Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Olympic pride

Little bit of a forced break due to the hubby having the computer.  Nevermind, onwards...............

The Olympic torch relay rolled through our sleepy corner of the world yesterday and how totally amazing it was too.  I was very lucky as not so mini man's very understanding teacher allowed us to take him out for 2 hours.  Equally blessed as the sun shone proudly in the sky.  Mini man and I picked up Mummy dearest, liberated not so mini man from school and toddled off up the road to the next town to join the party.

Now then, sometimes I just know that someone is looking out for us and lays everything down beautifully in front of us to ease our way and yesterday was totally one of those days.  My normally late timings were bang on at each of my self allotted time check points (OCD very much in full flow yesterday!), parked the car with absolute ease and transported the family walking bus (with Mummy dearest riding up front in a Boudicca style) to the perfect spot right on the edge of the road.

So there we are with 2 MASSIVE Union Jacks and a very British picnic in attendance.  Started chatting to the people next to us (as you do) and soon discovered that they were family of a torchbearer.  WOW!  practically royalty in that atmosphere.

Now, if you do one thing tonight check out Frome torch bearer Sgt Gavin Harper.  Read his section and I defy you not to be nothing short of gob smacked!  This bloke is astonishing.  Being the wife of a serving British soldier I just had to grab his wife in a very unstalkerish way and tell her how amazing I thought SHE was.  I will never understand who those women live through the experience of the the door knock and the two men stood behind it.  This woman, in my opinion is nothing short of unbelievable.  She kept the family together, brought up two beautiful children and supported her husband who is so busy raising money for others it unreal.

I'm sorry to say that my photography on the day was clouded  by tears of pride so I borrowed this one from the British Army's Facebook page.  Check it out, they have pictures of each of the soldiers who have carried the flame.  

Right, as I took a day off to celebrate with the nation its back to house moving duties.  The kitchen beckons.  Oh the glamour.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The first of the last's

Well yet again the last few days have been busy, busy, busy.  Hubby and I have now totally cleared the attic despite several attempts by the Hubby to knock himself bandy on the rafters.  I'm sending him back to the car boot sale tomorrow to attempt to shift more tat and to recover from his rather severe (but not quite fatal) head injuries with a brew and the now fully approved bacon butty wagon.

As a family, our favourite place in the whole world is the beautiful city of Bath with its honey stone glow and the eclectic mix of bohemian people.  Its also the city in which I trained as a Nurse (about a million years ago now), the boys were born and where Hubby made an honest woman of me.  Its our home (or would be but for the house prices) and we relax, sit in the Abbey court yard with an over priced coffee and watch the world go by.  We spend a huge amount of time there at all times of the year as its only 20 mins down the road.  If we're at a loose end we clamber in the car and go for a "mooch".  Today we went for our last "mooch" before the big move into the wilds of Hampshire.  It all felt very emotional.  It's all very bonkers actually as its not as if we're never going to return but the length of drive will mean that it will take much more planning.  I cannot understate just how much we adore that city and will miss just nipping in.

My little dude is preparing for his last week in the school that he's been in for 3 years.  To be honest I can't wait for him to start his new school as his new uniform will fit him!  At the moment his trousers are at half mast and his jumpers are edging up his arms towards his elbows.  He has new trousers are the exact same trousers for his new school but I'm damned if I'm getting the new ones out of the packet's until he starts afresh.

Hubby has counted up the number of nights he has in this house and its less than a handful.  Shocking stuff.

I must say a massive well done to all of the 3000 members of Her Majesty's armed forces who paraded at Windsor today.  One RAF Cpl in particular who shall remain nameless but you know who you are.  We saw you!  We knew you were there, and TAT bear!!!

You should all look out for the official Jubilee song, "Sing".  Its outstanding, literally mesmeric.  Now I have a voice like a foghorn as you will now all be aware so I can only apologise to the neighbours (again) but I cant stop singing it.  Totally addicted!!

Yankee candle lit, chocolate purchased, wine poured. Night all!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Blimey! What a busy few days!!

I have literally not stopped over the last few days.  The house move has reached that awkward time where  I cannot actually do anything towards it so I have decided to get crafty instead.

Yesterday Mummy dearest and I nipped to the next town and embarked on a "Buttons, Beads and Ribbons" day.  As hubby and I have now gone down to one car in preparation for the move, days out of the town are few and far between but actually make them far more enjoyable.  The local indoor market has a fabulous woman who sells buttons and ribbon at the most amazing prices.  It really is like an Aladdin's cave and utterly wonderful.  I took the opportunity to add to my buttons jar and stock up on ribbon for my next mission which is the boy's current school's summer fate.  Not more than 10 steps away from the button bonanza is bead nirvana.  I'm telling you that this market is like the Chocolate room in the Wonka factory for grown ups and I'm putty in its hands.

