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Friday, 29 April 2011

A to Z challenge: X is for .... X treme funkiness

I love music, and am always bopping around the office to the radio. So I thought I would share some of the fav tunes of the moment

Thursday, 28 April 2011

A to Z challenge: W is for .... wanting to move forward

As many of my regular readers know I lost my Dad 6 weeks ago. He passed away of Pneumonia and he was too sick to recover. I miss him terribly and dedicated a blog to him just to be able to cope with my loss. I wish I could move forward but I feel stuck.  I feel like the person who got stuck in mud and has no one to pull me out. The thing is, I have to go through this and I'm not a very enduring person. If I can find a way out to lessen the length of the circumstances then I'll take it. This however, is a whole different thing; I have to go through each day and experience every emotion as it hits me. There is no other way!

It is THE hardest thing I have ever had to go through and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy (not that I have too many of those, but you get the point) Every day I think about him and everything reminds me of him. I guess that I am moving forward but being an impatient person, I guess it doesn't feel fast enough.  I like to get things done but this is a process that cannot be rushed!  Have you ever lost a parent? How did you learn to cope with it? i'd really like to know

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A to Z challenge: V is for .... well lots of things ;0)

Did you know that the letter V had lent itself to lots of words?? I did not realised that the letter was used as widely as they are. So here's a list of words beginning with the letter V. How many did you know?

Words beginning with V

I knew about a quarter. Not that great a score is it!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A to Z challenge: U is for .... umbrellas, are the becoming extinct

Have you lost your umbrella? Do you know where it is?  We keep ours in the car but this last month we haven't used more than twice.  Now for a welsh person, not having an umbrella is like not breathing!  I mean, we must have the monopoly on brollys. So is there a chance that we may see the use of the brolly diminish?  Here's hoping!!!! 

Buying suncream earlier than normal and having to dig out the boys shorts before spring has truly sprung, has made me wonder if you we will soon be exchanging our wet weather brollys for the ones that stop you getting burnt on the beach.  Can you imagine it?  The costa del mumbles lol! (mumbles being a lovely seaside town in wales)

Have you had a lot of nice weather wherever you are reading this? Have you had really unusual weather? I'd love to hear from you.  I am now off to the beach to enjoy this glorious weather.

Monday, 25 April 2011

A to Z challenge: T is for .... travelling in a car with kids

So we started out journey this morning down to West Wales. It's not far about 2 hours in the car but 2 mins can be exhausting when you are travelling with kids.  Anyone give me an Amen?  Even though I have an 8 and 10 year old, they fight like 23.5 out of 24 hours every day!!!!

So what do you do to entertain kids while travelling in the car.... Well I have a few ideas:

Travel scrabble

Product Features

  • Compact edition of the world-famous work game
  • Robust travel case
  • Built in playing surface to hold tiles in place
  • Easy to follow instruction booklet
  • For 2-4 players

The object of the game is to compete for the highest score by forming interlocking words in cross-word fashion on the Scrabble board using tiles displaying letters with various score values. Higher scores can be obtained by using the tiles in locations and combinations that make most use of the letter values and premium squares (eg: triple letter score, double word score, etc.) on the board.

The manufacturers recommend that the game is suitable for people age 10 years upwards, which is more or less accurate though slightly younger children could play, especially if there is some measure of supervision.
Contents: there is a moulded plastic travel case, 23x12x5 cm, which features a built-in playing board with a non-slip surface uniquely designed to hold the special tiles which fit securely on the board. There is no need for paper and pencil to score as there is an integral scoring device on the edge of the board for each player.

All the contents can be safely and tidily stored away inside the moulded case. There are four storage racks which are specially designed to hold tiles in place during the playing of the game and which keep them hidden when they are packed away if play has to be interrupted. There are 100 tiles of various values, a cloth bag to hold the tiles and a rules leaflet which is explicit and easy to follow.

