Friday, 31 August 2012

Project 366 244/366

Well that is us two thirds of the way through the year. Tomorrow is the first of September, a day I am going to be attending my first ever blog conference. This one is a food blog conference and they have even been kind enough to bring it to my home town.

Anyway my lovely friend, Kay from brinkofbedlam is on her way up to stay with me for the weekend, Ive dusted me corners and cleaned the places I have been threatening to clean for a month or three, but more importantly I have made her a cake, cos she said she wasn't coming if I didnt.

Ladies and gentleman I give you Kay's Matchmaker cake;



A simple eggless sponge with vanilla flavour butter icing and surrounded by matchakers

I am also entering this onto Helen's Foodie Foto Friday - love the title - it is exactly what it says a foto of some food I have made this week. Hows this for economics -  a multi purpose cake.

The Crazy Kitchen

Please come and join in  @ The Crazy Kitchen 

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Project 366 243/366

Had to take a run to West Kilbride earlier as had to pick something up for daughter No3 so took a walk along the pier at Portencross. To say it is old and past its best is an understatement but people still use it for fishing.



Look at the hole as you walk along- scary suff


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Project 366 242/366

Thank goodness for the river to walk along, it allows me a lot of photographic opportunities. Right place right time to see this marvellous creature.



The heron just before he flew away. 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Project 366 241/366

Went walking round the paths at the back of the new uni tonight and saw this sign, so OH had to go the other side - and yes the tree attacked him.





Anybody walking by must have thought we were nuts.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Project 366 240/366

Not been out and about today due to the weather, Bob was quite tired and nearly sleeping snuggled in on the couch watching tv just after 4pm. But we toddled off to make pancakes for the tea and this woke him up a bit. Not had the camera out much while we played the wii and then ludo but snapped these half an hour ago.

out for the count and not a care in the world. 

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Project 366 239/366

It is all becoming so real now, and Kay and I have been on the phone to each other very very excited. Only 6 more sleeps.


Saturday, 25 August 2012

A matchmaker cake

I have a lovely friend coming to stay next weekend, and one of the provisos of her coming was that I baked her a cake. I had an idea for a cake and so thought I would try it out to see if it looked as good as I visualised it on my head.

I used a basic Victoria Sponge but changed the eggs for ground flaxseed, added chocolate powder to half of it and  leaving half of it plain. But this would work just as well with a normal cake recipe.

outside
Cooked the cakes in two rectangular cake tins and once cool cut each piece onto four width wise. Placed them on top off each other as in a chess board design and stuck together with dairy free butter icing to which I added vanilla extract and some red and blue gel food colouring, hoping to achieve a nice purple colour but ended up with a sort of mucky bluey grey colour. Wont be adding the colouring next week.

I then spread butter cream round the edge and cut a combination of orange and mint matchmakers in half and stood them upright round the edge of the cake.

Looked very nice indeed, and of course tasted light, fluffy and delicious.


Smoked pork sausage, cheese and onion bread

Gluten free bread is notoriously difficult to make tasty and interesting, and even the expensive bought stuff leaves a lot to be desired, so I invent new types to appeal to the grandson.

I used the basic recipe as I have done before, see post here.

I added to it 1/2 chopped smoked pork sausage
1/2 red onion finely chopped
4 oz dairy free cheese

mix  in, rise and cook.


the rolls







and to stop his sister feeling left out I also made ordinary bread the same. I loved this as I eat dry bread and this was so flavoursome.

ingredients
1lb bread flour of choice - I used einkorn
1.5 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoon yeast
1.5 teaspoon sugar
340 ml water

add to bread maker in way recommended by manufacturer. When machines beeps for adding ingredients add

1 chopped red onion
the pieces of sausage are visible
1/2 chopped smoked pork sausage
4 oz cheese grated

cook and slice, lovely on its own or just with butter.













Capture the colour

I was tagged by Emma over at The mini mes and me to join in with a competition.  It is called Capture the colour and is being run in conjunction with TravelSupermarket.com. One lucky winner wins £2000 cash to spend on travel and the five colour category winners will receive an iPad3.

