Monday, September 30, 2013

Meaningful Monday

These two peanuts.
They are just delicious and wonderful in all ways!

My older 3... Young men now. Dont need me... But I still get to be a mommy to these two. (YAY!! Go me!! :)

Andy and Hannah
Mostly called Drew boy, Andy man....
Banana, Peanut or (since birth)
Peanut Butter and Hannah Jelly sandwich!

Andrew is 11 loves riding his bike, playing football, obsessed with Reeses Peanut butter cups, hates math, plays minecraft, insists that big foot AND the loch Ness monster are real, believes in aliens, loves Dr. Who and grows like a weed!

Sweet Hannah Rose is a girly girl through and through (she was upset that I made her wear sneakers for this photo because she said they didnt go with her dress but ...we were walking a museum so I insisted). Hannah is bilingual.  She loves her dolls and the color pink. She's in the gifted and talented math program, and loves to write short stories, she also loves to dance and bake!

Both are super excited about England!!

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Docklands, London

Have you ever been to the Docklands in London? Have you ever visited Canary Wharf?

Canary Wharf is another financial district of London... It's practically brand new and was Master planned by American architects.
 The buildings are built around water... Of course.
 The area is well kept and beautiful...
 What a lovely place for a flat... I bet you could buy a small island for the price!
The Docklands ... Well they were just... "Docks"... Where ships would dock and trade. London used to be the largest port in Europe, actually... It used to be the largest port in the World! It's where The British Empire once did all of it's trading. The Docklands form part of the boroughs of Southwark, Tower Hamlets,Lewisham, Newham and Greenwhich.
Canary Wharf is part of The Docklands and so is "The Isle of Dogs"... The Docklands are an extremely interesting part of East London and has hours and hours of fascinating history. There is no way that you could take it all in at once, The Docklands must be visited time and time again!
The Isle of Dogs
When taking the tube to The Docklands you will have the enjoyment of riding on the "DLR" (Docklands Light Railway), which is a train that is not powered by any driver! It's a lot of fun to sit in the front seat and look through the front windows, which you don't have the pleasure of doing on most trains.
                                                            View from the front seat...
I have had the satisfaction of visiting the Docklands twice. I thoroughly enjoyed both visits, there is so much to see and do. Canary Wharf (What I saw of it) is pristine and looks nearly perfect, most of the Docklands are newly renovated and have a lot to offer, from shopping to museums to just beautiful scenery. There are historic warehouses, old riverside pubs and plenty of new developments. Just look at some of these views...
 Some of the renovated Docks...
 I would love to live in one of these houses...
I also had the pleasure of visiting the Docklands Museum with a friend, you can visit free of charge and be filled with years of the London docks history.
The museum is an old transformed warehouse. Just look at those doors...

 And this window...
Apparently these were a rather big deal at the time and would be put out on the docks as a warning to behave, there was also a belief at the time that if you committed heinous crimes then you didn't deserve to have a proper burial. Rumor has it they would hang for years.
A bit barbaric for my liking, but words like "Human Rights" weren't exactly thrown around and there was no such thing as being politically correct.
 I absolutely love seeing how London used to be, but I'm so grateful to live in today's world!
I know this photo isn't that clear, but it's of a doorway, I'm always amazed at how short the doorways always are.
And for some fun... No this isn't a "Dalek", this isn't Dr. Who... These little metal things were used during the war when London was being bombed. I don't think I would have felt any more safe in one of these, but I've been blessed enough to never be in a war zone, so I wouldn't know! They were a tight squeeze!
One of the days that we visited the Docklands it was rainy out, of course it was bizarre as it never rains in England (I'm hilarious eh?)
And Just having some fun...
 Yes, I do kiss strange statues with puckered lips...
So many photos... But I haven't even covered a tiny bit of the beauty that The Docklands have to offer, you must visit...

