Leave a comment

Cant wait for a spring clean-here comes Autumn

Now that everyones kids are back to school and im waiting to go back to uni the calm before the storm is the perfect time to do the home decor, as thoughts of xmas is coming echo through my mind there is only two of us and hardly anyone visits but on our small  budget  we do like to keep the house clean and as my asthma has been suffering for months we decided to keep the dogs out of the lounge as much as possible and hope it helped so far so good I have seen an improvement.

But first we decided to decorate the lounge going from familar creams, browns and wildlife to blacks, silver and grey,

 We were going to buy a new sofa but after looking around for a few weeks and not finding one we liked as much as our current one. coupled with the thought of having to pop the window to get it out we thought it best to integrate it and we are so glad we did as it gives the room a pop of colour.

The wallpaper we chose is from Arthouse. The main wall is Flower Garden Monochrome. A vintage floral design but so pretty with the addition of some small insects, and butterflies., and a hint of glitter. For the surround walls again we chose an Arthouse paper but a lightly textured dark grey with a hint of glitter. Despite going darker in theme the red makes the room stand out and brighter. We opted for a lush grey carpet and black rug from ikea, couple with a smart but functional space saving dining room table, instead of a lounge diner which we disliked having to dance around a table and chairs we now have a spacious lounge.

As a first attempt at upcycling we found a small coffee table on Shpock which is vintage aka 1970’s which i gave a spray of Silver paint and its a perfect fit for next to the lamp and to pull out and use without cluttering the room.

1 Comment

Orbi by Netgear. Review and Competition Winner

I am  Pleased to anounce the winner of the awesome Netgear Orbi is



 Alexandra Oliver will be a proud owner of an Orbi RBK50.

This was her written entry: I have friends all over the world and love to chat to them via Skype or Facebook messenger! During the US presidential election I was having an election party in my house as the votes were coming in, and we Skyped my friend in America while he was at work in his restaurant (very naughty!) and streamed it live on many channels at once. We kept him updated on the results as they came in and it was getting very exciting! At about 3am it was getting very heated and a critical vote was coming in- just as the results were coming in, we lost connectivity! Our party stalled, my friend was motionless on the screen and we didn’t know the result! It wasn’t for a good 20 mins, after resetting and re-linking, that we managed to find out the result! A funny, but anticlimactic end to our party!

well done Alexandra xx


Meet Orbi.


Orbi is the worlds first Tri-Band home wifi system. Giving reliable secure and very fast wifi  all around your home. No more buffer face while your having a family night watching a moving.

I am lucky enough to of been sent this fab product to review that will be coming later as currently setting them up. not that it takes long to do but thought first things first reviews take time so lets crack on with the competition to win a fab Orbi kit. worth £299.00

My first thoughts on Orbi well they come neatly packaged that looks and oozes quality so what does that say for whats inside the box. Upon opening you are greated by the Router, which isnt your normal square box, but a neat white sleak design that wont stand out like a sore thumb, and the satelite  This add-on Orbi WiFi Satellite (RBS40) expands your Orbi Home WiFi System coverage by up to 125 square metres with high-performance AC2200 WiFi. Connect more wired devices using the 4 Ethernet ports on the Orbi desktop Satellite.

Key Features

  • Get more than 100Mbps Internet speed over 350 square metres range*
  • Enjoy a single WiFi network name for your entire home
  • Innovative Tri-band WiFi helps maximize the Internet speeds available in your home
  • Use the Orbi app or any web browser to create secure whole home WiFi in minutes. No accounts to create or personal information needed to setup.
  • Compatible with Amazon Echo/Alexa – Control your home network using voice commands

The set up is quick and easy for any technophobe or geek



So how do you win this fab fab prize click the link and take the Orbi WiFi Challenge. Almost forgot to add the final question is of Uber importance let me and the Netgear guys know the lengths you have gone to for a decent WiFi signal. The more interesting the better…ie have you climbed hills for a signal on holiday, would you walk through water for a decent placement for your router?

