Monthly Archives

October 2012

All Things Minecraft

Posted on 26th October 2012 in boys/ Christmas 2012/ Christmas presents for boys/ Minecraft

If, like my boys, you are obsessed with Minecraft then you will need to see these:

The innocuous looking black coat, by the way, is for the secret geek; it looks like a normal jacket but has creeper style lining and a discrete logo here and there!

The lanyard is surely a ‘must have’ Christmas present for the professional Minecraft fan in your life?

For more products, yes more! head over to Jinx.

This is not a sponsored post, just a few things I stumbled across while looking for Christmas gifts for my boys.


Did you see the Creeper Cake which I made for my 11 year old’s birthday?

Personality Test: What does it say about you?

Posted on 22nd October 2012 in personality test

This  is a real test given by Human Relations departments at  many of the major corporations today.   It  helps them get better insight concerning their  employees and in their prospective  employees. Answers are for who you are now and not who you were in the past.

There  are 10 simple questions, so grab a pencil and  paper.  Make a note of which letter you score for each question and then tot up your answers against the guide at the bottom (no peeking).



1. When  do you feel your best..
A)   in the morning
B)  during  the afternoon and early evening
C)   late at night

2.   You usually walk…
A)   fairly fast, with long steps
B)   fairly fast, with little steps
C)   less fast head up, looking the world in  the face
D)  less fast, head  down
E)  very slowly

3.  When  talking to people you…
A)   stand with your arms folded
B)   have your hands clasped
C)   have one or both your hands on your  hips
D)  touch or push the person  to whom you are talking
E)    play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4.  When  relaxing, you sit with..
A)  your  knees bent with your legs neatly side by  side
B)  your legs  crossed
C)  your legs stretched  out or straight
D)  one leg curled  under you

5. When  something really amuses you, you react  with…
A)  big  appreciated laugh
B)  a laugh, but  not a loud one
C)   a quiet chuckle
D)  a  sheepish smile

6.   When  you go to a party or social gathering  you…
A)   make a loud entrance so everyone notices  you
B)  make a quiet entrance,  looking around for someone you know
C)   make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7.  You’re  working very hard, concentrating hard, and  you’re interrupted…
A)   welcome the break
B)   feel extremely irritated
C)   vary between these two  extremes

8.   Which  of the following colors do you like  most….  
A)   Red or orange
B)   black
C)  yellow or light  blue
D)  green
E)   dark blue or purple
F)   white
G)  brown or  gray

9.   When  you are in bed at night, in those last few  moments before going to sleep you  are…..
A)   stretched out on your back
B)   stretched out face down on your  stomach
C)   on your side, slightly curled
D)   with your head on one arm
E)   with your head under the  covers

10.  You  often dream that you are…

A)   falling
B)   fighting or struggling
C)   searching for something or  somebody
D)   flying or floating
E)   you usually have dreamless  sleep
F)   your dreams are always  pleasant


1.   (a) 2     (b) 4      (c) 6
2.  (a) 6     (b) 4     (c) 7     (d) 2   (e) 1
3.   (a) 4     (b) 2      (c) 5     (d) 7   (e)  6
4.  (a) 4     (b) 6      (c) 2     (d)  1
5.  (a) 6     (b) 4      (c) 3     (d) 5    (e) 2
6.  (a) 6     (b) 4     (c) 2
7.  (a) 6      (b) 2     (c)  4
8.   (a) 6     (b) 7      (c) 5     (d) 4    (e) 3      (f) 2     (g)  1
9.  (a) 7     (b) 6      (c) 4     (d) 2     (e ) 1
10 (a) 4     (b)  2     (c) 3     (d) 5      (e) 6     (f)  1
Now  add up the total number of  points.
OVER 60 POINTS:   Others  see you as someone they should “handle with  care.”  You’re seen as vain, self-centered,  and extremely dominant. Others  may admire you, wishing they could be more like  you, but don’t always trust you, hesitating to  become too deeply involved with  you.

51  TO 60 POINTS:   Others see you as an exciting, highly  volatile, rather impulsive personality, a  natural leader, who’s quick to make decisions,  though not always the right ones.  They see  you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will  try anything once, someone who takes chances and  enjoys an adventure.  They enjoy being in  your company because of the excitement you  radiate.

