Today my Mother-in-Law Hazel, Laura C, Laura M and Helen (girls from work) all made our way over to Manchester for the Stitch and Creative Crafts show. I was able to find some great cross stitch kits and some other little goodies...
Above is gorgeous Christmas kit! I fell in love with the little dog and cat sitting on the steps watching the goings on in town.
The below kit is called Paris Market. I thought it would look beautiful in our kitchen next to the European Bistro one I am working on now.
I got some new 16 count aida. The one on the left is a beautiful dyed fabric that I am going to use for Murky Manor! I was so excited to find it as it will go perfectly with it. The one on the right is white with glitter pieces that is beautiful!
I also bought six white and six royal blue skeins of yarn for me to make an Everton color scarf for the matches next season. I love my scarves really long and the ones you can buy at the Everton shop are all really short and you can't even wrap them around your neck. I have been looking at some royal blue yarn online but was afraid to get it because I was afraid it wouldn't be the right color when I got it. This will work perfectly!
This is a cute little needle/scissor case that I picked up.
There are felt pages in it where you can keep safety pins and needles.
Then a place in the back to hold your scissors.
All in all it was a great day out with some great people and we had a lot of fun! I honestly didn't find the prices that much cheaper then what I could get online but you can't beat the company of some good people and a nice day out. It was well worth it! There were SO many things I wanted to buy so I was good to get out when I did.
When we all went out to The Rocky Horror Show I tried a Gaymers Pear Cider and loved it! I don't usually drink and I have never been drunk (yeah I know.. how is that possible when I have lived in England for 15 months...) but I did find the taste of this really nice.
Well before Christmas I bought three bottles with the thought that I could drink them at Christmas.
Well Christmas came and went... they were still unopened.
I then thought that New Years was right around the corner so I could just drink them then... that never happened.
Then at work Laura C and Laura M made a bet with me that if Everton beat Man City back on January 16th that I would go home after the match and drink one of them... well we won and as you can see they are still unopened.
I do like the taste but I just forget about them or figure it's not worth feeling a bit tipsy to have one. Cause yes because I don't drink even after the one bottle at Rocky I could really feel it! One day I will get around to drinking them though.
Took this on my drive into work today (I was stopped at some lights). If you look at the very tip top of Winter Hill you will see that there is a tiny bit of snow lingering around.
Hang on for dear life my friend... I am not ready to say goodbye.
Looky at what I found in our front garden today!
It was dark and rainy when Andy and I came home from work but while he was opening the door I saw something on the ground a few feet away. I went to take a look and realized it was a five pound note! Woo Hoo!
I had to put it on the radiator because it was sopping wet but how fun is it to find free money?
I bought some carrots the other day because I have been craving carrot cake and decided I would buckle down and make one from scratch. I made one once before when Andy and I were living with my Mom just before we moved to England and it turned out really well.
When I opened the package of carrots I was shocked to see the different sizes of carrots that were in there. I mean usually most carrots are near enough the same size but look at the differences in these! I have put a normal sized pen in the picture for comparison.
I shall start by saying that this it he largest carrot I have ever seen in my life! I have also never seen a 'double' carrot before.
I am happy to say that the carrot cake and the home made cream cheese icing turned out beautifully! Yummy!!
Andy and I were out of work at 5:00pm today. I have tomorrow off since I have to be in on Saturday so I wanted to run into Middlebrook 'very quickly' to pick up some things from Homebase for the bathroom so that I could work on it tomorrow.
I really need to remember to check the Football schedule before I go into Middlebrook. The Reebok stadium is right there and unfortunatly Bolton were playing at home against Burnley at 8:00pm so a trip that should have taken 10 minutes took f-o-r-e-v-e-r! We did not get home until 6:45pm!
Andy's Xbox stopped reading discs several months ago. He was tired of how he was always having to send it in for repairs so he moved on to a Playstation 3.
Since it was still under warranty he posted it off (for free) to Microsoft about a week ago to be repaired and here it is all fixed.
Now he can take it to Game and trade it in for store credit so that he can buy some new Playstation 3 games.
I love working the system.
Andy and I went to Costco so that I could try a new cat litter. I have to say that the clumping cat litter they have over here is terrible! The only excuse I can think of is that most cats here are indoor/outdoor cats and maybe there are not a lot of indoor litter boxes?
