New iPhone SE

After looking for a new phone for a few months, I finally decided to get an iPhone SE. This is my first iPhone, so it will take a while to get used to it.

iPhone SE

I chose iPhone SE, see more details on apple, because is a new-ish model. The phone was released in March last year. Considering is not the latest, it was much cheaper. I’m not keen on having the latest model, so it was an easy option for me.

Why an iPhone? Because I never had one and I wanted to see the difference between a Samsung and an Apple. It might sound strange as a reason to buy a particular phone, but well, that is it. I’ve read one of Steve Jobs’s biographies, I worked on Mac (I still prefer Window laptops).

The iPhone SE has great specs. The camera takes good pictures indoors and I’m very pleased with that. Another feature I love is the Touch ID, basically I use my fingerprint to unlock the phone and I can also use it for payments. I’m yet to discover the second part, but it’s something I might use. I love the techiness of it, very James Bond-ish. It’s not new, Apple had this feature from iPhone 5s, but it’s new for me.

I use the phone as a hotspot and it works great. Even if the phone is downstairs, the internet works great upstairs too. I’m very pleased with this. Today I’m going to use Maps. By the looks of it, it will work fast. After having issues with the Samsung, I hope the iPhone will work better. There are a few things worse than hearing “GPS signal lost” when you are about to leave the motorway and head up some minor roads.

iPhone SE comes in 4 colours and I picked rose gold. I like the colour a lot, is a small phone and it gives it a girly feel. I need a case for it and hopefully I will get this weekend. It’s a matter of having the time to go to the shops to get it.

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Primark Slippers

Talking about Primark Slippers on a fashion post might be a bit crazy. I’m delighted with the new purchases and I want to share them. Maybe some of my readers want to buy some funny looking slippers and I might inspire them. Another reason for adding the “Style” tag is that it doesn’t fit in any other category.

Primark is know for the fast fashion, a trend I’m not particularly keen on. When it comes to clothes, I don’t see the point in buying something that looks nice but it will not last. This is one of the reasons Primark is not one of my to-go places. I haven’t been to the shop for a long time, like an year or maybe even more.

Recently, a colleague from the stately home I’m volunteering with, told me about a black shirt at Primark for £5.50. I had to get one as is perfect for my Edwardian maid outfit. It’s great, she told me about the shirt, as I got one. The shirt will be very helpful for the busy Christmas period at the Hall. We have children booked in for different activities. I’m very excited about this, it should be fun.

Primark Slippers

Before going, I looked on their website and saw some cute Primark slippers too. I was ready to buy a pair, but I had no idea I will have to stop myself from buying a few more slippers. I bought two and I stopped because I don’t actually need more than a couple of slippers.

Primark Slippers

The Harry Potter Owls Slipper Boots at £5. They are machine washable at 40C and that is very handy.
I watched recently all the Harry Potter movies and I love owls, so deciding on this pair of slipper boots was a no-brainer. I haven’t started to wear them.

Primark Slippers

The Cosy Footlets Bunnies at £3.50. They too are machine washable at 40C. Aren’t they just extremely cute? I had to have them. The slippers are comfy, with rubber gripper-dot soles. As a plus, the very cute tail, is placed on a side. This makes the slippers comfortable even when I’m touching the sofa with the back of them.

The ears are moving when I walk. They definitely made me smile more these days.

Do you like funny footwear? Tell me what kind of novelty Primark slippers you might buy. 🙂

The Alyn

This month we’ve picked a welsh pub for lunch. We went out with work stuff and we’ve stopped by The Alyn, in Rossett, North Wales. We were hungry, so we’ve decided to have lunch too and not only a couple of coffees. The Alyn Riverside Country Pub is close to river Alyn, hence the name. It was a sunny day, but warm enough to stay outside. I imagine is great in the summer to have a pint of beer or a coffee outside and looking at the river.

The decor is lovely. There are so many nice pictures on the walls, a few old beams. During the Victorian era, the building was a hotel. In the 1870s the hotel was licensed to Edward Babb, a local councillor. He was a member of the Wrexham Board of Guardians, the board ran the local workhouse.
In 1894 Edward Babb was one of four charged with serving alcohol to two policemen who were on duty. At least technically, because policemen at that time were never off duty. The magistrates thought the law was too harsh, and decided to fine the landlords only a token one shilling each.

 The Alyn

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The Little Book of LYKKE

In August I finished a book by Meik Wiking called The Little Book of Hygge, review in “Curently reading”. I think most people know this book. It’s a must read for all bloggers. You might not know though that he published a new book last month entitled The Little Book of LYKKE. The Danish search for the world’s happiest people.*

The little book of Hygge was a bestseller. It outsold all other hygge titles combined last year. It is published in 31 countries. I imagine, after reading it, that The Little Book of LYKKE will have a similar success. It was a pleasure to read and I will read it again in a few months time.

This new book is about Lykke (Luu-kah) (n): Happiness. He starts by talking about how you measure happiness and how happiness is personal. As what makes me happy is not what would make others happy. After that, the next chapters are about the components of what makes one happy: Togetherness, Money, Health, Freedom, Trust, and Kindness.I will avoid talking too much about any of them, because the whole point of this post is to make you want to open the book and read it yourself. I will mention though a few things from the book.

