Monday, 7 April 2014

No Recent Experience

Up until Ev was 6 months old I had always worked.

When I left school I went straight in to a factory job until I found something I wanted to do which I eventually did. I then went on to work in Animal Welfare for years, then a private kennels and finally on to college to qualify as a groomer.
In those days there was no minimum wage and at one point I was on 75p an hour and good pay was £10 per day!
It was a definite vocation.

I went in to retail for better money after I returned from backpacking and in 1995 went to Uni and completed a 2yr HND in Design Communications at Southampton Institute (Now Solent Uni).

I went back in to retail after graduating and finally ended up in financial admin as a settlements clerk for Amex and then I was head hunted for a special project at Barclays.

That takes me right up to Ev being 6 months old and after the Barclays contract ended I didn't go back to work. I found it too hard to leave him and even though he was well looked after at nursery he really was not the happy baby I knew he could be.

The summer after he turned 4, I started caring for my Mum and then did that until last October. As being a carer is not classed as 'working' I officially have not had a job for 11 years!

I can see why on paper I am a risk, but I am ABLE to work, WILLING to work  and NEED to work! I am looking everyday and apply for at least 2/3 daily but I get nothing, very rarely a No even!

I have not sat on my backside over the 11 years. I am a volunteer for TV/Film conventions where I can be selling tickets one minute to being a PA for an actor the next. I chaired the PTA, organised and helped run events for funding. Organise events within my community. I helped run toddlers group, started a blog - and even use that to help up and coming business' to grow an online identity.

I am good at a lot of things, I love learning and I am great at using initiative. If I can organise, promote or even perform public speaking; then I am in my element. I just need somebody to take a chance on me ....queue Abba... or not! 

Monday, 31 March 2014

Country Craft Project - with Hillarys Blinds

I now have a home, after being put through hell over the last few months, I can now settle down and start to build a future for Evan and get on with doing up this house at last!

 I couldn't decorate whilst Mum was here as any fumes would affect her breathing so the opportunities to paint were few and far between.

When I saw that Hillarys Blinds were running a craft competition I signed up and it has really stirred up some passion in me to get on with doing up each room and really trying to solve what issues each room has. The biggest issue every room has is


Well lack of it! The bathroom is not the biggest room and so I have units but it makes it really cramped so as I have an OCD for products I really need some where to store them that does not impact on my usable space.

For the competition we had to choose one of four options of fabric to have delivered. I opted for the beautiful Peacock design "Bird Parade" in Teal.

I really love turquoise and Peacocks are such majestic creatures it was by far my favourite, although any of the patterns would be lovely in a craft project.

So I walked around town looking for inspiration and trying to work out how I could turn this fabric into a usable item that would make like easier and it dawned on me to make a hanging product tidy.

So you will need:

of your chosen fabric
A piece of Dowelling / coat hanger / curtain rod
any decals you have that you like!

This really is such a simple item to make but I hope you will agree is really effective!

I had an old tea towel rail rod which I decided to use as the supporting bar this measures 18", so I cut the fabric to leave half an inch of the rod showing either side.

Measure your fabric

Depending on how many rows of pockets you require, I made mine with three rows.

Hem the sides and bottom of your back panel.

Cut 3 strips of fabric wider than your main fabric backing.

Take an average size bottle and measure it so you know it will fit.

Take each strip and attach the sides, then sew the widths to form the pockets and finally gather and sew the bottom.
Do this with all the strips.

Fold over the top to hem but before sewing make 2 small slits along the fold and sew on the lengths of ribbon. Leave a loop inside to hold the rod (if you use a coat hanger you can omit this part) Sew along the the top and thread the rod through.

I had some peacock coloured beads which I glued to the ends of the rod to make them pretty - second hand/charity shops are great places for old necklaces/bracelets you can use the beads from!

And voila!

I had to improvise to show how I tied the ribbons as I haven't put the hooks up in my bathroom yet but you get the idea. I love it, you can whip out the rod and wash it too so it's brilliant for holding products!

I made the pockets all shapes and depths to hold different products and I'm thrilled with it!

I am now setting myself a project to do up each room, but I can't buy anything new - it must all be either recycled, charity shop or car boot sale bought, I'll keep you informed of what I do!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Win! - Mark Hill Wicked Waver

Fancy some Bad Girl Glam?

To celebrate my blog turning Two this month I have a fabby giveaway where you can bag yourself a Mark Hill Extreme Wicked Waver!

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Wherever You Are.....

I've been thinking about you,
about your smell and your laugh.
I can't quite focus on the sound
as if it is just out of bounds,
out of reach.
Like that movement you sometimes don't
see in the corner of your eye..

