Normalcy

We have a walker on our hands! Last week after a while of taking one step and thinking better of it, Dylan decided to show off to his girlfriend when they were on their play date and took not just a few steps but a whole bunch of them! I knew he could do it and just needed the confidence to do it 😀 We didn’t get to go see the Coca Cola truck on the tour because of he has been really suffering with his gums, but after a few very very bad nights, he actually slept pretty well: Saturday night, he self settled on his one and only wake up of the night. It was much needed!

I have embraced the planner world and I feel like I am regaining control. I have an Erin Condren Life Planner which is the home planner, and will be a keepsake and as a documentation of our year:

and I have this compact Saffiano Filofax, which I managed to get really cheap thanks to a heads up from the girls on the UK Planner Addicts community on Facebook, with a December trial of DIYfish v3s1. As it is a compact it will be kept in the bag for out & about. The inserts from fish are absolutely brilliant, I was looking over the catalogue trying to figure out what would be a good insert for me at the moment and I chose the weekly on 2 pages (v3) as day on 2 pages was a bit overkill for what I needed. It was a toss up between style 1 and 5, but I chose 1 for December. May choose 5 for January though and decide which one is the best from there 🙂

I got a job! You may remember back on the post “Countdown Begins” that I wrote about a job that I was keeping my fingers crossed for? That’s the one I got! I had a phone interview and when I didn’t hear anything back within the 5-7 days, I called them up before being asked in for a face-to-face interview on the Thursday and was called with a job offer on the Monday before starting Saturday. A lot to take in, especially on 3 hours sleep (my poor little guy and his gums) on my first day but luckily it was health & safety and forms to fill in, and my very first shift is actually this Saturday. But looking forward to getting into the swing of things and settling into a new routine.

And I got new shoes from work:

Hanson Crafts Branding

Hanson Crafts BRANDING

I’ve been a big fan of the whole “branding boards” for some time now (I even have a ton of Branding Boards pinned over at Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/mmmbisto/branding/) I just adore looking at them, they give me warm fuzzies! As much as I love design, and drool over magazine layouts and like to try and dabble in it, I am absolutely terrible at it! A part of me wishes I could do something like that for a living though, and I’ve even loved webdesign since the early 2000s when I used to spend entire Sundays locked away in my bedroom at home just sat working on a brand new website layout for my Greymatter blog… Ah the good old days! Funnily enough, as is the norm, life got in the way and I began doing less and less web design and so over the last year I’ve been trying to sort of catch back up in everything I have missed. Back in January when I was made redundant the original plan was that I was going to go back to college and do something in webdesign and design but on the other hand I was absolutely happy to get a new job within that first week, but then the whole college idea was soon forgotten.

So this weekend just gone, I was thinking about “branding” this blog here and spent the entire day pouring over quite literally everything on my various pinterest boards for Branding, Websites and Design. Then I decided that I would do my own branding board first for what I did for the Hanson Crafts website, so a bit backwards way of doing it really LOL, but I just wanted to do it for fun 🙂

Mojo is back!

Untitled

I am back to Zumba classes 🙂 So fab to be with such lovely ladies, and they were all talking about a video which Reg gave us a demonstration of (minus the Zumba men!) So glad to be back.

Untitled

I’ve also been on Illustrator which just does not want to co-operate on my laptop. I managed to export 2 of my vector images but for the last 2 it claimed I did not have enough memory to complete the operation. Thank heavens for smart layers! I copied and pasted the vectors into photoshop.

Untitled

8 papers made for a new “Shout It Out” kit I’ve been toying with for Hanson Crafts. Hopefully will lead on to phone wallpapers, 10×8 print to go with the subway art I made… My vectors are far from perfect though, but I made them so they’re good enough for me ^_^

Smashing!

So a couple of my online twitter/instagram/facebook friends have quite a lot to answer for 😉 Katy started a group on facebook for Smashers which she invited me to, but I didn’t smash… Well I do now after seeing everything has been up to!

Untitled

I ordered some smash supplies, and then I came up with an idea as I was stroking my new supplies! I went to Paperarts and got some cardstock that matched my kit that I designed.

Untitled

I still hadn’t done a minibook for the concert back in November!

Untitled

So I finished the mini book (pictures to come when I have better light in which to take photos!)

