Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween :)

Shell Louise

It's a quiet one for me tonight. The kids are in Derbyshire and the girls are going to a Halloween party with my best friend.

Aiden's not bothering with Halloween at all. He'd rather sit and play on his computer than go out in the cold!

I'm happy that I haven't got to go trick or treating tonight because I started with a horrible cold a couple of nights ago.
Ant's bringing me some Beecham's powders and Hall's lozenges home for me which I'm hoping will help soothe my sore throat and make my head feel less icky.

I hope whatever you're all doing for Halloween, you have a wonderful time :)

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Chatster's Gabby - Review

Shell Louise

Kaycee and Ella were really excited when Gabby turned up at our house :) I had a job stopping them from opening her before I got chance to take some photos!

We've had her a few weeks now and they still play with her and want to take her with them whenever they go out which is a good sign. A lot of times when I've bought them toys like this in the past they've loved it for a week or so then it gets put in the drawer and forgotten about.

She's not too loud but she can get a bit annoying when Ella's playing with her for long periods. I end up having to tell her to take her in the kitchen or to her room to play with her.

She has various accessories like a cupcake, a drink and a little pet called Sprinkles. She interacts with some of the accessories. When you put the lipstick to her lips they change colour and you can hear her slurping her drink of you touch the straw to her mouth,

Gabby has sensors on her glasses to enable you to play different games with her and to pick an option when she asks you a question.
There's an app you can download that interacts with Gabby. I know you can play music to make her dance but I'm not sure what else she does as we haven't used the app much yet.

We've done a little video so the girls can show you Gabby in action :)

You can find Gabby at Smyths

Please note: We were sent Gabby for the purposes of the review but that didn't guarantee a favourable review.

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Weekly weigh in - Gained but don't know how much!

Shell Louise

I feel like I've had a terrible week that was topped off by a visit to McDonald's last night, the night before weigh in so I decided not to find out how I did this week.

I know I can sometimes let a gain get to me so I got weighed but asked Jackie not to tell me the result.
I've done a full menu plan for the week ahead and I aim to stick to it religiously. I will get my 9 stone award by Christmas.

I'm going to meal plan every week now to keep me on track and I'm getting it into my head that Christmas is not an excuse to pig out. I'll have treats but I'll work them in to my syns.

I need to focus on this now so I can be in control at Christmas.

I'll check next week, just before I get weighed, to see what my result was this week and I'll update my chart when I get back from Slimming World next Wednesday :)

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

5000 question survey - Part one #101in1001

Shell Louise

One of my 101 in 1001 challenges is to complete the 5000 question survey.

So here goes with part one :)

Part one

1. Who are you? Michelle but my friends and family call me Shell

2. What are the 3 most important things everyone should know about you? I love being a wife and mum. I'm a nice person and I've never stuck to a weight loss program for this long before (2 years and still going to slimming world).

3. When you aren't filling out 5,000 question surveys like this one what are you doing? Reading, watching far too much tv and using Facebook too much!

4. List your classes in school from the ones you like the most to the ones you like the least (or if you are out of school, think of the classes you did like and didn't like at the time). English, art, maths, geography, history, science, P.E.

5. What is your biggest goal for this year? The year's nearly over but I've been working on getting a healthy BMI for the last 2 years. I've lost 105lb and I have 162 still to lose.

6. Where do you want to be in 5 years? In this house with my husband and kids. I love our new home; the garden will be lovely (it needs lots of work doing on it!) and we'll have a bigger kitchen, a utility room and a dining room!
7. What stage of life are you in right now? A good stage!

8. Are you more child-like or childish? Neither

9. What is the last thing you said out loud? You can watch the Simpsons until Kaycee gets home from Brownies.

10. What song comes closest to how you feel about your life right now? 

11. Have you ever taken martial arts classes? No

12. Does your life tend to get better or worse or does it just stay the same? Better :)

13. Does time really heal all wounds? Yes

14. How do you handle a rainy day? I stay snuggled indoors.

15. Which is worse...losing your luggage or having to sort out tangled holiday lights? I never lose luggage because I never go abroad so sorting tangled holiday lights.

