Saturday, 30 December 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #268 Ebay incident

Internet shopping is fun, so long as it's done safely!
This is the last prescheduled (for now) post I've got, so hopefully I'll be over the initial side effects of my mega strongs meds which I had on Monday night. I wanted to share what happened on Ebay, just so you are aware of what can happen. I'm not against Ebay - I've used it since the incident, but this is more of a be careful post. It's a gaming themed post but because it deals with something that can happen with anything on Ebay it's here rather than on my other blog, Nayu's Reading Corner.

Not the bargain I expected
I've recently become rather interested in Pokemon, which is probably putting it mildly. Anyway, because of that I've been buying some guys - one from each generation. While a couple were a good price on Amazon, and Pokemon Yellow was on a digital copy, a few deals were on Ebay. The one in question was for a copy of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon for £16. Total bargain because while not the newest Ultra versions, two games for that price is incredible. 
Yes Eeyore, I should have known better. I assumed it was on the way in the post to me, so a few days later I double checked to see when it should arrive. Unfortunately that's when the incident happened. Ebay emailed me to say they had stopped the sale, because a third party had hacked the seller's account that I was buying from, so the items probably didn't exist in the first place, and I wouldn't be getting them. My account mercifully wasn't hacked, although I feel really sorry for the seller because it sounds scary to have someone sell things in your name when they aren't yours. I don't blame the seller at all. It was just frustrating that such a good bargain didn't exist! I simply got Pokemon Sun in the end, because outside of that fictional offer it was ridiculous to pay for both games. 

The moral of the story is there are good bargains all over the internet including on Ebay, but do check the listing carefully. There are some areas in the world where pirate copies of games/dvds are common. I'm not listing them but I did avoid choosing a copy from them. Where possible I bought my games from individuals rather than a company (all safely on Ebay) because I felt they were more likely to be genuine. Please do  a search to update your knowledge on how to stay safe when shopping online - I purposefully haven't included any tips in this post, but there are many good sites explaining what to check for. 
Light, cute & fluffy end of post picture for you to counter the seriousness of this post.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #267 Glorious Maple Syrup!

Simply delicious!
Last week I picked up some authentic maple syrup, the proper stuff without flavouring or corn syrup used as the main ingredient, because I really fancied it. I blame the Canadian Youtube vlogger I follow, Taylor R and who loves using maple syrup in her cooking -not the hilarious weird sweets she and fellow Canadian Sharla from Sharla In Japan make together - they are extremely good if you want a laugh, Taylor used to be in Japan but is now in Hong Kong, and Sharla is in Japan until February when she moves to South Korea. While I started watching them for being Japan vloggers, I'll keep watching them no matter where they live. They finally made something edible this year! I haven't binged watched Taylors shows, but seeing maple syrup being used made me want to have some, as I love the taste.
Here be a maple tree! From an internet search, sadly they aren't native to England.
I know there are cheaper versions around, and even a few which suggest they are maple syrup but actually aren't. A simple internet search will explain why the labour intensive syrup is so expensive - it takes a lot of time and effort to produce a small quantity of the dark sweet nectar that's quintessentially Canadian (Never thought I'd use that big a word in a blog post-yay!), and is totally worth it as a treat. Apparently maple syrup is three times sweeter than sugar, so you only need a little bit - I can confirm that it is deliciously sweet and I wish I could use it more often. 
A maple tree being tapped for the syrup

I haven't made a pile of pancakes to drizzle/gush the syrup over, although I am hoping to make some waffles soon and drizzle it in the holes. 
I can almost taste them! Sorry if this makes you hungry...
I tried it in milk and it was a tasty drink but quite mild, to get a strong flavour I'd either need to use a small cup or a large quantity of the maple syrup, which I don't want to do just yet. I'd love to hear if you like maple syrup and how you use it! 
Use the real maple syrup which only has maple syrup as an ingredient!

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #268 Cat and human?

