Monday 30 April 2018

Giveaway No 9 - 3D Pop up wooden cards.

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.

Todays prize is your choice of three A6 size cards, anything in the range that comes with a C6 envelope.

If it was me I would be tempted to go for some some of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh range. I got one of this range for Mothers Day from the grandchildren.  

There is a choice of birds,including this very cute Puffin, or a nice novel Beach hut, or you could go for something from the Scottish Heritage Range like this Highland Coo .

POP UP  products are designed and made by Andy Cox who started a small business in 2012 in order to raise funds by selling a range of products that were made in  Gordonstoun School, Moray, Scotland mainly for the Christmas Gift market.Andy was head of design there, He works with Fiona who was in charge if careers and cooking. 
They have started the funding of a workshop through compassionUK (one of the top 10 British charities), providing tools, materials and  teachers to help 30 boys and girls in Kenya to get a vocational education in one of the most poorest areas of the country and of our world. This year they are hoping to sponsor a project in Tanzania  to part fund a build of a workshop and cooking facility in Tanzania.
We have agreed to donate monthly for a year to three projects, Our monthly contributions will go to three different projects we chose; 
1. to Guatamala to help with an agricultural project (they feed 100 000 children a week there) perhaps towards a greenhouse or agricultural equipment or buy a coo!! ( we love coo’s here at Pop UPs!) 
2. to help with medical aid for children in Albania, the cost of medical support is beyond most families out there. 
3. Adopt-A-Child is looking into us contributing towards glasses and eye care for the Children in Albania. 
You can find more information about the company over on their website and their is more information as well on their Facebook page.

To enter just follow the instructions on the Gleam form below.

Please note this prize is being supplied by Pop Up Designs so the winners email will be passed to them for fulfillment of the prize. No other information will be shared.

Win 3 A5 size Pop Up 3d cards

Sunday 29 April 2018

My Sunday Photo 29th April

A late evening walk along the river the other night, snapped this just at sunset. Looking down the river as the smooth water goes over the dam to create the rougher water and runs under the bridge. #MySundayPhoto


Saturday 28 April 2018

Project 365 week 17

Seen the grandchildren most days this week, popped in and out. Also been clocking up the miles walking with Dixie dog.


One of the joys of 6am is the pretty sun rises.

sun rise over the houses 


It was pouring when it came to gymnastics time tonight so dropped Bob off and went and put petrol in the car and had a wander round the shopping estate. When I dropped Bob back it was dry so picked up hubby and dog and went round the fishery.
This old machinery is just lying at the side of a pile of large stones. They would have a lot of history to tell if they could talk.

old farm machinery 


 Took the dog a walk and it rained a few minutes after we left the car, and it rained very heavy, so time we got back to the car we were soaked so she was dried with the hair dryer.

Dixie getting hair dried 


Had my interview, think I did all right, answered all the question to the best of my ability. Went for a walk round Rozelle park and spotted four painted stones. Did not collect any of them as left them for somebody else's children.

a few local groups encourage this


We needed to go and do some shopping, so decided on Irvine as it is a covered mall and the weather was not the nicest. While we were shopping the rain was torrential, but time we came out it had dried up so we risked a walk. We went round the beach park and Dixie was having lots of fun running up and down the hills between hubby and myself.

running down the hill 


We took Dixie for a walk down the woods. Yes Yes I know my life is boring. For some unknown reason we took a different route, through a field we have never walked through before. Anyway we carried on our way and I could hear shouting. did not think much of it as you often get groups of children in the woods.  So we had decided which route we were going to take back through the woods having skirted round them on the outward leg. But as we got to the bottom we spotted a very wet Jack Russell running loose, but thought little of it and the dog haired off at a great rate of knots across the fields in the opposite direction to us.We thought it was maybe a farm dog as we were on farm land ( no animals out at the moment)  The I heard shouting again, sounding like somebody shouting a dogs name, and so I said to hubby I can hear somebody in the woods shouting a name, I wonder if he has lost the dog. So we stood and watched the dog running across the fields and then he came back in our direction. So we decided to see if we could get hold of the dog. Hubby doubled back and managed to get the dog on the lead. So we headed into the woods where we could hear somebody shouting Jack, so we used the name for the dog and he responded. We could not see anybody but could hear him. So I shouted "you looking for a dog, a Jack Russell" to which the man yelled back "Yes" so I yelled back "we have him safe on the lead". So the man struggled through the undergrowth across the river and we met up with him. The man was delighted and relieved and could not thank us enough for getting him. He was worried dog was stuck in a rabbit hole or stuck somewhere as his dog does not bark. Fate works in strange ways and something obviously led us to the area the dog was in.

