made by me: february

When I set out my goals for 2015, I set myself the challenge of making at least one thing each month. I find creating things is good for me, and I need to make more time for it. I haven’t sewn for months, and I am beginning to twitch about it. Maybe now spring is on it’s way I will have the motivation for a new wardrobe…

In the meantime I have taught myself to crochet. I have discovered I like it waaaaaay more than knitting for several reasons, but mostly because

  1. it is quick (turns out I have the attention span of a goldfish and like a project to be finished quickly)
  2. I can still do it after a couple of glasses of wine.


So this month these things were made by me…

At the beginning of the month I made a Romantic Robot for Mr TOPP’s valentines present. It was the first proper crochet pattern I followed, and although he’s not perfect I’m super chuffed with him.


Keeping with the romantic theme, I made some crochet hearts.


I used this pattern and they were so easy to make I just couldn’t stop. Soon I had made 10 and I decided to string them together using this as a guide. They need a bit of spray starch to get them flat, but I think they look pretty cool.

So that’s what was made by me. What have you made this month?




quotes of the week

Me: I was just like you when I was a little girl.

Little M: Mummies can’t turn into daddies, and daddies can’t turn into mummies.

Mr TOPP: That’s right. But little girls can turn into mummies, and little boys can turn into daddies.

Little M: So one day I might be a mummy with big…fat…BOOBOOS?!!!!


Mr TOPP: Have you had a good birthday?

Big M: Yes. The best.

Me: Shall we have some garlic bread with tea?

Little M: No, I don’t really like garlic people.

quotes of the week

At the Necropolis in Glasgow

imageLittle M: I wonder what all the people are doing.

Me: What people?

Little M: The people that live here.

Me: Oh no sweetie, people don’t live here. This is a place where people are buried once they die. It’s a place for dead people.

Little M: REALLY?!!! That’s crazy crackers.


imageLittle M: Who’s in that one do you think? A wizard?


Little M: Mum! Mum! Come quick. I think I’m standing on a tummy.


Not in the Necropolis, and some days later

Big M: Mummy I can’t get to sleep.

Me: Why not?

Big M: I keep worrying about you dying now you’re getting older.

Me: But I’m only 37.

Big M: But you’re nearly FORTY *sobs*


quotes of the week

Little M: Shall we play school’s Big M?

Big M: Yes, ok.

Little M: Mummy, can you pretend you’re the Mummy?

Me: Um, yes, I think I can pretend that…

Little M: Because you have brown hair. That makes you a mummy.

Me: *nods*


Big M: Mummy, I’m practising for my dance (lies on her stomach and stretches her feet towards her head)

Me: I used to be able to do that. (lies on stomach and stretches feet towards head)

Big M: You’re about a metre away Mum. But well done. And I love you anyway.

Me: *can’t walk for a day*

new year

Happy new year!

Christmas has been and gone in a blur of turkey, presents and children squeaking with delight.

And wine.


And so we start a new year.

I don’t do resolutions. I know myself well enough to know that I will break them within a day week month so I prefer not to set myself up to fail.

Despite the lack of resolutions, I do spend the first few days of the new year thinking about what I want to achieve, and where I want to be in a year’s time.

Having said that, I would never have thought 2013 would have turned out as it did.

Nor did I start 2014 thinking I would end it as a married woman.

(I still can’t quite believe I’m Mrs TOPP.)

But there you go.

Life has a funny old way of taking you down roads that you least expect. Both unpleasant and pleasant.

If 2013 taught me anything it is that life is too short.

If 2014 taught me anything it is that you should get on and do what you want to do while you can.

So, with that in mind, I have decided that 2015 is the Year of Doing Stuff.

I want to create things, blog, run, go out and explore the world with Mr TOPP and the Ms.

I have no idea where 2015 will take us.

It’ll be fun to find out.


quotes of the week

Mr TOPP: I think we should practise the vowels.

Little M: What are the vowels?

Mr TOPP: They’re the letters Ay, Ee, Eye, Oh and You.

Little M: Oh.

Mr TOPP: Ay, Ee, Eye, Oh, You. Your turn.

Little M: Ay, Ee, ummmm…

Mr TOPP: Eye…

Little M: Eye, Oh, Me.


After two phonically from school and with a raging temperature, puffy eyes, bunged up & croaking

Big M: Mummy, I don’t feel well at all.

quotes of the week

Mr TOPP: So, how was it meeting Father Christmas today?

Little M: It was good.

Big M: What did he look like?

Little M: He had a big tummy and a BIG beard. It was definitely the real one.

Me: Did he say “ho ho ho”?

Little M: No. But he did talk. I couldn’t see where from though.


Little M: Mummy, do you know why I have had to change my top?

Me: Um, no?

Little M: Because there was some brown stuff on it, and I didn’t know if it was chocolate spread or poo.*

*she’d not long finished some nutella on toast so I’m hoping assuming it was chocolate spread…


Bellowing from the other side of the house…

Little M: MUM!!!!

Me: *blinks*

Little M: MUM!!!!

Me: *ignores shouting*


Me: *sigh* What?


Me: Don’t shout then. Tsk.



quotes of the week

Little M: *sings* Then on foggy christmas eve, Santa came to say, Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you glide my sleigh tonight…


Big M: Mum, you know words?

Me: Um, yes…

Big M: What does it mean when they are sideways?

Me: Huh?

Big M: *leafs through book* *points at word* “you”

Me: Oh, you mean in italics?

Big M: Yes, sideways.

bite the bullet journal

I have always loved a good list. I used to be queen of notebooks until the invention of the iPhone. In recent years I have made all my calendars, lists and notes digital. The logic was that I was able to have my diary and notebook in the same place. Which is great. Except that I spectacularly fail to look at them.

Organisation Fail.

Earlier this year I had decided to get myself a planner for school. After ten years of teaching it was a bit of a turnaround (I’d often wondered why people bothered) but you know what? Suddenly my work life was a gazillion percent more organised.

getting organised

getting organised

And that’s when I decided I needed to do the same with my life in general. I’d heard about bullet journalling before but now seemed a good time to investigate further.

And invest in a pretty moleskine.

my new bullet journal

my new bullet journal

And washi tape.

can't believe I haven't discovered wash tape before now

can’t believe I haven’t discovered wash tape before now

Because obviously

After an evening looking at bullet journal pictures on pinterest I felt ready to go.

I’ve been using my bullet journal for three weeks now, and it has become an essential part of my life. I have monthly, weekly and daily plans. Instead of keeping stuff in my head and inevitably forgetting half of it I am getting every little thing I need to do onto the page. Most days I am able to tick them all off too. I even went for a run the other day, purely because it was on my to do list for the day. A bullet journal is that powerful. Ahem…



For me, the best thing is that I have my diary, notebook and to do list all in the same place, but unlike on my phone, I actually look at it. And as a result, I Get Stuff Done.

ticking stuff off. BOOM.

ticking stuff off. BOOM.








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