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.