Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Magpie Monday - Something for the kids

I know, I know it is Tuesday (Sorry Liz) but I was really super busy yesterday (re-designing my blog) and didn't get the time to link up so I'm a day late for Magpie Monday. This week my 11 year is the star of the show as I dragged her down to the charity shop kicking & screaming "Please Mum...Don't make me go!" I'm just evil and forced the poor girl to go. However, my pushiness paid off as with her pocket money 'The Tween' purchased a mega blo pen kit for £2!

As she opened the box it looked as though it hadn't been used. The Tween was thrilled and said "Mum...The charity shop was quite good after all."

This kit was perfect for the half term and I have tons of new art work (In fact a whole black sack full!)

While I was in the shop rummaging I spotted this print in a frame. Now there is a bit of a story behind this print, you see my Mum bought one exactly the same (which I now have hanging in my kitchen) from a charity shop years ago and as soon as I saw it hanging on her wall I said "Oh Mum...that reminds me of Granddad's shop!!!!" The fact that it is a corner shop, the colour of the windows & doors, the style of the doors and the trolley parked outside, everything about it screamed Granddad's Shop (You can read about Granddad's shop here). Mum smiled, "That's exactly why I bought it!"

So I spotted another copy for £1 and just couldn't leave it behind.

Pop over to Me and My Shadow for more Magpie Bargains.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Listography - Finals

Kates Listography is being hosted by one another blogger this week and that blogger (Keith) writes one of my favourite Blogs - Chronicles of a Reluctant Housedad and he came up with a great theme that certainly got my brain cells fired up.

In Keiths words: "So, after much head-scratching and several pints of Doombar, the best I’ve come up with for this week’s Listography is: FINALS Here’s the premise. A couple of weeks ago we were told the world was going to end. It didn’t (did it? have I missed something?) so The End has now been re-scheduled to December 21 2012. That leaves us with 18 months to prepare our Final Farewells, Final Suppers, Final Words, Final Destinations, Final Resting Places, Final Shags and lots, lots more. SO WHAT WOULD YOUR 5 FINALS BE?"

So my 5 Finals are:

1) Final Supper - Would have to be a big fat Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. A selection of meats, Roasted spuds, parsnips, carrots, suede, sprouts, pigs in blankets, stuffing. Followed by either banoffee or chocolate cheesecake with a dollop of Ben & Jerrys cookie dough...Mmmmmmm not good to fantasize about food when on a diet.

2) Final Words - "Didn't we have a Blast!" I'd Thank my Kids for being sooooo Brilliant, for completing my life and tell them how proud I am of them all (including my Granddaughter and her Mummy). Then I would Thank Papa for being the absolute love of my life, for knowing just what I need (always), for loving me so much & for so long and for taking good care of me. Followed by lots of 'love you's'. I would also want to tell my five Brothers how much I love them all.

3) Final destination - Without hesitation it would be a cottage in Appledore, North Devon. This place is so special to me & Papa...Appledore healed our broken hearts after we lost my Mum. Appledore changed our lives and our total outlook on life.

4) Final Party - I'd renew mine and Papa's wedding vows on the beach. It would be themed as The Wizard of Oz with everyone dressed up as the characters from the movie. We would have a massive beach party afterwards down in Devon for everyone we know. The weather would be warm and sunny, the music playing, BBQ burning and everyone would be having the time of their lives.

5) Final Act of Intimacy -  Would of course be with my family. They are what my life has all been about. I would be cuddling our Babies with Papa beside me as he always is.

Pop over To Reluctant Housedad for more Finals.

Silent Sunday

Friday, 27 May 2011

Flashback Friday - Our Grandad

Some of my fondest childhood memories were spent at our Granddad's shop in East London. Grandad (Mums Dad) was a Greengrocer and he had two shops in the East end. He was a big happy rosy cheeked character originally from Southern Ireland and he never lost his strong Irish accent.

