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    DIY Risks

    DIY Risks

    It’s a fact that British people love their DIY. There’s nothing better than a spot of home improvements on a Sunday. Ah I can picture it now, a flat pack from IKEA, a set of allen keys and a drill…. and a hell of a lot of swear words!

    Upcycling or “make do and mend” attitude seems to be all the rage. Buying an old piece of furniture and reupholster or buy new piece of furniture and “distress it”. I must admit this is a concept I have never understood! Either way, as a nation we’re big into the DIY movement.

    Health and Home
    Personally I’m not a big DIY-er. I’m more of the “would love to re-do this, that and the other” but never get around to doing it. My DIY skills extend to doing painting, and even that is a bit off limits now because of my asthma. The last time we did painting in our house I ended up having to call out the paramedics! Although hubby did do a good job at it – I’ll even forgive him for the paint spill on the carpet!

    DIY Risks

    But does anyone ever consider the risks associated with DIY? A survey recently conducted by Slater Gordon Lawyers found that almost half the respondents were unconcerned with the DIY risks.

    Health and Home

    The risks are everywhere from chemicals found in MDF which could cause respiratory issues to risk of asbestos poisioning. The infographic below shows where in the home could have hidden dangers.

    Health and home

    The Biggest Risk?

    It would appear that the biggest risk to those who have houses built between the 1930s to 1980s is the risk of asbestos being in the walls. Mesothelioma claims whilst historically were more likely to be made by industrial workers who would’ve been exposed in their workplace, it now seems that the rest of the country is at risk due to DIY projects.

    Health and home

    How Do You Minimise The Risk?

    Before embarking on any DIY project assess the risk and make sure you are properly equipped to undertake the task in hand. Purchase gloves and masks to avoid toxins from entering your system via your skin and breathing.

    How do you minimise the diy risks

    My Thoughts?

    As you know, we have been doing work in the buy-to-let house. It wasn’t built in the time period mentioned above but I am concerned of asbestos. Mainly because Taid would do a lot of work in schools and our house was filled with old bits and bobs he had acquired from jobs. In all honesty, an asbestos survey is what I need – just to make certain that the house is asbestos free. Of course, if there is any asbestos in the house I can’t touch it as I need a regulated person to do the job.

    DIY Risks

    I mentioned above that I’m not a big DIY-er but hubby and I managed to tile the kitchen in the buy-to-let house. We didn’t have any prepping to do as we were working with brand new walls (plasterboard walls) so had a blank canvas. However, I was told off for doing so because I was about 4 months pregnant at the time! But, I was prepared! Had my mask and gloves on – see photo above!

    Are you a DIY-er? What precautions do you take before commencing on a DIY project? Or are you of the ilk, “let’s do this” and don’t consider the DIY risks?

    (This is a collaborative post with Slater Gordon)

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    #F1Wednesday – Rosberg’s Title and Other Musings

    F1 Wednesday

    I couldn’t let today pass without an F1 Wednesday post! Over he weekend it was the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

    Hamilton v Rosberg

    Going into the race, both Hamilton and Rosberg were able to win the championship. Safe money was on Rosberg as he was ahead in the table and for him not to win it meant he needed to finish way below Hamilton. Considering it’s been mostly 1-2s to Mercedes this year, it would’ve been unlikely. To be honest I didn’t really care which one of them won it. Part of me wanted Hamilton to win as he’s a Brit but then again I thought it’d be nice for Rosberg to have his first championship.

    Hamilton was leading and if he had wanted he could’ve made a clear run to the finish. Rosberg was chasing him in second place. Hamilton knew that this wouldn’t be enough to seal his championship so he slowed down so that the rest of the pack could catch up with Rosberg. This tactic did not go down well with the team – Hamilton ignored team orders to. Now there’s talk that Hamilton could be suspended or even dropped from Mercedes becasue of this. Bloody farce! I have no problem with what Hamilton did. It was the last race of the season, he was in with a shot to win so naturally he would do everything he could to win. If Rosberg was in the same position then surely he would have been doing the same. Any competitor would’ve done the same.

    This is why Formula 1 doesn’t work as a team sport.

    Jensen Button

    The whole Hamilton/Rosberg thing wasn’t the only big news. Jensen Button had come out prior to the race to say that in all likelihood this would be his last race in Formula 1. It’s a shame he’s leaving the sport as he comes over as such a nice bloke. And such a laugh! It was so sad to see him having a DNF in his last ever F1 race! Almost as sad as Massa crashing out of his last home race. Post race Jensen was so humble and lovely about the whole incident and even managed to do a cheeky version of Ted’s Notebook for the Sky F1 viewers.

    I’m not sure what will happen next for Jensen but I’m pretty sure he’s going to pop up in WEC soon. Shame Webber retired from WEC now!

    Felipe Massa

    Last but not least, it was also Massa’s last race. Another driver retiring from F1. I’ve mentioned it before, but I really really would’ve loved to seen Massa get a championship but it wasn’t meant to be. I will miss Massa as I’ve always liked him. For me, he was my era’s version of Barichello i.e. Ferrari’s number two driver.

    Final Thoughts on 2016 Season

    I will say this, 2016 was a bit of a disappointment all round. There wasn’t much that excited me this year – the exception of Verstappen. He’s a man to watch in my opinion. 2016 was a one team battle with the Mercedes pretty much dominating. Red Bull and Ferrari popped up every so often but it was really all about the Mercs.

    Apparently there’s rule changes coming for 2017 so here’s hoping for some excitement next year… PLEASE!

    Did you watch the race? What were your thoughts on Hamilton’s tactics? Will you miss Jensen and Massa? 

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    Anglesey Sea Zoo – Brynsiencyn

    Anglesey Sea Zoo

    On Sunday we were at a bit of a loose end so we went to Anglesey Sea Zoo for a couple of hours. It was a lovely sunny day but very cold so I wrapped the girls up in their bobble hats and scarves and headed over the bridge to Anglesey.

    Anglesey Sea Zoo

    Anglesey Sea Zoo is an aquarium which displays British marine wildlife – all the fantastic creatures you can find around the UK coast.

    The aquarium have some conservation programmes including a Lobster Hatchery, Seahorse Breeding Programme and Crawfish Research Programme. Additionally they have beach cleaning programmes. They have three daily talks and you can watch the fish being fed.

    Anglesey Sea Zoo

    Crawfish (not lobster!) and the election predicting octopus

    Our Experience

    Anglesey Sea Zoo

    I haven’t been to Anglesey Sea Zoo in such a long time! We spent an hour or so going around the aquarium. We would have mooched around for longer it wasn’t for the fact that my Mam was so cold. It wasn’t overly cold in there but she was complaining. Also, we didn’t get to catch any of the talks but I would like to go back to have a listen to them.

    Anglesey Sea Zoo

    We had lunch in the cafe – after buying some gifts at the gift shop. After food we went out to the kids play area. The girls had lots of fun running around and Little Miss loved being a captain on the pirate ship.

    Further Info

    Anglesey Sea Zoo

    We paid £7.75 each for the adults. The girls were free since they are under 3. They also do family tickets if you have kids over 3 years of age. The aquarium is pram and wheelchair friendly. There is only one area which isn’t accessible which is a very brief walkway over one of the tanks.

    Dogs are not allowed into the aquarium but there is an outdoor dog playpen. Padlocks are available from reception for a £5 deposit.

    The aquarium is now closed over the Winter but will be re-opening next Spring. In the meantime you could have a look at the website and social media. Especially if you’re interested in learning more about Menai The Sea Turtle the tropical sea turtle found in the Menai Strait.

    Anglesey Sea Zoo: website / Facebook / Twitter / You Tube

    Have you ever been to Anglesey Sea Zoo?

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    Breaking Barriers

    Breaking Barriers

    In today’s eclectic mix of Society it seems that the older generation are Breaking Barriers. According to statistics, by 2050 15.6% of the global population will be those 65 and up. I’ll be honest, I don’t see 65 as being old. In fact I see it as being young! I mean, I won’t be able to retire until I’m at least 67 years old! (That’s a depressing thought!)

