Friday, December 19, 2014

Love The Little Things 2014

So, this is my last #littleloves for this year. I am also going to be taking a break from blogging from today until January, so I can recharge and spend some time with my family properly, as I am sure lots of you out there are too. I will still be on instagram, so do please come and follow me - charlies_mummy84.

This week has been one of the busiest of the year. We have had one week to find a new childminder so have spent every evening meeting potential ones and then it was the step-daughter's Christmas concert and today is hubby's birthday along with a party tomorrow for the step-daughter's birthday! Throw in some wrapping of presents, buying of presents and still trying to get to work on time and it's all been a bit mad! So I am definitely ready for a break and a lie in.

Anyway, I've tried to find things under the prompts below, but bear with me!


Lots of lovely Christmas and farewell cards from my students. I have had some beautiful messages and I am very sad to be leaving my students.


It's hard to find something good I've heard this week, what with the devastation in Pakistan and then Australia this morning. But I 'heard' the Head teacher's farewell speech to me last Friday evening and it was lovely; she referred to herself as my second mum! She really has been the most wonderful support whilst I've worked here, especially as when I first moved over I knew no one!
I've also heard Charlie sing 'Let it Go' every night in the car on the way home from the childminder! He's so funny as he only sings that line over and over!


Love Actually! I love Christmas films and this one is my absolute favourite. Tonight, for hubby's birthday we are getting Chinese and the four of us are settling down with The Polar Express, another absolute favourite. I also got given some bubbly from one of my students, so I shall be cracking that open to have whilst we watch it.


This week, it's been about Christmas jumpers and I have managed to wear three of them!


Errrm, not a lot! Honestly, we have eaten rubbish for tea every night this week. I just haven't had time to even think about what to cook, let alone cook it. I did 'make' my Christmas dinner list for Sunday. As we go away for Christmas, we are doing Christmas dinner with the step daughter on Sunday as she will be staying with her mother (not our choice of course though!). I have added brussel sprouts to my list as I had a Christmas dinner at school on Wednesday and tried them for the first time and loved them! So our Christmas dinner will be turkey, roasties, sprouts, carrot crush, sweetcorn (for the littlies), pigs in blankets, stuffing and cranberry sauce - yum! I can't wait and am literally drooling now.

And lastly, this year has been tough. Way tougher than I ever imagined. I'm surprised we're all still intact to be honest, but we are and we have lots to be thankful for. I am really looking forward to focusing on family for the next two weeks, to eating more turkey than my stomach can handle and drinking lots of yummy prosecco! Christmas is a time for family and I entire to spend my time with them, I can't wait to see Charlie's face when he opens his pressies on Christmas day, and of course I am hoping for a little something myself, which I know Santa *may* have obliged with (Santa being my mother of course). I love Christmas with my family and even though my Grandad won't be there, we'll still have a drink to him and remember him openly and merrily.

So, thank you for reading my blog this year and I wish you all a Happy Christmas with your families and see you next year.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Love The Little Things Week 49

Once again, I am back with #little loves, linking up with Butwhymummywhy?


So so many exam papers! It's been exam week at our school and so I now have to mark them all - 150 papers in 10 days! I was pleased to see how well some of my students did; it's nice to know that what I have taught actually had some impact and they've been paying attention!


Still going through the Mad Men series! I am on to series 3 now and am loving it more than ever. We also cosied up and watched Home Alone 2, I love that film and it always puts me in the mood for Christmas.


LOTS of Christmas songs! All the old ones are the best and this one is by far my favourite - it always reminds me of my Grandma's house on Christmas Day as she would have her tapes playing - tapes haha!


I popped into Clarks the other day on the way home from work as I am in desperate need of new shoes for work - they had a sale on which I didn't know about and I managed to pick these up for £19.99 - bargain! They are so comfy and look really good with skinny jeans for the weekend too.


Made quite a few things that I forgot to take pictures of! I made our tutor group hamper for charity and I helped the students make some Christmas tree decorations - I also made a Santa's Grotto for the School Christmas Market (yes, we're too posh for a fair haha!). This is my step-daughter with Santa. I don't think my efforts were too bad! 