16. How is your relationship with your parents? Wonderful

Will you miss them when they are gone? Of course

17. Do you tend to be aware of what is going on around you? Sometimes not!

18. What is the truest thing that you know? Death and taxes!

19. What did you want to be when you grew up? A nurse but I'm too squeamish

20. Have you ever been given a second chance? Yes

21. Are you more of a giver or a taker? Giver

22. Do you make your decisions with an open heart/mind? Yes

23. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you? The operation to remove the needle that broke off in my back when I had an epidural for the emergency c-section I had with my second pregnancy.

24. What is the most emotionally painful thing that has ever happened to you? Splitting up with Ant during our first year together.

25. Who have you hugged today? All three of my kids and my husband

26. Who has done something today to show they care about you? Ant cooked dinner so I could work on a loom band project I had to get done for a review on the blog. 

27. Do you have a lot to learn? Yep

28. If you could learn how to do three things just by wishing and not by working what would they be?

A Watercolour painting

B Writing a novel

C Take brilliant photos

29. Which do you remember the longest: what other people say, what other people do or how other people make you feel? Probably how others make me feel

30. What are the key ingredients to having a good relationship? Love, trust, compromise, kindness.
31. What 3 things do you want to do before you die?

A Go to a German Christmas market

B Write a book

C Have grandchildren

32. What three things would you want to die to avoid doing?

A It would have to be to avoid something really awful happening to a family member and me not wanting to deal with it. I reckon I'm not going to answer this question because I don't want to dwell on horrible things!


33. Is there a cause you believe in more than any other cause? Not really. Lots of causes are important to me. Protecting children and animals from abuse would be the main ones.
34. What does each decade make you think of:

The 19..

20's: Dancing, fashion, Jazz
30's: The Depression

40's: World war 2

50's: Recovering from the war, Elvis Presley

60's: Music, mini skirts, moon landing

70's: Flares and platform shoes, music, glam rock

80's: Wham, Neighbours, Saturday morning tv
90's: Smash hits, New Kids on the Block
2000 (so far):Became a mum in 2000! Marriage and more babies :)

35. Which decade do you feel the most special connection to and why? The 90s because even though, at the time, I had to deal with everything teenagers have to deal with, looking back, I really enjoyed that time of my life and I miss it.

36. What is your favorite oldie/classic rock song? It's really hard to pick just one. I'm going to go with Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones but I now feel guilty that I haven't picked something by Bob Dylan because he's one of my favourites!

37. What country do you live in and who is the leader of that country? UK and our Prime Minister is David Cameron

If you could say any sentence to the current leader of your country what would it be? I can't answer this because it's a child friendly site!

38. What's your favorite TV channel to watch in the middle of the night? Movies 24

39. What Disney villain are you the most like and why? The husband said Cruella De Ville because I'm evil!!

40. Have you ever been a girl scout/boy scout? No

41. If you were traveling to another continent would you rather fly or take a boat? Fly

42. Why is the sky blue during the day and black at night? Our eyes see the blue in the sun's rays better than the other colours or something like that!
43. What does your name mean? Gift from God

44. Would you rather explore the deeps of the ocean or outer space? Ocean

45. Word association

What is the first word that comes to mind when you see the word:

Air: Breathe

Meat: Beef

Different: Same

Pink: Ella

Deserve: Reward

White: Paint

Elvis: King

Magic: Witch

Heart: Love

Clash: Music

Pulp: Fiction

46. If you could meet any person in the world who is dead who would you want it to be? Elvis Presley but I'd probably be too shy to speak!

47. What if you could meet anyone who is alive? J.K. Rowling

48. Is there a movie that you love so much you could watch it everyday? It's a wonderful life

49. You are going to be stuck alone in an elevator for a week. What do you bring to do? My kindle. Enough books on there to last me years. Also, some kind of wind up charger!

