Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas keepsakes and traditions


    We have a lovely little tradition in our house that marks the start of Christmas for us.  Before we even coax the Christmas tree out of hiding we have a visit to our local pottery and make a memory bauble.

   This is something i started when little E was just five weeks old to mark his first Christmas and then it evolved into a lovely Christmas memory tree.

  Every year the bauble is very different and its a wonderful way to see his development as the older he gets the more input he has. This year he was very taken with the fingerprint characters so this years decoration is really fun and festive.

Previously I displayed them on a small real tree but I always worried about them getting broken so this year i hunted around for something safer to display them on and came across a jewellery tree that seems to work well. The jewellery tree has twelve prongs so is perfect for my vision of the twelve years of Christmas he he.

This is a really lovely tradition that i truly recommend to anyone with a new born as its a wonderful family tradition and something to cherish and enjoy year after year. Christmas i think is all about children and these will remind you of the lovely small years even when they are all big and grown up. I still have not managed to get round to making a very cute odd sock advent calender i mentioned last year but it a very cute idea that i would recommend.

Its always lovely to hear from you feel free to leave a comment and share your Christmas ideas and traditions.

Thought of the day ....................... 12 years of Christmas gosh that is a thought xx

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Look who's home for Christmas

I'm going to let you into a little secret ............... Santa has some extra special helpers this year as well as the usual Elves he also has the flower fairy's to assist him in delivering presents on time. 
Flower fairy's are fantastic they deliver lovely flowers but are equally good at delivering favourite bears home in time for Christmas.
I think we can safely say that a certain someone is very very very pleased with his new found Frankie!! A big thank you to the wonderful people at inter flora who really showed lots of Christmas spirit and helped to  #findfrankie .
New Frankie is full of Christmas spirit and is safely tucked up in the warm tonight and is not allowed out of the house untill fitted with a teddy bear tracking device !!
We hope original Frankie is safe and warm and that he too will find his way home soon as there is plenty of room at our inn.  Keep your eyes peeled for him and  if you do spot a little lost bear please help him find his way home.
Thank you again flower Fairy's the man in the red suit takes the glory but he is nothing without you his flower helpers making people smile xxx 

Friday, 7 December 2012

Please come home Frankie we miss you !!!

Have you
 seen this bear??
He is called Frankie and we would really love to have him home in time for Christmas but despite our best efforts of retracing our steps he has been lost somewhere in Witney for weeks.
 He went missing over a really busy weekend of doctors appointments, birthdays, shopping and viewing houses. Little E is really distraught and weeks on he still asks for Frankie as they have been together since birth.
 I had given up hope of finding the original one so started looking for a replacement but again was not having any luck as the design has changed since 2008.
I contacted the lovely people at inter flora as Frankie originally came with a beautiful bouquet of flowers as mum and baby gift. They have been amazing and through the power of social media and lovely people re tweeting and looking we have found two replacement bears. I have been overwhelmed by peoples kindness and going out of there way to help us.
We are really pleased and looking forward to the new Frankie arriving through the post soon.
Original Frankie is still at large but you never know the power of social media the real Frankie may still make it home too in time for Christmas to join his new found brother.
Maybe he is snuggled up on the sofa of one of those houses we viewed!!
Thank you to all the lovely people that helped and everyone who is still searching for Frankie.xx xx

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Lovely prints from wall paper samples ........Making it home

Welcome to making it home blog hop a weekly linky to share ideas and  add your posts on how you are making your house home.

Here is this weeks update from me a simple idea for left over wall paper and samples/ swatches.

 I have a little confession to make i have a bit of thing for wallpaper and have a little bit of a collection going on at the moment of wallpaper samples and wallpaper roll ends that are gorgeous prints but have not quite made the grade to make it on the wall. The print above is really  lovely but was not quite right for the room i had in mind but it was just too darn pretty to throw the sample away.

