Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Time flies

It seems ages since I have blogged and the last two weeks have just gone in a total blur.

I haven't actually been enthused to do much lately and hence I' feel I haven't done anything to really share on this blog. I'm actually not feeling too guilty about this though, as I think most people have periods in their busy lives when they feel exactly the same, and I've had alot on my plate lately

However I do feel I can share the following

On the work front, both AJ and I are experiencing unsettling times. We both work for local government and impending central government cuts means that budgets will need to be cut and jobs may go as a consequence. Being as we both work in the same building, this doubles our risk of one or both of us being made redundant in the very near future. It is worrying for us both as currently we have two mortgages (we are in the process of selling AJ's flat) and two lots of bills. If one of us is made redundant we probably will just about manage, but if both of us loose our jobs, we will really struggle. We have already said we would take any job jus to make ends meet.

We are trying not to let it worry us, but it is hard not to, especially when the UK is still recovering from recession and good jobs are hard to find. We are both emotionally drained of late and the uncertainty is the worse thing. We have put things on hold - like booking the expensive exotic holiday we had planned for next July, getting a new car, moving house and even having children (not that we wanted them at this very moment anyway ha ha!!!).

We have decided to try and treat ourselves though, and still enjoy life as well as we can and continue to do the things we enjoy ( apart from the really expensive plans of course).

I've booked myself on a scrapbooking retreat in November 2011 with Sarahs Card Ltd ( I know it is 14 months away but it is great to have something to look forward to, and AJ said just go fo it!!!! plus I've nearly a year to pay it all off).

AJ will still be purchasing his season ticket for Aston Villa- leaves me free afternoons to scrap and craft

Even if we can't go on the expensive holiday next year, we still plan to have a few weekends away - London to see Peter Kay at the O2 Arena next April is already booked and paid for, and I'm hoping to take AJ to visit Liverpool and I wouldn't mind going somewhere near the seaside - possibly to Brighton and Hove to visit a cousin I haven't seen in a few years.

On the personal front, I have started a new college course. It is Photography for Beginners and it is only for 10 weeks, but I already know after just one week I'm going to love it. I've signed up to do it along with my brother - who would like to make a career out of photography. I just want to do it so at the end, I can hopefully take better photos for me to scrap and share on this blog. Most of all I just want to have fun with a hobby that I'm getting more of an interest in since I've been scrapbooking.

On the LSNED front, I haven't done any layouts- hence no pictures this post, but I've been keeping my notes up to date daily and will share my layouts and lessons learnt once I've made a start on the layouts. I'm planning to have a scrapbooking session this weekend so hopefully I'll be up to date by this Sunday.

In terms of the Book of Stories class by Big Picture Classes, I've been trying to think of stories I can turn into layouts. The daily e-mail triggers have been great at prompting memories which I can turn into journalling on my future layouts. I'm looking forward to the next lesson in a few days time to work on and to develop a better process of storing these memories and stories.

On the scrapbook/card front, I've only made two cards - for AJ's birthday- one from me and one from the cats (I know I'm sad- Ha ha ). Obviously I don't want to show until after his birthday in October as AJ reads this blog, but will show you after his birthday. I haven't done any layouts but hey ho - the supplies aren't going anywhere.

I apologise for this lengthy wordy post, but just wanted to keep you up to date as much as possible of what is going on in Pickle Land. I feel my lull is slowly clearing and I'll be back to my old self soon.

Please take care, and I hope to speak to you very soon

Love Lesley xx

Monday, 13 September 2010

These are my girls



In the absence of children, these are my girls. Just wanted to show off them as they have been really cute lately and I like these pictures of them







Good Evening from Pickle Land
Hope to speak to you soon
Love Lesley xx

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Clock watching to chick flicks





September 6th - Clock Watching



Journalling reads:

Clock watching serves no purpose. It just makes time go much slower

Lessons learnt today are:


That I seem to be clock watching alot at work. At the moment work is getting me down and don't exactly want to be there and I wish it is 5.10pm at 9am. Clock watching, however, serves no purpose as it just makes the time go even slower

It is nice to catch up with a friend I haven't seen for a few weeks

On reflection, I haven't seen alot of my friends for a while recently and I really need to rectify that

That I have become insular lately- not always a good thing

It is National Payroll week( I even get spam e-mail at work) - which coincides with the Tax Office saying that mistakes have been made and some people may owe tax. Hope that isn't me or AJ


I attended my Lifestyle assessment and learnt that I weigh less than I did when I started the programme. However, I personally feel that I haven't done enough and I should have lost alot more.

