Tuesday, 29 January 2013

10 Random Facts about me!

I wanted to make a note of things about me that are not so obvious about myself and my personality - so these little facts of randomness might explain me a bit more. 
  1. When eating a sandwich made with bread (as opposed to T-cakes etc...) I always have to eat the rounded edge last. Don't know why but this is something I have done as long as I can remember! 
  2. I am a spot picker - its a gross habit and one I am trying to break, yet still sometimes I find myself in front of the mirror trying to pop the latest pimple. (!!Yuck!!) 
  3. My fave animal is a Hippo - again no idea why this is but have always loved these animals.
  4. My fave colour is purple - although I mainly wear all black clothes. My wardrobe looks pretty dark when you open it.   
  5. I love nature and the country side - and can spend ages at my kitchen window watching the birds there. Even though they are just the run of the mill blackbirds and sparrows. 
  6. I hate shopping, unless that shopping involves charity shops, jumble sales and car boot sales. 
  7. I am a caffeine addict, when I am not drinking latte coffees (made with my life saving Tassimo machine) then I am supping Coca Cola. I detest energy drinks though.
  8. I find it hard to throw things away, my house ends up very cluttered with the amount of cheap books and other goodies I pick up when I am in the local charity shops. 
  9. I was a young mum, I fell pregnant at 17 and had my son when I was 18. He was also 6 weeks early and in special care for a while so it was a bit of a shock and a big wake up call for life!!!
  10. I love learning, even when I am selecting fiction books to read I try to pick something that will teach me a little bit about another way of life. You can see this sometimes if you look at the page of books that I have read! But studying and education is very important to me and in the future at some point I hope to continue to expand my knowledge and earn more qualifications. 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Birthdays, Broken Laptops and Lost hearing aids!!

Well today is my 30th birthday. I was one of those people at 12 who thought that 30 was ancient - now i'm there myself I still feel like I am young. And I guess I am - but a lot of times I feel old and tired. 
I've got no huge plans to celebrate, I had a lie in this morning and woke to find cards and gifts off my children and hubby. My mum visited and had a coffee - and told me her dog having puppies so we could be getting a new doggy in a couple of months!!! The remainder of the day is going to be spent on the sofa entering competitions and watching mindless kids TV. Perfect!! My hubby cooking a Sunday dinner so that will be fabtastic too!!

The worst thing happened to me this week and my Dell laptop (2years old) bit the dust! We had just bought a new battery and the motherboard went. This is the 2nd laptop I have killed in the past 3 years - although the 1st one died from a large latte been poured over it. Been super super skint - a new one isnt an option so hubby is hell bent on repairing one of them in the cheapest way possible. Until then I am using my cheap and slow android tablet and his tiny web book. Which are more than adequate - but I am used to my laptop and do miss it. Im also one of the most impatient people ever and always want something yesterday. 
So until I do get my own machine working my posts will be sporadic. And will probably not include photos because I don't want to clog his memory with all my pics. 

I've also lost my left hearing aid - which is a nightmare! I've got a kidney infection and still got a bad ear infection so am on strong antibiotics and painkillers- this seems to have given me a forgetful brain - because my hearing aid has vanished!! Turned the whole house upside down and even been in the bin (with yellow marigolds on!) but still no joy!! Hopefully I can be fitted for some more soon because I don't know how I will cope with any future job interviews with lopsided hearing!!! I'm laughing about it - because it has just been one of those weeks! Hopefully next week less things will go wrong????

Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow Fun !!

7am this morning when I looked out! 

After waiting several days for a decent amount of snow we woke up this morning to a text from my son's school telling us it was closed. We went downstairs and opened the curtains to see a white over!! I love seeing the white blanket which covers everything.

Mr Cool Bear!! 

cola bear

It did mean though that I could put off the snow man building no longer. Me being me though wasn't happy with just making a run of the mile carrot nosed man. I wanted something a little different - originally I wanted to do a Skull - the goth in me escaping again!! But that idea was not a popular one - so it was bears!

My son was not up for getting cold again - especially not when he had his warm room and Xbox to keep him amused - but his little sister and I got snuggled up and set off building. He watched and provided commentary from his cosy room above us!!

We are very pleased at the results and the funniest thing is every time we let the dog out she stops and stares at them like she is wondering what the 2 strange things are stood in 'her' garden. Keep expecting her to begin barking at them!

the snow bear family

 My daughter built the little snow bear herself with a little help from dad. She thought that the big bear was lonely so it needed a fruitshoot friend so she grabbed the sledge and started building. We recycled most bits e.g eye's nose's and accessories. 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

'To Do Lists!' that multiply.

Why is it that on a weekend my 'To Do list' gets longer and longer? I seem to cross one job off with my left hand whilst adding a new chore I've just found with my right.  (In fact cos I am so picky about my lists and hate to have lots of crossings out I write about 3 new neat ones in the duration of the day!)

Take for example this weekend - I am doing usual family jobs like getting the kids to clean their rooms and do their homework - but some how as I am going round 'reminding' everyone what they need to do my eyes discover new jobs that need to be done. (It may be worth mentioning that whilst I use the verb 'reminding' the family say 'nagging'.)

I feel so bossy every weekend - but in my opinion there is nothing worse than getting to a Monday morning and rushing around and discovering homework not all done, shoes not polished, crumpled up school letters in the corners of bags etc...

So why not do it over the full weekend and not leave it until Sunday? Well that's the annoying thing - I do try to spread it out so it's not so intense on the one day. But with Brownie outings and clubs and parties and this weekends sledging fun - it isn't so easy to get them settled down to the table in front of their books.

Which means every weekend my lists will be redone - I consider it a good Sunday if it gets to 9 o'clock at night and the kids are tucked up in bed and I am smuggled in my P.Js watching all the historical TV. (Call the midwife, Mr Selfridge, Ripper Street are on remind tonight and I can't wait!)

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Instant Happy!!


If you read my last post then you will see I nearly missed out on a prize. This was because the competition was on Facebook and I missed the original post where I was named as the winner. It was only by a stroke of luck I caught my name on the last day I could claim the book! 

I received the book this morning from Publishers Group UK and am so pleased with it. I love reading and this book is full of 10 second attitude makeover quotes. 

My favourites include

 "Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you love!"

"Angry thoughts make your mind messy!"   &  

 "We're all beautifully different. cherish what makes you YOU!"

This is a useful little book for me because I can be so negative and full of self doubt a lot of the time, which comes from 16 years of depression. I do try to be positive but some days it feels impossible. Maybe now I can get my little book out and inspire my mood and make over my attitude? 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Cloudfreebies.co.uk - New website & a win!!

Cloud freebies is a website I came across recently when I had just started entering competitions again. Initially it was the cute logo that stood out but as I signed up to updates on FACEBOOK and TWITTER I began to take advantage of the fab links that they posted.

As well as providing links to new online competitions and freebies they run their own comps and have money off vouchers. So this is a really good website for those that like to use the internet to learn about new products, free samples as well as been beneficial all those other competition addicts out there-  like me!!!

Cloud Freebies will be one website in future that I will always click onto when I am perusing the latest online offers. Not only because I was one of the lucky ones to win a £25 Love2Choose voucher but due to the customer service and communications with the staff which were outstanding. I did not know I had won the competition -  for some strange reason my Hotmail email address was not showing any messages and Facebook where I had entered the competition was acting up too. So the team at cloud freebies were having no joy trying to get hold of me and give me the good news. I have heard of of a lot of companies and websites who not been able to reach the lucky winner end up having to redraw the names and pick another lucky person. But yesterday on Facebook a message appeared on my profile asking me if I had received any DM's (direct messages) - with the answer from me being negative I was asked to email them personally because they had sent messages and wanted to contact me. Thinking on I replied to them with another email address I use and this time I was successful in hearing I was the lucky recipient of a voucher.

