Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to all

From my visitors from across the pond, to those from down-under, those that celebrate in big style and those that sit in the dark hoping the doorbell won't ring!

Need to do pumpkin carving here today - we've been promised small visitors later :)

Friday, 30 October 2009

A No Boy Thursday

This post was meant to be uploaded last night but the internet gremlins had other ideas :(

Today was a virually boy free day :)  Now I love my 2 messy, untidy, permanently hungry boys but sometimes its great to be at home without them.  This morning they headed off on their bikes to their Scout hut to crush 2 huge skip bags of drink cans which are going off to be recycled (and then the pack gets the money).

Came home from there smelling of a mix of beer and sweet sugary drinks! So they were despatched to get washed & changed as their grandparents where due any minute to take them out to lunch - lucky devils.

Rather than sit at home being sad and have a lonely sandwich, MrVV & I headed off to Aldeburgh for fish & chips on the sea wall.  This F&C shop has a wonderful reputation and with the lovely weather yesterday there was a huge queue;

We parked up to eat on the seawall with its wonderful views in every direction;

The sea - calm as a mill pond yesterday

River Alde with its collection of sailing boats;

Once we'd finished eating we had a quick walk along the beach - I managed to collect some more lucky 'hag' stones for my ever increasing collection..

On the way home by the coast road I wanted to stop and take a picture of a sculpture on the beach that divides peoples opinions - however as it was a gorgeous day it was impossible to get a picture of just it, so here's one I've 'borrowed' from the internet ;)

BTW boys arrived home late afternoon, stuffed to the gills - both having polished off a huge meal with pudding.  Guess what by teatime they were hungry again!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The mid-week point

How's 1/2 term going for everyone?  So far so good  - lots of lie-ins and just relaxing here with a smattering of housework and homework mixed in.

This morning was spent trying to fill the ever-emptying cake & biscuit tins - a task that needs repeating rather to often sometimes. Fortunately this time I gained a small & willing helper - No2 son Will.

Here he is hard at work making ChocChip Muffins - something he can now do without any really help from me;

Please excuse the washing in the background - its just not drying outside at the moment - not enough breeze or hours of daylight!!

This afternoon the boys cleared off out on their bikes for a few hours - think they called in to visit a couple of my sisters and my grandparents.  Mr VV was out so I had the house to myself.  I settled down to do some more festive swap sewing when it all went rather dark - the power had gone off :(  I did the usual thing of checking fuses and even managed to locate a rather complex main switch in the garage but nothing worked :(

So instead of sitting here feeling sorry for myself and being in need of a cuppa, I hunted out the camping stove and kettle :)  Even dragged out my festive mug for the occasion.

About 1/2 an hour after I'd gone to all this trouble power was restored!

Enjoy the rest of the 1/2 term week folks.  Suppose I need to get organised and find a pumpkin to carve - need to buy one as the ones I tried to grow got eaten by slugs :( 

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Cambridge Treats Revealed ;)

As I promised yesterday, I will show you what I treated myself to in Cambridge at the weekend.  Had to wait until this morning to take the pictures in decent light - had forgotten last night  how quickly it now gets dark. Its now 5pm and pitchblack outside.

Anyhow here's what I bought;

2 Belle & Boo & 1 cupcake postcard from Paperchase - could have bought more but ran out of cash!
Russian doll stickers from Accesorize, Glass bead necklace from White Stuff and last but by no means least a Christmas Cath tin from John Lewis (yes there are some close up pics to follow).


Back - can you see Stanley & his ball?

I could have bought out the haberdashery section in John Lewis - so many things and loads of Cath. Instead I made a mental wish list and dropped lots of hints to little son who was with me!

Hope everyone is enjoying 1/2 term? We are :)

Monday, 26 October 2009

A weekend away :)

As I hinted on Friday we did do something special this weekend - we spent it in Cambridge and the boys had their first taste of staying in a hotel. Ok so the hotel was a Premier Inn but nevertheless the boys were impressed and on their best behaviour :)

The weather was a bit mixed and at times on Saturday we had to head indoors to avoid the showers - oddly this meant that for once MrVV and the boys didn't complain too much about shopping ;)  Certainly one shop in particular was treated by the boys as an extention to their break and they happily spent quite a lot of time in there - this was the Apple Store where they got to have their technology fix, playing with Iphones, Ipod Touches and Macbooks;

On both days we managed plenty of walking, stopping to watch people punting and rowing on the Cam.

