Ultimate Summer Driving Playlist

summer_playlistMoneySupermarket come up with yet another great challenge for bloggers – Ultimate Summer Driving Playlist.

So the challenge is simple, draw up your perfect playlist for a long journey, how hard can that be. Actually when you stop and think about it; it turns out to be extremely hard. Get it right and the results can be intoxicating. An open country road the sun shining and the music system caressing your eardrums with the song you want and the hairs on your neck can stand up, a tear maybe wells in your eyes, dare I say it but a moment of pure contentedness can wash over you, a worthy goal by anyone’s measure. So I reiterate, it can be extremely hard to draw up that list.

So many factors can impinge upon the choices, let me highlight some that spring to mind:

  • A)     Is it a “going to somewhere…” journey where everyone is excited about the possibilities the day holds for them or is it the returning home journey where everyone is tired and the possibilities of the day have all been experienced.
  • B)      How is your base emotional state? Your taste for tunes will be different if your wound up from a stressful event than if your relaxed or in holiday mode.
  • C)      What is the weather like? The sun will always raise a smile far quicker than a grey day of drizzle and wind (unless it’s at the end of a 6 month drought I suppose!)
  • D)     Prevailing traffic conditions. If you are stuck in a 5 mile tailback on the motorway you will want different tunes to when driving along a coastal road or through the mountains.
  • E)      The characters of the passengers in the car will have a huge impact on the list. Imagine a typical family of four, when asked who is their top artist and you get the following responses; Dad says Mozart, Mum opts for Johnny Cash, the teenage boy says Rammstein and the daughter goes into melt down mode because 1 Direction is the only band in the universe making music! The list just became even more difficult…
  • F)      Even the time of day has an impact as we listen to different music in the day time to early evening and again for late night listening.

So, long story short I had to come up with a list.

My list is mainly for when energy is high; excitement abounds, early in the day. They are all newish songs, good for a sing along and nice keep you awake beats. If your car happens to have a shuffle button on the console then this list will work in just about any circumstance.

*quick fanfare* and here we go:-

Rolling in the deep - Adele
Rolling in the deep – Adele

La La La – Naughty Boy

Love Me Again – John Newman

Paradise – Coldplay

I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas
I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas

Good Feeling – Flo Rida

Need You – Duke Demont

Changed the way you kiss me – Example

Crazy – Gnarls Barkley

On the floor – Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull

Waiting all night – Rudimental
Waiting all night – Rudimental

Turn me on – David Guetta

Too close – Alex Clare

Lazy song – Bruno Mars
Lazy song – Bruno Mars

Don’t you worry child – Swedish House Mafia

Party rock anthem – LMFAO

***

There is a serious message behind the idea of a great driving soundtrack. THINK! Research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep or tiredness related. Long journeys on motorways can lead to a lack of concentration and, as well as other preventative measures, listening to songs you love can be a great way to stay alert and focused on the road.

Road Trip Challenge #roadtripchallenge

Car Insurance - £50 Road Trip Challenge - Header image

MoneySupermarket challenged bloggers to show our road trips. They provided us with £50 budget to be used for this occasion.

So where did we go?

We both love driving so distance was not a problem; we do however have the dogs who if left behind will slowly eat the house as punishment for their neglect. It was going to be a hot day so we needed something cool, and something different to yet another long walk in a wood! We decided to “hit” the sea, a bit different as we live about as far away from any large body of water as you can in the UK. We picked Scratby near Great Yarmouth as our final destination, one of the nearest beaches to us and puppy friendly.

So we had a full tank of diesel, sunglasses and the open road in front of us.

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?

We had 115 miles to drive in order to reach our target, so we set off early in the morning with the promise of a full day ahead; we wanted to get as much as possible from our trip. Three hours and a few stops later, we could smell the sea!

