Monday, 30 May 2011

Photography competition website...Enough to make a sane person snap

Tonight i thought i would blog about something that has got me quite frustrated over the last few months.

I am not going to name the website in question but want people to be aware of unfair photography competition website practise. Most seem quite legit and it's only actually one that i have come across that has seemed to be giving certain members of it's website an unfair advantage. Anyone who knows me personally will know i love photography as does my hubby. He is much much better than me but i do like learning stuff from him.

Anyway, this particular website i joined has competitions that you can enter for a fee with changing themes and with votes being cast mainly by members or winners selected by themselves. The main thing that struck me as rather odd is that the same three people keep getting selected and their photograph is displayed as the main picture when you click on a competition. Believe it or not, this gives them an advantage. Our brain works in such a way that the first picture we see will automatically stand out for us. Regardless of if it is good or not. To me when there are lots of different people entering this gives those displayed as the *main* photograph an unfair advantage. I did contact the website owner but was told the main picture selection was a random process. After being a member of the website for a fairly lengthy period of time i now know that this is not the case and when i tried bringing up the subject again i was ignored which kind of speaks for itself.



I feel that if you are going to part with money to enter a competition of any kind you should check and double check that the website is running itself in a fair and proper manner. If something seems off you may be a lot wiser to hold on to your money.

Well that's my whinge of the day and on a happier note here is the song of the day.
Spirit In The Sky - Norman Greenbaum

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Discovering Psychology & Brownies

Sorry for the two days with lack of posting. If i'm truthful i couldn't think of a subject worth blogging about.

Today though i was filling out my OU forms and thought i would blog a little bit about the course i am taking and my hopes for the future.

In November all going well i am starting the OU DSE141 course in Discovering Psychology. I have always thought that it's never too late to better yourself and learn something new. I'm aiming high as i want the end result to be a BSc (Honours) in Psychology.

To give me a bit of a start and to get my brain working along the right lines i have been reading two fairly informative and helpful books.One is Basics in Psychology and the other is Manwatching a field guide to human behaviour. The Basics in Psychology has some little tests to do at the end of each chapter which is ideal for me to help get what i'm reading to sink in.

Are you a mature student? Do you wish you could go back and study something you're interested in?

Oldest daughter struck again today and made some delicious white chocolate brownies so i thought i would show a piccy of them. She has the potential to make a great chef one day..and i'm not just saying that because i'm her mum. Well...ok maybe i am.






The song for this evening is The Who - Behind blue eyes.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Flaming Hell it made the front page

Me and Hubby went into a cafe to get some breakfast today and i spotted the Western Telegraph on the paper rack so i grabbed it to have a quick read. I instantly noticed that one of darling hubbys photographs had been used on the front cover. I was so proud! It's just a shame it wasn't a nice news story and was something as terrible as the Goodwick fire. At the moment the scorched area looks very black and miserable.


We also attended our youngest daughters sports day today and rather than a nice sunny day it was chilly and very windy and the ice lollys provided seemed to be a bit redundant. Although not a sporty child she did manage to win an egg and spoon race which made me very proud. Though it's the taking part that's important and she seemed to have just as much fun coming last as she did coming first.

The song for today is Eagles - Take It Easy

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Trying to quit

I am trying my best to quit smoking at the moment. It's the one true bad habit i have. I don't drink anymore and even when i did it was usually just the odd one or two vodkas to wind down in an evening on a Friday or Saturday night. *I think this may have something to do with having a few too many in my younger days and then throwing up all over my friends brother who was chatting me up at the time. *cringe moment*

However i was never addicted to drinking, and smoking is a much harder habit to break than i imagined. Most of my family are non smokers so why i felt the need to sneak off with a friend and have a couple of puffs when i was just eleven i will never really know. We did it on two occasions that i remember and i never touched them again till i reached the age of fourteen. My foster sister was older and more outgoing than me and she smoked. When she first offered me one i took it. I wanted to fit in, i hadn't long arrived and i didn't want to be the odd one out.I coughed and spluttered and her and her friend laughed. I remember feeling embarrassed so i made it my mission over the next few weeks to learn to smoke. I always looked older so buying them was never a problem. After the first week it began to get easier. The coughing my lungs up stopped and i began smoking like a pro. Me and my foster sister started making it a regular thing where we would go out for a walk and a ciggy and at the time it felt good to be accepted.

However now i am 18 years older and have realised i want need to quit. Not just for myself but for my family. Though i really wish it wasn't so damn hard. The patches are good, they stop my foul "i need a ciggy" mood but the 24 hour patch seems to only do me any good for the first 8 hours. Oh and just for a bit of info:- Don't ever leave the patches on for longer than recommended. I did and ended up with it burning my skin and blistering. I fully admit this was my fault. I left it on for 8 hours longer than it should of been. A very stupid mistake which i won't be making again.

Anyway, i will quit smoking. It will be a struggle and i know that for me it won't be an overnight process but i am hopeful that in the not too distant future i will be able to put smoking behind me.

Have you ever given up something? Do you have a bad habit you want to break?