And finally, I am thrilled that both hubby and I got new jobs this week! We both start in January and I am going to be in the high school that is just across the road from where I live! I can't wait to be able to lie in a bit longer in the mornings and then be able to walk to and from work, without having to use the car. Hubby is also going to be working just down the road at the local primary, that eventually Charlie will go to. It's hopefully going to mean that I get to spend more time with Charlie, as we spend 40-50 mins in the car every morning and evening. The only downside is, that we have to move childminders and I am absolutely gutted about this. Charlie's childminder is wonderful and he loves her so much, but we just can't continue to drive him 20 miles away. So, hopefully hubby's mum is going to look after him for us. 
I am very excited for a new start and a new challenge, but this next week at school is going to be very emotional. The school are doing staff goodbyes tonight after school and I have to make a leaving speech. I am not sure if I can get through it without crying though! Thankfully, they provide wine! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

#Nextmaswishlist Competition

So, we certainly can't escape from it: It is definitely Christmas season. We put our tree up last night - please see my picture on instagram - I am stuck with the world's smallest Christmas tree! I've got used to it though now and I actually think it's quite sweet!

So with the Christmas season underway, I have started thinking about what I would like for Christmas. I have sorted out all the gifts I am buying for everyone else, but when I saw the competition Next are doing, asking bloggers to share their own Next Christmas Wish List, I thought I would think about me for a change and compile my own list. You never know, hubby 'may' read this and take a hint! Also, if I;m really lucky, Next might just gift me one of the items on my list too!

So here is my own #Nextmaswishlist. I've tried to put things on the list from different categories, as I don't just want clothes, I would like things for the home as well. I really, really love the bedding set; we've been in our house a year now and after Christmas I have plans for our bedroom and also a little office space on our landing! I also really like the nail varnish set - if you follow me on instagram, you'll see I love nail varnish and am often painting my nails. This set is packed full of really great colours and some really pretty Christmas colours too.

Fingers crossed Santa gets my list!

1. Fair Isle embroidery double bed set £30 2. Jewellery box £35  3. Black Leather Gloves £16 4. Red Heart Knit Snood £16 5. NYX Nail Polish set £20 6. Notebook and Pen Set £12 7. Heart and Star Mug set £7 8. Rustic Collage Frame £35 9. Pale Denim leggings £24 10. Navy Textured Layered Shirt £35

Monday, December 1, 2014

Recipe Time: Beef stroganoff

Beef isn't my first choice of meat. I much prefer chicken, but hubby gets really fed up with it, understandably. So, in an effort to appease him occasionally, I make beef stroganoff. I love it; it's creamy and tasty and really good on a cold winter's night. You can serve it with what you like, but as it's with a sauce, it's quite good with rice to mop up that lovely, creamy sauce.

I can't remember where the original recipe came from. There's lots of variations out there. The Hairy Dieters one says to use half fat creme fraiche, so as to reduce the calories, but I don't tend to bother. I never have half fat creme fraiche sat in the fridge, but I do tend to have double cream! So I always use that. However please, if you do ever make this, feel free to substitute the double cream with a lighter or healthier alternative if you wish. I have to say though, I think the double cream makes this dish delicious!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Love The Little Things, Week 47

Once again, linking up with butwhymummywhy with the round up of this week's #littleloves.


I had a few days off work last as I felt so ill and run down. I still don't feel right and can't get rid of  this terrible cough that makes me sick! I also  think I must have a sinus infection as my face is so horribly painful. Anyway, having some time off meant I could finish my book It Must Have Been the Mistletoe, (Judy Astley) that I have had since October half term! It was wonderful; very predictable, but a lovely, easy Christmas read.


Ok, so I am coming late to this, but I have finally found Mad Men! Oh my word, what an amazing TV show! I am half way through series 2 now, due to having a few days off work sick last week.

I also watched everyone say goodbye to my Granddad at his funeral. Despite the very sad occasion, it was a beautiful service and when the car we were in, following the hearse, pulled into the cemetery grounds I was literally overwhelmed by the amount of people that were there. There were well over 100 people waiting to say goodbye to the most wonderful man I have ever met. There weren't enough seats and people had to stand in the hall way or outside, but they stayed and I just could not believe it. I said to Tom that it's a shame it's inappropriate to take pictures, as it was an amazing sight.


There weren't any hymns at my Grandad's funeral, he wasn't a religious man and he wouldn't have liked it. So instead we had songs that he used to listen to. We had Matt Monroe, Softly As I Leave You to the closing of the curtains around his coffin and we had Jim Reeves, Distant Drums to leave the crematorium to. It was lovely, it was so what he would have wanted and it made everybody smile. The tracks are below, in case you've never heard of them before!


Nothing worth mentioning here. I 'made' a start on the Christmas shopping and placed a huge order on Amazon! So that's a big chunk I can now cross off.


Two things I am loving this week. First of all, I the free Nails Inc nail varnish with Glamour, and I will be honest, I only bought the magazine for the free nail varnish! It's called Wigmore Street (sorry no pic!) and it's a really good winter colour and it stays on! Not like OPI, I am having trouble with my Black Cherry Chutney OPI nail varnish - within an hour it's started to chip.

