Friday, 30 November 2012

christmas preperations

Tonight I got there decorations out of the attic ready for us to put up tomorrow. it is the start of a Christmas packed weekend. we have the Christmas dickens festival to go to, the decorations to put up and a new ( to us) Christmas film to watch.
what are your plans this weekend? 

Sunday, 25 November 2012


I have had another relaxing Sunday. I am loving the slow pace I seem to have settled into at the weekends lately.

I started the day by doing paperwork for school. Then went to my aunt's so that her friend could ix her car. She has a lot of animals so we had some fun;

Fluffykins decided my handbag was the best seat in the house!

Buck the youngest member had lots of fun chasing my knitting

Dylan was rather taken with him and wanted to bring him home

Lucy and Buck

Zara, the dog that has holidays at my house.
There are several more cats and a puppy but they had settled themselves elsewhere around the house.
After that visit was done Dylan and I went to the allotment and dug over half of a vegetable bed whilst discussing plans for next years growing.
Now home making a roast and writing a letter to Santa with Stephanie
Blissful Sunday!!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

just one week left to go!

November seems to have gone by at a supersonic speed! I have joined SFT and others to try and get all of my Christmas shopping done in November. I have been really motivated by this and have powered through my Christmas shopping. I have most presents here in the house, others have already been delivered to family who love almost 300 miles away, I took advantage of my aunt who was driving up to visit them this weekend. Saved worrying about postage.

I have spent this afternoon organising the children's advent calendars. I like to have the calendars where I can choose what goes in them. I put little treas in such as Christmassy hair clips, or for larger things like Christmas colouring books they get a note for  a treasure hunt, I wrap the presents and then the night before they are due to find them I hide the gift somewhere in the living room. It is more expensive than the chocolate filled ones that you can pick up in town but the little Christmas gifts really add to the excitement of the month.

I buy most of the gifts in the January sales so it doesn't cost too much. I just have to remember where I hid them in time for December!

This year in the calendars the children will find;
Christmas rings
Christmas decorations for their small trees they have in their bedrooms
Christmas badges
Christmas craft kits
Christmas colouring books
Christmas hair clips
and a Christmas day out as well as the occasional chocolate snowman.

here are some of the gifts waiting to be organised
I decided that as I had the wrapping paper etc out I would start on the Christmas presents as well. I have wrapped all of Stephanie's, all of Dylan's that have arrived so far. I will save the ones for other family members until both children are home as we will do those together.
How are you getting on??

Sunday, 18 November 2012


I have had a lovely day with Stephanie (Dylan was at his Dad's) take a look what we have been doing;

Saturday, 17 November 2012

11 blog tag

I was tagged by Arwedd in Devon to play along with the 11 blog tag challenge

The rules as passed on by Arwedd

  • every tagged person has to tell 11 things about themselves
  • answer the 11 questions from the person who tagged you
  • list 11 questions for the folk you are going to tag, and they should have fewer than 200 followers if possible
  • don't back-tag

  • I am going to begin by telling you 11 things;
    1. I secretly wish I could live on a little small holding and spend my days tending animals and a vegetable plot. Obviously the rose coloured glasses I view this ideal have allowed for lots of time to sit in the sun enjoying the scenery whilst sewing/crocheting/knitting
    2. I come from a large family and have 6 siblings (which means a lot of nieces/nephews!)
    3. I like the idea of a regular exercise routine but I struggle to stick to it without a competitive goal to achieve at a pre-determined point.
    4. I am saving to be able to take the children to Disneyland next Christmas- shh don't tell them!
    5. I get far too excited when I have a surprise for someone that I nearly always spoil it! I don't mean to it just happens! LOL
    6. I forget everything! I have to have lists o lists of lists in order to get anything done!
    7. I am very competitive, housework is done by trying to be an alarm set.
    8. I daydream far too much! I would achieve lots more if I could rein this in.
    9. I found my first (3) grey hairs recently and am devastated!
    10. I LOVE the snow and can never wait for it to arrive
    11. I am scared of the dark so much so that I often leave my bedside lamp on to go to sleep!

