My car was rear ended today….

not a good start to the morning.  We were just at the roundabout nearest the hospital where hubby had an appointment.  I stopped to give way to the oncoming traffic.  Sadly the car behind me didn’t.

I’m basically OK aside from a massive headache and various minor aches and pains but the car is a real mess.

So I was just too shaken up and weepy to go to work and have been dozing most of the day.

Anyway, even though its beensuch  a rotten day I decided to share some love and give away one of my wordart kits for a verrry limited time.

I chose my Mommy Dearest kit which I designed specially for my own Mum who celebrates her 80th birthday next month.

Made for my own dear Mum

To get it jump over to My Memories and add it to your cart.

Please don’t delay as come October it will revert back to full price.

Here is the matching template kit so you can see how it looks in a LO – of course you don’t have to use it full size, it looks just as good smaller

Incidentally the best way to find out about my freebies is to subscribe to this blog and to *like* my Catdesignz Facebook page – thats where you’ll learn about all my future freebies.

Thats all for now – just spent an exhausting hour on the phone to my insurers so I am in need of a nice cup of tea – or possibly something a little stronger!

laters

Yay, I lost 3.4lb this week!!!

Ok, so I didn’t really do anything much different this week.  I’d been jogging along losing 2lb a week or therabouts since starting my weight loss journey.  Then, out of the blue the scales showed this comparatively massive loss on Saturday.

Still burning the midnight oil getting my store populated at My Memories, still working full time, still supporting hubby with his doctors appointments.   Still carefully watching everything that I eat and keeping within my calorie allowance. 

The only thing I did any different is I started taking a CoQ10 supplement in a high dose 2 weeks ago.  Its supposed to increase the efficiency of the cells engines or mitochondria and thus help burn fat.  I don’t know whether thats what has made the difference but what the heck, who cares?  3.4 lb is 3.4 lb and I’m no longer toting it around.

My total to date is 17.4lb in 9 weeks so I’m feeling smug.  While its hardly the biggest loser it is going in the right direction.

Hubby is coming up with different low cal meals for me each evening – last nights offering had flags of spinach speared in a cherry tomato as garnish for seasoned lemon sole, pineapple, peppers stuffed with couscous and cucumber with spicy relish – it was really delicious and made me smile too – thanks for being so considerate Vince xxx

Here are some of the Kits and templates I made over the weekend – they’ll be in store over at My Memories in the next few days.

This is my new Dove Kit

and a couple of ‘Firsts’

Nathans First Day at School

and Nathan’s First Bike 

Don’t forget there is still time to win a copy of the My Memories Suite V2 software.  Just leave a comment on my blog post here and I’ll be chosing the winner at random on October 1st.

You can increase your chances of winning the My Memories Suite Software by liking my Facebook page and by leaving a comment on one of my pictures  in my Facebook Photo Gallery.  Good luck!

let me know what you think of the new kit……

Happy scrapping

Alphonso Template pack free at My Memories.com 24 hours only!!!!

My latest template pack Alphonso is in store from today at My Memories.

 And for 24 hours only its a freebie!!!

 Snag it now while its free!!  Normal price after 3pm Sunday UK time will be $3.99

Alphonso Template Pack

And here are a few ideas of how you can use it. 

Snag the kit free until 3pm Sunday UK time

All photos courtesy of my photographer friend Sarah Gallagher

 

Don’t forget its FREE for 24 hours only – you’ll kick yourself if you miss it!!!

And while we are talking giveaways it doesn’t come much better than the chance to WIN MY WHOLE STORE AT MY MEMORIES and

the chance to WIN A COPY OF MY MEMORIES SUITE V2 SCRAPBOOKING SOFTWARE to boot – yes, I have gone a little bit crazy this week!!!

Just follow the links and leave a comment on the My Memories blog

to have a chance of winning my store – winner announced Monday 26th September

or on my blog thread to win the software – winner announced 1st October.

Good luck everyone and don’t forget to snag your free template right now!!!

I’ll do my best to reply to all your comments but please forgive me if I miss anyone, it’s so hectic here with all these giveaways

Feel free to leave me some love if you like the giveaway

Win My Whole Store at My Memories!

Yes, you are reading this right –  its potty time here in Halifax – as well as giving away a copy of My Memories SiteV2 scrapbooking software here on my blog I’m now also giving one lucky person the chance to win my whole store at My Memories

Thats my prixe for 1 lucky winner who tells me which is their favourite kit of mine and posts on the My Memories blog where I am featured designer of the week.

