Sunday, 14 January 2018

Simply Seasonal.....14th of January

Hello Lovelies,
Thank you so much for all your kind comments on my first "Simply Seasonal" post last week. I do hope you continue to enjoy these weekly updates as we go through the year. I'm feeling thankful to have this structure on my blog at the moment, it makes me really take notice of the simple things that are such a joy if you just give them your attention for a short while. Here are the things that have made me smile this second week of the new year.

1 ♥ A walk in the woods  It's such a gentle and uplifting way to soak in the seasonal atmosphere. 

The bare trees are truly beautiful, especially when we are blessed with a little winter sunshine.

And when it's frosty fallen leaves take on a whole new appearance.

The country lane was looking pretty here.

and a little further around my circuit I was delighted to see that the Which Hazel was already in blossom.

 Even in the depths of winter mother nature is busy isn't she.

2 ♥ Line dried washing. On Sunday I managed to dry our bedding outside. Woo Hoo. That doesn't happen very often in January.

3 ♥ A Thoughtful Delivery. On one of my work days my mum in law sent us a HUGE meat and potato pie for our evening meal. When you have been out of the house for 12 hours it's a real treat to come home to home made fare as delicious as this was. Thank you "Nanna"

4 ♥ Getting Out. The plus side of working long days is  getting time at home during the week. I get chance for short walks to put more food out for Robin.

And to notice the first tiny Snowdrops beginning to emerge.

More flowers...yay. Spring me be a way off but some brave blooms are showing their pretty faces.

 This was a rather grey walk and the countryside was looking very gloomy.

but the lack of foliage and sunshine makes you notice the silhouettes.

and what colour there is really stands out.

5 ♥ Home Comforts.  When it's cold outside it's so comforting to return to a warm house, a cup of tea and a simple treat.

I do try to eat my five a day too. Salads don't always appeal to me in winter, but roasted vegetables certainly do.

6♥ Indoor Flowers. Also appearing in my kitchen at this time of year is my windowsill garden. These inexpensive supermarket blooms are a simple thing that I really appreciate during the short winter days.

Is there any more cheerful a flower than the sunny daffodil. They are such a happy sight to come home to at the end of the day.

7 ♥ Remembering How to Knit. This was the first knitting I have attempted in about  20 years...oh, except for a couple of sessions helping Brownies learn, and that was still a decade ago now. I was amazed how well my latest foray into knitting went.

Well I did have help from lots of kind people in my computer who reminded me how to cast on, and what stocking stitch is. You Tube videos are great aren't they.

I have never been a confident knitter and I was tense. Childhood memories of dropping stitches, or ending up with more stitches nearly every row kept popping in my head. But somehow neither of those things happened. I'm sure my work is far from perfect but I was delighted with how neat it looked to my eyes.

 I'm ridiculously proud of this little baby hat. I love how smooth and soft it feels compared to my crochet hats. It actually came up really tiny so I will make more in a bigger size. I know it's not the right colour for the "traffic light system" I was so inspired by, but I just picked up the nearest colour to hand to experiment, then kept going.
It's so small I'm sure it would only be useful to really premature babies so I'm thinking the colour coding will not be needed in that situation.

I used THIS pattern. Gosh, that's 4 things I've made already this year. I wonder if this productive start is good sign :0)

I hope you lovelies have a good week 
Jacquie x

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Simply Seasonal.... 7th of January

Hello Lovelies,
right now I'm entering my eighth year of blogging. Eight Times change but I think there is still something special about our corner of blogland.

It's true I do enjoy joining in with that quick and easy Instagram interface on my mobile phone these days But I really  don't want to loose touch with my little blog. 

So this seems to be the ideal time to show this rather neglected, but much beloved, space of mine a bit more attention. Last year I only published 38 blog posts. My lowest yearly total ever. So I'm determined to do better this year. It's just how best to get my blog habit back?

This desire has led me to come up with "Simply Seasonal". I'm hoping to publish these posts every Sunday and focus on the simple things that have been making me smile that week. The changing seasons have been a source of inspiration to me for many years now. Hence the title.