Secondly, I have donned the festive jumpers already and wore this! It's a bit different, as it's not a woolly jumper, but a sweatshirt style.

And lastly, I am grateful this week for being able to meet my Grandad. Of course, I am sad he is no longer with us, but I am so happy and grateful that Charlie got to meet him and for all the happy memories I have of him. He was such a kind man and was always thinking of others. So, whilst I will miss him lots, we have lots of lovely things to remember him by. And he wouldn't want anyone to be upset anyway, he'd want them to be happy and live their life to the full.

This just sums up his outlook on life:

“You can shed tears that he is gone, 
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all he's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, 
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him only that he is gone,
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, 
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what he'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on."

So it's been a crappy few weeks, but there's always little things to help make us smile.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A bit of DIY

Anyone that knows me, knows I am not into crafting or DIY. I've mentioned on this blog that I am just not a craft person.

Anyway, since we decorated Charlie's room, there's still a blank wall in his room and I've been trying to find something lovely to fit on it, without breaking the bank.

I came across this post from Handbags to Change Bags and thought I would have a go at making my own wall art for Charlie using Pic Monkey. If you haven't heard about Pic Monkey, basically it's an online tool for editing images and photographs. However, you can also use it to create blog banners and logos etc. You can also use it to make cards and invites. It has a selection of free images, fonts, overlays and editing tools and then some you have to be a member to use. But there are loads to choose from for free, so it's not like they are fooling you into having to become a member.

I wanted to make something personal for Charlie that could be displayed in his room, but I also wanted a couple of quotes to hang there too.  What I made is below:

I did this by choosing design and then custom and in the pixel box, entering 595x842 (as this is the pixel size for A4 as I want to frame these in A4 frames). I then played around with colours and text for the first one and found two quotes from Pinterest for the other two. I am going to display them in a row on his bedroom wall.

I am really pleased with these and considering they only cost the price of the ink from your printer and three frames, they are really good!

Have you got any designs you did yourself?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My favourite story books for children

I often feel guilty, that as an English teacher, I don't read to Charlie enough. I suppose it's like the phrase - 'a bus man's holiday.' I don't want to come home and read books when I've spent all day reading with the kids in class.

However, I do love to read and I love to read to Charlie. He's starting to get involved more now and he turns the pages and is definitely more interested in what's going on in the book.

Below are my favourite story books. Some are for younger children and a few are for older children. They are all on my bookshelf ready to read to Charlie and some get read regularly before bed. I want Charlie to be interested in books; such a bigger world is opened up if you read and of course, with my teacher head on, spelling, vocabulary and general writing skills are greatly improved with continued and regular reading. But I want him to enjoy stories; curling up reading a book that you can't put down, I don't think that should be just a female thing, which unfortunately, I think it is. The boys at school are always reluctant readers; some enjoy it, but it's always the girls who enjoy reading the most. I want Charlie to be passionate about stories and books. My step-daughter always puts books on her Christmas and birthday lists and she loves to read; she's such a good reader and is really competent, so I'm hoping her enthusiasm will pass on to Charlie.

So here are my favourite books, which I hope will pass down to Charlie and make him love books like his mummy.

1. The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson. Of course, I couldn't do this without including this book. I don't know what it is about this book, but it's a cult book. But it's so good and Charlie loves this one.

2. I Call Him Mr Flubbergump, Anthony Rea. This is written by a friend of my hubby, who lives on the Isle of Man. We were lucky enough to go to a book signing of this at Waterstones on the island, so Charlie has his own personal, signed copy.

3. The Witches, Roald Dahl.  As a teacher, I love reading this book to my students; I do a mean Grand High Witch voice and I always leave the students wondering if any of their teachers really are witches.

4. Five Minutes Peace, Jill Murphy. My Mum used to read this to me when I was a child and I loved it; I have fond memories of curling up at bedtime ready to read this.

5. Can't You Sleep Little Bear? Martin Waddell. Again, my Mum used to read this to me when I was a child, about a little bear that can't go to sleep. It's so sweet.

What are you favourite children's books?

Friday, November 14, 2014

My winter picks

The other day, I showed you my winter choices for Charlie. Today, I have put together my own winter picks for myself. I always like to get a new jumper or two for winter and there are so many gorgeous ones to choose this year - it's going to be hard choosing!

Anyway, here are my favourite items for this season.

Everyone needs a Christmas jumper and I love the Joe Browns one as it's a sweatshirt style. I *may* already have this in my wardrobe. 

Every year I go in search of the perfect winter coat. And never find one. So many people have raved about this coat, particularly Avril from School Gate Style, so I'm tempted to get this for the winter season. 

New Christmas Pj's are a must in our house every year, I love these owl ones from marksies, and of course fluffy socks are a necessity! 