I was so pleased - I do love winning prizes and this voucher can be used at many suppliers ( Homebase, Superdrug, Wilkinsons,  Argos  Iceland  Shoezoe & Matalan - to name a few) so it means I will be able to treat myself for my 30th birthday in 9 days time!!

But if I am honest what pleased me more was the effort used to let me know I was a winner. I personally have missed a few prizes on Facebook and twitter because companies can not tag your name in a status and without the @ on twitter a tweet can go un-noticed. (In fact the next prize I am posting about was nearly one of those!)

Because the staff there put the extra effort in the website will be one that remains firmly in memory and one I will definitely visit in future.

Maybe you should check it out too?


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Ears, Competitions, Jobs & My last rant!

Thought after my 'rant' the other day I should face the music and write another post explaining myself a bit more. I think I may have mentioned the fact I suffer from depression - I have done since I was 14. It's a condition I can usually manage but every so often I do explode. It doesn't help that my ears are still infected - think its coming up for 6 weeks now - it is making me all irritable and moody. So the post the other day was written when emotional and in a bad place. I did debate whether to just delete it - but that means deleting thoughts and feelings that were right at that moment in time. So its staying....

No updates on my ears - I did go back to see the doctor last week but just left feeling upset. She gave me antibiotics for the gunky ear infection but admitted that they probably wouldn't work. Apparently my condition means I am likely to need micro-suction to clean them out on a regular basis, which annoys me because the operation I had was supposed to improve the infections and the gunk.

Been up to my eyeballs with the job hunt - and I have applied for more positions. There is one that I really want so badly. It is perfect for me and I have relevant qualifications - but because I have been a stay at home mum for 10 years I have little experiance. Someone somewhere has to give me a chance to get this experience - so i am really hoping its this school that will give me a chance. On a good note though I have got an interview with Childline and the NSPCC for a volunteer role. It is in February so I will keep you updated.

Still waiting for my big competition win - haha- I have won a book from PGUK via facebook - will take photo when it arrives. And I am still waiting for 2 prizes to be delivered so every morning its exciting just waiting for the postie to arrive!!!

Sunday, 13 January 2013


I hate arguments - I especially hate arguments that could be prevented! Yet sometimes still I erupt like a cork from a bottle of fizz. Sometimes the hate filled horrible words are out of my head before I think. I always shout my message across but then it does not have the same effect as sitting down and having a reasonable conversation. It then almost becomes a competition for who can hurt each other the most, and when 2 people know each other really well that can become dangerous. Anger is a wasted emotion yet I still boil over with it too much that I am called unreasonable and irrational. I then start to believe I am a complete cow, when all i wanted to do originally was to express my opinions to people that I love and love me.

Shouldn't age improve temperament?
So why do I return to the same scenario?
Why is this one lesson in life that I can't seem to learn from?

I am my own worst enemy a lot of the time and I need to be able to talk properly - but surely talking requires both people to be reasonable? Well yeah it does! Perhaps until there is someone who will talk with me properly then I am just swimming against the tide? I just dunno any more - fed up of the arguments but hate to see the back of a relationship that means a lot. It wouldn't be the 1st time this relationship has ended in anger, but it wasn't right on those occasions, so I guess that means it wouldn't be right this time? I just dunno?

Stubbornness is a big issue too - from both parties. My anger tends to fade quickly yet their stubbornness remains. Which is a vicious circle because then my anger ignites some more and I either snap or bury it inside to erupt at a later date.

I'm 30 years old in 14 days I need to be able to cope and handle personal situations in a better way - but I will just be damned as how I do that without compromising myself totally. I am prepared to make some concessions - but only if the other person in question does too. But .... well I dunno....