When I was a child I loved fruit and it was all I would eat. Mum struggled to get me to eat anything else so having Grandparents who owned a fruit & veg shop was very exciting for me. I Loved being at the shop. I remember the smell of dusty potatoes, Nan's meticulous rows of tinned peas, the clunk of the scales as carrots were being weighed,, bananas hanging from their hooks, rows and rows of shiny apples, Grandad in his immaculate white overalls serving his many loyal customers. Customers he always went that extra mile for. Everyone loved Grandad and no-one more than his own family.

I have many many cousins and every one of us have our own special memories of him. He would always take time to tell us stories about his life growing up on the family farm in Ireland. One story that sticks in my mind is how he would catch salmon as a boy with his bare hands. It is probably where I get my interest in the survival experts from ie: Ray Mears & Bear Grylls. Grandad would tell us all the tricks of survival and his love of mother earth.

The photo above is Grandad in his Shop. I love it and have recently had it put on to a canvas hanging over my fire place. The photo below is Grandad in the middle surrounded by one of my uncles, my Brothers and some of my Cousins during the early 1990's. Sadly we lost our wonderful Grandad to Alzheimer's about ten years ago.

A Grandad we all miss so much.

Pop over to Cafe Bebe for more fab Flashbacks.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Gallery - My Backyard

For this weeks Gallery I couldn't use just one photo for my backyard so I have a gallery of photo's to show you around where I spend most of my time when I'm not Blogging, sewing, crocheting or doing the housework.


This first photo is where I sit to drink my coffee's and eat my weight watchers grub (I'm on a diet).

Next is our fire pit that my lovely cousin bought for me last summer. Its fab and we use it a lot. And my little green house that one of my brothers and  second son bought for me.

Then we have the Hen House (Papa built it using old pallets)

I found this totem mask in a charity shop and hung it next to the Hen house to ward off the foxes...Touch wood, so far it has worked. I love native American stuff.

I also love wind chimes and have a couple of them jingling away in the garden. The sound relaxes me.

Here we have our winter log storage and BBQ area.

Last year Papa built the kids a tree house again from Pallet wood. The kids use it all the time.

And only just yesterday Papa put up a rope swing (no not for him for the kids). This meant moving that wooden base that I was having a summer house on but we have changed our minds and are moving it to another part of the garden as I want this end as a secret garden for the kids. Papa moved it last night and at the moment the trampoline is buried under it.

So that's a little look around my backyard. A backyard that is work in progress. Pop over to Sticky Fingers for more Backyards.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Listography - Five Albums by Bands

Listography this week over at Kate Takes 5 is Five albums by Bands. Hands down this is my most difficult Listography so far. I have sooooo many favourite albums by different bands that it is impossible to just choose five so I've decided to take you back to the eighties when I first started listening to rock bands.

1) Ultimate favourite rock album ever is ACDC - Who Made Who. I love this album so much and I have many many memories of getting tiddly and head banging around mine & Papa's bedsit. Soooo wish we had camera phones back then it would be hilarious to look back on now.

2) Pink Floyd - The Wall. C'mon how many people haven't listened to this album. I used to know all the words to all the tracks but nowadays my brain is more than a little fuzzy.

3) Meatloaf - Bat out of Hell - Another great album with lots of memories attached from the past 25 or so years as it is still a regular favourite so I guess it will still keep producing memories for us in our house.

4) Def Leppard - Hysteria - Papa introduced me to Def Leppard back in 1987/88 when he played a video tape to me of 'pour some sugar on me', I was hooked immediately. We idolised Def Leppard so much so that Papa and my eldest Brother even ripped their bleached jeans to shreds just like our hero Joe Elliot.

Wit Woo...Sexy! Hahahaha They probably really do not appreciate being reminded of their fashion choices of the eighties. Papa even had a vest exactly the same as the one Joe Elliot (below) is wearing....

5) Inxs - Kick - I loved this album and listened to it over and over...another one I would party hard too (Back in the day!).

Pop over to the Lovely Kate at Kate Takes Five and check out everyone Else's Lists.

