Monday, 28 November 2016

It's beginning to feel like Christmas

Despite being a bit of a bah humbug when it comes to ridiculously early Christmas trees and decs going up, adverts and songs I actually really like Christmas - it's a great excuse to gorge myself on crap, watch rubbish sentimental mush on the TV and get pressies!

Normally I dont partake in any Christmas activities before December (other than buying gifts which I do mega early to avoid the craziness). However this year for the last 2 weekends I have done Christmassy stuff and it's actually been quite fun:)

A week ago Saturday I paid for a friend, myself and her 2 children to visit a local garden centre where they had a Santa experience set up.

You start off by checking in at a podium and then you write your letter to santa which can be posted  at a small post box.

Then you get called in by some elves to the boarding gate to board your sleigh ride to lapland!

The sleigh ride is cute - it's a bunch of benches covered in furs with a large screen showing a film of how you fly into lapland - bubbles get blown through from the ceiling and the kids enjoyed it.

The sleigh unfortunately lands at the back of Santa's workshop and the elf village and the boiler isnt working so all the kids had to throw snow balls (white pompom balls) into the generator pipes to make steam to open the door. After a valiant effort the doors are finally opened and you head into the elves house.

The elves house is nicely decorated with a tree and lots of lights, there are little beds to sit/lay on, cuddly toys and 2 elves waiting for you. The elves teach you the rules of being an elf and then you learn their song (jingle bells). After they have finished training you in the way of the elves you head through another door into the enchanted woods where you have to spot magical and christmas creatures in the woods around you. Once you have found all the creatures the elf in the wood gives you your very own set of jingle bells and then you have made it in to see the big man himself!

Santas room is dark with lots of sparkly lights and a "log" fire. The kids all sit on cushions on the floor in front of him and he asks them some questions about what they have learnt before calling them up one by one by their name. The kids get time with Santa to tell him their Christmas wish list and time for their accompanying adults to take some pictures. Mrs Claus is also on hand with her camera to take pics too (which you can choose to buy if you want). Santa gives the kids a magical voucher that allows them to pick one toy from his toy shop and then you collect your qualified elf certificate and make your way back to reality via a rather dark tunnel lit with sparkly lights.

Once back in the real world you then get to head to the toy shop and pick out a gift and check out the pics taken by Mrs Claus before head out.

For November dates the experience cost £10 per child and £3 per adult and the whole experience lasted around 35 minutes. Numbers on each booking are limited and they were sold out. December dates cost slightly more at £12 per child.

The rage of toys available in the toy shop was really good and they had things there from baby up to 12/13 years old and included things like rattles/teethers, playdough, colouring set, magic set, toy cars/motorbikes, hair braiding, dolls, ponys, action figures and tills. Photos if you wanted them started at £5.99 for a basic one and then they had deals on for buying multiples or getting them in different formats e.g. in a bauble or a snow globe.

My friends 2 children (aged 8 and 4) both really enjoyed the experience and after we had finished we spent some time looking at all the lovely Christmas ornaments and then walking to the aquatic centre on site and looking at all the fish - they had a tank where you could go underneath and then put your head into a box in the tank, a nemo/dory set up plus lots of unusual and tropical fish which the kids loved. They also have a reptile centre on site so we did a quick wander in there to see the snakes, lizards and spiders before having a look around the pet shop - as it's so cold they only had guinea pigs in their little petting area and the guineas were hiding out in their house.

After spending Saturday at the experience I went back and did it all again with H and my sister :) H again loved the whole thing although I'm not sure Santa was too impressed. When he asked her what she would like for Christmas she said a dog, so he said would you like anything else? and she thought for a minute before saying yes a dog bed lol

H was very pleased to post her letter to Santa - we may have exaggerated her good behaviour slightly hehe

I think the Santa village and experience at Pugh's was brilliant and we will deffo be booking and going back next year...although I might not book out to go twice on the same weekend next time!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Being Me

Someone asked me today about being me - because I am in their words "odd"

The thing is I could be like everyone else, I could pretend that I'm someone I'm not and do it well - I did for a long time - I fitted in, I was quiet, I watched what I said and pretended and it sucked.

