Sunday, 27 July 2014

Catching up.

It seem like the days are passing by so quickly at the moment, the weeks are turning into months and the year is flying by.

It is now the end of July, summer is well under way, the children are growing up so very much and life here is very very hectic.

I haven't blogged for such a long time, I don't know if it is because the children are now all at the age where they groan a little when I get my camera out, or if it is because of the added work commitments or simply because I lost a little bit of love for blogging, but posts here are few and far between.

I do miss blogging, and I often flick onto my blog to look back at my posts and smile fondly at the memories I stored here, I then think over the past 6 or so months where I have been terrible at updating and feel a pang of sadness that there is now a huge gap in the blog.

I decided back in January that time was running out and reviews would have to take a back seat, I wanted so much at that time to find the love for recording the every day again, but then real life got in the way and I have hardly taken any photos let alone uploaded them to the blog.

In some ways not blogging has been refreshing, there is a strange sense of realism to enjoying the moment, rather than making a moment for a blog post.

Things are changing around here and I'm trying to find a way to hold on and enjoy the ride.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Sunny Afternoon at the River

It's the end of the Easter Holidays, with a rainy miserable day today I've been looking back through the photos taken on sunnier days this holiday.

Although we didn't venture far from home, sticking to our local favorite places we still managed to enjoy the sun on the odd days it shined on us.

girl enjoying water splashing in river

It is getting increasingly rare to find times when everyone is happy together, yet the river seems to always be popular with everyone.

Simple pleasure in the outdoors,

 There is nothing  enjoy more than being outside, and I know it is something we don't dedicate as much time to as we used too.

boy throwing stones to springer spaniel in river

young boy and dog near river

boy running at stony beach

playing in the river girl

I'm hoping this summer is a good one with many many more lazy days at the river.

children paddeling in the river

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

National Stationery Week

A while ago we were contacted by Ryman and asked if we'd like to help promote National Stationary week, and I agreed because I do love stationery and it really is important to encourage everyone to remember the joy that writing and drawing brings.

National Stationery week is all about encouraging  writing and drawing the good old fashioned way - National Stationery week are working alongside children, teachers and schools to help children learn that handwriting and computers work hand in hand - both are needed to get on in life, and what better way to encourage this than to get hold of some new stationery!

We went along to our local Ryman store which is always our first stop for stationery supplies, there is a huge selection of pens, pencils, paper infact all your stationery requirments under one roof, me and Chloe can happily spend hours browsing the beautifully coloured supplies.

Chloe simply loves to draw and doodle and write - she is constantly with a pen and notebook in her hand. Recently she really wanted to buy herself some Sharpie markers - which are great all round marker pens.

We were really pleased to see the fantastic price of sharpie markes in Ryman just £5 for a pack of coloured  markers, along with these we also picked up yet more notebooks and classic biro pens to top up- Chloes selection.

My boys however are less eager when it comes to picking up a pen or pencil, and so its often harder to encourage them to get off the computer and write in the traditional way.

When I saw a great Monster Inc themed stationery set I knew it would help encourage Mikey, with some of his favorite characters and the brightly coloured selection of crayons he has been inspired to join in with me and Chloe and is beginning to appreciate the enjoyment you get from drawing.

I have recently rekindled my love for sketching by drawing in my one sketch a day, little sketch book and I have also started to make more  hand written notes instead of typing reminders on the computer.

 The one skecth a day project is perfect for you to do as a family, me and Chloe have been doing the project together,  in our indivual books we are building up a collection of sketches to look back on, whilst also learning new skills and becoming more confident.

With the technology ready world we now live in, it is even more important to ensure that children find the love in nice stationery and traditional writing. So I fully support National Stationery Week.

If you want to get involved in National Stationery Week - check out their website here: National Stationery Week  they have some great ideas on ways to get involved and encourage handwriting in children

You can also follow them on Twitter @natstatweek by using the hashtags #NSW14 #GetBritainWriting #lovestationery and #stationeryaddict  anytime this week to join in the chat and win prizes.

Or why not grab some pens and pencils and doodle something yourself - seeing their parents love for stationery is often the best encouragement children can get.

