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Earlier this week, I noticed someone on twitter talking about their graze.com () box. Being the curious person I am, I decided to go ahead and find out what this was.. turns out it’s a new way to have lunch at the office. Each day, they send you a box in the post, with 3 punnets of fruit/nuts/seeds/etc to graze on throughout the day, instead of having a sandwich.

One of my many flaws is I am a terrible snacker. I like to nibble on things and prefer this to a lunchtime sandwich, so my office eating is bad. Packs of crisps, chocolate bars, biscuits, that kind of thing. Blood sugar highs & lows! So my immediate thought was that this service could really work for me. I’ve tried buying fruit at the supermarket but I forget to pick it up, it’s often not very good quality, and it only stays fresh a few days.

I got my first box this morning and it’s gorgeous. Juicy cherry oranges, roasted pistachios (one of my fav things) and dried strawberries. I’ve had a nibble of each and the quality of the food is very high - it’s all very yummy and good for me! :heart:

Each box costs £2.99, and they can delivery Tues-Sat. I did the maths, and to have 4 boxes a week will cost me about £50 a month.. this sounds like a lot but when I take into account the amount I spend buying snacks to eat at work, on sandwich fillers, sliced meat that never gets finished, and on buying unhealthy sandwiches from the cafe, it’s not that much money. Even if i will be paying ~£10 more than I usually do on eating at work, I think the quality of the food, the fact I will be eating healthily and that it will make my lunches easy to sort out make it worth that. I hate making sandwiches for work and they never taste very nice by the time lunchtime rolls round, especially as I’m not that keen on sandwiches in the first place!

So, from now on, every Tues - Fri I will be getting my graze.com box in the morning post at work. I wonder how long it will take the other girls to notice!

To get your first box for £1, use my ‘feed your friends’ coupon code: 9NV2ZM7

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

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Ok, so I would like to take a moment to share a little story about my bank.

The day I started back at work after our honeymoon, I was a good girl and sent a form to the bank along with a copy of my wedding certificate for them to change my name. How organised! I rang about 3 weeks later to ask about progress and was told there was a backlog, it would be dealt with soon. I rang again a few weeks later and was told that they probably lost it or it never arrived.. they weren’t sure which.

Anyway, I sent another form, written in nice clear block capitals. Another copy of my wedding certificate. Sent via Special Delivery this time.. and now eventually my name has finally been changed, the new card arrived in the post. Only they didn’t quite get it right. Despite requiring a copy of my certificate for them to check my name change claim, they still managed to change my name to Zoe Cockhill. COCKhill???

What a cock-up!

Sorry, couldn’t resist the dreadful pun. I know, I’m a bad person.

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

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I keep getting tagged on facebook to do this, but as I’m considering stripping my profile down to the bare minimum, I’d thought I’d post it here instead.

So, you’re supposed to list 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. about yourself. Let’s hope I can make this interesting - I will do my best to make it things that not everybody knows - and I’ll even attempt to make each thing last more than 10 words, though I can’t promise everything!

1. Counting Crows have been my favourite band for about 8 years. I’ve only seen them live twice in that time, mainly due to the fact they don’t really tour in this country often. They are amazing live, a million times better than anyone else I’ve ever seen, and ten times better than their albums. I’m going to see them in May - and I’m so excited! Other than that musicwise, I don’t really know who is who & my taste is very eclectic.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

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Had a lovely day today, it began with an exchange of gifts & cards, and a cup of coffee in bed :-). James bought me a slab of dairy milk and some thorntons goodies - he knows me so well, none of those fancy boxes of chocolates for me!! I’m happier with my choccy bar and bags of fudge butter tablet! He also managed to find a valentines hedgehog soft toy - when I was younger I used to collect them and stashed away at my parents house, in the back of a cupboard, is a black sack stuffed with over 60 soft toy hedgehogs. I did try naming them all when I was collecting them but started to run out of suitable names beginning with ‘H’!