As you can see the weather on Saturday ^^^ was not as sunny as that of Sunday vvv

We didn't go punting - I have a real fear of water and can not be persuaded to go in a boat of any size :( 

One of the reasons we headed to Cambridge was to give big son (who starts his GCSEs next year) a feel for the place and hopefully it will inspire him to work hard at school and maybe even one day gain a place at university there.  With that in mind we went for a look around Kings College and its chapel.  It is certainly a place that inspires and hopefully some of its magic rubs off on both boys.

Last but not least for tonight, its not often these days that anything makes big son look small - he's towered over me for a while now.  However this amazing doorway in Kings just dwarfed him and his little brother!

Oh, yes I know you can see shopping bags in several of the pictures ;)  We did indeed have some light retail therapy, much of it was essential new items for growing boys and presents that will end up in stockings at Christmas (so I can't show you those).  However one or two items were bought for me and I'll show you those tomorrow ;)

Friday, 23 October 2009

So very Cath :)

Good evening

Happy half-term - the boys started yesterday and mine started today :)  I've now 10 work free days - time to spend with the boys, time to spend on my sewing and time to really knuckle down and do some more work for college.

After surviving a training day at work - I came home via the town as I needed to collect something from the shops.  My eyes were drawn to the little clothes shop we have in town and I couldn't believe my eyes - I was drawn inside and to my surprise not only was the item I'd spied as lovely as I hoped but they had one in my size and it fitted perfectly......

I've read on so many blogs about the love for this item in the latest Ck brochure but the price has been so off putting.

This is what I saw and bought for just a fraction of the price;

As luck would have it, as part of the wardrobe restock I treated myself to a couple of t-shirts from Joules which will go under this perfectly;

Sorry those pics are tiny! But they give you an idea of the colours.

Have great plans for this weekend which I'll tell you all about on Monday - camera battery is charged and I know there will be plenty of photo & blogging opportunities ;)

Have a lovely weekend - is shaping up here to be a crisp proper autumn one - ideal for wearing new dresses and taking plenty of walks and spending time together as a family.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Show us your Cath Day :)

Evening - have been to some fab parties this evening - such pretty things in such lovely houses. 

As ever I am disorganised - blame work, blame family and blame there only being 24 hours in a day!

So from the comfort of my armchair whilst having a cuppa and a ginger biscuit (Floss I am addicted to them - I blame you for making my clothes shrink ;) - here's a small selection of my Cath.

The first Cath mug - my favourite - tea always tastes better out of bone china I think.

A small selection of Cath bags and Cath inspired bag holders and shopping bags.

Some light reading - all Cath!

Lets tip out my messenger bag contents - Cath junk holder!, purse, camera case and even the lip balm is Cath.

Addicted to Cath - me - yup!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Bunny & Rabbit

When I saw the Help Find a Bunny a home giveaway on Karen's blog it instantly made me think of 2 friends who live in our house.

On the left is Rabbit who was given to me by my Grandma on my 1st birthday (so quite a long time ago) - despite the fact when he arrived he was dressed in a pink tutu and ballet slippers 'she' has always been a 'he'. Sadly the dress & shoes are no more and instead he wears one of the boys old all-in-one suits. He's getting very worn now and the foam stuffing is gradually disintergrating :(  He still lives on our bed during the day moving out at night to join several other of my childhood friends on a pretty pink lloyd loom chair.

On the right is Bunny - he was given to Will (the youngest) on his 1st birthday by my Grandma (she knitted both toys).  He's been a constant companion for nearly 11 years now (and it shows by Bunny's slightly squashed look) and has travelled everywhere with us on holidays and days out - the only holiday he never goes on is Scout camp as thats deemed to dangerous for him!!

Anyhow the reason for todays post - if I'm lucky enough to win on this giveaway Brown Bunny will have a ready made group of friends to play with!!

