Sunday, 29 January 2012

Corners of my home

I love having a look at other peoples homes, they intrigue me a lot, so I thought I would share a little peek into my home for easy reading Sunday blogs.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

my dreams and yours for 2012

It's already near the end of January and I really don't know where the time has gone too,it has flown by since Christmas and I'm sure the new years resolutions are becoming a distant memory and you have gone back to the normal routine of life, but wait remember that buzz, that promise of a new year filled with so many dreams and ideas, get that back right now, close your eyes and think of what YOU would like to achieve this year, what are YOUR dreams for the future, harness that amazing buzzy feeling and then get a pen and a piece of paper and write them down, go on I give you permission for 10 Min's of YOU time, put them all out there for the universe to answer them, they can be great and things you may not think you could do in a million years, they could be small, so tiny in fact you may think its silly to write them down, its not, these are YOUR dreams, and YOUR thoughts, so go for it, put whatever comes to mind, be free with your ideas, the more you write the easier it becomes to write more until suddenly you have filled a whole page with your dreams.

I did this last year after I printed off Goddess Leonie's workbook, it was such an inspiration to me, simply by filling it in made me open my eyes and see my true beauty and potential, this year it’s filled with over 100 pages of worksheets & a printable calendar to help you dream, manifest, set your intentions, plan & cultivate your amazing new year. It has help over 3000 ladies worldwide and it helped me too, I am sure it will help YOU along your journey, it will show you your full potential, how all your dreams can manifest by just asking the universe for them to come true.I love the way it has been lovingly handwritten and when you read it, it seems as tough it has been written personally for you.I also love Leonie's rainbow illustrations they make me smile and will make you feel happy. The workbook is perfect for you to print out, soak up the colours of the rainbow and get thoroughly inspired by.

I have lots of dreams for the year ahead, some are already coming true, some I'm sure will come to fruition soon and others may make me wait but I know in my heart that the journey I take getting to each one of them will be an amazing one:
1.I want to learn to swim
2.I want to organise a big craft and vintage fair
3.I want to ride in a hot air balloon
4.I want to plant and grow veg all year round (not have an empty gap after summer)
5.I want to paint more
6.I would love to go on holiday in Cornwall (thanks Clare)
7.I would like to inspire women to create
8.I would like a new pair of jeans that fit me well and make me feel confident
9.I would like to spend more time outside
10.I want to move to Portugal
11.I want a house with land to be self sufficient
12.I want the house to have solar panels and a stream running through the garden
13.I want to have my own craft room like the ones in the back of Mollie makes
14.I want to learn to take better photos
15. I want to go on more day trips with my boys
16. I want to learn Portuguese
17.I want to have a tea party just for the hell of it
18.I am going to give love and joy to as many people as I can
19. I will visit my mother more often
20.I will smile at stranger even if they think I'm crazy
21. I want to go to bed before midnight every night
22. I will be a kinder more gentle mum ( as long as I do number 21!)
23. I will expand my music tastes
24. I want to ride my tricycle on a long journey with a picnic in the basket
25.I will be more productive
26. I will not eat crisp sandwiches at night time as often as I do now
27. I want to decorate the kitchen
28. I will try and do more housework and enjoy it (pulls a face!)
29. I will blog more (yes I know I say it all the time but I mean it :)
30.I want a dog

I could sit here typing for ages but these are just a few of the things I want to achieve, what are yours? I would love it if you could write your own lists and send me the link to them in the comment box below, have a wonderful time writing them and do visit Leonie's page for some amazing free things and for inspiration she truly is a remarkable woman x

Sunday, 22 January 2012

my next big thing!

I have taken the plunge and gone and book one of Blackpool's greatest landmarks The winter gardens for a summer vintage and handmade craft fair!!

its going to be a two day spectacular of crafts, vintage, entertainment and music with craft workshops, a vintage tearoom and lots of handmade goodness.

There will be over a 100 stalls selling the northwest's finest gifts, clothes, toys, accessories, food, art, cards, homewares and much ...more. We are lucky enough to have two performances on the sunday from the very lovely burlesque performer Kitty Koko and I am so hounered to annouce that the amazing Kirsty Almeida will be performing too - how amazing is that.
We shall be having various bands performing over the weekend on the stage and tea and cakes served on vintage china all in the beautiful art deco surroundings of the Pavilion theatre at the Winter Gardens situated in the middle of Blackpool town centre 23rd June 10am - 5pm and 24th June 2012 10pm - 4pm Free entry.

