Thursday, 31 July 2014

The All Bran 5 Day Challenge

I have suffered with stomach problems since taking medication that disagreed with me a few years ago. At that time not only was my stomach affected but my mind as well, leading to an episode of psychosis.

I thought I would give the All Bran 5 Day challenge a try to see if it would benefit me as my stomach has a very delicate equilibrium and the slightest change in diet can lead to painful side effects. Could eating All Bran cereal really help me feel better?

I was sent three boxes of cereal in the following flavours for the challenge.

Red Berry Crunch
Clusters of wheat and rice with a mix of dried red berries. These were my favourite, I loved the sweetness of the dried fruit.

Chocolate Wheats
Whole wheat grains shredded and layered with chocolate. Grotbags loves these but I find them too sweet.

Golden Crunch
Clusters of wheat and rice without the berries. I liked these too but cheated a little and added some diced fresh fruit.

I must admit that generally my stomach did feel less bloated after trialling this cereal for 5 days and the cereal does taste good which is a huge benefit for me. I wouldn't say it cured all my problems but I do think it helped. A huge positive for me was Grotbags and I actually found the time to sit and eat breakfast together.

This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kellogs.

- Posted on the go :)

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Modern Ways to Help Charities

The way in which we donate money to charity has changed considerably over the last five years or so. Once, we could make donations by dropping loose change into collection boxes or perhaps by sending money by Direct Debit or by calling special dedicated phone numbers to give our card details.

Now charities are investing in evermore diverse fundraising methods, designed to make it easier and quicker for us to donate. Much of this change is down to improvements and advances in the use of technology and these will surely only ever continue to develop over time.

At the moment, we can donate in the 'old fashioned' ways mentioned above, but we can also donate by:

• opting to round up our card payments at the till in the supermarket to the nearest pound, with those extra pennies going to a nominated charity;
• using cash machines designated as donation points, with the operator giving a small donation per cash withdrawal to a nominated charity;
• through dedicated charitable fundraising websites, that work a bit like cashback sites (if you go through their site to access another site they will donate a small amount on your behalf);
• Going online and donating via our favourite charity's website, or by sending a text to an appeal number advertised on television.

Technology can also give charities a means of communicating with us to keep us informed of special events (like fundraising galas in our local area). The RSPCA has taken this a step further by using technology to not only allow us to donate to a particular project (one that we choose) but to keep us informed about how much money has been raised for that project and what the money has been used for.

The RSPCA Choices site allows us to search for particular types of charitable work that we would like to support. For instance, cat lovers might want to ensure that local cats in rescue centres are properly cared for, or wildlife enthusiasts might want to support work done to encourage or protect breeding of wild animals or birds locally or nationally. Once we have found a project that really inspires us to help (or, once we have created a unique project based on our own experiences of local animal issues) we can then create a web page to highlight the cause and publicise our fundraising efforts to support it.

That web page can be shared on social network sites and makes advertising fundraising activities a lot easier. That web page can be seen by thousands, which is a vast improvement on the perhaps dozens who might have once seen an advert in the local Post Office promoting a fundraising event.

Whether you have a fundraising idea or event that you would like to promote or just want to donate money quickly and easily, technology has certainly made it easier for you to do so. The fact that technology can also be used (as it has been, successfully, by RSPCA Choices) to inform us about exactly how our money is spent might also mean greater motivation for donors to fundraise to help those in most need.

This is a guest post.

- Posted on the go :)

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Black and White Week 3

Last weekend we visited Carsington Water and had a lovely stroll around the reservoir and I took a couple of snaps on the way.

Grotbags was mesmerised by the floating stone.

And I loved the stone maze.

I'm really loving the #bwphotoproject, you could join in too.

 photo 4d06e438-4e6a-4f3b-88b2-0c1093350397_zps361ad0e9.jpg

Silent Sunday 27th July 2014

Posted on the go :)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

cocoa tabby - Handmade Locally

This week on Handmade Locally I would like to introduce Susannah who has started her own chocolate business from her home.  The spiced orange slab looks amazing.