We parked up. Now Bunk is a water dog by all accounts however none of the lakes, rivers and weirs we have visited have floated his boat. A paddle here and there but none of that water dog hysteria we hoped to see on his face upon arrival at destination “insert name here”. Today however things were different, very different, as the car door cracked open a blur of fur shot past us and proceeded at full pelt to the sea, our dog was gone. Ten minutes later he was still going, a tiny spot of head bobbing up and down in the waves, Mark half jokingly commented that he wondered if Bunk was swimming home… to Newfoundland. Much to our relief he did eventually turn around and head back to us, were he did what all dogs do, run straight to us then have the bright idea to have a good shake, ensuring maximum coverage of the freezing cold seawater on to hot sun soaked skin.

INCOMING! Mind the shake...
INCOMING! Mind the shake…
Round 47... of a possible 200, going to be a long day!
Round 47… of a possible 200, going to be a long day!
Oh go on ...just one more time...  I know that’s what we said last time but we mean it this time... honest, just throw it!
Oh go on …just one more time…
I know that’s what we said last time but we mean it this time… honest, just throw it!
So what we going to say this time to get them to throw it.....
So what we going to say this time to get them to throw it…..

Hunger drove us to a lovely little fish and chip shop by the sea front. Few crispy cod fillets and some chips and back to the beach. Here we discovered that for Bunk and his hierarchical order of what is important to him that chips pawn the allure of the sea.

Get off!... Get off!... GET OFF!
Get off!… Get off!… GET OFF!
Oh for the energy of youth....
Oh for the energy of youth….
Hmmm... big puddle... bye bye big puddle *sniff*
Hmmm… big puddle… bye bye big puddle *sniff*
I is completely and totally knackered Mum....
I is completely and totally knackered Mum….

It was a day to be remembered. Thank you MoneySupermarket.

My Bucket List #budgetbucketlist

Budget Bucket List Banner

Yet again MoneySupermarket is running a fantastic competition for bloggers. This time they are asking for our “Bucket List”.

There are a lot of things on my bucket list but as I wanted to stick with the rules I had to cut it to 2 main ones only – one budget and one extravagant bucket list item. The choice wasn’t easy but I took a little “me” time, which gave me some more clarification. So let’s start with the list.

Budget

I want and need a new kitchen! Ok, I don’t really need a new kitchen but I for sure need a new oven and a new kitchen would inevitably follow behind it. We moved to our house 6 years ago, and the house was built sometime in the 80s… we still have the original kitchen which came with the house when it was originally built. Four years ago we did a massive DIY blitz in order to drag a few more miles out of the old kitchen. The project was a success but now it is 4 years later and the need for some more TLC is starting to show again. Kitchen furniture is the one thing, when worst come to the worst we will either ignore or at best just repaint it again and it will do for a few more years. The problem is we aren’t able to fix our oven on the cheap. It is old and falling to bits, bent and warped with an ineffective heat shield and a red hot door when roasting/baking. The technical term is, I am informed, knackered, and it has to go. Don’t get me wrong we tried our best to make it work as it should – we clean it so it sparkles like new, we replaced all the faulty bits including the main seal, but still… it simply doesn’t perform as it should.

Our current kitchen after a well done DIY project  – please keep in mind this was 4 years ago
Our current kitchen after a well done DIY project
– please keep in mind this was 4 years ago

Having a new kitchen or at least a fully functioning oven would mean the world to us. Mark cooks a lot – you know homemade cooking from scratch and it is becoming an art-form for him with a poorly functioning oven.

So what is stopping me from replacing? The Answer is simple… money! I put it into my budget bucket list because I know that sooner or later, we will have to bite the bullet and get a new oven. Our attempts to revise what we currently have aren’t working any more ;-(

Extravagant

I want to have a truck! Yes, you read me right – A truck, as in a big lorry, with lots of lights and an extra loud horn… just like this one.

Road train – as seen in Australia
Road train – as seen in Australia

Ever since I was a little girl I always admired these huge trucks. They take over the road, at night they look like a Christmas tree, full of colourful lights and they are truly magnificent and take my breath away as they pass!

I would love to own one! I don’t need the trailers, even I cannot shop that much! But give me the tractor unit and I would be in heaven!

