Thursday, 29 December 2016

Simple Flower Arrangements for New Year 2017

Many people look for yellow sticker bargains after Christmas. Everyone hoping to fill the freezer and save some money in the deary skint days of January. I am no different, I stock up on cheese and veggies, chicken and salmon when I can.

I love to find flowers reduced by the supermarkets once they have pasted their sell by date. It doesn`t mean they are no longer beautiful just that they can no longer be sold as at their best.

All reduced at the local co-op store today

 I made this arrangement with the gorgeous purple tulips after removing two flowers that were a little withered.

Purple Tulips 

 I had put some black tape in strips across the top of the vase so the tulips could be arranged how I wanted them. Some cut taller than others so that they would spill over the sides of the vase.

  I used a large yellow vase for the lillies and some of the white carnations. I didn`t do anything other than cut the stems on an angle so the flowers could soak up some fresh cold water.

Lillie's and white carnations.
Next I left the Christmas Time bunch of flowers pretty much as they were. These should have been £20 and apart from a few sad leaves they looked fabulous.

Fresh Water and a trim, a large clear glass vase and they look lovely.
I had some red tulips left and after taking a little of the greenery from the larger bunches I put them in a glass jug. They brighten up a corner table and look very festive.

Total cost was under ten pounds.

My daughter Katrina whose photo you can see on the table loved flowers. I am sure she would approve of these fabulous flowers to welcome in 2017.


Flowers, arrangements, co-op, vases, tulips, Lillies, carnations, reduced.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Christmas was lovely, Now time to think of Holidays

I was very lucky I got lots of lovely things.

I got a Coffee Machine from my neice and her children,lovely.

Books and a snuggly blanket from another neice. Fabulous

Books and flowers from my son Mark and  his wife Dawn. Perfume and an electric toothbush from Anthony my second son.

Lots of lovely cards and a beautiful canvas with the adorable Isabella and her sister Alice`s hand and footprints on.


 I will treasure it forever. 

Now it`s time to save for my holiday, which will be following the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland.  

Picture from Irish tourism Board - Pinterest.

 I will be going in May and will be traveling independently, not part of a set tour. I shall be Mystery shopping, filling in surveys, eating frugally, selling on ebay and generally saving. My sister Maggie and I plan a ten day tour staying in bed and breakfast places and travelling by coach. 

We are hoping to manage on £100 per day, that is to cover everything. No easy fete as Ireland is very expensive. Hoping to stay a least a few nights in hostels to keep costs down.  I will be checking out hotels, travel costs etc over the next few weeks.

Two over 60`s travel the wild Atlantic Way, Galway, Sligo, Limerick, Mohar, whales, dolphins, hotels.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Puppies for Christmas

We have all heard the message a puppy is for life not just for Christmas. They are hard work, expensive, chew up everything in sight and need lots of exercise.

They are also completely adorable, just look at these perfect twins born early in December 2016. 

 Proud Mum Thena keeping a wary eye on anyone getting to close to her baby.  They are certainly going to be big dogs, mum and dad are German Shepards.

They will fit in well with my son Mark and his wife Dawn`s collection of animals. I can`t see either of them wanting to part with them.


German Shepards, dogs, puppies, photos of puppies, 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Simple Christmas Flower Arrangements

I am no florist but I do like making frugal Christmas flower arrangements for myself or to give as gifts.

My favourite place to buy flowers is the fabulous Columbia Road Flower Market in London, which is only open on a Sunday. 

 (© Michelle Grant / Time Out)
Photo from Timeout London Magazine.

It is not always possible to get into London though so I am making do with supermarket flowers. There is a good selection at the moment with Christmas around the corner.

 I bought some pink roses, white carnations and some silver stars from Sainsburys, total cost £12.50. I already had some candles, fir cones and containers. 

I put a cup of water in the centre of this container, arranged the flowers and added a silver star. I then placed some silver Christmas baubles in the top of the container. This helps the flowers stay in place and looks quite nice.

Next I filled a large storm glass with fir cones, Christmas baubles and red beads. I put a candle into a stoneware holder and placed it in the storm glass. Simple but impressive, especially with another candle in a glass candle stick nearby.

This is what they look like grouped together. I will have to replace some of  the fresh flowers on Christmas eve but that`s fine as they will look lovely all this week.

I used most of the roses in this arrangement as well as the small unopened buds from the white carnations. The greenery was cut from outside and the holder was kept from recent birthday flowers.

This will make a great gift for my sister.

Why not have a try yourself, you don`t even have to spend anything, just fill a jug with holly and berries. You could try this one pinned from pinterest.

6 Simple Christmas Table Ideas (Perfect for Last Minute!) - Finding Home

Check out pinterest for more fabulous ideas.


flowers, floristry, Christmas, sainsburys, flower market,

Friday, 16 December 2016

My Favourite Frugal Christmas Decorations

Christmas canvas - The Polar Express. I don't know why the heck there's a starfish but the sign is cute.
Simple and timeless -  pinned from Pinterest.  If you are looking for inspiration check out the Christmas boards on Pinterest. These are some of my favourites.
Cheap as chips x:
The floating candles and Christmas baubles make a lovely inexpensive table decoration.

Christmas sweet because who can ever remember their names :)
I wrote this on white cardboard and put it into a picture frame. Who can ever remember the names without a little help.

Christmas cracker with fresh flowers:
 I love this idea I used pound shop Christmas crackers, there are  six in a pack. I then bought twelve yellow roses in Sainsburys for £6, two per cracker, along with a little Holly.

So cute! Now THIS is a unique DIY Christmas decoration. This would be perfect for any family with little ones!:



This is so cute! I`m sure most kid`s would love this as part of the Christmas decorations 






  diy christmas topiary trees unique gift idea small glamour jewel step by step tutorial:

  This looks different and is not hard to make.



Friday, 9 December 2016


I was lucky enough to see the fabulous Disney`s Aladdin The Musical at the Prince Edward Theatre in London on Wednesday evening.

It is magical like most of the big theatre productions in London but this is suitable for quite young children. They can follow the story line easily. Do check with the individual threatre for age restrictions. 

Image result for prince edward theatre

Firstly do go and see it is fun, colourful and magnificent! The Genie makes the show supported by the wonderful Aladdin and Princess Jasmine. Everyone in the show is great and the fabulous stage sets and lighting are awe inspiring.

It is not the best show on in London though, I found Lion King and Wicked much better.

We paid £30 a ticket with www.seetickets  we sat up in the grand circle, the seats good for what we paid.. The Prince Edward Theatre is not as big as some London Theatres. If you can chose your grand circle tickets go for the middle rows not the side as the stage view is better.

The theatre itself is only a few minutes walk from Leicester square 
and very close to China Town.

When street urchin Aladdin stumbles across an ancient lamp in the Cave of Wonders he unwittingly releases the weird and wonderful Genie. Transformed into a prince by his three wishes, Aladdin teams up with adventure-hungry Princess Jasmine. But Aladdin’s not the only one who knows about the lamp – the wicked Jafar has his own wishes he wants granted.

Image result for prince edward theatre
from Disney the magical aladdin

Directed and choreographed by the incomparable Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Something Rotten!), starring Trevor Dion Nicholas in his role as Genie and with stunning sets from multi-award-winning designer Bob Crowley. It is good.

It is very hard to make a choice of what Musical to see in London as there are so many. 

If you are taking children I would go for 

1. Lion King
2. Wicked
3. Aladdin

Without children I would chose

1. Les Mis
2. Phantom of the Opera
3. Mama Mia

Go and enjoy a show but don`t pay too much for your ticket, there is nothing wrong with being in the gods.  You see the same show.

Phantom of the Opera Review

Les Mis Review

 theatre, magical, seetickets, aladdin, genie

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Tesco Desserts #TriedForLess

My Orchard £6 vouchers got all this
I`M A MEMBER OF THE ORCHARD AT TESCO  SO I   #TriedItFree  with  #Tescoorchard

 I've recently signed up to Orchard by Tesco, whom based on your profile and Tesco Clubcard usage will  send you additional vouchers and clubcard points to test and grade new products at Tesco.

I received £6 in vouchers to spend on Tesco desserts, cakes or cheese. I chose the above items as the dessert platter is ideal to enhance my buffet table on Boxing Day.

There are 50 mini desserts in the box and it only costs £4. Inside the box  is a packet of mini donuts, a packet of mini chocolate eclairs and a box of vanilla slices. You can set all 50 out or just use a few at a time. They will defrost in an hour. 

