Thursday 31 October 2013


.....again! Twice in 5 days!
This time I took Sophie and a friend to the Country Living Christmas Fair in Islington.
A wonderful collection of lovely things.

 We saw the fabulous Charlotte Macey and 

equally brilliant Julia Davey

Penny Lindop was always too busy to even say hello to.

The very talented Manda of Tree Fall Designs had some beautiful handmade Children's goodies.

 And finally the fab stand of Poppy Treffry and yes, I finally got to meet actual Poppy herself (sorry your eyes are closed in the photo) with her lovely sister Faye. Their shop in St Ives is a favourite of ours when we're down on holiday.

The Christmas Fair is on until Sunday - see *HERE* for more details.

Back home though to a bit of a bump - half term has been a mix of a little fun in between the many orders coming in. I am keeping on top of it all, just!

I squeezed in a little time to design some festive 'Thank You for Shopping' postcards too.

Just before Sophie left for a few days away with a friend, we scooped out the pumpkins ready for Halloween visitors tonight.
 Some people never grow up!!

Happy Halloween everyone.

Sunday 27 October 2013


What better way to start the half term holidays than with a 6.30am alarm wake up call.
We were London bound for the day - a mix of sight seeing and fun!


Harrods was the first stop - the food hall and Christmas department were our favourite's.

We then walked through Hyde Park to .....

....Buckingham Palace. 

We were lucky to see these horses go by, no idea why but hey, it's London! 

Next stop, Covent Garden for lunch and of course a trip to the fabulous Hope and Greenwood. It was here we split camps - the boys headed off to the Science museum and the girls......

..... to see MAMMA MIA!

It was B*R*I*L*L*I*A*N*T!!

I want to go again - I bought the tickets back in June for an early birthday pressie for Sophie and I and it was worth every penny.

The journey home was the only downer. We came to an abrupt stop when a tree came down across the road. This meant a horrible diversion in torrential rain, in the dark, with no idea where we were going. Not the best but thankful to get home in one piece.

I love London so much so, Sophie and I are doing it all again on Wednesday, this time travelling with the luxury of Berry's Coaches - Country Living Christmas Fair, here we come!

Friday 25 October 2013

Educating Yorkshire

I'm not often compelled to write about something, especially a TV programme but last night's Educating Yorkshire on Channel 4 moved me to do just that. I have loved this series, which has sadly come to an end and Educating Essex before that. I think every individual who moans about teachers and 'how they have it easy' should be made to watch it.

I was moved to tears by the work of Mr Burton last night - the dedication, time and support he showed Musharaf to help him achieve a level C in English was faultless.

Musharaf suffers with a severe stammer which severely affected him and his chances of achieving a level C in English. Mr Burton worked tirelessly with him, as did the whole school but when the 'lightbulb' moment hit, the moment when Musharaf was able to speak fluently with the aid of music, the look of sheer delight on Mr Burton's face was priceless.

Let's not also forget last weeks episode and Mr Steer, who again did more than was expected to ensure all of those he taught, did the absolute best they could do.

Head Teacher - Mr Mitchell

If you have no idea what I'm going on about , then catch up *HERE*. Last night's episode was truly inspiring. Teacher's should be praised far more for the fabulous work they do. Yes, there are a few that aren't the best. Yes, there are a few that go in, do the job and go home. BUT the vast majority are like Mr Burton and Mr Steer, who do their up most for the children or 'young adults' in their care.

It makes me cross when I hear people complain about Teachers and what an easy life they have, with all the holidays they get - if it's so easy, I think those that complain should be one!

Thursday 24 October 2013

Nearly half term.....

 It's been a funny week - Jeff has been on half term so we have shared the school runs but also tried to fit in lots of things that needed doing, so it's all been a bit bitty!

I can't get on with these dark, gloomy mornings either - it takes me a while to get going.

dots and spots has been extremely busy with daily orders, 
becoming more and more festive as the days go on.

I've had a big wrap order go out too with 2000+ sheets of wrap to be counted, coupled with a bespoke wrap order and lots of trade orders going out on a next day turn around.

