Friday, 16 October 2015

My Best Friend's Birthday

Today is yet another birthday for my best friend - no big deal you might say... under normal circumstances and after the crap birthday I had this year I would probably agree! Except this is no ordinary best friend.

JACK is my cat and today he is an amazing 19 years old! I can't believe he has made it to such an awesome age, maybe it is a lifetime of pheasant, chicken breast and salmon!



Jack is a Thai Blue Point Korat and has the pedigree name of  Chandrakan King of Siam Sahm - when I got him he was known as Sam but as I had a friend of the same name he became Jackson, after my favourite guitar.
I was in hospital after a severe Asthma attack and I came around on the ward to a woman in the next bed shrieking about the 'devil' in her house (yes she was waiting for a psych bed) and how the cat was evil and hated everybody and everything and constantly attacked her and her Mother!
I, at the time was looking for a cat and said I will take him! It was arranged and after my discharge I went and picked him up.
He was 4 months old and he was spitting and flying around the house - so I did wonder if she was right; but then I realised the WHOLE, entire house was covered in plastic - every surface, floor, items... 'to stop hair' apparently! I then noticed he had on a large leather stitched dog collar, the thick type you see on Staffs! Seriously!
No wonder the poor cat felt alienated and nervous. I quickly stuffed him in the cat box and got the hell out of dodge!

Jack arrived at my house and the collar was removed, much to lots of stretching and rolling around. He the proceeded to explore and got under the duvet!
Pretty much that has been his favourite place ever since, anywhere warm and you will find him.

107 degrees in my greenhouse at one point this year and he was in his furry bed asleep!

He has been through everything with me, moved three times, through deaths, births and during my labour with Evan he vocally joined in every time I had a contraction!

He is the only living connection to my Sister, Dad and Mum and that makes me sad sometimes, but also I wonder if he remembers ...

He is still in very good health and lives on Sheba, Pate and Webbox Lick-e-Lix which he loves, weekly treats of ham, chicken and anything else he fancies seems to keep him going. He still eats, drinks and washes himself but mostly he sleeps and around 100 in human years I don't blame him!

So Jackson Blue Face; Happy Birthday my wonderful friend, I love you dearly and I hope I have many more years of your company!

Photo from the Daily Express - copyright


Last year on his 18th!



Song for this POST

Friday, 2 October 2015

Baking At Home With Aldi - Review

Evan surprised me last week by coming home from school extremely motivated and excited! What on Earth could cause this, you may ask!

BREAD

Yes, the yeasty risen goodness that is the humble loaf. He had been making bread and subsequently produced 4 wonderful, tasty loaves for dinner.

So when Aldi asked if I would like to try a bread maker from the new Home Baking range - I asked Ev if he would like to review it as a guest and this is his result!

Introduction to the equipment:



The process:


                                           

This Morning:




                                       



Aldi’s Compact Bread Maker (£39.99) has 12 programmes, with combinations including basic and french, whole wheat, cake, pizza dough and jam. Featuring a 13 hour delay bake timer and an automatic one hour keep-warm function, this bread maker allows bakers of all levels to return home to that delicious aroma of freshly baked loaves.





Measure your ingredients precisely with Aldi’s Digital Kitchen Scales (£6.99)



Vintage Retro Apron (£4.99)




And just because Mums can embarrass their kids:




The quality of this apron is amazing and I actually will be using it!


So with Christmas around the corner (only 12 weeks today so 11 Fridays !!) why not nip to Aldi and check out the entire range. With prices from as little as £2.99 you are sure to find that perfect gift for any budding Mary Berry!


We were not paid for this review but we did receive the products to keep. This is an honest review after using the items.


Saturday, 26 September 2015

Body Shop at Home Review + #Competition

I had FORGOTTEN about Body Shop - seriously - forgotten the range, the packaging and the sumptuousness of it all.

In the 90's I was a frequent visitor to the stores and then, well everything became all a bit white musk and I ventured elsewhere for my bathroom goodness.





Recently I decided; after seeing a friend's facebook post, to book a Body Shop at Home party and last night together with a few friends had a really super evening looking at all the new Christmas gifts and being re-introduced to the brand.



