Monday, 30 June 2008

Sometimes It's The Small Things...

I don't hold a lot of faith in good luck; normally a spell of good luck means there's just a huge big dollop of bad luck round the corner ready to cancel the good stuff out!

However, after a bit of a bad run this year, sometimes the little bits of good stuff put a smile on your face and make you realise that there is some good in the world! Today has been one of those days.

Firstly, I got a place at a school for next term! Yippee! I'd sent off a couple of applications but was starting to panic that it was too late in the school year now, but this morning I got an email from a local school saying they had a place for me, and in the class I wanted too!

Secondly, I actually found a big company that has done what they said they would do without me having to chase them. I cancelled my mobile contract last week so I could go with a new one that gives me a shiny new laptop for free. I asked old complany for the code so I could transfer my number to new company, and lo and behold they've sent it! What's more, when I've gone to order the new phone the deal's changed and I now have double the texts and minutes for the same price!

Thirdly, I went into my daughter's room last night to find this diva-esque pose! I was so amused I had to grab the camera.
Lastly, at the weekend I got something through the post that made me smile from my old friend Jennie. Jen and I used to be thick as thieves in our late teens/early 20s, but I've not seen her for a while. Unfortunately, her dad past away last month and, as he and my dad were best friends, I went to the funeral. Through the sadness I got to catch up with Jennie and it was so lovely to see her and meet her kids. Anyway, she sent me a message the other day saying she'd been clearing her dad's house and found something she thought I'd like. So on Saturday, Mr Postie brought me this:
I laughed so hard! The pic is of me at about 20 years old, obvously after a night out with Jen, and I obviously thought it was amusing to give Uncle Pete it for his birthday! I actually remember why I did it as I have a signed picture of Uncle Pete somewhere, so I need a routing about session in the loft to find it; watch this space! It was so nice to think he'd kept it all these years.

Anyway, sometimes it's the little things that put a smile on your face!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

All Grown Up!

So, it's official; Xander is no longer a baby and is now a proper little boy. I came to this realisation last night when we redecorated his bedroom; I was there taking down all the nursery stickers we had as a border and suddenly got all nostalgic: cue looking through his baby box, photo albums etc! Sniff!!

Anyway, the exciting part is that Xander has now got a super shiny new bedroom! I went with a pretty neutral them of cars rather than picking Thomas or Iggle Piggle etc; if he's anything as fickle as me then they'll be yesterday's news within a month! So, here is Xander's big boy bedroom:

Monday, 23 June 2008

It's Been A Little Bit Breezy!!

So, it's been a fairly intersting weekend round here!
On Saturday, Rob went away with Steve to a car show down in Northampton, which left me flying solo with the munchkins. So, on Saturday afternoon we went up to the uni with mum to see the Anne Frank exhibition that's currently there. Emily has to do some homework on a famous woman from history and, as I recently reread the book, I thought Anne would be a good one. I had to be a bit economical with the truth when explaining the story, Nazi-ism isn't one I really want to go into just yet; but she seemed really humbled by the story of the girl who had to hide from baddies and so couldn't go to school and see her friends. She wrote all about it and has handed it in at school this morning!
On Saturday night, Emily went to stay at mum's so that just left me a Xander. We sat and had our tea watching The Hulk, then once Xander had gone to bed, I took myslef off to bed for a good girlie dvd (Devil Wears Prada). I also decided to tackle this problem on Saturday:No, not the fact that he's so cute, the fact that this is constantly lodged in his gob:He was in fairly good spirits when he went to bed on Saturday night, so I didn't give him his binkie, then sat outside his room for half an hour waiting for him to start paddying...and nothing! He went straight off to sleep! Yay! We've not won the battle yet, he's currently napping with it as he was over-tired this morning, but slow and steady wins the race and all that!

