18.6.18

Custom Star Map | Review

Charles is absolutely Titanic mad and with his birthday in June I knew all of his presents would be Titanic Themed in some way. With various books and a model I wanted to find something that was a little bit different too.

When Modern Map Art got in touch and asked if I would review one of their Custom Star Maps I knew exactly what I would go for.

How It Works

We use an incredibly detailed star database with hundreds of thousands of stars, and find what the sky looked like at an exact time and place in history (or future!).

There are various options available when it comes to the style of the posters. Black, white or grey background, border or no border, different fonts, and what details you want written at the bottom.
Sizes start from 8x10 up to 24x36.
You can choose whichever location, date, time suitable for your special memory. It was a little more tricky for me as I had chosen the date and time that the Titanic sank however couldn't select the North Atlantic Ocean so instead researched the nearest country and town to the sinking and selected the night sky for that particular area on that date and time.

You can choose whether or not to have the consolations on the map which looks really nice however for this theme I felt wasn't suitable.

After designing the map it was delivered quickly and the packaging was perfect. I do worry when buying posters online but there was no need to be worried.
The poster is great quality and looks particularly special when framed.

I framed it and then wrapped it ready for Charles' birthday. His reaction as he unwrapped it said it all as he didn't expect such a unique gift, especially as it is personalised and it based around something he is really interested in.

I'm really pleased with this product and would highly recommend for a special gift for a loved one, friend or family member.


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13.6.18

Five Things : Car Checks Before a RoadTrip

I'm really excited to be going on a roadtrip to Scotland next month. In 2016 I went on a roadtrip on the East Coast of Northern Ireland with my brother and it was one of the best holidays I have ever been on so I am really looking forward to doing similar, with my boyfriend, in Scotland. 

When we went to Ireland we flew over and then hired a car so other than organising the car hire and insurance we didn't really have much to organise and to check before our trip. However, with Scotland we are going in my boyfriends T4 so there are various things we will need to check before we leave.





Checking car fluid levels

Information on how to check the fluid levels for your car will be in your handbook, or is something that can be checked on Youtube if you are not sure what you are looking for. Low or empty fluids can result in breakdowns and further damage to your car so it is important to check the oil, brake fluid, windscreen wash and coolant before any long journeys. Also to keep spare fluid in your car to top up during the trip if necessary.


Lights and signals

Before your road trip, and get someone else to help too, it is important to check your lights and signals work. Get someone to stand at the front of the car whilst you check your headlights, fog lights, indicators and warning lights. These also need to be checked at the back of the car. If these are not working then the bulbs could need replacing or there could be a loose connection which would need to be checked at a local garage.

Tyres

Make sure you are aware of the tyre pressure before you go on your roadtrip and make sure they are at the set levels before you leave. This is worth doing a couple of weeks before you leave so you can keep an eye on the levels to make sure there is no small leak or puncture.
The tread on tyres should be at least 1/16th or 1.6mm, if the tread is less than 1/12th or 2.5mm it is important to consider replacing the tyres. Car tyres in Wakefield are available in various sizes from Ossett Tyre House, for long journeys tyres are likely to wear down more quickly so replacing them should be considered.


Tax, MOT and insurance

Without stating the obvious...making sure your car is taxed, with an up to date MOT and that the insurance is appropriate for the journey you are making. 
Did you know you can temporarily add other drivers to your insurance? This is something worth doing for long journeys and roadtrips to combat tiredness and even so that everyone gets to experience the same on the trip.


Power and USB points


Last year I had a nightmare journey to Liverpool due to a fuse that had gone in my car and resulted in not being able to use the cigarette lighter power or my USB to charge both my phone and my SAT NAV. It was an interesting journey which I didn't think I'd end up reaching. 
Due to this I always check I am able to charge my phone or my SAT NAV before a long journey by checking both of these parts in the car. 
Keeping a spare power pack in our car is also worth doing incase your phone battery is low and you need to use Google Maps or in case of an emergency. 

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12.6.18

Sunday's #16

With Charles turning 9 on the 14th of June I decided to treat him to a special day out the Sunday before. I have a rule that when it comes to their birthdays, the weekend I have them whichever side of their birthday is the weekend I celebrate with them. 
I gave Charles the option a while ago of what he wanted to do and he asked if we could hire a boat out as he wanted to be Captain for the day. 
Who knew hiring a boat was such a stress. So many places to look all with various options and a whole range of different prices for the same boat and hire time. 
I ended up hiring a boat, along with my mum, from 10am until 3pm...thinking we had enough time to then drive where we needed to be, a 2 hour boat ride, an hour for lunch, then 2 hours back. And that's how our day ran perfectly. 

It was chilly in the morning but soon managed to brighten up. 
I drove for the first part of the journey, with a little bit of boy help, then we moored up (which I am still good at from my sailing days *smug face*) and had the picnic I had prepared the night before...which also included Charles' chocolate birthday cake he requested. 

Driving back my mum's partner drove the boat and me and my boyfriend relaxed at the back. It was lovely all being together in that space but also being able to have quality time with him. He makes me laugh so much and after feeling quite depressed the last week it was definitely what I needed. 
Charles had a longer go at driving and did amazing well. My Titanic mad boy would make a superb Captain one day. 

After we brought the boat in we drove through Norfolk and stopped to get some bits for dinner and I treated everyone to an ice cream. 
After having a late night and busy day the day before my boyfriend came back and napped and the boys both relaxed. I sat on the sofa for the evening until the boys were ready for dinner and did the rotas for work.

After the boys were fed, showered and in bed I made a curry for me and my boyfriend and we watched some of the 2017 IT. I have already seen it but for some reason found it scarier this time. 
I ended up falling asleep on the sofa and then went to bed before the film had finished. Definitely deciding now that the boys really shouldn't watch it yet. 

It was an absolutely lovely day and Charles was so grateful for being treated to the boat.
Thank goodness for the weather!
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11.6.18

Sundays #15


Despite having this big plan of moving in and being super organised and tidy and minimalist I am still living in piles of stuff and lots of muddled mess.
My mum offered to come round this Sunday morning to help us out and to spend time with the boys. However as the weather was so nice I suggested us going out to the local Owl Sanctuary and to the adjoining indoor flea market and antiques shop.
I had this thought of putting a new unit in my lounge to put my hi-fi on but was quite specific with what I wanted and what I had in mind.

We had a look at the ducks, turkeys, guinea pigs and owls and then looked in the antiques shop.
Although I didn't find exactly what I had gone there for on that day, I did find a painted, old ladder which I am now using in my bathroom as a towel rail, and also a dressing table style mirror which had also been painted up, so I was pleased with my purchases.

My mum treated us to an ice cream and we drove home so she could get back to her house.
After this I went shopping with the boys. We popped to get some bits for dinner and also needed to get food for lunch which we decided would be a picky lunch. It was a lovely lunch we went for and both boys ended up trying something new which was good!

We had then planned to watch a film together but both boys were engrossed in their tablets and I ended up having a nap on the sofa.
The rest of the night was dinner, bath, and bed routine and pretty relaxed. I went to bed early as I was shattered, even though we hadn't really done anything too busy.

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