Thursday, 31 December 2009

HAPPY HOGMANAY!!!

Ok… had dinner (Raclette! ;) ) and the washing up was done, too.  Now we’re going to sit down to watch some form of TV … or DVD (because even though we have SKY and Virgin … there’s naught interesting on!!!). 

We’ve invited a couple of people for “open house” tomorrow … will see who’s coming around. Will be fun really. 

No … I haven’t made any resolutions yet – and I don’t think I’ve done any last year… Maybe I’ll add some points tomorrow. :) 

I doubt I will do Ali Edward’s “One Little Word”, but if I am/would do it, then I think I would chose “CHANGE”.  There’s a lot that needs changing/will change next year … so keep fingers crossed. 

Ok … hubby is back from gritting our road. :) Most likely moving upstairs to avoid drunk revellers.
 
HAVE A HAPPY HOGMANAY – GET SAFELY INTO 2010! :)

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Birthday …

Think being born between Christmas and New Year is a bad thing.
  • Your presents are always halved due to money availability
  • People are always busy, definitely getting ready for NYE
  • You yourself don’t feel up to much and tired and all that after Christmas
So usually since I’m 17 there’s nothing big done on my birthday. It’s mostly a lazy day with doing nothing special, bar presents (and thanks to everyone for that) and usually a steak dinner cooked courtesy of DH (thanks for that too, hubby!! ;) ). 

I wonder … should I change that? Should I have parties? Should I invite people around? 

We don’t even have anything on on New Year’s Eve, usually our friends are either with their families or at the Street Party.  Shame really. DH and I have been in bed by midnight in the past years … getting old????


And usually something is going wrong on my birthday … so maybe just keep it as a lazy day is best?

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Another lazy-ish day..

The last one for a bit though … tomorrow is the last “in betweeny” day (and coincidentally my birthday too), and then it’s New Year’s Eve and then New Year’s day.  Where has the year gone???

I haven’t been kissed by the scrapping muse yet … was hoping to do some digi scrapping but somehow am not sure how/where to start … had a look at the tutorial sites too but am not getting anywhere yet. 

About to start hitting the books … due to re-sit the 3rd part of my exam on the 20th January and really NEED to get it done so I can call myself “qualified Sports Therapist”. 

Had a call from the temp agency today – everything is sorted for me to start again on the 3rd (different department, same old stuff), I don’t even need to re-register with Reed again, although I didn’t work for/through them in December at all. 

Ordered a couple of crafty things online for me from my Daddy as birthday presents, and probably for my mum too … will figure that out when I phone them tonight. Didn’t manage to get them on the line since Xmas … :o

Tomorrow I am planning on playing catch up with JYC entries … REALLY want to finish the journal/album this time and start a new one in 2010. :) 

Off to start 2 hours studying at 3pm, currently waiting for the washing machine to finish. 

Oh … and today our back garden looks again like this … we had some snowfall around noon-ish. :) DH thinks it was about 1-2 inches.



Saturday, 26 December 2009

Me in 2009 week 52

Outside my Window: Grey but a bit of sun – snow’s still on the ground
I am Thinking: I’ve had a nice Christmas, but as usual it was over too quickly
From the Kitchen: Mmmmh… had my brunch brought up by DH – haven’t been downstairs yet today! ;)
I am Learning: I’ll have to hit the books (anatomy & physiology) from tomorrow for the re-sit of the 3rd part of my exam!
I am Wearing: Jogging bottoms, T’shirt and a fleece (it’s very cold today!)
I am Creating: Nothing right now but will move to the study in a bit to do some JYC entries… ;)
I am Going: to update my blog with the archived JYC entries, do some more entries and then have dinner later on – leftovers from Christmas eve.
I am Reading: Currently “Ice Limit” and blogs & Facebook. From tomorrow anatomy & physiology books plus my notes.
I am Hoping: for a bit more snow and that my studying will stick in my brain! ;)
I am Hearing: “Bones” on TV (watching as well) – catching up on SKY+. Fav songs at the moment though… “Just Say Yes” – Snow Patrol and “I got a Feeling” – Black Eyed Peas.
Around the House: Cold and Christmassy decos downstairs.
One of my Favorite Things: my heating blanket for the bed. ;)
A Few Plans for Next Week: STUDYING! Catching up on the Christmas Journal … not freaking out about turning 35! ;)

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Pre-dinner update from Christmas HQ

Tree is decorated, presents put under the tree, living room tidied and the duck looks fine in the oven.

DH is now hovering the hall and I am going to deal with the trimmings. ;)

Will add pictures tomorrow.

Wishing everyone in Germany & mainland Europe Frohe Weihnachten/Joyeux Noel/Merry Christmas! ;)

Christmas HQ

Been to the hospital early morning for scan post op cyst - all clear. Went shopping (we braved TESCO & B&Q (who are sold out of Christmas lights replacement bulbs ... obviously!).

I've put on another Stollen Dough in the bread maker (DH took half of the old one to work and we are giving our neighbours Sheila & Neil a piece), the duck is defrosted nicely (need to check for recipes for giblets now) and DH has freed the Christmas Tree from the ice bucket (and that's what it was ... the water in the bucket froze - no wonder, it was apparently -16 degrees Celcius overnight! :o ) with hot water and a hammer. ;) Bucket 0 (it's split and ready for the bin) - DH/Tree 1.

Hung up some bird feeding things for our feathered friends and now have my late lunch, then will write the last Xmas card (need to deliver 2 to our neighbours) and finish off MIL's Christmas present (Photos will be up a bit later).