I'm generally happy now although grumpy but the grumpiness isn't misery its just general grumps and certainly I'm not sad I am exasperated, bugged, irked and annoyed but not sad, crying, upset or miserable.

But fitting in did make me miserable, pretending to be someone I wasn't made me wonder what was so bad about being me and question myself and at one point I hated myself and it wasn't fun or a good place to be so I had to make the choice - did I want to be someone who was unhappy but fitted in with everyone's ideas of who I should be, have lots of 'friends' who liked the fake me and do things I didnt like or I could just be me, have a couple of mates who didn't care that I might spend 2 hours talking in detail about a Disney movie (and not pick up on their signals that they really would like to talk about something else, anything else than disney!) or spend hours planning my escape from a cannibal and do things I like to do like colouring or wander in a field singing eminem badly.

I made the choice to be me, no pretending, no lying and that's that.

Yes I am odd, yes I am missing some social filters, yes I dress however I like and yes this is me and if people dont like it then that's fine because I like me now and I choose to be myself

Monday, 21 November 2016

Everything's coming up purple!

A couple of weeks ago I went to see the hairdresser to get my hair dyed -  I really wanted an all over jobby with some super bright turquoise dye but my lovely hairdresser refused to do it - now I could have gone elsewhere to get it done but I like my hairdresser a lot - she's good at what she does, shes nice and local (like round the corner) and she's cheap!

So she suggested she put some highlights in my hair and then dye the highlights with a semi permanent to turquoise

The result was pretty good I think

But it wasn't  quite what I wanted so I left it for a few weeks to let my hair heal from the bleach for the streaks and then I ordered a home hair lightening kit from Smart Beauty on amazon. I also ordered a few different semi-permanent dye's including a really nice Arctic Fox Purple Rain and a directions hot pink and lilac :)

As it was my first time in a looonnnnggggg time bleaching my hair I followed the instructions to the tee

- cut a small 3cm bit of hair from under at the back of my hair and tied it with cotton
- made up a tiny amount of the bleach and sealed up the packages with sellotape
- did a patch text with the made up bleach - on the inside of my elbow and covered with a plaster
- painted my tester patch of hair with the bleach and checked in on it every 10 mins to see the setting time
- washed and dried my tester patch of hair and then did a strength test

and finally

- did a practice dye of the hair with some of the pink dye to make sure it would take

After all this I found out that the ideal 'baking' time for my hair wit the bleach was for 35 minutes and that my hair was lovely and strong after it :)

48 hours after the patch test I was good to go

The kit comes with gloves and an applicator brush but you need your own mixing pot - a thoroughly cleaned plastic takeaway pot works fine - you also need some clingfilm to cover your hair with whilst it's baking and an old towel or hairdresser cape to protect your clothing from it.

I luckily have plenty of random hair dying bits at home as for a long time I used to do my hair in different styles and colours -  I got my old hairdressing cape out and my little bowl and mixing brush (the one supplied had too short a handle for my liking). Re-read the instructions and was good to go.

I started by separating my hair into 4 sections - and then started to apply the bleach kit starting on the back sides (middle of hair and the the ends and finally the roots on each section before moving on to the next) then the front bits. You have to do this fairly quickly as, as soon as that bleach hits your hair it starts to work!

I managed to get most of my hair covered reasonably evenly although it's a bit hard when your hair is longer than chin length and you cant see the back of your own head! The instructions call for a reliable friend but as I didnt have one to hand I just went for it and hoped for the best!

I covered my hair in clingfilm and waited for the bleach to work.

Interestingly I learned something new and a rather valuable lesson - if you have turquoise streaks in your hair and you apply bleach all over then those streaks will turn a kind of neon green and they will sear across your hair!!!

I found this out when it came to wash the bleach off and my hair was bleached a shocking white blonde with neon green hues throughout! Ooops!!!

Luckily my hair didn't seem at all damaged by the process and after a shampoo and a good condition (Aussie Miracle Repair). I was able to dry it off and apply the dye - originally I was going to go for half pink and half purple but I didnt think the pink would take on top of the green so I decided to go for all over purple.

