Wednesday, 25 February 2015


You'll know that I've saved for a bit of an understairs storage "book nook" project. Today all the woodwork has been finished.

"Mummy, there are pictures of knobs on your phone." ~ Alyssa

Alyssa came rushing to me to inform me that Harvey had taken plenty of photographs of the carpenter finishing off their nook. He was extremely impressed that there was a small cupboard with another gold knob on it. My phone was now full of these kind of photographs though.

I'm really pleased with the final result and look forward to finding the time to paint it so that it fits in better with the rest of my room.

understairs storage

Huge thank you to Gary who created the image in my mind (and also coped with Harvey asking him lots of questions about what he was doing.)

Monday, 23 February 2015

Face painting

I recently won a face painting kit and so a weekend away with some friends meant that we got to test them out.

I tried an island theme on Petal. She absolutely loved sitting there and having her face painted.

Chunky wanted to be batman. He wasn't at all happy at sitting still for very long so I has to work quickly. He didn't like the paint near his eyes either but he was very happy with the final result.

It was great fun and the Snazaroo kit was so easy to use. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Understairs storage

I've been saving like mad in order to pay a carpenter to create my vision of a "book nook" for The Sweetpeas. I wanted them to have an area where they could sit and escape in a good book. The space also doubles as somewhere to hide all their toys when I want my living room to resemble more of a place to relax in rather than an aisle in Tors R Us.

Under the stairs seemed like the perfect place for it.

 It was created by a one large chest and then a smaller unit that has a drawer in it too. All of this was made from MDF.

Chunky liked to try it out even before it had really got started.

I wanted a more 'built-in' feel to it so he put a sheet of MDF between the two parts which created the little nook which I was after originally.

Day One was complete and they were able to start filling it with their toys. It's not fully finished as needs a bit of beading and there will also be a hinged door at the end to create a little cupboard too.

It's an ideal height for them to get up and sit on it whilst they relax with a book or play a board game perhaps?

Harvey was really keen to get his basket of books out even though I've not even started on shelving them yet.

Friday, 13 February 2015


The Sweetpeas understand that I have to work in order for us to be able to have food on the table, get new clothes and buy toys. I want them to be able to see that money doesn't grow on trees and that a job will be needed one day.

"I'm going to be a pilot" ~ Harvey

A great choice from Harvey even though he has never been on a plane. He likes the look of them and that's enough for him to have made up his mind.

Picture the scene. An airport, thousands of people, suitcases everywhere and then along comes hurtling a blonde haired man, sitting on a trolley being pushed by the cabin crew. He may well be the only captain of a plane that will insist on wearing his smart uniform's trousers half-way down his bottom. (Seriously, when will he grow out of actively pulling his trousers down so that they hang around his hips? )

Other than her intention of being The Queen one day, Alyssa has the idea of being a bank cashier. Like me. I'm sure she could do my job now even at the age of 7 as she loves maths and can operate a computer. I'd love to take her to work with me one day just to see how well she would cope. I fear though that they may sack this Mummy and employ the younger model!

Personally, I'm looking forward to retirement. Growing up and getting a job sounded so much more fun when I was at school. Mind you, I do like stamping. This was the reason I work where I do.

 Honestly! It's the stamping. 

I remember going to visit my aunt in the bank and loving how they all wore smart uniforms with their names on them. They had loads of different stamps with ink pads and it would make that really loud "Clunk Clunk" noise. It was amazing!

Unfortunately we don't have many different stamps like we did when I first started. Things change and new technology is brought in like with any job I suppose. It may well be the case that when The Sweetpeas are leaving school they will have "flying car technician" and "holiday representative on Mars" as some of their options.

Harvey may not be a pilot and perhaps will be just controlling a pilot-less plane via remote control. Now there's a worrying thought.

The future is uncertain in terms of a role but it is definite that they will have a job. Even if I won the lotto, I'd make sure they understood that they needed to contribute to society by having a job. There are some amazing people in this world and I'm very fortunate in that I get to talk to them during the day. Let me give you a few examples.

CARERS ~ Wow! I have enough problems dressing myself some morning and coping with my own moods let alone being there to help people with additional needs or the elderly that rely on you. I applaud you. I did one day of work experience in a care home when I was younger and it was physically and mentally exhausting.

BUILDERS/CARPENTERS/ELECTRICIANS/PLUMBERS ~ You know the people. The ones that have that skill of being able to fix things or build items out of a pile of materials. I struggle building a castle for The Sweetpeas out of Lego so I'd be no use building a house.

STAY AT HOME PARENTS ~ Yes, I'm classing that as a job. It's unpaid and some days it's torture. I couldn't do it all the time and I can often be heard saying I go to work for a rest. It's the constant worry of making sure your children have got the right items for school with them, getting them to school, standing around in playgrounds and still trying to get all your household daily chores completed.

TEACHERS ~ The patience they must have is incredible. If I was a teacher, the whole class would be snuggled on that naughty step by break-time. I'd possibly be rocking in the corner. The Sweetpeas are enough for me to deal with let alone 27 other children to contend with during the day.

My ideal job would be a cake tester so Mr Kipling, if you are reading this, please contact me if you have a vacancy coming up.  I like to think that I'm also working towards building up an "Exceeding Good" Blog.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Important letter

I was just heading to bed and noticed this letter had been left for me by Alyssa.

She managed to finally get to sleep and hopefully tomorrow she will wake up feeling much better.

Sweet dreams Petal.x

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Songs that mean something to me

I'm 30 but ever since I can remember I have loved The Bee Gees. It's a fact that I was absolutely born into the wrong era. I love the majority of their songs but "You Win Again" is possibly my favourite. It featured on my driving CDs when I first learnt to drive.

