Fill in the blanks Friday

30 March 2012

Today's theme is....COLOUR! 
Hope you'll play along!

1. My favourite colour is purple {the colour of the new curtains in my living room!}

2. My home d├ęcor colour palette includes purple {living room}, red {bedroom} , green {kitchen}, hot pink {bathroom}... all the rooms are neutral with these colours as highlights!

3. Other people always tell me I look good in the colour green {well I think it suits me!}

4. The colour I detest brown... it's such a drab miserable dirty colour

5. If you were to look in my closet most of the colours you'd see would be black... I have lots of brighter colours but lots of black leggings, trousers and cardigans

6. A colour that I simply cannot pull off no matter how hard I try is yellow, I'm just too pale!

7. The colour of my favourite dress is navy blue... it's a maxi dress with white birds on the bottom

Hope your weekend is wonderful!

Hoping for a holiday

28 March 2012

I've spent most of the evening looking for a holiday! We were planning on going in June but my parents have booked their holiday for early May... they usually look after the darlings, so hubby and I would have to book a week off work and decided if we are doing that, we might as well go on holiday that week!

We had a lovely holiday last June at a holiday park at Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast. It was a big Haven park and we loved it! We were so lucky to have fabulous weather and had some lovely days out around the area and at the beautiful beach. Oliver loved it and Lydia was only 6 months old so slept most of the time!

So I've been looking for a similar holiday but somewhere in North Norfolk this time. Hubby has basically left it up to me to make all the decisions (glad he trusts me!) But oh my goodness it is so much more expensive this year!The prices have gone up so much since last year. So I've been searching all night to try and find it as cheap as possible (as you do!) and have just got a bit overwhelmed with all the choices... 4 nights or 7 nights? Deluxe Plus or Prestige caravan? Which holiday park? Which dates? Too many decisions!

I'd better hurry up and decide as I need to get it booked this week!

What about you? Have you got a holiday booked for this year? Please share with me what your plans are!

I love spring!

25 March 2012

Well it's officially spring. A big WOOHOO from me! Spring is my favourite season... I love the lighter mornings and evenings, the bursts of colour from the spring flowers and all the new buds appearing on the trees.

Spring gives me a real sense of anticipation. I do love Summer but Spring gives me that feeling of good things to come over the next few months... warm sunny days (hopefully, but never guaranteed here in the north of England!), family days out, holidays (it's on my to-do list to sort out our holiday!).

Last Spring and Summer were the best ever as I was on maternity leave and I have such lovely memories of days in the park and our first family holiday.

Memories of our holiday last year

For the past couple of weeks I've been buying fresh flowers. We've currently got some beautiful tulips and some bright daffodils to brighten up the house. There was a particularly good selection of flowers last week as everywhere were selling off their flowers after Mother's Day!

Today's new flowers!

I've got some great plans for improving our little garden and get it ready for spring and summer!
  • I want the paving stones to be replaced with some nicer ones, so the darlings can safely ride around on their bikes
  • Get the hedges cut down and a nice fence put up for more privacy and safety for the darlings
  • And hopefully taking the hedges down will create two more small bedding areas where I can plant some more flowers.

I just need to get someone to come and give us a quote... better add that to my to-do list!

Friday fun...The A-Z of me

23 March 2012

TFI Friday! Well it's been a busy week as usual. I'm still on my mad cleaning/organising/clearing-out spree and have been ploughing through my massive to-do list. It's so satisfying to tick a few more items off and I've also made a tiny bit of money selling old baby things on ebay!

I'm going to relax this weekend and I'm looking forward to doing some more baking with Oliver. But for now, I thought I'd give you a little bit more of an insight into me. I saw this post on the brilliant blog of Jane at Life on Planet Baby and thought it was a fab idea for a Friday. Off we go!

A // Age: 36 I think!

B // Bed size: King size. I love having a massive bed, I need loads of space and can't be doing with being squashed together in bed! 

C // Chore that you hate: Ironing. I've always hated it so when hubby moved in with me we agreed that I would do the washing and he would do the ironing! We've stuck to it to this day only I iron the darlings clothes now, and he irons ours!

D // Dogs: I'm a bit scared of them. Even the small ones!

E // Essential start to your day: Breakfast. I bloody love my brekkie! During the week it's porridge, a cereal bar and milky coffee! Every Saturday morning though, me and the darlings (hubby's turn for a lie in!) go out for breakfast of sausage, hash browns, fried egg, baked beans and lots of buttered toast... it's the highlight of my week!

F // Favourite colour: Red or purple, I like both of them depending on what mood I'm in!

G // Gold or Silver: I'll have to be picky and say white gold! My wedding and engagement rings are white gold. I like the appearance of silver but the quality of gold. 

H // Height: 5 foot 10". Yes I'm quite tall and I've always liked being tall!

I // Instruments you play: Oh dear. I played the clarinet at school but I was rubbish at it! I was once in the orchestra for a school show and I think I played a few notes and pretended to play the rest! I can also play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the kids toy keyboard. Does that count?! 

J // Job title: Complaints Administrator

K // Kids: My little darlings - Oliver (3) and Lydia (1)

My gorgeous children!

L // Live: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK

M // Mother’s name: Denise (I love my mum's name!)

N // Nicknames: Deb or Debs but NEVER Debbie! I've got nothing against Debbie's but my mum would never let anyone use it when I was a child and it really doesn't suit me.

O // Overnight hospital stays: When I broke my ankle and had it pinned back together when I was 19 years old. I also stayed in hospital overnight when the darlings were born. Then I stayed in hospital overnight a few weeks ago when Lydia was ill. That's it *touches wood*.

P // Pet peeve: People who park in parent parking spaces at the supermarket when they have no children with them. Aaarrrggghhh! Enough said.
Q // Quote from a film: "Nobody puts Baby in the corner" Johnny Castle, Dirty Dancing. Also from the same film "I carried a watermelon!" Love this film!!

R // Right or left handed: Right

S // Siblings: One sister who's 2.5 years younger than me. We're really close and see each other a few times a week... and between us we've had 4 children in 2.5 years!!!

T // Time you wake up: My alarm goes off at 6.45am when it's a work day, otherwise I sleep until one of the children wakes me up which is usually 7.00-7.30am. I hate early morning wake-up's so Oliver has a GroClock so he knows when it's time to get up!
The GroClock - Best thing ever invented!

U // Underwear: God I'm so boring when it comes to underwear! It's either plain black or white and bra and knickers have to match.

V // Vegetable you hate: Lettuce. Yes it is a vegetable! I had to double check on Wikipedia but it is. It's the most pointless food around! You might as well eat fresh air.

W // What makes you run late: The kids! I hate being late for anything so try to be really organised but without fail Oliver starts playing up or takes ages for him to put his coat and shoes on... so I usually end up shouting at him to get a move on and get stressed out before I've even left the house!

X // X-Rays you’ve had: My first one was at 5 years old when I swallowed a 5 pence piece! I remember seeing it really clearly on the x-ray. I've also got a framed x-ray of my ankle with the pins and plate in it! My dad worked at the hospital and managed to get me a copy of it and had it framed for me! 

Y // Yummy food that you make: Spaghetti Bolognese... so easy to make and everyone loves it.

Lydia loves my Spag Bol!

Z // Zoo animal: I like all baby animals but especially Pandas... so cute!

Phew! Hope you made it to the end! So what do you think of me now??? Do we share anything in common? I'd love to see your A-Z's and learn more about you lot out there too!

Lost my mojo!

21 March 2012

I haven't written about my weight loss progress for a while so I thought I'd better do a quick update!

Well I've been going for 10 weeks now and I've lost a total of 16lbs. I'm so proud of myself for how well I've done. I feel so much better for losing the weight... my clothes are much looser and I've definitely got more energy (I've been having a massive spring clean/clear out!)

