Thursday, 27 May 2010

Summer came for a little while in England!

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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

First tooth for the fairy!

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Monday, 17 May 2010

Blissful Sunshine

The spring is truly here, and  the animals are loving it.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Printable teacher thank you card & tag

This is a must for the end of term this year. My kids will be leaving their school to make the move to the United States. I want to do something really special for their teachers to say thank you. It is hard to think about them moving, as it is the only school they have ever been to. I remember Grace on her first day at exactly six days short of three years old. In her school uniform. Here she is:

Can you believe I will be away on their last day, so I will not be there to day goodbye. Probably for the best as I would probably be a total wreck.

Printable teacher thank you card & tag
via Executive Homemaker by Janna Wilson on 5/11/10

EHprint Print Free File: Printable teacher card/tag
School is letting out soon!  Need a quick teacher thank you card to pair with a gift for the end of the year?  Well, here you are!  I've created a round, cut out card and two tags on this printable page…easy as "apple" pie!

1. Download and save the pdf file to your computer.
2. Print the page onto plain or textured cardstock using your printer's BEST quality settings for a nice vibrant color.  Trim inside the black lines to cut out the card.  Punch the tags out with a 2″ circle punch for a super quick addition to a package or treat sack.
**Check out my Pretty Packages kit to make your own packaging (as shown above)  for small treats and gifts for teachers too!

About the Executive Homemaker:

Meet Janna Wilson , country girl, graphic artist, mama to three crazy-cute kiddos, wife to Scott, stitcher, jewelry maker, dreamer, wannabe painter, Sunday school teacher, and lover of ALL THINGS crafty!

Visit Janna's online shop Whimsy Shoppe for fabulous downloads and handmade goods your family will love.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Monkey Bread

This looks really delicious. Unfortunately you can’t get premade biscuit (scone) dough in the UK (or other places in the world). So I would suggest making up your own scone dough and then cutting it up into bits. Should work just as well (or even better maybe!)
Thanks to Mel at The Larson Lingo! Here is the recipe.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Its a blogfield out there

There are so many blogs out there, the mind boggles (or bloggles). I spend way to much time wading through the blogosphere (yes that is actually a real word) and I find so much that inspires me. However, most of my browsing happens just by chance. I would love to take a look at the blogs my readers like to look at. So here is a Linky List – please can you add you favourite blog to the list (i.e. the first one you look at every time you log in).

Monday, 10 May 2010

I can't wait to buy something from The Wrappery

In the meantime I will just go window shopping...

Clean Up Your Room Day

May 10, 2010 is

Clean Up Your Room Day

Today's the day to do some spring cleaning, it's Clean Up Your Room Day! Clean out your closet, pick up the piles of laundry off of the floor, and take out the vacuum. Won't it be nice to be able to see the floor of your room again?
The best part about today is that it is something that everyone can participate in! Parents, children, roommates, students, teachers, and co-workers, they all can get together and have a good old fashioned day of cleaning their rooms. So go ahead and turn up the music and start getting to work. Put the clothes away in the drawers and the coats back on the hangers. Get out the cleaning supplies and rent an industrial sized dumpster if you have to. After you are finished, don't forget to reward yourself for all of your hard work!
  • Today is also National Shrimp Day
  • May is National Bike Month & National Strawberry Month & National Hamburger Month

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Bloggers Block

I have a complete writers block when it comes to my blog itsawomanslife. I just can't bring myself to write anything intelligent. Problem with blogs is, the more you neglect them the less people read them until you have to start from scratch with your readership. Blergh.

This is the cutest weather gadget for Google homepages or Blogs

Add it to your page.

Connemara Pony - Knitting Daily

Connemara Pony - Knitting Daily

Nordic Striped Ball - Knitting Daily

Friday, 7 May 2010

Oh I am still learning

When I see a beautiful, minimalist blog like this one, I realise how far I have to go in my design...and she has three children under 4 years. Oh my word, how inadequate I feel. Anyway, visit mycakies because then you can see what I aspire to.

