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James & I went to see Monsters Vs Aliens 3D at the Cineworld in Weymouth, while we were staying in Dorset with my family at Easter. The weather forecast for the rest of the afternoon was gloomy & what better way to enjoy a trip to the seaside than to relax in front of a fun film!?

Monsters vs Aliens

This was my first 3D film with the new RealD technology, so I’ll talk about that first. My memories of going to see 3D films still involved the cardboard glasses with red & green flimsy plastic lenses that were so dreadfully uncomfortable throughout the entire film! The new style glasses with their stiff plastic frames were comfortable and you could actually see (almost) properly through them, which made it hard to believe that they were going to actually work.

Being the geek I am, I immediately whipped out my iPhone while we were waiting in the cinema for the film to start, and looked the technology up on wikipedia, whispering the details to James1. Anyway, As soon as the 3D trailers began, I started to get excited, waggling the glasses up & down my nose to try and observe the effect. Needless to say, technology has come on in leaps & bounds since the days of the old 3D method, and the 3D effect you get from the polarised glasses is brilliant - it had me jumping in my seat as objects leapt off the screen at my face. You really do feel as if things are jumping out right to your nose!

  1. Of course, this was much annoyance of our neighbours - really, who is that interested in a blank screen that they get wound up about some talking before the film; the adverts hadn’t even started yet!

Read the rest of this entry » )

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

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Ok, so I know that I said that I wasn’t going to do anymore of these, but I was curious to see what words James would give me - he is my husband after all, it should be a good insight into our relationship :P

The words he gave me are: silly, roasts, books, web design, cdm


I’m guessing James chose this one because I can be very silly at times! He makes me laugh and we can be very very silly together as well. I like to keep my sense of humour as much as possible - even when we are arguing we always end up laughing together half the time!


This word = evidence of James’s cupboard love. I make a good roast dinner and I have a husband who sucks up to me for it! They’re fairly easy to do but he swears that mine are much much better than his attempts! And of course the dog loves them too…

Doggy dinner


I love love love reading. An example is this is that I recently read Jill Mansell’s new book in two days. But of course, anyone reading my blog already knows I love books, due to my ravings review about bookmooch a few days ago

Web Design

I love to play with web design & development - and hopefully will start doing this more and more.. I’m currently designing a business website for a friend of mine, as well as redesigning our own ‘wedding website’, and I still have more to do on twitnote! Plans also include making a few Wordpress themes to give out for freeee and a Dreamwidth theme for a friend. Lots to do! Watch this space ;-)


I think James was running out of ideas by this point! Cadbury’s Dairy Milk is my favourite chocolate, I love Cadbury’s buttons, wispas, etc, etc. YUM. Hmmm… I want a choccy bar now!

Cadbury's Dairy Milk
Creative Commons License photo credit: carldpatterson

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

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A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about Graze lunch boxes, which are delivered by the royal mail to your home/workplace.

graze - nature delivered

Last time, I posted a ‘Feed Your Friends’ code which allowed you to get money off your first box - well now you can get a box free! Just head to graze.com and enter this code:


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

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I should have written this post over a week ago but never mind!

Following our Easter Trip to Dorset, James & I headed North to visit a multitude of family members! After we got back to Birmingham on Wednesday (15th) we unpacked, did a washload, slept, repacked, and headed off again on our travels on Thursday (16th) - as you can tell it was a very restful holiday, our Easter week off!

We headed to Newcastle1 first of all, where we went straight to Uncle Richard’s2 house. Homily disgraced us within 10 minutes of our arrival - as James and I sat down to rest & have a coffee, we suddenly noticed that our little dog had disappeared into the kitchen when we weren’t watching.. Now, Richard’s dog Robbie is of the mindset that food is just not that important in the grand scheme of things. As a result of this, in their household a bowl full of dog biscuits can be left on the floor to be nibbled on throughout the day. Of course, this concept is completely incomprehensible to our greedy little Terrier, and so she was delighted to be greeted by half a bowl of yummy dog food upon our arrival. The amount of food the dog ate was roughly equal to a week’s worth of her normal food - which left her a very fat doggie for a day or two!

  1. For clarification - we visited Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. I say this because I grew up near Stafford, and whenever we mentioned Newcastle to each other, we meant Newcastle-Under-Lyme.. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne was just ‘The Other Newcastle’.
  2. Richard is James’s Uncle on his father’s side.

