Thursday, 17 May 2012

Fun Day...

There was a 'Fun Day' at Bucket jnr's nursery class today. All the kids went in their home clothes and we had a picnic (in the classroom as too cold outside); farm animals were loose in the playground (need to watch where you step) and then ice pops for snack.

The kids (and the adults too) loved it. Wasn't that restful for the animals but overall the kids behaved brilliantly.

At the end of it the little pony took a shine to me and waited with me until it was time to be loaded onto the truck. It was such a sweet moment until I got home and found a load of flea bites on my arm - ouch.

But now I'm feeling really snotty and sneezy, don't know if allergies have finally kicked in or I'm coming down with a stinker of a cold.

For another sweet moment, during one of my nose-blows, Bucket jnr went to the bathroom and came down with a handful of toilet paper for me "just in case". Altogether now.... aaaahhhhhh. Sam xx

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


At the weekend all the Buckets went to a small food and craft fair. It was a lovely day, some of our friends had a stall there and we got back in time for Mr Bucket to see the Grand Prix.

On the way out we stopped at a fudge stall (which was delicious and didn't last long at all). As we were eating Mr Bucket casually said "you should make some of this" to which I naively replied "I think I will".

But first, let's go back....way back.... to about 1990 when I first made fudge - total disaster!!!

The recipe said to use Carnation condensed milk but I didn't read the recipe properly and instead of using a small can I used a big one. So the fudge didn't set, no matter what I did so I eventually put it in the freezer in the hope that it would harden even a little bit.

Nope, didn't seem to work although I started to notice that it wasn't all there, as if someone was sneakily eating it. I finally caught my mum in the act, her head in the freezer and spoon in hand, scoffing it. She said it was delicious and it just wasn't fudge.

Back to now....

I read the recipe VERY carefully, it used Carnation condensed milk (I think I was trying to re-do the original recipe), everything went in the pan. So far so good.

Only it didn't seem to want to get firmer and after stirring it for ages, I fudged the fudge - I added some icing sugar to firm it up, whipped it for ages (my arm was killing me) and put it in a bowl.

And ta-da!!

It's still a bit soft and gooey but I'm getting there - the kids really love it, Miss Bucket wanted it before bed and for breakfast this morning (not a chance).

I'm definitely going to have another go, making sure all measurements are exact and I might even treat myself to a sugar thermometer. We'll see. Sam xx

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

BzzAgent Report 1

I received my first BzzAgent Box on Wednesday 9th May which contained:

10 x sample sizes of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste (whitening)
1 x toothbrush (soft)
1 x Large tube of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste

As a BzzAgent all I need to do is try the product and then discuss it. I am NOT selling and I am NOT trying to influence, just giving my opinion and getting some freebies at the same time.

I've kept some of the bits and the rest of the samples of toothpaste have been given out to friends on the school run so they can try them and let me know what they think in 5 days time.

5 days later

I gave a sample size toothpaste and the toothbrush to Mr Bucket. I can't really use soft bristle brushes as they don't seem to clean my teeth that well but I've been informed by Mr Bucket that the Colgate toothbrush makes his teeth feel clean and really soft so maybe I should have hung onto it after all. He also likes the toothpaste and hasn't had any problems with his teeth since using it (and he has really sensitive teeth).

I tried the larger size and I must say that it gives a nice minty, fresh, clean feel to my teeth. I only wish it had been a whitening one as well but nevermind it seems to be working well. I do have sensitive teeth but they are a bit intermittent with which food they'll react to but I haven't had any twinges yet.

The other school mums that tried the product have all agreed that it seems to work initially but would need to use over a longer period of time before they can make a proper choice.

Overall, very pleased with the Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste and I'm probably going to carry on using it. The only thing that might matter is the cost as it's a bit higher than my normal toothpastes (and I don't generally use budget brands) but if I have to pay a small amount over so that my teeth don't hurt, then so be it. Sam xx

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Dodgy Salesmen pt2

Well we had our second double glazing salesman turn up. I'm sure he was meant to be here at 10.30am but he turned up at 10.10am and Mr Bucket missed out as he'd popped out on a quick supermarket visit.

So it was just me and the kids.

It wasn't actually that bad, as soon as he sat down I basically told him that we didn't want:

1. A sales board.
2. Photos taken of our house.
3. DVD played to us.
4. Phone calls to his Manager.
5. Buy me now deals.

I told him straight that we'd had them the previous day, weren't interested and if he couldn't do it then the door was behind him and we could finish now.

I think he got the point - I won the bet easily and with time to spare. He was out the door within 25 minutes, woohoo!!!

Funniest moment was when he tried to get Bucket jnr on his side by saying "are you sure you don't want to watch my dvd?" and Bucket jnr answered "we don't want any dvds" (which he said quite a few times as it just got funnier and funnier to him). 

We went with the big companies thinking they were too established to try tricks like this but I think we're going to ring round a couple of local firms now. Sam xx

Saturday, 12 May 2012

BEWARE - dodgy salesmen at work

We're going to replace a couple of double glazed windows in our house, one has been in since we moved in and has a bit of a draft.We called a couple of double-glazing companies for a quote...

OMG!!!!! (sorry for the text speak)

Mr Bucket and I agreed that we didn't want the sales pitch; no best deals and if any one of the companies that came round said we had to sign "TODAY", then they were out the door.

Our first appointment today was for 2pm, I saw a man parked outside at 1.55pm and then the same man decided to knock on our door at 2.05pm. Hmmmm, not a good start. I LIKE punctuality.

He came in, sat down and asked us what we were looking for. We told him and then let him know that we were going to have a few other quotes before we made a decision. He asked which companies we were looking at - I didn't see anything wrong in telling him as I thought he was just being curious, so I told him the names of the other 3 companies.

One he didn't know as it was local, one was at the top of the game and all he said was 'they're very expensive' but he then went on to criticise (and that's putting it very lightly) the last company. I didn't say anything, just looked as though I was interested but privately I was thinking "what the hell is he playing at???!!! - you just DON'T DO THIS!!)

By the way, he hadn't measured anything at this stage.

He asked us if they could put an advertising board up - we said "No sorry, it's in our deeds that this is not allowed". He looked a bit shocked.

He asked us if they could take before and after shots - we said "No, we don't want that". He looked even more shocked, a bit pale even.

He then called his Manager (have no proof that it was actually his Manager) and told him what we had said. We got a bit fed up by this stage and I think "playing silly buggers" might have been mentioned by us. I even offered to talk to the supposed Manager (twice) but he didn't seem to hear me although I was sat right next to him.

After his phonecall, we laid it on the line and said we "just want the windows measured and a quote". He finally got the message.

And he finally measured the two windows and patio door.

Just when we thought we'd gotten past all the silliness and sales pitch he asked us to play a dvd - what a load of 'look what we do' twaddle - I'm sure I yawned twice. Didn't this bloke get the message - all we wanted was a quote!!!

When the dvd finally ended he put some figures together - approx £10,000.

What????? How much????? You have got to be kidding!!!!

Ok I didn't say the above but I DID think it. When he asked me what I thought I calmly said "it's a bit higher than we thought but thank you". See, still being very polite even though I just wanted him gone by now.

THEN he rang up another Manager (different name) and after a short conversation said that if we signed today and ignored everyone else they could bring it down to £3800.

We almost exploded then, you could see the steam rising from our heads and I'm sure we went purple.

I think he got the message as he said a quick thank you and goodbye to me, ignored Mr Bucket and actually raced to the door. I've never seen anyone leave as fast as that before, it was hilarious - still laughing about it now.

But on a serious note I think we were lucky, our meeting only took 40 minutes from start to finish. We had a really good internet search afterwards and found that this same company could take up to a couple of hours and more.

I don't think we'll be using this company now but we've got another appointment with another company tomorrow and I've got a bet on with Mr Bucket that we can have them out the door within 30 minutes. I'll let you know, Sam xx