Friday, February 27

A cautionary tale to all who drive....

I used to love my cars when I was working full time as a Nanny,  I had a brand new 306 and it was perfect until the 3 years were up and everything started to go wrong, and it got expensive.

After that I never bothered buying a new car again as it seemed a waste of money so opted for a second hand Land Rover which lasted a good few years, I only got rid of it when a lot of things started to go wrong at the same time.  It was then cheaper to scrap it and get another second hand car.

This is the way we've continued ever since having the kids, buying a cheap second hand runaround off of our mechanic and scrapping for a newer one when things go wrong.

It's often much cheaper than forking out for new gearboxes,  head gaskets and the more expensive car parts.

We did this once again in September as our mechanic found us a more reliable and newer runaround for a very good price.

I called the insurance company up who swapped it over for us and took two weeks temporary cover out on our old car until it sold.

All was fine, or so we thought until Paul was pulled over in December for having no insurance.   Unable to contact me, panic set in as they were going to impound the car as Paul didn't know who we were insured with.

Thankfully I got his message in time and text him over a picture of our insurance with all the details so the Police could check and all was well.  I had called the insurance in the meantime to find out what was going on and they assured me we were insured and that was that.

Roll on a few months and a letter arrives for me from the DVLA,  a failure to insure letter.
This states my car isn't registered on the MIB website as being insured. If I was I was I needed to contact my insurance company and get them to update the MIB site with my details. 

Of course this was done by me immediately as otherwise it carried a £100 fine at the minimum.   My insurance company apologised and said it would be done straight away.
So when the second letter came from the DVLA asking for proof of insurance I obviously sent it off with no worries at all that I would hear anymore.

WRONG!!!

A week later, yesterday infact,  I recieve a £100 fine for failure to insure (£50 if paid by a certain date)!!! 
It would seem my insurance company failed to do as promised,  and what they should have done in the first place and hadn't updated my details.



So where am I currently left?

I have no number or details of who to contact at the DVLA to fight this, the only number given is for payments only.

What I have done is called the insurance company again, twice infact and have been assured it is being rectified.   I have written to the DVLA with more copies of my insurance details,  the contact address and number of my insurance company,  times, dates and names of who I've spoken to at the company.

Now it's a waiting game I guess.

All I know is I've done nothing wrong yet seems likely I would be the one to be punished.

How can that be fair?

How can it be right?

I can guarantee I will not pay for a mistake which isn't mine. 

I've paid my hefty premiums on time without fail every month as I always do.

While chatting with a few friends and researching it would appear this isn't actually uncommon!
It can take up to 7 days for insurance companies to get the MIB records updated, and in that time your vehicle will show up as uninsured.

Now this means you could get pulled over if driving but if your parked up on a public road you could have your car towed and impounded.   Then obviously more costs are involved.

Now I am obviously an exception to this rule as mine was insured since September which is a hell of a lot longer than 7 days!!!  Watchdog reported on this back in 2010 yet it is still happening!

I have since found out you can check that your own car appears on the MIB website by using this link.  I would urge you all to take a look just incase this happens to you as like me the first you may know about it is when a fine appears on your doorstep! 

As you can imagine this has left me rather angry and upset!

Thursday, February 26

Mood Boosting Home Makeover Ideas

Believe it or not, an untidy or unappealing home can greatly affect your mood. Whether you realise it’s happening or not, extended periods spent in an unappealing space can really bring you down. Luckily, it’s really easy to turn that frown upside down by making a few mood-lifting design changes around the home.

Redecorate

One of the easiest ways to give yourself a mood boost is to redecorate. This can be accomplished through simply moving your existing furniture and decorations around for a different look or investing in some new items from a home furnishing specialist like Super Amart; click here to check out their range of homewares for a few ideas that may match your personal style. Remember, change is as good as a holiday.

Feng Shui

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of balancing your environment and you can harness its principles to boost your happiness and energy. It’s all about directing the flow of energy through your home from your warm, inviting entryway to the three energy centres of any good Feng Shui home: the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Feng Shui also encourages a lack of clutter, allowing good energy to better flow through the home.

Open the Windows

An increase in exposure to natural light is proven to be an effective treatment for those who suffer from depression. The body reacts to sunlight with a surge of endorphins and serotonin, helping you to feel positive and happy. All it takes to benefit from this yourself is to throw open the windows and let the sun in. Invest in some thinner curtains if the ones you have are heavier.

Paint It Blue

Changing up the colours in your home can be a relaxing and inexpensive way to give your spirits a lift. Any colours you use in your home should make you feel warm and happy. For instance, in your bedroom, you should aim to cover around 20% of the room in two of your favourite colours – one more vibrant than the other, if possible. It doesn’t have to be your walls that get all the attention either; you can apply this to bedding or furniture as well.

