Monday, 30 April 2012

Words of Wisdom - 30/4

So what do I think about my last week? It wasn't pretty let me tell you that. Felt a bit under the weather...and it was pretty ugly outside too.... I felt and feel like my heart is melting under pressure and fear. Change is about to happen in my life and I'm scared. I'm scared of what it will happen next. I'm quite a pessimistic person in general so you can imagine that when change happens to a person like me is quite hard to see the light of tomorrow. My life is not perfect but is what I got used to...

And yes the words of wisdom for today are about change:

“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.”
Anonymous

"Unless you are prepared to give up something valuable you will never be able to truly change at all, because you'll be forever in the control of things you can't give up."
Andy Law

"Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."
John F. Kennedy

We must learn to view change as a natural phenomenon - to anticipate it and to plan for it. The future is ours to channel in the direction we want to go... we must continually ask ourselves, "What will happen if...?" or better still, "How can we make it happen?"
Lisa Taylor

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Satcap 28/4

Happy Saturday everybody! It's raining in London so it's pretty depressing but we are trying to have fun and play at home too:
If you have a caption for my picture please feel free to comment. For more press on the badge below to be redirected to Mammasaurus blog:

Friday, 27 April 2012

Tired Mummy of Two takes over!


Hello there, I bet you didn’t expect to see me here did you?
I am on a bit of a mission to hijack blogs everywhere to get you all talking about my wonderful and exhausting prize draw. Some of you might recognise my name as I ran a hugely successful tombola just before Christmas where I put 196 presents under peoples trees. As this was so successful I started to think of other things that I can do.
In January my sister in law gave birth to my nephew, he was 10 weeks early and very small weighing 1lb 4oz. Obviously this meant he was kept in NICU and then the SCU. When visiting him I came across Bliss and all the lovely work they are doing in these units to support the parents of these gorgeous babies. From providing leaflets and information to training specialist nurses Bliss are there for them and for my sister in law.
I decided that I needed to do something for Bliss and bought some running shoes, I couldn’t even run after a bus when I started but now on 20th May I will be running 10k. Obviously I am trying to get people to sponsor me to do this but as a little thank you I have arranged a prize draw for everyone who sponsors me.  At the moment I have more prizes than I do sponsors so it is looking very likely that people will be getting something nice through the post soon.
You can find a list of the prizes here
To sponsor me you can Text “XOGY47 £1” to 70070 or click on my Just Giving page  
To be entered into the prize draw you must validate your entry here this is to abide with competition and gambling laws.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post in support of Tired Mummy of Two charity. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I...

I sleep...or i think i do...i dream...sometimes...dreams are weird and scary...
I wake up....and...still feel tired...i wake up and take a while to remember what is true and what is not....
I lay...i hug...and drink...it feels like i will wake up soon...
I run around...i clean...myself and others...i run...i kiss and hug...i say goodbye...i run...i shuffle...i get annoyed...i run...i travel...i stand..i get annoyed...i sit...but is too late...i run again...i get there...is too wet...i get cold...i say hello...i sit...and sit...i drink...i work...i talk...i ask...i wonder..i fix...i miss...i eat..i wish...i learn...i get annoyed...feel like screaming...i leave...say goodbye...i cry...i run...and run...i travel...i stand...get in...i kiss and hug...i could hug forever...i lay...i eat...i watch..i argue...i wish....i write....I sleep.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

When it’s the same, but different

Today I am happy to present you a new guest post from Life in UK series. I know it's been a while since the last one but it was worth the wait.
The guest post from today comes from Brittney the lovely lady that writes over at Life of an expat parent. As you can all read in her About page she is American and she is married with The Native - her British husband. They both became parents in 2011 and this is how her blog was born. Brittney writing is lovely and it is good to read about the was she sees Life in UK. Here is her lovely post:

Sometimes I feel like a fake expat. I mean I am an expat. I live in a country that is not my own, sure. But it’s a country that, in many ways, is most similar to my own. Just turn on E4 at 7pm and you could easily be sitting on your sofa in America. We speak the same language. We listen to similar music. We watch the same tv shows. Fake expat. Right here.

I’ve not really had to deal with that feeling of trying to assimilate in a culture that is so different that you feel overwhelmed by your own foreign-ness. But therein lies the problem. Moving to a country that is so comparable to your own means that the culture shock can sneak up and sharply sink it’s teeth into your hindquarters when you’re least expecting it, because that’s the thing, you really aren’t expecting it.

