Best Ever April Fool

I have just seen the best April Fool ever!

I was watching Holly & Phil whilst at the gym, as is my usual daily routine. I arrived at the cross trainer just as they were talking to the husband of someone they had given a make-over to! I had missed the start as I only go to the gym in my lunch hour.

The bit I caught was that this lady was going to her first every school reunion. She was really nervous about what to wear. It was also their 25th Wedding Anniversary. @Lisa Snowdon was providing the wardrobe makeover whilst a hairdresser and makeup artist did the rest.

I absolutely love Lisa Snowdon. In fact if you read one of my previous blogs, you will know I would love her to give me a makeover to! Well, I did! I was mentally crossing that one off my list!

https://bit.ly/2OFtMsF

What I like about Lisa is her dress style. She always makes them look a million dollars. She herself is I think the iconic style queen. She has a figure like mine, and I always aspire to be like here, hence why she is on my list!

As the lady in question walked on, my jaw dropped! I almost fell off the cross trainer. She was wearing this very tight, pink velvety dress. It was above the knee with white cowboy boots! Nothing wrong with either in the right context. If that wasn’t bad enough, her eyes were very dark and smokey and her hair, although not offensive in its own right, didn’t look right!

She looked absolutely awful. In fact as she walked on the phrase that popped into my head was ‘mutton dressed up as lamb’!

As they revealed the look to her, she looked in horror at her reflection. Tears came into her eyes. Holly and Phil were prompting her for her opinion. At first Holly was excited for her, but then she realised she didn’t like the look. She asked if they could stop filming, but they continued. I was screaming at them to stop filming her.

As Phil went to get some tissues, Holly came to console her, offering her to go downstairs to look at other things in the wardrobe.

Phil then announces there was a further surprise! A day trip in London, including dinner at the Ivy, the London Eye, etc. That a car was waiting to take them now. Phil suggested she see how she feels after her day out!

The camera follows them to the car. You can still hear her distraught about the outfit. Holly is beside herself.

As they watch the car pulls off it crashes!

OMG, I nearly fell off the cross trainer!

Holly is in bits. Phil is also really concerned. And then it happens! Phil announces its a complete April Fool! The whole thing was to set Holly up! The couple were actors and the car a stunt car!

Absolutely brilliant! I was completely taken in. Holly’s reaction was priceless too. She is such a good sport! (Meeting them is also on my list).

My faith is now totally restored in Lisa Snowdon! How could anyone of us have believed she would have made such a bad job! I’m still laughing hours later!

Best prank ever! Well done @thismorning

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TV in the bedroom?

It’s been long debated whether it’s a good or bad thing to have a TV in the bedroom!

For me, it’s a must! I’ve had one in my bedroom for as long as I can remember. My dad always used to say that if you can’t sleep, just watching something on the TV. It will relax your brain and send you off! It certainly works for me, but that isn’t the reason I have one!

For me, it’s the news! And Lola too!

Every morning while I’m getting up, I like to switch on the news! It’s a chance to catch up on what has happened overnight. When time is precious, you can easily let life pass you by. This is my time to engage with the world!

Lola is particularly interested in Brexit at the moment !

Since moving, the TV in my bedroom only worked on BBC. Thankfully that was the news channel I wanted to watch. Apart from that, I never really used it. Then something magical happened! Sky Q!

I’ve had Sky for 13 years, but after my HD box died, I decided it was time to upgrade.

This meant we got a second box which was installed in our bedroom!

Why did we never do this before!

Suddenly hubby and I are planning to go to bed an hour earlier to watch something we have recorded.

It’s been so nice having that hour before we go to sleep to relax in bed watching something together. It may sound weird, but it’s so much nicer than watching down in the lounge on the sofa!

Don’t get me wrong, the TV hasn’t taken over our lives, it’s just enhanced it!

Don’t knock it till you try it!

Happy Friday x

How is it Monday already?

Wow, I can’t believe it’s Monday already. How does it come round so fast?

It’s like Groundhog Day when the alarm goes off! While I try to wake myself up to take the dogs out for a walk with hubby, Fido is there jumping all over the bed in excitement! Lola is a bit like us. Actually no that’s wrong. We do get moving when the alarm goes off, whereas she lies there moaning, groaning and stretching! She really doesn’t do mornings !