As the link is personal to myself one of my readers are guaranteed to win. The prize will be sent out direct from Netgear. So what are you waiting for take the challenge now while i go do the Vlog review


While trialling this fab product my download speeds have increased from what used to be 11MBPS to a new high of 21MBPS and upload speeds of 14 which has doubled what they previously were. We now have no buffering while streaming movies even in the garden on ipads and phones etc.  Overall i Love my Orbi. amazing internet speeds, no buffering = peace has been restored.


t&c’s the prize will be sent direct from Netgear.

closing date



Leave a comment

In Whose God Do We Trust

22 May 2017 a day we woke up to the unforgiving news that and explosion had rocked the Manchester Arena. Killing 22 and injuring many more.

Im not atestament to laying blame with religions or muslims or any other race creed of religious following or political agenda. We all follow one God regardless of what we choose to call him, This is down to pure evil.

This has rocked everyone i know to to the core. Its close to home everyone i know has either been to to Manchester Arena or other arenas, me included my daughters go often as they get the bigger names compared to Newcastle. But will it ever be the same again. Id like to think we can get back to some sort of normality, but its going to be hard, but we will get there. It may mean being more vigilant and looking out for things out of the ordinary. But if it means staying safe and alert its got to be done.

My thoughts are with those families who lost loved ones, and those still in hospital recovering. Hope the road isnt too long and the scars start to heal and of course the forgotten victim in all this Ariana Grande. The artist doing what she loved entertaining people, people who died had paid to see her and she has to live with this mental scar too. Hopefully soon to be back travelling.

Peace out.

Leave a comment

our garden 2017

Well havent done anything with our garden in a couple of years, we had all the rotten fences replaced with new 6-foot ones which make the garden feel bigger but more secure and private which we love. Last year we didn’t do much to improve the aesthetics and all we seemed to look  at was Green, the lawn which is a host to weeds could really do with a lot of help to make it a pleasure, the overhanging bushes and trees from the neighbour’s garden, which we really don’ mind especially as this year should be a bumper crop from the apple tree.

We are booked in to have some decking done at the end of April, this will be on the left of the picture halfway up, (the flattest part) and also it gets most sunlight hours. So we will have a nice seating area, and place to relax with family and friends, this is at the cost of our holiday which we had booked but decided to transform or at least try to transform the garden. So onto the borders. These will all need digging out and replanting as they are now overrun with weeds.

At the top of the garden on the other side of the fence is a huge tree and as with all trees what goes up goes under too so a lot of garden is unmanageable due to tree roots in the ground, which is why i havent attempted it for 2 year. Here I am hoping to place some raised beds so we can grow a few veg and or flowers. I need some topsoil as i have already used bricks at the top to make some sort of border but it needs tidying and topping up and replanting in the hope anything will grow.  Around the grass i am going to plant some snowdrops and crocuses so we have some early spring flowers. The right hand side the fence is on a bank, so we planted some golden conifers. because these are slower growing than leyandii and look nicer. Once they reach 5 foot i’m going to top them off so that they spread out more and cover more of the fence.

Along with the raised beds i hope to have in place soon, I would love a greenhouse but i cant see that happening this year, sadly. So its watch this space.

Took delivery of some garden decoration on monday built by a local joiner p’sbuilds from Peterlee. I need to stain these and line the planters so that’s next job on the agenda for this weekend. Wheelbarrow planters made from offcuts, a bird feeder/planter, 3 tier planter, im tempted to drill holes and use for strawberries as they will overhang. and lastly a wishing well planter, now waiting delivery of a pub type bench and the decking that is getting laid next weekend.

Below is a picture today of the garden as it is, if anyone companies would like to help me fulfill my dream garden i’d love to work with you. Please get in touch

thanks for reading.

Before decking

Update– the decking is not now going ahead as the “landscaper” uses term very loosely, had based the cost on last years prices so from getting a price and to the time of ordering -2 weeks the cost had more than doubled. I’m the first to admit things can go wrong but if your’e doing a job surely the first rule is if your giving a quote use up to date prices!