As a getting there photographer I love the idea of this.

They say a picture paints a thousand words. Well, rather than asking you to write a five thousand word blog post, we're inviting you to produce a blog post with up to 5 photos that really do 'Capture the Colour'.
We're looking for bloggers to publish a blog post with a photo that captures the following 5 colours - Blue, Green, Yellow, White and Red.
Ideally each blogger will submit a blog post that includes photos for each of the above colours but if you haven't got a photo for each colour, just submit a post with images for the colours you do have photos for - it's that simple.

On your blog post, tell us where the photo was taken and try to include any other additional information about the moment the photo was taken, what you could see, smell, hear, feel and perhaps a witty caption about that photo or trip in general. If you've written a post about that trip on your blog in the past, be sure to link to it so people can find out more! 

Competition closes 29th August.

Now I dont travel much so may struggle with the originality of the locations,but here we go


White


We went for a wander round Glasgow, not quite a holiday but a nice day out and whilst we were there we went to the Kelvin Grove art Gallery, did a blog post on it here.

Loved these white face masks, part of an expressions exhibition. The lights were bright, a lot of background chatter from various members of the public, and an organ recital had just finished.

They were actually quite spooky the way they were just sort of hanging in the air.






Yellow

Again we were out for the day, this time we had been down to Culzean Castle, did a blog post on it here. It is nice to highlight how beautiful my area is and give some of you ideas if you are coming to Scotland of a few places to visit.

This bee was busy making his legs bulge, its a real wonder he could take off. The whole gardens just overloads your senses with smell, colours, some of the plants were very tactile and it is amazing to watch the abundance of wild life in the garden.











Green

As I say we are spoilt for park and country estates virtually on my doorstep. I pick up the children from their home and we pass Auchencruive Estate coming back to my house. So during the holidays we would stop off and let the children run and play, explore and learn. We can watch the wild life along the river, splash in the river, pick apples from the trees, blackberries from the bushes and just enjoy the tranquillity of the place. It is a working estate and is home of the Agricultural College and therefore you often here the tractors working.

This is Bob looking for baddies in the bushes that he is going to use his super powers on, to protect me and his sister. This is done in a very noisy fashion, from the rustling of the bushes to the yelling of the child.  Ooooh for the imagination of a six year old.







Blue

We live right on the West Coast of Scotland, and I was tempted here to give you the sea meeting the sky with a boat or a buoy on the horizon. Or the sky reflected in the river along with the trees to give a beautiful mirror image. But I thought that a lot of other people would have used water, seems the logical choice somehow.

So instead I have dug out one of my favourite pictures that I have taken for my Project 366 this year. It came about because the sun had been streaming through the window in early January and these were still sat on my windowsill from Christmas day. This is a photograph of the reflections of bottles of Radox bubble bath. Not quite a holiday theme but using the contents is relaxing and required the sun to help create it.





Red

Well again this was taken during the school summer holidays, so in theory is a holiday picture. We had been out to the local park, which has now been turned into a building site, and Bob had decided he did not want his picture taken.

I like this photograph for its depth of field, from the red bars of the climbing frame, past the hand of the grandson to the beautiful sky beyond. He had decided this day I was not to take his picture, and we spent ages laughing and giggling whilst I chased his feet with my hands. Did a  blog post about it here






Now I need to tag five fellow bloggers, though time is running out.

Claire at Its ups and downs 

Jessie at  The Crazy Kitchen

Sonia at This Mummy Loves 

Wendy at Little Mans Mum

Donna at Mummy bird 






















Project 366 238/366

I was making a cake as a try out to see if it works before I make it for a very special friend coming to stay next weekend. The other half my husband decided to decorate. The butter icing was suppose to be purple not grey, but then next week it will not be purple so lesson learnt.




Friday, 24 August 2012

Project 366 237/366

Today is just another example of how my photographic eye sees weird things the old me would have ignored.

This is the metal strengthening inside a half burnt tractor sized tyre on the beach, been washed up and filled with sand and a fire set near it to try and burn it.

