Wednesday, 25 November 2009

I'm a loser :)

I hadn't managed to get to my slimming club for the last 2 weeks as I was working the first week then the kids were sick last week. Well I went yesterday and lost another 4 pounds. So that's 16 pounds in 8 weeks so I was really pleased about that! I'd like to lose another 5 before Christmas which is definitely realistic. I can tell a difference in the way my jeans fit. I can't wait until it starts to become noticeable to other people, especially since I've not told many people I'm doing it. When people who don't know I'm doing Slimming World comment, then I know it's really showing as they aren't particularly looking for it. So I hope to be able to update after Christmas with news that I've met my mini target :) I'm really positive about doing the program this time around and don't find it difficult at all. I am never hungry as I eat a normal diet. In fact, I could even say that I'm enjoying it!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Craft Sale - this Friday!

We have been so busy lately getting ready for Friday and I'm so excited! I'm kind of nervous too - wondering how people will receive our creations, will they love them like we do!! Finishing touches are being made and inspiration for next years items are being received. No sooner do I finish one project than another one is whirling away in my head! (in fact usually before the current project is finished - so many things, too little time or talent!).

Don't forget that after the event any items remaining will be put on our blog for sale. That's if there's anything left, lol. Of course there will be! But I can always dream that we will sell out completely within the first hour, ha ha.

Wish us luck :)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Craft blog is live :)

Our craft blog for our craft sale is now live :) is the place to visit!!

If you can't attend the sale, don't worry! We will be listing items for sale on our blog too. We wouldn't want you non-locals to miss out now would we??? :) :)

Please leave honest feedback on our goodies. We are still new at craft sales so appreciate all your comments.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Christmas Sale

On November 20th, me and my MIL and SIL are having a crafty Christmas sale. This is our second annual sale. We get together once a week and craft various items (and also work on them at home) to sell. This year we are also starting a blog. After the sale, any remaining items will be put on the blog for sale. We are really excited about starting this new venture. We know that not all our family/friends/potential customers will be able to attend on the 20th, so having a blog will enable us to reach more people. I'll add a link to the blog nearer the time, when we've put items on it!! lol.

This year we decided to craft some different items from last year. I believe the star of the show will be the aprons we have made (adult and childrens). We have made some adults and girls from Cath Kidston fabric but at amazing prices!!

I've been busy making crochet flower brooches. At the moment I'm busy with the actual crocheting. Finishing them off will come later. I love making them and hope that people will like them and want to buy them, :) But they aren't limited to just being brooches. They can also be pinned to bags, hats, hairbands, and whatever else you can think of. Here is a sneak peak of a few of them in their natural state (unfinished!). What do you think?? I've also done a few different styles but, if I'm honest, this style is my current favourite.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


I'm a little worried about my 6 yr old son right now. He seems to be suffering from a lack of confidence at school. He has just started Year 2 and seems to have gone backwards. He is left handed and has always struggled with his handwriting. He is great at reading and also very good at spelling. Today he had 3 sentences to write, each of which contained a spelling word. Well he got all upset and started crying saying he couldn't do it. I know that he can. After quite a bit of coaxing, I managed to get him to spell out the words for me and then write them. He COULD do it, but he didn't acknowledge that he could. I asked him if he got upset and cried at school and he said yes. He said that he can't write sentences and when they were asked to he got all upset and cried (I didn't know this before now). I know that he's a perfectionist and gets upset when he gets something wrong, but now he's getting upset BEFORE even having a go! He's got it in his head that he can't do it when he can. I just don't know what to do!! It's awful watching him get so sad and discouraged, especially when I know that he is a very bright and clever boy. {sigh} - the struggles of being a parent! Oh, and does anyone else thing 'juice' is a difficult word for a 6 yr old to know how to spell?

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Old Friends

This past week I have been touched by the generosity of an old cherished friend (not that she's OLD but we've not seen each for quite some time, lol).

