Tuesday, 14 May 2013

#Blogging 4 Madeleine & #Blogging 4 Ben

#Blogging 4 Madeleine

I missed Sunday and the en-mass blog for Madeleine and what would be her 10th Birthday. I still want to highlight the campaign on my blog so I thought it wouldn't hurt to take part albeit late.

I can remember hearing the breaking news when she vanished, I was at home with Evan who was 5 and 4 months at the time and in Reception.

I can remember actually REALLY trying to imagine him being gone... Just like that - a huge void. Every single thing would be an instant reminder, a toy, a book even a pebble he had picked up. It hurts to even imagine and the McCanns have to live with that real unimagined reality every day....

Madeleine McCann disappeared on Thursday, 3rd May 2007 she was nearly 4 years old. On holiday with her parents and twin siblings, Madeleine was taken from their apartment in Praia da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal.
There have been no confirmed sightings of her since.

Madeleine as she was:

and how she may look now:

I didn't believe Kate and Gerry McCann at all for a long time and it wasn't until I watched an interview with them and listened to Kate explaining her heartbreak that my initial feelings completely changed.
I bought the book 'Madeleine' as soon as it came out and read it in hours. It explained a huge amount to me and also explained why I had doubts about Kate & Gerry. The initial police investigation and media coverage was a complete farce and I believe did irreparable damage to the search, situation and public perception of what plainly were traumatised people that had no idea what was happening to them or their precious little girl.
I plead with you all to buy the book and read it - it is truly eye opening and a fascinating insight to what this amazing couple have had to go through.

Last week saw the amazing story unfold of three girls that had disappeared around ten years ago in Ohio, USA being found after being kept as prisoners in a home near where they had all vanished. My immediate thoughts were 'There is hope for Madeliene yet' and I truly believe that. 
Everytime I go anywhere I subconsciously know that I look for her...

So Happy 10th Birthday Madeleine - you are truly missed.


It is not just Madeleines disappearance that has affected me over the years.

Ben Needham was just 21 months old when he vanished from outside his Grandparents home on the island of Kos in 1991.

I was 20 years old and working in Cosmetics To Go, Poole when I heard this story but it was days after the initial disappearance. There was no social media, no press coverage no Internet - Kerry (Ben's Mum) had nobody doing anything for her and I remember her trauma and heartbreak on the [eventual] TV news coverage.
Years before the 'EU' the Kos police worked without co-operation initially from the UK Police and failed Kerry, Ben & the family in those imperatively important first few days and subsequent time after Ben vanished.
I took posters with me when I went abroad for years, just A4 and stuck them up on lamp posts and in windows in the hope somebody would know where he was.
I watched Kerry and Ben's younger sister Leighanna on This Morning last week and I feel for them so much. Kerry has written her book at long last and I URGE you to buy it and read it as all money goes to the continuing search for Ben. I cannot even begin to imagine the financial implications that go with a case like this. 
every single time there is a 'lead' that YOU as a Mother - NEED to follow or chase up is then quashed because of funding and not being able to have the necessary financial backing or investigative help to see if it was your child.....

Ben would now be 23 (24 in October) and is somewhere out there... I REALLY believe that.

So there you have it I blogged for Madeleine but also for Ben, two lost children that NEED to be found.

So if you are going ANYWHERE in Europe from Kos to Blackpool this year take posters (links below) and stick them up - leave them in cafes, restaurants and your hotel rooms you NEVER, EVER know who might see one.

As we saw last week in America - there is no better place to hide somebody than in plain sight.


Find Ben on Twitter Facebook

Find Madeleine on Twitter Facebook

Ben Posters

Madeleine Posters

Your local police force immediately, AND
Operation Grange: 0207 321 9251 (in the UK) / +44 207 321 9251 (non-UK)
Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Monday, 13 May 2013

How I've Changed in 30 Years - Dear Diary...

People as a whole don't like change but when it's a whole grain difference it's not a bad thing! 

Kellogg's Special K have changed the recipe for the first time in 30 years and is now made with rice, wheat and barley and I don't know but I much prefer it! I find it is lighter and far more ermmm well 'moreish!' 
As for me?  I will leave you to decide how much I and things have changed with a once in a life time glance into my SECRET DIARY!! WOO HOO!

Here is my entry into the BritMums/Special K How I’ve changed Linky challenge and jolly good fun it was to! You can have a good nosey over at My Special K for great advice on healthy lifestyles, healthy eating and general good advice!

So here I am 30 years on from this :


to this......:

Once a hippy......

I wish I could go back and talk to that little girl and tell her so many insightful facts (mostly to invent Facebook) but alas it is not possible and to be honest I REALLY wouldn't want to change a thing!

So as you can see AND as they say things have a 30 year cycle! Incredible really .... How some things stay the same, how some things change....
At least you know with a brand like Kellogg you can always rely that it will be tasty and wholesome and the new Special K is definitely both of those!

I received a box of the new recipe Special K but these opinions are my own.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Saturday is Caption Day 11/05

So what lovely witty gems can you all come up with for this?

Now nip on over to the very lovely Mammasaurus and do some more!

Friday, 10 May 2013

I'm Going to BritMumsLive!

Please join in and introduce yourself if you are coming along! You can add yourself via this linky HERE!

Name: Lemon (that is a lie it's Lynn) Fancy
Twitter ID@lemonfancy
Height: 5ft 2 and a half! 
Hair: Long blonde with grey roots (but they will be done before BML)
Eyes: Green
Is this your first blogging conference?
Yes and I'm quite nervous
Are you attending both days?
Yes and can't wait!
What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2013?
Meeting all the fab friends I've made online (and making new ones) and the workshops.
What are you wearing?
My usual fantastic style lol Comfy clothes but might bring a dress!
What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2013?
I am really looking forward to seeing Rock & Roll Mum (aka Sonya) on the panel and picking up tips for my writing.
Tell us one thing about you that not everyone knows
I was the first member of the public to ever be filmed during a driving test!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

30 Ways to Save a Pound! - Money Saving Tips!

I don't know about you but I've really noticed these last few weeks just how hard it is to juggle the cash coming in with what we need to live on. The recession has finally hit home.

So when I found out the Moneysupermarket were running a blog competition to highlight ways to save a pound I thought it would be good fun to have a go. So here are my top 30 tips to save your precious pounds:

1. If you can't afford to fill your freezer buy very cheap bread and fill each basket it makes your freezer more efficient so costs less electricity to run.
2. Don't get pulled in by BOGOF offers think about whether you will actually use the extra food or will it be thrown out?
3. Always compare 'Special Offers' For example if a 4 pack of baked beans are on offer for £2.40 but individual cans of the same make are only 58p a tin you will end up paying 8p extra for the plastic wrapper holding the 4 tins together!
4. Make a note of food you throw away and after a month work out the amounts you NEED to buy not what you THINK you need.
5. Wash your own car! Don't be tempted to use the car wash, plus the exercise will do you loads of good so you could lose LBs too!
6. Always plan your weekly meals before you go shopping this way you avoid buying unnecessary ingredients.
7. Write a shopping list and STICK to it!
8. Try a value version of one of your favourite brands each week, if you really don't like it then you have only lost pence but if you do then over a year you save pounds!
9. Check out your local 99p store or Poundland - they often have well known brands at a fraction of the cost.
10. Always research a large purchase on the Internet or word of mouth and then shop around - prices vary so much it is always worth looking around and not just buying the first thing you see.
11. Grow your own veg, it's fun and saves so much money. You don't need masses of space just a bucket and some soil and you have a potato planter!

12. Get your kids involved in growing the veg and fruit it also encourages them to eat more of them!
13. If you have cats that use litter change to clumping litter it is cheaper and you use a lot less as you can just scoop out the do do etc without losing all of it at every change.
14. Back to the 99p shop if you have children they always carry a great range of crafting supplies for rainy days!
15. If your favourite lipstick is down to the nub get a small pot and scoop it out into it with a cotton bud, mix with a little petroleum jelly and hey ho lip gloss that lasts ages!
16. Make your own bath softeners with muslin and fill with porridge oats tie under the hot tap and let the water flow through fantastic for dry skin!
17. If you are on a deal where home phone calls are free up to an hour then set your mobile alarm to go off every 50 mins so you know to hang up and re-dial!
18. If you are an ebayer make sure you take advantage of the free listing weekends that they are doing frequently and avoid the listing fees.
19. I am plagued by the ice cream man - he is so expensive so I buy what ever is on offer at the time and keep them in the freezer then when the music starts playing I produce them for a quarter of the price. This goes for a tub of Vanilla some cones (99p shop) and flake pieces (multi pack always on offer) makes about 9 for the price of 2 YES 2 off of the vendor!
20. If you are making a stew or casserole always cook more and freeze (see 21)
21. If you have a take away keep the tubs for freezing meals, fantastic for 1 or 2 portion sizes.
22. Keep padded envelopes that arrive in the post - even if you don't reuse them to post in they make great padding for packing boxes.
23. Tie Dye is back this summer, use left over veg such as beetroot to dye old T shirts and revamp!

24. Dylon fabric dye is amazing to brighten up old tired jeans and T shirts so if you Tie Dye use the rest to give your wardrobe a new colour.
25. Check the internet for Voucher and Promotional Codes for shops you are planning to visit and print them off before you shop.
26. Buy generic pain killers / anti histamines - they are exactly the same, the price difference is just Marketing - playing on the if it is so much more it must be better clap trap! you can buy the SAME product for hayfever in Boots for 99p and £8.99 ABSOLUTELY identical.
27. Find your local farmers market for locally sourced produce and buy less more often to save waste.
28. Do you really REALLY need that paper bill through the post? Lots of companies offer small (but still) discounts if you go email / online only.
29. Join your local Freegle group to giveaway and request items that are still to good to go to landfill.
30. Last but not least keep nice Christmas cards and cut them up to make next years gift tags, also a great afternoons crafting with the kids!

So there you go 30 ways to save a pound and if you are really broke and can't afford the gas to heat your water then you can always wash your hair at the jet wash when you've finished with the car!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Saturday is Caption Day 04/05/13

So this week I went to visit my sister in Seaton and took this little gem so can you think of a witty pun to accompany it?

Then walk on over to Mammasaurus and have a cuppa and do a few more.... 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

RATstands - Review

I am always on the look out for anything that makes my disabled Mum's life easier. In 2012 Ev and I went to the Gadget Show Live and whilst wondering around the vast amount of trade stands I happened to notice tablet stand and went and had a chat with the very attractive company rep! (doesn't hurt to have good looking company members).

Mum reads a huge amount and when her eyesight started to be affected with cataracts I bought her a Kindle so she can change the font size and continue to enjoy one of the only pleasures she still has.
Then another problem became apparent, due to breaking her neck and medication she is on her hands shake terribly. She can support her hands by pressing hard on her forearms but it makes for difficulty in pressing the  side buttons and being comfortable whilst using the Kindle. Every time we seem to sort out an issue something else always comes to light!

RATstands are amazing, used for choirs, orchestras and public speaking it instantly came to me that one would be perfect for holding Mum's Kindle and allowing her to position it without any problems.
At the time they were only made for the iPad but this year when we went back to the Gadget Show, David gave me the fantastic news they are now able to make them for all tablets!
He sent me one to try and see how Mum coped with it and it was just fantastic.

RATstands have competitors that make table top versions and you may think this would be a much better idea than floor standing but it is not.
Table top stands would be virtually impossible to a) find room for on a surface near enough and b) not be knocked over or cause other things to be knocked.
Floor standing is the only way to go.
Mum now has a Kindle Fire so she doesn't have to worry about button control. It took some getting used to - swiping the screen, as it was so alien to her but she has now got really used to it and doesn't need to be able to pinpoint for control.

It packs down completely flat:

The sturdy base makes it impossible for her knock over and I made her try various ways with her frame, her arms and her trolley but it never fell.

(Does not come with Cat)

It holds the iPad perfectly (she was just trying it out with my iPad before the Kindle version is available) and so effortlessly Mum found it completely problem proof.
From the website:

The new Z3 is a tablet stand unlike any other on the market. It gives you the freedom to work anywhere hands free but now comes with security features and future proofing. It has:

Portability - it folds to a flat pack in three simple moves with no knobs and no finger traps.

Height - it is fully adjustable so you can use it while lying down, standing or sitting.

Tilt - a special joint means that you can look at it from any position, and it’s cradle turns through 360 degrees.

Future proofing - the cradle features interchangeable arms which enable any design of tablet - present and future - to be fitted.

Security – options include an integral lock and a floor bracket.

Quality – anodised aluminium construction gives light weight and great strength.

Convenience – a single knob secures or releases the tablet.

Finally  it folds into a neat bag and is light and easy to carry.

I am definitely buying one as soon as the Kindle Fire is supported, brilliant item!

You can find out more about the range and the company HERE

Follow RATstands on Twitter