Thursday, 20 December 2012

#ThankfulThursday getting excited

Firstly I am sorry for the radio silence recently, time has been filled with Christmas dooo's, (three in three days was a bit much last weekend) work and preparing for our trip to Cambodia.

Secondly (clears throat)- This is a public service announcement, all of my posts for the next three weeks/month will be about Cambodia and will be very sporadic. I should be able to keep you all up dated with our adventures but don't panic if I don't check in too often, I am hoping to be busy either helping, teaching, outreaching, shopping, eating, playing, swimming, hanging with Jane and Greg or reading/sunbathing. (I have never before had the luxury of a winter tan -(I am going to be really careful in the sun, we have 4 different types of sun cream, but no matter how much sun cream I usually get some tan))

So this is meant to be a #ThankfulThursday post so lets get back to that...

I am thankful that I have the luxury of going to Cambodia, and that I have had a few months to get so excited about it! When I was growing up, every holiday we went on my Dad impressed on us how great it is to look forward to something and that the run up to the holiday is almost half of the holiday.

So now getting excited about holidays is something I am quite good at.

I will sign off with a few of the items on our today list for tomorrow:

Deliver Pigwidgeon (our hamster) to Rachel's (official Hamster sitter for the Christmas period) house
Use up/ give away perishable food
Clean the house (I like to return to a clean house, it makes coming home less stressful)
Clean the fish tank
Attend Christmas Soiree (I actually wrote that)

There are many more things on the list but you are probably already bored.
Sorry this post is a little rambling, has no picture or specific point and has many ().

Merry Christmas

Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmassy photography

 Sunday Evening I went to a carol concert at Christ Church, the church I used to attend until I moved to St. Paul's so Jamie and I could be a part of the same church community. It was lovely going back for a visit to see some familiar faces, say hello, sing wonderful carols and take the opportunity to practice my low light photography.

I obviously didn't take the first one of me and the lovely ladies; Abbie, Jen and Sarah.

The Choir

Abbie would like it noted that these balls were fun to cup (innuendo her own) hee hee.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Just not feeling it...

I have a problem, must definitely a first world problem, but it is troubling all the same...

It doesn't feel like Christmas!!!

I am one of those terribly annoying people that gets really excited about Christmas, the presents, the carols, the worshipping and celebrating the most life changing event in human history.

But this year I am not feeling it, I can't seem to 'get in the spirit'.  Maybe this is what being a 'proper' adult feels like -not getting over excited about good and definitely exciting things. I always felt that the defining 'proper adult' thing would be not wanting to lick the bowl and spoon after making a cake. (I still do that, yes, every time and NO I have never been ill because of it, raw eggs- shmeggs)

I have decided I am not ready to not get excited about exciting things - such as Christmas - so to help me, (and you if you are feeling the same way) here are some awesome videos I found through facebook and youtube) 

This one is HILARIOUS

 Linus says it best

Christmas in a nutshell

Through finding these videos I realised that I have been wanting the wrong thing, I wanted that fuzzy excitement about presents, spending time with family and friends, good food and singing nice songs but really the thing I should be excited about is the ever present reality of Jesus and the impact he has had on my life and the world. Without Him, everything would be different. The excitement of Advent should be that we are ever waiting expectantly and excitedly for His return. Now that is exciting! (and a bit scary)

I didn't realise I was going to say all that. God convicted me as I typed, wanting the excitement of Christmas is not what it is about.

For us Christmas is going to be very different this year, we won't be seeing our families, giving presents, or having a traditional Christmas dinner. We will be in Cambodia with our friends swimming in a hotel pool but the meaning of Chritmas is the same wherever we are.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

To smash or not to smash

You may, like me, be unfamiliar with the world of scrap booking, but you may be interested in a huge phenomenon that is sweeping the scrap booking world - Smash books. I may be underwhelmed by scrap booking but I do like journalling and collecting receipts, tickets and other things from my travels. which makes me think that the smash book could be for me, or more specifically for our trip to Cambodia.

What do you think?

Sunday, 2 December 2012

New Hats

I got my wish for a new hat... or two

 I found some lovely wool in hobbycraft (it is unusual for me to visit hobby craft, I find the staff aren't very helpful and it is generally over priced) and I made this hat. 

 I am quite proud of myself and I'm really happy to have a new hat to wear that fits my tiny head!

My second hat is for Cambodia, and not exactly suitable for the winter weather.

It will hopefully keep my head cool in the heat of the sun (my freezing hands are so happy to type that!) and shade my face.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A Pumpkin Experiment

I have been meaning to blog about my pumpkin experiment all week. Sorry I haven't managed it until now.