I am off to sleep on it - things will seem different in the morning, and if the apology hasn't been accepted by then and pigheadedness remains then I will reassess stuff.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

REVIEW: Cadbury's egg + spoon!

I am a sucker for new product's and a big fan of Cadbury's.So when I saw this small purple egg box in Co-op I needed to try this yummy chocolate. Unfortunately the £3.99 price put me off a bit.Then the next week during my Iceland shop I saw the yummy chocolate again for £2

The big kid in me was SO excited to sample this new novelty yummy treat and my kids shared my enthusiasm.

It consists of 4 small foil wrapped eggs and 2 mini purple spoons.The idea is once you have eaten the top of the egg you get a mini spoon and eat the chocolate moose filling inside.Like a chocolate boiled egg almost!!! I shared them with my family and my daughter smashed the top of her egg with her spoon!  Both kids loved them, they thought the chocolate mousse inside was so creamy. I saw 2 flavours, the chocolate one I bought and another one with creamy mousse inside. Been a die hard chocoholic I opted for the chocolate one and I did tend to agree with the children because it was a lovely creamy and sweet mousse.

All in all for a novelty treat this is another good idea from Cadburys, however I personally couldn't eat all four myself so it was lovely to share them. With Easter only a few months away I am definitely considering buying some more (as gifts). I am a big believer that food and snacks should be fun and memorable. Its the fun things that are creating memories for them as they get older and fun shouldn't just apply to days out and games.

Competition Links


The above is a link to enter into a Birchbox giveawy - it includes a lot of products and a years subscription to the shop. Check it out (if you do click on the link then it does give me another entry.)
Competition runs until 2/2/13

Friday, 11 January 2013

REVIEW - giftsonline4u.com

This website is one that I wish that I had found five weeks ago when I was rushing around like a headless chicken trying to find all the Christmas presents. Not only is the choice of products amazing 
but there is the option to personalise and engrave the majority of the gifts. Which in my opinion turns a special present into a unique and heartfelt one. 
Engraved Fingerprint trinket box

The range of gifts is very extensive, I do believe I could find almost everyone in my family a gift personal to them. There are alcohol related gifts like personalised bottles and glasses, Soft toys, bags, Mugs, Trinket boxes, Stationary and gifts for football fans. In fact for the sport mad man there are a wide range of gifts varying from Formula one to Fishing and Golf. Sporting Gifts
Personalised England Scoreboard in a frame. 

Another section of this website which I thought was worth mentioning was the wedding range. For those special people invited to play a special role in the bridal party (bridesmaids, mother of the bride, best men etc...) there are a selection of gifts that be be personalised as a unique reminder of the memorable day. These are affordable and can be made unique with photos and text in some cases.  Wedding Gifts
Wedding Guest Album

The layout, links and photographs are set out in a way that ensures even novice internet shoppers 
can navigate without confusion. This makes my customer experience that much more pleasant and judging by previous customers comments I am not the only one who thinks this website is worth a visit. 

Even though I have missed the boat for Christmas 2012 there are going to be many other opportunities for me to shop here, Valentines day is not long away and then mothers day... the list goes on. Better add to it to the favourites on my browser - I won't be stuck for presents anymore! 


Monday, 7 January 2013

The first week of the year!

Seen as I am trying to keep a record of my (ordinary life) I thought some weeks that I would try to do an update.

The 1st part of the week was mainly child centred - getting the routine back for school runs and early mornings. However I did apply for some jobs and enter lots of comps, read lots of books and learnt a new skill.

It wasn't my intention to learn a new skill - but my sons hair was becoming unmanageable  He was beginning to resemble cousin It from the Addams family. Been short of funds I decided I would once again attempt to cut his hair myself. In all honesty I have tried before and not one of those bowl style cuts from yesteryear, but it always went a bit pear shaped  Then I had an idea - why not watch a couple of videos on YouTube  So i did - the result was a resounding success. He likes it. I like it - and better still now you can see his lovely blue eyes. I did have some drama whilst doing it though as my daughter who watched the clips too also thought she should be able to have a go at chopping her brothers hair. When she realised I wasn't going to let her loose with the scissors she threw a tantrum like only a stroppy 8 year old can. She still isn't happy about it days later but she understands why her being an hairdresser wasn't an option. (Would she let her 11 yr old brother loose on her long locks?)

