Teaching Children Yoga

The benefits of yoga are huge, not only do they improve your physical strength, but increase concentration and memory and actually teach you how to relax.  I teach yoga to children, and the reason I started to do this was because I saw what benefits it had to myself and thought why should children not receive these benefits also.

http://www.beamingbuddhas.weebly.com

Summer Solstice – 21st June

images (8)

 

Happy Summer Solstice to you my friends.  This is a time for welcoming happiness and joy, fulfillment and a turning of the tide.  Celebrate with fresh fruit and vegetables, music and time with family and friends.

Our friends have organised a party on the Yorkshire moors, with lots of music to celebrate our life. We know we are lucky, we are surrounded by beauty every day….strolling the green hills and woodland, walking by streams and rivers.

woods

However you decide to celebrate, we wish you a happy Summer Solstice!

B signoff

Review: Boomerang Scam? Festival Goers Feeling Ripped Off

Being offered the opportunity to review a Family Festival in Leeds I jumped at the chance.  I set off in the morning of Bank Holiday Monday, 26th May 2014 with my three children in tow….Typical Teenager (It’s not fair) Boy aged 15 1/2 years, Total Tom Boy, Girl aged 7 3/4 years and Princess, Girl 6 1/4 years.  You can call me The Reviewer (or mother or mum, if you must), aged 33 years young. The festival: Boomerang Jam, claimed to have something for all the family, so we were all looking forward to a lovely, fun-packed day out.  Even the weather appeared to be on our side.

Child Friendly Leeds?

Child Friendly Leeds?

The journey there took us just under one hour, it was relatively easy to locate and it was well sign posted once you were in the right part of the city.  I was under the impression that parking would be free, as when I had asked I was told there was ample parking at the location.  Imagine my disappointment when it was going to cost me £6 for the day.  With a family ticket for 2 adults, 2 children costing £40, the total tally for a family day out would already be racking up. I returned back to my car to display the car park ticket and a passer by was complaining about what a ‘rip off’ the festival was.  I listened, but at the same time decided I would make my own mind up, afterall….some people do just like to complain! And, I am not one to follow the crowd so to speak.  I approached the ticket office and collected my family ticket left for me.  The staff did not seem jolly in the slightest, I thought I would give them the benefit of the doubt as the weather was pretty grim.  I proceeded through the gate with my three children in tow…’The Typical Teenager’, 15; ‘The Tom-Boy’, 7; and ‘I’m a Little Princess’, 6.  The steward on the gate was the happiest member of staff I saw throughout the whole of our stay.  She guided us towards the entrance where you were met by a row of portaloos to the left, large metal fencing and the Mini Farm to the right.  “Don’t forget to the see the animals” She said, “There is a donkey and some rabbits and things.” All the time still smiling.  That woman deserves a medal.  She knew the feedback of the Festival was negative, it was written all over her face, but she still remained friendly and professional throughout. We went to the Mini Farm, very aptly named as it consisted of two donkeys, two alpacas, two sheep, two goats, one large lazy pig, one calf who needed its bum washing, two goats, three guinea pigs, four rabbits and one humongous sized rabbit.  Oh and four chickens and a couple of pigeons! Within five minutes maximum ‘I’m a Little Princess’ declares “I’m bored!”, ‘Typical Teenager is still displaying the look of ‘Where the hell are we mother’ whilst ‘Tom-Boy’ is still in hysterics at how huge the rabbit was.  Saying that, we certainly did not have to prise her away from the area.

Boomerang Jam Festival 2014 Mini Farm

Boomerang Jam Festival 2014 Mini Farm

We returned to the entrance of the festival.  As I looked around the area, I actually felt a little shocked that this event had been allowed to take place.  It was set up in an unfinished car park.  A fence in front of me cordoned off some large concrete blocks and very little had been done to cover up what they were.

View of Festival from Entrance

View of Festival from Entrance

Fenced off Concrete Blocks...building site!

Fenced off Concrete Blocks…building site!

