Thursday, 19 April 2018

Giveaway No 6 £10 voucher from Titan Designs

On April fifth my humble little blog will be seven years old. Seven years of sharing the ups and downs of life, the growth of my family from two grandchildren to seven not to mention a house move and the demise of two pets.

So by way of celebration I am planning on running a series of competitions. Some of the prizes I am providing myself and some have generously been donated by various companies. So I have ten prizes so will run one every three days to spread them out over the month.

Today's giveaway is from;

Titan Designs - Clothing and Glassware

You can see some of what she does over on her Facebook page.

I am offering a £10 voucher spend. This would cover the price of an adult t-shirt with up to 3 colours of vinyl, any child's t-shirt with vinyl or pictures on it or any 2 glasses. The voucher can be used as part payment towards any other items if you prefer.

I am a small business which designs and makes bespoke t-shirts, hoodies and glasses to order. Custom designs available. I will work with through all stages of the process, ensuring the design and positioning are exactly what you want.

Here are some examples of previously commissioned work.

Why not enter my other giveaways while you are here?

No 4
 No 5

Giveaway No 6 - £10 voucher for Titan Designs

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Consider sending your Year 11 child away with NCS this Summer.

Picture it now, the Summer holidays are upon us and your 16/17 year old are being argumentative and really irritating you, up half the night, sleeps half the day, rarely off their electronic gadgets. Got an answer for everything, that is if you can get more than a grunt out of them. If this sounds like your household then read on. I may just have an idea that will be the answer to your prayers.

Teenagers are a strange breed and a law unto themselves. Part of being a teenager is to push the boundaries not just at home but in school and out in the community as well. Teenagers need help to learn what those boundaries are and part of this learning process is being away from home and doing things for themselves. Learning to be independent often starts at a young age with play group and nursery, but carries on all through childhood.

I, as a grandparent, feel the children of today do not challenge themselves in the way we did as children and that modern children are more protected and this is not always a good thing. Children need to challenge themselves, risk assess for themselves and to use an old fashioned saying "learn the hard way".

Our children need to learn life skills by putting themselves outside their comfort zone in a safe and supervised environment. I know when my own children were young we lived in a designated area of deprivation and I was a volunteer in an urban aid funded project that ran holiday play schemes for the local children. They got a lot out of this and it was great to see them blossom and grow. My daughter was eleven the year she was put in charge of the tuck shop. From picking the volunteers to work with her, going to the cash and carry and deciding what to buy as well as counting and banking the money. While there was an adult with her for her safety the responsibility for it being stocked and run well was all hers. Children thrive with challenges and she still has fond memories of that time.

 I am sure the majority of us have heard of The Duke of Edinburgh awards (DofE) and the challenges and opportunities this offers young people but I have to say I have not heard about National Citizen Service (NCS)  before now.

What is NCS?

NCS say they are more than a youth programme, they are a network of grassroots organisations that offers unique experiences that has a positive impact to enable 16 and 17 year olds to become better individuals and better citizens. It is open to children in England and Northern Ireland. It varies in length from 2-4 weeks and takes place in school holidays. The course brings together people from different backgrounds to offer a unique shared experience . The course is residential and the young people participate in community based projects and over seven million hours of time has been put into communities.

NCS was piloted with just 158 children in 2009, became a government backed programme in 2011, and now they have had almost 400.000 children go through the scheme, making them the fastest growing youth organisation for a century. This year more than 100,000 teenagers from all walks of life will get together to develop skills and build community projects. It is not to late to add your teenager to that number. There are still places available for Year 11s to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity this summer. To sign up now go to the NCS website.  

NCS appreciate that families may have other arrangements, but this can be worked round with various dates available. Why not go and have a look at their website for further information so that they can arrange a spot on a programme at a time that suits your family?

The course puts the children through a series of challenging activities. This progressive journey takes them out of their comfort zone and hands over more responsibility as the course progresses. They learn to connect with their local community and both the individual as well as the community benefits. It is amazing value for money, for the funding government as well as the community, with £1.15 to £2.42 of benefits back to society for every £1 spent. This makes them better individuals, better future employees and a valued member of the local community. A sense of pride and feeling appreciated are a great emotional boost.

The course itself is easily affordable with all food, accommodation and travel costs included at a maximum cost of £50. Now I don't know about you but I could never feed my teen for that little during school holidays. They are allowed to take minimal spending money but they recommend no more than £10 per person. There are bursaries available for some children, this is calculated on each individual young persons needs.

The website informs you that the children do not get their mobile phones during activity time, while some of them may moan about this I think it is a good thing to get them doing something non electronic.

The world is a changed place since I was a teenager just two generations ago.  Jobs were much easier to come by and you as the worker could pick and choose what you wanted to do. Today the general public have much higher expectations that they did in my day. I remember expressions like " the customer is always right" well believe me having worked in retail that is not always true but respect and tolerance had to be shown regardless.

