10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me…

10thingsThank you Nicola at The Simply Homemade Mum for the tag. So here’s a lil bit of info on meself.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

Mostly an interior designer, but you can read more about that here…https://totallydonnamarie.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/im-blogging-because/

Do you have any hidden talents?

I don’t think so…I’m pretty handy and I try to make the most of it so it’s not really a hidden talent. Emm I have a C&G Level 2 Cert in Room Planning. Emm emm emm I took pole dancing lessons once, but I wouldn’t say it’s a talent. It’s bloody hard and you need serious upper body strength…actually total body strength, of which I have none!

What do you love most about blogging?

I like telling stories and it’s a good way to help me remember things that have happened. It might be fun, one day for my kid(s) to read it. I like making people laugh and smile too so hopefully I do that, you might even find something useful in amongst it all.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

God, I dunno. My sister and I used to imagine, when we were younger, that if we had enough money we would buy/build a village where all our family and friends could live and be together. Looking back now, I guess it wouldn’t be ideal…it’s good to have space and meet new people, plus home will always be there waiting for us. Still, though, I’d like to live a bit closer to my family and friends, but you know how it is…you go on hols, get a job, meet a fella, get married, have a kid…..and you kinda end up settled.

Do you believe that everything happens for a reason, that it’s fate?

I’m not to sure about this one. I’d like to think that before the universe but me together, they picked up my pieces and said…hmm…now this one…this we will make great, let’s write it in stone but at the same time I’d like to be in control of my own path. I think if I can make my own wibbly, wobbly path and still reach the “planned end zone of amazingness” then that would be great. (Dear God, I hope You have an epic plan for me pleeeease!)

What makes you smile?

My Small Monkey makes me smile 95% of the time I look at him, the other 5% I’m either pulling my hair out or considering hanging him by the toes off the clothes line! My hubby does too of course. And nothing beats a family member or friend showing up at my house, especially unannounced. Ooooh…glittery, shiney things make me smile too and if they can go on my head all the better.

What is your middle name?

Marie…just ‘cos my Ma liked it and thought it went well with my Da’s choice of Donna ( after the 10CC song).

Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?

Summer ‘cos lots of good things happen in Summer, the sun is out (hopefully) it’s Pimms and park weather. Both my top men were born in Summer.  Then Winter….’cos I love Christmas (just not the pennilessness afterwards).

What song reminds you of a happy moment in your life?

Hmm….I have a few actually and feck it I’ll name them too.

Mark McCabe’s Maniac 2000…just cos it’s the nuts!

Bruno Mars- Marry You, this came out close to our wedding day and I would’ve had it walking up the aisle but for the “looking for something dumb to do” line so we used Amazing, which I love anyway. Also Westlife’s I Do was our first dance and hubby picked that.

Fun- We are young reminds me of a great night with family and friends in Southampton, the night before my Uncles wedding.

Taylor Swift- Romeo & Juliet reminds me of my eldest bro…don’t ask!

Divinyls- Touch Myself reminds me of my middle bro…again…don’t ask!!

Michael Jackson’s- Dirty Diana reminds me of baby bro…his moves to this tickle me.

Bryan Adams- Summer of 69 reminds me of my sis…she’s a rocky kareokeier!

The Eagles- Hotel California & Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising remind me of my Da.

Billie Jo Spears- Blanket on the Ground & Bette Middler’s Hero my gorgeous Ma.

Vitamin C’s Graduation reminds me of my bestie and my girls L, C and even E.

All of the following remind me of my son or being pregnant with him. Frankie Valli- My Eyes Adored You & Walk Like A Man, Ellie Goulding- How Long Will I Love You, Guns N Roses- Sweet Child Of Mine and bizarrely Abba’s Fernando.

What would be your perfect meal?

Ooooh I dunno, I dunno….oooh! Emmm…..a stressfree Christmas dinner (in a bigger kitchen than what’s existing) with my parents, my sis, bros, their partners and children, my Auntie I, cousins J & M normally turn up too and sometimes Karl Green! O’Connell stylee baybeeee…eating, drinking and good old fashioned board games and craic. Totes emosh!

Sooo yeah that’s it. This was a nice post to do and I’m now gonna tag some of my fav blogs to take part if they wish, but also you guys can pop along to say hi too. xx









Annnnd here are my questions….

