Thursday, 8 December 2011

Happy 90th Birthday... my wonderful Grandad! Still looks a good 20 years younger. Love you Handsome!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Remember Us?

Bad, bad, bad, bad blogger! 3 months since I last posted?! Things have been hectic round here now I'm back working full-time but I really must make an effort over the Christmas period to update more often. For now, a few pics of the last few months:

Xan's first ever reading books from school:

 Emily and Chloe, one of her ever expanding circle of girls she socialises with!


Back soon...promise! ;)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Big Day!

Huge day here today, my little tiny baby boy had his first day at school!

He was very excited:

 And was pleased to finally get to wear uniform like big sister Em:

 Who incidently looked way too grown up in her uniform:

 I wonder if every morning he'll have his coat and shoes on and be ready to go so quickly:

 And what does every boy need at school? A couple of mother hens to take care of him:

He's had such a great day but is wiped out now but big sighs of relief here that he loves school!

Sunday, 4 September 2011


The thing I love about crochet is how tactile it is, you just need to stroke every project you do. So when one of my Leeds Paper Dolls friends posted this I had a bad case of NEED TO DO IT! And do you know what? I did! Just look at the cosy cuddly strokability of this one:

 And it sits lovely in my craft room with the applique cushions I did not so long ago:

It's definately all about the crochet here at the moment, next project was another ripple, this time for my cousin's brand new baby Harry. There was also a bit of wool left so Harry has a matching caterpillar!

And did we stop there? No! I then had a bit of a crochet for my friend Rebecca for her birthday. Rebecca's not only one of those people who really appreciates the fact you've spent time making something for her, but also one of those friends who's just so lovely she deserves me spending time making her something! Here's a rather lush brooch for winter for her:

 There is another crochet project already on the go for those chilly nights sat infront of the telly. However, I may have to abandon my usual sofa crochet position for a seat in my craft room. For, after 3 years, my craft room is now winter-proofed, hurray! Bless Rob, he's a dab hand at DIY but he also was in the front of the queue when they handed out the procrastination gene and so jobs do tend to take a while to get done round here! However, he'd taken the last week of the school holidays off work and instead of going off in a windy soggy tent, we decided to spend the week getting the house sorted. So, garage has been cleared, we now actually have a tv signal for the first time since we moved in 9 years ago, the fridge has light for the first time in 2 years, and he spent a good day and a half making sure my craft room was all ready for winter crafting (ie, so I shut myself in there for the next few months so he can watch Top Gear!).

First of all I have light:

 I have storage hung (OK, not winter proofing but I made that months ago and needed to stop just moving it from surface to surface and get it up on a wall!)

The big problem in there is heat, I've been using an old electric heater which was OK but I daren't leave it on low to stop the room freezing over, and the dial on the electricity meter did tend to go a bit bonkers when it was switched on! So I invested in a nice oil-free oil heater (no, I'm not sure how that works either) which should be more economical, heat the room better and has a defrost function so the room won't ever get too cold.

The other problem I found last year was how much cold radiated from the door windows, so we also invested in a nice vertical blind for the door so hopefully it'll be a bit more toasty in there now:

So we're all nice and cosy over here at the Garlics, which will no doubt lead to a late Indian summer (you know, when we're all back at work!) but hopefully the Garlics craft production line will be able to provide a full winter service this year!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

6 Weeks, 6 Reads

So, surprise surprise, I'm a tad behind on the old 6 weeks, 6 reads challenge! It's not too bad: I've nearly finished book 4 and we're in week 5, but I do need to speed up a bit. The problem was this little baby:

I finished the Horse Whisperer a bit early actually (very good book, not really much romance, hurray!) and so started this brick a day before I planned. OK, so it was 750 pages long, but I had a 10 day holiday planned with hours sat in the car, relaxing on the beach, no housework once the kids were in bed etc to fit plenty of reading in so 750 pages shouldn't really be a problem...famous last words!

