Thursday, 24 July 2014

Quinny Zapp Xtra 2

So I was back earning money at work and thought, why not I am having one!  I had fallen in love with the violet syrup as soon as Quinny posted the new colour.  It came at a time when I was struggling to fit my Xtra (1) in the car when it was packed with dogs, child and everything else!  However I love how light and manoeuvrable the Xtra is so I didn’t want to get rid, I also had the Curious Colours which was so pretty, so it was only when I saw the Violet Syrup I seriously considered upgrading.

I ordered from Very who messed me around and I have since found out do not have very good customer service, however it eventually arrived on Monday.  We tested it properly for the first time today.

The fold mechanism is easy to do, very similar the Xtra 1 – some people say it is too complication and difficult to put up and down one handed, yes you do have to use two hands to put up and down but this doesn’t bother me at all.  The pushchair is so light, I had an iCandy Apple to start with but it was so heavy I got rid.  It folds down so small it is loads better than having to unclip the seat unit which was quite big in itself.  It handles really well and again people have said they don’t find it sturdy as the handles move too much, yes there is some give in the handles but I find this better as it makes it a bit easier to push and isn’t so rigid somehow.  My little girl seems to love it and it’s the first pushchair she actually wanted to get back into! 

Differences

Zapp – seat unit is fixed, doesn’t recline or adjust, pushchair folds into one small piece

Zapp Xtra – seat unit has several positions and you can add a maxi cosi car seat, however seat unit has to come off to collapse and is quite large

Zapp Xtra 2 - seat unit has several positions and you can add a maxi cosi car seat, pushchair folds into one small piece – hoorah!!! :)

The only thing I have noticed is the white hood already has a dirty mark on it and we have only been down the road to the pub and back.  Quinny claim the fabric is water and dirt repellent so that is a little disappointing.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

CIF Express Direct to Floor Antibacterial Review

I wanted to take part in this test via Mumsnet as we have dogs, a cat and a small person who likes nothing better than throwing her food on the floor. CIF Express Direct to Floor Antibacterial cleaner appealed to me as I hate mops, the floor takes ages to dry. I had a Vileda a spray 'mop' which was brilliant but after a month the spray stopped working. So I wanted to find something I can use to clean the floor which is quick and easy.

I used this on the floors in the kitchen and the utility, both of which are tiled floors. I liked that you could just squirt it straight onto the floor and could use it without putting it into a mop bucket.  The product didn't have any fragrance which was a shame as I like things to smell nice when they are clean. It was fantastic not having to rinse afterwards, so quick and easy! 

I tend to use my Vileda 1-2 Spray Mop which I loved but it stopped spraying after only a couple of months so I have just been using floor wipes. This is a lot quicker than floor wipes and although it is probably as quick as the Vileda mop, it is a bit less messy and doesn't take as long to dry. It was perhaps not quite as effective as using disinfectant in the Vileda mop as the Cif is obviously not as wet unless you used a lot or diluted it which defeats the object.  However it therefore doesn't take as long to dry. It is designed more for your in between cleans as I don't think it would do a really thorough clean. I used a tesco sponge mop but I think I would look at something which has a washable mop head as the sponge never seems to get completely clean.

£2 for the 750ml bottle is a good price as it did go a long way, the nozzle doesn't let loads of product out so I probably would buy it if there is a fragranced version. I would recommend Cif Express Direct to Floor Cleaner to my friends/family if there is a fragranced option.

Rum walked on the floor virtually as soon as I had finished and didnt leave any pawmarks which he normally does when I have used the Vileda :)
These opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Dizzy - Sleep Tight


I haven't brought myself to post this on any of my social media channels as I just don't think I could cope with seeing all the comments of RIP, sorry etc etc. Am not ready for it and have only just brought up the courage to post this here. We lost Dizzy earlier this month, we miss her terribly, we do have Sweep who takes our minds off things and makes us laugh again but he will never replace Dizzy.

Dizzy was probably a month or so short of her 15th birthday. She had been a shadow of herself for a little while and had not been able to manage walks but she did still want to play ball even though it took an hour to fetch! She was happy and pain free.

