Monday, 30 November 2009

Bloggers block

Image courtesy of Dave at riptheskull

I think I'm suffering bloggers block. I keep trying to start a post but can't seem to get anywhere.

I'm also getting distracted by the housework that needs doing. I've had five impromtu visits from friends, neighbours and police in the last week and apologising for the mess is getting old. So now that K is tucked up in beddybyes I am going to have a good clear up.

In lieu of a proper post I give you a link to a thanksgiving letter that shows it is better to be a bit messy than seriously anal!

Friday, 27 November 2009


Image courtesy of Brenda Starr

Losing my keys has been a regular occurrence since having K. It's partly due to the mess in the house but I also think sleep deprivation plays a large part. And it's not just losing keys that is the problem...

When I stayed at MIL's I tried to open their front door with the central locking button on my car key.

Today I tried to activate the car's central locking with a dummy.

I really need a proper nights sleep.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Big brother is watching you

Thankfully K didn't let me have a lie-in this morning or I would have looked even more of a slob to the two policemen that arrived around 9am.

I answered the door in my dressing gown thinking it would be the postman (yeah right, as if I ever see him before midday). They flashed their IDs and I invited them in while cringing at the state of the living room. There were toys all over the floor, a pile of coats, baby blankets, and god knows what taking up one sofa and my junk spread out on the other; my junk consists of the essentials of the blogging mum: laptop, mobile, remote controls, muslin, dummy and coffee mug all within grabbing distance. K was on the floor under the baby gym being good as gold though, result!

I knew why the police were there - it was about the 12 year old boy who lives across the road. He has been up to all sorts: drug running, joyriding (he wrote off his mum's car by driving it into somebody's front room), vandalism, burglary and being generally abusive. All this by a child. His mum is hardly ever around and seems to have given up on him. The authorities are limited as to what they can do because of his age.

The police want to install a camera in our house to check what he is up to. You might have seen this controversial new form of surveillance mentioned on the news. I'm all for it, anything to feel safe in my own home. Despite this there is still part of me that recognises that this is just a little boy and wonders if there isn't a simpler way to deal with the situation. I also want to grab the mother, shake her and tell her to pull her head out of the sand!

Am I nuts to have the camera installed?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Make It Monday

Victorian butterfly postcard from The Graphics Fairy

This is a cop out. Sorry. I haven't made anything (but I did do some wallpapering yesterday, that counts doesn't it?)

Today I stumbled across two great crafty blogs that I found very interesting...
The first is Just Something I Made, by graphic designer Cathe Holden. It's full of vintage-style craft projects which range from the simple (clip art candles) to the unusual (velvet embossing). I really want to try some of these out, I just need K to give me a few minutes peace!

The second is Karen at The Graphics Fairy. She has some pretty (and not so pretty!) vintage clip art that you can download for free and some project tutorials too.

I will try better next week! x

Sunday, 22 November 2009

A few freebies

Free Nails Inc polish

I love a freebie, who doesn't? The rule seems to be that the more famous and wealthy you are, the more free stuff gets thrown at you. Us mere mortals end up with free DVDs from newspapers and the odd free sample.

I thought I'd share some of my favourites at the moment:

Free Jemma Kid lipgloss on packs of Bodyform. Packs are around £1.50 and there are 2 shades of lipgloss to choose from.  The tube is attached to the pack, so instant gratification!

Free Nails Inc nail polish with December Glamour magazine. The magazine costs £2, but not bad for a good quality nail varnish and there are 4 shades to choose from. I will be leaving the magazine in my doctor's or dentist's surgery as it's not really my thing.

Free 100g bar of Milka chocolate here while stocks last. You need to complete a simple on-screen game and print off a coupon at the end. I had problems with this on my mac (and the same problem for the Hovis freebie below) but they can email you the coupon or send it by post too so no need to miss out.

Free loaf of Hovis Soft White here. Again, you print off a coupon for this one.

So that should keep you fed and looking good ;)

Friday, 20 November 2009


First train ride for K

The most incredible thing about having a baby is how quickly they develop. I get so excited when K does something new or experiences a 'first' of something.  She has recently had her first time sleeping in the cot (instead of the moses basket), her first time out in the rain (because mummy had forgotten the rain cover for the buggy) and her first giggle. The giggle was the most joyous sound I have ever heard.