On another note there has been a bit of drama on the street too. Next door there was a minor chip-pan fire and the lovely guy who lives there had to be admitted to hospital for smoke inhalation. Thankfully there was no major damage to the house and the fire brigade didn't need to be involved but it definitely served one of those moments where you count your blessings.

The other incident happened today when the 83yr old living in a bungalow across the road fell face first on his return from the shop. Again he was lucky to the extent that no serious head injuries happened - however he had to spend all afternoon at the local A&E for his badly cut hands to be cleaned out and all the gravel removed. There were several of us who helped him until his son arrived and not only could we not believe his age once he had told us we also couldn't believe the amount of blood caused by hand injuries. The worse part is he loves playing piano and the keyboard and now until he has healed he will struggle to do this. We had never spoken to this elderly man previous to this, he hadn't lived their long. But now I know we will be more aware of him as we go about our day to day business.

Right last bit - TV i am loving at the moment includes BBC's The Ripper Street and Mr Selfridge on ITV, I am determined to not get into the hype of Celebrity big brother though!! haha

Competition addiction and my 1st win in 2013

Like a lot of people whose blogs I follow - I love competitions!

It all began about 10 years ago when my son was little and over this time I have reaped some rewards from it! About 5 years ago I had a super lucky year and won a laptop, £500 Debenhams vouchers, Designer handbags, a bumper collections of books and DVDs etc...

Unfortunately although I am still winning the odd prize I haven't had a massive win since then.

But here we are the 1st week into the year and I have received an email saying i've won a £50 voucher from Shoezone. Who doesn't love shoes??

Now I am sat thinking my luck may be about to change - in the advent competitions I won several books and as a reader I was pleased with this. But we are scrimping every penny at the moment so a treat like this voucher is very much appreciated!

My fave site for finding competitions is www.theprizefinder.com - here they are layed out in a way I can easily select the ones that I want to enter. Plus with the new improved tracking system it is easier than ever to save comps, mark them as read and even add notes to a link! If you have a bad memory like me this is perfect.

I did check www.loquax.co.uk on occasion too - however this site is no longer listing new comps. I still believe the useful and friendly forums are available and it is still a useful website but without regular new listings then it isn't as effective at finding competitions as prizefinder.

Social media is also a fab tool for competitions, especially combined with Rafflecopter. I must admit I am getting to the point with Twitter where I have reached my follow limit - and unless I become mega popular overnight i find myself having to unfollow people I don't want to. I'm debating whether to set up another twitter but following those who follow me because I follow some but i now realise I should follow ALL who follow me.

Potentially that could raise almost ethical questions and I will have to limit myself to just entering a competition using just the one twitter account! - Definitely something to think about!

Any hints / tips or even comping questions please comment - I am by no means an expert but I do know a but from over the years.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

More about my deafness / hard of hearing ness!

I have had hearing problems now since I was about 8 years old. First it was typical glue ear which I had Gromits fitted for. But it has never improved  and when I was about 14 I was told I needed hearing aids at this stage in my life I struggled with them and ended up wearing them for about 10 mins.
From that point I coped - not very well but I have basic lip reading skills and alongside that I can hear sounds so I use a lot of guesswork using sounds and lip movements combined. But a couple of years ago I began to suffer chronic ear infections, which consist not just of pain /throbbing /popping eardrums but I get gunky discharge / pus leaking from my ears. After a couple of these horrible and gross ear infections my other half and the kids had noticed I was struggling more with day to day noises and communication. So it was back to my local ENT department.

