Firstly a very over-due THANK YOU to the lovely Sarah at http://moderncountrystyle.blogspot.com. Sarah held a give-away for three Farrow and Ball sample pots................and I won - my first ever win in Blogland!!! I haven't tried them out yet though as I am waiting for the warmer weather!
So now just some Christmas pictures to leave you with and some Christmas wishes to send you..............
HAVE A LOVELY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE AND ENJOY SOME QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR LOVED ONES!!
Hi everyone! I'm really aware of the fact that I need to do a new post - not just to update you on what I have been up to......but also to tell you about the first giveaway I have won!! So I will, very shortly I promise!
But firstly I need some urgent help! At the Children's Centre I work at, we have a little stall -which we set up for different seasons, for the children to play with. The children have a little till and we add bits like icecreams, deckchair etc in the summer and at the moment it is a garden centre. I want to make it Christmassy and so thought I could make it into a German Market type stall. My mum, bless her, is knitting her little fingers off making xmas puds and xmas cake but we cannot find a pattern anywhere for mince pies.................so if anybody could point us in the right direction (online) I would be most grateful!!!
Can't believe it is Monday again tomorrow - but have had a great weekend.
Yesterday, we went to my mother-in-laws via Ikea, Thurrock. Had to take a star light back and then discovered they had a lot of their xmas bits in a half price sale!! I didnt go mad, but re-bought the light (as original one didnt go together properly)and that had gone down to £6.49 instead of £12.99. Then got.....
Sorry, this isnt a very good picture - hopefully you can see the vintage type picture on this plant pot. This wasn't in the sale but was only £3ish
These packs of postcards were displayed in the room settings and looked really good. Had already decided I would buy a pack and then saw they had been reduced to 49p for pack of 5!!
These snowflake battery operated lights have suction pads on each light - so am thinking of putting them round a mirror - reduced to £1.79.
Then my mother-in-law suggested visiting Crews Hill, which is near her, in Enfield, North London. It is a long road filled with garden centres, and a few other large shops. It was very busy, probably because the weather was so nice, but we finally found parking. We spent over 2 hours there and only went in a pet shop (which even sold dogs!), a shop selling tropical fish(cant think of the name for this type of shop!!) and 2 large garden centres. The garden centres also had xmas sections, pretty household bits, books, food etc. I only made one purchase as it was quite expensive - even with my mother-in-law paying £20 towards it as a pressie.
So here it is............
It looks more magical in real life and is quite big!
One of the shops even had real reindeer!
And all the shops had old fashioned christmas music playing - it was a really lovely afternoon - with something for all of us.
Then today we went roller skating with the friends we suddenly bumped into again, after approx 8 years - when visiting secondary schools. Afterwards it was back to theirs for food, drinks and a natter.
Here are a few xmas bits I bought earlier in the week
Roll on 1st December, so I can start putting all this up - have so much stuff now, will prob take me till Xmas to do it! lol!
This week we have had Home Front Day at my daughter's primary school. This is the first year that they decided to bring the museum to the school........with a WWII Home Front bus complete with a 1940's living room, a shop, a bombed out street, air raid shelter and artefacts. There were also dressed up characters - like a warden who asked my daughter which house number she lived at and then showed her a pile of rubble, telling her that was her house and that she hadn't been seen for days!! She loved the whole experience and started to get a feel for what it would have been like - and I think getting involved in this way, made it more interesting - rather than just studying from a book.
The children dressed up as evacuees for the day, brought in a typical packed lunch and made and/or brought in artefacts to put together their own 1940's museum. I went with my dad to look round the museum and it was brilliant. It's amazing how much stuff is still knocking around from the war - there was lots of interesting bits and that was just from 3 classes of children. My daughter also wrote and tea-stained a letter that she wrote as if she was an actual evacuee sent to the countryside. I just wish I could have had a look in the bus too - but they were packing it all up when we went.
So as my title says...............would you have picked her to take home to your safe house in the country??
They are having a VE day party at the end of term, which they have to put together themselves. So I am going to try to get her a brown knitted cardigan from a charity shop before then, which will look better than the, last minute, cardigan we pulled out of the wardrobe!
Last Saturday -5th November- we went to my cousins wedding. It took weeks of buying clothes and returning clothes before we finally all had outfits, that fitted and co-ordinated, to wear. This is a picture of me before we left our house
I don't normally choose dresses (except if it is really hot in the summer) and have probably not worn tights since my wedding 15 years ago!! I'm not joking! But as soon as I saw this dress with its roses and net underskirts, I just loved it - and when I tried it on I actually felt good in it!
We had a lovely day and evening (although it seemed to go so quickly) and it was lovely catching up with family and having a good ole dance (I dont get out much!)
The happy couple
My mum and me
(sorry no piccies of hubby - he seemed to take all the photos!!)
The whole ceremony and reception was in Cooling Castle Barn, which was a beautful venue in the countryside of Rochester. In the evening they had a firework display - although it had started to rain by then.
Now the not so good end...............on the way home in the car, I must have been bitten by some rotten insect. By the time I got home, my leg was itchy and slightly swollen and by the next morning, angry and red looking! I had put antibiotic cream on it, as I am always suffering from skin infections, but as the day went on it was getting worse and worse. So we had to cancel our firework trip to Leeds Castle!! Luckily we have a minor injuries unit, who gave me anti-biotic capsules straight away. Im so glad I went, because on Sunday and Monday I could hardly walk (after taking the tablets) so without them I would have been even worse. I am now almost over it, just left with a bruised leg!! Definitely a day to remember!! Have a good weekend -x-
Last week we took advantage of the half term to have a well deserved family break.
