Friday, 19 September 2014

Time - Word of the Week

This weeks word of the week is time. I could have chosen busy, but I don't actually feel as though I've been busy, being busy means you get things done. I haven't achieved that much so I'm going with time, and how I need more of it.

Monday was the weekly shop, which is normally done on Sunday, but I didn't have time because we went out instead.
Tuesday I had to take ED to an appointment and took Star with me. Star didn't want to go straight home so we spent lots of time browsing around the shops.
Wednesday we went out shopping for a desktop PC for Star but the one she finally chose was not in stock so we had to go back on Thursday.
Thursday was spent shopping for a desk for said PC and of course we picked up the PC and I set it up while OH fixed up the flat pack desk.
Now, it's Friday and in about 15 minutes I have to go and pick up OH's dad and take him to a doctors appointment, then I'm picking up ED from work as she finishes lunch time, then I'm taking No1 Son out shopping this afternoon.

When do I get some TIME for myself?
Well, I have had some time in the evenings once the kids are in bed, but I've been trying hard to get on with my blog work which is taking up all my time. However, OH has other ideas because all he's wanted to do is discuss the politics of Scotland.

Next week could I please have a couple of extra hours in the day?

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 18 September 2014

In the Print! - Competition

How would you like to win a fabulous 16" by 12" canvas from Printed.Com?
How about having one made from your back to school photos, or a favourite photo from your holidays? I love canvas prints, they always look good. offer plenty of other services too, like printing business cards, leaflets, posters, postcards, brochures and stickers. You can also get all your wedding stationary printed, save the date cards, invitations, thank you cards, place cards, menus to name just a few.

You can even have your Instagram photos turned into polariod style prints or stickers. I love these and I'm so happy to be able to offer two lots of prints to two runners up in this competition.

The is easy to navigate and find what you need, but be warned, they have so much to offer you are bound to find more. If you own a business you will find so many useful things including Display Boards and signs.

It works like this; you pick your product, choose a design from the site or upload your own, edit to get it just right then submit for your product to be printed. Your order can be tracked every step of the way.

If you would like the chance to win a canvas of a photo of your choice, or maybe one of the runner up prizes of Instagram prints, then please fill in the following rafflecopter widget.

Good Luck everyone x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:
  • This giveaway is open to UK residents only.
  • Three winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter and announced on this page
  • The winners will be contacted by e-mail within 3 days of the competition ending, they will have 10 days to respond.
  • Your details will be passed on to for the purpose of sending out a prize only
  • No collected details will be passed on to any third party by RaisieBay
  • The prizes will be sent directly from and delivery is not in the hands of Raisie Bay
  • The company reserves the right to substitute the prize fo one of a similar type/value
  • Competitions starts on 18/9/2014 and ends 18/10/2014 at midnight

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Changing Rooms - Finding a Bargain

I'm currently embarking on redecorating my entire home and have even set up a new blog to record my journey. Yesterday we had our first year house inspection which went really well and pretty soon it will be all systems go.

You can read the full details on my other blog but the house hasn't shrunk or moved much which is great because there won't be much work for the builders to complete before we can get on with decorating. I'm really looking forward to it because I'm truly fed up of the magnolia now and can't wait to get some colour into my life. Of course I'll be looking for new furniture and accessories for some rooms too, it's going to be an incredible task. I'm not scared of the work and planning is good fun, the biggest problem is the cost.

So now I'm on the lookout for bargains. I have a huge job on my hands and need all the help I can get as I don't yet own a money tree in my garden. That's why I was thrilled to find a site like Voucher Bin. You can find discount codes for almost everything there. You can search for store vouchers alphabetically, or by categories depending on what you are looking for.

I don't do any shopping online without first checking there is a voucher or discount available. I've just found some great blinds for my extra large kitchen window which are a bargain at just over £40, and at Voucher Bin I found a code for an extra 10% off.

It's always good to find a bargain, even better when you can get yourself a little extra money off the total cost, even if you don't have a big expensive project on the go like me. Just think of how you can save on your Christmas pressies!

This is a collaborative post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I Hate Driving

Just seven weeks ago I picked up my new car. When I say new, it was really new and shiny and the most loveliest car I've ever had. I was so excited.

