Saturday, 31 December 2016

Herds of Reindeer

I'm ending the year here with reindeer.
Try saying that later on this evening when a few glasses of new year cheer have been downed.

First up are the wrapped reindeer chocolate bars which I made for all my work colleagues and took in on the last working day. When I say all I must admit I did forget one or two and thankfully had a couple of spares but there are still more to take in as some people were off until the New Year. 
The idea came from this pin.
Thieytook far longer than I bargained for but luckily S was at a loose end and agreed to help me with the sticky dot noses and she even did a bit of the name stamping too. 
It was all so worth the effort to see people smile when I handed them over.

My second herd I had planned on making with S but she didn't want to partake. I do miss our Decembers of advent activities and so I think I shall have to spend some time coming up with a few ideas with which to keep me busy next year.
Who knew that fairy cakes, chocolate icing, red smarties and bars of curly wurly could look so cute.

On this last day of 2016 I want to wish everyone who visits us here at Jumble and Jelly a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2017. 
Thanks for popping by and I look forward to sharing the next 365 days with you.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Our Christmas

I hope you all had a very happy Christmas and that these in between days have been full of tasty leftovers and a chance to relax and recharge. 

Our Christmas day was just the four of us.
G and I woke up before the children and were sat up in bed waiting for them to bring their stockings in to us!
The day was very mellow with everyone doing, or not doing, whatever they wanted.
Our tradition of silly table presents made sure lunchtime was entertaining.
S looked twinkly in her tinsel headband

T preferred wearing G's gift

because his gift was a false beard (purchased when he was consistently clean shaven) and the adhesive strips pulled out his real beard!
G's t-shirt and the beard merged into one and made him look like a member of ZZ Top.

Finally here's me in my elf hat. And yes I am wearing the false beard too in case you were wondering.

Boxing day T had to go into work and my family joined the 3 of us for breakfast.

The following day, and back to being 4 again, we hopped on the train to Salisbury and spent some time with G's family.

It's been a quieter Christmas and a bit different at times because the children are growing up, we've given and received some fabulous presents, there's been fun and laughter and we have been lucky enough to make some more happy family memories.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016


It's been 11 days since my last post. 
I had hoped my December blogging would have been a bit more frequent than this.
Of course I've been busy, working my way down a never ending list of Christmas prep, just like everyone else is I'm sure.

Something else has made blogging difficult, being without internet access for nearly one week.
It was all to do with Windows 10 and our internet supplier.
No big deal in the whole scheme of things but a bit frustrating and so I am way behind in reading everyone else's news.

Another frustrating situation followed once that one was solved.
We ordered a new cooker on the Sunday, it was delivered on the Tuesday, the electrician cancelled on the Wednesday but arrived on the Thursday to wire it in, he told us it's kilo wattage was incompatible with our electric socket.
I didn't know this was a thing I should know about.
I rang the company we bought the cooker from and they said 'no problem, choose another'.
So I did.
Saturday morning the wrong cooker was collected and the right cooker was delivered and then Sunday morning the electrician came back and wired it in place.
Again no big deal but it just throws things out when there is already so much else going on.

I have been cracking on with the present wrapping though and am nearly done.
I thought I'd share
the gifts I bought for my sister C for Christmas as I know some of you like to see what I amass for her, so here are the ones she'll be opening this year.
I can't quite remember the prices for all items but they do total just under £10.

Each of these tops were £1 a piece.

C chose the pink long length sleeveless top herself and this was another £1. I love the dark blue fluffy top in the middle photo. The polka dot items will look good in her kitchen, these were 30p each and  the robin candle was £1 also.
The bag was brand new and £1.

These little house decorations were 60p.

No present for C would be complete with a mug and this 50p one is perfectly decorated for the winter season.

The most expensive item is the one I think she'll like the most. This little Kiss sign was £1.80 and bought from a branch of Cargo which was having a closing down sale.

As well as conventional wrapping I've been doing a bit of origami.

My nephew has gone part time at work as he is studying with the OU.
This means his income has dropped.
So I thought a voucher for him to have a little treat would be a good idea.
I didn't want to just give him a voucher in an envelope so I bought a pack of J2O drinks and labelled this as 'for a night in' and then following origami instructions online I made a Christmas tree and slotted a Wetherspoons voucher in the back and labelled this as 'for a night out'.
My sister says he and his girlfriend like going to the cinema and as there is a Wetherspoons close by they'll be able to have a meal before the movie and make an evening out of it.

