Thursday, 28 February 2013

56 to 59 of 365

Almost the end of February and the first two months of my 365 photo challenge.
Day 56 of 365
Starting with some exciting news - we have just booked our summer holiday to Venice!  I have always wanted to visit Venice! It is a special holiday to celebrate my Son's 18th and my Husband's 50th birthdays.
Day 57 of 365
My orchid is looking so pretty in our living-room.  All six buds are now open.
Day 58 of 365
It was back to school this week after the half-term holiday.  I don't usually work on a Wednesday, but I changed my hours to attend a meeting.  This is one of the displays that I am in charge of.  Each month it will feature a different author.
Day 59 of 365
On our patio the pots are still filled with winter flowers.  The cyclamens have bloomed all winter, lasting much longer than they have done in previous years.
See, as promised I am posting these photos more frequently! :)
Hope you are all enjoying your week.
Best wishes, Pj x

Monday, 25 February 2013

February Nature Walk

 When we planned our nature walk for Saturday, we didn't know it was going to be so cold!  The snow flurries were very pretty, but we didn't hang around as the cold was nipping at our fingers and noses.
The snowdrops are still in bloom,

 creating drifts of white and green underneath the bare trees.
 Beautiful fungi on a tree stump.
 There was a lot of activity from the birds, including this Blue Tit, as they searched for food.
 The catkins are dancing on the hazel branches
and leaf buds are starting to unfurl on the thorn bushes.
 We spotted a lonely celandine.
 We saw Judas's Ear fungi darkening with age on some branches
 and other branches were brightly coloured with yellow and grey lichen.
Hopefully our March nature walk will be a little warmer!

Days 45 to 55 of 365

Gosh, I'm not very good at posting these photos up on a regular basis am I? The phrase "could do better" comes to mind! :)  I will try and post more frequently.  So here are the next 11 photos:-
Day 45 of 365
Valentine's Day roses from my Husband.
Day 46 of 365
The yellow crocuses are always the first to flower in my garden, promising that spring is just around the corner.
Day 47 of 365
The weekend involved a university applicant day visit for Jay (his second choice) and in the afternoon we went for a walk at Cannock Chase.
Day 48 of 365
On the Sunday we visited Fay and on the way to her house we saw this Mini that made us smile.
Day 49 of 365
Back home and a clump of Tete-a-tete are in bloom beside the patio.
Day 50 of 365
Tuesday evening my Husband and I travelled to Norfolk for a sad occasion taking place tomorrow.  Jay wanted to stay at home, so he spent his first night home alone.  I had to tell myself that he is nearly 18 years old and will be starting uni soon, before I agreed to this! 
Day 51 of 365
The previous week my BF's Mum had sadly lost her battle with cancer and today was her funeral.
Day 52 of 365
Back home again and some time-out to relax and read my magazines. 
Day 53 of 365
I made some No-churn Coffee Ice-cream.  My Husband has since said it is the best ice-cream he has ever had! :)  I found the recipe in "Nigellissima".
Day 54 of 365
Saturday and there were flurries of snow.  We went on our February nature walk, which I will post about next.
Day 55 of 365
We woke up to a light covering of snow Sunday morning.  It didn't last, but we are still getting a few snowflakes and it is cold.  So cold that it started us thinking about our summer holiday and we have booked a week in Venice during the summer.  It should be a lot hotter there! :)
So that is how I spent my half term holiday.  I hope you all had a great week.  Best wishes, Pj x

Friday, 15 February 2013

Valentine's Day

I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day yesterday.
My Husband and I still like to celebrate the day, even after all these years.  We still give cards
and I received these red roses from my Husband.
I kept the decorations simple this year with just a twigs and hearts table centre.
I made these hearts last year and the plan is for the polyanthus and twigs to remain on the table for Easter with the baskets and eggs that I crocheted last year to replace the hearts.