A great 5 minute video on the Docklands is HERE

A free copy of  information on the Docklands from "Time out London" magazine can be found HERE
(Also Included in the download is all sorts of cool information about Greenwich, the DLR and Canary Wharf)

Get just about any copy of a tube map HERE
When I mean "Any" I'm talking about Toilet maps, Bike maps... The works.

Most of the photos used are my own, however the map, aerial view of the Isle of Dogs and the train photos are actually taken off of the internet doing a google search. Please feel free to use any and all photos, as I don't own the internet and my photos are always for your viewing pleasure.

Have a wonderful upcoming weekend!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

And... We have a winner!

We have a winner!
I'm just waiting to get Pat's mailing address so that I can post off her package.
Congratulations Pat!

I want to stay home from work today and just read blogs! But alas, the children need me! I read a lot of them on my phone but it's hard to reply on that silly thing, they call them "Smart Phones", well apparently it's smarter than I am because it does all sorts of craziness sometimes. It's hard though, especially like today when I have only a moment to announce that Pat won... so I sneak on here at 6am, just before work and then I see all of these delicious blogs on England, then there are the ones on Autumn... and travel... and my heart goes eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee with excitement and then ... then... I see the time. Time is not our friend!

Please know I do read many of your blogs, and I do reply when I can. I adore everyone that I follow!

It's Tuesday! We made it through Monday :)

I leave you with this... It cracks me up!
Mucho kisses (Well it's flu season, so ... HUGS :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Art is in my Heart

School has been back in session for a month now, you would think that I was completely and perfectly organized, you would think that I was in some sort of routine by now.
Well I am. Kind of. If you call "Flying by the seat of your pants" organized.

I had everything perfectly planned out in my head.
Because I have no more commuting time, I would spend more time with my kids after school, we would do something together, like go for walks or I'd sit outside and read while the kids play at the park, we would then come in and while I cook they would do homework, and then few chores I have for the kids and myself would get done. THEN we would get baths and such and I would have some time to study or do whatever.

I'm hilarious!

More like... I don't know if I'm coming or going.
And I don't like how that feels.
I have had no time for myself, and that's very stressful. When I feel stressed the first thing I do is shut down, not in a serious sense of staying in bed or anything like that, but after work I fall on the couch and watch 3 hours of "Call the Midwife" (I Have Hannah hooked on it too), mean while my house looks like a bomb of papers, toys, dirty laundry and homework went off. Seriously, if you saw my apartment right now I would want the earth to swallow me from embarrassment!

One of the things that I miss the most is crafting. I love paper crafts, crochet... well, I love to just make things! I don't want to wait for crafting until I have a holiday, or until after my degree is finished, so I have to find a way to be organized enough so that I can do what I need to do, and maybe have some time to do what I WANT to do as well? Is this possible for a single mom that works full time and studies?

Reading a blog during the week on the Van Gogh Museum, made me pine for art. It's an excellent post and you can read it HERE.

So I went looking at some of the things I have done. I have done a lot of "Scrapbooking" and keeping things neat and orderly and in albums and all that, but at the end of the day... It's not my "art", my art is adding on, sewing on, ripping up, cutting up and painting on... doing what others may think is a mess. Well not always a mess, but you will see what I mean... I can really get stuck in when I sew on paper, I will often even sew pieces from baby clothing the children wore when they were younger onto paper. I've done a lot of sewing, but here are just a couple of pages I've sewn.
I love to rip up paper! It's just so therapeutic!
And more fun? Ripping and Painting!
Or just painting...
Once in awhile, if I have an extra copy, I like to just cut pictures up!
And sometimes, I just get a little crazy and add and add and add and add... 

But no matter what I do with my craft, I ENJOY what I do, and I need it, I need it because it relaxes me, it allows an outlet to relieve stress. Looking at pictures of my kids and how much I love them is therapeutic as well. It makes me feel humble and grateful.
Even if no one else ever appreciates what I do, it's okay. I do it for me. 