 Uno Card game

Product features

  • Classic card game
  • Easy to play
  • Fast fun for everyone
  • Play time: less than 30 minutes
  • For 2-10 Players
  • Instructions included
Relatives visiting? Hosting a party? Stuck in an airport? Then it's time for Uno, the classic card game, which is quick to learn, easy to play and fun for all the family. The aim of the game is to be the first player to score 500 points, by getting rid of all the cards in your hand before your opponents. You score points for all the cards left in your opponents' hands. The rules of Uno are simple. Every player picks a card and the person who draws the highest number deals (Action Cards count as zero at this stage). Once the pack has been shuffled, each player is dealt 7 cards. The remainder of the deck is placed face down to form a DRAW pile. And the top card of the DRAW pile is turned over to start a DISCARD pile. The person to the left of the dealer starts play and has to match the card on the DISCARD pile, either by number or colour. So, if the card is a red 7, the player must put down a red card or any 7 card regardless of its colour. Alternatively, the player can put down a Wild Card. If the player doesn't have a card to match the one on the DISCARD pile, they must take a card from the DRAW pile. If this can be played, the player is free to put it down in the same turn. Otherwise, play moves on to the next person. Players may choose not to play a playable card from their hand. If so, they must draw a card from the DRAW pile. If playable, that card can be put down in the same turn, but the player may not use a card from the hand after the draw. Players race to get rid of their cards and the real fun starts when special Action Cards are used to foil opponents and gain an advantage. With the tension mounting, Uno becomes the fun family card game that's easy to pick up but impossible to put down.
Everyone loves UNO! It's a fast-paced game the entire family can play together! Don't forget to shout 'Uno' when you're down to your last card! Featuring cool action cards such as pick up 4 and change colour and more!
 Tic Tac Toe

Product features

  • Classic game made for travel
  • Easy to play
  • Suitable for every age
  • Play time: less than 10 minutes
  • For 2 Players
  • Instructions included
Tic Tac Toe is a traditonal game. Gone are the days of paper and pen. This is the new way to play! The game is made up of x and o tiles and each player takes it in turn to select a tile. Get three in a row in any direction on the board, then when the board is full the player with the most x and o's in lines wins! It's light enough to be passed between the front and back of the car and with no parts to lose down the back of the seat, it's a great game to take on a car journey.

The board is compact enough for easy storage when not being used. With no pen to use, young children do not need to be supervised while playing, which is a bonus for mum.

and then there is the one thing that all kids are talking about right now;

Nintendo 3DS is a groundbreaking hardware release that brings 3D gaming to the handheld market for the first time. The fourth major release in the DS product line, the Nintendo 3DS utilises 3D Slider functionality and an improved top LCD display to present a glasses-free 3D effect on compatible games, while giving players the option to moderate the effect as they see fit. Taken together with additional features including full analogue control in 3D game environments, motion and gyro sensors that transfer the movements of the handheld into the game, 3D camera functionality, an adjustable stylus and full backwards compatibility and you have not only a must-have system, but a revolution in handheld gaming.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

A to Z challenge: S is for .... sun, sea and sand

We are off for a week of rest and relaxation to the west of Wales. Look at these views:

"Bluestone, in the heart of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, is an all year round, 5 star short break destination like no other. Unwind in beautiful lodges set on a tranquil hill around a traditional village. There are activities and facilities to suit everyone, from toddlers to adrenaline junkies to those in search of an ultra relaxing experience."

Thank you very much I think I will!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

A to z challnge P Q & R (a few of my favourite things)

As it's a bank holiday I will keep it short, sweet and pictorial.   I love.....

being PAMPERED.  (take is as a symptom of being an only child for 23 years)

I would love to play and sometimes feel like the queen of hearts! (off with their head!!!!!!!!!!!!!, now where are my tarts;0))

I love and appreciate more than ever the good old R& R.  You can't beat a bit of rest and relaxation (especially when you are your own boss)

And I thought I might cheat and say for the record I like muscials, so here is a scene from one of my favs

Friday, 22 April 2011

A to Z..... O is for opportunity

Have you heard the saying "opportunity doesn't knock twice" What you do think of that saying? Is it true?

I am a firm believer that life is what you make it and I think of opportunity as a gift. I have had a great opportunity to become my own boss and with lots of hard work I am achieving it! So where does opportunity come from? Well I guess opportunity is all around you.  There is always an opportunity to make a difference and that's a great place to start. Just open your eyes!

