Sofa-so good

There’s actually been a bit of DIY going on here at alifetimeofdiy. I know! Shocker right? The front room which we use as our main room was one of the first ones decorated when we moved in 7 years ago and to be fair it was starting to look shabby.

The floor was replaced a little while ago and is still in good condition so we kept that as it was but the rest of the room needed painting and decorating. 

We also decided it was time to change our beloved settees. We’d had the one since we bought our first house together 14years ago and the other we bought second hand 6 years ago so they have both had good lives. We donated the one back to charity but the other one wasn’t in good enough condition for them so that was disposed of by the council after a few unsuccessful listings on freecycle. 

We bought our new settee in the sale (is there ever not a settee sale going on?) and we love it. It looked massive when it arrived though. It came in two parts and the first half was supposed to be the shorter end. That looked big enough! 


Then they brought in the second half! 


Wow! It seemed to take up most of the space. 

Although it may be because the rest of the room looked like this:

Thankfully it didn’t look like this for long. The room needed to be emptied so that we could finish redecorating. 

We’ve lived with the new settee for about 6 weeks now and we love it. The kids enjoy lounging on it and it’s really comfortable. We are really pleased with it even if it means our savings took a big hit. 

Stay tuned for the big “reveal” post. Please try not to get too excited lol! 

Indoor Surfing

Have I told you I’m terrified of water? I can’t stand being out of my depth or anything that splashes my face. I’m not sure if it comes from my mum who is also terrified of water or whether it is because I have constantly had it drilled into me by ENT consultants, not to get my ears wet. Possibly a bit of both.

Little Lady went on a surfing course back last year and absolutely loved it. I have watched other people do it loads of time too but I have never been able to pluck up the courage to actually go for it.

Then I finally did!

Without the water it looks like a big bouncy trampoline. It’s a bit more intimidating with the water flowing though.

Little Lady is pretty much an expert now in my eyes and she couldn’t wait to go back to have another go with me. To be honest, I surprised myself and actually enjoyed it! It was fab. Very tiring and stressful for me, but fab.

I was a bit nervous at first especially when you essentially throw yourself off the top but I did it and with each turn I became more confident. I was exhausted by the end and had bruised thighs from the pressure of the water. But Hubby managed to get this really great photo of Little Lady and myself high-five-ing.

Have you ever been indoor surfing or maybe this kind of surfing outdoors? Like on a cruise ship?

Space groupies

Last weekend I went to visit my sister who lives in Bristol. We are very close and see each other a lot but I very rarely travel the hour to Bristol by myself. 

Friday was different though. We had tickets to see Space. I loved Space and listened to them a lot while doing my GCSE’s. Wow I feel old! Lol! We’ve been to see them a lot recently and they have been regular visitors to the Fleece in Bristol.  

We met up with another friend and went for tea. I was really fancying a chicken burger but I have to admit I was one of “those” people who ask for odd things when ordering as I have given up bread for Lent. I still ordered the burger but asked for it without the bun! I almost cringed asking for it as I hate to deviate from the menu. 

Thankfully the waiter didn’t even bat an eyelid and took the order with no issue. I had the chicken burger (minus the bun) with sweet potato fries. The chips were lush! I would definitely have sweet potato chips again. They are now a new favourite with me. 


After tea we walked down to the venue. The first support act seemed quite young and I felt tried a bit too hard to be rock-y. The second band, although the did covers, were fantastic. I really enjoyed them. 

We were lucky enough to be right at the front of the stage and had a really good view. Unfortunately I’m no band photographer and my photos are quite dark. 


They played quite a few songs from their new album but a lot of old favourites too. Another fantastic, energetic show from the boys from Liverpool. 

We had such a good night and it was lovely spending quality time with my sister too. Can’t wait to make a date to see Space next time they are at the Fleece now 🙂

Photo An Hour

I actually managed to catch the Photo An Hour hashtag on instagram early enough to take part this time. 

Last Saturday, Little Lady was competing in the district Eisteddfod. The Eisteddfod is a major thing for Welsh language schools and she has been rehearsing for months. She was competing in both the singing solo and the choir. 

So in case you are nosey…. I mean interested, like me, here’s how my Saturday looked:

5.30am. Eating breakfast in my dressing gown. We’ve got a long day ahead and the early start is not helping!


6.30am. Washing my hair


7.30am. We’ve arrived and have found seats. Although we do actually end up moving to the other side of the room for a better view. 


9am  I’m so glad I’ve brought some crochet with me as we have only been going an hour and are behind schedule already! Sigh!


10am. Little Lady is about to compete. So proud of her just for getting up there. 


11am. We are still on the prelims! So behind now. 


12noon. Time for a cuppa. This flask is fab. The tea is still hot over 5 hours later. 


1pm. Feeling grateful for plenty of supplies. 


2.30pm. The threat of missing the rugby is helping push through the programme 😉


3.30pm Closing the competition with the National Anthem. Sing it 🎶Gwlad Gwlad🎶


Missed a few by driving home and having tea. Tea was McDonalds to celebrate Little Lady getting through to the county stages in two weeks time. 

