Sunday, January 24, 2016

Five favourites...

I'm sitting here on a grey Sunday afternoon downing cup of tea after cup of tea in my effort to get warm ( I should really just go and get my slippers but they're upstairs...as is a sleeping Jess...and some really creaky floorboards). Instead of looking outside though, I'm cheering myself up looking at the beautiful tulips I brought home last week - those plus our lovely blue wall are making my day bright. I was umming and aahing over whether we'd regret such a burst of colour (having lived with magnolia for sooo long) but I love having such a cheerful looking space!
 
 
Anyway - my phone is being really weird at the moment with transferring photos so instead of a photo with said wall here are some beetroots! Pretty in their own right, right?! I thought it would be fun to share five things I'm enjoying from across the internet at the moment...and these beets are no. 1, so let's go!
 
 


1) These beetroots looked so pretty sitting there snugly with the thyme...I do love food that looks good all by itself! This was from when we made this delicious beetroot soup. We were looking for a good recipe and we're fans of Monty Don (well maybe more fans of his dog Nigel) so we felt we had to try this recipe :) Thankfully it didn't disappoint!

2) I am loving Amelia's instagram, having stumbled across it a couple of months ago. Her photos are little squares of peace and calm. I know there's debate over whether people should show more 'real' life on instagram but to be honest I have enough piles of laundry and mess in my life that I'm quite happy to escape to beautifully captured shots of someone else's life once in a while.

3) I'm always on the lookout for inspiration for healthy meal ideas for Jess. I found Baby FoodE which has so many delicious ideas that I would happily eat as well :) I love the food profiles on there listing the health benefits of different vegetables - check it out (even if it's just meal ideas for yourself).

4) I am also always on the lookout for a new read. Getting a kindle for my birthday took me from reading zero books since Jess was born to burning through book after book at our midnight (and 2am, 4am, 6am) meetings. Coming up with ideas on what to read is getting harder and harder so I was very happy to learn that my cousin's wife Anna reviews books on her blog...check out Books for the Trees for some great recommendations. I have discovered Eva Ibbotson through her - easy to read (essential in the middle of the night) but so enchanting! I've realised my usual go to crime novels aren't the most sensible read when you're sat in a dark room in the middle of the night ;)

5) I've been struggling to fit everything into my current sewing box for a while so I treated myself to this sewing box and matching knitting set from John Lewis. It's a great size so I can store my projects in the sewing box as well. When I lived in Cambridge I had to walk through John Lewis on my way into town (well I suppose I could have walked around it but why would you do that?) and aaargh it was bad for me! That store had an amazing haberdashery section - I would swoon over their fabric and yarn weekly. Now there isn't a John Lewis where I live (my bank account is cheering!) and the closest one's haberdashery section just doesn't compare...so I'm back to good old window shopping on the internet.

Well Jess has awoken and is trying to add her contribution to this post so I guess this is it!

Happy Sunday :)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

On (hopefully) becoming an intentional bee...

We're having a quiet Sunday and it's feeling like a good day so far - I managed to dodge the downpours on my way in and out of church this morning, the veg for the roast is prepped, this delicious praline cake is setting in the fridge and I have time to write a second blog post for 2016 - 2 more than I managed in 2015 :)

Have I ever explained my blog name? I'm not sure I have. I like bees. Who doesn't? They're wonderful! I love how they are drawn to beauty, they work together and produce a wonderful and delicious thing. I'd like to be like a bee (yes I'm aware that I just said that I'd like to be like a bee!)- I want to seek the beauty in life and make beautiful things. The only thing is that they're productive beings...whereas I'm more of a procrastinating one...hence the bumbling part :)



Well my goals for 2016 mainly centre around my hopes of procrastinating less and using my time more intentionally. I've been feeling frustrated for a few months now by how I always feel like I'm trying (and failing) to keep up with everything in my life and never feel like I have control over it. So I'm hoping 2016 is the year where I put into action some small changes that (hopefully!) helps us to have a more ordered home and life. Which hopefully will then enable me to actually use time to just relax and get back to some hobbies :) I first started blogging to motivate me to start crafting again. It worked a treat so I'm hoping sharing this here will help motivate me to continue with this goal!

Here are my goals for 2016 -

1) To be more organised and tidy - Apparently I give off the air of someone who is tidy and organised - I've lost count of the number of times people have mentioned this when they get to know me...because as they get to know me they quickly learn that I'm very unorganised and untidy! I'm not bothered about having a spotless house but I would love to make some habits that help us feel on top of the housework (and not have to spend a chunk of each day just tidying!). For now I'm focusing on leaving the kitchen clean each night and then I'll gradually try to build in a couple more things to do each day.