This week i started doing the finishing touches for the kitchen and i wanted to add some colour and pattern to the room and this lovely wallpaper fitted the bill perfectly. I didn't however have any available wall space to play with to add a feature wall therefore the next best thing would be to add some framed prints.

I purchased a really nice white frame including a mount from Sainsburys it was a real bargain as cost around £7.50 supermarkets are great for basic items like this.

Using the mount included with the frame as a guide i moved it around the wallpaper until i found the perfect framed picture looking back at me.

I then simply cut the wallpaper sample to size and placed in the frame giving me a really lovely print  made out of a wallpaper sample that would of otherwise found itself in the recycling bin.

The framed print adds interest to the open shelving unit and breaks up the run of crockery with a splash of colour. This little upcycling project was really cost effective and only cost £7.50 in total. I also have a few pictures left over from the house move containing prints that no longer fit in with our new rooms so i will definitely be using this idea to bring new life to my old frames too saving money by using what we already have.

That's it from me this week hope i have inspired you to make your own art and add a splash of colour to your walls.

Now its over to you to link up and show us how your making it home...........feel free to grab the badge and ready steady link.....


Review ...Deluxe Led Fogless Shower Mirror by Toilettree Products.


       I was really pleased to be given the opportunity to review the Deluxe Led Fogless shower mirror by Toilettree products as i love stylish things for the home especially ones designed to make life. easier.

     The mirror is designed for use in the shower to make beauty regimes a little easier such as shaving exfoliating and using tweezers to name but a few things.

 Usually you need to wait until you have finished showering and  the bathroom mirror has recovered from the steam before you can see properly use the bathroom mirror. The Deluxe Fogless Shower Mirror solves this problem as you can use it whilst still in the shower without any fog caused by shower steam.

The product arrived really well packaged and inside the box contained everything i needed to set the mirror up and fix to the wall with out the need for any diy, in fact it was so easy i didn't even need to rope hubby in to put it on the wall for me ! I was very impressed that even battery's were included in the box which is rare these days so once set up the product was ready to use without a trip to the shops being needed.

It was really easy to put together all i had to do was put the silicone and sticky pads that are included onto the back of the stand at the pre marked out places and then pop it on the wall near the shower and leave to dry over night.

 The next morning i put the mirror onto the stand and simply tilted it to suit my needs. When i was ready to use it i simply put the shower on and easily filled the mirror with water from the shower hose and switched on the light.

The little shelf on the stand i found really handy i used it for tweezers but it would also be really good for razors creams etc. I found the mirror to be really useful and i  did my eyebrows with ease while still in the shower. I am sure it would also be really helpful to men who like a wet shave. Over all i think its a really good useful item that looks stylish and at the moment it is £22.95 on amazon so it definitely won't break the bank.

Thought of the day ..................simple style to make life easier

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Random acts of kindness.......... reasons to be cheerful

Gnobody laugh ... oh go on then if it cheers you up!

Reasons to be cheerful.........

OK this is going to be a big ask this week as if you have seen my last couple of posts i am feeling poorly and  have renovation fatigue syndrome.

 However i am a glass half full kinda girl and with a boy as cute as a gnome how can i fail to look on the bright side of any situation.

My first reason to be cheerful is thanks to two very nice men who have been today and pruned the very large pine tree and laurel blocking any light coming into our kitchen. Our house has been over shadowed since we moved in by some very over grown trees that belong to the council.
Try as we might the council have been very reluctant despite my efforts or my paying council tax for their services to come out and cut back the trees.

 Today however on a walk to the shop a couple of workers were pruning trees a few streets away and i got chatting to them and explained my plight, kindly they said they would come round and help. Amazingly twenty minuets later they arrived and pruned away and within an hour hey presto we had light streaming through the kitchen window and seeing the sunlight coming in made me very cheerful.

What made me even more cheerful though was the kindness of the two men who went out of their way and finished work a little bit late this evening to help to make someones life easier.
Things like this restore my faith in human nature and make me really cheerful.

