Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Sunday Photo

I was in Cardiff last week, for a Nespresso Coffee event (you can read the post here). 
By the time we left, dusk was settling, and the lights of Cardiff had just come on. It's very rare for me to catch a good photograph on my phone, but I thought this was lovely! 


Friday, November 21, 2014

Currys + Nespresso= Happy

I am one of those mothers. 

I am the one that cannot function until I've consumed my 2nd cup of coffee, in the morning. Unfortunately, my second cup of coffee is usually after the boys are all in school. Which is why I am also the mother who never wears make-up, and rarely has brushed hair.

So you can imagine my delight when I was invited to an event run by Curry's, Nespresso and Joe Blogs, all about coffee! 

Strangely enough, I hadn't had time for my coffee that morning either!? 

There was a good mix of Welsh and South West bloggers gathered at Waterloo Tea Rooms in Cardiff. I got to catch up with some bloggers I had previously met, and meet some new ones, before we were put into groups to try out different things. We were also greeted by a delicious cold coffee:

It was genuinely nicer than it sounds, with hints of cinnamon.

The 1st section for our group was:


Cupping

Yes, really. I was mildly nervous at this point, until it was revealed that this was indeed the name given to......coffee tasting! (Phew)

All the little bowls were filled with different blends of coffee, that Nespresso made. Their coffee is sourced from 8 different countries and, excluding any specials they put out, range in strength from 1-12. The vanilla was definitely a firm favourite in our group, with the 12 leaving me pulling faces for several minutes, one for real coffee lovers there! 


Coffee cocktails

I was rather pleased with myself for not cheering at this point. They were not only giving me coffee, they were showing me how to combine it with alcohol! Who do I kiss!?  (There were mocktails available for those who wouldn't or couldn't indulge)

I was pretty much the 1st to taste every one, unfortunately it was only one glass, to the whole group. Silly people! My favourite was definitely the Toblerone style drink. All served over ice, with coffee, Baileys, vodka and other alcoholic beverages added. 

Lunch!

We were then, quite sensibly given food:

It was as delicious as it looks. If you are in Cardiff, I would recommend a visit to the Tea Rooms, the food was exquisite.apart from what is picture, we were given a choice of 3 delicious salads and misu salmon.

Before the next section I was interviewed for Currys tech hub page! I see an Oscar.

Nespresso machines

After lunch, we were introduced to the range of machines on offer. A representative from the company was there to explain them all, and allowed us to have a fiddle.


I am absolutely in love with the coffee frother, that allowed me to create this:

The machine itself is so simple to use, with a choice of sizes and prices. I was pleased to hear they have a good recycling program in place for the empty coffee 'pods' too.

Our final section was :

Latte Art

I had been seriously looking forward to this, the fact that experienced baristas can create images, simply using the froth, amazes me. We were going to be shown how!

After a little demonstration and instruction from a member of staff, we were talked through doing it ourselves. It is not a simple process!

The one on the left is the staff members, the ones in the middle belongs to Ffion, from A South Wales Blog, told you it wasn't easy! Finally, on the right, is my little effort. I was quite pleased with it.

That little effort got me into a little competition, to win a bottle of bubbly. Unfortunately, my attempts were not repeated:

It was a wonderful day. If you are a regular follower of mine, on social networks, you will know I get very little 'time out'. This was a very social day, filled with laughter and information.

Thanks for the invite, I had a fabulous day, and I know what is going on my Xmas list!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reasons is officially hosted by Becky, at Lakes Single Mum, for the month of November. As I know she is incredibly busy at the moment, I'm going to set it up, with Beckys badge. 

So here are my:
Reasons to be Cheerful
1. Hmmm, let me think..... what could it be...........Oh yeah

I HAVE A CAR!!!!
Yes, I have my very own little Clio. My mum bought a new car and decided that my son could have hers. However, he isn't quite 17 yet and he has to learn, then pass his test. So for a few months it's all mine!

2. Parents evening. I didn't realise that colleges held these, but they do. It seems my teen is doing incredibly well, I'm so happy for him, as he loves it. He still needs to work on his anxiety within group work, but even that is improving. Long may it continue.

3. Feeling Well. I said about this last week, but it deserves another mention. I had a couple of days feeling poorly, but that was hormonal. Overall, however, I'm feeling so much better. I'm happier, and more content, than I have felt in quite a while.

So what are your reasons? Join in the linky, if your a blogger. Or comment on here, or one of the social networks, if you aren't. 








Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Home Made Tree!

As promised, I am showing you how I made the Christmas tree, from My Sunday Photo.

It really is quite easy to make, if a little time consuming. It can also be made quite frugally. The main bulk of it is made with green felt, I bought 1 metre specifically. If you want to do it 'on the cheap' I would recommend going to your local pound shop and picking up 2 Gift sacks! They would be around the right size.