After a lot of umming and arghinng and window shopping we found a sofa set instead which we are going to use this year and maybe go for the decking later in the year when its “out of season”. Now i’m going to sound like Victor Meldrew, but when we  thought we were sorted and ready for a peaceful year in the garden surrounded by trees and shrubs the next door neighbours have decided to tidy their garden. This should of course be a good thing, well it is for them but for us its a pain as there side of the fence was filled with mature shrubs and trees, giving us some privacy well not anymore they have removed them all leaving the fence open and facing onto their doors.

Privacy and privets now decimated, and our dogs are going to bark everytime they come out of their door. An me currently suffering from Asthma that has left me barely able to walk 200 yards. im going to have to find something on a very tight budget to cover the fence with. So we can have some privacy back.

So will it be a fast growing shrub like the Russian Vine of which i have read some horror stories about how quickly it grows. But when you have social anxieties like i have this seems to be the cheapest and quickest option.

Ideally we would like it covering with something less green and that wont cause a problem but given our lack of cash quickest and cheapest will do.

The most annoying part now is there is nowwhere for the birds to hide while waiting to hop on the bird feeder. So a small rearrangement is needed there too.


Leave a comment

Remembering our losses this Mothers Day

As a child I was always playing with my dolls, for days and days I pretended they were my babies and I remember a couple of times I told my Mum I was poorly so I could have the day off school to look after them. I always wanted to be a mother, I loved babies and young children and didn’t imagine for a minute that this may never happen.

I met Sue when I was 20, Sue had 2 children but from day one she always said if I wanted children she would support me and never stand in my way. As a lesbian couple this was never going to be easy, we discussed adoption but this just wasn’t suitable for us and clinics wanted far to much money that we just didn’t have so we started looking up other options and soon realised that the internet was full of knowledgeable people. We soon got chatting to a lesbian couple that got pregnant via a sperm donor that they had found on a website dedicated to couples or even single ladies looking for donors. We soon put up a post explaining what we were looking for but sadly this was met by a lot of time wasters. As I was still in my early 20s we knew we had plenty of time so decided to enjoy our relationship and try again in a few years.

It was late in 2013 that we decided the time was right to start our sperm donor search again. Sperm donation had become a lot more popular than when we first looked. We joined a website called Pride Angel and soon met a very kind man L who was willing to help donate to us through home artificial insemination. In February 2014 we had our first try which sadly didn’t work and we tried on and off with L for a year but although very kind L was not very reliable and the timing was not great. We decided in November 2014 to look for another donor we soon got chatting to R who was happy to help us after Christmas.

Christmas came and went i wondered if this would be my last childless Christmas. We received our first donation at the start of January 2015, 3 weeks later we found out I was pregnant although we were both over the moon we were also very worried as I had experienced a lot of bleeding and on Saturday 7th February I went along to my local walk in centre as I was bleeding very heavily and was told that there was nothing they could do and to wait to speak to a midwife on the Monday for the rest of the day I continued to bleed very heavily. A couple of days later I went for a scan after speaking to a midwife and I knew deep down this was just to confirm what we already knew, sadly there was nothing at all on the scan and I had suffered miscarriage. We were both devastated and we decided to take a break from trying to conceive to come to terms with our loss and to just have a break from ovulation tests and tracking.

In September 2015 we decided it was time to try again, R was still able to help us and we tried the following week. We fell pregnant on our 2nd try, once again we were over the moon and actually believed it was our turn but sadly our happiness was short lived before I started spotting blood, I visited my GP a couple of days later as the bleeding was gradually getting heavier and she booked me in for a emergency scan the next day. We arrived at our local EPU and met with the same nurse I saw when I suffered my miscarriage, she sent me down for a scan. After months and months of chatting to people on different pregnancy forums I knew what you should be able to see on a 7 week scan and we weren’t seeing it in fact we couldn’t really see anything at all. I went back up to speak to the EPU nurse and she told me that they could see my uterus had prepared itself for pregnancy and perhaps my dates were wrong, I explained our situation and if they were wrong then it would only be by days not weeks. I then had my bloods taken and she would ring me in 48 hours with the results. I researched a lot in that 48 hours and a lot of ladies said that this had happen to them and on their next scan they were able to see their camera shy baby. She rung and explained that my HCG (pregnancy hormone) was very high and that they should of seen something on the scan so wanted me to go back the next day to have the bloods retaken.