She was gradually stopping eating until she stopped completely and couldn't move at all.  We made her comfortable and had to say our goodbyes.

She did really well for a dog with a metal rod in her spine since the age of three! We never had a good go at agility as our first year there was foot & mouth and the next year she was retired.  Heelwork to music involved constantly checking the audience were watching and obedience was what she really did well at.

Diz only had to be shown how to do something once & she knew what she had to do. I never really trained her, just showed her what I wanted. She was a great first dog, I had wanted a dog for years.

The only thing she ever hated unfortunately turned out to be Cas & vice versa, till the end. Luckily when I moved out we could split them so they were both a lot happier.

I am glad I stayed with her until the end and I know now she is happy to run and be free again. I feel a sense of relief, I was dreading the day, but now she is gone I do feel relieved that she is free from pain and happy again.

I am sure she was part human, there will never be a dog as clever as Diz. Sleep tight Diz dog, go and keep Missy company.



 
 







Monday, 12 May 2014

Puppy!

Introducing Ferrous A Touch of Danger, no pet name yet! He has come as a bit of a shock (in a good way) as mum had been thinking July time for a pup. However I had seen a photo of this boy and thought he was gorgeous then his breeder announced that his new home had fallen through. Mum and I talked and we just couldn't let him slip by as we didn't know where to start looking in a couple of months and I liked the breeder and lines of this pup. You feel guilty for recently losing Diz but he will never replace her and she wouldn't want us to stop living because of it, she hated seeing us upset. She loved collie boy pups too!

So pup came home, I am a great believer in that everything happens for a reason and what is meant to be is meant to be.

For the collie people out there he is a mix of canen and locheil lines.  He is bred by Donna Thorpe, he is a lovely cuddly, friendly boy.

I will post his diary on my Disco Dogs Blog

Friday, 9 May 2014

Apley Jousting Fair

Apley Jousting Fair - yeah!  Have been waiting all year for this event, due to suffering from SPD this time last year I never made it, so ever since I have been looking forward to it this year.

So, Apley is a local farm shop with and indoor soft play area, cafe, some local shops and a bit of an animal farm with donkey rides.  The cafe does some lovely food and they hold some nice craft fairs there.  They also offer a cookery club, photography course and more.  Take a look at their website: Apley Farm Shop

So onto the Jousting Fair, we arrived at 11am in time for the morning's schedule of displays which were then repeated in the afternoon.  The lurcher display was on in the main ring which I took part in with Rum and let's just say, he won't be joining their team any time soon!  We walked round the stalls and displays - circus tricks the children (and adults) could have a go at, archery and sword fighting they could also give a go, finally donkey rides.

There was a display by Ben Potter with his eagles and vultures which was amazing.


Finally what everyone was waiting for, on came Knights of the Damned Jousting Stunt Team.

They were amazing and it was well worth watching, just wish it could have lasted longer!

The only thing I would say is we couldn't have a proper photo with Mike the Knight as it was a bit of a free for all.  Lots of food available including a lovely Hog Roast (my favourite).  All in all a great day out!!






Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Monday, 5 May 2014

Morrisons Mum - The Food

I made a few things myself, such as a couscous salad, potato salad, halloumi kebabs, chicken tikka kebabs and Eton Mess.  The rest I bought Morrisons own branded food and went for the Morrisons Signature range which is the premium food that Morrisons offer.  I wanted to compare their meat to that of my local butcher who we use for our BBQs.

The burgers I chose were Signature Mature Cheddar & Sweet Onion Quarter Pounders, they looked a good size burger as I can't stand burgers that are tiny and fill half the bun.  I have to say I was very disappointed as these burgers shrivelled to nothing on the BBQ.  The burgers we buy from our butchers work out at about £1 each, these were the same as a pack of 4 was £4, however if you bought three lots it worked out at £10 for 12.  They tasted okay but I wouldn't rave about them, they were nowhere near as tasty as our local butcher's burgers which also don't shrivel up on the BBQ.

