Good News and Giggles

My husband got a new contract – hurrah!!  So we will now be able to start living again and planning our emigration to Canada. First off I need to plan a trip to Toronto and Novia Scotia so we can compare it to Vancouver.  It seems only sensible considering it’s closer to the UK and there is a lot of IT Tech work there.  So tonight we celebrate! 🙂

This however I had to share this with you, it had me in hysterics when Miss L bought it home from school.  She shares a desk with a delightful little boy called Robert, who obviously knows our daughter far too well!  He made this to cheer her up as she’s been apparently been unhappy at school this week – not of course that I knew anything about it!  She is a mini teenager and whenever I ask about her day the answer I get is ‘It was fine/lovely/good’.

Bless him!  He put so much work into it and it the little envelope on the right there were ‘mini’ Miss L cards which he made to look like her with smiling Miss L’s and another with a ‘sad’ Miss L and ‘Don’t be Stroppy’ on it.

How sweet is that?  His parents should be very proud of such a caring little boy, he’s now on our ‘approved’ future son in law list.   At least he understands our daughter, she’s been smiling since he gave it to her and it’s now pride of place on her wall.  Aren’t kids cute!

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Sofa Makeover

Our sofa is now four years old and despite the covers being washable and it’s not a particularly light colour, it’s starting to look it’s age and more than just a little grubby and dull.  Sofa’s are one of those expensive home items that due to daily use and abuse by your family, often soon look the worse for wear quite quickly.  I think we’ve had everything and anything thrown at our sofas from weaning babies, toilet training toddlers, my husband falling asleep on it holding a glass of red wine (eek!), to the dog lying on it eating her chews and who knows what else?.  However as Miss L and the dog are still young there is no way I’m going to replace it, also one of the sofa’s folds out into a comfortable sofa bed for when we have guests which is really useful.

Our sofa came from Sofa Workshop specifically because they did replacement covers for this model, so you could change the colour and look of the sofa and therefore the room easily. Of course what happened…they stopped making the sofa and therefore the covers!  So my plans were scuppered!

So what to do?  I’ve had a look round and found an interesting article from SofaSofa with some great ideas of how to transform your sofa.  I like the idea of having made up or making my own slipcovers for the sofas. There are some great ideas and fabrics out there and it would mean that I could change the room colour and buy new throw at the same time to add a new accent. A while ago I came across a great blog post from Pink and Polka about how to make your own slipcovers.

New throw cushions covers would be a cinch and I’ve been thinking about changing our beige and dark brown for something either floral or stripy. As we have a Homesense, TK Maxx’s sister home store opening in March in Cambridge I think that a shopping trip might be in order.

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Link Love Tuesday

Gmail is down so I might as well write a blog post! As always there are some fabulous articles out there, my poor Google Reader at one point had over 300 waiting for me.  I dread to think what will happen if I ever leave it alone for more than a few days.

Yvestown is back!  Lovely post about the progress of her new home, can’t wait to see it finished.

Restyled Home – Dreaming of Slipcovers.  Slipcovers are such an easy and pretty way to reuse a piece of furniture, good for all us thrifty types at the moment.

Single Parent Dad – on the phenomenon of Phantom Toddlers.  You know when your children are staying over elsewhere and you find yourself checking on an empty room. I’ve done it a good few times.

Brooklyn Limestone in Progress – a favourite blog of mine, she has the most amazing home. But this post about Snuggie’s had me cracking up, I’d so buy one if they sold them here 🙂

The City Sage has the – prettiest cake ever!

Sticky Fingers – advice for new parents a must read for all you soon to be parents.

A Modern Mother – Teacher’s yelling in schools,  an interesting debate.

Luphia – Half a Dream Apartment how we’d all love to live. Beautiful.

Now recently I’ve discovered Tumblr which is a bit like a Google Reader shared items only better!  I’m pretty new to it, but here’s my stream and a couple of other good ones I’ve found




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In the next house..

You know how when you buy a house unless you are super rich everything is a compromise. The location, or parking or garden, whatever it is you’ve compromised on means you can’t have something else.  Sometimes it’s nice to imagine what you’ll have next time round.

So we’ve got a saying at our house, everytime we see something fabulous that we can’t afford/have room for it’s going to be ‘In the next house’.

So far the list consists of

A Laundry Room

We are currently using the outside under stairs cupboard as there is no room in our 8×8 kitchen for well pretty much anything other than the cooker and fridge.  This means that I end up going outside in snow, rain and sun to do the washing and drying. I must admit in mid winter I’ve been known to buy extra socks and pants in Tesco’s rather than go out in the rain to do the washing!

A Kitchen/Diner

Being able to talk to my family and friends when cooking – heaven!

Woodburning Stove

Clean, efficient and super snuggly – I covet my parents one every winter.

