Monday, 31 January 2011

January Makes.

Phew!!
Just remembered this at the very last minute....
So here without further ado are my makes for January.




 The all stripey cushion was actually a joint effort between myself and Kia, who was home for a flying visit from uni in Aberdeen.

  
The cotton wash cloths and sparkly fairy soaps were for my giveaway.
Have a nice week.
Em xxx

Monday, 24 January 2011

Giveaway Winners!!


 Thank you all so much for entering my giveaway, I wish I could give everyone a prize!!
Anyways the winner is 

Louise @ Ramblings of a Roachling.

and the two runners up are...

Jane and Chris @ The Maple Syrup Mob.

and

Vicki @ Vintage Vicki.


If all the winners can email me their addresses I'll get their goodies in the post in the next few days.
Again, thanks to everyone who entered.
Em xxxxx

Saturday, 22 January 2011

A Lucky Find.

A friend who works in a charity shop brought me this today...


 It has every single stitch I could ever think of and a lot more besides!





I've never heard of any of the above but I'll definitely be giving them a go over the coming months!!
Em xxxx

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Thank You and Other Stuff...

Gosh, where do I start tonight???
Firstly I think with the Thank You's....
So here goes...
Thank you so much to everyone who has left me messages of support and helpful hints about my veganism.
So far its going great, I've cooked loads of delicious meals and to be honest I haven't missed anything. My greatest triumph to date was at the weekend when I made not only my first ever rice pudding but a vegan one at that and it was bloody yummy...the tiny bit I managed to get before Mica ate it all!!

Next I need to thank all the lovely bloggers who give me blog awards which I rarely aknowledge...I'm sorry I really don't mean to be rude but I always feel a bit bad only been able to pass tyhem along to a certain amount of people.
Basically if I follow a blog I think its worth my valuable time reading it and therefore deserves a blog award.
So thank you for all the awards I've been given and to all my lovely bloggy friends I award you all.....

 
Please feel free to add the button to your blog with lots of love from Me!!!!!

 I've been busy getting bits and pieces together for my giveaway, remember if you haven't entered it yet you've only got until next Monday.
You can find it here. 
And here's a sneaky peek at some of the blue goodies I'm gathering up...




And finally I'm having a bit of trouble getting my hooky mojo back...
I really want to include some hooky surprises in my giveaway so I really need a big kick up the proverbial as far as crochet is concerned.
I haven't bought myself any new yarn since November so I think a trip to the shops might be in order..theres nothing like new yarn to inspire me.


All I've managed so far this year, one side of a cushion made from odd scraps and ball ends.
Em xxxx

Friday, 14 January 2011

Changes...

Mica and Me have decided for a number of reasons to both become vegan.
We both have strong personal/moral reasons for this and also we believe the health benefits if we do it properly are great too.
I did this on a whim about 5 years ago for 7 months and gave up mostly because it was christmas and it was easier to eat as a regular meat/dairy eating person than having to cater for 1 vegan in a family of 5.


 This time I've gone into it a lot more prepared, I've researched recipes and bought ingredients, I've stocked up on herbs and spices to flavour our food and so far so good, although we're only 5 days in I'm finding it easy to live without meat, cheese, eggs etc
Mica is finding it harder when she's at college but she tries to remember to take something from home with her and also she drinks tea with milk and cannot get used to the taste of soya milk, milk is not an issue for me as I loathe the stuff anyway.


Its actually fun as well trying out lots of new recipes and modifying old ones, for instance a great family favourite is vegetable risotto and all I need to do is replace the butter and parmesan with dairy free spread and vegan parmesan and YAY!!!! vegan risotto.


This was a resounding success a few nights ago...marrow stuffed with mushrooms,peppers,onions and garlic then baked in the oven for an hour and served sliced with cous-cous.





So...if anyone has any recipes or ideas that they think I might be interested in I'd be really grateful for them!!

Have a lovely weekend.
Em xxxxx 


Sunday, 9 January 2011

New Year Bookworm.

Its been a long time since I've blogged about my reading habits but I've still managed to cram a few books in during all the madness that led up to Christmas and the constant partying and visiting that was done over the festive season.
Its probably why I've spent the past month with huge bags under my eyes as I've struggled to read a few chapters in bed at night.
So anyway...onwards and upwards here we go..
First up is

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory.


As you will all know I'm a huge Fan of Philippa Gregory and this one didn't disappoint.
Its the story of the final three of Henry VIII's six wives and Anne Boleyn's sister-in-law Jane Boleyn. Its a story/period in history I know very well but to read it from another point of view giving the main characters different voices etc is always interesting.

Next up is more from Philippa Gregory

The Red Queen


 Last year I read The White Queen which is the first in her 'cousins war' series set during the very bloody war of the roses.
This book tells a story that runs concurrently with The White Queen but from the point of view of the other side during the war.
The main character Margaret Beaufort was the mother Henry VII and spent her entire adult life fighting for his birthright or at least what she considered to be his birthright.
The lengths she went to and some of the awful awful things she was supposedly involved in just go to show how far a mother really will go to secure a good future for her children.
I'm very excited to read the next installment in the series, its a period in history that until recently I didn't know very much about but have now spent endless hours researching on the internet.
I love books that are fiction but with a lot of fact in them too , so that I can check things out online or in a book afterwards and learn a bit more about that particular event or period in time as well as enjoying a good story too.

