Wednesday 27 December 2017

Venice The Instagram Ready Beauty

Such a cliche I know to say Venice is an Instagram ready beauty but such a cliche has never been truer.Venice is indeed an Instagram ready beauty but far from being knee deep in my camera all the time I did look up in absolute abjecive wonder.

And quite honestly Venice isn’t as expensive as people make out especially if you eat away from the tourist hot spots. Yes soft drinks are a little hefty on the pockets at about 4 Euros but you’ll find that you can get water cheaply or even a promise if a free drink in some places.

As you weave through the alleys and bridges you can’t help but fall in love with Venice, I think going at a quieter time of year really does help.

With pop up markets where ever your eye rests and the world famous fish market at Rialto there’s so much interaction and people watching to be had if you so wish. I can not stress enough how wonderful travel is and this the second time that we’ve been to Italy as a family this year , it is really snatched moments with the teen being at at University as study is all absorbing and harder than you can ever imagine.

Wednesday 20 December 2017

File It Under “ It will never happen to me “

File it under “It'll never happen to me”.

But when it nearly doesyou’ll be a little confused, a little bemused, very stressed and incredibly embarrassed.

There is no need to worry though, because nearly  missing a flight happens to the best of us – even when there’s nobody to blame but yourself because you’ve been buying headache tablet s shampoo and shower gel. You come out to find your husband mouthing “We’ve four minutes before the gate closes , we have got to get to gate 27 NOW!”

Your family will only have to run to the departure gate like Usain Bolt with myself lagging behind shouting “ I can’t run ... save yourself go without me ....” . You would have thought it was a BBC sitcom like “Out Numbered”  or a Carry on sketch.

But we made it and luckily we were at the front of the plane and didn’t have to do the walk of shame ...

Thursday 14 December 2017

Personalised Jewellery Ideal For The Festive Season

You are well into the festive season , you’ve got the decorations up , you’ve started to wrap the Christmas presents , you’ve started to receive elegant Christmas cards.You are constantly vacuuming up needles from your tree or glitter from those cards whilst having a quick break to finish that Mince pie that has been begging you to consume it. I think I may have just eaten the last Mince pie that my husband was saving for himself , he will never notice ....

This Elegant card is made by Jane who blogs at Onion s and Paper.

Then you suddenly remember perhaps that one  female relative that you have forgotten to buy for and it is the one that really really loves their Jewellery,wine and they can't come out of Ikea without buying tea lights but don't have a tea light holder and you scratch your head as to what gift you could possibly get for her . May I suggested Engraved Gifts for Her  from Giftsonline4U. where you can even get an engraved tea light holder perfect for all those tea lights !

I am notoriously difficult to buy for I like Jewellery myself but it has to be the right piece of Jewellery I am not one who likes to receive a gift for gifts sake , I am too practical I think for my own good at times. Having said that as I am fiercely unique then I like a piece of Jewellery to reflect that and it has to look the part to.

I was so glad when I saw this Dual Faced Personalised Bangle and thought that is SO me and having kindly been given the chance to review it , I said "Yes" immediately because I know how much I would love it and I know that I would be ordering Personalised Jewellery for my female loved ones not only for Christmas but for other occasions such as 18th Birthdays.The range of personalised Jewellery is new and there is plenty of choice in what you can order, when you order you know that you or your chosen recipient will receive a piece of high quality Jewellery.

The Dual Faced Personalised Bangle is a marvellous engraved bangle with rotating double sided centre piece and engraved with your choice of initials for a unique jewellery gift.The quality of the Bangle is outstanding and is very well made with the engraving being crisp and clear.

What I particularly love about it is that you can change it from the personalised Onyx looking side to the pearlised looking side.

The Bangle eatures a sprung hinge and the opening end locates in the centre piece. The Bangle which is Rose Gold in colour will sit comfortably on your wrist and you can engrave your personalised jewellery gift with up to 2 initials on the black side of the centre piece.The Bangle is priced at £39.99 which includes the personalisation and free standard delivery , other delivery options are available starting from £5. The Bangle arrives in a gift box which is protected and the packaging protects this as well.

There are plenty of affordable gifts in GiftsOnLine4U and I’m eyeing up more Jewellery from their new personalised Jewellery range .What piece in their website catches your eye ?

Tuesday 12 December 2017

History Through Travel Is Connecting Us As A Family

I have been thinking about our holidays as a family and I defiantly notice a pattern which has defiantly I think has had an impact on the choice of degree that my son has chosen up at  York University. He is studying Archaeology with Bachelor of Science and I joke to him that he is not as qualified as me yet even though he says he is ( he isn't ). Travel plays a big part in our family life and we have had many a exotic holiday ( no we haven't been to the Carribean or Mauritius as of yet ) but we do like Travel that has a historical twang to it.