That I am constantly letting myself down

It is really hard to drive when the rain is pounding on the windscreen


September 7th - Pouring


Journalling reads :

At the moment, it seems it never rains but it pours in the Guest household

Lessons learnt today are:

It seems that at the moment, it never rains but it pours in my house

Sometimes I need to look at the world through different eyes (my brother said that to me today as I was complaining about where I live and why I didn't like being there)

That I have forgotten alot of history from my school days. How could I forget that it is 70 years since the Blitz began

That AJ's step grandfather Peter is still awaiting a date for his operation as the surgeon cant give a specific date - see reason below

That the media is not telling the whole truth about the war in Afghanistan.

The reason why the surgeon can't give a date for Peter's operation is that alot of injured soldiers (more than the media make out) are coming to the QE and Selly Oak hospitals with horrific injuries and that they rightly are being given priority over an 81 year old man. Even Peter himself would say that these brave soldiers/ service men and service women should be operated on first.

That AJ is better in a crisis situation that I thought he would be

I really really HATE driving - see post for 8th September

September 8th - Damage



Journalling reads:


Lesson 1: It's only a piece of plastic and metal. At least you wasn't hurt

Lesson 2: It doesnt look much damage but it's going to cost the man/driver that bumped me £400 to fix as there is more damge to the boot than you can see

Lessons learnt today are


That my car really is only a piece of metal and plastic and that I shoule be grateful that AJ and I weren't hurt at all.

Last night a van driver ran into the back of me whilst I was pulling out of an island. The guy was very nice and apologised and admitted he just never saw me. Luckily for him it was his father's business's van so his father is going to pay for the repairs of the car wihout going through his insurance. It is going to cost him £400 as there is more damage than you can actually see and needs a new bumper and the boot needs to be rapaired as the bump lifted it and slightly crushed it. I was very cautious sorting this all out as was abit apprehensive about not going through the insurance but the guy has paid the garage upfront and I just need to take it in on 20th September.


That too many people think I should put a claim in for injuries caused by my bump last night - even though I suffered absolutely no injuries. Why has the world become a PUT A CLAIM IN society? I'm far too honest!!!

I can use my car still - the damage doesn't affect the drive - thank goodness

My father in law Nigel is in Salou after riding through France and Spain on his motorbike. He rang to wish me Happy Birthday- bless him!!

I have no confidence in my driving - not necessary a new thing I've learnt, but having the bump (even though NOT my fault) has dented my confidence even further



September 9th - Age 36





Journalling reads

I had some lovely gifts from family and friends

Lessons learnt today:

That AJ bought me a purple/lilac bead to go on my Chamilia bracelet - I knew I was getting the bracelet as he needed to check my wrist size but I didn't know what bead he would choose. He picked the right one for me as lilac is one of my favourite colours and it symbolises our colour scheme at our wedding. He was looking for a wife bead but dont think there is one


As usual he picked a lovely Birthday card

That I had some lovely cards and gifts from family and friends for my birthday

That I am 36 years old today and I'm not particularly happy about it- for some reason I feel very old - doesn't help that my lovely husband is over 3 years younger than me

That I absolutely adore Starbucks and have missed going- haven't been in ages. Treated myself to a Caramel hot chocolate with cream and a Skinny Blueberry muffin- as if that is going to help when Ive had all that cream. It was also nice meeting my brother there - along with AJ of course

That it is great taking some time off from work and doing nothing in particular - even took a nap in afternoon to recharge batteries

That I have some exercises to do for Book of Stories course from Big Picture Scrapbooking


That the Thai red curry I ordered was hotter than I remembered it was from the last time I ordered it from the Chinese takeway. Very nice though

That my Thai curry wasn't as hot as the dish my brother chose. He only took a couple of mouthfuls and his eyes were watering and he was sweating buckets - very funny to see!!!



10th September - Fab


Journalling reads

And it really is !!

Lessons learnt today

That I seem to go into bad moods very quickly these days and often for no real reason

I really do like to go to Solihull shopping - even though I don't like the drive along the motorway


That there is a shop in Touchwood called Fabulous which sells gorgeous jewellry. It sells Lola Rose jewellry and I just had to buy a Lola Rose necklace with my Birthday money. It is scrummy!!!! And Fabulous really is FAB!!

