Tuesday, 12 February 2019

That New Car Smell

Yes we all love it that smell of a shiny new car but in this article we will take a look at whether you can live without it in favour of investing in a used car so let's begin by looking at some of the benefits of buying second hand.
It has long been in the minds of most of us that second hand or used car dealers were at best a bit dodgy and at worst downright dishonest after all most of us know or have heard of an Arthur Daley under the arches "quality car " dealer, this may have been the case decades ago but now there are many very good used car dealers around although it does always pay to be careful and do your research.
There are many advantages to buying a used car from a reputable and trusted source such as our local garage/ dealer - Check out KAP Motor’s huge collection of used cars at its Brighton Centre.  The main advantage being cost as there are often many very good deals to be had on used cars and finance is readily available often at a much cheaper rate that of a new car, also add the benefit of someone else having already paid the sales tax and take into account that new cars start to depreciate as soon as you drive them off the dealers forecourt .

Another very good reason to buy used is that often you will get a much higher spec car that is to say you can get all the extras such as leather interior, decent sound system, built in satnav and very nice alloys that would normally cost you a lot more as added extras on a lot of models thereby saving you quite a considerable amount of cash, also when buying used any problems there may have been with your chosen model and indeed in many cases any manufacturer recall has already been dealt with saving you considerable time and money, it is always sensible to check for recalls as there are more than you may think.
So there we have it new car versus a much cheaper better spec good quality well serviced and often very low mileage car that has been HPI checked and inspected by the dealers own mechanics and most used cars come with a decent and sometimes balance of the manufacturer's warranty ensuring you won't be burdened with expensive repair costs, as for that sought after new car smell I think that I would rather have the smell of a few thousand pounds that I have saved in my bank account.

This is a collaborative post.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Easy Cooking Tips For Newbies

When you become and adult and you finally have to live on your own for the first time, it can always be a
little difficult for you to learn how to do all those basic house chores yourself. Doing the laundry, cleaning
your bathroom and pruning the garden can be things which you have never done before, but there is
no skill more crucial to learn at this time than cooking. I was very fortunate my dad was a chef and I learned to cook from a very young age and was capable of baking and making roast meals by myself time I was ten years old. There is no greater pleasure than cooking and I personally find baking good stress relief.

If you are a newbie in the kitchen this year and you want to learn some simple skills, here are our tips tips
for cooking which will help you be a whizz in the kitchen and impress your family and friends.

Keep it clean

The most important thing you have to do when cooking is to understand
how to reduce cross-contamination in your kitchen. Every item of food you slice and chop and
cook will need care and consideration and you want to make sure that harmful germs cannot
spread through the food. For example if you are making chicken and vegetables for your dinner,
you will need to use a different chopping board for the chicken than the vegetables.
If you only have one chopping board make sure you clean it thoroughly before you cut up
your veggies. These are simple tips but they are the most important of all.

Season it

One of the things which you might forget to do if you are a relatively new cook is to season
your food when you cook it. For example if you were to make a meal such as chicken curry,
you might think that simply cooking the chicken and adding curry spices is enough, but you
can add a whole new dimension of flavour to the dish if you simply season with salt and pepper
first. Every dish can do with this from beef to fish to veggies and it can really elevate a
plain meal into something amazing.

Nail sauces

When you are cooking every day foods one of the easiest ways for you to add some flavour
and fun to a dish is a good sauce. As you start out cooking there are two main sauces you
will want to learn how to make: marinara sauce and bechamel. For tomato sauce based
dishes such as pizza and pasta a marinara is ideal and you can make this using some onion,
garlic, tinned tomatoes, tomato purée and a little basil. Cook off the onion and garlic first then
add your herbs and tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. Blend until smooth.

For creamy dishes such as lasagna and mac and cheese a bechamel will be your base and
you can add cheese and spices to it to make it more exciting. Start off with a tablespoon of
butter and melt this in a pan. Add a tablespoon of flour and stir until combined. After 30
seconds add half a pint of milk and stir constantly for 5-10 minutes, and you will see the
sauce thicken. Add a pinch of nutmeg to finish off and you have the ideal base for creamy

This is a collaborative post.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Project 365 week 6.


A very very lazy day, something I never do. Was going to go out for a walk after lunch as DD2 and family were planning on going out in the car. I don't make a good passenger so had no plans to go with them. I sat for a over an hour snuggling Ziggy just before lunch while DD2 made a lasagna for tea. By then Ziggy was playing up and they decided not to go out in the car so Ziggy went for a walk with dad and the dog. It started raining so I sat and played catch up with a few tv programmes on my kindle instead of going out. I managed a mere 3661 steps all day, never walked so few in the past.

One sleepy baby Roo


DD2 decided she was fed up of being housebound and against mine and her husbands advice not to she decided she was driving her car. So we headed to the next village over for mother and toddlers. Not my idea of fun but I fulfilled my role by helping get the kids into and out of the car and set off by myself to add some mileage after a lazy Sunday. Managed just over 3 miles in the hour they were in toddlers. In the afternoon I took Ziggy out for a walk.

Reflections at the Connel Bridge 


Was to wet to head out in the morning with the kids so we played silly games. We turned Ziggy's chair into a tree for her owls and the owls flew from their tree round the living room down the hall and into the kitchen and back again, I was also an owl and flew behind them, one way of getting my step count up.

Health visitor was back out in the morning as Roo is still not back up to her birth weight. DD2 is struggling to breast feed her, Roo will feed for two hours or more at a time and still cry with hunger when daughter tries to put her down.  This is not feasible once I have gone home to help out so she is going to evaluate how she feeds her. She has started to top up with a bottle but realises this is not a good idea. She is in two minds as to how to take this forward.