I saw a lady struggling with her shopping the other day but as I was on crutches I couldn't help, but there was an opportunity. When someone doesn't have enough change at the parking meter go on slip them £1 and take an opportunity. If you get asked out by a tall dark handsome strangers (if you know any lol) then go on take the opportunity. He may not be the man you marry but it's nice to be treated every now and again.

Fear is a horrible thing! It stops you from living your life. I desperately wanted to be a business woman but had the fear that coming off benefits and going into business would mean I would have no money and my kids would go without. I sort every bit of advice from everywhere and found amazing support schemes being advertised that were extinct (typical)! With a little bit of further digging I found that I could start off by doing permitted work and when I was up to 16 hours a week, I could claim tax credit (people with disabilities have a lower threshold for the number of hours they work). I actually found I was no worse off, in fact we were better off. Now that was surprising!!

I had tried lots of different ideas for starting a business but many came to a complete standstill when I found that I needed thousands of pounds to start up.  Then I came across... yes you guessed it AN OPPORTUNITY!  I bought a sweetie hamper for my brother and sister in law for their wedding day. I wanted something different, something that would stand out from the usual toaster and gift vouchers. When it arrived I was so disappointed and I said to the Mr "I could do better than that" and that's when opportunity knocked on my door and now we have grown from sweetie hampers to weddings, business promotional tools, fundraising chocolate products and so much more. I took an opportunity and it embraced me! 

When opportunity knocks no matter how big or small, you need to let it in! Keep looking!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

A to Z challenge... M & N = muscular neuropathy (try saying it quickly)

I've gone from one extreme to the other in my life. It's ten years since I was diagnosed with CMT and in that time I have gone from being a very disabled person to a person who doesn't have a disability. What do I mean by this bizzare statement, you might wonder?  Simply this: When I was first diagnosed I became a disabled person, I read everything I possibly could to do with the condition and then ended up living as a disabled person. My emotional well being took a real nose dive as a result of getting a diagnosis. You may think that's just unbelieveable but I lived like that for years.

The real me started to find itself again and I returned to study and did the one thing I had aways wanted to do; Get my degree! I studied business and really began to find my comfort zone.  Getting back out in the world again was great but it did highlight how different I was from other people. As a person who had had their confidence completely stripped away, I found this the hardest thing to deal with. I was young and didn't want to look like I had problems with my balance, energy levels and walking style. 
I found that business really was my "bag" and lots of ideas started coming my way with reagrds becoming my own boss. As I grew stronger in my mental health, I began to work more towards becoming my own boss, but instead of now being "disabled" I tried my very best to hide my disability, to never mention it. I tried to walk without bringing attention to myself and if I injured myself I would do my best to just get on with it and not seek medical help. I had gone from been enveloped in the condition to pretending it didn't exist.

Even until just last weekend I over worked, wore myself out and tried to be "normal" in my own strength and all along I was wearing myself out and not helping myself at all. So spending the weekend with a bunch of people who knew what it was like to be me was strangely empowering.  Almost every person in that room (and there were almost 200 of them) knew what it was like to have a muscular and neurological condition that is painful, exhausting, un-nerving!  So I came home having felt that for the whole weekend I was just me and I liked being me. It made me realise that I need to acknowledge that I have a muscular and neurological problem and  that means I get pain in my legs and hands, have weakness, and I do walk like I am a little tipsy and am not always safe on two feet BUT I'm me!

So here I am at a balanced point in my life finally after ten years I've found the middle of the road that acknowldges the problems without becoming the problems.  Now it's simply time to live my life as me!

If you would like to support the organisation that has helped me so much then you can simply donate to the organisations Kids Challenge. They'd really appreciate it!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A to z challenge (i need to catch up) so here's J K and L

it's wordless wednesday so here is:

J is for Jam Tarts (yummmm)

K is for Krispy Kreme donuts (yumm yumm)

L is for lollipops (i have a soft spot for them)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A to Z Challenge...... I is for Injury

I am, dear reader, on crutches. After my adventures this weekend I have strained my thigh muscle too hard and now have a swollen leg, sciatica and a numb foot! Oh happy day!  We go on holiday next week, so this better fix itself and fix itself quick!!