1) Why do you blog?

2)What is the most outrageous thing you’ve done?

3)If  you had to change your name what would you pick?

4)Have you had any odd (strange) jobs?

5)Where’s the furthest place you’ve visited?

6)What’s your fav song and why?

7)Which could you not live without…..bread or spuds?

8)Do you believe in ghosts?

9)Camping or a hotel?

10)Karaoke? Or not?

Have fun xx

Small Monkey’s George themed Birthday Party

facebook_1437605073170Hey guys! So my gorgeous lil man turned two there three weeks ago and as a Peppa monster I decided to have a George Pig themed birthday party. I know, I know, some people may scold my frivolity here with having a theme and all that, but that’s how I roll…for now. I think I managed quite well but there actually is very little George Pig themed stuff out there. Here’s what I did….

1) Invites. Total £4.49

I got these personalised George invites off ebay. 11698847_10205480768033431_8776173761295518389_nThese were probably my most expensive purchase and if I was computery I could have made them myself but I’m not, so here we are. They were really good quality though on a heavy card with blue envelopes. 10 for £4.49 inc free p&p. I did have to doctor them though as I had to change the party date at short notice with no time to order more anyway.

2) Lunchboxes. Total £33.11

As it was more a picnic than a party and rather than trying to cart lots of trays to the park, I decided to do lunchboxes for the kids. Now you can get really nice actual Peppa Pig ones from Ebay but I found them a bit more expensive, so I ordered plain blue boxes  (10 for £2.99 inc free p&p)and personalised  George 20150704_112620“thank you” stickers (21 stickers for £1.99 inc p&p) instead. So in each lunchbox I put a Pig themed box of raisins (12 for £1 @ B&M), a bar of chocolate (2 x6 for £2 @B&M), a packet of breadsticks (2×6 for £2 @ Poundland), a packet of jellies (2×6 for £2 @ Poundland) and a carton of juice (8 for £5 @ Tesco). I also included a Peppa book (Peppa Pigs Mini Library contains 6 books,normally £4.99 each, got them from The Book Depository for £6.14 inc del on special offer), some crayons (8 for £1.99 inc p&p) and I found some free George pics on the net which I got my friend to print off and created a colouring book. As there was also 3 pretty much, brand spanking new babies attending, I felt a bit guilty with them not being able to eat so Asda had these Little Tikes block teethers for £8 and I bought them to give them one each. I just used clear lunch bags, some ribbon and a “thank you” sticker to package them.

3) Other food. Total £22.26

I find that a lot of toddlers aren’t to big on sandwiches….well the ones I know, so I made some fruit cups up, using blueberries, grapes, melon and strawberries. This cost about £7 inc the cups and made 12 servings. I also made a big bowl of tomato20150704_095815 and sweetcorn pasta which cost about £2 in total. I made up a tray of chicken salad sandwiches for the adults (which cost about £5) and took along some fruit cordial and bottles of water. Ooh I also had some breadsticks (Asda x2 98p) and Pom Bear crisps (2×6 for £2 in Poundland). I cheated a little and bought pre-made buns (2×12 £1.78) and decorated them myself using Betty Crocker vanilla butter cream (£2 on offer) icing and edible George rice paper toppers (30 for £1.50 from Ebay).

4) George Cake. Total £6

My Ma used to always make our cakes so I want to continue the tradition although I like less hassle so I bought cake mix (2 for £2 @ Asda)….hey it means less wastage too you know! Asda also do big blocks of ready coloured icing @ £1.69 per pack. I bought the main colours I needed, my friend supplied some too. The cake mix was a doddle and was supervised by Ash so thankfully didn’t burn. I used the Betty Crocker as before and some jam as the filling for the cake. The picture of the cake is pretty self explanatory. George & Dinosaurrr were held together and in place using toothpicks. the muddy puddle was melted buttons. I’m really proud of how it turned out.20150704_120344

5) Decorations & extras. Total £12.78

I bought some brightly coloured party plates, bowls and napkins (£3.80 B&M). I also bought 10 bubble swords (10x50p £5 @ Morrisons). The bunting was £2 from Poundland and the balloons were from Ebay (20 for £1.98). I also actually spent £3 on a prize for pass the parcel but forgot to take it along with the bubble machine which we had anyway. My sister bought a football and frizz bee to take along too.