    Now for the answers to Arwedd's questions

    1. What Quite Interesting fact do you know?
    I honestly can't think of one at the moment

    2. Do you bother with crackers at Christmas?
    Yes! Although I am very fussy and only like the ones with the cute ornaments in them or the ones with the silly racing penguin type figures.

    3. If you could only have 3 electrical appliances in your house, which would they be and why?
    My washing machine- I'm far too lazy to wash by hand
    My cooker- I enjoy cooking and making food for people
    My laptop- it's where I find all manner of things I want to do when I get some time to myself

    4. What's the #1 most played song on your iPod, CD, record player?
    Get in the ring- Guns n roses
    Angels- Robbie Williams

    5. What's your favourite day of the week and why?
    Sunday it's the day I try and relax and do the things I enjoy like gardening and crafting

    6. What's your favourite body part and why?
    I don't have one

    7. If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?
    Where have all the other socks gone?

    8. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
    Life of a dreamer!

    9. What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

    That I remember- a Betty Boop Easter egg for my Mum

    10. What story does your family always tell about you?
    About how when I was little I wanted to make cakes but I got confused between cakes and cookie dough and tried to mix them by hand!

    11. Do you have any phobias?
    Spiders and the dark oh and rats

    Ok the rules state that next I have to list 11 questions for the people I choose;
    1. If money was no object would you move home, if yes where too?
    2. Where is the most interesting place you have visited?
    3. How many of the things on your to do list do you actually manage to do in the allotted time?
    4. What was your favourite story as a child?
    5. Who is the person you remember idolising as a child?
    6. laminate floor or carpets?
    7. what is your favourite dessert?
    8. What job did you always want to do as a child? and do you do it now?
    9. Is there one thing would you like to change about your life?
    10. what is your favourite past time?
    11. what is your favourite season of the year?
    Ok the 11 people I am going to tag are
    1. Astra at A journey to a dream
    2. Mum at Sustainable mum
    3. Dan at Frugal living UK
    4. SFT at saving for travel
    5. Frugal mum at Frugal Mum of 3
    6. Dreamer at Living a slow and simple life
    7. Phillipa Jayne at Self sufficient dreams
    8. Bryallen at The frugal graduate
    9. Louisa at The really good life
    10. A life less simple
    11. Cheryl at Free range living

    Friday, 16 November 2012

    A finished project!!!

    Yes you did read that correctly, I have managed to finish a project. Here it is;

    I have decided that I am happy with the size of my Mum's crochet blanket. I have literally just finished tied off the end and popped it in the washing machine. This blanket has done many miles already and has sat around many camp fires so it does need it.

    Finishing this blanket reminded me to check out my new year's aspirations list I have not updated the list in months, in fact the last time I checked it out was April *blush*. I think I shall head over now and update it.

    p.s. Arwedd I haven't forgotten your blog link- I will get that done this weekend :-D

    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Sunday update

    I have had a busy day today I have been and got some new school shoes and socks for Dylan- when will that boy stop growing????

    I also got some more Christmas bits I got us all a Christmas selection box on buy one get 2 free in Tesco. Then I got Stephanie's new bike and bike helmet and have hidden them away before she got home.

    I have done my paperwork, and deep cleaned the kitchen as well as the usual housework. Dylan organised the Sunday cook off, making the curry for in the week as well as the pasta sauce. We have all the days dinners covered. I just need to do the accompaniments.

    Stephanie has also been working on her Christmas presents;

    These are going to be for her teacher and teaching assistants so I am told;

    Looks like we are getting organised. How are you getting on with Christmas preparations?

    Saturday, 3 November 2012

    Christmas plans

    Last night I posted about my plans to join SFT's Christmas shopping in November plans. The aim of this is to have ALL of your Christmas shopping done by the end of November.

    I have set myself a budget to do this. I have the money in my account I just need to spend it! Here is my Christmas list

    Dylan- wants some beats headphones, also needs knick knacky bits
    Stephanie, all knick knacks done- would like a new bike

    Grandparents chn make a calender of pictures from our year for them, Stephanie is also making clay pots

    Nephews x5, 3 will get some money/vouchers as they usually put it together with other money to buy the latest must have game. The second to youngest need to talk to my sister about, the youngest loves spider man I have seen a spiderman car I am planning to get him

    Neices x3, 2 bought for they have a crafty present each the oldest one will get money, same logic as nephews except she usually goes clothes shopping. I wont even pretend to be able to choose something she would actually wear.

    class presents

    secret santa for work, not sure who I have yet so will have to wait for the draw hopefully that will happen soon. We have a £5 budget for this.