To hold down a place in society your teenager needs to not only be given the right tools but also to be shown how to use them correctly, to grasp any opportunities and learn respect for others around them. We need to make our children feel worthy and valued members of society. The world does not owe them a living, they have to earn that living.

By sending your 16/17 years olds off for two to four weeks you are helping them build their confidence, their self esteem, and giving them the next valuable step towards being an adult in a difficult world, and giving them a break from you at the same time.

You can find out more about NCS on their social media pages;
Facebook  Twitter  and Instagram

This is a collaborative post

Giveaway No 5 - £10 of Lotto tickets

On April fifth my humble little blog was seven years old. Seven years of sharing the ups and downs of life, the growth of my family from two grandchildren to seven not to mention a house move and the demise of two pets.

So by way of celebration I am planning on running a series of competitions. Some of the prizes I am providing myself and some have generously been donated by various companies. So I have ten prizes so will run one every third day to spread them out over the month.

Giveaway No 5 is for £10 of Lotto tickets. Not bought these yet as will buy them once the competition closes. The winner gets to choose their own combination of tickets.

You can also enter my other current giveaways as well.

No 2 \(closed)
No 4
Giveaway No 5 - £10 of Lotto tickets

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Project 365 week 15


DD2 had planned on going home today but she had been up all night with D&V and could not get out of the bathroom long enough to do anything. I knew she would not cope with Ziggy and I have to be at work at 8am. Granddad does not do nappies, feeding or crying toddlers so I made myself very popular by phoning DD1 at 7.30 am to ask her if she could come and get Ziggy before her hubby went to work at 8am and keep her until I got home. I did not have overtime so knew I would be back in the afternoon. DD1 was at a birthday party with the kids so she just took Ziggy with her as well and I picked her up afterwards.


DD2 felt better and was going home. She took Ziggy and the dog for a walk to tire the two of them out, fed Ziggy lunch and then headed home hoping Ziggy would sleep for most of the journey. They brought me some daffodils before they left.

We went for a two hour walk down the woods with Dixie.


A few bits and pieces to do in the morning, then home and out with the dog for a walk. She was loving running up and down the hills. Spot the orange harness - easier than trying to see the dog in the brown leaves.


We had to go to Stirling to visit DS1, not been since before Christmas due to various factors. Asked Fifi to come and sit in the house as did not want Dixie dog left as we have never left her before and we are away from home for approximately six hours which was far to long. Fifi had some baking to do for Thursday so she just did it while she was here.


Hubby had an appointment for his bloods for his diabetes. It was a dry and sunny if cold day so we took Dixie for a walk round a local park, then did some shopping and went along the river on the way home. Dixie encountered her first squirrels in the park today. She is really enjoying being sociable with people and other dogs we meet.
 We walked for about 3 hrs today.


Some of you will have heard of Steven Brown art, he is based in Ayr and today was the launch day for his first book. Book not written by him but based on his characters. He was having a launch at the shop with the author in reading to the children and he was signing the books for you as well. DD1 had wanted a copy for the kids so I said I would pop along for her as I was in the town anyway. The queue was out the door and round the shop and taking over an hour to get to the front of the queue, decided not to bother waiting.


My advancing age is showing in many different ways. one of them being that the weight of my laptop sitting on my legs is making my knee and my hips sore. So I bought an overbed tray to use on my chair, making life a lot less painful.

I still have 4 competitions running, No 1 only until tomorrow but feel free and enter them while you are here.

No 1
 No 2
 No 3
No 4

Friday, 13 April 2018

Ziggy comes to visit.

Ziggy does not appear on the blog as often as the other children do due to her living nearly three hours away. This is the first time she has been down since she started walking, and I have to say Dixie was better with her this time. So I thought it would be nice to do a post on her. 

One thing that has not changed is Dixie still does not like her crying over the baby monitor or for that matter any other babies that cry on the television. I use Panasonic Multi Room Speakers that sit next to my chair and  Dixie stares at it and woofs when babies cry,  Apparently this is not unusual in dogs as you can read hereZiggy on the other hand loves to come over and stand by it especially when her favourite programme Something Special with Justin and Mr Tumble is on. She knows a lot of the Makaton signs from watching this, nice to know tv can be so educational. 

Anyway I digress this post is about Ziggy not Dixie, but then I suppose as part of the family she will feature.

When DD2 arrived they had been cooped up on the car for three hours so after they had all been fed we took the two dogs, ours and hers, wrapped up warmly and went for a walk in the wind and sleet along the back road. Ziggy was cold and a bit grumpy so we kept her going by encouraging her to go from puddle to puddle.

swinging on her reigns 

We did have some dry if cold weather and we spent time in the garden. This is an awful lot easier since hubby moved the shed down to the bottom of the garden and we can now see the whole garden. We acquired some toys from the woman across the road a few weeks back so she spent time in the cosy coupe car, on the scooter and pushing her baby in the buggy. 

sat down to have a snack

the buttons on the scooter play music


The buggy also came into the house to be played with 

She is remarkably good most of the time with us considering despite being her grandparents we are strangers to her due to this distance. She still seems to prefer Granddad to me when mummy is not around

Mummy left her while she was eating her breakfast

and left her while she went for a shower.