Eight years ago, when I first arrived, my transition into British life was pretty smooth, which is saying a lot since my first two years were spent in Liverpool (Fact: if you can understand Scouse, you can understand any British accent). There was the odd surprise - things like finding the washing machine in the kitchen or realizing that there was no tumble dryer and so getting used to the pleasure of sliding into a crispy pair of air-dried jeans. Then, there was learning what an airer was. But mostly I arrived and got stuck in right away. I spent a lot of time over the first few weeks going in and out of the city, meeting new friends, familiarizing myself with the lay of the land and quickly establishing my favourite local haunts. And I was thriving.

But then it happened. Initially, I had just been popping down to the local shop to get the basics, but the day had arrived. I was feeling good. I was feeling confident. It was time to visit a British supermarket.

Asda. How hard could it be? They are owned by the global powerhouse that is Wal-mart. The plan was to execute this task quickly. In. Out. Done. With my shopping list in hand, I entered those fated revolving doors with a naiveté that is now laughable. What I should have done was burn that list and made sure to have a plentiful amount of bottled water in tow, because this inaugural trip was going to take a while.

As I navigated the aisles of the supermarket, I found myself disorientated when the hanging signs over each aisle didn’t seem to match up with what was in that aisle.

-Squash with no vegetables in sight.
-Biscuits with no bread in sight.
-Were fizzy drinks what I thought they were?
-And why, oh why, was I unable to find any shredded mozzarella?

It felt like I had entered a black hole. I felt overwhelmed. I felt emotional. I felt lost. I considered sitting down right in the middle of one of those misleading aisles, curling into the fetal position, covering my ears, closing my eyes and – if I just believed it enough – maybe it’d go away. It felt as though I had been wandering aimlessly around these unfamiliar aisles for hours and I had no hope of escaping. Ever.

Except I did escape. That first experience of a supermarket in the UK has put me off of Asda for life. Sorry Asda, it’s nothing personal (except I have totally made it personal and wish that you’d die a thousand fiery deaths). It’s just that in my freshly expatriated eyes, everything about you was wrong. Eventually, shopping got easier (for the most part), but there were other hurdles along the way as I adapted to my life overseas and new and, of course, more complicated layers of expatriation have been unearthed since becoming a mother.

The lesson I’ve had to learn over and over and over again is that I must not assume that what I expect will be what I actually experience. If you go in looking to learn rather than expecting to know, you’ll be more adaptable and you wont’ crumple into that defeated fetal position when, inevitably, your expectations aren’t met. I don’t think you necessarily need to be an expat to know that this mentality can be the difference between barely surviving and learning to thrive in any new situation. Move house. Move to a new city. Redundancy. Become a mother or father. Start a new job. Life is full of those changes and the challenges that come with them, just don’t presume they’ll be the challenges you expect and I reckon we’ll all do alright.

Thank you Brittney for writing this post.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Words of Wisdom 24/4 at Blogcamp

This Saturday that just past I was very happy to take part to the Blog Camp 2012. This year it was based in Birmingham and thanks to the lovely Sally Whittle the mother of Tots 100 website more than 100 bloggers were as lucky as I was.

It was a very interesting day with lots of workshops and things to learn about the online world. One of the biggest talks was about the Follow/No Follow debate that's been around the Internet for the past couple of months. Wendy wrote a very comprehensive post about the above debate in What I learned at Blogcamp 2012 post. She wrote very well so please go over to find out more.

My words of wisdom today come from Muireann Carey-Campbell that writes Bangs and a Bun. She gave us some very valuable tips on how to build a blog into a brand. For me it was one of the most interesting workshops. I wished I knew the things she told us when I started blogging over a year ago.

So here are the things you should consider when you start a blog:
- What is your blog about?
- What you want your blog to be in 5 years time?

If you define the above then you should follow the below steps in transforming your blog into a brand:
1. Make your own path:
- Identify - the look: images and professional layout;
- Ethos - strong, defined, clearly identifiable - get your character across;
- Tone - friendly, snarky, informative; type of language - key words or phrases
Tip: use phrases of words often so that people can identify them with you.
2. Promote:
- Promoting offline is just as important as online;
- Attend events - be strategic;
- Pitch your brand whenever possible;
Tip: create demand for yourself.
3. Opportunities arise
- Be unique - own the street;
4. Keeping it Fresh:
- Grow, change,evolve;
- New logo/layout/design/editorial direction;
- Try new ideas;
- Develop the brand into other ideas - maybe start a new blog/site-a subject on your blog that can be developed into a new website;

Hope this helps you. They really help me! Muireann finished her talk with
"The important bits":
- Have a strong identity,ethos and tone;
- Promote,promote,promote!
- Keep it fresh and experiment!
- Stay open to new avenues and ideas!