We stayed in a cheap but comfortable Premier Inn in Hockley Heath, just outside Birmingham. The first day we visited Cadbury World.........yummy! We have been there once before long before the children were born but it has really changed. A lot more to it now, plus quite a few free samples too. We all really enjoyed it. However it was only a 3.5 hour visit(luckily we used Tesco vouchers rather than paying the £50 to get in), so in the afternoon we went to Stratford upon Avon. This was a really pretty place and we also visited a wizarding museum/shop which my Harry Potter fans really enjoyed. The only negative I would say was that I was a bit disappointed with the individual "pretty" shops that were there - or not there, should I say. The next day we went to Warwick but we couldn't find any nice shops there at all. Having visited 2 or 3 other castles this year, we didn't want to go to the castle, so moved on to Leamington Spa. Hooray - we hit jackpot! It was a nice place to walk around, plus had a Cargo shop and Store 21 (with nice house bits) as well as some good individual shops to browse. We only had one day that rained from start to finish, the rest were quite mild and sunny. All in all, it was a nice relaxing break.
I am now another year older. Sunday 16th was my birthday. I got lots of pretty cards (cupcakes seemed to be a popular theme), some money to spend on clothes and pretties and some pressies from my family.........
All those piccies make the reds look really orange but they are a darker red than that! They also got me some fairy lights that have little shades with red and white polka dots, and red flowers. Just trying to decide where in my living room to put them - as the lead isnt very long.
Since then I have bought lots of clothes and also treated myself to some more pretties for the living room from The Range.......
I added a bit of beige to the red and white scheme, to warm it up for the winter
I do love The Range, and dont mind spending some of my birthday pennies in there, when all this lot came to a grand total of £27!!! Bargain!
Now the other bit of celebrating............you may remember that I told you that my daughter was taking the dreaded Kent Test?! Well........
She passed!! We were so relieved and proud of her! We have already put in her choices for the grammar school she would like to go to - and her first choice is the same one as her brother goes to, so she is pretty much guaranteed a place there. Fingers crossed anyway, but we dont find out till next March!
Another reason to celebrate is because Bluewater is now going to start hosting some of the big exhibitions!! They have a new conference/events centre and are already advertising shows for next January - April. I have already booked tickets for the Stitch and Hobbycraft Show and am waiting for tickets to go on sale for the BBC Good food show they are hosting. They are also having a wedding show and a vitality show - and I am waiting for more to be released for later in the year!! Whoopie - and it is only about 30 mins drive from me!!
Just a general update on what we have been up to since my last post.
We have been busy doing day and evening tours round various non-selective and grammar schools. We get the results of daughters Kent Test on Monday -but because we then only have 2 weeks to make a decision on a school (and one week is halfterm) we have had to start the hunt now! Really wish we could find out the results before building up hopes!!
One bonus of these viewings, was that we bumped into a family that I used to meet at toddler group when daughter was 0-3, and had coffee mornings round each others houses with other mums too. We separated once children went to different nurseries on different days. This was all in Bexleyheath - about an hours drive away - where we used to live, and they have just moved down to the coast too! I couldnt get my head around the fact that I recognised her but it was in a totally different area to where I would have expected to see her!! Anyway numbers have been swapped and a meeting arranged! A few celebrations - on 4th was hubbys birthday, so had a nice meal from a lovely Greek restaurant in North London on the Saturday after the day, but on the actual evening he was on his own as we were looking round yet another school! The 5th was our 15th wedding anniversary - but this just kind of came and went with everything else that is happening at mo! And this Sunday - 16th is my birthday. Hope you are enjoying this lovely weather as much as I am!! It just makes you feel so happy doesn't it!? It's funny because we got married the day after hubbys birthday because he said that the weather was always good around his birthday and that his family always had a BBQ to celebrate (being Greek!) - def got that right this year!!
I have resigned myself to the fact that I might as well keep my 30 year old Chesterfield Sofas! They were my parents originally and then they were passed to me, when they updated theirs. I wanted new ones, just so that I could get a 3 seater, now that the family members are getting bigger - hubby and me are trying to lose a bit of weight.......but there is no stopping the 10 year old and 13 year old who are shooting up up up!!
Anyway, I have looked at a few and they are either not my style, not practical or too expensive. Added to the fact, that I do love my chesterfield and they are very "in" this season - particularly vintage bashed about ones! So as it is a red colour, I have changed my living room to suit. I decided to go for white and red rather than the cream I had originally. So I re-painted all my furniture white, changed the curtains for voile/muslins and bought some lovely wooden venetian blinds...............topped with some red accessories of course.............
I still need to make some more cushions - settees look a bit bare! and I want to get some nice new throws (would love a crochet red, pink and blue one actually - but dont know the best place to get one from!?)
I also need to cover the hardboard behind the electric fire and am thinking of covering it with a wallpaper to add a bit of colour - but again dont know which one. I tried a Cath one but it was more pink than red, so am now looking at a sample of this one................what do you think?
At one point, I tried to remove the border, before painting over the wallpaper - and failed miserably - but I have now found this lovely item to cover up the ripped section!!
I also bought a few bits from The Range (my fav!) the other day. They were actually Xmas and Halloween bits but this one didn't look Christmassy to me and looks lovely in my new colour theme
and here are the other bits
Am starting to look forward to doing some seasonal decorating!!!