Friday, 20 February 2009

Plans in action!!


Thank you all so much for the really lovely comments on my last post. I am feeling so lucky at the moment and very very excited. The last few days have all been a bit overwhelming really. Suddenly loads of our friends who I don't see very often have been in touch all of whom have known for months about the reaffirming of our vows and each day brings news of someone else who is coming for the day. It's so nice.

The day is going to be low key despite the fact that lots of people will be there. The plan is to have our vows included in the usual sunday service at our church. Neil's chosen hymns that mean a lot to both of us and are the ones we enjoy the most. A couple of our friends are singing and playing during the service. After the service we are having a jacobs join buffet where basically everybody who comes contributes something to eat. Neil apparently has planned to cook 24 hour pork courtesy of Nigella which we have had a few times before - it's ridiculously easy to do and tastes wonderful. After the buffet we are going to the local pub which is on the bank of the river ribble and overlooks a lovely park for a few drinks and then thats that really. We've then got a week off work while Jamie goes on a school holiday so we've got a couple of days booked in Harrogate (courtesy of travellodge doing an offer of rooms being £9.00 a night) and hopefully I'll finally make that trip to skipton I yearned for a few weeks ago.

Basically because we have no money at the moment I've spent the last few days thinking how I could 'pretty' up the church hall. Neil has been so romantic in organising and planning this whole day and somehow I'd like to do something to reflect that and help make it look romantic on the day. So, I've been through my pretty paper stack - I have hoards of paper like most people on here have fabric and have been busy punching it into heart shaped confetti to scatter on the tables. I would have like to make some bunting but just don't think I'll have time to do it so then I remembered Lucy's (attic 24) hearts hanging from the ceiling on valentines and think I might be able to recreate that - what do you think??

As for something to wear - Our church is pretty modern and I regularly turn up in Jeans but as this is a special day I am absolutely over the moon as I have bought a dress!! I never wear dresses as I can never seem to find one to fit my very top heavy body shape. But I scoured the internet and saw a dress that caught my eye and was an absolute bargain(£13.50 and its brand new)!! It's black and white swishy and swirly and when it arrived this morning I was so pleased that it looked as I imagined it would. It's paired with a three quarter sleeve knot fronted top and this big corsage. I love the corsage but might change it for something in a brighter colour but haven't found one yet so we'll see. If I'm honest I would have loved a dress in shades of pinks, lilacs, summery colours but the reality is I am not your average off the peg dress shape so the fact I actually found a dress in the first place is definately a novelty. And as I said before we are pretty much broke having spent the last year rewiring, replastering etc etc our house (it was about to be condemmed for unsafe wiring so was a pretty scary time which wiped us out of the little savings we had).

Please let me know if you come up with any ideas for making a room look pretty that costs next to nothing - all ideas welcome, and thanks again for the lovely comments I've really appreciated every single one of them.

Hope you are having a good week.
Take care

Sunday, 15 February 2009


My lovely husband surprised me yesterday. Now don't get me wrong he can be romantic, he often does lovely things just to be sweet but, surprises that's not really been his strong point over the last 10 years. Basically because he can't keep a secret and is really really rubbish at telling fibs.

We had a lovely romantic meal yesterday which I was going to photograph but totally forgot. We had for starters garlic and pinenut tartlets (so today I stink), for main course, roasted cod with boulangerie potatos (I think that's what they were called, basically potatoes sliced and baked in the oven with some stock and butter) and steamed peas and beans with a herby dressing. and for dessert Creme brulee. The last time Neil made creme brulee we ended up at the hospital as he had 2nd degree burns after trying to move the molten sugar into a heart shape with his finger!!!! so there was some nervousness going on while he made these this time.
Anyway dinner was lovely, Jamie was upstairs in bed and we enjoyed a lovely grown up meal at the table with candles, wine the works (again I forgot to take a photo).

Neil then produced a piece of paper - his script listing 10 things he loved about me and 10 ways I've made him feel since we've been together and then he got on bended knee and asked me to marry him again!!!! Now that was definately a surprise!!

Obviously I said yes to renewing our vows which he then said was a good job and a big relief for him because - even bigger surprise now - the church is booked for 1st March, our friends and family are travelling here from all over England, the food is organised for after the service and even my hairdresser has me booked in.

