29 April 2013

Bargain Books and a Whole Lot More!

This week has been a really good week for charity shopping, I have spent less than £15 and found some wonderful goodies.

First up is this Nigella recipe book which I think may just be my new favourite recipe book, it was a snip at just 75p, most of the books in the shop I found this one in were this price, guess it means a quick turn around.


I also found this fabulous Readers Digest book from 1977, Food From Your Garden it contains lots of hints and tips and how to's on growing food in your garden as well as what to do with an abundance of crop, perfect for discount fruit and veg. Another bargain from the same shop.


Next up I found this beautiful Hornsea Pottery tapestry pattern jug, it is actually quite big and I just love the colours, it was a little more than i'd normally pay but still at only £3.49 it is a lot of jug for your money.

Next up these two little Saxony potteries birds in Summer and Winter pose, I really love these although hubby wasn't sure so I sneaked them onto the shelf without him knowing ;) At £1 each I think these are a little bit of fun, very kitsch!



Finally my two bargain buys of the week, this gorgeous Pall Mall china tea set, the whole lot for £3!!!! One cup has a tiny chip but the rest is perfect and I love the simplicity and delicateness of this set.


And this Betty Barclay maxi skirt, just £3.50, although I wan't sure at first with a pair of clip flops and a vest it looks perfect for summer days out.


I really am becoming a charity shopaholic and was going to sell some of my extra vintage and retro goodies but having just looked at the Royal Mail postage costs don't think it will be possible :(

I am linking up to Magpie Monday on Me & My Shadow's blog.


Me and My Shadow
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23 April 2013

Dolly's Vintage Tearoom Nottingham

With half an hour to spare, I decided to take my daughter to Dolly's Vintage Tearoom in the Woodthorpe area of Nottingham.

This little place is a diamond in the rough, in what I am sure would have once been a thriving shopping strip this gorgeous little tearoom sits amongst the now sadly empty shops, but I am so glad it does.

I love going to Cafes, if I want to treat my son I take him somewhere for tea and cake and this I think will be my new haunt.

With toys, drawing stuff and a play kitchen there is plenty to occupy the children, whilst I enjoy a lovely traditional cup of 'real' tea! You know the kind you have to strain and comes in a teapot and china cup and saucer.

I opted for a teacake with a nice cup of tea, the perfect early morning treat and in a gorgeously vintage setting made the perfect early morning stop off.



If you are local to Nottingham I can highly recommend Dolly's Vintage Tearoom


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22 April 2013

Summer Wish List

I have been dreaming about a holiday and summer for ages and have been spotting some gorgeous items in the shops and online so here are a few of my favourite things.

I have been swooning over these Salt Water sandals for ages, the only problem with them is which colour? I really love the red but for ease of going with everything I will probably go for brown, white or black.

I am loving UNIQLO at the moment, the Celia Birtwell range is divine, I really love this dress would look fab dressed up or down.

I love maxi dresses and this one from the new Kin range at John Lewis is really gorgeous, perfect for wearing in the day or evening.

And finally, the perfect beach bag from Le Papillon Vert also perfect for French markets ;)


Really loving the fabulous prints around at the moment, from butterflies to foxes and owls.
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17 April 2013

Sticky Fingers in Ashbourne

Me and my husband popped to Ashbourne last year for our anniversary and loved it, lots of independent shops, cafes and restaurants.

So when trying to think of something to do near Derby before a family party we took the children back to have a look around and a cup of coffee.

Whilst there we found a little ceramic painting shop which also housed a cafe and design led gift shop and what a wonderful find it was.

Obviously I opted for the hot chocolate which was divine and both me and hubby had a slice of millionaires shortbread, my children had a slice of rocky road and an iced shortbread biscuit all of which tasted amazing and got eaten too quickly for me to take a picture!

They also offer a range of light lunches including sandwiches, paninis, soup or a salad, made from local ingredients where possible.

The design led gift shop offers a delightful range of gifts, a lot locally sourced too which is always a bonus.

And finally the ceramic painting available looked fantastic, with a huge range of pots and paints and a gorgeous warm environment to paint in. I am sure would make the perfect addition to a day out with children or even a party, one day we will go back and give it a go for sure.


If you are live in Derbyshire or are there on a holiday I can highly recommend Ashbourne and if you are looking for coffee and a cake I can definitely recommend Sticky Fingers.
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9 April 2013

Supporting Small Businesses this Spring - Poppy Sparkles

It is my mother in laws 60th birthday on Sunday and since my husband is away it is left to me to sort out her present.

I had been wanting to buy myself something from Poppy Sparkles for a while so this gave me the perfect opportunity, whilst also supporting a small business.