Seriously tho, I am partially gutted as I don't think my partying on the weekend has made this happen but I generally think that I am not taking care of this body as I should.  When you body has a little default, it's important to take care of yourself.  I spend too many hours trying to stand without the support being available from my lower limbs due to the CMT.  I over compensate by using the upper leg muscles too much and hence these little stupidities occur.

So I am to rest until I am able to weight bare with the assistant of pain killers, now where did I put my bell?


Sunday, 17 April 2011

A to Z challenge...H is for happiness

What is happiness? And how do you get it?

No two people will answer this question the same way. You'll get the cliched answers such as being with your loved ones, having enough money to be comfortable and of course having your health.

My answer; true happiness is being the real you all of the time and not feeling the need to be anything else.

You are probably wondering how I came to this answer. This weekend I have spent almost 3 days with some of THE nicest people you can hope to meet. I have Charcot Marie Tooth Disease and this weekend it was their 25th anniversary celebration in Coventry.  I also had the exciting task of making the favour cake for the night... pics will follow.  I met so many wonderful people who spent the gala night dancing the night away with me.  I sat in the lectures and workshops and it dawned on me that I had gone from being consumed by CMT to trying to pretend it didn't exist. I have gone from one extreme to the other and neither have done me any good. 

So I returned from my adventure to my "sheepy field" (a reference by a new friend to being welsh) with a fresh pair of eyes. I need to gain a balance in my life where I recognise that I have problems and yet not become so consumed by them that I don't have a life to live.  So here's to a great organisation who are supporting people all over the UK and beyond who have this disease, and to a common sense approach to being real about who I am. The real me, with minor faults shall prevail. Why not help out my wonderful friends at CMT by giving to the kids challenge  

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A to Z challenge: G is for ....gifts

I've been running my gift company  since Feb this year. Up til then I had been just making gift hampers and personalised confectionery for friends and family. The response had been overwhelming, and so we (being me and a bit of the MR) though that it was time to take a leap of faith and establish ourselves in a proper business.  It's scary being your own boss! No joke! People dream about being their own boss but my gosh it's decent hard work! 

The one thing about having your own business is that you are in control, well actually that's another myth, a complete lie; your customers are in control.  If my customers buy then I make money, if they don't then I won't lol.  I love love love my work!  I enjoy having my own business and I especially love creating gifts and products for peoples special occasions.

At Out of the Box, we have a number of departments from weddings, to birthdays, gift hampers to corporate events.  Why not take a look around and see what we do.

I thought I'd give you a little treat dear readers and give you a code for 10% off everything on the website. I know, I spoil you!
If you have any questions or comments about the website then please feel free to leave them below.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A to Z challenge: E is for ....early mornings

Have you ever seen one of these?

Well, I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen this happen, heck who needs a whole hand!  I, lovely readers am not an early riser.  It is not that I have the most wonderful, lovely bed nor that I sleep so soundly that I do not appreciate getting out of my bed. It is that I just don't do mornings! Simple, straight forward fact.

A well known social media, is a great source for research into morning people and non morning people. I read status updates (does that give away the social media I am referring to?) that read " Had a wonderful run this morning on the beach" and "wow what a stunning day" and others that read "need.....coffee......NOW!!!!!!!!!!"  I dear reader, am in the latter group.  My alarm goes off every morning at 7:20am. I know many of you are already out the door by then (no need to rub it in) but I after two first slaps of the snooze buttons crawl out of  bed at 7:40am. Not great when you need to be out the door at 8:10am. (oh you should be a fly on the wall in our house in the mornings, its not pretty)

So I bet you are reading this post wondering when I am going to say that I am going to start changing my lifestyle and start setting the alarm for 7am so that I am never late in the morning again?  Ha ha read on dear reader, read on! I am now 30 years old and I have come to one conclusion over this problem. It can't be fixed! I don't like mornings and I am thinking mornings don't like me, so I will just accept this one as defeat.

Now where did I put my coffee?