So yesterday, as both Ally and I had been abandoned for the weekend in favour of some cars, we decided to spend the day together. So, I drove up there with the kids, picnic packed, all ready for a day out, when this happened:
Hmmm, not exactly picnic weather! So, we settled down at Ally's dining table for our picnic instead. Afterwards, the girls sat down and watched Enchanted and didn't seem too bothered about the change of plan.I was just debating what time to set off home when we heard a thud, looked outside and found this:Right, that'll be NOT driving home then! We couldn't even open the door at one stage to go outside, so I rang Rob, told him to come back to Ally and Steve's, and he could drive home! I'm not adverse to driving in bad weather, but not down the motorway with all those high sided lorries and just me and the kids in the car!

So, me and Ally took the opportunity to crack open the wine while we were waiting. The girls wanted to be all grown up so we gave them special wine (ie lemonade!) in the picnic wine glasses! Emily was happy with her girlie and snuggled up with Auntie Ally:
Thankfully, by the time the boys got back, the wind had calmed a bit so the journey back wasn't too bad.

Anyway, thanks Andbag for a lovely day, even if we didn't get to do what we'd planned; still enjoyed seeing you and the lovely Elise!!

Saturday, 21 June 2008

The Great Credit Crunch Rebellion!!

So, the news this week has been dim for everyone. Basically, financially it's bad and it's only getting worse! Great! Personally, I don't really see how it can, surely something's got to give? I don't know anyone that isn't struggling at the moment, even those with good jobs, no debts etc. However, relying on it all miraculously getting better is probably not the safest bet so I've spent the week trying to sort out finances and safe guard us for if the worst hits.

Anyway, as so many people out there are struggling too I thought I'd share some of my money saving tips!

Firstly, with the news that fuel bills could go up by 40% by the end of the year, I changed our supplier and plan quick smart to a fixed price plan. It's costing us a little more every month (maybe 5%) but that's much better than the predicted 40% and it's fixed until December 2010, so at least we know what that outgoing is for a couple of years!

I'd read that leaving your microwave switched on when you're not using it costs about £50 a year (due to the little digital clock). So, I've been switching that off along with the oven (which also has a digi clock) for a while now. I took it one step further this week by sorting out all my entertainment standbys! Certain things like the Sky box and dvd are just a pain in the bum if you switch them off every night, but things like the video, Wii and surround sound box, which only get used occassionally, are just eating up the old leccy by being on standby. So, I've changed round all the plugs so that the essential things are in one extension socket, and the things that are rarely used are in another AND SWITCHED OFF!

I also ordered a water saving doobery for the loo from the water company. Apparently you put it in the cistern and it means you don't use as much water when you flush. If you go to they order it for you.

I've also started looking for a new mobile deal. At first I was looking for a cheaper tariff. However, I've seen a new deal with Carphone Warehouse where I can pay £10 a month extra...but get a free laptop! Our laptop needs replacing and soon, and as we'll be spending most of our money on food and gas for the foreseeable future, there's not going to be any spare cash to buy new pooters! So, spending a tenner a month for 18 months on one doesn't seem like too bad a deal to me!

Foodwise, I've done this for a while but it works, and with the increasing price of food, it's a good idea. I don't shop every week, I shop every 8 days. You don't spend any more and every 7 weeks, you save a whole weeks shopping. I also write a menu every week and only buy the things that are needed for those meals (well, plus things like loo roll etc!). I also have the monthly food budget written on the fridge and write down what we spend so, if by the last week the budget's getting low, we have a week of beans of toast!
Ha, you Brown and your trying to eek us all into poverty; you shall never defeat me! Mwahahahahaha!!

Thursday, 19 June 2008


I just got tagged by Kim! Sounds fairly simple so going to give it a go!

The rules are; List 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 current obsessions and 3 random surprising facts about yourself. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names..

3 Joys
1 - My kids! OK, obvious but there little faces light up my day!
2 - Scrapbooking. It's so relaxing and such a good thing in my life.
3 - My bed. My life's so chaotic that I love crawling into it every night!

3 Fears
1 - My kids. I fear everything for them.
2 - The credit crunch. What is everyone going to do?
3 - Chavs and Pikeys! Seriously, the world's getting overtaken by them!

3 Current Obsessions
1 - Reading. I've gone from hardly ever reading a couple of years ago to constantly having a nose in a book!
2 - Oreos! I defy anyone not to be obsessed with their chocolately goodness!
3 - Lists! I have lists for everything! I need lists to organise my lists!

