Sunday, 31 August 2008

Happiness is ...

A great day out with wonderful friends T & K, thanks.

A treat from a great friend, thanks L.I hope the payment in karma comes back to you in many different and special ways .. you really deserve it.

A wonderful magazine and some new felting wool, to try.

Lots of sock yarn to play with.

Thanks so much for your lovely comments from my last post. It had been swirling around in my head for ages but finding the words to fully express my love for such a wonderful lady and amazing Nana was really hard.So, thanks for your understanding and friendship, I really appreciate it.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

For the Love of Nana

My wonderful Nana taught me to knit when I was around 7 or 8 years old, patiently casting on, picking up stitches ( lots ) untwisting yarn, pulling down rows and knitting them back up again ( lots ) and casting off for me ... yes, she did most of my early knitting.

My Nana always had something on the go, a ball of yarn and some needles in her bag to knit on the bus, in her apron pocket to knit afew rows while watching something on the stove and down the side of her chair to relax with while having a cup of tea.
She knitted for everybody, cardis for new babes, jumpers for friends, hats, scarfs,mittens for a neighbour's children ... there was always someone to knit for.

She died 2 weeks before my wedding. I was devastated.

I miss her always, wishing she could have been here to see my children, to have knitted cardis, hats and mittens for them .. to have held them and for them to have felt the wonderful absolute love that I always felt when she held me.

I adore knitting, just like my Nana did.

I began knitting again, after the loss of my daughter,39 minutes after birth in 2005, finding comfort in the familiar and a sense of purpose with each stitch.I soon discovered so many charities that needed knitted items, of course the ones that touched my heart deepest were and still are, charities providing special gowns, hats and blankets for babies born too soon or who spend only a short time here.

I am so thankful for the wonderful gift my Nana gave me and I know that each item knitted is one knitted with her.

I hope she would have been proud.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Lovely Lava

Lava Lamps made at yesterdays Home Ed meet-up.
Great fun.
Ecover are offering a free Water Care Pack, including a Hippo for the loo, saving water information and a sheet of labels for reusing envelopes, go register -
Tonights Tea - Roast Beef with all the trimmings ( great what you find in the freezer, if you open your eyes and look ! )

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Pledges - Happy Cleaning & Menu Planning

So the Personal Pledge begins ... I will make and use my own house-hold cleaners.
You understand the problem has never been with the "making" of the cleaners but with the "using" of the stuff ... housework, me !

The main players - bulk buy of Bicarb ( thats another pledge well and truly sorted - bulk buying ) some Dr.Bronner's magic soap, lemons and tea-tree essential oil.
Need to get some white vinegar.

And then the books, cause with me it's always about the books ....

Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan
Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond
and for that bit of sparkle ...
The Magical Household by Scott Cunningham and David Harrington.

I have to add that I did already have these on the bookshelf ( just needed a quick dust off ! )

So, kitchen floor ( ceramic tiles ) washed with warm water, some bicarb and tea-tree oil ... came up a treat and smells wonderful,now off for a cup of tea and to read the books.

Pledge - Menu Planning and shopping accordingly - after a look in the cupboards, fridge and freezer, have decided shopping is not needed this week ( apart from some milk and cereal this morning at the co-op )
We will have a "use it up" week.

Tonights Tea - Pesto Pasta and Salad.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Happy Compost

Mama knit gloves for K ( kindly sewn up by T, thanks Hon ) Think she's happy with them, she's worn them everywhere, even laying sunning herself in the hammock !
What bargains, 3 Julia Donaldson books at the carboot. I asked the guy selling them how much and he said £4 .. mmm, perhaps not ! So my Mum picked them up 10 mins later and got all 3 for £1.
and for the compost ... wonderful Rye bread from The Village Bakery for me and compostable packaging for the compost heap.

We're all smiling today.

Sunday, 24 August 2008


Candle lit last night for the people of Tibet, may they someday soon have the freedom that I do.

Carrot cake enjoyed with a great friend visiting for the weekend.

A sea of colour in the fields near my home.

I am Thankful.