 

Did see a seagull bring a crab up onto a rock to try and open and eat it, stopped to photograph it but it was dropped before I could focus and click. Ah well the crab survived this time.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Project 366 236/366

Bored tonight, energy-less and could not be bothered going out for a walk, so decided to play with my supper instead.




mini weetabix and cherries

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Gallery - sky

Not joined in with the gallery for longer than I care to admit. but saw this weeks theme as sky and had to join in.

We live on the west coast and we get stunning skies around here.

from sunrise

to sunsets

and totally blue skies with a new moon during the day



why not come and join in for yourself. over at Sticky Fingers gallery

Project 366 235/366

OH and I met up with daughter No2 for a walk with her and her dog tonight, was a pleasant walk along the river at Auchencruive.

He is a daft lab that just loves the water, and it is only a good walk in Jack's book if he comes back muddy and wet.

jack in river at Auchencruive



Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Project 366 234/366



Ours went back to school yesterday, well as those that follow me know one has one hasnt, but here is Fifi looking all to grown up. her school jumper does have the school name on it but I cloned it out. Took this this morning when I dropped her at home to pick up her lunch money.

Smencils gourmet scented pencils review

We received a pack of five Fruit Shoot Smencils from Learning Resources through Blog Match

So what are Smencils? 

Everyone loves Robinsons® and now you can get best-selling Smencils® scented pencils in the five familiar Fruit Shoot™ flavours!

Smencils brought to you by educational toy manufacturer Learning Resources® are the world’s only scented pencils made from 100% recycled newspaper! 


The world’s only scented pencils made from 100% recycled newspaper.

So what did we think of them? 

I like the environmentally friendly aspect of these pencils, made from recycled material. I like the price at £5.99 for a pack of five. 




The grandchildren loved them for  a few different reasons. They liked the fact they all had their own tube for storage, this is to keep them smelly for longer. They loved  that they gave off their scent when they were writing with them and when they are doing their homework it makes the whole kitchen smell fruity. 

They were able to distinguish the scents just by smelling them so they were a good likeness. 

We love them. 

They also make coloured Smencils and Smens

Why not take a look at  Learning Resources Facebook Page and enter the competition to win a set of your own. All you have to do is leave them a comment telling them what new flavour you would like to see. 

Back to School with Stuck on You - Competition

We all know that going to school, or back to school, requires an awful lot of equipment, from clothes, to shoes, to gym kits, bags ans stationery to name but a few.

One company that can help out with this is Stuck on you

Now personally I am not a lover of names on public display on children's bags but plenty of people are, be it a back pack, a lunch box , library bags , book bags or pencil cases, Stuck on You offers them all.

If your child has a fairly common school bag, many slightly older kids want what every body else has, make it easier to spot by adding a bag tag, or why not buy them their own water bottle, never need to go hunting for a sports top style bottle again.

They do a huge variety of  labels, iron on for clothes, shoe labels, book labels, in a huge choice of styles, something suitable for both sexes and all ages.

I was offered to chance to pick some items from the back to school range for the grandchildren. So first off we let Fifi loose on the website where she spent over an hour looking at the huge choice of colours, styles and items available. She already had her heart set on a bag she had seen on the town so she decided to go with other items.


She choose The Tool 4 School pack, the pack contains a pencil case, 12 coloured pencils, 10 double ended felt tip pens, a ruler, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, 2 writing pencils and a pair of scissors with a blade cover on. The pencil case comes in a choice of 43 different designs each in a choice of 3 colours, thats 129 different options. The pencil case can have one name on, but the accessories that are  included in it can, if you wish as Fif did, have your middle name as well as your surname on, just add your middle name in the surname
box.You also get to chose a small picture to add to these accessories.  She chose the pink colour with birds on, and a cat as her small picture.