There were a few food vans dotted about, a display from the Army, a couple of small marquees/tents and some fairground rides and games. We walked over to the small cup and saucers.  I admit I expected the rides to be free, unfortunately this was the not the case.  Of the small selection of fair rides and activities available there were a handful of things free, namely a climbing wall for older children, a large inflatable bouncy castle slide, cupcake decorating, hook a duck and face painting.  Pretty much everything else carried a price tag.  Unfortunately, many of the things advertised we not there.

marquee activities overwrite

What’s in here? Not much!

Advertised on the website before the event was:

Half Pipe and Pro Performers  Main Stage  Arena  Dance Tent Food Demonstrations  Mini Farm  Rock  Climbing Inflatables  Fair Ground  Graffiti Artists  Arts and Crafts Stalls ● Competitions ● Breakdancing ● Beat Boxing performances  and much much more.

Unfortunately, there was not much, much more, nor were all of the advertised acts and activities present.  I am not sure as to what the arena was supposed to be, unless they were referring to the poorly kept car park/building site, there was no dance tent, no food demonstrations, there were no arts and crafts, no competitions, no beat box performances…. The entertainment on the main stage consisted of a loop of Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Bob The Builder, and local dance troups.  We stayed for a maximum of one hour and a half and I do believe we pretty much saw the whole of the entertainment.

One of the four acts...

One of the four acts…

Not only was the event poorly organised but unfortunately many of the workers, who appeared to be there independently (so I am unsure as to where the entrance fee money was going) were very unprofessional and simply did not seem to care about the very families who had paid to attend the event.

Quite possibly the best free activity

Quite possibly the best free activity

‘Tom Boy’ and ‘I’m a Little Princess’ wanted to go on the trampolines.  As the large inflatable bouncy castle had been free, I assumed that the trampolines would be too….. How incorrect could I have been!  The damage…£4 each for 5 minutes.  The 5 minutes included the time it took the children to take off and put back on their shoes, so around £1 a minute for jumping on a trampoline.  In fact the worker started attaching another child into the harness whilst Tom Boy was trying to put her shoes back on.  There was no area for them to take their shoes off or put them on so the only place was to sit on the side of the trampoline to do it.  More alarmingly, whilst I was there, an organiser came over and asked one of the workers if he has been smoking whilst putting a child on the trampoline as they had just received a complaint. Within the small marquee, there were a couple of free things for the children to do.  There was free face painting, you could have a model balloon made or you do do some cupcake decorating.  Oh…and not forgetting you could milk a large plastic cow, supplied by Arla Foods, which in actual fact ‘I’m a Little Princess’ actually enjoyed for a shortwhile.

cow

Cow milking supplied by Arla Foods

stir krazy

Stir Krazy Kids Activity

stir krazy1

Cupcake Decorating with Stir Krazy

As a parent, the most highlighting part of the event for me was speaking with one of the owners of Stir Krazy, a children’s cookery club.  It was lovely to see the passion she had for her business and hear about the reasons she decided to set up the club.  Cathie went on to tell me about the holiday clubs and children’s parties they run in Leeds and surrounding areas and how they are a new business.  I wish Cathie and her partner Sarah all the best, as their concept is a lovely idea for children and a great alternative to conventional childcare.

The misery of the majority of the rest of the staff and stall holders could not be contained, and was perhaps most apparent on the face of the balloon modeler who, not only looked uninterested….but also appeared to do a runner half way through the day.  One little girl asked the man if he would make her a flower, he obviously was not listening or could not be bothered as he handed her an orange looking dog.  A man asked for a giraffe and the balloon man told him he did not have time to make a giraffe.  I could not believe my ears.  There was no interaction with the children at all.  When it came to ‘I’m a Little Princess’ wanting her balloon, ‘Typical Teenager’ had also heard everything going on, and so for his entertained told her to ask for a zebra.  At the same time I made a comment that all the balloons looked the same and he looked like he needed to be elsewhere.  He must have heard me, as amazingly ‘Princess’ ended up with something resembling a zebra.

balloon man

Not interested?

zebra balloon

zebra

Oops where has he gone?

Oops where has he gone?