Hubby had again deemed that we should have his chosen meal for tea.  Now as he never makes a wrong move on this then I never query him (Seafood however would be a very large NO NO).  Yesterday evening was Curry night and thanks to Jamie Oliver's fail safe curry paste recipe, this one was an absolute cracker!  Chicken Jalfrezi with all the trimmings.  I do delight in taking to my kitchen with a store cupboard full of excitement and my fridge full of the freshest, tastiest produce that my local green grocer can supply.  I love the complete alchemy of drawing together blissful ingredients that fill the house with delicious smells.  This was the result........

None to shabby I think you'll agree.

Today has been more of the same.  I've been able to actually have a day of finishing projects and get some stock together for "Jessie's Pretty Little Things".  Tuesdays restock helped enormously.  I thought I'd share some of my projects with you......

I flit between crochet and felt.  Today was mostly a felt day.  

Flora garland made from felt.

Cupcake flags.  Love these and I think they're going to be very popular.

This is for my new home.  Find the tutorial on Lucy's blog  I love this and cant wait to hang it on my new front door.

You can just see my coffee pot cosy in the background.  I got totally felty this morning and actually made my own which worked extremely well.  I've decided to transform it into another coffee cosy for my stock. 

All in all I've had an extremely productive few days.  I always get the same feeling that used to wash over me as a student when I'd handed in course work, complete relief and an overwhelming sense of pride when projects come together be they for me or for other people.

Before I sign off I'd like you to meet Vern, our tortoise.  This was not so mini man feeding him by hand so the dog didn't do a runner with his tea.  Bless.  He sat there for an age making sure he didn't get fleeced for it.  Mini man would have never have managed such a feat of patience.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Just a quickie....

I'm just nipping by to let you know that you can "like" me on Facebook.  Simply look for Jessie's Pretty Little Things.  You'll find photo's of everything that I make and sell.  

Just to wet your appetites........

Springtime Bunting.

I'm totally obsessed with Yankee Candles and a crochet collar  is their ultimate refinement!

Snicky bird decoration

Coffee pot cosy 

Children's named bunting

Silver finger print charms

Silver jewellery

 Happy hunting (and shopping!)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Car boot sales and Yorkshire puddings.


Chin Chin.

I'm not sure what it is about us Brits but we do rather like Sunday activities to be "just so".  Due to the frantic clearing out and downsizing for the impending move, it would appear that we have accumulated lots and lots of stuff we no longer need.  Loads in fact.  Literally too much to get in the back of the car!!!  Naturally the only thing to do when you have stuff to get rid of is get up at sparrows fart, throw all of your tat and crap into the boot of the car and hunt our a muddy field where someone charges you a handful of groats to spread your aforementioned crap on a blanket and just wait.  All very English and all very "just so" for a sunday.

This Sunday however, we struck gold!!  Mummy dearest had the small male chaps for us last night and the sun shone proudly in the sky, making one of its few appearances this year.  I do wonder if that thing is coin fed and if so then someone needs to chuck 50p in the meter tout sweet!  The sparrows farted and we were up and out like a pair of greased ferrets.  The muddy field was as as dry as a bone and Dick Turpin at the gate was in a charitable mood and it cost us the grand total of £1 to spread our crap on our blanket.  There was of course the presence of a well equipped bacon butty and brew wagon, good times!

The town just down the road from our little patch of England has a very high Polish and Moroccan community which gives a very sleep town a very international feel.  I can honestly say that we were visited but some amazing and extremely interesting people.  We also met a lady who sends all of the money she makes at car boot sales to a family that she supports in India.  I was totally in awe as she explained how the money she sends has put two small children through school and that those two children are going great guns.  I duly paid twice the going rate for a very colourful beaded bracelet that I have fallen totally in love with.  We were also able to donate some items to the local church fayre which also helped to stoke the warm feeling inside.  Those two things combined with the sleeping bags and duvets that are off to the local homeless night shelter has ensured that our de-clutter has done some charitable good to others not just lining our pockets or the recycling bins at the local tip.  ALL GOOD!

After all of the hot shot selling hubby and I had worked up quite a hunger.  Mmmm, its Sunday........ROAST DAY!!  I don't mind telling you that I'm a dab hand with a roast and I love cooking them with all the trimmings.  I do however have a fairly large chink in my armour, yorkshire puds.  Those little bundles of sunday loveliness have always caused me problems and TV chefs telling me that they are the "work of moments" and "fool proof" does nothing to help.  I once made a yorkshire pudding that it was so hopeless and heavy that hubby threw it out for the birds.  In so doing he almost took out the back fence!  We checked it the following day and found it fully intact but for a few tooth marks from "Cyril" the squirrel.  Poor chap wasn't seen for a few days after that.  I am however delighted to report that todays pud's were stunning!!  Lots of full tummy's and happy faces.

