Crofter yarn in a grey/deep pinks colourway. The ribbing proved a bit tricky as my knitting skills are rusty - once I cracked that it was fine - should have one by the weekend!!

A few other sewing essential were bought and then I glanced at the buttons - I spotted these and had to buy them - no plans for them yet though;

I found a wonderful shop that was stuffed full of pretty things - I need to go back there sometime soon as my MIL kept picking things up with wishful looks in her eyes - least now I've some ideas as to what she'd like for Christmas. This ring was too pretty to leave behind - its just costume not really silver/turquoise but very lovely;

My MIL gave me this little vintage OXO tin - she'd found it the other day in a sort out and was going to bin it but she thought I might like it - oh yes;

Time now for one small festive make - I love working in felt and each year make something new to add to my ever growing decoration collection - here's this years gingerbread house;

Do you remember the patchwork square I showed you that was going to be made into a big quilted hanging? Well it was finished and handed over at the party last weekend. My clever friend Lotti from our S&B group got the task of putting it all together - well she's blogged about it now so you can pop over and see the finished result here -  its stunning.

Finally, I had a late night last night - MrVV & I headed to Ipswich for an evening of laughter with Bill Bailey. A brilliant show - my sides ache for laughing so much. I spotted another blogger in the audience - hi Dawn, hope you enjoyed the show too and your ice-cream ;)

Right that's enough for now. I'll be back at the weekend with my first Pause in Advent post - this is organised by Floss - we're now into our third year which means I really need to think about what my themes will be this year.

Oh and I've the contents of a fab swap parcel to share with you too soon AND the results of another months Photo Scavenging!! Does anyone know of a housework fairy - at this rate I'll need one!!

xxx Vicki xxx

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Product Review - - Retro Popcorn Maker

Hello again

Another day, another email asking me if I'd like to do a product review. This time it was it was and they asked if I'd like to review something from the kitchen gadget range. Now you know me and my love of cooking/baking etc - well I had a look at the list of suggestions and something slightly different jumped out at me. Something that I've wanted for a long while and something I knew the boys would have fun with and benefit from. I thought those boys of mine deserved a treat for all their hard work and support over the past few months.

The product I choose was a Retro Popcorn Maker;

The parcel arrived yesterday and a quick read of the instructions showed it was something that even I could operate! I was prepared for its arrival and had sent Little Son to the shops at the weekend for a bag of popcorn kernels.

Right time for some piccies;

 Such a good looking piece of equipment - love the retro styling and the glossy red finish.

 The lid doubles as a measuring cap - about 90g of kernels per batch - cost less than 20p!

 Pour kernels into maker.

 Place a bowl under the chute and switch on.

 Realise a much bigger bowl is needed AND get an action shot (slightly fuzzy).

 One batch made this bowlful and 2 smaller bowlfuls for the boys for a scrummy after school snack. You can add flavouring - this time we added a tiny sprinkle of salt.

The verdict from Little Son & Big Son - fab and a thumbs up.

The verdict from me - another thumbs up. Great for making a cheap and low fat snack. The machine uses no oil and instead realises on hot air to pop the corn. It takes just a few minutes to use and its something that will be getting loads of use from the boys - from healthy snacks to movie nights. I suspect even our Christmas tree will end up with a popcorn garland on it this year!!

Thank you to for sending us this fab product to test.

I should also point out to you all this site contains 1000's of gift ideas for everyone in your family and life. 

From the big;

 What gadget freak wouldn't like an retro arcade machine to convert their I-pad into a something from their teenage years.

There's also a great choice of slightly unusual kitchen gadgets & equipment - for the cookie baker who has everything - how about some Ninjabread Men Cookie Cutters

So if you're stuck for what to buy that hard to buy for person in your life or just want to find something different and avoid the crush on the High Street then give a look.

Thanks for reading.

See you soon with some festive makes and hopefully the contents of a swap parcel!!

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 21 November 2011

Foodie makes and pretty parcels :)

Good morning

How was your weekend? I hope you weren't affected by the fog too much? We were lucky here - what fog we might have had overnight disappeared quite quickly leaving both Saturday and Sunday bright, sunny and a tiny bit chilly.

Now where did I leave things? Oh yes baking time. There was plenty of left over fruit from the Christmas cake, so Friday morning I spent more time in the kitchen baking and making;

Currant buns with cherries on top for my boys for after school

Then using a recipe I found on a blog last week - just can't remember whose! I made some fruit chutney - I tweaked the recipe to use what I'd got and trust me it smells & tastes delicious;

Some for us and some for pressies for family & friends :)

Saturday was CCM-day - Christmas Cake Making day. I started early as I knew from past experience the baking time is nowhere  near the 3 hours the recipe claims - I think it was almost 4 1/2 by the time it was done - perhaps I was being cautious this year - even remembering to wrap the tin in brown paper;

It made the house smell very festive and most importantly it made it out of the tin in one piece!

