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Showing posts from December, 2019

New Year's Resolutions 2020

2019 was pretty dismal when it came to keeping resolutions. I lost no weight, made no headway on my overdraft, scarcely managed 10k of fiction, and the garden is still an absolute eyesore. The only resolution I feel I really achieved was to blog more. With that in mind, I decided to simply recycle last year's resolutions for the most part and come at it refreshed and ready. ☆ #1. Lose Weight ☆  This will be the year I finally succeed! ☆ #2. Blog Like a Boss ☆  I really want to make it into the top 100 on the Tots chart, and to secure at least one brand collab a month. ☆ #3. Write a Novel ☆  Non-fiction, anyway! I have a topic I want to research, now it's just a question of getting that groundwork completed. ☆ #4. Save Money ☆  Last year started off well... then quickly reverted to the usual financial nightmare. In 2020 I am determined to get out of my overdraft and switch banks from the Natwest. ☆ #5. Sort Out The Garden ☆ I have a vision for it now, a

2019: Comping Year In Review

I got the idea for this post after seeing Super Lucky Di's retrospective - though I'm afraid mine is not quite as impressive! This year was probably my worst ever since I began comping way back in c. 2010 and I really lost the comping mojo for a few months. I only bothered with about three days of advent comps. Then, out of the blue, I was notified of a big win of £550 worth of books for Marianna's school. I feel a little more energised for the new year now and hopefully will start to see some more success. WINNINGS: ★ Rabbit Food. ★ Gourmet Cat Food. ★ Dr Who Audio CD. ★ How To Knit, Sew and Crochet DVDs. ★ The Crafty Kit Company's Frankie Frog Crochet Kit. ★ Books, inc. paperback novels and the 2020 Match FC Barcelona Annual. ★ Portable North Pole Magic Pass. ★ 105 Activity Books from Laurence King Publishing. Total Value: c. £700 Marianna also won her first ever competition! The Entertainer had a colouring competition running over the summer, with

This Week - 29/12/2019

Christmas - you spend months gearing up for it and in a flash it's all over! Marianna seemed to have a blast, at least, and it's now full steam ahead for her birthday on Wednesday. That means the tree and all the trimmings will be coming down tomorrow, and it'll be like Christmas never even happened. (Well, if you ignore the mountains of new toys everywhere.) It's kind of terrifying to reflect on the fact I have a (soon to be) five year old child. It seems like, not yesterday, but last year I was finishing uni and trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do next... Deal of the Week - I pretty much took a week off from the blog, though I did post the End of Year Fandom Meme and a lyric sheet for Seren Fechan yn y Nen (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star). For next year I've been trying to be way more organised - aka organised at all - about blogging. I've already planned out about 300 posts and have even finished writing some of them. Th

Merry Christmas

End of Year Fandom Meme 2019

Another year, another end of year fandom meme. (If you want to do it yourself I've got easy copy / paste at my masterlist post .) Which TV shows did you start watching this year? Too many... Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn't this year? Why? So many things I never got around to. And a few I chose not to - I've not seen the last few episodes of Gotham and have no intention of correcting that. No Man's Land was a plot hole too far for me. Which TV show impressed you least this year? Smallville. I don't understand Anthony's penchant for rewatching stuff, and I definitely don't get his completist need to see it all the way through. When a show becomes irredeemably bad, just drop it. There are so many series I have never seen the ending to for precisely this reason. I guess the problem with Smallville is that you wouldn't just be dropping it before the end. You'd be dropping it straight after the beginning... It a

Seren Fechan yn y Nen / Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

For more like this, please click the picture below:

This Week - 22/12/2019

Three more sleeps! It's been a full on week of Christmas stuff for Marianna: school nativity, xmas dinner, visiting Santa, class Christmas party... At home we finished wrapping everybody's presents, writing out cards, and - more randomly - making star bracelets and necklaces. Advent comp wise the results have been less than stellar. I've won a magic pass code for portable north pole (check out my review in the blog posts of the week section), a Barcelona FC 2020 annual, and some books for the school. That last one is actually quite impressive; it's about £550 worth of activity books, working out to three each for a class of 35 kids. It doesn't really benefit me, as such, but it'll make me look generous as chair of governors, at least! Deal of the Week - On the blog I posted about Marianna's school play , my five favourite tv chefs , a tutorial for making miniature jigsaw puzzles , and a review of Portable North Pole . Song of the Week -

Silent Night, Holy Night!