The ‘Festival’ claimed it was part of the Food and Drink Festival, however there was nothing at this festival to suggest such a thing.  The only food available were in the form of the usual burger vans, there was one creperie van.  No evidence of any cooking demonstrations and there was one small beer tent, which was hardly used, probably because most parents did not appear to want to stay that long. All in all, it was a disappointment.  I am not sure what went wrong, whether there were lots of booked acts that did not turn up or whether it was just very poorly organised.

Unorganised....

Disappointing….

I have waited a couple of days to write this review, in the hope the organisers may have issued some sort of explanation but to date nothing has been released.  Quite honestly, if I was the owner of the venue (http://thetetley.org/) I would not have allowed the event to go ahead. It is such a shame, the organisers had a good concept here, but there simply was not enough organisation, enough things to keep people entertained, and the ticket pricing was just all wrong.  There was nothing to keep a 15 year old entertained, which I know is difficult at the best of times, but I had hoped that the dance tent would do that.  My two daughters aged 7 and 6 were bored within an hour and a half. After searching the internet I have found many other complaints from families simply feeling that the festival was a scam and a rip off.  We can only hope that the organisers are able to compensate the families in some way by providing such a sub standard event, at an extortionate price and wasting valuable family time. You can read other reviews here and here

ben ten  peppa pig meet n greet

SUMMARY Event: Boomerang Jam Family Festival, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Date Attended: 26th May 2014 Value for Money?: No Toilet Facilities: Plenty of portaloos, the ones I visited had plenty of toilet roll and hand sanitiser.  Baby facilities were located within the Tetley Building, meaning parents having to leave the festival area. Recommend to Other Families?: No Would you attend again: Yes.  I would love to see the event organisers put on the event that they advertised and this time do it justice, and get the pricing right!  I would like to come back next time and be able to give a postive review. Overall Rating: 1/10 Reason for Rating:  My children did enjoy the large inflatable bouncy castle slide and meeting Peppa Pig and Ben 10.  The event was over priced, unorganised.  Not enough activities to keep families entertained.

WHAT MY CHILDREN HAD TO SAY:

Children's Reviews...

Children’s Reviews…

If you need to contact Boomerang Jam here, you can do this here: http://boomerangjam.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/boomerangjam?fref=ts Related Articles: Booming Bank Holiday Entertainment for all the Family (Blogizing.wordpress.com) Reviews of Boomerang Jam (Mumsnet.com) Boomerang Jam on Facebook If you attended the event and left feeling disappointed with your experience please feel free to leave a review in our comments, or a link if you have posted a review elsewhere. Acknowledgements: Blogizing would like to thank the organisers of Boomerang Jam Festival for providing a Family Ticket to allow us to come and review the event for you.  Although we were disappointed this time around, we hope you can learn and grow 🙂 B signoff

Booming Bank Holiday Entertainment for all the Family

Boomerang Jam Festival, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

If you are anything like me you will love a good festival!  I attend them throughout the Summer with friends leaving my children with my fabulous parents! I enjoy the break but think the kids enjoy a break from me too if I am really honest with myself!  However, now and again my children, boy aged 15, and girls aged 7 and 6 often are on my case about them going to festivals.  As they are getting older I can understand why they want to get  involved especially when they see how excited I get!  My son has attended Bingley Music Live with friends from school and we have attended the Aire Do!, a festival in Keighley, West Yorkshire, which in the past has showcased the likes of Rudimental and Jake Bugg.

Last year when entering the gates at the Aire Do Festival I was surprised to see how excited my two girls were just at the fact they were getting a festival wristband! They are definately likely to follow in my footsteps as they were dancing around in front of the main stage whilst listening to Black Sabbath play Agadoo and zipping in and out of the little dance tent.

img-small-2

This year, as soon as they found out I had booked my first festival ticket, they were on my case. “muuuuuummmmmmmm, when can we go to a festival?” Although the Aire Do is a great little boutique festival it is not until August, so there is a little while to wait.  It also got me thinking about which festivals were actually family friendly. I have been to many, who claim to be family friendly, but in all honesty just do not have the facilities to keep your children entertained whilst you can go off and party….it is not realistic is it 😀