And zebra finches!!!
Those of you who follow me on Twitter, and read all my blog posts here know I love my tabby cat Belle ever so much. She hates winter a bit less than me, and likes curling up beside me or on my legs. She has the funniest and mildy annoying habit of sitting on people just when they are about to get up, or, in my case, sits down exactly where I need to sit. She usually gets up when gently poked (not literal poking), often stalks off in a half, but sometimes comes and sits back down on me. 
She can touch her toes easily!
Well on Sunday while I got ahead with my blog posts she sat on my bed while I was on an errand. 
"You want to sit here?"
I moved her, she came and sat on me. A blog post later I needed to take a photo of my current crochet project, which meant moving her off me. She wasn't happy, and surprisingly came back to me. 
"You work on this? You should pet me instead!"
Another blog post written I needed a snack, so had to get up and yes, she went exactly where I was sitting. I moved her, expected her to be extremely grumpy and not come back, but she did,
"Quit moving me every other minute!"
albeit with a large attitude problem, which later got moved to the end of my bed. 
"I hate being moved when I'm comfy!!!"
If you have a cat/dog/other animal, I'm sure you can relate to the hilarity of not cat and mouse but cat and human war of who sits where. I win almost every time - the few times I'm only going to sit a short while I let her stay wherever she is because it's easier. 
Belle definitely takes ideas from the famous Pusheen the cat!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #266 Mild chaos & relaxation

Chestnuts are conkers, hidden in a spiky protective outer layer!
I know the title is a bit weird - how can chaos be related to relaxation, right? The past few days - mostly just yesterday - were more chaotic than planned. I had to finish  chore quicker than expected on the same day I went shopping (which means I should do nothing but rest, only that didn't happen). 

This is chaos - when I researched chaos online as a picture they were all dark and scary, which isn't the sentiment of this post!
I finally found some chestnuts in the shops - got to love this time of year for having food I like but rarely can buy, and because I'm having my mega strong meds tomorrow night I needed to cook the chestnuts yesterday. The cooking part was easy: tip chestnuts in a pan, cover with boiling water, cook for an hour. No mess, no fuss, simple! 
As simple as a pretty paperclip rainbow!
While it cooked I happily played on Pokemon. Then it finished, I got my knife and two bowls - one for rubbish, one for the cooked 'meat', with a third holding the whole ones. I've never cooked or deshelled chestnuts, but with advice from family I was good to go. I didn't know what a bad one looked like, but 2 or 3 chestnuts in I discovered exactly what shouldn't go in the bowl of edibles. I only had 4 that were bad, I know what's better than what my family had. Peeling a chestnut is a bit fiddly. I simply put tip of knife in the chestnut, cut it in half, then scooped out the good part into the bowl using a knife. I hadn't thought of using a spoon, but that would have made the process a little longer, and I wasn't fussed how the chestnuts looked by the end. I just needed them cooked!
You can see how they look whole and when cut in half you can see the white flesh part.
I still need to look up how long they can keep in the fridge - I may need to freeze them. I want to do a sweet crumble with some fresh cranberries, bit of orange and maybe some apple. I'm aware this may be a weird combo but it's what I fancy! Hoping there is a recipe for something similar online somewhere. 

Mine look as tasty as these ones!
Like chestnuts cranberries are another item I can only really get at this time of year, dried cranberries aren't the same. Oh and pre-packaged chestnuts are not very nice, fresh is best in this scenario! I never get to eat chestnuts because I don't eat stuffing since it's made with meat, hence me finally buying some. Because I'll be horizontal for 5-6 days straight I really didn't want my lovely chestnuts to go to waste. I might see if there are recipes involving maple syrup because I have some of the good real stuff! (a post devoted to maple syrup is coming in a few days!)
This is entirely unrelated to the post, I just thought it was cute (I love Pooh bear!)
I had some other chores to do yesterday, making it a busy day, so I relaxed with lots of Pokemon in the evening, which was bliss! Normally today would be rest day, but since I'm have ketamine tomorrow (legally guys, it is part of my pain management treatment - NEVER take drugs unless prescribed) I'll have several rest days soon. The chaos was doing a lot of things in one day, the relaxation is from tomorrow night! I hope you all have a super weekend, and if you're taking part in any festivities that you have fun!

Whateer the weather have a good one!

Friday, 22 December 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #265 I've crafted!