My next reason to be cheerful is a very lovely blogger Mummy plum who i admire very much as she writes so beautifully has awarded me as one of her beautiful bloggers. This really made my day to be admired by one of my favorite blogs, sometimes you can wonder  does anyone like what i have to say and it was really lovely to get this feedback. It also made me think...... i try to comment as much as i can but sometimes i will read a post and think that's interesting but not stop and tell the writer. I will definitely be making more of an effort from now on to comment more and try to often find ways to make someones day and let them know i think they are special.

That's my reasons to be cheerful this week if you would like to take part in reasons to be cheerful head on over to mummy from the heart and join in.

You could also share the blog love by popping over  and visiting other blogs finding more reasons to be cheerful

Thought of the day .................. Small gestures can make a big impact.

Nutrition the road back to good health

Earlier in the year i promised myself i would re visit a nutritionalist again as this really helped my recovery from pnd and pneumonia back when little E was very small and definatley brought back my smile.

I have however been really silly and cancelled the appointment a few times as i just could not seem to find time to fit it in.

Finally last week my health forced me to attend my appointment as i had once again managed to run myself down so badly i was useless to anyone. Suffering with a virus of the inner ear and sinus that is so blocked that i can barely move my neck i at last went for my appointment. I really should of listened to my body sooner instead of waiting till i felt like the bottom of the barrel as thats a steep climb back up!

My appointment lasted about an hour and a half and just being there spending time with someone admitting how run down and unwell i was feeling was a relief.  I could clearly see I'm not looking after myself very well and just discussing my eating habits was quite shocking. Its all to easy to eat a quick unhealthy thing on the run here and miss a meal completely there. The thing that shocked me the most was the amount of wheat related products i eat that have little nutritional value in them and the other surprise the amount of tea i drink.

I then had a series of muscle tests and some parts of my body are not functioning properly  no wonder i feel so shocking. I was then matched with supplements to help the weakened areas and help me back to good health.

A diet was then put together that suits my lifestyle and is therefore easy for me to stick to, wheat has been completely removed from my diet and tea has been cut right down no surprise for me there.
Its still early days at the moment my body is currently going through a bit of a healing crisis and detoxing and the blocked sinus areas have now been replaced by the mother of all colds but at least there no longer blocked.
I know in a few weeks time i will feel better than i have in a very long time as the benefits i had when i visited the nutritionalist with pnd and pneumonia the first time were tremendous and really got me back on my feet.

What we eat and put into our body really effects our mood and energy level and lets face it as mums we need energy in abundance. When we feel worn out through lack of sleep and running round after the family we are no good to anyone and not feeling able really effects our mood. Its no surprise then really that eating the right things and taking supplements to re  build a run down body can really help with mind body and spirit.

  I also had other benefits that were very welcome and totally unexpected my skin looked really clear and healthy and i lost one and a half stone of  baby weight without even trying.

I can already see the benefit to my skin this time round starting to show, it has already lost the grey look and fine lines seem less noticeable I'm sure this is a result of the water.

So for now i will keep going with the plan and really recommend to anyone that if anything i have mentioned sounds familiar a trip to a nutritionalist could be just what you need. The nutritionalist i visited was Lissanne Davidson at higher health and healing who i think is truly amazing. I have not been paid or compensated in anyway to add the link but here it is as i genuinely recommend
Higher health and healing 

Hopefully i am on the mend again now i will keep you posted on my progress. This week my making a small change to add up to a big benefit would be invest some time in your health and if nothing else drink 8 glasses of water a day.

Thought of the day..................... Health is a gift take good care of it.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Making it home...............

This week we have taken a step back from the chaos of renovating to re asses what we are doing and why as sometimes you can get so wrapped up in little details that you can lose sight of the bigger picture.

We originally moved into the house to release some equity from our existing home to reduce our mortgage and make life financially a bit easier. The whole objective of the move was to buy a property in need of renovation and add as much value to it as we could to enable us to move again.

