Tuesday 31 May 2011

Bargains and sleeping children - hoorah!

Another Evil Tuesday nearly out of the way. Actually it was fine today because I didn't have the school run, recycling and emptying of bins to contend with.
The Prince woke at 6am, I fed him til 6.30am and decided to try to put him back in his cot...and he fell asleep and didn't wake until 9.45am!
I had to wake the Princess at 8.45am, just as I was leaving the house to go to work too. She was sleeping like a proper princess. Like this (this pic was taken on NYE a few years ago).

I absolutely love to watch her sleep. She's beautiful.

Work was fine today and now I am home to blog briefly. Hubby has put out all the washing, done loads of gardening and has now gone to do a weekly shop, bless him, AND wants to cook tonight. What a legend.  I do like him being off work for a week!

In other news, recent cherry tree purchases are as follows.

I bought this Pokemon thing for 99p from Oxfam for the Princess. I have no idea what it is, or what you do with it, but she loves it. She pretends she is a businesswoman when she uses it!

The Princess once had all four Tweenies which were donated to her by a friend. Then I realised she didn't play with them so got rid of two (Bella and Fizz) just to free up space when we lived in a flat. Then one day she got back into them so we scoured cherry tree shops for a long time (months) to build up the collection once more. Finally we found both Fizz and Bella in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The search was over.

Hey hey, they are ready to play (sorry)

The Prince doesn't watch telly at all, he is simply too busy in the garden (in all weathers) so has no idea who the Tweenies are. But I caught the Princess dressing them up the other day and I was pleased to see the Tweenies reunited once more.

 I also bought the below book. I actually judged a book by its cover. I only bought it because it looks so fab. How very shallow.

The Prince is stirring from a late nap so I must go now. Keep thinking of Home Bird and wishing I was in Paris!!!! How romantic!


Sunday 29 May 2011

Flummoxed and foamy

I have some questions my lovelies.

1. Why has my Followers list declined to show me names of my followers? I can see the word Followers but no names...hmmm odd.

2. Why do I have a screw driver sign next to some of my gadgets?

3. Why, when I have to type in the code word (before leaving a message on someone else's blog), is there a wheelchair sign????

I am flummoxed by all this.

No cherry tree shopping today. I had a lovely lie-in until 10am and then made a picnic lunch and we went out all day in a huge forest, building a little shelter and generally enjoying the fresh air.

Therefore I would like to show you this necklace which I bought recently from Barnardo's. It was £1.99 and it glitttered at me, with its pretty pastel coloured sparkly gems. I am a sucker for gems. And as if luck would have it, my name is Gem!

The husband is off all week which is lush as he is currently bathing the kids, something he rarely gets to do so I am using the time to blog! I've also made food for us to have later. We are having ham and egg cuplets (and I sauteed some mushrooms - sorry Cuckoo I know you hate them - and sliced potatoes) with the remainder of the fab couscous salad left over from yesterday. And a berry crumble which is still piping hot. Lush!

Want to see the kids in bath action? The Princess has made the Prince look like a foamy unicorn and I don't think he is all that happy!

He seemed happy at this point...

Then it dawned on him that it was heading for his eye...

Oh dear. Well man up son, you'll be fine!

The cheeky girl tried to do this on the Prince too!
And lastly here is a photo of me with my sister. I am wearing my favourite tunic top ever, and it ripped recently right across the seam. I nearly binned it. Then Cuckoo came to the rescue. She sewed it, fixed it, strengthened it and it means I can wear it again to my heart's content. What a girl. Thanks Cuckoo, muchly appreciated!

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday evening.

Saturday 28 May 2011

Bristol Fashion

I have a real urge for chocolate this evening but can't be bothered to venture round to the shop to get some. So I guess my urge isn't that strong! But I am thinking a lot about Double Deckers tonight...

Had a lovely day today, a colleague of the husband's came for lunch with his wife and young son. The husband made a gorgeous couscous salad with haloumi, chickpeas, raisins, rocket and a harissa dressing. For someone who doesn't do much in the kitchen, we were impressed - it was gorgeous! I then made some pizzas to go with the salad and we had a good old scoff with lots of wine.

Shame about the weather though. It's been funny all day, I am desperate for the sun. Hurry up already, it's summer!

So I have forgotten about the flip flops for the time being and am back to boots; I get cold feet! The below are my bargain from the British Heart Foundation in Windsor for £4.99.

They are originally from Gap Kids and are a navy blue. I really love them, although they are slightly battered and frayed around the edges. So comfy and worth every penny.  It's a great charity shop and where I found the pair of Earl jeans a few months back. Ooh get me, the height of fashion!

Speaking of fashion, this morning my children got a postcard from Kat Walker. She is Bristol’s retail therapist who represents fashion and shopping in the city, don't you know.