3 Goals
1 - To finally shift the baby weight (sorry Kim, had to steal that one from you!)
2 - To save up for a fab dress for my sisters wedding!
3 - To finally get this degree done.

3 random surprising facts
1 - I designed one of Smokie's album covers
2 - I once appeared on Gladiators
3 - I have held one of Hitler's wine glasses.

OK, so I tag Rach, Rachel C, Jaime, Lauren and sorry but Marie (ie, I only know 5 people with blogs!!)

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Run Emily Run!!

Today has been Emily's sports day at school. First of all, there was a huge sigh of relief that it was dry this morning, as last year it was postponed, then postponed again, then cancelled due to a waterlogged field.

At 9.30, they all came trotting out from their class in there best athletics clobber and lined up in their teams (Emily was in Elephants):

Emily tried her best, first of all with throwing the bean bags (and when they didn't go where she wanted she shouted at them!):Then to a bit of soccer practise:Of course, no sports day is complete without the egg and spoon!:Then a bit of sprinting around cones:She finished with a sprinting race and, after a good start she didn't finish placed, but she tried her best (and thanks to Amanada, cheering her on in the background!):So, no prizes but we're saving up all the good stuff for 2012 anyway!!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Scraplift Results!!!

So the Scraplift Challenge is over and I have all the layouts in. All I can say is 'Wow!', they look amazing! I really can't believe how well everyone's layout turned out!

First up was Rach with this gorgous LO (one of my favourite ever Rach designs!):

Next up was me, I took Rach's 11 1/2" x 8" and turned it into 12" x 12" and gave it a boyish theme:

Lauren took the basic layout but added patterened paper in the background and used a b&w pic instead of colour (I love this colour scheme!):

Next up was Marie, who's phsycic ability was on fire as she's taken Lauren's LO and gone back to a white background and colour pic matted on starry background paper. I swear that girl's inside my head:

Julie was up next, who's kept Marie's layout but put her journalling on the out side and used text to border her (so cute) picture:

Rachel then kept Julie's colour scheme but has moved the title, journaling and ribbon back to the original position (I tell you, us scrappers are an intuitive lot!:

And finally was Kim, who has brought the scraplift full circle by finishing off with a girly theme and retro papers, just how Rach started!:

I am so proud of this, I love every single layout! I have such talented scrapping friends!

A special mention to Lauren and Julie, who had never done a scraplift before, and yet rolled with it and came up with some fabulous work! Well done girls!

So, I'm busy thinking of more scrapping challenges as we speak; watch this space!!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

365 Sleeps!

This time next year, I'll be on one of these...
...drinking 1 (or 5!) of these...
...on the way to here... see her...
...marry him... Yup, we are now on official countdown to the big Antigua wedding! 365 days isn't that long, surely!! I've also started using this birthday present...
to save up for my dress. It's a piggy bank but with no stopper in so the only way to get into it is to smash it! I'm putting the odd pound coin in here and there so hopefully by next year, I'll have enough to buy myself something swanky! Unless I do a Pamela Anderson and just wear a bikini, but would I really wish that sight on the good people of Antigua?!

Just to finish, here's the latest layout. I'm actually scrapping Xander these days!!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Trip Down Memory Lane

So, I came on to blog today about our weekend, then realised that Rob had taken the camera to work! So, no pictures to download so would have been a pretty pointless post!

However, as I feel like blogging I'm going to blog some of my favourite ever pics (well, the ones that are on the pooter anyway!) and have a bit of a nostalgia trip!
First up, my 2 favourite baby pics of Emily:

Emily at Disney World. Did you ever see a face sum up Disney World as well?!!...This picture still melts my heart: Emily's first meeting with Xander...Xander's first smile...Xander and my lovely wonderful Grandad...Emily and her Daddy...My beautiful smiley boy...Just last week, my beautiful but oh so grown-up girl...And finally, my favourite wedding pic...Aaah, feel all nostalgic now! There are lots more, maybe I'll blog those later!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Good Luck Wendy!