Saturday, 10 December 2016


One of the reasons I rested up last Sunday was because I needed to have the energy to get me to an appointment in Salisbury on Monday.
For the last couple of years I've been having an issue with one particular tooth and am now at the stage where I needed to consult a specialist about it.
Extraction or a reworking of a root canal are the options.
Neither choice is great.
I managed to squeeze in tiny amount of Christmas shopping before heading home and buying the Christmas edition of the Radio Times certainly cheered me up.

Tuesday was a quieter day than normal at work and for that I was very thankful.

Another new set of festive bedding this week.
Again this was purchased in a sale after last Christmas.
Love the little houses and the colours are very CK.

I've had some lovely little gifts from my sister in our advent swap and this pumpkin brooch is one of my favourites so far. It's going to be a while before I get to wear it though!

By Wednesday I was feeling loads better than I had been at the weekend, which was good news as I was due to go Christmas shopping with my mum and two sisters. 
It was good fun being out with them and by the end of the day I had lots more things ticked off my list.

With spending Monday and Wednesday out and about I haven't had chance to get much festive decorating done around the house, just the odd item here and there.

Each evening I've spent a short time wrapping up a couple of presents and am loving making stars to decorate them with.
Stars made with drinking straws.
Who'd have guessed it was possible.
Thread them together and form into a pentagon.
Give them a twist and hey presto a star appears.

We were due to put up our Christmas tree Friday evening but it's been postponed until Sunday as S had a friend round for a sleep over.

So instead of a decorated tree to finish off this post here is how I've hidden the £5.00 inside a box of chocolates which I will be sending over to each my friend's 2 teenage sons.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


I have a cold.
Not surprising really seeing as most of the people I work with have been full of colds these past few weeks, it was bound to get me sooner or later. 
I was very glad to arrive home on Friday and have the weekend stretching out in front of me.
No commitments to be anywhere at anytime but with various possibilities out there if we wanted.

Saturday morning was cold but bright and I felt like a walk in the fresh air would help with my head full of stuffiness.
A Christmas fair was being held at a local plant nursery and so that's where we headed, only stopping for a quick photo opportunity.

G is always on the look out for the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child and was very pleased to find two more to add to his collection. S and I found some pretty earrings but my favourite buy was this pink snowflake Pyrex dish.
I have seen them on Pinterest but never one in the flesh. I only paid a pound for it from a bric a brac stall and was gob smacked to see the them selling online for over £100. It's going to have pride of place on the dresser this Christmas.

Housework, a little spot of present wrapping and then some feet up time followed before we wrapped up warm once again and took ourselves down to the local high street for their annual Christmas event.
This can be a bit of a hit or miss affair, this year's was more the latter but we do like to support local events if we can.

I do like the snowmen which adorned the tops of each of the Christmas trees lining the street.
The heads are made from those plastic topiary balls which have been sprayed white and black.

The charity shop I used to volunteer in many moons ago had stayed open late for the event and so we nipped in and I found this pretty heart decorated spice rack for £1.00, something I've been looking out for.

Even after a goodnight's sleep I was loathe to get up this morning. I felt so lethargic and was all bunged up again.
I laid there thinking of all that I needed to do but instead of getting up and setting to G got up made me breakfast in bed and there we stayed for a while longer to watch one of my favourite movies of all time.
The Bishop's Wife.
If you haven't seen it then you must.
Cary Grant and David Niven.
Enough said. 

After watching the movie I did get up and do the majority of those jobs which I needed to do.
Just at a slower, my head is full of cold pace.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Holidays Are Coming

The Coca Cola truck was in town on Wednesday.
The queues were huge and it was so very cold we didn't hang around for too long, just long enough to get a selfie.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Advent Swap

My sisters and I met up yesterday so we could exchange gifts for our advent swap.
We have all year to accumulate 18 little items to which we add another 6 food/drink related items so there are 24 in total, one to unwrap each day.
This year I bought for my sister C and above are just 3 of the ones she will be opening, a Father Christmas shaped car air freshener, a mini ice scraper on a key ring and a cute cottage key cover. The first cost 99p and the other two were 50p each so it doesn't have to cost a fortune to do.
Middle sister T is buying mine and my first present this morning was an advent candle which is burning brightly as a I type.
Thinking of 18 different things can seem a little daunting at first but once you get going and keep an eye out whilst shopping it's really quite easy.
My old boss is doing a swap with a close friend of hers for the first time this year. Her mum passed away just before Christmas a couple of years ago which, quite understandably, affected the way she felt about the festivities, but she said thinking of gifts to buy and then collecting them over the course of the year has really ignited that little festive spark for her again which I think is a very special thing indeed.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Remembering November

As the month draws to an end I need to write up the rest of what we've been up to in November and then my aim is to try and be a bit more on top of things in December.
We'll wait and see if that happens.