In real life, she happens to be my sister Anna, who has a great job promoting Bristol and this is just a perfect for her.
For anyone living in and around Bristol, Anna's alter ego Kat will share with you all the best sales, offers and fashion advice from Bristol’s retailers, including House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols, Debenhams, Primark, Gap and many more high street names.

For those of you in the south west, click on http://visitbristol.co.uk/site/youve-got-a-friend-in-bristol/friends/kat-walker  to find out more. You can also befriend Kat Walker on facebook - www.facebook.com/katwalkerbristol and see all the deals in the city.

Here is my gorgeous sister as Kat Walker, soon to be seen on buses and billboards throughout Bristol. She is such a lovely girl, beautiful on the inside and out and I can't wait to see her next weekend as it's the Prince's second birthday so she and her hubby will come over to celebrate.

Kat Walker. Cat Walk. Geddit?

She is twinkly fairy godmother to the
Princess and Prince

This is Anna and I as kids. She was always cute.
Do you dig my turquoise outfit from Tammy Girl?!

This is her (on the right) with her best friend at the time Emma Pierson
 (Emma is now an actress, known for her role in Hotel Babylon)

And this was taken of us last year on my birthday.
Anna came up with mum and dad and we all scoffed a huge feast!
And lastly, I was awarded the Stylish Blogger Award recently from Cuckoo at http://www.talesfromcuckooland.blogspot.com/ and I would like to pass this award on to the following three blogs which I really enjoy:




Come and get your award girls!

x x

Friday 27 May 2011

And the winner is...

Ooh I got meself a blog award! How lovely. It comes from the very dear KMMMS at http://thingslearntthehardway.blogspot.com/ which is one blog I love.  Very kind of her!

Apparently I have to reveal ten facts about myself. Here goes!

1. I once got chatted up and propositioned by 60s singer Adam Faith, during an interview I did with him.

2. Until I had my tonsils out, I did the best goat/sheep impression known to humanity.

3. I have never watched Back to the Future or Ghostbusters.

4. I once had a fling with a Turkish waiter. When we met, he could only say "Please may I take your plate?"   But it was enough!

5. After having my appendix out, I shared a hospital room with the real life best friend of Hilda Ogden (actress Jean Alexander) and we became penpals.

6. I once smoked a twiglet at a party. It was just how you would imagine a Marmite fag to taste.

7. I love hospital food. And plane food. And any food really. Just not faggots or liver.

8. I am Queen of Consumer Rights. I will point out if I haven't received good service/products (but likewise I thank them if it's a good service). I once wrote to a well-known restaurant chain to compain about poor service and a slightly burned meal. They offered us a free meal and I asked if we could go to a London branch instead as we were going to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We walked in to find every member of staff lining up to shake hands with us, free Champagne on ice, a bouquet of red roses, told to "order whatever you want from the menu, never mind how expensive", and on our table was a huge wedding anniversary card, signed by all the staff. We were then watched all afternoon by very bemused diners who wondered who the hell we were!

9. I write a sex and relationships column in a magazine and once took part in an erotic photoshoot. I hated the photographs so much, I cried all the way home!

10. A friend and I queued for 24 hours (without a coat or water) and wangled a police escort to a Bon Jovi concert.

How totally random!

I would like to pass the Kreativ Blogger Award to the following wonderful blogs:




My cherry shop treasure that I would like to show today are these gorgeous, comfy Camper shoes which cost £4.99 from Barnardo's.

I love the wedge heel and they are in great condition, in fact, I really should wear them more often. They tend to be my autumn shoe of choice.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Here comes the sun (wishful thinking)

Oh today is just such a gross day that the Prince and I decided not to even bother going shopping. I was washing windows at 7am in my dressing gown (how very Dot Cotton) and by 9.30am I simply had no energy to venture out in the wet.

The Prince is asleep and I am writing my blog now so I don't end up having a late night writing. Which is what normally happens.

So what can I do today? I've washed as many windows as I can be bothered to and now this awaits me.

Yes I have ten books to get through. Most of them I have started too, so it gets a little bit stressful. So I have decided to see how many I can read until the end of the year, but one at a time. I've just started the book by Melissa Hill (third from the bottom) and its full of twists and I can't put it down. I love books like that. So I've made myself a huge mug of boiled water (good for the skin and that!) and am cosying down to read it. With a Cherry Bakewell, natch.

The husband is watching Curb Your Enthusiasm, which we Sky Plus. It is hilarious and I love Larry David. I knew the husband wouldn't get in the garden, it's pouring.
The pink wisteria is all coming down now. It's been spectacular and I feel sad that it is all vanishing from the pergola. Having said that, it has carpeted the patio and garden in pink petals, and looks so pretty. It keeps blowing into the house though and is starting to irk me, if I'm honest.

