52 weeks of happy: 40/52 and 41/52

This is a short ’52 weeks’ post. Maybe I just haven’t been taking as many pictures lately? I certainly haven’t been any less happy. IMG_8409A very easy evening meal for the children at the end of a very trying day. Two spectacular toddler tantrums were the cause of my stress. By the time I threw this together from fridge left-overs Babykins was fast asleep in bed. Reason enough to be happy. Typically, this meal was received rapturously. Sometimes I wonder why I bother cooking proper dinners with vegetables. Oh well, I made the children happy.

IMG_3687The Middle Miss lost her first tooth. She has been waiting for this for a very long time so she was very happy indeed. In our house the tooth fairy rewards clean teeth with a pound. What is the going rate at you place?

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My first foray in to selling my crochet work. I was very happy with the way my stall looked.

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Successful Yorkshire Puddings courtesy of Kat at Housewife Confidential. I could never get them to rise until I tried her recipe and it has never failed me. It seems that an extra egg is all it takes to make good Yorkies.

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I know this picture will have shown up here already on my instagram feed but I thought I would share it again. So many things about this make me happy. I mean, it’s full of such cheery colour, how could you not be happy looking at this hat. It also makes me happy because it reminds me of my lovely Yarndale weekend.

IMG_8445Leaf progress. Happy with the way they are turning out, happy that I found a free pattern online and happy that I finally seem to have got to grips with Pinterest.

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52 weeks of happy: 39/52

IMG_3601Some crochet stars that must have been inspired by beautiful the British asters we had in the house this week.

IMG_3620No need to say any more. If you have no idea why I would be excited about this, visit the website, here.

IMG_3635Pretty buttons and beads. A random moment of shininess while I prepare for my first craft fair this weekend.

IMG_3681Babykins and I harvested our first fully orange pumpkin this week. I made an enormous batch of pumpkin soup and unusually for me, decided to keep and toast the seeds. There are loads of recipes out there but I used this one, which is about as simple as it gets. They were delicious. Even Son Number One and the Middle Miss nibbled a few and approved.

52 weeks of happy: 24/52

IMG_7428Peonies are so beautifully frilly and vivid. They somehow seem too showy for the location in which they are often found – otherwise boring front gardens. They look as if they should be part of some tropical rainforest if you ask me. They remind me of my childhood when we had one growing in our slightly empty front garden border (my Mum will probably tell me that it wasn’t empty, but that peony is the only thing I can picture growing there). I remember being slightly amazed that such a big flower could just pop up each year with no help from us. I’m still slightly in awe of that now.

IMG_7440More flowers. I was a bit grumpy at the weekend, probably due to Babykins (and therefore me) having had a bad week of sleep. Bed times are becoming quite a battle, which I hate. I went out for coffee with a friend on Saturday afternoon and when I got back, The Husband and Babykins gave me a bunch of yellow roses to cheer me up. I thought they would look good with the big daisies that have suddenly sprouted in the allotment so I popped out on my bike to collect some. Obviously the gift of flowers made me happy but I also very much enjoyed using my bike, which has been stuck in the garage for far too long.

b78ca168d75f11e2b65722000a9e00be_6Babykins and I had an outing to RSPB Saltholme on Monday. Despite (or perhaps because of) being so close to industrial Teesside, there is something special about the landscape here. At the moment it seems to be teeming with swooping birds: particularly terns, black-headed gulls, swallows and sand martins. The latter two birds being part of the essence of summer in the UK.  We joined in with their ‘little explorers’ group, making a bird feeder from a juice carton, listening to a story and singing a song. That was fun, but actually, the bit I enjoyed the best was just wandering around the place by ourselves. I appreciate these days so much more because I know that as soon as school starts, trips out will be reserved for the weekends and holidays. Then you have to share with the rampaging hordes. Babykins and I had a fine time spotting minnows in the ponds, watching the birds on the feeders from the hide and exploring the play area. I think we will be visiting again soon.

IMG_7476Supper: Pork belly slices (sorry, not a vegetarian special this week) cooked in aromatic broth, served with noodles, steamed mangetout and stir fried red pepper and spring onion. Now for the happy part ALL THE FAMILY ENJOYED IT!!!!! It’s not often that happens. See the chopstick at the top? The older two children decided that noodles should be eaten with the culturally correct utensils. They had fun winding them around and around and slurping them up. Oh, and the meat was from the reduced to clear section of the supermarket so not only was it tasty, it was cheap too. Happy days.

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52 weeks of happy 23/52

IMG_7341I have so much I want to get down onto virtual paper about our family adventures in the last few weeks. There are about a million photos ready to be tweaked and uploaded but I think this one sums things up quite well; blue sky, beach and a child eating ice cream, all  reflected in The Husbands sunglasses.

IMG_7384This is also the time of year when just looking at the garden can really make me feel happy. Clematis are such big, show-offs, their blooms as big as plates grab your attention. They always remind me of my Grandma and Grandad’s garden. They had a beautiful clematis, Nelly Moser I think, though it always looked slightly different somehow.

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Our garden tubs are also blooming with pansies at the moment and they are so bright and cheerful, they never fail to make me smile.

IMG_7412My final picture is a rare pleasure. A sneaky moment of crochet in our allotment on my way back from my ‘knit and natter’ session tonight. The sun was setting, the sky was turning pink, the garden was looking (reasonably) tidy and the birds were singing. Heaven.

52 weeks of happy 19/52

My happy post this week is full of images from our first caravan jaunt of the season. This also happened to be our first trip in our new caravan so we didn’t go far from home, just to Hillside Caravan Park at Knayton, near Thirsk. It’s a lovely (some would say luxurious) site that suits our needs very well. You can read more about it here.

greenery1Spring greenery, brightening up the scenery…

IMG_7103Something that I don’t think I’ve seen before (but hope I will again).

IMG_1187A visit from my brother and his wife.

IMG_1209Established traditions. A trip to Knayton must include buying an ice cream from the farm house no matter what the weather. It just so happens that the heavens opened after this was taken….

All the same, our first trip was a success and that made me happy.

52 weeks of happy: 3/52

Four things that have made me happy this week are…IMG_60671. Alternative transport on the school run.

The happiest thing about this picture is that I am not the one pulling the sledges.
IMG_60512. Three children playing together happily (sorry this is a terrible photo, I know).

This makes me REALLY happy as it doesn’t happen all that often. This was another no TV night though, which certainly helps. There have been other, snow related moments of play that have made me happy this week but I can feel an extended, snow tribute post coming on so I’ll save those pictures.IMG_60823. My thrifty lemon and elderflower jelly was put to good use in a cream sponge cake.

I was a bit unsure about how well it had set but it is a lovely texture for glazing cakes. Earlier on this week The Husband used it on top of a baked cheesecake. He took it to work to (belatedly) celebrate his birthday. He had more than one marriage proposal on the strength of it, though I’m sure it was his baking not my jelly that was responsible for that.IMG_60944. Well risen Yorkshire puddings made into individual toad in the hole.

I never got Yorkshire puddings right until I found this recipe. I have never had a dud batch since. Seeing them rise almost impossibly high makes me happy every time. Eating them gives a certain amount of pleasure too.