At 3 pm I'll get the duck ready and then decorate the tree.

We're having friends around tonight - looking forward to that. :)

Next update later ... oh ... and Santa has just been to deliver presents in New Zealand! ;)




Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Up late – about 2 hours googling!! BAUBLES

Don’t you just hate it when you try to find something and even Google doesn’t get you anywhere? Different searches don’t get you anywhere closer to the result? 

I was searching for the name of the Vendor of these tea light holders (and also Christmas baubles) – I bought one of them in 2008 (or was it 2007)
Teelichthalter
and fancied one of the tea light baubles like this one

but our bags were already full with Christmas presents so DH said it wouldn’t survive the trip (and he’s right … still, would have LOVED to get my hands on one of them!). 

I’ve googled “Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt” in different variations, both in English and German, searched for “hand crafted Christmas Baubles with tea lights” etc, but just didn’t get anywhere!!! It was really frustrating!! 

I am really not sure WHY Google suddenly spat out the correct website!! Or which word triggered the result. BUT … now for future reference for myself … these baubles are from K B SCHMIDT – TEUTEBERG.  And don’t you ever forget that again, missy!! ;) Because I don’t want to do a fruitless Google search for 2+ hours EVER AGAIN for it!!! ;) 

Anyway… good night! :)

Sunday, 20 December 2009

It’s snowing again… ! :)

We might have a White Christmas after all this year?!

NAWH… it’s Scotland … the snow will be gone in time for the 24th… :(

I managed to get some pics before the kids are back out to play and throw some snow balls … love the “virgin snow” really. Will take some pics of the front garden tomorrow morning I think – hopefully it’s still there – it’s supposed to be freezing overnight, so chances are good?

IMG_0204

And yes … I know … there’s a bulb out on my lights … 3 in fact  … really have to get replacements soon. LOVE the Christmas lights though.

Can’t believe my Mojo has deserted me again… :o I’ve been browsing blogs & forums and reading my card making mags and still have no idea what to do as the next batch of Xmas cards (won’t be that many anyway).  So… I’ll  try my best. Got enough nice stamps for it!

Continuing to listen to NFL (TV is off to my right in the current study so I can’t watch while trying to be creative (we really have to move the study downstairs!!). Just know DH’s Miami Dolphins are behind at halftime. :(

Keep fingers crossed that my Mojo will hit me again please … I also have to do some other cards etc  … and a box to hold them as a Christmas Present … still not sure how to alter the box mind … Any ideas/links???

Weekend update

Yesterday DH and I had a long lie in, then went to see "Law Abiding Citizen" (GOOD!) and while at the cinema we missed the next snow "storm" in Edinburgh. :o When we got out it was all over and some of the white stuff (LOL) was turning into slush.

We then went to the Gyle to pick up our tree (Caring Christmas Trees - Bethany's) - a 6ft tree and this year I think it's not a "Tiny Tim" adoption like last year (looked a bit crooked). ;)  But it may turn out a bit funny, too - we did a quick decision as it was getting dark. I'll post a photo on the 24th pre-deco so you can see.


After that we went food shopping ... in the madness that is ALREADY going on ... usually that only happens the last 2 days or so prior to Christmas Day! I quickly dashed to WHSmith for mags (no crafty ones caught my eye though) and then got some "Swirls" at Millie's Cookies (DH LOVES them and they didn't have them for a while ... until this year when we found them on our stay in York!) - I kinda suspected I'd need them to bribe him to keep calm while shopping...

And I was right! Morrisons was a nightmare! People stopping in the middle of the aisle, walking less than walking speed ... DH not being able to find the White choc Oreos ... All in all we were just happy to be out again with most of the shopping to cover us until 28th/29th - and DH loved his Cookie Swirl. ;)

Evening was mostly me clearing Sky+ of NCIS LA and after dinner we caught up with BBC's Merlin (well... think 1-2 are still to be watched).

Today I've spent 4-5 hours ironing (YAWN!)... was thinking of doing some baking as well, but will leave that to tomorrow or Tuesday. I'll be going upstairs now to write some Xmas cards (despite me not wanting to send any this year but feel compelled to send some to the people who sent them to us - the usual. :o ) and do some scrapbooking (JYC catch up anyone??).  Oh ... and I'll have to google for tutorials how to cover boxes ... so if anyone who's reading this could post comments with links they are aware of that would be great! Thanks!!

PS: Today's tea from my Tea advent calendar was EARL GREY. :)





JYC Day 20 - “Tales of the Unexpected”

Today’s prompt was for something unexpected, like a letter/Christmas Card you received from a person you haven’t heard from in ages etc.

My entry is for the Crafts Advent Calendar I did that year (2007 and every year since) with the German Scrapbookers … and I loved the experience … even more than with my fellow scrappers on UKS (ok … that might be a bit mean, but it’s nice to see what the crafters on mainland Europe are doing! ;) ).

Day 20 I got this Advent Calendar this year too but only managed to open parcels 1 & 2 – which is bad, but I seem to be in such stress right now … :o Have to catch up with the opening at some point … before the new year! LOL.

Friday, 18 December 2009

JYC Day 18 - “Food”

Day 18

Christmas seems to be laden with tons of food, doesn’t it? ;) And I love it. Cookies, Duck/Goose, red cabbage, dumplings (so far the only time of the year we actually have dumplings – a German staple food!), Stollen…

YUM!

Usually we have a traditional German Christmas on Christmas Eve (no bland Turkey!!!) and then on Christmas Day we visit the inlaws and MIL is cooking the traditional British Christmas fayre.