Read the rest of this entry » )

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


Apr. 30th, 2009 10:06 pm
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Last week I made a wonderful discovery via on twitter - and that discovery was BookMooch.com.

BookMooch: exchange books and trade them, like a book swap or book barter

Their tag line is “Give books away. Get books you want.” which sums it up very nicely in just seven words! Based on a points system, BookMooch let’s you ’sell’ your unwanted books for points, and spend those points to ‘mooch’ (request) books from other users:

  • Listing a book to give away = +0.1 points
  • Sending a book to someone in your country = +1 point
  • Sending a book to someone internationally = +3 points
  • ‘Mooching’ a book from someone in your country = -1 point
  • ‘Mooching’ a book from someone internationally = -2 points
  • Confirming that you have received a book safe & sound = +0.1 points

Why use BookMooch?

There is nothing worse in a book lover’s house than an unwanted book sitting in your shelf, when it could be sold or given away to make room for a book that you will love, and read over and over.

Read the rest of this entry » )

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

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Behold... My Future
  I will marry James.  
  After a wild honeymoon, We will settle down in Birmingham in our fabulous House.  
  We will have 3 kid(s) together.  
  Our family will zoom around in a Yellow That mazda I want.
  I will spend my days as a Banana Peeler, and live happily ever after.  
whats your future

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

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I have spent the last 5 days with my family, staying in a holiday cottage near West Milton.

View Larger Map

We arrived on Saturday, heading straight to Dorchester for Pene’s wedding. A little history may be required here: my family used to live in Dorset until I was two, and Pene & my Mum met in the maternity ward after my big sister & Pene’s eldest child were born. After the bonding over the two worst behaved babies in the ward, Pene’s kids grew up going camping with us, etc. It was lovely to see her and the three children at the wedding - though quite a few years have passed since I last saw them! The wedding was lovely - it had a Venetian theme which meant we were all given masks, a lovely touch. There was a magician coming round the tables to entertain us - he was fantastic, I had no idea how he was doing things!

Read the rest of this entry » )

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

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In the blogosphere, Thursday seems to be the day to count your blessings. And what better way to cheer yourself up than a blog post about the things that have made you smile this week? Seems like a good idea to me. I will try to do a TiLT each week, but I’m not making any promises!


The things I love this week are:

Thursday is the new Friday - As well as the brilliance of Friday & Monday being bank holidays, I have next week off.. a whole 10 days with no work.. Who wouldn’t love that?! We’re going to Dorset for a wedding, which will be lovely as we are staying in a holiday cottage with my family, and I am really looking forward to showing James around where I was born & went on holidays as a child etc. For the second half of the week we’re driving up to Newcastle to see loads of different family people, which should be nice. Lots of driving for James though - I expect the car will have another 1,000 miles on the clock by the time we are back in Birmingham.

His Dark Materials - My mother-in-law was very kind & treated James & I to go & see an adaptation of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman at the REP in Birmingham. I loved every minute of it - it was brilliantly done. The daemons were portrayed by puppets & were simply fantastic to watch; they displayed different emotions very well & you got a real sense of the characters. One of my favourite aspects of it was that they didn’t use much in the way of sets - just some tables, boxes & your imagination - it was very simple but effective. As a result I’m rereading the books at the moment - this could possibly be a factor in my tiredness - I’ve been reading late by accident!

Seeing friends - A good friend of mine is coming over this evening, yay! This makes me happy, especially since I was being a grump the other day and moaning that I hardly get to see anyone cos we’re so strapped for cash lately (£420 on the car last month - OUCH). And the wedding I’m going to on Saturday is an old family friend - I haven’t seen her since my wedding - and I haven’t seen her kids since I don’t know when, must be a good few years now.

Easter Eggs - Why does chocolate taste better in egg form? I’m not sure why, but I know I’m looking forward to the yumminess that is Easter! Nom nom nom.

Hot Chocolate - I’ve taken to having a few Cadbury Highlights sachets in my drawer at work so that when I want a bit of a pick-me-up I can have a gorgeous mug of hot choc without much guilt. The only drinks we have at work are tea & coffee and I don’t want to overdo the caffeine so I’m stuck with water most the time! It’s nice to have another option, especially one that involves chocolate! Especially on a day like today when it’s wet & cold outside.

P.S. Like the TiLT pic? That’s meeeee!

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

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In an attempt to overcome a bit of writer’s block I’ve experienced lately, I’ve decided to join in with the blogging world’s fascination of memes, writing prompts, etc - hopefully these will ‘inspire’ some interesting blog posts from me! I’d hate for my website to become a mundane list of what I’ve been doing, with no real insight into my life & who I am.

10 for Tuesday

10 on Tuesday is a simple concept, each Tuesday they give you a title, and you list 10 things. But maybe (fingers crossed!) this will kick me into action and I will end up elaborating on the topics when the answers are interesting enough.

This weeks title is ‘10 Least Liked Foods

  1. Spaghetti Bolognese 1
  2. Fish
  3. Tinned hot dog sausages 2
  4. Grapefruit
  5. Anything overly spicy
  6. Olives
  7. Almonds 3
  8. Curry
  9. Cherries 4
  10. Tomato soup

This was actually really hard.. it turns out when I think about it there isn’t much I won’t eat & enjoy. I have trouble sometimes picking things to eat in restuarants, but I think that is down to the fact I tend to read the menu & pick something I fancy.. what I want to eat depends entirely on my mood & not as much on my dislikes. I’m quite an easy house guest - with the exception of the above, pretty much anything you put in front of me will get eaten!

  1. I think this is almost entirely psychological, I used to adore a good spag bog when I was a child. However, when I was about 13, I went away on a GVC (Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets) camp & ate a large portion of spaghetti bolognese. This soon turned out to be a very bad idea as I had a terrible reaction to it - within hours I was hunched over a bowl letting it all out again. Since that fateful day I haven’t been able to look at a plate of spag bog without feeling a little bit ill!
  2. I actually love normal sausages - these are a crime against them in my opinion. They should be banished from the shelves of every supermarket. Asap.
  3. Especially the sugared kind they give you at weddings. When I was young and didn’t realise what was inside it was a bit of a let down.
  4. With the exception of ‘cherry drops’ which are heavenly and deadly addictive.

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

Fun weekend

Apr. 5th, 2009 11:14 pm
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One of my favourite things about being married is that I have weekends again - no wedding planning to do! Of course, I should have done more washing & more housework, but James & I had a really relaxing weekend for a change - and that was great. :)

Friday Thursday1 evening I had the house to myself & so I got to curl up in front of trashy tv with my laptop. Project Runway followed closely by America’s Next Top Model. As James says, both are full of bitchy men & women, only one is about the clothes more than the modelling, and visa versa!

Saturday was puppy sitting, long walk in the fields along a random public footpath, leisurely drinks in a pub garden & bright pink fairy cakes (which James helped decorate - see photos below!). Super Mario Galaxy & Heroes.

Puppies! IMG_0223 Homily Homily Me & Homily James Cakes! Fairy cake

Today James treated me to the cinema to go see Duplicity - I enjoyed it, will probably post more tomorrow about that! A yummy roast chicken dinner & now I’m watching Dirty Dancing while James snoozes beside me. Apparently it was a crime that I’d never seen it before!

Like I say, it’s a fabulous thing to have a relaxing weekend for a change! I definitely feel better than when I came home from work on Friday.

Only four days then it’s holiday time for me!

  1. I seem to have forgotten what happened on Friday evening. Therefore it must have been stressfree!

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

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So, the point of this is that (if you want to), you can comment asking me to list 5 things I associate with you. You then take those 5 things and elaborate on them in your blog. It’s an interesting way to get to know/find out more about people :-).

I got these words from other people’s blog posts:

  • Char gave me: Computers; Homily; Married life; websites; illness.
  • Amy gave me: Playmobil, jolly postman, heron brook, kaushpa tater! and hedgehogs
  • Kelli gave me: europe, apple, wedding, long hair, chicken

Read the rest of this entry » )

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

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This is interesting (at least to me!) - a wordle generated cloud of my tweets (I used tweetstats to get the word list).

Twitter Wordle

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

MacHeist 3

Mar. 26th, 2009 04:09 pm
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MacHeist is an interesting concept; a ‘bundle’ of Mac applications, for a gobsmacking low price. 25% of each bundle sale goes to charity1 , and as more money is raised, more apps are unlocked2.

macheistI bought my first MacHeist bundle last year during the MacHeist 2 sale, and since then I still use several of the apps on a regular basis, including 1Password & AppZapper. I know there is a lot of controversy around this bundle, but from what I have read, the developers now get a much fairer deal. Plus, a lot of money is raised for charity - and that can’t be bad, right?

