Swarovskis

swarovski

If you have been a reader here for even a short time, it will not come to a surprise to you that I love me some bling.

This is my official Swarovski phone case. I first saw it while on an escalator down to the bottom floor of Westfield in Sydney. It was sitting in a case of a phone shop. I knew I had to have it as soon as I saw it, because I love me some Swarovskis. It came with a certificate of authenticity.

I did not know then the reason why – when we dropped over to Paddys Markets, there were so many knock off phone cases with crystals in them. And I bought a knock off for my next phone purely because there were no official ones to be found.

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Television Thursday – Conversatory

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Snoskred – My Downton Abbey will not play.

The Other Half – What do you mean it won’t play?

Snoskred – It is just freezing up.

The Other Half – Which episode is it?

Snoskred – Season 5, episode 3.

The Other Half – So when you watched it before, didn’t it work then?

Snoskred – This is a new episode. I haven’t seen it before.

The Other Half – What do you mean it is a new episode?

Snoskred – It is a new season.

The Other Half – But I thought that series was finished, or something.

Snoskred – No, it hasn’t finished, it is a new season.

The Other Half – Oh, ok. I’ll go check it out. Season 3, episode 5?

Snoskred – No, season 5 episode 3. I can’t tell you the name of the episode, or what happens in it, the storylines, or what cast members might appear in it, or any other details like that, because I need to *watch* it to know that stuff.

Snoskred thinks to herself..

wait a minute.. I probably *can* say what happens in it.

Upstairs, Mary (Michelle Dockery) is her usual snooty self, men chase her for her affections, and she might get uppity because she knows things about pig farming, or perhaps another subject she has chosen to become an immediate expert in.

Edith (Laura Carmichael) pines for her man who disappeared to Germany, and stalks her daughter that she sneaked off to have secretly and then palmed off onto some poor neighbours.

Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) is annoyed and upset about something miniscule and unimportant, and he fights with Cora Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern) about these things, and she will speak in her soft American accent and make everything better with her words and her smile.

Tom Branson (Allen Leech) will be considering whether he should stay at Downton, or leave, given his wife died many moons ago and that was the thing keeping him there.

Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton) will still be mourning Matthew – in a fabulously beaded black number of an evening – who died two season ago. Violet (The amazing Maggie Smith) will make amusing remarks many of which when translated to proper English are actually well thought out and delightfully constructed put downs.

Downstairs, Mr Carson (Jim Carter) is upset about something – perhaps progress of some kind, or a newfangled invention, as he likes things exactly the way they have always been. He will make snarky comments in a snooty voice about this to Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan), who will tut tut in her Scottish brogue and dispense witty advice and solutions that Mr Carson will totally ignore.

Mr Barrow (Rob James-Collier) will be pining for an attractive boy, or lurking menacingly in corridors, threatening members of staff who he is blackmailing for various reasons.

Mr Bates (Brendan Coyle) will either be committing murder, in jail for murder, suspected of murder, or under suspicion of some other crime. Mrs Bates (Joanne Froggatt) will be dreadfully upset about what is happening to Mr Bates, though Mrs Hughes or Mrs Patmore will have to drag what is upsetting her out of her, with cups of tea and or careful plots.

Mrs Patmore (Lesley Nicol) will be worried or upset about something. Daisy (Sophie Mcshera) will spend the entire episode trying to find out what Mrs Patmore is worried or upset about.

In addition to the above regular storylines, at least one cast member will stick their nose where they should not, and it will cause repercussions of some kind. There will be conversations held in the presence of the larger cast which are amazingly only heard by the two people having the conversation, even though no whispering is involved.

The reality is, none of that stuff matters. Downton Abbey is eye candy for the fans of period costumes and houses. I’d watch it even if they played the same storyline week after week just in different settings with different outfits.

However, it is NOT Emmy award material. I don’t think it ever has been. I think that is just an excuse for the Americans to invite the British cast to the US to party. :)

(oops! This post published as a surprise to me – obviously it is Thursday and I’ve changed the title to suit. I’ll let it stay and apologise for my scheduling boo boo.)

