Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My New Challenge for Year 2009

As I am so used to taking a daily photoand feeling a little bereft at the thought of no more 365 challenge, I have decided to set myself my own challenge for the forth coming year.
I have made a list of 31 subjects and I will take a photo for each theme on the relevant day. At the end of the year I will have 12 photos for each theme which I will then scrap the photos and make an album of my themed year.
So here goes, here is my list:

1st - My weight
2nd - Me, myself and I (self portrait)
3rd - The garden
4th - The cat
5th - Troll beads
6th - Zoë
7th - The weather
8th - What is for dinner today?
9th - A family member
10th - Anything pink
11th - A flower
12th - What is it ? (close up of an everyday item)
13th - What have I bought today?
14th - A black and white photo
15th - James
16th - A tree
17th - Anything green
18th - Cute
19th - What have I done today?
20th - What am I listening to today?
21st - It is midday – what do I see?
22nd - James and Zoe
23rd - An animal or bird
24th - Anything blue
25th - What makes me smile/laugh?
26th - A scrapbook layout
27th - Anything yellow
28th - Pretty
29th - What am I reading today?
30th - Anything silver or gold
31st - A card I have made

So now I have put this on my blog, I cannot squelch out of doing it!
I will post my daily photos on here.

Happy New Year

Day 366 - Wednesday 31st December

My Way
"And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I'll say it clear,Ill state my case, of which Im certain.
I've lived a life thats full.
I've traveled each and every highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.
Regrets, I've had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.
I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.
Yes, there were times,
I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it my way.
I've loved,
I've laughed and cried.
I've had my fill;
my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.
To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a shy way,
No, oh no not me,
I did it my way.
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -
And did it my way!"
- Frank Sinatra

Well this is the last day of this challenge and I have certainly done it my way. It was meant to be self portraits but when I look back, there aren't many of those.
I have made some fantastic friends along the way who I hope will remain life long friends.
I have lost over a stone in weight - thanks to the inspiration of Kay and Lynne on UK Scrappers.
I have started a troll bead addiction - thanks to the inspiration of Kay and Lynne on UK Scrappers - oh and Sarah who is the queen of the troll beads.
I have started scrapboooking - which I still don't totally love -but when I have such a great subject of Zoe, it is wonderful to capture those moments with more than just a photo stuffed into an album.
So what will next year bring? Who knows for certain, but I have a lot of crafting stash to use up so I had better continue on with scrapping. I want to make some mini books and will look for a new challenge to start this year too - I do have something in mind.
Anna is also going to be doing a new challenge called "A Snapshot of my Life" - look out for details on her 365 blog over the next few weeks.
Well that is enough from me - just a photo required.
This photo was my first photo of this challenge
and so I thought I would use a similar one - it was taken on the 18th December on Zoe's birthday.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Day 365 - Tuesday 30th December

"Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.” - Charles Chaplin

I am full of laughter today as I got home from work and my very, very darling husband had bought me a present or four!!!
He has been working in Weymouth today and went to the jewellers that sells Troll Beads and he came home with 3 glass beads and a silver Z bead.
He really is the best husband in the world!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Journal Your Christmas - 25th December

For today I have listed my presents.

Journal Your Christmas - 24th December

Today was about why you love Christmas.

Journal Your Christmas - 23rd December

Today was to journal about stockings.
My journalling reads:
"This year will be the first time Zoe has a stocking. I have made her one which I hope will become the one that she uses for years to come. Last year, as Zoë was too young to understand Christmas, all her presents were put under the tree as they were wrapped. However, this year as I have wrapped her presents, I have hidden them all away in the loft.
On Christmas Eve, we will leave out the obligatory mince pie, carrot and glass of something for Father Christmas. We will put some flour on the fireplace with a foot print in it so it looks like Father Christmas has visited.
The small presents will be in her stocking and the larger ones will be under the tree – all waiting for Zoe to come and open them.
Roll on Christmas Day!!!!"

365 Challenge - Week 51 Layout

Anna suggested we use more Christmas photos this week but once again I rebel - this is Zoe and her new bike.

365 Challenge - Week 50 Layout

Anna suggested we use a Pencil lines sketch and use every photo from the week. I have totally rebelled and used some birthday photos of Zoe instead.