Untitled

And I designed a Hanson Smash book, and fully assembled it!

Untitled

I smashed a couple of pages…

Untitled

Which I also figured to go with a smash book and to make a mini book, people need some journalling blocks! So I designed some of those too! I hope to get pictures, downloads and tutorials to follow on the Hanson Crafts site shortly I hope 🙂

Photoshop fun

PhotoshopPhotoshopFacebook cover pic

I’ve been messing about this week in photoshop. I am determined to get back into web design, and most specifically, know more about designing wordpress themes that don’t revolve around what I normally make up. But I really needed to get into what’s “in” in design right now and peruse some of the popular sites to get a grasp on mock ups. Those pictures above are my “in progress” pieces 😉

This week will be particularly interesting. Our “routine” will be turned on its head & I shall be cooking a home cooked meal *nearly* every night (Gareth is out Wednesday so I may end up eating left overs by myself if I don’t settle on a jacket potato LOL!) So wish me luck as we begin our new routine 😉

Move more eat well March

So I have lost a pound each week in the first two weeks but didn’t lose a pound this week, however it wasn’t a weight gain which is all good and my BMI actually went down, so in my eyes that is still a victory!

That kit I was working on is pretty much completed and has been for a while, and on top of my wunderlist right now is to get the TOU written, split the kit between Hanson crowd & everyday crowd, zip, upload & link up 🙂 I thank you all for your patience & understanding as things have been busy & hectic as usual! On top of my main worries I have my mobile contract expiring soon & I need to cancel within the next 2 days, trying to adjust to new glasses but having issues with them and I had my eye test in tesco & glasses made in Boots so a headache of going between the 2 to sort out what the problem actually is, the weather is picking up now so chores are extending out into the garden where we have a flower border that is positively awful, constantly growing weeds and we have some things we’d like to plant. I’ve weeded a bunch already but still have a lot left to do. Oy.

BeforeAfter (still needs work)
I also need to sit down and sort out my domain, the current sites on it & how best to present & manage them as I still haven’t even got to finishing off my Hanson crafts site since Hanson.net cut their hosting and I’ve had to just sort of upload what I had over to my domain & figure “I’ll sort it out later as I have more important things to do right now”.

Lynda.com certificates :)

I did thoroughly enjoy my week of free Lynda .com training though. I did a refresher on web design fundamentals, did a website from photoshop to dreamweaver course & something that really took my fancy: hands on magazine workshop, doing a magazine spread in InDesign. I was positively giddy with learning & taking some time to sit & watch the videos. I vow to save up some money and take a month to learn some cool new things. Not at all career related but for me. I won’t need to learn how to do a logo (I have played around and made my own in the past!)  but I think it’s a cool skill to have, and making book covers in InDesign ready for the next installment of our trip report but of course 😉 and I want to brush up on my HTML skills. I remember back in the good old days when I spent entire Sundays coding my website  locked away in my bedroom and running it through the validator to check that it was good coding! Ah, the days back when we had Greymatter blogs and numerous “skins” that we coded in php so that the visitors could choose their favourite. I do miss those days, especially as I lost touch with it all and that’s a bad thing in an ever changing environment.

Well, many other things calling my name that needs to be done. People waiting on me to do my turn on Draw Something as well. All being well I hope to be back on Sunday with a little something for you all for being such superstars!

Me no likey snow no more!

View from work window

This was the view from my window at work when it started snowing on Tuesday. I was excited, I loved snow 🙂

Getting to work

This was me and Gareth walking to get to work (Pictures taken on my mobile phone). Gareth had to walk a distance to get the bus as it wasn’t doing the full route as our end of the bus route is pretty trecherous, then catch the train to work, and today was his first day back since beng sent home at 2pm on Tuesday and taking 3 hours to get home when it only takes him 20 mins in general.  That pic is of the little back road that our Cul-De-Sac joins on to. That is just a big sheet of ice – not very many cars are getting up this way! In fact a young girl got stuck and it took a couple of us to try and get her moving again and it wasn’t easy!