In the summer we went to Rome for the week and it was somewhere we had always wanted to go as a family, previous years have included ,Egypt,Holland,Spain etc. Never one to shy away from a Location I go full throttle into looking and investigating where we are going , we are not actually a beach holiday family. we have been on holidays where there is a beach and we do go and relax for a bit on them but we always find ourselves going off and exploring our surroundings.

History through travelis connecting us as a family as it was this summer that we went to Rome just before the teen went off to study Archaeology and guess what he is back this Friday. OOOH excitement that reminds me to sort out his room as I have been using it as a storage facility and my storing the tuff has made the rest of the house look tidy. But he will be back on Friday lovingly clogging up the house with all his clobber.

Going off topic a bit I have found him going away bit hard this was coupled with losing the teaching assistant side of my job it was a double blow and I have had a hard very hard time adjusting to all that has gone off. It is a sort of grief I think a different sort of grief but a grief none the less , I dislike change and when it happens it really does rock my world.

Travel is my sanctuary and how we love it so as family and this Christmas we are off to Venice and I think it going to be magical we seem to be loving Italy so much having been bitten by the romance of it in Rome.

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Ever Had One Of Those Weeks?

Every had one of those weeks where if it can go wrong it will go wrong well that’s been my week everything from socks to Avocados and everything in between ...


On the first day of Christmas my socks developed a hole in I shrugged this off as a Christmas omen I mean it wouldn’t continue to go wrong would it now ? Granted I had been wearing the socks all year but surely Father Christmas socks are immortal ( I think socks should be immortal ) . There is nothing more devastating than getting a hole in your socks it is like a knife to the heart.

And then on the second day of Christmas I brought a pack of 2 Avocados for Guacamole it was a let's have Mexican sort of day , I mean you can not go wrong with a Mexican . Mexican food is simple uncomplicated and tasty and you won't normally beat yourself up in to a lather over it that is until you come up across a hard Avocado. The first Avocado was fine as I prepared it for the Guacamole I like Guacamole it's nice its fun its tasty and I wanted it.Then the second Avocado that was the straw that broke the camels back.

On the fifth day of Christmas my son still hadn’t recovered from his flu so we had to cancel my birthday dinner at the rather nice bistro pub , I mean who wants a steak dinner anyway.When instead you can have birthday fish fingers in a baguette , I tell you it’s the height of luxury here.

Update on the breaking of the camals back well that would be the nearly 400 cans of Pepsi max I ordered by accident.Well I ordered a great deal of 48 cans for £8 and then some I did over order with the edition of editing my basket but I forgot to edit my basket .This resulted in a very confused delivery man taking shed loads of Pepsi max back.

Friday 1 December 2017

The Perfect Star Wars Gift For Christmas

Unless you’ve been living in the moon you can’t have failed to notice there’s a new Star Wars film coming out on the 14th December of which as a family we are all very excited , I have made sure I’ve booked my tickets ready for it. It of course will be sad to see the late Great Carrie Fisher but wonderful to see her again in the big screen. As a Starsp Wars mad family we’ve everything from a full sized Storm Trooper helmet in the dining room to figures , Lego and cuddly toys. Art is very important in Star Wars it’s those movie posters that draw you in with the promise of excitement and adventure so why not this Christmas give a Star Wars fan a piece of art from Red Candy.

Add a quirky homage to one of the most famous movies of all time to your interior! The Star Wars Framed Print is a wonderful piece by artist, Ale Giorgini, and presents some of the most notable characters from the original 1977 epic!

Complete with Vader, Luke, Chewy and Han Solo, this excellently cartoonish styled print has a very unique look and colour theme that is sure to draw the eye where ever you hang it. This delightful print is available in two sizes; A3 and A2. Each one comes in a black 20mm thick wooden frame with shatter-proof perspex cover.

This stylish print makes the perfect gift for any Star Wars fan and movie enthusiast”

Priced at £47 for an A2 size or £57 for an A3 size.

Disclosure I was given £45 towards a A3 size print then I put £12 towards it myself.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide For My Cat

I never thought I would ever be contemplating a gift guide for a cat ( a four legged whirlwind of destruction)

Currently I am tidying up after my cat ( again as the static from it's tail has attracted all the straw type packaging and every surface it brushes up against it is leaving a trail of mess everywhere)

Any gift guide for a cat has to include the box in which the item you've actually brought for your cat as cats and boxes are to coin a phrase

 "Tail as old as time  "

As much as boxes are fun I can’t boxes forever in my house although the other day I stopped my husband throwing away a box a cat liked ....