For my mother in law I chose this gorgeous Pearl and Peridot Pendant, although it isn't her birthstone I think the green will go great against her skin and suit her hair colour.


For me I chose these two gorgeous bracelets, yellow for a pop of summer colour and I adore the turquoise teamed with the gorgeous pearls I think they are simple and lovely, plus pearl is my birthstone.

I ordered on Sunday night and they arrived this morning, what better service can there be? With shipping only £1.50 for the first item and free for the rest this was a darn site easier and cheaper than traipsing into town with two children.

Plus they were beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and within that a gorgeous organza bag with little paper hearts....plus a little heart lollipop in the packet.

This is one reason I love buying from independents, they always put a lovely personal stamp on it and for me the washi tape the parcel was sealed in and lovely note really made my day. Thank you Viv :)
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8 April 2013

Spring Charity Shopping

With the sun out and the temperature warming there is nothing more satisfying than finding some goodies in the charity shop that pick up the light and sparkle.

So this week when I popped in to a charity shop near work you can imagine my utter glee when I saw these beauties, I had seen a set in another shop a few months before but they were £15 for a set of 6 and I just think that is a little too much.

This set isn't complete and some are well loved but I had to have them, and for 80p each set it doesn't matter they are still so pretty!


I found this gorgeous cheesecloth tablecloth for £2.25, my mum used to have one and I just love the colours. It will be perfect for the table outside in the summer and I don't think you could get this much fabric new for the price it's huge!


Next this gorgeous Pyrex platter was a snip at 75p, its really heavy and I love the print perfect for serving Christmas dinner on or mince pies me thinks.


I have been admiring my grans murano glass for some time now and when I saw this little fella I knew I had to get him. I am amazed I got him home in one piece as they are so fragile, in fact it's amazing he is still in piece considering his age.


I only bought one of these this week but when I saw him I knew he had to come home with us as a friend for the other, at just £2.99 I couldn't leave him in the shop and I just adore the slight differences, but thats hand painted for you.


And finally, this Pyrosil dish, it is missing it's lid but I love the simplicity of the blue on white and can't wait to cook in it, perfect oven to table wear and only £1.29.


I am really becoming a charity shop addict now but I love filling my home with pretty things that just want to be relived

I am linking up to Magpie Monday over on Me and My Shadow.

Me and My Shadow
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3 April 2013

I Was A Rat Theatre Review

Last week I was invited to see I Was A Rat at the Nottingham Playhouse. I don't often get to go to the theatre and my son was a little young for this production, so it gave me a good excuse to have a few hours to myself.

Sitting down to a rather dark and empty stage I was intrigued at the performance ahead.

In the opening scene we meet the main character a boy named Roger who walks into the lives of two unsuspecting but wonderfully kind people Joan and Bob.



Following them on a journey to try and find out where Roger comes from, as Roger tries his hardest to fit in, with his child like innocence this isn't easy.

I was a Rat is based on the book by Phillip Pullman and for me was a beautiful and exciting take on a Cinderella like fairytale.

Further on into the story we follow Roger as he finds out about the darker sides of life, from criminals to people willing to exploit him and that not everyone in the world is kind like Joan and Bob.

The play itself was wonderful, I have never been to one with so little set but the atmosphere brought to the show with lighting, sound and moveable props was utterly brilliant and left me captivated and wanting more.

The few actors playing the many characters were incredible, showing just how versatile they were. The acrobatic dance skills of Fox Jackson-Keene who played Roger were fabuous and brought to the play a modern element.



I did here a child sobbing a little so for those that a  little younger and maybe more sensitive I would be prepared for the dark nature of the play, both in effects and in story.

However, with some light hearted jokes on current affairs it stayed topical and up to the minute on a story which set in times long ago.

Overall the stage effects were fabulous, the acting and dancing were entertaining and the characters loveable and I found myself still thinking about the play for a few days after.

Tour Dates


26 March to 13 April
Nottingham Playhouse
0115 941 9419 / nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk
16 to 20 April
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
01284 755127 / theatreroyal.org
23 to 25 April
Truro Hall for Cornwall
01872 262466 / hallforcornwall.co.uk
1 to 4 May
Cambridge Arts Theatre
01223 503333 / cambridgeartstheatre.co.uk
7 to 11 May
The Lowry Salford
0843 208 6000 / thelowry.com
15 to 18 May
Northcott Theatre, Exeter
01392 493 493 / exeternorthcott.co.uk
22 to 25 May
Leeds City Varieties Theatre
08456 441 881/ cityvarieties.co.uk
29 May to 1 June
Hereford Courtyard Theatre
01432 340555 / courtyard.org.uk
NB: I was given the tickets for this event free of charge, all thoughts are my own.
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