This is where it all gets a little harder to write. Despite having a rocky start with our EPU nurse she wasn’t very nice when I suffered my miscarriage and actually asked if I had definitely been pregnant due to scanning to late to see anything, I really do thank her for my life. When we arrived she wanted me to go down for another scan due to it being a Friday she didn’t want to leave us hanging all weekend and thank goodness she did. I had a internal scan which lasted a good 30minutes, we knew something was wrong and then we saw it a tiny beating heart which was sadly in the wrong place. Shortly after the technician confirmed this and told us it was a ectopic pregnancy and we were asked if we minded waiting in the waiting room while she sorted the paperwork out for the EPU nurse. This was one of the hardest bits for me, waiting in that waiting room which was full of happily pregnant ladies knowing that I would never see my baby again.

Walking back up to the EPU nurse I was in a bit of a daze not really knowing what the next step would be. Our nurse met us at the door and had already had a call from the technician, she explained that it was a live ectopic pregnancy and that I would need emergency surgery. Sue asked if she could take me to hospital in the car but the nurse said she would have to call a amubulance in case it ruptured. All I could think of was that tiny heartbeat, that wasn’t a live ectopic that was our much wanted and already much loved baby. I started shaking, I was frightened what was going to happen next our nurse tried to keep me calm and chatted to me about work etc and shortly after the paramedics arrived and I was wheeled through the hospital that only a hour before I had walked through full of hope. Due to the hospital being 40 minutes from home I told Sue to drive her car and that I would be fine travelling on my own. I was blue lighted to the hospital, I felt like a fraud I didn’t feel poorly yes I had experienced bleeding but no major pain. I remember the paramedic asking me lots of questions but the journey was all a bit of a blur, fear had completely taken over by this point. I soon arrived at the hospital and I was taken onto a ward, before I had even had time to adjust to my new surroundings I was met by what seemed like 100s of different medical staff in reality it was probably only 5 and then Sue arrived. I had a couple of nurses one putting in a cannula the other measuring my legs for surgical stockings suddenly it all became very real and shortly after I would be going down for surgery. I was then met by the anaesthetist and the surgeon who explained what they would do during my surgery and also told me that they would be removing my right Fallopian tube and it was at this point I broke down I don’t think I had cried up until this point but before I could even dry my eyes I was taken down for surgery. I woke up under a hour later, very sore but relieved I was still alive. I was taken back to the ward and Sue arrived shortly after, we talked for a while and then she left to let me sleep. I couldn’t sleep the day played over and over in my mind, all I could see every time I closed my eyes was that heart beating away that was sadly no more. I lay there watching the fireworks from my hospital bed thinking of what could have been. On the 6th November 2015 I suffered my second loss, the first was devastating enough but this broke my heart into tiny pieces.

I was allowed home the next day and my healing began physically I healed quickly but mentally it took longer. I went through months of sadness and what ifs. Dates are tough, due dates, dates of my losses and birthdays but the day I struggle with and dread the most is Mothers Day although grateful my Mum is still here to spoil I can’t help but really hate the day. There’s no getting away from it cards and flowers everywhere, all over the TV and radio if I could bury my head for the week leading up to Mothers Day and the day itself I would. I should be enjoying Mothers Day with a 9 month old cheeky happy precious baby instead I’m sat here feeling very sad and wondering if I will ever be called Mummy. I know I am an angel Mummy and my angel babies will never be forgotten, they have made me the person I am now.

I hope one day I am strong enough to try again…



With permission from claire

Remembering our losses this Mothers Day

Leave a comment

SHJ photography

http://<iframe src=”https://social.shorthand.com/SHJ_TOG/embed/u2GlNQCpMT” width=”100%” height=”500px” style=”border: none;”></iframe>feel free to check out my latest blog



Leave a comment

Saucy Burger

In the beginning, there was only sauce…
We had a dream of creating a gastronomic experience like no other, the guiltiest of saucypleasures, a dirty little secret too good to keep to yourself. lowest price generic viagra

So here i am sharing my new found guilty pleasure and my first line is a confession, #i’m a lightweight.

