Friday, February 26, 2010

40 Trash Bag Challenge: Week 2 and 3 Update

Running a bit behind on my 40 Trash Bag Challenge (week 2 was not a success!), but I managed to get rid of another six bags over weeks 2 and 3, making a total of eleven:

4 bags of books

1 bag of old magazines and catalogues

2 bags of clothes

1 bag of old shoes

3 bags of toys, games and puzzles

Monday, February 22, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook: 22nd February

Outside My Window ... a cold winter evening with the remains of today's snow on the ground. It snowed non-stop all morning, but quickly turned wet and slushy.

I am thinking ... how nice it is to have some energy back. Lots of cleaning, tidying and decluttering to catch up on this week.

From the learning rooms ... Angel's school is planning to switch to vertical tutoring - mixed age groups for their daily registration and tutor time.  I'll be interested to see how it works out.

I am thankful ... for the offer of an unwanted tumble drier. We have lived without one for the last three years, and it will be nice not to have wet washing draped round the house. 

From the kitchen ... baked potatoes and cauliflower cheese. I think Cherub and I may make these gold digger buns tomorrow. She loves making recipes from I Can Cook.

I am wearing ... dark grey trousers, purple long sleeved t-shirt, newly finished socks (see picture below).

I am creating ... lacy pink socks for Cherub, with a frilly top.

I am going ... to win the battle against clutter. Fighting talk and optimism - that's what I need!

I am reading ... another book on Victorian rural history.

I am hoping ... Star manages to finish clearing out and tidying her bedroom ready for my brother to start decorating it tomorrow. It isn't looking good.

I am hearing ... Tevye watching TV; Angel typing on the computer.

Around the house ... winter hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas, boots, wet socks drying on a radiator.

One of my favorite things ... spring. Which can't come soon enough!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... a mums' night out on Thursday; extra dance class for Star on Friday; Little Friend N's birthday party on Saturday. Cherub is most impressed that he is five.

A Picture Thought I Am Sharing ...

Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Conversation between Cherub and her uncle ...

Cherub: Let's play night times!

Uncle: How do you play that?

Cherub: Well ... we have a cup of tea, then you say "let's go to bed!" and I say "No. I'm on the computer."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Barbie Girl

A conversation with Cherub, who was playing with my iPod Touch ...

Cherub: I'm going to get an iPod of my own. A Barbie iPod ... with a little pink pen. That would be just right for a little girl.

Me: Do you like Barbie?

Cherub (confidently): Oh, yes!!!!

Me: What is Barbie?

Cherub (thoughtful, then baffled): Hmm ... I don't know! 

For the record, we are not big on Barbie, who never really caught on with the older two. They had the odd Barbie and Barbie look alike, but they are long gone - they ended rather the worse for wear thanks to felt pen make up and some creative hairdressing involving scissors, and were mostly used for playing gym competitions. There is a Barbie playhouse at playgroup, which is where I think Cherub has picked up on the name, but she clearly hasn't associated it with the dolls.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook: 16th February

Outside My Window ... a grey and damp February morning

I am thinking ... about what to put in my trash bags. I have fallen behind over the past week.

From the learning rooms ... half term week, but Angel has English coursework to do.

I am thankful ... that both Angel and Star were given a clean bill of health after hospital appointments to check their backs yesterday. Scoliosis runs in Tevye's family so the girls are monitored regularly.

From the kitchen ... pancakes for pancake day.

I am wearing ... ridiculous pink pyjamas with hearts on. Very Valentine's Day.

I am creating ... socks for the Ravelympics (olympics for knitters at Ravelry to coincide with the winter olympics). I'm tackling fair isle for the first time in about twenty years.

I am going ... to Ikea to check out a bed for Star. She is next in the queue for a bedroom revamp.

I am reading ... Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy by Rumer Godden (a re-read)

I am hoping ... both Tevye and I are finally beating the colds, coughs and other nasties we have been struggling with over the past couple of weeks.

I am hearing ... CBeebies. Yes, it is that time of the morning again. Cherub watches TV; I blog.

Around the house ... laundry. After a weekend away and a week knocked out by a cold and mastitis (how unfair is that when I am not even nursing?) the dirty clothes mountain was reaching new heights. Also Angel cleared out her bedroom at the weekend and most of her wardrobe seems to have migrated to the laundry baskets.