Why pumpkins? I don't like waste and my colleague was just going to throw away her perfectly good pumpkins because she didn't get round to carving them for halloween. This, I decided, was a travesty. So I set myself the challenge to prove to her that two pumpkins could make a lot of food. Hence the pumpkin experiment was born. (I'm making it sound kind of epic... It's not)

 At this point I wasn't even sure I liked the taste of pumpkin. 
I had certainly never cooked with it. I searched the web for a recipes and settled on soup, cupcakes and roasted seeds.
First I made the soup.

I doubled all of the quantities because I had a huge amount of pumpkin to use!
I also added chilli and cumin seeds, I like a warming soup in Winter (Yes I have decided that it is winter) and if it turned out I didn't like the taste of pumpkin it would be masked by the spice.

I made enough for 5 portions. Unfortunately I didn't really like it. Jamie did though and we worked out it tasted much better with lots of cheese.

 Next I roasted the seeds, this was a huge success. and so easy. I just followed this recipe and Ta Da - a really yummy and semi healthy snack.
 Last I made the cupcakes. I followed a hummingbird bakery recipe for these and substituted pumpkin puree for mashed pumpkin. 
I decided in my wisdom to double the amount of pumpkin in the recipe because I had lots. (bad idea and worst reason ever) Unsurprisingly they turned out pretty dense.
 But they did taste nice, so not a complete disaster.

Challenge completed, I would definitely do it again and maybe play around with the soup flavour more and FOLLOW THE RECIPE for the cupcakes. How could I forget the first rule of baking so regularly. Oh well.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

#ThankfulThursday The Church of England

As I am sure most of you are aware, this has been a turbulent and trying week for the Church of England. I am not going to pretend I know the exact ins and outs of what went on in synod and the reasons behind why the vote went the way it did. But I do know that many of my non-Christian friends and colleagues think much less of the church and Christianity as a result.

The debate around allowing Female Bishops has been escalating for many years and it reached its climax at 5pm on Tuesday. It followed a day of speeches from many bishops, clergy, theologians and lay people who all felt strongly one way or another. I personally have never been too wrapped up in the debate for a couple of reasons...(I am going to be completely honest here)1. It didn't really affect me (the worst reason EVER) 2. I didn't necessarily understand myself as attached to the Church of England per se. I say didn't because my reaction and heartfelt sadness on hearing the result of the vote has made me realise otherwise.

I believe women should be 'allowed' to be Bishops for a number of reasons. But right now another debate is the last thing we need. What is important is that we remember and celebrate all of  the good in the Church and strive to love each other and show all of the fantastic vicars who happen to be female that we love, respect and value their work. (I previously wrote about the great institution that is the church here.)

This is a great blog post reminding people of the good things the church has done and is doing >>

 If you are interested in further reading this is a great and thoughtful response to Tuesdays events >>

Today I am Thankful for the Church.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Anthony Gormley's Another Place

  On the same day that we visited formby we visited Anthony Gormley's Another Place. It is a huge art instillation on Crosby Beach.

There are a 100 cast-iron sculptures of Anthony himself that are set in to the beach facing out to sea. Anthony is better know for his angel of the north sculpture in Gateshead

The Sefton council website describes Another Place as

 'a poetic response to the individual and universal sentiments associated with emigration - sadness at leaving, but the hope of a new future in another place.'

What do you think?


I found the figures quite haunting but what made the instillation was the continually changing backdrop of the sea and the stormy sky.


It was one of those days that make me really thankful for my camera. It isn't anything too special, it is just a point and shoot digital, but it does give me a few more controls that the average camera, and I am really enjoying learning how best to use those controls.

I did feel quite sorry for the seagulls that were trying to stand still against the wind.

They should have embraced it like this one.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

#Thankfulthursday Family Traditions

  This week I am thankful for family traditions.
Nearly every year my Dad and I Make a Christmas cake.
The Christmas cake recipe we usually use is from a really old cookery book of my Mums, it is the same recipe that my Mum and I followed when making our wedding cake.
This year when Mum and Dad visited we made our Christmas cake, we had to use a different recipe because we didn't have Mums recipe book. but that doesn't matter. 
The tradition and the time together is what matters.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


It is cold, and dark and I would like to hibernate... please?

Failing hibernation i would like a new hat, I'm thinking a may knit one, in need of some inspiration i had a little hunt around the internet. Here are some of the best...

Image 1 of Rachel Comey Chunky Berg Hat
This hat is a snip at only £180!!! It is hand knitted but still more than I would spend on a winter coat and some new boots put together. I suppose if hats really are your bag and you have ludicrous amounts of money why not. Don't get me wrong i really like it and I would like one but I haven't got a spare £180 lying around. Find it here

I love a novelty item and this hat from Next has it all, pom poms, big eyes aaaaannnd matching gloves! They can both be yours (or mine) for only £18. Find them here.