#NSW14 #GetBritainWriting #GetKidsWriting #lovestationery
or #stationeryaddict  - See more at:
#NSW14 #GetBritainWriting #GetKidsWriting #lovestationery
or #stationeryaddict  - See more at:

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Blog You Heart Out

I wasn't tagged by anyone, but alot of bloggers I read were doing this meme so I thought I'd join in 

Question 1. Who/What encouraged you to start blogging?
I have had lots of blogs prior to this one, and I'm not sure who or what sparked me to blog on them, I didn't really know anyone else who blogged, didn't even read anyone elses blogs, I didn't know about the blogging community back then, I just liked the idea of online diaries, I encouraged my Grandad to join me in my blogging adventures which at the time (some 10 years ago) was on AOLs inbuilt platform more like a homepage or web space than a blog, but that had lots of limitations and so I stumbled across blogger and loved it, but never really set up or stuck to a real blog until I made this one, which I decided to put more effort into when I was accepted as a Toys R us Toyologist in 2011

Question 2. How did you choose what topic to blog about?
When I first started blogging I wanted to make sure my blog didn't have a dedicated theme or specific subject as in the past trying to hard to stick to one subject made me lose interest, so thats where my name of this blog came from - This is me - Sarah mum of 3 - was supposed to symbolize that this blog was about everything I like, I sort of impulsively set on the title and never really loved it!
Today I still blog about anything and everything and don't really fit into any category, I wish I was more focused sometimes and had a role to fill, but no thats not really my style.
Question 3. What is something most people don’t know about you?
I have a Gold level in Ballroom dancing and Gold in Latin American dancing - although I haven't danced since I was about 15!

Question 4. What three words describe your style?
Random, unfocused and quiet.

Question 5. What do you love to do when you are not blogging?
I love to take photos, and ride my bike, I also love to read (although I don't get as much time as I'd like) and I love to sketch.

So there we go, that's my questions answered, if anyone else would like to answer then consider yourselves tagged!

Monday, 17 March 2014

The One Sketch a Day Project

There are lots of daily projects around, 365 photo challenge and100happydays to name just a couple I see filling my time lines at the minute.

I have tried (and failed miserable) to complete the 365 photo challenge, even though I do take alot of photos the thought of having to take a 'good' photo every day just didn't inspire me very much and quickly had the opposite effect making me not want to take any photos at all, I am a bit of a impulsive snapper and only seem to capture nice photos when I'm not trying!  Because of this I was reluctant to start any other every day projects - I'm more of a free spirit and tend to find that having to do anything just makes me want to run the other way!

But then a very kind friend  sent me a lovely surprise gift - a sketch journal.

I haven't had a sketch pad thats mine in years and years... well since I was in school!

In fact I haven't really picked up a pencil to sketch anything more than squiggles on the phone book since I was in school either, I sort of have a bit of a love hate relationship with real drawings, I do love to do it, but then always wish I had done better - never really feel like the images I get down are quite the same as the images in my head, I struggle to draw from my imagination and can only really copy or adapt things I can physically 'see' and this has always stopped me from drawing - I don't really want to just 'copy' someone else, the images in my imagination are what I want to beable to draw, thats why I turned my creativity into digital scrapbooks, and computer graphic designs, its abit easier to manipulate things on screen than physically drawing them with a pen and paper.

But the more work I do in graphics design the more I think I'm still limited and I still don't have the confidence in my ability, and I so desperately want to be a better artist - not just a vector manipulator in photoshop, a photo editor, a real proper good artist who can sketch well too.

This little pocket book inspired me, and I truly love it. I am not one to buy things for myself, or really take time out for my own personal pursuits very often, always opting to help other people out first, and thats another reason I never continued drawing once school finished.

But now I am realising that it's actually good to do something you enjoy simply for yourself, not for anyone else at all.  The minutes I spend sketching each day in this little book make me smile, looking back at the images makes me smile, and the notion that every sketch is worthy of remembrance makes me smile, and has sort of changed my view on drawing, it is ok to copy what you see, to practise and sketch - in fact that's exactly what you need to do to learn, and is what makes the most amazing sketches,  stopping and wishing you can click your fingers and be an amazing artist isn't realistic,  to achieve you have to keep trying, keep practising - a little every day.

