Category Archives: General

Graze Box!

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I have had these wonderful boxes before, last year!  I decided to give them a go when I was doing Cambridge Diet and as I fell off the wagon so spectacularly I never really got on with them.

Roll forward 12 months and I am back again to try them once more!  This time though, I am calorie counting and as these boxes come with all the nutritional information you will need and they are portioned controlled I thought I would give them another go!

So this morning, this arrived on my doorstep!

  Is that my Graze box I see?

 Doesn’t it look good?

My box today is the nibble box and contained :-

Apple and Cinnamon flapjacks

Green olives with fresh basil & garlic

The herb garden

Sticky chocolate pudding!

Here are the flapjacks and I can confirm they are absolutely scrummy!

As these had the highest calories in my box this week, I decided to eat them first as I had done the exercise today to counteract them! LOL!  Don’t you love my thinking!

This is the information booklet that comes with the order.

I love the quality of the paper it is printed on and also the fact that it is actually addressed to me personally!  I love personal touches!

All the nutritional information about the box is contained inside!

Pretty!

Originally when I signed up I went for just one a week being delivered on Monday’s, but I decided today, that I should have one delivered on Thursday as well!  That was I have a punnet a day and an extra one for the weekends!  So I am going to give that a go for a while, if I find I am not eating all of it, I will reduce it back down to 1 box a week.

At the moment I get the nibble box on a Monday and the eat well box on a Thursday!

This is such a great idea and is suitable for everyone whether you work from home, in an office, travel alot, have kids, it is just so neat to have snack punnets already packaged etc to hand, rather than having to go to the corner shop and buy something or rummage through the kitchen!

If you wish to give a go, why not use this code : – V9F5RPB  and you get your first box for free and the second one at half price!

Or use this link :- http://www.graze.com/p/V9F5RPB

If you do use the code please let me know how you get with them!

HTC Wildfire S

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I have now swopped from Filofax posts to Mobile Phone posts, aren’t I just a bag full of surprises!

I have been running a Blackberry for well over 3yrs now and to say I have gotten a little bored of it is an understatement.  Whilst I still think Blackberry email is the best out there, the lack of apps and useless internet viewing capabilities was really getting to me. Especially as I also run an iTouch and found all my apps were on there and so tended to use that for everything except make phone calls for obvious reasons!  (No phone other than Face Time in case you were wondering!)  But I don’t like walking round with too many gadgets on me.

As I am still in contract, yes darling Vodafone must sign you up for 24mths these days in order to get the most out of you, I couldn’t upgrade my phone for another 9mths.  After doing some investigation I realised that I have a really good package for the money I pay and to get that package now would cost me £18 more a month.  As I am on a  frugal challenge I wanted to find a way to cut my current phone costs.  My costs are not cut in the short term but in the long term they are!

My options were :-

1. buy myself out of my current contract at a cost of £200 and then buy a new handset and if I go Android or Iphone take off the monthly BB charge of £5 per month,

2. if I waited till the end of my contract in Jan I could upgrade, with a reduced cost of a handset but then I would be tied in for another 24mths!

3. buy a new handset outright, remove the BB package off my current tariff and ride out my contract, then at the end remain on contract but not actually signed in for any duration, if you see what I mean?

4. ride out my contract then go PAYG!

I thought long and hard about this and finally settled on buying a new phone, the HTC Wildfire S in Purple (of course!) for £180, then taking off the BB part of my package and riding out my contract for the next 9months.  At the end of 9 months I shall reassess my situation and see if it actually isn’t better for me to go PAYG.

I know you are thinking I am nuts, but I love APPS and I love my phone and it suits me so well to have it all in one device.  Iphone cost is out the window, the contract deals are nuts and to buy outright are crazy!

So I know run an HTC Wildfire S and I love!  Honestly I never thought I would, but I do!  Ok, so I do run out of internal memory sometimes, because I run so many apps, but that is easily sorted!  The speaker phone usage is crystal clear, the phone quality is miles and miles better than my BB.  The email side is not as good, but hey, I still get my emails, in a format I can read and I can still deal with work things outside of my office, so I am happy!

The apps available are great, and I have taken the approach, to try and use all the standard apps that came with the phone, ie calendar, I am using HTC calendar rather than downloading another one! SMS messages I am running the standard Message program rather than Handcent SMS, still works just as well!

I am overall really happy with this phone.  I have found some great apps, however I am missing one, that I just can’t find and that is a good Money Tracking app, so if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments section!

Best of all………………….my phone is PURPLE!

  

I did get a great little cover off Ebay for it, of course also in Purple, but it just protects the phone so well!

So if you are considering an Android phone and don’t want to spend the big bucks, this is a great entry level phone and I highly recommend it!

New Me!

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Today was a pretty big day for me!  I decided enough was enough with my current hairstyle and it had to go!

I have had long hair, on and off since arriving in the UK in ’98, mainly it has been long, but recently I have noticed that I actually don’t do anything with it.  I tie it up every day, because I hate the frizz, the curls are awful and it is too hot round my neck!

Drastic measures call for drastic action and today was certainly drastic action!

Here I am at about 830am before venturing out the house!

 This is pretty much how my hair has been for the last 4 years at least!  Every day, how boring!

Or it has been like this!  Generally the front is always clip away from my face at least!

Enough is enough I thought and as July is the month of all change for me, what better way to start this adventure (which you can read about here by the way! http://sharonsnotshopping.blogspot.com/ ) than with a new looking me!

So here is the last shot of my current length hair!

When I see it like that I think it looks so nice! Oh but in reality!!!!

45 mins later it looked like this :-

  WOW!

 The finished cut!

I love it!  I feel lighter, happier, look younger (I think anyway) and am just all round thrilled with it!

I have to admit, when I sat in the chair in the salon and said right cut, I did almost have a tear in my eye because it is just such a big change and step to take!  But I am so thrilled I did it!

Luke, wasn’t sure though.  He came to the hairdresser when I was almost finished, because him and Simon were having haircuts and he literally walked in, looked at me, asked where Mommy was, looked at me again, then I spoke and he said ‘Oh Mommy, where is your hair!  It looks so pretty!’  Gosh I love my son!

So this is now me!  I certainly have had a day of pampering!  Facial and back massage this morning, followed by transformation this afternoon!  Things can only get better!

Ok enough about my hair now! LOL!

iTouch Apps

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I bought my iTouch back in Sept ’10 and it really has been one of the best purchases I have ever made!  I LOVE IT!

So when a friend of mine did a blog post about the Apps he has on his, I thought would a good idea and borrowed it!  If you want to read his blog, you can find it here :

http://steve-morton.com/2011/02/26/ipod-touch-apps-ones-im-using-part-1/

Here are the apps I use (very photo heavy!) :-

This what my current home screen looks like.  The plastic cover is another great purchase.  I got it from a merchant in Peterborough.  The one thing I really did not like about the iTouch was how fragile it felt, and slippery.  So I wanted a silicone cover and this is great, it really feels alot more secure to hold now!  Anyway I am not here to talk about the silicone cover!

I tired various layouts to begin with and I found that having a number of pages with different apps on just didn’t work for me.  So I decided to keep it to one page and use folders, and I have to say this layout is REALLY working well for me!   So my home page consists of the following folders :-

Books

Christmas

Clocks

Crafts

Entertainment

Finance

Games

Health

Music

Productivity

Recipes

Schedules & Lists

Shopping

Social

Travel

Utilities

Then the main apps that I use on a daily basis, App Store, Mail, Google and Safari browers.

I am now going to break down each folder and give a brief description of each app!  Very photo heavy again!  Sorry!

BOOKS :

Kindle – I use this every day, until I buy my Kindle.  I downloaded it to see if I actually would use a Kindle, and I have to say I love reading books this way!  So yes, I will use a Kindle!

GoodReads – the app accompanies the website http://www.goodreads.com/ and for anyone that reads, you HAVE to go and sign up!  It is awesome and I love it!

Potty Training – yes I got this app for potty training my son.  Can’t say I have read it, but I will one of these days!

MAENewYear – not sure why I downloaded this app, as I haven’t even looked at it! LOL!

Stanza – again, must of see this app somewhere, and downloaded it, but don’t actually use it!

CHRISTMAS :

Christmas – this app was ok, it lists all the items you need to or have bought and keeps  a record of your budget etc!  Both apps do this!

Sleeps Lite – counts down the days to Christmas!

CLOCKS :

For some reason I have quite a few clock apps and not sure why!

Stopwatch – I downloaded this app, so that I could use it to try and limit my internet time etc, by using the timer! Can’t say it works for me, but it is good!

Alarm Clock – I needed an alarm app and I got this one, it is really good, but I have to say the screen is so bright at night that I tend to switch off my Ipod overnight and use my trusted bedside clock.  However this will be great when we are away!

Nightstand – is pretty cool it keeps the time available to view through out the night, but again I don’t really use it, but would be great for those that need to know what time they wake during the night!  Not something I tend to suffer too much with!

Cuckoo – I LOVE THIS APP! I bought this app, because I tend to get so absorbed in the things I am doing that I forget what time it is.  This app shouts out the hour every hour for the duration you set.  So mine starts talking from 8am and mentions every hour till 6pm.  It is great!

CRAFTS :

I have to say that whilst I have craft apps I don’t actually use any!

Ewe Stash – you are meant to be able to list all your stash on this app, which is great, however as I use Ravelry for all my knitting and crochet stash, I don’t tend to use this, but maybe one day I will list it all on here as well!

FabricStash – like the app above but for Fabric!

Stitchulator – this app is used to calculate how much fabric you need for cross stitch designs!

ENTERTAINMENT :

You Tube – standard app came already loaded on the iTouch.  I do tend to use this quite a bit, as I am sure most people do, viewing You Tube!

Videos – this app has been an absolute life saver for me!  I downloaded some episodes of Luke’s favourite shows, and now when he gets bored and we are out I can just put on Mickey Mouse, or Postman Pat, and he is quiet!  I love it!

Photos – says it all really!

Camera – again does what it says, is the Camera!

Camera+ – this app was suggested to me, and as yet I have still not got my head round it, but I need to play a little more and get a better understanding of it.  Most reviews of it, have been very good!

FINANCE :

Natwest – such a great free app if you run a Natwest account.  Gives you all your statements on hand!

Accounts – is my spending and income tracker and I love it, it really is a great app to use and really easy as well which I love!

Budget – this app is great, if you budget each month and want to track how close or on track you are to your budget.  I really do enjoy this app, as it really highlights where I tend to over or underspend!

GAMES :

Self explanatory really!  Everyone needs games!

HEALTH :

My health apps are a bit hit and miss and I am trying to find the perfect companion for the various health journeys I am going on.  It is proving to be rather hard, as I just can’t find what I want 100%!  So the testing continues!

Shape Up, Pure Life Style and Track ‘n Tap – are all calories counters and whilst they are each really good, I find the lack of UK products a really frustrating element and also the fact that some I can’t change the portion sizes to exacts of what I eat.  So I don’t really tend to use them right now!

Fitness – this a Bupa app, that has various fitness regimes on it that you could follow if need be.  I haven’t used it, but it is a good reference when needed.

Nike + GPS – this is a great app if you have the Nike+ trainers as it registers the distance and time that you ran or walked for and if you register on the Nike website you can also set yourself goals etc.  Well worth it!

Get Running – this is the best C25K app I have come across.  It is pleasant to look at when working and is great because it tells you when to walk, and when to run, and when the warm ups and cool downs are taking place!

MyFitnessPal – this app accompanies the website, but I am still to get it the routine of filling it all in!

Target Weight – great app for tracking your weight and where you need to be!  Yes that 59 does mean I have 59lbs to loose!

P Tracker Lite – is an app for us ladies out there!  Can’t say it is great, but a fun, different app to have!

MUSIC :

Standard Apple Apps that come with the iTouch.

PRODUCTIVITY :

Salary Calc – is a great little app if you are wanting to check the NI and Tax that you should be paying, along with if you ever get that increase and want to know how much better off you are going to be!

Currency – great for checking current currency rates!

MyCarCheck – lets you check the history status of your car, although you do need to buy the full app if you want ALL the details!

PDFReaderLite – great free app for being able to read various PDF files

WordPress – if you want to blog on the go, a good app to have! Can’t say I use it much as I struggle to blog regularly, let alone on the go!

Stocks, Maps and Weather – standard Apple apps that came with the iTouch, don’t really use any of them!

Tumblr – can’t remember why I downloaded this app, or even what it does! Sorry!

RECIPES :

Various recipe apps that I downloaded because they sounded interesting, but to be honest I haven’t used one of them yet!  But good to have and maybe one day I will!

SCHEDULES & LISTS :-

I honestly thought I would use more of these apps, but honestly I don’t as I tend to use my Filofax for all my planning, lists and schedules, but these are nice to have!

ListPro – is a really detailed list app, that seems really good, but I am yet to get my head round as I tend to pen and paper lists!

Ancestry – a great app if you are wanting to track or do your family history.

ContactsXL – I do like this app, I just wish I didn’t have over 600 contacts to go through to sort out!  Maybe one day I will get them done, as I don’t have 600 contacts in my Filofax that is for sure!

Week Cal – this is a great app for being able to see your weekly diary, and the recent update has made this app even better!

HomeRoutines – for anyone that follows Fly Lady this is a great app for that.

aNote Lite – great little notes app, but not used it to its full potential yet!

Alarmed – is  a good app if you have alarms you need to remember throughout the day, ie, take medication or drink water, stretch etc, etc!

SHOPPING :

Every girl needs some shopping apps!

I would be lost without my Ebay and Next apps!

The Tesco grocery app is quite good as you can scan in the products you may have in the cupboard that you need to stock up on rather than typing it all in, however I found the scanner hard to use and I wouldn’t pay for groceries via the app, as not sure how secure it is!

Amazon UK and Rightmove are just apps I have and would not say I use them often, if at all!

SOCIAL :

My favourite folder!  I love my Social folder, and you may recognise alot of the apps in here!  Since taking this photo I have swapped Twitter for Echofon and definitely prefer it!

I have yet to really use PingChat, FaceTime or Get Glue but maybe one of these days!

I ALWAYS tend to be using Facebook, Echofon and Skype!

TRAVEL :

Rather a variety of Travel Apps, and some are really good, like the London tube one and the London A-Z.  I haven’t used the others, but are nice to haves!

Road Trip LE – seems a great app for monitoring your fuel consumption and spend, I am enjoying this app, quite  abit!

UTILITIES :

This houses most apps that I am not sure where to file them!

Most of them are standard Apple apps, Clock, Calculator, Voice Memos, Notes, Contacts, Calendar, Settings.

Sky+ – is an app I can use to program some progrmas when away from home.

Free Wi-Fi – is meant to tell me where free wi-fi is when out, but from what I can gather you need to set up the various areas, BEFORE you leave home!

BTFON – doesn’t work for me, so I say is rubbish!

Convert Units – great if ever needing to convert various measurements!

Battery – I LOVE THIS APP.  Great little app for monitoring your battery life of the iTouch.  Am seriously considering upgrading to the full paid app!

So that is it!  All my apps, listed, photographed and shown!  Sorry it was rather photo heavy, but hopefully you have enjoyed this post!

2011 Ebook Challenge

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I came across this by mistake when I was searching the web for details about the Kindle.

Basically you set yourself a goal of how many books you want to read in 2011 and depending on the number you fall into a category!

I am sure if you Google ebook challenge, something will come up!

Anyway I decided to set myself the challenge of reading 6 books in 2011.

It isn’t alot I know, but when I haven’t read an entire book for years, it is quite a challenge.

But hopefully a challenge I will succeed at as I love challenges!

I am already onto my 2nd book in 2011 but don’t get too excited, the 1st one I am not really counting!

I started Room by Emma Donoghue, and I really struggled with it.  Here is a link to an article about it :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/aug/01/room-emma-donoghue-review-fritzl

It is written through the eyes of a 5yr old and the English, Grammar, general jist of it, I really did not like.  So after 62 pages, I gave up and start :-

The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl!

http://www.dietgirl.org/dietgirl/dietgirl-the-book.html

For anyone that hasn’t read this book and is struggling to loose weight, go and read it!  This is my 2nd time and I am enjoying it even more than the 1st!  The way Shauna has written it, it is so easy to read, doesn’t tax the brain too much and is the perfect book to read just before bed.  Please note I am in NO WAY saying you will get bored and fall asleep quickly!  I just mean it is fun, easy, light hearted and a pleasure to read!

Talking about reading, I joint a website last month called GoodReads.  Ever seen it?  Well if you enjoy reading and want to find like minded people, head on over there and sign up!  It is awesome!  The app for the Itouch is pretty darn cool, and I spent one evening just scanning in all my books that I have to read, as well as those I have already read!  I LOVE IT! It is like Facebook for book lovers!

http://www.goodreads.com

Do find me if you decide to join and friend me!

I am certainly trying my hardest to get back into reading each day, and so far so good!  I read a few pages, albeit on my iTouch each night.

Which brings me onto my next WANT!

I WANT A KINDLE!

I have ummed and argh’d about them for ages, but have finally decided, after using the Kindle app on my iTouch and really only reading books that way, that I need to get one!

So I am going for the 3G version with the Amazon lighted case.  I know the case is £50 BUT the light is built in, the Kindle is securely fitted in the case and whilst the light is drawn from the Kindle battery all the reviews I have read have said it doesn’t really affect the battery life.

My next big purchase will be a Kindle, and it will be bought by birthday in May, in time to use on our holiday!