What I never understood is that with a dry bird like Turkey the Brits only use Cranberry Sauce or Jelly … why not opt for Gravy? We always have gravy with the Duck … you need gravy for the Dumplings anyway! ;)

 

Every year I tell myself to start the baking earlier … and every year I only start making the Stollen (non-marzipan) and cookies the week before Christmas or in the worst case on Christmas Eve.

*I REALLY HAVE TO CHANGE THAT!!!*

Thursday, 17 December 2009

A new "once a week" thing

I've seen these a couple of times coming up on my Google Reader and today I came across Deena's so I thought I am going to do that now as well... once a week, when I find the time! ;)

Outside my Window: It's all grey and slushy ... not snowing and no hale anymore either.
I am Thinking: Just been driving DH's big brown chair around town and could have stayed in the warm house for 1.5 hours doing stuff ... like baking... or wrapping presents ...
From the Kitchen: The smell of salmon gratin and my christmas tea. Yumm!!
I am Learning: I am definitely still able to drive in snow/slush. ;)
I am Wearing: Jogging bottoms and a fleece.
I am Creating: Nothing just yet - but hopefully later today some cards & JYC entries!
I am Going: to have lunch, then resize Clansmen photos and burning them to CD for the coach to pick them up.
I am Reading: Far too many blogs, Facebook, Forums and Ice Limit.
I am Hoping: That I get the big brown chair fixed soon for DH and get therefore more time to get stuff for Christmas sorted ... and that I get into the Christmas spirit before the 24th!
I am Hearing: Frasier on the TV.
Around the House: Quite a mess that needs sorting soon!
One of my Favorite Things: Stollen without Marzipan in any form! ;)
A Few Plans for Next Week: Getting everything sorted for Christmas!


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets

I just love them… ;) Just something to cheer everyone up who’s currently suffering from Christmas Preparations Stress… ;)

Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

JYC Day 15 - “Visitors”

Day 15

Archival Entry … tomorrow is going to be another new one! ;)

Visitors … we usually celebrate Christmas Eve by ourselves, and visit the inlaws on Christmas Day. In 2005 my Mutsch, Sis and Nephew were over for Christmas and it was fun.

This year, however, we have invited friends who are over from Australia for 1.5 years and have no family to visit – looking forward to having Aisha & “Wombat” over. ;)

Another “tradition” we’ve started is to visit my side of the family around St. Nikolaus to exchange presents (I don’t trust Royal Mail anymore after they delivered parcels at New Year’s Eve even though we sent them off before the last posting date for Germany!!!), go for nice meals and of course visit the Frankfurt Christmas Market at least once. :) 

Monday, 14 December 2009

JYC Day 14 - “Music”

Yup… archival … ;)  It’s got journalling in the pocket, the left hand side are the lyrics of my favourite Xmas song “Driving home for Christmas” by Chris Rea, and I’ve printed some song sheets of German Christmas Carols directly onto Card stock.
Day 14

Sunday, 13 December 2009

JYC Day 13 - “Tales of Christmas Presents”

Day 13 I love giving gifts … more than I like receiving them I think. :)  Yes, I do love pressies, but it gives me a great feeling to see the joy on the others’ faces when I selected a present they really like. :)

So far it’s equal pressies opening, I pass a present to DH and he passes one to me. Tradition was to open one present on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas Day, but we have changed it to presents for each other and the ones from Germany on Christmas Eve (as is German custom) and then the other presents from the inlaws on Christmas Day when we visit them.  Presents are always opened AFTER Christmas Eve Dinner though.

This year, however, we’re just going to open 1 present each on Christmas Eve as we’re going to have friends over … ;)

I think once we have kids I would like them to follow the tradition from my side of the family of reciting a poem or playing a tune/singing a song before they can open their presents. ;)

Saturday, 12 December 2009

JYC Day 12 - “Tales of Christmas Past”

Day 12

And we’re still in the realms of Archives … not long to go though and it will be all new Layouts! :)

This photo was taken a looooong time ago … I don’t even know how old my big sis and I were at that time.

Christmas Eve was then celebrated the following way:

  • At around 3pm my sis and I had to move into our rooms to play/watch telly, while my dad decorated the tree and my mum cooked the bird.
  • At around 6pm we’d hear a small bell  ringing – the sign for us that the “Christkind” has been and left the presents
  • We’d then be allowed in the living room and would see our big Christmas tree with real candles and my dad would always put sheets of wrapping paper on the floor … something I really liked (we’ve got a christmassy sheet now)
  • My sis and I would have to “perform” something before we’d be allowed to open our presents … either do something musical (both my sis and I played the “Blockfloete (recorder)) or recite a Christmassy Poem
  • Then presents opening would commence…

The food for Christmas eve was usually a bird of some description (Duck or Goose), dumplings, red cabbage and Brussel sprouts. I don’t remember what we had for dessert though… most likely my Granny’s cookies… ;)

Friday, 11 December 2009

JYC Day 11 - “Christmas Tree”

Day 11We’re getting our tree for several years from “Caring Christmas Trees” (Bethany’s) – and have been “adopting” trees who nobody wanted in the past … I coined them “Tiny Tim” trees (i.e. crooked ones. ;) ).  With a bit of creative adjusting of the tree base and some good decorating they turned out nice either way. :)
Different decorations from the UK as far as I can see – we do not have a Fairy or Angel at the top of the tree … we have  a “spire” which looks a bit like the spire of a Church (see small insert on tree at the top).  That’s something I grew up with, and I won’t put anything else on top of the tree. ;)  Unfortunately, it’s not an heirloom – I bought the spire some years ago (prior to that we didn’t have anything at the top of the tree) at the “Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt”.


