Thursday, 31 January 2008


So here are my pictures that I took of my great finds yesterday.

Here is the delightful drawer set I got (2.95) . The pictures as usual don't do it justice and the colours are a little off. They show it yellower than it actually is:

And please note: do not balance heavy items that you are photographing on the arm of a sofa when you have a glass of soda on the floor underneath or this will happen:

Yes, that's a dark coloured soda all over my cream carpet (of course I decided to take a photo before rushing to get a cloth to clean it up!!). The glass literally disintegrated! I can't believe what it did to it! Luckily my little owl survived unscathed!

This is the traditional wooden quoits game (£1.50)

And 2 packs of Top Trumps. I checked and they were complete and in perfect, as new, condition. The kids have already been playing them (50p each):

This is the old picture I got for £2.50 (and a picture of the back of it):

Here is my owl (75p) . The picture isn't very good though......

Here is my sideboard where I am thinking of putting them. Still need to play around with it all.

And here is the large canvas picture I got for my mum (£3.00):

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Toys, Thrifting and Broken Glass

Yesterday, Nathaniel went on a short school trip to Dewsbury Museum and I was asked if I could go along to help out. Years 1 and 2 at Nathaniel's school have been looking at old and new toys. The museum had lots of displays of toys and also had an room kitted out as an old school room. The children had a fab time. They also got to go outside and play with some of the old toys. I'm actually going again tomorrow to help out another class!

So today I was planning to stay in this morning, but once I'd dropped the kids off at school I got the urge to go into town and visit some of the charity shops. I love the thrill of possibly finding a bargain, something quirky, something that just draws me in. Anyway I had a great time!! I'll put pictures on later when I've uploaded them from my phone camera. I'll describe them now anyway!!

My first find was a white ceramic owl. I guess I could put a plant or flowers in but I'll probably leave it as it. Looking at it just makes me smile, so I had to have it!! It only cost me 75p (about $1.50).

Then on to bigger (and heavier) things!! In another shop I found a beautiful small wooden 2 drawer box that sits great on my sideboard. It is a dark wood with metal drawer pulls on the front. And it is heavy, even though it's small! The price on the top said 3.75, but when I went to buy it there was another price of £2.95 on the bottom and that's what I was charged! I absolutely LOVE it!! I'm not sure whether there is any age to it or not but I still LOVE it! At the shop they put it in a large white bin liner which wasn't very strong so it was awkward (and heavy) to carry to the next shop.

When I got to the next shop the assistant let me put it behind the counter while I looked around. There I found 2 packs of Top Trumps cards for Nathaniel and Zachary. One had Marvel Comic Superheroes and the second set was Ultimate Military Jets which will probably appeal to David as well as the boys! I'm not sure if they are complete or not, but there's plenty in them to keep the boys amused!! They were only 50p each and are the proper Top Trumps brand which comes in the best type of case.

Also in this shop I found a box which had a BRAND NEW Quoits game!! I was so excited as it was a traditional wooden one, just like the one we'd seen at the museum yesterday! And the rings were made of rope too. It is from Past Times, which is another store that I love! The original price tag of £20 was still on it. The pieces inside were still in the plastic bags. And I paid £1.50 for it!!!!! I'm planning to take it to school later to see if Nathaniel's class wants to borrow it while they are still studying about toys. Then I'll bring it home for the boys to play with. I was VERY excited to find this bargain. What a coincidence to find something that we'd just been looking at on the school trip yesterday (or was it!).

By this time I had my hands full and decided to head back to the car as I didn't want to drop and damage the wooden drawer set. I was very pleased with my shopping trip and it had taken less than an hour!