But there is a problem… and it is not money (yes, money is a problem as well obviously as they cost a small fortune, but in this case something else causes me a bigger headache)… I cannot park! I can drive, I love driving but I cannot park! Parking is a big problem for me. Most of the time I am trying to find 3 vacant adjacent parking spaces so I can slide into the middle one and then I am able to park my little Astra safely. So can you imagine what a nightmare it would be to park such a huge truck?!

But hey… as its life… we have to compromise. To get what I want… at least to some degree I am learning how to park… I am doing much better these days… really… and I am willing to downgrade my dream “road train” truck to something smaller like a Toyota Hilux for example.

A girl can dream…

I would like to nominate three other bloggers to take part in this competition – Jo from Given to Distracting Others, Anna from In The Playroom and Michaela from Adventures Of Yorkshire Mum.

I know the time is very limited but with current wordpress problems  I am playing catch up this week, so I am still behind with all posts.

What’s in your handbag? #Whatsinyourhandbag

Did you even wonder what mysteries are hidden inside a women’s handbag? Some of us care a great deal about our handbags (I personally prefer shoes!) but nevertheless bags are very important in every women’s life.

Today you have a chance to look inside my “bag of wonders”.

I really hope I will not spoil your fun of wondering for the future.

So here you go… let’s see what’s in my handbag…

What's in my bag

And here you have it, all the mystery revealed. I don’t have a magic wand in here, or a small helper… just normal everyday items… no magic involved.

Now let’s have a closer look on all the items I chose to carry around with me most days. Did you ever wonder how much an average women handbag and its contents are worth? To be honest I have no idea either, but let’s see if we can price-up my one.

My bag

This is one of my bags. I like it because it is huge and I can fit a lot of extra items into it, if needed. Yes, I can hardly find anything in it… but that is the price we pay. This bag was a gift from my sister. It is good few years old now but I still love it. Crew Clothing Handbag – £145 when new

Priceless items

This next bunch of items is priceless to me:

–       My wallet, with all the cards I could possibly need debit and credit cards, Cosco card, various store cards etc. There is not a lot of real cash in it but I wouldn’t want to lose it… ever again. I used to carry my driving licence and Polish national ID card with me but once I lost my wallet, I decided that it is to much of a risk and it cost too much time, hassle and money to replace it, so I do not carry it with my any longer.  Wallet £6.99 from TKMaxx +  £10 cash in it.

–       Phone, it has everything I need to communicate with the rest of the world.  I cannot even think about losing it. Samsung Galaxy S3 – £400 when new

–       House and car keys – you would think that there is not too much value here but this are the only car keys we have, so they are really priceless to us. Cost of replacing car and house keys estimated at £150.

Magic envelope full of vouchers

I carry a magic envelope with me. In it are various coupons or money off vouchers I have won or received from companies. Looking at my envelope today there is £87 in there.

Polish coins just for luck

These 2 Polish coins have no real value but I found them whilst in Poland so I carry them for luck 🙂

Smokes

Now we are getting into the important part of the bag. My smokes! I have a pack of cigarettes (£3 as they come from Poland), 2 lighters (£1.50) and eCigarette kit (£29.97)

All important items in my bag

This lot is even more important, as it has all I need just in case:

–       Painkillers (£1.50)

–       Tissues (£0.10)

–       Selection of tampons (£1)

–       Plasters (£0.10)

–       Dental floss (£1.50)

–       Lip-gloss – Lancome Juicy Tube – to keep my lips nice and moist 🙂 (£16)

Even more important items in my bag

Oh, this is my favourite part of my handbag and something I always check. A must have for me! A selection of chewing gums, sweets and snacks (£6)

Reminder of my engagement party

And now the last item in my handbag. It is something very important to me. Not a lot of value in real world money but it has a HUGE sentimental value to me. It is a champagne cork from my engagement party. I like to carry it around with me.

And this is it! All items which I carry with me in my handbag.

What is most surprising to me was the total value – £859.66! Wow, I have to be much more careful with it!

This post is my competition entry into Moneysupermarket ‘What’s in your handbag’ Competition.

If you want to enter as well, hurry as deadline is tonight – 11:59pm on 1st July 2013.

Good luck and have fun!