I also bought the “Christmas Gherkin” there  (from a stall that I cannot find anymore since they removed the stalls from the “Zeil” -  “Das Glaskugelhaus”. They are at the Birmingham Christmas Market though (amongst others), so maybe I’ll go there in 2010?  Or buy stuff from their eBay shop? ;)
Americans claim it’s an old  German Tradition to hide that Gherkin in the tree for the kids to find … but the Internet shows that
Germans say it’s not a German tradition.  Well… I don’t really care, it’s a cute tradition and I’ll keep it … ;) So far it’s just DH and me in the family, but I can imagine it’s a nice and fun tradition once kids are around. ;)
My colour scheme is usually  gold and red (plus individual ornaments purchased on holidays) – again a tradition from my side of the family.  It was either that  or blue and silver … although, after my parents got divorced my mum tried purple one year, and I quite like the idea of a bronze scheme.  But so far it’s red and gold. ;) And there seems to be the annual telephone call from MIL to check what the colour scheme of the year is. ;)
We also used to have Lametta instead of the tinsel which is common in the UK but as it’s not easy to get that over here I resorted to tinsel. Ah, well… ;)
lametta Tinsel
Phew … quite a big story regarding Christmas trees … that’s not even all in the JYC LO!! ;)


Thursday, 10 December 2009

JYC Day 10 - “Gift Central”

Welcome to the Archives … ;)

And I am sorry for the picture quality … my old Medion scanner does not agree with my new VISTA PC  … and I haven’t had a chance to look into software to get them to work together. :(  And didn’t have the time to do the whole switch of cables to my old (XP) PC which works with the scanner no problem.

Today’s prompt was about gift wrapping and Shimelle suggested we use wrapping paper on our layout. ;)

I usually have one style of wrapping paper per person – it’s kinda a tradition of mine… :)  Makes it easier if you lose tags.

Day 10

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Journal Your Christmas Day 9 - “Traditions”

Traditions - Day 9

We have a couple of traditions, which are mostly from me introduced into the marriage … being German and all that (we seem to be Christmas mad by default! ;) ) and DH being more a Scrooge.

  • Stockings on St. Nikolaus Day (6th Dec)
  • Advent Calendards
  • Advent wreath
  • Tree up & decorated on 24th
  • German “trimmings” on Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Newsletter (although I didn’t have the time to write that this year! :o )
  • Visit the Christmas Market (best if in Germany!)
  • Disney Christmas Movies (yet have to do that)
  • Visit the Inlaws on Christmas Day
  • Real Tree (6 ft tall)
  • Gluehwein
  • Opening our presents and the ones from Germany on Christmas Eve after Dinner
  • Rock Christmas CDs (plus now Traditional Christmas music & Three Tenors Christmas CD)

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

JYC Day 8 - “Sights of Christmas”

Day 8

And we’re still getting layouts from the Vault! ;) Today’s prompt was “Sights of Christmas” and I cut inchies from photos for that one … from my work’s Christmas Night out, the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, Poinsettia, my Advent Wreath, Scrapping Advent Calendar, Snowmen Deco at Fountain Park, one of our Christmas Stockings and Christmas Lights in the narrow street from St. James’s Centre towards Harvey Nick’s.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Quick weekend recap

A bit behind ... came home later than expected yesterday after a very mentally exhausting weekend - preparation weekend/last practical module (and first for me in about 2.5 years!) before the final exam/before I am going to re-sit the 3rd part of the exam. :) 

I went through to Glasgow Airport (the module took place at the Holiday Inn there) on Friday courtesy of Citylink Buses (and the price has gone up considerably for a open return ticket!!). Felt like I didn't study enough (and I probably didn't, but confessed that immediately to the tutor) -  but fortunately the knowledge which was dormant for the last 3-ish years is still there ... just hiding in the "cupboard" of my brain! :)  Been doing revision both Friday and Saturday evening though.

Had a very good tutor, and I am glad that Sports Rehab & Education has added this practical module (Module V), which did not exist when I sat the exam ... and failed one part. I am more confident to resit now, and should be ok once I have brushed up on my A (Anatomy) and P (Physiology).

The exam is on 20 January 2010!!!

Will be busy until Saturday so am not sure if I can post the JYC entries via the calendar option tomorrow morning before the rush starts ... otherwise you'll have to wait until Sunday. :)

Haven't had time to do the entry for Day 6 yet either ... :o Cannae wait until next Monday when I  will have more time to get organised for Christmas etc. ;)


Journal Your Christmas Day 7 - “Still to do”

To Do - Day 7 

And another one from the Archive … this time the “to do list”. This layout is from 2007 and in comparison to 2009:

2007: Get Duck
2009: DH already bought 2 ducks

2007: Send cards & Gifts
2009: Yeah… same

2007: Buy gifts @ Amazon
2009: Same

2007: Bake Cookies
2009: Bake cookies

2007: Clean Living room
2009: Clean Living room

Somehow I can see a pattern there, although the reason is this year Studying for the practical module V instead of being bed ridden. :o

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Journal Your Christmas Day 5 "Counting Down"








Advent Calendars today ... and I have the same ones each year, including a crafty one from Dani's Forum (German Scrappers). But yes, usually the wooden Tree one, a chocolate one (this year DH and I agreed to share one - just for the diet! ;) So we get the choc on alternate days) and my tea one. The latter might sound funny, but my German tea shop "Der Teeladen" has an advent calendar where you get a tea probe (testing package for just one pot) each day - different flavours. I LOVE that one! :)  Makes me take some time out as well.