Before I leave you I must show you this......

Whilst the boys were in the tub I took the opportunity to tidy their rooms.  I found this.  I'm fairly certain that this catapults mini man from "super fan" status to that of "crazed stalker".  Watch your back Fireman Sam, looks like he has plans afoot for you boyo.

Have a great week everyone.

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Hussar!  The rain has let up for long enough to allow the sun to shine and what brilliant timing.

Here in our little garrison town we are extremely proud of our lads and lasses in uniform and about 3 weeks ago the town said "see you later" to the soldiers of 3 Yorks.  They're off to the sand for the summer.  "Good bye" is banned in this town.  "See you later" is the preferred send off.

Now then, the wonderful people of our little town decided that we would show our support to those that have gone but also and often more importantly, those who are left behind to man the forts, feed the kids, keep working etc.  So they came up with "Support Our Soldiers", catchy 'eh.  I have to say that they worked hard and did a fantastic job.  I took the boys down for a wander around and an ice cream and we had the best time.  I actually remembered to take my camera down with me which is an amazing feet of memory!

As you can see the sun shone beautifully and the crowds turned out to enjoy the atmosphere and show support.  Our little town has an amazing park which accommodated the event perfectly.

Mini man LOVES horses and the very sight of this pony made him whoop for joy.  On we piled and I have to say that my bottom only just squeezed in to the seat!  I think however that it was the fault of the seat and not my bottom as my bottom would never be so rude as not to fit (note to self, let the movers unpack the lorry and get down to the gym immediately!).

Now the original point of today was to march up the high street to show our support but due to the expected amount of paperwork, the march had to take place around the parks boating lake.  I can honestly say it was very emotional and rather quiet.  Almost everyone there either had some one in the sand, someone going to the sand or someone who had been.  Lots of thoughts, feelings and emotions were on show but the stoic nature of those who's lives are touched by the military shone through and did us all proud.

Such a wonderful sight!  Hundreds of balloons were released each with a personal message to a soldier serving right now.  Well, if thats not going to bring a tear to the eye then I don't know what will.

Well done to the Support Our Soldiers team for a fantastic event.  Most of all, keep yourselves safe and see you all soon 3 Yorks.  We're extremely proud of you all.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Its Friday!!!!

Friday is big business in our house!!  It means the weekend, fun, food, friends, family and a bit more food!!!

Fridays that involve the impending arrival of the timeshare teenager are ultimately the best.  Hubby likes nothing more than trotting off to bed of an evening knowing that each bed is full of "Sprouts".  The kids were named the "Sprouts" by their Grandad as they are all sprouts of him, makes perfect sense.  Timeshare teenager is "Lead Sprout", son 1 is "Sprog Sprout" and son 2 is "Bean Sprout".  Obvious really.

This weekend does not contain the timeshare teenager but is fully booked none the less.  Hubby has deemed that this evening shall be kebab night.  I can't remember the last time that I bought a kebab from a take away (not counting the last unpleasant offering from a take away in Cyprus).  Kebab night in our house is a much more homemade affair.  Chicken marinading as I type, large amounts of garlic purchased for the mayo and store cupboard checked for all of the component parts of the flat breads.  Now my jewish family roots would go bonkers at the thought of me putting yeast in a flat bread on a friday but I really think that I've been watered down that much that its a wonder I still eat flat breads at all.

I will share the marinade with you because its so simple and yet so yummy;

2 cloves of garlic
Good squeeze of lemon juice
2 chicken stock cube's
good glug of olive oil
salt and pepper
1 Tsp of dried tarragon

I mix it all together then add 3 chicken breasts (chopped).  When its sat for at least an hour I place it all in the frying pan.  I find that it tends to go a bit sticky and some clings to the bottom.  If it does that then I add some hot water and it makes the most wonderful sauce which clings to the chicken and gives you a deliciously moist kebab.

I can literally taste them already!

Friday night is late bed night for the boys so that we can all sit around the food thats been laid out on the coffee table and watch T.V.  That in its self is a massive treat as all meals are up to the dinning table, extremely important in our little world.

I totally failed in getting hubby's beer for this evening but I did check that I had plenty of tonic water for my gin.  I think that says more about me and my priorities that I wanted to share! :-)

Oh and in a slightly different direction, the yarn arrived today for my latest commission!  Whoop whoop.  Very excited to get this underway.  I've been asked to make a cuddly Rabbit for a new business thats opening in the area so the children can cuddle him whilst they have their new shoes fitted.  I've never made a Rabbit before.  I'm much more blankets, bunting and flowers so this is a challenge that I'm absolutely up for.  I used Rico creative cotton following a tip off from Lucy at  Its fantastic stuff, comes in a wonderful array of colours and its super easy to work with.  Thanks for the tip!