Day 364 - Monday 29th December

"Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world." - George Bernard Shaw

I feel like I have eaten so much rubbish over the Christmas period that I don’t feel clean and bright at all. In my attempt at losing weight, I have cut out eating the junk food but over Christmas, I have definitely over indulged. I seem to be swaying between feeling hungry or feeling bloated and sick. Our house still seems to be so full of naughty food too – Quality Street, Yule Log, the biggest bag of Peanut M&Ms I have ever seen, Belgium chocolates, Pringles, mini choccie bars etc etc. When will it ever end?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day 362 - Saturday 27th December

Things are beautiful if you love them - Jean Anouilh

These two people are beautiful even if I didn’t love them – luckily I do and they are my world.

Day 363 - Sunday 28th December

Rest is not a matter of doing absolutely nothing. Rest is repair - Daniel W. Josselyn

Zoë’s room is definitely in need of repair and instead of resting over the Christmas holidays, we have decided to crack on with the decorating. The wallpaper has been stripped off and the walls underneath are quite a mess – bubbling and peeling paint, holes and cracks.
This morning we have got up early and made really good progress on the room. The walls have washed, sugar soaped and treated for mould - they will be ready for painting very soon. Then new carpet and Zoë can have her new bed delivered. Then a few shelves to put up and all will be done and at the grand old age of 3, Zoë will be in a big girl’s bed. Shame we have to work the next couple of days – but we will be glad of the chance of a rest at work.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Day 361 - Friday 26th December

"May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!" - Author Unknown

What a lovely sentiment this prompt is.
Unfortunately I don’t think Zoë would be too happy if she was only given a pile of peace as a present – not for a few more years anyway ;-)
Her best present was from my brother and his family and was a Night Garden scooter – she absolutely loves it. I have never thought of getting her a scooter as I thought she would be too young – but she has mastered it so quickly.
She now has to ride it everywhere – to the kitchen, to the toilet and even to bed.

And my best present is definitely my troll beads and bracelet.

Day 360 - Thursday 25th December

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping on your nose, Yuletide carols being sung by a choir, And folks dressed up like Eskimos. Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe, Help to make the season bright. Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow, Will find it hard to sleep tonight. They know that Santa's on his way; He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh. And every mother's child is going to spy, To see if reindeer really know how to fly."And so I'm offering this simple phrase, To kids from one to ninety-two, Although its been said many times, many ways, A very Merry Christmas to you."

Well what a fantastic day we had. We went to James’ mum’s house for the day. We opened Zoë’s presents at home first. Zoë had forgotten all about having a hoover and she loved it. She hovered the whole house.
We had a lovely lunch with lots to eat. After the mammoth tidy up, we opened presents and then relaxed for the rest of the day. Zoë was given some Snap cards which we tried to teach her how to play – it was a bit slow going. Then James and I had a game but we had to stop and have a trifle break as it was beginning to get a bit violent – of course I won.
The only sad thing is that the day is a lot of excitement and preparation and then whizzes by so quickly.
Roll on next year!!!

Day 359 - Wednesday 24the December

"The family is one of nature’s masterpieces." - George Santayana

Christmas is all about family for me.
I am writing these last few pages after Christmas and we have had a lovely time with the family. We spent Christmas Day with James’ family and then Boxing Day with mine. It is great to see everyone so happy and harmonious.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 358 - Tuesday 23rd December

"Every day is a cause for celebration." – Anonymous

There are lots of Christmas things going on at Zoë’s nursery and I think she has overdone the celebrating. This is her on the sofa at 6.30 tonight.

Journal Your Christmas - 22nd December

Today is about what is stil left to do and I do have a fair bit!

