20 Projects in 2020: Project 1 and 2

One of my goals for 2020 is to complete 20 projects. More than likely these will be knitting or crochet but it’s always possible that some sewing will creep in there too. Here’s the latest completed project. (The full 20 in 2020 list will be available soon!)

Projects 1 and 2 were baby blankets for friends at church. I was so busy trying to get them finished that I forgot to take pictures of the final finished item! So here are some of the in progress pictures.

Baby Girl Blanket

After having two boys my friend is expecting a little girl so I went all out with the pinks and purples. It was a simple granny square pattern with row 1-4 in the middle being different colours then rows 5, 6 and 7 were white. They were all sewn together and then edged with pink around the very outside of the blanket. A lot of the pinks and purples were from stash but when new shades were purchased (and the white), they were all Stylecraft Special DK.

Baby Boy Blanket

Similarly when it came to the little boy blanket, I stuck with greens and blues but I’d also put a yellow middle in each of the squares, most were this Sunshine shade but the rest were a Lemon shade just for a bit of variety.

One finished blanket being appreciated by it’s new owner

Both were delivered to the respective Mum’s to be at church on Sunday and got lots of hugs to say thank you!

Thank you again so much for the gorgeous blanket! It really is such a special present and I can’t wait to use it! Perfect colours too! So kind of you.

Baby Boy’s Mummy

That blanket is incredible! Thank you so so much! It’s so so beautiful. You are very talented Hannah!!!

Baby Girl’s Mummy

So that two out of twenty done and we’re not even out of January – so I think that puts me on target lol. Project 3 is coming soon as I just need to finish the arms.

My 2019 in Music

I opened Spotify a few days ago to put some music on while I was in the car. A new playlist had popped up and it was a recommended one from Spotify that is my top tracks from this year.

I saw Les Miserables (Staged Concert and the UK Touring Cast) and Come From Away this year so figured they’d feature somewhere in there.

The Playlist

(The full list is here)

  • My Lighthouse by Rend Collective
  • Come From Away (Original Broadway Soundtrack – yes the whole thing)
  • joy by For King and Country
  • Pioneers by For King and Country
  • Burn The Ships by For King and Country
  • God Only Knows by For King and Country
  • You’re Welcome by Dwayne Johnson (Moana)
  • My Shot by Lin-Manuel Miranda (From Hamilton)
  • Amen by For King and Country
  • Let It Go by Idina Menzel (Frozen)
  • Where You Are by Christopher Jackson (Moana)
  • In Summer by Josh Gad (Frozen)
  • You’ll Be Back by Jonathan Groff (Hamilton)
  • Fine Fine Life by For King and Country
  • I Just Can’t Wait to Be King from The Lion King (1994)
  • This Is Me by Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman)
  • Fight On, Fighter by For King and Country
  • Try Everything by Shakira (Zootropolis)
  • I’ll Make a Man Out of You by Donny Osmond (Mulan)
  • Fix My Eyes by For King and Country)

Clearly I may need to branch out a bit and listen to some other soundtracks or albums – I seem to be stuck on 2 or 3 ones all year!

Books Read in 2019
This post includes affiliate links

We’re into December now but I might still add more to this list but here are the books I’ve read in 2019. Each title has a link to Amazon should you wish to buy it and a link to the author’s own website. Hopefully, all the info is correct so you can always try your local bookshop instead.

Books I've Read in 2019

On The Road to Here by Robert Kugler (Amazon)

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher (Website/Amazon)

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay (Cockleberry Bay 1) by Nicola May (Amazon/Website)

A Village Affair by Julie Houston (Amazon/Website)

The Magic of Christmas Tree Farm by Erin Green (Website/Amazon)

6 Caledon Street by D. van de Merwe (Amazon)

The Cottage at Hope Cove (Hope Cove 1) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

Escape to Oakbrook Farm (Hope Cove 2) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

Summer at the Old Boathouse (Hope Cove 3) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

Whispers at the Bluebell Inn (Hope Cove 4) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

The House on Lavender Lane (Hope Cove 5) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

Friends Like These (Friends Like These 1) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

Friends Like These by Hannah Ellis

Christmas With Friends (Friends Like These 2) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

My Kind of Perfect (Friends Like These 3) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

A Friend in Need (Friends Like These 4) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

Always with You by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

Christmas Spirit by Nicola May (Website/Amazon) – Also released as Christmas Evie

Beyond The Lens (Lucy Mitchell 1) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

Beneath The Stars (Lucy Mitchell 2) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

Goodness, Grace and Me by Julie Houston (Website/Amazon)

An Off-Piste Christmas by Julie Houston (Website/Amazon)

Coming Home to Holly Close Farm by Julie Houston (Website/Amazon)

Coming Home to Holly Close Farm

The Bookshop of Hopes and Dreams (Hope Cove 6) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon)

Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay (Cockleberry Bay 2) by Nicola May (Website/Amazon)

Origin by Dan Brown (Website/Amazon)

Summer at Hope Meadows by Lucy Daniels (Website/Amazon)

Christmas at Mistletoe Cottage (Hope Meadows) by Lucy Daniels (Website/Amazon)

Springtime at Wildacre (Hope Meadows) by Lucy Daniels (Website/Amazon)

Snowflakes over Moon Cottage (Hope Meadows) by Lucy Daniels (Website/Amazon)

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin (Website/Amazon)

The Cosy Seaside Chocolate Shop by Caroline Roberts (Website/Amazon)

Coming Home to the Loch (Loch Lannick Book 1) by Hannah Ellis (Website/Amazon) – Finished! Now waiting for Book 2 that’s due at the end of December and can be found here.

That works out at 8651 pages this year according to Goodreads. (I’m not quite sure how that works out if I was reading Kindle editions though!)

Decorating and Storage
#AD #Shurgard #Storage

Back in around June sort of time, Chris and I started talking about the things that needed to be done around the house. In November, we will have been living in this house for 10 years. We’ve had a lodger, a foster son and a baby over those years so as you can imagine, some rooms really need some TLC.

We started with the kitchen as in my mind, it took the least amount of furniture moving to get started. In theory, it would be simple. Because of the windows, units, worktops and the radiator, there’s less wall space that needs to be painted. I’m not sure my painting skills are the best but I got started and we worked on it. Around Jaxon’s birthday we put a hold on the decorating and realised that now in October, we really ought to get it finished so that we can start other projects that need doing.

At the same time, across the Summer, Our Sidekick decided that the time had come for him to move out. It was either going to be moving to university or moving in with his girlfriend but he wasn’t really sure. In the end, his plans changed but moving in with the girlfriend was one of the things he was going to do pretty soon. 

With a paintbrush and the tester point, I set about cutting in around kitchen units where possible. We’d settled on colours after a debate about which shade of green to use but hadn’t got as far as buying bigger tubs of paint. 

I worked around the room, mostly focusing on the walls that didn’t involve moving too much. For instance where I just needed to move the toaster or the kettle to be able to paint the wall.

Having paused for Jaxon’s birthday it was time to focus back on getting the rest of the room finished. With Our Sidekick moving out, we left it a month or so in case things didn’t go to plan and he wanted to move back then we wanted to start thinking about moving Jaxon into the bigger bedroom but first, it would need painting.

As excited as I was to get Jaxon moved into the bigger room, we needed to get the kitchen finished so this week we’ve been shuffling things around. This week, Our Sidekick’s room became a drying room for the washing that normally goes on the airer in the kitchen (it’s also become a storage room for Chris while he figures out what he’s taking on his trip in a few weeks time). Chris then moved the bookcase and the freezer into the middle of the room so that I could work on treating and painting both the walls.

