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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Monday, 20 October 2014

Electric Tobacconist - E-Cig Review

Shell Louise

I quit smoking about 5 years ago when I ended up in hospital with a blood clot which broke up and went to my lungs. I could hardly breathe and after the doctors had me sorted and I no longer thought I was going to die (!), I decided there and then that I'd never smoke again.
I couldn't imagine putting smoke into my lungs after they'd just had to work so very hard to keep me alive. I was lucky because the scare I got was a stronger emotion than any nicotine craving and I never wanted a cigarette after that.

Before I went into hospital, both Ant and I had tried to quit numerous times. He'd been smoking for about twice the length of time that I had and found it really difficult to quit.

He's tried patches but for him it wasn't about the nicotine, it was the physical act of smoking so while he was getting the nicotine from the patches, he still had a hankering to have that cig in his hand.

He made the decision to try e-cigs and bought one about a week before the Electronic Tobacconist got in touch.
Here's what he had to say about the Vapouriz Fuse Electronic Cigarette Starter Kit

"I've been very impressed with this e-cig. It's slightly bigger than my previous one but the battery is better which is the reason for the size difference.
The packaging is very high quality, you can see from the photos that it comes in a lovely tin.

The unique feature about it is being able to fill it from the bottom with no danger of damaging the heating element, which is really easy to change and cheap to buy. 
The refills are available in varying strengths with an excellent variety of flavours. The kit comes with one 10ml refill bottle of your choice.

Whilst the taste isn't exactly the same, it's close enough to be able to convince your brain you're smoking.
I was able to swap the chemical ridden, disgusting smelly tobacco overnight to the near odourless vapour of the Vapouriz with almost no hankering for the 'real' thing.

I've been using the Vapouriz for 3 weeks now and I'm on the lowest nicotine dose (6mg) refills. I can't see that I'd ever go back to smoking tobacco".

The kit costs £22.99 and comes in a variety of colours. The refills are available for 3 for £9.99 with 99p p&p. Ant said a refill lasts him about a week. We both think the product is worth the price, especially considering the price of tobacco nowadays and because of the health benefits.

How Much Nicotine Do You Intake?
Courtesy of: Electric Tobacconist

Please note: We were sent the product for review purposes but being able to keep the product didn't guarantee a favourable review. All opinions are our own and are honest.

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Frozen - Princess Anna Dress - Review

Shell Louise

Our beautiful princess :)

Is Frozen driving you mad yet?

It is me!

Ella adores it, Kaycee not so much, which was great when we got picked to review an Anna dress from Otley Run Fancy Dress because it meant for once we didn't have any arguing!

I have to admit, I do really love this dress, Ella looks adorable in it and absolutely loves it. She even wanted to wear to wear it to her cousin's wedding on Saturday but we felt it wasn't entirely appropriate!

She's hardly taken it off since she got it and she keeps dancing round singing Frozen songs :)

It's really well made and fits her great.

Please note: the headband Ella's wearing didn't come with the dress.

We were sent the dress to review but this didn't ensure a favourable review. All opinions are honest.

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Dear Diary - Our week Ocotober 19th

Shell Louise

This week has been mainly about hair and a wedding !

I don't really bother about my hair. It's long with lots of split ends and it needs colouring but I just tend to tie it back out of the way and only let it back down again when I'm going to bed.

The girls, however, love headbands, hair clips and trying different styles and I have to admit, I'm not that good at doing hair!

We found some videos that had been shared on Facebook and one of the designs was a hair bow with the hair actually made to look like a bow. They made it look super easy but when I tried on Kaycee's and Ella's hair it was rubbish.
It wasn't easy at all and it just wouldn't work.

I then tried a different style, a braid that's like a fishtail but is done differently apparently (I have no idea how to do a fishtail so wouldn't know the difference!) and it still turned out rubbish.

We spent Wednesday night doing the curls (with the tongs Ant bought me when we were getting married nearly 10 years ago!) so we could try different styles and see which they liked best.
After discovering it was going to take hours to do the curls with the tongs we turned to You Tube and decided to do rag curls.
They worked brilliantly :)

Moving away from hair because quite frankly I've had enough of it, I lost 1.5lb at Slimming World on Wednesday :)
I don't think the scales are going to be quite so nice next week after the amount of wine and champagne I drank yesterday but if I can stay the same I'll be happy!

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Fresh Air Activities Your Kids Will Love

Shell Louise

Getting some fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways to keep healthy and it’s also one of the least expensive family activities you can do. There’s no better way to bond as a family than having fun in the great outdoors and there are plenty of pastimes available not too far from your doorstep.
Benefits of being outdoors
Fresh air, new sights and simply getting off that couch and away from the television are just some of the benefits of outdoor activities. Children especially spend a great deal of time either staring at a computer screen or trapped in their classrooms throughout the day. Exercise and sport help kids to strengthen muscles, increase their social skills and can become a regular part of their lives. Activities don’t have to be too taxing and can include cycling through local parks, hiking in nearby rural areas and even playing a few rounds of crazy golf.
Low cost outdoors activities
Here’s where the bonus comes in: outside family fun costs very little to enjoy while providing excellent health benefits. If you want your children to explore further than the local neighbourhood then get hold of some cheap walking boots from Tesco and visit the surrounding countryside. Hire or buy bikes and travel even further to local points of interest that you've always wanted to explore. Weekends stuck in the house can fly by easily and children will always remember those family days out as some of the best times of their formative years.
Learn at least one sport
Sports are a great way to get children active and learning a new one is a start towards developing a skill that can last a lifetime. Golf, tennis, badminton and swimming are all excellent social sports which the family can enjoy via local clubs and sport centres. If you want to ramp up the excitement then why not try skiing at a nearby dry ski-slope. Learning to ski together can open up a world of exciting ski holidays abroad and this is definitely a something the kids will thank you for.
Take that weekend trip
It’s great to get out the house a few times a week for some exercise but why not go one step further with a weekend camping trip. All of the equipment including tents can be hired from local stores and this is a great way to explore some amazing parts of the country. Your trip can also include activities such as fishing, cycling and hiking. A camping trip is not only a much-needed break from familiar surroundings but is also one of the best bonding times that a family can undertake.

You don’t need to wait for the weekends, as weekday evenings are the ideal time for a few hours of cycling, swimming and sports. There is so much to do, so get out there. 

This post is in collaboration with Tesco

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Weekly weigh in - 1.5lb lost

Shell Louise

Finally it's headed back in the right direction! It's not as much as I was hoping for but I think I have to be realistic now and stop thinking I can go back to losing big amounts like I did in the first year.

I set a Christmas goal today and that's to be back down to 22 stone 8lb (the weight I was when I got my 8.5 stone award) by the last weigh in before Christmas. That's 10 weigh ins to lose 13lb.
I can do it!

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