5pm. A nice, well deserved cuppa. Those plastic chairs were so uncomfortable. 


6pm. Finishing my book. I loved this book as a child and was overjoyed to see it on the BBC The Big Read list. I’ve read 3 from the list already this year which is amazing for me. I probably didn’t read 3 books in the whole of last year!


7.30pm Kids are in bed. I’m in my pj’s and hubby and I settled down with a bit of Project Runway on Netflix. 

The rest of the evening looked very similar so I didn’t take any more photos.

Hope you enjoyed the look into my Saturday. How was yours?

Two for One

Before Christmas I was swamped with orders through my crafty Facebook page. It was nice as it’s the busiest I’ve been for quite a few years but it was also nice to have a break from that and do some personal sewing for a change. 

D nearly gave me a heart attack on Christmas Eve when he told a family member that the only thing he wanted for Christmas was a Pokemon cushion. He has been obsessed for a while but until that moment had made no indication that he wanted a Pokemon cushion! I tried to soften the blow slightly by saying that Santa was really busy and we couldn’t always have everything that we wanted blah blah blah. I also told him that if Santa didn’t bring him his cushion (knowing full well that he wasn’t going to!!) I would make him one instead. 

Christmas morning came and surprise surprise no cushion. He was easily distracted by an internet search for Pokemon fabric. He chose what he wanted and I ordered it. 

Once the fabric came he asked if it was made Every. Single. Day. I eventually found time and made it for him. 


He was pretty pleased. 😀 

I had actually ordered more fabric than I needed as I wasn’t sure if he was suddenly going to decide he needed two (he loves cushions!) but he was pretty happy with the one. So while he was at school I made a shirt out of what was left. 


My first wearable make of the year and it was a big hit. He changed straight out of his uniform and paired it with a pair of shorts. He actually had really good style. Although slightly out of season with all this rain we’ve been having lately. I made an Age 6 size wise so it should definitely last him through the summer and hopefully into next year too. 

Although to make it fair I now owe Little Lady something handmade lol!

Disneyland Take 2

Two years ago we took the kids to Disneyland Paris. You can read about our trip here. Almost as soon as we were on our way home the kids decided that they wanted to go again. As much as I was pleased that they had obviously enjoyed themselves, it had taken a year of me working 2 jobs to pay for it! So we started a saving pot. The kids did their part by putting in any money they found on the floor (D loves finding money on the floor!) and hubby and I added money as and when we had any spare. We also set up a savings account through our online banking as unfortunately money found on the floor (or “road-kill” as it is sometimes known) wasn’t going to pay for the trip. 


We booked to go away in January again even though we knew it was going to be cold. We ended up going a week earlier than the equivalent time two years ago and it made a big difference. There were a lot of French families there which made me assume that maybe the French schools hadn’t quite gone back to school yet. This made a difference to queuing times. Last time we basically walked onto all the rides with little or no queuing. This time we were queuing from 10-60minutes depending on the ride. I know that in the grand scheme of queue times it isn’t much but when temperatures are close to freezing then it makes a lot of difference. 


We flew this time instead of taking the ferry and I was really surprised by how easy this was. We had transfers to the hotel and it really was very straightforward. Although be warned it takes longer than you think to get through the airport on the way home. By chance we caught an earlier transfer bus to the airport (3hours before our flight) and only made it to the gate 30minutes before the plane was about to leave. 


We stayed at the hotel Chayenne this time and to be honest I didn’t find it as good as the Santa Fe where we stayed last time. This one was a Wild West theme and although D thought it was great I wasn’t particularly impressed. 


Our room had two double beds and they were so uncomfortable I hardly slept. I was so tired by the end of the week I could have cried. This really took the enjoyment out of the holiday for me. I really was pleased to get home to sleep in my own bed. Little Lady was also really looking forward to sleeping in bunk beds again but was obviously disappointed. 


Again we saved money by taking our own food into the park for lunch and we planned tea time carefully making sure that we didn’t overspend our budget. We did have treats though including the most delicious waffle I’ve ever had and a doughnut the size of Little Lady’s head! There’s not much point to scrimping so much that you take the fun out of the holiday. 


The kids have already asked if we can go again and they are very keen to start another savings pot asap. D has asked if we can go to Legoland first and then Disneyland next year. I’m pretty sure we can find some deals for Legoland to go this summer but it may be another two years before we can afford Disneyland again. A friend suggested September as the queues are still short but it’s warmer. It would be nice to go when it’s not as cold. Pictures where I don’t look like a Michelin man would be good too. You can see how cold it is by the icicles in the picture below. This was in the afternoon too when the sun had been on them all day. 


Have you been to Disneyland Paris? When did you go? How did you find it?

2016 Roundup

Wow! Can you believe it’s 2017 already? Little Lady will reach her double figures this year! Time really does fly as you get older. Last year has gone in a flash. I think I have achieved quite a bit in 2016.

I did quite a bit of running


We did quite a few things as a family


I made a number of things from fabric and wool

And food featured a lot in 2016 too


I love looking back at highlights of the year and can’t wait to start making “highlights” in 2017 too. 

What was the best bit of your 2016? Can you pick one?