A blog about trying a new thing every day in 2013

An audience with……

Today I discovered a great website……….have you ever wondered how people get to be in the audience of TV shows?

Wonder no more – because this site www.applausestore.com lists loads of TV shows that need an audience. You simply register your details and the shows you are interested in and when they are ready to film they send you an application form. Its then a bit of pot luck as to whether you get tickets or not – but hey they are free!

I’ve registered an interested in Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Britains Got Talent 2013! – I’ll let you know If I’m successful!

Total Cost of New thing Tried TodayZilch

Coasting!

Today I felt the need to do something crafty, I get itchy fingers if I’ve not done anything for a week or so….

Ages ago I bought some coasters from a car boot sale with the intention of decoupaging them. Decoupage is the art of decorating the surface of an object with paper cut-outs.

In this instance the paper cut outs were old Beano comics also picked up in a car boot sale.

This has to be one of the easiest things to do  – I simply slathered PVA glue onto the coaster, cut out the comic pics and placed on the coasters and then gave them another coat of glue. Once they were dry I trimmed them and then varnished them a couple of times. These will look great in the kids bedroom…

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
£1.50 for coasters and comic

 

Raw materials

Raw materials

Finished Item

Finished Item

 

Lashings of Lemonade

Its hot hot hot today!

So – what better thing to do than to try my hand at making some thirst – quenching lemonade.

My mum used to make this when I was a kid  – I never really liked it much – I prefered the bought stuff!

I’m assuming my taste buds have changed since then!! – And I love anything lemony now. So I mixed the juice of 10 lemons with 200g castor sugar and 600ml sparkling water (the recipe said still but hey – I thought this would make it more like real lemonade!).

The result – was totally delicious and refreshing – not at all tart like I remember my mum’s being!- definitely one to do for family bbq’s. Even the kids liked this!

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
£2.80

 

Loads of Lemons!

Loads of Lemons!

Lashings of Lemonade

Lashings of Lemonade

 

WD-40

Today I spotted a post on my facebook page about – of all things WD – 40! I was intrigued – after all what can you possibly say about the stuff – its for stopping squeaks isn’t it and you sometimes squirt it on your car engine when it wont start? (though I’ve never known why!)

oh how wrong am I? It turns out WD -40 can be used for a myriad of things!  From the bizarre to the damn well useful and wish I had known years ago!! – Are you ready??? (takes a deep breath) – – here goes…..

1. Protects silver from tarnishing.
2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4. Gives floor that ‘just-waxed’ sheen without making them slippery.
5. Keeps the flies off of Cows, Horses, and other Farm Critters, as well. (Ya gotta love this one!!!)
6. Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7. Removes lipstick stains.
8. Loosens stubborn zippers.
9. Untangles jewelry chains.
10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks. – WELL CERTAINLY MADE MY BATHROOM FITTINGS GLEAM
11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill. –
12. Keeps ceramic / terracotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13. Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots. – YEP CAN VOUCH FOR THIS ONE
15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on both home and vehicles doors.- KNEW THAT
18. It removes that nasty tar and scuff marks from the kitchen flooring.
It doesn’t seem to harm the finish and you won’t have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off.
Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
19. Remove those nasty Bug guts that will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly!
20. Gives a children’s playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21. Lubricates gearshift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers…
22. Rids kids rocking chair and swings of squeaky noises.
23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31. Removes grease splatters from stove-tops. NEED TO TRY THIS ONE
32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs. ????? – OF COURSE WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT
34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
36. Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
37. Florida’s favorite use is: ‘cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.’
38. The favorite use in the state of New York, it protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it’s a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose.
Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
40. Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
41. It is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray it on the marks and wipe with a clean rag. WISH I’D KNOWN THAT YEARS AGO!
42. Also, if you’ve discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!
43. If you spray it inside a wet distributor cap, it will displace the moisture, allowing the engine to start. AH _ THAT’S WHY YOU SPRAY IT ON THE ENGINE!

Now I tried it on the shower door – and yes it does exactly what it says – more impressive though is the way it makes all the stainless steel fittings gleam!

Have always been intrigued by the name though – but a bit of research tells me WD40 is a water displacing spray (whatever that is ) – so guessing that’s the WD bit – maybe the 40 was the original number of uses they came up for it!

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
Zilch as had some in cupboard for car emergencies!

Useful all around the house!

Useful all around the house!

Hippy Chick!

Today I thought I should look more like a festival chick…..or festival hen really given my age!

So I bought some henna tattoo dye and got Elliott to draw a flower on my leg!

Now I absolutely hate tattoos – but its their permanence I hate. I often find myself looking at mature people with tattoos especially those with names and wonder if they regret it….and I think they look horrible when they are old and the colours have faded…..

Henna “Tattoos” last for about three days max! So that’s fine by me! There are also totally painless!

The kids want me to do some on them – I’ve told them they have to wait till the summer holidays – I’ve also told them that I’m not particularly hot on drawing the Arsenal football symbol! They might be lucky with a football!

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
£3

Henna  dye

Henna dye

Aplication

Aplication

Finished result

Finished result

 

 

 

Jolly Well Disguised!

