Library Lovin’

I’m not entirely sure when it started, but for a very long time, I have loved libraries. I turned my bookcase at home into a library, cutting out little “tickets” out of sugar paper with the name and author of the book and kept it tucked inside each one and when any family member would borrow the book, I would take the ticket and put it in a little paper “pocket” with their name on. No due dates or late fees in my little library, and I always kept my books in immaculate condition.

I desperately wanted to apply to be a librarian at my primary school for our tiny little room which housed the school books, but I wasn’t chosen and I was really upset. That was remedied just a mere couple of years later during my first year at secondary school there was a notice to be librarian at lunch times to a much more impressive, larger and busy school library than I had ever seen. We had to apply and then attend an actual job interview, but I knew I wanted to get the position so desperately!

The job was mine, and how I relished it! I would gobble up my packed lunch as fast as I could and head on to the library to help out, even if I wasn’t supposed to be working there that day. Everyone else had numerous sports pins attached to their school jumpers to show off, but I proudly had my librarian one on mine. Still to this day I have that little badge tucked away to remind me of my very first “job” that I loved so much.
I don’t know whether it was the organisation of the books, the little tickets and the wooden containers where each student had their paper “pocket”, in which we would place the tickets into, or even stamping the books with due dates and the big library index drawers at the back of the room that I loved so much, but even now it gives me goosebumps and warm fuzzies thinking about it!



I also found out the other day that I can use ancestry website for free in libraries… I shall be leaving Dylan with his daddy one Saturday morning to take advantage!

My current book collection is slowly decreasing, there are some books I will never get rid of (witch child & the sorceress by Celia Rees to name but 2 that will stay with me in paper form!) space is a huge factor, so I have been focusing more on my kindle. Though sometimes you just cannot beat having an actual book in your hands. I do miss that with the kindle, and let’s face it, reading in the bath is a great winter activity, and I am butter fingers (but even though I put my kindle in a zip lock bag in case I did drop it, I am pleased to say – touch wood – that I never have as yet!)


My mum used to take me and my brother to our local library when I was younger, and I was so excited to take Dylan for his first visit. The absolute kicker? He was asleep. My little insomniac child who often battles with me when it is nap time, had so much fun at the park that he was flat out in his pushchair. I clearly should have taken him before hand for such a momentous occasion! But even so, he had much fun diving into mummy’s library bag and pulling out the books I acquired on his behalf and we read the stories about spot along with the obligatory “My first books from the library” shot for his scrapbook 🙂 I excitedly got the “revenge wears prada” book out when I spotted it staring at me on the shelf. Of course, when am I going to get time to read it? Ha! I live in hope. But the reviews were not kind for that book so I most certainly couldn’t justify buying it for the kindle but curiosity told me, as devil wears prada is one of my favourite movies, that I just HAD to try it. So what better than going to my library and checking it out, proudly walking home with my library bag. Yes, I just love them that much 😉


Dylan has his own little book bag, and we have a book start online account for him, as mummy has her Goodreads account 😉 Speaking of the little monkey, he is getting his second tooth through… and don’t we know it, my poor little guy! And as you can also see, his favourite thing to do lately is pull himself up into the standing position 🙂


33 weeks

How is it October already? I remember thinking back to March when this part of the journey began and both me and Gareth thinking that November was forever away… Now it’s right around the corner and even with so much planning and years of making the decision for the right time, it still doesn’t quite prepare you for the fact that within just 7 weeks we will be responsible for another human being. Some days I can’t get my head around it but know that it’s coming and sometimes it doesn’t even register in my mind and I feel like it won’t hit me until our baby is laying on my chest after giving birth.

