Happy New Year 2014 - and a Look-Back at 2013.

As the final sun of 2013 sets, it's time for my annual review of our year through this blog-diary of mine.

                            New Year's Eve sunset over the Sugar Loaf Mountain, Co Wicklow.

It's amazing the things you forget as the year and it's seasons pass; the things you've done and the emotions that course through you at various stages.

It's been a good year for us here at chez Jazzy, all things considered. We are very lucky.

We've enjoyed some wonderful journey's like Teen Boy's first ever trip away from home sans parents, a short family holiday and an amazing 2 day trip to the Giant's Causeway.

We also managed to fit in a quick getaway to our favourite, energising holiday haven too!

We've followed our boy's progress through school, scouts and life itself. At 14 he is without doubt the typical loving, amusing and willfully reluctant teenager that you would expect! A teenage butterfly, with sometimes visible barbs, flitting here and there finding his way through the world.... all as it should be.

Our much loved patient continues her incredible fight to defeat the medics. Visiting her is very difficult emotionally, but we are so very grateful that she is still with us to visit.

Personally speaking I've had a fruitful year. I enjoyed our teen musical experience, our Newspaper appearance and how well received a special blog post of mine was. I'm also very much enjoying additional social media involvement.

                                                  Photo from the Irish Independent
I've had some fun writing blog posts this year; In particular I've enjoyed sharing my new found hooker skills with you (crochet, people, crochet!), my Supermarket Flash(mob)Dance thoughts and discussing what constitutes Work - Dahling!

However it's to my Brain Freeze post that I turn to now, as my brain continues it's blog freeze. Have I finally run out of things to write about, I wonder?

I fear that I have but we'll head forward to 2014 with renewed vigour and positivity. With no New Year's Resolutions as such, just a decision to make some personal, healthy changes. To do exactly as I did last year in fact. That can't be too difficult now, can it?

I thank you all for visiting and reading my rambling ruminations this year, your support is always appreciated; and I very much look forward to visiting you on your blogs, or on twitter and facebook, in the New Year.

I wish you all peace and happiness in your lives, as 2013 makes it's departure and the New Year of 2014 prepares to dawn on us all.

Let's hope it's a good one...... with another really good Irish Summer!

Here's hoping!

Stay safe and be happy.


When Jazzy Got Stuck Up Santa's Chimney....

She didn't go 'Achoo, Achoo, Achoo'. No, not even once.

There was no need you see.

Although it may be perceived to be a tad perturbing, being stuck up in a chimney (or any enclosed space) it actually wasn't too bad at all.

It mustn't have been because it didn't just happen once. Oh no, it happened twice - on  two Saturdays in a row, one right after the other, just like that. I didn't learn from the first three hour experience it seems, so like a lamb to the slaughter I went back for more! 

Santa's Chimney was simply too tempting to resist you see....

I had no choice, I just had to go in. 

It's okay though, I wasn't alone. I was soon joined by lots and lots of little people, of various ages with an accompanying variety of familial adults, who just had to enter Santa's chimney for the experience. I mean, it's not every day you get to climb up Santa's chimney in his secret lift, is it?

And besides, I did encourage them all to enter. Dressed appropriately as I was, of course....

Jazzy Elevator Elf

Sure how could they resist? They were either charmed or frightened aboard by the silly Jazzy Elevator Elf!

When 'Jazzy got stuck up Santa's Chimney' there were more utterances of 'Ho Ho Ho' than 'Achoo, Achoo, Achoo' Or the odd rendition of 'Jingle Bells' when the lift Santa's Secret Chimney-Lift decided not to co-operate!

It was wonderful to meet all the lovely children, most of whom were enchanted by the magic of it all. To see their wonderment when the climb through Santa's Chimney led directly to his magical grotto, with the lovely Santa and his Magic Postbox waiting for them, made being stuck up the chimney SO worth it. Some of the adults were wowed too, it must be said!