I began to delve into the world wide web, do a little research and see what I could come up with.  There seems to be a real lack of festivals marketed at families, which is such a shame.  The ones that are, do appear to be aimed more at older children.  For me, I have two age groups to contend with, and the teenager is the more difficult of the two!  I did however, come across a festival which is local to me, called Boomerang Jam.  It is to take place on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th May 2014 at The Old Brewery, in Leeds.  Conveniently located some 7 minutes away from the train station it is easy to reach, or alternatively if you are travelling by car there is a large car park so no need to worry about the travel arrangements, which can often be a big stress for a family day out.  The highlights seem to be appearances by Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Bob The Builder and Ben 10 amongst others….thats the little ones sorted out then….but what about the teenager?  There promises to be stunts by bmx bikers and skaters as well as the dance tent and lots of workshops to keep them entertained.  My teenager is also a particular lover of food…any food, but he also appreciates food.

Half Pipe and Pro Performers  Main Stage  Arena  Dance Tent Food Demonstrations  Mini Farm  Rock  Climbing Inflatables  Fair Ground  Graffiti Artists  Arts and Crafts Stalls ● Competitions ● Breakdancing ● Beat Boxing performances  and much much more.

Boomerang Jam is also part of The Leeds Food and Drink Festival 2014 and will deliver some of the finest cooking displays and tastiest treats Leeds has to offer! 

I have decided there definately seems to be enough here to keep a 6 year old princess, a 7 year old skater girl and a football crazy, x-box mad, foody teenager entertained.  Therefore, I for one shall be giving it a try, and I will of course report back!  It is important in these difficult times that the quality time we so desperately seek with our families is time which we feel is well spent and of course value for money.  I will be visiting to see if this is what we will be getting.  From the face of it, it looks promising so lets keep our fingers and toes crossed and pray to the universe that finally there may just be a family festival which not only promises to deliver a great day out for all the family, but actually does.

Boomerang Jam Music Festival, Leeds, West Yorkshire.  25th & 26th May 2014

Tickets from: £10

Solving Storage Problems for Children: I’m Hooked!

http://www.fieldsofblue.co.uk/coloured-pencil-coat-hooks.html

I had a problem.  Every day when I collect the children from school and take them home, as soon as we walk through the door the same thing happens.  They take their shoes off in the hallway and place them on the shoe rack (good work kids) then on the way from the hallway to the lounge area they take their coats off (whilst still walking) and drop it on the floor at the point wherever the coat is off their arms.  (Aarrrgghhh!!!) This is not so great!  This same action every day grates on me.  One day feeling rather stressed out I said “Why every day do you do this?” My youngest daughter who was 5 at the time, looked at me with a blank look on her face and simply shrugged her shoulders.  She did not even get what I was talking about, it was a look of ‘who cares? What’s the big deal mum.’ My eldest daughter, aged 7, looked at me and said rather nonchalant “Because there is nowhere to put it.”

I had always asked them to take their coats upstairs to their bedroom, but when I actually thought about it, when returning from school the first thing they want is a drink and a snack.  As the kitchen is not on the way to their bedroom the likelihood of the coat arriving there before they arrive in the kitchen is zero.

I had to think of a resolution.  Obvious…right? I suddenly had a ‘tahdah’ moment – COAT HOOKS

Oh……coat hooks.  Simple resolution, right? No……

Because if you are anything like me, you wont be happy with the ordinary coat hooks that you can get in your local hardware store….

mottisfont-painted-6-hook-coat-rack---1

This particular example is £210, yeah it is solid wood (which is always a bonus with me) but where is the design, it is not attractive and the hooks are not always going to be covered by coats.  My thoughts were I would like something which is different, and attractive and could be made into a feature.  I also wanted something which my children would actually use, something they find to be a novelty.

After some searching I found the perfect solution.  A fabulous six coat hook rack which look like a set of pencils.  It looks like a great feature and you can even put in photographs of your children so they know who’s hook is who’s – so no more arguing! Win-win situation.

pencils

The rack costs just £119.00 (but if you are quick can get it on sale at a discounted price of £89.00) and can be purchased from http://www.fieldsofblue.co.uk/ But be quick as there is only one left in stock!

