Woof Wednesday: Stella’s September Round-Up

Hello woofers, I am back :)

September was quite a month, I think I made Mum a bit frantic with worrying about me but I couldn’t let my 10th Gotcha anniversary pass without some sort of kerfuffle!

Speaking of which, well done to Danielle from Underland to Wonderland on winning my Woof Wednesday Gotcha Giveaway, I hope she, and the gorgeous Baker, enjoy their books :)

So, thanks to the vet, I lost a toe and found a cancer, but, without the former I would still have the latter so all in all it was a fair exchange. And, because I’m so brilliant, I soon had my balance back so I could put on an even-pawed chase of the squirrels!

This weekend though I lost another toenail from that foot and worried Mum again but there’s no blistering this time so we’re not panicking and will show the vet at my check-up next week.

lisas-life.com poorly paw again



lisas-life.com lost toenail again








 Of course, I only tolerate this many vet visits because it also means a visit to the pet shop next door which I woofing love!

What else has been new this month? Well, as promised, Mum & I posed with our noses for Wet Nose Day 2014

lisas-life.com wet nose day 2014

And, I am pleased to report it was the driest September since records began! I hate going out in the rain; I don’t mind so much if it does it when I’m sleeping as I quite like a nice slurp out of a muddy puddle, but, wet stuff falling out of the sky? Nope, not for me…I like sunshine! :)

lisas-life end of sunny September


 In other weird news I’ve got an insatiable urge to eat cat poo and soil lately…as well as anything else I can get my teeth into on walkies! There’s even a name for it, but, I’m nowhere near as bonkers as the dogs in this article

Mum is contributing it to increased hunger as she’d been cutting down my portion sizes a little while we couldn’t get as much exercise, then she mentioned it may even be a, ahem, mental, issue as I’ve had a couple of epilepsy funny turns too in the last couple of weeks.

In fact, it’s all just to keep her on her toes…my journey into old lady senility (& getting away with naughty stuff- found an only half eaten apple turnover the other day, nomtastic!) is going to plan woofers!

How have your Septembers been? 


Stella blog pawtograph September 2014

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My First Taste Of Quark

I hadn’t really paid much attention to quark…apart from having quite a daft name I thought it was the vegetarian cheese equivalent of quorn! If I’d known it was actual cheese I would’ve avoided it anyway being fairly dairy intolerant.

However, due to its low-fat properties it’s been featuring more heavily in the media lately, and, having a lunchtime browse of the newspaper at work, I was very interested to read that it’s in fact thought to be quite fine for those of us with a delicate dairy disposition. On to the shopping list it went.

When I bought it, the lady on the till said “we’re selling a lot of this lately, what’s the big deal?”, I explained it being in the news and the supposed good properties…I think a tub was going home with her that night!

But, what to do with it…I had ideas of tiramisu but didn’t have most of the other ingredients so I turned to my friend Google for quark recipes and it mostly came up with good ideas but again they were things I’d have to especially buy extras for. I didn’t really want to do that until I knew if it would pass or fail the tummyache test!

Then I saw a familiar name and it turned out that Cheryl at Madhouse Family Reviews had been using some quark cooking sauces courtesy of the Lake District Dairy Company. Her Spaghetti Quarkonara looked like a brilliant idea.

I still haven’t found a wheat-free spaghetti I love yet but I am very fond of using the Zero Noodles version which are super low calorie too.

So, on Sunday evening, I put together my own version using mushrooms, garlic granules and ham. I stirred in half a tub of the quark plus a spoonful of Lactofree soft cheese to make it extra creamy. I added the prepared noodles and within minutes it was ready.


The cheeses did separate a little but I think that was due to the high water content of the konjac noodles. When it was dished up it tasted just right :)

As for tummyache…a slight twinge but nothing unbearable. I was very relieved there wasn’t a repeat of the cottage cheese incident of 2010!

Have you tried quark?



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One Photo, No Words: 28 September 2014

lisas-life one photo no words 28 September 2014

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How Did It Come To This?

This could have been a week that was about blood tests and bruised hands after yet another visit to the doctors about by vertigo/migraines/whatever…but, by the time I got up for work on Thursday morning it became apparent the word of the week would be heartbroken! 

Lisas-Life #WOTW Heartbroken Jason Orange


Needing earlier nights than I used to meant that I missed the announcement on the Take That website on Wednesday evening.

By the time I checked my social media timelines yesterday morning I was at first delighted to see several photos floating around of my, what I call, imaginary husband, but then less delighted when I found out the reason.

‘I want to start by saying how proud I am of what we have achieved together over the years. However, at a band meeting last week I confirmed to Mark, Gary and Howard that I do not wish to commit to recording and promoting a new album. I have spent some of the best years of my life with Take That and I’d like to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey, including my band mates, who I feel are like brothers to me. Most especially my gratitude goes to all of the good and kind, beautiful and ever-loyal fans of the band, without whom none of this could have been possible. Thank you.

At the end of The Progress Tour I began to question whether it might be the right time for me to not continue on with Take That. At the start of this year and with my full knowledge and blessing the guys began writing new material. There have been no fallings out, only a decision on my part that I no longer wish to do this. I know how much Mark, Gary and Howard enjoy writing and making music, and they know that they have my full support and encouragement to continue on with what is to be another chapter for the band.’

Jason Orange

On a one girl mission to get #teamJason trending I re-shared my cheesy selfie with a cardboard Jason in Marks & Spencers years ago and shared a video of him beautifully solo singing from the Beautiful World tour in 2007.

 I’ve probably written before that I wasn’t a Take That fan as such back in their boyband days…I bought Could It Be Magic and Never Forget but didn’t own any of their albums; and, my best friend at the time and I only went to that concert at the o2 for a laugh on her daughter’s 21st birthday. ( I only had a copy made for me of the Beautiful World album so that the songs weren’t totally alien to me! Yes I did then buy a legit one!) However, things changed for me after seeing that performance and I gained a new respect for a man I’d previously only thought of as a pretty backing dancer.

It may have been an act but Jason came across as humble and vulnerable, qualities I’d never seen in him in those early tabloid newspaper headline-making days. I don’t even know which member(s) of the band wrote Wooden Boat, but Jason’s sweet vocals were perfect.

He’s had solo tracks on all of the albums since Take That reformed so it really winds me up when people still make remarks about his ineffectual presence in the band. They also do it about Howard, seemingly forgetting his lead vocals on Never Forget and it annoys me (and not just me if you saw the Twitter backlash against Good Morning Britain yesterday!) that people think they’re interchangeable and use the wrong photos in a story!

He obviously wasn’t just a third wheel to the other 3 either:

‘This is a sad day for us. Jason leaving is a huge loss both professionally and even more so personally. We first became aware of Jason’s reservations a couple of years ago but had hoped that by giving him the desired time and space he may begin to feel differently. This has not been the case and we now have to accept and fully respect his decision which we know hasn’t been an easy one. Jason’s energy and belief in what this band could achieve has made it what it is today, and we’ll forever be grateful for his enthusiasm, dedication and inspiration over the years.’

Mark, Gary and Howard

There have been various attempts at jokes over the last couple of days which I’ve no doubt I’d have found hilarious were it someone leaving Boyzone or even One Direction…but, it’s my Jason and as I know he isn’t comfortable with being in the public eye, I wonder when I’ll see him again.

I’d like to think he’ll have another go at acting, as a face that handsome shouldn’t be hidden away, but he’s intelligent and worldly-wise enough I’m sure to choose a career path that suits any of his talents. I don’t watch Strictly Come Dancing and I very much doubt it would be his cup of tea but you have a surefire winner for a future series if you ask me! 

Maybe he wants to stay in the background and settle down? After all, it was quite well documented that he had reservations about the band reforming in 2006 so realistically I have to accept this was always on the cards and be very thankful indeed for the 7 brilliant years in between.

I had no idea seeing Progress Live in 2011 that it would be the last time I saw Take That perform in their original line-ups. I had a feeling that my dizzy migraines would stop me from seeing the rumoured tour next year. Things won’t be the same as a three-piece but I’m still looking forward to hearing the new material.

Lisas-Life Take That Progress Live 2011

Lisas-Life Jason Orange Progress Live 2011

Good luck Jay, on whatever journey you choose. Missing you already xox



Do visit The Reading Residence to see how other bloggers’ weeks have been :)

The Reading Residence




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Union is our prompt for the 100 word challenge at Julia’s Place.

 Thunder is #theprompt from Mum Turned Mom.

 Can I fit them together somehow?…let’s see!