I want to chat,
just about crap,
about stupid people in the shops
and carrier bags that split when you
get them out of the car.
About the rain and the bloody hedge already
driving me mad.

I want to shout at you for leaving,
for going when I wasn't there.
To come to look at just an empty chair.
To make you dinner which you didn't eat,
and didn't remember that you liked that last week and then inform me
you had never eaten it before.

Wherever you are I hope you can see
I'm trying. Really hard to get through each day.
Every 24 hours are hard, I remind myself to get up, eat, move, talk
to at least one person a day; if I can.

I feel I have nothing to say,
 except one thing
Wherever you are
Wherever you stay
Don't think I don't remember
and Happy Mother's Day......

Mother's Day Baking!

I love baking with Evan, we have a great time doing it together and he seems to really enjoy it.
Last year on Mother's Day, he excelled himself and woke me up with breakfast in bed, baked a cake and cooked a full roast dinner, all of which was superb!

Last week he asked me what sort of cake I would like him to make this year and I told him to decide after looking at some recipes but then coincidentally I was contacted by Waitrose - who asked if we would like to bake some cakes and encourage you lovely lot to home bake for Mother's Day!

Waitrose have a lovely app on their website where you can send a #ThanksMum message on Facebook, Twitter or via email - they are creating a beautiful flower installation at Kew Gardens in London in appreciation of mums everywhere and if you use the app you get entered into a special prize draw to win some great prizes! 
On Sunday 30 March 2014, four winners will be awarded a prize every hour from 09.00 to 15.00, from either the Waitrose Wine service, Waitrose Flowers service, or will win a membership with Kew Gardens in London!

There are also some fantastic gift ideas and recipes on the dedicated Mother's Day pages, so nip on over and maybe you will be inspired to get in the kitchen and bake treats (even if just for yourself!).

We had a choice of four recipes to choose from and I chose my favourite, Delia's Coffee and Walnut Cake whilst Evan chose a Victoria Sponge with Fresh Cream & Strawberries as the filling!

I used my local Waitrose store in Dorchester. I love this shop, most of the staff are really nice and it always so clean and tidy. The selection of produce is very decent for a smaller (in town) supermarket. I am always impressed with the quality of the fresh fruit and veg, which seem to last longer than other suppliers.

Lin & Steph - Always friendly & happy to help!

We spent Saturday having a great day in kitchen and here are our vlogs to show you how we got along!

I will list the ingredients here but for the full recipe please head on over to the Waitrose page.

Victoria Sponge


  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 medium organic eggs
  • 250g Waitrose Superfine Self Raising Flour
  • 75ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Delia's Coffee and Walnut Sponge Cake


115g self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
115g spreadable butter
2 large eggs
115g golden caster sugar
1 rounded teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
50g walnuts, very finely chopped

For the filling and topping
250g mascarpone
1 rounded dessert spoon instant espresso coffee powder
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
8 walnut halves

(the black spot is on my lens NOT the yummy cake!)

You can find an extensive range of recipes to try on the Waitrose website, with clear and easy to follow methods.
Evan and I had a great time, and it was so nice to spend some quality time with him and ended up with delicious results too!
So what will you all be baking this week or for Mother's Day?

I was not paid to write this post but I did receive a voucher to cover the cost of the ingredients. All the views are my own and an honest appraisal.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Civil Unrest

My best friend writes over at The Ramblings of a Formerly Rock n Roll Mum and last week wrote an awesome post after the budget regarding bingo and beer.

It made me think a lot, I think a lot about a lot of things at the moment and doubling that up with digging out my old Guns n Roses albums to listen to in the car - I made a video as it says a damn sight more than I can, as do the lyrics.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Teen Angst

I am in what seems to be eternal hell at the moment. I am still or really just feeling able to grieve over the loss of my Mum and with Mother's Day fast approaching I am trying not to dwell too much.

I obviously, being a mother myself cannot avoid it; but this year I would really like to sleep through the day...
...not because of my Mum but because of the Antichrist I am currently sharing my home with.

12 year old son, love of my life, light at the end of my tunnel, all things good about my life and currently pubescent devil of the darkest depths!

I cannot even look at him without being screamed at, can't make a comment without a door slamming,  cannot ask for a chore or a simple " Can you please...?" without the tantrum throwing, tell him off / explain anything /speak or even....breathe without obnoxious name calling.

It is tiring, I am tired...very very tired.

I want the last 12 months to start being just THAT the LAST 12 months - having my home was to be a fresh start but instead I'm now sharing it with Kevin, or more rightly known as Lucifer......

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