Imagine my delight when I returned home one day to find a package waiting for me!! All the way from Texas!! I went to school with Anne Marie when we lived in Norway (oil business fathers!). She's one of those kind, sweet girls that your parents are so pleased you are friends with :) It's funny how you can be friends with someone for a short period of time (just a year in our case) but feel a bond and connection. And even 17 years later (gosh it is that long??) I believe that we could pick up our friendship from where we left off. I sooooooo hope that in the next few years I can visit her. That would just be amazing :)

She sent me loads of Big Red Gum which I LOVE. She also sent a fantastic craft magazine that has LOADS of great projects for me to try. AND she also sent me lots and lots of little baggies filled with punchies. Me and the boys can do so much with those! AND she sent me the most delicious smelling lavender sachet she'd made (can't believe she'd not made them before!) with local lavender. I just LOVE LOVE the smell of lavender so this went directly into my bedroom. Mmmmmmm. Aren't I a lucky, lucky girl!! What a special friend Ann Marie is!!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Not ready for this at all.........

This morning when I went to the door it was so cold outside. There was frost on the car windows and I could see my breath. I'm so not ready for this weather. Bring back the sun!!

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Last November/December time, me, my sister in law Cait and my mother in law Joyce had a craft sale at Joyce's house. We had met together for weeks before making lots of goodies to sell. It feels so good to be creative and then so satisfying when people actually want to buy what you've made! I'm sure I posted about it on here.

Well it's that time of year again that we are gathering together to create for our sale. We have been gathering ideas and excitedly telling each other what we've found!! Well tomorrow is our first official meeting. We will all take whatever materials and stash we have accumulated over the past year and decide on a final list of what to make. We will then get busy making, both individually and collectively. It's always hard to find a suitable amount of time to meet since Cait works at the beginning and end of the school day and I work during the lunchhour! But we do our best, lol.

It's so exciting to get together with others who share a mutual love of crafting. Most of my other friends just don't understand how giddy I get when I see beautiful handmade things that either others have made or I have made. I'm forever reading through blogs of creative people. In fact my bloglines list is crammed full of crafty blogs. I just feel so uplifted and inspired by them. And everytime I see a wonderful project, I put it on my mental list of 'things to make'. Of course I never remember them all! I should really make a written list! I used to do lots of papercrafts (cardmaking, scrapbooking) but lately I've been drawn to crocheting and sewing. Not that I'm great at it - but I'd like to be. And they do say that practice makes perfect!

I've also had the idea of starting a new blog for our craft items. A site where I can put items for sale perhaps. I was thinking that after our sale, whatever is left I will put on the blog for others to buy. I'll put details of that blog onto this once we have created it.

Now look at this amazing scarf!! Isn't it to die for?? FABULOUS!! This will be on my list for after Christmas, when I have time to make things for myself.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Eddie Izzard - Sport Relief

I dropped my boys off at my mum's as they are having a sleepover there. I'm working tomorrow but the boys don't go back to school until Wednesday so my mum said she would watch them for me. As my dad is in Houston on business, my mum asked the boys over for a sleepover so that I don't have to get them to her first thing in the morning.

Well anyway, on the way back home I happened upon this:

Now you may have to click on the pic to enlarge (if that works!) or have a good squint. Do you see who that is?? YES its Eddie Izzard!! THE Eddie Izzard, comedian and actor. In case you weren't aware, he is running an unbelievable amount of miles for Sport Relief. How amazing is he?? Read more about it here

Saturday, 5 September 2009

And so it continues.....

Well I'm still working on the bedroom makeover, but we got a little sidetracked because before we started our room we started the kids' room and then today we ended up working on the living room as well, lol. So 3 rooms on the go at once. I really should start and actually FINISH one room before doing the next. But that's just not me.

We moved the furniture around in the living room a couple of months ago. Well today we decided on the spur of the moment to change it around again. We moved this piece of furniture from near the window to another area of the room. We then cleaned the windows and radiator a baseboards and did a spring clean! We then put a 2 seater sofa there. Then, also on the spur of the moment, went and bought a new TV!!! and took our old one to my BIL and SIL who live a few doors away (their TV had just broken this week). My husband is happy playing with his new 'toy'. He's excited to see how awesome the picture looks with his game consoles (yes, plural - we are talking Wii, Xbox360, PS3). And also how it looks with his Blu-Ray DVDs.

I went to a car boot sales again today (so rare to find ones not on Sundays!) which was only a few minutes away. It was so much smaller than the one I went to on Monday, but I bought a lot more. Pictures will have to follow as I haven't taken them yet!

