Monthly Archives:

November 2016

Papercraft model village

Papercraft village

Ant bought me a Christmas train from B&M a few weeks ago and since then we’ve been shopping for a Christmas village to go with it.
Not being able to find one at the right price, we decided to make a papercraft one that we’d seen in The Range.

It was £14.99 which sounds pricey but it makes 15 buildings as well as some trees and deer. It’s not the, It’s a Wonderful Life Christmas village that I want but it’ll do for now!

Ant’s spent a couple of evenings making up the buildings. Kaycee and Ella helped a bit and they look really lovely.

We’ll be setting the train and village up on Saturday when our decorations go up. I can’t wait 🙂

papercraft Christmas village





O.C.D – Obsessive Christmas Disorder

O.C.D. – Obsessive Christmas Disorder

This was on Facebook today. I had to save it and share it on my blog because it’s so totally me! I have Obsessive Christmas Disorder and I’m not ashamed to say it!

Obsessive Christmas Disorder

I’m constantly thinking about Christmas at this time of year. The spreadsheet I use to plan Christmas is open all the time. I’ve got lists on my phone of things I need to do and things I still need to buy.
Asda and Tesco have my grocery shopping orders for every week during December so I can make sure I don’t forget anything!

We have our first baking session planned for Sunday and if I haven’t said already, the decorations are going up on Saturday! Totally can’t wait for Saturday. Ant will be making me my first snowball of the year, as is our tradition and I have mince pies and panettone ready to enjoy 🙂

Nearly advent and we’re getting excited!


Wrapping Christmas books for our storybook advent was how I spent my afternoon and I’m getting very excited now! We’ve got quite a selection of books now and it was hard to choose from them all.

Storybook advent

We started doing the storybooks in 2014 and the girls look forward to it now. The pile of wrapped books are on the patio and Ella got really excited when she saw them. She said she can’t wait till Thursday to open the book, the chocolate calendar, the activity calendar and the new wooden drawer one we bought last year 🙂

chocolate advent

I’ve written the activities for the pocket Santa advent, in some little handcrafted gift tags.

activity advent
I can’t tell you what I’m putting in the wooden drawers one because Kaycee reads my blog now and I don’t want to spoil it for her!

What I’m most looking forward to is my Yankee Candle advent that I treated myself to in January this year! It was on sale at Amazon and I can’t wait to open number 1 🙂

Yankee Candle advent

2 more days to go 🙂


Argos Catalogue at Christmas

Argos Catalogue

Before the days of the internet, we had the Argos catalogue. As a child, my brothers, John and James and my sister, Stacy, and I would spend hours searching the catalogue to see what to put on our Christmas lists.
I’m sure many children in the 80s were the same. We’d find it hard being patient, waiting while one of us got to pick first then passing it on to the next one!

I still check Argos first when I’m looking for new household furniture, when changing the colour scheme of my kitchen or when I’m Christmas shopping. It’s not the same without the catalogue though!

1985 catalogue

I came across a Flickr album with a 1985 Argos catalogue photostream and I took a trip down memory lane!

I remember the year everyone, myself included, wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid. It was impossible to get one and I never did. When I was about 25, I bought myself one! I never got over the longing of owning an actual Cabbage Patch Kid! This catalogue was printed 2 years after the ‘year of the Cabbage Patch Kid‘.

Argos Catalogue Cabbage Patch Dolls

I loved the Care Bear I got one Christmas. I had it for years 🙂 Mine was Cheer Bear. It’s the one with the rainbow on the tummy. I loved watching the Care Bears cartoon as well when I was younger.

Argos catalogue Care Bear

The game of life was another toy on my wish list that I didn’t get. I don’t remember why I wanted it so badly as I don’t think I’ve played it!

Argos catalogue Game of Life

A friend had one of these Tomytronic Sky Attack electronic games and I was addicted! It was brilliant and I wish I could play on one again 🙂

Argos catalogue sky attack

Mr Frosty was on my Santa list for years. It sounds awful that just about everything I wanted on this post I didn’t get! I totally know now why mum and dad didn’t buy a Mr Frosty though. I’ve bought one as an adult and I have to say, I wasn’t impressed. They obviously knew it wasn’t worth the money!