Susannah started her business this spring after being made redundant. She previously worked in Graphic Design and Marketing but fancied trying something new (although the skills from her previous jobs do come in very handy in what she is doing now).
Susannah is currently making the chocolate in her kitchen at home which is off Ashbourne Road in Derby and sells it online at cocoa tabby, craft and food events around Derby including Sheena Hollands Vintage Market and The Cathedral Quarter Arts and Craft Fayre on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of every month, these are both based in Derby's Cathedral Quarter.
 She has also started doing wedding favours and has a limited range at Georgies Vintage Cafe on Ashbourne Road, Derby and she is looking into other wholesale opportunities via local, independent cafes, delis and gift shops.
Cocoa tabby use premium Belgian chocolate made with ethically sourced West African cocoa and everything is handmade by Susannah.

Good luck with your business Susannah I am sure it will be a huge success, afterall who can resist chocolate.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Win £50 Voucher for Bonmarche

I have a great opportunity for one of my readers to win either a £50 voucher for in store or a £50 code for purchasing off the Bonmarche website. 

Bonmarche deliver high quality fashion at affordable prices in stores throughout the UK and their website.  There are lots of styles that do not compromise on comfort and they are available in sizes 10-24.  Why not enter and treat yourself to something nice.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only by completing the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at

Festivals in Birmingham this Summer: Fusion Festival

The summer is in full swing, and while you may or may not have made plans outside of work already, there’s still plenty of time to organise something a little fun and exciting to help you make the most out of the coming months. Festivals are a great opportunity to let go of the stress and truly enjoy yourself, and while the Queen of the festivals, Glastonbury, has been and gone for another year, there’s still plenty more in store. Take the Fusion Festival, for example, held in Cofton Park between the 30th and 31st of August.

Over two nights, Cofton Park will be home to a range of chart-topping artists, including Dizzee Rascal, The Wanted and Jessie J. Located less than half an hour outside of the city centre, you could easily book into the Travelodge in Birmingham for the full weekend, to give yourself the best chance of appreciating what the festival has in store without worrying about having to head all the way back home between the days.

The Fusion Festival is held in support of The Prince’s Trust, and, with over 60,000 people expected to attend over the two days, anyone who needs their fix of live pop music will be able to enjoy it amidst thousands of other likeminded people. Priced at £39 a day, or £70 for the two days, the festival won’t break the bank either – it isn’t a full-on camping weekend; instead, it’s an opportunity to incorporate some of your favourite music into a weekend in Birmingham, giving you the chance to enjoy as much, or as little, as the festival as you like, without having to pitch a tent in the middle of a muddy field.

The Main Stage on Saturday has a cracking line-up, including The Vamps, Ella Henderson, Luke Friend (of X Factor fame) and Dizzee Rascal. The Saturday will be headlined by US rapper, Pitbull, while the Sunday’s line-up includes The Wanted, Pixie Lott, Lawson and Jessie J, who tops the bill and closes the festival on a high note.

Rather than staying locally, head back into Birmingham once the music is over for a chance to enjoy some of what the city has to offer. Perhaps you only fancy the Saturday line up, or the Sunday one; rather than travelling to Birmingham for the single day, incorporate the festival into a mini-break and enjoy what Birmingham has in store – the shopping, the nightlife, the attractions – there’s so much for you to see and do. Top it off with the Fusion Festival and you have yourself a well-rounded, fun-filled weekend that you can remember for a long time to come!

You can pick up your tickets for Fusion online; there are 30,000 tickets allocated for each day and there are still some available. With a fairground and plenty of other activities in store as well, Fusion isn’t just about the music but about the experience as a whole. Plus, with £5 from each ticket being donated to The Prince’s Trust, your weekend of partying is for a good cause, too!

This is a guest post

- Posted on the go :)