Inspiration from A Totally Normal Woman

I love it when I see a blog designed by a totally normal person just like me, trying to do things I aspire to do, like style and redesign homes with everyday items. Have a look at Pepper Design Blog for projects and style that is within everyone's reach.

I especially like her collection of organising ideas for the Ikea Expedit range of shelving. I can't wait to go buy some!! (When we move to the States that is).

Joy's Hope: It was all yellow.

Wow, colour inspiration at it's best - in real life. Look at this beautiful blog.

Joy's Hope: It was all yellow.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Two friends having babies this summer.

Which pattern should I choose for them?

Summertime Baby Knits:
 Though it is hot, babies still have a tendency to get cold in the summertime so give them something to cuddle up with.

Gansey Layette
Buy Now! - Red - Small

Gansey Layette
by Veronik Avery
Classic layette worked in easy-care washable wool. The jacket combines traditional Gansey elements - with a practical crossover closure that buttons at the shoulders. The tam features a wheel-shaped crown and i-cord "stem." The blanket is worked in four triangles seamed together after the knitting is done. 
Learn more.

New Baby Blanket and Hat
Buy Now! - Red - Small

New Baby Blanket and Hat by Kristin Spurkland
Comfort a new baby with this super-soft cotton hat and matching blanket lined with plaid flannel for extra warmth, comfort, and beauty. 
Learn more

Introducing Dr K-J

A letter to the students at Taylor from Steve, who will become Nicholas' predecessor.

Introducing Dr. Nicholas Kerton-Johnson

Dr. Nicholas Kerton-Johnson comes to Taylor after two years as a lecturer in the Department of Politics of the University of Bristol, England. There he has taught courses in world politics, international relations theory, national security and religion in foreign affairs. He recently published an article in International Affairs, which is considered the premiere international studies journal in the UK. The subject of the article, entitled “Justifying the Use of Force in a Post-9/11 World,” is part of a larger study in the form of a book just published by Routledge: Justifying America’s Wars: The Conduct and Practice of U.S. Military Intervention since 1990. Dr. Kerton-Johnson’s masters degree is in War Studies from Kings College, London (where 2008 Taylor political science alumna Amy Watkins recently received her masters). A native of South Africa, Dr. Kerton-Johnson holds an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Cape Town.  


I agree completely. Along with a strong cup of freshly brewed coffee.

via Joy's Hope by Julie @ Joy's Hope on 5/3/10
Can a cupcake make everything better?
It certainly can.

Things you can do from here:

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

What a fabulous day

Yes I am using the word fabulous a lot recently. Oh well. I expect I shall find a new favourite word soon.
In the meantime, I am very pleased with myself because today has been a good one. Which is always worth crowing over a bit. I mean, there is so much whinging going on these days that it makes a nice change. Doesn't it!

What made today a good one. Well to start with, I have been rather enjoying waking up early with my family because of jet-lag. I have always wanted to wake up at 6am, bounce out of bed fresh and perky and make beautiful things for breakfast. My body clock doesn't function that way though, and never has. Nights are my thing, not mornings (and not even nights for the last 6 months).

So, early rise, great sparkly sunny day ahead and a BIG bunch of beautiful flowers to arrange. Kids off to school, fresh old-fashioned sugar cookie dough ready in the fridge. I got dressed in a spring dress! Yes it was warm enough!! Went off for a great haircut. Isn't it the best when you get a GREAT haircut! A cup of tea in Provender, the local deli, with my lovely husband. Talk work for a while, and do a clearing-head GTD exercise (GTD stands for Getting Things Done and it is a planning technique.) 

Provender Deli, South Petherton.

Yummy food, and a coffee shop tucked away in the back. And free Wifi, so we work there too!

Went home and GOT EVERYTHING DONE!!! Now that was the best part.

I must thank God for his favour today on all that we did. We got money paid back to us that has been owed for months, all on the same day. Hooray!

