Tuesday 29 November 2011

Schwartz Mulled Wine

Yes Yes I know it's only November and the Grinch patrol may nail me to a Christmas tree but I couldn't resist this.

I added the two sachets and 200ml of water and kept it not quite boiling for ten minutes.

An arty shot of the mulled wine with sliced Orange.

It is well worth buying these satchets if you like mulled wine as its not to overpowerig there is a more powerful recipe on their website that involves orange juice and Brandy!.

Thanks to Schwartz for sending a Christmas care  package to do this even down to the orange. And don't laugh they even sent  me the ingredients to make cookies which I shall be making later this week.

Monday 28 November 2011

Blog Comments!

So you are a blogger, you may not be word perfect. Your blog is out there and you are doing it for you , you must remember that. After all you can take part in countless Meme's its all good fun but when the dust has settled after your fun what are you left with?.

I try and balanced my own blog with more posts these days about things that matter to me such as education, autism etc. Do I get comments do I heck , well a few . Does this bother me well actually it does. I have had countless great advice that comments don't matter you are blogging for you. Well I am sorry I am blogging for more than me, I do hope that what I say occasionally matters. And I hope that on occasion people might say you have really helped me, which they have on the odd occasion.

 Some blogs quite rightly so gets lots of comments are and hugely popular because they are great blogs. I do wonder if a great blogger wrote a piece say about how ' they  hate grated cheese in sandwiches' would they get lots of comments. I may be bleating on but it's my blog and it's my rules now isn't it?

I have come to realise that asking people to comment on my blog in order to enter a competition is wrong for me. So excuse me while I go off and right my next blog piece after ' How I hate grated cheese in sandwiches'

Rant over for now.....

Ps. Pop here so you can learn how to comment on not just this blog but others if you don't know how !

Pingi Moisture trap

The frontrunner of the Pingi product line. Developed to protect your home, car, boat or caravan from the harmful effects of excesshumidity. This product can be used for years on end. It absorbs 100cc of moist per cycle.
Requires 5 Minutes of recharging in the microwave oven.
Pingi basics
Rechargeable in the microwave
The Pingi moisture traps are easy to recharge in the microwave oven.When the patented indicator changes from blue to pink, full saturation hasbeen reached and Pingi is ready to be recharged. Good for the environmentand for your wallet. Within a few minutes, Pingi is again ready for use.
Probably better to use this in older homes, caravans or boats or those that don't have doubles glazing as I have had this weeks and it has yet to change from blue to pink!, I have a house that is only ten years old. So it would be a good product if your property or place or work or even your locker  is applicable.

Price: £7.99

Thursday 24 November 2011

Brabantia Vintage Blue

Just as the soft pastel colours of the 1960s gave way to bolder more confident hues in the ‘70s, so Brabantia is reviving the blue-jeans era as its inspiration for Vintage Blue, a deep and bold colourway for its steelware collection.
Drawing on a look from 40-years ago, Brabantia has blended its smooth forms with this confident interior-accent that will look highly distinctive against a minimalist or contemporary kitchen interior such as white or industrial stainless steel, or indeed a more eclectic and retro style kitchen.
Vintage Blue features across a range of Brabantia waste bins, including the 30 litre Touch Bin® with a Matt Steel lid finished with its highly practical Fingerprint Proof coating, and five Pedal bins in 5 litre, 12 litre, 20 litre, 20 litre Slimline and 30 litre sizes. All take Brabantia’s size-matching bin liners with tie-tapes to make emptying, sealing and removing the rubbish a hassle-free task.

Your eye is just drawn to the Vintage Blue!

Mr T said "Does this mean I have to decorate now"  YES.

Using the proper Brabantia bin liners there is no unsightly over hang of the liner !

Sorry you  have to stare at my rubbish ( not my blog you understand) but the rubbish in my bin . You see how neat it all looks!

The old Brabantia bin without the proper bin liners oops !
Prices start from around £6.50 for a Storage Canister, and all items are covered by a 10 year guarantee for complete consumer confidence.
Brabantia products are available from leading retailers, including high street department stores, superstores, quality independent housewares and kitchen product specialists.  For stockist details, please contact the Brabantia sales department on 0845 602 4877 or visit Brabantia’s website www.brabantia.com.

Disclosure ( I was sent the Vintage Blue bin and Bread bin and canisters for review... the rubbish in the bin is my own) 

Monday 21 November 2011

School trips the increasing cost now its the Olympics!