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PINCHme Samples

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I’ve been a member of PINCHme since RedPawPaw imploded back in August. PINCHme is a free sample service you can sign up for. They release samples a couple of times a month and if you are quick you can grab one. Sometimes they also have a survey which you take to see if you qualify for a sample. Here’s what I have received so far –

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On average, I have been in time to get one free sample each month thus far, though I have scored two in December. Sometimes the samples are quite large – for example they sent me 3x Fairy dishwasher tablets. I really liked those and have bought them since. We usually use Finish powder and we still do, but if I run one of those tablets through once a week the dishwasher is – no joke – SQUEAKY clean. It literally squeaks. I’ve heard it! ;)

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I took these Pantene samples with me to Canberra recently. I have used Pantene before and I would certainly buy it again. At the moment I am using Herbal Essences from Costco which is in a 1.2 litre bottle, but from time to time I like to switch it up and I think you get a better result if you do that.

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The Bath and Body Works thingy there is to give those reading from the US an idea of the size, knowing that they might not be familiar with the size of Aussie coins. I did look for a quarter but I could not find one, sorry! ;) I know they are in this house somewhere..

I can’t wait to try this dry shampoo. I have never experienced it myself but when my Dad was in hospital in the USA they used dry shampoo which was already in a shower cap – they just put the cap on and then massaged it in. I have such fond memories of Cedel as a brand – my Grandma used their hair spray for years. Next time I am in a supermarket I am going to see if they have a regular shampoo as well, because I’d give that a try if they do.

You can join PINCHme – and give me some points for sending you their way – by clicking here – if you don’t want to give me points but still would like to join, you can visit the PINCHme website here.

Over to you –

Do you know anywhere else where I can sign up for free samples?

Have you sampled anything recently and did you like it?

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How To Add Contact Page on WordPress

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If you own a WordPress blog, setting up a contact page is super easy. And yet there are a lot of WordPress blogs out there without a contact form.

Why do I want a contact page?

People might want to contact you for all kinds of reasons. I get emails from blog readers fairly regularly and 99% of them are *not* spam. Sometimes they are very interesting emails indeed. I do get a lot of emails about older posts where the comments are turned off – comments on this blog switch off after 90 days.

Can’t I just use an email address?

Of course you can! However, it is my advice to you not to put your email address out there in the usual format – eg mailme@email.com – you will get spammed hugely. Best to put it in this kind of format – mailme {at} email {dot} com – you can see my email address over in the sidebar and I have both a contact form and the address on my contact page.

Can I do this on Blogger?

Sure, but their built in version is a sidebar widget. Here are some instructions which might help – New Blogger widget contact form.

Here is The WordPress How To –

Click on add new page in your WordPress dashboard.

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This will take you to the add a new page form. It looks identical to add a new post. So add in your title – Contact is the obvious one, but you could use Contact Me or Contact Us, if there are more than one of you.

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You will see under the title area, a box titled Add Contact Form. Click on that.

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You will see this pop up preview box appear. Everything is there ready to go, and you could simply click on add this form to my post at the bottom, and it will all magically happen. In fact – lets do that, and see what happens next.

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This is how the contact form appears in the text box in your post –

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it does not look like much here, but once you hit publish page and then visit the page, it will look something like this –

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The form will be affected by your CSS in your theme, so it might look slightly different to the version you saw in the preview box.

So there you have it – a contact form.

What if I get some spam?

If you get some spam you might decide to add a check box to the post – regular humans will know to tick the box, but spam-bots cannot follow the instructions and cannot tick the box. How do we add one? See the section on the form creator which says Can I add more fields?

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Click on that, and you’ll be given a drop down box.

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Choose check box from the list, and add in text – you could put Tick box if you are human, tick this box to send your message, even just tick this box – but make sure you tick required before you hit save this field.. Changes are made live so you will see how your new field will look on the form.