The hours in the car were spent either listening to the dialogue from Alvin and the f***ing Chipmunks playing on constant loop on the kids' dvd players in the back, or directing Rob as the sat nav had a meltdown when we were only 60 miles down the road. So, not much reading in the car (ever tried to read a political thriller with a cartoon chipmunk squealing in your ear?!). The beach was OK for reading but I seemed to spend most of my time desanding things (some because of the coastal breeze blowing the sand everywhere but most from my son deliberately dumping it where he knew he shouldn't!) And as for once the kids were in bed, well I thought I could just take myself off to bed and get through a good chapter a night, completely forgetting how much I hate 'public' beds and so therefore not wanting to venture in there any more than I had to. So, I got home with only half the book read. However, I have had a good run at it and got it finished it on Saturday.


I picked this one up straight away:
which had to be my next choice as apparently the library want it back and so I'm rattling through it and hopefully will get it finished tomorrow (and back to you asap Mr Librarian I promise!). Kind of liking the concept of this one: a guy goes to a dinner party as a guest of a guest (ie doesn't know the hosts) and halfway through dinner gets up, goes upstairs and barricades himself in the spare room, not coming out for months! Not quite sure where it's going, there seems to be lots of random people popping up in it but I'm hoping for a nice surprise as to why the main character did it (so far I've no idea!).

So that leaves 2 books in about 11 days. Hmmmm, do Xander's books count? ;)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

We Love Cornwall!

We've just been away for a week in Cornwall and had the best time. We've never been down there before and are now kicking ourselves that we've left it this long and will definately be going again.

The whole place is just so beautiful, especially the coastline:

 We spent so much time on the beaches, the kids especially loved playing in the sand:

 And, as we were staying in Newquay, of course that surf just had to be experienced. Emily turned out to be quite the natural body boarder:

 And there was so much fun to be had, with this probably being the highlight, a nice bit of Beach Sumo:

 I think these purchases summed it up, it's been years since I've had the urge to buy clothing with the name of the place I'm visiting emblazoned on it:

 As you can see, the Gillards had a great time on Cornwall!

Right, better get booked for next year!

Friday, 29 July 2011

6 Weeks, 6 Reads

So the summer holidays are well and truely underway, we're a good week in now and it has been hectic so far but good to have a break from working.

I decided to challenge myself this holiday but in a good way to keep those brain cells going (6 weeks of CBeebies was soon going to kill them off!). As many of you know, I'm a bit of a book worm - I ALWAYS have a book on the go. The trouble is I'm quite a slow reader; not sure why, maybe it's my complete inability to concentrate, but I have always been a bit on the laid back side when it comes to reading. So, this summer I've challenged myself to speed up a bit. A book takes me between 2 and 4 weeks to read so this summer I want to read an average of one a week - 6 in 6 weeks. I know this may not seem too speedy to others (yes I'm talking to you Mrs Readthewholetwilightsagainaweekend and you Mrs OhI'mjustpopping outsidetoreadawholebookwithmybrew (you both know who you are, seriously, how do you do it?!)), but to me it's quite the challenge.

So, a week into the holidays and I'm onto the 2nd book, go me! OK so the first one was only 200 pages long but I decided to ease myself in gently and actually did it in 48 hours. It's this book leant to me by Mrs OhI'mjustpoppingoutsidetoreadawholebookwithmybrew (think she'd read it in the ad break on Corrie or something!):

Now the whole wave of books about children getting hurt just isn't my cup of tea, but I trust Mrs I'mjustpoppingout...'s judgement so gave it a go, and I loved it! Quite harrowing but there was just something about it where you had to keep reading to check she was OK (true story about a girl kidnapped by a paeodophile (sp?) in Belgium).

Currently I'm reading this book that I got for Christmas (yup, I'm that slow a reader!):

Now, on the front of this it says it's full of romance...oh dear, I don't do romance. I do however LOVE Jojo Moyes so I feel like I have to give her a chance and so far I'm quite liking it (maybe because the romance hasn't surfaced yet?!). The target is to finish this by Wednesday when I will start on a BIG read to take away on holiday (Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest - 3,000,000 pages!) but we are driving to Cornwall so will have an hour or 20 to kill.

So there you go, I've blogged it so I now have to do it so you don't all think I'm a big fat liar and stop reading my blog forever! Will keep you posted...