I am sorry that this is a rehash of an old post but I am getting hacked off with my son school. Now it is my choice to send him skiing at £750 and the rugby tour at £250 . Now he could have gone on a football trip at £530 to Alicante but thankfully he didn't want to go on that !. I have just received an email about him going to the Olympics ( a great opportunity I agree) but at what point do you draw the line.? If my son went on every single trip he would up missing a month of school.

Below is a insert of the email my son's school sent me!

'Dear Parent/Guardian,
I am writing to inform you of an opportunity to take 1 or 2 groups of students to the London 2012 Olympics.  This has come about from an invitation I received from Thomas Cook on Thursday specifically aimed at school groups.  As you can appreciate, this is a rare chance to witness some of the world's best athletes performing in our own country.
I am fully aware of the current financial situation and the pressures that your son/daughter place on you regarding trips etc.  Therefore I would like to gauge interest from you without raising student expectation  in the first instance.  Prices are based on a two day trip including coach travel, overnight accommodation, breakfast and tickets to two events.  The cost is £170 - £350 depending upon which days/events we choose.  The events are scheduled between 27th July and 12th August.
As these offers will book quite quickly, I would like a prompt response.  Please could you e-mail the following address by Wednesday at 18:00 with the information if you are interested for your son/daughter to have the chance to go to London 2012.
•·         Your upper limit of cost for the event
•·         Your son/daughters name and form (e.g.  Joe Bloggs 8BUR) AS THE MESSAGE SUBJECT'

Is this too much ?

What price do you put on education if you go to a state school. There is the constant demands from an early age for trip money. If you do not pay your child will suffer blah blah. Now this is hard enough in this economic climate if you have one child but one if you have more the pressures are even greater. Now J my son is a truly able sportsman

Now its been a constant ask all through his school life so far for trips,charity , school PGL but I was not prepared for the shook of the cost of senior school. Now J does not go to private school just a academy school but it s like private school. For the off there was trip after trip  first skiing, then cricket , three lots of rugby, singing . Now I am pleased my son is talented I really am but I felt the need to draw the line somewhere so I said NO to the rugby tour. He was a little crestfallen but he got on with his life, We all have to make sacrifices in this world.

Then came the school sports award night. J had already won various certifaces for academic achievement being best in his class etc glowing report etc. Model child, etc not stereo typical of Only
child syndrome. Well on the night he picked up award after award culminating in the sports personality of the year. Basically the teacher said if there was a tiddlywinks team he's be in . Now faced which this pride how could I refuse to NOT send him on the rugby tour. So another cost for me so far these trips total up as £750 for skiing, £120 for cricket, £350 for rugby not to mention £50 for another rugby trip ,£25 for singing trip and another £25 for another rugby trip . I try not to  add it up, knowing it is such a scary amount. And all this is before spending money, clothes etc. This is where i cam e up with a plan to sell stuff on that internet auction site. Good opportunity to clear out etc and help pay for all these trips. First up was Mr T's organ he didn't use it any more , it was just there gathering dust. I know it was hard but I just had to let it go.....

There you've seen it Mr T's organ, also I started selling his train set as well. All little amounts help, the school were puzzled as I started paying off these little amounts and indeed ring to ask me was this right. You do what you have to do so your child has a better life etc, but at what cost.?

Friday 18 November 2011

Duracell Chargers

I was lucky enough to win some football tickets to see Spain V England they were the best seats in the house. Capello was only a few feet away.

 I had a brilliant view to observe all the teams warming up , from a fitness point of view you do understand.

 They were Club Wembly seats , never have I been in such brilliant seats in Wembly of course my husband and son were over the moon. I was grateful that we had the Duracell charger to keep my son's ipod touch going as there is nothing worse then a bored child!

