Monday, 31 December 2012

Oh, Christmas tree


We have a lovely bright white Christmas tree and a carefully selected collection of vintage glass baubles and favourite decorations. Baby E isn't yet mobile, so I'm making the most of enjoying them as I fear next year we'll have to find ourselves some more durable plastic ones :-)

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Post Christmas Burn-Out

After our Christmas tour of West London and two Sussex pit-stops it feels so good to be back home. We had a lovely Christmas made all the better by a perfectly behaved little baby and dog.

We were all thoroughly spoilt and feel very lucky to have a family that so want us to come and visit - all that being said, the idea that this time next year we should be in a house big enough to host Christmas ourselves does fill me with glee.

A very worn out puppy dog

Explosive Alan - Fantastic Dizzy

I wrote a little piece about my love of Dizzy the Egg games for the very lovely folks over at Explosive Alan

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Christmas Baby Style - 8 Months 1 Week

Christmas Pyjamas - Gap (Ebay)

Advent Village - Christmas Street

I'm a bit slow to post about this, but as the dear friend that it was intended for only just managed to make it to the Post Office in time to collect it on the 24th of December I can only post about it now!

Christmas Street by MrPrintables - Yet another successful craft find on Pinterest. What a great thing to offer as a free printable.

I printed them out onto 200gsm ivory and brown card (my wimpy printer can't handle anything much thicker) and glued them together with a regular paper glue stick. I added some extra decoration using some of my Washi decorative masking tape that I bought in Japan.

The instructions were very simple, and I was so pleased with how they turned out.

The fillings were Mini Mars Bars in the houses they'd fit into, and Jazzles. Just as I thought, my lovely friend is planning on carefully opening the houses so she can keep them :-)

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

I love our Oyster

I'm a complete nerd - I research big purchases heavily before buying, I'm very serious about which colours I like and which I don't and I can't stand bad design. When I found out we were pregnant last Summer, this side of my personality went into overdrive. The biggest expense would be the buggy system.

After a lot of research we settled on an Babystyle Oyster. Firstly, it was one of the only systems that would fit into my vintage Mini. Also, I was going to be seeing whichever buggy we chose A LOT, so I wanted it to look nice. I loved that it had a plain black chassis and from other Mum's comments I found that the black leatherette handle was the most hard wearing. We set on the plum colour pack - my theory that not all boys things have to be blue, and the fact that we could easily and cheaply change the seat colours.

Everything arrived about 2 weeks before baby E did Little did I know that it would be almost another 2 months before we actually took it out for a run (why does no one tell you that it takes so long to get over labour?)

Our first outing - 4 weeks after baby E was born
The Oyster is amazing - firstly, all the extras you get included in the price. I was very pleasantly surprised to find the built in sun shade (hidden under the footrest on the buggy) and the rain covers that came with it. I love that I can have baby E facing me or facing outwards. I love how easy it is to push one handed and how big the basket is for shopping. Also, for a London family it doesn't take up much room on public transport and you can lock the front wheels which makes getting on and off trains and buses so much easier.

But, I found out recently how great their customer service is. When my car was stolen, I had left the chassis of my Oyster inside my car. We were then stuck at home with no buggy and no car. Babystyle UK were amazing - they went above and beyond to quickly put together all the parts we needed and had it sent out next day delivery for an amazingly reasonable price. I'm very quick to complain about bad service, but it's so important to make sure you've said thank you when a business has been amazing :-) Thank you again Babystyle UK

Friday, 7 December 2012

The Saddest Week: Stolen Mini

This week has been a nightmare - my beloved Rover Mini Tahiti was stolen from right outside my house this week, in South London. It's from 1994. It currently has a roof rack, and the additional lights on the front have sun faded orange covers. Number plate M*****R

Not only am I devastated to lose my beloved car, the base of our baby buggy was inside along with Christmas presents for baby E and my Husband. So, at the moment I can't drive anywhere, but I can't even go out because we have no buggy.

I can't believe someone would think this was ok - that someone could do this to me. It's clearly a loved car. It breaks my heart to think of my car being broken up and sold for parts.

If anyone has any information...if by chance you are Googling / researching about this car because you've stolen it...please get in contact or just do the honourable thing and park it back on my street where you took it from.

