Thursday, April 24, 2014

Is orange the new black...?!

Now, don't get me wrong, I love my job.  I'm one of those lucky people that wakes up in the morning and looks forward to getting up and going to work, I don't just like it, I love it.  Am a really lucky girl.

The thing is, every time I have a holiday I tell myself the same thing; when you go back to work don't let it consume your every waking moment.  Don't spend until 11.30 at night working, don't keep checking the Nursery Facebook page; don't spend all your time thinking about work, when you get home just be in the moment, enjoy being at home...  Bring your brain back to home and family cos work can wait.

I'm rubbish at it!  I've been back at work since Tuesday and funnily enough worked until 11.30 last night... It's the perils of being self-employed I think, and working in an industry that's constantly under scrutiny and inspection.  And the fact I'm a perfectionist and find it hard to switch off.

But I'm blummin' determined, I really am.  So, today when I got home the first thing I did was get changed:

Ooh, get me in my latest Charity shop find.  Innit gorgeous?  I would have worn it to work but I spent the morning in the Woods with 24 hyperactive bouncy 3 and 4 year olds and skirts aren't really that ideal for climbing trees...

And it's not black... Looking at this washing line you'd think I was part of the Addam's Family.

So I put on my pretty skirt, sat and did some essential Nursery work (surprise!) and then had a nap.  Woke up with a splitting headache, took the dog for a walk, made the tea, and am not not not going to do any work tonight.  Gonna take a paracetamol instead...

I just want to say thank you so much for your lovely encouraging comments on my last post!  See what you've done already?  An orange skirt, who'd a thunk it?!

Be back soon!

Wendy x

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hand-raised pork pie anyone?

Well, who knew?

I love a pork pie, had no idea that I could handraise my own though.  Must get a book out the library and look that one up...  Could be quite manageable if they're only small...

I hope everybody's had a lovely Easter Sunday.  Personally, I'm not in the least bit religious, nor am I a chocolate fan, so you could be mistaken for thinking I would have this day pass me by without a sniff of a celebration.  Not me, no, no.  I like to join in.  And luckily I have a hubby that knows me very well and cleverly provided a very superior egg substitute:

Feel free to join me Belle, let's recline together and enjoy a late afternoon glass and snooze together.  Perfect!

This morning I dragged hubby and youngest up at the crack of dawn to go to a big outdoor car booty. Armed with the grand sum of £6 in my purse I was looking forward to hunting out some 50p bargains, but have to say I came home a tad disappointed.  Isn't that always the way, if you expect to find something you don't?  The only things I came home with, much to youngest's disgust, was a pair of "Mum sandals".  Nothing whatsoever wrong with a pair of Mum sandals when they've never been worn and only cost a quid! And I started my Christmas shopping, with two very pretty eco notepads for 50p, complete with price label of £12.  Seriously?  Who spends that?!

 Not bad eh?  I suppose it was a blessing in disguise that I didn't spend my whole £6, I could never have afforded my 45p hand raised pork pie otherwise...!

So now I have a question for you lovely fellow bloggers that have started to read my Blog, (of which I'm very chuffed by the way!)  I'll start with a little background detail to set the scene:  I'm naturally quite an introverted person and have never wanted to be the centre of attention.  But, maybe it's my age, maybe it's the fact I've been reading Blogs for a while now, maybe it's that I'm more confident and don't care as much about what others think.... but I'm feeling that I want to dress more for myself now, and brighten myself up. I have no problem doing this at home, but I'm quite nervous about changing the way I look for work!

Did any of you have the same problem?  How did you go about introducing the new, more individual, more colourful you?  What kind of response did you get?  How did you feel?  Please tell me, as I'm desperate to take the leap but unreasonably anxious about it!  (Stupid woman...!)

If you don't comment it's fine, I'll assume it was a daft question and look my black top and jeans out for work on Tuesday... Don't mind me....!!!!

Be back soon!

Wendy x

Friday, April 18, 2014

What a Good Friday!

