I is for …. iPod

Hmmm, now which should I choose that I wouldn’t like to survive without – iPod or iPad? In the end it had to be iPod. One of my happiest times is when I’m listening to music and I find the iPod, when you think back into the not too distant past of vinyl, cassette and cd, amazing.

My collection is, not surprisingly, mostly 80’s with some others older and one or two newer. They list from AC/DC (it was Abba but they seem to have disappeared on the last update) to ZZ Top (oh, thank goodness for ZZ Top otherwise the last one would be The Wombles and I’d have to admit that to you……oh.).

Just about everything about my iPod makes me happy. I won it from a competition run by Coke and it’s engraved with a bottle of Coke on the back of it. I love my current headphones which match the stitching on my favourite shirt and my swimming bag (I am so easily pleased) and, of course, the music makes me very happy too. I listen to it mostly when I’m walking (Slade is very good for walking to surprisingly – great beat) or when I’m trying to ignore people….I’m amazed I’m not surgically attached to it! I listen to it FAR too loud and my hearing has suffered but…

So I love you iPod – you are the happiest “i” thing I can think of (okay, so I’ll probably think of something else i-ish that I should have featured seconds after posting this!)


Foodie Photo Challenge – B is for Butternut Squash #A-ZFoodiePhotos

So, we’ve squished and we’ve squashed and here are the results of our Butternut Squash foodie challenge.

Frances has shown us a simple but delicious way to use the squash – very handy to know as I’ve never tried it this way before. She roasted it in olive oil, salt and pepper and added some soy sauce. Looks very tasty!

butternut1 butternut2








Linda’s recipe for butternut gnocchi with sage and Parmesan sounds brilliant! I’ve never made any sort of gnocchi, or even eaten it, so it seems beyond clever to me!

butternut 3

Now, I admit to having had a bit of a disaster with mine… I made butternut squash cupcakes and went so wrong somewhere along the line that I ended up with a loaf cake too! Initially I went messed up by making the very basic mistake of not reading the recipe right and missing the fact I needed quite a large amount of Olive Oil. I drained the end of our bottle and then had to resort to jimmying off the lid of a bottle of 1 cal Olive Oil spray to make up the difference! The cakes were very tasty the first day but seemed to disintigrate into a greasy mess a couple of days later – not exactly a success I’m afraid!


Chocolate next! Bring it on!!

A-Z Fun Foodie Photo Cooking Challenge!

With our month of selfie photos rapidly coming to an end, we had a bit of a think as to another challenge to keep us busy over the coming months. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing we’ve come up with a combined cooking and photo challenge…..with my cooking skills it really will be challenging!

We debated several ways to do it, but have finally come up with the idea of an alphabet cooking challenge. Each challenge will correspond with a letter and we’ll cook using an ingredient beginning with that letter and post the photos to share. Now, if you’re already thinking about how many letters there are in the alphabets and how many months it will take to complete this challenge, let me save you the brain power by telling you that if this challenge were on a monthly basis, it would run until June 2016!! So the thinking is, rather than monthly, we’ll let each other know when we’ve cooked with the ingredient, share the photos and move onto the next letter – hopefully it’ll speed things up!

The ingredients we have chosen are all (no, make that mostly!) fairly simple and are all veggie friendly too. I’m very much doubting that my recipes will stay veggie though, to keep my family happy.

So, here’s the list we’ve compiled…..

A – Asparagus
B – Butternut Squash
C – Chocolate (bring it on!)
D – Dates
E – Eggs
F – Flour
G – Goat’s Cheese
H – Hazelnuts
I – Icing
J – Jam
K – Kale
L – Lemons
M – Mushrooms
N – Noodles
O – Oranges
P – Pears
Q – Quorn
R – Rum
S – Spinach
T – Tofu
U – Ugli Fruit
V – Vanilla
W – Walnuts
X – Xigua
Y – Yoghurt
Z – Zucchini

That’s quite some shopping list! The emphasis is going to be on the photos and will hopefully help improve my food photo skills – at the moment I take a photo quickly, eat all the food even more quickly and then check the photo and find out it’s rubbish! I WILL get over that thanks to this challenge….I hope! So, bring on May and bring on the asparagus!