The song for tonight is Kelly Osbourne ft. Ozzy Osbourne - Changes 

Saturday, 21 May 2011

I survived the end of the world! 21/05/2011

Yes i'm here, i survived as did you i guess if you're reading this.  Ah well let's all get ready for the next end of the world happening on 21/12/2012. *rolls eyes*

I'm typing this later than usual because well i couldn't think of anything to blog about tonight. The weather was rubbish so no going out today, it's hard to believe a couple of weeks ago we had glorious sunshine and it was so warm and generally uplifting.







Today was a day where i thought about everything i'm grateful for. My family of course came out top. They are really wonderful and i'm very lucky that they are mine. I'm grateful to some of my foster parents, like Pam & Fred and Yvonne, John and Rene. The female officer who helped me realise that sometimes bad things happen but if you give up the only person you end up letting down is yourself. Pam the nurse. My childhood friend Karen, who i haven't seen in person for years but she managed to help me to remember some really good times recently and she has always been a great friend. My friends i made at Greenhill who were a great bunch of people. A fair few internet friends who i have made over the years and have shared many a laugh with. *Bigs hugs to them all* I'm also grateful for living in one of the most beautiful counties in the UK, beaches, 99 ice creams ect ect.
I'm grateful for so many things, that i think even if the world had ended tonight. I wouldn't of had any regrets.

What are you grateful for? 

The song for tonight 

If I Should Fall Behind - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 




(> " " <) (> " " <) (> " " <)
( ='o'= ) ( ='o'= ) ( ='o'= )
-(,,)-(,,)- -(,,)-(,,)--(,,)-(,,)-....

Friday, 20 May 2011

Remember Ben Needham?

We have a wonderful son. He is almost 14 years old. We have really enjoyed watching him grow up. Yet sadly some people don't get the pleasure of watching their child grow up. Some people have their child snatched from them. In the majority of cases the parent/s aren't to blame. Ben Needham's mum is one of these people.
Someone out there had a use for her darling little boy, Someone out there probably watched him and then pounced in the short amount of time Ben was left unattended. They hadn't left him alone for anything more than a minute or two. They deserve answers. They deserve Government help. One thing is for sure they want to hold Ben in their arms and again, this they deserve.

Our Government is helping Madeleine Mccann's family to find her so i plead with the government to show the same courtesy to Ben's family. You cannot treat just one child as a special case. These children are equally important. All missing children are important. You have never done enough to help locate Ben. You owe it to him. You owe it to his family.


I believe in my heart that Ben is alive. There is nothing to say he isn't.

Some points to consider:-
Ben may not speak English.
Ben could be living in ANY country.
Ben may think whoever is bringing him up are his real parents.
Ben could have long/shaven hair

I seriously believe in the power of the internet and that it can make a difference. Maybe it could be you who recognises the picture of Ben? Maybe you have a friend or relative who you think looks very similar.

Maybe a young man is reading this who doesn't have any baby photographs of himself and maybe has always felt that he "didn't belong" Could you be Ben?



Ben has a loving family that want answers and want to be reunited with him. Just think to yourself for a minute. What would you do if you were in Ben's mums situation? Would you give up? Would you want the world to forget about your son? Would you want people to spend so much time into looking for another missing child yet act as like yours never existed?

Be truthful. You wouldn't. As parents we love our child/ren. If one day somebody took our child we would never stop looking for them. We would never give up hope. We would always want answers and we would want people to help in anyway they can.

Here is the website for Ben  HELPFINDBEN  Here is the twitter account Find Ben Needham Twitter Account Here is the facebook account HELPFINDBEN FACEBOOK ACCOUNT

You can also sign the petition here >  Help Find Ben

Please, if you are reading this consider printing a poster,Signing the petition, RTing a tweet or sharing on facebook. You might be the one to make a difference.

Every time i think of Ben or another missing child, this song sticks in my mind so i am posting it again.
Clannad - I Will Find You

Giveaway- 3 months supply of filter coffee

My new giveaway is for 6 packets of Café Direct filter coffee which i have estimated to be 3 months worth. Two other winners will each get one fairy phone charm.

You will win
2 packets of Cafedirect Mayan Palenque Organic Ground Filter Coffee. A premium, delicate and well rounded coffee.

2 packets of Cafedirect Fairtrade Kilimanjaro Filter Coffee
A lively Fairtrade Coffee from Cafedirect. Kilimanjaro fresh ground filter coffee is well balanced and a great single origin 100% arabica coffee

2 packets of Cafedirect Machu Picchu Filter Coffee
Organic and Fairtrade, this deliciously dark, nutty and chocolatey filter coffee from Cafedirect is an award winning favourite





 2 more winners will each win a Fairy Phone charm.

To enter all you need to do is comment and say which prize you are entering for. You can enter for both the coffee and the phone charm if you wish.


Terms and conditions-
Winners will be announced on the blog and will have 4 weeks to reply and claim their prize.
The coffee prize will only be shipped to a UK address. The phone charms can be sent worldwide.
The closing date is June 14th 2011
Shipping costs will be covered by myself.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Winner Announcement

Thank you to those of you who entered my first giveaway. Tonight i drew the winner (giving an extra entry for those of you following funkimunki's blog as i originally stated i would) I put all names on pieces of thick white paper and then put the entries into my daughters cowgirl hat.


            She wasn't wearing it at the time!