A lot to think about isn't it? Maybe this should convince you to enrols and participate to the next Blogcamp. It is a great event indeed.

I was also really happy to see my friends and to meet new people too!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Things I enjoy in life...

Because I decided that I need to look more at the positives in my life rather than the negatives I thought that will be good to write down this list with things I enjoy in my life, things that belong to me only. I need to find myself again as I feel that I forgot what I enjoy in my life... So here you go I will try to put down 10 things I enjoy:

- a big latte in the morning brewed by lively hubby- this happens every day when we are at home and it is so yummy!
- reading a good book that makes me think about life and feelings - like one of the Paulo Coehlo ones - I don't get to read that much though and I really need to do it more;
- having a massage - my husband knows it very well how much I like it even though he hates doing it;one of these days I need to visit my friend K for a professional massage though;
- a walk in the park after a rain spell - the air is so fresh and I like the smell of wet grass and soil;
- a glass of red wine and a chat with a good friend - again something I don't do often;
- blogging - putting things that I feel in writing helps with my depression a lot;
- cooking and baking - this relaxes me lots - is like my mind gets clear when I do it; I like inventing recipes as well; sometimes all goes well sometimes it doesn't but it's fine;
- lounging in the sun if possible on the beach - I close my eyes and the sound of the waves relaxes me-hopefully I will do this soon;
- listening to music and dancing of course; how could I forget that?!? I use to be quite a dancer when I was younger...now I don't even remember the last time I danced...oh it was at a wedding last October :(
- spending time with my family of course and watching my daughter play; seeing her smile and happy warms my heart immensely;

That's it! I got stuck at some point but the I closed my eyes and remembered what I enjoy.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Guilty

I keep thinking...and feeling guilty...Will this feeling ever go away?!?
I want to make a change and spend more time with my daughter but then...we will not earn enough to survive and give her everything she needs. I mean you know we want to move to Romania but then that will not happen in the very near future..,
What can I do In the meantime? Sometimes it happens not to see her when I get home in the evenings...and then when I drop her off in the mornings she cries and doesn't want to go to nursery... There are times when I run out of the nursery as otherwise I will get late to work and then I will have to stay late... I feel so cruel when I leave her crying there :( Why do I do that?
She keeps asking why she needs to go to nursery every day and then when I answer that I have to go to work she's asking me why do I have to work every day?
I feel like a wreck the first couple of hours after I drop her...but then I start looking forward to see her in the evening.
Sometimes like I said I don't see her in the evening...so sad...all I want to do at the end of the day is to hug her. She likes it too. A lot! She says "Cuddle mama cuddle". When I hugs her I feel calm and complete. She means the world to me!
If I work late I don't see her that evening...
If it happens to go for a drink with colleagues or friends again I don't see her...
If I want to go for a haircut, manicure or gym then will not see her that evening again...
Should I stop doing things then? Or how? Do you have evenings when you don't see your child as a mum?
I am suppose to go away this weekend and I am really looking forward to it! But the though that I wi not see my daughter at all in Saturday and just for half day on Sunday saddens me badly!
You might think I'm a woos but would live to hear what you going through too. Maybe if there are mums like me out there I would not feel as guilty...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Decorating my living room

You might already know that we are renovating, building and decorating our home in Romania. It is true we have a long time to go yet but the living room and the kitchen are ready and they are both waiting to be decorated.
I am not one that really knows what I like but I am browsing the Internet to try and find colours, themes and types of furniture that I like.

There are a few things that I really need to have in my new home: a big dining table and a cream couch. I guess we all want that isn't it? And yeh I know a cream couch is not the best when you have kids running around the house.

We do have a dining area and I would love a big dining table. Here are a couple of options that I found online:

Now all I need to do is to find a place in Romania that sells the same kind of table or to find a way to transport it the one I decide I like to Romania.