Next is

Victoria's Children of The Dark by Alan Gallop.


 This is a book by a local author about the tragedy at the Huskar mine in Silkstone in 1838, where a flood in a pit caused the deaths of 26 children.
The book tells a fictionalised account of a young boy going to work down in the mine for the first time days before the disaster strikes, his older brother and father already work there as well as many of his friends.
Also it describes the absolutely appalling conditions that  mineworkers, most especially women and children had to work under during this time.
This book left me stunned at the cruelty one human being can inflict upon another, I think because it was all true and also because it happened a few miles from where I live it seemed all the more real. I know there are atrocities happening everyday around the world that make this pale into insignificance but to know something so awful happened in your home town in the not to distant past is pretty horrible.
Anyway if you're from South Yorkshire and at all interested in local history or you're interested in the industrial history of Britain then I'd definitely reccomend this.

Finally for this post.

The Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follett.


This is probably the best book I have ever read or at least on a par with my all time favourite book 'Forever Amber'.
It is centrered around the building of a cathedral in 12th century England against the backdrop of the civil war that ensued after the death of Henry I.
I've never read anything by Ken Follett before but I like his style of writing very much.
I spent every spare minute over the christmas period trying to read another few pages of this book it had me so totally and utterly engrossed, I kept getting told off by various family members because I took my kindle with me when we went out and sneaked off to the loo for a few more sneaky pages!
Anyway after a marathon session last night ending at 6am and another hour this morning when I got up I finally finished it and felt such a sense of loss that it was all over.
So to sum this book up...absolutely brilliant, loved the story, loved the characters loved the ending!!
And I loved the amazing detail about life in 12th century England.

So thats all my reviews for another month or so I think as I've got a few big books to read and I really want to get some hooky going too.

Em xxxxx

Friday, 7 January 2011

Mid-Winter Blues Giveaway.

I dont know about anyone else but this time of year really gets me down...christmas is all over and done with and theres nothing but bills and diets to look forward to!!
Infact some scientists even say that the third monday in January is officially the most depressing day of the year.
This year our most depressing day is the 24th January!


So in honour of this most miserable of days I'm going to hold a giveaway, which I'll draw on January 24th.
I'm not sure what I'll be giving as my crafting recently has been Lego and Meccano (guess what Evie got for christmas) and I've not really done any shopping either but there will be a winner and two runners up and all gifts will be blue or blue themed.

Usual giveaway rules apply...stick my badge on your sidebar and leave a comment on this post and I'll draw my winners on the 24th.
Good luck.

Em xxxx

Saturday, 1 January 2011

How Was Your Festive Season? Mine Was Great!!!

Hello Blogland, I know I've not been around much recently but in the run up to Christmas and over Christmas week I really haven't had a minute to spare.
Or rather any spare minute I've had has been spent stuffing as much smelly cheese and chocolate as possible into my mouth!

Anyway I really hope everyone had a great christmas and that 2011 is a happy and peaceful year for everyone.
2009 and 2010 have both been hard years for me in various ways although theres been lots of good in amongst the bad so I'm really hoping 2011 is a thoroughly good year.


Did you all get some lovely gifts at christmas?
I didn't get loads this year as cash is short but imagine my surprise on christmas morning when I opened this...


to reveal a beautiful bracelet, and I moaned at the lack of Reeses peanut butter cups that my Mum brought me back from NYC...thanks Mum!


My girls bought me some great sounding new books, some beautiful earrings and the entire 'Hornblower' on DVD which I've wanted for ages so I'm looking forward to some great afternoons snuggled up on the setee watching it with my hooky in hand!


We spent christmas day together with the rest of our family and close friends, We hired a village hall and ate dinner there and spent the evening playing games and letting the kids (and some adults) scooter around the hall.










After all the excitement We headed home to watch 'Doctor Who' and get an earlyish night.

Boxing day and bank holiday monday were spent lazing about during the day and playing 'Just Dance' at night...






We had three university friends of Kias come to stay earlier this week as Kia turned 21 on Wednesday so it was yet another night of partying!!
Me, Scott and Mica killed ourselves preparing a good spread and my sister Ruby made a lovely chocolate birthday cake.
Yet another great time was had by all and I discovered just how deee-licious Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer is!!
By comparison our new year was very quiet after all the partying We'd done already, we had a couple of hours at my sisters party with some very nice nibbles then we came home to see the new year in with Kia and played Trivial Pursuit afterwards.


Anyway thats my festivities for you!!
I've got a great idea for a giveaway later this month which I'll be announcing in a week or so and of course I haven't done any book reviews in a while so I'll be back on that very soon too.


Happy 2011.
Love Em xxxxx