Wednesday, 5 February 2014

2014 Bloggers Challenge - Favourite Book

Topic 3 of the 2014 is your all time favourite book, I used to read a lot when I was a child and I continued to read regularly up until a few years ago.  I decided to post about Enid Blyton's Folk of the Faraway Tree, this was my most favourite book when I was younger and I still have it.  It was given to me by one of my Great Aunties at Christmas 1984 which makes it nearly 30 years old! And also makes me feel very old!!  This edition was selling on eBay recently for £7 upwards and I thought about selling mine but I just didn't have the heart to do so. There are a few other books in the series but this one was my favourite. The other titles are:  The Enchanted Wood, The Magic Faraway Tree, The Folk of the Faraway Tree and Up the Faraway Tree.
Enid Blyton's Books

Enid Blyton's Books

The story is about four children Jo, Bessie, Fanny and Connie.  Connie has come to stay with the other children as her mother is ill and she is quite a bossy, stuck up child who doesn't believe in magic and needs some convincing about believing in the Faraway Tree.  The Faraway Tree is an enormous tree that reaches into the sky and has fairy folk and characters such as Moonface, Saucepan Man and Silky living in it.  There are new magical lands that arrive regularly at the uppermost branches.

Some of the lands that appear at the top of the tree are:

The Land of Marvels
The Land of Giants
The Land of Nursery Rhymes
The Land of Dame Slap
The Land of Tea Parties

The children have adventures in whichever land that they are in and sometimes they end up in trouble. Some lands are nice such as the Land of Tea Parties where you are served by rabbit waiters but others such as the Land of Dame Slap are awful.

As with other Enid Blyton books, the stories and characters have been updated and re-published. The children's names have been changed to Joe (Jo), Beth (Bessie), Frannie (Fanny) and Dick who is mentioned in this story but appears in an earlier book also has his unfortunate name changed to Rick. Dame Slap who runs a school where she slaps naughty children has her name changed to Dame Snap, she also has stopped slapping them and shouts at the children instead.

I have just collected the book from my Mum's loft so I am going to relive my childhood and read it again :)! What was your favourite book as a child?

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Clearing Out The Clutter - Kitchen Organisation

In my efforts to get organised this year I have decided to dedicate one month per room to sort out, declutter and re-organise so by the Summer I should be living in an organised home. I decided to start off in the Kitchen as this is where I spend a fair amount of time baking and cooking. Unfortunately I am lacking storage space in the kitchen, my kitchen isn't in any way small as I have 3 deep drawers and 11 cupboards, I just have so much stuff!! So decluttering my drawers and cupboards were to be my first step in this process.

To make it easy on myself the above quote by William Morris that I decided to go by: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. So if it's not something that I am likely to use nor do I think it's beautiful then it's out!

I started by taking items out of a couple of cupboards at a time rather than emptying all my cupboards in one go, this was so I wouldn't end up in a tearful mess, overwhelmed by all my junk lovely things lying around and then lose the will to live motivation to decide what to keep and what to put away.  While the things were out, I gave the shelves and inside the cupboards a good clean before putting the items I was keeping back.

Looking through my cupboards I saw that we have pasta bowls, a pizza plate, Chinese bowls and serving dishes, Indian bowls and serveware, tapas dishes, etc rarely used so I decided that rather than them loitering in my cupboards, at least once a week we will have a themed meal night and put these items to good use!  I also had some duplicates of things such as oven to tableware dishes and items such as two big bowls that I would use for crisps/salads at parties I had a lifetime ago and another party serving dish that hasn't seen the light of day since we moved here.  As these items were in really good condition (probably as they have hardly been used) I decided to donate them to the charity shop so someone else could get the use of them but my friend is away to buy her first home so I donated them to her instead.

In the cupboard above my oven I had two cake plates, a pedestal one and a two tier one still in their boxes, that I would just use at Christmas time that were taking up quite a bit of space in there so I took them out to put them into storage in the garage. This meant that the eyesore that was cluttering up my kitchen worktop (Mr M's new hobby, a breadmaker) could be housed in that cupboard along with my other baking items. The cupboard below my oven had a smoothie maker that has never been used (I will put it to good use in the summertime) which was also taking up cupboard space, I took that out to go along with my cake plates in the garage. The space that it freed up meant I could put my baking trays in one of these, making them more accessible rather than them being piled on top of one another and a pain to get one of them out.

My kitchen is now starting to look more organised (apart from the cupboard under the sink I need to come up with a better way to organise this but it will get done in a later post) and things are now easier to get to.

Here are some more photos of my now organised cupboards :):

Kitchen Organization

Kitchen Organization
Kitchen Organization
Kitchen Organization
Kitchen Organization

Next project: Living Room!

Have you been decluttering in your home? Have you found it hard to part with anything?


Saturday, 1 February 2014

Valentine's Shopping Haul


As Valentine's Day is fast approaching I thought I would show you what I have bought so far. These are just little things to decorate our home with and some other small items. I found shops like Poundworld and Poundland very good for picking up things really cheaply.

I bought the pink led heart lights, heart shaped champagne flutes and heart shaped table decorations all from Poundland.

The heart shaped frying pan and the Thorntons' caramel hearts were bought from Poundworld.

This heart shaped plastic bowl was £2 in Sainsbury's and would be ideal for sharing your popcorn while watching a rom-com, speaking of which I bought Valentine's Day on DVD for £3 also.

Have you bought anything for Valentine's day yet? What are your plans? Will you be jetting off for a romantic weekend in Paris, going out or staying in and cooking a meal?

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