I'm totally devastated

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Baby Style - 6 Months 1 Week

Bandanna Bib - Bibbles
Stripey Jumper - Primark (charity shop)
Cobalt Blue Corduroy Trousers - El Corte Ingles, Spain
Red Moccasins - Minnetonka
(almost sitting up all by himself now)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

E's Nursery Tour

This is a bit of a cheat, as baby E still sleeps in a travel cot in our room, but all of his things live here in his nursery. Most of the items in there are thrifted from Carboot sales and Charity shops. The cowboy pictures are from some original 1950s wallpaper I rescued from a drawer lining of a chest of drawers being thrown away! Just because he's a little boy it doesn't mean every item he owns has to be blue :-)
Red Eames Style Rocking Chair - Ebay
Painted House Shelves - Carboot Sale
Vintage Disney Jungle Book Curtains - Carboot Sale

Monday, 12 November 2012

Music Monday

After seeing them play an amazing show at The Camden Roundhouse (her voice is just as perfect live as on record) on the 2nd of November, it would be rude not to include my current favourite band, Beach House. This is my favourite track off their new album 'Bloom'

Beach House - Lazuli

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Moving and Shifting

In the long torturous process of trying to sell our flat, we seem to spend a lot of time at the storage unit putting things away in our efforts to show our home as a de-cluttered dream house. Fingers crossed all our effort pays off soon. I'm so ready to move.



Friday, 9 November 2012

Mini Driving

I'm not a car person, petrol head or whatever you want to call it. I am however in love with my car - not in a creepy way. I drive a 1994 Tahiti Blue vintage Rover Mini. It's my first car. I learnt to drive a lot later than I should have done. I'm 30 and I've only been driving two years.

She's great fun to drive. I love that us old Mini drivers wave to eachother when we pass (except the rude ones) and that parents point my car out to their children when I drive past. I once disturbed a Chinese family all taking their picture next to her in a carpark because they'd never seen a mini before. I like that minis are a British iconic classic.

I drive her fo all my buying trips and carboot sales for work. Beasley and baby E fit perfectly in the back. I have optimistic hopes of maybe passing her onto baby E one day (hopefully she'll last that long) I even did loads of research to find a buggy that would fit inside (turns out there isn't one in existence, but we make do with splitting my Oyster in two pieces!) It turns out that you can drive a classic car everyday.

Mini Run 2010

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Best Battersea Boy

This November, 4 years ago we made a purchase. This turned out to be one of the best things we've ever spent money on. For the bargain price of £85, we bought a Beasley.

We knew the time was right for us to add a dog to our little family. I work from home, and with no colleagues, life can get very lonely. Our first place to look was Battersea Dogs Home. We walked all around the different levels of the shelter, and none of the pups quite fit the bill. We needed a small dog - a dog that didn't molt would be perfect (not sure my shop customers would have been into free dog hairs on my work) Slightly disheartened, we thought we'd have to come back another day.

Luckily one of the staff informed us that they had a Yorkshire Terrier male cross breed that was just being booked onto the system that day. They were so friendly and helpful. I was unsure - I'd only had girl dogs, growing up. 
Just to see what he was like, we went to meet him. He had long straggly fur and was skinny and tiny, but Alex had such a good feeling about him. Completely trusting Alex's instincts, and after filling all the paperwork, "Trevor" came home with us that evening.
He was very timid and a real scaredy-cat at first. He quickly grew to trust us, and we quickly grew to love him. We named him Beasley - a name plucked out of the air, but as it turns out it suits him perfectly.
Beasley is a dream dog - he loves nothing more than just being with us. He sits on our laps, he sits on our shoulders like a parrot dog(!) He loves going out with us in the car. He loves to run around in big circles in the park barking. And best of all, when baby E came along, it turns out that Beasley loves him as much as we do.
Beasley was a stray, and we hardly know anything about him, but I like to think that he ran away to come and find us. We love him so much and hope for many more years of Beasley being in our lives.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Ebay Auction Sniping

I encountered this idea a few years ago. Sniping is considered bad form by many and a real faux pas - I've definitely been guilty of trying to do a last stitch snipe when an auction is ticking down those last few seconds on something I really want, but a slow broadband connection or the slightest slip on the keyboard can send all those best laid plans out the window when someone else snipes it away from right under your nose.

As a full time Ebay seller I've not encountered this as a problem as I have a policy of listing everything I sell at a Fixed Price / Make An Offer. I like to have my items find their own price and also to have the flexibility of adjusting the cost if someone buys a job lot of things from me at the same time.

With the age of apps and online gadgets for pretty much anything I was surprised and maybe a little impressed to find there are such things as ebay sniper websites. Here's one I found with a quick Google search:

I definitely have a few "one that got away" ebay stories - like the 25 metres of vintage Superman fabric that I missed out on by 20p (I actually wrote begging emails to the seller and the buyer for that one, to no avail!) These days, I don't stalk my auctions how I used to. I have a more fatalistic attitude. I tend to place a bid then forget about it until I get the email saying whether I've won or lost. Not sure whether that is because I'm older, or because I just go to way too many charity shops and car boot sales and the things I want eventually turn up?!

But, just in case that elusive item I just have to have ever pops up, I've bookmarked this Sniper tool...

