Saturday, 24 November 2012

Healthy Habits.

So I am on a bit of a health kick! I have been neglecting myself quite a bit for quite a while. It is so easy to get caught up in all the other things that are going on like home, family, friends, work, Bible study and everything else and then my health gets put to the bottom of the pile. Then I get tired and sluggish and moody! 

It would be so easy to just ignore this and keep eating rubbish until Spring! The dark mornings and evenings aren't all that motivating to me and I tend to want stodgy comfort food when the weather is colder! 

I am working on adding in all those healthy habits that I know I should be doing but .... well .... just don't do! I have been increasing the amount of water I am drinking and eating healthy food. I have cut out fizzy pop completely and am working on replacing my unhealthy snacks with better alternatives. 

These are a recent find! Tasty, nutritious and portable! I ordered a mixed box of bars and raisins as I had only tried one type of bar before. These snacks are wheat and dairy free with no added sugar and many provide one of your five a day. I love the cola flavoured raisins especially as I have given up drinking cola and the banana bread and apple pie bars are yummy! 

I am not following any set diet plan but am reading through these books and adding more raw food into my diet. I am trying really hard to cut back significantly on the amount of processed food that I eat. It is so easy to just grab a sandwich on a lunchtime and to then be tempted by crisps, fizzy pop, cakes and pastry. I have had salad for lunch most days this week. I am still cheating a little and buying salad boxes from the supermarket as they just contain salad leaves with a mix of tomato, carrot, beetroot and cabbage. Generally I add a bit of low fat cottage cheese or cooked chicken to them just to add flavour and to keep me full. Less chance of being tempted by sweets in an afternoon when I don't have that sugar drop! 

I have finally worked up the courage to go to a Zumba class too. I thought that it sounded like fun as well as being a good work out but I have very little coordination so was more than a little nervous! I felt sure I would make a complete fool of myself but everyone was really friendly and the instructor was so energetic and bubbly. I spent most of the class giggling and the hour flew by! I enjoyed it so much that I went to another Zumba class the very next evening. I am going to go at least once a week but intend to go twice most weeks. I slept so well after it and woke up feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed! 

I am also trying to reduce my stress levels as I tend to take things far too personally and get myself all worked up. Plus I am a bit of a worrier! I feel so motivated at the moment and am already looking forward to my next Zumba class! It turns out that I like healthy food and exercise. Who knew!

The thing that I am finding the hardest is my lack of willpower. There always seems temptation or other at work! In the last week I have turned down chocolate, toasted teacakes, cake, sweets, and hardest of all a bacon sandwich. 



Sunday, 18 November 2012

Vintage Tray Cloth.

I saw this on eBay and added it to my watch list straight away! I felt sure that it would have a few bids on it but when I checked back with 5 minutes to go there were no bids at all. I placed a bid and crossed my fingers! I couldn't even watch as the minutes counted down. Amazingly I won! This beautiful cloth and napkin cost me a huge 85p. 

It is a really clever design. The napkin slots in behind the butterfly! It needs ironing but other than that there are no holes or flaws. 

I think it must be quite old as the fabric has faded a little. That just adds to the charm for me! The stitches are so tiny and neat. I wish that I could sew like that! 

It makes me want to play tea parties! I used to love doing that as a child with my teddies and dollies around me. I am a little worried about using it in case I spill something on it. I tend to keep things for best but then they just get put in a box and not given the love and appreciation they deserve. 



Saturday, 17 November 2012

Reindeer Fabric.

I bought the last two metres that was left of this in the local craft shop. Apparently it had only been delivered a week earlier so it must be really popular! The benefit of buying the last piece is that you get a little bit extra for free. Almost half a metre in this case! 

How adorable is this fabric? 

I just have to decide what to do with it! Once again I bought fabric with no firm plan for it. Maybe a Christmas apron or a festive stocking or little fabric reindeer or even a Christmas skirt! So many options but I think I have enough of it to make a few different things. 



Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Girl Who Said Too Much.

I read this little article in an issue of Woman magazine from 7th March 1959 and thought I would share it here. Gossip is an insidious thing. Something that starts off slowly and something that you can get tempted into in an attempt to fit in with others. Gossiping is something that I am guilty of and I am also guilty of sitting by while gossip takes place. It gives me an uncomfortable feeling as though I am compromising myself. A clear sign that I shouldn't be getting involved! 

The girl who said too much. 