I love food,I really love food  but you need a very healthy apetite to sample the wares at Saucy Burger  now that is off my chest dont let it put you off the food is totally amazeballs the variety you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else.  At first glance the menu looks odd maybe even quirky but it works. My partner Claire and i had the opportunity to review one of Sunderland finest resteraunts  so here we go with my totally unbiassed review.

We were offered the Happy Hour  specials menu  at just £12.95 per person  was a good price for the amount of food we were about to consume. which included starter, burger, fries and a drink we were also offered a dessert in the interest of research. order generic viagra from canada

For starters i opted for the Popping Chicken Bites, in a buttermilk batter served with asian slaw and sweet chilli sauce, a lovely way to start a meal not too heavy but more than enough for the largest of apetites. while Claire had mac and cheese, which seems odd as a starter but worked well in  thick smokey and cheesy sauce topped with crisp cheesy herb crumb.

13823529_623393511157737_1322116581_n 13820789_623393517824403_2120450474_n what to say to get a viagra prescription

for mains we both had the BWA, burger with attitude and boy what an attitude 7oz Hamburger, melted Cheddar cheese, low and slow BBQ pulled pig, our signature sweet and sticky rib glaze, shredded iceberg, tomato, pickles and accompanied with smokey BBQ sauce. at the half way mark we were both struggling to finish but decided the show must go on the burger was meaty and not chewy. The BBQ pulled pork in its own sticky glaze was to die for and would keep any pulled pork lover happy on its own. While I had chunky chips claire opted for the fries both of which were seasoned and tasty. vardenafil hcl 20mg tab vs viagra


After finishing the main it was onto desserts  i had the light choice of Lemon Meringue pie whilst my other half had the Toffee Crunch Pie, whilst if13820742_623393541157734_973550655_n 13819446_623393537824401_815827689_n found my Lemon Meringue could of been a bit more lemony it was tasty and just about the right size and the Toffee crunch pie topped with cream and pieces of dime bar was delicious.

We visited on a monday Teatime so it was fairly quiet and didnt wait long at all for our freshly cooked food the staff were attentative and accomodating and as it was quiet it gave us a chance to appreciate the decor which i adored, the stairway 13819475_623393551157733_2087607321_n which was more noticable on leave was colourful and tastefull, i love the rope lights above the table which look like gas type lamps 13820928_623393501157738_2027137268_n , the bar and dining area is strange in it feels cluttered and crowded but it has plenty of room but has an ambience of its own the seating was comfortable and could of easily lingered longer.  13820583_623393504491071_777621057_n want buy some viagra

and yes that is a fresh popcorn maker on the end of the bar, with its tempting aroma of more food, if only we could of managed it.

We left feeling very full and a tad disappointed by the fact we were unable to go for the freak shakes, we are already planning our next visit just for these and maybe the waffle burger. If you like burgers you cant go far wrong than a visit to Saucy Burger which is located next to Pets at Home on Timber Beach Road, Sunderland.


Leave a comment

Harrogate Food Festival


One of my favourite days out has to be Harrogate Food Festival. Set in the beautiful surrounds of Ripley Castle in Harrogate. This year promises to be as good if not better than previous years with Michelin Starred chefs and top celebrity cooks including –


Featuring something for every taste bud and lots to see and do -Aga Rangemaster chefs theatre, cake and bake theatre, a drinks theatre, pop up resteraunts. artisan producers market, vintage cider tent, and even unsigned music awards on the live music stage. And not forgetting food lots of product sampling and buying a must for any foodie. Ths show runs from Aug 19th to 21st and to coincide im running a competition on my facebook page giving away 3 pairs of tickets for the day of your choice, follow this linky https://www.facebook.com/dailybrewsnews/app/228910107186452/

and if our not lucky enough to win tickets can be purchased on the website http://foodies.seetickets.com/event/foodies-festival-harrogate/ripley-castle-harrogate/947387


Good Luck and hope to see you there.