Now regarding a couch I would like a nice comfortable couch where I can put my feet up after a long day looking after my family. Unfortunately the couch can't be very big so I'm quite restricted...However here are a few I like:

That's it for now I guess...for now enough with the dreaming...maybe I should create a PInterest account soon and the. I can add all my likings there.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

 Castles of Transylvania

Car rentals are so readily available these days that they offer a great excuse for dashing off to places you’ve often dreamt of visiting, without having to worry about the often Byzantine public transport systems of some destinations, especially those of Eastern Europe.
Romania is a case in point. Still recovering from the ravages of Ceausescu, whose taste for concrete would have turned the whole country into a giant Southbank Centre given long enough, Romania is rediscovering its fascinating heritage and starting to draw in the tourists.
Anyone with a taste for medieval fairytale castles and a passing interest in vampires will have a field day here, and other perhaps less interested members of the family can admire the stunningly beautiful countryside on the way.
Bran Castle in Transylvania, 16 miles to the south of Brasov, was built by the Teutonic Knights in 1212. They were a military-religious order rather like the Knights Templar and the Hospitallers, but fought in Eastern Europe rather than the Holy Land. It was extended and refortified later in the century by the Saxons to protect Brasov, and according to some accounts Vlad Tepes, the model for Dracula, spent a few nights here. It is one of Romania’s most picturesque castles, beautifully preserved and with spectacular views of the surrounding forest from its hilltop location. It also contains an ethnographic museum with old timber buildings, and much of its furniture dates from the 14th and 15th centuries.
Peles is a German Renaissance palace used formerly as a summer retreat by Romanian royalty before Communism came along and put a stop to that sort of bourgeois nonsense. It is located next to the village of Sinai, about 30 miles to the south of Brasov. The backdrop of the Carpathian Mountains is especially beautiful, and the castle’s 160 rooms contain some of the best examples of European art. With German stained glass windows, Murano crystal chandeliers, Cordoba leather-covered walls and Sevres porcelain vases everywhere you look, Peles Palace is opulence incarnate and surprisingly affordable if you fancy stopping off for the night during your tour of Transylvania.

 Vlad tepes spent most of his life in one castle or another, and he was actually imprisoned in Hunedoara Castle for 7 years as a young man caught up in the power politics of the time. He was incidentally also held as a hostage of the sultan in Constantinople for several years, so this may help explain his later habit of sticking long sharp stakes into anyone who disagreed with him. Hunedoara Castle, nine miles south of Deva, was built in the 14th century by Turkish prisoners on top of Roman ruins. With three enormous, pointed towers, a portcullis, drawbridge and Knight’s Hall it plays its part of medieval bastion superbly well.
Transylvania, the ‘Land beyond the Forest’ is a place of legend and remarkably beautiful, with excellent roads and driving conditions especially in the spring and autumn, making it the perfect European fairytale getaway.
Come and visit Transylvania and Romania! You will be amazed of it's beauty!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Words of Wisdom 16/4

As it is Monday today is of course time for my Words of Wisdom. I know that I skipped it last week but I was on holiday so I'm sure you will not be too upset about it.
Holiday was nice and it was wonderful to see how much my daughter enjoy revisiting Romania and my parents. More about the way I felt at home in a future post.

There are a couple of things I want to talk with you about.
First the Words of Wisdom today are about GIVING:

“Giving of any kind... taking an action... begins the process of change, and moves us to remember that we are part of a much greater universe. ”
― Mbali Creazzo

“Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water -it will make ripples throughout the entire pond...”
― Jessy and Bryan Matteo


The reason I chose GIVING as a theme is because this last Saturday I was lucky enough to participate to "Save the Children Conference".
Very emotional and powerful things were said during it.

There is a new campaign starting online on the 23rd of April called Blangadesh Clinic Appeal. Save the Children is trying to raise money to open 7 clinics around Bangladesh. The full built of a new clinic costs £150000.
Pointless to say that they need all the help they need to raise money.

So if you have one minute why not make a donation of £5 by texting the word BRICK to 70008 and help kicks tart Bangladesh Clinic Appeal.

This is a great cause and I feel for this charity. Here are a couple of sad things I learn at the "Save the Children" Conference:
~ Only 18% of births have a trained worker present;
~ all of the mums that STC team met while visiting in Bangladesh lost at least one baby;
~ 1 in 19 children do not live to see their fifth birthday in Bangladesh because access to basic services such as healthcare is very limited, particularly in rural areas.
~ Every hour of every day, 11 newborn babies die in Bangladesh. That’s about one every six minutes.


NO CHILD BORN TO DIE

There are lots of ways to help raise money and by visiting STC website you can find out more - a walk, an event, give monthly etc.

