Thursday 20 October 2011

Seed Parade Competition

If, like me, you are a fan of GYO (grow your own) vegetables & fruits, then you've probably heard of already. They also have a great selection of flower seeds if you're more the flower type. Here's some more information...

SeedParade have a large selection of seeds available, all at very low prices. I've listed some of their best offers below so you can see just how good value they are. Not only are their seeds incredibly cheap, but postage is only £1.29 within the UK and £1.89 to the EU.

Tomato Roma VF Seeds are just 29p for 100 seeds!

Lupin Russel Mix Seeds are just 99p for 80 seeds!

Strawberry Golden Alexandria Seeds are just £1.09 for 350 seeds!

I really do think they offer great value. You can also buy gift vouchers of any value to send to your friends/family - so great present for all keen gardeners this Christmas!

There are a variety of payment methods available to customers - credit/debit card via SagePay, PayPal or Google Checkout.

SeedParade have kindly allowed me to run a competition. So, up for grabs is a packet of 20 seeds of your choice for 2 lucky winners. The competition is open to UK & EU residents and will close on Friday, 11th November at 8pm.

To enter, you MUST do both of the following tasks:
1) Answer this question (post your answer in the comments box) and leave a way for me to contact you should you win such as Twitter username, link to your Facebook profile or your e-mail address (I would recommend 
not leaving your e-mail address or use [at] instead of @ to prevent spam):
How many seeds are there in a packet of Jalapeno seeds on

2) Follow my blog with Google Connect over on the right and leave a separate comment telling me you have done so

Extra entries are available by doing the following:
3) Follow Seed Parade on Twitter!/seedparade and leave a comment to let me 

know you have done this including your Twitter username (1 entry)
4) Follow My Random Blurb on Twitter!/myrandomblurb and leave a comment to let me 
know you have done this including your Twitter username (1 entry)

5) Tweet the following and leave a comment to tell me you have done this including your Twitter username: 
"I want to win some seeds with @MyRandomBlurb & @SeedParade - you can win to if you enter at" (1 entry)
6) Become a fan of Seed Parade on Facebook and leave a comment to 
let me know you have done this (1 entry)
7) Become a fan of My Random Blurb on Facebook and leave a comment to let me know you have done this (1 entry)
8) Post a status update on Facebook saying the follow and be sure to tag 
BOTH pages (you can do this by putting an @ before the pages names) and leave a comment to let me know you have done this "I would love to win some free seeds with My Random Blurb and - you can enter to win some too at" (1 entry)

AND THE FIRST WINNER IS... @daisyangel1
CONGRATULATIONS! Please e-mail your addresses to :) x

Monday 10 October 2011

REVIEW: Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System

I received the new stainless steel effect Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System to review...
I had seen these advertised on television and thought it sounded like a really good idea. I had just not got around to purchasing one, so when I was offered this review, I was really excited to be able to give it a go.

The new stainless steel like one is really good and I think you would be able to fit it in with any kitchen decor if that's the sort of thing that bothers you when buying something (me not so much - I care more about usefulness and functionality than the colour!).

It's great idea when you think about it. Most people don't even think about the germs all around them. They can't see them, so they don't worry - but think how many bouts of colds & flu or food related illness could be avoided if everyone just took a little more and cleaned their hands when they got home, washed their hands before eating, washed their hands after handling raw food and so on.

The thing is, you often put all of those germs onto your soap pump and the next time you use it, those germs are all still waiting there for you. With the Dettol no-touch hand wash system, you don't have to touch the dispenser and the little sensor underneath knows when your hands are under it and dispenses just the right amount of soap (which also saves you from using too much soap and saves you money!). So the benefits are plentiful.

Thursday 6 October 2011

David's 9th Birthday - 27th September 2011

David was 9 on his birthday... My how time flies! Seems not that long ago he was just a baby and now he's 9 years old! As most of you know, he is a big, big Spongebob fan, so when he asked for an acoustic guitar, we thought the Spongebob Squarepants acoustic guitar set would be the perfect present and he loved it! There's a video below of David playing Wild Things (The Troggs) on his guitar - pretty amazing!

David playing on his new Spongebob Squarepants guitar.

David also got a Cars 2 augmented reality book off us. His Granny & Grandad (Paul's parents) got him his Liverpool FC away football shirt, his Grandma (my Mum) got him Cars 2 Klip Kitz and a Koo Koo bird, and he got £15 cash from my Uncle & Aunt (his second Uncle?) which he went shopping last weekend with with an extra £15 from us and bought a magic set, a Cars 2 movie scene thingy, Spongebob Squarepants bubble sword, Phineas & Ferb Agent Perry kit and Cars 2 notepad with spy glasses. Here he is with all of his stuff he got on his birthday (not the stuff he bought at the weekend)...

Anyway, it was a school day, so he was at school during the day. We used the time he was at school to make him some party foods & his birthday cake - though he didn't have a big party, it was just him & Latisha (my little sister, David's aunt who is also 9 years old).

Normally we just buy packet cakes mixes, and ready to cook party snacks and a pre-made character birthday cake from the supermarket, but I decided to make some unique snacks myself this year.

I found several good recipes online. I made some ham salad baps into little monsters with cucumber for feet and cherry tomatoes & sultanas for eyes. This was the finished result...

We made some sausage rolls and cheese & onion rolls (but that's just because Paul is vegetarian), but we cheated on those as they were frozen packets from the supermarket! I made some bear paw print cupcakes (victoria sponge cake, topped with buttercream and using the middles of jaffa cakes and minstrels for the prints) and some froggy cupcakes (victoria sponge cake topped with vanilla frosting that I put green food colouring and then green American hard gums cut in half for the eyes and a bit of icing and food colouring for the eyes centres) though and I was very pleased with how they turned out...

I also made some marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate and then rolled in hundreds and thousands, but I didn't think they turned out so well...

I decided to make David a treasure chest birthday cake as he likes pirates and stuff. I was a bit worried as to how it would turn out as I've never made such a big cake before, let alone one with any sort of design or layering. I had to make one big cake and use a piece out of the middle as wedges to prop the treasure chest 'lid' up. I made a chocolate cake as it's Davids'  favourite. I coated the whole cake in chocolate fudge frosting, then used strawberry fruit winders as straps, Tango bon bons as jewels on the top of the case, and used chocolate gold coins to prop up the lid and to put in the middle and around the bottom of the cake to look like treasure. I also used iced cups, chocolate footballs and candy bracelets to serve as treasure on the cake. I was very pleased with how it turned out and everyone seemed to enjoy it...

I think David was pleased with his mini party, all his party food, his cakes and his birthday overall... Well at least I'm hoping he was! He did seem happy, so that's always a good thing! I think between his birthday and his days out the weekend before to Alton Towers & Chester Zoo, he had a really good birthday!

David & Latisha pigging out on party foods!
David sitting proudly with his treasure chest birthday cake.

Latisha & David.

Me with David.

David with his Dad.

David with his Grandma.

Trip To Chester Zoo - 25th September 2011

Another trip for David as an early birthday treat was to Chester Zoo. I had won 2 adult tickets from Favourite Days Out in Cheshire on Facebook for me & Paul, so we just needed to buy tickets for David & Latisha.

Again, we had intended to get there for when they opened at 10am, but ended up arriving at around 12pm.

We've been to Chester Zoo before, but not for a long time - I think the last time we went was when David was 3 or 4 years old. So it had changed a fair bit.

The first thing we went to see were the elephants. It was really crowded at the time as it's the first set of animals you come across just after you enter. We then went to see the monkeys, apes & gorillas - soooo cute!

Latisha & David standing by a little monkey figure.

We then saw some cheetahs which were really cute, followed by the lions, which were equally cute (from a distance!) - Latisha said she wanted a pet male lion!

There are 2 cheetahs in this photo.

These are the 2 lionesses, but there was a male lion in there too.

The next stop was the amazing dinosaur exhibition. Lots of big, moving model dinosaurs with sounds and some of them even sprayed water out of their mouths at you. It's a fabulous exhibition and the dinosaurs were very realistic. David loved them as he's really into dinosaurs.

We then went to see the otters, which were really cute, but really noisy too - you couldn't believe such a horrible sound could come from such a cute animal! Then we went to see the tortoises... Slowly... Slowly... Then we saw the big hairy orang-utan, very hairy...

One of the otters.

The tortoises.

The really hairy (and BIG!) orang-utan.

We saw loads of other stuff too, such as a load of birds. Paul had us all walk through the bat area - I hate anything that has flappy wings to come at you with! Worst of all, 1 of them had a wee on my head!! Disgusting!! We saw a zebra, an ostrich, some pink flamingos and more. There were loads of others, but I don't know the name of any of them now.

The zoo is absolutely massive and you'd have no trouble spending a while day there! In fact, we actually didn't manage to get around everywhere in the end which was very unfortunate, but we all had a lovely day and David seemed to very much enjoy his second birthday treat!

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Trip To Alton Towers - 24th September 2011

As an early birthday treat for David, we took him to Alton Towers using the family ticket I won from Nivea on Facebook on their Million Moments Of Closeness app.

We originally intended to get their for the opening time of 10am, but for one reason or another, we actually arrived around 12pm. Upon arrival, we were disgusted to see they had an additional parking charge of £6. I know we had a free family ticket, but had I have been paying, considering their high prices, I would have been outraged at having to pay parking as well!

David enjoyed the free monorail ride from the car park to the park entrance.

David's scared of heights and like me, isn't a fan of the big rides. So we took him to the little kids area.

The first thing we went on was the Charlie & The Chocolate Factory - the ride - a 40 minute wait in a queue for something that lasted a matter of minutes - it wasn't very impressive in my opinion, but David enjoyed it.

After that, David went on the Frog Hopper ride - his face was a sight to see! Although it wasn't fast or anything, his face indicated that he found it quite horrific, even though afterwards, he insisted that he enjoyed it!

He then went on the Galloper's Carousel, followed by the Peugeot Driving School. Both of which he seemed to enjoy a lot.

We then went to the Sharkbait Reef by Sea Life. It was actually quite a lot bigger than I expected in there. There were some gorgeous tropical fish, sharks, David got to put his hand in with the shrimp, but my favourite of all was the seahorses - they are so adorable!

One of the sharks.

Finding Nemo...

How cute is this seahorse?!
After that, we went on the Duel - The Haunted House Strikes Back ride - it was definitely an excellent haunted house, the ride was good, but for added interactivity, we were all able to play against each other with laser guns in a "House of the Dead" game style. Paul won, David came 2nd and I lost :'(

Then, David & Paul went on the Runaway Mine Train - I sat that one out as I didn't think like the look of it - it did mean I ended up standing around for about 50 minutes talking to myself waiting for them though!

After that, we all went on the Congo River Rapids ride which we all really enjoyed - minimal splashes from the water was good! It was a really good ride.

The final ride of the day we got to go on after a very long hours wait, was The Flume. I think David found this horrific. His face in the ride photo pretty much said it all. In all honesty, it had three drops and that was a little more than my stomach was happy with - saying that, neither of us threw up, so it couldn't have been all bad! David got quite wet, but I ended up soaking - I was so wet, you could have wrung my clothes out! I had to spend the next 4 hours like that until we were home and I was able to get into something warm and dry!

Paul likes the bigger rides, so I think he was disappointed that he missed out. Overall, the queues were ridiculous - we noticed at one point that the Thi3teen ride had a 75 minute wait!! All in all, we only got to go on/in 9 attractions in our 6 hour trip - 9 out of about 30 rides - that's not a good ratio if you ask me. If we'd have been paying, to pay on the day would have cost £95 for the 3 of us, plus a further £6 for parking - a total of £101 for 9 attractions - that's poor value for money in my opinion.

Nonetheless, David had a great time and that's all that matters in the end as it was for him for his birthday and he enjoyed it. It was a nice day spent as a family too.