Tag: love

It’s the small things ~ February edition

Some of the small things that have made February.

20140228-112523.jpg
There was a meeting of lots of noisy Schnauzers.

20140228-112922.jpg Followed by sharing a bed for the first time ever with doggy cousins.

20140228-132642.jpg
Feeling very grateful to live so close to these.

20140228-132723.jpg Enjoying lovely sunsets on our dog walk.

20140228-132806.jpg Chasing rainbows.

20140228-132851.jpg Market shopping.

20140228-133006.jpg Then there was snow.

20140228-133247.jpg There has been lots of cooking & trying new things.

20140228-133633.jpg And a birthday weekend filled of family, fun and plenty of cocktails.

20140228-133907.jpg
Beautiful gift with so much meaning.

20140228-134012.jpg
And ending the month on a high by meeting my IVF target weight!

Claire xx

It’s the small things ~ January Edition

Wishing on stars.

20140202-145848.jpg
Finding words of hope.

20140202-145959.jpg
Menu planning in the hope of getting and staying on plan at Slimming World.

20140202-150053.jpg
Spending the long dark nights doing lots of cooking.

20140202-150305.jpg
Enjoying lazy Sunday morning coffee.

20140202-150444.jpg
Enjoying some headspace time on nice canal walks.

20140202-150552.jpg
Getting on with my attempt at reading more.

20140202-150644.jpg
Enjoying a beautiful red sky in the morning before the torrential rain that came later.

20140202-150747.jpg
Being on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster but remembering to be thankful for the small things.

20140202-150851.jpg
What did you get up to last month?

Claire xx

It’s the small things

It’s time for another ‘It’s the small things’

Here’s what I have been up to recently.

20131109-145431.jpg

Finding new beautiful dog walks

20131109-145528.jpg

Spending a beautiful week on the Island of Majorca, lots of sunshine and spending time with family.

20131109-145613.jpg

Celebrating our 2nd Wedding Anniversary – it still feels like yesterday.

20131109-145636.jpg

Starting to prepare for Christmas with ideas for some handmade bits and pieces.

20131109-145703.jpg

Feeling very lucky to live so close to some beautiful places and enjoying crisp autumn walks.

20131109-145738.jpg

Putting things into perspective.

20131109-145758.jpg

Getting the crazy christmas loving Aunt vibe going and buying these gorgeous bibs for the two new nephews born this year.

20131109-145834.jpg

Seeing the first frost of the season and feeling chilly.

What have you all been up too?

Claire xx

Things to be thankful for

In today’s world it is easy to let things get on top of us and to focus more on the negatives we feel are in our life rather than the positives no matter how small they are. I wanted to get back to these and decided it would be good to make myself think of things I have in my life to be thankful for. I’m a firm believer in the power of postive thought and I hope that by focusing on this it will help me get through the difficult parts of my life.

Today I am thankful for:

My amazing husband, he is there for me no matter what through the ups and the downs. I am so pleased to have him in my life even when we are irritating each other we know we always have each other to rely on.

My family, they know how to keep me grounded, never let me allow things to get me down for too long and understand me totally.

My friends and my online friends in particular. I have never hidden the fact that I find my bunch of online friends to be the most supportive ever and I am very thankful that I found them! I am really looking forward to hopefully meeting up with a lot of them in March which will be so nice.

My doggy, he gives me so much joy and can make me smile even when I am having a really rubbish day. He is also really helping in my goal of losing weight as I need to get out and walk him and once you are out sure you may as well just go that little bit further.

My job, some days I have to admit that I am not thankful for this, it can be quite a thankless line of work that I am in but then I make myself think about it and I am very priveleged to get to be part of people’s lives to help them when they need it the most and this is something to be thankful for.

My home, I love where we live. We have great neighbours, are quite close to town but have loads of really nice walks around us that make you think we are not in town and are really close to both big cities in Scotland. That and the fact I love my wee house and feel very safe and settled there.

I have a good life, yes it has it’s ups and downs and at the minute it’s more challenging than I like it would it to be with the whole trying to conceive thing but overall it’s good. I have no dramas, a husband, friends and family who love me and am feeling settled and secure.

I have lots to be thankful for.