One of my favorite things ... time with Tevye away from the normal everyday chaos. We had a lovely break up north - pictures to come later.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... Ikea; a girly night at an Indian restaurant with friends and daughters; a flower fairy birthday party for Cherub; Star's first dance festival performance

A Picture Thought I Am Sharing ... sock progress so far

Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

40 Trash Bag Challenge


Inspired by Willa, I am trying the 40 Trash Bag Challenge from Simply Catholic.  Here are the rules:
1. Pick what size of trash bag you want to use.
2. Each week day for eight weeks fill one bag (or equivalent).  It can be a bag of stuff, toys, clothes, papers – anything,  a box of books, an old TV.  Anything that you can count as clutter is fair game.
3. Update on your blog how it goes.
4. Have fun.
I started last week, and managed five bags between Monday and Thursday.  I am behind on this week, as I was away on Monday and succumbed to a cold yesterday, but I'm hoping to catch up by Friday. I am using large supermarket carrier bags - the home delivery ones that are bigger than the standard checkout version. Not as good as the big black sacks would be but more realistic, and big enough to make a dent in the clutter.

My scores for the first week:

2 bags of books
2 bags of old and outgrown clothes
1 bag of jigsaws. 

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Trombone Lesson

Should you ever be inspired to take up the trombone, you may find it helpful to know the following ...

1. Too much unaccustomed trombone practice may lead to the discovery of stomach muscles you didn't know you had. Painful stomach muscles.

2. You cannot be a trombone player and travel light. Paraphernalia accumulated so far: music stand, music folder, trombone stand, straight mute, rather battered cup mute ("needs a bit of TLC - just see if you can bash it into shape"). I now understand why trombone players need kitbags. Carrying that lot around should develop a few more muscles.

3. As a beginner try to avoid turning up at rehearsals if your first trombone partner doesn't. Playing second trombone without a first exposes every bum note. Beginner trombones play a lot of those.

4. Last but not least. Trombones have a life of their own. Remember to hold on to yours with both hands at all times. Do not be tempted to let go with one hand to make a grab at music falling off your stand. If you should be stupid enough to forget this your slide will shoot off the end and fly under the chair of the player in front. It will do this very loudly, just at the point where the rest of the band stops playing. The entire band will then fall off their chairs laughing.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Pink Cupcakes

Cherub was in no doubt about the colour she wanted for her room. Pink. She is the most determinedly girly of our children, and would live in a totally pink world if she could.

It was a very bright morning yesterday, and I think the camera overcompensated a bit for the sunlight streaming through the window, giving an extra pink glow to the room.

Above the bookcase are a couple of wall shelves, full of books and teddies (mostly inherited from Angel and Star, but my childhood teddy is up there too).


The other end of the room has a cupboard and her dollshouse (also inherited from the older two), that I repainted pink. It was a rather bright blue, which would have stuck out like a sore thumb in pink-world.

The cupcake bedding came from Next, who always seem to have nice little-girl stuff. The duvet is a bit over large for her cotbed, but later in the year we are going to shuffle beds around and she will get a full size one.

We couldn't resist the matching rug and cushion ...


I took some "before" pictures, but managed to accidentally delete them before they made it onto the computer. Think mauve and rather more cluttered.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook: 1st February

Outside My Window ... a cold day after a frosty morning.

I am thinking ... I need to clean windows. Sitting here I can see a big Cherub-height smear on the window opposite.

From the learning rooms ... nothing out of the ordinary over the last week that I can remember.

I am thankful ... for friends and relatives who are looking after the girls so that Tevye and I can have a weekend away.

From the kitchen ... spaghetti, tomato sauce and meatballs for dinner. I'm planning to do some baking with Cherub this afternoon - probably apricot flapjacks and a sponge cake.

I am wearing ... red top, blue jeans, handknitted blue socks.

I am creating ... cream mittens for A-Next-Door. These will be my last pair of mittens for a while. I have some sock plans, as well as a couple of larger projects to finish.

I am going ... nowhere today.

I am reading ... Reshaping Rural England: a Social History 1850-1925, finishing the last third after I got distracted part way through. Still.

I am hoping ... Cherub will be back to normal tomorrow. She had a fever over the weekend after her swine flu vaccination on Friday, and is still a bit under par.

I am hearing ... Cherub's beloved I Can Cook.

Around the house ... Cherub's bedroom is done - pictures to come later. The next task is to start clearing out Star's room ready for painting.

One of my favorite things ... my new red sitting room curtains, which give the room a lovely warm glow. I found some cushions I loved in Ikea last summer, but it has taken me this long to find curtains in just the right shade of red.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... a weekend away at Appleby Manor. The girls have their own plans. Cherub will be making fairy cakes with K-next-door; Angel will be catching up on sleep at Grandma's; and Star will be enjoying an extended sleepover with a friend.

A Picture Thought I Am Sharing ...

Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman