My day in photos

I’ve had quite a productive day today, unlike this gorgeous twosome who have spent most of the day snoozing!

I know I’m biased, but I’m convinced we have the two cutest puddy tats in the world. They’re so beautiful, they make my heart flutter a little bit.

I decided to use my extra hour today to make a start on this lovely craft project that one of my favourite people bought me for my birthday.

It’s make your own sequin Christmas baubles. This was all in a kit, but I’m quite sure you could get the equipment separately from somewhere like Hobbycraft.

You need a polystyrene ball, a bauble hanging cap (this is the metal ring that you get in the top of old fashioned style baubles – you could recycle from an old/broken one), sequins, pins and ribbon. That’s it!

After you’ve pushed your hanging cap into the ball you get going with the sequins. You literally just work round in circles, slightly overlapping the sequins as you go. It was actually really therapeutic and I really enjoyed the slow circular rhythm. I found after a while that it helped to balance the ball on a little candle that I have, and, happy bonus, every time I moved it round I got the gentle scent of fresh linen from my candle.

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Heres the finished bauble. I LOVE it. So pretty and sparkly. Can’t wait for December to get the tree out and let it fulfil its festive destiny.

After my dressing room clearout yesterday we decided to go to the tip. I know it’s a bit sad, but I love going to the tip. Although I don’t like clear surfaces and have to have bits and bobs around, much to the chagrin of my lovely hubby who tends to be in charge of the family duster, I find it so cathartic getting rid of junk and clutter. We had three Gousto boxes which are too bulky to go in the regular recycling bin, and various other bits of cardboard as well as a load of rubbish that wasn’t good enough for the charity shop and a mahoosive bag of garden rubbish. All gone now!

I needed to pick up our click and collect shopping, and while I was there I spotted M&S and, inspired by the lovely Butterflies and Boundaries blog post that I read this morning I decided to nip in to get some lunch. Can’t beat M&S ready meals, and this is one of their best.

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Spaghetti Carbonara. Yum!

Whilst I was out I decided to go and get a birthday present for my special friend whose birthday was actually last week, but I’m not seeing her until Tuesday. Obviously I can’t show you what I bought her in case she reads this before Tuesday, but as with any great shopping trip, I also came home with a couple of little treats for myself.

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I’ve been trying to work out all afternoon if this is irony. It’s a Crassula which is toxic to cats, in a cat pot. Is that ironic or just misleading? Isn’t it just typically British to create a concept, that no one is ever actually quite sure how to define. We all know that Alanis Morrisette got it all wrong with her ten thousands spoons when all you need is a knife and all that. The only way that would’ve been ironic is if it turned out at a later date that actually a spoon would’ve done! Is my Crassula/cat pot ironic? Really not sure! Anyway, it had to stay in the car to avoid cat ingestion and is coming to work with me tomorrow.

I also got some new socks. Somehow mine all seem to have holes in the heel. Socks are so expensive! £20 for these nine pairs. Nice though, eh?

Back at Chez Green Girl I decided to construct the second raised bed, despite the absence of my lovely hubby. Not as easy with one, but stubborn to a fault I am, and determined, so I succeeded. I did have to admit defeat when it comes to moving them to their final resting point – that is definitely going to take two (if not three) pairs of arms.

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Ta daaaaa! We will have our own fruit and veg next year!

I had a quick look round the garden, just to reassure myself that everything is ok. It pretty much is, although it’s very sad to see everything starting to shut down for the winter.

My Acer is still tiny, and it is supposed to go red in the Autumn, which is hasn’t really, but you can just about see that it’s trying.

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And my Euphorbia has got some beautiful white flowers. It’s so so pretty waving around in the breeze.

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By now I was getting peckish, so I came in and cooked the first of this week’s Gousto meals – Goat’s Cheese and Red Pepper Pizza with Rocket Salad.

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Delicious! I love goat’s cheese.

Right, time to ease my aching back after the weekend’s exertions in a nice hot bubble bath with the last episode of the Cry on my iPad. I’ve watched the first three today and I’m hooked – I’ve got to find out what the conclusion is!

