January's Happy List :)

This is my list of things that are making me very happy this month;

  1. Being in Scotland visiting family and friends for more than just a weekend.
  2. Seeing our first lettuce's pop up out of the soil.
  3. Getting involved in the big plans at work and having my ideas be taken onboard.
  4. Getting my day off a week (working only 4 10 hour days not 5) soooo happy!
  5. Reading my River Cottage Cookbook in the evenings.
  6. Waking up on the weekends before 10am so I get more out of the days.
  7. Seeing my little kitten all healthy again, playing happily everyday.
  8. Experimenting with my new sewing machine.
  9. Planning the years holidays and short breaks away.
  10. Making little veggie patches in our garden with my husband.

I'd love to hear what little things, or big things are making you happy, if you have a list on your blog just leave a link and I'll come check it out :) 

***on a not so happy note blogger is frustrating me a lot... I cant see any of the blogs im following and since im away using family laptops i dont have them saved, i hope it gets sorted soon - im missing my regular reads, hope you're all well and i look forward to catching up soon :) also does anyone know if the thread comments are working yet?*** 

I'm in Scotland!

Hope you all are having a brilliant weekend, I've been having a great time since arriving in Glasgow Friday night. Catching up with my Dad and Kari my step-mom has been lovely and yesterday we went and got my big sister Pippa from the train station...

Obviously I couldn't just wait on the platform like a normal person, Kari and I jumped on the train then surprised her as she walked past haha!

So happy to have my sister for a few days, she's the best :)
My best friend Amy lives in Edinburgh so she and her man Paul came over to meet up with us for the day too, we just drank tea on the sofa and caught up for hours :) Kari made an amazing italian inspired meal which was amazing and a fun night was had by all!

Meet Amy, we lived together when we were 17 managed to keep in touch while being on
opposite sides of the world and now love the fact we're only a half hour easyjet (budget airline) flight away
from each other

Paul and I after our feast of a meal!

Picture of the day - love you Amy :)
Bonus is weekend in Glasgow - total money spent since arriving £0.00! And another one of my 101 in 1001 challenges complete!

Stay positive!

I am a really positive person, I'm optimistic, nearly always happy and I see the good in everyone. People often say its why they like being around me, I like being around positive people too, it lifts my spirits and reenforces my own happy outlook.

I believe that a positive state of mind brings positive things to your life, a "what you think you create" type of philosophy.

Sometimes when you seem to be the only positive person in the room it can take real determination not to have your spirits drained by everyone else's negativity. Stay determined though, don't let others effect your mood and when you comment on what a nice day it is today they reply with "it's supposed to rain tomorrow" (that one gets me every time), actually laugh out loud - because it is funny and maybe they'll see it too!

Stay positive - it's the weekend eve! Friday tomorrow and I'll be off to Scotland!

Newborn gardens - aren't they beautiful?

We've started our gardening! I thought it'd take us a couple of afternoons to clear these areas, the one by the oil tank was full of bricks and old buried wood but it only took about 2 hours. The soil has quite alot of clay in it so we just need to get down to the lough for some sand and down to the stables for some old manure and we'll be flying :)

The grass was always very patchy along here but it does get good sun so
we thought it'd be a great place to train up the peas :) Its gonna be a
raised bed when we get some wood for an edge piece.

This patch doesn't get great sun but we're gonna try it for broccoli cabbage and spuds.
Also we're gonna take down the fence to let in maximum light, we'll just put it back when we leave.

When your in there you see its a really good size space :)
Not sure what this big concrete slab is but it makes a handy place to stand!

Its so satisfying to see muddy shoes at the back door - I love it!

Our main grow plan this year is millions of peas :) Carrots, onions, lots of different lettuce types, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, spuds, a variety of herbs, courgettes, tomatoes, beetroot, strawberries, and obviously the ninja's chillies!

We have access to free broad beans at peak season so we'll be gorging on them and doing lots of foraging too! 2012 is gonna be a good food year :)

We must be back to happy Saturdays!