It is super, really beautiful and the range of fragrances for body (and your home) is extensive. The skincare range is vast as are the cosmetics and it is right up there with any other company you can think of!


The Christmas Catalogue!

I was classed as the 'Host' and depending on your sales on the night of your party (from actual guests or pre-orders) you recieve offers that are quite frankly AMAZING. I spent £49 on my Christmas shopping but actually received £150 worth of goods! I'm still shocked with the amount of product I was able to order.
There are some awesome deals to be had - 3 for 2, special offers on spend amounts, free gifts - it goes on.
Why people don't do this is really quite simply beyond me!


Current HOST Offers!


I actually received all of Ev's smellies for Xmas completely free!

My Consultant is Karen and if you are interested in seeing the range in her group or contacting a local rep for your area - please get in touch with her. She is super helpful, and really knowledgeable about the whole product range if you have questions!

I am in complete #want #want #want mode for the Advent Calenders! They are just beautiful and no amount of horrid chocolate behind the doors will ever dissuade me! I unfortunately couldn't stretch to one for myself but for guys looking for 'THAT' gift - I think you would be on to a winner AND be in favour for the rest of the year!


Premium Advent - Worth £127 costs £80!


There  are numerous gifts that are ideal for stockings starting at only £4 - I especially love the little animal sponges in Owl, Robin and Bear! 



My favourite new scent is Red Musk which is deep, delicious and spicy! 

zx

All three seasonal fragrances are really nice though, available in Frosted Plum, Cranberry and Apple!



So whatever you are after this Christmas, consider a party - you may bag far MORE than you bargained for!



Now you can win a Red Musk Body Lotion and Bath Wash worth £16.50!



Just fill out the Rafflecopter below!

  1. To validate the entry YOU MUST leave a comment answering the MANDATORY question!
  2. Over 13's ONLY
  3. UK and NI entrants Only
  4. Competition Ends Midnight November 3oth 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was not compensated in anyway for this post, it is my own honest review after having a party!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Ocean Finance - Bird House Blogger Challenge

I love making things, if I had more time I would be Dorset's answer to Ms Allsop and be completely dressed in hand sewn clothes, wearing jewellery designed and made, baking gorgeous goodies in my kitchen all whist making a macrame plant holder and have the pot roast cooking in the range!

Seriously though - art is a big fave of mine and always has been. Ocean Finance contacted me and asked if I would like to take part in the blogger competition run in conjunction with their Homeowner Loans department: 'Make a House A Home'.
It involved upcycling a basic wooden bird house and making it ... well fabulous!

We each got sent a bird house and a £25 voucher to spend at Buddly Crafts for items to use in the project. The selection is extensive and you can find everything you could possibly need for a craft project!




I chose:



Well this was a definite for me as I have one area left in my garden which I am hoping will be completed for spring. I am creating a fairy/magic garden area - with the only private area of my garden.
This gave me the basic idea of turning the birdhouse into a home for the most choosy of fairy guests!

So the first thing to do was to use up paint that I have in the cupboard and I chose a mint green and a mid blue and painted the house all over:


I then painted an old square cake board and stuck down a sheet of green felt to stand the house upon - this was to give a feeding area outside the house itself so as to get the birds used to the item - they can be REALLY fussy!



On to the roof - I keep everything that can be used for art and buttons are one thing I have a mass of, so I thought I would do a spot of tiling!





The leather flowers are just gorgeous and for centres I have used beads from my hoard. This huge bag was 50p at a boot sale!

Threaded onto wire then placed in the green 'grass' and glued into place!



So final touches included some paper mache mushrooms again from a booty for 50p and added the gorgeous paper butterflies in various situations - then a paperclip for a hanger next to the door and of course, what home could be without a key!
You can find old keys in second hand shops, sales, car boots and my loft!
 The stick on gems/flowers are from my craft box.



The only thing I couldn't fit on were the wooden cut outs but rest assured they will be utilised in my garden somehow!

Last but not least is the final item and this can't be added until the bird house is in place in my tree, I have fitted a small screw in hook under the board to hang a fat ball feeder - just so the  birds  fairies get used to their new home!

My favourite item that I bought with my voucher is the Collall Varnish Glue, it is just brilliant - dries REALLY fast and is suitable for most materials. I gave everything a coat after mounting and it is completely clear and varnishes wonderfully!

So with the help of 3 toothpicks, painted gold the welcome sign is complete!



Thank you so much for letting me participate in this crafting comp, it was awesome and as you can see - upcycling is so easy, cheap and fun! Have a go at anything you have - I would love to see your creations!


If you fancy a go at the bird house it sells for only £3.69! Details here but please browse as Buddly have such a massive range!

Managed to get it up in the tree this morning!


Song for this post HERE




VERY Public (Non) Relations!

I like my little blog
a place where I abide
It isn't very posh
but a place I've laughed & cried

I work with really nice people
and companies that are great
and sometimes I photograph 
the food upon my plate

I love my little blog
it doesn't draw a crowd
but if I've got something to say 
it lets me say it - LOUD

PR companies of which I have worked
are really always very cool
and rarely am I irked
or left feeling like a tool

So this morning when gmail called
imagine my surprise
a bunch of lovely emails
from the Devil in disguise

I had approached a company
a friendly little Hi
just to say do you use bloggers
and this was the reply

Her blog is awful
No way! they said
it's her I told you about
shall we send her a bed?

Absolutely not - her blog is really bad
I read on these emails
and it made me very sad

I wrote back and said STOP 
Do you not know you are sending them to me
BUT they carried on
and didn't listen to my plea

I looked up the company directors
and it actually came from them
I hope they don't discuss investors
or the company they'd condemn

How very unprofessional
don't get me wrong I can take NO
but to do it so personally
what a seriously bad show


So off I toddled to a blogger group
and amid the tears
I told them what was happening
and you could hear the jeers

It is not the criticism
or their response to my plea
but to not check that I'd been sent
their opinion of me


SO PR peeps please be aware
We bloggers we do mix
and situations like this 
are very hard to fix

Just make sure if you think
that this or that blogs' no good
DON'T email the blogger
and be PROFESSIONAL like you should.








Thursday, 3 September 2015

Entry through the Hostile Turnstile - Dismaland Review

This way... C'mon hurry up! STOP SMILING, I MEAN IT - A smirk is a smile, STOP IT!



We had arrived, Ev was temporarily barred as 'NO Chavs allowed!' that made my day immediately! (his dress sense is, in my opinion awful - he was not born to the ghettos of the Bronx).

I was so excited when I got my tickets I couldn't wait to tell Ev we were going - only to be met with disdain, disinterest and I quote' What is the point if there are NO rides' - after an hour of me then going right off on one about art installations, political statements and provocative pieces of work - he REALLY wanted to go...NOT.

So we trekked of yesterday 80 miles to Weston-Super-Mare and arrived around 6.30pm. Tickets were for 7pm.

Dismaland sits on the Seafront on the old Tropicana site and looms miserably across the grassed prom setting.
Banksy and 58 global artists including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty, Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Bäst, and Espo are all showing their works of post apocalyptic, anti-consumerism and provocative themes in this dystopian world of doom and misery!

We were queueing in barricaded lines for around 40 mins and then after a bag search (a real one) we entered.

The 'staff' in the control room are the cartoon-esque characters they are dressed to be, suitably miserable and jobs worthy. I took the photo of the 'guard' above only for him to whip out his iPhone and start photographing me, to much hilarity (which we were the reprimanded for).


It sets you up for the thoroughly brilliant, wonderful, miserable, shit time!

First off we viewed the 'Shooting up Gallery' a visual call to drug use and normality - and also a need for the situation to be addressed sensibly no doubt.




On to the outside cinema - sitting in deck chairs we watched hilarious short films (very strong language) in the mud/chip bark whilst good old Dave gazes down upon us mere pieces of crap...



I am not going to go through all the individual works that we pondered over as there are so many. We didn't get to see all of it as we managed over 2 hours but were so cold in the end we just had to get back to the car!



