Friday, 28 September 2012

Simple Pleasures....

Howdy! I say howdy as I think I am turning into a texas gal ;) I have become rather obsessed with watching Dallas. I am really enjoying the new series and have also decided that I want to watch all 14, yes 14 seasons of the original series. Oh I am just loving it! I grab a couple of episodes in the evening and maybe if I am lucky squeeze one in early in the morning. I have nearly finished season 3, so quite a bit to go but I LOVE the vintage feel to it and seeing all the old and memorable characters back on screen. It's going to cost me a small fortune to buy all the seasons so I may have to pop a couple on my Christmas list ;) It really feels like a lovely simple pleasure, snuggling up with a soft blanket, cup of hot chocolate and an episode of Dallas.... 

Talking of simple pleasures, I was told a couple of days ago by a lovely online friend about a competition that may interest me over here  With only two days left to start and finish, I'd have to get my skates on and even with so many other important things I needed to be getting on with, I of course thought I would join in. Yes yes, I have contracts to sign, people to speak to, talks to prepare, schools to look round....but no I soon put 'playing about with shoe boxes' to the top of my to do list ;) My excuse is that it is a simple, enjoyable pleasure that is relaxing and if there is a VERY slim chance that £500 worth of Cath Kidston vouchers could be spent, well I couldn't not have a go could I. I ummed and ahed about which dream room to choose and decided on a little nursery. As I had only a short time to complete the project, I thought using one of Miss. Poppins tiny shoe boxes from her old much smaller shoes would be perfect. I also dug out some inspirational books and crafty items....


I soon knew this was going to be a baby girl's nursery and certainly wanted it to have a Cath Kidston vibe to it, so I grabbed a little tester pot of baby pink paint, and painted the inside. Then using my favourite CK writing paper which I cut, yes cut up (sob a little) I opted for a patchwork effect wallpaper with ribbon ( again CK ) border....

    
Hmmm then what I thought it needed some pretty flooring, so out came the scissors and the CK wrapping paper....


 I then made the icklest 'in the world' (maybe the Guinness book of records would like to confirm this) bunting from Cath Kidston fabric scraps and a pair of curtains from more CK fabric. I included some bobble trim for a pretty detail. I really love the curtains and both Miss. Poppins and I love that the little room is becoming more like a stage, a bit like a puppet theatre....  


And then when you open the curtains....


This was how it looked late yesterday, and yes the other important stuff took over a little, but I have had time to just pop in a one or two pieces of furniture here and there. Here's the cot with a lightweight patchwork blanket.... 


Above the cot I couldn't resist a special photograph of Miss. Poppins on the shoebox wall when she came home from hospital as a baby. I think this would have been my dream nursery for her at the time....


I made a little button mirror using tiny buttons and an old sweet wrapper....


This pretty floor rug was made from a Cath Kidston (clean) tissue and pink ric rac....


For the nursery door I used a pretty tag that this lovely lady who blog's here sent me last Christmas. Knowing I have a big crush on all things Daisy related, she also sent these beautiful items for Miss. Poppins and I....


Here is the pretty tag/door....


Well this simple pleasure has been a fun distraction from the other important stuff, and hopefully I may get an opportunity to pop a couple more items in the nursery. Miss. Poppins loves playing with her baby Sylvanian's in it and likes drawing the pretty curtains at night....

X  

Friday, 21 September 2012

MandMDirect Review - Helly Hansen And ELLE SPORT

A company whose items I, along with the family enjoy reviewing is MandMDirect They are one of the UK's leading fashion and sports retailers selling favourite top brands like Nike, Adidas, Henleys, Converse, Firetrap, Bench, Ugg and many other's at very reasonable discounts. Miss. Poppins couldn't wait to try out this girls Helly Hansen jacket. With an RRP of £64.99 though priced at just £24.99 with MandMDirect, I think it is an affordable and high quality, pleasing to the eye jacket. Being waterproof, windproof, and breathable it is indeed perfect for this time of year. It has a roll-away detachable hood, a zip along with press studs and some wonderfully discreet branding which I prefer rather than big designer shout outs that some designers have on their clothes. We were very impressed with this jacket and Miss. Poppins loves wearing it....


It's perfect for walks and strolls along the beach and she gets lots of compliments when she wears it.

Next it was my turn and it was time to get sporty and road test these ELLE SPORT kickflare pants at £19.99, with an RRP of £38.99 a saving of £19. They are super comfy and very stretchy and are perfect to wear when, at this time of year I feel a bit sluggish and need to get sporty and active. They are just so easy to slip on with the elasticated waist. I also tried out the ELLE SPORT hoody at £19.99, with an RRP of £35.99 a saving of £16. This hooded jersey is just so soft to wear, and I have worn it many times. With the hood to keep me warm and cosy on these colder evenings I am finding it my comfort top and often grab it when I feel a bit chilly....  


