Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Crochet mood blanket

I know... I'm a day late. But never mind. My blanket is coming along nicely, a bit slowly over the last week as I was on a mission to get as much done on my baby boy ripple blanket as I could. Now I have run out of wool for it so went back to my mood blanket.

I am still ahead, I think I actually have about 50 rows already! I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with it! So I am really pleased! 

I tried a new pattern (white and greys on right hand side) which I found by searching google. It's quite cool, kinda looks like giant granny stripes really. I am enjoying looking for different stitches to use so that I am not repeating too many of the same ones. Although you do need a few plain rows inbetween them all. 

Love those bobble rows! 

The Facebook page for the crochet mood blanket is so inspiring. It's great to see other peoples blankets and how they are getting on! 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Next project... Crochet ripple blanket.

My friend Francesca (Runninggirl.net), is having a baby in March. I only met Francesca about 5 months ago when we both moved to Dubai. Francesca moved from London, with her Canadian husband who teaches at the same school as my hubby. 

It has been a difficult time setting up here in Dubai, learning the ways and the culture, setting up a brand new home etc. It has been amazing meeting other people who are going through the same process! For me, it's been great getting to know Francesca as she won't be working, so we have had many a trip to a coffee shop! Chatting to her about her upcoming arrival and listening to her plans getting ready for the baby, brings it all back to me! It doesn't feel like that long ago that I was going through it, can't believe it's 2 years ago already! 

So since Francesca is setting up home here and hasn't been able to see her family in a while, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get my hook out and make her a baby blanket. Something to cuddle up with her little one, to keep them warm during the midnight feeds, to chuck on the grass and laze away afternoons in the sun. 

Her and her husband have been turning the plain, empty spare room into a haven of calm and tranquility for their little boy. It's really cute! They had chosen a soft grey and pale blue for the colour scheme and have made their own nursery paintings for the walls. So I am hoping that this blanket will help add to the relaxing room, making it homely and snugly for him. 

It's hard being away from your family when living abroad. I think even more so when you are going through another life changing experience such as having a baby. I hope when I finish this blanket that it becomes a little keepsake for their son, a special reminder of the beginning of his life here in Dubai. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Ibn battuta mall, Dubai

My hubby went away for a few nights this week on a camping trip in the desert with his school, so I took full advantage of this opportunity and went shopping! Well, why wouldn't you?

Across the whole of Dubai at the moment, all the shops and malls are taking part in the 'Dubai shopping festival'. (To other Britons out there, it's January sales basically!) This means that the big malls are heaving at the moment and it is just carnage trying to even ind a car park space let alone enjoy walking around the malls! So I ventured to an area of Dubai that we rarely go and went to Ibn Battuta mall. It is a large mall, but not as big as the famous ones like Dubai mall and mall of the emirates. It is really pretty inside, the ceilings are painted like a delicate sky. Themed around the travels of renowned 14th century Arabian explorer, Ibn Battuta, the mall’s six courts reflect the most influential places he travelled to – Andalusia, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India and China.

There is loads more information on the mall on the Ibn Battuta Mall website.

I didn't take too many photos as I thought I would look like a weirdo. But managed a few of the random displays they had. I didn't even explore the whole mall, (there is only so much shopping willi can take!) but there are meant to be restaurants there too I think. Maybe I will get to check these out another day when with hubby. 

Cinnamon swirl banana bread

I fancied doing a bit of baking today, so William and I made this delicious banana bread. I got the recipe from my friend Francesca and you can find it at her blog, Running girl.

I have just had a piece while drinking a coffee and catching up with my blog reading and oh my... The cinnamon swirl bit is just gorgeous! I am a huge fan of cinnamon and it took all my will power not to just eat the sugar and cinnamon mix that William was mixing. It was still warm from the oven which made it Ben nicer! 

Simple to make and easy ingredients which I tend to have in the cupboards all the time so definitely suits me! Pop over to Francesca's blog, as she does quite a bit if baking and her blog is great for lifestyle and beauty tips! 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Crochet mood blanket update...

I have just realised its Monday!! And I am meant to be blogging about my crochet mood blanket!! 

As I have another project to start (will show u during the week), I tried to get as far ahead as I could with my mood blanket. I think I did quite well! Although It is already the 20th jan so I better get a wriggle on with my other project!!

Since my last update, I have tried a new stitch. It's basically a version of the chevron patten that is always knocking about online. I enjoyed it, and I like how it makes you look up and down the blanket and not just width ways, if that makes sence?! My last few rows were rows of half double crochet and bobbles, spacing the bobbles out on each row. My husband loves bobbles, don't know why. Probably because they are fiddly and time consuming ad that would be typical!

I am really enjoying this project!! I'm meant to be doing a row a day, so I'm not sure if I could carry on for a whole year as it will be massive!! Maybe half way through the year I could start a different project! I have something in mind already!! 

Well I'll be back in the week to show you my other project I have started for a friend. I have a deadline as it's for a baby due in march! 

Keep leaving comments as I love to read them and follow others blogs! 

Crochet mood blanket

My crochet mixed stitch stripe blanket is coming along nicely! I am really pleased with it! I am desperately trying to get ahead of myself as I have another project to start soon for a friend. My aim was to do a row a day, and so far I have done 24! 

It is a little wobbly at the moment, I guess because I am using lots of different stitches. I am hoping that when I do a border it will even out. 

I am finding the Facebook page for the crochet mood blanket 2014 very encouraging! There are people from all over the world doing it! So far I seem to be the only one in Dubai on the Facebook page. 

Most of the stitches for this blanket I am making up as I go along but the new ones like the Catherine wheel I found on Little Woolies blog. There are also some good instructions on the 'not your average crochet' blog. 

Hope your getting on well with your current projects! I am always interested in seeing what others are up to! I will aim to post updates on my blanket every Monday So see you next week! 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Crochet along 2014

After much deliberating, umming and erring... I have decided what I will make for the crochet along this year. I will link up to some later when I figure out how to do it (any tips are appreciated!).

I have decided to make a mixed stitch stripe blanket. Thats a mouthful!! I got the idea from Little Woolie. She did it last year so I can't follow hers now but will be referring back to it for stitch ideas! If you haven't seen her blog go check it out cos it's lovely! She uses the most gorgeous colour combinations in her crochet work! 

So here are the colours I have chosen. As I am going to try and join up with the crochet mood blanket cal for 2014 I should allocate the colours a mood. If you haven't heard about this... You basically choose a mood for each colour wool. Each day you decide how you are feeling and use that colour. So my choices are ...

Purple - creative
Dark red - happy
Red - adventurous 
Grey- peaceful
Cream - loved
White- excited

So when I started I was excited about beginning my new project so I used white. Cool idea huh? I don't know who came up with it originally but I have seen it on lots of blogs this week. And as one of my plans for this year is to be more positive and creative etc I have used that to inspire my mood choices for colours. Nothing sad, boring or angry for me! 

So here is my first 8 rows...

I am planning to post my weekly updates on a mods tan am aiming for one row a day. The blanket I am making is for my lounge in my new appartment, it lacks those nice homely touches at the moment and I am hoping when it's finished it will add some brightness and comfort to the sofa. 

So good luck to everyone taking part in a crochet along this year. Please let me know what you are up to as I am keen to follow others, it also gives me that boost to keep at it! :)

Here are some other lovely people who are taking part in the Mood blanket crochet along...

Tales From Trish

Hazels Crochet

Plus3 Crochet

Facebook group for Crochet mood blanket 2014

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Yummy soup

First of all, I did attempt to make some carrot and ginger soup and it was pretty good! William has eaten it twice for lunch now so it must be alright!!

To make it I simply chopped 4 carrots, 1 potato, 1 onion, 1 clove garlic and grated a small chunk of fresh ginger and put it all in a pan to boil in 1 ltr of chicken stock. 

Once the veg was soft and it was smelling good I let it cool and whizzed it in a blender. I think I put a sprinkling of herbs in it too.  

As you can probably tell, I am not the most accomplished cook but this was easy, fairly quick and cheap to make. It was a great way to get some veg into William and nice to see him enjoying it. The smell was gorgeous too and it made me think of my mum as I know she loves ginger  a lot! I think I will cook it again when she comes to visit me in Dubai next month!

