Monday 30 January 2017

50 Things to do before I'm 60 - 16-20

Hi there everyone

Well last week I let you know how I was getting on with the first 15 of the 50 things that I want to do before I'm 60.

This week I want to share the next 5 things that are on my list so here goes ...

16 - Visit The Kelpies

A while ago I saw some photos of The Kelpies on a friend's Facebook page and I was enthralled. Straight away I decided I really wanted to see them firsthand and take some photos of my own.

I am hoping that I will definitely get to do this later this year as we are making a return trip to The Cairngorms with mum and dad and I am aiming for a stop off on the way.

17 - Lose weight, go down four dress sizes!

Early in 2016 Martin and I dipped our toes into the world of Slimming and had a go at trying to lose some weight. Neither of us are very good at following diets, we just love food and have no will power when it comes to making the right choices.

I knew I wanted to lose weight but I wasn't sure how committed I was so, although I had this as a goal for me, I didn't feel committed or confident enough to share it with the World.

Well, we got on fairly well changing our lifestyle to follow the Slimming World plan. We haven't been perfect and we have had peaks and troughs, but at the time of writing I have managed to lose just over a stone (it was a stone and a half before Christmas). Most of it seems to have gone from the bottom half of me and I am buying trousers three sizes smaller. I wish I could say the same for the top of me.

I am hoping that this year we can manage to stick with this lifestyle change and see more progress all round. Now I've shared it with the World I am hoping it will spur me on to be able to report positively next year.

18 - Become an auntie again

Now this was a goal that was completely out of my hands, so I didn't feel it appropriate to share it. However, one of the biggest highlights ever of 2016 was the arrival of Bobby James, my gorgeous new nephew, who I absolutely love to bits. 

I am looking forward to sharing lots of love, cuddles and adventures with him as he grows up, but for now, he is just soooooooooo adorable and gives me lots of excuses for making new and different bits and pieces.

19 - Holiday in The New Forest
This was another place that Martin and I both had wanted to visit for a long time. We had struggled finding a cottage that we liked in the right spot and were beginning to think it was a place that we would never get to.

Well, back in September 2016 we managed to find somewhere that we liked the look off and headed off down to Hampshire for a two week holiday.
So, not only can with tick a New Forest holiday off the list of 50 things, but we have also now holidayed in another British National Park, so we are moving that one in the right direction too.

20 - Go up Snowdon on the railway

This is something I've always wanted to do for as long as I can remember. We nearly managed it when we holidayed in Snowdonia a few years ago, but the weather was poor and I really want to be able to see a view when I get to the top.
We have a long weekend planned for later in the year, staying in Betws-y-Coed, so I am hoping that this will be another one that we can give a big tick to for 2017.

If I want to get all 50 of my goals done before I hit 60, I do need to get a shift on so hopefully I will be able to tick these off and a few more for 2017. I will keep you posted 😊😊😊

Monday 23 January 2017

50 Things to do before I'm 60 - 2016 Update

Hi there everyone

It's that time of year again, when I want to reflect on how I'm doing with my list of 50 things that I want to do before I'm 60.

You can read last year's update here, where you can see how I got on with my first 10 goals, six of which I had fully achieved, two I had made progress with and the final two hadn't got started.

Well, I am pleased to be able to report that I managed to achieve another one of this first 10 and that was ...

7 - Holiday on the Suffolk Coast

Back in July last year we finally managed to find a cottage that we liked in a little village called Knodishall. It was based very close to the Suffolk coast, in between Aldeburgh and Southwold and we had a lovely week's holiday. We loved the Suffolk coast and would definitely recommend it if it's somewhere you are wondering about. You can read more about our holiday and the places we visited here, here, here, & here.
There are still three of these first 10 goals that I haven't made any progress on at all this year so maybe 2017 is the year for me to ...
  • 5 - Make something in mosaic
  • 6 - Complete my online photography course
and make more progress on the last of the first 10 ...
  • 9 - Holiday in all of the National Parks of Great Britain

At the beginning of 2016 I shared the next five of my goals and as you can see from that post we'd managed to fully complete three of them and here is how I have got on with the other two ...

11 - Either go camping again or ...... get rid of all the camping stuff!

Well, we haven't been! I have decided not to look through the photos of all our camping holidays again as last year it made be feel very wistful. We do have plans this year to have a really good clear out of the cupboard under the stairs and this is where all of the camping stuff is stored, so I am guessing that we will be making a decision at that point, so hopefully this time next year I will have this one sorted.

