Sunday, 15 May 2011

How I store my clothes

Inspired by Spiragirl 's recent post, I thought I would share my thoughts about wardrobe organising.

I am a naturally messy person, always have been. I have to forcibly make myself be tidy. And invent "systems" to satisfy the problem solver in me. So here are my wardrobe rules.

  • All "bottom" items (skirts, trousers) must have a matching top selected to hang next to it.

  • Each outfit is hung at one end of the rail section, together with any dresses, in the order they come out of the laundry pile

  • I have more tops than bottoms, so the spare ones have their own area. The tops are hung in order of colour.

  • I MUST wear the first outfit on the left end of the rail, each morning. This saves dithery mornings and ensures a full rotation of outfits.

  • If for some reason I choose not to wear this outfit, it goes back to the beginning together with a mental "first strike". Sometimes I re-match it.

  • Any outfit with three strikes goes straight in the charity/ebay bag.

  • I operate a strict "one in, one out" policy. Anything new that I buy means I have to get rid of something else.

  • I am ruthless with my keepers/binners. I ask myself: would I buy it now if I saw it in a shop?

  • If it doesn't make me feel great, out it goes. Especially if it needs tummy sucking or hem hoiking to make it look nice.

  • I have a drawer of vest tops in every colour for layering.

  • I have a drawer of little cardigans for the same reasons.

  • I wear a new outfit each day, but don't necessarily wash after one wear. If it's still clean it goes back to the right end of the rail.

  • I have a winter/summer drawer with either jumpers or shorts and sun dresses depending on the time of year. The rest goes in the loft for the season.

  • Jeans don't count as outfits, they are kept folded and are for "blergh" days, or the pub, or weekends.

  • Posh shoes are kept in boxes on a high wardrbe shelf. But daily shoes are stored in a narrow "Billy" bookcase in the porch.

  • I rarely iron anything. The trick is to take stuff straight out of the washing machine and shake the creases out. Never dump in the laundry basket, wet or dry.

  • Don't keep things for best. Love your lovely things.

  • If it doesn't fit you but you can't bear to bin it, make a bag up for the loft and forget about it. I did, and the empty wardrobe was motivation enough for me to join weightwatchers.

So how do you store your clothes? I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Dressember epitomised!

Blimmin 'eck, it's a bit cold!

I have been waiting for an excuse for ages to put my favourite dress on, when I spotted on the Facebook dressember page that there was a themed day approaching.

And then the snow came! Perfect!!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Dressember anyone?

I was very pleased when some online friends decided to set up a facebook page to have a bit of fun with our wardrobes this December. A recent men's campaign called Movember was the inspiration.

So what's it all about?

It's quite simple really, aim to wear a dress a day for the whole of December. I think lots of us buy dresses that we rarely wear, for whatever reason. We want to keep them for best, we prefer our jeans, they don't go with our wellies (actually I think they do, you can deffo rock the festival look!). Now me personally, I am a bit of a dress fan, and I do try to wear things in my wardrobe as much as I can as I think it's such a shame when you dig something out after years and it looks more old fashioned, moth eaten, or ill-fitting than it was at its last outing.

I am picky with my shopping, if I try and on and I don't love it, I don't buy it. So if I have trawled the shops to get the perfect fit it would make sense to wear the outfit as much as possible, right? When I am getting ready for work in the morning and put on something that suits me, that might even result in a compliment from a friend, then it gives me that bit of confidence to go out there and have a good day.

So for me, dressember will be about really pushing my ideas to the limits, being a bit creative perhaps with mixing and matching. For some, a couple of dresses a week instead of the school run combats might be just enough to make them look and feel great. It sounds shallow I guess, but scratch the surface and it's quite empowering really.

Who says you have to wear trousers to wear the trousers?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Wedding gift

I made these for my friend Olivia's wedding, from a tutorial here

It's a set of 6 rectangular napkins with a linen pouch trimmed and lined with matching fabric. The napkins are double thickness with white cotton on the reverse. I would have liked to keep these, might make some more!BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Upcycling jacket

I had an old corduroy jacket that was looking a bit "studenty". I had recently read an article about using bias binding so I thought I'd give this little project a try.Just about to sew the final edgestitch, you can see the first row just underneath With binding you have to first sew the underneath edge to the wrong side, then you fold it over to the front for a neat edgestitch. Because it's a jacket with lapels the right side swaps over where it buttons up, so I had to improvise a bit and do both my sets of stitching in two parts. Anyway, I think it looks great now, it's given it a new lease of life and looks a bit boden-esque even. I added a quick yoyo rosette for a finishing touch. The finished jacket, purple needlecord with magenta trimsBlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Well it's sort of restful?