A day at home today, spent with hubby, the two girls and the pesky pets.  This in itself is a rarity and a treat! Obviously it didn't last into the evening, youngest daughter's off to see McBusted with three of her friends, (and very excited they are too...) Then, once he's dropped them off, Robbie's off to a gig.  Well, it was nice while it lasted...!

When you have no spare cash and the cupboards are practically bare, this is what happens in my house:

Bean and veg stew.  Tis a terribly complicated recipe you know.  Involves chucking the contents of your tin cupboard and what's left of your frozen veg into a pot, along with plenty of spice.  Dish it up with sweet potato mash and you'd never know it was entirely made of kitchen remnants!

Then, in a separate pot, chop and slice the entire contents of your sad looking veggie basket, add coconut milk, curry paste and stock, and tell everybody it's a veggie korma.  Stick it in the fridge for a day, go and have a thoroughly nice Saturday out, and come home to the cheapest readymeal ever.

I love how much more effort I make with cooking when I have no food in the house!

So, I did all this first thing this morning so I could head out to the Office for a few hours.  I normally study alone, but it was such a lovely day I decided two little companions could join me...  so there were distractions aplenty...

Hilarious.  Logged on after two weeks holiday and was given the option of a recap.  Well of course!  What, am I supposed to remember all this stuff?!

The view out my window.  Hubby up a ladder.  Rare rare sight, was quite unsettling...

Millie found a sunny spot, probably hoping for a bit of peace, but....

Was faced by this pest!  She should get a medal for perseverance, she's so desperate to be friends with the cat it's sad to watch.

Get the message Belle, she's just not into you...  You can feel Millie's disdain from here can't you?  And I was trying to study during all this.  Waste of time, had to keep moving my laptop away from Millie's big hairy bum.  Not the best working environment!

Just as well Belle's got a friend in me.   My shadow!

And to think I never used to be a dog person.  Couldn't be without my furry friend now, especially now the girls are growing up... Sooooobbbbbb!!!!

So it's been a lovely day that didn't cost a penny, was pretty productive, lovely and sunny and super relaxing. My kind of day.

My kind of day because it's not a typical one so is all the more special!  It's so nice when the pace is a bit slower, am looking forward to the next three being the same!

Mary Engelbreight - just love her!

Be back soon!

Wendy x

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What I See...

One of the things I love about reading Blogs is getting the chance to be a nosey neighbour, without having to wait til it's getting dark and people have put their lights on, but not closed their blinds yet...

Funny story.  My friend used to ride her bike round her neighbourhood at night so she could see in people's windows.  One night she got distracted looking in a window, rode into a lamp post and fell off her bike. Embarassing enough you think?  No no, it got worse.  The neighbour came running out the house to see if she was okay and took her in for a cuppa and a plaster.  She was so mortified she never rode down that street again!

Anyway, I thought I'd put a few pics up of my little house.  When I was taking the photos it occurred to me that so many things tell a story that's really personal to me and my family, and this thrilled me to bits.  History and sentiment mean the world to me, and sometimes it takes a walk round with a camera to see it doesn't it?

What I see...

The house I've lived in for over twenty years with Robbie.  Happiest home I've ever had.  Also one huge great big moneypit, but that's another story...

The view right now as I'm sat on my laptop blogging.  The little hangy thing doesn't say "one" by the way.  Says "Home".  Course it does, why on earth would it say one??!

And this is the view when I'm watching nonsense on the tele like The Following.  There are so many more productive and interesting things I could be doing of an evening aren't there?  Well actually, if you've ever seen The Following you'll know that, actually, nothing, nothing I say, is more fun than watching a serial killer getting chased by Kevin Bacon.  So there!

And what I see here is a garden in dire need of a Spring tidy up.  Which it will be getting very soon.  Love a bit of gardening, it's just a shame that my garden wraps round my entire house and is far too big if you want my opinion...

Memories are what I see here.  My wedding, my girls about ten years ago, some of the elephants that I've been collecting for years, all sat on Uncle Jim's bookcase.  A piece of furniture with such a story to tell. Wish it could talk...

