Thursday, 26 February 2015

Didn't I do Well

I had to pop to Asda yesterday because, shock horror, we had completely run out of Shreddies. This is the breakfast choice of both T and S and so I needed to get to the shops and restock to avoid early morning disappointment.
I sent a text to my sister asking if she needed another picked up whilst I was there and she replied asking if she could join me and if we could make a little detour to the charity shop on the way as she had four carrier bags of donations to drop off.
Never needing much persuasion to visit a charity shop I readily agreed.
And jolly glad I am that I did too.
I came home with some fab finds.
First up is this CK handbag mirror for 10p.
My C sister was looking elsewhere in the shop when I spied this and so she didn't see me buy it which is just as well as it's going into her birthday present bundle.

The charity shop was having a £1.00 sale on clothing in readiness for changing over the stock to Spring and Summer items and I found this tank top. for me. I already have two of these in different colourways and so was pleased to find another.

The blue of this Whittard's blue is actually a really richly dark shade. Two of these were purchased for 50p each. This one for me, the other put away, again for my sister's birthday in October.

I love Paperchase products and am very tempted to keep these for myself.
They were bought for 25p and are destined be one of my sister T's presents in our advent calendar swap in December. If I can part with them that is!

Finally we have another gift for C. She spotted this one. It's an EB Toast and Marmalade storage box. It cost me £1.00 and if she hadn't chosen it for herself it would have come home with me anyway and I would have found a use for it.

I was really pleased with this little selection, just goes to show it's always worth popping in!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Double Celebrations

Today is T's birthday and he is now 15 years old.
He was up at 6am this morning.
That never happens on a school day.
He was rushing around to leave on time 2 and a half hour later.
That usually happens on a school day.

Today  is also S's birthday and she is now 10 years old.
Double digits.
Very exciting.
Because she had an early start to the day too there was time to begin knitting a Monster High hat on the loom kit we gave her as one of her gifts.

Both children went off to school with those enormous badges pinned to their jumpers and big grins on their faces.
Tonight we are all out together. First up will be a couple of games bowling which will then be followed by a meal somewhere of their choosing. Knowing these two it'll feature pizza.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

February Half Term

Since starting my new job the weeks have a tendency to whip past at an alarming rate, but this last week definitely went by at a slower pace.
There aren't, for various issues, any photos from the week, so to accompany my round up I have used snaps from old editions of House Beautiful magazine.
My sister was given a stack of them from 2012 which she passed on to me once she had perused the pages.
I flicked through them all but I have to say there was very little which caught my eye. For inspiration I'd much rather have a trawl through Pinterest these days.
There was no chance of a leisurely lay in on the first day off as T had one of his 6 weekly check ups at the orthodontist. Once done there we went to a cafĂ© for  mid morning cake and coffee before heading home again.
The children busied themselves with friends and movie watching in the afternoon and all was well.
Tuesday morning was sunny and dry and so it was declared perfect for washing the car.
This was something T and S wanted to do.
I have to say it doesn't get done as regularly as it probably should which is probably why it's such a novelty to them.
I went indoors to fill up the bucket with clean water to rinse the car off with and when I went back out they were throwing the damp sponges at each other, shrieking and giggling.
It was lovely to see and hear them larking about together and enjoying each others company.

(I took this photo for the crochet cover and leather sofa)

The weather was going to be good Wednesday so this had been decreed our day trip day and there we had a couple of options.
Then first of all my mum cried off as she had hurt her back and wouldn't be able to come along.
Then during the course of Tuesday evening S mentioned her throat was sore and that she felt cold, although she was very warm to the touch. So we bundled her off to bed with a dose of Calpol and crossed our fingers.
S eventually woke up at 10.45 the next morning. Her temperature had eased but she wasn't feeling great, in fact after initially getting up she went back to bed and slept a bit more.
Of course my main concern was that she was ok but I have to admit to feeling a little miffed that we had lost the opportunity to go out and enjoy the day.
Wednesday was also my dad's birthday, he would have been 75. I think possibly I was looking forward to going out as much for the distraction it would also bring and therefore I probably dwelt too much on the fact he isn't with us anymore.