At least now the mornings are lighter! Chilly but spring is definitely here!

The weekend was good. For a weekend with nothing planned it was fun.

Saturday morning was a leisurely start. An amazing brunch followed by a spring clean! I do love it when you give the house a good going over! Hubby was productive too in the garden. It’s the first time this year he has been able to really get out there! It looks so much nicer now with the spring bulbs coming through and the new shoots appearing. It’s amazing what a bit of sun can do!

Saturday evening hubby had offered to cook dinner! If you know me you will know that rarely happens! He had seen a recipe in the latest Tesco magazine for a Chinese soup! As long as I made sure he had all the right ingredients he would make it for me!

OMG, for a man that doesn’t cook very often it was amazing! I know he followed the recipe, but even his chopping and presentation skills were spot on! Restaurant quality.

You can see what we ate here on my YouTube channel.

We ended a perfect day by watching Bohemian Rhapsody. It was a great film don’t get me wrong, but I’m not sure I’d go and see it multiple times. Hubby thinks we feel that way because we already knew the story, and maybe he is right! I’d still recommend you watching it though.

As the days are brighter we decided on Sunday to take the dogs for a longer walk. We opted for Earlswood Lakes. I haven’t been there for years. I printed a walk off the internet and off we went!

Now, I have to point out that today it wasn’t our fault! I know whenever we go on long walks hubby and I will always take a wrong turn at some point, but today wasn’t down to us!

The route we picked didn’t include a map! The instructions looked clear when we started, but soon they didn’t make sense. We had to ask directions a couple of times. Well I did! Hubby wouldn’t ask lol!

Eventually we gave up on the route and did our own thing. We didn’t mind. It was nice just to get out!

As we headed back to the car it dawned on me! We went the wrong exit out of the car park at the beginning! No wonder it didn’t make sense!

At least it made us chuckle!

The afternoon was relaxing with a visit from my wonderful parents.

As with every Sunday in our house we had a lovely roast to finish off the weekend.

Next thing I know the alarm is going off and it’s Monday again.

As we arrive at the station the car park is more full than usual! I’m dreading the train now. I’m expecting to crush my way on!

As it pulls onto the platform I look through the windows. A few people are standing but there is still daylight! I’m shocked but pleased. What happens next shocked me even more ! I got a seat! Woo hoo! I can’t believe it! Maybe Monday isn’t going to be so bad after all!

Have a great week!

So what are you doing this weekend?

I’m so glad it’s Friday. Early mornings and busy weeks mean that by Friday I’m exhausted.

I’m so excited this weekend! Why? Because I have absolutely nothing on!

Ok that’s strictly not true. The house will still need cleaning. That washing basket won’t empty itself. Believe me, I’ve asked it so many times to no avail! The dogs will need walking and of course we will need feeding, but apart from that I have nothing on!

Tomorrow there will be no alarm clock waking me up! Ok technically again, I won’t set an alarm. I will just have Lola and Fido waking me! The challenge will be how many times I can send them back to bed before I have to give in and put them out!

If it’s around 5 I don’t mind. I can put them out and all go back to bed, but if it’s after 7 it’s a dilemma. Is it worth going back to bed to sleep? Shouldn’t I just pop the kettle on and watch tv in bed with a cuppa? It’s always a tough one!

The main thing is that this weekend, I don’t have to be tied down to doing anything at a certain time.

I know it’s sad, but I find weekends like this so precious. It’s a chance to recharge my batteries and spend time on things I enjoy.

We may end up packing lots in, but it will be at a far leisurely pace than normal!

So whatever you are doing this weekend enjoy it!

Happy Friday !

Photography Show and my Gimbal!

So on Saturday hubby and I, together with a friend headed off to the Photography Show in Birmingham.

This is our 3rd trip to the show which was held at the NEC.

The last couple of times we went it coincided with the Comic Show! Thousands of comic fans arrive dressed up in some incredible outfits. It’s an amazing sight!

Sadly this year this wasn’t the case. The Big Bang Show and a craft show didn’t have the same impact.

We arrived about 10.30 at the show. Hubby and I have a routine when we attend. We start off in the far left corner and work our way up each row.