“The cat will be so sad if you throw look at his face he’s got tears in his eyes “

Possibly a overreaction on the part of my cat but you know there’s one diva in each family I think and that’s my cat he is such a drama llama. You can buy stuff for your cat but in your heart of hearts you know full well that they’re just going to sit in the box in which the item came but when your cat is bored of a box then I reccomdnd the Kickaroo which will send them loopy loo with delight and will delight for ages.

Friday 24 November 2017

Roast Potatoes Chilli Shallots

Today in Claire’s kamikaze cooks we have Chilli shallot potatoes which is as easy as a penguin in a freezer.


Shallots as many as you want ( did you know 3 shallot count as one of your 5 a day )

Crushed dried chilles as many you can handle 

Sliced potatoes 

Olive oil 2 tablespoon s or a little less


Preheat the oven to 200 c or thereabouts 

Slice the potatoes and par boil them or whack them in the microwave for a minute or 3

Mixed the crushed chilliest with the olive oil 

Peel the shallot s and roughly chop them 

Toss the shallots potatoes and olive oil in a oven dish making sure everything is covered and leave to cook for about 30 minutes.

Perfect with Gammon which is what I served it with ...

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Owning A Cat Is The Biggest Inconvenience To My Life

Owning a cat is the biggest inconvenience to my life , it nags me for food , stalks me for ice cream and cake and stops me watching television amongest things.

You go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea and you discover that it has taken the kitchen roll like a zebra on the Serengeti, once  a rare and noble kitchen roll its hopes and dreams lay shredded on the kitchen floor.

Literally I’ve just had to step over my cat as it was watching me eat my tea at the table it just flops down and plays dead ....

But you know what owning a cat may be the biggest inconvenience in my life but you know what it is really one of the best. For saying I’m allergic to cats you would I’d avoid them but I’m a slave to their fluffiness domination. I’ve a little bit of a cat immunity as I grew up with cats , you see how cats plant themselves into your lives that is why I think cats really are trying to take over the world.

Tuesday 21 November 2017

My AirBnB horror

My Airbnb horror .

It appears we had a double booking when we arrived at a rural chalet at a farm.

We went to see the owners and all seemed good , we settled in drank the tea ate the biscuits.we thought it was strange there were a couple of bags there but thought they were the owners ...

Imagine our surprise when at 8.45 pm to people cane through the patio doors bearing flowers vodka and other nibbles.

We were all taken aback and all showed our booking s on AirBNB 

So off we marched to the farm house in the dark to talk to the owners .

It appeared our booking had gone through and with Airbnb you don’t get the address till you have a booking.

But the other people’s booking it seemed was confirmed... on the owners end of AirBnb

Mystery it seems I hadn’t verified my details and Airbnb had emailed me to that affect but I hadn’t got the email.So my booking was cancelled.

I mean surely you should have to be verified before you make a booking ???!

As I can see this problem occurring else where !!

First time I’d used Airbnb and maybe the last !!🤣

Ps the owner had spoken to the other people on the phone and the chap had said he was with his girlfriend . I turn up and speak to the farmer and say I am with my husband...

This is why I think they thought we were wife swappers ...

I mean I enjoy nibbles but not that sort of nibbles ...

Thankfully we stayed in the farmhouse thanks to the owners ....

Hilarity and calamity seems to follow me ...

Friday 17 November 2017

Travel Prices Hiked Up At Christmas

I thought I'd look at travel at Christmas time and of course the travel prices are really hiked up but luckily when I travelled to Rome this August , we traveled with BA and it was around £1100 for the 4 of us with a further 90 pounds in city tax which we paid in Rome .

So a cheap holidays by all accounts and I am really impressed with British Airways so far all airlines I am sure do have their problems but I haven't encountered any. So much did we enjoy Rome that we have booked to go to Venice this Christmas which I know is a crazy crazy time to go away as it the most chaotic high volume time to travel but c'est la vie.

I hadn't planned on us going to Venice but with the advent of the annoying  you have to claim PPI before August 2019 I thought I had better look into our household situation and I was glad I did as the money I got back has helped pay for Venice. Venice for 3 of us (adults is £879 ) including breakfast . I have just got to sort out the transfer s from Marco Polo airport to our hotel so I am just getting my head round that at the minute as Venice has a shed load of water round it !

I am anxious not to be caught up in the tourist trap side of Venice so I’m doing my research and asking around, have you got any tips for me in Venice ?

Thursday 9 November 2017

Tea And Happy Things

Tea makes me very happy and when I feel down it is the drink that lifts my very soul , cats do that do put you can’t get a cat in a cup.