Stalls are still available but going fast £25 for one day or £45 for the full weekend. We can set up from 8am and as it is a secure locked area you can leave your stalls set up overnight if you are doing a full weekend. You will get a table and 2 chairs with extra space around you if you want to bring rails, furniture etc, please let me know in advance of any requirements you have regarding this so I can accommodate you.

There are people coming from all over, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Cumbria, Yorkshire to name a few so if you want to have a stall but don't drive just get in touch Im trying to organise a lift share.

Any questions please feel free to ask, I know this is going to be an awesome event and can't wait to see you there. If you can will you share this link with your friends and followers, if you share it leave me a comment in the comment box on here or send me a message on facebook (Dotty D Lightful) with a link to where you have shared it and you will be entered into a prize draw to win some lovely handmade goodies x

Friday, 20 January 2012

We braved the elements

Do you know I have felt trapped and cocooned sine Christmas I have wanted desperately to go somewhere green, see wildlife apart from the local putty picking magpie!, but the weather has been raining windy raining gales windy raining yeah you get the picture, now I appreciate the rain, it's great for the garden and for making things look clean and for filling up reservoirs but it's not so great for days at the park. Well one day it didn't rain, not a drop even the sun popped out to say "look at me hello, yes you hello I haven't left completely" so we got all wrapped up and off we went, it was bloody freezing!!! Chris my youngest loves the park, he was collecting twigs and rotted pine cones, watching squirrels and birds, taking it all in, Adam the older one does not like the park at all, he got chased and pinned up against a tree by a dog once in the park and is not petrified of dogs, his head swishes this way and that on the look out for dogs, I don't want to keep him away from the park in case his fear turns into a full blown phobia but it is frustrating dealing with it. In the end he said he needed a poo, his brother was building a den at this point and didn't want to leave, but of you need the loo then you can't hang around so we left the lovely park and rushed home because he refused to poo in the bushes!! It took me a while after being home that I realised he hadn't been to the toilet, I had been tricked with the threat of a poo, what a tricky mr, I will try and remember for next time the little beast!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

New year new art

I put my sewing machine away on Christmas eve and haven't had it out since, I felt like I have become all sewed out. I have been inspired to draw and paint instead and I'm loving it, each one of these is mixed media on boxed canvas, they are embellished with glitter and gems, I'm hoping to sell them so I can start my saving up account for us to move to Portugal, we're dreaming big this year!! Each one is £30 including postage within UK, I will post abroad so ask me for a quote

Monday, 9 January 2012

We are back and we have become bibliophiles

Our diary of our no tech week:

Day one:
Its the first day and we are feeling hopeful that this experiment will be a great learning curve for us all, I'm happy and feeling excited about what the day holds for us, the children and I played games and did some art work together, we got a juicer for Christmas so we spent some time juicing up some yummy things from our juice box from Able and Cole, our favourite was apples, carrots and a pinch of cinnamon, very yummy like cake in a glass. I did some housework and made dinner, the boys moaned a bit whilst I was cooking as they said they didn't know what to do with themselves, I suggested things and they went off feeling sorry for themselves that there was no TV to watch, I heard them giggling and playing not long after this so the despair didn't last long!
After we had eaten I read the new country living magazine that had arrived in the post that morning, in front of the fire whilst the boys played lego. Normally I don't read a whole mag in one go, I just browse and come back to parts days later but with no other distractions I could. It felt naughty and luxurious. I felt so tired and could of easily nodded off, I'm actually looking forward to going to bed. Its been odd thinking about checking facebook and Ive wanted to google things but its been nice playing whilst un-distracted, its been strange getting used to not having to do things like checking emails or timing things so not to miss programmes, its been more relaxing and its as though not having these added distractions has enabled me to give myself permission to relax. I think we fill our lives with so much bombardment of visual and mental stimuli that we think it makes our lives easier but its seemed today has been easier not having them around. The other thing I have noticed is how different it is not having background noise of the TV, you can be fully focused on reading etc where as before it only had half my attention.
Night time was a weird one, we didn't really know what to do with ourselves, normally after tea the children and I watch TV or a film, instead we played marbles and read a story. It was very different and the boys got upset they couldn't watch TV. At bedtime I asked them both what they thought of the first day, the older one, Adam, said that he liked it except for the evening bit, but it was better than he expected. Chris (the younger one) said it was rubbish because I didn't play with him all day, he thought that, that's what we would be doing.
Its 10.40 pm, boys asleep, fire blazing, in PJ's, Tom (my fellow) is reading, I'm so ready for bed, normally TV would be on or I would be on my Iphone, I don't miss either right now.

