Sharon & AlwaysSpecial.co.uk

Archive for April, 2010

Llansantffraid Primary school – Through to the National Netball Urdd !!

by on Apr.27, 2010, under The Family

I guess the title of this post gives it away!!!

 

Today I sat for over two hours…and watched the netball team from Llansantffraid fight their way through to the National Urdd competition to be held in Aberystwyth….amongst them my daughter, Athena.

They played well in the first rounds….securing their place in the semi…..JUST!!!! 

With a bench full of mums holding onto bladders, clutching water bottles….and generally embarrassing the kids….the team up their game and won a convincing semi-final 8-0!!!!!!

onto the final….feeling the pressure on the bench…..it was serious, red-faced…..hot…..and starting to feel shattered (the mums that is!!!) the whistle blew…..it was to be a straight six minutes….no half-time…no second half. (last year we went out at this stage by one goal) could we do it this year????

 

The first net was probably scored in the first minute….”the bench” went ballistic!!!!. The kids played her hearts out….they looked good…and they played faultlessly!!! 2-0………3-0………4-0…….sore throats on the bench!!!!

The whistle blew!!!

 

you would seriously think that it was us “mums” who had played!!!…….group-hug, followed by group-hug…..more hugging…..the kids shook hands and cheered the losing side…..and then they were hugged (much to the embarrassment of some) ….who was more excited the kids or parents?….not sure ;)

 

I have to say the team in “RED” representing Llansantffraid Primary School looked the part, played the part…..and was “simply the best!!”

 

WELL DONE…..and good luck at Aberystwyth!!!!!

 

One VERY proud mum…..X   :)

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Have I got some news for you…!!

by on Apr.22, 2010, under The Family

Something was wrong with Soph…..grumpy (more than usual!!!!) and her face was flushed…there was something I just could not put my finger on!!!

After a few days I managed to pin her down…..eventually she confesses that she thought her period was a day or two late!! (mmmmm I suspected as much!!!!) OK….try to keep my face straight. After begging me NOT to tell her Dad she said she would do a pregnancy test on the Friday…this was the Saturday!!!

 

By Tuesday I think Andy was starting suspect that I knew something – breaking her promise I told him that it was a strong possibility that he could be a Granddad….After a few obvious questions – he seemed at ease with the idea. (OK one hurdle jumped!!!) On the Wednesday of that week I told Soph that I was going to buy her a Pregnancy test….The fact that she had started “barking”, shouting at the kids and eating like you wouldn’t believe…..she needed to know the stress of not knowing was starting to show.

Coming home that evening, Andy bathed the boys while I dragged Sophie into her bedroom….told her exactly what she needed to do…then sat there twiddling my fingers….she came back….”I can’t pee”

JEZ!!!!!

Off I ran returning with a pint glass of water…..”DRINK THIS!!!!!”

Twenty minutes later she returned and passed me the pregnancy test…..Glancing at it I noticed the test window was already going “PINK” …..I grabbed the leaflet…re-read it (you think after four kids of my own I would know how to read one!!!) “YEAP” looked like she was pregnant.

I got up walked over to her…wrapped my arms round her and whispered…..”Congratulations…you are going to be a Mummy!!”

SHOCK….was all I saw in her face. 

Worried about what her dad was going to say…I confessed to her that I had laid down an idea that she may be pregnant to him…and that he was “cool” with it…..we both went up into our bathroom where he was bathing the boys…..She stood there….saying nothing. He stood there…saying nothing!!!!

Errrrrrr……You are going to be a Granddad!!! (never one to mess about with words – I came straight out with it!!!)

I think Dad and Daughter probably shared a moment that they have not shared for many years…..they hugged, cried…and hugged.

Telling Athena was not so lovely….more clinical!!!!  “well who is the father? – When will it be born? – Where will it live? – Will I be an Aunty?” Kids can sometimes give magic and take it away!!!!!!

 

Now she is ten weeks pregnant..Andy is very excited about his Grandchild (as I am too!!!) ..most people who care know about it and are happy for her. Those people (we are a small village) who feel they have to talk about her are not worth the energy of typing!!! The father of “peanut” (as we have lovingly nicknamed it) is aware of the situation and has claimed he would like to be involved in the baby’s life. He is a good lad and our door will always be open for him.

