Gigaset G-Tag Review

I am a nightmare for loosing my keys, I’ve found them in the fridge and when I was pregnant even once in the oven!

Gigaset asked if I’d like to try their G-Tag fob which you can either attach to a set of keys, or chuck it in your car if you can never remember where you’ve parked (handy for Disney! I’ve lost so many cars there). If Miss L still had those ‘doll’ Clarks shoes I’d pop one in there, we can NEVER find her shoes in the mornings!

It works with the Bluetooth on your phone and it has an iOS and android app. You register with Gigaset pair your phone with the tag, and then off you go.

It tells you when it’s in range, and bleeps at you when you’re close (you can mute it if you don’t like noises, like me).

If you’re out of range it will bring up a map of where you last had it and handily your phone can be set to alert you, should you walk off and leave your keys or whatever you have tagged!

I was worried about the Bluetooth using up the battery on my phone but it seems ok so far, no worse than my car stereo. The battery in the fob lasts a year, I think it’s just a watch battery to replace.

They are £19.99 on Amazon and if you’re forgetful like me, dead handy!

**Full disclosure I received a G-Tag for free**

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Autumn Colours

In an attempt to get Betty’s (and my!) weight down we’ve been doing lots of longer walks lately.

The colours at the moment are really beautiful. And although Betty likes to drag me round the streets, she is kind enough to stop and let me take some photos. Here are some of my favourites so far this autumn.

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Not from a dog walk but just walking around town I snapped a picture of this house, which is just adorable. I love the colour of the front door, beautiful!

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What photos have you taken this autumn that you love? Leave me a link to your blog or instagram, would love to see them!

 

 

 

 

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{Link Love} New Reads…

I know a lot of people don’t like the blog award season, but I always see them as an opportunity to find new blogs to read that I probably never would have come across otherwise.  I’ve been trawling through Apartment Therapy’s nominations for The Homies and I’ve found these little gems which I thought I’d share:

The brilliantly named Broke Ass Home – which is a warm bright home in reality, with a gorgeous new baby girl addition this week.  Congrats Broke Ass Home!

Life in Velvet – such a beautiful lifestyle blog with some great crafts and mini apple pies to die for!

Jade and Fern – some great DIY projects and downloadables.

Poppytalk – not really a new one to me, but I’d somehow lost it off my list when GReader died and I didn’t have it bookmarked *palmface*

PinteriorDesigner – genius DIY ideas go have a look!

Ana White – if I knew one end of a power tool from the other, then this would be my favourite blog. As it stands I’d end up in A&E so best I look at the pictures! But so, so good, especially if you can do DIY!

What new blogs are you guys reading? Let me know if you’ve found anything amazing, I always need new reads 🙂

And this is for claiming my BlogLovin site: Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

 

 

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Dining Room Makeover (Part 1)

Our dining room has been a disaster since we swapped it round with the lounge years ago. When this was the lounge I remember it being a bright sunny room, which you had to draw the curtains to watch TV in the afternoon but it was bright in the mornings too and I loved it as the lounge – small and snuggly with my baby girl. Then she became bigger, played more on the seemingly shrinking floorspace so we swapped with the bigger room next door.

When it became the dining room it shrunk, became darker, lighting became yellow and depressing.  No matter what colour I’ve painted it – pale yellow (too jaundice), pale blue (too cold and boring) it’s just not been the room I remember. I’ve filled it with bookcases holding more clutter and rarely used other than for meals.

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When I had my cousin over for a coffee a couple of weeks ago, I asked her to cast and eye over the room and see what she thought of it. It’s good to have an extra pair of eyes and she was very kind about all our clutter, but did point out to me that the bookcase in the corner as you walk into the room was casting a massive shadow which just darkened the room no end. It’s the FIRST thing that catches your eye, no wonder it’s felt so dark in there, I didn’t have them when it was the lounge I just had shelves.  So obvious! How had I missed it??

I’d been toying with how to get rid of the now offending bookcase, then Mr VP bought me an iMac for my birthday as my laptop is on it’s last legs. Where to put it….why in the alcove where the bookcase is! I went to Pinterest and literally pinned every desk I could find that I liked the look of onto my Thinkspaces board below.

Follow Liz’s board Thinkspaces on Pinterest.

What I like about having a Pinterest board is eventually you see a pattern of what you really like and in my case – white plain desk, iMac and a chair stood out. One trip to Ikea later – a massive white lightshade, LED light, a £30 white gloss desk, one spun round dining room chair and voila a new room is born!

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I don’t even feel the need to re-paint the room anymore.  I swear everyone is using this room now, more than ever. I know there is a new computer, however Miss L now mini teen is in here playing games and Skypeing rather than being holed up in her room. Mr VP came in here for breakfast this morning – unheard of! And it’s 10pm at night and instead of being in front of the TV I’m actually blogging in here. It’s become the hub of the house.

What else is left to do? I hear you ask?

The bookcase has been moved to the other side of the room where I can’t see it anymore and later this week I’m going to restack all the DVD’s on it there – where I can’t see them!.

Meanwhile the other bookcase will become the holder of books and pretties.  I’m thinking at the moment I’m just going to put photos and prints above the computer. I don’t need shelves there and I think it’s quite a good trick of the eye to make this side of the room look empty. Makes the room look and feel so much bigger.

I’m debating painting all the dark wood (except the dining room table) white…not sure if it’ll be overkill though? Maybe I’ll try some chairs first and see what it looks like? I feel the need to add some flashes of colour now, maybe some etsy prints are the way to go? But all in all I’m feeling much happier about our unloved room.

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Waterlogue

We have been the house of the sick this week. Poor Miss L has a virus which being the kind child she is, has shared with me.  Yesterday after the nth hour of being bored in bed, I was looking at Instagram – nothing like seeing the world through the eyes of other people, especially when you are stuck in bed.  Someone (I cannot remember who for the life of me – sorry!) was posting cool water colour photos tagged with #waterlogue.

So I thought I’d check it out. It’s an iPhone/iPad app £1.99 (sadly not on Android yet from what I’ve googled) which converts your photos into watercolour pictures. I’m wondering if they are good enough quality to make into canvases, I quite fancy some homemade art.

Painted in Waterlogue

This is a photo from our honeymoon  – Stuart Beach Florida

Painted in Waterlogue

Vancouver Beach

Painted in Waterlogue

Ely Cathedral

So I think it’s kinda cool, I couldn’t get any pictures of family or friends to come out that well, but maybe we just have weird faces? But I think the landscapes, flowers and buildings come out really well. I might try and do one of the front of my house?

Have any of you tried it? Send me the link if you have I’d love to see your results!

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{Mini Review} Getting your Instagram photos off the screen

I love my Instagram and Hipstamatic photos, and I have literally thousands of them. At the last count I had 4,000 photos on my phone and I don’t want to think about how many are on my laptop. I’m a digital hoarder extrordinare!

But sometimes, it’s nice to have a physical copy of a photo and see them on more places than just your phone. Stickygram sent me an email asking if I’d like to try their Instagram magnets for free. I quite liked the idea of having Instagram photos on the fridge so I said yes. Dead easy, go to to the site, connect with your Instagram account, choose 9 photos and pay $14.99  and shipping is free.

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Even though they are (I guess) in the US,  I still received them in 5 days which is pretty impressive and they are so cute. I will be ordering more. I have a friend referral code so if any of you want $2 off your first order the code is FRIENDEBU9

So that was all fine and dandy, but I also wanted physical copies of photos which I’d taken with Hipstamatic but I didn’t want to upload them to Instagram. They had friends children on and other photos I didn’t think was right to have as public on a website but I did want a copy of them. Now there are a million sites where you can just connect to Instagram but not many you can just upload from your phone.

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I had a hunt through the App store and found Fotobox and I could upload photos straight to their site and then get them sent to me, they take Paypal and I had the photos in 7 days.  So now I’m on the hunt for square picture frames – I need to head to Ikea I think. Let me know if any of you see any, anywhere else.

Have you used a service you’re impressed with to print or use your photos? I’d love to hear about it.

**Disclosure got some magnets from Stickygram for free***

 

 

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Pin it Forward with Pinterest

Pin It Forward UK 2013

Pinterest are launching in the UK, well localising it probably a better term. They will have a new British English language setting and improvements, to make local UK content more easily discoverable for UK pinners when searching.  As I’m bit of a ‘Pinterestaholic’ (yes that is a new word and I couldn’t think of a better one!) they asked me to write about how I use Pinterest.

As most of you know I am a long time fan and user of Pinterest,  I find it one of the handiest sites around.  I was banging on about it back in 2011 when it first launched. And although we’ve had our ups and downs, Pinterest has remained I think one of the most useful sites out there if you have a crafty/design bent.

For those of you not familiar with Pinterest it’s like an online ‘Pinboard’ you can create ‘boards’ and pin images or posts from sites so you can have them all in one place (just remember to give credit where it’s due!). They are fantastic if you are planning a new room design, project or just a bit of digital hoarding.  You can have them public, private or collaborative with your friends.