One of them is about money. He said that, after you have the minimum amount of money needed (for rent/mortgage, food), the extra money will not make anybody happier.
He mentions Michelle McGagh, a British woman that lived an year buying the bare minimum and how she discovered what really made her happy and it wasn’t weekly dinners at the restaurant or pub. It resonated with me. I had a point in my life when I was going to restaurant because I was too busy to cook at home and I wasn’t happy. Now I love cooking with my husband, each of us doing something, is so much better for us than going to a restaurant for dinner.

In another chapter he talks about freedom. This is another point that resonated with me. I need to feel free, it has a real impact in my happiness. I enjoyed that chapter a lot. He talks about the parental happiness gap (child-free couples are happier in UK, a definitely interesting read) and the happiness of entrepreneurs, despite the issues related to being your own boss and not employed somewhere.

I would definitely recommend the book. Meik presents stats (that is something I love in a book, real scientific data), but in a way that is enjoyable for everybody, including the ones not that keen on stats and percentages. The Little Book of LYKKE is filled with lovely looking pictures, something I enjoyed a lot in the hygge books. The pictures are creating a relaxing mood while I’m reading.

If you fancy the book, it is available on Amazon, Foyles, Hive, Waterstones, and WH Smith. I think this book can make a wonderful gift for Christmas and it has just the right price for a Secret Santa.

*I received the book for the purpose of this review.

The Donkey Sanctuary

A few days ago, my husband and I went to the Donkey Sanctuary in Manchester. I shared a few pictures on Instagram. The Donkey Sanctuary is a charity, more details, that houses rescued donkeys. They have a few sanctuaries around UK, like Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and a few others. There are a few sanctuaries outside UK too, in Spain, Ireland, and Italy.

The Donkey Sanctuary

The entry is free, but they do accept donations. They also accept treats for the donkeys, but the staff and volunteers are the ones giving the treats. It’s just a matter of health and safety, so the donkeys don’t bite the visitors in their eagerness to get the carrot.

The Donkey Sanctuary

Besides having these amazing animals and taking good care of them, the sanctuary does other things too. One of those things is donkey assisted therapy for children. I think is wonderful and I’m sure the children are benefiting a lot from this. There are some stories on their website, so you can have a look if you are interested.

The staff at the sanctuary is great, friendly and so helpful. We had a lovely time and I would want to visit the centre again.

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A little Auto love n care

I was invited to take part in the campaign A little Auto love n care by Fife Autocentre. I blogged about my car before, my day-trip essentials, the importance of having the right tyres. This time I’m going to talk about car love. The car we currently own is our 3rd car. We got our first one 10 years ago.

I am smitten with having a car, I rarely use public transport. I went a couple of times with the train in London and once with the coach and it was tiring and actually more expensive than driving. Around Liverpool and Manchester we always use the car and this means we need the car to be reliable. The last thing we want is to get stuck on the side of the road with a broken car. While this might happen no matter how good we are taking care of the car, it’s still pretty important to show it a bit of Auto love.

A little Auto love n care

I thought about it and these are my 5 tips for car maintenance:

1. Tyres. It’s so important to have the right tyres. Check them regularly, check the tyre pressure and the tyre tread. If you need new ones, there are plenty of options available. You can order tyres in Dundee online on Fife Autocentre website. My husband and I always pick good quality tyres, at the moment we have Pirelli, even though they are more expensive, they last longer, consume less fuel, are better on wet and are quiter.

2. Whippers. Make sure the whippers are doing their job of cleaning the windscreen. Used whippers aren’t as efficient as the change in temperature, in time, affects the rubber. Have a look and change them if is needed. You don’t even need to go to the service for this, it’s an easy job to do. Also, check you have enough washer fluid, so you don’t run out when is muddy and you really need it.

3. Change the oil and filters. I think it’s better to change them before the recommended time passes. For our car, is recommended every 5,000 miles. Some suggest is better to change them at 3,000 miles. Because we tow the caravan, we should change it closer to the 3,000 miles mark. It doesn’t take long to do it. It’s true that is a hassle and it’s an expense, but is surely better than having problems with the engine afterwards. From time to time, check the oil level and top up with oil if is needed.

4. Don’t let it run dry on fuel. This is another thing that can cause issues in the long term. Fuel can have impurities and if the car runs on low fuel, those impurities can get into the engine. So, make sure you have plenty of fuel. I know we don’t always make sure we have enough fuel and it happened to run out of fuel exactly when we’ve entered the petrol station, but make it a goal to refuel even if you still have £15 worth of fuel in the car.

5. Check the lights. It is obvious that you need good lights, is mainly a matter of safety. As with the tyres, I would suggest buying a good quality brand as they will last longer. You might not realize you have a problem, especially if you are mostly driving in a well lit city. Before leaving for a longer drive, especially if it means leaving the city and going on country roads, check the lights. It takes only a minute to do it. Also, is not difficult to change the lights, so make sure they are working.

I hope you found my tips for A little Auto love n care campaign helpful.

* Post in collaboration. All opinions are my own.