The Prompt: Fear

Thank you once again to Sara at MumTurnedMom for this week’s prompt :)



I’ve never been brave,
A hero, I’m not;
And, if I made a list,
I’d be scared of a lot.

Would be top of that list;
They could all disappear,
They wouldn’t be missed.

Then, evil dentists,
Are not far behind;
The sound of the drill,
Drives me out of my mind.

Little girl dolls,
Just give me the creeps;
If they’re in a dream,
I can’t get back to sleep.

It goes without saying,
I’m afraid of the dark;
But I feel safe at home,
Thanks to Stella’s loud bark!

There’s really no need,
For me to shed a tear;
All will be well,
It’s just irrational fear.

I'm afraid of the dark


Prose for Thought
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Woof Wednesday on Holiday

Sadly I’m too poorly to be going on holiday anytime soon (so is Mum though, it’s not all my fault!) but you lucky woofers that are planning mini breaks or big breaks should get your two-legged friends to read this post that Mum has collaborated on.

Just to prove that I have been on exciting expeditions there’s some old holiday snaps of mine too! 

stella skegness 16

Advice For Taking Your Dog on a Weekend Away

As anyone who owns a dog will know, they are a huge part of the family. You take them for walks, buy your dog accessories, nurse them when they are sick and always show them that you care. When they are such a large component of daily life, it only makes sense to want to take them on holiday, too.

If you are considering taking your dog away with you for the first time, here are some things to think about.

Research Accommodation

With the rise in the number of pet owners taking their dogs on holiday, there are now more dog friendly accommodations on offer than ever before. Choose from a wide range of camping and caravan sites (including Park Resorts), bed and breakfasts and private holiday rentals.

Tip: before you book, always remember to double check their animal policy and find out if there are any additional fees.

I love the seaside, sand is wonderful for scampering!

I love the seaside, sand is wonderful for scampering! This is Bournemouth. We went to the New Forest too but most of Mum’s photos are of ponies **yawn**

Journey Preparation

When you go away for a weekend, you will most likely be driving to your destination. However, unless your dog is used to travelling long distances by road, your pet may find the journey stressful. To help alleviate stress, plan regular stops en route, provide fresh water at frequent intervals, and provide a secure area for your dog to sit.

Never, under any circumstance, leave your dog alone and unattended in your car, as heat stroke can kill in minutes, even with a window open.

Maintain Routine

Breaking with daily routine can also cause your dog to feel stressed. Even though you are in a new location, try to maintain structure, especially when it comes to walks and feeding times. It is also recommended to pack your dog’s usual blanket or favourite toy, as this will help them to feel more settled in an unfamiliar environment.


With Uncle Neil on the beach at Skegness. I packed my favourite ball, favourite toys are important even on holiday!

With Uncle Neil on the beach at Skegness. I packed my favourite ball, favourite toys are important, even on holiday! 

Got it!

Got it!

Plan Ahead

If you were travelling with a baby or young children, you would make sure to bring a supply of nappies, a first aid kit and food. When taking a trip with your dog, it is just as important to plan ahead.

For example, if your dog has a long term illness, make sure you have a supply of medication. Or if you are going away for an adventure weekend, consider investing in animal safety gear that will protect them on hikes and boating trips. Alternatively, if you are travelling abroad, preparation can take several months and you may need to apply for an animal passport.


A passport?! Doesn’t that sound exciting woofers?!

Have any of you been abroad? Do tell me where you’ve had any wagtastic holidays.

Stella pawtograph new blog colour 2014

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Health & Beauty Reviews and a Giveaway

In no way do I profess to be a health & beauty blogger but I was recently sent a couple of items to review and I’ve been very pleased with both so thought I’d share them with you and have a little giveaway too.

Bimuno and May Beauty

First to arrive were the Bimuno prebiotics which I hadn’t heard of before. I’ve tried PRObiotics before in the form of Yakult but I probably thought both were the same. I’m not alone though, Bimuno carried out a survey that told them 80% of us don’t know the difference. In case you’re one of them, here’s the facts: 


Probiotics are live so-called ‘friendly’ or ‘good’ bacteria found in a variety of foods and food supplements, including yogurt drinks as well as various tablets and capsules.

These bacteria play a number of vital roles in the body including helping to regulate the immune system, aiding the digestion and absorption of food, producing essential vitamins, and contributing to digestive health.

Probiotic bacteria found in these products often belong to a number of well-known types of bacteria commonly present in the gut, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.


Probiotic bacteria undoubtedly have benefits. However, since they are live ‘perishable’ bacteria they face a number of problems including the very real difficulty of reaching the large intestine (colon) in sufficient quantities to have a positive effect.

They are difficult to store as they are sensitive to both high temperatures and oxygen which can damage and kill them. That is why they are most commonly found in chilled products on the shelves of the supermarket. In the case of supplements, those stored at room temperature will steadily lose their ‘effectiveness’. It has been estimated that you need to take at least 10 billion live bacteria in a dose of probiotics to be of some benefit so if they are damaged or dead before you start then you are wasting your money!


Prebiotics are sometimes confused with probiotics but they are completely different. Like us, ‘good’ bacteria have their own favourite food. This is a special type of complex carbohydrate scientifically known as a prebiotic (literally meaning ‘before life’) which they thrive on.
Prebiotics feed and increase the ‘good’ types of bacteria such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria without feeding the ‘bad’ types.


One of the biggest advantages of prebiotics is that they are highly stable, being un-affected either by temperature or long term storage. Consequently, they can be added to almost every type of food, drink or supplement without compromising their effectiveness. And because they’re resistant to the body’s enzymes and acids they are not destroyed, digested or absorbed as they travel through your digestive system.
Essentially, they reach the colon intact and unaltered, prebiotics work naturally in your gut to feed your own good bacteria helping them to grow and multiply.


While prebiotics occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables you would have to eat impractically large quantities of even the richer sources such as garlic, leek and onion in order to have appreciable benefits.
Fortunately, prebiotics can be extracted and concentrated from these natural sources. Examples include inulin from chicory and FOS (Fructo-oligosaccharides) which can either be extracted from plant sources or produced commercially.
A newer much more advanced form of prebiotics is now also available known as GOS (Galacto-oligosaccharides). GOS prebiotics are produced by combining the sugars present in milk in a way that mimics the structure of highly beneficial prebiotics naturally present in mother’s milk.


The Bimuno prebiotics are ridiculously easy to take too. When you’re as many tablets and supplements as I am for allergies and migraines and vertigo etc., you really don’t want the burden of trying to swallow yet another pill while trying leave the house in the morning. These are pastilles and you just chew two after breakfast. A very pleasant way to get more goodness, their pleasant tasting too which is always a bonus!

Healthy levels of good bacteria can be easily upset by factors such as stress ☑ , poor diet ☑, illness ☑, antibiotics, travelling and even the natural process of ageing ☑. But, you can help maintain the right balance by boosting your body’s own good bacteria. Bimono Immunaid is a brilliant way to get an immune system boost and you can expect to feel a difference after just 7 days.

Because my immune system is really struggling at the moment it took a couple of weeks for me to notice a positive change in how my digestion was working but I have noticed a difference and will continue to use these pastilles.

You can buy them direct from the Bimuno website or from Boots at a price of £9.99 a pack (currently on a 3 for 2 offer) and in the meantime I have been kindly given 2 packs to give away to one of you when you get to the end of this post.


I was one of those fortunate teenagers that wasn’t burdened with breakouts of acne, however, blackheads have always been a nuisance. So, when I received an e-mail about trying The Incredible Face Mask from May Beauty telling me this:

• Prevents acne
• Removes blackheads and whiteheads
• Takes away dead skin cells and impurities
• Makes your skin cleaner, smoother and healthier

Well, I was keen to give it a try. Like most of us I expect I’ve used face masks before of varying types but this one certainly sounded different enough to be worth a go.

