Yarnbombing in my home town

Saturday, 9 August 2014

It's no secret that I have a dislike for my home town (Worthing), and I try to avoid going there as much as possible.  I'm not really sure why, I had a perfectly fine childhood etc, I think for me, it's what going back to my home town represents.  We're in the process of looking to buy a house at the moment and whilst I know Worthing is better value for money, I simpy cannot consider throwing down permanent roots there. 

I feel like it would be going backwards and I dread the thought of bumping into THOSE people; you know, the ones where you have to actually suddenly become really interested in your surroundings to avoid eye contact? Those people that are sitting on your facebook list but you have absolutely no interest in their lives and don't particularly want them knowing much about yours, but you know that you risk causing an uproar if you delete them.  I also hate the fact that it all the businesses I tend to like, inevitably end up failing there and everytime one closes, I lose more faith in what the town stands for.  Thankfully, I know a few people trying to make independent businesses successful there again, and I really hope it sticks this time rather than another empty shop or another shitty cheap shop. 

Anywho, enough of a rant.  Today I'm actually talking about something positive I discovered on my recent visit; yarn bomb.

I've mentioned my love for yarn bombing before on this blog, and Worthing have had a fair amount of yarn bombing involvement-their independent knit shop is just great for creating stuff to help the community.  This recent spat of bombing has been created roadside in front of a disused building site and quite frankly it cheers the place up ten fold!   I also love it because it ties in with the WWI remembrance stuff going on at the moment, which Worthing are also heavily involved in.

Here are some of my favourite bits of the yarn bombing;

  There were also some really amazing knitted birds and a spider web in the tree!

It's got me all inspired to get my knitting out again, I've just got to find a way to not be so tired that I have to squint through one eye?!

Have you seen any yarnbombing in your local area?

Life lately: healthy eating ahoy....NAAAAAT

Sunday, 27 July 2014

If it's low calorie meals you're after, it's probably best to look away now!  It seems like this last week has most involved eating terribly!!!!

It all started with Ophelia's Birthday which kicked off in style with a picnic in the park; sausages, sausage rolls, cake. crips ....basically carbs, processed meat and refined sugar as far as your eyes could see!

The next day it was her actual real Birthday; cue EVEN more cake in the form of genuinely the sickliest cake i've ever made/tried! I genunely couldn't even eat a whole slice. I KNOW.   Actually, in fact, that day I even had cake in two different forms!

Enough about the food though (it's actually making me feel a bit sick-nothing to do with the hangover!), we talk Ophelia to Washbrooks farm and it was fabulous! It was a ridiculously hot day (as it constantly seems to be at the mo) so perfect to clamber around the excellent outdoor playground and fields of animals.  Is this not the single most heart melting sight ever?!

After laughing at a cockrell that kept screaming in a pig's face and the pig looking immensely pissed off, we went to their tea rooms (with outdoor space) for cake, iced coffee and ice cream.  There was even two soft play rooms for those rainy days, but we ran out of time to go in there, plus it was such a nice day it seemed silly to be inside.

 We headed home to put together Ophelia's rocking horse and watch her untenable excitement when she walked in to see it! She has since decided that she likes attempting to climb it, the result of which, is never happiness!

I found the rest of the week excruciatingly hot, I've basically been living in my pants (not even a bra!)- I really am not keen on this whole, sun being out thing.  This has led to a diet high in these ...

 and these...

A lot of the week was tainted by Callum and Ophelia picking up a bug, but this is all by the by. 

Saturday saw us have Callum's Mum and Al over to help us with lots of stuff at the house, Ophelia was evidently still struggling though because she was ultra clingy and didn't fancy me putting her down (even to go to the toilet)...but heck she gives good cuddles so i'll let her off. The boys sorted a lot of the garden (back and front) including the butler sink which i'm excited to get to work on.  They also brought along a mahosive pine bookshelf and nailed up a frankly gorgeous shelving unit.  The dining room now looks so much better as a result.

Saturday evening we went to a wedding reception in our home town of Worthing, at the Dome cinema.  We had a great time and in no-way did we have horrendous hangovers this morning (even though they served sausage baps at the Wedding!), thank goodness for staying at Grandad and Nana's is all I can say!! Mum cooked us up the mother of all cooked breakfasts which definitely eased the pain somewhat! Ophelia also helped by sleeping in until 7am which was much appreciated! She's such a delightful little monkey, she has laughed so much this week and its just been amazing to spend time around her.  Some of my favourite things from this week include; her bouts of absolute hysterical laugher for no foreseeable reason, the way she gestures for you to walk her round the room by putting her arms in the air (this is also what she does when she wants to get out of something), her crazed rocking on her horse, her delight in climbing all over her Dad and general cheeky look when she wants to do something naughty!

As i'm sure you can imagine, today has involved a lot of coke, pizza and basically doing as little as possible!