In other news, I have done a lot of blog hoping, searching and debating with myself on what crochet along to do. I have found a couple to join in with, quite a few people are doing this mood blanket project which sounds interesting. I have started it already but wanted to have something to show when I join up with the crochet alongs. But I have catching up to do as it's already the 8th jan! 

So hopefully next post will be my cal project. Hope your all enjoying your first week back to normal after the holidays! 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Blog Loving

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Today i have signed up with Bloglovin. I have only just heard about it. Its a way of following blogs and finding new ones. I think they have an app for it too which i may check out later!

So i will add the button to my side bar and see how it works!

I've got a busy day today, but just to let you know, i tried out the carrot and ginger soup and its pretty good! I have also found a few people doing a crochet along for this year and am thinking of giving it a go! But i am not sure how to link up with them. So any advice on this is much appreciated!

I am going to try doing a different pattern square each time so am on the look out for new ones to try, so again, let me know if you find any!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Quik tuna pasta

This is a really quick but tasty meal to make. Most of the ingredients can be russled together at the last minute and you can change or add other veg if you want to. 

1. Put pasta on to boil. I use one small bowl per person and usually end up with left overs for the next day depending on how hungry you are!

2. Chop up some veg. I used one red onion, a small handful of green beans and a red pepper. Stir fry the veg in a wok with a little olive oil and a finely chopped/ crushed garlic clove. 

3. When nearly cooked, chuck in a can of chopped tomatoes to diner away. 

4. Add a can of tuna to the vegetables and tomatoes, just long enough to warm through. 

5. Mix the cooked pasta with the tuna. You can eat it as it is or if you have a little more time, put it in an oven proof dish and cover in cheese. I like cheddar or Parmesan. Put it under the grill to melt the cheese and make it all gooey and more delicious! 

It's a pretty healthy option for something quick on a weeknight. I find it a good way of getting veg into my toddler. 


I am thinking of attempting to make some soup this week, so if any of you have a nice recipe let me know! I'm thinking carrot and ginger?? 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

my plan for 2014

Well I have left the cold, wind and rain of England and arrived safely back home in Dubai. We had a great two weeks back in the uk visiting family and friends. Enjoying Christmas dinner, eating far too much chocolate torte ( mother in law- I'm blaming you!) and giggling with my crazy family. 

I have just been spending a few quite mintes catching up on my blog reading. It looks like everyone has done so much crafting in 2013. I guess I have done a bit but I am feeling a touch inadequate at the moment. I have had quite a lot going on in the last year I suppose so now I no longer have work to go to I am going to make more of an effort! 

My plan for the year is to make the most of it ! I am not going to call it a New Years resolution as then I run the risk of forgetting about it and failing by the end if January! So my plan for the year will include the following...

1. Get crafting and creative again. I have a very important project to start in the next couple of weeks, making a chevron blanket for a friend here in Dubai who is having a baby in March. So I have a deadline which should help!  I also want to try things I have either not made before or not done for a long time. I plan to make some hand embroidered cushions for my sofa. So if anyone has tips or ideas on this, please let me know!

2. Exploring. Having recently moved to Dubai there is lots for me to explore. One of the reasons I was bored with where we lived before is because there wasn't much to do and no good weather to go out in! Also now that William is growing up I want to make sure he sees as much as possible and enjoys his time here in Dubai. 

3. Get my a*se moving! I am the first to admit I am basically very lazy. If there's a choice of sitting inside watching a film and eating chocolate or going for a run, it would not be the latter!!! I'm not saying I am gona start running every day, but I want to do more exercise, go for walks more often and try to get in a few laps in the pool (inbetween watching William jumping in like a nutter). 

4. Being positive. I am fed up of seeing miserable posts from people on Facebook etc and feel i should try to be more positive. Even when just talking to myself!! ( I reserve the right to abandon this point if my "being creative" doesn't work!) 

So there you go. My plan. I may add to it as we go through the year. 

I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and new year! And good luck for 2014 and any plans you may have!! 

Welcome to my new followers!! May they keep coming! It's nice to think there are people out there reading my ramblings!