The winner is....Womble So a huge congratulations. Tomorrow i will have credited FunkiMunki with your £10 credit. I hope you have fun spending it! :)

For those of you that didn't win, i will be running another giveaway with FunkiMunki in the near future and i may stretch to more winners too!
Plus if you come back and visit my blog tomorrow i have another great giveaway for you lined up!

The song for tonight is Kiss - Heaven's on fire

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Pet Hates, Hot Heel and Twix Slices

Today someone asked me what my pet hates are and i couldn't actually think of any right of the tip of my tongue.
I have given it some thought though and my top ten pet hates would have to be:-

1) Liars
2) Brown Nosers
3) People who use a mobile phone while driving.
4) People who think a trolley is supposed to be used as a dodgem car
5) Materialistic personalities
6) People who refuse to take no as an answer
7) People who don't say thank you when you hold the door open for them
8) People who chew gum with their mouth open
9) People who take no responsibilty for their actions
10) Parents who swear at their children

Next up would be that last night i could feel my heel throbbing. I couldn't remember doing anything to it and yet one heel was ice cold and the throbbing one was very hot to the touch and swollen.  All i needed was another foot problem to have me walking around like a cripple. If there is a god, boy he must have it in for me lately.

These evening i did a quick dash to the local co-op more out of convienence than anything else. Had to pick up boring stuff like bread,milk you get the idea. Just as i was paying i spotted some new Twix Slices on offer for 99p and me being me i had to try them. Even though they are in one big pack, they are wrapped up individually inside so ideal for lunchboxes and picnics and they are very very nice! A cross between millionaires shortbread and Twix.

Anyway this is a quick post tonight as i'm now going to shower and then go put my foot up someones bum on something to relax.

The song for this evening is John Mayer - Waiting On The World To Change

Monday, 16 May 2011

Bad Feeling & Competition reminder

We can't help but be aware that the Queen is off to visit the Republic of Ireland , especially with a bomb threat being aimed at London today. I actually have a really bad feeling about it. Not so much about the bomb threat but the whole thing. In fact i wish the Queen would change her mind and not go. There has got to be a point when the risk is too great.

Don't get me wrong i will be hoping praying that it goes off without incident but i can't help but have a bad feeling in my gut about it.

Anyway enough of my "gut" and on to the subject of my giveaway. It closes tomorrow evening. A winner will be drawn, regardless of the amount of people who have/ haven't entered. At this moment in time there is a very good chance of winning. The prize is £10 credit to spend on http://www.funkimunkibadges.co.uk/



It takes no more than a few minutes to enter > Enter competition here

You could use the credit to get badges for birthdays, hen/ stag nights, anniversaries, school teachers, ect ect.

This is a short one tonight because i have loads to do but i haven't forgotten about the song of the day which is Lady Gaga - Born This Way 

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Stop the planet, i want to get off.

I was going to add this to my blog last night but thought i would wait for any updates.

What i'm going on about is the 60 year old Gran who was attacked in Tenerife. Not only was she stabbed 14 times but he cut off her head and actually walked outside with it. I really don't care if he was mentally ill, he deserves to die. Preferably in the horrific manner that he used on his victim and no i don't really care if that isn't the PC thing to say. I'm all for an eye for an eye.

This Daily Express article actually had me tearing up. Hide me plea She was already scared and frightened. I can't and don't want to imagine what was going through her mind in the final minutes before her death. It really makes me wonder how many sick and twisted people are out there and even makes me wonder if bringing children into this world was the right thing to do.

R.I.P. Jennifer Mills-Westley. Hopefully some sort of justice will be served on this nutter but even when it is, this will still leave her family without a person that they dearly loved.

We also have all the mentions of Madeleine in the news and how the government is going use lots more money trying to find her. Erm i thought we as a country didn't have any more money? I would say what makes this one girl so special when loads of children go missing but it's all in the "class" of person. Some people are obviously more important than others. That may seem harsh, but that's how i see things when i go through the missing children websites and see so many other children who are missing. I have no sympathy whatsoever with her parents, i doubt i ever will have. It's all seemed a bit iffy to me since the beginning but whatever happened one thing is without doubt - they were totally irresponsible parents. That aside, I hope they do find Madeleine and i also hope they find all the other children that have gone missing way before Maddy and after her.

Take a few minutes to watch this video of missing children.


Sometimes i wish i really could get off the planet, i read the news with such sadness when i see how awful one human being could treat another and it's becoming more of a frequent occurance.


Today the song is one of hope. One for Ben Needham, Daniel Morcombe, Morgan Nick, Michael Wayne Dunahee, Philip Cairns, Madeleine McCann and the many others young and old still missing to this day. Clannad- I will find you

Saturday, 14 May 2011

How do i get it to look like THAT?

Today started off with some baking. This is becoming a habit. I didn't have the cherries to do the muffins so we made cookies followed by a carrot cake mixture that i purchased from Morrisons. You could say it's the lazy option and maybe it is but i have three kids and 101 jobs to do and yet still i do my best to find time to bake with them on weekends.


How they get the carrot cake to look like the box cover i will never know. There is no way enough icing included and we had to use Betty Crocker buttercream icing for the top of the cake. The icing is not that colour either. Well not if you follow the directions given. It's more of a yellow colour and looks like 80's school custard.


Looking back we should of kept the cake as it looked like above as it looked ok if not a bit sloppy in the middle, but no... daughters one and two wanted it iced on the top too.

As you can see it looked rather odd when completed. Luckily it tasted rather good otherwise i may have marched myself into Morrisons and asked someone to show me how they get it to look like the cake pictured on the cover. I would still like to see it done. So if anyone ever purchases this pack and you can make it resemble the cake shown with the ingredients they provide, well i will take my hat off to you and even do a little dance.

The cookies were a quick and easy recipe but darling daughter made only six. This really won't do as it means i will have to eat the extra one.


Aside from the baking, washing clothes and mountains of housework i was browsing clothes for half hour or so today. I found a fun website where i can go into a virtual dressing room and select clothes and put them together as an outfit to see if you like them when combined. It reminded me of those paper dolls you could get as a child but much more enjoyable as you can really buy these outfits and you actually put them on when they arrive and you don't need to stick them to yourself with little paper tabs. To check them out visit the link.

BooHoo Wardrobe

Here are a couple of outfits i made for fun. The prices are very reasonable and i will be using the wardrobe in the future to purchase outfits.


Song for today is Bruno Mars- The Lazy Song. I caught myself singing AND dancing to this in the local co-op. Oh the shame.


Anyway it's off to bed for me as i have a terrible sore throat that has got worse all day. Hoping a few throat sweets, a good book and maybe a few episodes of My family will get me feeling slightly better for tomorrow.

Friday, 13 May 2011

All twittered out, Muffins and Song of the day.

With the problems blogger had been experiencing, i found myself on twitter. Which isn't actually that unusual for a Friday as i like to do shout outs for friends and companies that i like but today i was a bit obsessed with reading some of the sob stories for prizes that are given out, i mean come on. Most of us have a really crappy life at some point but to bleat on about how bad everything is for you for a prize that's of minimal value seems a bit like selling your soul to the devil. Some people are quite obvious liars too but i won't go in to that this evening and will save that for when i have more time on my hands. What i want to know is do companies really fall for these sob stories? Ok, maybe not all of them are lies. Maybe life is bad for some of them and i'm very sorry for those who are going through a bad phase but something just doesn't feel right when i see tweets of a begging type nature.



I was also observing the people that advertise via twitter for companies, some are really good at it, others not so much.
I have had a fair few DMs this week mainly from companies who just want me to RT (retweet) their messages. Yeah as if. If i like you i will ##FF (follow friday) you or interact with you and hopefully my followers will notice you and eventually do the same. I will even RT if i think my followers would be interested in something that's mentioned but if you follow me and then in turn i follow you and then straight away you hound me in DM for RT's without even the courtesy of a "hello"..well you can forget it. Yes..you know who you are!


On the whole though i am lucky, i do have a lovely load of followers who are really nice, even the companies i speak to have someone in control of the twitter account who seem to see how important the customer / potential customer actually is. I even managed to sort out a royal mail problem via twitter. It was all handled very quickly and to my satisfaction.


Moving to something i was discussing yesterday. I didn't get to make the Banana and Cherry muffins *sad face*

I will share the recipe with you all though and i will get round to making them very soon.

Banana and Cherry Muffins

Makes - 6 Prep time - 10 minutes Cooks - 20 minutes

150G self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50g light muscovado sugar
1 ripe banana
150g Morrisons eat smart fat free yogurt
2 tablespoons of vegetable yogurt
1 egg white
70g cherries (stoned and chopped)

1. Heat the oven to 180C/ Gas mark 4 and line a 6- hole muffin tin with muffin cases
2. tip the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Hold back 1 tablespoon of the sugar, then mix the remainder with the flour. Make a well in the centre.
3. in a seperate bowl, mash the banana until nearly smooth. Stir in the yogurt, oil and egg white until the mixture is evenly combined.
4. Pour the liquid mixture into the well and stir quickly and sparingly with a wooden spoon. The mix will look lumpy and may have the odd speck of flour still visable, but don't be tempted to over-mix. Tip in the cherries and give it one more stir.
5. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases- they will be quite full- then sprinkle the tops with the rest of the sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and a dark gold colour. Cool for 5 minutes in the tray before lifting onto a rack to cool completely.

This evening my song of the day is Joe Cocker - You are so beautiful. Dedicated to my followers, friends and family xox

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Love, Aubrey among other things

I was thinking about death the other day, not really in a morbid type way but over the last couple of years we have dealt with some very close family deaths in a very short space of time. I just happened to browse Waterstones and came across a book for children titled Love, Aubrey. It has some great reviews and i think my oldest two will enjoy reading it. I might give it a read even though it looks like it is quite a tearjerker. I will add a review when it arrives and let you know what i think.

"Something terrible has happened. Eleven-year-old Aubrey is on her own. ‘It was fun at first, playing house. Nothing to think about but T.V and cheese. A perfect world.’ She’s determined to hide away and take care of herself, because facing the truth is too much to bear. ‘I couldn’t let anyone know that I was alone. I was staying right here.’ But with the love of her grandmother and the letters she writes, can Aubrey begin to see that even though she’s lost everything – all is not lost?"

On my to do list for tomorrow is attempting to make Banana and Cherry Muffins. I spotted the recipe in the latest Morrisons magazine. Very sorry Tesco  but i have found the saving on my shopping bill to be quite significant even without clubcard points so have drifted to the other side for a few weeks. *hangs head in shame*

I can't recall the last time i baked muffins and i thought it would make a nice change to give the children a homemade snack to bring to school, plus the thought of eating one with my morning coffee is so tempting. If i do find time tomorrow and attempt it i will no doubt add the photos to the blog at some point. That is if they last long enough for me to photograph them.


Todays song of the day is Alanis Morissette - Thank You. I like her voice and natural style. Though last time i walked about naked in public i got arrested.




On a final note there has to be a big cheer as it's almost friday! I get quite excited when it gets near the weekend as i'm so not a mornings person and i know it won't be long and i can have a lay in. *i'm such a lazy moo* oh and i can't forget the chore of doing #FF on twitter. It wasn't so bad when i had a few followers, now i struggle to keep up. I wish twitter would add a simple way to go through all your followers. I hate realising afterwards that on a few occasions i have forgotten to recommend someone that really deserves a #FF

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Window shopping and Bob Marley

Today i have indulged in some online window shopping. Is there even such a thing?

I have found many wonderful online shops run by your average person just trying to make a living and admiring the talent of those people who sit and create items such as sock monkeys, door stops, clothes, jewellery and badges. If it was nearer christmas i would of started stocking up but i really haven't the room to start collecting stuff in May and storing it through the year.
I have also been checking out spring sales and looking for a bikini for when i go on holiday. My main trouble is i find something i like and then i find another i like and so on. Then i get all confused about which one to buy. Typical.

Swimhut have several nice ones to choose from. SWIMHUT

I like this one but it kind of reminds me of the bikinis of the 80's so that puts me off a bit. I still haven't ruled it out though and it's on my maybe list.It's on sale for £29 so quite a bargain.

Next up is another one from Swimhut. I like the Terracotta colour but i'm not fully convinced it would suit me. It's also reversable but the coffee colour on the other side would suit a blonde more than a brunette i think. This one is £59
I also found some i liked in Topshop and Marks and Spencer but i have two months to find the perfect one so i suppose there isn't a huge rush and i can take my time in selecting one.

Today as it's the 30th year anniversary since Bob Marleys death i have picked one of his songs as the song of the day. So let's hear it for the man who influenced and still influences generations of people with his music.

Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for. -Bob Marley-

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Brad Nailer - Retard

Just a quickie! *insert wide grin here*

I heard this song a year or so back and i just loved it. Brad Nailer sings quite "risky" country songs and i totally adore him and his straight to the point humour!

I had to post as i have just received an update that Brad has uploaded the song " RETARD" to Youtube so had to blog about it because 1) It's funny 2) it's catchy 3) it's so true!

I would love to meet the guy who has made me laugh so much. If you don't mind rude songs another song he has on youtube is "It Ain't gonna lick itself" 

Don't worry i will be back to normal unrisky fairly squeaky clean posts tomorrow :)

Beauty Buy, lusting over Per Una and Song for 10th May

Today while in boots i came across Lip Therapy pocket size Vaseline with Cocoa Butter. Mmmmm i could almost eat it, it smells that good. It is without a doubt one of my favourite beauty purchases of the year as it has already softened my lips and it only costs £1.99!


After Boots i walked into Marks and Spencer to have a browse and buy a few things from the food hall and as i was walking through  i spotted some gorgeous tops that i would of given my right arm for and my left for that matter but unfortunatly i didn't really have the funds to buy them seeing as i needed to get new clothes and shoes for a smaller person.
Is starting to see the appeal of Per Una clothes a sign of me getting older? (Eeeek!) One of the tops i loved was fairly similar to this one but the actual top i spotted in our local store i can't find on the website. Such a shame as i wanted to lust over it till i eventually gave in and treated myself. Well can't a girl dream?


Today the song i have chosen is a classic. Anyone who doesn't like it should be shot slapped around the head with a kipper! It's Guns and Roses - November Rain.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Song of the day 9th May plus cake

Two posts in one today as i have had a Migraine since this morning and that's made me feel all yucky and generally not in a posting mood.


My oldest daugher did the nicest thing yesterday and turned my kitchen into world war three, well actually she did do something very nice. She baked her brother a huge Minstrels chocolate cake with vanilla icing for his return from Army Camp. It is gorgeous and well worth all the mess she made.



It is really moist and has chocolate fudge icing in the centre, decorated with vanilla butter icing, chocolate sprinkles and minstrels. Honestly i'm one very proud mum. At 12 years old she can create this all by herself, So in a few years time you had better watch out Nigella Lawson!

As for the song for today it's from one of my favourite singers who has been mentioned on my blog before as one of her songs was the inspiration behing my blogs name. This singers name is Leddra Chapman.

This song is just beautiful, as is she. I guess it's ok to say that about another woman now i'm all grown up.

Have a listen. Hopefully you will like it just as much as i do.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Song of the day 8th May

Loads of people seem to dislike this song but i really like it. Ok i know that it makes no real sense and i suppose i do see how it could be classed as annoying but i find it quite relaxing and yes i admit it..I like the tune!

Mind you if i received so many hugs from any kind of bug you will probably here me screaming from wherever you're sat.


Like it or loath it. Owl City- Fireflies  is my pick for this evening.

Ecover comes to the aid of mucky pups

I thought today as i have been mainly doing housework that i would review two Ecover products.

I will add that any reviews i do are totally honest. I don't like reviews that are made up by someone who has never tried the product and i have also included some before and after photographs of the Multi Surface Cleaner with this review.




The products i have used today is the Multi Surface Cleaner that comes in a spray bottle and the All purpose cleaner which comes in a normal ecover shaped bottle. The Multi Surface cleaner i used on my cupboards,kitchen sides and the sink as i like the fact it's in a spray bottle and is ever so quick to use and get things clean.

The All purpose cleaner i have been using for a few years and it involved me putting two capfuls into my mop bucket and then i half filled the bucket with warm water. I haven't included photographs of the floor as the photographs didn't come out too well with the low light we have outside today and even with the flash it doesn't show it properly but it did bring my floor up to a lovely clean shine and i am going to be buying this again in the future.

Now for the Before and After photographs. My Kitchen sides and sink aren't usually this dirty (Honest guv!)  but for the  purpose of this review i left what was spilt yesterday so i could see just how good Ecover performs on dirt that had been left for a little while.

This is ketchup that my youngest had spilt when trying to eagerly shake it from the bottle onto her plate.

This looks terrible and it was! *Looks down in shame* Apologies for the poor picture quality but this was on the kitchen side next to the kettle. It's coffee cup rings, sugar and spilt tea.My lot are mucky pups!

 Next is my kitchen sink, that looks very marked and often has left over cold tea and coffee poured down it which seems to stain the sink in a very short amount of time.

Now for the after photographs. I used the Multi Surface cleaner with a normal blue throwaway kitchen cloth. I didn't need to scrub too hard and the dirt lifted much more easily than i imagined. Especially for a product that advertises itself as "powered by nature" and another bonus is their products have minimum impact on the environment. I'm just loving it more and more.

This is my kitchen side which had the ketchup mark on it. It came up lovely and shiny and more importantly clean. I love the smell of this stuff too, it's a fresh, clean scent that lingers for ages afterwards. Ignore the fact that the all purpose cleaner is pictured. I used the Multi Surface cleaner on the sides and only used the All Purpose cleaner for the floors after i had done everything else.
Next up is where the kettle is and which had those awful coffee, tea and sugar marks. I took this photograph as soon as i had cleaned it and i am impressed that i only needed to wipe it over with minimal effort and the marks were removed.
 Last but by no means least is the sink. I will be giving this another going over with something more hefty that a thin kitchen cloth but i was very impressed with how it brought my sink up on the first attempt.


I was very happy with how the Multi Surface cleaner performed, as i said before i am a long term user of the All purpose cleaner and both these products will forever be a firm fixture on my shopping list. 

To check out the range of products for yourself you can click the link below.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Song of the day 7th May

I am pretty sure that Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler was my first ever vinyl purchase and from what i remember it was purchased in the sale in Woolworths for about 25p.


At the time i was a little girl living in Milton Keynes so buying this probably had an awful lot to do with her being Welsh and i just loved her big hair! How i really missed Wales when i lived in MK. Even though i did get to see many of my welsh relatives in the holidays, it just wasn't the same. Wales was and always will be "home" to me.



Anyway i loved this song and used to play it as often as possible. I'm pretty sure i knew all the words off by heart within weeks of purchasing it.

So that is my choice for today. Another song that features as one of my more vivid childhood memories.
Enjoy!

Do you know where your children are?

Today we needed to take a trip to the local supermarket. Not very fun but much needed when you have mouths to feed.

Anyway, on our trip out we passed a child on a bike who was no older than seven. My guess would be that he was perhaps five or six years old and i'm being generous with my estimate. My husband slowed down to a crawl on spotting this child riding his bike in the road in the wobbly manner that children do and much to our shock he turned his bike towards the car and cycled towards us smiling to himself. If my husband hadn't stopped the car, i really dread to think what would of happened. There were no parents around that i could see and this child didn't seem to care or realise how close he came to hitting the car. Even with us stopped it would of hurt. Yet if we or anyone had of hit this child it would be the driver who was at fault. Where is the sense in that? When do parents have to shoulder some responsibility for their lack of care to their child?

Firstly i couldn't believe that anyone could be that foolish as to leave a child of this age who obviously isn't very sensible riding a bike on a 30mph road. At that age you can hardly blame the child who obviously lacks any common sense going on the way he was grinning ear to ear while peddling as fast as his little legs could go in the direction of our car and it isn't the first time i have witnessed such behaviour from unattended small children.

It's things like this that make me think that there should be some sort of test before you can breed. I wouldn't of dreamt of leaving my children unattended at that age. For starters they don't see danger like we do, maybe in their eyes a big hunking piece of car coming towards them will just feel like Nerf foam when they ride into it or run into it. I also often see pre teens and young teens hanging out in bus stops in all weathers. What's the sense in that? They are normally not waiting for a bus. Sometimes it's boiling hot, but hoodies are up and they are sprawled out in a dirty bus stop like it's some sort of trendy youth club.

Oh and how i hate to hear swear words coming out of the mouth of babes. You know something is wrong in the world when a little child in nappies shouts out the F word to one of his friends or siblings.

Childhood for many seems to have changed, it's no longer about climbing trees, collecting tadpoles, splashing about in paddling pools and enjoying that first lick of an ice cream when summer finally arrives.



Instead it's about how hard they can kick a ball into someones car, how many swear words they can say in one sentence, how they can all say "it's not fair" in Kevin and Perry type voices when they get grounded for one day and other such pathetic behaviour.

As parents it is our responsibility to teach our children right from wrong and to guide them in the right direction so they respect themselves and in turn others.

I hate to give too much thought to how children will behave (or not!) in the years to come.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Song of the day 6th May

I thought i would do a daily song of the day. I have a varied taste in music and understand my daily songs won't be to everyone's tastes but each song i select will hold some sort of meaning to me.

The song for today 6th May is Yazz- The only way is up.



I remember loving this song when i was a child, i'm 32 now and if i'm honest i still like listening to it.  It's a nice song to listen to if it's been a tough day and i'm feeling like things are getting on top of me.

One of the first times i heard this played was roughly just before my Aunt married my uncle or perhaps it could of been shortly after. His parents owned a pub and his dad gave me and my cousins a packet of crisps and a coke (it's funny the things that stick in our memory!) we put this on the jukebox and danced around the room. It was a good moment in my life and we were carefree kids having a great time.

Food Glorious Food

Have you ever watched My Family? If you have then you will know how famous the character Susan Harper is for making up rather bizzare recipes and forcing her family to eat them. Like Kipper balls, some beetroot slop or when they had tuna surprise which from what i remember was just Tuna.  Anyway every episode seems to centre around at least one attempt of her cooking something "different" apart from the odd occasions when the lucky family get to have a chinese takeway.

I don't liken myself to her, i am pretty sure my cooking isn't THAT bad but i suppose i do like to "play" about with food.






A few of my favourite ingredients would be peppers, i love the colours and they can brighten up so many dishes.Courgettes, Balsamic Vinegar, Aubergines,Mushrooms, Honey, and olive oil are also top of my list.



There is some glory to be had when you make a meal from scratch and everyone enjoys it. I will admit i cheat with pastry. I'm just no good at getting it right and the ready made pastry is so convenient.

The ingredients above are what i used to make a puff pastry dish. I made two different ones. The kids opted for chilli cheese meatball pastry open parcels (can't think of what to call them other than that) and we opted with the milder honey chicken and veg parcels. Both might i add tasted lovely and everyone finished every last bit. Ok so it might not look that fantastic but it did taste very nice. Since then i have experimented with gammon parcels and they were by far the best. Especially when you drizzle honey over them before placing into the oven.


I love making fun food for the kids too and mine loved these bagel snakes which were really easy to make, just slice up a bagel and chuck whatever topping on you would like and then add something for eyes and make pattens on the body with tomato, cucumber, cheese or whatever you can think of. I went a bit mad and added a sun and grass but it was all in good fun.




I might start adding my weird and amusing food creations on a regular basis, they will either make you want to try them for yourself or grab a sick bucket but it could be quite fun as i do love to cook.

One of my daughters has the aim of being a chef one day and her cooking is amazing. At 5ft 7 and still not a teenager she seems to show an extreme talent with food. Her favourite things to make are devilled eggs,  cakes, soups in fact anything she spots in a recipe book of which she has a bigger collection than i do.

This is her Potato and Leek soup which she got spot on with her first attempt.

Here are some of her JLS cakes that she made and decorated. She made about 26 but they didn't last very long at all!

Anyway that's it from me for now as a strong cup of coffee is needed. I am so glad it's almost the weekend. 
Hopefully the sunshine will come back to us soon.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Random shower thought

No no you have it all wrong. It's a perfectly clean topic..literally.

I was just having my evening shower and thinking to myself how one person that i literally owe my life to i probably never even thanked. I certainly cannot remember saying thank you at the time or even when i saw her at a later date. I think i must have been about 13 and Pam was a nurse at the time. I find it quite sad that i never got round to telling her how grateful i am for everything she did for me at that time in my life and i certainly hope that life has been good to her and her family. If angels were at anytime among us she would certainly fit the criteria.



It's funny what you think of at the oddest times. It's not that i haven't given her thought over the years because i have. As some wise person once said...
"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same."

X Marks the spot

Well the subject everyone seems to be talking about today is Voting

Have you voted? It's ok, i won't lecture you if you haven't. I won't even tell you who i voted for and yes i did vote though my husband choose not to and i fully respect his decision and i won't even try to persuade you to vote for a particular party. You see it really doesn't matter either way as all parties seem corrupt and lie more than pinocchio ever did.

Observing twitter and facebook many people are trying to "convert" others to their way of thinking regarding which party to vote for or mention all the positives/ negatives of voting for an AV system and trying to get others to agree with them. After the last voting and observing of the tweets on twitter i don't think it actually works. I think people humour others and still go out and vote for who they intended to in the first place.



In my mind voting is a very personal thing and i even disagree with those who say just because someone didn't vote they can't complain. We may not have much freedom anymore but as far as i'm aware we are allowed to express ourselves and if that is by having a complaint and airing it so be it. For example if my husband,friend, stranger in the street who didn't vote has a problem with how the government is run, is his/her opinion any less valid than mine? I certainly hope not.

Voting is NOT compulsary. Nor should it ever be in my opinion.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Osama Bin Laden Snaps!

So it's been announced that no photographs will be released to confirm the death of Osama Bin Laden..I hate to say this but...I TOLD YOU SO!

I will add a music video that just happens to have an apt title. I don't usually do C..rap music well very rarely but i'm listening to it as i'm typing this and it's not too bad and actually has meaning to it that is quite relevant to the subject at hand.


I'm beginning to wonder if President Barack Obama has no wizards of photoshop who can make a photo look real enough for the public eye. I just knew they were going to make it look like we would  get shown the photograph at some point only for a short while later to be told that no we wouldn't. So predictable and disappointing at the same time.

Don't get me wrong as i said before... i do think he is dead, but my guess is it was natural causes or maybe one of his wives had bad pmt one week and thought "off with his head" Well ok the latter is a bit far fetched but no more far fetched than the original fairytale the government is trying to make us believe.

As for the UK laughing stock of a government giving corrupt Pakistan a £650m aid package when we are supposedly making cut backs here there and everywhere, a small example being the police force and the nhs. Well it makes me sick to my stomach.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Honey you're nuts!

I was struggling to think of anything to blog about today but thought i would mention a sweet treat i have fallen in love with. I can't remember off hand where i purchased it. I know it was on one of the various days out we have so most likely a castle or a cute place with a tearoom and shop. Honestly..i can't remember.

It's a cute glass jar full of honey and walnuts, i will add that i am not overly keen on honey and yet i love walnuts. I'm not sure what drew me to buy it but regardless of that i'm glad i did.




The place that makes it is New Quay honey farm http://www.thehoneyfarm.co.uk/ though i can't find it for sale anywhere on the online shop so plan to use the contact form to see if they can add it to the shop for me. Seriously i'm addicted. It's local to me well kind of but not somewhere i plan to visit often enough to warrant all the petrol involved in grabbing a jar or six. I opened ours on Sunday. It's almost all gone. I used it on clotted cream ice cream. Yummy!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Giveaways and competitions = prizes

It seems i am struggling to give away anything for free as my giveaway for credit to spend on http://www.funkimunkibadges.co.uk/ has minimal entries and yes i know it doesn't close yet but can i panic? Just a little bit?

If you didn't know i was having a giveaway you can read about it here
http://pickingoranges.blogspot.com/2011/04/my-first-giveaway.html

I even blasted ahead and came up with 3 months supply of coffee for my next giveaway. Not as lovely as the badges but it might help to wake you up in the mornings! :)

Though for me to have a 2nd giveaway i will need to know that giveaways or competitions for prizes work when you are doing it via a blog. Unfortunatly as i'm not a company and this is only a new blog these prizes cannot be of huge value as quite frankly i cannot afford it. Though it is nice to give away a little something to those who don't mind me boring them with my rants and ramblings about this, that and everything inbetween.




Anyway if you're reading this and would like to win some credit to spend on the huge variety of badges that are available please follow my blog and make a post to the giveaway which is linked above. It takes less than a few minutes! (promise!)

Osama bin Laden. Just like that.

The news of the morning today was that Osama bin Laden has been killed in the city of Abbottabad. News articles are sketchy. With most going about a guy who was tweeting at the time of the attack. Even though he didn't appear to know what was going on at the time the tweeter @ReallyVirtual seems to have become famous overnight. Mainly for going on about swatting the helicopter as it was annoying him. It would of annoyed me to.

Anyway flicking through the news stories i hear that today he has been buried at sea so his resting place doesn't become a shrine to his followers and general weirdos. Ok i can understand that.

Now yes before we start i am a skeptic. Is he really dead?
Do they know for an absolute fact it was Osama bin Laden? There was surely no time for an autopsy before they flung him in the ocean?
Is having his body buried at sea almost straight away just a bit too convenient and that in fact it actually isn't Osama that has been killed ? Maybe it's just a way to make everyone more at ease and give a good pat on the back to President Barack Obama whose seemed to be going slightly out of favour the last few months. P.S. It seems to have done wonders for the stock market.

Don't get me wrong i have been looking forward to the day Osama gets his justice for all the people that were killed in his name and directly because of him but i find it very hard to believe that it's been done *just like that*.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Goodbye Salt

Hubby has high blood pressure so i am very careful on what we buy and constantly have to check the salt content in foods yet hubby likes his crisps and before now they have always had a very high salt content so we try and avoid them but last week while doing my usual browse around Morrisons i came across some SeaBrook Goodbye Salt Hello Flavour crisps.






I don't think hubby was that keen when i spotted them and mentioned them to him. He is of the opinion that anything without salt, with little salt or advertised as "healthy" must lack flavour. Anyway i picked up two multipacks (the only two flavours i could spot on the shelf). If he didn't eat them i'm sure me or the children would.

I purchased a Jacket Potato with Caramelised onion multipack and Jacket Potato with Ketchup. The other day he grabbed a packet of the Ketchup ones and seemed to like them as he polished them off quick enough, though he did say they have a very strong flavour and are quite sweet. Today he tried a packet of the Caramelised onion and he seemed even more keen on those. Personally i think they are both lovely and much better and healthier than normal crisps.

I totally recommend everyone giving them a try. Crisps contain way too much salt and Seabrook proves that you can produce crisps with 90% less salt and still make them taste great.