In the afternoon we took her dog down to the vet for blood tests for a drug he is on. We put baby Roo into the single buggy and made Ziggy walk. She was not happy about having to walk back up the hill  but then it is a steep hill for little legs. So a few temper tantrums and some bribery from her mother we all got home in one piece.

we played in the tee pee 


My day to go home so knew it would be a busy morning. I wanted to take a pack lunch with me so walked down to Tesco for rolls and cold meat just after 7am. Back home to pack and between dressing the two girls and wandering round with Roo in one arm we managed to get out the door just after 10am as DD2 wanted to go to the Rhythmic Rascals group a few villages away. It starts at 10.30 am and lasts for an hour so enough time to go and get back to Oban for my train just after midday. When I got out the car Ziggy started to howl as she did not want me to go.

making music 

So home on the train. Home was slightly easier than up as my rucksack was quite heavy with food and juice and at least going home the three and a half  hour train ride was first so my pack lunch was eaten time I got to Glasgow. The walk between stations is also downhill on the way home.

Sat on the train doing sewing and watching the last of the series of Touch.

Hubby and dog were both glad to have me home.


Needed to do some shopping so took a run into town and to walk the dog first. We got caught in hailstones half way round our walk.There were lots and lots of squirrels around. This one was eating the fungi growing on the tree.

watching the squirrels 


Have tried  to get hold of Hotpoint this week, and tried to be nice to them on the phone. Finding that difficult as I felt I was being treated like an idiot and had no idea what I was on about. They started to sort my problem out online as the modern world does, and then they decided to ignore me yesterday. Basically the second freezer they have sent me has the same issue as the first one, the holes are in the wrong place and it is not possible for the door to be turned round to open left sided  and where it needs to fit in my kitchen it needs to be left side opening. Same freezer chassis as the first one which was rejected by an engineer two weeks ago come Monday, but with a different badge on it.
But before we can reject it it has to be seen by an engineer, ......same as the last one, ......when he says it is faulty then they will order another one and swap it over....just as they did with the first one.......this could go on and on. I have suggested to them they should change over the door BEFORE they bring it out to know it works......but they tell me they can't do that. Talk about feel like you are banging you head on a brick wall.  So having to rearrange my working week so I can be in on Monday afternoon when the engineer comes out between 12 and 6 as I am not in until 2.30 ish but they tell me they cant give me 3-6.
Meanwhile this has left me without a freezer and making it very expensive to eat as I bulk buy and cook on a weekly basis and cant do that now.

the holes dont line up, if you line them up there is a gap down the side of the door seal 


Mileage sitting at 164.1 this morning, a mere 30.2 miles this week. But spent all day on Wednesday on a train and Thursday being lazy, then Friday catching up with housework.

I did manage to get the monkey finished on the blanket on the train though so was a good use of the time. I had unpicked the head and helmet earlier in the week as it had gone wrong somewhere. It does have facial features they just do not show to well in this picture.

One cross stitch monkey 

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Project 365 week 5

Not been a good week from  a mileage point of view. DD2 is to sore to walk far, the roads around here are VERY hilly to get in and out of daughters bit and they have been like sheets of ice most of the week so not good for pushing a twin buggy up or down  and been much much to cold to take a new baby out in. But I was not here for clocking up miles I was here to help out. Managed 30.4 miles since last weeks update, so now sitting at 133.9 miles.


Turned down the overtime as had too much to do ready for going away on Monday morning including packing and making sure I had everything. I loaded my kindle with a new audiobook and some episodes of Touch and along with my sewing this should keep me amused on the train journey.


Had my heart scan at 8.45, could have come on a better day rather than a day I was going by train to Oban. Managed to get an earlier train than needed so had time to wander round a bit of Glasgow. Bumped into an old family friend getting off the train, he was gentlemanly enough to wheel my suitcase to the other station for me. Have to say we normally throw our suitcases in the car but seeing other people with more modern 4 wheel cases had me yearning for one. but then doubt very much I will ever be back on the train with one again. Ziggy was very pleased to see me.


We went off down to soft play. First time the two children have been out in the twin buggy and the first time DD2 has walked down to the town in a few months. The hills are very steep and down is as difficult as up.

Here is Ziggy soothing her baby during our game.


I looked after Roo while DD2 took Ziggy to get her hair cut, sadly they were all fully booked so she did not get it done.
When they came back Ziggy and I wrapped up warm and headed to the park to play for a while. Think she lasted less than 20 mins before she was to cold so we headed off for a wander round the shops. The snow had not really melted and it was quite slippy underfoot.


Another very cold day here again today. DD2 took Ziggy down to get her hair cut while I sat here with Roo, I get all the hard jobs....lol.
When they got back Ziggy and I got wrapped up and went for a wander down the shops and to the park.  We played in the swings for a few minutes but then went and played with the interactive stuff instead, decided it was better for Ziggy to be moving around.


We were suppose to be going to mini movers with Ziggy but she decided to have a major temper tantrum and chose to go to bed instead. She slept for the best part of two hours and she never sleeps during the day so must have been needing it. Roo went to sleep when her sister was in bed so DD2 made the most of it and went to bed as well.

After she woke and to try and help tire her out I took her down to soft play but it did not do much good, she took till nearly 11pm to go to sleep after many tears and much screaming.

She loved this, it is a hoover, pop the balls from the ball pit in and it sucks them up rattles them along a see through pipe and then pop out at the other end back into the ball pit. She also finds it funny to stand under the other end and have it blow her hair.


Wandered off this morning for a walk and left the family to their own devices. Did just over 4 miles up and down the hills via McCaigs tower and Dunollie Castle and every where in between. This is a view of the town and the snow on Mull taken from MCCaigs Tower.