Meet CatDesignz

So peeps, follow the links to My Memories, post on the blog over there and bag yourself a chance to win my whole store – enough goodies to keep you scrapping for ages and worth over $300 

Just think, its even possible to win both prizes – the world’s favourte scrapbooking software AND  70+ of my kits and templates!!!!

In amongst all the excitement I’ve been updating mynew Facebook page with previews of my new kits.  If you want a sneaky peek why not hop over there and let me know what you think – don’t forget to like my page when you visit.

Did you know it was international Talk Like a Pirate Day Monday? Just as well I did this kit!  You can meet Pirate Pete in store at My Memories later this week

arrrgh, Jim lad!!!

Pirate Pete by CatDesignz

Well. its gone 5am and I really should be asleep – gotta be up for work in an hour or two – any other midnight scrappers out there?

Happy Scrapping & happy comping

Granny’s Quilt

Now my Grandma didn’t have a creative bone in her body.  We would spend hours talking and playing cards but I don’t have a single memory of doing anything vaguely creative with her. 

Granny_s_quilt_template-001

My Nana on the other hand was  a very crafty lady,  She knitted and crocheted – her hands were always busy even when they were crippled with arthritis. 

 I still treasure the blankets she made so lovingly for me.

In my minds eye Grandma did quilt though.  She stitched and sewed the pieces of her life into a real treasure stretched out before me.

Granny_s_quilt_template-001

But, bless them both, I think my creative genes have come the Riley route rather than the Whitehead one.

So, my dear departed grandmothers, Grandma Ellen Whitehead and Nana Emily Riley, this ones for you
  – my Granny’s quilt series of templates which you can find over at My Memories

And the colour?  Why, Pink, to make the boys wink as Grandma always used to say!

 Thats for starters anyway, there are plenty more colourways to suit everyone coming soon to a store near you.

And the lovely lady in the picture, is not my gran but my Dad’s sister Margaret.

The Whitehead Girls

You can see Grandma Ellen here in the Whitehead Girls

left to right my Mum Therese, Auntie Joan (D), Grandma Ellen (D) & Auntie Winnie


And here’s Nana, Emily at her 90th birthday party with her children

left to right Aunty Fran, Nana (D), Auntie Margaret, Auntie Mollie, Dad Peter, Uncle Jim (D)

Seeing this picture again has put me in mind of pictures of the siblings as children in the 1930’s, but thats for another day!

Have fun whatever you are doing this weekend and don’t forget to check out yesterdays post for the My Memories scrapbooking Software givaway

Win My Memories Suite V2 Scrapbooking Software

Yes, you read it right, I’m giving away a copy of My Memories Suite V2 scrapbooking software on September 30th. 

To be in with a chance of winning hop over to My Memories and see which of my design packs or templates is your favorite and tell me why in  a comment on this page.

Simply Love Mask TemplateVol 3

You can double your chance of winning the word’s favourite scrapbook software by liking my new Facebook page and if you are feeling really lucky make a comment on one of my photos on  Facebook  for a third winning opportunity!

The software is really easy to use with heaps of tutorials available on-line.

There is also a wonderfully supportive community on Facebook where you can see lots of sample layouts too. Everyone is friendly and will jump in and help if you have a query.

Good luck with the competition and happy scrapping

Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ ah saw thee

In the words of the song, On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at

View from Myddleton Grange

I’ve been for a day of reflection at Myddleton Grange which is set in the glorious countryside  of Ilkley.  And, battered by the tail of Hurricain Katya it was certainly windy.  But then I did need to blow some cobwebs away.

There is nothing like stepping outside your every day environment for helping you to take a look at yourself and gain a slightly different perspective.

For me its been a long time coming – I last went on a ‘retreat’, also at Ilkley but a different venue, when I was a 5th former at school back in the 70’s.  So I grabbed the chance when it came and set off with a small band of 17 others mostly from Sacred Heart & St Patricks parish, Sowerby Bridge.

The drive through the Yorkshire countryside was picturesque and we arrived at 10am to be greeted by our guide for the days journey Fr Simon Lodge.

None of us had any idea of the agenda for the day but Simon is known for being challenging and dare I say it a little controversial or provocative.

We shared his insights into the recent riots in major UK cities and speculated about the causes of such violent displays of hatred and greed.

No easy answers there but the seed was sown about change being in the hands of ordinary people rather than politicians having any of the answers.

We had plenty of time for quiet reflection and attended Mass and Benediction together which was incredibly uplifting.

The chapel is so beautiful – afraid my photos really don’t do it justice, especially the mosaics of hardy Northern saints and martyrs.

