Monday, 20 April 2015

Star Stable - Review

Shell Louise


I went through a stage of being a little bit addicted to MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games) so I was keen to check out Star Stable and see how the girls would get on with it.

Our character is called Anzia Snowbell and the horse is called Morningpetal. You need to try and log in every day to take care of your horse but as you can see, the girls haven't logged in for a few days due to lack of time (Brownies, Beavers and homework are a few of the things keeping them offline at the moment!).



Anzia is given quests to do and you can also take part in racing competitions. Kaycee did really well in the races once she mastered the controls.

I've had a go on Star Stable purely for the sake of the review you understand! and while it's not the normal type of game I'd play I did enjoy it. I found myself saying, 'in a minute Ella, I'm just going to finish this quest', every time she asked for a go!

You can play for free up to level 5 and if you want to become a member you can pay £4.95 a month, £11.95 for 3 months, £18.90 for 6 months or £49.90 for a lifetime membership.

There's more information for parents here.


Please note: We were given a 3 month membership in return for an honest review.



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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Finally made a start on the pond :oD

Shell Louise

I've been putting it off for weeks now and today I finally decided to get out there and move some of the flowers from the border where the pond is going to be.
You can see it's overgrown with weeds and grass but the primroses are lovely and I didn't want to just chuck them away.

Oh dear, I've only just realised I didn't tidy all the stuff on the patio before taking the photo! Please ignore the broken chair, tipped over plastic chairs and general mess!


I marked out the border edge with the spade then removed all the grass. I dug it over, removing all the weeds that I could so it became a clearly defined border again.

Before - you'd never know a border had even been here the way the grass had overtaken it!
Then I dug up the primroses, forget me nots and some lily bulbs from the other border....


and replanted them in the newly dug border :)


I'm not sure what to plant here for interest and colour when after the primrose flowers have gone. I think I need to go and consult Sir Google!

Ella's been outside taking photos and she was delighted to see the return of the bleeding heart flowers, as was I and I love the forget me nots :)




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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Science toys - Not just for boys!

Shell Louise

Aiden's never really been interested in science-y things. I've bought him loads of different kits over the years, blast labs and slime labs and forensic sets, all to try and encourage a love of science that I never had when I was younger.

None of them worked, he just wasn't interested.

He's done a couple of the kits, like the forensic one for example but only because I got it out one day in the school holidays a few years ago and did it with him.
I hoped it would spark an interest in forensic science (I may have watched too much CSI and was trying to live vicariously through my son!) but alas he was just happy when it was over I think!

The other kits sat, forgotten, on the shelf in his room until the girls spied them and asked him if they could do them.
They had great fun with them and now I know that I can look at those kinds of things when Christmas and birthdays come around :)

When the metal detector and planetarium arrived I couldn't help but smile at the excitement on Ella's face!






Kaycee was the first to try the metal detector after Ant had calibrated it. She loved going out looking for metal and got Ella to hide coins around the garden so she could search for them.
It works well but the one thing we'd change if we could would be the way it's calibrated. It's too easy for the girls to catch it while they're using it and Ant ends up calibrating a lot.
If the knob were covered or able to be locked, it would save a lot of frustration having to keep doing it.






The planetarium was a huge hit with both girls. They've had it on every night since it arrived and they both know the words to the planet commentary off by heart!

Tonight while watching Eggheads, a question came up about the planets and Kaycee knew the answer from listening to this every night :)

Science is definitely for my girls, not for my boy!

Please note: We were sent the above items in return for an honest review.

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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Garden Plans Again!

Shell Louise

As you may know, I fell in love with this garden before I fell in love with the house and to be honest, I don't think I was that worried about what the house was like, I just wanted the garden!

I didn't do anything to it last year because I wanted to see it through each season so I could see what plants were already in.
I have lots of plans like making a cut flower border so I can have flowers inside all year and my biggest dream is to have a wildlife pond but I've not made much headway recently due to the weather. This week promises to be lovely so I'm going to make a start on the pond. I'm eager to get it started! :)

We did manage to get some things done recently, Ant got the arch up after the girls finished painting it and all the wood you can see on the lawn across from the apple tree is the remains of the old wooden fence that was up when we moved in.


The pond is going in the bottom corner (photo below) where the flower border is (to be honest though, there are more weeds than flowers in it at the moment!) and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that the frogs like it so they'll come and leave me some frogspawn next spring! The pond is going to have a small waterfall and it will go into a small stream that will end near the arch.