Is it a death star (Star Wars reference)? Is it a UFO? No it's a Poke ball!!!! For catching Pokemon ^u^
Yes the title is poor grammar on purpose...well, it's almost lunch time, I've got heavy brain fog and can't quite be bothered to figure out a better title. But I am planning to schedule a few blog posts on Sunday - it was today but I've only just finished sorting emails, so actual blogging will be Sunday, hopefully. I need food and I want to play Pokemon (which I'm rather addicted to at the moment)!! I promise I have some hopefully interesting topics to blog about, including the bizarre emails I get for having one of my email addresses on the internet, my cat (a common theme for blog posts because she is so funny/has an attitude problem), crochet progress (I did some this week!), and other topics I can't quite think of. 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #264 Hibernating

What are you dreaming of today? I'm dreaming of a heat wave!
Hope you are all staying nice and warm during this cold weather (if you are in UK/USA/anywhere with snow). I don't have snow, wish I did - had a sprinkling but it looked like a harsh frost. Unfortunately my body really doesn't cope in weather like this so I've been taking it easy. Lots of gaming is going on - head over to my other blog Nayu's Reading Corner to hear the latest on that (it involves Pokemon...) It's supposed to warm up a bit this weekend, so hopefully I then have enough energy for more than a paragraph. Doing my best but got minus energy reserves right now! 
Wish I could recharge my body like a battery!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #263 Tonic Experiment

My tonic is usually without lemon, but still nice and bitter!
It's been a mixed week of outings, including lunch with a friend and routine doctor's appointment, and resting in between. The other day I mentioned a tonic experiment I was doing. Basically Sainsbury's changed the ingredients in their diet tonic water, excluding sugar in exchange for what I think is a sweetener. 
Sorry it's blurry, it's the only one close to the label I get!

I understand why they do that, and that doesn't bother me (although some sweeteners can give me a headache, which is often why I drink tonic in the first place). Unfortunately when I tried the new version of the tonic I thought I'd accidentally picked up this. 
Yes, lemonade, not tonic water. The new recipe diet tonic water tastes like it is the Sainsbury's lemonade, only without the lemons, of course. I've nothing against lemonade (just not keen on it these days), but I specifically drink tonic water when I'm not feeling well, for a headache or on general bleh days which are more numerous in winter. I like the bitter taste which just isn't in Sainsbury's new diet tonic water. Thus the experiment began. 
This one is very good! Although I'd rather non-branded for cost purposes...
The experiment is still ongoing, but so far Schweppes diet tonic water tastes like tonic water should! Yay! I've got Sainsbury's non diet tonic water to try (although by the rate they are removing full sugar squashes I'm not sure how long this may be available if it tastes right for me. Obviously encouraging healthy drinking is good...but personally I feel that only giving customers once choice of drink (reduced sugar/diet) is policing consumers a bit too much), as well as Schweppes non diet tonic water. I tried Waitrose in the past but didn't like it at all, and I don't really shop anywhere else, so don't want to go out of my way for just one product. It may have to be Schweppes, but that's better than nothing.
Still got this one to try! & 1 more
I'd love to know if you have a preferred brand of tonic water! I love the sharpness and the bubbles when I don't feel well, and staying hydrated is super important. 
Random pictures of the day - Puffins are such cute birds!!

Monday, 4 December 2017

Nayu's Jigsaw Puzzling #2

What's in my jigsaw case this week?

November saw the start of a new post series all about my experiences doing jigsaw puzzles. You can catch up with the first post here. I'll try and put the previous jigsaw post's link in each post, and it can be found by searching on the tag Nayu's Jigsaw Puzzling.

Today is all about a speedy (maybe?) puzzle I did the other day, and my current big one. The other day I took 1 hour and 20 minutes from start to finish to complete this super cute owl jigsaw:
It made me smile while I had a headache (which made me feel bad, I wasn't able to read, do anything with a screen). Small puzzles are easy-ish to do lying down. It's the first puzzle that I've done from Scmidt, and I was rather impressed. 
 It may 'only' be a 200 piece puzzle, but it's not a quick finish when my mind is slow. I like the bright colours: owls have gained in popularity over the last few years and there are lots of cute designs for all kinds of products. 

One really cool puzzle that I couldn't show you until know because a family member had similar items for their birthday is this Tsum Tsum 1000 piece jigsaw!

I know it says impossible, and it looks hard, but it's not. I've completed the edge and now sorting the pieces into categories: scary tsum tsums, Disney tsum tsums, Pixar tsum tsums, unknown pieces where the image isn't clear or I have no idea where it's from.
This was when I was sorting the edge pieces: the piles are for the top/bottom/left/right sides. Please excuse the image quality - it was taken on my tablet.
Once I've done that I'm going ot sub categorize into male/female, Disney collections (Mickey & friends, Winnie the Pooh & friends etc), and possibly by colour which should make it much easier to put together, with all the tsum tsums in pre-sorted (by me) piles. I can't imagine doing the puzzle any other way, including just picking up unsorted pieces and spending ages trying to figure out where they would go - that would take forever!