41 TO 50  POINTS:   Others see you as fresh, lively, charming,  amusing, practical, and always interesting,  someone who’s constantly in the center of  attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to  let it go to their head.  They also see you  as kind, considerate, and understanding, someone  who’ll always cheer them up and help them  out.

31  TO 40 POINTS:  Others  see you as sensible, cautious, careful &  practical.  They see you as clever, gifted,  or talented, but modest.  Not a person who  makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone  who’s extremely loyal to friends you do make and  who expects the same loyalty in return.   Those who really get to know you, realize  it takes a lot to shake your trust in your  friends, but equally that it takes you a long  time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30  POINTS:  Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy.  They see you as  very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and  steady plodder.  It would really surprise  them if you ever did something  impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to  examine everything carefully from every angle  and then, usually decide against it. They think  this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.

UNDER  21 POINTS:    People think you are shy, nervous, and  indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions  and who doesn’t want to get involved with anyone  or anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don’t exist.   Some people think you’re boring.   Only those who know you well, know that  you aren’t. 

Dyslexia Awareness

Posted on 16th October 2012 in Dyslexia

Last week (8th Oct – 14th Oct) was Dyslexia Awareness week.

Dyslexia is of personal interest to me and my family as my 11 year old has recently been diagnosed with it (at great expense!)

I received an email recently giving 10 tips for parents on how to spot the common signs of dyslexia which I thought I would share with you, according to Mark McCusker (CEO of Texthelp Ltd) they are:

1. Difficulty identifying rhyming words; often children with dyslexia have difficulty distinguishing between the sounds of words.

2. Slow to process a long series of instructions; this may be due to the brain taking longer to process information.

3. Poor reading and spelling; children often can express what they want to say verbally but have difficulty translating this to text.

4. Tendency to omit or add letters or words; this may be due to a difficulty estimating the length and structure of a word.

5. Trouble with reading aloud or memorising; they may be slowed down by constantly trying to decode each individual word.

6. Difficulty remembering times tables or days of the week; recalling a sequence of instructions in the right order is a common difficulty.

7. Poor sense of direction and confusion with left and right; this is a sign that the brain is working in a slightly different way.

8. Mixes up times, places and dates; short-term memory for remembering spoken words is common.

9. A history of dyslexia in the family; reading difficulties tend to run in families.

10. Is otherwise bright, intelligent and bubbly; dyslexia isn’t a symptom of low intelligence but a specific learning difficulty that affects skills associated with language.

I can certainly relate to a lot of these but it is important to stress that not all dyslexics are dyslexic in the same way so if you think that your child (or you, your partner etc) may have dyslexia you/they will need to be fully assessed to confirm the diagnosis and, possibly more importantly, to ascertain the best ways to help them with education and daily life.

It took me a long time to get the diagnosis for my son. He suffered many years of being labelled as naughty and below average; it was heartbreaking for me to have a bright and sparky child who repeatedly received bad reports because his teachers were unable to see that he was dyslexic. Even worse, he once had a teacher who openly told me they thought he was dyslexic but then still  marked him down on his achievements because the school couldn’t make any allowance for his dyslexia without an official diagnosis – but – the school wouldn’t help me get that diagnosis because there were children with ‘more severe needs’.

We ended up paying for a private diagnosis and at the age of 11 he is now receiving additional support.

If you think your child is dyslexic, fight for the school to get him/her assessed, if you don’t push for it no one else will!

For further information why not speak to your SENCO or contact the British Dyslexia Association.

An Afternoon’s Fun With Epic Straws! #epicstraws

Posted on 15th October 2012 in children/ craft/ review

I don’t often take up offer to review products in return for a guaranteed post, however the Cravendale Epic Straws combined two things that my boys love so it seemed rude not to! Both my boys love milk, they always have done and they are always building and constructing things so were keen to take up the Epic Straws challenge.

Here is how they got on:

And the last one, combining both their efforts:

As you can see, they had great fun with the straws – if you’d like the chance to build and epic straw take a look at the website or see promotional information on the labels of Cravendale milk cartons in stores right now! If your children don’t currently enjoy milk, this could be the perfect way to get them into it!

Epilation vs Home Waxing

Posted on 14th October 2012 in hair removal

A few months ago I bought an epilator and wrote a post about how I got on with it…click here to read.

