Category: Finds

Flashback Friday – A Favourite Find

IMG_2668All this week I have been home sick and spending most of my time in bed or on the couch. My boys have all been very sweet and helpful while I have been trying to rest and recover. But while I essentially called-in my role as mum during the day (feeling guilty, of course) I was able to renew my appreciation for a special charity shop “find” I bought for my boys a few years ago; our wooden, toy car garage.

I found it in one of our local Trinity Hospice charity shops and it was my eldest who spotted it first. It had clearly been well-loved by it’s previous owner and looked as though it had most recently been stored in a dusty storage space. It was nothing my boys weren’t willing to over look and I certainly enjoy finding a treasure that just needs a little TLC. I get excited when I have the chance to put a little of myself into a charity shop treasure.

I gave the garage a good scrub and examination for any obvious hazards to little fingers and the boys, in an act of uncharacteristic patience, waited for it to dry before testing it out. The grandparents even got involved in the renewal of the garage. During one of her visits from Vancouver, my mum assisted me in reinforcing the ramps and took measurements of the top deck so that my dad could make replacement rails to keep the cars from falling off.  Cars slowly rolling and falling off the top deck during various play scenarios were a common cause for the afternoon meltdown.   Gramps went all out, not only did he create new rails for the deck edges he painted them yellow; almost an exact colour match.

IMG_2669This week, like every week since we brought it home this garage has kept my boys happy and engaged.  It’s simple and allows them to be creative and imaginative. It’s a sturdy, well made toy that puts up with everything the boys throw (sometimes literally) at it.   They also have a million different vehicles (that’s another post for another time) to keep it interesting and almost like a new toy every time they play with it.

When the boys are unnecessarily hold up inside our small flat, like on rainy winter days or in times like this, when I’m sick and we can’t be out and about, it is great to have something I know they will play with that isn’t the TV. When I am feeling guilty enough about being sick and not being as engaged with the boys as I usually am, I don’t need to add on more guilt about the amount of TV the boys are watching.  And they did watch plenty this week.

I suspect that once the boys outgrow their toy car garage it will be hardest on me when it is time to send it on it’s way.  I suppose I’m just hopeful that we have several more years before that day comes and when the day does arrive I will hold out hope that it will be ready to give another family as much enjoyment as it gave ours.

Happy treasure hunting this weekend everyone!

Saving a sink

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 2.42.52 PMAll week during the school run my boys and I have passed this sad little sink basin resting outside a block of houses.  It even survived our local pickup day on Wednesday.  Oddly, I realized I was anxious to see if it would still be there on our afternoon journey after the day’s collection is done.  Truthfully, I have wanted to take it home all week and I’m not exactly sure why.  The boys and I pass cast-offs, in varying degrees of disrepair, on an almost daily basis in our corner of SW London.  I have other thoughts on curb side cast-offs, but that’s for another time.

If I’m honest with myself, the only reason this sink basin isn’t sitting in our back garden (out of view of my more than patient husband) is it was simply too heavy for me to carry all the way home.  Yes, I did pick it up just to check.  This is one of those very few times I sort of wish we had a car.

The basin doesn’t have a single crack in it and with a good wash would be a perfect white with not a single stain or discolouration. All I have been doing is going over projects in my head and pouring over Pinterest for weird and wonderful ideas of what could be done with the poor thing.

At first all I came up with was using it as a planter, especially because it is missing the faucet.  But thanks to Pinterest, my mind was blown by other peoples creativity.

I realized that if I was to find a way to rescue the basin and bring it home, not only would I have so much fun planting something in it but I would have something new to add to my charity shopping list; an old faucet, and it wouldn’t even have to work!

Am I the only one who can’t help but notice those things that others throw away? Have you ever rescued something from the pavement?  I would love to hear from you.

Happy hunting everyone!


Out of the comfort zone

Today has been a tough tech day for me blog-wise.  I have so many exciting thoughts and ideas I want to share and I can’t seem to break through my technology barrier. I am trying to focus on the reasons I started this blog in the first place and step away from the screen every so often but it can be deflating.

Pacing our flat, and doing surface tidying, is my default stress reliever and top procrastination technique.  It was also the thing that brought me back to the computer today. Down in the lounge, I found my blue bead necklace from my last “charity shop day” with my mum while she was here over the Christmas holidays.IMG_1970

Costume jewelry especially slightly large and bright has never been my thing.  I really love it on other people, my husband has always said he thinks I would look good in some, and sometimes when I am putting on my necklace that I have worn everyday over the last month, I wish I could just try something a bit more exciting.

It took me the entire length of my browse in the charity shop to decide to buy it but I did. Honestly, who gives that much thought to a piece of jewelry that cost 50 pence (it was half price on jewelry that day). But despite how long it took me to make a decision about the necklace I have worn it twice in the last month and was really pleased with how I felt both times.

I thought about starting this blog on and off for the last year and it certainly does take me beyond my comfort zone.  The necklace did remind me to have hope that although I won’t post something and feel amazing everyday, if my goal is to feel that way a few times in the month that would be a good place to start.  It also reminded me how much I really do love the charity shop and I want to share that here, broken hyperlinks, missing images, error messages and all.

New blog, new(ish) notebook


I’m excited to get started on this blog.  Having a place to share the things that I find wonderful and worthwhile, and could possibly inspire others to give items and ideas a second look is energizing.   But I have run into my first real problem. It isn’t a technical issue, because I have a few of those and it wasn’t lack of ideas to share, because I have notes and ideas written in a million little places all over the house.  Some of brainstorms are even written on the back of my old Ocado receipts.  These are the hurdles I was prepared for and had accepted as the growing pains associated with my new endeavour.  My problem was this post. Where to start? How do I actually choose a topic and write my first post?

It was time to browse for inspiration.  I wasn’t 5 minutes through the door at one of my local charity shop haunts when an actual treasure caught my eye.  A ‘new-to-me’ journal with not a single word written in it, or page torn out.  The fact that it was an Orla Kiely notebook was largely why I noticed it right away and the real icing on the cake. It seemed unfathomable that it was sitting right there in plain view of the three other women in the book section with me (not to mention the countless others that had been in the shop that day or week) and not one person had snatched it up in the rather graceless manner that I had just demonstrated.

When I got home and sat staring at my new notebook I realized two things that were equally true for both the charity shopping experience and for my blog posts yet to be written.

1. An amazing find or treasure to me on the charity shop shelves, is nothing but a trifle to someone else and in the same way, this will be a great blog to read and follow for someone and merely another occupied space in the blogosphere to someone else.

2. Everything and anything imaginable is available in the charity shop and it is always changing. Sometimes the timing is just right to pick up something that can really make you smile and change your whole day.  And if I think of my blog in this way I realize that I just have to start writing.  No single story I have to tell, or idea for a post I want to share will be the perfect first, or next post.  I just have to keep stocking my blog with posts that are worthwhile to me and hope the timing is just right for someone else to pick something up that makes them smile and want to come back.

*I also realized that I really should put all my blog notes in one notebook; the rest of the family fears putting any piece of paper in the recycling.


Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén