Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Oreo Overload!!

For those of you who have ever talked to me online at around 10am on a weekday morning, you'll probably know that I'm normally sat here with my third cup of coffee of the morning, and doing something like this: Yes, I am a bit of an Oreo lover and the highlight of my day is having a couple of the round chocolatey lovlies as my elevenses (OK tenses, sometimes ninethirtyses!). So, there I was at lunchtime today studying away when my old email pingpong buddy Marie sends me this. Now, Shimelle is a bit of a crafty legend anyway and her cupcake recipes are normally to die for, but cupcakes AND Oreos? Surely such a thing is just too good for humankind to stand?! So, I tried to carry on with my work, but I kept getting flashes of the choclately goodness and eventually, at 3pm, I gave in and downed tools and trotted off to Sainsburys for supplies!

Now, they didn't all go accordingly to plan (Note to self: Shimelle is a cupcake goddess, so when she says fill the cases 3/4 full you fill them 3/4 full, not all the way to the top! Bad cupcake amateur!) but I had a decent amount of success. Just look at the yumminess:

You're drooling aren't you?!

Of course, my usual taste testers were all to willing to do a spot of quality control for me, just to make sure!
So now I have about 30 of the lovely little things sat in my fridge...calling me...Lou, you must eat us.....

The Great School Uniform Expedition!

This is Emily 2 years ago on her first day of school in her brand new shiny uniform! Now, correct me if I'm wrong but, it doesn't seem like an extraordinary uniform does it, something completely off the wall? And you'd think that you'd be able to find such a uniform for a 6 year old girl (6 year olds are considered school age aren't they?!)

Ha! Think again!

OK, so it's 5 weeks until they go back but those 5 weeks are fairly busy so yesterday I took advantage of having a spare hour (which turned into 3!) to go and get the rest of Emily's uniform for the new term. So, here is my rundown of exactly what the retailers in our country seem to think about our school uniform needs:

Tesco: Fine if you're child's 4-5 or 9-10. Obviously we don't send them to school between them ages. Oh, and only if their uniform's black.

Asda: Good for the undies, just not for stuff to go over the undies, especially if you're child wears navy blue (and this is an Asda in the middle of a town where ALL the primary schools wear navy!)

Adams: OK if your child goes to school on a catwalk. Swing style cardies for 6 years olds? Please!

M&S: OK if you can get the 2nd mortgage to pay for it!

BHS: OK if your child goes to school in the 1950s!

Next: Good if you have a child that is in fact 16 but wears age 6 and you don't need the skirts to actually cover their bum! Oh, and aslong as they wear black!

And the winner is...SAINSBURYS! God bless Jamie and his little shop! Lots of navy blue, cheaper than the other shops and 3 for 2! Yay!

So, after 3 hours and 7 shops, I finally found her uniform! Can't wait til next year!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Sunday With A Few Friends!

You know what it's like on a Sunday, all you want to do is just spend the afternoon chilling, maybe with a couple of people. A couple, 75,000, hey what's the difference?!

Yesterday we went along to Party In The Park with our friends Ally and Shane and their gorgeous kids Amber and Jacob. It was an absolutely glorious day so we packed up a picnic and took our little munchkins for their first ever gig. No, McFly and some bloke off X Factor ain't exactly my choice of gig, but it was free so who cares?!

Emily and Amber got chance to catch up on some girly gossip:

Xander got chance to wish Jacob a very happy 3rd birthday (Happy Birthday little dude!):

And me and Al caught up over a glass of Lou's 'special' lemonade:

When it got too hot, the kids took some shelter and just relaxed and watched the bands:

Well, except the birthday boy who was chilling catching some rays:

Amber decided that they all needed to get more into the party spirit and sent her daddy off to purchase them all these:

Unfortunately, the whistle man didn't sell earplugs too, so us parents did come home with a bit of a ringing in our ears!

However, it had the desired affect and the kids rocked out to some pop band or other:

We had such a fantastic day, thanks so much to Ally and Shane for coming along with us, it really made the day even better to have friends there with us! At the end of the day, I asked Jacob, if, out of all his 3 birthdays, had this been the best ever? His answer...


Sunday, 27 July 2008


Yay! We finally have pictures of the gorgeous Abigail! Yesterday, Lauren and Marc popped up for an hour and of course brought Abi with them. Emily was beside herself with excitement because she got to have a cuddle for the first time and as you can see, she was very pleased!

Of course, Auntie Lou got lots of cuddles in too and Abi even had a little nap with her favourite scrapping Auntie!
Last night, I went to Opera In The Park. It was a very sophisticated affair; a nice bit of culture, champagne, canapes, an hour wait for the bus to get home then stood in a taxi queue with your typical Saturday night city patrons! OK, so a limo or helicopter might have been a more in keeping with the event, I'll just have to keep that in mind for next year!
Today, we're going back up there for Party In The Park. Now, it's not my usual sort of 'gig' (no Slash in sight!), but the tickets are free and there's plenty of this pop music malarky for the young people! The kids should be entertained anyway and the forcast is good so at least we have the weather for it!
Right, better go get packing up the butties; they were charging a fiver for a burger last night, needless to say we're taking our own!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Gillard's Water Fun Theme Park!