Argos catalogue Mr Frosty

I’m moving away from Christmas toys for the moment because while I was looking through the photo slide, I noticed this Eternal Beau dinner set. All through my teenage years, I planned to have this dinner set when I had a place of my own! I never bought it because it was out of my price range (I was only on £2.50 an hour in my first job!). I know it’s a bit dated now but I can still see why I liked it so much 🙂

Argos catalogue Eternal Beau dinner set

I’m feeling all nostalgic now I’ve seen some of the toys we wanted and some of the ones we used to have 🙂

Christmas Trivia Quiz – How many can you answer?

Christmas Trivia Quiz

I’m a little bit addicted to those quizzes people share on Facebook. I especially can’t resist ones about Christmas or Christmas movies. When I found a site where you can create your own quiz, I had to give it a go! I had great fun making a Christmas trivia one and I hope you enjoy it 🙂

You can make your own quiz for free at QzzrI think I may be getting a quiz making bug because I want to go and make another one right now!

Let me know what you think of my first quiz and how you did in the comments. Challenge your friends to see who can get the best score.

Christmas trivia quiz



DIY projects for the New Year #HealthAndHome

Time for more DIY

We’ll have been living in our lovely home for three years in February next year. We’re so very happy here and I’m thankful every day that we live here 🙂
The only thing we’re not happy about is the bathroom. We did say when we moved in that we’d put up with it until we could afford to replace it. It’s pink. Very pink. I would have loved it back in the 80s but now I want something a little more modern!
Ant’s really good at DIY so he’s planning on fitting our new bathroom himself.

He fitted our new kitchen the year we moved in. I helped a bit by removing the tiles but I left the rest to him! He did a great job and it was such a relief to have a kitchen after being without one for so long.

As well as the bathroom, we also want to wallpaper and paint the living room and paint the hall, stairs and landing. When funds allow, Ant wants to build a utility room at the side of the house where our front door is. He needs more space in the kitchen and getting the washer and tumble dryer out would help enormously.

Lastly, he wants to put a wooden floor down on the patio. He built a cover over the patio last year and it’s been brilliant being able to store things outside without worrying about the rain.
We eat out there in the summer and the girls sleep out there on a fold down sofa bed. The new floor will be the finishing touch 🙂

Health and Home

As you can see, we have big DIY plans for next year. You can imagine how I felt when I saw the below infographic, knowing we’d got lots of things on the list, planned. I’d never have thought something so simple as removing wallpaper or tiles could cause an illness I’ve never even heard of, mesothelioma.

Slater and Gordon are mesothelioma lawyers. They’ve created this infographic to help bring about awareness of the different dangers when making improvements to your home.

If your home was built between the 1930s and the 1980s there’s a higher risk of having asbestos in your home. If you’re at all worried, you can have an asbestos survey to put your mind at rest.


Slater and Gordon DIY infographic


This post is brought to you in collaboration with Slater and Gordon.

Increasing Traffic By Optimizing Your Site For SEO

Increasing Traffic

It’s no secret that I’ve been working on my site SEO (search engine optimisation for those who don’t know) for months now. When I first started blogging, I’d never even heard of SEO, let alone knew how important it was. I’ve since found out having good SEO practices can help increase traffic to your site.
I went through a stage where I checked my stats all the time. The last couple of years, though, I’ve not really bothered about them. I just blogged when I wanted and enjoyed the process.
My blog was written so my kids to look back on their childhood when they’re older. That was more important than stats 🙂

I’m still not that worried about my stats but It is nice when I get my weekly stats email and see a few more people have visited my site 🙂
I decided it couldn’t hurt to try and increase my SEO so I started working on it.

When I moved over to WordPress, I installed a plugin to help me with SEO and I’m now working my way back through over a thousand posts, getting the SEO in order.

There’s help out there for those who don’t have a clue where to start, sites like WebSitePromoter offer SEO services.

As for me, I’ve got to get back to sorting my own SEO out. I’ve just checked and I have 3 posts with a bad SEO score. 19 posts have an OK score. 138 have a good score (yay!!) and 1587 posts with no score because no keyword has been specified!
I reckon it’s going to take me all of next year to get those 1587 posts updated with a good SEO score!

increasing traffic using SEO


This is a collaborative post

It’s A Wonderful Life Christmas village

Best Christmas movie ever

It’s A Wonderful Life is my most favourite Christmas movie ever. In fact, it’s my most favourite movie ever!