Plants

Photo Credit: Flickr Wonderlane

House plants are another effective way to boost your overall mood and bring some style into your home. House plants have been linked to many positive benefits like lowered anxiety, overall boosts in mood levels, and reduction of fatigue. They give you something to look after as well, something new to add to your daily routine. Raising and tending to your house plants can be very stimulating and the reward for doing so is lots of lovely greenery in your home.

These are just a few of the many small changes you can make to your home to boost your mood and bring some style to your domicile at the same time. Your home shouldn’t bring you down; it should be your refuge at the end of a long and stressful day. And it can be – all it requires is a little bit of creativity and drive. What are your favourite mood boosting home makeover tips? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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Tuesday, February 24

Cinnamon & Raisin Cake Bites

You know when you have a recipe planned and it doesn't quite go to plan?  Well this is one of those.
 
We had planned to make Cinnamon & Raisin Cookies only my baking trays were in the dishwasher and the kids didn't want to wait.
 
Instead we made the recipe as planned and put it into a Pyrex dish and baked as if it was a cake.
 
 
 
Ingredients:
3oz Softened Butter
2oz Caster Sugar
3oz Soft Brown Sugar
1 Medium Egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
3oz Raisins
6oz Self-Raising Flour
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
0.5 tsp Bicarbonte of Soda
 
How to make:
  • Place all of the above ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat together until all  is well mixed
  • Grease the Pyrex dish or line with greaseproof paper
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 15-18 minutes.  To check it is cooked, use a fork - inset into the middle, if it comes out clean it is cooked.
  • Leave to cool
  • Cut into squares and remove from the dish
 
 
Link up your recipe of the week
 
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Saturday, February 21

Project 365 2015: Photo Round Up week 8

It's been a mixed week again here, the week saw an improvement in Harry's bug so we got out a little bit, sadly it was short lived and he is now on day 8 of a stomach bug which is showing no signs of disappearing.   Thankfully he is fine in himself and drinking well so it's just a waiting game.
 
Week 8

 
 
Day 45
Valentines Day and the kids ate before us so we could have a nice romantic hot meal together.
They were sent their own 'special wine' pink fizzy shloer.   It was a nice treat for them and they felt grown up. Shloer Celebration Pink Fizz is a fresh and fruity combination with the vibrant flavours of red and white grape juices fused together to create a beautiful sparkling rosé juice drink - the kids loved that it had a grown up cork which popped when opened.  I'll have to remember this for birthdays and special occasions for them and at only £2.99 for a bottle it's an affordable little treat for them.
 
Day 46
A crafting morning - making Chinese Dragons
 
Day 47
4 weeks into #ThinkingSlimmer and noticing the differences already.
 
Day 48
We went into town to watch a show at the town hall, it wasn't very good at all but it was in aid of raising money for Clic sergeant and the kids enjoyed.
Emmy surprised me by wanting to go up on stage. She had fun.
 
Day 49
A visit to see The Hart of the Munchkin Patch and all the Munchkins.
 
Day 50
A morning of baking - cupcakes and Cinnamon & Raisin bites
 
Day 51
Feeling under the weather so we declared a movie day
 
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

 
TWTWC
 

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Friday, February 20

Half term fun #FloraFamilyFun

Last week Emmy was off sick for a few days and then past the dreaded bug onto Harry.
 
This has meant even with a few sunny days we've been stuck in the house so as not to pass the germs on to others.
 
Thankfully we were sent a hamper of craft activities and baking ingredients from Flora to keep us going along with their Flora Family Fun Guide which is packed full of craft ideas and recipes.
 
It's been a godsend as with a poorly boy I've not had to think too much about what we can make and then getting all the tools, equipment and ingredients ready.
 
They guide come with easy to follow instruction's and pictures to follow.  This is great to put infant of the children and let them do their own thing with what I've given them.
 
 
 
First up we tried pasta necklaces, the guide does say to use food colouring and food bags but we went done the painting route so as to make the activity last longer.
 
The kids had paint to share, paint brushes and the pasta was laid in trays to contain the mess - if you know my kids you'll know they prefer to paint with their hands.  The messier the better.
 
Once finished these were left to dry for a few days.
 
 
 
We've also been baking and with baking of course comes spoon and bowl licking.
 
We've made cupcakes and cinnamon & raisin cake bites ( they were supposed to be cookies but my baking tray were in the dishwasher).
 
 
 
Puppet fun has also been on the agenda and we've made our own sock puppets and put on a puppet show.
 
Take a look at the fun the kids have had this week:
 
 
 
If you'd like to have some Flora Family Fun you can find the guide here for some crafting and baking inspiration.