After reading the reviews on the different dyes I bought I decided to use the Arctic Fox as it was a darker colour and had the most longevity.

This dye smelled absolutely amazing - it's an american company and they scented it to smell like grape :D Lovely

I applied it all over - I didnt bother using the tinting brush I literally just put on some gloves applied and rubbed in all over -left it on for about 2 hours and voila!

The pictures dont really do justice to how amazingly bright this purple is (we have crap energy saving light bulbs and unfortunately its dark and gloomy outside all day thanks to the torrential downpour - gotta love the Welsh weather)

I really like the colour it has put on my hair its bright and fab - interestingly there was little to no leakage onto my pillow last night - normally you get a lot of spotting from this.

The only issue I had with this dye is that it's really hard to remove from your skin after - I have blueberry coloured ears and patches on my arms and hands where I couldnt get it off straight away but after 2 showers it's started to fade from my skin (although not my hair yay) The dye does not come with anything other than the dye - you need your own gloves, tint brush and mixer bowl.

Overall the cost  of doing this at home was just under £15 - £5 for bleach kit and £10 for dye. I already had a hairdressers cape, tint brush and pot for the dye as well as plastic gloves.

I think over-all the home kit worked out well because I have had plenty of experience of doing my own hair and wasn't nervous (I had a plain brown dye on hand in case it went really wrong!) but the bleach kit was super easy to use and the instructions clear and easy to follow so I think an absolute beginner could use it without too much difficulty.

I am quite pleased to have gone back to bright colours on my hair and also that the bleach doesnt seem to have caused much in the way of damage

Friday, 18 November 2016

Rant Warning!

I pretty much live my life out on social media - twitter, facebook and instagram being my platforms of choice although I can also be found on youtube, pintrest and snapchat as well.

So I kinda get why people post so much stuff on there - that's what I do as well it saves me actually having to grab individual people and say hey look at my new shoes are they amazing? Or here is another photo of me at Disneyworld with Mickey!

But this week a couple of things have bugged me.

1. I've been on two dates with someone recently and they tried to change their status to say they are in a relationship with me on FB! WT actual F?!?! I've never updated my FB relationship status even after being with someone for a year - I feel a bit cringey over it - I hate talking about relationships and my sexuality anyways it bugs me - I'm not a touchy feely emotionally mature grown up as it is (I ended  my last relationship by text which I know makes me an asshole but I couldnt face tears or the possibility of them going bat shit crazy!) I dont say I love you, I dont do PDA's and I dont do updating my FB relationship status everytime I screw someone (literally or figuratively) and because of this I have apparently led this person to doubt my sincerity and belief in our relationship - IT WAS 2 DATES! JUST 2 LIKE WE WENT OUT TWICE!!!!! since when has that equated to a relationship? I mean do you even know my favourite colour, my plans for the future or whether I am actually a psychopath rampaging around the Welsh landscape collecting nipples from people I date in order to create a lifesize model of Angelina Jolie? No you know none of these things! We have spoken via messenger, we have met twice, we are not in a damn relationship and if we were I still wouldn't put it up on FB people dont need to know that shit - they need to see photos of my shoes, my holidays and food...oh and the pets doing stupid things or looking cute - thats the whole reason people follow me!

2. Twitter bots - it seems like every asshole with a billion bots on twitter is following me right now - I get them frequently due to the fact I do comps and reviews but right now I am getting them RTing just my regular random thoughts and tweets. Its super annoying as it fucks with my twitter ap and messes up my notifications. 

3. Random businesses that have no products or services that remotely relate to my photos commenting on them on instagram offering their products and services - an example being I posted a picture of a curry - I get a random post offering to design my company logo - the only company I have is that of weird crazy bunny boilers (see point 1) - now if it was a company who did curry sauce, a restaurant or something it wouldnt bug me cos at least I might be interested in them.