On the way back I realised that I still had quite a bit of time left before I had to pick up Zach (and Sam who was coming to play). I then decided to try and find the Wakefield Hospice warehouse store that my mother-in-law had said was located near Thornes Park. I had to go past that area anyway so thought I'd have a look since I was in the thrifting mood! I had heard that they have furniture there as well so decided to have a look. I had been told it was difficult to find so rung my mother in law to find out exactly how to get there since I had no clue. So once I had the directions I had no problem finding it. I went in and was delighted with the place. They had some lovely pieces of furniture and will definitely go again when I need new wardrobes for the boys' room in the next few months. Especially when I asked whether they delivered and she said 'yes' for a charge of only £6 to my town (which is fantastic when you consider they are a charity!). In one corner of the room they had a few pictures which were labelled as half marked price. I found a really old (I think!) picture in a dark wooden frame. The picture is a yellowed black and white picture of the sailing boat on the water. You know when you see something and it just 'speaks' to you? Well this picture did to me! I don't know what it is about it that I love, but there's just something about it. And I LOVE the back of the picture, which is a weird thing to say, I know! The back is really old with ripped paper, and the hooks that hung the picture up have corroded so I will have to either put it on a shelf or put new nails in. However, I just love the fact that is old and distressed. I love to see things of history. I just can't explain it! And because if was half price it as £2.50 instead of £5.00.

And then I saw a picture for my mum. It is actually a large Ikea canvas picture. And it is large! It is over a metre wide by nearly a metre high. The picture is of hydrangeas, with colours of pinky purples. I know my mum will love it! And it only cost £3.00. How cool is that!!

I did take pictures of them all (which is another story in itself!) which I will add later. I am just so pleased with my trip this morning and looking at all my finds makes me happy, especially since they cost so little and the money spent is going to various charities.

Friday, 18 January 2008

This morning my VT's came to visit (actually only one of them came to visit as the other one has flu!). It was fun just to sit and chat for an hour with a friend I don't get to see very often. So often we don't take the time just to slow down and relax and enjoy visits with those around us. Before she came I was so concerned with cleaning up the room (you know, trying to make it look as if we - including 2 little boys! - don't actually live here!). Why do we do that? I wish I could just relax and let people take me as they find me, but I get so concerned with what people will think of me if things are out of place. I miss out on having friends over etc because I'm not happy that my house isn't perfect. So I need to learn that it's okay for people to just come over and take us as we are!! Or I just have to try to keep my house perfect! (like that's going to happen with 2 little men around!).

I've actually got plans for a couple of projects in my living room. I want to make a picture wall on the wall behind the largest sofa. I need to get pictures together and plan how I'm going to organise it. I really want a wooden 'Family' decoration. I'm not sure where I can get one though. I think a visit to TK Maxx is in order (yes, it's TK Maxx over here, not TJ Maxx. Not sure why??). They have some gorgeous decorative items! I'm still kicking myself about a little case they had there last year that I missed out on. It was a vintage looking case, in shades of cream, tan, brown. It had a cute handle on it and on the front were the words, 'Faith, Family, Friends'. I saw it and couldn't decide whether to buy it or not. I didn't and then regretted it. The next time I went into town I went to see if it was there and it had gone!! It would have looked so go
od on a little shelf. Ah well!!

For Christmas I received a beautiful framed photograph from my sister Helen. She took the photo herself and developed it herself when she was doing her foundation photography course (she's now doing her degree in commercial photography). It is a black and white photo of two flowers and she has entitled it 'Sisters'. It is very special to me. Gifts like that are priceless!!

I also need to get some new curtains for this room. At the moment I have a pair of plain cream curtains in the window but they are slightly too small. My mom gave them to me when I redecorated this room, to put me on until I bought some. But they've been there a little longer than planned! I saw some really beautiful ones in a shop in town today but didn't know the measurements! I'll have to measure the window properly and maybe go get some this week (if they aren't too expensive).

David has got a new cell phone. Actually I will probably be using it. His contract had come to an end so he was due a free upgrade of phone when he signed up for new contract. He's been playing with it all day! It's a Nokia N82 for anyone who knows anything about cell phones!! One good feature is the 5mp camera which
makes it great for snapping photos on the go. I'm forever forgetting to take my camera places so now I'll have a quite decent cellphone camera to use. It's really easy to transfer the pictures to the computer too. I couldn't figure out how to do that with my old phone's camera. So that should mean more pics on here, cause we all know blogs need pics!!

So this is a picture of Zach (on the left) with his best friend Sammy at their nursery school Nativity in December. Zach was a king and Sammy was a shepherd. I asked for them to give me big smiles but these goofy little boys had other plans! :) All the pictures I took have the funniest faces on them! They make me laugh. I LOVE these boys! Zach and Sammy are at school together and are in the same class in primary at church. Sammy's mom is one of my best friends so that works out really well :) These boys would live at each other's houses if they could. It makes my heart happy for Zach to have such a good friend, even at such a young age. One of my big concerns, as a mother, is that my children have 'good' friends. And so far I've been more than happy with their choice of friends!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008


Today has been marked in my diary for a while. I've been waiting for it with giddy excitement. The anticipation......... But it finally arrived! I've been looking forward since this time last year and I hope you are ready for the news I'm about to tell you........

Today was............

(are you getting excited :) )



the first day of the 75% off sale instore at Boots! (the online sale started a while ago but it gets snatched up so quickly that there's hardly anything worth having left). Yes, something this trivial has me all a quiver!! David thinks it's so sad that a bunch of women get so excited and frenzied over something like this. But it's 75% off!! So off I toddled (with David in tow as I anticipated the need for extra hands!) into Wakefield this morning. Boots never advertise when the sale items go to 75% off so me and my fellow Bootsers try and get inside information as to when it starts. Even the sales staff don't seem to know when it starts! So I was delighted to arrive at Boots and find that yes, today was the day!!

The store had been open for about an hour by the time I arrived after doing the school run. This year boots have invested in little trolley carts that you can put two baskets on and wheel around. because we all know that one will never be enough! And the baskets are larger than normal too. Women were whizzing around the sales aisles, baskets full to brimming with toiletry and cosmetic gift sets, toys, other gifts. Like a huge feeding frenzy! I had a strict budget to stick to (otherwise when would I know when to stop?!?!?). I came away with 25 gifts that will do just about all mine and David's families for birthdays in 2008, plus a few gifts for friends, plus mother's day and father's day, plus a few stocking fillers for Nat and Zach for next Christmas. All for the princely sum of £51.00 (around $100 at today's exchange rate). How exciting is that. They are mainly toiletries gift sets. The sale will go to 90% off in a couple of weeks but there's not usually anything left by then. I would post photos of my hoard, but I don't want any recipients to get a sneak preview of what they MIGHT be getting this year.

So as sad as I am, that's what I did this morning. Men everywhere across the country will be shaking their heads in dismay this morning when their wives return from their shopping frenzy. Because I'm not alone in my saddo status. We hunt in packs! I just have to find somewhere to put it all now..........

Monday, 14 January 2008

David and I got productive in the kitchen yesterday....... (I mean in the baking sense!! *blush* lol!). I made dinner in the crockpot. It took longer than I hoped it would so it wasn't ready until 8pm but it turned out delish! I put in turkey thigh pieces, carrots, potatoes and instead of gravy I put in chicken chasseur sauce mix. We ate the leftovers for lunch today. yummo!

David decided he wanted to make some bread. We haven't used the bread machine for ages but I've been thinking this week about how I need to start using it again. You just can't beat freshly made bread. So while David was sorting out the bread I decided to join in the floury fun and make choc chip cookies again. I made some earlier in the week using my friend, Andrea's, recipe. So I whipped up a batch of them!

While my back was turned Zach thought he'd get in on the action. He obviously didn't realize I was standing behind him with camera in hand to record his crafty ways :) This is just SO Zach!!

Friday, 11 January 2008

It's the end of the week already! The kids have settled back into school. Zach is now part-time in school and is loving it! He enjoys seeing Nathaniel at break time in the playground and hassling him and his friends, lol.

David has had this week off work and we've just enjoyed being at home together, just doing regular everyday stuff. He got the boys ready for school for me yesterday, and walked them up there, and let me sleep-in! Yeah!! Gotta love extra time in a warm cosy bed in the morning!

This morning I had my primary presidency meeting. I'm so blessed to work with some amazing women! We have such a great responsibility taking care of the children in our ward!! We have such great children!! I'm amazed at the testimonies they have and how much faith they have. It's a privilege to work with them. I'm looking forward to this year in Primary. Our theme is 'I am a Child of God'. If we can get each child to learn this and understand their great worth then I think that's one of the greatest things we can do for them. We should have a great 2008 in primary! :)

As most of my friends IRL know, I LOVE reading blogs and quite often will relate things I've learned in them to my 'real-life' friends. It's become a bit of a joke really :) But actually I'm so grateful to all the wonderful women whose blogs I read! Even though they probably don't read mine (if anyone IS reading this, please leave a comment and say 'hi'!!). I find so much inspiration and strength from them. I recently read an address made by a general authority of our church who mentioned that we should write blogs and that we should use them to further conversations of the church and gospel of Jesus Christ. So for all my friends IRL - see - I'm just doing what our leaders have endorsed we do, LOL :) And to all those women whose blogs I read (including Jen Morris, Karli Sue, Heather White, Laurie Turk, etc, etc, etc) please keep doing what you are doing!!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

So anyways...... as I was saying.........