HELP give this children a healthy and happy life:

On another note the winners to the Book Competition are:
- Hansen Rio @catudyong
- Kathleen Hooper @hoops120
- Becky Gower @mummyadventure
If you see this post please send me an email.
Congratulations!!!!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Silent Sunday


”"

Paste Fericit!

Paste Fericit/ Happy Easter to all orthodox out there!
Hope you all have a fantastic day and you will spend it with family and friends.

Easter is about love and forgiveness so be kind and warm today!
Unfortunately my parents and my sister are far away so I'm spending Easter without them. Fortunately I am with my hubby and my beautiful daughter so even though we will not celebrate the Romanian way we will be together. We will also meet some really fantastic friends today - you know who you are - and we will go out for a nice lunch pub.
I should've probably prepared some traditional romanian food but was kind of busy yesterday at Save the Children Conference and we only come back from Romania Friday evening.
Take a look at these yummy food though:

Maybe next year I will be able to cook all these yummy food too!
Never mind though a pub lunch with roast meat and the trimmings will be all good!

What Easter is for Romanians:
- Unlike other countries, in Romania the Church believes that Jesus was born during the winter solstice and his resurrection happened during the spring equinox, thus Easter in Romania is indication of the bountiful season of spring. Romanian Easter celebrations are looked forward with great enthusiasm, hope and joy. The actual Easter festivities in Romania begin with Flowers Saturday or Lazarus’ Saturday as this is also the time when the girls plant flowers followed by Palm Day also known as Flowers Day, Great Thursday and Great Friday.
- One of the major Easter customs in Romania is that on Great Thursday, as on this day Chairs with blankets are put near the fire, as it is believed that some dead souls will sit on those chairs while others on the ground. Girls and women of the house thereby carry water buckets to the graves for the dead ones who will sit there.
- Romanian Easter however remains incomplete with its traditional mouthwatering delicacies like “Pasca”, traditional lamb recipes, cakes, stuffed pies etc.
- Each of the Easter eggs are also decorated in different colors as each color stands for a specific religious symbol like red signifies Christ’s blood and green for fertility. Some of the most popular Easter destinations in Romania are the great historic towns of Sibiu and Sighisoara which houses some of the best architectural landmarks of the country, the splendid spa’s scattered in different parts of the country and the heritage castles situated in region of Danube Delta offers the visitors a unique romantic sightseeing. Thus, with such wide festivities Easter in Romania is a time of great celebration marked by huge funfair.


PASTE FERICIT

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Palm Day (Flowers Day)

Happy Easter to all of you that celebrate Easter today!
 In the orthodox religion Easter is next week Sunday. Today however we celebrate "Palm Day" or Flowers Day. This was initially dedicated to the Roman goddess Flora, but then it was celebrated in the memory of the Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem. This day is the celebration of the nature revival, when the willows, the fruit trees and the flowers bloom. The willow plays a very important role in the rituals. All the ladies that have names of flowers are celebrated as well.  

The legend goes that, while Jesus was crucified, His mother left, crying, in the search of her son, wearing iron boots and a steel rod. On her journey she arrived at a river and asked a willow to help her cross it. As the willow made a bridge for her, Mary put a blessing on it, stating that its wood could not be transformed into coal and that its branches would be taken to church every year. That is why, on this day people bring flowers and willow branches to the church, for being sanctified by the priest. With the willow branches, symbol of spring and fertility, cows and little children are touched, in order to grow and bloom as the willow. The holy branches are then placed near the icons or above the door and are used throughout the year as a medicine or for protection against the natural disasters. It is also believed that the people who wear the willow branches as a belt will not suffer of loin aches; who eats three catkins will not suffer of throat aches.


The willow is also used in commercial purposes – before taking the animals to the market for selling, they must be touched with the willow branches, to please the buyers.
Another use of the catkins is for protection against the storms and hail. In the summer, when the weather is bad, catkins are placed on the fire, so that the resulting smoke would drive away lightning and thunders.
Anybody who swallows a sanctified catkin will be healthy and light as the willow flowers.
People must not work on this day and the table must remain laid all the time. Even it is fast, fish may be eaten.
It is also a day for commemorating the dead, when the burial places are cleaned and willow branches are put above.
As it is believed the nettles begin to bloom, they aren’t used as food anymore, this being called the “nettle’s wedding”. The nettles, eaten especially during the fast, are considered a very healthy food. In some regions, “nettle’s wedding” is on Annunciation day or on the Thursday before the Easter.
It is said that if the frogs can be heard until this day, the next summer will be beautiful. The weather on the Easter will be similar to the one from this day.

Today in Medgidia, my home town the weather is not very nice, no sun but warm so hopefully it will stay warm for Easter too.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

#SatCap 7/4

Saturday is caption Day even if i am in Romania. Can you guess what my husband is doing in the above picture? If you do please leave us a caption :) We would love to read it.

For more visit Mammasaurus blog by clicking the below badge:

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Cooking potato stew with Cirio

"Cirio" is a brand that has an extensive range of chopped and peeled tomatoes, purees, and passatas. It is actually the no. 1 brand in Italy.

We love tomatoes in our house and have to say that cooking with the "Cirio"products is a pleasure!
For my potato stew I used the chopped tomatoes only. The "Cirio" chopped tomatoes are really consistent and thick and I only need it half of the tin.
The recipe for the potato stew is simple. You will need:
1 onion
Potatoes - I put about 8 I think??
Frozen vegetables like - carrots,peas,broccoli etc.
Stock - vegetables
"Cirio" chopped tomatoes

First heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and put on the chopped onion and let it to soft. As soon as the onion is soft add the potatoes ( which you peeled, wash and cut in the shape you like ) and the stock mixed with water until the potatoes are covered. Leave them to boil and then add the frozen vegetables and leave to boil again until they are all cooked.
As soon as cooked add the chopped tomatoes on top and mix.
Leave to boil well on a low heat. When you are happy with the consistence you can turn off and serve. This stew is fantastic to eat during lent with pickle cucumbers or peppers.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Great Gig Meme in the Sky


Please do not adjust your PC / laptop / iPad / mobile phone (delete as applicable), it is indeed I, musodad, here. Yep, the one who less than a month ago ‘gave up blogging for good’ and who is now erm…writing a new blog post!
But, before I become known for eternity as ‘The Blogger who cried wolf’ I wanted to let you know that I’m here for a good reason and, once I’m done, I will once again return to Blogger Exile and hang out with @himupnorth and do whatever ex-Bloggers do (I haven’t yet figured out what this is but, when I do, I’ll let you know – probably via a Blog post).

So, what’s the reason for my slight return? Well, I recently took a two week break (which only lasted 10 days cause I’m rubbish) from Social Media and when I returned I had a Tweet from my lovely host @Romanianmum saying nobody had added a post to the Love all Blogs.
music showcase for the first week of my Social Media sabbatical. Being self appointed Tea Boy over at Love All Blogs I was gutted to hear this and from that moment I vowed to do something about it. So here I am for ‘one post only’ to help dear friends out and try and drum up some new (and old) support for the Music Showcase. Oh, and what better way to get people to write music posts than start a meme and tag the hell out of it?!!! (Okay, the threat of ‘Chinese burns’ is probably more effective but that’s not an option as they are illegal in 7 counties of England including Hertfordshire. That’s what I heard down the pub anyway).

So, may I introduce to you “The Great Gig Meme in the Sky”.
Everyone loves going to gigs, don’t they?! But what we’d really love to find out from you is regarding 5 gigs in particular. So, for this meme, we want to know -

What was your first gig?
What was your worst gig?
What was your best gig?
What was your last gig?
What is your ‘dream gig’? (Or in other words, which band / solo artists have you always wanted to see live but never had the chance? I’m not talking about bands like The Beatles here –we must all regret never seeing them but it would have been impossible as they split up before some of us were even born – I’m talking about bands who you could have easily seen but somehow missed).

Oh, and it doesn’t end there, I have also set up a Spotify playlist here The Great Gig Meme in the Sky playlist and I’ve made it collaborative so please drop and drag your 5 favourite songs from your 5 bands in. If you’re not on Spotify, don’t worry, just Tweet me @musodad and I will add your songs to the playlist free of charge (including VAT).

So, without further ado, and to get the ball rolling, here are my gigs :

First Gig – The Macc Lads at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
I saw The Macc Lads when I was 15. Until recently I hadn’t listened to any of their songs in 20 years. They are definitely more suited to 15 year olds than 36 year olds. I don’t mean to be ageist, by the way (actually that’s a fib), but when you’re 15 you’re still experimenting with your music tastes, really enjoy music that makes you laugh (don’t even get me started on a band called ‘The Dead Milkmen!’ ) and are also heavily influenced by your mates. When you get a bit older you have the confidence to branch out a bit more and don’t only listen to stuff you think your friends will like. By the time you’re 36 you’re pretty much sorted musically, unfortunately you just don’t have much time to listen to it anymore!
So, if someone came to me now and said “Hey Simon, do you fancy coming to see the Macc Lads next month?” I would turn around and say “no thanks, I’m staying in that night to listen to Bucks Fizz”. That’s the kind of cool guy I am.
Song added to Spotify playlist - ‘Barrel’s Round’.

