C H O C O L A T E

*H A P P Y * E A S T E R *

Happy Easter

While some parts of the UK are enjoying a few inches of snow this Easter Sunday, we in North Devon are just blessed with inches of yucky, grotty rain. We had a really sad 10 minute snow flutter yesterday – so I guess that’s our lot!

My children are swimming in a sea of chocolate today. They currently have 4 medium eggs and a small Lindt Rabbit each. They are seeing their dad this afternoon so will be getting another egg from him too. Whilst they are out with him, I am setting up an easter egg hunt around the house with some small chocolate eggs. What did I get for easter? …..erm a free M&S gooey egg that the local paper were giving away!

Here’s the kids chocolate mountain:

Easter Eggs

Advertisements

Toy chest makeover.

My children had an old toy chest in their bedroom that I originally painted years ago to fit in with my son’s bedroom decor at the time. It had become quite battered and wounded – definitely distressed (!) and my daughter had also decided to write on it with marker pen. Why???!!! I was fed up with the school bags just being dumped on the floor by the front door and needed somewhere to store them. I remembered the chest so decided to put it to good use and give it a makeover.

Before:

Old toy chest

It was a gorgeous sunny day yesterday so it was perfect for a spot of painting and makeover madness. My son was off school as he has conjunctivitis, so he was around to lend me a hand. We both sanded down the chest – sat outside in the sunshine. We quickly got on with applying the first coat. I’ve now realised it would be easier to have just painted it myself as my son managed to get paint on just about everything! I can’t knock his enthusiasm though! I left a couple hours between coats and it has given a lovely finish.

After (1):

Old toy chest after makeover

After (2)

Old toy chest after makeover

The fabric was an end of roll bargain, costing only £2.00. The paint colour is called “chocolate” and is B&Q’s own quick dry Satin. I needed to do two coats. I think it cost about £5.40 for a small pot. The paint does actually look like melted chocolate as you apply it – very Easter! The fabric was stuck on with spray adhesive – which is quite hard to work with as it gets everywhere (and is incredibly sticky) – my son even managed to get some in his hair after walking around with the cushion on his head!

Running again.

RunningI haven’t been able to run for approx 7 weeks. During a TAAC sprint training session I suffered a groin strain. Initially I rested for 2 weeks but found the strain returned, worse than before, when I next ran again. After a further weeks rest I went for a short, gentle run but it was still giving me trouble. So I have ended up spending 7 weeks in total sat around on my arse getting completely frustrated with not being able to run. In the mean time my running partner, Claire, has gone on to do a half marathon, followed by the 20 mile grizzly race. On Sunday I bumped into Claire in Somerfields and she had just completed 20 miles with some friends who are training for the London marathon. I discovered they were all meeting up on Tuesday (yesterday) to do a gentle 5 mile ‘rest’ run, as part of their marathon training schedule. This was perfect for my first run following my recovery so I decided to join them.The weather was beautiful yesterday. The sun was out and was actually quite warm (although there was a nippy cold wind too). There was six of us running – 3 who will be doing the London Marathon in a few weeks time. We decided to run from Torrington Rugby Club, out to St Giles in the Wood and then cutting back through Stevenstone – all on road (and a small bit of dirt track). There were quite a few hills to tackle but running with a group helps keep you going, when the going gets tough. The 3 girls that are training for the Marathon were tired and aching from their many weeks of training, so plodded along gently behind us. I thoroughly enjoyed the run and managed to keep up with the others, so my 7 weeks of rest hasn’t knocked my fitness as much as I had anticipated. We did 4 miles in the end and I jogged the half mile home from the Rugby Club. My strain was fine the whole way round although it was aching during the afternoon. It seems ok this morning. I thinkI need to regularly do stretching exercises to build up my muscles. It is TAAC training tonight so I’m hoping to go along (if my babysitter confirms)! I think I’ll avoid the sprint training from now on though!

New improved wallpaper canvas art.