It is so easy to lose focus on budget once you get started, money spent really needs to go into the areas that add the most value which are generally kitchens and bathrooms. Our dilemma at the moment is if we should still convert the garage to enlarge the kitchen as the cost of doing this is greater than originally anticipated due to issues with drainage adding additional work costs.

Much as we are eager to get on as the mess is driving us nuts and we just want to get straight and enjoy family life again. We have taken the sensible view and stopped mid work to get some valuations to see where we currently are and asses the next step with more clarity.

This has definitely been a good move as what we have already done in replacing the kitchen and  bathroom and updating the bedrooms has added a really healthy profit. Converting the garage will add the same amount in value to the house as it will cost us to do the work. This is a really useful thing to know at this stage. If we were going to stay long term it would be worth doing as the new space would really suit our preferances but not necessarily cost effective if we are moving on as we break even coverting garage.

We have the planning permission in place now so this would give someone in the future the choice to increase the space if they wish to or the option to keep garage if they prefer a garage. Planning permission in place is always a really good selling point and adds value in itself.

This does leave us a dilemma though we can not without going into the garage add a downstairs loo which means my mum who i care for can not visit which adds pressure to caring for her and stops her getting out which she needs.

We therefore may have to move on faster than originally thought and hope we have increased the value enough to purchase a multi generational house so that we can all finally afford to live together.

The other option would be to stay and make the house to suit us but no mater what we do to it there would not be anyway to provide a downstairs bedroom which should my mums health get worse she would need to move in permanently.

It is a really good idea mid renovations to take stock have a bit of a breather and re asses where you are and make sure your still on track for what you need to achieve.

Its also good to look back on what you have achieved so far as this can help to spur you on to complete.

Here is a little recap on my making it home journey so far...................

Before bathroom

After bathroom

Little E's before bedroom

After bedroom

Our before bedroom

Our after bedroom

Before kitchen


The after kitchen is just waiting for the finishing touches but is a really practical space and provides plenty of room to work and i think when finished it will be a lovely family kitchen without the need to convert the garage.

It would be lovely to know if anyone has any thoughts or advice for us its always lovely to hear from you.

Now its over to you to link up your posts on how you are making your house home xx

Thought of the day....................Always good to pause for thought
Ready steady link ...................

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Reasons to be cheerful.... No such thing as bad weather!

Making a change................

I am on a mission at the moment to turn many areas of my life around and change one or two little things a week to overall add up to make a big difference!

The first change on my list is thinking about things differently things happen but its how we react to them that can have a positive or negative effect on our lives. So holding that thought this week I'm joining in with reasons to be cheerful and totally changing my mind on the weather!!

This weekend little E looked out the window and excitedly announced its not raining hurray we can go to the park. I however being an adult was not so convinced as i could hear the wind howling through the trees and our fence looking like it was going to take off. I then looked over at his happy little face and decided i had to find the positive in the weather and agreed with little E.

 Its a perfect day.............. for flying a kite.

 We enjoyed a lovely afternoon  in the park as a family thanks to the lovely windy weather. The wind was so strong little E kept getting pulled along and falling over which made us all laugh.

He also kept letting go of the strings and all three of us had to chase the kite on several occasions which made us all roll around laughing even more.

My husband trying to launch the kite was hilarious it seemed to spend more time on the ground than in the air but this did not spoil our enjoyment at all.

Although we did not get much flight out of our fish kite

 we had a fantastic time and laughed enjoying the lovely weather!

 Just before we left a more traditional kite did make flight

 we really enjoyed watching it for a short time until the rain returned......................

The rain however did not dampen our spirits as there are plenty of  reasons to be cheerful about the rain, like popping on a pair of wellies and jumping around in muddy puddles or snuggling up in the dry and watching a family movie.

That's my reasons to be cheerful just from making a small change to how i think about the weather.
If you would like to try this little change link up with mummy from the heart and add your reasons to be cheerful.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Its always lovely to hear from you so please don't be shy feel free to leave a comment and and say hi.

