Friday, 31 May 2013

Holiday Song Time!

Do you remember your childhood holidays? I do, in fact they are some of my most vivid childhood memories. I remember long hot car journeys with my brother and I regularly punching each others arms, or him pretending he had eaten all his chocolate bar when in fact he was saving it for when I was really hungry so he could eat it in front of me, what fun. The thing that always brings back the memories though, is the songs we used to listen to in the car, things from the distant past called "cassettes". Do you remember them? My dad always used to go to Asda and pick up one of the "Now" albums just before we set off. Before "Now" existed, there were cassettes called things like "Greatest hits of '86 (showing my age now) and I could sing those songs even now word for word. These days, I can of course plug in my iPhone and play songs from that. Unfortunately they just play alphabetically, so every car journey I seem to listen to exactly the same songs. Some of my favourite holiday car journey songs are:

  • Hips don't lie - Shakira
  • Nine Million Bicycles - Katie Mehlua
  • C'mon people we're making it now - Richard Ashcroft
  • Elephant Stone - Stone Roses
  • Old Man - Neil Young
  • California Girls - Katy Perry (I know I know)
  • Poker Face - Lady GaGa
  • I dreamed a dream from Les Miserables
  • Fallin' - Alicia Keys
  • Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan
  • All you good people - Embrace
  • New York New York - Ryan Adams
  • So called friend - Texas
  • Sign no more - Mumford and Sons
  • This is the last time - Keane
  • Crazy as me - Alison Krauss
  • Briliant Disguise - Bruce Springsteen
A pretty bizarre mix I grant you! Thing is, I actually hardly ever get to listen to my own songs, things seem to be taken over by listening to Balamory and Timmy Time, it's time to take the music back! Course, if like me, you can't be bothered to make your own playlist, it is kind of annoying after all, you could always just use a ready made one like this one:

What's going to be on your summer holiday playlist this year?

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

£2 H&M top, lovely French Connection dress and some stuff I sent straight back...

I'm still in a bit of a quandary about what I'm supposed to wear at the ripe old age of 34. I keep edging towards new shops and then getting blasted back because something about them annoys me. I saw this Hobbs top in a Sunday paper last week and immediately thought about getting it. I realised that if I ordered it from ASOS rather than Hobbs then I wouldn't have to pay delivery, seems like a bit of an oversight from the point of view of Hobbs but there you go.
Hobbs NW3 peplum top £35

Anyway, when it came it was nothing like the picture promised - in fact it was pretty shapeless and the peplum part of the top sat far too high on the waist, back it went (god bless the easy returns policy of ASOS).

I went to a party last week and was determined to find a pretty party dress, however after ordering this dress from Oasis, I was AGAIN disappointed. The straps were far too big and it was also scarily static, which isn't usually a quality I look for in a dress, do you? ;)
Lovely Oasis dress, shame about the static.

In better news, I'm pretty happy with my £2 H&M top, at that price who wouldn't be? It's a little flappy if not tucked in, but that's ok, I just tuck it in. It's great with a pencil or fifties skirt as long as you have neutral shoes.

Bargain £2 H&M top!
My other fab buy this week has been this lovely LOVELY stripe dress from French Connection. Me and two other women were practically running to get the last size on the rail and luckily I was the only one who could squeeze into a size 8 (ha!) so it's all mine! At £62 it's pretty pricey, especially considering only the day before I bought it there was 20% off, but I,loved it so much I didn't care. What do you think? I've also worn it with the zip at the front for a completely different look.

Bad photo of lovely French Connection dress! 
From the back, can be worn  both ways as proven by moi!

All we need now is for the weather to warm up, slightly!

Friday, 24 May 2013

DIY Heaven or Hell?

I was reading an article, here, about a common problem in our house, neither of us are good at what I call "blue jobs". What I mean is, we are terrible at anything that involves: measuring accurately, hanging, drilling, or basically anything that involves a tool kit. I don't think it's our fault either, I just think its something people have lost the knack of. The information just isn't passed down like it used to be. If I had known it was going to save me lots of money, I would have paid far more attention in CDT at school. We learned all sorts of things like sawing, hammering and planing wood, but I hated it and was constantly sawing parts of my finger off and other such accidents, I guess it put me off.

