iPad Review

I had to end my non blogging break for this review.

So this is my first post from my iPad and the first time I’ve been able to get near it since it arrived! Miss L’s been on it since she arrived home from school, it really is great for small kids who are used to touch screen whiteboards and iPhones.

But it’s more than a giant iPhone or iPad, it’s a new way to consume media. I can actually see us getting another one when the price comes down as it a much more family friendly/sharing than either of our laptops, and miles ahead of Miss L’s net book which cost the same amount – really wish we’d not bothered with that now.

It does have some drawbacks, the lack of being able to have multiple user accounts is the main one. We’ve gotten round it by setting up our email accounts separately on the email app, and by having our own bookmark folders. But for larger families and ones with older kids that will be a real pain. And the keyboard, well you have to get used to it again! I think if it was our main household machine I’d get the keyboard and dock.

But on the plus side iBooks is amazingly good and there are lots of free classic books on it. The controls are very I intuitive. The app store does have some very, very cool looking apps and the iWork suite (like Microsoft Office) is just £5.99 a product, which for anyone whose bought Office will know is a bargain! I like that that you can lock the machine so it doesn’t turn sideways etc when you don’t want it too, like my iPhone sometimes does.

It feels like the future, not a phone, or a laptop something completely different. For older silver surfers, children and those that just want to surf, game and do the odd mail it is perfect. Miles better than anything else in it’s price range. I’m sure it also has a home in front line services like in hospitals and for the police when the prices comes tumbling down over the next couple of years.

I tried to do a mini review and put it on you tube but the powers that be wouldn’t publish it – it was nice as well! So you’ll have to make do with Miss L playing Angry Birds on it – sorry!

Update – You Tube let it through – so here’s my slightly crap vlog

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{The Gallery} Week 13 – Friendship

Shhhh I’m not really here blogging.  I’m still on my official break and I was being really good about not coming near here.  But then Tara came up with ‘Friendship’ this week as her theme for The Gallery and I couldn’t resist. My friends mean the world to me being an only child, these are the people who I chose as my siblings.  I couldn’t have done any better than if my Mum had given birth to them.

So here are my friends new and very old, the people who in the last 30 odd years have made a difference to my life.  Love you all very much xx


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{The Gallery} Week 12 – Self Portrait

I’ve had a very manic week, so please forgive the lack of blogging.   In fact I’m going to have a  mini blogging break.  In between working, and childcare I’ve got nothing done round the house for weeks and it’s starting to look like it!  The kitchen is still half done, I’ve had sweetpeas ready to plant for a month now, Paul is muttering about redecorating the lounge, I can’t see Miss L’s bedroom floor and the washing….well there is a *lot*  So this will be my last post for a couple of weeks – I hope no one minds?.

Anyway back to The Gallery, Tara’s come up with a cracker.  Most of us hide behind our online persona’s and it’s scary putting yourself out there.  But I love the inspiration behind this week:

‘The theme is actually inspired by Laura at Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy who wrote something that really touched me a few weeks ago and I want to ‘celebrate’ it through The Gallery.  On tenterhooks yet? She wrote about photographs of her mum, who died when Laura was just 9. For someone who has been voted in the Funnest Blog category of The MADS, she sure made me catch my breath with that post! She wrote: “Luckily I have photos, quite a few in fact. I don’t just look at the photos, I pore over them I wonder what she was thinking, doing, wearing … just any glimpse of anything that makes me feel a bit closer to her. Now that I am a mother they mean even more to me . . . “‘

She’s right most of us are behind the camera taking photos of our children, I know there are about 150 pictures of Miss L for every one of me! So here goes – me, taken a couple of weeks ago with the iPhone Hipstamatic App.
Have a great couple of weeks!
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iPad and iPad Cases


Yes I know it’s another gadget, and you know we probably don’t need it but we pre-ordered an iPad on Monday – yay!

I’m going to be really interested in seeing how we use it and what we use it for.  Paul and I already rarely get out our laptops anymore for reading the news, blogs, and google readers –  we use our iPhones.  The same applies to gaming. Miss L tends to use our iPhones for playing games on now, rather than her Nintendo DS which is handy for us. I’d far rather buy a 59p game than something that’s £20 and she then doesn’t like/play with ever again *Brain Training I’m looking at you*.

