Thursday 31 December 2015

The Big Give - 1/366 - FINISHED


It's item 1 of The Big Give.

First up is a vintage copy of The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith.
You read about it Here.

I now have a digital copy on my kindle so no longer need to own the hard copy.
I'm not sure how old it is but it has a nice vintage look and feel about it. It's also quite small, making it perfect for your handbag or backpack.

I will estimate P&p to be  £2 payable however.
Any takers?

X x z

If not claimed within a week I will be donating it to a local charity shop.

New Years Eve

It was a beautiful day down south, a touch blowy but nothing major.
It was far to nice to stay inside so we took advantage of our new annual passes for Staunton Farm.

We spent a few happy hours visiting the animals. Our pass came with a voucher for free animal food which was great fun for the girls. They were both pretty brave and petted anything that came within reach.

DD1 enjoyed taking a few pictures on her new camera (Thank you Nanny and Grandad). Usually she's more of an observer than a toucher, we were really impressed with her bravery.

DD2  loved squelching through all the farm mud.
In fact when we returned to the car we ended up stripping their trousers and shoes due to the layers of mud. They both thought it was hilarious being driven home in tshirt and pants. 

Mr G in his customary style decided to snuggle deep in his snow suit and sleep through it all. 
Maybe he'll join in on our next visit eh?

Happy New Year to all my lovely readers and followers! 

X x x

Tuesday 29 December 2015

It's all gone wonky

I didn't post yesterday. I didn't DARE! 
First I made a cake with plain flour instead of self raising!
Then I made pasta and meatballs bake. Without meatballs, they were still in the fridge!
And to top it all off I dropped a packet of 25,000 seed beads on the carpet while trying to open it for DD1. 

They say things come in threes but I just didn't trust myself to do anything else that day!

Today has been lots better I'm pleased to say. We spent the afternoon hosting the in laws. It was our 3rd and final Christmas day.
MIL even managed to take a nice snap of the five of us together. Which I believe is the first time it's ever been sucessful.
Definitely a better day!

X x X

Sunday 27 December 2015

Testing, testing, 1,2,3

I'm having a quick test of my Big Give idea.
Test item 1 is a set of three little stamps by Anita's.
They are pretty cute but I'm just not a stamping kinda girl.
I'd love to see these guys go to a crafty type blogger who does stamp. Perhaps someone who could even show me a beautiful creation made using them?

The stamps are Size A (if you know stamps that makes sense?) And the label says 2002, so I'm guessing I've owned these a while.

Want them? Pop me a comment and I will pick one random person to receive them shortly in the post.
As this is a test post I will cover the postage myself.
If you do decide to blog about them/create with them, please please send me a link and I will add it to my Big Give page.
Who wants to play?

X x X

Oranges ARE the only fruit

I have six rather ripe oranges in my kitchen that need using up.
The rest of the Christmas fruit has been happily gobbled up and I'm not in an orange eating mood really. Soooooo what can we make this happy sextet into?

I'm planning to make my nans delicious Austrian Orange Cake with the girls tomorrow, which should use up two of them 
But I'm not sure on the other four. 
Suggestions welcome....

X x x

P.S -  Please check out my new blog page. You find on Mobile view by clicking Home and selecting The Big Give.

Saturday 26 December 2015

Boxing Day

I actually quite enjoy boxing day. It's a great day for pottering about and thinking about the coming year. Today I have mostly been putting together toys for girls, and untwisting lots of wire holding things to cardboard.
I found a little time after lunch to pot up my three amerylis bulbs, one from each of the small people.
All the bulbs had started growing in their boxes which is a good sign of sucess.
I look forward to watching then grow and flower.

I also had a little brainwave thanks to DD1 today.
I was starting to colour in a page from one of my lovely new books when she plonked herself beside me to watch. 
"That's very beautiful, it looks like wrapping paper"
And a little light bulb turned on in my head. Because it would make great wrapping paper for little gifts. What a great way to enjoy a hobby AND have a useful product at the end of it! 
I will start building up a little collection of paper ready for the march birthdays.