4. Friends on facebook who share or message me stupid chainmail shit - you know the type of crap I mean? I'm sending this to you cos your a strong capable woman send it to 5 others including me to prove your awesome - if I dont get it back your a nasty piece of shit and a nuclear bomb will be shot up your ass in 24 hours or the more common share this lucky 4 life clover and you will win the lotto - sort of thing. I never respond to them, I never share them, I dont even send you a thumbs up when I receive them and if people continue to send them to me I dont even warn them I just block them! Yet still they come - people who dont believe in ghosts or aliens or actual science do believe that by posting an FB message they will become instantly rich, solve world hunger and get a visit from the postcode lottery people off the telly!

I don't know if right now I am just being an unreasonable miserable cow or if people are just being really stupid and annoying - I'm going to go with it's other people being dumb asses though 

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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Birthday Blues

My Birthday this year has been cursed from start to finish!

First I was due to go to Alton Towers with a friend but they cancelled :(

Then 2 days before my birthday I had a wisdom tooth extracted.

The day before my birthday I got sent home from work early because I was in so much pain.

Then the day of my birthday I didnt feel great but my friend had bought us tickets to go to a local firework display with her 2 kids. We walked to the display from my place (around a 2 mile walk) we literally got around the corner from the fire station and her youngest kid suddenly threw up. We went on anyways but the poor kid continued to be sick so we had to leave early. That night I wake up and throw up too!

Th day after my birthday I lose my voice completely and feel a bit fuzzy headed

Now 3 days later I have a full blown headcold - we are talking snot and mucus central - its delightful!

I think this is probably going down as my worst birthday ever - it even beat my 13th Birthday where my dad picked up all my mates in his Robin Reliant 3 wheeler (sure now it's cool but back then I was dying on the inside) and proceeded to make it walk by lifting the wheels off the ground as he raced it around the multi-storey car park with them in it and I was too fat to fit into the really fashionable shell suit my mum gt me from the market! Sad Times!!!!

On the plus side I have treated myself to a few little small gifts this year - namely 3 pairs of shoes and a new tattoo (which is being done on 2/12 as they are so busy) - I also received $$$ from my family instead of gifts which makes me very happy - normally they buy me chocolate (I'm diabetic and fat I really dont need choc!) or smellies (which I can't use due to allergies) or something else which is kind but not needed - however as I go to the USA pretty much every year the $$$ are great it means I can buy stuff out there which is awesome - I also got some jewellery pieces which are cute too and an Anna from Frozen dress which I'm super pleased with - next year I am so dressing up as Anna on holidays and my niece has an Elsa outfit we are gonna look amazin' haha.

I had fully intended making a red velvet cake for my birthday but figured that nobody wants a cake with a side helping of snot so will be waiting to do that until this col has shifted a bit.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Bonfire Night Birthday

My birthday happens to fall on Bonfire Night.

This year I am heading out to a local firework show that is put on every year by the local fire service. They charge for entrance and they have music, food and stuff going on all night.

The money they raise goes towards their charity fund which local hospitals, schools, hospices etc can apply to for funding for specific equipment.

The great thing about them is that they fund items that other charities might not fund such as car seats, the extra large buggies for older children, specialist and sensory toys as well as smaller things like buggy covers. They write a cheque direct to the supplier and send it out to the professional so the item can be ordered for the family quickly with minimal delay.

The firework display is always really good and there is always a really amazing turn out too.

I wish that there were only scheduled displays - I hate the weeks leading up and after bonfire night which are basically an excuse for people to set off fireworks non-stop from like mid October until February!

My cats and the dog are terrified and it's a nightmare when your trying to drive and they keep going off. 

It's also crazy how cheap they are too - I've seen them being sold in a local £1 shop, surely they cant be safe or rigorously tested at that price. 

So in short - go to a professional display, stay safe and enjoy Bonfire Night

Comping - Facebook Comps

Lot of people ask me about comping the main questions being is it a con and how do you comp? Firstly yes there are cons out there but there are also many companies who are giving away loads of prizes on social media.

As for how to comp - I give you my guide to Facebook Comps

Now firstly before going any further please understand this is just my take on it - other people will comp in their own way which may well be different. Different doesnt mean worse or better it just means different and what works for me might not work for you however hopefully this will be a useful guide to the basics.