Powermat Review

I was very excited to have been asked to review a brand new gadget called the Powermat. Mr Postman knocked on my front door and I was very pleased to  receive a bundle of various accessories to try. Papa  and the Teenagers swarmed around me like hunny to the bee as I carefully unwrapped the package...I did feel awfully important even though I realised it wasn't actually me they were interested in...It was the powermat.

Never heard of a Powermat before? Well neither had I until this opportunity arose, basically the powermat is wireless charging unit for a multitude of different devices including iPhone, Blackberry and Nintendo DSi to name a few. The product is extremely slick, compact, light weight and looks impressive on our home office area and even on our kitchen worktop.

You can charge three items at once using the powermat which means only one wire to the plug socket. So how does that work?

Well, the answer is pretty simple. You pop a special powermat receiver onto the back of your device which then enables you to drop and charge onto any powermat.

Once fully charged the device has an auto shut off which saves us energy. Communication between the mat and your mobile device delivers an exact amount of power so it guarantee's no power wastage.

Receivers available at the moment are for the iphone, Blackberry, ipod touch, and Nintendo DS. However also available is an ipod docking station and a universal powercube with a selection of interchangeable tips that allow you to wirelessly charge hundreds of different mobile devices. How many times have you had guests over and the batteries on their phones have died? Well with one of these gadgets you can charge it for them with no problem...Very cool indeed.

Also available is a portable, fold up powermat and separate complete powermats for the iPhone and Blackberry's. We tried the iphone 4 charging system and it is very easy to use. Pop the back receiver onto your phone and it has its own powermat to enable drop and charge.

A very stylish gift for the person who has everything because these are so new out that the chances are they haven't got one of these yet.
Pro's -

*Stylish, sleek appearance which appeals to any electronic gadget lover, especially the teenagers in our house... In fact their exact words were " Pretty flash looking!"

*It makes a really cool futuristic sound as you drop your device onto the mat (this sound can be switched of if you prefer not to hear it).

*If you are stuck for a gift idea for someone who has everything then I'm pretty sure one of these would be very much appreciated.

*Convenient as there is no need to mess about plugging in wires...just drop and charge.

*Tidy with no tangled mess of wires.

Con's -

*I must honestly say we all loved this product, however there is a con and that is it's a little bit pricey.

Home & office Powemat - £69.99
Universal powercube - £29.99
Blackberry Receivers - £29.99
iPhone 4 complete charging system (Receiver & mat) - £49.99
DS receiver - £29.99

Would I buy the mat and the receivers? Honest answer is Yes...Not a very Frugal gift I know but I would buy them for for my very 'difficult to please' teenagers for birthdays or Christmas. In fact we will be purchasing a DS receiver and ipod docking station, so yes it was a hit in our house.
Available to buy here

*This product was sent to me free of any charge for the purpose of this review. As a family we always give an honest and genuine opinion.*

Vintage Goodies for £1.50

I was very pleased with my bargains this week, I have won a pair of vintage 1950's yellow rose curtains for my bedroom on ebay but they haven't arrived yet, I'll show you those next week.

Anyway at the charity shop this week the first thing I spotted was an old alarm clock. As you know I am in the process of collecting vintage things for my bedroom and I wanted a clock that ticks. This one does just that and a bargain at £1.50.

I have a really old plate rack on my kitchen wall that was pine and it has little china, hand painted pull out drawers. I am in the middle of painting it sky blue and I have started collecting blue and pink vintage plates to display on my rack once finished. I picked up this 'Windsor' China one again a bargain at £1.50.

Lastly I have a thing for vintage clothes airers (or clothes horses as I usually call them)...Have no idea why but I just like them. Anyway I couldn't buy this one fast enough. "How much, How much???" I shouted without sounding too keen "£1.50!" the lady replied. Woohoo, It was safe to report that I was thrilled!

