Friday 29 June 2018

Loving the peace & quiet

I've been at my laptop for a while now, posting on my blog, catching up with friends blogs, Facebook etc chilling in the garden.  It's still so warm out there and I'm enjoying just chilling and watching my new fairy lights come on as it's got dark.

I had to light the citronella candles and cover up to avoid the mosquitos but it was still relaxing.

I've had to retreat now as my laptop needed charging and I need to water the garden.  This weather is lovely but the garden is suffering.

Friday's Fave Five - 29/6/18

If you want to join in with the Friday Five you can find all the details here, on Susanne's site.

It's where we look back on the week and find things we're grateful for.  

Well this has been another busy week for me, (apologies if I've not got around to visiting all your blogs/responding to comments) but lots to be grateful for:

1)  I made it to another birthday!  I spent the actual day (Tuesday) looking after Nathan as usual.  Nick joined me for the whole day and the girls had bought a cake and we did the whole "Happy Birthday" thing with candles and singing.  Nathan was totally bemused.

In the evening Nick and I went out for a meal to a recently opened mediterranean style restaurant near home.  I had garlic mushrooms to start followed by a salmon dish with tomatoes, onions etc on a bed of mashed potato.  Both were delicious but I had no room for dessert!

(These tasted better than they look here - I forgot to take pictures until after I'd started eating!)

2)  Afternoon tea outing with hubby last Saturday - this was actually a voucher I'd had for last year's birthday that we finally got around to using.  We started with a glass of champagne followed by sandwiches, lovely little cakes and scones with jam and cream.

Yummy.  We also had a walk around Covent Garden and nearby Somerset House.

3)  On Sunday Becca & Vicky took us out for lunch for my birthday and belated Father's Day.  We went to a family friendly Italian restaurant.  The staff made such a fuss of Nathan.  Afterwards we babysat for them while they went to an open air concert - the weather was lovely fortunately.  We got to do the whole bedtime routine with Nathan for the first time - bath, stories, milk and then bed.  They've started to try and put him down awake in his cot in his own room now.  It's proving a challenge but for us he was asleep within 5 minutes.  Of course he woke just after his Mummies got home and then was difficult to settle.  He does not like going to bed!

4)  Monday and Wednesday were spent catching up with friends.  Always good to get together and just chat and relax.  We also had Michael, Liz and Rory here for dinner on Wednesday.  He's 4 weeks old today - time is flying!

5)  Good weather!  It's been hot and sunny all week and I'm so grateful that I don't have to be at work.  We're lucky that our garden is south facing so it gets the sun most of the day but there are always cool spots in the house and I'm composing this on the patio which is now in the shade.  It's quiet and peaceful and it's a good place to reflect on a good week.

We're off to Nottingham on Sunday to catch up with Noah.  Can't wait!

Have a good weekend all.

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 27/6/18

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at 
Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.
Have fun!

1. Security or freedom? Can you have both? Explain.
Both.  I definitely think it's possible to feel secure e.g. in your home, your surroundings  but also to have freedom to make your own decisions and choices.
2. If you could visit any historical American site what would it be? Why?
Possibly the Grand Canyon, because it's so vast.
3. Free as a bird, free reign, be free of, free enterprise, free trip, walk away scot free, free for all...which 'free' phrase can best be applied to your life in recent days or weeks? Explain.
Be free of (responsibilities)  Of course as a Wife, Mother and now Grandmother I will always have responsibilities but I've opted not to sign up for anything where I feel responsible to anyone or anything now I'm retired.
4. Something in your fridge that's red? Something in your house that's white? Something in your view that's blue?
Red tomatoes, white bedding, blue sky.  We're enjoying a lovely spell of blue skies and hot weather.
5. July 27th is National New Jersey Day. Have you ever visited The Garden State? If so where did you go? Are there diners where you live? Have you tried Taylor Pork Roll? Do you like to play Monopoly? Salt water taffy-yay or nay? How do you feel about shopping at the mall? Springsteen, Sinatra, or Bon Jovi-you have to pick one.
Never visited New Jersey.  Not tried Taylor Pork Roll, Played a lot of Monopoly.  Salt water taffy?  I'm guessing toffee? So leave out the salt water thanks.  I only shop at the mall if I know exactly what I'm shopping for and where to find it.  Sinatra.
Raise your hand if you know why these add-on questions are appropriate on National NJ Day.
My hands are down!
6. Insert your own random thought here.
I'm answering these on Friday.  Where did the week go?
These two had something to do with it so I'm not complaining.