In the afternoon I was busy in the kitchen as I always like to make something sweet for my Husband for Valentine's Day.  This time I tried to make cake pop devils.  I'm not too sure of the result!
I also made some gingerbread "chocolate" boxes.  One for Hubby and one for Jay, I couldn't leave him out could I?!  :)
I filled the boxes with love heart sweets and topped them with some leftover candy from the cake pops, red heart sprinkles and gold glitter.  I was a bit rushed trying to finish them and hide them before the boys came home!
They loved them though and Hubby insisted on a photo (he wants it on his FB page).

We finished off the day with a candlelight swim at the gym.  We're still romantics even at this age! :)
I was also lucky to receive this gorgeous bag as part of a Valentine swap.  It was put straight to use yesterday morning on a trip into town to the library.
 And also on the theme of gifts:-
Here is the item that I made for Kezia as part of my blogiversary giveaway, to go with the beaded bracelets.
 A beaded bag, knitted in red which is Kezia's favourite colour.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Days 36 to 44 of 365

Another week has flown by and we are in nearly halfway through February already!
These photos seem to me to be rather food orientated; anyone would think I am obsessed with food, because I am trying to lose weight! :)
Day 36 of 365
Bird food!  I made some cakes for the birds.
Day 37 of 365
Raindrops on snowdrops.  We have had quite a mixed bag a weather so far this month.  After a mild couple of days it has turned cold again.
Day 38 of 365
Butternut squash soup and sourdough bread.  Keeping warm with some yummy soup for my lunch.
Day 39 of 365
Off to the Post Office.  Kezia's gift from my blogiversary giveaway went in the post.  I can't reveal the contents as I haven't heard if she has received it yet and I don't want to spoil the surprise.
Day 40 of 365
Polyanthus.  I bought a tray of these pretty flowers from the supermarket to brighten up the patio and for a table arrangement indoors.
Day 41 of 365
Seeded crackers.  My first attempt at making crackers.  I used the glass to cut them out.  I love cheese and crackers!
Day 42 of 365
Snow again!  This time it didn't last thankfully.  I think I am over snow for this year.  I'm looking forward to some warmer weather - hopefully!
Day 43 of 365
Pancakes.  Shrove Tuesday traditionally means pancakes for dessert in this house.  This year I grated lemon zest into the batter.  I will definitely do this again as they were deliciously lemony.  After cooking and flipping each pancake I squeezed on some lemon juice and sprinkled on some sugar before rolling up.  I cook mine before the meal and reheat them in the microwave when we are ready to eat them.  A drizzle of maple syrup may or may not have been added at the table!  So much for trying to lose a few pounds! :)  
Day 44 of 365
Potatoes.  Chitting potatoes before planting.  We have picked three varieties to grow this year.  These are Rocket, the early ones.  We also have Cara and Maris Piper, both main crop, chitting in the garage.  I hope we have a better growing year than 2012 as it was so wet!
Well tomorrow is Valentine's Day, so I guess that is a clue as to the next photo!
Happy Valentine's Day to you all, Pj x

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Days 30 to 35 of 365

Wow, we are into February already!  I had better get my skates on and finish a couple of projects that are gifts for people this month!  I can't show them here yet as one is part of my giveaway and the other is for a Valentine swap.  I have still been remembering to take a photo each day as part of my 365 challenge.  Here are days 30 to 35:-
Day 30 of 365
Sunshine at last!  Ella found a sunbeam to bathe in on the living-room floor.
Day 31 of 365
Lunching in Starbucks with my Husband.  An Americano and panini for us both on a trip to a nearby town.
Day 32 of 365
Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe) on our bedroom window sill.  There is one at each end of the window sill adding a splash of colour this time every year.
Day 33 of 365
A beautifully blue sky with clouds tinged pink by the setting sun.  I took this photograph with my iPhone as my Husband drove us to the gym.  We are trying to get fit and lose weight!
Day 34 of 365
The first flower of the many bulbs that I planted last autumn.  Spring is on the way!
Day 35 of 365
For some time now I have been looking for a way to feed the birds in our back garden whilst keeping them safe from cats.  Yesterday whilst in a garden centre we found the solution; this feeder is sturdy enough for the birds, but it wouldn't take a cat's weight.  We have situated it in front of the greenhouse, well away from the fences.  I know the cats can't walk on the greenhouse roof as I watched Maurice fail to do so when he was younger! :)