That pictures do trigger memories. Had a e-mail trigger from Karen Grunberg - Book of Stories and it brought up good memories of my Dad and his allotment

That a Shake Away maltesers milkshake has absolutely shed loads of calories so shall not be having another one of those for a long time

That you really can get your monies worth with a £6.99 all you can eat buffet from Pizza Hut


I can spend hours in John Lewis if given the chance

That the mobile tyre fitter that AJ used to sort out his puncture was very prompt and did an excellent job. Remember to put in the memory bank just in case we need to use again


11th September - Chick Flicks are Good for the Soul



Lessons learnt today:

That Chick Flicks are good for the Soul. Haven't watched a chick flick in ages


Learnt a little bit about Greece from Driving Aphrodite (chick flick). Makes me want to go to Greece

Sometimes I am comfortable with my own company. Other times not. Today was NOT!!

That I don't eat much on a Saturday when AJ goes to cricket. When I do it is really unhealthy food like the half a dozen chocolate brazils in the afternoon and a plate of chips with mayo for tea


I can watch TV for hours and not realise the passing of time. Why can't it go so fast at work?


I could watch the Hairy bikers forever. They are great fun and the food is good too. Chicken paprikash is fantastic


Over all this week has been a mixed bag and I've learnt alot. It hasn't exactly been a good week but it hasn't been a bad week either. I've a lot to be grateful for and alot of things to ponder on.
I've felt low and I've felt high. This is a typical week for me and through working on LSNED I've been looking at the world a little bit differently or trying to at least ( as my brother reminded me to the other day). I just need to remember to learn from this week the lessons and take them with me along this journey of life



Good Evening fom Pickle Land


Hope to speak to you soon



Love Lesley xxx

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Layouts Days 1 to 5

I have finally done my layouts for LSNED days 1 to 5.

They are all quite simple - like me!!! I've tried to keep certain elements for each day the same. Such as adding a small embellishment on each page, number for each day, title for day printed in black

September 1st - Roast Dinner




Journalling reads:

You can't beat a meal out after a hard day at work, especially if it is a roast dinner

September 2nd- Omelette




Journalling reads:
I make a mean omelette

3rd September- Paint toenails



Journalling reads:

Why paint your own toenails when you have a wonderful husband to paint them for you


4th September- Creative




Journalling reads:

I am more creative than I give myself credit for

5th September - Love




Journalling read:

All you need is love




Lessons learnt today

All you need is love

My husband got me a lovely Boofle Anniversary card and "Anniversary" Willow Tree Figurine

That we have some lovely friends and family that have sent us cards and texts wishing us all the best. We even had a text all the way from Australia

That the weather today is the same as on our Wedding day last year

That I can sit through England v Pakistan 20/20 Cricket match whilst my husband who is the supposed cricket fan fell fast asleep

That each year, time gets quicker and quicker - it only feels like weeks ago that we got married


AJ and I are off for a meal later to celebrate our anniversary, so for now, Good Evening from Pickle Land and hope to speak to you soon


Love Lesley xx

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Our First Wedding Anniversary



On 5th September 2009, AJ and I got married in the beautiful Lake District. I can't believe it has been a year already. It really only seems like a few weeks ago
We had a very small yet intimate wedding - including AJ and I, there was 22 of us. This was because AJ and I are not centre of attention people and we really didn't want a big affair. We only wanted our closest friends and family to be there. It was a perfect day - apart from the weather which was very dull and drizzly. My brother gave me away (unfortunately both of my parents have passed away) which was very emotional but I am glad that he was able escort me down the aisle on behalf of my Mom and Dad. My friend Jo who I have known my entire life was my maid of honour, and AJ's best mate Dave was the Best Man.
We got married at 12.30pm- which was earlier than I wanted but now am glad it was early as I was really nervous and just wanted to get ready and get the ceremony over and done with as soon as possible once I was up and had breakfast. We had a lovely Wedding breakfast which consisted of Vegetable Soup for Starter, Chicken Breast in a Smoked Applewood Cheese and Mushroom sauce with seasonal vegetables for the main course, and profiteroles for dessert.
We never had any professional photos taken - I've a real aversion to having my photograph taken and knew a professional photographer would wind me up, so we had AJ's Aunt's partner Hayden take a few less formal pictures for us. They turned out to be really nice and I even like a few of the pictures with me in as well - Ha Ha!!
Afterwards, we had a couple of hours on our own in which we opened some wedding cards and presents, and our guests had time to freshen up and relax themselves before we had an evening get together with the most fantastic hot buffet, and then we continued in the hotel bar for the rest of the evening.