  The skull of Blessed  Christopher Wharton, English Martyr who was hung drawn and quartered for his faith in 1600 is housed in the chapel, a little macabre I thought but it is in the great tradition of Holy relics and historically so many holy relics were fakes that to be  so close to a genuine one was unusual and surprisingly peaceful.

One of the group exercises saw us selecting a band of would be disciples from a list of short character references with no names attached to them.  Believe it or not we rejected Jesus, St Peter and Mother Therea and included Hitler and Myra Hindley in our motley crew.  But then Jesus disciples were a motley crew too, just ordinary guys called to witness and follow. 

We spoke too about the need to put Christ at the heart of our lives and not to be afraid to speak out about it.

Sunday was the 9.11 anniversary and I have seen many transatlantic friends change their facebook pictures to US flags and much talk of remembrance and solidarity.  Truth told we are all victims of that day.  So I think its also a good day too to reflect on hatred and forgiveness. But, and this is where it gets contraversial,  how many of us could forgive our enemy in a 9.11 bomber?    We should never forget all the people who died and their friends and family who mourn them but what good hatred and revenge and war as a consequence?

I haven’t even begun to finalise my thoughts on these issues but there is too much hatred in the world and all it does is fester and make things worse.

The issue of  forgiveness is a very moot point in my life for reasons which I can’t go into here.  The one thing I do know is that forgiveness blesses and benefits the forgiver as much as it does the forgiven.  It allows space for healing instead of hatred and frees the forgiver to move on instead of being consumed with destructive emotion.

We stopped off on the way back for a meal at  The Fox in Menston.  We’d pre-ordered and turned up at the promised time expecting good Yorkshire food after a hard days reflection and spirituality.

We were really hungry and looking forward to a great meal in good company.  Well, we got the good company in bucketloads but afraid the food was another matter

The roast meal arrived on a platter which was advertised as beef, turkey, pork, sausages, bacon, pork crackling & stuffing but sadly no turkey and no pork crackling was forthcoming.

I suppose those who braved the roast, and I use the word advisedly, would have been ok with the absent turkey and crackling if they just could have :

a) at least had their veg and gravy BEFORE they finished the meat

and

b) manage to cut the meat!

plus the aforementioned beef actually had to be sent back to the kitchen to stop it bleeding!

My fishcakes arrived with sour creme sauce  instead of tartar sauce, not a good combination particularly as the cakes were predominitely mashed potato with no discernable fish……….

One of our party had french onion soup which arrived cold and only thinly disguised as vegetable soup.  Her husbands steak was so tough as to be more suited to boot leather.

The vegatables were notable for their sparseness – 2 small dishes, 1 of cauliflower cheese and 1 of mixed veg on our table of 10.

If our requests to rectify all or any of the above issues were handled with a smile or anything except resignation that possible would have been the end of it but afraid, for us to witness all the staff laughing and gossiping about our requests as we left, was unforgivable, hence my decision to share our nasty experience in this blog.

We paid good money with an expectation of being well fed.  We turned up when we said we would and we ate what we had preordered so we had every expectation that the food would live up to its promise.  We were sadly disappointed and will not be returning to make the same mistake a second time. 

 To the staff and management of the  Fox I would say you really need to get your act together – people have a plethorah of choice and while you extracted nearly £300 from our large group for a poor quality meal, lousy & slow service and a couldn’t care less attitude, I am guessing that you would rather have had 18 of us talking about how much we enjoyed it and planning another visit rather than bemoaning how lousy the whole experience was. Afraid it will be the last money that you get from me for sure.

We wished we had gone to Harry Ramsdens instead – there is always next time I suppose!

Crummy meal aside, the though provoking bit of the day wasn’t finished for me yet.

When I got home I was flicking through facebook posts and came across one from a friend in the US which really jumped out at me.  It perfectly mirrored what Simon had been saying and was so apt for the day on which the world looked to the USA  as it commemorated 10 years since the horrors of 9.11.

It goes like this and I leave you with this thought as I sign off…..

A little girl wanted to know what the United States looked like. Her dad tore a map of the USA from a magazine and then cut it in into small pieces. He told her to go to her room and see if she can put it together. After some minutes she returned and handed him the map correctly fitted and taped together. The dad was suprised and asked how she had finished so quickly. She said ‘on the other side was a picture of Jesus, and when I put him back, then our country just came together.’

How true of our broken society here in the UK as well as the USA

keep smiling

Cat x

Ps our puppy loved the stringy tough leftover meat from the Fox, but then that puppy will eat anything, including dessicated cat poo!