I'd not had a car of my own for more than two years. The last time I had taken out a loan to purchase a second hand car and I'd been totally ripped off. The car was purchased from a private seller and after two month I took it for an MOT test and the car had to be scrapped because it was dangerous. The experience was awful, I was left with no car and no money and the worry that I'd been driving around with my children in a dangerous car for two months. It did put me off.

Then the opportunity arose for me to have a new car and I have to admit it has been really difficult with all the hospital visits and appointments having to rely on public transport, taxis and lifts from friends and family. So a new car was just what we needed.

At first it was great, the car is a dream to drive. I have driven some awful cars in the past so it was so refreshing to have one so nice. We couldn't wait to go out every day.

I don't know exactly when things changed but I actually dread going out in the car now. I feel frightened and that makes me nervous and I'm worried that  my nerves will lead to me making a dangerous mistake. With a few weeks of having the car I ventured on the motorway and it was fine. I did get a little mixed up on the journey home but managed to rectify it and we arrived home just half hour later than expected. We did see a nasty accident on the motorway, it had happened sometime before and they were clearing up, but it was still disturbing. Maybe that spooked me?

Now I find every time  I venture out I see someone do something stupid, particularly at traffic islands. Do people know how to use islands? I think they should spend more time in lessons getting people to drive around islands, maybe even include it in the test, it's more important than doing a three point turn. I see so many near misses, witness so many people in a hurry that they pay no regards to anyone else on the road, see stupidity everywhere. Is it me? Have I lost my nerve being on the road?

I've been a driver for more than fifteen years and in that time I've had one minor accident and a couple of bumps while parking...(stupid concrete posts in car parks!) Nothing serious and no-one has ever been hurt.
I do consider myself a safe driver, although I still have a little trouble parking.

My partner has suddenly become the worst passenger ever. He was fine when I was driving him around before, but since then he's had a few driving lessons himself. Now he thinks he's a better driver than me and I'm dangerous. He says it's because he was involved in an accident before, but not while I was driving. He makes me feel even more nervous and nerves are not good while driving. I find myself concentrating really hard every second I'm in the car. I've stopped listening to the radio and ignore the kids. The road is all I think about. And driving has stopped being fun.

I'm determined not to let this beat me though. In the last week or two I've been tempted to give the car back, really, it's been that bad. However, I know we need it, and the kids would be devestated. Will get my confidence back?

So, am I a total nutcase? Have you ever felt like this? How can I help myself feel better? Do offer any advice you can, I think I need it.

Thanks xx

The day I got my car

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Really Pink Cupcakes

Welcome to this week's kids in the kitchen where we invite you to share what you have been cooking with help from your kids. This week Boo decided she wanted to make Really Pink Cupcakes.

Last week we were joined by the kids from The Beesley Buzz and they made a Blue Cake. Maybe we could go for a rainbow of cakes?
If you've been cooking and having your kids help along the way, even it's just to help make a mess, then please do come and link up. We love to share at Kids in the Kitchen. We also have a Pinterest Board where I share all posts.

Really Pink Cupcakes:

Boo wanted to make cupcakes, but she wanted them really pink so we bought some pink cupcake cases, colouring and princess pink sprinkles in our weekly shop.


125g soft unsalted butter (or Stork)
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g self-raising flour
1 tbs strawberry Crusha
pink food colouring.

for the icing:

85g soft unsalted butter (or Stork)
170g sifted icing sugar
pink food colouring
1 tsp strawberry Crusha

pink sprinkles

I was unable to buy strawberry flavouring so I used the Crusha as a substitute and was pleased to find that it did add flavour and a little more pinkness.


First we measured and creamed the butter and caster sugar together.
We added the eggs one at a time beating between each
We mixed in the Crusha
Then we folded in the sifted flour
We put a large teaspoon into each of 12 cupcake cases
We baked at 190C/gas mark 5 for about 12 minutes, until springy to touch

After allowing to cool we mixed up all the ingredients for the icing together and used and icing gun to decorate the cupcakes.

Finally, we used a selection of pink sprinkles to finish off the decoration.

So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked, then share it with us here.

I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)

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