Another group I thoroughly enjoy listening to is Fleetwood Mac. Again, the CD in my car featured 'Everywhere' and lots of my friends at the time were subjected to hearing it over and over and over again.

Blue by Eiffel 65 is a song that reminds me of my brother learning to drive. He had a blue Nova and this song was around at the same kind of time and I recall him playing it non-stop in his car.

Another track that springs to mind for me is "Video killed the radio star" by The Buggles. I remember sitting in my GCSE Art exam for two days with my headphones stuck in my ears. I suspect everyone else were listening to current hits but this was the track I was listening to so I bet they are all glad they never wanted to borrow my CD.

I came across "The 1975" when I was entering a competition. I had to quickly research them as I'd not heard of them before. A quick competition entry meant that I then bought their album and also looked up other tracks that they had played. I especially love their version of  "What makes you beautiful" in the Live Lounge.

Let's get a bit morbid now but the track I'm going to have at my funeral is this. No other reason other than "take me to the clouds above". I remember listening to it and running into my brother's room and categorically telling him that it was going to be number 1. (It then was number 1 and proves that little sisters need to be listened to sometimes as they know what they are talking about ;) )

Let's try and get things back to a happier thought. This is a track that reminds of some fantastic nights out that I've had as it always seems to feature at some point. I remember randomly jumping up and down and singing away to "Build me up buttercup." (Mind you, that's me most nights whether I'm staying in or out and about.)

I do buy compilation albums from time to time and The Sweetpeas enjoy skipping through the tracks to find their favourite.

"This song is about Uncle Tom. He's the man." ~ Alyssa

So sweet that she thinks so much of her uncle and whenever I hear this song I smile purely because of her comment.

This next song reminds me of my attempt to learn a different language. I ended up falling in love with a song and never did learn anything. It also featured in Fast Five so perhaps this song was just meant to highlight  my love of cars rather than my ability to learn a language.

 So,to finish up, what was I listening to while I was writing this post late on a Tuesday evening?

Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Golding and will feature in the "Fifty Shades of Grey" film. I heard it on the radio recently and have had it on repeat most evenings since.

Are there any songs that mean something to you so that when you hear them it triggers a moment in your life or thoughts about a particular person?

Oh and I need to mention this song too. It's now imprinted on my brain for eternity thanks to Alyssa singing it constantly. I really need to just "Let It Go"....

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Dyson DC59 digital slim vacuum cleaner

I've had my Dyson DC59 digital slim for a good while now so I thought I'd review it.

No cord

I really didn't think it would make much difference having no cord but how wrong was I?!  It's amazing how much time I must save by just being able to quickly nip and pick up my Dyson and vacuum. I don't have to worry about plugging in the cleaner and then trying to clean the entire room. My house isn't huge by any means but I would have to unplug it at least 5 times if I wanted to clean the entire floor in all rooms.

As there is no cord, I can easily clean my car. (Now there is no excuse for allowing my car to resemble a skip.)


It's not very noisy at all and is much quieter than my upright cleaner.


Superb! It really does pick up incredibly well and I was even impressed at how it work on rugs that had much longer fibres.

There is a boost button which you simply press and a blue ring illuminates. This increases the suction but also rapidly reduces the charge held in the battery. I don't use this much at all as the usual suction is ample for my home.


I managed to get my Dyson for £100 as I held a Dyson party through Come Round . (They give you a chance to test and review products and services.) Normally, these retail between £300 and £350. I would happily pay that amount for a Dyson DC59 digital slim too.

Emptying the container

The container isn't huge and I feel it is designed for doing short bursts of daily cleaning so that you don't have to keep emptying it.

It is very simple to empty. You just click down the red tab and the bottom flips open. If you want to get the whole compartment open, just press the red tab twice and then you have to slightly tilt and wriggle out the container.This is that part that I sometimes struggle with as I can then accidentally press the trigger and the motor starts up again. I feel this is the only flaw I can find and that's possibly more my fault that the actual machine.


I love that it comes with the long pole, the traditional head, 2 smaller heads and a smaller crevice tool. I am able to clean my entire home including sucking up those cobwebs from the corners without having to stand on something to reach up that far.

Docking station

It comes with a docking station so that you can simply click the Dyson into place and have it charger whilst it is on the wall. I've never put this up and don't think I will as there is nowhere appropriate in my home. The cleaner would stick out too far from the wall for me. You don't actually need the docking part as the charger can plug in directly to the motor.

The best bit... children actually want to vacuum. They quickly pick up their toys from the floor so that they can have a go. They love being able to operate it as it is so light and easy to manoeuvre. The only problem I now have is that I have just one Dyson digital slim.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Nutella and peanut butter cookies

Had a bit of a strange day today as it started badly.

That's my front door key.Not looking good is it? The other half was snapped off in the lock but I knew there was a reason I had those long nose pliers in my little tool box.

Thank goodness I didn't need to call a locksmith.

I had a quick rush round doing a bit of housework but then decided I would make some cookies for The Sweetpeas as a snack for when they get home.

As it's World Nutella Day  tomorrow, I made Nutella and peanut butter cookies.

I followed this recipe on the warrennash website.

They were really easy to make and taste lovely. Next time I might put in more Nutella in the actual mix as they do taste really nutty.

The Sweetpeas returned home and we spread some Nutella between 2 cookies. Heaven!

They'll also be pleased as my most recent competition win of a Snazaroo facepaint kit has arrived today.