Saturday, 29 December 2012

getting started

Today we had a slow start to the day I didn't wake up until 9am! that is almost unheard of I'm usually up by 7am at the latest, I guess I needed that sleep.

From there we decided to get started with the New years changes. I needed to post a parcel our nearest post office is 2 miles away, normally we would drive there today we walked. That was a step towards our family fitness as well as frugality, we saved in fuel. According to google maps it saved around £0.53 each way. So that it is a good start.

I am joining in with the sealed pot challenge this year as hosted by Saving for travel so I have put in the £1 saved in fuel costs plus the 21p I found whilst walking.

This is my pot and the money ready to go in. You will notice mine is not sealed yet, a sealed pot is on my to do list....
Items completed today off of my to do list;
fix Stephanie's butterfly lights
So I have managed 3 items on my 2013 list- fitness, frugal and fix, lets hope I keep the momentum going!

Friday, 28 December 2012

thinking ahead

It's that time of year when we think about what we want to achieve in the coming 12 months. This time last year I decided I was going to write my aspirations, in the hope that calling them this instead of resolutions would inspire me to stick with it. I made a lovely long list of what I wanted to do and then separated them into monthly sections. It helped for the first few months but I have barely looked for the past few months. Mostly because of life develops and things go in different directions to that which we first thought. With this in mind I am thinking about how to work things this year. I have some different ways I want to  live this year, little changes I think will help make life easier. I am still thinking on this but so far I have;

  • to finish decorating/ making our home our own
  • to save for the future
  • to enjoy more family fitness
  • frugal- I want to make what we have go further
  • to fix things- I have lots of things around the house that need mending/ altering that I haven't got around to doing.
  • to finish things, I have several craft projects started 2013 is the year to finish things
I may add to these as the year progresses. Tonight I am going to think about some of the things I am going to fix. So far I know I need to

  1. fix my wardrobe, the shelf is all wonky I am going to sort this out
  2. my living room curtains are too long, they are going to be hemmed
  3. the dresser in the kitchen needs new handles
  4. Dylan's wardrobe needs the handles fixed
  5. Stephanie has a dressing up dress that has been in my bedroom for months which needs fixing
I am certain once I get started I will find more things to fix, I will do these as I find them and not let them build up.

I will post more tomorrow on one of the other areas I aim to improve.

What are you aiming for over the coming year?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

christmas 2012

We have had a lovely relaxing Christmas this year, we had a very busy weekend last weekend with going to the Winter Wonderland at Hyde park, seeing Father Christmas in Harrods, then the pantomime followed by the Nativity/Christingle service at the Church on Christmas eve. Christmas day was spent at my aunts house and boxing day at my sisters.
We are now preparing for my sister and her 3 children to come and visit us over New Year.
Some of our highlights from the past week;

Finding that she had a new bike for Christmas

Big brother giving little sister her Christmas present

home made Christmas cake

waiting for the panto

my nephew reading the book Father Christmas gave him

Me, my sisters and their/my children in the Magical Ice kingdom

Seeing Father Christmas in Harrods

Gangnam style through the fun house

The cousins testing out if their tongues would stick to the ice wall!!!!
Our house guest for the festive period.
We have had a fantastic Christmas and hope you have too

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Yarn along

I have been inspired by Hannah over at home baked online for the yarn along this week. This Wednesday tradition to post about what is on your needles and what you are reading originated from Ginny. My knitting is nowhere near as Fab as Hannah's just completed project- go and check her blanket out. But it is plodding along nicely, I'm hoping to finish it by New year

This is the 1st sleeve for Stephanie's waterfall cardigan, I have managed to complete the fronts and back, I was hoping to have this finished by Christmas but it is looking unlikely now. The book is how to grow your own food by Dirty Nails. It is a library book and it's fantastic, it sets out exactly what you need to do in the vegetable garden week by week. I like the clearly worded guidance in the book. I am hoping Father Christmas will bring me my own copy for Christmas :-)

So what are you reading/ what is on your needles at the moment?

Sunday, 16 December 2012

a little excitement... beginning to build. Christmas is nearly here. I usually have this excitement much earlier than this, not sure what is happening this year. A well meaning checkout girl suggested it's perhaps that I am getting older :-O.

Today I have been tidying around the house, making up extra beds for our guests who should be arriving anytime soon. I have also been baking;

2 Christmas cakes! because I ate the one I made last month- whoops! At least I know the recipe is good

Mince pies waiting to go in the oven
I made some of the mince pies with my homemade mince meat, some with shop bought. Having sampled both I prefer the home made.
I have also spoken to my sister and talking about my plans for next weekend I think now it doesn't seem so far away it is helping get the spirit going.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Christmas Happiness Revolution

I have not joined in with a happiness revolution for a while, prompted by Astra's post yesterday I have decided it may be just the thing I need. I'm feeling glum, nothing serious just run down, full of cold, overtired and a little sensitive. So I'm going to ignore that and share the things I am happy for!

10 things that are making me happy

The 10 things I am happy about this month are

1. The excitement I feel before I give people their presents
2. That I will get to see my children's expressions on Christmas day when they find their presents
3. My sister, niece and nephew are coming to stay for new year
4. My little sister has found a home for her and my niece and nephew- not too far away from me :-)
5. I was able to go into work late so that I could watch my daughter's nativity play at school
6. I am getting 2 whole weeks off to spend with my children over Christmas
7. That next weekend I have a super surprise booked for the chn- I can't post any more details as Dylan has discovered this blog- Hi nosey!!
8. On Sunday next week we are off to the pantomime, a yearly treat for us and this year the chn's nan and 2 cousins are joining us
9. My Christmas shopping is complete
10. I have nothing planned for tomorrow morning so I can wake up when I am ready :-)

I'm feeling a little better just seeing things written down to remind me Life IS good!

