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I live on the south coast of the UK. I'm very happily married to Tim (who looks after me, cherishes me and works so hard) and we have 2 daughters and a cat, Floyd. I love Hello Kitty, Littest Pets, crafting, reading, baking, playing on my Nintendo ds, cute dresses and all manner of hair accessories. I'm also, without doubt, a future crazy cat lady.

Me, Tim, April, Rosie and Billy and Floyd-the-cat :)

Versatile Blogger Award

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Rosie's Art Portfolio

Portfolio

Cats Protection

Forest Pines Riding Centre

One Pretty Thing

Dorset Wildlife Trust

Thingamablog

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Please DO NOT link directly to pictures on my website!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hodge podge

It has been insanely warm..actually, hot, here over the last few days. Uncomfortably so much of the time. Today, however, it has been a bit cooler and misty and drizzly and actually felt autumnal. April and I went out in the garden to collect fallen leaves to put in our nature basket. We also put our faces in several large cobwebs.

 

Talking of cobwebs, apparently it's going to be a "good" year for spiders due to the mild autumn weather so far. Good? Good for them maybe, not so good for us who don't like the creepy little critters. Anyway, to try and put a lighter spin on it, I invented this ....

Taa-daaaa! The Spidometer! See the 19th? Draw a spider on the calendar for every little creep we see in our house over the next month! Yes, Tim is capable of spelling "holiday" correctly by the way. It's just a silly thing like how we spell Christmas as chrismoose.

 

What else? Hmmm, well we made a lovely pie! This is chicken, leek and ham. I made the pastry, Tim and I made the filling together (you should try cooking with your other half sometimes, it's big fun) and I rolled out and assembled. And put hearts on the top. Yes.

Most delicious.

 

Ooooh! and I've been making this, for me! I make lots of stuff for the kids and around the house but this was just for me. A snuggly blankie! I have another similar which is basically a huge granny square in a deep red (this is pink/white/lilac) but this one was a bit more detailed. They're not huge, like a throw, but big enough to snuggle ...and cuddle :) Nowhere near finished yet though, got loads of rows left to go!

 

Finally, Rosie sent me this message this morning. She's been waiting for the new Smash Bros. game to come out (for the 3ds) for about 3 years and several weeks ago they announced a release date of the 3rd October. Needless to say she's been counting down the days with great excitement and then, a couple of days ago, they announced a demo was being released today.

I suspect she might be a tad excited :D Bless her!

 

PS - Tim is on holiday for a week now! Yipeeeee!

Posted by Sarah at 2:51 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Autumn, Crafts, Food, Stuff
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Packet mix cakes and cookies. No.

The other day, at work, Tim was offered a packet of cookie mix to bring home and try. He politely turned it down saying "if I want to bake cookies at home, I'll do it from scratch". Actually, what he should have said is "my wife will bake them from scratch" ...but we'll let that pass :D

Thing is (and I'm really going to get on my high horse here so brace yourselves), I don't count packet mix anything as real cooking. An amoeba could open a packet, "add an egg" and put the stuff in the oven (ok, I clearly exagerate but you get my meaning) and you know what the biggest missing ingredients are? Time and love. When you bake something for your family or friends from scratch your are putting real effort into it. You are putting the time and care into making something really special. It shows no skill at all to use a packet mix but when baking from scratch you have to take the time to weigh things correctly, mix in the right way (does this need to be beaten or folded or whisked...?)

Using packet mixes is one thing but actually passing the "stuff" off as "home cooked" is quite another. I happen to know for a fact that a lot of hotel/restaurant chefs use a lot of pre-prepared things (soup, cake mixes, sauces etc). So when you are saying "oh my compliments to the chef" what you should say is "my compliments to the chef for his fine tin opening skills! He is truly a master of his craft". Hmm. I'm not saying they do that all the time for all things but ....let's just say a lot of short cuts are taken.

However, chefs are mega busy, turning out loads and loads of food so maybe we can forgive them?

What about mums and dads at home with kids? What about those people who open the evil packet mixes and then serve the results up to their friends and family and say "look what I baked!" ....all smiles while they get congratulated on their cooking skills? What about them? No! They are not "baking"! They are not taking fresh, pure ingredients and creating something from scratch! They are opening a box containing god only knows what (have you seen the ingredient list on those things?!) and adding a splash of water or an egg and then putting the whole lot in the oven. That is not cooking. Sorry, but it's not.