So I have had a rubbish feeling for the last few weeks. I think work life is getting on top of me and I have felt that the essence of "me" has gone and I'm just this person who is randomly completing tasks but who is a bit unfocused, a bit lost. And very tired.

Jason could have gone one of two ways with it really. Either I would really get on his nerves and I'd cause a lot of stress at home with all the mess and chaos. Or, exactly what he has done, which is to treat me like a princess and understand that it will pass in time.

So as I was mulling over my plans for the weekend, and wondering if I could muster up the energy to tackle the food market AND the Chorlton Green Festival, I got a call from Jason. "Hi love, you don't mind if I go away with the lads this weekend do you, we are going to try and walk up Snowdon?". Well if course I said of course, he's had a lot to put up with lately. I was a bit disappointed that I would have to face the market with the three of them in tow though, much as I love the little darlings! So he asked me if I would be able to get out of work early, something about Tesco, so I said I would try and get out at 3.15. I didn't actually get out until 4pm due to a parent accidentally forgetting to pick up her child, as you do.
But then of course the truth came out: I had ten minutes to pack my bag, the car was loaded up with sleepover stuff for the kids, a couple of walking poles newly purchased following a friend's recommendation (thanks Bing!) and my mum was on standby to look after the children for a couple of nights at her conveniently based house in North Wales. Yes folks, we were on our way to Snowdonia!

To be continued...

(Note- this has been sitting un-published since feb 2010!!) BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Cypriot Dreams

After dreaming for a few years about the ultimate holiday, saving hard and searching far and wide for the best prices and deals, we were suddenly on our way to the airport on the way to Cyprus. It was to be the ultimate break: 2 weeks all inclusive in the swish 4 star Crown Resorts Horizon hotel, at Coral Bay near Paphos.

We got the the airport in good time, too good time really as the Easyjet check-in hadn't even opened. We later learned it didn't really matter about getting there too early anyway as anyone with under 5s had priority boarding. As it was we boarded fine and happily all seven of us were seated together. Eleanor was squealing with anticipation at the sight of all the planes and to be getting on, now she was bouncing on my knee shouting "Up sky! Up sky!"

Another "to be continued!" This one is from August 2009! BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


How do you successfully balance work and family life? What do you do when you care so much about both of your jobs, as a breadwinner but also as a wife and mother?

I feel very lucky that I can work termtime only but this in itself causes its own problems- and deadlines. Sure I can only "do what I can do", as the don't worry about it brigade would advise reassuringly, but whatever I don't do will unfortunately sit festering for 6 weeks and the fresh start that is September 1st will be somewhat tarnished by the niggling hangover from last academic year, like that handwash only Christmas party dress that has been lurking at the bottom of the laundry basket...

On the flip side, my wonderful children are firmly in Summer Holiday mode and my fantastic husband is running around like a mad thing trying to get everything ready for when we go away to Cyprus. I am trying not to think about packing for 7 (eek). I feel awful that I am not able to help much. I think I may take the chuck-it-all-in approach and hope that we don't forget anything, like a small child.

I also feel awful about my poor Grandad. He is being admitted to Christies tomorrow to start a course of Radiotherapy. I was supposed to visit today but I had a physio appointment straight after work and there was no space inbetween. I am desperate to see him too and I will have to just make sure I make time.

When someone you love is so poorly it makes you realise what is important in life.

Monday, 10 November 2008

WHATM with us

Ok I wanted this blog to have some memoir elements and everybody changes so much, so forgive me while I have a little ramble about my lovely family.

My darling Eleanor is 13 months and she is doing lots of very cute things at the moment. I am going to try and list as many as I can think of!
  • Nodding enthusiastically when you suggest something she could have/do (and she understands the options mostly!)
  • Funny glottal/nasal sounds like her own language. N-hn. A-ghm.
  • Spending ages playing with a ribbon or a bit of cloth, putting it over her head and stroking it, admiring how she looks.
  • Unpacking all the cloth baby wipes from the zippy bag and loading them all back in. Maybe giving the floor a little wipe with one along the way.
  • Brum-brumming a little toy car along.
  • Lovingly hugging a teddy or dolly and patting it for comfort.
  • Getting herself from sitting position on the floor to standing by pushing up with her hands.
  • Standing for a couple of minutes at a time, with no help.
  • Taking steps while holding one hand.
  • Blowing her nose very effectively (self taught!)
  • Eating lots of chunky food with her hands but also being very persistant when trying to use a fork or spoon, which she does very well.
  • Drinking a small amount from a lidless cup without spilling it. She can also sip from a straw.
  • Pulling the Wii steering wheel out and making driving actions.
  • Zooming from the floor to the windowsill, upon which she stands waving madly at squirrels and the rabbit.
  • Saying "Da" when she wants something (sometimes accompanied by a nod)or exclaiming "Dere" when she is facscinated by a picture in a book or on the tv.
  • Rocking on her caterpillar rocker, stacking rings, lifting the flaps and turning pages on books.
As for my other babies, well:

Daniel is doing really well with all of his school work. However he loves art and will draw the most realistic and fantastic pictures of dragons, knights, under the sea scenes, aliens, pirates, helicopters and invention type machines, you name it! For a 6 year old I think he is really talented (but then I'm biased! He is also doing drama at the moment at Helen O'Grady which allows him a creative outlet- it's much more let's get dressed up as monkeys as opposed to singing lessons and montages- very him. He's also recently joined Beavers which is currently in the magnificent Victoria Baths of Restoration fame, one of my favourite places! The club is held inside the gala pool itself, as there is no water in there. The kids all love that!

Amy, bless her, the sensitive one. She is so funny and confident and bossy and intelligent, but she is also a self conscious little thing, more so now because of her hearing aids which were fitted in early summer. We are blessed to have been introduced to NDCS who have helped us with all sorts, from filling in DLA forms to giving us all the background information on how and why she has only recently been diagnosed with severe deafness, due to the progressive condition she has. She has coped fantastically with having the aids fitted but they do pose their own problems as the sound is a bit surreal. It broke my heart when she marvelled at being able to hear raindrops though! She has just signed up for guitar lessons at school so we are hoping that will give her a cool hobby to focus on, as well as being an avid bookworm. She is amazing with her reading, her writing too. She gets it from me I'm sure.

Victoria, I am worried about that girl. She is an angel! Maybe I have horrific memories from my teens and how much I used to backchat my parents. But she is lovely. Polite, charming, thinks nothing of sitting with one of the little ones playing a game. She's just joined a running club as she is a great little athlete! London Olympics here we come. Oh I did catch her doing something shocking last weekend: cleaning her room. Now she DOESN'T get that from me!

Michael. My handsome and witty stepson, and no he wouldn't mind me saying so. Currently wowing us all with excellent history essays and brilliant coursework marks. He is in year 11 now so a busy year at school! Still playing for Cheadle & Gatley on a Sunday (when he is not injured- he takes after his Dad!). Favourite hobby, arguing with Victoria with comebacks that tend to start with the word "basically..."

My dearest husband Jason. I am going to gush now but he is truly wonderful! He gets us all to school/work every morning then comes back, walks the dog for 2 hours usually with Eleanor on his back, makes the lunch, puts the washing on and dries it all, tidies and cleans, collects us all from school/work, supervises homework, then cooks the tea! Every day! I hate being at work but it makes it so much easier knowing that my family is being cared for so excellently. And he still finds time for plenty of cuddles too.

And finally me. When I say I hate being at work, I hate the fact of me being a working mum, but I am actually (shock horror) enjoying my job at the moment! Ok so I am so busy it is unreal, and I never ever take a break, not even for lunch, but I am doing what I love best and that is implementing new things and improving the way we do stuff. I have introduced an SMS (texting) service into school and it is making life much easier, plus the parents seem to like it. I am also working with the deputy on a big attendance push, which is all about working with statistics and figures and working SIMS to the bone to give me the reports I want. Inbetween all this I am still working on achieving the Financial Management Standard in Schools which involves a silly amount of paperwork but I am getting there!

Outside of work I am teaching myself to sew, via trial and error mostly. I am thinking about getting a bit fitter and maybe losing a little weight but on the other hand I am a nursing mum, if I can't be fat now then when can I? I am also looking forward to Christmas, with lots of shopping still to do and not many ideas, but at least we can afford it this year! I am also loving catching up with extended family on facebook from far and wide.

And that is about it!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

How could I resist?

Going to see Mamma Mia before it finished on the big screen that is! I have been trying to get and see it for a while, first a friend's birthday bash was cancelled and then the girls from work were supposed to go but didn't get round to it in the end...

So who better to come with me than my beautiful daughter!

And we loved it. Meryl Streep was amazing in it as was Julie Walters, so funny. Both of us were singing away too as Abba Gold has been a staple in our house for some years now. I sobbed all the way through the part where she helps her daughter get ready for her wedding. Amy saw and squeezed my hand, it was very touching and apt.

We felt so grown up being in the city centre on a saturday evening too. And very overdressed (I was the topic of much amusement in my wooly hat amongst the skimpily dressed Printworks' clientele).

When is the DVD out? Put me down for one!