Confetti garden

The Cherry Tree item I would like to showcase today is the below black jersey top from Banana Republic (£2 Sue Ryder). It will look great with jeans and will hopefully be a staple part of my wardrobe.

Not terribly inspiring just hung up but
I do think I will get lots of wear out of it

I love Banana Republic, when I can afford it
 Right, it's time to crack on with the book, while I have peace from the boy. It's weird though, he sleeps for two hours and I actually start to miss him and wait impatiently for him to wake some days, just so I can see him. Such a lovely little boy. He is obsessed with his big sister and the whole house is very quiet until she gets back from school. She is my Pippi Longstocking!

Like a squealing piglet!


Wednesday 25 May 2011

Broody mum wants a baby. Without the tiredness or weight gain...

The Princess is loving her new cherry tree clothes. The top was £1.50 from Helen & Douglas House (originally Next) and the skirt was £3 from Oxfam (originally Monsoon).

The two don't necessarily go together but she loves them so I am happy!

The kids have been really well behaved today and I am feeling very broody. When they are easy like this, I could have a dozen more. If only I didn't put on at least three stone each time!

I have just been looking at photos my friend has posted up of her triplets. She looks so happy, with her dear little girls. She waited such a long time to have them and I think she is possibly the happiest girl in the world, albeit tired.

And this afternoon I went to my weekly breastfeeding class. My son was the oldest "baby" there by two years (other than his "mate" Seb who is another Bitty type boy). The youngest baby today was 13 days old and the whole room had that gorgeous milky smell. I just love the first few weeks with a newborn baby. The sleep deprivation is a killer, but to me it's the best part, those first precious weeks.  Then of course the baby grows and you get the rest - challenging behaviour, sick bugs, tummy bugs, teething, potty training, tantrums etc. And that's the bit that puts me off if I'm honest!

But I truly loved being pregnant (apart from the aches and pains). A friend took these photos of me when I was expecting/had the Prince. Just let me indulge myself for a few moments as he is two in a couple of weeks and I can't believe he's no longer a baby...

I was six months pregnant here

I seriously didn't believe I would get any bigger

But no, I did. This was me at eight months. Yikes!

And out popped the 6lb 15oz Prince...so why WAS my bump so huge?!
(Ah, yes, I overdosed on Almond Magnums!)

I loved this stage so much, when it's like cuddling a puppy!

OK, moving on. The husband is off tomorrow, having worked ridiculous hours as usual, so I thought it would be nice if we could do something as he is going out in the evening to the village pub quiz with my friend's hubby. I was thinking a romantic walk in the country, a pub lunch, a nice catch up together (with the Prince but he is no trouble and would just potter around).

But no,  the dear, sweet husband has chosen to do boring tasks at home like mow the lawn and tidy up the garden instead...how dare he!!! So I have decided to take the Prince shopping. I make sure I do nice things for the Prince and not just for me as it's no fun to be in a pushchair while your mother spends hours rooting through the clothes rails. We always go by train as he loves it, then hit loads of toy shops first, he gets  to run around and then we go outside and he chases the pigeons ("piggins mum, piggins"), then we ride the great glass elevator at John Lewis, and then he gets a cake and a drink.

Then ideally he falls asleep in his pushchair and then I hit a couple of cherry tree shops!

So let my husband do his gardening, but on his head be it. He could have saved so much money with a simple pub lunch, the fool...

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Another Tuesday out of the way!

I survived Evil Tuesday. Actually it went far smoother today. The day started at 5am and I fed the Prince for an hour but then he went back to sleep in his cot until just before 7am. Then he and I were ready by 7.30am and I took out all the bins and the garden waste and the two boxes of recycling before the Princess woke up.

Work was fine today, not too busy, a nice gentle flow of patients and no one spoke to me as if I am a thick receptionist (I do get it occasionally). Sometimes I am seething inside and feel like saying "I am actually a writer you know, this is just a very part time job to bring in more pocket money for my cherry shop treasures." But I have a feeling they wouldn't care.

And by 5.15pm this evening, the kids had eaten the leftovers of last night's chicken casserole with dumplings and mash and I'd washed up. Mine is all plated up ready to shovel down in front of the TV now that they are both in bed and we have exhausted a zillion books. I ate at 4.45pm last night and I didn't like it. I was starving by 8pm again!

On cherry tree purchases, I'd like to show case the toys I've bought for the kids.

A girl always needs a Bagpuss (the old fat furry catpuss was £4 from Oxfam)

Bagpuss loves sleeping on this piece of patchwork which was made for the Princess
 (and I painted the fairy painting!)

I painted this when the Princess was two

I bought this Care Bear from Barnados (£1.50)
The Princess had been desperate for one so I was chuffed!