All the mom's out there... I need your organisational tips for kids after school. I think one of my biggest faults is when I'm tired after work, I won't clean up a mess as soon as it's made (Or have the kids clean up their messes), thinking I'll take care of it in the morning or the next day, but then I come home from work and again feel overwhelmed walking in to a mess! So I do know that this is one of the things that has to change in order for there to be more time for myself on the weekends instead of just cleaning my weekend away!

Your tips would be appreciated and greatly welcomed!
Have a wonderful weekend,
Tammy x

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Autumn Give away!

I won Jennifer's "Carry it Forward" Give away on her Thistlebear blog! Thank you Jennifer! I love everything!
I would like to keep the Give away going by having an Autumn Give Away myself! Autumn is by far my most favorite season, so I am more than happy to carry it forward ... Here is what I won...
I love candles, buttons and embellishments! What crafter doesn't? And the candles smell gorgeous!
I Adore this owl, though I don't officially collect them, I think all teachers have at least one owl in their classroom and I love seeing them all over the school!
And my most favorite gift of all... This beautiful pumpkin. Did I mention that I LOVE fall? :) I also love anything that is hand stitched, I'm not sure what I will do with this, but I think I see a pillow in it's future!
It would look adorable sitting on the couch!
Didn't Jennifer do a lovely job? Well she's a very talented lady, you should check out her blog!

So here is what you can win with my "Carry it Forward"
Included are
  • 24 "Bat" Large baking cups for cupcakes 
  • 100 "Witch Hat" Mini baking cups for cupcakes
  • 1 Bat cookie cutter
  • 2 Flat fabric quarters
  • 1 Rolled Jack O Lantern Fabric quarter
  • 1 Pack of edible candy eyeballs for making spooky desserts

Here are the contest rules
  • Just leave me a comment stating that you want to be entered in the giveaway.
  • It doesn't matter where you live in the World, I will post to you.
  • You do not have to follow me to be included in the giveaway, but it would be nice if you did, I love meeting new people!
  • You MUST be willing to "Carry it Forward" yourself with your own giveaway!
  • The contest will be opened for one week, I will close it on September 22, 2013
  • I will announce the winner on Monday September 23, 2013 and at that time I will need your address so I can send you your Autumn goodies!
I do hope you will join in for the fun, and when I pick the winner it will be done the old fashioned way, all names put in a jar and I will have my daughter pick one out.

Now... On to the excitement of my day!
I had a very good "English" day. 
Let me explain that...

I decided to go by JoAnn's Fabric and Craft store today and I found this!
YAY!!! I have heard so many of my British crafting friends talking about this magazine and I thought I would have to wait until November to get one!
Okay so it cost me nearly $12 BUT ... BUT... Okay I have no excuse... I just really wanted it, I do love me some English  magazines :)
Then I had to go to HEB, our Grocery chain here in Texas and what did I find?? What did I find you ask?? THIS
I LOVE these! I have been having them every time I've visited England for the last 5 years, and I thought it was only a holiday treat for me, but now we have them here!! yay! Guess what I had with my lunch? So now you see that it's the very small things in life that make me happy... You know... FOOD, Crafting and reading! Actually this says that it's a "Quaker" Brand which is big here in the USA, so I'm wondering who actually makes this product, I hope it's not loaded with C R A P. Who am I kidding? If it tastes like sugar, it IS sugar! Again, I ask... Why can't sugar be healthy? :)

I was pleased to stroll among the Halloween goodies, they were on sale for 40% off so it's a wonder I have any money left, but I am being as good of a saver as I can be! Minus the magazine!

Did I mention I love this time of year?
Especially hard to pass up all of the baking goodies
Martha Stewart sells everything now!
Hannah loves Halloween as much as her mom!
I think I'll pass on these M&M's though. Thank you very much!
I leave you with some Halloween Wisdom!
Have a FANTASTIC week!! And don't forget to comment and let me know if you want to be entered in the Autumn giveaway!