Shabby Blog

Monday, 3 June 2013

Hello Goodbye

Hi everyone, sorry I haven't been back here in a while.  I kind of failed to announce that I have successfully moved my blog over to wordpress.  You can now find all my old content and new posts available at

I really hope you'll follow me over at my new home as I am hoping to really develop this blog more and more over the coming year.  As you will also see once you take a peek at the new site, I have tried to make the new layout a little more simple and user friendly.  Thank you all so much for dropping by today, I look forward to chatting with you soon!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Stylish Sunday - DIY Fashion Roundup

Here are some of my favourite fashion DIY's that will leave you with a new wardrobe without having to spend a fortune.  To see how to make any of them simply click on the links above.  And if you've been inspired to get DIY'ing then there are even more ideas on my Fashion and Fabric DIY, Pinterest Board.

Sorry for my absence last week but I thought I would come back with a slightly different style post for you to enjoy this week. Normal service should resume this week as I shall be moving over to Wordpress and have a new design and layout to show you.

Do you have any DIY fashion ideas to share? Please do feel free to link below as I'd love to see them.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Tots100 BlogSummit Birmingham 2013

This weekend was a refreshing change from our usual family activities as I spent all Saturday at the Tots100 BlogSummit even in Birmingham.  I met lots of lovely Bloggers and now have a to do list the length of my arm.  Let's be honest, my to do list is normally pretty long but it is usually swamped by things like hoover living room floor, not, move blog over to wordpress...

Yesterday I decided to find some energy from somewhere at 5am and sit down and read through some recent blog posts I have seen on moving from Blogger to Wordpress.  This was tip from the first session I went to about Search Engine Optomisation (SEO) presented by David Sottimano. He gave lots and lots of useful advice which I have scribbled down in my notebook, but also linked to the excellent write up of SEO written by Stickers Stars and Smiles.  I've bookmarked it so I can refer back to it when I get a bit stuck with that to do next.  The main guide I've been reading has been Rosalilium which really breaks things down as simply as is possible. Thank God!

So with that in mind, I will, hopefully over the next few weeks be moving over from Blogger to Wordpress.  I very optimistically thought I might be able to do this yesterday morning when I had some time to myself (wishful thinking)!!  As it stands I'm currently deciding which host to use and spending the rest of my time browsing pages and pages of wordpress themes to try and find a layout and design I like. *sigh*  Any recommendations would be gratefully received.  I have already been browsing the bottom of blogs I respect to see if I can get any ideas on what other people are using.  The idea of moving over to Wordpress is that I will be able to have more flexibility in layout, design and overall functionality. So, wish me luck! (So far these from mammasaurus are my favourites.)

P.S On a blog related tangent I also wanted to share the fantastic Business Bites that Kat from Rock and Roll Bride shares on a regular basis.  These are always things I haven't noticed out in the sea of the internet and really challenge and inspire me.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

10 Things I love about my 15 month old.

I haven't been doing regular Nye updates but I wanted to remember the silly everyday things that always make me smile.

  1. You give 100 kisses a day and even more if you want something.
  2. You throw yourself with wild abandon into any pile of soft looking objects.  
  3. The way you gently feed the dog your food.
  4. Your angry screwed up face and huffy strops - I always have to try to hold a straight face.
  5. Your amazing tripod pen grip & the way you go off to find yourself a notebook and pen.
  6. Your love of being outside and your ability to imitate me digging up the weeds.
  7. The way you pick up shingle and put it in your watering can. 
  8. You have the best dace moves, you bop the instant a catchy tune reaches your ears.
  9. Your cheeky head tilt grin.
  10. The way you point with both index fingers if you REALLY want something.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Stylish Sunday & My Favourite Links

Hello to you all on this lovely Sunday evening.  We have been out shopping today and although I feel guilty spending lots of money, I am also feeling very pleased with my purchases which have been long overdue.  I have had so many of my clothes for such a long time.  Particularly staple items like strap tops which I wear under most thing.  After a year of being tugged at by a little boy and the several years they were worn before that it's time for a clear out.

Style from Uniqlo

-  Sources 

I also realised I hadn't shared any love for some of my favourite blogs recently, so I thought I would share some of the posts I've enjoyed recently.

