Saturday, 26 April 2014

Chocolate cookies and an unexpected gift...

Hi everyone

I decided to do some 'proper' baking and made chocolate cookies...

With cadburys dairy milk and milky bar white chocolate chunks inside, these are best eaten fresh out of the oven.

Daisy is trying her first ever chocolate cookie. I used the same recipe but obviously used her dairy free chocolate. A little treat ;)

These beautiful flowers were an unexpected thank you gift from my OH's friends. They borrowed something from me and these were a token of their appreciation. We were also given steak for tonight's tea! We haven't eaten steak in years. I never expected these gifts, I just lent out something I have and they didn't (so would have had to rent them)...simple.

Just in case you haven't realised...I do try my best to reply to your comments. Please check the comments box.

I haven't forgotten about my promise to do a blog post on my ladybird book collection. I've been really busy with Easter and my decluttering. Yesterday I threw away loads of actually feels refreshing and spurs me on to do more. 

Any requests for a future blog post?

Mandy x

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Yesterday...baking cake mixes and resisting temptation!

Hi everyone, 
I did mean to blog yesterday, but by the time I got round to it, it was bedtime and the internet connection in my bedroom is very poor (too far away from the wireless router) so I gave up!

Yesterday I baked all morning...

I made cakes for the tin and for the freezer. I used up some longtime lurking packet mixes that I bought ages ago from approved food. They were out-of-date so I wasn't sure how they'd turn out. I decided to add coconut to one batch and dried fruit to another. The fairy cakes came with icing sugar and sprinkles. 

The results were not brilliant, but they needed using up and I didn't want to throw them out. I won't be buying those again! I thought I'd try them because they were so cheap and flour is so expensive! 

I have been stockpiling baking ingredients when they are on offer in asda and now have plenty to bake from scratch as I like to. Photos and recipes to follow... I love baking and so does Daisy. 

Yesterday I was also really proud of myself for resisting temptation! I had an avon book through the door and I used to buy most of my make up from them. I had spare money because I was working then and now I don't. I do have plenty of make up though and don't need any more! I didn't even look through the brochure. I also had a kleeneze book too, which I ignored too. I try to think that if I need something, I can go and shop around for the best price and buy when I want to. I don't need to buy for the sake of it. These brochures are being returned via my doorstep today without an order. 

Has anyone else tried the cake mixes from approved food?

Mandy x

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Carbooting...a huge haul of bargains!

Hi everyone!

This has been a busy weekend for shopping! Yesterday we went carbooting to Finmere and picked up a huge amount of stuff. Don't panic...I'm not filling my home with unnecessary clutter! Next week I will be busy going through Daisy's clothes to throw away the grotty stuff (her clothes get stained from food because she is allergic to the plastic backing on bibs) and going through her toys...removing anything that she has grown out of. 

The money I spend is what I have made from selling at the car boot in previous weeks (I am very good at saving money for that purpose). I have lots of 10ps, 20ps and 50ps and use these to fund my purchases. Prepare for lots of photos!

Coat, cards and top...3 for a £

Fisher price telephone...30p...Daisy picked it up and said "hello" even though she's never seen this style of telephone before!

The tambourine and denim dress were 50p altogether. The summer dress was free! The lady gave it to us(before I picked up the other things) because of a little stain on the shoulder strap. I will try to remove it as she was going to throw it away.

Daisy is really into woodland creatures (from her love of Beatrix Potters Peter rabbit) and particularly foxes...50p

I plan to start doing more cooking with Daisy ...she loves it!

This was one of my best finds...a fold up garden chair for Daisy...£2...I've been looking out for one of these and they can be quite expensive new.

These puzzles are just right because Daisy can grab the pieces easily...50p (it looks funny because it's covered nk cling film!)

3 books for 30p

2 books for 60p

3 books for 50p

Cbeebies characters lunchbox...50p...I thought it was a bag, but it has a drinks bottle inside! I will use this for Daisy's wooden building blocks.

A photo frame the size I need and the smaller frame was given as a's handmade and new in a packet.

All this for £2...clothes for Daisy 20p each...bargain!

Peach tunic top for me...20p

7 tops for me (50p each)...I don't usually find anything in my size and don't buy myself clothes generally, so a welcome treat and it all fits :)

This is a huge pile of clothes for Daisy...£4...25p each.

£1.50 for the two

3 books for 30p

Bag of balls for the ball pit...£2

There was also a Nemo bag and peppa pig toy but Daisy was playing with those! Sorry about all the photos but I like to share my bargain finds with you!

All these items will be washed and found homes around the house. Some of the clothes will fit Daisy now and some she will grow into. Daisy can easily go through four different outfits in a day!

Anyone else picked up some Carboot bargains lately? 

Mandy x

Happy Easter xx

Happy Easter to all my readers xx

Thank you for all your support and kindness. I really appreciate that some of you take the time to say hello...thank you xx

Daisy is being spoilt this Easter (and that's not thrifty but I don't care) with love, time, attention and gifts...

Daisy's Easter basket.

A new dress to wear tomorrow for our family day. toys because it's Easter.

I have been collecting these things for a couple of months now and used my savings to pay for them. I used the ELC, Cath Kidston, Asda and charity shops. 

Daisy is lactose intolerant and cannot eat chocolate Easter eggs (unless we went to a health food shop). She doesn't know about them or understand that she's missing out yet and we wouldn't be feeding a toddler lots of chocolate anyway, but it is Easter and these are her presents to celebrate! 

I hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend.

