Sunday, 14 August 2016

#MySundayPhoto

I thought I would sign up this week to the #MySundayPhoto linky!



Cyber Punk Son-day



Photalife

Thursday, 11 August 2016

X-CAM QUADCOPTER DRONE Review with WickedUncle.co.uk


Wicked Uncle approached us and asked if we would like to try out a gift of up to £40 from their website. I handed the whole project over to Evan and let him choose and order the item he would like to review.



Evan chose the X-cam Quadcopter Drone as he is a skateboarder and wanted to see if it would record him whilst he skates.






He has split the review in to two parts so you can see the unboxing video below:




                                        

Part two will be live shortly so please make sure you check out the flight footage!

Wicked Uncle's ordering process is probably one of the most informative I have come across. From the instant you order you are kept in the loop via email and text; letting you know exactly where your order is and how long it will be. I was really impressed!

Gifts for kids get harder all the time and I love how Wicked Uncle have sourced quirky and unusual items that you wouldn't come across normally. Evan loved loads of items on there, so if it grabs the attention of a 14 year old,  then they must be doing something right!

I absolutely love the T shirts that you can write on then they light up via LED at night, I want one for myself!






You can search via age of whom you are buying for, sex, interests etc so it really is simple to narrow down what you are looking for.

So I will update with Evan's Part 2 and see how the drone flies! 







Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat on a Budget! #CampBestival #2

Festivals Shouldn't Cost The Earth -

I love festivals, my first was Glasto age 12; year of the SMYTHS [sic] #ahem followed by years of one dayers, 2 dayers and then spreading out to; more recently, 6 days at Glasto...

In the hedonistic days of pre- child and only caring that I had a tent and glitter (and being fed by the Buddhists)



since then I grew up a little, I have always is gone prepared - my friends used to refer to my tent as the Mary Poppins as you could find everything from a toaster to mixed herbs. Cooking whilst camping is a love of mine and I have been known to serve up 13 fry ups for breakfast on one fold up army stove - the type with the little fire cubes!



This year Camp Bestival was going to be a struggle financially as I am brassick so I sold some stuff on eBay and manged £65 to take with me.

Evan is now 14 so he had £30 spending money which he earned by washing cars and saved the money to take with him. It is so much easier once they get older as they are far less inclined to go for the festival 'must have' tail or hat!

So over the year I pick up bits, just one or two at Poundland like extra pegs, water container, heat blankets, ponchos etc and put them away ... this saves loads as Cosy Camper for instance is not cheap if you have forgotten the essentials!

Biggest saver if you have little ones is to buy bubble guns/ wands/ shapers from Poundland / eBay and hide them until you get there. I was caught out in our 3rd year as Ev really wanted the gun and I remember paying £9 for it plus liquid and it was IDENTICAL to the £1 gun!

Fire toys sell some amazing gear but you can pick up diablos and LED poi for a fraction of the cost on eBay.
If you have girls - pick up pots of glitter when you see them going cheap - glitter is a MUST HAVE!


So this year for 5 - FOOD

Years ago (think it was 7/8) I invested in an IGLOO cooler - it has been the single best investment yet. If you fill it correctly it stays frozen for 5 days - I freeze all I can so milk, sausages, ice pops, bacon etc etc it all gets really frozen and packed in with the ice packs.  Before you freeze things, take them out of the boxes and separate into freezer bags in portions.
The IGLOO is on wheels and pulls along like a suitcase, Ev could manage it age 7 at Glasto - so it is awesome!


We ate full English brekky every morning, lunch was BBQ or sarnies and evening meal was cheesy chicken pasta with salad etc it varied but you get the picture. Snacks and yoghurts/fruit etc that can easily be taken out with you. Ev is veggie so I have to think of that too - he did get his annual Corn on the gold plated Cob but it is darn good!

Beers/ ciders / soft drinks were bought in advance when on offer at the supermarket, then put in the igloo and were chilled all weekend along with the £2.99 bottles of Bucks Fizz!

If you do run down low on anything, there is a Spar in Wool (also has cashback facility and atm) just a couple of miles from the site & Holmes Nursery sell the best cider ever! Getting out and back in on the Sat/Sun morning is never a huge issue!

I take a small bag of spuds and slice thinly then boil then transfer to the frying pan for chips.

I cook it all on one stove and butane case (4 tins for £3.99 This is it).

Toast when you are camping is for some reason so much more tastier! It took years to find the perfect toaster and the Gelert Folding Toaster is the biz! Bread & Bagels no problem!

Gadgets are now amazing for camping - Biolite stove (charges your USB devices whilst cooking) , Roccbox oven and the incredible toasty maker from Ridge Monkey  (which Matt brought along this year) are all just incredible and with kids makes things so much easier! I'm going to try and  invest in all 3 for next year.

Just a tip if you want to make it fun saving for your kids spending money next year - start saving 5p's in a bottle - I did this last year for Xmas and a Jack Daniels bottle (1.5 litre) holds approx £115 !!!!

Visit the W.I tent - coffee/tea & cake for a fraction of the cost of buying in the Castle field. The Fika Volvo stand with the beautiful Vanessa and crew - provide free drinks and buns in comfy, cool surroundings!

Copyright Camp Bestival


We all chipped in for 1 programme bag and then photographed the schedule so we all had a copy.  If you can't afford the extra £10 though just ask somebody to let you photograph the lanyard - I certainly wouldn't mind!

Solar showers are really cheap and this year heated to almost boiling point, bring swimming costumes for little ones and voila, much nicer than wet wipe washing, or get a collapsible washing bowl and hot strip wash!

ALWAYS take far, far more socks than you need!!



There is still no way to make the rides/ bouncy castle etc any cheaper - this is one gripe I have as I am so used to other festivals never charging for anything on top of the ticket. I always feel bad that if you have a few children, the cost of this on top is awful and they are obviously going to want to have a go!

T shirts etc... well Ev had a few over the years but he is not really bothered and the last 2 years spent his money on the skating wear Ezo stand.

I did buy myself a treat of an anklet, the adult 'Must Have' ;)

All in all though it depends what you are getting out of the festival - if it is your main holiday then eating out and trying new things is part of the whole experience. Festival / Event food has always been high - Wembley in the 80's would bankrupt you for a cheeseburger; so things don't change!
Children will always want stuff - Ev was ALWAYS set a limit and his money kept separate so he could see how he was spending, he didn't ask for one thing this year - so maybe I am doing something right!

I would however like to see more in the form of Welfare - if people are struggling and it happens! Unexpected occurrences can leave people frantic, so somewhere that the kids could have a hot meal, plasters for FREE (and not £5 unless you see the Doc!) etc would be a great asset and support to those who may need it (even knowing it is there is sometimes enough!).

It is a beautiful festival in gorgeous surroundings, it is hilly though as it is countryside! I completely understand the whole trolley issue... I never used one. I couldn't pull one if it was filled, and I know this so when Ev was tiny I bought one of these off a friend for £50:


Bike Trailer/Double Buggy

Only second to the cooler in best investments, they glide over terrain like it is nothing, will fill well over what you would expect and make excellent beds for babies at night. Pushing it up the hill of death at Glasto is no problem, well no more than walking up it!
Ours has now done 32+ festivals and still going!

So I hope any of these tips may help you if you decide to do CB in the future. If I remember anything else I will add it on; and if any of you have any tips to add please do so in the comments and I will credit it on here!

Maybe see you there in the future! #SilentDisco!!

Song For This Post HERE (Just HAD to) 

L xx









Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Flower to the People - Camp Bestival Review 2016 #1

Camp Bestival is over for another year and wow were we lucky with the weather! A glorious 4 days in the Dorset countryside, blue skies (mostly) and a warm breeze to counteract the scorching sunshine; made for yet another brilliant festival!



 Evan & I have been to them all and always have a lovely time - this year being no exception. Every year is unique, yet always great fun, with different highs and lows - this post though is dedicated to the Sunday evening Castle Stage set.

 After the chaos of the Castle Stage on the Saturday - Trolley terror; Sunday was an absolute joy. We arrived early to get a nice spot on the barriers and with my broken leg it was relatively easy to stand on the flat surface and have the barrier as support.

For some reason Sunday down the front is always one of my favourite times and we always seem to meet some lovely people; this year being no exception. It just seems really chilled and I suppose as it is all more or less over the pressure is somewhat off!



Hilly - Looking stunning!

We settled in and awaited for the stunningly beautiful Anne Marie; you may know from lead vocals on the Rudimental track Rumour Mill. What an absolute delight Anne Marie was, chatting in between tracks with funny anecdotes as to why she wrote them (and most us us have been there too!) and pleasantly chatting with the crowd, then blasting in with some awesome dance tracks including her hit Karate and current single Alarm; that got the crowd bouncing and warmed up nicely for the headliners. Perfectly scheduled for the Sunday and I hope she comes back as I am sure it is not the last we hear from her.



 After a short break it was the moment I had been waiting for, in say 1989 I was a HUGE metal fan but I still liked Tears for Fears. In the 90's I still liked them but when I hit my 30s I really appreciated them and realised just how fantastic musically they were so they went on my dream 'must see live' list and never did I think I would get the chance.
THEN you start to worry that they might just look like your Dad up there and have that 'drunken uncle at a wedding' dance thing going on....

 I didn't need to have worried;



 Entering to the Lorde cover version of Everybody Wants to Rule the World (From the Hunger Games, Catching Fire) the instant they struck the first chord the set was on fire. Absolutely perfect vocals, if not better than the original.
The set list went through all the hits from the first album, some from the early 00's - highlights of mine being Change, Pale Shelter and of course Mad World all completely amazing. Backing vocals from the very Joplin-esque Carina Round, simply amazed with very bluesy soulful tones and just made a great set even better. Very 'floyd' tones to the tune Closest Thing to Heaven sent shivers down my spine.

 I believe it was 26 years since they had played a festival and I sincerely hope it is not the last, coming back for an encore of Woman in Chains (My fave) and the very crowd pleasing and insanely good Shout, wrapped up the evening before the firework spectacular.

Definitely the best Sunday headline act Camp Bestival has had so far - Absolutely Sunday Best!

Friday, 15 July 2016

Play-Doh Competition - Cupcake Celebration!

If like me the smell of Play-Doh sends you back to your childhood, then this competition is just for you!

Cupcake Celebration is a delightful box full of cutters, shapes and decorating tools that enhance the cupcakes you can press out on the magic wheel.
Comes with 5 tubs of Play-Doh (3 are Play-doh Plus) included.

Recommended for budding British Bake Off champions age 3+ (NOT to be eaten)

Just complete the Gleam app below and remember to answer the obligatory question or your Gleam entry is void!

What was your favourite childhood toy? Leave a comment with your answer below!


Play-Doh Cupcake Celebration Giveaway

UK competitions at ThePrizeFinder
By entering this prize promotion, you accept and agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions:
1. The prize promotion is open to all UK & NI residents. The prize promotion is non-transferable or redeemable for cash (subject to availability). 
2. The prize will consist of ONE Play-Doh Celebration Cupcake box set. (All prizes are subject to availability).
3. The prize promotion closing date is midnight on August 1st 2016 (the “Closing Date”) and any entries received after the Closing Date will not be accepted by the Promoter (www.lemonscake.co.uk).
4. The winning entry will be selected at random on August 2nd 2016 and the winner will be notified by Lemon within 7 days. To contact the prize winner we will use the email used by you when entering the prize promotion.
5. If you are notified of a winning entry, you must confirm acceptance by email to claim your prize. If you do not reply to confirm acceptance within 28 days of being notified as a winner, we may offer your prize to someone else.
6. Only one entry per person is permitted. No purchase is necessary to enter this prize promotion.
7. The prize(s) must be taken as offered. No cash equivalent or other alternative prize(s) are available in whole or in part except as provided for in these terms and conditions.  If any winner is not able for whatever reason to accept the prize(s), then the Promoter (www.lemonscake.co.uk) reserves the right to award the prize(s) to another participant.
8. A list of winner(s)’ names and locations can be obtained by sending a SAE to the Prize Provider after August 9th July 2016.
9. The decision of the Promoter (www.lemonscake.co.uk) is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome of the prize promotion.
10. Promoter: www.lemonscake.co.uk 

I was not compensated for this post by any third party and it is my honest opinion.

Big Butterfly Count 2016 + #Competition

Butterfly Conservation are again overseeing the 2016 survey 'The Big Butterfly Count'; This year starting today, July 15th and ending on August 7th.




Just 15 minutes on a favourably sunny day (what is one of those?) during those dates to record what butterflies you see can give valuable information to BC so they can determine what is happening to these wonderful pollinators!

Not only can the numbers of species tell us which are thriving and which are not but also butterflies are amazing biodiversity indicators - they can show what is happening environmentally and are strong indicators of forthcoming problems for other wildlife groups.

The survey can reveal which butterflies are in danger of extinction and help to protect those at risk whilst also giving detailed information on climate change.





You can take part anywhere, parks, schools, gardens even roof gardens - as long as you record the highest number of each species you see within that 15 minute slot.
There is a wonderful identification chart on the site which can be downloaded and printed off to help with identifying which type you have seen.
You can also download an app for iOS or Android (sadly no Windows) phones from which you can also send in your results.
Otherwise you can send of your collected data via the website.

Stamp of Celebrity Approval


Sir David Attenborough, President of Butterfly Conservation, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, Mike Dilger and Nick Baker, Vice Presidents of Butterfly Conservation and the actress Joanna Lumley OBE are all supporting this years count, so why not give it a go?


I have spotted that my local council is planting verges and centre reservations with wildflowers - killing two birds with one stone this not only provides ideal environments for butterflies, bees and insects but the council saves money by not having to cut the roadsides #bonus! (does that mean we can have our bus routes back?)

I absolutely love seeing the cornflowers and poppies swaying in the long beautiful grass - it adds so much to urban unused spaces.




You may have heard of the company Meadow in My Garden? Truly an inspirational site that offers its customers a vast range of wildlife enhancing products. Their wildflower mix can add colour to any area and brighten any garden.
Increasing the public awareness of just how important wildlife friendly flower meadows are, Meadow in My Garden make it priority.
Our natural ecology is extremely fragile and it is companies like this that endeavours to only make it stronger.

With products ranging from seed to bubble bath, you can find an array of gift ideas or garden/wildlife enhancing products. You can also take satisfaction in knowing that the company strives to incorporate these values into their company ethos:

  • A team who offer professional expert knowledge and advice
  • To have a positive impact on the people and communities with whom we work
  • Committed to minimising the environmental impact of our activities
  • Approachable, trustworthy, friendly and kind
  • We donate all surplus seeds to schools & community projects
  • Our packaging is fully recyclable and/or reusable
  • We exhibit and speak at garden shows and festivals helping those without time and specialist knowledge to succeed.


Meadow in My Garden have kindly given me a box of Butterflies Mix to give away to one lucky reader! Enough to cover 7m2 ; this seed selection is Ideal for eco-friendly gardeners, the garden’s friends range is not only beautiful, but also improves biodiversity.
  • * Through R&D, our mixtures help restore ecological balance in the garden. Biodiversity preserved, vegetable garden protected!
  • * Containing mostly pollen and nectar-producing species, this range prevents the need for pesticides, as it attracts large numbers of pollinators and beneficial insects.
  • * This meadow mixture offers shelter and an area in which butterflies can establish themselves.
  • * 'Best Buy' in the Which? Gardening Tests - March 2015
Follow Meadow in My Garden on Twitter & Facebook

To enter just fill in the Gleam app and make sure you answer the 2 part question in the comments section or your entry is void!

1. What is your favourite wildflower? 
2. Will you be taking part in the Big Butterfly Count this year?



Free competitions at ThePrizeFinder

a Rafflecopter giveaway


By entering this prize promotion, you accept and agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions:
1. The prize promotion is open to all UK & NI residents. The prize promotion is non-transferable or redeemable for cash (subject to availability). Employees (and their immediate family) of Meadow in My Garden or anyone else professionally connected with this prize promotion are not eligible to enter the competition. Any entries submitted by agents or third parties will be invalid and will not be accepted by the Promoter (www.lemonscake.co.uk)
2. The prize will consist of ONE box of Butterflies Mix for 7m2  (All prizes are subject to availability).
3. The prize promotion closing date is midnight on August 8th 2016 (the “Closing Date”) and any entries received after the Closing Date will not be accepted by the Promoter (www.lemonscake.co.uk).
4. The winning entry will be selected at random on August 9th 2016 and the winner will be notified by Lemon within 7 days. To contact the prize winner we will use the email used by you when entering the prize promotion.
5. If you are notified of a winning entry, you must confirm acceptance by email to claim your prize. If you do not reply to confirm acceptance within 28 days of being notified as a winner, we may offer your prize to someone else.
6. Only one entry per person is permitted. No purchase is necessary to enter this prize promotion.
7. The prize(s) must be taken as offered. No cash equivalent or other alternative prize(s) are available in whole or in part except as provided for in these terms and conditions. The Prize Provider (Meadow in My Garden) reserves the right to substitute prize(s) of an equivalent value should the prize(s) become unavailable for any reason. If any winner is not able for whatever reason to accept the prize(s), then the Promoter (www.lemonscake.co.uk) reserves the right to award the prize(s) to another participant.
8. A list of winner(s)’ names and locations can be obtained by sending a SAE to the Prize Provider after August 9th July 2016.
9. The decision of the Promoter (www.lemonscake.co.uk) is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome of the prize promotion.
10. Promoter: www.lemonscake.co.uk Prize Provider: Meadow in My Garden Glenmoor, Pans Lane, Devizes SN10 5AW

I was not compensated for this post by any third party and it is my honest opinion.

Song for this POST

Monday, 11 July 2016

Orchid-ding Me! Serenata Flowers Update

You may have read my post last August about my delivery from Serenata Flowers - if not you can read the post HERE.

I just wanted to update you on how amazing the Orchid is! As you can see it has graced me with a second bloom and I hope you agree just how stunning and delicate it is (again!)...

Pink Phalaenopsis Orchid