  1. Really useful gardening tips from Moral Fibres - What To Sow Now
  2. Amazing Carboot finds from What Peggy Said, I am in love with that table - Car Boot Sale 2013 : 1
  3. I thought this simple card DIY idea from The Making Home was super cute - DIY Quick fabric Feature Card
  4. I am a sucker for beautiful books, and this review by the Start Up Wife had me drooling - Pearl Lowe's Vintage Craft
  5. It feels like everyone on twitter has been talking about Ottolenghi and boy does this recipe sound amazing! - Asparagus and Chive Bread Pudding

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Home Ground Coffee - Review

I was recently sent some lovely coffee beans to review from Home Ground Coffee.  We were sent two different bags of beans.  You can have the beans ground to suit whatever coffee making device you have but as a coffee aficionado, Neil has a coffee grinder.

The coffee comes packaged up safely in packs of 250g or 500g.  We really loved the packaging which is very rustic but feels authentic and protects the beans well.  I also like the fact that there are a range of different delivery options which means you can tailor the cost to how urgently you require the coffee!

Another great way to enjoy coffee as a special treat for yourself or friends and family is through a coffee subscription.  I actually bought Neil one of these for his Birthday and he was really sad when it came to an end!  I think this is probably one of the best gifts I've found for him as it was a special treat that he could enjoy month after month.

Neil was a big fan of both coffees, but has written up his notes on Ethiopian blend which was his favourite.  

Out of the pack 

  • The beans smell sweet with a slight hint of acidity and fruit.
  • The roast is medium dark with a good shine.
Once Brewed
  • The fruity notes really become apparent.
  • The coffee is strong without being overbearing.
  • It is a tasty coffee lovers coffee with lots of subtle complexities.
Overall we loved these coffees, they were clearly incredibly good quality, really special and full of flavour.  Now we just have to decide what beans to order next.

DISCLOSURE:  We were sent two bags of coffee beans free of charge for the purpose of this review.  All words and opinions are our own.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Lets Get Growing

Over the last few years I have tried to improve our front and back garden by growing flowers, fruit and vegetables by seed.  So far we have had mixed results but still love the challenge and achievement of being able to look at the things you've grown and know you've nurtured them from seed.  I took great pride in planting sun flower seeds last year with Nye and hoped to be able to show him the plant as it grew.  Unfortunately the gang of slugs and snails that live in our garden scuppered by plans but this year I am determined to win the battle.

Baby Nye's 1st Sunflower Seeds
This month Center Parcs sent all the family bloggers a pack of sunflower seeds to plant to get into the spring vibe.  As the end of the month nears, I have finally got round to planting up my seeds and I am hoping they will have sprouted by the end of the week.  I do love how the seeds discard their outer shell and twist up from the soil.  Sunflowers are actually one of my favourite flowers.  I even had them in my wedding bouquet.

Photography by Danielle Benbow

As I mentioned above I have had mixed results but here is a list of my top 5 plants to grow.  I can assure you  that if I have managed to keep these alive, you can too!  I buy most of my bulbs and seeds at £1 land and have found that they grow well but for more specific varieties (like purple sprouting broccolli) the garden center is probably your best bet.

Seeds starting to grow
  1. Sweet Peas (Sow Seeds March - April)
  2. Purple Sprouting Broccoli (Sow Seeds March - June)
  3. Daffodils (Plant Bulbs October - December)
  4. Gladioli (Plant Bulbs March - April)
  5. Tomatoes (Sow Seeds March - April)

DISCLOSURE - I am writing this post as part of my role as Center Parcs Family Blogger. To be in with the chance to become one yourself and win a short break to a Center Parcs Village of your choice,  share your gardening experiences on your blog and tweet us a link to it.  You can take a series of pictures of your family sowing seeds or making plant pots or, simply write about the experience and share your gardening tips with other families. Be sure to include the Center Parcs and Tots 100 handles in your tweet, as well as the #CPFamilyBreaks hashtag.

Please find the full terms and conditions for the challenge here, and do make sure to be careful when handling certain plants if you are prone to allergies.

Good Luck!


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