So yet again I have been very impressed with MandMDirect, a company that to be honest I had not really heard about until a little while ago. I have been sent their current brochure and with savings up to 75% is certainly worth a flick through. 


Disclosure: We were provided with one Helly Hansen Jacket, one pair of ELLE SPORT pants and an ELLE SPORT Jersey Top for the purposes of this review post. All words and opinions my own.     

Monday, 17 September 2012

Stress....

Well for one reason and another this last month or so has been a bit stressy. I wish I was a bit better at dealing with stuff that life throws at you, and I could just turn my cheek, take a deep breath and smile. Unfortunately stress can take on a bigger role than I would ideally like in my life, but hey ho I am learning lots of skills to deal with it, and when it pops it's head up, says a big HELLO to me I am getting better at waving it goodbye. They do say a little stress keeps us on our toes. I find these words very helpful and thought I would share them as these tips certainly help me when life feels like it is getting a little bit stressy.... 


 X

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Pants In the Park!....

I always like to support great causes and as prostate disease is something that has very much affected my own family, I was more than happy to help spread the word about something special. Pants In The Park where on 22 September 2012 London's Battersea Park will be jam packed with superheroes in their pants. Everyone shall be taking part in a 5km family fun run parading their superhero pants on top of their clothes, all in aid of prostate disease research. The fun run, held in aid of prostate disease charity Prostate Action shall enable families from all over the U.K. to get together and what better way to draw peoples attention than by wearing your own personalised pants for the occasion. Well, we couldn't wait to get decorating ours....

        
The children and I had fun and I think the pants turned out rather fetching indeed. I did laugh when the children started gluing feathers in certain areas though ;) 


All we needed was a willing superhero to wear said pants and that of course was me....


I was more than proud to wear my pants and although I won't be able to make it to Battersea Park I shall certainly be parading around in my superhero pants on the day....


There is in my opinion not enough awareness of prostate disease in the U.K. even though it affects thousands of men each year. Hopefully Pants In The Park can help to spread the message and by parading their personalised pants, men, women and children can do their bit to help raise awareness for prostate research and education. 

Wear your pants with pride :) 

X  

Monday, 10 September 2012

Groupon Review....

I am someone who is signed up to, but has never purchased anything via Groupon when the opportunity arose for me to review the 'deal of the day' website, I was more than keen to see how things work and whether the website would be one I would recommend to my own family and friends. I know my own brother uses the website lots and has taken up some fantastic offers, so I wanted to see for myself if it is indeed a great website, simple to use and easy to understand. Basically Groupon is a website that features discount vouchers that are redeemable with many companies. If a certain number of people sign up to a particular offer the 'deal is on' and you can go ahead and buy your voucher, deals are only open for a very short time as a clock ticks away and keeps you updated as to how long you have left to purchase the voucher.  As somewhat of a thrifter I am always on the look out for a bargain, and so this website would interest me and if something came up that I truly needed, or wanted to try out, and had been on the lookout for, I would definitely use the service.  

I was given a voucher code to redeem and in fact there were many offers that came up that were very tempting but I wanted to hold out until something came up that I really needed. Then after a while something did indeed come up that we were very much in need of.....

A bin....





It may not sound very exciting but we are having so much fun using it. It isn't just any old bin but one of these infra-red ones, where the lid automatically opens and closes when you go to pop the rubbish in. Master Poppins thinks it is just the best thing ever, very nearly as exciting as a Tardis. We had been struggling with bags for so long, a previous bin had broke and so when this in my eyes fantastic offer came up, I just had to go for it. Soon the 'deal was on' and I could purchase my voucher. This bin has an RRP of £150 and is  online at this price ( must be quite a posh bin ). The Groupon voucher was available to purchase for £49.00, and as my Groupon code was worth a maximum of £50 I went for it and purchased the voucher. 

Everything after that was very straight forward, when the deal ended I was emailed my special voucher code to go ahead and purchase the bin off the corresponding website for the total cost of £49, a saving of £101. I did have to pay postage costs myself, and this is something to bear in mind when purchasing your voucher that postage and packaging is sometimes not included. I could track the delivery and very soon the bin arrived. Truth be known it is one fabulous gadget. We are not really big gadget people here, no fancy televisions the size of a house etc, so to have quite a smart bin like this is about as exciting as it gets ;) 

I would have to say my experience of Groupon is certainly a positive one. There are many daily offers and I even have the Groupon app on my phone so I can see all the updates. I would indeed recommend the website to my friends and family, and with some great savings to be had is well worth a looksy.




Disclosure: 
I was provided with a redeemable £50 Groupon voucher for the purposes of this review post. All opinions and words my own. Postage and Packaging costs were paid by myself.    



Monday, 3 September 2012

Exciting New Craft Book....

Something quite exciting landed on my doorstep today. A very pretty craft book that I was so happy to have been involved in. It was really lovely to see a couple of my little patchwork projects in the book....