Apparently Neil has been organising this for the last 6 months and I have had absoloutely no idea.

I am really happy, surprised, stunned. I now need something new to wear - do you think it's possible to lose a couple of stone in a fortnight!!!!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Special Delivery...

On Friday whilst I was at work the postman came and dropped one of those little red invitations through my door - you know the ones telling you to come to the sorting office to collect a parcel. I took part in Mrs Thrifty's swap and was really lucky to be paired up with Mel 'Shabby Chick' I knew something was on it's way to my house and I was really excited that it had arrived but really disappointed that I couldn't collect it until today.
After the school run I drove down slippery icy roads through rush hour traffic into the town centre sorting office, passport in tow to collect my recorded delivery package. I had no idea what would be in it. There is something so exciting about getting parcels in the post.
The postman handed it over to me. A square box bigger and heavier than I expected. Would I be able to wait until Saturday to open it?? Yeah if the parcel fairy stole it away from me and put it into hiding. No, I knew that once at home the parcel would have to be opened. I have absolutely no will power about so many things parcel opening being just one of them
Anyway, I opened it up - Mel you are very good at wrapping presents making them extra hard to open.... And inside were these beautifully wrapped gifts and a card.

First things first - the card. If there are cards and presents I always have to open the card first just to keep the suspense going a little bit longer.

Next came the first present a door hanging with Daydream believer painted on it. Absolutely perfect for me, I love it. then I notced the matching valentines gift tag with my name on it. I'm always incredibly touched to receive anything with my name on it because when I was growing up we could never find anything with Janette spelt my way. So even though the spelling is now a little more common I still get a flutter when I get anything with my name on.

Then I unwrapped a beautiful mug. I know I posted about my mug love a bit back and the fact that I can't drink coffee out of anything else, so keeping that in mind I now have a beautiful homely hot chocolate mug. I'll be christening that in a minute with a lovely hot chocolate with a nip of brandy bed time drink (well it is very very cold in Preston so the brandy is only for a little extra warmth honestly)...

After that was this lovely little jar full of gorgous bits and pieces such as beads, buttons, a hair clip, a flower a shell case, a bath salt, a fabric heart some ribbon and so on. It is so pretty.

Next - yes there was more - a wonderful smelling Yankee candle. As tempted as I am to light it now, I am determined - yes absolutely determined not to light it until March when Neil and I will hopefully have finished decorating our bedroom and the candle will be the perfect finishing touch.

Last but not least I opened up this fantastic fabric heart again embroidered with my name on it and another item that will definately grace the new bedroom in March.

Thank you Mel so much. I was completely overwhelmed by your gift. It was so much more than I ever expected and a totally beautiful and feminine present. In a house of boys I hadn't realised until today how much I love such pretty things

I'm off now to enyjoy my hot chocolate



Tuesday, 3 February 2009


21 x 2 = Me

No work for me and Neil today as it's been my birthday. I am 42 years old. We had this wonderful plan of spending the day in Skipton it's one of my favourite places near here, we were looking forward to lunching in the fab veggie restaurant my friend is always recommending to us and having a general bimble about before collecting Jamie from school. But as is a true tradition of my birthday nothing ever goes to plan. - Trust me the saga's of my birthdays past could be a blog all of their own. Suffice it to say since I was 13 years old I have never had a birthday without something going not quite to plan. Anyway nothing major happened this year other than the washing machine and the TV chucking a wobbly and neither engineer being able to come out any other day this week than today - typical. So there you go no skipton trip for me.

Never Mind, I got this lovely card from Jamie - it's designed by Katy Kirkham one of my favourite designers so I was very happy. A good start to the day me thinks.

My mum treated me to a tube of my favourite moisterizer - I love the sweet lavender smell and the fact that the cream feels really lovely and cooling when you put it on.

Mum also got me a lovely pot of yellowey orangey crystanthemums - very pretty. (the whiskey was a present for Neil from me the other day.

Chinese crispy duck for tea followed by a very gooey yummy chocolate brownie cake baked by my lovely husband and beautifully and originally decorated by Jamie....

All finished off with a candle blowing out session. Luckily we didn't have 42 candles so just used what we had and it's ever such hard work blowing out 17 candles so it's a good job I had an eager helper.

Hope you have a great day too