5 Fandom Friday : Five Fictional Pets I’d Like To Adopt

Okay, we don’t have any pets (well, the neighbours cat Tilly has kinda adopted us and lies in wait for us so she can raid the fridge for tidbits, but that’s different)

Growing up, I always had pets; dogs, hamsters, rabbits, fish, gerbils, cats, guinea pigs; but other than sea monkeys; my own kids haven’t had their own.

I remember, as a kid, seeing adverts for Sea Monkeys in the back pages of comics (beside the x-ray spex & dirty-face soap) and really wanting some.

So when we bought some for our kids years ago, I was kinda disappointed that they weren’t nearly as exciting as I had built them up in my mind!
They are pretty cool – like ancient alien sea dinosaurs, but tiny and once they have grown, you only need to feed them once a week 😛

When it comes to FICTIONAL pets that I’d love to adopt, there have been more than a few over the years; far more than I can list here; so I’ll just list a few…

1. Timmy, Famous Five


I loved Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven and Famous Five books, but I think The 5 were my favourite. I would have loved to be in the gang and Timmy the dog reminded me of our gentle wise Border Collie, Prince.

2. Uni, Dungeons & Dragons


EVERYONE loves the 80s D&D cartoons, right? I so wanted a pet like Uni.

3. Stitch, Disney’s Lilo & Stitch


Who wouldn’t want their very own Experiment 626? He’s a very mischievous little blue cuddle-bug of energy.

I’d probably have to share custody with Teen1 though….


4. K-9, Doctor Who


K-9, BECAUSE HE’S K-9, what other reason do we need?
He’s cute, loyal & travels through space & time.


After giving it a lot of thought, Hedwig DIDN’T make the list. This may sound shocking, I know! I mean, he’s Hedwig!! But, hear me out… If Hedwig lived in our home, he would be allowed to fly free and as a valued member of the household would be encouraged to continue in his chosen employment as a mail-owl…ergo, NOT ACTUALLY A PET.


(Yeah, I know: totally cheating so I can squeeze an extra one onto the list)

5. A Pokémon

ANY Pokémon would probably make an awesome pet, but I guess my first choices would be Jigglypuff or Pikachu


These photos are from wayyy-back, when Teen2 was just a little'un

So, which fictional pet(s) would YOU love to adopt? Please share in the comments (or link to your own list!)

In other news….
Did you enter the Stationery Giveaway?
The giveaway is now closed and winners have been chosen (although the random generator was behaving particularly randomly and chose 3 instead of 2…)

The winners can be found here: a Rafflecopter giveaway


The answer is cake. What was the question?

I love coffee & walnut cake, it’s one of my favourite cake flavours and this super easy recipe has never failed me.


The basic recipe comes from a Brownie Guide Cookbook, published in 1963.

The measuring seems a bit strange to some people, essentially everything is weighed out to equal the eggs you are using. In fact, it is called “The weight of an egg” cake!



  • Eggs
  • Self-raising flour
  • Butter
  • Caster sugar
  • Coffee
  • Walnuts


  • Icing sugar
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Coffee
  • Walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Grease or paper line 2 tons
  3. Make some coffee & set aside to cool (1 tablespoon granules & 2 tablespoons water or 1 shot espresso)
  4. Weigh your eggs (I used 6 for a pretty large cake!)
  5. Weigh equal amounts of sugar, butter & flour
  6. Cream together butter & sugar
  7. Beat in the eggs (2 or 3 at a time)
  8. Whisk in the coffee
  9. Gently fold in the flour (a third at a time)
  10. Add crushed or chopped walnuts
  11. Split between tins & bake for around 30 mins
  12. Remove from oven & allow to sit in tons for 10 mins before removing from tons & allowing to cool on a wire rack
  13. To make the buttercream, whisk the butter to soften then beat in the icing sugar, stir in the coffee & whisk. You want it to be creamy but thick & spreadable. Beat in a little milk if required
  14. When cold, sandwich together with half the buttercream and top with the rest.
  15. Decorate with walnut halves.
  16. Eat a large slice with a mug of coffee


Leave out the coffee & walnuts for a plain sponge or for chocolate cake replace 50g/2oz of flour with cocoa.

Do you have a go-to cake recipe that you use lots? Please share! I’d love to hear if you try this recipe!

Papery Peep : July 2015

Today is the last Wednesday of the month, so that means it’s Papery Peep time, over at The Reading Residence (if, like me, you have a paper fetish; you should pop over for a nosy – Jocelyn is a lady who knows how to do paper right 😉 )

Anyway, back to Papery Peep…

What is it?

Papery Peep is a Linky Jocelyn runs every month to assist in fueling one another’s love of all things papery, by sharing your paper-based escapades.

So, without further ado; please feel free to have a peep at my paper…

New acquisitions!

A new TIGER store opened in town (2 doors down from Paperchase – I’m doomed!) so I’ve popped in there a few times for a rummage.

I think one of my favourite TIGER finds is their parcel tape. Bright, fun & funky prints; plus, at £1 for a 30m x 5cm roll, it's an absolute bargain!