I chose Signature Thick Pork & Caramelised Onion Sausages which came in a pack of 6 and you could buy two packs for £5.  Again they were okay, they weren't chewy, the skins weren't hard, they weren't lumpy but again taste wise there was just no comparison between them and the sausages from our local butchers.  In terms of cost, again about the same as the butcher.

Finally we had some Signature Spiced Lamb Kebabs with Apricot, these were part of the three packs for £10 deal and contained 5 kebabs.  They were nice but I have had nicer lamb kebabs from Sainsburys for similar sort of money.

For dessert I had been looking forward to making my Eton Mess but I came to open the strawberries and this was what I found!!

Mouldy as anything, these were 2 days old, kept in a cool dry place and they looked like this, couldn't believe it as normally strawberries will last longer than that!!  I ended up walking down to our Co-op who had them on offer and mixed them with Morrisons Double Cream and Morrisons meringues which were really nice and light.

We had non alcoholic punch to drink which consisted of Morrisons fruit which was nice and fresh and priced well, a bag of lemons for £1.  Morrisons orange juice and lemonade which I couldn't find fault with. I also used Welch's Grape Juice which I have since found in Sainsburys for only £1, it was £1.39 in Morrisons.  Sainsburys also do their own brand grape juice which works out cheaper but Morrisons do not offer this.

Soooooooo, no I won't be shopping at Morrisons, I will continue to do my online shopping through Tesco and obtain my meat from the local butcher. The thing is Tesco have got me, the more I spend, the more vouchers I get and Morrisons just don't seem that much cheaper. Tesco have sent me a £15 off a £50 shop this week and I have been collecting money off petrol with them too.

Here we all are enjoying some good food, even though the sun wasn't shining!  All in all probably worked out about £8 a head which was a burger, hot dog, lamb kebab, veggie kebab, chicken kebab, corn each, punch and salads.  The couscous salad was probably the favourite.


Recipes - all from BBC Good Food

CousCous Salad - £0.63 per person

Ingredients
100g couscous
200ml hot low salt vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
2 spring onions
1 red pepper
½ cucumber
50g feta cheese, cubed
2 tbsp pesto
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Method
Tip couscous into a large bowl, pour over stock. Cover, then leave for 10 mins, until fluffy and all the stock has been absorbed. Meanwhile, slice the onions and pepper and dice the cucumber. Add these to the couscous, fork through pesto, crumble in feta, then sprinkle over pine nuts to serve.

Lemony Potato Salad - £0.52 per person

Ingredients
900g halved new potatoes
3 tsp olive oil
juice 1 lemon
1 tsp each toasted black mustard seeds and toasted cumin seeds
1 finely chopped green chilli (optional)
½ finger-length piece grated ginger
pinch turmeric
4 sliced spring onions

Method
Boil the new potatoes for 15 mins until just slightly overcooked but still holding their shape. While still warm, toss with all the other ingredients. Season. Can be made up to a day ahead and chilled, but take out of the fridge a good few hours before serving.

Halloumi kebabs with thyme & lemon baste - £0.75 per person

Ingredients
For the kebabs
2 medium courgettes
1 large red onion
250g low fat halloumi cheese, cut into 16 chunks (we used Cypressa Halloumi Lite)
16 cherry tomatoes
For the lemon baste
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (preferably lemon thyme)
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Method
Halve the courgettes lengthways, then thickly slice. Cut the onion into wedges and separate into pieces. Thread the halloumi, cherry tomatoes, courgettes and onion onto eight skewers. Cover and chill the kebabs until you are ready to cook (You can do this up to half a day ahead.)
To make the baste, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, mustard and seasoning. (This can be made ahead and chilled too.)
Preheat the barbecue or grill and arrange the kebabs on the rack. Brush with the baste, stirring it first to make sure the ingredients are blended. Cook for 4-5 minutes, turning often, until the cheese begins to turn golden and the vegetables are just tender.
What I did find with this recipe is the halloumi tended to split as soon as you pushed the skewer through it so I ended up squashing the cheese between two bits of courgette to hold it on!  These kebabs were divine though!