X x x

Friday 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my lovely readers. 
We have had the most wonderful family day celebrating Christmas.
The children have been rather spoiled, and so have the adults to be honest.
I hope it was the same in your homes.

I will be spending the evening in the bathtub trying out some new toiletries, reading old housekeeping books and sipping sherry, before slipping on my lovely new fluffy jammies.

X x X

Thursday 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve with the Randoms

I actually don't like Christmas Eve very much. Your surrounded by all these lovely things you can't eat, drink or touch till tomorrow!
Add in three over excited kiddies trying to trash the place and sneak goodies away from kitchen! It's just a disaster.
However I am consoling myself with craft projects.
Today I finished a cross stitched card and finally sewed up a pair of knitted trousers for Gman.

I also sewed a few ribbon hairbands using the wonderful Brandy's page here

I took advantage of some free child labour while  D was willing.

And finally said a sad farewell to the elves. 
Yesterday they bought us felt tip pens and colouring pages.

This morning they said their farewells by letter and gifted the girls some DVDS. 
They have arranged to catch a lift with Father Christmas later this evening.
I look forward to seeing them again next year.

X x X

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Another day another grotto....

We managed to visit with Father Christmas again this morning. The original plan was to see him yesterday but the weather was abysmal and no one seemed in the mood to leave the house.

Today's grotto was run by the local council. They really go all out to make it special. Everyone was dressed as elves or snowmen, inside there are lights and displays to discover while you wait your turn.

Every Child gets a badge, a gift and a Christmas card written out to them. Father Christmas even knows what you would like already as if by magic (parents are asked as you buy tickets and kiddies are distracted).
DD1 was very pleased to hear his elves have almost finished her mermaid barbie.

And last but not least the elves! Today they decided to dress up in costumes from the dressing up rail. 
 I'm actually quite sad they are almost finished for the year, we've really enjoyed thinking up adventures each day. 

X x X

Sunday 20 December 2015

A Christmas themed day (+ Elves)

So this morning we discovered our tree had be redecorated once again.
This time those naughty elves (with Daddies help) had raided the laundry pile for (Clean! ) underpants and hung them up. The naturally adored the idea!

After a quiet morning at home, we ate our lunch and headed out. 
First we visited with Father Christmas himself and possibly the world's best photographer ever.
How he managed all three looking at the camera AND with nice smiles, is a minor miracle!

Next we went to Keydales to see their winter woodland walk.  It's a beautiful free attraction at a local garden centre, full of life sized moving snowmen and twinkly lights. 
We all really enjoyed it.

They also have a few animals staying with them for the festive period like this beautiful reindeer. There was also Kuna Kuna pigs, goats and donkeys.
It made for a great few hours and barely cost us a penny (just charitable donations)


Saturday 19 December 2015

Lazy Days and Elves.

Today has been deliciously lazy. Hubby was working till early evening so it was just me and my three small humans for the day. To celebrate the first day of half term I gifted them myself for the day.
Other than the essentials (nappies, potty training, feeds etc) I left myself completely free to play.
It was lovely to spend a whole day without using the phrase 'let me just finish .....'

During nap time and general periods of quiet I worked on a little cross stitch card from my stash.
Hubby very kindly treated me to a job lot of card kits at an online auction. This pile should keep me quite entertained for a while!

This morning the elves gave the girls an activity book each. I enjoyed helping them with the puzzles and playing the board game inside. 
Hubby is in charge of them again tonight so who knows what might happen!

X x x

Thursday 17 December 2015

Prepping for Christmas break

Tomorrow is officially the last day of school. They won't be back until 2016!
I've spent some time today prepping for the next two weeks.
This morning (between nativities) I managed to make a few repairs to the dressing up stash.
As the saying goes 'a stitch in time saves nine', hopefully it will also save tears.