Just a quick post to wish my dicky ticker buddy, Wendy, lots of luck for today. She's going in for heart surgery and it's her first for 42 years so I know she's a little nervous.

Good luck Wendy, I'll be thinking about you all day and will be in to see you as soon as you're up to my inane waffling!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Scraplift Update

Oooh, it's getting exciting people, the scraplift only has 2 more rounds then it's done! Can't wait to see them all!

So far it's gone from Rach to me to Lauren to Marie to Julie and is now sat with Rachel. We then just need Kim to unpack all her scrapping stash, do hers and we're done! Yay!!

In other scrapping related news, one of our dear fellow scrappers has hit a milestone today! Yes, Rach has come over to the wonderfulness of her thirties today! Basically Rach, it's just an excuse to drink more wine as you're a proper grown up now who's terrified at the prospect of 40 so have a legitimate excuse! Happy Birthday Rach!!

Anyway, as I can't get a cake to her in time, here's something much more yummy for her! Delicious!!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Well, I Was Having A Break From Girlie Scrapping....

Just for a change, I've done a bit of scrapping lately!

First of all, there's another page from my Xmas scrapbook (my aim is to have this finished by THIS Xmas!). It's of the kids decorating the tree and I had so much fun actually making a tree out of the pictures!
Next up is one for Emily's baby album. I love this LO which was featured in 'The Best Of British Scrapbooking' and got all carried away with my eyelet puncher! I also wanted to use these papers as they were a birthday present from my crop buddy Lauren! However, I then spent hours threading the ribbon as I didn't have quite enough of the lilac and so had to cut individual pieces to make it fit. It then became a vendetta to get it done but finally it was finished!
So, having looked through my scrapbooks, I realised that Emily has almost 2 full ones whereas Xander's first one isn't complete yet. So, it is now a girlie free zone round here for a while while I get the boy caught up. However, after starting a LO yesterday in boyish colours, I'm now wondering whether to infact go back to pink and flowery after his latest craze: he has an obsession with mine and Emily's shoes...
If he's not wearing them he's throwing them out of the catflap! Strange boy!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Can I Claim This As A Family Heirloom?!

This weekend, Emily and I have been on a girlie weekend to London, to visit SIL Zoe.

We travelled down on Saturday and met Zo at the beautiful new St Pancras station and had lunch under this...

Afterwards, we caught the tube (which I hate - note the expression!)to the National History museum which I've always wanted to see and I thought it'd go down well with Emily as she has a bit of a dino obsession at the moment! We saw lots of dinosaurs and some great big creatures in the Blue Whale exhibition (seriously, have you seen the size of blue whales? Amazing!)On Sunday we were complete tourists and did the open top bus tour. We started off in trafalgar Squsare which was hosting some kind of moped rally, which Emily thought was really cool...Then we boarded the bus for a trip round the touristy bits.First up was Tower Bridge, which we first drove across then walked across...Then we went to see the giant telescope which travels 3000 miles under the Atlantic so you can talk to people in New York (honest, it does really do that!). We got to talk to a couple of people and ask what they were having for breakfast!Next up was lunch at Pizza Express where Emily got to be all sophisticated and have a 'Bambichino' after her lunch (OK, it's a cappuccino without the coffee!)We then caught a boat down the Thames to see one of Emily's highlights, the Houses Of Parliament, and of course this fella!Then it was back o the bus and down to visit the Queen, where Emily was very happy to see our Liz was actually in residence and probably watching us peasants from her parlor!It was also a chance for me to show Emily a bit of family history, as my Great Grandad painted the gold on the Victoria monument outside Buck House. I will shortly writing to Her Maj and requesting my family heirloom back!After a quick bus ride round Picadilly Circus and Regent Street it was back on the tube (which Emily seemed more than happy with and had not inherited my subwayphobia!) Then back to Zo's for a spot of dinner, some wine and a reminisce courtesy of some 20 year old rock videos!

So, we're now back to school, studying and deciding what to cook for tea! But a lovely weekend all in all, thanks Zo!