Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Little Ray of Sunshine On A Wet Day

First of all I want to say thank you to everyone for the lovely comments you have left on my blog, they really do brighten up my day - and lets face it, we all need a little ray of sunshine with the weather like it is lately!

And talking of Sunshine..I was so touched to recieve the Sunshine Award this week from the lovely Judy at GoldCountryCottage! If you haven't yet visited Judy's beautiful, inspiring blog, then I would highly recommend you do!

Here is my award!;

Now i understand that the rules are I must answer the 5 questions below, then choose five blogs which never fail to brighten up my day, and pass on the Award. This was SO hard, as I truly do enjoy everyone's blogs equally, but I will stick to the rules, and here are my chosen five;

1) Lynda at Hookin' With Laa Laa

2) Katy at In The Sunny Spot

3) Lisa at Jumble And Jelly

4) Bellaboo at Bellascountry

5) Rebecca at Rebecca Dorne Diaries

I understand that some of you may prefer to keep your blogs award-free, and that's fine, I think the important part of this little game is just letting someone know how much you enjoy their blog - and I really do enjoy yours!

Now the last thing for me to do is to answer the 5 questions; so here it goes;

l. Favorite Color: Dusky Pink and Teal Green equally

2. Favorite Animal: Donkeys, I absolutely ADORE them, I cannot go to a Show or event without visiting the Donkey Sanctuary stand and making a fuss of the donkeys! - Elephants come a very close second!

3. Favorite Number: 16 - this was the number of my school bus when I was in High School! For me, being on the bus with all my friends was the best part of the day! I've always used this number ever since if i've ever had to choose a number!

4. Favorite non-alcholic drink: You can't beat a good cup of Typhoo Tea!

5. Facebook or Twitter: Facebook, I don't have a clue about Twitter...but at the moment I much prefer to blog, so rarely use Facebook nowadays.

6. What's your passion: My Husband and children first and foremost..and then, I guess it would be trawling charity shop/antique market,car-boot,jumble sales!

7. Giving or Receiving: I think there's nothing better than deciding upon, buying, wrapping and giving a beautiful gift, something which you know will really make that person smile. I like to really think about what i'm giving and that it will be something special to the recipient.

8. Favorite Pattern: polka-dots, everything is polka-dots with me, followed closely by florals and paisley - anything Cath Kidston really!

9. Favorite day of the week: A Friday - as it's the day I collect Mia from school, I love walking home, planning the weekend ahead.

10. Favorite Flower: Pink Roses - these were prominent in our wedding flowers and remind me very much of my Grandma.

So thank you very much Judy!! It means such a lot to know that my blog is read and enjoyed by others. Your little gesture came at the right time as I wasn't having a good day! I like to keep my blog a positive, happy place, but lets just say I wasn't relishing the thought of going back to work (albeit part-time) after 6 months maternity leave - i'm going to miss Baby Boy SO much!), and then to top things off, I had been waiting in the house all day for a delivery of books for Mia's birthday. A set that she had been excited about reading for some time. Would you believe it, the Courier had not bothered to knock at my door, he had simply left the cardboard box of books outside the front door, for hours, in the torrential rain!! The box was only discovered in the late afternoon when someone called at the door. Needless to say, the books were absolutely sopping wet and thoroughly ruined - what a thing to do!! Luckily the lady from customer service at the, lets just say; "well known national book seller" was very sympathetic and re-ordered them free of charge, apologising profusely. It's not the just the inconvenience, I love books and hate to see them get spoilt.

Anyway, rant over! I hope you are all enjoying the weekend,

Marina xx

Friday, 20 April 2012

Day Dreaming On Our Way Home From School

Every Friday afternoon it is my turn to collect Mia from school. Come rain or shine I pop Baby Boy in his pram and walk the 20 minutes from our house to the school gates. One of our favourite things to do while we walk, Mia & I, is to imagine what it would be like to live in our "dream house". We pass this particular house every week, hidden away up a lovely shady lane;

It stands, a grand Victorian pile, the large gardens hidden from view by tall wrought-iron railings, baring the word "PRIVATE". This only helps to capture our imagination. We imagine who might live there, and the beautiful rooms therein. Today, I happened to have the camera with me, and quickly took a photo - hoping the occupants wouldn't notice!

And here it is;

If the house were ours (in a perfect world!) Mia would have the room with the circular window; she says it reminds her of that of a ship, which would suit her perfectly as her own bedroom has a Cath Kidston sail-boat theme;

Hubby & I would have the room with the balcony, though i'm sure there are many rooms to choose from! In the Summer I would lie under the cedar tree in the garden and read. At Christmas a huge wreath would take pride of place on the grand front door, and an enormous tree would stand in the window twinkling with fairy lights....aaahh back down to earth!! Isn't it just nice to dream though sometimes!!