The masks arrived in individual sachets with a brush to aid application. I have to admit I didn’t get on very well with the brush being cack-handed and found the mask much easier to apply with my fingers. If I was using this a lot I’d prefer it in a tube as I did get the mud all over my hands and the outside of the pack with this method. The sachets however contain the perfect amount for one face mask and there’s risk of the rest drying out before the next use.

Of course once I looked like a bad interpretation of a black and white minstrel I couldn’t put my glasses back on but I did remember to find a straw so I could still enjoy a cuppa while I waited the 40 minutes for the mask to do its thing.

There’s no muddy scent to the mask, it just feels cooling and reassuringly tightening. I’d been warned that it may be a little painful to remove the first time as the mask does indeed quite thoroughly remove impurities and I was half expecting for my skin to be quite red. All was fine though but be prepared for an ouch moment if you inadvertently get the mask on your hairline!

The Incredible Face Mask The Incredible Face Mask




Once I’d rinsed my face in warm water I couldn’t really see an improvement but my skin was definitely softer to the touch. After the second mask it was softer still and I could notice a reduction in blackheads on my nose but sadly not my chin or forehead. I’ve just done the third and there is improvement everywhere. I often get the odd little spot on my chin but there’ve been none since I started using the masks.

If you fancy giving these a try I have a 30% discount for you to use on the May Beauty website; just use the code lisafacemask30There is a test package available currently at £19.99 which gives you 5 masks, the brush, and, a skin guide. Or, if you don’t feel you’d need the brush or the guide, 8 masks at the same price. May Beauty ship worldwide.


Now, as promised I have a giveaway for you:

I have 2 packs (one month’s supply) of Bimuno Immunaid plus an Incredible Face Mask to give away.

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what your best health or beauty buy has been. It could be a supplement, or a skincare product, or even make-up.

My clever WordPress Winner Picker will randomly choose one of you on Wednesday 24th June so get your entries in by 11:59pm on the 23rd please. UK only I’m afraid.

Good luck :) x

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Apple & Pear Puffs

I’m trying to get my sweet fix from more fruit than chocolate but it can get a little boring so I decided to make use of the Jus-Rol light puff pastry sheet that I had in the freezer. Clueless about how long to cook anything for I found this apple recipe and adapted it to add pear too.

(Tescos had a special offer on organic apples and pears so I grabbed a pack of each – the apples are Pink Lady and Stella’s favourite to share)


1 defrosted Jus-Rol light puff pastry sheet
1 apple
1 pear
2 tablespoons plum jam
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Natvia baking mix
½ tablespoon Natvia icing mix for dusting

Once the pastry had defrosted I divided into 6 almost equal pieces and then spread a little of my sister-in-law’s home-made plum jam into the almost squares leaving a border to puff up.

I’d sliced the fruit and added a little lemon juice so it didn’t go brown and a little Natvia to sweeten without adding to the calories. No point using low fat pastry and then cover it in sugar! I only used one of each but could have fitted more in; the original recipe uses 3 apples.

Apple Pear Puffs

I added alternate apple and pear slices to each square and they went in the oven at 200º for 20 minutes. I didn’t bother with a beaten egg glaze as I had a feeling the jam would do that job for me when warm; I’ve used it before when a recipe called for an apricot jam glaze. They turned out just fine.

apple pear puffs

Jolly delicious too :) 

apple pear puffs 3

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S is for Stella (and Scrabble!)

S is for Stella and Scrabble


S is also for Star of Bethlehem :) 

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The Prompt: Confidence

Confidence can be a self-fulfilling prophecy as those without it may fail or not try because they lack it and those with it may succeed because they have it rather than because of an innate ability.’

The Prompt confidence

I am not blessed with confidence in any way, shape or form so when I saw Sara’s The Prompt this week I even doubted my confidence to write something!