Mandy xx

Ps: I went carbooting yesterday and found lots of post coming up x

Friday, 18 April 2014

I've been to primark!

Hi everyone

This morning I went to primark in Milton Keynes with Charlotte and Daisy. We did some serious shopping for summer clothes! While I continue to pick up bits and pieces from the Carboot sale for Daisy to play outside in, I did need to find some smarter clothes for her to go out in.  

Primark is cheap as you will see...

 Minnie Mouse outfit £7

'Cute is my middle name' t-shirt and hearts t-shirt ...£1.50 each

7 bibs...£3, polka dot t-shirt...£2, Minnie Mouse flannel...£1, 3x socks...£1.50, and little bag...£3 (I've been looking for a little bag for Daisy for ages)

Coral top and denim shorts...£8 and white top with denim shorts...£8

2 pack of leggings...£3 (bargain)

2 pack of dresses for £5!! Another bargain find.

These dresses were £6 each! So pretty with underskirts. They are a bit big but I'm hoping the butterfly one will fit Daisy for her second birthday which isn't until September. I buy clothes to last. 

That was it for Daisy as we did pick up some pretty dresses in mothercare last week too, plus two new pairs of shoes from Clark's. 

Primark may not be the best quality, but Daisy will grow out of these clothes and I won't get much back at a Carboot sale, so I don't want to spend too much in the first place. 

Does anyone else shop at primark??

Mandy x

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A little corner of my home...part of my children's vintage book collection

Hi everyone

This is a little corner of my home...

This shelving unit was a present, made by my lovely husband many years ago. I have been storing my children's vintage books collection here, but now it looks like this...

The bottom shelf now is home to Daisy's paints and painting equipment. Underneath you will see the boxes containing her other craft materials. The top of the shelving unit is home to Great Uncle Bulgaria...he's a Womble that I picked up at the Carboot sale a couple of years ago. The ladybird book collection are staying because we actually read these to Daisy. I intend to do a separate blog post about these. The other books are being packed away into the loft, but I thought I'd share them with you first...

This is my Famous Five collection. I have all of them but three. Some of them are really old and some are the more modern versions (1990s). My favourites are the ones to accompany the tv series that I absolutely loved! I have the DVD too. If you don't know of the famous five, they (Julian, Dick and Anne, George and Timmy the dog) go on lots of adventures eating potted meat sandwiches washed down with lashings of ginger beer! They were created by Enid Blyton, my favourite author as a child.

Once again, Enid Blyton...with Noddy, The Three Gollys and naughty Amelia Jane. I didn't want to offend anyone with the correct title of the middle book so I hid it...Enid Blyton was not very PC !

Sally Stawberry is from the Munch Bunch. Does anyone remember these? This was actually my husband's book.
The other characters on the back.

These Beatrix Potter books are old but I'm not sure how old because I couldn't find a date of print on them. They were childhood books and sadly I don't know what happened to the rest. Daisy has a huge collection box of Beatrix potter books so these can be put away.

The wonderful Mr Men! These vary in age and price given on the back. I loved these as a child and still do! Daisy has a big box collection of all these too and we have read them all! Most of these were mine from the 1970s, but some belong to my husband too. 

I love children's books!

Which books or authors were your childhood favourites?

Mandy xx

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Carboot sale bargains...

Hi everyone and thank you for your comments :)

We went to our local Carboot sale this morning. I picked up some fantastic bargains for Daisy...

I picked up eleven books, all in really good condition for the total of £3.40. Some were only 20p each. All of Daisy's favourite animals and characters are in this collection and she loves stories. 

Pooh bear toy was £1. I tried to get it for 50p, but the lady wouldn't go for that because of the battery!

This puzzle is perfect for Daisy because she can gar the pieces easily. It was 50p.

This lovely little hand knitted dolly was £2, but I think it was worth that. My knitting is very basic! 

Daisy loves dogs and this is really cuddly. It cost me 50p and needs a good wash!

Piglet was 20p.

These little sets are perfect for Daisy. She loves to make marks and you can see the pooh bear theme going on here! These were 50p each.

Daisy is really into anything Beatrix Potter at the moment. This was a 10p video and yes we do still have a video player!

Finally I picked up these clothes from the same seller. I paid £3.75 altogether. There are two dresses (one is baby gap) and two tops and two bottoms.

My total spend was £12.45. I only pay what things are worth to me and I put many things down again! Having said that, I paid less than what I would charge for some of my purchases. Even supermarket children's books and clothes are becoming expensive. Daisy has at least one new book a fortnight from asda and some kind of clothing. By buying at boot sales, I can reduce our expenditure. She loves to play outside every day so it's not worth me spending a fortune! She has clothes for playing in and some for best. Everything gets used, played with, read or worn and then sold on. This turn around will keep the clutter under control. I have only kept a few things for any future grandchildren we may have and Daisy's special things for her memory box. 

I am still working hard, assessing every corner of our home...decluttering what's not needed and moving things to a more appropriate place when spaces are not working well for me. There is still too much stuff out and on show (which makes cleaning take longer) and I need to make space to store these things away. I still have clutter hotspots and dumping ground areas...the kitchen table and utility room work surfaces. I would love to post photos of these areas clear and tidy...perhaps that should be my next challenge to motivate me to solve the problem??? Fingers crossed I can achieve this very soon X

Another issue that I have faced this week is simply having no desire to cook. I have cooked, but not enjoyed it and found it a huge chore. I'm not sure why but I need to snap out of it! Does anyone else ever feel like this?

How's your week been?

Mandy x