Monthly Archives:

November 2015

Ready for Advent :) New wooden advent calendar

Ready for advent

We’ve got an extra wooden advent calendar this year and I really must not buy anymore!

They’ve got the usual chocolate one each

Advent calendars with chocolate

the activity one

Activity advent santa

the storybook advent

Gift wrapped story books

Wooden advent

and the new wooden drawer advent that I got from Home Sense. To be fair, it really is Ant’s fault we’ve got it because he encouraged me to buy it!

I have no idea what I’m going to put in it, though. The drawers are tiny.

Wooden advent with drawers

We’re not having anymore no matter how lovely they are (and we saw some realllly nice ones at Pennell’s garden centre yesterday!)

How to decorate for Christmas in style and cheap

Living room decorated for Christmas

Christmas is coming very soon, and we can start talking about the ways to celebrate the jolliest time of the year at your home as well! Apart from a beautiful Christmas tree, there are some other ways you can decorate your home. And today I am going to share a few tips that will help you out not only to achieve true classy décor but also even save money! It is super easy, super fun, and it brings Christmas to the home!

Turn your throw pillows into gifts
It is super easy, super good looking, and it won’t cost you tons of cash! In fact, all you need to do is tie a bow around your throw pillows with holiday colour ribbons, and voila! They look just like Christmas gifts! You can also add a rhinestone pin for an extra decorating kick and have fun sitting on a very comfortable and good looking pile of gifts!

Snowman made from oranges

Build mini snowmen 
Another very cheap, fun, and even odorous décor element can be a few mini snowmen made from… oranges or clementines! And it is not that hard to make them! Just stack the fruit, holding the pieces together with toothpicks. Then add cloves for eyes, peppermint sticks for arms and a nose and liquorice for a scarf. The hat can be a vanilla wafer and peppermints layered with frosting – that is it! It will last longer, smell very nice and it will bring a lot of visual interest around the room as well. Moreover, since it is not that hard to make, kids will love helping you out as well!

Use biscuit cutters as window decorations
You can also have something special and decorate your windows with biscuit cutters! These window decorations take just a few minutes to make. And it requires minimum material as well! Just get tin biscuit cutters with various Christmas-like shapes like angels, bells, and stars. String them with beautiful ribbons, and then tack them to the window casing. After that just enjoy having unique, cheap and super cute decorations on your windows!

White tree with red baubles

Skip the real Christmas tree
I know it is quite hard to skip the old-time tradition of having a real Christmas tree at a home, but you can save a lot more, have a beautiful decor element and still enjoy Christmas if you pick a tree in an unexpected colour like a winter white or bright red. In fact, the more unusual colour you choose, the stronger décor element it will be. When it comes to the ornaments, less, but bright is best. Only stick to one bold colour, so it pops. Choose colours like red, magenta, or turquoise or other that contrast the colour of the tree. You will have a lovely tree for years, it will be eco-friendly, and you won’t spend money every year as well!

A family photo garland

For the sweetest decor element, gather all your pictures of family members! Drape the nostalgic garland across a mantel, shelf, or whatever you wish for by clipping old snapshots to a piece of festive ribbon. Photos can be whatever you like – from grandparents to today, from past years Christmas celebrations to everything else. It is all up to your imagination. The cost of such decor element is silly small, but it is surely very nice to look at and very easy to make. So – try it!

This is a collaborative post

4 Weeks to Christmas

Santa gif

4 weeks to Christmas and the girls are getting really excited now due to it being December next week. They can’t wait to get the advent calendars down!

We did a bit more Christmas shopping today and the super wonderful husband bought me some snowflake cutlery :oD I’ve wanted some Christmas cutlery for ages but never saw any I liked until today.

Snowflake cutlery set


Snowflake cutlery, Chocolates, Danish butter cookies

I finally found some Cadbury’s Roses for £4 a tub. They’ve been £5 everywhere but Netto had them today for £4. I got the Danish butter cookies from Netto as well. I can’t wait to tuck into those!

I can’t wait for next weekend because we’re putting the tree and decorations up.

After the fairly relaxed November we’ve had, it’s now starting to get busier; Ella has a Christmas fair at Cubs this weekend then a Christmas party at Cubs next weekend. The weekend after that we’re at Nanny’s for the present swapping party and Advent begins next week so we’ll have activities to do every day.

I’m glad I’m nearly done with all the prep work because I’ll be able to enjoy December without stressing 🙂


Habitat for humanity

During December, Wayfair is challenging bloggers to spread festive cheer by doing a good deed. For every blog that displays the #blogitforward badge, they will donate £50 to Habitat for humanity.
I had to take part, especially as I do a good deed every week!