This evening was beautiful and we all went down to the field and played with Australian toys we brought back - a Lacrosse type thing and a dart type thing. OK you had to be there to get it. But it was so wonderful to feel the breeze on my face, and not be cold!!!

We were all happy.

Another one tomorrow please Lord!

She has to be the most beautiful woman who ever lived


Oh I love my house. I also wish I could keep it just so, like the dreamy pictures in magazines, where all the colours co-ordinate to create a perfect haven with a specific atmosphere. Well, I was encouraged to find my parents-in-law had used our house as their getaway while we were in Australia, and it became their favourite place to go to relax and unwind. They called it their country hideaway. I think I like living in a country hideaway!

This morning I attempted to arrange three bunches of flowers into a vase so that they looked elegant, sophisticated and breathtaking. But I have never managed any arrangement that looked like that. I have decided that there are certain skills I need to develop. I am good at cooking. I manage even to wow people with my cooking. But I have never wowed anyone with my flowers. Or my photography.

So I have decided I am going to train myself (using the wonderful resources on the web) to arrange flowers. Watch this space for my progress and the links I find that help.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

My planned degree at Taylor

Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing

Program Type: Bachelors Degree
The Professional Writing Department (PWR) offers courses designed to teach students how to write for a wide variety of media: newspapers, magazines, movies, stage plays, online publications, books, and literary quarterlies. All students take a set curriculum of courses in the Professional Writing Department, with supplemental courses taken in English and Media Communications.
PWR majors become freelance writers, staff journalists, public relations writers, screenwriters, editors with magazines or book publishing houses, poets, reviewers and critics, playwrights, novelists, and literary agents. They build portfolios of their published works all four years they are in college, and they complete a practicum involving professional work as a writer or editor. Students are prepared upon graduation with their bachelor of science degree to begin working in the world of publishing or to begin graduate-level studies in English, film, journalism, or creative writing.

Fish or Chicken Batter recipe

This is my dad's recipe for cooking the fish the kids caught

Fish or Chicken Batter recipe - Best Recipes

Here are the fish the kids caught...

Monday, 3 May 2010


I have a blog going around in my head all the time. The problem with this is that I do not have a laptop on a string around my neck. So I feel frustrated at all these wonderful thoughts that I would like to share, that are stuck there in my brain. Should I do what my Granny did and hang a notebook around my neck with a little pencil, on a string? Problem is I would never stop writing things down, and life would come to a standstill.

How do I let the words go and not worry about losing them forever? How do I trust that the most important ones will come flooding back when I sit in front of my screen?

Beethoven had two notebooks with him all the time. One was for first thoughts. Those fragments that come to you as you are washing the dishes or driving the car (or the carriage in his case perhaps). Then every day he would discipline himself to go through his First Thoughts notebook and spend time developing the thoughts into a context. From this he would choose work that stood out for him and grow it into symphonies and concertos. This allowed the creative impulse to be captured, nurtured and disciplined into great works of art.

I have two notebooks, but I am struggling to have them with me when I need them. I also find it difficult to stop what I am doing and write a thought down immediately. I always think "I'll just finish this and then I'll write it down", but I never do. How am I going to build this habit into my life?

I started reading Twyla Tharp's book about the Creative Habit. I need to continue her book and perhaps it will help me with some practical ideas.

My (next) knitting project

Amanda's Squatty Sidekick, As Seen on Knitting Daily Episode 207 - Knitting Daily

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Retro Ruffle Dress From a Pillowcase

Thanks, SSM for inspiring me to be creative with ordinary life

Retro Ruffle Dress From a Pillowcase | Simply Modern Mom

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Cyclic neutropenia: a clinical review.

This is my disease. It is pretty rare - but I always knew I was 1 in a million!

Dale DC, Hammond WP 4th.

Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98195.