Last night I left the canvas face down on the table, with an Argos catalogue on it, to try to flatten out the creases. It did a fairly good job and there is only a few minor creases on one part. I’m optimistically hoping they will disappear altogether!I decided to go with my ribbon idea so on a trip into town this morning I visited the local fabric shop. I bought a selection of different texture ribbons in colours to coordinate with the wallpaper. I used watered down PVA glue to fix on the ribbons and had a few issues with the ribbons also creasing, like the wallpaper.Here is the finished masterpiece:Patchwork canvasI think that adding the ribbon has given it a really nice finishing touch. I contemplated adding some buttons or embellishments but I’m happy with it as it is.I also used some wallpaper to cover a shoe box and added a ribbon bow as a finishing touchWallpaper covered shoeboxI’ve got 2 more shoe boxes that will also receive the same treatment!

Wallpaper canvas art.

Cath KidstonI am a massive fan and avid reader of the popular “Shabby Chic” thread on the moneysavingexpert forums. My home is not at all shabby chic really, but I adore the style. It’s wonderful to be able to read about and see other peoples homes and their creative ideas. One concept that I have wanted to replicate is a patchwork wall. A couple of examples of brilliant ‘shabby chic’ patchwork walls are icandream’s and vintagepleasure’s. As I live in a private rent it is not actually possible for me to even paint my walls anything but Magnolia, so wallpapering is definitely out of the question. I came up with the idea of doing a patchwork canvas.

After visiting Tesco this morning I decided to pay a visit to B&Q, to check out their lovely wallpapers. They didn’t have a huge range but fortunately there was plenty to fit my colour scheme (neutrals, brown, duck egg blue). I felt a bit like a thief – especially as the ripping sound drew the attention of two young lads stacking shelves. I imagined the store detective arriving at any moment to escort me off the premises. I managed to leave with a few *cough* sample pieces and also one discounted full roll of wallpaper for £2 (they had loads reduced at the front of the store). I’m going to use this full roll to cover some shoe boxes.

This evening, once the kids were tucked up in bed, I’ve had a go at making a piece of wallpaper canvas art. The canvas isn’t that big really 16″ x 20″, so rather than do a random patchwork pattern I’ve done different pieces of wallpaper in strips. I used watered down PVA glue to stick down the wallpaper. I think it may have been too diluted for the first two pieces I stuck on, as they are not adhering very well. They have developed quite a few air bubbles. I’ve laid the canvas face down on the table and placed some heavy objects on it, in the hope that it will adhere. I’ll leave it overnight and see how it is in the morning. I also regret adding the wallpaper with the red flowers – it’s a gorgeous design but it stands out a lot, compared to the others. I may well just paint the red flower pale blue. Having stared at it for a while I think it would look lovely with some different textured ribbon added, along some or all of the joins.

So here’s a sneak preview of the bubbley, not quite perfect, semi-finished piece!
Patchwork canvas

The Mother’s Book

Mother's Book For my birthday on Monday my children gave me a £5 book voucher plus they also gave me £3 to put towards buying a book. I have looked round several book shops during the week, but hadn’t see any books that caught my eye. I was kind of hovering around the arts and crafts section, but the books were either expensive or not of any interest to me. Today I visited Waterstones in Barnstaple. I was very close to buying the “The Daring Book For Girls” when I spotted this wonderful book close to the checkout called “The Mothers Book“. As soon as I opened it and started flicking through the pages my mind was made up and I had to have it.

The book is made up of pages and pages of questions, with space for you to answer such as “Do you remember when you first learnt to ride a bicycle?”, “What was your primary school like?”, “What changed in you when you had children?” and “What does friendship mean to you?“. The book is also full of inspirational quotes, poems and space to add photos.

Contents page:

The Mothers Book Content Page

Here’s a quote from the publishers website:

“On realising that her mother was seriously ill, Elma van Vliet sat down and wrote The Mother’s Book, a collection of questions that would allow her to find out who her mother really was. She wanted to learn what she had been like as a girl, her childhood memories, what her dreams had been at 18, who she had fallen in love with first, how she had felt about the birth of her child… Based on an old Dutch tradition of personalised memoirs, this book is one that every girl should give to her mother – a gift to be shared for life. Beautifully designed, and packed with inspirational poems and stories, this journal gives your mother the opportunity to find the “book” within her – to answer all those questions that one day it will be too late to ask. Don’t let the opportunity pass to find out the story that matters most. “

Source: Short Books

I can’t wait to start filling it in – recalling happy memories from my childhood and sharing my dreams.