She liked the fact you could chop and change on the website and you can see a preview of the finished item before you confirm the entry. Half the fun for her was using the website.
The accessories seem to be of a very high standard, I love the double ended pens, one end think, one thin for both colouring and writing. The blade cover on the scissors is a nice safety feature, and as the name is on this they are less likely to loose it, or more likely to put it back on. The sharpener is inset into a small container so the sharpening's are not dropped on the floor. My only negative point on this was the ruler was slightly too long for ease of getting in and out of the case itself and I recommended to Ffif she did not put it back in as I feel over time it may damage the zip end on top of the pencil case.



She also chose a water bottle to match her pencil case as her school do not allow juice to be drunk in school only water so this is ideal, at evenings and weekends she could use it out and about playing with juice in.












Next off we got Bob some items, he got The Artist series Activity Pack . What we liked about this was depending on what design you picked the inside of the book is different, so technically you could buy a different set for each child with a different pages inside.
Bob has got the rocket set that has robots in and he has been working his way the puzzles, I would say they are designed for 5-8 years depending on the ability of your child, but that an older child would still enjoy doing them.
You also get a set of double ended felt pens and a set of pencils. These do not have a name on them, but you do get a sticker sheet that allows you to personalise the pencils if you wish and you can also use them on books, jotters etc.
The pencil case is a good size and will hold a jotter which is why we chose it for Bob as he is being home schooled and this will allow him to carry his jotters to home schooling group.


As his sister has personalised pencils we chose a set for Bob as well. You can buy just a set of pencils and double ended pens , would make a novel birthday or Christmas present.



Not to be left out I chose for me, well I deserve a treat and take juice and a snack to work with me, I chose a lunch pack set. The lunch box is insulated so keeps the food cool, and the juice bottle is aluminium BPA free so no worries about it. At  500ml the flask is probably big enough to give a drink at playtime as well as lunch time. The lunch box easily holds the flask a box with a few sandwiches with plenty of room for fruit or a cake. Has a nice handy elasticated pocket on the inside as well.


If you have a slightly older child that does not want a picture on their bags but would still like their name on  you can also get very nice embroidered ones .






Now I am running a competition with this, and you get to choose which you would like as a prize. You can pick from the three items either the lunch bag and water bottle set, the artist series activity pack or the tool for school pack.

To enter just let me know which prize you would like to win and  which colour and design you would like. Please leave this information as a comment along with a means of contacting you if you win. If the comment does not have all the relative details in then your entry will not count.  Once the winner has been confirmed I will ask you for the personal details you would like on it as well as you address and pass the information to Stuck on You for delivery.

Competition closes September 11th at 8pm GMT. The winner will be contacted and has 7 days to reply before I choose another winner. Competition  is open world wide.

Good luck.

For an extra entry please tweet " I have entered to win a personalised item from

@StuckOnYouTweet you can at http://tinyurl.com/c66fuv5 with @pooohbear2811" and come back and leave a separate comment to say you have done so. 




ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Monday, 20 August 2012

Project 366 233/366

Our children went back to school today, well Fifi did anyway, Bob started his home schooling. After their tea we went down to the beach park for a change. Fifi was tired but I thought it would get her out and give her some fresh air.




I give you a college of fun. 





TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky Have chosen this one to link up this week as it shows the huge amount of pleasure I get out of having my grandchildren every week. They bring such fun and joy into my life and I love the relationship I have with them.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Project 366 232/366



Not been out for a walk today, could not be bothered, but meet 2 of my bakewell tarts, my icing never stays thick or on and only had light coloured icing pens to make the pattern with, but taste very yummy no the less

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Project 366 231/366

Took a walk further along the coast, nearly to the end of Prestwick tonight as we had seen an old church ruin when we went to Glasgow on the train the other week, so went off to explore it. A lot of very interesting grave stones, some of which help to tell the history of the area.

Took this picture of one of the gravestones, The graveyard was up a hill approx 1/5 a mile from the coast. The buildings you see in the back ground were the other side of the golf course on the coast.





TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky linking this one up as a change from the children.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Project 366 230/366

Checking up at the allotment again this evening we may actually get something other than potatoes as a crop, look we have cobs on the corn, not te biggest yet  I will admit, but it is only August, another 6 weeks of sunshine to go yet, and a second cob coming on a few of them.