road to nowhere 


Hubby has been busy out the back doing bits and pieces. He has taken this wall down to below the level of the slabs. This is where the small shed had been sitting that he moved to the bottom of the garden. But it left the bricks two high above the edge, bricks were moving, and damaged  and was a potential trip hazard for the kids to injure themselves on. He plans to level it back to the pavement height but they need regrouting.  Yes I know my slabs need pressure washing but for some reason the water to my outside tap has dried up to a trickle and does not fun fast enough for the pressure washer.

ready for regrouting. 

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Giveaway No 8 Hama beads

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 days to spread them out over the month.

Today's giveaway is from Hama Beads. We are lovers of Hama Beads and have been using them for a number of years now.
 Fifi has made some great basic items

a butterfly

tree and parrot 
and I made her a picture for her wall. This measured approx 18 inches by 2 ft.

a unicorn mounted on hardboard, pearlescent card and edged with sticky ribbon. 

Hama Beads are small, coloured, craft beads that can be used in various ways to create wonderful designs and beautiful pieces of art. Visit our How To page to find out how to use them.
They are available in three different size ranges – Midi, Maxi and Mini – for all ages and abilities so they can be enjoyed by everyone; male, female, young and old.
The recommended ages below are to be used only as a guide. Suitability always depends on the individual’s ability.
Please note that beads and pegboards from different size ranges are not compatible with each other.

Hama beads are offering a Pirate Art set.

Approximately 1,100 assorted Midi Hama Beads and a Large Heart Pegboard. Follow designs on the packaging to create a pirate, skull, anchor, heart and arrow, and love scroll - ideal for Halloween! Also includes Ironing Paper and instructions.

picture taken from Hama beads web site 

Giveaway No. 8 hama beads pirate set

Sunday 22 April 2018

My Blog's 7th anniversary giveaway No 7

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 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 another box of Thorntons chocolates again provided by myself. These are proving very popular so seems sensible to run with another box.

Giveaway No 7 - Box of Thorntons chocolates I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database! - Find more competitions at

My Sunday Photo 22nd April

We took a walk along Troon Beach the other day, well more like a blow along. But then it is well known for its windsurfing, and people were making the most of that. So we snapped a series of pictures.

Wasn't always plain sailing


Saturday 21 April 2018

Project 365 week 16

A week of warm, some days to warm, dry weather and Dixies little legs have been clocking up the miles. She gets so much enjoyment out of her walks, especially when we take her to places she has been a few times and she is beginning to know and have confidence in, just not so keen to wander away in new areas. But that will come. Three months is not long in the great scheme of things.
Got through the first stage with the job, got an interview this coming Wednesday so fingers crossed.


My eyes were mucky when I got up and they got sorer and sorer as the day went on. So saw the on call ophthalmologist at the hospital and was diagnosed with Bleptaritis and dry eye again and got two lots of drops to use for two weeks.


Gymnastics and a walk with the dog. Went down by the pond to look for frog spawn and found loads.


Bob turned 12 today. He asked for a golden snitch cake, way beyond my capabilities especially with his allergy free cake. So I made it and Fifi was going to paint a snitch on top, but that did not work on the icing I made. So she covered it in butter icing and added some gold colour to that. It tasted fine and Bob was quite happy with it. Job done!!!.

Had taken a trip Troon to pick up a camera bag, have a wander round the charity shops and went for a VERY windy blow along the beach, was a lovely warm afternoon despite the wind and this had brought out the wind surfers, will share a picture of them for a #mysundayphoto tomorrow.