I don't know the reason but it sucks. I was doing some research online and found that Costco had Litter Purrfect. I never used it in the States but my theory is that if it comes from the US where they have a lot of good clumping litters it may be better than what I can find over here. Oh and also the litter at stores like Pets At Home, Asda and Tesco is VERY expensive. I was able to get Litter Purrfect at Costco and have just changed out the entire litter box so I will let you know how it holds up. It was also way cheaper than anything at those other stores.
As you can see while I was there I also found Ziploc bags! I was soooo excited! How silly is it of me to be excited by Ziploc bags? Yes you can get a 'cheap' version of them here but to be they are just not as good in my opinion.
I also wonder about the lack of 'name brands' here in the UK. I mean if you think of storage bags what name comes to mind? Ziploc. If you think tissues what name comes to mind? Kleenex. It is not like that here. The bags you can buy are simply made by the store you buy them in. For example 'Tesco Freezer Bags' and 'Asda Freezer Bags'.
I find it very odd.. this lack of branding.
Everton Are The Team To Follow
And Theres Nobody Better Than Mikel Arteta
He's The Best Ever Spaniard We Know
Best part of the day... Mikel Arteta (in the center of the photo running toward us) being named on the bench, watching him warm-up and getting 10 or so minutes in the game. He has been out injured since February 2009 (yes almost a year) and I am so glad he is okay to put in a few minutes here and there.
Worst part of the day... losing 1-2 and being knocked out of the FA Cup. Last year we made it all the way to the final. Boo.
Oh and in case you are wondering why there are so many empty seats... that top and bottom section is where the away fans sit. They just didn't bring enough people to fill the entire sections.
Back in April '09 Andy applied online at Applausestore.com for free tickets to Britain's Got Talent auditions in Manchester.
We found out about a month ago that he was successful... and today was the day! The doors were set to open at 1:15 but we decided to go plenty early. We got to the Manchester Opera House at 10:30am. We were not too far back in line which meant we knew were were guaranteed to get in. What they do in these cases is give away more seats than they have so you are not sure you will get in but we were in a good spot.
However they were not very smart in deciding to give everybody in line a stamp on the hand when taking their tickets. It was raining and the stamp was not waterproof. The above picture is Andy's after the first one was smeared off when he tried to put his gloves back on. They gave him another stamp but it meant he had to hold his hand under my umbrella for a good hour while it got dry enough to put his gloves back on. Not a smart idea by the crew.
The long wait seemed even longer in the rain but we knew it was going to be worth the trouble.
We had really good seats! We were even able to see the judges table. It was also good to be on this side because the hosts Ant & Dec stand right behind that first curtain so we were able to see them dancing to the acts, etc.. during the auditions.
Speaking of Ant & Dec they were the first to come onto the stage. They are very funny!
Then the judges made there way from the back of the auditorium. Piers came out first and then Amanda. Then Simon strolled in. Piers and Amanda had to wait a long time up on the stage by themselves... We all know Simon loves to make a big entrance.
They made us turn off all of the cameras and phones as soon as the judges took their places at the table so I was unable to take any photos of the acts. But I can say I was surprised at how many of them were so good! There were of course some crazy ones and there was a bit of 'off, off, off' yelled but honestly there was more good than bad. And I would have to say at least two very potential winners.
There was a young girl from Wales that blew my socks off when she started to sing! The most shocking part though was that Simon voted no... I did not understand that.
There was also a father and son that sang together and they got a standing ovation at about the same moment they started to sing. Yes they had a sad story to tell before they sang but liking them had nothing to do with that story, they were just good together.
I was shocked at one point when the crew brought on a stripper pole for the next audition. But was even more shocked when she introduced herself as Jess from Westhoughton! We noticed about a month ago that there was a new place opened up and that it taught pole dancing. Well she is only 16 and is the owner of JLN Pole Fitness Studio. Her act was very tasteful and quite beautiful. She easily made it through to the next round so hopefully she makes it past the next stages so that we have some local talent to cheer for!
All in all it was a great day out and I am happy Andy took it upon himself to sort these tickets out. Now lets just keep our fingers crossed that we also get tickets for X Factor auditions later this year.
Dear Everton FC,
We are not the richest club around as I am sure you would agree. Why may I ask have you wasted money on the postage to send us this?
