Friday, 30 November 2012

Freebie Fridays - food and carpet

This week is looking grim until I stumbled across a giveaway at the train station. And then I found a couple of excellent coupons so it didn't look too grim after all. Unlike the weather. Ready for the pic?

Here we have: 
An advent calendar (note the rather unsubtle marketing design)
three swatches of carpet
a whole tub of butter
and a biscuity snack bar

This has made me very happy actually. Especially the butter. The carpet swatches just made me laugh - I have no idea what I'm going to do with those!

I also have a lovely addition to today's freebies which couldn't wait for the communal photo. Ready?

Oh yes, what you see before you is a free thingy of fries. It's wholly and completely in my belly now (minus box). It's Free Friesday! Go get yourself one today!

I also got notified of a few other free things today, but I'm not convinced that I'll get them so I'm going to hangfire on them. If and when they get delivered, then I'm going to announce them. I'm super excited. HOORAH FOR FREE THINGS!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Hello Winter :)

This morning, having spent a long time justifying getting out of bed, I peeked out of the window to see that Jack Frost has been to visit!

Look at this leaf! I'd love to do some of those sugar edged leaves this year for decoration inside the house. Maybe.

Frost is soooo cool. It baffles me completely how this is formed, but it's so pretty, I'm not going to complain about it.

And this is my lawn. Each individual blade of grass is coated with white frostiness! 

I spent a long time talking about how much I liked Autumn, but actually, I really like Winter too. It's a bit cold, but it's totally worth it for the crisp mornings with the blue skies, and gorgeous sunsets. It definitely looks pretty. Hehe. 

Hello Winter, thank you for visiting. Hope you don't stay too long! :)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Every Day Should End With Cake

I've been busy. Not the type of busy where you are completely swept off your feet, and the tasks you are faced force you to dance on the on the edge of crazy. No, not that kind of busy. I've been the kind of busy where you feel successful at the end of each day, ticking off all those lovely little tasks off the big long list. So since I accomplished so many things, I decided to reward myself today by baking some little vanilla cakes with a hint of lemon.

Oh yes, nom nom nom, all for me! Hahaha.

As I tucked into my lovely little cake (I only ate one, I promise), I reflected on the fact that I will never be a slim girl. A little like my playwork mentor, Fraser Brown, my cryptonite will always be cake. Then I think again about Frank, my missing gall bladder, and am grateful that he had to go away. He didn't like cake very much,  and that's quite problematic for me because I love cake. I had to sacrifice Frank so that I could eat cake. True story. Kinda. Hahaha.

Anyway, hoorah for cake, and I guess we'd better say hoorah for Frank!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

My Playworker Plans

I went to Leeds today to visit the legend that is Fraser Brown. We had a good catch up and a giggle, and talked about almost everything under the sun. But that wasn't why I was there. The reason why I met up with Fraser today was to talk about further studies in Playwork. What that is yet, I won't reveal. Not until I am certain, but there's definitely a future. I think.

I found a few minutes to take a nice night photo of Leeds from the top floors of my uni building. I thought it looked quite nice:

If this photo was done at sunset, it would have been gorgeous! But as it stands, it's not too shabby.

On the subject of playwork, a lot of you know that I'm arranging the Keep Calm and Play On tour for him in March 2013. Many people were asking to see footage of the man in action so we gave him a traffic cone, stuffed him in a ball pit, and then made this video:

It's been a productive day today, with bookings for the tour coming in, crazy train journeys and costume designing (more on that later on this week). I think I will sleep soundly tonight knowing that I've done my best for the day. Hoorah!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A Day in the Dales

I met up with my friend Andy today to wander around the villages in the bit between Lancashire and Yorkshire. We had fun just exploring and poking around the tiny little buildings, and buying stuff antiques centres, charity shops and flea markets!

I would like this bunny please. Look how cute it is! Eeee!

We kept seeing these crocodiles today. Apparently they're for fire embers!

The day started off super rainy so I'm really glad that it dried up a bit. Look at this view. So pretty!

I've talked about antiquing before, but I don't think I've openly admitted it - I love looking at bits of history, and just poking around the curiosities that antiquity shops have to offer: I love antiquing! I've found a buddy that loves doing that too, so watch out for more antiques posts! Hoorah! :)

Friday, 23 November 2012

Freebie Fridays - grape juice

This week has been a very uneventful week for freebies. I don't think I've had enough time to get out and about for my usual walk-by free stuff. I have managed to get one, rather good free item:

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting my... free 1 litre of grape juice! Wooooo!