It is a comfort in even the most testing times to notice those "small joys" and feel gratitude for the good in your life, so this year I'm using my blog to do just that again. I suppose that I may have a very occasional moan. I do hope you will forgive me :0)

So without any more waffle, here is my first weekly  roundup of happy things....simple, seasonal or both :- 

1 ♥ Sunshine on Wednesday. I love this day when mum and I get to catch up. We still drive to a local market town and do a bit of essential shopping. We travel the back roads and sometimes stop to admire the view.


2♥ Thrifty finds. Mum found these books in the charity shop and treated me. I'm so looking forward to discovering some new places this year. Thank you Mum x

I bought some glasses to replace a couple of breakages. I'm always happy to avoid buying new where possible.

Look, no Packaging either:0)

 3 ♥ Great gifts The Christmas decorations are now safely packed away for another year, but I have kept this   new snow scene that mum painted for me on the mantle. It's such a great seasonal picture. Another thing on my mantle that's making me smile is this scented candle. I thoughtful gift from a friend, I just love the scent...sugared apple

4 ♥ A warming breakfast. It's so comforting making porridge on a chilly morning. For one person you just need half a cup of oats,

which you combine with one cup of milk...any milk you like.
Then you stand a stir till it comes to the boil. It doesn't take long and the heat from the ring is very welcome.

Once it's creamy and bubbling you are good to go.

Add whatever you like, fruit, sugar, honey. Or golden syrup like me.

I then add a little cold milk so it's not quiet as thick and it doesn't burn my mouth when I dive in :0)

Then it warms you from the inside too. Perfect.

5 ♥ A walk with surprises. Even when it's chilly and grey I love to get outdoors for a walk. The bare trees look beautiful.

And the churchyard is peaceful.

I wanted to leave some food for the Robin I saw here the other week, so I placed some on top of this post and started to leave.

But almost immediately he appeared.

Tentatively he hoped towards the food.

Picked up a seed and studied it.

Then ate it.

Bless him.

That really made me smile, and so did the green shoots emerging  at my feet.

6 ♥ Buying local I do feel lucky to live where I do. As well as plenty of walks in the countryside I can also walk to local shops straight from my door. One is even a lovely yarn shop. I know!
I do think it's great that we have this shop, but I haven't used it much. This week I was in search of some soft red yarn for a project, so I popped in here.

It was more expensive than my usual Stylecraft, but it felt good to support local independents. I will be going back. And they have a "Knit and Natter" group. I think I may be brave and try that too :0)

7♥ The Kitchen When it's chilly I like to be in a warn kitchen cooking for the family. Everybody likes carbonara.

And as I had an extra day off work this week there was time to do some soup making.  It's great to turn a few vegetable into a tasty lunch.

Leek and potato with warm crusty rolls. Yummy and healthy. I used THIS recipe.

There was even time for some baking that took a little planning ahead. Time to soak the fruit overnight.

then enjoy the baking smells in the morning. I just adore Cinnamon.

Warm tea loaf with melting butter. So comforting on a cold January day.

8 ♥ Winter Sunshine, oh I think I've had this one already....but this is indoor sunshine. I love the low angle of the sun at this time of year. It shines right into the house.

And when it hits my rainbow maker the room just glitters.

9 ♥ A New Project This is what I wanted that red yarn hats. No, they are not for me.

On our local TV news I leaned about THIS great idea. Basically all newborns are given a colour coded hat to wear straight after birth. It's to avoid them getting chilled and the colours are an easy reference for the staff to see which babies are more at risk. I think it's such a clever idea. The simple ideas are often the best aren't they.

When my twins were born  prematurely the hats I had bought were way too big and I was very thankful that the hospital had donated hats in smaller sizes that they could wear.

I don't think I have found the perfect pattern yet. Those I found online have needed adapting to get the right sizes and I am not totally happy with their shape. I will keep trying. Does anybody know a pattern they use for premature and newborn sized baby hats?

It's at times like this I wish I could knit....ummm. Now there's an idea :0)

Have a great week Lovelies
Jacquie x