Hi there, I'm Ali and brand new to this blogging thingy so not sure how things work. I decided to start a blog because a very good friend of mine kept saying I should have one, told me it's easy, so here goes.

I have decided to call it Blossom and Grow because over the last few years that's exactly how I feel my life has been. Maybe i'm a late developer. You're never too old to try new
things and life definitely starts at 40 something.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


Well what an eventful night I had last night took BEST MATE T to the Liverpool Philamonic to see John Barrowman. Felt like I was goin home as thats where we do our SING LIVE concerts. The Show was fantastic John was brilliant and so funny. He had a load of family photos on a screen pity I was right at the back and needed my youngests binoculars but his voice was outstanding and I was memorised. He had Jodie P as support she has an amazing voice and a very cute yorkie who kissed my cheek ahh!

Well we got a huge thrill as T had realised that the guy in the band was the same hunk that shook his buttie infront of us at the Royal Albert Hall last May. There was 600 of us singing in SING LIVE with loads of  west end stars like Kerry Ellis from wicked and now shes Nancy in Oliver which is so weird as Jodie use to play Nancy. Anyway we hunted the cute guy down after the show and yes it was him he said that we had done a GREAT JOB so T and I were chuffed to bits his name was Daniel Ellis   no relation.

Oh other great news we have been invited to re do our Queen song in Albert Hall Bolton which is an honour its a rememberance concert invited by DAWSONS ACADEMY which were part of our DSB experience. I think I might challange self to perform at all the Albert Halls in the country not sure how many there are but that will be fun. No more name dropping well maybe one more.

Bessy Mate M went to do sainsbury advert with very talented daughter I who is on TV at present in Harveys advert and she came across JAMIE OLIVER and to my dismay he was a right DIVA. Flew in on a helicopter straight in car to his van and didnt come out to sign books as thinks hes to important then made crew wait hours before they started filming. I was disappointed to hear this as he is a favourite chef of mine and expected better from him. Kids disappointed I'm disappointed.

Best get back to my crafting as doing a craft fair on the 28th of November at Hulme Hall Wirral so need to get stuck in. Oh want a laugh Mum got me a carosel to display cards very kind newsagent my MS does have its benifits sometimes but gutted when the B***** Cards don't fit into the slots AHHHH!!!!

Sunday, 19 September 2010


Oh dear what a very busy day. Kids have been up the wall so bored as raining again. I did suggest they painted or crafted but they just wanted to annoy each other, but I was too busy doing ADMIN for MS SOCIETY so didnt have time to entertain them.

We didn't have our usual dog walk today as unfortunately Stellas owner pasted away last week and we are now without our dog to walk on a Sunday. We have been put on a list so watch this space we might get the opportunity to walk another guide dog soon.

Dreaded Dentist tomorrow at 10 am need a filling as tooth broken then Walton centre at 3pm to have an electrode in my arm ahhh that sounds painful will tell me why my arm hurts so much. I think its nerve damage after my last relapse but I'm no doctor.

Charlotte Web on tv kids watching if I remember right its very sad at the end so need to fish out the hankies.

Some crafty news I made my first sock monkey which youngest has nicked for herself named it LUCY. On to my second which might go to the new addition to the family. Hubby's cousin has had a baby boy on Friday 8lb 9 oz ouch that must of smart. HA! Mum and baby doing fine can't wait for photo.

Photo of sock monkey to follow but I can put up a link to a fab blog that has the instructions to make your own monkey and lots of other crafts.

Well best get going and surf other crafty blogs for inspiration.

Saturday, 11 September 2010


HAD a fab afternoon on friday playing with crafty stash with my bessy crafty friend M. Should of taken a pic of the dining room table at the start and at the end of our session but forgot. Wasn't productive in the sense not made one single card. But did make a mess no I mean a lovely range of toppers to put on our cards.