Thought of the day............ There is no such thing as bad weather ..........just bad clothes!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Making it home.......... Kitchen renovations continue

I'm not sure about calling this post making it home it should really be called making more mess, or please can we get something finished.

The kitchen renovations continue in our house if you would like to find out more here is the link to planning a  small kitchen.
It has been a stressful couple of weeks to say the least we seem to be hitting a problem at every turn i sometimes wonder if the house does not want to be fixed. It seems to want to hold on to its 80's grey kitchen and garage you can't fit a car in.

I thought the original grey kitchen above was scary but then things looked alot worse when everything got ripped out and thrown in the skip and the items to go back into the kitchen got moved into the lounge for what was intended to be a temporary stay !

 A month later the lounge is still chaos as it still has dining table and other kitchen things strewn all around it as sadly we had a couple of weeks where are builder was very unwell and work stopped in the kitchen leaving us in a right mess. Things moved forward a bit more last week and we could finally see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel although we still had along way to go.

Then this week things really started taking shape and we managed to sneak a few essential items back in and finally had a sink again ...... no more washing up in the bathroom hurrah.

Its really getting there now and a million miles away from the grey impractical space we started with. I can not wait to start doing the finishing touches but i think that's a way off yet as still electrics to be done and a wall to come down and a garage to be converted to give us the link through rooms. I am really pleased though with what we have achieved so far and I am really looking forward to getting each room back to its proper use and being able to use it as a real family home.

That's it from me this week what have you been up to around your house to make it home, i would love you to link up and share your home and its always lovely to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment.


         Feel free to grab the making it home badge and ready steady link.

Thought of the day.................. Renovations and children don't mix !

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Making it home .......... Best of British

Welcome to making it home..............

 This weekend we have been celebrating the Queens Diamond Jubilee so with that in mind i thought it would be lovely to give making it home  a best of British theme this week.  This can be linking up how you decorated your home or garden for the jubilee or like me celebrating the best British home products

There are so many lovely British made quality products on sale and some fantastic statement pieces that can really add wow factor to a room.  My post this week is all about celebrating and showcasing a few of my favourite things items i have found and handpicked as best of British.

Aperture Light Shade

I adore the light shade pictured above it really gives the wow factor to a very simple white dining area and adds a great focal point to the room. I have had these on my wish list for awhile now for my lounge a room i know we will get to revamp one day!! I found these at very nice things who indeed do very nice British made things.

Autumn Stems, limited edition giclee print 8 x 10ins

 Next on my list are these lovely inspired by nature limited edition prints by Eloise Renouf'  once i get to the finishing touches stage in the kitchen i will definitely be inspired by these prints. I wish there was a  fabric too as i could really see a lovely kitchen blind in this sort of print.

I am a really big fan of good quality oak furniture and i think when making over a room its good to invest in furniture as well chosen good quality pieces will fit in with any scheme and will therefore last you well.  I love oak and this dining set i think is a modern classic and would definitely stand the test of time. I found this set at topfurniture when i was looking for a bench to update my own dining table as my budget won't quite stretch to replacing a whole set.

Wallpaper on the other hand is a great way to update a room without breaking the bank by adding a feature wall you can really change the look of a room. My favourite wallpaper at the moment is this gorgeous retro feel bird print by Rachel Powell i hope i can find a small space somewhere to add this as a feature wall.

My final celebration of British is a fantastic company i have found called new life paints who
bring new life to old paint and help the landfill problem at the same time. Paint is simply saved from landfill sorted into type then blended and treated filtered and tested to produce a high quality paint in a very good choice of colours. What a fantastic idea helping the environment and giving us stylish homes at the same time.

New Life Paints

 That's it from me for this week now  its over to you to link up your posts on how your making it home. Feel free to continue the Best of British theme maybe you have decorated your home or garden for the jubilee or you have made something for the home or like me you may want to tell us the products on your wish list.


Feel free to grab the badge and ready steady link