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Pretty Palissy pot

April 21, 2014
Palissy pot

Pretty Palissy pot

The big declutter continues, so I am trying to take more stuff to charity shops than I buy. But as I sort through the boxes that came with us from the previous house, I occasionally discover pre-loved treasure that is worth keeping!

This pretty Palissy pot is one example. I bought it about a year ago in the British Heart Foundation shop in the Broadmarsh shopping centre in Nottingham for £3.99. I originally had the intention of giving it away as a gift to one of my younger sisters. But it looks really lovely on the bathroom windowsill in my new home, and is the perfect place to stash the window key.

Linking up as usual with this week’s Magpie Monday at Me and My Shadow.

Paying attention to the good things in my life

April 17, 2014
Lego Mixels - Infernites Max

Infernites Max from the Lego Mixels range

Our back garden

Even on a dreary day, this view of my back garden makes me feel happy

Wood-burning stove

Our wood-burning stove makes our home cosy and warm on a cold day

I’ve been reading a lot about happiness recently. I’ve been reading the Embrace Happy blog and the Facebook page that goes with it, and that led me to the Action for Happiness website. One idea I’ve picked up is that it is worth paying attention to the good things in my life.  As it says on the Action for Happiness website:

Learning to be more mindful and aware can do wonders for our well-being in all areas of life – like our walk to work, the way we eat or our relationships. It helps us get in tune with our feelings and stops us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future – so we get more out of the day-to-day.

Today was a pretty disappointing day, to be honest. The weather was dreary and cold. My husband was in bed with a headache for several hours, and I tried as best I could to keep our son occupied with quiet activities. I would have preferred to spend the day doing something more exciting.

So I tried to pay attention to good things in amongst the disappointments. There are three good things shown in the photos above. The top photo shows the Infernites Max from the new Lego Mixels range. My son and I built this together, and it was great fun.

The other two photos show a couple things I really appreciate in my new home. The middle photo was taken this afternoon, when I suddenly noticed that (even on a dreary day like today), looking out over the back garden makes me feel happy. And the bottom photo was taken just after my husband lit the wood-burning stove to warm me up after I had been out to do some errands.

I think I will continue trying to pay more attention to the good things in my life. It certainly made me feel better today!

Easter treats from Waitrose

April 16, 2014
Easter treats from Waitrose

Easter treats from Waitrose

Easter eggs and treats hidden in the garden

Easter eggs and treats hidden in the garden

My niece counts up her sweets

My niece counts up her sweets

Earlier this week I received a box of chocolate Easter eggs and other treats from the Waitrose Easter for children range. This gave me the perfect excuse to invite my nieces over for an Easter egg hunt. It was great fun! My sister and I hid the Easter eggs and other sweet treats in amongst the plants and trees in the back garden and then all the kids raced around to find everything.

We also played the children’s Easter game. Once the children had finished finding everything, they shared things out amongst themselves to make sure everyone had equal amounts of each type of treat. And all the kids stayed out in the garden playing together for the next few hours, with no requests to watch TV or play computer games indoors.

The only thing I would do differently next time would be to sample a couple of the chocolate items myself before hiding the rest in the garden. As it was, the Lindt Easter bunnies and chicks disappeared before I got chance to try one. But apart from that it was a great success!

I received a box of Easter treats from Waitrose, as shown in the top photo, so that we could try them out for ourselves. All words and opinions expressed are my own.


April 7, 2014
Teak bookcase

Teak bookcase full of fiction

I really, really love books. Though my Nook is convenient for reading on the go, I still have a stash of printed books and some bookshelves to store them on. My favourite place to store fiction is this teak bookcase with glass sliding doors. It was £30 from the YMCA shop in Beeston. It looks really good in the corner of the dining room in my new house. Many of the books in the bookcase are pre-loved too, and I even have some pre-loved VHS tapes of the Lord Peter Wimsey TV series from 1987.

I’m linking up with Magpie Monday at Me and My Shadow and The Nifty Thrifty at A Living Space.

Pretty thrifty blouse

March 31, 2014




As part of A Year of Ethical Fashion, I’ve been rifling through the clothing rails my local charity shops in search of second-hand clothing. I struck lucky on Saturday! In the Extra Care shop there was a really pretty printed viscose blouse for £3.99. I tried it on and it fitted beautifully. The shop manager asked me what I thought and I told her I was thrilled with it. She told me they get some really good stuff donated, and to keep looking. I definitely will!

I’m linking up with Magpie Monday at Me and My Shadow. I’m always inspired when I see what other thrifty folk have tracked down.

Me-time TV

March 23, 2014

I love watching ‘Kate Morag’ with my son

But I prefer to watch ‘Doctor Who’ on my own

In the years that British people have been watching TV, our viewing habits and the programmes we love have changed dramatically. TalkTalk surveyed the nation to discover how we’re watching TV today. They’ve identified eight ‘TV Tribes’, each with their distinct TV viewing style.

I tried the quiz at to find out which TV tribe I belonged to and here are the results – I am a ‘Me-timer’

T h e ‘ M e – t i m e r ‘
I like to watch TV on my own with no disturbances; I hate it when people interrupt. I download and binge on boxsets. I love watching TV in a separate room for a bit of peace and quiet. I often watch TV on a laptop or tablet with my headphones on and love to get stuck into a good TV drama, watching episodes back to back. I never miss an episode of my favourite shows.

34% of people belong to this TV Tribe

This is definitely how I prefer to watch TV, especially when it comes to my favourite programmes like Doctor Who. I wait until after my son has gone to bed before I settle down to watch a new episode, because this means I can immerse myself totally in enjoying the drama, without any interruptions. I do not surf the web or tweet as I watch. But I often check online later in the evening to see what people thought of the latest episode.

I’m not alway a ‘Me-timer’ though. There are TV programmes I really enjoy watching with my son. Our current favourite is Katie Morag, which is on CBeebies at 5.25 on Sunday evening. It is our family’s perfect TV moment as we snuggle up together on the sofa and watch the adventures of a little red-haired girl who lives on the fictional Isle of Struay. The stories are filmed on The Western Isles, and the scenery is idyllic, and the sun is always shining. It makes me want to go on holiday there.

Here is a short video of me talking about being a ‘Me-timer’ and why I enjoy watching Katie Morag.

What about you? Are you a ‘me-timer’ too or do you belong to one of the other TV tribes? Try the quiz yourself at

This blog post is my entry to a competition on the Tots100 website -’Share your TV moments and win a TV package worth £600‘.

Update: I’ve found out that I won the competition! My e-mail address is

Recent thrifty finds for my home

March 2, 2014
Wooden stool, Pyrex dish and ramekin

Recent thrifty finds

Moving to a new house has giving me an opportunity to check out a different selection of local charity shops. But it is a smaller house so I have to be careful not to buy too much!

The photo above shows my recent thrifty finds for my home. There is a ramekin from the Midwinter ‘Spanish Garden’ pattern, which was only £1.99. I also love this 99p Pyrex dish which will be great for making an apple crumble or perhaps roasting vegetables like this. Both of these items came from the wonderful Extra Care shop.

The stool came from a shop called Room Eighty Five which sells second-hand furniture. Most of the furniture they sell is painted, but this was left natural and is made of elm, so it goes with our Ercol furniture. Because the stool is flat-topped, it can be used as a small table to hold a mug of tea or other small items.

I’m linking up with Magpie Monday at Me and My Shadow and The Nifty Thrifty at A Living Space. I always love to see what pre-loved treasures my fellow thrifters have found.


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