I did a search on Ebay for It’s A Wonderful Life to see what kind of things were available. While browsing, I saw something that I have to have. I mean, it’s not just an, ‘I really want it’, it’s an ‘I have to have it!’

It’s a Christmas village featuring buildings and figurines from It’s A Wonderful Life and I LOVE it! I’ve been wanting a Christmas village for years. I saw a lovely one last year but it was out of stock. Having a IAWL Christmas village would be my ultimate choice!

Ant did some investigations for me and found that the pieces were sold at Target in the ’90s. I’m so jealous of all those people who were able to buy pieces for the set every year. If I lived in America, I’d set up an online petition to get them to start selling it again!

I’ve got some screenshots of a few of the buildings and figures. I’m not sure how many there in total but I know I’m never going to be able to afford them all.
If I had to pick just one that I could have, it would have to be the old Granville house 🙂

It’s a wonderful life Christmas village

It's a wonderful life the old Granville house
The old Granville House

It's a wonderful life Uncle Billy
Uncle Billy

It's a wonderful life Mr and Mrs Martini's house in Bailey park
Mr. and Mrs. Martini’s house in Bailey Park

It's a wonderful life Harry Bailey
Harry Bailey

It's a wonderful life George pulling Clarence out of the water
George pulling Clarence out of the water

It's a wonderful life George Bailey and family
George Bailey and family

It's a wonderful life Bedford Falls bridge
Bedford Falls bridge

It's a wonderful life Mr Potter
Mr. Potter

It's a wonderful life Bedford Falls boarding house
Bedford Falls boarding house


I’ve been hooked on anything miniature since my mum and dad took me to a miniature village when I was a child. It makes sense that if I were to have something miniature, it would have to be a Christmas village!

While searching YouTube for Christmas villages, I found this video. I love the editing at the start 🙂

It’s been a busy day – now to relax!

Busy Day

I’m shattered. It’s been a busy day.
I spent the morning volunteering at the charity shop and the afternoon working on craft tutorials for a craft advent I’m doing on my blog. I have brain ache now because I’ve been at the computer for so long!
We’ve managed to get about 8 crafts done and I’ve got all the photographs resized and ready to upload. I’ve written up 6 of the tutorials but I need a break now!

While I was working, I put a Christmas movie on and let myself get excited because it’s only 4 and a bit weeks until Christmas! The husband and the son think it’s too early for me to be watching Christmas movies. To prove them wrong, I’ve watched 3 and a half of them today! We had to switch the 4th one off because the girls had to go for a bath and Kaycee didn’t want to miss it. She’s hooked on Christmas movies like me 🙂

Talking of Christmas movies, I treated myself to Holiday Inn on DVD yesterday from Sainsburys. It was only a fiver but I got it for free. I doubled up my Nectar points and used them in the Entertainment section.
I also got a new book to add to the Christmas Book Advent we do. I’m not telling which book I bought though; Kaycee has started reading my blog and I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

busy day - Holiday Inn

I’ll have to get more crafts done tomorrow afternoon if I want to have all the tutorials written in time. For now, I need a break from the PC and I’m off to watch more TV with the husband. I don’t think we’ll be watching anything Christmassy though!

Find Trusted Service Professionals With Bidvine

Finding trusted professionals

I’ve recently been introduced to a website that helps you find all manner of service professionals for just about everything you may need help with.
We all know it can take hours searching for certain services. I usually go to the Yellow Pages online when I need to find a service. The problem is, it takes so long searching through and checking out each website.

Bidvine helps cut down the time taken with searching, by getting the service professionals to send quotes to you. Sign up to the site then all you have to do is start a new request for the service you require. Put your postcode in and answer a few questions.

Bidvine - help finding service professionals

I picked photography then chose Portrait Photography (for children)

Bidvine - finding service professionals

After entering my postcode, I then answered a few question about my chosen service. I told them how many children I’d want photographing. The kind of photos I’d like, whether I’d travel to them or have them travel to me and a few other things.
I submitted my request and within 20 minutes I’d got my first quote 🙂

Bidvine - Finding service professionals

I was very impressed with the speedy response. If you’re looking for baby photographers in Sheffield, boiler bleeding in Derby or wallpaper removal in London, give Bidvine a go.

You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest

This is a collaborative post