I have also taken the opportunity to print off various worksheets for DD1. A letter from her school has asked us to focus on the days of week (names, order and spelling), the months of the year (as before), and the numbers 1-20 (words and spelling).
I've found a whole host of worksheets and activities on Pinterest so hopefully we can make great progress on them.

Even the elves are prepping by setting up a naughty breakfast for the girls tomorrow.
I promise we usually eat a much healthier breakfast each morning, but it's the last day of term AND it's Christmas.
So pfffttt.


Girls room part 1 - organising clothes

Have you seen these fab over the door hangers they sell in Poundland? 
They are a bargain and a half! And so useful too.

I  grabbed two for the girls bedroom along with a pack of coat hangers. 
A quick Google search found some pretty and free printable wardrobe tags. (I found mine here)

And voila. Monday to Friday outfits completely organised and ready for next week. 
If I can get into the habit of setting these up each weekend then my mornings will be much smoother events! 
I can even hang the weekends outfits on the hook underneath or add their swimming stuff bags etc.

£3 very well spent I think!

X x X

X x

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Good for you 'elf

This mornings the elves were found playing in the girls play kitchen.
It took us a little while to find them as they haven't switched rooms for a while.

Tonight they were back to their high jinx in the lounge.  It's been a while since I got to use spray snow. I forgot how smelly it is!
Looking forward to seeing the girls find this one tomorrow.

X x X

How to gift potted plants - tutorial

I picked up these two pretty plants in the local branch of Poundland. They are just the perfect size and prettiness for this year's teacher gifts. However I want to dress them up a touch ready for gifting.
 And in case you also feel the urge to dress up a pot plant here's a little photo tutorial.

Find a piece of A4 paper thats pretty. I've used a page of sheet music but you could use scrapbook paper, tissue paper or even good ole newspaper.
You also need scissors, tape and some ribbon.
(If you don't have ribbon you could use lace or hairy string instead)

Roll the piece of paper around your plant from one corner to the diagonal corner. Tape in place.
Flatten the overlapping paper on the bottom of the pot, fold into a point. Fold the point back up and tape.
(Try and tape things on the same part of the pot so it's neater at the front)

Try a ribbon around the pot and make a nice looking bow or knot. Tape it at the back to secure it (especially if your trusting a 5 year old to gift it!)

VoilĂ . Poundland pot plants dressed up for gifting.

X x X

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Elf updates

I completely forgot to update our last few elf activities with you! Now I KNOW I was tired after the Carol service.
On Sunday morning we woke to find a new letter from the elves and decorations everywhere.

The girls really enjoyed working their way around the rooms trying to spot everything. 

This morning the elves wanted a movie night. They even provided the snacks and film, bless their little hearts.
We're all watching it together as I type under a big fluffy blanket. 


Monday 14 December 2015

Feelin' Christmassy

I'm afraid not one of my photos from this evenings Carol concert has been successful!
So if you could imagine a few and add in my kids that'd really help a blogger out.
Make me a few pounds slimmed too if you don't mind ;)
The carols went really well. It wasn't a huge turnout due to the weather but we made the best of it. There was a nice mixture of classic hymns and a few of the more modern pop style tracks. The brass band just made the entire thing ten times better. Christmas just isn't Christmas without a brass band at least once per season.
On the way home we decided to take the long long route to look for Christmas lights. We saw some lovely houses and happily ended up near a chippy.
so we all indulged in good ole fish and chips for tea, eaten straight from wrapper in front of the telly.
It's been good cheap fun.

X x x

Sunday 13 December 2015

Sunday Baking (and elves)

What better way to spend a cold drizzly Sunday? Baking all afternoon with my girls while Baby G enjoyed some tummy time unmolested.

We made a tray of banana and chocolate flapjacks for the morning school runs. Flapjacks make a great breakfast if your on the run! 

We also made gingerbread (albeit with white sugar not brown) shapes to hang on the tree. Though I'm not too confident that many will make it to the hanging stage!

And finally here's a quick snap of last night's elf high jinxs. Adding their own special decoration to our Christmas tree. The girls thought it was hilarious when they spotted it this morning.

X x x