Off to do the school run now and get the weekend well and truly underway.  HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!!!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Binning or boxing?

Weather report: Wet (again!)

I can honestly say this is the wettest drought that I have ever known.  Successfully managed to negotiate the bus journey to school in the dry, even managed the walk home from my Mum's home (minus mini man) in the dry but have completely lucked out on the afternoon school run.  Could I find my water proof walking boots? Not a chance!  Reluctantly pulled on my wonderful Rocket Dogs in the full knowledge that being wonderful does not necessarily make them waterproof.  Bless them, they put up a good fight but gave out on me half way back to Mum's.  The net result of that was very wet (but fantastically spotty) socks.

So anyway, back to it.  Mum had mini man today so that I can get properly stuck into the whole unpleasant business of sorting and packing the house.  Just 19 days until the big move and the house still looks like we're not going anywhere.  Mini man is a whirling dervish and a fantastic excuse to waste time but he's of very little help when you need to crack on.  There I was leaving him at my dear ole Mumsies and I found myself faced with a decision.  Do I wander back into town and sit myself down with my all time favourite Gingerbread Latte and the newspaper then plonk myself back on the lazy bus or do I yomp home at breakneck speed in a bid to clear some cob webs???  Tough one but I actually opted for the yomp.  Love it!!  It feels so long since I did any exercise as the gap between gyms has been longer than expected so the old legs were very grateful.

Well, with no children in the house whats the natural thing to do?? Of course, throw toys away!  My boys will keep toys until the end of time and thanks to "Toy Story 3" they now have a moral issue with sending toys that just might come alive as soon as you leave the room to the the big tip in the sky.  I however, have no such moral conviction and merrily swept through toy box after toy box clearing away all the dead wood and sorting items for mini mans new nursery.   My lounge packed down into two medium sized boxes and one very large bin bag.  The remaining items that survived the cull will pack into the van in less than 10 mins.  I'm not generally a person that keeps lots of things so throwing great big lumps of life away is not a problem for me.  I started on the attic with hubby at the weekend and have shrunk the contents down by 1/3!  Thats what I call a clear out.

I feel that I must take this opportunity to apologise to my current neighbours for my shocking singing which ranged from Jessie J to Tina Turner with a healthy dollop of Paulo Nutini in the middle.  I must also apologise to my new neighbours because as the summer is apparently on its way, the windows will be opened and my beautiful tones will be heard wafting over "The Patch" and Camp.  Hubby has a very interesting way to describe my singing.  He takes great pride in telling everyone that my voice, as lovely as it is, could be used to drive back the Taliban.  He also informs people that, on a good day I could do it from Dover.  I don't know if I should take that as a compliment or not?

Right, small males to feed.  I think I may well grant myself the evening off when slave duties are completed.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Wow! Get me.  Day one, post two!!

I had to share this because I just thought it was sooooo west country.  If I could type with a farmers accent then I would.

I am totally fiercely proud of the fact that I come from the west of England.  I love everything about it from the "ooo arr" to the cider that is often too rough to drink but cleans your windows beautifully (do not try this at home!).  My whole family seem to have developed our own language me baber!

I saw this whilst nipping out with the timeshare teenager to satisfy her wish to have her hair dyed (which to my mind is either brave or foolish because whenever I go near her head with a bottle of dye it never goes well).  Apparently if you dye pink hair brown you just get a darker pink, who knew! :-)

So I get out of the car and see this, perfect west country.  Enjoy!

First day of my adventures!!

Well hello.

I'm very excited to be starting my blog.

A little bit about me.  I'm a house mum of two small male people and one large male person.  I fill my days with refereeing the small male people, cleaning, cooking, crocheting and making silver jewellery for fabulous people.  I totally love my life and wouldn't change it for the whole world.  I get to make people happy every day!  Whats better than that?

Basically last Christmas I documented our families homemade christmas adventures on my Facebook page.  It seems that my friends where logging in every day to read all about our mad cap and often very creative adventures.

We're about to embark on a house move and transitioning for a wee while into the life of a military family.  What better idea I thought, than than to document our moving adventures.

I'm a very keen amateur crafter and DIY'er so this is most likely going to be a great long list of things that I've made, ideas that I've had, things that didn't go too well and also things that have worked out beyond my expectations.  I'm a very firm believer in trying until you achieve your goals so theres likely to be an enormous amount of failures but ultimately a healthy scattering of triumphs.  We like triumphs, even the teeny tiny ones that most normal mortals miss.

I look forward to using my blog as a diary and hopefully a place to share the funny aspects of life.

Enjoy the ride!!!