Thursday, 28 June 2012

BlackBerry Curve 9320 Review

My sixteen year old Daughter and I were thrilled to be invited to review the new BlackBerry® Curve 9320 smartphone. My old BlackBerry was ancient, my kids described it as 'The Brick' and to be honest I was perfectly happy with it and didn't feel the need to upgrade to a newer model. However, my Daughter would upgrade every week if she could as she likes to have the latest model. We are both with Vodafone and were keen to stay with them. Swapping our sims into the new phone was simple to do.

The BlackBerry Curve 9320 comes equipped with everything you need like, a dedicated BBM™ key, global 3G connectivity, long-lasting battery life, built-in FM radio which allows you to tune into your favourite radio stations without having to use any of your data allowance, an integrated 3.2mp flash camera with video recording capabilities allowing you to capture and share your favourite moments and tag them to your current location, wherever you may be. Other features are BlackBerry® 7.1 OS, which supports features such as Mobile Hotspot and Wi-Fi® calling where available. You can indulge in a great selection of exciting apps available to download from BlackBerry App World, as well as all of the key social networking tools including BBM and the latest BBM-Connected apps such as Facebook® and Twitter®. 

Additionally, Parental Controls is a brand new, on-device feature that provides parents and guardians with simple options to help protect children by restricting access to specific functions, features and applications.

My initial thoughts as I unpacked my new phone was how slick it looked compared with my old one. I liked the lighter, more compact feel to it, only measuring 60 x 109 x 12.7mm, perfect for slipping inside my small handbag and pockets. I also noticed that the center keyboard toggle had been replaced with a trackpad that worked with ease and just one flick of the thumb. 

To be honest I had very little patience for text messaging before I became a BlackBerry owner but I like the fact that I can use a BlackBerry keyboard easily with one or two thumbs. I find that I can text and BBM much quicker than I could with any previous device I have had. The 9320 feels comfortable as it sits in my hand and it didn't take me weeks to get the hang of using it like new mobiles usually do with me.

As you can see in above, it takes lovely photo's too. Not on the same level and quality as my professional camera but good enough to capture the moment if I'm out and about and dont want to carry my bulky camera around with me.  The photo below of my eldest Daughter and I was taken with my old BlackBerry device, I'm sure you can see a very obvious difference in quality.

What Apps do we love?

- BBM - Our most used application. For those of you who dont know, BBM is an instant messaging service that allows you to send messages, photo's, video's, music and files to other BlackBerry users. It also enables group chats which means multiple devices can communicate with each other in a single session.
 - Facebook - Instant access to Facebook - allowing us to keep up to date with our Friends and favourite blogs and share photos, statuses, comments etc while on the move.
 - Twitter -Instant access to Twitter - Really easy to use application - We like this one a lot.

- Banking application - Love this app - allows banking on the move, is ultra convenient and over the past couple of weeks we used this a lot.
- Mobile TV - ROK - is a streamed Mobile TV service available to UK residents. Telly on the go!
- LittleBrother - This is a really good one. It basically informs your loved ones where you are. It automatically sends a notification when the device is leaving a certain area. Fantastic for keeping track of the kids because if your children are leaving an area in which they normally allowed to stay then you will be notified of their location. 
- Weather app - What can I say - we are geeks!

- ebay app - Love this one too. I've lost count of the amount of times that I've missed a bargain that I've been bidding on. No excuses with this app.

 Bottom Line - Would we recommend The BlackBerry Curve 9320?
Simple answer - Yes!
My Daughter only uses BlackBerry phones and insists that every upgrade just gets better and better. Big Big Big Yes from her!
And from my point of view, as a busy Mum on the move I really love the 9320 and I really can't recommend it enough.

The stylish new BlackBerry Curve 9320 is available from O2, Carphone Warehouse, T Mobile and Orange from free, price dependent on carrier.  The Curve 9320 is also available from O2 for £149.99 on Pay and Go; on Carphone Warehouse on pre-pay for £119.95 (upgrades) and £129.95 on new connections.  Visit  for more details.

*We were sent two BlackBerry Curve 9320 mobile devices free of charge for the purpose of this review. We have received no financial reward for publishing this review and as a family we always give an honest and genuine opinion.*

Monday, 25 June 2012

Magpie Monday - Sew Retro

Look what I found at the charity shop this week....

Loads of retro 70's fabric for £2!
But wait...
There's more...

Original bark cloth curtains,
I reckon from the 50's judging by the design.

Aren't they gorgeous?

Me and My Shadow

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Save Money At The Supermarket - Grow Your Own food And Keep Hens

A great way to save money at the supermarket is to grow some food yourself and/or keep a few hens for fresh eggs. 

Anyone can grow their own, you don't have to be an accomplished gardener to be successful at growing vegetables and the satisfaction that growing food for your table brings, is immense. You don't even need a big garden, you can grow veggies in pots & bags on balconies and Ive even seen herbs & veggies being grown in windows.

I gave up my allotment last year because I struggled to find the time to manage such a vast area so I decided to grow my veg this year in raised beds, pots, bags and hanging baskets in my back garden which has proved to be much more manageable.

Potato seeds can be picked up for a couple of quid for around 30 seeds and can easily be grown in bags. You can buy bags specifically designed for growing spuds but old compost bags work just as well.

Potato seeds were planted in the bag in March and by June we have lots of growth.

Hopefully in another few weeks I'll be harvesting delicious fresh spuds.

My Niece seeded my tomato's this year over the Easter holidays. 

kids love to get involved with growing food too.

They are doing really well and soon we will be able to pick lots of yummy toms that are full of flavour just as we have in previous years.

So we save money at the supermarket by growing our own food and keeping a few hens.
Why not give a go too.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Gallery - Family

When I think of the word 'Family' I obviously instantly think of my little family unit. Me, Papa, our four kids and our Granddaughter. I have watched our little unit grow for the past 23 years and feel such an immense satisfaction as I watch our next generation progress. 

It has not been an easy road to be able to sit with my husband in total harmony, after 25 years together. We really have been through some tough times together, but we fought hard to keep our marriage together and are now reaping the benefits that sharing our role as Grandparents bring.

As a Grandparent myself, I now know what my life is all about. It is about my next generation, and the generation after that, and so on. Its about my legacy and what I want to pass down to future generations. I love our Granddaughter as if she was my own child and until I became a Grandmother myself I didn't realise that my own Grandparents may have loved me and my brothers that much too. 

All my Grandparents have now past away and we lost our last one, my Nan last September. I loved all four of them and was devastated to lose them all equally, but I found losing my Nan last year particularly hard to bear because since losing my own Mum six years ago my Nan had become a kind of substitute. We really bonded these past six years because she knew how it felt to lose a Mum as well as a Daughter. I felt my Nans pain and she felt mine because we were both missing a person we loved so much. 

(My Parents & Grandparents - Nan, who I lost last year is 2nd from right)

Nan knew I was struggling to cope with the loss of my Mum and I shared feelings with her that I didn't with anyone else, not even my own Husband. Now Nan has gone the extended family has fallen apart, arguments have followed her death. arguments that would not have arisen had my Mum still been alive today because my Mum was the strong one, the wise one, the generous one, the loyal one, the peacemaker. My Mum was the anchor to our family and now that she is gone, my extended family are no more.

I look at that photo of my Grandparents on my Mum & Dads wedding day and know that they must have been so full of hope for my Mum and their future generations. My Grandparents lived for their family and my Grandad would be so disappointed in certain family members right now.

I am determined to raise my family with the same values that my own Mother raised me with, and that is to be loyal to our siblings, our blood, no matter what. Even during times of disagreements to always remember that they are a family unit and should stick together. Sadly, lots of people in my Mums family did not share these same values.

I have realised that money means more to some, than family relationships. To me this is very sad for them, I pity them, as money is soon spent but love from loyal people is everlasting. I hope mine will be better than that and will always look out for one another. That to me is what the word 'Family' means....Loyalty.

What does Family mean to you?

Monday, 18 June 2012

Magpie Monday

As a lot of you know I have a real 'thing' for retro thermos flasks. Papa and me often fill a flask of tea and go sit down by the river. I have no idea where this love comes from but everytime I see one I struggle to resist buying it. I do control myself but sometimes I see one that I just have to have, like this vintage co-op one.

It cost me £4. I love the blue colour and the fact that it is made from tin gives it that extra retro look.

Next I spotted a really pretty Pareek bowl for £1 that I love. The yellow is stunning.

Not sure how old it is but it looks to me like a 1930's/40's art deco design and the flower print is still so lovely & bright.

The Lovely Liz is sunning herself in Portugal this week so Lulastic and the Hippyshake is hosting this weeks Magpie Monday

Me and My Shadow

Monday, 11 June 2012

Monster Pets - A Doggy Review

Our Boxer Luna, was thrilled to have been asked by the super friendly folks over at Monster Pets to be a chief reviewer for them. It is the first time Luna has been asked and we were all really excited when a parcel turned up addressed to Luna.

Very curious to see whats inside, Luna sniffs around...

First thing is first...Luna spots a cuddly toy (The Good Boy Tuff Stuff Monkey Plush). Luna is get on a bit now but back in the day she loved to pinch the kids soft toys of their beds and rip them to shreds. Many times we would see one of the kids chasing Luna around the garden desperately trying to retrieve their half eaten teddy. Nowadays Luna is a bit more relaxed and prefers to cuddle rather than eat them.

Doggy chew treats are whole different ball game. They are usually demolished with 5 seconds flat. However, these yummy treats lasted ages and Luna thoroughly enjoyed them.

Next inside the box was a 'Good Boy Gripper'. This toy took a bit of coaxing and was ideally suited to taking it with us on walkies as Luna preferred it to be thrown as she chased after it. It is a strong, robust toy perfect for the larger dog, practically indestructible.

So what did you think Luna? Did you enjoy your box of treats?

"I've gotta be straight with you, being a family dog is no easy life. I'm always on the go and barely get five minutes to myself these days. I'm constantly on garden watch and have the task of patrolling Mama's garden all day long, especially keeping a close eye on those pesky hens that Mama & Papa so likes to keep. When I do get a moment to myself I like to indulge with the odd treat, so to receive a whole box full of them was like having Christmas on a sunny day. My favourite gift in the box was definitely those chews...they were scrummy! More please Mama!"

Monster Pet Supplies is a one-stop, online pet shop. With 20,000 products and 5-star service they are dedicated to helping you find the very best pet supplies, accessories and medication. Check out their bestsellers in the Dog Shop, Cat Shop and Small Pet Shop, or search for your favourite brands. 
All the treats we received are available from Monster Pet Supplies
The Good Boy Tuff Stuff Monkey Plush - £5.30
The Good Boy Gripper - £5.30
The Dog Treats Page

* We were sent this box of treats free of charge for the purpose of writing this review. We received no financial reward for giving you our open and honest opinion*

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Diamond Jubilee

Wow, What a weekend it has been for The Syders. It kicked off with our middle Son's 21st birthday BBQ. Papa's Sister & her Hubby come to stay with us to celebrate and lots of our Sons life long Friends also joined us. We had a fabulous time.

We went to a Jubilee party in the park where they had lots going on like sack races, circus school, arts & crafts, lots of cake, strawberries & cream, vintage goodies and Chopper bikes.

So how did your Jubilee celebrations go? Did you have a great weekend?


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