Above the general chatter of the restaurant one burst of laughter from a distant corner rose shrilly. The friend I was talking to broke off in the middle of a sentence and glanced at the little group whose heads were so close together. "Someone else's reputation being torn to shreds," she murmured with unusual bitterness. "I've suffered myself from that busy tongue." I followed her glance. The centre of the tight little group was a woman I knew only by sight. She was one of the many who drift about on the fringes of the theatrical world, though she had no particular theatrical job. She always seemed to be the centre of a small, appreciative crowd. I assumed vaguely, that she was good company. 

I turned back to my companion, an actress with a solid reputation. Not at all the sort of person I should have thought who could be the victim of malicious gossip, and I said so. She looked thoughtful for a few moments, and then said, "Anna, you remember when my husband died I went through a very bad patch; life seemed pointless without him and I turned down several jobs. Then I was offered a part in a picture - a new experience for me. My friend urged me to take it, so, feeling terribly unsure and very nervous, I went to the studio for my first day's work. As you know so well, there is a vast difference between acting on the stage and in the studio - those tracks that the camera runs on threaten to trip you up, marks to stand on so the right lights will hit you, technicians milling around - in short everything to stop you concentrating on playing the scene."

"Various technical things kept going wrong and we shot the scene many, many times, and I, being completely new to it all, felt that I alone must be responsible for the number of takes. I got more and more nervous, and then forgot my lines. The director was kindness itself, and eventually that nightmare of a day ended." My friend continued her story, "But several days later that busy tongue was spreading around the story that I was all washed up - couldn't even remember my lines. She had heard somehow of that first day's bewilderment, and just had to pass it on. It was a long time before I was offered another film role."

As we were leaving the restaurant I caught the eye of that chatty little woman. She smiled brightly, but I was startled by the unhappiness behind the smile. As I went home I found myself thinking more about the problem of the gossiper than her victim. I felt sure that if she had been a professional actress she wouldn't have behaved as she had. Had she started out with hopes of becoming an actress, and found that she lacked the talent? 

Then, unwilling to turn her back on the world she wanted so much to share, she had found other ways of keeping contact. If she couldn't have an audience in the theatre, she would find one off the stage by having a reputation for being in the know .... by picking up bits of information about people who really were on the inside, and satisfying the curiosity of others, like herself, on the fringe. Probably, to begin with, her stories were quite harmless, but after a time she may have found her audience losing interest. She had to find something startling to catch their attention. 

And once her spicy story was told - in confidence, of course - her listener would be sure to rush off to tell it to someone else - with a few trimmings; and that other person would pass it on with more highly coloured additions until in the end it reached the ears of someone who could really be hurt by it - all unknown to the first gossip, who would exclaim, "But that wasn't the story I told ...."

It wouldn't be exactly the story she's told. But it was she who had started the ball rolling on its dangerous downhill track. If she hadn't given it the first push it might never have bowled over a reputation, or shattered a friendship, or driven a wedge of doubt between husband and wife. Because one of the most dangerous things about gossip is that it so often has the tiniest seed of truth in it. 

The sad thing is that really exciting news always seems to be bad news. Disaster or quarrels add a tinge of excitement to a dull day, and talking about them gives gossips a cosy feeling of security just because they aren't happening to them. But when the tittle-tattle gets back to the person who is already suffering, it can only increase their unhappiness. 

Anna Neagle. 



Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Blue Skies and Golden Leaves.

I loved the colour combination of the brilliant blue sky and the leaves lit up by sunshine! This post will be a bit photograph heavy but I struggled to narrow it down! 



Saturday, 10 November 2012

Festive Candles.

I love candles! The warm, flickering light and the wonderful scents .... so perfect for a dark evening. Most of my candles are Yankee Candles as I just love the choice of scents. Plus they have lots of sweet and food type scents which are my favourites. 

I bought three of the smallest jars this time. I had never seen Sugared Apple before so bought it on a whim. It does smell nice in the jar but I don't think it will become a favourite. Spiced Orange is a really strong scent. Really festive to me! Oranges decorated with cloves. I am really looking forward to burning this one! I bought another Christmas Cupcake candle too as I love this scent and it is one that I buy over and over. It is so sweet smelling but not sickly. A really comforting smell that reminds me of days spent baking! 