My mum gave me one of the Makramee Advent calendars she's made waaaayyyy back when I was about 10 or so. I had planned to put the Scrapbooking Advent calendar on it, but unfortunately most packages don't have any way of attaching it. Ah well, maybe next year ... I actually got it from her (she's got another one for my big sis) for future kids ... but yeah... well... that still has to wait a bit. :( 

So ... what advent calendar/s do YOU have?


Friday, 4 December 2009

Journal Your Christmas Day 4 "Perfect Christmas"

Mmmh... somehow I am feeling a bit a cheater with all those archived entries ... but on the other hand ... things this year are just not working out just yet for a quiet and relaxing Advent/Christmas ... so there! :P LOL. And there will be lots of original 2009 entries later on. :D Promised!



Thursday, 3 December 2009

Journal Your Christmas Day 3 "Christmas Cards"


Fresh from the Archives ...

Today's prompt is CARDS. As for this year's cards ... none made, but hoping to catch up Sunday/Monday for that. ;)




Slight difference this year? Scout Post in Edinburgh is no more... :( And I am wondering with the whole lot going on and money situation I am going to cut down on the cards being sent by mail - will resort to E-mail ones this year mostly I think.

Quick update...

just before I start studying for a bit. ;)

Got my granny's Vanilla Crescent (courtesy of my sis). :) So will do some baking Sunday/Monday or later next week. :)

Still hardly any presents done/bought ... needs to be sorted by Sunday/Monday for the overseas people.

Got a headache... typical. :o

Further update later on, really need to get some studying done now.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Journal Your Christmas Day 2 - "Weather"


Ok... another archived JYC entry ... ;) I just don't have time this year to do them new. :o Far too much stuff on, and Christmas just sneaked up on me!! No cards done, no doors opened on my Advent calendars (bar the tea one of course!!).

Prompt was weather and we were encouraged to cut a snowflake. I just did a Quilling class that time and decided I try to quill a snowflake. The result is not half bad, eh? ;) Haven't really quilled anything since, but I have purchased a quilling book and will look into that again. :) 

The first "fresh" LO for JYC 2009 will be on the 6th I think. :) Then I have a couple random ones and then quite a lot still to do - at a time when things will be a bit quieter for me I hope.




Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Journal Your Christmas Day 1




















Ok... that's the first entry I started in 2006 and finished in 2007. I am not going to make a new entry for this year as I finally want to finish this album (on it since 2005!!) - but I will be working on digi LOs from Jessica Sprague's Holidays in Hand class and post them here when I get the time.

Cookie Swap Blog train!!

If you've come here through the "Cookie Swap Blog Train" from Amber's Blog then you know why you've landed here... ;)  If you're one of my regular readers or just found my blog, you can read about this Blog train here.

If you would like to go to the front of the train and have a look at all the "carriages" please go to Lois' blog - she's the conductor! ;) 

I'm a sucker for Christmas Cookies ... never leave enough time to bake them though, and I always end up with the same ones.  My granny (dad's mum) used to do the baking for the whole family, and she always had TONS of cookies ready to go onto our "Bunte Teller" (a Christmas plate with cookies, chocolates, satsumas, apples - just everything. It's a selection plate of every Christmas sweet snack really. ;)  ).  She used to store them on her "Loggia" (balcony) in one of those seats with storage space. They were always nice and cool when we got them. 

My absolute favourite cookies are the "Vanilla Crescent". And though I have tried for years now I never ever get the same result as granny.  ... Neither does my big sis, for that matter. ;) 

This year I decided to start the baking early ... in the past years I always just did a quick batch on Christmas Eve, but this year I will start baking the first week in December ... I have a couple more people this year I can offload cookies at if we got too many. ;) 

 So... here is a recipe for Vanilla Crescents (or "Vanillekipferl" in the original) - I have stashed my granny's recipe away somewhere safe and cannot find it again... :o My sis will check her books and send me an e-mail but that will be most likely tomorrow or later this week . So I might post my granny's recipe later together with a photo of my own results (instead of a web pic).  :) 

Vanilla Crescents without Egg (approx. 50)

                    

(photo source: ichkoche.at)


Ingredients:
250g Flour
200g Butter
100g Sugar
75g powdered Sugar
Pinch of Salt
2 packs of Bourbon-flavoured Vanilla Sugar
100g ground Almonds
2 Vanilla Beans 



Directions:
  1. Mix the flour, vanilla sugar, powdered sugar, salt, almonds and butter. Knead into a smooth dough. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Form dough into finger-sized rolls and cut into approx. 5cm long pieces. Form into crescents and lay out on 2 baking sheets lined with waxed/baking paper.
  3. In the meantime, slit open the vanilla beans lengthwise, scrape out the pulp and mix thoroughly with the sugar. Place in a shallow bowl.
  4. Immediately after baking, roll the crescents in the vanilla sugar.

If you enjoyed my recipe and like the photo, please go to the next carriage, where Cate is already waiting with her recipe. ;)

Monday, 30 November 2009

Crafty Advent Calendar



Have you seen the new blinkie on my sidebar? The wonderful Katharina Fei of "Whiff of Joy" and her team will be providing a crafty Advent Calendar.

I LOVE her stamps - only got into them late this year ... and have to admit it's mostly Elizabeth Bell's stamps I like. They have put the Magnolia Stamps into the background now. ;)

Anyway - have a looksie at Katharina's Blog - she's giving away a surprise package!! :)

Advent Calendars Ready? NO!

I don't know... somehow I am a little out of sync with everything right now. Maybe it's the news about my job, maybe it's just me being generally not prepared whatsoever. And maybe it's the quick trip to York the weekend including first Advent. Or maybe it's me trying to get some studying in to get prepped for the preparation practical weekend for the Exam (most likely beginning/mid January).

I haven't got the Xmas decos down from the loft. I haven't got our advent wreath out, the first candle therefore wasn't lit yet.

Do I like it? NO - Not at all! :( . And it seems it's every year the same, Christmas is just creeping up at me ... that so doesn't work out with the advent time I had when I was a kid!!

I'll be doing a to-do list for this week, which will include about 3-4 hours studying every day plus other things.

Today my brain wasn't functioning for studying ... the cold is back with a vengeance, but this time we step away from the cough (it's still there, but only coming up sometimes) and now we're back to snotty/stuffy nose  - switching from blocked to runny at random.  
:(  Brain being cotton-wooley, so I had a look at the Tortora about 30 mins and that's that.

Made my way into town to meet up with my best (UK) friend Sharon to have a cuppa Chai Latte at  Caffe Nero's.  Even with Princes Street being opened again it is a round trip of 2.5 - 3 hours (which involved only 1 hour time with Sharon & her boyfriend!!).  I really hate that about Edinburgh!!!

But it was definitely good to have a quick catch up with Sharon again. :)

Friday, 27 November 2009

Update on Shimelle's "BfS" class..

Yes ... you could have guessed so... I know... ;) I haven't lasted long with Shimelle's class "Blogging for Scrapbookers". Typical, eh? Somehow life's always getting in the way when I do online classes for crafts ... same with Jessica Sprague's "Holidays in Hand" class.

But I intend to catch up with both on my own time ... and considering my current situation I will have some more time in about 2 weeks time ... first I have to get some studying done and then we're off to visit my family for a few days.

ANYWAY!!!! ;)

In line of the "Blogging for Scrapbookers" class there have been lots of "Blog Trains" popping up.

Blog trains are effectively themed entries which are leading you from one blog to another. They are also called "Blog Hops".

I've joined one of those "trains" and we (a group of 12 of Shimelle's Students of the "BfS" class) will set up a blog train on 1 December 2009 where we're going to share a Christmas Cookie Recipe and (hopefully) a photo of the finished product too!! :)

The girlies who are going to be boarding the train with me are:

Lois
Leanne
Deanna
Margie
Evalyn
Amber
Cate
Angela
Anne
Marcy
Beverly

Make sure you're coming back on 1 December for a lot of nice cookie recipes!!! :D

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Today's news in short

Got into work, was pulled aside by deputy head of department (neither HoD or team manager in) and told that my temp contract (usually renewed every 3 months and already running for 2.5 years) ending this Friday is not going to be renewed!!!

Had to wait for confirmation by phone from TM because he tried everything to get our contracts extended. It's all temps from my team (and others in Customer Service), but I am the only one whose contract finishes end of the month, while theirs is on the 11th December. 

Totally shocked and angry and annoyed at me crying about the news all day on and off. 

Tomorrow is my last day (as I am only working 2 days/week) and then I am out of a job. 

Plans and bigger rant to follow tomorrow ... I am knackered due to crying and headaches from the crying.

 Just HAD to add to my "out of office" notice: 


SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH!!!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Still "gunky" (a weekend update)

Still feeling "gunky" ... all that mucus in my nose and throat does NOT make me feel like wanting to do anything.

Couple of snags from the weekend: Broke the screen of my small camera somehow (has a crack and therefore LCD screen is broken) and the Clansmen @ Mavericks game was called off due to the heavy rain this week... :( Won't see my Clan until 13th now. :o

We had a good turnout at the Wolves Rookie Day though (50 guys!) and lots of athletes, too. From this Sunday we're going to have 3 Sundays of "Football School" - i.e. teaching the fundamentals of American Football. Let's hope that lots of the Rookies will come back and join the Wolfpack! :)

Junior training was good, too - they have been waiting desperately for training, I assume - we had 12 kids down (10 returning and 2 rookies) with a couple of guys not able to make it. Things are looking up there for the Wolfcubs... ;)

Went to see the inlaws after training & shopping and it was good to catch up again.

Then cough increased again... really HATE that! I am getting to have the 6-8 weeks cough again, I am sure!!! :o

As for Saturday night - Went to the Circus Casino for my colleague Shari's going leaving night - good food, not 100% sure on the company though (included a lot of alcohol for them... huh!). Cough was getting worse during dinner, so I left after 3 hours to get back home. I will miss Shari quite a lot!!! Have to speak to DH about a trip to Barbados to visit her! ;)

Oh ... and my Fantasy Team is doing not the best... I am currently losing faith in Donovan McNabb!! :o And Peterson/Rice didn't get their usual points either... Still have Nate Washington for tonight but I would only win if he got me more than 12 points and Stuey's (this week's opponent for me) Linebacker doesn't get ANY points... I doubt that's going to happen... :o Ah well... we'll see. I WOULD be winning if we wouldn't allow another QB to be the additional Offensive Player! I mean ... how COULD I beat Brett Favre's points, even with Stuey's starting QB leaving the game injured (Kurt Warner) after earning only 19 points. ... :o


Friday, 20 November 2009

Slight change of plans?

Well... I am still not 100% ... that stupid lurgy is just stuck with me. Gunk in my throat and nose, but at least I don't have the facial pain from sinusitis. At least SOMETHING!! Got my (normal) flu jag on Tuesday, and the nurse booked me in for the Swine Flu jag next week Wednesday ... yep, I'm classified as "risk group person" due to my Asthma. And I kinda trust in those jags, so will go and get it, although lots of friends/acquaintances who had taken tamiflu said they felt horrible. Wonder if it's because they already HAD swine flu (or a very strong flu) and that aggravated it a bit, or if it was a side effect? But then ... others said they only had a very painful arm with bruise. Let's hope for the latter, eh?

I've not done anything for the crop tomorrow ... IF I am going (depending on how I feel), I will only take the stamp swap thingies, my embossing powders, ink pads, heat gun and the Chinese Whispers. Travelling light. I will only stay until 12pm max as we're having the Wolves Rookie Day from 1:30pm. And knowing me I am not able to do more than just 2 cards during 2 hours anyway! ;)

We've had word today that the pitches at JKC are called off for Sunday ... which means that the CLANSMEN v MAVERICKS game is cancelled. I personally don't have it officially yet from my Head coach, but as our Juniors are training the same day I'm part of the "intel". :) Will be going to Junior training to see the boys again, but afternoon will be off ... might actually get some catch up and scrapping done??

As for crafties ... I will be finally able to post my Chinese Whispers on my blog after tomorrow ... just so you see I HAVE been doing some scrapping ... even though it's just one layout per month! ;)


Thursday, 19 November 2009

I've been deserted!!! ;)

Sitting here, still with my sinusitis, and am just feeling bleh! Decided against going to my 2nd Ceroc Class in Edinburgh because of the stuffy nose/head, and it's probably for the better, as I need to be fighting fit for a football-filled weekend (well... at least be OK to survive ... fighting fit at the moment is a bit much I think!!).

DH is upstairs, sleeping ... his Miami Dolphins are playing this night (1:30am - 4:30am or so) and he has to go to work tomorrow... I'm staying up and see if I can watch at least half the game. ;)

I've got lots to catch up with, am TOTALLY behind with Shimelle's class, and haven't started on Jessica Sprague's new free class, "Holidays in hand". Something I am probably going to catch up with tomorrow.

As for the weekend ... (American) Football will be back in full force over the next month - The Edinburgh Wolves have their ROOKIE TRYOUT DAY on Saturday. Junior Wolves have their 1st training session before Xmas on Sunday and then there is the first of 2 games I probably have to show at least a bit of impartiality!!! ;) STIRLING CLANSMEN v NAPIER MAVERICKS.

The Clansmen are my BUAFL (British University American Football League) team from this season onward as you may have gathered from previous posts (LOL), while the Napier Mavericks are now being coached by an ALL EDINBURGH WOLVES COACHING STAFF!!!

Got a bit of a history with that uni team though - we used to have a Uni team (combined Napier and Uni of Edinburgh plus players from the Colleges) affiliated to us, the "Timberwolves". The "Presidency" was first at Uni of Edinburgh and then moved to Napier. Then there was a bit of discord between the Uni Team and the Wolves, involving them using our kit without paying after the first Club President left, coaching staff from another Senior League team being involved and them plus a couple of players ACTIVELY recruiting players for that team in question - which is nowhere near Edinburgh - needless to say we never got many players out of that. So we cut the ties ... and that was when the Uni team was aptly renamed "Mavericks".

This season, however, BUAFL introduced a new rule of "Single institution Teams" - i.e. players could only come from the one uni. Therefore Napier and Uni of Edinburgh had to split ... and unfortunately, the College players have nowhere to go during BUAFL season (ssssh... come to the SENIOR WOLVES!!! ;) ). Most of the "players of the team in question" from above are now with the Edinburgh Predators (Uni of Edinburgh) and therefore I should have no problems supporting the Mavericks, but the history of that team still leaves some bitter aftertaste in my mouth... we'll see what happens over the course of the BUAFL season ... and hopefully the coaching staff can get some players for the Wolves!!

And of course I picked already my BUAFL team ... ;) And like being part of the Clan. :)

Ok ... sorry... that turned out to be another Football post again... huh!!!

Music I am currently totally loving...

JUST SAY YES - Snow Patrol

A song I've so far been able to avoid and now got it in my head all the time as "good mood" song..
Found it through Shimelle's Class "Blogging for Scrapbookers" ... several ladies posted it on their blog ... FAB!! :) And I love that version/lyrics ... listening to it before Clansmen games!! ;)



Older favourites are "Don't Stop Believing" - Journey and "Shadow of the Day" - Linkin Park.

But I came across piano accoustic cover versions of these songs ... from my latest favourite band, Boyce Avenue!! Judge for yourselves!! :D





And then just 2 of their own songs I love (and I love ALL their own songs!!):






Monday, 16 November 2009

Welcome back to Tissue mountain!!

BILD0378

Yup... it's my DH's birthday, and I am sitting in bed, a box of tissues around (hope that's enough!) and feeling totally unhappy.     :(

My cold with the nasty cough turned into sinusitis yesterday over the course of the day. :o  Haven't had sinusitis in a while, so it hit me quite hard, and I am totally annoyed that this happens on DH's birthday.

He got his presents at least ... but that's about it. No traditional Birthday Muffin, can't go for meal out or to the cinema tonight as I am feeling totally crap. :(  Got that typical "cotton wool" head I tend to get with sinusitis.

That stupid cold was on its way out last week, and I don't have a clue why/how it got back!! :(

So ... feeling sorry for myself and for DH for not having a nice birthday.  :(

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Lurgy is back with a vengeance...

...and I am feeling crap and sorry for myself right now.