Apparently, while I've been home, I've also had some freebies in the States. This photo was in my inbox a few days ago:

Completely remotely, I have managed to acquire:
a piece of floss
a stick of deodorant
a small packet of wet wipes
a tube of toothpaste
and a goody bag of feminine hygiene products!

Kinda by accident, I have had quite an epic week of goodies, if you count the ones that were sent to my name in another country. I reckon it counts! Hahaha.

And in a kinda very, erm, weird way, I seem to have a super impressive Freebie Fridays page now. I started the weekly blogpost in March so I have a few months to go before it's anniversary, but I'm really quite chuffed. Hehehe. It's gotten to the point where my friends are really excited when they get free stuff and then tell me about it when they see me! I really like that. Free stuff makes me, and my friends, very happy! :) Hoorah! :)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Special Delivery!

My lovely friend Shazia has once surprised me with a little box of snacks. With that little box, I made my Pop-Up Play Box, a little surprise for my mini friends, Eliza and Alex, who absolutely loved it! They loved it so much that I have started making some very cunning plans!

Today, Shazia dropped off a special delivery which made me very very happy.

Yay, lots of boxes!

So now I'm gearing myself up for a bajillion Pop-Up Play Boxes. Sounds crazy? Well you're talking to a crazy lady! This is going to be the start of a wonderful, recycling, re-purposing project, and I'm excited! You'll have to check back in with me to see how I'm doing :) Hoorah for boxes! :)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Meeting Up with Playworkers

It's not often that Morgan and I get to spend a week together, but it's also not so common to see a group of playworkers just kinda hanging out. Today, us two Pop-Up Adventure Play peeps trundled up to Yorkshire to go and visit a couple of our playworker friends for a bit of fun.

First we met up with Marc Armitage. We're helping him organise his Keep Calm and Play On tour and thought we'd better meet up for a brew and meatballs! After lots of discussions, we also thought we'd do a little filming to make a little video of Marc. Without giving too much away before the production of the video, here are a couple of hilarious moments:

What could Marc be doing?


Time with Marc was fun - there were trampolines involved, silliness shared, and at one point we even had a short battle. Video to be released soon!

Next, Morgan and I spent some time with my lovely friend Andy. I have raved about Morgan to Andy and Andy to Morgan for a long long time, so it was about time we all got together and had us some chicken! It was a lovely evening out with lots of fun chatter. I was so happy to be hanging out with such lovely people all evening that I did a little dance. I miss America, but now that I'm back in the UK I realise that I really missed Morgan and Andy whilst I was away. It's nice to be back in their company and be able to physically hang out. 

And of course while we were together, we had some time to make some plans to take over the world... but more on that another day. Today was just play!

Hoorah for playworkers, and hoorah for friends! :)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A Evening in Manchester

Morgan and I had a little trip out to Manchester today. Here are some fun photos of our day.

We went to Afflecks Palace and saw some cardboard box portraiture.

Look! A squishy purple mushroom!

We visited the Royal Exchange Theatre. It used to be a building for the stock exchange!

We had a hot drink at the Manchester Christmas Markets.

And we said hello to the weird Santa at the Town Hall.

We had a lovely evening out today, full of fun and food samples. There was a lot to see, do and try which is always good. Makes it all interactive and more cosy. It was a bit cold outside but it was really nice to have a wander around the markets. Kinda makes everything feel really Christmassy and nice. I love the Christmas Markets and I guess it's not too long before they disappear again so I'd better go a few more times. I'm excited. :)

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Giving Thanks with MLS

Thanksgiving is a few days away and my friend Morgan, who is half American, won't be able to celebrate it this year because she's super busy and travel-ly! So what we decided to do was to celebrate today! This is what we did:

We made fish pie, and had a side of pomegranate salad.

We baked a loaf of Zanbread!

We set off a sky lantern with all our wishes on them!

We made mini apple pies!

And... we studied the inner workings of the pomegranate!

We also had a wander around a market and bought some bargain chicken, had some excellent butties, bought some traditional sweeties, watched videos of button quails and giant bunnies... OH and ate lots and lots of food! :)

I had a lovely lovely day. It was nice to be off work and spend time with people I like. It was also cool to have thanksgiving, albeit not the traditional way. I have a lot to give thanks for this year, and it was nice to dwell on it briefly today in good company. My home is literally and figuratively warmer with Morgan here. :) I truly truly give thanks for friends, family and food! :)

Friday, 16 November 2012

Freebie Friday - What a UK Welcome!

