Meet the newest member of our family.

Our new girl is half the size of Xi Shi Quan.  A very little, dainty, 2 year old Shih Tzu.

You have read this article with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/happy-new-year.html. Thanks!

Handmade Christmas presents.

I made a couple of cross stitched pieces as Christmas presents this year and would have made more had I had the time. I love cross stitching but it can be very time consuming so this year I only managed to make two gifts.

One was a pattern from Cross Stitcher magazines with a row of pretty pastel houses with some felt leaves, the other was a pattern I bought from Etsy (here) declaring "keep calm and drink wine".

The house design took quite a while to make but I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I have got plenty of leftover fabric and thread so I am thinking about making another one to keep. This one went to my sister and her husband.

Each window has white backstitching which is a nice detail when you look closely and I really enjoyed incorporating felt especially as the colours were so pretty.

The "keep calm" pattern was much quicker to stitch and I really enjoyed making it. This one went to my mum who likes... well, wine obviously!

Did you make any presents this year?
You have read this article christmas and resolutions / crafts / DIY with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/handmade-christmas-presents.html. Thanks!

My homemade Christmas cards.

First things first, I hope you all had a very merry Christmas indeed and you're all stuffed full of chocolate and turkey and all the rest of it.

I feel so lucky this year as I received so many wonderful presents and got the chance to spend a few days with family including my sister and my brother in law who live on the Isle of Man so I don't get to see them very often.

Unfortunately my Dad has spent Christmas in hospital due to a recent knee transplant operation but we have all been visiting him and took him some presents to open on Christmas Day. It turns out the Christmas lunch in the hospital wasn't so bad and he has been showered with food by visitors so at least he isn't going hungry. Fingers crossed he will be out in the next couple of days and can take it easy for the rest of Christmas into the New Year.

I'm back home now with Jonathan (well, I will be when he gets back from watching ice hockey!) and on the cards tonight there are festive leftovers for dinner, The Artist to watch and no doubt I'll be playing with my new Kindle Fire HD (thanks Mum & Dad!)

I made my own cards this year and they have had some great comments by family and friends (and people on Instagram) so I thought I would share a few photos with you. They weren't massively cheap to make as I needed a new supply of cards and envelopes, and I bought loads of ribbon and the snowflake stamp. But next year I'll be set as I've got all sorts of bits left over.

I cross stitched different images onto white aida in red and white cotton then backed them onto either red card or red felt. I also embroidered "Merry Christmas" onto white aida and used tiny gold seed beads for the dot above the i. I had a few scraps of felt in my stash already so it was nice to use that up and I've got plenty of red card left for next year.

I rearranged bits of ribbon, snowflakes and the cross stitched/embroidered pieces willy-nilly and off they flew to friends and family.

I didn't really have a plan when I started making them but I think they came together quite nicely in the end.

Do you make your own Christmas cards? I must admit I only made around 10 of these as I ran out of time so we sent out a few shop-bought ones to make sure we didn't miss anyone out but hopefully if I start a bit earlier next year I will get enough finished (August should do it I reckon!) ;)

Merry Christmas everyone x

You have read this article christmas and resolutions / crafts / DIY with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/my-homemade-christmas-cards.html. Thanks!


Woke up this morning at 4:00 am and couldn't go back to sleep.  Hate when that happens.  Had coffee and read on the computer for awhile till daylight.  Walked the dog, ate breakfast, and packed up to leave for Marksville and our visit to the Paragon Casino Resort.

Stopped to get gas and then turned on the GPS to set our course.  When the screen prompted "Where To" my finger went straight to "Go Home."  I swear I had no control over this act ;-)

When I think of the things that prompted me to do this I guess it's justified.  For starters - my air mattress has been loosing air since the trip began.  I pulled out the manual and it said that it was probably the batteries in the controls on either side of the bed.  So I opened up one of the controls and there was nothing at all that even resembled a battery.  OK.  I'll just sleep on this half filled air mattress.  Well, that got old real fast and my back has been aching ever since.

Next thing is my wireless computer mouse died.  It got stuck on the side of the sofa and looks like I pulled the wires out of the side of the device that plugs into the USB port.  So that meant that I would have to use the laptop's mouse.  I hate that thing.  Took all the joy out of my time on the computer.

Next thing is I starting having kidney pain last night which I'm used to as I have a history of kidney stones.  I usually can melt them with this concoction the doctor suggested I drink and they pass with little pain.  I didn't have any with me and would have to go to the store to buy some ingredients.   So....

I guess you could say that my discomfort was taking its toll on me.  I was missing my big screen TV, my sofa, my fireplace, my back screen porch, my neighborhood, and my time crafting and painting.  So I came home.

It's good to travel and get away but I always like coming home.  And just in time for a cold front coming in tomorrow which means it's Chicken Gumbo File' time.  I'm looking forward to lighting our fireplace and cuddling with my little Shih Tzu.

My RV is usually very comfortable and I enjoy short trips in it but I don't think I can do a month at a time and truly enjoy myself.  So I think I'll stick to short trips.

Expenses for my (26 days) December 2012 Texas Trip of 1200 miles:
Food................... $ 233.47 ............ averages at $ 9.00 a day
Fuel ................... $ 590.98 ............ averages at $ 23.00 a day
Lodging .............. $ 382.85 ............ averages at $15.00 a day
Souvenirs ........... $ 107.11 ............ averages at $  4.00 a day
                           $ 1314.41 ........... averages at $50.00 a day

You have read this article with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/back-home-again.html. Thanks!


We left Quintana Park this morning around 9:30 and arrived at SHJ around 2:00 this afternoon.   That was a long drive for me but I wanted to get as close to my next destination as possible.  I stopped for fuel and then a couple of hours later to use the bathroom.

Once at the park I thought I'd have my choice of sites.  Boy, was I surprised.  The park is almost full.  Last year I was here in November and it was empty.  What are these people thinking?

The premium sites were all taken so I had to take site #6.  At least it was a pull through.  I tried to manuever into the site to be able to use the sewer but the sewer is on one side and the electrical and water hookups are on the other.  All of my connections are on the driver's side.  So after trying several times to get situated I decided not to use the sewer and parked in order to use electric and water.  That is really a strange set up.  I'm only here for one night so it's not a big deal.

Took Xi Shi for a walk and took some photos but it is overcast and not any good light for photos.  Then came inside to fix something to eat.

Tired now so am going to take a nap.
You have read this article with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/sam-houston-jones-state-park-lake.html. Thanks!


Left Indianola Beach around 10:00 this morning and arrived at Bryan Beach around 1:00 this afternoon.  Couldn't get on the beach as the sand was soft and I knew I'd get stuck so drove on to Quintana Beach. 

I was pleasantly surprised at the sight of this campground.  Once in the office to check in I was even more surprised.  The office is in an old house fully furnished.  I opened the door and went in but felt like I was intruding on someone's privacy.  I called out "hello" and heard a voice respond coming from the next room.  I followed the voice and met a very nice worker who checked me in.  It was $24 dollars for the night.  There is so much to see in this house that I will have to go back tomorrow to look at all of the displays.

Got set up at my site and had a bite to eat then walked Xi Shi on the beach.  Found some interesting shells that I had never seen before.  Filled a small bag with shells and then came back to the coach to shower.  My site has sewer so it was nice to let the water run while showering. 

This campground has lots of amenities.  For starters, it has a vollyball court, horseshoe court, kid's playground, bath house, screened in room for guests, cabins with a view of the Gulf, primitive camping, lighted fishing pier, and laundry room. 

The Office

Nice landscaping.

Plenty of picnic tables.

Cabins are up on a hill with views of the Gulf.

The beach.

Everything is handicap accessable.

My site #10.

Placed a Peace Rock.

We're leaving in the morning.

You have read this article with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/quintana-beach-county-park-quintana.html. Thanks!

Izabel London.

I was lucky enough to be sent a couple of items from Izabel London recently and I must apologise as it has taken me so long to share them with you. My camera hates indoor pictures but as the rain hasn't eased up enough to go outside and there is not much light outside pretty much ever, alas... I took a few indoor photos. The woes of being a blogger in the Winter ay!

Crochet collar blouse c/o Izabel London

One of the items sent to me, which I love, is this metallic crochet collar blouse in black. It's perfect for this time of year as it's easy to dress up or down with the little pop of sparkle on the collar. So far I have worn it with skinny jeans to go out for dinner but also in a more casual outfit with a cardi on over the top. It's a contender for my Christmas day outfit as I don't normally wear anything really dressy but this, paired with jeans (and a paper hat!), would be perfect.

It's a generous fit but I quite like that as it means I've got plenty of room for mince pies over the next few weeks.

I hadn't heard of Izabel London before they contacted me but they have some lovely items on the website and the prices are really reasonable. If you fancy treating yourself you can get 10% off until the end of the year using the code LLL10%.
You have read this article fashion / share the love with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/izabel-london.html. Thanks!


Left Port Aransas around noon today and arrived at Indianola Park around 2:00 this afternoon.  This is a great stop off point for me on my way back to Louisiana.  I parked in a different location than before.  There are very few campers here today - only a handfull.

This is right when you enter the park.

The tide is out and the water is extremely low in the inlets.

The bay is calm and smooth as glass today.  Won't hear any waves lapping on shore tonight to lull me to sleep.

Having home made vegetable soup tonight... brought from home.

The entertainment for the evening will be DVDs of Frazier.

You have read this article with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/indianola-park-magnolia-beach-texas.html. Thanks!

The ones that got away...

The downside to being organised and writing your Christmas list in October is that by the time Christmas rolls around you a) forget what you asked for and b) think of another few things you'd like to find in your stocking!

Anyway, I'm most grateful to receive any kind of present and you can't beat getting a good old surprise, so as a bit of fun let this list be the items I'll have to buy myself in the New Year ;)

A "onesie"

How could I forget to put a onesie on my list?! I have wanted one for ages and after trying to find one for somebody else over the past few weeks it seems they have either sold out everywhere or are about £50! Anyway here are a few of my favourites, sold out or otherwise.

A woolly hat

I am not usually much of a hat person but I'm constantly cold and/or suffering from a bad hair day so I'd love a woolly hat to keep my head warm and cosy. You can't beat Accessorize for good hats. The heart one with pom poms is amazing!

A "geek" tee

I know the world and his wife have this Topshop tee but I really like it and would love the green one. At £18 it's not going to break the bank too much although I do have a bad habit of wearing nice tshirts to bed after a while. Oops!

A retro ice lolly neckace

When I found the shop hand over your fairy cakes I instantly loved the retro ice lolly necklaces, especially the Twister version. They're only £20 and would jazz up a plain outfit perfectly. I'm not much of a jewellery wearer these days but I love things like this, and it's also nice to support independent jewellery makers.


I used to be lipstick mad and had loads to choose from, with a particular love for bright pinks. I have been wanting to try Topshop lipsticks for a while as the colours are really pretty and I have seen so much of them in the blogosphere. I'd love to find a red that suits me, for nights out. I love the look of Lady Danger by MAC but I'm sure there must be a cheaper alternative out there.

What is on your Christmas list (or forgotten list!) this year?
You have read this article beauty / christmas and resolutions / fashion / miscellaneous with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-ones-that-got-away.html. Thanks!


The cold front came in during the night and the camper rocked and the wind howled so loud that there was no way to get any sleep.  The wind was gusting about 35 to 40 mph here at the beach.  I was parked next to the dunes but when the wind changed and came in from the north it hit me right on.  It sounded like a train going around and under my camper.  My neighbors were in their tent which this morning had come apart.  There is another tenter further from me who lives in his tent and it stayed up.

