General ramblings, My Make Do and Mend Year

Recent purchases

I feel like I have been on a bit of a spending spree recently, albeit a Make Do and Mend one…

I visited my first ever garage sale, and came away with a motley selection including 4 rolls of sellotape, some scrubbing brushes, and some colouring pens and paper for the Smalls (which I have stashed away).

My latest foray to the Car Boot yielded this great galvanised steel bath/tub thing


which we have great plans for in the garden, if it ever warms up…

As well as this ‘Tin Top’ from Roary the Racing Car.


I got it for 50p for SmallSmall, not realising that it talks. Very loudly. Hmmmmmm.

My bargain of the month which I was most excited by was this


A Postman Pat duvet cover for 99p!
SmallSmall is still in his cot at the moment, but I am aware that at some point in the near future, we will have to take a deep breath and make the transition to a bed (although we need to find or make one first…). I have learned during the course of the year to snap things up that you know you will need in the future when you see them, as you can guarantee that if you wait until you do need them , you will not be able to find what you want. Does that make me conscientious and a good forward planner? Or does that make me a hoarder? It’s a fine line….

I had had vague thoughts about attempting a month Buying Nothing At All (except for food etc) and nearly implemented it in May. Good job I didn’t-would have been a huge fail…

Might still give it a go though….

PS. My Make Do and Mend Year has made it through to the FINALS of the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards!!! Thankyou thankyou thankyou, so so much if you took the time to vote šŸ™‚ You can check out all the other amazing blogs that are also in the finals here.


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  • Reply Secondhand loo brushes…. | My Make Do and Mend Year May 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    […] may remember me mentioning yesterday that I had my first ever foray to a garage sale, and that I managed to bag some ‘new’ […]

  • Reply momoftwosalums May 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    We go to garage sales all summer. They are the best!

    • Reply Jen May 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      There don’t seem to be too many of them around here, but I am going to keep my eyes peeled from now on!

  • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) May 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Its defo planning ahead if your buying what you WILL need, diff to hoarding stuff you don’t need but can’t part with… If you feel guilty try to give away 1 item for each purchase you make to off set your guilt !
    <3 the galvanized bath shame to put plants in it till you've used it for other things … mini paddling pool/ sand pit, laundry/ log basket, garden tidy etc.

    • Reply Jen May 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      I like you definition Vivienne-I will tell hubby. Forward planning, NOT hoarding… šŸ™‚

  • Reply knittymummy May 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I’m with you on buying it when you see it. I love trawling the local charity shops for kids clothes and I’ve had an age 7 skirt for my daughter for 3 years already now (and she’s still only 5!), It was mini Boden and Ā£1 – how could I leave it in the shop?

    • Reply Jen May 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      It would have been very rude to leave it behind-you were only doing your civil duty.. šŸ˜‰

  • Reply Hazel May 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I’ve got two bath tubs (both found or scrounged) and put blueberry bushes in them, underplanted with strawberries.I only use peat free compost, so followed Alys Fowler’s tip to top with composting pine needles to make the soil acidic enough and we water them with dregs from the coffee pot šŸ™‚

    Good result on the duvet set!

    • Reply Jen May 22, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      Thanks Hazel-more fab gardening tips! Have your blueberry bushes yielded many blueberries?

      • Reply Antonia May 23, 2013 at 8:13 am

        I have a blueberry bush in a pot in our garden. It produces berries every year, the deal being I get to eat them as it was originally a present to me! From a gardening point of view it is important that it doesn’t dry out and the birds are partial to the berries too so you might want to consider a net if you don’t want to share.

        • Reply Jen May 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm

          Does the net help keep the kids off too…?!

      • Reply Hazel May 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm

        Yes, definitely enough to justify growing šŸ™‚
        I haven’t had a problem with birds (just children) but net a good idea if you do. And As Antonia says they do like being boggy. I have a couple in terracotta pots that don’t look so happy- apart from terracotta being porous it’s harder to maintain the right environment in small pots. 2 or 3 in a bath tub is working really well!

        • Reply Jen May 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm

          Might give them a go then!

      • Reply Hazel May 24, 2013 at 8:56 am

        You’ll need at least 2 of different varieties that flower in the same season to get a good crop.

        The Dorset Blueberry Company sells a large selection with clear instructions and tells you whether they’re early/mid/late season. I’m sure you’ll get berries from an unspecified ‘blueberry’ plant, but this way there’s a better guarantee of converting flowers to fruit šŸ™‚

        As I said, I don’t use ericaceous (compost (for acid loving plants), as the site recommends, because it contains peat, and I’ve had good results with peat-free multi-purpose compost with lots of old pine needles and coffee grounds!

        Happy growing!

        • Reply Jen May 24, 2013 at 10:22 am

          Thanks Hazel. Will check it out šŸ™‚

  • Reply Hilary May 22, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Couldn’t agree with you more about buying something when you see it, the number of times I haven’t and then not been able to get one later are too many to count. Love the bath for the garden, planting up or turning into mini pond?

    • Reply Jen May 22, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Either! Possibly plant a mini ‘wild flower meadow’…!

  • Reply Workshopshed May 22, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    That’s a great tub but its definately not stainless steel. Judging on the colour its most likely galvenised. Test with a magnet if it sticks then its not stainless

    • Reply Jen May 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      I think I probably meant galvanised…! Thankyou-will amend šŸ™‚

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