Thursday, 31 March 2011

Charity Shop and Car Boot Bargains

A few weeks ago I went to the Battersea car boot and came home with some really lovely bargains.

I found this shelf unit for only three pounds. The man on the stall told me he had used it longways as a letter rack, but I think it looks good this way up in my kitchen.

I also bought these two small white, bone china pots with lids, for one pound each. I love white crockery and they are ideal for serving dips, etc. The bowl, for fifty pence, is the perfect place to keep my eggs.

In one of our local charity shops, my daughter picked up the two Starbucks espresso cups for fifty pence each, and I found twelve Costa espresso cups for a bargain price of three pounds,

The white planter cost around a pound. It's always worth spending an extra minute or two browsing around charity shops, especially through the bric-a-brac, it's so amazing what you can find for next to nothing.

I have a great love for glassware and picked up these three glass bottles, at the carboot, for fifty pence each.

Unfortunately, they don't have corks so I may just use them for single flowers. But, I'm sure that over time I will find many different uses for them.

The brandy glasses and Irish coffee cups (above) were bought in a charity shop for fifty pence each.

Now that the weather is warmer I can enjoy more bargain hunting on a Sunday afternoon.

I love my bargains!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Hooray for Springtime!

The clocks go forward, we'll lose an hours worth of beauty sleep, but who cares when Spring is in the air...
I love springtime, watching the flowers and trees coming back to life, longer days, bluer skies, bigger smiles...
I especially love daffodils, it gives the home such a warm feeling. These were giving to me by a family friend.

But, most of all I love birdwatching!
There's a silver birch tree outside my living room window and I attached small bird feeder to the window. 
Blue Tits, Great Tits and Greenfinches visit to enjoy tucking into sunflower seeds, and it is such a beautiful sight watching them. Occasionally, robins and goldfinches have tried to use the feeder, but so far without any luck.
Blue Tit

Great Tit
 These photographs were taken during the Winter. The birds come throughtout the year to feed and it is the most amazing sight in April and May, when they bring their babies with them. The babies always look quite scruffy but that just adds to their beauty. The parents feed them in the tree and very soon the young birds have a go themselves, and eventually master using the feeder.
Spring definitely is the best time of the year!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Revamped Wicker Baskets

I've had these wicker baskets for a few years now and had become very bored of them. I'm in the process of revamping my kitchen and was looking for white plant pots to brighten up the window sill. 
Unfortunately, I'd been unable to find what I wanted at a reasonable price. 

Yesterday, I had a brainwave. Paint the baskets white!

I'm very pleased with the results, the revamp has made the window look much brighter and fresher.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Bargains from Thailand

Saladan is about an half hour walk, or 5 minutes ride in a tok tok, from Kaw Lanta Beach Resort. We went there often to shop and eat. Shopping in Saladan was great fun, especially finding amazing bargains and trying out our haggling skills. I love the colour orange and found these three beautiful sarongs for £3-£3.60each.
My first attempt at haggling went like this...  "How much?" I ask, pointing to the orange sarong. "250 (baht)" says the girl. "200?" I offer, trying out my luck. "180?" Replies the girl. "Er, okay!" I say, slightly
I bought the other two for 150 bahts each from a different shop and paid around 200 bahts for this gorgeous enbroidered bag.
I love joss sticks and couldn't resist buying a few packets. I paid about £6 for all of these. The ones in the big tub (possibly around 300 sticks) is my current favourite. It smells like hot honey and only cost 70 bahts (£1.40) whilst the others ranged from 15 to 60 bahts.


Most shops sold pretty much the same things, but you could often find same items in less busy areas of Saladan for a lot cheaper. This vase was being sold in the 'touristy side' for 500 bahts (£10), but we found it in the quieter area for 250 and got it down to 200 bahts (£4). It's always good to haggle with a smile.
We enjoyed drinking Sang Som Thai Rum almost every night, mixed with coke. A bottle cost 225 bahts (£4.50) so of course I had to bring one back with me. Wishing now that I'd bought two bottles. It cost nearly £20 here.

I love these braclets and  think they are really cute. I also have a black one on my other wrist. They were a bargain at three for 100 bahts.
I also bought these six balls of wool in a small chemist for 15 bahts each (30p). They are the perfect colours to match my room. I've started knitting squares in preparation to make a small patchwork throw.
I enjoyed taking walks along the beach with my daugher, nieces and nephews to collect shells. One night my daughter and I were woken up by a rustling noice. We soon disovered that the sound was coming from inside a plastic carrier bag. My daughter had unknowingly colleceted a small shell which still had a hermit crab inside it. It was quite a comical moment.
I might use these one day to decorate a mirror or box...
I can't believe I've been back over a week now. I miss Thailand, the sea, the sun and Pad Tai with chicken!