So pictures of bargains to follow soon, and then pictures of room makeovers when they are finally complete :)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Bargains again.

I had the chance to spend time with my sisters this weekend. In fact, my twin sister was down from Scotland for a week. We spent some time hanging at my parents, catching a movie, etc. Then on Sunday I saw my younger sister and her gorgeous son Eli. That boy is just delicious!

Monday was a Bank Holiday so David was home too, yay! We got up early and headed to a car boot sale. I don't get to many because they are mainly on Sundays and we don't do that kinda thing on a Sunday. Well this car boot sale is an awesome one. It's huge and I can easily spend many hours looking around. David and the boys usually go their own way and head back to the car to wait for me once they have found a toy or two. I take a little longer, perusing every stall, looking for that one bargain that everyone else would have missed, lol. Because I have be decluttering, I was much more selective in what I bought. Only I was a little TOO selective as I now regret not buying a couple of things I saw! One in particular! It was a lamp, very similar in style to ones I have seen in Laura Ashley. It had a glass stem that looked like stacked balls. Somewhat like this:

isn't it gorgeous?? I also passed by some lovely frames (didn't like the pics but they could easily have been changed). I also passed up a lovely clock for 50p but didn't want to take the risk in case it didn't work. But 50p! Not much of a risk! What was I thinking?? Lesson learned!!

Anyway, I did buy a pair of shoes for my nephew (clarks 50p). And a selection of children's books and a bedding set which I LOVE!

There is another car boot sale, closer to home, this Saturday. And it's at 10am, not some unearthly hour!! yay!

Today we went to Ikea to get the table for the kids room (which wasn't in stock on Saturday). Well it STILL isn't in stock, grrr! I did manage to snag a few bargains from the bargain corner though. I got a pair of white, fairly sheer curtains for 1.00 (they may go on the window at the top of the stairs) and a couple of aprons for 50p each. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of them. Well I didn't want to have a completely wasted journey did I?? :)

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Busy Busy

We've been busy working on the bedrooms these past couple of weeks. We got a new bed for our room (heavenly!!) and decided to de-clutter and reorganise the room. It's still not quite finished. We bought a couple of bedside tables from Ikea yesterday so they need assembing and putting in place. They are actually little white metal filing type drawers but will look cute! I'll add a pic when they are in place. I still need one new piece of furniture and need to find just the right piece! And we have also been working on the boys room. Taking out an old shelving unit and deciding on how to re-do the room. Again it's work in progress. We sorted out their toys and junk and took 7 huge bags to the dump. Then got new storage boxes for the rest of their stuff. I found the perfect desk to go in there but it just happened to be probably the only item not in stock at Ikea yesterday!! It's a simple white table top with an assortment of leg styles to choose from. The legs were in stock just not the top. And the whole thing only costs £15.99. Bargain. Once the bedroom are done, we are thinking of getting new carpet for the living room. It's never-ending!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Vote for Jen!

My friend Jen has entered the Dorset Cereals Little Blog Awards. Please vote for her! Thanks :)

Friday, 14 August 2009


This will probably not be very exciting for other people! But I want to keep a tally of what I spend (and what on!) just to see where the money goes! It will be interesting just to see how much gets spent on clothes etc throughout the space of a year.

Today we went into Wakefield and I bought a goalkeepers top (football/soccer) for Nathaniel for 50p and a Ferrari F1 tshirt for Zachary (also 50p). I went into the hospice charity shop as they were having a half price sale on all clothes. I bought myself a pair of brown linen cropped trousers and a white with cream and brown striped shirt (go together nicely as an outfit, probably for work). Both items cost a total of £2.88! So that's £3.88 spent today.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Market Bargains

As much as I try not to buy new things (I'm trying to be thrifty and shop at charity shops as much as I can), sometimes you can get better deals elsewhere. I was visiting the market in our little town today and came upon a jewellry stall. There were a few people flocking around so I went over for a nosey (as I do!). The lady on the stall was selling all items for 60p each (about a dollar). The jewellry is ex-chain store stock. The original prices were on them (cheapest was about £2 up to about £10). Well I love accessories and figure I needed some more! So this was my little haul. I'm thinking they would also be great to buy for gifts and put in little boxes.