We have all heard that life is now 24/7, but does your technology deliver by allowing you to do what you want to when you want to? Duracell has power solutions that will stop you getting caught short by giving you an extra lifeline. By using one of the new and improved Duracell Portable mobile-device Chargers, you’ll no longer experience the feeling of frustration, panic or realisation that your mobile is about to run out of battery power, leaving you unable to continue your everyday tasks such as sending that urgent work email, listening to music, reading an e-book or playing games on the journey home.
While new technologies are taking us to new places, enabling us to do things we’ve not been able to do before, we are also becoming more dependent upon powerful gadgets to keep up, stay connected, and capture ‘not to be missed moments’ - but what about your power solutions? Duracell™ is constantly addressing the ever growing and changing needs of everyone’s power demands by offering a full range of solutions, designed to meet each specific need, from various traditional alkaline batteries, to rechargeable and on the go solutions, helping daily devices perform beyond their usual power limits.
Duracell’s new and evolved line-up makes it possible for people to see, do and experience more through extending the life of the devices, taking them from out-of-power to charged. This streamlined portfolio features a range of Portable Chargers, battery chargers & rechargeable cells and traditional disposable round cell batteries designed to meet all power needs, both at home and on the go, extending the usage of the devices we can’t live without, from smartphones and cameras to music players.
Key innovations to the line up include the Portable Charger pillar: the Portable 5-hour smartphone Charger and 3-hour smartphone Charger both enable longer connections by allowing a re-charge of mobile devices on the go, providing five or three hours respectively of extra talk time anytime, anywhere - making it the ideal solution for a quick top-up while out and about. These chargers have been designed to work with daily devices, including smartphones and MP3 players, ensuring everyday devices keep going beyond their usual limits.
Additionally, the streamlined rechargeable offering now features the all new Duracell Speedy Charger that allows users to provide quick, convenient recharging for AA batteries in as little as 15 minutes for two battery cells and in as little as an hour for 4 battery cells. Portable power comes in the shape of Duracell batteries, allowing power anywhere and at anytime, giving everyone the option to use across low to high drain devices, extending the usage of the gadgets we rely on, such as game controllers and e-books.
Leigh Tomlinson, Business Leader for Duracell UK & Ireland, said: “Our lifestyles continue to get busier and we rely more and more on technology, especially our mobile phones. With so much else to focus on, worrying about your devices running out of battery is a daily frustration we can all do without. With this evolved line-up we make it easier than ever to keep your devices fully charged wherever you are, ensuring that you can go beyond your normal limits.”
The portfolio sees slick new packaging, which has been streamlined to enable you to easily find the power solution you are seeking, as we’re aware that you don’t have time to spend reading loads of information to work out what you need.

Additional information on the all new powerful Duracell line up:
Several new devices have been introduced to offer long-lasting power to keep gadgets juiced up, making it possible for people to see, do and experience more through extending the life of their every day gadgets.
Portable Chargers:
For those on the go, the range of Portable smartphone Chargers features 2 slim and sleek chargers, providing convenient and accessible solutions to recharging your daily gadgets on the move. Offering additional talk time, the chargers are compatible with smartphones and other devices that feature either micro- or mini-USB ports.
Duracell Portable USB Charger 1800mAh
(Also known as the Portable 5-hour smartphone Charger)

RRP £39.99
New to the range and providing enhanced mobile device charging in a compact design, this is an ideal option for those with multiple devices on the move, able to provide extra power anytime, anywhere.
Key benefits:
  • Up to 5 hours of extra talktime for smartphones[1]
  • Charges two devices on the go
  • Features a power-check button for added convenience
  • Micro-USB cable (and Micro-to-Mini Tip adapter) included
Duracell Portable USB Charger 1150mAh
(Also known as the Portable 3-hour smartphone Charger, formerly ‘Instant Charger’)
RRP £29.99
Sleek, convenient solution for charging devices on the go to ensure you can keep texting, gaming and listening to music wherever you are.
Key benefits:
· Up to 3 hours extra talktime for smartphones1 making it ideal for a quick top-up while out and about.
  • Instantly charges all micro- or mini-USB compatible mobile devices.
  • Slim, lightweight and easy to transport
Rechargeable Portable Power
For those seeking rechargeable power solutions at home and whilst on the go, Duracell has revised its line-up and reduced its range of 8 chargers down to 6, based around consumers’ differing recharging needs. Updated packaging makes the benefits clearer than ever, and two new chargers provide quick, convenient recharging for AA batteries, whether they’re needed in an hour or in 15 minutes. The new Staycharged batteries come charged up, ideal to put in toys as they come ready to use and can be recharged 100s of times and retain their charge for up to a year when not in use.

Speedy Charger
RRP £29.99
The new Duracell Speedy Charger is a compact charger that can be taken anywhere to provide you with quick recharge, anytime, anywhere,
Key benefits:
  • Standard 4 cell charge in 2-3 hours
  • Fast charge mode recharges 2 AAA/AA batteries in 1 hour
15 Minute Charger
RRP £39.99
When time really is of the essence, the new Duracell 15 Minute Charger helps minimise the hassle of losing power, with an upgraded design that provides the fastest charge, guaranteed.
Key benefits:
  • Charges 4 AA cells in 15 minutes, guaranteed
  • Battery health indicator to show when the batteries are ready to go
Disposable Portable Power
For everyday needs, Duracell batteries offer portable power anytime, anywhere. Duracell Plus Power is one of four disposable tiers available. There’s an option to suit either low or high drain devices ranging from Simply Duracell, Plus Power, Ultra Power to Ultra Lithium.
Duracell Ultra Lithium
RRP £8.49
Available for the first time, Duracell’s most powerful AA battery ever provides long-term performance for medium and high-drain devices.
Key benefits:
  • Performs 7x better in digital cameras2
  • The first battery to offer Lithium technology from Duracell
  • Available in AA
Duracell Plus Power (formerly ‘Duracell Plus’)
RRP £3.79 for a 4pk AA4
The upgraded Duracell Plus Power provides guaranteed longer lasting power in AAA, C and D cells.
Key benefits:
  • Upgrade of Duracell Plus with longer-lasting power guaranteed
The updated Duracell range emphasises convenience and accessibility to provide a reliable source of personal, portable power, ensuring that the devices people use every day don’t let them down.