My Memories Coupon Code Givaway

I’m really excited to have joined the design team at My Memories

I’d like to spread a little happiness so to celebrate my new venture I am giving away a coupon worth $20 – thats $10 off the price of My Memories Suite v2 and a further $10 off product of your choice from the website Just hop over to My Memories, pop the My Memories Suite V2 software into your shopping cart and apply the coupon code  STMMMS26788

at checkout.

Feel free to pass the My Memories Coupon code on to your friends and family.  The software is so easy to use with oodles of easy to follow video tutorials available and hundreds of easy to use templates to get you started.

Rusty Puppy plays shake a paw

Love Me Love My Dog

Love Me Love My Dog

I have thousands of my own pictures to scrap so when I’m making a template I try and make it with a particular picture or set of pictures in mind. 

 Rusty our Border Collie puppy inspired me to make the Dogtails and Love Me Love my Dog Kits so its only fitting he should feature in these  Dog Tails Templates previews.  Isn’t he a sweetie!

 Templates in My Memories are perfect for anyone just starting out with scrapbooking or those who are short on time with lots of photos to get through. 

You can mix and match the elements, copy and paste them between the pages, remove any you don’t need and add your own from other kits.  And all the elements are available for you to use outside My Memories within other programmes – everything is high resolution at 300 dpi and either jpeg or png format

I’ve actually had a bit of a template making frenzy over the last month, you can check some of them out, including the Dog Tails ones featured in Rusty’s pics in store now with many more hitting the shelves in the next week or two.  

That’s me signing off for the evening – just off to create some more templates!

Happy scrapping and happy weekend

Cat x

Bless me Father for I have sinned….

‘Pie & peas please’

If I heard that once I heard it 250 times on Saturday.

Our wonderful Ladies group from Sacred Heart & St Patrick’s Church hosted the lunches for the Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival where the main attraction was the pie & pea lunch.

It was all hands on deck at 10.00am with the arrival of the pork pies from Lockwoods, all freshly baked that morning and looking (and smelling!) delicious. 

mmmmm

There were bread buns to be sliced, buttered and filled with meats and cheese.

 

We set up a mini production line to cut, butter, fill and wrap each breadbun.

Tables & chairs to be  set up, spoons & forks wrapped………….

all wrapped up

 peas to be cooked……….

Bubbling away

pass the salt

seasoned……….

Perfect!

and taste tested

 pies to be warmed in the oven ……….

18 dozen pies in 1 oven?

Many hands make light work and finally everything was ready

we were able to take a breather at 11.30 and conduct the all important quality test before being let loose on our unsuspecting public!

gotta do a quality assurance taste test

Bless me Father for I have sinned……

Yes, I broke my diet and had pie and peas with the obligatory mint sauce.  For those not Yorkshire born and bred, me included, its very strange to put mint sauce on pie and peas but they go together like fruit cake & Wensleydale cheese – simply yummy!

bless me Father for I have sinned.......

The customers must have been drawn in by the wonderful aromas as the first hopefuls turned up just as we all sat down.  How cruel of us to make them wait until 12.30!

We were busy from the moment we set up shop and I have NEVER seen so much mint sauce consumed in such a short space of time – we had to change the serving spoon to a teaspoon to avoid running out!

But run out we did, not a cake or a pie was left by 2.30! 

Who ate all the pies?

By then the crowds, mummers, dancers, the Rushcart and the lads pulling it had all moved on to their next venue but not before drinking the bar dry first!

Tired but happy we were all cleared up and cashed up by 3.30 and to look at the place you would never know that any of us had passed through

If you want to find out about the Rushbearing check out their website here – sorry I didn’t get to take any pics but we were just too busy serving up those pie and peas!

Sacred Heart & St Patrick’s Ladies Group meets alternative Wednesday’s in the Church Hall, 8pm, all welcome!

10.6 of these!

pretty gross…..

that is what 1lb of fat looks like  …..yeuck
 
 I’ve lost 10.6 of these since I started calorie counting in mid July!
 
 
This weeks total is 1.84lb which is a little less than my 2lb target but still moving in the right direction
 
Now, I may not be the biggest loser, its a slow and steady start to my weight loss journey as its very difficult for me to do cardiovascular exercise right now after my ankle surgery.
 
But every lb is progress and when you look at it like that little lot, its actually pretty satisfying to take in that I’m no longer carrying around all that lard
 
Please remind me of that when I next say I only lost 1lb this week!