For example I have a few boards, my most useful being Kitchen Inspiration

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Children’s Spaces

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 and Beautiful Gardens

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As I’m in the middle of re-making over the house, these boards and ideas are great for me to see what I want to do to the house and keep good ideas I spot all in one place.  The Bathroom board was invaluable when we were planning the new bathroom and I got so much inspiration from other people’s boards.

But my favourite board has to be my DIY Tips board – if you click on the image below you should be able to sign up to Pinterest and follow my DIY board. Nifty eh?

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I started the board as there are some amazing DIY tips on Pinterest and I’ve grabbed a selection from various creative blogger’s sites. I’ve learnt how to get a straight line when painting two colours next to each other (simple but who knew?), how to create a photo wall, paint furniture and clean kitchen equipement – all simple and straightforward.  Just the kind of tips I like.

Pinterest Pin it Forward

I’d like to introduce you to another Blogger Annaboo’s House who pins a wonderful crafty selection here her Crochet Board and Garden Boards are my favourites. And the lovely TeaWagon Tales who introduced me from her site, I think they are both gorgeous.  Go check them out!

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Changing your WordPress Username from Admin

Earlier in the week a few fellow bloggers were saying on Twitter they’d been hacked and how on earth to get their sites back?.  It sounded like a nightmare and I really felt for them.

Tonight I was on Twitter (again!) earlier and spotted a post from the founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg about WordPress sites being force hacked – read it here

Basically there is a bot that’s trawling the web looking for WordPress site’s, with the Username of Admin. It’s then it’s trying various common passwords to hack them.  Which would explain why I was seeing so many people this week who’d been hacked!

So to protect your WordPress Blog there’s some ideas on Matt’s post, BUT change your password to something more tricky and get rid of the Admin User.  Don’t just delete it thought! There are some brilliant Step by Step ‘how-to’ instructions here, just follow them exactly and you’ll be able to protect your site.

 

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Replacing Google Reader and Re-Subscribing

You know I was going to write a post about Google Reader being shut down, but then Miss L got ill and everyone beat me to it!

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I’m personally trying to decide between Flipboard or BlogLovin’. Blog Lovin has a wonderful simple import from GReader button for the lazy – well it won me over. But I’m also looking forward to seeing Digg’s GReader clone when it’s finished, I think that might be a little bit special.

When I started looking properly at Google Reader to see what needed moving, I know a lot of my favourite bloggers aren’t about anymore. I started to read and I spotted something that broke my heart a little bit. Ages ago you could link Facebook Updates to Google Reader and I’d saved the last FB update one of my friends made before she died. I’ve just emailed it to myself, her FB account is now long gone and I miss her. It’s nice to read some of her words and hear her ‘voice’ again. It feels almost like I’m digitally hoarding something, but I can’t bear to part with it. One of those sad but happy moments at the same time.

If you’re wondering what to replace Google Reader with @paulbradshaw on Twitter tweeted this rather awesome list of RSS Readers and the details of each. I don’t know if he’s the original source but it’s a very useful document.

If you want to keep up with Violet Posy you can follow me on BlogLovin’, Facebook and Networked Blogs. and if you want my plain old feed it’s this http://violetposy.co.uk/feed/ or there is an email subscription top right. I’d be really grateful! x

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{The Gallery} Bond

I’m joining in on Tara’s The Gallery this week from my iPhone as I was stupid enough to drop my MacBook and smash the screen! So please forgive lack of links and any typos!

I love the bond that Miss L and Betty now have. They adore each other and their relationship is everything I hoped it would be when we got Betty as a puppy. They are best friends.

Check out the rest of the Gallery at http://stickyfingers1.blogspot.co.uk/

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{The Gallery} The 80’s

Just spotted Tara’s ‘The Gallery‘ this week and it’s photos from the 80’s. Luckily or unluckily (depends on who you are) I recently bought a slide scanner and lots of embarrassing photos are seeing the light of day 🙂

So here’s a picture of me and my Mum, probably taken about 1982? So I would have been about 10 and my Mum was 31 – I wish I’d had her figure when I was 31!