We went down to the park with her cousins one of the days, a separate blog post will follow on that in the next week. 

joining in with her cousins 

copying Dinky

We also spent time indoors as well. 

playing with the toys

making a cup of tea for Dixie dog

stories with Mummy 

feeding Dixie ( Dixie is chewing not growling) 

reading a story to Dixie

rocking the teddies sunglasses 

putting the dog toys in and out of the bed and cage 

On Friday night DD3 joined us for a fun evening. 

We also manged to get Dixie to allow Ziggy to feed her. Ziggy was still woofing when DD2 came down the stairs or into the room but a huge improvement on last time. If you watch to the end of the video you will see Ziggy putting toys in and out of the dog crate, the crate gave her loads of fun as the dog did not need to be put in there at all. 

This is a collaborative post 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Benjy Bunn's Busy Day book - Giveaway No 4

On April fifth my humble little blog will be seven years old. Seven years of sharing the ups and downs of life, the growth of my family from two grandchildren to seven not to mention a house move and the demise of two pets. 

So by way of celebration I am planning on running a series of giveaways. Some of the prizes I am providing myself and some have generously been donated by various companies. So I have ten prizes so will run one every three days to spread them out over the month.

Today's prize is a copy of Benjy Bunn's Busy Day. This book is not available to buy until May 15th so I am giving you a chance to win it before that. 

Bev Scott Prior first wrote the Benjy Bunn series in the early 1970's to read to her children at the local nursery. The pages of the first copies of the stories, typed by her husband 45 years ago, are worn and weathered, each page smudged and frayed by the hands of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Now in 2018, Benjy has been brought to life by her grandson James Burns, the main illustrator of the series. The Benjy Bunn Books series is filled with old-fashioned charm, wit and wonderful musicality.

The first book in the series is about Benjy Bunn's Busy Day around his home. Benjy Bunn believes that he is doing good, helping his Mummy in the house and Daddy in the garden, however it is evident to the reader that his actions are actually causing mayhem in his family home. Whether it’s preparing food, tidying his room, or doing the gardening, Benjy gets it ever-so wrong. 

We have reviews from young readers on Toppsta.comThe book is due to be released on 15th May 2018 in the UK, and is currently available to pre-order at and m. It will shortly also be available on Amazon in both physical and ebook format.

This book is suitable for ages 4-8 years.

you can also enter my other live giveaways here

 No 1 (Closed)
 No 2 (closed)
 No 3
No 5
No 6

  Listed On Loquax

Benjy Bunn's Busy Day book - Giveaway No 4

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Project 365 week 14


Finished off this piece of cross stitch during my break today.


Sister in law  Big A and Niece B were up in Scotland visiting Auntie M and Cousin A plus her daughter L for the long weekend. So we met up for a coffee and a blether. Not sure we will go back as when I pointed out that somebody had peed on the floor and there was no toilet roll she went to mop it up with a bottle of spray and a piece of paper roll with her bare hands......and then was going back to serving food......yeuch. Exciting news for Sis in law as her daughter is pregnant and she is looking forward to being a Gran.

We had flurries of snow most of the day though it did not settle.


It was cold and it rained and rained. No walk was had with the dog. Sorted out my next piece of cross stitching.
Made some cakes. Choc chip with raspberry drizzle on.


DD2 braved the snow in her area to come down for a few days. It snowed most of the day, nothing lay but wasn't the nicest day. But as DD2's dog and the granddaughter had been stuck in the car for about three hours after we had all eaten lunch we went for a walk. Ziggy splashed her way from puddle to puddle and both the dogs were very wet time we got back. She decided she would swing on her reigns and scream as the puddles were not coming quick enough. Tried to get some smiley photos but my hands were to cold to unlock the phone.

This is the first time Ziggy has been down since she started walking about a month ago, seems funny to see her walking. Did take pictures in the house later but life is not all sweetness and roses and children will have temper tantrums on their reins.


Was suppose to be going out with DD1 and DD2 but DD1 had to wait in on a tradesman who was suppose to be there on Wednesday so we went down and took them all to the park. Bob decided to come with us as he is grounded and not allowed out on his own or with his pals. A park post will follow some time in the next week.


DD3 (Auntie H) came for tea and to spend some time with Ziggy. Lots and giggles was had at her cuteness.


Had a Debenhams voucher that I decided to spend before Debenhams are no more. So bought a pair of trainers as they won't go wrong.