After a leisurely morning lunch, we popped over to Ruth’s house to let out the dogs (though I must admit I spent more time playing with the puppy!), then headed to the photographers (Studio Cru) to pick our wedding photos. It took two hours and my eyes were a touch fuzzy by the time we’d looked at about 600 photos! We managed to narrow it down to the ~55 we’re having in the album though. It was a lot easier than I expected actually. Now we just wait for the PDF file to be sent to us for approval, and a month or so after that for the album to arrive.

James took me to dinner at my favourite Chinese restaurant, Lychee Garden, which is on the Hagley Road. We usually eat from their buffet menu but they had a special set valentines menu on tonight. I really enjoyed it because there were a few dishes I wouldn’t order normally - it was nice having a chance to try new flavours! I also liked not having to make any decisions - other than whether to finish off with banana fritter or ice cream! It was a lovely meal :-).

After dinner we slumped in the living room and proceeded to be very geeky - I managed to get my MacBook triple booting OS X, Windows 7 and Ubuntu, and James spent the evening setting up his server! What a romantic conclusion to valentines day!

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

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I am going to tonight, & I am very much looking forward to it.

As the kind of person who buys every bit of charity mechandise & reserves the entire evening to watching, everytime Comic Relief or Children in Need events roll around, this kind of event appeals to me a lot. It’s a wonderful combination of two things I love - an evening meeting new people and having a great time.. and getting an important message out & helping a brilliant charity.

Twestivals are happening all over the world tonight in an effort by twitter users to raise money & awareness for charity:water.

One in Six people on the planet don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water. In a country where you can just turn on the tap and get a glass full, it’s hard to realise the enormity of the problem. 1.1 billion people can’t just turn on a tap. To find out more please read charity:water’s why water? page.

If that isn’t enough reason to come, read these! It is going to be a great night.

Tickets are still available for - these will be available on the door tonight, so if you are a fellow twitter user, why not come along & join us?

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

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Anyone who has read my twitter updates in the last few days will know that I was ill for a couple of days last week. For anybody reading this who doesn’t know, I have been diagnosed with a few medical conditions over the past 5 or 6 years after suffering with them for several years before that; CDH (Chronic Daily Headaches), Cluster Headaches (otherwise known as suicide headaches).. and the doctor also suspects I am currently anaemic, which doesn’t help!

Someone said to me today “oh, are you in today then? You take a day off every time you have a headache!”, in an attempt at being sarcastic about me being off last week. Needless to say this didn’t make me a happy bunny - if I took a day off every time I had a headache I would never go to work! It also set me thinking, and talking to my boss about my sick days this afternoon got me thinking too.

For most people, a headache is something that happens every now and again, when they are overtired, or stressed - take a few painkillers and it’ll go away. For me, my conditions are frustrating, tiring, and an endless, continual presence in my life. I came home from work today, I got hugged while I cried in frustration, and I turned to a few of my friends for help & support (thank you girls - you know who you are!). Both of these friends have experienced chronic pain, both of them have the curse of being able to understand - which is in one way a wonderful thing, but in another way a horrible thing because I would never wish chronic pain on anybody. But most people I interact with, they don’t know what it is I deal with every day. So I thought I would try to explain - if only to define it for myself.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

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Just a few recommendations for apps I find useful on the iPhone (which is permanently glued to my side!). I use most of these daily so thought I’d share my love for them! :heart:

Tweetie by atebits

Yet another twitter app, Tweetie is the only one I seem to get on with. I have tried several others - all the ‘big name’ ones, and have encountered various problems. From bugs & crashes, to silly things such as just not liking to UI at all. Tweetie, however, seems different. So far I haven’t had a single crash, and the only bug (a problem with image caching) I have found is being dealt with by the developer - as soon as apple allows the update, anyway! And it just looks likean iPhone app. Some of the others I have tried are designed well, but just look out of place. Tweetie fits in perfectly with the native applications, and acts like them too - intuitive touches which make it a pleasure to use. This app was such a relief after the others I have tried - my twitter usage has doubled since I found an iPhone app that I enjoy using.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

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Font

I just had a fun 10 minutes making a font out of my handwriting with yourfonts.com. I’ve played with this before and usually given up in frustration, with my lack of patience! But yourfonts makes it an easy peasy process - and does a surprisingly good job! All you need is a printer, a scanner & a pen. You could make all sorts of fun dingbat style fonts with this too, if you wanted.