Originally they said I needed hearing aids and gave no explanation as to why my ears kept hurting and producing this disgusting gunk. So I gave into the idea of been 28 years old and relying on hearing aids to communicate. I didn't give in that easy though, I didn't get the full benefit because I only wore them when I wanted / needed to. I should have been wearing them full stop. Several more infections later I was getting mad at not getting any explanation as to why I was gunky and sore, so I went back to the hospital again. It was decided I needed stronger hearing aids - which meant they were even more visible on the ear. The only good side (as I believed then) was the fact I could chose the colours! I decided to go for a silvery black aid and glittery moulds. (The photo doesn't show the proper glitteryness of them!)

Slowly over the past couple of years I have become more accustomed to wearing them and even make the odd joke about them - mainly how i can lower the volume when the kids get noisy or take them out when in an argument. And now I am at the stage where I panic when I have to cope without them, it is such a struggle and for this reason my batteries are my best friend. I have spare packs of batteries everywhere in case I hear the dreading warning beep in my ear.

I still haven't got much further with the ENT dept - I had a scan which did show some moderate disease in my left ear canal, so on the 26th November 2012 I underwent a minor op to have a T-tube put in. This is like a gromit but more permanent and bigger. I would like to say this has helped but since the operation I have had nothing but pain and gunk. So its back to the drawing board with docs and hospital appointments. Watch this space.....

Just to clarify -
I am not properly deaf - the correct term for me is Hard of Hearing (HOH). There are 6.6% of the population between the ages of 6-60 who have a hearing loss. (RNID website) So I am not alone in my predicament. And I would be really interested in meeting other people in my age group who suffer like me - especially those with families. I should really look for support groups in my area and online... (I can sense another post coming on this in the near future.)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2013 My hopes and aspirations

I am not going to call them my resolutions - mainly because I never, ever, ever stick to them. This year I have decided to rename them hopes and aspirations (although I know it means the same thing!) 

  • FIND A JOB - this will be hard with my disabilities but I am staying positive that there is a position out there for me. I've revamped my CV and am checking the good job websites daily - I even applied for a Shop assistant job at 9am this morning - that's dedication. 
  • KEEP SEARCHING FOR A NEW HOUSE - on the council waiting list and it operates on a Bid system so I need to make sure every week I log in and express my interest on those houses that are in the right area and the right size. 
  • REDUCE THE AMOUNT I SMOKE - this is one of those I make every year. My main problem though is I am at home on the laptop too much - I am hoping that the more I am out of the house with my new job(!) I will smoke less. Its all willpower - and I don't have much of that! 
  • KEEP WRITING - I always feel better when I have written something, can be creative story stuff or just rambling on here or in my paper diary thing. I need to keep up with this for my own piece of mind.
  • TAKE MORE PHOTOS- this is to preserve more memories. I have a camera phone so always have the means to take photos - yet rarely do. There are even less photos of me around - i know I am not the most photogenic - but surely the more photos are taken the more likely I am of finding one of me that I like?? haha
  • DO MORE CROCHET - I set myself the mission to learn last year - and although I have learnt the basics and can make play/ toy food and teddies etc... I want to do more and hopefully sell some - I did attempt selling some through ebay - but think I need to look at other avenues now. (I will put some photos on here at somepoint - all my creations!! ) 
  • ENTER LOADS MORE COMPETITIONS -  had a bit of success with the advent competitions over Xmas - so now I am hoping my luck with extend into 2013. 
  • DECLUTTER MY HOUSE - I have loads of things that we no longer need - clothes, books, toys, etc... I have trouble throwing things out. I am not a hoarder but sentimental. When you are forever dodging clutter there is no room for sentiment. Therefore need to sell some stuff, donate it etc.... 
Going to leave the list at that for now! I dont think I will achieve them all - but at least writing it down on here  I have the opportunity to check back in a bit and maybe prompt myself to tick more off.