I'm also really chuffed to be sent a photo of the 'Christmas Great Little Trading Co Catalogue', with our wrap on the front cover. 

Then yesterday I made a much needed trip to Exeter, to visit my Dad in hospital. He was in for a routine operation but it has all been a big worry. I was lucky I was in a position where I could go to support Mum and visit Dad. All went well but he must now take the necessary time to recover and heal. At times like this, you really appreciate the amazing job the NHS do for us all.

I end the week tomorrow with a day in Maddie Brown, then we all have a treat on Saturday to look forward to - London bound!

Monday 21 October 2013

Bunking off!

Today I 'bunked off' work to spend the day with my sister. 

Photo taken this Summer at Granny's 90th 

Before we had children, my sister and I always made sure we spent a day together, around the time of our Birthday's. Jo's is in October, mine November. Latterly this hasn't happened because children have got in the way. But today, Jeff is on half term so could do the school run for me and my sister had a day off and with my neice in school now, meant we could enjoy a 'child free' day together, just the 2 of us!

We met in Bath, had a leisurely coffee followed by a potter and time to chat.
It was lovely and is something we must do again soon. I'm now in the mood to start a little Christmas shopping, I may have even got a couple of bits today. A little retail therapy, with good company is a must once in a while! Although I must say if felt a little naughty to 'bunk off' for the day!

Sunday 20 October 2013

Tut! Tut!

A little pep talk to myself!

I have been a little naughty since the Summer, the walking has not happened very regularly and the odd treat is being enjoyed far too often. 
Sometimes you get to that tipping point when you say say to yourself 'enough is enough!'

Well I had that moment yesterday, the realisation that a few too many pounds were starting to creep back on and it was time to take charge. As you know I lost 3 stone last year and I am very cross that I have allowed nearly a stone to creep back on over the past 9 months. 
So, I am going to re-focus - eat better, walk and get back on track!!
I WILL have achieved my goal by next Summer.
I WILL!!!!
Shout at me if I start posting pics of tasty treats!

Wednesday 16 October 2013

No time to think....

.... at the moment now we've entered the busy bit of the year.

Dark mornings are now the way to start the day, as I print off overnight orders, whilst eating my breakfast before I head off on the school run. 

My days are spent making up copious packs of Christmas cards,
 in an attempt to keep my stock levels looking healthy.

Whilst picking and packing the daily web and NOTHS orders

and making up the growing number of trade orders that all want near to next day delivery.

I treated myself to this stripy jacket for all my hard work (any excuse). It was half price in the Laura Ashley SALE so a bargain too!!

I also had a little visitor in my studio yesterday - a spotty one too!
Such attention to detail!

Hope you are having a good week. My two are at home tomorrow as the school is closed due to strikes, so I shall make use of the extra time and extra help!

Monday 14 October 2013

At last.......

....we have a tooth!!!

Those of you who regularly follow my blog will know of Sam's trials with a missing tooth! He fell badly whilst in Reception 6 years ago and damaged both his front teeth. 3 years ago he had an operation to remove an additional baby tooth and fix a clip and chain to the adult tooth up in the roof of his mouth. For 2 years, the tooth was left to work it's own way down but in January the decision was made to fix a brace and pull it on it's way.

And here he is, 10 months later with a proper full front tooth!
I honestly wondered if I would ever see the day when Sam had 2 front teeth
and now he has YIPPEEEEEE!

Saturday 12 October 2013

Mid- October

How are we in mid- October already?
We have had a very busy couple of weeks at dots and spots HQ and are now looking forward to half term in a couple of weeks. Trade, web and NOTHS orders have been aplenty, coupled with bits and pieces in Maddie Brown too. 

I have certainly looked forward to my weekend 'off' work.
My sister and niece popped over today for a birthday lunch - we have so many family birthdays at this time of year, so always plenty of presents to wrap!

And instead of cake we devoured the first Mince Pie of the season - delish!

 Autumn certainly arrived here mid week, with the temperature dropping. 
Suffice to say, the heating has now been turned on! 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.