Thursday, 16 August 2012

Project 366 229/366

Strolled along the beach just before sunset tonight, got some sunset pictures, some soft sand pictures and this one. Along the shore there are a lot of rocks piled to stop erosion, and I quite liked the pattern on this piece.


Stabilo back to school - a review

Stabilo make a huge range of stationery items, including a range designed for children. I was sent some of these to share with the children and thought I would tell you about them in case you want to buy some for your children to send back to school with them. 




the green and yellow pen with 2 spare refills
STABILO knows that getting the kids ready to go back to school isn’t always easy which is why it has developed a pen to take at least one thing off your mind – handwriting. The EASYoriginal ergonomic pen will encourage your child to pick it up and learn with its colourful exterior and built in finger grips that make writing comfortable, fun and easy!
Why choosing STABILO is as easy as ABC:
E is for Ergonomics: The EASYoriginal ergonomic grip shows children exactly where their fingers should sit in order for them to write comfortably and without pain from holding too tight or pressing too hard. The EASYoriginal has versions for both right and left handed children.
C is for Colour: The bright look and variety of colours of the EASYoriginal means that it’s something that children actually want to use and are proud to show off in the classroom!
S is for Stockists: The EASYoriginal is available in all major supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco, major stationery shops including WH Smith and Rymans and online retailers including Amazon and Cult Pens.
T is for Trust: STABILO is a trusted brand which is praised by teachers, approved by parents and loved by children. STABILO believes in giving children the best possible start in education starting with the tools they need.
The RRP of the EASYoriginal is £6.99. 

This was easy for the children to use especially with it being shaped for thei hands, and it also a roller ball making it nice and easy to write with.  The one we were sent was for a right handed child and both the children loved using it. 






The Woody 3 in 1 is a chunky pencil with a difference, it’s a coloured pencil, watercolour and wax crayon all in one and is ideal for small hands. Plus, at only £8.00 for a pack of 6 the price will keep parents happy too!




For kids who love to colour, the Cappi pens are perfect for the new term ahead. All the caps on the STABILO Cappi are strung onto a clever ring, keeping them together and ensuring they don’t get lost! Cappi pens are £6.50 for a pack of 12. We liked the idea of these as my kids are notorious for losing the lids off of their pens. They colour  well with their nice thick nibs.  




The STABILO BOSS MINI Ocean Friends are fun and funky highlighters that each has a different character. At £3.89 for a pack of 3, these highlighters are ideal for keeping the summer fun going into the new term! These were limited edition and are no longer available.  I liked the size of these in comparison to normal size highlighters for young children's hands.  But they do have a smashing looking Halloween set  that may be quite nice as well, 





The STABILO Trio 2 in 1 has two different nibs making it the ideal gift for kids that love to switch quickly between colouring and writing. At £6.80 for a pack of 10 these pens will help save space in any pencil case!


For more information please follow us on Twitter @stabiloUK

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Project 366 228/366

Was round visiting a friend earlier on, and her husband was out cutting their grass. I was amazed, their lawnmower is older than me, and still works perfectly. He bought it second hand in 1970, he tells me it is a 1954 model - wow- the days things were built to last.




Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Project 366 227/366

We had run out of bread, so went to nearest supermarket just before 9pm, and the sun was just about set with some lovely tinges to the sky, so I walked round  the near empty car park to find the best angle to line the cloud up behind the steeple, somebody had put a lamp post in the way of one very good angle, no consideration at all!!





mic-o-mic a product review.

I was sent some new toys out last week for the children to try. I must admit I have never heard of mic-o-mic so I was intrigued as to what it is and how it works. The toys came from DKL Marketing


About DKL Toys

DKL History
Here at DKL Marketing, we have been distributing the finest range of toys from our Northamptonshire Headquarters for over 20 years. Founded in March 1989 by the Hawaleschka family, DKL’s name originates from family names Dorte, Kai & Lise. Kai Hawaleschka (Managing Director) has been in toys for most of his life having his interest sparked by his father who owned factories in Sweden and Denmark. DKL remains a  family owned business, continuously expanding  with new companies requesting DKL to distribute their products. As well as running DKL Kai is also a board member of the British Toy & Hobby Association.


and you can buy them at Play Merrily Toy shop .