    Currently, I’m trying to convince my Nain (who is 83) to get online! I keep sharing photos of my girls on Facebook and my Nain keeps hearing about it via my aunt. It’s a bit unnerving really! The other reason I’m trying to hook my Nain up with Facebook is because I want her to stop feeling lonely. I phone her everyday to have a chat but if she was online, she could see what all the other grandchildren are up to.

    She seems to think she’s too old to learn but I don’t see her as old. People her age are going online and doing some amazing things! Expanding skills and breaking barriers! There’s some inspirational people out there including Iris Apfel who in her 90s is still an amazing fashion icon! Have a look at some of the people who are Breaking Barriers. Some stories are pretty amazing!

    Photo by: Jenna Marie Wakani

    A photo posted by Iris Apfel Official 👓💄 (@iris.apfel) on

    Because she’s not online, I can’t show Nain these amazing things. I would just like her to break out of her comfort zone and give something new a go. Something to keep her mind active. Something that would get her out of the house for a bit (say a computer course) and then something that she could connect with – Facebook for example.

    Having said that though, the years are catching up with my Nain. She’s having trouble getting in and out of the bath so I’m trying to convince her to get a walk in bath installed. I know she won’t do it because she thinks that would mean she’s accepting that she’s old. But I don’t see her as being old and frail. I see her as an amazing woman who, due to the unkindness of time, requires some extra help. That doesn’t mean she couldn’t be a kick ass Facebook-er if she gave it a go!

    So do you have any tips for me on how I can convince my Nain to get online? Do you have stories of amazing older people who are Breaking Barriers? 

    (This is a collaborative post)

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    Treasure Trails Giveaway

    Treasure Trails Giveaway

    Today is the first day of my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!! Over the next 12 days I’ll be hosting giveaways to win various different things – from jewellery to confectionery, hopefully there’ll be something for everyone!

    First giveaway is an exciting one! I’m giving away two free Treasure Trails (digital download version) courtesy of Treasure Trails! No idea what I’m on about? Well let me fill you in!

    Treasure Trails

    Who better to explain Treasure Trails than the folks themselves…..

    Treasure Trails provide self-guided themed Treasure Hunts around different villages, towns and cities across the UK. The Trails take, on average, around 2 hours to complete, and are themed as a Murder Mystery, Spy Mission or Treasure Hunt. By solving the clues we have written, you will either be discovering whodunit, cracking the code, or finding the location of the long lost treasure.

    The Treasure Trail packs come in three different forms

    1. Print At Home (£6.99)
    2. Printed by Treasure Trail (£6.99 + £1.49 p&p)
    3. Personalised and printed by Treasure Trails (£9.99 + £1.49)

    I chose the Print At Home version because I needed the trail by the following day. The printed versions are dispatched within 2-3 days. Alternatively, Treasure Trails can also be found in some local retailers as well.

    What I like is the fact that each trail has a guide of how long it’ll take and has details of whether it’s wheelchair and pram accessible.

    Ruthin Treasure Trails

    Treasure Trails Ruthin

    There are plenty of choice of Treasure Trails and there’s some all around the UK. To try it out, we chose to do the Ruthin Trail and chose the Print at Home version. It was such an easy transaction – order it, download it, print it!

    The trail itself was great! Due to time constraints, we couldn’t complete the trail (we had a birthday party to attend) but we did the first handful of clues and it was great!

    Giveaway

    OK! You’re convinced you want to give it a go yeah? Here’s how you enter the giveaway and some terms and conditions:

    1) Enter using the Rafflecopter options below
    2) Giveaway is open until 11.59pm on December 1st.
    3) Two digital downloads will be provided by way of voucher codes provided by Treasure Trails
    4) Winner will be contacted via email and Twitter (where applicable)
    5) Winner will have 4 weeks to respond to my email or a new winner will be chosen.
    6) No cash alternative
    7) Open to worldwide residents (but please note that Treasure Trails are only available in the UK – so ideal if you’re coming on holiday here!)

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Good luck!! Tell me, have you been on a Treasure Trail before?

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    The Perfect Garden

    The Perfect Garden

    Two years on, we’re still working on our perfect garden. I tell a lie, two years on and the work on our perfect garden has come to a standstill. After getting a builder in to divide the garden for us we have yet to turn the garden into a rainbow garden (despite planting a couple of trees)

    The Perfect Garden

    Ideally my perfect garden will have the following areas:

    Area for the dogs to be in without causing too much mess
    We have already sectioned off the garden to be a dog zone and dog-free zone.

    Grassy area for having summer tea parties
    summer tea parties

    By summer tea parties I’m thinking dolls tea parties with the girls kind not the alcohol fuelled adult kind!

    A patio area with a table and possibly a barbecue
    I’ve always liked the idea of eating outside but never actually managed it.

    A play area for the girls
    I have a vision of a lovely wooden play area with a slide and swing with bark bases. None of the plastic rubbish here please!

    Flowery area with all the beautiful flowers
    Rainbow garden

    In the raised beds that we have surrounding the garden I would love to have a rainbow themed garden with sections dedicated to each colour. And in each section there would be flowers of that colour. The fencing would be painted to match as well. Would be quite spectacular.

    Expert Advice

    I think I need to take some of Phil Spencer’s advice! This little video gives simple steps on how to plan your perfect garden.

    Are you a keen gardener? Any tips for creating the perfect garden?

    (This is a collaborative post)

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    F1 Wednesday – Felipe Massa and #BrazilGP

    F1 Wednesday

    I haven’t done an F1 Wednesday post in such a long time! Mainly because I have found this season to be rather boring! But last weekend we managed to watch the Brazil Grand Prix live on TV (and not hours later like normal).

    It was rather action packed what with the rain, spins and crashes! But the most heart breaking crash of all was Felipe Massa’s crash. Really got me in the feels!

    Felipe Massa

    Felipe Massa is/was a Brazilian Formula 1 driver. Over the years he has driven for Ferrari and Williams. During 2016 he announced he was retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the season. Such a shame because if someone deserved to be world champion more than anyone it was him! * He cruelly missed out on the World Championship in 2008 – another moment that got you in the feels!

    * other than Mark Webber obvisouly.

    #BrazilGP

    So for Massa to crash out in his last home Grand Prix was just as cruel! But the way he handled it was so humble. He walked back to the pits carrying his Brazilian flag and was clearly emotional. The mechanics of Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams all came out of the garages to stand as he walked by. I was watching it and crying.

    Apart from being an emotional race for Massa, Hamilton won which means the title goes down to the wire. Will it be Hamilton or Rosberg’s year?

    Did you watch the race? Please tell me you got emotional as well!

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    The Weeping Window

    The Weeping Window

    “The Weeping Window” is currently on display at Caernarfon Castle. Unfortunately I am unable to make it to see it in person but my husband was able to take the girls to see it.


    I apologise for the quality of the photos but don’t let that put you off. It’s an impressive display and of course is very appropriate for the time of year with Rememberance Day being today.

    “The Weeping Window” can be seen at Caernarfon Castle up to November 20th. Whilst it’s free admission you are still required to book tickets to see the exhibition. Although I have also been told you can just turn up and you might be allowed in – but don’t count on it!

    The Poppy – A Political Statement?

    Seeing these photos and the recent FIFA ban, I can’t help but think why the Poppy is considered a political statement these days.


    It isn’t, it’s a mark of respect for all lost on war. The following poem by Paul Hunter explains exactly what the Poppy is:

    I Am Not A Badge of Honour

    I am not a badge of honour,
    I am not a racist smear,
    I am not a fashion statement,
    To be worn but once a year,

    I am not glorification
    Of conflict or of war.
    I am not a paper ornament
    A token,
    I am more.

    I am a loving memory,
    Of a father or a son,
    A permanent reminder
    Of each and every one.

    I’m paper or enamel
    I’m old or shining new,
    I’m a way of saying thank you,
    To every one of you.

    I am a simple poppy
    A Reminder to you all,
    That courage faith and honour,
    Will stand where heroes fall.

    Paul Hunter 2014

    Have you been to see The Weeping Window? 

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    Paw Patrol Playmats

    Paw Patrol Platmats

    It’s no secret that we love Paw Patrol in our house. A team of rescue dogs who come to help the hapless residents of Adventure Bay – what’s not to love! My eldest really loves it and so everything is Paw Patrol related in our house. Remember her birthday cake? Yeah, Paw Patrol!

    So we were more than happy when we were contacted to review a set of Paw Patrol playmats by Tatamiz!

    Nobuco and Tatamiz

    Tatamiz Logo

    The company (Nobuco) was founded in France by Lionel Hugonnier a former Judo World Champion in 2003. In 2011 in the Tatamiz brand was developed and in 2012 the playmate were launched. Over the following six years the brand has developed and now offers a wide range of character mats from Frozen to Hello Kitty.

    New ranges are coming up in 2017 including Paw Patrol, Minions and Star Wars (there’s plenty more)

    Paw Patrol Playmats

    Paw Patrol Playmats

    The set comes with 8 mats each numbered and has a different character on them. It’s great that Everest is included in the set as Everest goods are hard to find. The playmats are made from foam and covered in easy to wipe material. The playmats are soft and easy to clean.

    My girls loved playing with the mats! They loved the Paw Patrol character pictures on them. Unfortunately the girls are too young to understand hopscotch yet so we’ve been using them as numbers practice. Little Miss can count to ten but as yet doesn’t recognise the numbers. Getting her to put the pieces together in order is good fun!

    If you have kids who are big fans of Paw Patrol I would definitely recommend this set! It’s so cool! Yes I’m a big kid as well!

    Where To Buy?

    Paw Patrol Playmats

    Based in France, Tatamiz currently export to Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain and now to the UK! In the UK you can buy these playmats from TJ Morris.

    What do you think of these playmats? Cute huh?

    (I was given a set of Paw Patrol playmats in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own)

     

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    Rural Life – #IWouldMiss

    Rural Life #IWouldMiss title

    Guess what? I live in Snowdonia. HA! Bet you didn’t know that one? 😉 Seriously, Snowdonia is one of the most beautiful places on Earth (*). One of the reasons it’s a beautiful place is that it’s rural which many would consider to be “out in the sticks”. London it is not!

    * Actually, it’s ranked 4th in Lonely Planet’s Best Regions to Travel to in 2017 and that is a pretty decent ranking!

    Rural Life

    Can't get much more rural thtan this! Llyn Adar in the mountains above Blaenau Ffestiniog

    Can’t get much more rural than this! Llyn Adar in the mountains above Blaenau Ffestiniog

    Living here is certainly not considered to be city living but it’s still not remote. We have all the basics such as running water, gas (*) and electric and even in some areas you can pickup 4G signal! However, it is the best place to escape city life and in fact Flogas has recently spoken to 910 Brits found that 85% of people have, at some point, considered moving away from the city to live “off grid” or “out in the sticks”.

    * Gas isn’t always on mains here. My own house is on mains gas but the other house I believe is on LPG gas.

    Key Findings

    So let me run through some of the key findings of the survey conducted by Flogas:

    • Most people prioritise running water, electricity and gas for cooking and heating as top priorities, but around 8% don’t see them as a priority at all in a remote area.
    • 80% of respondents think that living in a remote area would suit them. Almost half of respondents would miss their smartphone within a week!
    • Running water was voted as the most important service, followed closely by gas and electricity.
    • Men were found to have more of an urge to break away from society than women (34% of men vs. 28% of women).
    • An impressive 77% of people are confident of their abilities to change a gas canister.
    • Gas is a high priority for 64% of people.
    • 25% of people are confident of their ability to self-sustain, ranking a local shop as a low priority when living in isolation.
    • 25% of millennials often want to get away from society.

    Makes for interesting reading! The fact that 77% of people are confident of their abilities to change a gas canister is amazing! I’m not sure if I would consider myself confident enough to do it even though I did grow up in a house where the fire was running off a gas canister.

    #IWouldMiss

    Now let’s be honest, if I had to survive it in the wild, I would miss my luxuries! Putting aside the basics of water and food, and gas and electric for warmth, the thing I would miss more than anything is my smartphone! The fact above stating that people would miss their smartphone within a week – that’s me! But a week, try a day!! It’s simple – I’m a blogger and social media addict!

    So tell me, does rural life appeal to you? What would you miss most?

    (in collaboration with Flogas)

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