It truly has been crazy times so far, and I wouldn’t have gotten through it all without my darling husband by my side and both cheering each other on as we go along and the support… Next month without a doubt will be one of the hardest, as hubby’s job has been relocated and the commute will be torturous, even more so with the lack of sleep with a newborn (whenever baby arrives) and the fact that me and baby won’t get to spend as much time with him in the week as we would like. Even more grateful for the fact my aunt lives around the corner and my parents and my brother with his family lives just down the road so I have them all nearby should I need them, and a fantastic online community that I belong to with a mixture of first time mums with the same questions as me and mum’s who have been there before and are a wealth of information of things that worked for them willing and ready to share with us “noobs”. I feel incredibly grateful to the people I work with as well. In just 3 weeks I go on annual leave which then goes straight into my maternity leave. They provided me such a fantastic opportunity to work with them and I couldn’t have asked for more wonderful, compassionate and understanding people to work with either. When I was at my absolute lowest after grieving and being made redundant after 8 years in my job back in January, they took me in and took a chance on me. When we had a tough start to the pregnancy and not to mention the last month or so with the health issues I have been having and have been in and out of the doctors and hospital more times than I care to remember over all that time, they were so accommodating. I can already foresee me getting rather tearful on my last day! The preparations continue, and as I am full term from Halloween we are frantically going over checklists and doing everything we can to make sure we are all done by the end of the month, just in case. Well old wives tales suggest that you follow your mother when it comes to birth, I was 3 days early and with my brother who was due in September she actually ended up going into labour that summer, but luckily the doctors were able to stablise her and she then went on to give birth to him on his due date! Then there are the health problems I have which can mean I am higher risk (but doesn’t necessarily mean I will!) of having the baby early. So it just makes sense to be prepared by then I suppose! We do have the cot up ready to go: Untitled I have been doing lots of baby clothes washing, organising everything so I know where I am (thank you evernote for saving my sanity!)  I have labelled boxes of clothes for when baby grows out of the newborn and 0-3 month clothes and the mini drawers next to the cot that used to house my craft supplies are also labelled so that when daddy helps out, he knows where everything is and goes 😉 My checklists are being whittled down to the last few bits, and even though I started it back a couple of months ago now, the one thing that is proving difficult has to be the hospital bag. Lots of items that has been recommended by previous mums, some of which I’ve packed and I feel like I don’t even want to know why they suggested them! It appears to be a general theme amongst the community anyway, possibly because once it’s packed it’ll be a bit more real (you know, forget the cot being up and the pram, baby bath, car seat etc all taking up space in our little flat and having them all ready to go… Once the hospital bag is packed, that’s it! LOL!) My mum took me out at the weekend to pick up my labour nightie, changing mat (an awesome Lion King one! There is a huge Disney theme with this baby I would like to point out!) and black towel (again, something suggested by previous mums and you just try and not think about why they suggest that it be black, and why it’s best to use an old t-shirt or a cheap nightie that you don’t mind if it gets ruined.) It’s slowly coming together. I think I just require some snacks and make sure the cameras are charged up and pack baby clothes, and clothes for me for after. I’m in the mindset that as scared as I am, it needs to be done. Baby has to come out eventually! And while being terrified of the unknown, everyone knows that freaking out and tensing up will just make it all that much worse… Though ask me again while I’m actually IN labour and I might be saying something completely different by then HAHA! As for those health problems, my colitis was still continuing to give me grief, not to mention struggling with the general pregnancy complaints (hello sexy cankles! Haha!) Untitled The IBD nurses had to speak with the consultant and explain the meds I had been given as well as the advice but still nothing was working and I was finally switched off the steroids I was put on a few weeks back, much to absolute relief as they weren’t working and I was struggling with them, and switched to a different type with a much higher dosage from 5mg up to 30mg. The leaflet made for some scary reading but I was assured little one would be fine & I now have to carry a card around with me that mentions my new meds in case I’m in an accident or to show anyone who needs to treat me. And I will be on them up until around my due date (ish) as I need to decrease the dosage by 5mg each week as it can be dangerous to just come off them at a high dose. And seriously? 5 days in and I cannot believe the difference already, even that afternoon of my first dose (I have to take them with breakfast) and I am finally feeling hopeful that these will work and help me get back into remission! I’m having a little side effect which in the grand scheme of things is tolerable. It will take a while as my body needs to adjsut to all the changes, and as my hubby came with me to one of my appointments and asked as I had been doing so well up to the third trimester, if it could be baby putting a bit of stress on my body and causing the flare which they agreed was highly likely. So I may find within months of giving birth, if I haven’t already, I could be back into remission as my body will have recovered.  Though at the moment, I have a heck of a lot of meds to take! Untitled My mum often explained what it was like when she had me, and while I understood what she was explaining to me, it was as if I never truly *got* it. But from the beginning when I thought we were going to lose this little one and the absolute relief and joy when we realised all was OK, and over the months having this bond and being with baby 24/7, feeling movements and hiccups and not being able to sleep so playing “guess the limb” at 4am as I sit and watch a foot, bum or a hand poking out the side of my tummy… I am just so ridiculously in love with this little person and I’ve not even met them yet. Even if the little person in question likes to poke and prod around my left hip and make me wince and yelp, and the movements are becoming much stronger that pain has been inflicted! I had another consultant and scan appointment and baby’s growth is continuing to be average, which I could not be more relieved about! Especially after the continued flare I have been having. And, yeurgh – yup more blood tests done! Baby is so low down though they could not measure the head but femur length and abdomen are all hunky dory! I have never been a baby person, but I always knew I’d love to be a mummy some day and as my mum explained that she was the exact same as me (seriously, I have a photo of me and my cousin’s daughter on her christening. I couldn’t look anymore terrified or awkward if I tried!) but she said as soon as you hold your very own baby in your arms, everything else goes out the window and your mothering instincts kick in. And I cannot wait 🙂 And here’s my 33 week bump picture: Untitled We’re on the home stretch, and looking forward to spending some quality time with the hubster this weekend as he will be back to normal for a few weeks before he has to settle into his new permanent routine of commuting to Bristol every day for work, so we are going to make these weeks count!

