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It has been a while…

HI !!!!
We have arrived back to normality…… Whatever that is.

School has started again.

The 2013 life list hasn’t exactly turned out as we had wished for.  
Here is a reminder of the list;

The 2013 checklist :  Taken from the very first post I wrote on here:

  • Moving to Dublin
  • Restarting my Early Childhood Education honours degree
  • Turning 40 *tick*
  • Husband graduating  *tick*
  • Having a family filled summer *tick*

As you can see, there are two items on the list that have not been ticked.


Unfortunately I wasn’t successful in transferring my degree to Dublin this year,  There has also been a serious lack of jobs or Masters for a first class honours graduate.  So, the plan to move has been moved to the  2014 list.

We are a bit sad that our dreams couldn’t be fulfilled this year but we are more determined than ever to move east side next Summer.

It makes complete sense to stay put for the extra year.  Tulip and his friend from class are in the process of starting a business.  

Shamrock one has been discharged from speech therapy and the Ear Nose and Throat Department at hospital. This is huge news as we have been on this road since he was 3 years old.  His hearing is good and with this his speech has improved immensely.

Shamrock 2 starts “big” school next year so that will be a clean break for her.

I plan to apply to my preferred institute next year at the first opportunity I can get.  In the meantime, my crochet has proved to be incredibly popular.  I had to start an order book in order to remember all the items that were ordered.  As it stands now, the orders are still coming in and there is a significant waiting list.  I am absolutely delighted!

Tulip has been on the road today to finalise things for his business.  He popped into our derelict cottage during this road trip and phoned me straight away.  There are seemingly buckets full of blackberries on the lane leading to our cottage, just waiting to be picked.

Guess what the next blog will be about 😉

Must get on with my orders.  Chat soon 😀


Coming of age

In 8 days time I will have left my 30’s.  This milestone seemed like so far away and now it is here….
Not sure how I feel about it.  I certainly don’t feel as old as I had imagined I would all those years ago.

I am mad busy washing, drying and folding clothes in order to get back to the caravan for “The Final Countdown”

For the benefit of the young ‘uns out there…..

Watch this 

From Saturday I have my family arriving! I seriously cannot wait! It will be the first time all the family will be together at the same time.  We can’t count the Christmas we were together as Shamrock 2 was still cooking.  The excitement is bubbling and I fear that I will be a squealing wreck by the time they all arrive.

In the meantime to take my mind off the reunion I will show you some of the photos I took in the last couple of weeks.  

At the campsite we go to, there have been loads of bees in the area and they have joined me whilst sitting, drinking coffee and crocheting in the sun. I have some cracking shots.





The campsite is amazing for kids.  They go off all day long with their friends and we only see them when they are thirsty or hungry.  The way childhood should be.
Shamrock 1 wanted to show his cousins how he enjoys the “Lazy River”


As usual, when the kids are entertained/playing I get on with my orders and my ongoing project. I had to bring my “whole” stash along with me (although I couldn’t justify taking all of my yarn)


Acrylic stash



Cotton stash


Ongoing project.  A throw for my folks’ caravan


Progress report


Photo shoot of the boots available to order on my Facebook page here

These booties have become my best seller.  My plan was to make children and adult’s high top slippers.  I am currently waiting on a delivery of non slip glue for soles so that I can start making the order of 6 pairs of children’s slippers that I have already.  Not to the mention the whole load of baby ones that need to be completed.

On that note. Must rush and carry on with the orders and packing.  I won’t have a lot of internet over the next few weeks.  

Next time I come here I will be a 40 year old *gulp* 😉

Made a Lego bag for easy tidying (with photos)

My husband always talked about a storage/ tidy bag which can help cut tidy time.
It sounded perfect and exactly what we needed to help keep the Boxes and boxes of Lego under control.

We couldn’t source suitable fabric locally so when we were in Dublin we popped into Ikea to have a look at their fabric.
The fabric I needed had to be sturdy to allow Lego to become mobile so that we could take it to the caravan in the Summer.

The Mum in Law brought her sewing machine to let me have a go and to help make the bag.

Ikea didn’t have what I was looking for…. Until I reached one of my favourite departments, the “Discount Corner” (I am Scottish after all, not to mention married to a Dutchman ;))

Right at the back there was a whole pile of material and stuffing. In amongst this was a settee cover… It was big, red and a sturdy type of material.

We held it open and saw that we could take off the atm parts and we would be left with a straightforward shape which we needed to work with.
If we were clever we wouldn’t need to use the sewing machine. I am not much of a sewer.
I then remembered that I could buy eyelets, the ones used for curtains. When buying them I came across the eyelet border.

Fast forward a couple of months, we finally managed to put it together.

First, I cut one huge piece of fabric and placed the (already cut to size eyelet border) along one edge. I drew circles inside the circles of the border.


When the circles have been cut out, line up the holes, place the opened eyelet under and over the holes and press until you hear a click.


Carry this on all around until you have the desired amount.


This is the opposite side of the finished piece of material.