My list is:
· Christmas Food Shopping
· Make starters for Christmas Day
· Make pudding for Christmas Day
· Have new TV installed
· Sugar Soap Zoe’s room
· Wrap James’ s last couple of presents
· Buy cat a Christmas present
· Do housework blitz
· Make Dad’s acrylic album

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day 357 - Monday 22nd December

"Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." ~ Peg Bracken

I think this prompt is very true and I love to receive hand made things as I know that a lot of time and effort has gone into the gift. It could be the most simplest of items but because someone has taken their precious time to make it, it makes it all the more special.
This year I have made an acrylic calendar for Zoe’s Grandma and Grandad. Each page has a photo of Zoe from the same month in 2008. I thought this would be a good way for them to see how much she has changed in a year as each month goes by. I never made an acrylic album before so it was a bit of trial and error but I am pleased with it.
I want to make another one for my Dad who doesn’t see Zoe very often but time is running out rapidly. I am hoping that I can make the 2 calendars identical and that now I have made one, the other one will come together quickly.
I have made handmade Christmas cards for everyone this year and they have been greatly appreciated

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Journal Your Christmas - 21st December

Today was about a reality check and to see how organised we are - Ooops!!!

My journalling reads:
"Are we nuts?
Yes very probably, 5 days before Christmas we have started to decorate Zoë’s bedroom. She has a new bed coming and we need to decorate before it can be delivered and if we didn’t start soon, we would never get round to doing it. Both James and I are working quite a lot over Christmas, so today was a case of now or never!!!
We have emptied the room bar for her cot and her wardrobe. The old single bed was smashed up this morning and taken to the tip and all the room has been stripped of the wall paper.
Now we need to wash all the walls with Sugar Soap to get rid of the remains of the wallpaper paste, do the sanding down, fill all the cracks in, treat the outer walls with mould killer and then we can paint. Then new carpet and then her bed can be built. We hope to get all this done for the weekend after the New Year.
Then we can start on the lounge!!!!"

Day 356 - Sunday 21st December

"The earth has grown old with its burden of care But at Christmas it always is young, The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair And its soul full of music breaks the air, When the song of angels is sung." ~ Phillips Brooks (1835-93), American Episcopal bishop, wrote 'O Little Town of Bethlehem'.

Don’t think my little brain can cope with such a long quote so I am going to rebel.
Yesterday was the family Christmas get together and Zoë was given her first set of rollerskates. These are ones that fit over her shoes. They came with a helmet and elbow and knee pads.
She insisted on wearing them and was fine on the carpet but wasn’t so keen when we went into the tiled kitchen.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Day 355 - Saturday 20th December

"May peace be more than a season, may it be a way of life" – Unknown

If only this were possible – it would be the best Christmas present ever!!!!
Zoe as a horse in her nursery school nativity - as you can see she was really enjoying herself.

Journal Your Christmas - 20th December

Today is all about Tales of the Unexpected.
My journalling reads:
"Yesterday morning we had Zoë’s nursery school nativity in Wimborne Minster church. Afterwards we were hungry, so we found a little cafe and had a yummy fried breakfast. Whilst we sat there, we saw a TV shop opposite. It is normally quite an expensive shop so we don’t normally go in there, but James thought we would just go and have a look and get some advice as to what is on the market and what is the best make etc.
We were speaking to the sales guy and he was telling us all about the different types of TVs and what they can do nowadays. One of the TVs was such a good deal that we decided to go home and just have a little think about it. The sales guy loved this TV so much, he has just bought the same TV for his home. What more recommendation do you need? Having looked on the internet, it was such a good price that James decided to go back and buy it. It is a 32” LCD TV with HD Freeview. I think it may even cook our Christmas Dinner!
It is now being delivered and installed on Christmas Eve. How exciting!!!!
A brand new posh TV just in time for Christmas – what more could a girl need?
Well I never expected that to happen yesterday!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Journal Your Christmas - 19th December

Today we have been asked to write a letter to Father Christmas.
My letter is:

Dear Father Christmas

I hope you are well and that the reindeers are looking forward to their expedition on Christmas Eve around the world. I have got some carrots ready for them and also a mince pie and a glass of brandy for you when you come down my chimney.
I have been a very good girl this year and have done all my jobs when asked. I have been very kind to all my friends and polite to everyone. I am hoping that, seeing as I have been so good, that you might bring me some lovely presents this year.
I would like some nestabilities please – the classic rectangle set and some more flowers for my crafting. I would also like Dawn French’s book. I like Dawn – I think she is very funny. I would also like some more perfume please as I have almost run out. I like Apple by Nina Ricci as that is my favourite and lastly I would absolutely love a Troll Bead bracelet and some beads.
I know that is quite a long list but as I say, I have been a very, very good girl so I think I deserve all these things.
Hope Mrs Father Christmas is looking after you well and that you can have a nice rest after Christmas Eve.
All my love
Claire Viney (aged 35 and 11 months)

Journal Your Christmas - 18th December

Today's prompt is all about the Christmas Day menu.
Journalling reads:
"This year we are going to James’ Mum’s and Dad’s for Christmas Dinner so not sure what is on the menu for the main course. I know we are having turkey but what she will do to go with, I do not know. I will fill in this space with it.