A GP appointment in the morning, a walk with Dixie round the local park and stocked up on frozen chicken portions on the way home.

I was invited along to an informal focus group based on a survey I had filled in for The Active travel hub Ayr . It was a pleasant evening with six invited people who had heard of the hub but not yet used it. The evening was a brainstorming session about how we felt we could get more local people walking and cycling, why we walk/cycle and why we don't. Most of us agreed that a lot of the beautiful areas round here, parks, country estates, cycle paths, beaches etc are unlit and you need to drive to a starting point for your cycle ride especially if you have kids and that defeats the purpose.  Four of the six of us had dogs and we like to get out and about with them not just for exercise but the social and psychological benefits as well. They are looking for ways to grow forward with their funding. Hopefully given them some food for thought. Hubby walked the dog on the beach while I was in at the meeting, car was going anyway so seemed silly not to.


Has been some beautiful weather here this week. Far to nice to stay in. I needed to put one of my geocaches back as we had removed it a few weeks back as it was soaking wet. So went for a 2 hr walk up to Failford. Dixie had a lot of fun sniffing and looking at things.  Think the whole time we were there we saw five other people and three dogs. Beautiful area just so underused.


Watched the kids for a few hours while DD1 and her pal were painting the outside of her house. We played in the garden with various toys on their swing set, in the sand pit and on the slide. Dinky was in a stroppy mood, causing arguments over anything and everything she could. Her leg has been playing her up again and waking her at night so she was tired. Back at the hospital on Monday with it. Having scooter races, and every time Dinky lost she howled her head off.

More mileage for Dixie down the local woods.


No overtime today, not too bothered in this heat right enough. Home to sit and write this blog post. Way to hot so will walk dog this evening. Tea was sorted yesterday for tonight so cold roast beef and oven chips it is.

Daft dog loves to lie on the back of the couch in the sun, gets too hot so moves long enough to get a drink and cool down, then straight back up again.

Friday 20 April 2018

Frogs, rabbits and a magic wand.

DD2 was down with Ziggy for a few days last week and our plan had been to go out together as a family and do something, but DD1 was having to stay in and wait on a tradesman coming to do a job so seemed a bit pointless going without her.

So instead we went down to DD1's and took the four youngest out to the park. Bob only came with us as he was grounded and used it as an excuse to get out. Have not included him in the pictures as that was his choice.

Was nice to see the cousins together, and this is the first time Ziggy has been down since she started walking, and so she could join in better with the playing, though she is still very unsteady on her feet and as of yet not able to run to keep up with the others. Dinky was happy to hang back and hold her hand rather than run on with the others some of the time.

When we got to the park Dinky went straight for the swings and Spud went on with her. The Ziggy got in when Spud got out. Spud moved from item to item not far behind Minky much of the time.

It was quite funny while Dinky and Ziggy were in the swings with DD2 pushing them - Dinky had an  magic wand in her hand and was changing DD2 into a frog or a rabbit and she was hopping around making frog and rabbit noises. Dinky was in fits at her.

It was a cold day and we kept them moving as much as we could, as much to keep us warm as them. Ziggy had a padded suit on so she was all right.

We moved across to the truck and Dinky was driving us to Glasgow but we needed to stop at Asda on the way and DD2 was sent for some shopping to take with us,

Photographs in no particular order

Spud ( front) and Ziggy

Dinky sat down so Ziggy copied

Ziggy copying Dinky

Spud on the slide 

Spud hiding

On the see saw

on the little girls slide

at the top of the big girls slide

Dinky was happy to hold Ziggys hand and walk nice

oh look a puddle....

driving the truck with her magic wand in her hand

being held onto while Dinky pushed the roundabout

Ziggy in the swing 

on the way back with the shopping

Being Superman

They only got to play in the puddles on the way home as it was too cold to get wet and stay and play. 

My grandchildren cannot walk passed a puddle. 

or any other puddle.

Country Kids

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.

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.

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