50. Have you ever saved someone's life or had your life saved? When I was a teenager my brother's friend fell in the deep part of the brook (well, it was deep to us when we were smaller!) and I had to go and pull him out.
51. Make up a definition for the following silly words...My daughter's answered these :)

Fruitgoogle:  Big edible eyes on fruit

Ambytime: Time to find amber!

Asscactus: A cactus with a big bum!

52. What was the last thing you made with your own hands? Hair bands for the girls

53. What was your favorite toy as a child? My baby doll
54. How many TV’s are in your house? 2

55. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Gardening

56. How do you feel when you see a rainbow? Happy 

57. Have you ever dreamt a dream that came true? No

58. Have you ever been to a psychic/tarot reader? Yes and it was all a load of rubbish. She told me my first child would be a girl, he was a boy!
59. What is your idea of paradise? A log cabin in the woods with a big open fire so when it's snowy at Christmas (it has to be snowy at Christmas!) we can light a fire and sit round together, listening to Christmas carols and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows while watching the gently falling snow. There also has to be small stream near the log cabin so in spring I can sit outside listening to the water while the kids try catching tadpoles.
60. Do you believe in god and if so what is he/she/it like? No

61. Do you believe in Hell? No

62. What one thing have you done that most people haven't? Had a needle break in my back while having an epidural for a c-section with my 2nd child.
63. What is the kindest thing you have ever done? I can't pick just one :P

64. Are you a patient person? it depends on the situation
65. What holiday should exist but doesn't? We have enough holidays
66. What holiday shouldn't exist but does? All holidays are good :)

67. What's the best joke you ever heard? My mind has gone blank. I can't think of any joke, let alone the funniest one I've ever heard!

68. Where is the most fun place you have EVER been? I'd have to say the funfair when I was younger. I LOVED it!

69. Is your hair natural or dyed? Half dyed, half natural because it's growing out.
70. Do you have any deep dark secrets or are you pretty much up front? Pretty much upfront

71. What is under your bed right now? Storage boxes with bedding in
72. If you were in the Land of Oz would you want to live there or go home? I'd only live there if my family were there, otherwise I'd want to go home

73. If you drive do you frequently speed? I don't drive

74. What is the world's best song to dance to? I don't dance

75. What song was on the last time you danced with someone? I don't dance

76. Do you prefer Disney or Warner Brothers? Disney

77. What is the first animal you would run to see if you went to the zoo? Gorillas

78. Would you consider yourself to be romantic? Yes :)

79. If the earth stopped rotating would we all fly off? I just Googled that because I've never thought about what would happen if the earth stopped spinning. I'm glad the chap on the video said it's impossible before he went on to describe what would actually happen! 

80. What is the one thing that you love to do so much that you would make sacrifices to be able to do it? Being a mum

81. If you (and everyone) had to lose one right or freedom, but you could pick which one everyone had to lose, what would you pick? Freedom of speech I think because that would be the one that had the least impact on my day to day life.
82. If you had to choose would you live on the equator or at the North Pole? That's a tough one! I think it would have to be the North Pole because I don't do well if it's too hot and also because Santa lives there!
83. Would you rather give up listening to music or watching television? Listening to music

84. What do you think makes someone a hero? Someone who cares for others and doesn't put themselves first all the time. Someone who will step up when needed to help someone else despite the consequences to themselves.

85. What cartoon would you like to be a character in? The carebears :)
86. Name one thing that turns your stomach: The smell from Aiden's lunch boxes that he leaves in his bag for weeks with leftover food in!

87. What was the last thing you paid for? Christmas decorations :)
88. Are you a coupon clipper? No

89. Get anything good in the mail recently? Lots of things to review but all for everyone else in the family! It'd be nice, just once, if they sent something for me to review and keep, like a brand new DSLR!! :P

90. Which would you rather take as a gym class...dancing, sailing, karate, or bowling? Bowling

91. In Star Trek people 'beam' back and forth between different places. What this means is they stand in a little tube and their molecules are deconstructed and sent to another tube somewhere else where they are reassembled. Only problem is when the molecules are deconstructed the person is dead. When they are put back together it is only a clone that has all the dead person's memories. So...