What intrigued me was Evan's perception of it all, from not wanting to go, to pretend enthusiasm (which he admitted to on the drive back) to saying it is one of the best experiences of his life so far! He absolutely loved it and this morning on the way to school was talking about issues, acts of kindness and the NEWS! His creative juices are flowing; so BANKSY if nothing else you changed one teenager for the better..

If you can make it to see this incredible display please do, it is worth every single minute of your time.
I just wish it would be left open for a few weeks just for schools as my son didn't even know WHO Princess Di was! I couldn't believe it but then why would he?






Have a REALLY terrible day folks!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Silent Sunday 30/08/15 #silentsunday

Silent Sunday








OneDad3Girls

Serenata Flowers and Gifts - Say it With Serenata!

Nothing quite like that feeling is there? You know THAT feeling; you get a knock at the door and there is a delivery, just for you - a surprise & totally unexpected!




I never get those type of knocks, mine are usually charity chuggers or electric meter readers but this morning I did!

This was on my doorstep:


Pink Phalaenopsis Orchid



A beautiful delivery of this Orchid and these chocolates, courtesy of Serenata Flowers (and my lovely son helping to choose me a gift!) I was blown away to say the least!






Salted Toffee French Dusted Truffles



I do love Orchids and never owned one so I am now thrilled to have such a delicate, beautiful specimen in my kitchen. It is 20" high (26" with the pot) and in a lovely pink ceramic pot as a gorgeous finishing touch. It comes with a gift card and printed care instructions - which is very helpful!

The chocolates... well, to tell you the truth I am SUPER fussy when it comes to the nectar of the Gods, second only to coffee as my ultimate favourite. I love milk chocolate - very rarely do I venture over to the dark side.
This is a box of chocolate magic, I actually cannot describe how they behave in your mouth! Willy Wonker has NOTHING on these guys! The flavour, consistency - the way they sort of evaporate/melt/disappear whilst leaving loads of taste and then little pieces of salty toffee behind is like nothing I've ever eaten!
Absolutely delicious and true decadence! A MUST for any human chocolate fan.

I apologise for not showing the heaving box full, Somebody broke in and ate quite a few before the photos were taken...

Having a look at the website you can just get lost in the array of flowers/plants/hampers/chocolates and wines there are on offer. Spoilt for choice really is all I can say. You can find something for anyone - just be prepared to spend a while as you can meander quite easily from one section to another, changing your mind frequently.
It is a very simple to use website and easy to navigate, so be prepared!

FREE next day delivery on orders made before Midnight too!



YOU my lovely reader now have the chance to spend FORTY yes £40 pounds with Serenata as they have given me the chance to hold a competition and the lucky winner gets to do just that!

So as the mandatory (and that means YOU MUST complete it) blog post entry - just tell me what you would spend it on from the Serenata website and for whom. It could be choccys for you or a beautiful flower for Auntie Mildred, just make sure you leave the comment below!
Fill in the Rafflecopter for extra entries and to validate your comment.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


This is my honest review of the surprise I received and I was not paid to write this article.


Find loads more great competitions at UK competitions at ThePrizeFinder

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Suffering with SAD - SUMMER Affected Disorder!

I know I suffer from SAD during the Autumn/Winter months - if I were a small furry mammal I would take to my nest on Sept 30th and wake up on March 1st - quite literally full of the joys of spring!



Unfortunately for us humans this is just not possible and so I tend to go out when I need to and stay wrapped in duvets, miserable when I am inside except when I'm eating stew!

I just generally do not like being cold, ever! I don't like draughts, chills, grey days or lack of sun and this Summer  debacle of weather we have had this year has brought my SAD on early.

The view today!





Whilst the rest of Europe and North Africa experience a heat wave we have had generally 7 weeks of no more than 4 consecutive days of warm, unbroken summer sunshine!



I want need a holiday in the heat, sizzling next to a pool with a book and watching my son swim.



I have never taken Ev abroad and other than cost - this is due to the fact I just don't know enough about doing it! I have never had a beach holiday, not with the girls or a partner.




 I was always backpacking or going away with my large group of friends to festivals in this country so it just never happened.

I don't know what companies to trust, how to book, what to look for or even really as a single Mum of a young teen - where to take him!




I have looked at single parent holidays but it seems for the privilege you end up paying ten times the amount, so that was a no-hoper!

So anyone with any tips for next year? Best Companies, nice places??

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Carnival Spirit!

Last night was the annual Weymouth Carnival and I helped out on the Wessex FM float - giving out sweets and stickers and collecting donations thrown (sometimes quite literally) from the waiting crowds!


Copyright - Wessex FM

That is why I decided to blog this today - the weather was hideous and no matter how much the BBC said the rain would stop and the fog would clear - it didn't it poured.... and poured .... and drizzled and then poured again!

You can see the full gallery here

The people though didn't bat an eyelid, yes some looked like drowned rats as did I -


Copyright Wessex FM - Owen

- but I didn't care, it was great fun and all for good local causes.

Unfortunately due to the weather the Red Arrows had to cancel the fly past BUT all was not lost as the Dorset based Active Mobility - had an incredible entry with a fleet of mobility 'jets' - it was amazing!

Copyright Dorset Evening Echo

So what does make us Brits so nuts about carnivals? I had a bit of nosey around and found that Some of the best-known traditions, including carnal parades and masquerade balls, were first recorded in medieval Italy. The Carnival of Venice was, for a long time, the most famous carnival (although Napoleon abolished it in 1797 and only in 1959 was the tradition restored). From Italy, Carnival traditions spread to Spain, Portugal and France and from France to New France in North America. From Spain and Portugal it spread with colonisation to the Caribbean and Latin America. In the early 19th century in the German Rhineland and Southern Netherlands, the weakened medieval tradition also revive. In Rhineland in 1823, the first modern Carnival parade took place in Cologne

Other areas developed their own traditions. In the UK, West Indian immigrants brought with them the traditions of Caribbean Carnival, however the carnivals now celebrated at Notting Hill; London, Leeds and Yorkshire became divorced from their religious origins and became secular events that take place in the summer months and not before Lent as tradition would have it.

It is probably one of the very best ways and most popular way to raise money for charities, but sadly

does depend in the UK on our very erm... up and down weather.

So do you always support your local carnival? 


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Facebook Competition with @primroseuk

Over on my Facebook page A Slice of Lemon's Cake you can have a chance of winning a third mirror from Primrose!

Don't forget the other 2 competitions on this post HERE

Happy Comping!


Monday, 17 August 2015

My Dream Bathroom ....

My bathroom is sad
its cold and uninviting
the tiles are boring
and just not exciting

The lino is lame
and marked and stained
and my ceiling has mould
and it makes me feel drained...

So I started to dream
about what I would do
if money was no object
I'd put in a loo

I'd have a whirlpool bath
and tiles that are on trend
lots of lovely storage
and not be driven 'round the U bend!

So Big Bathroom Shop have a comp
and you could win your dream
a bathroom to relax
and not make you want to scream!

It is in conjunction with
Tile Mountain too
So you can tile til your
hearts content
and brighten up your loo!


So as you can see this is my drab and sad bathroom....




Not up to much is it!


I had a good look around Big Bathroom Shop and made  pinterest board of my three favourite bathroom suites. Then I nipped over to Tile Mountain and found my top three tiles which would compliment my suite choices.
My favourite of the bath units would be this Milano Whirlpool corner bath - just brilliant for space saving and the ultimate in relaxation!


It would go with the wonderful Premier Sienna vanity unit toilet and basin, which is both stylish and practical for a smaller room!



You can have a look at my board here on Pinterest



As you can see any of my top choices would be an improvement, I would really love an upstairs loo too!

As I have a small bathroom using light and wall storage would be a must - large mirrors and corner/wall storage would allow the floor space to be kept free - this giving a larger room effect! I chose the black quartz stone tile and if I used grout of the same colour it would give a bigger illusion to the room size!



I just love these 'oil slick' type Mosaic tiles and this colour is just beautiful!

I also love peacocks and those greens would be my accessory colours like this:






I want to feel like this in my bathroom:


and not like this!





This is my entry to the BigBathroomshop.co.uk and Tilemountain.co.uk competition to win your dream bathroom! You can read all about it HERE!