We took some more photos on the way home, it was a lovely afternoon;

I remember from the bedroom windows of both flats that I lived in when I was in my early 20's, I could see the green turrets of this hotel, at night they are illuminated.

When we got home, Baby Boy, who had slept the entire time was full of energy and wanted to play with his slippers! Mia on the other hand was tired after a busy day at school, so settled down and closed her doubt dreaming of that little room with the "ship's" window and what lies therein!

Hope you've all had a good week x

Thursday, 19 April 2012

What I Won...

In my last post I told you that i'd been lucky enough to win Lesley's fantastic giveaway for this lovely tea cosy!! It was made by Country Rose (if you click on the link it should take you straight to her wonderful blog!)

And here it is!;

A beautifully wrapped parcel and card!

I think you will agree it's far too pretty to be kept away in a cupboard, so it currently has pride of place at the centre of the dining table! Thank you again Lesley, I love it!!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Lovely Surprise and Some Bargain Buys!

Well first of all I've had a lovely surprise this afternoon! I've won Lesley's wonderful giveaway for a beautiful crochet tea cosy! I am absolutely thrilled! I've never won anything before! Do pop over to Lesley's lovely blog with the link above and take a peek..I will of course share some pictures as soon as it arrives!

I've had some great bargains for Mia and Baby Boy lately, and thought I'd show you a few;

A Cath Kidston sleepsuit (NEW WITH TAGS!) for 99p on eBay!..i was the only person to bid!;

A vintage 60's/70's sundress for Mia, just look at that pattern! Apart from needing a wash to freshen it up as it had obvioulsy been stored for around 40 years, it's in super condition!;

A "NEXT" floral summer coat for Mia, this was also brand new with the tags still attached from eBay, she wore it to school today and it looked fab! Very Cath Kidston-style don't you think!;

Two gorgeous dresses for Mia from the local charity shop; £1.00 each; The first one is very light and floaty;

Some fabulous gold ballet pumps which were reduced in Tesco and luckily for Mia the last pair were her size! She's chuffed to bits as they are to be her "indoor shoes" for school - she wanted something a bit different to the usual black gym pumps! She managed to convice me because A) they were reduced, and B)"Oh please don't make me wear those horrible black pumps mum, EVERYONE has those and we all get them mixed up and it makes us late for class!" Well these should certainly stand out in the cloakroom! (I secretly wish they had a pair in MY size too!!)

And, ok, so these aren't for the kids or anything to wear, but I couldn't resist these pretty cups & saucers from the Scout Jumble Sale the other week, 10p each!, though i've had to let a few of my other ones go in order to make room!;

Finally, thank you everyone for all of your lovely comments on my posts, they really do brighten up my day! Hope you're all having a good week x

Sunday, 15 April 2012

A Titanic Weekend

For as long as I can remember, certainly well before I went to see the James Cameron film (3 times at the age of 17!),I have been slighly obsessed with all things Titanic! Even when I was a little girl my Grandmother would cut out and save for me anything to do with the ship from her stack of women's magazines and newspapers. She herself was only 18 months old in 1912, but remembered it obviously being talked about a great deal as she was growing up.
(image from Google)

Mia has also become facinated by it, ever since we watched a documentary on the Discovery Channel when she was only 5! Now, at nearly 8 years old, she can answer so many questions on the topic, and spends hours absorbed in our little collection of books;

And our large vintage Titanic model in a glass case, complete with newspaper articles which we purchased from an Estate Clearance. It now takes pride of place in our dining room. Someone once upon a time must have taken great care to build this model and display it so carefully;

I love how the late previous owner even made the wooden life buoy and placed it around the picture of Captain Smith. I like to think that whoever made and loved this would be happy to think that we are now looking after and enjoying it so much.

So naturally this weekend, being the 100th anniversary, the two of us have spent a lot of the time glued to the History and Discovery Channels at the vast number of Titanic-related documentaries, and even deliberately purchased a couple of the large newspapers just so Mia could take the anniversary supplements and posters for her scrapbook that she is creating of all things "Titanic"!;

Last night, she said something which really touched us; she said "please can I borrow the kitchen-timer tonight?" and when I asked why (completely bewildered), she replied "because I want to use it to wake me up at twenty to midnight so I can sit up in bed and think about all those poor people who died when the Titanic hit the iceburg"!!

What a thing for a 7 year old to say!! And so, so sweet! As it turned out, we talked her out of borrowing the kitchen timer, and at twenty-to-twelve
she was in fact fast asleep!