She has the scan this Monday…So hopefully she will allow me to post a picture of “peanut”. Although the birth seems months away she has asked me to be her birthing partner!!……now anyone who knows me, although I have had four children…the thought of watching a birth just makes me shudder….when I had my first baby - the midwife asked if I would like a mirror so that I could see the head crowning…..not really sure if I could spell the words I retorted!!!!! Anyway for Sophie I will be there…just don’t want to think about it too much!!!!! ;)

So there you have it……in November, all being well….Andy and I shall be grandparents!!!! ………….can’t wait!!!!!!

have fun, stay safe…and be happy. Sharon

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A very sunny day out in Abergele!!!

by on Apr.22, 2010, under The Family

After finishing work on a Saturday….the kids are usually waiting…..for their present!!!.  Shae in his usual style will come straight to the point and demands……..

“did you bring us a present??” Hands placed firmly on hips, green eyes flashing….would we dare forget!!!!!

Now when I say “present” it usually costs no more than a pound (hey including Sophie, Ceri and Tikka, we are talking seven/eight quid!!!!!) 

I always start with the youngest…you could give Kal a paper bag with a kiss blown into it – he would respond with a huge smile and a hug and kiss back…..so anything you give him is sure to put a shine into his blue eyes!!!!

next it’s Shae….still standing there with hands on hips!!!…..trying to guess what it might be

“a new car?……A monster?……an alien?……a new car?….a helicopter?…..a new car?”…….

 

I feel the pressure when I chose his present…..it could seriously go either way with him. Don’t get me wrong he is not a spoilt brat – he just has a strong mind and his expectations are sometimes hard to deal with.

Next it is usually the three girls, Alethea – like Kal is happy with anything. Athena is also pleased with anything, although does have the slight flashing in those green eyes – her age has lead her to control the desire to throw it down because “it’s the wrong colour/flavour”!!!! and then there is Beri (Ceri the girl from over the road, who seems to live in our house!!!) She is appreciative of everything and wouldn’t tell you even if she didn’t like something!!!

Following the five kids….Soph is generally happy with her gift….although I think is sometimes yearns what the younger three girls may have!!

and then there is Tikka…..she is generally happy just to lick both Andy and I to bits……but her fat bum swinging side to side suggests she is also happy with whatever is contained within her present bag!!!!

Why do we do presents on a Saturday?

The kids are all very good….After we drop them off at School at 9 we then do not generally see them til 5.30….six days a week. They so far have responded to this very positively. They clean up after Sophie has cooked tea…older ones look out for younger ones…etc. So they are rewarded on a Saturday. We are very proud of the way they have all reacted to us being “at work”…..I think that working from home was harder for us….but easier for them.

So last weekend…..after a major clean through on Saturday….ironing done we surprised the kids by taking them up the coast on the Sunday. By 10 o’clock we were all packed into the car – kids, picnic and dog!!!

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

 

The day was sunny, warm….and we virtually had the beach to ourselves!!!

It wasn’t long before Tikka took the first few steps into the water to retrieve her prized rugby ball….after that there was no stopping her. It also wasn’t long before she realised that when she was wet if she ran directly at the kids it caused them to squeal, should she shake her fur dry next to them!!!!!

Here I come!!!!!

Here I come!!!!!

Where did that ball go?

Where did that ball go?

Rugby anyone??

Rugby anyone??

So Tikka is “allowed” in the sea……guess what came next….”Can we go in the sea????”

Five kids….no towels….only spare clothes for the two youngest……

Yes go on then!!!!!

Just good ole FUN!!!!

Just good ole FUN!!!!

 

 

Kal testing the water!!!

Kal testing the water!!!

Shae actually doing something normal - playing!!

Shae actually doing something normal - playing!!

The Boys!!!

The Boys!!!

 

Alethea jumping the waves

Alethea jumping the waves

Athena trying her skills at rugby

Athena trying her skills at rugby

and finally but not least………..

 

Sophie!!!!

Sophie!!!!

Who would believe that at the beginning of April it was warm enough for the kids to go into the sea for a paddle!!! The day was completely relaxing – no moaning, no squabbles just loads of smiles and laughs……although we did have a couple of “are we there yet!” from Alethea!!!!

So for the price of a picnic, a tank of petrol we had a fab day out…..Tikka slept all the way back home!!! Shae actually asked to go to bed at 6 that evening – money can’t buy that!!!! ;)

me and Tikka having a cuddle!!!

me and Tikka having a cuddle!!!

As for Andy he managed to get some peace and quiet away from phones ringing and computers……Neither of us took the plunge to get our feet wet though!!!!!!

 

 

Peace and quiet!!!

Peace and quiet!!!

 

So if you want a cheap day out….one that completely tires a seven month old puppy, amuses four young kids, satifies a twenty year old and makes two parents feel good…..add a picnic, one rugby ball and a deserted beach to plenty of beautiful sunshine and bake well for six hours!!!!!

 

I will leave you with a rather cheeky picture of Shae…….have fun. Sharon

 

That's all folks!!!!!

That's all folks!!!!!

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Oswestry’s little gift shop sets it’s mark!!!

by on Apr.10, 2010, under Always Special

Sunny in Oswestry!!!

Sunny in Oswestry!!!

 

Always Special - Oswestry

Always Special - Oswestry

 

Today saw probably one of the highest sales in terms of value and satisfaction!!!!  A lovely lady who came into the shop about two weeks ago – looking for about seventy gifts (all the same) for the cast of her production – Scarlet pimpernel.  She and I wondered around the shop – with me suggesting various items – all of which I knew I could get in quickly and in the quantity she needed……she really liked the idea of some pretty shell bracelets….I kind of liked the idea of a shell necklace sitting on a red scarlet lace/cord (perhaps sitting in a red organza bag….I suggested) Nope she really liked the shell bracelets!!!

 

So off she went leaving me approaching a long bank holiday weekend to try and raise my supplier of this beautiful little gift!!! (still thinking that the red scarlet ribbon-ed necklace would have looked stunning!!!!!! :(

 

Then on the Saturday, the lady turned up again……this time with her daughter!!!! I showed the daughter the two options (keeping my opinions to myself – for once!!!!) The Red ribbon-ed/corded shell necklace or the shell bracelets……..The Daughter at once selected the Necklace!!!!! GREAT!!!! I knew this supplier would be easy to get hold of….and I also thought that packaged up this gift was going to look stunning!!!!

 

Today (a week on) the lady called in and picked up her 79 !!!! Necklaces, all sitting looking absolutely stunning in beautiful red organza bags, in a stunning handmade wicker basket….I have to say the amount I put through the till was fantastic (before you think I am tight – A hefty discount was given !!!! ;) …………) but her comments and “thank yous” was just out of this world….I would love to be there when she proudly hands out those little organza bags at the end of her production…..

 

The little gift shop in Oswestry pulls a punch amongst the big guys!!!!!!

 

:)

 

Sharon

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Baby Gifts in Oswestry

by on Apr.06, 2010, under Always Special

Today was one of the busiest I have known we sold six Nappy Cakes and three New Baby Gift Baskets !!!!

 

I guess the Maternity wards are full at the moment in Oswestry and surround!!! Strangely enough five of the Nappy Cakes and two of the New Baby Gift Baskets were for Baby Boys!!!!! Not many “Pink” flavours being born at the moment!!!!

Our Baby Boy Nappy Cake

Our Baby Boy Nappy Cake

 

It is lovely when proud Grandparents….or doting dads…..just a neighbour pops into the shop and leaves feeling very chuffed that they have found something that has not cost the earth,  looks better than a bouquet of flowers and is not just an everyday over-priced sleep-suit!!!!! I often watch them walk down the road holding the Nappy cake proudly…….The buzz it gives me….that person has chosen my creation to give to the proud mummy  and daddy of the newborn baby ….for me that is very special!!!!!!

It would be lovely to get a reputation for my little gift shop in Oswestry, as being the place to go if you want something very special, very different, very affordable……that’s just “ALWAYS SPECIAL”

 

Have fun….Sharon…x

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Eight weeks on….

by on Apr.04, 2010, under Always Special

Eights weeks have now past since that first Saturday morning in Oswestry….when I opened the door to my little gift shop!!!

 

I have to say the comments that have come back have been brilliant, “Just what Oswestry needed” -”there needs to be more shops like this in Oswestry” also people have been very complementary towards what I have in the shop, the jewellery and handmade goat’s milk have been very popular – with the nappy cakes and towel cakes starting to make their mark!!! Although if I had a pound for the amount of people who have come in and tried to order a proper fruit wedding cake – I’d now be soaking up the sun on a very hot beach!!!!! ;)

I love it when a customer comes into the shop, looking for a special gift (having probably spent days looking) and goes out the door holding one of my recycled plain brown distinctive bags – smiling and happy that they have found something unique yet special and affordable!!!!!! The buzz I get when they fill a basket bring it to the counter and have it transformed into a gift basket – complete with bows, feathers and all other “arty-farty” stuff!!!!!!!!!  that means more to me than the till ringing……I love it!!!!.

The flip side – The customer who comes into the shop and asks for your help in finding a gift ……it does not matter what you suggest, show or bend over backwards doing handstands nothing inspires them….or the customer with the complete brat of a kid who actually plays “lets throw a ball” with the bath bombs!!!!!!!!!

BUT for me the worst “customer” is the one who comes into the shop…..claiming that Oswestry needs more “little” (cheeky buggers….hey from a small acorn and all that!!!) anyway that Oswestry needs more “little shops” like this….and asks you to put posters up to “save our town” or lectures me for half hour on why the big super markets should not come to Oswestry and that Oswestry really need to say NO to these supermarket giants, that the town-folk of Oswestry need to support the “little shops”…..and that they feel so passionate about it…(one lady actually lectured me for over an hour!!!!!!) that they NEVER go anywhere else and they ALWAYS support the local “little shops” ….and then do you know what they do?????

 

………..they head for the door and leave!!!!

 

If you were to ask them what I sold they would not have a bloody clue!!!!!!! Tell you what – put your money where your mouth is!!!

I have to say I have some absolutely lovely regulars who come into the shop, even after just eight weeks they come in every week. “The lady who just buys a piece of soap every week”, the few ladies who cannot resist treating themselves to a piece (or two) of jewellery every week” and a couple of ladies who just come in to see what new stock I’ve got in that week and have a chat!!!

 

Although I swore I would never pick a paint brush up again (after painting the inside of the first floor and the entire outside of the shop all in two weeks) this week I have started to paint the second floor. Hopefully I can open the second floor in a couple of weeks……so this small acorn has started to sprout!!!!!

 

BTW….The lady who really supports her local shops….yeap you guessed it…..she aint been back!!!!!!!!

 

Have fun….Sharon  :)

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A Shop called…

by on Apr.04, 2010, under Always Special

Ok….Where do I start?

Christmas came…and went. Not having enough to do with five kids, four cats and a completely mad Labradoodle puppy….I had a mad idea. To open a shop!!!

Having spent months social networking in order to promote my website, the website was now ticking along quite nicely and the fact that Google had rewarded all the hard work with giving us a page ranking of “ONE!!!” …..joyous ocassion….well nearly!!!!  :)

 

So back to the shop. The thought of a shop just would not budge…..so eventually I blurted it out to Andy….who agreed it was a good idea. Here is where I will cut a short story even shorter. By the 15th jan 2010 I held the keys to 20 Leg Street. Oswestry….on the 6th Feb 2010, on a sunny Saturday Morning I opened the door to “Always Special” for the first time!!!!!

Sounds easy eh?

NOT!!!!!

 

I think I had under estimated just how much hard work goes into having a large family and opening a shop!!!! The shop was completely repainted, walls pulled down, every cabinate and table purchased for the shop was painted to match…..I was seriously sick of Deluxe Ivory Lace, Cookie Crumble and Celtic Cream by the end.  Added to all this I was referred to have a course of Physio (“slight problem” with lower back) and ended up running twice a week to the Hydrotherapy pool !!!

The street we are in is lovely,  most of the ”neighbours” have been in and introduced themselves, and a big thank you to all my friends who have popped in to say hi…..moments like – sitting in the back of a hired transit, completely holding the traffic up, promising the local “traffic warden” that you will not be long….and wondering “should I have bothered opening a shop?”  just seem to fade

Now six weeks on…Always Special is settling into Oswestry. The comments that have come from customers have completely blown me over,  the lovely warm responses and thank yous make the few weeks of soul-destroying painting/cleaning and getting ready totally worth it!!.

Added to my Towel/Nappy cakes is a range of Handmade Jewellery, Handbags….and a stunning range of totally natural soaps (some made with Goat’s milk!!!) These are made for me by a lovely lady called Loretta, who I call “my mad professor” she will literally make soap out of anything!!! I have to say I would NEVER use any other soap again!!!

 I want to expand the gift selection in the shop and am in the process of painting (ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!) the second floor.  So that’s where I’m at……If you follow TheBruv’s on Twitter and miss the banter (usually between Ms Stephanosis) , then  I must take this opportunity to apologise….I usually bring my laptop to the shop….They cannot be trusted with a laptop and internet connection!!!! I would come home to a delivery of female kittens,  a purchase of a pub (and all it’s contents) or something worse!!! they will be back.

 

I will leave you with some pics of the shop on the day it opened….take care and thank you for taking the time to read this.  :)

An empty looking shop!!

An empty looking shop!!

 

always2

 

BTW did I mention that I wanted to open an Hotel…………………………………………….. ;)

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