Image 1 of ASOS Oversized Bobble Hat 
I am also a sucker for an over-sized bobble, I don't know why the model is looking so unhappy, the thought of having that bobble on my head fills me with joy, but alas it is sold out. Probably because it had been reduced to only £3 an absolute bargain. I found it here
Popcorn Knitted Beanie 
This hat is also a bargain and I like it a lot. It would be quite a difficult knitting project though as I just want an easy to knit and wear hat adding more colours is just faffy. It is only £5 though so maybe I will buy this and knit myself another one. I do like hats a lot after all... I found it here

Just to make your day I thought I would share possibly the best hat and wearer combo on the internet...
Too funny for words and some how pretty cute!
The pug and the photo belong to Elise and I found it on her blog A Beautiful Mess

Happy hat day.

Saturday, 10 November 2012


My parents came to visit for a whole week! 
When I found out the parental unit were going to be staying for 6 nights I made my shock known. (it was a day before they arrived, I thought they were only going to stay a couple of days) 

My fear was alleviated when we had a lovely week.
We went to the zoo for my birthday and saw lots of baby animals. on the Friday - Jamie's day off- we went to visit Formby

Formby is owned by the national trust and they describe it as a,

'Glorious beach with dramatic sand dunes, surrounded by sweeping coastal pinewoods.'

We didn't manage to see any red squirrels that live in the forest but otherwise it didn't disappoint. 
It was cold and windy!
Despite the cold we had a picnic.

 My dad isn't so good with the camera...
 I am a big fan of the beach and the coast in general and I really enjoyed trying to capture it.

 My mum liked the forest more

Thursday, 8 November 2012

#ThankfulThursday My Job

I can't believe it is Thursday again already! 
This week has gone very quickly. It was Jamie's Birthday on Tuesday. 
He worked all day and in the evening so we haven't really celebrated yet.
I did make him a chocolate cake though.

This week I am thankful for my job....
I am thankful that I work for a great charity that really has an impact on the lives of the people it helps. 
I am thankful that I have a job. 
I am thankful that it is part time so that Jamie and I get some time together each week  most weeks.
I am thankful that it is rewarding and enjoyable.

I work for the Neuromuscular Centre and we help people with muscular dystrophy. If you would like to learn more about muscular dystrophy or the centre you can check out our website

Check out this video from granada news.
 I had the priviledge to organise this event with the help of some of my colleagues and people from the centre. 

I promise to post more this week! I need to tell you about my parents visit for a start.

Friday, 2 November 2012

#ThankfulThursday Freedom

Today I am thankful that I am free.

Slavery and Human trafficking are on the rise. Many of us live believing that slavery isn't an issue for the modern world.
It is...

The A21 campaign is a charity who is fighting to raise awareness of slavery. Here are some statistics form their website: 
  • Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today, generating approximately 31.6 billion USD each year. Specifically, trafficking for sexual exploitation generates 27.8 billion USD per year.
  • There are 1.39 million victims of commercial sexual servitude worldwide.
  •  Tragically, only 1-2 percent of victims are rescued, and only 1 in 100,000 Europeans involved in trafficking are convicted.

Slavery isn't just sexually motivated. The exploitation and slavery of children is wide spread. in countries like Ghana and the Ivory coast that supply 75% of the worlds cocoa industry, child labour, trafficking and slavery are rife. (

I know it is easy to feel overwhelmed with these figures and to believe that we can't do anything.
 Here are a few suggestions to start with:

* never pay for sex.
* raise awareness - share this information with friends, colleagues etc.
* Don't deny it is happening and stay informed.
* Give money to charities that are fighting the slave trade (It is well known that the Animal charities get a much larger proportion of charitable giving than charities that fight for human rights - this in my eyes this is disgusting)
* Buy Fairtrade -Yes it may not be the answer to all the problems but by buying fairly traded chocolate, tea, coffee, cotton we are more certain that the money we are spending is not fueling the slave trade) 
I know this isn't a comprehensive list, but it is a start.

For more information visit these websites:

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

A Little trip away to Conwy

To celebrate our Birthdays and Anniversary Jamie and I spent a couple of nights away in Conwy.
(I am now 26- I have just realised I only have 3 years left for my 30 before 30 challenge... it may be a long shot to try to complete every one!)

Conwy is a lovely little walled town in North Wales. 
We are big fans of Conwy and have visited many times, but we have never stayed before.
 We first visited because it has a brilliant castle (Jamie loves castles.)

We rented a little cottage within the walls.   

The aim of our trip was to relax, slow down and have some quality time.
We stayed inside the walls of the town, wandered through the pretty streets, sat in coffee shops, had a couple of lie ins, ate good food and watched films. 

It was lovely.

The port of Conwy is idyllic, with little boats floating in the estuary.

Conwy is famous for its mussels.

Getting away every now and them is essential for us. 
Jamie is in demand thanks to his job as a youth worker for our church. 
It is a really full on but extremely rewarding job. 
But it does mean we don't get to see each other as much as we would like.

Having a few days to just us helps us to reconnect with each other and with God.