Pop over to Me and My Shadow for more bargains
Me and My Shadow

I am also linking up to Apron Thrift Girl


Friday, 20 May 2011

Flashback Friday - He Aint Heavy, He's My Brother

This is photo was taken around 1984/5. I was about 15 and Mum had got a photographer round to the house to take a family photo of me and my younger Brothers. I do actually have five Brothers but the youngest wasn't born at the time of this photo being taken.
Mum had this photo in a frame in our TV room for years and I would cringe everytime I walked past it "Oh Mum, Please take that terrible photo down...I look awful in it!" Mum would laugh and say "Well, I like it so, No!"
Check out the cardboard Flick which probaly had half a can of super hold hairspray on it and I even used to tong it to curl like that. The dress was one of those baggy shirt dress we all used to wear with a belt in the middle and white scrunchy boots. It was my favourite outfit at the time.

Now Im a parent I totally understand why Mum liked the photo so much...I might just put it in a frame myself now as I no longer cringe when I see it...I just remember good times at home with My Brothers.

Pop over to the Lovely Karin at Cafe Bebe for some more Flashbacks.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Handmade Thursday - Kitchen curtains and Bunting

Its been a while since I joined in with White Lily Green's Handmade Thursday mainly because I haven't really been making because I've been super busy in the garden. Anyway last week I painted my Kitchen pink and needed some new curtains so I made some using some gorgeous fabric made by prestigious.

I also decided to make some bunting to match. I love how they look together.

Pop over to White Lily Green for some more Handmades
Inspire Me Beautiful

Dear Granddaughter

Dear Our Five year old Granddaughter,

Today I want to tell you ten things that I Love about you.

1) You bring sunshine - Everytime you come to stay during school holidays you bring sunshine. I have no idea how the hell you do it but you just do

2) Your Fashion advice - I appreciate your advice on fashion but Nanny really can't wear six inch killer heels and pink glittery eyeshadow really doesn't suit Grandad.

3) You make us laugh - The funny little things you say have us in absolute stitches, especially when you copy Grandad's sayings ie: "Holy monkey nuts!" Makes me laugh everytime.

4) The swing park - I think if you could live at the park you would and I have regained my love of swing park trips (Not that you have my arm twisted up my back or anything).

5) Your bedtime stories - I'm soooo relieved to discover I'm not the only child to get a thrill from telling horror stories at age five. I always thought maybe I had a warped sense of imagination, but no...now I know I was just normal and its funny that Grandad gets spooked and has nightmares, lol!

6) How you remind me of your Daddy - When you are around I feel like I have been transported back to when your Daddy was five...you look so like him.

7) You are more perfect than I ever imagined you would be - When me and Grandad were first married and we spoke about one day having Grandchildren we never anticipated the heart bursting love we would feel for you and how special our relationship would be.

8) You remind me how tidy my house usually is - When you are here I let you pull all the toys out, all the shoes, all the art box, rearrange Nanny's photo frames on the mantel and play with my Russaian dolls. Last time you stayed I couldn't find my mobile phone for nearly a month then laughed as we discovered it in a little toy handbag and the bottom of the wardrobe.

9) Your memory - God, I wish I had a memory like yours and I have never ever met another kid with one so good...not ever! That will sure help during future A level exams!

10) Your plastic toy heels - clink, clunk, clink, clunk as we walk to the shops because you insist on wearing them everywhere we go (even in winter with socks on). Makes me laugh as you wiggle along with your handbag swinging...although they are NOT a good idea to ride your bike in!

We Love you so much!

Linking up to Mama Kat's Here.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The Gallery - Mustachioed

This photo for Sticky Fingers The Gallery was taken about 18 years ago. It is my second Son and he was about two years old. I was always quite strict with giving the kids chocolate and sweets and never gave them milk chocolate although not so now, the kids have worn me down with the constant begging for choccy...yes I'm weak. Anyway my cousin was visiting one day and brought with her a carrier bag of goodies for Papa (He is a chocoholic). Leaving the bag on the kitchen floor we went out into the back garden. We were sitting and chatting for about five minutes when my cousin suddenly started laughing "I think someone has found the chocolate!" The poor kid looked deprived as he shovelled in the chocolate bar in the process giving himself a chocolate moustache...was so funny and a fond memory.


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