There are lots more firsts that I am looking forward to: her first Christmas, her first time in the snow, her first tooth, her first steps, the first time she says mama and dada. But being the pessimistic person I am, I am also dreading the wrong kind of firsts: The first time she hurts herself, the first tantrum, the first time she tells me she hates me!

Another first which I have mixed feeling about is her new vocal range. The gurgles and coos are adorable but the high pitched, ear drum-bursting scream which she has found makes me want to reach for the paracetamol.

I have a first too, my first award from Kelly at A Place of My Own - thank you lovely! I do have a love of zombie films so this is quite apt.

“The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken – excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all.”

So I am passing this on (whether you like it or not!) to:  
Being More Through Having Less

I am multi-tasking at the moment - typing while holding K. I've just heard a rumble from below and seeing as she didn't poo at all yesterday I think I should attend to it quickly or risk a poonami. Sorry if that is too much information!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Picture this

Top of my Christmas list if anyone has a spare £3500!

I know, I know. I have been banging on about being frugal but part of this is taking control of my spending. I love photography and would like to get some decent photos of K. I've been thinking about getting a digital SLR for a while and after comparing prices online I ordered an entry level Nikon D3000 which turned up today :D

The only problem is, in my haste to order it, I didn't realise that the memory card comes separately so I can't use it yet! (You'd think for 400 quid they could throw one in, oh and a bag would be nice. I expect Martin Lewis would have been straight down the shop haggling a few extras out of them).

The camera is a joint birthday and Christmas present between me and Mr. To ease my conscience on such a big spend I have listed some ways I have saved cash recently...

Quidco: £70 cashback on our home insurance. I also got cashback for using to make sure we got a good deal.

Tesco clubcard: exchanged £10 in vouchers for £40 in restaurant vouchers and had a free meal at Strada.

Gumtree: sold my bentwood coat stand for £25. I loved the coat stand but it was too big for our hallway.

We also asked the plumbers to leave the old cyclinder, shower pump, programmer and boiler when they were replacing the heating system. Hopefully these should fetch around £200 on Gumtree.
Ahhh, I feel much better now! I wonder what I could get for a nearly new baby on Ebay?

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Spot the difference: cheesecake

homemade strawberry cheesecake

It's Mr's birthday today and as we are staying in tonight I offered to cook dinner - a proper three courses with wine job.

Did I mention that my cooking style is very 'experimental'?

This time I decided to take no chances and follow a recipe. I found one for strawberry cheesecake on the BBC Good Food website and although I followed it exactly, it turned out as above. In case you are wondering, mine is the rustic effort with the candle.

I hope it tastes better than it looks. If I pour enough wine down Mr's throat he probably won't notice.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

28 days later

Hows my blogging lorry

I've been blogging for a month now (33 days later to be precise) and it's been really helpful to get things off my chest. I love that people take the time to read what I've written and I especially like the comments; they always make me chuckle.

My blog name is a bit of a misnomer and I don't think I have stitched anything in a while. Initially I thought my blog would be a place to share money saving tips but lately it has become more of a place for me to a have a moan! I'd like there to be a balance between being a mummy blog and a frugal blog. I don't see why it can't be both, after all I am a mum and I am skint!
I've been terrible with money lately, I put it down to impulse purchases made for K and generally being unorganised. I want to take control and get back on track, and my blog could be really helpful for this.

At the moment my blog is anonymous. Only one person knows my true identity (the lovely Kellyfairy, and I think she could be bribed with tea and cake). I haven't even told my partner. The only problems that I could encounter are if I want to post photos or if I ever go to one of the blogger meet-ups. What would I tell my partner? Would I have to go in disguise to protect my identity?! Maybe I should make a little Make Do Mum lycra outfit with cape... on second thoughts unless it has spanx-like qualities, perhaps not.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

We wish you many happy returns of the day...