Last Wednesday me and the boys went to centerparcs with Helen and Adam. We had lots of fun! We went into the Subtropical Swimming Paradise everyday and had lots of watery fun :) Helen and Adam took Nathaniel onto the Grand Cascade family raft ride while I bobbed about with Zach. Nat and Zach went into the children's pool which had a small flume ride they could go on alone. It was fab! My friend Deb had booked the break and we had 11 cabins! All those LDS! It was great fun for the boys to play with their church friends. There must have been at least 60 of us there. Happy days!

On Friday we came back home. Hopefully David can go with us next year (if we go again!).

On Saturday, we took the tree and all associated decorations down. So the holiday season is now officially over for another year!

The boys went back to school today. Zach has now started a new class and is now in the school rather than the nursery. He goes from 8.50 until 12pm. Then at Easter he goes into the next class which is full-time. I can't believe my 'baby' is going to be full-time at Easter! He'll be 5 in May. How the time has flown. I still think it's so young to be starting school. Not sure he'll like the 'sitting-at-a-desk-all-day-and-not-playing' kind of school!!

I've decided not to have 'new years resolutions' this year. Well, I'm not calling them that! There are things I want to accomplish this year, goals I want to set and achieve. The first one isn't exactly earth shattering! I've decided to try one new recipe a year. David bought me the new Nigella Lawson cookbook (Nigella Express )for Christmas and I'm going to try some of the recipes. This is actually a cookbook that I think I will actually cook from! I have lots of recipe books but I tend to just 'read' them. This book looks like one I'll actually do more that just read from. I like the fact that the meals looks yummy and mostly nutritious, but don't involve 13 hours and 72 ingredients to complete!! So I'll update you all (as if anyone reads this!) with my latest creation and if it's any good I'll let you know! My sister, Helen, is also wanting to do this so we'll have to check up on each other!!

Another goal is to take a tighter reign on the finances. Exciting, not! Essential, yes!

I also want to start using my breadmaker again. Will have to find some yummy bread recipes.

Also want to get healthier and would like to buy my produce from a farm shop rather than supermarket. Would like to incorporate more organic into my diet. My mum wants to look at growing some veggies in her garden so me and the boys might help her.

Also want to get more use out of my craft supplies. I've decided on a £50 allowance for the YEAR! This will hopefully get me using more of my existing stash rather than just buying more!!

I also want to really declutter my house and get rid of anything that's of no use or value. I need to be in a brutal mood to do this. This will probably be a year long goal, focusing on a different part of the house each month.

I've also decided that this year I need to admit I can't do EVERYTHING!! I learned this lesson over Christmas. I need to say 'no' sometimes to things I'm asked to do, or things that are going on. My home and family need to come first. If I neglect them then we get in a proper pickle!!

And even though I have quite a few goals, I'm going to make an effort not to try and do it all at once!! I was in the grocery store earlier today and was going to buy bread flour. I thought about it and realised that I wouldn't have chance to make any until after the next time I shopped so I put the flour back. If I'd have bought it I know I would have been thinking about it and getting stressed because I hadn't made any. Just like this past weekend. I was going to bake cookies and never had the chance, but it's been on my mind since that I MUST make some (why?? we don't NEED them! but if I decided something in my head I feel guilty if I don't follow through. go figure!).

So I'm planning on 2008 being a productive, family-focused, fun-filled year. Of course things don't always go to plan..........

Saturday, 5 January 2008

New Years and Centerparcs

Phew! I'm finally back :) Yesterday me and the boys got back from a 3 day short break to Centerparcs in Sherwood Forest (no, we didn't see Robin Hood there!). David couldn't get the time off work so Helen and Adam came with us and shared our cabin. More of that later.....


Hope this year is a good one for all of us! This year Zachary will be starting school full-time and I might be looking for part-time work. So we may be having a few changes round here.

I'll update on New Years and Centerparcs once I've watched Criminal Minds :) ......