Pretty and pink charity shop finds.

I’ve managed to find some really nice items in the charity shops this week. Lots of pink and pretty things for my daughter. Unfortunately she has to share a room with her brother so I’m not able to “pinkify” her room, but I have created a pink corner for her!

Pink bag (75p) and pink/purple daisy picture (99p)
Pretty pink bag and picture

Gorgeous deep pink bed canopy (£1.99)
Deep pink bed canopy

Shabby chic style bed spread (£3.50)
Shabby Chic bedspread

Wine holder basket (£1.00)
Wine holder basket

Pink stripe vase (99p)
Pink stripe vase

Big bag of red and white Lego bricks (£3.99)
Red and white Lego bricks

I also bought these gorgeous storage boxes today (£1 each from store21). They are now housing all my craft items.

Storage boxes

My divorce party playlist.

Well it’s not strictly a party. It’s me, a bottle of wine and some members of an internet forum, pretending to be as excited about my divorce as I am!

Freedom

Here’s my divorce celebration playlist (complete with youtube links):

  1. Tammy Wynette – D-I-V-O-R-C-E
  2. Gloria Gaynor – I will Survive
  3. Will Young – Leave Right Now
  4. Nickelback – How You Remind Me
  5. Aly & AJ – Potential Breakup Song
  6. No Doubt – Don’t Speak
  7. James Blunt – Goodbye My Lover
  8. The Police – King Of Pain
  9. Ugly Kid Joe – Everything About You
  10. Everything but the girl – Missing (Terry Todd Club Mix)
  11. Guns N’ Roses – November Rain
  12. Britney Spears – Stronger
  13. Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love
  14. Madonna – The Power Of Good-Bye
  15. Sugar Ray – When It’s Over
  16. Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know
  17. Beautiful South – A Little Time
  18. Eamon – F*ck It
  19. Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River
  20. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Don’t Come Around Here No More
  21. Green Day – Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

YouTube Playlist Link
Feel free to post your suggestions!

D.I.V.O.R.C.E

DivorceFinally, after 16 months of waiting, I received the Decree Absolute for my divorce today. My divorce was actually pronounced on Monday (my birthday).

My friends had been telling me that I would probably feel a bit down when I received it, but I’m actually feeling totally elated. I opened the letter and saw the solicitors headed notepaper and thought that they were probably asking for more information. I didn’t suspect that it would be my Decree Absolute. I had anticipated at least another 2 or 3 weeks wait! My face lit up when I read on to find that it was my divorce. I’ve been beaming every since!

I can now happily close that chapter of my life and look forward to the future. I met my ex when I was 16 so I’ve never existed as a single, independent adult. I’m loving the freedom it gives me. The buck stops with me and that somehow feels great.

I’ve spent all day sorting out reverting back to my maiden name. I can’t believe how many people I need to contact. It feels like I’m going to spend the next week sending out name change letters. I have a new identity and that helps signify a new start for me.

As I’m feeling so happy about the whole divorce thing, I thought I’d round off with some humour.

Divorce Humour

How is an ex like an inflamed appendix?
It caused you a lot of pain, and after it was removed, you found out you didn’t need it anyway.

There was a time when one went to a chiropractor to get rid of a pain in the neck or a constantly repetitive migraine. Now they just divorce him/her.

“Why did you divorce him?” the Marquise de Sade’s wife was asked.

“Beats me,” she replied.

My husband and I divorced over religious differences.
He thought he was God, and I didn’t.

Marriage is a three-ring circus:

Engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering.

We were very happily married for eight months.
Unfortunately, we were married for ten years!

Divorce

Beautiful birthday beads.

These are the beautiful beads my children bought me as a birthday present. Such gorgeous colours. Great choice. I really love them (the beads & my children)!

Beautiful beads

They also bought a keyring clasp to go with it “so that I can make my own keyring“. They didn’t buy any wire though! The other part of my present was a book token (and £3 “to put towards a book“). I think they did really well and I’m very proud of all the thought they put into choosing a present and card for me.