Was my day off yesterday and I was very busy - working mainly on Christmas stuff for pressies and swaps - sadly I can't show you any pics just incase my swap partners peak in and the surprises get spoilt ;)

Also made more of Floss's ginger biscuits which seem to disappear overnite!

See you soon.

Vicki xx

Sunday, 18 October 2009

UFOs, Indianna Jones & a sunny Sunday

Decided to try somewhere different for a walk this weekend and headed to Rendlesham Forest (home to 'alien' landings in December 1980).  Boys opted for the 3 mile UFO trail with the promise of a picnic and play after they'd completed it.

Was not really very challenging - more a time to have a chat and a laugh as a family without the distraction of phones, computers and other gadgets.

Big son was left in charge of the map and reading at each point the information about the UFO sightings and what is alleged to have happened.

Was quite cool when we set off - so those mad wooley hats from last weekend were put into good use. You can now see why there is an Indiana reference to this post - MrVV's hat ;)

The further we walked the warmer is became and soon layers were being shed and stuffed into rucksacks or tied round waists.  The boys had a great time chatting and battling with found sticks - Will even managed to smuggle a rather fine specimen home with him.

As ever on these occasions I was the one behind the camera but did manage to take one picture that shows I do exist ;)

We got to see plenty of wildlife - deer, squirrels, woodpeckers, dragonflies and a huge stag beetle - am pleased that despite their growing up the boys are still interested in seeing these things.

Once we'd arrived back at the car and had demolished the picnic, the boys were keen to investigate the play area.  Some items were more suited to smaller children but there were several things that they could clamber over and explore. 

All in all a rather great family day out and it is somewhere we will head to again.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Cookies, buttons & sewing - not a bad week so far :)

Have actually had time this week to do some stuff I really like namely cooking & sewing :)

Monday's task was to make the boys some of the favourite choc chip cookies -

Chocolate Chip Cookies Millies style


125g butter, softened
100g light brown soft sugar
125g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
200g chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.
2. Cream butter and sugars, once creamed, combine in the egg and vanilla.
3. Sift in the flour and salt, then the chocolate chips.
4. Roll into walnut size balls, for a more homemade look, or roll into a long, thick sausage shape and slice to make neater looking cookies.
5. Place on ungreased baking paper. If you want to have the real Millies experience then bake for just 7 minutes, till the cookies are just setting - the cookies will be really doughy and delicious. Otherwise cook for 10 minutes until just golden round the edges.
6. Take out of the oven and leave to harden for a minute before transferring to a wire cooling rack. These are great warm, and they also store well, if they don't all get eaten straight away!

They don't last long - especially with 2 growing boys!

Today I tried Floss's Ginger Biscuit receipe from  here - an instant hit. I made these before I left for work late morning and the house still smelt of ginger welcomeness when I came home at 4 o'clock. Verdict from the boys - really scrummy and can we have them again! (BTW the receipe makes far more than just the few that posed for photos ;) ).

Apart from the baking, I've been busy starting to make things for the swaps I'm taking part in via Blogland and also the Not-so-Secret Santa swap I do with my sisters & brother each year. There are 7 of us in total so it makes life easier if we just buy for one person rather than 6!

Anyhow it meant a trip to see my friend in her pretty pink haberdashery shop so I could buy more button supplies;

Last but not least I've started on my stocking for the swap - here's a sneak preview ;)

I guess it still needs a bit of work but I've finally decided what is going on there and have got all the supplies to do it.

Am so excited to be taking part in my first 2 swaps - seems such a lovely idea to make & buy something for a person you've never met in RL and only through blogland :)

Off back to my cutting and sewing.


Sunday, 11 October 2009

Met a knight in shining armour!!

Love it when plans actually come together.  We planned a family day out and it actually happened!!  In fact we were so organised that we booked the tickets in advance!  Headed to Trinity Park in Ipswich to the Robin Hood Country Fair - lured by the promised of men in armour and tights ;)

Was actually a wonderful family day out - plenty to see and plenty to do - some free and some that cost.

Firstly we watched the jousting;

Plenty of cheering for the good knights and booing at the bad ones.