Start by cutting 2 triangles, all the sizes can be your own choice. Mine was 42cm across the bottom, and 60cm high. On the one piece of the fabric mark where you want your decoration, this will be the front of the tree:

Next, you need to layer the tree with some thin wadding. I used a lightweight one so it would give it some weight, but also give it a lightly quilted look. When doing this, I find it easier to pin an extra layer of material to the wadding. It stops it all getting caught up with the needle. 

Now you sew through the front piece of fabric, wadding and thin layer of extra material, following the pattern you have drawn on. I used a chain stitch, using yellow and red embroidery thread. Realistically, you could use normal cotton and a sewing machine (if it has a pretty embroidery stitch).

Once you have done this, decide where you are going to place your 'baubles'. For this I used some of, the many, odd buttons I have around the house. Again, this is my choice, you could buy buttons that match, glittery ones maybe? Don't forget, when sewing on the decoration, you will need a seam allowance, to sew it all together, so don't sew them too close to the edges.

Once all the buttons are sewn on, you are ready to stitch the front and back together. Place the 2 right sides together (so it's inside out). Sew together, leaving a gap at the bottom, to turn it the right way, as shown in the diagram below:

Once sewn, iron out the seams flat (it really does make a difference to the finish), then turn. Make sure you push out all the points!

Now comes the time consuming work. You could do this on the machine, I decided to hand sew............40 button holes?!?! Crazy woman, I know. It's quite tough to get through all the layers with a machine, using fancy cotton, and I wanted it to be a bit shiny.

The reason for the button holes, is to put little lights through. I bought cheap battery operated ones from a discount store. A set in red and a set in white. In total they came to around £4!  I would suggest looking around for the cheapest before buying, but places like B&M and Home Bargains, are great for these type of lights.

Mark where you want to place the lights, I looked at the back, just to make sure they were evenly spread out, then stitch an oblong and cut a hole in the middle of each when finished. 

This is mine, halfway through:

Now to create the Base. I wanted this to hold the battery packs. So I got a sturdy piece of brown fabric and overlocked around the edge. If you don't have access to an overlocker, then stick a zigzag around the edge! Fold the piece ALMOST in half, you need to leave the one side slightly longer to put inside the tree opening, and stitch up either side.

Place the longer piece inside the tree, pin it all together, and top stitch.
You can now place your lights through the holes, from the back, hiding your battery packs inside the base!

Finally, sew on a bit of ribbon to the top, to hang it with!
This is my finished product:

I am over the moon with this, it's up on my wall and it's staying there!

If you want to try and make this wall hanging, please let me know. If you have any questions, either ask them here, or one of the other social networks, you'll find me in most places as ojosworld.

I would love to see your versions.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Parenting Styles

As another week starts, there's another question over some celebrity parenting style.

Why? 

I mean is Victoria Beckham really so awful, just for letting her daughter have a dummy at 3? We all know how hard it is to get our children off them!?

This week it's chef Jamie Oliver's turn. Apparently he tricked his daughter into eating a hot pepper, as punishment for being cheeky. We are so judgemental of people's parenting that THIS story made the news!? 

As parents we question the way we bring up our children all the time, or is that just me?

I have brought my children up in quite a relaxed manner. I'm not a shouter, or a smacker. I simply don't believe it works. 

I talk about the things they've done. I've explained when they have done something wrong, taught them to talk it out. 

Having my 2 younger children on the autistic spectrum means routines are important, but teaching them flexibility is also incredibly important for them to live in the real world. 

I think if we all brought our children up the same way, we would produce robots, not human beings that can think for themselves. 
I don't even treat my own children the same! They have different rules and expectations, because they are so utterly different to each other.

My teen is quiet, but so funny. He doesn't go out much, but that's mostly because he finds his own age group quite immature (he's not wrong). He has huge insecurities, about the way he looks, which I'm hoping he grows out of. Those who get to know him are always complimentary. He's a good kid, who is sarcastic, smart, stylish and my rock.

My 11yo is a chatty handful. I have to watch him like a hawk, when his anxieties start to build, I get him out of the way before he erupts. He is musical, intelligent, polite and funny. He's also a real handful!

Little A is happier if left alone........as long as he's not alone! Work that one out!? He will not be any room on his own, but would rather you didn't talk to him or touch him. He is also chatty, smiley, loving and painfully truthful (don't ask him how you look, unless you want the truth).

How could I possibly treat them the same? 
I can love them equally, and I most definitely do, but punishment and praise are doled out according to the individual.

Am I a good parent, who knows??
The only ones that can truly answer that, are my children. They seem to be doing ok, so I can't be that bad.

Really what I'm trying to say is, don't judge took harshly. We don't know what goes on behind closed doors, even with these celebrities. They are not harming their children, that's a whole other matter, so who are we to tell them what to do. 

What's your parenting style? 
How would you feel if someone judged your parenting style? (I'd tell them to get stuffed).


Amazon.co.uk