Tuesday, 27 October 2015

It's Back!!!

At the risk of sounding just a teeny bit weird I was very excited to see that the Winter Spice washing up liquid is back on the shelves in Sainsbury's.
I love it.
 Does anyone else use this?
Does anyone love the scent of it as much as I do?

I stockpile so I have enough to keep me going until at least the end of January.
It smells of winter cosiness.
It smells of Christmas.

There I've said it.
We haven't got to Halloween yet and I've mentioned Christmas.
I can't help myself.

And seeing as I've bought it up I'm going to carry on with it for the rest of this post.
You see this washing up liquid and a recently discovered poem has given me an idea for a silly Secret Santa gift.
Or maybe a gift for the person who has everything.
Or maybe for that person for whom you struggle with ideas for each year.

Purchase one bottle of Winter Spice washing up liquid, a pair of those festive novelty washing up gloves to be found in Poundland's up and down the country at this time of year and a suitably Christmassy tea towel. 

Write this poem out onto a tag and hang from the neck of the washing up bottle.

It's time for Christmas and
You deserve the best...
A gift unlike all the rest 

We thought a new car or fancy cruise,
But decided on something 
You could actually use.

At last we found a little gift 
You can admire:
Please enjoy your new 


You may even get some help with the washing up afterwards if you're lucky, especially if you included a sweet treat for them to enjoy once the chore was done.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Saturday Shopping

The top of the wardrobes in our bedroom is my storage area for all the gifts I buy during the year.
I try and keep it as neat and tidy as possible and have been through various size/material/colour varieties of boxes and baskets to try and get the right combination.
As I buy so many items for my sister I wanted to buy something of a good size which I could use just for her bits and bobs.
I scoured the internet and found this white wicker underbed storage box from Wilkinson's which fitted the bill.
I ordered it online and requested it be delivered to the store and on Saturday I went to collect it.

Once home I took everything down from the wardrobes, had a re-jig of the storage and it's contents and put it all back up again.
I was in Ikea during the week and had bought one each of the green and pink Tjena boxes so there is a good splash of colour to go with all the plain white.
I'm really pleased with how it looks and the amount of storage it gives me. I hope I've got it right now.

Of course we had a quick whizz around the charity shops whilst we were out. G bought a couple of albums which he was happy with and on a £1 sale rail S saw this tiger top.

S has already got her sights set on using this 50p reindeer dish as her breakfast bowl during December.

My only purchase were these Pyrex pots in beautifully subdued tones which are a very welcome addition to my dresser. They were only 20p each. Looking online I found a set of 3 selling for £8 so I think I found a bit of a bargain.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

My Sister's Birthday

It's that time of year again.
On Saturday I will be taking a huge bag of birthday presents to my sister.
I've been organised (for once) and I took photos of all the items as I wrapped.
So here we go......
Plastic blue basket 10p, Gisela Graham sweet heart £1. 

Blue polka dot tin 10p, Caramel body lotion 50p, Cath Kidston handbag mirror 10p.

Cushion £1

Black and gold top 50p

 Navy jumper £1

Black and white knitted dress £1

Wicker basket 10p

White mug with mini heart decoration 49p, spoon decorated pot 25p, of all the things I have bought that's the one I was tempted to keep.
Dark blue star patterned dish 50p.

Another Gisela Graham item, this time a heart patterned jug was £1. The heart etched wine glass was also £1.

Emma Bridgewater storage box £1.

The final item is also the tiniest. A little key shaped key ring charm for 30p.

All in all £9.94 was spent on this collection.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Holyrood Part 4

Way back in September 2012 I shared photos of some new art work at the Holyrood council estate here in Southampton.
Previously blank walls by the communal entrance on a number of blocks of flats had been transformed with tiled snap shots of the City's history.
Whilst in town a month or so ago I spotted some new additions and so I made sure I had my camera with me when I made a flying visit there on Saturday.
Three of them are dedicated to the sea.

In August 1620 the Mayflower and the Speedwell set sail from Southampton for America. The Speedwell sprang a leak and they had to stop for repairs. When she was deemed unseaworthy the Mayflower continued the journey alone.
Depicted on the left is Southampton's Mayflower Memorial.

My favourite by far though is the Queen Mary. My lovely dad worked on this liner and served some of her rich and famous passengers.

This final one depicting different forms of transport is very zingy in it's yellow and orange tones with the brilliant splash of red from the tram and bus.