This year, MacHeist 3 includes the brilliantly addictive game ‘World of Goo‘ which as far as I’m concerned, everyone who owns a mac should have! I’m hoping that Espresso will also be unlocked - I am currently using the trial and it’s a pleasure to use when editing code - the built in css editor is lovely. It’s worth noting, as well, that I used LittleSnapper and Picturesque to create the snazzy graphic above, in just a few minutes of tinkering. I haven’t really tried any of the other apps yet but a few of them look really useful, especially PhoneView, which backs up your iPhone SMS Messages without the need to jailbreak. I think you definitely get your money’s worth when you buy this bundle!

The bundle costs $39, for a current value of $626.753. The full bundle value is $975.70 - it’s quite a saving if all the apps are unlocked, which I am 99% sure they will be. There are already 20,701 bundles sold so if you want Big Bang Games as well you will need to buy the bundle before this reaches 25,000!

P.S. Please excuse me for using my referral link when linking to MacHeist in this blog post, but I get two more free apps if two people buy referred from that link (in the interest of full disclosure! ;) ).

  1. Actually, that should be charities - the participating charities are Action Against Hunger, AIDS Research Alliance, Alliance for Climate Protection, Direct Relief International, Humane Society International, The Nature Conservancy, Save the Children, Save Darfur, Prevent Cancer Foundation, & World Wildlife Fund
  2. It’s worth noting that in the history of MacHeist & the similar bundles provided by macupdate, the unlockable apps have always been unlocked
  3. At the time of writing, this includes Big Bang Games which is included for the first 25,000 buyers, as well as WireTap Studio which has already been unlocked.

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

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While browsing through my UK Lady Bloggers rss feeds today, I noticed this interesting post from Pink Jellybaby - using a prompt from Twenty Something Writers (another interesting looking blog I should add to my Google Reader!). Her answers to this were revealing & honest, and I liked them - so I thought I’d give it a shot:


We all have something we want to say to someone. Maybe it’s someone in your life now. Or, maybe it is something you wish you said to someone who is no longer in your life. It could even be Mr./Ms. Random Person that you saw in the local coffee shop today. What do you want to say that you were never able to?You can leave the person(s) identity anonymous, if you’d like.  Feel free to feature more than one person. Do it in letter form or any form you prefer. Show us that creativity!

  • I wish it had never happened. I wish I didn’t have to see you again and that I could just run away from it, but every time I see you I think about it and it scares me. Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve that, was it my fault? That kind of thing doesn’t happen to the good girls, surely? Why???
  • I’m sorry for what I did to you, I was a coward and I should have behaved better - but I’m not sorry for anything but the way I did it. I got away before I made any more big mistakes. I loved you once. I really did. It broke my heart.
  • I was scared of you - why couldn’t you understand I couldn’t live like that? It was driving me further back into my shell than ever before, I had to get away.
  • Get over it already, and stop being so bloody negative all the time. Make an effort, stop moaning about every last thing, and suck. it. up. Get on with your life, and make a decent effort at it.
  • I don’t think you quite understand how much you have changed my life. I am so much happier than I was before & I am so grateful for you because you have helped me finally start to figure out just who I am. I was never comfortable in my own skin before I met you. Thank you so much.
  • I miss you every day. I want so much to be able to talk to you again, to laugh with you & to cry with you - like we used to. I pushed you away when I was going through all that crap, and I should have just asked for help. Instead I lost you because of my own stupidity.
  • I still think you’re an idiot. You’re a nice guy, but you’re a bit of a plonker. Grow up already.

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

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I recently joined a group called ‘UK Lady Bloggers’, which has allowed me to discover some great blogs written by intelligent women from the UK - something which is actually quite difficult to find on the web. In my experience, the online world is dominated by men, and it can sometimes be hard to find women to connect with. Not that I’ve got anything against men, but it’s nice to find the ladies that are on the web too!  Unfortunatley I probably won’t be able to make the first meetup as it’s scheduled for my birthday weekend, but I’m sure if it is successful there will be more in future.

If you’re a female blogger wanting to connect & meetup with likeminded ladies, why don’t you join too?

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

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I’m sorry, but isn’t ‘awesome’ just a great word? I know it’s a bit too americanese, but I can’t help liking it - the sound of it spoken aloud is just fabulous. I’m not sure where I’ve picked it up from though!