I am sure with a little research it would have been easily verified that myself and my husband Andy have season tickets. There is no need to advertise the upcoming match against Chelsea as we will already be there and I would hope that our seats are already secured.
Just think.. this is 36 pence that could have gone toward the purchase of a new player.
Shame on you and your wasteful ways.
Still *LOVE* you though,
This was the scene when we got home from work at 4:30pm today. Look how light it still is outside... that means spring is on the way.
Today is also my Sister's birthday... HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHANDRA!!! Love and miss you lots!
There has been some pretty heavy rain over the last few days. All of the snow is melted except for the large piles where parking lots were cleared off.
Snow is so beautiful but how ugly is this?
I wish it would snow again.
Most people in America call the 24 Hour Clock... Military Time. When I say this Andy always always laughs and says 'Christine it's just time there is no Military about it.'
When we moved over I knew the digital clocks would be in this format and it did take me a long time to get used to it. I used to have to always do math in order to tell the time.
But I can happily say now that when I look at a clock I know right then and there what time it is. When I look at this clock I see 6:13pm.
Hooray for knowing what time it is.
First let me start off by saying that tonight's match against Manchester City is the best I have seen Everton play all season. It was an amazing match and we ended up winning 2-0. Goodison Park was jumping and the singing never stopped. What a great night!
Oh... and Marouane Fellaini was a rockstar!!!
Now to comment about these photos. This girl was a few rows in front of us and she is not normally sat there so I think one of the others around her must have brought her. The photos I have posted do not really show the full craziness of her hair but you kinda get the idea. It was a mess!
I just don't know why these young girls think it is okay tease the heck out of their hair and then comb the top layer to give them volume. It is truly a rats nest.
It does not look good at all.
The sad thing is that she was really dressed up so she had to have been making an effort. Maybe she doesn't believe in mirrors?
Laura C brought me her Beatrix Potter books that she has had since she was little. I have been wanting to read the stories and since I don't own them it was very nice of her to loan me hers.
Now I just have to pull myself away from cross stitching long enough to read them.
Found this list on the table today. With the TV coming back after the holidays Andy has been on all of the American channel websites to make a list of all of the shows that we download to watch over here. He also checks out any new shows that he thinks we may like.
Some are for him, some for me but most for the both of us. Can't believe Survivor is back on already in February!
European Bistro is coming right along. Wish I had more time to work on it but it's nice to try to make an hour or so a night to pick it up.
Thought I would add a photo of the backside of it also. My Mom always teases me about now neat the backside of my projects are. I think it is the perfectionist in me... I just can't have long threads hanging off the back. If I need to move over say 10 lines I always run it under other stitches rather than just letting it be loose like she does. My Mom may have taught me how to cross stitch but this is one habit I picked up on my own.
Christine: I wonder how this happened?
Andy: I don't know, was going to ask you the same thing.
Christine: Well I didn't do it.
Andy: Neither did I... I don't put anything on the table.
Christine: Nothing? You never put one thing on the table?
Andy: Well yeah I do but nothing that would make those scratches.
Poor little guy. He was about 1/2 way to the ground over the weekend but when I came home from work tonight he was on the ground. You can see he is still trying to float but just can not do it.
Seeing as how I was given this balloon back on September 10th, 2009 we can all agree he has had a really good run! I have never had a balloon last 4 months before.
(Oh and just to note I have decided to stop with the weather updates. I keep forgetting to check and end up having to try to remember what the weather was like since I usually post a day late. It if fairly safe to say that you can pick Cloudy, Rainy or Snow and be right.)
This is a calendar that Andy got for Christmas from his Secret Santa at work. I love gifts that I can enjoy also!
This is Tim Howard and he is the keeper for Everton. He is a fellow American and when he makes a great save everybody starts to chant USA.. USA.. USA.
Forecast: Periods of Snow
Sunrise: 8:23 AM
Sunset: 4:13 PM
This is the free Bolton Journal that is delivered through our mail slot every week (even though we would rather not waste the time throwing it away). Even though it says the 7th on it we just got it today, the snow must have slowed them down.
This was the front of it this week.
Is it just me or does this seem a little wrong? I would hope that this outfit has been put on this poor dog via Photoshop but something tells me that the good people at Renault Retail probably don't have the resources or manpower to fake photos.
I do not agree with cruelty to animals in the form of dressing them up in human clothes and this poor dog doesn't look too impressed either.