Today we went into town and got a new bulb for my beautiful sewing machine, as well as a new black rubber wheel turner thing and an embroidery circle thingy... Yes I know, I'm so knowledgeable when it comes to the technical terms, but look what I made -

My very first embroidery attempt :)

My Saturday was also happy because I spoke to both my sisters and one of my best friends, not such a big deal for most people but the wonderful women in my life are far away and so, we don't see each other or chat much... Anyway very happy because I've just booked tickets to Glasgow for 5 days at the end of the month to visit my dad and stepmom before they move back to South Africa. My big sister is going to be there visiting too before she heads off again round the world and one of my best friends Amy and her lovely man live in Edinburgh so I'll be able to catch up with them all - happy happy HAPPY times to look forward to :)

In full swing!

It's really started to feel like 2012 is in full swing, Christmas seems ages ago and when the sun pops out you can see Spring on the horizon :)

Getting back into work after a break always takes a week or so for me and it didn't help getting 50 hours last week... Anyway this week I got my day off (we work 10 hour days, so a 4 day week) and I'm feeling super positive about the next few months. A main goal for us is to save save save, this year may well be the year we find our dream home/land and we want to be in the best position to buy when we do. Luckily we have done all our big spends over the last 7 months; moved house, got married, replaced our car and went on honeymoon! So things should be running at a more relaxing pace this year, thank goodness.

This year we will be making the very most out of our tiny growing space, without digging up the whole lawn since its not our home. We are challenging ourselves to a 'no bought lettuce year' and hope to grow lots of our own veggies to bring grocery costs down and health benefits up :) This year I also have a great space for a craft room, still needs work but will soon be a place where I can make all the cards we'll need for the years' birthdays and special occasions. I'll be making and altering my own clothes (so excited about this) and maybe some of Al's too, that will be so satisfying and save us money, not that we're big clothes buyers but still. Gifts and things for our home will be made in the craft room and wooden/bigger things in the garage workshop which is nearly all set up. I also have a few cottage industry ideas that will be testing the water this year and might make a few pennies, watch this space lol.

I'm so happy that my work hours, even though full time, give me an extra day at home to be creative and to progress with my creative goals, my personality just really suits having lots of things going on!

Also to save money we'll be doing the obvious things, reviewing all our bills and savings accounts, swapping out any that aren't offering the best deal anymore. Getting a cashback credit card, using as little electricity and heating as is comfortable and enjoying more free date nights as well as cinema and meal ones.

Just need to start exercising again and my 2012 goals are all on track!

The best gift EVER!

I've wanted my own sewing machine for years and years. I love the idea of making your own clothes, bags, cushion covers, accessories and one day baby clothes! When I saw a massive box under the tree on christmas eve I was so excited, I really hoped (and sort of knew) it was a sewing machine - it wasn't just any machine though, it was the most beautiful, retro, stylish one I'd ever seen... Love at first sight... I'm very pleased to introduce to you my Novum Zig Zag Deluxe Mark 1X.

Can you feel the love?! I'm totally in love with the character and age of this machine, I even love the smell of it! I think its perfect and it will be used and appreciated for many many years to come :)

Alan, I love you so much - you know me so well and are always so encouraging and supportive with my creative endeavors, well with everything actually! THANK YOU!

To anyone interested I have now got the manual for this exact model novum 
zig zag deluxe (thanks celine!) and I'd be happy to send it to anyone who's 
looking for it - just email me, address in the side bar :) 

Last Honeymoon pics I promise!

France here we come!

This picture ended up being quite ironic as the ride on the way back
was so rough chairs were flying across our cabin and the noise of the
waves hitting the side of the boat was immense!

Happy Happy Happy

New Years Eve walking under the Eiffel Tower

400,000 people at the Champs Elysees just before midnight

The crowds broke down the barriers and rushed the street - the energy in the air was crazy!

1st picture of 2012!

Up the Eiffel Tower - stairs not lift - we're hard core!

Super windy that day so we couldn't go right to the top :(

I was still happy though, we hung around and watched the lights come on slowly it was
the most romantic thing I've ever done, the pictures don't do it justice!

So now we're home again and it feels so good! What can I say, I must have become a real 'homeperson' in my old age lol 

Must go and update my 101 list now - definitely crossed a few off this holiday :) 

Glad to be back - Astra xx

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