Monday, 17 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!

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.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

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:

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 :

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Zomlings - Brand New Collection series

We were recently sent some Zomlings to review. These collectible mini figures are a new toy line from Magic Box. These are brand new and should start appearing in shops very soon - look out for them in your local supermarkets and toy stores.

They are small 2cm squidgy pocket money figures which children can collect, swop and play with - similar to the likes of TrashPacks, Moshi monsters and other such series.

zomlings in the town series one collection

In the Zomling series 1 range there are over 100 characters to collect, all zombie themed but lots of different characters from teddy bears to elephants.

trashpack toys collection zombie mini figures
The individual zomlings can be purchased in blind bags which cost just 50p each, or Tower  block blind bags where you get a tower block and a zomling figure for £1 or houses where you get 2 zomling figures and a house for £2 This gives children plenty of ways to build there collection.

new zombie town tower block collection sheep
The houses and tower blocks are not only for you to store the zomlings but to enable children to make their own games - much like angry birds, you can build up towers and see if you can flick the zomlings to knock them down, or arrange your own town scene with your zomlings.

The  blind bags and houses come with a  checklist and instructions on of how to play with the zomlings, giving you three ideas for games such as Zomling Battle where you set up your house across the table from your apponants house, then flick your zomling figures towards the enemys house, the first to hit the house twice wins. Another game is Towers Down, where you set up tower blocks and try to knock them down by flicking your zomling figures at the blocks.

zombie fish and alien collection mini figures

These colourful characters are really quite cute and instantly appeal to children, my three all loved them and can't wait to see them in the local shops to buy some more, priced at affordable pocket money prices I can see these becoming very popular.

zombie little mini figures

The collection includeds several rare colour options - some characters come in 2 colour variety, the neon version being harder to find than the 'ordinary colours' Then there are 6 ultra rare silver characters to collect and 3 Limited edition Gold Zomlings.

ultra rare silver zombie smash zomling figure

We were lucky enough to find Smash one of the ultra rare silver zomlings in one of our blind bags which pleased my three no end.

Overall we love the zomlings and will be keeping our eyes open for them in our local stores, with the popular zombie theme yet cute nature of these critters, affordable prices and perfect size for carrying around in your pocket or pencil case I think children everywhere will have lots of fun with them

Thursday, 6 March 2014

World Book Day - Quick Home Made Costume

Today is World book day - you would have thought everyone who has any form of TV or internet or school aged child would be very aware of this, and thus have had an outfit planned for the past week or so.

However I love to leave things until the last minute - and I mean LAST minute, I knew it was book day of course my daughter has reminded me for weeks, but I just don't want to splash out on £20 costumes each, for one school day. So I had told the children they would be going in their school uniforms. But then of course this morning arrives and my youngest wakes up adamant he will not be going in his school uniform, I tried all the ordinary 'why not go as Harry and his bucket full of dinosaurs?' (ordinary clothes) options but he was not having any of it.

So I put the ball in his court and said 'well who DO you want to go dressed up as?' and he said The BFG. Now I should have known as we have just finished reading this book, initially my response was 'no... how can I make a homemade  BFG costume in less than 15 minutes which doesn't require sewing?

Then I thought about it and thought well actually it could be worse, so I ruffled through the draws and found a orange T shirt, a standard school white shirt and a pair of 3/4length karki trousers - perfect!

I simply cut the orange T shirt down the middle, and cut off the sleves to make it into a waistcoat - no sewing it neat - the BFG at the end of the day wears raggity clothes doesn't he? well he does in my mind! Put the shirt on and rolled up the arms, and grabbed a belt and hey presto we had a costume!

Mikey then decided he wanted to add the invisibility cape and so we found the old vampire cape from Halloween, armed with the book he looked almost like we'd planned it!

Jobs done and he ran into school happy - Now what am I to do with Chloe - her dress up day is tomorrow!!!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

It's good to talk - TalkTalk phone boost options

Living in todays fast paced world where more and more things revolve around technology its very easy to forget  what matters, and its often easy to get caught up in life and go with the flow.

Yet I do wonder what damage having 24/7 Internet access has had on society, and if people do remember to sometimes stop and take a break from the surge of emails and text messages and social media notifications and have real life interactions with their family and friends.

Do people remember to pick up the phone and talk to people - real conversations where you can hear peoples emotions because sometimes I think real conversations have been lost in a endless stream of virtual text.

As amazing as the Internet is and technology,  it is sad to think that more people now turn to a facebook message or a text instead of a real phone call.

Price obviously is a factor in why people talk less, with so many mobile phone text bundles coming coupled with mobile phone contracts and free messaging service via social media accounts it makes it seem expensive to make a phone call from your landline.

I am much more likely to reach for my laptop to send a quick message to someone or fire off an email than pick up the house phone and I know that in the back of my mind cost is a factor.

Looking at all the different companies offering so many different price plans it can be confusing and hard to know which company offers the cheapest landline phone calls to mobiles and international numbers, so its no wonder people tend to stick with emails and text messages.

Yet it doesn't have to always be a text based message,  TalkTalk have some great mobile phone and international calling options to choose from, giving you a way to make phone calls to mobile phones and international numbers for a small set monthly fee.

TalkTalk have made it really simple to pick from a selection of boosts allowing you to decided how many free hours per month you think you will need and then you make the small monthly payment and don't have to worry about the cost of the calls.

 As TalkTalk family bloggers we have been asked to try out the mobile phone boost options and see what savings we can make.

We are not huge phone users but do spend around £10 a month on mobile phone calls,these are calls to our friends and family and normally each call only lasts a few minutes, we make less than 100 minutes of calls a month, so we are set to make a good monthly saving by simply switching to the 100 minute mobile phone boost option and it will allow us to worry less about clocking up a bill whilst we catch up with friends.

If you are already a TalkTalk customer activating the mobile phone boosts is quick and simple from your account online, and can save you upto £50 on mobile phone calls.

To activate the mobile phone boosts Simply log into your TalkTalk account and then select 'Packages and Boosts' from the top menu and then 'Broadband and phone' from the drop down menu as shown above.

You will then be shown all the available boost options, from here you can simply tick the boost you require then click update to activate the boost on your phone line.

There are plenty of Phone boosts to choose from including 2 mobile phone boost options allowing you to make 100 minutes of mobile phone calls for just £3 per month or 1000 minutes for only £5

TalkTalk also provide anonymous caller reject, caller display and last call barring for free making it even easier to keep your home phone ready for the important calls you really do want to receive.

TalkTalk also has amazing value boosts on international phone calls, giving you  a way to make cheap phone calls all over the world.

So why not take a look at the TalkTalk Phone boost options yourself and pick up the phone and Talk!

If you are not yet a TalkTalk customer you can see all TalkTalks offers here: TalkTalk Packages

We are TalkTalk family bloggers and have been given Free Phone and Broadband in exchange for promotion and reviews of their services - however all opinions expressed are my own.

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