Who are play merrily?

PlayMerrily Toys, Dolls and Crafts was established in 2007 as a sister site to www.BeadMerrily.co.uk where we have been selling Hama Beads and Polymer Clay since 2003.

PlayMerrily was created to allow us to sell some of the beautiful toys that were on offer to us from our existing crafts suppliers. Starting with the exquisite Corolle Dolls range, high quality French dolls for all ages, we have built this site from the very best toys on offer to us. We strive to maintain a balance between great price, excellent, durable toys with good play and educational value and customer service which has remained personal and friendly throughout the growth of our family business. We have added our favourite toys as the months have passed and now have nearly 40 different brands.

What is mic-o-mic?

mic o mic is an educational designer toy, targeting the individual abilities and skills of children. The construction kits are comprised of individual textured parts which are connected by pins and clips. Each part feels comfortable in the hand and is especially attractive to children. Whether with wings, wheels or sails, our models clearly defined shapes and bright, contemporary colours make the range absolutely unique.

mic o mic toys combine striking designs with tactile elements to produce an educational concept. With its model oriented design, a learning process is encouraged which will specifically train the child's three-dimensional imagination. The child will be proud of the finished model they have made. It will encourage them to move onto the next level. The range encourages children and parents to play together – perhaps competing with each other as the child becomes more competent.

When it comes to children, safety is always our priority. mic o mic is solely manufactured from materials that are free of harmful substances. Safe, fun and educational, children and parents will enjoy constructing and playing with mic-o-mic's distinctive design and function.

I was sent out the sailing boat

Large Sailing Boat mic.o.mic is the unique new construction toy where you create colourful models from quality, pre-formed plastic components using an innovative press stud connector system. 
The models are strong and durable when assembled and can be taken apart and re-made over and over again. 
This large sailing boat kit includes 21 component parts, 17 clips and 34 pins as well as an assembly tool and spare clips and pins. Assembled model size: 38 x 21 x 8cm






and the small aeroplane

Small Plane mic.o.mic is the unique new construction toy where you create colourful models from quality, pre-formed plastic components using an innovative press stud connector system. 

The models are strong and durable when assembled and can be taken apart and re-made over and over again. 

This aeroplane kit includes 18 component parts, 13 clips and 26 pins as well as an assembly tool and spare clips and pins. Assembled model size: 10.5 x 14.5 x 5cm





So what did we think of them?

First of all I like the bright colours, the pieces are all a good size and simple to fit together. Brilliant toy for non readers as the instructions are pictures,  just showing the order the pieces go together in. No reading involved, and as these are designed for age five upwards then that is ideal.

The system is push pins, no fiddly screws or bolts, no struggling to tighten them up and then they loosen as you play with the toy.

I tried this out with Bob (6) first, and for all he could follow the instructions he did not have the physical strength to push the pins into place.

So Fifi (9) came and took over the building,she, as I would expect, managed fine with the building process, apart from putting the keel on the boat which she needed my help with, but to hold the boat and push in was quite difficult. It took Fifi sixteen minutes to put together.

After we built the boat we took it down the river to try and sail it, but unfortunately it did not sail, would float temporarily but when it got in the current it sunk.










The plane was easy for Fifi to out together and she manage it in less than ten minutes. Bob and I then rebuilt the plane with him doing the assembly and me pushing in the pins. Both children enjoyed using  them.


We were provided with the toys for review purposes, but the findings and the words in the review are my own.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Project 366 226/366

Took video footage rather than photographs when we were out today, will do something with it when the rest of the review is done.

At the moment the two of them are upstairs watching Honey I shrunk the Kids


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Project 366 225/366

This holds a street lamp on one of the bridges that goes over the river.