I bought this wooden fire engine from Oxfam for £4.99.
It was originally from Hamley's and the kids love it
So the children do very well out of cherry tree shops too. The above fire engine has a roof and three other firemen to go with it. Probably one of my top bargains!

I have finished my latest freelance writing job. It was for a company called Name Art and I love what Charis, the founder,  creates. See the below piece of art that I had commissioned for the Prince as a christening present.  Name Art put words into pictures and is very clever. Even Dannii Mingue is a fan! All the animals have words to create their shape (double click on the photo for a better view).

See the picture from Name Art on the wall in the Prince's room.
While he plays with his cherry tree fire engine. Perfect timing son!

The Prince loves Floppy the £5 rocking donkey from Oxfam (originally Harrods)
I am off to my breastfeeding group tomorrow lunchtime (I must be the only mum who goes who is trying to STOP breastfeeding!) It's very sociable and I am itching for the next training session to begin so I can become a breastfeeding support volunteer.

Right, the chicken casserole awaits me. Followed by a Double Decker (my drug of choice!)

Monday 23 May 2011

A day to treasure

I have had a pretty productive morning on the cherry tree shopping front today, although I was feeling rough when I woke at 5.50am by a wailing son, demanding his fix that only I can offer him (note to self: really need to wean him off, before he's an adult and the Bitty scene from Little Britain is re-created).

For some reason, I just woke feeling utterly drained and ill. I had no energy at all. Even after eating breakfast, I couldn't snap out of it. Some mornings are like this, although not very often, and I am trying to work out if it is caused by something I eat the day before. But because I am always eating, it's pretty hard to pin point.

Anyway, I shoved on some No.7 Awakening Eye Gel and things vaguely improved. Until I stepped outside the front door with the kids for the school run, and the gale force wind brutally whipped up my hair into a massive frizz. Whip My Hair by Willow Smith has since been the theme tune of the day. Only she can get away with it, I can't.

So, after dropping off the Princess at school, the Prince and I popped to a nearby town and I found this little beauty in Barnados. A flowing summer skirt from Monsoon. It reminds me of 70s caravan curtain material and I love it already. How on earth could someone part with it?

Not a bad price, it's in great condition
Spot my whipped up hair. And the red potty. And my stalker...

I got the cardigan from the same cherry tree shop, it was only £2 and originally New Look. I really love the colour but there's NO hope of it ever fastening up over my boobs! I just need the right vest top to go with the skirt and cardigan. It's my next mission!

Then I nipped into Oxfam and came across the below skirt within about ten seconds. It is originally from George at Asda and beautifully made. I would have guessed it was more expensive than it was.

I love the flouncy tiers, it's elegant and emo all rolled into one!

It's a good price for such a nice skirt, in my humble opinion
I then went back to Barnardos to buy the below top which I'd ummd and ahhd about. It's originally from Esprit and is nice and simple, yet with a flourish of flowers at the neckline. Sweet.

Never been so pleased with a simply grey top. Must get out more...

I love the flowers around the neckline. Did I already mention this?!

See what I mean about my stalker! He is ALWAYS there, bless him!

And what does the Prince get up to while I am photographing my latest cherry tree treasures? He goes through all the wicker boxes of love letters and memorabilia between me and the husband (yes it looks like a lot of letters and stuff, but we have spent 15 years together and we are both writers, mind!) And our son trashes the lot in one fell swoop! Still it kept him quiet for five whole minutes.

"Stalker? Who? Me?"
And tomorrow is Evil Tuesday again. Why does it crop up so quickly? It's not the job I dislike, it's the madness of the morning before I even get into work, and then the madness afterwards.

But then it will be Wednesday and I have a lovely friend coming over to scoff cake while her twins play with my boy. They all get on well, it's cute.

Sunday 22 May 2011


Today is so blustery I actually just found some washing that had fallen off and into a bush full of bees!

Been for a lovely family walk as the husband is working all weekend but on the late shift so we do get the lunchtime period to do "stuff" and it's always a walk around the fields or villages.

I stuck a joint of beef and spuds to roast away in the oven, made a quick berry crumble, got three loads of washing out on the line and away we went.

To this gorgeous countryside nearby. I never, ever tire of it.

Kids always love freedom and fresh air don't they?!

The Princess and I (wearing that cherry tree tunic top again)

Was very pleased we didn't have roast lamb awaiting us!
Off to three cherry tree shops in the morning, all being well,  so hoping for some bargains. It's hard to know what to wear when the weather can't make up its mind. It is blue skies and sunshine again now but it was a different story earlier.

Desperate for more hot sun, I love the roasting heat. I could hack living abroad when the sun shines constantly. I hate being cold - don't tell the husband but I had the electric blanket on last night. End of May. Tut tut.