Talk About Cheesecake

Musings, meanderings and meditation for my mind.


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My Mini Assignment

I wrote this article for my coursework, but I kinda liked it so I thought I would share it with you too. Plus, it’s about my beautiful Mini, Muffin. 

If you are looking for something with a pinch of spice and stylish cut, but still need the practicality of space that suits a family, then the Mini Countryman is the car for you. How do I know? This is the car I chose for my family after a long search!

Unlike it’s smaller Mini cousins, the Countryman has four doors for accessibility. The back seats can slide forwards for a larger boot space, or backwards for more leg room, but in any position there is still plenty of space for two children in-car seats or three children without – great for those with older kids or bringing friends home for tea.

The high ceiling and upright seats at the front allow plenty of elbow room – a definite improvement on the Mini Coupe. Of course, it’s kitted out with plenty of fun additions, which can be customised dependant on whether you chose to upgrade with the packages Mini offer – Salt, Pepper or Chilli.

Okay, some of the extra’s are frivolous, like the changeable colour lighting dependant on your mood. Others, like the centre rail for attaching additional storage, are entirely useful. I chose the centre armrest with storage compartment, great for car park change and spare pens. In addition the glasses case keeps my sunglasses close at hand and safe from sticky finger marks.

The USB adapter means my iPhone charges while running my sat nav or music and the bluetooth phone connectivity makes taking urgent calls on the move easy and safe. Whilst I don’t recommend chatting away on the motorway, the speakers produce a clear sound on slower roads. I do like my gadgets to be built-in and functional.

Of course, the main benefit of the Countryman over the other Mini’s is storage. The boot has plenty of room for shopping, buggies and even a child’s bike or two. If you are interested in the technicalities, the boot offers from 350 – 1170 litres of space. In other words, that’s one family sized tent, camping stove, cooking gear, sleeping bags and clothes for four, all packed in the boot and still leaving room for 2 children and one dog in the back.

Aside from functionality, the selling point for me though was the sense of fun and style all the way through from looks to driveability. Your people carriers might offer more storage compartments and the Chelsea tractor might be beefier all round, but none of them have the looks or individuality of a Mini. While I needed a car that was suitable for a family, I wanted something that was still about me as a person, not just a mum. I feel I have got all that in my Mini Countryman – and more.

Mini bring out new designs all the time – the newest addition to the range, the Mini Paceman, is basically a 2 door Countryman pitched as a sportier version with sloping Coupe roof. Take a look at their Facebook page for regularly updated pictures to compare the two.


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Awards! me me me

I’ve gotten behind on a lot recently, but top of the list on things I need to catch up on is picking out this award and saying thank you to Knowledge Knut for nominating me!

KK has a beautiful voice – take a look at her page and you will see what I mean. And it’s clearly not just me who thinks so, she has so many awards from appreciative bloggers. So, I get to pick one of her awards for myself . . . and I know which one I want.

My friends would expect me to choose the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. I love dragons – have done ever since I was old enough to watch Dungeons and Dragons.

I considered the Versatile Blogger Award, except I have received that once before. Twice would be greedy.

So – I’m picking The Super Sweet Blogging Award. It’s bright and colourful and it’s cake. What more could you want? I pick this one please KK!

super-sweet-blogging-award

 

The rules –

Display the award certificate on your website.
• Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award.
•  Nominate a “Bakers Dozen” – 13 blogs
• Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post.
• Answer the 5 “Super Sweet” questions

1.  Cookies or cake?    Cookies – all the way

2.  Chocolate or Vanilla?   Chocolate! No, Vanilla. No, Chocolate. 

3.  What is your favorite sweet treat – cheesecake or frozen yogurt?   Erm – you need to ask? Cheesecake!

4.  When do you crave sweet things the most?  When I am awake. 

5.  If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?  Something that rhymes with ‘Eats a lot of cheesecake’!

So – 13 blogs to nominate . . .

Lessons Learned from the Flock

Alisa Alering

Keeping it Real Mum

Emma Wolf

Ned Hicks

Belle Jar

At least we made it this far

Harper Faulkner

Bodysoluble

Geeky Book Snob

I know – that’s only 10. But seriously, it’s late and I’m tired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Daily Prompt – I do believe in fairies, I do, I do.

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – the White Queen, Alice in Wonderland.

What are the six impossible things you believe in? (If you can only manage one or two, that’s also okay.)

I seem to have had a day of writing today – which is great. Well, from the writing side, not so much from the work side. Anyway, then I saw today’s Daily Prompt on Impossibility and I had to have a go.

So – six impossible things I believe in.