The berry fluffy cardi would look good dressed up for party nights and maybe to smarten up black jeans over Christmas and i love the space dye dress - I think I might get this for Boxing day. 

And finally, this gorgeous deer jumper! Hubby bought me the same jumper for my birthday lat year. It was blue with love birds on and it's so pretty, everyone always complements me when i wear it. 

Please do link up your picks for this season! I love to see what everyone else is wearing. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My winter picks for boys

When I found out I was having a boy, I worried that I wouldn't be able to find any clothes that I liked for a boy. I always thought they were boring, or too old. But, once I started looking around, I found that, actually, there are hundreds of gorgeous items for boys, not just girls.

I love choosing clothing for Charlie. Since he was born, I have had a box of clothes in the next size up, all washed and ready for when he needs them. But I always choose him a few bits that are current and I thought I would share with you my favourite items for the winter season.

This just proves that boys clothes can be fun and good looking - everyone needs a Christmas jumper after all! I am going to get Charlie the shoes this weekend; my Granny gave me some money to put towards his shoes as she couldn't believe how much the last pair were! Baby's shoes are so expensive - I've been told it's because there is more work involved in these styles. 

My Mum bought Charlie the green coat for winter; it's really warm as it's fleeced lined and padded. He was toasty warm in it when we went to the fireworks and it's water proof. I love the cute little hat, although Charlie isn't a big fan of leaving his hat on! And he really needs a little scarf like this, as his neck gets so cold and he is prone to colds and coughs (which may be down to being snowed in without any heating when he was 15 days old ha!). 

I don't like to spend too much on Charlie's clothing, as kids aren't in it very long, but I always find good staples at Florence and Fred at Tesco and George at Asda - vests, socks, basic tops etc. and then I like to get him a few key pieces for the season from Next or M&S. I haven't really bought clothes for kids from Zara, but everyone raves about them on Instagram and their blogs, so I thought I would add the checked shirt to our list. Living on the Isle of Man with it's limited shops, means that everyone tends to be wearing the same. Hopefully he will look unique in this shirt as there is no Zara on the island! 

Please link up your winter style for your little ones - I'd love to see what everyone is wearing! 

Check back later in the week, when I'll be showing you my own winter picks for myself! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Love The Little Things, Week 45

Sorry, I've missed a few weeks of #littleloves but I am back once again with what I've been loving, this time, over the past few weeks!


I went to the library in the hols and picked up a Christmas book! Yes, I know that, at the time, it was a bit early, but I'm writing about it in November, so it counts now. It's called 'It Must Have Been The Mistletoe' by Judy Astley. I love a good old Christmas book to read in the weeks leading up to Christmas, it always makes it feel a bit more real. The book is about Thea, whose parents host a Christmas party in a house by the sea, even though they are about to split up. I haven't read much, but it's definitely an engaging storyline. 


THIS!! So excited for the John Lewis advert and was excited when I saw But Why Mummy Why? Had also featured it on her watched list this week! The advert has become a bit of a cult thing at Christmas now. I loved last year's advert and couldn't wait to see this year's. I think I prefer this year's advert, it's so sweet and I was so pleased when the penguin got it's mate! 


Not a lot this week. Although, I have changed my radio station from Radio 1 to Radio 2. I only listen on the commute to work and back I but really cannot stand Grimmy anymore and I have always liked Chris Evans; I think his breakfast show is really quite entertaining and funny. Does this now make me old though??


Winter boots finally! I bought two pairs back in Summer and have been dying to wear them ever since! I love winter; being able to wear fluffy jumpers and gorgeous boots. I've also ditched the summery nail colours and am firmly back on OPI Black Cherry Chutney. I've also bought a plain black nail varnish, but I'm not too sure about it yet - not sure if it makes me look like a goth! (not that there's anything wrong with that, but I am quite clearly not one!) I also bought this jumper for the Christmas season from Next:


Let down again by this category! I haven't made anything of note, besides a gin and tonic haha. Although we have been enjoying warming dinners instead of salads etc, such as chilli, roasts and casseroles. I'm so pleased to be able to make yummy comforting dishes again. 

And lastly, this week has been firework night! I love November 5th and this year, Charlie is just old enough, not to understand what they are, but to appreciate them. He loved them when we went on Wednesday night and we are going to an even bigger and better one tonight. It's also our weekend to have the step-daughter, so we are taking the kids out tomorrow to a animal place where they can see lots of little animals and get to touch them! 

As ever, I am linking up with Butwhymummywhy, so be sure to join in with the linky!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How house proud are you?