Time to be Selfie-ish!

I hate photos of me so, bearing that in mind, this might seem a bit of a strange project….but during April I’m going to take a selfie a day!

The idea came from a book I’d heard about, which I subsequently borrowed from the library. It’s called “A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book” by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman and I thoroughly recommend it.  While I was reading it my daughter saw it and said she’d love a copy. I bought it for her birthday and have now pinched it back from her (temporarily of course, I’m not THAT much of a mean mum!)!


My colleague Linda and I thought it might be fun to have a go at one of the projects in particular. Featured on page 148 of the book, the idea is to take the thirty day self-portrait challenge. I have previously taken a photo a day for a year as part of a project over on flickr and, of course, take part in the brilliant Silent Sunday project, so a month of daily photos shouldn’t be too challenging.

Here’s the details of the challenge we’re hoping to do:

Take 30 days of self portraits (one every day for a whole month) (April seems an ideal month to do this!).

The portraits have to be about you or show you in some way (I confess now, bits of me is all you will be seeing!).

You must take the pictures yourself.

As you go, or at the end, share your photos with a close friend, your spouse, online via Facebook or on your blog.

So, what do you think?

Will you give it a go too???? Please?!

Linda and I look forward to sharing our results with you and to hopefully seeing some photos from you too.

Have fun!

30 Days of Selfie Fun!

30 Days of Selfie Fun!

Valentines Gifts in Unusual Places (with SportsDirect.com)

Hahaaaaa! SportsDirect.com have issued a challenge! I cannot resist a challenge!!

This is what they’re asking us to do….

“Bloggers will have the task of finding five products from the SportsDirect.com website that they would deem acceptable gifts to give to their partner as a Valentines Day presents, using their blog to explain which items they would chose and why. Each item must be £20.00 or under.”

So, let’s take a look at SportsDirect.com and see what we can find…

Item 1 – Black Zero Stalking Tripod (£9.99). Now the first purpose of this is not for man stalking as you may assume (if you’re me and you’re thinking Fatal Attraction) but a fishing tripod. However,  if you read the description, you’ll see that the tripod, with an attachment, can also be used with a camera. My husband’s a keen photographer and doesn’t have a tripod at the moment, so this is the first item I’d get for him just to show how thoughtful I am (wanting him to be outside taking photos in our current “beautiful” weather!).

Item 2 – Slazenger Metal Pilot Mens Watch (reduced to £8.50 from £39.99!). My husband works on a building site and, though he has an expensive watch, understandably he doesn’t want to wear it on site. This is a good alternative, particularly as it’s currently so much cheaper than the original RRP (no, I’m not being cheap, but I’m sure you know what I mean!).

Item 3 – Muddyfox Mountain Bike Gloves (£9.99) Someone (!) has tidied up my husband’s cycling gloves, never to be found again. Muddyfox is his favourite brand so I’d be number 1 Valentine if I replaced them for him (hopefully!).

Item 4 – Muddyfox Cycling Jacket Mens  (£19.99) My husband has a Muddyfox Cycling Jersey but not a jacket. This one looks brilliant and would score me MEGA brownie points. Ideal Valentines present!

Item 5 – Calvin Klein 365 2 Pack Boxers Mens (£19.99) Those of a nervous disposition, please do not press the link!! Okay, if I have to explain the thinking behind this then you’re not in a Valentines mood at the moment are you? My only comment is that I hope they come with a note to tell those husbands who just might, that they don’t need to be worn for 365 days non stop each pair….. ‘Nuff said!

So, are you surprised? I was to be honest. When I first took on this challenge I wasn’t sure how easy it would be, but these gifts are actually a very good idea – very low in calories and not a cuddly toy in sight. What a refreshing change! Thank you for the inspiration SportsDirect.com!