We were playing with christmas stamps using different techniques to colour them in; water colouring, promarkers, mica powders, embossing images, brush inks. The embossing with a heat gun was a first for both of us and was brilliant, we also did shrink plastic mine being a bit of a disaster. Oh yeah! also used flowersoft.

The whole afternoon was fun as I have to admit I have tonnes of stash and don't get chance to play with it so thanks to M for coming around and bringing the sandwich with cake yum! Will post pics of cards when I have made them up.

Next week M's house and I think we are going to do some BRAINSTORMING, we think we might be slightly MAD, but we fancy doing a stall at our local craft fair. Will be going along to check it out soon. Any craft ideas will be much appreciated.

I have also joined a new crafty forum to get some ideas from fellow crafters will put the link here if anyone is interested.


Use twitters* when doing shrink plastic to stop it disappearing around the table and burning your fingers ouch!!

*Foot note I mean tweezers that made me giggle so I kept the Freudian slip in. We were a pair of twits or tweeters according to hubby.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


Friday 3rd September.

 OMG September already were has the year gone 8 months gone and 4 months left. Well it is that time of year again. WE have picked the majority of damsons off our tree and started jam making. The past two years the Jam was a little hard when set and had to be microwaved to soften before spreading. This year I think it looks much better.

How to make damson jam.

Here is a great website that gives you all the instructions and recipes so I won't bore you.  I will show you some pictures of my process.

1.Damsons with 1/4  pint of water simmer till fruit reduced

I will just say I got very messy and so did the kitchen but its worth it when the jam is spread on some yummy brown bread.

2 .Pick the seeds out but save pulp

3. Need to add sugar and test if set see link

The Best Part is when put in jars and give them to friends.

I made 13 jars of damson Jam Yummy

Just need to make some labels now. My neighbour then called around with more damsons off his tree so the process has start all over again. Will be giving them as christmas pressies at this rate hee hee!!

Another kind neighbour was happy to take some damsons off my hands as you can imagine I had tonnes in exchange for some BLACKBERRY JAM and ORANGE MARMALADE brilliant!

Now on to my apple tree. Poor crop this year got exactly 12 apples were last year I had so many I was giving them away by the bag full. My mum in law made a load of apple pies/crumbles which were fab. This year lucky if I will get one crumb.

Bet they taste juicy though

Well thats all folks!!!

Thursday, 2 September 2010


Had a fab time at Blackpool Pleasure Beach on Tuesday 31st August 2010. The Mouse being the most terrifying due to the fact I did it on my own, it was so rickety I thought I was going to fall out and I have very sore arms cus of the shear force of being knocked from side to side. Little D not keen on the 'GRAND NATIONAL'  and Big O and Hubby did the 'BIG ONE & INFUSION'  I WAS HAPPY TO SIT THESE TWO OUT.
The 'HOT ICE SHOW' was brill Big O and I went in the evening loved the costumes, the hunky skaters and of course the skating. The illuminations were on for one night but I was so tired I only had enough energy to get back to THE BIG BLUE HOTEL and collapse in a VERY BIG BED. Hubby took Big O down to the bar and did some celebrity spotting of his own (thought I had taught him well) he came back to inform me that he reconized a guy from WATERLOO ROAD but didn't get an autograph rubbish!!! Was going to go to the bar in next PJ's (bought for me by a generous friend) but thought better of it as I was soooo knackered. Lucky I didn't as I had in my head MR MEAD and it turned out to be the other one TOM. But he was buying the film crew drinks so I might of got a J2O for FREE Ha!!!
Infusion they did it twice did I mention they are unhinged

Saturday, 28 August 2010


I have decided to make a memory book about my amazing experience in TV land. I will post a picture on my blog each page I make so all my friends can also relive the journey.

I hope to start at the very beginning which might be hard as at the moment I have not got a photo of us at the first audition in Newcastle. So depending on what order I do the pages my blog might not run chronologically.

Title Page for DSB Memory Book
So the front cover is a title page and hopefully you can see I used different coloured harliquin ribbons and different lettering styles to remind me of the DSB logo. 