On the other hand I'm a tiny bit disappointed! I was aiming to lose 2lb a week so I should have lost 20lbs by now! I know 2lbs loss a week is a lot to ask for a 'sensible diet' like this one.

What 1lb of body fat looks like!

I seem to have lost my motivation and will-power a bit! I've struggled for the past couple of weeks and had more bad days than good. By a bad day I mean going over my calorie allowance by quite a lot. I think I'm disappointed with myself for not sticking to it 100% as I'm sure I would have lost the 20lb and maybe more if I had.

I just have to remind myself that I'm in it for the long run... this is not a quick fix diet, it's a new way of life for me. I definitely won't go back to my old eating habits! If I've had a bad day I just tell myself to draw a line under it and tomorrow is a new day and a new start.

But oh dear! Look what I've just eaten!!!  Naughty Debra!

My lovely mothers day

19 March 2012

What a lovely Mothers Day I had yesterday!

My day started with a nice lie in (even though I couldn't get back to sleep... sod's law!) Then the darlings came up with my cards (hubby had bought one from each of them) and Oliver had done some cute scribbles in them! Oliver had also made me a card at his playgroup... the sweetest card I've ever seen that brought a tear to my eye!

 Then my pressies... a beautiful mirrored butterfly picture frame, a yummy mummy cookie and two bookmarks... both made by Oliver at playgroup and toddler group!

Me and the darlings then paid a quick visit to my mum with her cards and presents... a big scented candle and a sunflower growing kit! She loved them of course.

Then the best part of my day. The darlings stayed at home with hubby whilst me and my sister joined my mum and dad at their gym for an hour in the spa! So we lazed around in the spa pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. It was amazingly relaxing and I loved every minute of it.


When I got home my friend had delivered my Avon order with my new perfume that I had ordered as a Mother's Day present to myself!

I hope you all had a fabulous Mother's Day. How did you spend your day?

Extreme spring cleaning?

16 March 2012

I really don't know what's come over me? I've been cleaning, tidying, organising and clearing out like a mad woman! You have to know that this is really out of character for me. Yes, I'm a tidy freak, always have been... but I hate cleaning. Don't get me wrong, my house is not filthy but I just about keep on top of it and don't enjoy it (who does?!) I think I've just neglected loads of things since the kids were born.

So this is what I've done this week (on top of my four mornings at work!)
  • Sorted through all the kids baby clothes
  • Sorted through 2 huge bags of girls clothes I was given 2 months ago
  • Taken some clothes to the charity shop
  • Listed some baby clothes on ebay
  • Tidied the garden
  • Washed down all the kids toys in the garden
  • Taken crap from the garden to the tip
  • Given the hallway a mini-makeover (new shoe rack, storage baskets and hangers for kids coats)
  • Sorted through a box of baby paraphernalia in Oliver's bedroom.
  • Sorted out all the crap on top of my kitchen cupboards and labelled the box files on there
  • Cleaned the whole house from top to bottom
  • Sorted out our mortgage because the fixed rate is due to end soon
  • Sorted out our home insurance
  • Done all my filing that I haven't done for about a year
  • Done some baking with Oliver
  • Started making some Easter cards with Oliver 

I've still got loads more things on my to do list
  • Sort out all the crap under Oliver's bed
  • List old toys on ebay
  • Shorten new curtains for the living room and hang them 
  • Oliver's bedroom - get a new light shade and take the border off
  • Wash cushion covers
  • Put up some shelves in the living room 
  • Properly clean the oven

 I'm really not sure of the reasons for this sudden extreme behaviour...
  • Spring??? Is this extreme style spring cleaning?
  • Have I got more energy because I've lost some weight?
  • Reading blogs/Pinterest has inspired me given me a kick up the arse?
  • We've got a potential buyer coming to view the house tomorrow morning?
  • Maybe there are other things in my life that need 'clearing out'? 
  • Or is this the onset of OCD?

Whatever the reason, I'm getting great satisfaction from it all and my house is looking better and better every day!

What do you think is happening to me? Has this happened to you?!