I am doing the starter and the pudding. For starter, I have been asked to do a recipe from a Somerfield magazine. It is Hot Tiger Prawns with Lime and Ginger Butter in Bread Croustades. This is basically a posh prawn cocktail in a toasted bread basket. For pudding I am going to make a good old fashioned trifle – so quick and easy and you can’t go wrong with that."

Journal Your Christmas - 17th December

Today's prompt is about seeing the perfect present for someone. I have journalled about Zoe's present but the photo will have to be added after Christmas day as it is wrapped up now.
Journalling reads:
"This year we have bought Zoë a present that I always swore I would never buy her.
Every week when I am doing the housework, as soon as I get the hoover out, she grabs her old baby walker or a small push along car. She then follows me around whilst I do the hovering and she pushes whatever she has back and forth like she is hoovering too.
I have always hated the idea of buying her toys like a hoover or an ironing board as I feel these are teaching her the wrong idea about being a girl. But seeing as how much she loves pretending to hoover then why should I not buy her an identical hoover to ours?
I have decided to think of it as developing her imagination, rather than teaching her that the only things girls are good for is housework.
She has seen the hoover in the toy shop and is now desperate for one.
I cannot wait to see her face when she opens it on Christmas morning."

Day 354 - Friday 19th December

"A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;It makes no noise at all,But softly gives itself away;While quite unselfish, it grows small." - Eva K Logue

I love candles and love the smell of the scented ones. We have just bought a new Yankee candle for the lounge. It is Vanilla Cupcake and it fills the room with the most fantastic aroma.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day 353 - Thursday 18th December

"There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child"
- Erma Bombeck

Today we are meant to reflect on Christmas past but I want to concentrate on today. Today is Zoe's birthday and we have had a lovely day out. We were meant to be going to the Lapland at Matchams, but couldn't go as it was closed down. So instead we went to Poole Park and saw Father Christmas. Zoe was really good and really liked him and she got 2 presents. We took her new bike down with us and she zoomed round the park on it.
This is the first year that she has really understood what her birthday is all about and now is really looking forward to Christmas.
Then we went to my Mum's tonight and Zoe had more presents, whilst I played with my camera taking arty (well as arty as mine ever are ;-) ) photos of all the decorations.
Then we detoured on the way home to see the houses all lit up with the Christmas lights. It is amazing what lengths people go to, to decorate their houses.
She has only just gone to bed now and it is 10.15pm.
Oh to be a child again!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 352 - Wednesday 17th December

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." - Norman Vincent Peale

I just love the Christmas season. It can be a stressful time but I try to keep everything as light hearted as possible and not worry about what doesn’t get done. I love the fact that people decorate their houses with loads of pretty lights and make the effort to make everything look beautiful. Zoe and I like to drive home and spot all the lit up houses. Christmas just looks and feels so different when you have a small child to share it with – that adds enough magic for anyone!

Journal Your Christmas - 16th December

Today's prompt is about taking a moment in the madness of Christmas to think of the things that we are grateful for this Christmas.
Mine are:
My Beautiful Zoe
My Husband
Good Health
Our Home
Financial Security to enjoy Christmas

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 351 - Tuesday 16th December

"There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions." - Bill McKibben
Do you have any Christmas traditions?

We don’t any traditions but this year as Zoe is getting into Christmas, I am determined to start off some traditions. I have made an Advent Calendar with pockets on for her choccies each year and she also has a stocking which I have made her which she will have each year. We will always sit down and watch Polar Express in the week before Christmas.
As Zoe’s birthday is so close to Christmas, we will always try and make her birthday a little bit special and we will visit Father Christmas on that day too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Journal Your Christmas - 15th December

This day's prompt is all about the people we will be seeing over the Christmas period.
My journalling reads:
"On Christmas Day, we will spend the morning at home, just the three of us and will open some presents. Then we will go to James’ Mum and Dad’s for dinner and it is here that we will spend the rest of the day. Zoë will have a great time at Grandma’s.
I will cook a turkey before we go there for lunch so we have some yummy stuff for sandwiches etc.
On Boxing Day we will drive up to Newbury to see my brother Joe and his family. My mum is going there for Christmas Day and so we will bring her back with us later on in the day.
The rest of the holidays will be spent redecorating Zoë’s room ready for the delivery of her new big girl’s bed."