Its now wrapped up and shut away only being allowed out for a dosing with brandy each week. There's just the matter of the battle with marzipan and icing to come - oh and I need to find some suitable decorations for the top - I'd like subtle but knowing me it will end up being OTT!

The rest of the weekend passed in a blur of parties - one for a S&B group friends 70th on Saturday night. It was a lovely evening and I think a total surprise to her. Just wish I could have got up and danced to the rock-n-roll singer that was providing the entertainment for the evening.

Yesterday afternoon saw my sisters and other assorted relatives assemble at my Grandma's house to help her celebrate her 86th birthday. Lots of loud mad games involving cushions were played and lots of food was eaten and a good time had by all :)

That would normally be enough for a blog post but there was a thud on the doormat a little while ago. A parcel for me from Ali @ Magic Beans. I'd won her little giveaway the other week. Here's what was in my parcel;

 Sweeties and something lovely hidden in that envelope;

 This gorgeous necklace made by Ali :) Its so pretty and fits perfectly.

If you'd like to see more her work then she's a fab website too -

Right I must dash - I've a Christmas Charity Shop parcel to wrap - hoping I can get a lift into town tomorrow to post it AND I can collect the parcel I missed the postman try to deliver this morning at the same time!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Feeling festive!

Good afternoon

I know, I know there's a strong feeling that Christmas should be kept in its box till December. However sometimes things happen and little bits start to escape from the box early - today was one of those days.

I've started spring cleaning - early for 2012 or late for 2011 - not quite sure. Anyhow whilst cleaning out the mug cupboard this favourite of mine made it to the front. So it had to be used and what better than with a warming mug of hot chocolate - ok so with added whipped cream and marshmallows. My defence, these were bought for the boys but of course needed testing first ;)

 Oh yes those Scrabble letters are still on the table waiting to be washed!

What started all this festive stuff was when MrVV got back from doing a big shop this morning. Not only did he have his normal list but also a special list too. He's asked for a Christmas cake this year and today was the day to buy all the ingredients. The actual cake shall get made on Saturday but the fruit needs to start soaking;

The recipe is one I cut out of a magazine over 20 years ago - hence its tatty now and still in the old scrapbook I use. One day I'll make something smarter. 

Once everything was weighed and measured and put into the huge mixing bowl there was the most wonderful smell in the air - pure Christmas.

The rest of the day has been spent taking it easy - I did far too much walking yesterday and am feeling it today. Never mind its a perfect excuse to get crafting. Sadly I can't show you any photos - everything I'm working on at the moment is for someone who might read my blog. I'll take photos and then share them with you once all the pressies have been safely delivered and opened.

As well as stitching, crocheting and knitted today, I've been reading. The festive reading pile grew this morning - MrVV treated me to the new Country Living magazine - I'd bought the Ideal Home last week. I love their calendar - it fits the space in my kitchen perfectly!!

Both are stuffed full of lovely festive ideas and pictures. Its enough to make you want to hunt out the carol CD and perhaps sneak a decoration or two up.

I won't but the temptation is there!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Happy Dance Time!


No, not the can-can but a careful happy dance to celebrate a good day :)

The sun is shining today - hurrah - doesn't it make such a difference. Yesterday was grey & murky and it was almost dark at 4pm when the boys bumbled in from school.

A quick trip into town threw up some lovelies from my favourite little charity shop;

Vintage scrabble letters :) I got the letters, board & racks for just 50p :) The board is really tatty so that will probably just be recycled but I've some ideas what to do with the rest of it.

I'm a sucker for old childrens books and I was delighted to find 3 lovely books on the shelf. 2 are labelled with Christmas 1945 and the other dates from the early 60's. All had that not so lovely charity shop smell so shall be airing in the conservatory for a while;

The little red one is a Christmas book (Christmas is a time of giving by Joan Walsh Anglund) with many gorgeous illustrations in it. I've just picked one for today but will probably post more next month;

The two Slimtails books were printed during the 2nd World War and are marked to show they complied with the strict paper rationing rules. The illustrations are many just black & white but each book has a lovely coloured first page;

They wanted just 50p for all three books but I couldn't do that and gave them a bit more. The ladies in this little shop are so sweet, they commented they'd not seen me for a while and we had a good chat about injuries and also about mobility aids!!!

On the way home from the town, I made MrVV stop so I could walk from the bottom of our lane to home. I'd spotted something earlier and wanted to take photos. Not just any old toadstools this time - proper fairytale spotty, dotty ones;

I've also been to physio today - instead of just getting a leg massage I've been through to the gym part and have been practising my walking properly with just parallel bars to support me. I surprised myself with how well I was doing. The target for this week is more shoe wearing time and also to try and see how I get on walking outside without my moonboot. If that works then the next step (groan) is to get walking without my crutches - never know I might just be able to dance at the Christmas parties after all!!! Once I can do walk in just shoes we can work on getting my leg properly strong and improving my balance again. Hoping for normality by March 2012 - in time for my birthday!

Right time for some crochet and TV catch up - I missed most of Land Girls last week so its time to find out what happened!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx