Saturday, 28 November 2015

THE GIFT OF GIVING . . . ONCE AGAIN!

Every year I'm baffled by some of the gift ideas I see online; below is this year's selection!


Unicorn Tears Gin Liqueur













Why would you want to drink a unicorn's tears? I'm not wanting to have any part in upsetting a unicorn! (And pay forty quid for that dubious privilege at that!)

Flatulence underwear













Now, I don't know about you but I would be delighted to received these. (In case it wasn't clear, that previous sentence is heavy on the sarcasm.) This underwear (also available for men, in case you were wondering) will allow you to "finally trump with confidence" and will apparently hide the smell. Would you be happy to receive such a present? All jokes aside though, I would recommend clicking on the link as some of the blurb on the website is particularly priceless - including a reminder that the underwear is not a nappy . . .

 A Practical Guide to Racism













My immediate reaction to receiving such a book as a gift would be "do people think I'm racist?".  It would eat away at me like a tapeworm. Enough said.

Nothing (for the person who has everything)












I can give someone nothing any time I want and I don't have to pay £6.99 or postage and packing.

Bacon Wallet













Maybe it's because I'm missing the "I couldn't be a vegetarian because bacon" gene. Or the fact that I like my accessories to actually look nice. But I can't get on board with this one at all. (I'm assuming the hand in the picture is not included.)

Here's hoping I don't receive any of these presents . . . but I better start preparing my "wow this is just what I wanted" face just in case!

Monday, 23 November 2015

BREAKING UP THE FACEBOOK WAY???

So you've broken up with someone . . . if you're a Facebook addict like myself, probably one of the first things you're going to think about, while you're curled up in a snivelling heap clutching a picture of you together, is how you handle the break-up via social media. And that's not even considering how to change your relationship status without the whole world noticing . . . it's how you're going to cope with seeing them moving on from the window of a computer or smartphone!

But it's okay . . . because Facebook is now testing out a new break-up feature in the States. And this is apparently going to help you get over your ex. Because, when you change your relationship status to single, it will offer you the opportunity to hide their status updates and photos from you, untag posts of them, and hide your status updates and photos from them!

I guess I can see some advantages to this. It means you don't need to read into each and every single cryptic status update your ex posts, wondering whether or not they are regretting the break-up. You don't need to analyse any picture of them that has any member of the opposite sex in it, wondering if this is them moving on. And if you are wanting to wallow in your own miserable status updates to gain shitloads of sympathy from your friends, you can do this without them seeing . . .

Is this not merely a temporary fix though? You can still unhide the posts if you want at any point, right? You could drive yourself crazy that way.

The fact of the matter is this: Facebook has already got a break-up feature available, and it's accessible no matter where you are in the world.

It's called "unfriend" . . . followed by "block".

Hard though this might be (and trust me, I know this!!!) . . . is it not ultimately the best way to move on?

Thursday, 19 November 2015

SCOTLAND THE BEAUTIFUL: THE FALLS OF BRUAR . . . AND A BONUS WATERFALL!

Check out that view!
For my 36th (!!!) birthday pressie, the fella got me a 2 night stay in Kinloch Rannoch. It's a small village in Perthshire, a village I've never been to before... and it was lovely waking up by a loch in a remote wild area. (Incidentally, I would really love to live next to a loch... if one appeared in Glasgow city centre!) I'd definitely recommend a trip there if you can do it at any point!

Anyway, we continued on our quest for waterfalls one of the days by visiting The Falls of Bruar near to Pitlochry.

The Falls of Bruar are waterfalls next to the posh shopping complex House of Bruar... they are basically the only free thing in the area, but probably the most beautiful. ;-) I can't help but feel that the House of Bruar is trying to dissuade people from experiencing the beauty of the falls because it seems awkward to actually get to the start of the walk, although it is signposted. It is worth the awkwardness though.


As you know, I'm not a fan of autumn, but the autumnal colours on that particular afternoon were incredible.









 

Lovely colours, gorgeous views, and beautiful falls... what more do you need! Find out more here.

Oh, and Kinloch Rannoch itself also has a waterfall right in the middle of the village, so we got an accidental bonus waterfall during our trip. Look!!!




 
More information on the Loch Rannoch walk can be found here . . .

Friday, 13 November 2015

GOING BACK IN TIME . . .

I absolutely love the Time Tunnel on Heart FM. As it's on at 9am and 2pm I don't tend to get to listen much during the week (unless we're running late for work) but on a Saturday I always try to make sure we've managed to get up and at 'em by 2pm so we're in the car for it playing as we head off on one of our "Scotland the Beautiful" road trips!

So, for those not in the know, Time Tunnel plays songs from a particular year for half an hour and you have to guess what year it is. I'm generally pretty good at it, as long as it's late eighties onwards. As I was only (ONLY!) born in 1979 the early to mid eighties are a bit blurrier for me.

But it's weird how the mind works. You hear a song and then it will tie back to one of your memories and that in turn reminds you of what year it was. With that one song you are taken back to your schooldays, uni days, a first kiss, the way you felt after a certain break-up . . . music is such a powerful thing, isn't it?

My favourite Time Tunnel trips are usually when a year from the 1990s is used . . . I still really love the music from that era and the nineties spanned the end of my primary school years, all of my high school years and the first few years of uni, so there are many memories from those years.

There was quite a surreal moment the other week on there though. They were playing a Time Tunnel that was clearly early eighties - I couldn't pinpoint the exact year but there was no doubt about it being early eighties. So this dude phoned in and guessed it was the year 2000.... because it reminded him of his school days?!? Me and the fella were thoroughly confused - he then proceeded to keep the DJ on the line to ask if the Forth Road Bridge was closed.

All very odd. But I digress.

What was your favourite year(s) for music?

Thursday, 12 November 2015

ON CHRISTMAS . . .

I know there are people out there who love Christmas. I'm actually one of them. I love the build-up, I love the anticipation, I love the Christmas films, the Christmas songs, the excuse to drink mulled wine at any given opportunity . . . I even love the overhyped overpriced Christmas nights out that tend to cost twice the price for a fraction of the choice and service!

But here's the thing . . . I do NOT like the fact that Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier ever year. That Christmas is in the shops while I'm still trying to buy suncream to go on my traditional "birthday holiday" in early October. That I'm actually sick of the constant jingling bells of Christmas songs before it even gets to December.

I'm not a scrooge by any means, I'm really not. But I just want Christmas to not be taking up a big chunk of my year each and every year. It's enough that it pretty much dominates December. It's too exhausting to take up any more than one calendar month.

And I'm still not accepting that it's no longer summer as it is - I seem to be missing the blogger gene of loving autumn - I really don't want to be talking about Christmas already. That's like proper winter and we didn't even get a decent SUMMER here this year. Enough.

Can we just start Christmas in December like the good old days? Please?

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

I CAPTURED THE (FREE) CASTLE!

Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries
So yesterday an email from Historic Scotland dropped into my inbox, announcing that the ticket ballot had opened for free admission for the St Andrew's weekend (the last weekend in November). Since I'm off this week and actually read the email at the time of receiving it, I decided that I was going to get right in there first and take advantage.

Last year the fella wanted to go to Linlithgow Palace but we hadn't known about it until the last minute so it was too late to get tickets for it. This time I was able to get those elusive tickets, as well as ones for nearby Blackness Castle.

If you are a fan of castles but are sometimes put off by having to pay to get into them, this is a good opportunity to try them before you buy, so why not go onto the website and see what's available? You need to choose what day of that weekend you want to go, then provide your details... and if the day and relevant castle is available, the ticket will be sent to your email inbox. You then just print out and take it along on the day, where it's scanned at the cash desk to allow you your free entry. Simples!

Last year we visited the dramatic Doune Castle near Stirling, the prettily named Sweetheart Abbey down in Dumfrieshire, and - my personal favourite - the charming little ruin of Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries . . . which I blogged about here previously. I'd recommend those, and I notice you can also get access to many other castles in further flung areas like Urquhart Castle up at Loch Ness... or even up on Orkney! (Transport obviously not included)

If you go to this website you can have a look at what's available and pop them in your shopping basket! I recommend doing this in one go if you're wanting to go to more than one castle as the website is quite slow and it's a bit of a long-winded laborious process to apply for the tickets!

One final thing . . . I know you're getting free access and all, but it might be nice to spend a bit of money on the site, just to give something back, or make a donation if that option is available. Just to keep the site. There's usually a gift shop, after all! And who doesn't like shopping?

By the way, once again this is not actually a sponsored post - I just think it's a really nice opportunity to plan a wee weekend around some attractions that you might not get to otherwise, and the only expense will be whatever transportation you use. You have until the 27th November to apply for tickets but I'd recommend you get in there quickly!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

IT'S "CIAO" FOR NOW . . .

Don't worry, I'm not leaving the blogosphere or anything . . . I wanted to tell you all about Ciao, in case you don't already know about it.



I'm always on the search for ways to make additional money, and the Ciao website has served me well for years. By writing reviews of DVDs, books, restaurants and a whole host of other products and services, you can make small amounts of money depending on how helpful your review is rated.

The monetary awards are small, granted, but it can build up depending on how many reviews you write. And if you are someone who has a blog and reviews products already on it, or leave reviews on Trip Advisor, then you already have experience of reviewing, so this could be the perfect way to make some extra money.

You also get monthly incentives where you might get additional money for reviewing a specific category of product - at the moment for example you can get an additional 20p just for reviewing a cleaning product, or 40p for reviewing a face product. And there's also a monthly bonus which may pay out some extra money depending on how active you've been on the site - you can get up to fifteen pounds a month there potentially, so that's pretty good!

You can also request for new products to be added if you want to review them and they're missing from the website - if you are the first person to review a product you double your money on that review for the first month, so it's worth identifying any products that aren't already on there

I've been on ciao for around ten years now (I started writing reviews on there when I was a bored and skint temp back in the mid 2000s) and tend to go through phases of being very active on it, and phases where I barely do any reviews. Over the years I've probably made several hundred pounds from it though. At the moment I have 115 pounds sitting in my ciao account - this has built up since the start of last year, and I am just waiting for my current phase of reviewing to end before I request to have it transferred into my own bank account.

You can also make extra money by getting other people to join the website and post reviews - hence this post! :-) (I'm shameless.)

You can join Ciao and start making money for reviews yourself by clicking the link below:



And if you have any questions on it, feel free to give me a shout. I might not be able to answer them... but I'll try!

Monday, 9 November 2015

ANNIVERSARY TIME . . . LOADS OF CHEESE AND WINE!

Yum.... cheese and wine!!!

A couple of weeks ago, the fella and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary. As you probably know, this is the longest relationship I have ever been in (as well as by far the happiest) so of course this was a big celebration for me. Involving a hotel stay (of course) and a present.

So the hotel stay was sorted - we booked a night at the Village Hotel in Aberdeen. Actually really nice - reasonably priced for a stay, although it was pretty much in the middle of nowhere so we ended up spending quite a lot on food and drink in the bar there. But a lovely stay nonetheless. (Not a sponsored post, btw!)

Was I very thirsty or very sleepy? Not sure...

Dinner in the hotel





But what about the present? Well, I had spotted a voucher deal on the 5pm.co.uk booking website for a cheeseboard and wine flight at Vroni's in Glasgow. This deal had also been available last summer and we'd loved it, so I snapped this up as a gift, printed out the voucher and stuck it in the card.


So he opened his card and was delighted with the voucher, but laughing... why? All became clear when I opened my card to find the below . . .

 
We'd only gone and bought each other the exact same gift!
 
So not only do we both love cheese and wine, but we are clearly meant to be. :-)
 
So now our next issue is trying to work out how to fit in using both of these deals before the end of November. We've managed to fit one in so far . . . just one more to go!