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Over To You –

Have you ever wanted to contact a blogger privately but been unable to?

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Update Week

space

What I’m Doing – Exercising

There has been a significant addition to my living space. You might remember how it was before – my living space.

I recently got the all clear from the lung specialist to get back into exercise and while I have a elliptical here already, I did not want to start with that. It has been a year since I have done any significant exercise and jumping onto the elliptical right away would be the best way to get myself injured. So I borrowed this treadmill from my parents – it was gathering dust at their place anyway.

I started out easy but within a relatively short time I was walking 5kms a day and I felt like I had to limit myself to that, because I could easily have walked for hours of an evening while watching tv..

This past week, I cranked up the pace a little and it went like this – Sunday 5km – Monday 6km – Tuesday 7km -Wednesday 8km – Thursday 9km – Friday 10km. Over the space of 6 days I walked 45km. By Friday I had a super awesome blister on my right ankle so I took the weekend off from walking, but I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

What I’m Thinking – Positives

River posted some thoughts yesterday which got me thinking.

I try to write positive letters or emails to companies and people fairly regularly and I wonder if maybe this is something which could work as a linkup, maybe once a month or so. I’ll ruminate some more on this and probably launch something in January. It would be a monthly link up thing, I think.

I think it would be something amazing to start a movement of positive feedback. We all are quick to complain when things are wrong, but how many of us send a note to the companies that make products we trust, use daily, and rely on?

The Inlinkz thing I use for the Shoe Sundays is pretty simple to use, and I can leave them open forever, so maybe I’ll do one and see if people want to link up with their positive company feedback, and whether or not they get a response as well.

What I’m Considering – Checking In

I try to visit the blogs I read and leave comments as often as I can however you may have noticed a drop off in my comments lately – first of all, check your spam bin because I might be in there – here’s how to check your spam bin on WordPress, scroll down to please note – and second of all, I was commented out by the end of November.

I’m planning a January visiting blogs spree, and I’m going to try leaving a comment as well as leaving an actual note if possible, via an email address or contact form. This is harder than you might suspect. The amount of people blogging without an email address or contact me form is way higher than it should be. :(

If you are wanting to know how to put your email address out in the open without attracting significant spam, try writing it like this – snoskred {at} gmail {dot} com <-- that one will reach me, by the way.

What I’m Obsessed With – Moonbase Inc

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The Other Half was trying to talk me out of playing Candy Crush Saga, which I had only recently tried out and I got stuck on this one level, I can’t beat it no matter what I do. It is *infuriating* which is not what a game should be, in my opinion. :( And it keeps telling me to buy boosts so I can win the level and I flat out refuse to do that.

So he showed me this neat little Moonbase Inc game, which is completely free, you can play on your Android tablet or phone. I have it on both. :) It is that awesome. I would actually pay for this game.

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At Tension

I can’t even, with this.

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She’s written it twice, so I think she really thinks this is how to spell attention.

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS WORLD?

You’ll find me in the corner, quietly rocking back and forth, probably with my thumb in my mouth..

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Goodnight Sons Of Anarchy – WW

Sons-of-Anarchy-Jax

The final episode of Sons of Anarchy aired tonight.

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In Lieu Of Flowers

m4s0n501

apricot

I respectfully decline this concept.

Every time someone special in my life has passed, the flowers that people brought to their funeral made me smile and remember the happy times, rather than focusing on the sad time of losing them.

A year and a bit ago, I went to a funeral of someone I considered a great friend. The announcement said in lieu of flowers. I said, hell no. I am going to take a beautiful flower arrangement so that my friends daughter would have beauty to take home with her. I went to my local florist and I asked for apricot roses, and she had some absolutely gorgeous mini roses, so there were a lot of flowers.

People gave me the side eye when they saw my flowers. That is what upsets me the most about telling people in lieu of flowers. All of a sudden, if you bring them, you are the world’s biggest a**hole. Well, I DECLINE THAT. I will always bring them.