Worst Gig – The Fratellis at The Engine Shed, Lincoln
It pains me to put The Fratellis as my worst gig as I really like them. It’s weird though, I’d seen them probably a year previous to this and they blew me away but at this particular gig they just seemed disinterested and their heart wasn’t in it. It’s no surprise that they split up a little while later. Shame as they had the potential to be massive.
Song added to Spotify playlist - ‘For the Girl’.

Best Gig – Arctic Monkeys at Wembley Arena
In November last year, I want my mummy - ‘The Blogger Formerly Known as Boo and Me’ - asked everyone, as part of her Mix Tape Monday meme, to name their ‘favourite song from the best gig they have ever been to’. Mine was ‘When the Sun goes down’ by The Arctic Monkeys.
To quote from my blog post at the time (you can do lazy stuff like this when you’re an ex-Blogger) – “Arctic Monkeys are amazing live. I'm going to sound like my dad now but "they sound just like they do on record". Also their energy live is second to none and I've never been blown away like that at a gig before”.
Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Song added to Spotify playlist - ‘When the Sun goes down’.

Last Gig – Django Django at Xoyo, London
This gig was extra special. It was where I first met my host for today, @Romanianmum, and the rather brilliant Mammasaurus.
We had a good natter in a pub nearby beforehand, then watched a rather rubbish support act called ‘Omnivore Demon’ before being blown away by The Djangos. It was a memorable night which will never be forgotten…
Song added to Spotify playlist - ‘Hail Bop’.

Dream Gig – Jesus Jones
I had to toss a coin for this one. There are actually two bands who I always regret not seeing live and they are Jesus Jones and Teenage Fanclub. I don’t know why I never did, I had chances but never took the plunge. They are both great bands who have really influenced me over the years and I’m sure they are both excellent live. Think they are both still touring though (Jesus Jones definitely are) so there may still be time!
But, there’s only one band who can appear on the playlist and Jesus Jones have won the right to do so. Teenage Fanclub contacted me over doing a ‘best of three’ coin toss but, with no free tickets to their next gig being offered in return, I politely declined.
Song added to Spotify playlist – ‘Info Freako’.

So there you have it. Now it’s time to tag. ‘The Magnificent 7’ who I’d love to share their gigs and pass the meme on are :
@Romanianmum – who else but my host for today and Love All Blogs music showcase leader?
Mammasaurus  – she’s the busiest Blogger I know so I don’t expect her to do this but I couldn’t leave her out cause she loves music so much. If she does find a spare 5 minutes at least she can copy and paste the bit from my last gig.

The next three people tagged are great Bloggers and they also submitted posts to the Music Showcase last week so they deserve to be bigged up erm…big time!
@hornet75
@older_mum
@heynicecardigan

These last two Bloggers are two of my main men and are great Music / Dad Bloggers. There is no way I couldn’t tag them in this.
@daley_84
@belfast_dad

Go forth and conquer, my friends. As always though, if you’re a new blogger wanting to get involved or an older one who just fancies writing about something different please go for it. You don’t have to wait to be tagged, you are your own person, you can do what you bloody well want! (apart from maybe run around naked in the Houses of Parliament, I’d strongly advise against this. But if you want to, then do it! It would be quite funny to see on telly after all).
Right, that’s it everyone, my time here is done.
Before I go I’d like to thank @Romanianmum for having me and letting me post on her blog. I suppose this officially makes me a ‘Session Blogger’ which is what I perhaps see myself doing long term now I’ve given up posting on my own blog. This will be my last session post for a while though.
Look after each other while I’m gone.
Loads of Love
musodad
x
*Gets back in box labelled ‘do not open until 17th September 2012’*

Clear Out - Cash In

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You may think that you’ll only earn a few pounds here or there by selling all of your unwanted junk, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be true. From old baby clothes to household furniture, you can find cash cows in your very own home. In order to cash in, first you have to clear out, and here’s how to get it done.