I'd love to hear if you're doing a puzzle at the moment - do you like ones with lots of different colours? Or ones which are harder because a lot of puzzle pieces are the same colour? 
A good & true saying

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Nayu's Craft Time #263 Condensed Milk With A Pea

Passing time can be marked by a sundial  I love this elaborate one! It's so colourful.
I hadn't realised it was that long since my last post (maybe 2 weeks...sorry!). I know I had a week being away with the fairies thanks to my strong meds, then it was mega cold so I wasn't up to much. I did visit my craft friend on Tuesday, but didn't do much crochet! Well, I sort of did, but for once I couldn't talk and crochet at the same time which led to mistakes, undoing, and redoing of a few squares.

The cold weather is here to stay, unfortunately, so will be unwell a lot until Februry - my body hates it being under 10C, and under 5C I don't really function. I have a handy weather app to look ahead on when there might be a rise in temperature. It uses a term called RealFeel which calculates how we perceive the temperature according to wind/sun/other factors. So sometimes it may be 7C but it feels like 3C (or in the minus figures). Feeling like I'm fighting a virus all winter isn't fun, but all I can do is rest lots and pray for an early Spring.
My current passion
When it's cold I like curling up and gaming, occasionally reading, but often watching dvds or listening to audiobooks with simple handheld gaming rather than console gaming. If you follow me on Twitter you'll know I've been busy jigsaw puzzling - I'll be doing an update in the next post which will be in 2 days time (I've pre-scheduled it!!!).

You are probably trying to get your head around this post's title. It's an amusing incident that happened the other day. Me and my family freeze mostly any food. They'd put a partially used can of condensed milk upright in the freezer. They were getting something else and saw the tin of condensed milk had tipped over and there was a sticker mess in the freezer drawer-apparently it doesn't freeze solid! There wasn't a lot of it left in the tin so I took it, had it with frozen berries and even made delicious hot chocolate.
Not this guy... of these!

It was doing the latter that I made the startling discovery of a green blob. Initially I wondered if it was mouldy, but it didn't smell and it tasted fine. My family took a look and instantly knew it was a pea - it must have got in accidentally when it was set upright after it's fall. So no, I don't eat peas with condensed milk - or, as the famous nursery rhyme goes, with honey. That doesn't sound at all appetising to me!
Have you heard this poem before? It was common when I was young here in England.
Today's food issue is to do with the brand of tonic water I use changing it's recipe to have sweetner instead of sugar, which shouldn't affect the bitter taste but it has so I need to investigate another brand that tastes like it should instead of like the same brand's lemonade (without the lemons). 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Nayu's Jigsaw Puzzling #1

My snazzy jigsaw case outside...

This is going to be an open-ended series of posts, but used the parts so it could be identified (& I'll try to remember to include previous posts in future posts (that does make sense if you read it carefully!). 

While I was ill last week I didn't feel up for gaming a lot of the time, so dived into my jigsaw puzzles. I finally finished the super hard one I'd borrowed from family. 
If you enlarge this picture you may be able to see the different types of puzzle pieces which made it difficult.

This one was evil because as well as using the standard type of jigsaw pieces 
Like these
it used unusual shaped ones. 
Like these but with more radical shapes - some had no holes!

Because of that I found it took a lot longer because my brain had to process the different shapes, and I won't be doing another in a hurry, at least not until I've improved with 'normal' shaped jigsaws. I was rather frustrated by the end, and was determined to finish the monstrosity. I'm happy now back to normal pieces, which if you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me post updates as I made progress. In case you missed it here's the progress of my current 500 piece Country Companions puzzle: 
Super cute! I love the little ladybirds helping the hedgehogs and mice out.
I've loved Country Companions ever since I was little, there's something utterly charming about the hedgehogs and mice. Sadly years ago I threw out all the cross stitch pictures I'd done of them, but one day I'll make some more! (Tip: Keep an eye in sales for cross stitch kits which generally are expensive outside of favourite online store Sew & Sew (no it's not a promoted post: I genuinely predominantly use them for my embroidery needs) 
Current progress on 14th November 2017 - I'm over half way!

500 pieces and under jigsaw puzzles are easier for me to do in bed, the 1000 piece was impossible to do at my roughest. Just because there are fewer peices doesn't always mean that the puzzle will be easier - it took me ages to sort out the flower sections in my current puzzle. I got there, and managed most of the hedgehog pieces too! I'd love to hear what type of jigsaw puzzles you've tried!