Was up at 6:15am to drive DH and Scott to Waverley station (well... more likely drive the car back home) - went to Tesco on the way back to get some stuff for the cold, as I want to be at least in "working order" if not fit for tomorrow's game.

Can't find my rotary cutter, and with me feeling "blah" I think I will give DH the current birthday gift for Xmas. Got other presents he can get on Monday. Oh ... just in case I cannae find my rotary cutter ... you think I can cut fabric with a pizza cutter? Its blade is sharp enough... ;)

Might do some scrapping later, and I am definitely going to bake the 3rd batch of cheesecake brownies ... but probably doing some studying as well... if my brain actually lets me do that!! :o

About to get a 2nd cuppa...


Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Wednesday...

Just a quick note, as it's nearly time for bed again! :o

Yep... I am behind ... I haven't done any of Shim's blog entries 3-8, haven't even read half of them. Been busy ... as you may be able to gather from the "To Do" list from Tuesday.

Today I was at work, got some news about LTSB but am not sure how that affects me as a SW temp ... might not affect me, or I might not have a job in 2010. Who knows. Might just mean my plans of a career change/going to uni might come to fruitition earlier than planned and I just need to get my head around things.

After work I took my shoes to get the heels sorted (and they'll be ready for CEROC tomorrow!! :) ), then went to Choc Soup to meet up with Aisha - had a fab hour and a bit with her again - she's off with Wombat to visit her family in Australia this weekend for a month. Discussed a couple of European holiday options for them for next year and have to remember to send her the links to different sites. ;)

Got back home, had quick dinner (ta to DH who made quick Spaghetti with Tomato sauce) and then went on to edit the remaining 100 photos from Sunday's game. JUST managed to get the editing done, resizing and burning the photos onto CD before Coach turned up to pick it up.

And then I ordered my big sis' birthday pressies...

Currently catching up with my fellow "classmates" on their blogs ... who have been keeping up better with Shim's class than me and even managed some scrapping... which I yet have to do but have plans for it on my next day off on Friday. :)

Plans for the rest of the week???

Thursday:

Work
Dinner with Nikki B @ Jekyll & Hyde
Ceroc (and dancing with Dave B - he owes me a dance!! ;) )
Set FFL

Friday:
Stage 1 of DH's birthday pressie
Prepare crop stuff for UKS Cyber Crop
Tidy Study
Have lunch with Vicky B @ HW
STUDY!
Make 3 Batches (or 4?) Cheesecake Brownies
Geek Squad Cinema trip - "2012"

Saturday:

Drive DH & SNW to Train station early morning
Scrap @ UKS Cyber Crop
Stage 2 of DH's birthday pressie
STUDY!

Sunday:
Clansmen @ Tigers game
STUDY!

PHEW!!! ;)

Oh... and go for a swim on Friday or Saturday... easing back into gym work after OP and lurgy! And at some point I am going to catch up with Shimelle's class as well... Friday or Saturday. :)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Senior vs Uni Football?

Now that I’ve attended the Clansmen (Uni Football) Vets training camp, one training session, 2 scrimmages and my first game I am getting to know the Clan better and that’s nice. :)

What suddenly hit me though, is the fact that I may not see all of them again next season … because some of them finish their degrees over summer. Huh!

Granted, we have players coming and going with the Wolves (Senior Football) as well, usually the guys I get along great stay … we still have quite a quota from our affiliation season in 2002 and the first season in 2003 … believe it’s a total of 5? Cavey, Ali, Alan M, Allan P & Pete (only coaching from 2010 onwards).

Situation with the Clan is worse though… While the Wolves players usually stay in Edinburgh or at least Scotland, these guys are from all over the place … the joys of a Residential Uni!! :o

Feeling a bit like when I was fostering cats back in Germany … don’t get too attached to them – might have to “give them away” in between 1-4 years. LOL.

Day off and lots to do...

I tend to have lots to do on days when I am not feeling too great - woke up with a nasty headache, but been beating it (well... currently it's beating me!) - managed 2 washes so far, emtpying the dishwasher, doing the washing up, some paperwork and the 3rd wash is currently running.

Still have to do the following:
  • Edit Clansmen photos
  • Burn Clansmen photos CD
  • Send confirmation letter & cheque to Sports Rehab for Practical Module V
  • Check for First Aid Refresher Courses
  • Book Church Hall for 2010 Scrapbooking Club
  • Make appointment
  • CHINESE WHISPER (no procrastinating on that one!!)
  • Catch up on Shimelle's Class
  • Order present for Big Sis' birthday

And if I still have time ...
  • Sort SB stuff
  • Tidy study
(which I suspect will be pushed to Friday!!)

Just the usual then. ;)


Monday, 9 November 2009

Early posting... ;)

Yes, I know - it's VERY early right now ... and I'll probably sleep until 12ish today... but I decided to watch the late night Football game Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys. Why? You may ask? I am not sure ... just felt like it, and the fact that my Fantasy Football QB, McNabb, has quite a rollercoaster game again (interceptions, then coming back with scrambles and good passes, back to interception). Possibly that. :o

I had a fabulous day yesterday, will post some info when I am more awake later today... ;)

But here's the team photo of my 2nd team... ;)

Introducing: The Stirling Clansmen 2009



Friday, 6 November 2009

Stirling Clansmen vs Clansmen Alumni

From my Feedjit Widget I can see that there have been a couple of hits searching for photos of the Stirling Clansmen vs Clansmen Alumni scrimmage from last week...

Now that Coach Orr got his copy and has posted most pics on Facebook I can post the photos here as well... ;) Enjoy!