Stella welcome addition to our family
What a calamity! It was time again to take STELLA (our guide dog friend!) for her weekly free run. (free meaning not on her lead not free in costing anything). This is only our second time to be in charge of a black lab and seems we haven't any dogs we are on a learning curve. Not strictly true as I have had dogs when growing up but our kids haven't as they are actually allergic to furry creatures. Anyway back to our doggy walk, Stella is 4 years old and is a working guide dog but due to her owner being poorly she hasn't been able to go for a free run. So hubby volunteered our family to take Stella out. Today was only our second time so we are still apprehensive and just getting use to handling her. Last week she was very timid and wouldn't run after the ball and we just about got her to trot.

This week was so different she bounded after the ball we had bought from our shopping trip with M and co things were going really well kids enjoying Stella's enthusiasm. Until suddenly out of the corner of my eye I could see a brown mongrel come bounding across heading straight for Stella. OH NO we all were scrabbling to get Sella we were not ready for a lively yappy dog to come in and intrude into our tranquil morning. Both dogs got very excited and the little dog was chasing Stella, Stella being so placid I think wasn't quite sure what to do and we being novice dog walkers what reaction to expect, as humans we started to panic slightly. The little dog got a bit too friendly and started nipping Stella round her collar to this I am shouting to the owners to retrieve their dog. They didn't seemed bothered but I didn't want to take Stella back to her owner covered in slobber or worst scenario blood. I think as I said earlier we are on a learning curve a very BIG one at that.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Well today little D and I dug for treasure in our grow bags and came up with lovely white potatoes marie something and nicola's. Chuffed to bits as they have been growing since March. We had the marie ones tonight scraped (which hubby had to be shown how to do) that made me laugh as I remember my mum showing me how to scrap spuds. Then I thought 'have I not scraped a potato since I was a young girl weird.' We boiled, then mashed them or as little D says 'made fluffy clouds.' They were Yummy with steak pie and veg. So 6 months of growth to get one meal on the table is it worth it. I enjoyed it, didn't cost much and I got a sense of achievement. Plus little D and I spent time in the garden today in the fresh air. SO YES IT WAS WORTH IT! might try different veg next time.

Still waiting for tomatoes to ripen moved them around to a sunny spot that's a joke as we don't seem to be having any sunshine. I think some of the toms are plum tomatoes so I think I will be making some bols sauce seems I am the only one who eats tomatoes raw. Neighbour said add a banana to rippen the tomatoes (7.9.10 still waiting)

Hubby just got back from watching Everton 5 good result against Huddersfield 1 so he's a happy chappy.

Well best get to bed as its 12.07 am
What happened to my early night?

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

First Post

I'm a little bit obsessed with crafty stuff and have a huge stash in our DEN (old dining room) to the dismay of my hubby. I started making cards about 3 years ago for friends and can spend hours on one card. Although I have tonnes this did not stop me today whilst shopping with my pal M and our kids. We spend hours rummaging the shelves in TK Max and Hobby craft and as usual spent a fortune. I have just discovered scrap booking and hope to make a few albums featuring some of the exciting things that have been happening to me lately.

 'What exciting things?' I hear you say. Well I will just mention one thing briefly as its getting late. I am in a choir called SING LIVE and we do loads of amazing concerts, this summer we were privileged to take part in 'Don't Stop Believing' a Channel 5 production. It was an all dancing, all singing competition (not that I did much dancing) and we made it through to the semi-finals 'wildcard'. The whole experience was amazing being on LIVE TV singing with all my best pals. We have little videos of our performances and interviews on their website and I even downloaded our songs from i tunes so I made a CD not bad for 40 SOMETHING.

If you want to view my performance or find out more about our choir I will post the links here (will have to ask 12 year old how to do this)

Brilliant how easy was that. Best finish my first blog before boring you all to death. Good night! xx