Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 - A picture review

January


February



March



April



May



June



July



August



September



October



November



December


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas 2013

I think that our Christmas this year can be summed up in three words.......family and food!!!! Just the way it should be.......











What makes Christmas special for you??


Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas decorations and memories

You know it's funny the things that set you off on a trip down memory lane. About 10 years ago when I moved into my old house, I put all of my Christmas decorations down in the cellar. 10 months later when I went to decorate the house for Christmas I realised that actually the cellar was damp and all of my Christmas decorations were ruined.It wasn't the end of the world but I was so sad that everything that I'd collected over the years wasn't able to be saved.

I remember that my gorgeous American Sister sent me my first 'new' decoration of a singing Elvis to start trying to replace what I'd lost. I went out and bought 3 standard, cheap boxes of baubles. Over the last 10 years I have replaced them one by one and so this year for the first year since that Christmas I actually have a tree full of decorations that are special. 

When my Grandma was alive, I used to love sitting by her Christmas tree, enjoying the decorations, trying to spot any presents that might be for me and just enjoying my Grandparents........I know that sounds schmalzy but they were awesome and loved Christmas!! From being about 15, I always said that when my Grandma died I wanted her decorations and the year before she decided out with the old and in with the new and gave them to me then. I've never wanted to have them on display in case they got broken which I've decided is completely ridiculous. This year for the first time in a long time I've put one of each on the tree. Just hanging them on the tree fills me with joy and sadness and I can't stop looking at them and thinking about how amazing Christmas was as a child. These are my lovely inherited decorations:



As I said I also am now lucky enough to have various other memories. The first decoration that me and 'the man' bought together:


The one that makes me smile and think of Megan & Courtney's wedding every year:


Ones with Chick's name on that we've collected over the years and a new one for this year made by a very talented friend of mine that owns Mary Lou Swirls:


What's your favourite Christmas memory??

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Homemade Advent Calendar

I've seen a lot written recently about home made advent calendars and some bloggers saying that those of us who have made them are showing up the rest of the world! I'm sure after you've seen mine you'll agree I'm showing up no-one ;-) 

Chick has always had an advent calendar but mainly the crappy chocolate ones. The reason for this is twofold but the main reason is that they cost at most £2.99 for a kids one and that's always been in my price range. For a couple of years I've been looking at buying a nice one that I can fill with sweets but that seems kind of pointless when I can stick with my £2.99 usual job. This year however I've taken the bull by the horns and gone all out......

I can't remember where I got the idea but I think Emma from Me, The Man & Baby was the first to make me say 'oh, what a great idea' so she's getting the blame!!!

Chick is massive fan of reading, and the library and I can't keep up with her, so I decided to make her a literary advent calendar. I started off with a trawl around the local charity shops and got an amazing stash for very little cash:


Then I rescued this crappy box from the rubbish bin at work and found some of last year's wrapping paper:


After many, many hours of wrapping I ended up with this:


It doesn't look quite how I envisaged it and when I was still up at 1am wrapping the box and presents I did think about sacking it off and just giving her the books for Christmas. 

It was all made worthwhile when she told me that I was the coolest Mum ever.........certainly not something that gets said very often around these parts! I may never do it again but I'm hoping when she gets older that even if it looked crap, I certainly made some effort towards this Christmas cheer lark!!!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Chick's 11th Birthday

My gorgeous, mahoosive Chick turned 11 last week. I know that I'm getting old because I'm wondering where the hell the last 11 years went! Chick decided that she wanted a '1950's diner party' and I think we might have just pulled it off:


(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Finally.......

......I've moved!! Yay......I no longer live in the Ghetto! After 10 years I have moved up and out. We now live in 'the house on the hill' in a relatively small village. It's AWESOME! There are no fights in the street, no drug dealing (that I've seen anyway), no police always hanging around trying to arrest people!

So we live in the house on the hill. It's soooooo quiet. The first few days after we moved in I was wondering what the strange noise was outside (my hearing is shocking btw!!) and it was the wind rustling in the trees! Lol! You can tell I'm such a city girl really!

I have a view from my bedroom:


Of blue sky and flowers and greenery....it's so cool. Obviously I'd like to have much more time to lay in bed and stare at this view but I've only moved, not won the lottery. The Village is pretty cute too. We have a village well and an old windmill:



Definitely the best thing about living here is that we are right in the National Forest and so the whole area is completely beautiful and full of views like this:


I definitely think I'm going to like it here :-)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Bingo - abroad and at home!

Guest Post
 
Image by  Ed Yourdon 
Playing bingo isn’t something I’d ever done until a few months ago. It was a game I always knew about, but I have to admit I’d always thought of myself as being too young to play bingo – it being a game that my Gran and her friends used to play every week.

