Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Christmas Gifting

I enjoy buying people gifts and seeing their responses to what I have chosen. However, I can not afford to buy for everyone as much as I would love to. So I have been making gifts for most people with Stephanie. We have painted some recycled jars we have been collecting throughout the year. They have all been personalised for the recipient with a picture of something they like and their name. They have then been filled with candles (for adults) and sweets (adults and children). This project has cost some money in sweets but not as much as buying a nice gift for each person would.
Here are a few of them:
What gifts have you made for people this year? Do you make any with your children for family members?

Saturday, 13 December 2014

We're in.

Sorry for the silence these last few weeks, we have been rather busy with moving home and a lack of internet has made it difficult to keep up with the blogs I enjoy reading as well as posting here.
The house is almost straight. My father in law and Dylan are currently in the middle of boarding out the attic for me so that I can use that as a storage space. The living room is straight. The dining room as almost straight. Stephanie's room is ready for use as is Dylan's. Just my room to finish organising currently it is the storage space so until the attic is finished it will remain a bit messy.

We are in and loving the new house. It feels like home and has since the day we move in. I have a few little bits to do- pictures and mirrors to hang and then it will be done. I am struggling with the concept that Christmas is in less than 2 weeks- I still have present to make/buy. We also have a few nights away booked before the big day. Hmm as always busy busy busy here. This evening my niece and nephew have come for a sleepover.

We also have Jane the elf come to visit us from Father Christmas's workshop. She hasn't been very mischievous this year. So far she has put up the Christmas tree, made snow angels  on the Christmas side, spelt her name in cereal, and left us peppermint seeds to plant which grew into candy canes. I wonder what she will do next!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Packing up and moving on

I have been rather quiet recently as I am preparing to move home! t's exciting and daunting at once. I have been spending my evenings rotating the usual tasks associated with my job (planning, marking etc) and the packing. every room in my house looks like this;

We also have a furry guest
Who likes long walks and lots of playing time. So we have been rather busy.

I have now emptied every room in the house into boxes, except for the things we absolutely need for the week. Little bits will be placed into boxes as we go I have a box open for small bits we discover as we move around the house (there is always something missed) and once we have been to the recycling centre today we will have more empty boxes for the larger bits- there are a few photographs that don't fit in the spare boxes I do have just yet.

Moving is exciting and a little scary but it is a better move for us as a family. It isn't a far move- just a couple of miles up the road (2.4 according to google.). For us as a family I think this is a good move as we have lots of family nearby- the closest being an aunt 5 doors away!  Then in whichever direction you walk another family member 5 minutes away. This makes me feel easier with my extended work hours- Dylan's school have changed the time of his school day so he now gets home much earlier, a good thing for him and his homework load, but my work has increased so I am getting later. The move means that if he doesn't want to be home alone he can go and visit family, there will always be at least one of them in! It's also closer to my work so less travelling for me.

The move also provides us with a slightly larger and better laid out house for our needs. It also gives us a much bigger garden- we will have a vegetable patch and plenty of room for the children to play still. Father Christmas might even be able to sneak a  swing into his sleigh this year. We will have no home internet for around 10 days when we move as it takes this long for our service to be transferred, I am hoping that the signal on my phone is strong enough as I have a feeling Dylan will be needing to use the internet on my phone to manage his homework during this time, so I may not get on for a little while. I will be back in time to share some of our more frugal Christmas gifts we have been working on before the big day. We also have a secret Christmas visit planned which neither child know about yet- I have to say I am struggling to keep it a secret. It's not as expensive as last years treat but just as exciting- so watch this space.  a little clue- for me Christmas is all about family, and our treat supports this.

Do you have any plans for the Christmas period yet?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

christmas presents

Yesterday Stephanie asked what she could buy people for Christmas and started to feel off her to buy for list. After a little head scratching we decided we have lots of glass jars, we could paint them in a personalised way and fill with sweets and/or a candle. Then gift these. She has planned around 20 jars. I already have a huge pack of tealights we can use. Whilst food shopping we boughtsome sweets, all on offer total of around £8. 

Starting to look good. Stephanie has learnt the art of patience when she put on too much paint at once and the colours ran. We are in the process of fixing that design lol 

What gifts are you going to give this Christmas?

Sunday, 2 November 2014


Yesterday we returned to legoland after an awful visit in the summer holidays, so bad that I complained. As a result of my complaint we were offered free tickets to return to the park. We finally found a day which we were all free, as were my sister and her family. I have to confess I was still sceptical, after all it is still a school holiday and it was legoland's fireworks display last night. We packed a bag of nibbles and drinks and off we went. We decided to do the rides we hadn't been on last time, not a difficult task as we got on just 4 rides last time, hence the complaint!
We managed nearly all of the rides we wanted to go on this time

We arrived at the park not long after opening and left at 9pm after the rides closed. It was a fabulous day. The fireworks were phenomenal, the best display I have seen in this country. So good I didn't take many pictures, I stood and watched. 

I am so pleased we were able to give legoland another chance this year. It was worth the wait, I would never have thought to go up for the fireworks before. I am planning on saving specifically to go for the fireworks here next year, or if Stephanie is feeling even braver with rides perhaps we will go to one of the parks with bigger rides!

What have you done recently which surprised you?

Friday, 31 October 2014


 After our day out yesterday Stephanie asked to do some cooking. I agreed and decided it would be a perfect stat to the next school term if I get some foods organised. So I made a couple of loaves of bread. One for us to enjoy now, others have been wrapped and frozen. We also made some pizza bases and decorated them before wrapping and freezing- perfect for a quick after school meal. We also made some pumpkin soup, perfect for freezing and becoming quick and easy lunches.

Cutting the pumpkins meant that we had an awful lot of seeds, well it was a large pumpkin! half of the seeds have been put on the kitchen side to dry out so that we can plant them next year. The other half  I tossed in olive oil, some dried basil and a little seasalt before roasting in the oven.
Delicious snack!!

Halloween biscuits, made and decorated by Stephanie.
Our pumpkin- well we couldn't make soup and toasted pumpkin seeds and waste the shell now could we!

Hello Kitty

Are you looking for something not related to Halloween to do this week end? If you are able to get to London and have  a small Hello Kitty fan (well I don't suppose only small fans can go!) then there is an event you may be interested in.

View HelloKitty40th.png in slide show
I had no idea Hello Kitty was so old! I only became aware of it a few years ago when Stephanie began to get into it.

In Hamleys this Saturday (1st November) you can celebrate Hello Kitty's birthday by taking part in a meet and greet session between 12pm and 4pm. You can meet and hug Kitty and have your photograph taken with her. If this isn't enough to tempt you- then how about a slice of Hello Kitty's life size birthday cake- mmm I love cake!

If you want to be a part of this all you need to do is get yourself to Hamleys,

Birthday invitation:

View HelloKitty40th (2).jpg in slide show
Date: Saturday 1st of November
Time: 12pm – 4pm, big cake unveiling at 1pm
Address: 2nd Floor, Hamleys, 188-196 Regent Street, W1B 5BT
NB I won't be there as we already have a day out planned for this Saturday, if I was going though I would combine this with a trip to the Tower of London to see the poppies.