Now - Facebook Comps

These fall into various categories but for the most part this post is all about the like and share type although I have the other kind down right at the bottom of the page :)

1. Like and Share

These are the easiest ones to enter and win but they are also the most likely to be scams and like harvesting ones (read about that here)

The main thing with these comps is to read the text - below are some examples of like and share comps - I have screen shot these directly from Facebook but taken out people's names and the companies details - I have left my entries"Ellie Spider" so you can see how I have entered

As you can see this comp specifically asks you to comment who you want to watch fireworks with - now they are not asking you to tag someone just to say who you want to share with however, I have said I'd share with family and friends and also tagged a friend. I have also liked the page and the post. This makes it easier for the company to tag me if I am lucky enough to win. This comp does not ask you to share so I haven't. Notice they have a hashtag in the picture - it's a good idea to use any hashtag (#) that is used in case they use that as a search term when drawing a winner.

This comp asks for you to comment a specific word - to draw the winner they will use a program which searches for that word - if you dont use it then you wont be entered. Again it isnt asking you to share the page or to tag anyone. So I havent. Also there is no requirement to like the page or the post but like previously I have liked to make it easier for the page to tag me if I have won.

This page is asking for you to like the page, like the post, share the page and share the post and tag a friend. Again I have done everything asked and have commented on the post to say that I have done it as well as to tag a friend

Final one again this one is asking for a specific comment - it's also asking for a like. Which I have done.

As you can see it's pretty simple - click on the post; read the instructions; follow the instructions and you done.

Now there are a few things to be aware of:

  • Facebook limits the number of Pages you can like
  • Facebook rules and guidelines specifically state that a giveaway cannot ask you to share in order to enter
  • Facebook will flag your posts as spam if you post the same thing over and over e.g. if you enter every competition with great giveaway liked and shared and do this 10 times in a row it gets flagged as spam
  • If Facebook suspect you of spam or if you like too many pages and posts in a period of time (they havent specified what time) then they can and will:
    • Stop you from liking pages for a set period of time (this can be anything up to 30 days)
    • Remove all the likes you have done for a historical set period of time (this can be anything up to the last 30 days)
    • Stop you from commenting on posts for a set period of time
    • Stop you from sharing posts for a set period of time
    • Stop you from tagging people in posts
    • Block your access to your account
  • Therefore it's important to consider the competition requirements and only like, share and tag when it is specifically asked
  • Be wary of entering comps that ask for you to tag more than 3 people - the more you tag on the post the more likely your post will be flagged up as spam and you will get sanctioned by FB
  • Check if the comp is collection only - most will state if it is - but also be aware of comps which may not state collection only but are for goods and services from a local company e.g. for a carpet and fitting - if the company is based in Glasgow and is not nationwide it is highly unlikely that they are going to drive for 8 hours to your house in S.England and bring all their tools in order to provide and fit you with a carpet. Save your like and share for a company where the prize can be fulfilled.
  • Check the comp you are entering is actually valid for your country of residence. Some comps will be N.Ireland or UK (excl N.Ireland only) - depending on where you are in the UK depends on whether you can enter. And comping isnt restricted to the UK - there are plenty of non-UK comps and unless they state worldwide or similar avoid them. Things to look out for:
    • Non- UK spellings 
    • Comps that are being drawn on non-UK time (anything outside of GMT or BST) so things like EST etc
    • Comps being run by companies that have a non UK website or name e.g. and so on
    • Comps which list the ending date in the non-UK format eg. 11.28.2016 instead of 28.11.2016
    • Check the FB page in the listing there is usually a location if its located outside the UK then its prob not a UK comp
    • You can always post on the comp post - tag the company and ask is this giveaway open to the UK
    • Finally, if a comp is open internationally please be aware that 1. you may have to contribute towards shipping costs and 2. you may be responsible for customs and excise charges which could work out pretty expensive e.g. an ipad could cost you £100 in charges!

