January 2016

What’s good in January

WHATS GOOD graphics and comments

I have decided that from this year I was making more of an effort into my blog, it would also be good to have a clear monthly record of things I have done. I will include competition wins, reviews I have done with monetory value as well as any payouts from any source.

Survey sites

  • Onepoll £40
  • Mintvine £15

Completion wins


  • Jolly Brew tea two bags of 14 tea bags each costing £3.99 total £7.98

Not much, but it is a start. Hopefully as each month progresses I will earn more and get to review more things that get sent to me. Overall I am very happy with how things are going.




The Last Week Of January

Following on from last week, I contacted the landlord about this and as of writing this, they still have not replied to me in any form.

It’s very windy this week so not been out much, which is a shame. Me and Bob went to Asda on Thursday and we did find a couple of clothes bargains, saw the email but deleted it without really looking. Forgot all about the sale, which was good, did buy two items. One dungaree dress for Squidge covered in Minions, the other for Bob, just a simple denim dungaree dress. The bottom is covered in pretty sequins and stitching.

I feel really sad at the moment, Squidge has become a real handful. most mornings involve me now shouting at her to get ready, she is also making Bob behave just like her. Bob is good as gold all day with me, ask her to do something and it’s done. one of the biggest problems around Squidge is too many mixed messages. Me and hubby had our ideas on how to bring our children up, I’m still trying to follow those ideas. I have our boundaries, what is expectable and what is not. Hubby says he wants the house tidy and everything put away, fine. Example; this morning we get up, I tidy his phone that is on charge in the lounge and put away his blanket (he fell asleep on the sofa again). I get both girls up (slowly) make two cups of tea, make mine and the girls breakfast, get myself washed and then attempt to get Bob washed and dressed, she only needs minimal help. Squidge can get washed and dressed by herself. Squidge will shout and scream and tell Bob to hide from the witch (me) as the witch will kill you! all the while Hubby is drinking his tea and eating his breakfast, he will then dash to the bathroom (his en-suit) get washed and dressed, then dump his dirty clothes on the floor and dash out the house. How are my girls to learn that is not what is expected of them.

These show: on the left Husbands side, rather tidy at the moment, he removed a very large pile of clothes to the wash baskets. On the right is my side, including exercise bike, and just out of sight, a large chest of draws which is shared.


There are many examples of this, and I do wonder when he will start to help with what he expects from the girls. He forgets it is very tiring trying to Squidge just to do simple things, as long as she eats she is happy!

(We that made me feel a little better, hope you can come up with some ideas how we can change)



Bits and Bobs


Its been a funny week. My husband went out for a drink at his friends house, on the way home he tripped over some stones on an unfinished path. He was laying in bed with his foot elevated on a extra large money tin! Anyway he decided late Saturday afternoon he wanted it checking out at the local minor injuries department, the nurse wasn’t 100% sure if he hadn’t broken it so a trip to A & E was needed, right before tea. Had to go to McDonalds for tea. This is when the rest of us are trying to save money😢


I have been trying to do the tenner a Week Challenge, was doing really well not spending money (apart from the McDonalds run). I decided not to include my husband in the challenge as he seems to do what he wants, if I say no Costa, he will go anyway. So buget is for one adult at home all day, one pre-schooler who is at home all day and finally one primary school age (7) . Friday was a no spend day. Saturday was just a McDonalds trip £9.50. Sunday was again a no spend day. Monday needed milk and I had a 50p voucher to spend, so spend was £6.15. Tuesday was going on the bus to the library, but Bob was too cold and it was rainy, no library trip, zero spend day again. Wednesday we walked to the shops, needed food shopping, birthday party present and toilet training treats. I got a few yellow sticker treats which was eaten/frozen. I thought I did really well on the challenge, next time I’ll try harder, but think I might choose the week that I do it!