On arriving back in the UK I really did expect to see a load of random freebies in my post cubby (yes, we have a filing system at home for our post) but instead I was greeted with a postal bomb site! No organisation, nothing, just post of all shapes and sizes randomly dumped in the general area of the postal cupboard. It took me an hour to work through it all and when I eventually emerged from the piles of paper, this is what I got:

We have:
a bright purple paint sample
a COD BOPS 2 patch
a thingy of foundation
a packet of nice smelling tissues
a tube of men's moisturiser
two herbal teabags 
AND (the pièce de résistance)

I'm SUPER excited! There isn't a lot, but it's cool and I'm super super happy. HOORAH FOR BEING BACK IN THE UK AND GETTING UK FREEBIES!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Game, Games and Being at Home

A combination of jetlag, housework and lack of interesting things to say has kept me off the blog for a few days. I've come home to an empty house and have had to a) make it warm, b) buy much groceries, c) work out where everything was. Then I started back at my old work and did 3 shifts in two days! This is what I was faced with for one of my shifts:

Oh yes, game release day. Or night, I suppose. I was there and I was excited!

And to be honest, I've not really done much else. I like the quiet, do-it-my-own-way thing I have going on at the moment. My lovely friend and colleague As I type, my lovely friend and colleague Morgan is travelling up to visit for a week so I bet there will be some interesting photos going up in the next couple of days. :) 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Two Extra Days

As I get my stuff together to really leave for home, I thought I'd share a few more shots from the States.

I found an R2D2 spatula.

Some very bold claims from a pizza shop.

Complicated election signs.

Popcorn from indian corn!

And here some beeping birdies.

It's been a lovely trip in the US this time. I've had a lot of time to think, heal and learn about myself. I'm looking forward to getting stuff done when I get home, and preparing for my next trip back to the States. Hoorah! Two extra days were a bit of a pain, but they were a blessing. Hoorah! Time to fly! Speak soon! :)

Freebie Friday - Last minute US goodies

I thought that last week's post would have been my last freebie Friday in the US, but due to various weather systems, I am, unfortunately, still here. So. Here are more freebies!

Here we have:
A sample of men's cologne
Some facial cleanser
And a coupon for free chocolate.

The coupon didn't come to just now so I won't have time to claim it. That's okay though - more free things for my US friends! Hoorah! :)

Anyway, next week's going to be awesome for freebies! UK goodies, hoorah! :)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Of Course There's a Storm

For those of you who follow my blog, you might want to cast your minds back to the other times I've traveled to and from the US and UK. I was trapped in Chicago because of snow, and stuck in New York because of a hurricane. When hurricane Sandy made an appearance, I was pretty much convinced that I would be caught up in that for going home! But no, as I checked times and tickets, I found out my flight out was cancelled because of a blizzard in NYC. Of course. So I'm still here.

I don't leave til Friday now. It's annoying because I was completely ready and packed for going home today so everything is stowed away in my suitcase. So what to do now? No idea. I suppose I could do more of the Marc Armitage tour stuff. And I might bake some fairy cakes. Ooh, and pop my indian corn.

Ah well. No worries. Home soon I guess!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Freebie Fridays - Last US Edition

I'm off back to the UK next week so this week will be the last of my US freebies. I have to say, this week I have received an unusual collection of free stuff. It's going to be fun flogging these to people before I leave the States! :)

This week we have...
a sachet of anti-itch cream
2 little packets of fruit sugar
2 different flavours of vitamin C drink.
a 3-pack of incontinence pads.

Also, a sport involving bats, balls and home-runs did something awesome resulting in a country wide taco giveaway so...

Here's my free taco! Woooo! NOM NOM NOM!

I've stopped signing up to free stuff now so that the family I'm staying with won't get any more random post. I just hope the 3 month's absence from the UK has left me some fun freebies to go home to! Hoorah for cross continental freebies! :)

The Night After Halloween

After the excitement of halloween last night, I thought I'd snoop around the supermarket to see what happens to all the candy/sweets. On approaching the giant bin of discounted goodies, I was quietly amused to see that the remaining dregs of sweets/chocolate were being politely fought over by a few overgrown teenagers. But that was it. The aisles and aisles of halloween delicacies that I had seen a few days before had been reduced to a sad little pile of boringness - I was SO surprised.

Of course, instead of aisles filled with ghost, pumpkin and skeleton decorated sugar morsels, we have red, green and gold. Oh yes.

Christmas chocolate! Nom nom nom!

So I guess the halloween fairy has gone and Santa has thrown up on the retail world. Eventhough I'm only here for a few more days, I'm still kinda excited! I've always heard that Christmas in America was something worth experiencing, and I get a bit of American Christmas just before home! Hoorah for Christmas! :)