Pledge - will buy rechargeable batteries and a recharger and use them & switch to a recycled product

Happy " Green " Botties - 100% recycled Novelle toilet tissue.
Dug charger out and sorted out batteries for it, made sure everyone knows where it is and how to use it.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Lovely Botties

Nappies from the amazing Sarah at go take a look, better photos of them there.I keep trying to get her to open an etsy shop, her nappies are wonderful ... so if your in need of some, go pester her too. Such a cute bottom.
A sewing adventure for a little friend ( it's a butterfly by the way ! ) Shhhhh it's a surprise.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Little Miss Smiles

This well loved, wonderful, book was a 10p car boot bargain, a couple of years ago and it has proved to be invaluable to my Little Miss.
Last night, she cooked tea.

Busy in the kitchen.
Little Miss Trouble's Tasty Fish Pie ... and boy was it tasty.
Little Miss Tiny's Very Own Lemon Buns .... a great burst of sunshine.

Thanks my Darling K, for a fantastic meal, huge smiles and full tummies.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Handmade, Mama-Made Smiles

Come on all your wonderful making Mamas ... go sign up for the Handmade pledge ( click on button in the sidebar )
You know you want to.
Ha Ha ! .. Didn't realize you'd all think I made the bits in the piccie above.The blue flower one is actually from the talented Soulemama ... sorry to disappoint.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Secret Smiles

Wonderful burst of Summer colour, Thank You flowers from a friend. I admired hers last week, so this week she makes me my own.Thanks so much Emily's mum from GP forum.
How lucky am I.

and my secret smile .. finished my craft item for the Season Table swap on GP forum ... so because my partner might peek here, it's no show until swap time.

Great Fun.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Pledge - make one card from scraps for a Birthday or Christmas

Feel very smug, as all the bits and pieces I hoard finally have come good.
What great fun, cards made for P & H who celebrate their birthdays today and tomorrow.
Thats it, no more shop-bought cards from us.

Great start to the Day

Coffee in my favourite mug and a generous slice of Berry and Buttermilk Cake from Apples for Jam Cookbook by Tessa Kiros ... wonderful.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Mother Earth Smiles

We decided as a family to sign up for more pledges at and also mark up the ones we already do ( and make sure we are still doing them )

First up, pledges already happening in our house

  1. Using home recycling boxes - we are very lucky to have 3 wheelie bins here ( collected fortnightly ) 1 for recycling stuff including glass, 1 for garden waste and the last for everything else.
  2. Recycle my tetrapaks - these can be put in our wheelie bin.

  3. Call local council to find out what can be recycled - we have just had magnetic leaflets delivered with all the collection dates for bins and what can and can't be put in them.

  4. Start taken non collectible items to a recycling bank - discovered that hubby can take used batteries into work.

  5. Take reusable cup to work - hubby already has.

  6. Reuse packaging and envelopes - box under the stairs holds all our envelopes and used jiffy bags, we buy labels from various charities to stick over old addresses.

  7. Join DVD library - members of Blockbuster, DVDs are sent out to you and you return them within the same envelope.

  8. Use local library - never away from the place, we request books on-line and get them to notify us when they arrive via e.mail.

  9. Use washable nappies or menstrual products - Used disp. with eldest children but now washable with the little man ( we are loving them ) Need to restock on menstrual products ( or make own )

  10. Start a compost heap or wormery- 2 compost heaps and 1 wormery.

  11. Start to prepare gardening for growing veg - we have fenced off an area of the garden ( keep dog off ) and made 2 raised beds - growing lettuce, courgettes,beans, radish,spring onions.Also greenhouse for toms and cucumbers.

  12. Start using reusable bags - we have loads of cloth and string bags, always used.Helped a friend to knit a string bag recently and have started, when returning borrowed bits and pieces to friends, to pop them in a reusable and tell them to keep it.

  13. Buy loose produce instead of bagged - wonderful at farmers markets and farm shops.

  14. Sign up for veg box scheme - have used Woodlands Farm for over 5 years now.

  15. Offer one unwanted item on Free cycle or take to charity shop - teas made offered and taken on Free cycle.Car boot full of stuff taken to the PDSA , Salvation Army ( with respect to my friend Queenie )and charity shop helping local people.

  16. Send an e.mail greetings card instead of a paper one - Happy Birthday L, he loved his e.mail card.

  17. Buy one purchase in bulk to save on packaging - huge bag of rice from Suma co-op.

  18. Use a reusable bottle - all 5 of us now have our own bottles, so no need for buying water when out and about.

Pledges we're working on

  1. Talk to a family member or friend about recycling - DONE - spoken to my parents and a good friend, made both aware of Freecycle and the three R's.

  2. Switch to at least one recycled product this week. DONE >>>> Happy Botties , we've switched to Novelle 100% recycled.

  3. Take active steps to stop junk mail being delivered to my home - GO LOOK -

  4. Use washable cloths instead of kitchen towel - already use washables for washing up but need to stop with the kitchen towel.

  5. Cancel yellow pages / telephone directory - Thanks Queenie for the number, will call tomorrow. DONE ... call 0800 671444 ( in the UK ) .... easy.

  6. Make one card from scraps for a birthday or Christmas - DONE ..... 2 birthday cards made 18/8 for P & H.

  7. Buy rechargeable batteries and a recharger and use them - we do have some of these, need to sort them out, recharge them and get them used. SORTED ... dug recharger out, found batteries and bought some new ones, made sure everyone knows where it is and how to use it.

  8. Plan a weekly menu and shop accordingly.

  9. Make one meal from leftovers.

  10. Make something like bread instead of buying in plastic wrap.

Action my own pledge

  1. Start making and using my own household cleaners - Posters up ... it's a start.

Wow, lots already being worked on and some work to be done .... can feel Mother Earth grinning.

Happy days.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Happy 14th

  1. He use to love Postman Pat and Fireman Sam now it's Top Gear, Life on Mars and Torchwood.
  2. His grasp on current affairs leaves me standing.
  3. He is very handsome.
  4. He is a very proud Army Cadet.
  5. He loves cheesecake ( esp. Mama-Made )
  6. He wants to drive an Aston Martin.
  7. He is a great older brother.
  8. He enjoys History, Science and Geography.
  9. He dries up without being asked ( and makes his bed )
  10. He sponsors a killer whale called Arrow.
  11. His taste in music is fairly good !
  12. He reads alot.
  13. He is an adored Grand Son.
  14. He makes me smile .... alot.

Baking the cheesecake to celebrate.

Hats to say Happy Birthday my Darling Son and to warm some little heads that they might know 14 years and more of happiness.

I Love You L.

Hat total - 10

Friday, 15 August 2008

Spotty Love

Armed with my wonderful bag from Wodge ( who we bumped into on the way in, Hello Love ) I was out for some bargains at the car boot today.
I was feeling alittle disappointed, as we were heading back to the car and my bag was more or less empty and then, there they were, a pile of children's books with mine, sorry I mean the children's names on !
Just look at this haul, Big Momma makes the World, Where the wild things are and the pictures in Two of everything and William's House are just incredible .... all for just £1.75.

So, I blew £60 on Emma Bridgewater tea-pot and mug !

But, boy those spots make me smile and the tea tastes so much better !

I will send an email greeting card instead of a paper one

I adore these cards, so full of inspiration and the pictures are amazing.
Another pledge sorted.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

I will use a reusable bottle for water

Now no excuse for buying bottles of water when out and about, everyone has their own reusable.
Think we've got that pledge covered, am enjoying this.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

More warm head smiles

Hats to remember Nicolas - and Emma, go look at the amazing work her wonderful Mama does to celebrate her little life -

"There is no foot to small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world."

Hat Total - 8

Pledge news - Teas-Made, collected.

Monday, 11 August 2008

The Joy of Reading

Fab Home Ed Reading Group meeting today, with children sharing their favourite poems, amongst them - The Highway Man, Jabberwocky, some Spike Milligan, A.A. Milne's wonderful " The Teddy" and a quick paced, tongue twister called " Spaghetti "
Smiles & giggles a plenty.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Making good on a pledge

Offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a Charity Shop .... how about a boot full of stuff heading for the Charity Shop tomorrow and a Teas-made offered on Freecycle today.

