Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Shameless plug...

I love Christmas. I have always loved it and when I was 12 to when I was about 18, I loved it even more for a particular reason - Christmas concerts at church. My sister, Lindsay was in charge of running a youth choir and every Christmas we would put on a concert. They were always so well attended, the church building was full to capacity over the two nights of the concerts and it was always the highlight of my year. Rehearsals would start in October, once every couple of weeks. It was sometimes hardgoing as Lins is a perfectionist and knew how things should sound and how she wanted it to sound and so when it came to the performances, they were always amazing. Everyone who performed forgot all about how hard some of the rehearsals were (and how much of a taskmaster Lins was! :) I know that she will read this and I don't mind saying it because she knows it's true!!) and just loved being able to be part of such a great musical event. Even now, every Christmas I reminisce about those times and I can remember every song that was sung and the alto part to all of them! I composed a couple of pieces which were performed at the concerts. It was so special for me to hear what was an idea in my head being performed by a choir and hearing people walking around and humming the music that I had composed.

During mine and Seth's time in Lancaster, I met Sue Kureczko. Sue also loves music and when I heard that she wrote music, I was very eager to speak to her. We have worked together on many songs, about 17 I think, most of which are Christmas songs. Sue would give me the lyrics and the melody and I would come up with an accompaniment and the parts (soprano, alto, etc) to them. I had so much fun doing it and could literally spend hours working on the songs, without even realising that the time was passing! Seth always made sure that I stopped working on them at least an hour before bed because otherwise I couldn't sleep. I would have tunes just going through my head and it would keep me awake for hours. When Seth and I moved to London, life got busier and I haven't had the chance to work on any music with Sue for a while, but I am going to be getting back into it very soon, which I can't wait for!

So, as I said, shameless plug.... if any of you out there are choir directors, sing in choirs, are looking for music to perform in any Christmas concerts or any church event, check out Sue's website. All of the music on there can be performed as solos, by groups or by a choir. If you decide to use any of the music, let me know as we would love to hear your feedback and any suggestions that you might have! Enjoy!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

My confession

So in the last post, I confessed that I am a lover of watches, but now I have another confession to make..... I love wedding dresses. Now if I were single, I'm pretty sure that a statement like that would scare away any potential suitors so it's a good job I am wed! Before I got married I would always look in the windows of bridal shops and admire the dresses. It wasn't that I was really eager to get married because I really wasn't, even the thought of dating freaked me out! (Poor Seth had his work cut out for him when he started dating me, I have no idea how he persisted!). I just really loved looking at the dresses and seeing what kind of styles I liked and didn't like.

When I got engaged, I couldn't wait to go and try on wedding dresses. I went with my Mum and sisters and I had a great time! I only really ended up trying on the styles that I already knew that I liked, which in hindsight I regret. Being as though this would be the only time in my life to try on wedding dresses, I wish that I'd have tried on loads of different styles, just because I could! I was never really one for the ballerina, full-skirted style dresses - being as though I'm only 5 ft 2 and a half (that half is very important, so I'm claiming it!) I would never have been able to carry it off! I went for a lace, mermaid style dress and I tried on A LOT of them, all of which were pretty similar in design. You know, just to be sure.

As it happened, for someone who loves wedding dresses so much, I didn't end up loving mine. I had ordered it online and when it arrived it was a different kind of lace to the one that was advertised. Of course, no one else would have known that, or even cared but I was a little disappointed. The company apologised profusely and refunded some of the money and to be honest, by the time the day rolled around I really didn't care, I was just looking forward to being married to Seth and to starting our lives together.

I thought that once I was married, I wouldn't really care about looking at wedding dresses again, it would be a case of been there, done that. Kind of like me not wanting to watch "one born every minute" again after having Caleb! But I must confess, even now when I walk past a bridal boutique, I still can't help but look at all of the lovely dresses in the window. I love going to weddings and seeing what the bride's dress will be like. I hope that at some point in the future I end up having a daughter so that one day I will be able to go wedding dress shopping with her, but if not then my nieces will just have to suffer me tagging along with them!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Happy hundredth!

This post is my 100th blog post since starting my blog. Such a momentous occasion!

I quite enjoy having a blog, it feels a bit like I'm keeping some sort of a journal. I do actually write in a journal regularly anyway but I prefer to do this so that I can share things that are going on with us Mannings with friends and family.

I know that some people having varying views of keeping blogs. Some people think that it's really putting yourself "out there" for all to see and I suppose it is! I'm not a particularly private person so I don't really mind too much. It's not like I'm giving you my address and bank details or anything so I think it's okay. I try not to overshare with things that might be a bit too personal, or anything to do with Seth because unlike me, he is more private so I just keep things like that to myself!