We've had a lovely day today. We had the lovely Marie over with the 2 munchkins Gracie (Little Miss Cookie) and Ewan (The Eggman)! Thankfully, the day was beautiful so we made the most of it and got out every single outside-ish toy in our possession.

After a pic-er-nic lunch, we got the kids into their swimming cossies for a cool down in the pool:
However, for our little daredevils, a simple paddling pool wasn't risky enough, so they made their own white knuckle ride using Xander's slide. Gracie was definately the queen of the splash:
After the 300th time of trying to stop the boys running in the house soaking wet, one very near miss with the water vs my scrapping stash, and Xander deciding to sit down in the pool in his towel, Marie and I decided to dry the kids off and bring them inside. Although we got plenty of toys out for the boys, we couldn't distract them once Mickey Mouse Clubhouse came on (give them 30 years and it'll still be the same look on their faces when Top Gear's on!):We did manage to drag them away however for a quick colouring session:Marie and the kids then stayed for a good old Friday 'chippy tea' then headed off back over them there hills!

Thanks to the 3 of you, we had a lovely day!


With it now officially being the 6 week holidays, I decided that it would be OK for Emily to have one or two late nights. Therefore, I asked if she would like to have a sleepover with mummy one night this week. So, last night, I blew up the airbed (there was no way I was getting up that ladder to her cabin bed!), got our pyjamas on, hair in pigtails, made some popcorn and settled down to watch High School Musical 2 (well OK, you can't have everything!).

I was hoping we could just snuggle up and watch it quietly, with the hope that Emily would drift off to sleep and I could sneak downstairs back to the land of adulthood. No such luck! Cue to Emily dancing on the bed, singing every single word, as well as quoting every line of dialogue. When the film had eventually finished and we turned out the lights, I fell asleep before she did; though how I managed that on an airbed with someone as wriggly as Emily I'll never know!

However, it was fun spending girly time with my (not so) little girl, I just think I'll insist on choosing the film next time!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Nappy? Cake?

Every time I say nappy cake, I always have that Peter Kay Garlic Bread/Cheesecake sketch in my head!

I meant to post this when little baby Abigail was born but didn't as I wanted to give them the gift first (yeah, coz when you've just given birth you tend to do lots of blog hopping!)

Anyway, I wanted to make Abigail something special but, as her mum's such a crafty goddess (along with most of the family!) I was stuck for ideas. I eventually decided to make her some patchwork bibs (a quilt was out of the question after the fantastic one Lauren's mum had made for her, just couldn't compare!). I made them pink and put her initial on then sat back and prayed that a) it was a girl and b) they didn't change their mind about calling her Abigail!

Next I had a go at a nappy cake. This has caused some very confused looks from people: No! I'm not making them eat nappies! I've seen these a few times on my crafty travels but never had the opportunity to make one. But, thanks to little Abi, I can now add this to my list of crafty attempts!

Still haven't managed to get pictures of Abi but hope to soon! Took my camera to see her yesterday but poor little munchkin had a tummy ache and so wasn't in the move for posing! Thankfully, the whole family's doing well and I'm loving my role of Auntie Lou (which consists of giving snuggles, then handing her back and coming home for a full night's sleep and being thankful I never have to do the sleepless nights again!).

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Changing Rooms - Credit Crunch Style!!

So, here I continue, with my great big two fingers up at Brown, Bush, oil giants etc!

When we moved into our house, about 5 1/2 years ago, we had a lot of plans for it. The main one being an extension to make it into a 4 bedroom with playroom/study etc. This would then lead to the kitchen being done, that blooming blue stairs carpet being ripped out etc etc! We decided that once I went back to work and started teaching and we had 2 wages again and both kids at school, we would go ahead with it. Hmmm, that's before oil prices sky rocketed, the housing market slumped and when you could actually buy a loaf of bread for under £1! So, needless to say, the extension has been put on hold until the financial climate improves, or both kids move out and we no longer need a bigger house! Your guess is as good as mine as to which will come first!

Anyway, I've decided that, as new kitchens etc are a bit of a luxury, I'm going to make small improvements to the house and spruce it up a bit. We started a couple of weeks ago by giving Xander a big boy bedroom (see here). This week, it's been the turn of our room and Emily's 'house'!

Rob built Emily a playhouse in the garden a couple of years ago and I've been meaning to get her some curtains for it so it looks like a proper little abode! Anyway, at the weekend I blitzed it (seemed to have turned into a bit of a store room!) and debated the curtains. Now, traditional fabric curtains would look good, but not very practical over the Winter (I can just imagine the foisty smell next Spring!), so I came up with this ingenious idea for water proof curtains. Take 1 kids party table cloth (plastic not paper), cut it up, grap a staple gun and voila! Instant make-over for the bargain price of £2.49!!