Leave a comment

Dimplex Danville Electirc Fire- seeing is believing

I was fortunate enough to review a new electric fire as our old one was barely sending any heat out the flicker effect had stopped working and being a silver surround it looked grubby. Enter the Dimplex Danville rather than just write about this fire i have posted a video review on you tube. https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DSomv74JNugk&h=VAQGchlhM


The fire is one of the Opti_myst range from Dimplex, The Opti-Myst gives a real flame effect not just flickering lights. for a full 3d effect. A simple idea but so much more effective than a normal electric fire giving a real flame effect without the smoke. How can Dimplex do this simply by adding a refillable tank in the fire, the process for this is straightforward and easy to install. I got a builder friend to install mine but could so easily of done it myself. It was like changing a like for like fire the difference being with the water tank this sits neatly inside a sump which generates the steam, its also very easy to refill just remember to use filtered water to stop any build up of limescale. The tank is sited underneath the coals which just lift out, no weight and no mess, refill the bottle reinsert and pop coals back on.

The fire comes with a remote control for heat and light and heat  optimisation as well as a set of controls neatly hidden away under the hood, which just flicks up. Dimplex have a wide range of fires to suit all decors and budgets.

Would i recommend the Opti-Myst range to friends and family? without a doubt it looks fab, performs well and well we cant wait till winter to snuggle up in front of ours. More information on the Dimplex range can be found at http://www.dimplex.co.uk/fires

Leave a comment

Kingslodge Inn, Durham

When i was asked if I would like to review the Kingslodge Durham, I jumped at the chance as love food as my body shape will testament to.

Despite living in the Durham area i Hadnt heard of the Kingslodge previously but then I dont get out as much as i should. It is one of Durham Cities hidden gems in my opinion, located a stones throw from the city centre and train station, The Kingslodge inn is tucked away behind houses yet it is surrounded by some wonderful countryside known as Flass Vale.


The Bar area of the resteraunt is dog friendly, so ideal place to stop off after a walk up flass vale or if you shopping in town a 5 minute walk away.Newly refurbished to a high standard yet a homely feel , with stove fires. The staff are friendly local people and made my partner and myself and Essie our 4 month old cockerpoo very welcome.


Next onto Lunch we had been warned to wear comfy clothes as the portions were big and we certainly werent dissapointed I ordered deep fried potato skins with sweet chilli and garlic dips while my partner had home made pate on toasted bread. Ive never had a starter as big as this and was greatful i didnt order chips with my main. The skins were cooked to perfection nice and crispy with a mild garlic dip and chilli sauce.

Mains I had Sticky Lemon Chicken Tempura and Claire opted for the Kingslodge burger, the chicken was in a nice  light crispy batter and the lemon sauce was divine with no hint of bitterness. The burger was as expected after the starter more than enough for the most ravenous apetite made with lean aberdeen angus beef you could taste the quality in the meat.

13566087_613189695511452_1552615157_n 13578820_613189805511441_323787629_n13578469_613189642178124_93057253_n 13578477_613189578844797_669300969_n
next onto dessert where i ordered a Knickerbocker Glory and wow what a Glorious site it was, not for the faint hearted.. Traditional with ice cream fresh strawberries and topped off with Chantilly cream i did wonder how or if i would ever get through it all , but i did though i confess i didnt eat for the rest of the day/evening. Claire ordered the warm double chocolate brownie which was equally as delicious and chewy.

13565553_613189518844803_1812321941_n    13551145_613202192176869_475345424_n

The Kingslodge is in the process of refurbishing its bedrooms and we are hoping to spend a night there once complete, and again they have a dog friendly room so you can visit the wonderful city of Durham and take a pet with you.

Overall we found the Kingslodge easy enough to find even for the most anxious driver, friendly accomodating staff, nothing is too much bother and dog friendly Essie loved the fuss and the biscuits she was given.

Will definitely be visiting again soon. If you like the look  of the Kingslodge all the details of overnight stays menus and prices can be found on the website and i can safely say you wont be dissapointed.