Having quite a collection of craft books at home, I always like to see new, innovative ideas and creative designs in craft books as I think it can all get a bit same-y, same-y. What is so refreshing about this new craft book is it involves quite a broad range of crafts, including sewing, appliqué, beading, cake decorating, crochet, cross stitch and papercraft, so a real all rounder that should appeal to many. You can take a little peak inside 101 Ways To Stitch,Craft,Create at amazon and I have to say I feel very humbled to be amongst some very talented and creative people in there, with one or two names I recognise.

It has been such a busy, busy summer here with 'life stuff' and I haven't really had much time at all for crafting. However I am really looking forward to dusting down the sewing machine, and getting some 'me' time to enjoy a bit of sewing again. Sometimes it takes a little reminder like this to remember how much you love something and although crafting is just a teeny tiny part of my life, and who I am, it is a part I would miss if it wasn't there, at least in some small way. I guess we all need something to do to release that creative energy. I decided I would finally get the duster out, and I dug out a couple of pretty fabrics from my stash....  


         
And I came up with this....



So very me, so girly, and I just love all things heart inspired. Now what to make next I wonder.... 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Scooby Doo, Vampire Diaries And Dallas Review....

We were kindly sent a collection of DVD's over the summer holiday's from Warner Bros to entertain us and see what we thought. First up and coinciding with the Olympics, we watched Scooby Doo! Spooky Games which the children really enjoyed....


I have to say, I myself am a big Scooby fan, and have fond memories of watching it as a child myself. I used to love it when they ripped the villain's mask off and we would all be so surprised to see who the mean, villian was. 'Scooby Doo! Spooky Games' begins with a brand new, modern day episode with a super sporty feel, and perfect timing for the Olympics. Shaggy gets to compete in the sprint at the Invitational Games and all seems well until a statue seeking revenge at the games comes to life! The children were sent some stickers and sporty sack race bags to have their own little sporty day and which went down very well....


Here are a couple of images from the episode....



After this episode you are then treated to 'All Star Scooby Laff-A-Lympics' which includes many of the old favourites such as Yogi Bear, and Fred Flintstone....


 All in all very good value for only £4.99 and certainly one the children have watched more than once.

Next up and one just for me to have a good watch of, was the box set of the first season of The Vampire Diaries

 I had never watched one episode of this so I was eager to see what all the fuss was about. I have to say I am rather liking it. I haven't managed to get through all 22 episodes as yet, but have seen the first 8 or so and  am keen to watch more. The relationship between the two vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon has me pretty much hooked, and then there is the fascinating story around Elena, a double for the beauty both brothers loved some 150 years earlier....


 I guess it is a kind of romantic vampire story, and perfect to watch over again. I gather there are many more twists and turns to come in this first season, so hopefully I shall find some more 'me' time, a bar of chocolate, and get myself through the rest of the episodes. Season 4 is due to be released on television soon so I have quite a bit of catching up to do. Oh and yes, I do have a favourite brother, but that would be telling wouldn't it ;)

Finally and my favourite, is the box set of the complete first and second seasons of Dallas


Oh my goodness, I used to LOVE Dallas, and I always remember looking forward to it coming on the television each week. I gather it ran from 1978-1991, ran for 365 episodes, was seen in 96 countries and dubbed into 55 languages. I mostly remember watching it as a youngster around the late 80s so was really looking forward to watching these first two seasons. Being a box set I haven't quite got through all 29 episodes but I am having the bestest time watching them. I used to have a little crush on Bobby and seeing him again as I saw him first time round, the crush is still there ;)

 
Of course when Dallas comes back to our screens next week, and knowing in real life Patrick Duffy is now a 62 year old grandfather I don't know if the 'crush' shall feel quite the same ;) The first season opens with the 1978 5 episode mini-series known as the "first" season, and is then followed by 24 "second" season episodes. Newly married Bobby and Pam are on their way to Southfork Ranch, Pamela is the daughter of  Digger Barnes, who it is revealed has 'history' with Jock Ewing. The show is known for its portrayal of wealth, intrigue, power struggles and of course love and infidelity. It was great to be reunited after all this time with the original characters, how can we forget JR and Sue Ellen....


Miss. Ellie....

  
Jock Ewing and the family....


The girls....


All in all there were 14 seasons, and back in its day it was one of the world's most watched television series. 


For me, this is classic american vintage drama at it's best. With technology then, not quite like it is now, I would say it would be unrealistic to expect perfect blu-ray quality but for me this only makes my watching experience all the more pleasurable. I am watching something vintage and I am pleasantly reminded of this. I am looking forward to the new series returning to our screens next week with our favourites Larry Hagman, 81, Patrick Duffy, 64, and Linda Gray, 71, back. I just hope, like the original it gets me just as hooked.....

   

Disclosure: We were provided with 'Scooby-Doo! Spooky Games' 'The Vampire Diaries' and 'Dallas' DVD's for the purposes of this review post. All words and opinions my own.