How has your week been?

Blogs and consumerism

Whilst watching the BBC's 'The men who made us spend' the other day, I had a sudden massive wash of realisation brush over me; the way blogs are now feeding to consumerism.  I guess it's something I was unconciously aware of, a pure example is one of my favourite blogs who writes a wish list every week (like many do).  I often used to find myself having that feeling of adrenaline I so often got when wasting my pay on piles of new clothes; want, need....lust.   This is happening everywere we look, of course different platforms have been used in this way over the ages but I just feel like it's getting out of hand. 

After watching this programme I am now so acutely aware of it, that I really don't want to be held accountable for adding to this rat race. Not only that, but with an ever increasing amount of PRs, marketeers etc looking to blogs to sell their products through blogs, it does not sit comfortably with me.  Of course, I'm not naive, there will be consumerism one way or another and some of it is just unavoidable, but I'm keen to reduce this to the lowest level of involvement that I can.  I haven't quite decided just how far I will be taking this, but for a start I can tell you that I will no longer be showing wishlists, or "must have top 5 items" on here.

I am aware i'm not an impact blogger, nor do I have any stance to actually make waves on this, but for me, it is more about my own personal relationship with consumerism.  This kind of links in with a few posts floating around relating to the changes that have taken place in the blogging world in the five years since I started; it can be a nasty, jealous world online out there and is this because people just want more for less or blagging stuff? You only need to look at the latest Butlins fiasco to see what consumerism can do to you.  It is just a case of the green eyed monster? Or is it more complex than that?!  Those of you that follow the #lbloggers #bblogers etc hash tags or are part of facebook groups, will know how obsessed people have become; desperate to swallow statistics in order to optimise their blog to people. 

If I'm completely honest, I find it all too overwhelming now, I feel like i'm caught up in this cycle and cannot get out; I get emails sent through that I just can't even open let alone reply to and i've realised I no longer want to.  Why is this? I  think i've realised that life is too short to spend it staring at your phone/tablet/computer screen or all three at once. 

I'll leave you with the blog posts which have given me food for thought this week:


Let me know your thoughts on the topic(s!)!


Friday, 25 July 2014

I'll be honest, I was excited about World Pomination before I even actually found out the real reason behind it.  In my head, I just assumed the world was about to be invaded by pom poms, what a bloody marvelous invasion that would be! I do love pompoms but they are the perfect nemasis, I mean, how the DEVIL are you meant to get the perfect pompom that is bigger than the size of a fork? Or is the secret to just buy giant forks?! More on that later! 

Are you going to the Handmade fair in September 19th-21st at Hampton Court Palace? If so, you have to get involved and be a (to be sung ala the theme tune of that 90s programme) "RECORD BREAKKKKERR"! Kirstie Allsop will be leading the attempt to break the record for the longest line of pompoms! 

In 2013 the Charity, Sense ran The Great Pompom Campaign challenge which saw staff, members and volunteers craft pompoms and make 6,000 in two weeks.  These were then woven into a giant piece of art; "The tapestry of Touch", which has travelled the country.  

But why?! 
Sense is a charity which has supported and campaigned for 50 years, for adults and children who are deafblind.  These are people who are mostly fully deaf and blind but some have a small amount of one of both senses.  The Charity has services all over the country and employee over 2,000 staff. 

And why do I care? 
I love anything that combines my love for craft and my passion for meaningful occupations to help people, previous such things include the knit for penguins project and Knit for peace.  The combination of raising money but also giving the people who use the charity new skills and purpose, really resonates Occupational Therapy!    

 Here are the many ways you can get involved....
  •  Make a string of pompoms and drop it into your local Hobbycraft or the Handmade fair.
  • Text pompom to 70111 to make a donation.
  • Share your #worldpomination pictures on Pinterest and Instagram.
  • Take the kids to a Pomination workshop at your local Hobbycraft.   
How will I be getting involved?

  • Making projects out of pompoms (i'm working on garlands for my office and Ophelia's room as we speak!), I've been pinning a bit crazy, like!
  • I'll be going to Handmade fair.
  • I'm going to try to add to the world record when i'm there!
Are you ready for the world to go Pompom crazy?! 

*Images from Pinterest
*Words my own, no obligation to write them-gift.

Reflecting on the last year

Sunday, 20 July 2014

39 weeks pregnant
Me on 12th July 2013-9 days before Ophelia was born. I kinda miss that bump!?

This time last year I awoke in the morning and thought something was different, something was happening, labour was coming- contractions were happening.  It really is difficult for me to comprehend that A WHOLE YEAR has gone by since then. It is an awful cliche but I now understand why; children really are magicians with time- it disappears and leaves you forever questioning how it happened. 