Celebrating Life

Celebrating the arrival of W and A with warm hats for little heads.

Hat total - 6

Save the Children Hat Campaign - come on get those needles out !

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Goodies, Pledges and Happy Harvests

How did I ever deserve such fab friends, friends that give you a lift up when your low ... a gorgeous parcel of surprise goodies from Rae, thank you so much my beautiful girl.
The new copy of Country Living Magazine, pure indulgence, also arrived ... what a great start to the day.

So, I've taken the Pledge over at some wonderful prizes up for grabs but more importantly a chance to stop and take a look at your reduce, reuse, recycle habits.
My pledges -

  • I will talk to at least one family member or friend to promote recycling
  • I will take active steps to stop junk mail being delivered to my home
  • I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop
  • I will send an email greeting card instead of a paper one
  • I will buy rechargeable batteries and a recharger and use them
  • I will use a reusable bottle for water
  • I will plan a weekly menu and shop accordingly
  • I will make one meal from leftovers
  • I will make something like bread instead of buying in plastic wrap

So what will you pledge ?

Happy Harvest from the garden ... recipes for courgettes very welcome please.

and those words ( or very similar ! ) " Hi, Honey I'm Home " yesterday when my Mexican visitor walked through the door, made me smile and smile ( after I'd moaned about how awful my week had been ) x

Friday, 8 August 2008

Save the Children Smiles

In celebration of the safe arrival of CG, welcome sweet little girl ... well done Earth Mummie. In remembrance of Cai, Eden and Lael ... never to be forgotten ... your little lives, reach out to others, touch hearts and save lives.Bless you.

Hat total - 4.
Last nights August Hail, yes Hail and yes in August !!!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

and if that wasn't enough

I hit " publish post " and then hear the mail arrive. I find this new treasure from Queenie amongst all the normal junk mail and my day is complete ... I am grinning.

Return of the Smiles

I could so easily focus on the fact that I feel terrible, head cold, sweats, shivers, sleepless nights, got lost in Nottingham dropping eldest son off for his YHA Holiday, a very rude phone call from someone who refused to tell me their name, a very cranky Babe, a daughter who needs taking and collecting every day from her drama course and a missed meal with a good friend and her wonderful family due to feeling so awful .. and oh did I mention my hubby has been in Mexico working all week ! But no, lets look at the Smiles ...

First HUGE Smile, a gorgeous new bag made by Wodge.Thanks so much, what a great surprise.Another car booting date for us, I feel.

Drawing of the names for a Seasons Table item swap for my friends on Green Parent Forum, what a great bunch.
Then, this wonderful post about some socks I sent to a special little lady
and then more this post on a friends blog, gives a sneak peek to some wonderful nappies she has made, heading the Babes way ... how lucky are we ( I'm the Denise mentioned in the post )
Also smiles for all the lovely comments that have been left here by friends new and old and all the lovely friends and their very kind words over on the GP Forum.
You have helped me smile through a tough week .... Thank You.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Miracle Smiles

Think smiles will be thin on the ground today, Babe decided 3am was the start of our day !
Plenty of tears and yawns already and it's only 8.30am( and thats just me )

Monday, 4 August 2008

Smiles in the Mail

I have given up trying to move Babe from car to house, when he is still napping from a car journey ( he always wakes up ) so instead I use the time to knit or read sitting in the passenger seat and allow him to wake up when ready ( Thanks to Little Nest Blog - for the hint )
That's the first hat finished ( he napped for an hour )

A wonderful Thank You from Gina and her lovely Family over at

Beautiful Fair Trade book mark, the best picture ever from Mia and just look at that green bean, gorgeous.Thanks so much.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

At the end of a long day .. some smiles

After a really long and stressful day, grounding myself with some charity knitting
and finishing off some tiny socks for some babes soon to be born.