2.  On page or linked to app / widget - this might be woobox, gleam, rafflecopter or similar.

  • You normally have to fill in some details e.g. your name and e-mail address.
  • You may be asked to answer a question.
  • You may be asked to visit a page, like a page, follow on other social media (twitter, instagram, g+ etc).
  • Generally there is 1 compulsory element (usually the e-mail) and the rest is optional. Read the text given and follow the instructions and you are in. 
  • Watch out for any extra tick boxes e.g. the sign up to our newsletter ones.
Final Words of Wisdom 
1. Join comping groups - this allows you to make comping friends - not only do you get to see the comps they are entering, they might also tag  you in comps and allow you to tag them - this stops you from annoying all your non-comping mates. It also means if they happen to see your name as a winner they will tag you. It also gives you a place to as questions, get advice and share your good fortunes and wins.

2. Join winner's announcement groups - not all companies will tag you in your wins -by joining a group you stand a chance of being tagged by people so you are less  likely to miss out on your wins.

3. Remember to check your 'other' 'message request' & 'filtered requests' folders on Facebook and your SPAM folder in your e-mail. Sometimes when a company messages you the message will go to one of these folders and you may miss it - some companies expect a response within 24 hours so check them daily it takes a few mins and can be the difference of a great prize or not! Just click on the different tabs in your message folder

4. If you see a comp winner announcement and the winner hasnt been tagged by the company be a good comper and give the winner a tag or share the post to a comping group - most compers would prefer 20 tags when they win than none and miss it. To tag just type @ and the person's name and it should bring their name up in a drop down list. NB it doesn't always work it depends on the persons privacy settings but it works around 75% of the time

5. Finding comps -
- you can find comps by following your comping friends newsfeeds
- comps are regularly posted in comping groups
- some companies run regular comps - check out their page regularly and see if there are comps listed
- visit comping websites - yes there are websites and forums out there dedicated to comps which list hundreds of comps - try competition database, the comping section on moneysavingexpert, hotukdeals, the prizefinder, loquax to name a few, however I would not personally pay to be a member of a website or group that lists comps - it's up to you if you want to but personally I dont pay to comp and I win a fair amount :)
- search for them - try using hashtags to search on facebook such as #freebiefriday #winitwednesday #winningwednesday #mondaymotivation #giveaway etc

6. When you do win - post a photo on your page and tag the company - let them know the prize arrived, be grateful - these companies are running comps to improve their social media  standing, as a way of advertising or to simply get people talking about their products - for some of the smaller companies they dont have a budget for publicity - the comps are a way of getting their product seen - so tell people where it came from, if the product is fab let people know - leave some feedback on their fb page and consider them for future purchases.

Well that's it - hopefully my little guide will be useful to someone - if you have any questions or feedback then feel free to contact me :)

I will be doing separate guides for other kinds of comps soon so please check back :)

Wisdom Teeth Ouchies

So I am going to be completely honest here I have a HUGE phobia of the dentist. It probably stems from the horrible old dentist I had as a child I bit home ONCE and from that moment onwards he literally wedged my mouth open.  He also filed down my mini fangs (yes I had fangs!) which hurt like hell.

Anyways I havent had a dentist for years - I clean my teeth twice a day with a very nice electric toothbrush, I floss and use mouthwash and it all goes well.

Occasionally I get an issue with my wisdom teeth the bottom ones arent fully out of the gum so food can get jammed in there which then causes a little infection - when this happens I buy some Corsadyl or the cheap generic version and use this in place of my normal mouthwash for a few days and it goes away.

Anyways since the holiday in Sept my teeth on the right side have been hurting. I tried the usual regime but nothing has helped so after 2 weeks of only being able to eat on one side of my mouth I gave in and booked an emergency dental appointment. Luckily in Cardiff we have an urgent phone line number we can call and normally they can fit you in on the day or the following day. Unless your receiving some very specific benefits you have to pay cash for the appointment which costs £13.50. They will give you whatever emergency treatment is needed on the spot but wont do routine stuff.

Anyways I called  and ironically got an appointment for 2.30 (haha tooth hurty!) the same day.

I got to the appointment signed the paper work and paid and waited to be seen.

I was literally bricking it my legs were shaking, my mouth was dry I was feeling like I was gonna vom in my mouth!