Another one that I didn't manage to make any progress with at all is to ...
14 - Finish off the Explorer 232 Geocaching Series

This year there hasn't been much Geocaching occurring at all. I'm
not sure whether we've fallen out of love with it or whether Martin's problems with his ankle and knee have just put us off doing much walking. It's definitely one that I hope to do a bit more with in 2017.

So, just over two years in, that's how I am doing on the first 15 of the 50 things I want to do before I'm 60. 10 fully completed, one progressing nicely and four still to have a go at.

It looks like I need to get a wriggle on if I want to get all 50 done before I hit 60!

Next week I will share the next five with you, though if I want to get all 50 done, I might make it the next 10.

See you all next week.

Monday 16 January 2017

Beautiful Britain - Stonehenge - Wiltshire

It does seem like an age ago now but we decided to call in for a visit to Stonehenge on the way back from our holiday in The New Forest back in October.

Although we've both driven past and seen the site from the road, neither of us have ever actually visited the site and, as entry is free for National Trust members, it seemed like a good call for a break in our journey.

The site has changed a lot over the years ... it is clearly a big business and it was very busy.

As well as the stones there is loads of parking, a visitor centre showing how the site has changed over the years and a reconstructed Neolithic village.
To get to the stones we opted to take the bus, which runs constantly back and forth and only takes a few minutes.

It was a bit grey and overcast on our visit and the site of the stones was very busy, so we weren't that hopeful of getting any decent photos, but we didn't do too badly. It was seriously 'selfie city', I've never seen so many selfie sticks.

Not wanting to be left out we jumped on the bandwagon ...
... before having a bit of a wander and trying to take a few photos for the album ...
There is quite a bit more of the site that you can explore, with other interesting bits and pieces to see, but we didn't stay long.

We caught the bus back to the visitor centre, where our plan was to have lunch before heading for home.

We had a quick look in the shop, which was full of very uninspiring tourist nonsense and ended up feeling the same about the cafe, so decided to give it a miss.

All in all we were a bit disappointed, had we not been National Trust members, I don't think we would have felt that the entrance fee was anywhere near value for money.

It all just felt a little bit overdone. I guess that's the price to be paid for maintaining this kind of site for years to come.

We are really glad we visited, its one of the places that kind of has to be seen to be believed, but I'm not sure its a place that we would be likely to visit for a second time.

Monday 9 January 2017

HM@No27 - My December Makes

Happy New Year everyone!!

I know it's a little late but Martin and I have been struck down with heavy colds since New Year's Eve and 2017 hasn't actually started as normal for us.

There have been no lists, no plans, no goals or objectives and, safe to say, when I've not been coughing or sleeping, I've been feeling just a little purposeless.

So, today was the day that I fought back. Enough slobbing around feeling sorry for myself, time to get this year started, with my first post of the New Year.

There have been quite a few makes I've been having to hold off from sharing with you as they were made as surprise Christmas gifts, but now the big day has been and gone I can finally let you see what I've been up to.

Crocheted Cushion
This crocheted cushion is something I've been working on periodically since the beginning of the year and I was so pleased to have it finished in time for Christmas.
I bought the wool at the same time as I started this strawberries and cream one that I did last year, so it has definitely been a case of a marathon rather than a sprint with this one.

Christmas Stockings
Last year I was inundated with orders for personalised Christmas stockings. Fortunately it wasn't quite so crazy busy with these this year and I didn't have to turn anybody away.

Button Art
This button art 'L' was another make as a Christmas gift for a little girl who's had her bedroom decorated with wallpaper covers in buttons. How cool is that? I am sure it will give a really bright pop of colour.

Snow Families
I'd seen a tutorial for these 'sock' snowmen on Pinterest and had been hoping to have made some in time to have on the Christmas craft stalls, but never got round to it.

Just before Christmas I decided to have a go at them and I'm really pleased with how they turned out and ended up giving them as gifts to friends and family.

I will definitely be making more of these this year, so keep an eye out.

Taggy Blanket
Another make I've been meaning to have a go at for a while. I finally got round to putting one of these together for my lovely new nephew Bobby for Christmas. I am certain that these will be another returning make for this year.

and last but by no means least ...

Wooden necklace and bracelet set
It's actually been a little while since I've made any jewellery at all and, even longer since I've made anything using wooden beads. This set was my first attempt at a necklace and I'm really please with how it's turned out.
So that's it from Hand Made at Number 27 for another year. December 2016 was busier than December 2015 which was great news and, as I started with my Christmas makes earlier for 2016, it wasn't quite so hectic, which I was very thankful for.

I'm looking forward to a bit of a lull now for a few months, but do have a few orders to be going on with, so I will be making the most of this quiet time, but there will be plenty more to come for 2017, so please do keep reading.