Start with the pieces of your old furniture that you don’t want anymore, which are probably the most profitable items on your ‘to-sell’ list. You can get hundreds of pounds by selling bed frames, couches, or even night tables and TV stands. The easiest (and best) way to find buyers for these kinds of items is to take photos of them and post them on a seller-driven site like Craigslist or Gumtree along with detailed descriptions. People moving to new homes or looking to update their decor will frequently search these sites for affordable furniture, making it one of your most important outlets for selling.
Big items aren’t the only things that you can sell online, however. Before you drag your entertainment centre or CD racks onto a moving van, clear all of those jewel cases and DVDs out of it first so that you can bundle them together and sell them as well. Using a buyback site, such as selling DVDs with musicMagpie, is an easy and profitable way to bring in a cheque from music that you don’t listen to anymore. If you’re technologically savvy, you can even sell music that you do still enjoy; just convert all of those albums to mp3 format and lighten your load by getting rid of the discs.

Clothing is also an easy item to sell that offers many different outlets. As a mum, you’re probably constantly sorting through the kids’ clothes to separate the t-shirts and pants that don’t fit them anymore from the ones that do. Simplify your laundry, and your life, by selling those old hand-me-downs to a kids’ consignment shop or taking them to a thrift store. If you have really expensive items that the kids only wore once or twice (such as Easter dresses or communion outfits) you could sell those online in the same way that you sell furniture and entertainment items.
However, if your children are quite a bit past the toddler stage, such as university students, for example, you could also bring in extra funds to help pay for tuition by selling last semester’s books. University text books are some of the most expensive reading material that you can sell, which is good news for you since you probably shelled out a pretty penny for all of them. No more storing those heavy texts on the book shelf! Instead, get your kids in on your selling frenzy by encouraging them to post information about their old books on various social networks in which they are active so that they can sell them to friends.
When you’re ready to sell all of these items, remember that going online can cut down on the amount of time, transportation, and effort that you have to expend to find buyers. Sites such as Facebook, Gumtree, and musicMagpie can be a mother’s dream because they connect us mums to an entire world of people willing to buy nice items at a discounted price. With this in mind, happy cleaning, and happy selling!
 This is a sponsored post.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2 DVD Winner

Sorry it is so late but I'm not feeling very well...
However with the help of the Random Picker the Winner of the Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2 DVD is:

Laura
Tired Mummy of Two

You can check the result on the Random picker website.

Congratulations my dear!

And then..I put my cap on...

Did you watch Channel 4 program Home of the future? Well I did and the technology I saw there was amazing! I put my eye on a couple of the products presented and hopefully at some point I will be able to buy them. The program was very informative and interesting and if you missed you can always watched the episodes on Channel 4od.
Home of the future was sponsored by E.ON Innovation.
E.ON had a very Clever idea and started a great competition where anybody can win £10000 home energy makeover. All you have to do is to submit your clever energy idea as advised on their website by the 9th of April!

So then I put my cap on and start thinking of gadgets that will make my life easier if somebody was to invent them!
My head is on fire as I'm not used to that much thinking normally...chuckle ;)
So here it is what I came up with:
- cleaning without water - shower, dishes - that will be wonderful as we already use too much water;
- a phone that never needs to be charged and that will never run out of battery;
- food that doesn't make you fat no matter how much you eat;
- teleportation - no more travel to work and from work via tube, bus, train; ah and no more flying to get to see my parents; I will never need to learn how to drive either;
- a toilet that can clean by itself;
- an oven that can get clean by itself;
- a gadget of some kind that will get rid of hair on legs, underarm and you know where without pain and forever;
- a fridge that will identify the missing product and will refill it by using teleportation ( that is something they shown on the program actually);

That's it for me! My head hurts to much!
Do you have any ideas you would like to share? What is it that will make your life easier?

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Words of Wisdom 2/4

Life is so precious! Every single second and minute should appreciated! We should try and make our life as happy and special as possible. On Saturday we lost someone really special-my father in law- and yesterday was my grandmother birthday. She would've been so happy to meet my daughter. My father in law and my grandmother are both gone and we will never see them again. They were so different - one very religious, my grandmother and the other one had a full life of adventures I should say - my father in law. The fact that my daughter will not get to meet her grandad as well as I knew my grandmother makes my heart hurt. Sometimes I wish we could live forever.
As you can imagine my Words of Wisdom for today are about all of the above:

"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or
catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

Dawna Markova
Author of Open Mind


When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die,
the world cries and you rejoice.

Cherokee Expression


Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.


Mother Teresa


It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our own time is up -- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Now if you feel like you have a quote about this theme that you would like to share please go on and comment below. Will be really appreciated.

Silent Sunday 1/4

Silent Sunday

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