Although it’s fair to say that the pain did lessen each time it was still very painful, but worse than the pain at the time was the amount of pain afterwards; I found that my underarms were sore for up to a week after each session.

It came to the point where it needed doing ago and I found that I put it off, then put it off some more until it got to the point that my legs were hairier that my OH’s and I realised something had to be done.

So, while in town I popped into a couple of places to see if I could get waxed. It seems you have to plan these things in advance as everywhere I tried was fully booked – and it was blinking expensive too.

OH suggested I try home waxing strips, at £8-10 a box this was a much cheaper option but I was pretty sure it either wouldn’t work or would hurt like hell.

However, as I really didn’t fancy epilating again I decided to give it a go.

I was very nervous, absolutely convinced that it would rip half my leg off, but it was fine :)

There was a brief pain while the strip was whipped off but it was quite bearable and there was no pain after!

It was easy to do and the strips smelt lovely too. Even though I found it easy to do myself, my OH offered to help and with him doing it was much simpler and quicker and before we knew it my legs were done.

The pain of epilating my underarms had been borderline horrific so I was pretty tense about waxing them but told OH to carry on regardless and was pleasantly surprised to find that again the pain was really not too bad and only lasted for a few seconds.

I don’t think I’d have managed to do my underarms myself so I would definitely suggest that you have a friend or partner help you at least for the first time but overall I can’t recommend it highly enough.

There is a little sachet wipe thing included in the pack that removes any excess wax from your skin and that has left my legs and arms feeling lovely. I showered afterwards and then applied deodorant without any stinging what so ever.

I am a complete convert, so much so that I am sticking my epilator on to ebay tonight as I have no intention of ever using it again!

Chocolate #100WCGU

Posted on 11th October 2012 in 100WCGU

The policeman stared at me, drinking in my size-too-small jogging bottoms and my ‘RELAX’ t-shirt under the treacherous hooded jacket. “It’s all a misunderstanding. I don’t even like them and I’m on a diet!” I heard my voice raise an octave and attempted to lower it to my normal tone, “Seriously it must have just fallen off the shelf and into my hood when I reached up for some water…”  as I attempted to demonstrate I overbalanced and clumsily knocked his hat, suddenly it was in my hand and as he reached for his cuffs I knew the day was about to get worse.

– – –


Lasting Damage #BookReview

Posted on 11th October 2012 in #bookreview


by Sophie Hannah

The official blurb: Sophie’s sixth psychological crime novel to feature Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer.

It’s 1.15 a.m. Connie Bowskill should be asleep. Instead, she’s logging on to a property website in search of a particular house: 11 Bentley Grove, Cambridge. She knows it’s for sale; she saw the estate agent’s board in the front garden less than six hours ago.

Soon Connie is clicking on the ‘Virtual Tour’ button, keen to see the inside of 11 Bentley Grove and put her mind at rest once and for all. She finds herself looking at a scene from a nightmare: in the living room there’s a woman lying face down in a huge pool of blood. In shock, Connie wakes her husband Kit. But when Kit sits down at the computer to take a look, he sees no dead body, only a pristine beige carpet in a perfectly ordinary room…


I didn’t give the last Sophie Hannah book that I read a great review, so I am all the happier to say that this one was actually really good!

The Zailer/Waterhouse relationship side of the book was still weak however and I can’t help thinking that Sophie Hannah started something several books ago that she was then compelled to continue with; I wonder if she regrets it?

Putting that to one side, the storyline was excellent and forgiving a few elements that slightly stretch plausibility (but then don’t all books?) it was a really good and well put together story.

As ever, Sophie Hannah’s observational skills when it comes to recording relationships is simply excellent she manages to capture that familiarity of the routines that families have which are disliked by so many of the family yet which continue year after year, just because. The unspoken words between Connie, her sister and her parents are all there loud and clear.

There was one little thread through the story of which the purpose eluded me but that’s not to say that it spoilt the book. Maybe I’m just not on the right wavelength for these novels some of the time.

Sorry if this sounds like a negative review, I think my experience of the previous book has possibly prevented me from reviewing this book on an impartial basis; it had something to prove from page one!

For me, this was Sophie Hannah back on form and I would recommend it.

Back to top