    March Photo a Day Update

    15 March 2012

    Well I'm half way through the March Photo a Day challenge now. And I'm loving it so much! It has been a challenge some days but it's really made me think about the prompt word and how I want to interpret it.

    I usually take a few photos on my mobile and choose the best one. Then I have a little play around with it on the Pixlr o matic App by adding a fancy filter and frame.

    I was really disappointed yesterday as the prompt was 'Clouds' and did we have any clouds in the sky? Did we heck! Oh well, I took a photo of  'No clouds'!!

    I'm particularly looking forward to taking photos of 'Funny' and 'Delicious'...

    Take a look at all my photos so far here or click on the Photo A Day tab above.

    I hate my house!

    14 March 2012

    It's official! Our house is far too small for our family. I've totally fallen out of love with it and after being on the market for coming up to 2 years, I've lost all hope of ever selling it and feel like we'll be here forever!  

    I bought the house in 2002 when I was a single girl with no responsibilities and no commitments! The house was fine for just me and I loved it. Then 3 years later I met hubby who moved in with me soon after we met. The house was still fine for the two of us and I still loved it. Then Oliver arrived in 2009 and although the house seemed a bit more crowded and was filling up with baby paraphernalia, it still felt ok. We talked about selling but decided not to as we have a really small mortgage and didn't want to end up with a bigger mortgage at that time.

    So, March 2010 I found out I was pregnant again (a bit sooner than we planned!) and we had to rethink our living situation! Within weeks the house was put on the market and I was hopeful that we would be moved by the time the new baby arrived in December 2010. How wrong could I be! We've had a few viewings but nothing more came of them. Lydia arrived and we all squashed in!

    The living room before it was taken over by toys!

    Downstairs we have a large living/dining room and a small tiny kitchen. I HATE my kitchen. It is just ridiculously small! I'd love to do some baking with Oliver but there's just not enough space to do it. I just about manage cooking in there on a daily basis but have to be very organised and tidy and make use of every last inch of worktop and cupboard space! I think the kitchen puts most people off buying as it's so rubbish (I haven't even got a photo of it!)

    Oliver's bedroom (the cot is now in our room and he's got a proper bed)

    Upstairs there is one double bedroom and one single bedroom plus our bathroom. Oliver has the small bedroom and the bigger bedroom is for me, hubby and Lydia!!! To be honest this doesn't bother me but it would be nice for Lydia to have her own bedroom and we could have our bedroom back for just us (and I could watch TV in bed!) If we're still here in a few months, the plan is to get bunk beds for Oliver's bedroom so him and Lydia can share.

    The garden is small and all paved apart from a small flower bed and some flower pots (plus a playhouse, slide, trampoline, rocking horse and a couple of bikes!) Also the house is on a main road which is extremely busy with buses, lorries, tankers, you name it! So our garden is not exactly the peaceful haven that I would love it to be! Luckily we have some lovely playing fields with a playground right across the road so that's like an extension of our garden during the summer.

    Our garden

    So 21 months later we're still here. The housing market has more or less crashed. There are no first time buyers (our target market) as they can't get mortgages or deposits. We dropped the price by 10% but still nothing. We've looked at various other options: 1. Buy a new build house and part exchange ours (but new builds are out of our price range) 2. Rent our house and buy somewhere else (decided against this as we would have to quadruple our amount of borrowing). 3. Rent our house out and rent somewhere bigger (I really want to do this but hubby's not keen as he doesn't like the risk of the house being empty).

    So the waiting game continues!

    But, we've got a viewing booked for this Saturday morning which is a couple looking for a buy to let property. Please keep your fingers crossed for us!

    What's in my handbag?

    12 March 2012

    Here's what's in my bag today:

    3 nappies
    Baby wipes
    Purse (not on photo as in my work bag)
    Bag containing change of clothes for Oliver (not on pic)
    Hand Gel
    2 dummies
    Mini book
    Calpol sachets
    Antiseptic wipe
    Bag containing various activity books and colouring books
    3 spoons
    Cheque book
    Nappy bags
    Hand cream
    Chocolate lolly (eaten by me a few minutes after taking the photo!)