As the sky goes black,
The world feels dark.
There’s a warning flash,
From across the park.

Rumbling in the distance
Getting closer now.
Where is my umbrella?
It’s getting louder; wow.

Rain was unexpected,
On this Summer’s day.
But the air was stifling,
I’m pleased it didn’t stay.

Weather’s rowdy union,
Getting nearer still.
God’s moving his furniture.
Up high on Heaven’s hill.

First lightning, and now thunder.
It’s really quite a show.
Mother Nature’s magic,
Making the sky glow.

Soon I find some shelter,
Wait for the storm to pass.
Imagining the sweetness of,
Rainbows and rained-on grass.

Lisas-Life Silent Sunday rainbow


lisas-life.com #100wcgu

Prose for Thought
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Not Just Woofers Wednesday: Wet Nose Day

While Stella was dragging me around our favourite pet shop the other day she pointed out a charity box on the counter…”look Mum, you can have a nose like me,” she said.

The staff told me it’s for Wet Nose Animal Aid to raise funds for struggling animal rescue centres to help them with vets’ bills, equipment, and, food.

lisas-life.com woof wednesday wet nose animal aid

I know it was only a week ago I was asking you to consider a donation to the Manchester Dogs Home after their devastating fire, but, Wet Nose Animal Aid started in East Anglia so I feel compelled to help them too if I can.

This Friday is Wet Nose Day 2014 and you can pose with a nose available from your own local pet store. You may even have one lying around in your dressing up box!

Expect to see me briefly wearing mine on a Twitter timeline near you this week.


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Advice I’d give my younger self.

Back in April I wrote myself a letter that it seems worth re-visiting as Legal and General are currently running a campaign about advice you’d give your younger self.

If you missed it then, this is what I wrote:

lisas-life.com advice to my younger self

Dear Lisa,

You’re only just 13 and yet you think you know it all already don’t you?

At least you’ve given up those dreams of being a pop star and settled for something more realistic like a fashion designer but, whatever career path you choose, you are going to have to work hard in these last years at school.

Don’t let the bullies win and make you want to hide at home; don’t kiss the wrong boys because you’re scared the right ones won’t ask; do your homework when you get it, because my dear, daydreaming hours away isn’t going to get you the exam results you need.

It’s important to have other interests and friends but think twice before you choose…knowing all the words off by heart to that Madonna song isn’t going to get you far. She may be a “Lucky Star” but I’m afraid you’re not. If you’re serious about your art then practice practice practice!

Mum & Dad may be too busy to tell you but whatever you succeed at they will be proud. But, it’s a scary world out there when you’re growing up and will be too easy to take the lazy option. You’ll regret it if you do.

Work hard. Choose friends carefully. Don’t feel you need a boyfriend because all the other girls have one. As time goes on you’ll find that not everyone is as honest as you are and you may find yourself getting taken advantage of. Don’t be afraid to be alone. It’s ok, I promise.

Collect photos and stories from Nanna, Grandad & Nannie. They’ll be gone too soon and you’ll be left with a million things you want to remember.

Please don’t push away nice people just because they’re not ‘cool’, you’re going to be one of those uncool nice people one day and feel rejected just like they may be feeling now. Learn to build bridges, and not the ones that awful Mr Hancock talks about in Maths, it’s a useful skill.

Try and save some of your pocket money and not spend it all on records…one day you’re going to want nice clothes and however great you think you look only wearing black, I’m afraid vitamin D isn’t our friend and you will always be pale. Save up for some colour…you’ll come to love it, really you will!

In a few years time Dad may start nagging you to learn to drive…give it a go, don’t be stubborn and not do it in some bizarre cutting off your nose to spite your face act of rebellion. It won’t be easy but you can do it and you will love the independence it brings so much you could save yourself a world of heartache.

Be brave, laugh more, live more, learn more…pay attention more!

One final thing, stop bringing stray cats home, you’ll soon realise dogs are much better.

All my love,

Lisa xox

So, to recap, the best advice I’d give myself is still to learn more, laugh more, take more photos, and, for goodness’ sake, embrace colour! I think the only thing I’d add is don’t get addicted to chocolate but I very much doubt I would’ve listened!

lisas-life.com take more family photos

lisas-life.com chocolate


You can check out #youngerself on your social media timelines to see more of us give advice to our younger selves but what would you go back and tell yourself?

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