Anyway after that lazy day proved to be the tonic S needed she was fit and ready to venture out again and Thursday morning we went to the cinema to see The Penguins of Madagascar followed by a trip to the shops so she could spend a couple of vouchers she had been given for Christmas.

(I do like a bit of tartan and the warmth of the reds and browns made this sofa look very cosy)

Friday I was back at work and so that was the end of my time with them both.

The weekend has been a pretty busy one.
Yesterday we spent the day in London.
We met up with T's eldest brother R and his nan N in Trafalgar Square and then spent a lovely couple of hours in the National Gallery before heading to Leicester Square and a trip to M&M World where S was dazzled by the choice and amount of chocolate on display.

(love everything about this, the painted wood, the wicker, floral fabrics, Tea poster, shelving, pops of red)

Today we had a full house with family and friends over for a pre birthday lunch. There are two very excited children who can't wait for tomorrow.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Days Past

A little look back over the past week.
Tuesday was Umbrella Day.

I made Nutella milkshakes topped off with little cocktail umbrellas. The milkshakes were disliked unanimously. Oh well, we gave it a go!

S was very excited about Wednesday as it was dress up day at school. I had offered to sew more beads onto the top but she said she was happy with it just the way it was and as it was her costume that was fair enough. I had sewn the skirt of the kaftan to the bottom of the top and to hide the haphazard join we added a belt from a skirt which was in the pile for recycling.
When I went to collect S from school later on that day I noticed a lot of the children hadn't actually dressed up so although it was a challenge to come up with something I'm glad we made the effort and S was pleased with the cobbled together result.

We had no firm plans for the weekend but seeing as it was Valentines Day on Saturday there were a couple of things I had planned but they didn't actually happen in the end.
I felt dreadful all day at work on Friday from a bout of IBS and couldn't wait to get home and sit quietly with a hot water bottle. Unfortunately this feeling lingered on into Saturday and Sunday too.
S and G enjoyed a breakfast of heart shaped crumpets 

and when I did feel like getting dressed I wore a recent purchase from New Look.  95% of my wardrobe consists of buys from charity shops, car boots and jumbles but when I was in town recently I spied this t-shirt and as I had £3.00 of high street vouchers in my purse I put them towards it and it became mine.


Before I go I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last post about T and his website. T was bowled over by the response, thank you all for your support.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Love and Pride

T has asked me to share something with my good friends in Blogland.
For months he and G have been busily working on his new website and it finally went live a couple of weeks ago.

T told us he was gay in December 2013 but I haven't shared that information on here before as I didn't think it was mine to share, but I'm doing so now because T has asked me to.
Last Spring T found out about a local LGBT youth group who meet on a weekly basis. Through them he has made lots of friends and they have provided him with much needed support.
T wanted to set up the website for others to access in order for them to find online support.
Please share the website with anyone you feel may be interested because as the website states

'even if just one person finds something helpful from our site then we have achieved something incredible.'   

Monday, 9 February 2015


Friday was a day made for Violet Beauregarde because it was Bubblegum day. I chose to mark this day by wearing a pink cardigan and pink necklace to work. The plastic baubles in the necklace reminded me of gobstopper sized balls of gum.

We had a couple of options for things to do over the weekend and decided to start Saturday off with a walk. Our destination was Lakeside at Eastleigh. Despite it being quite close by I've only been there once before. This was with my sister and T when he was 3, so quite a while ago! We walked around the lake, the edges  of which were populated by patient fishermen.

The lake is bordered on one side by a small wooded area which is where we spotted this tree. The opening at the bottom most surely be someone's front door. Could it be for a family of squirrels, like this little chap who was scampering around.

I love the texture of these stone gabions providing the border around a herb garden. I remember first seeing them on an episode of Grand Designs.

Back home I used the excuse of it being Ballet Day to make a ballerina from my Pinterest board with S. S went for a blue multi layered tutu whereas I chose the more traditional look for my green one. The blonde ballerina was made by S for a work colleague who loves the ballet and asked if S would make one for her when I told her what I was hoping we would be doing.