2) To plan meals and minimise food waste - I think you're either a meal planner or you're not. Personally I love it. It's a great excuse to crack out my recipe books and scour pinterest :) Normally though I'm planning meals right before ordering the shopping because we suddenly realise we. have. no. food! It's not so enjoyable under those conditions and I normally make ridiculous and not so healthy decisions...and end up with far too much food which ends up in the bin. But I love it so I want to make time for it so that we can eat better and hopefully have less food waste.

3) Make time to stop - it's been so long since I've made anything. Before Jess arrived my mum gently suggested that I might struggle with getting to craft projects once I had a baby. I heard her and thought I got it...but honestly? I thought I'd have loads of time to make things (babies are meant to sleep right?)! Roll on a year and...my mum was right (as she so often is). Whilst it's going to be a looong time before I can regularly set big chunks of time aside for just 'me' activities, I want to be intentional about using the time I do have to do things that actually bring life to me. It's so tempting to just crash in front of the tv at any chance because I so often feel completely wiped...but I feel so much more rejuvenated when I use that time to make something, even if it's just cutting a few squares for a quilt. That said, I'm a total advocate of unashamedly embracing boxsets and day time telly in those newborn days...just do it, you won't regret it!


So there we have it. They're not the most exciting of goals but if I can achieve these then it will be the first time I've ever achieved my resolutions it would make such a difference to my day to day life! I also have hopes of maaaybe getting back to those plans for an online shop - but I'm not committing to that quite yet!

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

So, that was 2015...


A few minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve I realised that I was sad to say goodbye to 2015. The previous New Year's Eve I couldn't wait to leave 2014 behind. It had been a really tough year for all sorts of reasons but, also, 2015 held a lot of promise, which I was looking forward to. I had thought a lot about my hopes for the new year...and now that year has happened...and finished! Some years just stick in your mind and I know 2015 will be one of those. We welcomed our beautiful girl into the world, Andrew finished his degree, we moved across country and are gradually settling into our new life.

In complete contrast to last year, I haven't given much thought to 2016 but I'm looking forward to having a year where nothing major is due to happen...that's not a very exciting goal but that is truly what I'm hoping for! I'm hoping for space to get intentional about making changes to improve our life balance - hey, maybe I'll even get to dust off my sewing machine and have something to blog about again :) 

So, 2015, you were a year of no blogging and a whole lot of sleep deprivation - but you were a good one and I'll treasure a lot of memories from you. But cheers to 2016!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Knitted owl lavender bags (and a Merry Christmas!)...

Well amazingly my house is clean and tidy (well as tidy as it ever will be), presents are wrapped and my to do list is pretty much ticked off...so I thought I'd treat myself by writing a quick blog post to share one of my recent knitting projects with you! I was sure I would have to wait until after Christmas to get this up as it feels like life has been moving at 100mph recently.


These knitted lavender bags are a Christmas gift for my Nana and the first pattern I have ever followed. They were just too sweet to not make! As the owls were coming together I kept thinking while I was knitting the stocking stitch something just wasn't quite right about it. It was only when I moved onto knitting a scarf that I realised that I had actually been knitting through the back of each stitch for the whole of this project. Oops! It would seem right now that anything I knit has at least one quirk to it but often multiple!

Knitting pattern - Owl lavender bag from Cute and Easy Knitting (there is so much I want to knit from this book!)
Yarn - Sirdar Country Style DK
New techniques tried and learnt - following a pattern, increasing and decreasing stitches, mattress stitch...and I guess knitting through the back of a stitch ;)

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year - my friends write a wonderful and inspiring blog called Saltwater and Honey. Lizzie has written a beautiful post about why Christmas was never meant to be perfect...this time of year isn't always easy and sometimes the pressure can build up around getting everything ready, anyway, I would really recommend reading it...click here.!

Merry Christmas, see you in 2015!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Blogger of the month...

I'm very excited to share that Black Sheep Wools have chosen me as their November blogger of the month. Considering their expertise when it comes to knitting and sewing (they're a gorgeous yarn and fabric shop), I feel a little undeserving to say the least!

They've featured a little Q&A with me on their blog so do head over there if you fancy a read :) They also kindly gave me a gift voucher for their shop - I think I know what I'll be spending that on! Oh yes - the blanket of course! Thanks for your comments on Facebook - that and chatting with my Mum has helped me to make a decision - I'm going chevron :)

Have a great day!
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