But while we were on holiday at one of those resort hotels where they have different activities planned for every afternoon, the kids persuaded me to join in the bingo game that was going on by the poolside. Without me, they couldn’t play, as the prize on offer was a bottle of champagne! So we each took a card and started listening out for our numbers. I was surprised how much fun it actually was, but I thought the sunshine and the sangria in my glass was more responsible than the game! None of us won, but it was fun anyway.
 
I thought nothing more about bingo until a little while after we’d got back to gloomy and rainy Britain, when I was flitting around the internet with no particular purpose. An ad caught my eye offering the chance to play free bingo – and I do love it when I can play a game for free that offers real cash as a prize – no matter how small the prize might be. So I gave it a try. You have to sign up to a bingo site to play the free games, but you don’t have to put money down to play on many of the bingo sites out there. If you play free bingo with Costa Bingo, you could even have the chance of winning a guaranteed £10,000 jackpot on its weekly Costa Crazy free game on a Friday night.


 And it turns out it wasn’t just the sun and sangria that made the game fun. Bingo is a great game when you want something that’s entertaining and easy to play. That’s exactly what I need when I’ve got the kids to bed and there’s nothing I want to watch on TV. When I don’t necessarily feel that I’ve got the energy to get any of my various craft projects out, it’s great to just login to one of the bingo sites and see what games are about to start. There’s always a game on somewhere, and you can often find other players to chat to in the bingo chat rooms – nice to have a game that you can share with others.
 

 The big plus of playing online is that the software marks the numbers off for you – so you don’t need to concentrate on the numbers, leaving you free to chat away at your leisure! And, of course, the prizes are much bigger and better than that bottle of champagne we didn’t win on holiday!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Back to School

So as per usual I'm 3 weeks behind everyone else at everything including posting the very cute 'first day of school' picture. My girl is in her last year of primary (sob) and although taller I think she still looks just as cute:


Proper posts to follow as soon as life stops kicking my arse :-) x

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Herbert Museum, Coventry.

We were running around doing errands in the car the other day listening to the radio and heard an advert for an exhibition at the Herbert Museum in Coventry. The exhibition is called 'Through the Rabbit Hole' and is the original drawings/prints from Alice in Wonderland.

It was Mr.E's birthday weekend so after doing this yesterday:


We thought we'd take a trip to Coventry and check out the exhibition and maybe the Cathedral if we had time. It's quite expensive for the 5 of us to go anywhere so we normally take a picnic with us.....this was our view from the picnic spot:


Then we headed to the Museum, which is handily right next door to the Cathedral! It's a fab museum, bright and airy with loads of things to keep the kids occupied. I wish that we would've gone for the whole day but it just means we'll have to make a return visit. 

You aren't actually allowed to take pictures of the exhibitions but they provided a free quiz sheet for the kids to make the most of the exhibition and also had a creative 'Alice' room where we had lots of fun:




There was also a Quentin Blake exhibition so we got to look around that too. The best thing about the museum for me was that it was really kid friendly and it was also FREE! Always a bonus when you have three kids with you. The kids verdict? Well they would have spent all day outside the museum doing this:



My one tip would be to take a towel or change of clothes if the weather is nice! Definitely well worth a visit if you live in the area.

* I haven't been paid or asked to write this review but we had a lot of fun and wanted to recommend it to others :-)

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

(Almost) Ready to Move

Chick and I have lived in our current house for ten years. Although not ideal now it's been a brilliant house for us during this time. Just big enough for the two of us, a reasonable sized garden big enough to fit in the trampoline and paddling pool, close to town and the park (which was amazing before I passed my driving test!). Of course the downside to being close to town is all the noise of inebriated people passing by at silly o'clock.

Now that I'm with the Man and we have 3 children between us, we desperately need to move. His house is no good because it's too far away from all of my lovely friends and work, and mine is no good because we can't fit the 5 of us in the front room let alone to sleep!

The talk around here for weeks has been about moving. What kind of mortgage can we afford? Where do we want to live? What will our new house look like? I've started trying to declutter and pack non-essential in the hope that the perfect house will just fall into our lap! 

As I get older (not necessarily wiser!) I think that I would like to move back to a Village. 

I would like the kids to be able to play out in the Street without me worrying that they are going to get knocked down. 

I would like to actually talk to more than one neighbour and maybe even be wild and share a cuppa with them.

I'd like the kids to get a feeling of community which we just don't have in our current Street.

Chick would be able to love to walk or bike to school.

Mainly I crave the peace and quiet. How nice would it be to not hear incessant traffic?

What would your ideal house be like?

*This is a sponsored post but the words and all mine :-)