Review: Foreign Fruit

Foreign Fruit Foreign Fruit by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When a group of bohemians takes over Arcadia, a house on the seafront, Lottie Swift and Celia are as drawn to its temptations as Merham's citizens are appalled by them. They set a chain of events that have longstanding and tragic consequences. Now, fifty years on, Arcadia is returning to life, and its inhabitants stirring up strong feelings again.

Took me a while to get into this, I enjoyed it more when it moved to present day.

View all my reviews

Monday 25 June 2018

E-mail notifications for comments on Blogger

I know that lots of us have been experiencing problems with receiving e-mail notifications of comments on our Blogger sites.  Thanks to a prompt from Gattina I've pasted below the info that's on the Blogger help page.  They claim to have made improvements BUT to get them you will need to:
  • Go into settings on your Blogger dashboard (on left hand side of page)
  • Click on e-mail
  • Delete the comment notification e-mail address(es)
  • SAVE your settings
  • Close the dashboard then open it up again.
  • Go back to SETTINGS & E-MAIL
  • Re-enter the e-mail address(es) for comment notification
  • SAVE your settings.
  • You should then get an e-mail asking you to confirm you want to subscribe to comments. Click subscribe to start getting notifications again.
It definitely worked for me - I posted a comment on my own blog to test it.
This is the Blogger help info:

Thank you for your patience. I'm happy to inform you all that the email notifications for comments capability is now functioning with some additional improvements:

What's changed:
When an email address is added in the Comment moderation (Settings > Posts, comments and sharing > Comment moderation), Comment Notification Emails (Settings > Email > Comment Notification Email), or Email posts to (Settings > Email > Email posts to) fields, notifications are not necessarily enabled as they were before. Instead, if an email address is added to these fields, an email is sent inviting the email owner to either accept or decline the subscription. If the owner accepts, they will receive email notifications on new posts/comments. If the owner declines, the email address will be immediately removed from the field in their Settings.

Please note that when you enter an email alias that includes multiple members (for example:, all members of the group will receive the invitation to either accept or decline the subscription.

When email notifications are sent, an unsubscribe link will also be available at the bottom of the email, should the recipient(s) wish to opt-out. Therefore, if any member of a group alias clicks the 'Unsubscribe' link, the entire group alias will be unsubscribed.

Friday 22 June 2018

Friday's Fave Five - 22/6/18

If you want to join in with the Friday Five you can find all the details here, on Susanne's site.

It's where we look back on the week and find things we're grateful for - even if the week has been tough!

Actually my week hasn't been tough, busy but not tough:

1)  I got to spend time with these little guys:


And hopefully it won't be too long before we get to see this little one again - can't believe he was a month old this week (17th).

Nanny is being very careful not to show any favouritism.  Hard when 2 are so close by and 1 is not but hoping to get up to Nottingham next weekend if we can.

2)  Impromptu date night with hubby.  I had a busy day last Friday and really didn't feel like cooking dinner so when he got home for work we just decided to go out.  We only went locally but to a place I hadn't eaten at before.  We both had a pork and prawn noodle dish which was lovely but the salted caramel pannecotta for dessert was delicious!

3)  A meet up with hubby's siblings - we're trying to do this regularly or at least as often as we can.  This time we all attended a beer festival at our local social club.  We sat out in the garden most of the day - the weather looked a bit worrying at times but it stayed dry and we had some good sunny spells too.  7 out of the 8 siblings made it and it was a nice get together with various other family members and friends.

4)  Sunshine!  We've had lots of it this week and it looks set to continue.