Day 350 - Monday 15th December

I'm dreaming of a "---" Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know" - Bing Crosby

What are you dreaming of this Christmas?

I am dreaming of a fun packed and exciting Christmas. It will be great fun this year with Zoe as she is just beginning to understand the whole Father Christmas and wanting things as presents.
For me I am dreaming of a troll bead packed bracelet in fabby pinks and blues! I hope Father Christmas has been seeing what a good girl I am being!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Journal Your Christmas - 14th December

Today is all about presents and how and why you give them.
My journalling reads:
"I have done nearly all of my present shopping now and most of it is wrapped. We have agreed with the extended family not to do presents other than for the children. It is difficult to choose presents for the adults, as if we want something we just go out and buy it, which mean when it comes to Christmas, no-one can think of what they want. And then you end buying a present for the sake of buying something! And it is usually something they don’t want or need!
We will open some of Zoë’s presents at home in the morning and then we are going to James’ mum’s for dinner, where we will open some more. Christmas, this year, is definitely about Zoë. It is a shame her birthday is so close to Christmas - she is starting to open birthday presents from her party yesterday and then it is her birthday on Thursday, so that is more presents and then one week later it is Christmas - so even more presents!!!!
It is so hard to come up with gift ideas for her when everyone asks. Some of her presents this year will be practical ones for her bedroom which we are decorating and she is having a new big girl’s bed."

Day 349 - Sunday 14th December

Slight change to today’s prompt. It is Anna’s birthday so we are going to celebrate today!

"Celebrate good times, come on! (Let's celebrate), There's a party goin' on right here, A celebration to last throughout the years, So bring your good times, and your laughter too, We gonna celebrate your party with you" - Kool and the Gang

What are you celebrating today?

If only this was yesterday! I don’t think we are celebrating anything today. Yesterday was absolutely brilliant. Zoë had been telling me that she didn’t want a party all week. This was a bit alarming, as we had spent a lot of money and effort into organising the party for her and then she kept insisting that she didn’t want one. When the other children turned up, she went a bit funny and clung to me and I thought she was going to really play up, but as soon as she saw the play area, all that was forgotten and she had a great time. She is already asking about next year’s birthday party!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Journal Your Christmas - 13th December

Today's prompt is about Christmas music. I am not really into carols but my favourite song for the season is Kirsty MacColl and The Pogue's, Fairytale in New York. I have found the lyrics for the song and used them on my page.

Journal Your Christmas - 12th December

This entry is all about how Christmas has changed over the years. I have cheated a bit and looked at how Christmas is now and how it might be in the future.

My journalling reads:
"Christmas is brilliant once you have kids.
When it was just James and I, we used to get up and get the turkey cooking and then exchange presents and the rest of the day would be cooking, eating and relaxing.
But now it is totally different.
And each year will change as Zoë gets older and gets excited to see what Father Christmas brings her.
This year is the first year she really understands the whole concept of Father Christmas and I cannot wait to see her face when she opens her presents.
For the last two years she has been more interested in the wrapping paper – but it won’t be like that this year – most definitely NOT!!!!"

Day 348 - Saturday 13th December

"Deck the halls with boughs of hollyFa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la'Tis the season to be jollyFa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-laDon we now our gay apparel"

Is your house all ready for Christmas?

Yes the house is ready but we have Zoë’s birthday first. Today was her birthday party. It was for 18 children but only 14 came. They all had so much fun and the location was brilliant.
She has opened some of her presents and her favourite one, without a doubt, is an Art set from the Early Learning Centre – purely because it has a pair of scissors in it. She has been sat here cutting up wrapping paper for ages. She obviously takes after her Mummy for her papercraft addiction – mind you, at least I don’t hold my scissors quite like that!