Today was a little better but not by much.  I bundled up and took Xi for a walk twice.  The sand was blowing so hard that I was afraid it would scratch her eyeballs.  So if she needs to go again she'll just have to go on the puppy pad.

This about sums it up.

Finished reading the biography of Clark Gable and started on the autobiograpy of Katharine Hepburn.  

Getting ready to boil some shrimp that I brought from home.  The movie tonight is "Clue."

Tomorrow we head out towards home.


You have read this article with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/i-b-magee-beach-park-day-15-cold-and.html. Thanks!

Sanctuary Bathtime Bliss gift set.

When Sanctuary asked if I'd like to review one of their gift sets I jumped at the chance. It is not often I'm bought "smellies" so it was a real treat to receive such a great set of items. The set I got was a surprise and it turned out to be "Bathtime Bliss" which retails at £18.00.

The contents are: 75ml bottle of Luxury Bath Float (Clouds of bubbles. Irresistible skin-softening ingredients & a sensuous oriental fragrance for the perfect long, hot soak), 75ml bottle of Body Lotion (24 hour moisturisation. Easily-absorbed hydration with stimulating ginger & jojoba to replenish skin), two small candles and a Classic Fragrance Diffuser.

Bathtime Bliss gift set c/o Sanctuary Spa

I am familiar with Sanctuary products from seeing them in Boots stores and buying the big jars of scrub for my Mum (she loves it!) but I haven't used their products regularly myself.

As I am going through a bit of an obsession with reed diffusers and candles at the moment this gift set couldn't be more perfect for me, and I am sure it would go down well as a gift for others similar in tastes to mine.

Having recently purchased a diffuser for our main bathroom from Dunelm Mill which makes no difference scent-wise whatsoever, it has been well and truly booted out of the way for my new Sanctuary one which smells really nice and makes a noticeable difference to the scent of the room. The candles have a nice fresh, feminine fragrance too and look nice on display with the diffuser.

I'm planning a pre-Christmas pampering night tomorrow evening while Jonathan is at his office Christmas party, so I will be lighting the candles and having a posh bath. I might even take a brew in with me! This will give me chance to give the bath float a whirl. I have used the body lotion a few times and it's nice. It has a strong, distinctive scent and sinks in nicely, leaving a fresh, pleasant fragrance behind.

I do love a good gift set (who doesn't!) and this one is a winner in my book.

You have read this article beauty / christmas present ideas / share the love with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/sanctuary-bathtime-bliss-gift-set.html. Thanks!


Packed up the coach and headed out of the park around 10:00 this morning.  Emptied my tanks, filled up the fuel tank and headed for Corpus Christi.

In 1934 my father's brother was shot at his home on 1124 Chapaaral Street in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He later died at a local hospital from a gunshot would to the forehead.  My grandmother and my father were in the home when they heard the shot.  My dad was only 16 years old at the time but it affected him for the rest of his life.  He kept a photo of his brother in his home till he died and I now have that photo displayed in my home.  Lowen married his sweetheart only 5 weeks before his death.

Today, I rode to Corpus Christi and my GPS took me to that address on Chapaaral.  There were no houses.  It was not a residential district any longer.  It is in a very nice part of town a block or so from the bay and all the expensive hotels.  I can only imagine what it looked like back in 1934 when my dad lived there with his family.  It was not at all what I expected.

This is where my GPS took me.

I rode by the Yacht Club.

Found a little park near the bay and took a few photos.  It was so windy that I could barely open my door. 

You can see the USS Lexington in the background.

On 15 June 1992, the ship was donated as a museum and now operates as the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay at 27°48'53 N, 97°23'19, 2914 North Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, Texas.   In 2003, Lexington was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The Japanese referred to Lexington as a "ghost" ship for her tendency to reappear after reportedly being sunk. This, coupled with the ship's dark blue camouflage scheme, led the crew to refer to her as "The Blue Ghost".