Of course, some children were a bit over-whelmed and afraid, but we Elves and Santa himself soon brought them around.

There were also those 'too-cool-for-school' pre or early teens who were entirely under-whelmed by the whole experience, and who couldn't wait to pronounce the 'truth' about Santa's Chimney to one and all. We Elves dealt appropriately with them too ;-)

Then there was the bright kid - the 6 year old who not only made the same pronouncement as the teens but started to comment on my ..... um..... suitability  as an Elf : 'I know you're an Elf but you look like.....' For fear that he'd finish that sentence with 'Santa's Granny' I promptly shut him up distracted him!!

I had a lovely time being stuck up Santa's Chimney - how I looked did not concern me one little bit - helping to sprinkle some festive magic and instilling a belief in Santa for a whole new generation.

Besides, as Santa no longer comes to my house I had to go to his...

                                                        Such a cute Santa!
Wherever you are in the world I send some festive joy and a sprinkling of Magical Christmas to you and yours.

May Christmas 2013 be a happy and peaceful one.


#SilentSunday 22/12/2013


The Gift of Healthy Living this Christmas: Salubria The Health Game - A Review

I was only popping into my local branch of Bank of Ireland for a quick minute, just dropping off a letter is all. And I just happened to walk straight into Frances, one of the owners and creator/developers of what looked like a very interesting product that she had on display that day.

I was intrigued and I wanted to know more. I mean this is a card game that looks similar to Trivial Pursuit but all the questions are health related. I could immediately see how a certain teenager who is interested in talking about - but not necessarily in practising - healthy lifestyle choices might like this! I could see other possibilities too.

I bought a copy of  Salubria The Health Game there and then and I learned lots about this game, both from Frances herself and from their website.


'Salubria  is the unique question and answer card game that promotes the benefits of  healthy living - in an interactive and fun way.  Salubria is competitive,  it's very educational, and it could seriously improve your health!

Developed in Ireland with the help of leading health professionals, the game uses 200 researched and validated questions to communicate healthy living tips - covering 4 key areas of Fitness, Nutrition, Healthy Living and General Health Knowledge. This game has received many endorsements from high profile health professionals and some educational ones too.

Salubria is suitable for anyone between the ages of 10 years to 110 years! 

It is also a perfect product....

For Schools - as it is a unique educational tool.

For Families - as the perfect educational and gift. Firstly it's an old fashioned card game (no screens!) bringing all the family together. Secondly, unlike any other game, it provides healthy living tips in a simple, fun and educational manner.

For Business - as the healthy customer reward. Whether you're buying for customers, staff, Board members or business partners Salubria The Health Game is the healthy alternative, particularly at Christmas time.


While challenging family and friends to build on good habits and dump the bad ones - with Salubria's helpful hints to show you how.

This game has 200 researched questions covering the 4 key areas mentioned above with hundreds of possible answers and countless healthy living tips. You can read more about it here.

                                              Sample of Question and Answer Cards.

You can also check out the rules of play here.

Now, as my copy of the game is a stocking-filler for aforementioned teenager I have yet to play it. However, I can see from perusing the game rules above that there are different dynamics to it. Although you can play this game in pairs, I am reliably informed that that it's more fun when there are at least 4 players - as more dynamics come into play. There can also be 4 teams, i.e 2 or more on each team, and that's really fun..... the more the merrier!


Like I say, I can see the possibilities for my screenager (I really like that moniker...thank you Frances!) but I also immediately saw prospects for the classroom scenario too. Then I saw the educational endorsements :

In this scenario I see it not only as a health and fitness exercise but as an important socially interactive one too. And apparently, according to teachers involved with Salubria: 'learning through play reinforces the learning'.

I love that the cards also include 'Info Points' on each question, so that you're not only finding out the health facts but you gain some background knowledge too.