Spa Bathroom

Every house we’ve lived in has had a rubbish bathroom. The bathroom in my flat had a pink suite, our first home together had a grey one and this house has a less disgusting cream one.  But I’ve hated them all and never been able to afford to replace them – next house!.

Can you imagine having a little space to curl up in the garden and read in any weather? I must admit than unless Betty ever uses that blessed dog run of her’s then I’m eyeing up for a Liz makeover! So this one might make this house…

What’s on your list? What would you love in your next home?

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Oh my, we’re paying for this..

As an IT professional and ex NHS employee, I have been watching the ever increasing budget and over run of the NHS integrated IT project with both bemusement and horror.  Seriously what they are trying to do is not that hard and should not be costing the British Taxpayer at the last count an estimated £12.7 billion (The Times February 2009) bear in mind the Channel Tunnel cost £10 billion and this project is now running 4 years late.  Who knows when it will come in and at what cost? No one in the government seems to have control over it, I can only hope that someone in the next government does.

But today just proved to me what a complete waste of money it’ll be if you can’t get the doctors trained to use it.  I went in to see my doctor as I’ve been having some terrible stomach pains the last couple of weeks.  And after poking and prodding was complete and diagnosed as a pulled muscle but have some blood tests in case it’s anything nastier.  While I was there, prompted by what’s happened to Jade Goody, I asked when my last smear test was.  Miss L was a toddler the last time I had one and as she’s nearly six I thought it might be due.

The doctor looked at me blankly and said…

‘I don’t have that information to tell you’.

So I looked at him and then at the computer screen which was in front of him and he added

‘well it’s up to the nurses to tell you that’.

I pointed out that I maybe attend my doctors once every two years and I don’t see the nurses to ask them. So then he looked back at the screen, because I’d pretty much shamed him into it and he said with a very surprised

‘Oh look it’s here on the front screen’

He didn’t have a clue how to use the system.  Seriously will someone please, please, please make sure that they are going to be trained on the new system and don’t just leave them to it!

P.S Don’t get me started on the new touch screen receptionist system – obviously uncleaned touch screens and sick people together – what idiot thought of that?!?!

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What’s Your Home Style?

I’ve just taken this great quiz on Sproost (found via the always stylish Mirror, Mirror). If you’re a bit at sea as to what you really like or how to decorate your home then have a go.  I was really surprised at how accurate it is.  Here’s my result:

I’m 53% French Ecclectic with 29% Cottage Chic and 18% Classic

What’s yours?

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Bouquet of the Week…

We’ve had a tiny florist open up in town, I’ve always been in a rush so I’d never really noticed how good her flowers were until this morning.  As I was on my way to coffee with a friend I slowed down to have a good look and I was pleased I did! It turns out that the florist has trained with Jane Packer in London and decided to set up on her own.

Look at this little beauty


And the best thing…it was £4.95!!

I don’t think I could have bought the cute metal bucket for that, and I get to re-use it. It’s so easy to make me happy!

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Hooked on….Online Magazines

It’s Hooked on Friday again and here’s what I’m hooked on this week…Magazines!

Times are getting tough in the VioletPosy household.  Since hubby is starting his own business and I’m only working 2 days a week, we like many others we’ve have to economise – A LOT!.

In all honesty I think my magazine addiction has to be the first thing to go.  I probably spend at least £25 a month on them and that’s just the regulars and not including any impulse buys – thank god Paul doesn’t read my blog!

Luckily a lot of my favourites have an online verson

Martha Stewart

Country Living US

Real Simple

Living Etc

But I’ve come across online publications in my magazine replacement hunt..

Small – an online magazine aimed at stylish children and their parents. Lots of Etsy inspired goodness here!.

Apartment Therapy – the whole group is good, but I love Ohdeeoh the kids section

Better Homes and Garden – I know this is a US Magazine but I’d never heard of it before and it’s pretty good.

Vancouver Magazine – my favourite City has it’s own magazine, what’s not to like?

Vanity Fair – I’d never buy it but the photography is amazing

Eco Home and Garden – Ecologically sound and very cool site.

Canadian Gardening – you can see a theme gathering here!  But we have a similar climate so I might as well read it

Canadian Home & Country – Okay I admit I want to live there 🙂

What are you favourite online magazines?

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Facebook Change of Terms and Conditions

Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook.  I adore that despite my friends and I living sometimes thousands of miles away from each other, I can see their children, talk to them and swap gossip like it’s a virtual garden fence.

But the new terms and conditions of Facebook are totally outrageous and have more implications that at first you might realise.

“Under the new rules Facebook’s 175 million users agree to let the company use any content they upload in any way Facebook choose. Even more importantly, the company can continue to do so even if you have deleted your account. So if you upload a picture of your family and Facebook want to use it in an advertising campaign, for example, there is nothing to stop them, even if you are no longer a member of Facebook”.