It's cheating. It's for lazy people who like to think they're really baking something. Worse still, they want other people to think they really baked something too.

My feeling? Do it from scratch. Take the time to really cook properly, using real ingredients or just don't bloody bother.

Busy hotel/restaurant chefs excepted of course. You are forgiven. Just.

Posted by Sarah at 10:57 AM [Permalink]
Categories: Cooking
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Monday, September 08, 2014

"Daddy's taking us to the zoo tomorrow...."

....actually, today. :) Yep, we went to Marwell! The sun shone this morning so we all got up and just ...went and what a fabulous day. We wandered about in that beautiful type of mellow, warm sunshine that you only get in early autumn, saw some beautiful (and crazy!) animals and enjoyed a lovely lunch. Warning! Pretty photo heavy!

Getting up close and personal with the penguins

This is me and my new buddy :)

"I'll ...um...just clean the windows for you ...with my tongue ...as you do...."

The beautiful front of Marwell Hall

All together now ....aaahhh! I'm a lucky girlie to have this wonderful man as my hubby

Wallabies!

Awww! These were little ...and surprisingly fast!

This was not a great photo but included for one reason - it reminded me of that scene from Star Trek where Spock gets killed by the radiation and Kirk is outside the room and they put their hands on the glass and get all slushy. Except it's Rosie and a monkey *laughs*. Look carefully, you can just see the monkey with both it's hands up against the glass by Rosie's :) "I ...shall....always ...be....your...friend" hahaha!

Lemur. Made one hell of a din. 'Nuff said.

The way these things sit made Tim burst out laughing. They look like little old men in armchairs!

"Now I'm the king of the swingers...."

Snow Leopards ..beautiful, beautiful

Posted by Sarah at 6:44 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Places, Wildlife
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Monday, September 01, 2014

Planes but no zoo :(

We were kind of loosely planning to go to Marwell Zoo today because, as well as the regular stuff, they've also had a dinosaur exhibition going on. This ended today. Unfortunately, our plans fell to pieces because the weather is a bit yuk and there's no point in trudging round the zoo in the rain. So I was a bit sad when I got up this morning and saw the weather ...no zoo :( Oh well, we'll go another time, just no dinos!

Yesterday, the weather was nice (glorious in fact) but we already had plans - to go to Hengistbury Head because it was the Bournemouth Air Festival and it's a great place to watch the planes. We went on a nice walk and reached the top and hung out for a bit and saw the Vulcan and an impressive helicopter display - we could see for miles it was that clear!

Afterwards, we walked back down and Tim brought us ice cream - it was yummy (I had caramel and fudge!) so we were happy bunnies :)

It really does feel distinctly autumnal today and I'm full of plans for the upcoming season! Going to tidy up our school area tomorrow (ready for starting work again on Wednesday) and redo the nature table for the autumn one. I really do love this time of the year - birthdays (Rosie's, April's and Tim's), Halloween, Bonfire Night and, of course, Christmas!

Posted by Sarah at 3:39 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Autumn, Places
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hello Kitty and the website

First, get this out the way. I'm finally moving ALL stuff relating to homeschool, the kids work etc over to my new homeschool blog (see tiny teeny link in topbar). There are 2 main reasons for this. Firstly, the kids are getting older and it kind of doesn't feel right to keep posting stuff about them. They are at the age where, if they want to blog, they can do it in their own right. That's not to say I'll never mention them, of course I will ....just not loads of pictures and stuff like that. So, if you're only here for the homeschool stuff then your best bet is to head over to the new blog!

Secondly, I've made the decision to make this website and blog more ...me. For many years I've blogged and I've had to push back the "me" quite a lot because of the fact that I didn't want it to overshadow the homeschool stuff.

It's time to make this website really my own...really me. Now, of course, that doesnt mean full-on, intimate details - Tim and I have a personal blog ...elsewhere for that sort of stuff ;) Just much more ....um....me than before. If you want an idea what I mean, go and read my front page on this website and you'll see.

Anyway, that all said, on to the important news of the day.

It's very important.

Tim was reading the news online yesterday and turned round to me and said "there's some very surprising news!" ... he was smirking.

Apparently, Hello Kitty isn't a kitty at all. She's a small child from London.