I have been rather lucky this week I received a box of pink lady apples following a twitter giveaway, on Friday I baked with my apples. Honey-dried apple crisps which tasted nice, I would rather have a nice fresh apple. I was also lucky enough to win another competition from Hamper gift box I’ve had a look around the site and it looks very reasonably priced.

on a sad note my youngest Bob (3) fell over on Friday morning, she has hurt her knee and cut a hole in her trousers, I can repair them. I contacted the landlord about the anti-slip pavement, and commented that serveral other children have slipped on this wonderful path!

Did I have a good week? mmmmm

BigAl's Books and Pals_ Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing_

mmm. How do I start, positives. Ok. I have made a really good start on decluttering my kitchen cupboards, I have ten to do, so far two one and I have thrown things away. I am also keeping on top of actually keeping it clean. washing up a bit behind, but getting there.

My washing is nearly done, it will never really be done, I don’t have a tumble drier, so I can’t do too much in one go, usually one big wash a day. Sometimes I have work uniforms towels and jeans to do. Always find room for bedding (hung over the top).

I have been fortunate to receive a free mascara, with no strings attached! My JolleyBrew tea arrived for me to review and it looked really pretty in the bags 😊. And I am going to get some Pink Lady Apples, semi no strings attached, just want a photo of some snacks I will want to make (may do a review of them, not sure yet).

I have been exercising for two weeks, but with the very cold and wet Thursday I really didn’t feel like doing it. I was soaked on the school run on both journeys, not a happy bunny. The return journey was the worst, the snow froze to our faces and my trousers stuck to my legs.


I bought myself a new notebook so I can jot my blog ideas, and contents of the blog posts at I want to write. You may have noticed that it is also good for storing my receipts for entering survey comps I have entered a ton of comps, lets see if I win anything. I have started to read my book and I’m happy again, I’m into sci-fi/fantasy fiction which I have acquired free from Amazon. I have even managed to watch a lot of telly and start deleting old programs from my digi box so I can record more programs that I want to watch.


Jolly Brew Tea review


On Twitter there was a request for bloggers to try their tea, as a tea drinker this sounded just my cup of tea (yes it was a pun). They sent me two pouches of tea to sample, Cheeky Caramel Crème and Blooming Cherry Bliss. Information about Jolly Brew can be found here. They do a combination of loose leaf and loose leaf bags, I was sent the bags. Unless you live in Buckinghamshire and surrounding areas if you want to try them, it will have to be mail order. On receiving the packs of tea the first thing you notice is that they are resealable, very handy. The tea bags themselves are not the paper type but more a silky material (not sure what, but didn’t fall apart), each tea bag was attached with string for ease of removal.


So first off I tried Blooming Cherry Bliss. It is described on the pack as “A Smooth Cherry Green Tea with Rose Petals”. When you first open the pack you can smell the cherry and it is really nice. I decided I would make it in a glass mug so I could see the colour and anything that might float! As it is a green tea, it was green!

The cherry smell stayed all the way to the end of the drink which was really nice, as I’m not a huge fan of green tea normally, the Cherry and rose petals added flavour which means it was very nice, when I can save some money, its the top of my list to buy more.


Next was Cheeky Caramel Crème, described as “A Delightful Caramel Rooibos Naturally Caffeine Free”. Definitely smells really nice, not really sure I can actually put a name to the smell!

The Rooibos taste was not over powering which sometimes can be a problem for me. The packet says to add milk and sugar if required, but I didn’t need to, I never add sugar anyway. I had stopped drinking Rooibos tea, but after trying this I will be happy to drink it again.


Disclaimer: I was sent Two packs of Jolly Brew tea to try, I have not been paid for this review, and all views are my own.

My blonde moment!


Today I’m been doing house jobs, and after cleaning out the guinea pigs I thought I would be nice to take a picture of them. I like watching them just busy doing what they do. At that moment it was just goodish timing.