Is it me or is that just more than a little wrong?  Also if you feed your blog into your Facebook account and republish there, then technically could they own that too?.  Mark Zuckerberg has blogged to reassure Facebook users that the company will respect users’ right to control information they upload. He writes:

“In reality, we wouldn’t share your information in a way you wouldn’t want. The trust you place in us as a safe place to share information is the most important part of what makes Facebook work.”

But that’s if he still owns the company, what if he sells it?.  The T&C’s still remain and you are trusting them with your data.  Most people don’t even know how to set their privacy levels, let alone realise the implications of something like this. I’ll be interested to see how this pans out and if they change their minds on it?  In the meantime if there is something you don’t want the world to see ever then for gods sake don’t put it on your Facebook account!


Facebook have just released this on the site

“Terms of Use Update

Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog.

If you want to share your thoughts on what should be in the new terms, check out our group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.”

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Children’s Birthday Party Dilemma


It’s that time of year, my daughter’s birthday has come flying round again and she’s hitting the big 6 at the beginning of March.  Until she was 4 and at full time school, I’d gotten away with not throwing birthday parties.  I’d had a few relatives over for cake and balloons and that was pretty much it.

Then when she started school of course the invitations came flooding in and she understandably wanted a party.  The first year I got a little caught up in it all.   For her fourth birthday we had pretty much all 30 children in her year to a huge bash at the nearest village hall, complete with magician/balloon animal maker, and fabulous party food.  I swear to god, it cost more than my 21st Birthday Party!

Last year I cut it back to a girlie tea party at our house with 6 friends…my house was trashed within 10 minutes of them being here.  Whatever happened to kids being scared of their friends mothers and not making a mess?  When did that go out of fashion?  So this year I’ve plumped for the local soft play place who do everything  entertainment, invitations, food, balloons and party bags, all I have to do is turn up with a cake and the birthday girl for £10 a head – bargain!

However of course there is a catch, I’m happy with Miss L inviting 10-12 children and she wants to invite 20 of her closest friends.  Two of the spots are taken up with her best friend from out of school and his little sister and that’s non negotiable, which leaves 8-10 spots for school friends.  I’m of the opinion that she should invite close friends and then if there’s space children who’ve invited her to parties in the last 3 months.   But she wants to invite her whole class plus some kids from other classes.    There aren’t many kids in her class and it doesn’t seem to be the rule that you have to invite everyone in the class, but there is no way we can afford to do that.  Bless her she’s pretty good at getting that normally but seems to be having bit of a blind spot when it involves her party!

What do you do for parties?  How do you decide who’s invited?

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Dining Room Style Board

Our dining room was originally our lounge as it’s at the back of the house and overlooks the garden.  However as Miss L got bigger it seemed a bit daft being in a small room when the room at the front was much bigger, so we swapped rooms.  The dining room is currently in an old Dulux colour called tealight which was really pretty cream 5 years ago and is now well a bit mucky.  Day to day scuff marks, pen on the wall, stains from weaning – how does carrot do that despite bleach? – all take their toll so it’s time to repaint.

I saw the picture above in January’s  US Country Living and thought that it was really fresh and pretty.  My cream chairs and table need a new lick of paint too so I thought this look would suit what I’m trying to achieve.

We’ve gone for Farrow and Ball Pavillion Blue – it’s a little darker and more blue than this colour chip.  I couldn’t get Paul to agree with the Duck Egg – but I’ll work on it for the lounge 😉

I’ll take some before and after pictures and post them next week.

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Happy Birthday to Me

I turn 37 today…how did that happen?

Here are the words of wisdom I wish someone had told me

EVERYTHING happens for a reason

Mr Right is worth waiting for, and will be found in the most unexpected place

Children are an utter blessing and an unplanned pregnancy is not the worse thing that can happen to you

Cherish your parents

Travel, travel and travel some more

Living in different cities and countries is lots of fun.

Don’t be afraid to change career’s it’s really not a big deal

Childbirth is worse than you think and you think it’s bad!

Never ever get a credit card, they are the source of all evil

Always say goodbye to people, you never know if that is the last time you’ll see them

Enjoy being skinny/having a flat stomach/breasts that are still upright in your teens & 20’s and quit moaning about how fat you are – seriously you’re not!

The people you knew when you are young are some of the most important to know when you’re older

On the other hand some people that you are really close to you won’t remember what they look like in 5 or 10 years

Learn to talk to people who are sick or dying it’s mean so much to them and more to you when they are gone.

No man is worth self destructing over – seriously if they are awful you are better off without them and you can’t change them

Tell the people that mean the most that you love them daily.

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