I think the whole collection is wonderful, such an innovative way to show the heritage of our City in a vibrant and engaging way.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Home and Away

As I mentioned in my last post it was G's birthday on Thursday and we had the day off together on Friday.
G decided we should go down to Gosport. It's been a while since we last visited, 5 years ago in actual fact!
We started off with a coffee and because it had been his birthday G had a cheesecake with his, very nice it was too.
Neither of us had been to a Coffee#1 before but we would certainly go again.
My decaf mocha was one of the tastiest I've ever had.
The decoration inside was fab too, with the nautical touches it was certainly very much in keeping with the area.
G wanted to visit the vinyl record store he had found out about and we had a leisurely mooch before stopping for lunch and then heading home.

Saturday morning a very colourfully dressed S and I went out together.

We walked over the very big bridge where you could get an excellent view of our destination. The Saints football stadium. I love that if you're in the garden on a match day, and if the wind is blowing in the right direction, the sound of the cheering and singing of the crowd floats over for us to hear.

Stood at the front of the stadium is a statue of local footballing hero Ted Bates.
This is the second statue, the first was roundly criticised and was replaced with this current one.
We weren't at the stadium for a match though, the reason for our visit was a vintage fair.

We made a few purchases, a couple of presents were bought and a couple of small items for ourselves too. One of the things I bought for me was this little button, he only cost 30p. I have glued a metal clasp on the back and turned him into a brooch.

Sunday morning we popped to the car boot. Not much to be had, just a couple more things for S. I really should try and do a post about our recent buys there. I tend to chuck them in the wash and then forgot to snap them to go on here. 

We were on the look out for school skirts this weekend but nothing we found was suitable. We've come to a decision about S's senior school for next year and so we just need to fill in the online form and then wait until the Spring to find out if we've been allocated our first choice. 
The school we have chosen has a stricter uniform code and in preparation I am starting to put a little bit of money away each month to help with the cost. 
Ever since I started work I have budgeted my money and am constantly recalculating amounts I need to set aside for those regular ones like Christmas and one off costs like G's 50th birthday next year. 
A big birthday deserves a big treat and I've been saving for quite a while now towards a trip to New York. It's somewhere he has always wanted to go. Part of me wanted to keep it a secret for longer but I know telling him now was the right thing to do.
So keeping to that budget is a definite must.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Looking Forward

Thank you for all the kind wishes left on my last post, I'm feeling much better now and trying to be a bit more attentive regarding my diet.

So what's new around here.
A batch of freshly hatched conkers for a start.
Whilst in town on Sunday we took a little detour to the park by the art gallery and S gathered up a great haul of shiny new conkers.
I was hoping to be able to take some photos of the lovely autumnal trees but once again I managed to go out without a memory card in my camera.

On Saturday G and I had a trip to the theatre to see Orpheus.
 But it wasn't the Greek myth as you may expect it to be.
 This production by the Little Bulb Theatre was set in 1930's Paris to a score of jazz, opera and French chanson and it was absolutely fabulous.
A real treat of an afternoon.
They are in the middle of a tour and I urge you to go and see them if they are your neck of the woods, you will not be disappointed.

For World Vegetarian Day last week I had planned on cooking a meat substitute dish but for various reasons this didn't happen. In the end I managed to cook it on Sunday and although I have no photos to show what it looks like I will share the recipe. It's one which resulted in clean plates all round and as that is a rarity these days it's something to be celebrated. 
Mix together 1tbsp curry powder, 2tbsp apricot jam, juice of a lime and 1tsp coriander. Fry meat free chicken style pieces for 6 minutes and then add the curry mix and cook for another 6 minutes. Once cooked pop them in pitta bread. That's it. This time I served them with salad and rice.

I did a spot of baking this morning. Mincemeat crumbles. They are the perfect accompaniment for a mid morning cuppa.
Cream 5oz butter and 3oz sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in 5oz plain flour and 3oz cornflour. Form into a ball and then push the mixture into a baking tin and chill for 20 minutes. After chilling bake at 200c for 12 to 15 inutes until puffed and golden. Spoon on a jar of mincemeat. I didn't have the crumble ingredients given in the recipe so I used a mix of caster sugar, plain flour and porridge oats, sprinkled it on top and baked for another 20 minutes.

All that has happened, so what is it I'm looking forward to?
Well, it's G's birthday in two days time and then on Friday we both have the day off work and so hopefully we'll be off out somewhere for a spot of lunch. 
Happy days.

And during a recent conversation with my sister she told me how she and her partner have decided to just buy each other a token gift at Christmas and use the money they would have spent on presents towards paying for a couple of weekends away. I knew G would love this idea for us and when I suggested to him did he want to consider this for us too he was on the internet within hours looking at possible destinations. 
Now next January we are off to Brighton, only for one night but it's great to have something so lovely to look forward to.