So…today – wandering through the festival I am accosted by an ITV researcher. Seems that we have been caught on a hidden camera!

No – we weren’t doing anything illegal! I shall explain……

Five minutes earlier we were making our way to the Songbird stage to see Sadie and the Hotheads when we spotted a vicar being verbally abusive to a lone toilet! Now – I immediately assumed this was a piece of street theatre and stopped to watch  – Elliott actually thought it was some random nutter! Anyway…the random nutter/vicar pushed the toilet over and stormed off muttering . Ten seconds later a man emerged from the toilet covered in toilet paper and blue stuff…..Elliott still convinced at this point it was all real!

I pointed out that I thought it was staged…..however I didn’t realise that a) the nutter was actually Dom Jolly of Trigger Happy fame and b) that we were “the mark” and caught on ITV cameras!

Elliott did ask the production assistant if he could take a photo of Dom with me – but we were advised he was still in “angry vicar character mode”!

So – possibly sometime in August the show will air – if they use the footage I am the one in the blue top with the unbrushed hair standing next to a gobsmacked bald bloke!

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
Zilch

 

Cornbury

Today I went with the family (minus one son who was at cub camp) to Cornbury Festival.
Squiggle ‘n’ Jiggle had been booked for the weekend to run some art workshops. I’ve been to a couple of festivals in my time – Wychwood (4 times), WOMAD, (3 times) The Big Chill (once) but never to Cornbury.

Whenever I’ve mentioned going to Cornbury everyone has always said – “Oooh the posh one!”

Well – they were certainly right – it was very expensive!! The programme cost £10 (fiver at most festivals!)  and drink and food was a couple of quid more than previous festivals.

It was bigger than I expected – four outdoor stages, set in the lovely Great Tew Park in Oxfordshire, and lots of food and gift stalls.

Some great acts – James Arthur, Echo and The Bunny Men, Squeeze, Keane, Beverley Knight are just a few I can remember!

I just didn’t like the fact that there was a fairground too – its a festival – not a fair  – and frankly I could do without my son pestering me to go on rides that were a fiver a go!

Hopefully Squiggle will get booked again next year – in the meantime I’m going to plan ingenious ways of smuggling in alcohol!

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
Technically Zilch as get free family tickets on top of our payment…however the payment doesn’t cover cost of materials and food and drink for the weekend!

cornburyprog

 

 

Rooting for a Beer!

Today is 4th July – American Independance Day – so it made sense to try something American. As its a hot day it also made sense to make that American thing a nice cold drink!

Enter – Root Beer – purchased in the local Whole Foods Centre.

Imagine my disappointment to discover it is non – alcoholic – what is that all about?? – how can it be called beer?

Further disappointment ensued – as frankly this smelt like antiseptic and tasted of mouth wash – utterly disgusting!

Research tells me that this drink was originally called Root Tea but in a bid to make it appeal to Pennsylvanian coal miners in the 1860’s the name was changed – I wonder if they felt as cheated as me!!

To be honest though I am at a total loss as to why this product has lasted so long – it was quite possibly the vilest thing I have ever drunk!

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
£1.35

Love the packaging - pity about the contents!

Love the packaging – pity about the contents!

 

 

Millionaire!!

No…..I haven’t won the lottery…I wish…..

Today I’ve been feeling like something sweet all day…could be because I’ve made a couple of sweet trees today as gifts for the two children that raised the most money for the suprise party on Sunday…or maybe just because I have a sweet tooth!

I’ve always fancied making millionaire’s shortcake but frankly it’s always seemed such a faff –  making shortbread and caramel. So when I came across of Carnation caramel in the cupboard today – I had an idea. What about making a cheat’s version?

So – I bought a packet of shortbread biscuits which I whizzed into very small crumbs and added about 50g of melted butter. I packed this into a lined tray. Then I dolloped a small can of the Carnation caramel on top and spread it evenly and finally I melted 200g of milk chocolate and spread that on top. After leaving in the fridge for an hour or two – it was ready….

And the verdict???? – Ermmm – well lets just say it was very hard to cut (maybe left too long in fridge!) -and its probably best to actually make the caramel cos this was too squidgy really – still my kids enjoyed it!!! (all three of them!)

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
£1.80

 

Squidgy Millionaire Shortcake!

Squidgy Millionaire Shortcake!

Toothbrush Tidy!

This coming weekend we’re off to another festival and yet more camping…fortunately the weather forecast looks good!

A while ago I spotted something on Pinterest which I think will be perfect for camping!

A toothbrush/toothpaste roll made out of a facecloth – perfect for saving space…and no more washing out yucky sponge bags!

Turns out that you can buy this on etsy for £7.42 (bizarre pricing!)  – or you can make your own like I did today for 50p! and literally in 5 minutes!

Simply take a new facecloth – fold into a third and sew up each side, then sew three lines along the folded bit. And finally sew two pieces of ribbon to one side so that you can roll and tie it up.

I’m going to make another one for our eldest son who is off on cub camp this weekend too- he can then also use it as a facecloth!

Total Cost Of New Thing Tried Today
50p for facecloth

Tidy!

Tidy!

Rolled and ready to go!

Rolled and ready to go!