6) Venue. Total FREEE!!

It’s the height of Summer, it’s baking, my flat and myself couldn’t deal with that many people indoors on a day like it was so I invited everyone to the local park. Burgess Park has a really nice, world garden enclosed within some old Alms houses and we managed to set up camp beneath a tree there which was ideal. There was shade and as it’s enclosed there’s a lot less chasing of toddlers to be done, it was almost like a private picnic in the end. Also just outside this particular sight is the cafe, the loos, the playground and parking is a short walk away.

setting up camp!
setting up camp!

GRAND TOTAL: £78.64 this included no crying or fighting, the joy of the great outdoors and a really lovely day.

I think I did pretty well here and I think everybody enjoyed it. I know people who do go all out, hiring halls and characters, ordering super duper cakes and fair play to them if they can, but, personally for a two year old it’s the simple things they like the most.

For any of my friends and family reading, thanks to those who helped me out on the day and thanks to those who came xxx

I hope this post inspires some of you, please drop me a line and let me know what you think or about your parties.

Love Donna x

My Charity Shop whinge!

Hmmm! Now this is a pet peeve of mine, it bugs the life outta me. Maybe it’s just the area I’m in, actually I think it is, Knightsbridge and Chelsea have some great ones, even Gillingham’s charity shops are good looking.

Now there are four charity shops along my “high street”, I use this term loosely as it’s a pretty poo high street to be honest. If you’re a hairpiece wearing, fancy nail wearing, fried chicken eating gambler, then here, my friend is your Mecca!

Anywho…I’m a big believer in donating my unwanted items to charity. I don’t give then any old, threadbare, holey tat, it’s generally pretty good stuff, just I no longer wear it or it no longer fits (in a good way…yaaay). I mean I’ve even given them stuff still tagged…ok that was a while ago, when I was young (not that long ago, cheeky!!) and spent money on things I never ended up wearing. So it REEEALLY cheeses me off to see such badly put together window displays, when I know for a fact I dropped in a really nice green sparkly top, that deserves window time last week. I mean it just upsets my eyes to see such sad windows, for the love of God show your charity some love voluntary worker! Now I am no Mary Portas but by jayzus lads, c’mon! It may be a charity shop but if it’s not pleasing on the eye to start with, you’ve got no chance! Straighten things up for a start. Look at what 2015-07-10 01.25.07you’re planning on putting on the mannequin…would you wear that skirt with that top? No?? Then put it the hell back and look again!! Would you wear that shirt with that suit? No? Choose another shirt…a different suit? At least put the jayzus tie inside the jacket!! AAAAAGH!!!

Also why…why do baby or kids clothes end up in a grotty old basket at the back of the shop??? Lord God…I only handed in a bag of Next stuff two days ago!! Like I’m not gonna root in a basket in a “first-hand” shop, there’s not a hope in hell of me rooting in this basket!! (Dread rooting anyway…can’t handle TK Maxx).

Do any of ye know what the funky smell is? I wash all my clothes before handing them in, I even de-scaled a kettle once and I’ve seen the clothes being steam cleaned out the back, so what is it? I generally just buy books or maybe the odd vase from charity shops, but once or twice when a dress has caught my eye I’ve purchased it but I think on both occasions I’ve actually given them back, cos no matter how many times I wash them they still smell “charity shoppy”. Ugh! Charity shop made their money from me on those days!

Hallelujah though, it’s as if one shop has heard my inner cries and it’s had a bit of a re-vamp. Yes, Trinity Hospice, I salute you! Inside has been repainted, it looks light and airy. It’s not to cramped, you can easily get in with a buggy and the clothes aren’t puking off the rails. Their windows are always easy on the eye and my most favourite bit is their bric-a-brac stand at the back. It’s really simple but I love it. There’s shelving unit about five shelves high attached to the wall on long brackets which are topped with an 7″ inch vinyl. It’s just cool and I like it! Ooh and sometimes they have some really nice pieces of furniture in there too.20150623_103643-1

Well there ye go…that’s my whinge. What do ye guys think? Any thoughts on your local charity shops?

Ooh…ooh….I nearly forgot…so like I said, I’m no Victoria Beckham but why the hell do I never see my clothes displayed in the windows? Some of that clobber was good sh*t!!