So now I need somewhere to house my new little beauty…sorry I mean ‘our’ little beauty 🙂

As usual the offical cases are well – man like and dull as hell, so I’ve been scouring Etsy for something to store it in and there are some lovely cases on there.

All of these sellers are in the US, but ship internationally thankfully!

First up is Sea Side Sew their cases are handmade, padded and  water resistant.  They have an amazing selections of fabrics to choose from, just ask to see the selection.  They are sending me one to review, so expect a follow up post in a few weeks.

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The Wallaby Bag Company – use foam padding and are scotch guarded to prevents stains, they also have a handy front pocket.

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Blythe King makes these fantastic recycled vintage fabric iSockits

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Janine King Designs have made some really cute bags to house the iPad

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And these beautiful sleeves, which have space for power cords and phone/keys etc.

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All of these fabulous stores have covers for Kindles, Notepads, Laptop, iPhone and Blackberries.  So pop over have a look!

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{The Gallery} Week 11 – Men

Tara’s subject this week is a lovely one – ‘The theme is: Men. Pictures of the men in your life – dads, sons, uncles, teachers, partners, brothers. Let’s hear it for the men!’  I love this topic as I’m not the most girlie girl (having worked in IT forever should be a clue) so apart from the main men in my life Grandad, Dad and Paul most of my friends are men and some of them would kill me if I put them on my blog (you know who you are!) so I’ll put on the ones I know won’t mind.

First up my wonderful husband Paul, I still don’t know how he puts up with me but he does 🙂  We’ve been together ten years and married eight years this year and feels like about five minutes – he’s just a joy to be married too.  This is Paul in Ireland on a trip to see my Nan just after we got engaged, it was a fantastic trip and yes we drank a lot of Guinness!.

Next my Dad Alex.  I am such a Daddy’s girl – I love him so much and he’s been such a brilliant Dad to not only me but half my friends and he is officially the best Grandad ever. The photo is of him and Miss L when she was a baby – as you can tell they are kindred spirits.
And then my Grandad, Arthur – this was taken in World War II. I adored him, he died when I was six but the memories I have of him are of the perfect granddad. He and my Nan looked after me pretty much full time from when I was 4 months old and my Mum went back to work and Dad was working away.  He was the one that took me to school, ballet classes and to the cinema. I still miss him and I wish I’d had him longer.
And last but not least my best male friend – Alvin. We met…you know I can’t remember how we met, only that we met in the first couple of weeks of Sixth Form College – we were both stalking the same boy – he has great taste in men too!.  So we’ve been friends now for a scary 22 years!  In our twenties we had flats near each other, travelled together and partied together.  Despite time moving on and our lives being totally different, and me moving away.  I always know that I can phone him at 4 am and he’d be there – and vice versa. This photo was taken in 1993 on my first day at Uni (looking terrified!) when he helped me move into my room, carting all my stuff up eight flights of stairs – I still owe him for that! 🙂
first day of Uni 1993
And as a little side I’d also like to congratulate Tara on being a nominee for The MAD awards in the category Best Photography category along with:

Her fellow nominees are:
Carrots and Kids
Congratulations to them all!!
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Monday Link Love

I hope you like my roses? They were this weeks fiver’s worth of market flowers, I do love our market!  This weekend  I had lots planned, getting the sweetpeas and bedding plants in, weeding and getting the garden a bit more under control.  But you know what, it rained a lot and was on Saturday only 6 degrees!! Brrrrr!!  So instead I spent the day on the sofa, with a blanket and my Google Reader 🙂

Here are my favourite posts from my reader this week:

Home & Style

Suzani Print – Jan’s Gems

Open my kitchen cupboard at your own risk – She was not at all domestic (mine are very similar and in need of love!)

Room Redo Recap – Brooklyn Limestone – the most amazing makeover and home

Butterflies – The City Sage – just beautiful

Master Bedroom Headboard – Whatever – I need to make one of these and its an easy tutorial

Have a great week!!