My sister T has her birthday on 25th November. I don't find her as easy to buy for as my other sister but whilst out shopping with her a couple of weeks ago in M&S T showed me a mug she was coveting. It's a delicate shade of pale blue, is the perfect shape for cupping hands around and has the cutest bunny ever in raised decoration on the front. I understood instantly why she loved it so much. 
Thankfully she didn't buy it and so a couple of days later I did.
I then teamed it with a woodland animal canvas shopping bag from Store 21 and a notebook from The Works. She was thrilled with it all.

You may remember back in the summer we took mum out for her 70th birthday and as an extra little Christmas gift we thought we would print off some of the photos from our day and pop them into a keepsake album.
When the three of us got together to choose which ones would make the cut (and so veto any that were too unflattering!) our youngest sister C presented each of us with a bracelet.
Being the eldest mine says Big Sis.
T is next so hers said Middle Sis.
And yes you've probably guessed it, C's says Little Sis.
You maybe able to tell from the shape that all slot together around a heart.
It was a really lovely gift to receive out of the blue.

We've had 2 more birhtdays this month, G's mum and sister. A family lunch out was had and tentative plans made for a gathering at Christmas. This year will be a little different as G has to work on Boxing day. My shopping is nearly done and the wrapping has been started. I enjoy all the elements of festive hustle and bustle involved in getting ready for Christmas, but there can be a fine line between that good type and the starting to feel stressed type. So one of the things I've done to help towards not feeling too over whelmed is devising a wrapping schedule. With a bit of luck I'll be sat on Christmas Eve with a bottle of Baileys and not the scissors and sellotape.

Talking of devising new schedules and making time for things, I have been trying to stay away from the internet and my phone as much as possible over weekends.
I have also tried to limit my online time during the week too and one of the things I have started to do is divide up across 5 days all the blogs I follow so I visit everyone once a week. I am finding this much better as I find I am focusing more on what I want to read and do online rather than just flitting around and before I know it an hour has passed and nothing much has been accomplished. I'll see how it goes but as there are other things I want to do and try to make I need to get the balance right.

I'm working myself up to cleaning the dresser in the dining room ready for it's festive makeover. One new addition may be my new toadstool candle holder, 50p from the charity shop I popped into at the weekend when dropping off some items. One of these days I'll develop the knack of just walking out and not being distracted by pretty things on my way to the door.

G and I had a fab night out at the weekend. We went to see Mozart's Requiem performed by the Southampton Philharmonic Choir and the New London Sinfonia. This was a new experience for me. I much more enjoyed the Requiem over the other piece they performed first called I Sing, And Ever Shall, but over all I preferred our night of polkas and waltzes in January 2014.
After the performance we headed out into the cold, took a silly selfie by the Christmas tree and then made a bee line for stall in the market selling cinnamon sugar churros.

This week when changing our bed I put on a new duvet set. It has Christmas trees on one side and snowflakes on the other and is the softest cosiest set we have ever owed. G and I keep talking about how nest like it has made our bed feel. It's made getting up in the mornings just a little bit more difficult.
Melvin seems to like it too.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Mostly a Mess

Finally our little home is looking a lot tidier.
Why is it that when one room is being decorated it affects the whole house?
Yesterday was spent putting S's room back together.
In order for that to happen new furniture was needed which was why last Friday G and S met me from work and we went for a spot of late night shopping in IKEA.
A new bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers and shelving unit were purchased and delivered the following day. I did make a couple of other purchases which you could argue weren't strictly necessary but let me tell you that once home again and sat with a cuppa, a couple of those cinnamon rolls certainly went down well.
Also coming home with us was one of their gingerbread house kits, the construction of which has become a favourite festive activity for S.

So this week has pretty much been taken up with S's room in one way or another. The sorting of the contents has resulted in umpteen bags of clothes, books and toys being donated to the charity shop. I've made three trips in all. There was painting to do and of course furniture assembly to complete and then everything had to be put into it's new home after which there was the chaos in the other rooms where items had been stored to deal. Fun, fun, fun!
The room isn't 100% finished, new curtains and bedding need to be chosen and S would like a full length mirror on one of the walls, plus there are hooks to be hung, but it's looking good.
It's difficult to get a good photo but you can get a good idea of the new wall colour from this photo. We spotted the lampshade at the car boot last weekend. S has a real thing for owls and the colour match for her room was perfect and so I was more than happy to part with the £2 asking price.

Down here in the south the weather has been remarkably mild and so I've been lucky enough to still be able to eat my lunch in the park each working day. It's been such a treat sitting in the sun admiring the golden colours of autumn all around me and then kicking up the carpet of leaves as I walk back to work again.