For those of you who would love something a little more shabby chic by style, there is a great alternative also available from Fields of Blue, at an exceptional value price of £19.95, and it still offers you the option of inserting photographs so as to avoid the arguments over who’s peg is who’s.  Alternatively, you could insert some of your favourite pictures of small paintings done by yourselves or your children.  Be creative 😉

hook

Since getting the hooks, the problem is solved, my children not only now put their shoes on the shoe rack, but they also remember to hang up their coats.  No more stressed mum upon return from school, and additionally, we always know where coats are in the morning on the way out of the door!

B signoff

This is Liverpool: Oh help us!

http://www.theladbible.com/articles/this-is-liverpool-reality-show-will-be-the-worst-thing-to-happen-to-everyone

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear……

A show based in Liverpool like the other reality shows such as Made in Chelsea and The Only Way Is Essex.  So although these programs are hardly enlightening, most (I said most) characters are painted in a reasonable light.  So why, when they release a reality show based in the North of England do they have to pick the roughest people who seem unable to string a sentence together without the use of multiple swear words, and more noticeably are unable to communicate with each other without being aggressive.  I live in the North of England next to another large city.  We are extremely friendly, individual in style (not carbon copy barbie dolls), and although some of us may swear it definitely is not the whole of the population (or who the producers portray the population as).

Sorry Liverpool but I do not see how this will do you any favours…..unless of course you are all like the show portrays you (though I highly doubt it).  If I was a Liverpudlian I would be feeling rather embarrassed as to how the show is painting you.

B signoff

Alternative Proposal: Review

http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/mariaallenjewellery/product/mini-gold-personalised-love-letter-necklace

normal_mini-gold-personalised-love-letter-necklace

Are you planning on proposing some time this year but not sure how to do it?  Are you looking for something different other than he standard get down on one knee? Are you unsure if they will say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and for this reason would like to put off buying the ring until you are sure? (OK, so this last question is not ideal, but lets be honest it happens…..)

Whilst browsing the internet this morning I found this charming necklace, It can be personalised with any message you wish.  However, I thought it was perfect with the message ‘Marry Me.’  How cute, and what a great keepsake (if they said yes, of course!). There is a mini version (which is the one shown above) at a cost of £49, with the standard size costing £68-£80 depending upon whether you choose the gold or silver option.

We would be more than happy to be proposed in this way.  Gone are the days of ‘down on one knee’ holding an Elizabeth Duke velveteen ring box.  You need to stand out from the crowd and make a proposal that your chosen lady will remember for time.  However you decide to do it, this would be a great addition.

http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/mariaallenjewellery/product/personalised-sterling-love-letter-necklace

normal_personalised-sterling-love-letter-necklace

B signoff

Weekly Writing Challenge: Object – My Grandma’s Reindeer

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/writing-challenge-

I walked into the room, heart pounding and mouth dry.  The bright lights hurting my eyes as I walked down the corridor.  I turned right down another long hallway.  Each step becoming harder than the one before.  My legs felt like jelly.  My head was buzzing and I felt dizzy and sick.  Eventually I saw Ward 9, I turned right and pulled open the heavy wooden door.  I squirted on some antibacterial hand gel and rubbed it into my hands whilst walking towards the nurses desk.  I cleared my throat and asked her where she was.  I was directed down towards the end of the ward into the last room.  There she lay in the bed, looking so tiny.  Much smaller than usual.  Her curly grey hair still looking perfect.  She knew someone was there but she did nt know who it was as her eyes were severely affected by cataracts. I walked over to the bed, took her hand and said “Hello Grandma”.  “Hello love” she managed. She knew who I was.  My grandma and I had a close relationship.  I sat next to her and stroked her hair.  I tried to speak to her without letting her know how upset I was.  The nurse came in and I asked her how she had been over night.  “She has been quite stable” she said.  “She looks much better today” I said, trying to be optimistic.  The nurse smiled at me but said nothing, and then carried about her business.  I kissed my grandma on the cheek and said “I will see you later grandma, I will be back later, I promise.”  “OK” she croaked whilst managing a smile and nodding slowly.