We're deciding what to do with the top part of the garden that used to be the vegetable garden (it's full of old bits of wood and stuff at the moment).
Ant thinks we should extend the lawn so the girls have more room to play because I'm taking part of the lawn for the pond and he'd like some fruit trees so I think we're going to be making the top part into a mini orchard!

We're in need of new garden furniture because I really don't like the plastic set you can see in the photo so I'm entering an Easter Blogger Competition run by Debenhams where you can win an Easter garden party set :o) It all looks amazing and there are loads of things from the site that I'd love to buy if money were no object!
I love the half round tree bench and think 2 of them would look really nice round my apple tree :)


Debenhams Garden



If you'd like to enter the competition, click the link above but hurry, it ends at midnight tonight!

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My new cooking blog :)

Shell Louise

I've been wanting to make a separate cooking blog for a while and I've finally done it!

Shell Louise Cooks
I've only got one recipe on it at the moment, an Easter sponge cake with strawberries, but along with Kaycee and Ella, we hope to get lots more on soon :)

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Monday, 6 April 2015

Project 365 - March 28 to April 3rd

Shell Louise


March 28th - The girls finally finished painting the garden arch. They started it last year and it's been left all over winter. This is the year we get a nice garden again!


March 29th - Ant did a great job of getting the arch up. I love it :)


March 30th - No more messy bedroom didn't quite go as planned!


March 31st - Ella's got a thing for plaits at the moment :)


April 1st - I've never seen Ella as excited as she was when this planetarium arrived! Review will be up soon.


April 2nd - A metal detector was sent with the planetarium and the girls have been hiding coins outside for each other to find :) 


April 3rd - We went to Surprise View to wish Grandad Jack a happy birthday. Nanny treated us to lunch at the Wetherby Whaler (formally Harry Ramsden's) and it certainly is a treat! The fish and chips were lovely and you can see how good the banana split was!
Ella had been excited to go all week. She wanted a prawn salad and a brandy snap dream dessert. I can't believe she ate all but half a spoonful of the dessert!


TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

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Sunday, 5 April 2015

Joseph Joseph Drainer

Shell Louise

You may have seen on my previous post about a website called Red Candy, that I'm a new fan of Joseph Joseph. I have to admit that I hadn't heard of them until recently but I'm very impressed with their range and excellent quality of their products.

I had a light blue dish drainer that I got for a couple of pounds last year when we moved in. It fit ok on the draining board but it didn't have much space and it didn't feel very sturdy.

This new dish rack that I received from Joseph Joseph is simply brilliant. I'm not kidding when I say I was very impressed with everything about it!
I'm not usually one to gush about a dish rack but I find I'm having trouble stopping myself!



It fits perfectly on the draining board and is very strong. It doesn't move at all when you put things on, no matter how much you pile on there and believe me, I've piled it high recently; Ant and I are on different diets at the moment so we're cooking separately which obviously creates lots more pots and pans. The dishwasher won't fit everything in so I'm having to hand wash a lot of them.


Because I'm hand washing so much at the moment, being able to extend the dish rack past the size of the draining board has been brilliant.


It drains well and the spout can be closed if for some reason you want to stop it draining.

It all comes apart very easy making cleaning it a doddle, as we say in Derbyshire!

I've been checking out their website and I now have more things to add to my Amazon wishlist!
For example, I love this twist grater and the 2 in 1 measuring jug, among others!

The prices are higher than I'd usually pay but they do say you get what you pay for and I believe the quality of these products justifies the cost :)

Please note: I was sent the dish rack in return for an honest review.


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Friday, 3 April 2015

Red Candy

Shell Louise

There are so many things I really want, it was extremely hard to choose just one thing when I was offered the chance of reviewing Red Candy.

It took me a few days to finally pick a Joseph Joseph Nest 9 Plus and I must say I'm delighted with it :)
It has a large mixing bowl, a colander, a sieve, a jug bowl and 5 measuring cups.

I'm now a fan of Joseph Joseph as well as Red Candy!




I love the space saving design and how colourful it is.


Having the cup size in millilitres is really helpful. It means I don't have to keep getting help from Google! 


Another jug is always welcome, even though we already have about 5!


This big sieve is excellent. I have a small one but it's in need of throwing away due to the fact that the mesh part is coming away from the rim!



The none slip base is the best part about this bowl. The girls are going to find it so much easier to use when they're baking :)
Red Candy has a large assortment of items including a lovely range of photo frames and clocks to name a few.

Please note: I was sent the above item in return for an honest review.

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