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Just another Weekend

Well after 6 months of fashionable greys it’s time for a change

So back to cosy cottage feel it shall be …

Back to black thankfully we only need to paper one wall, then it’s onto flat pack furniture oh and hopefully pay for the new sofa next week when student loan hits. As we have a blank space after selling the old corner suite which had to be moved with military precision as had to pay someone to remove window to get it out.

The end result back to wildlife and loving it.

Sunday it’s flat pack day first piece assembled and I’m impressed at my skills I get better as I get older even the paper is still on the wall

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Being Kept on Hold- Britains Greatest Tolerance Test.

New research from Tile, the world’s leading smart location trackers, has revealed that time-wasting is the UK’s number one greatest bugbears.

The top five time-wasting gripes are:

1.       Being kept on hold on the phone

2.       Being stuck in traffic or waiting for delayed public transport

3.       Queuing

4.       Waiting for friends and family who are running late

5.       Looking for lost or misplaced items

The average person spends 10 minutes a day looking for their misplaced items, and Brits have admitted that they resent that wasted time. It’s also left them in a serious state of lateness, as well as incurring the wrath of those around us.

29% of Brits said they have missed a flight/train/bus, while over a quarter (27%) admitted to being late into work. The delay has caused an argument for 1 in 10 (15%) people, whilst another 1 in 10 (12%) people even forgot to pick up their children from school.

Technology, like Tile, can help people save those 10 minutes every day. When asked what they would do with that saved time, almost a third (32%) said they’d try to fit in some elusive exercise, 29% of house-proud Brits said they would spend it catching up on chores, whilst 17% said they would spend more time with their children.

When asked what they would do for others with that time, 27% said they would call on their parents or grandparents, 25% would offer to pick up shopping for an elderly neighbour, and 21% said they would try to feed those homeless on the street.

Peter Groom, EMEA Sales Director at Tile said: “With so many commitments in both our digital and real lives, we’re increasingly being pushed for time. As a result, we have lost the one thing us Brits are known for – our patience. The research revealed that a matter of minutes wasted looking for lost items or waiting for a train is enough to have us seething with resentment.

One of our biggest gripes is misplacing our items and wasting time trying to relocate it. Luckily, technology in the form of location trackers can come to the rescue for time-poor Brits. Tile is a particularly clever gadget that can be attached to the most commonly misplaced items – phones, wallets and keys – so we know where they are at all times and can sound an alert should they be misplaced to dramatically cut down the time we spend searching for them. For items that are lost or stolen, the wider Tile community can be alerted as well to increase the likelihood of being reunited with our treasured items. And with the time saved, it’s clear Brits want to put the time to good use. We’re encouraged that so many people would do acts of kindness as opposed to thinking of themselves and that people are keen to give back to loved ones and the community.”

If you would like to win one of these fab devices keep following on

twitter @madein1961

, Instagram  @tigga61  and facebook.

Tile Tracker

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Percy Cute Tees

PercyCute tees where established in 2012, and since then ive been trying to win their fab competitions. So I was thrilled to get the chance to review some and run a competition for my readers.

Not only do PercyCute make original design tee shirts they now also offer a wide range of sweatshirts, vests and accessories, as worn by Scotty T,(geordie shore) and Jasmin Walia (Towie). So does wearing a Percy make you famous? maybe not but you will be in great company.

Made from 100% quality cotton the tees are really well made, no frays or loose stitching just oozing quality with original artwork that you wont find on any other brands. Sizing is generous and caters for all shapes and sizes from XXS to XXXL and a price to suit every pocket.

 

If you want the chance to #win a surprise tee shirt like and follow me on twitter @madein1961 and https://twitter.com/PercyCuteTees and enter the rafflecoptor giveaway on https:https://www.facebook.com/dailybrewsnews/app/228910107186452/

 

competition ends Friday 6th April 5pm11.59pm

 

 

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Spring Forward To a Good Nights Sleep

Spring has arrived and this weekend sees the clocks go forward, but what does that mean to insomniacs like myself? more disruption to ones natural body clock disturbed sleep patterns and early mornings but nature has a fab way of helping you to get a good nights sleep.

This Sunday marks the start of British Summer Time (BST) – and hopefully the start of some sunnier weather – but while the promise of longer and lighter days will be a welcomed change, we will lose an hour of precious sleep.

The clocks will spring forward on Sunday, March 25 at 2 am

, meaning one less hour of sleep and a seasonal transition that may take some getting used to, particularly for those of us who are already burning the candle at both ends.

New research from Pukka Herbs shows that the average UK adult gets just 6 hours 22 minutes sleep each night but don’t worry,  the new season is the perfect time of year to revisit your sleep routine and implement new habits.

Here are seven secret herbs to makeover your sleep habits and have you sleeping like a baby in just one week!

1.       Valerian is a strong nervine and sedative to the central nervous system relaxing tense muscles whilst also encouraging an undisturbed sleep, healthy sleeping pattern and ameliorating stress.

2.       Chamomile is a classic relaxant for the whole body but particularly the nervous system, and is an excellent herb for children.

3.       Lavender contains aromatic essential oils that reduce difficulty in falling asleep, promoting a more restful sleep and preventing night-time wakening.

4.       Limeflowers are particularly effective in helping to treat bad dreams and soothing a frazzled nervous system.

5.       Oatflower is a restorative to the nervous system which calms shattered nerves, relieves emotional instability and helps to restore a sense of peace and tranquillity.

6.       Ashwagandha is a strengthening adaptogenic tonic for nourishing the nervous and immune system, reducing stress and promoting a rejuvenating night’s sleep. Ashwagandha, one of Ayurveda’s most prized herbs, is a modern-day ‘adaptogen’, adapting to the needs of our body and mind. On the one hand, it’s a tonic with the power to strengthen an exhausted and agitated nervous system; on the other, it’s a calming and restoring sedative. It’s these amazing all-rounder qualities that make ashwagandha a great choice for treating conditions such as insomnia, stress, anxiety and hormonal imbalance. It will help encourage a rejuvenating night’s sleep by helping it relax but also energising body and mind through nourishing the adrenal glands so that, on waking, you are ready for the day ahead.

7.       Nutmeg has sedative properties and can help to relax the nervous system. It may specifically help to prevent waking up after falling asleep – great news for those of us who tend to wake up in the night with a restless and racing mind.

Euan MacLennan, Clinical Medicine lecturer, practising Medical Herbalist says: “Herbal approaches to sleep have been traditionally used to support natural functions. For example, valerian was originally used as a convalescent tonic to help rebuild energy (its name comes from the Latin – to be strong and healthy) and ashwagandha was principally a restorative herb that also helps improve sleep. Flowering oats were seen as restorative sleep aids. Such tonics would often be combined with herbs widely used for their gentle calming benefits, for restless children, irritability and mild stresses. Examples include chamomile and lavender. The combination of plant-based tonics and mild relaxants is an approach to sleep that crosses continents and centuries.”

 

Courtesy of http://www.pukkaherbs/com/sleepwell

 

 

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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.

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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.

http://www.netgearinnovation.com/uk/orbi-challenge

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

closing date

 

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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…

Cx

 

With permission from claire

Remembering our losses this Mothers Day

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SHJ photography

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