I love this large silver heart on a long chain. The earrings aren't from the same store but match well enough! And the other necklace looks very classy (it's silver plated)
The stones in this necklace are a vibrant pink. Again the earrings are from a different store but will match okay.
These were hard to photograph! The beads on them both are the purple color as on the earrings. The colours kept coming out skewey when I took the pics!
2 strings of beads, one black, one white and a set of stretchy bracelets.
The metal butterfly on the left hand necklace is quite large and has a good weight to it. On the right are 2 strings of green beads.
Lovely turquoisey blue beads and a pair of orange/red earrings.
So all that for £7.80 as apposed to the original price of $53.00

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Charity Shop (Thrift) buys

Sometimes I got to various charity shops and find nothing to buy. Other times I go and find things that I like. And on vary rare occasions I go and LOVE what I buy. They make me giddy. I know that I might be rare in feeling like this, lol. Well I went into a nearby town yesterday and feel like I hit the jackpot with my purchases. I was giddy.

Firstly, I found these brand new and in box jam jars (8 oz size) and pack of gingham patterned lids from Lakeland. They would have cost £8.50 from Lakeland, but I paid £2.00. The lady in the shop said that she'd only put them out on the shelves about a half hour before. I'm thinking of making some homemade salsa and putting them in the jars for gifts. What do you think?

Then I went into a different town and visited a number of charity shops. None of them had anything that really grabbed me UNTIL I got to about the 4th shop. I headed to the book section and found some great crafting books and one in particular had me drooling. It was this book. It is written by Korean designers and is so stylish and inspirational. It's never been used and still has the paper patterns attached to the back. It's one of those books you could stroke all day, lol. It cost me a measely £1.49. I'll definitely be trying to make some of the bags and possibly skirts from this book (the skirts are all written for a size 4 (!!!) so will have to be adapted). There were a few other books (knitting and such) but I didn't think I'd actually use them so left them on the shelves).

After paying for my book and heading towards the door something else caught my eye and had me squealing with delight (internally!). It was a brand new Amy Butler pattern. Now Amy Butler is hard to come by in this country. You generally have to order them from the States and get them delivered. So to find a NEW one in a charity shop is just unheard of!! This pattern makes a layered skirt, an A-line skirt and apron overlay. The possibilities are just mouthwatering!! And the patterns have the directions for sizes US4 up to a US 18-20. So I can make them for anyone, any size!! How fab!! And once again it cost me £1.49. They cost $15.99 in the US and I managed to find 2 on for £8.95 and £8.75. So another fab bargain.

Today we ventured to another nearby town, just to get out in the sun really. We had a walk around the shops and I popped into what must have been the most expensive charity shop ever! Mmmm, dresses for £14.99, shirts for £7.99? I don't think so! And bizzarely priced pillowcases. One pair of pretty white cotton pillowcases with embroidery along one edge and fancy edging cost £3.99. Then a plainer pair cost £5.99 and a totally plain pair cost £7.99!! And some small tablecloths were £9.99!! Forget that! I saw a beautiful cotton sheet with a pretty floral pattern that I thought could be transformed intoa skirt or a little girls dress cost £5.99. As much as I loved it, I couldn't bring myself to pay that price so I left it on the shelf. As I was leaving I heard an old lady speaking to some of the shop assistants about what a lovely shop it was. I was so tempted to say 'I should think so at these prices', but I managed to hold my tongue, lol.

So have you bought anything exciting lately??

Check out what others have found at Southern Hospitality and join in the party :)

Nathaniel's Baptism

Well last Saturday was Nathaniel's baptism. It's an event that he has been looking forward to for a long time. We were blessed to have many family and friends attend the service. Nathaniel was baptised by his grandad Vince (my dad). He was baptised in the afternoon and we had a small party afterwards with lots of delicious food. Here are some pictures from the day.

Nathaniel before the baptism. All dressed in white and ready to go :)

With his Grandad Vince (my dad).

Nathaniel and Zachary with their little cousin, Eli.
With my side of the family.

Nathaniel and Zac with mum and dad. I HATE having my picture taken so you are privileged to see these, lol.
With the Brown side of the family.
My nephew Eli with his Auntie Claire (my twin sister)
My sister, Helen, with her husband and son.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Car Boot Bootie

Today was a very special day for a certain 8 yr old in our house, but I'll save all that news for when I have the pictures to accompany my post from my sister. So check back in a couple of days for that!