And here's what I see when I'm waiting for the kettle to boil or I'm doing the dishes.  I stand in these two places A LOT!  Don't we all?  My Hummel monks up on the shelf have been collected over the years from Antiques Fairs and I love them, got some great memories of mooching round these places looking for a bargain.  It's amazing what you can pick up when everybody's packing up to go home.  No turning up first thing for me!

What I see here is a bathroom that is shiny, relatively new and I love and appreciate it every single day.  If I were to show you a Before Pic you'd understand.  The last one was out the ark and a health hazard.  I'd have felt better having a pee behind the bamboo in the back garden...  The view would have been a lot nicer!

What I see when I wander upstairs is books.  We have hundreds and hundreds of books in our house and I have given up trying to rehome a single one.  Try living with three bookworms.  They bite when you try to take their babies off them!  This is also where Belle sleeps, nestled beside Robbie's Mum and Dad's cabinet. I love this piece of furniture and remember it in their living room, crammed with the weirdest assortment of books.  Encyclopedias, atlases, magic books, Burn's books, and half a shelf specially for Mum where she kept her People's Friends Friendship books.  I'm sure some of the originals could still be on those shelves even now.

What I see here is the comfiest, cosiest bed in my world.  The place I love to be, where I've mastered my sleeping art and have it down to a tee!  Again, more books, some ornaments inherited from family, and also some favourite things I've picked up over the years.  I don't like to have too much stuff lying around to dust, but I do like pretty things, so I'm always trying to strike a balance.  The wardrobe is from Robbie's childhood bedroom.  It's funny, I used to hate it, but as the years have gone by I've grown to love it and become very adept at cramming my side FULL!

And finally, what I see here is my Office.  I became self-employed four years ago when I took over the Nursery I managed.  For two of those years I tried working from my bedroom.  Big mistake!  So two years ago we invested in what others would call a shed... 6x4 and crammed to capacity with absolutely everything Nursery, Craft and Degree related.  This is where I do all my paperwork and where I also study.  I love this little space with a passion and would sleep in it if I could.  Have nodded off once or twice...

So that's What I See.  My home, filled with my things, my heart and my soul.  The place I feel safe and loved.

Thanks for popping by everybody, and thank you for the comments, you have no idea how excited I was to get my first one!!

Be back soon!

Wendy x

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Just a thought.  To keep or not to keep?  Am de-cluttering, feeling all organised and cleansed and all that jazz, but I have so much less stuff in the cupboards and it feels very strange...

Will it all make it to the charity shop?  Will keep you posted!

Be back soon!

Wendy x

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Cookbook to Inspire, Hopefully...

I wish I'd taken before and after pictures of the kitchen, it would have been so much more satisfying to see it in its natural state before I came over all OCD and scrubbed EVERYTHING!  I've even started stalking the girls to make sure they use a plate, put things away, wipe crumbs instead of sweeping them onto the floor... you know the sort of thing.  Thank goodness Spring only comes once a year, all this cleaning can't possibly be good for ya :)

This morning I took my youngest on a trip round the charity shops.  Someone's got to do it.  Must say I'm not entirely gutted that she seems to have followed in my footsteps in the pursuit of a bargain.  She's a book fiend so was delighted to pick up a book of hymns from 1927... whatever floats your boat.... and a copy of What Katy Did Next which is just gorgeous.

I, on the other hand, spent the grand sum of £1.25 in the only shop that wasn't colour co-ordinated and still seemed to grasp the concept that a charity shop isn't a boutique.  Some of the prices are getting ridiculous. But never fear, a new cookbook and coaster came home and I was very pleased. I wouldn't, in a million years, spend £20 on a book by Gordon Ramsay's missus, but this was 50p and has some lovely looking veggie recipes that I might just try.  As for the coaster, I melted the one in the living room so needed a replacement...  What?  Doesn't everybody do that?!

I go back to work a week tomorrow and have precisely no money left.  Not a bean.  So it's just as well that I love being at home and have more than enough to keep me busy.  Food wise, I feel my Frugal Cookbook might be looked out and the depths of the cupboard will be explored!