 I want to keep this book close to me at all times and let it get tatty and weathered and very very well loved, I want to find them minutes each day to stop and do something I do actually enjoy - for me, and I want to capture the year, the seasons, the moods in sketches.

For the past 20 days now I have sketched, some good, some not so good, things in my little sketch book. I think I am already starting to trust my ability and trusting your self to draw is what makes a great finished piece and gives you the confidence to draw without a image to copy - what I've always wanted to do.

So I am now publicly showing my sketch book, sharing it and promising to continue this one sketch a day project - I am excited to see what improvements I can make in a year and where my sketching will take me.

I thank Clare for sending this to me, you can go say hello to her on her blog here : Emmys Mummy, and if you have a budding artist wanting to get out then you can purchase the OneSketchADay journal here

I will be posting my sketches as I complete enough for a blog post, or if I am particularly excited by any I do, please do let me know what you think.

Pac Man Pac Panic Spinners from Bandai

Pac Man is an iconic video game character which almost everyone will remember to some degree, the little yellow blob which got chased by ghosts as he tried to find his way through the maze.

Well as years pass and technology improves PacMan has evolved too for a new generation to enjoy.

Pac Man and his friends now star in a new TV series; PacMan and the Ghostly Adventures, which shows on DisneyXD accompanied by a brand new video game with a 3D Pac man character.

This new series is popular with children and so Bandai have produced a great selection of toys to go along side the TV show and game.

Included in this range of toys there are soft plush figures, action figures and vehicles and the fantastic Pac Panic spinners.

We were sent a Clyde the ghost spinner to review.

The spinners are a robust plastic toy which come complete with a standing base, so when you are not spinning you can use them as a great show display or action figures.

The spinners stand around 3 inches tall and have great detail, realistic to their character they depict.

The spinning action is slightly hard to master but once you get the hang of it they spin really well, the secret to get the PAc Panic spinners spinning well is to rev them up on their side, meaning you have to tilt the body of the character slightly and run it forwards along the surface a few times in order to get the spinner in a fast spin, then place the character upright and he will spin really well, of course there are other ways to do it, simply sliding the character at an angle across a large surface will sometimes result in the character correcting himself and then going on to spin, however if you try to spin them straight upright you will have difficulties.

The PacPanic spinners also come complete with a free APP game code, which allows you to download a game app and bring the Pac-Man characters to life on your phone or tablet.

Overall we really like the Pac Panic spinners they are a great little toy - which look great displayed on a desk or sideboard for all PacMan fans who love to collect game memorabilia.

Priced around £6.99 these are affordable and if you collected several characters in the series you could happily set them all spinning together and create all sorts of games.

Take a look at our video reviews below,

See how to Spin your Pac Man Pac Panic Spinners in this video:

Sunday, 16 March 2014

TalkTalk Pciture Box - Affordable Family Films

A part of the TalkTalk Family Blogger Program we have been asked to highlight the PictureBox film package which is jut £5 a month and enables you to watch 60 on demand films with 7 new film added every week.

Having a film night in is a great way to relax and unwind, be it with the whole family or just you and your partner taking time out to relax and watch a great film it i a great way to unwind.

But waiting for a good film to show on TV is often a pain, and flicking through the TV guide often mean you can't settle on a good film, so having the option of a dedicated on demand - always ready film subscription is great, and that is what PictureBox offers at an affordable price of just £5 a month. 

This film subscription service is really great value.

There is a great selection of film from family favourites like 'About a Boy' staring Hugh Grant or Childrens popular films such as 'Beethoven The big break' all about the lovable St Bernard dog, even movies from Lego - The Legend Reborn - Animated fun based on the Lego Bionicle toys, there really is plenty to keep the whole family entertained at the cheapest price.

7 New Films are added each week so there is a new range of film to watch and discover and keep everyone happy.

If you are already a TalkTalk TV customer then you can get 1 month free if you try the Picture box service before 2nd April.

So why not take a look at what film are on offer and take advantage of this great cost effective way to watch film at home.

Visit the Picture Box website here: 
to find out more.

Also check out our other TalkTalk YouView TV review here :

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