    I can't believe I've got so much in my bag but it does say a lot about me... that I like to be organised and prepared for every eventuality and it's all about the kids!

    A bit of baking

    10 March 2012

    Me and Oliver did a bit of baking this afternoon. I'm not going to lie... we used a cupcake kit! My kitchen is the teeny-tiniest in the world so I don't have the cupboard space to store baking ingredients and my worktop space is the size of a postage stamp!

    Anyway, I've been meaning to do some baking with Oliver for a while, so we just threw the box in the shopping trolley when we were at the supermarket!

    Easy peasy cupcakes!

    Oliver mixing it up!

    Ready to pop in the oven

    Cooling down before icing them

    The finished cupcake... very yummy!

    I'm very impressed with how they turned out... really light and fluffy, and the icing is delicious. Oliver loved helping to make them and loved eating them even more!

    I hope I didn't spoil it by being an OCD mum... they were allowed one each and I made him and Lydia eat them in the kitchen, hovering with my dustpan and brush to sweep up of all the crumbs!!!

    My mum is ace!

    8 March 2012

    Today is International Woman's Day and to celebrate this I thought I'd tell you how brilliant my mum is!

    I had a bit of a crap day yesterday. Hubby has been abroad visiting his family this week so in typical girly fashion I managed to break the car yesterday. The handbrake to be specific!

    "OK don't panic, stay calm. You're a 36 year old mother of two you can sort this out!"

    I rang the garage and booked the car in to be fixed today. So this morning me and the darlings, dropped the car off at the garage then walked down to Oliver's playgroup (I was helping out this morning). Mid morning the garage called me to say the car wouldn't be ready until this afternoon. So I called my mum...

    And this is what my amazing mum has done for us today:
    • Picked me and the darlings up from playgroup and took us home (saving us the hassle of a bus ride with two toddlers, a pushchair, and massive changing bag!)
    • Gave me a lift back to the garage to pick the car up
    • Kept the darlings entertained while I was cooking dinner
    • Gave my bathroom a quick clean
    • Bathed the darlings
    • Read Oliver's bedtime story to him
    • Washed up (a job I hate!)
    • Stayed with the darlings while I nipped down to Sainsburys for birthday cards and pressies for hubby (its his birthday tomorrow)

    I REALLY appreciated everything she did for us today... especially the washing up!

    Don't just celebrate your mum on Mother's Day. 
    Celebrate her every day.

    *I have to say here that my dad has also done most of the above for me today (apart from the driving and washing up!) so he is equally as brilliant!*

    Have you got a fantastic mum? What amazing things has she done for you today?


    7 March 2012

    I had my first experience of eyebrow threading at the weekend! And what an experience it was!

    For anyone that doesn't know how threading works, a cotton thread is pulled along the unwanted hair in a twisting motion to trap hair in a mini lasso and lifts the hair out of the follicle. Apparently it can leave you hair free for up to 6 weeks. I think it's probably better explained with a couple of pictures!


    Anyway, I've got quite fine eyebrows so I usually just use tweezers but it always feels like such a chore. My sister has had her eyebrows threaded for a while and they look gorgeous so I thought I'd give it a go (silly me!)

    It was all a bit spur of the moment! I was in town with my sister on Saturday morning so off we went to the beauty salon taking Oliver, Lydia and my two nieces with us! No appointment was needed and there was no one in, so I got straight in the chair. Well all I can say is OUCH! I think I have quite a high pain threshold (I've had two children naturally with only gas and air!) but it really hurt! I kept telling myself that it just felt like scratching but it actually felt like the hairs were being brutally ripped out...and it felt like it lasted for ages! At least with waxing, it's all over quickly!

    I'm not sure if I'll have it done again, I might start having them waxed again.

    At least now I've got beautifully shaped neat eyebrows that look better than they have for a long time!