It’s Complicated

True to my word, as I joked with 2 of the girls in the office this week, the word of the week most certainly was “complicated”. I have excitedly found out my “travel slippers” which was a cute gift from my nan for my honeymoon and have been wearing them, along with my Mickey Mouse earrings. It’s coming around so fast.

2012-10-01 12.49.092012-09-23 17.16.02

Time goes so fast. I remember back in April last year thinking that October 2012 seemed so far away, yet here it is. I left college over 10 years ago, I mean it didn’t seem that long ago, and even one image that has cropped up on Pinterest that reminds me of this:

Source: via Kirsty on Pinterest

I have spoke to a couple of my college friends this week which cheered me up (especially when one conversation involved how awesome Max is from Tangled LOL, I am partial to Pascal too he’s adorable!) The other week I had a message from one of my old friends, we hung out a lot back in the day, but there was a misunderstanding that ended in us not speaking for at least 8 years I believe. I had messages before but I simply deleted them as I just wasn’t interested in hearing what they had to say. Probably such a silly thing to do and I realised this, so I finally replied :) It’s been a nice catch up over this week, apologies were exchanged, and we have moved on. I feel like a weight has been lifted and it’s nice to know I have my friend back for random gossip sessions & pick me ups. Remembering all the other people we hung out with too & being told how they are doing. It’s been quite a week for sure.

Now it’s Friday night, I have to get some sleep before I have to get up early and have my eye appointment. Last one I hope! Contact lenses are a pain in my rear, and I am still rather fond of my glasses thank you, but I hate not being able to see in situations where I can’t wear my glasses. So when I get a month’s supply that should last me a good 30 weeks I should think! Night night.


Well hello there. Yes I am still here, but to be fair I didn’t think there was much to blog about. I have come up with a few ideas for topics to get on my soapbox about the next time that happens. My car got fixed! I was so happy when it started back up thanks to wonderful uncle!
It's alive! Uncle mark for the win!!
I have been entertaining all my Facebook friends with old family photographs, and as a result myself and 2 of my cousins have changed our profile pictures to old school ones. Well, all the kiddies are back to school and little Lauren had her first day so it seemed fitting. To be honest talking about old photos is another post in itself and I think I may save that topic for next week if things are the same old, same old.
The weather is certainly changing. I have been happily curled up on the sofa at home, apple & spice candle going with our small lamp on as the night draws in early. And eating beef casserole (Will have to get some part baked rolls for the cupboard!)
Beef casserole. Perfect.
I have done a free website mockup class in photoshop which for me was a perfect excuse to have a play learning new techniques that I was doing the long way round so now I know a quicker way. Some of the tips will also help when I get around to doing a few other of my crafty bits (when time & inspiration allows it shall be a freebie kit and some more Hanson crafts). I’ve not scrapped in ages, but I want to focus a bit more on design right now. That’s where my head is at.
Funky Layout "wireframe" and playing with the new way to drop shadow quickly as opposed to the long assed way I have been!

I had some fab news at the hospital as well: I definitely have more proctitis and because it’s only affecting 10cm in a few months they reckon I should be off the meds all together and in remission! So fingers crossed 🙂

Trip reports

**QUICK MESSAGE** Fancy trying digital scrapbooking? Well there’s a giveaway of software at Katy’s Blog, go here: & comment for your chance to win! Spread the word 🙂

Now regular readers may know about my passion for journals & memory keeping, and as this weekend just gone myself & Gareth were reading trip reports, thoroughly enjoying them…
… And this afternoon it struck me. My very first trip report in 1993 aged just 10 years old was in a cupboard tucked away in a “holiday folder” along with a few momentos (see, I’ve been at this since a very early age, and I have to admit as I’m older I am enternally grateful to my young self for doing this!)

I plan on getting this scanned to share with you all, and yes it’s in comic sans but I was only young so I hope you forgive me! On our home computer we had some creative writing software aimed for kids & I loved it and the only thing I could think of writing at the time was about my very first holiday abroad.

Trip repor

Then I see the awful quality photos in the back and want to cry, and save this piece of my history, so I’m debating whether to re-write the trip reports I have and putting them into PDF so I can keep them on my phone to read or a mini book in their own rights 🙂 My parents have the photos, but I can scan them in 🙂

And if you’re wondering where you can read these Disney Trip Reports, they are located on the forums of but you need to be a member to view them

Journal part 3: My current journal

This is my current journal, and I will share with you some bits and bobs from it 🙂
My journal

It’s another Daler Rowney of course! I decorated the book with Making memories stuff. I am missing one of the flower gems off the front though, and I have a velour lilac ribbon as a bookmark that co-ordinates.

and here’s a sneek peek at some of my entries (more after cut as image heavy!)