1. Dragons.

I love dragons. I totally believe in dragons. I believe that they existed once – else why would they appear in various guises in so many cultures and mythologies across the world. I remember arguing with my older brothers as a child while they mocked me for saying dragons did exist. “How come no one has ever seen one then?” they would say. “How do you know they haven’t, just because you haven’t” I would counter. OK – not the most sophisticated argument. I was very young.

2. Magic

I did read somewhere that scientifically dragons could not exist or fly as their body weight was just too much for their wings to support. Hello! Magic. Dragons are magical beings, they clearly use their magic to fly. And to hide from humanity. Which explains why we don’t see them about.

Cultures throughout the world refer to mystical powers. Well, why not? Five hundred years ago or so we thought the world was flat, but now we think we know it all?

3. Fairies

Do you remember the scene from Peter Pan when Tinkerbell appears to be dead? Peter Pan starts to chant “I do believe in fairies, I do, I do.” The Lost Boys join in and Tinkerbell recovers. OK, I know it’s a movie, but I do love that particular bit for the force of the belief it portrays.

So – I do believe in fairies. Not so much the twinkly little things living at the bottom of the garden. But fairies, elves, sprites, gremlins – the fae. Well why not? How arrogant are we to believe that humans are all that exist in this world? Existed, at least. Whether they are still about, whether they have survived in hiding or have melded with the hunan race, who knows? But again, myth must have some basis in truth.

4. Ok, running out of ideas here, so let’s see . . . the more mundane perhaps

This diet will work.

Yes – this time, I will get the weight off (I can do it, I have done before). This time though, I will keep it off.

5. I will finish my coursework and get a job as a writer somehow.

6. My kids will get ready for school this morning without moaning!

 

Nah – that last one is far too impossible, it can’t be done.


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A Proud Moment – an Extra Special Post

This is an extra special post, so I wanted it to be about something extra special in my life. Of course, there is nothing more special than my beautiful, wonderful, funny and cheeky Mini Monsters, so let’s make today about them!

I’m doing this backwards, but let’s start with Mini Monster 2.

My wee man is 3 years old. He is a funny little chap, he loves to make people laugh so that he can join in with a great big belly chuckle. MM2 takes after his dad, he likes to do things properly and he won’t take instruction. Instead he watches everyone around him until he is sure he knows what to do – and then he goes for it.

For example – take learning to crawl. Mini Monster 1 did the whole pushing herself along the floor on her tummy – usually backwards – until she was wedged under the sofa. Then she learnt to get on to her hands and knees and rock for a while before splatting face first into the carpet. When it came to walking she spent time surfing around the sofa before taking her first tentative 3 steps – and splatting turtle style.

Not so for MM2. He sat and watched everyone run around him for ages. Not even a hint of rocking. One hot sunny afternoon in the summer he sat and studied MM1 and her cousins sprinting about the garden and splashing in the pool. All day. We went indoors in the evening, sat him on the floor and when we came back he was crawling off up the stairs. Yes, from sit to climb in one afternoon. When he was ready to walk – he did. He got up one day while we were watching TV and walked from one end of the room to the other.

Of course, I don’t have a super baby. I’m not totally mental. There were a few splats. But generally he likes to study the problem and then get it right the first time.

So – on to my proud mummy boast for MM2. This month we have tackled potty training. I did try about 6 months ago but clearly he had not spent enough time studying the process then. This time round, he got it pretty darn quickly. Yay to a nappy free house!

Now on to Mini Monster 1. My delicious 6 year old girl is pretty darn funny. She loves to make jokes and is a cheeky little girly – no flies on her when it comes to remembering something you told her so that she can use it against you. Who knew they actually listened to you, right?

MM1 shares some of my more admirable qualities. No patience, the ability to completely ignore you while staring you in the face (she just discovered daydreaming is a great excuse for everything), complete stubbornness (oh, hang on, they both have that) and being able to find something funny in just about every situation (believe me, sometimes this is just so inappropriate!)

We have been working together on her maths recently – as you may recall this is a stressful time for us both. Still, it looks like it has paid off, because she has moved up a group in class and is working on the harder problems. Proud mummy boast – I have spawned a genius. Clearly she gets that from me too!

OK – maybe not.

Still, I have 2 pretty wonderful monsters to cuddle and I am grateful for that!

Which reminds me – the extra special bit.

This is my 100th post – I am amazed that I have got this far and written so much, after my 1st little post. More amazed that some of you stop by regularly to have a read – so thank you very much for taking time not only to read but also to comment.

What’s made your month special? Share it with me, we can grin insufferably together.


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Why do we blog?

There is an army of individuals out there in the world, sitting in cafes, kitchens, libraries and living rooms, carting their laptops to beaches, up mountains, to parks and remotes fields. All of them – us – are tapping away putting words to screens, trying to share some part of us with the world.

Why do we do it? Why do we blog?

I don’t mean the businesses, who are clearly marketing themselves.

I mean the people, like me, who just sat down one day and started to blog about things. Parenting, knitting, surfing, traveling, photography, politics, books, feelings – the subjects that are covered are endless. The expertise ranges. Some people are clearly professional writers who have an agenda, an aim, some opinion or knowledge they want to impart. Some people are amateurs who still want to share their experience in a particular area or skill.

Then there are those like me who just want to write. I have no particular aim, I have no specialist knowledge or exciting cause to promote. I just want to write. Whatever words come to mind, whatever subject matter I feel that day.

It is an outpouring of thoughts that run through my mind.

Despite starting my blog for no real reason, it has helped me in a number of ways, some of which were expected and some of which were not.

For example, I am practicing writing. I once thought that I would like to write but wouldn’t know where to start. Well, now I have. The more I write, the more I learn about what I like to share and what I struggle putting into words. Practice, practice, practice.

I am exposed to criticism. At first it was a scary prospect, now I look forward to comments from other people. I started blogging anonymously to the virtual world only, but bit by bit I am telling ‘real people’ that I know about my blog.

I am finding out more about myself. Each time I start to type my story wanders off, often in directions I was not expecting myself. The thoughts that come out can surprise even me.

Some readers have even said I am humorous. I would never have considered myself funny. I have discovered that I like that – but also that if I try to be funny on purpose, I am not.

But one of the main benefits of blogging, for me, is that it releases some inner tension. When I have a problem or am feeling fed up, writing about something relaxes me. Writing about that particular problem helps me clarify the cause. Whereas I get tongue tied when talking, writing helps me express myself clearly.

Why do you blog? How does it benefit you? More importantly, what have you learnt about yourself since you started blogging?

Tell me more – I am interested to hear what you have to say.


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Lesson 4 – Well, a question really!

I have a question. Perhaps you can help me.

While I am still learning how to blog and have posted previously on my own findings, there is still so much about blogging (and tweeting and internet life in general) that I have yet to understand. Which is fine, I am happy to learn through trial and error. Occasionally I have a light bulb moment. I do like to try things for myself.

But I cannot quite understand the re-blog feature.

That’s not quite true. I understand that when you find a fabulous, inspirational or quality post that just speaks to you, you might want to share that with your own readers. I have tried to the feature out myself here, when I felt that this post said everything that needed to be said.

And I do like that people out there are finding something I have written worthy of being re-blogged to their site. It doesn’t happen often, but I like it. It feels complimentary. 

So maybe I do understand it better than I thought.

Except – why do some readers start a blog of their own which consists entirely of re-blogged posts? Sometimes they don’t format or personalise the blog site. Just re-post other blogs. No comment of their own, no explanation.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being re-blogged to these sites either (after all, I have the ability to refuse the re-blog). I just don’t understand why they do it?

So, satisfy my curiosity. Educate me please.


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Get off your backside and do something! 2

As voted for by Maddie and Dianne in my original post I am naming this post the “Get off your backside and do something” list. (GOYBADS ?!)

To save you having to read the original post, I decided that rather than have a New Year Resolution that I would not bother to keep, I would have a monthly To Do list and see how long that lasted.

I have to say, so far it has been pretty darn motivating. In the last week or so I have

  • organised photo albums of the wedding, honeymoon and family for the last year;
  • filled the photo frames AND (and this is even more impressive) got Mr G to get them up on the wall in the same weekend! Never underestimate the power of a good nagging.
  • filled that scrap book with the items we collected on our honeymoon in Sri Lanka;

Not bad going!

CHOICES

However, I did notice that whilst I spent the hours choosing photos and arranging albums I did not get to play with the kids or relax with the husband over the weekend. Something has to give – it seems it is always a choice between work or play, prioritising one job over the over.

Now I have the day to myself I have another choice. Coursework or paying work, blogging or job hunting.

So I am adding something else to my January GOYBADS list – to start noting down the time I spend on different tasks in the day and see where my life is going.

How are you all getting on with your resolutions? Ready to join me and GOYBADS?

(Do you think it will catch on?)


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There are Resolutions and then there is Reality

I wrote briefly about New Year Resolutions for the Weekly Challenge and stated the usual aspirations to spend time with my children, eat healthily and  . . . oh some other such promise to the world that I will no doubt fail to keep. After all, I made the same promises last year and no doubt the year before that. My never ending quest to be thinner has been chronicled in various posts about diets, the mandatory guilt I feel as a parent has been referenced in my promises to be a better mother, I even went so far as to make some September Resolutions.