Who can resist Tesco Chocolate Profiteroles and £1 a box, an irresistible dessert for two or three people. 

The Lemon Swirl cheesecake looked good again it was £1. I think I will keep this for Christmas Eve.

Here is a link if you would like to find out more about Tesco`s Orchard Programme.

Direct Link is

I received vouchers to buy the above desserts but the opinions are my own.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


Debenhams Win Your Wishlist competition
Found it at Debenhams - this  post is part of the Debenhams  Win Your Wishlist Competition.

I was really impressed at just how varied the Debenhams Christmas range is. Everything from hampers for the home, or as gifts, to toys and Christmas trees.

Debenhams Win Your Wishlist competit

Crosley - Red collegiate portable USB turntable:
Found it  - now do I keep it or give it to my son, decisions.

Baylis & Harding - Assorted fragrance six piece Cracker:
No. 1 Jenny Packham - Dark red sequin glitter maxi dress:
Transformers - Robots in Disguise Power Surge Bumblebee and Buzzstrike:
Baby Annabell - Doll:
Baby Born - Interactive Wonderland Dragon
Thorntons - Classic collection - wrapped
Laurent Perrier - Bottle of champagne with two flutes gift set
Sweet Shop - XL strawberry sensations: Memories Flower Basket: Debenhams - Set of 62 multicoloured Christmas tree decorations
Marc Jacobs decadence
Debenhams Win Your Wishlist competition
Lovely things for the home, sweets for grandad and fabulous perfume - Found it!
Puppies are not just for Christmas but aren`t they cute!
Elegance Sparkling Hamper
  Elegant Hampers to Celebrate Christmas - Found it!

Monday, 28 November 2016

London Competitions for my wishlist

These are the competitions I would love to win this December, not counting things like a dream holiday or the lottery.  Which I am sure are on all our wish lists. 

London - Abbey

A lovely competition from Hamleys  to win tickets to Cinderella  and an overnight stay in a London Hotel. Closing on 30/11/2016 can be found here.

or on

Visit London has this amazing competition closing on 8th December 2016

Win group VIP weekend tickets to the Magical Lantern Festival

Experience light sculptures, Chinese arts, virtual reality, and much more...


Magic Radio has this fabulous comp VIP Tickets to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park which closes on 4/12/2016

Winter Wonderland in  Hyde Park
 I went last year and it was good fun.

 How about £1,000 worth of Amazon vouchers and an Amazon Echo to help with the Christmas presents.  Absolute Radio of offering a competition here. Closing on 18/12/2016

 You could win £100 of shopping vouchers with this easy twitter competition closing on 18/12/2016

Whatever is on your wishlist this Christmas try winning it, you never know you may just get lucky.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Competition Wins 2016

I have been entering competitions on and off since the 1980`s and I have won some amazing prizes during that time.

Here is a link to my Pinterest Board which shows some of my wins

My best win this year has been a £300 Disney Store Gift Card which I won from a Mumsnet Survey.  All spent on these two little darlings and being a canny granny we went to the store when everything had 20 per cent off.

Isabella and Alice

  Another lovely prize this year was a weekend camping at England Medieval Festival worth £250 and won via a blog competition.

My neice Chris and her family enjoyed the camping trip win
Rugby tickets, Theme park tickets, a £75 Marks gift card and a few gift cards from twitter parties. Not bad considering I have hardly been comping at all this year. We sadly lost my daughter Katrina to mouth cancer in August 2015 she loved coming on my prize wins with me. I took a year off comping and most other things after that.

Henley Regatta Festival win Katrina and me

My best places for finding competitions are and Di Cokes amazing site is good to but I prefer the comps in date order. I find theprizefinder easier to use. 

I also like Cora Harrison for pure comping determination see her 2 people, five hours, 1000 comps entered here.

Good luck with the advent comps everyone!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

London Photography Competition

This is a good competition for anyone who has been to London and has some photo`s lying about.

First prize is £200 and the theme is London Faces and places.


It is also listed under photography competitions on 

This is my entry, I decided to go for a place and a face.

Good Luck if you enter the competition it closes on 5th December 2016.

Big Ben taken from the London Eye