    I don't as a rule buy for any others in the family as it gets too expensive. I often shop on boxing day for my siblings. It has become a big of a tradition as my children go to their dads on boxing day I wander around the shops and get  any bits that I can put away for next year (wrapping paper, crackers etc) and find a little present for my brothers and sisters. We set an agreement years back that we would no longer buy for each other- when you have 3 sisters and 3 brothers and then the nephews and neices start appearing Christmas can become a real issue. Instead we try and focus on having fun and enjoying our large family.

    So there you have it, half of my Christmas shopping is done already, can I focus enough to get the rest done in the next 27 days? I certainly hope so as I really like the idea of a no shop December. We can then spend December being Christmassy and doing things such as enjoy the local Christmas festival that kicks off Decemdber each year, going to Winter Wonderland my sisters are all joining us this year, the pantomime (when I get round to booking it) and all those other Christmassy things I always plan to do but not manage because I'm rushing trying to finish the shopping.

    Friday, 2 November 2012

    London again!

    Yep today we have been back to London. Today it was a girl's trip as Dylan didn't want to join us. Stephanie has been learning about the Great fire of London at school and so wanted to go to the Monument. We climbed all 311 stairs to the top. The views at the top were amazing I didn't like the stairs though; they were spiral and very narrow it was difficult to get 2 adults past each other on them. I was fine going up but by the time I got to the bottom I had Jelly legs! Pleased we did it though and Stephanie is made up. We then had a walk up Pudding lane before heading to the Museum of London to see their Great fire exhibition.

    We had a lovely frugal day. We paid to go up the monument the princely sum of £4.50 for both of us, I saved money on the train fare as the very gentleman at the ticket office told me I did not need the travel card for Stephanie as she is free on the underground she could just have a return to St Pancras this saved me about £1.

    This was our lunch for the day;

    It was more appetising out of the bags! We had cheese spread sandwiches, veg sticks, home made cake, pears and a bag of crisps. We took drinks with us as well so had no extra costs there.

    The museum was free so not bad for a day in London including the train fares I spent around £23.

    Making bracelets on the train

    At the top of the Monument

    Very proud at the bottom with her certificate

    When we got home I cooked us up a quick dinner then we watched some TV and I continued with knitting the new cardigan for Stephanie. She paid more attention today and realised I was knitting something pink and then picked up the pattern, so I guess it is no longer a surprise for her LOL
    Am off to bed now I have a busy day tomorrow swimming lessons begin again at 9 am that means half term is over, then we need to go to the allotment, off to church in the afternoon and then the evening we are off to our local free fireworks display.
    I also plan on joining SFT in her Christmas shopping organisation this year- I will post more on that tomorrow as too tired to prep for that now :-)

    Thursday, 1 November 2012


    I have really enjoyed this half term, I feel I have really recharged my batteries. I have spent time with family, I have watched TV and I have done some crafting. I have managed some school work too rather than sitting at the desk solidly for a day or two trying to achieve it all in one go I have done an hour or so in the morning whilst waiting for children to get up and about and then if I have a little spare time though the day I have nipped in and done a little work. This has been made possible by Dylan clearing his desk for me to use whilst he has gone to spend a few days with his dad. I guess when my sister has been able to move her belongings I am storing for her I need to set up a desk in my room as this has been a fantastic way for me to work.
    This morning Stephanie and I did some cooking. I made a vegetable soup with the pumpkin innards left from our carvings last night and Stephanie made some cakes. This afternoon Stephanie had a friend round to play and for tea. We went to a local indoor play place, whilst the children played I did some more paperwork for the first hour and then read a magazine for the last hour (we get 2 hours there). Then while the girls played I made our pizza for tea before taking the little girl home.
    I feel so relaxed today it's great, how has your day been?