I hate the sound, the smell and all the little torture tools the dentist has!

When I got called in the dentist was  a young woman prob in her mid 20s and she was assisted by a dental nurse in her 30's - they were both lovely and tried their best to distract me and my obvious knee knocking fear.

After the examination it turned out there was a small infection in my lower wisdom tooth which they treated with a jab and by flushing it out which was unpleasant but okay. Sadly my top wisdom tooth had a hole and a crack in it an they said it needed to come out.

I thought you had to be asleep or something for them to yank your teeth out but nope 2 injections which sucked the one took about 2 minutes to do right in the back next to the tooth and the other was quicker but really high up in the top of my mouth. As the anesthetic took hold it felt really weird because it was so far back in my mouth my throat went numb too! The dentist then literally took a pair of pliers (she called them molar extractors but they were damn pliers!) and yanked (read as wiggled back and forth and pulled) my tooth out. So it didnt actually hurt due to the copious amounts of anesthetic and it didnt bleed that much really because they wadded up a big pad for me to bite on.

After they had my tooth out they asked me if I wanted to take it home which I declined and then told me it was the smallest wisdom tooth I had ever seen - I am pretty sure thats due to the fact I am not wise lol.

The whole appointment only lasted about 20 minutes and both the staff were really nice.

Once the anesthetic wore off it hurt but not unbearably and I have to be honest I am glad it's all sorted but I wont be going back to the dentist again soon (I really really hope).

I'm really hoping that the infected bottom tooth will be sorted with a few more days of cleaning it.

I now have a few days of gargling with salt water until the socket heals where the tooth was removed.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Baking with Betty (Crocker) Brownies :)

Today Miss H was over as my sister is poorly.

She was asking for sweets (figures that just after Halloween she is on a sugar craving high!) but we don't have any - mainly because I can't be trusted with them!

So I decided to try out the Betty Crocker brownie mix I got as part of the Insiders campaign I am taking part in (read more about it here)

Brownies are most definitely not my strong point - like seriously I have tried in the past and had to throw out the whole pan I tried to bake them in so I have to be honest I did not have high hopes of this mix.

However, in the interest of stopping a  3 year old from nagging me to go buy her "cho-cat" from the shop we gave it a go.

The mix calls for 3 additional ingredients - 1 egg, 5 tablespoons of water and 3 tablespoons of oil. Whilst Miss H was washing up ready to get to grips with her role as chief stirring and spoon licker I got the extra bits together into our cute Mickey Mouse measuring cups.

Miss H then poured the water, the oil and with a bit of help the egg into the mixing bowl and set at them with a whisk to make sure they were all frothed up.

I opened the brownie mix bag and helped her pour it into the bowl and handed her the spoon and off she went stirring like a dervish for about a minute - the mix mixed very well - with the previous cupcake mixture I had to do the mixing to get the batter to the right consistency (I dont have a posh kitchen aid type mixer - half the time I just use a fork!) - however the brownie mix is definitely easy for little hands to whip up.

Prep and mixing took around 5 mins and then it was a case of pouring the mix into a tray and smoothing it over.

H insisted that we needed to add something extra to the mix - all I had in the cupboard was some mini marshmallows which she pushed into the mixture on half of the tray

I popped the tray into the oven on gas mark 4 and checked on it after 20 mins - it was little gooey so I put it back in the oven for another 10 mins.

The it was a case of leaving it on the side to cool for 20 mins before cutting into squares and trying.

Now the marshmallowy side looks a bit gross but the marshmallow themselves had kinda crystalised into a chewy toffee like topping which was actually really good. The brownies were slightly crunchie on the top and a little gooey still in the middle - they prob could have done with another 5 mins in the oven but Miss H was demanding her sugar fix by then!

The brownies were a big hit with everyone and my entire home smells of chocolatey baked goodies which is always nice.

I think this brownie mix is great - super easy to use, great results and tasty to eat - deffo something I will look at keeping in the cupboard as its a great quick and easy activity and it has a long shelf life too and the additional ingredients required are basically an egg and some sunflower oil both of which are normally in my fridge/cupboard.