5)  Still cooking for 4 - yes that might sound daft when there are only 2 of us now but some of our regular dishes, particularly things like pasta sauces, are so easy to keep to the same quantities then I've always got meals in the freezer which is handy on the days I go to Nathan and don't want to be bothered with too much cooking when I get home.

All this running around is doing wonders for my step count.  It doesn't seem to be shifting much weight but I keep telling myself that I'm building muscle and that's heavier than fat.  I'm sure that's right! lol

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend.

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge 20/6/18

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at 
Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.
Have fun!

1. Summer is upon us this week in the Northern hemisphere. Tell us three things on your summer bucket list.

I don’t have a bucket list as such but 3 things I definitely want to do this summer are:

·         Enjoy our extended family get together at the end of August.  All 3 Grandsons will be there so it’s going to be a lot of fun.

·         See as much of the Grandbabies as possible – especially the 2 little ones – they grow so fast at this age I don’t want to miss anything.

·         Plan some days out with hubby.  Yes I’m a family kind of girl!

2. Something fun you used to do as a kid in the summertime?
We would go blackberry picking.  We’d get the bus or train out to the nearby forest and spend hours picking them and then we got home my Dad would make delicious apple and blackberry pies.  My Mum did most of the cooking in our house but Dad was excellent at making things like pies, sausage rolls that melted in the mouth and even fancy celebration cakes.

3. Rooftop or backyard? Why?
Backyard.  I’ve never really had the option of rooftop and it's not something I've wished for.
4. Do you read food labels? Place importance on them? Make an effort to find out/care about where your food comes from?

I read them for dates as in Best Before/Use by but that’s about it.  We try to use fresh ingredients and cook from scratch as much as possible rather than using prepared meals.    
5. A song you'll have on repeat this summer?

I am rubbish at music – I rarely have any on in the house but I do put the radio on in the car so it will probably be whatever the biggest hit is during the next couple of months.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
RIP Candy Crush etc.  I deleted a few apps from my iPad this morning.  I have too many things on my “to do” list before my DIL’s parents arrive from Vermont for a visit next month.  They’ll obviously be spending as much time as possible getting to know their Grandson but they’re staying with us.  I need no excuses for time wasting! (Well except for blogging of course lol)

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 13/6/18

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at 
Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.
Have fun!

1. What happens to the mail at your house?

A lot of it will go in the recycling box.  Most of our bills are now online so we don’t get a lot of mail.  I sort it and leave hubby’s on his desk, any that we still get for the kids (and yes we do even if they have all moved out now!) stays on the stairs until I next get a chance to hand it over and the rest I deal with.  Sometimes on the day but not always.

2. Something you always splurge on? Any guilt associated with the splurge?
Getting my hair done, as in coloured and highlighted.  It’s expensive but I think I’m worth it! lol

3. There are many, but what are two important questions you think every bride and groom should ask/answer before they plan their walk down the aisle?

For me one of the most important ones is “How do you feel about children?” and then of course follow ons from that as in e.g. “what if we can’t have them”

4. What's the best advice your father ever gave you?
Sadly I lost my Dad when I was 22.  I don’t remember a time when he sat me down and gave me advice but he led by example and I think the best thing I picked up from him and my Mum was never sleep on an argument.  Things left to fester don’t heal too well.

5. Your favourite movie where a father features heavily in the storyline?

Hmm not exactly a favourite but Kramer v Kramer certainly fits that bill but I also enjoyed Regarding  Henry.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I swear that time passes more quickly as you get older.  I’m finding it hard to fit everything in at the moment.  I’m grateful for all the comments I get on my blogs.  I’m trying to keep up with the blogs I usually follow but am struggling to interact – I wish Blogger had a “Like” button so you’d at least know I’d dropped by.  I’d also like them to fix the e-mail notifications of comments.  Made it so much easier to respond to comments on whatever device I’m using at the time for e-mail.  Checking them out directly on my blog is something I usually only do on my laptop so it’s not happening as much as I’d like.  Ha a random thought?  Sounds more like a muddled rant or a Wendy’s Waffle.