The show is full of a large variety of exhibitors including Canon, Nikon, printing companies, Studio equipment, digital photo albums, editing software etc.

I had a list of things in my head I wanted to look for! A new case for my Canon, new editing software and a hip holder for my camera!

So as we head up the first isle we are curious to explore what is on offer as well as see what amazing equipment is out there ! Some won’t be of use to us, but is interesting. A lot will be out of our budget but it’s still great to look at it and maybe have a play! But what ever was on show, it was certainly going to be interesting!

At the end of the first row we come across a stand for Removu. They are selling Gimbals! I’d never seen or heard of them before so was really curious. There was a couple that caught my eye. One for your iPhone and the other a 4 in 1!

Now if you don’t know what a Gimbal is, and I didn’t as I said, it’s a piece of equipment that helps stabilise your camera when you are moving.

I used to use my iPhone for videos but found it was chewing up my memory and battery. I invested in a GoPro and a Canon Powershot last year instead. When doing my cooking vlogs I use them both together.

Unfortunately, I’ve never had much success videoing when we are out and about because you tend to get a bit of shake. My hubby says it’s like getting sea sick! So Gimbals really captured my curiosity.

The 4 in 1 particularly got me excited. The Gimbal had a built in camera, video recorder and stabiliser all built in! It’s rotating head meant you could capture some really good wide shots!

The stand has a show offer on. £100 off the Gimbal plus a free case and rucksack holder. You could also buy an accessory kit half price! I was sold! I thought hubby would try and talk me out of it. Tell me it was a gimmick, but he too could see it’s worth!  Don’t get me wrong, he wouldn’t have stopped me buying it.  I earn my own money,  so can spend it how I like, but it is good to get his opinion.

Although I wanted to buy it there and then, I decided to wait and see what else was around . I mean, I hadn’t actually planned to buy anything like that before I came!

We continued our walk around. There was so much to see. Some amazing cameras and lenses that we could never afford!

I found a stand that did the hip holder. The stand was busy so I couldn’t really get to ask questions.  It was perfect from what I could see – Spider Pro SCS.  It was however a lot more expensive than I thought!

https://amzn.to/2HCQ8d3

I decided to leave it for another day!  I have a birthday coming up, and it could go on that list

The Gimbal though was still playing around in my head!  Finally, after a few hours we had exhausted all the stands!  I suggested to hubby that we go back and have another look at it.

We had seen another Gimbal on another stand.  It was a lot more compact, didn’t seem as good!

So we headed back to the stand again.  I had a lot of questions to ask, and they were able to show me some videos that had been recorded from it.  It definitely lived up to my expectations.  The decision was made.  I was going to buy one.

The stand didn’t sell them themselves, you had to go to the London Camera Exchange stand.  So off we went.

At the stand I asked them for the product.  After a bit of difficulty locating it, they finally found it.  When they came back though they hadn’t got the free gift or the additional accessory kit I wanted.

After another long search they came back with the free gift.  Still no accessory kit.  The computer said they should have 1!   Yes you heard it – 1! I’m not being funny but this was the first day of the show.  The Gimbal stand were promoting this amazing deal, however they only had 1 item available to sell!  This is so not good marketing!

After another long wait, they couldn’t find that 1 item.  They did however offer to send it to me.   Initially for a £4.99 postage charge!  I refused to pay this.  If they don’t hold stock on day 1, then it isn’t for me to pay to have it posted to me.

The lad who served me was lovely though and I did feel for him.

It was agreed it would be sent to me free of charge, although not until after the show!  As it was only a ‘nice to have’ additional accessories, I didn’t mind.

Whiles I was waiting for them to find the items, I checked on Amazon for the micro SD card.  It was half the price I could get it for at the show, so I quickly ordered it for delivery the next day.

Eventually, I had my new toy in my hands and on the way home to try it out!  Very excited I have to say!

Gimbal – https://amzn.to/2FiUiW0
Accessory Kit – https://amzn.to/2FiUiW0
64GB Memory Card – https://amzn.to/2OiEPYZ

When I got home, I placed it on charge.  The next day the card arrived.  Ooh the excitement!

I read the instructions quickly and decided to go for a walk to try it out!

I have to apologise for anyone who may have seen me, skipping and singing at one point!  I wanted to test the microphone and movement out!