Day two:
Still feel really tired even after an earlyish night, after breakfast we went to the library to choose books for the week, the boys normally say they have no interest in books, much to my horror, I might add being an avid reader myself. But to my surprise they choose some for themselves (there is an upside to this no TV lark!!), I got a stack out as usual, I'm really into reading about bettering your life at the moment and dreaming big, I cant wait to get Goddess Leonie's 2012 goddess workbook.
I also got some cookery books, I got the new river cottage veg book for Christmas and its brilliant but I always check out a couple of cookery books for extra ideas.
We battled the hideous weather, its been so windy and raining everyday lately, cant wait for the spring.when we go it home we was soaked so we got out of our wet clothes and put on our PJ's, something normally reserved for weekends, I'm not quite sure why we insist on being dressed if we are staying in, I'm guessing it something to do with productivity or lack of it in PJ's. We got dinner on and played a chess tournament, then the boys started reading their library books, I even got told off by Chris for disturbing him whilst reading - ha ha brilliant! This I had to stop myself laughing at.
They spent the rest of the day reading in front of the fire. I noticed how we was all yawning loads, maybe because its so relaxing, Chris proudly announced that he had read to page 97 of his book by the time dinner was ready - very proud!
After dinner we played word games and finished off the chess tournament, then we cosied up together and started reading the new book by David Walliams, "Billionaire boy", it was so good and funny we read to chapter 6, with pleas of more from the children.
I asked the boys how they thought day two had gone, they said they had enjoyed it more than day one because they liked us all being together and especially the reading together before bed instead of watching TV. This bit surprised me because I have always read to them every night before bed in their rooms, but I think they liked it that we was all together even my 17 year old sat in and listened!
Today has been lovely, no moans at all, Tom and I have noticed the boys have played together and laughed so much more these past two days.

Day three
The main thing that is starting to wear me down is the children's early mornings, before this they used to get up and go downstairs and watch TV and wait for me to get up, now with no TV to occupy him Chris comes and wakes me up every morning because he says he doesn't know what to do with himself. Adam has always been an early riser but these past few days he has been sleeping in so Chris has been on his own when getting up. We normally stay up pretty late and have been getting to bed earlier, a few minutes after midnight has been the latest but we still feel really tired . We read 10 chapters of billionaire boy after breakfast and got ready for home school club, I co-run it with my friend who is also a homeschooling mum so we get there early to set up, unfortunately for the boys only toddlers and young girls came, it was unusually quiet so they ended up playing together for the afternoon, after that we went food shopping and then came home, whilst I was making tea the boys read again, we sent the evening chatting and reading. After the boys went to bed I gave in and went on my phone to check my emails, I'm glad I did as I had an important work email, but its made me worry now in case I'm missing another work related thing, so its me who has broken the rules first, its made me feel a bit bad really, its not that I'm addicted, if I was on holiday for a week and I didn't have net access it wouldn't bother me the same as I would be doing other things but at home its weird. I know I have things I can do with my time but Ive craved the Internet, maybe I am addicted, maybe we all are and just don't realise it, its become so normal into our existence, without it who are we?
Going to bed feeling strange, it has made me think about things today.

Day four
Today I feel depressed, I don't quite know what to do with myself, I'm tired and feel stressed. I feel like I need time on my own, which is a hard ask when you home school!, I spent the morning in my PJ's, reading to the boys, I baked a cake from the Alys Fowler book I borrowed from the library, it was yummy, recipe to follow in a blog post soon. The boys read, moaned, argued with each other, I was having a bad day, I kept crying and feeling pretty rubbish, I have had a nasty cold, in fact we have all had it at one time or another these past few weeks, so maybe that's got something to do with my mood.
By late afternoon I had a chat with Tom about it all and I asked what he thought about finishing the experiment early, he thought we should carry on but wouldn't be too bothered if we finished early (maybe this had something to do with a football match on TV on sat). I felt as though I had let the whole family down and especially because I was the one who was spouting all this positivity at the beginning of the week to the children.
I moved the furniture back to normal so the tv wasn't blocked by the couch anymore, I out it there as a visual barrier at the beginning of the week. I called the boys down and told them how I was feeling and that we could watch a film on TV, they jumped up and down yelling with excitement, we sat down under duvets to watch a film, it was nice., I fell asleep for a little while. After tea we read again and then I put the boys to bed.
I spent the evening catching up with missed documentaries and travel programmes, I knitted a bit too.
Didn't go to bed till 2.30, realised its the TV that keeps me up till good knows what time, need to learn to switch it off.