:heart: Number One: I am a Peggle Nights Master!

This popcap game is seriously addictive. If you have a mac, get it (well, get Peggle first, then progress to P.N.). I’ve finished ‘adventure mode’ and so I get this wonderful trophy :-)

Peggle Nights 1.0

:heart: Number Two: Google Streetview was launched in the UK

I know a lot of people have issues with this, because of the whole privacy thing. But all they have done is take photos from the road - anyone has a right to do this (and to geotag them & upload them to the internet!). They’ve been kind enough to blur faces & numberplates - which a regular photographer might not do! Of course the first thing you do when you discover Google has launched streetview for your city is go and look at your house. Why do we do this? It’s not like I forgot what my house looks like (or where it was) - I was lying in bed playing on streetview on my iPhone!


Plus, you know, they planted the infamous Wally from


Mar. 22nd, 2009 04:23 pm
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Firstly, Happy Mothers Day to all you mothers out there! I sent my Mum a card & ordered some daffodils from the eden project for her, seeing as I couldn’t go & see her in person :-).

Today, James & I went to his Mum’s house to dogsit as she is at a Norwich Terrier Show. No complaints from me at doing this though, because I got to play with her new puppies! This is the first time I’d seen them as they have been at one of her friend’s house before now. They are about 11 weeks old and utterly adorable. Of course I took our camera and proceeded to take loads of photos, as is necessary when very cute puppies are involved.

James Nose Cute! What's that flash? Nom Nom Nom Let me out! Hello! Mobbed! Cuddle 4 puppies, all in a row..

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

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I think that one of the best things about being a human being is the enjoyment we get from things. From big complex things, like love, to simple things like relishing the sweet taste of chocolate. Things like the pleasure we get from a sunny day or even from a raging thunderstorm.

My absolute favourite of this kind of thing are guilty pleasures (well of course this still comes after my husband :-P). So, I want to know what your guilty pleasures are.

Mine are chick lit books. Trashy tv like ‘America’s Next Top Model’ and ‘Project Runway’ where bitching comes first and fashion second. Ben Jerry’s ‘Phish Food’ ice cream. Murder mystery jigsaws. Eating a whole dairy milk bar (and I’m talking about the big ones) in one evening. Curling up on the sofa with my laptop/book/favourite tv show (one of the many) instead of doing the housework. Hot chocolate with added chocolate!

These are the things which you love to do even if you know you shouldn’t. You get a frisson of guilt, which is part of the fun - and that’s what makes guilty pleasures so great so much more enjoyable! It’s why a chocolate bar tastes better than your favourite fruit, I reckon!

So people, what do you love know you shouldn’t?

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

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So, the bank have sorted it out and I have my new card, but I thought I’d show you this one before I shredded it! I’ve also received a chequebook with this lovely name on as well, rah.


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

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I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately - been busy with a few things.

My main distraction has been Twitnote, a project James & I have been working on over the past few weeks. It was born when I tried to find a way to tweet notes at myself on twitter, without clogging up my direct messages etc. I wanted to be able to send a quick tweet and then read it later - the simple brilliance of it being that I can tweet from anywhere! If I could tweet, I could send myself a note. I had a look around and there was nothing I could find that was exactly what I wanted. So James & I decided to build something together instead! The things geeks do for fun, quite sad really.

It will be quite cool I think - so far it supports hashtags, starring, archiving, & sharing notes via email/twitter. You can set notes to be public/private and each user has a public page with an RSS feed (or they will by the time we’ve finished it!). I did the design and we’ve got it so it fetches your profile colours/background from twitter - quite neat :).

Last week there was also the very momentus occasion otherwise known as A Trip To IKEA. And yes, meatballs were eaten. Plenty of meatballs. This trip to IKEA was especially important as we have now purchased our last piece of furniture for the house! Yay!! Then we had to figure out how to build the futon, but we managed it in the end - and Homily likes it!

Homily on the futon

On Saturday James & I went to Crufts for the day. I’m not going to get into the whole fuss about breeding - I think that it’s been blown out of proportion a bit, really - I don’t want to contribute to that! We had a great day & got Homily a new toy, that she actually plays with! Ok, so it involves food - it always involves food where Homily is concerned! I got to watch some agility, heelwork to music & the flyball team finals, so I’m happy! Spent far too much money on my spoilt dog though (as per usual).


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


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May 2009

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