Shamrock one was helping pub them on whilst Shamrock 2 used “her hammer” to make sure they were secure.

Tulip found the rope which was to become the drawstring and we all helped thread it through.
I liked how the sides still stood when the rope wasn’t let go too far open. This will make sure the Lego doesn’t get spread around too far.


I need to find a way that we can adjust the tension of the rope easily.

Now it was time to test it out and fill it with Lego


One box first to see how it would cope with that load. Then another… We couldn’t test out any more as the kids had already dived in and were playing with the Lego before the photoshoot finished.


Tidying up went just as smoothly as playing with it.



I need to finish off the edges for aesthetic purposes but I am pretty pleased with the result.

Next step a bigger one, first it will have to endure caravan play.

Viral Slippers

Following on from the huge high of the previous post, a few days later I received an email that would burst our bubble.

I wasn’t accepted to transfer my degree to the place I thought I had the best chance. At the beginning of the week we were certain of our move east side but this put the spanner works.  I am still waiting of notification from another school so the fingers are still crossed.

Otherwise I am readily available to work in a wool shop

At the same time I was completing an order for my crochet page that you can see here. It was a slog to work out how to do them justice but after crocheting followed by unravelling to nearly the start to trying again. I have notes but they make no sense to me anymore 😀


Soon, I will be making another pair just so that I can write it out step by step, maybe with pictures…

I was still a bit disappointed about our plans potentially being derailed but I finished the order.  I seriously fell in love with them.

After posting the photograph of the adult slippers, it went viral.  In a few days the photo had reached 2,100 people!  What a tonic to pull a person out of the doldrums.

Since the photo was posted I have had various orders for baby slippers to match the adult ones.  Which you will see here.



From here, I wonder if there will be a call for crochet Jimmy Choo slippers 😉

Smiling the whole day long….

Today is a very very good day.

Exam results were released this was morning. Tulip was out so I asked if I could check for him – I think I was more anxious than him.  After an age of “This page cannot be loaded” and watching that circle going round and around I went to make a coffee.
Should I mention that I had the 2 laptops and the netbook trying to get into the results page?  Maybe best not show how sad I am 😉

Coffee in hand, wee shamrock #2 watching me pacing with a worried expression on her face probably thinking “Parents are from Pluto” the screen finally showed the results page.  Cue loud squeal and a whole lot of muttering to myself I finally reached the actual results.

You know when you are so desperate to find something out that you just cannot make sense of the letters, words and numbers in front of you? Yes that is exactly what happened.  One forced deep breath later, I saw the line that would determine our future

“First Class Honours”




I am so very proud of my husband!  This also means that our dream to move east side is very much in our reach. *happy happy happy*


To celebrate he was allowed to make the steak, his favourite meal with whiskey sauce ❤


The 2013 checklist :  Taken from the very first post I wrote on here:

  • Moving to Dublin
  • Restarting my Early Childhood Education honours degree
  • Turning 40
  • Husband graduating  *tick*
  • Having a family filled summer

Mmmmm strawberries!

In the last wee while I have been working on crochet orders and new lines for my Facebook page that you can find here. With every order, I have had to try out new techniques so it has been a lot of fun.

Last year, we planted herbs and strawberries in the wall at the front of the house. We didn’t expect them to last too long but the herbs are still alive and to our surprise the strawberries are appearing now.  They have been completely neglected until now…. but look….





I am determined that this year I will make strawberry shortcake. Wonder if I can make them in the caravan?

This is the recipe I plan to use, courtesy of Nigella


for the shortcakes

  • 325 grams plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 125 grams unsalted butter (frozen)
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 125 ml single cream
  • 1 large egg white (lightly beaten)

for the filling

  • approx. 300 grams strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 3 drops balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 250 ml double cream (or creme fraiche)


  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/gas mark 7/425ºF.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl. Grate the butter into these dry ingredients and use your fingertips to finish crumbling the butter into the flour. Whisk the egg into the cream, and pour into the flour mixture a little at a time, using a fork to mix. You may not need all of the eggy cream to make the dough come together, so go cautiously.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll gently to a thickness of about 2cm / ¾ inch. Dip a 6½ cm / 2½ inch round cutter in flour and cut out as many rounds as you can. Work the scraps back into a dough, re-roll and finish cutting out  you should get 8 in all. Place the shortcakes about 2½ cm / 1 inch apart on a greased or lined baking sheet, brush the tops with the egg white, and sprinkle them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of caster sugar. If it helps with the rest of your cooking, or life in general, you can cover and refrigerate them now for up to 2 hours.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden-brown, and let them cool for a short while on a wire rack. Meanwhile, crush half the strawberries with the spoonful of sugar and the few drops of balsamic vinegar if using, and halve or quarter the remaining strawberries, depending on their size. Whip the double cream, if you’re using.
  5. The shortcakes should be eaten while still warm, so split each one across the middle and cover with a spoonful of the crushed strawberry mixture, a few halved or quartered strawberries, then dollop some whipped cream or creme fraiche on top, and set the top back on.

I hope to blog photos of these when I make them.

Don Charisma

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