I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to my house. I like everything in its place and clean and tidy. Ask my husband, it drives him insane. I have a weekly schedule of tasks I do - change the bedding, hoover from top to bottom, dust and clean the bathroom. But I also quickly wipe around the bathroom most days and I always tidy Charlie's clutter up as soon as he is in bed each evening.

I like things just so. Again, it drives my husband mad that I can get really stressed that something hasn't been put away or it's not in its right place. He can't understand it. He can't see why I am seething when he leaves teabags lying around the kitchen or his underwear NEXT to the washing bag, rather than in it. He can't see why I get so fed up with shoes in an untidy pile behind the door or the coasters not on the coffee table but underneath it (that one is Charlie, by the way!). But my Mum was exceptionally clean and tidy and I suppose I adopted her ways. But I like things to be clean, I like to know where my stuff is and I like to be able to sit down at the end of the day surrounded by a tidy living room and be able to relax.

So I was interested to take the Carpet Right House Proud Survey, to find out really how house proud I am. Interestingly, but unsurprisingly, I got Perfectionist! It says I spend countless hours ensuring my house is clean and tidy. I suppose I do. But I don't see it as a chore, I really do enjoy keeping my house clean!

You can take the survey here if you like and join in. But do let me know what result you get! You could also win a £250 Virgin Experience.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Love The Little Things, Week 41

I'm back again, with #littleloves and as usual, linking up with butwhymummywhy.


I am currently reading Mothers Ruined on my kindle, written by the very talented Aimee, from Pass The Gin. It is very sharp and witty and I am loving it. Aimee has a very unique writing style and I loved her first novel, The Survival of The Ginnest.


The X Factor final 12! Sorry this is a cheesy one, but not managed to listen to much this week. I really like Stevie's song, even though he's not the best singer, he's a great entertainer and I loved Chloe Jasmine's song too.


Again, not done much TV watching either, but I did managed to watch Grease with the step-daughter this weekend!


My new jeans! I love these grey skinnies from Next. So comfy and just the right length in their petite version and a bargain at £20!


A good old G&T! This week has been hectic and needed the weekend to recharge and chill out and this was just the way to do it.

Short and sweet this week folks! Busy, busy making a roast and watching the F1! And drinking some wine of course...

Enjoy the rest of your weekends!


I love photographs. If you took a look around our house you would see that, I'm sure. Photographs are everywhere: we have a small photo wall in our living room and there are frames jotted around the house, on bookshelves, window sills, on the dresser and all over. I have in excess of four thousand photos on my iTunes and lately, I've started panicking that if my mac ever dies then I will have lost all my special photos. I really need to create a backup somewhere.

Anyway, I like to keep memories out, so that there's a reminder of events, special times, or people that are no longer with us all around us.

My Aunty bought Charlie a personalised my first year frame for his first birthday and it's really beautiful. But, since he got it, it's been sat under my bed waiting to be filled with photographs - one for each month of his first year. The reason it's been sat there so long is because the size of each frame is tiny - 4x4cm to be exact! And I couldn't think of the best way to get photos printed to that size.

So on Sunday, fed up of having the frame and not being able to enjoy it, I googled 4x4cm prints on the off chance of finding something. And find something I did! I came across Odd Prints. A fabulous website where you can upload your photograph and input the exact size you want your photograph to be and they will magically transform it to your required size - you can either download it or you can get them printed direct and sent out in the post. At first I chose download, but you can only download so many before it asks you to put the items in your basket - understandable of course, they are a business after all and they aren't expensive anyway - 50p per print, which, considering they are a bespoke size, I don't think are too expensive.  So I had the rest sent out in the post and wondered what they would be like when they arrived.

To say I was thrilled was an understatement. They arrived on Tuesday which, considering I only ordered them on Sunday and we live in the Isle of Man, I thought was pretty good service! They are the perfect size and come ready to cut on 6x4 photo paper. The only thing I didn't realise at the time is that they are Matt finish, rather than gloss, but I'm not that fussed. I don't know if you can choose gloss at the checkout or not, but I have some more to print in a different size so I will be checking for gloss.

I am really pleased with how the frame has now turned out, I think it's beautiful and a bit different to the average 'My first year' frames you often get.

I would definitely recommend Odd Prints if you have funny sized frames you need to fill. And I should say Odd Prints have not asked me to write this, I just wanted to share my wonderful find!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Love The Little Things Week 40

Gosh, it's a very long time since I joined in with this! So here is this week's #littleloves. As usual, I am linking up with butwhymummywhy.


The Light Between Oceans. M.L.Steadman

Oh my word. I have just finished the most amazing book, and I urge you all to read it. My mum bought it for me from Amazon and had it sent to me back in about May and I have been trying to read it since then. I won't ruin the story, but basically a light keeper and his wife live on a remote island, where they are the only inhabitants. One day, a boat is washed up containing a dead man and a crying baby. They have to decide what to do with the baby. The story had me in tears at the end and was one of those books that stayed with you for days after. It's beautifully written but so very, very sad.