I, on the other hand, stupidly thought I could walk to work. It’s 3.3 miles and on a good day will take just over an hour. I got so far walking and the paths were so icey I nearly slipped several times. I wanted to cry, turn around and go home. But one thing kept me going: Everyone was soooo friendly. Nearly every single person I walked past wished me a Good Morning. Everyone is pitching in helping each other, and giving way etc. I was approaching a very slippy crossing (which I had no right of way) and I turned to see a big truck heading towards me, not wanting to take the chance I waited but the guy stopped and ushered me across.

I got about 2.5 ish miles when I was really lagging and a work colleague spotted me and picked me up. Much to my relief – only to then realise I had the walk home, but she took me to the nearest clear main road, so I had only a short walk.

Today I ache in places I had forgotten about.

New trousers & class

I’m feeling a little better today, which is such a relief. Not 100% but better.  It’s just typical that I should come down with a terrible head cold on a bank holiday weekend.

Still, this Thursday I have Cathy’s new class “Me: the abridged version” to look forward to.  I’ve kept my little tag book on me at all times, for when inspiration strikes. I do think I’m going to have to grab the dictionary for some more Z words. It does help that my scrapbooking idol and class teacher’s surname begins with Z, so that’s one less “Z” entry to worry about I suppose lol.

Tag book

Then I got sucked into the “back to school” hype. Can you believe it’s been 10 years since I left school… and 10 years since I met Gareth!  Seriously, had anyone told me that the cute guy who sat behind me in Dave’s class at college would be my future husband I’d have thought you were insane.  Anywho, while shopping in Tesco I decided I needed new trousers for work, so perused the “Back To School” section, and tried on a pair of trousers.

New trousers

and I’ve gone from 14-15 year olds to 15-16 year olds.  They’re really REALLY long on me though, and they need to be taken up. I also need some new shoes so I will get some back to school shoes (another positive thing about being so small, I get to shop in teen sections for cheaper clothes, and as my feet are so small, I get cheap shoes as well. Score) So once I get some new shoes, I know how many inches I need to take the trousers up. At least 5 inches I’m sure. I’m so short, it sucks.

The embarassing tag

The only embarassing thing is the tag inside where I can write my name and class information in. But no one can see that 🙂  And they’re Purple inside. Not pink as it may appear.

Loving the soundtrack

Rascal Flatts – Bless the Broken Road

 I set out on a narrow way
Many years ago
Hoping I would find true love
Along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushin’ through
I couldn’t see how every sign
Pointed straight to you
CHORUS
That every long lost dream
Led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart
They were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way
Into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
I think about the years I spent
Just passin’ through
I’d like to have the time I lost
And give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there, you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan
That is comin’ true
Chorus
Now I’m just rolling home
Into my lover’s arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

Such a pretty song 🙂 I’ve been sat listening to the Hannah Montana Soundtrack all week. Even been sat listening to it at work during the afternoons… and seeing as I’ve been quiet whilst listening no one had any quarrels lol. I played it to G and I’ve kinda adopted this song as “our” song 🙂  I really love the song “Spotlight” as well. That’s a Hannah song, which I thought was odd, it seemed more of a Miley song than a Hannah song.  Finished the book on Monday, and that’s because I only read a little on Sunday as I knew I’d finish it and I’d have nothing to read during lunch at work.

Hurrah for Easter break! Off to Cardiff tomorrow – we have easter eggs for G’s bros, otherwise just a weekend of spring cleaning and hopefully a random trip to Attwools lol. I just love wandering around the camping stuff.

Snow :)

What a week everyone has had! Monday we awoke to lots of snow, Tuesday was more snow but it had melted by the afternoon. Wednesday was just very icey, Thursday there was more snow but quite a bit had melted by the afternoon and then this morning was just… wow.

I’ve been leaving an extra 20 minutes in the mornings all week, and this morning it was blowing a blizzard. I had the local radio station on who were basically saying that you probably shouldn’t even bother going out lol. We had obviously run out of grit around these parts and the roads were just a complete nightmare. I rang work to find out who was in… I was so sorely tempted to ring in to work and tell them I was turning around because no one was moving anywhere. But I braved it. Only 5 minutes late, where the poor 9am starters were 20 minutes late.

All photos are from various days this week:
Snow
Snow
Snow
Snow
Sledges :)

Even though I was peeved that I had no work to do and I had to stay at work, the drive home was a dream as no one was out! Apart from the snowy roads still though.