Is the person who gets beamed the same person on both ends? Yep

92. What insects are you afraid of? Not really afraid, just don't like any of them.
93. If you could print any phrase on a T-shirt, what would it say? Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.
94. What's the most eccentric thing you have ever worn? I don't do eccentric

95. If you could pick one food that you could eat all you wanted but it would have no effect on how much you weigh, what food would it be? Ice cream

96. What are your parents interested in? Mum likes crafting, dad likes games such as Zelda.

97. Have you ever caught an insect and kept it as a pet? Noooo!
Have you ever caught and tamed a wild animal? No

98. What is more helpful to you, wishes or plans? Plans

99. When do you feel your life energy the strongest? I never feel any kind of energy, life or otherwise!

100. You are spending the night alone in the woods and may bring only 3 items with you. What do you bring? A tent, a sleeping bag and a picnic, which would include a big flask of hot black coffee and yes, I count a picnic as 1 item :P

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Read 100 Books #2 - Mr Mercedes #101in1001

Shell Louise

I've been a big Stephen King fan ever since first watching IT on video when I was about 15. That week I went to the library and borrowed the book. I couldn't put it down and since then I've read nearly all of his books.

I own quite a lot but in recent years I haven't been as obsessed with buying every book as soon as I could so there are a few missing from my collection at the moment.

I did hint to to my S.W.H. (super wonderful husband) that I really wanted Mr Mercedes when we saw it in Asda a short while before my birthday and he remembered!

I've just finished reading it and have to say I really enjoyed. It's not the usual horror/supernatural story you expect from Stephen King and it was a welcome change.

Here's the blurb:

A cat-and-mouse suspense thriller featuring a retired homicide detective who's haunted by the few cases he left open, and by one in particular - the pre-dawn slaughter of eight people among hundreds gathered in line for the opening of a jobs fair when the economy was guttering out. Without warning, a lone driver ploughed through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes. The plot is kicked into gear when Bill Hodges receives a letter in the mail, from a man claiming to be the perpetrator. He taunts Hodges with the notion that he will strike again.

Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing that from happening. 

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. And he's preparing to kill again. 

Only Hodges, with a couple of misfit friends, can apprehend the killer in this high-stakes race against time. Because Brady's next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim hundreds, even thousands.

I read yesterday that Mr King is going to be writing more books about retired Detective Hodges and I can't wait :)

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

More loom bands!

Shell Louise

No matter how many loom bands we get, the girls never say no when they're offered more! We must have thousands of them floating around now.

I must admit, they did annoy me at first when I kept having to stop and pick them up when I was hoovering or sorting the colours into the right compartments again when they leave them on the floor and they get tipped up but it's not been so bad just lately. They've been making their creations but *shock horror* they've been putting them away again and making sure they're organised :)

Kaycee's been making bracelets, a belt around the waist and ankle bracelets, all connected by big chains as if she's been arrested or something!
She's very proud of it and has worked on it for quite a while. I'll get a photo when she's finally finished!

Ella's not been bothering with the loom bands much recently because she's had a new doll (well it's for both of them really but she seems to have claimed it! Review to come later in the week) and she's been attached to it all the time since it arrived, apart from when she has to go to school, so I made her a loom band flower that I saw on You Tube as well as a little wreath to hang on the tree!

Thank you to for sending us the loom bands :)

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Weekly weigh in - Gained 1lb

Shell Louise

So I totally blame Ant's niece and her new husband for my 1lb gain this week because they had waiters and waitresses that kept refilling my champagne and wine glasses for hours last Saturday :D

I have to admit I got a little tipsy and that's very unusual for me as the last time I got drunk was about 10 years ago.

I was actually happy with the gain though because I was expecting a lot worse!

I'm ready to go for it now. I've had enough of messing. I want my 9 stone award and if I stick to it 100% from now until Christmas I can get there.

The grey squares are the ones I need to turn red in order to get my 9 stone award.
I did put my Christmas goal as getting back to my 85.stone weight loss weight but that was the easy option. This one means I need to push myself and knuckle down.

We Will Do It! Support Linky on The Purple Pumpkin Blog

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