Tales of the hobby unicorn and help I am addicted to the Christmas sales….

Hobby Unicorn.jpg

This one continues on the theme of the simpler things in life. The drama of the night last night involved the hobby unicorn and the fact that there is only one of them in a house of two girls.  Now, you would think that one hobby unicorn (is that actually a word, or should it be hobby-horse unicorn?) would be enough in anyone’s house, but apparently I was wrong.  There were real tears, so the guilt kicked in.  There used to be a hobby reindeer, but during a play date including younger brothers, the hobby reindeer was brutally massacred and left for dead.  Hobby reindeer had to go to the bin.  All was fine at the time and this was about 2 years ago, but apparently DD2 has only just noticed.  So I promised to find another hobby unicorn, and can you believe I actually found one for £1.50 in a charity shop the very next day.  The picture shows it dripping wet after a sponge down and repair job on its stump (feels a bit harsh calling it a stump, but not sure pole sounds any better).

I love shopping, it’s a bit of a hobby; actual shopping (involving shops and money), window shopping, internet shopping, even food shopping, you name it, I love.  My love has kind of got me into trouble in the past, so now the actual shopping has been seriously curbed and replaced with charity shops, sales and bargain shopping.  I am currently addicted to going round garden centres and farm shops trying to swoop in on their Christmas stock bargains.  But I CANT STOP!  I’ve hit the all time low now of eating out of date Christmas chocolates, because they are a bargain and chocolate is an essential item!

out of date choc.jpg

Before having children, I had always donated to charity shops, but didn’t realise their true value until I was about to get married.  We decided on a tea party theme, so needed a load of teapots for table flower arrangements, this meant endless trips to charity shops in search of tea pots.  We found it was quite fun and aside from the teapots, found a few little gems.  The girls quickly became addicted to the thrill of buying, I think they might have got that from me and possibly my Mum (sorry Mum, if you are reading this, but we do love the thrill of a purchase).

I’ve always loved the sales and BC had a wardrobe full of sale items; now the children have wardrobes full of sale items.  Over the years I have thrown away countless items of the clothing that I never really liked or, being completely honest, never really fit into.  The diet didn’t quite happen, so eventually off to the charity shop, or the bin, my so-called bargains went.

I think I am a more savvy bargain hunter these days though, I am really careful to get things that I know we will use, or the kids, ‘sort of’, need.  Charity shops are fantastic for kids stuff; never be afraid to check them out.  Some things need a wash or a clean up, but equally there are some almost new, excellent quality bargains to be had.  I usually go for toys and games, rather than clothes.  Clothes will be things for dressing up, or school events that require costumes.  But some of those things become the most loved items.  I had to get something for Children in Need last year, picked up a total bargain of a quality Boden (Not sure of the brand, but it seems to be expensive new, so its got to good, right?) T-shirt, which she still loves.  I have to wash the clothes first though as DD1 says they smell like charity shops – I can’t really object to this comment as there is a sort of unique charity shop aroma, but it’s all washable.  I particularly love the fact that I am getting a bargain and giving to charity all at once.

I often donate too, as I never quite have enough for a table top sale, now the baby years are over.  Definitely recommend a table top sale though for baby stuff, it’s hard work labelling everything and lugging it to and from the venue, but well worth it.

Charity shops are great for board games and toys, as they can be so expensive new; you can never truly know if the children will like a game till you get it home, so get a bargain version to try it out.  I’ve got some really unusual games for less than £5 each, when new you would be looking at over £20.  Children’s toys are way too expensive, but don’t get me started on that!  It’s a way of giving them a little treat, entertaining them, and finding ways of getting them to play nicely together, all at once.

There is this relatively new craze of garden centres going mad for Xmas, with amazingly complicated and intricate displays.  Some even charge for the privilege of going round the displays, to then buy their merchandise afterwards.  World’s gone a bit mad for Xmas, but I’ve got kids and we love it.  But who knew that straight after the festivities are over, as in Boxing Day, the whole lot goes on sale?  So for the last few years, I have become obsessed with getting the best bargains, to then surprise myself with when I get the decs out the next year.  I never remember what I bought, so it’s brilliant to open up the storage boxes and check out the bargains.  But this year, I am obsessed to a new level, I keep going back to see if the 50% has changed to 70%.  Here is the latest little beauty:

xmas bargain of the day.jpg

£14.99 reduced to £2.50 – there is a possibility that it is out of date, but I am struggling to read the details.  Oh well, not a problem here as the girls don’t really eat gingerbread anyway, but they had a ball making it.   (Kind of assuming it is gingerbread, as it is not exactly clear).  I have so many things I should be doing, so my Xmas obsession must end today.  Bye bye Christmas 2017, it was amazing.  But just wait till you see Christmas 2018 when I reveal all my new half price items.

Keeping them occupied while we put together the new bed, I feel a blog coming on about that.  (Excuse the random looking greenery in the background; Mr Vintage Mum has a bit of a plant pot obsession):

making the gingerbrea house.jpg

The finished article and other than making the icing for them, it was all their own work.  Not bad for £2.50.

gingerbread house.jpg

Bargain hunting is well worth doing, if you have the time, plus have the children who will let you do it.  I must get my head down to work again now, so it’s time to let the sales go until Summer.  Charity shops are year round fun though, but in moderation.  My clothes are pleading with me not to buy more chocolate bargains.   Plus, I have promised that me and DD1 will start running, as she is going to be an Olympic runner apparently.  So I am making a promise that I have bought my very last Christmas chocolate….. well maybe.

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