Friday, 30 November 2012

I hereby give you.....

fair warning that from today this little old blog of mine will contain the word Christmas on a daily basis and that there will be many photos along this theme too.That is as long as the internet connection behaves itself a bit more than it's been doing so far this week.

To kick off the festivities I thought I would show you the man in the red suit whose impending visit we are all getting just a tad excited about.
I bought this t-shirt in Primark during the week and I intend on wearing it as much as I possibly can over the coming weeks.

Santa Claus is coming to town..................

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Crafty Cards

An indoor day today meant S spent some time this afternoon on a spot of Christmas card making. She was busy with the paper, glue and sequins and I was busy reading the December edition of the Sainsbury's magazine.
Amongst the recipes which made my mouth water is the brown sugar brandy butter (although I'm not sure I even like brandy butter, but this does look so inviting) and a simple cinnamon cake which I hope to give a go soon as it sounds like perfect accompaniment to hot chocolate.

I enjoyed reading the column 'My Life' written by Fiona Gibson as it really struck a chord with me.
She has written about her views on how see feels towards buying Christmas presents for (and receiving them from) her husband. 

.....while this might sound horribly needy, there's nothing like having something chosen for me that makes me feel loved. If the search for said gift has involved many hours web surfing, plus several arduous journeys to town, then so much the better.......... Who would go to all that trouble for someone they regarded with indifference? ..........A hand-drawn picture in a charity shop frame is worth far more than all of the dismal boxes of chocolates in the newsagents............
This is our big chance to choose something delightful for the one we love the most.

I love Christmas.
I love everything about it.
I really, really love thinking up gift ideas for my family and friends.
I want to put some effort into it because if I care enough to want to give someone a gift then I want it to show I care.

Monday, 19 November 2012


This post is a little selection of things S has been up to over the past couple of weeks.

First day after half term was an inset day for S and as it was such a sunny one we wandered over the local park.  The reason for choosing this park is because of the zip wire which S had to herself for part of the time we were there.

Gingerbread men have been baked, there were plans to ice and decorate them but they were eaten before we got to that stage!

On our walk to school one morning we liked the way these leaves were silhouetted against a neighbour's the metal fence

Yesterday the two of us went to another park and took a sneaky box of Maltesers with us! S saw a couple of school friends and played happily for half an hour whilst I read a magazine. Happy half hour for us both.

Back home again we baked some mincemeat cakes from a recipe in the latest Co-operative free magazine. All were eaten with custard after our tea.

A new certificate for the wall, S has achieved her 10 metre swimming badge.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Lucky Winner

You may remember that I recently announced I am now amongst the ranks of those people who on reaching their early 40's discover they need to start wearing glasses, for computer use only you understand, which basically means whilst blogging and tootling around on Pinterest.

Anyway this very happily coincided with a give away which I entered and then was extremely lucky enough to win.

The prize is just the most gorgeous glasses case made by the very talented Gina at rosiebull designs and embroidered on the front is the four word phrase I can be heard saying on a very regular basis 'Have you seen my glasses?'

Thank you Gina, my new case makes me smile every time I see it.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Presents for Friends

I found the initial inspiration for Christmas gifts to my friend and her two boys via, yes you've guessed it, Pinterest.

First up is the one for my friend T and this pin showing the nail varnish and tag 'for your mistletoes' was my starting point, such a simple and sweet idea.
 To go with it I bought a tube of foot butter and a pair of woolly stripy tights. 
I was really pleased with this little trio and even more so when I found a little picture of a piece of mistletoe in my stash of cut up old cards to stick on the gift tag.

For her two boys I ordered each of them a Christmas DVD, Grounded for the older one, Deck the Halls for the younger. These have gone into a gift box with a big bag of popcorn 

and a cola bottle reindeer!

I hope they like them.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Days Like These

Yesterday was a good day.
My diary is pretty much penciled in with things to do on each day of each weekend between now and Christmas, so this weekend we really wanted to make use of our free family ticket to the City's new Sea City museum.
It was just after 10.55 by the time we were all ready to go and so we waited until 11am and then stood for one minute's silence, because we explained that important no matter what we are doing or where we are we do what we can to show our respect to those who have lost their lives.

The museum is housed in the old police station and court rooms in part of the Civic Centre

Once inside we handed over our free voucher and in exchange we were given our entry ticket, which in keeping with the maritime theme is named 'boarding pass.'
On offer for the children were free museum trails. We took one and although initially S did make a start on it she was so busy looking at the exhibits and playing with all the interactive stuff it didn't get completed. 

Currently in the Special Exhibition hall is Titanic the Legend. Among other things it deals with the glamour and myths that have grown up around the Titanic and continuously playing are clips from various film adaptations made in Italy, Germany and the USA. 

Upstairs there are two further exhibits. One is Southampton's Titanic story which was really, really interesting. Here you can try steering the ship out of the Docks, have a go at stoking the boiler and read about all the food they took on board. There is much, much more and there are some pretty special artifacts too like a pocket watch recovered from the body of one of the stewards.
As I mentioned above the building used to house the courts and audio information   about the inquiry into the disaster is, very fittingly,  played in one of the court rooms. If you fancy it you can stand in the dock and there is even access to the stairs they would have ascended from the cells.

