Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen and Excellent Eleven

Birthday central at our house today.
T is celebrating being 16 and his thoughts are firmly on the future, leaving school and his options thereafter.
S is celebrating being 11 and her thoughts go no further than this weekend when she is off bowling with 2 friends and having them sleepover.

We were up at 6.30 this morning for present opening and the traditional birthday breakfast in our home of pain au chocolat. As everyone was sporting bed heads and PJs I agreed not to take any photos. 
Then it was time to get off to school, wearing their badges of course.

S came home saying she had had a good day apart from falling over in the playground and twisting her ankle!
T was staying late at school today. February is LGBT history month and he wanted to arrange an after school movie event and this was the only date the teacher helping him co-ordinate it was free. The school had even given him some money to purchase food and drink and he chose the movie The Imitation Game
Unfortunately no-one turned up to watch it. When I went to collect him he said he was disappointed that he had gone to so much effort and there was such a poor response and I can't say I blame him. 

Late afternoon my mum, sisters, aunt and cousin all popped round and there was some party food, two cakes with a total of 27 candles, lots of laughter, a chorus of happy birthday and many more cards and presents, all helping to fill the evening with love, happiness and good memories.

Friday, 19 February 2016

It's A Marshmallow World

February is always a busy month.
No sooner than it arrives than we seem to be nearing it's end.
Of course we started off with Shrove Tuesday and pancakes.
Although ours happened a few days later than planned, we eventually got them at the weekend.

Last year on Ballet Day S and I made paper ballerinas, this year she and her friend L made edible ones from an idea on Pinterest.

Marshmallows have also been used in another bake. This was a really quick and easy tray bake and as the website says it would be perfect for Bonfire Night, served warm from the oven with ice cream.

There has also been Chinese New Year to celebrate with paper lanterns and delicious food

and when they were taken down the Valentine's decorations went up. When Kezzie sent me my lovely brooch she also very kindly included confetti sized birds and hearts.  I glued these onto a couple of lengths of red ribbon and hung one from the food cupboard in the dining room

and the other from the saucepan rack in the kitchen. Tiny but very sweet embellishments.

Half term has been quiet. T was away at the start. He went on a school trip to Madrid and has come back with a head full of cold and been living in his dressing gown ever since.
S and I have been to town so she could spend a Waterstones voucher and yesterday we met my mum and sisters for a coffee and chat. Apart from that she has been busy doing S type things which involve notepaper, felt tip pens and sellotape. 
As long as they're happy that's good enough for me.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Brighton Buys

A fortnight ago I posted about our night away in Brighton and at long last I've sat down again to post my finds.
Most of the things I bought were gifts for others and I was chuffed with each and every one of them.

First up are three items for my sister C, not sure if they'll make it into her birthday or Christmas haul of goodies as yet.
Heart patterned saucer for 49p.
Seriously tempted to keep this but I've been good and hidden away.

A £1 top with an incredibly soft texture which definitely comes under the clothing category of loungewear.

Very long pretty pastel scarf for 50p.

There were also two items which are perfect for part of C's advent gifts.
She has lots of birds visit her garden and has a couple of bird boxes up already. This plastic slot together one will be a great new addition. It cost 75p.

Who doesn't enjoy a bit of rom com on a Sunday afternoon.
20p and if it's only watched once it's got to be good value for one money.

My other sister T wasn't left out, for her advent I found these paper clips for 50p.

This next item was a really fab find. A brand new recipe book to Build Your Own Sandwich. It's a ringbinder type and the pages are split into four - bread, sauces, fillings and toppings. By flipping over the pages you can create thousands of different sandwiches.
I plan on giving this to a foodie loving male friend at Christmas and I'm thinking of teaming it with something like a speciality bread mix which relates to a recipe in the book.
This was 10p.

More Christmas cards. Snow, red post box and a robin, a winning wintry combination in my book.

This was the first thing I bought and is for me. I bought one of these with a cream stopper as gift for a friend a couple of Christmases again, I popped sweets inside hers. The suction on the lid isn't great on one this but that's fine as I won't be keeping food inside. Mine for £1.00.

And the very last thing I bought was also for me. I wanted a little something to remember our trip by and I was lucky enough to find a very little something.
This house is by Wade and apparently they made several little sets which together made up a village named Whimsey-on-Why. The little one I bought for £3.00 is Dr Healer's house. 