But let’s face it, we all make resolutions at New Year and we rarely actually keep them. After all, if we did we would end up as perfect human beings by the time we hit fifty. And who wants perfection – it’s so boring, darling.

However, what I am going to make is a monthly To Do list (haha, we will see how long this one lasts) of realistic aims that I want to accomplish. Now – what to call this? We need a catchy title here that will spur me on?

Reality Checklist

Possible Purposes

Accomplishables

The “Get off your backside and finish something” List

 

Hmm- the name can come later. Suggestions welcome.

 

So – here are Januarys aims

1. Pick the photos from the wedding to go in the album – it was in March for goodness sake

2. Select photos of family and holidays to go in the numerous empty frames on the wall – the house looks freaky!

3. Complete the scrap book from the wedding so that the box can get put away

4. Do the next module in the course! There is a weekly reminder on your phone, read it!

 

I think that’s enough for one month – don’t you?

 

So, do you agree? A To Do list is much more realistic than a Resolution and may actually get finished? Who wants to join me? If you had to make a list of things to finish this month, what would it be?


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Versatile?

In mid December I was nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award by Fec This – I am very excited, chuffed, humbled to be considered. I am also incredibly embarrassed that it has taken me so very long to get around to replying to the nomination.

My general ramblings on this blog are meant to hopefully entertain or reach out to readers – I do write for an audience and for my own practice but without a particular focus or purpose. I write about whatever thought is in my head – some days I am amazed at how much my mind wanders and some days I wonder why I appear to have had no thoughts at all.

So, the rules for this, my first but hopefully not last award, are

  • Display the award certificate on your website.
  • Announce your win with a post and include a link to whoever presented your award.
  • Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers. 
  • Create a post linking to them and drop them a comment to tip them off.
  • Post 7 interesting facts about yourself

My first problem is that I don’t know how to display the award certificate. I hope to work it out quickly.

versatileblogger111

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My second problem is to choose just 15 of the entertaining, thought provoking or light hearted blogs I like to read and follow. Here is my selection. I hope you like them as much as I do.

Erehwon

ateachablemom

Keeping it real

BodySoluble

The Human Rights Warrior

KnowledgeKnut

Breezy Books Blog

At least we made it this far

Off Duty Mom

Bottled Worder

Ned’s Blog

One Handed Writers

Closed the Cover

A breakfast serial

More than a niche

Seven interesting facts about me –

1. I believe my best choices are made on the spur of the moment

2. I painted a large dragon on my bedroom wall as a teenager. It’s still there

3. I love to explore new countries but I am always nervous of the actual travel part

4. I managed to get the stupidest puppy in the litter

5. I have a Mini Countryman

6. I didn’t eat red meat for 16 years until I got a craving for steak while pregnant

7. I never seem to finish anything I start, even though it drives me barmy.

Well, I hope some of that was interesting. Enjoy the blogs I have linked to!


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So much to do, so little time

I haven’t been by for a week. I checked my notifications daily, partly because I am so excited and thrilled any time anyone wants to read my blog and partly so as to note any comments to respond to (apologies if I have not yet got back to you). However I have not actually written anything and barely browsed through the many fantastic blogs I want to read every day.

But despite rushing hither and yonder all week I am not sure I have accomplished much.

I lost 10 hours driving across the country over the weekend, partly through the need to go south for business and then north for family, but mainly because I got caught in all the flooding and resulting traffic jams. Wasn’t that horrific – I hope none of you were caught up in the jams or worse, suffered from the flooding?

I had a fabulous day and 2 evenings with a close friend (more on that to come!). Oh, and I did that annoying thing called work (frantically in fact) to make up for all the time spent elsewhere over the weekend.

So today I have a rare free day. If I was Mr G I would be enjoying my rare free day relaxing on the sofa with some gaming machine attached shooting at grumpy looking zombies. As I am not Mr G, I have a list of things to get done starting with cleaning the pit that the children consider to be a room, mucking out the puppy bed (she likes to hide toys, chewed shoes and shredded sticks in there), getting some way into the Christmas shopping and maybe even finishing the next stage of my writing coursework.

What I have achieved, in fact, is questionable.

Home made squash and red pepper soup made. (Well, it’s part of the new healthy eating plan I kick started this morning).

New writing role applied for. (Something to do with my spare time.)

A new list made of things I really need to do, web sites I should read, research I have to do (as we all know, making a list of things to do is actually an important stage of doing them!).

But I have cleaned out the puppy bed. So, I am getting there!

How is your day going? Do you feel in control or is your To Do list growing?