When I googled this book, I came a across a site that says it has been turned into a movie - I absolutely cannot wait for that to come out!


As it's getting darker and cooler now in the evenings, I have noticed we are definitely watching a lot more TV in the evenings. This week, we've been catching up on The Dome on Channel 5. It's series 2 and based on Stephen King's novel. Whilst I'm still enjoying it, I feel like it needs to be brought to some sort of conclusion.


Oohh lots on my play list this week:

Calvin Harris - Blame

Sam Smith - I'm not the only one

George Ezra - Blame It On Me

The Script - Superheroes


Not wore this yet, but I will be on Saturday to nip into town. Again, my mum bought me this! She text me on Friday to say buy myself something nice and she will give me the money. She's so sweet.


This. Yum. Oh I love roast dinners. It was our first proper roast of Autumn and I treated us to pigs in blankets so it felt a bit like Christmas as we only ever really eat them at that time of year! Best roast in ages.

And finally, I am looking forward to this weekend: it's Spanish Saturday in our house, which means my favourite meal - paella and spanish wine yum! And the odd G&T thrown in.

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The September Shopping List

I've been a bit slack on the old blogging front lately. Not really a reason, just have found it difficult to get back into it after the holiday.

Anyway, as the new school year approached, I had a clear out of my wardrobe and binned some oaps that were sat there gathering dust. I decided on a few key pieces that I needed and, so far, I have stuck to my list, apart from two exceptions, which came to £2.99! (see below)

So I thought I would share with you. I am by no means an expert in fashion or anything close. But I am a 30 year old mum and teacher and I try hard to stay stylish, but without being completely trendy. I couldn't do that even if I wanted to. For starters, I'm not a stick, which Topshop believe you must be if you want to fit into their jeans.

Anyway, here are my September purchases:

I needed a couple of new dresses for work, so I picked up these in Next:

I've worn the floral one, but the grey one feels more like a knitted dress, so I am saving it for when the weather cools down a bit to wear with black thick tights and boots. 

I've been searching for the perfect jeans for nearly a year! And whilst I bought the pair below, I'm still not completely satisfied. I find it hard to get the right length in jeans as I am so short (just short of 5"). These were Next skinny petite jeans, but I still have to roll them up a bit. I also snaffled the slippers without hubby seeing haha! 

A spur of the moment purchase, was these black fringed boots from Topshop. They were a bargain at £30 in the sale and I absolutely love them! I just need some trainer socks to wear with them. I hate boots without socks. 

Charlie trying on Mummy's slippers!  

I don't tend to buy much from Peacocks, I sometimes feel the quality is a bit naff, but I was in there browsing one day and spotted the skirt above. It's a really lovely wool fabric and will be great for winter and I though it was a bargain at £16! 

Next up are two bargain purchases that weren't on my list, but were so cheap anyway. The first one was these Asos grey jersey culottes. I got them on eBay for 99p! I first saw them on Emma from Life At The Little Wood. They didn't have them anymore online but I happened to come across them on eBay! They are so comfy and look really nice over black tights and paired with black brogues 

On Saturday's I often put Charlie in his pram and we have a stroll around our local village. There's a pretty decent charity shop, which at the moment is selling Beanie teddies for £2 each! But whilst browsing, I saw these floral culottes hanging up in the display area for £2! Bargain! Again, they look really nice with black tights and brogues.

I had been looking for some brogues for ages. However, it's a style that I wasn't sure if I would like as, to me, they looked a little 'manly.' So I didn't want to spend too much until I knew that I liked the style. I found some for £14.99 on eBay. Of course, they aren't real leather. But now I know I like the style then I will look around for some decent ones. I quite like these ones from Next and Clarks. I realise that they are children's shoes but they have them in my size! 

Clarks brogues 
Next brogues 

Although not on the list, I also came across a really beautiful jewellery store online, called Susie Ho. All pieces are handmade by a lady called Susie. I bought this cord bracelet with a blue angelite and silver heart. I ordered them on a Thursday and they were with me by the Saturday! Such quick service and they come beautifully presented in either a gift box or organza gift bag. 

I should also mention, a beautiful scarf that arrived with a package I had ordered from Avril at School Gate Style. I ordered the necklace below and in with the package she popped the pink and white scarf too! It's beautiful. 

Of course, no Autumn shopping is complete without nail varnish! I got these from Boots with one of the no 7 vouchers. Although, to be honest, I am not that impressed with the quality of them - they both chipped within a couple of hours wear and they don't go on well, they go a bit streaky and bubbly. Love the colours though, so it's a shame as I probably won't wear them much. 