A small child from London

 

No. I'm not buying this. She has cat ears and whiskers! She's a cat and I don't care what they say.*

*goes off sulking*

*Course, what they actually probably mean is, the character, Hello Kitty, is based on the idea of a small child from London. Yeah? I think that's what they mean.

I told you it was important news.

Posted by Sarah at 9:38 AM [Permalink]
Categories: Stuff, Website Stuff
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tim's blog posts

My lovely man used to keep a blog all of his very own but got bored of writing it in the end. However, just for fun, I've decided to share some of his posts with you - some of the ones that I particularly enjoyed, that made me laugh or whatever. If you really want to, you can head over to timsellers.net which is his front page and lists all the stuff he's done and contains links to things like his Soundcloud where he puts his musical compositions (although there's not much there at the moment).

Anyway, here goes....hope you enjoy them, he's a very good and funny writer :)

Room 101 - Religion, aubergines, spiders, straight across fringes and much, much more!

Jesus is his Friend - *giggling*...Oh god, sorry to any religious people out there but .....this cracks me up.

Playing with one's organ. And Blogging. - The best bit (in my opinion) of this Hammond Organ video is right at the end when the guy (presumably) filming starts going "wooo! yeah!" in a really over the top way. Hilarious. Oh, and no Sir, Sarah does not love "the smooth swirly tones of the Hammond C3"....

Sarah - Yep, he blogged about me, on our 9th wedding anniversary. 9th! We've very nearly doubled that now! I guess he must stlll feel the same...... ;)

Sex sells, apparently - This ad makes me laugh so hard ......If getting covered in molten gravy is your thing ....strictly for hardcore masochists I would imagine.

Anyway, there you go! Hope you go have a read ...you never know, if he suddenly gets an influx of visitors he may be inspired to put fingers to keyboard again!

Posted by Sarah at 9:33 AM [Permalink]
Categories: Stuff
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I'm shopping in the rain...

Oh dear me, did it ever rain yesterday?! Unfortunately, the kids and I had to walk to the shops in it but, hey, it's kind of fun too right? Actually, it was, but we did get wet. We hung about for a bit hoping the rain would ease but it didn't so, in the end, we donned waterproofs and set off, having fun in the puddles :)

At Tesco, apart from food, I was meant to be getting April some new trainers but they didn't have anything suitable in her size so I ended up buying Tim some undies, some stockings for me and a hair doughnut. A hair doughnut! I think I must have missed something along the way because I've only just discovered these things! I have very heavy hair and, if I put it up in a bun, it all falls down again shortly after.

These funny, spongy doughnuts are the perfect solution because they give me a nice big bun, buuut, it all stays in place as long as I want it to! Marvellous. I like to have my hair up during the day because I can't bear it all hanging around my face when I'm working ... Tim likes me to wear it down so I end up letting it loose before he comes home but the good thing is, because of the doughnut, it's got a nice wave to it! Bonus!

I hugely recommend these if you've got a lot of hair and want to get it out the way easily. Once you've got the knack of putting it in, (You Tube it - loads of instruction vids), it takes less than a minute from loose hair to done bun :)

HUUUUGE Bun!

Sideview ...got a little butterfly clip there to hold the loose ends. Cute.

Thanks to Miss April Honey Sellers for the splendid photos :) No, I'm not bendy enough to take a picture of the back of my own head!

Posted by Sarah at 10:18 AM [Permalink]
Categories: Places, Stuff
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Horse slobber, dodgy teeth and Dr Who

Weeeelllll, much stuff going on lately. First, poor April and her teeth. We went for our regular 6 month check up recently and found we had a new dentist, the old one had apparently...um....gone...since our last visit. Now, the old dentist used to ask me (every freakin' visit) "does April suck her thumb or chew pencils?" to which I'd reply (every freakin' visit) "no and no".

Her top teeth are very protruding and very splayed out (i.e she has a huge gap between them and it's getting worse).

New dentist, who is clearly more on the ball, takes one look at her teeth and gums and says "look, here, this is causing her tooth problems". Basically, the labial frenulum (that little bit of skin that attaches your top lip to your top gum) is waaaay too long ...in fact hers goes right down in between her top teeth. Every single time she opens her mouth to eat or talk (heck of a lot then!), it pulls on her teeth, gradually moving them further apart.

She can have a brace when she's about 14 or 15 to straighten the teeth but, considering she's only 9 ....that's a long time for the teeth to keep being pulled further and further apart. Soooo, Mr Wong says that he is referring her to an oral surgeon because, in his opinion, she may well have to have a labial frenectomy to stop the pulling in the meantime before she can have braces in a few years time. If you want to see what that looks like look at this. Bit yukky, poor girl.

Anyway, other stuff. Dropped Rosie off at horse riding yesterday. They are amazed and delighted with her progress now! It seems she's jumped into a whole new league both with riding and horse care and they're very happy with her :) Tim, April and I went and did some shopping and then went back to collect her. Watched her do a beautiful canter across the field and when she got into the yard and dismounted she asked me to hold Star for her while she shortened his stirrups. Clearly, Star was overjoyed to see me (hasn't for a while) because he began to vigorously rub his head up and down the front of me making little whickering noises. Dead cute but he left slobber all over my front ...not so cute. Cheers Star ...mmmm, nice.

Finally, Dr Who. Oooo! Fantastic first episode for Peter Capaldi! He really did cut it as a Doctor - just the right combination of humour, weirdness and madness ....and curiously attractive in an odd way ....maybe a lot of younger viewers wouldn't think so but being 44 myself I guess finding a man in his 50's attractive isn't such a weird thing! Anyway, best scene? When Clara has to hold her breath for ....ever....such...a.....long .....time to avoid the half robot/half human weirdos. My own chest started to ache just watching it! Oh, and did we really think the Doctor would go off and callously abandon her? Of course not! :)

Posted by Sarah at 10:05 AM [Permalink]
Categories: Places
Comments [ 0 ]

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Begin again.....

Yep. Here we are then. I've re-energised myself blog-wise and feel better about it now. I just needed to go off and do some other things hence the great gaps in between my birthday post and a new post and then, again, recently.

I've spent time re-connecting with my hubby, not that anything was particularly wrong but, I guess, after years of marriage and homeschooling and his long work hours and everything we did suddenly feel a bit like ships passing in the night. We decided to make some rather big changes to our routine and the kids routines and just life in general to free up more space for each other and, like I said, re-connect ....and ....ahem..yeah..we did ;) We kind of rediscovered ourselves and "us" and stuff we'd forgotten about and what makes each other tick and the fact that this kind of old-fashioned, traditional marriage set up suits us really rather well and, frankly we don't really care who knows it.

...and no, I'm not elaborating on that *laughs*.

Anyway, the kids are happy and enjoying the summer. There has been no Brownies and lots of late night Nintendo ds chats and the lawn is wrecked after lots of outdoor play (but who cares?!) They are now both getting back into "school" mindset ready for the start of the new term in about 3 weeks. Rosie and I have been having discussions about what to get out of the way first exam-wise (er...yeah..maths then) so I've ordered her a load of textbooks and whatnot from CGP. Oh, if you're interested in the homeschool stuff, check out my new blog (link in the topbar) ...I still intend to keep this website just for general bits and pieces.

However much I've enjoyed this summer (and it HAS been nice), Autumn is coming, the evenings are getting darker, the mornings mistier and chillier and the leaves are starting to turn out back. That makes me very, very happy.

Posted by Sarah at 4:21 PM [Permalink]
Categories: Home Education, Website Stuff
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Monday, August 11, 2014

Well, you know..

"Situation normal. Uh, had a slight weapons malfunction. But uh, everything's perfectly alright now. We're fine. We're all fine here, now, thank you. How are you?" ~ Han Solo, Star Wars

Yeah, we're all fine and dandy but just can't really be bothered to blog any more. At all. Spending a lot of time planning new homeschool stuff for the year, doing things around the house and, most importantly, devoting to myself to my hard working hubby (LOVE devoting myself to that guy!) and playing and stuff. Just can't be bothered to post details of my life for the world to see any more.

No idea whether this hiatus will be permanent or not but just wanted to let you know the score to save you the bother of reloading my blog several times a day to see if anything has changed (yes, I actually get 2 or 3 people that do that). It's a waste of your time and it's a bit scary.

To quote another character....

"Please don't do that Joanna, it worries me" ~ Daniel Carrington, Perfect Dark

Posted by Sarah at 9:28 AM [Permalink]
Categories: Stuff
Comments [ 2 ]

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