In case you’re mad enough to want my handwriting (as seen above), you can download my font here. I know, I have scruffy writing - I blame it on being an administrator - I scribble lots of notes to myself all day to keep organised!

(via lifehacker)

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

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Homily is under the impression that ‘up’, ’sit’ and ‘lie down’ all in fact mean ‘roll over’ :D

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

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I’ve been playing around with loads of different options to integrate twitter & wordpress during the past week or so, and there are some very advanced solutions out there, that can do a lot. For example, tweetsuite & twitter tools, which both provide multiple functions.

However, I don’t think it is necessary to over do it. For instance - I don’t think it is necessary to import all your tweets and post them as blog posts in digest form. I figure if someone who reads my blogs want to read my tweets, they’ll just head over to twitter and follow me there. All I needed along those lines was a sidebar widget so that my recent tweets were displayed, and it would be easy for someone to find me on twitter via my blog.

So, the 5 (simple yet functional) plugins I have installed are as follows:

  • Twitpress by Thomas Purnell - this handy plugin allows you to automatically announce your blog posts via your twitter account - I find this much more acceptable than posting all your tweets as blog posts. You’re letting your friends & followers let you know you’ve updated, and they can then go ahead and check their feedreaders or visit your blog to read.
  • MyTwitter by Erundur Anwamehtar - this plugin caches your tweets and displays them in your sidebar. This has the advantage of it not being blocked by filters which block the twitter site, such as my own work! It is very easily customisable, and allows you to manipulate the code used to display your tweets - which allowed me to add a ‘follow me’ button to the end of the widget - very handy! By the way, the beautiful button is by Siah Design, who has a whole selection of equally gorgeous ones!
  • Twittar by Ricardo Sousa, Smashing Magazine - this one combines the brilliance of gravatar (which, lets face it, not everyone uses), with twitter avatars. Based on the email address, it will either pull the commenter’s twitter avatar or gravatar. Failing that, you can specify an icon to be used when neither exist. Again, this is customisable and easy to use.
  • Automagic Twitter Profile URI by Benjamin Wittorf - This one is similar to the Twittar plugin, it looks up the commenter’s email address & checks if it is registered with twitter, then outputs a link to the user’s profile. Customisable of course, so you can specify exactly what is outputted (for example I have a twitterrific bird appear when a twitter user comments on my posts).
  • Wordpress @username by Lantrix - Having this installed is just proof of my laziness :) whenever I type or similar in posts, it will automatically link to that user’s profile. This is really just to save me bothering to manually put in a link every time!

Each of these plugins has something in common: they each do just perform one function, but they do this very well. When you put them all together you have a seamless, but understated, integration between twitter & wordpress.

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

Snow!

Feb. 2nd, 2009 06:29 pm
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Snow Day!

Wow, I think there are thousands of happy children today. It hasn’t snowed properly for years now, but up here in Birmingham we woke up to a white-out, and it’s been steadily snowing most of the day. Brrrr, it’s cold too!

It’s really nice to see everything covered in snow. I don’t know what it is about it, but I find snow absolutely beautiful. Especially untrodden snow. But I have an internal conflict about untrodden snow; should I be the first to have the satisfaction of walking across it, feeling the crunch beneath my feet and seeing a single pair of footprints behind me… or do I leave it to be beautiful and blank, like a blank piece of paper?? More often than not I will leave it so I don’t ‘unspoil’ it.. only to walk past it later to find that it has been kicked about and is tainted with gravel or mud.

I think it is going to freeze tonight, which will cause problems on the roads tomorrow. Right now they are just wet or slushy, tomorrow I think they will be icy. I’ve already told James () if he can’t get the car into the road and turned around safely, then he shouldn’t drive to work, he can work at home instead! I’m a caring wife, aren’t I? Of course, this has the added benefit that I don’t have to trudge home in the cold at lunchtime to let out!