On the way back to Port Aransas I stopped at a store for a few items and couldn't resist these colorful socks.

My little Xi Shi was sick a few days ago but is feeling better now and back in her co-pilot seat.

I was going to spend a couple of nights back on the beach but with this cold front coming in, the winds are really blowing strong so I came back to my spot at the RV Park at I B Magee and paid for 2 more nights.  Then I'll be leaving Port Aransas.

You have read this article with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/corpus-christi-texas-back-to-scene-of.html. Thanks!


Went out to lunch today with Chris and Donna.  We met at the Beaches Restaurant in Port Aransas.  Enjoyed our meal and enjoyed the conversation.  I had the pulled pork Bar-B-Que, Chris had the brisket, and Donna had the fried fish.

Chris and I met Donna last year here in Port Aransas.  We were all members of a Women Go Solo Yahoo Group at the time.

I hated to see our time together end.  Hope we can all get together again someday.

Placed a Peace Rock.
We're leaving in the morning.

You have read this article with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/i-b-magee-beach-park-day-13-out-to-lunch.html. Thanks!


Sure, we all know how to do nothing. We all know how to lay around and waste time. But many of us are too busy to do it much, and when we do it, our minds are often on other things. We cannot relax and enjoy the nothingness.  Doing nothing can be a waste of time, or it can be an art form.

I'm new at this art form but hope with more practice I will be a master at doing nothing.

... and I'm just playing in the sand.


You have read this article with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/i-b-magee-beach-park-day-12-art-of.html. Thanks!

This and that (cookies, hangovers, new slippers and peace signs).

After the drama of last weekend (emergency vet visit, etc!) this weekend was a little more chilled out and relaxing with a girly night out thrown in for good measure. My friend and I went into Sheffield for a cocktail (or two..) and some 90s music at our favourite place on Saturday night.

Consequently Sunday was spent resting my weary feet and wondering when the ringing in my ears would go (a sign I am getting old surely!) I also did the first bit of baking in ages and made some American style soft cookies with white chocolate chips. Normally when I make cookies they resemble rock hard frisbees but these turned out really well, soft and chewy, so I'll be making another batch soon. The recipe said to use Smarties so you could stick anything in them I guess!

I added another bracelet to my Etsy shop on Saturday. It's a teeny tiny peace charm on cotton cord. I just added grey, dark peach, emerald green, navy blue and gold cotton to the options too so there's definitely a colour for you in there! Plus they're only £2 each so it would be daft to buy just one! ;)

Now.. when I ordered the Dakota Ugg's from Sarenza with my last ambassador code I wasn't quite sure whether they were outdoor shoes or slippers but in a moment of madness I ordered them anyway. I am pretty sure now that they're slippers (what do you think?) so that's what I am wearing them as. Yes £87.00 for a pair of slippers is quite a hefty sum but let me tell you, they are so comfortable. Cold feet are a thing of the past and I absolutely love them!

I have been compared to a Grandad on more than one occasion but I'm okay with that.

Dakota slippers by Ugg Australia c/o Sarenza

In this post I told you about a new framed print we picked up in Sheffield by an artist called Jim Connolly. Well I completely forgot to share it with you and as it's been hanging up in our spare bedroom/computer room for quite some time I thought it was time to take some photos. It's a comic style print poking fun at Meadowhall and is one of several from a series featuring a Sheffield theme. We loved all of the ones the shop sold but this made us chuckle the most.

I think this blog post has been sufficiently random enough to end with a photo of Lola looking cute and back to her normal healthy self... £188 and lots of tears later!

You have read this article baking and cooking / diary / lily and lola / Sarenza with the title December 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://oscarthemaori.blogspot.com/2012/12/this-and-that-cookies-hangovers-new.html. Thanks!