Claire xx

Nappy Cake Tutorial

I have been looking for a nice gift for my new niece or nephew for a while now and have seen adverts for nappy cakes at work so I decided to have a little look at what they are and attempt to make my own. They seem to range in price depending on what you get with them but the cheapest that I have seen was £20 for a one tier with just nappies on their own and up to £50+ for three tier ones with extras like toiletries, babygro’s etc.

I thought that it would be a project that I could take on and I am pleased that I did, this is my first attempt and I am very impressed with the finished article.

20130721-194941.jpg

I looked online for tutorials and came up with quite a few, there are a few different ways that you can make them dependent on whether you want to fold the nappies or roll them, rolling requires lots of elastic bands so don’t forget them if you are wanting to make one yourself.

I started with a 13′ cake base board, superglue and a partially used kitchen roll and of course nappies, I went for size 2 and bought two packs with 60 in each when they were on offer and used 95 making three tiers, which I think is a lot but I wanted to fill up the full base of the cake and there was no point leaving loads over as I am sure they will all be used.
20130721-195004.jpg

I secured the kitchen roll with a band and then glued the it into the middle of the cake board. I had seen one or two made this way and it seemed the easiest way to help build the cake.
20130721-195019.jpg

Then let the rolling commence! I wasn’t sure when I first started which method I was going to use and the rolling does take a little time, but the nappies I used had a pattern on them so to make the cake look nice I decided the rolling method would be best.

20130721-195042.jpg

You then build the nappy up in layers, securing the tiers with larger elastic bands is the easiest way to keep them together and get the shape right.

20130721-195117.jpg

On my second tier I had decided to add the extra items I had bought. I had picked up some Mum & Me toiletries for baby, 2 babygro’s, 5 vests, and 5 muslin cloths so I filled the cake out with these. I had been collecting the items when things were on half price which worked out really well.

20130721-195127.jpg

I wasn’t happy though once I had added the extra bits and pieces I felt that the cake had lost it’s shape and on looking at it, it was because the second tier was now the same size as the first tier so I decided I needed an extra row of nappies and took the whole cake apart again to do it! It was worth it though as I think the finished product looks so much better now.

20130721-195139.jpg

To hide the elastic bands I placed ribbon round each tier and seeing as we don’t know the sex of the baby, I went with Yellow. I am going to wrap in cellophane gift wrap and tie with curling ribbon, my plan is also to make an ingredients tag to add to the outside.

All in, it only cost me £28, I would never have been able to get one the same size for that price if I had of bought it and I also get the pleasure of knowing that I made it with love. I can’t wait to see the reaction of the parents!

C xx

It’s the small things

It’s the small things…

Since coming back from our tour of Ireland (which I still need to blog about) I have been busy with the small things in life and some big things too. I don’t seem to have much time to blog and now we are in the middle of a heat wave a rarity for the UK and somewhat of a miracle for Scotland I have been mainly spending my evenings outside.

I’ve taken to writing this post outside on my iPhone for uploading later.
So how have I been spending my time? Not by crocheting the many things I have on my list of want to do, that’s for sure! I did post before my aim was to do them when we were away but that didn’t happen.

There has been some me time over coffee.

20130710-203350.jpg

And bright pink nails

20130710-203506.jpg
I have been reading quite a bit too, something I go through phases of and can read loads for a while then I don’t pick up a book at all.

My favourite one so far has been The fault in our stars by John Green. It took me a little while to get into it but once I did I was so invested in what happened. Enough to have to make my excuses to head upstairs to finish it due to the many tears. I suggest everyone reads it.

20130710-203627.jpg
My weekends have also been full, a few weekends ago it was one of my friends at work weddings and it was quite far away so we made an overnight of it which was lovely. Everything went really well and the sun shone.

20130710-203815.jpg
Then the weekend just past I flew back to Ireland to surprise my Dad for his 65th birthday/retirement. It was lovely to get home without him knowing I was coming and even better to spend a weekend with my family just chilling out.

20130710-204047.jpg
And I’ve been spending quality time with my hubby and doggy. I’ve been loving it and it’s been so nice to be together. His work has been stressful recently so it’s been good for us to switch of from the world and just be together.

20130710-204224.jpg
I will hopefully have some crafty stuff I will be doing in the next few weeks that I hope will make the way to gracing these lovely pages and of course I really need to start (and finish) a crochet project before my new niece or nephew appears in August.

Claire xx

Twitter and the power of friendships made.

Source: onewaytextlinking.com via Claire on Pinterest

Following on from my best friends post I wanted to talk about twitter and the amazing people that I have met through there.

I have to be honest with you, I didn’t ‘get’ twitter at the start. I joined it and felt really overwhelmed with no idea how you spoke with people or got to know them but that all changed when starting to plan our wedding. I slowly started following people via the hash tag #ww which once I found out what that meant (Wedding Wednesday by the way) meant that I could link in with others planning their weddings. I have met so many amazing ladies who were all getting married around the same time as me and we all still tweet each other now!

From there and getting the confidence up to follow new people and chat with them my follow list got bigger and bigger with real life people, not just celebrities or companies. I followed friends of the friends I had made and joined in conversations, soon I felt that I had made some real friends and I believe I have.

I have shared my friends lives, been their through ups and downs, had people support me through mine and shared secrets (ahh the bonus of Direct Messages) Twitter is never a lonely place when you have so many thoughtful caring people on there. Yes you can come across those who annoy you or even worse offend you in some way but that’s where twitter has the power and the magic unfollow and block buttons!

Some people don’t get twitter, don’t understand how you can call someone a friend when you have never met but I know that you can. I have been lucky too though and have had the pleasure of meeting up with some of the girls I have met through Twitter, actually quite a few of them through joining a book club which was organised on twitter, I’ve been for afternoon tea and to the Zoo, all with people I’ve met from twitter and followed through their blogs. There are so many more that I would love to meet, but the downside to twitter is that your friends suddenly get spread out around the world. I would go as far as saying though that my friends on twitter know more about me than my real life friends!

I count too many people on twitter as being friends to list everyone on here but I know if you are reading this that you will know that it is you that I am talking about, all of you! Thank you all for being there, for sharing your lives with me and for sharing in mine. The power of Twitter and the friendships I have made on there is amazing. I’m just glad I stuck with it.

Twitter has come into it’s own this weekend and I wanted to come back and add to this post before it goes live. One of our very lovely friends has just gone through something so devastating and although most of us have not actually met her in real life our hearts are breaking for her like she is part of our own family. The shock that has gone through twitter and through our lovely group of friends is one I can’t describe. The reaction has been for us all to put everything we are feeling to one side, to join together and to show the power of true friendships. Yes we may not all have met, we may be scattered round all parts of the country but we are together, together for our friend and for each other. Thank you twitter for helping me find some amazing ladies.

Here’s to friends….

Claire xx

Only the best will do!

Source: quoteslife101.net via Leslie on Pinterest

Where would we be without our best friends?? I don’t have a huge circle of friends, I never really have, preferring to have a few close friends, those I do have mean so much to me and I believe are all in my life for a reason.

I’m not in contact with childhood friends anymore apart from Facebook, the girls I went to school with lived in a different part of the city so it was very difficult in Belfast when I was growing up to see most of them outside of school that much as it sometimes wasn’t too safe. Once we left school we drifted apart but now because of Facebook we can still keep in touch and I love that.

Once I moved away from Belfast I knew no one! It was so scary getting on that boat to leave ‘home’ for my initially planned 6 months and leaving everyone I knew behind but I made some good friends with the people who were also working on the ferry that season. Once my season on the ferry finished I decided to stay on the Island with a few friends and I ended up going to work in a local bank this is where I met the gorgeous Charlotte and the rest as they say is history.

I can’t even remember the first time I spoke to Charlotte, I’m hoping she might post on here and remind me! I know it was at work and we probably ended up out drinking. I just feel that she has been such a big part of my life that those early days fade away, though not the regular dancing in her living room after drinking copious amounts of vodka memories, I can still remember those nights. Though I think that they might be the cause of me not being able to recall much of our early days. Charlotte helped me get through my first Christmas away from home, that Christmas was still one of the best I’ve had living away. She also made me eat pasta for the first time when she had kindly offered to make me dinner and I didn’t have the nerve to say I didn’t like it so had to eat it. We have shared so much, we survived being away from our families, being stranded on a little rock and a pretty rubbish job by all accounts and we did it together.  She was there when I met my husband and me when she met hers. The decision to leave the Island and leaving Charlotte behind (even though she had left me first for a stint in Dublin) was so hard. Charlotte thank you for always being there for me no matter what, for introducing me to pasta (which I now love) for dancing like no one was watching and believing in me. Even though we can go months not talking I know we will pick up as if we have only seen each other yesterday!