Sunday morning G, T and S all woke up not feeling 100% with sore throats and the potential for colds to be brewing. Plans to go out were shelved which was fine as I had plenty to do indoors.
I wanted to complete a couple more crafty ideas from Pinterest to decorate the dining room in readiness for Valentine's Day. The first involved using the hearts from a couple of packs of cards and red ribbon which I then strung across the mirror.

I bought a dictionary from a charity shop specifically to cut up and use for this next one. I cut out definitions of words such as nest, love, embrace, depend,  and adore and using a craft punch cut out a heartshape from each. I then sellotaped them to a length of twine and hung this one from the dresser.
Both simple but effective.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015


I've been baking again.
This time it was carrot and pineapple cake because today is carrot cake day.
I mean, it must qualify for one of your five a day seeing as it's got a fruit and a vegetable in it.
As you can see the topping was a bit runny but I didn't have time to salvage it as I was off to work shortly afterwards and it needed to be cut and put into a cake tin.
Tastes just fine.

On waking and looking out the window first thing I did wonder if one of the carrots I had bought was going to be needed for a snowman nose.
This is the first snowfall we have seen this winter.
This was how it looked at about 8am.
By 12pm it had all melted.

Monday, 2 February 2015


Not the most exciting weekend to report on, but it did start off with a relaxing lay in followed by a good breakfast.
When I left my previous job all bar £50 or so of my last wage was deducted, in error, by the tax office. It has taken until now to get it sorted and have the money refunded. When pay day arrived I decided to share the joy and buy croissants to take into work Friday morning seeing as it was croissant day. Most were eaten by appreciative colleagues and the  left over ones I took home and we had them for breakfast Saturday morning.

With it being pay day I needed to spend some time doing my monthly finance admin stuff and there was a bit more to do than normal as I needed to set accounts straight after the refund. No month is good to lose money, but a couple of months before Christmas was definitely not helpful, anyway all sorted now.
Next on the agenda was a trip to the local charity shops. Now this is normally something I would enjoy. But a casual mooch around the shops to see what's to be found is a different kettle of fish to the trip we had Saturday afternoon when we had a definite idea of what we were needing to buy.
Next Wednesday children in S's year need to go to school dressed as a king or queen. This half term is all about the British Monarchy and a royal feast with suitably dressed participants is being arranged. I can usually cobble something together for these dress up days from things we have already, or borrow something from my sister and her extensive wardrobe and maybe buy an odd item to finish it off.
But for this costume we have not got one single thing of any use.
After visiting 10 charity shops these are the three items we came home with.
The first thing we bought was the black v neck top. I thought the pearls and beads could lend itself to a Tudor style. Maybe the addition of more pearls or beads? The item of the left is a huge kaftan with gold embroidery down the front. I'm thinking that maybe I can cut this and sew to the bottom of the black top. The pinky red woolly skirt will be the overskirt so the gold embroidery is seen as a panel at the front. I'm not explaining myself very well, but I've got an idea in my head, I just need to translate it into something which can be worn! The three items cost £4.00 in all so it won't be a financial disaster if it doesn't work, but if it doesn't work I'll be well and truly stumped. Fingers crossed.

The remainder of Saturday afternoon was spent helping S finish off her homework. She had to choose a monarch from any point in history and present some interesting facts about them. It was her decision to go with Queen Elizabeth I.

That was pretty much Saturday. Sunday I had to go and do bit of shopping and then do an online grocery shop, pop to my sister for a much needed hair cut and most boring of all do some housework. I try not to do housework at the weekends but this time it was unavoidable.
So by the end of the weekend I must admit I was in a bit of a grump as I didn't feel I'd actually been anywhere or done anything.
Of course this wasn't true, I'd been out and I'd been busy, just not doing anything particularly enjoyable and weekendy. I had checked online and there wasn't really anything going on locally we could go to and I suppose some weekends need to be this way, the everyday stuff needs to be done, I'd just rather it was confined to the weekdays!