Thursday, 4 February 2016


Way back at the start of October G booked us a night away in Brighton.
This came about after a conversation we had had about not spending much on each other at Christmas and instead using the money towards a couple of trips away during the year.
 The end of January seemed a long way off when the plans were made but it was lovely having such a treat to look forward to.

Last Saturday morning the day dawned for our jaunt along the coast.
The plan was to take the train as far as Hove and then explore the huge amount of charity shops there before walking along the front into Brighton.
The shops did not disappoint and we both made a couple of purchases we were extremely pleased with.

Once done with spending we were hungry and seeing as we were at the seaside it seemed only proper that we bought a bag of chips and made our way to the front.
Goodness me that wind was cold as we strolled along the prom but the sights and sounds made up for it.
A beautiful stretch of beach huts on our left

including this one which reminded me of the old candy stripe bed sheets and pillowcases we used to have.

To the right of us the waves were crashing in and as we neared the derelict West Pier we turned off and headed into the town centre and towards our accommodation.

Everywhere you look there are examples of beautiful architecture, so many eye-catching features to feast your eyes on but I couldn't keep stopping as we were being met at the B&B at a specific time so I had to keep moving.

We passed a handful of statues on the way and I was able to take a quick snap of them as we passed.
Top left is clearly Queen Victoria and the top right The Bugler and he is dedicated to Royal Sussex Regiment.
Bottom left is the back of the angel known as the Peace statue, a memorial to Edward VII and in something completely different to the others bottom right is of the comedian Max Miller.

I don't have any photos of where we stayed which is a shame. G found it through Air BnB. Our host, Andrew, was so welcoming, we had a lovely relaxed chat over breakfast on Sunday morning, nothing was too much trouble. The converted basement where we stayed was spacious and had everything we needed. If you ever want a recommendation for somewhere to stay in Brighton let me know and I'll send the details. 
Once we had dropped off our bits and bobs we went out again in search of the Theatre Royal and that's where we came across Rowlf from the Muppets playing the piano, as you do.

When G had contacted Andrew about plans for our arrival he had mentioned he would be going off to the matinee show of The Mousetrap I got quite excited as this is a play I have wanted to see for the longest time. Saturday was the final day and we went along to the box office to see if we could get tickets. Thankfully they had a few left and so I left G paying for them so I could take a photo of these toadstools and fairy door painted onto one of the exits from the theatre.

I had to take a photo of  this graffiti as as well as being beautiful the woman's face on the right looks so much like G's god daughter it's uncanny. You'll have to take my word for it.

From the theatre it's just a short stroll to the Brighton Pavilion. As you can tell from these photos the light was starting to fade as we got to it.
It's something we will explore further on our next trip for sure.

The light was fading past as we made our way around the perimeter of the Pavilion which meant the lights on the pier could be seen twinkling in the near distance and that's where we made our way to next.

We stood here for a while watching a murmuration of starlings as they swooped around the pier and sea, it really was a spectacular show and I would love to have stayed for longer but it was so cold by then.

After our relaxed breakfast time on Sunday we had an hour to ourselves before we needed to go for the train home.
We planned to walk to the station via the Lanes.

There was plenty to see on our way to them.
I liked the art work on the outside of the corner shop.

There is a scheme in the City to help combat illegal and unattractive graffiti on phone junction boxes by commissioning a local art group to paint them with mini artworks.
We both loved this Ewok one.

The Prince Albert pub did have a Banksy on it's wall but as this article explains the original was removed and sold in America and a copy is now in it's place.
As well as the Banksy copy the wall is home to a mural of a plethora of singers,

a list of who's who can be seen here.

Well done if you've made it to the end of this post, there are just a final couple of photos of things which caught my eye that morning.

During breakfast Andrew mentioned a place we really should investigate before we left called Snoopers Paradise he said it was chock full of vintage items and vinyl. We could have spent ages in there but had to make do with 10 minutes. 
I'll share our Brighton buys in another post, I had to take something home as little momento now didn't I.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016


I know what with it being February it means it really isn't the time of year for robins wearing holly but I couldn't resist him.
I mean just look at him.

It's the same old story.
I took another couple of bags full of donations into the charity shop, had a quick look round, just on the off chance there would be something I liked and well wouldn't you know there was.

He'll be a great addition to the breakfast table in December, the little ceramic spoon is perfect for serving up jam.