Timeline and Dobble review

What can be better in a caravanning trip than to play some board games while outside is raining? Luckily, I’ve been sent these 3 fab games to review. When I received them I was eager to try them out, but I kept them especially for this trip, as we were leaving in a few days.

Timeline and Dobble review

I like the boxes, they are sturdy and good quality, so I think they could be a great gift. My husband opened the box and set up the game, in the meantime I made hot chocolate.

Timeline General Interest review
The first game we played was Timeline General Interest (RRP £12.99). The game is very easy to play, we had 4 cards each, I placed the first card from the stack with the date up. Taking turns, we had to place our cards to create a timeline. If a player places their card in the wrong place, he has to take a new card from the stack. The player who finishes the cards first is the winner.
It was hard to place the cards in a timeline, especially as the difference between the years can be as short as 1 year. There were also events happening on the same year. The game is fun and we played it a few times. Even if I used a card, I didn’t remember the year from that card next time we played because it’s all about comparing events. Examples of cards: the invention of the traffic light, the invention of the pocket book or the invention of the washing machine.

This game has 110 cards, there are quite a lot. This means the game can be played many times without it getting boring and remembering all the details. Even so, this game can be played along the last one in my review, Timeline Science and Discoveries and that one too has 110 cards.

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Caravanning for the first time

This week my husband and I took the dog caravanning for the first time. It was like a trial-holiday, to see if we have everything we need, as we have an old, used caravan. Well, it went very good, even better than expected. For example, I realized I need lots of other things to make the caravanning trip even smoother, like clips for opened snack bags. I could have taken a few from home, but I didn’t think I would need them.
As we bought an old caravan, we were expecting it to have some issues, but it’s pretty good. We discovered that the full awning has a couple of poles missing. It’s not a big thing, as we can order them from the manufacturer’s website. Now we know how to put up the awning and that is helpful too.

After this post, I will make a few more posts about what I cooked in the caravan, about the games we played and the things we visited. It was only a 4-day trip, but we managed to visit quite a few places and I’ll blog about them in the following month.

01 Caravanning for the first time
We went to Anglesey, found a lovely and quiet caravan site a few minutes off the motorway and we set up the caravan. The caravan site was in a lovely location and there were lots and lots of bunnies running around and having a snack near the caravans. Festus wanted to chase them, but he wasn’t as keen as he is on cats. We obviously took him out with the lead on, so it’s easier to distract him.

02 Caravanning for the first time
Festus loved the caravan, he felt at home as soon as he got in. I was expecting him to sniff everywhere and get a little excited, but he didn’t. He was relaxed from the beginning. We’ve discovered that the caravan feels spacious when we are relaxing, but doing the bed is quite a struggle. So hubby was so helpful and was taking the dog out for a play while I was making the bed…

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Good things

It’s been a short while from my last update, but I have a few things I wanted to share.

1. Waking up in the morning and hearing the birds singing. I get up early, as I usually do in spring-summer and I can hear the birds singing, it’s a lovely way to start the day.

P1010738
2. Barnowl. 4 years ago I saw someone handling birds of prey in Liverpool and for a couple of pounds, I was able to hold that owl while the handler told us about it. I did it a few times in different locations and again last Friday, when we were in the centre for LightNight. It’ a special feeling to hold the little bird and hear details about his life.

3. Verstappen won his first F1 race. The Spanish GP was amazing. After Hamilton managed to take him and Rosberg out in the first lap, the next 65 were a battle between Ferrari and Red Bull. It had plenty of excitement with the last 22 laps seeing Raikkonen chasing Verstappen at less than 1 second, with Vettel and Ricciardo behind them in a battle of their own. Ricciardo had a puncture in the last lap, but finished in 4th after a Tyre change.
Nobody was expecting the 18 year old driver to win. Verstappen was incredible, he was able to keep his position even though Raikkonen pushed every single lap. In recent years we saw more experienced drivers like Hamilton and Rosberg making mistakes under pressure, but Verstappen was amazing. I was thinking during the race that if he is passed by Raikkonen is still remarkable what he did. He will be a phenomenal driver. I think he learned a lot last year at Torro Rosso, not only about driving, but about politics too. The first thing he did when he got out of the car was to shake hands with Helmut Marko, head of Red Bull’s driver development program and the one who wanted him promoted to Red Bull.
It proved that the decision to move Verstappen to Red Bull and Kvyat at Torro Rosso was the right one. While I think Kvyat is a great driver, his performance wasn’t as good, overtaking under safety car is not the best way forward. Also, I don’t think he could have held Raikkonen, a world champion, for such a long time without a mistake. I was puzzled to read comments that said Kvyat was able to do the same… well, it was obvious he wasn’t able to do that, as he had plenty of time. Also, the guys from Red Bull said they analysed the data from the simulators and the races before deciding to do the switch. It wasn’t just because Kvyat managed to hit Vettel 3 times in 2 races while compromising his and his teammate’s car.
I have to admit the Mercedes guys helped to make an amazing race. It also showed what is lacking from F1 at the moment, a real battle at the front of the pack.

4. Reading an old journal. I started a journal 6 years ago to keep a record of my loosing weight progress, but I soon talked about other things. Now I’m reading it and I discover how much I’ve changed in the last few years. It’s a shame I didn’t know back then what I know now, but without those experiences, I wouldn’t have become as I am today.

5. I’m ready for a change. I mentioned in Sassoon Salon blogger event that I’m going to get a hair cut and a new colour for my hair. I can’t wait for the day of the appointment to arrive and to do it. It’s exciting and a little scary at the same time.

I have a couple of posts planned for the rest of the month. I will try a couple of new things next week and I can’t wait to talk about them on my blog.

I hope you have an amazing week.

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LightNight 2016

I’ve been to LightNight every year since I moved to UK. If you fancy having a look: LightNight 2012, LightNight 2013, LightNight 2014 and LightNight 2015. Every year is something different, but it’s always a great night out.

We’ve started the afternoon at Liverpool Medical Institution. Prepare for a lot of pictures, it was so exciting we’ve spent a lot of time there.

01 LightNight 2016
We were able to test our skills as a surgeon. It was amazing.

03 LightNight 2016
Hubby did better than me. He was able to put a small bead on that metal stick. My beads were falling off, it’s much harder than it seems.

Continue reading LightNight 2016

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Sassoon Salon blogger event

Yesterday I’ve been to a blogger event at Sassoon Salon. I had no intention to write about it because I have an appointment and I wanted to blog about it after I had the haircut and my hair colour changed. But I got up too early, my husband and the dog are sleeping and I’m down in the living room with a cup of coffee, snacks and a lot of excitement regarding the changes. So this it how I ended up writing this post. I’ll blog, obviously, about my experience at the Salon in a couple of weeks or so.

Sassoon Salon Liverpool
I arrived a little after 6 at Sassoon because I was having a browse at the ground floor at Metquarter. There are lots of wonderful shops there, so I’ve spent a little more time than I intended. I had a glass of Prosecco, a short chat and soon the presentation started.

Sassoon Salon event
It was very interesting to learn about Vidal Sassoon and his amazing contribution to the industry. After talking about cuts and styles, the next topic was colour and it was just as fascinating. The presentation ended with a talk about the new Wella professional products called System Professional. The products are available only after a consultation, where the hair, scalp and hair care regime is taken into consideration. I think having a personalized product combination is great, especially as it takes into consideration so many different aspects. For me it was surprising to see what I should use and the products are different from what I use at the moment.

Sassoon Salon consultation
There were nibbles and chats and I had complimentary consultations for cut, colour and hair care. Nathan and I talked about my hair and what changes I should make. I was delighted to hear his thoughts as he suggested something I was considering, but I was too scared to try before. Also he didn’t say I should cut off half of my hair and that was a relief. I have long hair since I was 2, so I’m not eager to make drastic changes. He said my hair looks healthy and we had a little chat about hair dryers. I usually air-dry my hair because I don’t want to do anything too harsh to it, but the 5-10 minutes blow dry that I sometimes have to do is fine too.

Next it was the colour consultation and the colour that was suggested wasn’t the one I was thinking of. Anyway, I will try it and see how it goes. I tend to think I would like it.

The last was the hair care consultation. It was lovely to learn that my hair regime is fine and the products I use at the moment are ok too, as they are salon-quality (I talked about them here). After the chat I was recommended 3 products to try, a shampoo, a mask and another product specific for split ends.

This is one of the best things when you are talking with a professional, the advice given can be so different than what your are thinking. Also, the products recommended in the end aren’t the type of products I would normally think to try. Now I can’t wait to try them.

By the end of the month I will have a new cut and colour and a post about them. It’s so exciting.

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Real Handful snacks review

I tried the Real Handful snacks at BlogOn and I was delighted with them. I love dried fruits and I found them delicious. To my delight, they got in touch and asked me if I want to try more flavours. Obviously, I was eager to try more.

Real-Handful-Snacks-Review

I arranged them so hubby and I can have a little taste test. I wasn’t sure he would like to try, as he is not found of sultanas or dried fruits in general. Well, the taste test was a success and he gave 2 marks of 10. I think this demonstrates how delicious these snacks are.

Banoffee trail mix. Is a blend of chewy banana slices, toffee flavoured sultanas, caramel flavour milk chocolate drops and lightly roasted whole hazelnuts. We both agreed these are 10/10.

Blood Orange and dark choc. It contains blood orange flavoured sultanas, orange flavoured cranberries, dark chocolate and peanuts. For me they were a 10, again. Hubby said 9.

Strawberries and cream. The snack is made of strawberry flavoured raisins, strawberries, cranberries, white chocolate and cashews. For the second time, we both said is a 10.

Go-Go-Goji berries. Blend of nuts, raisins and seeds with goji berries and dark chocolate. For me it was a 9 and for hubby a 7. I think the goji was the thing we weren’t mad about. I have to admit is not a flavour I would have picked up myself, as I struggle with goji berries I have at home.

Mixed berry crunch. A mix of blueberry flavour yoghurt raisins, strawberries, cranberries and whole almonds. I gave it a 10 and hubby a 7. He is not keen on forest fruits.

Blueberry blitz. Blueberries, blueberry flavoured cranberries, jumbo raisins and cashews. For me was a 10, it was what I tries at BlogOn. For hubby it was the lowest score: 6 and he mentioned it tastes too much as blueberry.

After sampling all the snacks I had, I can say I would buy them in the future. There are a few more flavours and I will buy them from Holland and Berrett if they stock them at my local shop. As for the marks, I gave only one 9 and the rest were a 10 for me with two favourites, the Banoffee trail mix and Strawberries and cream. I said I was surprised to hear my husband wants to join in the taste test as he doesn’t like most dried fruits and forest fruit flavours. Well, he liked half of them and he would eat them again. I was happy to hear this, as his choices of ready made snacks are quite limited because most of them have dried fruits.

I like that the snacks are good, but they also have a little bit of chocolate or cream. It makes the snack yummier with very little sugar. A packet has 40g and most of it is made out of dried fruits and nuts. I think it balances the need for a healthy snack with a little bit of fun. Most of the snacks have around 160-170 calories, so the right amount for a snack, enough to keep you active without a lot of calories.

real-handful-doughnuts
I used the dried fruits in a doughnut recipe, it’s posted on my food blog: Baked doughnuts with dried fruits.

What kind of snacks to your like?

*PR samples.

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Books I’ve enjoyed lately #2

The last two months I was busy with other things, but I must admit I wasn’t that keen on reading books despite the lack of time. I read only one SCI-FI book in March and two autobiographies in April-early May. They are part of my reading challenge. I didn’t read any other work related books. For this month I didn’t toke the books from the library yet, I’ll do that on Friday when I’m going to Lightnight. I hope the mood for reading will come back.
Regardless of all this, I really liked the 3 books I’ve read and I would recommend all of them.

Common sense rules What You Really Need to Know about Business by Deborah Meaden
Common sense rules: What You Really Need to Know about Business by Deborah Meaden

I like Deborah from the way she is at Dragon’s Den. I like her even more now, after reading her book. The book “does what it says on the tin”, it’s all about common sense rules. I loved it. The way Deborah presented her stories was as inspirational as the stories themselves.
She feels comfortable to write about personal things, but without oversharing. I liked her advises and her way of thinking. It was interesting to read about her story of selling Weststar. I also thought it’s quite interesting how she implemented rules to empower the employees so they can take better care of their customers.
In the book, she talks about popular myths about entrepreneurship and I liked that part too. Myths are well… myths. She also talks about the importance of the business plan, a part ignored by small businesses.
It’s a lovely book and if you ever want to open a business, reading it will give you a very good insight of what can happen.

The way I see it. Rants, revelations and rules for life by Alan Sugar
The way I see it. Rants, revelations and rules for life by Alan Sugar

I wanted to read another book by Alan Sugar “What You See Is What You Get: My Autobiography”, but I didn’t find it at the Central library, so I got this one instead. It’s funny and very well written. You might know, if you read my blog regularly, that I’m a fan of The Apprentice.
Some of the things Lord Sugar said were inspirational and it made me think at aspects I didn’t think before. He has a down-to-earth attitude that is refreshing even if I didn’t agree with everything he said.
I also liked his approach to loosing weight and the new “tiny fork diet” is fab. He admits his own mistakes and that is another great thing in his book. The chapter about buying a plane is quite surprising, it seems that spending millions of pounds on something doesn’t guarantee a smoother process or a better buying experience.

White Star
White star by Beth Vaughan

It’s a love story and I enjoyed it. The book is part of a trilogy: Red Gloves, White Star and Destiny’s Star. I didn’t read the other two, but the book can be read on its own. I liked the style of the author and the story was lovely too. White Star is around Lady High Priestess Evelyn and Orrin Blackhart and their story, but the focus is on a battle with the undead. It’s a light and easy to read book.

You can get them from the library, as I did or from amazon: Common Sense Rules , The Way I See It and White star.

Read more of my book recommendations: Books I’ve enjoyed lately.

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A diary of my travels, events, my thougths, blogging, craft projects and my home.