In bed this morning...
Mr: "How are you feeling?"
Me: "I'm 35"
Mr: "Oh god, it's your birthday - uh, 'Happy Birthday'"

Yes, Mr had forgotten. I'll let him off as he had college yesterday; it's a 12 hour day and he doesn't get in until after 9pm when he is completely knackered. He redeemed himself by presenting me with the bag that I heavily hinted that I'd like and a card that was not bought from the Tesco Metro round the corner.

The house is a complete mess but I figure this will give MIL something to do while she is here! I've got to go to Victoria in a couple of hours to meet her because she isn't sure where she's going. This means me and K will be getting on a train - woo! This post from Cafe Bebe panicked me slightly but I'm pretty sure there are no stairs to negotiate on the way there and MIL can give us a hand with the stairs the other end so I'm feeling ok about it.

Chalkboard mug

This is a picture of my birthday present from my brother. I am very jealous of the way he manages to keep a gift simple but puts a lot of thought into it. This blackboard mug came with a song written on it that has been an ongoing joke between us since we were kids; we were in assembly at our new junior school and the Head Teacher said for anyone whose birthday it was that week to stand up, "Now everyone sing them happy birthday!". Cue my brother and me launching into a loud "happy birthday to you" etc. while all the other kids sang some bizarre song that starts "We wish you many happy returns of the day, we hope you may be healthy and strong all the way..." WTF? That's not the birthday song!

Now that I have photographed the song on the mug I can give it a wash and have a nice cup of (decaff) coffee :)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Don't panic

We had a nice, if not particularly relaxing, few days in Cardiff. It rained, it was cold but it was great to get away from the house and the constant reminder of all the work that needs doing to it. Mr's parents have even got carpet, ahhh the luxury!

We were all sat in the kitchen chatting and the matter of MIL coming to London to babysit on my birthday came up. The plan was she would arrive around lunchtime on Tuesday, babysit in the evening so we can go out for a meal, babysit the following morning while I go to the dentist and then head back. I am one of the lucky ones; I get on with MIL pretty well and I am grateful of her offers to look after K, especially as it is a long way to come. But somehow, in the space of 60 seconds, the two days suddenly morphed into a whole week and to top it off, Mr's Dad would be coming down on the Friday to spend the weekend too.

Oh my god, how did this just happen?! It was a done deal before I had a chance to open my mouth.

So tomorrow is going to be spent doing some half-arsed cleaning, stocking up on food (and LOTS of wine) and trying to think of things to entertain MIL. Any ideas?

Oh and I have kind of arranged for my mum to visit on Wednesday - it will be the first time MIL and mum meet. Clash of the Titans ha ha! I can't believe Mr and me have been together for nearly 15 years without our parents meeting.

If I do not blog for some time you know why!

Monday, 2 November 2009

The first family break

I couldn't sleep last night - partly out of excitement as we are off to Wales tomorrow, partly due to anxiety (oh god, have to pack for Wales tomorrow) and partly because I was thinking about what I want Santa to bring me for Christmas. That last bit sounds self indulgent but in my defence I had been on the phone to my aunty who asked me what I would like this year. My birthday is close to Christmas (next week to be exact - yay!) so any ideas I come up with go on birthday pressies and I end up with toiletries or cold, hard cash at xmas.
So we will be off to Cardiff tomorrow morning after handing over our keys to the plumber so he can rifle through my knicker drawer install a new boiler and central heating while we are away. We are staying with Mr's parents and they have offered to look after K while we have our first evening out on our own. I don't know how I'll feel leaving K for the first time, even if it is only a couple of hours.

I've been splurging a bit lately and should probably hand back my Frugal Hacker badge! I bought a dab radio and a printer, not necessities but they will get a lot of use and I did look at price comparisons online to get a good deal. And then there's the baby stuff: 7 quid on Sma which has left poor K constipated and grouchy, 12 quid on tommee tippee bottles and teats for said Sma and 12 quid on toys at Sainsbury's. Then there were the frames and assorted bits from Ikea at 40 quid. I have also *whispers* been shopping at the supermarket without a list! I know! Martin Lewis would be so ashamed of me :)

Well I'd better go and start packing, won't be able to blog for a few days but back at the weekend.

Image credit: If you own this image and would like it credited/removed please get in touch


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