Currently I am burning a medium sized Christmas Eve candle. A little early I know! Most of my candles are floral and garden scents as those where on offer the last time I went to stock up. Christmas Eve doesn't smell overwhelmingly festive though but it fills the whole room with such a cosy scent. For some reason I find that the medium candles don't burn evenly and they leave a lot of wasted wax around the edges. 

I can't wait to start burning these especially the Spiced Orange one but I still have a way to go with my current candle. I don't like swapping candles half way through and then having left overs. I much prefer to finish one candle before moving on to the next but I am so impatient! Another reason to move onto the small jars! 

What is your favourite candle scent?



Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Christmas House.

I saw this at the garden centre yesterday and just fell in love! I have wanted one of those light up Christmas buildings for so long but they always seem to have people on them. There was one at the garden centre that was a town square with a Christmas tree in the middle and couples dancing around it .... all sounds very cute but the people were taller than the tree! 

This one is just a little plainer and more of a Winter lodge. That means it can be out on display for longer! There has been snow over here already, although not locally, so this little house is out now! 

I can just imagine being inside this little lodge with the snow falling outside. Snuggled down under a quilt with a good book! 

It will have to live on the spare bit of my television table as it needs to be plugged in. Luckily it only covers the tiniest bit of the screen! 



Sunday, 4 November 2012

My New Sewing Machine.

I have a new sewing machine! Well, it is new to me! I think it is so beautiful and am so excited. I am already planning all the little crafty things that I can make on it. 

I have loved the look of the old Singer sewing machines for a long time. I was even briefly tempted by the new limited edition Singer that looks like an old one. Albeit a plastic one. 

My Dad bought this one at an auction and I fell in love with it as soon as he brought it home. His plan was to sell it but, as I loved it so much, he gave it to me. Such a lucky girl! 

Apologies for the poor photographs! It was getting a bit dark when I was taking them but I just couldn't wait! 

Isn't it beautiful! Looking at the reference number I think that the machine was made around 1939. This one only does straight stitch with no back stitch or zig zag. Luckily I wasn't particularly used to the electric sewing machine so it shouldn't be too much of a learning curve. If I want to make bigger things I will use the modern machine but this one is suited to smaller projects. Plus it is so quiet! 

Just look at the detail on the end plate!  This machine has obviously been well looked after as it so clean and well maintained. There is a little scuffing on the black paint but it just adds to the charm for me! 

The hand crank! When I dreamed of having an old Singer I imagined one with a treadle. I think it will take a bit of getting used to! I will have to learn to sew with one hand while the other hand turns the handle. 

There are all these little accessories in the end compartment and there was a box of extra feet too. Not all of the feet are for this machine but most have serial numbers so I can research them. There was a guide book as well but that is from 1962 so it is a fair bit newer than this machine! 

The sewing machine lives in a box that looks just like an old suitcase! All neat and tidy! I just need to find a sturdy folding table and then I will be ready to go. I would love a sewing room but we just don't have space for it. Hence the need for a folding table! 



Friday, 2 November 2012

Books for November.

November is perfect for reading! The evenings are dark and the garden work is pretty much done so there is free time available to get cosy and read a good book. I love reading and am always looking for new books that will be inspiring and interesting. 

A pen pal recently told me about Christian Light Publications and said that they had some really good books available. Off I went to the website to have a look around! Sure enough there were plenty of appealing books! I ordered three and they arrived so fast. I couldn't believe how quickly they got to me! 

Here are the three books that I chose. All on different subjects as I like to have a variety of books. It was hard to narrow it down to just these! It was interesting to look through all the books and topics and to not have to worry about whether they would be wholesome books or not. 

This book jumped out at me immediately! It is about a family that were raising their children in God's Word and trying to shield them from ungodly influences. When the father of the family dies, his parents take legal action against the mother claiming that the children are being damaged and warped. The family flee the country in an attempt to stay together and this book covers they story and God's faithfulness. 

This book is the story of a family who leave America to go and run an orphanage in Romania. I can't even imagine how hard that would have been. It must have been a big culture shock! The book covers the first year that the Miller family spent in Romania. I am looking forward to reading this one as stories about how people follow God's call to them fascinate me especially when it is something that is such a radical change. 

I have started with this book as the story just sounded fascinating to me! I am about a third of the way into it and love the writing style. This one is about a "normal" American family who felt called by God to leave everything they knew and to join the Mennonites. I like that it isn't just a rose tinted view of this life change. Both good and bad experiences are shared. It is a book that is really making me think!