Now I am off to get ready to brave Asda whilst I have an evening alone

Friday, 14 December 2012


After work today I collected Stephanie from her school Christmas disco then we went for a Christmas decoration drive. Stephanie is fascinated by peoples houses when they are decorated for Christmas so we went to view some in nearby villages. We took photos of a couple of favourites where there were safe places to stop and look.

You can't see all of the lights in either picture as I couldn't stand far enough back to take the photographs, but they give the general idea.
We came back to have an egg sandwich and watch a Christmas film and write cards for school

That is our Christmas fun for today, Dylan has already gone to his Dad's, Stephanie goes in the morning after swimming and we have been to the florist to hopefully buy a wreath for my Mum's grave.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

A frugal Christmas jumper

At work on Friday we are going to be having a charity day where you make a donation to wear a Christmas jumper for a day.
What a great idea- except I don't have a Christmas jumper and I don't want to fork out ££ buying one for one day.  I wouldn't wear it again so would be a complete waste.

I decided I would make a Christmas jumper using one of my existing jumpers in the wardrobe and some scrap material from the stash. Here's what I did;

I cut out and pinned on 2 circles to be a snowman head and body. I appliqued them on using a large zigzag stitch on my machine.
I then made a hat and scarf from other scraps and sewed them on using the same method.
And here we have a finished frugal Christmas jumper.
I'm planning on removing my snowman after Friday so that it will be just a normal black jumper again. Not a penny spent!

Creating spaces

Until recently I didn't have a desk area for doing my paperwork. I decided to bring the unused desk down from my bedroom and put it in a corner of the living room. I have really enjoyed having my desk space here, I don't feel isolated as I did when it was in my bedroom. With it in its new home it is much easier for me to interact with the children as I work.

The down side of it in the living room was this

A rather messy corner. That will not do! So today I decided I was going to sort it out.
I found some old shelves I had from a previous house
Shelves up, now for some organisation;
A much tidier work space. Now I just need to keep it that way!
In Christmas news today I have put out the last of the ornaments and put all of the empty boxes back in the loft until January. The bedroom is looking a little tidier for it although not much..... a project for another day?

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas on Saturday

Today I popped to town to get some toiletries and the last few stocking fillers I needed. I bumped into a friend and her mum so my quick shopping trip ended up several hours and a lunch out. I love surprises like that. I haven't seen this friend for a couple of months despite her only living 10 minutes or so away due to work/ family commitments. Was great to finally mange a catch up.

I came home and made some of this

It's reindeer food AKA glitter and oatmeal mixed up in a jar. A little treat and bit of magic fun for Stephanie on Christmas eve. I intend to sprinkle it on the garden with her before bed on Christmas eve. The label has a little poem on it which reads;

sprinkle on the lawn at night
the moon will make it sparkle bright
Santa's reindeer fly and roam
this will guide them to your home
I printed the label from dltk Christmas website there are several versions of the little poem, a quick google search brings up many.
Now I am off to do some paperwork and then wrap the presents I bought today.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Friday's Christmas treat

Today's Christmas treat was a family outing. We went to the cinema, our choices of film were Nativity 2 or Rise o the guardians. I took a gamble and booked the Nativity 2.

I had one child wanting to see each film. So I was mean mummy and chose the one that appealed to me most!

It was fantastic. We all laughed throughout the screening, there was plenty of humour throughout.

I recommend it to anyone looking for a silly Christmas film. There were groups of teens, adults on there own and families all in the cinema and there was plenty of laughing from all around us.

trailer for nativity 2

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Christmas prep

I had a  lovely surprise this morning I went outside to scrap the car ready for the drive to work and look what was happening
yep! it was snowing. It snowed heavily during all of my drive to work and whilst I was setting up. Queue lots of excited children arriving in class. We had some fun in the snow comparing footprint patterns of our wellies, making huge footprint shapes on the school field , learning about the properties of snow as we tried to roll it into the biggest snow ball EVER!!
Then it all turned to ice and slush by lunchtime so we collected the ice in buckets and watched how it changed to water. Then in the puddles left behind we explored colour by putting different coloured powder paints in to see what we could make.

Then I came home and decided to try a little Christmas crafting. I am totally lacking in Christmas spirit this year so I am trying to inject it by doing something Christmassy each night when I get home. Tonight I decided to turn this pile of old stuff;

into these;

With a little help from Stephanie.
Now they are safely nestled in the tree, Stephanie is snuggled up in bed. I'm going to curl up on the sofa to watch rubbish on TV and knit

Sunday, 2 December 2012


We started our Sunday with the unwrapping of an advent gift
Then we wrapped some gifts for other people

We used snow spray to decorate a scene on the living room window
Spent a little time digging on the allotment, managed to unearth some worms to feed our little robin friend- he is just to the left of the top of the cabbage in this pic- can you spot him?
The children made lollipop cakes using one of those packet mixes- not particularly tasty, still we have the concept now so will make them ourselves properly next time.
I tried my had at tiger bread- it tastes good- more like twiglets than tiger bread though. Will fiddle with the recipe and try again next week.
Now going to finish cooking dinner then spend the evening knitting some more of Stephanie's cardigan.

Saturday, 1 December 2012


How it seems to have come around so fast! I'm very pleased to say my Christmas shopping is complete. yay! most of them are also wrapped.

This afternoon we decorated our Christmas tree

The finished tree- just need to put the presents underneath now.

We watched Carolers at the Dickens festival

And Stephanie accomplished her stage 4 swimming level- she has 2 certificates as she achieved her level 2 last time, so at the end of this term she got level 3 AND level 4!