I am coveting one more item, but I am not sure if I can justify the price tag. I love hoodies and these two caught my eye whilst browsing the Next store online. Obviously I wouldn't buy both! And when I placed them in my online basket, it said expected in 6-8 weeks, so that stopped me from clicking purchase. I am tempted with one of them though when they come back in stock. 

What's on your Autumn shopping list? 

Monday, August 18, 2014


As the Summer holidays start to come to an end, I start thinking about the new school year. As much as I love being off and now even more so with Charlie around, I do get a little bit excited about the new school year. It's always a time to start again, especially if I've had a bad class the previous school year, or a tricky student to deal with. It means a new timetable, new classes and a new routine. It also means new stationery! And I've bought myself a new lunchbox and a few new bits of work clothes to see me through the winter. It's always a time where I try to change things, to sort the house out, to sort my wardrobe out etc so that I am ready for a new school year. 6 weeks off seems like a long time, but actually it's gone so fast and I still have lots of sorting out to cram in in the last two weeks. Starting today, with my wardrobe. I seem to have developed an obsession with jeans, I now have 7 pairs and I just don't need 7 pairs of jeans!

As the new year starts, I also feel it's time for a change in me. With it being the holidays I have let diet slip, eating what I like and drinking a bit too much wine. But I'm not happy with my weight again. Before I had Charlie I had rocketed to a size 16 and after I had him, I lost lots of weight without even trying, probably due to breastfeeding nearly 20 hours a day for the first few weeks! I felt better, my clothes looked better and I was down to a size 14 again. Now, I am not saying that big is wrong, but I don't feel happy with having to squeeze myself into my skinny jeans again. I want them to fit comfortably again. I'm still a 14, but only just and I don't want to have that ugly roll of skin hanging over my jeans.

So it's time to get back on track and pay more attention to what I am putting into my mouth. This means less sweets and chocolate and less wine. Being away on holiday meant I drank wine nearly every night for two weeks! So I intend to ensure I only have wine Friday's and Saturday's and then maybe either Thursday or Sunday, but only if I want it. I am far too influenced by instagram pictures of gin and wine and need to be more aware of what's good for me. I want to be a size 14 comfortably. I'm not unrealistic and I know that I don't have time to do proper exercise, but I will walk where I can rather than drive. At school, I often have big lunches as I get them free, but I am going to change that and take salads or soups when it gets colder or make my own, rather than having two big meals a day. I'm going to make more use of my slow cooker, so that at the end of a busy day I don't resort to ordering chinese. And I am going to ensure that this is more of a lifestyle change, rather than something I do for a few weeks and get bored.

I should also explain my three week absence here. It's simply that I have been away and have just found it difficult to get back into writing. But I've got lots of things planned, including a a little treat that I was sent from Avril at School Gate Style!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Charlie's view

Hi, I'm Charlie. Mummy talks about me a lot on here, but she thought it was about time you got to know me better. Mummy asked me a few questions about some of my favourite things and here are my answers:

Favourite food

Boobies, hehe, sorry mummy says I am getting too old for these, but I only really have them just before bed, And sometimes if I can't sleep through the day or I get really, really upset or hurt myself. I know where they are now so I can lift her top if I am feeling cheeky, and point to them! I also like kinder bars, they are really sweet and milky. I also really like carrot and potato mash with baked beans, that's probably my best tea in the whole world.

Least favourite food

I do not like raspberries or strawberries, yuck, I always make a funny face if Mummy makes me eat one. Why are they so mushy? They make my face do a funny thing with the flavour.

Favourite toy

I love Blackburn Bear for bedtime (He is mummy's bear that her mum and dad bought her and he wears a dressing gown in Blackburn Rovers colours, so I think that's why he's called Blackburn Bear). He is really soft and snuggly. My favourite toy for during the day is my car. If you press it down it goes really fast. I'm glad mummy and daddy have wooden floors as it goes extra fast on them.

Least favourite toy

I do like all my toys, but I think I am now too old for Sophie the giraffe. She was really good to me when I had sore teeth, although I didn't really use her like Mummy wanted me to. But if my teeth hurt now I just have a little cry and go for a cuddle. I don't need a giraffe anymore.

Best friend

My best friend is my friend Finlo. He was born three weeks after me. His Mummy is called Alice and my Mummy and her are really good friends. Finlo comes to play sometimes and I try to share my toys and I am getting good at it Mummy says. I like to climb on Finlo though and Mummy tells me off. I don't know why, Finlo doesn't mind. Finlo's Mummy has just had a new baby (I got to hold him like a big boy) and I keep seeing Mummy disappear with bags of my clothes and old toys, so I think she may be taking them to Finlo's little brother. I don't mind though.