Another small thing which has made me happy this week is cracking open my first bottle of winter spice washing up liquid. I wrote about my love for this last year and I know there are plenty of others out there who share the winter spice love.

One evening when we couldn't face anything to do with decorating we decided to watch a movie instead and plumped for The Trouble With Harry which I had bought a while ago on the recommendation it would be a good one to watch in autumn because it's set in the autumn of a beautiful sun filled Vermont countryside. It's an off beat comedy, not what you would normally expect from Alfred Hitchcock, but it was very funny and just what we needed.

My Mucha jigsaw has been completed. She was tricky to do but she was well worth it as I think she's beautiful. I'll break her up in a day or so and then she'll be donated to the charity shop for someone else to enjoy and I'll start another.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Our Week In Mosaics - which includes some mosaics

As I mentioned in my previous post we weren't going to be having our annual trip to the country park for the Halloween trail but we did keep with the second part of that day's activity. On SaturdayS and I picked up my mum and then took ourselves off to Haskins for a hot chocolate and a wander around the Christmas department.

On entering the store you were greeted with a winter white wildlife scene

and then once into the store the main attraction was this huge sleigh and enormous stuffed toy reindeer.
For all the festive glitter and sparkle I can honestly say that I could count the number of decorations on one hand which I would have been happy to buy and hang on my tree.
I remember they had a very poor selection last year too.

Sunday morning we needed to pop into town as S will now be playing hockey during her PE lessons and so needed a gum shield and shin pads. It was such a lovely mild day again and as we still haven't managed a proper autumn walk we took a wander through the parks before we did our shopping. 
A proper crunchy, scrunchy walk through the fallen autumn leaves.

We made an interesting and colourful new discovery in one of the parks. Apparently these mosaics were laid last year, a collaboration between local residents and a local artist to depict the wide range of international heritages of Southampton's inhabitants.

Of course Monday was all about Halloween. G worked his pumpkin carving magic and I'm pleased to say that the pumpkin being sick earned lots of 'yuck' and 'ergh' comments. I had amassed 86 treats for callers, which S gave out this year as she didn't want to go out herself, but we still ran out. We had to ignore the last 2 knocks on our door as the cupboard was bare.

In between trick or treaters we had our own bit of fun posing with these silly photo props.

When I arrived home from work on Tuesday G said there were a couple of treats for me in the kitchen. One was a Portuguese custard tart and the other was this huge leaf. I popped it on the cushion so hopefully you can get an idea of it's size. He had seen it on his way to the train station and knew I would love it so he bought it home to me. Now that's true love. 

Friday, 28 October 2016

A Different Half Term

These weekly news posts seem to be the norm for me just now.
This one will start with last Saturday.
An exhibition I wanted to see, Love Thy Denim, was due to end it's run at the Winchester Discovery Centre. G didn't want to go and so I took myself off on a solo jaunt.
I spent a very happy hour engrossed in reading all about the social history of this most versatile of fabrics and admiring some of the clothing on display.
The photos here show a Vivienne Westwood denim shirt and the other item is an original 1880's milk maids shirt. I'd be more than happy to wear it now.

Once I had finished there I nipped to CK for a mooch and then onto a couple of charity shops before ending in M&S where I bought myself some lunch. I can heartily recommend this smoothie it was delicious.

The local car boot is now starting a little later at 10am on a Sunday morning, but we were a little late getting started and didn't arrive until gone 11am so we weren't there long.
I bought 2 new dresses for S for a pound each, she chose them.

and another pound was spent on this straw shopper for me.

As you can see it's not only me who likes it.

Couldn't resist this cute deer snowglobe countdown to Christmas chalkboard, it was only 50p. My other sister T has her birthday on Nov 25th, I will start my countdown to Christmas on it then.

Pumpkins have been purchased and they are sat, on the new autumn coloured polka dot tablecloth, waiting to be carved ready for Halloween.
For the first time in many years this autumn half term hasn't seen us go to the local country park to do their Halloween trail, which is why although it's been half term but not felt like half term.

Saying that S has had a marvelous week. She has been out with her friends most of the time, the weather has been glorious and mild which has helped. Tuesday S was with my mum as G and I were working and Wednesday I took her and her friend A into town for a spot of shopping and some lunch. 
I took Thursday off but as once again S spent the best part of the day out and about I had lots of time to myself. I took full advantage of this and managed to crack on and lots of odd jobs done which felt so satisfying.
So here we are now at Friday evening with another weekend stretching ahead of us.
I hope it's a good one for us all.