"Bummed out" word-fetti

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Journal part 2: The memories

With my swap journal, I began to include a few more relevant bits in my journals, not just random stuff I picked up along the way (although, in one of my hard back books I have a return bus ticket from at least 10 years ago – and it’s interesting to see the price difference!)

Yes, when I get upset I generally head straight to the journal and whine about my life in it – it’s free therapy and it never judges me. I like that! But I also like to put the every day life in it too 🙂 As I also carried it everywhere with me in my bag, I kept some of my favourite photos in the back (this from my swap journal)



Pictures of myself and Stewart growing up 🙂 That always cheered me up!

I’m also not an artist by any means. I really suck at drawing, but my journal was my go to place just to release some creativity (One of my Daler-Rowney journals)


I like to include happy photos:


Portraits of myself, and talking about my hobby (in this case this was about photography – before I got my DSLR):

and simple reminders to myself:

Some of the other things I have found helpful in my journals are tabs. Loving the Tabs! I can quick reference back to things – you have no idea how many times I thought about something, and thought “that was back in August 2005” or something, gone back to my journal for that time and sat flicking through the pages to get back to that date to see what it was I was looking for. These tabs are by Doodlebug, and was on their Summer cardstock stickers sheet. Doodlebug was my happy thing back then and my journal is even covered in doodlebug papers.


I also kept miniature envelopes in my journal for no other reason than to write cute notes to myself and stash them away in there to find again later, and any smaller bit of emphemera I had collected. Larger envelopes is definitely something I will do in my next journal, to keep all my bits and bobs in a nice and neat order.


Now, you may notice a very silly thing, and ask: “But Kirsty, you said you chose Daler Rowney books because they were acid free, protected your photos and I can see you even used scrapbook products in your books… so WHY can I see BIRO in your books!?” Ah yes. This is something I stupidly and completely over looked! I do in fact journal with acid free pens now. It was shocking to me, that although you can’t see it in photos, my very first journal is already yellowing. Seriously breaks my heart, and this is why I’m going all out acid free in my current journals.

Also my number 1 top tip: If you should take you journal around with you, put your address in the back of the book! Mine reads: “This journal has no monetary value but it means a lot to me, so if found please return to {address} I will gladly refund the postage.”

Tomorrow I will be sharing bits from my current journal and might have a little something for you 😉

Journal part 1: The evolution

I thought I’d take the opportunity to take this week to talk about things and give things to all my blog readers (lol, all two of you Rachael and Katie 😉 ) Today will be part one of my ramblings on journals 🙂 It’s what gave me the idea when I was doing my personal blog. I wanted to keep it separate from my photography hobby blog and giving that the subdomain “blog” I chose “journal” for my personal blog.

This is my very first journal, aged 11 years:
My very first journal
It did have a lock on it and you could at one time back when I was 11, close it up but over the years I used it I began putting things in it and it would no longer close properly.

Entry  1994

I also had horrific 11 year old writing and mainly talked about teddy bears and what I called them lol.

last page of 1st ever journal

and my random stickers – back when the original 90210 was on! I kid you not, I even have a sticker of MC Hammer in there – don’t ask me why!

1st Gen journal

Then came my awesome “fluffy” journal, which still locks and I still have the key hidden away in my secret hiding place even after all these years and moving.

Front page

Filled with Hanson goodness 🙂
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Awww, 1984…

Me and mum camping {84}

and our lush tent:

Our tent 1984

And then there’s 1997:
Me and mum camping {97}

and our itty bitty tent:

Our tent

So what’s up with the nostalgia?  I want to go camping and have been taken over by camping fever lol! Poor Gareth got dragged around Attwools this afternoon (practically kicking and screaming) and we found a cute tent… but we’re awaiting the brouchers for a few of the camp sites we’ve (read: I’ve) been looking at before we start thinking about that.  It’s been so long since I’ve been camping, after that camping trip dad got a lush 6 berth tent (sadly, no photos from that trip!) but since gave it to my Uncle Mark so he could work on his car if it was raining.

But for me, the tent (Khyam Chatsworth) would be worth the investment if we would do it as a regular thing. Going abroad is expensive… Staying in a static caravan or a lodge etc is still expensive… Camping has to be the way to go… Ok, ok, so the British weather is absolute cack, but that’s why we were looking for a tent with a decent sized living space.

The coolest thing I saw in the shop though was a camping bunk bed! LOL! Seriously it looked so cool.

As for the fact there are lots of past entries means I finally figured out how to transfer it over (only I had far too much for my 2MB upload limit!)