Toodles!

A splendid Saturday

I have to say, I had low expectations for today weather-wise, but although it was raining early doors and it was chillier than I would like, it actually turned out quite nice. Of course, when the content of your day is good, the weather is largely irrelevant, and today I had a good day.

We started with a joint effort in the kitchen as we cooked a (healthy, lower fat) full English breakfast to set us up for the day. I stocked up on the ingredients missing from our kitchen yesterday when I popped to M&S to get my lunch.

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Skinny bacon medallions, Branston beans (soooo much tastier than Heinz), sausages (veggie ones for me) and check out the eggs.

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Free roaming hens. Good! The yolks were much more orange than eggs from non free roaming hens and they tasted sooooo good. Plus they were reduced!

I always heat baked beans in the microwave, can’t be doing with having to wash a saucepan.

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The look on Pooh’s face is exactly what my face does when the beans won’t get out of the can into the mug!

7053917C-B116-4C84-AB7C-B25E41CC3EB4Yum!!

My best friend, Kate, arrived early afternoon to pick me up for an afternoon out to catch up after my birthday. We’ve known each other considerably longer than we haven’t known each other. We met at school as a couple of twelve year olds about a hundred years ago and we’ve been friends ever since. We both have busy lives so we don’t get to meet up as often as we’d like, but how ever long it’s been, we just slip into the old routine straight away. She’s more than a friend, she’s family.

She took me here ….

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I didn’t even know this place existed, which is a travesty and a tragedy, because it couldn’t have been more up my alley. There’s a yarn shop called the Knittting Corner where I bought this yarn which is to make a little something for my soon to be born second niece.

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As well as a delicious shop called the Cheese, Gin and Ale Barn where I bought these Alice in Wonderland style flavoured gin baubles.

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The red one is Sibling Cranberry and Clementine and the clear one’s Aber Falls Orange and Marmalade. Double yum!

And, joy of joys, there’s a garden centre!

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And even better, it had a sale table, very aptly called Casualty Bay.

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Obviously I couldn’t resist!

On the left is Erica Cindy and on the right is a Scarlet Patio rose. The Erica Cindy was 50p! Let’s hope I can nurse them both back to full health.

I really need to think about what I’m going to do with the rest of our garden! There’s plenty of room for all the plants I have in the waiting bay (and then some) but it needs some major organisation! Must get on it!

Oh yes, probably shouldn’t admit to this given my last post, but there’s a cafe! Mabel’s Tearoom! It’s such a welcoming cafe.

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Kate treated me for my birthday.

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Whoops (but yum). Healthy eating starts again tomorrow then!

What a lovely lovely day, and there’s still a bit of it left so I’m going to leave you to enjoy your evening.

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Cheers!

Green Girl Gardener has a birthday

So I’m another year older, as they say, but actually, if you think about it, I’m only a day older since age is cumulative.

This time last year we were in Orlando celebrating my 40th birthday (all week I’ve been tortured by this on timehop!) This was my view as I entered my fifth decade.

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I loved 40. The second I turned 40 I felt like a whole load lifted off me. All of a sudden I felt perfectly ok with the fact that I don’t want to party till the wee small hours. That a great night out for me involves a meal and a couple of glasses of wine with good company. That a Saturday night in with a takeaway and a box set is an acceptable luxury. I developed a confidence and a happiness that came entirely from within that allowed me to concentrate so much more on the things that matter and to disregard the trivial. I became far less concerned with the opinions of others. I guess this naturally comes with age, but with me it literally happened overnight.

….. but now on to to 41.

My birthday was yesterday, but actually my birthday treats started the day before. I took the day off work and treated myself to a full body Swedish massage to kick the day off. I get emailed offers all the time from Bannatyne Spa but normally can’t manage to get an appointment outside of work time, but this time I managed to get one on my day off. What a great way to start a Tuesday!

Thoroughly relaxed, I slinked off home, ready to be picked up by my Dad to go and choose my birthday presents. Weeks ago I asked if my (now traditional) shopping spree could take place in Webbs Garden Centre this year instead of in a shopping mall. Dad was game for this as he hadn’t been to Webbs since we used to pop in there on our way to my Dad’s when I was a kid (work that one out then, hey!?)