Well I carried on doing little jobs around the house, like you do. I wrote a test blog to see if any photos went missing once published as I’m trying declutter my iPad and phone

for some strange reason I was about to take a photo of my washing line with all my clothes drying (blonde moment) well as I was looking at the preview on instagram my sensible head kicked in, who on earth wants to see a jumble pile of drying washing. Deleted the photo before posting!

so intead I’ll do a blog on my blonde moment, didn’t do all my jobs, but added make soup to the list and this blog.

Random photo experiment!

I want to do an experiment. When I upload photos from different devices, publish a blog post, can I then delete my source photos.

Let’s see



A Wonderful Week

Well this week has gone really well.

I have won a book to review from @Toppsta on twitter, they also have giveaways on Facebook. Just have to wait for it in the post, read it, then review it. We get to keep the book after we finished reviewing it. I have had quite a few books from them, so looking forward to this one (blog post also coming up regarding the book).


I have also managed to get a product review to do from JollyBrew, they are sending me some tea to try and then of cause review for them. I really looking forward to this, my first proper reviewing.

Somehow I have managed to get an old laptop working, sticks sometimes and slow. But this blog has been written in half the time!

I haven’t done much in the way of cooking from scratch this week, but I have baked two batches of buns for after school snacks which have gone done well.looking for other simple bun recipes to try.

Last week also saw the start of me exercising, day one only managed seven minutes (not good). I slowed down a little and was able to do ten minutes the rest of the week. But before I could exercise I needed to clear the area out, none of these fancy methods just organise and throw it out. I had used this area as a temporary holding area for my presents. As you can see didn’t take long at all.



I am so looking forward to this week.

My goals and aims for 2016

Some people might think writing this today is a bit late! But it was the holidays and today is back to normal day.

  1. eat healthily
  2. Try one new thing each month
  3. cook more from scratch
  4. exercise
  5. do more jigsaws
  6. clean the house
  7. Enter more competitions
  8. do more surveys
  9. write more on my blog

So how am I going to do this and still have time for my family. Well today Squidge went back to school so that leaves one at home. As she is nearly four now, she plays a lot by herself or watches tv. Perfect time to write my blog.

i have spent a lot of time eating convenience food, snacks and part made food, this isn’t out of laziness but the fact I’m not very good at cooking. So I need to start baking buns for after school snacks, and simple cooking. Today  I have already made my Lemon and Cherry buns. Last week I made my first simple stew with dumplings (from a packet to start with!). Also in this bundle I have included make something new to eat. we don’t eat a variety for foods, and I find we eat the same things week in week out, so I want to change this. I think just one new thing each month is enough to start with.

As with healthy eating I need to lose some weight, so I will start my exercising again. I going to aim for 30 mins five times a week. I need to build up this this by doing shorter stints. My main exercise is going to be on my exercise bike. I also want to do some toning exercises but not every day, probably three times a week.

I want to enjoy some of my hobbies, so some of my evenings will be spent doing my jigsaws and reading my kindle. I’m not going to watch tv as much, but I still want to catch up on things I have missed wilts waiting for my husband to say he will watch them!

Mmm clean the house! Another one that I said I’ll wait till husband does something! Well he is too slow in the cleaning front, so I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and do it myself, if I want it clean I’m going to have to do it myself. So as today I needs to take the tree down, it seemed a good idea to do the lounge, nearly finished the lounge today. The tree took most of the day, and needed to find hidden decorations not previously put away. So the lounge will be finished tomorrow.

I’ll bundle the last three together. As I’m not working I need to earn some money, so doing more surveys will help with this and hopefully win some competitions which I need to enter as many as I can. My blog had taken a back seat in the last few weeks as I was really busy, but if I want to earn money from it I need to focus more on it. So once a week minimum I will post either a review of products I use, toys or things I’m hopefully given to try, or I will write a personal lifestyle blog post. I might even add recipes of my new cooking. While adding things to social media (twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest) to support the blog.

As this is like week one I have now posted my first 2016 blog post, let’s see where this year takes me.

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