Next came our bedroom. We've never done much with it as we'd planned on a nice shiny new room with the aforementioned extension. Anyway, after over 5 years I was sick and tired of looking at it so, off I trot to B&Q, £20 and 2 rolls of funky chocolate (coloured not flavoured unfortunately!) wallpaper and here's our new bedroom! I did get very extravagant and buy 2 new cushions last night to match the paper, but, coming in at £27 in total, I think that's quite good and much cheaper than an extension!

So, we shall not be beaten, do you hear me Brown?! We the people will have shiny new houses no matter what, so nur!!

Monday, 21 July 2008

July Challenge Update!

I've just recieved this layout from Julie for the July scrapping challenge. She's gone with Challenge 1 (one word title, subject you've never scrapped before and journalling). I absolutely love it, I think she did a great job!

Jules, we really need to get together and scrap one day!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


That's Thanks In Advance!

I've managed to get cover for Emily for the whole school holiday on my study days, which is a huge relief I tell you. What with the end of the course coming up, my big assignment and the exam, I was having a bit of a panic there! However, I just want to thank the following people in advance for helping me out:

Mum - every Wednesday with BOTH my kids, you're mad woman!

MIL - 2 lots of 48 hours with Emily? See above!

Gem - I'm not sure the working from home with Emily there will consist of much working, good luck!

Amanda - Emily and Cameron? Both in your house for a full day? I'm sending round the valium and gin as we speak!

I know there's a lot of you that would have helped out if you could and I appreciate that too. In the meantime, please join me in wishing my mum, MIL, Gem and Amanda the best of luck; they're going to need it!!

Monday, 14 July 2008

Introducing...My Brand New Scrapping Buddy!!

In the early hours of this morning, a new scrapper came into this world! Well, put it this way, if she doesn't know it yet she soon will, what with her pedigree (mum's a scrapper, grandma's a scrapper, auntie's a scrapper and some mad woman up the street's a scrapper!!)! Yes, my good scrapping friend Lauren gave birth to a beautiful baby girl this morning! We thought little Abigail was never going to show up as she was due 10 days ago; however, I think she was just giving her mummy and I chance to get a couple more layouts done before she came along!

So a big congratulations to Lauren and Marc on your brand new family! Can't wait to meet her and give her a snuggle (and start teaching her about brads, alphas, paper selections.....!!)

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Note To Self: Think Before You Blog!

So, last week, I set all you crafty ladies out there this challenge for July. Now, you would think the advantage to being the challenge setter would be that you could create challenges that fitted in with projects you had planned already? Well, MOST people would think of that....

Hence I spent the weekend cursing the idiot who had told us to use a lyric from a song and trying to find 3 patterened papers for my layout!!

However, finally I did manage to find both and have actually managed to do both challenges (well, thought as I'd set the challenges I'd better show willing!) So here's my LO for Challenge 1:
And here's the dreaded Song Lyric challenge:

Right, off to look for my brain cells in plenty of time for the August challenge!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008


This weekend we ventured down to Lincolnshire again for Rob's Grandad's RAF Memorial. Although the weather was appalling, it was extra inportant that we go as Grandad was laying a wreath this year.

Afterwards, they got the Lancaster out and they switched on all the engines; as last year, it was so emotional. Here's Grandad with Rob's cousin Kim, looking so proud! (BTW Kim, great to see you and Richard!)

Afterwards, we escaped the wind and rain for a sandwich and a nice glass of wine and to give Grandad some time to chat with his favourite Great Grandson!

Note Grandad's medals, he and I had Emily going that one was for tidying his bedroom, one was for eating all his tea etc!

Thanks for a lovely day Grandad and for everything it stood for.

Friday, 4 July 2008

That's It, We're Off!

Thick as blooming thieves these 2!

We've been over to see Laura and Evie today. Had a lovely afternoon in the garden then took a quick trip to the park. This pic of the 2 munchkins just sums them up: they're sick of us grown ups and so they're going exactly where THEY want to go! Good job they're damn cute with it!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

July Scrapping Challenge!

To celebrate the Garlic's 150th post (you lot have listened to me waffle for 150 posts? Should be giving out medals!) and the huge success of the scraplift, I've decided to launch a monthly scrapping challenge for all my crafty buddies out there (and that potential one, you know who you are ;) ).

To make it easy to start with, I'm going to set 2 challenges that you can pick from; once you've chosen, complete the layout, email to me and I'll post it on here for the world to see!

Challenge 1:
Scrap a subject you've never scrapped before (that'll mean no kids for most of us!)
Use only one word in your title
Include journalling

Challenge 2:
Use co-ordinating ribbons and brads, buttons or other embellishments
Use at least 3 different papers
Include a lyric from a song

OK, hope that's not too bad! While we're on the subject of scrapping, here's a few recent LOs that I've not got round to posting yet.

1st, I've started a A-Z Book Of Me and here's the first page, it's H for Hero (have I ever mentioned I love Slash?! :P):
Emily also got in on this one:Next, one I did of my mum and her siblings for her scrapbook:And finally, a Billy Jim layout:Happy scrapping!