30 Dec 2017

Blog Self Assessment - How Was 2017 For Your Blog?

Another year come and gone
A sense of déjà vu,
Try and restore some calm.

A lot has happened in 2017, in my life and the world around me.

There is no point in me dwelling on what has happened in the world. The good, the bad and the positively ugly - there are enough TV shows and newspapers running round-ups of how intense the year has been.

22 Dec 2017

Red Riding Hood and the Wolf at HOME, Manchester - Review

We’ve been meaning to visit HOME in Manchester for a while now, especially as I was a regular at the Cornerhouse before the kids. 

We got our chance this Christmas when we were invited to watch Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. 

21 Dec 2017

Green Energy - We Owe It To Ourselves

I was out Christmas shopping at the Trafford Centre recently and happened to watch one of the car demos they often do in the foyers. It was a massive 7-seater SUV, very modern and very striking. Closer inspection revealed it to be a Tesla. Only, this was an electric car like no other I had ever seen.

 The time has come to phase out the internal combustion engine altogether in favour of greener, more sustainable options. No matter what anyone says, and there are many with a vested interest who will try and convince you otherwise, green energy is the need of the day.

19 Dec 2017

Read 18 Books in 2018 - A Reading Challenge

I set myself an ambitious reading challenge at the beginning of this year. It was to read 24 books over the course of 12 months.

So how did I do?

Challenge yourself to read 18 books in 2018. Here are ideas that I hope will inspire me, and you, my reader, to choose your next book.

Around the World in 80 Days at The Lowry, Manchester - a Review

Christmas at The Lowry is always special and this year is no exception. With a line-up of amazing family theatre, there is something fabulous for everyone. Elf – The Musical has warm hugs for a festive feel. The Gruffalo is set to delight fans, young and old. And if terrific comedy and adventure stories are your thing, then Around The World in 80 Days is not to be missed.

If terrific comedy and adventure stories are your thing, then Around The World in 80 Days is not to be missed. Playing now at The Lowry, this is family theatre at it's mesmerising best!

Jules Verne’s classic story is of a rich and whimsical British gentleman, Phileas Fogg and his newly employed French valet, Passepartout. They set out to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days on a wager. Will they, won’t they, how will they forms the plot of this timeless tale.

14 Dec 2017

Save on Subscription Boxes for the Whole Family With Promo Codes

Still looking for that perfect Christmas present? Why not consider a subscription box – a gift that keeps giving even beyond Christmas.

From arts and crafts, beauty, fashion, pets, snacks, toys and lifestyle products, subscription box companies offer boxes for all ages, genders and choices. 
 Still looking for that perfect Christmas present? Why not consider a subscription box – a gift that keeps on giving beyond Christmas.

12 Dec 2017

Check Your Tyres, Whatever the Weather!

I don’t often get the chance to drive in freezing, sub-zero conditions. And then there are days like this week when compacted snow and ice on untreated roads make for treacherous driving. I was turning right at the end of our lane when I felt my car tyres struggling to grip on a large patch of ice. Fortunately, my tyres are in good nick and held fast as I manoeuvred the car across the road.

As I heaved a sigh of relief, it got me thinking about car safety and tyre health. 

The only way to make sure your car tyres are in good health is to check them over. Whether you are setting off on a road trip or commuting in inclement weather, here are a few simple checks to ensure your car tyres function at an optimum level.

11 Dec 2017

The Bear at Waterside - Family Theatre in Sale, Manchester

Christmas at Waterside is always special and this year is no exception. Raymond Briggs’s much-loved book, Bear, has been brought to life by Pins and Needles Productions. The Bear is now in residence at Waterside (previously Waterside Arts Centre), in Sale near Manchester, with shows running into the New Year.

 Christmas at the Waterside is always special and this year is no exception. Raymond Briggs’s much-loved Book, Bear, has been brought to life by Pins and Needles Productions, and is now in residence at Waterside, with shows running into the New Year.

8 Dec 2017

A Christmas Bouquet by Prestige Flowers

Fairy lights twinkle against closed curtains and orbs sparkle on festooned trees. Snuggled under the crochet blanket, I warm my hands against a cup of mulled wine. I am basking in the glow of nearly-Christmas, breathing in festive cheer, as the merry bunch of flowers in my window look on with a knowing smile.

This is what happens when I mix Christmas and a bouquet of beautiful flowers.
A heady mix to spark creativity!

On a more sombre note, thanks to Prestige Flowers for sending me this stunning Winter Warmer bouquet.

Prestige Flowers offer a range of beautiful traditional and contemporary festive flowers, perfect for Christmas and the New Year. Why not treat yourself or a loved one to a gorgeous bouquet this season?

7 Dec 2017

Crocheted Bears and Other Shady Bay Buddies Books

I enjoy crocheting but I am no expert. I took up a massive crochet project last year in the form of the Sky Blanket. I also crocheted hats and scarves for my son and me. But I have not pushed myself out of my crochet comfort zone yet.

There hasn’t been much time to crochet this year and the red and gold stole is an ongoing project. Something about winter makes me want to pick up that crochet hook and challenge myself. I have decided to crochet a little animal for my son. Having never crocheted anything like this before, I was on the hunt for suitably simple patterns when I was offered Emma Brown’s book to review.

Crocheted Bears and Other Animals published by CICO-books, is a collection of crochet patterns showcasing Emma Brown's Shady Bay Buddies. There are 25 beautiful crochet patterns from bears, puppies and bunnies, to owls, fish and bumble bees. The patterns are suitable for beginners through to experienced crafters, From Christmas, to birthdays and christenings, these cute crocheted animals will make lovely presents for children of all ages.

5 Dec 2017

10 Reasons to Fall in Love with the iPhone X (A Review)

Christmas has come early this year. My gorgeous OH queued for four hours on launch day to buy a new iPhone X. For me! He could have kept it for himself but kindly gifted it to me. Before Christmas. Even before my birthday. 

So now I have skipped a few generations and made a big upgrade from an iPhone 6 to an iPhone X. I have been using this new iPhone X over the last few days and am sold on it.

Here are 10 reasons why I have fallen in love with the iPhone X.

Having used the new iPhone X over the last few days, I have fallen in love with this technological marvel. It’s fast, intelligent and an absolute joy to use. There's more. Here are 10 reasons why I have fallen in love with the iPhone X. (review)

4 Dec 2017

Festive Red and Green Gin Cocktail Recipe

It was last year on New Year’s Eve when a few of us got together to celebrate. With no prior training or experience, all it took was a few G&Ts before we were signed up to do a 60 mile bicycle ride. On a more sensible note, there were plans to organise and run a book club. We were to meet every month and discuss a book we had all read. The idea was to get everyone reading again.

As things stand, all of us completed the cycle ride as planned. The book club is another story. It has slowly but surely morphed into a Gin Club. So we girls meet every month as per the original plan. But instead of discussing books, we end up drinking gin and talking bicycles instead. And we always play 80s music.

This Red and Green Gin Cocktail is the perfect drink for this festive season. Liven up your Christmas or New Year party with this quick and easy gin cocktail recipe.

Having heard of our Gin Club, the English Gin Company kindly sent me a bottle of their Cucumber Gin to sample. This aromatic gin infused with cucumber, with a juniper base and notes of pepper, coriander and citrus, is the perfect drink for summer.

So what are we doing drinking it in the run up to Christmas?

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