Aside from all things Titanic, we did make time for a really lovely afternoon yesterday, just Mia & I. This was very special as it was the first time in 6 months since having Baby Boy that I have had the opportunity to spend a few hours away from home - leaving him with hubby. I'm still feeding him myself, so I'd spent the morning expressing like crazy hoping we'd have enough, and then Mia & me got all dressed up (Mia in her best dress complete with net under-skirt..why not?!;

And went out for lunch (the first meal i've eaten out in half a year! I really had taken these sort of things for granted!) a mooch around the charity shops and then to the cinema to see (sadly not Titanic in 3D as Mia is way too young, much to her frustration!) but Journey 2, ~The Mysterious Island . We had a GREAT time! It was really nice to have a girlie afternoon together, and come home to hubby and a very happy-to-see-me Baby Boy!

So altogether a very enjoyable weekend. Now back to Titanic..i'm going to watch the last episode of the Julian Fellowes adaption on ITV1..has anyone else been watching?

Hope you all had a lovely weekend too xx

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Return Of Spencer Bear!

I just have to share with you Mia's joy at the return of her beloved bear "Spencer"!

Three years ago she went on holiday to Menorca with her Dad, took Spencer with her, (as he went everywhere she went!) and on the last night before they came home, she left him behind in the hotel restaurant where they'd been watching the entertainment. Mia was distraught..they went down to look for him before they flew home, but someone had obviously picked him up, and he couldn't be found anywhere. My poor, poor little girl, I felt so terrible for her, as she cried and cried. Even three years on, you couldn't mention his name without her eyes filling with tears.

We'd looked for a "replacement" Spencer on eBay and the like, but every time i'd come across one (an M&S 2008 bear), i'd show her the eBay listing hopefully, and she'd sadly tell me "that's not him!" or "his tie wasn't that colour" so we'd give up, and not mention him again for another few months.

However..last week whilst browsing eBay, she came in and asked me if I'd looked for Spencer lately, i hadn't, so we sat down and trawled through the Ebay listings for "Marks and Spencer bear". There were lots of similar bears, but just not Spencer. Then, just as we were about to give up, she shreiked, grabbed the mouse, zooming back up to a listing i'd skimmed past; and shouted "That's HIM!!!!" She was overjoyed! Luckily there was a "buy-it-now or make an offer" option, so we made an offer (considerably less than the buy-it-now price I might add) and it was accepted immediately!! Mia was thrilled!!!

And even more so when less than 24 hours later the postman arrived with a parcel with something very soft and cuddly inside;

One very happy little girl!, she actually cried with happiness when she opened up the parcel. The eBay shop was called "findmycuddlytoy", very apt I thought; and Mia believes that Spencer is in fact the very same Spencer that went missing all those years ago in Menorca, finally found his way home...easy to imagine if you're 7!

This was the scene when I walked in to her room last night; tucked up in bed with his friends;

Isn't eBay just great??!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Lissy Lou's Vintage Easter Swap!

I've had great fun taking part in Lissy Lou's Vintage Easter Swap! I was partnered with Saphy, and over the last couple of months i've really enjoyed browsing her blog, and trying to find bits & bobs that i think she will like - i hope i've managed it! This is what I sent:

A vintage cup & saucer with lovely Spring violets and filled with some yummy eggs;

I'm thinking perhaps the cup & saucer will come in handy for her next tea party, and just maybe this vintage tea-strainer? If not, perhaps just for decoration! Also a small glass jug painted with little blue flowers and filled with yet more eggs!

A handmade "Derek the Dog" felt brooch from one of my favourite Etsy shops - I chose this because he's just so cute, and Saphy loves dogs!

An Easter themed pack of two tea towels, (to add to her large tea towel collection!)and a hand-knitted chick pin-cushion;

And a pretty Vintage tin:

And here's what i got....

A Pretty tin;

Now for a peek inside...;

I've been completely spoilt! I absolutely love everything!! In fact i can't resist opening up the tin and having another look every now & again! Inside was;

A lovely wooden heart decoration! Now i don't know if Saphy knew this, but I love these! It looks fab hanging on my dresser on the opposite side to one I had from hubby for Xmas;

A vintage Easter postcard - I'm chuffed with this!! I've wanted one for my Easter display for a long while and have just never got around to buying one - this is perfect!;

Some yummy chocolate and Strawberry Bear Yo Yo's - I shared these with Mia and we both loved them! She wants me to buy them for her lunchboxes now;

Lemon tea - this is lovely!! In fact i'm enjoying a cup while i write this!;

And this fabulous handmade phone/Ipod case - this is really me, I love it!! Its just what i needed as well!

And finally a Retro 1960's pillowcase! Look at the fab pattern! Now I have a bit of a thing about vintage pillowcases..whenever I see one such as this in a charity shop etc. I just cannot resist bringing it home with me - my airing cupboard is full of them! I use them, or sometimes turn them in to bags and aprons! My favourite in particular are those just like this one - in fact we have a similar one, but in blue, on our bed at the moment!;

Saphy, THANK YOU so very much, what a wonderful swap parcel! I have been very spoilt, I love everything!!

Have a great Easter everyone xx