I also see this game as something a bored teenager or pre-teen, who likes facts but doesn't like reading too much, can flick through as if reading a book. Kind of like a health encyclopedia, delivered in nice healthy bite-size portions. Well, we are constantly being told to watch our children's portion sizes aren't we?!

Of course the compact size of this game makes it very portable and therefore, in my opinion, ideal as a traveling game: in the car, the airport, airplane, holiday apartment etc.

It will also fit very snuggly into a reasonably sized Christmas Stocking!

If interested, you can buy your copy online here (worldwide delivery, reasonable P&P charges apply) for Christmas and get a head start on kick-starting those healthy New Year Resolutions!

Or, you could win a copy by entering our fantastic Healthy Giveaway!

Yes, I have teamed up with the lovely Team Salubria and they have offered me a copy of their fun, educational, health game to give away to some lucky reader! 

To enter simply 'like' Salubria on Facebook, 'follow' Salubria on twitter and enter your name, and where you're from, in comments below. 

Entry to this Giveaway is open to all but unfortunately we can't guarantee delivery before Christmas to a winner from outside Ireland.

We will draw the name of the winner during next week and he/she will be contacted personally by the owners/developers of Salubria The Health Game.

Best of luck!


Note: Although I am now assisting Salubria with their Social Media campaign I have neither been paid for nor been asked to write this review. I offered to write this and it reflects my honest opinions and thoughts.

Listography - Top 5 Christmas Songs

Every time I read a weekly Listography post I swear I'm going to join in, yet I never seem to get around to it. When reading my friend Looking for Blue Sky's recent post I knew that this was the week I just had to join in!

You see as this week's list is 'Top 5 Christmas Songs' I simply can't resist. I think my 'Elevator Elf' duty last weekend - whereby I brought many children up in 'Santa's Secret Lift', which they entered via his super cool 'chimney' - has got my Christmas spirit soaring!

I found it quite difficult to restrict my list to 5 I must say, but here goes anyway: My Top 5 Christmas Songs:

1) 'Santa Baby': For it's cheeky cuteness.

One day, when I've imbibed enough wine, I'm going to sing this song, at some party or gathering somewhere. I even have the lyrics! Consider yourselves warned! Mind you I can definitely relate to these alternative lyrics too, as I'm sure many of you can also!

2) 'Rocking Around the Christmas Tree': For it's making you rock around the kitchen every time it's played, you know, when you're drinking making that sherry trifle or Christmas pud!

3) 'Walking In a Winter Wonderland': For it's lovely traditional feel and sing-a-long factor. I also choose it for the childhood memories it evokes. I fondly remember the Christmas morning that Santa my parents gave me a record player. With four accompanying LPs: 'Black and White Minstrels' (what were they thinking?!), Andy Williams, Perry Como Christmas LP (containing this song) and the Nutcracker Suite which was the only album chosen with my tastes (I loved Ballet) in mind!!

I like this song so much that I chose it to accompany the 'Snow Days Movie' I made in November 2010 - when we had snow the like of which we'll never see again - and this is the video I'm sharing here:

                                                     Gosh, my Teen Boy is so young in this!

4) 'Blue Christmas' by Elvis Presley: Because no song list of mine would be complete without my teenage crush Elvis Presley! When I finally got to build up my own record collection Elvis was definitely my artist of choice, and I still have the LP that this song is on!

To this day Elvis still has the serious swoon factor that makes my heart go all a-flutter....

5) I had wanted to include 'White Christmas' by Bing Crosby here, because no list would be complete without this gorgeous, timeless, Christmas classic. However You Tube decided to be an ass and to frustrate me by not allowing me share any Bing Crosby version of this song!
So, instead I've chosen 'Silent Night' which is also a gorgeous, timeless Christmas classic. And I'm sharing Sinead O'Connor's haunting and very atmospheric version...

This week's Listography is being hosted over at Plus2point4 and I'm off over there to link up and read all those lovely bloggers who have joined in!

Let the Christmas festivities and preparations begin!

Lots of holly and baubles to you all ;-)