Webbs is AMAZING! It has a Lakeland and a Hobbycraft inside it, and an incredible food hall which, if you’re lucky, gives away free samples to entice you to buy one of their wheels of cheese or pots of chutney or regional wines.

By the time we arrived, our tummies were telling us it was time for a little smackeral of something, so we bypassed all the amazing houseplants and averted our eyes from the Christmas displays and headed straight to the restaurant. Yum, jacket potatoes, not as good as Ted’s (because that’s not possible) but a pretty close runner-up.

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Tummies full, we headed outside for a trolley and the shopping commenced. I very nearly succumbed to a bear. It was a lovely bear, and very soft and cuddly, but I managed to drag myself away. Our house has its fair share of cuddly toys already so I left it for someone else to give it a home and I wheeled my trolley off to the greener part of the garden centre.

Look at all my lovely gifts.

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There’s a teddy bear! Our house may have its fair share, but what excitement to realise I can continue the bear obsession in the garden!

I’ve been wanting a Cordyline for ages so I made a beeline for those.

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This is definitely going to go in my new planter which was my present from my Dad and Carole.

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A wheelbarrow of grasses! These, along with Hebes, are my current plant loves. In there is Carex Testacea, Miscanthus Gold Breeze, Stipa Tenuissima and Juncus Spiralis. I love the way they wave at me in the breeze.

I never thought I’d have a wheelbarrow as a birthday present! This actually came from Homebase not Webbs. The ones in Webbs were proper galvanised ones and were super expensive! I needed a wheelbarrow, but Monty Don I am not, so a super expensive one was not necessary.

Juncus Spiralis, as the linguists amongst you will have worked out, is curly. Curly grass! How fun.

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I did get one indoor plant.

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The air plant in the shell on the end. This is to replace one of the succulents from my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding which didn’t make it. I couldn’t resist the little tropical fish.

I was at work on my birthday so I waited until I came home to open my cards and presents.

Look how well my friends and family know me.

F29ED728-B407-44B2-9650-66635D37E84BTwelve cards with cats on and a cat mug!

Both my brothers have got my number too.

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Pooh bear!

My friend continued the theme with this lovely Eeyore which I’ve clipped on to my handbag.

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And my husband knows how to melt my heart ….

….. with a card from my fur babies (and a Paperchase one at that!) Picasso eat your heart out!

He got me two floating charms for my Pandora locket …..

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Tiny and cute, huh? They look great in the locket (I already had Mickey).

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And he got me a Newton’s cradle that I spotted in Flying Tiger a few weeks ago.

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I got some more gardeny gifts too.

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Garden centre vouchers and a Webbs gift card and a trug that contains gardening gloves, rustic plant markers and seeds with instructions on when best to sow them. The cactus card was from a special friend. I take ages choosing cards for other people because I always want to pick just the right one that they’ll love and that is relevant to them, so I always appreciate it when I receive cards that have been chosen with thought.

My Mum sent me a handmade bag.

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I haven’t decided what to use it for yet. It’s the right size for crochet hooks but it would be good for cosmetics too. Aren’t the fabrics she used lovely?

This month’s Little Box of Crochet also arrived on my birthday and it’s Oh. So. Good! Gaspworthy! More about that later when I have time to divulge its autumnal contents. The card was from a friend at work and I couldn’t resist including it in the photo because it matches perfectly.

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So, my birthday is over for another year and I’ve been so spoilt by my nearest and dearest and, as ever, it makes me so appreciative of all the wonderful people I have in my life who always find a way to make me feel loved and special, not just on my birthday, but always. Thanks guys, you’re the best – big squeezes to all of you.

Oh, and it’s not over just yet.  I have a meal out on Saturday night with some of my favourite people in the world and another on Tuesday with some more favourites, my oldest friends (in the chronological sense, they’re not all ninety!) and I get to meet up with my best friend at some point soon which we don’t manage very often.

TTFN.