I got home and downloaded it onto the laptop!  

The quality of sound and video were fantastic.  I was over the moon I decided to do a product review vlog!

See my vlog here:

I was so happy with my toy!

Now, I just need to go on a long walk and really test it out! It has 4 hour battery life which should be enough for a nice long country walk!

So even though I never planned to buy a Gimbal, I have to say it was a fantastic purchase. If I hadn’t gone to the show, I would never have known about it! If you see a show like this go along. If you book early you tend to get some good deals.

For £11.00 each, we had a great day out, and learnt a lot more about photography and what is out there! Plus I got a new piece of equipment to improve my videoing ability!

Live every day like it’s your last!

In the last 10 days I’ve heard of 2 people we know who have passed away suddenly. One was a friend of my husbands and the other a young lady who works with us!

It is so sad to think that she tucked her young children up in bed, with her whole life before her, then never waking up!

As with my hubby and his friend, we have all been in shock!

My heart goes out to both families.

I like many others have really been reflecting on this.

The reality is that none of us know when our time will be up. No one has a date in their diary saying the exact date and time we are going to become ill or pass away suddenly.

As some of you know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. I was officially diagnosed the day after my 43rd birthday! I certainly never expected to have cancer at such a young age! Thankfully I’m all clear again now, although last week I had a horrible scare. I’m so grateful for the NHS and my private health care through work, as we only had to wait 24 hours to know if it had returned. Those few hours though were hell. I can’t begin to tell you everything that was going through my mind! What wasn’t was wishing I’d argued more, got angry more, had more money or a better car!

Im glad to say My cancer hadn’t returned, but again it highlighted how fragile life can be!

How many times have you fought over something so trivial that days later you can’t even remember what it was about? How often do you worry about silly things that don’t really matter?

Life is so precious we should be making the most of it!

Tell those dear to you how much you love them. Embrace life. Follow your dreams. But most importantly, don’t take anything for granted.

Have fun, be kind, laugh, love and be happy and grateful for what you do have! Focus on the positives.

Live today like it was your last.

And then it was Friday!

Another week has flown by! I can’t believe it’s Friday already! So much has happened in just a few days!

Technically for us it was only a 4 day week as we took Monday off. If you read my previous blog you will know we spent the weekend in Gloucester. As we hadn’t had a break for 6 months, I really needed to charge my batteries!

So on Monday, we decided to extend our weekend and head to Stonehenge for the day!

I can’t believe I’ve never been before. It’s only a couple of hours drive away. It’s also free if you belong to English Heritage, which we do, so there has really been no excuse.

The weather was on our side! It was a beautiful spring day. Don’t get me wrong, it was blooming cold and windy, but the sun was out.

When you drive to Stonehenge you may be surprised to see it from the road. Well I was! It was just like the first time I saw the pyramids in Cairo.

I had visions of them being in a remote area. Next to a busy road was not what I expected!

Although it is free to enter for us, you still have to book a slot. This is such a good idea as it limits the crowds.

Once you collect your tickets, you can go into their visitor centre which tells you all about the history of Stonehenge. English Heritage are really good at giving you information in the form of audio equipment. Sadly, in the excitement we forgot to get ours! It didn’t matter though, there was still a lot of information about.

Next you get to walk around a replica village. I was a bit disappointed here as only one little house was open for you to view! This meant everyone was focused on the one building rather than spreading it around.

Next you board a shuttle bus that takes you to the stones. They run every few minutes, so it’s all relaxed! You can walk it if you like, but as I said, it was a tad chilly!

Nowadays you can’t get very close to the stones. I can’t believe people used to try and damage them!

There is a good footpath around so you get a great 360 degree view of the stones. With the sun out and perfect blue skies, our cameras were busy!

If you go, look out for what is left of the old road next to the stones! Being so close, I can see why they moved it!

Here is an account of our day.

It was such a lovely day we decided to call into Bourton-on-the-Water for a very late lunch.

One of the benefits of going to tourist places this time of the year is that you miss the crowds.

We only had 1 extra day off, but I felt like I’d really had a good relaxing break!

Tuesday was back to work. Boo hoo! We live in hope to one day win the lottery so we can both travel more! It probably won’t happen, but you have to have a dream!

Have a great weekend!