It has been without a doubt a ridiculously tough and emotional year, which I only now feel has plateaued- I would say "have come out the other side of" but I'm always reluctant to say such things because anything  could happen and set the world of kilter again  Good things to have come out of the past year include:
-My self awareness and acceptance.  I feel like I have turned a page with how I see myself and how I like what I see, both inside and out.  I have always been the type of person who strives to better themselves and is their best, I've not been at my best throughout this year and I had to find a way to be okay with that and let it wash over me.  An example of this is my love for exercise; since going back to work I have done very little exercise and this makes me quite upset, however it's not something I have been able to change so i've had to remember there are definitely more important things for me to worry about.  As well, whilst it is frustrating and I hate that I don't look how I want to, I tr to remind myself to just get through this initial period and things will become easier.
-Resilience.  I feel more resilient to certain situations that I would previously struggled with, and I honestly believe this is down to one key moment; the moment when I heard the midwives discussing prepping me for surgery (emergency Ceasarean) but told me to give it one last go pushing and I apparently astounded them by showing a new strength they didn't think I had left.  This, and getting through labour with little pain relief, showed me i'm more resillient than I thought I was, and when I put my mind to it.
-I've learnt to (kind of) function on very small amounts of sleep.
-I've learnt to be more productive with my time (i.e. squeeze more into little time).
-I've lost the guilt of being more boundaried with my time (i.e. not trying to squeeze socialising in on a school night when I don't feel up to after a stressful day).
-Working from home- this has made such a massive difference to my stress levels, for which I am thankful!
-Moving into a bigger home which has very quickly been well received by both cat and baby!

Brighton on the beach with Brighton bloggers

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

On Friday, I was lucky enough to have a great time courtesy of On the beach and Epiphany; we started off with a night watching Steve Cogan at the Brighton Big screen outdoor cinema- we even got to meet him where I proceeded to make an unintentional awful pun regarding dogs and "paw" signature skills.... *face palm*.  We kindly got £10 worth of food provided, but seriously, tell a gal to decide between Meat Liquor and Dead Good Burrito and you may as well just tell me to decide between chocolate or cheese. (I went for DGB btw..just in case I had you peached on the edge of your seat there!).

 After a few glasses of wine and a bit of a catch up with the other Brighton bloggers, we then strolled back to the hotel where we were surprised with a pampering room!! It was just awesome! Personalised dressing gowns lined the bed, hot drinks, many bottles of prosecco, a lush pamper bar area, sweets, crisps and a pile of cupcake.  Rather disappointingly I was still uber full from my double carbing, that didn't stop me filling my pockets with maoam but that actually turned out to be a stupid idea because we got a giant bag in our goodie bag!

 Lyndsay and Michelle putting on the masks- Lyndsay apparently looked like "a different religion" (whatever that means?! Too much neurofen and beer me thinks!) according to Fiona!

At first I was slightly dreading the "pampering" because i'm not usually really into that kinda thing, but this was perfect;we all just tried what we fancied and just relaxed whilst mulling around.  I actually put a face mask on and some stuff (!) on my feet- both of which felt amazing!  I went to bed (and had the best night sleep in about a year!) in my very own hotel room a very relaxed (slightly prosecco dosed up!) gal!

I slept from 1:30am til about 7:50am which is the longest period of continuous sleep I have had since before I was pregnant I think! Breakfast was divine, I definitely ate too much (see a pattern emerging?!) but always seem to when I have good hotel breakfasts- I can't resist it!  Sometimes I realise just how much a creature of predictability I am- I always have to have oj AND coffee with my hotel breakfast!

After breakfast, it was time to get our pottery painting ONNNNN! I love pottery painting so was really looking forward to it! We went to Pottery painting cafe and the girls were so lovely, helpful and knowledgable- I genuinely want to go again already! I think this would make the perfect hen party activity! I painted a heart trinket pot (after struggling to choose between four different things!) and am looking forward to seeing how it actually turns out.  Fingers crossed for success!

It was then time to say goodbye to everyone after what was the best start to the weekend! I really do want to say a massive "Cheers guys" to On the Beach, you are all such wonderfully, friendly, hilarious and great company to be around- you made the time so enjoyable! Funnily enough when I mentioned it to my friend, he said that he had been on holiday with On the Beach and said it was great!

Oh and lastly, thanks to my wonderful Brighton bloggers for providing such good chatter and laughter! If you want to know spy on anyone else that went, you can check out their blogs here-some are from Brighton and others are from London:

                                                              Carrie @ Carrie Brighton

What I wore Wednesday

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

This is what I wore to go to a gig at the Concorde 2 in Brighton last week.  My Mum very kindly bought me the dress and at first I thought it would look awful on, but it actually looks better than I expected! I still have a long way to go until I feel comfortable though!
Dress: Present- George @ Asda.
Bag: Fjallraven Kanken- Amazon.
Shoes: Salt water sandals.
Brooch: Handmade gift.