I walked out of the ward with the intention of going to the canteen for a cup of coffee.  I was tired.  I had not had much sleep as I had been worried about my grandma.  I reached a chair in one of the corridors and decided to sit down. I began thinking of all the things we had done together.  The holidays we had been on. The time in Ibiza when she sat on a wall with white trousers on and when she stood up they were red, she was covered in ants!

As a child I often stayed with her on a weekend.  I loved going. I loved walking her dog, Snowy, up and down the cobbled back street. The same street my uncle, (only 9 years older than me, he was the youngest of her children), had taught me to ride a bike on an adult full sized BMX when aged only 8 years old.  I could not even touch the floor and had to balance the bike against the wall to climb on!  In school holidays I remember being looked after by my grandma with my siblings and cousins.  My Grandma’s cooking was the best, macaroni cheese and homemade chips was my favourite.

I used to sit on the sofa in her living room and watch TV, all snuggled up with her woolen Scottish tartan blanket. One time I was laid on the floor in front of the hot fire watching my favourite TV program after school, my grandma downstairs cooking tea.  All of a sudden a little white mouse ran across the front of me from behind her glass cabinet which stored all her trinkets and ornaments bought for her over the years by her children and grandchildren. I remember thinking it was cute, but I screamed anyway. I remember grandma telling me not to be scared and to think how scared the poor little mouse was seeing me on the floor, as I was a lot bigger than the mouse! That made me laugh.

Every Christmas day was spent at grandma’s with all my aunts, uncles and cousins.  One year all 11 grandchildren lined up and we sang “Grandma we love you”.

A more recent memory of 5 or 6 years before floated back, when grandma has made me a royal blue and bottle green tartan pinafore dress.  I remember being stood in her front room whilst trying on my new dress.  Her laughing at me when I said I had ‘boobies’ telling me they were like ‘fried eggs’.  I was only 12, and my grandma was a 40DD bra size.  I can see now why she found it so funny.

She was how grandmas are supposed to be.  She made and repaired things, clothes etc, she cooked and she cleaned, she treated us to presents and fed us lots of biscuits and cakes.  My grandma was from Scotland but she was far from the stereotype of being stingy with money,  she was the exact opposite, and in fact the most generous person I knew.

Just then my mobile rang. It was my uncle asking me to go back to the ward as the doctor wanted to speak with me. When I arrived, I was lead into a side room and I sat down on one of the chairs.  My uncle was there, he looked at me and instead of talking he began to cry.  I had never seen my uncle cry before.  It was hard to see, a 6 ft 4 inch stocky man, eyes red from the tears, looking heart broken.  I looked at the floor and said “has she gone?” “No, but she is not well”. Managed my uncle, at that point he broke down again.  “We have tried to give her another blood transfusion but nothing is working for her any more.  I am sorry but it is only a matter of time now.”  I stared at the doctor as the words fell out of his mouth, like lead to the floor.  Each word washing over me, but it did not really sink in. All I could think was ‘that’s it, she is going.’  I dropped to my knees and I cried, harder than I had ever cried before. Even when my mum and dad divorced, I do not remember crying so hard. heart ached, I felt like my world was falling apart around me.  My grandma was like a second mum to me.  In fact I told my grandma things I could not speak to my mum about.  My grandma had looked after my first child, which I had when I was only 17.  My grandma never judged me, she did nothing but support me.  She took me and my son on trips with her Pensioners Club to the seaside.  My son adored her, he used to help her do the gardening and loved hanging the washing out on the line with her, she made it fun. She even played football with him in the garden, despite her having a double hip replacement only a couple of years previously.  She was one person that my son would do absolutely anything for.