Monday, 5 November 2012

Music Monday

As a keen record collector, ex-music shop employee, frustrated dj and mixtape maker I really like Skunkboy Creature's Music Monday blog feature, so I thought I'd do my own. I've found lots of new bands through her posts, and new music is always good, right? I feel a bit out of touch these days since baby E arrived, but try and keep a bit of ear out for new music through 6Music and blogs when I can. This is one of my recent favourites - it might sound familiar as I noticed they've just started using it on an advert...I hate it when that happens

Alex Winston - Velvet Elvis

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Pop Scene

For my next Pop drinking post, here is my personal Holy Grail of soda - Melon Fanta or Melon Pop. Only it seems, to found in Japan. I discovered this drink on my Honeymoon in Tokyo in 2011, and as if I wasn't giddy enough at being in my dream city (I had wanted to visit Japan since I was about 13) this neon sugary treat just about tipped me over the edge.

They seemed to serve this in most fast food chains along side Coca Cola. I drank many cups of Melon Soda while I was watching Alex in his quest to beat a Japanese gamer at Street Fighter (he eventually managed it!) I wouldn't say it tasted much like melon, but if there was such a thing as my own personal brand of liquid Catnip, then this would be it. You know you have a great Husband when he imports you 10 precious bottles of Melon Fanta for probably the cost of a more than decent bottle of champagne! Whatta guy.

Yum yum yum!
I'm yet to track down this mystical drink here - I've found other flavours like Grape, but they just don't taste as good. I continue in my quest...or just wait to one day go back to Tokyo.

*As a side note, for goodness sake - if you are getting married, remember to get your fringe / bangs trimmed before hand! What a donut!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Turning a pile of knots into crochet

I'm a creative person, and I love learning new crafts. I can turn my hand to pretty much anything and love to try new crafty methods whenever I can. There was one thing, my nemesis, that I just couldn't seem to crack and that was crochet. I lost count of the number of failed attempts, the number of balls of wool thrown across the room in a huff...the piles of knots that looked just like a pile of knots. I just could not get my head around it.

Finally, I found a series of videos on Instructables by russm313 and it all just fell into place. During my pregnancy I made a whole pile of blankets, toys, cardigans and booties for baby E. In fact, now if I don't have a little project on the go I feel quite lost.

One of the first things I made was a ripple blanket - it was really enjoyable. The free pattern is from Attic 24 and can be found here. Be warned though - it's a wool eater. I dread to think how much it cost in wool and trips to Hobbycraft

(E and Beasley love blankets and snoozing)

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Distinguished Tastes In Fizzy Pop: Pop Scene

I'm the kind of lady that likes fine rare, I'm not talking French Champagne or vintage Whiskey. I'm into fizzy pop, in a big way (I'm being serious) Much to my husband's frustration I make it my mission on pretty much every trip we take to try the local pop. Dr Pepper will always be in my heart, but here I thought I'd tell you about some of my rare international favourites:

Dr Pepper w/ Cherry & Coca Cherry Zero

What could be better than Dr Pepper? Why, Dr Pepper with Cherries of course! I first tried this in New York, 2009 and I have been trying to get my mitts' on it ever since. Quite often I strike it lucky in Cyber Candy in Covent Garden. They too also normally have the Cherry Zero. I prefer drinking this when I can over the calorific UK brew, despite the eye watering number of freaky chemicals it probably contains. As a side note - ignore the Dr Browns in the picture - I tried it and thought it was disgusting.


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween - but as a Brit, I especially love how the Americans do it. I prefer their less spooky attitude to fancy dress where you can go dressed as anything, rather than having to be creepy or scary. We get a few Trick or Treaters on our street but not many. I've never seen any children in home made costumes either, which is a shame as they are the best! When I found this tee shirt and bib in Marks and Spencers I just couldn't resist.

We couldn't mark the occasion without including Beasley, too - Happy Halloween!

*I was inspired to cut happy smiley Pumpkins by Sarah Dyer on her blog here 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


I'm surprising myself with the amount that has changed since my last post. I was just snooping around the internet looking to start up yet another blog before remembering this little creation from over a year ago.

For a start, business priorities shifted hugely - the market stall plan was very cute, but way too much like hard work. Mostly it just was one giant flash back to the many years of freezing my butt off at Spitalfields and Camden Lock with my old label Pink Kat. Weekends are too precious and after so many years of slogging my guts out working 100 hour weeks, I'm ready for a big change.

So, Big Change#1: Ditching the market stall / festival trading plan for a purely online vintage toy selling career. A profitable and ultimately more satisfying way of life with a much nicer and happier balance.

Massive Change#2: We now have a new and very exciting addition to the family - little baby E. A very planned for sweet chap that took 2 whole years of willing to finally come into our lives. As a result of this wonderful life-shift, work on the whole has been put on hold. He arrived in May of this year.

Huge Change#3: As if all of this wasn't enough to be getting on with, we have decided to put our lovely little starter flat on the market to find ourselves a much more suitable family size nest.

We're all getting used to these changes - but luckily Beasley has taken very well to becoming a big furry Brother