Favorite TV programme

Mummy says when I was tiny I loved Baby TV, especially Charlie and the Numbers, which is funny because I am called Charlie. It's not my favourite though. Mummy put In The Night Garden on the other day on her Kindle whilst she was trying to work, and now that's my favourite program. Mummy had a catalogue on the table the other day with lots of toys in and I really want an Iggle Piggle toy of my own for Christmas.


Mummy says I am not good at going to bed. I think she gets very frustrated. But I like being with my Mummy and Daddy and when they put me to bed, they leave me and I want to be with them, so I wake up and cry a lot. Daddy decided to put my mattress by the side of his bed and I am happier here. I know Mummy and Daddy are there then if I wake in the night and I can just climb up on to their bed. I think Mummy said I had been sleeping longer the other day, I'm hoping she isn't going to make Daddy put my mattress back in the cot. I will sleep in my own bed soon, when I am ready. Just not yet.

Me snuggling Blackburn Bear 


I love the bath! I always have a bath with Daddy, he is really good at doing baths. He splashes me and plays fishes with me and lets me lie on his knees. He is really good at washing my hair and never gets shampoo in it. Mummy does though, she is rubbish at bath time and always gets suds in my eyes.

Trips out 

I really really like going to the park as I like to run around the grass. We do have a garden with lots of grass but I much prefer to run around in the park. I also like to go to Dragon's Castle and The Fun Factory which are both soft play centres. Mummy normally leaves these activities to the childminder, I don't know why. But as she is off with me now for 6 weeks, maybe she will take me. I hope so.

My family

I love my big sister, Aalish. She isn't always here, I don't know why. But when she is, she plays with me and cuddles me and she always shares her Mars Mix with me. She bites them first to make sure they are soft and then she gives it to me. She is very thoughtful. I also love my Granny and Grandpa, who I see on the laptop a lot. I don't get to cuddle them very much, which makes me sad, as they live in England and apparently I live in the Isle of Man and Mummy says you have to get a boat or a plane to get to their house. Mummy says we are going to see them next week and stay in something called a Caravan. I don't know what this is, but it sounds fun!
I also have a Great Granny, she is very old and has funny white hair and when I talk to her she always says "I had one of them and the wheel fell off.' I have no idea what she's talking about but I giggle anyway, just to make her feel like I know what she means. I have a Great Grandpa too. He doesn't talk a lot or say much, but he gives massive bear hugs. Mummy says he is poorly now and we may have to get on a plane any minute to go and see him.

What I am looking forward to

Mummy says that next week we are going on holiday, I don't really know what this means, but I know that we are leaving our house and going to stay somewhere else. She says it will be really exciting and I will get to play on the beach and in the swimming pool and she says there is a place that has lots of rides for me to go on. She also said there is a train I can go on, I really like trains. I watch Thomas The Tank Engine quite a bit so I hope it looks like that. I am excited to go on a big boat to get there too, although Mummy said to Daddy I am going to be a nightmare on the boat for 4 hours. 

Bye for now,
Love Charlie x

Friday, July 18, 2014

Love The Little Things, Week 29

Yes!! It's the Summer holidays! 6 whole weeks of freedom and time spent with my boy. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.

Anyway, here are my #littleloves this week.


All I've read this week is lots of teaching websites! I have been madly planning for September


We watched the World Cup Final last weekend. Hubby and I decided to support Germany - he had them down to win in a competition at work and one of my best friends is German! So we made flags to wave around in support.


Really loving Ella Henderson's Ghost this week.

This is an old one, but I still love it. Kasabian, Goodbye Kiss. 

Another old one, but one of my favourites, it reminds me of a very, very dear friend - David Grey, This Year's Love. 


My face has been very oily lately, so I took the Body Shop's skin consultation and this is what it recommended. So I've been wearing this on my face this week and so far so good! I got the clarifying night treatment, the pore minimiser and the daily cleansing face wash. I have to say the scent was a bit different to what I am used to, but it's grown on me and I really like it now. It's very fresh. 

This week I have also been wearing my new bracelet, from Jo's Arm Candy. I saw Avril's bracelet on her blog and really wanted one! It's so pretty. 


Hmm, nothing of note here! I did make the dish below though, but I can't really say I made it! It's Tesco Southern Fried Chicken steak, Uncle Ben's Mexican rice and a big salad. Not exactly Michelin star, but bloody yummy! 

And finally, it's the Summer hols! wooop!! So excited! Going to spend this next week relaxing and getting the house straight and then we're off to Hoseasons!