Cyclic neutropenia is a benign, hematologic disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of severe neutropenia at 21 day intervals. There are associated cyclical variations in other blood cells. Patients with this disease have malaise, stomatitis, cervical lymphadenopathy and fever during the recurrent neutropenic periods. The exact cause of cyclic neutropenia is unknown. About one third of human cases appear to be inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. In the other cases, the disease appears to arise spontaneously with symptoms usually beginning in infancy or early childhood. In adult patients, the disease may be acquired and occur in association with a clonal proliferation of large granular lymphocytes. Therapy for cyclic neutropenia involves local and symptomatic therapy for the recurrent mouth ulcers and pharyngitis, and antibiotics for episodes of sinusitis, pneumonia, peritonitis, or bacteremia. Therapy with glucocorticosteroids, androgens, and plasmapheresis has been efficacious in a few adult patients, but no therapy has been proven to alter the cycling of blood counts in children. Despite their repetitive illnesses, patients with cyclic neutropenia grow and develop normally. With the help of attentive physicians and dentists, their quality of life and life expectancy are good. Current research on hematopoietic growth factors offers promise of new approaches to therapy.

Monday, 26 April 2010

I love the Internet too much

I got angry today that the internet was so slow that I had to wait minutes for each page to load. I got angry that I had to explain what I was doing to my family. I got angry when everyone else was on the computer and I had to do real-life things.

This is a problem.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Birthday parties

What is it about birthday parties that bring out the worst in adults?????

Friday, 23 April 2010

Bloggers: How Do You Keep Up??

Bloggers: How Do You Keep Up?? | Tip Junkie

I need to get over my "I haven't posted on my blogs today" guilt. This is obviously a common thing.

I love this picture of my children
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Thursday, 22 April 2010

Beautiful days in Guilderton

Oh man, sunshine and water is good for a family and good for the spirit.
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I need to get a new camera. This is my big WISH at the moment. Perhaps I should make it a big PRAYER.

Oh man today has been exhausting

Sinusitis a touch better. I have been taking so many pills I am surprised I have not ended up ODed by mistake. I wish I knew how long it would take for this to clear up. In the meantime, it is Joseph's birthday tomorrow, we have a move to make to America, within three months, we are stuck in Perth, and I can't even enjoy the sunshine because I am sick. Grr. Lots of books I want to get read though. Maybe I should make this a book review column for a while to motivate me to finish what I have started.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Tacoma. Seattle Day 1


We had a fantastic flight over to Seattle. The kids slept stretched out on two seats each, and so we managed to watch some films and relax!

The arrival procedure in the US was quite protracted - we had many queues to get through. It took us three hours from landing to get to the house we are staying at. Brian and Abbey Riehs collected us from the airport in a borrowed 8-seater. They are such a lovely, gracious young couple. They have been leaders of Children's Church for years and Abbey is a primary school teacher. They are pregnant with their first baby too. So they are a perfect place to stay for us - the kids adore them and they are so patient and good with them. They don't mind the constant noise and excitement! They have a beautiful home, newly built but in the older American style with wooden floors, coffee coloured walls, and immaculate right through. We have a bedroom each and our own bathroom, in one wing of the house.

First Night

The children did not know how to cope with the time difference, so they woke up at 3.30 am wide awake. We got them to lie quietly for an hour or so, and then Nicholas put Mary Poppins on the computer to keep them going for a little longer. So the first morning was an early one for us!

Abbey kindly took me to the grocery stores to get things the children like to eat and drink. It was a fascinating trip for me to see the enormous range of everything they have. I could have spent hours browsing.

In the meantime Brian took Nicholas and the kids down to the local park which has a "spray park" which was a fantastic idea - it was hot and sunny and the kids had a ball.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

An afternoon in London

After waving goodbye to our great friend Dougan and my lovely family in Bath I ran up an endless flight of stairs with a 30 kilo suitcase to miss my train by seconds. I nearly cried dramatically on the platform but people were staring. So I composed myself and caught the next train in to Paddington

On the journey I listened to Bill Johnson's acclaimed New Wine evening session which was fantastically inspiring. I was challenged once again to be excited by difficulties and not overcome by them.