The plan made sense but then it went to pot, around Tuesday, I had run a load of washing as normal but the tumble dryer wasn’t working, no problem I’d just try it again maybe there was too much in it. Well after 3 or 4 different combinations and one load of washing stinking like a damp dog. We came to the conclusion that the heating element in the machine had gone and that’s why it wasn’t warming up enough. (YUCK!) This is the second time we’ve had a problem with this machine so decided that it might be better just to replace it instead of try and get it fixed. (When the call out is £70-90 then you’ve got the cost of parts on top, it soon adds up that a new machine might be cheaper/better value).

With the expectation that our new machine would be delivered on Friday, we came up with a plan, we needed to get the freezer corner of the room finished so that the freezer and bookcase could be moved back into the corner along with the old machine being moved out from its current space. When I got home from Community Group on Thursday night, Chris had managed to move the furniture around which was great. I then spent some time, cleaning and treating the wall behind where the washing machine lives as it was a bit grotty and needed some TLC.

In our case we’ve been able to shuffle around bits within the same room or into other rooms in the house but sometimes for bigger projects, you might need to move things out completely. Maybe even think about hiring a storage unit (You can even use the storage calculator on Shurgard Self Storage Harrow‘s website to see how much room you would need). When it comes to painting our living room, I’m really hoping that we can get away with moving it into the middle of the room, otherwise a storage unit might be the way to go unless we can get some really dry/warm days on the forecast and leave the sofa in the garden for a few days!

Right, well back to the painting and finishing up the kitchen. TTFN!

Hello October

I thought it was a few weeks that I hadn’t written a blog post then I realised the last time I wrote was when we were in Copenhagen (or had just got back). And that was August!

So what’ s been happening. Well, Jaxon went back to school in September and I’ve been trying to get back on track since some days I’m properly focused and other days I’m really not.

I’ve been working on a number of knitting and crochet projects but it feels like just as I clear one there’s another one pops up – I guess I will get there in the end! (And be able to share what I’ve been up to too).

I’ve also been working on the Equinox Crop test knit for Truly Hooked. The yarn from the neckline to the colour change is the Trance yarn from Truly Hooked – I absolutely love it and it’s for charity so there’s a donation towards Mind too.

Jaxon started swimming lessons a few weeks ago. I had been wanting to get him into lessons for a while given how scared of the water he seems when Chris and I take him swimming. He’s doing lessons with Edge Swim Gym, the team there are so lovely, in his class, there are two assistants in the pool with the kids so if any of them get stuck or just need that extra bit of help then they are there to help which is great. In fact, on Jaxon’s second lesson he got his Puffin Award which is being able to swim 50m with aids (like a tummy band and armbands). (Yes one very proud Mummy here!)

In September, I had two adventures in London. The first was to run an errand for Chris (but then I had a bit of a wander before catching the train back) and the second was to go to London with Mum to see the staged concert of Les Miserables.

On my first trip, I found a branch of Ole and Steen. When we were in Copenhagen, we frequently passed a branch in the train station but had resisted purchasing as it was pricier than other options. I bought a Cinnamon Sharing Slice and brought it home to share with Jaxon when he got home from school. Like the Ondsdagsnegl we had at Sankt Peders Bageri, it was more cake-y than pastry but that made it even yummier!

Our second trip was very exciting. Mum and I have seen Les Miserables a couple of times now in different formats, we were excited to see how the staged concert would work. Without too many spoilers, it was amazing, as we expected it to be. Michael Ball, John Owen-Jones and Carrie Hope Fletcher were amazing as we expected them to be. Matt Lucas and Katie Secombe as Monsieur and Madame Thenardier were epic too and so funny! They’d added so many ad lib bits which just completed added to it.

This last week it has been Fiver Fest here in Bedford. I’ve stopped by épanoui, The Store, Rogan’s Books and The Pavilion. You can find out more information about it here.

I’m sure there’s more that has been happening along the way but going to move forward now and fill in the gaps later.