Very often or not I’m battling against my mental health demons but writing helps me expel these on a daily basis.As I’ve said before mental health is not an Olympic sport and empathy should be for all but life isn’t always fair and the struggle is real.

But though the struggle is real it’s about being myself and doing what I like when I like it.

I love finding old tea cups as well oooh the vintage I really do love it.

I’m dabbling with sketching I can sketch from photos but I can’t sketch from my mind arrrgh throws artistic tantrum!!

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Chicken and Chestnut Mushrooms In A Cheese sauce

Welcome to Claire's Kamikaze cooks this is a leftover recipe and it can be used with any sort of mushroom or even you could use Turkey leftovers.


A punnet of Chestnut mushrooms or any mushroom or edible fungus

Left over cooked chicken / turkey 

Simple white sauce which is 

(3 tablespoon of plain flour

50 g of butter 

Half a pint of milk or more if needed , )

Stir in 50 g of grated cheese to the white sauce I used a posh Italian cheese

Salt Pepper 


Preheat the oven to 190 C

Wipe over mushroom s and place in the bottom of an over proof dish

Next add the chicken/turkey

Pour over the sauce stir round and cook in the over for 25 minutes ensuring the chicken is heated all the way through.

Monday 6 November 2017

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Mmmm 5 Things you didn’t know about me it could turn out like one of those rubbish click bait articles you see when you’re galloping round the Internet but honestly it would be I assure you ( fingers crossed squarely behind back ) I won’t be dealing you that I’m an MI5 spy but surely a true soy would tell you that just to fox you.

1. I’m Scottish 100 % through and through I come from the Scottish islands of the Outer Hebrides and I was born in Daliburgh and lived in South Uist. I came to England when I was about 3 ish .I’m also half Cornish and half English so I’m rather mixed up but that’s the way I like it , Scottish Independence why just let me paint my face blue and call me William Wallace.

2. I do like boxing films Rocky you name it I love it don’t ask me why I just do though the film the Champ did rather make me cry when I was younger.I haven’t seen Raging Bull though do I really must see that at some point I have heard that it is a much watch. Yes I do like the cheesy Rocky films in particular the one that is set in the cold war Rocky IV

"I must break you  "

This how I feel when I do battle with a self supermarket checkout and it is not letting my items through in particular my tea as nothing gets in the way of my beloved tea.

And the training montage in Rocky is obviously my approach to housework ( not )....

And yet I don't like real boxing except boxing at the Olympics where they wear the special head gear I like and watch that . I bet you are feeling a little surprised from this revelation now !

3. I am actually allergic to cats and dogs but less so to cats weird that but true but I didn’t know this for certain till I had an allergy test where it revealed I was allergic to cats,dogs,horses and grass with a seafood intolerance as well.But as I grew up with cats my allergy to cats is lessened but still I’m allergic c,est la vie 

4. I can literally write about anything and everything hence why I blog I’m very ecliptic and that’s what I love about myself. You’ve got to love yourself not in a narcissistic way but in a self boasting I’m fantastic sort of way.I desperately try not to put myself which at times can be very hard not to do but I love social media for helping me out on this. At the same time I also dislike social media for the witch hunt that it can become.

5. I don’t do sliced cheese sandwiches no no and no again not very exciting I do but I’ve got this far and I thought what else could I write perhaps that I’m a princess from an exotic royal family but I’ve shunned my rich life style to drink tea and keep cats.

Library Goals That You Want In Your Life

Aren't libraries just magical you can lose yourself for hours in adventure,intrigue murder and transport yourself to all manner of countries and also firmly square yourself as an observer in the life of someone else. You really can't beat the smell of books in particular old books and libraries full of old things where it looks as if people have just stepped out of the room and could come back at any minute to fetch their things.To lose yourself in a book is the best sort of self indulgence ,I think next to drinking tea and keeping cats and it is not in the slightest bit selfish.

To be able to sit down in your favourite armchair and just relax and not care about the worries and woes in the world for a fraction of time is the deepest joy, books are marvellous and libraries are the best treasure chests there are out there.

Books are for reading and touching and smelling if you have never smelt a book particularly as mentioned an old one you must there is no smell like it.Libraries are beautiful and should be saved whether they are in an old house or modern building libraries don't have to be big you can happily create your old reading space in your house with very little effort.

Our libraries are under threat and they are closing at at alarming rate as councils seek to reduce their budgets even my own village centre library is under threat and it has only been open 6 years built with Lottery funding and it is a cause we are fighting.

Libraries can even be your old much loved red telephone box also often incorporating a debifilartor so you can see in more ways then one and life be breathed into something.

So old or new make sure you love your library they are our heritage our past and very much our future , and how I love them so.