( I was sent the Duracell charger for review) 

Thursday 17 November 2011

The possible evil of Facebook for teens.

Dear Son

I am thinking of your internet safety.

One minute your child is a tween and innocently watching ' Wizards of Waverly Place' or other such highly entertaining  benile programs. You have that year of the crossover to senior school where in the case of my son he still believed in dragons. Yes, Yes its all happy skippy , and not we are not all drinking lashing of ginger beer and living in the 1950's.

J is squeaky clean at 13 he doesn't hang around the street corners, he doesn't neck cheap cider at the park and isn't constantly gaming. However Mr T on the day of J's 13th birthday decided to sign him up for facebook, we had talked about it. But it was , well you know it's a bit like when your child is younger and you promise them that you'll do something, it's called a Mummy promise and it doesn't really exist.

Anyway I wasn't really happy about this but what can you do? MR T ensured me that we could monitor J's usage which is minimal ! A little banter with friends about Minecraft ( some game that looks though it's from the 1980's) . We.../I ! could monitor his message through email / his FB account and see the messages. I was slightly alarmed at seeing my son being dragged into some debate with a girl "What the hell are you saying we are going out for?" J of course hadn't don't this girls to him are a distraction before University. So I rush up stairs a speech ensued about being careful on facebook etc etc and to talk about such things at school!

Five minutes later I see another message from one of his rugby friends talking about a girl. Now J HAD not joined in this conversation . It went something like this " We could pass ( girls name) round

like a buffet" Straight up the stairs again and a speech of make not you don't comment on things like that , and I 'll be having a word with his mother if that carries on!

Don't get me wrong facebook can be a great social medium I am not so sure that 13 year olds should be allowed on in and 13 is the age in America where things like that are allowed. It seriously worries me the nature of facebook and young teens!

 And I must stress I AM not blaming facebook for the actions of certain teens there character is their character and they will makes such comments about girls regardlesss of the medium of facebook of twitter, but I am merely questioning if thirteen is an acceptable age  to start upon such things. We do all that we can to protect our children and I am not wishing my son to be dragged into any sort of debate over the web. Now he is sensible not to do this , there are many children who are not and those

who are venerable.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Good manners and parents examples themselves on Facebook and other social mead outlets go a long way to ensuring how their child acts , its not fail safe but guidance helps.

“This post is my entry into the Check and Secure challenge. For more advice on family safety online, see Mums on Security.”

Tuesday 15 November 2011

A world in a shoe box

here is a guest post from my fabulous blogging friend ! I love this idea as it promotes ideas for literacy and does not cost the earth. Thanks to Penny for a truely brilliant guest post.

Free toys in return for a little imagination
Toys don’t need to cost the earth.  I remember reading as a teacher about a fantastic project to teach low income parents how to make toys out of free things.  I think all children would benefit from having fewer toys and making  more of their own.  Boxes are a particular favourite of mine.   Either to play in, or to turn into something new.
One of my favourite box projects is to create a mini world in a shoe box.  When my daughter was 2/3 we made several along themes and characters she liked.  At this age children are really getting to grips with the world and creating their own worlds gives them a sense of power and control.  As they get older box worlds help them to make up their own narratives.
It all started with a Charlie and Lola hairdressers in a box craft set with Cbeebies magazine.  Apart from spending ages making it, she played with the cut out characters and tiny props for hours.
Then we made an In the Nightgarden world for her mini figures to play in, using the packaging the figures came in, followed by a Charlie and Lola Halloween box.  We also made a Tinkerbell House.  It’s easy to waste a fortune on character based toy worlds that children quickly grow out of.
Now my son is old enough to appreciate these ideas we made Dino world, complete with plastic ‘dinosaur’ eggs his Grandma gave us back in April for Easter.  The tree is a toilet roll covered in paper and stuffed with wool.
I don’t tend to do ‘organised’ craft because I never have the right materials, everything we make at home develops organically, improvised with whatever we have to hand.  But also for me, creativity is about driving in the dark, to see where it takes you and of course about giving  the steering wheel to your children as much as possible.  We’ve been to some wonderful lands thanks to empty boxes.