Siobhann, I met when I moved to Scotland and started my first nursing job. She kept me sane more than she ever knows and not only with work, Siobhann knows more about my day to day life than most after listening to me on a 13 hour shift. Siobhann helped me find my feet and confidence in a ward and area that I had no idea about and many an hour were spent putting the world to rights in the staff canteen. When I decided to move jobs she was the only person I cared about leaving and I made sure I regularly made time for lunches. She was there for me planning my wedding, has listened to me without judgement when I have had moaned about so much and she was there to give me the biggest hug when I finally married the love of my life. She has since moved jobs too which makes it even harder to meet up but we still do and it doesn’t matter how long we have not seen each other we can talk for hours! She is always there for me and me for her. I only wished we lived closer to each other and could see more of each other. Thank you for everything.

Kirsty, I met when she was my mentor at my final nursing placement and we just clicked. When I found out she had a Schnauzer (I was still lusting after one) that was it, she wasn’t getting rid of me and she still hasn’t! It’s hard to say when our professional relationship (I’m using this term lightly) turned into friendship but it did and I am so thankful for it, not least that if it wasn’t for her we wouldn’t have our gorgeous dog now. Kirsty says it as it is, there is no beating about the bush with her, not in a nasty way though but she does have a way with words that took me a while to get my head around! She has a heart of gold though and would do anything for you but isn’t shy at telling you to wise up if that is what is needed too and I love that about her (ps: I’m not just saying all this as just because she dog sits Hamish!!) but that helps 🙂 She gave me the confidence to believe in myself, she made me a better nurse and taught me that humour is necessary to get us through. She is there for me when I am having a freak out and is able to calm me down, for that I am forever thankful. I am proud that she is one of my closest friends.

Thank you ladies not only for being you but allowing me to just be me. Love you all.

Claire xx

How to make a Crochet Heart Bookmark – Mother’s day

Bookmark

 

I had seen a tutorial for making small hearts here Hearts and had tried a few at home to see how they turned out. It was a really easy pattern to follow so I decided to try my hand at making a heart bookmark.

I had seen a smilar idea in a crochet magazine but to be honest I couldn’t really understand the pattern ( I am still struggling with crochet patterns) so I thought I would adapt these ones and try and make my own bookmark for my mum for Mother’s Day.

I find it helps when trying to understand a crochet pattern that it is easier for me to write in down on a piece of paper in long hand rather than the short hand that patterns come in as it then becomes easier for me to understand.

photo 3-4 photo 2-4

I chose the colours of wool then stitched them together from the back with spare lemon wool so that they were easier to attach to the ribbon.
The ribbon I used was just plain ribbon that I had in my craft box, I ironed it first to make sure it was flat then stitched it onto the back of the hearts using white thread, this was then virtually invisible.

It was a really simple project and my Mum loved it as part of her Mothers Day present with a new book.

Claire xx

Homemade Body Scrub

Source: smartschoolhouse.com via Claire on Pinterest

 

 

I seen this on Pinterest when I was browsing or wasting many hours looking at pretty things!  I thought it looked really nice and it looked really easy to make as well so I decided to give it a go.

You can find the original post here

It is made up of the following:

Source: smartschoolhouse.com via Claire on Pinterest

Off I went in search of what I needed, I couldn’t find standard Baby wash, the only thing that seemed to be available was Baby soft wash.  I am not sure if it is the same thing but I thought I would buy it anyway and give it a try.

photo 1-5

I also decided that I wanted to make the scrub a mint green colour as I found some labels to go on top of the jar from here which were more of a green colour and I thought it would look good together.

The ingredients on the original post are 2.5 cups of sugar, 0.25 cup of baby oil, 0.25 cup of baby wash and 1/2 drop of colouring.  For anyone in the UK, this works out as:

550g Sugar

75mls Baby Oil

75mls Baby Wash

You then put it all in one big bowl and combine together until smooth. See I told you it was really easy!  Using the baby soft wash worked just as well for me so if you can’t find baby-wash like in the original post then this appears to work just as well.

photo 4-1           photo 5-1

I then printed out the sugar scrub labels on photo paper, cut out and attached to the top of the jar and added ribbon to finish of.  I am really pleased with the end result, it smells lovely and left my hands really soft when I tried some of it. I would really recommend making some and for under £4 for a 380ml jar it is well worth the money.

photo 2-5

Claire xx