Day five
Today is Saturday, I told the boys last night they could go on their xboxes this morning, I slept in till 9.30 and it was nice. We had a lazy morning and I felt free and happy, maybe it was the rest, maybe it was the thought of not having to find things to fill every hour, Tom got settled to watch football and I read for a little while, I re-installed facebook and twitter on my Iphone as I had deleted them on Monday night because I knew I would be too tempted to go on them otherwise, self restraint + me = none!
I expected to be wowed by what I had missed on Fb but it was a damp squib really, nothing of great interest apart from my lovely friend Mrs M who always posts lovely links.
Twitter wasn't much better either. I do like reading other peoples blogs and find some things pretty interesting, I love having google available to me to fill me in on parts of knowledge I lack, the social aspect is great too, you never feel alone with these social networks at the touch of a button  but all in all I think we only imagine its amazingness when we are out of the loop, now I'm back in it it doesn't seem that special.
I went to town to see my gorgeous fairy friend Alex from the secret garden, she make all my days bright, her shop is filled with love, light and wondrous smells, she centres me and makes my dreams feel like they can come true just by being in her shop. I took my paintings I did earlier in the week to her so she can sell them hopefully to a lovely customer.
I felt fresh and alive in the crisp air and even though town was quite busy I enjoyed being out and seeing other people, I love to people watch, I look at their clothes, I look at their faces and sometimes imagine what lives they lead, what there names are and who they belong too.
I went home and the boys were still on their xboxes so I told them to have a break, Chris was really grumpy for the rest of the day, he kept trying to argue with Adam and was cheeky to me, I don't know if its just coincidence or if it is because he was on his xbox or not but his attitude has changed today.
We carried on the reading together before bed and the boys said they was glad to be back online but they thought we should have a couple of days in the week where we switch off completely, Adam said we can't schedule life and I tend to agree with him, I do agree we need to switch off more. Instead of relying on electronics to fill the voids in the day, we should think more constructively.
Tom and I spent the night talking about our future and how the week has gone, where we would like to live and how the homeschooling should happen.
I have very little willpower
The boys seemed nicer to each other away from electronics
We all read more without other things to distract us
I'm not as 1940's housewife as I thought
We didn't talk more, we just read more
Chris thought it was a happy week
Adam thought it was peaceful but he missed electric a lot
Time seemed not to matter
No work got done!

It was an interesting thing to do but I wouldn't like to have no TV at all, I think that it has got it place in our lives, the boys learn quite a bit off channels like discovery and military history, I love watching crime programmes and girly stuff like desperate housewives (last series ever started on Sunday). Sadly I felt relieved when the ban was lifted, perhaps that's my rebellious side coming out. I thought I was made of sterner stuff!!
I would love to know if any of you lovely readers have done anything similar or if you have no TV how do you find it, what do you do to pass the time?

Monday, 2 January 2012

The experiment

Tomorrow we have decided to start a week long experiment of no tv, games consoles, computers etc, we will have music and keep our phones on. After talking we have come to the conclusion that the children's imaginations have been taken over by a virtual world, in fact the grown up minds have been taken over too, I know we don't live in the 70s and to some families this seems like a weird thing to do or maybe it's normal to you to have no tv etc but this is just an experiment for our family to see if at the end of it we have been more productive ( how many hours do I waste on the net!! ), we have become closer as a family ( how often are we in different rooms doing separate things ), how will it affect the boys interactions with each other (they get moody after being on the Xbox ), will long time household jobs be finally finished, or will we be like electricity addicts desperate for a fix? I really can't say, I wonder who it will affect the most, on reflection before this begins I think it could be me, I have become quite reliant on my iPhone, always being an arms reach away just to check Facebook/twitter/emails etc I could make the excuse up that I need to be connected for networking for work but I'm sure 1 week won't hurt - will it, argh panic is setting in!!! Breath woman it wil be ok!, I will be back in one whole week to let you all know how it's gone and whether we have learned anything, wish me luck xxx