It was the perfect wedding for us. It wasn't your average elegant affair in a really posh hotel. We chose a really nice homely hotel on Ullswater, as we wanted the wedding to be as informal as possible. We organised things in a way which suited us, rather than worrying about how everyone would perceive the wedding, and following a tick list that you see in all the wedding magazines.
Would I change anything looking back? Absolutely no!!! The most important thing about that day is that AJ and I become one in marriage. We declared to our family and friends that we love and cherish one another and that we want to spend the rest of our lives together.









So Happy First Anniversary to my wonderful husband. I love you always xx

Toe nail painting and how to use the microwave

In making the presents for Chris and Jo, I have been sidetracked from creating my layouts for Learn Something New Every Day. However, I have been keeping notes of lessons learnt so that when I come to create them I'll have a reminder

For day three and four of LSNED

Yesterday I learnt

Why paint my own toenails, when I have a wonderful husband who will paint them for me!!

That our new neighbours have moved in - haven't met them yet though

Ameretto biscuits and nougat are a good combination

I now have a back up plan if the buyer of AJ's flat decides NOT to purchase the furniture

My friend Mandy has a new job and is excited to go clothes shopping even though they are for work clothes - Mandy and Ceal are currently in Adelaide, Australia

That Grace (Jo's little girl) stumbled whilst having a paddy and has bruised her nose and face. Luckily she didn't break her nose. Saw her today as doesn't look as bad as I imagined though!!

Today I learnt

That I am very content just pottering around all afternoon making presents for my friends

I am more creative than I give myself credit for

How to use the new microwave on my own - this one is digital, my old red one you turned a dial

My friends Jo and Chris liked the anniversary card I made them - they have been married 11 years today

That I had forgotten how nice sweet potatoes tasted


Good evening from Pickle Land. Hope to speak to you soon


Lesley xx

Presents for Friends

I've had the house to myself this afternoon as AJ has been playing cricket, so I have used the time to make some presents for some of my friends.
It is my friend Jo's birthday at the end of the September, so I have made her a little something using a frame (bought from Home Sense - great shop), and an owl stamp from the June Bug range from Basic Grey. I think this is quite simple yet cute, and I'm planning on finding more small frames and doing something similar for some of my other friends- either for their birthdays or Christmas. I'm not being tight, but I thought I would start making some presents that are personal and made with love by me. Below is Jo's present

I've also made a desktop calender for my friend Chris for her birthday in November. I have made it so it can be used every year and have left some sides empty so she can add her own photos to it. I've used a variety of papers- from my monthly scrapbook box from Sarahs Cards Limited of which we both subscribe to, plus added a few other embellishments found along the way. I hope she likes it. Below are some images of Chris's present. Just in case Chris views this blog, I'll only show you snippets.













Thursday, 2 September 2010

Roast Dinners and Omelettes

I have pondered for the last few weeks what I could possibly learn each day and how to put across in the LSNED class that started yesterday. I now think, I have been thinking too hard, and the lessons being learned are becoming evident as the days goes by.

Yesterday I learnt the following:

That it is twice as hard to get up for work after a long weekend off

That you can't beat a meal out after a hard day at work, especially if it is a Roast dinner

That time really does drag when I am at work, but flies when I am on the computer, looking at my favourite blogs and visiting the LSNED forum


Today I learnt

Nothing ever goes to plan, even if you do everything you can to make things happen

I'm more pessimistic than I used to be

That I can make a pretty mean omelette

I have been keeping notes in my diary so I can blog what I have learnt and I am planning on doing my layouts at the weekend , when I have a little more time. Plus my photo card reader seems to be broke and thus I can't down load the picture of my fab omelette I took this evening. I'm hoping to sort out a new one ready for the weekend so that I can do a layout about my omelette.

Good Evening from Pickle Land and hope to speak to you soon

Love Lesley xx