On a Tuesday and a Friday, I spend 3 hours in my local charity shop, St Barnabas Hospice, helping to keep the book section stocked and organised.
I’ve been volunteering for about a year and I really enjoy it.

I now challenge Kim at Northumberland Mam and Michelle at The Purple Pumpkin Blog to do a good deed and blog about it 🙂


Weekly weigh in – November 25th

November 25th – Well, it’s 4 weeks to Christmas and I can’t see I’m going to get my 8.5 stone award back, let alone get my 9 stone award!
I didn’t do an update last week because I was really fed up.

I’d been extra good all week, counting syns, weighing healthy extras and swapping carbs for speed veg, for example, when I did chilli and rice for everyone, I had cabbage instead of rice and I put 2lb on.

I was expecting to lose at least 4lb so to have a gain after working so hard all week was really disappointing.

I was invited to my friend, Jackie’s that night for a craft party and for the first time in about 11 years I got drunk.
On a school night!

I was still drunk when I woke up the next morning and didn’t get back on track with my eating.

Friday night we went to visit Jourdain and Netty, Ant’s son and girlfriend, and we had a takeaway for dinner.
Saturday we went to visit Kellyann, Ant’s daughter and had spaghetti bolognese followed by lemon meringue pie then Sunday we made chocolate orange cornflake cakes which I could not stop eating.

I managed to get back on track on Monday and Tuesday and only put a pound on this week, which was quite a good result after all the alcohol and food!

I need to lose 12lb to get my 8.5 stone award back so 3lb a week would see me do it by Christmas but I’m not confident now that I can do it but I will try my best 🙂

Me at 31 stone in August 2012 then me at 22.5 stone in August 2014


 For more weight loss posts, click here

Lookie at my early Christmas pressies!

If you saw how much I loved Flamingo Gifts earlier this year when they sent me a box of goodies, you’ll know how excited I was when another box containing some early Christmas pressies arrived from them the other day!

Early Christmas pressies – Gorjuss

The box contained my much longed for Gorjuss handbag as well as a Gorjuss tablet case :oD All I need now is a tablet to put in it!

Gorjuss handbag

I now have a Gorjuss handbag, purse (a present from my step daughter for my birthday earlier this year) and a notebook and pen 🙂


Gorjuss handbag


Gorjuss handbag


Gorjuss handbag


Gorjuss tablet case


Gorjuss tablet case

There are lots of lovely gift ideas at Flamingo Gifts and I plan to buy a few things in the coming months.

When Aiden goes to live with his dad, Kaycee and Ella will be having a room of their own and Kaycee wants a reading corner with a beanbag.
I saw this one on Flamingo Gifts and knew straight away she’d love it.
She loves baking so this cupcake beanbag is perfect for her!

Cupcake beanbag

I’m also going to treat myself to this mug because the saying is very special to me….

Always be yourself mug

When I blogged about my weight loss journey during my first year at Slimming World, the tagline on my weight loss blog was, ‘Always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn!’
Don’t ya just love it?!

Please note: We were sent some items in return for an honest review.

Choosing Christmas Dresses

Every year, from the year they were born, I’ve bought Kaycee and Ella Christmas dresses to wear to Nanny’s Christmas party.

Our family live all over the place so each year Nanny puts on a party to get everyone who is available, together on a Sunday in December. She has boxes ready for each family so everyone can take their gifts for the other family members.

It’s usually the second weekend in December so we’ve been looking at Asda, Tesco and Matalan to find dresses the girls like.
I do miss the days when I was able to choose the dresses myself because I loved to buy them matching ones but they’re too old for that shenanigans now; Kaycee won’t even let Ella have the same shoes as her!

As usual, they found the dresses they liked in Asda (not a sponsored post by the way!)

Kaycee’s choice

Black dress with reindeer print and black leggings


Black shoes with a sparkly bow

Ella’s choice

Red party dress


Red sparkly shoes with bow


5 Weeks to Christmas

5 weeks till Christmas animated sparkly Santa picture

Can you believe it, only 5 weeks to go till Christmas?!

Ant and I nipped to B&M last weekend because I needed some hot chocolate. I buy Options hot chocolate because it doesn’t have as many calories as the hot chocolate the kids have and it’s cheaper at B&M than it is at Asda. When we got there, Ant asked if I wanted a basket or a trolley. I said basket.

Now, every time I go to B&M or Poundstretcher, I tell myself I’m only going in for 1 or 2 things and every time, I think a basket will suffice and every time, I’m wrong!

We left the store with sore arms from trying to carry everything that wouldn’t fit in the basket! The only light thing was Ant’s wallet which came away about £40 lighter.
And to think I only went in for a £2 tub of hot chocolate!