I do wonder if the reason hubby is so un-keen on DIY is because he gets told off by me if something isn't exactly to my liking. I remember when I was six months pregnant and I suddenly demanded that he paint our bed room. I took Son 1 out for the day and left him to it. He painted the entire room, but foolishly I had gone for the Dulux blended paint rather than a normal colour, it was so ridiculously watery it just dripped down the walls as soon as it went on. Anyway, needless to say, the room looked terrible and I went beserk. Husband said he would repaint it the next day if it made me happy, and that was two years ago now! Still, at least that means we can redecorate soon. Other DIY disasters include wonky shelves, plunging a blocked up shower resulting in water pouring all over the house, including into electric circuits, buzzing noises, you know the score.

DIY "fun".

I've heard it said that instead of doing your own DIY you should instead work extra hours in your own job that you are good at, and pay someone else to come in. This is a theory I heartily agree with! 
Professional tradesmen at Local Traders also underlined on the importance of calling in a professional tradesperson, where advance “DIY” is concerned – as it may essentially call for more than you can actually master “doing yourself”. They further said that “Jobs like plumbing work, rewiring and boiler or appliance installation should definitely be done by a qualified tradesperson. It really is better to invest in a quality job rather than cut corners trying to reduce the price and end up with it costing you in more ways than you might initially expect."

Amen to that! Have you had any DIY disasters in your house?

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

My Washing Hell!

We have a LOT of washing to do, mainly because I have so many clothes that's true, but also because we are a family of what's known as "one wears". That is, people who don't take care and can only wear an item of clothing for one day before it has to be washed. I am sure that before I had children I could comfortably wear a pair of jeans for a week before having to wash them. This, inevitably, takes it toll on the amount of washing I have to do. It mounts up and up until I just don't know what to do with it all!

The worst is, what to do with it once it's washed. We don't have a tumble dryer, the reason is that I think they are too noisy and I don't really know where we would put it. I do wish we had one though, I really wish it in fact.

Here is a picture of our hung up clothes, and the ironing basket is in the background. It's overwhelming, I really don't know how other people manage their washing, where do they put it all?

The washing from hell.
A few weeks ago, I was sent some Vanish Stain Removal to try out, to see if this would solve my woes. One of the problems I have is that I find it difficult to get stains out of white clothes, I normally don't bother buying whiteners as I don't like spending money on stuff like that.
I have to admit that with the non whitener one, I couldn't really tell a difference, mainly because I don't think any of our clothes were actually stained enough for it to have an impact. The Crystal White Vanish, was however a different story. The way it works is that you had a scoop of it to your normal wash, I just popped it in the machine with the clothes. I noticed an impact straight away, it got stains right out more importantly, everything was whiter than white, like on the adverts on TV! Perfect!

I really recommend the Vanish Crystal White if you like your sheets and baby vests nice and white. My son's school uniform unfortunately has a blue shirt rather than a white so I was unable to test it on that, but I'm assuming it would be just as good!

These products were sent to me for review, but all thoughts are my own.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Just what is posh?

This weekend we've had a lovely break visiting friends down in Cambridgeshire.Since my knowledge of the Geography of the UK is rather limited, I actually had no real idea where Cambridgeshire was though I was aware it's about five hours drive from where we live in Yorkshire. This might not sound far to people outside the UK, but for us it's a big chunk of our spare time. Having said that, if you don't make the effort to do things like visit friends, then pretty soon they stop asking you to visit, and before you know it, you have no friends left at all! I'm sad to say that in this past year, I have had days on end pass by without one person saying a kind word to me, it has been a very rewarding year but also incredibly lonely. Then when a friend or even a stranger does something kind, I get really emotional, perhaps because I'd forgotten people can be like that.  The point I'm trying to make is that going to visit these friends was really important to me, because it was so nice to be amongst people who are just nice for nice's sake. So anyway, in the village they live, posh took on a whole new meaning. In Yorkshire, if people are well off/have a well paid job, there is a tendency to show off and shout about it. What does that indicate? I'm not really sure. But in this lovely village people were clearly well off, but I never saw any showing off or making a point of it, people were just quietly getting on with things, and actually seemed downright happier about it too.

So for me posh has taken on a whole new meaning; you work hard, you reap the rewards and you celebrate your success in other ways - none of the brash "IN YOUR FACE" ness that I am becoming more and more aware of.

Anyway, back to the people I came across, so one thing they all had in common was a love of fleeces, nothing wrong with that, I enjoy getting wrapped up in a good Berghaus myself. But they ALL, and I mean ALL had lovely watches. Now I've got what I consider to be a VERY expensive watch, I treasure it but I do wear it everyday, otherwise what's the point in having it. One lady was wearing something like this watch...
Raymond Weil watch
Now I would never recommend spending more than you can afford on a watch, but I do think it's very lovely. This I also love for its understatedness... (though not the price!)