I think one of my favourite TIGER finds is their parcel tape. Bright, fun & funky prints; plus, at £1 for a 30m x 5cm roll, it’s an absolute bargain!

No, I didn’t stop at tape. No, I didn’t bypass Paperchase. I am weak.

There were delightfully fishy goings-on in this month's Paperhaul

There were delightfully fishy goings-on in this month’s Paperhaul


This month also brought some rather lovely #BringBackPaper Stationery Swap goodies from Hannah

My other papery shenanigans this month included:


Normally I devour books at an alarming rate but, looking back, this month has been pretty dire.

I raced through a few at the start of the month but I’ve been trudging through Requiem by Robyn Young for what seems like weeks. I don’t know why; it ticks a lot of the usual boxes:

  • Historical background
  • Political intrigue
  • Templars
  • A favourite era….

So I’m not sure why it’s such a struggle. Anyway, I feel that now I’m 3/4 way through, I need to finish it. It’s not that it’s a ‘bad’ book, otherwise I’d have ditched it a few hundred pages back. I guess I’ll finish it eventually!


There’s been quite a bit of writing this month!

Firstly, I’ve been making a concerted effort to make blogging a regular event, so there’s been a lot of jotting down ideas.

Then there was Postcrossing’s 10th Birthday and Summer Postcard Club, both of which involved the writing (& receiving!) of many postcards.


I’ve already shared some papery creations with you this month, through some crafty DIY posts:

I shared how to make cute little Happymail folders.

I shared how to make cute little Happymail folders.

If you missed that post, you can find it here.

I also shared 5 quick ways to use up some of our tape mountain

I also shared 5 quick ways to use up some of our tape mountain

You can see that post here.

There were a few other projects that I dabbled with, but they are either a WIP, or parts of swaps or gifts that haven’t been received yet; so they are under wraps for now!

One thing that I CAN share is my new planner:IMG_20150729_140918979

I’m a planner. I like to be organised. I list. I write lists of what lists I need to write. BUT I had never properly ‘joined’ The Planner community.


Now, one thing I don’t get is the idea of spending £50-£100 a time on multiple glorified diary/notebook combos (if that’s your thing, great! Me, personally, I’d rather spend my money on other things…) So, think of this as a sort of anti-planner. I bought a cheap ass planner (around £6 or £7 including shipping from halfway around the world) and set about adding to it. The pages that WERE in it have been supplemented with bits of my old planner book that had seen better days, I’ve been adding bits and bobs and generally just having a play around.


I’m eager to see how it evolves, but I’m super-impressed with it so far!

Anyway, that’s all for now; I need to catch the post office before it closes and there’s probably another visit to TIGER on the cards…bringbackpaper_zps23ee7e30

Thanks for stopping by! Xx

If you haven’t had your papery fill yet, remember there’s still time to enter my Stationery Giveaway!

Fixing stuff


Today I was suppose to share a happy mail post with you but something else got in the way and I didn’t get round to taking pictures, so I’ll save it for another day!



…is what got in the way.

The timing was, of course, impeccable :-\
It’s been pouring with rain all week so the laundry had piled up, and all of a sudden the washing machine decided to stop spinning.

Which was just dandy since after replacing the oven last month, the last thing we needed was buying another large kitchen appliance!

Anyway, we pulled it out and had a look and I think we can fix it!!

So, tomorrow we go to pick up some new carbon brushes & attempt to fit them – wish us luck!! 😀

Normal post services will be resumed tomorrow (unless I make a particularly good job of it and decide to become a washing machine mechanic 😛  )

Summer Postcard Club


It was near the start of July that the lovely Marceline over at Asking For Trouble came up with the idea of #SummerPostcardClub after 8 days with no Happy Mail. Imagine! 8 whole days, with NO HappyMail!! It doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?


So, Summer Postcard Club was born, to give us all the chance to send and receive some postcards this summer (like we needed an excuse!) Sign-ups were open for one week, we filled out a form with name, address and some of our favourite things; as ideas for choosing postcards to send us. Then everyone was emailed the details of 5 random recipients, 4 of my sendees were also in the UK while the 5th was in USA.

I really enjoyed sifting through my collection of postcards, selecting what I hoped to be the perfect card for each person.

I couldn’t wait to get started and so sent off my first 4 immediately (I had remembered seeing a brilliant card in one of our local galleries and so wanted to pick one of those for my fifth & final recipient).

My first 4 cards. These were going to ladies who listed tea, cycling & houses, trees and vintage amongst their likes; can you guess which was which?

My first 4 cards.
These were going to ladies who listed tea, cycling & houses, trees and vintage amongst their likes; can you guess which was which?

It wasn’t too long before I started receiving cards too, as my first one arrived today!


I’m really enjoying this project and I’d definitely sign up straight away if Marceline ran it again. Oh, and I sent her an extra card too, of course!

DO YOU send summer postcards? I actually send lots of cards to friends & family, year round, especially to my mum who loves to receive them. Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for reading! 

Have you entered my Stationery Giveaway yet? There’s still time, so why not pop on over there and do it now!

I’m going into space….

Well, OK; I’M not physically going into space, but my name is.

Around a year ago, I heard about an initiative called Messages to Bennu , run by The Planetary Society, whereby you could sign up to have your name sent into space on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission.


The Launch.

Set to launch sometime within a 39 day long window, starting 3rd September 2016, OSIRIS-REx will be the first U.S. mission to return samples from an asteroid to Earth.

The Mission.

It will take the spacecraft a little under two years to reach Bennu, the asteroid in question, at which time work will begin on its primary objective of collecting samples of what is believed to be pristine carbonaceous material from the early Solar System. Once collected and returned to Earth, it is hoped that the analysis of this material will provide important clues to the origin of life on Earth and the likelihood that life may have originated elsewhere in our solar system.

The Return.

Again, there is no concrete time for return, but the window for departure opens in March 2021; putting OSIRIS-REx on a trajectory that will intersect the Earth’s orbit in September 2023.

So yeah, thanks to NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission and The Planetary Society, my name will hitch a ride to asteroid Bennu and spend 500 days there before returning to Earth in the Sample Return Capsule; a seven year round-trip!
There are also plans to store the same data elsewhere on the spacecraft, so “I” will also continue to remain in space long after the sample return capsule returns to Earth.

They even supplied me with a rather nifty little certificate:

My fancy-schmancy certifimicate

My fancy-schmancy certifimicate

You can find out more about becoming involved with The Planetary Society here and more about the OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission here.

With a September 2014 deadline, you’ve missed the opportunity to add your name to this mission, but by signing up here, you can receive notifications from The Planetary Society and you’ll be able to find out about next time they are sending names into space!

What you haven’t missed is the deadline for my Stationery Giveaway, so if you haven’t entered yet : DO IT NOW!!

The Big Annual BBQ

I’d like to share something a bit different with you today…

Every year around this time, OH’s work always hosts a big fun day at one of the local country parks.

There’s a host of entertainments, plenty of food and a whole lot of fun.

One thing that is always the same is the weather. In the 6 years this BBQ has been happening, it has always rained. Even the year there was a drought during the two weeks either side, it poured the day of the BBQ! This week has been pretty rainy so when someone said that today’s forecast was rain between 12noon & 4pm, followed by hail; I thought that sounded about usual!

We dressed accordingly; boots, waterproof jackets etc and set off for the park. As we got there, the sky started to brighten; and apart from a couple of heavy showers, it stayed nice all afternoon.

As a departure from the usual burgers & sausages etc this year they had also hired a ‘Hog Roast’ team, which smelt amazing as we arrived.

OH warmed up with a game of badminton, whilst I had a chat.

OH warmed up with a game of badminton, whilst I had a chat.

Meanwhile, the kids & I (being gannets) hit the BBQ first whilst waiting for the pork to finish cooking.

Nerds 😝

Nerds 😝

After partaking in some of the aforementioned roast (which was incredibly tasty & succulent); served in bread rolls with stuffing, apple sauce and amazingly good crackling; it was time for some fun and games.

There’s always a bouncy castle. Which is always a deathtrap due to water. The increased risk of death and/or permanent injury just adds to the excitement.

That bouncy castle is looking rather empty, it's about time for another bunch to pile on!

That bouncy castle is looking rather empty, it’s about time for another bunch to pile on!

There are always various games of football and Frisbee going on. Not necessarily together, but not necessarily NOT!

Anyone for Tennis?

Anyone for Tennis?

Another thing made inherently funnier by the large puddle that accumulates, is the Bungee Run. This is a two-laned inflatable; with two belts, each secured to the back wall by a bungee cord. A Velcro strip runs along either side of the central ‘wall’ and the winner is the one who manages to stick their bean-bag baton furthest along the run. We tend to play it as “best of 3” and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get pulled back, lose your footing and end up in a soggy giggling heap during at least one turn 😀

NOOO!!!  You can't let The Kid win!

You can’t let The Kid win!!

Yayyy!! Mum wins again!

Mum wins again!

Another game that makes a regular appearance at this annual event is Viking Chess (which, one of the Swedes tells us, is actually named Kubb) There’s a wooden King & 10 wooden Knight blocks which are laid out on the lawn, two teams take turns throwing 6 round sticks at the Knights in an attempt to topple them.

Viking Chess game layout

Viking Chess game layout

Knocking over the other teams Knights allows you to move them around the ‘board’. Once you have removed all the opposing teams Knights, you have to topple the king to win the game. It’s actually harder than it sounds but is a lot of fun.

Aim for the 2nd Knight on the left, honey!

Aim for the 2nd Knight on the left, honey!

Team Family lost the first game pretty quickly and the next one started off similarly but we totally turned it around and won amazingly! Go Team! 😀

Around that point, the rain started quite heavily again so we decided it was time to head home. We all had a fab time and can’t wait until next year to do it all again!

Do you have a regular event which you look forward to every year? Please share in the comments! 

Thanks for reading xx

Have you entered my Stationery Giveaway yet?