But I did want to let you know about my great bargain. At a recent car boot sale, I bought my youngest son, Zac, a cute cute suit. And boy does he looks cute in it when he wears a shirt and tie too. He wore it today for Nathaniel's special day (are you curious yet??). Oh yes, I forgot to tell you the price didn't I?? Well I paid £1 for it! Yes, that's right. One pound. What a bargain! I bet whoever sold it bought it for her son to wear probably once for a special occasion. It's like new. Zac will be wearing it for church every Sunday. What a smart boy he'll look.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Sports Day!

Today was Nathaniel's sports day at school. It was for Years 3 and 4 this morning. The older kids had theirs this afternoon and the younger kids (including Zac) have theirs tomorrow morning. The rain held off and we had a lovely morning. I should have been working in school, but most of the kids I work with are in years 3 and 4 so I was able to go out and watch. Nathaniel was in the Blue team and was delighted they won! Oh, and if you're wondering about Nat's shorts - he'd left his own ones at home and had to borrow Zac's! That's why they are so short :)

Nat flying the flag for the Blue team.

I LOVE this picture of Nathaniel with one of his best friends. He's the only other child who has been in the same classes as Nathaniel through Y1 to Y3!

When they announced the javelin event, all us parents were a little concerned! Until we saw the soft foam javelins. Phew!!
Run Nathaniel, Run!!

Nathaniel is 8!!

ast Thursday, my oldest son Nathaniel turned eight!! How did that happen??? On his birthday we went out for dinner and met Nanna and Grandad there. The children had their dinner and then had their traditional birthday dessert - the mega sundae for two. They love it and who wouldn't - icecream, profiteroles filled with fresh cream, brownie bits, whipped cream, chocolate button, chocolate flakes, wafers....... (I'm drooling just writing about it!!).

Instead of a party, we had a family day out on Saturday. I had booked 2 nights Travelodge (£9 a night of course!) at Donnington Park. We left here after school on Friday, went out for dinner, then travelled down the road. We stayed at the Travelodge overnight then went to Drayton Manor theme park on the Saturday morning. We stayed there all day. It was a little busier than it was when we went last year, but still we had hardly any waiting in lines for rides. We had such a fun time! And the weather was PERFECT. Warm, sunny and dry!! Yipee :) We then went back to our Travelodge for another nights sleep. On Sunday we visited my sister, her husband and their beautiful 7 month old baby Eli. We had dinner with them and just hung out together. What a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon! Shame I didn't take any pics of them!

So here are some pics from Drayton Manor, but be warned. For those with a delicate disposition - there are pics of me on here, lol. Both David and I HATE having our pics taken. But I thought I need to be brave and put a couple on - just to prove that we exist. And I'm sure in the future my ggggg grandkids might like to know I existed, lol.


Chester Zoo and Cannon Hall Farm

Zachary was one lucky boy a few weeks ago. He had a school trip to Chester Zoo and a week later he had a trip to Cannon Hall Farm. And because I've been working at school, I got to go on both trips too! And the weather couldn't have been any better! Hot, sunny and dry both days. Excellent!!

Farm pics first (although my camera batteries died soon after arriving so I didn't get many shots!). Zac isn't in any pics as he wasn't in my group. I haven't posted any pics with other kids in for obvious reasons. So it's just animals, lol.

The sheep had been herded up, ready to be dipped. The sheep looking right at me made me laugh. It's hilarious :) I'm so easily amused, obviously :)

I'm glad you can't SMELL what we could smell when we were at the cows!
And now for the zoo shots. Again, only a few without children in.

Beamish flowers

David bought a new camera last month and I've been loving it! It's a Canon Powershot SX110 IS. The pictures are so clear and colours so bright. It has a great zoom. I'm determined to learn more how to use it fully. Anyway, when we were at Beamish, I tried using the macro function to take some pics of the beautiful flowers we saw. Here are a few samples. I think they turned out quite well! Don't forget to click on them to see them better.

The blurry bit on the next shot is actually a bee. I was taking a pic of the flower with the bee inside. Just as I clicked, the bee shot out! I would have dropped my camera had I not had the wrist strap on. It totally freaked me out!!