There is no photography allowed inside the museum so I can't show you any of the exhibits, but what I would say is if you have a couple of hours to spare in Southampton it's well worth a trip.
We asked the children about the museum and S said it was great and liked the Titanic part and T said he enjoyed it because it was all so interactive.

I know this looks like a bit of a random photo, but that window used to be where G's desk was situated when he worked in the station, it's now part of the kitchen in the Galley cafe. We didn't try the cafe on this occasion as we were all ready for something a bit more substantial than hot drink and cake.

The owl is above the old staff entrance to the building.

To the left of the museum is a small garden which has been dedicated to Millvina Dean, the youngest and final Titanic survivor.

It was a fab family day out which came to the perfect end with me and G going out for the evening to see the most wonderful and totally amazing Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. We were stood up dancing and clapping and singing and left the theatre on a real high. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Beauty of Recycling

I've just got back from a craft fair held at the church hall round the corner.
These can be a bit of a hit and miss affair.
Sadly this was more of the miss variety, except for one stall holder which stood out from the rest.
She was a volunteer selling recycled handmade items on behalf of the Philippine Community Fund and was so friendly and chatty and incredibly enthusiastic about the work they do towards helping improve the quality of life for women and children.
I bought this necklace, it's made from old magazines, I was drawn to it's abstract poppy ness.
They currently have a sale on various items, my necklace was only £2.50.
Why not have a browse at the site, you never know you may find just the right thing for someone on your list and you'll be helping a really worth while cause too.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Thrifty Thursday- The Treasures from Norwich

We may not have had much time for shopping during our little trip to Norwich last weekend, but that didn't stop me from finding three fabulous treasures in the charity shops.
Mainly because within one minute's walk from the hotel there were 4 charity shops in a row!

First up is a sherry schooner, with a very CK kind of posy decoration


next is a little tin which looks like a miniature iced Christmas cake

and finally this is my favourite and my best (as Lola would say). A pale blue ceramic storage jar, decorated not just with a smiling and jolly Father Christmas

and a pair of adorable looking reindeer, but did you see the handle on top?
The cutest little red and white polka dotted mushroom!!!!
I am in love.

Looking forward to finding a special place on my dresser for this treasure in a few weeks time.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Family Trip

We've been away for a couple of days. A little stay in Norwich to see T's birth family.
We took the train to London on Friday morning then hopped in this fab cab to get us across town to Liverpool Street station.

That evening we met up with some of T's birth family for food and a good catch up. He was really chuffed his youngest sister was able to make it too as she has recently had a baby. Here the two of them are with his two week old niece.

When we go to Norwich time isn't really our own as we always have to be mindful of who we are meeting and when and where. Not that I am complaining as when you have just a free hour or so, like we did on Saturday morning, which more attractive City could you wish to spend it in?

Not every city centre can boast a castle

and some of the details on the shops can't help but catch your eye, like this stained glass

or this beautiful art nouveau face on the Lloyds Bank building,

or the building which houses Pret a Manger

and don't miss the tiniest of heart shaped details either.

We do like to take a wander down around the Lanes, we have decided we really should find out more about the history of the City seeing as both our children were born here.  

It was here that in one of the shop windows I spied the most fabulous pair of red shoes

and had time been our own then a trip here would have been a certainty.

Before wending our way back to get ready for our next family meet up we stood for a few short minutes outside Jarrolds (how twinkly this store must look with it's hundreds of fairy lights when it gets dark)

and listened to this group of buskers doing a great rendition of Up Town Top-Ranking. I could have listened to them all day.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Batty for Biscuits

After our Hallowe'en trail on Monday and then our Murder Mystery trail on Tuesday Hallowe'en itself on Wednesday sort of passed us by.

I had to work yesterday and so I wasn't at home to do anything to get us in the spooky mood! 

T had had a couple of friends over for an impromptu sleepover on Tuesday night and he spent most of yesterday in a sleep deprived zombie daze so he was on theme at least!

In the end the wind and rain put paid to any plans anyway. I had pinned decorating ideas for outside on Pinterest but these didn't get done as it didn't seem worth the effort to have it all get soaked and sodden.
And although we did had a few brave souls most of them were pretty wet through with rain streaked makeup!  
S was disappointed not to have gone out but I think she was happy in the end as I split the left over sweets between T and S so they had a little haul of their own.

Today has been a quiet indoor day. It did seem a shame to be indoors on such a bright day but we have a few busy days coming up so a slouchy day seemed the way to go.

To make up for the lack of Hallowe'en-ness yesterday S and I got baking and made some biscuits in the shape of cats, pumpkins and bats.

With a bit of leftover biscuit dough I played with my new biscuit cutter.

I first saw these, quite a while ago now, on Vanessa's blog  and eventually got round to ordering a set last week.

Just how cute are they? Angel wing on your cup anyone?