    Have you ever tried threading? Do you have it done regularly?

    Wrong side of the road!

    5 March 2012

    How can you not be in the catchment area of a school that is five minutes walk away and you can see from your house window?! That's the crazy question that I had to ask myself this afternoon!

    Well, Oliver is 3 years old and due to start nursery (pre-school) in September. Now our nearest infant/junior school is a lovely school and has a fabulous OFSTED report plus I went there as a kid! I always thought my children would go there and didn't even consider anywhere else. So in July 2011 we went and had a look around the nursery, filled in the application forms and were told they would be in touch in spring 2012.

     Anyway, the school secretary called me this afternoon and told me that he had been offered a nursery place but it is an afternoon place as all the morning places are taken. We really want him to go to the morning session as I work mornings, so I asked why he had not got a morning place when we've had his name down since last July? She said that they offer places to children who live in the catchment area first and the morning sessions are most popular. She checked our address and said we're not in the catchment area because we live on the wrong side of our road!!! Apparently our road is the border of the catchment area and we live on the 'other' side of the road so we fall into a different catchment area. I was gobsmacked!!!

    I explained why we want Oliver to go to the morning sessions so she's put him on a waiting list (with only 1 other child in front on him!) and said there's quite a good chance that he'll get one. The alternative is that he'll have to go to his current playgroup 5 mornings a week but I'd like him to go to the nursery attached to the school that he'll (hopefully!) go to. Luckily, the catchment area that we are in is for another brilliant school with a fantastic reputation so either way it'll be ok!

    Has anyone had a similar experience with the school postcode lottery? What did you do?

    Listography... 5 photos that sum up my week

    4 March 2012

    Thanks to Kate at Kate Takes 5 for this idea! So here's my week in photos.

    1.  This weekend, my washing machine has been on constantly... now it all needs to be put away before it all starts again!

    2.  I don't normally go to the supermarket (love my Asda delivery!) but me and the darlings had a trip to Morrisons to pick up a few bits this morning.

    3.  We made the most of the lovely spring weather yesterday and had a couple of hours in our local park. The darlings LOVED it!

    4. It was my nieces 2nd birthday on Monday. We went to a lovely tea party for her and this was her amazing cake.

     5. On Tuesday we went to The White Rose Shopping Centre and the darlings loved this ride!

    Fill in the blanks Friday... a day late!

    3 March 2012

    1. The highlight of my week was eating at Nando's for the very first time!
    2. If I had to classify my interior design aesthetic it would be classic contemporary
    3. My first vehicle was Y reg (1987?) red Ford Fiesta
    4. An item I need to have in my day in order to function is my mobile phone... my whole life is on it!
    5. My favourite way to waste time is reading blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter!
    6. Right now I could really go to sleep!
    7. This weekend I will be trying to work out how to make a new fancy header for my blog

    Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

    My first blog hop!

    2 March 2012

    I've joined a blog hop! It's a fab way to link up to loads of different blogs (and hopefully get some new followers!) so please take a look at the blogs on the list below.

    Thanks to clairejustineoxox  for introducing me to this fab linky!

    #Marchphotoaday... Fruit

    I'm Pinterested

    As a newbie blogger I've been reading loads of posts recently and keep coming across Pinterest. So I took a look a couple of weeks ago but I didn't really get what it was all about and thought it was a bit pointless!!! But I had another look today and suddenly I'm addicted! I can't stop pinning! You can find me on Pinterest here.

    I don't know what the attraction is really! I sort of can't put my finger on it! It's just full of lovely ideas, tips and images. I'm not into crafty things as such but there are some great ideas on there for really easy things to make for the home. I've also pinned a few recipe ideas to try out sometime. In theory I'd love to try out some of the ideas for the home or the recipes but in reality I bet I don't get round to it!

    My favourite board is called  'Words'. I just can't get enough of the lovely quotes and phrases! Some are funny, some are sweet, some are inspirational. Here are a few of my favourites:

    So what do you think about Pinterest? Love it or loathe it?