My purpose was to collect my new SA passport from the consulate in Trafalgar square. I rushed to excess baggage, leaving my cases with relief and made my way to the tube. Five minutes after entering the consulate I was out with passport in hand and slightly overwhelmed by the ease of it all. In order to regroup I needed a Frappucino.

It amazes me how English stores can heat things up so efficiently in winter and yet in summer everyone has to sweat over their purchases. Perhaps they don't really believe it can ever get hot enough. Well today was sweltering.

I had a lovely long browse over all the London guides in waterstones book shop savouring the fact that I had twenty four hours of solitude in the big city. I thought I might be inspired. In the end I thought Liberty's was the best bet for a complete girly London experience. The next inspiration I had was to take a taxi.

Being personally chauffered down Regent street was completely fantastic and I think I would struggle to go back on a bus again if I lived in London. Also despite my secret fears the fare ended up only being 50p more than a bus fare. It just shows being cheap isn't always wise!

Libertys was all I had expected and I think their shopfitters were genius in placing the flower shop in the porch (you get hit with a sensual experience as you walk in and are removed temporarily from normal life) and then the stationery and chocolate halls beckon first. I was offered samples of champagne truffles and spent 45 minutes in that section alone. A brief interlude in the perfumer led me to the linen and bathroom halls. I whisked through the shoes and bags and after buying some little treats as gifts or maybe just to keep, I walked out onto Carnaby Street. By that stage everyone had hit the streets after work.

Having never lived in London during the true summer months I have never enjoyed the atmosphere here when people leave their little office holes for some evening sunshine and balmy fresh air. It is truly pleasant, a quality I have never associated with London!

So I am now sitting in a very eclectic little wine bar drinking a glass of champagne and not feeling in any rush to leave. It will be light for a while. I have changed my heels to my trainers and may even brave a walk back to the tube picking up some street vendor food on the way. I feel after liberty's, champagne and taxi it is time to savour the more down to earth side of London. Perhaps a kebab...

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The camp we are going on in Tacoma

New Song Church Vacation 2008

Getting ready to go to Seattle

Well, I feel slightly overwhelmed that it is actually happening! There have been so many details to work out, but God has given us such favour over the whole trip. Keep an eye here for blog during our trip.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

What am I good at?

Joyce Meyer says we should write down three things we are good at and then write three ways for each thing that we can serve others.

So what am I really good at?

I think I am naturally good with computers. Especially the internet.

I can cook.

More later

Monday, 14 July 2008

Sleepless in Cape Town

Once again I am up in the middle of the night. So I am using the time to update the St Mary's Church website which I built from scratch myself. Check it out and tell me what you think:

Sunday, 13 July 2008

This is a very funnylady that gets fatter or thinner depending on the weight you put in. It is supposed to help you picture what you will look like at different weights. It seem you look ugly at any weight if it is anything to go by.

I am in South Africa with my mom. Her scan is on Wednesday. My friend Clive just sent a video through on Facebook of a girl whose teeth got straightened by God.


Friday, 11 July 2008

I am so good at this!!

I can now post to my Blog from my phone! There isn't anywhere that can prevent me from having my say on the web (except maybe the dead zone called Tesco)

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Off to Cape Town Tomorrow

Nick has gone off to London to the Fresh Fires meeting, and will meet us at Heathrow tomorrow evening. I allowed him to go on condition that he packed his clothes, and the kids! SO I have done my suitcase carefully following Style TV's guidelines on how to keep you clothes crease free. This is because I spent about two hours ironing the other night. I think it was the second time some of the clothes had been ironed since I bought them.

Watch this space, I might just blog from the comfort of the airport departure lounge, Terminal 1. Happy packing!

Just Starting Out

Seeing as I always have so much to say, and I am sure everyone would love to know what it is, I am starting a blog. This is one area of the internet I have not ventured into, so I can't say whether the novelty will wear thin soon. But watch this space while you can, should be interesting! (For a little while at least).

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