Then we had a wander round the site to see what else was there and came upon something that the boys really wanted to try - water zorbing. Basically they were zipped into a large inflatable ball and left to roll around a large swimming pool for about 5 minutes - apparently this is harder work than you'd imagine and they really enjoyed this;

The weather was really quite chilly today and in a big open space it felt really quite cold.  Anyhow as they promised they'd wear them again (probably to scout camps), I treated the boys to really loud hats which have remained on their heads for the rest of the day. Was probably quite handy to have them when they decided they fancied a ride on the really huge vintage big wheel that was there.

Next to the big wheel was an enormous Helter Skelter - I was sorely tempted to have a good but decided that it was just too high for me. However as it was so pretty I did take a photo.

Was one of those days out that did end up costing a bit more than we'd planned but for once it was MrVV who had money spent on him. He treated himself to a proper Aussie bush hat - just wish I had a photo I could show you.  The only comment I could make was to hum the tune to Indiana Jones ;)

We really did have a great day out - on the journey home it was all too much for the youngest member of the household - he dozed off. He will one day learn the lesson - never doze off when there's a camera around - you will end up on Mummy's blog and facebook page!

See you soon xx

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Shopping Saturday

Good evening

After a very rainy night, it was great to wake this morning and see the sun peaking from behind the clouds.
The morning was spent catching up on washing - nothing better than seeing it whirl around on the line - one of my favourite smells is freshly washing linen.

After lunch I headed with a friend to Southwold - this time not to the beach but to the lovely town with its wonderful selection of independant shops, selling everything from CK treats to books and also shoes & boots. 

During last weekends wardrobe clearance, I got rid of several pairs of shoes & boots - some to the CS and other were only fit for the recycling bank.  Today I treated myself to a new pair of boots - they are so soft and comfy with a warm snuggly furry lining - think they won't leave my feet now till spring!!

Like I said there is a lovely little shop that sells quite a range of CK goodies and these mugs were something that I've been meaning to get for ages - quite simply we don't own enough decent sized mugs for coffee and early morning teas!

Lastly I also made a start on stocking fillers for my boys and also some bits & bobs for the Stocking Swap ;)

Off out for a curry with my sisters later - think I might wear my news boots!!


I left you a note on your blog but I think I've found the pillowcases you wanted - left the shop details and prices on your blog post - hope it might help in your search :)

Friday, 9 October 2009

TFI Friday

My goodness what a week - eventually got my sewing space back but have not had time to even thread the machine :(.  Have been ill (migraine) and then working lots and lots.  I have however been to visit my friend in her pretty haberdashery shop and bought supplies so I can start making my stocking for the stocking swap - is the first one I've taken part in and I want to get it all sorted on time!

When I last saw my friend she was wearing the most gorgeous dress over her jeans which I instantly coverted - turns out she'd made it herself and this week when I went to see her she'd made one for me :)

The polkadots are pink and the whole thing fits like a glove and I'm so glad its the weekend tomorrow and I can finally wear it.  For work I get to wear the most fetching poloshirt and fleece with any jeans that aren't too paint stained so at weekends and holidays I love getting a chance to wear pretty dresses and clean jeans or leggings.

Is shaping up to be a good weekend - Southwold shopping with a friend tomorrow, dinner with my sisters tomorrrow night and then a family day out on Sunday.  Just need to hope that we get no rain and possibly a bit of autumn sunshine instead.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Dots, birds & sewing room takeover!

It was my day off work yesterday and I'd planned once I'd done all the boring domestic stuff that I'd have a couple of hours at my sewing machine (still need to make cushions for my bedroom).  However once I'd finished I walked into the dining room (aka sewing room) to find that MrVV had taken it over to use as a photography studio to take pics of new ebay stock :(

Instead I got organised and finished clearing my wardrobe out - lots has returned to there but plenty more has been delivered to the local charity shops.  New rule - one in / one out AND think before I buy - no more impulse buys.

Its one of my many sisters birthdays today so after work I'm going to visit her and take her pressie and card. Couldn't resist this wrapping paper - I think polka dots are one of my all time favourite things.

Last but not least for today - I just looked out into the garden to see how we faired after yesterdays rainstorm (first rain here for 8 weeks) - the grass is definately less yellow.  A regular visitor was out there having his breakfast (excuse the slightly blurriness);