There are lots of different Welsh language translations of Silent Night, but I've gone with the 1918 version by J.C. Jones as it's my favourite. The literal translation back into English goes something like: Silent Night! Holy Night! All is clear, Heaven is beautiful; Above the baby of the Madonna, Holy child so tender, immaculate, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace! Silent Night! Holy Night! The flock trembles on the moor! Great rushes from Heaven up high, Angels sing Alleluia! Christ the Custodian who Came, Christ the Custodian who Came! Silent Nightfall! Holy Nightfall! True Son of God, absolute love, Radiance beams from thy Holy countenance, With the dawn of thy redeeming peace, Jesus received in a manger, Jesus received in a manger! For more like this, please click the picture below:

Five Top TV Chefs

Because I've been watching Heston's Marvellous Menu: Back To The Noughties on iplayer, here are my five favourite TV chefs... #5. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall The problem of choosing this topic for a list is that, well, I don't really like cookery programmes! I don't like cooking, avoid it at every possible opportunity, and have been reliably informed I have the palate of a soggy square of beige wallpaper. So, what I liked about River Cottage was that it wasn't just about cooking stuff. That, and Fearnley-Whittingstall always sounds like he should be reading a Radio 4 bedtime story. #4. Ainsley Harriott To be honest, I can't remember ever seeing Harriott cook. I do remember many an evening spent doing homework to an accompaniment of camera 'nudge nudge wink winks' as the culinary challenged set themselves up for disaster. When I was at uni daytime cookery was always stuff like Britain's Best Dish and other shows which just made you

Portable North Pole

Portable North Pole is Santa's online portal for keeping in touch with children - and their adults. Basically, you input the requested details about the child, then the computer wizardry creates a personalised video or phone call that is sure to thrill any believer. And the odd dubious doubter too! I'd seen some reviews for the app version but, as anyone who knows me will attest, I'm not a big fan of apps. (Well, not unless they're for simple bus friendly games.) If I wanted to do everything on a tiny little touchscreen I wouldn't have shelled out a few hundred quid for a laptop. So, yeah, I'd heard of PNP but hadn't looked into it any further. Then I had an email to say I'd won a PNP Magic Pass, which made me realise that you can totally do it all from the website. They actually offer three different types of passes: 1. Video Pass (£9.99) 'gives you unlimited access to Premium Videos to send to an unlimited number of recipients' a

Welsh Language

Masterlist for my Welsh language lyric posts, etc. ★  Babi Siarc (Baby Shark) ★ Dawel Nos, Sanctaidd Nos (Silent Night, Holy Night) ★ Dymunwn Nadolig Llawen (We Wish You a Merry Christmas) ★ Lliwiau'r Enfys (Colours of the Rainbow) ★ Penblwydd Hapus (Happy Birthday) ★ Roedd Gan Ewyrth Ifan Fferm (Old McDonald Had a Farm) ★ Seren Fechan yn y Nen (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) ★ Ting-a-Ling (Jingle Bells) I've also got a post listing 50 Free Welsh Language Resources .

Tutorial: Miniature Orchard Toys Jigsaw

Orchard Toys are a British company who grew from modest beginnings making blocks and stencils for local schools. Today, over 40 years later, they're one of the best known names for children's educational games and puzzles. You can get a free Orchard Toys catalogue with perfectly 1/6 scale sized goodies by filling out the online request form . Wait a few days and, huzzah, you're ready to make some miniatures! You will need: Catalogue Envelope / Card Glue Scissors Flick through your catalogue and find a likely looking subject. Make sure you choose a picture that is forward facing - some of them are photographed at an angle leaning towards flat, meaning it will look strange when cut out. Roughly cut it out and pritt stick it to the manilla envelope it arrived in; this will make it look more realistic, as if it has a cardboard back. The paper quality of the catalogue is really nice, so you don't really need to strengthen the picture. You might want to glue

Hay Presto!

It was Marianna's school play today, conveniently timed to be just before pick up. Anthony got three tickets this morning so we both went, along with my mum. The whole thing was so cute! KS2 are doing Aladdin, so Foundation Phase did Hay Presto - 'an exstrawrdinary musical nativity' by Matthew Crossey and Tom Kirkham. The whole thing was so cute! Marianna was playing an angel... I bought the dress as soon as we got the letter, but left the rest kind of late so we had to improvise with fairy wings and a flower crown wrapped with tinsel... Necessity is the mother of invention, after all. :) For more like this, please click the below image:

This Week, 15/12/2019

Anthony has kindly given both me and Marianna his cold so I'm currently typing through a fog that has nothing to do with the state of my glasses! I finally had my appointment with the doctor this week and basically told him that I felt like I was cracking up. They've switched my antidepressants over from 200mg of Sertraline to 20mg of Fluoxetine (the less loaded name for Prozac), so we'll see how it goes. I got some stronger painkillers too because my back is still screwed. (It was a lot better, then I tripped over Marianna and fell down the stairs...) They haven't been that successful to be honest - it took me 15 mins to walk to the polling station on Thursday. I.e. the school which is two minutes from my house. At least it was worth it for the local result, but nationally... We're living in a world in which Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, two men unfit to run a jumble sale, have been democratically elected. It's no wonder I'm manically depressed.