I didn’t get the day off today, but I did get to go home early! All I can say, is YAY FOR SNOW!

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

zoecorkhill: (Default)

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
- What I create will be just for you.
- It’ll be done this year (or better: I’ll really really try to get it done this year. Prodding is permitted).
- You have no clue what it’s going to be. It may be a story. It may be poetry. It may be some kind of music. I may draw, paint, or photograph something. Most likely I may handmake something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure!
- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to repost. We can all make stuff!!

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. You can comment here or there.

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I am more easily found nowadays at my website, or on Twitter.

However, I do still read my friends page, comment when I have access to & reply to comments left on my (crossposted) entries. So feel free to friend me if you like :)

All previous entries up till now (Jan 09) have been friends only, and are almost all now private. Think of this as a fresh start! Future entries will be almost always public. You can read some of my more recent posts at my blog, but mostly the past is hidden away from public viewing.. forever! (cue evil laugh).

Ok, I'll shut up now.

I currently have Loud Twitter disabled for my LJ, in case people found it boring, especially as some of you are following me over there! Let me know if you want it back on, majority wins!

Sunshine :D

May. 8th, 2008 05:57 pm
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So, is everyone loving this sunshine? What gorgeous weather we’re having here, all over the UK. I’m off to the Peak District on Saturday with James & some friends, which should be great. A nice relaxing picnic, Homily will enjoy a day out. And benefit from it too, greedy pig, she’s been getting a bit podgy this week. Really looking forward to the weekend :D

I loved this weeks Apprentice episode - very dramatic boardroom! Annoyed that Claire is still in, she annoys me SO MUCH. But I reckon that Sir Alan has a soft spot with her, otherwise she’d have been long gone by now. I thought Jenny was MEAN so it’s good she went - I can’t believe that she tried to cheat with the tennis racquet thing!

Work has been stressing me out a bit today and so I was all hot & flustered - owie headache results. Bah. Stupid people making stupid trouble. That makes more work for Zoe - I’ve been dealing with three very similar issues ALL day that are SO frustrating. Grrrrrrrrr.

Anyway, must dash - I have to go drive around in circles for an hour!

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. Please leave any comments there.

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That is all.

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. Please leave any comments there.

*Yawn*

May. 4th, 2008 11:22 pm
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Oh, I love that I don’t have to go to work tomorrow. Is there anything better than a warm, relaxing bank holiday weekend?

I went to see Matchbox Twenty live at the NIA on Friday. And my god, were they good! They just got on stage and sang their brilliant songs and had so much fun! So brilliant :D

Have a listen to one of their best songs.. 3 AM - Matchbox Twenty.

We bought Wii Fit last week, and I’ve been having fun since! I’ve racked up 2 hrs 12 mins of torturous exercise so far which doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’ve had a busy few days since we got it Thursday! I’ve already got my favourite activities - I love step aerobics, unlocked all the way to free step, where I’m allowed to watch tv at the same time! Homily has even had a go on the wii fit, and it knows she’s a dog, I’m sure it does!

Highlights of this weekend also include the delivery of our snazzy new fridge freezer, the subsequent trip to ASDA to fill our snazzy new fridge freezer (yay for cheapness!), seeing Matt & Little Jenny Key for the first time in aaaagggggeeeees (which was a very nice surprise, stemming from me seeing a clone of Jen at the MB20 gig), Homily being generally adorable and being very popular at the pet store (one dog has never been so fussed over in one nip into a shop for dentastix!). I know, I’ve had such a thrilling time!

Tomorrow is roast dinner night, as I’ve foolishly mentioned roast dinners at some point this weekend and James gave me his best puppy dog look, so now there is a raw chicken in the fridge and veg in the cupboard! Oh well, I moan & groan, but I will enjoy cooking it really - and I’ll definitely enjoy eating it!

Anyway, I’m off to make banana splits, or some other form of ice cream concoction - the wonders of having a freezer - we have ice cream!

Originally published at Zoe's Blog. Please leave any comments there.

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