Winter Warmer FADS!

Psssssstttttt… you Pin?!

I LOVE Pinterest. Have you tried it? If you like photos and pictures and daftness and fun, then it is for you! Pinterest are even clever enough to have described themselves, saves me getting all tongue-tangled and technical, so if you’re not up to speed you can just check them out here


FADS are a great online furniture store and when I saw recently that they were issuing forth a Pinterest challenge, encouraging their blog readers to have a go at pinning a winter warmer board (for a chance to win a £100 voucher to spend with them – hurray!), I had to have a go.

Here’s my board if you’d like to take a look –

The lovely thing about Pinterest is that, even if you don’t know where to start, it’s not difficult to find inspiration. I sat and looked at all the lovely furniture and wallpaper on the FADS website and pinned my favourites and then thought of other things that made me feel wintery, snuggly and warm….and off I went! I added a photo which I took outside one of our local antique shops because I thought it looked like a wonderfully warm dolls house, some photos of cute animals and books …. how predictable am I?! All of a sudden it was hard to know where to stop. Hope that you like the results. If you have a go too (you’ll find the details of how to enter here), or would like to know more about Pinterest (I’ll try not to get too befuddled!), please get in touch!


An Advent of Crafty Prizes!

The nice people at Crafty Ribbons are going to be keeping us busy and inspired all the way up to Christmas!

From 1st to 24th December they will be running a Christmas Advent Event where every day they will be highlighting a different craft company/shop and project….and there will also be a daily prize!

Their blog is here and there should also be (if I can work out how to do it!) a linky on the left hand side to take you directly to them.

Good luck if you have a go and I’d love to see if you try out any of their crafty projects throughout December.


Tech Guru Google Nexus 4 GIVEAWAY!!!

Have you found the Tech Guru? is a great website keeping us all up to date with the latest news and reviews on the world of technology. I’ve only recently found Instagram and, thanks to the Tech Guru I’ve also found out that I’m a bit behind the times as Instagram have approximately 160 million monthly users!  Anyway, I digress…..Tech Guru are giving us a chance to win the Google Nexus 4 – hurray!

First released this time last year, the Google Nexus 4 is powered by those clever boffins at LG Electronics and has lots of content available through the Google Play Store, from apps to movies, music and books – something for everyone.

Tech Guru’s giveaway is easy to enter through Rafflecopter and closes on 30th November, so there’d be plenty of time to get your hands on this lovely bit of kit before Christmas and beat the kids at their own games (in theory at least!!) before Boxing Day! Please give it a go, and if you’re lucky enough to win, please let me know!!

Enter here –


Recipe Fishing!

Do you stick to tried and tested recipes in recipe books you’ve had for years? Or do you like to try something different?

Since we moved house and my husband decided that boxes should be kept in storage until we’d decorated, I’ve been missing my recipe books and have been “fishing” for recipes online….so far the results have been good!

Bearing in mind all the recent articles in the news about food wastage, when I came across a packet of sausages in the fridge yesterday morning with a use by date of 16th, and noticed a few rashers of bacon which really needed using or throwing, I decided to use. As we were all busy yesterday morning there was no opportunity for a “grill-up” for breakfast. I decided to Google recipes using sausage and bacon and was promptly directed to the Philadelphia website. If you’ve never seen the recipes on their website before, you really should take a look. We’ve used them before so I was delighted to find myself on their website with a recipe ideal for the ingredients that I had.

Rather than repeat the recipe for Philly Sausage and Bacon Potato Bake to you, I’ll just direct you to the page and encourage you to have a go – you won’t be disappointed! My only reservations were the amount of mess I made (needed lots of saucepans, not me throwing things around!) and there didn’t seem to be much sauce to add to the other ingredients, so I added more boiling water to make it go further, which worked out just fine.

If you have a go at recipe fishing I’d love to hear the about the results!

Yummy Philly Sausage, Bacon Potato Bake!

The Book of Bedtime Stories – Book Review!

I’ve been sent a VERY nice childrens book to review from Mumsnet (eeek, responsibility…me!! Can you tell they don’t know me?!).  It’s called The Book of Bedtime Stories (as you may have guessed from my title!) and it’s extra special as it contains 10 prize winning stories from members of Mumsnet and Gransnet (how clever are they?!).

Mumsnet and Gransnet are excellent websites giving advice by parent/grandparent to parents/grandparents. The emphasis is on sharing ideas, stories, hints and tips as well as helping out with each others problems in a safe and comfortable environment. Both sites are fascinating and contain endless brilliant information – taking a look is highly recommended!

IMG_4910Back to the book; former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen was given the exceptionally hard task of chosing 10 stories from 20, which had been shortlisted from over FOUR HUNDRED entries!  The challenge was to find bedtime stories by undiscovered writers and, following that process 10 new, young artists were commissioned to illustrate a story each.

The results of this long process was published last month and is absolutely beautiful!  The stories are delightfully different from each other; there are stories of varying lengths to keep children with longer or shorter attention spans happy and using different artists for each story has made the book completely captivating. BUT, don’t take my word for it!!  I was actually the second person in our house to read the book. My teenage daughter had the package opened and the book spirited away before I could even look in the front cover! Here’s a picture of her sat reading (it was so peaceful!). IMG_4904She said that her favourite story was “When Polly Jumped Over The Moon” because, as well as being an enjoyable story, from the point of view of someone a bit older, it made her feel like anything was possible. I was quite surprised – pleasantly so – by her observation!!

Next I popped down to see my mum with the book. Fortunately she was looking after my nephew on that morning (I didn’t pick that morning on purpose honestly….ahem!) and the pair of them had a good look through the book. Sharing books was a very important part of our childhood. Mum used to read to my sister and I at bedtime and encouraged us both to read for ourselves by tantilisingly leaving the story in THE most exciting place so we wanted to continue reading by ourselves! Both mum and my nephew really enjoyed the book.  He doesn’t usually sit still for long at all, but on this occasion he sat through two stories one after another – formerly unheard of!  He enjoyed the pictures too – there are plenty of animals featured in the stories too meaning you can encourage little-ies to make the appropriate noises, which always ensures captured attention (and encouraged even Grandpa to join in!!).

So, our whole family would recommend The Book of Bedtime Stories as a wonderful addition to your reading collection.  We hope you would like a copy too or, if your children are too old (not that we think you’re ever too old!!) it would make a brilliant present, especially with Christmas coming up (sorry!). It’s available from Walker Books….here

Thank you very much to Mumsnet and Gransnet for letting me review the book for them and a HUGE well done to everyone who contributed!