On this occasion, the funeral director was super lovely, and told me there would be a time in the service where I could take my flowers and put them on the casket. As I was the only one with flowers, I was the only one that got that special moment, to go up and touch her coffin and say a proper goodbye while one of her favourite songs played, to say goodbye to someone who made my times at work extra special, to someone who I looked forward to seeing, and whose passing left an enormous hole within me and within my workplace.

At the end of the service, the coffin disappeared, not to be seen again. The flowers did re-appear, in the arms of exactly the person who I had intended them for. It made me so happy to think that she got to take them home, and I hope they put a smile on her face, like flowers always do for me.

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Shoe Sunday – Pearl Harbor

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Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

It is not my intention to tell the story of the attack, or the leadup to it, or the aftermath. If you don’t already know the story there are loads of places you can find out – starting here with Wikipedia – and more than likely your local history channel will air a documentary about the attack at some point today.

I could not do justice to the story of what happened, nor could I do justice to my own personal feelings about Pearl Harbor. I cannot tell you the story of my meeting survivors of the attack during our visit to Oahu in 2011. I will simply state that Pearl Harbor is an incredibly special place for so many reasons – and so is Hawaii overall.

What I *will* talk about today is the shoes I wore to visit Pearl Harbor, and a special map moment that happened while Sephyroth, The Other Half, and I were at Pearl Harbor in November 2013.

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These Adidas Climacool shoes were the first pair I bought last trip and the photo above is me trying them on in the store. I got them at Ala Moana on Friday the 1st of November. You may recall, I also own Adidas Climacool in green.

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The green and pink Climacool shoes saw a lot of wear while on Oahu because they are super perfect for a hot environment – most of the other shoes remained unworn until they arrived back home.

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At Pearl Harbor there is a large map drawn on the ground near the entrance. You can see in the image above my feet standing near Sydney.

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At the same time, the feet of Sephyroth were standing around abouts where he hails from in North America.

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And there you see our feet together near the map in Hawaii. Oahu is around 10 hours flying time from home for both of us, so it is a perfect meet in he middle location. This is the second time our feet have been together in one place – first was when Sephyroth travelled to Australia in 2011, second together in Hawaii in 2013, where will the third time be? :)

Please to note –

this will be the last Shoe Sunday for 2014 – we will be taking a break over Christmas and the New Year. Shoe Sunday will be back mid to late January 2015. :)

get the InLinkz code

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True Speed

Back in October, Andrew from High Riser wrote about the Australian Design Rules. I replied with the following comment.

I will like to mention the most hilarious of the Australian Design Rules – that vehicles may not under-read the speed, but may over-read the speed by anything up to 10% + 4 km/h

This means that if your vehicle’s *actual* speed is 100kmh, the displayed speed is permitted to be anywhere between 100kmh and 114kmh.

I have tested my Volkswagen Polo via several different means, and it is out by 10%. EG at 110km/hr on the speedo, my actual true speed is 100km/hr. Now that I know this, I can drive accordingly. To do 60, I need to do 66. To do 80, I need to do 88. It could be worse, it could be the full 10% *plus* 4km/hr, and I’d forever be doing maths in my car. And I failed maths, quite badly. :)

However, there are a whole bunch of people out there who do not know this, and many of them believe their speedo is supposed to be accurate! These people are likely wondering why people keep overtaking them when they *think* they are doing the speed limit, but they are actually doing less than the speed limit and in the case of 100km/hr, they may be doing less than 90 as a surprise to themselves.

Since making that comment, recently a discussion was held on this topic community Facebook group that I belonged to after someone posted that they were driving at the speed limit and continually being overtaken. Another group member raised the Australian Design Rules and advised the someone to do some tests on their speedo. Theirs was out the full 10% plus 4km/hr.

So, this is my heads up to you. Test your speedometer. There are many smart phone apps you can get to do this. Plus, if you are using a satnav, this will often give you an accurate true speed.

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