I stopped crying and wiped away the tears. “I want to see her.” I said as I walked out of the side room and into hers.  My grandma was laid in bed asleep.  “Hi grandma” I said.  “Hello dear” she managed quietly.  A tear ran down my cheek.  “Are you ok?” I said.  She nodded and smiled.  I sat next to her, perched on the bed and held her hand. “I love you grandma” I said.  “I love you too.” She replied.  I stroked her hair and kissed her forehead and said “I’ll see you again soon grandma.” She looked in my direction, but I know she would nt have been able to see my face because of her cataracts, but she stared in my direction, smiled at me and said “yes”.  The doctor had n’t said anything to her, but I knew she could tell that this was the last time we were to see each other, in this life time.  I hugged her tight and kissed her again on the cheek and with that I let go of her hand, I turned and began to walk away.  Tears streaming down my face I turned to look at her one last time. She had closed her eyes and looked peaceful with a smile on her face.  I smiled back and whispered “love you grandma, I will see you again.” At that moment I thought in my head ‘Please angels take good care of her, she is so precious.’

I turned and walked down the corridor.  As I reached the door I heard the nurses rushing, I turned around and saw them heading towards the end room. I knew that was it, she was gone.  I walked out of the hospital and sat in my car. I held between my palms the little reindeer broach my grandma had given to me, just before she had gone into hospital. That was 6 years ago.  I still speak to her on a daily basis and keep that reindeer close.  To anyone else that reindeer is nt worth anything else, it is nt made from gold or any other precious metal, but it was my grandmother’s. I had bought it for her one Christmas when I was 11 years old with my pocket money from the local market.  She had kept it all those years, until I was 27.  That meant so much to me.  I will always have a bond with my grandma and even though physically she is not here, I know she is around.

My final tribute to grandma was the song I chose for her funeral. “Grandma we love you” by St Winifred’s Choir. That seemed like the only choice for me.

“One day grandma I will see you again, that day will be when the angels are also looking after me. But until then I will keep close to me the only thing I have left, our little reindeer. And of course, our memories.”

grandmasreindeer

B signoff

Stunning Silver Jewelry Inspired by Bali

anniehaak

As you may or may not know, I love to write about things I like, including clothes and accessories.  My chosen items this time around are from a designer called Annie Haak http://www.anniehaakdesigns.co.uk/  Her website states that she gets much of the inspiration for her designs from the magical island of Bali where she is based for most of the year. Her influences are gathered from many aspects of Bali life from the local flora and fauna, the magical people and the colours and patterns found in the local markets and villages.  Perhaps this is why some of the pieces really do appear rather magical!!!

AnnieHaak2  AnnieHaak11  AnnieHaak6

Many of the designs carry a special meaning by way of mantras or symbols that represent luck, love, protection strength and well-being. It is core to Annie’s design ethos that all her designs should carry a message of either love or support.

I first came across this designer a couple of years ago when I was reading a spiritual magazine, some of her bracelets incorporating guardian angels were featured in the magazine.  As a total ‘angel believer’ I immediately fell in love with them.  So much so in fact that I cut out her Sama My Guardian Angel design and added it to my collage art work which hangs in my bedroom.

sku_bracelet_147-pbw_01mar13-120732-0010

Additionally, I am naturally attracted to silver jewelry.  It appears to suit my skin tone much better than gold.  However, there is now a few gold and rose gold options, which are equally as beautiful, I guess it just depends upon your personal preference.

anniegold

Unfortunately to date, I have not managed to get my hands on the bracelet stack I so desperately would like (see featured image), due to lack of funds, but should I ever start to get paid for my writing, then I will ensure my first pay check pays for one!  I have however, treated myself to a lovely pair of earrings.  Which I have had now for over a year.  They are simple but lovely, a star with a single diamond in the middle.  They still look like new and we were worth the pounds I spent investing in them.  In addition, they came in a beautiful lined velvet bag and box which I now use to store some of my favourite crystals.  This is a range which when you receive the item, everything about it screams ‘quality’.  I was not disappointed and look forward to when I am able to add to my collection.

New packaging box / bag 2013

There are also lots of other reviews from happy customers on the website. If you like the style of this jewelry have a read, you will see there is nothing but positive comments about the quality and style of the jewelry.  I am sure you too will love this range.  I know Danni Minogue and Ferne Cotton are big fans too!

turquoise_initial_heart_tubephotosku_bracelet_147-pbw_01mar13-120732-0010