Love you Mum! xx

 

 

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{Review} Wonderbook: Book of Spells

We were lucky enough to be invited to the launch of the PS3 game ‘Wonderbook – Book of Spells’ by JK Rowling.  It’s based on one of the Hogwarts textbooks written by Miranda Goshawk and in the restricted section of the Hogwarts Library – yeah you can imagine how much Miss L loves this!  Here’s the official blurb about the game and what the children can do with it:

“This advanced textbook will assist students on their journey to becoming an accomplished witch or wizard. Read, discover, learn and practice spells such as Incendio, Wingardium Leviosa and Expelliarmus, as well as discover mischievous notes, spells and humorous anecdotal facts scribbled into the margins by previous Hogwarts students. J.K. Rowling has written a conundrum that leads you through the experience, providing insight into the values a witch or wizard has to learn, and inviting you to journey through the book to unlock new content, rewarding successful students along the way.”

How much fun does that sound? Well we didn’t have a PS3 so Sony kindly gave us one and the game to try out – which made Miss L’s day, she’s thrilled with it.  The whole thing was pretty easy to set up, and you don’t need masses of space for the interactive gaming, which is handy!.

The game itself is pretty impressive, you’ll need the Playstation move and eye add ons to play it – doesn’t work without them. The controller is turned into a wand on the screen and there is a book that comes with it.  The book on the face of it without the game just looks bizzare it’s full of blocks and nothing in it to read, but then put it with the game.  It is amazing, like something you would have played on at Disney 10 years ago, but it’s now in your lounge.  The book becomes a 3D augmented reality book which takes the children through the game teaching them spellings and earning them house points like they were at Hogwarts.

You can also link the game up to Pottermore, and your child’s account there so it’s all interactive with that world too.  There’s also quite a lot of reading involved – I like that kind of sneakiness in a game and it very much brings the Harry Potter world to life.   The only downside to it is that only one person can play it at a time, so if you have more than one child it’s going to have to be a team effort playing it and they will have to take turns.

Here’s Miss L’s verdict on the game:

‘This is a fun game for all the family, it’s an enjoyable game with amazing graphics.  You can create spells from a bubble head charm to a mythical animal.  My favourite part is the bubble head charm and I like spraying Mummy with water when I cast the Aguamenti spell (ed- that’s the water casting spell – she get’s to virtually spray me with water).’

And then she ran off to play it! But she’s invited most of her friends to come over and try it out, so she must be impressed.  I really hope there will be more downloadable content for it further down the line as it’s been such a hit with Miss L, it’ll be nice to carry on the adventure.

It’s available on Amazon from the 16th November – the basic game is £22.99 and the Starter Kit with the Move and Camera and Game is £59.99. And obviously in all other good shops that carry computer games 🙂

 

 

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Half Term Fun

Sorry for the lack of posts, half term and then moving servers at the weekend all got in the way of my blogging.  But I *think* the site is working properly again, can you let me know if you find anything that looks a bit wonky?  I’m hoping to get some time this week and make the site more festive and maybe put in a magazine theme?

Anyway back to the weekend! On Friday we were fortunate enough to be invited to a Guinness Book of Records event at the Westfield Stratford Shopping Mall. It’s right next to the Olympic Stadium and park, so we finally saw all that which was fantastic having seen it on TV so much in the summer.

It’s actually pretty easy to get to from ours, straight down to Kings Cross, cross the road into St Pancras and then pop on the 6 minute Javelin train to Stratford. It’s so much easier to get there than somewhere like Bluewater for me, so I think it’ll be my new shopping center of choice when I need to do a big shop.

We had the top floor of a restaurant in the Mall and there was the most amazing face painter, well that’s actually too simplistic a term for what she was doing, I personally think she was an amazing artist. Miss L asked for ‘Space’ on her arm and I wanted something flowery (no surprise there!) but they were just amazing and done in such a short space of time.

Neither Miss L or I ever wanted to wash again and the pictures made it home intact until Betty decided to lick my arm! ick!

The kids and adults could all have a go at breaking a World Record, there was sock matching and balling (thank you to GWR my daughter is now really into sorting socks when I’ve done the washing!), most recognised sounds in a minute and the quickest stacking of 21 paper cups. Now this last one seemed to be the most popular and there was a lot of practising amongst the children and adults.

In the end there were five contenders for the paper stacking cup challenge, all on 18 seconds. After a tense finale I was very proud that Paul won! 21 cups in 16 seconds the new Guinness Book of Records holder!!  I don’t think Miss L has ever been more proud of her daddy, he on the other hand is a bit embarrassed! 🙂

Thank you @craigglenday for the photo

If you are in Westfield Stratford doing your Christmas shopping pop along to their Live Augmented Reality Experience where you can ‘meet’ all sorts of record breakers, it’s lots of fun.

Thank you so much to the Guinness Book of Records Team for such a fantastic day out, we really enjoyed it.

 

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