Forecast: Times of Clouds and Sun
Sunrise: 8:23 AM
Sunset: 4:12 PM
I love getting fun things in the post! I am in the middle of my current cross stitch project 'European Bistro' so I won't be able to start this right away but I am so excited for this to be my next project. Andy says I won't have it done before Halloween but I know I will. You can click on the picture to see the pattern better.
The Orange and Yellow filament thread is glow in the dark. I already have white glow in the dark thread to use for the ghosts.
I bought a nice blue aida to stitch it on but I think I am going to play around with a swatch of it to see what it would look like if I dyed it with tea to look really spooky!
Forecast: Clouds and Sun
Sunrise: 8:25 AM
Sunset: 4:09 PM
Well you guys may be tired of all of the snow pictures that I post but I'm not! Today was the best snow we have had so far.
Went to bed last night with a tiny bit on the ground... would call it a dusting. And woke up at 6:45am to this! Our 10 minute drive to work took an hour and somehow I was there on time.
Now... other than the beautiful snow that was still falling (hard) the above photo was the highlight of my day. This semi-truck decided to stop by our office to ask for directions, bad mistake! As you can tell in the photo there is a bit of a hill and... he got stuck. A bunch of co-workers had to go out in their work clothes with shovels and cardboard to try to help the truck driver back out. It was so funny. It would look like he was going to get out and then he would stop spinning his tires and he would go back down. Ha!
Seriously not sure what these cars were doing except causing a pain for other people to get in and out. But seriously look at the size of the flakes in this photo... they were huge!
Andy and I left at 11:30am and you can tell here how much more it had snowed from 8:00am to 11:30am. The area around the antenna had not been cleared all the way off earlier but everything else was cleared. That is another few inches at least!
Now last but not least my crazy neighbors again. First they leave their clothes out in the pouring rain (to see proof click here) and now they are out in the snow. But really this photo is to show you how wet this snow is. Look how it is wrapped around the clothes line. That is amazing!
However we all know what is going to happen to this wet snow tonight when the temperature is below freezing... And it is calling for a little more snow overnight. Can only imagine how we are going to get into work tomorrow.
I took a lot more photos throughout the day so please feel free to take a look at them by clicking on the link below.
Sunrise: 8:26 AM
Sunset: 4:06 PM
Ever since I bought this radiator cat bed back on November 21st it has been a favorite by all of the cats! As you can see Pazzesca has the pleasure of sleeping in it right now. To be honest they wait for the one in it to jump down and then another one takes their place.
Something tells me I may have to invest in another one at this rate. Although who wouldn't like it? The radiator is all nice and warm and the bed does look rather cozy.
Forecast: Late Snow
Sunrise: 8:26 AM
Sunset: 4:04 PM
I was watering my Devil's Ivy this morning and I thought about how I didn't think it had grown very much since getting it. So I decided to look at by my blog post for when I bought it and I was very wrong!
Look back on May 31st, 2009 and you will be able to see how much it has actually grown. Yay! I am not very good with plants but I have always found these types of Ivy plants easy. I miss the one I left with my Mom in the US, it was very long and very beautiful. A couple of that Ivy's arms had to be around 20+ feet each.
Happy to see this little guy seems to like me also!
Also wanted to say to those of you who are interested I have updated a lot of my completed and ongoing projects on my Crafty Christine blog so you can check it out also if you want.
Forecast: Clouds and Sun
Sunrise: 8:26 AM
Sunset: 4:03 PM
Andy's Dad's ship is docked in Liverpool this month so he was able to be with us on Christmas and it means he gets to go to a few Everton Matches with us.
Today was the 3rd round FA Cup match against Carlisle United. Before the match he needed to do some things on the ship so we got to go have a look around.
The above picture is of the Captain's Bridge. We were on the ship for about an hour and had a good look around. The scariest moment however was going up and down the stairs on the side of the ship. They were skinny and high! You can see them in the below photo just off to the right. Click on the picture and you will get a larger version. They were scary!
After the tour we were on our way to Goodison. It seemed liked a very long match and for most of it we were tied 1-1 but with 10 minutes left in the match (my man) Tim Cahill scored his 50th goal for Everton and then we were awarded a penalty and it ended 3-1. On to the 4th round!
Sunrise: 8:26 AM
Sunset: 4:02 PM