Thursday 10 November 2011

Texas Instruments I had a Little Professor but no Speak and Spell!

You might remember this way back from the mists of time (if you are 30 or under forget it!) the Little Professor. Millions and millions were sold in the past 25 years it's a very  simple but funny educational product. The basic idea behind the Little Professor is opposite to a normal calculator: The child has to type the answer of simple questions like " 3 + 5 = ? ". You can choose between the four basic maths functions and four different skill levels. If the child gives a wrong answer "EEE" occurs, otherwise another of more than 16000 different questions is asked.

This educational toy was designed  by Texas Instruments for childrens aged between 5 and 9 years. And I loved it, as my dad worked for texas Instruemnts in Bedford. I however did not have a speak and Spell. Why I don't know ? I always wanted want one and when my child was younger I bought him one of ebay . And of course  I bought him a Little Professor as well. It just goes to show you that retro can work , I think toy manufactors need to look back in order to go forward. Texas Instruments was way ahead of their time I  loved it.

Monday 7 November 2011

Cats and Comping

Rollie as a Chef used in quite a few compeitions!

I like comping that is no secret , I love winning things especially for school. I suppose its the thrill of the chase. Yet a little known secret my cat actually comps with my help. And you know what? Rollie is rather good at it! He won a weekend away at a hotel thanks to Laterooms.com as part of their pet factor competition.

He's won pet food, recently a rugby shirt  and even some shopping vouchers for wearing a teacosey on his head. And the runner for this was a chicken so anything goes really!.

 There are many great sources of competitions out there - my friend Di Coke has her own blog all about creative competitions at http://super-lucky.blogspot.com. There are lots of quirky photo and video comps about that your pet can get involved in, they're great fun to enter and you might even win a prize. So why not get comping with your pet, you never know what they might win!.

Rollie matching in with the roof tiles.

Friday 4 November 2011

Speech Language and Autism

My Autism teaching has taken another turned and I am having to delve into the speech and language side of this. I am finding this very very daunting and it presents a whole host of problems, but I am hoping to find my way through it all and come of it more knowledgeable , no one likes change do they I don't!. But I have to put this aside and deal with the card I have been dealt after all it's not about me it's about the Autistic children. So I have started to investigate this myself with the help of who I know. I have been send some great links which I shall be sharing with you all.

The first task I will be dealing with is preposition "in" " under" "behind" etc. I found an excellent game on the Internet for this and all that is required is to print it out and buy some plastic frogs. It is a wonderful cheap resource and it just show you.

Is your child having trouble his prepositions. So I found this game that may help. its from a wonderful website and it's well worth a visit http://freeprintablefun.org/2007/09/free-printable-preposition-game.html

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Swingball Pro review an ideal Christmas gift!

Do you remember playing Swing ball as a child in your garden in the summer?. Remember how exciting it was , playi
ng it all summer long , the constant flow of friends in your garden wanting to play. Then the problems set in as the certain swing balls of old had a metal tube that you put in to ground, then slotted the swing ball into. Trouble was it was alright during the summ
er when one of your parents was mowing the lawn, the problem came when you couldn't play it in the winter and then the grass covered up the metal tube where you slotted the swing ball into. And come the next summer basically you were stuffed as you couldn't find the metal tube to slot the swingball in to.
And try as you might swing ball was never the same as you tried in vain to drive it into the lawn with the tube which in essence supported the swingball ball. So your summer w

as lost and you had to find something less interesting to do instead.

This is where the Swingball Pro set comes in as its portable ! no more lost time playing and no more hunting for the hole in your lawn to popo the Swingball into!.

Just because it's Winter its no excuse not to get outside and play
see my post on outdoor play. So this Swingball Pro set makes an ideal Christmas present as well.

This version of the game is portable, with all the parts fitting into the base unit which can then be carried using the integral handle. It can be used virtually anywhere making it ideal for taking to the park, to the beach or for playing in the garden. Assembly is simple and the base unit just needs filling with water or sand to stabilise the unit. So perhaps your local Youth club could play this in a hall making sure that there is plenty of room when you play.

Swingball Pro is available from here: http://www.swingball.co.uk/product-range.php and costs £39.99 and why not check out their other great products.