I know that I can write, just as I know that I can produce a half-decent image from a photograph, but, convincing myself that something’s good enough is a rather difficult task.

The big question is: where does confidence come from? I’ve always believed it’s something you’re born with; in the same way that according to legend everyone is born with a talent, it’s just a matter of finding it.

Sure enough it’s possible to learn a skill that could be perceived as a talent, somewhere deep inside us we have a natural ability. It may not be obvious, or useful, or even desired but it is within us; I think confidence is the same.

Of course there are very many self-help books and Twitter life-coaches and Pinterest quotes that will try and convince me differently, and, that, little old mousey me can learn confidence skills…if only I read that book or retweeted or repinned! Even last week my own dad told me that I would gain confidence if only I lost 3 stones in weight (yes that’s having a supportive family for you!) He also thinks it would cure my vesibular migraines/possible fibromyalgia even though I was 3 dress sizes smaller when my symptoms started! 

I had a severe lack of self-esteem and confidence when I was a young and fit and healthy size 10 so why the heck that’s going to make any difference now, I know not.

Yes, I’m overweight. Yes, I’m trying to do something about it. No, my migraine-preventing munchies-inducing medication isn’t helping. No, nor is having a dizzy spell 30 seconds into a treadmill walk! I don’t disagree that I’ll feel a bit better once I’ve lost a few pounds, but, if I had no confidence when the world was at my feet, how I’m I supposed to believe it will miraculously arrive when I can’t even travel 10 minutes from my front door without feeling motion sickness?!

While researching for this I did stumble across what actually looks (apart from all the spammy e-mails but it’s free advice so mustn’t grumble!) like quite a useful site. Called Skills You Need it seems to cover a wide range of personal development and may well be worth me spending some time on. 

I wonder if when we tell people we’re bloggers that they believe we must be confident to throw our words out in to the world wide web. Personally I just find corresponding, conversing, and, conveying anything far easier on paper (or electronically) than face-to-face or voice-to-voice. 

Nowadays I can blame my tinnitus as it is totally distracting when you’re trying to have a conversation but I’ve only had that for 3 years so it isn’t a root cause!

Confident. I’m not. Are you?

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A Spoonful Of Sugar

Stella has always hated taking pills and I’m sure she’s not the only one of our pets that feels that way! For a while Drontal made some chewy beef-flavoured worming tablets which made the fight a little easier but they’re discontinued now and the replacements are whoppers that she just won’t swallow. At least they’re only required every 3 months.


Once a month she has a Program tablet to keep the fleas away which I find a lot more effective than spot treatments, which reminds me the best advice I was given about a flea collar was to put it inside the vacuum cleaner!

Every morning she has her Soloxine thyroid medicine, and, Loxicom her arthritis medicine, then every evening she has her Libromide epilepsy medicine and the salmon oil that helps all of her conditions.

With another cancer check-up looming I’m pleased that by altering her diet a little the tumour seems to have really slowed down in growth or we’d probably be adding even more drugs to the mix! I’m also pleased that the epilepsy pills have greatly reduced anxiety episodes so I have to give a calming Zylkene far less often.

Stella's medicine

Luckily the arthritis medicine and salmon oil are liquid and can easily be added to breakfast and dinner. Everything else has to be disguised or hidden.

I remember, a very long time ago, buying treats that were specially designed to put pills in…Stella just chewed off the outsides and spat out the pill. She did the same when I tried cheese.

For a while I started mixing a little meat in her dinner each evening but the end result of mixing her complete dry food with complete wet food didn’t have the best effect on her tummy. The fact that the medicine has turned her into a bit of a scavenger worked in my favour though and now I just add a little water to the dry food and make a bit of gravy and she gobbles down the chopped up tablets too!

Morning is much easier as I often have a banana with my breakfast and banana is a perfect texture for sticking pills in. She also loves banana so it really does seem like a treat. As do the slices of sausage I sometimes use.


What tricks do you use to medicate your pets or are they all brilliant at taking tablets with no bribery?


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