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Cath Kidston for Geek Girls

For years I’ve found it impossible to find decent ‘girlie’ bags for laptops – there are some on the market but they are either not that well made, the evil pink, or are just really expensive. So I was really pleased to see that Cath Kidston have bought out a range of new laptop bags and other gadget holders.

(The images in this post link through to Cath Kidston and are affliate links. So I make a whopping 5% of any sale, if you are nice enough to buy something – thank you :))

But onto the pretties!  For laptops they have bags and sleeves:



There is also a cute little case for iPods or a digital camera

or this one for a digital camera


Also massive thank you to Heather at Younger and Younger for pointing these out to me on Twitter – Cath Kidston iPhone and iTouch cases!.  I’m going to break my ‘no cases’ rule for these, I love the mini roses one!.

And for you Blackberry, Nokia and Android ladies there are a selection of holders, the one below is for the Blackberry.

Well done Cath Kidston, now if more companies can follow that would be amazing.

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How to make Pimms

Here’s how to make Pimms is my favourite summer drink, and I have to say I make an absolutely cracking one!. It’s really easy to make for a BBQ or a summer dinner party here’s my version

You will need:

A large jug


A bottle of Pimms

White Lemonade (the clear stuff)

Strawberries – sliced



Cucumber – sliced.

Tall Glasses

  • Half fill the jug with ice and put the Pimms in – about 3 -4 inches worth.
  • Pop in the sliced cucumber, strawberries, raspberries, and mint.
  • Add the Lemonade to the top of the jug and mix everything together with a spoon.
  • Have a quick taste and add more Pimms if needed.
  • Serve in your chilled glasses make sure there is fruit and ice in each one add some straws and Enjoy!
  • If you have time before your gathering, a nice idea is to put the Pimms in the jug along with the fruit and leave it to soak in the fridge for about an hour, then add the ice and lemonade just before serving.  It adds extra taste to the drink but I never remember to do it!

If you’d like to know more about the drinks’ history and some more ways of making it click here

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I’m in the Finals!


I’m walking on cloud nine at the moment! Violet Posy is in the final five blogs (out of 118 nominations) in the Best Looking Blog category of The Mads (Mummy and Daddy Blog Awards sponsored by Butlins).  I’m in the company of some lovely blogs, so I’m very proud!

There is now another round where you can vote for me again, but this time to win http://www.the-mads.com/best-looking-mad-blog.htm if you could spare five minutes vote for me again I’d be really grateful.

Thank you xx

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{The Gallery} – Paint a picture of the world we live in

Tara has come up with another amazing Gallery idea this week – ‘Paint a picture of the world we live in’ – The hidden bits, the bits you feel are special and people should know about. The bits people wouldn’t necessarily see. It could be a picture of where you live. Somewhere you love to visit. Somewhere you’ve been on holiday. Somewhere you want to return to.

So mine is totally unsurprisingly British Columbia, Canada and more specifically Salt Spring Island.  In 1995 when I first started doing my family tree I met an older couple on the internet, who were related to my Nan and they lived on Salt Spring Island.  We didn’t keep in contact (letter writing isn’t my strong suit!) but the name of where they lived stuck with me. So when we were planning our trip to Vancouver and Victoria on Vancouver Island, I kind of dropped a mini diversion to Salt Spring Island in.

We got the ferry to Vancouver Island and then another ferry to Saltspring for the day and it was just stunning.  The island itself isn’t massive and there is only really one big town. But it’s the kind of place that is chilled, relaxed with kind friendly locals. It was one of the highlights of our holiday and next time I’d like to spend more time there and try to get to a couple of the other islands as well, as it’s such a stunning area.


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Help Choosing..

In case you’ve been living under a rock it’s the UK Election this week and while none of the parties give me hope or joy – where is the radicalism?   I do feel it’s my civic duty to vote, it’s a bit like going on jury service.   You know you don’t want to do it but you have to for society.  But  looking on on the bright side you’re in and out in 2 minutes and you don’t have to spend 2 weeks trapped in a room explaining a case to some really thick people!

So if you are undecided, or don’t feel you know enough about politics to vote here’s a good site that gives you the facts on policies and not personalities:


Come Friday it’ll be too late, so make yourself be heard and vote on Thursday!

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