There's also the occasional dilemma of telling people something that's going on with you and they respond with, "oh yeah, I read about that on your blog". Now is that a conversation killer or a conversation starter? One might say that by putting everything on a blog, you don't really have any conversation to have with people face to face as they already know everything that's happening with you anyway. For me, it's always been nice for me to know that people other than my Mum are interested enough to read my blog!

I also love keeping a blog because since starting to keep one, I have also started to read more people's blogs and it's so nice to gain friends in that way as well and to see what's happening in their lives. Does that make me nosy, or just interested in people?? I like to think I'm just interested in people!

As I realised that this was my 100th blog post, I couldn't help but think, what on earth have I blogged about for all this time to warrant 100 posts?! Some of it has been pretty significant things, such as falling pregnant with Caleb, having Caleb and watching him grow, a niece and a nephew's wedding (not to each other, that would just be weird!). And some of it has just been more insignificant things that I've just felt like sharing, even though they're not really that important! But regardless of what I blog about, I just really enjoy being able to document it all and share it in this little space that is my blog!

Monday, 11 November 2013


My poor little Caleb hasn't been feeling too great over the last couple of days. Anyone who knows him knows that he is usually so full of energy and he just never stops, so it's horrible to see him when he's not feeling that great. We're pretty sure that he's teething and that's what has been causing the temperature and him just generally feeling rubbish.

I hate that he has been feeling so unwell but Seth and I have loved being able to look after him and cuddle him. On Sunday while I went to church, Seth and Caleb stayed at home and cuddled on the sofa watching disney films. Caleb was more than happy to sit there the whole time just being with his Daddy. In the evening, although he perked up he still wanted to be close to us and he sat on my lap while we looked at books. He fell asleep in my arms as I was giving him his milk before bed and I must say, I kind of indulged myself by not putting him to bed straight away and just holding him in my arms for a little while. I was saying to Seth that it's funny how much more protective I feel over Caleb when he's unwell and seems so vulnerable. I'd much rather he felt better soon and be full of energy again than him be in an unwell and cuddly state, but whilst he is like that, I am enjoying the cuddles with my beautiful boy.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

My secret love

When people stereotypically think of women and the things they like to buy, shoes and handbags probably come at the top of the list. Who doesn't want shoes and a handbag to match their outfit? To be honest I'm no different, I also love shoes and handbags, although my current handbag is Caleb's changing bag. Its just too much effort to cart around a handbag and a changing bag so it doubles as both. But the main accessory that I love to shop for is watches. I blame my sister Laura for this. Growing up she always loved watches and it rubbed off on me. I don't have nearly as many as I would like and I often see ones that I want to buy but being as though I'm not working and we're living on Seth's money, I exercise some restraint!

I especially love Fossil watches! I think they're having a bit of a drought at the moment though because for about three months now when I've gone into the store, I haven't seen any that I like or that fit me. I have pretty small wrists and so some of the watches with the huge faces really don't work for me. Or there's just a lot of bling on them and I really don't like that either! I think I have probably bought most of my watches at outlets when we've been on holiday in the States. What I also love about having these watches is that for the most part, I remember where I have bought all of them and there is some sort of memory that goes along with them too.

 I have one other watch but I couldn't find it at the time of taking this photo. 

For example, the third one in from the left was the first fossil watch I bought. I think I bought this one at an outlet in Vegas, although Laura could probably correct me on that. The black and turquoise one in the middle, I bought in San Diego. This was when Laura and I went on a sisters holiday the summer before Seth and I go married. we were at an outlet when I bought it and I wasn't sure if I wanted it or not but decided to keep it anyway as I knew I would probably regret it if I didn't buy it. I have actually worn it loads so it's a good job I bought it after all! Laura bought the two silver ones for me in the Christmases of 2007 and 2012. See? She really feeds my love of watches!

Because I always wear a watch it has resulted in me having a permanent tan line on my wrist. And I mean permanent, it's even there in the winter, although obviously it fades a bit. It's not really a problem to be honest because there is always a watch that covers it. There was only one time when it was a problem and that was on my wedding day. A watch just didn't really look right with the whole bride look (at least, none of the watches I had would have looked right. I missed a trick there, I should have just gone and bought a new watch!). I got married in July and so the tan line was pretty crazy! I had to make a bracelet that was big enough to cover it.

So there we have it, my name is Kirsty and I am a little bit of a watch addict.