So, after a busy, productive day I feel a Malibu and lemonade coming on, along with a doggy cuddle and the start of a new book!  She really is great company, specially when she's sleeping...

Be back soon!

Wendy x

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Cleaning, woo hoo!

Gawd I love the results of a blummin' good Spring clean!  Shame I absolutely hate how long it takes.  I really am a very dirty woman, cos my house is filthy when you look under the surface.

So today I cleaned like a madwoman.  Yesterday and the day before as well.  But, to treat myself and make myself feel better I drank wine and went out with hubby last night to Sweeney's on the Park, a pub in Glasgow.  Great music, a couple of drinks, and I was all set to start cleaning all over again when I got up this morning...

I even got the dog cleaned...

Tomorrow we're off to buy the extra bits of flooring we need and then ooh, what I could do?  Oh I know, clean!

Such an exciting life!

Be back soon!

Wendy x

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hallway to Heaven!

It's only been 9 months since the carpet got lifted... Only 9 months that I've been walking on cold concrete. Don't know what all the rush was for!  So, not quite finished yet but omigawd how gorgeous does it look already?


And the glorious After!:

Belle in every photo, gave up trying to take one without her!

Be back soon!

Wendy x

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Paul Young love :)

I can't think of anything that's as powerful as music, for bringing back memories, or even just the emotions and feelings from the time you first heard a song. Today, during the torture of a Spring clean, I came across a Paul Young CD. I loved this man so much when I was a teenager; I remember the first time I saw him on Top of the Pops, the agony of my friend Sharon Brace going to see him when I couldn't, the lifesize poster on the back of my bedroom door and the crush I had on a boy called Vincent cos he had Paul Young hair...

Today I'm lucky if I can remember what I had for breakfast... But for the past hour I've been singing every song, word for word. Dancing around the kitchen like the 14 year old that loved Paul Young so much so could barely breath when she watched him. Cor, powerful thing music innit?!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Handbags, Gladrags and beaooootiful new flooring ...

Well not really.  No handbags to be found at Gladrags today :(

There's a fab second hand shop in Glasgow (not strictly charity, it gives back to the community instead), and right next door is the Glad Cafe, the place with the best coffee I've ever had, and I don't even really like coffee...

So today was the first official day of my two week Easter holiday.  I've never looked forward to a holiday so much in my entire life.  The past couple of weeks at work have been soooo busy and demanding, the only thing that's kept me motivated has been the thought of locking the door on Friday and hiding my bag, phone and work keys in the office as soon as I got home... (that didn't quite happen, but, by Monday I promise...!)

To celebrate we went to Glasgow today.  First stop was Gladrags, where sadly I didn't find anything, but Robbie got a cracking pair of shoes for just a fiver.  And then we went next door for lunch.  No kids, no clock watching, nothing to rush home for, no schedule, nothing planned for the dinner.  Total grown up freedom.  Blisssss.....

And could it have got better?  It did!  On the way home we took a daft notion to pop into a couple of flooring shops to see if we could get anything for the Hall.  Not that it's urgent or anything, we've only been living with a concrete floor since July...  And half an hour later we're driving home with dog pee proof laminate that was over £200 cheaper than the last quote we had.

Best holiday ever.  Now, time for wine and a night of chilling without any work tomorrow!

Be back soon!

Wendy x

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lady in Beige...

Oh I had the best luck at the charity shops today!  Don't you just love it when you find something you've been looking for for weeks.  Bingo!  A gorgeous pair of suede boots for just £3, and I love them.  On top of that I also got a lovely blouse for £1, a waistcoat for £1.50 and a bag for £1.  Gawd, £6.50 in one go, a big spend for me!

So, now I'm home from work, after a manic morning of dragging everything back under the stage after dragging it all out yesterday... time for housework, folding and making lasagne for tea.

How do you celebrate your dog's 2nd birthday?  Are you supposed to?  Do you throw a party? Can't buy her a bone, she'll only get the runs...  Sod it, I'll just sing to her!

Be back soon!

Wendy x