Monday, 11 April 2011

A to Z challenge: D is for .... Dreaded word: diet

I have wanted to lose weight ever since I had my first son back in 2001! I know 10 whole years people! 10! I mean it's not like I am massively over weight but I've got a bit of extra "junk in my trunk" Well this trunk has carried a bit more than it's fair share of weight in the last 10 years. I have gone from anywhere between a size 16 (UK) at my heaviest to a size 12 which is the size I have been for quite some time now. 

My biggest problem is that due to my lack of self discipline (oh I know I'm fessing here!) I cannot get past the 9 stones hurdle (126lb for my friends over the water) and due to seasonal changes such as Easter, birthdays, kids birthdays, mother's day, the MR's birthday, Christmas (you get the picture) I don't seam to get past this point ever for more than a few weeks.

I know you are all thinking that I was doing well on Atkins but with the passing of My Dad, last month, I have used carbs like they were going outta fashion! Oh me and mr carb and like best friends who have never left each other's side! I know it sucks!  No matter how I try I have not been able to ditch that dear old friend again.  So what's the plan now?  I have no idea! seriously not a clue!!!!!

I have had a very generous offer from Slimavite to try the programme out for as long as I need to, but I don't just want to jump from fad to fad... what do you think? Should I give it a go? Help me out lovely readers.

Friday, 8 April 2011

A to Z challenge: C is for .... Carnival posts

I am not the greatest expert when it comes to blogging, heck I have only just begun! I want more lovely readers to experience my wit, sense of humour, sharp mind, athletic ability and desire to be slim! Who am I kidding? but it would be nice to get myself known by more blogger's. The latest carnival is from

Friday Club

I have to write about "poo"! This dear readers is not hard as just this week I have had two events that have brought me to this very subject. A lovely friend has just had a baby, when I say "just" I mean yesterday! Why am I telling you this? Well, it is tied up with my oldest son who is now 10 and very grown up.  He went to the bathroom last night just before it was my turn to make use of the convenience and he had decided to have a poo! Nothing abnormal or different about that other than the smell.

On my dear lordy! Why do children, the older they get smell worse when they rid themselves of this stuff. I bet you are now understanding the link between the 10 year old and the newborn. Newborns poo may smell but not like a 10 year old's, no siree!. Oh goodness gracious me what will life be like when he is 15 and his brother 13, oh and there is the MR as well!

I'm getting a shed and I'm moving in there! I will go find a nice one shortly but for now I will buy a rather lovely smelling can of cotton fresh room spray ready for tonight!

Thanks son, I love ya, I really do! Just not your poo!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

A to Z challenge: B is for ....

Baby belly!

Do you have a baby belly? Is that a personal question?  I mean I am not the biggest person in the world, I am a UK size 12, but since my babies were born I have had a baby belly!  I am like a mummy kangaroo lol!

How the heck do you lose your mummy belly? There are countless ways described on the internet from painful to the completely ridiculous!  Would you wear a bikini on the beach if you had a baby belly? What's the protocol? Is there one?  If there is, who even sets the protocal?????

I am going to a spa at the end of the month for a hen weekend, and between my "champagne legs" and my baby belly, I am at a loss as to what you wear that is a) appropriate and b) suitable for my shape.  ARGHHHH!! who said being female was easy??

I am going shopping this weekend for my outfit so any advice you have before then would be greatfully received.

Which one would you pick?

The classic all in one
The funky fashion one

The tummy support outfit

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

A to Z challenge: A is for ....

An Amazing view..... Can you guess where I was in the world in Nov 2009?

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The A to Z challenge

I am starting the:

The A to Z challenge is taking place throughout April. I already have an a to z blog for business. 
So we start tommorrow with A....

Monday, 4 April 2011

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, but what to choose?

Here at the chocolate factory we have been putting the last minute touches to our Easter range.  We are sooooo excited about the Easter bunny visiting BUT we really hope we resist the temptation to eat the products. 

Now you know I love my followers, so you get a sneak peek at the collection, which will be going live this week on our website :

What do you think?

Easter cone £8 (400g) 

Easter Selection pack £2.75 (175g)

Easter fondant eggs £2.25(150g)

Easter basket £6 (110g)

Box of Easter themed chocs £3 (90g)

Easter fun bucket £5 (240g)

Luxury Easter eggs £11 choose from White Mint, Pink champagne or Irish Cream  (375g)