Lovely understated Raymond Weil watch
Now these watches are very pricey, but I've just had a browse on the site I found them on, Watch Warehouse and found some far more reasonable models that actually look quite similar (believe me I am quite sure there are many differences but not to my untrained eye).
DKNY Neutrals watch

This one is a snip of the price of the Raymond Weil ones and equally as lovely.

Anyway, I've somehow got off track, but the point is; keep in touch with friends even if you have to make a big effort, don't forget that most people are nice, if you aren't happy, make a change! That is all!

Friday, 17 May 2013

My new office AND "if I had a city centre apartment"....

We really need to overhaul our house.  We've made an attempt downstairs which was a playroom and is now my office. I feel mean changing it but the boys hardly ever play down there anyway and I had nowhere to work, is that bad? Anyway, we got a desk to fit onto an existing bookshelf and voila! Instant office.

My new office, yay!
I have a feeling that the police would advise me not to have my equipment so near the window but to be honest the laptop keeps turning itself off all the time anyway, so if it was stolen they would be getting a dud. So anyway, I've  been trawling the internet for my next project, our lounge. It's pretty dire really, but then it is quite small and what can you do with a room where the door is in the middle of the wall and there are radiators on the other side? I've come across this website, Roomes which I think is pretty funky. they seem to have lots of good inspirational ideas plus Sealy beds (a la Center Parcs!) which give you the best night sleep EVER (that is unless you have a screaming child with you).  Anyway, back to our living room problem. The thing I most hate about our living room is our leather sofas. When we bought them we thought they were the way forward as they are "wipe clean", what we didn't consider however was the fact that they are cold in winter and sticky hot in summer, urgh.  As my regular reader (!) will know, I have a bit of an eye for lovely things and in the sofa section of Roomes I've spotted a corker, this lovely Hampshire scatter back sofa. What's not to like? Comfy? Yes! Lovely looking? Yes! 
Lovely Hampshire sofa!
Now in a world where I had a lovely city centre apartment and no children, this is what I would get, along with a chaise longue and lots of glossy magazines...argh, one can dream.

Idyllic Kensington Sofa!

What's your perfect sofa? 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

For better or worse?

Sometimes it can seem that when you are working parents with two small children, you become like passing ships in the night. It almost gets to the stage where you can't remember when you had a "non child" conversation or talked about something just for the sake of talking rather than to pass on information. I have a bit of a complex about knowing lots of details about other people's lives and them knowing nothing about mine, it's seem to be in constant contact with really self important people who don't bother to listen or ask about others. All the same, I was a bit annoyed to find out that my husband also fell into this category when he failed to recall the name of my primary school. Not that it's a bit deal really, but I know the name of his primary school and I suppose if he doesn't take an interest in my life, who will! Now he is very clued up, I like to quiz him every now and again just to ensure he's paying attention.

So tonight we are going to have a try on this "for better or worse" app to see whether we are REALLY singing from the same hymn sheet. I'm not competitive (!) but I know I will win. If there are any winners of course in marriage.....

This post was sponsored but all thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Things I do that annoy my two year old..

I was reading a post of much hilario the other day about things that we do that seemingly annoy the hell out of our children. Many of them are inexplicable, but what the hey, none of that matters to a toddler. Sometimes I'm utterly perplexed by exactly WHAT my toddler wants, he doesn't seem to know himself, or does he....
My toddler hates it if I....

  • Sleep.
  • Take a shower, cue screaming and trying to break down the door, or instead he decides to wash his toys with the door partially open soaking everything.
  • Put him in the car.
  • Take him out of the car.
  • Give him cereal for breakfast
  • Give him anything but cereal for breakfast, in the same day.
  • Read him "Owl Babies" less than three times in one evening.
  • Attempt to use my own phone.
  • Put my shoes on.
  • Desperately have a cup of tea.
  • Speak to my other child.
  • Tell him "no" if he puts his finger near something hot
  • Speak to any other adult for longer than ten seconds.
  • Sit down.
  • Attempt to make any sort of phonecall.
  • Won't take him to Thomasland every day.
  • Won't let him wear his too small shoes.
  • Don't let him drive my car.
  • Steer him away from vicious dogs.
  • Attempt to go to work so I can earn money so we can eat and stuff.
Poor thing, how does he sleep at night with all this mean stuff happening to him?
The poor child, not even allowed four ice creams and a theme park a day. We even stop him from hurling his ice cream on the floor, shame on us.


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